Preppies, Knitters & a New Feature on the Blog packed with Free Sewing Stuff!

Collage

I hope everybody had a terrific Halloween.  It was raining here :( but we still received some trick or treaters and decorated the house with spooky style.

Halloween Photo Collage

 

Preppy Fashion

Muffy, my socks are itchy!

This year, Kitty dressed up as a dashing 80s preppy boy and wore a hand-knit sweater vest that his Gramma knit for him (thanks Mum!!)  His argyle sweater vest was completed with a prep school sew-on crest (from 1987, of course).

Cat Argyle Sweater Collage

You can get the free knitting pattern here from knottygnome crafts.  Now, if you look carefully at the sweater, you can see something special about the Argyle pattern.

Argyle Sweater Fish Pattern

It looks slightly askew compared to the regular diamond pattern of argyle, yes?  No!  Look closely.  They are fish!!  And, because they are knit in gold yarn, they are goldfish!  I KNOW!  I died.  Then I came back to life and died again.  ;)

Look Muffy he thinks he's one of us

Where is my polo shirt??  Maybe I’ll rough it this weekend in my khakis and madras.

The Official Preppy Handbook

Anybody have The Official Preppy Handbook from 1980 and did you follow any of the ‘rules’, however satirical they may have been?  Come on, you can tell us!  For those of you still preppy, the author has a newer book out: True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World, 2010.

-New Feature on the Blog-

I have recently added three new sections to the blog!  At the top menu, there is a drop down menu labelled FREE PATTERNS/BOOKS/RESOURCES.  Free Patterns Books Resources

The first section, Websites with Free Sewing Patterns, has a number of websites that contain a variety of free sewing patterns.

Websites With Free Sewing Patterns

The second section, Free Sewing Patterns, is a compilation of free patterns of varying styles and difficulties that range from couture to casual.

Free Sewing Patterns

And the third section, Free Sewing Books (vintage and new), contains downloadable books, both vintage and new, resources, pdfs, videos, etc. that cover everything from needle selection to couture sewing techniques.

Free Books Resources

I will be updating these sections on an ongoing basis, so check back periodically to see what’s new!

If you have a free sewing pattern or resource that you would like added to the site, please feel free to leave a link in the comments section.

Kitty All Tuckered Out

photo credits: Brighterman, The Official Preppy Handbook

And, Your Favourite Fabric IS….(ratta tatta tatta tat – that’s a drum roll, not machine gun fire)

Fabric Fabrics Everywhere

Ahhh, to keep you in suspense for just a moment longer!  I must tell you that my blog has been short-listed on BurdaStyle’s 50 Best Bloggers for Sewing EnthusiastsTop 50 Blogs for Sewing Enthusiasts ButtonI really couldn’t believe it when I saw it!  Heck, I’m still flabbergasted when even one person enjoys my ‘style’ and comments on my posts.  :)  I’ve no idea how Burda makes selections for this list or if somebody nominated my blog, but, if so, thank you very much!  I appreciate every person who drops by the ol’ blog, leaves a thoughtful remark, shares some wisdom, puts a smile on my face or offers up terrific advice!  We really do have a pretty special community here in the wonderful world of sewing.

There are definitely some fantastic blogs on the list, I am honoured to be in such great company (although a few of my personal favourites are noticeably missing).  You can go here to see who is on the list and vote for Gjeometry or any of your favourite blogs on the list.  Voting ends Monday, September 8th.

OK, now CHART TIME!

Favourite Fabric to Sew Chart

KatsMerinoWoolPapercutPatternsCopellia

Kat in her cosy Merino Wool Papercut Patterns Coppelia wrap top

Results were tabulated from this post, and the winning fabric, pulling ahead by just a thread (hahahaha) is…. 100% cotton!  This included:

  • lightweight quilting cotton
  • voile
  • batiste
  • lawn

Coming in a close second was wool!  This included:

  • wool suiting
  • merino wool
  • wool crepe
Morgan's Lovely Linen Livery

Morgan’s Lovely Linen Livery

 

Tied for third place was stretch cotton sateen (including stretch textured Jacquard) and linen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some other fun facts that we discovered:

Favourite Fabric to Wear Least Favourite Fabric to sew wear table

Favourite quote (by Rebecca):  “Cutting silk is like trying to cut water.” :)

Now, if you are new to my blog and/or did not get a chance to vote in this fabulously scientific survey, fear not!!  You can still add your favourite fabrics to sew and/or wear in the comments section and we can update the charts.  CHART!!  They do not have to be one of the already listed fabrics.Kitty has the technology

What Do Some Of These Terms Mean? 

Most of the fabrics are pretty self-explanatory, but here’s some info on a few of the  items.

Jacquard:

Jac·quard, Joseph Marie 1752-1834 was the French inventor of the Jacquard loom (1801), the first automatic loom able to weave complex patterns.
1. A fabric with an intricately woven pattern.
2. A special loom or the method employed in the weaving of a figured fabric.

