Gathered cowl top

I ordered this bamboo jersey fabric from Nature’s Fabric, and expected it to be more of a true red.  It is a bit of a rusty red (more rusty than I could get the color to show here), so it wasn’t going to work for what I initially intended.  Instead, I though I would make myself a comfy fall tunic/dress.

By the way, I do love the feel of the bamboo jerseys I have ordered from them.  Such a comfy fabric.

The base of the dress is the Sneha tunic from Wardrobe by Me.  I wanted it to have two skirts, which works well with this pattern.  The bodice pattern piece is separate from the skirt pattern piece since there are multiple skirt options for this pattern.

I traced the full skirt piece out and recut one side to have an angle.  I then cut two skirts, and serged them to the bodice so each fabric had the lower edge on each side.  The fabric underneath is a thin black jersey.

Next, I added a cowl with the thin jersey.  These were the basic measurements for it…you cut two of them and serge together at the side seams.  I left the edge unhemmed.

Originally, I was just going to leave it, but it proved to be a bit sloppy.  I decided to gather it at the side seams, so it would lay at the shoulder and then just waterfall down.  You need a pretty thin and drapey knit in order for this to work right.

The jacket I am wearing here, is the Blixen Blazer that I made last spring.  It is such a nice, solid piece.  I am wearing leggings I purchased from CAbi several years ago, but I want to make another pair.  They don’t fit the best at the waist and tend to pull down.  I have to continually pull them up, so I think a me-made replacement is on the list.

The list of “to makes” is pretty long right now, so not sure when I will get to it.  Hopefully soonish!

Me Made May – Week #4 and to the end

Last full week, which is good since I am getting tired of trying to get outfit pictures!  I used to do outfit pictures daily, and I would usually just go home at lunch to do them.  I haven’t been doing that very often lately, so I try to get them before leaving for work in the morning.  Some of these this week I was unable to get that done.

Day #22 – Yes I took these pictures after sitting all day at work…can’t you tell??

Day #23

Zipped top – RTW – Jessica Simpson

Day #24

Black sweater – RTW

Day #25

Day #26

Day #27

This day was a pattern test that has been shelved.   Hopefully she will release it in the future.

Day #28

I wore this maxi dress.

Day #29

I wore these grey french terry lounge pants whilst cleaning the house.  I need to make more…they are comfy.

Day #30

  • Wardrobe by Me Builder T-shirt with a cowl hack (not blogged)
  • Blue stripe skirt (old…can’t find the post about it!)

Day #31

RTW Sweater

And….that’s all she wrote!

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Me Made May – Week #3

Here we are at week #3!  I am trying not to wear the same thing twice, and that doesn’t appear to be an issue so far.  I have a lot of clothes that I have made over the years.  This was a very rainy and wet and COLD week, so not much for outside pictures.

Day #15

Day #16

Day #17

Day #18

Day #19

  • Tunic made from Naptime Creations Slouchy Sweatshirt (elongated, with wider band and cowl) – not blogged
  • Love Notions Canyon Vest

Leggings – CAbi – RTW

Day #20

  • Ponte and leather leggings

Sweater and undershirt – RTW

Day #21

I ended up just wearing the top from Day #12 over some jeans.  It was a mostly lazy day at home.

Now onto the last full week!

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Me Made May – Week #2

Here we are at week #3, and my pictures from last week.  I have a hard time getting pictures during the weekends.  This weekend was super, super busy, too, so it just didn’t happen for the most part.

Day #8

  • Draped shirt – not blogged
  • Animal print skirt – can’t find the blogpost – I made it in 2012.

Day #9

Day #10

Red jacket – purchased

Day #11

Day #12

  • Yoke knit top (not blogged)

Jeans – purchased

Day #13

  • Wore my firebird skort with a draped front top, then
  • Made this poly lycra sheath (not blogged yet – I will get better pictures and show this soonish)

Bad picture.  Took something quick before running out to dinner. It was a busy weekend.

Day #14

Wore this skort with a RTW shirt.

That is it for week #2.  Wore at least one thing I made each day!

