Tag Archives: Kwik Sew 1670

Oonapants!! (Phase 1)



A little while back, I was bemoaning the dearth of fun woolly tights, both in my wardrobe and in the world in general. Several people reminded me that funky leggings could probably suffice, in a pinch, and reminded me of Oona’s prowess in this department.

Kwik Sew

Kwik Sew 1288

Well, this idea niggled and wriggled, and the next thing I know I’ve traced out an old Kwik Sew leggings pattern (adding a snotload of length and shortening the rise in front only) and I’m diving through my stash for anything resembling funky knits. Keep in mind I rarely wear prints, much less wild and funky ones, and haven’t worn leggings since about 1992.

I eventually hunted up this blue fern frond spandex, probably originally swimsuit material, picked up at Value Village a while back. I had been thinking a stretch cheongsam, but, well, Oonapants called.

Back view

Back view

No sooner had I finished them, however, Syo (who, as mentioned, is a leggings purist at the moment), required her own pair. This was fairly easy to whip up, and she launched into wearing them with a wild abandon that would do Oona proud. Myself, I’m having a bit more trouble. They don’t coordinate with any of my dresses, most of which are wild and crazy (or just fluffy) enough on their own. Eventually, I figured I could try wearing them with my black tunic (the storebought inspiration for my Ariadne pattern, by the way), but I still feel like my hips need a bit more emphasis, or at least coverage. I feel top-heavy in just the tunic, not my favourite look.



My head filled with the vision of a simple, short-skirted dress in a simple black (stretch) twill. Now THAT I have in stash. Next thing I know, I’m perusing my patterns with a very specific image in my head: a short black sheath dress, preferably with cut-on capped sleeves and princess seams.

Gertie’s wiggle dress. I am lazy so I totally stole Oona’s photo here, too. Click for source

Eventually, I narrowed it down to the Wiggle Dress from Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, which I have traced out. But with shorter everything—shorter sleeves, shorter skirt, shorter body. I have traced out the pattern, but I think I had better get back to my long-neglected plaid dress first.

If I don’t get completely distracted by fleece pants in the meantime… (note to self. Must get photos of fleece pants that aren’t grainy and awful.)



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Leggings for Syo.

Wimping out or taking a quick break? That is the question. This morning, rather than taking on the Dress of Irksomeness, I hunted around for a project that would be quick and satisfying, ideally that could be executed without changing the thread in the sewing machine. I settled, after rather more futzing than I care to admit, for Kwik Sew 1670, and (yet) another pair of leggings for Syo. The last ones I made her are probably the single most-worn item in her wardrobe this winter, since she’s decided she only wears leggings, and she could really use another pair. Well, another five pair, frankly. But we’ll start with one.

I re-traced the pattern and made a few changes this time. I had already narrowed the size 8 and lowered the rise in the front for a more “modern” fit. This time I lengthened the leg (the originals were drafted for 3/4 length, but frankly it’s full-length weather here, and will be a while yet, and I curved in a bit more in the thigh area, since they’d been a little loose there  in the past.

No cute motorcycle photos this time, alas.



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Minimum Blogable Unit

Leggings. Also motorcycle.

I made Syo leggings.

Possibly there is no less glamourous or discussion-worthy thing I could sew; hopefully the photos (Syo’s idea) make up for that. The pattern is Kwik Sew 1670, which I’ve made up several times now, and I didn’t even up the size. (I did actually take a 2cm vertical tuck in the pattern, as the last pair was too wide.) I did not use my serger at all, as it doesn’t make as strong of a seam. And it’s threaded with cream and I’m lazy. I used a black cotton-Lycra bought at the last major Fabricland sale I went to, and while it curls rather annoyingly, it’s otherwise a nice sturdy, stable knit. Syo is currently in rebellion against real pants, so I think these will be a really useful wardrobe addition, especially as the weather continues its inevitable slide towards the Canadian winter. (Though the last few days have been gorgeous, so no whining from me yet.)

A slightly more stretched out (and grubby) view.

They are still a little loose in the thigh, especially after wearing them all day, but pretty decent. The length is supposed to be 3/4.


