Monthly Archives: March 2016

Up Your Shirt-Making Game

You can make a nice, tailored shirt for your man (or yourself!)……

Tailored mens shirt by Sew Maris

or you can make a damn great SHIRT!

Tailored mens shirt by Sew Maris

It’s all in the details, isn’t it? Love that contrast fabric on the inside of the cuffs and collar stand.

Tailored mens shirt by Sew Maris

Ohhh, check out that perfectly matched pocket. With contrast piping. And the upper pocket edge set on the bias. And lower pocket edge shaped to mimic the cuff edge diagonal shape.

Tailored mens shirt by Sew Maris

Love how a bias yoke looks on plaid shirts!

This navy/burgundy/royal plaid is by far my favorite made-by-me shirt. I had such fun designing all the little touches that make this shirt one-of-a-kind, and I really hoped my son would like it, too. I sent both the navy plaid and the black/grey stripe to him for his birthday in February, and he loved them both! The stripe is perfect for appearing in court (he’s the attorney, not the defendant! 🙂 ), and the plaid for grabbing a beer and pizza after work with his girlfriend. Win/win!

(BTW – don’t men’s shirts look funny on women’s dress forms? What’s a gal to do tho? None of my guys are very willing models,  and neither of my sons live close by either. So, ignore the, ummm,  shaping. 😉 )

Happy sewing!
Maris

 

Jalie 3353: Almost Instant Gratification

Sometimes all you want is a fast and easy-to-sew project.

You might need to fill a “hole” in your wardrobe, or maybe you want to use up a fabric from your stash. You could even be sick of fiddling with a complicated project that just won’t sew itself!

Jalie 3353 by Sew Maris

Enter Jalie Cocoon cardigan. Just 4 pattern pieces; front, back, sleeve cuff, and circular band. A few instructions that you barely need to reference (sew front to back at shoulder/sleeve seam, sew sleeve/side seam; apply cuffs, sew band pieces into a circle and attach to sweater) and this baby is done and done! Not even 1 hour of sewing time!

Jalie 3353 by Sew Maris

Cocoon sweaters are “in” again this season, and for a good reason. They are comfy, can be made from a variety of knit fabrics, and the shape can be adjusted slightly to flatter most figures. Oh and yes, they are a very quick sew!

While I do definitely like cocoon sweaters, I am not a fan of the styles with wide, batwing-ish sleeves. Too.Much.Fabric. The slimmer silhouette of Jalie 3353 works just about perfectly for my design aesthetic.

Jalie 3353 by Sew Maris

One thing. I did find the sleeves on this pattern to be a bit short and wide for my taste. After shooting these pix, I removed at least 3 inches from the lower sleeve circumference, and added a longer cuff to get the overall sleeve length I wanted. The sleeves was just too floppy, IMHO.

It is an easy pattern change – just remove an equal amount from the upper sleeve seam and the lower sleeve seam. I determined the amount to remove by basting first, trying on for fit, and then serging off the excess width.

Jalie 3353 by Sew Maris

I plan to make this sweater again using a yummy, red bamboo sweater knit currently resting in my stash. This pattern is a great topper for  pants and a tee, and provides just the right amount of warmth. I think it is a keeper!

What do you think of this silhouette? Have you ever tried wearing or making a cocoon-style sweater?

Happy sewing!

Maris

Vogue 1043 Review

There are times when a pattern just calls your name.

Vogue 1043 by Sew Maris

You know what I am talking about. Those times when a pattern can transport you to a different life. In this case, one that does not include washing dishes or cleaning bathrooms. But DOES include wearing crinolines. 🙂

Vogue 1043 by Sew Maris

I don’t really have that many occasions to wear a silk “party” dress. But at a recent ASG dinner we were hosting some lovely ladies from McCall’s Pattern Company, and had been asked to wear a garment made from any of the McCall’s family of patterns. Vogue is usually my McCall’s pattern company of choice, and since I had the black silk dupioni, Bemberg lining, pattern, AND vintage mother-of-pearl belt buckle in my stash, how could I resist?

Vogue 1043 by Sew Maris

This pattern is really an easy sew. I have only made one other vintage reproduction pattern, and found it to be easy to assemble as well. The one change I did make was to fully line the top, rather than applying facings. I decided not to line the skirt, because as usual I was short on construction time and needed to get.it.done. I may go back and add a skirt lining later, but those big ole almost-circle-skirts take a lot of fabric and I am not sure I want to use up my Bemberg lining stash for this dress.

Vogue 1043 by Sew Maris

I hand-picked the zipper in place, mostly because I was terrified to machine stitch over the folds of the tuck on the bodice. That just seemed like a hot mess waiting to happen. With all the texture on silk dupioni no one could tell if my stitches are even and consistently placed or not. Winning!

Vogue 1043 by Sew Maris

Love the sleeve gussets. A little fiddly to set in, but not that bad. Of course because I lined the bodice I got to do it 4 times instead of just 2. Serves me right, eh?

The one fitting/wearing issue with this dress is keeping the upper front edges of the bodice laying flat and smooth. Part of this issue I probably created myself by pulling the stay tape a bit too tight. You know me – if a little is good, more is better, right? I added a small section of boning to each side after construction (stitched to the seam allowance), but I don’t think it helped too much. Maybe more boning? This is a good application for body tape, which I did wear at the Sew Expo dinner. I will try it once without tape, and see how annoying it is before attempting to redo the boning. Talk about fiddly!

Vogue 1043 by Sew Maris

I.LOVE.THIS.DRESS.

Vogue 1043 by Sew Maris

I would love to make it again in a light cotton voile for summer. A Liberty fabric would be gorgeous, but would cost a fortune to make up.

Have you ever sewn a vintage or a vintage reproduction pattern? Do you consider “vintage” part of your style?

Happy sewing,

Maris