Five Funky Running Skirts

I’ve considered myself a runner for most of my life.  I ran recreationally when I was little, and then, at the age of 16, I started running competitively, which is when running really took ahold of me. I made time to run nearly every day from then until the third trimester of my pregnancy.  I would have kept running through my entire pregnancy if truth be told, but after a run at the beginning of my third trimester, I found a small amount of blood you know where, and after consultation with my midwives, I decided my pregnancy running days were over. I’d had two miscarriages prior to that pregnancy, and it wasn’t worth risking any complications with my current pregnancy to keep up my running streak.

Before having a baby, I always imagined that I would enjoy running with a stroller. When we lived in the Bay Area, I often ran past this one woman who was always running with her kid in a stroller.  She was out there every day, and she looked so strong. But, when I got the okay to start running again after having my daughter, I was in worse running shape than I could remember, and I found it frustrating trying to get back into running while pushing a heavy stroller in front of me. I finally understood what  my non-running friends meant when they would say that they didn’t enjoy running because now I didn’t enjoy it. And, I had too much on my plate to make time for something I wasn’t enjoying.  So, I would maybe run once or twice a week.  Maybe.  And, most of the time I would only manage a mile or three when I did.

Then, a few months ago, I had a health scare, and it got me thinking about how well I had been taking care of myself. You can probably tell that I don’t sew as much as I used to (despite never having lost the joy that it brings), and, as I mentioned above, I definitely wasn’t running as much as I used to. I’d been slowly trying to make more time to sew, but I hadn’t made the same commitment to running.  But, when I thought about it, I realized I missed running.  Desperately.  So, I came up with a plan, and… drumroll, please… I started a running blog.  I feel like those were the last words of Sherry of Pattern Scissors Cloth before she disappeared from the sewing world and started rocking the running world. But, I don’t plan to disappear anytime soon. Right now I’m just thankful that the new blog has been good at keeping me motivated to get out there and run (until this last week when I caught my daughter’s fever – ouch!).  After getting used to how the sewing blogging world works, I have to say that running blogs are a whole other breed.  It’s been interesting exploring an internet frontier that’s totally new for me.

Anyway, to get myself pumped for a summer of running, I wanted to make myself some new running gear.  I’d already picked up some basic fabrics for running tops, but I wanted to make some fun running skirts using Jalie 2796 (previously made here and here).  It just so happens that Funkifabrics reached out to me to ask me if I would like to try out some of their fabrics.  It was pretty easy to say yes but pretty hard to decide what to choose. Have you ever looked through their selection?  If not, I’d recommend going with some search criteria in mind since 1600+ fabrics is a lot to scroll through! I ultimately chose five different prints with the intention of making four different skirts.  However, you’ll notice that I ended up with five skirts… thanks to some careful cutting and some dips into my stash for things like the hidden bloomers and the pleated ruffles and such.

So, here goes – five funky running skirts!

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

First up is probably my favorite.  I can’t even explain how much I like this prism print.  There’s just something about it that screams crazy, trendy running clothes to me, and it makes me feel silly and happy.  Funkifabrics must agree with me because they actually just released a slightly larger version of this print as a technical fabric as well.  The striped ruffle is made from jersey left over from my ombre shingle dress, and the pink ruffle, waistband, and bloomers are made from bamboo jersey left over from my last running skirt.

Not only am I a big fan of the print, but also I learned from comparing this skirt to the others that I prefer the Jalie running skirt without contrast side panels.  Unfortunately, I made all of these skirts assembly-line-style so it was too late to apply this lesson to any of the skirts made here.  Well, too late unless I’m willing to pull out my seam ripper!

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

The black-and-gray chevron print skirt made from the jagger grayscale print is probably my second favorite. This one feels trendy in a stylish-even-outside-the-running-world kind of way, and I have actually already worn it for a day out that had nothing to do with running!  The black ruffle and waistband are made from jersey left over from my Drape Drape 3 No. 3 top.  The inside waistband and bloomers are again made from the pink bamboo jersey left over from my last running skirt.  And, while this skirt has contrasting side panels, I don’t mind them here.  Maybe it’s because the chevron would have been hard to match across those seams, maybe it’s because the skirt is already busy enough, or maybe it’s because the black doesn’t really compete with the busy front and back panels?

