belcarra and floral pants 1

Patterns: Belcarra, Simplicity 1696
Fabrics: top – eyelet from Joann Fabrics; pants – stretch cotton from Metro Textile
Size: top – 6; pants – 10

Sandals: Tahari

Before I share two of my newest makes, I wanted to thank everyone for posting their thoughts on my last post about fast sewing – when it comes down to it, it’s really all about what’s right for each individual sewist, and we should (and do!) applaud each other for our efforts.  Imma do what’s right for me from here on out, ya know?

So yeah – I made pants!  Floral ones, to boot!  The fabric is leftover from the dress I made for my trip to Florida earlier this year and these pants were intended to be a muslin for this pattern, but they ended up being a wearable muslin – even better.


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I would say I have the fit about 95% of the way there.  I went down a size than I would normally cut out for pants, based off of the way I wanted the pants to fit and to account for the stretch in the fabric.  The fact there’s different pant blocks based off of body shape is great too, I used the slim block based off of my measurements and the adjusting I needed to do wasn’t anything major.  I took in the inseam quite a bit in the back to get the butt to fit better, and took a small amount in at the front center crotch seam.  I think the waist could still use some adjusting.

Here’s my problem with these pants – the longer I wore them, the more they grew!!  When I left the house in the morning, they were nice and fitted, a bit loose in the waist.  By the time I got to lunch, these pants were huge on me all over – maybe because of my body heat and sitting at my desk all morning?  Luckily I had a pair of jeans to change into (I was travelling that day), otherwise I would have needed a safety pin or something to keep these up.  I never saw a baggier-butt pair of pants in my life.

Why did this happen with my stretch cotton, oh wise sewists of the sewing blogosphere?  I’m planning on making more of these pants in stretch cotton after I tweak the fit a little more.  After I washed the pants, they snapped back to normal, but I can’t always change my pants halfway through the day when they stretch out again, hahahaha.


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Can I get a “what what” for faux welt pockets?!  They’re my new favorite sewing detail.  I don’t need real welt pockets in my pants, and I never use my back pant pockets, but I like having the look of a pocket on my backside.  They need to be lowered a bit on the next pair, they’re up a bit too high for my liking.


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On to Belcarra – this is my go-to summer top this year.  It’s a beautifully drafted pattern!  The shape is really flattering – I don’t feel like I’m wearing an oversized woven top like some other patterns I made in the past.  Raglan sleeves are always a winner with me as well.


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Since I made this, I’ve worn it several times already, and I have plans to make a few more with some variations.  This top goes together so easily (I think it took me two hours max to cut/sew this?) and can be paired with high waisted skirts, skinny jeans, jackets, you name it  – this is a brand new TNT for my sewing pattern arsenal.

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polka dot laurel1

Pattern: Laurel from Colette Patterns
Fabric: cotton voile from Mood Fabrics
Size: 2 graded to a 6

Jeans: Michael Kors

Hooray, it’s another Laurel!  One of a few I have planned for fall.  When I was in NYC last month I stopped by Mood, and just about every fabric I walked out with has some iteration of a polka dot print.  Maybe I was having a polka dot moment?  Well, in my opinion, you can never go wrong with polka dots.


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This version is probably more suited for spring since the cotton is very lightweight and a little on the sheer side, but our fall has been really mild so far and I wore this all day at the park without a jacket.  It also gets a bit wrinkly, just like my previous Laurel I made in the spring.


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I opted to use a bias facing for the neckline instead of binding the neckline for this version (I was also being suuuuper lazy in making bias tape, too).  I followed Jen’s directions and they worked like a charm, I actually like the result much better than my first top.  I think I’ll be doing this in the future for my next Laurel, a plaid flannel.

