Piedra Dress by Seamwork Magazine

Happy New Year!!  Wishing everyone all the BEST in 2018! 🙂

Have you ever used the hashtag – seamworkmag on Instagram?  Well, if you do you could potentially be chosen as a Seamwork favorite for the month and win a prize!

Surprisingly, I was chosen as one of the three finalists for the month of November for my Aires Leggings.  I posted about my leggings for #bpsewvember and although I didn’t win the big prize, I won my choice of 2 yards for jersey knit fabric from their new fabric shop.

They had three colors available Dusty White, Pale Blue, and Terracotta.  I never sew anything up in white so I thought to myself this is a great time to step out of my comfort zone and go for the Dusty White fabric shown in the Seamwork image below:

Piedra by Seamwork Magazine

What did I sew up with my Seamwork prize?  A Seamwork pattern of course!  I looked through the Seamwork pattern selection and at their suggestions on the fabric’s description page and decided to go with their knit tent dress aka Piedra.

Seemed to me to be a nice classic dress that I could add to my work wardrobe.  Although wearing a white dress to work isn’t always ideal it is a nice change of pace from my normal dark colors.

The Low Down

Piedra is knit tent style dress that was designed with the changing seasons in mind.  It is a perfect mild winter dress especially for warmer climates where our winters are not terribly cold but there is still a chill in the air.  It pairs perfectly on its own or with tights.  I paired my Piedra dress with a long necklace and my wearable toile of the Seamwork Jill Coatigan.

Piedra by Seamwork Magazine

The Process

I started sewing up my Piedra dress about a week before Christmas.  I was really hoping to wear it for the holidays but it didn’t work out that way.  I decided to use a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine but found that the feed dogs were stretching out the fabric.  At first I thought maybe a good press could take care of it but I was completely wrong.

So… no Christmas dress for me! Oh well… the other issue was that although I cut Piedra out in an XS it was much too big and I needed to refine the size.  But what was going to be the point of cutting this fabric to fit me properly if I didn’t have a machine to sew it up with properly??

There is always room for a Christmas miracle right?  Well, Christmas morning I received a Brother Lock 1034D from my very sweet husband. Problem solved! 🙂

In order to fix the stretched seams which at the time was the back seam, the sleeve caps and one side seam I just cut the seams away.  I evened out the side that I never sewed by cutting to match the other side then I sewed this dress using my new overlock machine!  I adjusted the feed dogs as I felt this fabric was a bit on the stretchy side and by the end of Christmas I had my new dress!

Piedra by Seamwork Magazine

(Side Note: I wish I had some “process” photos but unfortunately I haven’t been able to sew with natural light with the time change unless I do all my sewing on the weekends so no “process” photos for this post!)

Hiccups

  • Besides stretching my seams, I messed up on the neckband a bit.  The directions tell you to sew the neckband seam to match with the right shoulder seam.  I didn’t like how this laid on my shoulder so I ended up cutting the neckband out with a rotary cutter and moving the neckband seam to match with the center back seam.  I think it looks a lot cleaner this way but that is just my preference.
  • Another thing that didn’t work out so well is the back of the sleeve cap pops out a bit too far.  I needed to narrow this area on the pattern before I cut into the fabric as it is just too big for my frame.  Luckily, it isn’t noticeably in the front and if I pair this with a cute cardigan or jacket it covers it up just fine.

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Recommendations

  • Seamwork’s sizes run a little big so if you are on the petite side I would recommend making a toile or doubling checking your measurements against their chart.
  • If your fabric is on the stretchy side use an overlock machine if you have one.  I absolutely LOVE the Brother machine my husband bought me for Christmas!  I wish it was in my life sooner! Lol!
  • Sew the neckband seam to match the center back seam.

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Happy Sewing in 2018!

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over ItI have been slowly putting together a work wardrobe but I had yet to add pants to my collection.  I saw several cute versions of the Sew Over It Ultimate Trouser on Instagram so I thought I would give it a try. 

The Low Down

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The Ultimate Trouser is meant to be simple pattern for advanced beginners.  There are only four pattern pieces and an invisible zipper.  It is a slim-fitting trouser that hits the ankle although you can make it shorter or longer depending on your taste. 

Materials

  • Your choice of woven cotton, corduroy, wool crepe, or denim
  • 9” invisible zipper

Purchased from

DTLA

The Process

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The Ultimate Trouser is meant to be sewn up pretty quickly.  I was intending on sewing this up over the week before I had major surgery but life had other plans.  Instead I sewed this up over several weeks as I wasn’t physically capable of sewing for a good portion of November.

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

It was a pretty simple pattern and the directions were just adequate.  Based on the measurements I sewed this up in a UK size 10 – this ended up being way too small for me to my surprise.  I ended up having to undo the center and side seams and use the seam allowance to make the appropriate adjustment.  This also threw off my invisible zipper installation which did not turn out so well.  I also chose fabric based on the recommendation which means there was no stretch so even though they fit when I sit down my body is very constricted by the fabric.  One source of disappointment was the pant hem.  I need to work on my technique or something because they truly give away that they are handmade.  They also do not taper below the calf to the ankle as nicely as all the images on their website which just makes it feel like a standard men’s trouser to me.

