Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seamless (almost!) Chevron Cardigan Butterick 5789

I love it when I find a pattern that is so simple, that it's genius.

That's how I feel about Butterick 5789.  You wouldn't necessarily know that it's genius from looking at the cover, and based on how few reviews of it that I've found, I'd have to say this is a sleeper.  It's been out a while, but has gone under the radar of most of us because the cover photo was in a blah beige.

But believe me, if you want instant gratification, this pattern will give you it.  Why, you say?  What is so genius about this design?  Well, take a look at the sides.  No seams!

And take a look at the back- no seams! And they did this while only using two yards of fabric.

How did they do this?  Well- the front, back and collar are all ONE PIECE!  The only piece that is separate is the sleeve, and well, you do have a few seams to sew if you want sleeves.   But, you can choose the vest version too, and avoid those pesky sleeve seams. 

This is ideal for striped fabrics that are difficult to match like this chevron sweater knit.  You can still match the sleeve stripes to the body stripes like I did if you want, but you don't have too- NO ONE WILL NOTICE BUT YOU!  (I always have to tell my perfectionist sewing students to relax, and not sweat the small stuff.)

One caveat to this design though is that the fabric needs to stretch in two directions- that means both lengthwise stretch and crosswise stretch.  The reason is that the main piece is cut going the direction of the length of the fabric.  I was lucky that my fabric's stretch was going in that direction, or else this wouldn't have worked. So, be careful of this.  I've been tripped up more than once with tricky stretch issues.  However, the toughest part of this is narrow hemming the perimeter.   But the whole thing- cutting to finish takes less than 2 hours, which makes me a very happy customer.   

Do you have a pattern that is so simple it is genius?  If so, please let me know!   I want it, preferably on sale, and now, thank you!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween Costume Contest!

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Halloween is approaching fast - it's time to stock your candy bowls and perfect your costumes! How many of you have tried your hand at a homemade costume? At SewBaby, we want you to show us your home-sewn costumes during our Halloween Costume Contest!

Send us a photo of your home-sewn costume(s) either via email to or by posting to our Facebook page. Make sure to include your name and state. We are collecting photo entries until November 1st, after which we will post all of the photo entries here on our blog for your family and friends to vote on! Adult and children's costumes are welcome, and multiple entries are allowed. We can't wait to see your creations!

For those of you who haven't sewn any Halloween projects, we have a great selection of adorable Halloween e-patterns. Precious Patterns designs the cutest trick-or-treat bags as well as simple-to-sew costumes, from ladybugs to witches!  We guarantee- even if this is your first time sewing, you can do these!

Give some of these fun, festive patterns a try!

Left: Simple Ladybug & Bumblebee Costume; Right: Fashionable Ladybug; Bumblebee Costume
Left: Pumpkin & Dalmatian Costumes; Right: Princess & Witch Costumes

Halloween Felt Finger Puppets E-Pattern
Halloween Felt Finger Puppets E-Pattern
Happy Sewing, and Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Ann for SewBaby

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cheap Dress Form-like Mannequins

I recently started using a dress form, and I really like it.  I used to always just keep trying on things and looking in the mirror, but the whole getting dressed, getting undressed, trying on, getting undressed, getting dressed again- well that can get exhausting!  (Actually, if no one was home, and I was at that point where I knew I would have to be trying things on a lot, I would just sew in my underwear- LOL!)  But no more, now that I have my dress form! 

BUT- they can be rather expensive though.  So, I wanted to clue you all in on a super cheap alternative.  The national women's clothing chain stores CJ Banks and Christopher and Banks are updating their mannequins, and selling off their old ones that have a definite look of a dress form.

They are selling the ones on a stand for $20, and the table top models for $10.  Each store has a lot of these to get rid of- our stores had about 20 at each store.  I understand that the whole chain is doing this, so if you have one in your region, they either have already received theirs, or will be soon.

The ones from CJ Banks have a full bust of 44, and the ones at Christopher and Banks have a full bust of 36.

They told me that they use a size 8 garment on the smaller ones and a size 1X garment on the larger ones.  They aren't adjustable.  I think that the body is some type of styrofoam and they have a muslin-shaded knit cover.   The base is solid wood and is very pretty.  The CJ ones are really tall which is nice for tall women.  I'm guessing they are set at about 6 feet tall.  The Christopher and Banks ones were considerably shorter- probably around 5 feet 4.  I know that I was looking downward at them, and I'm 5 '9",  but I didn't get one of those to take home. 

I can definitely stick pins in them, and they make that styrofoam-y scratchy sound when the pins go in.  I'm guessing that if your measurements don't match, that you could either pad it or if you are brave, do some sculpting to make one smaller.  At this price, it's worth a try!

I picked up two.  I think these will go fast, as they are very nice for display as well, so if you need a dress form for cheap, and have these stores in your area, then give them a call!

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