Striped Simplicity 8342 top

I made Simplicity 8342 tie top as a result of Tasha’s many versions of it. Of course, Tasha and I have very different body shapes. But I also saw Jasmin Lucero post her version of it on instagram as well and figured that I could make it work for me, too. Both inspirations make this a bit of a Sew Style Hero nod to both Tasha’s and Jasmin’s lovely styles. ❤

 

I knew I would need some adjustments to the length of the top since my bust is larger than average. Even with the pattern going up to a 28W or a 50 inch bust, I knew that it wouldn’t quite fit perfectly the first time.

I lengthened the bust cups by about 3 inches for this version. I made the mistake of also increasing the size of the ties. Basically, I was lazy and instead of doing pattern adjustments, I just made the adjustments as I was cutting it out. Silly me. Especially since I was low on spoons and in lots of pain.

I solemnly swear I will do my pattern adjustments properly next time. 😉

 

The bust fits….okayish. The underbust doesn’t hit quite at my underbust so I need to do a proper bust adjustment for the next time that doesn’t change the tie at all. Although, the tie being that big does cover my bra in the cutout so that is good. I am also thinking of adding some elastic on the underbust seam so it sits better. The straps are in the right location and the back comes up far enough for my bra to be covered. I need some more room in the hips/stomach for sure. It looks good tucked into my chore skirt but not ideal otherwise. The shirt length would be better a bit longer as well.

 

The fabric I used is a cotton lycra purchased locally. I have more of it left so I am thinking of completely remaking the top again with the adjustments.

I definitely don’t hate the top. I actually really like it, but it’s not a good fit just yet. I think I will feel better in it when I redo my bra pattern to be lower. Right now, the bridge of my bra pokes up above the tie.

Some more adjustments plus a better fitting bra pattern and I think this could be a winner for the summer.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Simplicity 8342 tie top
  • Pros: Okay size range. Love the vintage style.
  • Cons: The pattern would be greatly improved by including cup sizes, but that’s my only complaint. I guess I am spoiled for patterns with different cup sizes. 😉
  • Make again?: Absolutely! I also want to tackle those cute pants some day.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

 

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Cashmerette Cedar Dolman: Pattern Hacks

Today I am sharing two garments I made back in March… One of the items was waiting on a repair before I could take pictures. I’ll talk about that a bit later.

Both garments are made using the Cashemerette Cedar Dolman as the starting pattern. I really love this pattern for its versatility. It’s a great pattern to “hack.”

First up is a dress version. For this version, I actually used the Cedar Dolman I made as a pattern tester. I added a neckband and sleeve bands. Knowing that I was going for a loose fit, I didn’t want to cut the length of the Dolman too much. In the tester version, I made the tie version so I cut the tester off just above the tie. It’s probably about 4 inches off the bottom. For the skirt, I just added two panels that were the width of the back and the front.

I added pockets to the side seams and sewed the tops of them into the skirt waist. The skirt waist is sewn to the bodice and then about an inch and a quarter below that, you sew again. Then you press that extra up and sew a line of stitching to secure it and then feed the elastic in through that. It’s the same method used for the Colette Myrtle waistband in this tutorial.

This is the kind of dress that you just throw on after work or on the weekend. It’s comfortable and easy to make as well! I made it using a bamboo jersey in mauve that I got from a friend. I really really love this fabric. It wears well and is durable.

Up next is the garment I had to repair.

This Cedar Dolman hack is exactly like my striped one, but this time with ruffles on the sleeves! I simply cut two strips of fabric, folded them in half lengthwise and then gathered them and sewed them into the seams while I sewed up the side seams. I made sure to have the ruffles fall down towards the sleeve hem.

