Tag Archive | seam

Simplicity 2480 – The Jacket – Part 4

DSCN0984With the pockets now completed, it was finally time to stitch the jacket! The first step was to insert the zipper. Remembering the lessons that I had learned from inserting the zipper in the little girl’s peplum jacket, this zipper sewed in much easier. And I did not need to move the needle over to sew the zipper on like I did the last time. The only challenge I faced with this zipper was deciding just how long I wanted the zipper to be.

Did I want it to extend into the collar or stop just before the collar? DSCN0807

The pattern called for the zipper to be inserted into the collar, but If I stopped the zipper at the collar, I could attach the collar as I would the collar of a camp shirt, finishing it off with a little twill tape.

If I followed the pattern instead and inserted the zipper into the collar, some hand stitching would be required to finish the collar. Now, you know how much I just “love” hand stitching, so you can guess which plan I was leaning towards, but then I remembered that I was making this jacket to learn so I decided to follow the pattern and insert the zipper into the collar, and then do the required hand stitching. After sewing on the zipper and facings, I hand stitched the edge of the collar to the back of the jacket. This went a lot smoother than I expected it to. I think I did a pretty good job on the hand stitching and that it will hold up with wearing.

Now that it is done I am pleased with the results of how I attached the zipper, collar and facings. DSCN0737Before I started this pattern, I read some pattern reviews for this pattern on the internet and one of the things mentioned about this pattern was that the sleeves were extremely wide. I could see this as I traced the sleeve part of the pattern, so I decided, based on the size of my wrists, to grade 4 inches out of the the width of the sleeves starting at the wrist.

I think the wearer of this jacket will like the thinner sleeves and it saved on fabric. I inserted the elastic at the bottom of the sleeves as the pattern called for. I think that will also help with any extra blousing from the wide sleeves. DSCN0989I interfaced the facings and collar before sewing them on. I just grabbed the first interfacing that I pulled from the stash to use, but I wished later that I would have looked a little closer.

Now, with the interfacing applied and the jacket sewn up, the interfacing that I used is too heavy for the fleece. The heavy interfacing makes the collar stiff so that it only wants to stand up. The heavy interfacing is also a problem at the inseam pockets. Because I used two pieces of fleece to make the pockets, they are already bulky but when I added the heavily interfaced facing on top of the pockets at the bottom of the jacket by the zipper, it is even bulkier.

Lesson learned. DSCN0987

Upon completion, I stared at the jacket and it looked very odd to me. It looked like it would never fit anyone.

It’s was so small in circumference but long in length in both the sleeves and the body of the jacket. Who would have such odd body proportions. Then it dawned on me what I had done. I had made a extra small adult jacket, and not an extra large child’s jacket. Once I figured this out I could finally picture a young slender adult wearing this jacket without any problem. An unforeseen lesson in sizing and fit was learned this time around. Although this jacket may not be perfect, and some of the seams are not very straight, I am still pleased with the end results.

I learned a lot, and it has left me with several ideas and sewing techniques that I want to try and work on in the future. I hope some one will enjoy wearing this jacket and that it will fit them well.

Until next time, sew forth and jacket on!

Simplicity 2480 – Pocket #3 and #4 – Part 3

Version 4As mentioned in a previous post, I had already decided not to make the side in seam pockets with a zipper closure as the pattern had called for, so I set the pattern guide aside and thought up my own plan for sewing these pockets. Most of my ideas came from the in seam side pockets I had sewn in a little kid’s polar fleece jacket several years ago but with a few changes.

The pockets on the kid’s jacket were just one piece which was sewn to the front of the jacket to make the pocket. An open rectangle was sewn at the side seam for the opening of the pocket and then the pocket sewn to the front of the jacket to complete the pocket. The seam attaching the pocket to the jacket was seen on the front of the jacket.

DSCN0768The pattern I was currently working with called for these pockets to be make from two pieces so the pocket is not sewn to the front of the jacket. I liked the idea of not having a visible seam on the front of this jacket. So, to make the opening of the pocket, I placed one piece of the pocket on the front of the jacket, right sides together and sewed, cut and turned the rectangle for the opening. Next, I sewed the second pocket piece to the first pocket piece to complete the pocket.

