Butterick3579One bad go at pants wasn’t enough. I had to try again. This time I used this simple slacks looking pattern and again, I traced the pattern out on kraft paper and graded up a few sizes. I ran into a few issues in tracing, which may have led to some of my problems with fit. Basically, the pattern was printed lighter than normal so I had to sandwich the pattern between two layers of kraft paper to make the lines visible to trace out. That meant trying to keep all the layers still, which was beyond difficult. In hindsight, I should have pinned them together first. Doh!

Anyway, I finally got my pieces traced and a few measurements told me things were going to be a bit big. My waistline was measuring out at 52″, not subtracting for seam allowances so I know I’d have to take things in. I sewed them as is though and then tried them on and yup, way too big.

I ended up ripping out the waistband, and taking in about 2.5″ from each outside seam, plus adding one small dart that took up about an inch into each side in the back. That was better, and I stitched the waistband back into place like this.

B3579Front

 

Are they great, amazing, fantastic pants? No. But I didn’t expect a miracle because they literally have three pieces and no shaping in the original instructions. They are however, better than the red pants are ever going to be, and they are comfortable to wear.

B3579Back

 

Oh! And that’s another Kwik Sew 3740 view B you see on my top half. I managed to squeeze it out of the scraps I had left over from the Dolman sleeve top I showed you last time with the red pants.

I told myself I was not going to get way behind on my sewing again and actually going to make the mock-ups I’ve created and keep my fabric stash flowing. If I buy more fabric, I need to use fabric I already have first, and I need to recheck my closet and see if there is any clothes I just don’t wear that I can part with. The reality is I do not have unlimited space for clothes, and it’s also rather silly to keep clothing I never wear, or stuff that doesn’t fit quite right when I have so many better options at hand.

Anyway, long story short, I pulled 2 dresses I never wear and listed them on my eBay and made myself two new shirts this afternoon. Ive got a half dozen clothing items up for grabs right now, and I will entertain offers on all of it. Seriously, just ask. Chances are I will accept it or something close to it. You can see my eBay items here. (http://www.ebay.com/sch/kittyloafdesigns/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=&rt=nc&_dmd=2) There are also sewing patterns, handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and fabrics listed besides the clothing.

detailweaveOkay, let’s get back on track. The first thing I sewed today was Kwik Sew 3740 View B. I’ve sewn this one before, in dark blue, and I love the fit. Its just a basic tan top, but it offers more coverage in the back- the shoulders and shoulder blades are fully covered. This time I used a tan fabric that is an athletic fabrics, and its supposed to help keep you dry. I’m not sure how good its moisture-wicking qualities are, but the stretch and drape are really nice, and it was super easy to work with. I have more of this fabric type coming in the mail tomorrow to make other workout clothes from. At left is a close-up of the weave o the fabric- as you can see, its pretty airy looking.

The only thing I do not like about this pattern is the stitch in the ditch parts for doing the neck and armhole binding, which I complained about last time as well. And because I never fail to royally screw up if I use matchy-matchy threads, I used a contrasting color on this. The stitching is not as hidden as it should be around the neckline and armholes, its actually very visible, but despite my sloppy stitching there, the fit is good and its very comfortable.

KS3740ViewB

 

So, score 1 for a great fitting and easy to wear top that will hopefully have excellent properties as well.

The next thing I sewed today was Simplicity 6816 View C. I’ve sewn one of the other views before in a polka dot fabric, but really want to do them all as its a nice basic wardrobe builder with a nice fit and they’re super easy to put together.

S6816ViewC

 

The fabric is navy blue and a pale yellow, and I feel pretty good about almost getting the stripes perfectly straight across the top. I don’t have a photo of the back, but my stripe matching on the center back seam was about as successful. Its not dead on, but its also not super off either.

I made one change to this top as I was sewing, and that was to add 4″ to the length of it as when I sewed the other view I did, it’s really only long enough if I am wearing something quite high-waisted- otherwise its almost a midi top. This way the bottom hem falls just about at my hip and the fit is still good. I’m finally beginning to remember the things I need to do to make things fit the way I want them to as I sew, and not seeing so much “should haves” in hindsight.

I may work on another view of this pattern tomorrow and use another piece of fabric I have destined for it- I’ve still got my orange eyelet fabric and the yellow burnout fabric to use. I’m leaning towards using the yellow burnout fabric first.

I promised myself some new workout clothes next month, and I set aside $50 in my budget to buy and try some new athletics fabrics I found on Fabric.com. Of course while I was there, I ended up finding some neat stuff on clearance, so got a little more then intended there, and not as much of the athletics fabrics as I had planned. But hey! I stayed under my budget!

