Results tagged “Patterns” from Fabric.com Blog
I love Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross because the projects look like a lot of fun, the pictures are gorgeous and the idea of projects whipped up over the weekend is great for busy sewers. However, I have learned to take this book with a grain of salt and always make a muslin. I have discovered from my previous projects that many of the projects in this book are ill-fitting and poorly graded. If you will remember the Flower Girl dress made with Liberty Art fabric. It was gorgeous but not sized correctly. After I made the size 2 and it didn't fit, I checked the gradations for the bigger sizes and they were too small as well. Then there was the Kimono dress from Dupioni Silk which called for the wrong drape of fabric and the overlap of the dress was all wrong. Now I have gone for the Guest Slipper because they are a great gift idea and should be very easy to make for friends and family. Umm, wrong again. These slippers are great gifts ideas and easy to make up... with my modifications! If you make them according to the book (which I did first) they will be:
Heel before modification
Heel after modification
1) Too small
2) The heel is too low and slips off
3) No fun because the sole is too thick and then you have to hand sew it on
Bah Humbug! To make these slippers fun and fitting, follow these steps:
First, I used some super soft flannel for the exterior to keep tootsies warm in the cold months. Second, I added ¾ in. to the length of the upper and 1 whole inch to the height of the back of the upper (see photos).
I did not modify the sole pattern piece at all. I only cut out 1 sole for the lining and 1 for the exterior, out of Micro Suede, and I interfaced the lining sole with fusible fleece for comfort. Next I assembled my slipper in 2 different ways, and you can decide for yourself which you prefer. For my muslin, I stitched the uppers together at the heel as per the pattern but then I stitched the uppers to the soles for both the lining and the exterior. I added the elastic to the seam allowance of the exterior and the loop to the lining. Then I stitched the exterior to the lining leaving a gap for turning. Turned and pressed the slipper open and topstitched around the edge. Since this was my muslin I didn't add the rick rack because I wanted to see how my assembly and the fit worked out first.
My second mode of assembly is faster but leaves the seam allowance visible inside the slipper but the edges can be pinked, serged or zigzagged for a more professional finish. This second method is more similar to the pattern as well. I stitched the uppers together at the heel and then stitch the lining and exterior uppers together and added the elastic. I then basted the exterior sole to the lining sole, wrong sides facing. With the slipper turned inside out I stitched the upper to the sole with the exterior sole face up and the upper lining side facing out. Then I trimmed the seam and turned the slipper right side out.
The first method eliminates a seam showing but makes it more difficult to add rick rack, elastic and loop but leaves a very nice finish. The second method just changes the end of assembly but there is no need to top stitch and who looks inside a slipper anyway.
All in all this is a good book with many good projects, the slipper among them. Just be sure you make a muslin and be prepared to modify. I recommend both the flannel and micro suede as they are great additions to this project. The micro suede inhibits slipping and looks good. The flannel is just right for hardwood floors on cold mornings.
For some reason I cannot fathom a useful tool has fallen by the wayside of late, the pencil case. I, myself, have stopped using them but no longer. I am tired of searching my purse, knitting bag and diaper bag for the elusive pen or pencil. I am sure that your school age children are no different. Who doesn't want a one stop shop for all their writing utensils, in an easy to tote package that can be identified by touch and grabbed with ease. I DO! So in honor of September and the Back to School Season, I have crafted an easy but super chic and fun lined pencil case. These pencils cases make great gifts for teachers, neighbors, September birthday party gifts and quick n' easy Christmas gifts. You can also whip one up to use as a clutch!
All you will need is:
¼ yd of lightweight cotton in 2 colors or prints
One ½ in. button
One spool of coordinating thread.
Download your pattern here and get cracking. In no time you will have pencil cases for your kids, your purse and maybe even just a few for fun (makeup brushes, dry erase markers, crayons to go).
