Tag Archives: SEWING PATTERNS

Sewing for him/ Newcastle cardigan by Thread theory

A few years ago, when he bought me the sewing machine for my birthday  he said: “well, now please sew a jacket for me”.

Slowly I learned to sew and meanwhile the jacket became our little joke. Every time I was to busy dreaming about fabrics, watching  tutorials on YouTube or reading my favorite sewing blogs, and he asked me what I was doing, I said: “Oh, of course, I’m sewing your jacket”.

This winter I decided it was time to actually do it. But since he is not the jacket type of guy I made him a cardigan. Informal and with style

.Pattern: Newcastle cardigan by Thread theory, version v1 (with narrow collar). Last year I bought  “the parkland wardrobe builder” , 3  patterns for a T-shirt, pants and this cardigan. The tee I made last year was worn non-stop (picture below).

Strathcona tee by Thread theory

 The pattern is not very complicated. There is a lot of attention to details: interesting yoke and 2 shawl collar options (narrow or wide), nice facing (the cardigan is unlined) and decorative topstitching. The instructions are clear and accompanied by illustrations to help understand the structure and the process.

The fabric is some sort of medium weight scuba knit, soft and smooth, in heather grey. For the yoke I used denim. I skipped between M and L and I think the size and length are very good. Great piece for layering  and just right for the changing weather.

 

Moji pants, #1

For quite some time now I’m planning to learn to sew pants. So finally I had some time to make my first try. Not something complicated, just a little experience. For starters I chose the simplest thing: pant with a very simple construction, no zipper or other possible complications, just a drawstring waist. Ah…. and pockets, of course.20160214_101551 20160214_101942 20160214_102230

The pattern is Moji pants from seamwork magazine. Well, in the past I made some leggings, pj pants and a few shorts for my kids. In other words: very practical but not very challenging. This pattern construction is very basic so it kind of felt like sewing  pajamas. Anyway, my main goal was to experience with fit issues.

The fabric is some cheap jeans I found in a small store in Tel Aviv. It has a very interesting texture and  I love it.IMG_9490_3

 I’m between sizes, size 4 for the waist and a smaller size for the hip. So I made some modifications but decided to keep the waist in size 4. I had some concerns about the waist being too wide but I did not listen to my instinct. I thought the drawstring would fix that. Mistake… as you can see in the pictures there is too much fabric in the upper area and the pants (although should be relaxed) are too relaxed around the waist. IMG_9493_2

Yet, I love the fabric, the pockets and the pocket lining, and I think I like the style of this easy casual pants. If I can fix the fitting problem, that is to say: take the waist 2 sizes down, I think this pants can certainty be a nice choice for me.

The boys in my life and the clothes I made for them lately

  Sewing menswear is a bit challenging. Not because the sewing patterns are more complicated, but because it is much harder to find good, contemporary and wearable sewing patterns for men. The Internet world is full of amazing women’s patterns, but what about the deprived men?

A quick search for “shirt ” in the very popular Burda site gives the following results: 471 options for the women’s section but only 16 patterns for men (some of them are nice but some are for strange costumes like here and here or for pajama tops). This means that for every 100  patterns for women they release only 3-4 patterns for men, 20% unwearable (unless it’s bedtime or halloween…). Well don’t catch my statistics, but this really demonstrates the situation.

So I’m on a search for good patterns for the men in my life. And I did found some indie companies, like Thread theory and Walden, and (if you knit) brooklyn tweed with the BTmen collections, that take men more seriously.

Meanwhile, meet the boys in my life and the clothes I made for them:IMG_9265

For my big man: Avast sweater by Jesse Loesberg, A free knitting pattern from 2006 fall Knitty magazine; and  Strathcona T-shirt by Thread theory made with some medium weight knit fabric.

