Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fabric Haul: Green Brocade

We are now twenty-six days into the new year and I already have a start on my fabric buying for the year. I have made a couple purchases which have mostly been for our Crafted Spaces sewing classes, but I have also found a few personal gems along the way. This year, one of my resolutions is to exercise self-control and limit my fabric purchases to pieces I plan on using within the following weeks or months. However, I know that once in a while I will come across a piece of fabric that is just too beautiful to pass up. I hope to limit those purchases as well, but we will see how well I do or if my fabric addiction will get the better of me.

I started this new "Fabric Haul" blog feature to share with you highlights of what I have purchased and hopefully the projects I will make. I will also share some details about the fabrics and tips on using them in different projects. The first fabric I will like to share with you, is this really beautiful green brocade.

When I first saw this brocade fabric I was not sure if the colour was WAY to BRIGHT, but I really loved the look and feel of the fabric. After some lamenting, I decided to purchase a small piece because it was way too beautiful to walk away from. I purchased .5 meters of fabric; just enough to make a beautiful accent pillow. I also got some luscious yellow vintage velvet ribbon and an invisible zipper to match the fabric. The weight of the fabric makes it a great choice for different home decor projects or for making a handbag. The other great thing about this fabric is that it can be used on the reverse side.

I purchased the fabric and notions from King Textiles. I have been going to King Textiles for a really long time and I do not think I have ever left this store without purchasing something. I love the insane selection of fabrics and there is literally something for every type of project. They are located at 161 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, just south of Queen Street. There are two floors of wall to wall fabric and I suggest giving yourself lots of time to shop.

It is no secret that I love fabric. I love the beautiful surface designs, texture, colours, drape and the endless possibilities for what you can create. I have several stores and online retailers that I regularly purchase from and I also like trying new shops. When I travel, I am always sure to visit the local fabric shops; not to mention, I regularly visit thrift stores where I find great vintage fabric. If you have any suggestions for shops that I should try, please comment below.

This post is not a sponsored post and the fabric featured was a personal purchase.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sew-Along - Burda 6820 T-Shirt

The third project in our Fall Sew-Along is a fitted long sleeve t-shirt, Burda 6820 pattern. There are three lengths and sleeve styles provided on this pattern, which offers you some options. The pattern envelope suggest using a two-way stretch jersey. I used a cotton and spandex blend floral print, which I have had in my stash for some time now. The vibrant print is a fun alternative to a basic t-shirt and I found that this fabric was easy to work with. I also made a matching infinity scarf, which paired with the t-shirt makes a warmer option for cooler temperatures. Like the previous projects, this post is to be used together with the pattern instructions. I therefore recommend that you read the first few post in our sew-along and that you have your pattern ready.

Style Details
The t-shirt is fitted with long sleeves and a round neckline. The neckline is faced and topstitched. There is also topstitching on the sleeves and hemline. I also really like that this pattern does not have a centre back seam.

Getting Started
I started by reading through the pattern instruction sheets and I identified the steps needed to sew the t-shirt. There are only a view illustrations on the instruction sheets so you will want to carefully read through the written instructions. I decided to sew the entire project using my serger and used the sewing machine for some basting. I also did some hand basting in several areas and I suggest having a needle and thread handy. If you do not have a serger, I recommend using a walking foot attachment. Another recommendation would be to use a stretch stitch or small zig zag stitch for your seams (refer to your sewing machine manual). You can also finish the hem on your sleeves and shirt hemline with twin needles.

I was short on time and decided to forgo on pre-washing my fabric. However, I would recommend that if you are working with a natural blend fabric that you take the time to prepare your fabric to avoid shrinkage. I expect some shrinkage the first time I wash my t-shirt. I did however, cut the ends of my fabric evenly and took the time to fold accurately to best identify the grain.

Sewing The T-Shirt
  • First I pinned the front and back pieces with right sides together at the shoulders and serged using the 5/8" seam allowance.

  • I then stitched the short ends of the neckline facing together, folded the facing lengthwise (wrong sides together) and pinned the facing to the neckline as instructed. I then sewed the facing to the neckline and trimmed. I followed the instructions and folded the facing towards the inside of the neckline and ironed. I used hand basting to keep the facing in place and topstitched close to the edge of the facing, then removed the basting stitch.

  • I then sewed the side seams and sleeves, right sides together, with a machine basting stitch (looser tension and larger stitch length).
  • I then pinned and hand basted the sleeves into the shoulder and armhole area of the shirt. I machine basted the sleeves using 1/2" seam allowance. I was careful not to include the seam allowance on the sides and sleeve length.
  • I then opened out the basted sides and sleeve seams and serged the sleeves along the armhole curve with a 5/8" seam allowance. I then folded the hems on the sleeves and used the cover-stitch machine to finish. This method then allowed me to sew the side seams continuously along the sleeves and into the sides of the shirt with the serger. To give myself a little more room in the fit, I used a 1/2" seam allowance. If you do not have a cover-stitch machine for the sleeve hems, you can use twin needles (refer to your sewing machine manual).

  • The final step was finishing the hemline of the shirt. I folded the hem and used my cover-stitch machine to finish. As mentioned before you can also use twin needles for this step (refer to your sewing machine manual).

Changes I Made
I did not make any changes to the basic structure of the shirt, I did however make changes to the steps in sewing it together. The method I used made it easy for me to set the sleeves and finish my hems.

