LIZ’S EASTER SEWFEST: PART 2 GARMENT SEWING

Ok, so once I had finished the essential baby sewing (see PART 1 of this post published on 23rd April), I got down to sewing up some of the garments for myself that I had already cut out on the floor while watching TV (well actually listening to TV). Remember I said in a previous post that it is as good as a yoga workout? Really, the muscles in my legs & lower back sure get a workout. It is, of course, much easier on the body to lay out your fabric & pattern pieces on a high cutting table. However, if you are trying to do double or triple  duty like me, you may end up doing yoga at the same time as TV AND cutting out your garments. Whoever said women are the queens of multi-tasking was dead bang on the money!!

The Sewing Workshop Collection Pattern: Stella & Luna is a relatively new pattern. Stella & Luna Tops

I acquired this pattern recently at the Victoria Sewing Show (Thank you, Marilyn & Barb) & here is my first attempt with this pattern: the Stella top. I am not totally sold on whether I like the fabric or not. It seems a bit “busy” to me for this particular style.  I think if I had made the cowl part a different fabric (plain black or brown maybe), it might have looked better? However, it was a good trial run and I will definitely be making this top again in a different knit fabric.

Stella top - see also blog post last week titled
Stella top – see also the recent blog post with the title  PRODUCT REVIEW: GARMENT SEWING PATTERNS TO INSPIRE YOU TO SEW

I also made 3 pairs of pants: a dark purple, a black & a brown pair. I used the same Kwik sew yoga pant pattern for 2 of them & then decided to use a different pattern for the brown pants.  Please be aware that some of the patterns I refer to may not be current patterns. I have acquired patterns over many years of sewing garments and sometimes I pick up “new” patterns at thrift stores. Not every pattern I use is brand new and currently available.  You can always substitute a similar pattern. The ones I use are just a starting point to hopefully inspire you.

KWIK SEW #3115

KWIK SEW #3115

I first made this yoga pant pattern in a thickish piece of purple knit fabric. Wish I could remember what it was called but I can’t. I LOVE the feel of the fabric : very smooth with wonderful firm stretch and the pants are super comfy. However, I think I prefer a slimmer, less flared leg so on the next pair (same fabric but black instead of dark purple), I slashed the front & back leg pattern pieces along the straight grain line from the hem right up almost to the top of the pattern. Drastic, yes, but it worked beautifully. I overlapped the pieces & taped them flat to reduce the width or flare of the leg.  Do NOT cut off the side & inner leg seams as this will alter the integrity of the pattern design and more than likely result in uncomfortable, badly fitting pants.

I just LOVE my black pants with the alterations I made. They are pretty much yoga pants  without the flared leg but not so tight that they could be called leggings. They look so smart tucked into a pair of boots but can also be worn with shoes or sandals. The waist band is a self “elastic” in that the band is cut quite a bit smaller than the top of the pants, so you stretch it as you sew it on.  I have lost a few lbs lately so I found the band was still too loose. Easy fix: I opened the seam on the waist band and inserted a piece of 1 inch wide elastic which pulled the waist band in a little bit more so I wasn’t bothered by pants that kept slipping down slightly. They now stay up which is a good thing, and waist band still lays flat & smooth so I am very happy with the result.

Purple pants pinned to my dress form

Purple pants pinned to my dress form

What I call my "shark bite" top. LOVE using my JANOME SERGER & COVERPRO to sew it as it is so quick and professionally finished.

What I call my “shark bite” top. LOVE using my JANOME SERGER & COVERPRO to sew it as it is so quick and professionally finished.  Just check out the great new dressform Debbie brought in to the office.  Thanks, Debbie! This is just wonderful as it is pretty much impossible to photograph myself wearing a garment – My arms are not long enough!

I bought this pattern a few years ago and I think I have made the sleeveless view on the left at least 6 times. It is wonderful as a top over pants & leggings with a long sleeved top underneath; or cool & great as a loose summer top; it also makes a great nightgown. Note the 'shark bite" hemline which has been so popular for quite some time.
I bought this pattern (animal print knit top above) a year or 2 back & I think I have made the sleeveless view on the left at least 6 times. It is wonderful as a top over pants or leggings with a long sleeved top underneath when it is cold; OR worn with capri’s as a loose summer top; OR make it up into a comfy nightgown. Note the “shark bite” hemline which has been so popular for quite some time. This is truly a one hour garment from cutting out to wearing – very easy to make – exactly as the pattern cover indicates.
Note how stay tape works to avoid puckering so that neck line & hems stay flat & professional looking: I used the JANOME CPX  Coverhem serger for neck, armholes & hems. Side seams were sewn using the Stretch knit program on my serger: this program is a 4 thread seam with some adjustments to stitch length and differential feed. My serger does this automatically. I just have to select this program - it is all about EASE and convenience.

