Tag Archives: knits

City Lights Turner Dress

Cashmerette is out with another knit dress pattern – the Turner Dress. The Washington dress isn’t really my style so I was glad to see something I would actually wear!  I picked this up at Modern Domestic on Saturday and by Sunday Night I had a new dress.

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Altogether I think this took me under 3 hours to trace, cut, and sew.  I used a rayon/spandex blend which is not the easiest fabric so I spent extra time pinning.  The dress is just 4 pattern pieces.

Speaking of fabric, this is from the Nicole Miller collection at Joann Fabric. All Nicole Miller was 60% off so I finally bought some. This particular print is called Urban Movement. It looks almost like a kaleidoscope of abstract city lights. I had to be careful of my pattern placement with this print.

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If I had one complaint about this pattern it would be that I had to use 3 machines – sewing, serger, coverstitch.  I prefer to do knits with just my serger and coverstitch, but the v-neckline needed to be sewed and the instructions called for under stitching the neckline.

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I sewed a 18 G/H and I think the fit is good but the waist might be a little big. I think it’s a very flattering style that I could wear without my spanx as it camouflages my tummy.

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This dress is bit fancy looking so I will probably wear it to work. I might make another one out of french terry or some other cozy stretch fabric for more casual wear.

Thumbs up, Cashmerette. This one’s a keeper!

 

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

I was on the fence about purchasing the brand new Appleton dress pattern from the new pattern designer but not new blogger. Cashmerette. I’m not really one for wearing a lot of wrap dresses, but that’s partially because of gaping issues.  However,  this pattern is supposed to solve the gaping and Jenny and I have similar body shapes being top heavy and slim hipped, so if it works for her it might work for me. Also, no FBA? Hell yes!

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I decided to order the print pattern and missed out on the first print run, but mine still came very quickly.  I traced off my size and the E/H front piece.  I searched through my stash and found this cotton jersey I had purchased at Joann last year. I thought it was 100% cotton, but the noxious smells it let of when I ironed it on the cotton setting leads me to believe it’s actually a cotton/poly blend. I was definitely short of the fabric requirements, but since I was going for the 3/4 length sleeve I figured I had some room to fudge. I pretty easily fit this on my fabric.

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Sewing this up was a breeze. The only thing in the directions that slightly confused me was whether or not I needed to reinforce belt holes on both sides. I did it on both, which was wrong but not an issue. The other thing I could have done a better job on was aligning my neckline bands to the bodice fabric. They are just slightly off and that’s Because I wasn’t totally sure how they should meet up. On the next version I will know better and so they will be perfectly aligned.

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Have I mentioned to you that I love my coverstitch machine? It’s definitely a non-essential machine, but it makes hemming knits so fast and easy! This machine easily contributed an extra 25% to the joy I have of sewing knits. I chose not to do any of the extra stitching to tack down the seam allowances around the neckline.

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After I sewed up the sleeves and side of the dress I tried it on over my yoga pants…and I was like “Whoa! This dress was looks awesome!”  I did absolutely no changes to this pattern…I even hemmed exactly at 1.5″ and it was perfect.  I will definitely be sewing this up in a nicer fabric (wool jersey?) than my crappy Joann poly blend.

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The only problem I have with this pattern is that the hem of left side of the dress (the under wrapped side) tends to hang down. I can pull it up higher on my chest to pull the hem up, but I might taper the hemline on that edge up a bit so it’s not an issue.

I wonder what pattern Cashmerette will release next?

 

Seamwork Aurora Top

The June issue of Seamwork Mag is all about knits. I love knits! There are two cute patterns in this issue – Mesa a simple shift and Aurora – a swingy tank. With the hot weather I need more sleeveless tops, so I went scrounging for some fabric in my stash.

I had a bit of black and white polka dot jersey left from my Coco top. It was just enough to cut out the front and back pieces. I didn’t have enough to cut the yoke, but I think that would have looked weird anyway. I didn’t have any white knit but I did have a promotional IcelandAir t-shirt! Cheap t-shirts are cut so off grain thatI had to do some fussing but I managed to get my pieces cut out of the white shirt. Recycling for the win!