I used Steam-a-Seam Lite in the hems and stitched in the elastic at the waist with two rows of topstitching. Not quite RTW, but it’s nicely finished inside and functional.

At the same time I cut these out, I cut out a pair of Kwik Sew 2100 with the bikini-rise, in a size 4. I am, according to the measurement chart, a size 5 or 6 but the reviews are universal in the pattern running large by at least two sizes, and 4 is the smallest in the envelope. I also narrowed the middle of the crotch gusset by 1cm off each side, as it is apparently quite large. Then I turned around and lost the crotch gusset pieces, so I have not been able to stitch them. >_< if they don’t show up soon, I will cut new ones. So I can’t really report anything else. Sarai made herself a pair of these recently—it’s almost like celebrity sewing.

Or, y’know, not.

Ok, one more thing.



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Weekend Sewing

What to do on a Sunday evening to save your weekend from complete non-productivity

I was really hoping to get the blue tunic finished this past weekend. However, after thoroughly botching the zipper insertion*, I decided to take a break from annoying polyester crepe and take a stab at using up the remainder of the Pink Suit fabric, which has been lurking around the basement for the last few months.

ETA: Emergency Clarification: this project was for Syo, the eight-almost-nine-year-old. This is her in the next photo; I did not miraculously grow my hair ten inches, nor did I shrink two and a half feet. You may now return to your regularly scheduled blog-reading.

Back view

Diving through stash, I also located the bag of lace that came from my Grandma’s stash, presumably dating back to the days when she used to make us underwear for Christmas. I picked this bit of stretch lace, enough to do the cuffs of a pair of leggings and a single line across the front of the matching leotard. I thought it would be a nice break from All Pink All The Time.

A super-simple leotard

Frankly, I was a little surprised when Syo got up this morning and eagerly put the leggings on. I was not sure that pinkpinkpink was going to be a popular colour. And the fabric has a bit more stretch in it than the last pair of leggings I made her, so they’re a bit loose, even after I took in the inseam a bit.

Lace top-stitched down with a zig-zag

I was pretty stoked when I came upstairs from finishing the set last night and realized my husband was just finishing the episode of Breakout Kings he’d started when I went down to sew. Had I really cut & stitched all this in under an hour?

… turns out it was the extra-long season finale.

Edges: clear elastic stitched on with triple zig-zag and then topstitched under with the "athletic" stitch.

But still, two hours (minus commercials, because he records and skips through those) for the set. Not too shabby.


The pattern is, again, Kwik Sew 1670, in a size 8, which is just a little big for Syo (who will be turning nine in two months). It includes both the leotard and slightly cropped leggings. This time I disregarded the lengths Kwik Sew suggests for the elastic on the leotard and sewed it in straight rather than in the round, putting a wee bit of tension into it but not enough to ripple the fabric. And I quite like how it turned out. It does involve a bit more thought in terms of construction order—sew crotch; elasticate leg openings; sew side-seams; elasticate arm openings; sew one shoulder; elasticate neck opening; sew second shoulder; turn all elasticated edges under and topstitch in the round. I *really* like that this got me both the ease of putting in elastic flat and the nice finish of topstitching in the round. As you can see I topstitched with my “athletic” stitch, rather than the triple zig-zag. It’s a bit of a different look; not sure if I like it any better, though.


Now I really need to make something for Tyo before she notices that Syo’s gotten two (three) things in a row…

Or, y’know, finish the blue tunic.

*Funny story. I wasn’t actually going to *do* a zipper insertion, except then there was a nice dress-length zipper in the proper shade of blue in the package from ElleC, so I thought it was karma and figured I’d throw it in. Bad idea. Bad, bad Karma. Either that or ElleC is sending me cursed zippers, which I might not put past her, but I think the culprit in this case is the *really annoying fabric*.


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A Syo-lytic leotard

I asked for a dance pose.

So I’ve been trying to start sewing down stash. I’ve been positively stingy with the new fabric purchases the last little while (which seems to mostly be resulting in pattern-binging, but that’s another issue). I’ve been avoiding Fabricland like an (insert clever, really annoying thing to avoid here).

