Category Archives: top

Simplicity 1062, View C: Dolman-Sleeve Knit Top

I made Simplicity 1062, View C again. The last time I made it, I used a size Large and a rayon knit; this time, I used a size Medium and a mystery poly knit. I got the fabric on a shopping trip with my mother-in-law at Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, NJ.

Simplicity 1062 View C
I don’t know why I have such a look on my face.

I used the serger to sew all of the bands, and I used a zig-zag stitch to secure the hem. This was really easy and quick to make, and I like how it feels in a thicker knit. I also like how the longer back hem covers the gap that can appear when you bend over while wearing jeans. I would definitely sew this up a third time!

Simplicity 1062 View C Again
It’s wide! Also, serious face.

Just so you know, this pattern includes about 8 inches of ease in the body, but the arm bands are snug.

Are there any knit tops that you like?

 

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McCalls 3830 and Cation Designs Dolman Tee

Hello there! I’ve been sewing rather slowly. My old Brother sewing machine decided that it likes to eat knits, even when I’m using the walking foot. I now have a Pfaff (with the IDT!) that my husband kindly got me for my birthday. It handles ITY knits like a champ! I’m excited about it.

I started both of these items about 25 lbs. ago, and it shows–they’re both rather too big for me know. I know I’ll still wear them on the weekend, though, as long as I can without them falling off.

I’ve made the Cation Designs Dolman Tee before. I love it for work because it comes off as elegant and it also has sleeves, which are necessary in a chilly office environment. This one is made of an ITY I got while shopping with my mother-in-law at the Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, NJ. It is a size XL; next time I sew it, I will use a L or M.

Cation Designs Dolman Tee and McCalls 3830 Skirt
Awkward timed selfie.

The McCalls 3830 skirt is made of a rayon/linen blend. I think I got that at Joann’s, as I couldn’t find plain linen in dark colors online at the time I was shopping for it, for some reason. I like the hand of the fabric. The skirt is the shortest view with no back vent and I believe I used a size 18 or 20. I should use a 16 next time, I think, and also take a little off the side seam curve, as my hips are not as curvy as the pattern is. I am closer to success with this pattern!

Cation Designs Dolman Tee and McCalls 3830 Skirt 2
This one is much better and shows the drape of the knit.

I love the idea of #sewmystashseptember. My stash has gotten uncomfortably large from all these shopping trips while traveling and little gifts to myself when I am feeling blah and uninspired. Now it is time for me to make these lengths of cloth into clothes I love.

I am interested in going at it from a capsule + purpose perspective: travel capsule (quick-drying, anti-wrinkling, stretch, chic for tourist photographs); casual Fridays/weekends capsule (structured, but not TOO structured, colorful), and work capsule (basic, dark colors, opaque, full coverage). I wonder how I can fit my stash in there.

My grandmother used to buy me complete outfits whenever we did back to school or vacation shopping. I remember getting coordinated shorts and tops sets with matching socks and a coordinating cardigan (and maybe matching hair bows and barrettes too) when we prepared for our first vacation together to Seattle. So much pink! I would like to approach my sewing this way too: for every top, there must be a bottom, and every bottom must have a top. That doesn’t mean a 1:1 ratio, as many tops can match a bottom. However, the styles and shapes must go together. That’s something for me to think about as I approach the stash.

How do you approach building a wardrobe and managing your resources?

Simplicity 1716

Yesterday, I decided that I was going to tackle my pile of unfinished items. When I get to the end of a project, I make a mistake, and I get really frustrated right away. So, it goes in the drawer. I moved across the country with this one, unfinished. I made Simplicity 1716, view D, starting in 2012 I think. The problem here was that I sewed the armbands on the wrong way and then I doubled down on that decision. My solution last night was to cut off the armbands, since it would be really really hard to unpick the stitching, and to sew on new armbands. I left the hem unfinished, as the slinky jersey and my sewing machine were having a fight, even with the walking foot on.

Front View
Simplicity 1716, View D, front view
Actual Back View
Simplicity 1716, View D, front view

Looking at these pictures, I have some serious posture issues. My shoulders are uneven, and my high left hip has become even higher after having physical therapy for my right knee. This means that every skirt or dress I make gets caught up on my left hip, and hangs lower on my right hip. I need to learn the adjustment for that. I also have forward head and forward shoulders from using a computer all day for…years, plus a nerve impingement in my left shoulder that the posture probably doesn’t help. You don’t realize the toll time takes on your body until you look at pictures of yourself.

On a brighter note, I took these pictures with a camera and tripod that my kind and generous mother-in-law has lent me. The camera doesn’t use a remote, so I have to use the self timer. I need to learn how to use the setup better.

