A White Shirt and Jeans: Classics Recharged

IMG_5707I’m such a fan of wearing classics – jeans, button-down shirts, tee shirts to name a few, so it’s always fun when you see an updated classic that brings something new to the game.

_100282034

When I saw this white Vince Camuto shirt in the Nordstrom catalog, I just had to make a DIY version. It’s a classic redefined with bell sleeves. I love this version except for one thing. The Vince sleeves are a bit too long for me. They’d end up in my soup. So my DIY sleeves are a little shorter.IMG_5635

For the shirt, I used a tried and true pattern, Butterick 5526 (made here) and modified the sleeves. This shirt is one of my favorites because it has princess seams and fits well. 5526

I used a linen/cotton blend from Fabric Depot. It has just the right amount of body to support my bell sleeves. To make the bell, I used the bell off of another pattern, Butterick 6456 (made here). It was just my luck that the top of the bell sleeve on that pattern fit the shirt sleeve of B5526 perfectly! If it hadn’t, I would have tapered it slightly to make it fit.

IMG_5691 My jeans were inspired by the Nordstrom catalog too. I used the  Jalie Jeans pattern for my DIY version, and used stretch denim from Modern Domestic, one of the awesome fabric stores here in Portland. This is my second pair of Jalie’s so they went together without too much struggle. I did forget how to do the front pockets though. So I referred to a great tutorial on this blog, Jillie Be Joyful. It was so helpful! I kept the design on back pocket pretty simple this time.

IMG_5722 2To make the jeans straight legged, I tapered the pattern’s legs by using a ready to wear pair that I love to guide me. For a little variety, I added some of the raw jeans salvage to the hem as a border. It’s a popular look in ready to wear so I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

I like the fit of these jeans, but I’m a bit frustrated with the knees. As I took these photos, wrinkles started to appear. Grrr. I might make a pair of legging jeans next (maybe Mimi G’s version?) to see if that works better in the knees.

IMG_5674

DIY jeans are fun when you’re a top stitching maniac like me. I’m determined to get a pair with perfect fit though, so I’m considering ‘rubbing’ a favorite RTW pair to copy them. Have any of you ever tried that? Does it work? How about legging jeans? Do you have a favorite pattern?

Happy Spring sewing and thanks for stopping by!

Crazed by gingham!!

If you stare at gingham for too long, do you go crazy? That’s what I asked myself as I completed yet another gingham top. My cat seems crazed if he stares at a fly for too long. His eyes gloss over and he starts to twitch. I’m sure I  had that same vacant look in my eyes as I stitched down the home stretch on this top!

IMG_1691

“Another gingham top?” you ask. “Why?”

The answer is simple. Blame it on Anthropologie. I took a quick spin down their aisles recently, and noticed that gingham was ‘having a moment’. After trying a few garments on, I became convinced I would die if I didn’t add some gingham to my wardrobe, because, honestly, those little checks just make me feel good! Gingham is a cheery fabric, don’t you think? Who can frown, when they’re dressed in gingham?

IMG_1826

When I found this lovely blue (!!) and white cotton at Fabric Depot, it seemed fated!  More gingham for me!

The pattern for this tunic/shirt is McCalls’ 6125, a princess seamed shirt pattern that I’ve used more than a time or two. I love princess seams. They’re flattering and, they make me look taller (…ummm, right?).

6124

I made View C as drafted with one exception. I added a sewn-in tie at the waist. Since my shirt is tunic length, adding a built-in tie seemed like a fun way to make this shirt stand out from the crowd of shirts that lives in my closet. Also, rather than have everything line up, I cut the side panels and the front placket on the bias to make them stand out.

IMG_1733

The ties were simple pieces to add. I just cut two (2) eight inch wide rectangles, each sixteen inches long. After finishing the edges of each tie, I inserted the ends into the side seams, lining the edges up with the bodice’s seam allowances, then closed up the seams. The tie as I drafted it is fairly wide. This makes it easy to cinch at the waist, or you can drop it a bit for a looser look. I love having the tie built into the shirt. That way, you can’t lose it!

IMG_1740

This McCall’s shirt pattern is one of my favorites. It has a front band, princess seams, hem slit openings, and collar variations. The instructions are very straightforward and easy to follow. It’s a nice basic pattern, that fits me well without any tricky modifications.

Believe it or not, it was over a hundred degrees today here in Portland Oregon. Yet I was comfortable in my light cotton shirt! This is a very good sign. Perhaps, this gingham top will become one of my ‘regulars’. After all, even Elizabeth Taylor wore gingham!

