Tropical Summer Gallery Tunic

Tropical Gallery Tunic Front | Style Maker Fabrics

Summer has officially arrived! As temperatures finally are starting to increase here in the Pacific Northwest I have been looking at my warm weather wardrobe trying to figure out what it is missing and what I want. One item I keep coming back to is a RTW tunic that I absolutely love wearing. It is a soft, drapey rayon and perfectly over-sized— just the right combination for summer.

Ready to Wear Inspiration | Style Maker Fabrics

Rayon Tunic Ready to Wear Inspiration

In search for a pattern to create my own version I went to the sewing community on Instagram for advise. Hey June’s Cheyenne Tunic and Closet Case’s Kalle Shirt were among the recommendations, but the overwhelming response was to go with Liesl & Co.’s Gallery Tunic. Looking into this pattern further it includes the pleat details at the front and back and has that slightly over-sized relaxed look just like my favorite tunic. It is missing the gathered tabbed sleeves but that is something I can always add.Gallery Tunic Pattern | Style Maker Fabrics

Next, time to pick out fabric! I have been kind of obsessed with tropical prints this year and thought I should probably have a fun tropical shirt for the summer. Right!?

Tropical Fabrics Options | Style Maker Fabrics

With so many fun colors and patterns to choose from I decided to start out with my two favorite colors, blue and green. A little on the safe side I know but something that I can wear everyday and not feel like I should be on a beach somewhere.

Tropical Leaves Shirting | Style Maker Fabrics

In sewing up the pattern, the instructions are very clear and concise which is always appreciated. It also includes some great tips and tricks along the way that give you a very professional, finished look. I went with a size 8 in View A, the tunic length with a traditional collar, and didn’t make any major changes to the pattern. I did widen the sleeves at the elbow by about 1/2″ on either side, a standard adjustment for me.

Tropical Gallery Tunic Front | Style Maker Fabrics

This tunic came together quite quickly once I got the front pleat and placket done. The only other time intensive step was folding and pressing the curved baseball hem in place. As recommended in the pattern, taking your time with this step as the bias folding can be a bit tricky but turns out wonderfully with a little finesse and a good pressing!

Gallery Tunic Hem | Style Maker Fabrics

After putting this tunic on for the first time I never wanted to take it off! This rayon shirting was the perfect choice—soft and drapey like a rayon challis but just enough structure and stability that a more traditional cotton shirting might offer.

Tropical Gallery Tunic | Style Maker Fabrics

And let’s not forget to mention that leaf print! I love how this tunic length and curved hem really shows off the fabric. You also barley notice the pleats on the front and back and the color variation on those leaves is gorgeous!

Tropical Gallery Tunic Back | Style Maker Fabrics

All in all, a great first attempt at a me-made version of my favorite tunic. I think another version is in my near future with even wider sleeves and added tab detail. Hey June’s Cheyenne Tunic pattern will come in handy… This tropical version of the Gallery Tunic is sure to get lots of wear this summer! And I think I found a new go-to pattern to enjoy year round!

Michelle

Sewing Meets Knitting: Outfit Along 2016

For those of you that haven’t heard, there is a special sewing event, the Outfit Along, that started June 1st and runs through July! Sewing blogger Lauren of Lladybird and knitwear designer Andi Satterlund have teamed up for the third year to challenge participants to create their own outfit using both their knitting and sewing skills. You can play along just for fun or get your two garments done before July 31st and you might just win one of the amazing prizes they have put together (including a Style Maker Fabrics gift certificate!). Read more of the details HERE.

As part of the Outfit Along, the lovely hosts have selected two official patterns that participants can choose to make during the challenge. Andi designed a special new knit pattern just for the occasion, the Zinone made in Quince’s Sparrow yarn, and will be posting helpful tutorials and other info to help knitters along the way. Lauren will be making Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt during the month of June, also posting tips and tricks for the pattern along the way.

Official Outfit Along Patterns

Official Outfit Along Patterns

We had the pleasure of working with Lauren during our Spring Canvas Blog Tour a few months ago and to return the favor we agreed to sponsor the Outfit Along this year. This includes providing a treat for participants, prizes for the winners and a special guest post about fabric (our favorite subject!). We kicked off the Outfit Along on Lauren’s LLadybird blog this past Wednesday with our post on selecting the perfect fabric for your Hollyburn skirt. Read our post HERE and see some of our fabric recommendations paired with a whole range of yummy linen yarns!

A few of our favorite fabric choices paired with Sparrow yarns.

A few of our favorite fabric choices paired with Sparrow yarns.

I was so excited to work with Lauren on this project, I couldn’t help but get in on all the action too! It has been a while since I last knitted and I wasn’t so sure about working with a lace yarn and pattern- let’s just say we haven’t gotten along in the past… I loved the idea of knitting with a linen yarn and I was happy to discover that Quince makes a heavier counterpart to Sparrow called Kestrel! I decided to pair this yarn with Andi’s Vianne cardigan from last year’s Outfit Along and knit it in a soft aqua called Aegean.

