Thursday, May 22, 2014

Black Shorts

Well, I have a finished object... or an FO as we call it in the knitting world. Here are my black shorts. These were made of a stretchy bottom weight fabric that is very satisfying to wear, nice and sturdy. But the stretch made sewing a bit tricky at the waist and the body of the shorts pucker a bit where they join the waistband. I never tuck my shirts, though, so no one will see it.

I COULD have bought a pair of shorts if I really wanted to, and probably spent less money, too! Except, I LIKE to be my own sweatshop! And also, I was still working on fitting those shorts. I think they're as good as my current level of skill and resources will allow.
Here they are styled with my Green Silk Sorbetto.

In other news, I'm NOT participating in Me Made May 2014 (I don't have enough RTW clothes for May, much less clothes made by me! Plus... I don't have a way to take pics of my outfits except in a mirror) OR the new Outfit Along with Lladybird and Untangling Knots (unless I change my mind, which I might).

Pattern: S1430
Price: $25 
Time: 4 hours
Note to Self: Black doesn't photograph well, stop trying! Also, raise the presser foot so that the fabric doesn't pucker as much next time you sew with a stretch fabric.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wardrobe Helps

So, you may have guessed I'm working through the process of building a capsule wardrobe for Spring and Summer (since I've mentioned it!) I wanted to post the blogs that have been particularly helpful in planning and working through the process. First is Putting Me Together by Audrey. She started her blog to learn to shop her closet and buy pieces that she could mix and match to create a more flexible, useful wardrobe. Her closet seems huge... she tries to post unrepeated outfits for her blog, after all. I plan on using her ideas but with a much smaller capsule. I am home most of the time, anyway, and jeans and a t-shirt will do for that. I just plan to make jeans and t-shirt purchases a little more purposefully in the future! 
The Coletterie has a whole wardrobe building series called The Wardrobe Architect on the blog by pattern company Colette Patterns. It's so frustrating to have put so much time, energy, and money into a garment, only to never wear it! I have a grey dress that I love that I never wear because it's a bit too low in the front... something I could fix with a judicious purchase (or construction) of a grey tank. Or I could buy a tiny bit of silk charmeuse and make a modesty panel. Or perhaps a Sorbetto without a pleat?? Then I can wear it with other things, too! Kinda fancy for my lifestyle, though. See, watch me think through the process...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Green Silk Tank

A Sorbetto tank in green silk crepe de chine for your consideration. Boy was this fabric a challenge! It's light as air, and on the bias it flows like water. I lengthened the upper dart on this top, and it lies a little flatter, but I'm not sure I like the way it looks. Still it's a wearable tank! I bought the silk, sight unseen (in person, I saw it online) to make a Sorbetto to go with my orange Legacy skirt, but I do not think it will match.

Here it is styled with my cheetah print cardigan. I think it'll look good paired with jeans or with the black shorts I'll be making soon. Plus a skirt I have planned in the sewing queue.

Pattern: Sorbetto Tank by Colette
Cost: $50 (silk ain't cheap, folks), plus I have some extra to make a scarf with. Maybe as a gift? Though how many people does this color green look good on???
Time: 4 hours, that bias tape making was a killer
Note to Self: Hand baste darts next time to keep them straight while you sew them.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Aqua Shorts

I made these to go with a mushroom colored wool jersey tee I made a few years ago, and with my Little Birds tank. I used a pants pattern that I want to get fitted correctly, so I thought a few pairs of shorts would make the fitting a little easier before I make the peach corduroy pants. I just shortened the leg and widened the hem area a little bit. Since I'm doing the wardrobe planning, I'm trying to only make garments that go with at least three other items in my wardrobe. These can also be paired with my white short sleeved blouse and my taupe ruffled tank.

The alterations I made on this first wearable muslin... I simply took in the rear seam a bit to make the back side a little less round... my hips are narrow and my rear end could be classified as "flattish". For my second version of these shorts I'll make a small Flat Butt Adjustment (yes, that's really what it's called).

