Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sewaholic Crescent Skirt Revisited

This Sewaholic pattern is probably my most used skirt pattern. I have made three (the first one I blogged about  here) before but this fourth version is lined. 
I used a linen/rayon blend fabric purchased from Jo-Ann's. It had a nice drape and weight and a lovely mustard shade.

I only had one yard of the fabric and it shrank some after prewashing.
I thought I was able to squeeze in all the pattern pieces until I realized the pattern for the side waistband required four pieces.

So I used the already cut front waistband facing for the remaining two side waistbands.

And used a twill scrap fabric for the facing.

I added a lining cut from cotton batiste. Sewaholic Patterns has a short tutorial on how to do this. 

Aside from the clear instructions, what I love about this pattern is how professional the finished garment comes out because of the tiny details like:

Twill binding around the waistband.

Ingenious method of attaching zipper so the center back seams match.

Topstitching across the yoke pieces.

Slash pockets that do not detract from the overall shape of the skirt.

I'm set for the warmer months with my newest skirt. 

My Linda Top (Pattern Review No. 105)

Another freebie I received from Pattern Review is the Linda Top. It is a pattern for a necktie top with options for a sleeveless or 3/4 sleeves version. I tried the sleeveless version using a rayon jersey polka dot fabric from my stash.

The pattern was drafted to be very snug so that the ruching across the front would not sag. 

What's nice about the ruching is one has the option to choose how to distribute the gathers. One can spread it out evenly or concentrate it on a specific area of the front.

I like the armhole cut of the sleeveless version. There is an option for elbow-length sleeves which I might try next. 

Although this was an easy project, I was a bit stumped at the part where I had to sew the necktie to the neckline. It was my first time dealing with a necktie style so I emailed Deepika of Pattern Review and she was very quick to help. I think it helps to think of the necktie as a magnified binding piece for the neckline. The only thing is there will be a small gap left unfinished to allow wiggle room for tying the rest of the tie into a bow. 

This part shows part of the necktie serged to the neckline.

Instead of stopping, I continued serging even across the free edge of the neckline so the whole neckline is finished.

Overall, I'm quite happy with this pattern. Next time I sew it, I will have to use a contrasting fabric for the neck tie. The polka dots in my fabric camouflaged the necktie and it's hard to see it. 

For anyone wanting to try the pattern, I suggest making a muslin as the amount of stretch in the fabric used will play a big role in the fit. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Two For One--My Reversible Ina Maxi

Last year I received a free digital pattern from Pattern as a consolation prize for making it to the finals of their Surprise Sewing Bee. I chose the Ina Maxi Skirt (Pattern no. 104). This maxi skirt pattern achieves a very flattering silhouette by using two godets cut on the bias and is perfect for striped jersey fabrics.

I purchased two 2-yard cuts of rayon jersey from and both were very lightweight.

Both of these fabrics are very soft to the touch but a bit sheer.

Instead of lining them, I decided to use both in one skirt and make it reversible.

Here are the simple steps:

1) I assembled the skirts separately following the pattern instructions. I also assembled two waistband pieces minus the facing. I then attached each skirt to its own waistband, sewing the skirt to the bottom edge of the waistband.

2) I sewed the two skirts together along the upper edge of the waistband, right sides together. 

Voila! A reversible skirt!

There were a few challenges though.

My fabric had greater stretch along the horizontal stripes which determined how I laid out my skirt pattern pieces. But it added the need to carefully match the stripes along the seamline.

It was also tricky when it was time to hem as I had to make sure both sides were same length, otherwise there would be the inevitable peekaboo.

Finally, a few helpful tips:

Since my skirt was reversible, I could not sew a label or tag to mark the back. I just used a few small straight stitches on the waistband to remind me which was the back of the skirt.

For my waistband fabric, I used a polyester/spandex fabric used for activewear. It had greater recovery than my lightweight main fabric.

So here's my reversible Ina maxi.