Kwik Sew 3873 and a summer muslin

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Well, I’m trying very hard to break out of my maxi dress and loose tunic mold. It’s not easy! I haven’t made or worn a short dress in 3 years, ever since my morphea scleroderma took aim at my legs. With most of the lesions ‘burnt out’ into scar tissue, I decided it’s time to pull up my big girl britches and get over this particular mental bump. A short dress 🙂

Grant you, the colors are all wrong for me, I bought this fabric before my color epiphany. But that just made it an easy choice to muslin a look that I really like. I.e., a slim dress with a slightly dropped waist, simple neckline, and short sleeves.

I started with the bodice from Kwik Sew 3873, because it has all the elements I wanted in the top. (It also has a super cute skirt. Check out this beautiful version by Cat in the Wardrobe).

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After a bit of flat-measuring, I added 1 7/8″ to the length of the bodice, dropping it about 1.5″ below my natural waist. And I drafted a simple A-line skirt. The top of the skirt is about 1.3 x the width of the bodice at the waist seam.

waist

A note on the bodice front. The cut is so sensible. It’s a bit longer toward CF, so the skirt doesn’t hitch up due to the girls and so on.

front pattern piece
I drafted my version with 1/2″ seam allowances, not being willing to sew with a 1/4″ SA!

Truth time. Initially, I cut out a maxi skirt. Boring, same-old-same-old look. So I took off 17″. And then another 2″! I was on a roll – my finished skirt is 22″ long at the side seam 🙂

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I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself, and I’m looking forward to making some summer dresses sporting my new look.  It feels good…

Bye for now – Coco

 

 

 

 

Kwik Sew 3802 … Achoo!

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My fascination with  interesting hemlines continues!

This is pattern is not new, in fact I’m amazed I found it. Good old Kwik Sew.

KS3802 Pic-horz

What a great pattern to try, especially in light of the drama of my recent make of Vogue 9224. The biggest difference is in the length of the garment – this one is shorter by a few inches.

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This is a very lightweight rayon/lycra jersey from Fabric Mart

And it had some drama of its own, totally my fault! I initially made it in size Large (OK, I’m not yet accustomed to my diminished girls, I keep making the mistake of thinking I’m sewing for a C cup instead of an A cup).

The large…

size large
Poor fuzzy reject 🙂

So I took this first version apart, laid it out, and marked it against the Medium. Much better.

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I really like this look over leggings. And for the record, I’m wearing this with a new pair of Love Notions Sabrina Slims. Can’t get enough Slims. The fabric is Fiesta Fabrics Petunia Garden in the purple colorway (I’ve seen it on both Craftsy and Fabric Mart, rayon/lycra, about 5.9 oz).

And my second muslin, done in cotton/lycra knit. It doesn’t have as much drape, but it’s interesting to try a pattern in different fabrics. This one got worn to the market this morning…

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Some sewing notes:

  • Yes, I sewed the Medium. I still think it would benefit from a little shaping in the center back, which the Vogue pattern has, and is to be included in my next version.
  • Sewing the handkerchief detail. For some reason, both the Vogue and this pattern would have you sew the side seam first, and then do the hems on the split detail. Gosh, what a great way to put a lump in that hem split!

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Alternative –  I check my alignment from armscye to split, and hem the edges of the split first. Then I sew the side seam, the entire underarm and side, and finish things off.

In this pic:  (1) the side seam after hemming the handkerchief hem, and then the side seam, (2) neatening the serger thread from the side seam, and (3) a nice finished split:

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  • My other big change was to add a center front seam to make it easier to bind the V-neck. I just don’t like to wrestle with bands on V-necks if I can avoid it!

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On Emile:

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And a side-by-side:

It’s Sunday, lovely Sunday. My grandson celebrated his 8th birthday on Friday – a skating party with his friends at the hockey rink – and his Dad posted this message on Facebook. This is joy…

p at 8

For now – Coco

Working the faux Mociun tie-front dress…

Version by Lela Rose, $800
Mociun original, $350

Apparently I missed out on all the Mociun dress commotion of about 5 – 6 years ago. I wasn’t blogging then, and I definitely was not spending $250 or more on a casual dress!

