*This post may contain a few affiliate links, depending on whether I feel up to finding them or not. I’m trying to hurry a bit, as I have chaffeuring duties to attend to, as well as mountains of laundry and dishes. 🙂
Hi all! Hope this post finds your well! Welcome, or welcome back, depending on how you found me. Either way, I’m glad you’re here!
This post is going to serve as a catch up post. While I love to sew and love to share, I have
kids a fairly busy life, which means that often, things don’t get shared. I’m really tired of looking at my pretties and realizing I didn’t share them. Sewing, for me, is all about the tangible item/reward that comes from it, as well as the feeling of having completed something. Lord knows, nothing else in this house ever feels like it’s really “completed”. (Laundry or dishes, anyone? They go on for days when you have 4 kids!)
To be honest, I’m a little lost on where to start. I’ve been sewing up a storm lately! I suppose I’ll begin with the shirts i sewed up for my Duchess skirt blog tour post. I was a little nervous, as it was my first blog tour/colab, so I made several items…although looking back, i should have sewn up more than one skirt, since the focus was that. (To be fair: I’ve been dealing with a fabric budget cut back, though. all i currently have to work with is my small stash & my linen closet. The skirt called for more than 2 consecutive yards of fabric, and I just didn’t have it. 🙁 )
So, without too much ado, I give you my first shirt (which ended up being my favorite). I used the free Key West Tank PDF pattern from New Horizons Designs. This is one of my favorite woven patterns. It’s a tank with a looser fit and features bands on the neck and armholes (I suppose you could bind them if you REALLY wanted to…but who has time for that? lol) . There is a crop length and full tunic length. It would also be really easy to take the tunic length and extend it, if you wished to have a swing style dress. If you were to do so, you would probably want to use something with a bit more drape than I used, though!
For my version, I took the pattern in my size and used this gorgeous stretch woven Stretch lace from Fabric Mart Fabrics. I received both as part of a mystery apparel box. I love those things! 6 yards for 10 bucks and I have NEVER been disappointed! (more on this another day!) I was originally going to just use the lace for the top, but hadn’t worked with stretch lace before (gasp!), so I wasn’t sure how the bands would work. I was also worried about how “finished” it would look, since I don’t use a serger (another shock, right? I did say I’m on the tightest budget ever. 🙂 )
So instead of cutting it to fit the top of the pattern to just above the bust (the middle of the armcyse), adding seam allowance and doing the reverse for the blue fabric…I cut a whole front and back bodice from the stretch woven, then just the top part from the lace. I folded it down over the bodice, RST, stitched a straight line (with a super tiny seam allowance) across the bodice, right where it would hit above thebust, then folded it back up and sewed the 2 bodice pieces together at the shoulders, then up the sides (like normal). The small amount I lost by not accounting for SA didn’t make a huge difference, as the lace stretched a lot more easily than the woven and it wasn’t hard to make it fit. If I did it again, I would probably do it a lot more technically, but I was in a rush. 🙂
So that was that. I could have just stopped there, but being the ADD/OCD person that I am I decided I may not even like that shirt. (It was pretty hard to getthe lace detail to show up on my point and shoot camera, after all.) So off I went, to find more fabric and another pattern.
Of couse, when you’re sewing and designing things in a rush, you tend to reach for those things that you’re most comfortable with. The Mama Cassie pattern by Made for Mermaids is definitely one of mine. In fact, one of my very first posts was made about the Mama Cassie. My writing and sewing styles have both changed since then. I also
like to believe my photography has gotten a bit better (i.e.: my 4 year old no longer holds my camera for me), but you can be the judge and read it here.
I used this super lush DBP that was from Joann’s fabrics, but I purchased it via a destash page on Facebook for $2.50. It has been in my stash for awhile now and I’ve been staring it down lately, knowing that I wanted to turn it into a fall piece. I used the Mama Cassie cold shoulder bodice and 3/4 length sleeve pieces and constructed it as a top by lengthening the bodice by 2.5″ in front and in back. To be honest, I’m long waisted which means I typically have to lengthen peplum bodices at least this much normally, anyway. So it would have been great to lengthen it by more, or to add a band….but alas, I only had about 3/4 of a yard of fabric. I was amazed to have gotten the top out of it to begin with! I love the bright colors, mixed with the softness of the fabric. I can’t wait to see this piece, along with the rest of my fall wardrobe. (getting there one piece at a time!)
