Category Archives: Garment sewing

Maxi Skirt Class at the Finch Sewing Studio

The Finch Sewing Studio is Leesburg, VA

The Finch Sewing Studio in Leesburg, VA

I took the Maxi Skirt Class  with my friend, Anne, and daughter, Megan, at the Finch Sewing Studio a few weeks ago. It was so much fun (as is any class offered there!) Nicole showed us how to draft a custom pattern for our skirts after taking our measurements.

In our new skirts after the class

In our new skirts after the class

We chose cotton knit fabrics from the beautiful selection she carries and got to work. I learned so much about sewing with knits. We used special needles and special pins and a walking foot. Being a quilter, I have not sewn with knits very much at all so it was well worth taking a class to learn all about this and to come away with a fun skirt.

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Maxi skirt and my Passport Jacket

I’m going to be able to wear it into fall with my Passport Jacket. The fabric I chose is organic cotton and bamboo and has such a nice feel to it. Megan and Anne picked a lighter cotton fabric and Nicole showed them how to add a lining to theirs. We all learned a lot and had a fun morning together.

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Passport Jacket by Lisette

Passport Jacket

Passport Jacket and my Proper Attire Skirt

I’ve been working on this jacket for the past 3 weeks. It didn’t take that long to put together, it was just a matter of making all of the decisions about what adjustments to make regarding fit, length, number of buttons, etc… This is a Simplicity pattern by the designer Liesl Gibson of Oliver & S fame. Oliver & S in an independent pattern company that has the absolutely most adorable children’s patterns.

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Jacket & dress pattern

The jacket was part of the online garment sewing class I’ve been taking. Sadly the class ended this week and I have not started the 4th and last piece which is a dress. I am very pleased to have the jacket done, and just in time for cooler weather.

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I made the View C jacket which is unlined and has a straight collar. I added a little bit of embroidery to the collar and the pocket welts.

Embroidery to collar and pockets

Embroidery to collar and pockets

This was very simple to do on the individual pieces before they were attached to anything. I did interface them before doing the embroidery. I used a variegated thread in a black/gray color that doesn’t show up too strongly – taking this picture was a challenge. It was my intention to add this little detail but not have it be too “in your face”.

Embroidery on finished collar

Embroidery on finished collar

Alterations I made to the pattern:

I added 3″ to the length of the jacket and to the sleeves. This made my sleeves long instead of 3/4 length.

I put 3 buttons down the front instead of just the one at the top.

I made an adjustment to the center back to make it fit better on my shoulders.

What I like about the pattern:

It fits really nice and the black twill I chose to use is very soft and nice feeling.

It can be worn with a lot of different clothing.

The button loops are a lot easier to make than buttonholes!

What I don’t like about the pattern:

I’m not sure I love the asymmetry of the front closure or that the jacket is not lined. I’m pretty sure I will feel as though it has to be worn closed rather than open. What do you think?

Would I make this pattern again?

Maybe. If I did, I might try the ruffled collar, make it smaller and only put the top button loop on. I would also lower the pockets which are a bit high.

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Pockets!

Pockets!

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Proper Attire Skirt by Anna Maria Horner

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My finished skirt

I made the Proper Attire Skirt this past week as part of the Fall Wardrobe e-course I’m taking from Deborah Moebes. It is a pattern by Anna Maria Horner and includes sizes XS to 4XL. The only measurements that the pattern envelope lists are finished dimensions and so you have to judge the size to make based on that.

Pattern envelope

Pattern envelope

I did make a muslin of the pattern to check for sizing. Luckily I did not have to make many adjustments to the size that I chose.

Muslin to check for fit.

Muslin to check for fit.

There was some fullness in the hips, just below the yoke, that I flattened out on the pattern pieces and I ended up adding 3 inches to the length.

Finished skirt and the Sorbetto top that I made last week.

Finished skirt and the Sorbetto top that I made last week.

The fabric I used was a bottom weight 100% cotton that was 60″ wide. It wasn’t quite as heavy as a twill, but was much heavier than a quilting weight cotton. I bought it at Hancock Fabrics where I never would have expected to find anything I liked. (I went there because their McCalls patterns were on sale and our last garment for this e-course is a McCall’s dress.) I have to admit that this fabric was a dream to sew with.

Knife pleat and piping detail

Knife pleat and piping detail

I used packaged piping and did not insert it in all of the areas that the pattern suggested. (Putting a stripe right across my belly did not seem very appealing to me). The skirt is completely lined and has an invisible zipper in the back.

Alterations I made to this pattern:

I took the curve out of the side seams below the yoke, lengthened the skirt by 3 inches and excluded the piping across the front yoke.

What I like about this pattern:

The finished skirt feels like a very well made and tailored garment.

What I don’t like:

The pleat does not hold it’s shape very well when the skirt is worn. A good friend who has done a lot of garment sewing suggested I edge stitch it. This has helped a great deal but it’s not perfect.

