Thursday, July 30, 2020

Pandemic Sewing Gets Twisted!



For as long as I have been sewing, I thought I had sewn with just about every type of fabric. I'm so grateful that my collaborations with Nature's Fabrics that introduces me to fabrics I had not considered before. Recently, they have released some beautiful printed bullet knit fabrics that caught my eye. Bullet knit is lightweight knit fabric with a small pique texture. It is denser than ITY, but not as thick as a scuba knit. This knit is 95% Polyester and 5% Spandex.  It is 62” wide and weighs 260 GSM.  It stretches 50% in the width and 50% in the length.  It is a soft flowing, does not fray or ravel. The print is only on the top   

I was drawn to Artist Palette

        




If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love my Willow Overalls by Pipe Dream Patterns. I have made several pairs and they are heavy in my rotation! When the Eilidh Twist Dress was released, I added it to my must make list. I love both versions of this dress, but decided version 1 would get more wear than the more provocative back twist version. 

Eilidh Twist Dress - PDF Beatha 6 - 20
When I ordered the two colorways of this bullet knit fabric, the plan was to use the Artist Palette for Little Miss, and Glitter Stripe for myself. When the fabrics arrived however, I fell in love with the colorful one and claimed it for myself. I promise I made it up to her and she loves what I made.

I guess I had this fabric in mind when I came up with these pattern weights.

The one and a half yards of this was enough for the body of the dress but was slightly short for the longer of the sleeve options. I did not want a cap sleeve, so I made made do with what I had.


The dress came together very quickly with no complications. The only change I made was to stabilize the back scoop with basted clear elastic. 


I finished it on my coverstitch with variegated rainbow threads.



I think this fabric, with this front twist, makes quite the statement.

        

         

The back scoop falls right above my bra line so no special underwear is required to wear it.



            
I made the size medium (after trying the large), omitted the side slit and made no other alterations.



I would not have shortened the sleeves if my fabric was long enough. Now that I've done it, I think the scale of the sleeves with the length, balances very well.
                         


Like with the Willow Overalls, I'm sure I will be adding more makes of this pattern to my wardrobe. I think this would look great in mixed prints or color-blocking. 

ICYMI:
1. I joined the Sew and Tell Podcast to talk about fabric dyeing, painting and manipulation.  We discussed inspiration, failure and played what would you make. I hope you will tune in.

2. I have new pattern weight designs listed in my Etsy store.


Happy Sewing,
Bianca

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Now You See Me Tote New Pattern and Giveaway!

Hello friends I hope you all are doing well and staying safe during the pandemic. I have been recovering from knee surgery so I haven't been sewing as much as I normally do. While I was recuperating, I took my down time to design and release a bag pattern!
The Now You See Me Tote is a 4-in-1 versatile shoulder and tote bag. One bag is clear vinyl for those occasions where a see-through bag is needed for security.



The other bag is a detachable, interchangeable fabric insert that allows for concealment when privacy is needed.


The strap options include shoulder straps on the tote and an adjustable hobo/crossbody strap for the insert and tote.   


The clear bag features raw-edge binding that can be made with leather, cork, pleather, leather and Kraft-Tex, like I used in my versions.

Part of the fun is the fact that the insert can be swapped out to change the look of the bag. 

Reversible sequins:


Pieced quilt panel


Light colored fabric

For added adaptability, the pattern includes the option for riveted leather straps on the insert. 


The pattern is available now in my Etsy store. In addition, I am hosting a giveaway on Instagram. Enter to win a roll of Kraft-Tex, a copy of my pattern and a cut of clear vinyl to complete your bag. While you are there use the #nowyouseemetote hashtag to see the versions made by my testers.


Good Luck and Happy Sewing,
Bianca

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Cosmically Out Of This World Bag


What a surreal time we are living in. I hope you all are staying safe with minimal stress during these trying times. For many of us creatives, sewing has served as a welcome stress relief as we stay at home to flatten the curve. I have been at home recuperating from knee surgery and sewing less than normal. I have occasionally been making masks for friends and family and recently took a break for some selfish sewing.

Nature's Fabric (brand ambassador) has a new line of custom printed fabric with a fun galaxy theme. Cosmic Space is a bold design with depth variation and deep color saturation. It is available in several substrates including Waterproof Oxford, Bullet Knit, PUL, Bamboo/Spandex Jersey, and Organic Cotton Spandex Jersey. With so many options, you are sure to find a way to add this to your wardrobe. 


