THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

June 2, 2008

Distinctive Prints: Part 2

Filed under: Fabric,Fit/Pattern Alterations,Gigi — Gigi @ 1:42 pm

The dress is on hold for a couple of days as I await the arrival of an additional yard of fabric. I needed/wanted more of the border for the ties. They looked fine cut from the main print and I made sure they mirror-imaged each other but cut from the border they will look even better. Besides, there was a new jersey print over at Gorgeous Fabrics that I really wanted so that gave me an excuse!

So, yesterday I worked with another distinctive print that required careful cutting and matching. This is a rayon/lycra jersey that I purchased from Lucy’s Fabrics a few months ago. The pattern is Jalie 2449 – a TNT favorite of mine.


I made sure a full dot fell on the hemline and that the center fronts lined up.


I also adjusted the width of the neckband to allow for a full dot on the band. This meant the neckband ended up 1/4″ narrower than what the pattern called for. You will need to raise the body neckline up 1/4″ to accomodate the narrower width of the band. I simply marked the foldline on my band pattern piece and lined it up between two rows of dots. Easy!



To change the pattern a little, I added ties for a wrap-look. I did this very unscientifically: I sewed two long ties and pinned one to each side of the top I was wearing and tied them. Then I measured how much I wanted to cut off of each side. Notice that I also adjusted the width of the ties to the print. Because the dots are narrower on the lengthwise grain the ties are a bit narrower than the band but I still think this looks best. Once I tie a bow the differing widths are not noticeable.



Another thing I’ve been meaning to share with you are the wonderful china markers that I have been using to mark my fabric. I first read about them on Fashion Incubator and they are great! I use the yellow ones and the white ones to trace around my pattern or to mark within the seam allowances. I also use them to mark dart points about 1/4″ away from the actual point so that the dot will not show if it leaves a mark. If you are interested in buying them I was not able to find them in OfficeMax or Office Depot stores but I did order a box of each online for local delivery from Office Depot – weird that you can have them delivered but not pick them up yourself.


I wore this top today and a woman in the grocery asked me where I bought it stating that it was “her colorway and style”. I don’t think she believed me when I told her I had made it myself because she asked if I’d made it with a pattern and sewing machine and “everything” and if I’d been doing it all my life. Isn’t sewing great? A couple of hours and you have something unique!

Stay tuned for progress on the dress later in the week when my fabric arrives!


  1. I really like the ties! I had no idea they were “mock ties”. Love it!

    Comment by Stephanie — June 2, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

  2. That print is so fun and funky! Does it gape open at all? I have a problem with that with wrap tops/dresses.

    Comment by stitchstitch — June 2, 2008 @ 3:17 pm

  3. Gigi – that is so gorgeous! Each one you do just gets better and better.

    Comment by phyllisc — June 2, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

  4. Impeccable sewing and a nice retro print jersey fabric .

    Comment by Els — June 2, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

  5. Now that’s a gorgeous top! The use of the print is just perfect.

    Comment by Summerset — June 2, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

  6. Beautiful! I love the fabric and I’ve been eyeing that pattern for a while now!

    Comment by Alexandra — June 3, 2008 @ 8:43 am

  7. Isn’t it weird when people don’t believe you sew? And then act like you are launching rockets?? This just says to me that all sewers need to get out there and spread the love!

    Comment by Laura — June 3, 2008 @ 8:51 am

  8. “you made it with a pattern and sewing machine and everything?”

    People who don’t sew say some funny things sometimes. Makes you want to reply, “well, actually I used my magic wand”. And that same woman would probably be perfectly willing to spend all day running around shopping (burning gas, stressing, wearing out shoe leather) plus $$ to get a top like that, but couldn’t image spending HOURS to sew one! Funny.

    BTW, great top. What you did with the neckline trim and tie made it look couture. As always, you do good work!

    Comment by Sherri — June 5, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  9. I think your top is stunning … it inspired me to start sewing again. Do you have any problems sewing with poly/lycra knit? I just bought some cheap knit fabric from Walmart to use as muslin for another Jalie pattern and could not sew a straight seam for the life of me!! I have a Bernina 1130 and didn’t think it was my machine. I experimented with different stitches and presser feet but finally gave up and stitched the muslin by hand!

    Comment by Mary — August 17, 2008 @ 7:22 pm

  10. Mary, I find poly/lycra knits very easy to sew. I bet the cheap fabric from WalMart was the culprit because the 1130 is an awesome machine. Use a universal needle and a tiny zigzag (.5mm wide) – life’s too short to sew a garment by hand!

    Comment by Gigi — August 18, 2008 @ 3:06 am

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