McCall’s 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

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McCall’s 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

And now, deep into October, it’s finally time to wrap up my 2017 Summer Sewing list. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†This top is the last unblogged summer project.

McCall's 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

It’s McCall’s 6751, View A, and it has both pros and cons.

McCall's 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

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McCall's 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

On the pro side, I finally made this top well (see my first attempt, at the beginning of my serious sewing journey here). ¬†I got another chance to sew with linen, which I loved. ¬†It was easy and fast to sew (excluding all the hemming). ¬†I love the look of the fabric and the look of the shirt on the hanger…but I don’t love it on me. ¬†The cons are all personal preference, rather than some sort of problem with the pattern. ¬†I don’t feel secure and covered enough in this shirt.

McCall's 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

I thought I would love the back, but I don’t. ¬†It feels like it will shift or blow open at any moment, leaving me feeling uncomfortably exposed. ¬†I also want to wear my normal undergarments without them showing, but you definitely can’t do this with this shirt. ¬†Seems like I conveniently forgot all this from version one. ¬†Haha!

McCall's 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

So…I have an idea. ¬†I usually hate going back into projects once they are finished, but I’m not quite ready to give up on this yet. ¬†So, my idea is that I will cut out the back of View C, finish it and attach it as an inner layer. ¬†I have a vintage sheet that looks really nice with this linen, and I think it will be perfect. ¬†If I actually do it, I’ll report back. ¬†ūüôā

McCall's 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

So, how about some details on this project? ¬†There aren’t many, because it was a pretty quick and easy sew. ¬†The fabric was given to me by a friend because I wanted to try sewing linen, and she had some that she wasn’t using. ¬†(Thanks again!) ¬†I made a size large, and since I omitted the pocket, there were only two pattern pieces. ¬†There were no darts or fitting changes. ¬†The only long part was all the hemming, which you do along every edge. ¬†It all went well, though, and was a fun project.

McCall's 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

I think a big part of sewing is learning the difference between what you like to look at in fashion and what you will actually wear (and hence, what is worth your sewing time). ¬†I’ve gotten a lot better at this, but I think this project definitely fell into the category of something I liked the idea of that wasn’t realistic for how I actually like to dress. ¬†So now I have a new challenge. ¬†Can I make this shirt work? ¬†We’ll see!

McCall's 6751 Cross-Back Top in Linen

Recommendations

    • I was looking at some of my favorite Etsy shops, and was reminded why I had saved Bias Bespoke as a favorite. ¬†It has so many great tailoring and lingerie supplies as well as things like buttons and trims–a lot of things I don’t normally see. ¬†This one is worth checking out if you sew apparel, especially if you are starting to delve into complex projects and need supplies that are more specialized.
    • A friend of mine introduced me to the art of Kintsugi (as explained in “Kintsugi: ¬†The Centuries-Old Art of Repairing Broken Pottery with Gold“). When you look at some of those pieces, you feel like you understand grace, forgiveness, and redemption in a new way. ¬†And let’s not forget hope.
    • This tutorial for making glitter heels looks fun. ¬†I’m sure you could apply the technique to a whole host of footwear if you wanted to.
    • When you get REALLY into artisanal things… (p.s. This is a joke.¬† It’s so well done, I wasn’t sure at first.)

 

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McCall’s 6848 Top (Again!) in Watercolor Rayon

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McCall’s 6848 Top (Again!) in Watercolor Rayon

I feel like the title of my post makes me sound like I’m rolling my eyes because I’m sick of this pattern, when actually the opposite is true. ¬†I love it!¬† This simple shirt is the meeting of this beloved pattern and the remnants of some beautiful fabric. ¬†This is McCall’s 6848 which I also made in black silk crepe de chine, and it’s actually a pajama pattern!¬† In a fabric with some drape, however, like this watercolor rayon, left over from my Hannah Dress, this pattern also makes a perfect drapey shirt.

McCall's 6848 Top in Watercolor Rayon

McCall’s 6848 comes together quickly and easily with only three pattern pieces, one of which is the bias neck binding. ¬†It’s a quick sew and a great palette cleanser after a more complicated project like the Hannah Dress or Thurlow Shorts.

