My Mini Wardrobe with Indie Patterns

IMG_0340Hi All! Indie Pattern month is winding down over at the Monthly Stitch. The last challenge was to create a mini wardrobe from Indie patterns and I decided it was the perfect motivation to pull out the lovely Indie patterns I’ve been meaning to try, but haven’t. After looking at my patterns and my fabric stash, I decided the theme for my wardrobe would be ‘layers’ and transitions, as I wanted my mini wardrobe to take me from summer to fall.  To make my outfit, I combined the Orsola dress by By Hand London with a Modified Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studios, and topped it all off with the Sapporo coat by Papercut Patterns.

First up the Orsola dress. I love this design!

IMG_0170

The dress pattern was a dream to sew. The instructions are spot on and the sizing was perfect too. Since this was my first BHL pattern, I wasn’t sure if it would be true to the displayed pattern measurements, but it was, Hooray! The bodice is lined which makes for a nice clean finish on the inside.

IMG_0420

I love the way it wraps in the back.

IMG_0165

I made it from a lightweight cotton print, and lined it with rayon. The drape is really nice in this fabric, but I can imagine it would be perfect in rayon, silk or linen (I’ve already purchased linen for another one.) If you hate darts, beware!!  This pattern has eight! But the good news is there isn’t a zipper, LOL!! One word of caution…you must commit to the length of the dress right away as the hem is faced. I love the detail of the dip in the hem. I think this style would be flattering on anyone!

Next up, is a shortened version of the Alder shirt dress in blue linen. I shortened the pattern so that it would function as a jacket or topper.

IMG_0386

Using the Archer pattern sleeves, I modified by adding a sleeve to the Alder without a cuff so that it would look more like a little jacket ( I rolled them up in this photo as it is so….hot here.) I left off the collar, and used only the collar band. I also took out a little of the fullness in the peplum so that it would be a little less puffy of a silhouette. I love this linen – and I know I’ll wear this new Alder constantly as a topper, or just with my jeans.

IMG_0236

Last, but definitely not least is the Sapporo Coat by Papercut patterns.

IMG_0286

I’ve been eyeing this one for awhlle and IPM was the perfect excuse to jump right in. I made it from linen and lined it with rayon. This pattern is definitely a departure from my usual style, but I love the cocoon shape, a new obsession of mine!

IMG_0271

It’s a very unstructured look, so there is ALOT of ease in this pattern and I do mean a lot. I cut the size XS, and ended up taking in the side seams even more to get it to fit. I love the construction of this coat – the collar is built in and the sleeves are faced so that you can roll up cuffs if you want.

IMG_0421

The pockets are my favorite part of the design and I love the slouchy look they give the coat. Be forewarned though. There’s isn’t a mechanism for shortening the bodice – so I tried a quick muslin to make sure it fit. If you love this style, go for it! The construction of this jacket was really pretty easy! This is my new favorite coat and I know I’ll love it for fall. I might try it again in a wool blend or cotton boucle’.

IMG_0307

Phew!! I’m really glad that Indie Pattern month only comes once a year!  I do a crazy amount of sewing as there is just something about seeing everyone’s makes that just inspires me to jump right in! I’m really glad I tried new patterns this year. I love By Hand London and Paper-cut Patterns and I’m loving the results and the styles. Have you tried their patterns? If so, any recommendations?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A New Top and A New Rule

I have a new rule for separates. When I add a new make to my wardrobe, it must coordinate with two or more of my other me-mades.

IMG_0073

IMG_9626

 

Ha! Take that, all you orphans in my closet! I have too many tops and bottoms in my closet that have no friends. When you live in an older home with very few closets, this is a crisis. And friends, I’m counting on you all to keep me honest 🙂 Either that, or I’m going to have to move, LOL!! Anyway, the inspiration for this make is that I need more tops to go with my poppy culottes and my ruffled denim skirt.

 

Enter NewLook 6212.6212

I am always surprised at how much I enjoy sewing with New Look patterns. For some reason, I only reach for the New Look book after perusing the other pattern companies offerings first. I think it’s because their illustrations are pretty simple, maybe a bit boring? But more and more, I’m finding interesting designs when I look carefully.

IMG_9716

This shirt is no exception. New Look 6212 includes some interesting details that give you lots of opportunity to embellish.  I love the collar variations, the length variations and the pockets, the option to cut out the back. It even has a fun version with tucks across the front. Although I was really interested in the tuck detail, I realized the pattern of my linen would hide those lovely tucks. So I chose view C, a simple straight hem version with a standup collar, cap sleeves and two pockets.

IMG_0061

The instructions were great, and I love how the inside of the sleeves are finished with binding. It looks so neat and tidy!

IMG_0154 I find New Look patterns to be generously sized but on this one, I didn’t have any issues and I cut my usual size. I put the two pockets on, although they’re almost lost in the print of the linen. Linen (purchased at Joann’s) is the perfect fabric for this shirt because it has a bit of body. I can also imagine it from Rayon or silk, or cotton shirting. It’s a great shirt for summer, that I’ll wear a lot with shorts, my ruffled skirt and jeans.IMG_0073What do you think of my new rule? Yes, it’s a bit hilarious given my interest in sewing without a plan. Time will tell if I can stick with it!!

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

It’s going to be a Charlie Caftan Summer!

IMG_9411

If you’d asked me, ‘are Caftan’s your thing? I probably would have said, no. But I’m such a fan of this pattern by Closet Case Patterns. I was inspired to try it by Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch. After making a muslin version, I decided it was the perfect pattern to hack for this week’s IPM challenge.

