Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lane Raglan by Hey June


Hey, it's the Lane Raglan by Hey June Patterns!  I am seriously so excited about this because I have been looking for a great basic raglan knit t-shirt pattern and it's finally here!  The neckline placement is perfect for me and I like having the option for sleeve and waistband cuffs.  Mostly, I love that it is a great basic raglan tee pattern - the first I've been able to find anywhere.



I made this up in a white bamboo/lycra jersey and a cotton/lycra jersey 'floral knit red' from Harts Fabrics.


I also loved the 'floral knit blue' but I decided that my wardrobe needed some more red.


These two fabrics were a challenge to marry together because the white fabric was so much stretchier than the floral.  

My serger threw a fit while I was sewing and the upper looper threads pulled to the wrong side.  This is a problem because the seam was pulling open.  After messing with the knobs for a half an hour, I was no closer to a solution.  I rethreaded the serger and realized that the thread from the lower looper hadn't been hooked into one of the hooks and it was making the serger stitching all wonky.  Duhh!!  Problem solved!

I like that this pattern instructs the sewist to insert the neck band before sewing up the 4th sleeve seam.  Easy as pie!  I've noticed some sewists did not follow Hey June's instructions on stretching the neck band as it is sewn into the neckline, and instead they use the entire pattern piece regardless of the fabric's percent stretch.  This results in a neckband that gapes and does not hug the neck.  I used Claire Thorp's method for inserting the neck band.  I love Claire's method because it is quick, there is no measuring, and I got a perfect looking neckband the first try.


I topstitched the neckband with a twin needle.  You'll notice that I chose to leave my sleeve edges unfinished this go around.  They are fuss free!  I loved working with this pattern and can't wait to make another in a grey polka dot.  (Sorry about the blurry photos - the dreary weather did not cooperate and I hate using a flash.)

Does anybody have tips for working with extremely stretchy knits?  I've tried changing the differential feed, stitch length and moving to my sewing machine and using the walking foot with the lightning bolt stitch.  The seams are still wavy.  Have any of you tried a stabilizer for your knits?  It would have to be something temporary because I do want the seam to be stretchy.  Let me know if you have any secret tricks!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Vogue 1395 Rayon Challis Dress

I love cute floral prints!


They are really hard to find.  It took me three visits to Five Eighth Seams to take this fabric home with me. When I find a bold floral I like, I'm scared that after I buy it, I will realize that it is obviously mumu material.

This is a Joel Dewberry print called "Bungalow Dahlia Lavender". I <3 rayon challis!


But let me tell you about this pattern...we have a love/hate relationship.  I love the design but the pattern instructions are awful!  (This is one of the first designer Vogue patterns I've actually finished.  It's too bad their instructions are not more straightforward.)

The pictures were confusing and the instructions on how to insert the bias bound neckline didn't say how deep to make the seam.  Usually, that means a 5/8" seam allowance, but given the already narrow strip of binding, I knew that couldn't be right.  I didn't use the pattern for the bias tape.  Since I had made alterations to the neckline, I found it easier to just cut a long strip 1 1/4" wide on the bias, fold it in half, and sew the neckline seam at 1/8".  Because my seam was tiny, I didn't have to trim any off before I folded it and under-stitched.  When making a bias bound neckline, you want to stretch your bias fabric just a teensy bit as you sew it into the curve.  This ensures that it will lie flat.

I used my serger to insert the waist elastic.  I find that Vogue patterns waists fit me at a perfect spot (I'm short-waisted).

Because of the curves, I did not use my rolled hemmer foot (this is my most popular tute). I learned how to make a very precise, professional-looking rolled hem on the curves with this awesome tutorial.  I recommend using the second method for slippery fabrics like rayon challis and satin.


Pattern Alterations: Small Bust Adjustment, brought the neckline up and in at the shoulders, added length to the sleeves, brought the armscye up a bunch (other people complained the armholes were super gapey), took some width out of the center back (people complained it was gapey as well).

So glad this project turned out nicely!  I wish I'd made this at the beginning of summer.



This is actually the first really satisfying project I've finished in months.  It's a real confidence booster!

In other news, it is super, duper comfy.

If you're planning on making this dress good luck!  Let me know if you get stuck.