style arc tully pants + driftless cardigan

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I made my first Style Arc pattern recently! I haven’t been drawn to their patterns before (what’s with their logo?), but at the end of the summer I noticed the new Tully Pants and downloaded them right away. Style Arc’s instructions are very… light – but these came together pretty easily. The pants have a paper bag waistband with elastic, and ties at the front. I’ve made a ton of woven Hudson Pants, so I was ready to try something new!

These fit pretty well without any adjustments. The length was perfect and I love the little pleats in the front. I was surprised to not love the paper bag waist as much as I thought I would! It just makes them a little tricky to wear sometimes, depending on my top. I think I want to make another pair in black linen, but with a regular waistband and without the ties. I used Brussels Washer Yarn-Dye linen from Robert Kaufman, and it’s a really nice weight for pants like these!

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I’m also wearing a Driftless Cardigan that’s gotten a ton of wear in my closet this fall. The fabric is a light sweater knit from Fleishman’s on 4th Street, and it’s perfect for a cardigan pattern like this. I sized down from my first attempt last winter, and I decided to leave off the bottom hem band – the length was perfect with just a simple turned hem. I also left off the sleeve hem bands.

After making this, I sewed up the Blackwood Cardigan (two, actually) – I definitely think there’s room in my closet for both. They have a different fit from each other, and I’ve been reaching for both consistently. Have any of you guys tried either/both of these patterns?

This post feels a little boring but AH I love making basics! I’ve got some fun prints coming up next in my sewing queue, so hopefully I’ll be back soon with something a bit more exciting : )

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vogue + new look wrap dress mash-up!

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I missed this rayon when it was on Blackbird Fabrics the first time around, so I was super excited when she got some more in stock earlier this summer. I love this mustard color so much, and the black/white floral motifs perfectly keep the print from becoming too loud to wear. I had/have a ton of weddings this year, so I didn’t wait too long before cutting into my yardage to make a dress!

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A couple months ago I used New Look 6493 to make a jumpsuit (hopefully will be blogged soon!) and after some tweaking I came to love the bodice’s fit. I have a few sleeved wrap dress bodices that I really like, but it’s nice to have a strappy version where I can dance a little more ~freely~ at weddings. The style lines are also a little different – there are princess seams instead of darts, and I think they’re a nice change!

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Though the New Look pattern isn’t written to make the bodice a true wrap, it’s really easy to modify – I like to keep a small gap in the side-seam to feed the tie through. For the skirt, I used the bottom of Vogue 9251 since the curved hem is so lovely, but I think I prefer the skirt from McCall’s 7246… it’s just a liiiittle swing-ier.

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One more thing to note is that I don’t typically use the waist ties that come with the wrap dress patterns I own. I like long, skinny straps that I can tie in the front, and then I let them hang down. I usually just eyeball the length when I’m cutting the pattern pieces, erring on the side of making the ties longer (and then shortening them later).

Aaand that’s it! I wore this dress to a wedding in September and it was definitely fun to boogie in. Here’s hoping I can transition it into autumn : )

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ginger jeans + kalle shirt + janome MC6700P review

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Hiiii! I have a lot sewing to share in the upcoming weeks, but first up are these new jeans and button-up! After taking these photos I realized both patterns are from Closet Case Patterns, and I’ve made each of them several times before. If anything, this is a testament to just how effortlessly these patterns fit into my wardrobe (and, how I’m nothing if not consistent).

Also! I made both of these using the brand new Janome Memory Craft 6700P.  I’ve been sewing on a pretty standard Janome 8077 for the last few years, and I love it so much and use it so often, it sometimes feels like it’s become an extension of my body… like my third arm or something, is that weird? When Janome contacted me to try out and review this machine, I was super interested since I’ve been sewing with them for years, and I’ve never really sewn consistently on a ~fancier~ machine.

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Let me first say that, holy heck, the machine is big and heavy. I bike to work and don’t have a car, so I had to finagle a way to get the machine home when it arrived. Once that journey was over, I was so pumped to start makin’ things! Though I only had it for a short time, I tested it out on a ton of projects.

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Let’s chat about these first projects. On top is the Kalle Shirtdress using the new Rifle Paper Co Monstera print in rayon/lawn. First off, this substrate is NICE. I think I would still prefer 100% rayon for a drapey dress or skirt, but for a button-up the rayon/lawn combo is extremely ideal. I’ve been reaching for this shirt way more than I even mean to – the light weight makes it very comfortable and it’s crisp without being too stiff. I also love the print, but there’s something about the fabric that makes this shirt so dang delightful.

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At this point I’ve made the Kalle Shirtdress a lot of times (one dress and two shirts, here’s one I blogged) and the only thing I’ve been changing is the hem length. Both the tunic and cropped lengths feel a little awkward on my frame, so I’ve been playing with the hem whenever I make this pattern. My hem curve is also not as deep as the drafted pattern, which is just a personal preference. I used flat-felled seams along the sides, which I looOoOove, and included a cute little label on the inside using one of Rae Ritchie’s labels for Dear Stella. Side note, I saw Rae last weekend in Minnesota (I was there for a friend’s wedding) and SHE IS MY FAVORITE.

