Saturday, July 7, 2012

Kwik Sew 3915 Finished, and What's Next

Well, I pooped out Thursday and Friday nights and didn't finish my top until this morning, but it's done and that's all that matters. Here's how I plan to wear it. I'll get  a pic of me in the outfit after I've hit the shower. I think it makes a nice Florida summer outfit and I know I'll be glad to get this skirt back in the rotation.

The neckband gathers were only a little fiddly and that's mostly because (a) I needed to lessen the gathering distance vs. the pattern notches because I wanted a little more fullness where the gathers gather, and (b) gathers always mean a LOT of pins.

I didn't follow the construction instructions for the neckband, even though Kwik Sew instructions are always pretty good. KS instructed to first make the gathers and then join the inner and outer neckbands at the neck seam, which I did. Then you are supposed to tie off the gathering stitches at the bodice edge of the outer band and then stitch it single-layer onto the bodice. Then press the seam allowance toward the neckband. Then sew the inner band by stitching in the ditch of the first joining seam. That's really an OK method, but I didn't want to mess with my gathers that much and I didn't want the lump of the seam allowances *inside* the neckband, because in this solid cotton/Lycra knit it would definitely show.

So instead, I did my gathers, joined the bands at the neck seam RS together, flipped them RS out (pressed and understitched also per KS), and then pinned both outer and inner bands together and joined them as one. I then stitched the unfinished edges together so they wouldn't shift, giving me more control over the gathers, and attached the whole neckband unit to the bodice in one pass. I pressed the seam allowances outward and coverstitched. If I didn't have a coverstitch machine, I would've just topstitched once.

Above, you can see the inside of the neckband. Sure, you can see the seam allowances but who cares. It's still not an awful finish and it's a tee shirt, not a couture gown. And if I didn't use glaring white looper thread, it would blend.

As a final lazy step instead of trimming, I made a deep hem. It's lazy, yes, but it will also lay better in the long run.

So, next up is a dress. One of my coworkers has a couple of very plain (design-wise, not fabric-wise) sleeveless shift dresses. I really like them. They look so effortless to wear in our heat and  humidity and yet she still looks so pulled together. I couldn't copy them exactly because with my boobage, that kind of dress will hang like a tent off the girls and people will wonder when the baby is due.

I went through my on-deck pattern pile to look for a candidate for the dress in my mind's eye. Of course, I couldn't find EXACTLY what I wanted but a few have some potential. The first pull yielded these. Which I then whittled down for various reasons.

The two finalists are ...M6397, below, and ...

V8764, here.

Both are multi-cup sized, a definite plus. Both have minimal seaming, another plus for my lazy self, but enough seams to provide some shaping opportunities. The McCall's has pockets (yay!) and a cool vertical (slimming) zip down the front. The minuses are (a) the McCall's may need some neckline altering to make it a true sleeveless dress instead of a jumper (pinnie to non-Americans!) and do I already have a suitable zip??, and (b) the Vogue isn't sleeveless and that neckline may be too wide. I think these obstacles would be easy enough to overcome, if needed, and so now I just have to decide which one will be The One. Maybe I should go read up on them over at PR.

Parting Shot: My laundry room, as I wait for the parts to come to fix my dryer. Apparently Tropical Storm Debby fried its power supply when she took down our power and it needs some fixin'. These are Alex's clothes. I don't believe I've ever hung his undies on hangers before. ;-) My clothes are up next, but since I wear so many knits, they'll do just fine hanging dry. Truthfully, I should probably dry most of my clothes this way all the time. I am glad, though, that I have such a big laundry room here and that it came with these shelves pre-installed. Makes for easy hang-drying. (Outside, with our humidity, is out of the question. Clothes would NEVER dry out there.)


  1. Love the top and the way you plan to STYLE it! Interesting neckband treatment too. Wish my laundry room was that large.

  2. I'm glad the top worked out good for you - I ended up with a wadder when I sewed it up!

    I vote for the McCall's first and then the Vogue, 'cause I like both of them and think they would both look fabulous on you!

  3. I commend you --

    ... for having a laundry room that's much neater than mine. That mine is in the garage is beside the point.

    ... and for actually sewing!

  4. That is a lovely neckline - I will have to try that pattern now.

  5. Cute top. The neckline makes it for sure.

  6. Love your blog. You sew beautifully.

  7. That's a really cute pattern - I love the neckline. Great job, as always!

  8. Debbie, Love the new top, can't wait to see which ever dress works for you. Interesting perspective on the laundry issue. I have lived on the west coast of Florida all of my life and in Tampa for 3 years when I was a kid. My mom hung all of the laundry outside on a clothes line and it all dried in spite of the humidity. I currently hang most of my good clothes on hangers to dry like you did in that picture. It extends the life of your clothes and prevents shrinkage. I am glad to have the space to do it. And of course it saves money on the electric

  9. Really nice outfit--love the top and skirt together!


  10. I made V8764 and I really liked it. Although I don't think it's a regular shift dress that pulls on easily. Now don't get me wrong...I love my version of this dress and I think you could make it sleeveless easily. Also the neckline is not to large but lingerie straps would work just fine to insure that shoulders stay in place. Will be interesting to see which one you choose.

  11. Oh yeah and I really like the top with the skirt...the skirt which is soooooo pretty. I'm really into florals this year!

  12. I find you amazing, you are a gorgeous woman, a real sweetie, I enjoy looking at all your dresses, I can't even sew on a button
    xxx Christine from New Zealand


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