An Anthro Inspired Peplum Top X 4

PicMonkey Collage-7Yes, I’ve gone a little off the deep end over this pattern! What can I say? When I find a favorite pattern, I tend to go a little berzerk, imagining all of the variations…and then, before you know it, I have four versions in my closet! No, I did not sew all of these tops since my last post. They were sewn over the last couple of months, using fabric from my stash (YAY!).

And regarding the style — well, yes, this top has a peplum. I was pleased on a recent trip through Anthropologie to discover that peplum tops are still hanging on their racks.

 

Whew…so good to know, since I have four of them.!

I’m always amazed at how fabric choice changes the look of a pattern. So I really love doing posts where I show multiple versions. This top is Butterick 6486. I also used the angled peplum on McCall’s 7052 on a couple of versions (OOP, but you don’t really need it to pull off this style). B6486 pattern was really easy to sew – perfect for a beginner. The only modification I needed was to lengthen the bodice by a inch so that the peplum would be just above my waist.

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This top (version A) is really casual and easy to wear in large part because of the fabric. It’s rayon from Cotton and Steel. This fabric was released last year, a result of their collaboration with the  Rifle paper company. This is top notch fabric, my friends. It wears and sews like a dream. To make this version, I shortened the peplum by 2 inches. I’m not usually drawn to fabrics witl small prints, but I do love this one. The color palate is definitely in my wheelhouse.

This version is in cotton gauze (FabricDepot).

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I made this version for one reason…to wear it with the necklace I have on! It was designed by a local artist using crocheted linen and linen tassles and I needed a top that would allow it to be the center of attention. For this version I used the angled peplum from M7052. This double gauze has extraordinary drape and is comfortable even on a muggy day.

This version is a stiffer quilting cotton.

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It also has a assymetrical peplum, but because the cotton has more body, it looks like a different top!  The stiffer fabric gives the peplum more structure. This fabric has a coarser weave too, so the vibe of this top is casual.

Last but not least, a dressier version from a poly blend fabric with cut outs.

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Of course, I couldn’t resist trying a version out of something lacy! I had this fabric in my stash, purchased last summer, and only had a yard and a third, not enough for sleeves. To let the cutout design of this fabric shine, I lined the bodice with peach colored lining. This version is fun to wear with jeans/pants, but also with a skirt.

Phew – – My minor obsession with this pattern might be over now….we’ll see! Next up, I’ll be working on some pants and skirts to go with these. I’m heading to France in September so am thinking travel wardrobe as I sew right now.

In another sewing news..This week on Crafting a Rainbow, (great blog, check it out!!) Gillian drafted a great post calling for a blogging renaissance. Her thoughts really resonated with me, so I thought I’d share some of my own thoughts on the topic.  In spite of the way Instagram has grabbed the sewing world’s attention, I remain committed to this blog and to following lots of others (see the side bar for my favorites).  Instagram is a fun place to get a quick fix, but I’m constantly frustrated by the fact that there seems to be absolutely no way for me to control what shows up in my feed. I follow alot of people, yet I only see a very curated collection of posts based on some strange algorithm defined by the folks at Instagram. (Is anyone else frustrated by this?!?)  Since I like to control my personal feed,  and since I like the personal story behind the makes…(the details, the inspiration), I head to sewing blogs for that conversation. I do visit Instagram too, but only a couple of times a week. More just stresses me out. I’d love to know your thoughts….

I really appreciate you, and hope we can continue to share and chat for a long time to come.  Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

More Kimono Love – Simplicity 8553

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Hi All! I’m sure none of you will be surprised when you see my make this week, another long flow-y kimono! Yes, admittedly, I do have a ‘thing’ for long toppers of any kind (see others here, here and here). So, I couldn’t resist this Simplicity pattern for a long kimono.

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In my defense, this pattern is a bit different from my other tried and true pattern (Simplicity 1318, shown here and here), in that it doesn’t have front bands (although view D includes them), the two piece sleeves are longer, and the bodice style is empire with a tie.

Truly, the pattern is a keeper as the options offered are endless; You can modify the length of course but also the bodice style as well as the sleeve options. I love the bell sleeves and the gathered sleeve option, which gives it a bit of a boho vibe. The empire wasit is a nice change as is the front tie closure, an option I really appreciate after wearing lots of free-minded, open fronted kimonos in the past.

My fabric is very special to me, because I bought it last year in a wonderful fabric store in Barcelona.

