Tag Archives: Kwik Sew

Bitty Baby Dress

My thrifty endeavor for the day is a dress for Bitty Baby, sewn from an outgrown girls dress.  Unlike the 18 inch American Girl Doll, the more petite, 16 inch doll doesn’t have many sewing patterns. I have used 18 doll patterns in the past.  And the main difference is that the Bitty Baby is a little larger around the torso.  And her limbs are shorter.

This time, I used Kwik Sew Pattern, K3834 as a guide.  The skirt pattern piece I used only for the length, since the gathers are already part of the original dress. I thought that the stripe at the waist would be really cute.  But I’m not crazy about it, now that I’m finished.

Bitty Baby Knit Dress

It seemed wrong, but the best way to cut the front of the Bitty Baby dress, was to lay it out on top of what had been the back of the girls dress.  On this side, the waist stripe was the only detail.

Bitty Baby Dress Pattern Front

There is a small bodice detail that I cut through.  It shows on the back side of the new dress.  But I’m okay with it.

Bitty Baby Dress Pattern Back

I sewed the front to back pieces together at the sides.  I find it easier to maneuver the sewing machine around the pieces that way.

Kwik Sew Pattern Side Seams Sewn

For the lining, I cut the front lining from the remaining skirt.  And the back pieces came from the sleeves of the original dress.

Kwik Sew Pattern K3834 Lining

I sewed the dress together at the skirt in the back, and didn’t bother with velcro, since the dress is put on and taken off several times a day by an exuberant two year old.  I may hem it at some point. But the fabric is thin from incessant washing.  And I kept getting distracted.  So I was done messing around with it for the day.

You can see the faux wrap detail that was on the original dress.

Bitty Baby in K3834 Back


Sew in Bra – Seeking Ideas

Well, the Kwik Sew patterns have finally arrived.  And I would like to begin sewing for Spring and Summer. My sewing mission is to make sleeveless tops that fit well, and do not show my bra.

Because it gets so humid here in Georgia in the summertime, I ordered one pattern that includes a shelf bra.  However, I rarely purchase ready to wear tank tops with a shelf bra, even though I like idea of having one less layer of clothing.  Typically, the shelf bra doesn’t fit properly, is not particularly flattering, and tends to dig under the bust – probably because it doesn’t fit properly! I don’t want to continue that trend with a top I make myself.

sew in bra sewing ideas

I would like to add sew in bra cups.  (That should be more supportive and flattering.)  I’m thinking… that I can lengthen the shelf section and then add the cups and proceed with the rest of the tank top sewing.

While I was looking for simple, sew-in instructions, writer Emma Barnett has given me more to think about.  Or obsess about, as I will now be concerning myself about the DD boob myth.  Ha!

Advice is welcome. How do I do this?

Pattern Tracing

Today I traced a pattern for the first time ever.

Pattern Tracing Craft Paper

It was time.  I have bungled the cutting of my favorite pattern of late, Kwik Sew 3721.  I’ve made the cardigan three times.  Twice I intended to use view B, for a hip length cardigan.  But I cut out one piece at three quarter length, view A, instead.  This wastes a lot of fabric.  So, I finally purchased a roll of craft paper (kind of pricey) and tried the pattern tracing method explained by Kim at Ubercrafter.

I began by laying out the paper on top of the pattern to get the length I needed, as shown above.  Then I taped the two sheets together (24 in width), and flipped them over so I wouldn’t be drawing over tape.

Then I drew a line with sharpie across at the length for view B.  It did not seep through. So perhaps I have a different type of sharpie or thicker paper than Kim.  I marked on either side where the line should go.  Then I traced all the way around the rest of the pattern, picked it up and used a straight edge to get the hemline.

Pattern Tracing View B

Now I have the awkward many letter size sheets view A, and the two sheets of craft paper for view B.  This should prevent me from wasting more fabric when I want the shorter length, so long as I choose the right set of pattern pieces.


  • Use a straight edge as a guideline unless you have a very steady hand.
  • Flip your paper so you aren’t drawing over tape.  Then add more tape afterward, on top of your writing, if necessary.
  • Clean your straight edge with rubbing alcohol afterward so that you won’t get any permanent ink on your fabric in the future.
  • Label everything.

Mom’s Day Off Sweater

I finally finished assembling the pattern pieces, cutting out, and sewing my cardigan. I used Kwik Sew Pattern 3721 (aka Kwik Serge). I’m ridiculously pleased.


And the back.


This sweater included firsts, and probable firsts. Which is to say, it would seem I would have used tailor’s tacks, since I knew exactly how, but don’t remember. (Faulty memory can be useful.)

Sewing Sweater Fabric

I’ve never sewn sweater fabric into a garment. Just the odd blocks that I used in DD8’s quilt. I felt very paranoid that it would unravel before I could serge it. But it was fine. It definitely needed the serging at the end. But it holds together well enough for assembly.

Laying out the pieces for cutting was weird. The front piece is very unwieldy, since it is both the front and the sleeve. But I eventually managed it after repeatedly consulting the cutting diagram.

