I liked the fabric I used to sew my cardigan last year so I reordered some in a fuchsia color for a top. It is a Hatchi sweater knit by Telio I ordered from Amazon. The fabric is a lightweight polyester/rayon/spandex blend with beautiful color variations that reminds me of hand dyed yarn.
Because this was my first time making a sleeved version of the Laundry Day Tee by Love Notions, I had to print out the pattern again. I used a glue stick to put it together instead of tape, and like this new-to-me method.
I set up a long folding table in the living room to cut fabric. My napping dog in the background was too cute to leave out of the shot.
I printed out the medium and large sizes, and then cut out size large. I cut the smaller bottom width of the dress version. It can be confusing if you only print out the top length to see multiple cutting lines for each size, but you can use these lines to choose the desired “swing” amount.
I wanted my top to have 3/4 sleeves. The 3/4 length sleeve pattern would be full length on me, so I had to shorten them several inches. I was shocked that the sleeves are cut on the fold! I have never seen a sleeve pattern like that. I’m used to cutting mirror images with two notches signifying the back. The human front and back armhole is different so in the future I would find another pattern and draw new sleeves because I think that is needed to make them hang straighter and fit better.
I sewed it on my regular machine with a zigzag stitch, serged the seams, and hemmed with a zigzag stitch. I don’t like the ridge known as tunneling when hemming with a twin needle so I don’t bother anymore.
I wanted a modified cowl neckline. I cut a much narrower piece to fold in half, and then fold over at the neckline. I took a photo from the TV of a neckline I liked as my inspiration, and tried to copy it.
I love the completed top! It’s just what I envisioned, and I love the fabric, fit, and color.
I was sewing the top on a very hot Superbowl weekend in February, then it got very cold with a wind chill, so I’m hoping for more “just right” weather to wear it.
I had a cardigan on my “Make Nine” list for the year. I had two candidates, and after actually opening the pattern envelopes and looking over the shapes and construction methods I decided on McCalls 6802, view C.
My fabric is a lightweight sweater knit. The fabric doesn’t have enough heft to keep the fold of the shawl collar around the neck so I tacked it down. I made a size 12, even though my measurements put me 2 sizes larger. With the big 4 pattern companies, the sizing can be hard to pick unless a finished garment measurement is given, but they’re known to run big. I cut the sleeves separate, added length, interfaced the pocket tops and made the pockets bigger. I also took away about two inches from the armhole and sleeve depth after sewing the cardigan together because it looked super slouchy. It’s still a bit oversized, and in the gray it has a grandpa cardigan vibe. Comfy but not chic.
I picked the gray because I already have 2 or 3 black ready-to-wear cardigans.
I also interfaced part of the front band and made a buttonhole.
Only one more month of sewing left for 2021. Will I finish my list?
Do you like leftovers? Some are good, others are tasteless. Well, in this case I’m talking about using fabric left over from other projects.
I sewed up another Laundry Day Tee, the sleeveless version, by Love Notions from the fabric left over from the Classic Tee. This a versatile pdf pattern and the no-trim pages of Love Notions patterns are a big time saver.
Some sewing tips:
1) When you print out a pdf pattern with layers, don’t print only one size or all the sizes. I usually print out 3 or 4 sizes because I might want to use the shoulder or neckline of a smaller size, and it helps to see a few sizes in case you want to grade up or down in certain areas.
2) Don’t print out the entire pdf for a pattern with multiple variations. Look for where it tells you which pages you need for the option you are sewing.
3) Customize your pattern. A pattern is a starting place, and you can use it to make your ideal garment with some changes. I cut the neckline wider at the straps and not as deep, and now it is perfect for me.
I wore it walking to the library and took a selfie. The breezy wider hem shape was perfect for keeping me cool.
4) Measure clothes that fit well and compare to pattern pieces to help cut the right size.
5) Take notes on makes. I do this but often leave out important details, and my memory fades.
6) If there is a pattern piece for the band on a knit, don’t use it. The length you need will differ depending on the stretchiness of your knit. You may need to shorten it. This rayon/spandex knit is very stretchy and I had to snug up the top of the side seams and then stretch my binding tighter to avoid droopy underarms.
I’m wearing the top with one of the two denim shorts I have sewn.
I don’t wear clothes that are classified as activewear. I don’t ride a bike or go to the gym. One active thing I do is walk. Since I’m out walking my dog every morning and night, why not sew a sporty walking outfit.