For little men: a raglan sweatshirt with a pocket, refashioned from an adult size shirt that big men didn’t wear anymore. The pattern is here.IMG_9276I made the sweater for Gidon as a birthday present 3 year ago. You can see more on my Ravelry page. I loved the design and it has many little fine finishing details and that braid pattern above the hem.  This garment is very much loved by his owner. It’s practical, cozy and was worn a lot in the past few winters.

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The shirt is new. A simple fitted t-shirt made with a medium weight knit  (some sort of french terry) in grey and dark blue, very soft but with no drape and just a small amount of stretch. Perfect for menswear. The pattern has many finishing options: long or short sleeves, finished with hem or a bend, henley placket or crew neck, and since my man is a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy I believe it will be a very useful pattern. The fit is just right for him.
I bought the whole Parkland wardrobe builder from Thread theory. It also includes a pair of pants and a nice cardigan and I’m so excited to try them.
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This shirt is refashioned from an old adult size sweatshirt that Gidon didn’t wear anymore. I disassembled the sweatshirt: front, back sleeves and neck bend and use the fabric to sew this kid’s size raglan shirt. The hems and the details on the sleeve are from the original shirt, and I also used the original collar bend so it took just less then an hour to finish. The little pocket is made out of the fabric that was stitched to the inside of the sweatshirt for decoration. I looooove it. and so doe’s my boy.

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They seem very happy. Don’t you think?

Michal

Everyday skirt for the cold days

I have a  new skirt .20151129_102522_resized 20151129_103957_resized_1 IMG_6151_1

The pattern is the Everyday skirt by Oliver+s made with a lovely wool fabric.

20151206_113323_1When I thought about making a skirt for fall/winter I knew I wanted a wool skirt, knee length with pockets. Searching for the right pattern I considered several possibilities and finely found this pattern. An everyday skirt with many advantages: the design is suitable for many fabric types from wool and denim and other heavier fabrics for colder days to light cottons for summer, it has pockets with a lot of room to warm my hands, and the elastic band in the back is a promise for a very comfortable and practical garment. On the other hand it has gatherings on the front panel and usually this is not very good for me…….m….uncertain. In the end what made me decide in favor of this skirt were the many beautiful pictures of it, made by other people all around the web. I really liked it, and especially the smooth side panels that help to reduce the volume (so the skirt is not puffy at all).

I enjoyed very much sewing the skirt, the instructions are very clear and good.

But unfortunately for me, while working, I figured out too late that the waist band of the skirt is to wide for my size. I still try to understand why because I took the measurements and followed the size charts in the instruction booklet. I tried to use (my very good friend) the seam ripper  but the unpicking was very unpretty , and I didn’t have more fabric. So I tried to fix the problem by reducing most of the side panels.

Pity. this was my favorite detail of the design. But never mind, I learn and I will need some more skirts. Next time (and there will be a next time) I will go down one or even two sizes, or narrow the front and back panels by a few centimeters.

I’m quite satisfied with my new skirt, although my attempt to fix the sides is not perfect at all. The bright sides: the fabric is lovely, warm and cozy and it doesn’t itch. The skirt is as comfortable as I’d expected and the pockets are deep and wonderful. It might become a staple for the colder days upcoming.

 

Five easy and beautiful sewing patterns for beginners

Today I made a list of 5 sewing patterns that I think are very good to begin with if you are new to sewing.  Choosing the right pattern is very important in order to enjoy the sewing and learning experience and to lessen the frustration. Wish I knew that a few years ago :). So, what am I looking for in a pattern for a beginner?

  1. Not too complicated: just a limited number of pattern pieces to cut and sew and a few basic technics
  2. Easy to understand: the pattern should have clear instructions that are easy to follow.
  3. Good fabric choice: pattern should be suitable for fabrics that are simple to work with (not the kind of trouble-making slippery fabrics)
  4. Despite the simplicity I want my finished garment to be nice, interesting and wearable.

At first I tried some Burda patterns. That might be OK but I had my share of frustrating moments.  Although you can find a big variety of patterns for many tastes and a large amount of patterns for novice sewers I didn’t finish any project I started. So after a lot of searching and experiments (and many hours exploring the web) I finally found what I was looking for.