I had not sewn with Waterproof Oxford before and I was excited to try it out. It is a polyester fabric with a durable water resistant coating and a white polyurethane backing. It is a low maintenance fabric that requires wiping to clean, does not stretch or shrink and does not require pre-washing. It perforates with pins, so fabric clips  and careful sewing are necessary so you don't have to go back and  rip a seam.

When the fabric arrived we were all pleased with the vibrancy of the colors. Both kids immediately requested school bags with the fabric. With distance learning on the cards for the remainder of the school year, I have set aside their fabric for later and got to making a bag for myself.


I hit my stash for a simple pattern to showcase the fabric. I went with Bruda 6400, (affiliate link) a zipper topped hobo bag.  I liked the simple construction, the slouchy shape and the capacity of the bag. I love pockets, so I added some to the front by using the bag pattern as a guide.


To make the pocket visible, I added a line of metallic silver piping to the top and sewed it in place with my zipper foot.


I basted it in place and continued with the construction. 


I added silvertone rivets to the divided pocket for some more visual interest.


The pattern does not include a lining, rather the seams are bound with bias tape. I prefer a lining so I made one by cutting the pattern from cotton from my stash and attached it at the zipper construction part of the instruction. I kept an opening in the side of the lining for turning after the strap and bag base were completed.



For a bit of added security on the top of the strap, I added the silvertone rivets there as well.


I kept the back as the pattern directed. When I make it again, I may add pockets to the back as well.


You know I love bold prints and I love a good bag. I am really happy with this one. I can't wait for it to be safe for us to frolic in the outside again. When it is, I will have the perfect bag to do it.


Happy sewing and stay safe,
Bianca

Friday, March 27, 2020

Making Sewcial Isolation Sew Chatty



How are you doing? The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world and changed our daily lives in so many ways. Our schools and workplaces are closed to conform to social distancing and stay-at-home orders. In the midst of this crisis, I recently underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. I am on the road to recovery, navigating it on crutches or in a walker. 

In difficult times, sewing and humor have served me well to lift my spirits and get me through. The new Sew Chatty fabric line by Riley Blake Designs has arrived right on time. This is a colorful collection with the cutest graphics and adorable sewing puns. 


I recently renovated my garage into a new sewing studio and knew I wanted to add this fun fabric to my new space. I used a combination of Butterick  5506 and self-drafting to make covers for my sewing accessories. 

Butterick 5506 Waverly Reversible Sewing Room Pattern
This pattern has been in my stash for a long time and is currently out-of-print. You can use your old covers as a pattern to draft new covers of your own.


I made an ironing board cover 


another for my press iron, 


 and a cover for my wheeled chair.


In my current state, machine sewing is possible, but difficult. When I enter the room, I smile and chuckle at the cuteness this fabric adds to my space. I am looking forward to the time I will spend in here creating. 


Happy sewing while you stay at home,
Bianca


Monday, February 24, 2020

Looking For a Bit of Date Night Romance

February is the month for celebrating those we love. 

As busy parents, my husband and I take any opportunity we can to have some quality alone time. I found this wonderfully romantic Pink Roses on Grey Bamboo/Spandex Jersey at Nature's Fabrics.
It evoked images of quiet music playing, candlelit Chianti bottles, and the aromas of a meal not prepared by me. I knew it would be perfect for a Valentine's Day date night dress. I have previously used Butterick 6678 to make a dress with the pattern recommended woven fabric. I liked that dress and wanted to recreate it with in a knit fabric with slight variations from my first.

For this version, I chose to make view B with the sleeves of view A.

To modify this for a knit, I went down two sizes from that needed for a knit. This allowed me to reduce the ease for a figure-hugging fit.

I omitted the center back zipper as the dress can be pulled over the head though the deep neckline. I added clear elastic to the neckline facing before sewing it to the bodice. This provides stability and prevents warping with time and wear.
I really love the look and feel of the delicate gathers at the sleeve 


and the lower-tier.


I don't think I need to say it, but this dress was a big hit with the hubs. We had a great time and this dress will be featured heavily in the date wardrobe rotation.


The Black History Month sale in my Etsy store is still going on. It will end on February 29. Now is a great time to order your pattern weights, vintage patterns and anything else that tickles your fancy. 

 

Happy Sewing,
Bianca