Wardrobe Part 2: Safari and Long Cardi

Hi All! I’m back with part 2 of my Sudoku Wardrobe adventure for Pattern Review’s Contest. These makes are two of my ‘accessories’, a linen safari jacket and a long knit cardigan. I think the fact that I interpreted the accessory category as a chance to add jackets or toppers to my wardrobe is a big clue that I live in Oregon! Honestly, one doesn’t venture out of the house, even in summer, without a wrap of some sort in hand. You just never know when the weather is going to shift and catch you by surprise.

This safari jacket was one of my favorite makes of this contest.

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Why? Because it’s detailed with double rows of topstitching everywhere!

Of course, I used my trusty #57 edge stitch presser foot to help guide me as I did on my denim dress last year. There’s something so satisfying about seeing those stitches lined up in perfect rows!

I’ve wanted to make a jacket like this for a while with a belt and pockets and buttons. I imagined a version with buttons on the upper pockets, but when I tried them on my jacket, well, it just was too much for me. So I left them off. McCalls 7365 is a loose-fitting, unlined vest and jacket with a self lined yoke, two piece sleeves, french seams and lots of pockets with tucks. It also has a cool back pleat, and a tie belt. There are lots of pieces of course, which makes this long project but it’s so satisfying and well worth the time. I love the two piece sleeves and the pleated pockets. One note though: the fit of the jacket is loose. Adjusting it would be a bit tricky if you usually adjust fit at the side seams because there are none. There’s a side panel instead.

The pattern instructions were great, the fit was good, and nothing was too tricky or confusing, definitely, a new favorite! The linen was from my stash, (YAY) purchased so long ago, I forgot where!  For the contest, the Sudoku grid forced me to pair this jacket with a skirt, but I’ll likely wear it more often with jeans and shorts. I want another version out of twill
 My other topper in the accessory category was a long knit cardigan.IMG_4826
I am such a fan of this shape. Earlier this year, I made this pattern and loved my wool knit version so much , I had to add a Spring version to my wardrobe.IMG_3967
It’s made from a denim colored cotton knit that I bought at Fabric Depot last summer. The fabric has just the right amount of stretch to make it wearable, but it’s not so stretch that it loses its shape. McCalls 7476 is one of my new favorites, and I have fabric for another version in linen knit. I cut this version a bit larger than my last because I wanted to take advantage of the light flow-y nature of this fabric. It floats a bit as I walk, which will make it a perfect summer layer.
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I also made an Obagi belt from leather, and used that as one of my accessories too.

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This belt is basically just two pieces of leather sewn together with leather ties. I crafted the tassels by cutting strips of leather and sewing them to the ends :). Not sure I love how they turned out, but I do use this belt all the time!

That’s it for my accessories; The Moto jacket from last post, the Safari jacket, the cardigan and the belt…four pieces I’m glad to have in my wardrobe! Next post will be the tops I made.

I wandered around my sewing room a bit yesterday and noticed how airy and light I feel with a smaller stash :). That’s one of the best parts about entering a contest/challenge for me. I’m motivated to complete projects I’ve dreamed about for a long time, and I burn through my stash! I have to admit though. It is hard to part with some fabric, like the brown linen piece I used for the Safari jacket. I love the color and know I will never find a piece like that again. What? Do I have regrets? Not really, but I do get sentimental about fabric!  Am I the only one?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

DIY Cropped Pants and an Easy Top

img_7842Hi All! What are these? Cropped pants? Wide shorts? Culottes? Tell me, please. Whatever they are, they’re strangely reminscent of a poppy skirt I bought in junior high. Yes, it has been that long since I had anything in my wardrobe that was poppy! Can’t tell you why I’ve waited this long because the color is so fabulous. In fact, when you think of all the colors you can wear with it (black, navy, white, denim, maybe even army green?), you could almost call it a neutral.

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I’ve wanted a pair of wide shorts/cropped pants since I saw Mimi G rocking them on her website. Yes, I could have purchased one of her excellent patterns to make these, but I felt sure a shorts pattern I had in my stash would work just fine. But after I made them, I realized didn’t have quite the right top to go with them. You know how it goes. One thing leads to another….

