A Fall Top with Linen and Stripes

IMG_4458We’re in full-on Halloween mode over here (skulls, ravens, you know….the usual). In a typical year, this would mean the season for linen tops would be long past. But in Oregon, our Fall has been extraordinarily warm, a fact that has kept me from moving my summer fabrics into storage.  This top is another remnant make – linen and striped cotton from my stash.   IMG_4489

 

This top is a modified version of Simplicity 8295, a dress or tunic that has alot of options for creating different looks. It has a front panel insert, and you can even add grommets and ties if you’d like.

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I love the shirt details of this top/dress pattern. The long sleeves have cuffs.

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I also like the yoke and back pleat.IMG_4485

Since I used the striped fabric for the insert, I decided to make the sleeves a combination of striped and solid fabric to carry through my theme, and also to make my fabric go further. I also modified the front neck opening. As designed it was cut even lower than my version…I actually raised it by a couple of inches to make it work. I also shortened the tunic length by 3″ .

It’s a really comfortable shirt that makes me feel put together because of the crisp shirt details. Now, I want to try this pattern in the dress length with contrast pockets I think.

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I love wearing this top…maybe linen isn’t just for summer? Medium weight linen has a nice softness that makes it feel almost…cozy. Do you sew with linen all year around?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

Remnant Busting Tops Inspired by Anthro

Peplum tops are still in style! I swear it’s true. Just when I thought they were ‘out’, Anthropologie added a category under ‘tops’ called ‘peplums and swing tops’. That’s where I found this inspiring photo.4112368730007_041_b2

What caught my eye was the fact that the bodice fabric did not match the peplum. In fact, it’s not even in the same color family. So easy, and cute! That photo inspired me to dig through my remnant stash.

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This one has a sweatshirt fleece bodice and a cotton jersey sleeve with a rayon jersey peplum. As luck would have it, the black dye used in those two mismatched jerseys was a close match. I used some random black ribbing in my stash for the neck. I managed to squeeze the bodice out of a little over a half yard.

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This off-white version is a ponte knit bodice with a ribbed knit skirt, cuffs and neck. I made it specifically to go under this cardigan sweater (posted here) which matches the boots I bought in Spain this summer. IMG_3682

The pattern is one I’ve made before, Vogue 9056. It’s a pretty quick make ( a couple of hours if you’re comfortable with sewing tops).  I modified it as follows – –

  • Added 4″ in length to the bodice (it’s still pretty cropped),
  • Added a 3″wide neck band at the neck.
  • Added 4 ” ribbed cuffs on the off white version.
  • Raised the neck opening by 2 inches (it was just too wide on me.) IMG_3835

It’s hard to see in all the photos, but an interesting thing happened when I stretched the ribbing to attach the skirt to the off-white ponte knit bodice. It had an interesting effect on the ribbing that makes the stripes look sort of….artsy?  It was an accident but I like how it looks, although I do think I prefer the black version.

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Remnants are something that most sewers have a philosophy about. I have rules about mine. If I have a piece that is 1/2 yard or more when I finish a project, and I really love it, I’ll keep it for one year. If it’s still around at that point, it goes to the donation bin.  I have alot of remnants right now though, so not sure if my rule is working (LOL!!). I’m curious how others manage their remnants – toss or keep?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

Maisa by Named in 3 Denims

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Finally, I can cross ‘denim jacket’ off my sewing bucket list! This amazing pattern is part of the Named SS17 collection, the Maisa jacket and I’ve had my eye on it since it was released.

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The photo on the pattern envelope is made from recycled jeans, and I orginally planned to do the same with mine, but I couldn’t find enough denim in the color palette I had in mind, so I used a few denim remnants instead, purchased at Mill End.

Here are a couple of the runway versions that inspired me to take on this project – the first is Dior. The second is Dolce and Gabana…love the patchwork.

I looked at several patterns – including the Style Arc Stacy, but ended up with the Maisa because of the oversized feeling it has. Also, it has two piece sleeves, and I love how the front of the jacket looks pieced.

