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!

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Aires Leggings by Colette Patterns

I finally finished Aires!  Let me tell you, July was not a very productive sewing month.  Sometimes life happens and the things you love get pushed to the side. Finally, I got some time and completed my project.  I now have a full workout outfit for the first time ever!

The Low Down:

Aires pic

The Aires PDF pattern from Colette is a pair of capri fitted athletic tights with a hidden pocket.  You can order the pattern by itself from Colette Patterns or subscribe to their monthly online publication Seamwork and use one of your two monthly credits to download the pattern. This pattern should take 3 hours if you make no mistakes unlike me. 🙂

Seamwork

Materials:

  • All-purpose polyester sewing thread
  • Ballpoint needle
  • Ballpoint twin needle (optional)
  • 2 yards of ¼” knit elastic
  • Any mid to heavy weight athletic fabric with 4-way stretch (at least 25%) such as nylon, spandex, and rayon blends such as ponte knit and milliskin
  • Stretch mesh fabric for contrast panel (optional)

Purchased from:

LA fash District

I purchased my materials from the Los Angeles fabric district.  I’m using the same fabric that I used for the Ultimate Sports Bra from So Sew Easy.

The Process:

I think this is my first official pair of me made pants

Aires is a bit of a different pattern.  Most patterns you cut on the fold but since this is a knit most of the pattern pieces are cut as one whole piece.  With this in mind it is necessary to not only have enough fabric to distribute the full pattern pieces correctly but also you need to really pay attention to whether the pattern piece needs to be placed face up or down.

I decided to trace the pattern pieces so I could lay them out all at the same time.  This was especially important because I was using a printed fabric and needed to make sure all the pieces were in the right direction.

Despite my self-imposed setbacks this was a fairly straight-forward project. I used a standard sewing machine and it worked out great.  I sewed my Aires in a size XS.

Thanks to cutting out the full pieces all the notches and circles matched up nicely.  I was a little nervous about the hidden back pocket but it was actually really quite logical and so much easier than I realized.

I used a medium zigzag stitch to sew the pieces together and for topstitching. I really liked how the topstitching turned out.  You can use a cover stitch or a twin needle but zigzag worked just as well for me.

Hiccups:

There were more than I anticipated of my own doing of course.

Realizing that I needed duplicate pieces I ended up tracing the original patterns but I forgot to look at the cutting layout!  Well I actually did look at it but I made a mistake and cut two pieces in the same direction because I didn’t double check my work.

I found this out when I tried to sew my legs together only to find I had two left legs.  I actually realized earlier I had made a mistake but I was just like “close enough!” haha I paid for that later.

My machine also decided to pull its same old tricks and I ended up using the seam ripper quite a bit.

Recommendations:

The directions and photos were really clear and concise.  I do believe this would take anyone 3 hours as long as they pay close attention to the directions and cutting layout.

Don’t forget to use the stretch guide when selecting your fabric!  You can find it on page 3 of your PDF instruction manual.

When cutting out your fabric I would suggest using a rotary cutter if you have one.

Happy Sewing!

 

Florence Bra by Seamwork Magazine Sewalong

Florence Bra by Seamwork Magazine Sewalong

Sewing up a bra for the first time always seemed so complicated to me.  Then I got to chatting with my sewing pal Helen and discovered that she was also a bit intimidated by the idea.  We knew we wanted to sew one up eventually but had not committed to it so Helen being awesome and proactive said “Let’s have a bra sewalong!”

I have never sewn anything with anyone before except for school projects so I was all for it!  I’ve always wanted a sewing buddy and Helen couldn’t be more perfect to fit the bill!  Now if only that pesky Atlantic Ocean wasn’t between us! Luckily, IG made it easy for us to send photos and messages and have a sense of collaboration despite the time zone difference.  Helen is also just so wonderful to chat with that it doesn’t even feel like she’s that far away anyway!

We already had a few projects in the queue and I was about to go on a two-week vacation so we decided to start at the beginning on June.  We went with the Florence bra by Seamwork since we both have it.  Unfortunately, things got pushed back about two weeks into June because I had unbearable jet lag and was struggling to figure out what supplies to buy.  Ultimately, I went with all black because I really wanted to start and I knew I would love black either way.

Sewalong Approach

We approached our sewalong by completing one step each day and sending each other pictures and updates the next day.  This worked out pretty well for us as we were able to brainstorm together when my mornings and Helen’s evenings overlapped.  It was also great to get tips from each other on things that worked and didn’t work.

