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Sewing up the oldies: Kwik Sew 2762 and 3306

I have an enviable pattern collection, dating back to the 70's.  Some people might be put off by it, but it gives me a lot of joy!  One of the aspects of my pattern collection that is particularly nice is I have a lot of the old original Kwik Sew patterns.  Kwik Sew is now a part of the McCalls franchise, as is Butterick, Vogue and Simplicity, but they haven't been producing a lot of patterns as of late.  When I bought most of mine was in the 90's, early 2000's, when it was still an independent company, producing their patterns on white paper with each of the sizes drawn in a different color. They are a dream to work with!  I often stalk ebay to see if there are any of the older styles that I've missed! 

This first dress was made using Kwik Sew 2762 from 1997.  This is a t-shirt dress that can be made with or with hood and kangaroo pocket.  It's got a side slit on one side only.  I think that a lot of Kwik Sew patterns are basic designs that are timeless, and this one falls in that category.  Use whatever hem length is in style for your particular decade!  I'm thinking that longer hem lengths are coming back, so I made mine long. 

This is the perfect little sporty, run around town dress.  I made mine using a very nice cotton/linen/lycra knit from Fabric Mart.  It's breathable and opaque, with a nice enough heft that you don't see lumps and bumps through it.  I thought the solid cream would be a little too plain, so I used a black cover stitch to highlight the pocket and hems.  And I dyed a white drawstring a dark gray for accent.

The natural fibers do wrinkle, as you can see from the back, but that's okay with me- I'd rather be wrinkled than sweaty!  The Kwik Sew draft is different than the other big 4 patterns, and for me the size large fits without alterations in most cases.  Sometimes the shoulders are too wide, so I'll merge over to a smaller size on the shoulder width, but that's about it.  They are definitely drafted for taller women, yay!!!! I never have to add any length to a Kwik Sew pattern.

Another pattern that I've always wanted to make from the Kwik Sew line was Kwik Sew 3306 from 2005. This is a tank dress for wovens with two interesting hemlines. The really nice thing that you can't see in my photos is the construction of the neckline and sleeves.  It has a one piece facing that finishes the neckline and armholes, so you don't need to worry about facings flipping out on you while you are wearing it!

This was made using a black cotton gauze.  I can't say that I know alot about the construction of gauze fabric, but this one was very delicate and is literally tearable- no scissors needed.  So, I needed to be careful to not choose a style that was fitted in anyway, or else the seams might tear while wearing it!

I graded out to a larger size than I needed because of this, and I think that it really looks better with a belt. But if it's a really hot day, I'll be wearing it sans belt!

If you are a pattern collector, do you have either of these patterns in your collection?

Do you remember the Kwik Sew patterns with the white paper?

Happy Sewing!

Vogue 1586: the third time is the charm

I know that some people think that after sewing for as long as I have (I'm not going to go into how many years that is!), that I probably don't have much to learn.  LOL!  If that was the case, I would have been bored with sewing years ago.  I recently heard a woman on TV describing her husband, saying that he was better than perfect, because if he was perfect, he would always stay the same, but since he's not perfect, he becomes better every day.  I feel the same way about my sewing.  Luckily, every new project is a new challenge, and some more challenging than others.  There are the technically challenging things, like welt pockets and buttonholes which still elude me, and then there are the design challenging things, like picking the right fabric to go with the right style for the right body.  With this project, the latter was the challenge.

This is Vogue 1586, a recent release by Tracy Reese.  Isn't it beautiful on the model?  I really wasn't sure what fabric that they used for this version, as the fabric recommendations say "jacquard, crepe and matte jersey".   So, in reading that, I thought, well pretty much anything goes! 
My first version was from a stretch cotton poplin, and I cut out the size that matched my measurements.  I don't have pictures because it was a total disaster, both fit and fabric match.  The thing that you can't see unless you look very closely at the photo, is that the collar is a single layer and is narrow-hemmed.   This means that you need to choose a fabric that will lay back nicely when folded, look good from both sides, and look good narrow-hemmed.  The poplin was too stiff to fold back nicely, and it looked awful narrow hemmed.  The tie looked gigantic, and the overall size was okay, but the armholes were way too low and showed a lot of my bra.

Fixing a Standing Only Skirt

I like a slim skirt, and I like wrap skirts, and I like Connie Crawford patterns.  So, when I saw a pattern for a slim wrap skirt by Connie Crawford in the most recent Butterick release, I was out the door to buy it.  This is Butterick 6605.  It also has a top, which I have yet to make, but I wanted to review this skirt as soon as I made it, in case I can help anyone else avoid ending up with a Standing Only Skirt.

So,  what do I mean by a Standing Only Skirt?  Well, if you want to sit down in this skirt as originally designed, you will be giving quite the show!  I sewed the side seams together, overlapped it where the center fronts matched, and then sat down in it.  Oh boy- I would not want to show you a photo of that!  It pretty much was open all the way to the crotch.  But I will try to show you on the dress form.

So, here are the center fronts lining up.  Looks good right?
Now, imagine that you are sitting and the skirt fronts spread apart.  This is approximately where they would spread to:

There's just not enough overlap and underlap!  I almost gave up at this point, because I had no more fabric left to play with.  But, I did have the facing pieces, which were each about 4 inches wide.  So, I just let the facings become bands, and turned them under 5/8", instead of turning them under the entire width.  So, subtracting seam allowances and hem allowance, I ended up adding about 3 inches to each side. My print is busy, so it's hard to see, but here it is up close.  I did the same thing on the under layer, then overlapped them to each notch.

Then, this would make my already cut waistband too short for it to be a wrap, so I instead turned it into an elastic waistband, with the wrap permanently in place.   I was able to do that, because I don't have a lot of difference between my waist and hip measurements.  This fix wouldn't work for everyone.  If your hips are substantially larger than your waist, you'll want to find a different fix.

So, if you are making this pattern, and have just started, what I would recommend is first of all pinning the tissue to the clothes that you are wearing, and seeing what happens when you sit down.  Maybe this won't be an issue for all sizes, so it's best to see what it looks like for you.  For reference, I made the size Large, and I clearly selected the right size because the center fronts and sides were at the appropriate places. 

 If you are like me and find that the overlap and underlap are not working for you, try adding 3-4" to each front piece.  Then add the same amount to each side of the waistband.   If you are finding this post after you have already cut out the pattern and are wondering what to do- just sew on the facing as a band.  If you have enough fabric, you could cut two of each facing piece, so you are able to still have a facing, but the facing will face the band.   You'll need to cut some extra pieces to lengthen the waistband piece, or do like I did, and make it an elastic waist- but only if you can get it over your hips.
This was a muslin for me, as I am testing out some patterns for some fall skirts.  If you like this look, there are a few other patterns out there that may be worth trying out too.  I found Burda 6506 which looks close, but is probably not a true wrap, but it does have pockets. It's interesting that the Butterick number is 6605, just a transposition away.

I myself will definitely still be making this one again, as I like the fit now, and I can sit down without showing more than I want.  Iam even happy with the change to the elastic waistband, as I won't have to worry about ties loosening up, which from my experience, they always do.

And again, I want to emphasize, that I can't say that everyone will need to make this fix, but I wanted to give you a heads up, just in case!  Always better to know than to not know!    I'd love to hear from you if you make this skirt, and let me know how it worked for you and what size you made.

Happy Sewing!