But earlier this week I just happened to see a bevy of real and faux Mociun’s on Pinterest, including some made by sewing bloggers. Wow. I like this design.

So – off to my patterns to see what might work as a starting point for that bodice. I decided to use the Kwik Sew 3782 pussy-bow blouse. It has sleeves (which I want) and a v-neck with a tie.

This was a pretty easy alteration, I just had to think it through and keep track of my changes.

  • The sleeves were the easiest part! I straightened the underarm by dropping the seam line straight down from the armhole.
  • Shortened the bodice by about 2 1/2″ above the natural waist marking on the pattern.
  • Narrowed the bodice quite a bit, to end up with 39″ across the bust and 35″ at the lower edge.
  • Fashioned the bodice front with a 3″ opening at the lower edge, to allow for knotting the tie fairly tightly across the bust. I’ve seen other versions that left the 3″ opening in the skirt instead of the bodice. But this approach works really well and doesn’t hike up the skirt in front when it’s tied.  

    Finishing the lower bodice at center front – a 1/2″ SA, folded under twice and topstitched.

        • The tie is 2 pieces, 8″ wide by a yard long, cut on the bias and sewn together. Eventually I shortened it quite a bit. On this version, the tie is 11 1/2″ long from the point at which it exits the bodice. And I might shorten it again by an inch or so.

          • The skirt is two rectangles, 27″ wide by 31″ long, gathered and attached to the bodice. I crossed the bottom of the bodice by 1/4″, before attaching the skirt.
          • And put side seam pockets in the skirt, about 5″ below the top edge.

          There’s only light gathering of the skirt under the center front, to decrease bunching when the dress is tied.

          This cotton fabric is from Holly Lobby – and it drove me a little batty, because it had a persistent twist in it. Matching the print at the seams was harder than it should be. But – this version is a muslin, so I lightened up. I do like the print, though, and plan to get something similar from somewhere else!


          I’ve also decided to take a couple inches off the hem on my next one.

          This was a pleasant little project, and it kept me out of trouble for a week 🙂 
          Hope you’re having a nice weekend – Coco

          Jungle January final makes…

          And we come to the end of Jungle January…

          I picked up loads of animal print fabrics over the year 2015, and I still haven’t sewn all of them. Here are a couple things that I did finish, both in patterns I’ve blogged before.

          What would the month be without a version of my TNT Jalie Cocoon cardigan. Love this thing.

          It’s a snakeskin print – a Maggy London jacquard double knit from Fabric Mart. Nice. I’ve been watching for more of this fabric. It’s smooth like a ponte de roma, just a little heftier. And a breeze to sew in this pattern.

          I was cruising QVC recently, looking at cardigans for ideas, and found this one from Halston for $65, and identical to the Jalie version. Which means I have $325 worth of cardigans in my closet…

           
          More bottoms, this time in McCalls 6291 elastic-waist cargo pants. Another favorite that I’ve used to make both pants and shorts.

           

           
           

          This crazy stretch denim is also from Fabric Mart, and it’s one of the strangest fabrics I’ve sewn. The blue spots feel almost rubbery, kind of like puffy fabric paint (yes, I used a bunch of it when I was on my painted tee shirt journey).

          I tested it with the iron, and decided not to push it! I didn’t want blue goo all over my iron sole plate, so I used a calico pressing cloth.







           

           

          On this pair I used one cargo pocket, no flap, but buttoned down, on each lower leg. I know they’re lost in this print, but they’re cute in real life. I also added 5 belt carriers, and then decided not to use them. The fabric is a little heavy with all those blue things, and the carriers made the waistband very stiff. My seam ripper got a real workout removing the waistband and carriers, I probably need a new ripper now.
           