However, the other day Syo had a doctor’s appointment across town at a location I wasn’t familiar with, and so I had built in an excessive amount of traffic/getting lost time, and so we arrived in the area with rather more than an hour to kill before her appointment. And I may not know that area well, but I do know where the fabric store is, so in we tromped.

And Syo found the swimsuit fabrics.

And they were having a big 50% off nearly everything sale.

And I’m officially the biggest pushover ever to disgrace mommydom.

So Syo scored a metre of pink, grey, and white leopard- and heart-print spandex. For a new leotard for her dance class.

Now, she is in sore need of a new leotard—the ones she has are mostly two or three sizes too small. But there is a dress code for the class (however poorly enforced) and I’m pretty sure pink leopard print isn’t on it.


Kwik Sew 1670

Bring on Kwik Sew 1670, again. This pattern has previously been used (abused) to create the pattern for Tyo’s close-fitting shirt, and the leggings have been made before, but this is the first time I’ve made the leotard up as such. It’s the first time, frankly, that I’ve sewn with full-on spandex in all its slippery, stretchy glory.

That's more like it.

First off, I will say, a sleeveless leotard is an insanely easy project. Two pattern pieces, no facings, not even any binding. I started tracing the size 8 (a bit large on Syo but the smallest in my packet) at 8:00 and had the whole thing done before 10:00.

Hmm, swayback appears to run in the family

I followed the Kwik Sew instructions remarkably closely, although I don’t know if I’ll do the same next time. They have you measure out elastic lengths, stitch them into circles, and then stretch the circles to fit the various openings (leg, arms, neck). While the elastic lengths were good, I think I do just as well applying in the flat and eyeballing my stretch ratio. I’ll give it a try next time and let you know…

Triple-stitch zig-zag finish

Anyway, I stitched the entire thing on my Janome, as she has the best stretch-stitches—I’ve come to the conclusion (backed by a wee bit of actual research) that my 3-thread serger really isn’t intended for making seams, just finishing them. I’m not supremely in love with the overlock stitch on the Janome—the seams look a little wavy when you open them up—but it is very stretchy. For applying and then topstitching the elastic, I used the 3-step zig-zag. It’s a bit of a home-finished look, but not a bad once, I think.

Side view

Some of this may have been motivated by the fact that Syo got her costume for the year-end show the other day. Ah, 1992 called, it wants its clothing back. Black, neon, fishnet, paint-splatter print—an amazing blast from the past. All of which I paid $80 for. And it’s not exactly badly made, and I don’t begrudge the stitcher getting paid a living wage for her time, and she does have a coverstitch, which I don’t… but, frankly, I could’ve done just as well*. And maybe I needed to prove that to myself.

Gappy neckline

Syo is obscenely happy with her new leotard (not to mention how quickly it was made up). It is a smidge large on her, or at least the neck gapes a touch where I didn’t get the elastic pulled quite evenly, but I imagine that will lessen as she grows. As leotards go, it’s pretty modest, high-necked back and front—I’ll be really tempted to scoop out the back a bunch next time. The butt-coverage is decent, but I suspect it will become less so as her body takes up the excess length. The crotch between the legs seems a bit wide to me, but doesn’t appear to bother her. There’s no crotch-lining included, but I might try adding one next time.

The big question, of course, is what to do with the rest of the fabric, since I used approximately 30 cm off one side of the 150-cm wide, 1m length…

*I don’t think I have any ambitions to pursue a career stitching up dance costumes for local troupes, anyway. Well, at least not the kind of semi-mass-production this kind of costuming requires. Now, making someone a fabulous bellydance or flamenco costume… that could be fun.


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How they keep me hooked


Tyo wriggles into the shirt. “Aww, yeah. I love the long sleeves! Ooh, can we put a thumbhole in? I love how long it is—it covers my butt! I love how tight the sleeves are, you never get sleeves this tight. I love how you flare them out at the end, too! I’ll totally wear this! I love the neckline!” (I heave a small sigh of relief. I was worried it would be too low-cut for her taste.)