Here's a pic of me styling the shorts with my Little Birds tank.

Pattern: S1430
Cost: Nothing, this was made from an old curtain that had a hole in it.
Time: 4 hours
Note to Self: On the next pair, add a little more fabric to the hem allowance, so the hem doesn't pucker.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Black Tank

This is my first version of the Sorbetto tank, which I modified to remove the center pleat. You can simply move the pattern with the seam line for the pleat to the fold of the fabric. The pattern calls for 1.5 yards, but I think if you just rearrange the folds you can get away with less, especially if you wear a smallish size. I made it of a tissue linen that I bought at JoAnne's which is a bit too thin to wear without something underneath, which sort of defeats the whole point of a tank, but it'll still do. 

It's a little too short for my torso, though just the right length for my model here. What do you think of it styled with this polka dot cardigan in coral red. The color works, but is it too much pattern? As you can tell, I really like this faceted bead necklace! I think I should try to make more in other colors... maybe using seam binding as the ribbon... it's hard to find just the right color of ribbon nowadays, but it's easy to find Hug Snug in lots and lots of colors!

Pattern: Sorbetto tank
Cost: $15
Time: 2 hours
Note to self: Start checking finished length of shirts and adjust length accordingly

Monday, May 5, 2014

Spring Wardrobe Planning Part III, Neutrals

This is the biggest change I'm making in my wardrobe... for untold years my neutral has been brown, but I'm so tired of that brown green or brown orange color combination come spring and summer. So I've decided to add in lots of grey and a bit of black. First I have some stumpers... a couple of fabrics that I just can't seem to do anything with. I bought this grey stretch "sateen" that ended up being "satin" (the perils of online fabric shopping) for pants. Well... as much as I love the movie Grease, I'm not gonna make myself (or wear, gasp!) a pair of tight satin pants for anything or anybody!

And here's a grey tank I already own... just a Walmart cheapie thing. It's laid on top of this striped jersey... I keep wondering if I can squeeze a tank out of it, but the purchased tank is a ribbed knit (very, very stretchy), and the jersey isn't AS stretchy, so I'm not sure it'll work. The stripe is a remnant from another top I made in my wardrobe revamp from last year.

Now for the new fabrics I purchased just recently... first a black stretch twill (unphotographed... it's black, y'all), a grey twill for shorts, a chevron jersey for a tshirt, and this seersucker for a simple skirt. I bought all these online at and they're all prepped and ready to be sewn now!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Little Birds

Tweet, tweet! This tank is a Sorbetto tank. You will see several of these in the coming few posts, since I need me some woven tanks in my wardrobe ASAP. So you might as well get used to it! This pattern is a good basic garment, though I've not perfected the fit yet... I made one already (will blog that later) and it was too short for my long torso, so I added two whole inches to its length. Now it doesn't bare my belly when I move around! Yay! The bust dart is too high... but I left it in place since I'm not sure how to move it exactly... I did add a second dart, though, because the armholes were doing this gaping thing (there's probably a better way to address this, but I don't know it! Maybe smaller size on top with a Large Bust Adjustment?) I made the tank from some organic quilting cotton I found at a local quilt shop. Since I bought it years ago and have forgotten how much I paid for it, I'm just gonna call it a bargain.

Here it is paired with my aqua cardigan from Lands End. I bought this sweater in an attempt to recreate an outfit worn by Zooey Deschanel I saw. I haven't yet completed the outfit, but I'm getting close to it. I just need some grey shorts... which are coming up in the sewing queue. I cannot post the original picture because I cannot find it, but I'll show you the recreation when it's finished.

Pattern: Sorbetto by Colette
Cost: Maybe $15, I can't remember how much it cost, to be honest.
Time: A few hours, mostly consisting of making and ironing bias binding
Note to Self: Wear with brown or grey, try to make a statement necklace to wear with it in brown!