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

Sizing & Straps

As for the Florence pattern, I didn’t have any issues with it luckily.  I cut out an XS for the band and a M for the cup. The pieces were easy to put together and cut out. That made me really happy!  Then I had to conquer the straps and sliders.  This was a first for me and of course I was like … wait, how??  I struggled with looping the strap back into the slider as it didn’t seem it would fit.  I eventually found a way to do it and now I look at it and think “What was so scary about that?” 😉

Florence Bra Seamwork MagazineNext step: Sew up the cups

I used a wide zigzag stitch and it turned out pretty well.  Everything was still coming together nicely and in a timely manner.  So I moved onto attaching the straps to the cups and thank goodness for our sewalong because Helen warned me that the top portion of the cup that attaches to the strap pops out if you don’t tuck it in as you are sewing.  With that in mind, I was able to sew it up without a hitch.

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine                     Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine      Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

Although, once I saw how the straps attached to the cup I wasn’t convinced that the fit would look right.  The strap seemed like it would pull the cup away from the body and towards the arm.  I moved forward anyway since I wouldn’t really know until I attach the cups to the band and try it on.

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

The Band

The next day, I attached the cups to the band starting from the side to the center front.  I carefully pinned them so I could make sure the points met in the center.  At this point the bra was practically done.  I just needed to sew up the back seam of the band, attach the straps to the back and sew elastic around the bottom of the band.  I really wanted to try it on so I sewed up the back seam and attached the straps but left the elastic for the following day.

Yay!  I was almost done and I finally got to try it on.  I was really hoping I would love it and want to wear it all the time. Once I tried it on all my fears were eased.  It fit just right and it looked so pretty.  I’ve been dreaming of having a pretty lace bralette and I finally had one!  I didn’t want to get too excited since I still had to attach the elastic band and that could ruin everything… haha.

Florence Bra Seamwork MagazineThe following afternoon I sat down and carefully attached the elastic.  There was no way I was going to let the final step of my bra making ruin this for me! Everything looked fine, things were going smoothly and sure enough I was done!

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

Now, for the final fit test! 

Drum roll please!  I’m sure you guessed it by now but IT FIT!  I was very pleased and honestly now I want to sew up a whole bunch more lingerie.  It’s just so beautiful and dainty and fun!

If you want more bra fun check out Helen’s Florence bra here!  It is bursting with color and she is so thorough in her description of her experience it is definitely a must read for anyone looking to sew up Florence or any bra for that matter. 🙂

Happy Sewing!

For more bra sewing fun check out these posts:

Bare Essentials Bra Pattern

So Sew Easy Ultimate Sports Bra

Kwik Sew 3167 Camisole and Panties

Eugene Henley by Seamwork Magazine

As my husband and I were getting ready for big trip to Europe I realized I was sewing up a bunch of pieces for myself and nothing for him.  He didn’t notice this at all so when I told him I wanted to sew up a shirt for him to wear on our trip he was pleasantly surprised.  I showed him a few shirts that I thought he would like and ultimately he went for Seamwork’s Eugene Henley.

Off to Fabric Planet we went as we always do together but this time he was the one picking out fabric and buttons and twill tape for his very own shirt.  It was really quite fun! 🙂

He picked out a navy blue and burgundy cotton jersey knit, with tortoise shell buttons and contrasting twill tape in a natural tone.  It all looked great together and we were both very pleased.

We only had about two and a half weeks before our trip and I had one last piece that I was finishing up for myself then I was going to dedicate myself to sewing up his Henley.  I took this one slow because I so desperately wanted it to turn out perfectly.  The problem that it posed ultimately was the fabric was a little slicker then I realized so sewing up the placket took several attempts and I was running out of time.  If it wasn’t the stripes being sewn on a little off it was the main fabric rippling at the bottom corners of the placket.  After a few attempts I got the stripes to line up and I removed most of the drape problem although I can still see it. 😉

I sewed on the buttonholes and buttons faster than I anticipated I could and hemmed the shirt bottom.  We were ready to go!  All he had to do was try it on.  I pointed out the errors I had made to him as I always do but he said it looked incredible and he didn’t even notice. He then tried on the shirt and what do ya know it looked pretty good!  He was happy.  I was happy.  All we had to do was pack…but that’s for another time.  Check out pictures of him in Barcelona in his new Henley shirt!

Wembley Cardigan by Seamwork Magazine

Yes, another Seamwork Magazine pattern.  I was just gifted a subscription from my sister for my birthday a couple months ago so I can’t help myself. 😉

Anyway, Wembley has caused me some troubles which is unfortunate because I thought it was going to be super easy. 🙁

It really isn’t Wembley’s fault though.  It was totally me.  First off I didn’t notice that the fabric that I bought was slightly stretched out in one area.  It wasn’t terrible but because the fabric has a stripe print it becomes very noticeable when you are trying to cut the fabric out while making sure the stripes match up.  I spent too much time trying to fix this but it was important because what is the point of sewing something up only to have mismatching stripes. If I left it as is I’d never end up wearing it and it would be a waste.

Unfortunately, that ate up a few mornings.  I moved on though and kept sewing. Everything seemed fine until I noticed the very next day after I sewn on the waistband that the notches weren’t sewn into the seam allowance so there were little holes on the back of my cardigan. 🙁 So out came the seam ripper and another morning.