DSCN0802 (1)The pattern called for the first piece of these pockets to be a lining fabric instead of using two pieces of the fleece. The reason for this was the bulk. It you were using a heavy polar fleece, two pieces would be very bulky, but I was not using polar fleece, my fabric was just a sweatshirt fleece, so I made both sides of these pockets with the same fabric. Two pieces of the fleece didn’t seem that bulky to begin with, but when it was added to a third piece, the front of the jacket, the pocket was then getting a little bulky. It was not so bulky that I was willing to unpick and restitch the pockets but the lesson was learned. Don’t double up fleece when making pockets with it!

With pockets #3 and #4 done now it was time to insert the zipper and finish up the jacket. That’s coming up next so stay tuned.

Until next time, sew forth and in-seam pocket on!

Simplicity 2480 – Pocket #2 – Part 2

Version 3I’ve sewn patch pockets before, so I did not pay much attention to the pattern guide as I sewed on the front patch pockets of this jacket, but when it came to the zippered front pocket, I read and studied the pattern guide throughly. When all was said and done, I wish I had not. Let me explain why.

Per the pattern guide instructions, I traced the cut lines for this zippered pocket onto a piece of interfacing and ironed it to the front of the jacket. Next, I cut on the cutting lines. The next step was to sew the shortened zipper to the small pieces that were made by the cutting lines. Because the pieces were very small, and the zipper was bulky and the fleece had stretch to it, this was not easy. It was difficult to sew a nice straight seam. I worked through it though and finally got the zipper sewn to the front of the jacket.

DSCN0753The next step was to sew the pocket to the zipper. Once again this proved to be a challenge. I had to sew the pocket to the zipper tape and the small cutting line pieces as I held the rest of the jacket out of the way and worked through the bulk and the stretch. My seams were not straight or even on this pocket but I finally finished it. The finished pocket is far from perfect, but it does not look too bad so I decided to call it done.

The reasons that I decided to call this pocket good enough for now was that I had no intentions of sewing another zippered pocket this way again. As I struggled to sew this pocket together, my thoughts drifted to what I had read about welt pockets. Wouldn’t it be easier to have sewn this pocket on like a welt pocket? Yes, I think so.

DSCN0756When I sew another zippered pocket, I will approach it as a welt pocket. I will sew the pocket to the front of the jacket, cut the cutting lines, and turn the pocket to the inside. This will give me a nice rectangle for the zipper. Instead of folding the pocket fabric into a welt at this point, the zipper will be top stitched to the rectangle, then the pocket fabric will be sewn together on the inside as if the welt had be formed and sewn in place.

DSCN0759I’m anxious to try the zippered welt pocket sewing plan that I have thought up to see it my ideas are valid. So, for about one second I did consider taking off the patch pocket and adding another zippered pocket instead. Then I remembered the liquid seam that I had used to finish the patch pocket and decided to leave the patch pocket alone and continue on with the rest of the jacket. My zippered welt pocket plan would have to wait for another project. And with that, it was time to sew pockets 3 and 4 to this jacket, the in seam side pockets. So, stay tuned to see how they turned out in the next post.

Until then, sew forth and zipper pocket on!

Simplicity 2480 – Pocket #1

fabric-comicEven though the peplum jacket finally ended up as a wearable item in the end, it did not follow my current sewing plan of sewing jackets with pockets very well. And since I was wanting to get back to my sewing plans, I turned this time to the pattern stash for ideas and a new pattern to try out. And I found a great one in the Simplicity 2480 pattern. This pattern is for a jacket with several different types of pockets and it fit with my current sewing plans nicely. The only problem I had with this pattern was that it was adult sized. When I try out new sewing techniques and practice them, I prefer to sew children’s sized clothes since it is less wasted time and fabric if it does not work out. But because this pattern fit my current sewing plan so well, I decided to make it in a size XS to minimize any problems. That should be about the right size for a girl in the 7-9 year old range.

