Tunic M1011 from My Image pattern magazine

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!  We escaped the winter weather here in Illinois for a week in sunny and warm New Orleans.  If you haven't been, it is definitely worth a trip- delicious food, beautiful surroundings and great jazz!  We luckily avoided all of the airport delays that the news is reporting.
But now we're back to the frozen tundra, and I'm happy to be sewing again!

I'm still loving all of the knit tunic patterns in the new European pattern magazine- My Image!  We are expecting our second shipment of this pattern magazine to arrive any day now.  All of this upcoming shipment has sold out.  They were ordered back in early December, but with this crazy winter weather, things are taking a long time to get here from Europe. 

I made M1011 from a plum wool jersey with a tiny gold grid when you see it up close.   Wool jerseys are hard to come by, but so much nicer to wear in the cold winter than cotton or poly knits- so grab them whenever you can find them!

This style has a unique pleated neckline joined to a cowl neck and button tabs.  The skirt is seamed, and there is a waistband, so there are a lot of pieces, but they went together quickly.  The only thing that wasn't particularly clear to me was where to attach the tabs, so I just looked at the photo and attached them at the uppermost pleat.

I didn't make any adjustments to the pattern, and you can see that it fits perfectly in the bust area.  I normally do a FBA (full bust adjustment),  but didn't need to for this pattern.  Boy, is that nice! 

I think that you can fold over the cowl if you wanted a more open neckline, but since it is still cold here, I'm keeping mine unfolded.

Like Burda magazine patterns, for any pattern piece that is just a standard square or rectangle, measurements are listed, rather than a separate pattern piece provided.  So the cowl piece is one that you need to create from the measurements because it is a rectangle.

The measurements are given in centimeters, which none of my measuring tools are in!  So I'm going to have to print out a conversion chart to keep handy when I'm sewing from this magazine. 

I'm wearing this with my leggings from Vogue 1214.  I think these are my most used garment that I've sewn from 2010!

This pattern would easily make a nice dress- I would add about 6 more inches to the skirt pieces.  I think it also would look better with a belt to give it a little more waist definition, so I'll do that next time.

I'd like to make this one up again in a pretty Spring shade of knit as well- with the 3/4 length sleeves, it will transition to warmer weather nicely.

Here is the post for the Wrap Tunic and Vest that I made earlier this month from this issue. 

Giveaway Day!

Congratulations to Genevieve P!  She is the winner of the SewBaby News Giveaway prize.  This Giveaway is now closed.  Thanks to everyone who made such nice comments!

The popular blog SewMamaSew is sponsoring a Giveaway Day!  We are participating and would like to offer a prize of 3 SewBaby patterns!  If you are new to us, we offer over 45 patterns for baby and children's clothing, accessories and toys.   Below is just a sample of what we offer. Please visit our webpage to see our complete selection, as well as our great selection of children's fabrics, snaps, and other unique children's patterns from independent designers.

To enter, just leave a comment about which SewBaby brand pattern you would like to win the most.  (Please note that although we carry other brands, this giveaway is for our SewBaby brand patterns only.)  We will ship internationally, and the prize winner will be selected randomly on December 17th.  Make sure to leave a way for us to contact you if you are the winner!  You will get to choose which three patterns are your prize!

Sampling of SewBaby patterns

McCalls 6242 Iridescent Knit Tunic

I received a very unusual fabric in my last FabricMart mystery bundle.  It looked like a black mesh sports fabric in one light, but if you turned it another way, you could see royal blue sequins.

I wasn't sure what to call it, but I found this definition and thought it fit the fabric:
"Iridescence is an optical phenomenon of surfaces in which hue changes in correspondence with the angle from which a surface is viewed."

I wanted to make something for parties that myself and my daughters could all share, and I thought my daughters would like McCalls 6242.  This is a real sleeper of a pattern, as you cannot tell from the cover photo how neat the construction is for the sleeves.  
McCalls 6242 with Iridescent Knit

Sleeve gusset from the inside.
Sleeve gusset from the outside.

The sleeves are two pieces and they have a hidden gusset underneath, so that you can wear the top without your bra showing under the arm.  I love this feature.  I am wearing a cami with this one though, just because my fabric is a little sheer.  It's also a little itchy.  I do like this fabric and I would buy more if I can find it, despite the itchiness.  It's just too cool!

The shoulders are pleated and connected with what they call shoulder yokes.  This looks a little like an epaulette.  This part is a little tricky.  The pattern is rated Easy, but I think a beginner would be confused at this part.

I think the neckline is a little lower on me than on their photo.  I will make a size smaller in the neck area if I make it again.  I would like to make it again if I can find an equally cool fabric to use. This is one of those patterns that lets the fabric do the talking.  This was really the devil to get it to photograph so you could get glimpses of the sequin like effect.  I hope you can see the sparkles! 