          The black slouchy turtleneck I’m wearing is Kwik Sew 4069. Andrea, this is for you 🙂 and thank you for pointing out that black is a good color for me! I’ve enjoyed this top.

           

          The pattern is very simple and has two collar variations, folded or standing turtle. A caution: measure your neck, try on the collar, and modify it as needed, before you sew it on. I took 3.5″ off the width of my standing collar for an almost-snug fit.

          Thanks again, Anne, for a fun January. And I’m off to watch the replay of the Australian Open women’s final…great stuff.

          Ciao! Coco

          Kwik Sew 3334 Jacket restyle…

          I’ve been watching one of my favorite RTW jackets decline over the last couple years. It’s a red ponte made by Motto and purchased from QVC back when its Motto line was extensive and edgy – I love it. But the red has faded with washings, and the buttonholes are stretched out. Sadness. So I decided to take measurements and pics before it leaves me – and to work on a copycat pattern. 

          The original…

          I started by looking for a jacket or blouse to use as the foundation for the bodice. Something with a similar neckline, wide-set and low. Enter Kwik Sew 3334, which came out in 2005 and has a lot of helpful reviews on Pattern Review (thank you, fellow sewists!).

          I made only a few adjustments to the pattern, all on the tissue before cutting fabric. I’m so brave…but I was using 2 yards of Maggy London ponte de roma that I snagged at $1.99/yard from FabricMart earlier this year. And the pattern can always be replaced. Changes:

          • Removed the dart from the sleeve (I just don’t care for the fit of a darted sleeve in a casual jacket).
          • Straightened the side seams from armscye to the bottom of the bodice.
          • And cut the bodice 5″ below the armscye.
          At first, I thought I’d use the notched collar, but after giving it some thought, I decided to go with the shawl collar. Honestly, I thought the notch points might not turn and sit well, given the weight of the ponte. 
          As it turned out, I love the shawl collar – it’s beautiful. 
          Drafting the skirt part was easy – two fronts and a back, cut as rectangles, with an allowance for a generous facing on the fronts and a deep hem. Rather than use the pleats on the skirt, as on the original, I gathered the fabric under the princess seams and  the back darts.

          I also decided to use elbow length sleeves, mostly to balance all that black fabric. With the full-length sleeve, the jacket was dressy and kind of funerary.

          I already knew that the buttonholes in ponte might be a continuing issue, so I did some tests to confirm. Below, the original and my results. Aack!
          Button snaps were a great solution, and an excuse to use my gigantic snap tool again 🙂 I also like the balance of the snapsets on each side – they definitely raise the casualness factor of the jacket. I didn’t plan any of this beforehand, it just worked out well.

          Final measurements – the bodice/skirt seam is 3 1/4″ below the armscye, and the skirt is finished 18″ below that seam.  
          I like it! and have already worn it out and about a couple times. It’s super easy to throw on over pants and a tee. I’m planning to do it again in a fun color, orange or marigold, with a gathered and cuffed sleeve. 
          Parting shots from the garden:
          I have a new plant, one that simply appeared in a couple places over the last couple months. I thought it was a sansevieria and was happy to have it. I love it when a plant volunteers in the garden, brought by birds, the wind, or who knows…
          But a few days ago I noticed one of them had bloomed, and the flower did not look like a sansevieria at all. After an hour of research online, guess what – it’s a terrestrial orchid! Check out these tiny little monkey-face flowers. They’re pollinated by ants and rain.
          Oeceoclades maculata, aka Monk Orchid, Aftrican Spotted Orchid
          It has a fascinating history, with origins in west Africa and emergence in Brazil and the Caribbean in the 1800’s. Apparently it began showing up in south Florida in the mid-1970’s, possibly as an escapee from Fairchild Gardens in Miami-Dade. 
          So now I dare anyone to walk on one of them! Or worse, pull it up as a weed. 
          Bye for now! Coco