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MeMadeMay – Week #1

I tried to get pictures of most days, but failed this weekend.  My weekend wears were not all that exciting anyways. 🙂

Day #1

Day #2

Sweater was a gift.

Day #3

Jeans were purchased.

Day #4

Sweater was purchased.

Day #5

Day #6

Wore this shirt with some black capri jeans

Day #7

Wore this shirt with jeans and a black fleece jacket.  We went to a baseball game, so nothing fancy going on.

So…week one is a wrap and I will try to get pictures as the month progresses!

Just call me Morticia

No, I am not feeling depressed.  Yes, I like to wear black.  I try not to wear all black, since that might beg the question of “whose funeral”.  To which, the obvious reply would be, “I haven’t decided yet.” 😉

This top is my Sneha tunic hack. I described how I drafted and changed the pattern here.

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I made it long enough to cover my bum.  The fabric is a drapey black mystery knit.  It feels like it has a lot of poly in this one, and I think it is likely a ponte.  The patterned black is definitely a ponte.  Love how these two looked together.  The arms are a little tighter than I like, especially since ponte doesn’t have as much give as a regular knit.  That will be something to tweak for next time.

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If I were a bit more risque, I could wear this tunic as a dress, too.   I think I am a bit long in the tooth to be wearing such a short dress, though!

I have colored my hair a bit darker here, too.  I am totally a box dye kit girl.  This is Natural Insticts Egyptian Plum.  I do the wash out color, so we will see how long this lasts.  I need 3 boxes of color, and could probably use one more for better coverage.  It would cost me a small fortune to dye my hair at a salon, and I have never had a bad experience in doing it myself.  My natural color is close to my son’s hair.  I started out life as a blond, which was helped by being outside a lot in my youth.  Once I got older and wasn’t outdoors as much, my hair turned more of a light brown.  Blah!  I, of course, didn’t start out subtle the first time I dyed my hair.  I chose red, and have kept it pretty consistently some version of red for awhile.  This is the darkest I have gone, though.

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Outfit details (in case you care):

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Body shape and dressing for it

In one of my favorite groups on Facebook, we try to help ladies figure out their shape and how to dress for it. I think I have this mainly figured out at 42.  I know as I get older it will all change again, though.

The Admin, Becca, wanted us to post what we will be wearing for the next season as an inspiration for others of the same body type.  I kinda went nuts with this post and just pulled what I made in the past.  I will likely keep with the same options for Fall, but right now I haven’t gone far in my fall planning.  I do have several fabrics and ideas, though!

Here is me right now:

Body Shape: Rectangle (39-32-39, roughly) at 150 lbs and 5’ 7”.  I also have a large rib cage and shoulders.  When I am in shape, and more around my target weight of 135 I am a V-Shape, Inverted Triangle.  My shoulders are wider than my hips at that weight.

This is mostly my business casual work wardrobe.  On weekends when I am going nowhere you will find me in comfy pants and knit tops.  If I have a game to attend in the fall, I am all about leggings, boots, tunics, sweaters and scarves.  If I tend to look more put together than some, it is because I have a lot to choose from, but also because I try to keep in the same color schemes.  I have a few favorites and don’t really deviate from them.

My colors go in groups.

  • Black/grey – which work with the royal blues and reds where I have for my pops of color
  • Navy/grey – I have a few patterned tops that go in with this group
  • Browns/Oatmeal/Cream – A new venture for me this past year and I like the soothing nature and sophisticated look of this color palette.

For my accessories I buy a lot of my shoes from Zulily (credit link).  Especially leather boots where you can get a really good deal if you don’t mind waiting a month for them.  I don’t mind waiting a month if I can save $100 on a nice pair.  They always have a good amount of jewelry, too.  Clothes are iffy.  I have had plenty that didn’t fit and I just gave away, but I like getting sweaters from them since I don’t knit and they tend to have a lot of variety.  I do get a lot of my jewelry from Stella and Dot, since they have great quality.

What looks good:

Tops:

I have found that wrap tops with ruching at the sides look good on me.

