Sheer inset dolman top

Hey look, something that is not a pattern test or strike off sewing!  I have been wanting to make another sheer inset top in black.  I have made a white one and one with huge sleeves.

The process in drafting this was pretty easy.  I used a dolman top pattern that I made from a RTW top that I wear a ton.  You need a top that is not low cut in order for the sheer to hit at a decent spot across your chest.

It took my pattern and cut it in the same spot on the front and back.  Make sure there is enough space between the neckline and the sheer.  There needs to be at least an 1.5″, but more is better.  Attaching the sheer and hemming the neckline takes close to an inch.

Excuse my crappy mouse drawing

Then I took a sleeve and measured out where it would have hit on the underarm…took that off to where it met up with the dolman.  It is a little shorter than full length, so it would need adjusting for next time.

Super overcast morning after a rainy day.  Not Photoshop to make it look dark and moody!

I generally push my sleeves up all the time, though, so it is just fine on me.

The sheer is a knit embossed sheer that I found locally.  Look for a knit sheer, since it needs to stretch.  It also had a tendency to snag and run, so it takes a bit of careful handling.

I think this will end up in heavy rotation in my closet.  I am all about neutrals!  The skirt is a maxi skirt of my own draft that I made for my spring capsule last year.

I made this top for date night with the hubs, and finished it in 1.5 hours.  I thought it would take less time, but the sheer is futsy to deal with.

The kids are low key in their fall sports now, so I have time now to tackle projects that have been piling up.   I also have several strikes that are on their way, but hopefully I won’t get them all at once…again.

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Some winter sewing with Poe

This was a sample sewed up for Fabric Anthropology, and the theme of this round is Horror and Halloween related.  Edgar Allen Poe is not really Halloween-ish, but he was a bit of a darker writer.  It fits the theme.  One of my favorite works of his was The Telltale Heart.  He was probably one of the first well-known horror writers.

One of his more popular narrative poems was The Raven, published in 1845:

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

 

This print is a rendering of Edgar Allen Poe, along with ravens on a blue and grey background. The fabric base is double brushed poly with a good weight to it, so it will be warm in the fall and winter.  The sleeves are made from a fleece backed poly for warmth.

I wanted to put some feathers into my top, so I drew up some feathers and put them together into a design (cut file in the folder linked on the sidebar – added one that looks like wings).

I adhered them to the fabric with my new heat press.  Wow, does that go on so much faster than an iron!  The bad part is that it takes forever to heat up.  I will make sure I do batches of HTV, so I don’t have to reheat it too often (it is also a bit smelly).

I added some strips of blue, grey and the print to the bottom of the sleeves.  I thought it would add a bit of interest and tie the print and it’s colors into the sleeve.

The pattern here is the Sneha by Wardrobe by Me (shocker, I know).  I added a little length to the top part, and instead of cutting as one piece, I added a strip of black ponte in between to break it up a bit.  The cowl is black ponte and a grey sweater knit.  I made it to fit into the neckline with no stretching, and it ended up about 32″ wide by around 12″ long.

The pre-order with this print includes several prints related to horror and Halloween geared movies.  Go check it out if that is your thing!

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Rogue Tranquility Shorts & Tank/Dress

Sara at RP Custom Fabrics has decided to venture into pattern making, and I tested her first two patterns.  She is giving these away for free, but you need to join her group to get the code for them.

Tranquility Shorts

Tranquility Tank/Dress

The first pattern is a pair of shorts with the curved open side on them.  These were pretty easy to whip up, and I would suggest a nice thick cotton lycra or brushed poly for them.

This pair had the foldover yoga band on them.  I really should have used a fabric with better recovery for the band, so I might be taking this one off and putting another on. This pair was the first draft, so I ended up making it larger than my second pair.

