Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

Ever since I saw this Madewell skirt I’ve been planning on making my own version. So when  I was contacted a while back by My Fabric Designs to try out their fabric printing service I realized it would be the perfect opportunity to create the exact fabric I was after.

I recommend ordering the swatch book first – it’s a lot better than just guessing what the fabric will feel like, and it’s kind of a fun reference on its own! I made a simple gingham repeat in Illustrator at the scale I wanted (.6″ squares) and uploaded it to the website where I could see how it looked as a full repeat on the fabric. I chose the silk crepe de chine for this skirt and I’m really pleased with the quality. I was worried the fabric would be a bit see-through in the sun, but happily it’s not at all. I was also glad to see how dark the black ink is – sometimes the black on printed fabric looks kind of washed out and gray, but it seems that the silk takes the dye really well.

madewell gingham skirtThis was the inspiration – a flowy, gingham skirt – but I didn’t copy most of the particulars. I considered a few different patterns, but eventually I decided that I just wanted a simple gathered skirt. It’s “self-drafted” in that it’s two rectangles – one for the skirt and one for the waistband. I used approximately three times the width of my waist in fabric for fairly full gathers. Even though it’s a simple design I took my time with this make and made sure to finish everything neatly: french seams, invisible zipper, waistband finished by hand, etc. It turned out exactly as I imagined, and it’s so lovely and floaty to wear!

Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

To go with the skirt I made a sleeveless black Nettie bodysuit. I’d forgotten how much I like this pattern – it really is perfect to wear with skirts! I thought I might have to alter the shape of the armhole when I made it sleeveless, but I actually liked it just how it was. To finish the armholes I made bindings the same width as the neckline binding (1.5″) but attached them with a 3/8″ seam allowance rather than a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

I’m really happy with My Fabric Design‘s service and how my fabric turned out. It seems like they’re in direct competition with Spoonflower, but since I’ve never printed fabric there I can’t really compare the two. Their pricing seems comparable, though they each have a few unique substrates not carried by the other. It’s always good to have options, so I’m glad there are more companies like this popping up!

If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, they currently have a coupon running for 25% off with the code “photo25” through April 30th.

<3 Lindsay

The fabric for my skirt was provided by My Fabric Designs. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

Making Basics & Spring Planning

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I’ve been all about basics lately. Great for my wardrobe, but not so exciting for photos – hope you don’t mind the flat lays!

I finally tried out the free Tonic Tee pattern from SBCC and I love it! It’s designed for petites, so the fit is great – I didn’t even have to shorten it. For my first one I used a cheetah print cotton jersey from Mood, and for my second I used a lightweight gray merino with mini stripes from The Fabric Store. They’re both already in heavy rotation, and I’ll definitely be checking out more SBCC patterns in the future!

I also made another pair of Ginger Jeans – this time with a mid rise, straight leg, and neutral gray topstitching. Heather recommends lowering the high-rise rather than vice versa to make the mid-rise, but I prefer the scale of the pockets etc. on the low-rise version so I used it instead. I just raised it by one inch, and now the rise is perfect for me – it’s crazy what a difference an inch makes! I used the 9 oz Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics for this pair. It’s lighter weight (perfect for spring!) but still feels substantial. These are currently my favorite jeans and I’ve been wearing them almost every day!

Geneva panties

I’ve also been on a scrap-busting kick. I just finished some pillows for my couch made from upholstery fabric scraps, and a couple weeks ago I used up all my bamboo jersey scraps making seven pairs of Geneva panties. Geneva’s my favorite underwear pattern and in combination with bamboo jersey I think I can safely say they’re the most comfortable undies I’ve ever owned. I do hate the endless elastic zig-zagging required for construction, but it’s totally worth it in the end.

 

And now for some spring planning:

Last summer was definitely the Summer of the Dress for me. I made 7 different dresses between May and August and I feel like I finally got comfortable wearing dresses on a regular basis. I’m hoping the same thing will happen this year with skirts!

