Tag Archives: Grainline

Summer Wardrobe Recap 2017

Well the best laid plans they say……..

I got sidetracked by a couple lovely new patterns. a couple pattern hacks to old favorites, and a new hobby (knitting).

I had a serious duh moment when I was looking through Instagram at all my lovely friends tops, hacked into dresses. I took a hard look at my tried and true tops and thought “why not?”  So my two favorite makes of this year came into being, beautiful Art Gallery cotton jersey Tee shirt dresses.  I wish you could feel how incredible soft and cool these are.  I get tons of compliments and feel pretty in them.

To make them I just lengthened my MariaDenmark Kirsten Kimono Tees to a length below the knee. It flirts with a maxi length but not quite so much fabric. I adore them. I have already worn both more than once.  One of the simplest, easiest makes ever, I promise.  The green floral is a surprising versatile, flattering color. I almost never wear green so I was pleasantly surprised. The black/white stripe can be dressed up or down. Did I mention virtually no wrinkling? Definitely a fold into a beach bag for a weekend trip kind of dress.

I had some grand plans for some new top patterns that were released recently. With the exception of the Summer Jazz Top which came out beautifully most of my muslins were just poor fitting or really not my style.

I was sure the Springfield top was going to be my new Go To tank top. Yeah, not so much. It was surprising boxy and shapeless on me. I adore the Concord tee so I was baffled. To be fair it is a plus size pattern and I barely squeak into those. But still. I may size down into the 12 with the largest cup size and see what happens. I salvaged the top I made in an embroidered cotton into a short sleep dress.

So I made a new Sutton Blouse from True Bias patterns in a floral challis that I love. I will continue to look for a new tank/top pattern for summer. Although I am rethinking the Willow tank I used for PJ tops this spring. In some pretty cottons or linen…….that top could be a staple. (Update: I ended up making five tank tops and three tank dresses from the Willow pattern. It is so easy wearing and graceful.)

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So the final roundup is

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Leralynn Dress by Blankslate Patterns

I already had made two of these last summer in Black print quilting cotton and a grey silk linen blend that I wore constantly on really hot days. I made two more, one a black/white floral linen that is divine, the other a sweet grey gingham check in a cotton.

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MariaDenmark Tee Dress

  • green bird cotton jersey
  • Black grey stripe cotton jersey

 

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Grainline Scout Tee

  • Merlot coloured cotton
  • blue printed chambray
  • Blue/grey batik
  • dark blue chambray
  • embroidered  navy cotton

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Sutton Blouse

  • black floral challis
  • yellow fruit pattern challis
  • peach/grey beige lightweight mystery fabric

Addison tank

  • Cream poly floral
  • white embroidered cotton
  • blue chambray

SewCarolyn Parkside skirt

  • black linen
  • denim blue linen
  • black/red/grey paisley
  • blue floral cotton

 

The last items that I added that actually replaced the idea of a summer jacket was two gorgous shawls that I knitted as well as a loosely knitted cotton vest. All of these are working so far as a bit of extra warmth on cool evenings or in air conditioning. I am very pleased at how well they came out in yummy cotton yarns. The patterns are Vested Interest and the Marquise shawl on Ravelry, knit up in Bamboo pop silk cotton DK yarn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grainline Studio Willow Tank

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What could be more perfect than a woven linen or cotton easy fitting tank top or dress on a hot summer day?

I already have a favorite sleeveless top pattern from Seamwork Magazine that I have made several of and love to wear.  The Addison is awesome because of it’s options to dress it up, a v neck, peter pan collar(or not) and partially lined bodice which removes the need for bias bindings.

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This summer though I find myself attracted to sundresses and easy shift dresses that work up a dream in linens. I came late to the linen party but now I never want to leave. My Instagram feed has a new Willow tank dress almost every day, every one cuter than the last. I had a nice little pile of linens I had purchased locally, as well as some I splurged on online. I can always use a few more tanks or tees so I muslined the Willow and after my usual FBA and dart moving it looks wonderful.

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I made three  in the top length to get a feel for fit and finishes. Because I did linen or linen blends I french seamed all seams that were not enclosed by bindings. There is nothing worse than a beloved top unraveling to the point of throwing in the bin because you didn’t finish the seams. I made self bias tape for two and used some sweet purchased binding from SoBiased on Etsy.

I did my usual FBA, cutting a 14 and adding two inches. I also had to re-position the dart to be a little less perky. I graded the hip out to a 16 for a wee bit of room as well.

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You can’t beat a basic woven tank for versatility. It can be dressed up or down easily and packs great for vacation or the beach.

Next in my queue is the dress version. I am going to do a sewing workshop with this dress next month and I can’t wait to see the lovely makes my students come up with. I guarantee this pattern will become a tried and true.

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MeMade May 2017

 

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It’s that time of year again! I love #MMMay2017 It’s so inspirational, for all the reasons that slow fashion is becoming a thing again. It’s hosted by Zoe Edward at ‘So Zo what do you know’. The sign up post is here.

 

I get stuck about halfway through for ideas for somewhat original pictures to post on Instagram. This year I want to focus more on styling those fabulous Indie patterns I have so many of. Focusing on a capsule wardrobe this year is helping me to narrow in on colors and styles that fit my body type and lifestyle. With any luck the pictures will be more cohesive and less just rolled out of bed and grabbed the first thing….