The tank top is the Wardrobe by Me Builder t-shirt, since this panel was too small for the Tranquility Tank.  The image went up too high on it, and would have gone into the neckline.  Anyone know what show it is from? 🙂  The fabric came from Sugar Ink, but I believe it is sold out now.

This pair I put elastic in the waistband with a drawstring to make it all fancy.  I made a size 8, since my hips are narrow compared to my waist.   My waist is a larger size, but I figured I would go with hip width.  This is the mid-rise, which I figured would be more comfy in the lounging department.

This tank top is a size 14 graded to a size 10 at the hip.  I didn’t do any shorten or lengthen on them, as she drafts for my height of 5′ 7″.

This tank also comes in a dress length, which is another comfy option.

This fabric came from Zenith & Quasar, and is a brushed poly.  I bought so much of the space round.  I wasn’t sure what to do with the Hubble Telescope print, but I think this was perfect.  There is a little bit of the space round available, but not the Hubble print.  The shirt panel is available, though.

In order to get the free pattern, you need to join the Rogue Patterns group.  It is usually good to try out free patterns to see if you like them first.  Sara is a bit quirky, and it shows in her fun write-ups for her patterns.  Gives you a sense if you would want to buy the next patterns she has coming up.

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Beautiful Sunset

This print is part of the RP Custom Fabrics – Fun Rounds pre-order.    The image is of a sunset skyline in a circular format.  Really pretty!

(click on picture to go to the pre-order for it)

I received a few of the smaller round panels, and two that were the same size.  I think they were the 12″ size.  I decided to use those panels for a round sleeve on a dolman shirt, using this Pinterest pin as an inspiration.

The shirt is a pattern I have drafted, but you could do this with any dolman pattern you would have.

To make the sleeves, just measure the arm opening for the circumference of the circle.  Make the circle opening the same distance.  It is helpful if you have a circle cutter template tool.  I generally make the circle a little smaller, as they tend to stretch out more.  I did the same for the stretch lace piece, only making it a little longer.

To add more interest to this top, I did a strip in a coordinating lace in the front and back.  This strip was about 4″ wide.

The main fabric here is a Calvin Klein stretch shirting fabric, that is really nice.  I’m not sure this shirt is completely “Me”, but it was a fun experiment!

This pre-order is open until August 15th, so go check out the pretty panels!

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Koi cape top

The new rounds are up for pre-order at RP Custom Fabrics, and she called this round the “Fun Rounds“.  I have to agree.  There are some really pretty and fun prints in it.  I have several to get sewed up, so hopefully I will get them done soon.

We are entering the week of the state baseball tournament and the girls’ national softball tournament, so I might be a bit busy.  BUT, then we are pretty much done for three or four weeks, and we get precious, precious Free Time.  Oh Free Time, how I have missed thee!

So, cape tops are pretty cool, aren’t they? Here is a bit of discussion on how I made this top.

There are several patterns that you can use to achieve this look.  Or, if you already have a tank top or long-sleeved pattern, a circle skirt or cape pattern, you can just mash them together.  You just need to measure the neckline and adjust your cape/circle to match up to the measurements you want.

This cape top was open for several inches, and I also had a pretty thick hem (about 1″).  I didn’t want the hem to curl in, so that gave it some extra weight.

I made the basic pattern for the cape, which is basically just a circle skirt.  The front will fall at different lengths front-to-back depending on how robust your bust may be.  If you want to to be higher in the front, just shave some inches off that part of the cape.  You could also just keep the entire thing as a circle with no opening in the front at all, which is what I did for the Koi circle top.

Fabric needed: A drapey knit is best, though I did use cotton lycra on the Koi one.  Generally, a heavy cotton lycra won’t have the right amount of “fall” to it.  You need a bamboo lycra, rayon lycra or jersey type knit.  I did make sure I had a slippery poly knit underneath the Koi so it would not stick to it.  I think that worked out pretty well.

