Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Shirt for DS - Kwik Sew 3422

I took pictures of the construction process for this shirt, but for some reason this is the only one I have on my camera.

This is a great pattern. I have not made a man's dress shirt in a very long time. I really enjoyed the process. We chose View A, with long sleeves.

My son is tall and slim, long arms, long torso, and smallish neck. If we find one long enough in RTW, it is huge everywhere else. Most of the dress shirts he owns he could button at the sides seams. I've tried adding darts, but that just does not work. We can not find a shirt that fits properly without spending an arm and a leg. He will be looking for a day job soon, and really just needs dress shirts that look and fit well.

The fabric is a cotton/lycra blend with just a little bit of stretch. It was a clearance fabric. I have several nice cottons, but wanted to be sure we liked this pattern before cutting into the good stuff.

This pattern went together very well. I did make a few alterations for fit. I lengthen the pattern by two inches, next time only need an inch and a half. I lengthen the sleeves by 2.5", which was perfect . I cut a neck size of 16 1/2". He actually needs a 16, so I chose to go with 16.5 instead of 15.5 which are the pattern options. I'll try to cut down the neck size next time. I just didn't think that half an inch would make that much difference. I love that you can use any neck size with any body size. He probably won't wear a tie with this one, so it's not a problem this time. I need to find a better interfacing. Lately, I'm just not happy with what's available here and need to find a good source online.

The Kwik Sew shirt patterns for men that I have, only have a 1/4" seam allowance, so I stitched, and serged the seams and then topstitched. I really would like to make shirts that have flat- felled seams for a more custom made dress shirt, but since this shirts fits so well, I think I'll continuing using it for his casual ones - or I'll add to the seam allowances at the shoulders, side seams, and shirt seams to get the finished look I want.

The only real change I will make for future shirts made in this pattern will be the sleeve placket. I did not like the way Kwik Sew designed it. I will use David Page Coffin's method next time. His book "Shirtmaking Techniques" is invaluable. I did sandwich the shirt in the yoke as he described and will plan ahead to use some of the other techniques in future shirts. I also have his Shirtmaking DVD. If you plan to make the men in your life shirts, I highly recommend the book!

Other than the neck being a little loose, the shirt fits him perfectly! He is so pleased. I was going to try to make shirts for the Pattern Review Sewing for Men Contest, but too many Holiday activities got in the way. I have several pieces of fabric, some from my stash and some that I bought during all the Holiday sales, so he will be getting more shirts as I have time to make them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Butterick 4659

I don't know about Fast & Easy. I think this pattern is more for an experienced sewer, one that cuts out their patterns with precision or has the knowledge and experience to know how to make sure things line up perfectly before clipping inside corners and other such things. Sititching the facing down around the collar was fiddly and if the corners do not match up perfectly or the clips to the corner are not just right, well then, you have a problem.

I had a problem with fitting on this one. I usually cut a size 12 for a wide back, and then take in the side seams through the sleeve seam. I have never had to make an SBA. I am very small up there, but I wear a super duper padded bra. There was a lot of ease in this pattern. I did not make a muslin (I just don't like to take the time, and since I've been sewing all my life, I think I know what I'm doing.) I practically completed the top, even put the buttons on, when I realized that this top was huge. I ended up taking the sleeves out, taking an inch out of the top portion of the princess seam at the armscye while leaving the lower, side front with the normal seam allowance, took in the side seams half an inch on each side, and taking in the princess seams in the back another 3/8". I then had to trim away from the shoulder and adjust the sleeves to fit in.

I had hand sewn the front facings down, but when I took it apart to make the alterations, I decided to stitch all together and serge. The seams lay towards the sides instead of the center, which is not the proper way, but it looked okay when pressed so I plunged ahead.

I should have used a lighter weight interfacing so that the front is less stiff, but I think I'm probably the only one who would notice that.

In the end I really like the blouse. I'm not sure I will be making it again.

The fabric is from Gorgeous Fabrics and is a cotton/lycra blend. The buttons are from my huge button stash given to me by my mother.

I'm making another pair of jeans using McCalls 5592. This is the second time I've used this pattern. The first pair fit really well and I enjoy wearing them.

I want to try to do a little everyday. I have alterations to do for clients, so that comes first. I hope to finish the jeans by the weekend. This is my progress so far. The front, including fly zipper and pockets. I love the pocket and fly facings. I used a cotton from my stash. The zipper was given to me in a bundle. The fabric is 100% cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kwik Sew 3242

I used a brown knit with what looks like gold glitter, but is not glitter at all. There was no flaking. The fabric was left over from a project I worked on a couple of years ago, and I had just enought for this simple top.

I cut out a medium, but should have cut a small. I ended up taking in the sides. I do not like the way they finished the sleeves and neck. The instructions tell you to use a strip cut out of the fabric, fold lengwise in half, stitch to the edge, turn to the wrong side and stitch down with a straight stitch. I did that on the sleeves, and with a straight stitch there is no stretch. I will probably redo it, but I will wear it first to see. I don't want to have to pick out the stitches unless I have to.

For the neck line, I was thinking more clearly. I used a wider fabric strip, serged it to the neck edge, turned to the inside, and stitched it down. It looks much better than it would have and wears better as well. I used my serger for most of the construction. I also lengthened the top by 2", as I like my tops a little longer. I stitched over clear elastic to give the shoulders more stability. It really is as simple as it looks.

I'm very happy with the results and will definitely make it again.

I made the skirt a few months ago as costumes for the girl Pirates in a local Peter Pan children's ballet. I'll post all about that later, but am waiting on pictures. I look forward to making the skirt for me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Eve Masquerade Party

This was a joint effort. DS made his cape. I made his shirt. His sister designed and painted his mask.

First up the shirt. DS cut it out the night before New Years Eve and I spent most of the day making the shirt for a New Year's Eve Masquerate Party at our church.

He marked the placement of the eyelets on the front of the shirt for the closure, but decided he did not want the string, so we left the shirt to be worn open. I did no hand stitching when it came to the yoke. I rolled up the shirt between the yoke layers so I could stitch the yoke lining to the yoke, then pulled the shirt through. You can see in the picture how the shirt is stuffed into the yoke before stitching it together.

I used a polyester/cotton blend broadcloth I've had in my stash for over 20 years that came from my mother's fabric store, the pattern was $1 from Joanns, elastic for the sleeves was left over from a previous project, and thread. I estimate the cost of the shirt (not including my time) to be less than $2.
DS made the cape, which was really simple. The pattern consisted of a front and a back. He did not use the hood. Using a suede cloth that required no seam finishing or hem, he just stitched the side seams. I helped with the neck binding, and we made ties from the fabric. Pattern cost $1 and fabric cost about $15, all from Joanns.

I also made one for a friend of DS in Black Penne Velvet with a Blue Penne Velvet lining. I hope to have a picture on him soon. This one was made with the hood.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ringling Remake

Pamela's Patterns T-Shirt Makeover #103

This was fun. I got this shirt in an XL over the summer when my oldest DD and I visited the campus of Ringling College of Art and Design. She is halfway through her freshman year now.

The T-Shirt was huge and not my style, so I made some changes.

I cut a size medium and think I could have gotten away with a small. I modified the neck opening even more than the pattern suggested. I narrowed the neck ribbing, stretched and blocked it with my steam iron, stitched it to the shirt with my serger, and turned it up and stitched it down with a straight stitch. It worked beautifully.

To make it even more fun, I added a few beads!

I may actually wear it now. DD loves it!