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!

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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.

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I love the way it wraps in the back.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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’.

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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!

It’s going to be a Charlie Caftan Summer!

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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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
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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

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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!

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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!

New to Me: Kanerva Button Back Shirt

 

I just might be the last blogger in the world to sew the Kanerva top! And better late than never.  This top is truly unique with buttons down the back, a pleated waist, and a split peplum. And as you all know, I’m a sucker for a peplum! True love!

IMG_2348 I’ve wanted to sew something by Named clothing for awhile. I was prompted to finally do so by the Monthly Stitch. It’s Indie Pattern Month over there, and this week we’re sewing a pattern that’s New to Me. This is my first make of the Kanerva blouse, and I am so taken with the design details! Both versions are fitted with two sets of front darts, a pleated waist and a gentle peplum.

To accentuate the fabulous design details of this blouse, I decided to use two different fabrics; A embroidered cotton and a hankerchief linen. I used the cotton for the bodice, the self-drafted pockets and sleeve bands.  I used hankerchief linen for the sleeves and peplum.

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Yes, linen loves to wrinkle, but it wears like pajamas, so all is forgiven. It does tend to fray though, so I finished all the seams with my serger. Of course, the back is where it’s really happening on this shirt!

IMG_2279I used vintage pearl buttons. They’re fairly flat so they won’t poke me when I lean against a hard backed chair. The placket is easy, just a few folds that you stitch down, then you add your buttons and button holes. I added self drafted pockets to the front just because I thought they would look cool and finished the neck with binding.

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All in all, this was a fun, straightforward make. The scariest part for me was transferring the pattern markings. I tested both tracing paper and chalk on my white fabric and both stained, so I had to use thread and pins to mark. Ugh! Not sure what a better choice would be….Recommendations are appreciated! The instructions were easy to follow though and it was about a four hour sew from cut to finish. And, I think I finished this top just in time. It’s (finally!) heating up here, with temperatures expected to be in the high nineties tomorrow. IMG_2367Although I usually choose Big Four patterns (they’re so easy to find and always on sale), I do love the fact that there’s a month dedicated to some of the alternatives available through Indie companies. There are so many choices these days, that you can always find something fun to sew. If you haven’t checked out the Monthly Stitch collective, give it a try!

The trickiest part of this project was transferring the pattern markings. Have you had problems with staining of fabrics with tracing paper? Do you know products that work better for marking?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

Checks, please!

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Is there any print that’s more all-American than gingham? It’s been associated with farms and corn fields ever since Dorothy wore her gingham pinafore in the Wizard of Oz.

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But gingham’s image and appeal doesn’t stop there. It’s even been favored by iconic fashion figures from the past. Brigitte Bardot had a wedding dress made from gingham.

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Jane Fonda wore gingham in Cat Ballou.

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Even Audrey Hepburn wore gingham a time or two.

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So, when we wear gingham these days, we’re in good company!

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This Spring, gingham staged a  comeback, making it into the collections of famous designers. Altuzarra had a simple gingham shirt dress with classic lines here.

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Bottega Veneta had a gauzy interpretation with this stunning dress.

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And now, gingham has made it into my wardrobe. This easy top features black and white checks of varying sizes.

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The pattern: Simplicity 1377 is an easy to sew top with drop shoulders and a simple crew neck.

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Modifications: I made view C but modified the split v- neck to be a true V-neck, by omaking the V wider. In order to have the big checks on the back show to the front at the shoulder, I added an inch to the back shoulder seam, and subtracted an inch from the front shoulder seam. For interest, I added twill tape to the shoulder seams, the sleeves and the neckline.

Fabric: the two gingham checks are cotton shirting, purchased at Fabric Depot. I was inspired to use gingham by the wonderful garments being posted on the Monthly Stitch for the Check it Out Challenge. If you haven’t visited that site, take a look. It’s such a great community of seamstresses.

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This top was easy and fun to sew, and since I chose a pattern with a one piece bodice, I didn’t have to struggle to match the plaids! It’s summer after all, my favorite time to sew things that are easy and fast. What about you? Does the sun give you the energy to sew more complex projects? Or do you opt for simple patterns, like me?

Happy sewing! Thanks for stopping by…