Friday, April 28, 2017

Plantain Tee in Leah Duncan Knit

Plantain Tee in Leah Duncan knit

This was my fourth time to use the Plantain tee pattern, and I didn't make a straight up version until the fifth make, right after this one. If you haven't tried this pattern you should check it out. It is a free pdf pattern from Deer and Doe, and a great basic with lots of opportunities for alterations.

IMG_1198Plantain Tee in Leah Duncan knit

I made this version up in this gorgeous knit designed by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics. It is buttery soft and has a nice stretch and recovery. I have noticed however that it is starting to pill slightly after a few washes. I suppose I won't be able to wear it as often as I would like if I want it to last.

Plantain Tee in Leah Duncan knit

Plantain Tee in Leah Duncan knit

Like I said, this was an altered version of the Plantain. I had used this version before and it worked well in a super drapey and thinner rayon knit. I was going for a fit and flare look but my pattern altering skills were a bit off on this one. When I sewed it up in this heavier weight knit this pattern just looked funny. The little wings on the sides just drooped sadly and folded in on themselves. I wasn't about to let this fabric be ruined however so I cut a big wedge out of each side. I think it still ended up wider than the original pattern but it hangs more naturally now. After that I ended up needing a sway back adjustment and once again hacked a wedge of fabric out of the back at about the waist level. It ended up looking purposeful, almost like the peplum that I added in my previous make. It works for me and saved this coveted fabric. I need to try the Closet Case Patterns Ebony T-shirt for that fit and flare effect that I was going for.

Plantain tee alteration

If you haven't heard of Leah Duncan check out her work here. I am a big fan. She is a fellow Texan, and I met her once at a pop up shop at the Modern Art Museum here in Fort Worth. I adore her botanical designs and have a print of hers that I need to frame and hang.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Brumby, Brumby and Agnes

My first Brumby skirt was made last Fall out of royal blue rayon challis from the clearance bin at Joann. Excuse the wrinkles, this was taken in Dallas after tacos at Trompo and sitting in the car.
  Brumby #1Brumby #1 Brumby #1

Brumby #1 was made with version 3 in a size small with the exposed zipper. It is an easy, breezy skirt and I have worn it quite a bit in warmer weather. This is a good beginner pattern, since there isn't much fitting involved. You just have to make sure you get the waistband fitted to your comfort and you are good to go. I don't normally like gathers at my waist but these gathers are just enough to give a fit and flare effect and not be over the top pouffy.

I obviously had to make the other versions with the HUGE pockets as well. This is version 1 in polka dot Chambray from Robert Kauffman. This fabric is more structured and definitely helps show off those awesome pockets. Being a bit heavier weight than the rayon, it works well in this less gathered version. I cut this version between an XS and S and the fit is just right.
  Agnes meets BrumbyAgnes meets Brumby

I paired it here with my first attempt at the Tilly and The Buttons Agnes Top. This fabric is a bit juvenile but I just adored the print and color scheme. It is literally from the kids section at Joann. The knit itself is 100% cotton with very little stretch and recovery, not the best choice for such a fitted top.  I definitely have plans to use this pattern again and I want one of those pouffy, gathered sleeve versions for sure. How fun is that?! Overall, this combo is more girly and dressier than I would normally wear. For some reason this is just they way I pictured styling both of these pieces. I am totally enjoying finding my style through creating my own wardrobe. Sewing for myself allows me to play with different looks and find out what I am truly drawn to and comfortable in. While I do like this entire outfit, it isn't the overall vibe I am going for these days. I think separately both pieces will have a place in my wardrobe, and I see the skirt already getting lots of wear.  

Agnes meets Brumby Agnes meets Brumby

Megan Nielsen has an exposed zipper tutorial that can be used for this skirt or an exposed zipper application. I was a bit confused on this insertion and had to end up making the waistband shorter in order for the zipper to end right at the top of it. Somehow I had made it work fine with my first version last Fall so I am not sure where I went wrong this time.
  Agnes meets Brumby

FYI, this version is pretty short, at least for me and I'm only five foot four. I didn't want to turn it up twice to hem, so I used bias tape on the hem line to give it a tiny bit more length. It turned out to be just right, but heads up if you don't want a mini version you may need to add a bit of length.

