Honeymoon!

I finally uploaded a mini-album of our honeymoon to flickr. I’m almost at my capacity with photos here on the free account so I am switching to Flickr as my photo storage.

Our honeymoon was 9 days in Amsterdam with trips around the Netherlands and a day trip to Bruges, Belgium. We had an EURail pass, which was really great.

We went to the Netherlands specifically for the Tulip Festival. The tulips are in bloom all across Holland from mid-April to mid-May. There is also a parade where the floats are made with flowers and tulip bulbs on April 23rd that goes from Noordwijk to Haarlem. We flew into Amsterdam on April 23 on an overnight flight with plans to meet the parade at some point. We were exhausted, though, and crashed only to emerge from the hotel room around 7pm. Luckily, all the floats were on display in Haarlem on the 24th!

That first day we managed to get out to dinner at Wagamama and see the I am Amsterdam sign in Museum square.

I am Amsterdam

Andie is in Amsterdam!

Dale is in Amsterdam!

The next day we went to Haarlem and saw a bunch of flower floats and a Glockenspiel. I also found a sewing shop! It was closed.😦

Glockenspiel

Flower floats in Haarlem

Haarlem sewing shop

That night we had a wicked dinner at Baut Zuidas.

Dinner at Baut in Amsterdam

We visited Rotterdam and saw the cube houses and giant babies everywhere. I got some glutenfree stroopwafels there!

Baby overlord in Haarlem

Cube houses in Roterdam

On King’s Day in Amsterdam, we walked around the city and got apple tart drinks and macarons. The entire city was filled with people selling things on the side of the street and, in Vondelpark, it was all children selling things.

Macarons in Amsterdam

Vondelpark Gate in Amsterdam

We went to Keukenhof Gardens, a massive tulip garden only open during the Tulip Festival. It had 32 hectares of flowers!

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the best weather while there. It was cold and raining almost every day. It prompted me to buy this hat!

13087138_10156931150720085_5283580328342836668_o

I look adorable in it, though.

We went to Utrecht for Lapjesmarkt. I wrote about that in this post.

We visited Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. My favourite exhibit was the Breitner exhibit for his Girl in a Kimono series. It was gorgeous and they even had two kimonos that Gessje Kwak, his model, wore for the paintings.

Breitner's Girl in a Kimono series

The kimono Gessje Kwak wore to model for Breitner

My favourite painting to see in person was Vermeer‘s The Milkmaid. I teared up seeing it. It’s a beautiful beautiful painting and positively glows in real life.

Vermeer's The Milkmaid

We took a day trip to Bruges, Belgium with our rail pass. The town has canals, like Amsterdam, but is completely different in look. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site and was really amazing to see.

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

And of course, there is Belgium chocolate and waffles there.😉

Chocolate shop in Bruges, Belgium

Belgium Waffle in Belgium!

For lunch there, we went to De Wijngaert and had duck and kangaroo. It was incredibly tasty.

Lunch in Bruges

After 9 days in Netherlands, we got onto the Celebrity Silhouette for our Baltic Sea Cruise for the next 12 days. My husband’s wonderful family got us the cruise as a wedding gift. Dale’s cousin works aboard the ship and we got spoiled rotten.

Our stateroom aboard the Celebrity Silhouette

Celebrity Cruises treats their guests well

We went on a couple of tours of the ship, as well. My favourite part of the tour was the mooring room. It was neat to learn about how the ship is attached to the dock. It’s also one of the more, if not the most, dangerous jobs on the ship since those lines can snap and, if you are in the way, you get snapped in half, too.

A selfie in the mooring room aboard the Celebrity Silhouette

We lucked out with weather while on the cruise. It was 12 days straight of sunshine and warm temperatures! The sea was incredibly calm the entire time, except for the very last day, but even that wasn’t too bad.

A lovely sunset on the Baltic Sea

Our first stop was in Rostock, Germany. We took a tour to Schwerin, which is about an hour bus ride from Rostock. We visited the Duke’s Castle there.

Duke's Palace in Schwerin, Germany

Next up, after a day at sea, was Tallinn, Estonia. I was incredibly brave there. I am terrified of heights, but I climbed the old city wall and looked over the city. It was beautiful at first and then the adrenaline wore off and I was terrified. Look how high up it is.