Hands down, I love Coco Knits shoes patterns. Not only do they look very attractive on the pattern cover but it seems as though I learn a new technique or a different twist on an old standard with every pattern. For such conventional accessories as shoes, Coco Knits is very outside the box. I enjoy knitting these patterns. Usually while starting a new pattern that could be a challenge, I find the need to totally focus. But with the Coco Knits patterns, I am more relaxed and can engage in gossip, movies, or knit while watching my daughter play. Coco Knits are not relegated to 'Nap time only'. Now to the Prairie Boots pattern specifically. The Prairie boots ended up being super soft and comfy AND WARM. As a cold natured person (my feet are like icicles after Oct), I saw this pattern and had stars in my eyes. The finished product turned out better than I had dreamed. The chunky yarn gives a great textured look to the relatively simple stitches. The combination of garter and ribbing gives this boot a classic yet edgy look because of the structure and composition. I find that the boots look great pulled up with leggings and when you wear jeans or khakis, folded over gives the most warmth and style. Because these boots are knit with such chunky yarn, they are really cozy, like a snuggy for your feet. I love curling up on the couch to knit with these on. I find my need for a blanket has greatly decreased. Plus, at a recent holiday party at my house, a friend discovered these in my knitting bag and showed them around. Everyone wanted a pair. They were such a hit that I am planning on giving them as gifts and to those I can't get to before Christmas will be getting them as Ground Hog's day present, New Year's, or birthday gifts. I used Lion Brand's Wool Ease and it was a pleasure. The color selection is out of this world, making it easy to customize this gift for any one. Fabric.com's Bulky Yarn selection is amazing so you can make the Prairie Boot in any fiber, in any color for any loved one or just to fill your closet. Everyone knows that for a girl to truly be happy, she needs super cute slipper boots in every color to match any possible outfit selection. The buttons really add to the classic, modern look. I should also add that this pattern even fits my athletic calves so it is not just for the petite.
Now for the knitty gritty. I will be making these again, because they were so fun but also because they are so great to wear. But when I do, I think I will try using a size 9 needle for the whole boot instead of changing to a 10. The ribbing on the bottom of the boot gives lots of stretch while hugging the warmth to your feet. But I think I can still achieve this with a size 9. Should that not work on the upper boot because of the garter; I will delay the change from 9 to 10 needles until I start the garter stitch. I might try changing it up a little by making the boot taller.
p.s. I wanted you to know that these boots can handle the action so they are shot amide my daughter's toy mess. They are battle hardened and perfect for busy moms.
The perfect beginning to the fall fashion season is a good jacket and in my eyes there is no better jacket than the Midtown Trench by Indygo Junction. This was a surprisingly quick project. With all the details and beautiful flares in this pattern (large cuff, box pleats, and portrait collar) I would have thought that this was a time investment but the opposite was the case. The pattern was very well written and it seemed everything lined up and was excellently illustrated. The only trouble I had was with the hem. I ended up doing a 2.5 in. double turn hem as opposed to what was written. Also my auto buttonhole foot did not accommodate 1.25 in. buttons so I had to free hand it. I have learned that button holes are not my forte. Now buttons, I rocked those. No one sews on a button like Tara Miller. I kept the hand sewing to a minimum by doing the double turn hem and I stitched in the ditch to tack down the facings at the shoulders. That worked well. I would recommend any of our designer prints for this or smooth sateen or twill fabric. I used a size 14 needle and all purpose thread. You will need a large space to layout and cut your fabric; some of the pattern pieces are large. The fabric is Love by Amy Butler and it was great fun to work with as well. Not a big hit with the husband but all my girlfriends and mom loved it.
The top stitching incorporated in the pattern adds a lovely and professional finished. The back box pleats really add some extra swing to this jacket. The ¾ length sleeves, large cuffs and wide portrait collar are really 'on trend' but are still classics to last years. The fact that this jacket is so quick makes it easy to make several in different patterns and colors. There are 2 different versions included in the pattern. I made the shorter version without patch pockets. You can make the short for a fall jacket in some of our designer prints and the longer in laminated cotton as a great rain coat. The jacket called for 3 3/8 yd of 60 in. fabric and 3 7/8 yd of 45 in. fabric, 1/8 yd of interfacing and five 1 to 1 1/4 in. buttons. I used 5 of our ceramic buttons in a herringbone pattern. They look incredible with this print; the buttons match perfectly.
If pressed, I would call it the fabric equivalent of Ravelry. That is one way of describing Sewing Pattern Review to a 'T' but also missing it entirely. Sewing Pattern Review (SPR) has an awesomeness that is its own; this makes it a valuable tool for sewers and seamstresses. You can find pattern reviews there, sure, but you will also find reviews on sewing tools and machines, contests, forums, and online classes. It is a Girl Scout camp for the fabric minded. Before I purchased my new sewing machine (I say new but she and I have been together and happy for 3 years now) I scoured the internet for reviews. No site had more useful info than Sewing Pattern Review. If it wasn't for this gem of a site I would be shackled to another machine I had my heart set on that would have spent more time in the repair shop than my sewing room had I not read the reviews.
I have found many a good tip for a planned pattern on SPR that has saved me time, frustration and one or two times, I just put the pattern aside. When I was a beginner, it virtually held my hand while I attempted more challenging projects. I have not utilized the site as much as I should. Well, that is not true. I have used the heck outta SPR but I have not given back as I should. I only house two reviews of my own on SPR and those are just recent. But writing this blog has brought this problem to light and I will rectify it. My two patterns reviews are the Nancy Dress and the Bossa Nova Skirt. Submitting and writing your pattern is easy. There is a template you can use to write your review and you need a good picture of your finished project. Submitting your own may lead you to check out others and inspire you to make another from a fabric or with a technique you saw from another review. The same can be said for your review. Inspiration runs wild on this site so prepare your wallet and be still your heart. I would love it alone just for the window shopping. I encourage all to use this site; it is wonderful, helpful and an unending resource for all that is sewing.
