Kobe Top in Embroidered Linen

I know many of you have started your Fall sewing, but I’m still enjoying working through my stash of linen and cotton. It’s just hard for me to switch gears when the weather is still so warm.

Linen is my absolute favorite fabric to wear in the spring and summer, and if it’s soft and a teeny bit worn, I’m in heaven! So, I love to pick up bits of linen (tablecloths, napkins etc) at garage sales, antique stores, anywhere I can find them. I was thrilled at a recent collectible market to find a large embroidered table-cloth that showed no visible damage or stains.

IMG_6128

I knew immediately that I wanted to sew a Kobe top by Papercut patterns, a pattern I’ve been interested in making for a while.

KobeLD_large

I was attracted to the Kobe because of the interesting back.  I love the way the pleat falls across the back neck opening.

IMG_6107

When I bought the pattern, I dreamed of making it from a sheer fabric but then, I saw this linen.  I knew it would be perfect. Actually, now that I’ve made the Kobe, I can imagine a whole host of fabric options for it! Sheer silk, chiffon, rayon challis, sheer lace, anything with flow and movement should work well.

IMG_6550

 

The challenge of course was pattern placement. I wanted the embroidered details to take center stage. Because the Kobe is simple with only a few main pattern pieces, this wasn’t as hard as I expected.  I centered the largest part of the embroidered pattern on the front center of the bodice and did the same with the back. The trickiest part was figuring out how to do the hem, as I wanted to utilize the lovely embroidered edge. In the end, I did a muslin version to make sure I understood where the length of the front and back would fall on me. I’m really glad I did this because the Kobe is likely designed for someone who is quite a bit taller than me (5’4”). So I did a mid bodice adjustment of an inch. This really brought it up to a reasonable length.   

IMG_6568

On the sleeves, I used the same strategy – -I centered the pattern, and used the scalloped edges as a hem. This did make this a fast project – – no hemming needed!

I love my new summer top. Yes, it wrinkles, but hey, linen is worth it. And I’m happy to say, I don’t feel like I’m wearing a old table-cloth when I wear this, LOL. Have you ever made anything from an old table-cloth?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

                   

McCall’s 7780; A cold shoulder top for Fall

IMG_6450It took me awhile to fall in love with this new pattern by McCall’s. The cold shoulder style put me off at first. I thought I was over that look, but this summer, I’ve discovered that the cold shoulder tops and dresses I made last year (here,  and here and here) are the ones I reach for time and again. The style is perfect when hot days turn to cooler evenings. IMG_6486There are design details I really like about this pattern – – the sleeves cut into the bodice, the flounce detailing on the bodice, the off-the-shoulder look, the wide shoulder straps. I’m not particularly found of the front and back bodice seam, although I didn’t think much about that until I started to cut my fabric. Because my fabric had a horizontal print, I had some pattern matching in the front which I hadn’t planned for. Thankfully, I did have enough fabric!

McCall’s 7780 has so many fun options. You can make the top with straps that tie, you can add a front flounce or a sleeve flounce, or make the top without any flounces at all. I love the solid white on the pattern envelope, but since I have more than my fair share of white tops, I chose to use a rayon print instead (fabricdepot.com). I made version C with the straps of view B without the ties. I’m not wild about ties at the shoulders as they tend to tickle and annoy me.

IMG_6482 2

Construction challenges:

  • As I mentioned, the front and back center seams required pattern matching…I barely pulled this off.
  • The sleeves are cut into the bodice so their shape is created by folds in the fabric. If your fabric is too stiff, the sleeve folds might look too distinct and the openings for the cut shoulder could lack the soft drape they need to look right.  A soft linen, or rayon or silk would be perfect. Also, I have narrow shoulders and the shoulders fit me perfectly. If you have broad shoulders, I’d do a tissue fit or muslin to make sure they won’t be too tight.

IMG_6162

Besides those challenges, I found the construction of this top, easy and straightforward. I love the style and am glad I finally fell in love with it. It’s the perfect date-night top, or for a lunch out with a friend. The length of the sleeves makes it comfortable on a cool evening too – – great to wear as we transition into Fall!

 

I usually start my Fall sewing mid way through August, but our weather has been so warm, I’m still inspired to make warm weather clothes. Perhaps, I should be cutting into heavier fabrics, but it’s hard for me to sew something I can’t wear right away….not sure if I’m the only one? I love a bit of instant gratification, I guess. So, until the weather changes, I remain a linen/cotton/rayon obsessed seamstress! How about you?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

Burda Style Raglan Sleeve Dress

IMG_6210

It’s been so hot and smoky here in Oregon. Heavy wildfire smoke has settled over Portland, a depressing reminder of last summer’s fire catastrophe in the Columbia Gorge.

But today, things are looking up! The wind is clearing the smoke away, the outside temperature is moderate and it’s safe to be outside again. It’s the perfect day to wear a simple summer dress.

IMG_6265

Did you see the August issue of Burda Style magazine? There were so many great styles I could hardly decide where to start! I was attracted to this Burda dress by the relaxed but fitted style.

770x967_BS_2018_08_101_front_large

Most of the shape is created by an elastic waist, and elastic bands on the Raglan sleeves, so there aren’t any darts or waistbands with tricky fit issues. There’s another big advantage of this pattern has…It’s only three pieces!!

101_large

Burda 08/2018 #101 is traceable or available for download.  The fit on this dress was spot on for me, and it was pretty simple to trace the pattern pieces since there were so few.

As with all Burda magazine patterns, the instructions provided were minimal. However, since there are very few seams, construction was straightforward. Of course, inside finishing is never discussed in Burda instructions, so I just finished the neckline with bias tape and serged the seams for a polished inside finish.