The old wall around Tallinn, Estonia

To other people, that’s probably nothing, but I get scared standing on a chair.

Looking over the tops of the buildings from the wall:

Tallinn, Estonia

There was a gorgeous church in the centre of Tallinn.

Tallinn, Estonia

After Tallinn, we had two days in St. Petersburg, Russia. We took a 2-day tour and visited….

The Hermitage Museum, where I saw two paintings by Da Vinci:

Selfie at the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Isaac’s Cathedral where the interior was covered in beautiful paintings and mosaics:

St. Isaac's Cathedral, St. Petersburg

The Church of the Spilled Blood where we saw tourists outside taking pictures with live owls and a person playing the cello:

Church of the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg Russia

Catherine’s Palace where I decided I wanted to live and that I am in love with Catherine:

Catherine's Palace, Russia

Peterhof where we saw 100s of fountains and spied our cruise ship across the Baltic Sea in St. Petersburg:

Peterhof in St. Petersburg

After Russia, we visited Helsinki and took a boat tour of the islands and walked around the market and some of the city streets. I loved Helsinki and would absolutely go back.

Love in Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland

Dale bought me gorgeous pendant for my necklace there.

Showing off the necklace I got in Helsinki

And you can see how sunny it was, because I was burnt after several days of sightseeing. I bought sunscreen in Helsinki!

The next day we were in Stockholm and it was probably my favourite stop on the cruise!

Stockholm, Sweden

The cruise into Stockholm was gorgeous and filled with beautiful pictures like this one above.

There was someone important visiting Stockholm and the palace had the guard out for a demonstration. We naturally assumed it was just for us.😉

The Palace in Stockholm, Sweden

We took a boat tour in Stockholm. It’s just such a gorgeous city. We’re planning our trip back there already.

Stockholm, Sweden

After Stockholm, we had a much-needed day at sea and a day to rest up after four cities in five days! Next stop was Copenhagen, Denmark. We took a tour that included Christianborg Slot and Rosenborg Slot, but we also got to see the Little Mermaid statue.

Christianborg Slot where Dale found a velvet room he wants to take home:

Christianborg Slot, Copenhagen

The throne room at Christianborg Slot in Copenhagen

Rosenborg Slot, where we found our crowns:

Rosenborg Slot, Copenhagen

My crown and Dale's crown in Rosenborg slot, Copenhagen

And some jewels for me:

My jewels in Rosenborg Slot, Copenhagen

The interesting thing about the crowns and jewels is that they are all property of Denmark and have to be loaned out to the Queen of Denmark and she isn’t allowed to take them out of the country.

The Little Mermaid statue:

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen

Denmark was our last stop on the cruise. Then we had one more day at sea and one more day in the Netherlands and flew back on May 15th. Our last day was spent in Utrecht. I already told you about the first visit to Utrecht for the Lapjesmarkt, but we weren’t able to look around anymore since I threw my shoulder out. I am still having trouble with it and am working with my chiropractor. Basically, I rotated it too far (thanks super bendy limbs!) and pulled ligaments…ouch.

I was glad to get a chance to see Utrecht two weeks after the first visit! We visited an old water tower, took a stroll by Oudegracht, an old curved canal, and stood under the Dom Tower, the tallest belfry in the Netherlands.

An old water tower in Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht, Netherlands

It was an amazing three weeks. I stood in places that were created hundreds of years ago and was surrounded by incredible riches and amazing history. I saw such beautiful things.

It does feel good to be back in Canada, though, but I am already thinking of another trip to Europe and our next cruise…😉

You check out even more pictures in the flickr album.

Jellyfish and Flamingos!

It was a long weekend in Toronto this past weekend and that meant I got some sewing in! I made two dresses that are perfect for the summer!

The first one is a lengthened version of Cashmerette’s Concord t-shirt. Jenny posted a tutorial on making the top into a dress and I couldn’t resist after seeing her version. I decided to just have a straight hem on my version and make it with the digitally printed jellyfish cotton lycra I got at Lapjesmarkt in Utrecht, Netherlands.

