Idle Pinterest scrolling led me down a rabbit warren of ponte roma dresses to keep me warm but well dressed this winter. I explored different shapes, lengths, colours and styling. Finally settling on rusty reds and berry purples with a trapeze silhouette, plain but absolutely primed to pair with a hand-knitted shawl/cowl or a statement necklace.
I took my previous hacked dress pattern (it’s based on the best bits of Renfrew, Audrey, Staple and Briar) and used this tutorial to trapeze it. It was a speedy hack, used just 2m of fabric and was a quick sew too. The end effect is completely shapeless from the bust down but I love the abundance of fabric.
As I wasn’t sure how my hack of a hack of a hack pattern would work out… or even if I’d like or suit the new-to-me silhouette, I didn’t worry too much about the fabric. In fact I used it as an opportunity to try a colour outside of my usual palette. If you’re reading this thinking new silhouette, new colour, new year, new you… you’re wrong. I actually dreamt and sewed this up in December!
So I’m interested to hear… what do you think of the shape and colour? What new things are you trying?
It’s tempting to use some Kylie song lyrics in this blog post about Style Arc’s Kylie knit top pattern but I’ll refrain. Kylie is a basic long or short sleeve t-shirt pattern with a wing-like overlay. I envisioned a pile of different versions, mostly stripey. I love sewing and wearing stripes!
First up was a long sleeved version in a green stripe viscose jersey from ebay. I ordered a size 6 pattern based on bust measurement and adjusted the pattern (grading up at the hips and down at the waist) before cutting out. I don’t mind so much for this simple seamed project but I’d find it difficult grading a complicated pattern without the other sizes as a guide. Something to consider when thinking about/buying Style Arc patterns.
I was thoroughly confused about the construction of the overlay. The pattern instructions are a little brief and oddly phrased. By the time I’d worked it out, I’d chomped the seam allowance off with my overlocker. The neckline is wider on this version than it should be, unpicking was stretching the jersey so I cut away the overlocking and started again. To fix the slightly saggy neckline, I threaded some elastic thread through the correct overlocked seam and drew it up slightly. My fudge worked out but I’m not proud of it.
My second version of Kylie was a pattern hack in a nautical jersey (a two times remnant; from pneuma and before that maxi skirt). I amended the armholes and shoulders of the overlay to turn it into a sleeveless vest and bound the neckline and armholes with perpendicular stripes.
Out of the two, this one is my favourite but I’m keen to make it again so watch this space.
This jersey is another fabric from my Mad Jak‘s hoard this summer and I think it’s my favourite. I fell hard for the yellow/green almost neon in the store.
And I fell in love all over again when I saw how the Autumn light through my landing window gave the true colour of the jersey. My grellow outfit dreams have come true – I can’t get enough of grey jeans at the moment.
This Julia cardigan (Mouse House Creations) is a huge contrast the the staple grey marl I made last time… it’s bright, very bright and the pop of colour really lifts my mood.
I’d happily mark the start of autumn sewing every year with a Renfrew.
With the scoop neck view, it’s a staple basic that can be worn under with dresses and with skirts or trousers.
I noticed over the summer that my store-bought white long sleeve t-shirt was looking a little worse for wear. So when I also found a textured white jersey at Mad Jak’s I knew exactly what I needed to sew (my thoughts on Mad Jak’s as a fabric shop here). This fabric is just as pleasing as other fabrics I’ve purchased at Mad Jak’s, good quality, fair price and washes well.
As far as I can remember, this was my first time sewing with a textured knit. It took a bit of extra care over pattern piece cutting – I treated it the same you would with any striped, directional print. The neck band was carefully placed so that when folded it had the cleanest line. I used a hem band but just folded the sleeves. The finishing touch was a twin needle top stitching at the neckline, sleeves and hem but it’s purely functional as it’s visibly lost in the texture.
It was summer 2015 in Walthamstow market when I felt that the roll end of this misty trees printed scuba needed to come home with me. I’ve been pondering a suitable pattern ever since. The longer I pondered, the more I failed to see why I’d been attracted to the fabric in the first place. Scuba… so not me.
I was happy to sacrifice it to test out GBSB The Drapey Knit dress that I’d pinned to my ‘See it Sew It‘ Pinterest board. It’s a free pattern download with some quirky details. The pattern has front pockets created by the side front pattern pieces, these also overlap at the neckline to create a simple origami effect. Sew Different has some construction instructions that really helped me, particularly in ensuring the the trees were growing in the right direction.
