Wrap Dress

We’re told this dress looks good on everyone-here’s what Carrie, our California transplant has to say:

I’ve really been trying to hit on the best knit dress pattern for a while- but first I had to find the right knit fabric. I picked up that fun
animal print knit from SR Harris – great body, hand, and stretch. I really took a step out on the print – but figured what the heck-
animal is always in for Fall!

I had two wrap dress patterns to choose from – the easy Vogue 8379, and Debbie gave me the Christine Jonson wrap dress pattern. I did my research on PatternReview.com and it seems that there are several adjustments people have commonly made on the vogue dress – sleeve cap too puffy, skirt too voluminous, and neck facings not staying put were common call outs. By the time I got through the reviews – I’m not sure why this pattern gets such high ratings! The Christine Jonson pattern has very few adjustments noted on PatternReview, one of the most common being the length is very long. I decided to go with the Christine Jonson given the reviews. I also like that it has the knit stretch worksheet to determine the best size – I don’t know why the big 4 don’t mention the need to adjust for stretch on their knit patterns. I did like the collar and cuff styling better from the Vogue pattern – they just seem to have a bit more “style” to them. However, after trying to get a nice point at the end of my collar I realized knit fabric doesn’t really lend itself to these fashionable details ; ) In the end I’m very happy with my dress and will make it again. I do think I must have a bit of a sway back – I seem to have about an extra inch of fabric pooling at the dip at the bottom of my back. My ties are also extremely long – but not much to complain about really.

Here is my picture – now I just need some great accessories to finish it off!

Peggy Sager’s Blouse Webcast

Monday night was webcast of Peggy’s blouse construction webcast. We didn’t watch it at the Fashion Sewing Club that night because it was mostly on technique and not fit. The techniques in the webcast are also on her “Factory Tips and Techniques-2″ video (pant construction is also on the DVD).

So anyway, I thought I’d give it a try and bought her #600 pattern which she used on the webcast. I had the pattern all cut out and turned on the DVD. Slow sewing was all over the letters to the editor in recent sewing mags but Peggy is out there to git ‘er done! And she delivers. The webcast was 50 minutes long and she finished the blouse-well, except for fitting darts, hems and buttons. I also got that far on my blouse. I took time out for a long phone call and paused the webcast when she got ahead of me. All in all it probably took me an hour and a half. Not bad when I had to look at the pattern once in a while to see what she was talking about. Having said that, it was fun to just sew and have her telling me what to do the whole time. That in itself was a timesaver. I had also watched her DVD once so that may have helped me a bit.

Just a few comments-She talks about sewing on the sleeve and turning off the differential feed. In my experience, all differential feeds are neutral in the middle and turned in one direction to gather and the opposite to stretch. Not sure what serger she’s using… The sleeve did go in very well-not much extra fabric. I really didn’t need much from my differential feed at all. Sewing on the collar with her method is pretty slick and I must say it looks good too. The front plackets add a nice stability to the garment and certainly is quick.

Trying the blouse on this morning I probably should have used a size 3 instead of 2. I went for 3 inches of bust ease-measuring my favorite blouses as she suggests. I forget that she has that 3/8” seam allowance so there’s no grace. The blouse fits-even at the bottom. Bust is great. There is just a bit less ease of movement in the shoulders than I’d like.

Sometime today I will watch her fit webcast for this blouse and I’ll let you know how that goes. Anybody else try this pattern and methods?

January Club Pictures

Another month of weather that wasn’t on our side but thanks to all of you who braved the weather to see this month’s offering plus all the great show and tell.

If you don’t have the Club sheets, click on “Club Sheets” in the top bar.

Don’t forget the arty t-shirt challenge for February. Check out Marcy and Katherine Tilton websites for inspiration-shopping is also great for picking up ideas. We’ll have a few new presenters in February as some of us have other time commitments.

Carrie in Laurel's LBD

Kristin in Laurel's Hudson Top

Knit Jacket a la Von Maur

Debbie's Corduroy Tunic

Little Girl's A-Line Dress

Zona Jacket

Hong Kong finish inside Zona Jacket

Ribbon Tee Detail

Classic Tailored Coat

An Ren Coat

Fashion Sewing Club Notes

We’ve had two meetings-Make It Sew and Treadle-so much great Show and Tell and people shared info right away so I thought I would too. We still have Club meetings Thursday and Saturday at Hancock. Hope to see the rest of you.

1. Becky’s dress pattern was Vogue 8666. Everybody loved it and it’s an Easy Vogue-click on the pattern number to see it.

2. Donella’s microwave bowl or plate hotpad instructions-sorry I didn’t get a pic 😦

Microwave Hotpad

Two squares coordinating fabrics 11 ½”X 11 ½”
Two squares warm and natural 11 ½” X 11 ½” (Do not use polyester batting. It could melt in the microwave.)
Thread- cotton if possible. (I was told the polyester would melt also. But I’ve not had a problem.)