One thing I like about this pattern is the pleat detail that helps to make the cowl neck. One thing I don’t like is the lack of waist shaping. I also think that the shoulders should be narrower, although that might be a personal issue and not a pattern issue.

Have you made Simplicity 1716? If so, how do you like it?

Simplicity 1062: Giant, Slouchy Dolman Tee

I’m obsessed with dolman tees. I have made Cation Designs‘ Dolman Tee four times! I decided to try a different pattern to see how it would turn out. Simplicity 1062 caught my eye during one of those JoAnn’s 5 for $1 pattern sales (I love those).

After making the tunic last week, I had some fabric left over, so I decided to make this shirt straightaway. I don’t want to hoard scraps; in fact, I went through my scraps and got rid of a bunch last weekend, saving only pieces large enough to make a garment or cuffs. I think if I make something out of the fabric leftovers right after finishing a garment, it won’t have the opportunity to become save-able scraps.

Here it is on me:

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The back, so awkward, caught up on my bottom:

WIN_20160422_13_17_21_Pro_Moment(2)

Arms down:

WIN_20160422_13_17_21_Pro_Moment(3)

Here it is, modeled by my cutting table:

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It really looks gigantic in this photo! I haven’t done the hem yet, hence the little serger tails there. I’ve been into wearing oversized soft tops lately. I think they make me look more graceful, and also like a hip young art teacher. I do think I could go down to a medium without an issue, though. I cut a large for this one. There is about 12″ of ease in this top for me: my full bust is 40″ and the finished bust is 52″. Crazy ease!!! I could fit a cat in there.

IMG_20160422_101904
Our cat who sleeps in ridiculously fluffy poses, Fatty.

This top will be loungewear only. I think I will either make another tunic or make a woven shift dress next. I bought a delightful red dot fabric on impulse from JoAnn’s–the fabric reminds me of the woven cotton fabric made in India. It will serve me well in the hot Southern summer!

New Look 6323 Tunic

I tried googling NL 6323 (corrected number) and noticed that no one else has written about it! I made view D, the tunic with an even hem, on Thursday evening.

I chose size L, which was the closest to my full bust measurement of 40 and waist of 33. Why did I not remember what happened the last time I made a New Look pattern? It was too big. The sleeves were a couple inches too long, covering my hands, and the shoulders hung out somewhere at the top of my bicep. I wore it to work anyway. I liked the fabric, a rayon jersey from FashionFabricsClub.

I constructed it all on the server. I liked the neckband directions and thought it made a nice finish. I used clear elastic on the shoulder seams. I ignored the sleeve sewing directions and used Crafting a Rainbow’s instructions.

I’m going to make another one this weekend in size M. This time, I’ll check to make sure the shoulders are narrow enough for me.

I’ve been wanting knit tunics to wear with leggings to work, and this pattern is perfect for that. I bought bulk leggings already, but I’m tempted to make more with the included pattern.

I’ll include photos when I get some taken! I’m blogging from the car on the road. 😀

 

 

Simplicity 8523: A Loose Top

Backtracking a bit: I finished the Vogue dress, except for the hem. The fabric around the zipper puckered, as it did on every seam, and the bodice fit loosely in a weird way, while the skirt was snug on my curves. I probably should have done a 16 in the shoulders and 18 in waist and hip.

On to the Simplicity 8523 top! I chose to make view D, the scoop neck with sleeves. I read others’ reviews of this top and I knew that it would be a loose-fitting top, which I wanted. I used fabric that I found at a thrift shop, something light…maybe a rayon challis? I already had the thread and interfacing in the stash.

front top
Whoops, facing on the loose!

I found this top to be easy to put together. This was my second time doing sleeves and I have some gathers that I know shouldn’t be there, but I’m choosing to think of them as slightly puffed sleeves. I might be able to avoid this by sewing them in the flat, rather than in the round, as the pattern instructs. You can see this in the back view here (such an awkward view!).

back view
Back view, always so awkward.

The bust darts point to about an inch and a half above my bust apex, so that is something that I will adjust on the pattern for the next time I make this top.

There's a big difference here!
There’s a big difference here!

I believe I will make this again with the different variations. I wore it out for milkshakes and a stroll with my fella on a hot, humid night, and I found the blouse to me comfortable and breezy–the perfect thing for summer. The copious amounts of ease–I think it’s 6 inches or so–allow for airflow under the shirt.

I can move!!!
I can move!!!
The side vents allow room for hips.
The side vents allow room for hips.

After I work on inserting sleeves better and lowering the bust dart, I feel that this will become my go-to woven tee pattern. What are some basic woven tee or shell top patterns that you like?