Would I make it again?

No. I think that I will wear this one quite a bit, but I don’t feel as though I like it enough to make another.

 

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The Sorbetto top from Colette

Sorbetto top with added sleeves.

Sorbetto top with added sleeves.

I’m taking the Whipstitch Fall Garment Class online. Last week we learned a lot about preparing fabrics and patterns. This week we worked on the first project which is the Sorbetto top from Colette.

This pattern available as a free download

This pattern is available as a free download

You can download the pattern here which prints out on regular sized paper (16 pages!) and you cut and tape the pages together. It comes in sizes 0 – 18. It was suggested that we make a “wearable muslin”. This means sewing up the pattern in a fabric that you won’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t fit perfectly. This way you would make adjustments to the pattern to make it up in fabric you really love (but you would also be able to wear the not as perfect version in the other fabric).

Muslin top to check for fit

Muslin top to check for fit

I had plenty of muslin and not enough yardage of “other” fabric and so I just went ahead and made it in muslin – in 2 different sizes because I was between sizes. – isn’t that always the way? I also experimented with adding a sleeve. There were several sleeve versions that other sewing bloggers have kindly drafted that I was able to find online and print out.

Drafted sleeves for the Sorbetto top

Drafted sleeves for the Sorbetto top

Mena Trott from the Sew Weekly gives a roughly drafted sleeve pattern here (pictured in the middle above). Mena blogged about a week of Sorbetto tops that she sewed. She made a different version each day for a week. You can find  links to them at the bottom of this post of hers.

The Sleeve Pattern on the bottom is a version that Claire from Sew, Incidentally made up as a pdf from Mena’s version. Both were way too small for my size blouse so I lengthened both at the ends and in the middle to get a pattern that would fit.

I did not make any changes to the armhole of the blouse and sewed the sleeve in with a 1/4″ seam allowance as this is what was called for if you bound it with bias tape.

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I added 2 inches to the length of the top

The Sorbetto top is a very basic pattern. There is a front and a back, both cut out on the fold. The pleat detail in the middle of the front is very simple to make. There are bust darts on the front and the directions give you very good advice about sewing those. The neck and armholes (if you don’t add sleeves) are finished with bias tape – either cut from the same or contrasting fabric or purchased. The bias tape is sewn to the inside and then flipped to the outside such that it shows. It adds a nice finishing detail.  The hem is simply folded over twice and stitched.  There are no buttons or zipper – must be pulled on and off.

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Sheer fabric

I made my version from 100% cotton black dotted swiss fabric which I purchased at G. St. Fabrics. This is one of those fabrics that is very sheer looking by itself but not when you’re wearing it.

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Alterations I made to this pattern:

Added sleeves, added 2 inches in length and made a very slight adjustment to the neckline because it felt too wide.

What I like about this pattern:

Very simple to make and also simple to change up. Bias neckline could be contrasting fabric. Buttons or interesting trim could be sewn to the front pleat. Shirt is very comfortable to wear.

What I don’t like:

Boxy shape. Neckline still feels a bit wide.

Would I make it again?

Probably yes, but I don’t feel as though I want to make another right away (which means I’m not 100% in love with it)!

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Online garment making class.

I’ve been really wanting to do some garment sewing. There have been a number of friends lately that have sewn up the cutest summer tops and dresses. My past attempts to sew for myself have not been terrific and it’s pretty disappointing to spend both the time and money to sew something and not have it fit correctly. A month or so ago I found this class by Deborah Moebes on sewing a 4 piece wardrobe and decided to sign up.

fall-wardrobe-2012

 

Deborah teaches sewing classes both online (at http://www.whipstichfabrics.com) and in person at the Whipstitch Lounge in Atlanta. She also has a class on Craftsy called Design and Sew an A-Line Skirt.

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The wardrobe e-course started today and is still open for enrollment through next Sunday (register by 8/11/2013). The garments we will be working on include:

1. The Sorbetto top from Collette (a French pattern maker) which is a free download.

2. A skirt pattern by Anna Maria Horner which has 2 different versions.

Proper Attire Skirt Pattern

Proper Attire Skirt Pattern

3. A lined princess seamed dress pattern from McCalls

McCalls 6741

McCalls 6741

4. The Passport Jacket which was designed by Liesl Gibson of Oliver & S (known for their wonderful children’s patterns) which has two collar versions – either ruffled or peter pan.

Simplicity 2209

Simplicity 2209

Deborah picked these 4 patterns because she believes they will fit and look good on all body types. Here’s hoping!

We have started to introduce ourselves to the class in an online forum and some of the other participants have taken an e-course from Deborah in the past (sewing with knits, sewing for children, etc.) I think this is the highest recommendation. Obviously these ladies had a good experience and are back for more. I have also learned that, Heather, one of my DC Modern Quilt Guild friends is enrolled so that will make it even more fun for me as well.

Wish me luck! (I may need it).

 

 

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