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Now for the jeans! I’ve made two pairs of Ginger Jeans so far, and this was the first time I used Cone Mills Denim. There’s a ton of blog posts out there about this denim, and peeps tend to gush about it. I thought it was great to work with, though honestly not that different from other stretch denim I’ve used for jeans. My 10oz Turkish black denim was awesome, and the random cut I bought in the Garment District for my first pair was great too. Right now the jeans feel very new, so I think I’m most excited to see how this denim breaks in over time. Ooh, and these are the 12oz S-Gene in Indigo! I bought it during a sale online at Threadbare Fabrics (also where I got my Turkish denim).

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Making a pair of Ginger Jeans was what I really wanted to do to test the Janome. My current machine works well with denim, but sometimes it has a hard time when there’s a lot of fabric layers. The MC6700P really did sew beautifully, and noticeably quietly as well. I loved the automatic thread cutter, which definitely felt a little extravagant at first… but then I got very used to it. The work space is larger than my current set-up (10″!), and I loved having the extra room.  I will also mention that the quick set bobbin is awesome too – there’s a contraption down there so you don’t have to pull the bobbin thread up, you just start sewing. There were a ton of little details like these that made sewing a little breezier overall.

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I also played around with some of the built-in fonts! This was really exciting because my current machine doesn’t have that feature. I was particularly pumped about the “handmade” font setting, and I ended up stitching it onto the waistband of my jeans. It makes me so ridiculously happy to see! Especially since it’s covered up by my belt, it’s a fun secret detail.

As far as fit, the crotch length/depth feels right – the only thing bothering me are the wrinkles at my knees. I recently bought Fit for Real People and Pants for Real People (both of which have amazingly 90’s photos that you should check out if you haven’t), so I’m going to do some research about that. Overall, this pattern works well for me straight out of the envelope, and you can see some more notes I’ve made here and here.

Whoooo, okay that was a lot. Here I am on Saturday morning, feeling sad about sending the machine back to Janome! I have more projects to share that I made on this pup, so check back soon for that : )

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Oh, and big thank youuuu to my main squeeze for taking these photos of my butt for me (Dan, u da best). Byeeeeee.

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liberty of london v9251

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Helloooo! It’s been a super hot summer in Philly, but I’ve been over here surviving – you can find me sewing on the weekends in my undies + AC. Please note we took these photos after watering some plants, which is why the ground is half wet. COOL! Nothin’ but professional photography over here, guys.

A few weeks ago I picked up Vogue 9251, even though I pretty recently made a different woven wrap dress pattern (McCalls 7351, blogged here). It was hard for me to resist the simple bodice that came with v9251 and I especially liked the lack of pleats. Though comparing the two patterns now, they’re definitely extremeeeely similar… oops.

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I was finally inspired by this fabric that’s been sitting in my stash for a while now. About a year ago Hayden and I stopped by PS Fabrics on our lunch break and somehow we stumbled upon rolls and rolls of Liberty fabric for $10/yd. It wasn’t the best selection, but I did get a few yards of this classic blue print. It works pretty well with this pattern, but I think I prefer a drapey rayon for something like this.

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As far as construction, I made some changes! The pattern provides shorter ties that attach at the side, but  I really loved the way the ties wrap around the body and through the right side seam in m7246, so I borrowed that for this dress too. I also added about an inch to the width of the sleeves and cut off a bunch of the skirt so it hemmed just above my knees. I wanted to make sure I had more arm mobility, so I raised the armhole 1/4″ and then slightly flattened the sleeve cap – I think it helped.

The way the wraps’ edges are finished is my favorite method so far – it’s just bias binding, but it’s so much neater than facings and there’s no chance of it flippin’ out. Definitely going to do this from now on.

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I love this pattern – it’s the perfect, basic woven wrap dress pattern. I’m planning to make another version with this mustard/grey rayon, but I’m glad I finally used this fabric!

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chambray kalle shirtdress

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Like many sewing peeps, I was super excited when Closet Case Files released her newest pattern, the Kalle Shirtdress. I have a ton of button-ups in my closet (mostly Archers and also a few sleeveless McCall’s 7351), but I’m definitely missing that oversized, drop-shoulder shirt that feels so effortless. I bought the pattern specifically for a dark-wash chambray tencel I have that’s destined for the dress option, but I wanted to test the fit with an easy shirt first!

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I need to start with how much I freakin’ love this chambray. It’s the 4.5oz light indigo chambray from Robert Kaufman, and it’s seriously perfect for a crisp button-up. I actually bought this a few years ago for an Archer for my mom, and I bought a few more yards last month! So easy to cut, so fun to topstitch.

Here’s a lil close up of the collar. AH!

