Chi Town Skirt in Corduroy for The Fabric Guys

In an effort to spark some motivation to sew, I put together a small sewing plan to round out my fall wardrobe. I included a Chi Town Skirt, a couple pairs of pants and some easy to make tops.

I’m working through the bottoms slowly and have pretty much given up on the idea of making the tops. I guess making a plan didn’t really work to get the fires lit under my sewjo after all.

 

I did add a wonderful rust corduroy skirt to my wardrobe though. Here’s a sneak peek of the Corduroy Chi Town skirt that I made for the Sewcial Network blog featuring corduroy from The Fabric Guys. You can read the full details here.

 

 

On the topic of corduroy, I needed a refresher on sewing with it, so I compiled all the tips I gathered up into one helpful post to share. Click through to see.

11 Tips for Sewing with Corduroy

Until next time,

Melissa E of mahlicadesigns

CHENILLE Sweater for Minerva

My fabric stash and my dresser drawers can attest to the fact that charcoal grey knit is my spirit fabric. I’m sticking to what I love with the grey sweater knit fabric that I chose to make a Chenille Sweater from Kommatia Patterns (now Studio Calicot).

Today you can read about the Chenille that I made for the Minerva blog. You can see the full details here.

Until next time,

Melissa E of mahlicadesigns

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ITS Spotlight on the Hepburn Turtleneck

Today I’m contributing to the ITS Spotlight September with three versions of the Hepburn Turtleneck from Itch to Stitch (ITS). I made my Hepburns in three fabric types to show off the different looks you can achieve with one well designed pattern. (Keep reading for tour details, a discount code, and a giveaway)

Version 1: Ribbed Knit.  Horizontal Stretch: 100%  Vertical Stretch: 60%  Weight: 9 oz.  Cotton/Rayon/Spandex Blend

My first attempt at sewing with knits about 8 years ago was with a ribbed knit on my sewing machine. I had no idea what I was doing and the result was a complete fiasco. I haven’t touched ribbed knit again until this project.

With a little bit of experience under my belt I had a few ideas on how to do it better. I spent a little time tweaking my overlocker settings trying to get them right. I felt like I was circling around my target but not hitting the bulls eye.

Finally I just googled for some suggestions. I got lucky when the first place I looked was using my exact machine. When I  adjusted the settings to match up to Indie Sews’ recommendations, overlocking in direction of greatest stretch worked perfectly. I then adjusted the differential feed back toward the 1 setting (feed dogs moving equally) when overlocking along the grainline. I used my walking foot and a lengthened zigzag stitch on my regular sewing machine for the hems.

Rib knit conquered !

Version 2: Sweater knit. Horizontal Stretch: 95% Vertical Stretch: 25% light weight.

I’ve sewn with this sweater knit before (here), so I was able to knock it out on my overlocker and then using a walking foot and lengthened zigzag stitch for the hems on my sewing machine. I think I need to pair this one with a cardigan to get a professorial look.

Version 3: Double Brushed Poly. Horizontal Stretch: 100% Vertical Stretch: 75% light weight. 100% Polyester.

I made this one specifically for layering. I think it will look great with my cardigans without being bulky and as a base layer for some outdoor winter activities.

The Pattern Hepburn Turtleneck from Itch to Stitch made in a straight size 8.

The Hepburn is on SALE TODAY ONLY as part of the ITS Spotlight Tour. Use code 916itsblogtour25 to save 25% off the Hepburn Turtleneck. To find more patterns on sale, visit all of today’s bloggers. Check the tour every day, for daily discounts.

The Fabrics Striped rib knit and double brushed poly from Boho fabrics. Grey sweater knit from DG Patterns.

I modeled my Hepburns with my well loved Lindy Petal skirt and Liana Jeans both from Itch to Stitch.

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through my links, I get a small commission to help pay for my sewing hobby.

The ITS September Spotlight Itch to Stitch Blog Tour features these talented sewists:

September 16th 
September 17th 
September 18th 
September 19th 
September 20th 

Visit our Sponsors and enter our Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of 2 amazing prize packages:

Prize # 1
Itch to Stitch: 3 PDF patterns of choice
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D&H Fabrics Co: $50 Store Credit
Simply By Ti: Prize of $20 Store Credit

So Sew English Fabrics: Prize of $40 Store Credit
Sly Fox Fabrics: $25 Store Credit

Prize #2
Itch to Stitch: 3 PDF patterns of choice
Beautiful Textiles: $100 Store Credit
D&H Fabrics Co: $50 Store Credit
Surge Fabric Shop: $20 Store Credit
Knitpop: $50 Knitcoin Credit

Sew Long Summer, Hello Astoria and Pirate Pencil

I say Sew Long Summer by sewing up new fall outfits. My newest outfit is the Astoria Sweater from Seamwork Magazine and the Pirate Pencil Skirt from Patterns 4 Pirates.