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

All in all they look nice on the hanger and they look okay on but they are not nice to wear.  I made a few style adjustments in my photos so that they are wearable but I’m not really sure when I’ll be able to wear these as I can’t imagine wearing these for hours at work. 

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I’m not sure if I will give these another try but I think I would like to use fabric that has a little stretch instead.  I definitely wish they would list an appropriate stretch fabric in their recommended fabrics. It also really bothers me that they do not taper correctly.

Hiccups

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

  • Wrong size
  • My invisible zipper isn’t invisible enough

Recommendations

  • Double or even triple check your measurements
  • Leave enough seam allowance in case you have to make adjustments
  • Try a fabric with some stretch for a more comfortable fit

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

Happy Sewing!

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The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

Edie Cardigan by Valentine & Stitch

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Fashion Sewing | Edie Cardigan Sewing Pattern

***Valentine & Stitch patterns are sadly no longer available in the marketplace***

Today on the sewing blog I will be sharing my review of the Edie Cardigan pattern by Valentine &  Stitch.  This past August I had the opportunity to participate in SleeveFest hosted by Helen of Valentine & Stitch and Diane of Dream Cut Sew.  I entered a kimono pattern with a flutter sleeve hack.  To my surprise I was chosen as one of the finalists for the grand prize!  What an honor it was and although I didn’t win the grand prize all the finalist were prize winners of the Valentine & Stitch Edie Cardigan.  This was my first time winning something via an Instagram competition so I was pretty excited and with fall just around the corner it was the perfect prize! 

Fashion Sewing | Cardigan Pattern Review

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Edie is an open-front cardigan with two length options from the pattern designing husband and wife duo Valentine and Stitch.  The pattern is meant to be sewn with a variety of fabrics depending on the season or occasion.  The two lengths lend itself to a variety of outfit options.  This includes the “standard” length which hits around mid-thigh and is perfect for any occasion including the office or the maxi length which adds a bit of dramatic flair and can be belted and worn as a dress.  

VS logo

Materials

Sweater knits, stretch jersey such as cotton jersey, viscose or rayon jersey or bamboo jersey.  For the “coatigan” version use a more stable fabric such as sweatshirting, scuba or ponte.

  • Stay Tape, clear elastic, twill tape, or grosgrain ribbon
  • Ballpoint needle
  • Twin needle (optional)
  • Coverstitch machine (optional)
  • All-purpose polyester sewing thread

Purchased From

Los Angeles Fashion DistrictFabric for both projects was purchased in Downtown Los Angeles.  I typically purchase my knits from Angel Textiles.  I purchased my thread from joann.com – Gutterman 506.

The Process

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

I decided that I would sew up both the standard length and the maxi length but I would start with the maxi length.  I love a bit of drama whenever I can get it in my clothing and the maxi option has that “wow factor” which I absolutely love!

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Edie comes as a printable PDF as will all Valentine and Stitch patterns.  Read the instruction manual carefully so that you only print the pages you need.  Helen and Rich are committed to reducing paper waste and have constructed their patterns in a way that minimizes the amount of pages needed to be printed. 

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

If you are cutting out the maxi length pattern keep in mind that this is a large pattern and you will need an adequate amount of space to lay everything out.  It will also take a bit longer since it is several more pages.  From there you will need to look at the cutting layout to make sure you make the best use of your fabric.  Since I was making the maxi length I cut my pieces out on a single layer rather than on the fold.  One thing that made this easier was to trace the mirror image of my sleeve onto tracing paper and taping the mirrored side to the original pattern resulting in the whole sleeve as one pattern.

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

I made my Edie in a size small and cut it out with a center back seam.  I ended up having some thread tension issues with my machine that delayed me so I ended up just using a different machine entirely.  I think some of the issues could actually be attributed to the original needle I was using and the weight of the jersey knit.  Once I got this figured out sewing up Edie was a breeze.  I used stay tape at the neckline as directed then sewed the shoulder seams, hemmed the sleeves and attached them to the bodice.  Next step was sewing the side seams and then the most complicated part of  sewing the hem around the perimeter of the cardigan.  I was hoping to do a rolled hem but the presser foot I have was not cooperating with me so I used a regular presser foot and a zigzag stitch. 

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Hiccups

My only hiccups were due to my machine – tension issues and presser foot issues.  If you can get that figured out then Edie will be a very quick and fun sew!

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Recommendations

  • Clear a large space to cut out your PDF pattern
  • Only print what you need
  • Edie comes with the sleeve pattern to be cut on the fold.  I suggest tracing the mirror image to create one whole sleeve.  It will be easier to cut out your fabric this way.
  • Remember you are sewing with knits so don’t stretch your fabric as you are sewing or it will distort the final garment
  • Cut off the extra seam allowance after you sew your seams if you find it necessary
  • Go slow sewing around the curves of the hem so that you have a really nice final drape
  • Finally, have FUN – Edie is a great pattern that you will want to make again and again!

