Friday, December 16, 2011

V1261 || Slashed Tunic (CAbi Cozy Tunic Knockoff)

$98 for this adorable tunic? I don't think so!
I've been lusting after the CAbi Cozy Tunic since I first spied it in fall of 2009. Time to make my own!

V1261 Pattern Description: Close fitting. Double needle stitching. A,B: Armhole seams on outside; self binding; ribbon on back; unfinished edges will show. C: neck binding. 

Pattern Sizing: XS-XL. Mine is View B, Large. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Somewhat. It looks more like my CAbi Cozy Tunic inspiration.

Were the instructions easy to follow? After reading other reviews on Pattern Review, I knew to toss out the instructions and do it myself. Seriously, they're crap. If you've made a top before, the construction is not complicated.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It came together quickly once I tossed out the overly-complicated instructions.

Fabric Used: Slashed sweater knit from Marcy Tilton. This was, hands down, the most expensive fabric I purchased in 2011. I'm glad I used it. Her fabrics are amazing.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 3" to the sleeve length, 4" to the tunic body, straightened the hem, doubled the cowl (I like a full "cowly" cowl), cut the back piece on the fold and used a 1/4" serged seam allowance. 

Mmmmmm, cozy!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I've got quite a few cowl necks in my wardrobe, but this is a good pattern, if you toss out the crummy instructions.

Conclusion: I love this tunic!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

M6241 || Mod '80s Batwing Top

Dotty! I'm dotty!
M6241 Pattern Description: Pullover tunics A, B, C have extended shoulders with pleats at one shoulder and side, machine-stitched hems and asymmetrical lower edge; tunic A has cap sleeves; tunics B, C have long sleeves. Mine is View B.

Pattern Sizing: 8-16, 18W-24W. Mine started out as a 14. Probably should have started with a 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Somewhat... more on that below.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Super easy. Super fast. This was practically instant gratification.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It's an 80's batwing style, which I like, but cut as is, it hangs like a shapeless sack. Yuck. I had to change that (below).

Fabric Used: Poly/lycra, dotted 2-way stretch from You might recognize the fabric as the same I used here.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: This top is shapeless, once it's on. I removed 4" total inches (2" each side) from hem to armpit, 2" from armpit to wrist. I like the rusching effect it now has. Unfortunately, the cool tucks in both shoulder and waist are lost on this pattern, but I don't mind. too much.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is a cute and comfy top to wear. I'd like to make it in kelly green for St. Patrick's day in March.

Conclusion: It's a cute, quick top! Great for stashbustin'!

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Couch Pillows for That Guy I Like

Interior dec sewing ain't so bad!
It's not at all like me to sew for others as I tend to channel this gal most of the time. But my fella? He's TOTALLY worth it. Before me, he had two sad couch pillows that had seen better days that resided on a sectional the size of Manhattan. After I mentioned that he might want to, er, upgrade, he accompanied me to the fabric store without complaint (the gargantuan and potentially overwhelming Fabric Depot), picked out the different home dec fabrics with me, and said he'd even go back to the fabric store again if I ever wanted to. What a guy!

I've never made pillows before, but I decided that it couldn't be too hard. After seeing how expensive pillow forms can be ($20 apiece. Are you KIDDING me?), I made my own! I used hand-me-down tablecloths for the outer shell, and stuffed each of the pillows with a combination of pieces of a lofty, overly-warm comforter that I'd been considering donating to Goodwill and a big 'ol bag of batting from JoAnn's. 

For the fashion fabric outsides, I combined fabrics in a patchwork sort of way for the pillow fronts (no planning on my part, just playing) and used solid fashion fabric for the backs. I also included invisible zippers for closures so that when they get dirty, they can be cleaned easily. Here are the results!

Playing with fabrics is fun!

Helllllo, giant couch! Great for relaxing and watching movies with That Guy I Like.
My fella really likes the new couch pillows, and his sweet daughter, E, said that "They make the couch 100% more comfortable." With rave reviews like that, I may sew for others more often...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

M6408 || Indispensible Tied Cardi

Hello! Sorry I've been so long away from Bloggerville. Rest assured, I'm still sewing (and knitting and cooking), but I've been terribly lax about taking pictures and posting. So get ready for a few posts over the course of the next week or so. I've got some catching up to do.

Who couldn't use more sparkle this time of year?

M6408 Pattern Description: Very loose fitting jackets have stitched or serged seam and hem options. Included are Nancy Zieman's time saving tips.

Pattern Sizing: Mine is a small, View B. This pattern runs SUPER large. For Big 4 patterns, I usually wear a 14 in tops.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It did!

Were the instructions easy to follow? This was my first Nancy Zieman pattern. She's really excellent about telling you how long each step will take, so if you're sewing in fits and starts, this gives you a good idea how your time will be budgeted.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love this pattern! I like the fact that I can wear the tie in either the front or the back, with minor construction changes (more on this below).

Fabric Used: Poly/lycra eyelash sweaterknit. It was a clearance fabric that turned this into a $6 sweater after all the discounts at JoAnn's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As mentioned above, this pattern has a LOT of ease and runs really large. I added 1/2" high round back adjustment and shaved 1/2" off of the shoulder. Since I didn't want to see the sewn seam on the front band (piece 4) when I wore the ties in the back, I made a slight construction change. Instead of serging both front band seams to the body of the garment at the same time, I serged one seam, turned the other seam's seam allowance to the inside and topstitched the seam down. It made for a cleaner finish.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is a fantastic little cardigan that I've worn at least five times since I made it in October (gasp!) Although the pattern calls for stretch fabrics only, I also made it up in black doubleknit (not photographed because black is SO hard to photograph well!). The pattern has enough ease on me to still look polished.

Conclusion: I'm going to get a ton of wear out of this cardi before its life span is over. I highly recommend this as a versatile,
indispensible addition to your wardrobe. It sure has been in mine!