Tops that are fitted at the bust and hip, but skim over the waist:

The tuck, and tops that have some gathering in the middle that reach at about mid-hip.

Flared tops, where it is fitted and then skims over the waist and hips.  These first two tops are the Sneha Tunic/dress.  The third is one I drafted.

Skirts: Pencil skirts, A-line or drop waist skirts.  Nothing that sits at the natural waist and poofs out like gathered waists and pleats.  Those add a good 10 pounds. I have a ton of pencil skirts.

Dresses: Fitted or ones that are fitted until the smallest part and drop down.  Also straight dresses with bust darts.  Maxi dresses I have done the flared out like the tunics above, only longer, and then the loose top-fitted bottom like the striped one here.

I also like wearing fitted jackets, since that gives me more shape on top and it looks like I have a waist:

As for pants: Leggings with tunics, straight-leg, wide-leg…it all works as long as I don’t show off my natural waist.  A few inches below my belly button is where I like them to land.  High-waist is really unflattering.

Tips:  Lighter colors on the bottom and darker colors on top.  If it is reversed, then I tend to look too top heavy.

Example:

Not that I always follow this rule, but it is definitely noticeable to me when I don’t.  A lighter bottom accentuates the smaller hips and darker top de-accentuates no waist.  If I do go lighter on top, then a lighter bottom is good to offset it.

I made most of the clothes above (sans the jackets and few tops and pants), and sadly can’t share patterns since I drafted most of them.  I do have some tutorials, though.  If interested look on the left sidebar under the category “tutorials”.

Hope this helps for some advice!  I will hopefully have time to work on my fall clothes, soon.  When I get it all planned out I will post it.  I have a rough idea, so need to get on that!

Wardrobe staple – white top with a flounce

I was supposed to be working on a casual wardrobe, and this ended up not being so casual.  It is more of a dressy top to wear to work in the summer, but that is okay.  I needed this!

It fits a little tight, since it is a rayon with lycra, so not as much give as some of the other fabrics I have used.  It would be helpful if I laid off the wine and chocolate, as well.

I modified the WBM Sneha pattern for this top. I cut it shorter with a curved hem in the back, and added bands at the arms.

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I was running out of fabric, so I had to cut the front in two pieces.  I decided to add in this flounce, since it was open anyways.  The edges are finished with a rolled hem on my serger with regular thread.

flouncePart of the flounce goes up into the neckline.  It didn’t work out perfectly, since there is some bunching where it meets at the neckline.

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There is some pooling in the back with this pattern.  It needs to have some of the fabric taken out in the middle of the back, so next time I make it, I will show how to do that.  I made two tank dresses with this pattern and I noticed this happening (still need some decent pictures of them).  I forgot about it when I was cutting this top.

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This top is going to be a great wardrobe staple to wear to work this summer.

Me Made May – the browns

Now that Me Made May is done and gone, I can start mixing up what I wear with my RTW articles.  During MMM I tried to wear a top and bottom that I had made. Turns out this is getting easier, as I have been making my clothes for several years now.  The wardrobe capsule that I made earlier in the spring has definitely helped in getting a matching wardrobe.

So here is a bit of a dissection on my wardrobe…or at least the brown/tan/cream section.

Favorite wear was probably this modified Ravenna with a RTW scarf with skulls and flowers on it (shoes are Franco Sarto).  I promise that I will do a hack blog post on this top turned dress.  Now that I have worn it, there is a modification that needs to be made with it.  The neckline is too high, so when you sit down it can choke you out a bit. That needs to get lowered.  This dress was also a hot mess with the fabric, since it was so shifty.  I needed to wear something over the top to camouflage the non-matching bust darts.  It was really horrid to work with, though it has a nice hand.

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Another cream and black, which is a combination I like to wear.  These are my palazzo, or lose fitting pants, basically.  The top is one that I made a year or so ago, and it started out as a dress.  The dress was a hot mess, so I just hacked it off the bottom and hemmed.  Sometimes you have to do that to salvage a me made that didn’t work the first time.

