Using the Sewing the Seventies Prize

A few months back you may remember I entered a Sewing the Seventies competition run by the Steely Seamstress. Well I am pleased to announce that following an online vote I won the prize of some fantastic retro inspired fabrics.

One of the fabrics was a jersey with a surf inspired print that made me think 1950s. I decided to use Kwik Sew pattern 2247 to create a tied top that would look good paired with capri pants, cut off jeans’ shorts or a circle skirt.

This is the only Kwik Sew pattern I have ever used. They are not widely available in the UK but I picked this one up going cheap at a craft fair. I quite like that the pattern comes sized in XS, S, M, L and XL. I don’t know if this is true of all Kwik Sew patterns but I like the way it helps if you are between sizes. The paper pattern is also very thick and good quality but I decided to trace off the tie top in a medium as the tie top pattern is printed over the same pattern piece as the straight blouse so cutting it out would mean that I would be unable to use the pattern for the other styles. As the paper pattern is thick it lends itself well to being traced off which maintains the integrity of the pattern for use for other styles and sizes.

I don’t sew a lot with knitted fabrics or jerseys but as this fabric is a thick jersey and very stable I treated it like a woven. The only noticeable difference was a tendency for the edges of the cut out pieces to curl. Another thing which surprised me about the Kwik Sew pattern is that there is a 1/4″ seam allowance. This makes me wonder if the patterns are designed for sewing with an overlock machine. I guess the only problem with such a narrow seam allowance is that there is not much manoeuvre for fitting. I sewed the garment using a straight stitch sewing machine but did overlock the seams together.

The only frustrating thing about sewing with jersey is that I am a bit of a stickler for pressing believing in the old adage ‘half pressed is half sewn’ but actually this jersey did iron well and as the collar, armholes and ties are top-stitched this helps them lay well.

Choosing buttons presented a dilemma. Should I go for straightforward cream to match the background or use one of the many colours in the fabric. In the end I opted for red to give the garment more pop.

This is a pretty cute pattern which goes together very easily. However I did alter the collar construction as the instructions were different to the method I normally use and seemed back to front to me. For example the pattern calls for you to interface the upper collar but I have always interfaced the lower collar. So I used my usual method although I expect the instructed version works okay too.

I am very pleased with the end result as it reflects the 1950s custom culture look I was after and I was very happy to have found the perfect project for the jersey. I also have a vintage project in mind for the second bolt of prize fabric and I hope to post about that in the near future.