Sewing for me

I’ve been slowly getting a little more confident at sewing some basic things for myself.  I’ve sewn for myself in the past, but only recently have I actually made things that I am wearing day after day.  The light bulb finally came on that I needed to make things that are more basic items and go easily with other things I may already have.  I recently made a few wiksten tanks that have been in constant rotation.  They are versatile, loose but flattering, and can be dressed up and down.  Keeping with the theme of mono-chromatic (my favorite tanks are white and blue) and two pattern pieces….I decided to give this vintage pattern a try…

simplicity 7768

I’m not quite sure where I acquired this one….it probably came from mom’s stash but I might have also picked it up with some others recently at a thrift store.  The cute lady in red caught my eye….and as luck would have it, I fit the measurements of a size 10.  I was a little nervous about the hips being too tight so  I threw together a sorta muslin (shoulder and side seams only) from some home dec linen I also picked up at said thrift store.  It fit well enough to cut it as is.  Other than sewing the neck with an additional 1/4″ seam allowance I followed the pattern pieces and directions exactly.

Whoops! I have iorn marks where my facing is in the photos that you couldn’t see when I was wearing it today. I guess I’ll pay more attention next time.

Since my serger is freshly threaded with pink, I broke my cardinal rule of first run on a new pattern with a non-uniform print.  I used some medium weight, pink linen I had on the cutting table for G right now too.

inside look

The pattern has a facing that I trimmed with some precious liberty scraps.  That wide piece of print was to patch where I got zealous with the scissors on the pattern notches.  It doesn’t show so only I know anyway.  If I make this one again I think I might like to bind the edges of the neck instead of using a facing, but I’m not sure how to address the v-neck with binding.

All modeled photos by G

Once I got it on in a better quality fabric with more drape than my muslin, I think I could stand to take the shoulder seam up a little to raise where the bust is.  But, I’m not complaining and think I will like wearing this one.

I also think the back had a little more room than it needed even for a loose pop-over style. I have several favorite rtw tops that have a seam up the center back to slightly shape them rather than darts and think this could be an option for this if I make it again.

These photos were taken right after I first put it on and it did seem to look much better after wearing it all day.  Is is weird to say that linen becomes a living thing after one wears it for a while?  Amazingly, this cut of fabric didn’t wrinkle near as much as I expected, which is good news for the school top I have planned for G.

So, there you have it…. a loose linen top!  One of K’s favorite colors to talk about right now is pink.  He told me he loved my “pink dress” right away.  I’m thinking I’ll try it again slightly smaller with the square neck at some point, but have no fabric candidates right now.


School clothes already….

G will be starting kindergarten this fall.  G’s school has a “uniform policy” that reads more like a dress code.  Basically all shirts must have collars; each item must be a solid color (no designs, patterns, or labels) but any color is acceptable; and dresses must have sleeves if worn alone.  I’m still unclear as to whether dresses must have collars as well…fingers crossed they don’t.

August seems like a world away right now.  But, if our calender stays…July and early August are set to rocket by for us.  I’ve decided to try to chip away at a few things that will be worn to school before it is the last minute.

Today, I started with a basic white blouse.  In my opinion no wardrobe is complete without one.  Among other things, mom recently gifted me a partial bolt of 100% cotton oxford.  Unfortunately it was circa late 80s-early 90s, so even after laundry magic I had to cut around stains.  I did manage to get this blouse and one for me out of it.  I wanted to blog this one immediately so I can replicate what I did.  I don’t have modeled shots b/c my sweet model is sick today, but it is super adorable on and the fit is perfect.  G requested pink linen for the next one.

Front view. Blame it on the photo…but, I think my right collar is a bit smaller than the left!

Back View.

I couldn’t resist using a stray liberty scrap for the neck binding.

The other details were small, heart-shaped mop buttons I like the way they look, but mainly chose them b/c they are hopefully comfortable to wear on her back.

I started with Children’s corner Louise for my basic blouse and collar base.  G wears a size 4 in CC, but I cut a 5 because their blouse patterns have very little ease as they are mostly intended to wear under dresses.  I wanted this one to be able to be worn alone also.  Here are the alterations I made..

  • added 2″ length – then turned up hem 3/4″ and 3/4″ again
  • used sleeves from CC Kitty – but hemmed with a bias and no piping
  • used the collar piece marked “for 1/2″ trim” but used 1/4″ self piping
  • cut neck out 1/4″ (I basted the collar and then stitched a line and trimmed off 1/4″ before attaching neck binding – this was easier than re-drawing my collar) – G always complains that CC patterns are too tight in the neck if I don’t do this
  • cut line halfway up chest and split the front (adding the 1/4″ s.a. back)
  • moved the fold line on the bottom portion of the front 1″ in from the fold to make the gathers
  • lined the top yoke to enclose the yoke and shoulder seams
  • topstitched every place I could
Note to self…
  • next time cut neck binding a little smaller to make it a bit neater
  • Double check pattern piece for back of collar b/c didn’t quite meet enough – dont use one meant for trim.

