8:40 AM

McCalls M7443 - A quick, easy, and stylish sew!






How darling is this fabric?!?!?!?!?! When I first came across this fabric (HERE), I didn't know exactly what I would do with it, but I knew I wanted it.  P.S.... Its currently on sale!!!




As you may know, McCall's recently launched their pre-fall patterns and I was pleased to see a blogger turned McCalls designer's patter listed for this pleated tunic. The pattern calls for wovens, but I opted to use this ITY. 




The construction was simple and a fast sew. I am always in need of tops, and this was a winner. From such a simple pattern, there are endless possibilities for wear, fabric choices and styles. 















You can wear them with jeans, leggings, leather pants, shorts, or even a skirt! You can construct and wear per the instructions, style it with a front tie, or even create something completely different.













Because I used a stretch fabric, I reduced the sides by one inch, and shortened the elastic by 2 inches. I think I will be be using this pattern again and incorporate different looks such as a curved high low, or even adding sleeves once the weather cools down. I am also looking forward to making a silk version specifically to wear with leather leggings. Endless possibilities. I look forward to more patterns from this designer very soon! Following her over the years, I wouldn't have expected anything less than stylish and original pieces! 











What would you make with this pattern?  What types of fabrics will you use?


Until next time... Happy Sewing!

Jenese

Needles and Fashion

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6:27 AM

Made by a Fabricista: Tobago Shorts


 This time of the year, I do nothing but blog about my upcoming vacation.  Each year in June I travel to one of my absolute favorite places in the world, Puerto Rico.  Growing up in NY, Puerto Rico and its people have always been a part of my life and is literally weaved throughout my family.   The island and its culture is something that speaks to me and I don't think there will ever be a time in which I stop going.

When I think of the Caribbean, I think of bright and vibrant colors.  I remember visiting the Virgin Islands many years ago for my first of many carnivals and being overwhelmed with the colors of the sea, the mountain sides, the homes, and the many colors displayed on the costumes they wore. 


The fabric I used for these shorts (yes they are shorts) is a Caribbean Blue 100% open weave suiting that until recently was available on sale @ $3.00 per yard.  This garment is also suitable for Linen which is currently on sale (HERE).  As soon as I finished this garment, I ordered red and yellow linen from FM (HERE) & (HERE).  I also have plans to make these in denim.  If you do so, be sure to use a denim that is no more than 7oz.  Anything heavier will create a large amount of bulk.

The concept of these shorts is for each piece (2) front and (2) back to be created as a half circle.  I do so using the measurements from the top of the shorts sloper with the darts (10 & 10.5) inches and create the waist area similar to how circle skirts are made.  Once this is complete, you can cut the  center front and side seams using a pattern or a sloper.  This is what the finished piece will look like.



Pockets and waistbands stay the same as if you were constructing a normal pair of shorts.  I extended my sloper 2 inches all the way around to make sure I had clearance once the shorts where hemmed due to this shape. 


Now on to the tricky part.  Once you pieces are cut, you have to manipulate the waist your pieces down to the normal size of your pattern/sloper.  to do this, you must insert (3) darts.  The size of these darts will vary in size but the locations MUST be the same.  In the case of this garment, my first dart is positioned exactly at the midpoint of both pieces and the other two equally separated from there.  Remember to do this AFTER you put your pocket on if using a sloper or pattern with a visible side pocket for your front pieces.  The remainder of construction is standard from there. 














I am in absolute love with these shorts and cannot wait to wear them next week!  Once I get my linen from Fabric Mart, I will be making a tutorial for anyone that needs visual assistance. 

UPDATE: Here is the Tutorial :)





Happy Sewing!

Shoes: Steve Madden
Accessories (including glasses): Target


Muah
- Jenese

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7:19 AM

Artsy Linen Top :)




As temperatures rise, and festivals are planned, in comes plenty opportunities are wear something a little "different".  The fabric I used is a medium weight linen from Fabric Mart that is currently sold out, but I believe will be restocked soon (HERE).

I drafted this top on my dress form after seeing a slightly different inspiration on instagram.  


The bodice was drafted with side and shoulder draping.  The side draping is 12 inches by the measurements from center front to center back.  The shoulder was 5 inches by the length of  a decent drape from the should seam and back to the shoulder seam.  There are 3 straps for each shoulder.  The second and third straps are shorter in length by 2 inches.


The side drapes were cut 2 pieces for each side and sewn together along the longest side with the ends free.  I then presses the pleats.





I cut 2 of every bodice piece and lined the bodice with it self.  I decided to put the zipper in the back but realized I probably could have gotten away with installing an invisible zipper on the side (after the fact of course).  I attached the bodice pieces as well as the side drapes.  






