Vernon Fashion Studio’s Blog

Archive for the ‘Pattern Review’ Category

I made this top again, as a gift. I used a jersey with sparkly squares all over it. The pictures don’t do it justice. I even turned off the flash and it still washed out the color. So picture it very black with sparkles.

The neckline came out better this time around.

The fabric was hard to pin. Those little squares were very dense. I ended up using Wonder Clips. They worked great.

I inadvertantly killed my cellphone today by trying to charge it off my laptop. I wish I had gone with my first instinct and take the wall charger cable. I think I will wish I had bought the insurance they offered when I bought the phone.


In a previous post, I talked about a robe I made for a customer. That same customer asked for a second robe, made out of this pattern. I made View A.

The fabric she chose was what I think is called Cuddleious. It is a very soft, furry fabric that is very messy to work with. I lived with fibers of all sizes in my nose and covering my clothes and skin for several days. The vacuum was a constant companion. It was used to clean up after most steps in construction. To control the shedding, all seams and pieces needed to be serged. Machines and tools all had to be cleaned many times throughout the contrction process. Next time I will have to charge an annoyance fee on top of the time based charges.

The robe came out beatifully. While it is a bit heavy, it is so soft and cuddly. One of the great things about furry fabric is you can hide the seams. I used a flower head pin, held at a 25 degree angle, moved back and forth over both sides of the seams to encourage the fibers to come loose from the seams. I don’t know that that is the text book way to do it but it worked great.

This is a good pattern and easy to contruct. I would make it again but out of something less messy.

It has been a very busy few weeks for me so I have lots to blog about. This is the first of them.

I happened to be in Fabricland for interfacing a few weeks ago, when I realized they had a $1.99 Simplicity pattern sale going on. Now, I don’t buy many patterns but I just couldn’t resist looking. I found four patterns but only got two since the other two were sold out. Oh well. maybe next time.

I liked the looks of this top since it was casual and flowy and would be comfortable to wear running errands or to wear to the Studio. I had a great purple print knit in my stash that was perfect. This is a knit pattern and is great for serger sewing and coverhem machine finishing. I do have some complaints about this pattern and the first is with the picture. If you look at the collar it looks like it is a double layer but it isn’t. The wrong side of the fabric will show on the inside of the collar. I didn’t want that since my fabric was printed on just the right side. The fix was to cut two collars, sew them together wrong side together, at the top then treat them as one piece. If your fabric is nice looking on the wrong side, this isn’t a problem.

In my opinion, the pocket is not attractive and on the thinner fabric it flops around too much. I think I will add a buttonhole and button to keep them closed. And won’t put them on if I make it again. The sleeves are a tiny bit tight so I would use a smaller seam allowance on the sleeve and sleeve  bands, to make them a bit looser around my arm.

After I started constructing the top I noticed the fabric had a flaw in it. It ended up in front over my right breast. Nothing I could do at that point. Luckily it isn’t too obvious.

The one suggestion I would make is to sew the point of the neck/collar by sewing machine then trim/sew the whole neck with a serger. I ran into a problem resulting in a slight pucker that can’t be fixed. I will decorate over it to hide it.

Would I recommend this pattern? Oh definately. If you like casual tops for kicking around days, then this is the top for you. I will be making it again for a gift and I just might make it again for me.

I have finally finished this jacket for my client. I made View A out of a nubby silk. This is an unlined summer jacket with four views. Red is a tough color to photograph. Had to ask Hubby for help and he had problems with it too. I ran into this same problem with my red coat. I love red so I guess we will have this problem again in the future. Unfortunately the great topstitching details are not showing well in this picture.

This jacket is architectural with lots of topstitching and pieces. It is meant to be made with a sturdier fabric than the silk the client provided but it seems to have worked out well. I would suggest a cotton sateen or a light denim as better fabric choices and it would be great for linen. If you use linen, serge the seam allowances to together then topstitch and it will look great inside and out and not ravel. Serging the seam allowances together before topstitching is best for any fabric, in my opinion.

The jacket looks like the envelope picture and I would recommend it. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the envelope

There is one issue that popped up and that is the area where the front facing and the collar meet up. They didn’t meet up correctly and basically left a hole between them where the interfacing showed through. When I hand stitched the collar down I also put a few stitches in there to close up the holes. Looking back at the instructions, I am not sure what went wrong there but I would pay close attention to that area, during construction, if I made it again.

The back has lots of topstitching.

I got started on a top and a pair of pants yesterday.  Stay tuned for more on those. Happy sewing!

Procrastination and I are bosom buddies. After long years of Christmas gifts being sent out after Christmas and birthday cards that arrive after the party is forgotten, my family expects nothing else from me.

In an effort to do better, I have been trying to get organized for Christmas, so I set July as my Christmas gift starting point. With my sprained ankle in May, I did get a head start on some of the gifts, since sitting at my sewing machine was the most I could do that first week. But more on that in another post.

My first suggestion for a great gift is this table runner from Quilt Sampler magazine, Spring/Summer edition. The table runner and placemats is their extra pattern.

Here is the fabric I am using for my first table runner.

This is a quick 45 minute project and you can use your imagination to make it suit your style. Maybe corded piping, ribbon or lace in place of the fabric strip. This is great for those big prints that we all love but aren’t sure what to do with. Make the runner formal or everyday or outdoor style. You could use fusible fleece to pad it out also.

