Sunday, 19 September 2021

Number Four: Kwik Sew 3663

This pair of Men's pull-on pants, Kwik Sew 3663, is made in a beautiful cotton sateen with stretch that has been lingering in my stash with thoughts of turning it into another Tulip dress.  I'm glad that original plan didn't take place over these past years because this fabric is perfect for this project.   

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  This pattern is a keeper and worth a re-visit if needed.  I'll be holding on to this one for sure.  I left off the drawstring, switched to sewing a casing for the elastic in case I would need to adjust the elastic in the future, and the hem length was shortened from the first pair adjustment (same as pant version number 3) with a 1 1/2" hem.  

The fabric was pre-washed and shrunk more than I estimated.  Thankfully, there was more in the stash that I could wash and cut out the front pieces.  Left-over fabric is in two pieces.  The fabric also spent some time in the dryer before hitting the ironing board and moving onto the cutting table.  All of this leads to my sincere advice to always, always pre-treat your fabric before diving into a project.  

Project Details

Seams:  2.6  and 2.8 straight stitches and lightning bolt stitch for the elastic

Seam Finish:  Serged

Fabric:  2.3 metres

Elastic:  1 metre

Pattern:  Kwik Sew 3663

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, pin cushions, tailor's chalk, scissors, thread clippers, measuring tape, measuring gauge, sewing machine, walking foot, regular sewing machine foot, serger, screwdriver, tweezers, iron, ironing board, clapper, safety pins and tea.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!

Friday, 17 September 2021

Take Three: Kwik Sew 3663

Who would have thought that sewing a pair of pull-on Men's pants would turn out to be the most challenging and frustrating sewing project ever?   But still I'm happy to sew these.  If only the thread on the machine would have stopped breaking over those bulky spots it could have been a faster make.  

The pattern truly is an easy and quick to sew (minus the constant thread breaking over the pocket bulk), it's just getting the fit right.  The photo here doesn't do them justice.  These are made in a navy colored French terry sweatpants worthy fabric.  I guess I will find out this weekend if these are a better fit.  Fingers crossed.  

The fabric.  Oh the fabric!  Sometimes you have something in the stash with something else in mind and then it just finds the perfect project.  These are lovely comfortable feeling sweat pants and I know the quality of this fabric will be totally lost of the person these will be gifted to.  This is a small act of love.  I'm doing it out of love.   

It was a local find from Northwest / Marshall Fabrics.  It was pretreated with a tumble in the washer and dryer before hitting the cutting table.  Hopefully all the shrinkage worked itself out and these will get used as attended for a long while.  Fingers still crossed.  

The same alterations to the pattern as the others but this time I went down a size on the elastic because it was reported that the last ones were a "little loose."  What the heck is a "little loose" in sewing terms?  I'll take that answer in inches or centimeters.  Please.  It's tough sewing for people that you can't properly measure in person.  

Project Details

Seams:  Lightning bolt / stretch stitch throughout

Seam Finish:  Serged

Fabric:  2.2 metres

Knit 'N Stable tape:  0.3 metres

Pattern:  Kwik Sew 3663

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, pin cushions, clapper, scissors, thread clippers, sewing machine, walking foot, measuring tape, measuring gauge, screw driver, tweezers and a coffee driven late night.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 11 September 2021

In Sewing News Today...

Is mending having a moment right now?  

These were some of the titles on display at the local bookstore's sewing section.  It is certainly a reflection of the times.  Did you notice the title on the left?  Yup, a sewing book on sewing face masks, scrub caps and other medical devices.  I don't know about you but I'm so over sewing face masks, etc.  I certainly don't want a sewing book dedicated to the topic.  

Before this (pre-pandemic) the shelves were packed with beginner level books.  Even though most of my sewing lately has been with beginner worthy patterns, I'm way past the beginner level.  I'm longing for something with more substance to motivate my creative thoughts.  A book of by-gone days with delicious techniques for fancy bound buttonholes circa 1930s and 1940s.  Ah, that would be a book I could lose myself in.  But not really relatable to what is gracing the work table lately.  