The shoulders were then inserted into the shoulder seams.  



Over all, I am pretty happy with the results.  I later found out the inspiration item that sent me in this direction was made of crepe.  I will definitely be making another one and even some one with sleeves.  This will be one of the items I present in a fall fashion show.  This would be a perfect top to wear to Art Basel right?







Happy Sewing! MUAH!!!

Jenese

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4:39 AM

Spring Essentials Part 1.


I'm not sure what side of the world you are on, but Spring is most certainly no where I am (North East).  I got a late start on my spring wardrobe, so I opted  to make a few key pieces that will not only mix and match with current garments, but give me a great start to the planning of this year's outfits for outings, vacations, as well as the impending warm weather.  

I started this collection of essentials with the an off the shoulder tunic.  Off the shoulder tops, & dresses are on trend this season and I am here for all of it!  The used a chartreuse yellow 100% cotton voile that breaths extremely well for warm weather.   The fabric is sold out, here are some alternate shirting options (HERE) (HERE), & (HERE).  The pattern used is S1613 Cut 1 inch wider around the seam allowances than my normal size extended 6 inches into a curved and slit sides.  Instead of extending the top 4 inches for the elastic casing, I created a separate casing to attach the the top of the tunic.  







Sticking with the theme of spring tops, I created this really quick and easy circle tube top.  I drafted this top using my upper and lower bust measurements along with the same concept as a circle skirt.  The fabric used is a Purple/Coral Poly/Lycra Mesh-like knit.  This fabric is so beautiful, and the pictures do it no justice.  The chameleon effect drew me to this fabric in a major way.  This fabric is no longer available, as it sold out fairly quickly.  Check this beautiful alternative (HERE) & (HERE).  



Both pieces pair well with both jeans, shorts, and long maxi skirts.  I love white jeans, and had them in mind while working on these two.  I paired both outfits with purple heels. 


Next up is a duster.  Spring afternoon and nights can tend to be on the cool side, so why not add a light layer that can be worn all day?  I used the same mesh as my circle tube top white on white to bring out the color.  The pattern I used is M6884 which is a faux wrap dress pattern.  I constructed it as a true wrap dress and only finished the edges of the top and around the neck since this is mesh.  I also created a separate belt for the summer time when I can also used this duster as a cover all for the beach.  2 for 1!







Using the same pattern (M6884) I created a wrap dress with one of my staple fabrics for spring, florals.  I have seen this fabric in a number of retail dresses and had to have it for my own.  The fabric used is a Navy/Mint multi floral print Rayon/Lycra Jersey knit also sold out in very little time.  These ITY and Jersey options will work as a great substitute (HERE), (HERE), & (HERE).
























Lastly is something a little funky!  The pants below were created with love, sweat, and tears on a whim.  I drafted these pants using M6930, eliminating the pockets and the darts, creating a center seam for both the front and back pieces, and inserting a gusset exactly 15 inches from the top of the pants with a 24  inch base to widen the pants dramatically.  



These are not your mother's bell bottoms!  The pants were constructed with a magenta crepe suiting that I have been holding on to for about 2 months.  While I do not like pink as much, I absolutely love the shade of magenta.  This fabric as well is sold out and is why you should stay on top of your Fabric Mart visits!  As an alternative, check out Fabric Mart's linen collection (HERE).  The colors that are available now are vibrant and spring/summer ready!  






















I have a large list of items to create for part two, What essentials will you be creating this season?  

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Jenese

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5:43 AM

Made by a Fabricista: Plaids and Peplums





Spring is just around the corner, and I am still obsessed with plaids!  I wanted to officially end my journey with the color combination that originally lit the fire of plaids in my life this season.  The fabric used for these pants is a poly novelty weave suiting found (HERE).  I actually used the wrong side of this fabric because the lines seamed more in line with my taste (grainy and broken vs the other side)

Right Side

Wrong Side


I used Simplicity 8056/S0652 to create these pants.  It is part of the Amazing Fit series and had alternate back pieces for different body types.  I used the curvy option.  Unlike many of my other projects, I created this garment as per the manufacturer instructions with one minor adjustment, which was added 3 inches to the length.  The construction took a tad bit longer vs some of my go to slopers.  The level of detail is not that far off from constructing jeans.  I plan  on converting this into a sloper a well for future jumpsuits/rompers and pants suits.  The pattern also contained some great tips on interfacing and the waistband which also has facing.  

I used my inseam as the dominant stripe for these pants.  

My top is a basic peplum in painted leather (originally green) and was created using Vogue 8815 with an additional breast dart.  




















The polyester was just light enough to wear today!  I hope each and every one of you have an awesome week.  Until next time...... 

Happy Sewing!!

- Jenese
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