When I make circle skirts/cuts I use this handy little tool.  I measure the opening, divide it in fourths and then use the corresponding measurement on this tool to make the pattern.  If you are keeping an opening in the front, then subtract that from the measurement, making sure to include a hem allowance for the side seam.

To add this onto the pattern (I used the Wardrobe by Me Builder T-shirt):

  • Hem the bottom edge and the side edges (if open).  The side edge on the top above was a 1″ hem.
  • Baste it to the neckline, without stretching it.  Make sure it hits at the same spot on either side of the front neckline if open, so it won’t be uneven on you looking straight on.  The basting makes sure it won’t shift when you add on the neckband, so don’t skip this part.
  • Add the neckband, and continue on with the rest of the pattern.

It is a really cute and easy way to use round printed panels.  The length on this one is about 7″ and I used the 24″ panel.

This panel comes in a variety of sizes from small to large, and some of the ladies in the test group made dresses from it.  They turned out lovely.  I really was happy to be able to sample sew up this panel, since the print is so pretty.  If you want to make a cape top like this, I would recommend ordering it in the bamboo lycra for a bit better drape.

Now to sew up the rest of the rounds!

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Sew Americana

Today is day 4 of the Sew Americana tour, and I am sharing an outfit with a baseball theme.  What is more Americana than baseball?

In the past I used to make my kids 4th of July outfits when my parents had a big 4th of July party.

Now, we are lucky if we do anything, and if we do, we are likely camping by a lake with just immediate family.  The effort doesn’t seem worth it.  I decided to make myself something for baseball, since I knew I would definitely use it this year, and for years to come.

I used my skort pattern and made it with the cotton lycra baseball stitches from RP Custom Fabrics.  She has indicated that she will continue to hold these prints in stock, since there were so many people that wanted them.  That is a great thing for all us sports parents!  They are a bit on the spendy side, but I can rationalize it away in that I would gladly pay $25 for a skort in this fabric.

The top is the Wardrobe by Me Basic Builder t-shirt.  I did pivot out the front a little bit to give me more room for my tummy.  All this sewing and sitting at games doesn’t give me much free time to spend with my elliptical.  I tried to squeeze into my favorite pair of jeans this week, and no amount of sucking it in was going to make that zipper magically rise up.  I see lots of salads in my future. 😉

The saying on the shirt is a spin of a quote I found on a shirt.  I don’t know about you, but I need a lot of coffee.  I also need me some Jesus when the ump is making some calls I don’t agree with, and the swear words start coming out!

The cut file is located in the Silhouette folder on the sidebar.  If you notice, I didn’t put the red line over far enough when I was layering the cuts.  *sigh*


I think this will be perfect to wear to the State Tournament that they qualified for by winning a qualifier tournament championship game by NINETEEN POINTS.  Yep, proud mama.  They won every game in that tournament.  It was fantastic.

The best part was after the end of the last game, one of the parents had purchased an excessive amount of Dairy Queen Dilly Bars, so the boys brought them over to the opposing team and shared them.  It was a tough loss after a very long and hot day and weekend.  Our coach is a nice guy and wasn’t trying to run up the score, putting in third string pitchers and not stealing home on passed balls.  Our boys just had more energy left.

Learning compassion and sportsmanship is an important part of sports.  Some days you are on the top and some days everything goes wrong.  If you have kids in sports, the Positive Coaching Alliance has seminars for coaches and parents that your league might want to check out.  I have attended a few, and it is good information on how to support sportsmanship and a positive team spirit.  Some coaches really, really need to take it, too.  Y’all been there to one of those games I am sure!


