Monday, March 18, 2019

Totally Not The TNT Top - Simplicity 1325

Pattern: Simplicity 1325 (2014)

Pattern Description: Long-sleeve crew-neck top, flared jumper dress or tunic with plunging v-neck, pants, and long sleeve jacket with ribbon detail. Pattern by In K Designs. View A.

Pattern Sizing: R5 (14-16-18-20-22) I cut an 18.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, but only after many alterations.


Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, it's a very simple top. Nothing new.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I have a TNT top pattern (New Look 6838) but I was curious to try something new. I liked the extra long sleeves.



Fabric Used: 59" Sew Classics interlock (60% cotton, 40% polyester) in Ponderosa from Jo-ann Fabrics, Wright's non-shrink rayon seam binding in Navy 55 (vintage), Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Spruce #748


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Before I cut out the fabric I compared this pattern with my TNT (New Look 6838). The main difference was that the back pattern piece in NL6838 is two pieces to allow for swayback reduction, so I transferred the curved back center seamline. For some reason, this top turned out much larger than desired even though an earlier comparison of the pattern pieces didn't seem that far off. To remedy this, I recut the side seams to match those of the TNT pattern. So basically, I should have used that pattern to begin with!

I stitched on the neckband but then found the neckline too high, especially in the back. It was also too loose, so I again turned to my TNT to correct it. I altered the neckline to halfway between this pattern's crew/scoop neck and the other's boatneck. However, I did not cut and make a new neckband. Therefore, by cutting a lower neckline and making the circumference longer yet still using that smaller band I was able to cinch and tighten the neckline. I added some subtle interest by topstitching the band with a row of zigzag stitches.


I found the original length too long and cut off 1.5 inches. The sleeves were meant to be extra long to bunch at the wrist but I found them too wide for that purpose, even if they had been made in a Lycra stretch fabric. Because I had used a non-stretchy interlock the extra length didn't work so I removed most of it and then added tiny elastic to the sleeve hems. Next time, I might try a wider hem circumference for a more dramatic effect.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No, I would not. However, I bought the pattern for the dress so I hope I won't have as many problems with that. I will definitely take my own pattern measurements and compare them to the printed finished garment measurements before cutting anything out next time.

Check out my @grombre transition

Conclusion: I am happy with the final top but I really should have used my TNT pattern!

Friday, February 01, 2019

Dark Floral With Swing - Simplicity 1163

(This was actually made in 2018.)


Pattern: Simplicity 1163 (2015)

Pattern Description: Misses' knit skirt with option of asymmetric faux wrap, flat front, or pleated front drape with length variations. View F

Pattern Sizing: R5: Sizes 14-16-18-20-22 I cut the waistband for size 20 but cut skirt in size 22 for a little more fullness.


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, exactly.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Extremely easy. The only issue might be in hemming the long skirt hem in a knit but I didn't really have a problem because I chose to sew it by hand. Also machine basting directly on the stitching line makes it easier to roll the hem over at the seam line and stitch it down.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I wanted a skirt with movement and I liked the angled overlay.


Fabric Used: PPK6 KP5 Brushed floral knit (96% polyester 4% spandex), Dritz 1-1/2 soft waistband elastic


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I cut the skirt portion one size larger than the waistband to create more fullness in the skirt. I also thought the finished garment length of 19" was too short and added two inches to the length of the pattern pieces. I will probably add even more width and another inch of length next time.


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will definitely make this skirt again, especially the longer midi version of this same style. It's a great pattern, the styles are interesting yet the construction is simple enough for these to be quick makes.


Conclusion: A fabulous dark floral knit made into a skirt in a style new to my wardrobe which consists mostly of pencil skirts.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Oyster White Shell Top - New Look 6838

(This was actually made in 2018.)



Pattern: New Look 6838 (from 2008, since reissued as New Look 6402)

Pattern Description: Knit tops with neckline/sleeve options and pull-on drawstring pants. View C.

Pattern Sizing: Size A (XS-XL) I cut a M (14-16) for the 40.5" bust and 37" waist finished garment measurements.

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? Yes, very simple.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the wide neckline and the curved back seam which took care of the swayback situation.

Fabric Used: Ponteroma knit in Winter White for $3 per yard (orig. $15) from Hancock Fabrics liquidation sale.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: When I made this pattern the first time I had fitting issues and had to alter the paper pattern extensively. You may find that the top is drafted too long, the back pattern piece will be a full inch or so wider than the front, and the neckline is extremely wide and might need adjustment. When I use this pattern I now sew a larger seam allowance on the center back, I have added to the inner neckline on my pattern piece, and also eliminated 1.5" from the hem.

This time I made the sleeveless shell. Noting that my other versions were now tight in the chest I created a faux full-bust-adjustment by adapting a technique from a favorite Kwik Sew pattern. The front piece is curved outward at the bust (adding more length/room there) and gathered to fit the back piece. Once worn, the bust fills out that excess fabric.

A simple turn-under of fabric at the neckline and armscye completes the top.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I can not recommend the pattern as is since I had to do a major reworking of the original pattern. However, the one great thing about this pattern is that the back pattern piece included a shaped center back seam which has addressed any swayback issues. I suggest looking for similar patterns in order to create the best fitted t-shirt block that your particular shape needs.


Conclusion: I am happy with the custom fit I achieved on this make and there will be many other versions.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Looking at the New Year

Hiya. Happy New Year!

I hoped to have three completed pattern reviews on here before 2019 but it didn't happen. Getting photos for the blog just wasn't possible even though I had brought two of the pieces on holiday with me. I just didn't feel like begging some family member to take photographs last week. It always becomes such a hassle. It's weird but non-bloggers seem to not understand what 'take a picture of my outfit looking good' means. So much bunched and lumpy fabric, unattractive body positions, weird shadows, and so much blurriness, ugh! So, I will try again by myself while also starting on my first new projects for the New Year.

Shana floral and Ponderosa interlock from Jo-Ann

Currently in my queue are another simple knit tee and a highly anticipated knit wrap dress. The green interlock originally was to be a TNT New Look 6838; however, I've decided to try the top from Simplicity 1325. I compared the patterns and this one has a different armscye and longer sleeves. It doesn't have a back seam (for shaping) so I will change that.

New Look 6301

The wrap dress is something I've wanted for a while but since I wanted a fuller skirt I was surprised to find that most Big 4 wrap dresses are designed with straight skirts. Therefore, I bought New Look 6301 and I hope that it works out. I've read reviews of this one and others similar that day the bodice could be tricky if you're more than a B-cup.

If I have any sewing goals for the New Year it is to
complete my goals from last year:

  • Develop a fitting shell from McCall's 7279
  • Draft actual slopers
  • Learn to fit pants correctly and make lots of them
  • Work through my fabric stash (I was doing so well before buying silk for that family wedding!)
So, let's get this plan in action, everything is cut out and ready to go. Also, look out for my last two pattern reviews from 2018, hopefully soon.