Monday, August 10, 2015

Aztec Hooded Vest

 This is the Aztec Hooded Vest from See Kate Sew.  She has children patterns as well as adults, though not very many for boys.  But that is common for most pattern companies.  This pattern comes in sizes 18 months to a size 8.  It could also be a girls look depending on your choice of fabric.  I made the size 4 and it fits my two year old grandson pretty well. It may be a bit big but he will probably wear it more in the fall to winter so he can grow into it a bit.  I pretty much followed the pattern the way it was written.  The only change I made was to add zippers to the pocket openings.  I already had all the zippers in my stash.  The pattern used just a rectangle opening for the pockets.

For the fabric I used the heather green rib knit for the outside of the vest.  The vest is fully lined and it could actually be reversible if you used a reversible zipper.  I didn't have on in my stash but I did have this two way zipper.  Once it is zipped you can unzip the bottom for comfort while sitting.  It is really not necessary on a short jacket like this but it is what I had.  For the lining I used a cotton knit printed with woodland creatures I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics.  I think the vest turned out supper cute and Dustin loves it, he even loves wearing the hood.  I just entered it in the Queen Anne's County Fair maybe I will win a ribbon.

3 shirts 1 pattern

The Neptune Tee was one of the patterns I already had from See Kate Sew. I don't really remember if I actually bought it at some point (it may have been part of a bundle) or if it was acquired as a freebie.  Anyways I had it in my stash and decided to sew it up.  Some of my July KnitFix I thought would work well with this pattern.  The pattern has some cute design details that make it a bit more fun than just an ordinary T-Shirt. I used my Linear Black and White Chevron knit for my first top.  I added the turquoise cotton spandex kit as the trim and the little v cut-outs in the sleeves and the front and back of the neck.  I like the little pop of color this adds. Overall I really like this top.  It fits well and the neckline doesn't gap which is a typical problem I have with knit tops.  I like the weight of this fabric for a T-Shirt too, it has good recovery but is still stretchy enough to be comfortable.

I had this fish fabric from my June KnitFix that I was trying to decide what to make with it.  It is definitely a summer print so I wanted to use it before summer was over.  This time I used the same Neptune Tee Pattern with a few changes.  I eliminated the sleeves and made it more of a tank top. I used the option of just having a v cutout without the contrast fabric inserts.  I used the heather green rib knit from July for the bindings around the neckline and the arm holes.  This fabric wasn't that close of a match to the fish fabric but it looked okay.  I wanted to use the green heather so that I would have another entry into the KnitFix contest where you had to use a July fabric and a See Kate Sew pattern.  The pattern had two hemline options one was the standard straight hem and the other was slightly curved.  I actually curved my hem about an inch and a half up more toward the sides.  Another great shirt and another easy sew.

My third Neptune Tee was made with the stitched chevron jersey.  This one was inspired by a top I saw someone wearing at church the other day.  I never would have thought this bold chevron would look good as a top until I saw someone wearing it.  And her top had lace trim along the bottom edge and a little lace pocket.  I used the lace trim along the bottom edge and also added it to the sleeve edge.  I tried it out as a little lace pocket but my particular lace just didn't look right as a pocket.  This time I did not used the V cutouts at all.  I also narrowed the binding on the neck edge so that only about a 1/4 inch shows on the edge of the neckline.  I am pleased with my third Neptune Tee.  I am sure I will make more of these because of the easy sew and the great fit.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Two Penelope's

 I wanted to enter the contest for a chance to win August KnitFix .  To enter you must use fabrics from the July KnitFix and also use patterns from See Kate Sew .  I liked the style of the Penelope Peplum and there was a coupon for $4.00 off  included in the bag.  I got this bitsy floral rayon jersey that has a really nice soft feel to it.  I thought it would make a nice top and others had already posted pictures of their Penelope Peplum made with the same fabric and the looked very cute.  I wanted to be a bit more creative than just making the whole top with the same fabric.  Well I actually got inspired by this top from Anthropology.
During one of my regular treks to JoAnn Fabrics I spotted the silk patchwork Georgette and I was pretty sure it would coordinate nicely with the tiny floral I was planning to use.  I actually adapted the pattern a little to fit more of what I had in mind.  The pattern called for the use of knit fabric in the entire top.  Since the peplum was a gathered piece I was sure my woven silk would work fine.  The pattern has facings to finish the neckline.  I don't really like facings on knit garments as I think bindings look better and also they are easier to apply.  I also wanted to tie the peplum fabric together with the top.  So I ended up making bias binding for the neckline and the edge of the sleeves.  I really like the way this top turned out and the fit is great too.  At first I thought the neckline was a bit too low but after wearing it I think it is fine.  