So, my daughters and I have a neat top to wear for holiday parties. Just crossing my fingers that our parties aren't all on the same night!

Why My Jacket Became a Vest- A Lesson in Pre-shrinking

I was anxious to try out the Colbert Jacket Style M1006 pattern from My Image magazine, and knew I wanted it to be black, after Dei at SewHotMommi blog wrote a post about every woman needing a LBJ (Little Black Jacket).  I had a pretty loosely-woven basket weave black wool in my stash that I could envision as a jacket.

So excited to make this jacket, I didn't want to take the time to preshrink the fabric.  After cutting, I decided that ALL of the pieces needed to be interfaced, as the fabric didn't have the substance it needed by itself, and would just be a wrinkly mess without completely interfacing every piece.

At this point, a little bell went off in my head.  "You better not use any steam to fuse this interfacing, as this wool is too loosely woven and is going to shrink like crazy."  So, I did "dry" fuse the interfacing, and could clearly see the interfacing bubbling where the fabric had already begun to shrink underneath it, even with no steam, just heat.
 In complete denial, I forged ahead sewing with the regular seam allowances.  After all the major seams were done, I tried it on.

HAHAHA!  The sewing gods were laughing at me.  This was now two sizes too small.  I thought about stopping right there and pitching the project.  But, the fabric was really beautiful, so I ripped out every stinking princess seam and sewed them back up again with the teeniest seam allowance that I could get away with.  The fronts now met.  There would be no overlap, but I figured I could put a jacket hook and eye for a closure instead.

The teeniest seam allowance on the sleeve was still not enough to get it to fit.  I could barely get my arms in it.  So, it was either cut a new sleeve out of a different black fabric (I had no sizable scraps from the original), or forgo the sleeve altogether and make a vest.

As you can see, I opted for the vest, and I'm actually really happy with it!  I don't own many vests, and now I'm wondering why.  It actually warms you up quite a bit, and isn't nearly as formal or restrictive as a jacket.  I'm wearing this one with the wrap top from the same issue.

Lesson learned- if in doubt, pre-shrink!  Most wools won't shrink this much, which is why I rarely do it, but from my experience, the more loosely woven they are, the more they will shrink.  Pendleton wools come "ready to sew", which is one reason why I love their wools so much- no worries.   There are lots of ways to pre-shrink wool, but unfortunately, they are all time consuming.

Closer view of notched collar.
I am going to have to go back and try this jacket pattern one more time before I can give an accurate review.  The only problem (not of my own making) that I encountered was that there were no markings for where to place the pockets.  I just placed them at the high hip level, as that felt comfortable to me.   I think that this is a great basic pattern that you could make a little different each time by substituting some pocket variations, as well as length variations. 

Here's a closer view of the notched collar, and you can see my fabric texture here better too.

In the long run, this all worked out, as I'm going to love this vest!  Have any of you ever had this problem?

Sew Forth Now Podcast

Lori V from the wonderful blog, Girls in the Garden, has a monthly podcast,  Sew Forth Now, where she talks about sewing news on the web, what she's sewing, and interviews people in the sewing world.   This month, she interviewed me!

If you've not heard a podcast before, it is like a radio talk show that you can download to your computer or any type of MP3 player and listen to while you exercise or commute or even sew!  It's a neat idea, and if you'd like to listen to the episode with our interview about how I started SewBaby and the changes I've seen in the sewing business, you can find it here

Thanks, Lori, for putting together these fun episodes!

Vogue 1198 Wool Jacket

Vogue 1198 pattern cover.
If there was a Hall of Fame for patterns, I would be nominating Vogue 1198.  This is the pattern I used for my Leather Jacket which everyone loves, including my 17 year old daughter, who was constantly "borrowing" it.  We decided it was time for her to have her own Vogue 1198, but with winter in full force here, she decided to choose a wool. 

I had about 10 options for her to choose from in my stash, not thinking that she would ever choose my favorite.  It was a blue-grey wool from Ralph Lauren- very high quality.  I had earmarked that one for ME.  But, what can I say- the girl has good taste.  She chose that one.  When I told her that I really didn't think she was "ready" for it, that she needed to be older and more responsible, and that I really wanted that one for myself, she said "But I REALLY want it, Mommy".  Oh well.
Front view showing asymmetrical collar.

How do I love thee, Vogue 1198?  Let me count the ways.

Back with awesome belt.
1.  Back double elastic belt.  This is everyone's favorite part of the jacket- this belt is the best. 

Close-up of zippers and collar.