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The cropped pants are a long version of Vogue 9008, a shorts pattern that is so versatile. You can make a flat front or pleated front version. I chose the pleats, but then I sewed them down to give the front a smooth finish. To get the full leg look I wanted, I lengthened the shorts by six inches, keeping the line of the shorts wide at the bottom. I love the effect. The shorts are snug at the top, but they flare out like a skirt at the bottom.

The pattern is pretty straightforward. It has a mock fly zipper, which is easy to insert, and you can add pockets if you want. The instructions were clear. It wasn’t hard, but with belt loops and a back yoke (which I love) this pattern is a bit time consuming.

I made them from poppy linen, purchased at Fabric Depot. It is midweight and I planned on lining the shorts with silk, but ended up taking the lining out because it made the legs too full and bunchy.  Yes, I wanted them to be full, but I did not want them to look like clown pants.

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The top is made from a cotton-linen blend that’s the color of denim. I love this fabric and wish I could remember where I got it because I’d love to have more. The pattern is Vogue, 8906.

It has front pleats that form the shape of the bodice, eliminating the need for darts. There’s a zipper in back. To make the sleeves a little more boxy, I added a sleeve band that is 5″ wide. It makes the sleeves look more ‘finished’ to me, and adds a bit of a retro vibe, I think. I also added a v-neck, and adjusted the facings accordingly. This pattern is super easy! I plan on making several more versions including one with buttons down the front. The fit was spot on for me. I didn’t even have to adjust for my narrow shoulders. Nice!

img_7846I’m not sure if Poppy is a fall color, but I’m going to be wearing this outfit now, because linen is so perfect at this time of year. I’m not sure if I’ll really wear this top with the shorts though. Together they might be too much flare for me. Maybe I should wear them with a top that fits snuggly, or maybe something tucked in? Opinions welcome!

I hope your sewing projects are going well. Fall is my favorite time to sew, because the new fabrics are so fabulous. Enjoy!

A Dress with a Few of my Favorite Things

 

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I’m smiling because this dress has three of my favorite things: linen, lace and silk. Yes, linen wrinkles, but I’m prepared to overlook that fact because it breathes like nothing else. If the weather is muggy, no worries!  When it comes to heat, this fabric is invincible.

IMG_3568To make this dress even more humidity resistant, it’s lined in silk, a splurge I never will regret. The textured linen is so special, it deserves a great lining. Not only that, but it was such a bargain! I found two yards on the remant/sample shelves at Mill End Store last summer. I bought it immediately, of course, but then I stalled. The fabric was so wonderful, I dithered about what to do with it. A dress? A top? Or, maybe a skirt? I perused pattern books, websites, flitting from one idea to another. How typical. If I love a fabric, I become paralyzed by its perfection! No idea or pattern is good enough for it. Finally, though, I settled on this idea. It’s a good thing because this linen dress is a dream to wear. The linen hangs perfectly, but feels like nothing.

IMG_3504 My dress was inspired by several RTW versions. Here are two fabulous dresses by Derek Lam and Caroline Herrara.

The pattern I used for my dress is McCalls’ 7285. I’ve made it before as a top, but decided I wanted to convert it to a dress.

To do so, I had to modify. The top pattern as drafted is a cropped style so if I extended it to dress length’as is’, it would be too tight in the hips. So, I took my hip measurement, and, as I extended the front and back bodice, I made the shape A-line, making sure the bodice was wide enough to accommodate my own width.

To add the lace embellishment on the bodice, I cut a length of lace the width of the front and back bodices just above the bust line. I stitched the lace in place on both the front and back bodice before setting the sleeves in. That way, when I did finally sew them in, the end of the lace was hidden in the sleeve seam. To add the lace to the bell of the sleeve, I sewed the lace on the bell before sewing the bell’s center back seam so that the end of the lace would be hidden in that seam as well. Also, textured linen has a tendency to fray (this is an understatement!). So, to keep my dress from unraveling into a pile of thread, I overlocked all the seams on the dress, and the silk lining as well.

