Recently I purchased a pair of high-waisted jeans. Oh how I love that they suck my tummy in and I don’t have to continuously hike them up! I have been loving them so much I thought it would be great to have more tops to wear with them. The Papercut Coppelia Cardigan has been on my to-sew list for quite a while, and I decided now is the time. This silhouette is so flattering! Continue reading
And I decided I like it! This is an easy fitting top that I actually feel pretty comfortable in. This knit is so soft and hangs well in this style. And I love bright pink tops. That accent color is definitely in my color palette.
Before the end of the year I bought The Curated Closet and devoured it. It makes so much sense to work out a plan so you feel great in every outfit in your closet. And on my recent trip to the LA fashion district for fabric procurement it really kept me focused on the fabrics and colors I want to wear. Except for one piece of rather expensive peach/gold linen I bought. Not sure what came over me there! Sometimes that happens to me in fabric heaven. I am getting better, though.
Since I wasn’t sure about this trend I had not purchased an actual pattern specifically in this style. I tried on this top in Anthropologie and knew I liked the idea of it, but wanted to make it myself. You can see how transparent it is, and yet what can you wear under an off-the-shoulder top for modesty?
So I took a very simple peasant top pattern with raglan sleeves (Simplicity 4177 OOP), straightened off the top and folded it over for a casing and inserted elastic. You can see I didn’t cut down the neckline much because I knew I would be folding it over an inch and a half for my casing.
I love 3/4 sleeves, so I shortened those and made a mini casing for some comfortable elastic there. A very simple alteration that made the top feel customized. Long sleeves are silly here, and I knew I wanted to wear this if I could during summer. This week it reached 90 degrees, but I know the entire summer won’t be that oppressive and I’ll get to wear it. It would even look cute with shorts.
Now that I decided I like this trend, I went ahead and purchased Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 8124. I don’t know how necessary that pattern is, but I pretty much buy every Cynthia Rowley pattern and I do love the little romper. And I just noticed that the sample dress on the pattern is 3/4 sleeves! Cynthia and I, we think alike!
My one regret is my obvious and distracting tank top tan lines. Ugh. Since taking these photos I’ve remembered to apply sunscreen all over my shoulders before I go running. You would laugh harder if you saw my legs! A harsh shorts line mid-thigh and a less defined but still discernible one at my ankle.
And there is my handsome and helpful photographer reflected in the window. It is fun to have him in a shot with me! Where’s Waldo (I mean, Reid)?
I really think it is a good idea to try new styles and shapes. At my age, I can really fall into a rut of styles that I wear constantly. Yes, the wardrobe architect was a helpful exercise, but golly, how hard is it to figure out I like flowy tops, slim pants, shift dresses and wear mostly blues, grays with a bit of pink thrown in?
So the Seamwork Astoria is a fun experiment that turned out to surprisingly be a success! I really like this top, and I’ll tell you why – my other snug knit tops all get so tight around my hips and lower belly that they start rolling up and cause me to yank them down every other minute. I hate that. I hate fussing with my clothes in that way. Also, it doesn’t feel great to anyone when their clothes feel too small and their little tummy peeks out like Winnie the Pooh’s.
So, even though this top is cropped and I thought I would hate it, the lower band is shaped so the waistline is smaller and the bottom hem flares out a smidge, making it sit so nicely with no riding up! This is a genius innovation, IMO.
I made a size small and did a tiny forward shoulder adjustment. I also lengthened the bodice and sleeves and inch, as usual. My fabric is the world’s softest baby french terry – the stuff dreams are made of. It is a bit drapey to hold the neckline band, but who cares when it feels this yummy?
I wore it with these RTW shorts for pictures because it is too hot for anything else at this point, but it would look lovely with more volume on bottom. Perhaps a skirt or a pair of full culottes would look great. And jeans, always jeans.
Just the facts:
- Shaped bottom band keeps the Seamwork Astoria sitting correctly, making this cropped top totally wearable
- French terry is a delight to wear and I must find more
- Next on my list is a full skirt or culottes to create a totally new shaped outfit for me – I’m glad I’m branching out!
Just a addendum to mention that Episode 2 of Clothes Making Mavens is out. Lauren from Lladybird had such great insights on sewing, teaching and how she’s made some money with her super popular blog. She’s so much fun to listen to!
We have submitted the podcast to iTunes and a bunch of podcast players and are waiting for approval. We’d love to make it easier for you to listen. I’ll let you all know and list our links when that is all set!
I posted this on The Monthly Stitch last month, but it is worth sharing here because it turns out I really love this top. It was simple to make and it is easy to wear, and I’ve even been able to tuck it into my overall dress for the ultimate classic pairing of stripes and denim.
My new love is (slightly) cropped tops, but after the last 2 I whipped up I realized that I don’t have much for my bottom half with a higher waistband to go with them. That makes me sad, but don’t worry, I’ll make some new things! In the meantime, though, I want to embrace the emphasis on my waist so I added a double chiffon ruffle to the Seamwork Astoria sweater instead of the bottom band. It really changed the top and made it fun and flirty.
