Pattern Alteration: Daring to do Diagonals

Pattern: Cake Patterns Cabarita Knit Top

I’m not sure why it was so hard to find a simple pattern to make a chevron-type shirt. I basically just wanted a simple v-neck shirt with this simple diagonal pattern. It probably exists, but I had trouble finding it, until I saw this top from Cake patterns. I actually thought the pictures were showing 2 different views, one with the stripes vertical and another with them on the bias. But after I purchased it, I realized there was only one pattern – one picture was the front and the other, the back. I considered making the shirt as is, since it looked kind of interesting, but I really wanted my chevron shirt. Hoping for the best, I made the decision to cut out the back of the shirt twice, so the back and front were the same.

It actually worked out pretty well. I cut out all four sides of my striped fabric on the diagonal and made sure the stripes matched up. The collar and sleeves are finished with bands, also cut on the diagonal, which made things easy. However, I knew the hem would need twin needle stitching, therefore I used some fusible webbing to keep the fabric stable enough to avoid puckering. The bottom hem is still pretty stiff after a few washes, but at least the stitching looks decent.

I’ve been able to wear this shirt many times, and I really love the look. I made sure to adjust the sleeves, as they seemed a little on the long side. The whole thing sewed up really fast and looks pretty polished with the diagonal design. I think the fabric I chose was perfect as well, as it’s a pretty sturdy knit.

I ended up wearing this on my latest vacation to Santa Fe back in October. Here I am at the interactive Meow Wolf art exhibit “The House of Eternal Return.”

It works best as a mild weather fall or spring top, because of the thicker fabric and the sleeves being on the longer side. All in all, I can tell this top will get a lot of use as it’s comfortable and flattering.

Going Retro: Summer Bra Top

I really love retro clothes, but I never really have time to experiment with them. And when you have limited time for sewing, it pushes me to make more practical outfits instead of something that is more of a novelty. However, during the height of COVID, I did actually get a chance to try out this pattern I had bought for a retro looking bra top. I had this great fabric that I bought years ago – and I was only able to get just under a yard of it. It’s a soft rayon (I think) and I figured I could make a small summer top with it. I had just enough fabric to make View C, which has detachable straps that button on and a flap at the top that hides the buttonholes. The top is also fully lined as well, which helped as this material was a bit on the thin side.

I may need to invest in some high waisted shorts to complete the look with this new top. It was very easy to fit with the two buttons in the back.

I don’t wear a lot of tops this short any more, but I really love how this came out. I feel like I need to find someplace fun to wear it next summer, since I never got around to it this summer.

The Eyelet of the Beholder: It’s a 90’s kind of summer

Pattern: McCall’s #6582

When I was young and growing up in the 1990s, I had this white summer top that I absolutely loved, made from eyelet fabric. I wore it for many years until the armpits got discolored and gross. I can’t remember when I exactly retired the top, but I remember trying to find one that looked similar, with no luck. Fast forward to just a few years ago when I found some very soft cotton eyelet material and even though it wasn’t exactly the same texture as my beloved top, it still gave me an idea to try to make a summer top with it.

It was hard to remember exactly what the top looked like, but I remember it buttoned up the front and was cropped very short to show off my midriff. Replicating this would not be possible, especially since I am now in my 40’s and there is no way I would be able to pull off something like that. But I did want to make something cute, so the search was on for a pattern that could make use of this airy fabric.

I found this great pattern on Etsy, a real 1990s style top with that off the shoulder look that used to be pretty popular. I liked the fitted bottom and buttons up the front. If nothing else, I figured this could be a great experiment for the summer.

The V-shape on the bottom section is really what reminded me of my old beloved top. It wasn’t an off-the-shoulder style like this one is, but I do love how soft the fabric is with this new version. In the end I would say this one was a success, even though I probably won’t wear this one as much as my old shirt back in the day. I also need to figure out the right camisole to wear underneath, as this one is definitely pretty revealing up top.

Continue reading “The Eyelet of the Beholder: It’s a 90’s kind of summer”
Flowy top front

Going with the Flow: Starting up 2020

Pattern: Vogue V9005Pattern V9005

Despite all my big plans for 2019, I basically accomplished almost nothing I wanted to for the year. I also kind of just forgot about my blog. I didn’t actually forget, I just never seemed able to get to it, even while I was still sewing. But I’m not wanting to dwell on the past…

Last year was a pretty important year since I turned 40 and my significant other also turned 40. We had some big travel plans and life got pretty busy. It’s interesting how an age milestone can make you feel like you have to try to accomplish everything. Maybe it’s time to slow some things down, I’m not sure. I do have some travel plans for this year, although they are quite different from last year. My SO and I thought it would be a good idea to take some trips with our families this year since we felt it was important at this stage in our lives. It’s great to do these things when you can because you never know what life will throw at you. None of us is getting any younger.

But first up, I do have a girl’s trip planned to Austin, TX in a few weeks. I’ve been trying to decide whether Continue reading “Going with the Flow: Starting up 2020”

Sweater weather : Experimenting with sweater knits

Pattern: Butterick  B5954, view BIMG_3170

I can’t remember if I officially made the announcement, but I did mention this on a previous post – I bought a serger!  It was my Christmas present to myself….that I actually bought in October.  It was expensive, but so very necessary.  Finding a way to work on my mom’s just wasn’t working any more as I don’t live close enough to pop over for an hour or two.  I did however decide to buy the exact same one as her, since I had gotten so used to it.  And here it is – I feel like I need a name for it, but can’t think of anything clever.  Sergey just sounds too much like Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

IMG_3168

My main fear about this machine was threading it.   Continue reading “Sweater weather : Experimenting with sweater knits”