Here is my finished runner. I love it!

This is what the underside of the point looks like:

There are pins in it because I need to hand sew the hem down. You don’t need to hand hem it if you not only read the directions all the way through before you start a project but you read them as you construct the project, not try to do it from memory! I did the stitch in the ditch at the wrong time.

I hope you agree this is a great project that can be made to suit you or your gift recipients, in a short amount of time. Anyone will love it! The magazine will stay on the shelf until Sept. 6th but if it sells out it may not be replenished.

I also got a pattern for a new summer quilt from this magazine. It will be my winter project.

Hello my dear readers! Happy Summer to you all! Here in the Okanagan it is more Spring-like than Summer but that is ok with me. I am not fond of heat, so I definately prefer these more mild days. Despite the drippy, cool weather we have had, there is much bird activity outside my window. I am watching what looks like a young sparrow, survey his world.

Sorry that the picture is grainy. The window needs cleaning.

I have been busy but not as much at the Studio as I would like. But when I am there I am working hard. Here is a blouse I made for myself, in anticipation of warmer weather:

It a georgette floral with a chiffon lining. These light, delicate fabrics are a bit different to sew. First, you have to change your needle. I used a 70/10 size. Next, these are ravel-y fabrics so seam finishing is important. I chose to use french seams. I have seen several ways to do these but the easiest way is to put wrong sides together, stitch either a 1/4″ seam or a 3/8ths seam, trim, press right sides together then sew the other measurement. On this blouse I did a 1/4″ seam then pressed the seam with right sides together. This fabric was not easlily pressed so as I have shown you in previous posts, I used a clapper to encourage it to do as I wanted it to do. I then sewed a 3/8″ seam, enclosing the edges.

Two things to consider; first, since it is ravel-y fabric, you will need to trim the first seam a bit before sewing the second one so you don’t get hairy seams that need triming later. The second thing to consider is the final look. sewing a 1/4″ then a 3/8″ leaves you with a fairly wide seam allowance. This can be ok but in this case I should have sewed the 3/8″ seam first, then trimed the seam allowance to less than a 1/4′ then sewed the 1/4″ seam. That makes a more dainty seam.

Finsihed seam allowances

The hem is the next consideration. In light fabrics a rolled hem is perfect. I did it on my serger and I purposely did not try to match the hems or get the lining hem to not show. I wanted the ‘untidy’ look to the hem.

Rolled hemRolled hem

The pattern for this blouse is of my own design. Techincally the blouse is reversible. The hem is a straight hem so it hangs down lower at the side seams than it does at CB or CF. It was an unintentional happy surprise when I first tried it on. Brings more focus to the hem. There is no closures on this top since the neckline is so open, it just slides right over my head. You will be seeing this pattern used again for a beautiful holiday party blouse using a fabulous fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Another project I got done is these PJ’s for my Grandson:

They are Thomas PJ’s.

I don’t think I have mentioned I now sell wide cotton backing fabric for quilters. I bought out a gal’s business and moved it to Vernon and the lobby of the Studio. It fit perfectly. All the fabric is 108″ or better, 100% cotton and I now have the largest selection (over 150 bolts) of these fabrics in the Valley. I have kept my prices reasonable so it is worth the time to come see me. Next weekend I will be in the Merchant Mall at the Sicamous Keepsake Kwilters Quilt Show. I am very excited to be able to introduce my business to some of the local quilters.

I have started my Christmas sewing. With a sprained ankle that kept me off my feet more than normal for the last 5 weeks, I had time to start lap quilts that will be gifts for our parents. I think tote bags will be my gifts for all my girls. I love Charm Packs and have found some nice ones to use for all these projects. Since I am not the best at picking colors and prints that go together, charm packs save me all that anquish and second guessing. And I have to tell you it is nice to get a jumpstart on Christmas. Doesn’t mean I won’t be frantically finishing up these projects in November but the frantic pace should be less.

Well, back to work for me. Have a great week and a wonderful Canada Day or 4th of July long weekend.

I finished the pj’s for my almost 5 year old grandson. I posted the pattern picture on a previous post and I mentioned that Hubby picked out the fabric while at JoAnn’s in Portland OR.

Now, it is a bit late in the season for shorts pants so I hope to find some fabric in a solid color that I can make long pants out of for the fall when it is cooler in Montana. It would be too much to hope that Fabricland would have the same fabric so I will just go with the solid.

I got these wood buttons that fits well with the print and will sew them on tonight.

This pattern is a keeper although not for this grandchild. I need a bigger one for him. But grandchild 2.0 will need pj’s too, in a couple years. I like that it works for both sexes and has a nice robe pattern and seasonal options.

I used my sewing machine, serger and cover hem machine on the pj’s and it worked well. Almost looks store bought. The elastic is in the casing but not sized. I will be taking my sewing machine with me on the trip so I can finish sewing it up.

My diet seems to be working. I measured myself in prep for the next garment and I am one size smaller than I thought. I think I will make it one  additional size smaller to give me more motivation. What fun!

Also I will be finishing the jacket. I will want that this fall, if it still fits. If not, I guess I will sell it or give it away. It is too late to size it down.

Have a great week and happy sewing!