I am currently working on a denim jean jacket.  No fancy bound buttonholes in this project.  Even though it is an item that I could pick up easily at any clothing store it appears that they are all mixed with man-made fibres.  Seriously, every jean style jacket I'm checked the label has polyester in fabric!  Is it really denim if there is polyester in there?  Apparently so.  Even though some are singing the praises for polyester denim, I'm not a fan.  No thank you.  I want my denim jacket to be made with 100% cotton denim.  Call me old fashion if you must, but making things the way I want them is one of the reasons I sew.  Thankfully, I have a collection of 100% cotton denim in the stash since I've been noticing bolts of "denim" labelled with "unknown fibre content" at the fabric store shelves.  

Well, I should get back to work on this project if I want to get some wear out of it before the snow falls all the leaves change colours and fall.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!

Friday, 10 September 2021

Take Two: Kwik Sew 3663

UPDATEThey fit!!!  Size XL with a shortened leg length was the winning combination.  Now, I can work on pair number three and try to alter pair number one.   They don't fit.  Man, it's hard sewing for someone who can't give you the feedback you need or that you're unable to measure and fit.  Apparently, according to the person in charge of dressing, these are still too loose.  Actually, it's "a little loose," so the question remains how does "a little loose" translate into a value that can be measured?  Your guess is as good as mine.  And this is why I have a very strong dislike for sewing for others, fit.  Auuugggghhhhhhhh!      

Well, the first pair were too loose and long.  This despite the fact that I shortened the length and used a pair of ready-to-wear pair of pants as a guide to guestimate the sizing.  So, it was back to the cutting table.  I need to whip up another pair right after a trip to the fabric store for more elastic.  Luckily, this is a quick make.  

Theses have again been gifted, delivered and awaiting new feedback.  The first pair were sewn in the largest size from the pattern envelope, XXL.  This second attempt is made in a XL.  I did shorten the length on the hem once again, another inch this time.  The hem is sewn with a 1 1/4" hem.  The height of the waistband is also shorter since I went down a size on the pattern.  My fingers are crossed this size is just right.   

I will say it again, I'm quite smitten with the method of sewing these side pockets.  

Easy peasy make and a perfect project for a beginner.  It won't be so much fun trying to unpick the elastic from the first pair and try to tweak them into a wearable make.  But I will try.  

Back to this current pair of pants:  The fabric is a cotton stretch twill that has been in my stash for many many moons.  It could be very well a decades old stash find.  It is a lovely find for this project and it was a real nice feeling to finally stash bust this fabric.   

Project Details

Seams:  2.6 interior straight stitch and 2.8 straight stitch topstitching.  

Seam finish:  Serged

Fabric:  3 metres (narrow width)

PatternKwik Sew 3663

Elastic:  0.89 cm

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, scissors, thread clippers, seam ripper, pins, pin cushions, measuring tape, measuring gauge, brush, new sewing machine needle, tweezers, canned air, screw driver, sewing machine, serger, and tea.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Men's Pull-on Pants: Kwik Sew 3663

Update:  The first attempt at this pattern turned out to be a mis-calculation in sizing.  So this pair hit the cutting table with seam ripper in hand to try to achieve a better fit.  

The inner leg and crotch curve were seam ripped open.  The pant leg length was cut down three inches.  And two rows of stitching were removed to try and free the elastic with the last row of stitching cut from the fabric.  I didn't tough the outer side seam since there were side pockets that I didn't want to lose and there wasn't anymore fabric to make a new pair.  

