Friday, April 12, 2013

Simplicity 5931 Easy to Sew Robe


  I was going through my patterns and trying to do some organizing and THINKING about getting rid of some! I organize in terms of priority sewing. What I want to sew next, gets hung up on my wall so that I can see it. This seems to get me motivated.

  I came across Simplicity 5931. It's an easy robe pattern that I have made twice but have not blogged about it. Both times I sewed this robe was for Christmas gifts. The 1st one I made was 2 Christmas' ago. It was a thick fleece robe made for my niece. It was easy to sew and I followed the directions to the letter and had no problems. The fleece was a bit bulky at some seams but my machine was able to handle it just fine. I also used this pattern for this past Christmas. I sewed a cotton (light weight) robe for my girlfriend's 10 year old daughter. Personally, I don't really like robes, especially heavy long ones. Since my girlfriend's daughter is very petite. I thought a light cotton robe that stopped at or just below the knee might suit her well.

  A word of warning about this pattern... it uses a lot of fabric because of the length of the robe. Since I wanted a short robe, I cut out her size (child's medium) but used the child's small for pattern pieces 1 (front and under collar), 3 (back) and 5 (front facing and upper collar). I also did not sew on pockets. A light robe didn't seem to warrant pockets.
I did follow the directions very closely. It did call for slip stitching the sleeve hem but I chose to machine stitch that part. I also increased my stitch length to 3.5 and it seemed to give a smoother finish to the sleeve and top stitching. I did hand sew (slip stitch) the collar facing as directed in step 17.

As you can see in the picture above, I did serge all the seams. In most cases I serged the seam and then went back and straight stitched to secure the seam. Since the fabric is cotton, I expect it to fray much less since I serged the seams.
I also top stitched the entire front collar. I started from the bottom front and stitched all the way up and around the collar coming back down to the bottom front, as suggested in step 18. However, the directions suggest 1/2" from the edge. That's too big of a gap for me. I sewed closer to 1/8" from the seam edge.

Another word of caution when using interfacing for the collar. Do not use inexpensive interfacing like I did for the collar. When you go to iron the collar (after it's all stitched up), your fabric will start to pucker and can look terrible because the interfacing can not really take the heat from the iron. To try to mitigate this, I didn't use a cotton heat setting on my iron. I went to a cooler setting. This was still not ideal because it was still hard to press the cotton and I really don't think it's worth the extra effort to tip-toe around lesser quality interfacing. Save yourself the headache and use good quality interfacing. I think you'll be much happier for it.
 The sewing time was fairly quick. I don't think it took me more than 4 hours to sew the robe together. I did start and stop a lot. I think you might be able to get it done quicker, if you don't have to stop and start a bunch of times.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Simplicity 2320 - Project Runway Dress size 4


  I just completed Simplicity 2320 - the capped sleeve dress version which is the one on the upper right hand corner.

  In general, the dress came together easily and quickly. The only part that gave me a bit of trouble was inserting the yoke (pattern piece 1). In step 4, the directions say to pin the front yoke (right sides together) to the dress front (pattern piece 2) and stitch. Also, to make sure that you pivot your stitching at the small dots. I had a hard time just pinning the yoke to the front. What worked better for me was to pin one side at a time and stitch. I stitched in a U shaped fashion but worked one seam line at a time. I still had some issues with a little bit of puckering because my stitching lines were not straight in one corner.

However, I was able to undo the corner and fix it. I'd like to make this dress again but next time I will pin and stitch the base of the yoke before I start attaching the sides of the yoke. I think it might work out easier that way.

Once, I had stitched the yoke the way I wanted it, I went ahead and stitch the should seams as the directions suggest.  The fabric is from JoAnn's and I've had it a while. I wouldn't of picked this big and bold of a print for this dress buy Lil' AC was adamant that we use this fabric. After looking at the dress for a while, I thought I should add some sort of trim. I had some rickrack that would liven up the dress a bit. I had to open up the seams to slide in the rickrack. So, note to yourself, if you're going to add trim around the yoke, don't sew the shoulder seams first!

Pin rickrack in place.
Since the fabric was a bit bold, I wanted to make sure the sleeves were the same. So, I did what some refer to as "fussy cuts". I took the pattern piece and centered it on a flower and cut out only ONE layer. I then found the repeat pattern on the fabric and placed the 1st sleeve I cut out on the repeat to make sure they matched before I cut out the 2nd sleeve. Hope that makes sense.
I was happy to leave the dress with the just the rickrack accent. However, Lil' AC wanted that bow! So, we went from this:
To this w/the bow in the center:

The instructions call for a 12" zipper but I didn't have one on hand. Instead, I used a 9" invisible zipper. I temporarily tacked the back seem where the shorter zipper would end to see if Lil AC could get in and out of the dress. There was plenty of room to get the dress on and off with the shorter zipper.

I do recommend this pattern and would say the only "tricky" part was putting in that front yoke. I do like the little cap sleeves and the construction of them were new to me but they went in easy enough.