Category Archives: Pattern Review

New Look 6901 Top and Portland Sewing A-line Skirt

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This is the second time I’ve made this New Look 6901 top. I love the cowl neck design. This time, I made it sleeveless, and used a double knit jersey material. Using the thicker double knit helped this pattern, because the facing isn’t long enough, so on a thinner material, the bottom of the facing sometimes flips forward. All in all, I love this pattern, and I’m sure that I will be making more knit tops with it.

This skirt is an A line skirt that I made from the Portland Sewing class called Beginning Sewing 1. It focuses on teaching you good fundamental sewing techniques, and is a 4 day class in which you sew this A line skirt. There is a centered zipper in the back, and a facing on the inside. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I personally like A line skirts a lot, and I think that with the paper fitting that we did in class, the fit turned out quite nicely.

Weekly Sewing Inspiration: Christopher Kane dress

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Every time I see a Christopher Kane dress in a magazine, I drool over it. I love the interesting fabrics that are used in the dresses, combined with a fairly simple cut that has a few interesting design elements in it.

My Christmas Wishlist


Christopher Kane winter white dress
£998 – matchesfashion.com

Jane Norman trench coat
£80 – janenorman.co.uk

BALLIN fur lined boots
£624 – farfetch.com

Matthew Williamson clutch handbag
£850 – net-a-porter.com

Linea Pelle Collection leather bangle
$40 – lpcollection.com

Betsey Johnson chain earrings
$41 – zappos.com

New Look 6028 Jacket

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I’ve made my first jacket! Since it’s now winter, I like to layer, and wanted to sew up some jackets and jersey cardigans, so that I can layer them over dresses and short sleeved shirts. But I’ve never made a jacket before, so I wanted to use a very simple pattern. I ended up choosing New Look 6028, which is a lined jacket labelled easy.

I chose to make view D.

They attach the lining by stitching it to the outer fabric along the neckline, center front, and bottom edge, and then you turn it inside out through an opening in the lining on side. It has princess seams going through the armscythe.

I bought a nice wool boucle, but wanted to make a wearable muslin first, and so I used some denim from the annex at Mill End in Beaverton, OR. And for the lining, I used some flannel. I think I must have been really cold that day, because the flannel sounded so nice and cozy.

 

 

 

The pants are the Colette Clover pants. They were my second try at making the pants, and they fit much better than my first pair. I took in the high hip point by 3/4 inch, and the low hip point by 1/4 inch, and also decreased the front crotch length by 1/2 inch.

 

And lastly, the grey double-knit shirt is New Look 6901, which is my go to pattern for cowl neck shirts.

Overall, I do like the New Look 6028 jacket. I think that it is very easy to sew, and the only hand stitching required is to attach the sleeve lining to the sleeve. Therefore, it is a very fast sew. I think that I will not make another one with this pattern, since I am taking patternmaking, and should be drafting my own jacket, and I am not completely happy with the fit here.

 

Portland Sewing #1600: Beach Pants

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Pattern Description:
These beach pants were made as a part of the Portland Sewing class, Beginning Sewing 2. They have an elastic waistband, and two back pockets. You can make them in capri length, or full length. I chose to use a hemp linen fabric from Anna Cohen which I love. I chose the fabric to be professional looking, so that I could wear these pants to work. And the shirt is the shirt that I made in beginning sewing 3.
Pattern Sizing:
This pattern comes in size 6-22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were very easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
In our class, we did paper fitting, where we used pins to pin the front and back half of the pants together, and made sure that the center front and back line are in the middle. From this paper fitting, I did make one small adjustment to the back. I liked how this pattern fit well, and it is a very easy pair of pants to make, great for your first pair.
Fabric Used:
Hemp linen from Anna Cohen.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Added some extra crotch length in the back.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would not sew it again, because I’m not a fan of elastic waistbands. But I would recommend it to others for their first pair of pants.

