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

Watercolor McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

Springtime in December! Although we’ve been having a really mild winter so far, so this dress actually isn’t too seasonally inappropriate!  Last month I was contacted by Art Gallery Fabrics to see if I wanted to make something with fabric from Pat Bravo’s DARE collection. I was really drawn to this Rebel Brushstokes print so I took them up on their offer. Not exactly a wintry fabric though, so I went with a more summery silhouette that could be layered when it’s chilly.

I decided to use the ever popular McCalls 6696 shirtdress pattern which I scored for $1.50 at a Hancocks sale a couple months ago. I haven’t used a Big 4 pattern in a long time, but this design was too cute to pass up! I made View C (sleeveless and straight skirt) and added the belt loops from View A. I knew it ran big so I went down a size (from 10 to 8) and used the A/B cup bodice pieces. I’d also read that the gathering in the back bodice can get kind of poofy, so I reduced it by two inches. The only other change I made was shortening the skirt by 3 inches (I’m 5’4″). Luckily it fits pretty well! The bodice is still a little roomy and I need to do a swayback adjustment, but overall not too bad. Construction was straight-forward. I used the instructions more as guidelines and used my preferred shirt-making methods where I saw fit. It’s a great design, and I’ll definitely use this pattern again!

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

This colorful dress-and-cardi look is a little outside my comfort zone, but I think I like it! It’s a nice change from jeans and neutrals.

This fabric was really nice to work with and I love the pretty watercolor print!

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

I’m also wearing my Seamwork Wembley cardigan which I made last month with the leftover fabric from my first AGF make. Totally unplanned, but I think the fabrics go really well together! Wembley was a super quick make and it has a shape that looks great with dresses.

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

Anyone else doing some seasonally inappropriate sewing? Or maybe rushing to get Christmas presents done? I’m being totally selfish and finishing up a couple holiday dresses for myself!

<3 Lindsay

The fabric for this post was provided by Art Gallery Fabrics. All content and opinions remain my own.

Quilted Sweatshirts Duo

Quilted SweatshirtsWith the weather finally getting chilly around here I decided to make quilted sweatshirts for myself and Nathaniel: Named’s Sloane sweatshirt for me and Seamwork’s Paxson raglan for him.

With other knit Named patterns I’ve sized down, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that with this one, especially if your fabric doesn’t have a lot of stretch. I made my true size (34) and I’m really happy with the fit. It’s definitely a pattern I’ll be using again! The long darts give it a bit of a slimmer fit than your traditional sweatshirt, so you may even want to size up if you’re planning on wearing it over layers.

The thing I’m not terribly happy with is the fabric. It looks great and the outer layer is super soft… but the inner layer is kind of itchy. It’s not too bad when worn over a t-shirt, but it’s definitely not as cozy as I was expecting. The funny thing is that I got the end of the bolt with my fabric.com order, so I have over a yard of this fabric left. I’m not sure yet what to do with it… maybe pillows since the outside is so soft?

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

I’m also wearing my “wearable muslin” Ginger jeans. For my first pair, I’m really surprised how well these fit! From my Jamie Jeans experience I knew that there were three main pattern alterations I’d need: shortening the legs, taking in the inner thigh, and doing a swayback adjustment on the waistband. I did all these to the paper pattern (guessing at the right amounts) before cutting it out  and basting the jeans together. The basted fit was good, so I didn’t make any further adjustments.

The denim is super soft, but also fairly lightweight. That would be great for summer, except this fabric has one fatal flaw: it attracts cat hair like crazy. One sit-down on the couch and it’s all over. A lint brush helps a bit, but this fabric is seriously a cat hair magnet.

This is View A: low rise and straight leg. I definitely want to try the high-waisted version next! I’ve ordered some Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics for my next couple pairs.

Ginger Jeans

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

The fabric I used for Nathaniel’s sweater, on the other hand, is much softer on the inside. The issue here was with the fit. His measurements placed him at the low end of the size medium, so I thought I’d be fine sewing the size M even though the fabric didn’t have quite as much stretch as called for. Incorrect. Especially since I think Paxson is meant to be worn as a shirt rather than layered on top of something. So it ended up a little tight, but not unwearably so.

The other issue was with the cuffs and hemband. The sleeves (and therefore the cuffs) ended up too short, while the hemband ended up too long and frumpy looking. Luckily these were easy to fix: I cut off the hemband and shortened it, and re-cut new, longer cuffs.

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

So neither project turned out quite as expected, but I think they’ll get a lot of wear anyway! And they were quick to make at just a couple hours each.

How’s your winter sewing coming along?

<3 Lindsay