I knew they would make a colorful fall outfit that I can also leverage for my business casual office. (Oh hey, keep reading to learn about the Sew Long Summer blog tour)

The Astoria

This is my first time trying a pattern from Seamwork magazine. My first impression of the Astoria was it’s overkill of information except for an accurate description of the two versions. I had to dig to find that the versions are long sleeve and 3/4 sleeve. (The 3/4 sleeve descriptor is actually on the pattern piece inventory- nowhere else) I made a straight size Med per my measurements and I’d say it’s a good fit.

The Pirate Pencil Skirt

The Pirate Pencil is a free pattern, but is not lacking in the time and effort put into regular quality patterns. My only critique is that the print instructions don’t have you print pages 18 & 23 for the above knee version. You will need them. The only thing I’d change is adding a little length for next time.

I used stash fabrics to make both pieces; a striped ponte knit to make up the Pirate Pencil and a textured double knit for the Astoria.

Thanks for reading today.

 

The full tour includes these talented sewists, so I hope you’ll follow along and comment on their posts this week.

Sept. 9th   Sewing A La Carte,  mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Sewing With Sarah

Sept. 10th The Bear and Pea Atelier, Auschick Sews, Stitched by Jennie, Miss Marah Sewn

Sept. 11th Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, A Rose Tinted World, mahlicadesigns

Sept. 12th Little Heart Threads, Lulu and Celeste, The Crafting Fiend, Fils Anddraps

Sept. 13th  Petite Font, Sew 4 Five, The Sewing Scientist, Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, Kitty Makes It

You can follow me on instagram, Bloglovin, or by entering your email in the right side bar.

Viewridge top- pattern review

This spring I’m finally getting around to starting in on those woven tanks I’ve been meaning to make for the last three summers. It feels like I have oodles of patterns in the stash to try, but I’m starting with the Viewridge Top from Straight Stitch Designs that I won in last year’s Indie Pattern month on The Monthly Stitch.

 

I like loose fitting tops for summer, but gathers and pleats seem to add too much volume at the bust for my taste. The Viewridge does have small gathers at the front, but I think they are nicely balanced by structured side and yoke pieces.

Viewridge view B includes small gathers at center front. Photo from Straight Stitch Designs

The Viewridge should be pretty easy for an advanced beginner sewist due to the use of bias tape to finish the neckline and arm hole and making even gathers. Even so, I managed to make it difficult on myself. I didn’t press my fabric when I pulled it back out of my stash. Slightly wrinkled shifty and slippery rayon wovens are not fun to cut and I ended up with one piece slightly off grain. I definitely had some hair pulling as I tried to figure out why one piece ended up slightly lopsided (because it was off grain and wrinkly) and how to fix it.

As I was working through that, Rachel of Oakblue Designs was sharing her success in cutting the same type of fabric after treating it with a spray stabilizer. Noted.

I also found a small error on the pattern at the shoulder. The pattern marking doesn’t line up. Use them to help you know which pieces go together, but you’ll be fine lining up these pieces without them.

 

The Pattern: Viewridge Top from Straight Stitch Designs, view B in size 10 and shortened 2in at the adjustment line. I chose a size 10 based on my 37.5in bust measurement. The pattern instructions suggest that for larger cups sizes to try one size larger for the front pattern pieces than you use for the back pieces. I stuck with a straight 10 and feel like it fits well.  Overall I give the pattern an A, the instructions are well put together and the pattern is well drafted. That one misaligned pattern marking is easily overcome.

The Fabric: I picked up this floral rayon a year or so ago at Joann Fabrics. It’s beautiful and unfortunately it was only available for a moment.

 

As always, thanks for reading today.

You can follow me on instagram, Bloglovin, or by entering your email in the right side bar.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through my links, I get a small commission to help pay for my sewing hobby.

You might like: My Ella Cami Set made in the same fabric.

 

Save For Later  Pin this image, so you can come back when you’re ready to start sewing your version.

Lily Wrap Skirt- Let’s Sew Together

Designer Stitch is developing a set of Let’s Sew Together patterns that are designed to be sewn with a novice or friend that you can help along the way and share the love of sewing with.

The concept of having a line of patterns that are beginner friendly and bring people together is so lovely and Ann of Designer Stitch really hit the mark in the first implementation of her idea- the Lily Wrap Skirt.

Lily 1

Why the Lily works.

The design is interesting with the two sides that fold over each other, reminding me of origami and there’s something about the shaping that brings to mind mathematical curves and lines.

The Lily is not only a beginner friendly pattern but it is thoughtful in its design to make it easy to help someone brand new to sewing. For example: 1. A 1/4in seam allowance is used along the curved edge with the tab. The narrower seam allowance removes the need to clip along that curve saving time and construction steps. 2. Using hook and loop as a closure is simple and easy to apply and much quicker that other types of closures.  3. The need for fitting is minimized. You may need to adjust your darts, but no alteration to fit the width of your waist or hips is needed in this design.

