Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Animal Print Dress

Hello all! Hope your holidays were fun and relaxing! After all of the family gatherings, I've been able to relax and watch movies with my husband and son. Alas, I must return to work tomorrow.
I swore I would never do animal print but this year I'm taking the plunge into the ever popular Fall/Winter trend! I have to say, it's kind of fun! Hopefully the Flinstones do not come to mind... LOL!
I used Butterick 5247 (sorry for the blurred picture). I don't remember purchasing this pattern that long ago but apparently it is OOP. This is a 1-hr pattern (took me close to 2 hrs) for a dress or tunic with a cowl neck and tie belt.
I used a poly/lycra blend jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. It was a splurge for me- spent $27. But it is the perfect weight knit for this dress. It is beefy and not sheer at all. Plus I have just enough to squeeze out a top if I want.
This was very easy to make. It took me almost 2 hrs because I use a conventional sewing machine and not a serger. The design has quite a bit of ease. I made a 14, which is 2 sizes smaller than recommended by my measurements but I still have plenty of room without it looking too big. The tie belt cinches it in to make this a rather simple, but flattering dress.
I paired this with black tights and faux suede wedges (Merry Christmas to me!).

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Self Drafted Tee

Here's my version of the basic tee I drafted while participating in the draft-along at Sew Country Chick. Drafting your own patterns isn't as difficult and time consuming as I had originally thought. It does require some trial and error but I'm happy with the outcome.
I made a muslin with some cheap knit. For the most part, the body of the tee fit great but the sleeves were almost too narrow for me to squeeze my arms into (can we say wearing ease, anybody?). I also ran into the same problem as Justine  did with some extra fabric bunching and sleeve cap issues. She warned us- but I guess I have to figure it out on my own sometimes! So I scooped out the armhole on the front and back body of the tee to create some negative ease- worked like a charm!
For my finished project, I used an ITY jersey print that has been hanging out in my stash for a while. It's the perfect weight for this tee. I really like the geometric print. Although I added width to my sleeves, they are still a bit narrow for my preference. So next time around, I will add a bit more. Otherwise, I'm very happy with my basic tee pattern and can see myself making several of these in the future.
In other news, I owe a special thanks to Adrienne for her nomination for the "One Lovely Blog Award". It's always nice to be appreciated by other bloggers and helps motivate me to keep my little blog going! Check out her blog Stitching on the Edge for all sorts of cute projects!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Do you want the good news or...

