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.

Save

Summer tops

These are some summer tops that I drafted/hacked from either patterns I made previously, or by using the Sneha by Wardrobe by Me.

I used my style sheet that I put together from tops I found on Pinterest:

Then, I went back and looked at more tops.

Here is the first one.  I modified a swing tank I drafted a few years ago.  This fits pretty well, but needs some more room under the arms, so that is the only thing I would change on it.

It is made from athletic mesh (black), cotton lycra (white bands) and an iron on vinyl design I cut with my Silhouette.

You can find the cut file for this top here.

This next one would have probably worked better with a lighter jersey knit.  I do still really like it, though.  I drafted a dolman sleeve t-shirt from a RTW version that I really like.  The arms a little too tight on this one, too, so that is the only modifications I would make to it.  I cut up the pattern with a 3″ section in upper top that I used a white mesh.

 

This black top is my version of a tank with mesh inserts and different cuts.  I used the Sneha top as a base for this one.  I just traced out the pattern, and cut it up where I thought it would look good.  When I was cutting out the pieces I added the seam allowance.   I was a little concerned with the sturdiness of the lace, but I think the bands will work well like this.

This grey top is my own fabric design, printed on Modern Jersey from Spoonflower.  The pattern is my draped cowl top, only I shaved about an inch from the shoulders.

This red top used another pattern I had drafted previously.  I added some ruffles and a deep cut back to add visual interest to it.

Here are some pictures of the ruffles in process.  The pieces were about 20″ long for the wide, less gathered ruffle, and 40″ long for the very gathered ruffle.  I pinned them well, attached the shoulders together and then put the band on it in two steps.  First I attached it to the front of the tank, then I turned the hem under and stitched it again.  For the back I included clear elastic in it, so it wouldn’t stretch out.  This is a jersey knit, so it doesn’t have great recovery.  Lastly I attached the tubes for the back.

So there are my summer tops so far!  I do have a few more ideas, and luckily…plenty of fabric! 😉

Save

Save

Save

Save

Spring/summer capsule…DONE!

I love how this all turned out!  I am excited for the weather to get warmer and I can wear this new casual wardrobe this summer.

I made:

  • 4 shirts
  • 4 skorts
  • 1 dress

I do have several RTW and previously sewed items that will work with this, as well.  I will do a few posts showing the different pieces up close.  For now…this is my finished mix and match wardrobe.

More details to come!

Summer top turned into summer dress

With the approach of summer, I decided to try my hand at converting a top I drafted last year (or was it the year before?) into an easy summer dress.  I like this top, since it is loose around the waist, but not too loose.   This is aided by the gathers just being along a 2-3″ span in the middle, and having some shaping on the side.

I lengthened this draft to an A-line dress that hits above my knees.  The length on this dress is 36″ hemmed, so it only takes a little over a yard to make it.

The fabric I used is a knit jersey with lycra.  It is super comfortable and lightweight.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add the HTV design to it, or not.  After asking for opinions about it, I got a lot of “Keep it off and accessorize with a big necklace!”  Normally, I am all about accessories, but this is for hot summer days, and I will likely be keeping them to a minimum.  So…HTV it was!

I bought a pair of red Ariat sandals from Zulily to go with my red stuff in my wardrobe capsule.  I need to step back from the online shopping now.  I have a big problem with hitting the credit card lately.

As that worked out so well, I decided to make a maxi dress with side slits.  With fabric like this, you don’t want to go extra long on the cutting.  You actually want to cut it short, since the weight pulls the hemline down.  I had to re-hem a maxi dress I made out of this type of lycra jersey last summer.  Several times.

I added side slits to this dress, and made them at about 18″ from the unhemmed bottom.  To do this, I first serged the edges, then sewed up the side seams up to the 18″ marking.  Then I just turned the edge and top-stitched.  I knew if I tried to just serge the side seams, turning under the slits would have been harder.

I also added a lace applique that I had purchased at SR Harris.  I have a bunch of appliques I purchased, just because I like them.  This worked great for the yoke.  I just zig-zag stitched it on, with a matching thread.

Just needs to look good on the outside, am I right??

Still photos of this dress look a bit mumu-ish.  It is actually much better worn with movement.  It is also super comfy.

I will be wearing this to the office quite a bit this summer, me thinks.

Save

Summer wardrobe capsule plan…sittin’ at the ball fields

Summertime around these parts consists of many hours watching ball games – both softball and baseball.

This means I sit in the hot sun sweating and getting odd tan lines for hours at a time. I wanted to make a mix and match wardrobe capsule that would keep me cool, look awesome and be easy to change up the pieces.

This also matches some other pieces already in my wardrobe, so it should work well.