I’ll finish with a few other shots that may or may not be easier to see the detail.  I think I need to start taking my work all the way outdoors for photos.

Ruffle(less) halter x 2

I’ve been sewing o + s patterns without veering to another company for a while now.  I have quite possibly never made this many o + s in a row.  Today I made a few ruffle halters sans ruffle (free pattern alert).  I made one a while back that I really loved and have finally gotten around to the other two I had in mind.  They are a perfect garment for our very hot summer days….  Cute, comfortable, and easy to care for.  I made a couple meant to mix and match with the shorts from my previous post and also look nice with this set of clothes I made for K.

I’ll let my photos do the talking….  You can click on them for more detail.

The Sketchbook Remix continues…

It has been raining for four days.  The kids are “recovering” from a very busy spring and early summer.  The hubby is on a work trip.  I’ve allowed way more tv and junk food than I ever do.   I have played in my sewing room and spent way too much time on my laptop.  It has been great!  My focus has been on shorts for G.  She has spent most of the past two years asking for a dress only every single day.  It is kind of fun to make something else for a change.

I knew the direction I was headed today based on the sailboat print shorts I posted earlier, but went to the bonpoint website for inspiration.  The shirts I am dreaming of making next are somewhere along that vein, so it seemed logical.  I came away with these and these for inspiration.  If only I could spend that much on a pair of kids shorts…I’d spend it on other things for sure!  Anyway…I’ve got two pages worth of photos…I’ll let them speak for themselves.

I’m posting a step by step of the changes I made to the oliver + s sketchbook shorts pattern (get ready for lots of photos).  What I didn’t photograph were my size adjustments.  I took a 4T pattern for my almost five year old and added 1/4″ to each side seam and the center back seam but not the center front.  I shortened them a lot but didn’t measure that part.  I also straightened out the taper in the leg.  The photos may not make a bit of sense, but are here if anyone wants it.  Oh, and it may never happen again….  I think you can click on the photos if you want to see them bigger.

*Oh, and I had already removed the faux fly from my pattern earlier.  It would be fine to leave it I think, I just didn’t want it. *

Now…If you are still with me….wish me luck.  It is STILL raining, and tomorrow evening two of my close girl friends will be arriving with their children to have a little “staycation.”  The population of my household will go from two children under five years to seven children under five years and only two of those kids will be girls.  If the rain continues…these walls may not still be standing!

Sailboat Sketchbook Remix

I was so hoping that oliver + s would have a basic girls shorts pattern in their spring line-up.  The puppet show pattern has been a staple in G’s closet as long as I’ve been stocking it with handmade things.  Which I guess is going on about 3 1/2 years now.  I love the picnic shorts is small and particular doses but they don’t fit the bill for a “Mommy, I can’t find any shorts to wear” pattern imo.  I’ve been making a score of sketchbook shorts for K this spring/summer…so it occurred to me that it could be a candidate.  I went looking for inspiration and found several options at jcrew.  I figured if it was good enough for jcrew it must be good enough for us.  So, I began….  I tend to use busy prints when I am making a “muslin” to hide any major flaws.  However, they also tend to make it hard to photograph the detail too.

I started with the 4T sketchbook shorts.  I would love to have had the size 5 but I don’t own that pattern.  I shortened them a bit and removed the faux fly.  I added 1″ to the waist band to make a 1/2″ paper bag waist.  I moved the waistband seam to the center back and added two buttonholes in the center front.  I used a lightweight pajama elastic and a functional twill tape in the waist band.  I think the next pair the tape will just be decorative so I don’t have to re-tie them for her.

The finished product turned out more than “wearable” even if they are a little small.  I know exactly who I want to hand these down to any way.

I think the waist would look cuter if there was more room in the back to bunch up.  But, that is easy enough to adjust next time.

The sketchbook shorts are somewhere between tapered and straight.  So, these look a bit curved around her rear when I wish they looked looser.  I’m not sure if I should make the legs a bit bigger more open next time or that will sort out by adding width.

I also think they will look better a hem width shorter and still rolled up once.  In this shot we rolled the hem up twice.

I also think I’ll add more width to that paperbag waist.  But, overall…I think I’ve found a solution to a shorts pattern.  And, one that should roll right into school in the fall in solids.  Hmmm….next decision is….do I buy the next size up in the sketchbook pattern?  Surely I’m going to be bored to death of it by the time K wears a size 5 considering I’m sewing a size 12-18m for him right now….