I cut the smallest size but took in the side seams from bust to hip a lot… I just kept narrowing until I was happier that the volume worked for my proportions. The hem and sleeves were finished with a twin needle stitch and I hand tacked the neckline facing at the internal seams to prevent it from flipping out.
I used the blog photos to test out the possibility of wearing it to a wedding and decided it was worth a try. Guess who got the first dance?
New patterns are exciting but it’s also nice to return to an old favorite pattern that you know is as much a staple wardrobe piece as it is an easy sew.
The scoop top is a free pattern by Skirt as Top and one that I’ve made twice before; a stripe version (I still swoon over the stripe matching in those photographs) and a plain version. The stripe version was worn to death, recycled as a dusting cloth and finally textile recycles and the plain was a step too close to pink for me so made a hasty escape as a charity shop donation. Nevertheless, I knew my pattern pieces were a good fit and I found the perfect jersey in my stash.
It’s a raindow fleck slub t-shirt jersey. There’s a Robert Kaufman (£££) version of this but I’m going to be honest and say mine was just a few pounds per meter from Walthamstow High Street (a shop without a name above the door!).The colourful little flecks are delightful… how is it that little details in fabric can bring such joy?
I decided to shake things up and make turn-up sleeves (useful tutorial here). I kinda like them but should make them looser if I tried again… that or ease off the press-ups!
Have you made any basics with a twist recently? Funky fabric or cuffs?
Inspired by my trainers, I mentally designed a sports top during grueling switch lunges. By ‘designed’ I mean I paired the fabrics I knew I had in my stash in my head. I was focusing really hard on my feet in the mirror during the exercise, willing them to keep moving even when my legs were screaming “give up”. No wonder then, when the instructor said “punch up” at the end of the track, I gave the most enthusiastic air punch!
This is my fourth time at the Papercut Patterns Pneuma (1, 2 and 3) using fabrics previously seen in a bikini (don’t look too closely, it’s the worst swimwear I’ve sewn, I am not proud of it) and a beach t-shirt. I feel like a Pneuma veteran these days and every time I sear I’ll try a new sports top pattern next time.
It’s clear I have a thing for the colour family of seafoam and teal at the moment.
My latest Pneuma works as well for switch lunges as it does for contemporary dance. Punch up for that!
What do you do when you can’t sleep and have to get up at 4am to catch a ferry to go on holiday? Me? I finish my Julia Cardigan, tidy my sewing room and crawl back into bed just before the alarm goes off.
The blog-famous Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations is officially fab. I was willing to risk a fairly boring grey marl jersey purchased from ‘the man outside Sainsbury’s’ in Walthamstow to give it a test run and it has turned out perfectly wearable (even squeezed it into my suitcase for the holiday!).
I made a straight size S, long sleeve, doubled over version (the shawl-style collar is cut twice to use as a facing, so no edge to hem). During construction, I slimmed down the arms considerably and shortened them by 2 inches.
Any thoughts on the hip seam? I can’t work out if it’s just caught on my jeans or if I need a bit of a pear-shape grading out around here. Also I’m considering swinging the angle of the seam towards the other direction might have a slimming effect. My other option is to lengthen the body so that the cardigan finishes lower and doesn’t draw a visual reference line across my widest part.
There’s been a wave of t-shirt sewing among the blogging community lately. It’s great that we’re embracing sewing the basic items we wear frequently and shunning RTW.
I had a tip off that the white t-shirt jersey from Brunswick Mills (ebay seller: brunswickmill2013) was good quality: excellent recovery, washes well and has high opacity. I can fully recommend this fabric on all factors but it scores top markes for non-see-through-ability.
I used this t-shirt as an opportunity to test a few more tweaks to the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern based on the fit of my previous versions (Cowl and Long sleeve tee). With a bit more grading between waist and hip, mostly on the back pattern piece, I hoped to avoid a sway back adjustment… sadly not to be. Here I’m displaying the pooling in all it’s glory and with the t-shirt pulled down.
The problem with a sway back adjustment on a garment with no centre back seam is that making it with a horizontal stripe fabric becomes impossible. The adjustment causes the hem line to rise up, the grainline gets skewed and the stripes end up all wonky. So my choice is to either add a centre back seam (really on a knit?!) or to be limited to non-stripe/non-obvious horizontal patterned fabrics. What a predicament to be put in.
Fabric necklace is still going strong after two years, I wonder whether the white t-shirt will avoid food stains for that long. What did you sew this weekend?
Sometimes we just need to sew the basics…right?
Plain t-shirt from stashed peach one-way stretch jersey (previously seen here).
Scoop top pattern (free woohoo!) by Skirt as Top (previously seen here, worn with this skirt).