Here are two sodoku capsules that I made up. This is all subject to change on my frivolous whims.

summer soduko 1

summer soduko 2

I am going to make a pattern for a skort (’cause wind…) with a straight-front, flounce back with pockets on the legs underneath. Something like this:

20170213_151232

We’ll see if it actually turns out that way. Whims…I tell ya.

The tops are going to be tank tops to try to minimize the farmers tan. Not that there is anything wrong with a farmer’s tan…had them aplenty growing up.

These are my tank top inspirations. I like the thought of putting stretch lace in there, so I think I will use that idea to try to keep cool.

tank top inspiration

Lots of fun things going on with those tops. The only issue, is the bra issue. I have yet to find a comfortable strapless bra, so I am thinking of making some fun straps with some existing bras.

Fabrics are next. I bought a few different types of athletic mesh in black and gray, some gray Nike sport fabric, and then I have some different cotton/lycra and poly/lycra knits. I also have some lace and should be getting a sample stretch mesh fabric soon that will fit in nicely.

The sodoku would not be complete without some accessories, amiright?? I have a lot of silver jewelry that I can pull out for these outfits, since I am a jewelry hoarder.

This is just the silver stuff…

20170216_3425

I need new black sandals, since I threw away my pair that I have worn the last 5 years or so. The soles were breaking down. I bought these two new pairs of sandals. I might need one more black pair, more of a walking sandal, but I will see how these fit when I get them from Zulily. I also got a new pair of shades.

What glorious purse do I carry?

I thought you would never ask! It is this Zip-top Utility Tote by 31 Bags. Could I make this? Yes. Do I want to when this is only $35? No, no I do not. If you want one I can hook you up with my friend that is a consultant.

zip top organizing utility

This has 7 side pockets, yo. It fits all my crap that I bring with me, which includes this non-exhaustive list:

  • water bottle
  • purse stuff (phone, wallet, etc.)
  • kleenex (allergy season)
  • first aid kit (yes, I am that Mom)
  • Sunglasses for large and small people
  • Sunscreen
  • Visor
  • Bug spray
  • Camera and several lenses
  • Snacks
  • Art supplies and/or sewing to keep me busy
  • Hand warmers, and I can throw my blanket on top for early in the season

It is heavy, but holds all my crap.


I am going to be joining in on a contest on the Wardrobe Capsule Facebook group, but I really will be sewing it whenever I get the time. That gets more rare as the summer gets closer, so I need to work on it as soon as I can. Tryouts are next month!


Oh, just in case you are a fellow sports parent sewist person…RP Custom Fabric will be having a sport prints pre-order round on cotton-lycra in March. She will have all FOUR of my kids’ sports. I’m gonna be so poor.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Mix and match sparkles

I saw this striped fabric on a custom fabric website and thought it would be perfect for the pattern test I did on the cropped jacket.  Unfortunately, I spent way too much on fabric for these pieces, but sometimes you just gotta splurge.  Most of my fabrics I buy are at a discount fabric warehouse, so I don’t normally spent a lot per yard.

Fabrics:

Here are all of the pieces I made with the above fabrics, and how they can all go together.  I have another few plain black pieces I made for her that will go with them, too.  I bought 2 yards of both the black arrows and the gold sparkle, since she needs over a yard of fabric to make her bottoms.

sparkle-glam-capsule

Folis Jacket by Sofilantjes (just released)

20161123_2001

This jacket is so cute!  It is an unlined jacket, and pretty easy to throw together.  It also comes in a long jacket and dress.  Any version would be cute.  It is meant to be fitted, so she doesn’t recommend long sleeved shirts underneath.  My girl has skinny arms, so it isn’t as fitted on her as it was on other testers.  I made a 10W and 13L.

20161123_2004

I used most of one yard on the jacket, with and extra half yard for the hood lining and bands.

Domi pants by Sofilantjes

20161123_2187

These were made out of the French terry and I kept it simple.  She didn’t want pockets on the pants, so I left them off.  I also made them long and just hemmed them instead of adding the bands on the bottom.

Nivalis/Hibernis by Sofilantjes mash up

This is similar to the tattoo horse top I made her previously, only I made it short sleeves. (Sorry, didn’t get a picture of it without the jacket!)

20161123_2068

Hibernis by Sofilantjes

20161123_2190 20161123_2201

I left off the pockets on this top, and just did the side panel pieces plain.  No cowl either, and I used the hood from the Nivalis pattern.  I added on thumbhole cuffs.

Shenanigans Skort leggings by 5 out of 4 Patterns

20161123_2016 20161123_2007

Not Sofilantjes for this one.  I like the leggings from this pattern, and they fit her well.