McCall's 6848 Top in Watercolor Rayon

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McCall's 6848 Top in Watercolor Rayon

I didn’t do anything different on this iteration of the shirt. ¬†Like last time, I used French seams to finish the insides and double turned hems on the bottom and armholes. ¬†The rayon I used is a little harder to work with than the silk crepe de chine was, but it’s so soft and beautiful that it makes up for it. ¬†It was also nice to compare the two fabric types on the same pattern. ¬†So far, crepe de chine is my preference to work with–both are excellent to wear.

McCall's 6848 Top in Watercolor Rayon

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McCall's 6848 Top in Watercolor Rayon

This was one of my 2017 Summer Sewing projects. ¬†I only have one more of those to blog, and then I’m all caught up with summer. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†It all works out, though, because I’m planning to slow down a little for fall and experiment with various areas of sewing that I’ve been interested in. ¬†We’ll see how that all works out.

McCall's 6848 Top in Watercolor Rayon

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McCall's 6848 Top in Watercolor Rayon

I highly recommend this pattern to anyone looking for a quick and easy project that will make a great top for every day (or pajamas) in the right fabric.

McCall's 6848 Top in Watercolor Rayon

Recommendations

    • Mary of Birch Dye Works is really knocking it out of the park with all the cool yarn she has been dying lately. ¬†Her color names are pretty great, too.
    • I was reading the Oliver + S blog and Liesl pointed out all the creative quilting influences she found in the September issue of Vogue. ¬†Check out her post here.
    • I love cheese so much, and I have to recommend brie to you.¬† I tried some brie with mushrooms at Costco, which combines two foods I absolutely love. (I can’t find it on their website to link to but, trust me, it was GOOD. ¬†I wish I had bought some…)
    • Are you thinking about sewing skinny jeans?¬† Judith Dee compares three patterns on her vlog.

Sewaholic Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

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Sewaholic Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

Hi, sewing friends, and welcome back to the 2017 Summer Sewing roundup.  I have two more summer sewing projects to share after this one and then it’s time for fall sewing on the blog!  I think next year I might wrap up my summer sewing a little earlier, especially since it feels weird to post summer projects in October.  Maybe it will give those in the southern hemisphere some warm weather inspiration now that it’s spring by you.  ūüôā

Today’s project is the Thurlow Trousers from Sewaholic Patterns.  I made these shorts in Tinted Denim from Cloud9 Fabrics and I LOVE them.  They are just what I was hoping for.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

They are also just the pattern I’ve been searching for.  It’s oddly hard to find a trouser pattern with angled front pockets and back welt pockets (as opposed to no back pockets or faux welt pockets which were the options with these pants).  Luckily this pattern has staying power.  Even though it came out several years ago and the leg shape is a little different from what you often see today, it’s not impossible to change that if you want to.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

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Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

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Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

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Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

I really wanted some chino-type shorts in a cotton twill, and since denim is a type of twill, I decided to use the Cloud9 tinted denim in Maize.  Colored denim is not my favorite in general, but (1) I actually LOVE the look of this denim and (2) I have had a strangely hard time finding cotton twill bottomweight fabric in a color that I like and at a price I can afford.  While this denim isn’t the cheapest, it’s also not a crazy price, and you need less of it for shorts than you do for pants, so it was a good pick.  It also helped that I was able to pick up both pattern and main fabric (and sparkly zipper!) at Pintuck & Purl when I was up there, so: problem solved.  I bought Bemberg rayon from Jo-Ann Fabrics for the pockets and waistband lining.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

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Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

I prewashed and dried the denim on hot several times to get any excess dye and shrinkage out.  The fabric did bleed and fade a bit, but in a way that I really like.  (I use Color Grabber sheets to check how much my fabric is bleeding when I prewash.)  I’d also love to try the aqua and pink Tinted Denim at the shop, but there’s only so much time and money, you know?  Maybe next summer.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

I had read that this pattern had a lot of pieces, and that was no joke.  It does, including a different right and left front.  As I was tracing my pattern, I could see how much thought and precision went into it, which made me feel hopeful about my final outcome.  Because I’m not a pear shape (which is what Sewaholic patterns are drafted for), my waist was a larger size than my hip measurement.  I decided to go with the waist size and try to fit as I went.  This worked well for me.  I ended up using a larger seam allowance on the sides than the pattern called for.  Other fitting things that were necessary for me were making the shorts tighter over the behind area and looser at the waist, which you can accomplish at the back seam.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

