Tag Archives: knits

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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PS This post may contain some affiliate links that add no cost to you if you click through, but buys me a cup of coffee and more thread.

Tee Shirt Trials- Concord Tee

For reasons I listed in this post  I am a tee shirt addict. I wear them constantly so I am frequently making more. I had a follow up post all written and ready to go. Really I did.

Out of nowhere two popular indie pattern designers released new tee patterns. Can you say obsession?

 

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So the first one was Cashmerette’s Concord tee, written for the curvy girl. Yay for curvy girls everywhere! I made a muslin in a straight 16 E/F with a long sleeve to check sleeve width and armhole depth. No FBA. Yep, you heard me, no FBA for a E/F cup.

Fit perfect as drafted. Even the sleeve’s depth and width fit like a glove.

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So what does a tee obsessed curvy girl do? Why make three more of course! The waist nips in nicely so it doesn’t fit like a sack. I am smack on the line of plus and regular sizes depending on cut so its a rarity to not have to do ANY alterations. The length was a touch long for my preference but sits nicely low on the hip.

The pattern comes with several options for both length and sleeve length so this seriously could be the base of a tee wardrobe. Switching up the knits could make it a year round option for layering. Can you tell that I love this one? I have plans for a couple cropped tees in light and bright colours and one more long sleeve in a dark colour/ heavier knit.

 

 

 

Seamwork Magazine’s Oslo Sweater

 

2016-02-09 10.10.07I live in a very cold climate. Even now we have snow on the ground still and its most likely not over. Spring has not sprung, that’s for sure. Not only is it usually chilly, I am cheap, at least when it comes to heating oil or wood for the stove.

So I usually reach for either a fleece or a cardigan to keep me toasty. I also use them as a sort of unstructured blazer for important meetings. Since I don’t work outside my house anymore, except for the occasional meeting, a motley collection of cardigans have replaced my suit jackets and blazers. A few have gotten ratty and needed to be replaced.

 

I have been a subscriber to Colette’s Seamwork magazine since last spring. I had tried a few patterns from their regular line and was intrigued by the line of basics that would be offered every month by the magazine.  The Oslo didn’t really appeal to me for some reason, maybe the fabric choices in the pictures. After I had worked my way through most of the patterns though, I decided to revisit some of the earlier ones. I am so glad I did.

 

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My last mystery fabric bundle from  Fabricmart had some fabulous sweater knits.

The first was a chunky knit that turned out nice and warm. I have already worn it a few times with jeans, a tee, and black boots. I love this with Colettes Mabel pencil skirt also.

Colette doesn’t lie that the pattern only takes a few hours to put together. On a serger it was crazy fast, finishing the hem with a twin needle on the regular machine. Knits are very forgiving anyway but this pattern was designed with a separate collar and cuffs that go on like a dream.

It fits loosely but still has enough shape to be feminine and flattering. I like the length very much, hitting just below my hips. Your fabric choice can totally change the look of this from snuggly and casual to polished and professional.

The second one I made has become just as loved. It’s a silky royal blue knit that drapes wonderfully. I think the next one I make however I will go down a size for lighter knits, the shoulders were a tad too low dropping the sleeves a wee bit long. The bulkier fabric was spot on.

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I was very surprised at this pattern, I had assumed it was  a super casual sweater but that’s not the case at all. This will become my new go to for a sweater jacket. I am thinking even to try one out in a light jersey knit to throw on this summer on cool evenings.

Yet another awesome  basic pattern  from Seamwork that makes the subscription  fee seem cheap.

 

PS This post may contain some affiliate links that add no cost to you if you click through, but buys me a cup of coffee and more thread.

Lisbon in Stretch Lace

I finished Seamwork Magazine’s Lisbon slip pattern today. I was a little intimidated because I was inspired by the magazine to convert the pattern from a woven to a stretch lace I have been hoarding.

I ended up going down two sizes from my usual Colette Patterns size. Other than that, it went together quickly and with no major issues. I won’t lie, my serger made it very easy with this particular fabric. The hardest part was re-threading all black!

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The only thing I used my regular machine for was under-stitching the lace for it to lay correctly.Check out this pretty hem.

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The slip is cut on the bias and princess seamed so it is very flattering for a curvy girl. The stretch lace was a recent purchase from Fabric Mart that I bought a pile of because it was so luxurious. I have some mesh knits that this slip would look incredible in as well. Perhaps it would make a cute slip dress to layer over a tank top next summer.

And, drum roll, here it is…..

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I have some tap pants and the Almada Robe, also from Seamwork, cut out and ready to sew up in the same fabric. How gorgeous will this set be? For reals.

Lisbon is yet another great basic pattern from Seamwork. Definitely worth the subscription in my opinion for the patterns alone. This will be a nice under piece for my #handmademonth of wearing and filling out my wardrobe with me-mades and using the fabrics I already have. Indiesew’s blog post has inspired me to make February about me-mades and wearing them, as well as paring down my wardrobe to clothes that make me feel good. I hope you join us.

 

PS This post may contain some affiliate links that add no cost to you if you click through, but buys me a cup of coffee and more thread.

Making panties

My team did not make the Superbowl so instead of wasting 3-4 hours of my life I decided to sew up some new panties from some scraps I have been hoarding.

I sew a lot of our clothes for a bunch of reasons. I would love to say that it’s always tons cheaper but that is not always the case. I can say, though, that everything is well made and fits perfectly, whether it’s pants for my tall skinny son or an awesome underwear set for me. Plus I get the satisfaction of not contributing to our throwaway, wasteful society.

So….. I decided to finally give Geneva a try from Colette Patterns Seamwork magazine. I love their collection of basics and this one is just as spot on.

24256228824_5715edaed3_zI whipped out 3 pairs in very little time with scraps from my sewing bin which made this insanely inexpensive. The fabrics are stretch knits and lace from Fabric Mart that I got in their clearance section as well as bits of FOE from other projects.

I particular love these peach ones, they feel so luxurious.

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I am going to cut out a bunch more and finish them up tonight. If you have never made your own underwear, these are a perfect pattern to try it.

 

PS This post may contain some affiliate links that add no cost to you if you click through but buys me a cup of coffee and more thread.