Tessuti Megan Cardigan – first version

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Yes, it’s the middle of summer, and a cardigan evokes fall sewing. But – the stores are so cold, especially the grocery market! I always put on a sweater or shawl to go in that freezer joint. One day in December, I didn’t have one with me, and my Raynauds Syndrome sent me a swift kick.

Photo12101024_1Since then, I’ve been messing around with long cardigan patterns, with the intention of making one in black ponte and keeping it in the car.

After my disappointment with my self-drafted version (here), lots of you suggested the Megan Cardigan. It really is cute, and I like the pointed side seam detail.

Here’s the line art, such as it is, and the cardigan does NOT look like this…but it’s close. Sort of. lineartA few sewing notes:

  • Based on my measurements, I sewed the size Medium. And it was a silly mistake.  I used a rayon/nylon/spandex ponte de roma, which is very stable. It has very little horizontal stretch and no vertical stretch –  I should have gone up a size. My cardigan is a little small, tight in the arms and across the back – sigh. But it will be gifted, and I’ll make another in size Large.
  • Having only 2 yards of fabric, I shortened the pattern by 4″, and, honestly, I think I prefer this length.

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  • Many people have mentioned that the very narrow neckband is a bit fiddly to attach.  I used an unfinished width of 2.5″, which finishes at about 7/8″ wide. Thanks, everyone, for the heads up!upper front
  • I didn’t use the pattern instructions for hemming and finishing the bottom edge of the band – I think this looks pretty sloppy:

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Instead, I  hemmed the cardi first, and then attached the finished band. IMHO, the result is less bulky and much nicer.

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  • Other than the topstitching, I sewed the whole thing on the serger, 2 needles. What a fun little project – it has just enough going on to keep it interesting.

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Bye for now! Coco

Vogue 9217 – Kathryn Brenne – Wonderful

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I’m in pants heaven. I love this pattern!

From Kathryn Brenne, and I’ve found no reviews, so perk up… Great pieces. A shell, a reversible jacket, and these pants. This post is all about the pants.

v9217 lines
Pattern link on BMV

Another view of happy me.

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So much to talk about, but check out the ‘dolphin’ hems (usually seen on jogging shorts, so really new for me).

dolphin hem
Fabric: Multi-stripe Cotton Ikat from Fashion Fabric Club…totally misnamed, because it’s a jacquard!

I did a muslin of these pants last week, wrote a post about them, and then decided it was just a dreary kind of post. But the muslin was so helpful – I had planned to sew the pants in this great cotton jacquard, and I didn’t want to blow it. A view of the muslin, and, BTW, it’s a nice view of how well this pattern would work for shorts (mine are in PJ rotation):

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Back to these new britches…

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Part of the challenge with this fabric was figuring out how to place the pattern. I didn’t want the dominant white stripe to be misplaced on the front or the back 🙂 So lots of single-layer cutting. I just did it with a good movie playing.

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Some sewing notes:

  • I made the size Medium (12-14) with NO changes to the fit.
  • In an unusual move for me, I used packaged double-fold bias tape to finish the hems. IMO, it was much easier than working with bias strips cut from cotton broadcloth. Even so, I spent most of one day finishing the hems. Picky picky…but finish is really important to me, and I never mind the time or effort involved.

hem

  • The pattern doesn’t provide very much information about the finished garment measurements. Which can be frustrating! So I measured mine, straight size Medium:
    • Inseam 27″.
    • Outseam, below the waist, 39″.
    • Thigh circumference 28″.
    • Crotch 27″.  Front 12 1/4″, back 14 3/4″

The pants are pretty much straight up and down, so they can be shortened anywhere in the leg. And the rise can be shortened at the top edge (just be sure to move your pockets down as well if needed).

  • About that hem. I almost used a facing instead of the bias tape that the pattern uses. And I think it would be a reasonable way to finish them (although I love the taped hem). A suggestion on how to do it, simply draft the hem with its ‘natural’ seam allowance, and draft a facing to match. E.g.,

re-do hem with facing

  • The pockets provided with the pattern are standard in-seam pockets. But for pants, I really prefer a slant pocket that’s attached in the waistband. I used the pocket from Butterick 6296, but any similar pocket would work fine.

These will be my favorite summer long pants. Absolutely. I want more! Last pic of this happy woman. Photo-bomber Emile is sporting a Tessuti Megan Cardigan, finished last week, I’ll blog it soon. And my blouse is my recent camp shirt (B6296), cropped!

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V8499 and Tessuti Demi Pant- the combo mambo…

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Now that is a happy face!

I’ve been so busy – watching April and Oliver as they wait for their little giraffe to appear, and thinking about my recent makes of the V8499 and Tessuti Demi pants. And getting a new hot water heater. Yes, domestic needs do intrude sometimes on my sewing.

Revisiting the V8499 pants, I mentioned in my post that they might work better in a woven. So I tried them in a linen/rayon blend. Hmm. A little soporific…

Plain V8499

But the pattern has a great darted front and waistband.

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My affection for the Tessuti Demi Pants was still lukewarm pending more work.

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What an opportunity – I decided to combine the patterns using the linen pants as my target. Out with that boring hem!

Line art:

Line Art x 2

This was a simple change. I drew the Demi detail on the linen pants, cut, and sewed. Not bad!