The Lily also works because it’s a great project to use fun fabrics with and heck, a reversible skirt is fun for all ages.

buckle close up

Take your Lily to the next level

After making the Lily, I have a few notes on how to add some of your intermediate sewing skills to the project. 1. Upgrade your closures. I used buckles and a hidden slide clasp because I’m not planning on wearing mine as reversible. Sewing with D used some really cute buttons on hers. 2. Add a facing or interface your waistband edge. The waistband is a turned over edge, I think this is probably fine for most, but I just feel like I need a little more support in my waistband.

Lily 3

How to partake in the fun without a “novice” to sew with you.

The timing wasn’t right for me to work with someone who would need a little help learning to sew the Lily skirt, so I explored two other options. Firstly, I paired with Diane of Sewing with D to talk through the process using video chat in facebook messenger. Secondly, since Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This and I live in the same city, we arranged to do a sewing meet up to work on our skirts together.

In the initial chat with Diane we talked about the pattern, fabrics, and ideas we were considering. We were able to work out any questions we had about the pattern, get a second opinion about fabric choices, and of course just chat about whatever. Our second video conversation took place after we both had most of the construction completed. We talked about what we might do differently the next time we made the pattern, shared pictures of button and buckles we were deciding on and gave our opinions, and of course more sewing chit-chat. Most of my sewing friends are online, so I really liked having the video chats with Diane, whom I’d been acquainted with for some time, but never actually spoken to or met with in person.

Meeting with Elizabeth in person was another fun way to work on the project. We shared some tea and cinnamon rolls and then as two moms with limited sewing time are want to do, got right down to the business of sewing. Now neither Elizabeth or I need hand holding, but it is really nice to be able to say “what are you doing here”, or “how are you coming along on this step” and so on. So much better than talking to myself in my sewing room.

Thanks Elizabeth and Diane for being my sewing buddies on this project!

Lily 2

The Pattern: Lily Wrap Skirt in size 4. I shortened mine by 4in to hit above my knee.

The Fabric: Navy cotton sateen and a cotton wax print from my stash.

 

As always, thanks for reading today.

You can follow me on instagram, Bloglovin, or by entering your email in the right side bar.

This post may contain affiliate links, if you purchase through my links I get a small commission to help pay for my sewing hobby.

Save For Later

Pin this image, so you can come back when you’re ready to start sewing your version.

Breaking Ground with the Tracey Bee Top

I’m Breaking Ground with the Tracey Bee Top from new to me Seen & Sewn Patterns. I’m also hoping to break out of my ongoing sewing funk by using some energizing colors for spring in the midst of our ice and snow. (Oh hey, keep reading for tour details and to enter the giveaway)

 

What I like most about the Tracey Bee are the insert details. These create interesting design lines if you sew it up in a solid fabric and opportunities to mix fabrics if you like colorblocking.

I made my Tracey Bee with a rayon challis type of fabric. The drape is wonderful, but it did get a little clingey with static around my waist. Instead of a double fold hem, I decided to use a cotton bias binding and that seems to have helped the fabric stand away from my skin enough to resolve the problem.

 

The Pattern: Tracey Bee Top** in size L, cropped view. Due to the challenge of sewing inserts, I’d recommend this top for an advanced beginner or above. Other than the challenge inserts can offer, the pattern goes together easily. There was a small mismatch at the side seam when the dart was folded, so I sewed the dart at half the width and that resolved the mismatch and didn’t affect the fit for me in the least. (the designer is checking the pattern to correct).

The Fabric: Rayon woven paired with scraps of teal eyelet from the ole stash.

 

I’m still having a hard time getting excited about a next sewing project, but starting with fabrics in my stash that do give me some energy is a good strategy. I do wish it was warm enough to wear my spring projects instead of just looking at them.

The Braking Ground Blog Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 11That’s Sew Lily, Sewing A La Carte, Mijn 11jes & ik

Tuesday March 12mahlicadesigns, Embrace Everyday, Jot Designs, auschick sews, Raising Stripling Warriors

Wednesday March 13Musings of A Seamstress, Very Blissful, Sew4Five, Just Sew Something, Hazelnut Handmade, Crafting Through Time, Tales From A Southern Mom

Thursday March 14Make It Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier, Ronda B Handmade, SequioaLynn Sews, Sewing with D, The Sewing Goatherd, OOYAmade, My Golden Thimble, Custom Made by Laura

Friday March 15–  Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, Sewing Novice, Ronda B Handmade, Momma Bear Sews, MeMade, My Golden Thimble, Lulu & Celeste

Breaking News: our tour sponsor Phat Quarters is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!

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We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2019 across social media.

As always, thanks for reading today.

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through my links, I get a small commission to help fund for my sewing hobby.