Shibori Linen Babydoll Top

I’ve got a full glass of wine and “Murder She Wrote” playing on the TV in the background, so conditions seem just right to tell you about my latest sewing project.

Jessica Fletcher drinking wine

No, it’s not this gold lamé number.  It’s a blue linen baby doll top!

blue linen baby doll top

I think baby doll tops/dresses may be another thing that I love, but many people despise.  I just really like shapes that aren’t too form fitting, or that even take it a step further and kind of hang away from the body.  I do like to pair tops like this with something slim on the bottom, to balance out the proportions.

blue linen shibori top

I was waiting to post this one until it became a little more spring-like outside, and I don’t want to jinx us, but it feels like winter is over in my neck of the woods.

backview of blue babydoll top

I dyed the linen with my usual fiber reactive dyes, and I used a bunch of little clamps to make the small square/dot pattern.  I’ve been trying out different resists and I like how this came out a little more subtle than my usual patterns.

shibori dyed linen

Here is a shot of the full piece of fabric.

I’ve been working on some new pieces to put up for sale in my Etsy shop, and I’ll probably blog about some of them here as they are completed.  I perpetually feel like I’m not getting enough done, but I’m trying to take it one garment at a time:)

Cheers!

Jessica Fletcher drinking champagne

 

 

 

Hooded Wrap Cardigan

wrap cardigan with hood

I’ve been working on some new designs for my shop.  This is the first version of a hooded cardigan that I’ve been testing out.

I’ve been working with more knits since I bought a serger and I wanted to make something that would be comfortable and easy to wear, but would still look interesting.

It’s my own self-drafted pattern and this sample was made from organic cotton sweatshirt fleece that I hand dyed.

hooded tie dyed cardigan

I’m pretty happy with it, but there are a few things I need to adjust before it will be ready for sale.

One change will be to have the front bodice panels overlap each other further.  I made it so that they overlap by a few inches, which is fine for wearing the cardigan open, but I realized that it feels much cozier to have them fully overlap each other when you want to bundle up.

hooded tie dye cardigan

Another thing I will change is how the seams inside the hood and around the front edge and hem are finished.  I don’t really like how the exposed serged seams look, so I will conceal them next time.

I’m thinking probably a flat felled seam down the center of the hood and a twice turned up hem with mitered corners around the edge of the garment.  I’m not sure how to finish the neckline, I’ll have to think about that one!

hand dyed cardigan with hood

elf cardigan 14

Overall, I’m really happy with how this design turned out and I’m hoping to have the new and improved version up for sale in my shop soon.  In the mean time I will continue “test wearing” this one in the name of fashion science!

 

 

Organic Cotton Shibori Linden Sweatshirt

shibori dyed sweatshirt

I made a sweatshirt!  It’s the Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline Studio and I LOVE IT!!!  I’m relatively new to sewing knits and this is my first sweatshirt.  I really can’t wait for the cold weather, I’ll definitely be making more of these.

I made a size 16, because I wanted the fit to be a bit oversized, and the only alterations I made to the pattern were to shorten the sleeves about 2″.  I think next time I will widen the neckband just a tad, but that’s just my personal preference.  I really loved working with this pattern.

shibori linden sweatshirt

I used organic cotton sweatshirt fleece, that I shibori dyed, and it is the softest, coziest fabric I have ever sewn with.  I’ve been trying out some organic fabrics lately, and so far I’ve been very impressed.  Maybe it’s psychological, but the organic cotton fabrics I’ve bought so far have felt softer than the standard cottons I’ve used in the past.

shibori linden sweatshirt

Just hangin’ at the boat yard.  Ahoy matey!

I don’t know why, but I’ve always shied away from sewing knits.  Making basics like tee shirts or sweatshirts was weirdly intimidating to me.  They seemed like they would require special factory equipment and I was more comfortable with a needle and thread.  My specialization at FIT was tailoring and there was something very calming about all that precise basting, stitching and pressing.

I’m so glad that I took the plunge and bought a serger, though!  Being able to make basics, in addition to my more fancy pieces, is very exciting!

https://i1.wp.com/2plunq3tkzat3cwrit1poghlzw7.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2014/07/Caffeine11.jpg

Jesse knows what I’m talking about.

organic cotton shibori

handmade sweatshirt

home sewn sweatshirt

My measurements for reference:

Height: 5′ 5″

Bust: 41.5″

Waist: 33.5″

Hips: 41.5″

Pattern: Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt – size 16

Fabric: Organic cotton sweatshirt fleece

Linen Crossback Apron

linen apron with pockets

I had a little bit of linen left over after I made my oversized linen dress, so I made myself an apron.  I don’t really do anything that would require an apron, like cooking or gardening, but I’ve been really obsessed with aprons lately.

linen apron with pockets

I made a basic crossback style apron with pockets and I didn’t use a pattern.  This style is pretty much just a rectangle that wraps around your body, with two straps attached to the top that criss-cross in back.  There aren’t any ties to adjust, which I like, but I had to be sure it was fitting well before I sewed the straps in place, because they would have been a pain to adjust afterward.

blue linen apron

I think aprons make good layering pieces, extra pockets always come in handy and sometimes it’s nice to have some stomach coverage:)

apron pocket

I may or may not have some snacks in my pocket…

linen crossback apron

I’ll never tell!

Rainbow Shibori Kaftan Pictures

shibori silk kaftan

I’ve been meaning to post better pictures of this rainbow silk kaftan ever since I wrote about the process of making it during the winter, but I didn’t get around to taking them until last week.  The lighting in my apartment is dreadful, but I was not willing to take pictures outside in February.  So here they are, finally!

shibori silk kaftan

The day I took these pictures was very hot and humid, but I felt so breezy walking around in this…

Patty and Selma, Simpsons

Hmmm…I feel it all the way up my skirt.

silk shibori kaftan

rainbow silk kaftan

I’m definitely going to make myself some more kaftans.  By next summer my muumuu collection will rival that of Mrs. Roper!