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I love my summery dress, and I think the top pattern transitioned without too much of a struggle. However, I’m certain my method could be improved upon. I feel like I should have taken fabric drape into account as I extended the top to dress length, and that I’m lucky that it turned it as well as it did!  There must be more to it than just adding a few inches, a ‘method’ with a bit more of a rationale? Have you extended a top to a dress?  Did you just add a few inches, or did you ‘draft’ an extension?

I took my dress for a test drive today, and it was so comfortable. I’m glad I splurged on silk for the lining, because it makes it extra yummy to wear. So, if you wonder if silk is worth, my answer is ‘YES’! Go for it! You deserve it.

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!

PR Sewing Bee Round 1 – The Good News and The…Other News

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Some might say I’m crazy, but this year, I entered the Pattern Review Sewing Bee, a contest that contains four challenges, each a week in length. As a rule, I don’t usually get too excited about competitions, but I decided to try this one to push myself a bit. It’s time to try something new, I told myself, and to learn a few things in the process.  Sounds good, eh? Still, I waffled, until the specifics of Round 1 were announced. The first challenge was to make a fitted blouse. And wouldn’t you know, I already had fabric in my stash for another peplum blouse. Is that destiny or what?!?

For my contest entry, I used Butterick 6097, a fitted blouse with a peplum I made here and here. This time though, I wanted to try something different. Since my fabric was a linen that had a denim look, I decided to use french seams and double topstitching to play up to the ‘jeans’  vibe of the fabric.

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The french seams turned out to be essential as this linen blend unraveled every time I even looked at it. I overlocked in some places too. I thought sewing all the topstitching would drive me crazy, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop. Really. I went a little berserk. I put those double yellow lines everywhere.

To fasten the front, I used snaps instead of buttons. For those who haven’t tried inserting snaps, it’s really quite fun! You get to pound them in with a hammer. The first time is a bit…well, scary, since a screw up leaves a hole in your fabric that’s too big to deny, but then, you relax right into it. The noise made my poor cat a little insane though.

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Once the shirt was done, I posted photos on the PR website, wrote my review and waited. And waited. If you haven’t taken a look at all of the gorgeous shirts entered in the contest, you really should. They were all amazing. I can’t imagine how the judges decided who would go forward to the next round. But, as luck would have it, I passed muster and am moving ahead. Yahoo! That’s the good news.

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The Other news? Well, here’s the description of Round 2’s challenge. To quote: “In this round you will add surface embellishments to existing fabric to make a piece of fabric (or fabrics) something truly unique. You will then make a garment out of the fabric(s) that you embellished. Because the embellishment process may take additional time, participants will have TEN days for this round.”

Say what?!?  My first reaction was, WTF! My second reaction was, ‘how much wine did I have the night I decided to enter this contest’? After a good night’s sleep and a nice long bike ride this morning though, I’ve settled into the idea of this challenge. Sure, I’ve never applied a surface embellishment (whatever that is LOL) to anything other than a bit of make up on my face, but hey. There’s got to be a first time for everything. And, with any luck, something like inspiration will strike in the next 24 hours (the clock is ticking here, brain!). I will swing into action and it will be fun. (Yes, this is a pep talk :))

A few of my favorite bloggers also entered the PR Sewing bee. You might want to check out their lovely makes – –  Saturday Night Stitch, Gray all Day, Thanks I made them, to name a few.

I hope you’re enjoying our lovely fall, and are finding inspiration everywhere you look. Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

Color-blocking a wild print into submission

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When it comes to fabric, I am not a big fan of prints. Yes, I love the way they look on others (the wilder, the better!) but on me? Not so much. Yet, my wardrobe needs a few prints to make it more interesting. After all, one cannot live on a diet of solid fabrics alone!

But for a shrimp like me, finding the right print can be challenging. I’m often attracted to prints that overwhelm my smallish frame. The fabric I used on this dress is a perfect example of my exuberance when it comes to color and pattern. When I saw this blue printed linen at Fabric Depot, I could not take my eyes off it. Yes, I’m a blue fanatic, and this was the most lovely shade imaginable.  Of course, the fabric jumped right into my shopping cart and made its way home with me.

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But when I draped the printed linen on my mannequin, I could not believe how bold and busy it looked. A serious case of buyer’s remorse! The blue was so bright! And those floral designs seemed to be swimming all over the place! I couldn’t imagine the fabric would ever work on  me.