IMG_9398

This pattern has several options that provide ample opportunity for you to do your own thing. You can make a loose gathered caftan, either short or long, or a more fitted version without gathers. For my hack, I used Version A, the non-gathered version.il_fullxfull.1223032594_ih2b

I loved the shape of A so I decided to convert the Caftan look into a more fitted cocoon dress. I modified as follows:

  • I raised the inset opening by 1 1/2 because, as drafted, it was too close to the waist for the look I wanted.

IMG_9448

  • The Inset Insertion: From my muslin, I discovered I was not wild about how the front inset is assembled.  You’re supposed to insert the inset into a 1/4’ opening and make it smooth and neat. I practiced and practiced, but well, needless to say, that didn’t happen for me. So, rather than an inset, I merely slit the opening, made the pleats as instructed, then topstitched the inset over the slit. It’s easier and looks a bit smoother to me.

IMG_9415 3

  • The pleats add a cool shape to the dress so I stitched them down for a more sculpted look.
  • I added large patch pockets to the front with button down flaps. I added self-faced cuffs to the sleeves that can be rolled up and kept in place with button tabs.
  • I added a small raised collar to the back of the neck, to make the neckline look more like a shirt.
  • IMG_9379

I love my cocoon shaped shift dress. It’s so comfortable and cool, and I think the polka dots add a vintage vibe. My fabric is cotton lawn, but I could imagine this dress in linen, cotton double gauze or rayon.  It’s so versatile, I’m thinking I’ll try the gathered version, both short and long. What about you? Are you a fan of the Caftan look?

I’m loving Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch! It’s so inspiring to see everyone’s favorite Indie patterns and how they interpret them. I’ve found some new patterns I want to try as a result, and found some new blog friends too.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

New to Me: a Colette Moneta

IMG_9110 2

It’s Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch, a fun month of challenges designed to acquaint us with the wonderful world of Indie pattern designers. Last week’s challenge was to make a pattern from a company that was ‘New To Me’. I picked Colette patterns, a company based in my home town, Portland, and made their popular pattern, the Moneta dress.  And lucky me, my ‘make’ qualifed me as a finalist in this week’s competition! Voting is now on the Monthly Stitch and I’d love to have your vote!

IMG_9123

This is a fabulous pattern, and I can see why it’s been so popular in the sewing community. I’m not sure why I never made it before….I’ll be making it again and again. I used a cotton jersey knit and added a contrast collar, sleeve bindings and pockets. It came together easily, and my full review can be found on the Monthly Stitch website. The good news about this pattern is that Colette includes lots of collar options on their website so that you can make many fun versions.  It’s really a keeper.

If you’re new to the Monthly Stitch, it’s worth checking out. It’s a great community and every month brings a new challenge. It’s a fun way to get inspired to do something new and to make sewing friends.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

Black and White Polka Dots…so french!

IMG_9046 2I’ve been obsessed with shirt dresses this Spring because as dresses go, they have so many advantages! For one thing, the front opening makes them ideal to let in air on a hot day.

IMG_8872 2Also, they’re so versatile. You can add a pair of leggings /pants under them for a completely different look.

 

IMG_8891 2

My latest shirt dress is made from a lightweight rayon that drapes beautifully. I fell hard for it…a black batik print with little white dots on it (Fabric Depot). The batik process makes the dots uneven in places which gives the look a bit of an edge. And what’s not to like about black and white polka dots? They’re so french!

IMG_9040

I used my new favorite shirt dress pattern for this make, McCall’s 7351, also made here. I’m a big fan of the design details of this pattern including the high low hem, the french darts and the forward shoulder seams. I made a few modifications to this version; 

  • I eliminated the collar and added a v-neck opening, then drafted a facing for the neck.
  • The sleeves are ruched with a three inch piece of elastic.
  • I made a long tie from the fabric that is long enough to wrap twice around my waist. I prefer to wear a single wrap tie belt most of the time with really long ends. But on a busy day, the long tie can get in the way. In that case, I can double wrap the belt which make the ends shorter.

 

I think I’ll wear this dress alot, as it’s easy to dress up or down. I know when the temperatures drop again, I can slip it over leggings too, even though I might get a few strange looks when I do. What about you? Are you a fan of shirt dresses over pants/leggings?

I’m back from my trip and what a fabulous trip it was!! I found beautiful fabric stores in Lisbon, Evora, Porto and Barcelona. If only I’d had a bigger suitcase (and budget, LOL). I purchased a few lovely fabrics, most of them in Barcelona; some japanese cotton,rayon challis, tencel, double sided gingham gauze, an embrodiered cotton, and a lovely plaid linen.

IMG_9062

Yes, I love to travel, but it is good to be back to my sewing machine. Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A travel dress in Barcelona

I always love seeing your ‘makes’ in action so I thought I’d do a quick post to show you my new favorite travel dress in Barcelona doing the hard job of keeping me comfortable and cool!

The double gauze I used for this version of Mccalls 7314 is the perfect travel fabric, crease resistent and easy to pack. The fabric is so lightweight it can be rolled easily and fit into a tiny space in my suitcase. A quick shake at my destination and it’s ready to be worn. Because gauze can fray,  I carefully finished my seams so that this dress could survive many washings . MCcalls 7314 is so easy to wear…I’ve made it before and I know I will again!

I am so fortunate to be here in Spain as part of a tour with my choir, Oregon Repertory Singers. Barcelona is so beautiful, and the people have made us feel so welcome, I never want to leave. There are amazing fabric stores here too…Nirvana! Eventually though, I will return home to my sewing machine with some beautiful fabric that will remind me of this city. In the meantime, Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!