Sewing: A tale of Three shirts

I’m trying to be organized in my garment sewing life now. I’m working hard on using up fabric that I’ve got in house and also sewing things that are repeats or things that I actually think I’ll wear. I’ve had so many sewing fails in the past that I’m quickly realizing the things that will 1) be flattering on myself and 2) I can actually make and 3) I will actually make without screaming. I recently cut out three shirts all at the same time and spent the last couple of days stitching them up. Each of these three tops are repeats and each of them fit fabulously and feel amazing on. Bring on the warmer weather!

Esme Top by Lotta Jansdotter from her book Everyday Sewing

This is the only thing I’ve made from this book, but I loved the first shirt so much that when I bought this cotton I knew quickly that it was the top I wanted to make again. My original shirt was with 3/4 length sleeves, but this time around I didn’t have enough fabric so I opted for View A which has cap sleeves. It is a pretty straightforward pattern to sew and has a very beautiful finish on the inside, but I struggled a lot with the cap sleeves hem.

The directions say to fold in 1/8 and then 1/8 again and then when you stitch up the sides you go all the way around. I don’t know if I was reading it wrong or what, but after trying a couple times I realized that this wasn’t going to work. I had enough fabric left to cut some one inch strips and I made some bias facing. Honestly, this is the way to go. It’s much simpler and gives a much more finished look on the inside. I sewed up the sides after putting the facings on. This top is fabulous and I’m so ready for the weather to get warmer so I can wear it!

The fabric is Charley Harper for Birch Organics called Summer, Moth Flight. I was buying some other fabric via Fabricworm for a quilt back and snatched up a yard or so of this because Luna Moths are my total jive. I’ve heard it’s sold out from the manufacturer…so good for me for splurging!

Strata Top by Sew Liberated

This is my second Strata top and just like with the first one, I’m shocked by how simple and quick it is. I fudged up on this one and while trying to serge a seam I never should have, my serger nicked a little in the underarm sleeves. You can’t tell when wearing and I fixed it as much as I could, but it was such a tiny mistake I just kept going. This is a super fun shirt, but both times I’ve made it I wished I had enough fabric to make it a little longer. It rises a little too much in the front for me to make me totally comfortable wearing it without anything under it. Next time I’m 100% going to try to lengthen it just a couple inches. Sew Liberated just released an updated version of this with better instructions and more sizes. I highly recommend it.

The fabric is a print by Alison Glass that I bought locally. Again a yard or so that I just “had to have” when I was at the local quilt shop buying some quilt stuff. Gets me every time.

Plantain Tee by Deer and Doe

This is my third Plantain and probably the best one I’ve sewn yet. Some of it has to do with the knit I’ve used in the past – good knit makes a HUGE difference for sure. The first one is a little too short, but it’s fine. The second one the knit was awful and shrunk bunches so I passed it one, this one feels divine. This is a fabulous tee shirt pattern and every time I sew it I really wonder why in the world I buy cheap tee shirts when I can totally stitch them up in an hour.

The fabric is Jenny Ronen for Birch Organic Fabrics, Forest Daisies and you will laugh but it was a couple yards I threw in the basket when I made an order from Fabricworm. I have issues.

2020 Sewing Goals :: Garments

I didn’t do as much garment sewing in 2019 as I would have liked, but the few things I did make I actually wear and love. This is progress for me. Most of the time I end up hating what I’ve sewn or it ends up in the U.F.O box to languish forever. I’m trying to be more thoughtful about what I try to sew – when choosing fabric and a pattern and realizing the extent of my sewing skills. I’ve pretty much determined I’m going to stay away from anything with a zip fly or a finished waistband…these are not in my wheelhouse nor something I care to get better at.

My favorite make from 2019 was my kelly green Gypsum skirt. This is definitely on my list to remake in 2020 and I’ve got just the fabric to make it with. I also made a Strata top, but I can’t seem to find any photos of it. I will definitely be making more of these too! In my quest to be more thoughtful about purchasing patterns to sew, I’m realizing that Sew Liberated patterns probably fit me the best of any. I’m a fan forever of Meg’s patterns and how she constructs garments.

So here’s my list of what I want to try and sew this year. This is a pretty extensive and long list of garments, so I’m not too positive that I’ll actually get it accomplished.

I already have fabric for:

  • Hinterland Dress by Sew Liberated (a lovely grey dot cotton gauze)
  • Love Yourself Hipster Underwear by Wardrobe by Me (I’m wanting to make try a few pairs for myself, but I’m mostly using this pattern to make some period panties using the kit from Sophie Hines. I already have some knit scraps that I’m partially using, but I did break down and order some thicker knit to use for these.
  • Another Gypsum Skirt in a lovely green and white cotton gauze. I’m thinking I make the version without the big a** pockets (as we call them in our house)

I’d like to make a dress or two in addition to the Hinterland and I’m trying to figure out which one of these I love the most. I’d love to do a denim/chambray like dress, but I also would really love to do a raw linen dress too.

  • Merchant and Mills Whittaker – I’ve long wanted to try a M&M’s pattern (and I’d love to try some of their linen too) and this is high on my wish list.
  • In the Folds Rushcutter
  • or Raglan Dress Both of these dresses are really similar, but there are some differences and I’m trying to decide which one I’d rather have in my stash on repeat.

I’d love to try a couple pairs of pants, but I’m sticking to elastic waists. Here are my top options right now…

  • Named Clothing Ninni Culottes – I keep seeing these on Instagram and I pretty much always love every version I see. I think these would be amazing out of some raw linen.
  • Blank Slate Patterns Skye Joggers – Blank Slate is another pattern company I’ve wanted to try and I’m all for comfy pants.
  • Sew House Seven Free Range Slacks – I’m sort of on the fence with these. I’ve seen tons of makes of them and I always love them, but when I look at the waist construction I just keep thinking it’s going to make me look super frumpy.

If there is one thing I do need in my closet, it is shirts. These are all pretty similar in many ways so I’m still working through which ones I think I’d love to have and remake.

And then one make for the men in my house if I could get my hands on some good knit.

  • Finlayson Sweater

I seriously doubt I will come anywhere close to making this list, but it’s good to have them put down (sort of like my master book list) to refer back to. First up, I need to work through the fabric and patterns that I have and then figure out what’s next!

Here’s to 2020 being a year of happy sewing!