But, I couldn’t bear to  part with it either. So, color blocking…to the rescue!

I’ve always been fond of wearing black with blue, so I draped black linen over the blue print, and, hallelujah, to my eye, it tamed that wild fabric down.  So, I went for it.

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The pattern I used is a Tried and True, Vogue 8840 (also seen here). I lengthened the tunic version by 6” to make it dress length. (The tunic itself is already pretty long on me, so it doesn’t take much to make it a dress.)  I cut the short sleeved version.

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Color blocking modifications:

Cutting: For the color blocked pieces in the front, I cut one piece of white linen that was six inches wide and the length of the center seam of the dress. I also cut two black strips, the same length as the white piece, but only  3” wide.

Application: After sewing the center front seam on the dress, I pinned on the color block strips, using the center front seam as my guide. The white strip was centered on that seam, and the black pieces were edge stitched to each side of the white strip. After I did that, I added a bit of trim that I had in my stash on the seams of the color blocked pieces to make them pop a bit. I also added a black linen band to the bottom of both of the sleeves to pull the color theme together.

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Once the color blocked strips were sewn on, I finished the tunic according to the standard instructions.

The linen was a dream to sew on, and it breathes even when the air is hot and thick. And the pattern? There is a reason it’s one of my tried and trues. It’s so easy to modify and it fits well. My color blocked dress is still pretty bright for me, but at least its wearable. And I had so much fun playing around with the fabric on this one!

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Happy summer, happy sewing, and thanks for stopping by!

Vogue 8894 – Stripes, Blue and Linen

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When I first saw this fabric, it seemed made for me.  It has most everything I love; two shades of BLUE, stripes and… it’s linen! Can you blame me for snatching it up? I was ecstatic, yet, once I got it home, it languished in my stash. I couldn’t decide what to do with it. Fabric love can be so paralyzing! I overthink, worrying that the style won’t do it justice, or that it will never look as good as it does on the shelf.
But our recent heat wave pushed me to act. I did not have a thing to wear (honest!!). Everything in my closet felt heavy and hot. This made my lovely fabric’s future quite clear. It would become an easy-to-wear, cool summer dress, a frock that could handle even a 100 degree day.
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The pattern I used was one I’d had in my archives, a basic Vogue I bought during a sale, then never used. To be honest, there are many (!!)  similar patterns in my archives, ‘honest mistakes’ purchased during some crazy-good 5 for $7 sale. I’m a sucker for those sales. No matter what, I can’t buy just three patterns. I have to buy five, because, well, it’s a good deal! Needless to say, that mindset results in a pattern stash that is unwieldy and huge. Some of those lovelies will never be opened, or cut. What to do, what to do? Does one vow to use all of them so that not one pattern will be wasted? Or is it better to admit defeat and send some of them to pattern heaven?
I digress, though.
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Pattern: I chose Vogue 8894 from my archives, A v-neck dress with a close fitting bodice, a raised waist, hemline variations and sleeves, and a back zipper. It was easy to put together, and the instructions were clear. I made my usual adjustments for narrow shoulders, and the fit was spot on.
Fabric: Linen from Fabric Depot.
Design Modifications: The pattern is designed with 3/4 length sleeves. This just didn’t feel right for summer. So I cut them off, and added a 4″ sleeve band. To make a long story short (Ha!), I  cut four (4) four inch wide pieces that were the width of the shortened sleeve. I sewed them together (right sides together) then turned the band right side out. The finished bands were then stitched to the sleeves.
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Contrast: The dress seemed too plain, probably because the pattern doesn’t have a lot of complicated design elements. So I added contrasting twill tape at the neckline, the shoulder seam and the sleeve band seams.
Hem: I opted for the straight skirt. Instead of a high low hem, I chose a straight hem.
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Lessons learned: Adding contrast was an after thought. I wore the dress once, then decided it needed a bit more pizzazz. Since the fabric was so great, I decided to go the extra mile and add contrasting twill, even though the dress was done. This was torture, since some of the seams had to be opened so that the end of the twill tape could be hidden in the seam. Since I’d  overlocked some to keep them from fraying, this was no easy task. In the future, if I get a bee in my bonnet to add trim/twill tape, I will decide that before (!!) I finish the darn thing.

