Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

So apparently this pattern is really popular right now but I hadn’t even heard of the company until recently. A number of indie pattern companies were hosting sales to benefit Harvey relief and that’s how I found Chalk and Notch. I liked the Fringe’s casual modern design so I bought a copy.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

The fabric is a Japanese cotton from The Cloth Pocket (no longer available, unfortunately). It’s very soft and finely woven but wrinkles terribly. Oh, well.

I liked both Views but I decided on View B for this version. The ties are set into the front darts. It has side seam pockets with tacks at the openings. The neckline is interesting and I appreciated the front neck facing that extends all the way to the waist so it’ll never flip out.

The pattern instructions were good – I appreciated being able to print just my size using the layers feature and the illustrations were clear and easy to follow.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

I gotta say I REALLY like this dress. The armholes aren’t cut too low, the hem curves up on the sides with a nice shape, and the waist is ever-so-slightly higher than natural which I find to be a modern touch.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

I think it fits quite well, too, which leads me to my one issue. And it’s not so much an issue for me particularly but it might be for someone else.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress
Perhaps I cut the wrong size, a size too small, but looking at these pics the fit seems fine. But the dress is a pullover and in the company’s samples and most of the tester images, the dress seems loose at the waist.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

On my version, the waist is loose but not by much and I have to gently squeeze the dress over my bust. I can still take it on and off fairly easily but I would worry that someone with a very large bust compared to her waist measurement would have trouble putting on the dress and a cursory google search didn’t reveal any reviews from especially busty seamstresses…

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

UPDATE: I just re-checked the pattern text. The bust measurements for a size 4 are 34″ but the finished waist size on the 4 is only 31″. There are no closures, you’re supposed to pull the dress over your head. 31″ is smaller than 34″ which explains the need to squeeze. So again, if you have a large difference between bust and waist, maaaaayyybe size up in the waist to get it over your bust…

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Anyway, I would DEFINITELY make this dress again. I want to try View A with the buttons as well as a shirt version. Future TNT pattern, maybe?

Cropped Closet Case Kalle Shirt

Closet Case Kalle Cropped Shirt

These pics were taken a couple days before we were inundated with rain from Hurricane Harvey. We’re alright here in Austin. It’s just been a nonstop downpour. I’m hunkered down indoors in the meantime with nothing much to do except sew or read or watch the news. And the news just keeps getting worse.

If you’re looking to help out the victims of the storm, please donate to a disaster relief agency or a local charity.

Closet Case Kalle Cropped Shirt

Back to sewing related topics: This is my second version of the Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirt.

My first make was a shortened version of B with the popover style and regular collar. This time I made version A – cropped with a Mandarin collar, hidden button placket, and deep pleat in back.

Closet Case Kalle Cropped Shirt

I actually got this fabric from a store in Houston when I went this spring for a birthday trip. It’s a finely woven, cotton chambray (black and white) shirting. Unlike my first Kalle, this fabric is crisp and holds its shape well which accentuates the boxy shape (but also shows more wrinkles).

Closet Case Kalle Cropped Shirt
(hidden button placket)

The hidden buttons are some plain black plastic from my stash. The one visible button is a leftover patina-ed metal piece.

Closet Case Kalle Cropped Shirt

Usually, I wear this shirt with the collar unbuttoned. Next time I sew this pattern I’ll need to make adjustments to the neckline like lowering it in the front. This is probably a side effect of needing some kind of shoulder adjustment which is common.

As it is, if I button the collar it’s just a little too tight. I never noticed this in my last Kalle because I never button the collar on that version.

Closet Case Kalle Cropped Shirt

I didn’t make any fitting changes and because it was my second time making this pattern I finished it pretty quick. The hidden placket can seem a little daunting with all the folding but just follow the instructions and it’ll go smoothly.

Closet Case Kalle Cropped Shirt

The shirt is definitely cropped so if you don’t love that look I suggest sewing one of the other views in the pattern. As for me, my wardrobe pairings are a little limited. I have a few high-waist skirts I can wear with it, or these higher-waist jeans. This shirt may not be as versatile as my first version but since I like the fashion-forward style so much, I’ve made the effort to keep it in heavy rotation.

Closet Case Kalle Cropped Shirt

Could this be a new TNT pattern for me? I should try to sew the dress version next…

Lily Sage & Co Splash Swimsuit + some pillows!

