Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top and Dress from the new Simplify Your Life Pattern

Simplify Your Life is the latest pattern from Louise Cutting.  It includes two tops.   I made view A in this Hugo Boss cross dye shirting with a contrast facing.   Here the top is paired with dark brown My Swing Set pants in pant weight stretch rayon.   Considering the fit and shape of this top, I thought it would make a great dress. 

I had enough of this silk/lycra seersucker I bought from Michael's Fabrics in Baltimore that I had already used for this pair of Discover Something Novel pants and a Stars In Heaven tunic  to make a dress.   These 3 simple but elegant neutral pieces can be worn many ways.   I spoke to Michael last week about swatches.   He said he's got tons of new fabrics in and hasn't had time to put them on the website.   So call them directly if there's something you are looking for.    

Detail of fabrics and flap pockets
I added large pockets with flaps to give the dress a bit more personality.   Recent Diane Von Furstenberg dresses I've tried on at Neiman Marcus have this relaxed fit and I like dresses for the spring and summer.   I considered adding a casing with a drawstring but decided that it would not work with the pleat in the front.    I also auditioned some belts with it, but like it best unbelted.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Stella top and eShrug coordinates

Last post I showed you the floral lace skirt using the Relax A Little pattern worn over a cotton knit dress with a textured knit cardigan.   Early this month I "auditioned" these fabrics to see what they coordinated with and what they wanted to be.   Here's the photo where you can see the green Peruvian connection dress that I planned to wear them with/over.   The photo below is the best representation of the colors, and you can see that the knit and lace also work with that mulberry plaid skirt in the Berry/Chocolate coordinate group.   Now I have three new pieces in the lace and the knit that coordinate with several garments I sewed earlier this fall/winter, and others I already owned.   They are light enough and layerable that I can wear them into spring.    In addition to the skirt, I intend to make a 3/4 length, long sleeve eShrug using the lace, and narrow hemming it the same as the skirt.    It will look wonderful over the green dress and even black dresses.

Stella top sans sleeves

The textured knit is very drapy and semi-sheer in places so I knew I wanted layering pieces.  It drapes but does not have recoverable stretch.  I got this from Fabric Mart a few years ago and don't remember the fiber content.   The crinkle/stretch lace is current Fabric Mart.     I enjoy the neckline of the Stella tops I've made but I didn't want sleeves.   If you omit the sleeves and simply serge and turn under the seam allowance you have a nice over the shoulder look - where a cap sleeve would end.  I used a lightweight knit stabilizing tape on the shoulders of both knit tops, and along the V before sewing the doubled cowl piece in.

Here it is layered over the green knit dress and it has a peplum look if belted.

Keeping it interesting, but simple considering the knit fabric, I cut out an a eShrug with the remainder.   I tapered the long sleeve eShrug pattern using the sleeve from one of my Babette SF jackets as a template.    The eShrug cardigan looks great over the sleeveless Stella top or just the dress.  

eShrug with long tapered sleeve
I lengthened this eShrug.  The front is straight (vs angled per the pattern) aligned with the selvedge to make use of that fringe.    I cut the sleeves on the crossgrain, placing the desired hemline for my sleeve length on the selvedge.  

I just serge finished the remaining raw edges with mixed thread colors to blend in with the knit.   

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Working the Relax A Little pattern X Five

I love the shape and fit of the fluted four gore skirt in the Cuting Line Designs Relax A Little pattern that looks different in every fabric.   Over the past months, I've made several and tweaked each as I always do.   It's definitely a TNT pattern.

Here's one in a stretch denim where I added a separate fringed edge using strips of frayed selvedge.   I was inspired to do this after seeing this Louis Vuitton resort 2014 skirt.   Here's a photo of it and the selvedge trim.    I did not add the fringed pockets over my hips.   This one is a great casual skirt that works with the Ebb blouses I've made and classic white blouses like this wrap one.

Here is the RAL skirt again in a crisp printed linen sewn according to the pattern instructions with the signature waist and all the edge/ topstitching.  I added pockets, but used the rectangular one from the My Swing Set pant instead of the oval one included in the RAL pattern.   That is a silk noil Anything But Ordinary top that I made a few years ago.