“Ok, now give it back to me so I can hem it.”

“No, don’t hem it, I like it just how it is!”

“I want one, too, mom!” (that’s Syo)

I made this shirt for Tyo to wear under her Babydoll costume. She’s going to be freakin’ freezing. Monday’s forecast includes snow.

The fabric is from a cotton jersey sheet I picked up at Value Village for $4; not great recovery—more T-shirt than leotard—but no way I was going to score plain white (or plain flesh-tone) jersey from Fabricland for that little, and there’s plenty left over. Like, I used less than two feet off the whole double-sized sheet length. (And it would’ve been less except the sheet seems to be cut prodigiously off-grain to the rib of the knit. Weird.)

The pattern… erm. Technically, it’s a hybrid of Kwik Sew 2448 (sleeve and armscye, size 7) and 1670 (body and shoulder, size 12, lengthened into a shirt), although really once I was done I think either pattern would’ve been embarrassed to acknowledge its bastard offspring. But, I’m pretty happy with the result—a close-fitting, shaped, but not skin-tight tee. I lengthened the sleeve, made it curve in a bit just below the top of the arm for a closer fit, and added my usual flare-out at the wrist. Something about this shape that I just really like. I had graded out the bottom of the shirt to allow for pear-shaped-ness, but next time I’ll tweak the side-seam curves a bit. They are inning and outing a bit too sharply. Tyo’s curves at the moment are all front to back, not side to side.

V-Neck Closeup

I wanted a V-neck to go underneath the costume. It’s my first attempt at finishing a V-neck; I didn’t try to miter the ends of the band, just overlapped them at a right angle. And by some miracle I got the length right, too. So although it’s a little wonky in places, overall it’s pretty decent. I used this technique from Jorth (I’ve seen it other places, too, but this description is nice and recent and sticks out in my memory) although I only did a 5mm seam allowance instead of a 10mm, and my topstitching is consequently closer to the seam.

One Happy Tyo

Of course, for the costume purposes, skin-tight would’ve been better.  But y’know what? She loves it. So I’m going to shut up and enjoy. 🙂

(Also, Tyo wants you to know that she wanted to wear the knee-high boots but we could only find the one, so after an hour or so of hunting around she settled for mis-matched boots. I told her she should keep that to herself, this way it’s a “fashion statement”.)


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Buffy the Vampire-Slayer Costume (in progress)

As I mentioned before, it took quite a bit of convincing to get Syo to agree to “Movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as opposed to “TV-show Buffy” for her Hallowe’en costume. Not that I have anything against Sarah Michelle Gellar’s take on the character—I haven’t watched enough to judge one way or another, but plenty of my friends and family, kids included, are firm fans—but in my mind the movie version is more iconic. That’s where Buffy started, y’know, the wonderful juxtaposition of teen-cheerleader-ditz with stark, undead horror. Or something. (OK, it’s been a while since I saw the movie, either, and unforgivably it’s not on Netflix. Dude.)

So, now the costume is progressing, and she’s still not overly thrilled. /sigh. I’m torn. On the one hand I have an intense recollection of that sinking dread/obligation feeling that goes with a costume being made for you that you don’t like. (Hmm, I think I was less tactful and thoughtful of my mother’s feelings than Syo, actually.) On the other hand, as an adult, I am serenely confident that my idea is better, and she should just suck it up. Gotta love how parenthood can bring out one’s inner dictator. Sigh.

In any case, the essential, iconic bits are done—crop-top and twirly skirt. Hopefully Syo will like the skirt better than the top (as I write this I just finished the skirt and she’s already in bed, so she will have to check it out tomorrow). Although technically she already had a skirt picked out (the black one in the photo. It’s not one I made). I’m hoping she’ll be amenable to layering them, with the yellow one on top. This may go over like a lead balloon—we’ll see.

