Hello again! As expected, grad school’s been taking up most of my time lately, so my poor blog’s been a little neglected. I’ve still been sewing though, and I have a small backlog of projects waiting to be blogged, hopefully over winter break!
I made (and photographed) this tank back in September. It’s a free pattern by Australian designer In the Folds, downloadable at the Peppermint Magazine sewing school site. As soon as I saw it on Instagram I was really into it, even though I’m usually not a ruffle person. I think the shape and proportions of this pattern are really cute and modern.
I whipped one up in a lightweight cotton from my stash, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It’s a fun piece to wear!
Even though it’s a free pattern, the instructions are excellent. It was really a joy to sew – all the pieces fit together so perfectly. I was especially impressed by how well the V-neck bias binding turned out.
You can’t see it too well on mine, but there are shoulder panel pieces that would be great for color-blocking. Maybe on my next version!
The only thing I would change next time is to add just a bit more length. I feel like it’s a little too short to wear with my mid-rise jeans. I’m wearing it here with my high-waisted Gingers.
I’ve been eager to try another In the Folds pattern, and ever since the Acton Dress was released recently I’ve had my eye on it! I imagine the wrap skirt version would be fantastic for holiday parties, and I think I have the perfect stash fabric to go with it…
Fall is here, and I couldn’t be more excited to wear cozy sweaters and drink hot tea again! This year I got a jump on my fall sewing when Michelle asked me to be a part of the Style Maker Fabrics fall blog tour.
The Melilot Shirt recently rose to the top of my queue when I realized how perfectly versatile it would be for school and work situations. I chose this teal rayon twill to make it up in and I’m super happy with that decision. It’s a color I love (but for some reason wasn’t in my wardrobe) and this rayon is super soft and has a lovely drape. It’s mid-weight, so not sheer at all, and it’s perfect for this type of blouse.
The only alterations I made to the pattern were to shorten it by 2″ in the front and 3″ in the back, and to space out the buttons more so I only used six. My measurements are between 34 and 36, and for this pattern I decided to size down since it’s fairly loose-fitting. I’m really happy with the fit. It’s relaxed and comfortable, but it still has a nice shape. I love how the instructions are written to give every part of the shirt a clean finish, even the insides of the pockets. I’m also a fan of the deceptively tricky-looking concealed button placket, which I’d never done before. All the little details of this pattern really add up to a very luxe-feeling garment.
The Driftless Cardigan also shot up the queue recently, mainly because the AC at my new job is freezing and cardigans are an absolute necessity! I ordered this lovely squishy sweater knit from Style Maker Fabric’s fabulous selection. When it arrived I decided I liked the wrong side of the fabric just as much as the right side, and I was torn about which one to use. They both had great textures, but I finally decided on using the wrong side of the fabric because the stripes were a little bit more muted, which I felt fit with my style better. You can’t go wrong either way though!
As with all Grainline patterns, Driftless had great instructions and was a breeze to sew up. My favorite feature is the pockets – they really up the cozy factor!
I’m really happy with both of these makes – I think the patterns and fabrics were perfect for each other! I’m planning on sewing up another Melilot this fall with a linen/silk blend from Miss Matatabi, and another Driftless with some mustard merino I got at The Fabric Store last December.
If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can check out the line-up here. I’ve already gotten some major fall style inspiration from the other bloggers! Abbey of Sew Charleston will be up next tomorrow!
*Disclaimer: The fabrics in this post were provided by Style Maker Fabrics. All opinions remain my own.*
Remember when kimono cardigans were all the rage a couple summers ago? Well, I’m definitely late to the party here, but at least I’ve arrived!
I drafted my own pattern using a combination of the popular Elle Apparel tutorial (although the link’s now broken and I can’t find it on her website?) and this video tutorial. I based my measurements on the former and used the sewing method of the latter because she includes an angled front and facings.
When I saw this hummingbird print viscose pop up at Blackbird Fabrics, I just had to have it! It’s super soft and drapey, and fabulous to wear. Blackbird is definitely my go-to for fantastic rayon prints (see here and here).
I don’t have much else to add! It was a fairly quick and satisfying project. It’s both comfortable and fun to wear, so it’s a win in my book!
A while back I was contacted by Deer & Doe to see if I wanted to review their new jeans pattern, Safran. Being a fan of both the company and jeans in general, of course I couldn’t say no!
I had some black Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics in my stash, and this seemed like the perfect pattern to use it with. First I made a shorts-length muslin out of denim scraps from previous pairs of jeans. I determined the only major alteration I needed was a swayback adjustment, so I went ahead and cut out the good stuff.
