Today I have my last summer make to share with you and it is in the running for my favorite make of 2021. The day of our 15th wedding anniversary Chris kissed me good bye and told me to be ready at 6pm because a baby sitter was coming and we had dinner reservations. I mean, is there any better gift?!
So I did what any normal girl would do and I made myself a damn dress.
I had M8174 sitting on my ‘to make one day’ shelf along with fabric and went to work. I made this dress in one day, start to finish from prepping my fabric to hemming the final piece! This is a simple make, especially when you make the strappy version, and I liked some of the details they included with the instructions.
I made the size 14 and ended up needing to take in the bodice quite a bit and should probably take it in more. Next time I would size down to a 10 in the bodice and keep the 14 for the skirt, this should be fairly easy to do as they are all separate pieces! It would mean a little grading at the top of the skirt or bottom of the bodice just to get everything attached smoothly.
I love that the bodice is fully lined and I liked the instructions for adding elastic to the waistband. This really helps the dress keep its shape and prevents the skirt from weighing down the top.
I also liked the assembly of the skirt. Basically it’s two front pieces that overlap and I love the ruching on the side. It could be a bit tricky assembling the skirt, keeping track of left and right can be confusing, but the instructions are crystal clear. Just take you time reading them!
I am in love with how this dress turned out. I feel beautiful in it and it’s so comfortable. I paired it with gold heels for my date night but like it with more casual sandals too. I think the longer versions would be amazing for a beach trip and the knit makes it easy to pack!
I’m going to be looking at the Lark Tee and the Classic Tee. I put these two together specifically to compare what would probably be called a ‘classic t-shirt.’ Later in the month the patterns I show won’t really be for side by side comparison, but these two are definitely close enough to examine and compare a bit. I’ll talk about the pattern, the versions I made, and then I will talk a bit more about fabric towards the end of this post. Please let me know if you have any questions about the patterns or fabric and I will try to answer them in a later post! Let’s get going!
Pattern Details and Options: From the Pattern Description, “With a modern, slim fit ideal for layering, the Lark Tee is your closet’s new best friend. It’s great on its own or under your favorite button up, sweater, or blazer. All four sleeves are interchangeable with each of the necklines resulting in 16 potential different tees in one pattern!”
There are options for a crew, scoop, V, and boat neckline and cap, short, 3/4, and long sleeves.
Fabric used: This pattern recommends using knit fabrics with at least 20% stretch. I made two versions, one in a luxury viscose and one in an Amsterdam jersey (details and links at the end of the post)
Thoughts on fit: This tee is closer fitting with a small size range.
Thoughts on style: Classic t-shirt styles that you can mix and match, basic but with options.
What I don’t like: I don’t like the more form fitting look of this shirt. For a t-shirt to wear every day with jeans I think I prefer a looser fit. I wish the size range were bigger and that there were cup sizes.
What I do like: I do think the snug fit would work well for layering. I also like all the options and that each neckline has a completely separate pattern piece.
Here is my first version in the luxury viscose. I went with the crew neck version in the size 6. I had to shorten it but only due to the fact that this was the amount of fabric I had. I chose to make a version of both tees out of this fabric after the fact so had to make it work! I shorted the sleeve length about half an inch because I thought the short sleeve hit me at a weird spot, especially with the tighter fit.
This is an incredibly simple make and the instructions are clear and easy to understand. I was able to get a nice finish using a zig zag stitch and my regular sewing machine. I did have a little pulling around the neck band.
For the second version I used the Amsterdam jersey and made the boat neck with long sleeves in a size 8. I prefer the fit on this one and appreciate the length of the top and the sleeves. I don’t know that I love the wide neck line and was a little bummed that the finishing was simply to turn under the neckline. I think a facing would have given a more professional finish.
Pattern Details and Options: From the website, “The Classic Tee sewing pattern is a semi-relaxed tee with just the right amount of ease where you need it. Choose from three neckline options: crew, scoop and v-neck. Also included are four sleeve lengths: short, elbow, 3/4 and long. This tee is a great beginner project, especially for an introduction to sewing with knits. A full bust piece is also included.”
A basic tee with options in a big size range.
Fabric used: This pattern recommends light to medium weight knit, jersey, rayon/spandex, modal, cotton jersey, and recommends that for more stable knits to size up. I used a luxury viscose, rayon spandex, and cotton modal in my versions
Thoughts on fit: Really enjoy the looser fit of this t-shirt and after playing around with the necklines I found that the scoop neck hits me at the perfect spot.
