Another Essential Tank by P4P

I like this tank so much. I had the super soft brushed poly fabric to make a dress with. The same pattern as the previous 2 I made except I did the regular sleeveless version. For whatever reason it was a bit snug in the hips. Maybe it was the fabric, maybe I gained weight, I’m not sure. I had enough fabric to make a shorter version but after seeing it done, I decided to turn it into a tunic length version. 

The black is such a basic, I decided to sew a coverstitch seam right down the middle of the front and the back. Looks just like a twinstitch. Makes this plain black not quite as boring. Although I never get tired of black. I used to have a whole closet full of black, beige, gray, off-white, and white. Oops, I forgot taupe. 😳. 

Here’s where you can see the the coverstitch and also the 3-inch hem. Very easy to do with the Ovation with that wide harp. 

I also shortened the shoulder seams because this fabric stretches so much and I prefer the higher front. Those are the only things I changed on the pattern. 


Hard to see black!


Can’t forget my label. 

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Laundry Day Tee by Love Notions

I had just enough left over fabric for something little. I decided to make a short tee out of the 4-way stretch fabric that I had previously made into a pencil skirt. 


The Ovation was set up for cover stitching and the Evolution was set up for serging. This week I was asked if I wanted to sell my Evolution. After today’s sewing, I don’t think I could do it. Having 2 sergers is great. I just happen to have 2 that do coverstitching. A bit overboard. 

I cut the shirt as long as I could with the fabric I had. Wish I had a few more inches but I’m being thrifty I guess. 

With this super duper stretchy fabric, I stay-stitched the shirt with my regular machine. Use a regular stitch, not a stretch stitch. This will keep the shirt from stretching as you attach the neckband. 

I stitched my neckband ends with my regular sewing machine too.  See how flat the seam is? 


To put the band on, I mark the shirt and the band in 4 quarters. Starting in the middle of the back. I love this marking tool from Clover. 


Then match up the seam of the neckband to the middle of the back and attach with the little clip. Clip every marked area. 

When you hold up the shirt, you can see that the band is smaller. Should be about 80% smaller than the neck opening. Otherwise you will have a gaping neckband and it will look sloppy.

Decide what mark you are going to use which depends on how wide you want the band. I decided on this:

Keep the 3 layers of fabric even on the right side. Check it every once in awhile while you are serging to make sure the shirt is even with the band. Does that make sense? Otherwise the shirt edge that you can’t see may end up not getting stitched with the band. Not a good thing.

As you serge keep your eyeballs on that mark on the foot where that lower orange arrow is. That is how you will keep your band the exact same size. Otherwise you may have a half inch band on part of the shirt and a quarter inch on the other side. That is not a good thing either if you want your shirt to look professionally sewn. 


While you are serging, don’t look at the needles, don’t look at the blade, look at the spot on the foot. You decide on the spot and keep your eyes there. 

To put the sleeves on, I used the clips and I definitely like using them. 

I decided to coverstitch the sleeve seams and the side seams. Makes them look so nice and also makes them look good on the inside. 

This was a quick sew. I really wanted to be making another dress today but this fabric was on the cutting table and I needed to get rid of it.

Now I have a cute little shirt. 



I added this little label to the side seam. I think I’ll move it up a few inches. 

Now back to cutting out my dress….

2 dresses, 1 shirt later

Yes, I really like this pattern. The Essential Tank.  So much that I’ve made it 3 times since Saturday. Saturday was yesterday.

Wasn’t sure how the drape of fabric would work with the dress. So I experimented. It’s 95%cotton5%lycra. It was great. The first one is a Caribbean blue but it doesn’t look that way with a iPhone camera.

I did the same racerback tank version. Considering its about 100° out here I thought I could use it. I had to serge it down a bit in the hips. I loved that . 🙄

I made both between a maxi and a above the knee.

Here’s a picture of myself incognito. Notice I never post selfies. It’s a reflection selfie.

Both of these will be perfect for my weekend in Chicago next week. Plus the skirts from a couple weeks ago. It’s only a overnight trip but I’m bringing 7 outfits. A girl must have options.

The second one is gray heathered and the fabric was left over from another project and I had just enough!

Phew.

Ive been playing  with labels.


But right now I’m doing this:
Another incognito selfie…..

Essential Tank

I really think this is an essential tank. So many options too. My first trial of this pattern by  Patterns for Pirates turned out pretty much perfecto. Still searching for a summer tank dress, I decided to start with the racerback tee option and make a exercise top.