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

The navy polkadot and stripe prints are actually the two prints I was most excited about making into a running skirt when I placed my order. I thought they would be so perfect paired together.  They’re printed on the same fabric base so there’s no need to worry about having troubles sewing different types of jerseys together, as I had to deal with when sewing my ombre shingle dress.  And, the navy ink is the same for both, so there’s no need to worry about clashing navy blues.  However, these skirts probably ended up tied for my third favorite because of my preference I’ve now learned I have against contrasting side panels.  I have half a mind to rip them apart and switch the side pieces, but so far I’m leaving them be since I still really like them in theory, and I’m seeing if they’ll grow on me in reality.

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

When I chose the two navy prints, I actually thought I’d only get one skirt out of them.  I knew I liked them both, but at the time I chose the fabrics, I hadn’t decided which print should dominate the front.  When the fabric arrived, my inner debate as to which print should go where kept me from cutting into my fabric right away.  And, that day of extra time is actually what led me to realize that if I used another fabric for the bloomers (again, I used the pink bamboo jersey left over from my last running skirt) and was okay with really skinny pleated ruffles, then I could squeak out two skirts from the fabric I had been given, preventing me from having to make a decision as to whether the stripes or the polkadots should be the main fabric for the skirt.  I used the same idea for the bloomers in all of the other skirts since I then realized it would actually be nice to have the bamboo jersey next to me in all of my skirts.

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Sew Well + Funkifabrics - Five Funky Running Skirts

Now, I really like the star print that I used for this last skirt – teal and turquoise are my favorites! – but, I have to rank this skirt as my least favorite of the bunch because of my strange new-found aversion to those silly contrasting side panels. Is it crazy that I think this skirt would have ranked up there with the prism skirt if I’d made it with matching star-print side panels?! Is it even crazier that I think I’m going to rip this skirt apart and replace the side panels? Even though I serged the side seams?!  Ha!  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Bonus:  all of these running skirts feature five pockets.  The two typical side pockets as well as three pockets hidden in the waistband.  I recently posted a tutorial on how I made the waistband pockets, and while they are working out, they are not perfect.  You’d think having made five versions I would have been able to perfect the technique, but since I made them all assembly-line style, I didn’t give myself the opportunity to learn as I went.

These skirts actually mark my first experience with Funkifabrics. After seeing them pop up all over the sewing blogging world, I’d been dying to make a pair of galaxy-print leggings, but I thought that since Funkifabrics was a UK company, they catered to UK customers.  In fact, when we were emailing about fabrics, I asked as much.  It turns out they ship everywhere!  If you’re like me and wondering if their fabric fits into your budget and if you live in the UK or USA, their shipping rates are as follows:

    • UK Mainland Customers
      • £4.95 for 0.5-1 m
      • £5.95 for 1.1-2 m
      • £8.95 for 2-3 m
      • £10.00 for 3.1-70 m
      • Price to be agreed upon for orders 25 kg and above
    • USA Customers
      • £14.00 for 0.5-2.25 m
      • £16.00 for 2.5-4.25 m
      • £18.00 for 4.5-6.25 m
      • £20.00 for 6.5-8.25 m
      • £22.00 for 8.5-10.25 m
      • £24.00 for 10.5-12.25 m
      • £26.00 for 12.5-14.25 m
      • £28.00 for 14.5-16.25 m
      • £30.00 for 16.5-18.25 m
      • £32.00 for 18.5-19.5 m
      • Price to be agreed upon for orders 20 m and above

For everyone else, they charge shipping at cost based on weight, dimension, and destination.  Shipping to some countries is calculated during the checkout process.  Those countries include…

Albania, Andorra, Cyprus, Estonia, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Croatia, Israel, Lithuania, Latvia, Monaco, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Bulgaria, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands

If your country is not on that list, then when they receive your order, they will reach out to you to collect shipping costs separately. Again, the quote you receive will be the actual cost for the size and weight of your order to your shipping address.​​

