Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Scarf Neck Cardigan by Swoon Patterns

Love this cardigan!  Some interesting styling at the hem and a sweet princess seam for shaping over the bust.  So many of these slouchy comfy cardigans are a bit shapeless but this one is just right.

The back is pretty plain but it works.

The fabric is a lighter weight cotton jersey which I wasn't sure what to do with.  It felt too light weight with not stretch enough for a nice top and ended up sitting in my stash for a while.  I think it works perfectly in this cardigan style.  

The pattern was easy to sew and things fit together well.  The instructions are sparse but should get the job done.  The best part?  It's a free pattern!  Get a copy and get sewing!  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hope for McVoguerick

Once upon a time there were patterns that fulfilled the promise on the envelope.  They came in one size per envelope, had seam allowances marked, and good instructions.  The pattern draft was so good that when sewn up the garment could look like a high quality item.  Often the instructions would teach by showing a clever technique or two for sewing and finishing your project.  These patterns were available in almost every fabric shop in the country and there were lots independent and small chain fabric shops around.  Even department stores had a fabric section complete with patterns.

Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it?  And yet, that is how it was once upon a time in history.  I was lucky to be there, to live that fairy tale, although at the time it all just seemed normal and expected.  I carefully chose and bought this designer Vogue pattern.  There were no huge % off sales then, it was full price and this one at $7 was expensive on my very small stay at home mom budget.  I found a rayon challis print, floral on a black base, at the discount table and I sewed my designer dress.  The instructions taught me the trick of self lining the sleeve instead of hemming, an easy way to finish a curved hem cap sleeve where the inside would be visible at times.  I wore the dress with a glossy black shaped belt, something that was popular in the 80's, and I felt on top of the world.       

A scan of my original pattern, I still have it.

I have no desire to buy Vogue patterns any more.  Or McCall's or Butterick.  They are all one big blob anyway and they managed to absorb KwikSew which I also have no desire to buy anymore.   Drafting errors, pathetic instructions, weird looking garments when sewn up, there are all kinds of depressing things to be found in the new patterns.  

Some years ago while mulling over this deteriorating pattern group company the word "McVoguerick" popped into my mind and I laughed because it was so fitting.  Recently I decided to look up when I first started using "McVoguerick" which was at Pattern Review and found it was in 2006.  I had not seen that word used before.  The impetus for this research came from something I recently read at the Communing With Fabric blog - that Frank Rizzo, the new President/CEO of The McCall Pattern Company is sometimes called "Mr. McVoguerick" by his fellow workers.  I have to wonder, did I start the use of the word McVoguerick? Is it my fault that Mr. Rizzo now has that nickname?  It really would be fun to take credit for thinking up McVoguerick...but I'm sure it was invented by many others as well. 

The blog post titled My Meeting with Vogue Patterns by Communing With Fabric is a fascinating read.  It puts some hope back into the future of the McCall Pattern Company, aka McVoguerick.  How I would love to once again spend blissful time paging through the books at the pattern counter knowing that the pattern I might choose would provide me with happy sewing time and a fabulous garment to wear.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The new Iconic Patterns

Lena of The Sewing Space just launched her new pattern line site, Iconic Patterns.  I'm blown away by how gorgeous and professional the site is!  Just as professional and gorgeous as her patterns are.  I have made the Jess jeans, wow, nice job on the draft Lena.  I'm working on the Sammy Cami now, it's just right.  Time for me to get a photo of these up.  In the next few days, I promise!

Friday, February 28, 2014

What You Love Tank by Mind, Body & Sew

Love this tank!  Perfection all around.
  • Two pattern pieces
  • Easy to sew
  • Nice shapes in the neckline and racer back
  • Fits
  • Flattering

And it's a download pattern which means instant gratification.  It's the What You Love Tank at Mind, Body & Sew.

The easy-to-sew is in part due to the neckline and armscye treatment.  Instead of adding a binding the raw edges are simply turned under 1/2 inch.  The edges are turned under once and topstitched with a zigzag or a coverstitch or they can be turned under twice for a narrower finish.  Does this work, you might ask?  Yes indeed, it works very well and it is a finish I have used often in my sewing life with great success.  Usually the knits I do this with have some lycra content or are stable knits but it works well enough on lighter weight rayon knits or a non lycra cotton jersey like the one in the photo.

The bottom hem is sewn along the stretch of the fabric can a little tricky with a knit that doesn't have the best recovery.  The edge can stretch out quite a bit so I used the "crowding" technique where a finger is placed right behind the presser foot while sewing which makes the fabric bunch up between the finger and the presser foot.  When there is a pile of fabric bunched up, release that fabric and put the finger back for some more crowding.  I also had to do some steaming with my iron and reshaping of the hem.

Who is that headless sewing room helper?  There is a hint in my previous post.   More about her later.  Today it's all about the What You Love Tank.