I wore this once and then washed it and a few holes appeared in the fabric. Luckily, they aren’t super noticeable after I sewed them up; they are on the front but closer to my armpit. It’s a rayon spandex from Water Tower Textiles. After two washes (pre-wash and then washed once after it was constructed), the holes appeared. I’m really disappointed. The cut was from the end of the roll and I am hoping it was just a fluke since they were transparent about a flaw on a different part of the pieces. I’m probably not going to contact them since they told me there were flaws on the end piece and I got extra fabric as a result of that. I thought I had cut around them all, but didn’t catch these small holes that then became bigger in a wash. It’s sad but not the end of the world.

The top will be an at home top because of the holes. It’s super comfortable and I love those ruffles. They do weigh the sleeves down, though, and make the ruffles under the elbow instead of above. I think I would just use one layer of fabric next time and serge or baby hem the edge to reduce the weight and the bulk since it was also difficult to serge over all those layers. I have some lightweight hunter green jersey that might become another one of these soon because I really love it.

I plan on trying the top out in a woven next possibly with some colour blocking fun.

That feeling when…

…you are just ready to hibernate and it’s not even winter yet…

So far June has not been good to me!

I began gardening the back patio planter and then came out the day after I got the soil perfect on one side of the planter to this destruction on that very same side:

Planter destroyed!

That hole is through to my neighbor’s patio and all the soil and rocks for drainage is now under HER patio. Great fun. She is having her patio redone and the people doing it ripped it out and destroyed that portion of our fence/ planter. So bye bye newly rejuvenated soil and a bunch of rocks for drainage!

As I was doing that side, there were a ton of roots that I dug out. Turns out a tree is growing off the patio into the property behind us, which is a store. You can’t see a lot through the fence so it just looked like a tree on the other side, but it’s coming out of our planter and is making a nice big hole in it. Fun times.

Bad things come in three… The faucet for the hose in the back needs a part replaced as well before I can use it. For now, I am carting water back and forth from the kitchen. When my landlady replaces that and the hose is on, I can also wash the deck.

I scrapped my idea of having a nice garden in the planter this summer and will focus on it next year. The fence will be fixed and the soil replaced by the builders next door. They promised me and my landlady and best follow through… Then my landlady will have to negotiate the tree removal with the store behind us to get it removed. By-laws in Toronto are pretty strict about a tree crossing property lines. I figure it will take a while to get it out and get the roots removed. Then the faucet will be fixed.

Gardening

I put all the plants into pots and used the soil from the planter since I will need to remove it anyway to get the root system out. I posted a photo and Megan had some great tips on adding interest with levels since all her plants are in pots around her house. For now the recycling bin and other plant pots are temporary. I’m going to keep an eye out for pallets and cinder blocks and curb side tables for better looking things to put the pots on. I already found two steal plant pots. I also thought up some other great ideas and hope to eventually have lots of flowering plants, herbs, and ivy, etc. I will put everything in pots this summer and then maybe next summer I can refocus on the planter. That deck area may also need to be replaced next summer, too. Such a bummer.

I am not a fan of the back patio, but am really determined to make it into something lovely where I want to hang out back there. It may be a place that we rent, but it’s our home and I love every other part of it. Our landlady treats us like family, as well, and I really can’t imagine living anywhere else in Toronto. I got the patio furniture all cleaned up and ready for sangria back there. It’s slowly coming together. The plus side of planting so late is that you can get a ton of discounted plants right now! They will be a little worse for the wear in some cases, but can come back without too much trouble.

Patio furniture

Other than the patio nightmares, I’ve had horrible health! The weather went from 30 degrees to 15 degrees and then back up to 20/22 degrees celcius. I got a week of migraines last week as a result and my allergies are nuts right now. My shoulder is still bothering me and my lower back is now too.

I sound like doom and gloom right now. I’m planning on taking some mental and physical health time and treating myself to quiet nights at home. I also decided not to participate in Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch. I love it. Last year, I wasn’t able to participate because it was the month before my wedding and I had planned out several things for it this year. But it wasn’t to be. My serger broke and that cost a mint meaning I couldn’t buy the fabric I needed for the swimsuit I had planned in conjunction with CSC’s swimsuit sewing month. All plans out the window!

