Packing light for travel is challenging. If you sew, it’s even more challenging, because you have to decide which of your favorites travels well, and works overtime. A wardrobe of Christine Jonson Patterns knit garments travels really well. In our short video, we show you just how many garments you can get into a carryon. We’ll show you the amazingly gorgeous outfits you can make from this carryon full of clothes in a future blog post! Stay tuned!
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The Flyaway Top and Wrap Pants, offered separately, pair perfectly together. The flyaway top is a great sleeveless camisole tank top that can be worn in either direction, with or without a tulip wrap in front or back. The wrap pants can be lounge pants, beach pants or evening dress pants depending upon fabric choice, and they can be made in a knit OR woven fabric with good drape.
The Flyaway top features a crossover “tulip” hem that is wrapped. It’s designed with two lengths - one that shows off the high-waist and wrapped front tie of the wrap pants or high waist pants, jeans or skirts. Or, you can lengthen/shorten the top and wear it as a longer tunic over shorter-waisted pants.
The top has a wider back neckline and you can choose to sew two backs with the curved hem, or just turn the back to the front and wear the crossover in the back. We added sleeves, which can be worn at elbow, ¾ or long sleeve, so you get year-round versatility from a single easy to sew knit tee shirt sewing pattern. Plus, you get the BEST armholes in the business – Christine’s drafting of the armsceye is exceptional with fine-tuning and detail that you can’t find in other sewing pattern brands. Why does the armhole matter so much in a tee? It’s the difference between looking sloppy and looking custom fit!
Sew the top in a linen knit or a rayon jersey for a cool and elegant summer top. Make it in a cotton knit for summer lounge wear, or sew it in an ITY or poly/lycra knit for a cool and stylish top to wear with statement jewelry. It can go upscale or casual, just depending on the fabric you choose.
For a high waisted bottom like the Christine Jonson Patterns Perfect Pant Collection, the Slit Skirt or Pencil Skirt, or the Cuff Pant, and the Wrap Pants themselves, the top showcases the pant waistband with no gap and plenty of coverage.
This cami is bra-friendly summer top that you’re going to love sewing. Stretch knits with moderate stretch are needed.
The wrap pants feature a full elastic waist, and a flat-front wrapover that allows you to show a little leg from about lower thigh down, but stays closed when you walk. This full wrap pant isn’t like other wrap pants – the waistband forms a continuous loop when finished, so the pants can be pulled on and off. The ties are knotted in place in the front. Sewn in a black ITY or crepe, these are elegant pants that will pair with statement jewelry and glittery sandals for summer evening events, but you can also make them in linen, cotton and hemp for fabulous summer beach pants. Sew them in a knit for comfortable lounge pants or even a fun print. The pants pair perfectly with the wrap top worn in either direction, but showcase the tie front when worn with the crossover in front.
The Wrap Pants can be made cropped to mid calf, to coulotte length or even Bermuda shorts length for summer. This pattern will get a lot of use in your summer wardrobe – whether you’re headed to a summer wedding, the beach, or the office. Show a little leg when you sit down by allowing the wrap to fall away above the knee, or keep it pulled over – the wrap over is generous.
How will you wear them? The Wrap Pant and Flyaway Top are perfect together but versatile companions for your wardrobe too. Shown here: Flyaway Top, Wrap Pant, Moto Jacket, Boyfriend Jacket, your favorite jeans and your favorite swimsuit.
Both patterns sew up fast: about 20 minutes for the sleeveless top and about an hour for the pants. This quick-gratification outfit means you can sew a new outfit for a summer party or a beach weekend in just a few hours!
Ideal fabrics for the top: Linen knit, cotton knit, rayon/lycra jersey, ITY jersey, knit fabrics with moderate stretch and good drape.
Ideal fabrics for the pants: linen, cotton, double gauze, hemp/cotton, crepe, rayon challis, ITY, rayon jersey, linen knit, cotton knit, ponte. You’ll need knits or wovens that have drape for these pants.
We get this question all the time at Christine Jonson Patterns since our patterns are designed for stretch knit and stretch woven fabrics. Do you need a serger/overlocker to sew knits? Can you sew knits without a serger?
You can construct great knit garments without a serger.
If your machine has a walking foot, use that. If it does not, reduce the upper presser foot tension disc to a less-firm setting and lengthen your stitch length.
Do NOT pull the fabric in front or back of the presser foot as you sew,
Do NOT let the fabric fall off the table as you sew (pool it in your lap in front, and on the table to your left as you sew. Keep the extra length of fabric up on your sewing surface.
You can use several stitches for construction:
1) Zigzag: Use a narrow zigzag along the seamline and a wider one just to the right of that between the seamline and fabric edge
2) Use the Lightning bolt stitch – this is a long zig and a short zag that almost resembles a straight stitch. This can be used for construction and for hemming.
3) Use a stretch stitch that your machine has – some machines have this as a vertical stitch, and an angled one that goes off to the right, followed by another vertical. If you use this one, trim your SA’s to ¼” before sewing. Be sure to baste first to test out your fit (machine basting with your longest stitch length is fine.)
