Monday, November 19, 2012

The Making of a Vest...Kwik Sew 3717

The vest in this post is different from any other vest I've ever made. It is Kwik Sew  3717
Line Art
 That's all there is to it. One piece not counting the belt.

There was no suggestion as to what fabric to use so I had to experiment.

I used a medium weight knit....

a quilted denim...

and a faux suede.

The collar of the knit fabric was floppy so I lined the vest with a plaid Ponte knit which helped. I also used the plaid as armhole facings. 

The armholes were too big and roomy 

so I filled them in like this.

This was my muslin and I can't really wear it like this but that's OK.

For the quilted denim vest I drew the armscye to be 21" on my pattern and that was a good size for me.

Because this fabric was stiff, I cut off about two inches from the top or collar section of the pattern so the collar wouldn't be so high.I just simply started at about chest height and gradually cut as I went around the curve and straight across the top.

The sides of the vest stuck out a lot so I straightened the sides by sewing a seam (on each side) which cut off two" at the bottom and ended with a 1/4 inch seam at the top (or under the armhole).This reduced the flare by four inches on each side.

Then I did the same thing at center back to take off another four inches. That worked out just right.

I finished the entire vest  and the armholes with fold over tape.I added pockets, toggle buttons and buttonholes for a very unique style of this Kwik Sew pattern.

For the faux suede vest, I decided to double it (or self line it). That was not an easy process becuse it was very important that both sides be exact and that each stay put and hang as one.

I decided to cut the two layers at the same time but to wait before cutting out the armhloes until I had the outsides sewn together and then turned to the right side and pressed . I then cut out the armhholes together after making certain that the two sides were exactly smooth. I pinned and basted together and then I used a bias binding to finish .

To tame the flare this time, I added a casing and inserted elastic. That worked beautifully.

I had lots of fun trying out these samples. I hope my Sewing Group will want to try one.
 Why don't you make one? Try downloading a copy of this pattern like I did.  Very convenient !

Happy Sewing from 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Adding a Bias Cut Draped Collar

I made a warm, draped collared  pullover and posted it on Sew Passionista and I thought I'd explain how I drafted the draped collar.

I used Vogue 8605 for the body and sleeves with alterations done on the front piece and to add the collar, I proceeded in this way.

I scooped the neckline from three inches in from the neckline along the shoulder seam down  to mid chest on center front like this.

Step 1

Step 2
On a piece of paper

Step 3 & 4
I slashed and spread this line adding about 8" to the width of the neckline/shoulders

Steps 5 & 6

Fold the collar in two and sew into neck line of front piece. ( Don't forget to add a new seam line to the neck edge of the front)

The collar does  not extend to the back neck.

And that's all there is to it!

 I want to make a nice red top using this draped collar. I've always admired that kind of neckline but because  this style is cut on the bias, I find it hugs the chest in a way that looks too tight. This method is my alternative.

I hope my instructions are clear and that someone out there will give it a try.
More pics here!

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I have inadvertently deleted my web address for Sew Passionista by Diana. Ouch!!!

 My new address is  My new name is SewPassionista by DIANA ( Note the changes) I hope some of you find me here or I'll lose all my readers! I'm so sad!!

Pleasr help me spread the word!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A New Method of Hemming

I made a skirt this spring out of a heavy Ponte knit especially to wear with my Chanel type jacket made last spring..

I used McCall's 5590. a favorite of mine because of its simplicity and easy construction. To see the changes I made  to this pattern ,look here.

I subscribe to Threads Insider where you get access to various videos and articless. On the video  Industry Insider Techniques, Vol 1,  Louise Cutting  shows a really cool hem method and I decided to use it on this skirt so there would be no stitches showing through to the right side.

Here's how it's done.

1.  Cut a bias strip of fusible interfacing ( I prefer Fusi Knit ) long enough to go aroumd your skirt and twice the width of the hem you want.

2.   Fold the strip in two  widthwise with fusible side to the outside.

3.  Sew together lengthwise.

 4.   Fold up your hem and press.

5.  Insert the interfacing strip into the fold of the hem and press from both the inside and the     outside of the garment ( Use a press cloth for the outside ).