This rayon (Fabric Depot) has the perfect drape for summer dress. It’s just the right weight for the gathering at the waist. I’m not a big fan of exposed elastic so I did make a tie belt from matching fabric.

IMG_6270

IMG_5965

I don’t know why I don’t sew with Burda patterns more often. Maybe it’s because I have to trace the pattern?? Really though, compared to the time it takes to assemble a PDF pattern, it’s nothing. From tracing to hemming this dress only took a couple of hours…an easy Saturday afternoon make!

Hmmm, there may be more Burda style patterns in my future. What about you…fan or not?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

Vacation Countdown: Skirt and Vintage Wrap Top

IMG_5670

It’s vacation countdown time at my house and I’m sewing like a mad woman as I plan my travel wardrobe. These new ‘makes’ scored high in the versatility category, so I’m sure they’ll both find a place in my suitcase.

IMG_5699

When I first saw this Simplicity top, I was taken with the vintage look; the peplum detail, the wrap at the waist and the oversized cut in sleeves. Must haves!! When I wear this, I love the bright blue of course, but I feel a bit like I’m channeling Kate (Hepburn, of course)…. never a bad thing!!

This wrap top is Simplicity 8593 and the construction is so intriguing. There aren’t any side seams.

simplicity-vintage-blouse-1940s-miss-pattern-8593-front-back-view

simplicity-vintage-blouse-1940s-miss-pattern-8593-envelope-front

Instead, the ties on the inside and the wrap belt keeps everything together. Not only is the style unusual, but it’s so easy to sew. I love the tropical print on the envelope version. If I find that fabric, there will be another of these in my future!

 

IMG_5669

This top is so comfortable to wear and, even without side seams, the coverage feels secure. I made the smallest size, and it was still very roomy. Even though the top looks unstructured, there are two darts in the back and front, giving it some needed shape. There’s nothing hard about this pattern at all. If you can gather and sew a seam, you’re good to go. For my version, I used a batik rayon (Fabric depot) and I think it’s the perfect weight and drape for this design.

The skirt is definitely a winner too as it seems to go with everything in my wardrobe! IMG_5837

Here, I’m wearing it with a tee top (simplicity pattern to be blogged), a ruffled shirt I made last summer (see it here), and a linen shirt I made but never blogged.

Butterick 6326 has two versions, a high waisted skirt and a gathered waist option.

I’m such a fan of anything high waisted, so this was an easy choice for me. I used a stretchy denim (Mill End Store) that is perfect for this pattern. It has just enough weight to hold everything in, yet it’s stretchy enough for comfort. According to the pattern measurements, I chose a size 8 and it fit perfectly without adjustments. There’s a zipper in the back, but other than that, this is a quick and easy pattern! I topstitched with black thread, but it would look really great to stitch with a contrasting thread which I will likely do if I make it again.

With these makes, I’m feeling more confident about my travel wardrobe, which is great because I have less than four weeks (!!) to get my act together. This skirt will be easy to mix and match with short and long sleeve tops, making it an multi-season item.

IMG_5665

I think for this trip, I will pack more separates that I can mix and match, and only a dress or two. In the past, I’ve leaned toward dresses, but I’m not sure they have as much mileage as a good skirt or a pair of pants. Opinions appreciated!

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

Jumpsuit Love and Two New Buddies

IMG_5286

I knew when I decided to participate in the RTW Fast this year, that I’d have my work cut out for me in a key wardrobe category – – Pants. I’ve always preferred RTW over me-made pants in past years. But in the jumpsuit category, RTW has always let me down; the fit, the fabric… not to mention the comfort factor. Ugh. So, creating a jumpsuit that fit was a challenge I accepted willingly.

Of course, as soon as I finished this, my husband informed me he isn’t a ‘fan’ of jumpsuits. Ha, isn’t that such a guy thing? If he would just wear a jump suit, I’m sure he would change his mind.

IMG_5549

The pattern I chose is Simplicity 8610, a jumpsuit with a slightly raised waist, deep pockets and slight gathers at the waist.

simplicity-kimono-jumpsuit-pattern-8610-front-back-view

I was attracted to the details on this one – the raised, gathered waist, the top-stitched bodice band, and the buttons on the straps.

 

This is my first jumpsuit and I was a bit nervous about fit, so I’m glad this pattern was pretty forgiving. The look/fit is so unstructured, there was little I could do to screw it up! I cut the size my measurements indicated and it fit perfectly – a rarity in patterns that must be celebrated! I also found the placement of the back pockets to be spot on too! That’s got to be a first for me. The one modification I made was to shift the gathers so that the center front of the waist is and smooth. I did this because I thought there was a bit of a pooch at the stomach when the gathers were evenly distributed.

IMG_5328

Simplicity recommends soft fabrics like cotton and linen, but I really wanted ‘drape’ so I chose a soft medium weight crepe, and I’m glad I did as it’s so comfortable and easy to wear. It was great to work with – not too slippery and it doesn’t fray. As fabrics go, crepe is pretty versatile – – easy to dress up or down. I might be able to get away with wearing my new jumpsuit in the fall with a shirt underneath. What do you think?

IMG_5128

Are you a jumpsuit fan, or are you in my husband’s camp? I’d love to know pattern recommendations for the future, as I’m loving this one right now!

It’s been a year since our nutty tabby, Dustin, passed, and we decided we’re ready for a new friend. We went to adopt one, and ended up with two babies :). They’re a boy and a girl from the same litter who look like twins; Maggie and Mitchell, only three months old!

They were a bit nervous at first, but are now feeling enough at home to show us their stuff. There’s lots of running, jumping and climbing at our house right now. I’m sure they’ll be leaping into a blog photo or two before too long!

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.