Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog! I’m thrilled to have you here. Thank you for taking a moment out of your day to read my post. I’m pretty excited to share a special sewing project with you today!
I was super excited to sign up for this tour, back in December. It’s a completely new year, right? How exciting is that? I took the “New Year New Sew” blog tour title to mean that I should sew something that is entirely new to me. This should have been a fairly easy process. I don’t know about you, but I have no shortage of patterns. I probably have at least 25 that I haven’t yet made. Some are printed out. Some are on my google drive. Some I know I’ve downloaded or purchased….but I have no clue where they are.I definitely need to work on my pattern storage in 2018. My “system” worked well when I only rotated through the same handful of patterns over and over. Now that I have so many, there are pieces everywhere and I can seldom find what I need, which means I print them over and over again, wasting time and ink! But, I digress. (It happens a lot. Sorry!)
The free scarf neck cardi from Swoon patterns was my original
failed plan. It’s a pattern I’ve had printed forever, but never used. I didn’t used to wear cardigans, but ever since my run with the Love Notions Origami Blog tour (and pattern), I feel like I need a million of them in my wardrobe! The scarf neck cardi pattern calls for about 2 yards of fabric, so I used this green distressed double brushed polyester that I got for a steal of a deal from Aurora Design Fabrics . I love how it came out! I sewed it up using the french seam directions in the pattern instructions (another “new” thing, as I hadn’t used that method before). This pattern has an open front and therefore, a lot of exposed seams, so I wanted the inside to look nice and pretty (without having to run out and purchase a serger). The sewing went fairly quick. I finished it and started trying to grab some photos for all of you…..then, (relative) disaster hit! We needed to move some things around in our room, as we are tearing up carpeting and painting our entire upstairs, and my cardigan was misplaced. 4 days later (and a day until this post is scheduled to go live) and I still can’t find it! I have a few pictures of the cardigan that I’ll drop here, but definitely not any that I’m ecstatic to share. Perfectionist that I am, I had to sew up something else to be the “star of the show.” I hope you don’t mind! 🙂
I am on a mission to have an entirely self made wardrobe this year. I’m probably about 70% there, but I did a lot of special pieces over the last year or so, which means that there is a huge gap in my wardrobe when it comes to basic pieces. The things I wear most often tend to be everyday staples that have a small detail or feature that makes them special. I.E: A sweater with lace around the wrists, a tshirt with colorblocked sleeves, etc. I feel most comfortable in basics and don’t typically wear things that are more attention grabbing (like most of my strike off sews). What this means for me is that I need to spend 2018 sewing up ALL the basics, pretty much. Which means….the most boring year on my blog ever, right? haha.
So, what do you do when you need some new, but classic staples to add to your wardrobe? You go deep diving in your pattern collection! I went searching and found the perfect thing: the Green Tee from Greenstyle Creations. I’m a big fan of Greenstyle. They’ve been on my mind, as I recently sewed up a pair of pants using the amazing Chelsea pants pattern. (you can read that post here) This pattern is a freebie when you join The Greenstyle Creations Facebook Group, so I downloaded it after joining, then it just sat in my google drive folder, collecting virtual dust (what a shame). But when you need basics, you go looking for tees, am I right?
I didn’t have to search very hard to find fabrics for this project, as I had just received my biggest fabric order ever, from Aurora Design Fabrics. Turquoise is my favorite color, so I’ve been dying to use this Ellie panel and my solid turquoise double brushed polyester solid. (Technically, the color is “mint” on the site. But it will always be turquoise to me. 🙂 ) The black DBP I used is also from Aurora Designs. This double brushed poly is 200 GSM, which means it’s super soft, thick and drapes beautifully. I love that I was able to get the entire front of the shirt (and both my short sleeve pieces) out of one panel! Did you know that elephants are a symbol for strength and power, while they’re tusks are said to represent wisdom, strength, moderation and eternity? I’m not usually an animal shirt person, but I love elephants because of what they symbolize. This elephant is gorgeously detailed, too!