2.    Zippers.  Bad-ass angled front zipper.  Adds attitude.  Don't mess with me, can't you see my zipper isn't straight?  Zippered pockets. Great for keeping things safe.

Front view
 3.  The perfect size asymmetrical collar.  Not too big, not too small, just right.

Side view
4.  The fit.  So comfy.  I added 2 inches to the length, but that is the only change.

Plenty warm for snowy days.
5.  Princess seams.  So flattering to every figure.
Happy daughter!
Really, if you don't have this pattern yet, run to your fabric store and buy it!  It includes bust sizes from 32-55.  Doesn't take much fabric. Between 2 to 2-5/8 yards for the smallest to largest sizes.  I won't say that it's easy, but Sandra Betzina's instructions are really good and will walk you through it.

And no, I am not getting any commissions from Vogue or Sandra Betzina. I just love this pattern!  I'm sure that I'll be making it again, and again, and again.


My Image Magazine 1003 Wrap Tunic and 1005 Vest

When I first got my sample copy of My Image magazine, I was anxious to try out some styles to see how the fit was.  I decided to try the designs for the Wrap Tunic and Vest.  I cut size 42 which is my standard European pattern size, and the fit was perfect.

I used a printed poly knit for the wrap tunic and a brushed microfiber jersey for the vest.  These went together so easily.   I had them both made within an afternoon.  The wrap tunic is just 4 pieces- sleeve, back, right front and left front.  The vest is just 5 pieces- sleeve, back, pocket, front panel and back facing.
I did find the translated instructions to leave a little bit to be desired as they use terms that aren't familiar to me, but these are pretty basic so that if you have some sewing experience, you can decipher them.

Wrap Tunic alone

This is the first wrap top that I've made that I haven't had trouble with gaposis in the front- it fits very nice and snug, and I didn't use any extra elastic to get it that way.  The center front is high enough that I don't need a cami underneath it either. I will definitely be making this one again.   I did lengthen the sleeves, but that was my only change.
Close-up of wrap over part.

The vest is designed to be a few inches longer than the wrap tunic which looks nice.  I probably would recommend interfacing the pockets, as they do tend to bag out a bit in a knit.  The pattern originally calls for the buttons to go all of the way up the front facing.  I didn't have enough buttons, so I just used them in the section that I would actually button.

This brushed microfiber knit is fabulous!  I got it at fabric.com last year when they had a bunch of activewear fabrics.  I haven't seen it since, but it is sooo nice! It is so light, I doubt that this vest weighs more than a few ounces, but it is somehow warm, doesn't pill, doesn't snag.   I used it for my cowl neck tunic as well. I used to be a fiber content snob and only buy natural fiber knits, but I have to say, I have completely changed my mind.  I would prefer this knit to a cotton knit any day!

Our shipment of the magazines hasn't arrived yet, so for those of you that have pre-ordered it, please be patient a little longer.  It will be worth the wait! 

If you haven't ordered a copy yet, we are still taking pre-orders for a second shipment.


Zippy Bunting Sample and Pattern Giveaway

To celebrate the first snowflakes of the year, we're giving away one of our Zippy Bunting sample garments and a copy of  the pattern so you can make your own! 
This sample will fit infants up to 18 months and is great for a boy or a girl!

Here is what the designer, Heather Jamison says about this pattern:

    I  first had the idea to make this pattern while making clothes for my daughters’ dolls.  The first one was a 12” doll and it turned out so cute that I soon enlarged the pattern for their larger dolls.  When our youngest daughter was about 7 months old, it was wintertime.  I found that it was a hard age to keep blankets on while going out.  That was when I decided to enlarge the pattern once more and make a bunting that would fit her.  We got many comments on her “coat” and how she looked so “warm and cozy”.
     There are several things about the Zippy Bunting that I really like.  It is very easy to put on a baby since there aren’t any legs in it.  It is made wide enough at the bottom that there isn’t a need for a seatbelt slit for carseats.  There is enough fullness that you can also sit your baby in the front of a shopping cart with enough room remaining for their feet.
Zippy Bunting is quick and simple to sew.  You can make one in less than an hour once you are familiar with the pattern.   I recommend using polar fleece fabric as it is very warm and you won’t need a lining.  This is also an excellent idea for gifts whether it be for a new baby or a little girl’s birthday or Christmas.

Give-Away Guidelines:
Three ways to register for the giveaway:
1.  Leave a comment.  (Please make sure there is a way I can contact you- such as enabling the e-mail contact info on your profile.)
2.  Sign-up to be a Follower of this blog or Like us on Facebook.
3.  Link to us from your own blog!  Please post a comment letting me know where your link is.  Here's a sample link for you to use: SewBaby News

Update- 12/3/10.  Congratulations to our winner, KID MD!