So, while those in the UK definitely get cheaper shipping rates when they shop at Funkifabrics, the rest of us aren’t left out if we want some crazy printed lycra for our own stashes.  In fact, after my experience with these fabrics, I took advantage of their recent sale and bought some more crazy prints. I decided four meters was the optimal amount of fabric for my order since it allowed me to be just under the max allowable for their second tier of shipping costs to the USA. I couldn’t even believe it when the fabric showed up three days later! That’s twice as fast as I see from many US online fabric stores. What am I going to do with more crazy prints?! I decided I have enough running skirts for now, so I put the fabric in my soon-but-not-quite-yet pile.  These are being saved for cooler weather since I want to turn them into leggings and running tights – galaxy leggings, here I come! (Note:  I didn’t take advantage of Funkifabrics’ offer of free fabric to make the galaxy-print leggings I’d been dreaming of since I was pretty sure most of you had already seen that done once or twice or five-million times by now.  But, since I am a huge fan of galaxy leggings, I figured it would be okay to use my own money to make them!)

Are you a runner who sews?  A sewer who runs?  Have you ever made your own running or exercise gear? What do you think about crazy prints?

Funkifabrics sent me the printed lycra for review.  All opinions are my own.

Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Sew Well: Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Sew Well: Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Sew Well: Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

I recently got inspired to make a million running skirts.  And by a million, I mean five.  But, making five felt like a million because assembly line sewing means even when you’re on the next to last step, you still have so much left to do!  Especially when deconstructing a ready-to-wear waistband pocket modification is your next to last step!

My running skirt pattern of choice is Jalie 2796.  I’ve made it twice before already.  The first time I made it up exactly as prescribed.  The second time I went up a size, chose the view with the wider waistband, and added ruffles to the back since I kind of felt like I was wearing a college party skirt instead of a running skirt whenever I pulled on my first version.

This time I decided to take the skirts up another notch by adding pockets to the waistband.  I was inspired by my favorite ready-to-wear Lululemon capri tights, which have two little pockets hidden in the front of the waistband and a large zippered pocket in the back.  I couldn’t be bothered to add a zipper to all five of the running skirts I was making, so my version has the two pockets in the front and a large non-zippered pocket in the back.

The key to this technique is the fact that the waistband is just a wide band of jersey.  If you double up on the bands and stitch in just the right places, then you magically make pockets!  And, since there are many patterns out there that use a large rectangle of jersey for a waistband, I figured some of you might be interested to know how to add your own pockets to your own knit waistband patterns.

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Okay, so first off, you need to cut two waistbands. The waistband on the Jalie pattern is just a simple rectangle with notches in the appropriate places.  I’ve cut one in fashion fabric (the blue polkadot, which came from Funkifabrics) and one in a thin bamboo jersey (the pink, which came from Mood Fabrics). Because you’re adding bulk by adding a second waistband, you want the extra waistband to be as thin as possible while still having the same properties as the fashion fabric.

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Stitch the short ends together, just as you typically would.

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Place the extra waistband inside the main waistband, right sides together.  Double check that the right sides really are together by confirming that the seam allowances are both facing out!  Align all the notches and either baste or pin the two together.  Here, I’ve just pinned at the seams and all of the notches.  Fold the waistband sandwich in half, just as it will be when it is sewn to the garment, to find the midline. Press to form a crease.  Baste or pin along the crease to keep the two waistbands together.  Here, I’ve pinned at intervals.

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Now it’s time to mark your pocket openings. I wanted two pockets in the front, which I centered around the front notches in the Jalie pattern.  I made the opening 2″ wide using this sliding ruler, thinking that that would be a good size for pulling snacks out of them during a long run.  I wanted one pocket in the back, which I centered around the center back seam.  I made the opening 3″ wide so that I could maybe fit a phone in there during my run (still to be determined!).  You are welcome to dream up whatever kind of pockets might work for you during this step.  Have fun and try out different combinations!  I marked the edges of the pocket openings with a red Clover Chaco Liner.

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Stitch along the crease marking the midline but only between the pocket openings you marked.  Do not stitch over the pocket openings! Make sure to reinforce the ends of your stitching lines to prevent the seams from ripping as you use your pockets.

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Now it’s time to sew the side of the pockets.  Stitch up from one side seam to the already sewn midline on the side of each pocket opening.  I stitched about an inch away from the ends of the openings for each of the front pockets and about an inch and a half away from the ends of the opening for the back pocket. Can you see how the stitching has formed three pocket on the bottom half of the waistband in the two images above? Again, whatever width you choose here is fine.  In fact, I kind of wish I’d added a little opening to that space in the center front since it would be perfect pocket for a single key.