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Now here are some browns.  The first photo is of a skirt that I made a few years ago, and the brown knit and pleather top from my capsule.  I also have plans to make a tutorial on drafting and making this top.  I need to make some more, but I need to modify the pattern a bit.  It has a little gaping in the front, so a little too much material on the top middle.  Easy enough to take out.

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Hey, here is the top again!  A nice neutral gets a lot of wear.  The skirt is also from the capsule. (Sweater: LOFT, Boots: American Eagle, Jewelry: vendor at Wizard World)

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Another brown outfit.  The top is a bias cut top from my wardrobe capsule and a bottom weight with lycra skirt I made a few years ago (errr…2008) (shoes: Bandolino, necklace: Stella and Dot).  It was one of the first skirts I made when I started sewing for myself again.

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This one has a lace top I made in 2012, the cardigan from my capsule (again, I want to make a blog post on how to draft and make one) and the palazzo pants in a heavy brown poly knit.

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A little more colorful, but still in the brown/tan category.  This is a shirt I made as a part of my capsule and hacked from the Sneha by Wardrobe by Me.  The skirt is my basic maxi skirt pattern in a knit made in 2012.  I found this knit to be a bit too thin and didn’t have a nice recovery.  The fabric is pretty, but it will be going in a giveaway pile.  I shouldn’t be wearing see-through skirts at my age. 😉 (Cardigan: CAbi, jewelry: Silpada, flats: Life Stride)

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And one last brown that I have a decent photo of (I resorted to using my DSLR, since my phone camera sucks).  This is a basic pull on skirt out of bottom weight with lycra and my wrap top draft that I made this winter. (boots and sweater from Zulily).

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I am hoping to get some time to sew some summer clothes for me and my girl.  We both are in great need.  I decided to participate in a swimsuit pattern test, and I think it is time for me to step back from anything with a timeline.  I just don’t have enough hours to string together right now to guarantee anything.  These kids are keeping us busy this summer with travel baseball and softball.  It seems I have to go to every one of their games or they get a little testy with me.  Tweens! 😉

Bomber jacket by WBM

Even though I have way too many things on my plate (like usual), I thought this pattern was very cute.  I volunteered to test it, and it did turn out very cute!

Wardrobe by Me Amelia Bomber Jacket

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Outfit details: Jeggings made by me, top – CAbi, boots – American Eagle

I used some Nanette Lepore fabric I found at SR Harris.  I love how they occasionally have some designer fabrics.  They usually have some Ralph Lauren and Tahari fabrics.  This was a nice cotton-viscose blend.

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The lining is a satin that has some lycra in it.  It was a nice weight for the lining, meaning it had some weight.  The outer is pretty lightweight.

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My binding was a bit too lightweight and stretchy.  I had to take 7″ off the band to make it bring in the body.  Otherwise it was very wide at the base.  If you make it, keep that in mind if your binding is very easy to stretch.  It will need to be shortened.

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I cut a straight 10 on this, and I fit more in the 12 bust, 8 hip sizing.  I can zip it up and it isn’t too tight at the top, so this fits fine to go down a size in the bust.  I think it is a little wide at the hip still, so I would grade it down on the next one.

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Okay, so this is not a beginner pattern.  She has it marked as an experienced pattern.  You have to bag the lining, and attaching the band at the bottom corners is a little confusing, as well.  That was the hardest part for everyone, in getting the corners on the rib to look nice.  She was very good at walking people through this part.  She has tried to clear up the confusion in the instructions.  I think she needed some more illustrations on the bottom band, though I think it would be hard to illustrate.  You just need to pin really well and watch where you are sewing.  Definitely clip the corner, too.

I got a bit frustrated at the bottom band, like most everyone else.  In the end, I just did some seam ripping and topstitched it to make sure it laid flat.  I think that the best way to get it to have nice corners is to attach the rib separately to the lining and outer shell first, instead of all at once.  Then, go and sew them all together.

Overall it is a cute pattern, but not a quick sew.  You need to take your time.  I would recommend it with the caveat that the bottom band can be frustrating, so be prepared!