T-Shirt pattern

Anyway, the top is drawn straight from the T-shirt portion of this Kwik Sew pattern, but cropped off at the handy “lengthen or shorten here” line. It’s snug in the sleeves and loose in the body, which works in my opinion but is less than thrilling to Syo who’d prefer it to be skin-tight. She likes everything skin-tight these days. >_<

Hem and navy strip closeup (I used Steam-a-Seam inside the hems, too, which makes them pretty much effortless)

The photo I’m going from has navy trim on the yellow costume, so I pulled out some navy stretch-velvet I bought on a whim last winter and have been too terrified to actually do anything with. It wasn’t actually cheap, and I have some very traumatic history involving sewing polyester velvet, although that horrible stuff wasn’t stretch. I cut some rectangles and topstitched the strips down the sleeves using a a handy-dandy stretch stitch on my machine that looks vaguely like the athletic-style coverstitching you get on some RTW. Most importantly, it makes a nice, stretchy topstitch—I actually used it on the hems in the shirt, too. It’s stretchier and less fiddly (and less tunnelly!) than twin-needling.  Anyway, I’m quite happy with how it worked for appliqueing the strips on the sleeves. I actually (first time ever!) used the pattern-piece for the neckband strip, and I have to admit I was a little disappointed. All my reading plus previous experience suggests to me that a neckband strip needs to be a wee bit shorter than the neckband when working in a knit. This one was dead on, if not in fact a teensy bit longer. Boo. It was easy enough to shorten, but if I’d been trying to put it on in the round and hadn’t checked, it would’ve been a bad situation. Perhaps the instructions have some clever notes about this—if I ever make an outfit from this pattern that isn’t a complete throwaway I may actually read them.

Skirt pattern (View D)

The skirt comes from this McCall’s pattern. View D is the handkerchief skirt in the middle. Now, remember my whining about excessively dumbed-down patterns? Well, my next-biggest pet-peeve is pattern-pieces that are shaped like squares and rectangles.

Square and rectangular pattern pieces

Now, just for the record, I understand why people selling patterns include pattern pieces like these. And I would actually be a bit dissatisfied if I opened a pattern and got a bunch of directions for cutting squares of a particular size. But square pattern pieces are still silly. The handkerchief-skirt piece almost has a right to exist because of that circle in the middle… almost.

Although I did a pretty decent job on the shirt, construction-wise (if I do say so myself), everything went to hell a bit on the skirt. First, I was comparing the yoke-size to the RTW skirt, which is also a pull-on elastic skirt that I knew fit Syo (perils of sewing for a child when the child is in bed—no fitting opportunities), and it was way too long (the smallest size in my envelope is 7, which is a bit big). So I shortened it. Of course, I did this from one edge, which threw all my notches off. Oops. Next, the skirt appears to be cut to a somewhat larger size than the yoke. WTF?

My basic approach at this point became: It’s a knit. It’ll stretch.

I’m not sure the original skirt calls for an elastic at the waist (again, I could have read the instructions), but I figured one was in order. And then it just seemed easier to keep it place by turning the yoke into just a regular elastic-casing waistband. And then when I started to sew the skirt pieces to the yoke, I tried to match my notches, forgetting that that would throw off one side of the skirt. Also there are a lot of gathers, staring from the skirt’s centre hole being cut to a larger size, and ending with me taking a wider hem to narrow the yoke.  And because of the notches being off, the gathers are not particularly even.

It’s not quite the sleek, cute thing on the envelope cover. Oh, well—hopefully it’ll work anyway. I mean, what little girl can resist a handkerchief skirt?

Don’t ask that.

Kwik Sew 1670

So that’s the major bits. If I get time/energy, I may turn the rest of the velvet into a leotard and/or leggings from this pattern. I do in fact have a leggings pattern I drafted for Syo back this summer, but it has a fair bit of negative ease—which was perfect for the fabric I was using at that point—and this stretch velvet doesn’t stretch that much. On the other hand the smallest size of the Kwik Sew pattern is a bit big for Syo… but she’s growing. And I’m pretty sure she’d live in stretch velvet leggings.

We’ll see.

Probably I should figure out some pom-poms, too.

Oh, and it turns out we are actually going to the Hallowe’en dance on Friday, so everything needs to be done by tomorrow, not for Monday. Oopsie.


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