I prefer independent sewing pattern designers. I found that the personal approach and clear and friendly instructions work better for me. The patterns are easier to use, and usually the seam allowance is already a part of the draft. Many times you can find a sewalong on the websites blog and it is very encouraging and helpful. Also, I feel better to spend my money and support a smaller independent business.

All this patterns are available as a digital PDF form ready to print at home or a paper pattern. All the illustrations are from the original websites and if you click on the picture or the patterns name it will link you to the site, where you can see the actual garments.

AKITA from seamwork online magazine by Colette

akitta2This beautiful top is made up of only two pattern pieces with a bust dart and rounded hem, and that’s it. Because the design is so simple it’s perfect for showing off a nice fabric.  You can choose to sew with some nice light woven cotton fabric that is easy to work with, and when you gain confidence and practice you can choose some fabric with more drape.

Do you know Seamwork? It’s an online magazine with articles and sewing patterns published once a month. The akita pattern cost 7$ but subscribers pay 6$/month and can choose 2 patterns every months. Interesting. I’ll be back this mag later.

Another simple top pattern us the sorbetto, a free pattern. I wrote about it here.

WHY THIS PATTERNS? Only 2 pattern pieces, suitable for woven cotton fabric, a basic and wearable garment that can be a staple in any wardrobe.

WHAT DO WE LEARN? Basic seaming, hem punishing, bust darts

 BASEBALL SKIRT by Sew DIY

BASEBALL2A comfortable everyday skirt with elastic waist and pockets, everybody needs one. Suitable for chambray, woven cotton or light weight denim fabrics. This skirt was designed with novice sewers in mind. In general I feel that sewing an easy skirt as a first project might be a good practice. You can also read about my experience sewing my first miete skirt here.

WHY THIS PATTERN? Basic sewing technics, elastic waist that is easier to fit

WHAT MORE DO WE LEARN? To insert an elastic band, pockets

 COCO TOP AND DRESS by Tilly and the buttons

COCO2An everyday dress in a classic 60s style, made with medium weight knit fabric that is not very stretchy (and that is one of this pattern advantages). It has many design options: top or dress version, boat or funnel neck, long or ¾ sleeve, with or without pockets etc.  Just need to decide what is your preferred style. And it’s even more fun because you don’t need to insert any zipper.  I made myself a few of this, mostly tops and dresses with short sleeves that I wear all the time. I prefer them in solid colors or stripes. So comfortable and easy to wear. Tilly and the buttons pinterest page has an entire bord for the COCO (here) where you can see what other sewers (in all body shapes and sizes) did with the pattern. It’s so interesting and inspiring.

WHY THIS PATTERN? A perfect pattern if you want to try sewing with knit fabrics with your regular sewing machine, simple finishing technics, very useful detailed sewalong posts on Tilly’s blog

WHAT MORE DO WE LEARN? To work with knits with a regular machine (zig zag stitch), to insert a sleeve

OSAKA from seamwork online magazine by Colette

OSAKA2 Here is another pattern from seamwork magazine. And a very cool one indeed because it’s actually two skirts in one. This is a form fitting reversible wrap skirt with many design options, just choose: solid color, solid with two different textures, color block? Hop along to the link to see the photos.

WHY THIS PATTERN? The shape and finishing are simple. The sophistication is in the fabric choices

WHAT MORE DO WE LEARN? To play with design

 SELJA KNOT TEE by Named patterns

NAMED2This is a relaxed tee shirt with a knot on the waist made from an elastic fabric. It’s worthwhile to wonder around and check some other patterns on the Named shop. This two sisters from Finland design simple yet modern and beautiful sewing patterns.

WHY THIS PATTERN? Because if you’ve already sewn with woven and non-stretchy knits it’s time to try some more stretchy fabrics.

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So, what do you think?

Do you have any patterns you can call a success/ frustration free/ nice to begin with? please share.