Bad news first... my little black dress turned into a wadder. It hurts my heart :( I used Butterick 5710, or Pippa's Knock-off Dress. I was making the shorter version for my LBD. I used a beautiful black crepe de chine from Mood. The whole dress was lined with black ambiance from The dress is relatively simple to construct but does require some finesse. The problem is  that every piece except for the sleeves is cut on the bias. Extra care must be taken to not stretch out the fabric all to Hell.  I thought I was doing a very good job of this until I got to the step of inserting the zipper into the center back seam. You of course will interface all seams immediately after cutting to avoid my problem- advice I found only after it was too late. The first time I inserted the zipper, it buckled into an awful wavey line- it screamed homemade. I must have sewn and unpicked the back seam at least five times. I tried pressing the bias back into original shape. I tried interfacing the back seam allowances. I tried small gathering stitches to try to eliminate the wave. All to no avail. I showed it to my husband who said "it's not that bad"- code for "I don't want to hurt your feelings". Being the man that he is, he also had no knowledge of the original Pippa dress and said he didn't understand "the diaper in the front"- referring to the infamous draping neckline. Ugh- men! I decided I spent way too much time trying to make it work and it just wasn't going to- so I am moving on!
Now for a bit of good news. I received a nice cheer me up from Diya at The Hobby Harbor. I met her during the draft-a-long we are both participating in. She's very creative. I am jealous totally love her chevron print A-line skirt she made as her first drafted project. Anyway, she nominated me for the Liebster award. Thanks Diya!
"The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated, and to help spread the word about new blogs"
Diya requested that I answer these questions about myself:
[1] What are a few blogs that you read on a daily/weekly basis? I read all updates from blogs that I follow on an almost daily basis. I need to get better at commenting but if I'm following you- I'm reading what your posting.
[2] Which is your favourite sewing pattern? I can't say that I have one favorite sewing pattern because my tastes and mood change so quickly. However, I'm really into sewing independent pattern designs lately.
[3] How long have you been blogging? According to Blogger, since February 2009- I can't believe it's almost four years!
[4] What project(s) are you currently working on? I am currently working on a muslin of my self drafted basic tee pattern. I'm also cutting out a long sleeved shirt dress.
[5] What is one of your New Years Resolutions? In regards to sewing/blogging, I hope to be able to post more regularly and frequently in the upcoming year. I've struggled to find sewing time with a toddler running around but I think I've gotten into the groove lately. I also have a large stash of uncompleted quilting projects that I would like to work through.
[6] Did you write a tutorial on your favourite project you made? No, I don't generally do tutorials. I've received some great emails asking me how I did something and I am happy to personally respond to these and offer assistance. However, there's so many tutorials and great advise out there that I don't usually feel compelled to make my own.
[7] Do you have pets? I have had a calico cat since I was 18! She frequents the sewing room often.
[8] Where do you buy most of your clothes? I don't buy a lot of RTW items. When I do, they are usually basics from Target or Kohls. I love looking at the LOFT. I think this store best resembles my style, or what I wish it would be!
[9] What is the #1 item on your holiday wish list? It was actually really difficult for me to think of a wish list this year. The problem is, if I really want something, I usually just go get it! But I've asked for some cooking tools. Cooking and baking is another one of my favorite things to do aside from sewing.
[10] Your favourite project you made till date? Perhaps one of the items that gets the most wear is this wrap dress. It is very flattering and I can dress it up or down. I love the floral print. (Love the flashback- I hope my photo skills have improved, LOL)
[11] What inspired you to start a blog? Before blogging, I had sewn off and on since my early teens. But I was never too excited about it because I really couldn't talk to anyone about sewing as none of my friends sew. A few years ago I discovered the wonderful world of the online sewing community! I love the ability to see what others are sewing and gain tips and advice. This is what inspired my to blog- just to be able to share what I am doing with everyone else. It has really improved my sewing skills as well!
Here are some bloggers that I have been following that I would love to nominate:
Frogs in a Bucket
I Heart Fabric
made by meli88a
Sew My Time

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Simplicity Cardigan, Version 2.0

This post will be short and sweet. I've already done a write up of this pattern here. I had purchased this zebra print knit fabric from I had originally intended to make a wrap dress out of it. However, as sometimes happens when one purchases fabrics online, the drape and weight of the fabric just wasn't what was expected. It is slightly sheer. It also has a terrible case of static cling, sticking to itself in one long log. It's actually quite comical to see.
But instead of letting the fabric go to waste or spending time and energy on returning it, I thought it would be great for another Simplicity 2603 cardigan. I actually really like the print and it worked up nicely for this cardigan. I spent a little over $14 for the fabric. I did a few things differently this go around. I lengthened to sleeve length to hit me at the wrists. I also left all of the hems unfinished.
I'm currently working on my entry for the "Little Black Dress Contest" on Pattern Review. It's almost done and I can't wait to show you. I think it may turn out to be one of the nicest things I've made myself so far in my sewing career and it should stand the test of time- a task every good LBD should do. After that, I will be drafting my basic t-shirt pattern for the Draft-Along I'm participating in.  
Enjoy the holidays and time with your family. I will be working on Thanksgiving- the hospital refuses to close down for the day- LOL.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Self Drafted A-Line Skirt

