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’ve sewn KS1425 before, twice, actually, but its such a comfy, casual style and I wanted to sew it again. I traced the patter sizes I’d previously cut out to a larger size (boo! weight gain!) and I started cutting. I was proud of myself because I graded things perfectly and all my pieces lined up just right. Of course this top has 4 pieces, plus the little strips across the back, so there’s not a lot to it. I didn’t take process photos but there’s not a lot to see in this one anyway.

Afterwards, I took some photos wearing it, along with the red pants from my previous post. The pants are kind of growing on me, and as I said, they are super comfortable. I’m thinking  after looking at these photos, maybe they aren’t so bad.

Here we go! Picture time!

3

 

I’m still not 100% crazy about the fit in the front but I’ve gone over several fitting cheat sheets and there’s nothing super glaringly wrong with them. They’ve just kind of loose which I’m not sure to, though as I said, I like the rear fit okay.

4

 

So, new top, and the final view of the red pants. I’ll hopefully be posting new projects soon. I have some crazy stuff in mind!

Back in October, I sewed View B from Kwik Sew 1425 out of a wild pink and black knit that I loved. I decided this Wednesday evening to sew up View C, which is identical except for having a cross-cross detail on the back. I did make a few minor changes to the pattern, and I will list them off.

  • I added a band to the bottom hemline. I laid my pieces out and planned to make the shirt a few inches longer when cutting, then I spaced out and cut it as is. The band was added to the bottom hem to both add length, and I first ran elastic through it, which I ended up pulling out because I just didn’t like it.
  • I hemmed the neckline and sleeves edges rather than use the binding method suggested by the pattern. This was due to finding that the fabric I used, while stretchy, was not stretchy enough to make use of the binding strips as I cut them. Instead of re-cutting them a few inches longer, I just hemmed the raw edges instead.
  • I added 6 criss-cross bands instead of just the required 2 pieces. I may have gotten a little crazy there but I think it was a fun add-on and super easy.

Other than those two things, I followed the directions as they were. Yes, this is a traffic cone orange t-shirt. Its super, super bright, but the light pointelle jersey is so super airy and breathable and so comfortable to wear I can forgive its ridiculously bright color.

KS1425ViewC

 

When talking to Tracy last night, I noted I am wearing a lot more bright colors than I ever have. A few years ago there is no way I would have worn a top like this, or some of the other brighter colors I’ve sewn things up in. My Kelly green half circle skirt? No way! My white birds t-shirt? Nope. I didn’t wear white, ever.

Another thing I did yesterday was fix the quick strap I made to pull my bra strap down a bit for those tops and dresses with low backs. You’ve probably seen the fix on Pinterest in a dozen places, and while I made my own hardware clip to put on the elastic, the effect is the same, just cheaper.

lowbackstrap

 

Sorry about the great view of my fat! I’ve lost a lot of weight but still have a ways to go! Anyway, this fix would probably work better on someone thinner, because as we get smaller, our narrowest waist point tends to be lower, and that’s where the elastic ends up- at your narrowest point. I’m heavier and my natural wait is higher so this doesn;t make a big dramatic change n my bra strap location, but it does pull it down just enough.

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?

As you’ve seen, I’ve been working on a truly hideous, absolutely tacky gold lame’ blouse for an 80’s party we were invited to on the 3rd. I am using Kwik Sew 1262, and I posted pics a little way back of the shell without sleeves, but hadn’t gotten much further. Anyway, a few days ago I thankfully finished the blouse. Its not that it was a difficult pattern to sew, or that I was having trouble. Its that the gold lame’ fabric is horrible to work with, and it sheds tinsel everywhere. Anyway, I got it done but was stumped about what to do for my bottom half. Then my good friend Tracy suggested white vinyl for a skirt (I had already decided on a mini) and I was off to Walmart with my last $10 to see what they had. Turns out they only had browns and black vinyls, but I came home with some white satin instead.

ks1262front

 

I busted out the pattern I used for the skirt I sewed and posted about yesterday, and making a few small changes (I added 2.5″ to the hemline and completely lined it because my fabric was thinnish) and left off the flounce. I sewed my zipper in more than once but the final outcome is one i am very pleased with and it went in pretty much perfectly.

ks1262back

 

My entire outfit costs me less than $25 including the cost of the patterns, and only took about 2 hours total to sew them up.