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In fact, they’re really cute.

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I actually wore shoes for these pics, because they do make a difference in the how the pants look. These are my favorite Madden Girl gladiator cheaters. And I’m wearing my Sewing Workshop Trio Top, hemmed and buttoned (I’ve become a bit fond of the top, collar and all). I love love the back on the Trio, and the upper arm coverage…

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A note on my fabric: it’s a 55% linen/45% rayon blend from Fabric.com, the charcoal colorway. It’s very nice, and has a perfect rumple with no shine (I’ve found that blends that reverse the content – 55% rayon/45% linen – tend to drape more, have fewer slubs, and have a slight sheen).

Both blends ravel! so I serged the cut ends of the yardage before putting it through the washer and dryer 3 times. I also serged around all my cut pieces before I started sewing. It’s so easy to lose the seam allowance to a healthy ravel on linens.

Fabric

I think that’s the end of this particular saga. All that remains is to order some more of this lovely fabric and make another pair. I like them 🙂

Ciao! Coco

Tessuti Demi Pant – a muslin…

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I love new patterns…even this one!

This is a quickie post, to show my muslin efforts last week with the Tessuti Demi Pant. So, what’s ‘demi’ about it?! Pattern naming by indie designers seems to be very subjective.

demi pant line art

Anyway.  I’ve seen a few interesting makes of this, and since I love baggy pants with funky details, I gave it a try. Progress so far – well, mine are just shapeless. Maybe, when I’ve nothing else to do, I’ll fool around with it. I noticed in reading reviews that it’s either loved or not.

Another view, it’s awful, but I’ll share. Grant you, the top seems too narrow for the pants, but I think that, with this much volume in the pants, an appropriate top would be very unstructured. It might be time to pull out my unsewn Tina Givens patterns, she has some lovely tops that might work.

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Parting shots:

It’s almost spring, and we’re having very high winds (15 – 30 mph). The mahogany trees are giving up their fruit – which are best described as wooden projectiles. They are huge, hard, and dangerous! These things keep me out of the garden except for a couple careful pick-up visits each day. If I don’t remove them, the nuts release hundreds of seeds that sprout in my garden like grass.

Their geometry is very alluring, I’ve always admired them, even when they make me nuts.

Mahagony nuts (1)

Mahagony nuts (2)

Monday – on to more projects 🙂 Bye for now, Coco

Bits, bobs, and busts…

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A little catch-up on things I’ve been making, but haven’t blogged. Some are repeats and some are just the normal flow of muslins and messes!

The first one, above, is a second version of Vogue 1297, the Sandra Betzina Lagenlook knit dress (first one here). I love this. The fabric is from Girl Charlee – it’s a lightweight (7 oz) cotton/rayon/lycra blend. And it has all my favorite places to visit! The ladies at JoAnn’s were very complimentary and put my ‘business card’ on their bulletin board. I was so surprised – that really felt good.

Another repeat, this time of the StyleArc Toni Designer Dress. As with my first version, I used rayon crepe from Fabric Mart. The only change is a slight extension of the sleeve, to hide a bit more of my ancient upper arms… Great pattern.

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Turning to follow-ups on recent adventures, the Weird Science pants (Vogue 1453) really did make nice PJ bottoms, once I removed the ankle pleats. I added a topper based on the Wiksten tank. Both are in a very lightweight rayon/spandex French terry from Fabric.com – perfect for cool weather.

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I continued to work on my Lagenlook cardigan, my attempt to copy McCalls 6168. Here’s my first version…

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And I think I ruined it! I raised the center front and back a couple inches, which deepened the side detail. But I like my original much better, and plan to make another in ponte di roma (have you seen the beautiful and affordable new pontes at Cali Fabrics?).

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Not everything is a repeat. I also tried out a new pattern, the Frankie Dress from Tessuti Fabrics. It looks so cute in their version – fresh and easy to wear. It’s also very similar to about 4 other patterns I already have, but it’s fun to sew something new. This time I knew I would get a hand-drawn pattern, because it’s my 3rd Tessuti acquisition. Yes, the clumsy line art below is a precursor of the pattern.

frankie-line-art

I used a grey and brown cotton/rayon/poly jersey from Girl Charlee, a nice weight at 7 oz. I don’t like the color combo very much, so it was a good choice for a muslin. The only change I made (kind of major, really) was redraft the entire bodice and sleeve using a pattern that fits me well. Tessuti’s armscyes are small, and the sleeves are narrow. And I don’t care for the high boat neck in the pattern. So I guess I used the skirt!

Scary pic follows. Well, it scares me. This is the ‘long’ length from the pattern.

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Just awful. Out of curiosity I pinned the front up to the knee, and it’s much much better. But I wasn’t in love.

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So I cut it! It was a great opportunity to further my Lagenlook-drafting skills. I have absolutely no bottoms that match this top, so black it is. I was actually a little happier than I look in this pic.

frankie-final

Parting shot: Ms. Crab Spider has been busy in the guava tree again, this time after some very strong storms that really cleaned out the trees. Her web was so pretty with the late afternoon sun shining through her home.

spiderweb

It’s almost the weekend – I hope it’s safe and peaceful for all. I’ll be finishing a quilt project, I’ve been cold in this chilly Florida weather. Such a wuss…

Bye for now! Coco