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Now it’s time to under stitch! Turn the waistband right side out, and separate the single layer that will make up the front of the waistband from everything else. Mark the ends of the pocket openings with pins since you don’t want to under stitch over them.

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Under stitch through every layer but the single layer that will make up the front of the waistband.  I’ve used pink thread here, which was easy to see against the white back of the polkadot but hard to see against the pink.  Hopefully you can kind of make out the glow of the stitches.

Sew Well:  Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

Fold the waistband in half, and you’re finished!  The waistband is now ready to stitch onto your garment, just as you typically would.

One note – I did not account for the turn of cloth for simplicity, which is why the bottom edges don’t meet.  It’s a good idea to baste all of the waistband layers together before stitching them to your garment to make up for the difference in the turn of cloth. You wouldn’t want to forget, line up all of the edges, stitch your waistband onto your garment, only to see a bunch of weird puckers. Basting also helps to make sure you catch all of the layers when you stitch your waistband onto your garment, especially if you’re planning on using a serger for the seam.  There’s nothing worse than having to unpick a merged seam for a loose raw edge of fabric!  Well, maybe there are plenty of things that are actually worse than that, but you know what I mean!

Let me know if you use this tutorial or if you have your own preferred method for adding extra pockets into stretchy waistbands like this!

UPDATE:  After wearing the running skirts that I made with this tutorial, I’m not sure I’ve quite perfected my waistband-pocket-making methods just yet. You see, every time I bend over, the top of the waistband keeps flopping over, like so:

Sew Well: Tutorial: Adding Pockets to a Knit Waistband

I’m not sure if the waistband is too high, if it needs some sort of interfacing, or what?  I guess that’s what I get for getting so excited and writing a tutorial without first fully testing out my methods!

Onesies No More

Sew Well - Onesies No More

My daughter is currently obsessed with her belly button. She calls it her “bah bah”. She’s also obsessed with books, and she also calls them bah bahs, so it can be a bit confusing at times, but we figure it out. Anyway, she spends a good chunk of time with at least one finger touching her belly button. She reaches for it when she needs a bit of comfort, and she’s quick to show off her belly if you ask her where her belly button is.

Because of this obsession, we’d stopped putting onesies on her. It was just so sad to see her searching for her belly button and only coming up with fabric.  The onesies she’d been given (we never say no to hand-me-downs!) were just sitting in her drawers, while her few t-shirts were on a heavy wash-wear-repeat cycle.

It finally dawned on me that I could pretty easily convert all of those lonely onesies into belly button friendly t-shirts by just cutting off the bottoms.

Sew Well - Onesies No More

I’d taken them down to my sewing space intending to hem them (another excuse to use my Lite Steam-A-Seam 2!), but then I realized that even though they were tiny, hemming ten little shirts would actually be a lot of work. But, I didn’t want the side seams to start pulling apart after the bottoms of the onesies were cut off and the raw serger ends exposed…

Then I remembered that many of you commented on my post about securing serger ends to say that you often use fray blockers to finish your serger ends. I’d never used anything like it before, but I figured it was worth a try, so off I went to pick up some of my very own.

I chose the June Taylor Fray Block because of this Stitcher’s Guild Forum (thanks Debbie of Stitches and Seams!). The forum had warned me it would be runny, but what I hadn’t expected to find was that I was supposed to hold it under hot water for 3 minutes and then shake it for 30 seconds before use. Is that typical for these types of products?! I can’t seem to find any information on what it’s made out of online. The only thing the tube says is that it’s flammable, so my guess is that it’s some sort of magic anti-fraying compound dissolved in a flammable solvent. The heat and shaking could then be to make sure the magic compound is appropriately mixed with the solvent before use?

Sew Well - Onesies No More

Anyway, long story short – my darling daughter now has ten more t-shirts to add to her rotation, which has slowed the wash-wear-repeat cycle tremendously! The Fray Block has held up to her running and playing, and I’ve actually already used it again on my most recent projects.  Stay tuned for those!

SA Curve Ruler Discount!