All the pieces will go well together.  She is wearing a black long sleeved shirt under the hood with some of the pictures, and she also has some plain black leggings, and a pair of black stretch velvet domi pants.  Lots of stuff to mix and match!

A fun tween capsule for her to be able to wear this winter. 🙂

Save

Save

Plaid cape top and gored skirt

Here is a Pinterest pattern hack coming for you.  This pin is pretty popular.  It is a short-sleeved top with a “cape” over it.  If you are on Pinterest, I am sure you have seen it.  I know it comes up in my feed all the time.

02f2effaa369d10acfcbccf720ae7736

I wanted to make this as part of my winter capsule in black and long-sleeved.  Since it is for winter, I am not doing the key-hole in the back.  That would be cold.

The base pattern I used for this is the Wardrobe by Me – Wardrobe Builder Tee.  I made two versions – one in black and the one shown here.  I made it a size larger for the black, as I wanted a looser fit, so I made a size 14.  I did it in cotton lycra and it didn’t have the right amount of drape.  I will be re-doing it.

This was the first time I made this WBM pattern, and I do generally like the fit.  Christina drafts for more of a pear shape, which I am a rectangle.  If you have more of a difference in your hips/waist than I do, some of the modifications I made will not apply to you.  Got to work with what you got!

20161115_1755

I will make up an add-on pattern for this, but I want to do a few modifications of this top first.

I used a jersey knit here.  As I said above, I needed to do some modifications.  I made this to my measurements (size 12), and it slid down on my hips a bit too far.   I am a rectangle, so this wouldn’t slide down on a pear shape.   First, I tried sewing clear elastic in the bottom 6″ of the side hems on either side.  The elastic was 4″ long, so it had a subtle ruching of about 2″.  Didn’t look right.  Next, I took out the elastic (fun times) and cut off 3″ off the bottom, including the hem.  I hemmed it at a good spot on my hip.  I think knowing the most flattering length of top on YOUR body is pretty important.  Lengths that look good on others won’t necessarily look good on you.

20161115_1751

A pretty simple add on for a pattern, but a fun stylish one!  You can add whatever length sleeves you want with the wardrobe builder shirt, or do sleeveless underneath by adding a band to, or hemming, the armscye.

20161115_1772

So, the skirt.

20161115_1789

This is a first draft of a gored skirt.   I wanted it to have a bit more flare, so I will have to redraft it for that.

More to come…hopefully. 😉

Save

Save

Save

Keyhole overlay top – pattern hack

A few years ago, I pinned this picture on my Things To Make board on Pinterest.  I love the look of this top, and figured I could just hack a t-shirt pattern or something to make it.

As part of my wardrobe capsule, I wanted to make that top…finally.  After having sewn up the Sneha tunic, I decided to hack it for the top. It has a long hemline, scooping neckline and cap sleeves, so it worked well for it.  I cut it to have the asymmetrical hemline.

In case you notice it, let me be the first to say that…Yes, I know the bottom of my v-neckline is a little off center.  I was having some issues and finally said, “screw it…good enough!”

20160227-DSC_0076

I just basically did an overlay and then bound the necklines.

To draft it, I took the front pattern piece and redrew it.  I think I lowered the scoop a little, too.  I laid that over some paper, and drew out where I wanted the keyhole to be.  You have to take into account the binding that would go around the necklines.  I made sure the armsyce matched and then went down about 2.0″ inches into the body.

20160227-DSC_0061

Note that the inner shoulder is narrower.  We’ll get to the “why” later.

20160227-DSC_0069

There is about a 2.5″ difference for the keyhole.

20160227-DSC_0062

In making it:

  • I bound the underneath neckline and the bottom hem of the overlay.
  • I serged all the pieces together at the shoulder seam.
  • I bound the neckline.  The underneath neckline at the shoulder is narrower than the top piece and the back so that it doesn’t get caught in binding the neckline.
  • Lastly, you add the arms, do the side seams and hem the bottom and sleeves.

There you go.  A fairly easy pattern hack and a cute top!  I know I will make more…just need some more sewing time!

20160228_5748 20160228_5737

Save

Wardrobe Capsule – A misshapen dress

Upon (mostly) perfecting the pattern for the misshapen top, I decided to try to make it into a dress.  This top part drapes to the side, so it needs to be wider than you would think.  If you take your normal top pattern that has some generous room at the waist, add about 10″.   It drapes across your body, so it needs extra room.  Unless you want a tight top, then just use a normal top pattern for the width.

The dress looks like this, as a line drawing:

mis-shapen dress measurements

The measurements above fit my body (39B, 32W, 39H at 5’7″ and 145 lbs).

