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.
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.
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.
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!
I 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.
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
At January’s Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I was inspired by Helen Ernst‘s beautiful Bursting Heart Wall hanging. There are many techniques new to me, and apparently I tried most of them out on this mini quilt.
Valentine Mini Quilt
First – I used the same tutorial as Helen, except I drew the heart directly on lightweight fusible interfacing. After cutting it apart, I ironed it directly onto my fabric. For my first applique ever, I think it worked out well.
Second – I finally tried spray basting. Yeah, I’ll be spray basting from now on. Why was I so afraid to try it? It was quick, easy, and I had great results.
Third – I stopped being a baby about Free Motion quilting, and attempted a really free motion design between the heart shapes. I guess this worked out better than other attempts, but I still have a very long way to go.
Finally, I finished the binding on my sewing machine. I used my 1/4″ piecing foot (the one with the stopper thingy on the right side.) This really helped me keep the seam straight on both the front and back.
This project was fun, quick, and I got to try out a bunch of new techniques for the first time. I think its a bit wonky, but I’m glad its completely finished!
XOXO – Natalie