If you can’t tell from the Duchess skirt, key west top and Mood dress that I’ve made…I’ve had a big penchant for wovens this summer. Last summer, I had a pair of shorts that I bought at target that quickly became my favorite pair. I don’t know about you, but when something is my favorite, I quickly WEAR IT TO DEATH! I must have worn those shorts every other day last summer. So, needless to say, this summer when I pulled them out, I realized they were beginning to fall apart a bit. I began looking for a pair just like them, but everything was either too short, made of knit, or just not my style. (I’m 5’3″ so “board shorts” look like I’m trying to wear capris unsuccessfully. lol) These shorts had a front and back yoke, were made from woven material and were fitted in all th right places, but loose in others. They looked great on and didn’t make me look to much like a church mom OR a mom who is trying to look like a teenager.
Because of this, when Rebecca Page of Mummykins and Me released her Berry Bubble Shorts, I knew it was fate. They resembled my favorite shorts so much it was uncanny. They can be made bubble style or straight style, with a large or small yoke, with several different lengths, finishings, etc. Basically, a perfect pattern for shorts. I would venture a guess to say that they would even come out cute in a stable knit fabric! I intend to try, anyway!)
The shorts are available in girls sizes as well as womens and you can bundle them via her site. (Psssst: she may also have some great coupon codes to try a few dress patterns for free, if you join the Mummykins and Me facebook group!) I’m a big fan of Rebecca’s patterns, as everything fits in a very specific niche that she has never waivered from. She definitely has her own style and it fits along with mine quite nicely. She also has a great section of “curvy & plus size sewing patterns” and I love how she keeps the patterns relavant accross the board and available for ALL body types. The beauty in sewing is being able to make pretty things for yourself that fit you well and make you look your best, so I believe designers who leave out these sizes do themselves and the sewing community a great disservice.
But let me hop down off that soapbox! The fabric I used for the shorts was another from my mystery apparel Fabric Mart box. It was some sort of tweed, I’m guessing (?) and I had envisioned it as either a pencil skirt or pants, but it ended up being perfect for these shorts! I’m still not sure how I feel about the poofiness of the bubble style, so I may go back in and remove the bands from the bottom, then just hem. I love that I can keep my options open!
Obviously, I struggle with top overlaod, as right after the shorts, I jumped back into making another top. This time, the new women’s Hera Blouse had been released from Wardrobe by Me, and I loved the look of it!
The Wardrobe by Me patterns are lovely contemporary pieces that fit together so well, they can help you build a capsule wardrobe. I love that so much thought has gone into the aesthetic of it. Christina, the designer, has developed “wardrobe builder” pieces that include such basics as tops, pants, jackets, etc. Then there are other pieces that mix and match with the bases to build a wardrobe that is unique and beautiful! This was my first time sewing up one of her patterns and I’m officially a fan.
The pattern itself was well written, the instructions are on point and thorough and the blouse goes together very quickly. The only thing I may have done differently would be to use a less stiff woven. This one has absolutely no drape and the pattern specifically mentions that you should go with drapey fabrics. Rebel that I am…I quickly figured out why, as without a belt, this top resembles a very beautiful scrub top. 🙂 (hence the full on outfit pics 🙂 ) Don’t forget to join the Wardrobe by Me Facebook group for support and to see all the other new patterns coming out! I know I’m definitely excited to have another designer to keep an eye on!
I believe the Hera blouse will be a welcome edition to any end of summer or beginning of fall wardrobe. I can just picture it with a plain white long sleeved shirt underneath and it’s practically beggin to be worn with boots and belt, as I’ve shown! Bonus, for those of us who still
have kids attached to our boobs constantly nurse, you can keep the front wrap piece unsewn and voila! easy access! (although I’m not sure my milk monster needs her access to be made easier, seeing as she loves to flash me around! ha!) 🙂 I’m sure it would be excellent for a new mama, however! 🙂