Closet Case Kalle Shirt

This is the first garment in several months that I’ve finished just for myself – not for a class, not sewing for anyone else. I liked the design of the Closet Case Kalle Shirt as soon as I saw it and printed it out immediately.

I sewed the popover style view B with the full collar and one pocket. I did shorten the length of both the front and back by about three inches. So it’s longer than view A but shorter than the original view B. I thought that might be more versatile for my wardrobe.The instructions were great – clear with well-labeled pieces. I liked the little tip for forming curved pocket corners and I appreciate a slightly smaller undercollar piece. Details like that make for a good pattern.

The placket goes together well if you pay special attention to all of those indicated fold lines, which I didn’t, ’cause I was lazy. Take my advice, follow the placket instructions carefully and you’ll be successful.

This fun polka-dot fabric is an especially smooth and finely woven Japanese cotton from The Cloth Pocket. I love it! It’s so soft and surprisingly doesn’t wrinkle much for a cotton. It’s so well printed that it’s difficult to tell the front side from the back. It’s thin but opaque, the perfect shirt fabric. I couldn’t find it on their website but if you come across it, definitely pick some up.

Buttons are just some simple plastic ones from Joann. I went with black so as not to compete with the fabric.

This shirt feels like a nice store bought shirt: great fabric, everything inside is finished with a serger, cute and stylish design.

This shirt might be just the thing I needed to get out of my sewing-funk. It’s a simple design with a lot of style which makes it easy to sew but also rewarding to finish.

Next, I’m starting a new historical costume which should be quite a bit of work but I hope finishing this shirt will inspire me to get sewing again!

Sequin Grainline Lark Tee

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been sewing much lately. I’ve had a few sewing setbacks with a couple patterns I’ve tried and I just haven’t been feeling that inspired. But I have made a few things, like this sparkly Lark Tee I sewed as a sample for a class I taught at the Cloth Pocket.

I got the fabric from a swap. It’s a burnout jersey of mysterious fiber content with tiny sequins stitched throughout with clear thread. And before you ask, yes, it is itchy. But only on the hems and collar and not enough to keep me from wearing the shirt. 😉

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern except for grading up a size at the hips. Grainline patterns tend to fit me pretty well although I could probably use a swayback adjustment.

Overall I really like the fit. It’s slightly curved in the waist and the shortest sleeves hit me at a good length. I think this will be my new go-to t-shirt pattern!

So what do you do when you’re not feeling inspired to sew? Do you do something else entirely? Or try to sew something quick and easy? How do you get your sewjo back??

Linden Sweatshirt and Peg Leg Leggings

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

Both of these garments were made as samples for some new classes I’m teaching here in Austin at The Cloth Pocket. Scroll to the end of the post if you want more info on that!

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

Let’s start with the top which is the Grainline Linden Sweatshirt. I love everything Grainline does. Their patterns fit me well with just a couple minor changes. I simply graded out to a bigger size at the hip. I like the loose, boxy feels of this shirt which makes it easy to fit on others.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

I made View A with long sleeves, cuffs at the arms, and a hem band.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

The fabric was free from a swap. I think it’s a cotton blend. The pattern is simple and raglans sleeves are easy to sew so it came together quickly.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

The neckline is quite wide and open which I personally like but some of my students wanted a smaller neck opening. Something to consider…

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

I’ve made the Pattern for Pirates Peg Leg leggings before. They’re pretty basic in that they don’t have any pockets or style lines but I like that they don’t have an outer seamline which means there are only three pattern pieces. The waistband doesn’t need elastic, either, which is a plus. You could seriously sew these leggings up in a couple hours from cut to finish.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

I used this fabric from the Cloth Pocket. This time I made the full-length leg version.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

I also lengthened the center front to bring the waistband higher. That’s probably a change I’ll suggest in my class as well.

clothpocket

I’m teaching several classes in the coming months so if you’re in Austin and want to learn something new, check it out…

  • Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs – The Peg Leg leggings are a great pattern to show off a fantastic print and with few pieces to cut and seams to sew this makes it the perfect knit beginner class. If you’ve made a couple woven garments but haven’t tried a knit garment yet, this would be a good class for you. This is a one day class on either March 20 or May 1.
  • Grainline Lark Tee – This t-shirt class is an intermediate level for knits. You’ll learn to cut and sew with knits, sew a set-in sleeve in flat, and add a knit collar to a neckline. This is also a one day class that I’m teaching on March 25.
  • Grainline Archer Class – If you’ve read this blog at all, you know I love the Grainline Archer shirt. I’ve made it nine times! My Archer class covers everything you need to know to make a classic button-down shirt over four class sessions April 18, 20, 25, & 27. We’re also offering a men’s shirt pattern alternative if you’re a dude or want to sew a shirt for one. This is an advanced level class so you should have made a few garments before you try this class.
  • Made by Rae Washi Dress – The Washi dress is a beloved pattern by many and is a great beginner dress pattern. You’ll learn how to sew pleats, attach a facing, bind armholes, and sew with elastic thread. If you’ve made a simple garment like a tank top or elastic skirt, this would be a good class to take to advance your skills on a bigger project. This class is held over two class sessions, April 22&29, and May 9&11.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

Historical Costuming: 1840s day dress and bonnet

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

After what seems like years I’ve finally finished my 1840s costume. I completed the dress months ago but the bonnet languished unfinished until recently.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

Underneath all of this, I’m wearing my Victorian undergarments (including four petticoats!), silk stockings and brown leather ballet flats (not exactly period accurate but close enough for now).

Let’s talk about this dress:

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

The pattern is Laughing Moon Mercantile #114 with some minor adjustments. I made View B but with the flat back of View C. I added velvet ribbon on the sleeves based on some extant dress which I can no longer find online. The sleeves of View B are actually three layers (difficult to see in this print), the uppermost layer is pleated three times, hence three rows of ribbon.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

The rose print fabric came from Joann. Is it period accurate? Not exactly, but I have seen red and white cotton extant dresses from the time period.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

I also had to sew several more rows of gathers in the center “fan” front at the waist to rein in all that excess fabric. From other reviews I have read, this seems to be a common fix.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

Other than that, the dress fit me quite well out of the envelope with the exception of some ripples on the back. Not sure if that is due to my corset or if I simply need to slice off some of the length in the back.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

If I were to make this pattern again in View B I would choose a much thinner fabric. The fabric I used was too thick at the armhole seam (this style has very dropped shoulders). With added piping, that seam had 5 layers in it!

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

The skirt is cartridge pleated. I did this so long ago now, back when I was a beginner at costuming. If I were to do it again, I’d make my pleats smaller and tighter.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

The dress closes in back with hooks and eyes so you need help to put it on.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

This “coal scuttle” bonnet is what kept me from finishing this costume. It seemed a daunting task to create an entire buckram and wire framed bonnet from scratch but it wasn’t that difficult to sew when I actually sat down to do it. The pattern is Timely Tresses’ Ada Gray mid 1840s bonnet. It’s mostly hand sewn.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

The main fabric is ivory silk taffeta from some website I don’t remember now. The ribbon is also from Timely Tresses. The feather and vintage velvet flowers are from Etsy. The body of the bonnet is lined with linen and gathered white lace. The bravolet (the little skirt in back) is lined in net.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet

The date I was going for with this outfit is 1847 which is right around the time Texas joined the Union. These pics were taken on a short overnight trip to Leakey, Texas on the Frio River in the Texas Hill Country. I might be able to wear this outfit to some kind of Texas history event but for now, it’s just another fun costume to have.

1840s Day Dress and Bonnet