I had some navy ponte fabric left over from the full length pants I sewed at the beginning of last year. Ponte is a double knit fabric. I think I wore polyester double knit shorts from K Mart when I was about 10, but this fabric is a nicer, more breathable rayon/nylon blend. It was just enough for a pair of shorts, although I did need to cut the inner waistband from another bit of rib knit I had. The pocket linings are from a scrap of silky fabric which helped to reduce bulk. The pockets are nice and deep to hold phone, keys, and poop bag.
I sewed the shorts with my sewing machine and then serged to finish the seams. The pattern is another repeat: the Patterns for Pirates Mama Bear Joggers with the waistband of the Itch to Stitch Mountain View Pull-on Jeans. It’s satisfying sewing a pattern that has already been altered to fit.
The shorts feel sleek, soft, and firm. They are thicker than leggings, and not as skin tight and revealing which makes them just what I wanted. When I came home from my walk this morning I didn’t want to take them off. So I didn’t – I wore them all day.
I topstitched the hems and around the pockets with a zigzag stitch and I very much like the sporty look and lack of a ridge I’ve gotten when using a double needle. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s easier than threading up a double needle.
More photos of garment and construction details to follow because this is a sewing blog, not a fashion blog, ha! How the clothes fit on the body is important to see, and the final piece.
The knit tee was an upcycle cut from a XL tee I had on hand. I again used the Laundry Day Tee but with much of the swing removed due to fabric width limitations. I chose the neon/lime green color to give me more visibility when walking at dusk.
Do you wear woven tops with knit bottoms? The opposite is very usual with a tee shirt paired with jeans. Somehow I got the idea that knit bottoms should be worn with a knit top. I need to experiment with this.
I used the hem of the original tee shirt for the binding so I didn’t have to iron a strip in half. That’s why there is a line of stitching on the binding. I like a good shortcut.
I sewed the blue floral top back in July and I struggled with getting the neckbands and armbands sewn decently. I don’t like the method of measuring the neckline, calculating 85%, and marking the band and fabric circumference into fourths that the standard instructions have you do. It’s too hard for me to get it stretched evenly and takes too long pinning. I messed up and sewed folds into the shirt side of the seam and had to rip and redo. For the green tank I cut a longer strip for the band, didn’t join or pin the band, left a tail unsewn at the start, and then stretched the band as I sewed it on with a basting stitch, stopping before the end and making a mark for sewing the ends together. It’s kind of like joining quilt binding but with a straight stitch. Tanks are the worst to sew because there are three bands instead of one! I would buy some tanks if I could find a brand and size that fit well, but at this point it seems easier to just sew them.
I love these leftovers! The two knit sleeveless tops and knit shorts are first rate pieces that fit well, are comfortable useful clothes, and in my opinion look good too.
The 5 pattern pieces in Vogue 9246 are intended for woven fabric, but I sewed the top in a knit.
I used the yoke to change the direction of the stripes, and add some interest. I cut a yoke piece from another boxy dolman sleeved pattern, the Maya, for comparison. They are quite different.
I also compared the shoulder to armhole depth, and found the Vogue pattern to be too deep for me. I used the XS yoke piece with the M body so the top wouldn’t be too big across my small shoulders. I decided to add pockets to break up the lines and to add another detail.
This is the first thing I sewed mostly on my new serger. I had a yard of this synthetic fabric that I didn’t love, so thought it would be good to experiment with. The colors look like black and white, but they’re actually light gold and black with a narrow glittery bright gold stripe.
I’m thinking of using this pattern again with a blue and white cotton seersucker.
I also made a pair of black ponte pants just like the navy pair I made in January. Ponte is a thick double knit – I used one that’s rayon based instead of polyester. This a great basic winter pant, and will go with so many of my tops. Again I used the Patterns for Pirates Mama Bear Joggers with the waistband of the Itch to Stitch Mountain View pull on Jeans, and altered the pattern to have slimmer legs and a higher rise. The navy pair were my favorite thing to wear last winter.
I also made them mostly on the serger. I forgot to change the differential feed setting for knits, but still got good results. The seams are thick in areas of several layers, and I found it hard to get them to lie flat.
The end of the year is fast approaching and I wanted to make one more outfit, including the Rhapsody blouse, but it can wait.
I might just relax and recharge the last week of the year instead.
2020 has been a memorable year, a year of a worldwide pandemic leading to stay at home orders, shortages of household goods including toilet paper, closing of schools, mask wearing, financial hardships, and the loss of over 300,000 lives in the U.S. and over a million and a half worldwide. In the U.S. it has also been the year of an election that just won’t end, with a President feverishly working to tear down our democracy and overturn the people’s votes.
Those of us who are healthy, with adequate food and housing, are fortunate. Those of us who create, craft, knit, or sew are blessed with an additional way to cope with life’s ups and downs, and make things of practical use and beauty.