I've recently joined my first sew-a-long! I ordered Design It Yourself Clothes, Patternmaking Simplified by Cal Patch recently. I had just finished reading the book when Justine at Sew Country Chick announced she was doing a sew-a-long to draft patterns based on the projects in this book. I don't know how she read my mind but it was perfect timing!
The book is well written and takes you step by step through the drafting process. You start by making a library of patterns for basic garments. Once you have fine tuned and perfected your basic patterns, you can use these to add design elements to make a wardrobe of unique garments.
First up is the A-line Skirt! I can't tell you how easy this was to draft. It gave me a lot more confidence in drafting than I originally had. It actually has darts and a side zipper- not just your basic elastic waistband jobby!
I intended this version to be a muslin but I was very satisfied with the fit and ended up liking the fabric I used so finished it into a wearable garment. There are a few minor tweaks I will make to the next version but overall this turned out great.
I had drafted this to sit just above my navel. The skirt ended up being a bit wider in the waist than I intended so it sits just below my navel. So I will be nipping the waist in slightly next time. Also (for those of you in the sew-a-long who know what I'm talking about) Cal has you draft the waistband and hem so that it angles up at the side seams to account for your curves. I felt that the one inch additional angels were a bit much and unnecessary for my figure and I lopped them off.
Next up is a basic tee. We have just begun so if you are interested in joining it's not too late to start!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shrug Top

Here's a quick and easy project to close out the warm weather sewing with.

I was so original with the choice of color (NOT)... I used a hot pink cotton knit from Joann Fabrics. If I make this top again, I would not use such a heavy knit. The neckline draping just doesn't have the desired affect as pictured on the model. A rayon jersey or ITY jersey probably would have been a better choice.
This was super easy to make, I spent less than 3 hours on the construction.
I don't know why, but in my opinion the Big 4 pattern companies do not do negative ease well. So if you have a knit pattern that you would like to fit snugly, you better size down. I ended up making a 14, 2 sizes smaller than the pattern recommends. I probably could have done a 12 and it would have been just a bit snugger without being too small.
While I'm not dieing over it, it is a cute top that I've worn a couple of times now. I may attempt it again with a drapier knit in the future.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Renfrew and Clovers

Looking very Americana in red, white, and blue! Here's another outfit inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 project!
Pop question: didn't Jenny already sew a blue and white short sleeved tee this year? Yes! I blogged it here. I  washed and wore it so much that it lost it's shape a bit and got a few of those teeny snag holes that knits get. So I retired it and made a new one. I wanted to switch up the style this time so I went for Sewaholic's Renfrew. I used a blue and white striped knit, this time from Mood Fabrics. I spent $12 for the fabric. I love the weight and texture of the fabric. My only gripe is that the stripes were printed a bit off grain so my stripes don't line up perfectly. No matter- no one notices except for you- my fellow perfectionist sewists.
You all have probably sewn up the Renfrew several times over but, if you're tardy for the party like me, I'll tell you this sews up like a dream! I spent less than two hours sewing it up on a conventional machine. If you have a serger, I'm sure the time is cut in half. I love the neck, arm, and hem binding instead of the fold over hemming. It looks so much cleaner and gives it a really nice style. The v-neck is one of my favorite necklines. It is very flattering and was easy to sew. 
It fit like a dream. Now, if I went by my measurements I would be a 14 in the bust, 12 in the waist, and a 10 in the hips. I went with a straight 12 which is what I usually am in RTW and this was just fine. The only adjustment I made was to shorten the length by about 1 inch. Next time I might add a teeny smidge to the arm binding. It's a bit snug but not uncomfortably so. If you have plump upper arms like yours truly, then you might want to add a bit to the arm binding.
Overall, I love my new striped tee. I know I will be sewing up several more of these... this is such a great pattern for some good basic tees!
Next up is the Colette Clover. Again, you all have probably made several pairs for yourself already. This is another really nice pattern for a great basic pair of pants. They're actually a little more sexy than I usually go! My hubby called them "booty-licious"! These ankle pants were also inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 project. In the photo, they are pictured in yellow. I first made them in red, and I already have a goldish/yellowish/greenish fabric to make another pair. I searched and searched the fabric lands over for the perfect stretch twill in red. I found this fabric on Harts Fabric. I spent about $22 for the fabric.
I made a muslin first. Now in all honesty, I don't usually do muslins. The first one was supposed to be a true pair of pants but because of the fit issues, I called it a muslin and moved on. I made a 12, based off of my measurements. I ended up needing a bit more room in the waist so added a quarter of an inch to the side seams. I shortened the length by about one inch. My red clovers ended up fitting perfectly!
This pant is very easy to sew and the instructions are geared toward the beginner seamstress which is great for someone wanting to try something new. One issue I had was that once I got them all sewn up and tried them on, my invisible zipper split beyond repair. Now these are a form fitting pant but I certainly wasn't busting out of them by any means. So I ripped the invisible zipper out and did a regular lapped zipper instead. Next time, I want to try to alter the pattern to do a front fly, with the assistance of tutorials provided by Sallieoh.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Seersucker Blazer