I am currently working on my third Brumby skirt. I have definitely gotten my money's worth out of this pattern. I have another one planned as well. Perhaps I am a bit obsessed. I just love that using different fabrics, trims, treatments, etc can create so many different looks with one pattern.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Black and White Clover Top

Black and White Clover Top

Meet miss Clover, I adore this comfy little top made with the Clover Dress Pattern by Brooke Tyson from Papercut patterns. This awesome black and white rayon was a score at Super Textiles in Dallas out of their $2/yard bin and the inset contrast fabric is a rayon linen blend from Joann. I made the dress version a couple of years ago, also in Rayon Challis.

Black and White Clover Top

I love this pattern, the fit is spot on and it is an easy make. I didn't have to do any alterations on either version and I made it up in a straight size XS. This sweet addition to my wardrobe meets so many of my qualifications for a favorite piece of clothing. Rayon Challis is super slinky and comfy to wear and I will always scoop it up whenever I find it in a good color or print. I am drawn to black and white patterns that can be worn with nearly anything and simple silhouettes in both pattern and fabric design. Check, check and check this one is a winner.
  Black and White Clover TopBlack and White Clover Top

As with my previous make of this pattern I used French seams everywhere except on the inset panel, where I serged the raw edges. It made for a nice clean finish on the inside.

I am starting to understand the appeal of making the same sewing pattern multiple times. When you know a pattern is going to fit it is so much faster to whip up. Rather than continuing to hoard sewing patterns when they go on sale at Joann, I am finding indie patterns to be more well drafted and easier to fit from the get go. I am currently sewing my third version of Megan Nielsen's Brumby Skirt with one more planned for the near future. Now back to my yard work while the weather is perfect here in Texas.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Woes of a Wanna Be Knitter

Here are a million photos of one hat because it can be worn a million ways. Okay, four ways. I made it a little slouchy with the option to fold the ribbing up for a more fitted look. It looks good inside out, outside in, folded and unfolded. I adore this hat!
  My cashmere hatMy cashmere hat My cashmere hat My cashmere hat My cashmere hat

My hat was made with the Honey Hat pattern, but only as a starting point. I decided that this gorgeous hand dyed yarn would be best featured in a more simple stitch. I only used the pattern for the sizing and to get started with the ribbing and then continued on in reverse Stockinette stitch to the desired perfect slouchy length. The yarn is Anzula Cricket in Dark Matter (love that name) purchased locally at the gorgeous shop West 7th Wool. This yarn is 80% Merino Wool, 10% Nylon and 10% Cashmere. It is just as soft, squishy and luxurious as you can imagine. I adore the jewel tones and the resulting marbled look.

Now lets talk about the woes of a wanna be knitter who lives in Texas, shall we. Every year I get sooooo excited to knit, and I am going to knit up soooo many things. I go to the local yarn shop and ooh and ah and find the perfect lovely yarn for my first of many projects to come. I ever so slowly knit up said project, it may take me a month like this hat or several years of knitting (in the cold months only) to finish the first project of the season. Then I get to wear that precious item exactly ONCE before it gets too hot. And then it IS too hot and I am out in the garden working, or sewing up Summer clothes and swimsuits, with absolutely NO desire to have wool on my lap. I will say that in the years of scattered practice my knitting skills have grown, but I do not think I will ever be a fast knitter. It just isn't meant to be. I will however continue to knit that one special project each Winter in Texas and I will covet these pieces and wear them on at least one cold day each year.

The newborn hat was made in January and took me forever. I think the newborn recipient wore it once (he was a big little guy) but that's okay because I learned a lot and it was gifted with love. Sorry for the bad phone pic, but I couldn't not share. This is the Easy Peasy Newborn hat, a free pattern intended for leftover sock yarn. I purchased a 100 yard skein of Madeline tosh sock yarn and taught myself how to knit on teeny tiny double pointed needles. I attempted the magic loop technique but failed miserably and had to start over on DPNs. This hat actually came before mine, so the practice on DPNs came in handy when it was time to finish up my hat. The yarn was difficult for me to work with because it split a lot and I am not used to working with this weight of yarn. In the end I learned a lot and I am happy that I persevered. I think this hat found a home on one of baby River's stuffed animals and I am happy with that outcome.

Baby River's hat Baby River's hat