Finally I got the waistband and the cuffs squared away but I still had the neckband. Everything seemed to going well.  I double checked my measurements BUT once I pinned the neckband to the neckline it was much too long…  So I sewed up and cut off what I needed to.  It still ended up slightly long but much better it be too long than short.  I ended up covering up the raw edges of the ends of the neckband where it met at the waistband by just folding them in and do a few hand stitches to hold it in place.

Wembley was a pain but I do love how it turned out and I want to sew up another but probably in a solid color next time.  I’m thinking black for special occasions. 🙂

Happy Sewing!

Weston Shorts by Seamwork Magazine

Oh Weston, what fun you were… 🙂 This was my first time sewing up adult sized shorts!  I don’t typically buy shorts and I’m not really into the current short trends.  I do have one pair of linen shorts that I bought out of desperation while I was traveling in Italy.  The heat was getting unbearable and I was ready to buy anything.  Luckily, I found a nice pair of gray linen trouser shorts that I still wear to this day several years later.

Every summer I tell myself I should buy a new pair of shorts.  I casually look around but nothing catches my eye so while working on my Wardrobe Architect project I decided that I most certainly need a second pair of shorts and I will be the one to make them… so Weston was born.

I was apprehensive at first.  Pant zipper, waistband, two hems!?!  But, I was up for the challenge and you know what?  It was actually pretty easy!

Details:

Fabric: Denim Chambray from Hart’s Fabric, Black metal zipper from JoAnn Fabrics, 2 black buttons, interfacing, matching blue thread

Pattern: Weston Pattern from Seamwork Magazine

Hiccups: Sizing

Fun stuff: To button or not to button?

I looked at the measurement chart, measured myself and decided that since I have never sewn pants that maybe I wasn’t the smallest size and I decided to size up.  I even double checked my measurements but I was wrong.  Once I sewed up the side seams and tried it on it was much too big.  I measured how much I needed to remove then undid the side seams.  Based on my measurements, I needed to cut out the smallest size instead.  Luckily, I was early in the game and was able to trim the sides and sew it back up.  I left the crotch area the same and moved on to the waistband.

It took me a few times to read through the waistband instructions to make sure I had it right but eventually I got there interfacing and all.  I attached them to my shorts and my next step was to add the buttons BUT… I loved how the waistband looked on its own so I tried it on again and loved it even more.  The interfacing allows the flaps to stand up straight but have a slight curl at the top that just makes them look so modern and fashion forward.  Should I add buttons still??  That was the big question.  So off I went to Instagram to get confirmation from the sewing community and I’m glad I did because everyone was so helpful!  They confirmed for me that the no button high waisted flap was indeed a good choice!  (Thank you everyone!)

Now, the last step… hemming!  I was very detailed in this process and it turned out better than expected.  So viola, it is complete and I am thrilled with the outcome.  So happy I get to wear these this summer!

Ariane Slip | Seamwork Magazine

Ariane Slip | Seamwork Magazine

I’m very happy to say that I finished my Ariane Slip and it is so delicate and sexy!  I didn’t necessarily envision it that way but it was a nice little surprise.  Originally, I wanted to sew this up as a camisole but decided to go for the slip instead because I thought I could wear it as a dress.  I do think it can be worn as a dress depending on the fabric you chose but I think I’ll leave my for the privacy of my own home.  😉

Sizing

I typically cut out an XS for most patterns and I did the same for this one.  However, I’ve been working out quite a bit and I didn’t realize that maybe I should have cut out a size small instead.  Luckily, my slip still fits it’s just much tighter than I am used to.

Ariane Slip  Ariane Slip

What I loved about sewing this garment is that I got to sew cups up for the first time.  At first, I confused myself and didn’t understand how the pieces fit together.  THEN I realized I was missing a piece.  Silly me!  This was also my first time using foldover elastic and sewing with viscose fabric.  It was much less complicated than I thought and I’m really glad that I have some knowledge of how to work with them now.

Tips

A couple tips on the viscose would be to be very very careful when you are cutting it out because it is slippery fabric.  Also, use a 75/11 ballpoint needle.  I tried to use an 80/11 ballpoint and it wasn’t sharp enough. Regarding the foldover elastic, be very careful when you pin it to the fabric as the little fibers are easy to prick and pull away from the elastic.  My last tip would be to try on the slip and have someone help you measure the shoulder strap length before sewing the straps to the back as the instructions direct you to.

Ariane SlipAriane SlipAriane Slip

I’m really happy with the outcome of my slip.  I really love the lavender gray and I am so happy that the white straps with gray stitching make the slip pop.

If you’re interested in sewing up the Ariane Slip  head to the Seamwork web site.

For more lingerie fun:

Bare Essentials Demi Bra Pattern

Just Patterns Bias Tank Night Gown Hack

Florence Bralette | Seamwork

Kwik Sew 3167 Camisole and Panties