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The instructions did not disappoint, but I did face a few challenges. 1. Sizing: According to the envelope, I was a size 6, but a when I placed the pattern pieces on my dress form, it was so big, that I cut a four instead. It’s great in the shoulders, but even the smaller size was way too big in the arms. I had to do some fancy maneuvering to get the two piece sleeves fit.

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2. Topstitching. There is alot, (which I love). Instead of topstitching thread I used double thread and my machine (Bernina) performed better. But the seams were so thick in some places, it couldn’t cope and the stitches were uneven. I posted a question on instagram and (Thanks remakeremodelrecycle and fauxgetaboutit) I received a couple of tips I will pass on. Pound the seams with a hammer and they will flatten, making stitching easier. Also, you could use a thinner fabric for the underside of the pocket flaps, cuffs to reduce bulk. I tried both and it worked – smooth sailing all the way.

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Be forewarned, there are no handpockets on the Maisa, a fact I should have noticed, but didn’t until I was done. I’m a big fan of pockets, since it’s pretty crisp around here in the fall. I wish I’d added some.

One of my favorite parts of this project – – Hammering in the buttons!

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In terms of sewing satisfaction, the Maisa project was a huge winner. It was time consuming, (probably clocked in at about fifteen hours with the buttons) but worth it, and I do love the intricacy of this pattern! I wear this jacket with jeans, dresses, and skirts, and the proportions make it perfect with them all.

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Another winner from Named patterns. What do you think of their new collection? Will it be on your wish list?

Happy sewing, thanks for stopping by!

Jersey and Fall: Two Variations

There’s nothing like Fall to get the sew-jo going, is there? At this time of year, fabric choices are at their best for me. The color palattes tend to be richer and more intense, which works best with my personal color palatte and there are more knits to choose from too.

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This jersey knit is great to wear, but the print is a bit out of my comfort zone.  For one thing, it has alot (!!) of circles all over it, which makes layout a bit tricky around the chest, if you get my drift. And it’s sort of…busy? But I loved the colors, so in a fit of inspiration, I drove back to Fabric Depot and took the plunge. I’m glad I did, because this print goes so well with the long cardigan I made last Spring (here). This cardigan is not a closet orphan, BTW. I wear it all the time.

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The dress above is simply a lengthened version of this tunic, made from jersey. IMG_3210

This cotton jersey is so fabulous to wear! And I love this Art Gallery print (Fabric Depot).

I’m such a fan of tunics because they’re so easy to throw on with jeans or leggings. When I finished this tunic, I decided I needed another version, pronto, so I lengthened the pattern by 8 inches and made a dress . The pattern is a new favorite: New Look 6435.

I wasn’t attracted to it at first because I don’t like the way it’s made up on the envelope – I’m not a big fan of the print on the bottom/solid color on the top. Somehow though, the pattern came home with me….

The fit was great without any adjustments, always a plus for me. New Look runs a bit big, so I always cut the smallest size. The shoulders fit me perfectly, even though I’m on the narrow side. It’s a fairly loose fit, so there’s a bit of wiggle room, making this an easy-to fit style for most figures. I modified the sleeves on both my dress and tunic by adding a bell cuff.

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Although I love the dramatic look of a big bell cuff, I chose a smaller version here so that the sleeves would fit easily under a cardigan. To add the cuffs, I just cut a seven inch swath of fabric, as wide as 1 1/2 X the width of the sleeve. I seamed it to make a circle, gathered one edge, then inserted it into the sleeves, right sides together.

This was a fast and fun sew and I love a pattern than can have two identities as both a top and a dress. I think this pattern is a winner!

I love how statement sleeves change up a style. But I worry that they’ll go out of fashion quickly and my closet will feel dated. Hmmmm, what do you think of sewing to a trend? Trouble, or true love? Future plans – – I’ve been loving all the denim on the runways this fall, so I’m going to attempt a Maisa jacket (Named clothing) and a Helmi shirt dress to wear with it. Stay tuned! What’s in your queue?

Happy sewing, and thanks for stopping by!