Today’s Pattern Story: Simplicity 1170

Simplicity 1170 four women in blouses with patient looks on their faces

Here we present four stellar graduates demonstrating what they learned in our best-selling How To Look Like You’re Listening While Thinking Of Completely Unrelated Things course—available as a seminar on three long-playing records!

In this course, you’ll learn how to:

  • keep an attentive, thoughtful look on your face for up to three hours straight
  • subconsciously register pauses so you can say “why, I never thought of it that way!” or “what an interesting idea!” at appropriate times
  • make mental lists of things you would rather be (or should be) doing, and remember them even after you are released from your “conversation”!

Order now and get our special bonus booklet: How To Listen Without Giving Any Sign of Encouragement That The Speaker Should Continue! Perfect for public transit, work break rooms, and large family gatherings!

quick mask hack: add a nose wire with piping!

Hi folks! Like everyone else in possession of a sewing machine and any amount of free time at all, I’ve been sewing masks! I’ve been using the NYT pattern — not because I necessarily think it’s the best, but because it was Good Enough, and I found myself falling way way way down an internet hole of different patterns, techniques, etc. …. which was not getting any masks sewn!

I’m very lucky in that I have tons of leftover/scrap high-quality cotton fabric, and literally MORE BIAS TAPE than I knew what to do with. I also have (as regular readers know), vast quantities of piping, and much love for same.

I also wear glasses, and was interested in maybe having a mask with a nose wire so that I could fit it tightly and limit the amount of glasses-fogging that could occur. Plus (and this is the important part) I had some leftover wire from a project that I don’t even remember doing. The only problem was, the wire was thin and sharp … hmm … what to do … piping!

By adding wire to piping and piping the top line of the mask, I could have a tighter-fitting mask, not poke myself in the eye, and also have piping! Win-win!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut out your mask pieces (fabric and lining) and sew the center seam of your mask as directed.
  2. Cut a piece of piping long enough to go the whole top edge of the mask: mask and piping
  3. Cut a piece of wire (with paper scissors, not fabric scissors!) about 3/4 to 5/8 as long as the piece of piping (I just eyeball it): wire, piping, and mask
  4. Insert the wire INTO the piping. Just poke that sucker in between two stitches!
    wire inserted between the stitches of the piping
    Skoosh it through the piping, like you were putting elastic or a drawstring cord through a casing. It should go through reasonably well, although you might have trouble if there’s a seam in your piece of piping. Take care not to shove it so hard that it bunches up the piping cord or goes through the piping fabric. (This is easier than it sounds, I promise!)
    wire inserted partway into piping
  5. Make a sandwich of the piping, lining fabric, and outer fabric:

    Note that the piping edge is going DOWN into the mask!

    (I had yards of this fine white cotton fabric and wasn’t sure where it had come from, and after cutting quite a lot of it for mask linings I realized that it was leftover from the surplices my husband’s grandmother used to sew for her local priest …)

  6. Sew the piping sandwich. I use a narrow foot. If your lining fabric is thinner, put that side up. Basically you want to be able to feel or see the edge of the piping, so that you don’t sew over it.
    IMPORTANT: there is a slight chance you could break a needle if you accidentally hit the wire (I haven’t yet) so do wear some eye protection! 
    mask sandwich going through sewing machine

    Pivot the needle at the center seam:
    pivot the needle at the center seam

  7. Turn and press:
    right side of the mask, showing piped edge
  8. If your fabric is likely to fray, you can finish the edge with a narrow zigzag. If you’re feeling super-ambitious you can also edge-stitch the lining, but I haven’t.
  9. Finish as you otherwise would!
    finished mask

I hope you find this helpful! Stay well!

another mask pattern

With a few small adjustments this mask would handle both airborne virus particles and help a LOT with social distancing!

picture of frankly disturbing knit balaclavas

NOTE: THIS IS A JOKE PLEASE DON’T MAKE ONE OF THESE INSTEAD OF A REAL MASK. GOT A GREAT MASK PATTERN? PLEASE PUT IT IN THE COMMENTS!

 

(If you really want to make this—I don’t know, social isolation does weird things to people, no judgment—the pattern is available on Etsy from seller PatternGrove.)

 

Still on the Fringe(s)

Hello! Happy New Year! Well, 2019 has been a blur, hasn’t it? I did more sewing than I did blogging, that’s for sure. 😬

The dress I was obsessed with for most of the latter half of 2019 was the Chalk and Notch Fringe dress (with some significant alterations, mostly in the pocket department). I liked the neckline and the roominess of it, and the shirt-tail hem (which I faced for better weight/drape rather than using a narrow hem finish). It’s nice in the summer, with sandals, but I’ve also been wearing it over a long-sleeved tee/with a cardigan and leggings with boots.

What did I make it in? Well, probably a better question is what didn’t I make it in. My favorite was probably the Nani Iro double gauze, which I made in two colorways because one is never enough:
blue Nani Iro grace stripe dress

I didn’t take a good picture of the multicolor stripe, but you can get a glimpse of it here. I also made it in a lovely gray broken plaid double gauze from Stonemountain and Daughter (did you know they send you sewing stickers now if you mail-order?), but no pictures of that yet, I’ve been too busy wearing it!

This pattern is great for fabrics with large motifs (and/or masochists), because there’s really only one big, important seam to match:

Anna Marie Horner fabric matched across front seam

In order to have pockets in the style to which I have become accustomed, I split the front skirt panel into three pieces, and changed the pockets from in-seam to scoop, like so:

view of pocket with black piping on black and white gingham seersucker fringe

(Of course there’s piping, pockets are 87% to hold your stuff and 10% to give you an excuse to add piping, and 3% to put fun linings in.)

By making the skirt three panels (I did this with the back skirt, too) I could add some more gathers and make my now-customary Sir Mix-A-Lot adjustment to the back pieces.
gray chambray fringe dress back view

I replaced the cuffs and ties in the pattern instructions with plain ol’ bias finishing:

bias tape finishing on Fringe dress sleeve

This dress has a button-front version, which I also made at least three times (but only have pictures of one version so far). This is a gray chambray with some slightly dodgy topstitching:

gray chambray fringe dress with white buttons

With any luck it won’t be another year before I update again!