Wardrobe Staple: Knit Tops

I have been working on different wardrobe pieces recently (mostly will a Fall/Winter theme). I realized I needed to, and wanted to, improve my look and style but without changing who I am or what I like to wear. Since I’m at home during the day, I don’t need fancy clothes or the typical work wardrobe. But, I also realized that my usual outfit of jeans and T-shirts (or shorts and T-shirts during the summer) needed some serious updating. So, I decided to sew myself a few pieces to begin. In this blog post I’ll discuss the  two patterns I used for these tops: 1) Vogue 9205 and 2) Patterns for Pirates Women’s Henley PDF.

 

I have a substantial fabric stash that includes a lot of knits, so I was happy to give these patterns a try. The Vogue pattern is basically a classic that includes darts at the neckline and topstitching.

 

 

 

V9205

 

One of the things that I really like about this shirt is the length. It can be tucked in (although made to worn out) but it provides good coverage.

V9205

V9205

As you can see, there are sleeve options with this shirt which is great as I’m trying to prepare some items for Fall weather.

The henley top (it’s a PDF from Patterns for Pirates) I didn’t have but purchased when I saw it. I’ve been looking for a henley-style T-shirt pattern for a while and never found anything that was even close. I came across this pattern (thank you Google) when I threw out some I had for years that were worn so often the edges were all worn out.

Patterns for Pirates Henley - gray

 

 

Patterns for Pirates Henley

The gray was made with a light-weight cotton knit while the others are all ponte knits. I added snaps on the gray shirt but kind of wish I hadn’t. I love the snaps, but I forgot how time-consuming it can be to add snaps when you haven’t done them in a long time. It took me almost as long to get then on as it did for me to actually make the shirt. The placement could have been better also, but so it goes. The blue top has buttons!

This pattern is terrific though. It has sleeve and hem variations as well as a hood and banded waist. This is definitely one that I’ll be making more of.

That’s all for now. I would recommend both of these patterns to anyone out there. They are both terrific!

 

Skinny Jeans Adventure

I am not a person who has ever worn “skinny jeans” so I knew that making a pair would be an adventure. I used the “Ginger Mid-rise” skinny jean pattern from Closet Case Patterns. I absolutely love their Morgan boyfriend jean pattern so that’s why I chose this one.

 

I’m pretty pleased with the results. I can tell you that this style is not a favorite for me, I did end up with a good pair of jeans and I was glad to try the pattern that so many of you have used before. Like the Morgan jean, this pattern is really easy to follow. Because of the close fit, I did find myself making more adjustments (waist) than with the other pattern.

All in all, I would recommend this pattern to others. I made this pair from a stretch cotton twill. I used this as a wearable muslin since this will also help me to reduce some of my fabric stash! Other that the waist curve adjustment, I really didn’t make any changes to the pattern. They do have some great resources for jean making on the Closet Case website.

That’s all for now. Let me know what you’re working on…

 

 

Kimono Love…

If you haven’t noticed, kimonos seem to be everywhere. I have seen more than a few and was really inspired to make my own.

 

 

 

I used Simplicity pattern 1318 To make mine.

 

Simplicity 1318

I completely understand why people love them. They are easy to wear either around the house or out running errands. This pattern is also easy to make. I used a polyester that’s lightweight and has nice movement. It was also an experiment for me since I rarely use silky or sheer fabrics. It’s something I need to do more of. I could use the practice!

 

This pattern could be lengthened if you wanted to make something duster length like the photo above (both of those are from Target, by the way). And there are some variations on the pattern itself in terms of length and the front band style. This is definitely a pattern I can see myself making again.

Simplicity 1318

 

5 Reasons to Love Butterick 3460

The minute I put these on, I knew it was love at first wear. Here are my reasons to make this pattern:

1. It’s a super easy pattern to make. Because it’s so easy, that also means it’s quick. Sometimes you don’t have time for lots of detailed sewing. You just want to get a project done.