From left, the Three Tees cap sleeve top with curved hem extension free add-on sewn in a rayon/lycra front with stretch printed lace back. Sewn entirely on a sewing machine including a turned and stitched neckband (tutorial available on our YouTube channel.)
Stitches for hemming knit garments:
For hemming, unless the hem is under stress, you can simply turn and single needle topstitch. We recommend using Wonder Tape or Steam-a-seam to hold the hem in place before stitching, as it will keep it from stretching as you sew over it.
If it is under stress, consider double lining it (e.g. a cap sleeve) and sewing the hemmed edge right sides together as per the construction stitches methods and then turn right side out, press, join the raw edges with a basting seam and then insert the sleeve into the garmet right sides together and use the construction stitches to sew it in.
You can also use the lightning bolt stitch to hem where the area might be under stress (such as cap sleeve hems.)
We also get these questions a lot:
Can I sew leggings without a serger?
Can I sew skinny pants without a serger?
Can I sew a knit pencil skirt without a serger?
Yes to all of these! Just follow the construction steps listed above and sew the garments as usual.
On the Christine Jonson Perfect Pants , or The Christine Jonson Split Hem pants, or the Christine Jonson Travel Trio One pants, with the vertical front and back seaming, you can also press the seam to one side and topstitch over it when you’re done seaming the front and back seams. Be sure to reduce presser foot tension or use a walking foot on your machine.
Why would you want to sew knits with out a serger? If you don't have one is the first, obvious reason, but also if you’re sewing, say, on vacation and don't have access to two machines. There’s nothing more delightful than taking a sewing machine with you to a cottage, and sewing by the lake, but you probably don't want to drag your whole sewing room with you.
We heart the Boyfriend blazer! And sewing yourself a lovely, gently shaped, slightly oversized long boyfriend jacket in a knit fabric is about the best kind of Boyfriend jacket there is. You can also sew it in a woven fabric - perfect for spring and summer linen fabrics, medium weight print woven fabrics, pinstripes or plaid/tartan.
We’ve included an oversized pocket template (same one as from the Easy Coat) that you can download FREE and add to your boyfriend. This finger-tip length jacket is perfect for wearing over the slightly cropped Boat Neck sleeveless tee included in the sewing pattern, or any other spring top that you love.
Get the free Boyfriend blazer pocket here:
Read more about the boyfriend blazer and sewing knit jackets and blazers on our blog by searching Boyfriend in the search bar above.
Check out our Pinterest board for boyfriend blazer styling ideas.
Check out our YouTube channel on Sunday, March 10 at 5pm eastern for brand new video exploring the boyfriend jacket.
Sewing for Spring break? Use your favorite Christine Jonson Patterns mixed in with other patterns you might already have to create a great spring break wardrobe that will jump start your summer wardrobe as well. This spring to summer wardrobe features essentials for your beach or tropical holiday!
Travel Trio Three Raglan Tee Swim tee/rash guard: Any visit to a warm locale in the winter comes with intense sun on winter-white skin! Protect your skin with a rash guard sewn in swim or SPF fabric. Be sure to extend the neckband by 1/2” (the tee is designed for the soft stretch of rayon/lycra so the neck doesn’t need stabilizing before sewing and is designed to stretch, but swim’s snappier stretch needs a looser neckline to begin with.) Even though swim isn’t necessarily treated with SPF, a good swim fabric WILL block the sun’s rays due to the composition AND technical construction of the knit. Beware bargain swim from craft stores- buy your swim from SpandexHouse or other quality retailers.
Travel Trio Two Reversible wrap skirt: Sew this in two coordinating ITY knits for a reversible option or one single stretch woven or woven fabric for a swim coverup/sarong and skirt in one! This is one of the most versatile garments you’ll sew, and we like to wear sarongs wrapped over tee shirts for after-beach-wear.
Follow our Pinterest board for more great spring break (and spring wardrobe) sewing capsules.
Hoodie: for travel to your winter destination, and as a great layer over shorts for cool evenings at the beach or outdoor dining. Sew the Travel Trio Two flyaway reversible hoodie either in two coordinating solids, a print and a solid, or two coordinating prints. Think either classic sweatshirt look with rayon/lycra jersey in heather gray, reversible to a fun spring print in rayon/lycra jersey, or try two ITY prints, one bold, one subtle.
Shorts: The new Ann Normandy Sewing Pattern Bermuda shorts pattern for woven fabrics is a great sewing pattern that is exceptionally well fitting! The long shorts feature a side seam godet and a small pocket. The construction details are designed for an intermediate sewist but they are clear, well photographed and the details are impeccable.
Bikini: Try the halfmoon ATELIER Well’s Bay reversible bikini sewing pattern. We love multifunctional garments that are reversible and a swimsuit is definitely required for spring break!
Knit shorts: You can also make the Christine Jonson Patterns Perfect Pants Classic Wide Leg in a cropped length for a Bermuda short or even a cropped pant. Check out this version of the Perfect Pant Skinny using zippers in the inset pockets as sewn by sewing friend Diane.