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I cut the 1X size and made no modifications to the pattern. I was a little concerned that the straps were going to be too narrow based on the model photo, but this is well drafted to be proportional to the overall size. I’m glad I didn’t have to redraft that to make it cover my bra straps!

This is a very quick and easy top that is cleverly constructed. The yoke is doubled to be self lined and the armholes and neckline of the main piece are hemmed before attaching to the yoke. I did end up using my sewing machine, serger and coverstitch machine, but thankfully they were almost all threaded with the right color thread to begin with!

The pattern instructs you to top stitch the yoke after attaching the main pieces. I’ve held off on this for now. I’m not sure what color thread I want to use or if I want to do it at all. I might end up doing it on my coverstitch machine so it matches up with my armhole and neckline hemming.

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The one issue I had with this pattern is the bar tacking. After attaching the yoke to the body you are supposed to bar tack the seam allowance down. I understand that this strengthens your seams, which is needed because of the serging and keeps them from poking out, but it also stretched out my fabric and distorted my armscyes. This is more obvious on the back of the shirt. I think on future versions I will do this by hand.

I’m not sure this is the most flattering top I’ve ever made, but it sure is comfortable. I like that the yoke is wide enough to cover my bra straps and that the fit and flare silhouette skims over my problem area.  I could see making another one in a solid color.

I made those shorts too, but that’s for a future update.

A Renfrew-ish Maternity Coco

I went back to New Jersey for the holidays. While I was at Natalie’s house she handed me some sparkly black jersey and said make me a shirt. Apparently I am the official family sewer of knits.

I was actually wearing a Coco top at the time, so I had her try it on to see what sort of size I should start with and adjustments needed so it would need to fit her and her growing tummy.

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Once I got back to Portland, I had to figure out what to make.  I had already hacked my altered Coco pattern to make a Renfrew-like cowl neck top with a ponte for myself, which would definitely work with the drapey jersey. But first I need to fix that neckline. The first version had too wide of a neckline for the cowl, so I retraced the pattern and set about altering it again. This time i made the neckline narrower and deeper – more like a Renfrew.

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Once that was done it was a matter of measuring the neck opening and cutting a rectangle to fit. I recall that the Renfrew cowl is 2 pieces, but I cut a single rectangle and folded it half. So the only cowl seams are on the center back and along the neckline.

You may wonder why not just use the Renfrew pattern? The answer is that I really love the fit of my altered Coco. Its very flattering – fitting nicely across the bust while skimming over my middle.  Renfrew just didn’t fit me that well and I haven’t gotten around to modifying it yet, so it’s easier to just add a cowl then refit the whole pattern.

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I love how this turned out. I added some length and width to the pattern to make it work as a maternity top. I think the the cowl neck looks great and balances out the sparkly fabric. This is also the most professional looking garment I’ve ever made!

 

 

 

Colette Myrtle Dress

myrtleI picked up the newly released Myrtle dress pattern from Colette this week from Modern Domestic and I couldn’t wait to sew! I love cowl necks! I’m full busted and a nice draped cowl makes the ladies look good.

I’ve had this Italian jersey in my stash for ages. I just couldn’t find the right project for it since it has some gold lurex stripes and is a bit sheer.  So I needed something with a lining that wasn’t too casual and Myrtle was perfect. The front of the bodice is cut as a single piece and folded to make the lining. The entire bodice construction is rather clever.

Even though there are some new techniques in this pattern – it’s still quick and easy. Just be sure to read the instructions thoroughly before starting. I ended up sewing the waistband casing to the skirt and the bodice and it took me over 2 hours to rip out that seam! I think I spent less time on cutting and sewing the rest of the dress.  I also learned that the stretch stitch on my machine is bitch to get out and I will probably stick with a narrow zigzag from here out.

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I ended up using 3 different sewing machines for this project – sewing, serger, and my new coverstitch! A regular sewing machine is necessary for part of the pocket construction and creating the elastic waistband casing.  Otherwise I used my serger for most seams and my coverstitch for the back neck, armhold and lower hems. That works like a dream!

Pattern: Colette Myrtle Dress – View 1
Fabric: 3 yards of Italian Cotton Jersey.  Extra was needed for matching stripes.
Modifications: Added 1.5″ to shoulder width to create slight cap sleeve