2. They are stylish and comfortable. I used a rayon challis for this. You want to use a light to medium weight fabric for this so that they will “flow” in the breeze (think palazzo pants without the fullness).

3. Options. This pattern includes pants, capris, shorts, long skirt and knee-length skirt.

4. They have pockets! If you are like me, that’s a detail you’ll appreciate.

5. The straight styling would flatter almost any figure.

That;s all for now. I’m off to find some material in my stash to make the shorts from this pattern!

*The top is from an old Kwik Sew pattern 2948. Here’s the post if you want to check it out.

A White Hot Tank From Hot Patterns!

I made this “tank” from a cotton eyelet material that’s pretty lightweight. I put tank in quotes because it’s not what you would typically think of as a tank top. This pattern is for woven material so it’s an interesting take on that style of top. There are variations on the bottom of the tank so for this, I chose the flounce.

Now the problem is that because the fabric is thin combined with the way the top is constructed, I did not like the look of having a partial facing showing through the front and back.

So, rather than take it apart and start over, I just extended the facings.

I did this for both front and back which solved the problem. I might add that this wouldn’t be necessary with a heavier (not see-thru) fabric. I also raised the neckline on this (as I usually do).

But this is a comfortable, versatile top that can be worn into early Fall depending on your fabric choice (and location). In the pictures above I’m wearing the top with these jeans I made a few months ago (best jeans ever!).

That’s all for now.

Enjoy!

DIY Skirt – No Pattern Needed

For this project, I used the Dritz Soft Waistband Elastic in this blue color along with the fabric I had bought from Hobby Lobby. This was my first time doing this, so it took some effort to get it (mostly) the way I wanted it. I basically cut two rectangles the width and length I wanted (keeping in mind seam allowances) and stitched them together. I did add in-seam pockets that I simply drafted from another pattern.

 

The waistband elastic is cut about 2″ smaller than the waist for a snug, but comfortable fit. That could, of course, be changed if this was something you decided to do for yourself.

The waistband is attached wrong side to wrong side. I suggest basting this first to keep your sewing straight (I didn’t do this and I wish I had). It is sewn from the right side of the fabric, then flipped up and top stitched down (twice) to keep it in place.

 

This could be made as a circle skirt as well, but that would eliminate the pockets. I really wanted to include those in the skirt so for me, this was the best and easiest option.

*There may be affiliate links included in this post. 

Bra making hints and help

One of the things that I’ve done quite a bit of lately is making my own bras. It’s one of those things I wanted to do ever since I saw an article in Threads magazine on the subject several years ago. This particular post focuses on the two that I’ve had the most success with, and those are 1) Orange Lingerie Marlborough bra and 2) Pin Up Girls Linda and Classic bra.

 

 

 

For the most part, bra sewing is pretty easy. You’ll be using a 1/4″ seam allowance no matter what pattern you use, so it’s important to make sure that you do maintain that amount throughout your sewing. Stitching a little bit off can result in the bra not fitting properly.

Above: Marlborough bras (Orange Lingerie) floral is unlined; pink is padded

 

 

Above:Pin-up Girls bras both unlined, Green is the”Classic”; floral is the”Linda”

 

There are plenty of resources out there on how to measure yourself, so I won’t go into that here. I will say to follow the pattern instructions when it comes to how to measure for the best fit. And just like garment sewing, forget about your RTW size because it could be different. So, just be open to that.

I found that it’s best to have all of your supplies ready (underwires, channeling, bows, hook/eye, etc.) cut and in a bag so they’re easily available before you begin. Getting those supplies is the hardest part since you can’t go into a regular fabric store and buy everything you need, so pre-planning is important. I have bought bra kits and bra foam from different resources. I have also purchased fabric from fabric.com [insert link] that is great for this.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell right-side from wrong-side depending on the fabric being used. So, I use stickers on the right side consistently until I have enough sewn to make it clear what’s right from wrong.

