We have a gigantic tree smack-dab in the center of our yard and all summer long it keeps our garden about ten degrees cooler than the surrounding area. I love it with all my heart when I’m enjoying that cooling shade under its protective arms. But the love starts to fade right around this time of the year when its gigantic branches shed their foliage and the yard fills with load after load of brown and yellow leaves. Right now we are being hit with the first wave of leaves and for me that always signals the most awkward phase of autumn…the “is it hot or cold out?” phase. You know this one. You feel a shiver and put on a sweater. Stand in the sun for too long and that sweater starts to feel like a personal prison of heat. You start sweating immediately. Take it off, though, and there is sure to be just the right amount of cloud cover and you will feel that cold shiver once again. I never deal with this transition very delicately but I think I may have found something of a solution with this perfect fall sweater. It’s a lane raglan hack using loose sweater knit for the body and a peek of rayon for the front. I shortened the arms, adding a cuff making it airy and cooler than your average sweater but fancier than a regular lane raglan with more coverage than just a regular raglan tee.
I’m sharing a full tutorial and detail on the Hey June blog, where I just started as a member of the Hey June blogger team. (It’s about time, right? Given how much I love and make her patterns!) Be sure to check it out.
Most of the time as I am working with a pattern, I think up a million ways to hack it. “It’s a tunic!” “Oooh, a twofer dress!” “AND, even a romper!!!” But by the time I finish with the intended garment I discard all of my pattern hack ideas and quietly move on. I leave my little pattern hack ideas behind to languish and die. Well, I am happy to report I listened to the “please hack me” voice this time with my Trevi Top and the voice was right! My trevi top DID want to become a bohemian Trevi Top with a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels! It really did! Guys, I managed to create my favorite shirt ever with this hack. Hello happy, hippy, bohemian Trevi Top! You are here just in time for summer. (more…)
Remember the accidental skirt? The one that was the bottom half of a hacked Sanibel dress? Well, what remained of the top half was calling to me and frankly, would not shut up. My close and tearful assessment of the top was that it had three main complications, a) it was voluminous at the hem, b) I had made a lining that was a bit smaller than the outer portion so it didn’t lay straight, and c) it was too short. You know, I’ll just come out and say it: the top is CROPPED and VOLUMINOUS. I mean, what the what? Who am I? Is this Hot Topic?
I wanted to give up on this top and I put it on the dress form in the studio because I didn’t know what else to do. It looked really pretty up there and kept inviting me to try get back together. I blame it on the neckline. I reached out to Instagram, as you do, and got lots of fantastic ideas (sewists are really the best people). Lots of people suggested adding a band to the bottom, Jess (coralbunnyandlo) even suggested adding a wide lace band for a boho look, which I thought was brilliant. And I tried. I really tried to make something like that work. But, you know what? It wasn’t working. I had the darn ‘too small lining’ thing going on and it kept making puckers. (more…)
I’ve had this lovely striped sweater knit fabric in my stash for the longest time and figured that my pattern hacking experiment was a good enough time to try it out. (more…)
I kinda went on a Plantain Tee hack rampage. I made six different versions of Plantain tees with six different variations. It was obsessive and all-consuming and fantastic. When I wasn’t teaching or on email, I was either dreaming about or making a Plantain Tee hack. I even had a moment when I thought to myself….”all I might ever need to wear can be made out of a Plantain Tee!” then I remembered about bras and underwear and sweaters and jeans. But still, if you discount undergarments and think only about warm weather clothing, I might still be onto something.
The Plantain Tee is a free pdf pattern from the French designer Deer and Doe and it’s got a great scoop neck, easy construction and gosh-darn-it, it fits me well! I got the idea for a million different variations while I was teaching my Plantain Tee class at Rock Paper Scissors (btw, local friends, they are having a big birthday bash this Saturday complete with 25% off sale!) . My students and I were talking about all the things we could do with the pattern and one student lengthened hers and I got excited to play around and make a whole bunch. I got excited to try out all the ideas. Not just dream but do! Also, with the hot weather we’ve been having I knew that I would wear a tee and paying careful attention to making things I will actually wear helps me stick to my Nothing New Project goals. (Thanks to so many of you, by the way, for your thoughtful comments here, by email and in person even about the project. I’m excited!) (more…)