I pulled out the pattern to figure out where the new seams should be re-stitched to make this fit as a size smaller.  Instead of re-stitching the elastic as described in the pattern instructions, I sewed a casing for the elastic to be inserted into.  This is all because I don't know how well the elastic fits on the person they are gifted to and it's difficult to get feedback other than "it's too loose."  This way, I'll have an easier time get to the elastic if it need any additional adjustments.  The hem was top-stitched with a one-inch hem.  Hopefully, fingers crossed, these changes will be successful.  

This is a special project, already gifted, already delivered.  It pushed its way ahead of the queue and thankfully it was a quick project to stitch together.  

It has four pattern pieces (front, back, side and back pockets) and that makes Kwik Sew 3663 a perfect beginners pattern.  The back pockets were left off but I must say that I really like the technique used to stitch the side pockets.  I did stitch a drawstring with the selvage edge of my fabric but left it off after having some challenges with making the buttonholes and not wanting to fiddle with a seam ripper.  

The fabric is a soft cotton twill that I picked up at Northwest / Marshall Fabrics.  It was the perfect weight.  If this pair of pants get the thumbs up, I would be happy to revisit this pattern and make another pair.  

Project Details

Seams:  2.6 straight stitch.  

Seam Finish:  Serged

Fabric:  2.5 metres

Elastic1 metre 2 metres - 1 1/4 inch width

Interfacing:  0.3 metres

Pattern:   Kwik Sew 3663

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, measuring tape, measuring gauge, ironing board, iron, sewing machine, serger, screwdriver, seam ripper, thread clippers, scissors, buttonhole foot, walking foot, tailor's chalk and a cup of tea.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 5 September 2021

New Sewing Traditions: Interfacing

Do you remember back-in-the-day, way-back, when you could pick up interfacing for a project for a few dollars?  Yeah, I can hardly remember that either.  But I digress...

Right now, on the sewing table is a jean jacket project out of a 100% cotton denim.  It is cut out with the exception of the interfacing pieces for the collar, cuff and front facing.  In the past, I would have been searching the interfacing section at the fabric store for an appropriate option totally overlooking a suitable option in my own stash.  

My scrap pile is a gold mine when it comes to alternative interfacing pieces.  For this project,  a fusible interfacing is suggested but not needed and the opaque nature of the denim means that I can substitute interfacing with one of the 100% cotton remnants in my stash.  I have enough of this cotton left over from a recent project to use as a non-fusible interfacing.  

Now, I'm all set to sit down and sew once I find some free time.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

National Sewing Month: Traditional Sewing Techniques and New Sewing Traditions


This year's theme is focused on sewists "becoming frontline supporters, creating masks and other protective equipment ... driving a resurgence in the art of sewing."

Personally, I find this theme so last year.  Sorry folks at the National Sewing Month organization.  I was one of those "frontline supporters" back in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.  It all started with sewing face masks when stores were charging an insane price for disposable masks and disposable gloves.  And then I started sewing face masks for family and friends when the great elastic shortage of 2020 took hold and alternates for elastic were sought.  What a journey in sourcing needed materials!  And who would of ever imagine that a limit would be placed on elastic?   

And then during lockdown while watching too much news on rising Covid case numbers and listening to stories of hospital workers being overwhelmed, I turned to sewing scrub caps for a nurse friend and her colleagues.  It became a way to feel like I was helping out and it was a project that I could use up small remnants of fabric that I had left over from other projects.  

I don't know if my sewing this year became part of the movement that was "driving a resurgence in the art of sewing," that honestly feels like a bit of a stretch.  For me personally, this year's theme is more about making do and refashioning clothes that I grew out of, damn pandemic pounds.  And being more resourceful with the rising cost of sewing supplies EVERYTHING.   

That's it!  Being more resourceful and mindful in my sewing is my "new sewing tradition."  Hello sustainable sewing!  

Happy National Sewing Month!  

Number Four: Kwik Sew 3663

This pair of Men's pull-on pants, Kwik Sew 3663 , is made in a beautiful cotton sateen with stretch that has been lingering in my stash ...