Now, I should tell you that I’m not the biggest fan of high-waisted pants. Part of the reason I made a muslin was to test out how comfortable the high waist would be. I made a pair of high-waisted Gingers last winter, and while I like them, they definitely don’t get worn as much as my lower-waisted pairs. The Safran muslin seemed more comfortable than the Gingers at the time, but there’ll be more to this story…
I also compared the Safran pattern pieces to the Ginger pattern pieces, and you can tell they’re drafted from a very different block. For what it’s worth, this is the jeans pattern I’ve had to make the fewest adjustments to to get a good fit.
Construction was really easy and straight-forward due to a combination of great instructions and my prior jeans-making experience. My only deviation from the instructions was to use Heather’s fly tutorial, just because it’s my tried-and-true method. I think the only tricky part is making sure the welt pockets line up correctly. I used the wrong side of the denim for my welts, like I did on my pairs of Jamie jeans.
When sewing the crotch seam I varied the seam allowance from 7/8″ at the upper rear (for a swayback adjustment) to the normal 5/8, to just 3/8″ around the crotch (because when I baste-fitted the legs it was a little tight in this area). I also shortened the legs by an inch or so.
Everything seemed to be going well up till I attached the waistband and tried them on. And here’s where I realized my mistake. I had assumed that all Cone Mills stretch denim was similarly stretchy and would work for any stretch jeans pattern. It turns out that’s not the case. I tested the denim from my muslin and it had 20% stretch, the minimum called for in the pattern. Then I tested the denim I was using, and it only had 10% stretch. Oops. This didn’t negatively affect the fit anywhere else, but it meant the waistband was super uncomfortable when I sat down. I have a low tolerance for constrictive clothing, so I knew this wasn’t going to work.
And that’s why these are mid-rise Safrans. I cut the waistband off, and then cut off another 5/8″ all the way around. After the new waistband was attached, this meant the rise would be 1.25″ lower, and comfortably under my belly button. I cut my new waistband out using the low-rise Ginger pattern and didn’t use any interfacing (I’d used knit interfacing on my last waistband). The Ginger waistband includes extra length on the ends, so I knew I’d be able to get it to fit. And luckily it worked! I’m sure that’s not the proper way to convert jeans to mid-rise, but I have to say they’re much more comfortable and wearable now, and I don’t think the proportions look wrong.
The back waistband gapes slightly, but other than that I’m really happy with the fit on these jeans. I’d be curious to try this pattern in a stretch twill (with the proper stretch percentage this time), although I do have to say I think I’ll stick with the mid-rise.
I made View A, except for the belt loops. I did add them originally (as they’re sewn into the waistband), but after the waistband fiasco I didn’t want to deal with them again.
I wear jeans all the time, so I’m really happy to have another great pattern to add to the mix! I’ve realized though that I’ve never made any kind of pants besides jeans. I think the Emerson cropped pants have a really cool look, so I may try those out soon. Do you have a favorite pants pattern?
It’s been a while since I’ve sewn with a Big 4 pattern, but I was looking for a new shirt dress pattern and was really drawn to this one, Vogue 8903. I wanted something casually loose-fitting that would work well with silk. Specifically this gorgeous Jason Wu crinkled silk crepe de chine (sold out, but available in an almost identical colorway here) that I bought with my Mood Fabrics gift card last spring.
As far as silk goes, this one was pretty easy to sew with due to its textured nature. And it’s such a beautiful fabric; I love the tiny metallic polka dots scattered throughout. Plus it’s crinkled, so it can’t wrinkle – a definite win!
I finished this dress weeks ago, so the details are a little hazy, but I know I didn’t make any major pattern alterations. I sewed up View A sans collar. The one feature I was unsure about were the arm bands, so I basted them on to check the fit. They ended up being extremely wide and droopy on me, so I reduced the width by an inch or two before I sewed them back on. I also shorted the dress by a few inches (as I usually do).
I didn’t make a muslin since I figured this would be an easy-fitting kind of dress, but there is one major fit issue. Luckily the patterned fabric hides it pretty well, but there’s some definite drag lines going on in the shoulder/upper chest region. Weirdly, they’re sloping in the opposite direction than the ones on my Granville shirt (which indicated I needed a square shoulder adjustment), so I’m not sure what’s going on there.
I went down one size to a size 8, and the fit is pretty good except for the shoulder issue. I like that there’s some gentle shaping from the back darts, but since there’s no restrictive waistband the fabric just skims over the body.
Overall I love the casual cool vibe of this dress. It’s insanely lightweight and comfortable, and it pretty much feels like I’m wearing nothing at all, which is perfect for hot and humid summer days.
I think this might be the last hurrah of the summer dress. I had planned on making one or two more, but the early arrival of some very rainy and unusually cool weather has me more in the mood for fall sewing. Plus, I’m about to be spending a lot of time in cold air-conditioned buildings at grad school, so I’ve definitely got cardigans on the mind!
Does anyone else get super excited about wardrobe planning every season? I think I like making lists almost as much as I like sewing!