I’m not big on subscriptions; digital ones tend to clog up my inbox and paper subscriptions clutter up my home. When I do subscribe to something it’s got to be either incredibly useful or super inspiring. My subscription to Seamwork magazine from Collete Patterns just happens to be both. Each month’s issue comes with two free patterns that tend to be fresh and modern looking. At the end of Selfish Sewing Week I stitched up this Aurora Tank. It’s no longer tank top weather in New Jersey but sewing my own clothes has never been an entirely practical endeavor so why get smart now. Plus, I had just enough of these stripes left over from this dress.
I actually made a muslin for this top but in an interlock knit fabric and for some reason it fit much looser in the interlock. This version is a little tight in parts. I also added quite a few finishing touches to the top. The top has lovely puckers at the front that connect to shoulder straps and in the original pattern they are left as three layers of raw edges, I tucked that into the yoke for a cleaner look. I did the same for the back of the tank.
Plus, I switched out the back of the top with a little Liberty of London lawn fabric. Can you tell I’m dedicating to using up my precious fabrics? Can you also tell that I’m going nuts for stripes?
I also had to switch up the front scoop of the neck and the armholes, they were simply folded and stitched with a twin needle. Instead, I cut a 1″ strip of knit fabric for a small binding. Made it much easier to stitch in a clean line and provided a clean, finished look. I love all the changes but I’m not pleased with how it gathers at the back and fits too tight in the arm. All of that said, it’s a fun top.
It looks pretty good with my Madre Beads, too…don’t you think? I promise to switch to cool weather clothing soon, mostly so that I can wear what I make right away!
As I mentioned yesterday, I also made myself the Gwen Top–part of the Unbiased Collection from Pattern Anthology. It comes as a top, or a dress with a button placket or without, long or short sleeves AND there is even a bonus pencil skirt pattern. Can you say versatile? I’m excited to try out the pencil skirt but haven’t gotten around to it. I’m halfway tempted to go on a complete pattern diet and see if I can make everything I need just from this one pattern. Just to see if I can do it. As you can see, I opted for a short-sleeved Gwen henley top. I’ve been wanted to figure out how to make a nice henley-style placket for a long time. It’s details like a beautiful placket are the kinds of things that draw me to off-the-rack clothing so I’m trying to learn how to incorporate them into my sewn items. This cuff placket was my starter course, so to speak.
This top comes to gather in a really straightforward way. I did adapt the pattern a little after making my wearable muslin (scroll down to see that if you can’t wait). For starters I combined the neckband with the placket where the pattern has them as one or the other. I decreased the size of the placket by 1/2″ on each side and also decreased the size of the neckband by 1/2″. For both I used a double gauze woven fabric instead of knit. I wanted a slightly less exaggerated look. The neckband does sit upright rather than lying against my body, which bothered me at first but from the pictures I gathered that it is designed that way and I’ve gotten used to it.
This picture is just to prove that I am capable of looking straight at the camera and smiling. I don’t have to gaze wistfully at the ground. Of course, getting this shot took a lot more work than the the ground-lookers and it makes the placket look crooked, which it isn’t.
Back to the shirt, I also altered the sleeve hem by adding a raw-edged strip of jersey that I topstitched. Not for any real reason, just because I liked it a wee bit longer.
The striped fabric is the same soft, slinky rayon jersey from Imagine Gnats that I used on my Lane Raglan Hoodie. The placket is made in beautiful Nani Iro from Miss Matatabi.
For my wearable muslin, I didn’t make any alterations and I have to say the scoop of the neckline is gorgeous.
Overall, though, I’m not thrilled with this shirt. That’s ok. It’s my muslin after all. It somehow seemed too long in this light-colored fabric and the sleeves are too short on my arms. I love the faux-raglan look though and will probably make more using that style. (Yet another thing this pattern offers!)
This picture really highlights how the length is just odd in this color fabric. What exactly is happening to my torso! If I make another in light colors, I’d have to shorten it.
Today is the last day that the Unbiased Collection is being sold a steep discount and they are having a crazy good contest for people who buy it this week! Be sure to check that out. A purchase before the end of the day also comes with a bunch of great coupons and a wardrobe planner. In addition to all that, the size range on this collection is from XXS to XXXL, which I personally think is fantastic. If you are sewing your own clothes you should be able to sew in your size whether it is larger or smaller than what fashion thinks of as “standard”.
