Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Sew-a-long Fabric Choices

What a great response!  Thankyou!  It is so much more fun to sew with others.  You can grab the button in the side bar, the code is below it.  Or grab the pic in the last post. And I have added a page where all the posts will be for easy finding.  Don't forget the Wiksten Flickr group if you want to share photos.
So you've bought your pattern and now you are thinking fabric.  I thought the best way to look at this is to  use picture of Tovas that show a range of prints and fabric weights.

Quilting Weight
tova dress
Jenny Gordy has made lots of Tovas in different fabrics.  This dress version is in a Katie Jumps Rope print with a contrast for the panel.  I know a lot of you will have lengths of quilting fabric at home.  Some quilting cottons are thicker than others, I would plump for a lighter feel.   The benefit of quilting cotton is the Tova will not be see through, the downside is if the cotton is a bit thick the gathers on the panel at the front and the sleeves could get a bit bulky.  I have some white Echo Little Flourine print and I will use that for one Tova, I am already thinking multiple versions.

Plaid/Check
Kate at Harmony and Rosie made a lovely flannel plaid version.  What I like about this choice is that the fabric looks the same on both sides, so if the collar falls forward the inside looks like the outside. With any patterns, you do need to consider that you will need to match sections, I can see how Kate has matched the panel and the side sections of the shirt so they all blend together.  You could also cut the panel section on the bias with diagonal plaid- no matching to so and it would look great.  Flannel is a great choice for colder weather.  It does tend to cling to other clothes-something to consider if you are making the dress version, and thicker flannel like Anna Maria Horner's flannel fabric would be too bulky,  Kate is designing and selling clothes herself and has just opened a very pretty shop- check it out here  

Liberty Lawn
wiksten tovas in Liberty
Ashley from Film in the Fridge has just made these beautiful Liberty lawn Tovas and I know some of you are thinking of cutting into your treasured Liberty stash.  I think this is a perfect fabric for spring/summer.  Lightweight, crisp and easy to handle and sew and not so flimsy as to be transparent.  Perfect!  There are other lawns too, Rita has made this beautiful Lisette lawn Tova
Tova Tunic by Rita
Rita has also made a maternity Tova with a few alterations to the basic pattern
Tova, maternity style
I think it looks incredibly stylish, especially for maternity wear.

Voile
I have voile sitting and waiting for this, I know it can be a b*tch to sew at times but it is so silky and floppy and shimmery, it is hard to resist.
Wiksten Tova Top
Leila's looks so pretty and soft, I can imagine wearing a voile version in the summer.  Voile is often a little see through, OK if you are planning to wear it over your cossie at the beach as a cover up or with a little vest, not OK to show everyone your bra at work when you thought you could get away with it.
I am intending to make two Tovas, a quilting cotton Lotta print and a Anna Maria Horner Little Folks pastry voile in water. 
 These are different widths so check your pattern for your fabric width as the length needed varies according to width.  On the voile version will be attempting to used a balanced layout for my stripes so they are centred on the Tova and cross cut fabric for the panel so the stripes run the other way.  
What ever you chose, consider making a test version first.  From reading others' experiences many say they didn't have to make alterations but the seam allowances are small in this pattern, 3/8 inch in most places so you may not want to cut into that expensive Liberty lawn before you have had a test run with a bit of cheap cotton.  Bust measurement is the deciding factor to work out the best size for you and there is a size chart on the pattern that relates bust to size.  Check your chest measurement at the fullest part and use that as your guide.  Sleeve length and garment length is easy to change, width across the shoulder and bust is harder.  Once you have chosen your fabric, prewash it just incase it shrinks a little and press it ready for cutting out and transferring marks Wednesday 21st March.   Don't forget thread- good quality general sewing polyester thread like Gutermann Sew All or Coats Duet.  These are polyester and they have more strength than cotton and a little stretch.  If you plan to zig zag or finish your seams on your machine buy two spools, if you are using separate threads on a serger/overlocker, one will be fine.  Get your pattern taped together and either trace the size you need onto more paper or cut it out from the print out.
 I will answer any sew-a-long questions in the comments reply so others can see or you can email me direct kerrykit(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk or on Twitter as @verykb I don't have all the answers but someone else in the sew-a-long might so dive in and reply to someone's comment if you can help!
sib blog

25 comments:

  1. When you work out bust size do you actually measure your bust and usual the fullest measurement or take it as per a bra size. I find this a bit confusing especially as cup size has a huge impact on the size a person needs. For example you could be 34A and that's hugely different from 34F yet the fullest measurement could be the same.

