Creative Crafts, Front Page, Sewing
Comments 10

A ‘kwik’ Spring sewing project for a devoted fabric-a-holic

sewing fabric

sewing projects

I recently returned from a trip to Montreal to visit with my family where I brought a few sewing patterns with me from Switzerland just in case there was spare time to explore some of fabric stores that I used to haunt as a teenager.

Turns out that jaunts to the local branch of Fabricville were a hit with my sisters, Pamela and Andrea, as much as they were with me. Love of fabric runs in our blood: our maternal grandmother was a brilliant self-taught seamstress who made many of her four daughters’ outfits whether for everyday or evening wear.

sewing fabric

In the end, I had to borrow Pamela’s gym bag to cart back all the fabric I purchased. I should qualify this by saying that there was a 40%-off sale underway and with the purchase of a reasonably priced client card the savings were even bigger. It’s as if Fabricville saw me coming.

I enjoy shopping locally here, in both Geneva and Lausanne, but so far at least, no one store has managed to include under one roof the huge selection of fabrics and notions that suit a multitude of needs for both fashion and home and not at the prices to be found back home. Maybe that’s all for the best otherwise I’d have to build a new room just to accomodate the amount of fabric (and patterns) I fall in love with and just have to have.

Getting on with it: A flowing cotton-silk shortsleeved blouse for Spring

sewing fabric

Lest I spent too much time ooh-ing and aah-ing over my new, vast fabric collection I decided to plunge into the actual sewing bit. My first choice was this (now out-of-print) Kwik Sew pattern that I’m teaming with a gorgeous cotton (70%) and silk (30%) fabric in tones of light and deep purple, chartreuse green and melon, with a luscious sheen that shimmers in the light.

I think it will work very nicely for the feminine, flowing blouse (pictured right) and will be lovely to wear on cool Spring days and Summer evenings.

Patterns have changed a lot over the decades and where once I was safe to choose one dependable size for everything, top or bottom, I now find that the measurements provided on the envelope no longer correspond to the finished size (this applies to all pattern brands). So a crazymaking amount of pattern adjustments for the bust (small) to hip (medium) ratio have been needed before I even set needle to fabric. (The pattern instructions warned against just adding inches to the lower side seam!)

Yesterday I made a start though and am counting on ‘Kwik’ to mean the actual sewing part — please check back to learn if that’s the case and to see the finished garment, which I hope will be ‘kwikly’ completed.

Has any other sewer found that pattern sizes have drastically changed and now require a lot of adjustments? I found these guidelines for selecting the correct pattern size helpful. And I used this measuring and alterations guide from KwikSew to adjust the pattern featured in this blog post. I also found instructive this video about using the Palmer/Pletsch Tissue Fit method to achieve a perfect fit with all patterns. Can you recommend any sources that have been helpful to you?

A fait accompli and lessons learned (or remembered)

blouse sewing

Hello again. Well, as you can see from the photo above my sewing project has been completed, after three days’ worth of (on-off) sewing. When I read ‘quick’ or ‘very easy/easy’ on a pattern envelope to me that means about one to two days’ worth of actual sewing.

I am ever more convinced that in order to get a quality finish with attention to detail there’s no way (unless you’re sewing a paper bag) that you can accomplish a garment to be proud of in only a few days unless you’re going day and night.

 

There were a few challenges: slippery, ultra-fine fabric that made handling and back-stitching difficult as well as some frustrations arising from pattern bloopers, such as neck and arm bindings that are not wide enough to accomodate the called-for 1/4″ seams. And I preferred to hand- rather than machine stitch the bottom hemline. I also added extra fullness to the ‘loop’ of fabric at the neckline. Little things that take a bit more time.

All in all, I’m pleased with the way the fabric did justice to the pattern and the fact that my pattern adjustments were just right (I also added 2 inches to the length as well as adding a Medium bottom to a Small top). Next up is a sleeveless blouse with a rutched neckline and tucks at the waste…this time I’m using polyester and I’m hoping it will be a little less slippery than this project. See you again soon.

10 Comments

  1. Andrea Grimaud says

    Such gorgeous material. I haven’t sewn clothing in years but am getting tempted.

    Like

    • I know what you mean. It’s hard to resist when there’s so much choice and the quality is so good.

      Like

  2. Of course I am totally counting on your returning that gym bag with one of those Kwik pattern short-sleeved blouses in it! Beautiful photo of the fabric and can’t wait to see how it looks in your blouse! xo

    Like

    • The bag will definitely be returned though what you will find in it will have to remain a mystery for now!

      Like

  3. Virginia says

    Such a lovely way to display your fabric and so nice to see it made up into such an attractive top. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Martin says

    à propos Kwik … Kwik maybe, but certainly wasn’t quick, however, the finished work is a work of art and looks great, photos can never reflect the full craftsmanship and the delicacy of the material.

    Like

You are welcome to leave a comment or question.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s