I have added a few more items to my “tried and true” I will showcase ( and hopefully blog about!) this year.  Blackwood cardigans, Lark tees, Parkside shorts, and one hour tops were added, as well as some WIP Ginger jeans that hopefully I will have done next week. I made two jackets as well, the Dover and HP’s kimono jacket. Can’t wait to show those.

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I hope by sharing my me-made wardrobe someone may take the plunge when they realize that basics can be less time consuming to make once you have a basic template but still fashionable and wearable daily.  I also plan to add my knit wear to my pictures. Socks, a sweater, and a couple shawls are all getting regular wear so I want to share those too.

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Can’t wait to see all the beautiful clothes the community is wearing! See you on Instagram at Nicholaix.

 

Grainlines Scout Woven Tee

 

I always used to be a t-shirt kind of girl. Lately I have been leaning more towards the body skimming woven blouses in pretty rayon, voile, and cottons. My far and away favorite is Grainline Studio’s Scout Tee. It is available as both printed and PDF.

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It lays nicely and the length is great. It’s a pullover so it is a super quick sew up, no closures to worry about. The only alteration I need to do to this top is a full bicep adjustment (I used this tutorial to fix my sleeves) and take a wee sliver from the front fold seam to tame a wonky neck.The neck is bound with bias tape, either matching or purchased. If you are new to making your own here is an awesome video tutorial from Dana at MadeEveryday. The sleeves and bottom are just double fold and hem.

My first couple of Scouts had a gaping neck. I got creative and added an inverted pleat which took care of it. I sized down, adjusted the sleeve and voila, perfection, no neck gape.

The far right is the first one with wonky neck, the middle one with the pleat, and the far left a size down. At this point I have done a wide range of fabrics and all have come out nicely. Its a great year round, basic addition to any memade wardrobe. These were last springs colors.

For this fall I currently have these three fabrics on my table ready to be made up in this pattern. A chambray, rayon, and a cotton print all will fit in nicely with a couple new skirts and a couple pairs of jeans.  Sew this one up, you will like it.

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Free Sewing Patterns

Here’s a roundup of some of the freebie basics patterns out there that I have tried. I am sure there are lots more but these I have actually sewn up.

 

Sorbetto Top  is a fabulous basic from Colette Patterns that I have made many of. It uses just a bit of fabric and is a pullover, so no fasteners. You can use purchased bias tape or make your own to coordinate for the neckline and sleeves. It’s a great summer basic top and easy to make as well.  Tons of variation on this to make as well. On the one below I did an inverted pleat. Do a search on Pinterest and you will see a gazillion variations. They also offer a super cute bloomer pattern. It’s on my list but I haven’t got to it yet. I am a subscriber to their Seamwork magazine which offers a ton of great easy to sew basics for a considerably low price.

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Hemlock Tee is a tee from Grainline with lots of options. You have to sign up for their newsletter but thats not a problem, she posts sewing tips and lots of great ideas. I made a couple of these and was impressed at how easily it came together but as a curvy girl I found the dropped arm constricting. The sizing, however, is spot on. It’s just an awkward cut for me. That being said, I throw around huge bags of dirt and 5 gallon pots so, for the average person, this one is a really nice long sleeve option as well as a nice test for their other patterns. I have made quite a few of their Linden sweatshirts and Scout woven tees, they are T and T’s for me. The Tamarack Jacket is on my sew list.

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Kirsten Kimono Tee is my all time favorite. It’s a freebie from Mariadenmark sewing patterns that fits me very well and sews up so fast I can make one to wear in the morning if I am desperate.  It nips in just enough at the waist for some definition and the shoulders are comfy without being sloppy. I did modify the neck a bit for my personal preference. This one is also available for signing up for their newsletter. I wear the Yasmin yoke skirt quite alot as well as the Just a Tank top.

 

Zoe top and Libby Skirt are both from Tessuti Fabrics. They have other freebies as well but I have sewn up these two. The Zoe is a great stashbuster for bits of lace and chiffon. Libby is a great basic a-line that looks smart in everything from quilting cottons and denim to a tweed or wool. I have several patterns from Tessuti including the Annie dress and the Alice top. I love the elegant, romantic look to most of their patterns which showcase their lovely fabrics. Definitely worth a look.

Isabella Banded Skirt is the cutest twirly skirt. I went a little crazy and made a few when it was released. It is the easiest skirt pattern ever, basically a rectangle with an elastic waist. You have to join their Facebook group to get this one. Bella sunshine designs had adorable little girl patterns which, sadly, I don’t sew for anymore but if you have little girls this one’s a must look.

Last but certainly not least is the So Sew Easy website. I have only sewed up one of their dresses and a tote bag. Debi previews a huge lot of patterns for free and sometimes starts charging for them so grab it if you like it. Her site is chock full of tutorials and inspiration as well. I didn’t find them to be horribly curvy friendly but they would certainly be fabulous for regular sizes.

Here’s a start to your basics for your wardrobe that will keep the cost down. The great thing about freebies is you can preview the designer and see if you like the sizing and shaping of their garments. I have found some of my tried and trues this way.

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