Time for Something New–Part 3

Eileen – Amazing Seamstress & Quilter

Did you take your measurements?  Or have someone take them for you?

This week we are onto part 3 of this series “Time for Something New”, where I learn how to make a garment, instead of quilting.  I haven’t stopped quilting…I just want to add a few more tools in my toolbox!

Last week at my local quilt guild meeting a woman stood up and showed tops that she had made as part of her show and tell.  They were perfect summer tops!

This is Eileen.  She told me that she made a top for every day of the week and they were super easy to make!  I’m getting my hopes up…but know this, Eileen is an amazing sewer and quilter!  What’s easy to her, may not be even possible in my dreams!

Later that week, I saw Eileen at my Featherweight Bee and asked her about her tops and shared my desire to make a tank top!  She took me directly to the patterns inside the quilt shop (where we meet) and began looking for the pattern.  Alas, they were sold out.

However, we (Eileen, myself, and several other ladies in the bee) did find another one that seemed relatively easy for making a tank top!  So I purchased it…a
nd the fabric (Cotton & Steel -which was also 40% off) right there in my local quilt shop.

Can you guess which local quilt shop?  Of course, Quilter’s Crossing!  I love this store.

I checked out the new pattern on patternreview.com and it only had 1 review for the exact pattern I had picked out.  That’s scary to me…I wanted a tried and true pattern that I could do pretty easily.  Was that what I purchased?  Am I about to get the experience I wanted and an amazing top to add to my closet?

Which pattern is it?  The Indygo Junctions by Amy Barickman – Everyday Tank – Pattern # IJ1147.

I honestly did not read the pattern fully until the night before I was to meet Becky & Pam, the two sisters in my Featherweight Bee who graciously offered to help me get through this pattern.  It was then that I realized that there were NO pictures in the pattern showing the directions as they progressed, only how to lay out the fabric to cut the pattern, depending on which length your fabric was: 45″ or 60″.

Becky & Pam also referred to this as a “cottage pattern” saying it’s similar to buying boutique (items/pattern designs are usually specific to the brand/company).  This was the first I had heard this terminology.

So how did it go?  Well, it’s a work in progress (still) but here’s my experience.

Becky & Pam did not have me iron the fabric or the pattern.  I was happy about this because I didn’t want to waste any valuable time doing that if I didn’t have to.  I only have a babysitter for so long, right?

The very first thing was to check my measurements…and now I’m about to get brave here and discuss inches…my inches.  My bust measured 44.5″ so that meant I was an XL according to this pattern.  That’s where my measurements fit in the sizing chart.  (Whew!  That wasn’t so bad!)

The second thing I was to determine was if I wanted a long or short version of the top.  To do this, I went ahead and cut out one pattern piece long and then held it up to my body for reference.  I liked where the long hit me, which was about mid-hip.  So I went ahead and cut the second pattern piece out long as well.

The third step is pinning the pattern pieces to the fabric and cut it.  Now this is a place that stings me because according to this pattern, the back is in two pieces.  Why?  The front is in one piece and it’s placed on the fold.  Why can’t the back be on the fold?  Becky & Pam agreed with me and that’s what we did!  Minor modification I guess…but I just don’t get why you can do one and not the other.

Another part that chaps me up is the way they want you to fold your fabric for the cutting.  It seems to be the most wasteful way ever!  So Becky & Pam showed me a new way to lay out the fabric without wasting so much of it.  Check out the pictures!

Just fold enough of the fabric over to have the pattern cover correctly.  

It’s a good thing I bought 2 yards of this fabric.  The pattern says, for my size, I would need 1 yard & 5/8 total.  Thankfully, from this new way of folding the fabric, I have plenty left over to make Bailey a top in the matching fabric!

I pinned one piece at a time due to the length of 2 yards.  The pull from the weight really affected how the fabric laid for the pattern and so I pinned one pattern piece and then cut it out before pinning the other pattern piece and cutting it out.  I can totally see why people have pattern weights and use them to cut out the pieces instead of pinning the patterns to the fabric and watching them tear in front of your very eyes.  I ended up using the magnetic dish that holds the pins to help hold down the pattern for a clean cut.

A good sewing tip for this point in your sewing is to make sure you have great scissors!  If you don’t, you are going to hate this step in your sewing your garment.  I would highly recommend you buy some amazing scissors that cuts fabric like a hot knife going through butter.

It was recommended to me when I took private sewing classes to make my step-daughter a dress and I took advantage of Joann’s 60% OFF coupon and used it on a pair of GINGHAM scissors.  I love them and I keep them sharp by stalking the Scissor Guy at quilt shows.

Yep, I even tried buttons on the back!  Pretty daring first attempt at making a garment, if I do say so myself…I still have this dress in the closet and honestly, I will never part with it.  I’m excited for the day that Bailey can wear it!  I’ll have to post side by side pictures of the girls wearing the same dress.

Next week, let’s put it together and finish this beautiful top!  I can’t wait to show you final product!

Happy Quilting! (And Sewing!)

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About Sew Much Charm

I enjoy gardening, quilting, sewing, & cooking as a relatively new stay-at-home mom of two girls.

I make custom handmade quilts for clients and recently decided to learn how to sew garments for my little girls.  Watch my journey & learn from my mistakes.

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