Hello, hello! It's been a few weeks. I've been getting in some great sewing time but haven't had the opportunity with my hubby fashion photographer for a photo shoot. Well your wait is over! I know you all have been waiting at the edge of your seats for my next project...
Introducing the blue and white seersucker blazer! This jacket was inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 project. I saved the jackets and ankle pants for last because I knew I really wouldn't get  much wear out of them until more into Fall. Here in the Southwest it's still in the high 70's... still a little warm for jackets.
I used Simplicity 4698, an oldie but a goodie. This is a great pattern for a structured blazer jacket. You can make one with either a notch collar or no collar. It has princess seams and is partially lined. It has pocket and sleeve length variations. I sort of mixed views. I did the notch collar with 3/4 length sleeves and patch pockets.
I used a blue and white cotton seersucker from I used "china silk" to line it. Dont' let the name fool you- it's cheap polyester lining. I spent about $20 total.
The jacket sewed up smoothly. The instructions were great. I finished all the exposed seams with seam binding. If I make this again, I will probably fully line the jacket. The partial lining is kind of odd. I made a size 16 right out of the envelope and it fits great. The only change I made was to make the petite adjustments. I've never been one for shoulder pads but I almost think this jacket could use some. All of the pictures are without shoulder pads but I really think it could benefit from some added shaping.
What's not to love? I really, really like this jacket and I think it can be dressed up or down. Here, you see it paired with my Burda ruffle blouse. I think it would look great with a basic tee or with a pretty cami underneath like my floral cami top. It looks great with jeans and flats. I can also picture it with a white skirt, over a white dress, or with slacks. The possibilities are endless- which is the point of my Spring/Summer 2012 project! I've got so much wear out of all my looks so far. I'm planning out my Fall/Winter 2012 wardrobe. I have not found a ready-made wardrobe to rip off inspire me for the cooler months so I am actually conjuring up my own sewing plan.



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Floral Camisole Top

This one will be short and sweet. Here is my version of the floral camisole top inspired by my Spring/Summer wardrobe.
  I used Simplicity 3956.
 I made version 'D'. I used a beautiful floral georgette from Gorgeous Fabrics that has lots of bright colors. I spent $22.50 on the fabric. This went together quickly and easily. The georgette is sheer but the bodice is lined and the bottom has an overlay over it. My only gripe is that it is a little low cut and I hate wearing strapless bras! I ended up wearing this with a cotton camisole underneath.

This is how I wore it out for the first time. I paired it with my Burda Safari Jacket.
My husband and I were able to get away for a little while for a date. We went to a public auction and then to a wine bar afterward.
This is one of the last items I am making for the warmer weather. I still have the jackets and pants from my Spring/Summer wardrobe project that will transition nicely into Fall so I am working on those next. I don't know about where you are, but Fall is in the air over here!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jean Jacket and Double Duty Dress