I guess I won’t need to provide a tutorial for how to do this one, right? Just a tedious and tiny hem on both ruffles and a slight gather at the top, then I added them to the top while I stretched it slightly so it will fit over my head. I did a nice job stripe matching across the sleeves, too, if I do say so. The side seams don’t match up exactly, but those seams are under my arms, so I can live with it. Since I serged those seams I really truly will live with it! I used the white stripe as the neckline to balance the white peplum at the bottom.
- Made a size Small with an inch added to both bodice and sleeves length (standard adjustment for me)
- My frill was about twice the width of the omitted bottom band, but 1.5 width would do fine, too.
- It is a different shape for me, since my tops are usually looser fitting, and I got rave reviews from several people (and especially my husband).
This is the kind of project that I usually dismiss from my project list. It was simple, it was fast, I learned no skills, I paired no fabrics. But I have been drowning in a sea of huge goals lately. My wardrobe plan for the Pattern Review Wardrobe contest was very involved. Of course I love to push myself for contests, but the fact that I only finished 3 items (one turned out to be a wadder) and started one more reveals the unrealistic hopes I had. Continue reading
For my next Grainline Morris blazer, I found another totally awesome 1980’s knit fabric, this time in a vertical stripe. So rad! It is actually quite hard to find a vertical stripe knit nowadays, so I was excited when I found this thrift shopping, even though it was just gray and white. I like how the stripe changed direction on the lapels, too. Continue reading
This has to be as close to a perfect garment for me as is possible. I know, I know, I have said that about my last 3 makes – my Camas blouse, my Liana jeans, and now this Morris blazer, but it is true. I think those 3 items cover my casual style pretty perfectly. I am planning on a dive into shift dresses soon, too, but that is another post.
I believe this glorious pastel geometric printed knit could, in fact, be from the 80’s. I found it at my favorite East Side thrift store and have had it in the stash about 7 months. It had finally met its match in the Morris blazer. The weight is medium and the stretch is low, perfect for the hang of this jacket. I cut the facings out of another piece of thrifted sweatshirt fabric that was a bit scratchy on the face, but the underside was super soft, so I used that side. I do recommend putting something very comfortable on the lapels/facings because my neck gets irritated easily, does yours? That would be a sad end to a really wearable jacket if it was itchy! Continue reading
When I saw this pattern, I thought to myself “Look, Morgan read my mind! She has created the most perfect pattern. She knows my heart! We are one!”
I was right! It IS the perfect pattern for me. It has all my favorite elements…a V neck, made from a knit, a contrast yoke, soft gathers at the shoulders, a shaped hem, 3/4 sleeves. The possibilities for fabric pairing are so exciting! I can make it dressy, but it is knit, so it will still be wearable. Continue reading
Here is the new (and FREE) Lindy Petal skirt from my friend from Itch to Stitch. Isn’t it cute? Can’t you just imagine making a whole stable of them? Well you totally could, since this guy only takes 2 hours. Even for me!
The Lindy Petal Skirt is a fun twist on a knit pencil skirt. When I created my PR wardrobe plan, I wanted a knit pencil skirt to balance out some of the more flowing tops I had planned. But I hate making plain basics! Lucky me, Kennis asked for testers for her pattern (isn’t she awesome that she thoroughly tests even her free patterns?) and it was just what I needed and a little bit of what I didn’t know that I wanted. A tulip front gave the skirt just the dash of cute I craved.
Kennis took our tester feedback into account for the instructions, but I do not believe she had to change any of the drafting of this pattern. It was great! The only changes I made were to add a little length (as usual) and I lined the back. I wanted a little extra coverage of my assets in a knit skirt. Depending on the thickness of your knit, it is an easy thing to just cut 2 backs and sew them together in the side seams and into the waistband seam.
One thing I want to call out is the clever instructions for the waistband. It allows the elastic to float a little, instead of being caught in a casing, and eliminates bunching or puckers. I have already used the technique again in the other skirt I made for the contest.
Other construction notes – I serged all the seams and twin needled the hem. I hemmed the back and lining seperately. Actually, come to think about it, I didn’t hem the lining at all. It doesn’t fray and I wanted it smooth. I used a nude tricot for the lining because I unfortunately didn’t have quite enough of the white to self-line. Since you do cut 2 fronts to make it wrap, that means it takes quite a bit of fabric. Get extra if you want to self-line.
And that is all there is to it! Go, right away, to Itch to Stitch and grab the pattern. You will be so impressed by her patterns and designs, and especially her instructions. It is a great way to try out a new Indie designer and see if you like them!
BTW, the voting is now open for the wardrobe contest and you really need to go see the gorgeous entries. I kinda feel like I know who the winner is…but I am looking forward to seeing if everyone else agrees. So many are amazing! Gah! And I love my entry, too, and am enjoying wearing all my items. It was a great experience!