Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Sewing Continues

I'm definitely in the groove of sewing this summer.
After the dresses I made 2 weeks ago, I made another shirt and two skirts. Talk about instant gratifications, especially comparing to knitting!

For the shirt I used New Look pattern 6407, and I made version E.

I don't know what I was thinking. I cut the pattern in size 10. I figured the finished bust measurements sounded right. WRONG! Being so used to thinking sizes in terms of knits, it didn't occur to me that zero ease has no give with woven fabric.

After sewing up, I realized it was way, way too tight, no room for buttons, yikes.  To remedy that, before I sew on the sleeves, I ripped the side-seams and added 1 1/2" strips between the front and the back.  The result?  I'm so proud of myself, these strips worked out perfectly. I had to re-cut the sleeves to add the extra 1 1/2" width simply by extending the 2 ends.  Next time, I'll stick with size 14.

The fabric was cotton.  I bought it at Mills End in Carson City.  I visited Mills End years ago and I'd totally forgotten that place until I started sewing up a storm this summer.  I went there coupla weeks ago and found a bunch of lovely prints in cotton, rayon, all ranged $3 - $5 per yard. This shirt was about $5 worth of fabric.

Yeepee.  I love bargains. I love the idea of being able to find inexpensive materials to make things. It is perhaps more out of necessity than anything. I love looking at expensive yarns and expensive fabric just as much as anyone else.  But the thrill of being able to make a shirt for $5 + $1.5 zipper + $1.5 buttons is only comparable to making a sweater under $30.

Oh and by the way I bought a few patterns when Joann had a sale of $1 for any Butterick patterns earlier this week.  I could feel my heart beating faster when I saw that at the store, and I only wanted a zipper, but I walked out of there with 4 patterns in addition to the zipper.

I actually made skirt #1 before I made the shirt.  It was really easy sewing. The only part where I took a deep breath first was putting in the zipper.  But I'm getting better at it.
The pattern for skirt #1 was New Look 6843, and I made version D.

Size 14 came out perfectly.  No alterations or mods. Simple A-line skirt.
Fabric was cotton with lycra that I bought years ago at Berkeley.  The fabric store was like Mills End filled with discount fabrics. The store located at where Straw into Gold used to be on San Pablo Ave. Print of the fabric was in Japanese style, really cute. The fabric unfortunately didn't soften up much as I'd hoped after washing.

I really, really love the shape of the skirt, not too flared out and the length came out perfect.  It was exactly the kind of skirt I like.

Then there was skirt #2.  The pattern was New Look 6106.  Yes, I seemed to have better luck with New Look patterns as far as sizing goes.  If I choose the right size, they tend to fit better on me than some other brands.

Size 14 came out really good, a bit looser than skirt #1.  Initially I felt size 12 might've been a better fit, but next morning when I tried it on.  It felt fine.
This one was way cute with pockets!!!  I love pockets in skirts.

Fabric was this wonderfully crazy print cotton with very slight stretch. I got it from Mills End for $4 a yard and I used about 1  1/4 yard. Score!

Did I mention pockets? Did I mention how much I love the pockets?
The pattern was very easy even with the pockets, and instruction for lapped zipper was very clear.

The skirt shape ended up a bit too triangular for my liking so I made a little mod by taking in 1" at each side of either side-seam and connect that with hip area right below pockets. So the circumference of the hem ended up 4" smaller.

I still feel like the skirt is a bit fuller than what I'd really prefer (like skirt #1.)   But it's a cute skirt nonetheless.

Next week I am gonna try combining skirt #1 shape with the pockets and yoke of skirt #2 to make my perfect skirt.


  1. What lovely new pieces! I've totally made that same mistake in making a button up shirt in a woven fabric with no ease. That was a brilliant idea to add those side panels. (I wish I had thought of that... I ended up just throwing my failed shirt away). And it is really nice being able to make an entire garment in a few hours, rather than a few weeks or a month. Though, knitting is still my first love. But sewing is awesome.

  2. They're all so nice!! I have your skirt #1 pattern, too. I have no fabric, however. I think I should remedy that right away. You're inspiring me.

  3. Really nice. I'm in the sewing mood as well... well here, it's quite (too) hot for knitting, but soon, I'll go back to my needles for your lovely cardigan o:)