Lay one fabric on one batting. Quilt together. I sewed an X across the square.
Sew 3/8” darts -2 ½” long in the center of each side of the square. Shorter would make it more of a bowl. You can experiment with this.
Repeat with other square of fabric and batting.
Put quilted and darted squares right sides together. Sew all the way around leaving an opening. Turn right side out. Topstitch close to edge all the way around closing up the opening.

Lay in the microwave. Put dish on top. Microwave. Use like pot holder as you take the dish out and use on table as a hot pad, too.
One can make it in several sizes. The one I copied was 6 ½” square.

Laurel modelled Lucy's wrap

3. This is a great wrap for showing off a beautiful piece of fabric. In the picture is a velvet burnout from Treadle. We all thought it would be the perfect travel piece too!
Simply take a 23″ length of fabric-this one is 54″ wide-and roll hem serge all edges. Fold in half so selvedges would be together (yes, they’ve been serged off-or not if they are decorative). Stitch one of the two identical sides leaving a 14″ opening at folded edge for your head to fit through.

And then a few pictures of Show and Tell! We get so inspired by what you do!! It seems like most Show and Tell is crafty or for kids but those are the easiest to photograph-I’ll work on getting more garment pictures that look good.

Stylin' Olivia-lowering the average age of Club attendees!

Watch for the Club garment pictures after Saturday.

October Fashion Sewing Club

Thanks to everyone who attended! Another wonderful month of sew inspiring show and tell! I’m going to show you those pictures first. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

KwikSew 3764

Linda's inspiration after Katherine Tilton's class-several colors of this knit at Treadle

Kids' Jackets

Children's Jumper

One of a large family of dolls

Beautiful Jacket

The children’s jumper and doll can also be seen at TaDa Creations on etsy. Amy is cranking out dolls and clothes now that the kids are in school. She was a wealth of information-the quilt store knits (Michael Miller and maybe Moda) shrink. I confirmed that with Tracy at The Sampler. She said 5-6″ per yard. Amy recommended Chez Ami as a source for great kids’ knits. The site has clothing for sale but also sells the fabric used in her garments.

And now for the Material Girls’ garments:

Kristin played around with two versions of a brown ponte roma (at Hancock) skirt, a long vest and was also inspired by Katherine Tilton to make the most of a “design opportunity” while modifying one of Marcy Tilton’s tee patterns.

McCall's 6169 and Straight Skirt

Modified Vogue #8582 and Silhouette Patterns #2010 Yoga Skirt

Debbie was inspired by the August/September Threads’ blouse variations and an idea in Quick and Easy Sewing With Your Serger.

Zen Shirt with Inserts

Designer Details

Embellishing a cardigan

Short Version of McCall's #6169

Laurel flashed us with a bit of red-I wish I could have had a video of it. We all agreed she should wear more of the color.

Shocking, Laurel, shocking!

Sewing Workshop MIxit Shirt and New Look 6598 Blouse

Boutique Blouse-McCall's #5138

Well, that’s it for October. Bernina is now carrying Swedish Monster paper for tracing patterns. The calendar is full of classes-check them out if you are interested. Let me know if there are glitches in the website as you are my proofreaders 😛

Enjoy the leaves and happy sewing.

September Fashion Sewing Club Photos

It was so good to see all of you again. I think we all missed getting together in August! We started out at The Sampler and had a fun group with a few newbies. The group that came to Hancock/Southtown seemed happy to be around fabric and notions and the Treadle morning group had no chairs to spare! There was so much creative energy we had to turn on the air conditioning.

Show and Tell was wonderful. Maybe the extra month gave everyone more time but I’m hoping we keep seeing all of your good work. There are a few pictures below and you can always send us a photo of your creation and we’ll post it.

A good source for outdoor fabric is Rockywoods-supplex, ripstop, etc. We also have a good place to donate fabric. Bring it to any classes and we’ll get it delivered.

Debbie wanted to show the versatility of the Yoga Pant by Peggy Sagers. They’re perfect for dressing up or down. We’ve changed the class to 2 hours and $20.

Laurel and I were reminded how important a muslin (or toile) can be. I was fooled into thinking I knew how a Marcy Tilton would fit me and Laurel figured Cynthia Guffey’s pattern would be error proof. We’ll both be stocking up on muslin 😛

So here they are with a bit more info than usual. The Club sheets are now included here on the website. Click on Club sheets in the top bar and September 2010 should show-click on that and you’ll find this month’s printout or find it in the far right column under Pages. We still think personally attending Club is the most inspiring and fun but it doesn’t always work into the schedule. This also makes it easy to find information you need when you can’t find your sheets. Is this helpful? Do you like the inclusion of pattern numbers?