Jacquard Fabric and Brooke's Fabulous Stretch Jacquard Trousers

Jacquard Fabric Swatch and Brooke’s Fabulous Stretch Jacquard Trousers

Jacquard weave:  a fabric in which the design is incorporated into the weave instead of being printed or dyed on.

Viscose or Rayon?

Well, actually, viscose and rayon are not entirely the same thing.  They are manufactured with the same process but different materials are used for each.  While rayon can be made with cellulose from a variety of plants, viscose is made from wood pulp or cotton linter.  More information can be found here:  Difference Between Rayon and Viscose.

Twill

Twill is a type of weave that produces a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs or lines (think herringbone).  This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads.  Examples of twill are denim, chino, gabardine and tweed.

Twill and Herringbone Swatches.

Twill and Herringbone Swatches.

Challis

Challis is a soft, lightweight, usually printed, woven fabric, originally a silk-and-wool blend.  It is often made from a single fibre, such as cotton, silk or wool, or from human-made fabrics such as rayon.

Challis Fabrics from my Stash (what to sew with them?) and Anne's Beautiful Challis Summer Frock

Challis Fabrics from my Stash (what to sew with them?) and Anne’s Beautiful Challis Summer Frock

ITY Knits

ITY stands for Interlock Twist Yarn, which gives the fabric a natural elasticity and is usually made from polyester.  The crepe textures can have a soft feel, but the smoother ones have a tendency to feel a bit ‘plastic-y’.  Skipped stitches can result and a proper (stretch or microtex) needle is key.

 

Till next time!

Top 50 Blogs for Sewing Enthusiasts Button

 

Continuing on in our theme of Patterns Nobody Has Sewn, I present to you: The Convertible Sundress!

Burda 7512 Front and Back Summer and Winter Style

Burda 7515 Sundress Front View

Not only can you convert it for the seasons, but I used a knit fabric!  You may or may not know, but knits and I have not always been the best of friends.

Crinkle Knit Fabric

Crinkle Knit Fabric

This one is a 70% polyester, 30% rayon crinkle knit with a lovely wavy creased texture to it.  I used another Burda pattern, that I do believe NOBODY has ever sewn before, Burda Style 7512. 7512_SB.indd I really liked the line drawings, but not so much the way the dresses fit the models, nor the fabrics they chose, so I was not sure what the result would be.  But, I think the crinkle knit was an excellent choice!  The cowl back drapes nicely and it top stitches with a twin needle well without stretching at the wrapped cross-over front, and the hem.

Burda 7512 Back Views Summer and Winter

sew sundressThe fabric colour and texture and the fact that it is a knit, really allow it to span the seasons as being either a spring/summer or fall/winter fabric.  So, that’s how I used it!  Summers here are so short (and this one has been cooooollllllddddd!) so I really like a wardrobe that is easily converted for the seasons.  This dress is my contribution to Heather’s Summer Sundress Sewalong.

Burda 7512 Front Views Summer and Winter

The style reminds me of the new Colette Patterns Myrtle dress, except the cowl drape is in the back and the front is a cross-over style which I think adds a bit of joosh.  The pattern calls for Vilene Bias Tape to be used on hemmed areas, at the crossover front, armholes and bottom hem, but if you can’t find this, you can just use knit stay tape or even cut knit / tricot interfacing into strips.

Check Out the Twin Needle Top Stitching!  And, I Used Matching Over-locking Thread, Booyaa!

Check Out the Twin Needle Top Stitching! And, I Used Matching Over-locking Thread, Booyaa!

For those of you that like sewing with knits because it is faster, this may not be the pattern for you.  You cannot sew the whole dress on your overlocker, and you are constantly switching from a stretch stitch to a twin needle on your sewing machine.  You can’t save up all the twin needle topstitching until the end.  Also, there are six straps as fabric tubes to sew and turn.  Six!

Burda 7512 Side Views Summer and Winter

I asked around on Instagram if anybody knew how to care for this fabric and consensus was that I sew test stitching samples.  Good advice, but it sounded really boring.  So instead, I sewed a yoga skirt with a slight A-Line and added fold-over elastic at the waist.  This way, I could practice my stitch lengths, twin needle stitching, pressing methods and use of knit stay tape and still end up with a wearable garment.  Bonus!

Test Samples as a Knit Yoga Skirt

Yoga Skirt Instead of Test Sewing Samples

Stretch Yoga Skirt

Burda 7512 Autumn Knit Dress Front View

Psssst, did you happen to notice the change of artwork from spring/summer to fall/winter?  It’s the little things…. :)

If you haven’t voted yet on ‘what is your favourite fabric to sew with’, be sure to go here and add it to the comments section!  Chart forthcoming…

See you next time!