1 for 2

 

 

These are two collage-y versions of t-shirts that I’ve made before: on the left, the Alison Glass pattern; on the right, the Deer & Doe Plantain.

L: Alison Glass Shirt

What’s going on with the shoulder there? Whatever it is, I can just add it to the list of this project’s “quirks.” While the dress I made from this pattern used a drapey knit, this one was snappy and rolled like crazy at the cut edge. It’s a yard of the Tokyo knit from Marcy Tilton; sleeves are 1/4 yard of a mesh knit. I’ve made this t-shirt three times, and EVERY TIME I over-trim the hem. I try it on, mark it, add 1.5″, and it STILL seems short to  me. This is the longest and most wearable version yet; my daughter pairs the others with her high-waisted 80s jeans. Might be destined for the donation pile.  And by “might” I mean “is.”

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umm yeah, no.

 

R: Deer & Doe Plantain

Very happy with this one. Body was a 1-yard end cut from Marcy Tilton; sleeves are a gray mesh knit from my small stash. I cut the hems along the selvedge end and felt very fancy.

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The pants are flat-front chinos from Lands End. Flat-front pants are a rare find in the RTW world and confirmation that I really need to bite the bullet and try Colette’s Clover pattern.

Shoes are  refurbished Donald J. Pliners from the thrift store: $5 + 20 minutes with the suede brush and eraser. I thought they looked vintage-y.

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some people restore cars. or paintings. i restore shoes.
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Morris Blazer

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I’ve had very good luck finding jackets from local consignment and thrift stores:

I love how they elevate an outfit and have long been determined to make a blazer myself.

The blogosphere is full of stunning examples of Grainline Studio’s Morris Blazer, and Jen generously offers a very clear sewalong that covers everything from fabric and interfacing choices to final pressing. I chose this stretch cotton sateen from Britex; the eggplant color is a flattering alternative to black, per Victoire de Castellane. (Worth clicking to read her beauty philosophy and to learn the word faux-sombre.)

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I’ve never sewn a jacket before and found this pattern to be demanding but accessible. The toughest parts for me were setting in the sleeves, managing bulky bottom corners during edgestitching, and facing down my own perfectionism in the mirror:

  • Sleeves. I pin-basted the sleeves using Ann’s tutorial. I’ve since come across two additional tutorials from Craftsy and Blueprints for Sewing, both of which show examples of easing in sleeves while flat. The obedient Home Ec student in me gasped–is that allowed? I’ll have to try it on a muslin sometime.
  • Bulk. The fabric I used is described as “medium” weight on the site, but it feels heavy to me. Maybe that’s because I’m used to wearing and sewing with knits. I wound up ripping out stitches and redoing them using this method (scroll down for the helpful hint about using a fabric scrap to level the presser foot).
  • Perfectionism. Intellectually, I know that people are not spending their energy scrutinizing the craftswoman-ship of my blazer. Yet with every project, I struggle to focus on healthy goals for self-improvement vs. perfectionism. Progress is slow, but steady.
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Tank: Style Arc Evie. Pants: Old Navy.            Oxfords: Clarks.

Have you ever set flat sleeves into a woven garment?

How do you deal with perfectionism?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frankentank

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Unassuming white tank tops have been some of my most-worn garments, yet for some reason, the slowest to be replaced when the need arises.

Last spring and summer I’d curse as I commuted in the sweltering heat, wearing my cardigan to cover old salsa stains or hide dingy beige bra straps (that’s a topic for another post). No more.

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I can take this cardigan off without fear!

This year, I’m ready with a me-made layering piece that also works on its own. I used Style Arc’s Evie top in size 14 as a baseline. I tried it on after finishing the bands; my high hips and short waist fought with the high/low silhouette so I traced the shirttail hemline of a favorite tee.

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Shirttail hem. |  Pants: Eileen Fisher. Flats: Saks, second-hand. Necklace: gift. Cardigan (top photo): Pendleton, second-hand.

This kind of (minor) modification would have seemed impossible to me even a few months ago–I credit Alison Glass and Karen LePage’s Knit Essentials with demystifying the fitting process and helping me to accept that pattern modifications are inevitable. It’s really changed my thinking.

How much time do you typically spend tweaking a pattern? What are you sewing to get ready for spring or summer?