Suede Farrow Dress for the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and I am ready! I love this time of year— the weather, the food, the decorations, all of it! It is also an amazing excuse to sew something new and festive to enjoy during the season. I have been playing around with a few different ideas but when a new shipment of suede shirtings arrived my decision was made for me. Kind of a perfect storm— a new pattern and a new fabric arriving about the same time and they are a match made in heaven!

Grainline Studio's Farrow Dress Pattern

Grainline Studio’s Farrow Dress was released a couple of weeks ago and it is the perfect go-to dress to make for any special occasion. A classic and elegant A-line shape with flattering diagonal seams and handy concealed pockets. The pattern calls for light to medium weight fabrics such as linen, wool or cotton. Along those lines I though why not a suede shirting? Suede dresses and shirts are all over the runways and ready to wear and I love this look and the beautiful texture.

Farrow Dress Inspiration and Suede Shirting Colors

Farrow Dress Inspiration (Pinterest) and Suede Shirting Colors

For color I decided on the gorgeous jade green suede for my Farrow Dress. The perfect jewel tone for the holidays and one of my favorites to wear all year. As this faux suede is 100% polyester I didn’t take the time to pre-wash as there isn’t really a fear of shrinkage. Normally I pre-wash everything but I was a bit antsy to get sewing!

To get started I first took a look at all the pattern measurements to find the right size and check the finished garment lengths. In Grainline’s patterns I am almost always a size 8 and I often make a few slight adjustments in the length. For the Farrow, I left the length of the dress alone (as that would have involved moving pockets) but I did lengthen the sleeves by 3 inches. I also checked the sleeve width, with woven sleeves I often find them too tight when I bend my elbow. The Farrow’s sleeves were a bit narrow and I ended up widening them by 1″ which also led me to lengthening the sleeve facings to match.

Grainline's Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

Grainline’s Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

Remember that suede is directional! I took extra care to make sure each piece was cut out in the same orientation with the grain of the suede going up the garment for the best color. Once I had everything cut out I got to sewing! I used a coordinating jade thread and a Microtex sharp needle in my machine. I finished all the seams and raw edges with my serger for clean look. Construction was straight forward and easy to understand with the directions included in the pattern. It also went together quite quickly. I was just about done in one afternoon.

Love the Farrow's Pockets!

Love the Farrow’s Pockets!

Once I had the whole dress sewn together I tried it on for fit. I loved the overall shape and style but due to the structure of the fabric it didn’t drape as closely to my body as a light weight cotton lawn probably would. I decided to take it in a bit on the sides to give a bit more definition to the the silhouette. First I tapered in the natural waist about 1/2″ on each side. I then tapered in about 1″ at the pockets and continued in to 2″ at the hem. To clean things up a bit I gave the low hem of the back a fresh curve and I was set hem and add the finishing touches. Note: The measurements are from the original seam line so total the waist came in 2″, hips 4″ and hem 8″.

Front View Look at Suede Farrow Dress

Front View Look at Suede Farrow Dress

The results were perfect! I love the clean lines and look with the suede. It is just like some of the A-line suede dresses that I have been admiring on Pinterest. This fabric was a great choice of a winter Farrow— a little more substantial but still has great drape and movement. There is also nothing better than the soft feel of suede, even if it is faux suede! My favorite feature of the dress is the high neck line— perfect for showing off a statement necklace! I also paired mine with black leggings and boots for the cool weather and will definitely be wearing this on Thanksgiving Day this coming week.

Compete Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

Compete Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

I would highly recommend this pattern. I can definitely see how this one can become a favorite to sew up year-round, dress it up or down to suit the event. Just one other note about the fit, it is a bit tight across the shoulders so you might want to muslin the bodice and sleeves to check the fit before you begin.

Happy Fall Sewing!