DSC_2079 DSC_2084 DSC_2081

I adore this fabric. It is just the right amount of weight and lycra to make a body hugging dress hide all my lumps and accentuate all my bumps. Don’t get me wrong, I love my lumps and have no qualms about showing them off, but man I look damn good in this dress. I used yellow ribbing on the neckline and sleeve bands and chose the scoop neck and 3/4 sleeve. I should have reduced the length of the ribbing by an inch and a half or so because of how ribbing stretches out when you sew, but I didn’t. As a result the sleeve bands are a bit loose and the neck slightly stretched out. Neither are very noticeable, though. I didn’t topstitch the neckline down this time. I will see if it needs it after a few wears. The topstitching would just keep the neckband in place a little better, but it may be fine. When I make this dress again, I think doing a swayback adjustment would be good since there is some pooling of fabric in my lower back. I never did a narrow should adjustment for the top just but will be doing that for future versions.

I love the way my butt looks in this dress… Sorry not sorry. I love my butt. Hahha.

The second dress I made this weekend is a Colette Myrtle pink flamingos dress! This is my third version of the Myrtle dress and my first time using the longer length and the shoulder tabs. It’s also my last time using the shoulder tabs. Man, I hated putting them on and don’t really love the look. I used some lightweight knit interfacing because the first version was a disaster. This version sucked too so I changed the square ends to pointed ends like the tabs for the Concord t-shirt. The points still doing look great and then the position of them didn’t look great either… Ugh.

Here is my shaaaaaame:

DSC_2088 DSC_2087

Oh well. Still love this dress. I used a wider elastic for the waistband. It’s 1.5 inches and shortens the bodice slightly. I much prefer the shorter bodice and wider elastic so I will be repeating that in the future. When I bought the fabric, I thought I could get a maxi length out of the 3 metres (I’m short…), but neglected to think of the fact that the print is directional and that everything is cut on the fold. I got the midi length version out and much prefer it. I will make myself a maxi dress someday, though. I had to cut the back in two pieces with no attempt to pattern match. I cut it a bit wider than necessary, I think. It looks a bit too wide.

Here is my cute self in the dress:

DSC_2075 DSC_2076 DSC_2074

I put pockets in this one. Although I don’t love how it makes the side seams a little bumpy, I can’t live without pockets. The fabric is not super drapey so the cowl isn’t perfect draped, but that’s okay by me. The fabric is super soft and felt like I was wearing pjs all day at work. Nothing like secret pjs!

I’m going to be revitalizing our back patio into a flowery heaven for bees and butterflies. We got some flowers on the weekend, but before I plant I need to turn the soil in the plantar behind me, add compost/fertilizer and something to help the soil drain better. I thought I would start taking blog pictures in front of the plantar to show off the progress. I can’t wait to see the transformation, but I have to wait to get the soil/compost, etc until next week. I’m excited. The times I tried to do this in the past were not successful due to squirrels trying to dig up my plants. I have some ideas for solutions for that. I hope it works out this time. It seems such a waste of space otherwise and a great opportunity for feeding the pollinators  and helping raise up the city’s small bee population.

Fabric Market in Utrecht, Netherlands

The one sewing-related thing I needed to do while in the Netherlands was visit the Saturday fabric market in Utrecht. The market runs every Saturday and takes up a road in the town. It’s called the Lapjesmarkt in dutch. I also wanted to get to Kantjes Boord, a lingerie fabric store in Amsterdam, but decided that my suitcase was full of enough fabric and I should save my money for the Baltic sea cruise. I also came across fabric stores in Estonia of locally made linen, but couldn’t see a print that grabbed me. There was wool yarn in Estonia and in Finland as well that was incredibly tempting and I am kicking myself for not grabbing a skein. It was so soft.

20160430_121305 20160430_121314

Utrecht is a gorgeous city with canals and a university. Bikes are everywhere in the Europe so you’ll see a ton in my pictures.

Lapjesmarkt was amazing and I brought home just over 25 metres of fabric. It was enough for me.

