I’ve had the La Sylphide pattern from Papercut Patterns in my stash for a few years now, but I could never decide on the right fabric for it, or on which version I wanted to make (dress, blouse, or skirt). I finally decided that I’d get the most use out of a blouse, and when I saw this gorgeous floral at Blackbird Fabrics I knew it was the perfect match.
I don’t feel like my usual style is super feminine, but every once in a while I like to go all out. Even though this blouse is pink and has a big bow and a peplum, it still feels very “me” somehow and I love wearing it.
I didn’t make any alterations and I feel like the fit is pretty great. Sewing the tie neck was a little fiddly, but other than that everything came together smoothly.
I’m also wearing a pair of Ginger Jeans that I made this spring out of stretch twill. I like them, but I’m not totally convinced colored jeans are for me. These particular pants are also a cat hair magnet, so that puts them firmly in the “just okay” category in my book. Ginger’s still one of my favorite patterns though, and I have some Cone Mills denim earmarked for another pair next fall.
This blouse is a new style for me, so I’m really happy it turned out so well! I’ve already worn it on lots of different occasions.
I hope you’re having a great summer, and thanks for reading!
These are three of my favorite pieces that I’ve made recently! They may be “boring basics”, but I love them and wear them constantly.
First, the pants. These are the Sadie Pant by Style Arc, a pull-on pant with a flat front and a tapered leg with a hem split. I’d never made or worn this style of pant before, but I was looking for an alternative to my usual jeans, and I’d heard that Style Arc had a good pants block.
And it turns out they do! These pants fit me really well with no alterations. I was afraid the elastic-waist style would mean that they were baggy, but they’re actually quite slim-fitting. My measurements put me squarely in the size 6 and I have to do a little wiggle to get them over my hips, so keep that in mind if you’re grading between sizes!
I should also note that the length was perfect on me and I’m 5’4″, so taller ladies may want to lengthen them.
As with all Style Arc patterns, the instructions are very minimal. I had a little trouble understanding how the pockets are supposed to be formed, but I think I figured it out in the end.
Somehow I missed that the phrase “the elastic is a feature” in the description meant that while the front is flat, the elastic is supposed to be exposed around the sides and back. That wasn’t the look I was going for, so I had to do a bit of finagling to create a fabric cover for the elastic and sew it in place. In hindsight, I should have just lengthened the leg pieces at the top and folded them over to create the waistband.
The fabric is an absolutely heavenly tencel twill from Blackbird Fabrics. If it wasn’t so spendy I’d make all my clothes out of this stuff! It’s the perfect weight and drape for these pants and I love the feel of it.
So construction niggles aside, these pants are definitely a win! They’re super comfortable, but they still look nice enough to wear to work or pretty much any other occasion.
Next is the Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan. This is a free pattern that I downloaded years ago but have just now gotten around to making up. I really like the design and it was easy to put together – what took the longest was definitely hemming all those edges.
I used a ribbed sweater knit from Blackbird Fabrics (sold out), and it’s perfectly cozy – just what a cardigan should be!
And last but not least is the Sew Over It Silk Cami. I’ve been needing a woven tank/camisole pattern for a while, but I could never decide which one to get. Joining the SOI PDF Club and getting to choose a pattern is what finally convinced me to try this one out.
I almost always have to make upper body fitting adjustments, so I made a muslin first. I ended up shortening it by 1/2″ above the bust and used a 3/4″ seam allowance when joining the straps. I also took 3″ off the bottom at the center front and back, blending to 1 3/4″ at the side seams (so the hem curve isn’t as pronounced). So basically a lot of shortening all over!
The only other issue I had is that the facing pieces are a bit larger than the cami pieces. Maybe I’m missing something, or I made a mistake cutting the pattern out? I’ve already make a second version of this cami where I trimmed down the facing pieces to match, and they definitely lay inside nicer.
I like that the instructions give you a really nice finish with an all-in-one facing and French seams. I also like that there aren’t any darts so it’s quicker to sew. I’m really happy with the fit now, and I’ll definitely be making more of these!
Last fall I had the opportunity to test the newest Megan Nielsen pattern, the Flint Wide Leg Pants. I was excited to try them out because it’s a style I’ve been curious about but never worn. And it turns out I like them quite a bit! They’re fun and swishy to wear, and I think they create a really cool silhouette.
