Sewing is a journey. Whether you've been sewing for a few months or decades. As sewists, we are constantly learning. We have ups and downs. Recently I took a jump and disregarded a golden sewing rule. Yep, I had a sewing fail. I've been sewing for over 20 years and you would think with that many years under my belt, I'd be a super pro. Nope, not the case.
I started with a pattern I've made before. The fit is good but, I went rogue! I used knit fabric for a woven pattern. And the outcome was, well, all kinds of wrong. Here's why you stick with the fabric that the pattern recommends.
Choose your fabric wisely. When you pick a sewing pattern, the envelope gives your lots of important information. Do not ignore it. Read the fabric recommendations and stick with them, for the most part. I made my first New Look 6446 pattern back in 2020 with a stretch cotton sateen. It turned out beautifully. I wear it all the time and love the fit. I wanted to make another one and figured since the last one turned out, I could use knit fabric for a second one. It would be the ultimate cozy secret pajamas. I was wrong!
I followed the directions to the T. I even followed the layout instructions after I had made a mental note of my directional fabric. The back legs ended up getting cut upside down. Womp womp. Nevertheless, I carried on.
Sewed the darts on the front and back bodice pieces.
Added the interfacing to the top piece. At this point, I started to realize I chose the wrong fabric. the knit didn't like being sewn in this direction. But, I kept going.
The pocket bags sewed up nicely. This pattern has such nice roomy pockets. I love it!
The pant legs went together seamlessly as well. So far, the only real issue has been the bodice area.
Sewed up the crotch seam. I was getting excited because it was coming together nicely.
Pinned the bodice piece to the legs at the waist and sewed. I did notice a little stretching at this seam but thought it was no biggy. Secret pajamas remember!? This is going to be so cozy!
Next up was the invisible zipper. I love sewing these. It feels so wrong the way they go in, but it looks so right after they're in. I buy mine in bulk, so it was either black or white. I chose black, but wish I used a white one. Ah well.
I didn't take photos of the lining, but it's the same as the bodice. It was all stretched out. I attached the shoulder straps and hemmed the legs.
I tried it on and it fit. It fits with tonnns of extra room! Not good. It's not a baggy-style jumpsuit. It's supposed to be more form fitting. Ack!!
Where I went wrong
On a Postive Note
I learned my lesson on fabric choice. I thought I'd be able to get away with using a different fabric, but learned that I in fact, cannot. I'm glad it was a silly mistake that I can fix. I still love the jumpsuit and plan on wearing it for three seasons. It's super comfortable and looks cute. The upside down fabric on the backside doesn't bother me as much. The print is small enough that nobody will even notice.
What's your most recent sewing fail? Or sewing win!? Let's celebrate both today!! Comment below.
Summer is here, and do you know what that means? It's time to tackle your warm-weather vintage sewing patterns. The weather has been cooler lately, but shorts are still a necessity. The Simplicity vintage-style pattern 8654 is a perfect summer sewing pattern. It has swooshy shorts, a cute top, and a fun skirt. I chose to sew the shorts. I have a pair of RTW shorts that are similar, but no longer fit. So, I decided to make my own. The shorts have minimal pattern pieces (4) and take about 2 yards of fabric, more or less depending on your size. Let's get started!
Cut + Trace
Find your size on the pattern. The style is very forgiving in the hips, so I went with my waist measurement only.
Cut the pattern or trace it onto paper. Transfer all your markings. This, is especially important for the pleats.
Cut out the fabric pieces and interface your waistband.
Sew, sew, sew!
Match the front pieces together. Pin and sew along the curve.
Fold the pleats, matching the marked lines, and sew. Do this with both of the front pieces. Then, repeat the same steps for the back pieces. The pattern instructions were fairly easy for these shorts. No issues to write home (or you) about.
Your pleats should look like the ones above. Topstitch after you sew them to keep them secure.
Flip over the shorts, and there will be two rows of stitching, like the photo below. So far, pretty easy, right?
Grab your two pocket pieces. Sew along the edges on a front piece and again on a back piece. This pattern only has one pocket because of the side zipper. If you're feeling brave, you could easily add a second side pocket and insert the zipper in the back seam instead.
Sewing is all about customization. :D
I didn't love how they have you sew the pocket. But, note to self, next time sew it up how I would regularly sew an inseam pocket.
Zipper time! This pattern calls for a lapped zipper, which is a true vintage style zipper. I am somewhat new to the lapped zipper, as I've only been sewing them for 2 or so years. I'm a huge fan! They take minimal effort and go in pretty easily, with a few tips and tricks.
I use a strip of 1" interfacing for all of my zippers. It helps stiffen up the fabric, and the zipper looks nicer after it is sewn in.
Press the right side under 1/2". Pin the fabric right next to the zipper teeth. Sew, using a zipper foot.
Then, press the left side under 5/8". I close the zipper and pin the fabric to the zipper tape. Be sure to barely cover the right side stitches. Unzip, then sew.
Time for some waistband action. I sewed a straight size 18 for the shorts and used the size 18 waistband pattern piece, but the waistband was too short. So, I added an extra piece of fabric to insure the waist band was long enough. I've noticed with a lot of patterns that the waistband always falls short of the skirt, shorts, or pants. ?? Maybe I'm broken, but does this happen to you?
It was an easy fix, luckily. Just make a note of it when you make these shorts.
Pin and sew the waistband to the shorts, making sure to match notches and seams.
After sewing the waistband to the shorts, flip the raw edge over to enclose the raw edges of the shorts. The band will enclose them.
Pin from the outside, right along the seam line, catching the inner fold with the pins. This, is my most favorite way of sewing a waistband. It goes quickly and has a clean finish.
Time to hem your new shorts. You can turn the raw edge under 1/4" and then under again, like the pattern instructions say. Or, serge the raw edge and turn under once and sew. I prefer to do it this way most times. It is quick and easy, and is great for pants or shorts.
Add a label in the back of the shorts. The front looks very similar to the back, so this little addition helps when it's time to get dressed. If you don't have labels, add a fun piece of grosgrain ribbon.
Don't forget to add your buttonhole and button. I opted for a fun contrasting pink one. I love my colorful coral zipper too. It mostly matches. Ha!
The shorts fit great! I went down a size in my waist because I know the big 4 patterns usually add a lot of ease. My waist is 33-34", and I sewed the size that had a 32" waist. They fit perfectly and have a little wiggle room. The fabric I used is a rayon challis. In my experience, rayon shrinks over time with the first few washings. If it shrinks, I'm good. If not, I'm good. Either way, I'm happy with the size I chose.
The fabric is a Gertie designed fabric she used to have at Joann stores. It's almost a decade old. I made a Rita with it. The leftover fabric was from the yardage I bought all that time ago.
Funny enough, I did not have a top that matched my new shorts. Yes, I have black tops, but I wanted some color. I made a solid bright pink Rita to wear with them. I know, so bizarre for me to sew solid fabrics. Because the shorts were so busy, I wanted some simplicity on top.
Next time I make these shorts, I'm going to play with the pleats. I think I'll fold the fabric differently to give them a different look. Maybe a large box pleat?
Thanks for following along. Now, go grab the pattern and get started on your summer sewing.
Are you excited to make these shorts? Have you made them before? Would you make them again?
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.
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