Note how stay tape works to avoid puckering so that neck line & hems stay flat & professional looking: I used the JANOME CPX Coverhem serger for neck, armholes & hems. Side seams were sewn using the Stretch knit program on my serger: this program is a 4 thread seam with some adjustments to stitch length and differential feed. My serger does this automatically. I just have to select this program – it is all about EASE and convenience.

I have made view E but the one shown above is view C - the green long sleeved top. I really like the way the neck line drapes into that cowl front. I did narrow the sleeves. I don't like wide sleeves like that. So, once again, I slashed it up the grain line & overlapped the 2 halves to make it much narrower from above the elbow to the wrist.

I have made view E (bottom left) and it was very nice. I wear that in the summer. But the swirl pattern knit top shown below is view C (the green long sleeved top on the pattern cover above). I really like the way the neck line drapes into that cowl front. I did narrow the sleeves. I don’t like wide sleeves like that. So, once again, I slashed it up the grain line & overlapped the 2 halves to make it much narrower from above the elbow to the wrist. I have short arms as well so I always have to shorten the length of sleeve patterns by quite  a few inches. (My legs could have been longer too but that is a different story! )  These alterations do not affect the sleeve seam nor where the sleeve is sewn into the armhole so it all fits together just fine.

Simplicity 3790. I love the drape of the neck line. This top is very comfortable to wear so I have made a few in this style.

Simplicity 3790 (above)

Teagarden T. I struggled a bit with this pattern. It is quite unusal as there is only 1 main pattern piece which includes the front, back & sleeve. Yes, but you cut 2 and then sew together center front & back. It also has gussets for under the arms but this just did not work for me. Maybe I was being stupid but in the end I finally got them in but it looked awful so I tok them out and re cut the shape of the sleeves from wrist all the way to hemline. I wasn't sure it would work but luckily it did. SO be aware that this is not exactly as the pattern would have had me do it but at least I can wear it and I like it.  It fits quite snugly and the neck line is very unusual so I may end up making another one.

Teagarden T. I struggled a bit with this pattern. It is quite unusual as there is only 1 main pattern piece which includes the front, back & sleeve. Yes, but you cut 2 and then sew together center front & back.  Shoulder seam is a dart. It took me a little while to wrap my brain around this pattern. It also has gussets for under the arms & along part of sleeve & side seams but this just did not work for me. Maybe I was being stupid ? I finally got the gussets sewed in but it looked awful so I took them out and re-cut the shape of the sleeves & side seams from wrist all the way to hemline. I wasn’t sure it would work out OK but luckily it did. SO be aware that the blue, black & white print top (below) is not exactly as the pattern instructed me to do but at least I can wear it and I like it. It fits quite snugly and the neck line is very unusual so I may well end up making another one. I like to have a variety of different styles in my closet and this sure is different.

TEAGARDEN T by Sewing Workshop Collection made in a very soft knit print. It was essential to use stay tape to have nice, unpuckered seams & hems. I also used interfacing in the collar area to give a little bit of firmness to this.

TEAGARDEN T by Sewing Workshop Collection made in a very soft knit print. It was essential to use stay tape to have nice, unpuckered seams & hems. I also used interfacing in the “collar” area to give a little bit of firmness to this.

About lizafrica

I work in the Education Dept at Janome & Elna, Canada and LOVE to sew. I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.
This entry was posted in 1200D Serger, Creativity, Fashion, GARMENT SEWING WITH JANOME, Janome 1100D, JANOME CPX COVERPRO SERGER, Janome Fun, Janome Sewing Machine and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to LIZ’S EASTER SEWFEST: PART 2 GARMENT SEWING

  1. Linda Seemann-Korte says:

    Hi Liz,
    I love the quick and easy t-shirt sewing! I laughed when I saw your See and Sew shark bite top! the pattern is still available and I made one this morning before work! It really is a one hour top for experienced sewers! I narrowed the neckline a bit! Have you tried it in a woven fabric? Love it! thanks for sharing your talents!
    Linda

    Like

    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Linda,
      Yes, I did make it in a woven – a rather nice batik fabric actually but I did not like it much. Knits really are so comfortable as they stretch & cling where necessary! I find wovens need a more structured pattern with darts & shaping etc otherwise it can just hang over you like a tent & that is not flattering. Possibly a very soft woven might work? I have not tried it again after the one I was not happy with. I cut it up and used the fabric for something else!
      Liz

      Like

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