They remind me of ’20s-era Oxford Bags, as well as this super-stylish David Bowie (and fam) photo shoot:
The fabric I used is a poly-blend suiting from Style Maker Fabrics. Michelle kindly helped me pick out an appropriate fabric, and I think the weight and drape is perfect for these kind of pants. I’m always wary of polyester, but this fabric feels great and looks high-quality.
When I was testing I wasn’t sure if the pants were meant to be full-length or cropped. I cut them out as-is and they were definitely long enough for full-length pants on me. I figured I’d wear those more than cropped pants so that’s what I did. It turns out they are supposed to be cropped, and the pattern pieces have been shortened by 2″ in the final pattern, although if you’re around my height – 5’4″ – you’ll probably need to shorten them more than that.
The pants ended up being just a smidge too big, which was probably to be expected since my measurements are a bit smaller than the size I made. I do wish Megan Nielsen would expand their size range – only having five sizes is a bit limiting.
The pattern was really straightforward to construct and didn’t take too long at all. I think it would be a good intro to pants-making since it’s a looser fitting style and there’s no fly zip to deal with.
My favorite thing about these pants is the cross-over opening! I’d never seen that feature before. Basically, the left pocket opens up enough that you don’t need a zipper to get in and out. You can’t really put anything (other than your hand) in that pocket, but you still have a fully functional right pocket. I also love the look of the release tucks!
Overall I’m pretty happy with these pants, and it was fun to try out a new style! I’m working on another new style of pant for me right now – the Style Arc Sadie. I’m using some gorgeous tencel from Blackbird Fabrics, so fingers crossed they turn out!
I think the style lines for this pattern are so interesting! The raglan butterfly sleeves, the waist pleats, and the curved bust panel are all really fun elements that I’d never sewn before. It’s an untraditional take on a cocktail dress and I love that about it. The waist pleats are my favorite element – they provide the perfect amount of shaping and visual interest. And the lack of a waist seam means this dress is seriously comfortable!
As usual with Named patterns, everything came together really smoothly. I had a few suggestions for the instructions and they were all incorporated in the final pattern – it’s nice to see that Named really cares about the feedback process! The only pattern alteration I made was to shorten the dress by 2″. I probably should have shortened the bodice above the bust as well, as there’s some extra fabric there. I’ve come to realize lately that I often need that adjustment, but I haven’t gotten in the habit of doing it yet.
The fabric is a stretch silk satin that I picked up at Les Coupons de Saint Pierre a couple years ago. It was a three meter cut, so I still have enough left over to make a blouse – I’m thinking another Melilot! It’s really nice to wear and wasn’t too difficult to sew. It does show creases and puckers pretty badly though, which is especially evident around the zipper at the back. Ah well, I’m not too worried by it!
One thing I am really pleased about is how neat my neckline binding turned out. That’s a skill I’ve definitely improved on lately!
Even though I’ve made quite a few Seamwork patterns and the Cooper backpack twice, this is the first time I’ve actually sewn with a Colette apparel pattern! I made this Selene skirt all the way back in July, so the construction details are a little bit fuzzy, but I do remember that the instructions were great and I don’t think I encountered any difficulties.
The skirt is made from some lovely raw silk that my grandma gave me. I decided to use some of it for this project, but I knew it would be a bit too lightweight for a structured skirt like this, so I underlined it with Kona cotton. Underlining really made a huge difference – it made the silk feel much more substantial, and it also keeps it from wrinkling too badly! For the lining I used bemberg rayon.
This is definitely one of the best garments I’ve made in terms of finishing. Lining, underlining, lapped zipper, vent, hand-sewn hem… these all make the skirt feel very high-quality. This was my first time doing a lapped zipper, and I think it turned out pretty well! I like that Colette includes vintage-inspired techniques like that. The notched pockets are my favorite feature!
White’s hard to photograph, so unfortunately the construction details don’t show up too well! I lowered the highlights, so hopefully you can make them out okay.
The turtleneck I made toward the end of last winter. The fabric is a lightweight merino wool from The Fabric Store. I used Style Arc’s Alexi pattern and the fit is pretty good, although it’s a bit too big through the shoulders and bust. I also shortened the sleeves and the body by an inch or two.
I actually just made another Alexi turtleneck last weekend from Kaufman Laguna jersey, and the fit is much better and tighter, so I guess it just depends on your stretch percentage. The pattern says it’s “suitable for any stretch knit fabric”, so not a lot of guidance there. It is a great basic though!
I have about two yards of the raw silk left, so if you have any pattern suggestions that it would work well for I’d love to hear them! I think I’ll try dyeing it a darker color for whatever I use it for next.