I have three skirts planned:

Spring2016-2A Named Lauha maxi skirt with parrot print rayon from Blackbird Fabrics (sold out).

009-reese-tasoA Named Reese wraparound skirt. Undecided about fabric, but I’m considering this abstract printed rayon (also from Blackbird, also sold out).

madewell gingham skirtA simple gathered skirt made from buffalo check silk crepe de chine (inspo from Madewell).

I also have two dresses planned:

Spring2016-1A Named Leini dress made with this retro floral jersey from Mood.

 

crepe de chine And some kind of shirt dress out of this gorgeous Jason Wu crinkle silk crepe de chine. Any pattern suggestions? The crinkle in the fabric gives it a bit more volume than your average CDC. I’m thinking maybe a sleeveless Bruyere with a lengthened hemline?

I also definitely need a few sleeveless buttondown shirts! My sleeveless Archers are pretty worn out. I’m planning on trying out the Sewaholic Granville shirt as a replacement – I really like the shaping of the princess seams.

 

Well, I’m glad to have gotten some basics and necessary items finished! Now I can sew some fun and interesting garments without any guilt. We hardly had a winter here in Austin, but I’m excited for spring nonetheless!

<3 Lindsay

Cate’s Cousin Top & Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans + Cate's Cousin Top

An old pattern and a new pattern!

My shirt is the Cate’s Cousin top from Style Arc. This is my second time using a Style Arc pattern – I bought a few of their knit top patterns during a sale a while ago, and last month I made the Alexi turtleneck. I haven’t blogged it yet, but I do like the pattern. I made it from a maroon merino jersey I bought at The Fabric Store in LA, which is also where this fabric is from. This one’s mostly rayon (nice and drapey), but it has a bit of wool in it too.

I was always kind of put off by Style Arc’s website, but they now have an Etsy store with all their digital patterns that’s easier to navigate. I think the main drawback is that their designs aren’t modeled so it can be hard to picture how they’ll actually look, and reviews by bloggers are few and far between. Their instructions are pretty minimal but seemed sufficient for non-beginners. Granted, I made some pretty simple tops, so I’m not sure what their instructions would be like for something more complicated. One strange feature is that when you buy the pattern you only get 3 sizes (4-6-8 or 10-12-14 for example) and each size is in a separate PDF file – not very handy if you need to grade between sizes. I also found it odd that the symmetrical front and back pieces of both shirts were full size rather than having a “cut on fold” line down the middle. I didn’t particularly mind, but it would have saved paper to just print the half size pieces.

This shirt came together easily and the fit seems true to size. I’ve never made a cowl before, so it was fun to see how that’s constructed. It’s definitely a comfortable and wearable shirt, but I’m not totally sold on the style. I’m not sure if either dropped shoulders or cowl necks are the best looks for me. I love the fabric though, so I’m sure I’ll be wearing it anyway!

Ginger Jeans + Cate's Cousin Top

Ginger Jeans + Cate's Cousin Top

Ginger Jeans + Cate's Cousin Top

This is my second pair of Ginger Jeans. View B this time with the high waist and skinny legs. When I basted them together the legs were a bit *too* skinny through the calves, so I used a 3/8″ (rather than 5/8″) seam allowance from the knee down. I used Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics which seems to be great so far – I’ll have to see how well it ages before I can reach a final verdict. Thanks to my Pfaff (I bought a used Ambition 1.0 a few months ago!) I think this is my best fly insertion and topstitching yet! My Pfaff also came with a “hump jumper” and I love that little gadget – it works like a charm when going over multiple layers of denim.

The fit is pretty good on these. I think there’s just a smidge too much fabric at the inner thigh (or somewhere in the crotch region). There also seem to be a lot of knee wrinkles, but I’m not sure if that can be corrected or if that’s just the way it is with skinny jeans. Any thoughts?

