Firecracker Blue Knit Dress

I use to be scared of knit fabrics. The stretchy, flexible fabric always distorted on me that the frustration kept me from using the most awesomest sewing tool in the world… my serger. My serger sat unused for the longest time. I got it at a Bernina store going out of biz sale and a matching sewing table to go with it.

When I first used the serger, the blade moving fast plus the quickness of sewing fabric frightened me. I used it a couple times over the first few years and when I mean a couple times, I do mean two. Two times. Little did I know that the whizzy, quickness helps on two fronts: creating projects quickly and finishing seems fast. Like buttah on a hot biscuit. Yum.

But about this blue knit dress… Last year I saw various pinterest pins about creating your own knit shift dress from your favorite fitted t-shirt. With my new serge (he, he) of creativity for sewing and some flat fold table knit fabric. I was on a mission. I was going to know how to knit fabric.

Creating the dress pattern from one of my shirts was easy. Folding my favorite form fitted t-shirt in half vertically and placing it on some paper, I traced around the edges. I removed the t-shirt and straightened the sides plus used a french curve for the neckline. I then extended the bottom edge out to the desired length of my dress.

I’ve read that knit fabric should be able to rest for some minutes before cutting to relax to its un-stretched state. After my knit fabric relaxed I then laid it flat on my sewing cutting table and lined up the pattern on the fold and cut. I attempted this twice to get a back and front piece.

I lined up the shoulder seams which was my first bout with using the serger on knit.   When I did, the serger took the fabric quickly.   I then lined up the sides and that went quickly.   No need to finish my edges as sewing and edging is all in one. A light bulb went off… the dress was coming together so quickly. Ahhh-some.

The arm holes and neckline were next on the serger which I then turned under and sewed with a small zigzag stitch after serge-ing the edges.

For the bottom, I took out my manual to find other stitches this fab-u-oso machine can do.   I used the rolled hem stitch which was a great finish as the stitch gave the fabric end a curled or ruffled look.

The blue firework knit dress turned out perfect.  I wore it to the music concert the next weekend. It was the perfect storm for me that I was hooked to my serger. I attempted a couple more knit dresses which taught me that not all knits are the same nor does the perfect storm comes with every project.

However, now I know sewing knits is not so bad nor using a serger.   I think I prefer using knits and my serger.  So quick to create clothing. Like buttah….

Firework Blue Knit Dress

Firework Blue Knit Dress – (Instagram)

French Plaid Wool Dress

What happens when your husband takes you to the fabric store for your birthday and tells you that you should get the fancy french fabric and dress pattern for your birthday? A new french plaid wool dress sewing project!

French Plaid Wool Dress

French Plaid Dress

Like I said, my husband helped pick out the Clara Dress Pattern By Sew Liberated and some lovely flannel, french plaid fabric from my local fabric store, Pacific Fabrics. Oh, the fabric is so soft and so beautiful. I could not wait to get started on this project (last December). We had my company’s holiday party coming and I definitely saw this fabric/pattern combo as the best holiday dress evah!

So I know plaid can be difficult. I have created a button down dress in a simpler plaid a few years ago. One method I did while attempting that earlier dress is to pin the fabric for cutting which kept the plaid inline while folded. This helps keep the plaid straight across the pattern pieces or when needing to cut two. A great technique that I used on this plaid dress too.

I bought a lot of this french fabric ahead of time just in case I needed to cut another piece and to align the stripes on each patterns edges.

In the end, the dress’s biggest pieces were easy to put together and I had a lot of fabric left. However, for the small pieces like the arms’ tying bow and the elastic waist were a b*tch. I was swearing up and down as I was on a tight deadline for the holiday party was approaching.

Luckily, I finished in an hour’s worth of time. So close for a sewing project I picked up in under a week’s time.

It’s funny how an exciting adventure has its ups and downs.

On to the next sewing project.

Sewing Projects: Seahawks Inspired Hoodie

Let’s continue on with the sewing projects!

Football season is well over and the weather is getting warmer. But during football season, I got inspired with all the Seahawks fleece at the local fabric store to make some clothing for me and my hubby.

Bulk of Seahawks colored fleece

Bulk of Seahawks colored fleece

One of the first and easiest projects to do with fleece, IMO, is some lounge pants.   I created some lounge pants with the Seahawks logo last year for my hubby.  He loved them greatly.   He wears them all the time.

With a couple pants under my belt and the need to try a different sewing project, I decided he needed a top to go with it.    I took a hoodie that he enjoys wearing and created a pattern from it. I attempted the pattern in a test hoodie for me in some white and hot pink fleece It actually worked really great. I was surprised how easy it was “steal” a RTW pattern. Makes me feel unstoppable now. 🙂

Seahawks inspired hoodie

Seahawks inspired hoodie

So then I laid out blue, green, and grey fleece.  I lined the hoodie with a the grey/green chevron pattern such like the “feathers” on the Seahawks uniforms.  Now that the hoodie pieces are all together,  the sewing commenced.

Jeff in Seahawks hoodie

Jeff in Seahawks hoodie

Hubby was so happy with his hoodie and it’s very, very warm. Great for football games!   All in all, the pattern turned out to be a great one to keep in my arsenal and now I’m becoming more confident in creating my own patterns.

On to the next sewing project!

My Latest Sewing Projects

My partner in sewing

I call her Procrastination

Looking at the date on my last sewing project post, it’s almost a year since I’ve written anything new. Not that I’ve haven’t doing any sewing projects, I’ve just been swept away into doing them and not posting.

This means catch up time!!

Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom - Dress E

Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom – Dress E

So I’ve been creating clothes on and off as the year went by.   I’ve tackled a few projects from the Japanese Sewing Book:  Stylish Dress Book: Wear with Freedom.  One of them is the E dress below.   I used a vintage, interesting flowering knit-like print.   It turned out beautiful, but I should have created a muslin as the size was wide and the length was short.  Being 5’7″, I realized I needed to alter these patterns to be longer if the end result was going to be a dress.

Trying to create my own skirt

Trying to create my own skirt via Cal Patch

After a few of those and things not fitting right, I then broke open Cal Patch’s Design It Yourself clothes; the skirt. The skirt was what striked me as something I would wear and something I thought would be simple. So I reread and reread the directions as I swear I was reading a different language.

In the end, i created a wonder skirt, but it didn’t fit. You thought I’d learn my lesson about sewing a test garment first. Nope. Nothing is more frustrating than finding a beautiful piece of clothing that *almost* fits.

I took a hiatus after these and other attempts.   I did alter some pants to create some new shorts for the summer and some fuzzy fleece lounge pants.

Altered Shorts

Altered Shorts

I did try to create some leggings with my own pattern. I found a tut by Cal Patch on how to create the pattern.
I tested a few knits to get the right fit as well as learn how to use my serger.  (Oh, I love my serger!!)    The end result was the pink/grey striped below.

Legging Pattern

Legging Pattern

Pink Grey Striped Leggings

Pink Grey Striped Leggings

The leggings pattern turned out pretty close. I think I still have some issues in the crotch area to work out which is why I then took a create your own slopers class from Burda which also taught me how to alter the pattern to get a perfect fit for my body. It was a great class that helped me create slopers that I’ve lately been using to build my own patterns as well as tweak other patterns to my size.

Where am I going? I’m starting to get the hang of sewing new clothes and feeling confident of changing or modifying patterns and RTW clothes to my liking. More on this soon.