Now you need to go visit all the other ladies on the tour to see some fantastic creations:

 

Our Amazing “Sew Americana” Tour Lineup:
Monday, June 26: Wild & Wanderful | Handmade Boy | The Wholesome Mama | Marvelous Auntie M | Sew and Tell Project
Tuesday, June 27: EYMM | Middle River Studio | SewSophieLynn | Phat Quarters | Call Ajaire
Wednesday, June 28: Simple Life Pattern Company | Sewing By Ti | Auschick Sews | Nu Me Nu You | Swimming in a Sea of Estrogen
Thursday, June 29: Adventures with Bubba and Bug | Musings of a Seamstress | Elli and Nels | Spindle and Seams | Stylin’ Stacy
Friday, June 30: Very Blissful | Stitching and Making | Wild & Wanderful | On Wednesdays We Sew | Fairytale B&T


We would like to give a special thanks to our generous sponsors!
Love Notions | EYMM Modern Designs | Rebecca Page | Patterns for Pirates | Simple Life Pattern Company | Thread & Grain | Designs by Call Ajaire | Simply By Ti | Made for Mermaids | Petite Stichery & Co.



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Rock on

When RP Custom Fabrics offered up these strike-offs for sewing up, I knew my time would be at a premium.  Unfortunately, this past week and upcoming week, we are in the thick of games and tournaments.  My poor kiddos are tired, tired, tired, but luckily school is almost out for them.  It is hard to have all these games, PLUS homework.

I got this sample to sew up last Thursday or Friday, so I washed it up and then didn’t have any time to sew.  Last night I got home at 5:15 yesterday from work and proceeded to cut, make and photograph these two pieces before leaving for my son’s baseball game at 7:45 (yes, it was a late one for the boys last night).   Photographing these at 7pm wasn’t fun, since the sunshine was bright and not low enough and then my remote was dead.  Being in a hurry, you will always, always have issues!

These are my two pattern drafts that I love the fit.  The top is here, and have a one size pattern for it.  I actually moved the front top part out from the seam a few extra inches to get more of a drape on it.  You just keep the bottom pattern piece against the fold line and move the top part of the pattern out at an angle.

This fabric had a great drape for this type of top.  It was a bamboo lycra, which incidentally, is now being offered in these prints for this round of fabric at RP Custom Fabrics.  It is one of my favorite fabrics to work with since it feels so nice.

The skirt is this pattern draft, just lengthened by 5 or 6 inches.  This is a nice heavy cotton lycra, so it works really well for a skirt.  Definitely not see-through.

The colors on this cotton lycra print are so pretty and vivid. This print is called Piedra and is available to pre-order at RP Custom Fabrics through the end of June.  I have a few more prints in this line to make and photograph, so more will be forthcoming!

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Roses and thorns

I like a good theme-centric project to get my wheels turning.  This one was related to the intended fabric, which was inspired by the 1996 movie, The Craft.  The plotline was centered around a group of girls that aspired to be witches, and luckily it was actually on Netflix so I could reacquaint myself with the plot-line.

They dress very goth-like, so that brings joy to my little inner black-clothes lover.  Bonus, the fabric had red and black in it, so it was right up my alley.

RP Custom Fabric – Craft Roses in cotton lycra

I pondered several different designs, and finally settled on this one.

This is my draft of a tulip hem, 4-gore maxi skirt with some embellishments.

The back gore is cut in half, and I added a bit more swoosh into that piece.

Nope, not doing a mini skirt.

I also added to the seams a pleather bias tape that I had purchased some years back.

The Craft Roses fabric is cotton lycra and the black fabric is ponte.  I wanted to integrate my rose drawing into it, so that was something I added to the side panels.

I drew a vine out and added some randomly placed roses.  I added the Silhouette cut file to the Google Drive folder on the side, along with the picture of the cut file if you don’t have a Silhouette (sorry no .jpg of the thorns, since that was somehow corrupted).

I used two of the vine pieces, along with a large rose in the middle, medium roses on the ends and two small ones in the middle.

I needed a matching top, of course, so I searched Pinterest for some goth-worthy designs.  So many options!  I also went to the fabric store and bought pretty much every knit that was black.  I love the great variety I find when I go there.  I purchased some rose fabric on a 2 way stretch sheer base.