Michelle

Classic Take on Grainline’s Tamarack

Fall always puts me in the mood to sew jackets, sweaters and lots of other cozy layers. Maybe because I am always cold or maybe because layering is totally my style— whatever the reason I always have lofty goals to sew up a whole bunch of jackets and coats so that I have the perfect one to go with any outfit. Outerwear is also one of the hardest things for me to shop for, so making my own seems like a win-win situation.

Outerwear Inspiration Pinterest Board

Outerwear Inspiration Pinterest Board

I know for a lot of people coats and jackets are the last thing on their sewing list. They really want to make them but might be too scared to tackle the project. I was one of those people! Am I skilled enough to take this on? Won’t it take forever? What if it doesn’t turn out? Time to stop asking all the “What ifs” and just do!

Earlier this year I took a big leap and sewed up my own Clare Coat from Closet Case Patterns. Definitely the most intense project I have ever sewn but the results were so worth it! Between online tutorials and the very thorough instructions I think I hit this one out of the park and conquered my fear of coat making.

Tamarack Jacket from Grainline Studio

Tamarack Jacket from Grainline Studio

Now that the cooler weather is back, the urge to make a new jacket is too! I decided to get my feet wet this season with a pattern that is a bit more approachable for any level of seamstress, Grainline’s Tamarack Jacket. Simple and straight forward, this quilted jacket has limited pieces, is unlined and looks so warm and cozy!

Tamarack Jacket Supplies

Tamarack Jacket Supplies

Now to pick the fabrics… This is a great pattern to have some fun with fabric choices. Since I knew I wanted a more staple piece that would go with anything, I selected a solid black brushed fine nylon twill. To pair with it I wanted something warm and cozy and decided on a black and red check plaid flannel. A few people said I should do the flannel for the outside but the twill will wick away the rain better and fit better into my wardrobe. Sometimes it is okay to be a little more safe, besides that is what fun lining fabric is for! Rather than create my own binding I decided to add a leather accent to my jacket with some faux leather bias trim. Great look and it saves me all that time and probably some aggravation too!

Using the plaid pattern as a guide for quilting.

Using the plaid pattern as a guide for quilting.

In putting together my Tamarack Jacket I pulled out a few skills from my quilter’s tool box. To start, rather than cut out each piece and quilt them together, I cut out larger rectangles for each piece and quilted those instead. Once all the pieces were quilted then I cut out the pieces. As a quilter I know how much pieces move around, shift, shrink, etc and thought this would be a better approach. I quilted each piece in a diamond pattern that I created by using the plaid pattern of the lining as a guide. This saved me so much time from having to mark everything and gave me a crisp clean look. I did admit to myself early on that I would NOT worry about matching the plaid in the lining but that I WOULD take time and match the diamond quilting on the right side of the two fronts. This is probably the only place it really mattered and the only place it would be noticed.

A Couple Tips for Quilting:

  1. Work from the center out and try to only stitch in one direction.
  2. When stitching lines that cross over a previous set of lines, make sure everything is nice and flat and maybe even create a bit of tension so that you don’t get puckers at the cross- quilting gloves help a lot!
  3. If using dark colored fabrics, use a dark colored batting. This will prevent any batting fuzz from showing up too much in the seams.
Lengthened Tamarack Sleeves

Lengthened Tamarack Sleeves

The quilting honestly took the most time. Once all five rectangles were quilted and my pieces cut out (my fronts included the extra inch for the button placket) it was time to sew them together. The only change I made to the pattern pieces was to lengthen the sleeves 2-1/2″ based on the finished garment measurements given in the pattern. Construction started with the welt pockets, something I still am working on perfecting. The pattern instructions were a bit confusing but as you worked through them one step at a time it all made sense and they came together beautifully. My second one even better than the first so there is hope with more practice… The rest of the jacket went together really quickly. I finished all my raw edges with the serger and on the bulkier seams (shoulders, underarm and side) I finished each side and pressed them open.

Stitching TO the corner across the binding.

Stitching TO the corner across the binding.