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easter laurel top1


easter laurel top2

Pattern: Laurel by Colette Patterns, pullover top version
Fabric: Swiss dot from Mood Fabrics
Size: 2 graded out to a 6

Jeans: Levi’s
Earrings: Francesca’s
Sunnies: Tommy Hilfiger
Nails: Essie “Play Date”

My first wearable “practice” garment!  In preparation for sewing the dress version of the new Colette Laurel pattern, I pulled out some Swiss dot I bought at Mood several summers ago in NYC and thought, if the fit worked out,  it would make a cute top to wear for Easter.  I love this pattern!  My fabric is all washed and ready to go to make the dress and I can’t wait to see how the fabrics come together (I’m layering eyelet over silk habotai).


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These pictures were taken after eating Easter dinner, so please excuse the wrinkles from sitting! 😉

Unlike a lot of pullover tops, this one has a good amount of shaping.  I cut a 2 for the bust, graded to a 4 at the waist, and then a 6 at the hips, but I probably should have cut the bust as a 4 since it’s snug to pull on and off over my head.  Or, in the next version, I could do a cool exposed zipper in the center back seam.  Other than that, I didn’t need to do any other fitting – even the bust darts were spot-on perfect, didn’t need to move them up like I usually do.  The back waist darts add a nice amount of shaping as well that keeps the back from poofing out.  At no time did I feel like I was wearing a blousey maternity top!


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The bias tape finishing for the neckline and sleeve hem was a nice, neat touch.  Being the lazy sewist I am, I opted to sew the bias tape in place with my machine instead of my hand.  I will probably hand sew my dress since it’s going to be made out of special fabric.


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The reason I held on to this fabric for so long in my stash is because, as you can see in the picture, it’s really sheer (and wrinkly!).  I felt like if I made a dress with it, it would look like I was wearing a nightgown, plus I’d have to line it – no fun.  This top is really fast to make but took me a little longer since I French seamed alllll of my seams, even the sleeve seams.  I think I’m addicted to French seaming, it makes everything look so clean and tidy inside, plus it’s perfect for sheer and lightweight fabrics.  The hem is a teeny tiny narrow hem I machine stitched using this tutorial from Jen at Grainline.

That’s pretty much it!  It was in the mid 50’s in Boston on Easter and this top was perfect for the early spring weather.  If you’re looking for a no-brainer, instant gratification project, the Laurel top is a great garment.

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jasmine2


jasmine1

Pattern: Jasmine by Colette Patterns
Fabric: Crepe de Chine from Gorgeous Fabrics
Size: 2 graded to 4

Pants: Gap
Shoes: Anne Klein
Sunnies: Bulgari

I had every intention of making this top in time for Valentine’s day this year…oops, it’s almost April.  Better late than never, right?  This top is a cute little sailor-inspired pullover and I thought it would look sweet in a silky heart-print fabric (Pssst: I saw this exact same fabric used for a Ralph Lauren dress!!!).  I’m wearing it with some skinny pants I usually wear for work but I think this top will look best tucked into a skirt – the length isn’t as long as I like my tops to be.


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Oh bias…I love how you make garments fit but I hate cutting you out and working with you.  I think it’s pretty genius how this is a woven pullover top and no closures are necessary to take it on and off, yet it still has a fitted shape and isn’t boxy like some pullovers.


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The only fitting I need to do, other than my standard grading out a size between the bust and hips, was raise the bust darts.  I may have raised them a little too high (whoops) but the top fits nicely and isn’t too clingy.  I also omitted the sleeve band and decided to make a narrow 1/4″ hem instead because I’m lazy and I wanted to just finish the top.

If I don’t finish my Laurel dress in time, this will be the top I wear to the Cocktails with Colette party in two weeks…but I think that dress will be completed in no time.  I’m almost finished with my Laurel top, which I’ll be wearing for Easter on Sunday.

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Sister Style

My sister just finished her Renfrew top and it’s just like mine!  We both bought the same fabric at Metro Textile in NYC when I visited her in January and made the same top from the same pattern, how funny is that?  She calls it our “crafty genes.”  Maybe the two of us can be totally dorky and wear them at the same time when she comes up to visit next weekend, heehee.

Check out her review of the pattern on her blog The Stitcherati and read about her first time sewing with stripes, eeek!

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