Also, it’s very important to make sure you have a right and left side cut and sewn. I can’t tell you how many times when I first started doing this that I had sewn the cups together, only to discover that I had two right sides! The only way to fix that mistake is to remove all the stitches and do it over again. But don’t get discouraged. Just like anything else, it takes some practice to get your stitching even and to get both left and right sides even. But the great this is, once you find the pattern (or patterns) you like, you can add bra foam (adds better coverage/modesty to the bra depending on the fabric) or use a variety of different fabrics to really have your own customized bra collection.

 

 

 

 

Most important follow the directions and have some fun! Making your own lingerie doesn’t take much fabric (or too much time) so if you have all of your supplies, you can do this in a few hours.

Here are a few of the places I’ve used to purchase my fabric and supplies: (*I am a fabric.com affiliate)

Material:

https://www.fabric.com/buy/0342347/stretch-charmeuse-satin-dark-fuchsia

https://tailormadeshop.com/

Patterns:

https://www.orange-lingerie.com/

http://www.sweetcupsbrasupply.com/

I have bought channeling, underwires and foam from different sources.

Lastly, really think about the look and feel you want. I like more full coverage so these patterns have worked for me. I also like the support they provide. Bralettes don’t offer much support, but they are cute and quick to make so keep that in mind. I also like the coverage that foam provides so this is good for T-shirt bras. And just like garment sewing, make a muslin first. You could save yourself a lot of heartache!

I hope all this information is helpful. So many sewists say they want to make there own bras/lingerie and never get to it. I was that way for years. Now that I feel much more confident about it, I keep trying new materials in combination with foam, without foam, color combinations, etc.

Have fun and happy sewing!

OOP Simplicity Dress 3773

Years ago when this pattern first came out, I made this top. I kept the pattern since it was always one of those things I liked. Well, fast forward 8 years or so and I decided the dress would be a great make for summer. The only thing is that since my size has changed, I needed to retrace the pattern, making it larger. So I did that as best I could and for the most part, it turned out well.

I could have (should have) made the bust area a bit bigger. The main objective was to increase this from a size 14 to 16. All in all, it’s very close to that.

This is made with a light-weight cotton gingham that is lined with a butter yellow batiste. The material is very thin and there definitely needed to be something to line this dress. Since I don’t often wear slips, I figured the best this was to make a lining.

If you have this pattern, I would say that it’s a very easy dress/top to make. I have also made the capris which have become a staple item in my wardrobe.

Until next time, I wish you all Sewlimitless possibilities…

Morgan Boyfriend Jeans

I have to say that I have made several pairs of jeans in the past using different patterns. This is the first time I was able to use a pattern pretty much right from the start with little to no alterations. Woo hoo! Once I got the sizing right, this pattern worked great.

Morgan Boyfriend jeans, Closet Case Patterns

As many of you are aware, “boyfriend” jeans have a more relaxed fit. Because of that, this pattern is sized for non-stretch denim. It’s also important to note that even non-stretch denim will stretch with wear.

What I used for these was just a medium weight, white denim. The only thing I changed with this particular pattern is I used a zipper, rather than the button fly front that the pattern calls for. I suggest using a 7″ zipper for this. That length seems to work best without being too short or having to be cut and made shorter.

This PDF pattern from Closet Case Patterns is definitely a keeper!

Easter dress with New Look 6000

Every year I at least try to make myself something new to wear for Easter. Well, this year, I actually got it done.

This is View E of the pattern. I was drawn to this pattern by the retro vibe of the style. This view, without the collar, has more of a boat-neck design. The material is stretch cotton. Although I can see it will get a bit wrinkly when I sit, I really like that melon color! This is one of very few solid color items I have in my wardrobe.

For the sleeve, I used these small, clear buttons I had.

This is a really nice dress that’s feminine without being fussy. It’s got very clean lines. The only thing I miss are pockets, but to add them would take away from the simplicity of the design I think.

So tell me, what’s on your sewing table this time of year?