Thoughts on style: Basic style that you can make over and over again.
What I don’t like: Would like a couple more neckline options (boat neck maybe?) but otherwise no complaints.
What I do like: The size range, the price, the ease of fit right out of the gate.
My first version is the crew neck in a size medium from that same luxury viscose as earlier. I immediately loved the fit on the body and sleeves. There was again some pulling at the neckline (possible user error, possible it was the fabric) and I didn’t love the crew neck on me. After trying other versions I ended up cutting this one into a scoop neck and I much prefer that.
Version two is the scoop neck, long sleeve in a size medium sewn out of rayon spandex jersey. This may be my idea of a perfect t-shirt. I love the fit, I love the neckline on me and where it hits, and this fabric is incredibly soft with a perfect amount of drape.
My last version is again a medium, this time scoop neck with short sleeves in a cotton modal. I think this is my perfect t-shirt! I love the fit and can see myself making up as many versions as I need throughout the seasons.
Thoughts on Fabric.
The Luxury Viscose is from Minerva and is about $24 a meter. It’s 94% viscose, 6% elastane with a 35% stretch. It has a lovely drape and is very soft. It can go a bit clingy and was the most slippery fabric I used. I love that they sell this in so many colors and for a drapey t-shirt I think it’s a good fit!
The Amsterdam Jersey was from Surge Fabric and was $7.99 for a half yard. This is a 86% poly, 10% Rayon, and 4% spandex with a 50% stretch one way. It was lightweight, soft but not as soft as the others, and is a rich saturated color. This was my least favorite fabric to work with. The polyester makes if feel less breathable and the texture of it makes me wonder how it will hold up in the wash. The weight is great for t-shirts though and reminds me of some RTW shirts.
The 2 Tone Choarcoal Rayon Spandex Jersey is from Surge and is $7.49 for a half yard. This is 96% Rayon, 4% Spandex with a 50% stretch. Soft, light weight, and with a beautiful drape, I loved working with this fabric and because it is breathable and cool to the touch, I have enjoyed wearing it as well. One of my favorites from the bunch.
And finally, the Cotton Modal Jersey from Stylemaker Fabrics is $18.99 yard. There wasn’t a percentage make up on the website, only that it is cotton, modal, and spandex. It comes in a wide range of saturated colors and is a bit thicker than the others but still has drape to it. Modal is touted as being more sustainable since it comes from Beech trees and used 10-20x less water than cotton. It is breathable and biodegradable and feels so good on the skin. I loved working with this one.
I have four more patterns and at least 3 more fabrics to make shirts out of so stay tuned for more next week! I will compile final thoughts and comparisons at the end of the month. I hope this was helpful for you, I know I am very excited to have found the t-shirt pattern I was looking for.
Last summer when the Hallon Dress by Paradise Patterns came out, I immediately fell in love. It is my favorite kind of summer dress, loose and flowy (dare I say nightgown adjacent?) and the back is just incredible. It’s so simple but makes a big impact and every version I’ve seen looks fantastic.
I made up the size 6 of version A and ended up having to take it in a bit. Next time I will either do a straight 4 or maybe even sew a 2 in the bust and grade to a 4 everywhere else. I sewed this one up very quickly, you can watch me make it here!, and the instructions are top notch. Lots of detail for beginners and really clear diagrams for each step.
I will probably not get too much wear out of this right now but am happy to pack it away and pull it out next summer. I’m sorry it took me so long to get around to but am in love with the end result so it was worth the wait.
This was a fairly simple make but I’m happy to answer any questions I may have not covered! I have a few more summer sews to catch you up on next week and then I’m ready for all things fall!
I have my latest make to share here today and I’m sohappy with how it turned out! I saw this fabric on the Stlyemaker Fabrics website back in the spring and just fell in love with it. It’s rare that I immediately know what I want to make with a print so I picked some up. It’s a Textured Voile Shirting and the weight is just perfect for warm summer weather.
I decided to sew it up as McCalls 8104, the Dawn Dress. I bought this pattern back when I knew I wanted to try and focus on shirt making a bit more. It is a full button up dress but I liked the neckline and that there was no collar. It makes it feel a little breezier and I thought the silhouette paired with this fabric would be a big win.
I made a straight size 10 with no adjustments and it fits perfectly. It is rare to have to make no adjustments so I am thrilled with how easy this was to sew up! I added teal buttons, also from Stylemaker, and I love how they work with the print.
