Tag Archives: Simplicity

African Print Skirt: Simplicity 2605

26 Jul

I made this one a little while back. It’s from the same pattern as the rust skirt (Simplicity 2605)but it is View A, which is longer and has a faux wrap with pleating at the waist.

Simplicity 2605

The length isn’t the best on me but I really liked putting this skirt together. The instructions are straight forward and the skirt is actually sewn on both sides, so no chance of accidental exposure at work.

Faux Wrappage

I saw this slubbycotton print in Centrepoint Fabrics and fell in love.

But, unfortunately I made this skirt before seeing Tasia’s fab print matching how-to at Sewaholic.net.

Back view - matching fail.

Oh well, we live and we learn.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: $7.5

Fabric: $20.8 (1.6m @ $13/m – Centrepoint Fabrics)

Zip: $4.0

TOTAL: NZ$32.30 / US$23.50

Twofer: New Look 6190 & Simplicity 2593

22 Jul

Here are two super quick patterns to throw together.

The pants are my second go at New Look 6190. Unlike the khakis, this fabric had a little stretch to it so I only added 1/2 an inch to the all the vertical seam allowances versus an inch on the woven fabric. I didn’t intend to have the elasticity – it was just the by product of fabric shopping in a rush and hoping for the best.

Initially I sewed the pants on my machine with a straight stitch. When I bent down to pin my hem (the joys of fitting and pinning by ones-self) I promptly split the seam on the butt, so I sucked it up and attempted threading my serger with new thread for the first time since I bought it. This step took longer than the entire project from cutting to hem… and I still don’t have it right. But it was enough to make these pants safe for work.

I also added 1 & 1/2 inches to the crotch depth. On the Khaki’s this bought the waist to just below my belly-button. With this fabric it sits just above, don’t ask me why. Still I love the high waist, so no complaints there. These were super comfortable to wear so I know they are going to get a lot of use.

The top is a Cynthia Rowley pattern, Simplicity 2593. The design is pretty simple just a one piece back, one piece front with easing at centre front. The arms holes and neck are bound with fabric bias binding. The design element is the neck band inView A, with is a long twisted tube hand stitched to the neck edge.

I threw this together with some gingham I had hanging around for making muslins. It was definitely wearable but I’m not sold on the design on me. Again, I already know I shouldn’t buy patterns without darts or other shaping but I get sucked in with the idea of simple un-complicated designs. Unfotunately this means it’s a little boxy on me.

I made a Size 20, which gave me 3 and a half inches of ease at the bust, and I lengthened the pattern by 1 and a half inches. I also had a couple of issues with the instructions. When it comes to the arm holes, it asks you to trim off 5/8 inch once the shoulder and side seams are sewn. I couldn’t, for the life of me figure out why it asked you to do that – so I didn’t, which probably doesn’t help the boxy. Also, I found the lack of detail on how to attach the neck band, super frustrating, particularly at 11 o’clock last night when I was stubbornly  hand stitching it on. I know some people on pattern review have made some lovely versions, but I don’t know if this is a keeper for me.

Here’s how I wore these to work:

TOTAL COST (TOP)

Fabric: $8.0 (2m @ $4/m – Spotlight)

Pattern: $7.50

TOTAL: NZ$15.5 / US$11.13

TOTAL COST (PANTS)

Fabric: $24 (2.4m @ $10/m – Spotlight)

Pattern & Thread: $0 (From stash)

Zip: $4.0

TOTAL: NZ$28 / US$20.11

Bastille Blouse: Simplicity 2372

15 Jul

Bastille Day was a few days ago but I still thought it was a fitting name for this pretty little red-and-blue print blouse. This was a last chance go at Simplicity 2372. I made the jacket a couple of weeks back and was a bit disappointed with the finished product. I was all set to throw the pattern away if this blouse didn’t suit but, consider it and it’s pretty pleats, redeemed.

I began cutting it out after a long day facilitating an 8 hour group session at work, which in hindsight was not such good thinking on my part. It takes quite a long time as you need to mark all the pleats on the sleeves and neckline and the pattern matching but I got through it, took it over to the machine to begin sewing when insanity struck. I’d lost my right back piece.

I thought I was going nuts – I sew in my lounge/kitchen area that is not that big and I’m the only one here but I couldn’t find it any where. I knew I had definitely I cut it as I had matched the left back to it using the fabulous instructions that Tasia, of sewaholic, had posted a couple of days ago. I went through all my scraps, I went through my drawers. I am not kidding – I actually looked in the fridge thinking maybe in my over-tired brain might have absent-mindedly put it in there. No such luck. All I can think of is that maybe I mindlessly cut the facings out of it. The thing was, this fabric had been in my stash since last year, so no chance of getting more. I went to bed demoralised.

In the morning I had a brainwave – a sacrifice could be made for this blouse. From deep in a box I pulled out the New Look 6180 dress from the last post. I hadn’t worn it more than once in the time since I’d made it so I removed the zip from the center back, ripped the seam open, took a deep breath and crossed my fingers that enough fabric remained to cut the missing piece.

Yes, thanks to those unflattering insubstantial bust darts, the project was back on.

The top has a centre front and centre back seam so I matched the front pieces but added 2 inches to each back piece so I could turn it into a back fastened blouse. I found some navy snaps which looked interesting and I’d never used them before. It was a bit of an experiment but I’m happy with how it came out.

For each snap there are four parts: a backing piece with sharp prongs, a stud, a socket, and a right-side piece with more sharp prongs. The set came with a double ended tool for application.