 

 

 

The Colette Sewing Handbook Review

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The Colette Sewing Handbook is finally here!
http://www.amazon.com/Colette-Sewing-Handbook-Techniques-Seamstress/dp/1440215456/

I received this book in the mail two nights ago, and finished reading it last night. I loved it! It starts with the basics, covering the different tools required for effective sewing. It then goes through planning your wardrobe, and how to determine what your style is. It talks about how to fit patterns to your own body, and talks about different construction techniques, and reviews different seam finishes. It has five very cute patterns in it, from skirts, to tops, to dresses.

Here’s a picture of the Taffy blouse and the Meringue skirt.

 

My favorite chapter is Chapter 2, which talks about planning your wardrobe. She talks about how it’s a bad idea to just randomly pick a pattern and fabric, without thinking about how it fits into your wardrobe. There are so many times that I’ve made a garment that I never wear. She talks about picking the items in your wardrobe that you really love, and figuring out why you love them so much.  She goes into planning your fall and spring wardrobes, and having a clear idea about what pieces you would like to make to complete your wardrobe, BEFORE you go pattern and fabric shopping.

I love the tips that she gives for different construction techniques, like how you can machine sew a dress lining to the zipper tape of your invisible zipper. I will definitely be referring to this book for tips like this when I am sewing up my patterns.

I don’t think that I will be making any of these patterns. I find that the dresses and tops are a little too exposed, and I like my necklines to be quite high. Also, because it’s winter right now, I can’t imagine making a sleeveless party dress. But I will definitely be referring to this book for the techniques, which she does an excellent job of explaining in a lot of detail with excellent photos.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to both beginning and intermediate sewers. One last comment is that this book is gorgeous, and has a coil binding which makes it very easy to lay flat.

Vogue Dress V1250

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Pattern Description:
Close-fitting dress with a draped front.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it did.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the innovative layout of the piece, but it did make it difficult to modify, since it’s all cut in one piece.
Fabric Used:
Poly-lycra knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would consider sewing it again, but would want the neckline to be slightly higher.
Conclusion:
Gorgeous dress pattern, and I really enjoyed making it. I wore this dress to my friend Norm’s wedding in Ottawa.

 

 

 

Colette Patterns: Clover Pants

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Colette Patterns hosted a Clover pants sewalong, which started on October 4th. The Clover pants pattern is a slim fitting pant, with a side zipper, and is designed for stretch materials.

http://www.colettepatterns.com/shop/clover
The instructions for sewing were very easy to follow, but the fitting adjustments posted on her blog were extremely useful. I don’t fit well into ready to wear jeans and pants, because I have a big butt and small waist, so I always have major gaposis happening. Therefore, I was super excited about following along on the sew along, and learning how to make fit adjustments. I made two muslins, and after that, realized that I would need to be making a lot more adjustments, and so I decided to switch to using Swedish tracing paper, which can be sewed. I then started making adjustments on the Swedish tracing paper, and sewing that up (only one half, since it’s just one front and one back piece), and then making sure that the center front and center back were exactly in the center, and then making sure that the waistline was at a correct height.

I ended up making a full butt adjustment:
http://www.coletterie.com/sewalongs/clover-sewalong-full-or-flat-butt-adjustments
and a small waist adjustment:
http://www.coletterie.com/sewalongs/clover-sewalong-large-or-small-waist-adjustment
I started with smallish adjustments, like half an inch, and then increased as necessary. Here is the picture of the adjustments I ended up making.

Since I adjusted the pattern so much, the waistband also needed to be adjusted. I measured the final top length of my back and front waistline, following the curve and subtracting the darts, and figured out that I needed a size 12 front waistband, and a size 0 back waistband.
On my finished pants, I am super happy with how well the top fits me. I think that overall the fit is too baggy. So I think that my modified pattern could work well with a non-stretch woven fabric, but that if I was to make another pair of stretch pants, then I could probably start 2 sizes lower, and make the same adjustments.