First, thank you to everyone who entered last week’s giveaway for the SACurve Pattern Drafter. The lucky winner is Janet Williams! She’ll be getting the 5/8″ Pattern Drafter, which I hope she’ll find useful for adding seam allowances to patterns without them, adding stitching lines to patterns that already come with 5/8″ seam allowances, and drawing curves with the built-in French curve.

For everyone else who’s still interested in their own Pattern Drafter, you can get 20% off anything in the SACurve Etsy store from now until June 21st using the coupon code SEWWELL2015!

SACurve Curve Runner + Sew Well

And, just a reminder that the Curve Runner Kickstarter is still going on. There are three weeks left, and Curve Runner is well past its initial $1,000 goal and over half way to its $10,000 stretch goal! It’s even been chosen as a Kickstarter staff pick!  Woohoo! I am so excited it’s done so well in its first week, and I really hope the momentum continues since I’d love to see the outcome of the stretch goal come to fruition – the development of a 12″ Curve Runner! If you are thinking about getting a Curve Runner as part of the Kickstarter, you should know that all of the $16 early bird specials have been spoken for, but you can still get a single Curve Runner for $20 or go in with a friend and get two Curve Runners for $35. Or, if you just want to help out, you can do so by donating as little as $1.

Have a great day, everyone!  Don’t forget you can get 20% off anything in the SACurve Etsy store from now until June 21st using the coupon code SEWWELL2015!

A Coral and Floral Sandpoint Top

Sew Well - GrayDay Sandpoint Top in #moodfabrics coral rayon jersey

I’ve been craving more easy pieces in my wardrobe lately. I would just love a closet full of pieces that can be effortlessly thrown together into outfits in the morning. I try really hard not to live in running clothes day in and day out, but some days I only have about five seconds to get ready.  It would be so nice to really only need those five seconds… because I love wearing everything in my closet and because so many things work well together.

I started towards this goal a few months ago by de-cluttering and giving away a whole bunch of things I never wear anymore.  Since then I’ve kept meaning to sit down with what’s left and see how it all fits with one of those wardrobe plans like the Vivienne Files Common Wardrobe or the Un-Fancy Capsule Wardrobe (Caroline of Un-Fancy learned how to sew, by the way – maybe we will be seeing Un-Fancy Handmade when she returns to blogging in several months?!). I have no intentions of going down to five items of clothing or anything, but I figured if I had a handful of things that I knew could mix and match easily, then I’d be prepared for those five second mornings.  Maybe, just maybe, I won’t have to chase my little girl down the hallway in just my skivvies after she unpacks my sock drawer and runs down the hallway with as many socks as she can fit in her tiny little arms. Plus, it’s exciting thinking about how sewing a few fun new pieces that I was confident would mesh well with clusters of my clothes, like how most everything in the SWAP I did years ago worked (and still works!) well together. But, I haven’t made the time to create any such plans yet, so for my MSN make last month, I was flying by the seat of my pants towards what is still a very nebulous goal.

Sew Well - GrayDay Sandpoint Top in #moodfabrics coral rayon jersey

And, I ended up making a t-shirt.

But, hear me out – this top is not any old t-shirt. It’s the GrayDay Sandpoint Top, which pairs a wear-anywhere casual front with a fancy-drapey cowl back.  I figured what could be easier than a top that would look just as good thrown on over jeans as worn with a cute skirt. This top is definitely one that requires little effort to pull an outfit together.

Sew Well - GrayDay Sandpoint Top in #moodfabrics coral rayon jersey

A fabric with the right drape is important for a top like this.  After browsing Mood Fabric’s extensive collection of jerseys, I chose their stretch rayon jersey in coral reef. This fabric is super soft and has a subtle sheen to it that definitely helps dress it up and makes for a slinky top that feels great on.  And, it comes in nearly 50 colors.  I had a hard time choosing just one color, but for this one I chose “coral reef” because I wanted to pair it with a scrap I had left over of the floral silk-cotton jersey I used a few months back.  Now I kind of want to get a few more colors for a few more of these tops!

Sew Well - GrayDay Sandpoint Top in #moodfabrics coral rayon jersey

Typically, the Sandpoint Top requires a band that goes from one shoulder to the other across the back to help keep the shoulders and cowl in place. But, I was inspired by my sister-in-law, who has been wearing a lot of ready-to-wear tops with interesting cut outs in the back that reveal a contrasting fabric. I thought, why not just cut another piece out of a contrasting fabric to hold the back in place while adding a bit of fun?