I have to say, I love this pattern! It’s excellently drafted, the fit is perfect, & it was super quick. Wins across the board! I did change it up just a bit to fit my style. I typically don’t do this when using a pattern for the first time, but I figured new year…let’s have some fun! 🙂 The changes I made were:
- added length to the sleeve (the pattern piece is a short sleeve one)
- added Heart shaped elbow “patches” to add some flair
- added 2″ of length at the lengthen/shorten line
- Instead of hemming the sleeve, I created a cuff with a thumbhole
First of all, I love that the Green Tee is drafted to be a loose fit, but is a big more fitted at the bust/waist area. I also love the way the sleeve is drafted. Sewing the arm to the armscyse is normally hit or miss with a new pattern for me, but this one went as smoothly as I’ve ever seen. No stretching to fit or adjustments needed! The pattern has a V or scoop neck option. I chose the V-neck because I’m a sucker for them, but I absolutely plan on doing another with the scoop neck next time. It’s drafted to fall to the high hip, but I added length because I wear a lot of leggings. (#leggingsarepants is very much a thing in my world) When I’m wearing leggings, I need my shirts to fall past my bum or I get uncomfortable. I mean, not uncomfortable enough to put jeans on, but maybe uncomfortable enough to not leave the house? 😆
My goal with the sleeves was to make it look like I was wearing a long sleeve shirt under a short sleeve one, so I just used a ruler and graded a much smaller bottom part of the sleeve onto my black fabric, then attached it to the bottom of the short sleeve piece before attaching it to the bodice, dolman style. I made it much too long the first
couple time s (forgetting that thumbhole cuffs are longer than normal bands), so I had to shorten it. But eventually, I got it right where I wanted it to be. The thumbhole cuff was very much self-drafted/winged. (I’m kind of addicted to them lately, ever since making this sweater). If you want to re-create them and need a pattern piece for yourself, there is a great free one in the files section of the Halla Patterns facebook group. I found it almost by accident one day when I first began making their Slim dolman pattern….which is amazing. (You can find the slim dolman and all the other Halla Patterns patterns here)
The heart “applique” pieces (I’m not sure if that’s the right term for them, but it’s the only one I know, so that’s what I’m calling them. lol) are an idea that came to me after printing the George and Ginger Pattern Co Sweetie Sleeve pattern that day. (That’s another freebie, found in the files section of the GG Facebook Group.) I didn’t use the sleeve pattern itself, but did cut my hearts out in the same shape as the ones in that pattern. I just cut them out, then used my triple stretch stitch & sewed around the heart, about 1/8″ in from the edge. I figure the very edge of the fabric may fray a tiny bit, but I’m not too worried about it, as I figure it won’t go far. 🙂 I attached the hearts to the back side of the sleeve, close to where the seam will be (that’s the trick to getting them close to where your elbow is), then played with the placement, holding the sleeve up to my arm to try and get it exactly right. I did this before attaching the sleeve to the bodice, as it was the easiest time to do so (and I’m all about easy and quick!) They’re still off by a hair, but I didn’t want to seam rip a triple stretch stitch so….it’s good, right? 🙂 .
Alright. I think I’ve blathered on long enough, don’t you? 😆 I made another shirt to share as well, but it’s a self drafted one that I copied from a RTW shirt, so it would probably take much longer to describe. Plus, it’s just a plain white tee (one I desperately needed for my self sewn wardrobe) and therefore, not the most interesting thing. I described how I copy ready to wear tees to create new ones in this post: Thankful sewing blog tour, but there are tons of great articles out there about it. I really like this one from Threads magazine (although it’s a VERY detailed one), this one by Melly Sews (a much quicker version) and This video tutorial.
If you have any questions about it though, feel free to let me know in the comments below!
Once again, the pattern I used for my main shirt is the Green tee from Greenstyle Creations. You can find the pattern here: Green Tee pattern
All the fabrics and panels are from Aurora Design Fabrics: Aurora Design Fabrics Shop
Thank you so much for stopping by and for reading! I appreciate you! Be sure to stop by and see the rest of the blogs in this tour. There are tons of very talented ladies who have pretty things to share with you! I can’t wait to read them all myself!
Until next time,
April Simpson Hunt
Monday, January 1st: Introduction- Sewing by Ti
6th The Bear and Pea Atelier
Sunday, January 7th: Minn’s Things
8th Lilla Gumma
10th Very Blissful
12th Stitched by Jennie
13th Mermaid Mama Designs *** You are here. 😀
Sunday, January 14th: Sew Like a Sloth
15th Sewing With Sarah
16th My Sewing Roots
17th Back 40 Life
18th Sewing With D
19th Ma Moose
20th My Heart Will Sew On
Sunday January 21st: Flaxfield Sewing
23rd Auschick Sews
24th Sew Sew Ilse
25th Seams Sew Lo
26th Kate Will Knit
27th Tenille’s Thread
Sunday January 28th: Sew Haute Blog
31st It Sew Colorful