One other issue I had was that when fitting the pointed end of the waistband over the fly shield, the fly shield seemed too wide.  I simply folded it in a bit, ironed and stitched it down, but I wonder if maybe I made it extend too far in the first place.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

I wanted shorts that were a bit more straight legged than this pattern is, so I took an inch off the outside of each leg, tapering to nothing at the pocket, and a half-inch off each inseam, tapering to nothing at the crotch.  This does throw the hem off slightly, but I decided to ignore that this time and deal with it if I make these again.  Rather than cuffing these shorts, I turned under 1 1/2″ at the hem and then folded in the same amount again for a 1 1/2″ double-turned hem.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

The instructions were really clear, and even the welt pockets weren’t too hard.  Mine did fray a bit at the corners after I washed the shorts, but I will chalk that up to inexperience and trust that I’ll improve in my technique over time.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

This pattern is obviously very well done, and I really like that it incorporates an alterable center back seam, which is often seen on men’s pants (and really should be seen on women’s as well, if you ask me).  This helps with fitting while sewing, and also allows you to change it up if you gain or lose inches in the future.  I wouldn’t recommend this pattern to a beginner, but if you have some experience under your belt, this is a real winner.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

I’m so happy to have some longer shorts that are comfortable and durable, have pockets, and feel great to wear.  I hope to make more of these in the future.  I also recognize that because fitting pants is an area I’m nervous about, I need to keep making pants and shorts so I can gain confidence.

Thurlow Shorts in Tinted Denim

Recommendations

  • If you, too, are looking for trousers with welt pockets and whatnot, there is another recent pattern release along those lines.  Check out the North Point Trousers (PDF only) from Itch to Stitch.  They have single welt back pockets instead of the Thurlow’s double welt back pockets and a leg shape that is more current.  I’ve never tried an Itch to Stitch pattern, but I’ve heard good things.
  • I just tried this Baah yarn for the first time, and it was so amazing!  I don’t think the website does it justice.  Mine was a fluffy pink skein.  It looks like cotton candy without the stickiness!
  • My sister-in-law sent me the Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook, and I’m having a lot of fun trying out the smoothie section.

The Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns

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The Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns

It’s not often that a dress pattern comes along that is fascinating and mysterious. ¬†That’s not to say that you see a line drawing of a pattern and automatically picture every step just because you know how to sew, but you often know the general process of putting a garment together as well as what the pattern pieces might look like once you have been sewing for awhile. ¬†So when something puzzling comes along, it’s kind of fun.

I’ve been sewing long enough now (and taking in massive amounts of sewing information through the magic of the interwebs) that a lot of patterns look similar to others that I’ve seen. ¬†It takes a lot more for a pattern to surprise me, but that is just what happened when I saw Heather Lewenza’s Hannah dress from Victory Patterns.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns in Rayon Challis

Link to the pattern here.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns in Rayon Challis

Heather made her dress from crisp cotton so you could really see the interesting back crossover that wraps around the sides of the dress to end in the pockets.  I had never seen a dress like that.

As I researched it online to see what other sewers thought of the pattern, I read over and over again that the pattern pieces were different from any they had ever seen, and that it was fun and intriguing to sew.  I tried to resist the aura of coolness that this pattern exuded, and for awhile I was successful.  It only came in PDF, which is usually enough to make me pass on a pattern, but in the end, I bought it.  I had to try this for myself.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns in Rayon Challis

I deliberated over fabric choice for awhile, but finally decided to go with rayon challis for its fluid drape. ¬†Another plus was that I had two coordinating rayons already in my stash–a black one from Field’s Fabrics in Kalamazoo, MI, and a grayscale watercolor rayon from Pintuck & Purl in Exeter, NH. ¬†I had been saving that last one for just the right project, and I had finally found it.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns in Rayon Challis

Once I was ready to get started, I decided to make a straight size 12, which meant sizing up on the bust. ¬†A number of reviews I read said that the bust ran a bit small, so I sized up, which also meant I didn’t drive myself crazy trying to figure out how to grade between sizes. ¬†This isn’t a pattern you want to try to blend sizes on or adjust beyond lengthening or shortening. ¬†The pattern pieces are just too different.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns in Rayon Challis

