23 February 2009

Many Versions of Kwik Sew 2694

I am finally blogging about sewing up Kwik Sew 2694. I started working on this top last summer and have since made five separate versions. I love this pattern because it is really easy to construct. I did 99% of the construction on my serger and, more recently, my brand new coverstitch machine.

The first time I attempted to make this top did not go well. I used a cotton interlock from Joann Fabrics. I quickly realized that though cotton interlock is nice to touch, it is not the right kind of knit for me. So I gave up on this pattern until attempting it again late last summer.

Version 1: Black off red/yellow floral print

Fabric: thin knit mesh with a lot of crosswise stretch purchased from the Fabric Warehouse in Romulus

Sizing: It's been so long since I made this, I don't quite remember what size I used. I think I cut a medium in the shoulders, neckline, and sleeve and cut a large for the side seam and hem.

Construction details: Since the knit is very thin and hence see-through, I decided to underline it with the same type of fabric. Luckily, I found some of the same mesh knit at the Fabric Warehouse. I cut the same pieces for the underlining fabric and hand basted each piece together. I think the pattern calls for 1/4" seam allowances.

The underlining gave the top much needed weight and makes the top hang nicely. To finish the edges, I used the rolled hem feature on my serger. I was so excited about the way this one came out, I decided to do it again in another mesh knit.

Version 2: brown & red floral print

Fabric: thin mesh knit from the Fabric Warehouse in Romulus

Sizing/fitting: The first version was shorter than I expected. Also, the empire waist seam appeared as if it were too high. So in anticipation of these fitting issues, I made a few changes. I added a couple of inches of length to the lower front and back. I also added some length to the upper front in an effort to lower the empire waist seam. For some reason, the changes to the upper front made the fit worse! I don't know what happened, but I get these weird diagonal pulls across the bust right at the waist seam and the neckline tends to fall open. Though I've gotten used to how it looks, the reason why this happen still intrigues me.

Construction details: I underlined each piece in the same fashion as version 1. I also used a rolled hem to finish the edges.

Version 3: stylized cheetah

Fabric: really soft polyester knit from Melody at Fashionista Fabrics

Sizing/fitting: After already completing two versions of this top, I thought I would need to tweak the fitting again. I tried adding length and width to the upper fronts, but decided to remove all of the changes. I figured that this particular knit was stretchy enough that it would take care of some of my fitting issues. And how! After making the top, I thought it was way too big. I contemplated keeping it because I thought it wouldn't look good on me. After wearing it a couple of times, I came to like it and am now ok with the fit.

Construction details: Nothing really special here. I used my serger to construct the seams and finished the hems by turning under 1/2" and stitching on top. I added a little snap on the neckline just above the bust level for modesty. Here is a picture of me wearing it:

Version 4: Black cross-over
Fabric: This is my second attempt at this version. As mentioned earlier, I tried to make this out of a cotton interlock. The fabric was quite thick and didn't move enough for me. The fabric pictured at left is of unknown origin. A burn test revealed that it's definitely synthetic. It's not too thick and has these fine little eyelash-like hairs all over. My intention was to use this fabric as a muslin to test the pattern again.

Sizing: I cut a medium in the neckline, shoulder, and sleeves and a large in the side seams and hem.

Construction details: Again, nothing new here. I used my serger on everything. I did make a mistake when sewing the side seams. Somehow I gathered the fronts together incorrectly which caused one of the fronts to be attached to the back in a way that made the top impossible to wear. I ended up having to cut part of the front out of the side seam. This "fix" isn't visible from the outside, so no one knows it's there but me and whoever else reads this. =)

To finish, I serged the edges and used a twin needle to give the illusion of a coverstitch. I recently bought a JanomeCP1000 after being totally enabled by the many commentaries about this machine found on Pattern Review. To test out the CP1000, I redid the lower hem. WOW! I love this freakin' machine! Pardon me as I wipe the drool from my face... More on the machine in another post...

Version 5: Pink cross-over
Fabric: A rather thick synthetic fiber blend knit from Field's Fabrics in Portage, Michigan. This top is supposed to be a part of my Neopolitan Ice Cream Themed SWAP. Progress on the SWAP is...um...slow. We'll see how that goes...

This fabric is not as forgiving as the black knit in version 4. It's thicker and has less crosswise stretch. The thickness of the knit also makes the lapped sections of the top feel bulkier.

I recently noticed that the fabric pills, a lot. I wore it to work one day and when I got home I had nice little pink fuzzies where my arms meet my sides. So, I don't think this will be a top worn often.

Fitting/sizing: I used the same sizing as in version 4, but I added some length to the sleeves and hem to make them both longer. I took slightly larger seam allowances with this top because the solid black one was a wee bit large in the waist. Mistake! I did not even think about the differences in fabric until after I serged the side seams! Oh well.

Construction details: Same as before: s e r g e r!

Here is a picture with me wearing it:

Whew! See, I told you I sew. I just stink at blogging. =)

Until next time,


19 February 2009

SWAP Update 2

I really have to get better at blogging. Oftentimes I know what I want to say, committing time to sit down at the computer and write it is another thing...To be fair to myself, I have been quite busy too. Work and my home life consume a great deal of energy. Plus, I have been roller skating a lot more. Anyway, I do have some updates to report on my progress with my SWAP.

The SWAP is coming along quite...slowly. =) I made several changes to the storyboard because I realized that my struggle with fitting woven blouses was going to seriously hinder my progress. Though I haven't given up on KS 3620, I have replaced a couple of the other blouses with knit tops. I also decided to change some of the bottoms because of fabric limitations. I want to shop my stash as much as possible. So, here are the new plans:

Top 1:

KS 2694

I made version A out of polyester-blend knit purchased from Field's Fabrics in Portage, MI. Originally, I was going to make Simplicity 3790, but the fabric is somewhat heavy and would probably not drape well with that style. The fabric actually has some gray flecks that I did not notice until I actually started sewing it. The flecks are not that noticeable from a distance, so I think the top will still go with everything else in the capsule.

The fit of the top could be better. The pattern calls for 1/4" seam allowances, but instead I used 1/2" seam allowances on the sides. I did this because I thought the top would be too big. I was wrong. It's definitely not too big. It's wearable but a bit more snug than I prefer.

I added a couple of inches to the sleeve for length and bound the neckline with self fabric.

Other tops/blouses include:
  • Simplicity 4076 (knit crossover top with waist gathers)
  • Burda 7892 (knit top with diagonal-seam bodice front)
  • New Look 6432 OOP (knit poncho)
  • McCall's 5522 (woven blouse with under bust gathers and seamed lower front/back)
  • Kwik Sew 3620 (woven blouse with ties and self collar)

For the bottoms, I plan to make:
I started on NL 6300 and quickly lost interest. I had such a time inserting the zipper that I put it down and have yet to pick it up again. Plus, the fabric (a dark brown corduroy) is picking up so much lint that it's no longer attractive to me. I will likely substitute this pattern for something else.

For the jacket, I still intend to make Simplicity 2766.

I will be on break next week, so hopefully I will be able to get a lot of sewing done.

Until next time,



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