Monday, July 30, 2012

S2692 || ZigZagZoom Dress

Ever see a fabric from across a crowded room that makes your heart skip a beat, your palms sweat and your breathing race? Maybe it’s just me? I spied this ziggy fabric at the Puyallup Sewing Expo in March and just KNEW I had to have it. Like many of my stash fabrics, I had no idea what to do with it, and so it sat, uncut in my stash for four months while I pondered. And pondered. And pondered.

And then this pattern caught my eye, and I knew it was “the one”. Le sigh.

S2692 Pattern Description: Misses Special Occasion Dress or Gown. Can be sewn up in either knits or special occasion wovens like silks, charmeuse, crepe de chine and georgette. (How’s THAT for versatile?)

Pattern Sizing: 4-12, 12-20. Mine is a 14 in the bust, and a 16 in the hips.

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? Really, really easy. Lots of great line drawings and super clear instructions. This would be a great beginning sewer’s dress, especially if sewn in a knit.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Cutting it out took the longest time, but sewing it up was really quick. Initially, I used the zigzag fabric for the center, empire waist section, but after assembly, realized that it would look infinitely better in another colour. Luckily, I had some brown jersey scraps in my stash and ripping it/replacing was quick.

Fabric Used: ITY knit from Vogue Fabrics. It doesn’t roll! It doesn’t roll!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I’m on a “I’m not hemming it unless I have to” kick, so I didn’t hem this dress. I also skipped the zipper insertion as the dress pulls on easily over my head. Instead of placing all of the gathers at CF and CB, I distributed them evenly across both skirt pieces. I like this look much better.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely, I’d sew it again. Maybe next time in a special occasion fabric?

Conclusion: It's a great little dress with lots of zany zip! I’d absolutely sew it up if you’re looking for a way to use your novelty knit!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

S1920 || Cascade Cardigan

I first spied this cardigan at the Simplicity style show at the Puyallup Sewing Expo in March. It's the first swing cardi I've seen that has both bust darts and shape paired with the "swingy-ness" you want in this sort of cardigan. A total win!
S1920 Pattern Description: Misses' & Plus Size skirt, top, jacket, scarf and belt sewing pattern. Sew Stylish Collection. American Sewing Guild. 

Pattern Sizing: 10-18, 20W-28W. Mine is a 14 in the bust, and a 16 in the waist/hips.

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? Incredibly easy. Coupled with fact I didn't hem anything, it went together really quickly!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It came together quickly -- the cutting took the longest since it's a fiddly fabric with lots of holes. I had to use a shorter stitch length to accommodate for the fabric.

Fabric Used: Holey polyester knit from JoAnn's clearance racks. I think the overall project was about $12 including the pattern.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't hem a darn thing. I am a rebel in this way. :) Also, after a couple of wearings, the droopy sleeves really started getting on my nerves. I purchased some Sulky water soluble stabilizer and cuffed up the sleeves. I also removed the sleeve carriers and buttons. I like this better for the fabric I have.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would make this again, but I'll use a more stable knit next time. I'd recommend it.
It's an attractive cardigan with shape that goes with a remarkable amount of items in my wardrobe! If you want a quick project (which I seem to be addicted to) this is a great pattern!

Friday, July 20, 2012

What to do with old jeans? Make a quilt!

What to do with old jeans and a ratty blanket? Make a picnic quilt!
One of my favourite memories of Fourth of Julys past include spending time in our family friends, the Willcuts', back yard eating homemade vanilla ice cream and lazing the day away on Grandma Willcuts' jean quilt, lovingly made at least 20 years prior. I remember hiding my not-quite-totally-used napkins in the pockets scattered throughout the quilt, while making sure I didn't sit on a jean rivet because they got amazingly HOT in the summer sunshine. This jean blanket went to the lake so we could lay on our backs while watching the fireworks light up the sky. More than once, I found myself wrapped up in it, papoose-style for the chilly post-fireworks walk home. I loved that blanket. It meant home and family and togetherness, mixed with a dash of ingenuity.

Fast-forward to last summer, when Matt and I pignicked on his yellow and white picnic blanket. I knew we could do better. Soon after, I started stockpiling jeans. A few from my dad, one special pair from his (deceased) dad, a pair of his (that ratty pocket in the picture above is his), a few pair of mine, and a couple of plus-sized pairs from a charity shop. They were quite the assortment: blacks and blues and greys. 

I kept the back pockets in tact and cut out 7" squares. From the "plain" squares, I cut triangles and started piecing the quilt together in random couplings. My serger was used for the entire project.

Sun-dappled and ready for pignicking! The top pocket was Matt's dad's.
The light blue pocket is Matt's and the dark blue with wooden button is mine.
The quilt in its entirety.
I really like how it turned out. Rushing only a little, it was ready for its unveiling THIS Fourth of July at my annual Croquet 'n Potluck celebration with friends. Both Matt and I love it, and look forward to using it in the years to come as we make our own happy celebratory memories.
Matt, on his new jean quilt.