A Match Made in Fabric

I finally had some time to get pictures of several of my finished projects. I expect that I’ll have several posts for you over the next week. This skirt was finished quite a while ago. It was my first project postpartum. Which means I made it sometime at the end of February!

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The skirt is Simplicity 1163 view E. I traced every skirt in this pattern and I imagine I will sew them eventually.  It’s been a while so I have no idea what size I sewed. By the finished measurements it should be a size 20 which is a bit smaller than my 46″ hips.

It’s a super easy pattern and  I didn’t use the instructions until I dealt with the pleating. This is a great pattern if you want to do some pattern matching, since each piece is cut individually. Stripes would have been much easier to match than the fabric I chose, but I think I did a fairly good job.

What do you think?  I honestly didn’t expect the matching to turn out nearly as well as it did. I wear this skirt way more than I expected. It’s easy to put on and easy to match. I can easily do anything with my son while wearing it. That includes sitting on the floor to play with him.

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I’m not getting into the sewing room as much as I would like, but I am still working on projects and the knitting bags. I do not know that I will be offering them through Etsy just yet, but I may have other opportunities coming up. A lot of my time right now is spent with my amazing son and knitting. I’ve been working on Stephen West’s Doodler mystery knit along(MKAL) and I have been in love with the pattern. Go look at all the wonderful projects people have made!

I’ll be back with another finished project in the next few days. In the meantime, do you knit? Tell me what you are working on!

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Swatches Galore!

Several months ago my husband was chatting with me about different options to improve some mods for his car. The mod we decided on would need some reflective fabric, so I went out to see what our options would be. I stumbled on Seattle Fabrics and saw several options for reflective fabric and trim. The only question was which would be appropriate. To find out I ordered some swatches and decided that I would order swatches for several of the knits they offered.

I mentioned in my last post that I would likely not be able to sew much for the next several weeks. The reason for me not being able to sew is that I finally went in for the surgery that will (hopefully) fix my hip. I am on crutches for the next month and physical therapy could last up to a year. It means I’ll be able to wear heels again, run around, hula hoop dance, and so much that I haven’t been able to do for the three years. I thought I would share these swatches since I can not do much sewing right now. So if you come here to see my finished garments feel free to skip this post!

The first swatches are the reflective fabric and tape/ribbon:

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1559The reflective tape is on top on the left it has a slick top with a woven back. It is fairly stiff and would not lend itself to most garment applications. below the tape is the iron on reflective tape. The top layer peels off and I have not tested the iron on effectiveness of it. The reflective ribbon feels as flexible as any other ribbon and would sew on very well. The reflective portion is a bit off set, but most folks would not notice. The bottom tape looks and feels exactly like the Army’s Reflective PT belts! I can’t imagine what I would ever use it for.

On the right we have the reflective piping. It is quite flexible and would be great to use in seams of any athletic gear. You can barely see it in the photo above, but the orange peeking out behind the piping is a piping tape. It would be good for the same applications as the piping, but it would be a bit more subtle and perhaps easier to sew in. Finally we come to the reflective fabrics. The top two are silver and the bottom is orange. They are lightweight from the top to heavyweight on the bottom. You could easily use the topmost fabric in some outerwear to increase visibility.

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Packaging back

Now onto the more interesting fabric! Knits and fleeces!

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From top to bottom these swatches are for their Wicking Jersey, Dryline, Active Dry, and their Anti-Microbial poly/lycra knits. The Wicking Jersey are soft to the touch and have some four way stretch. Most of the stretch is with the width and a very tiny amount down the length. The Dryline knits are four-way stretch, feel smooth to the touch, and are thinner than the Wicking Jersey. The Active Dry are smooth on one side and textured on the other. They have stretch with the width of the fabric and almost none with the length. The Anti-Microbial knit only comes in grey. It is a thin knit, smooth and extremely stretchy in all directions!

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Look at all the colors!

Next up is the Polartec Power Shield. It is smooth on one side and fleece backed. It has very limited stretch with the width and none with the length of the fabric. It would be great for sweatshirts, hoodies, jackets, and pants if they don’t have a ton of negative ease. The colors are vibrant and selection is great! If it had more stretch I might consider making some into leggings, but I think it would be great for an Avocado hoodie!

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Look at the difference from the front to the back!

Below is the description that Seattle Fabrics gives for it.

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Fleece! Below we have what they call PT Wind Pro. it comes in two different weights and in a lot of colors! It is a fairly think fleece, so think sweatshirts and jackets. Two of the heavier weight fleece have a short fur pile backing which makes it very soft to the touch. If I bought myself some and made it into a sweatshirt I don’t know that I would be able to take it off!

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Oooh! Soft!

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This can give you an idea of how thick they are. I imagine they would be quite warm.

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And the package back.

The last set of swatches I invested in was Ultrex. Ultrex is a water repellant fabric, which would make it ideal for outerwear. This makes me want to by the Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic to get some of this fabric.

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There is a wide selection of colors!

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Colors and description on the back.

Hopefully I will be back in my sewing room within the next few weeks!

Seattle Fabrics did not provide me with the swatches free of charge; nor did they ask for a review. I would gladly do so if they offered me a length of fabric though!

Knits, knits, knits! Oh how I love thee!

I really do. Love knits that is. I love how the stretchiness of the fabric is so forgiving and comfortable to wear.

I’m always on the look out for good patterns that are designed for knits and not always finding the ones I want. I am however always finding patterns that look like they would work just fine for knits and often better than any other fabric. I’ve been finding more and more patterns like this lately. I wonder if these patterns are being designed for wovens or as I like to say, “non stretchy fabrics” because people are uncomfortable attempting to deal with knits?

ImageTwo patterns that would transfer well to knit fabrics

I do admit that I have had my fair share of trouble sewing knits and I have had many wadders that have ended up going the way of the dodo. If it isn’t the fabric it’s the sewing machine or more likely the serger acting up. Oh, the fun, but with practice it does get easier. Don’t give up!

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New Look 6814

These pants were designed for a woven and to be a loose pull on pant. I turned them into a fitted pant by taking in the hips, waist and inserted exposed zippers on both hips. I loved the contrasting pop of color! Unfortunately in taking these in I didn’t leave enough seam in the rear and they failed on me after my third wear. I didn’t think I would do them again just yet with another satin, so I turned to a lovely grey knit!

ImageNew Look 6814 in a knit

Ta Da!!!!! I have a hard time not wearing these every day! They are the ultimate in comfort and they don’t look like yoga or lounge pants unless I’m dressing them down. These pants dress up easily with a button up shirt and some fancy shoes. I will at some point be making this pattern again and I will be doing it in a knit again and I think I hear a colorful sating calling my name… I’ll just have to remember that seam allowance!

And this is what the cat does while I edit pictures!

And this is what the cat does while I edit pictures!