As soon as I began, I questioned my fabric choice. ¬†You do a lot of stay-stitching initially, and mine puckered my fabric. ¬†I immediately switched to a microtex needle and my walking foot, and hoped for the best. ¬†The directions are so precise, which is great, but because of my inexperience working with rayon challis, I found that I was often stressed out, worrying that the dress wouldn’t turn out. ¬†In the end, it did turn out just fine, but it has a lot of puckers that it shouldn’t have. ¬†So, the rayon was good and bad.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns in Rayon Challis

My overall takeaways are that (pro) I now have more experience working with rayon challis and the black hides most of the puckers, but (con) the dress isn’t as well-made as I would have liked. ¬†I think if I made this again, I would make it in something more stable, which would admittedly make the silhouette more A-line, but would also be more enjoyable to sew. ¬†The other thing that I am beginning to think after sewing four garments from rayon this year (not all blogged) is that with the exception of the Cotton + Steel rayon, it doesn’t feel durable. ¬†It’s comfortable and presses well, but something about it makes me think it won’t last as long as garments I’ve made from other fabrics. ¬†We’ll see if that proves to be true or not. ¬†So far I think I like silk crepe de chine better.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns in Rayon Challis

But, despite my learning curve with rayon, this dress did get finished and has been worn. ¬†And I love it. ¬†It’s so cool! ¬†I would certainly make it again and would recommend it to intermediate sewers. ¬†I’m so glad I took the plunge and bought the pattern. ¬†I’m also hugely impressed that someone’s brain could come up with this. ¬†I wish I had taken pictures of the unique pattern pieces as I sewed, but I didn’t. ¬†ūüė¶

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns in Rayon Challis

So that’s one more down on my 2017 Summer Sewing list. ¬†The autumnal equinox is today, but I managed to get my last summer garment finished on Wednesday. ¬†It might take a little while for everything to show up on the blog, but it’s all done and now I’m setting my sights on sewing some fun things for autumn. ¬†What about you? ¬†Do you have any autumnal projects planned (or spring for those of you in the southern hemisphere)? ¬†I love planning projects. ¬†Other than completing projects, planning them is my favorite part. ¬†ūüôā

Recommendations

  • If you are local to the Seacoast of NH, there’s going to be a storewide sale at Pintuck & Purl in Exeter, NH on Saturday (the 23rd of Sept.). ¬†It should be a good time! ¬†9 am – 4 pm.
  • Here’s another one for you if you are local to the Seacoast of NH. ¬†If you, like me, use Big 4 patterns (Simplicity, Butterick, McCall’s, Vogue as well as Burda Style, New Look, and Kwik Sew), the Seabrook, NH Joann’s Fabric is the place you should go. ¬†It’s in a sad, empty strip mall, and the store isn’t big, but it’s calm and extremely well-organized. ¬†They are rarely missing a pattern, and every drawer is so nice and neat.
  • For those of us near eastern Massachusetts, north of Boston, Marie’s Sewing Center in Woburn, MA is having a machine sale Sept. 29-Oct. 1. ¬†“Purchase a new sewing machine or serger in stock at MSRP & get a sewing machine or serger of equal or lesser value for ONE CENT!” ¬†This would be a good event to partner with a friend on, so you can both get what you want for less!
  • This video by Candide Thovex is like watching skiing parkour. ¬†As it goes along, it gets less and less believable, but it’s fun to watch!

 

Inspired by Surfing: Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

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Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

I’m really excited to share today’s garment with you. ¬†This one was a long time coming, because I thought about it for months before finally starting on it.

In the past few years, surfing has become a fun spectator sport for me, and I’m also inspired by the fashion aspect of surfing. ¬†In my perusal of current surf culture, I’ve noticed a lot of wetsuits/swimsuits that look like long-sleeved, one-piece swimsuits (see some of my inspiration here, here, and here). ¬†I wanted one of my own…and I knew that I had the power to make it!

Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

(front view, above)

Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

(back view, above)

As I thought my plan over, I realized that the perfect pattern for this project wasn’t a swimsuit pattern. ¬†The one that looked closest to what I wanted turned out to be the Nettie Dress & Bodysuit pattern by Closet Case Patterns. ¬†Maggie at Pintuck & Purl was kind enough to order a few copies so I could get on with my project. ¬†Next I started looking around for fabric and inspiration. ¬†Pinterest and Instagram were great for ideas. ¬†And fabric? ¬†Etsy to the rescue–specifically a shop called Ameritexx Spandex.

Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

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Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

Design & Technical Choices

This project was one of my 2017 Summer Sewing projects. ¬†I chose the long-sleeved bodysuit with the high neck and low back in a 12 at the bust and waist and 14 at the hip. ¬†I didn’t want to put a zipper in, so while I originally chose the medium back, I got a little bit worried about how easy it would be to get into and out of, so I decided to go with the lower back. ¬†I also added in a shelf bra (included in the pattern) and padding (traced from other swim cups) for modesty. ¬†I chose to line the body of the suit, but not the sleeves.

Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

Inside, front (above)

Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

Inside back (above)

As far as equipment goes, I made this on my home sewing machine (an Elna 3005, if you are interested) with a stretch needle, a walking foot, and a zigzag stitch. ¬†I used polyester thread (from Gutermann) in my needle and woolly nylon/bulky nylon thread in my bobbin. ¬†My elastic was swimwear elastic and the foam I used in the shelf bra was poly-laminate foam from Sew Sassy. ¬†It’s good for lightly padded bras or swimwear.

Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

the underside of the shelf bra, where you can see the poly laminate foam

When I cut my pattern, I made sure to trace out a full pattern piece (rather than a standard half pattern piece) so that I could cut my fabric in a single layer rather than cutting on the fold.  I also used a rotary cutter.

Process

I always get nervous when I want to sew a swimsuit. ¬†There are so many layers and the fabric is slippery. ¬†You also really need a swimsuit to work–to stay on your body in and out of the water. ¬†Thankfully, this went together really well. ¬†I told myself I would try it on as I went and adjust as necessary. ¬†Usually I just make the thing and hope for the best, but not on this project! ¬†With the exception of including a lining and treating the lining and outer fabric as one, I followed the directions of the pattern to about the point where it was necessary to add leg and neck elastic.

I did make a few modifications, although not many. ¬†I raised the front leg openings about an inch. ¬†I shortened the length of the shelf bra, and decided to sew over each seam twice for extra security. ¬†I also realized very quickly when I started to add my leg elastic that I needed more width of fabric in the crotch area if I was going to stitch and turn elastic and still expect coverage. ¬†To take care of this issue, I got out the pattern for the bottoms of Jalie 3023 (a tankini), traced it out, and used it as the crotch section of my suit. ¬†I also changed how I applied the elastic. ¬†I used the techniques in this blog post (which I’ve printed out so I won’t lose it), using bound elastic for the neckline and gathered, turned, and stitched elastic for the leg holes.

Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

Bound elastic at the neckline

Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

Gathered, turned, and stitched elastic at the leg openings

Analysis

I’m really happy with how this turned out, although I’m sorry to say that I finished it so late in the season that I’ve only worn it while swimming once. ¬†It stayed on well, and I felt good in it. ¬†In fact, I think this is my most successful swimsuit to date. ¬†The only thing I might change is to take in the sleeves from elbow to wrist slightly.

As it is now, the suit stays on well, despite the open back. ¬†If it loosens eventually, I could always add a strap across the back. ¬†I’m excited to try this out over time and see how I like it. ¬†It wasn’t overly hard to make (despite my fears) and I like how it looks. ¬†I definitely recommend this pattern if you want to give it a try. ¬†I found that using the sew-along on the Closet Case Patterns website in tandem with the directions was really helpful.

Inspired by Surfing:  Nettie Bodysuit as Swimwear

With only about a week of summer left, I have one more garment from my 2017 Summer Sewing list to sew up as well as a second version of my black silk shirt. ¬†I want to charge through them, but my back has been messed up (I really have to find a way to prevent that!). ¬†I hope I can do it! ¬†I’ll report back here soon!

Lastly, tomorrow is my blog’s four-year anniversary. ¬†Hooray! ¬†Blogging has been a great way to take part in the fun of the sewing community and a great personal journal of the things I’ve sewn. ¬†Thanks for coming along with me on the adventure!