The fabric is 4-way stretch specifically for activewear. From Zenith and Quasar.

I planned to put a little tag at the back neckband. Now I’m sure I cut it too short, but I still like it.

I tucked it in between the neck band and shirt back.

And just serged it all together.

I also put a little loop down on the lower right side.


The neck and arm bands are the perfect size. 1 3/4″ with a half inch seam. I really like how that turns out. Most other patterns are wider.

I made it tight as I plan to wear it while exercising with a jog bra underneath. 

My favorite way to put a band on is to use this fancy pen. It’s a friction pen and when ironed, it disappears. Made by Pilot.

I sew the band together, turn, iron, then divide the band in quarters , and mark right on the fabric. Works better than pins that tend to fall out. Mark the shirt in quarters too. Then match up the marks. While sewing a band on, stretch the band and not the shirt!

To start serging , I like to cut into the fabric and take about an inch out. I start at the underarm in this case. 

I look at the mark at the lower arrow. The band will be the same width if you look there. Find where you want your measurement. The serged side is a half inch seam. If you don’t know, use your 6-inch gauge and measure from the needle to a mark on the machine. I use the L. My needle is in the right side. For some reason I always use the right side when I do a 3-thread overlock seam. Doesn’t really matter if you know your seam allowance is correct.



So both sides of the band are constantly the same. It’s also important to know where the bottom piece of fabric is. It has to be perfectly in line with the band or you may miss serging it all together.

After you serge the bands to the garment, it will look a mess. Something like this:

See how curly it is? Time to iron.

Then the fun part.

Coverstitching!

For the neck and arm holes, I used a narrow double coverstitch.

There’s my little loop in the back and I just coverstitched right over it.

For the side seams and shoulder seams I used the triple coverstitch.

Here’s a view from the front with the hot pink jog bra on.
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Back view: img_9948
I will be making more. ☺️

Free Spirit Tank

This was a quick sew with my serger, otherwise  known as Miss O. I had hoped it would be a tank dress that I could wear in Chicago in a couple weeks but it’s a bit too short for me and I had no extra fabric. Unless I get creative adding length, it will be some sort of tank top.

Fabric is from Girl Charlee and has been in my stash for at least a year. My color this year is definitely pink. I want everything pink. And of course, what looks great with pink, orange. Yes, I love pink and orange. Good thing I have orange labels.


This pattern is from Patterns for Pirates. This is last years tank which I never made. They have a new one, just released, called The Essential Tank and I do think that both of these need to be in everyone’s collection of patterns. Easy makes for everyday wear.

There are just 2 pieces for the pattern, plus the neck and armhole bindings. I combined 2 sizes, grading to a larger size for the hips. 😑

I wish everyone that sews could have a serger and a coverstitch machine. My big love is topstitching and coverstitching is topstitching.

It’s a tone on tone stripe. I have no idea of the cost but it was very inexpensive. Fabric was easy to sew with.  I still want a pink dress though…

This is a pattern that I believe will be used over and over for summer wear. The pattern has several hem options and also a racer back tank option. That would be great with athletic fabric to work-out in.

That sounds like it could be my project for tomorrow.

I loved making this top with Miss O.

Off the Shoulder tee

Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for sewing. I found a pattern that I had made once before and I decided to make a white tee out of some fabric I had.

It’s another HotPattern pattern, HP 1189. I figured I could whip this up quick.

I do like to do neckbands like this or similar. Makes a tee a bit more dressy. For this one the band is sewn on wrong sides together with a 5/8″ seam.

I sewed it with my little machine with a stretch stitch. It makes it a bit curly so I press lightly. Then with my quilting rulers and rotary blade I trim the seam allowance to a perfect 3/8″ seam. Then you fold over the seam allowance to the right side, 2 folds, and pin.

For this shirt I used my chain stitch to edge stitch around the band. One reason to love the BabyLock Ovation. Speed Control.

I did an ok job around the neckline but it went downhill after that.

I realized I stitched the one shoulder at 3/8″ instead of 5/8″. Oh well, I’ll repeat the other the same.

Then I coverstitched the front and the back was done backwards.

I put the cuffs on the sleeves then serged the one side seam. It was then that I realized I had coverstitched the back of the shirt backwards. I ripped it out and continued. Did I already say I had to redo the collar because I started to stitch it also at 3/8″?  Every step, I was messing up. This was not like me. I should have quit then.