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It’s a rayon border print and it was love at first sight. I bought just enough to make a long version of this kimono – – which in the XS takes 2/1/4 yards. The fit is very loose – – my measurements showed a size small, but I went down a size and I’m glad I did. Rayon is a dream to sew with – even though it doesn’t fray much, I finished the seams with my serger so it would look nice inside when the wind blows it open.

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I love the way this fabric moves – so important when you’re trying to pull off this long kimono look.  If you used a stiff fabric, it would likely be a bit of a disaster.The pattern is quite easy to assemble; a beginner could do it. The hardest part for me was making my slippery rayon stay in place as I sewed (lots of pins and some wonder tape helped). The sleeve length is just right on me. If you had longer arms, you might want to lengthen them a bit.

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I love this pattern – – it was easy and fast to sew, (a must for me during the summer) and I feel so stylish in my kimono.  I can imagine another version in silk velvet for fall.

Apparently, my ‘thing’ for long flowing toppers will be around for some time to come! I know there are other kimono patterns out there… would love to know if you have a favorite.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

A off-the-shoulder look inspired by Theory

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As you all know, I love a good designer knock-off, and Theory is one of my favorite designer lines. Last fall, a friend of mine wore the Theory shirt (on the left) to a dinner at my house, and I was smitten. She wore the shirt a bit off the shoulder and I loved the way the the gathered neckline was created by a drawstring.

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To create my knock off version, I used Simplicity 8550 as a template.

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The best news about this pattern is that I found it for a $1.99 at Joann’s!!  I have so many sewing patterns, I can only justify an addition if it’s a bargain. Yes, Indie patterns are great options, but you can’t beat the price when the Big Four go on sale.

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The neckline of the Simplicity top is similar to the Theory shirt in design, but it’s a bit wider. Also, it doesn’t have a drawstring closure.PicMonkey Collage-6To add a drawstring at the neckline: First, I adjusted the neck opening to make it a bit smaller. To do this, I took a half an inch out of the front and back bodice pattern at the center front and center back. Because the cut of this shirt is so loose in the shoulders and bodice, that adjustment did nothing to the comfort or fit of the top. To make the channel for the drawstring (a simple black ribbon), I replaced the neck facing with a strip of bias tape, and inserted the ribbon through that. Pretty simple modification…

Other adjustments: I tapered the bodice a bit by adding two eyelash darts in the back from the shoulders to the waist. Even though the Theory shirt is collarless, I couldn’t resist adding some drama with a big collar.

I was tempted to use Chambray for the top for my knock off, but decided I have too much blue in my wardrobe. It’s time for a new color…red! This cotton is from Fabric Depot and it has just the right amount of body for the collar – yet isn’t too stiff for the drawstring/gathered neck.

 

 

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This top was definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants project, and I feel lucky that it turned out so well:) I love the fact that, with a tug on the drawstring, I can adjust the neckline of this shirt as the mood strikes. The color is nice for a change too. This top won’t be a wardrobe orphan because it works so well with my favorite Ginger jeans and with my denim skirt too.

Well, I think this officially begins my summer sewing. Fingers crossed that I get to wear it soon! Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A Knit Anorak in Two Hours or Less

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It’s June, and I would love to say that this make is out of season, but it’s still layering weather here in the Pacific Northwest. When summer does arrive, it usually lands pretty hard though, so I’ll be breaking into my stash of linen this month! But for now, I’m craving soft warm cozy layers for afternoon errands and evening walks.

I titled this post – – in two hours or less because that’s an accurate reflection of how long it took to make this fast and easy jacket from Butterick.IMG_2639 2

This project was easy in part because I used double faced knit (Mill End Store).  LOVE IT!! The contrast hood and cuffs were created by the lovely lining on this knit.

They aren’t kidding when they say that Butterick 6394 is Fast and Easy! This pattern is simple and well-designed pattern; a good base for creativity and embellishment.

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I really wanted my knit jacket to feel more like a anorak than a ordinary sweatshirt so I modified as follows:

  • I added deep four inch cuffs to the long sleeves so that they could be folded back.
  • I added four buttons to the front closure. It’s meant to just meet at the front, but, because this is a very loose fitting jacket, it was easy to overlap the front to make it a button up jacket.
  • I added a drawstring waist, using seam binding on the inside and black cording.
  • I added deep pockets to the side seam.

Even with those modifications, this was a quick sew, made possible in part by the fact that the drop shoulders and the easy collar-less hood.

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I can guarantee, this jacket will be in heavy rotation during June, and again in the fall. This double faced knit is so great to sew and wear, I’ll always be on the lookout for more. Does anyone know a great source of lovely fabric like this?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!