IMG_0025Since I still had a lot of the pink fleece left over from the peplum jacket, it was not difficult to pick it as the fabric to use for this jacket. And, since I liked the white zipper in the peplum jacket, it was not difficult to pick another white zipper for this jacket too, and it was even easier to select a white zipper for the front pocket. The pattern called for two more zippers for the side pockets, but I decided to just make them open inseam side pockets and leave the zippers off, so I only needed the one small zipper. With the fabric laundered, the pattern traced and the pieces of the pattern cut from the fabric, it was time to get started sewing the pockets.

DSCN0751The first pocket was the front patch pocket. It was not difficult to sew on but what I learned was that it takes lots of practice to sew on nice looking patch pockets. There is a practiced skill involved in attaching them, and although this pocket did not look too bad on the second try, I still had not quite caught all the edges of the pocket on the curve. I was so close to having caught the edges that rather than unpicking the pocket and trying it again, I just used some liquid seam to seal the edges.

DSCN0802 - Version 2Now, I know this was cheating as far as the sewing plan goes of learning to sew pockets properly, but I felt that unpicking and re-stitching the pocket on would have hurt the plan more. I would have been flustered by the unpicking and restitching process and I would have not wanted to sew pockets anymore. I know this will not be my last patch pocket that I will ever sew on, so I will have a lot of other opportunities to continue to practice and improve my sewing skills of sewing on patch pockets in the future.

With the patch pocket all stitched on the front of the jacket, it was time to start the next pocket, the zippered front pockets. So stay tuned for how the next pocket turned out.

Until then, sew forth and pocket on!

McCall’s M6274 – Puffing Up Again – Part 2

DSCN0884With the pieces of the top cut out, it was time for the sewing to begin. I did not follow the pattern guide as closely this time as I did the last time. After sewing the shoulder seams, I made the gathers for the puffy sleeves. Next, I sewed the gathered sleeves in flat instead of setting the sleeves in as the pattern called for. I guess I was not as careful this time about matching the stripes as I cut out the pattern, since these stripes do not match as well as the purple stripes did. Perhaps it had nothing to do with my cutting or matching skills, but more the fact that these strips are larger than the previous purple ones and that’s why I did not get as good a match. I am not completely sure why the stripes did not match as well this time. I will have to look into this further. I need to sew more stripes to perfect my matching techniques.

DSCN0663The facings at the neck were not a problem to sew. Holding the top up after sewing on the facings, I could tell right away that the alterations to the neckline and shoulder seams were good. The top was already looking so cute, and it was going to fit so much better than the last top I had made from this pattern. The next step was the hemming.

DSCN0888I used my double needle to hem the bottom of the shirt for some added detail. I added a row of double needle stitching to the neckline as well to hold the facing down in place. The last hems were the sleeves. As I hemmed the sleeves, I decided I would like a cuff on them. Now was not the best time to change the design of the sleeves though. The time for that was back at the altering and cutting steps. If I wanted a cuff on the sleeves, I should have cut the sleeves longer so there was fabric left over to make a cuff with. But since I had not cut the sleeves longer I twisted and folded the fabric until I had made a cuff. I not going to say how I twisted and folded the fabric to get the cuffs to work since it is not my best sewing job, and I don’t plan to use this method of cuff making again. After making these cuffs, I used the double needle to hem them up.

DSCN0889The last step to complete this top was to sew the buttonholes and buttons. Like last time, I decided not to sew a full buttonhole but to just sew the button permanently to the epaulets and the sleeves as a non-functional decoration.

With this top now all done, I once again miss having the little neighbor girl around. Without her to wear my alterations, I don’t know if the altered shoulder seams and neckline are a good fit. But by looking at the top, I know the alterations are better than the last one I made, just as I knew that the previous shoulder seams and neckline would be a problem. And with that, I have officially decided that with my new alterations, I like this pattern and I will be making it again.

Until then, sew forth and puff on!

McCall’s M6274 – Puffing Up Again – Part 1

Puff PatternPatterns were on sale again at Joann’s and as I studied the McCall’s web site and wrote out my shopping list, my thoughts turned to a previous McCall’s pattern M6274 that I had purchased during the last sale. It is a girl’s top with puffy sleeves. As you may remember, I have made a top from this pattern and the puffy sleeves turned out great. They were just adorable!