At this point I didn’t really care about this shirt. It was finicky fabric and ripping out stitches was nearly making holes. I decided to finish it anyway.

The reason I have 2 sergers is so one can coverstitch and one can serge but since I insist on matching thread to fabric, I could only use one machine, since I only had 4 matching cones. So switching back and forth from serging to coverstitch is such a pain no matter how fast and simple it is. It seemed every other seam was the stitch that the machine wasn’t threaded for. Eeesh.

I finally finished it and as I knew all along, the fabric was very stretchy making the neckband too long. I knew I shoulda stopped.

Turns out the shirt is a off the shoulder, must wear a camisole, kind of shirt. Either that or my daughter with larger shoulders than me gets it.

Not bad for all the errors.

Vogue 9057- view C

Who can’t use another off-white summer top? Ok, maybe it’s just me, I never get enough of simple white tops.

I made this with bamboo lycra cream colored fabric. It was pretty slippery to work with. The edges also curled quite a bit. So I changed my original plan of making it mostly with my sewing machine and I used my fancy smanchy serger.

The alteration I made to the pattern was for slightly sloped shoulders. If you have shirts that do this:

 

You need a sloped shoulder adjustment. I thought I needed a FBA (full bust adjustment). So after a few attempts at a larger size, a FBA, a different FBA, I finally did enough research to find out what it was from.

There are different ways to fix it. I did Nancy Ziemans pivot and slide technique. But now I have found Linda Lee’s PDF that does basically the same thing and I think it’s easier.

Here is a link that shows several shoulder adjustments from Linda Lee with The Sewing Workshop. http://sewingworkshop.com/files/Fitting_Shoulders-April.pdf

View C is a good one. The method for the neck and shoulder is not the typical bindings that most knit shirts use. You use bands instead of binding. A different technique and the instructions are easy. Marcy Tilton is the designer and she usually gives directions for using a sewing machine. Marcy Tilton is one of my favorite designers and also sells fabric, very nice fabric. I found her at the Sew Expo in Puyallup, Washington and I have been buying her fabric ever since. She and her sister are from Oregon.

My fabric was cut and ready to go. Because the edges curled so much I decided to serge the sides, and hem with a narrow 3-thread overcast stitch.

I decided to use my BabyLock Ovation and stitch with the chain stitch. This fabric felt like it would get eaten up with a regular sewing machine.

The first seam is one shoulder seam with a 3/8″ top-stitch. img_9432

Now for the neck binding. I have stay-stitched the neck and armholes.

The binding was cut with a rotary blade and my quilting rulers because making it very precise with nicely trimmed edges is the best way for this shirt. The raw edge will show on the inside.

Sew the binding on with a 5/8″ seam, stretching it enough so that it lays nicely. Too much the shirt will bag, too little the binding will not lay nicely on the skin. This is a learned process and also can change depending on the stretch of the fabric.

After attaching the binding (right sides together), steam or iron it nicely so it looks good like this.(see that darn curly edge!)

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If it looks good then sew the other shoulder seam along with the binding, matching that seam perfectly. Don’t forget to topstitch that seam like the other.

You need to trim the seam allowance to a perfect and precise 3/8″. The binding will fold over and cover the seam allowances.

Fold the binding to the inside,covering the 3/8″ seam allowance. Pin in the ditch on the right side.

I tried to sew with the chainstitch but I needed to use the sewing machine and my favorite foot. 10D to the rescue.

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Sew as close to the ditch as possible. You shouldn’t see the seam when you are finished.

Attach the armhole binding the same as the neck  unless you do it like me and then you need to sew the side seams with the chain stitch (matching the binding, which was already attached), then I decided to use the wide coverstitch on the side seams.

I love this look.

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Finish stitching in the ditch with both armholes.

Next is the hem. This fabric was not nice. I used the wide coverstitch and in order to make it look nice I put a stabilizer underneath and that worked like a charm. (I ended up using scraps of my Swedish tracing paper).

I also stitched the vent with the wide coverstitch.

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This photo also shows the stabilizer that is underneath as I start stitching the hem. Sometimes when starting to stitch a hem on knits,  it has trouble starting (sewing tiny stitches before it grabs the fabric well) but using a stabilizer really helps those first stitches and the first stitches are exactly the size you wanted. In this case I stitched a length of 3.

That’s the end of this little shirt. I like it!!  Questions?    Just ask me!!

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