Sunday, June 21, 2015

Highs and Lows


Hello! Hope you've had a terrific weekend. I've been sewing lots but skipped blogging last weekend due to both time constraints and a general lack of enthusiasm. A number of disappointing projects in a row combined with looking at a slew of super crappy pictures of myself was a deterrent to blogging despite the fact that I have loads to say and share. No worries, though, because I plan to continue plugging away.... only way to get better, right?

The project I'm sharing today is HP1189  - Hot Patterns Fast and Fabulous Shirt-Tail T -  a new-to-me pattern company. This is the first project in a while, since my black Mabel,  that I'm pleased with. I'm sure this has to do with the fact that I took more care with the process - mainly the hem and neckband.


I had just finished watching a Craftsy class called Sewing Fashion Knits: Beyond the Basics and I think it helped. There were quite a few good specific tips that I think will help me overall, as well as the reminder to slow down and aspire for a more finished result. My three big takeaways were:
  • Utilize your walking foot. It's really not that hard to attach and can really give you a more polished finish.
  • Adjust your serger's  differential differential feed when knits start getting wavy. I always start messing with the tension, but I'm going to consider the differential next time. 
  • Utilize different kinds of tape - e.g. wonder tape, stitch witch, fusible binding tape, etc. My hems are almost always better when I use some kind of temporary or permanent stabilizer. It really is worth it to take that extra step. 

Here's an example of when I don't take the extra steps and rush through a project. I've got a neckband that won't lay down and a craptastic hem. Curved hems + knits = confusion and sadness for me.


I just want to mention that after these pictures were taken I took an inch out of the center back seam, and the neck band sits much flatter and, while still oversized, the top fits a bit better. This was a really fun pattern that begs to be sewn up with striped fabric. You could also have fun with color blocking/ scrap busting here. I've never tried Hot Patterns before. The pattern is printed on thick paper, which is my preference. The instructions were not overly detailed but did provide enough information. This isn't a complicated project, after all. The hardest part - and maybe this is where the Advanced Beginner ranking comes from - is the curved hem. The instructions say to hem both sides before sewing up the side seams, and that does indeed make it  easier.

So that's all I have to share this week. I just checked out a bunch of sewing books from the library, so I've got all kinds of inspiration and new ideas swimming in my head - craft A.D.D., basically.

Thanks so much for reading and have yourself a fantastic week. 


  1. I've read that Hot Patterns were pretty easy and fun. I like that top-may copy it--flattery, flattery. I suck at band necklines too. I still rely on old fashioned facings and just cut them shorter and top stitch.

    1. Thanks, Robin! I copied the illustration on the pattern for black and white stripes. We all copy. :)

  2. I love the stripes and the way you've cut them for this top. Looks super comfy!