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!
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.
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.
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
I’m working on my second Vogue 8787 dress. Thankfully I did most of the body adjustments on the first one, but this is a thinner knit so I’m finding I may need to make the armscye deeper. I also added side pockets but they are distorting the side seams so I need to rethink them.
I was in Jo-Ann yesterday to pick up some black thread cones for my serger, when I decided to look for some fabric for a Thanksgiving skirt. I ended up picking up 2 amazing fabrics. The first thing I found was this drapey grey knit fabric with black sequins. It was $11/yd but I had a 40% off coupon. I have no idea what I’m going to make but I much I got 4 yards.
Then I was looking for some fabric to make a Liesl + Co Everyday skirt and I ended up grabbing 2 yards this thick metallic heather knit fabric. It was 50% off so I paid around $7 per yard. When I got it home I realized it was too awesome for a mere skirt and started looking for dress patterns. I think I’ve settled on making Vogue 8787 view B. Thankfully Vogue Patterns go on sale for $4 at Jo-Ann on November 23.
This article was originally posted on Craftcake.com on November 18, 2013. I am planning on reposting most of my existing sewing related content from Craftcake on this site.