Now to finish off all the edges. The binding gets added to the front and the back separately before you sew up the side seams. I thought this was a bit weird but everything turned out just fine. I attached my faux leather bias binding just like I would on a quilt. They give great instruction in the pattern and I made one slight addition. Rather than just stopping 1/2″ from a corner, I turn and stitch at a 45″ angle TO the corner, then fold my binding and continue stitching down the other side. This gives me perfect corners every time! A side tip from a quilter! I also hand stitched the other side of my binding down— I personally like how this method looks the best, clean and neat with no extra stitching lines. Totally worth the hand sewing time!

My last change came on the sleeves. Rather than bind the hem on each sleeve with the bias I finished the edge on the serger and hand stitched a 1″ hem. This decreased some of the bulk and gave me a nice soft finish. Last but not least I added 5 snaps up the front of my jacket for an east closure. Now for the results!

tamarack-2

I’m loving the fit! Roomy enough to wear other thick layers underneath but not too over-sized. The quilting also is perfect on this black twill, it stands out beautifully and will be a great pair to any outfit. The pockets are also very handy, the welts turned out great and they are large enough for both my hands and my phone! A plus for sure on those cold days running errands.
tamarack-phone tamarack-lining-3

Finished inside, pockets are all serged and tacked in place. Isn’t the red plaid fun! A secret pop of color!

tamarack-back

I love the length of this jacket! Just enough to keep me nice and warm with out being too big and bulky. And the high-low baseball hemline adds just a bit of interest and style.

The Tamarack Jacket pattern is a great one for any seamstress to try. Maybe you haven’t ventured into coat making yet? This is a great confidence booster and let’s you learn a few new things along the way. Huge plus if you have quilting experience, but if not, it is just straight lines or you could even skip this step with pre-quilted fabric! I also love how you can make this jacket totally your own with different fabric choices for both the experior and the lining. Try some new quilting techniques or go wild with your bias binding- so many places for your style and personality to shine!

Now time to go sew!

~Michelle

Staying Cozy This Fall With Toaster Sweaters

Fall is in full swing and it is my favorite season to sew for! I love all rich colors and textures autumn brings and being able to mix ‘n match or layer them up to stay cozy warm all season long. Lucky for me Sew House Seven released a brand new pattern perfect for my fall wardrobe!

Way back in July, I stumbled across a perfect pullover sweater in a soft double knit at the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale (while I pretty much stay away from purchasing RTW garments nowadays I still like to look!). I immediately thought that pullover sweater would be a great staple for the coming season in a lot of our new fall fabrics. The only problem was to find a pattern…

Sew House Seven Toaster Sweaters Pattern

Sew House Seven Toaster Sweaters Pattern

Enter Peggy from Sew House Seven! Last month she released a pattern, the Toaster Sweaters, for almost the exact pullover I saw in the department store. It’s all about timing, right? Her new pattern includes two great versions, one more fitted with cuffs and a waistband and the other more relaxed with a high-low hem. This past week I made fall sewing a priority and sewed up both styles!

Double Face Quilted Knit

Double Face Quilted Knit

I decided to start with Toasters Sweater #1 and sew it up in this double face quilted knit. I love the texture of the stitching and it is wonderfully warm and soft without being bulky. After reading Peggy’s blog post about the fit on both sweaters and looking at a few versions posted on Instagram knew that I needed to add a couple inches to the length. I traced out a Size Medium and lengthened the front and back pieces by 2″ at the natural waist. Based on the finished garment measurements the sleeves looked like they would be the right length so I left those pieces along. Cutting and sewing only took about an hour using only my serger! Love projects like that, especially when they turn out like this!

toaster-1-front

Finished Toaster Sweater Version #1

The fit of my Toaster Sweater is pretty much spot on for my 5′ 9″ frame. I love the style and it is so comfortable to wear. I may have even worn it 3 times this week… For another version, I might try lengthening it a bit more (maybe 2″) and possibly taper it out to the next size at the hips. The raglan sleeves ended up being the perfect length and they look great on this style pullover— plus they make construction a breeze!