In December I got inspired by this Alice and Olivia ensemble. I found the perfect lace and rayon jersey at Fabric Mart and made my version of the skirt, underskirt, and two tops. I used the Relax a Little skirt pattern to create my own version of the swooshy Alice and Olivia skirt with a slimmer waist and hip, and the Pure And Simple pattern (removed the dart) for the cap sleeve top. This lace does not have scalloped selvedges and it would have been impossible to use them with the curved hem of this skirt anyway. I edged the lace using a narrow 3 thread serged hem. My husband liked the lace on the arms so I made a short Loes Hinse Bianca top with long sleeves and used a satin stitch for the front three tucks so they stood out. I'm very pleased with all of them.

This is a warm ensemble when worn with tights or leggings, an underskirt with another layer under the lace tops. I added large godets to the sides for more movement and used a narrow casing with elastic for the waistband.   Here's the rayon jersey underskirt that can be worn on its own.

I was so pleased with the above lace skirt and tops that I ordered two of the French floral laces and made up another that I absolutely love.   I wore it today (temps here in Asheville were in the 60's!)  with this long sleeve eShrug over a pima cotton knit dress from the Peruvian Connection.   I'll blog more about this one and the tops I made to coordinate with it in my next post.   I've done so much sewing this fall and winter that I've not had the time or inclination to blog about.  But I've uploaded photos with informative descriptions on Flickr that I hope inspire you to sew something you love to wear as much as I love to wear my creations.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Berry and Chocolate Coordinates

I've been spending the cold winter days when you can't, or don't want to go out, sewing coordinates, adding to those I sewed in the fall but didn't get around to documenting.   I plan and measure and compare and try on and measure again so I have few, if any failures, and who wants to read about those anyway?  I let my garments try on and "wear" fabrics that I think will work with them.   Here's a photo of how I do that on Flickr showing a knit and a colored stretch lace that I thought would work over these and other colors.   It's a good way to decide what to make out of the fabric instead of just folding it up and putting it on a shelf after you get it.    

   In addition to these coordinates, I restyled several garments, and made several skirts and coordinating tops using the CLD Relax a Little skirt pattern and other top patterns.    I'll do a separate blog post for those.  

Here are photos of what I'm calling Berry and Chocolate coordinates I sewed this fall/winter that will work through this spring.   These are good neutral colors for me.  The dotted Snap To It jacket from last summer works with this group as well as the tank tops and dress from Loes Hinse Tank dress pattern I made after moving to NC.  Typically the photos are taken while I'm getting ready to go somewhere, and when I remember to get a photo taken.   As Net-A-Porter says, if you want to wear spring (lighter weight) garments in cold weather, just add tights!   

Here is a sweater coat in brown and pinks using Loes Hinse Sweater Coat pattern (I always modify the collar size and length).    This time I used the selvedges along all hemmed edges - including pockets and sleeves.  It looks great over my pink/beige Liberty jacket and Plaza pants, and with the dark chocolate brown tapered pant I'm wearing from Cutting Line Design's My Swing Set pattern.   I sewed pale pink petersham along the front plackets to stabilize the large buttons and snaps underneath.

This top is Cutting Line Designs latest pattern, Simplify Your Life, worn over the MSS tapered pant.   I used a coordinating fabric for the facings.  I'll wear this in the spring.
This is The Sewing Workshop's Cortona Shirt in the same fabric as the top above, worn over one of the LH tanks and a skirt in a textured knit/stretch lace fabric.    I like the darts and shape, esp the peplum that is formed at the back. It's a great layering piece and works as a jacket or shirt.

I used the knit selvedge as a ruffle trim along the edge of this bias skirt that is my adaptation of an old Burda Style pattern.  I made a Eureka top out of the same fabric, cut the hems along the selvedge and used the back/stretch lace side for the contrast bindings.    Here it is over the Loes Hinse Tank dress.   I think I lengthened this top that looks great belted as well.