summer

In the Folds – Ruffle Peplum Tank

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

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!

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

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.

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

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…

Thanks for reading!

<3 Lindsay

Hummingbird Kimono

Hummingbird Kimono

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.

Hummingbird Kimono

Hummingbird Kimono

Hummingbird Kimono

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).

Hummingbird Kimono

Hummingbird Kimono

Hummingbird Kimono

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!

<3 Lindsay

V8903 Silk Shirt Dress

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

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!

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

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.

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

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.

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

Vogue 8903 Shirt Dress

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!

<3 Lindsay

Liberty Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

This is definitely the most feminine thing I’ve ever sewn. Something about the design of Sew Over It’s Doris Dress struck a chord with me the instant I saw it and I decided I needed to make one. The vintage-inspired style is a new one for me, but it was really fun to try out. Sometimes I like to sew outside my comfort zone as much for the new sewing experience as for the finished garment I end up with.

I made this dress back in May, so, as is the danger of blogging so far removed from sewing, the details of making this dress are a little fuzzy.

I sewed the smallest size – a size 8 – even though the measurements were 1.5″ too big in the bust. I made a muslin of the bodice, thinking it would be too big, but I actually didn’t end up making any changes. Because the bodice is meant to be loose fitting and the waist can be cinched in with the tie this is a pretty easy pattern to fit. The only alteration I made was to cut the length about halfway in-between the above knee and below knee options. I ended up shortening it by a few inches when I hemmed it though, so I think it ended up pretty close to the original above knee length – maybe an inch or two longer.

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

I used Liberty tana lawn in the classic Hesketh print, featuring snowdrops. This design was originally produced in the 1890s, and I love the art nouveau vibe it has. I bought the fabric on eBay from katsfabrics. She sells ‘seconds’ for much cheaper than the retail price, and I couldn’t find any defects in the fabric I bought.

This dress had a lot of fun, new-to-me features: bust pleats, a side zipper, a buttoned front integrated with facings, and a skirt made from seven flared panels. The skirt does use up quite a bit of fabric (especially if you have a directional print), but it’s a really nice shape.

This was my first time sewing with a Sew Over It pattern and I was impressed with the quality of the instructions: they’re very detailed and easy to follow.

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

This was originally meant to be my birthday dress, but I was sick on the days leading up to my birthday (so I didn’t finish it) and on my birthday itself (so I didn’t go out anywhere fancy anyway). My birthday wasn’t a total bust though, because I did manage to go to the cat cafe, play pub trivia, and eat a deep dish pizza, so that’s a win in my book!

Instead I ended up wearing this dress to Nathaniel’s grad school graduation a couple weeks later. He got his Masters in Statistics en route to a PhD in Educational Psychology – I’m very proud of him!

Liberty Doris Dress

I don’t think vintage-inspired will be my usual thing, but it was definitely a fun style to try, and I love the way the dress turned out. Do you have a favorite Sew Over It pattern? After my success with this one I’d love to give another one a try!

<3 Lindsay

Scalloped Hem Shorts & Chambray Granville Shirt

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

It’s now well and truly hot in Texas (the heat index is 109 as I write this) and my wardrobe is in desperate need of more warm weather clothes, specifically separates.

Luckily, these makes are helping to fill that gap: on top is a sleeveless Granville Shirt in chambray, and on the bottom are high-waisted scalloped hem shorts.

First, the shorts. After making a few versions of Grainline’s Maritime Shorts I was ready to try out a new pattern: enter the Scalloped Hem Shorts from Pattern Runway. They have a lot of nice details, including the namesake scalloped hem, center front seams, slash pockets in the front, and welt pockets in the back. I remember being smitten with Sophie’s polka dot version of these shorts ages ago, but I’ve just now gotten around to trying out this pattern.

I used a lightweight black twill and planned on these being a wearable muslin. I made an XS at the waist graded to between an XS and XXS at the hip and shorted the legs by 1/2″. They were too big when I tried them on during construction (as I’d read in other reviews) so I took in the side seams by 3/8″ as well as taking a 3/4″ wedge out of the center back at the top of the shorts and the waistband.

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Overall I’m pretty happy with these shorts. The fit’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for a wearable muslin. The welt pockets didn’t turn out too well, but luckily they’re not very visible in black. My favorite feature is definitely the scalloped hem – I love the way it looks. These are quite high-waisted on me (a bit more than I was expecting) but they’re still comfortable.

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

And now the shirt! I was pretty happy with the fit on my last Granville, but I knew there was room for improvement. The main problem was the drag lines from shoulder to bust. Karen commented on my post that I may need a square shoulder adjustment. It had never occurred to me before that I had square shoulders, but she was absolutely right – thanks, Karen! I found a picture online that showed the problem, and it looked exactly like my drag lines. So I added 3/8″ to the outer edge of the shoulder line and the drag lines have all but disappeared – success!

I also thought the bust and armhole area was a bit too tight on my last shirt, so I undid some of my SBA (ending up with a 1/4″ SBA from the original) and lowered the armhole 1/2″. This definitely made it less restrictive, and I feel like I’m getting pretty close to the perfect fit.

I used the leftover fabric from Nathaniel’s birthday shirt from last year. I’d bought a bit extra with the plan of making something for myself too (very little truly unselfish sewing goes on around here). It’s a Kaufman chambray with woven dobbies and the quality is really nice.

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

I’ve done a lot of work fitting this pattern, but I know that it’ll be worth it as sleeveless button-ups are one of my favorite things to wear in the summer. I’m planning on this being a TNT pattern for me, and I already have a couple more versions planned – one in silk charmeuse, and another in the classic strawberry thief print from Liberty.

<3 Lindsay