That being said, I like the dress much better now, so I will probably wear it more, making the extra effort worth it. And the pattern is probably a keeper, an easy to fit, wearable dress.  I’m glad I found it in my archives.
I’d be interested to know what your strategy is regarding patterns. If you haven’t used them after awhile, do you send them on their way, or do you hold on to your patterns forever? If so, how do you organize/store them? Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by!!

This Thursday’s Top is Simplicity 1693; Black + White = Cool

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This week marks the sun’s Big Debut here in Portland. We’re expecting a weekend sizzler with temperatures over 100 degrees! Panic! We are wimps, so a forecast like that can cause a bit of freak out around here. We faint at the mere idea of a hot day, and if you throw humidity into the mix, trust me. The streets of our fair city will be deserted. Everyone will be holed up in their air- conditioned houses with fans humming.
I, on the other hand, will be feeling fresh as a daisy, dressed in summer’s perfect fabric – – linen!
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In anticipation of the heat, I crafted a new frock for my Thursday Top – – a three-hour wonder with an a-line shape that’s sure to please. I had great fun making this easy piece. I used three fabrics (3!!); two prints and a solid, making this project a Stash Busting Gem.
Pattern:  I used Simplicity 1693. It’s a  top with length, sleeve and waist variations. It was simple to sew and the instructions were clear.
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Style: 
If there was a Best Top for Any Figure competition, I’d have to nominate this one for the title. It’s simple, to be sure, an A-line that’s fitted at the yoke and slightly flared at the bottom. What’s not to like about that? This top accentuates the good parts of our figures, while forgiving the not-so-good parts.
Modifications:
Yoke: Because I wanted to use some remnants in my stash, I cut the one-piece bodice into two pieces –  a yoke and lower bodice. To do this, I made a cut across the bodice, eight inches from the neck, remembering to add 5/8 “ on both pieces for the seam allowances.
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Front stripe: To make the front stripe of fabric, I cut a 4″wide piece of  fabric  the length of the center front. I turned under the edges and edge stitched it before sewing it to the Center Front of the garment (An easy way to mark the stripe’s placement is to press in the center fold, and use that line as your guide when applying the stripe).
 Fabric: The bodice and sleeves are linen, purchased at Fabric Depot, the yoke and stripe are japanese cotton, purchased at the sewing expo. All of it breathes and is super comfortable to wear.
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So, bring it on, Mr. Sun! I am ready!
What’s your favorite style of pattern to sew with linen? What’s your favorite shape for your figure?
Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A Lisette cutout frock for sunny California

I have been sewing like crazy because I’m going to Southern California in a couple of weeks, the land of sun and fun!  The weather will be outstanding – – guaranteed. What better excuse to sew with linen, right?

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When I saw the newest Lisette dress/tunic pattern from Butterick this Spring, I immediately said, California here I come!
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It had an unusual cross-over bodice with tucks, two design elements I couldn’t wait to try. Not only that, but a couple of yards of Cotton and Steel linen was calling to me from my stash (Call me a group if you must, but I’m addicted to Cotton and Steel fabric).
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Butterick 6168 is a pattern designed by Liesl Gibson, of ‘Oliver +S’ fame. (check out the Liesl and Co. website for lots of inspiration!) At first glance, the pattern looks ‘easy’, and, in some ways, it is. There are no button holes, or collar points that require precision or patience. In other words, you don’t have to perform dangerous sewing feats to make this pattern.
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But need I say? Looks can be deceiving! For a short bodice girl like me,  the challenge was in the fit.  The very things that attracted me to the pattern (criss-cross bodice and tucks) made it essential that I Go the Extra-Mile to create a trial bodice out of throw-away fabric.
Even though I cut the smallest size, the dress stuck out in the chest as though it expected Marilyn Monroe’s breasts to live there. Hilarious! So, I increased the depth of the tucks a bit, and the wrap worked fine. No gaps or embarrassing pointy areas. But, when I applied the same adjustments to my lust-worthy linen, I didn’t get the same results. I freaked. When I calmed down, though I had an epiphany. It was all about drape!!! My linen was stiffer than my ‘throw-away’ cotton, so the front stuck out again, begging that I bring more to the table than my ‘A’ cup breasts. Not going to happen.  So, I had to do a ‘tear down’ of my cleverly built bodice to adjust those tucks again. The good news – the problem was fixable.  It just took a bit of patience.
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 My advice? If you’re a bit ’non-standard’ in the chest/bodice area, Knock Out that Bodice in a remnant of throw-away cotton (that piece you wish you’d never purchased in the first place) with the same drape as your chosen fabric. That way, you won’t have a depressing mess on your hands.
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After I adjusted the bodice, the dress went together nicely. If I was in the mood to be critical though, I’d say the pattern was designed with too many gathers in the skirt. When you stand to the side, you do look pregnant. I suppose, if you’re in a ‘family’ way, that’s cool. I am not. Of course, if you use a lightweight fabric, this problem might be less of an issue. Also, I did make it sleeveless in anticipation of Southern California heat.
All in all, it was a fun project that I learned a lot from. I’m sure I’ll wear this top again and again.  If you’re interested in making the dress yourself, there’s a Lisette Sew Along on their website.
Have you had issues with fabric drape before? What about chest/cup size adjustments? Any tips?