Simplicity 6816 View B I’ve sewn in a blue and blue polka dot fabric, and View C I just sewed the other day out of that white birds fabric.I think View A is the same as View B but with hemmed sleeves instead of bound and gathered. I’m not sure if I got the yellow burn out fabric or not- I went back to it right after I placed my order and it was sold out, so hoping I bought the last of it and I did get it. The orange fabric has an eyelet lace detailing in it, which I love.

6

I also want to do either View A or a free pattern I found online in this cool red crochet lace I found. I am leaning towards the free pattern, but I’m not sure how much fabric it takes so we’ll see.

The tank top and cropped pants will be my new workout clothes. The pants are just the leggings pattern I’ve sewn a few times but shortened, and the tank top I’ve actually sewn twice before- once as is, and once with a cowl neck.

I’m trying really hard to sew things now that I can actually wear every day, not fancy stuff I will wear once or twice and that’s about it. What I really need are a few pairs of jeans but I’m terrified to start on them. Maybe I’ll get to that this month though. If I just start by cutting the pattern, hopefully it will follow from there. I actually have two cuts of stretch denim, and a cut of red corduroy, all of which I want to make pants out of. Maybe next month?

I had this old t-shirt a friend gave me that was okay, but the fit was terrible. The fabric is old, permanently stretched out, and there was an elastic sewn into the waistline which I was unaware of because it too was hopelessly stretched out. I was thinking about throwing the shirt away, but decided to cut it up and make something new and see if it could be made wearable again. This is a recycled t-shirt project and it was super easy.

I started by cutting it down the side seams, and across the tops of the shoulders so I had two pieces, front and back. Then I busted out my Kwik Sew 3740 and pulled out the pieces for front and back. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to cut the arm- and neck-hole bindings out of this fabric, but decided to worry about it when I got to that point. The original shirt hadn’t been cut in any manner that really centered the print, which would have made it look a lot better, but there was nothing I could do about that.

KS3740RemakeViewBFront

 

I ended up just hemming the neck- and arm-hole edges and not binding them, but it really didn’t make a difference. The bottom edge was hemmed, but I had to trim it a bit first because it was a little wonky. I’m not sure if that was because I wasn’t careful cutting it or if the original shirt was actually wonky.

KS3740RemakeViewBBack

 

The pluses of this newly refashioned top is its super lightweight, and very comfortable, but I’m still not sure if I’m crazy about the print. I do really like the colors in it though, especially the turquoise-green color. What do you guys think? Is it a win or a flop? I wish I had taken a photo of the shirt before to compare to, but I didn’t think of it until I had cut one entire side seam out.

I decided after cutting the pieces for a second version of Kwik Sew 3740 View B of this top that I wanted to add the cowl neckline that is on View A. Except for the cowl and the option of long sleeves, the two tops are identical. The problem is it takes almost the full yard of fabric to cut View B without the cowl, and I only had 1 yard of this fabric. I ended up cutting the cowl in 4 pieces instead of two, adding a hem allowance and stitching the two halves together. Luckily because the fabric is a solid color, and because its dark, the extra seams aren’t terribly prominent, so it works. I really like how this one turned out, and since doing the first one, I had a little more idea of how to manage the stitch in the ditch this time. It still didn’t turn out as well as I wanted it to, but it is a lot neater than my first attempt on the blue version.

KS3740-B-A-Front

 

My sewing machine has a speed governor on it, which I normally keep set at just over 50%. I found if I slow it down to about 25% while doing the stitch in the ditch, I have better control of the fabric, and can stay (mostly) in the ditch. Of course that makes it painfully slow sewing, but the result is a lot better. On this top, because I added the cowl to the neckline, I only had to do two edge bindings, one on each armhole.

KS3740-B-A-Back

 

I’m loving the fit of this top. Its fitted but not super tight, and while I should have used a fabric with a little more stretch than this brown one has, it still turned out really well. I’m also loving that I have a waist again and minimal love handles! I also may need to buy new jeans soon, so this may be a good time to try out that pants pattern I have and see if I can manage a pair of jeans too.

I’m giving the version of the top with the cowl neck the same rating as the version without it, but please do take the time to make the markings on the fabric and notches for the cowl pieces- I didn’t thinking it was so simple as to be impossible to screw up, stitched the wrong edges of the cowl, and found the open edges were much longer then the neckline was. Picking stitches out of a knit is not a fun thing to have to do, so pay attention to the markings and you’ll be fine.