Lily Sage & Co Splash Swimsuit

It’s summer! That means it’s time for swimsuit sewing! This is the Splash Swimsuit by Lily Sage & Co.

This pattern came out a couple years ago but I only found it last fall. Back then I had just enough leftover galaxy fabric from these leggings to squeeze out a swimsuit. I cut the pieces out months ago but it wasn’t until the day before I was set to go visit family – and knowing we were going to go to the pool – that I sewed the suit.

Nothing like a deadline to give you motivation.

I added bust cups from Sew Sassy to the lining which gives the top some structure. To insert them you basically smoosh them down on top of the lining and stitch around the outer edge with zig-zag stitch to hold them in place. If you are a busty gal I highly recommend cutting a larger top size.

Lily Sage & Co Splash Swimsuit

The only fit change I made was a pretty significant sway back adjustment. I sliced off about 1.75″ from the center back of the pants grading to nothing at the side seams. Only I did that after I had already sewn on the waistband. With a serger. So I had to take all that stitching out first.

My advice, if you think you’ll need a sway back adjustment, be sure to try on the pants before adding the waistband…

The pants are high waisted but only go up to my belly button, which is lower than my natural waist, something to keep in mind depending on how high of a rise you like in your swimsuits.

Lily Sage & Co Splash Swimsuit
If I were to make this again I’d probably add just a half inch in length of the front piece and maybe go up one size in the width of the top.

This is the first pattern I’ve sewn by this company and I liked it. The instructions were a mix of illustrations and pictures but they were thorough and easy enough to follow. I appreciated the highlighted tips throughout. This is certainly easier than some other indie patterns if you’re a novice at swimsuit sewing.

And lastly, one of my sewing buddies recently reminded me of the old adage, “Friends don’t let friends sew home dec.” Well, she wasn’t around to stop me so I whipped up a new pair of couch pillows.

Have you ever had a fabric that just called to you? Demanded that you buy it? Something you love so much but had no idea what to do with? That was this fabric from The Cloth Pocket. I loved the neon yellow, plus navy, plus bronze metallic on ivory color scheme. I loved the texture of the weave. I had to have it. So I decided to make pillows. I bought new 20″ forms and several yards of pom-pom trim and got to work.

I made overlapping backs rather than zipper closures to make things easy. The trim makes the whole thing seem more “store bought.” They’re sunny and fun and I love them!

Grainline Farrow Dress

Grainline Farrow Dress

This is the Grainline Farrow Dress pattern that I sewed a sample for my new class at the Cloth Pocket.

I wanted a dress pattern that would be simple enough for true beginner garment sewists. Beginners often have a difficult time with bias binding around curved edges like armholes. This dress uses facings for the neck and armholes which are much easier to sew if you’re a newbie.

Grainline Farrow Dress

The dress went together quickly. Instructions were good as usual. The only major changes I did were grading between sizes at the hip which was probably unnecessary considering the dress is so A-shaped.

The fabric is from the Cloth Pocket. It’s a thin chambray with lovely drape a woven texture that forms a subtle stripe. I only thought about playing with the angle of the stripes after I cut out all four back pieces so only the bottom front panels go at an angle.

 

Grainline Farrow Dress

It was pretty windy today so you can see how well this fabric moves.

Grainline Farrow Dress

I did a blind hem by hand and finished all the seams with a serger.

Grainline Farrow Dress

On dresses like this without a defined waist shape I like to cut the hem a little extra high. I think the shorter length helps offset the lack of curves. I like that this dress has a subtle hi-low hem which makes shortening the hem a little safer if you know what I mean…

Grainline Farrow Dress

My favorite part about this dress are the pockets. They’re built into the two front pieces so they lay nice and flat and are tucked into the side and center front seams so they don’t flop around at all.

Grainline Farrow Dress

One thing I’d like to change about this pattern: it needs an all-in-one facing. This isn’t an issue if you make the sleeved version of the dress but for the sleeveless I’d rather have one complete facing than separate ones for the two armholes and the neckline.

Grainline Farrow Dress

Even if you tack down all the facings at the shoulder and side seams the armhole facings still like to flip out when you put the dress on. They don’t flop out while wearing the dress but still, it would be a cleaner finish.

If you’re in Austin and you want to learn to sew this dress, sign up for the class!