My Montavilla Dress for Minerva

I’ve been on a small Sew House Seven sewing kick for a while. I’ve made up the Free Range Slacks, a short sleeve Merlo Field tee, and an Underwood Tank and Dress. I’m sure I’ll be making another Toaster Sweater soon too.

Today I’d like to give you a look at my latest Sew House Seven creation, the Montavilla Dress that I made for the Minerva blogger network. You can read the full details here.

Until next time,

Melissa E of mahlicadesigns

Layered V-Neck Tutorial from mahlicadesigns

I ran across a picture of a v-neck tee a while back that had a double layered neck band and added it to my collection of interesting clothing details to try someday. Unlike most things in my little collection, I did spend some time working this one out using the Tabor V-neck pattern and I’ve put together a tutorial to share with you.

For my layered V-neck I used oatmeal Baby French Terry from Simply By Ti. The baby french terry is light enough to drape nicely in the Tabor and there’s barely any bulk in the double layered neckband. When choosing fabric for your project, experiment by folding layers together to see if you like how they look.

I’m really happy with the overall look I achieved with the layered neckband and this color has been a very useful addition to my wardrobe. If I were to do it again though, I might not use the Tabor pattern combined with this technique. The V on the Tabor is pretty deep and using a narrower band than the pattern calls for at the center front makes me feel a little exposed.

Maybe, but probably not, I’ll put on the wider band that the Tabor calls for (because I love this top) and make another layered V-neck using another pattern.

Layered V-Neck Tutorial

The measurements provided are based on the Tabor V-neck size 8. As a guideline, the outerband should come down and cover approximately 2/3 the length of the front of your v-neck, shoulder to center front. My innerband starts at the shoulder and goes to center front. You can also cut the inner band to fit the entire neckband if you are not concerned about bulk.
You can adapt the technique to your favorite V-neck tee pattern, but you’ll need to adjust the band lengths I’ve given to fit.

Cut your custom bands:

Innerband cut 2:   2.25in X 14in    (3/4in finished width)

Outerband cut 1:   3in X 25in    (1 1/8in finished width)

Interface the center V on the bodice of your tee and sew the front and back together at the shoulders.

Apply fusible web along the short ends of the outerband piece. Fold back the short ends wrong sides together by 1/2in and press to secure with the fusible web.

Mark the center (center back) and mark the shoulder seams 5in away from center back on the outerband.

Sew the innerband pieces together forming a V at center front. Using a 3/8in seam allowance, insert and baste the innerband into place along the V. Don’t baste the entire length of the inner bands, just a few inches around the center V.

Starting at center back, leaving the outerband unfolded, pin the single layer of the outerband in place along the neckline. Stretch the outerband slightly as you pin in place from center back to the shoulder seam. The bands don’t need to be eased in from shoulder to center front.

Next, pin the innerband in place along the bottom portion of the neckline up to the shoulder seam. The innerband should overlap the single layer of the outerband.  Trim away any excess length of the inner band that extends past the shoulder seam.

Lastly, fold over the outerband, sandwiching the innerband within and repin all layers as needed along the entire neckline. Remember the outerband is eased slightly between the shoulders and center back.

If you want to check your proportions first, baste the entire neck band into place (innerband and outerband now functioning as one unit) using a 3/8in seam allowance.

Sew/serge your layered neckband into place using 3/8in seam allowance. Complete the construction of your tee per the pattern instructions.

As always, thanks for reading today.

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You might also like: Tabor V-Neck and Lander shorts

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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
Raspberry Creek Fabrics: $100 Store Credit
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

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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.