Rags to Raglan

IMG_2260 I believe I have found the perfect raglan sleeve knit shirt pattern.

Kwik Sew 2874.  Three simple pieces.

Like a lot of my sewing of late, both the pattern and the fabric have been in stash for a while.  The pattern several years, the fabric maybe a year?

It’s a thick knit, with 4-way stretch.  A raschel, I believe, as the stripes are made by carrying a thicker novelty yarn on the face.  While I liked the fabric, I could never decide what to do with it.  It was originally supposed to be a cardigan, but I was concerned the length-wise stretch wouldn’t take buttons well.  Then some sort of a shrug, except I don’t really wear shrugs.  I put it aside.

K2874The past week or so, I’ve had an idea to sew something where the sleeves would be sheer (obviously, not this) and the body solid, showcasing fabric, rather than style and pattern.  Digging through the pattern stash revealed this Kwik Sew, with raglan sleeves.  That would suit quite nicely.  Then I laid it on top this fabric, and the lightbulb went off!

I cut single-thickness, so the stripes would align.  Sewn with a straight stitch;  seams pressed open.  I tested using the serger, but didn’t like the results: thick chunky seams.  To keep bulk down, I used a different knit as a facing to hem the bottom and sleeves – same color as the neckband.

Pattern tweaks were minimal.  The next version I will raise the underarm seam 3/8 inch or so.  Yay!


Kwik Sew: 3790

IMG_1979This will probably be the last of the tank tops for this year.  I know, never say never, which means I’ll get a bee in my bonnet and sew up a bunch more.

Another great knit print, paired with a Kwik Sew pattern that just needs a yard of fabric.

I’ve blogged about this pattern before, over here, where you can see the pattern changes I made, and again here where the ruching shows up better in the photos.

The ruching is still there in this top, just a bit more difficult to see with such a busy print.  Still, it gives the top shape and interest.  The most difficult thing about sewing this pattern?  Making sure all those gathers are evenly spaced.  Once you have that down, it’s easy peasy, nice ‘n’ breezy.

Even though McCalls now owns the Kwik Sew line, this pattern is still in print, at least according to their web site.  It comes as a long sleeve version as well, though I’ve not tried that one.

Twice the Tanks

Flora Flaunts new Tanks

There was a little bit of simple sewing at Casa Thunderpaws last weekend.  While neither complicated nor fancy, it served a very needed purpose – replacing the tired and well worn summer wardrobe with something new.  Two new tank tops, in fact.

Once again, my favorite tank top pattern, Kwik Sew 3115 comes to the rescue.  Almost all of the cotton tanks I have are from this pattern.  I have no idea why only the cotton ones.  Just the way it is.  The fabric is a yummy bamboo rayon /cotton baby rib from Fabric.com  I believe they still may have some – just search on bamboo baby rib.

Tank tops in September?  Yes indeedy!  The air conditioner is still running and we are still reaching triple digit temperatures.  Thankfully, the mornings are cooler, so opening the windows is now an option.  I am starting to pine for cooler weather…and the change to long sleeves.

Martini Anyone?

Flora prefers hers shirred, not shaken

Another Kwik Sew 3790, this time in an olive inspired print.  I like the ruching on the side, and the not quite cap sleeve sleeveless-ness of the pattern.  It’s a nice stylistic change from the traditional tank top.

The knit is a standard ITY, lightweight without being sheer.  I’ve mentioned this before with this pattern, but feel it bears repeating for new readers – it runs long!  So much so that I’ve taken nearly 3 inches out of it, and still have enough length put in a deep hem (1 1/2 inches).  Not a complaint, mind you, just something to be aware of.

Unlike a lot of styles for knits, I do use the facing pieces with this top.  They lend a bit more stability to the asymmetrical neckline, and help to provide a nice finish on the interior seaming.

Sewing this top is a combination of regular stitching to do the gathers and serging for the actual seams.  A serger is not required; a small stretchy zigzag would work too.

