M7577 Heathered Wrap Jumpsuit

M7577 jumpsuit bodiceI really like this pattern, McCall’s 7577. My version is pretty plain at first glance, but then, party in the back! I like the unexpected twist on a basic, comfy jumpsuit.

M7577 back yokeThis fabric is a lightweight but substantial knit with a lovely brushed hand and good recovery. So many of the fabrics I find are mysteries, and this one said nothing on the bolt but was obviously better quality than the other fabrics in this tiny shop I discovered. It drapes nicely but doesn’t cling.

McCall's 7577 jumpsuitUsually when I make a garment in a knit out of a pattern drafted for wovens, I do go down a size. I already went down a size because this is a McCall’s pattern anyway. I chose not to go down another because I didn’t want this knit clinging to my backside and I am treating this as a comepletely wearable muslin. I would like to make one of the more flirtyy romper views in a rayon. I just about died over Thimberlina’s version. It has birds!

McCall's jumpsuit 7577 frontI pretty quickly veered off the pattern directions after I assembled the back yoke and front pieces. The front edge is a bias cut, and as such is very vulnerable. On my knit I knew I needed to deal with that or the front would gape open and basically, the whole thing would be a disater and not wearable. Since you must shimmy in and out of that top by opening and putting pressure on that front edge, I decided to reinforce it with fold-over elastic.

McCalls jumpuit patternWith the fold over elastic, I was able to draw up the front a little bit by stretching my elastic as I sewed it. So my front edges actually tuck in towards my chest and it keeps everything much more secure. The elastic also helps with recovery after I stretch the front open to go to the bathroom multiple times a day.

M7577 back viewThe rest of the construction is not noteworthy. I used a double needle to finish my armholes, and there was a bit of tunneling. Sad, but I needed the armholes to retain some stretch. The hem I just used a straight sstitch. The waistband is constructed by using the seam allowance of the waist seam folded up as a casing. I was not looking at the instructions anymore by that point, please note.

McCall's 7577I did add to the length of the bodice to ensure it would blouse nicely over the waistband. The hem length was totally invented, too. I wanted a shorter jumpsuit so it would be nice and casual. I may cut it off further…I can’t decide. Hem lengths have been all over the place in fashion right now and I know that affords me a lot of freedom to choose what looks best on me, but what DOES look best on me? I have the hardest time determining that. I just can’t look at my own image objectively. Suggestions welcome on this subject!

Episode10MichelleWe do have another exciting Clothes Making Mavens podcast episode up! I am so jealous that Lori got to interview Michelle of ThatBlackChic.com, but since she recorded it we all get to enjoy it. I really love how Michelle explains her outlook on fashion as art. I am always torn when faced with that question. I want to push the envelope, but am I comfortable wearing the more artsy ideas I come up with? Lately I’ve been buying much more subdued fabrics and it makes them a bit less inspiring, actually. And if you want to be inspired, listen to Michelle and check out her beautiful creations! She’s amazing, no lie.

 


Warm and Snuggly in my COPPÉLIA Cardi

Coppelia cardiganRecently 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!

papercut coppelia backI never took ballet lessons, but as soon as possible I put both my daughters in dance and loved dressing them up in pink leotards, chiffon skirts and ballet wrap sweaters. This is my chance to wear that look, but, you know, appropriate for someone over the age of 10 (that’s when my oldest decided no more dance, a day that broke my heart).

papercut coppelia necklineI made a muslin of this pattern because I knew it was going to be essential to get the shoulder and neckline to fit perfectly so I could avoid gaping in the front. It is already rather low cut, so it needs to be secure. I am very glad I took that extra step because there was quite a bit of necessary adjustments. I’m not sure how much of it had to do with my small upper bodice or forward shoulders, but I ended up taking nearly an inch from the front shoulder/bodice seam, angling from the neckline and just making that front raglan curve much more exaggerated.

Papercut Coppelia sleeve detailI also did a little skimming off the sleeves to make them slimmer, but that is a usual adjustment for me. You don’t want to take too much off because the sleeves have a cool shape to preserve.

cappelia wrap cardiganI thought I could get away with shorter ties than the pattern calls for. I wanted to knot it to one side and I didn’t want too much excess flopping around and getting in the way. It turns out I needed all the tie and I had to really scramble to attach more tie in a clean manner. That was stupid of me. So I have edgestitching all the way down both ties so I could close my tube up, and that is not called for in the instructions. It didn’t end up looking too bad.

IMG_4299 (2)My fabric is a sweatshirt type with the softest nap inside and quite a bit of stretch. I don’t think you need much stretch for this pattern, because you do want it to stay secure at the neckline. You really don’t want it to stretch out of shape and fail to bounce back. I am too paranoid to wear this without a cami underneath, which is tragic since my fabric feels like an angel’s kiss and I want to snuggle right up against it. But I did notice some shifting when I wore it and I know I’d be fearfully glancing down at my chest all day if I didn’t have cami insurance.

papercut coppelia cardigan frontI wore this and took the pictures on the last gloomy day we will experience for a while, so I will have to look forward to wearing it next fall. Now it is on to making summer dresses and lots and lots of swimsuits for our new pool!


Had to try the Off-the-Shoulder trend

SImplicity4177OfftheShoulderAnd 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.

S4177ElasticOfftheShoulderBefore 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.

Anthropologie dressing roomSince 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?

S4177modificationsSo 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.

S4177SleeveDetailI 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.

SimplicityOffshoulderblouse1Now 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!

S4177BlouseMy 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)?


Trying a closer fit with the Seamwork Astoria

FrenchTerryAstoria1I 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?

TealTerry-seamwork-astoria-topSo 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.

seamwork-astoria-back-viewSo, 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.

TealSeamwork-astoria1I 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.

seamwork-astoria-outfitJust 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!

 


The Astoria with a frill

<Seamwork Astoria hack
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.
Chiffon ruffle added to Astoria

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.
Seamwork Astoria with added ruffle

Some notes:

  • 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).

Seamwork Astoria back view


Simply a tank dress with McCall’s 6559

M6559 dress top frontThis 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


Another Morris blazer – and how to lengthen it!

Longer Morris blazerFor 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


Geometric Morris Blazer

Morris blazer outfitThis 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.

Grainline Morris blazer sleeve cuffI 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


My one true love – the Camas Blouse

Thread Theory Camas blouse 1When 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


Lindy Petals to go with the florals on my jacket!

ItchtoStitchLindy1Here 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.

ItchtoStitchLindy2Kennis 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.

ItchtoStitchLindy3Other 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!

LindyPetalSkirt2BTW, 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!