20160430_094014.jpg 20160430_094010.jpg

20160430_094114.jpg

The street is lined with covered stalls that sell any type of fabric you can imagine. Cotton lycra was in abundance, as well as quilting cotton, but there was also a bunch of home textiles, leather and suede, silk, denim, etc. There were also vendors that sold zippers, thread, buttons, and other things. Everything I bought was quilting cotton, cotton lycra, or stretch denim. The prices are really decent even with the exchange rate in comparison to what is available for me here in Canada. We do pay a bit of a premium in Canada, but I also haven’t seen a lot of the prints available online in the USA or in store for less.

20160430_094030.jpg 20160430_094114.jpg

20160430_101946 20160430_101834 20160430_101759

Here’s the fabric I bought!

20160430_133105

1.5 metres each of quilting cotton (6 metres total). I got the quilting cotton to make a commemorative quilt for the trip. I plan on making a rag quilt and just need to get some solid colours and the quilt batting.

20160430_133144

2 metres of stretch denim. It is lightweight and will make a perfect shirt dress. It has little deer on it and stars.

I went nuts with the cotton lycra. Here in Canada, we seem to have a lack of good quality cotton lycra. I went nuts with all the choices. Originally, I set myself a budget of 100 euros and, in my excitement, I exceeded that by 80 euros. Ooops!

Here is all the cotton lycra:

20160430_133248 20160430_133336 20160430_133426 20160430_133512 20160430_133401

2 metres each of the glasses/bow ties and the fox/squirrels, 1.5 metres each of the feathers, bunnies, and giraffes, 1.4 metres (end of the roll) of the digital cats in crowns, 1 metre each of the pinapples and cherries, 3 metres of the flamingos, 2.3 metres of the jellyfish (end of the roll).

I have plans for Concord t-shirts, a Colette Myrtle maxi dress, Barrie Briefs, and much more. I can’t wait to start sewing.

After fabric shopping, we had breakfast at Cafe de Journal.

20160430_111218

20160430_104427

Then unfortunately we had to return to the hotel because I messed up my shoulder carting around the heavy fabric. On the last day of our trip, though, we came back to Utretcht and saw more of the sights. It was a great last day. More on that later and the highlights of the trip. I thought I would post about the wonderful fabric market first since you will be seeing a bunch of this fabric very soon!

 

Muse Pattern’s Philippa Pattern

I’m back from the honeymoon. I had a great time and will talk a bit more about that here in the next couple of weeks as I get over my jet lag. That’s a real thing. I was a zombie by 4pm last night and fought to stay awake until 9pm and then woke up at 1am ready to get up and go to work…. SMH.

Before I left, I tested a pattern for Muse Patterns: the Philippa dress, top, and skirt. Dress and top can have cap sleeves or be sleeveless. As with most Muse Patterns, the pattern is very versatile and can be customized for several different types of garments and different looks. Philippa also has the added bonus of different types of fabric. It can be made in light-medium weight for the top, medium to heavy weight for the skirt, and in either for the dress, depending on whether you include pockets. You can also use a stable ponte or mix and match with ponte side panels and woven in the front. It’s a 1960s mod-inspired look with princess seams on the front and back. The sizing is a bit different for this one as you choose your size based on your high bust.

I chose to make the top out of ponte because it was right before I left and I knew I could whip it up fast on my serger. I made it with blue ponte on the front and green on the side. I used polkadot rayon fabric for the collar. I left the zipper off as the ponte had a slight stretch to it making it easy to get over my head. I also made a triangle peakaboo detail at the back with a small band of fabric across to join the collar. I love the detail.

12999447_10156875799890085_997912855_o

Sizing was spot on. I was a little concerned about the size since my middle has gained a couple of inches since the fall and I’m a bit above the size range in that area now, but there was no issue with the top, except that I do prefer longer tops. So I will be lengthening it in the future. I think with the dress I would grade out at the waist a bit in a woven material. Here is a mirror picture showing the length of the top. Excuse the leggings as pants look.

13010199_10156875602880085_582613997_o

Like all Muse Patterns, the instructions are detailed and easy to follow. The patterns are drafted really well and all the notches match perfectly. I will be making the top again in the future and making a muslin of the dress. 1960s mod-inspired dress isn’t really my style, but I adore this one. Instead of the basic shift dress, the princess seams and style lines really give this dress more shape and interest than the basic mod-inspired dress. The collar is so awesome, too. It’s so cute. Since the skirt is an A-line skirt, I probably won’t be making it. I don’t think the A-line shape looks great on me in a skirt. You never know, though! It does have pockets!