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Happy Sewing!

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Fashion Sewing Blog

Simplicity – New Look Pattern 6378 Misses’ Easy Kimono with Sleeve Hack

I wasn’t sure what I was going to sew for sleeve fest but with a little patience it all came together.  I had plans to sew a long kimono to wear with my Valentine and Stitch Dune Maxi.  I went shopping in the Downtown LA fabric district and picked up this beautiful yellow floral print fabric.  I was initially going for a black printed fabric that I thought I could wear more often but then I saw this print and fell in love.  Anyway my friend and I decided to walk out of the fabric district that day and stumbled upon a cute little shop.  They had these beautiful dresses and tops with the fluttery flowy bell sleeves.  She bought a dress and I bought a top.  The more I thought about what I wanted to do with my kimono I realized that the sleeve of her dress would be a perfect match.  So I went ahead and traced the sleeve when I got home and created my pattern.  I ordered my kimono pattern from Simplicity and with a little work this kimono was born.

The Low Down:

The New Look Pattern 6378 Misses’ Easy Kimonos with Length Variations from Simplicity Patterns comes in a paper pattern and has 4 variations.  Long with sleeves, long and sleeveless, mid-length with sleeves, short with sleeves. I had been eyeing this pattern for a while but couldn’t fit it into my sewing schedule.  This is a very stylish pattern that can be sewn in a variety of fabrics perfect for summertime.

Kimono pic

Materials:

This pattern has several fabric options including:

  • Batiks, challis, charmeuse, chiffon, cotton lawn, lightweight cotton types, crepe de chine, double georgette, lightweight linen types, silky types, voile
  • All-purpose polyester thread
  • For pattern B – Two packages of ½” wide single fold bias tape

Purchased from:

LA fash District

I purchased my fabric from the Los Angeles Fabric District.

The Process:

My process was a bit thrown off with this pattern.  I had ordered it on August 14.  The order confirmation stated that I would receive shipping confirmation once shipped.  A week passed and I received nothing so I checked my account and it said my order was still being processed.  I was very disappointed so I ordered an alternative from Simplicity.  This time it was a PDF pattern.  I printed the pattern and was ready to put it together.  The very next day I received my original Simplicity pattern.  I was a little annoyed that I now have two patterns but relieved because the PDF of the other pattern was not user-friendly.

I started on this project on a Friday night.  I traced pattern B in XS, cut it out then cut out the fabric.

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The next day I stole a few minutes away and sewed up the back seam and staystitched the back neck.  Realizing I had a few more minutes later on in the day before we were going to head out for the evening I quickly sewed on the sleeves and the side seams.  The directions call for a double stitch on the armhole then to trim the excess seam allowance as you can see in the photo below.

Then I got home a little after 10 p.m. with no intention of sewing but the machine was calling and I answered… I added my flutter sleeves and it was EVERYTHING!  My face was the heart eyes emoji!

If you want to make a similar flutter sleeve measure the sleeve opening for the garment you are working with.  Draw a circle using the measurement as the diameter then split that circle in half.  You should have a half moon now.  Draw a line away from the edges of the half circle on the top, bottom then draw a line away from the center to the length of your preference on each side.  Connect each point to create a larger half circle/moon. Erase the original diameter line.  You should be left with a thick backwards “C”.  Add seam allowance to each side.  The small half circle part of the pattern should be cut on the fold.  As you can see on my pattern the “cut on fold” lines are not in line with each.  I traced this sleeve from another garment so I improvised while cutting instead of making a new pattern.  I may just have to write a pattern hack tutorial post but for now hopefully this helps.

That had to be my stopping point for the night. All that was left was hemming the sleeves and adding the single-fold bias tape which I completed over the next few days.

To the say the least I love this kimono!  I want to wear it with everything.  I think I’ll do just that!  There are just a couple more weeks of summer left but I’m certain I’ll be able to transition this kimono into fall as temperatures won’t be dropping drastically for awhile here in Los Angeles.  Yay!

Hiccups:

First hiccup – ordering a second pattern I didn’t need. 🙁

Second very minor hiccup – the armhole opening of my flutter sleeve was slightly larger than the armhole of the pattern.  I didn’t spend too much time measuring this out so I just sewed the excess back into the sleeve seam so it just adds more flutter.

Third hiccup – I followed the directions on how to pin the single-fold bias binding but once I sewed it on I came up short and had to cut an extra 3 inch piece to be able to attach the beginning and end pieces.  The main fabric ended up stretching a bit while I was sewing causing my binding to come up short.  I’m not too thrilled with the bias binding as I think it looks stiff compared to the rest of the garment.  You can see a bit of how it curls in the photos.

Recommendations:

Be very careful when cutting.  This pattern calls for mostly slippery fabrics so you just want to make sure that you don’t inadvertently move the fabric while cutting or stretch it out.

Happy sewing!