Well hello! It's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been sewing up a fury though. Unfortunately, I've been in a rut in the photo department. I've been stuck on this dress/skirt. I don't think it photographs very well. I think it looks great in real life but the camera isn't doing it any justice. Maybe I'm being overly critical. We just did the third photo shoot for the same outfit so I'm gonna say "the third time is the charm" and post what I've got. Have you guys every had that problem when something you really like just isn't looking good in the pics?
Anyway, let's start with my latest pride and joy- the jean jacket. Both pieces are inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 wardrobe. I've been searching for the perfect jean jacket pattern. The ultimate pattern that I have found is Style Arc's Stacie Jean Jacket. It has all the jean jacket details that I would want. I just can't bring myself to spend over $30 in shipping from Australia yet! So plan B was McCalls 5860. It's out of print but I took a chance and ran to JoAnn's to see if they still had it and sure enough they did! I like the princess seam shaping of this jacket. It has the classic jean jacket style. The only thing it's missing,which wouldn't be too difficult to add, is a bottom band instead of a shirt style hem. I would think you could just chop off the shirt bottom and add a band instead of a hem. However, this time I went with the shirt look because it more closely resembles my inspiration.
I used a wonderful stretch denim from Gorgeous Fabrics. At $14 a yard, I splurged a little. However, I think I will get bang for my buck- I can style this jacket with many different looks and into the Fall/Winter seasons as well. I got the jean buttons from Dimebuttons on Ebay. They have a huge selection of jean style buttons and rivets with all sorts of designs. I spent $28 on fabric and $6 on buttons. I used Coats & Clark heavy thread for the topstitching. I used a beige color that really looks great on the dark denim and gives it more of a RTW look.
I spent about 8 hours sewing this up. The instructions are great and I didn't run into any construction issues. There are fitting instructions included. I ended up taking in the center back by about 1/2 inch to give it more of a fitted look. I also took about an inch off the length.

Here are some detail shots (shot in crummy lighting so they don't look the best). I also brightened the photos so you could see the detail. Then denim is darker in real life:

Can you see the design on the buttons?

 Look ma! I matched up the top stitching from the princess seam to the top stitching on the sleeve!

I paired the jacket with this long prairie skirt that doubles as a strapless dress, also inspired by my Spring/Summer project. I used Simplicity 2609.

I made view A, the longest length. I added two inches to the top waistband section because I didn't want the next seam to cut my boobs in half when I pulled it up as a dress. The extra length was perfect.
I used a rayon challis from It is a black background with a white floral print, just like my inspiration photo. The fabric cost my about $35 for 5 yards. However, I have about a yard left over to squeeze out a top maybe.
The skirt is super easy to make. It just seems like it takes forever because you have to sew each tier together and gather it. I spent about 5-6 hours on this.
It is super comfy to wear as a skirt but looks great hiked up as a dress and cinched in at the waist.

More to come soon! I can't believe it but I've almost sewed up the whole Spring/Summer 2012 collection! I just need two more jackets and a couple pair of pants and then I'm done! I've been getting a lot more wear out of all these pieces than usual. I'm starting to dream up my Fall/Winter 2012 collection...


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Butterick 5348 Revisited

I originally made and blogged this dress a little over two years ago here. I had never actually worn it because it was just a bit too "little girl" looking for me.

What a difference a belt can make! I pulled the dress out and paired it with a belt and wedges which keeps it looking feminine but much more grown up looking. I'm inspired to see what a little accessorizing can do with other outfits too!

~ Jenny

Friday, July 6, 2012

Swiss Dot Top and Burda Pants

Here are two more projects inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 wardrobe. The top is actually one I added in. I thought the floral print would work well with the color scheme and would be versatile in that it could be paired with several of the bottoms and jackets. The ankle-pants are actually a mock-up of the yellow pants in my inspiration photo. I'm still on the prowl for the perfect shade of yellow, stretch denim or twill fabric for my "real" pair of pants. I also want a pair in pink, like a hot pink.

Let's start with the blouse...