P1030750What wasn’t adorable though, was the neck line. I did see the little neighbor girl wearing this top and as I feared, the neck hung over her shoulders. She had to keep pulling it up. I then knew that if I ever made that pattern again, I would be altering the shoulder seams and the neckline to fix the problem. So, why not just make that pattern again and fix the problems with it since I had found out the results from the wear test? I own the pattern already and it’s just sitting in the closest, and I do love the puffy sleeves of the pattern. So, rather than purchasing more patterns to just live in the closet, I decided to use one that I already had and make the alterations it needed to make a wonderful girl’s top with puffy sleeves.

DSCN0873I started with the alterations to the pattern. I pulled out my child’s sloper pattern from Kwik Sew’s Sewing for Children and I laid M6274’s front and back pattern pieces on the front and back pattern pieces of the Kwik Sew’s basic t-shirt pattern. Taping extra pieces of plastic to the top of the M6274’s pattern pieces, I traced out new shoulder seams and a neckline based on the Kwik Sew’s pattern. This neckline would be finished with a facing, but I did not cut out separate pattern pieces for the facings. Instead I just used the newly altered front and back pattern pieces to cut out the facings. With the pattern alterations made, it was time to cut it out.

DSCN0876Since a striped fabric worked well the last time I made this pattern, I picked another piece of striped fabric from the stash for this top. When I cut out the sleeves, I debated about cutting them longer but in the end, I followed the length of the pattern. I did cut the epaulets slightly longer. Why you ask? I don’t really know why I thought they needed to be longer. If the sleeves were not any longer, why did the epaulets needed to be longer? In the end, I had to cut the epaulets back down to the original pattern size. I worry about my thought process sometimes. At least I was thinking ahead, or at least trying to think ahead so I didn’t run into problems further into the project.

Next up, the sewing process.

Until then, sew forth and puff on!

Catting Around With More Pleats – Part 2

DSCN0853DSCN0854With the bodice now completed, the skirt was next. Unlike the box pleated skirt that I made previously, I did not want a pleat at the center front and back and side seams of this skirt. I wanted the knife pleats to fold away from the center front and back. So, I started by pining these points, center front and back and side seams.

With the skirt divided into fourths, calculating the pleat became much easier. I started folding and found that two pleats per quarter would gather the skirt to the circumference of the bodice. I folded the pleats towards their respective side seams.

Once folded and pinned in place, I sewed around the top of the skirt to hold the pleats in place. With that, the knife pleats were done. I believe this skirt was easier to make than the box pleated skirt was because of the time that I spent and knowledge that I gained in making it. I had already experienced a lot of trial and error on the box pleated skirt, making this knife pleat skirt much easier to calculate.

DSCN0329This time I decided to not hem the lining and top fabric together. This also gave me an idea on how to make the stitch in the ditch seam easier. Instead of sewing the top fabric of the bodice to the skirt, folding the lining up and stitching in the ditch, I would sew the lining to the bodice, fold the top fabric up and sew around the folded fabric.

You would see the seam and there would be a fold, but I felt that would be fine. If it wasn’t fine, oh well, this was a trial dress to learn from and I wouldn’t do it that way again.

DSCN0330It felt odd sewing the lining to the bodice first. It felt like I was sewing it backwards. After completing the sewing, I ironed the seam up and ironed the fold in the top fabric of the bodice. I then positioned the folded top fabric over the lining/bodice seam and started sewing. There was a lot of play in the fabric, so I had to sew carefully to get a nice seam, with no folds or tucks.

With the stitch in the ditch seam, you can ignore a small tuck or fold or a crocked seam here and there because it is all done inside the dress. With the seam on the outside, there could be no tucks or folds or crocked seams since it would all be visible from the outside. Once this seam was sewn, I thought the look was good. The exposed seam and the fold looked fine. But, I don’t know that it was really any easier to sew than the stitch in the ditch seam due to the care that had to be taken sewing to this exposed seam.

DSCN0858DSCN0857I hemmed the lining 2 inches shorter than the top fabric so it would not be seen.

And with that done this dress was completed!

It turned out very cute. Cuter than I expected with the cats and the stars. The knife pleats came out great and the reversed stitch in the ditch seam looked fine. I hope some little girl will be happy wearing this dress.

Until next time, sew forth and cat on.