Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pleated Cardigan

You may have seen this pleated cardigan all over the sewblogisphere. Um, for a while now. Jalie even came out with an updated knit cardigan (last year?) but I still like this one better. The new one could grow on me, I suppose, but this is one pretty classic.

I used a (probable) rayon jersey and with the cozy shawl-like collar and the soft fabric, this might be the most comfortable garment ever.

There are 8 pleats, which are sewn wrong-sides together and pressed to one side. I was surprised my machine didn't mind sewing the pleats on this super thin, stretchy jersey, but the multiple fabric layers surely helped.

The pleats end at the slightly-shaped waist.

I like the length, but think it would work well shortened, as well. Not to mention, it'd be nice to use less than the 2 yards of fabric required by the long length.

 Billowing wind not included.

While I was at it, I whipped up a black version for my mom in another rayon blend jersey. I took a guess and made the same size (sans my shoulder adjustments, so I still had to trace the pattern twice, ha!) but the fit on her seemed really good. Well, you know, it's stretchy jersey, not a tailored shirt.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Romper and a Unique Sweatshirt

Even though summer has left us in the dust, I still wanted to make this romper for Molly (age 5). I had earmarked some of those last toddler patterns I'd be sad to have skipped, and this was at the top of the list.

I did make it large so she *might* be able to fit it next year.

The fabric is a stash-cured jersey from Chez Ami. The front closes with an invisible zip. It has two patch pockets, and some elastic stitched to the inside of the waist.

I imagine it's comfortable, but she thought it was a little weird and didn't want to wear it at first, despite being excited about the fabric.

The pattern is "Owl Tree Romper" from Ottobre 3-2013-28.

Now this one is more suitable for fall. It is "Tipitii Velour Tunic" from Ottobre 1-2010-30. I made it in a super stretchy sweatshirt fleece that was already pilling, blech. I figured I wouldn't be sad about the fabric if Grace didn't end up loving this unique tunic.

The front bodice is supposed to be gathered to the yoke, but the gathers just stretched as I sewed it. You can see how it should look in the back view. The sleeve caps are also gathered.

The pockets are my favorite part. I also lined the hood.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Swim Shorts, for Swimming and More

Well, summer came and went (whoosh!) and I hardly saw my sewing machine. But I did crank out some swimwear for my weed who keeps sprouting up.

The three suits are identical (saves time!), but they're in different fabrics, so that's something.

This kid spent the summer obsessed with dragonflies. She even started trying to identify some of the species. Let me say, dragonflies are MUCH more difficult to identify than birds are.

But back to the swimwear. I made Jalie's new swimshorts (Jalie 3351) and they are as nice as I expected them to be.

The outside shorts and the inner briefs connect at the waistband. I like the shape and clever construction of the side panels, which create a pocket. Coverstitching all those pieces got a leeetle picky, especially on the 5 pairs I made, but the finish is very nice in the end.

I paired the shorts with Jalie's tankini top pattern (Jalie 3023). Unlike her sisters, this kid had NOOO desire to wear the swim skirt that comes in that pattern, so I'm very pleased to have this new swim short option. For a couple of years, I had been creating my own swim shorts by blending patterns. These are better, hehe.

Above you get a better view of the waistband. The inner waistband is cut smaller than the outer band, causing the seam to stay inside out of sight. Narrow (3/8" ?) elastic is stitched to the upper edge. It holds the shorts up just fine, and yet is comfortable and unbulky.

I made myself two pairs. I didn't photograph the shiny black swimwear lycra pair. Ewww. Much too shiny. They're my swimming pair and I haven't used them yet.

However this matte navy blue pair has seen constant use: I've worn them running, canoeing, hiking, sitting around at the beach, cycling, and doing pilates and yoga (although they're a little floppy for the latter two). Phew! When I make future non-swimming pairs, I think I'll omit the briefs.

I made one fit change for the second pair: I raised the height 2" by adding to the tops of the shorts and side  panel pieces. The lower waist is great for my 10 year old daughter, but the added height for me is much more comfortable in my opinion.

Conclusion: I see many more iterations of this pattern in my future both for swimwear and activewear.


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