I was in the middle of working on a Cashmerette Concord Tank top when my serger broke. I did manage to get it done on my sewing machine, though. I made two Concord Tank tops:

Concord Tank top!

Concord Tank top!

Nothing much to say about what I did here. I didn’t add sleeves. Made bands for the armhole instead. The pineapple top was cut a bit more narrow in front to get it to fit on the fabric and I think it worked out a bit better for the cotton lycra. The cherry top was a bit wider and didn’t need to be narrowed, but I think the fabric actually needs a size down due to stretch. I still love both tops. Used the same size as before and serged the raw hem.

While my serger was being repaired by Sewing World (took all of 48 hours btw. And incredible customer service so I recommend them as a repair shop. They are also a Janome dealer so they might be the place I go when I am ready to buy a new sewing machine), I reorganized my fabric stash and managed to fit it all into my cupboard again!

The sewing craze before our honeymoon really helped my stash go down. I worked a bit on a muslin for an Upton dress. My size is all over the map right now so two muslins later and still no good fit. It’s all my error with choosing a size, though.

I went through my UFOs since the reorganization meant they weren’t covered in fabric and found a vintage floral linen M6696 from last year that got tossed aside during the wedding and post-wedding blahs.

 

I finished the vintage floral linen M6696, though! I’ve made the pattern several times before.

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

Look at those lovely vintage buttons! And look at it on me!

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

I remember doing an extra inch FBA on this bodice last year and I need another one this year. The waistband was also increased by an inch. I just put in the collar stand and not the collar. I like the look. I made shoulder tabs, too, but neglected to take a picture of them. They are orange and have green flower buttons on them. Pretty cute. The sewing on the tabs isn’t the best, though.

I also found my failed apple print M6887 dress and plan on tackling that again, too. It’s so pretty, but just didn’t look good on me. I’ve taken apart and plan on adding a mint waistband. The apple material is slightly stretchy so using a stable non-stretch cotton will help it look better at the waist. I’m also trying to figure out how to add more volume to the skirt, but I will first bast it on the waistband and see if that improved the look on me. I have only a metre left of the fabric. Luckily, the bodice fits quite well. No alterations there.

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After the apple print M6887 dress is done, I think I might revisit M7084, which was the pattern I used for my wedding dress. I plan on going with the same length from my wedding dress and sleeveless, but I think I will add a waistband since it really cinches me in at my underbust and I find the look flatters me. I will also be tackling my Upton dress again and making a muslin for the Decades of Style ESP dress since I have some lovely Wonder Woman fabric from Tanya that I need to sew now! I also have some awesome nerdy Hello Kitty fabric from Alicia that might also become an ESP dress.

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It’s a summer of dresses! I have many other plans, but for now all I can focus on is making all the dresses.

Who else feels like making all the dresses?

 

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

Winter Round-up and Spring Sewing plans

Winter Round Up

Well, the rest of winter went by super fast and I wasn’t in the sewing mood for most of it. Let’s see how I achieved my objectives for the sewing categories I set out in my Winter Sewing Plans:

1. Underwear:

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I managed to clone my Elomi bra. I also this weekend tried Seamwork’s Florence lounge bra pattern. I will talk about it in a separate post. I also made another pair of underwear from my self-drafted pattern. I compared it to Seamwork’s Geneva knickers pattern, but found that the pattern ran very large for me and decided to go with my own pattern instead.

2. Outerwear:

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I made Golden Rippy’s Omega Angel Jacket and M6614, my Hello Kitty hoodie.

I did not get to making my raincoat M6517.

3. Skirts:

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I made my Tenterhook Patterns’ Snapdragon skirt in pink denim.

I haven’t blogged about them yet, but I made 2 dirndl skirts and have 2 more cut out and ready to go. I’m planning on blogging all four together to talk about the techniques I used for them and to not bore you with several posts of the same skirts. I’m hoping to get them done this week, though.

I did not get around to making a Sewaholic Hollyburn or a Bluegingerdoll Betsy skirt.

4. Men’s Clothes:

My poor understanding fiance. I have neglected this category completely.