20160430_200714.jpg 20160430_200631.jpg

These two pictures where taken outside our hotel after a day of sightseeing when we were in Amsterdam for 9 days before our Baltic Sea cruise. I was freeeeeeezing my butt off. It was around 5 degrees celcius. My husband took these pics.❤

I love the way the top looks with my green Pavlova skirt. Instead of finishing the arms with bias binding, I used a narrow band for this version.

I won’t put in a review for this as this is the test pattern. When I sew it up using the final pattern, I will do a full review.

 

 

Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat

I finished my Spring coat! Waffle Patterns’ Pepernoot Coat. I love it.

I kind of feel like this review is 100% fair to the real pattern. The thing about grading up two sizes and doing an FBA is that I can’t comment much on how the garment went together or how it fit, because any inconsistencies may be a result of the grading and flat pattern alterations. I’m not an expert at either so there were some things that didn’t match up perfectly as I sewed everything up. My pattern alterations did work out and I quite like the fit. You can read more about what I did for fit here. That said, I do think the size range is small. Waffle Patterns only goes up to a size 48, which has a 43.3 inch bust. I get it’s the standard size range for most indie pattern companies and for the major pattern companies, but this is a plus sized sewing blog and if I don’t push for a wider size range then it may never happen. There is such a limited selection for good coat patterns for plus sized people and Waffle Patterns is all about the coat. Out of 17 patterns, 9 are coat patterns. They all have such great details, too, and well-thought out designs. I have my eye on the Tosti utility jacket next. With such great patterns, it’s a shame that a portion of the 23K+ Bloglovin followers of the Curvy Sewing Collective aren’t able to use the patterns without major modifications like I had to make for my Pepernoot coat.

I can comment that the instructions were really good and there is a sewalong to also help you with anything confusing. It’s not a beginner pattern, though. I don’t think I would have been able to make this without one coat under my belt and a lot of experience. It’s listed as an advanced pattern and that is accurate.

IMG_20160418_173955

I completely fucked up the hood insertion. Basically instead of following these instructions, I sandwiched the hood in between the lining and the main coat. That means the zipper can’t be inserted properly between all the layers. I made it work by ripping back some stitches at the edge of the hood on either side and then inserted it that way. I’d already graded my seams so ripping out the entire hood seemed like a bad plan. It worked out, though, and the zipper went in okay. Phew.

20160417_161648 20160417_173425

I decided not to add zippers to the pockets. It just struck me as impractical after a while, because I would probably just want the zippers open all the time. I also wasn’t keen on the zippers I had picked up. In my head, they would have brass teeth and brown zipper tape, but I only found silver teeth and black zipper tape locally. My front zipper was the same, but it’s hidden by the front band so it doesn’t bother me. I made the pockets open at the sides. You are supposed to sew the pockets on before the zipper. I judged the placement on my own comfort (how long my arms are…short fyi… and where I would want them to sit).

IMG_20160418_194715

Once the zipper was inserted, the placement is thrown off by the width of the band. I pinned it back and checked how it would look at half-width and it worked a lot better. I cut off the edge of the band and ripped back some stitches on the top and bottom and pressed it a bunch and then topstitched the edge closed. I love the way it looks now and it doesn’t throw balance of the pockets off now. This probably would not have been an issue if I didn’t use contrasting fabric for the pockets and band. In the same fabric, it would not have stood out as an issue.

20160419_185553

The other thing I decided to add after the fact was buttonholes to the sleeve tabs and a band across the waist that fastens with buttons/buttonholes. It adds definition to the waist and gives the coat more interest. The buttonholes are not a requirement in the design, but I really like the look. The waist band mirrors the style of the sleeve tabs. I used those as a guide and then made two long stripes the width of my waist less the front bit. I interfaced one side with medium weight interfacing and then sewed the two pieces together with an opening left in the centre to pull the ends through to the right side. Then I pressed it like crazy and topstitched the entire thing. Topstitching closed up the opening in the centre. I then added buttonholes and sewed the buttons on to the coat. For now, the waistband is tacked at the back, which droops down a slight bit. When I get back and resolve the lining issue, I will add belt loops to keep it in place.