And that's it! You're finished and you have a beautiful invible hem .


         I think you should try it!  Happy Sewing from

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another Sewing Group Project

Last time, I showed you how the Threads wrap was made. For our next project, some of the girlsin my Sewing Group want to make this little poncho-like top. Peggy Sagers demonstrated it on her webcast on Jan 23. She called it the Yoga top.

Here are my versions.

This is really a very simple garment to make. I added a neckband on mine but you could just turn the seam allowance under at the neckline instead like Peggy did..

Materials: 1 1/2  to 1 3/4meters (yards) of  fabric such as sweater knit, fleece ,stretch lace or     something that drapes nicely.
                2 large buttons for the front and 2 smaller buttons for the back.
                 matching thread

For my top I used a wool knit that is quite heavy.

Step 1... Cut a 3" strip of  fabric crosswise  hrom the bottom of your fabric.You will use part of this later for the neckband

Step2 ...Fold your fabric in half so the  selvages are parallel to each.Fold again joining all selvages.

Now you are ready to cut the neck opening. Measure  around your head to give you an idea how wide the opening should be.

Step 3... Using a French curve ( or a plate or bowl if you don't have one ,) draw a curved line at the center fold that will be the size of the back neckline. To do this fit the French Curve  (or the bowl) against the back neckline of one of your garments which is folded in two like in the photo below.Mark the arc with tape.

Draw the neckline on your folded fabric . 

Add  a 5/8" seam allowance. Make a notch at the center fold.

 Cut through all thicknesses..

Step 4...  Open the piece so selvages are again parallel. 

Decide how low you want the front neck opening. To help you,measure the front of a top the way you did for the back.(This measurement  plus the back neckline should be close to the length around your head.)

Draw the front neckline on your fabricAdd a 5/8" seam allowance .Cut only the front neckline. make a notch at center front.

Step 5...  Now put the fabric over your head. Hold out your arms and decide how wide to makeyour top.I made this one longer than the green one in the first photo.

The width of this  fabric was 150 cm.before cutting off the selvages and I used the whole width .

 With a French curve or ruler shape the shoulders of your top slightly.Starting at the            
  neck, draw a slightly curved angled line to the side of your fabric. 

  Step 6...Shape the sides by drawing an anled line from the sleeve edge to the hem line like this.
                 I went in about 6" at the bottom and angled the line to that point.

Your fabric should now look like this. Notice the hem allowance is angled out so that when it is folded it will match up with the side seam of the wrap.

Step 7... Serge all your edges except the neck opening. This isn't absolutely necessary if you don't have a serger as most knits won't ravel nowadays.

Step 8...   Turn up the hem and stitch with a twin needle or with a straight stitch.My hem is about 1.5" wide

Step9... Now finish side seams with a 5/8" seam allowance.For the brown version, I top stitched the  selvage which was a nice fringe to the sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                Step 9... You are now ready to finish your neck edge.


Take your 3" strip of fabric . Measure the neck opening of your wrap and cut your 3" strip 4" shorter than this measurement.( Mine was 19") Sew ends together with a1/4" seam. Fold band in two lengthwise.

Step 10...  Pin the neckband to the  neck edge matching the notches at center front and the seam of the band to the center back of the neck opening.Pin stretching the band a little with each pin until the neckline is distributed evenly along the band.

Step 11... Sew with the neckband on top and neck opening against the feeddogs using a 5/8" seam allowance .Press the seam downward toward the wrap.

Step 12...Trim the seam allowance  to about 3/8". From the right side top stitch about 1/4' from the seam.Lengthen your stitch  to about 3.5.

Step 13...All that's left to do now is to try the wrap on and decide where you want to sew the buttons. I sewed large buttons on the front with smaller ones on the back. I sewed front and back buttons in the same step.

I hope this inspires you to make Peggy Sagers' Yoga top and tha the directions are clear.
Thanks for stopping by.