5. Dresses:

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I made a Bluegingerdoll Violet Dress in snake print jersey with red accents.

I did not get to the Burdastyle tunic.

6. Tops:

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I made one white Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte top.

No Sewaholic Oakridge blouse, no M6649, and no M7094.

All in all, I did something in almost every category, but not everything. It was my goal to hopefully make something in every category, but not my goal to achieve everything. Planning posts are meant to direct me a little and inspire my sewing.

That being said, I am going for less ambitious plans for Spring sewing this time. We’re in full wedding planning mode and my desire to cuddle my fiance in the evening is stronger than my desire to sew right now.

Spring Sewing Plans:

1. Outerwear:

I swear I will get that raincoat made sometime this year. As a reminder, these are the fabrics I plan to use:

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Pattern M6517:

M6517

I also want to make M7100:

M7100

I have a major lack of Spring coats for weather that is in between. I plan on making this jacket twice in two fabrics with black rib knit and metal zippers:

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I bought the black/white fabric at the thrift store and the floral denim was from Joann fabrics. The black/white is actually a very small houndstooth with a loose weave and feels like cotton. I am pretty sure it will fray like crazy so I need to figure out how to line the jacket.

2. Men’s clothes:

I swear I will get this done. I plan on cutting out the first one this weekend. I have narrowed down the pattern to Simplicity 1544:

S1544

View A with just the collar stay and not the full collar in black cotton from a local store.

3. Dresses:

Well, number one here would be my wedding dress, which I plan on posting in a few stages: planning, construction, and then the reveal, which won’t be until July…. Sorry! Want my dress to be somewhat of a surprise for my family. 🙂

Other than that, I am shifting my Winter plans of sew all the skirts into Spring plans of sewing all the dresses. I don’t plan on making any more skirts until after the wedding, but I love Spring for wearing bright colours and gorgeous dresses.

Surprise! I want more M6696 shirtdresses. You’ve seen my other versions:

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Well, now I want to create a Spring version using these complementary purple prints:

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I have a few printed fabrics, including an amazing Wonder Woman fabric that Tanya sent me:

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I want to make them into simple dresses that don’t hide the prints: darted bodice and gathered skirt. I tried to find a simple darted bodice in my stash, but sadly wasn’t able to find one that I liked. The plan is to create a muslin with the bodice of Lekala’s free dress pattern #8000 and then add a gathered skirt to it. Instead of the back zipper, I will be making a side zipper and in-seam pockets. I’ve done this twice with my dirndl skirts. I like the look of the Lekala bodice, but it will be needing some fitting tweaks to work for me. Luckily, it’s just the bodice that I will need to fit. I will probably need to lengthen the bodice as I don’t feel like Lekala really accounts for the extra fabric needed to get around huge boobs.

I still want to make the Burda tunic dress:

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I also want to make Simplicity 1459:

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I really love Tanya’s versions of this and have been wanting to make this for a while. I have two fabrics for two versions; a lovely white and navy gingham cotton and white and blue polka dot cotton:

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Finally, I’d like to make another Muse Pattern’s Melissa dress using the final version of the pattern, but I don’t have any appropriate fabrics for it yet. I’m hoping for a sweet thrift store score sometime for that.

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4. Top:

Only one top planned. The same M7094 from the Winter plans:

M7094

With this fabric:

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I managed to pick up this drapey hunter green polyester crepe at the thrift store and there is more than enough to make view B with the button tabs, but with the tunic length/shaped hem from view D.

5. Lingerie

I plan on making another cloned Elomi bra with the changes I noticed from wearing the previous version. Here are my fabrics:

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I am also planning out more underwear to finally write up the post on that. I have some more tweaks and learning from the version I made this weekend. My fabrics are all scraps for that from previous projects or clothes that I am deconstructing so I am not going to post them. You’ll just have to wait for the finished versions.

Those are my plans from now until June 21st. Less ambitious from my Winter plans or more depending on your view…? What are your plans?