I decided to use the rose fabric for some full half sleeves and then ponte and the Craft Roses fabric for the main part.  This was my own pattern draft of a princess seamed shirt.  I made it at least 5 years ago, and just tweak it a bit as my sizing changes.  I think this top pattern would be interesting as a dress.  I might have to work on that drafting.

I messed up the neckline.  It was supposed to go across the breastbone like this, and instead it is high enough to choke a person.  Sooooo…I flipped it to the back, added some hardware and called it a “design feature”.

I need to paint my nails black while wearing this methinks. 😉 Midnight was not as into pictures as one would assume. 😉

The pre-order for this fabric is up at RP Custom Fabrics.  Here is the order form for it.  It will be open from May 20-June 7.

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Damask

I love damask, which really shouldn’t be a surprise since I draw it quite often!

This damask print is part of the current round open at RP Custom Fabrics and it is inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  The other prints are closer to a Tiffany blue, though.  This one seems to be closer to a turquoise color, which is still very pretty.

I know this because I got a gift at work for Christmas one year that was a silver bracelet from Tiffany’s.  I still have the box, though the bracelet was stolen when I was a dumb dumb and left it out at a hotel in Vegas.  Yep…it somehow “disappeared”.

So, this top was a bit of a challenge.  In fitting and getting the HTV vinyl on the front (nope, not a panel…that is my drawing).  The HTV was actually a different, far longer design.  I had let a piece overlap the edge of the cutting mat, and it caught and messed up the cutting.  I stopped it before it went over everything again off design, and just dealt with what was cut.  I wish there was a vinyl store that I could get things from locally, but I don’t.  This vinyl was from Expressions Vinyl.

I will try to remember to load the original cut file into the folder linked on the sidebar.  The design overlaps so it is longer.

The top was a highly hacked Sneha Tunic from Wardrobe by Me.  I basically  used the top pieces and the length of the skirt.  I should have used something more fitted, since it is a bit wide.  The skirt was longer originally, but it was not flattering at all.  I cut it to the sweet spot on my hip.

Overall, I think this turned out pretty.  I was questioning whether I would wear it when I finished it last night, but I think it works with skinny jeans.

Now I have another fabric on it’s way to me, and in the meantime I have a few dresses cut out to go to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for the girls for summer.  I really want to get them sewn up and on the way to them, along with a few dresses that my daughter grew out of and were barely worn.  Hopefully, I have time to get it all done this week!

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Summer dress muslin

So, I thought to myself, “I got this! I am going to use a pattern block I know fits and just modify it for this dress. No problem!”

Guess what? Problem!

I had to redo the neckline and armholes so many times on this.  The neckline is still too high, though.  Maybe on my next one I will get it right. (IF I do a next one)

I used a stretch woven (leftovers from this outfit) to make the top part of this dress.  This is a really nice stretch woven, and I wanted to make use of the leftover bits.  The knit part is a jersey knit, which has a great drape, but not great stretch to it.  It was a bit of a bear in using it for the bindings.  I need to re-figure how I  do the neckline.  This mess is not working for my sewing perfectionist self, but by the time I got this far, I was basically like f#$% it!

I had scraps left of the jersey after cutting the skirt (I had to cut the skirt in two pieces due to not enough fabric to cut on the fold.  I added some of the extra pieces to give it some more interest, and to just use up the fabric so it wasn’t just sitting there looking forlorn and unused.  I also added some of the extra stretch woven.

I had to redo both.  The jersey wasn’t cut on enough of a curve to drape correctly and the stretch woven looked skewed to one side.  I took that off.

Here is what the final version looks like when worn.  Not a perfect muslin, but it will be worn!

It does make me look a bit top heavy.   I really did know better than having such a light color up there with the rest dark.  Oh well.

We’ll see how much wear I get out of it this summer.  If it doesn’t get worn…into the giveaway pile it will go!

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