Andi's Vianne Cardigan Pattern

I haven’t exactly picked what to sew yet, but I do love how the yarn looks with this navy and aqua rayon challis. I’m thinking maybe a soft tank to wear with my cardigan. I’m also debating about making my own Hollyburn to complete the outfit or maybe go with pair of capris or culottes. What do you think? What fabric should I use?

My Initial Fabric and Yarn Choices.

My Initial Fabric and Yarn Choices.

I’ve been knitting almost every evening to hopefully have my project done in time. So far some pretty good progress has been made- just need to finish up the waist shaping and then onto the sleeves and bands! I love how the feathery design is turning out and that back is going to be stunning!

Knitting Progress So Far

I developed quite the system for keeping all the pattern designs straight. Lots of extra markers and numbered scratch sheets. So far there have only been a couple issues but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a little un-knitting- the knitting version of seam ripping. Wonderful, right? Not so much…

Knitting Notes

Knitting Notes

I’d like to highly encourage all of you to join in on the Outfit Along. Step out of your box a little bit and approach your garment creation from a different vantage point. It has been a lot of fun so far and I can’t wait to see everyone’s creations! I’ll keep you posted on my progress and hopefully share my completed outfit sometime in July.

Happy Stitching (by machine and knitting needles)!

Michelle

P.S. Be sure to watch for a special treat in our OAL guest post HERE.

Sew Serendipity: Rhiannon Shirt

I find myself always going back to a few staple items in my closet. I’m sure this is true for most of us! As I sew more and more of my own clothes, I have been trying to figure out what make those few my “go-to” favorites. My goal is for everything I make to become a closet staple- Otherwise what is the point, right?

So far I have decided that comfort rules all. I live in jeans and then dress them up or down depending on what I am doing. I’m trying to break this addiction but that is a subject for another time. Paired with my jeans, I like soft, comfy tops with kind of a casual style- not tightly fitted but not too loose either. Something casual but fashionable at the same time- then I can accessorize with jewelry and a great pair of shoes (my other addiction!).

Rhiannon Top from Serendipity Studios

Rhiannon Top from Serendipity Studios

At the Spring Quilt Market I got to chatting with Kay Whitt from Serendipity Studios. I have long been an admirer of her books and pattern and it was great to talk with her again. She shared with me some of her newest patterns, along with some of her favorites. After comparing notes of favorite fabrics we like to sew with and styles we are drawn toward, Kay graciously offered me a copy of her Rhiannon Shirt pattern, released last October. I couldn’t wait to get home and sew it up. Seeing Kay’s beautiful samples in her booth totally inspired me and just knew this would be the my next handmade, closet staple!

Finished Rhiannon Shirt in Rayon Challis

Finished Rhiannon Shirt in Rayon Challis

And boy, was I right! For summer, I chose a beautiful rayon challis- black with multi-colored dots. Before cutting into my fabric, I did make up a sample out of cotton muslin first just to check the length and fit- since my 5′ 9″ frame is a bit different than 5′ 4″ woman the pattern was designed for. It turned out being perfect, no alterations needed! The best part about this top is that you adjust the gathered neckline to fit you just right. You actually put the top on and pull the gathers in place, spreading them out where you want them to fall. Genius!

Attaching Jersey Bias to the Gathered Neckline

Attaching Jersey Bias to the Gathered Neckline

The only deviation from the pattern I took was on the neckline. The pattern calls for you to make some bias tape from your fabric and use that to finished the gathered neckline. I took a shortcut and used some black jersey bias tape instead. This saved me the step of making the bias tape and also gave me a really soft finished edge. As I attached the jersey bias I gave it a slight stretch just to make sure the whole neckline would lie nice and flat. I would highly recommend this “short cut”.

Finished  Gathered Neckline with Jersey Bias Tape

Finished Gathered Neckline with Jersey Bias Tape

Since finishing my Rhiannon Top, I have worn it just about as often as I can. It is so light weight and comfortable for the warm weather we have been having this summer. I love the casual feel with a more sophisticated look- best of both worlds. Mission Accomplished: I have a new closet staple and am already planning other versions to make. Maybe long sleeves for Fall/Winter?

Love my finished Rhiannon Top!

Love my finished Rhiannon Top!

Be sure to check out Kay’s other great patterns, she has a something for all styles and multiple variations in every pattern. Visit Serendipity Studio Website HERE.

Note: Serendipity Studio provided me with a complementary copy of the Rhiannon Top. All of the ideas and comments in this post are my own and were not influenced in any way. This was not a sponsored post- I am just a fan and wanted to share my experience with others.