Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Work Worthy Button-up and Pencil Skirt

And here are two more additions to my work inspired capsule collection

For this shirt I used Simplicity 1941. The fabric is a white specialty cotton from Joann Fabrics. It was $19.50 for the fabric. I really love the texture of the fabric with its embroidery detail- you may not be able to make it out in the photos. 

I like the princess seams of this pattern. This pattern includes fit-as-you-go instructions. I ended up nipping it in a little here and there for a more fitted look. I also like the pleating of the sleeves. It gives it a more feminine look without going overboard. 

This was very easy to sew and a great addition to the work wardrobe. It will go with a variety of bottoms, toppers, and accessories. 

For the skirt, I used Hot Patterns 1011. First let me reminisce- this is the very first pattern I blogged about here! Man, I looked young! I still have the denim version of this skirt and continue to wear it. 

The fabric was out of my stash. It is a gray, stretch suiting from Gorgeous Fabrics. I don't remember exactly how much I paid but I would imagine between $10-$15 a yard. I used about 1 yard for this.  I love the feel of this fabric- the perfect weight and stretch for work-wear. 

This skirt was super easy to sew!

I've already worn this skirt several times. It works great with several different blouses I own. 


Monday, August 3, 2015

Black and White Wrap Dress

I've actually been doing quite a bit of sewing! Lately, I've been sticking to a capsule-wardrobe plan for everything that I've been making. As a nurse, I really don't put much thought into what I wear to work. It involves solid colored scrub pants in a small variety of colors and a solid, white scrub top (yes, white!). When I graduate from my master's program to become a nurse practitioner (9 months away!), I will actually have to put some thought into what I wear. I've created a sewing plan that includes a wardrobe of several pieces that can be mixed and matched with each other to give lots of variety. As I continue to post more and more items, I will add them to my capsule page, which you can click on at the top to visualize all of the pieces together. 

So my first piece, is this black and white faux wrap dress. The pattern is New Look 6097- apparently out of print. 

I used a black and white ponte knit from Girl Charlee. I no longer see this print, but they have several other options. I spent about $19 for fabric. I love the beefy hand and graphic print! 

The construction was quick and easy. I made a few design/constructions changes: 

  • I wanted the longer sleeves without the extra bulk of the cuff and tabs at the hem. So I simply omitted those details. 
  • I opted against the belt buckle and made a tie belt instead. I added length to the belt piece so that it would be long enough to tie. 
  • I initially top-stitched the neck binding down as the instructions would have you do. It ended up looking bulky and the binding tended to flip out. I ripped out the top-stitching and hand stitched the binding down instead. This made for a much cleaner look. 
  • I added about an inch to the overall length with wide hem tape. 

One change I wish I had made that I didn't was to add more length to the hem before cutting the dress out. I intend to wear this dress in an office setting and it's just a bit too short in my opinion. I wish it hit a little below the knee. It's not terribly short, but as a matter of personal preference, I would prefer if it were a bit more longer. 

Overall, I really like this dress. It's easy to wear and the wrap style is super flattering! To change up the look, it is easy to throw a cardigan or blazer on. I've shown it here with a black blazer I picked up at Target. 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Maritime Shorts and a Renfrew

It is quickly getting warm around these parts, and I desperately needed a well-fitting pair of shorts. I've shed some weight over the last few years and many of my shorts have quickly taken on the dreaded "mom" look. I'm no longer actively participating in a RTW fast. However, since fasting all of last year, I've become more critical of the things I buy in stores. I've become more aware of quality workmanship, or the lack thereof. Simply put, I can make things that are better fitting, and of higher quality than the things I can find in stores on the same budget. This was true of finding a perfect pair of shorts.
I used a dark blue, stretch denim that I had in my stash. I couldn't tell you where or when I got it, other than I know it came from an online purchase. I do recommend the stretch as these are a close fitting pair of shorts.
I haven't had the greatest luck with making pants or shorts in the past. I came across the Grainline Maritime Shorts pattern. The pattern had all of the details I was looking for. After a quick Google search, I found several cute, well-fitting pairs on other women. So I decided to give it a go.
These went together quickly and without any hiccups. The instructions are adequate. There is a tutorial available on Jen's blog where she shows you step by step how to complete them.
I chose the size according to my measurements on the size chart. As far as fit, I did not have to make any changes. They fit great around the waist and hips. For personal taste, and for a more flattering look on myself, I added enough length to give me a 5 inch inseam. The hook and eye closure on the waistband lasted one wearing before popping off. So I added a buttonhole and jeans button for a sturdier closure.
My final verdict: the perfect pair of summer shorts! They are well-fitting and flattering. I seem to always have rear-view issues but these really are flattering from all angles. They have received repeated wear already. I will have to make another couple of pairs for some variety.
I paired this with my latest Renfrew Top from Sewaholic Patterns. I think this is my favorite style: short sleeved, with a V-neck. My summer uniform! I used a cotton/lycra print from Girl Charlee. This particular print does not appear to be in stock anymore. This is my 5th version so I won't do a full review. But you can check out my other versions:
And while we are on the subject of knit tops, I recently purchased a Brother serger machine. I got the DZ1234, which as far as I can tell is the same as the 1034D, but came with some extra feet. Holy moly, I never knew what I was missing out on! After about an hour of getting to know my new serger, I was ready to get going on the Renfrew. My top went together in about half the time I was used to. There were no tension or other stitching issues. AND... My top is more comfortable to wear! This I was not expecting but it only makes sense. The stitches are made to give and stretch, allowing for a more flexible, comfortable top. I really don't know what I was waiting for other than a little thing called money... lol!