Recommendations

  • Around the time I made this suit, Rosie Martin of @rosie_diycouture and Katie of @katiemakesadress also made long-sleeved swimsuits. ¬†Rosie¬†used the Nettie, while Katie tried the Rowan Bodysuit from Megan Nielsen Patterns. ¬†There must be something in the air! ¬†We all caught hold of similar inspiration!
  • Have you seen the new Lander Pant and Short pattern from True Bias? ¬†I’m really tempted by those pants. ¬†I mean–wide legs and patch pockets! ¬†Right up my alley.
  • I decided I wanted to look at the fashion designs of Ralph Lauren and Valentino more closely so I requested some books from the library. ¬†Two out of three turned out to be kids books, but…they were great! ¬†It was the perfect way to get a brief biography of each designer’s life and career. ¬†I’m going to have to try this for other people I’m interested in learning about.
  • I never realized all the similarities between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings until I watched this! ūüėČ

 

Silk “Secret Pajamas”: McCall’s 6848

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Silk “Secret Pajamas”: McCall’s 6848

It’s time for another garment from my 2017 Summer Sewing list! ¬†McCall’s 6848, View C is a top I’ve made before (in pre-blogging days, maybe?)…and one that I love! ¬†I really wanted to make this simple top out of a flowy fabric to wear to work and church as well as with casual bottoms. ¬†When I saw that Fabric Mart had black silk crepe de chine on sale, I knew that I had found my ideal fabric.

Silk "Secret Pajamas":  McCall's 6848

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Silk "Secret Pajamas":  McCall's 6848

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Silk "Secret Pajamas":  McCall's 6848

Now I know that silk is often viewed as a fabric that needs a lot of special care, but that is really up to you. ¬†If you want to dry clean your silk, you can, but you can also throw it in the washer and even the dryer if you want to. ¬†It does change the look of the fabric a bit if you wash it, but it doesn’t damage the fabric in any way. ¬†So, while I actually prefer the look of the prewashed silk, I knew that I wouldn’t dry clean it due to cost and inconvenience, so I prewashed and dried.

Silk "Secret Pajamas":  McCall's 6848

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Silk "Secret Pajamas":  McCall's 6848

Sewing up this pattern was really fast and easy.  I made it in a size large this time.  It only has three pattern pieces:  a front, a back, and a neckband.  It was easy to sew the side and shoulder seams with French seams, and the neckband encloses the raw edge around the neck.  For the sleeves, I just did a basic hem with the raw edge turned under so that it was enclosed.  Fast and easy with no exposed edges left to fray in the wash!

Silk "Secret Pajamas":  McCall's 6848

(front view, above)

Silk "Secret Pajamas":  McCall's 6848

(back view, above)

I love the boxy cut and drape of this shirt and, while I wear it as an everyday shirt rather than as pajamas, I can feel how lovely this would be as a silk pajama top. ¬†If you are looking for a basic drapey, boxy shirt pattern that is quick and easy, this is for you! ¬†I’ve already got another cut out in rayon. ¬†Highly recommend!

Silk "Secret Pajamas":  McCall's 6848

Recommendations

  • Proceed with caution if you try this one out! ¬†Cooking Fever is a fun (and addictive) game where you have to serve your customers food as quickly as possible. ¬†The better you do, the more (virtual) money you’ll have to upgrade your appliances and restaurant. ¬†My fast food establishment is pretty awesome by now, I have to say! ¬†ūüėČ
  • The Refashioners blog series and competition is up and running again this year with a theme of suits. ¬†If you love refashioning, you can remake a suit into a new garment to compete for prizes (rules and prizes can be found here). ¬†Right now, Portia, owner of the Makery blog which is hosting the event, is posting inspiration by various bloggers. ¬†I was completely blown away when I saw Joost’s zebra-inspired coat. ¬†You HAVE to check it out!
  • I just finished the audiobook version of¬†Wonder by R. J. Palacio. ¬†It was a great kids’ fiction book about the power of kindness.

The Perfect Summer Cutoffs: Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

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The Perfect Summer Cutoffs:  Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

It’s late summer here, and I think it’s time I introduced you to my most-worn shorts of the season. ¬†This year I finally realized that the shorts I’ve been making myself are kind of…well, short. ¬†This may have been obvious to everyone around me, but it really wasn’t obvious to me until I realized that I wanted some longer shorts and only had one pair that I had thrifted. ¬†But I know how to sew, so that’s a problem I can fix! ¬†ūüėÄ

Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

Enter what is quickly becoming a favorite pattern not only for my husband (see versions one and two of his cargo pants from this pattern), but also for me (my pants version is here): ¬†Thread Theory’s Jutland Pants pattern.

Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

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Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

My husband loves this pattern because he loves cargo pants, but I love this pattern because, for some reason, it fits me! ¬†It doesn’t fit me to the sewing world standard of “perfect fit”. ¬†It fits me in the way women would want a pair of men’s jeans to fit for that authentic “boyfriend jeans” look or in the way that you want a pair of work pants to fit.

Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

This summer, I dreamed of a pair of long cutoffs that weren’t tight, but were loose and comfortable. ¬†More and more, I realize that I want my summer clothes to be loose and breezy, and my winter clothes to feel like a warm hug. ¬†ūüėČ

Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

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Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

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Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

Before our trip out to visit family earlier in the summer, I cut these jeans out of a non-stretch denim that I bought at Fabric Place Basement, and flew through the sewing! ¬†I wanted these done FAST, so I didn’t do much extra top-stitching or any seam finishes beyond zigzagging my seam allowances. ¬†I didn’t even hem them, because I wanted them to look like cutoffs. ¬†I figured that I was making them secure enough to last, but if they showed some fraying and wear and tear, they would have even more of that authentic look. ¬†And let me just say, I LOVE these shorts. ¬†In fact, I have to hold myself back from wearing them every day.

The only thing I did differently from my pants version (besides the length) was to use the actual Jutland Pants back pockets rather than the back pockets from the Ginger Jeans.  I knew that the Jutland Pants back pockets were bigger and more square, but I just wanted to try them to see if I would like them.  And I do!

Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

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Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

Another thing I like about these shorts is that you can wear them long or roll them up one or two times, giving you some different options. ¬†I probably wear them rolled up twice most often, but I really like all the different lengths I can achieve. ¬†Now I’m beginning to wonder if they would look good in canvas and if I have enough left over from other Jutland pants I’ve made…

Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

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Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

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Thread Theory Jutland Pants as Boyfriend Jeans

That might be a job for next summer, though.

Recommendations

    • After going to New Hampshire’s White Mountains, I would definitely recommend them! ¬†Now I want to go back and go camping! ¬†(You can see my last post for some pictures of our trip.)
    • I just finished listening to the audio version of¬†Willpower: ¬†Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength¬†by Roy Baumeister and John ¬†Tierney. ¬†It was a really fascinating psychological look at what willpower is and how you can cultivate it in your life. ¬†I think I need to go back and listen through it again.
    • Devon Iott (@missmake on Instagram) does it again! ¬†I’ve got her version of Style Arc’s Josie Hoodie in my head, and now I want to make my own!
    • This video is a little longer than what I usually post, but it was interesting to learn about the “Pros & Cons of Common Fabrics” both for everyday and as far as environmental impact. ¬†I definitely learned some things!

Outside in August

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Outside in August

This one is coming to you a little later in the day than usual, but that’s because I was on a mini-vacation Wednesday to Thursday and we got back late last night. ¬†I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share some photos of where we went, because there was so much beautiful outdoor scenery. ¬†Despite the fact that these pictures were all shot on my phone rather than with my DSLR, I think there are still some good ones. ¬†Get ready to vicariously visit the White Mountains of New Hampshire!

The first place we went was Diana’s Bath in the North Conway area of New Hampshire (NH). ¬†It’s a series of little water falls that you can explore and play in.

Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

I guess this post could also be sub-titled “Amazing Fungi of New Hampshire”. ¬†There were so many weird and amazing fungi all over the woods!

Next we went over to Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves in North Woodstock, NH. ¬†With the help of boardwalks built along a river, you can explore the rocks and caves in a way you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. ¬†These pictures don’t do justice to the amazing boardwalk system they have here (which has over 1,000 steps) or the caves you can squeeze through if you so desire.

Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

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Outside in August

It was a great trip, and I hope we can go back and explore more one day.  Have you ever been to the White Mountains?  What did you do there?

Vintage Butterick 3731 Dress in Blue Rayon Challis

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Vintage Butterick 3731 Dress in Blue Rayon Challis

This summer we attended two weddings, which seemed like a great reason to challenge myself to sew a few dresses. ¬†I’ve never been much of a dress-wearer, but I’d like to find a style or two that I like for summer, and wear dresses more. ¬†My original plans involved making a fit-and-flare dress for the first wedding and Butterick 3731 for the second, but creative plans often change. ¬†I don’t know what it is, but so far, after trying two different patterns, the fit-and-flare, darted-bodice dress style eludes me. ¬†There must be some fitting knowledge that I’m missing. ¬†So, after a hearty (but failed) attempt, I put that style aside and got to work on Butterick 3731.