First I measured out the placement. I had 8 snaps and I marked each one with a pin.

Then I placed the backing piece under the fabric, allowing the prongs to poke through. I found it helps to spread the fabric taut with one hand.

You use the slim end of the tool to force the fabric onto the prongs.

The stud is placed on top.

With the big end of the tool stabilising the stud you whack the end a good 5 or so times with a hammer.

Ta-da! Repeat on the other edge with facing and socket.

I love this fabric and I’m so glad the pattern wasn’t a waste of time.

TOTAL COST:

Fabric: $0 (from stash – originally from Spotlight)

Pattern: $0 (from stash – previous outing here)

Snaps: $4.99

Total Cost: NZ$4.99 / US$3.60

When pegged skirts go bad… (or alternatively why I need a french curve)

13 Jul

So one of the ideas I played with when I was fitting Simplicity 2648 was pegging the skirt. Sure I thought – it looks so lovely and would work well with the fitted top.

Bad idea… bad, BAD idea (unless you like the Violet Beauregarde look). Maybe if I’d had more patience with it and used the proper process and tools, this could have worked – but I did not.

Luckily this fabric is seriously forgiving and even though I unpicked the pegged seams, it didn’t leave a mark. I’ll definitely be using it again so big thanks to Gertie and her post on sewing with double-knits which I kept up on my laptop screen the whole time to refer to.

Experiments in fitting: Simplicity 2648

12 Jul

I finally finished Simplicity 2648 last night – just in time to wear for a full day presentation at the office. This was really fun in parts and in others majorly frustrating. The pattern is one of the Amazing Fit series from simplicity which includes A-, B-, C- & D- Cup pieces and skirts cut for Slim, Average, and curvy. I cut a size 22 curvy on the skirt and a size 20 D-cup for the bodice. The pieces were fine to work with but my body is unusually shaped in many parts (aren’t we all) so there was a lot of adjusting too. I liked that the instructions give you a lot of guidance to fitting the garment but I still found I was making things up as I went.

The bust was the trickiest as I wear a 34GG bra. Beneath my bust is probably my smallest part but overall I wear a size 20-22 so figuring this pattern out was a challenge. Below is what I ended up doing on the princess seam as it was gaping badly at the arm hole.

The instructions you baste together most of the seams first then adjust as you fit. I used the left over rust coloured thread from the skirt and jacket I made last week so it was easy to see what needed to be removed once the actual seams were sewn. To fit this part, I unpicked the princess seam.

Then, with the side front piece laying flat, I overlaped the bodice front piece with the seam allowance tucked under then pinned in place.

I took out a lot from the side seam and from under the bust.

By the pattern; Pin fitting; Finished shape

In the end I probably took too much out but by this point I had gone back and forwards with pieces too many times and was quite over it. I took out the zip in the back as I was sewing with lovely thick navy double knit.

I paired it with my lovely new Veronika Maine birthday coat (thanks Mum & Dad) and was happily blue all day.

Rust Jacket: Simplicity 2372

3 Jul

So I finally worked up the motivation to finish the jacket to match the rust skirt. Weekend task 1 complete. Honestly it doesn’t flatter me much and I’m starting to think there is a reason no one else has reviewed Simplicity 2372 on PR.

It was a pretty simple pattern to make, the only thing that slowed me down was figuring out how I would line it as the pattern only provides for facings. In the end I added full lining just using the original pieces then laid the facings on top and top-stitched before joining to the fabric.

It has nice little pleats in the raglan sleeves and a box pleat in the centre back. (It’s not actually crooked, I just can’t stand straight, apparently).

I thought maybe the matchy-matchy with the skirt wasn’t helping things, and it’s a little better dressed down with my grey jeans.

But I think it still reminds me of this:

Oh well, live and learn.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: $7.5

Fabric: $14.0 (2m @ $7/m – Centrepoint Fabrics)

Lining: $9.0 (2m @ $4.5/m – Centrepoint Fabrics)

Button: $1.20

Thread: $4.50

TOTAL: NZ$36.20 / US$24.90

Mermaid Dress: Simplicity 2692

30 Jun

Don’t be fooled by the pictures…… or the line drawings.

This dress nearly drove me up the wall!

Reason number one was the fabric – my first time sewing with sheer fabric that frays if you even glance at it.

Reason number two was the fit.

I was looking for a simple one-shouldered dress for a black tie event I was attending for work. Simplicity 2692 looked like it would fit the bill and be pretty easy to alter for my full bust. I mean gathers – they’re designed to adjust right?

Wrong. I’m not even going to go into how many tries I made with this one. A lot of it was my own doing as I haven’t done a lot of FBAs but there were also funny things going on with the midrif panel and the back.

I ended up extending the bodice front by 3 inches, raising the arm holes by an inch so that my strapless bra wouldn’t show. I narrowed the back piece as it was gaping and changed the angle of the midriff pieces.

Pattern pieces before.

Pattern pieces after.

On the positive side – I didn’t change anything on the skirt.

The whole thing was lined with navy acetate and I used a scrap of poly satin for the midriff. In the end it came together okay – except for one little thing. I forgot to add the ease back in when I adjusted the midriff so I couldn’t exactly breath in this one. Believe me when I tell you it took three people to get that damn zip up!

If I decide to make any of the other views on this pattern, I may just take The Mahogany Stylist’s lead and make it from a knit.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: $7.5

Fabric: $38.85 (3m @ $12.95/m)

Lining: $12.0 (3m @ $4/m

Zip: $8.95

Thread: $4.5

TOTAL: NZ$71.80 /US$49.40