I’m glad I tried out the high rise, but I think a mid-rise is still my favorite height for jeans. On my next pair I’ll use Heather’s tutorial to make something in between Views A and B.

Ginger Jeans + Cate's Cousin Top

Ginger Jeans + Cate's Cousin Top

Ginger Jeans + Cate's Cousin Top

With the weather warming up I definitely feel like my sew-jo’s returning. I plan on doing a quick Wardrobe Architect run-though and getting my thoughts (and fabrics) in order. Lots of sewing ahead!

<3 Lindsay

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

I started this dress back in November intending to wear it to Thanksgiving. With the amount of time I left myself that wasn’t going to happen, so I didn’t stress it and instead gave myself the new deadline of Dec. 23 so I could wear it out to Christmas tea with my family.

This is the Olivia Wrap Dress from Named – “a classic wrap dress with a slightly tulip-shaped skirt”.

I’m sure you all know by now that I’m a big fan of Named and this pattern is no exception. November was a while ago so the construction details are kind of fuzzy, but I remember everything being pretty straightforward. The pattern is well designed and I love that there’s no neckline gaping or skirt flashing in the wind!

This dress was kind of a wearable muslin and there are a couple things I’d change next time. The bodice is a bit roomy all over, so I think I need to both shorten it and do an SBA. I’d also probably eliminate the in-seam pockets. They’re nice to have, but I don’t like the way they tend to flop around and mess with the silhouette of the skirt.

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

I shortened the skirt by a whopping 5″ before I cut it out because I know Named patterns run long on me (I’m 5’4″), and I thought I would probably want it to end above the knee. Actually I ended up deciding to leave the length just below the knee as the pattern intended – I think it looks a bit dressier that way. There wasn’t enough length left to do a hem (and I’m lazy) so I just left it raw!

The fabric is “Silky Stretch ITY Jersey Knit Asian Scallop” from fabric.com (no longer on their site). It’s a polyester fabric, which I don’t normally go for, but I’d read that it works well for wrap dresses (more fluid, less robe-like). I may have to reconsider polyester because I do really like this fabric. It’s silky smooth, has a great drape, and doesn’t wrinkle at all – great for traveling!

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

And with that I’m caught up with last year’s blogging – at least of the more interesting things! In January I made my dad a shirt and I’m almost done with a pair of high-waisted Ginger jeans for myself. It never really got cold here this winter (it was in the 80s last weekend!) so I’m already planning my spring wardrobe. Anyone else dreaming of sundresses already?

<3 Lindsay

Sundottir Sweater

Sundottir SweaterJust a quick post so I can show off my first knitted sweater! This is the Sundottir sweater, which I’ve been crazy about for ages. I think the colorwork yoke is so gorgeous!

I first fell in love with this sweater design when I saw Tasia’s post about her finished Sundottir a couple years ago. Honestly, this sweater is the main reason I learned how to knit! I really wanted one and I knew there was no way to get one unless I made it myself. So I took a Craftsy class and made my first scarf around this time last year. I followed that up with a hat, took a break from knitting during the summer, eased back into it this fall by doing a more complicated hat, and then I decided I was ready to tackle this sweater!

I started swatching at the beginning of October, so it took about three months to complete. There were tons of new-to-me techniques involved (short rows, colorwork, etc.), but I just took it slow and watched plenty of youtube tutorials along the way. There’s plenty of little mistakes if you look closely enough, but I’m so pleased with how it turned out! I think I’m more proud of this sweater than anything I’ve sewn, both because it took so long to make, and because I learned so much while making it. And it fits perfectly which I’m so happy about! I’m glad all that swatching paid off :)

Ravelry notes here.

Sundottir Sweater

Sundottir Sweater

Sundottir Sweater

I need to get back in the habit of blogging! Hopefully I’ll be back later this week with a post about the wrap dress I wore to Christmas tea.

Hope everyone’s having a happy new year!

<3 Lindsay