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  2. I'm in too! I plan on listening to Fun and FirstAidKit while sewing!!! :) And then trying to mini-size one for my Blythes.... Soooooo excited!!! Thank you for doing this!

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  3. yay! those all look so pretty, maybe I'll have to join along!

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  4. Oh I am liking the look of the long one! I need to get me to a real-life fabric shoppe before I commit; definitely need to feel up the fabrics to see how adventurous I am feeling!

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  5. So how hard do you suppose it would be to make it short sleeved? Like some nice little cap sleeves for spring perhaps? It doesn't seem like it should be hard, but having never really sewn clothes for me before, I don't really know....any thoughts?

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    1. The sleeve length is easy to alter as the sleeve width is constant and doesn't taper or widen. To shorten the sleeve you would need to make the cuff a bit wider to fit comfortable around your upper arm. Or you could have no cuff and a full loose short sleeve with a very narrow hem. I am going to lengthen the sleeve so I will cover these alterations in the next post

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  6. These are all so super cute in either the top or the dress. I love how versatile this pattern is. I taped my pattern together and traced it on DoSew so I have a permanent one for me and can still trace other sizes later.
    You can get this at Joann's and there it's called Pattern Trace I believe.

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    1. Good idea Jeannie! Dot and cross paper is widely available in the UK, you could also use thin A3 paper and tape together where needed- good if you are stuck for space!

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  7. How cute! I haven't mastered clothing (other than skirts). Maybe one day

    seeconniecraft.blogspot.com

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  8. I love them! I'm not good on the sewing machine :( x

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  9. Great run down of fabrics! I had forgotten about that Lisette line at JoAnn's - I am headed there now to check it out in person. I think I may have to make more than one, too!

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  10. Total novice question time ... is the yardage required the same whatever size you are making? I downloaded the pattern (somewhat incomprehensible to me at the mo...) and I will be making the XS size, could I get away with buying less than 2.5m or is that a risky gamble?

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    1. I just cut mine out, I am making a top size small, I used 2.10 metres, this included longer sleeves. You could do it with 2.20 metres comfortably providing you aren't matching stripes or pattern but make sure you pin it all on and check your layout before cutting. I will talk about layout, markings etc in the next post but ask if you are not sure on anything

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    2. Thank you, that's really helpful :-) Off to order some fabric and study the pattern!

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    3. Just wanted to update this, I have mine all pinned now and (unless I have done something hideously wrong, always possible!) it looks like I'll be getting it out of 1.90m. I bought 2.50 anyway in the end but good to know for next time or for anyone else making XS. It's 44" wide quilting fabric btw and I haven't made any adjustments to the pattern.

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    4. That fits with mine as I added a few inches for sleeves. Cheers Hannah!

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  11. i can't wait... need to print out the pattern...

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  12. Great post! Thank you for the different fabric suggestions. I have some gauze (not too see through), but I might go back for more Lisette lawn. I made the tank top with it and it turned out great.

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  13. I have the same little folks voile! Cant wait to do this with you

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  14. I'm afraid I have the same Echo print - would you mind terribly if I used it too?
    I think I'll make a trial version with something else first, just to make sure I can do it properly.

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  15. I may be jumping the gun a bit (I started sewing last night), but can I put in a request for help with the following topics when you get around to cutting and sewing?
    - Matching plaid. I'm having a hell of a time figuring out how to lay out my pieces to match the pattern for the front pieces. Especially the inset to the front since the seam is on an angle.
    - attaching that placket to the front of the shirt.

    Thank you!!

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    1. Matching Plaid: It would be far easier to cut the placket pieces on the bias and then you won't have to match. to stabilise them cut another 2 on the straight and use them to line each placket section and treat it as one layer of fabric. it is very hard to match pattern exactly and even if you are very careful you could be a little bit out.

      Placket Attachment: I will cover this in details as it is the hardest process in the Tova

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  16. good call. I did it straight (and it didn't match well). Maybe I'll redo it (or the whole shirt) since I am sort of considering this a wearable muslin made of $4 plaid shirting.

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  17. Love these Tovas! I'm over a year late on the Tova craze, but better late then never!

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