I will not mince words: this will be a bittersweet review of the Serendipity Monique Dress (Bittersweet like chocolate chips. Yummy chocolate but not as smooth as milk chocolate). I will summarize than expand. I love the finished dress and I will make more in many different fabrics because the design is versatile enough to be more or less fancy depending on the fabric used (more on this below) but the pattern gave me trouble and needs some tweaking to be as easy as it should be. I give the dress an A but the pattern a C.
Let's deal with the pleasantries first since that is more fun. I love the dress. It makes me feel very pretty when I wear it. The skirt flares a little when I twirl (Bonus!). The details and embellishments included in the pattern are the cat's meow. I love how you can "choose your own adventure", if you will, with ruffles, trim, hems, and flowers. The pieced bodice option is also very fun and looks amazing. I went with Variation 4, which called for 2 fabrics. I choose a lightweight rayon blend fabric as the main fabric and Chateau Rococo by Free Spirit as the trim fabric. The fabric combo turned out much more fancy than I had anticipated from the pattern. The pattern images gives the impression of more of a sundress, fun and flirty, but I have learned that if you choose your fabrics carefully you can have a fun, casual dress (Retro & Mod quilting cotton) or a sleek cocktail dress, fit for an evening wedding (think Dupioni Silk in tonal colors). I love the versatility of this dress. The fit was another plus. I did not make any additional alterations to the pattern to fit my shape; I made the pattern as was to give a good account to you in the fit department. The dress fit exactly in the bust and waist. I was amazed. It should be noted that I am busty so if you are not, you may want to fiddle with the darts before you call the bodice finished and move onto the rest of the dress. I made a size small which was based on my measurements taken as specified in the pattern and the fit was wonderful.
Now for a quick run through of the stumbles I came across in the pattern. The front neck facing was too big and when I sewed it onto the dress, it pulled the front of the neck out for a very unsightly look (I left this intact in the pictures to give a true representation. The facing was about ¾ in. too long. Also the notches on the neck facings didn't match leaving me to refit 2-3 times before they lined up. Lastly the front and back bodice pieces do not match with the front being ½ in. too long. All problems were fixable and not huge deals but for a beginner sewer they would have been. These are also not issues I expected to have.
The hem was a good length. The overall shape of the dress was very complimentary. Oh, I almost forgot: I decided to go for the whole visible zipper as a design detail and it worked well. I really like the look. It gives a different feel to the dress in the back but you should be warned this may be a dress you need a hand to finish zipping up. That being said I can't wait to get back to my sewing room and make another!
You can see more pictures on our Facebook page!
On July 4th 1776, We the people declared independence from the British and in doing so declared war. 1783 brought this hard fought war to a victorious end thanks to the many citizens who fought and died to bring freedom to America. It is in thanks to those soldiers and to the thousands of troops today that continue to fight for freedom that this article is dedicated. But it is not through the efforts of troops alone that freedom is won and protected. It is also with the aid and support of the home front that our soldiers do their job and do it well. The making and sending of handmade goods extends back as far as war itself. Always it was families and friends conveying their love from afar. Times change but the endeavor remains the same and you can help. Knitted goods are needed and wanted by our troops overseas. Below are some items you can knit and send to our soldiers deployed to demonstrate our appreciation, respect and pride.
*Please note the colors allowed by the military are black, charcoal, brown, tan, gray or combinations of these colors.
Rowan Pure Wool DK. After checking projects on Ravelry where this yarn was used in many hats and for wee babes where the items was worn close to the skin, I can assume that it is not itchy and it is also superwash. A double bonus. Choose colors Black, Shale, Barley, Hessian, or Earth. Silk is another great cold weather fiber but it is often associated with only summer. Silk is lighter weight than wool, silky to though and quick to dry. Nashua Creative Focus can be knit up in Black, Deep Shadow, and Raw Umber.- This pattern is very popular among soldiers and knitters alike. It fits comfortably under a helmet and tucks into a coat or jacket to protect the face from extreme cold and wind. The ribbing used allows the liner to contour to the wearer's face ensuring a snug cozy fit. Be sure to use a cold weather fiber like wool or alpaca (not linen or cotton) but also something soft. Certain kinds of wool can be scratchy when worn next to the skin so take that into consideration. Also, wash ability will be something every solider will thank you for, especially if they are anything like my nose which yields to running when the weather gets cold. I recommend
Socks for Soldiers- In a land of few luxuries, a price cannot be put upon hand knit socks. Even here where a whim is just a car ride away, hand knit socks are a welcome reprieve. Sock for our soldiers was founded by a mom for her son deployed and in need of good socks. All you need is the simple pattern and some wool or wool/cotton blend. Let me recommend Rowan Wool Cotton Yarn which is a sensuous blend of merino and durable cotton. Perfect for our over worked troops in need of TLC (Choose Inki, which is black).
