Ok, so once I had finished the essential baby sewing (see PART 1 of this post published on 22nd April), I got down to sewing up some of the garments for myself that I had already cut out on the floor while watching TV (well actually listening to TV). Remember I said in a previous post that it is as good as a yoga workout? Really, the muscles in my legs & lower back sure get a workout. It is, of course, much easier on the body to lay out your fabric & pattern pieces on a high cutting table. However, if you are trying to do double or triple duty like me, you may end up doing yoga at the same time as TV AND cutting out your garments. Whoever said women are the queens of multi-tasking was dead bang on the money!!
The Sewing Workshop Collection Pattern: Stella & Luna is a relatively new pattern.
I acquired this pattern recently at the Victoria Sewing Show (Thank you, Marilyn & Barb) & here is my first attempt with this pattern: the Stella top. I am not totally sold on whether I like the fabric or not. It seems a bit “busy” to me for this particular style. I think if I had made the cowl part a different fabric (plain black or brown maybe), it might have looked better? However, it was a good trial run and I will definitely be making this top again in a different knit fabric.
I also made 3 pairs of pants: a dark purple, a black & a brown pair. I used the same Kwik sew yoga pant pattern for 2 of them & then decided to use a different pattern for the brown pants. Please be aware that some of the patterns I refer to may not be current patterns. I have acquired patterns over many years of sewing garments and sometimes I pick up “new” patterns at thrift stores. Not every pattern I use is brand new and currently available. You can always substitute a similar pattern. The ones I use are just a starting point to hopefully inspire you.
- KWIK SEW #3115: note that I have written a note to myself on the pattern cover: “See notes”. I usually write a few notes once I complete making a garment. I write down the size I made & any alternations I made. I also like to write down if I think I would do things a little differently a second time around: like cut a smaller size or reduce the length or whatever. I find this helps me a lot as I doubt I would remember all this information: I do way too much sewing and have too many patterns to keep that all in my head!
I first made this yoga pant pattern in a thickish piece of purple knit fabric. Wish I could remember what it was called but I can’t. I LOVE the feel of the fabric : very smooth with wonderful firm stretch and the pants are super comfy. However, I think I prefer a slimmer, less flared leg so on the next pair (same fabric but black instead of dark purple), I slashed the front & back leg pattern pieces along the straight grain line from the hem right up almost to the top of the pattern. Drastic, yes, but it worked beautifully. I overlapped the pieces & taped them flat to reduce the width or flare of the leg. Do NOT cut off the side & inner leg seams as this will alter the integrity of the pattern design and more than likely result in uncomfortable, badly fitting pants.
I just LOVE my black pants with the alterations I made. They are pretty much yoga pants without the flared leg but not so tight that they could be called leggings. They look so smart tucked into a pair of boots but can also be worn with shoes or sandals. The waist band is a self “elastic” in that the band is cut quite a bit smaller than the top of the pants, so you stretch it as you sew it on. I have lost a few lbs lately so I found the band was still too loose. Easy fix: I opened the seam on the waist band and inserted a piece of 1 inch wide elastic which pulled the waist band in a little bit more so I wasn’t bothered by pants that kept slipping down slightly. They now stay up which is a good thing, and waist band still lays flat & smooth so I am very happy with the result.
- What I call my “shark bite” top. LOVE using my JANOME SERGER & COVERPRO to sew it as it is so quick and professionally finished. Just check out the great new dressform Debbie brought in to the office. Thanks, Debbie! This is just wonderful as it is pretty much impossible to photograph myself wearing a garment – My arms are not long enough!
- I bought this pattern (animal print knit top above) a year or 2 back & I think I have made the sleeveless view on the left at least 6 times. It is wonderful as a top over pants or leggings with a long sleeved top underneath when it is cold; OR worn with capri’s as a loose summer top; OR make it up into a comfy nightgown. Note the “shark bite” hemline which has been so popular for quite some time. This is truly a one hour garment from cutting out to wearing – very easy to make – exactly as the pattern cover indicates.
- Note how stay tape works to avoid puckering so that neck line & hems stay flat & professional looking: I used the JANOME CPX Coverhem serger for neck, armholes & hems. Side seams were sewn using the Stretch knit program on my serger: this program is a 4 thread seam with some adjustments to stitch length and differential feed. My serger does this automatically. I just have to select this program – it is all about EASE and convenience.
- I have made view E (bottom left) and it was very nice. I wear that in the summer. But the swirl pattern knit top shown below is view C (the green long sleeved top on the pattern cover above). I really like the way the neck line drapes into that cowl front. I did narrow the sleeves. I don’t like wide sleeves like that. So, once again, I slashed it up the grain line & overlapped the 2 halves to make it much narrower from above the elbow to the wrist. I have short arms as well so I always have to shorten the length of sleeve patterns by quite a few inches. (My legs could have been longer too but that is a different story! ) These alterations do not affect the sleeve seam nor where the sleeve is sewn into the armhole so it all fits together just fine.
- Teagarden T. I struggled a bit with this pattern. It is quite unusual as there is only 1 main pattern piece which includes the front, back & sleeve. Yes, but you cut 2 and then sew together center front & back. Shoulder seam is a dart. It took me a little while to wrap my brain around this pattern. It also has gussets for under the arms & along part of sleeve & side seams but this just did not work for me. Maybe I was being stupid ? I finally got the gussets sewed in but it looked awful so I took them out and re-cut the shape of the sleeves & side seams from wrist all the way to hemline. I wasn’t sure it would work out OK but luckily it did. SO be aware that the blue, black & white print top (below) is not exactly as the pattern instructed me to do but at least I can wear it and I like it. It fits quite snugly and the neck line is very unusual so I may well end up making another one. I like to have a variety of different styles in my closet and this sure is different.