Simplicity 2892

I made view C which is sleeveless, has a pleated neckline, and waistband. I used a cotton swiss dot from JoAnn Fabrics. I spent just under $10. It is very easy to sew, spent about 3-4 hours making it up. The only change I made was to grade the waistband up one size from the rest of the blouse. I was afraid it might be too tight but turns out I probably could have got away with making it all one size.

I am very pleased with the blouse! It is nice and lightweight for the warmer weather but will work great under cardigans and jackets later on.

Next up is the pants. I used Burda Style magazine, issue 07/2010, style 103.

These are a slim fitting pant. They have a jean styling with front pockets, a front zip fly, waistband, belt loops, and back yoke. You can't tell from the pictures but there's also quite a bit of topstiching detail.

I used a black stretch bottom weight, also from Joann Fabrics. I spent about $19.

They are relatively easy to see with some knowledge of pant construction. I did have to consult some illustrated instructions for constructing the front zip fly though. I spent about 5 hours sewing them.

I like the styling of the pant. And they are a very good fit, straight off the pattern without any adjustments. My one dislike is they are a bit high waisted for my preference. They go above my belly button which isn't the most flattering fit for my shape. I usually prefer 1-2 inches below my belly button for comfort of wearing and I think they are more flattering. I know I could probably lower the rise but I don't want to fuss with it. I'll just look for another pattern with lower rise.
I don't know that I will make my colored pants using this pattern. I'm actually leaning toward a skinny fit jean pattern so that they will transition into Fall/Winter. But these are a decent, basic black pant.

Ha! I'm trying to do my amateur model pose while the little one runs amok in the background!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!!

I hope you and your family are enjoying the holiday! Our country is blessed with freedom and brave women and men who fight to keep our freedom.

 We had an all American lunch complete with hot dogs, potato salad, watermelon, and beer!

I wore my blue striped cami top, one of my first blogged creations! It was perfect for the scorching heat. I paired it with my cut off jeans shorts and my red flip-flops for my all American look!

Love all the flowers! This is at my mother-in-law's house. She's quite the gardner!

My two guys! The little on is just over 16 months old, can't believe how fast he is growing!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ivory Ruffle Blouse

Here is my ruffle blouse inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 project. This blouse is actually very close to the inspiration photo. I used Burda Style Blouse 117 from the 08/2009 issue. This blouse is a part of the Parisian Fashion section of the magazine. I've been wanting to make this entire section of garments for years but this is my first one.

I used silk crepe de chine from Gorgeous Fabrics. I spent $21 for 2 yards. This fabric is a dream to sew with! It wasn't as slippery to work with as other silk type fabrics but it creates a beautiful, semi-sheer look in the end.

This went together fast and easy... I had no problems following the usually cryptic Burda instructions. It's rated "easy to sew"by the magazine too. I didn't have to make any alterations, the fit was great and true to size based off of their measuring chart.

I used french seams for the sides and shoulders. I understitched the neck facing to prevent it from rolling to the outside. I also did a "very narrow hem" instead of a regular narrow hem on the ruffles and bottom edge.

Not the greatest photo with inside lighting.

I love this blouse! I wore this for the first time in Florida, during a "Sip-and-See" hosted by my parent-in-laws. It's a southern tradition that involves wine, snacks, and a baby on display. People drop in to socialize and meet the baby for the first time. We had great fun and I received many compliments on my blouse. I would love to make this in some other colors- maybe some prints. This is going to be versatile in my wardrobe. It will go great under jackets too.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Tale of Two Tees

Here are my two tees inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 Wardrobe project. If you check out the link, you'll see that the inspiration uses a gray top and a white and navy striped top, both with 3/4 length sleeves. I opted for short sleeves because it's dang hot where I live!

I've actually made both of these tees before so I won't go into great detail. You can check out the previous posts for pattern reviews.