I only had a tiny piece of the contrasting fabric left, but when I laid the front pattern piece over it, it was just enough to reach from shoulder to shoulder and extend down past the arm holes. I’d hoped to have a few more of the bold coral flowers visible when wearing the top, but my piece was so small that I didn’t have any cutting options, so I settled for a half of a coral flower near the center top. I actually had to cut the floral neck binding from the hem of my wrap top!  (That wrap top’s hem was way too long anyway, so it’s better off for it!)

Sew Well - GrayDay Sandpoint Top in #moodfabrics coral rayon jersey

Speaking of hemming, I already wrote a bit about the trouble I had hemming this shirt.  It was my own fault, having made the top much too long to begin with, but in the end – after cutting off three other hems! – I got a hem that I’m happy with.

I ran into one small hiccup while sewing together the shoulders given the modification I made.  I couldn’t figure out how to sew he three layers – front, inner back, and outer back cowl – together without first binding the necklines of the front and inner back pieces, which meant I wasn’t able to hide the shoulder seam in the neck binding like you might for most knit tops.  I settled for trimming the seam allowance back a bit and making it as neat as possible, then top stitching it in place so it wouldn’t work its way out.

Now, speaking of neck binding, I was really pleased with how the bindings turned out here.  There were a few pointers in the instructions for the Sandpoint Top that I hadn’t been given before (and explain why I’ve gotten droopy necklines for my Drape Drape tops in the past), which helped everything came together very nicely here. Though the neckline is wide, it stays in place and hugs my body very nicely, even when I’m playing Mommy and chasing a sock-stealing toddler around the house.

Sew Well - GrayDay Sandpoint Top in #moodfabrics coral rayon jersey

I cut the XS, took a half an inch in from both the center front and the center back, and added a bit of shaping to the side seams.  Next time I plan to take the entire inch out of just the center front.  I think the side seams could handle it, and it would bring in the neckline a bit while maintaining the intended fullness to the back cowl.

My entire household seems to be big fans of this top.  My husband kept complimenting the back drape, and my daughter kept trying to put it on while I was attempting to take detail shots for this post. So, I’d say it was a huge success! Maybe I could simplify my wardrobe plans even further by not worrying about a plan at all and instead just make this top in 50 different colors?!  Haha!

Sew Well - GrayDay Sandpoint Top in #moodfabrics coral rayon jersey

How are you feeling about your closet lately?  Have you ever tried to plan out your wardrobe?

This post can also be found on Mood Sewing Network. I used my MSN allowance towards the purchase of the fabric.  Also, I received the pattern for free from Helena of Gray All Day back when she was looking for pattern testers.  Sadly, I got hit with some crazy work things and missed her review deadline. Then winter made it hard to want to sew a cute summery top. So, here it is now – many, many months later!

SA Curve Ruler: Review and Giveaway!

Sew Well + SA Curve Ruler

I have some exciting news for you today: Claire from SACurve is back, and she recently updated her Pattern Drafter rulers!  She’s also updated her rolling wheel ruler and renamed it the Curve Runner.  There’s a Kickstarter going on for the new and improved Curve Runner right now.  More on that at the bottom of the post.

First, I want to write more about the Pattern Drafters that I’ve been able to test out. Here I’m showing off the 5/8″ and 3/8″ versions of the Pattern Drafter, but she’s updated the 5/8″3/8″, and 1/2″ sizes. There’s even a 1.5 cm Pattern Drafter for those who use metric out there. Take a look at her fancy stock photos for a bit more detail than I was able to muster with this little monkey running around while I was taking photos…

Sew Well + SA Curve Ruler

If you’re not familiar with these rulers, check out my reviews of the previous versions here and here. They’re awesome for adding stitching lines to traditional tissue patterns or adding seam allowances to patterns that don’t come with any. The curve in the ruler allows you to find just the right fit when adding your new line. And, fun fact, I know that Kathy Ruddy uses these Pattern Drafters, too, since I saw her whip one out during her class at the Sew Expo in 2014.

Sew Well + SA Curve Ruler

Updated version on top, older version on bottom 

Okay, so, what’s been updated, you ask? First, Claire found that the V on the previous ruler was a weak spot, so she did away with it.  Now the ruler is all curves, which makes it so much stronger.