I still have one more version of this top to make. I had planned in my mock-ups to do 2 scoop-necked tanks, and one long-sleeves cowl-necked version, but I think my final version of this pattern will be the long-sleeves scoop neck instead. I have the fabric picked out for t- its an olive drab. I might also make another version of what I have done already out of a super fun print I bought ages ago, but stupidly bought a very tiny cut. I think I have enough for this one.

Yesterday I posted that I was working on Kwik Sew 3740. I had planned on showing you two versions of that top today, but by 9:30am it was stifling hot in my craft room so I only got this blue version finished. I do really like how it turned out though, save for some minor stitch in the ditch issues. I finally figured out as I was attached the last piece of binding that if I slowed my sewing way, way down, I could stay almost perfectly in the ditch.

Don’t mind my ridiculous sunglasses- I bought three pair off of eBay a week ago and these ones are not the most ridiculous of the bunch. I also got pink cat’s eye frames, ad some black frames the same as these ones.

KS3740-front

 

I also used black thread on this, which really isn’t as noticeable as I was afraid it would be, mainly due to most of the stitching being “in the ditch.” The Kelly green half circle skirt is something I made a few weeks ago to wear with this top to Tracy and David’s BBQ. I think I looked a bit like a Christmas tree but I went with it because I liked it.

 

You’ll have to excuse my wrinkles- we literally had just come home form a movie and lunch right before I took these pictures. We saw After Earth, which was decent, but I guess its being touted as a total flop. When I walked into the movies and handed the girl our tickets, she looked right at me, and I quote- “OMG! You look beautiful!” Totally unexpected but very welcome compliment. After we had lunch we ran to the store for a few things and a little girl complimented my shoes as well. 😀

greenearrings

 

This pic is silly, but I wanted to show you guys my earrings- these are some I made, and I have two pair of them available in my Etsy shop right now for $5.00 a pair. They’re made with lime green glass beads with white polka dots, and green Swarovski crystals at the tops.

Anyway, Kwik Sew 3740 View B is a super easy pattern, and if I had done it all at once, probably would have taken me about 70 minutes from pinning the pattern down to finishing sewing it. As I said up there, I had some issues staying in the ditch when doing the edge bindings, but no real issues on this one.

A little while back, I posted these mock-ups. I wanted to add some basic pieces to my wardrobe, things I can wear with pretty much anything, and had selected a few patterns to do that with. Yesterday evening while we were out with Mattie’s dad and brother, I received my latest (and last for a while) package from Fabric.com. The box contained 8 cuts of fabric, including some bright turquoise velvet, black lace, royal blue and chocolate brown slinky knits, an olive drab knit, some dark blue stretch denim, and some light tan twill, both of which will make me some pants. I also got this crazy orange, yellow, black and white striped knit which I have fun plans for. But, if you peeked at the post I just linked, you’d know that. 🙂

Tonight I worked on two sewing projects. One was a plastic bag dispenser I started the other day made out of what was left of the two pink fabrics I made the reversible skirt and the reversible purse out of, and the other was a tank top using the Kwik Sew 3740 pattern I got in my box from Fabric.com last night. I try to use up as much of my scraps as I can, but even with using the majority of them, I still end up with tons to send to Donna every once in a while. She can use much smaller pieces then I can, and I’m glad to send them to her as I get a bunch of them together.

I actually had to tear the plastic bag dispenser halfway apart before I could finish it because I did two things in the reverse order of how I should have done them (its been a long time since I’ve made one) so had to rip out a lot of stitches and do things the right way. Next time, if I make one in the near future, I’ll remember how not to put them together.

Qwik Sew 3740 View B is a basic tank top. There’s nothing really special about it, but as I said, I need some more basics in my closet, and having a handful of simple tank tops fits in with that. I have two that I purchased at Target a few years back, one in bright pink and one in black, and I’m planning on making this pattern twice, one in royal blue and one in chocolate brown. I got as far as cutting the pieces for the blue version, stitching the front and back together, and stitching on the neck binding. Tomorrow I will add the armhole binding, and hem the bottom of it. Then if its not too hot in my craft room, I’ll be working on the brown version of the top as well. Either way I will have something to show you tomorrow evening- I still have a skirt I made a week or so ago that I haven’t shared.

I am also going to try to refashion an old shirt someone gave me that just fits badly into something wearable using this pattern. I will probably have to make a few minor changes, such as hemming the arm and neck holes rather then using binding, but I think there’s enough fabric to do it otherwise.

Anyway, that’s all for now. See you guys tomorrow with photos!