Oversized Linen Dress

blue linen dress

I’ve been on quite a linen kick lately.  I love the rumpled texture and it’s so comfy in this hot weather.  I’ve also been chasing after the perfect relaxed but stylish dress design and after many revisions I think I’ve got it!

blue linen dress

It seems like a pretty simple dress, but it took a while to get the proportions just right.  The waistline and hem needed to be hitting me at just the right spot, or it was not very flattering.

blue linen dress

I know this silhouette is not for everyone, but I love it!  Maybe it’s because it brings back fond memories of all the grungy baby-doll dresses I wore in high school, while reading Sassy magazine and listening to the Cranberries…ah the 90’s…

linen babydoll dress

The neckline took some tinkering, I wanted it to be nice and open, but not show my bra straps.  And I wanted the skirt to be long, but not drag on the city sidewalks or subway floor–yuck!

linen dress

I’ve made many versions of this type of dress and this one is my favorite.  I’m definitely going to make up a few more in different fabrics and maybe a long sleeved version for the cold weather.  The possibilities are endless!

Full Moon Tote Bag PDF Pattern

full moon tote bag

My first PDF sewing pattern is now up for sale!  It is called the Full Moon Tote Bag.  This is my first foray into selling my patterns, so I’m not sure what to expect, but it’s been so much fun so far!

full moon tote bag

I first designed this bag a few years ago, and I sold it in my online shop, but this is my first time selling the pattern for the bag.  I had wondered about selling my patterns for a while, but I had no idea how to go about it until recently.  I wanted to start out with a relatively simple pattern for my first PDF, and also something that wouldn’t need to be graded to different sizes, so I thought this tote bag would be a good choice.

full moon tote bag

It is simple, but not boring, and involves more than just sewing straight seams.  The circle on the front of the bag is sewn into, not on top of, the front panel, so there is an opportunity to practice sewing curved seams.  The pattern also includes all the necessary pieces to do an interior facing and a lining, as well as an interior patch pocket.

interior tote bag

Fully illustrated sewing instructions are included as well.

There is also lots of room for customization with the circle:

circle tote

The version pictured above was sold in my shop.  I plan on putting up a tutorial for that version at some point if anyone is interested!

full moon tote bag

Now that I’ve tested the ropes with the Full Moon Tote I can’t wait to get started on my next pattern!  It will definitely be a garment pattern and it will most likely be a dress with long sleeves.  I’m hoping to get it released by the fall so it is ready for some cold weather sewing.

Until next time!

Linen Mini Kaftan for Summer!

linen mini kaftan

In addition to my blue shibori dress, I’ve also added a mini kaftan to my summer wardrobe!

linen mini kaftan

My birthday was in May and as a present to myself I went fabric shopping!  I love linen and I wanted something easy and comfortable for the hot weather, so I thought–KAFTAN!  With big pockets of course!

linen mini kaftan

I used my own pattern, and I adjusted the neckline a little from the last time I made this one.  I changed the v-neck to a u-shaped neck and I lowered it about 2″.  I think I lowered it a little too much.  I like the way it looks, but on such a loose fitting garment it doesn’t stay in place very well, so my bra straps peek out from time to time.

linen mini kaftan

Why do I look so bummed here? Don’t I know that I have a fancy new kaftan on?

I also added big patch pockets.  What is it about big pockets?  I’ve noticed my pockets have been getting bigger and bigger with every dress.  I wonder when I’ll reach maximum satisfactory pocket volume?

summer linen kaftan

Wardrobe Assessment

playing dress up

The other night I was really bored, so I decided to play dress up!

I had decided a while ago that I wanted to make all of my own clothes and have a completely made-by-me wardrobe.  I’ve been making a lot of clothes, but I don’t have the greatest storage system, so most of them get folded up and tucked away in storage boxes and I end up wearing the same group of easily accessible basics most of the time.

playing dress up

It was good to see the progress I’ve made towards my goal, I always feel like I’m not getting enough done.  I took pictures of my favorites, a la Cher in Clueless:

I don't trust mirrors, so I always take Polaroids.

I don’t trust mirrors, so I always take Polaroids.

It was a really helpful exercise!

handmade wardrobe collage

I need to make some pants…

Summer Shibori Dress

blue shibori dress with pockets

Hello!  Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  I’ve been working on getting one of my patterns ready to release as a PDF and I have been neglecting my trusty sewing blog!  I took a break from the pattern to spruce up my summer wardrobe.

First up is this blue shibori dyed dress with dolman sleeves, a gathered skirt, and big patch pockets.  I used my own self drafted pattern.

blue dress 15

I wanted to make myself a few things that were comfortable but looked nicer than my worn out collection of skinny jeans and tee shirts.  Bleck.

blue dress 16

I had some crinkly cotton gauze on hand and I dyed it up with some blueberry fiber reactive dye.  I had just enough to get one dress out of it.  What luck!

blue dress 17

This is also the first time I tried taking pictures outside and they look sooooo much better that the ones taken inside my cave-like apartment!

Back view:

blue dress 8

And a few shots of the inside of the dress:

blue dress 18

I used french seams as usual, including at the waist with the gathering, and contrasting bias binding around the neck.  The hems of the sleeves and skirt were turned up twice and stitched.  I like to make the hems pretty deep, especially on a lightweight fabric, it makes everything hang very nicely.

That’s it!

P.S.  If anyone has any questions about the techniques I used, please don’t hesitate to ask:)