DIY Street Fair Kimono and a Cold Shoulder Tee

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Summer is winding down, but there are still plenty of opportunities to attend street fairs, farmer’s markets and wine festivals. Since Street Fairs are great places to get your inner bo-ho on, I’ve taken to wearing kimonos over my standard jeans and tees on my excursions.

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A kimono is such a great wardrobe soldier. When you toss one on, you immediately add style to any outfit!  But the best part about kimonos is that they are so fun to sew. You can use just about any fabric with a good drape to make a show stopping topper. And, because kimonos have front bands and sleeve bands, you can play around with contrasting fabrics to make the look your own.

For my kimono, I used a tried and true pattern, Simplicity 1318, view C with a great high low hem. Lightweight fabrics work best for this look, so I used a sheer cotton lawn I purchased last year in that fabulous fabric store I found in Budapest (see this post). It has a fun geometic print that I took some care in placing on the pattern.

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I love this kimono pattern so much, this is my third make (I’ve made it twice before, here and here). The only modification I made this time was to lengthen it by three inches so it would be long and flowy.

 

 

 

 

 

Because I am committed to reducing the number of wardrobe orphans in my closet, I also made Simplicty 8337, a cold shoulder knit top to go with it.

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This pattern is fabulous! It has several different views, all with a look of their own. I love the cut of the bodice. It’s slightly loose but not too blousy. The v-neck is a winner too.

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Some notes on this pattern:

  • I used a lovely rayon knit with two way stretch that I found at Fabric Depot. You need a good amount of stretch for the cold shoulder sleeve to hug your arm and not sag.
  • The pattern is generously sized. I was able to cut a XS and had room to spare.
  • Also, please note, there is a seam down the front, which is a bit unexpected in a tee. It’s was likely added to the pattern to accomodate the ruffle version and the v-neck version. It doesn’t bother me on my solid color tee, but you could elimnate that front seam pretty easily if you wanted to.

Both patterns are keepers, if you ask me!

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Now that I’ve made this kimono pattern three times, I think it should enter a special category in my pattern stash;  the pattern Hall of Fame, don’t you think? Hmmm, I might have to put together a special post to honor that category :).

Do you have any three-time winners in your pattern stash? I’d love to check them out!

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Simplicity 1160-A Cut-Out Tee

Hi all! After completing my denim skirt last week, I needed to find an easy, fun, ‘instant gratification’ project to cleanse my sewing palate.  This little tee was the answer, inspired by a recent visit to Anthropologie. I found so many wonderful tees to admire there. I’m always amazed at how they can take a simple, every day top and with a single detail, turn it into something special.  Here’s the Anthro tee:

Many of the tops I saw in RTW were ‘swing’ tees. It’s a great shape to wear for comfort and ease. I loved the back detail on this one (hated the color on me), although I thought the ties would drive me crazy.  Still, it started a bit of an obsession. I had to sew a tee with a back cut out!! After reviewing a zillion tee shirt patterns, I finally found one that was a decent match. Enter Simplicity 1160, a tee with a scoop neck, a swing shape and a cut-out back.

When I saw the line drawings, I expected that the cut-out would be tricky to sew. Here’s the good news. It’s really not.IMG_3480

The cut out detailing is faced with bias tape, the way you would finish a tee shirt neckline. It isn’t hard to do and the pattern instructions are pretty easy to follow.

The fabric I chose is a cotton jersey with moderate stretch and a soft drape. I think a ponte knit would be too stiff for this, but would love to try a flowy rayon knit next time.

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This pattern seemed risky for me because I have a narrow-back.  I’m happy to report, fit wasn’t an issue at all. The only change I would probably make next time around is to raise the front neckline. It’s a bit low for me, although in the peak of summer, I may love it. Otherwise, this pattern is a winner and I will make it again. After all, I’m ‘all in’ when I find a fun project you can finish in an afternoon.

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Hey look! It goes with my new denim skirt, although it looks a bit wrinkled here…Hmmm, too many wardrobe changes in this photo shoot, I guess! Let’s see. I’ve made a top that goes with my skirt….Does this mean I can say I have a capsule wardrobe?? One thing is clear. If I keep buying blue fabric at my current rate, eventually, everything in my wardrobe will go together.

This tee was so fun to sew, I’m on the search for others with interesting shapes. Style Arc has quite a few; the Tamara, the Kylie and the Maris, but I’ve never sewn a Style Arc pattern before and have heard they’re a bit daunting as the instructions aren’t that great. Any experience to share with Style Arc?

Happy sewing, and thanks for stopping by!

 

Spring means Tees!

The temperature hit seventy degrees today in Portland, tee-shirt weather!  It’s time to store my winter wools in favor of cotton, linen, maybe even silk. Perhaps this wardrobe shift is a bit premature (we’ve had snow in April before), but I’m determined to embrace the change.
When the rain stops, I’m always in the mood to shop. During a recent visit to Anthropologie, I noticed that their spring line included a nice assortment of simple but stylish tees. Most had an artistic look, with less structure in the design. Many were made with a mixture of textures and patterns. Since the size of my fabric stash overwhelms me, I fought the urge to make a sizable purchase, choosing instead to approach my sewing time with a new sense of purpose.
I decided to make a new wardrobe of tees – – so many, I’d be comfortable no matter what the Spring weather holds!
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Here’s the first one. The pattern I chose was Vogue 9054, a loose fitting tee that comes in more than one length. Since cropped is also on trend, I decided to make the shorter version, rather than the tunic length. I used a couple of coordinated cotton jerseys that were in my stash, purchased at Fabric Depot last spring. Both were shades of blue, a theme that matched the color story of Spring; deep indigo, navy and denim blue. The print was designed by Anna Maria Horner, the Mary Thistle knit in blue.
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Vogue 9054 was a delight to sew! It came together in about two hours, including cutting time. Usually, because of my narrow back, I have to make lots of adjustments, but this pattern fit as cut. Not only that, but every seam came together perfectly, and the sleeves slipped in without a struggle. Well done, Vogue! This is one well designed pattern.
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I love the end result – simple yet as stylish as many of the high end ready to wear garments . I plan to make this again in several coordinated cotton jerseys for a color blocked look. I might also try a patterned knit. Vogue 9054 is destined for ‘favorite’ status!