9d352741354814c47f66e154467ee0d8

IMG_1713

As I finished this blog post, I did notice one ‘oops’ about my shirt. The buttons don’t line up perfectly. Not sure if this means the button holes are too big, or the buttons aren’t placed correctly on the placket or what? I struggled to mark this fabric accurately as it moved around a bit. Perhaps that’s where I went wrong? Thoughts?

Happy sewing! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday Top: A Little White Shirt (Simplicity 1694)

DSC03263
By now, we’ve all heard of the LWD (Little White Dress), this Spring’s alternative to the Little Black Dress. But after a recent review of my wardrobe, I realized I needed a LWS, (Little White Shirt) in the worst way. Scary fact – – I have a million tees and more than a million dresses in my closet, but hardly any shirts. Why? Because I sew without a plan.
My sewing is inspired by many things: cool fabric, impulse buys, a great project I saw on someone else’s blog, an Ready-To-Wear item that I’m determined to ’sew for less’. But need? Never, a fact that has consequences. My wardrobe is a bit of a mash up. What to do? Sew!
DSC03257 (1)
Given the fact that the temperatures are well above 90 degrees, I decided to use some very lightweight embroidered cotton in my stash to make a summer-friendly, white shirt that would work with a pair of shorts I never wear because they’re separates without a match.
I chose an embroidered, lightweight cotton from my stash that I found at Fabric Depot. As usual, when I found this fabric, I made an Impulse-Buy. So, I didn’t have quite enough to make what I really wanted, a shirt with rolled-up sleeves and tabs. Also, the fabric’s cool embroidery detail is on the fabric’s border, so laying out the pattern was a bit tricky (similar to the issue I had with my kimono), and I used more than I meant to. So, I was forced to use a different fabric for the yoke and pockets.
Version 2
I had a bit of white textured cotton, a remnant left over from another project, so I used that. In hindsight, having too little fabric might have been a good problem to have,  because the textured cotton makes the pockets stand out a bit more.
1694
The pattern: Simplicity 1694, a loose-fitting button down shirt with sleeve variations, collar variations and length variations. It was pretty easy to sew and the instructions were very clear.
The fabric: Lightweight cotton with a very wide embroidered border. I used vintage buttons I had in my stash.
Modifications: None! For once, it fit without any adjustments or changes. The sleeves are 3/4 length, but I rolled them up for the photos because it’s so hot outside.
DSC03266
I think this pattern will become a Tried and True. I’d like to make it again, a longer version that can be tucked in, maybe in chambray with long sleeves.
Do you sew to fill a need in your wardrobe, or are you a bit random about the whole thing?
Stay Cool! Thanks for stopping by.

Girly Print Meets Leather

When I shop for fabric during the Spring and Summer, I’m always drawn to the colorful prints. I have a hard time giving in to their allure though, because when I wear them, I feel too sweet.

But when I saw the Cotton and Steel prints this season at Fabric Depot, I had to indulge. To balance out the look, I decided to mix things up a bit, pairing the printed shirt with an edgier skirt with leather detailing and a zipper. Wearing a bit of leather and metal keeps me from feeling too…Girly. Obviously, I have issues!
DSC02589
The shirt:
The fabric I picked is a cotton lawn print, designed by Rashida Coleman Hale, her Mochifloral Teal.The colors are very ‘me’ so I nabbed a couple of yards for Simplicity 1422, a shirt with tabbed roll-up sleeves.
DSC02578
Simplicity 1422 is a great shirt pattern, with interesting variations in length and style. It was super-easy to put together, in spite of the fact that it has a collar, and tabs on the sleeves. You can sew it in an afternoon for a good dose of instant gratification. The cotton lawn is a dream to work with, easy to manipulate and press.
The skirt
To give the outfit a bit of contrast, I paired it with a brown, leather- trimmed zippered skirt made from Simplicity 1322.
DSC02579
It’s a mock wrap slim skirt. The fabric is a stable Ponte knit, that I bought so long ago, I have no idea where :). I modified the waist band of the skirt, narrowing it a bit since I have the stubborn (but perhaps inaccurate?) notion that narrow waist bands are more flattering on me.
For the side slit, I trimmed the opening with leather (Fabric Depot), then added a full length zipper, rather than the short one pictured on the pattern envelope. I did this, well, just because!
 DSC02586
This skirt pattern is super easy with many variations. I’ll use it again and again. I’ll make the shirt again too, maybe in a longer length.
All in all, a fun project and both patterns are keepers!
What do you think about Spring prints? Too sweet or you can’t live without them?