Wednesday, October 23, 2013

fast sewing & slow sewing

First off... NO ONE ENTERED MY GIVEAWAY!  :(  A friend mentioned that maybe all of you readers were sewing admirers, but not sewists yourself. That got me wondering... how many of my readers sew? Let me know below if you'd care to share. And now... on to the sewing!

First: fast sewing!

This week I was making a costume for a friend that was totally kicking my butt! It was an easy design, but I was going without a pattern and using these awful-to-sew-with costume fabrics; slippery metallics and inexpensive sheers. I needed a quick sewing pick-me-up after that!

Enter the slouchy, lacy t-shirt! Kimono sleeves, simple banded cuff and neck binding, 4 pattern pieces and 11 total lines of stitching, mostly done on my serger. It took me about a hour from start to finish, a perfect palette cleanser after the gold and sheer orange monstrosity! (Which actually came out just fine and my friend was super pleased....)

I used New Look 6216, view B with the cuffed sleeve for a little extra length. I forget how much I like New Look patterns. They always seem to have simple, stylish designs that are easy to make your own, and are always affordable. 

This was my first time installing a narrow band for the neckline on the serger (and probably only my 2nd or 3rd time doing this finish on any machine!). I didn't do a great job. The band width ended up very uneven, but It was a good learning experience and doesn't bother me enough to not wear the shirt. I also made the pattern size I measure at, which is actually a size or two bigger than what I usually make, so it's nice and slouchy! For solid, everyday t-shirts I'd make a smaller size. 

Now the slow sewing...

Inspired by a pin on, I'm making McCalls 6503, view D in a woven, grey, linen-like fabric (not sure the fabric content, probably a synthetic or synthetic blend) that I picked up for free from my mom's stash! I got the pattern on sale at Joann Fabrics and only had to buy thread, buttons, and a zipper, so the whole dress is costing me under $6! On this project I'm really taking my time to practice good technique; hand basting the placket, pressing each step, finishing every seam. So far I have most of the bodice constructed and it's looking very nice! Setting sleeves will take a little time because I have very narrow shoulders, but I'm giving myself that time to pay close attention, working on it a hour or two at a time.

AND let myself take a break from this dress to whip out a fast project whenever I have the need to make something quick!


  1. Aww Rachel! I'm sorry I didn't see that awesome giveaway! I love your new Kwik Sew top and that McCalls pattern has been on my list for ages! x

    1. Thanks, Stevie! You know, I still have those patterns... could you use one? Send me you choice and snail mail address if you'l like one! artgirlrachel(at)

  2. I just found your site love your top that you just made good job Sorry I missed your contest would have love to enter and yes I am a sewer

    1. Glad to have a sewist reader! I'll give you the same offer as Stevie above. Send me you choice and snail mail address, first come first serve! artgirlrachel(at)