Closer Look at the Toaster Sweater #1

Closer Look at the Toaster Sweater #1

As the knit that I used is a bit softer and doesn’t have a ton of structure the neck ended up being a bit more slouchy than I think the pattern was designed. I like the look, more like a small funnel neck, but you could interface the back of the piece if you wanted it to stand up a bit more. This wouldn’t be an issue with a more stable double knit, ponte knit or even a thick sweater knit.

I loved my first Toaster Sweater so much I immediately cut out Version #2! I again traced out a Size Medium and lengthened the front and back by 2″ using lengthen/shorten lines provided on the pieces. For this version I selected an extra warm wool blend in a fun argyle plaid. At first I thought I would take the time to match the plaid but that quickly went out the window. Since the pattern is so small and more of an allover texture I decided it wasn’t worth the stress!

Finished Toaster Sweater Version #2

Finished Toaster Sweater Version #2

Version #2 features the more traditional set in sleeves and a split high-low hem, it is fitted across the shoulders and nice and loose at the waist. With the added length it hits me about mid-hip. While this is great, I think I would lengthen it another 3 or 4″ on my next version. I guess it will just depend on my fabric choice and what style I’m going for.

Side View of Toaster Sweater #2

Side View of Toaster Sweater #2

This version also took a little bit more time and required me to break out the regular sewing machine. The directions for the split hem are very clear and I love how crisp and clean it turned out. There is also a step-by-step sewalong on Sew House Seven’s blog if you need it, always a great reference to have. I think I like the neckline on Version #1 but this structured “boat neck” is a unique look that was fun to try.

toaster-2-neck

Closer Look at the Toaster Sweater #2

Both of these Toaster Sweaters lived up to all of my hopes for this pattern and gave me exactly what I was looking for! I will definitely be sewing up a few more versions and maybe play with the length some more and experiment with other fabric choices. I think the style of this pattern can really be dressed up or down based on the fabric— maybe try sweatshirt fleece for something more casual and athletic or a sophisticated double knit for a look suitable for a night out. Oh, the possibilities!

Happy Fall Sewing!

Michelle

Fall Style Blog Tour 2016 Recap

Earlier this month we wrapped up our Fall Style Tour 2016 and we are so inspired for the new season of sewing and fashion. The first fall storm is hitting here in the Northwest and we are loving the excuse to hide inside and sew (finger-crossed the power doesn’t go out!).

We thought we would take a look back at all thirteen stops on the tour and give everyone a recap of this amazing journey. If you missed a stop or wanted to revisit one of the posts, here is a handy reference to all of the stops as well as links to the patterns and fabrics used for each.


Day 1 – Style Maker Fabrics

We kicked of the Fall Tour with our ode to plaids and a new go-to pattern. One of our favorite trends this season, plaids are a lot of fun to sew with. Yes, some matching is involved but you can also play with the pattern by putting it on the bias for a different look. Read more about our favorite new fall shirt HERE.

style-maker-fabrics-day-1-stop

Pattern: Bruyere Shirt by Deer and Doe Patterns

Fabric: Rayon Blend Plaid Shirting


Day 2 – Inside the Hem

Day Two took us to our first ever video stop! Lindsey from Inside the Hem shares two amazing fall garments in her favorite fall color- burgundy! Her pattern choices were spot on as always and both pair perfectly with the fabrics she chose. Click on the image above to watch her post or view it HERE.

Patterns: B6375 by Butterick | B6388 by Butterick

Fabrics: Floral Rayon Crepe | Jacquard Double Knit


Day 3 – Allie Jackson

Next up we took a walk on the wild side with Allie Jackson. She has a not so secret love affair with leopard print and shared two stunning animal print looks. We love these “neutrals” and their timeless style. Learn more HERE.

allie-jackson-day-3-stop

Patterns: Vintage Simplicity 6820 | Wrap Elmira Cardigan by Seamwork

Fabrics: Leopard Rayon Challis | Leopard Sweater Knit


Day 4 – Erica Bunker

We headed down South for an edgier look with Erica. Her “chic meets street” style is perfect for this season and we can’t get enough of her lace bomber and flirty suede skirt. Erica also shared a ton of helpful sewing tips and tricks we can’t wait to try. Check them out HERE.