Dress or tunic? That is the question!

My latest sewing project is having a bit of an identity crisis. It’s a bit too short to be called a dress, but a bit too long to be called a top. In spite of this, I have to call it something to blog about it. So, I’m going to call it a dress. In fact, to be specific, it’s a Little White Dress (LWD), my second one, a trend in my sewing that’s bit surprising since white is definitely not my color.

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I blame this garment’s identity crises on the fact that it was made from unrelated pieces of linen, found in my large, unwieldy fabric stash.
I don’t know about you, but my stash’s girth issues are a direct consequence of my frequent visits to the irresistible remnant selection of my local fabric store. There are so many gorgeous pieces there, all priced to sell, usually at about 50% of  retail. How can one resist?
 But here’s the problem with that. The down side of these ‘economical’ purchases is that, inevitably, finding ways to use the remnants is a challenge. These pieces of gorgeous fabric may be cheap, but they’re often less than a yard. But as my mind registers this fact, my heart says, “It’s not too small!! Go ahead. Buy it. There’s enough fabric here to make…..something!!”
Remnants are such teases.
My latest LWD is made from those remnants; a half yard of graphic print linen and 3/4 yard of white linen. Alone, neither was enough to cover much of…anything! But together, they became a dress.
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 I used one of my favorite basic patterns, Vogue 8840, (see it also here, and here) a tunic top with dropped shoulders, a round neckline, and a front and back center seam. This pattern is a favorite because it’s so easy to modify. With its center back and front seams, it’s also easy to adjust to fit my narrow shoulders.
I used the pattern as designed with one modification. I added a long but narrow eyelash dart to both sides of the back. This was necessary to give the pattern a bit of taper at the waist, a must because this particular piece of white linen was a bit stiff.
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After cutting the main tunic from the white fabric, I cut a ten inch border from my print, making it the same width as the tunic and sewed it to the bottom of the tunic, converting it into a dress (?). Of course,  I could have made it a bit longer if I’d had a little more fabric, (and who’s fault is that?). I did the same thing to add a border to the sleeves, which gave them a bit more body and finish. I also top stitched both sides of the front and back center seams for interest.
I love this pattern. Because the sleeves are cut as part of the dress, it’s easy and fast to sew. The neck is finished with seam binding, also super fast and easy.
But, even though this pattern is simple, the project wasn’t boring at all. I enjoy simple patterns because they give you room to add something. This time, adding the border was the fun part of the project. Also, because the top is so basic, I had fun shaping it with my own well placed darts.
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Here’s my finished remnant creation! Even as I look at it now, I’m not sure what it is, though. A dress, a tunic…who knows? But that’s what happens when you do the remnant shuffle right? Maybe, it’ll be a long top until Summer, when the hot temperatures will make it the perfect dress. And yes, it’s wrinkled and always will be. But that’s okay! I give wrinkles a free pass when they’re on wonderful, beautiful linen!!
What about you? Do you find the remnant section enticing? What do you do with those lovely, but strangely sized pieces?