Sew Well + SA Curve Ruler

She also changed the big curve at back of the ruler to match a specific French curve that some design students she knows couldn’t stop gushing over for how amazing it was for armholes.  (See example among these photos.)

Sew Well + SA Curve Ruler

Now the entire back curves around in a gentle French curve.  It means the straight edge is now only 12″ long, but I far prefer the new curve to the lost 3″ of straight edge.

In addition, all of the markings have been redone for accuracy.

Now for my favorite part – the giveaway. Claire of SACurve has generously offered to give one of you a Pattern Drafter in your choice of size.  If you’d like to be entered into the drawing, just leave a comment below letting me know. I’ll pick a winner at random next Thursday, June 11th at 7 am PDT. Good luck!

Sew Well + SA Curve

But, that’s not all.  I want you all to know more about the redesigned rolling wheel ruler, the Curve Runner.  Claire’s got a Kickstarter going on right now for it, and you can help to bring it to market for as little as $1.  I was hoping to help her announce the launch, but it seems that she doesn’t need much help since she’s already over 2/3rds of the way to her goal – after one day!  I reviewed her previous design here, but this new one is bigger at 8″ around and has a more ergonomically shaped handle.  And, just as with the Pattern Drafters, the markings have all been redone for accuracy.  There’s even a 20 cm metric version!

If you like the idea of a rolling ruler, please consider showing her your support.  For a limited time, you can even get one at a reduced price!  Or, just show her your thanks for all the effort she puts into making useful sewing tools by making any size donation.  I want Claire to get a huge response – far beyond her original goal – so she’ll keep designing new products!  The bonus is that if she does get a huge response, there’s a stretch goal to make a 12″ Curve Runner!

UPDATE:  The Kickstarter has already reached it’s goal of $1000, which means it will definitely be funded!  Woohoo!  Now let’s go for that stretch goal!  I want to see a 12″ Curve Runner!

Okay, so make sure to comment and let me know if you’d like to be entered into the Pattern Drafter giveaway, and then click here to support the Curve Runner Kickstarter.  Thanks everyone!

Refashioned Wrap Top

Sew Well - BurdaStyle Wrap Top Refashioned

Remember this top?  I made it towards the end of last year, and it used to have a raw hem and a very loose neckline.  I was on such a roll with the Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 the other day that I grabbed this shirt and gave it a hem as well since it’s raw edges had not held up well in the wash.

I hemmed the bottom and then both the sleeves.  The neat edges looked so nice that I decided to go ahead and hem the neckline as well, even though the raw edge was already neatly hidden by the way the neckline folded in on itself.

Unfortunately, what had been a borderline tolerable loose neckline became something really bad after it was hemmed.  So, I got creative, and I came up with what I think is a decent solution:  I twisted the loose, now-poorly-draping neckline into a knot.

Sew Well - BurdaStyle Wrap Top Refashioned

Sew Well - BurdaStyle Wrap Top Refashioned

Sew Well - BurdaStyle Wrap Top Refashioned

Now, it’s not perfect.  To get the knot to work, I had to pull the two front pieces in, which tightened the back – see all those drag lines above?

The side seam also pulls forward where the knot is.

Sew Well - BurdaStyle Wrap Top Refashioned

But, I really like it, and I know I’ll wear it a lot more knotted like this.  Next time though, I’ll work on getting a better drape from the wrap neckline right from the start so that I can wear the top as intended.

I had to sneak these few quick tripod photos while my daughter was awake.  I think she’s still very confused by a camera on a tripod.  She has the same face as these photos, right?!  I have my camera set up to take a photo two seconds after I click the camera remote, and I never realized how much the camera blinks during those two seconds until I was seeing it through her eyes.  I could imagine how it would be scary to see a three-legged plastic-metal thing with a blinking red eye that clicks at random intervals!

Sew Well - BurdaStyle Wrap Top Refashioned

Sew Well - BurdaStyle Wrap Top Refashioned

A kiss didn’t even make it better!

Now I want to hear from you – how do you feel about refashioning? Is it worth it when it can sometimes throw other aspects of the garment off, like the wonky side seams here?  Any refashioning success stories?