Afghans of Honor- Knitting for troops is not limited those in active duty. Those who are injured can be said to be even more in need of our support than those not. Afghans of Honor "reminds men and women who have stood in harm's way in defense of their country that they are appreciated and remembered". To some an afghan may be intimidating but surely the courage of a fallen solider can lend itself to the needles of a newbie afghan knitter. Each stitch can be one more stitch of comfort and one less of loneliness. With each stitch you are closer to being finished and shipping your afghan to a soldier in need. Even better, there are no restrictions on this project. Any color and pattern is accepted (but do keep your recipient in mind, kittens and puppies may not be popular). I encourage you to choose warm and inviting colors to keep spirits up. With no pattern restrictions you can be sure to choose a pattern for your level. I suggest Berroco Vintage Chunky for a quick knit in a yummy Wool/Acrylic blend or Nashua Vignette for colorwork without the work.
If knitting and witty, thoughtful writing were in a Hollywood relationship, their super annoying gossip television couple name (think Bennifer and Brangelina) would be Knitty. This is a perfect introduction to Knitty.com. It is the best of knitting without rehab, dropped stitches (well, not really. Check out their super star Clapotis) and empty coffee pots (check out their forum: the coffeeshop).
Knitty.com is a free online magazine featuring knitting based articles, fun knitting products and patterns. But is it really so much more. In every issue, roughly published 3 times a year (Winter, Spring+Summer, and Fall) are features, patterns, KnittySpin, Covet Central, Stuff to win, letters from the editors and advertising. All this in just one edition! The features, AKA the words-stuffs part of the magazine, usually include Cool Stuff: where you can find the coolest of the cool in products for knitters and crocheters. This can encompass bags, tools, books, patterns or even audio books. This is my first read when the new edition comes out and not just because it is at the top. I look forward to drooling over all the pretty that these editors have gotten to try out before the public. Often you will find solutions to problems that you didn't even consider before, just sort of lived with. Take for example the Ninja Knitting bag. I am constantly attacked by Ninjas whilst knitting but I figured it was part of the lifestyle. Now I can be prepared.
I know for a fact that Patterns is everyone first stop when Knitty hits the presses because page loading is often slow going for about 1-2 weeks after launch. While sometimes sock heavy, Knitty's patterns are never boring. Known for toeing the line, thinking outside the box or just plain fun, you will always find something to love for yourself, your wacky sister and conservative aunt. And don't forget the kids. When in need of a kid friendly project, Knitty patterns are my go-to. Each pattern is rated for difficulty, which is such a blessing. With confidence, I refer beginners of all kinds to Knitty.com to find a first pattern or a new pattern. By checking out the rating, everyone can be sure the pattern is at their level before they invest in yarn. Knitty also sticks to their standard list of abbreviation so once familiar you can tackle every pattern without learning another short-term for knit 2 together. Each pattern is also full of wonderful and descriptive pictures that are infinitely helpful when setting out on a new pattern. Plus, should you find yourself in a difficult situation, you can always depend on the good coffee drinkers in the coffeeshop, Knitty's forum.
The coffeeshop is full of helpful moderators (to keep the peace) and contributors (such as yourself). You can post comments, questions, pictures or just the latest thought in your head. If in need of help, an answer or word of encourage minutes is usually minutes away. I have never posted a question without someone replying within the hour but most times much sooner. It is a fun place to post your finished objects (FO), complain or boast about your loved one (DH), post a yarn sale, check out some new tips, find a LYS on your vacation or just hang with the other newbies or experienced knitters. Many a lunch break has been whiled away at the coffeeshop.
What may be the best feature of Knitty.com is that you can be in Knitty. Whether you want to advertise, write, have your product review or (BEST OF ALL) design a pattern for Knitty, all you must do is contact them. No agents or red tape to break through. There are rules for submission, to make it easier for them to help you, but it is so simple. Like all good things in the knitting world, it is just a bunch of knitters helping knitters. Just the thought that you could be a one design away from being published in one of the most read knitting magazines is so exciting. It is every knitter's goal.
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning about Knitty.com. I recommend you check out the archives and the coffeeshop, especially. Knitty is so much more than its latest issue. I am sure you will love it as much as I do.
*the picture is Kate, the kitten with britches. One of my faves!