This top will help to refill the summer wardrobe too.  Some of the existing tanks have been looking a might tatty and stained.  It’s still warm enough in Cactusville that Flora’s Martini will see considerable use!

Kwik Sew 3790, Take 2

Flora ruches about in Kwik Sew 3790

Another take on Kwik Sew 3790, this time in a lovely rayon knit.  The top sewed up super quick.  Too quickly in fact.  There I was, zipping right along (zigzag, not serger) and Wham!

The sewing goddesses (or gods) whap me upside the head.  “Girrrl!  What are you doing?” they said.

Of course I jumped, not being used to sewlestial voices speaking to me directly, and ended up snipping a hole in the face of the top while I was trimming the binding.

The salty language of a former hash house harrier spewed forth.  I was not happy.  Not pleased at all.

I tell you, some days, those voices just have to know when to be quiet!

Once I calmed down and took a second look, it wasn’t that bad.  I thought I could patch it, so out came the Bo Nash powder and a teflon ironing sheet.  I tore a hole in the middle of a post-it note to make a template, so the powder wouldn’t get all over, and sprinkled some on the back.  Lifted the paper away, and very gently laid down a scrap of fabric over the hole, followed by the teflon sheet.

A little heat from the iron (no steam) and all seamed to be well.

I’ve worn the top, and you can’t tell there’s a hole in it.  The fabric being a bright, active print helps, I am sure.

Is there a moral to this story?  Besides the fact that I still know how to swear like a sailor?

  1. Don’t let the sewing goddesses interrupt you when you’re concentrating
  2. A little patch goes a long way.

Kwik Sew 3790

Flora models a newly released pattern: Kwik Sew 3790.  Side ruching with gathered shoulder detail, suitable for knits only.  This is the first in what has become a search for more sleeveless summer tops that are not basic tank tops.

I made this out of leftovers from another project, and think it turned out rather nicely.  The body is only gathered along one side, which, if you believe the What not to Wear folks, is supposed to provide a slimming look.  I like it just because it’s different.

The neckline and left shoulder piece have actual facings, which is a bit unusual for knits.  I followed directions, and stitched them in.  I still ended up cover stitching the neckline all the way around to provide stability, as knit + diagonally cut fabric = mondo stretch! I sure didn’t want that.

The pattern itself is also very, very, very long.  I tissue fit it to me before sewing, and removed about 2 inches from the overall length.

Once the top was finished with a 1 1/2 inch hem, I went back and took out another 1/2 inch from the pattern.  Yes, the pattern tells you to do the lengthen / shorten on these lines.  You get 2 places to adjust, which is a nice feature.

I think if I had made this top the original length, it would have been a dress!  Hmmm….that’s an idea.  Nah!  Too form fitting for me.

There are also sleeve variations, so I may give it a whirl with the long sleeves too.

Overall, a winner!

Kwik Sew: 3616

Flora models the last of the paint splatter knit which was used to make Kwik Sew 3616, a kimono-esque top.  This will be another nice one for summer.

There are 2 sleeve variations with this pattern.  I chose the sleeveless version.   Me being me, the short sleeves are so loose they would just end up dunking into my morning coffee.

Like most of the Kwik Sew patterns I have made, I traced and cut a medium, knowing full well I would have to take it in some to compensate for  my narrow front neckline and narrower upper ribcage.

What I didn’t anticipate was just how looowww the neckline was.  A wee bit too much for me, especially if I planned to wear it in public!  Leaning over was not an option.

So, I cut into the leftover scraps, and inserted a modesty panel.  Just a square of fabric to cover up the deep V, and stitched to the front and facing along the original line.  This print is so busy, you can’t even see the second line of stitching.

With the exception of the neckline facing and hem, the whole shirt was sewn on the serger.  It’s a quick, simple sew, suitable for an afternoon when you don’t want to think too much.

I even had some bright blue buttons in stash which work just perfectly.