For another entry in the contest I decided to make one more Penelope.  The chevron fabric that I used for the peplum is the July fabric.  I had made another top with this fabric so I was trying to see if I could squeeze something else out of it. I didn't have enough to cut it out going in the suggested direction so I cut it in the lengthwise grain.  I actually like it that way too.  For the top part I had this 1/2 yard piece of turquoise cotton spandex knit that I thought went well with the chevrons.  I had used a bit of it to finish the little boy boxer briefs .  My fabric piece was not big enough to cut it in the suggested direction either but it was 4 way stretch so I thought it would be fine.  While I like the top and I cut the same size as the previous Penelope top I had made it did not fit the same at all.  I think it had more to do with the fabric than the wrong direction of cutting.  The little floral jersey was very soft and stretchy so it fit much looser.  The cotton spandex was much more stable with greater recovery and it just didn't stretch as much as the jersey.  I just think it is interesting how much difference the fabric makes in the fit.  The other changes I made to the pattern were to eliminate the sleeves because I didn't have enough of the turquoise fabric for sleeves.  I also cut the armholes in a little more to give it more of a tank top look.  And i bound the neckline and the armholes with fold over elastic.  I had some brown with little pink dots on it.  It matched the colors in the chevron and I think tied everything together well.

Both tops turned out well.  I like them both.  Even though they were made from the same pattern they look very different.  I like this pattern and will probably use it again.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Easy Tee With Collar

I got this very easy T-Shirt pattern from Its Always Autumn.  She actually has several free patterns and variations of this basic T-Shirt.  Most of them are in a size Large, but they would be easy enough to make slightly smaller or larger. I think I saw a tutorial on her site about how to change the size.  Since I wear a large it fit me just fine.  I choose this black and silver stripe for the main fabric and I had a little scrap of the floral on black background for the collar.  I think it made a cute easy sew easy wear shirt.  I can see myself making many more versions of this shirt.

Striped Maxi Skirt

I got this purple striped fabric in my very first KnitFix bag.  I thought I would try a maxi skirt.  I wasn't sure if I would look like I was trying to fit in with the 20 something crowd but I was starting to see many woman my age and older wearing them.  They looked great in their maxi skirts too.  One friend of mine had one made with navy and white stripes with three different panels of stripes cut on the diagonal.  So that was the inspiration for my skirt.   The pattern I had called for 3 1/2 yards of fabric and the KnitFix pieces are only 2 yards.  I am pretty short and I usually have to shorten most dress patterns by at least 4 inches.  But even with shortening the pattern pieces before cutting I was quite sure I could not squeeze it into a 2 yard piece especially with all the diagonal placement.  Bias cutting always uses more fabric.  But I noticed on the Facebook page that people were selling or trading some of the fabrics they didn't care for.  So I was able to buy another 2 yard piece so I would have enough for the skirt I wanted to make.

Even though this was an easy pattern the view I picked was not easy.  First of all it was very challenging to cut out because the pieces were quite large and they were cut on the bias.  I was trying to match up the stripes as best I could and my table was really to small for the task.  I was doing it at work so I had to use what I had.  The fabric kept stretching out of place.  I had to cut one layer at a time because the pieces were so wide and the front and back of the skirt are the same.  Even sewing it together was a bit frustrating.  My notches were not lining up right and I am not sure why.  It may be because I shortened each panel before cutting the fabric out because I didn't want the bottom panel to be disproportionately shorter than the rest. The bottom pattern piece was the only one that had lengthen or shorten lines on it.  I created my own shorten lines on the middle and top panels.  Then I had this crazy idea that I could match up all those stripes which is impossible.   I guess I have been reading to many Facebook sewing group post where people get all uptight about unmatched stripes.  I knew I wanted to post a picture of my skirt on there.  I realized it is impossible to match stripes when they are cut going in every direction. And even when I posted it on The Girl Charlee KnitFix group someone commented on how well my stripes matched.  So in the end it really doesn't matter.

I actually like this skirt once I finished it.  I don't have any purple clothes so I did not have any tops to wear with this skirt.  I did try it one with the white top I already had in the first picture and I think it looked OK.  But I wanted to wear it to a wedding on the beach so I thought it needed a bit of dressing up.  I bought the purple tank top and the purple sweater to wear with it.  I have three different shades of purple going on here but I think it works.  I needed a sweater because I though the reception was going to be inside and I always get cold with air conditioning.  I think I could have made the skirt a size smaller too, but I will leave it as is for now.  Next time I will just make the plain one.