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I can never resist using a fun print for the inner yoke. I’ve had these flamingos, an oldie from my Dear Stella days, for a loooong time – and it felt really good to finally use them. The pink/white/blue combo is perfect for summer.

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I’m not a huge fan of the cropped Kalle on my frame, and the tunic option felt too long. I cut 3″ above the tunic length, and then ended up removing another 4 1/4″ from the back. For my next shirt I think I’ll go another 2-ish” shorter… for ~variety~.

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This shirt is a little longer than my other button-ups, but I think it’s a good match for the oversized look. I love that I can wear it over a pair of leggings (these are the Virginia Leggings made with a black ponte), or tie it at the waist with jeans or a skirt.

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Other than length I didn’t make any adjustments or changes – this was a very straightforward sew. All of the seams are beautifully enclosed – between the yoke, sleeve cuffs, bias tape hem, and the flat-felled seams I used at the sides. GAH! So lovely. I made an 8, my normal size in Closet Case Files patterns, and the fit is great. I maaay do a small square shoulder adjustment next time, but at this point I’m just getting a little nit-picky.

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This shirt is SO DANG COMFORTABLE, I can’t wait to wear it this summer! Next up is the dress version with a popover placket, and then I think another shirt with some Nani Iro I got last year at QuiltCon. eee!

rifle paper co // mccall’s 7246

m7246_1As is usually the case for me, I’ve been ruminating on a specific woven wrap dress pattern for at least a year – McCall’s 7246 by Melissa Watson – mostly because I wanted to make an iteration of this dress from Reformation. M7246 never seemed quite right, and it took me a while to parse out exactly what I loved about the inspiration dress and the changes I’d have to make to my pattern.

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I did make a muslin last weekend, using a ton of mismatched scraps from past projects, and I sort of wish I took a photo of the dress because it looked like a straight up clown costume. It definitely helped me figure out my game-plan though, and I learned that my usual McCall’s size (10) fit perfectly. The main changes I decided on were adding a ruffle, removing length, and adding some swoosh (technical term) to the skirt; narrowing and lengthening the waist ties; and adding some fullness to the sleeves.

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After making my muslin, I made adjustments to my pattern pieces and then cut into the Wonderland rayon by Rifle Paper Co! Holy hecccckkk, I love this dress.

These are the changes I made to the pattern:

  • scooped out about 1/2″ from each side of the V-neck (and copied this change to the facings)
  • removed 6″ of length from the skirt pieces and redrew the side seams, adding some extra fullness
  • cut two strips, 6″ x WOF, to be used for the ruffle at the bottom
  • sewed the strips together, pressed the ruffle in half (wrong sides together) and then gathered the long strip, fitting it to the same width as the skirt bottom
  • sleeve: removed 4 1/4″ in length, and slashed/spread to add 1/2″ to the bottom width
  • made the waist ties extra narrow

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Here I am being instructed to show off the ruffles:

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I’m really happy with how this dress fits and looks! I think the length is perfect, and all of the details are finished off super neatly. I might experiment with a different way to finish the center front neckline in the future – the facing worked fine, but I had to topstitch them down so they didn’t flip/peek out. Would just serging and turning the edge under 5/8″ be sufficient? I feel like it should be, I’ll probably give it a try next time.

You can kiiiind of tell, but the waist tie goes through a hole in the right side seam before wrapping around your bod. I’ve seen this detail in other patterns, but I’m glad it was included here too.

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And this is what happens when I’m embarrassed and tired of taking photos on the street outside my house!

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Whew! Okay I think that’s it. Let me know if you’ve tried this pattern, or if you have any other woven wrap dresses that you want to try! I gotta go cut out a pair of shorteralls now, bye!

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rifle paper co // butterick 6052

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I’m so happy that I finally used the last of the Rifle Paper Co yardage I bought last summer! (Nevermind that I recently got some more in the mail…dang.)

I was saving this blue rayon for a dress I wanted to wear to a wedding in Hawaii last month. It was hard to motivate myself to sew a strappy, summery dress in the dead of winter, so I ended up waiting until the week before we left for our trip to finally get going. DUH. Self-imposed deadlines right before a trip – story of my life.

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The pattern is one of my favorites – Butterick 6052. I used it for the first time last summer (you can check that out heeere) but I made a couple of adjustments to this version. I removed more length from the straps, an extra 1/2″ bringing it to 1″ total, and used an easy gathered skirt  + pockets on the bottom half.

I think at this point people must be sick of the cold shoulder trend, but I will never not love these sleeves.

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This fabric really is so lovely to sew. It’s a little bit more substantial than other rayon I’ve worked with, but that only makes it even more fluid and drapey. I used a light cotton lawn that I had in my stash for the lining, and it worked perfectly.

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Here are a few photos from the wedding in Hawaii! We were celebrating our friends Aaron and Emily – it was so beautiful and so much fun. There was a passing rain shower during the ceremony (which is why we’re all wet), but it was perfectly sweet and goofy.

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Some of my best friends and a handmade dress! Nothing better than that.