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Patterns: Bomber Jacket 7210 by Burda | Skirt 6418 by New Look

Fabrics: Lace Fused Knit | Faux Suede Black


Day 5 – Gray All Day

Helen continued this look at edgy feminine style on Day Five. She used her stop as an excuse to try a new to her fabric, double gauze, and she quickly became a fan just like the rest of us! She completed her look with this luscious suede moto jacket and we want to copy her immediately. Read more HERE.

gray-all-day-day-5-stop

Patterns: Saiph Tunic by Papercut Patterns | Moto Jacket S8174 by Simplicity

Fabrics: Japanese Double Gauze | Faux Suede Olive


Day 6 – True Bias

For Day Six, Kelli of True Bias shared two amazing looks in rayon crepe. The perfect piece to help us transition into the cooler weather or into the warmer weather next spring. We love these bold colors and how they pair together. Learn more about both pieces HERE.

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Patterns: Tate Top by Workroom Social | Winslow Culottes by Helen’s Closet

Fabrics: Black Rayon Crepe | Tribal Rayon Crepe


Day 7 – Lindsay Woodward

For us, fall is all about layering and based on her stop for Day Seven, Lindsay is on the same page! Her button up top and cozy cardigan are the perfect fall wardrobe additions. And those colors! Read more in her post HERE.

design-by-linday-day-7-stop

Patterns: Driftless Cardigan by Grainline Studio | Melilot Shirt by Deer and Doe Patterns

Fabrics: Cable Sweater Knit Twill Weave Rayon


Day 8 – Sew Charleston

Next, we headed to Charleston to check out Abbey’s two looks. First up, a flirty long sleeve shirt dress in the cutest zebra novelty print. Next, a cozy hoodie in one of our favorite fabrics, French terry. Both looks suit her perfectly and are making us jealous. Check out her post and lots more great pictures HERE.

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Patterns: Sanibel Dress by Hey June Patterns | Undercover Hoodie by Papercut Patterns

Fabrics: Zebra Rayon Twill French Terry Dot | French Terry Stripe


Day 9 – Dandelion Drift

On Day Nine, Teresa shared two favorite patterns that every seamstress should own! She thought a bit outside the box on fabric choices and the results are stunning. Learn more about both pieces HERE, including all the details about how she altered them to fit her perfectly.

dandelion-drift-day-9-stop

Patterns: Archer Shirt by Grainline Studio Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns

Fabrics: Eyeglass Rayon Challis | Black Stretch Twill


Day 10 – The Sara Project

Sara from The Sara Project also shared some fall separates that will be great new additions to her wardrobe. She combined a few of our favorite things- pumpkin spice, plaid and denim! What more could you ask for? Learn more about both pieces HERE.

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Patterns: Button Up M7472 by McCall’s Safran Pants by Deer and Doe Patterns

Fabrics: Autumn Plaid Shirting | Stretch Denim


Day 11 – Sew DIY

Next up, Beth sewed two perfect pieces for her fall style in Southern California. She too tried something new and experimented with layers and we are loving her results. These “neutrals” are a great foundation to mix and match with other new makes or wardrobe favorites. Read her post and pick up a few tips HERE.

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Patterns: Driftless Cardigan by Grainline Studio Nehalem Pants by Sew House 7

Fabrics: Variegated Sweater Knit Japanese Tencel Chambray


Day 12 – Marcy Harriell

For the second to last stop we headed to NYC to check out Mary’s separates. A step out of her normal sewing comfort zone, she hit a home run with this tunic and maxi skirt! Read Marcy’s post HERE for some great tips and a taste of her amazing sense of humor.

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Patterns: Gabriola Skirt by Sewaholic Patterns | Tunic S3786 by Simplicity

Fabrics: Distressed Chambray | Floral Rayon Crepe


Day 13 – Girls in the Garden

Our last stop took us to Missouri to visit our friend Lori. She also went for fall layers and knocked our socks off with her suede jacket. Paired with this gathered blouse, Lori looks amazing as always. Be sure to take a look at all the finishing details she added HERE.

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Patterns: Jacket S1066 by Simplicity | Gathered Tunic B6378 by Butterick

Fabrics: Faux Suede Chestnut | Paisley Cotton Gauze


A huge thank you to all of the seamstresses that joined us on the tour and shared some of their first fall makes. We are so inspired for our own fall sewing and we hope you are too! We also wanted to thank all of you that followed along with us! We couldn’t have done it without you and we appreciate all of the wonderful comments and support.

We can’t wait to see what all of you sew up this season and be sure to stay tuned for our Spring Style Tour coming March 2017!

Fall Style Blog Tour: Bruyere Meets Plaid

I’m excited to kick off our Fall Style Blog Tour today! The first of thirteen stops visiting some of our favorite sewing bloggers and pattern designers; I can’t wait to follow along with all of you and see what what everyone has sewn up for their fall wardrobe.

Of course, I didn’t want to be left out in all the sewing fun! I decided to ease into my fall sewing with one of my favorite fall designs, PLAID. Available in a multitude of fabric types, color combinations and patterns, the possibilities seem endless. There are so many great ideas online and in fashion for skirts, dresses, scarves and tops but I decided to keep it simple with a classic button up… with a twist!

Plaid Fashion Inspiration Board on Pinterest

Plaid Fashion Inspiration Pinterest Board

I often hear that people are scared to sew with plaids, just too many lines to match. I was one of those people! My best advise is to face your fear and dive in; after a couple of projects you get the hang of it and it will no longer be an issue. Plus, you will have some stunning garments with perfectly matching seams to show off to anyone who will listen! There were a couple of blog posts that really helped me- one super simple, the other more complicated. I found that a happy medium is best, be precise but don’t overthink it! One other trick I learned, put some pieces on the bias. It adds some interest and keeps you from having to match all the plaids!

Deer and Doe Bruyere Shirt Pattern

Deer and Doe Bruyere Shirt Pattern

For my pattern, we just received a selection of Deer and Doe sewing patterns from France and I completely fell in love with the Bruyere Shirt! A more feminine take on the button up shirt, the Bruyere is nicely fitted across the bust and waist and had some box pleats giving the skirt a bit more body and movement. For my fabric, I picked a gorgeous rayon shirting with a really nice weight and drape. Heavier like a flannel, this fabric is perfect for the cooler weather that fall brings. Did I mention the colors? Not only is the fabric the perfect weight and texture, it also combines my favorite fall colors- plum, pumpkin and a touch of mustard!

Rayon plaid shirting in plum and rust.

Rayon plaid shirting in plum and rust.

I sewed up my Bruyere over the course of a couple evenings. Having sewn an Archer Shirt in the past, construction was pretty straight forward and easy to follow. This was my first Deer and Doe pattern and I was not disappointed. I find that the extra details really make the difference and this Bruyere pattern is full of them. Simple steps that really give your garment a very profession look and finish.

Back view of my Bruyere shirt with bias cut yoke.

Back view of my Bruyere shirt with bias cut yoke.

There were only a few changes that I made in the process. The first came in the sizing- based on my measurements I was right between the 40 and the 42. I decided to cut the bodice of my top out for the 40 and taper it out at the waist to the 42. I then cut all the pieces waist down for the 42. This gave me a kind of hybrid size that fit really well!

My other change came at the sleeve cuffs. I love the look of the sleeve slit and placket included in the pattern but when I went to sew it I had a horrible time. It was late and I was running short on time, so rather than push through and figure it out I used the technique that I already knew from my past Archer. No harm, no foul and it saved me some time and aggravation. I will definitely revisit it and figure it out when I can focus and experiment a bit more. I also used a few less buttons than the pattern called for, again no biggie but I wanted to make sure and mention it.

Completed Plaid Bruyere

Completed Plaid Bruyere

Now for the finished results! I am in love with this pattern and this shirt! The tunic length is perfect to pair with skinny jeans or leggings. I completed the look with some fall boots and am ready for the fall weather. The fit of the shirt is perfect with the alterations I made. There is a little something funky going on at the back of the shoulder but nothing that I can’t live with. Maybe I’ll tackle that fix in a future version. Oh, and there will be a future version! I’m thinking flannel… warm, cozy flannel! Or maybe more plaid, or both!

Here are a few of my other favorites. Check out our amazing assortment of plaids HERE.

One last look at my Bruyere shirt. I think I am going to be living in this one all season! It is so comfy and the fabric feels amazing.

Front view of my plaid Deer and Doe Bruyere.

Front view of my plaid Deer and Doe Bruyere.

Be sure to follow along with us as the Fall Style Blog Tour continues tomorrow with Day 2. We will be visiting Lindsey from Inside the Hem to see what she has been busing sewing! We can’t wait to see her video post!

Happy Fall!

Michelle

 

End of Summer Projects with Hand Dyed Fabrics

Summer is winding down and it is time to share my last two summer sewing projects. Fall is just around the corner, I even have my first fall project on the cutting table, and what better way to end the summer than with items that can transition into the next season! Perfect for the September weather that can still be warm but very unpredictable.

If you have been following along with our summer projects you know that we have been experimenting with shibori indigo dyeing. It’s time to finally cut into one of these stunning pieces! Since its release earlier this year I have had my eye on Christine Haynes’ Lottie pattern which is the perfect pattern for my hand dyed linen/rayon blend.

Christine Haynes' Lottie Pattern

Christine Haynes’ Lottie Pattern

With eighteen different combinations included in the Lottie, I decided to go with the a hybrid of View A and B- with three-quarter length sleeves in the shorter top length. Based on the pattern measurements I went with a size eight, although I did decide to lengthen the body by three inches at the given lengthen/shorten line.

The pattern was really fast to prep and cut out with only seven pieces, four of which are for the lengthened sleeves. I did take some extra time to really think about the shibori design on the fabric and how I wanted to feature it on the finished garment. For the sleeve pieces, especially, I chose to highlight some of the richest indigo streaks.

Lottie Top- Closer Look at the Side View

Lottie Top- Closer Look at the Side View

Construction took no time at all, start-to-finish my Lottie was done in one evening (less than three hours). Complete with top stitching, under stitching and hemming for an amazing result! I am especially loving the side vents and pieced sleeves- the perfect added touch and Christine made them so easy to sew.

Completed Lottie Top

Completed Lottie Top

The combination of the abstract shibori pattern with the gorgeous texture of the linen/rayon create the perfect distressed look- casual but refined. Great drape and body but still has that soft, wrinkly texture of linen. I also love the length, not quite tunic length but just long enough to hit about mid-hip on my 5′ 9″ frame. I’m already dreaming about another version in a soft flannel for this fall!

One More Look- Back of Lottie Top

One More Look- Back of Lottie Top

Last but not least, my Stowe Bag from Grainline Studio and The Fringe Supply Co! I originally dyed this white twill with this bag in mind. It has been on my “To Make” list for a while now just waiting for the perfect fabric. Again, I took my time planning out the pieces before I actually cut into my dyed fabric.

Hand Dyed Shibori Stowe Bag

Hand Dyed Shibori Stowe Bag

Another quick sew, although I did make the whole project much more labor intensive by deciding to finish all of the seams using the Hong Kong finishing method. Extra work, but totally worth it! It really helps finish off the professional look of the bag and doesn’t try to compete or take away from the star of the show, the shibori. I also decided to finish the bias binding around the top edge to the inside, again shifting the focus back to the dyeing and fabric.

Sneak Peak Inside the Shibori Stowe Bag

Sneak Peak Inside the Shibori Stowe Bag

This size is perfect for a trip to the market or to bring your hand sewing or knitting project along with you for the day. I might even have enough extra of my shibori dyed twill to make one more small Stowe if I cut carefully. I definitely want to try making the larger size as well, maybe in some suiting or denim for a great fall carry-all purse. What do you think?

Shibori Stowe Bag- Side View

Shibori Stowe Bag- Side View with Looped Handles

Well that wraps up my summer sewing! Time to shift gears and start planning for my favorite season- FALL!!! We have so many amazing fabrics arriving and lots of plans coming later this month, including the Fall Style Blog Tour!

-Michelle

 

Emerson Crop Pants Meets Shibori Rayon

My favorite make of the summer- Emerson Crop Pants from True Bias!

Earlier this summer during my getaway to Sisters, Oregon I found the most amazing rayon pants in a local boutique. They were the perfect “secret pajamas” that we all want and hope for in our wardrobe. While I rarely buy any ready-made garments these days, that occasional perfect piece is just too good to pass up. Once home, my dream was to find a pattern and create more versions of these dreamy pants.

Shibori Border Print Emerson Pants

Shibori Border Print Emerson Pants

Kelli from True Bias must have been on the same wavelength because not two weeks later she released her Emerson Crop Pants pattern! Almost exactly like my boutique find but even better. I of course ordered the pattern right away and immediately started planning sewing up my own versions.

Emerson Crop Pants Pattern from True Bias

Emerson Crop Pants Pattern from True Bias

I played with a few fabric options but continued to come back to one of our most popular fabrics in the shop these days, the shibori double border rayon. This fabric is incredibly soft, has amazing drape and still has enough body and weight to make it acceptable for pants- I knew it would be an amazing choice for this pattern.

Fabric Choice | Shibori Double Border Print Rayon Challis

Fabric Choice | Shibori Double Border Print Rayon Challis

Time to sew! Due to the relaxed fit and elastic waistband, I decided to skip making a muslin. Normally for pants I wouldn’t skip this step but the forgiving nature of this pattern saved me some time! I went with a size 10 based on the measurements in the pattern.

The pattern took no time at all to cut out, although I did take some time to plan out how I wanted the border designs to appear and to match up elements as best I could at the seams. It also took only a couple hours to sew start to finish. I sewed up the pockets and body of the pants in one evening and then finished up the waistband and hems the next afternoon. Hint: I recently tried out a new tool from Clover and I am a complete convert! No more safety pins for me! Pair it with their new elastic lock for a match made in sewing heaven.

Attaching my Emerson waistband with some new favorite tools.

Attaching my Emerson waistband with some new favorite tools.

Overall, the pattern was short, sweet and easy to follow. You will also love the waistband detail with the flat front and elastic back! I was a little unsure about the four pleats across the front but they also proved to be a great detail and when paired with the flat panel waist, actually have a nice slimming effect. The fit was perfect- I did adjust the waistband just the way I wanted it before sewing it in place. I love how fitted they are while still being very relaxed and comfy! Perfect for work or just hanging out around the house.

Side View | Shibori Emerson Crop Pants

Side View | Shibori Emerson Crop Pants

Styled with a white tank and a linen shirt I am ready for a day out and about! Did I mention I love how comfortable these are, oh, and they have pockets! Now I am dreaming of more versions and how I can transition this pattern to fall. I’m thinking maybe a fun suiting or light weight wool- a bit more structure and warmth perfect for fall in the Northwest!

Styled Shibori Emerson Pants with Tank and Linen Shirt

Styled Shibori Emerson Pants with Tank and Linen Shirt

Definitely a pattern that I will revisit! Thanks Kelli for reading my mind/releasing this pattern at the perfect moment!

~Michelle

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