IMG_20160419_174017

I love the buttons and they match perfectly with the coat.

You’ll notice I made no attempt to pattern match. The contrasting brown wool (which has pink and grey stripes in it! Hello perfect match!) helps disguise the lack of pattern matching. Not completely, but enough that I like it. The pink plaid is a brushed cotton and some areas were stretching out from the grain. Thanks JoAnn Fabrics (not!). Not the greatest quality material, sadly. I interfaced all pieces to get it more stable, except I ran out for the skirt pieces. It worked out okay, but after the trip I think I will go back and add interfacing to the skirt pieces, because the pockets pull at the fabric a bit. I also plan on adding some of the brown fabric on the other side to reinforce the pockets. I’ll just be careful while I am away to not pull on the pockets too much. That means I will have to rip out the stitches that keep the lining in place at the hem, but that will work out for a different reason. The lining also doesn’t seem long enough and pulls up the hem of the coat a bit. That will be fixed as well when I get back by shortening the hem of the coat. I actually think a shorter length would work really well on me. My skirts hit almost right at the hem of the coat and quite frankly I like a little more of them showing under the coat.

The lining is a light mint green poly satin. Of course, I got shoes and a pashmina scarf to match the lining, because I’m a dork.

20160420_204351

Originally, I wanted to add a removable fur trim to the hood, but now that I look at it I’m not sure I want that. I think it’s too much for the coat. The fur I bought will definitely be used in the future. This project reinforced how far I’ve come in the past couple of years in sewing skills. I look at the first coat I made and it’s not nearly as good quality as this coat. I think it’s time to make another winter coat. I’ll start planning that out closer to the end of the summer, but I think it might be the Tosti coat, because I just cannot get it out of my head…

In spite of the tone of this entry, I had fun making the coat. I will not be making a coat before a big trip like this again. I was pretty ambitious making it so close to the day we leave…and sort of stressed myself out when I tried it on and didn’t adore it and then decided to narrow the zipper band and add the waistband. But I’m glad I did it!

DSC_2055 DSC_2051 DSC_2049

DSC_2045 DSC_2043 DSC_2037

I adore my Pepernoot coat and can’t wait to get to Amsterdam in it! We leave soon so sooooon. Things will be quiet here for a bit until I get back and then I will have all sorts to share with you about the trip! I’ll be able to show you my fabric from the fabric market in Utrecht and Kantje Boord (they sell lingerie fabrics!). All the chocolate in Bruges from our day trip to Belgium. Tulips, windmills, and the flower parade in the Netherlands. The craziness of King’s Day (we brought orange to wear!). The neat architecture of Rotterdam. Medieval sites in Estonia. The Duke’s Castle in Germany. The Hermitage and Catherine’s Palace in St. Petersburg. The sea fortress Suomenlinna in Helsinki. The palaces and castles of Stockholm and Copenhagen. Our cruise ship shenanigans. And all the foooooood, the glorious food. And so much more! I can’t wait!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat
  • Pros: Drafted really well. Lovely design elements. Hood!😀
  • Cons: The size range is quite limited in my opinion. I want to try the other Waffle Patterns, like the Tosti jacket, but grading up is a hassle. I do wish more pattern companies would expand sizing and Waffle Patterns has such great designs and more advanced patterns than 90% of the companies out there. The amount of paper in the pdf is ridiculous. You may want to get a copy shop print of this done so you don’t have to go through the pain of putting all that together.
  • Make again?: Yes. I would make it again and try some other design elements (secret pocket in the lining) and the zippered pockets.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars

More Misty Jeans

I made another two pairs of StyleArc Misty Jeans!

First up is part of this month’s challenge on the Monthly Stitch.

DSC_2063 DSC_2061 DSC_2059 DSC_2057

A floral pair! It’s made with the leftover material from my floral bomber jacket. JoAnn Fabrics sent me double the amount for some reason! End of the roll, but like a lot more than a yard.

I really like this pair of jeans. Although, the material could use a little more stretch… Not for wearing after eating a big meal. I’m hoping they stretch out with wear, because they are a tad tight at the moment. I’m also hoping that my trip and all the walking we do will help? Wishful thinking!😀

I left the back pockets off this version, because the floral was busy enough. I find I don’t use the back pockets at all. I may leave them off future versions, too.