There are six pattern pieces:

  • Top cut on the fold (1)
  • Bands at the arms (2)
  • Waistband – interior and exterior (2)
  • Skirt cut on the fold (1)

mis-shapen dress line drawing

I drafted it to have a doubled-up waistband to try to give a little more tummy control in that area.

20160228_5702

To sew this pattern.

  1.  Sew the waistband ends together and the skirt back seam.
  2. Sandwich the skirt top the the waist band seams in between, right sides together.  Serge or zigzag stitch.
  3. Hem the skirt and iron the waistband seam.  You can topstitch here if you want it flat.
  4. Serge the edge of the top seam – don’t serge the seams together.   Mark 15″ from the edge of the fold.  This is your neck opening.  Sew from the edge up to the mark.
  5. Fold under the neck opening seam allowance and topstitch the hem.
  6. Serge the side seam up to the small piece that juts out.  Serge the bottom/side seam.
  7. Take your bands and serge the side seams.  Fold together and attach to the ends of the arms.  If you don’t want bands, just fold under and hem.
  8. Serge the bottom waist hem to the waistband.
  9. All done!

Another version of this pattern, would be to just draw a line from the waist of the top down to make it into a one piece dress.  You need to figure out where it would hit at your hip and have negative ease in that area.  My hip is 39″, so I would want it to be around 35″.  The pattern piece would be 17.5″, as it is cut on the fold.

Let me know if you have any questions on the drafting of this dress.  I suggest sturdy knits.  A ponte like this one would work great for this dress.  I used a heavy poly lycra knit from The Worth Collection that I found at SR Harris in MN.

I would also suggest making a top first, and then going into making the dress.  Once you have the right measurements for the top, you can work on drafting the dress part, which is fairly easy.

20160228_5697

Wardrobe Capsule – Jeggings

I have had the hardest time making jeggings.  I made a few pairs a few years ago and didn’t wear them.  They ended up in the charity pile.

I thought I would tackle this project again with my wardrobe capsule.  I decided to use this dark denim that has a brown underlying dye to it, and some stretch (not a lot).  It is hard to photograph, but the fabric does have a brown tone to the dark denim.

20160228_5753

The pockets are a faux leather that I cut on my Silhouette Cameo.  The faux leather is backed with Heat N Bond prior to cutting.  You need to iron it on with a press cloth, so the faux leather doesn’t melt.  Cut setting should be Speed at 2, Knife at 10 and Thickness at 25, with a double cut.

20160223-DSC_0038 20160223-DSC_0040

The design is one that I drew.  I made it into a JPG file and then imported into the cameo design software.  From there, I traced it.  I will have to do a tutorial on how I do that some day, but I am sure there is something on YouTube that shows the process, too.

Here is the file if you are interested in using it.  Just be warned.  It is a PITA to sew around on the pockets.  Once you have the file cut, you need to iron it to the pockets and then do a straight stitch around it.  Generally, the less elements the better.

20160223-DSC_0045

To place the pockets, I compared them to a pair of jeans I already owned.

20160223-DSC_0046 20160223-DSC_0047

The jeggings pattern is a widened leggings pattern that I drafted.  I should have added more room to it, though.  I did a double layered waist, and then a side invisible zipper.

I finished the waist, and it was 100% wrong in so many ways.  I tore it off and recut the waistband, but should have done some different adjustments.  On the front I stitched down some elastic to keep it from getting stretched out and floppy.

20160223-DSC_0050

I think a side zip was the wrong way to go with these and a back seam zipper would have been better.  Or hey…a front fly!  Next time.  I have a hard time zipping up the zipper, so these are a bit of a challenge to get on.  This is exacerbated by the fact that the front and back should have been cut differently.  I cut the back and thought, ugh..that looks too small, so I cut the front a little wider.  Yeah, that turned out well.  The side seam is pulled to the back.

20160224-DSC_0055

With some wear, they will hopefully stretch out a little bit, but they are still wearable.  As you can see there is definitely some stretching going on in the front with the pull lines.

20160227-DSC_0079

If I can manage to move the scale in a downward direction that would be great, too.  It has proved rather stagnant lately, so I need to work a bit more diligently on my eating and exercise.  Half measures no longer work when you get older.

Here’s a few more close up pictures:

20160227-DSC_0088 20160227-DSC_0085

I love how my belt turned out, too.  It wasn’t too hard to put together.  A little hand stitching and some rivets.

Booty shot.  I like where the pockets ended up.  I also hope that belt stops shedding soon, too.

All in all, this was a good wearable muslin.  Definitely not perfect, but now I can make some adjustments and go from there!