Vintage Butterick 3731

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Vintage Butterick 3731

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Vintage Butterick 3731

This pattern is probably only my second vintage pattern that I’ve worked from. ¬†On one of my trips to the Brimfield Antique Show I found this pattern, which was in my bust size…but was missing instructions. ¬†The antique dealer gave it to me for free since it only had the pattern pieces. ¬†I posted about it online, and crossed my fingers hoping that someone in the sewing community would have it and could send me directions. ¬†And a wonderful lady named Sara did. ¬†Isn’t the sewing community great that way? ¬†Thanks again, Sara!

Vintage Butterick 3731

My original intention was to make the maxi dress. ¬†I graded the waist and hips out to fit my measurements and made a muslin (which was a good idea, because I found a few little problems I needed to fix). ¬†Then I bought some rayon challis from Joann Fabrics at a great price. ¬†The fabric is one designed by Gretchen Hirsch for Joann’s, which I was excited to try. ¬†I laid it all out, only to realize that in grading the waist and hips up, I hadn’t considered the sweep of the skirt. ¬†It was too wide and I didn’t have quite enough fabric. ¬†I could have made the skirt more narrow, but even so, I was somehow still short on fabric, so I decided that this dress would have to be the shorter version.

Vintage Butterick 3731

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Vintage Butterick 3731

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Vintage Butterick 3731

This pattern was so easy to make and fit! ¬†It was great to have a project that wasn’t overly hard to fit! ¬†That being said, however, there were little parts where notches didn’t align¬†or seams needed to be finished beyond what the directions instructed. ¬†I made sure to use French seams or clean-finished seams so the insides would look relatively nice. ¬†My goal wasn’t perfection, just a dress that was well-made and that I felt comfortable in. ¬†And I do feel comfortable in this dress. ¬†I’ll admit that the picture of how I look in my head isn’t¬†exactly how I look in real life, but I still love the dress.

Vintage Butterick 3731

The flowy fabric turned out to be a good choice as well. ¬†It’s soft, yet cool. I will say, however, that having used both the rayon challis from Cotton + Steel on a shirt for my mom as well as this rayon challis from Joann’s, there is a marked difference. ¬†I don’t have full confidence that the fabric in this dress will stand up to wear and tear, whereas the Cotton + Steel rayon feels really durable. ¬†Cotton + Steel rayon is also far, far more expensive, so you have to weigh your priorities. ¬†This was the right fabric for¬†this¬†dress at the right price point. ¬†I’d still really love to make the maxi version, but that will also have to wait for the right fabric at the right price point…that maxi will take a lot of fabric!

Vintage Butterick 3731

If anyone is thinking of trying this pattern (and it seems like there are a number of copies out there on Etsy and other sites), I would recommend it. ¬†It’s comfortable, easy to fit, and great in a drapey fabric. ¬†Despite a few little oddities in the directions (a few notches that didn’t match up and a facing that ran a little short), the directions and pattern pieces are good overall. ¬†It also feels current as the ’70’s return yet again. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†I’d love to try this in a soft linen.

Vintage Butterick 3731

Recommendations

  • Siobhan of the blog Just Keep Sewing made one of my favorite versions of the Victory Patterns Hannah dress, which is on my 2017 Summer Sewing list.
  • If you love 1970’s fashion, you might want to check out the #70sfashioncult hashtag on Instagram. ¬†It’s full of patterns and ’70’s clothes. ¬†You could even add your own retro creations or ’70’s patterns!
  • Do you live in the Midwest of the USA? ¬†If you do, and you have a Meijer near you (which is like a Midwestern Target), try their Michigan Cherry coffee. ¬†It’s one of my favorites! ¬†Several of my friends in New England have also grown to love it since I have wonderful in-laws and parents who are willing to ship it to me. ¬†ūüėČ
  • Since knowledge is power, let me help you with your bowling game. ¬†After watching this, I want to ask my local bowling alley if they oil their lanes with ‘The Badger’ or ‘The Cheetah’ or a house pattern. ¬†They’ll probably think I’m super cool if I do that. ¬†Right? ūüėČ ¬†Check it out: ¬†The hidden oil patterns on bowling lanes.