I’ll be doing crimped hair, colorful make up and big bold jewelry, though I may still need to make my jewelry. The blouse is hideous. I will probably bury it in my closet and ignore it forever after this, but for the party, its just right. The skirt I will hopefully get to wear again, as I quite like it.

KS1262Mattie and I were invited to an 80’s themed party later on this month, which gave me something new to work on in my sewing room. I thumbed through my pattern stash, looked at dozens of options online, and after not finding anything I really liked that was available within a size or two of what I needed, I decided to go with Kwik Sew 1262 View A from my stash. This is  pretty basic pullover blouse with a tie detail at the neck, and its construction is pretty simple. Of course I decided to go all out 80’s and buy gold lamé too sew it in, which I started to regret as soon as I started cutting the fabric.

I really like the slightly puffed sleeves and the tie neck detail, and I can honesly se this making a very wearable top in a more durable fabric. The gold lamé though- I’ll probably wear it once or twice and at some point it will vanish from my wardrobe in a fit of frustration.

I did about half of the sewing on it this evening, constructing the main part of the blouse, and tomorrow I will hopefully get to the sleeves and hemming it. I had originally planned to do a skirt with a matching gold lamé ruffle but at this point, I’m thinking I’ll just skip the ruffle and do a floral print mini instead. I’d at least like the skirt to be wearable for normal every day use even if the blouse is not.

IMAG1017Here’s my thoughts on this fabric and why I can happily go to my grave if I never have to sew anything with it again.

Pros

  • It’s super shiny and fun
  • It’s lightweight

Cons

  • It’s polyester so probably does not breathe for shit
  • Its like sewing aluminum foil- every pin prick and ruffling of the fabric shows. I am living in terror that I will have to rip out a seam and it will leave the fabric full of pin holes.
  • Its slippery and hard to keep moving evenly and constantly wants to pucker.

I’m sure I will have more thoughts on it as I work towards finishing the blouse, but that’s all for now. Gold lamé, you suck!

KS1425I recently bought a small stack of 1980’s Kwik Sew patterns of of eBay. I don’t usually go for the 80’s, but there were a few that were super cute and the price was right. I didn’t have any immediate plans for them, but figured something would pop up in my fabric stash that would go with one of them.

The last few days I’ve been picking out pieces of fabric, either stuff I honestly can’t fathom why I ever bought it, or large remnants from past projects to list of eBay. While I was sorting through it all, I came across a piece of fabric that had so far proven too small to use for anything. I fell in love with it and ordered the very last 1.5 yards a few years ago, but I didn’t want to make a tank top, and so far that was my only real option aside from a top I had just made a few days previously and I didn’t think that fabric was right for it.. Then I realized Kwik Sew 1425 only uses a little over a yard of fabric. I decided to sew view B, but without using contrasting fabric for the sleeves, which makes it the same as view C, without the straps in the back.

KS1425FrontThe entire project took about 2 hours from start to finish, mainly because I had to rip out a couple of seams. I say its because I used a perfectly matched thread color- if I had used a contrasting thread, there would have been no mistakes, and everything would have gone perfectly. I also finished the neckband and sleeve ends a bit differently from the instructions. I used a size Large.

I’m very pleased with the outcome, though if I make it again I’d add a few inches to the bottom. I didn’t hem the bottom edge because if I had, this would nearly be a belly shirt, and I didn’t want that. I also really like my fabric choice for this. I also like the way the back is low, but not bra-strap-showingly low. Its a nice scoop and contrast to the high neckline in the front.

Excuse the face I’m making and the yoga pants. I usually take photos with my good camera and a tripod, but my camera died, and Mattie apparently doesn’t know to take the picture when I’m not making faces. I figure I was lucky to get him to snap them at all. :p I’m pretty sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this top though, even if I was making faces for the photos.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of the fabrics I’m selling, you can see my eBay auctions here. I also have several patterns listed eBay and in my shop. I unfortunately had my glasses break and also had to order new contacts- an almost $300 expense I had to charge because I had no other way to pay for it. Please check out my items for sale and if any appeal to you, grab them! I would greatly appreciate it, and would love to be able to pay for my eye gear sooner rather than later!

KS1425Back

This was a super friendly pattern and really easy to put together, save for me not paying attention and stitching a few things together backwards. I definitely recommend it to the beginner sewer.

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.