I topstitched everything with regular black thread. I’m really starting to think I may have to save for a new machine. My machine just doesn’t want to work with thicker thread no matter what I do (tension, needle, stitch length, etc.). I think I will have to invest in a better machine. I’ll probably still keep this one around, because the quilting functions are really great and it has a long arm. I do want to get into quilting after following along with #quiltlikeaboss on Lavender Lane. Sadly, timing didn’t work out for me to get started on a quilt at all, but I plan on picking up some funky Dutch-themed fabrics for a commemorative quilt for our honeymoon while we are in the Netherlands. Quilting is in my future.

DSC_2027 DSC_2033 DSC_2031 DSC_2028

For my second version, I used a stretchier denim that my mom sent me for Christmas. It has a sort of striped pattern in it. I topstitched with yellow thread for this pair. Again, just regular thread. These are super comfortable and really nice to wear. You’ll probably see a few more pairs of Misty Jeans in the future. It’s really difficult to try a new pants pattern when this one is so comfortable and fits me pretty well. I have the Jennifer city shorts, though, and summer is begging for me to make a pair.

I’m done sewing for the trip since we leave in a couple of days. I didn’t quite accomplish all my plans… I did get my Pepernoot coat done (spoiler: it’s amazing!). I will post about that tomorrow. I didn’t get my three Pavlova skirts done or a new bra. I did, however, repair three bras to help give me more bras to wear while we are away. I’m kind of glad I have the skirts to sew when I get back since I will be seriously missing my machine. Having a couple of projects ready to go will be great. I am also taking my sketchbook for train rides, days at sea with the cruise, and the plane to sketch out some future projects! I have sew many ideas floating around in my head and figure some fabric shopping there will fuel that, too.

Cashmerette’s Concord T-Shirt

Disclaimer: I am a pattern tester for Cashmerette and received this pattern for free. All my opinions are my own. I’m also under no obligation as a tester to post a review to my blog.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I’ve been on the hunt for tops patterns that work well for me. I’m kind of picky about tops, it’s true. I want something loose-fitting at the hips, long enough to go over my booty so I don’t have to worry about pulling the shirt down at any point in the day, nicely fitted with negative ease over my bust, and not wonky at the armsyce.

Of course, I didn’t tell anyone that my hunt was over when I tested the Concord t-shirt a few months ago. I did keep to my plan of making the StyleArc tops and I do really love the Cate’s cousin top. My Eva top is growing on me… I wanted to say last time that for my next Cate’s Cousin top I will be using the curved hem from the Concord t-shirt, because I adore it. And for the Eva top, I wanted to say I had a much better v-neck top to make with the Concord. But I am a good pattern tester, because I was quiet and kept it a secret. *pats self on back* After I get back from the trip, I will probably sew a few more of the Concord t-shirts. It’s a great pattern for a quick project.

For the fuller figure, there is actually not a lot of options for t-shirts, especially when you enter my size range. I certainly haven’t found one that has cup sizing.

When Jenny sent off the information for the Concord t-shirt, I was pretty excited. The great thing about the Concord is all the options: hem length can be cropped, mid, or long curved, sleeve length can be short, 3/4 length, or long (plus the short or 3/4 length can have sleeve tabs and all lengths can either be hemmed or have sleeve bands), and, finally, the neckline can be high, scoop, or v-neck. You get one pattern with a ton of options in it and that is my dream t-shirt.

Another amazing thing about the Concord t-shirt is that it includes cup sizes C/D, E/F, G/H and can fit women from 40 inch bust / 32 inch waist / 42 inch hip to 58 inch bust / 48 inch waist / 58 inch hip. It’s meant to have negative ease across the bust and skim the hips with a bit of positive ease (an inch or less).

My measurements are 51 inch bust / 46 inch waist / 56 inch hips. I chose to make a size 22 C/D graded to a size 26 at the hips for my tester version and then for my others I used the G/H cup size due to some wrinkles at the arm above the bust at the armsyce. I could have just graded to a 24 or left it at a 22, but I like it pretty loose around the hips for my booty.