What I Will Change
I have been sewing for many years, but I have never made a t-shirt before. I am very happy with the finished t-shirt and I am looking forward to making more. This project came together very quickly. It is a great basic pattern, which leaves lots of room for making it one's own. Next time I might try making it with a contrasting colour on the sleeves and adding a contrasting band at the bottom.

I think it is very important to have the right tools, especially when working with knitted fabrics. The right tools can make a world of difference to how well your knitted projects come together. The main reason I did not make a t-shirt before is because I often find it frustrating and time consuming working with knitted fabrics.

My studio is equipped with lots of great machines and I really found my Janome Cover-Pro 1000CPX (cover-stitch machine) extremely helpful for this project, while on the other hand my serger was invaluable. I also used my regular sewing machine for sewing the facing and for machine basting. However, not everyone has a serger or a cover-stitch machine, and this is where the walking foot and stretch stitch can be very helpful (refer to your sewing machine manual). You may also want to have the right sewing machine needle for the job and be prepared to do some hand basting.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this post and I look forward to seeing your t-shirts. Consider mixing the style features to see what you can come up with. If you are in the Barrie, Ontario area and will like to learn how to use a serger, check out one of our serger basics classes. You are also welcome to book studio time with our machines.

Remember to share your projects with us via Facebook and Instagram. Do not forget to use #cssewalong. Our next project is a jacket using Kwik Sew 4104 pattern.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sew-Along - New Look 6005 Pants

The second project in our Fall Sew-Along is loose fitting cargo style pants, the New Look 6005 pattern. The pattern envelope has several suggested fabrics listed. The suggested fabrics have a little bit of body or weight to them, such as the lightweight denim and twill. I decided to use a linen fabric for this project, and added an African cotton print as contrast. As mentioned in our previous skirt project, this post is meant to accompany the pattern instructions included in your pattern envelope, so have your pattern ready. I also recommend that you read the previous post in our sew-along to prepare for sewing your project.

Style Details
The pants have pockets and a pull cord in the waist and hemline. There is also topstitching on the pockets, waist and hemline.

Getting Started
I started by reading through the pattern instruction sheets and I identified where I wanted to make a few changes. There are several pants styles available with this pattern and I choose design "B," but made a couple changes. I did not include the side leg pockets and used a contrasting fabric on the top pockets. I also decided to have closed seams, so I did not finish my edges with a zig zag stitch or serger prior to sewing.

Sewing The Pants
  • I attached the pockets to the pants front pieces as instructed and finished with a topstitch. Ironing is very important to achieving a nice finish, and if needed use some hand basting. I ironed at each step and found that the pockets laid flat along the curved opening. If your pockets do not lie flat along the curve you can also place a few small snips along the curve along the seam allowance, which should help it lie flat.

  • Once the pockets were sewn in place, I sewed the front and back pieces of the pants at the inside seams (inseam). I then finished the seam closed with the serger. To finish, I ironed the seam over towards the back leg pieces. You can choose to press open your seam or finish with a zig zag stitch. I did not include the side leg pockets; otherwise, I would have stitched the side seams first and attached the side pockets as instructed in the pattern instruction sheet(s).
  • Next I placed the two sewn pieces right sides together matching notches and sewed at the centre seams. I then serged the seam closed and ironed the seam over to one side.
  • I followed by ironing the fusible interfacing and sewing the button hole (for pull cord) at the bottom of each pant leg close to the hemline. I used a seam ripper to carefully open the button hole. I then serged the edge of the hemline.

  • I then turned the pants with the right sides facing each other and centre seams together. I stitched the side seams and serged them with the seams closed.
  • Next, I ironed a small piece of fusible interfacing onto the waistband and sewed the button holes for the pull cord. I also placed right sides together and sewed the short ends of the waistband together leaving a small opening as instructed. I followed by folding the waistband lengthwise with the wrong sides together and pined it to the waistline of the pants, matching notches and side seams. I then stitched the waistband to the pants and I finished the raw edge with the serger. I ironed the seam towards the inside of the pants as directed and topstitched around the waistband just below the seam.

  • The final step was to fold the hem as instructed and topstitch. I had previously serged the hemline, so I did not fold in the raw edge, but left it visible. Using a safety pin, I then pulled the twill tape through the waist band and hem casing. I used 27 inches of twill tape in each hem casing and 1.5 yards at the waist.

Changes I Made
The biggest change I made was not including the side pockets on the legs of my pants, which is a signature feature on cargo pants. I used a contrasting fabric for the pockets to add a splash of colour. I also did not use any elastic in the waistband and just used the twill tape.

What I Will Change
  • I will replace the narrow twill tape in the waist with a wider width tape.
  • I will like to make the pants in a lighter weight fabric for the summer.
  • I will topstitch in a contrasting colour thread to add decorative detail.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this post and I look forward to seeing your pants. Consider mixing the style features and see what you can come up with. Remember to share your projects with us on Facebook and Instagram. Do not forget to use the #cssewalong. If you are looking for inspiration on how to wear your cargo pants, do not forget to visit our Pinterest fashion board.

Our next project is a long sleeve t-shirt. I used Burda 6820 pattern and the details will be posted soon.

Previous Post | Next

Fall Wardrobe Sew-Along
How To Take Body Measurements
Selecting A Pattern
How To Prepare Fabric For Sewing
How To Cut Pattern And Fabric Pieces
Reviewing Pattern Instruction Sheet
Sew-Along - Butterick 6182 Skirt
Sew-Along - New Look 6005 Pants
Sew-Along - Burda 6820 T-Shirt
Sew-Along - Kwik Sew 4104 Jacket

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