The fall colors are coming out and the weather is cooling (but the sun is so beautiful today). Hope you are inspired to make yourself or someone else a warm garment.

Detail of Debbie's variation on KwikSew 2993 and tee from Sew Stylish Fall 2010

Debbie's Dress Up Blouse Kwik Sew 3620-not shown Silhouette #3400 Yoga Pant

Debbie's double collar variation on Butterick 6085

Wedding Dress #3-KwikSew 3735

Kristin's Sewing Workshop MixIt Tank Detail

Half finished using PaintStiks to highlight fabric weave

Variation on Vogue 8454

Laurel's Indygo Junction One Button Swing Topper

Laurel's shirt after alterations-Burda 8368

Close up of Kathy's Sewing Workshop Urban Tee-trim all seam allowances as much as you can

Cheri's variation on Sewing Workshop MixIt Tee

Sewing Events and More

Lots of things going on here, trying to winnow the things we do and try to do only what we do best. There was some talk of going to the sewing expo in Novi, Michigan. It’s supposed to be the best for fashion sewing. After looking at the vendors and classes, I’ve decided that it looks alot like the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo that will be here in November so I’m going to pass. I’m taking it off of our calendar.

The event I’m really looking forward to is the Creative Connection. It’s September 16-18 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. Amy Butler and Mary Jane Butters (do you know who she is? I’d call her the Martha Stewart of the back to the farm movement-she’s got a great mag but, come ‘on, who could possibly do all she does and look that good-my main complaint about Martha-like we all need another perfect woman to emulate!) Where was I? Oh, yes, wonderful creative women will be speaking; there’s a handmade market that I’m guessing will look like something out of a Somerset Studio/Stampington & Co. magazine. The part I am personally excited about is “social media and your business” speakers and panels. There are also classes that look like fun but are mostly handwork as far as I could tell. If you live in the Shakopee area, the Eagle Creek Quilt Shop is taking a bus downtown on Friday and Saturday. Too bad the Sewing and Quilting Expo people can’t see what’s going on and change their focus a bit.

Peggy Sagers (Silhouette Patterns) has a new set of 4 patterns for fall. I’ve ordered them and especially want to try the cape pattern. There are so many in the fashion magazines for fall but they’re not that great for a pear figure. Check out her version. The set of four sale ends today (Wed.).

After a frustrating jacket fitting, I’ve decided to take the plunge and get a dress form. Any advice out there? Uniquely You was recommended as I was searching for answers to my jacket fit problem. Bernina has one. What do you have?

On the subject of fit-check out The Fashion Code. It’s a $30 option for getting your perfect neckline, hemline, sleeve length. You take your measurements and upload them on the website and get your perfect measurements, based on the Golden Proportion, and a pdf file of a 30 page book to explain your best look further. The measurements are taken from the floor and are a bit tricky to do alone. If you’d like we’ll do them before or after Fashion Sewing Club for you.

Hope to see a bunch of you at Hancock tomorrow!

Good Sewing Weather

For those of us that love to sew AND garden, we’ve been given a bit of a reprieve. This gloomy, cold weather makes it easy to stay inside and get creative. It seems I have lots of ideas and get things done but then when I go to my closet-there’s nothing to wear!

Sewing for Paris gave me great go-to outfits for winter but now with this new season it seems I’m starting from scratch. I sew something and finish it and then question whether the garment fits my lifestyle right now. Let’s not even talk about whether I have the shoes, undergarments, etc! How do people look put together all the time?

To that end, and because I am working on my travel wardrobe for China, we’ll be offering up a challenge for the summer months. Come to Fashion Sewing Club next week and find out the rules and regulations (or you can make up your own rules). And come with suggestions for how you put your sewn garments together so that you have things to wear.

For those of you with iPhones, Sara posted a comment about Pattern Pal. I uploaded (or did I download:) it and have been giving it a try. It costs $3.99 which is a bit on the more expensive side but I compare that with the cost of a pattern and you know where that gets me. The app allows you to take a picture of your pattern and gives you lists of pattern companies, notions, a place to enter yardage, etc. You have to add words (like 18″ zipper, shoulder pads) but then it will appear as an option next time so over time you accumulate a good list of options. The patterns can be sorted by number, company, type and a few others so that’s easy. You still can’t zoom the picture which would be good for seeing the back of the pattern envelope. You can enter two photos so you could also include the fabric you have used. I had a few problems with the app closing as I was entering data which was annoying. Otherwise it seems to be a good option. I think I’d still like it as part of Fabric Stash so it would all be in one place. If you try the app, be sure to go to the site and post your review of it. That way maybe they’ll give us what we want in updates.

We still have room in the Saturday, May 8, Beach Cover Up/Robe Class if you are interested.

That’s all for now, I’ve got to get back up to my machines! Happy Sewing and Happy Mother’s Day if it applies!