Note: I was given this pattern for free but my opinions are all my own, as always. I was not paid for this post, just asked very nicely and I have nothing to gain if you decide to purchase the collection, I just think it’s a good deal.
When I embarked on my year of buying no new clothes, The Nothing New Project, I sat down and thought through exactly what kinds of clothes I need and use regularly. I divided my clothing needs into three different categories: 1. Everyday Wear (school pick-ups, working at home time, and lounging with the fam) 2. Going Out (drinks with my girls, dates with my husband, weddings) and 3. Work Clothes (teaching sewing, visit to fabric companies, other totally random outings). I didn’t want to make something that didn’t fit into one of these categories because it wasn’t ever going to be worn. And that is why when I finally tried on this Adora dress (before hemming it) I danced a happy dance and said “It fits into all three!!” Thank goodness for Selfish Sewing Week!
And look! It really is versatile enough for all three. I can absolutely teach a class, pick the kids up from school and go out for drinks in this dress. I’m psyched. The Adora Dress is a part of the new Unbiased Collection from Pattern Anthology (4 new patterns for $30) that has been making big waves lately. Melissa from Blank Slate Patterns asked if I wanted to try out the patterns and I happily agreed. I knew right away that I wanted to make both the Adora Dress and the Gwen Top (more on that tomorrow). I was, of course, hoping they would fit into my categories. So boom!
I bravely busted out the good stuff (I’m working on that these days…what use is such marvelous fabric if it sits tucked away?) and paired a classic Liberty of London woven with knit stripes from Riley Blake. I don’t remember where I got the stripes and the Liberty fabric was a gift from my husband after one of his trips to London. Lucky bugger has been inside The Liberty Store five times more than I have, which is to say that he has been there exactly five times. The indignity.
Anyway, I loved the yoke look of this dress but didn’t want too much of a contrast between the dress body and the yoke and I like how the black background ties them together. I also like that the idea of stripes is echoed within the Liberty print.
I did have to grapple with lots of stripe matching but this is the curse of a stripes lover!
For the most part, this dress came together beautifully. I did find that the front bodice piece, at the very top, didn’t fit exactly with the dress body and had to reshape the armholes a bit as a result. It could have been because of the inherent challenge of sewing together a woven fabric with a knit. I’m not sure. I also found the bottom hem was off when the two side seams came together. The back of the dress was longer than the front. But, it wasn’t a problem because I ended up wanting to shorten the whole dress anyway.
I also made a few small changes of my own. To finish the armholes I stitched a 1″ strip of knit fabric and used that like a piece of bias tape. And, I topstitched along the top of the yoke, which the pattern didn’t call for but I felt added a more finished look.
The Adora successfully maneveurs in a tricky area. It manages to hide the tummy and the *ahem* junk-in-the-trunk but is also really sexy but still casual. Not an easy one to pull off. I like looking kind of sexy but covered and also like I’m not trying. Smooth move Adora!
And much to my delight, throw a tailored jacket over this dress and it’s immediately even more dressed up!
Note: This pattern was provided to me free of charge but my opinions are my own and reflect my true experiences. I was not compensated for this review.
Hey! It’s the first day of Selfish Sewing Week, which is fantastic because I already sew for myself all the dang time and for one week I get to act like I’m doing it for good reasons! That’s what you call #winning . I’m really proud to be starting it off as a contributor to the wonderful UpCraft Club with my new scrumptious Lane Raglan Hoodie. Check out all the details over on their blog.
Have you heard of UpCraft Club? It’s a modern sewing association for people who love pdf patterns. They offer monthly membership, which include a Jo-Ann fabric discount and a monthly free pattern or class. What is different about the UpCraft folks is that they also certify pdf patterns according to a transparent set of standards. (more…)
I am so excited to announce that I have joined the Blank Slate Sewing Team! I fell in love with Blank Slate Patterns when I made my Marigold mash-up so I’m really honored to be a part of Melly’s crew. Today, I’m over at the Blank Slate blog, run by the aforementioned Melly Sews, sharing my Pocket Full of Posies Dress. You can purchase it here.
Read all about why I was so worried about making this dress and how thrilled I am with how it turned out! (Here is a hint: hips).
Note: I was paid for this post and given the pattern as a courtesy. I always feel really shmoozy saying this, but my opinions are all my own. Really and truly. I am also an affiliate for Blank Slate Patterns and some of the links in this post are affiliate links. On an annual basis, I make about $5 on affiliate sales. I’m not a great salesgirl! But, thanks for supporting my coffee habit if you do make a purchase through my links! <3