First up is actually my favorite: the white and navy striped tee. I used a rayon jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics (looks like it's sold out though). I got two yards for a total of $24. If you've ever ordered from Ann, you'll know that she's generous with her cuts so I actually have enough to squeeze out a tank I think. I love ordering from G.F.- there is always a wide selection of beautiful, high quality fabrics that you can't get elsewhere. The prices are a little higher than I usually go for but she puts on some good sales throughout the year.
I used pattern 112A from the Burda Style issue 02/2010. I originally blogged it here. The only change I made was to shorten the sleeve length. I really like this cut on me. It's fast and easy to sew and the boatneck style is very flattering in my opinion.

Note: I got the white skirt as a substitute for the white jeans from my inspiration wardrobe. I tried on various styles of white jeans, capris and shorts and just couldn't find a style that was both flattering and not a peep show... lol! This skirt is flattering and fun to wear and it has shorts built in underneath so they are not so see through! Got it from Kohl's.

I took these while in Florida, down by the marina. I love all the water and sailboats... I feel so nautical with my striped tee and white skirt! My hair is kind of wild... it was a windy day:)

I used Vogue 8536 for my second tee, originally blogged here. (I can't believe I've blogged for this long!! This was three years ago!) I used a cotton interlock from Joann Fabrics. I purchased 2 yards for a total of $10... I think I can get a second top from the remnant on this one too. This one is also fast and easy to sew. Perhaps it's the way I styled it but I'm not so thrilled with this one... it's just a basic gray tee. It was a hot, casual day so I just paired it with shorts and sandals.

I haven't started on all of the jackets yet- mainly because it's too stinking hot to wear them! But I have all the fabric for the three jackets which will really bump up my styling options. I hope to have them ready for early Fall.

I still have several other tops done and pictures to take so stay tuned...


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

We had a great time in Florida and as promised, I got lots of pictures! I actually had my own miniature me-made challenge as I was able to wear at least one piece of clothing that I had made on every day of the trip. And for those of you who may not know, I am sewing up garments inspired by the Cabi capsule collection, blogged about here.

So first up is my plane ride outfit- on the way out. Here, I am wearing the blue tank top and the ivory knit cardigan with jeans and flats.

I won't go into great detail about the tank. I've actually made it before using Simplicity 2593, blogged about here. I didn't change anything except for not making the twist neckline. A funny thing about the twist on my previous top- I actually ended up removing it after the first wear! It looked so cute... that is, until I put it in the wash. The twist was just never the same and ended up looking messy despite ironing. So I took it off and continue to get a lot of wear from this top. I used a wonderful blue cotton shirting from Gorgeous Fabrics. Looks like it is sold out now. But it's very lightweight, almost sheer and breaths nicely. I spent $12 for the tank.

For the cardigan, I used Simplicity 2603. Based off of the inspiration photo, I wanted a knit with some texture to it. I came across this lightweight, pointelle ivory knit at Hancock Fabrics. And it was on sale for half off! I spent $19 on the cardigan and about 3-4 hours sewing it up. I made a size Medium (14-16). I made the shortest version that the pattern had to offer and lengthened the sleeves slightly. I was aiming for full length sleeves but apparently was not doing my math correctly and only added a couple of inches (not sure how I thought this was going to be enough). So my sleeves are still 3/4 length but that's okay. The second change I made was to fold the back neck to the inside and tack it for about 4 or so inches. I had read this on a review of the pattern and it's a great tip for this pattern. When the back neck is rolled to the inside, the rest of the cardigan has a really nice drape to it. Without folding the neck to the inside, the front of the cardigan tends to roll outward, exposing the wrong side of the fabric. Now if I had made this with a solid knit, such as a rayon jersey, I would have left the ends raw instead of doing the narrow hem. I think it would have created a much cleaner look leaving the ends unhemmed, opposite of what you might think I know. But, because this was more of a sweater knit, I did go ahead and do all of the hemming.

This cardigan is a dream to wear! The fabric is perfect for warm weather. It's just the right weight to cover up in the cool air conditioning but not be too bulky. I love the design and style and the neutral color goes with just about everything. I actually wore this with several tops from my capsule wardrobe! I would love to make this again for fall/winter out of some rayon knits.