Going old school: The Portia Top Pattern

Hey folks, I’ve been busy this last week cranking out swimsuits I hope to use on my upcoming vacation but I wanted to post about a pattern I made last September (wow, it feels like a lot longer than that).

I made the shirt and pattern in conjunction with “The Refashioners” – a cool idea from the lovely Portia. She sent a bunch of bloggers a surprise package filled with a thrift store garment and we were challenged to re-make it into something new. My surprise outfit was big enough for me to incorporate into two shirts, the second of which I self drafted and made into a pattern.

I never did post the pattern here for whatever reason but perhaps now is as good a time as any.

Quick rundown on the shirt – it’s a pieced together design with cut-on cuffed sleeves, pleated shoulders, a round neckline and interesting seaming. You could play around with some fun color blocking if you want.

This pattern is more old school Dixie style – basic instructions (no pics), not quite as detailed of a layout but an advanced beginner or intermediate level sew-er should be able to put it together, no problem.

It comes in 5 sizes ranging from bust size 32″-40″

Instructions and pattern are all in one PDF. Like any other of my patterns be sure to print without scaling and tape all the pieces together by matching the letter and number notches.

It’s pretty amazing for me to see how far my pattern making skills have come in only a few months but I hope you enjoy this older free pattern! As always, let me know if you have questions or comments. I love feedback!

Summer Concert Tee Pattern Now Available!

SummerConcertTee

Today’s the day! I’m very pleased to announce the release of my newest pattern. I first showed you my finished version last week and now it is ready for download.

You now can buy the pattern for $8 at my store and get an instant download.

As usual – remember to print the pattern at 100% without scaling. Don’t make the pages “fit in the printable area” or anything fancy like that. The file is already optimized to print on standard letter or A4 sheets. Once printed, line up all the pages matching letter and number notches so that it looks like the Printing Layout guide. The instructions are included with the pattern in one PDF for easy printing and reference.

The “Summer Concert Tee” Downloadable Pattern

The "Summer Concert Tee"

Yep, that’s right, I’m launching another pattern download It’s launched! You’ve seen the variations of the shirt to get to this point and now I’m almost ready to release the pattern.

I’m calling it The Summer Concert Tee because it is something I’d totally wear to a music festival in the hot summer sun while jamming out to my favorite bands (in between complaining about $5 water bottles and telling the jerk in front of me to close his umbrella, uh, yeah…).

The "Summer Concert Tee"

The shirt is fitted at the shoulders but loose at waist and hip, cropped in front and longer in back (great with high waist shorts!), scoop neck (my fave style), dolman sleeves with longer sleeve cuffs that make for a fun look in a stripe.

The "Summer Concert Tee"

I’ll be releasing it for purchase next week for $8. It willl be in five sizes as usual and be available as a PDF download with instructions and pattern in one document.

Ok, readers, here’s the thing. This shirt, in essence, is a lot like another pattern I made previously. I know you all love free patterns but I’ve decided to take the old one down. It’s not just because I want to make money. I have other reasons:

  • I made that pattern over a year ago and since then I’ve learned much more about pattern making as well as the program I use to turn my patterns into PDFs.
  • This new pattern has better fit and construction with details like wider arm openings and a different way to attach the collar. The front piece is slightly wider than the back (because ladies are more curved in the front than the back).
  • The new pattern also has more accurate sizing(!!) because of tips and tricks I’ve learned on my software.
  • Better instructions, illustrations, and pre-sewing info. Having made more patterns I know what’s important to include – like properly labeling each pattern piece with all the info (duh, Dixie!). This one will have helpful graphics for some of the steps.
  • Better printable format and visual design.
  • While the design is similar I redrafted this entire pattern from scratch.
The "Summer Concert Tee"

This new shirt pattern is just a better product all around and I’m almost embarrassed by my old patterns. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever release any new free patterns in the future. They’ll most likely be simple, easy to sew designs for clothes and accessories. I have a clutch design that I’m working on and I intend to make a free pattern for it.

I’m leaving up my old shirt pattern up for one week so go download it now while you still can if you haven’t already! Once I launch the Summer Concert Tee I’ll discontinue that old pattern for good (even on BurdaStyle).

The "Summer Concert Tee"

Alright – back to the current t-shirt!

The Goal: This top is part of my Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe (my orange short were my first pair of shorts). The mix of orange and mint will be pretty daring but I’m not afraid of crazy color combos this season.

The Fabric: A gray and mint stripe from The Common Thread.

The Pattern: Version 4.0 and my final version of the upcoming Summer Concert Tee. You can see the second most recent version here.

The Changes: Version 3.0 was almost identical to this version only the back of that one was shorter because I ran out of fabric, oops. This new version doesn’t have the crochet back piece but you can easily add one to the design.

The "Summer Concert Tee"

The Results: Thumbs up! I love the colors. The collar sits nicely. And I’m proud of myself for not being lazy and changing the thread color on my serger so the inside stitches are gray instead of bright white. I’m giving myself a pat on the back for that one.

***And stay tuned, ladies and gents, I just finished my shorts that I’m working on for my next pattern. Yep, you heard right! I’m veering away from knits (which I love) and making a pattern for a pair of woven shorts! Will the excitement never end!?!?!

Gift Wrap Scraps

Christmas Cards using Gift Wrap

If you’re like me then you hoard even the smallest bits of leftover gift wrap because some day, some time you know you’ll need them for all those super tiny boxed gifts you’re going to give (only I never have small boxed gifts! ugh!).

Here’s another way to use up those scrap pieces instead of dumping them into the recycle bin.

Use them as background for Christmas cards! I made these cards to resemble wrapped gifts with tags. Inside they’ll hold gift cards. And since gift wrap is already holiday themed you don’t have to buy fancy Christmas card stock.

I think the last day in the US to mail cards for on time delivery is tomorrow so if you need a quick last minute card (I’m raising my hand!) grab your gift wrap supplies and make one!

***I’m leaving town soon but I’ll be back next Monday to start the Sew-a-long! So grab your PDF pattern while you can!