I think this dress will get a lot of wear this summer as it’s equally polished and comfortable. The seaming of the bodice and cut of the neck works well with my smaller chest and I think gives me curves where I need them. I love it with sandals and it would look cute with a dressier shoe as well.
Harper took these pictures (in like 2 min tops so I’m glad some of them turned out!) and told me the dress was ‘pretty cute mom!’ so I will take that as high praise!
I have my first summery make to share today! I love collecting vintage patterns but really try and only get things that I would actually make and wear today. I found this wrap top, Simplicity 7351, on Etsy (I found another one here!) and thought it worked well with some of the trends I’m seeing in stores right now.
A wrap top with two different views, one with a forward yoke and peplum style bottom and one with an interesting curved yoke that wraps and hits at the natural waist. Also options to leave sleeves loose and fluttery or add elastic for that blouson effect.
I went with view two and kept the sleeves open. I used a gingham linen from D&H Fabrics (my color isn’t available but I’ve linked to another fun summery color!) and it’s a perfect match for this pattern.
My copy of the pattern was a size medium and I did have to take it in a little but otherwise made the pattern as is. I love how it turned out! I’ve styled it up with some bottoms from my spring capsule and look forward to trying it with shorts as well.
As always, let me know if you have any questions and here’s to the weather warming up and breaking out our summer looks!
Happy June! We have made it through another Me Made May and I thought I would take a bit to reflect on this past month. I want to share my thoughts on my Spring Capsule, how I did on my Me Made May pledge, and some of my plans on moving forward through the summer.
Thoughts on the Spring Capsule:
I really loved using the Your Everyday Style spring capsule this month. For me it was a great building block- whether for buying or sewing clothes- and helped me assess what was missing in my closet in a way that was really useful to me.
It also made getting dressed every day really easy. I felt put together even in more casual clothes and found it helpful especially as I had some hard stuff in May. Being able to get dressed without having to think too much about it really helped my mood.
The capsule as well as The Everyday Style School podcast have been helpful in getting me to pinpoint my style, even more than I already had. I’m able to look at a piece or a pattern and know if it’s something I’ll wear or even something I really need in just a few moments.
Thoughts on Me Made May
Looking back at my pledge, I did get dressed and wear clothes from the capsule almost every day. Like I said, the capsule just made it really easy to put an outfit together so this part of the challenge was easy!
However, I did not document it. After a week in I got burned out and with other stuff going on in my life, I had no desire for daily pictures. I really don’t feel anything negative about this one, it just didn’t work for me this year and that’s ok.
And the thing I’m most proud of, I did reach my goal of no buying! I bought zero fabrics or patterns and felt great about it. Something that surprised me this month was that following Me Made May on Instagram just got overwhelming. So many patterns, so many fabrics, so much stuff. I stopped following the hashtag and disconnected from it a bit. This is interesting to me as I usually find the challenge really inspirational, this was not the year for me for whatever reasons.
I think I will buy more capsule guides, at least a full year’s worth so I can see each season. I got a lot out of this and am excited to see what’s in store for summer. I don’t really plan on making too much this go around, I would love to use a lot of what I already have!, and know I need to purchase things like shoes but hopefully most things are already in my closet.
I want to sew with what I already have (fabric and patterns) for at least the month of June. It felt good to not add more stuff to my office and I got inspired the other day cleaning out some of my stash. I have so many things I want to make, I would like to focus on those before I buy any more.
Summer is slower for me and my family will be home and together for most of it. I want to have fun with what I make and not stress too much about output. I will however will be posting regularly here and am excited to slow down and put together better blog posts about what I do make!
I’m looking forward to the summer and am thankful every year for the online community that participates in Me Made May! Even if I didn’t meet my pledge, it still teaches me so much to go back and reflect on the month.
Details: I made the straight size 8 on this and am really happy with the fit. The finishings are nice and it was a pretty simple shirt to make. This is a ‘Learn to Sew Level 2’ pattern and I was disappointed in the instructions. I thought they would be more in depth? I couldn’t see a difference from a regular McCalls pattern and am not sure why they have this distinction.
How I plan to wear it: I’m sorry to be ending my spring capsule with this one because if I’m being completely honest… I don’t love it. I love the idea of a white button down, but it’s just not something I wear a lot. I prefer it to feel more relaxed so when I do wear it it will be with sleeves rolled up and maybe tucked in. I don’t like where the neckline hits on this and think I missed the mark with my fabric choice. I wish I had gone flowy or more blouse-y and loose instead of almost making a classic shirt.
That being said, it’s not a fail. The construction is good and I’m glad I tried it, just not for me. And sometime, you have to make something to figure that out!
I will have all my thoughts on this capsule on Tuesday. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to include them in my spring wrap up!
Today I’m here to share my seventh piece that I’ve made for my spring capsule. Here are all my spring capsule posts if you want to catch up! I have one more top to share with you tomorrow and then we are moving on to summer.
The Capsule Piece: The capsule guide called for a blouse in one of the core colors. I knew I wanted to bring in more of this lilac color I’m loving and also that I wanted something that would easily work into summer. I wanted something easy to wear and casual enough to throw on every day, but still cute enough to dress up a bit should I get to go out on the town.
Details: I made the size small with no adjustments. This is a pretty straightforward pattern and came together very quickly. There is a little issue with the top button- which I think I can fix but wanted to leave in to show you because I noticed it later in the model photos. Just something to be aware of if you make this top.
How I plan to wear it: In these photos I’m wearing it with my high waisted, cropped jeans. I think it will look great with my white jeans and even shorts as the weather gets warmer. This is a top that I feel really comfortable and like myself in so I foresee pulling it out to wear over and over again throughout the summer. I even think this pattern would translate well into a dress just by lengthening it.
The Capsule Piece: A pair of overalls is listed in the spring capsule I’m using and if I had seen this last year I would have scoffed and carried on without every making or buying them. However, I am now an overall/dungaree convert after making my Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs about this time last year. There is just nothing comfier than a soft pair of linen overalls and I was excited to make another pair.
The Pattern and the Fabric: This project came from my April Needlesharp Box. I’ve talked about this subscription service before, but man is it handy with a project like this when really specific hardware or notions are needed. I love that absolutely everything comes in the box ready to sew up!
These are the Harlene Dungarees by Merchant and Mills. I’ve never sewed with this company before and am really impressed by the quality of this pattern! This fabric is a speckled linen and I love how these kind of look like I’ve been painting in them all day.
Details: There is only one version of this pattern and I made the size 10 with no adjustments. Initially I lengthened the straps but ended up trimming them. Rarely are ready to wear overalls long enough in the body and/or inseam for me so I was kind of surprised these fit so well straight out of the pattern envelope.
This kit came with a Kylie and the Machine hardware kit and I love this product so much. Finding cute notions for jeans and dungarees is a little tricky and sometime expensive because you have to buy a bunch of different things. This kit is something to look for if you’re making your own dungarees. I found them here and will put them on my list next time I’m getting notions!
How I plan to wear it: These are going to be something I throw on for cozy, stay at home and play days. I like them with longer sleeves as well as cropped tank tops underneath. I imagine they will look cute rolled up with sandals as it gets warmer too!
Moving right along in making my Spring Capsule using the guide from Everyday Style! Today I have my first dress to show you and I have to say that initially I was not too sure about this one. However I wore it Sunday and I like it so much more! So maybe not my favorite thing every, but incredibly comfortable and easy to wear.
The Capsule Piece: The guide calls for an easy day dress and I immediately thought of a t-shirt dress. Something that looks put together but is comfortable and covered up enough that I can chase a toddler on the playground. I love easy dresses when the weather gets warmer and they really become staples in my wardrobe.
The Pattern and Fabric: This pattern is M8085 and I made version B. There are a few options with length and sleeves but it is a pretty basic pattern. The fabric is a Double Brushed Poly knit. I don’t wear a lot of prints but I thought this might be one that would get worn since it’s a color I love and the floral print is a little more abstract.
Details: This is version B in the size medium with the bodice lengthened one inch. I ended up taking in quite a bit in the bodice and really wish I had just made the small. This came together really quickly and honestly I think you could sew up something similar without a pattern at all. Find a tank or t-shirt you like and attach a few rectangles to it.
The pattern does call for stay tape in the shoulder seams and next time I would probably add something to the waist band too as that is a heavy seam and it pulls quite a bit.
I was a little underwhelmed with the details of this pattern. With such a simple make I was hoping for a bit more effort in the finishings, but the hems are just turned under and there’s nothing super special about it. I would never pay full price for this one, there’s just not a lot to it?
How I plan to wear it: This is going to be a throw on with white sneakers kind of dress! I could also layer it up with my denim jacket. This will never be a fashion forward type of garment, but it will absolutely get worn and I think it turned out pretty cute!