Sunday, June 22, 2014


I have been eyeing Polly for a while now. I love a tank top and this one had enough of something unique to make me curious. Then when I realized it was a free pattern by the very hip and popular By Hand London, I was more than happy to print out a dozen plus pages, cut them down, tape them together and trace off a pattern. Putting together the pattern took about 45 minutes one evening, the next day I was able to trace the pattern, cut the pieces, and do the trickiest part of the sewing. The next day I had the top put together and all that was left was playing with the fit.

After a comment from Tini of Twin Needle Podcast, I tried a quick and dirty forward shoulder adjustment. However, instead of carefully reading and putting into practice the directions I did what I thought I read, which was move a section of the front shoulder strap to the back. The result was, no surprise, incorrect. In the end I ended up taking a couple of inches out of the straps as I was getting a floating shoulder--one that levitates above my shoulder. I am not sure that the forward shoulder adjustment would have been enough since armscye always seem too big on me. My shoulders are narrow so I also feel like the neckline/shoulder straps are too wide.

I do like it though and want to make a couple more. On the next version I am either going to make a smaller size and grade the bottom to the size I made (8) for the waist/hips. Alternately, I might use the neckline and straps from Wiksten and the lower part from this pattern. I also want to make a version with cap sleeves like this adorable version.

The main fabric for this is a thrifted piece I bought for a dollar and the contrasting panel is a fat quarter! I have one planned in Kaffe Fassett shot cotton and a Liberty quilting cotton, but need to dig through stash for another muslin, maybe even with sleeves.

In the meantime, I am working on a few projects in knit fabric that I am hoping to get done in the next week. Once those come together it will be time to tackle my jumpsuit project.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Vacation pants, the second

I was so happy with my first pair of Vacation Pants, despite their lack of seam allowances and huuuuge pockets, that I whipped up another pair. I included the seam allowance this time and it definitely makes the fit better. I also made the pockets reachable and considerably smaller. If I were to make these again I might keep the pocket position, but make them a little longer. 

For these I took the suggestion from the book (Simple Modern Sewing) to cut the pants on the cross-grain and use the selvedge as the hemline. It gives the hem a soft look without the worry that they will fall apart. I also made a double channel at the waistband, as the book suggested. The color of fabric is not coming across in these photos--it is a much darker brown (closer to the photos on the left) and less green. Also, you can catch a glimpse of my new "dressy" clogs! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sew much sewing to do

My summer break has officially begun! I have so many plans for my sewing it is crazy. Right now it all seems achievable (side note: I have shown remarkable restraint in avoiding the obvious sewing puns in the last two sentences). Last summer I made a couple of skirts and started a dress, but wasn't in the frenzy I am in right now. Here is my to-do list copied over from Evernote:
  • Summer vacation pants 2 in brown linen remnant
  • Scoop Top 2 in bird print knit possibly with white knit as underlining
  • Tank dress (view E) in green knit
  • Jumpsuit  (view A)
    • muslin (lightweight white/blue/beige print)
    • wax print
  • Endless summer tunic
    • muslin (lightweight chambray)
    • Feral childe
  • Polly in quilting cotton with possibly a chambray or polka dots with rice bag fabric or crazy thrifted fabric and a navy solid?
  • Billow dress (see previous post) 2 in Nani Iro double gauze
  • More Phoebe style skirts (slash/spread A-line with contrasting pocket)
    •  Wax print
    •  Essex linen/cotton with liberty quilting for pockets

To make (stash) matters worse I bought some gorgeous fabric at AVFKW's First Friday Fabric sale that I have no plans for yet. I am calling this What to do with the khadi? I bought one yard each of the two fabrics in the foreground: 

  • Shirt with sleeves?
  • Something from Japanese sewing books?
  • Wiksten?
Oh, and then, Verb releases their second pattern! Introducing the Uptown Top--just when am I supposed to get to that one?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Billow dress

In my last post I talked about a dress I had been wanting to make based on a few cute dresses I had seen online. I finished shortly after that post, but needed to get FO photos to share. Here they are:

It's not easy getting photos, in daylight without a four year-old photo-bomber in the shot. As you can see I only succeeded at the daylight part. With this dress I had hoped to achieve two dresses in one. One dress would be a casual loose-fitting pullover and the other would be able to be gathered at the waist for a more fitted silhouette. Oh! And both would have pockets. :)

I had been thinking about this dress for some time, but couldn't find the right starting place. While looking at Simple Modern Sewing for a base for my Vacation Pants, I came across the pattern for the Boatneck Jumper/Dress:

I liked the cross over straps both for their appearance and how easy it would make it to fully line the dress. Since I was tracing patterns already, I traced the top 12 inches (13.5 inches of the front to make up for the dart) of the jumper version. The pattern sat for a spell until an unexpected sewing day popped into my schedule. I cut the top pieces as I had cut the pattern, for the skirt I was limited by the amount of fabric I had. I decided the best bet to get the length I wanted was a dirndl skirt. I needed two pieces that were at least 20 inches long (my preferred skirt length) and as wide as possible. I ended up with one piece 30" wide and the other 33" wide. I used the wider piece for the back.

The first fitting looked OK, but was very billow-y and the gathers at the waist didn't provide the illusion that I wanted. Also, the waist was way to low. To fix this I took off the skirt, and redrew the top of the dress from an A-line to a . . . V-line? I kept the armscye where it was, but brought in the waist an inch (four inches total). I also raised the waist by about three inches. I love it, though to get the second shape I need to draw it in with a belt so I made one!

I have adjusted the original pattern and plan on making a second version out of some Nani Iro double gauze. In addition to the changes I made as I went along I am thinking I will add a little elastic at the waist, at least in the back, to get the waist to come in a little more while still being able to pull it on. In the meantime I will enjoy this summer in my new dress.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hello, June!

MeMadeMay was a bit of a crazy whirlwind! I am really happy I participated and put my mind to some serious sewing this month. Let's run the numbers.
  • 28 days of wearing MeMades
  • 25 days of unique MeMades
  • 3 new wearable garments (Vogue 8815, Wiksten dress, and vacation pants knock-off) 
  • Muslins galore!
Doing this much sewing is giving me confidence to push my ideas and figure out how to adapt parts of patterns to fit my vision of the garment that I want. I think I came pretty close with my vacation pants and hope that the next version will get a little closer. Right now I am working on a dress that has been bouncing around in my head for some time. Inspired by these two dresses:

I am working on a no closure summer dress. I want to be able to wear it both loose and belted. And, at least this iteration, is fully lined. It's not quite done, but here's a tiny peek: