Fall Capsule///The Tops

Today I’m wrapping up my fall capsule with the three tops that I made! Check out my topper and bottoms and I’ll be back in a few weeks with a full fall round up of my makes and how much wear I’ve been getting out of them.

I am pretty thrilled with all three of these, two are patterns I’ve made and loved before and one is brand new and I’ve already cut out another one to make. So I think that speaks to how I feel on it!

For help with sizing or knowing what adjustments I’m talking about, I am 5’9″ and my measurements are 32, 29, 36. For anyone new to sewing please know sizing is very different from ready to wear and varies widely from pattern company to pattern company. It’s always helpful when sewists share this info and any alterations they make so that others who want to sew the same patterns can use that knowledge with their own makes! I’m always happy to answer any questions or help point you in the right direction if you’re having fit issues with any patterns I’ve made.

Top Number One: Striped Sweater

I bought this fabric thinking I would make a fitted tshirt. In my head I saw something with a scoop neck or even a square neck line. However, when it came in the mail I just loved how cozy it was. It’s soft but not too thick so I thought it would make a fantastic sweater and I played around with a few ideas but ultimately landed on a tried and true pattern for me, the toaster sweater.

I made the version with the boat neckline and I love it. LOVE it. It’s the perfect pattern for this fabric and I think will get worn on a weekly basis over here. It’s essentially a t-shirt but with a little bit more style that I think will also look very cute styled up in the spring.

Pattern: The Toaster Sweater #2 by Sew House Seven sewn up in the size small

Fabric: This Ponte Roma Double Stretch from Minerva. I cannot say enough good things about the quality of this fabric. It’s just gorgeous and sews and washes so well.

Other Thoughts: I have made this pattern, both versions, multiple times. It is my go to sweater pattern and I’m really happy I went with it again on this one. The fit is just boxy enough and it looks so different sewed up in various fabrics.

Top Number Two: A Beyond Basic Knit

Jennifer from the Everyday Style School always talks about ‘beyond basics’ tops. These are easy to wear, comfy pieces that have some detail to elevate them a bit and take them beyond basic. I had this beautiful fabric left over from t-shirt month and wanted to make something comfortable but with a twist.

I chose to make the Adrienne Blouse as I have two of them and wear them constantly. It’s like wearing a t-shirt but with a prettier neckline and these gorgeous sleeves! Such a simple make, would highly recommend for a beginner that wants something more than a t-shirt but maybe doesn’t feel confident enough for something that takes a lot of fit. Also can’t go wrong with a top like this if you have to be on a lot of zoom calls and want to look put together but still feel comfortable.

Pattern: The Adrienne Blouse by Friday Pattern Company in a size medium. I made no adjustments to this but if I do make another one I may add a couple of inches to the length and possible the sleeves.

Fabric: A gorgeous Fired Amber Cupro Jersey from Surge Fabrics. This color is so rich and I love it paired with this blue skirt.

Other Thoughts: With only three pattern pieces and really easy construction, I can whip up this top in under an hour. Would love to play around with it lengthened as a dress sometime, maybe in a thicker sweater knit?

Top Number Three: Beautiful Button up

I had other plans for this lovely fabric but then Friday Pattern Company released their Patina Blouse. At first I was like, ok it’s cute but I never wear button ups. But then it kept popping up on my Instagram feed and I just fell in love with that collar and those sleeves. So I caved and bought it and am so happy I did.

The details of this blouse are just beautiful and I have dreams of knitting a sweater vest to layer over top! I really enjoyed making this one, shirt making is something I like taking my time with and the pay off is always so great. When I tried on my first sleeve I believe I made everyone in my family admire how gorgeous it was, especially as I did a few port de bras!

This is my dressiest make of the bunch but I think it will look just as great with jeans as it does with trousers or a skirt. I have another one cut out and ready to sew up after the holiday and I’m sure I will make a short sleeve version come summer.

Pattern: The Patina Blouse by Friday Pattern Company in a size small. I added 3 inches to the length of the sleeves (hurray for finished pattern measurements and looking before I cut out!) and they are the perfect length for me.

Fabric: Lady McElroy Viscose Challis from Minerva. This fabric is a dream!!! And comes in so many colors. Absolutely worth dealing with the slinkiness of it for such a beautiful blouse.

Other Thoughts: I’m so happy I changed my plans for this one and tried something new with that collar and neckline. This blouse feels like me and again it will work in multiple seasons. A basic ivory shirt, but with some special details.

I’m really glad to be finished with this capsule but mostly because now it means I can wear everything I made. I’m genuinely happy with all of these pieces and am glad I tried some new patterns and shapes that felt inspiring to me.

I’ll be slowing down for December, still a weekly post here but not so many makes. I have been very inspired by fashion lately and have been putting together a Make 9 for the new year that I think you’re going to love! I’d love to focus on some show stopper pieces in the coming year now that I’ve sewn myself some great everyday clothes. What are you itching to make in the coming season?

Fall Capsule///The Bottoms

Thank you for all the love and encouraging comments on my Heather Blazer. I really appreciate it and will be adding the button and some kind of pocket detail because I think it’s worth finishing and wearing. I just needed a bit of distance from it, but now I see a lot of potential.

Now I’m here to share the bottoms that I made for my fall capsule! I ended up with a skirt and two pairs of pants and I’m so happy with all of them. Next week I’ll share the tops and a bit of a round up of all the makes and how they work together. Then I’m ready to move on from this project, as it seems like I’ve been talking fall capsule forever now!, but I have enjoyed wearing everything I’ve shared so far.

For help with sizing or knowing what adjustments I’m talking about, I am 5’9″ and my measurements are 32, 29, 36. For anyone new to sewing please know sizing is very different from ready to wear and varies widely from pattern company to pattern company. It’s always helpful when sewists share this info and any alterations they make so that others who want to sew the same patterns can use that knowledge with their own makes! I’m always happy to answer any questions or help point you in the right direction if you’re having fit issues with any patterns I’ve made.

Bottom Number One: Black knit skirt

I do not own a black skirt of any kind right now and I thought this version would be very cute. I sewed it up in a ponte and I know it’s hard to photograph black so I left off the tights I would normally be wearing with it in hopes you can see the lines a little bit better. This was a really simple make and something I can wear year round. Love the faux wrap detail and think this pattern would look great in a lot of different fabrics. I like my skirt paired with boots and tights and a sweater but I think sneaker would look cute too.

Pattern: Simplicity 9237 cut out in a size 14 but then taken in after I decided to omit the zipper (pure laziness but it also wasn’t necessary in the ponte I used!) Next time I could probably make a 12 just fine

Fabric: Classic Ponte Knit in Black from Stylemaker Fabrics. They carry loads of colors and this fabric is high quality and I know will hold up well.

Other Thoughts: Very simple to make and a simple design, but I think with an interesting detail. And a black knit pencil skirt is something every wardrobe needs. I liked the shaping on this pattern, there are darts in the back, and think it could be easily dressed up for holiday parties. Really happy with this basic make!

Bottom Number Two: Black Pants in a New (to me) Shape

Before this make I did not own a single pair of black pants. Any I had in the past were worn out, too small, and had been cleared out. So I knew I wanted some but I wanted to play around and try a new to me shape, something to make them a little less basic. This pattern has a cult following on instagram, check out the hashtag here, and people make these again and again singing their praises. I wondered how voluminous they would feel and am happy to report that I love this shape. I think the proportions are just perfect and have been wearing them nonstop.

Pattern: Bob Woven Pant by Style Arc Patterns. I made the size 12 but will size down to a 10 next time as the waist is a little roomy. Super simple sew and I love the pockets and the line of the legs.

Fabric: I chose a poly cotton blend from Joann that I had a coupon for. It’s not my most favorite fabric, but it was inexpensive and I was branching out here and didn’t want to use something special for a shape I wasn’t sure about. These would look great in linen, tencel twill, and I think you could even use some kind of sweat shirting for a fun take on a sweat suit.

Other Thoughts: These are so incredibly comfortable and I think could be styled very casual or much more work wear. I am all aboard the elastic pants train and these are at the top of my favorites list. I will absolutely be making more in the future and fully understand the hype now. If you’ve been on the fence about these balloon shaped legs, I have to say that I think Style Arc nailed it and they are just balloony enough.

Bottom Number Three: Plaid Pants

I wanted a pair of plaid pants and this is another pattern I’ve been seeing non stop on Instagram! I thought the pleats and the pockets mixed with the elastic waist band (I’m telling ya, fully on board) are a fun way to play with a classic silhouette. I love that there are straight leg and wide leg versions and those shorts will absolutely be happening in the summer. Again I think the proportions are just right and the darts in the back prevent the diaper butt look that a lot of elastic waist pants can give you. I’m sorry mine are so wrinkled in the pics, but it’s only because I’ve been wearing them non stop!

Pattern: The Bisque Trousers by Vivan Shao Chen in a straight size 8.

Fabric This cotton plaid shirting from Minerva. I love that it is a subtle, classic plaid and it was pretty affordable. Trying out a new pattern from a new to me designer meant I wasn’t too sure about investing in much more than this. So a very wearable muslin and I think would be great with some kind of jacket- or even a vest?

Thoughts: I love these. Love. And had no issues with fit but only because so many people have been sharing their fit experiences with this one. Those with a very different waist and hip measurement need to do a little research here because the darts in these pants make for great shaping but also can make it hard to wriggle on over hips. I was so happy I read about this because I was able to choose my size (which is actually between quite a few sizes!) based on what would work with my hips but still be fitted at the waist. A few people have added a side zip to make this work along with other alterations. Check out Jasika’s post for a very thorough description of her fitting process. Jessica has an in-depth look at fitting in her story highlights as well. I would also recommend searching the hashtag as well as the designer’s page for more info! I think this shows why I share so much of what I make and why I try to get better at explaining. Having these resources handy makes it so much easier for others and also helps me reflect on what I can do better next time!

So there are the three bottoms I made for this capsule and I love all of them! I am almost finished with the tops and can’t wait to show you and just start wearing them all together. Have a great weekend and I hope you get some sewing in!

Fall Capsule/// The Topper

I have my first make for my fall capsule today and it’s the topper. I have wanted an oversize blazer for awhile now and was really excited to sew this up. I found a great classic suiting fabric and knew it would look great as the Heather Blazer from Friday Pattern Company.

That is where my excitement ended… Sadly this make was one I did not enjoy making, at all! I cut it out and then proceeded to have a crazy stressful couple of weeks and just did not have the mental capacity to make a complicated, lined blazer. I should have just set it aside and worked on some easier projects. That was my first mistake.

Then I made the absolute rookie mistake of just cutting into my fabric and not making a muslin and checking the fit. I think in my head I thought, “oversize blazer! It will be fine!” Reader, it was not fine. I had fitting issues in the sleeves and biceps and then after addressing those I finished the blazer and it looked beautiful. Except the sleeves were way too short. Comically short. So I unpicked and now have makeshift finishes on the sleeves. Not great.

I almost just quit but I was so close and it was so close to being good. So I finished it up and now I think it’s just too big. I wanted oversize but I think it’s leaning towards silly and not chic.

So what are my learning successes? (we don’t have failures over here anymore. I love Jasika Nicole’s take on this!) I learned- toile it out!!! And know that sleeves usually need lengthening. If I make this again I will size down and lengthen the sleeves and make a broad shoulder adjustment. Then I think the fit would be spot on.

I think this is a good pattern and the instructions are great with a lot of supplement links to videos and things. I just think I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for a long term complicated project and have ended up with a garment that is just meh for me when I really wanted to love it.

I am going to hang this one up in the closet and try to wear it and style it up in a few ways. I don’t think it’s a total loss!

The Details:

This is the Heather Blazer from Friday Pattern Company made up in a Glen Plaid Wool Suiting from StyleMaker Fabrics.

This pattern goes from an XS to 7X (32″ bust to 60″ bust) and I made a straight size medium. I made no adjustments but then had to change the hem on the sleeves so they were long enough.

While I thought the instructions and drafting were good I will say I disagree that this could be a beginner pattern. I think it’s pretty complicated and could cause a lot of frustration.

T-Shirt Month///Final Wrap Up!!!

Today I’m here to wrap up what turned out to be a fantasist tshirt month! Click here to see all my posts and patterns that I used as well as different fabrics I tried.

I learned quite a bit this month about what style of tshirt I want to make and wear and it ended up being very different from what I thought I wanted. Turns out, I love a looser fit, a scooped neck, and a very soft fabric. Maybe some day I’ll prefer something else, but for right now, this is what feels good and is what I reach for over and over again.

I fell in love with Love Notions patterns and learned I really like a cotton jersey mixed with rayon or modal. I want to share a list of patterns that people mentioned, some of them over and over again, as well as a couple other helpful links. Bookmark this post for when you’re in the mood to sew some t-shirts!

Claire Shaeffers’ Fabric Sewing Guide was a book that was recommended and I thought I would share as the book I referred to is no longer in print. It’s extremely helpful to have reference books that can help you pin point specific fabrics that you can then go looking for online. Also having expert information on how to sew and care for the fabric is something that you can’t always assume you will find quickly through google.

I got a lot of unsolicited advice (!) and thought I would share a neckband tutorial with y’all. This one from Melly Sews is good and pretty comprehensive. Some of the shirts I ended up not liking I slapped on neckbands to finish and show you and tried to be clear about that. I and my sewing are never perfect and I realize I have a lot of experienced sewists that have a lot of great advice. I would just say, maybe unless someone says ‘hey I would like advice on this!’ know that it is not always needed? Food for thought? I am going to be more clear on what I am just sharing and what I want advice on in the future.

Ok and here is a grand list of tshirt patterns that followers have used and loved with links to all of them. Have fun sewing yourself the perfect t-shirts! Thanks for following along this month!

The Plantain T-shirt from Deer and Doe

Keep it Simple Babe from Pattern Emporium

KLP t-shirt from Studio Jepson

Quite a few patterns from Sinclair Patterns, I’ve linked to all their knit tops

Toronto Tee from Rebecca Page (FREE!)

Kirsten Tee by Maria Denmark (Free!)

Galaxy T- Shirt by Pattern Scissors Cloth

Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio

Frankie Tee by Tilly and the Buttons

Uvita Top from Itch to Stitch (FREE!)

Union Street Tee from Hey June Handmade

Sew Over It’s Molly Top and Edie top

Wardrobe by Me Tshirt Patterns

Concord Tee by Cashmerette Patterns

T-Shirt Month///Glenelly and Breckenridge

Today I have the final two makes of tshirt month and this weekend I’ll be posting all my final thoughts as well as all the great recommendations I’ve received this month! To see all the posts, click here.

Today I’m looking at two shirts with different styles of neckline (as opposed to the more classic options we’ve seen in the other shirts this month!) and both of them have options to be made into dresses. I had great success with one, not so much with the other. But I have learned a lot in the process so let’s dive in!

Pattern One is the Glenelly Top and Dress by Itch to Stitch Patterns

Pattern name and designer: The Glenelly Top and Dress by Itch to Stitch Patterns.

Size Range: 00-20, 31″ -46 1/4″ full bust

Pattern Details and Options: From the website, “The Glenelly features a modern square neckline, raglan short sleeves, and a figure-flattering fit. Designed for knit fabric, both the top and dress options could be dressed up or down. The dress option has gathers in the center front and center back waist, and a slightly-raised front waistline. The Glenelly also comes in a full-bust option.”

I made the top version in a size 4

Fabric used: I used a ponte from my stash. It was entirely the wrong fabric and I don’t want to go into detail about it because this is not a tshirt fabric! It was in my stash and stable and I used it without thinking!!

Thoughts on fit: This is a raglan style sleeve which, I have learned this month!!, is a style that I really, really don’t like on myself. I feel like it widens by shoulders and flattens my chest, two things I would really like the opposite to happen! That being said, the fit is more close fitting with a really lovely neckline.

Thoughts on style: This is great when you’re wanting more than a basic tee.

What I don’t like: Everything about this pattern is great except the style is just not for me. I consider this valuable information though, I now know to stay away from raglans. I’m just never happy with how they look! I also think only two variations, one just being a dress (which is easy to do to any tshirt pattern really) maybe isn’t a great value.

What I do like: The inclusive size range, the excellent instructions and drafting on the neckline, the fact that this is a great base pattern that you could easily build into something else!

Pattern Two: The Breckenridge Henley by Love Notions

Pattern name and designer: The Breckenridge Henley by Love Notions

Size Range: XS-5X, 33″-57.5″ full bust

Pattern Details and Options: From the website, “The Breckenridge Henley is an easy to wear top, tunic or dress. Meant for knit fabrics, this style will take you through all seasons. The neckline is an unconventional henley style that is easy to sew. No buttonholes required! Three body lengths are included: shirt, tunic and dress. Sew up this versatile style with short sleeves, roll tabbed long sleeve, or cuffed long sleeve.”

I made the long sleeve cuff version in a size medium

Fabric used: I used this white sand sedona mini stripe jersey and it is the comfiest, softest fabric ever. I have enough left over that I’m going to make some kind of bottoms with it and have a luxurious lounge/pajama outfit.

Thoughts on fit: I am fully aboard the Love Notions fan train. Their patterns fit me well (I think the attention to bust and sizing and full bust options makes a ton of difference) and their instructions and thoughtful designs mean you will have success with whatever it is you’re making.

Thoughts on style: A classic Henley with options for a dress or tunic and I love the sleeve variations. Can be very casual, think pjs, or made in a different fabric can be a great every day t shirt.

What I don’t like:  I don’t think there’s anything negative for me to say about this one!

What I do like: Something really interesting and handy is that the button placket is just for show, so no button holes. That makes this a really quick make but the details elevate the shirt to look like more than a simple tee.

For the fabric today I’m just going to talk about the Jersey from Surge Fabrics. “This mini stripe jersey is a classic choice for t-shirts.  It is soft and light-weight without being sheer.” It is composed of 64%rayon, 14% cotton, 18%poly, 4%spandex and has a 50% horizontal stretch and 25% vertical.

This fabric reminds me of ready to wear lounge wear and I will be keeping this fabric content in mind when looking for cozy t-shirts to make and wear. It is light weight and I wished I had used a tad heavier interfacing for the neck band, just to get a cleaner topstitching. Otherwise it was not too difficult to work with and I literally want to drape myself in it and curl up for a nap. That comfortable. It does feel more casual- a mix of the print and light weight-ness I think!

Thanks for following along as I tried out all these t-shirts! I learned a lot about what I like to wear and make and now have a closet full of great t-shirts to wear for the rest of the fall. Speaking of fall… Next weekend I’m going to start talking about fall sewing and plans and all things capsule. Be sure you’re following me to stay in the loop!!!

T-Shirt Month/// The Briar Tee and the Elliot Sweater

I’m back this week with two more t-shirt patterns and another fabric to discuss! For the month of September I’m trying out t-shirts, check out last week’s success here!

Today’s shirts both have the option of making a sweater or a t-shirt. I love the versatility of these patterns and that you can get different tops from one pattern. I would love to hear if you have any patterns like this- that can go sweater or t-shirt- in the comments!

Pattern One: The Briar Tee by Megan Nielsen

Pattern name and designer: Briar Sweater and T-shirt by Megan Nielsen Patterns

Size Range: 0-20, 32″- 46″ Bust, I used an older version of this pattern with a different sizing system and made the straight size small.

Pattern Details and Options: From the Pattern Description, “The stylish alternative to a basic t-shirt or sweater. Pattern features a high scooped front hem, low curved back hem, and includes two lengths, two neckline finishes, three sleeve lengths and two patch pockets”

Fabric: This pattern can be made in jersey, sweater, and stable knits with at least 20% stretch. More than 40% stretch will give a looser fit. I used the same cotton modal jersey I used last week (fabric thoughts at the end of this post!)

Thoughts on fit: A nice fit that is body skimming but not too tight. I think the high low hem adds to the drape and helps make the fit look good.

Thoughts on style: A pretty classic t-shirt with added details in the hem line and pockets. Appreciate the fit and love that you can make a sweater and a t-shirt out of the same pattern.

What I don’t like: While there are technically 4 views, I don’t know that this is as versatile as the patterns we looked at last week. The sizing is also more limited than other indie patterns that are out there.

What I like: I like the look of this shirt and the instructions are really good. Megan Nielsen patterns tend to fit me pretty well.

I have made this pattern before, many years ago, and think it may have been one of my first times sewing with knits! I like this shirt ok, this version I had something wonky happening with the neck band and I’m not quite sure what went wrong. If I hadn’t found such a great pattern last week, I would attempt to fix and make it right, but I have to say I don’t love it enough to make that happen.

Pattern Two: The Elliot Sweater and Tee from Helen’s Closet

Pattern name and designer: Elliot Sweater and Tee by Helen’s Closet

Size Range: 0/2-28/30, 31″-54″ Bust, I made the size 4/6

Pattern Details and Options: From the Pattern Description, “The Elliot Sweater is your go-to cozy layer for everyday wear. Dress it up with dark denim and boots, or keep it casual over leggings and sneakers. View A has a stylish high-low hem with a side slit that provides comfort around the hips. View B is slightly cropped, perfect for pairing with high-waisted pants and skirts. View C of Elliot makes a great, everyday t-shirt. All views feature a raglan sleeve and three neck options are provided: an extra tall version that can be scrunched down or folded over, a medium height version, and a classic knit band.”

Fabric: This pattern can be made in sweater knits with 20% stretch. Versions A and B need a more heavy weight knit while version C needs a lighter to medium weight jersey.

Thoughts on fit: A closer fitting t-shirt with a higher neck, this one was much more body skimming on me.

Thoughts on style: Raglan style sleeves make this a different look than the other shirts I’ve made. Hits at a great length, didn’t love the length of the sleeves.

What I don’t like: I don’t like this shirt but mainly because I realized I don’t like raglan sleeves on me! With the crew neck it makes me feel like my shoulders look really wide while making my bust look smaller.

What I Like: Helen’s Closet always has a great size range and her drafting and instructions are great. I love the wide turtleneck view as a tunic and may try that sometime this winter.

Ok, real talk, I didn’t finish this shirt and slapped on that neck band really sloppily because as I was sewing it up I realized I really don’t like this style. This is not a note on the design and pattern itself, some of y’all will love this!, but I put on the shirt for fit and immediately disliked the raglan sleeve with the higher neck line. Please ignore the pulling on the band as I don’t think that is an indication of the pattern, just an indication of my impatience to get it on to show you the shirt properly!

Part of trying so many shirts this month was to weed out styles that don’t suit me so while these two shirts feel a bit like fails, the outcome is still a win!

Thoughts on Fabric:

The Cotton Modal Jersey is the same that I shared last week and I love it more the more I work with it. It’s incredibly soft and is washing really well.

The Cotton Lycra Jersey was about $20 a meter from Minerva and is 95% cotton, 5% Lycra with a 30% stretch. This fabric comes in beautiful colors and is soft with some drape but is thicker than the previous fabrics I’ve been using. I think it works well for patterns that need a little more stability- something like the raglan sleeves or a more detailed neckline.

I hope even seeing my not so great makes is helpful to you in determining what t-shirt patterns you want to try! Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll see you next week with two more patterns that can also be dresses and have unique necklines.

Recent Make/// M8174

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 made this dress out of a gorgeous bamboo jersey from Blackbird Fabrics in the color ‘blood orange.’ This material is clingy- so keep that in mind with a dress like this. You’re going to be able to see any lumps or bumps from underwear and need to plan accordingly!

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!

T-Shirt Month/// The Lark Tee and The Classic Tee

I’m back with my first two t-shirts to dive into for t-shirt month. Check out my post from last week to see my plans and what I’m trying to accomplish here!

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 One: The Lark Tee

Pattern name and designer: The Lark Tee from Grainline Studio

Size Range: 0-18, a 32″ bust to a 44″bust

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 Two: The Classic Tee

Pattern name and designer:The Classic Tee from Love Notions

Size Range: XS-5X, 33″ bust to 57.5″ bust

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.

The Hallon Dress

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 bought this cotton double gauze in the color solid rust from Stylemaker Fabrics earlier this summer and only just now got around to sewing the dress. This gauze is gorgeous, so soft and drapes really nicely. It was a perfect match for this pattern.

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!

Fun Summer Dress/// McCalls 8104

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!

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