fall

Gemma Sweatshirt

I feel so lucky that I’ve gotten to be a pattern tester for Named for the past few years, and this is one of my favorite patterns yet. The Gemma Sweater has really interesting details, including the geometric cut of the front (great for color-blocking!), elastic cuffs, and a drawstring waist.

I’d been saving some old cashmere sweaters for years with the idea of refashioning them one day, and this was the absolute perfect project to use them for. Even though I had three sweaters, they were pretty small and they all had multiple moth holes that needed to be cut around, so I actually didn’t have that much fabric to work with. Luckily in May I’d bought some pink velvet fabric at Stoff & Stil in Copenhagen to use as an impromptu scarf (I’d forgotten mine, it was a cold day, and for some reason my husband really liked this fabric haha) and it went perfectly with the cashmere scraps!

This pattern is so fun to make! It’s like putting a puzzle together. And it was surprisingly easy to get all the points and angles lined up correctly. What took me the longest was definitely deciding on my color-blocking scheme. I actually printed out multiple copies of the line drawing and colored them in to try to decide what would look best.

The only change I made was to swap the funnel neck for binding. I did in fact make the funnel neck first for testing purposes, but with this fabric I prefer the look of the binding. The cashmere was too floppy to hold the funnel properly.

I’m also wearing my favorite Ginger Jeans that I made a year and a half ago. I used Cone Mills denim and they’ve broken in sooo nicely. I don’t have a good before picture, but the color has faded a couple shades and they’ve gotten nicely worn in in all the right places.

In case it wasn’t already obvious, I love the way this sweatshirt turned out! It’s super comfy, but still really fun and unique. Plus the sewing experience itself was one of the most enjoyable and interesting I’ve had in a while.

You can always count on Named for well-drafted patterns with unique details. If you haven’t seen the rest of the collection yet, go have a look!

<3 Lindsay

Fall Style // Melilot and Driftless

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

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.

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

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.

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

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!

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

Fall Fashion Melilot & Driftless

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!

<3 Lindsay

*Disclaimer: The fabrics in this post were provided by Style Maker Fabrics. All 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

Quinn Shirt

Quinn ShirtOver the summer I had the opportunity to do some pattern testing for Named. I tested the Augusta Hoodie for their last collection, so I was really excited to be asked back. Laura and Saara are super nice, and I can tell that they really take the feedback into consideration and make changes accordingly. I chose to test the Quinn Shirt from the New Black collection.

I love sewing button-down shirts, and this was a great opportunity to try out some new techniques. The french cuffs, overlapping collar, tower plackets, and rounded button stand were all things I’d never attempted before. I think Named always really nails the details in a way that makes their patterns both flattering and fashion-forward. You can tell that even little things like the pleats at the back yoke and cuffs are well thought out and perfectly placed.

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

An intermediate-level sewist should have no problem making this pattern. I found the instructions easy to follow, and the collar instructions in particular are some of the best I’ve come across.

I don’t believe any major changes were made to the pattern after I tested it, although the instructions were updated in a few places to be more thorough.

Making the button cuff links took a couple tries to get right, but I think they’re pretty clever. You just stitch some thread through the buttonholes for looks, and then attach the two buttons together with elastic thread. I would like to get some real cuff links, but the button ones are certainly cheaper, especially when you need four!

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

I sewed my normal size 34 with no alterations. I think next time I’d shorten the arms by 1/2″. There’s also some drag lines/tightness at the upper bust when the shirt is buttoned, especially when I move my arms. I think I may need to go up a size at the bust and then do a SBA?

The fabric is a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in “lichen”. Shot cottons, like chambray, are woven with different colored warp and weft threads, in this case green and blue. I think it gives the fabric more depth and makes for a really pretty effect.

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn ShirtConclusion: I love this shirt! And I’ll definitely be making this pattern again. I like that it’s a bit more fitted than the Archer, and I love all the cool details. Button-downs are definitely a fall/winter staple for me, so it’s great to have a new pattern to add to the arsenal.

Have you sewn anything from the New Black collection yet? The Sloane Sweatshirt and Olivia Wrap Dress are both on my list for this fall! I also think the Isla Trench Coat is gorgeous – I can’t wait to see some more versions of it pop up!

<3 Lindsay

Marsala Lady Skater

Marsala Lady Skater

I finally got around to making the Lady Skater! I received this pattern as part of the first Pattern Parcel and printed it out right away. But instead of making the Lady Skater I had planned on, I used the bodice to make my stripy “Madewell” dress. I then used the bodice to make a couple less-than-successful tops and promptly forgot about the pattern until late this fall. When I re-discovered it I went searching for inspiration and found Sophie’s warm brown winter-y Lady Skater from a couple years ago. It looked like the perfect cold weather basic, so I went a very similar route with mine.

Marsala Lady Skater

Marsala Lady Skater

Marsala Lady Skater

Marsala Lady Skater

I bought this rust-colored jersey from fabric.com. It’s made from bamboo and it. is. heavenly. Super soft, great recovery, wrinkle resistant, and the perfect thickness for a dress! I’m definitely a bamboo fan.

I really love the color of this fabric too. I didn’t realize when I bought it (or maybe I subconsciously did) that it’s very similar to Pantone’s “color of the year” marsala. It’s a really lovely, warm color and almost a “faux neutral” because it seems to go with everything.

The Lady Skater’s a very quick sew – only about three hours from start to finish. I made no modifications other than shortening the skirt by 1.5″ to account for my height (I’m 5’4″). I could probably stand to shorten the bodice by 1/2″ as well, though it’s not bad where it is, especially with a belt. I went with the 3/4 length cuffed sleeves – my favorite sleeve length – because if I wear long sleeves I always push them up to 3/4 length anyway. I sewed everything on my serger with the exception of the topstitching around the neckline and the bottom hem.

marsala lady skater

Marsala Lady Skater

Marsala Lady Skater

Marsala Lady Skater

This was such a satisfying make! Whipping up quick basics is great for keeping my sew-jo flowing in between more complicated projects. Especially when they so perfectly fill a gap in my wardrobe! I don’t normally wear dresses too often, but this one’s so versatile and comfortable that it’s already gotten worn a handful of times.

What have you been making lately? And do you also try to alternate easy and hard projects, or do you have a different system altogether? Or maybe no system at all! I’d be interested to hear about it…

<3