Clear Elastic

I reinforced the shoulder seams with clear elastic, Sewology brand. I’ve never used it before. I’ve noticed it in better quality ready to wear t-shirts and sweaters. And I was both keen to try it and anxious that it would tangle in my serger. I immediately cut my hand on the internal plastic packaging.  The clear elastic is wrapped around an H-shape plastic that is very sharp.  Actually sewing the elastic was easy. The serger blade trimmed it right into the stitches and made a very flat, strong seam. I’ll use it to reinforce horizontal seams in all my knits now, preferably a brand that doesn’t use sharp objects in packaging.

Kwik Sew Pattern

The instructions for Kwik Sew K3721 Cardigans Sewing Pattern call for a quarter inch seam allowance. And I am accustomed to 5/8th inch. So I’m glad that I was paying attention. Often, I just assemble a garment without reading the instructions. But I hadn’t used the Kwik Sew brand before. So I wasn’t expecting the more narrow seam allowance.

The sewing instructions and layout diagrams were clear. They recommended the clear elastic, and to mark the pattern with tailor’s tacks or safety pins. I like that I can serge right over the tailor’s tacks. I used yellow embroidery thread, which was easy to see.

There is an odd note on the pattern warning against cutting between or blending sizes, which is opposite of what I’ve learned. The link given for more instruction about the warning doesn’t work.

I used Sandra Betzina’s solution for full-bust-gaposis from Fast Fit: Easy Pattern Alterations for Every Figure, my favorite fitting reference. Full-bust-gaposis sounds silly, but it’s nice to have a cardigan that hangs straight. Basically, you add more fabric in the front at an angle so that your girls don’t skew the line of the garment.  I wasn’t entirely sure that it would work with a modern, flowing, design.  But it does.

Now I have this cardigan that fits really well, but doesn’t meet all of my requirements.  I was seduced by the nice fabric in the clearance bin.  I should have purchased a thicker fleece fabric, to replace my coat that has become ratty from constant washing.  But instead, I have this lovely, great for indoors, hand washable sweater.  Oops.  Now I’ll need to buy that fleece anyway.  It will be interesting to see how the pattern sews up in a more low maintenance fabric.  It’ll certainly be faster, since the edges won’t need serging.

Replacing Vogue Cardigan Sweater v2949

The Vogue Cardigan sweater, v2949, that I made in 2009 is wearing thin. And that is the purpose of yesterday’s Kwik Sew pattern downloading drama. Here’s the one I’m replacing.  It’s lightweight and machine washable.  Unfortunately, it is looking very tacky these days.

vogue pattern v2949 cardigan sweater

I considered using the Vogue pattern again. But I have a ready-to-wear cardigan from Coldwater Creek, that is slightly more fitted, and more flattering. The problem with that sweater is that it isn’t long enough in really cold weather. And it’s a silk blend fabric. So I have to wash it by hand and lay it flat to dry – not ideal with children in the house.  Also, I made both views of v2949 and liked the shorter one better, so far as the way it hangs on my body.  But it isn’t warm enough in the winter.  So I’m setting aside the Vogue pattern for the moment.

I found this sweater fabric at Joann’s.  It’s a rayon cotton blend, marled charcoal grey.  I took a chance and purchased it even though the pattern calls for a 58″ width fabric; because I’m not going to make the largest size.  And I won’t need to match stripes.  Hopefully, it won’t shrink width-wise.

My plan is to serge the edges and wash it on delicate and have it to sew no later than this weekend.  Wish me luck!

Sweater Knit Fabric

Downloading Kwik Sew 3721 from printsew.com

I thought I would save myself some time by downloading a Kwik Sew pattern, rather than waiting to pick one up when I go out to purchase fabric.  I could download it and read it while my toddler naps (a miracle) and arrive at the Joann’s knowing exactly what I need.

Not so much.  The monetary savings of downloading was small:  $1.00.  And although I’ve downloaded numerous other patterns, this one isn’t actually a download.  It’s more of a temporary printing permit.  In order to download, I had to follow a link to a secondary site, printsew.com, which did not arrive immediately.  It was then suggested that I use Firefox or Internet Explorer, and not to use Google Chrome.  (I typically use Opera.)

Fine, I launch Firefox, and… must install their plugin to get my pattern.  This takes several more minutes.  Finally, I enter the site, where I can allegedly change my password; but when I press reset  – since there is no other option that looks like it will change my account – I get a message saying that I have used up one of my three resets.  wtf?

I am allowed to print the download that I’ve purchased only on one computer and no more than three times.  I’m not allowed to download it at all.  I can’t just reprint one page if I screw it up when I’m trying to assemble and cut my pattern.

While printing the first of four sections of the pattern, my toddler wakes up.  I then have a toddler who wants to touch my keyboard and eat the pattern on my lap while the aroma of hot paper and toner wafts through the house. When I go to section two, the print icon disappears.  It only took a moment to get it back.  But by then I had a toddler trying to take all of the pages out of the paper bin.


Approximately 70 pages and 45 minutes later, I have my pattern which includes no size chart.  And since I’ve never used a Kwik Sew pattern for myself, an adult, I don’t know which of the sizes I need, and need to print yet another page with a size chart in order to extrapolate the necessary fabric yardage.

Needless to say, this was no kind of a bargain.  In the future I will just spend the extra dollar and pick one up from the Joann’s unless for some reason they’ve run out.

And I now I still need to assemble the pattern before I can cut it out.  Ugh.