For my two tester versions, I used the scoop neck and 3/4 length sleeves. One version was mid-length and the other the long curved hem.

DSC_2011 DSC_2013 DSC_2012

I love my test versions. I even made my mom a Concord t-shirt for her birthday in March using the tester pattern:

20160313_151102

I made her a straight size 16 C/D with a scopped neck and a longer short sleeve since she likes to have her upper arms covered. I made it in her favourite colour. Like mother, like daughter! I wish I had saved some of this gorgeous pink fabric for myself, but I’m sure I will be able to get some more from Fabricland. I did make my Eva top with it. I just wish I had made a Concord t-shirt with it.😉

Once Jenny sent me the final version, I knew I was going to make up several more tops. I had a bunch of fabric set aside for them. I chose to make the larger G/H cup size to get an even better fit and still grade up at the hips.

DSC_2004 DSC_2009

I made two with the long curved hem and a v-neck. On the left, is the 3/4 length sleeve with tabs. On the right is a long sleeve with a band. Of note, the printed fabric is a mid-weight rayon jersey and is quite weighed down. It was difficult to sew with and resulted in some waviness in the hem as well as a lower hem than the shirt on the right. I might resew the hem using stay tape at a future date, but for now I am leaving it. My sewing machine seems to hate mid-weight rayon jersey for some reason. To be honest, I think I am probably going to be needing a new sewing machine in the next year, because the problems keep multiplying with it… The rest of the fabric I used is a lightweight poly rayon spandex jersey and is my preferred material for tops. It’s a dream to sew with and presses so nicely.

DSC_2008 DSC_2007

DSC_2014 DSC_2015

For these two versions, I made short sleeves with bands. The blue one has sleeve tabs and the neckline is high. On the back, I made a scoop neck for fun and like it, but it does pull the shoulder forward a bit unfortunately. The blue shirt is a cropped length but hits me just above my full hip. I am 5’4″ and short-waisted. I can certainly shorten it to make it cropped but am okay with this length. The black has a long curved hem, no sleeve tabs, and the neckline is scooped. You probably guessed by now that is my favourite hem style in this shirt considering 4 out of 6 of mine have the curved hem. It’s long enough to fit over the bum and never have to worry about it riding up.

Construction was easy. The curved hem is done before the sleeves and side seams. The neckline is actually the second thing you do after the shoulder seams. It makes it a lot easier doing it in that order without all the rest of the bulk of the sleeves in the way. The sleeve tabs are sewn on to the sleeves before the sleeve is attached in the flat. Final steps are to sew a button through all the layers to permanently attach the tab. You could add a buttonhole to the sleeve tab, if you want.

Instructions are very easy to follow. The pattern is labeled as beginner and I think that fits. I mostly used my serger for constructing all the shirts, except for top stitching the curved hem or sewing the hems for sleeves or the bottom. The tabs are sewn on with a regular sewing machine and the v-neck is started with a regular sewing machine. I also topstitch all my neckbands down with a zig zag stitch, because I truly hate twin needles and so does my ornery machine. You can construct it entirely on a sewing machine if you don’t have a serger.

I love the fit of the shirt. I could maybe use a narrow shoulder adjustment like with any pattern, but I don’t mind where the shoulders sit on this top.

The pattern is already a TNT for me with six versions for myself. I absolutely adore it and have been waiting for a basic t-shirt with all of these options for a while in my size range. The size range is great and the cup sizing is a dream. You can see how the change in the cup sizes made the fit a lot better for me removing the wrinkling at the armsyce above the bust. A lot of people don’t want to bother with an FBA in a knit garment and, with the cup sizes, you are less likely to have to do one. I really love all the options in this t-shirt and think it offers a lot in a small package.

Concord t-shirts have been popping up a few places so far. Check out Tanya’s, Meg’s, and gMarie’s versions! Now I need a striped one, an orange one, and a fun patterned one. All the Concords!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Concord T-Shirt
  • Pros: Cup sizing, many options, goes up to a 58 inch hip. So much to love.
  • Cons: Um…. smaller sized people miss out? In other words, I can’t think of a con…
  • Make again?: Absolutely. It’s the t-shirt pattern I’ve always wanted.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars