A New Wardrobe Basic— The Ebony Tee

This week one of our favorite indie pattern designers, Heather of Closet Case Files, released her tenth pattern, the Ebony Tee! It’s a classic tee in a fun swing style that you can’t help but sway, twist and twirl in. As knits are always one of my favorite things to sew, I immediately started laying out fabric choices and planning a couple Ebony Tees for myself.

Ebony Tee Pattern | Style Maker FabricsThe pattern calls for just about any weight knit depending on the look and style you want. I love the movement of this swing style so I wanted something that would drape nicely and hang closer to my body. I have been eyeing this shibori bamboo knit for a while now (its just so soft!) and thought the large scale of design would be perfect for this pattern. It also is a beautiful weight— not too heavy, not too light, with great stretch, recovery and a fluid drape. I also thought this comfy basic would be fantastic in a French terry. Since I can never have too much grey in my closet I picked out this variegated French terry. It’s closer in weight to a jersey, giving it lots of drape and making it a great choice for a cozy Ebony dress.

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Heather includes three different variation in the pattern— a cropped tee, mid-length dress and raglan tunic. She also includes different sleeve lengths and neckline options letting you design your Ebony to suit your style and wardrobe. I decided to keep my first version simple and go with the mid-length dress (View A) with long sleeves and a jewel neckline for my French terry— might as well take the comfort to the max right? I changed up my cutting layout by flipping my back piece over and rotating it 180 degrees. This maximized the size of my remaining fabric and let me out two sets of sleeves. I often find that sleeves don’t fit me quite right on the first go and since I had the space I planned to do a test set of sleeves.

Alternate Ebony Cutting Diagram | Style Maker Fabrics

Alternate pattern piece layout for the Ebony dress.

This planning paid off as the first sleeve was quite tight and not long enough. If your fabric is a bit narrower, you don’t have this space or your fabric is directional and you can’t flip the back, you could always sew a separate muslin of your trouble piece or even of the whole garment to test it out. I ended up widening the sleeves by half inch on either side and lengthening them by three inches. This pattern did not have the handy lengthen/shorten line on the sleeves so I used the sleeve side-seam notches as my lengthening point.

Other than those few changes, my Ebony dress was a breeze to sew together. I serged the entire garment and finished off the hems and neckline with my cover-stitch. Start to finish, I was done in an afternoon and am loving the results! Secret pajamas is the first thing that comes to mind. Paired with leggings or tight and I am set for a comfy day at home or out and about running errands. As this dress has so much body, I also tried belting it for a more fitted look.

Jumping right back into sewing, I selected the raglan tunic version (View C) using my shibori bamboo jersey. The high low hem of the tunic will really show off the dye pattern and be perfect to wear with jeans, my ultimate go-to! I decided to add three-quarter length sleeves and used my altered sleeves from View A as a guide. For a bit more relaxed fit, I widened the sleeves another half inch on either side and kept the added three inches in the length. For this version, as the fabric was a bit more directional, I did follow the cutting diagram as directed in the pattern. Again, construction was a snap using the serger and cover-stitch. I didn’t even have to change thread colors as I used white for both of my Ebonys!

Shibori Ebony Hem | Style Maker Fabrics Shibori Ebony Back | Style Maker Fabrics

Shibori Ebony Twirl | Style Maker Fabrics

After sewing both of these up I can definitely see why Heather has been living in her own Ebonys over the past we months as she was finalizing the pattern! While we were taking these photos I couldn’t help but twist and twirl. And check out that back! I love how this tunic length shows off the fabric so well. Did I mention it is as comfortable as it looks, if not so?!

Closet Case’s Ebony is a great variation on the classic tee and a fantastic way bring a new silhouette into your closet. I can’t wait to sew up more of these this spring. I’m thinking a stripe jersey might have to be next, what do you think? I definitely recommend this pattern, with so many options to choose from you are sure to fine the perfect match for you and your style!

Happy Sewing~

Michelle

Cozy Holiday Pajamas to Sew, Give and Enjoy

One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending all day Christmas day in my pajamas! For many years Christmas Day at our house has been off limits to visitors— is all about enjoying the day, munching/snacking and lounging in our pj’s watching movies or playing games that were under the tree. Since cozy lounge wear and pajamas plays such a key role this time of year, between Christmas and the cold winter days, I thought I would share one of my favorite patterns and a few tips for sewing your own this holiday season.

carolyn-pajamas-patter-cover

Pajamas and pillow cases are two of my favorite things to sew! Not only are they relatively easy, they also get used ALL the time and then normal wardrobe rules don’t apply. There are so many fun designs and colors that I would never wear out of the house but put them on an adorable set of pajama or a cute pillow case and I am in! Last Christmas I shared my go-to pillow case tutorial, so this year I thought I would sew up a couple new pajamas sets to help get you inspired. Since it’s release a couple of years ago, my favorite pj pattern is Closet Case’s Carolyn Pajamas— a modern take on a classic button-up pajama set. I love the fit and the kind of retro look and Heather makes construction a delight with her clear, detailed instructions. I sewed up my first set a while back in a soft cotton lawn and they are so comfy and cool, I wear them all the time! For this season’s set I decided to try a thick cotton jersey. I know the pattern doesn’t call for a knit but we recently got some left over fabrics from the Bedhead (RTW designer) so I thought I would create my own (less expensive) version of their adorable pajamas.

Finished Carolyn Pajamas in Bedhead Jersey Floral

Finished Carolyn Pajamas in Bedhead Jersey Floral

Even though I was using a knit, I decided to keep everything the same on the pattern. I didn’t size down or make any changes, I merely swapped out the fabric type. This plan worked perfectly! Construction I think may have been even easier as knits are a bit more forgiving with easing. My pajamas are the perfect fit, loose but still stylish and over the top comfortable! I highly recommend it! Oh my gosh it is like being wrapped in those cozy t-shirt sheets but even warmer!

Cozy Knit Carolyn Pajamas with the Official Blog Dog, Toby

Cozy Knit Carolyn Pajamas with the Official Blog Dog, Toby

I decided to pipe this set in a fun emerald rayon jersey to bring out the pop of color in the butterfly wings. Although I did cheat a little bit— I cut 1-1/2″ strips, folded them in half and included this in each seam. So much faster and didn’t add all the bulk the traditional piping can add. I questioned the color choice as first but it turned out to be the perfect complement.

Floral Jersey Carolyn Pajama Set

Floral Jersey Carolyn Pajama Set

I couldn’t stop at one new set of pajamas so I added another pair of Carolyn pants to my sewing list along with a matching jersey knit top. For this set I was mostly inspired by the fabric— these fun metallic starts were just too cute to pass up. I used some silver metallic for the piping accent as well as on the neckline on a basic black Hemlock tee. To tie things together I used the pocket pattern from the Carolyn top and added that to my black tee for an extra pop of the fun print. A really quick sew and almost as cute as my jersey floral Carolyn set!

Star Carolyn Pajama Pants and Matching Knit Top

Star Carolyn Pajama Pants and Matching Knit Top

Hopefully both of these have inspired you to sew your own pajamas this season, and not just for yourself! Pajamas and lounge wear make amazing gifts for the holidays. They are typically very forgiving with their relaxed fit and let’s face it, the comfier the better, right! You can also make each piece unique to the person you are gifting them to or make matching pjs for the whole family. The options are endless— with fun prints, bright colors and different fabrics types to choose from you can’t go wrong! For my next pair I’m thinking flannel

bedhead

Other Pajama Fabric Ideas – Find more HERE

There is still plenty of time to sew up a few pieces for the holidays and here are a couple of tips to make it fast and painless.

  • Assembly line sewing is your friend! Get everything cut out and then put the machines to work. This will save time reading directions between steps and let you get everything done in about the same amount of time it would have taken to sew one set.
  • Pick a neutral thread. Save yourself from changing threads by picking something neutral for both the machine and serger. Lucky for me black was a perfect choice!
  • Be sure to label all of your pieces with the size or who it is for. That way if you are sewing multiple garments in the same fabric you won’t get mixed up.
  • Want another time saver? Skip the piping and just hem the pants. This will save you a couple more fussy steps and they still look great!

In the shop we put together a fun collection of fabrics and patterns perfect for holiday lounge wear sewing! Be sure to check it out— lots of unusual knits, cozy French terry, sweatshirt fleece and a few other surprises. Take a look HERE.

Now time to get sewing! The holidays will be here before you know it!

~Michelle