Two Plantain Shirts (plus bonus adorable cat)

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

This post has an extra special appearance from Betsy – my relative’s adorable fluffy Persian kitty. I can’t tell if she’s annoyed with me holding her because her face always looks like that. Either way, she’s super nice. My cat, Peanut, would never let me hold her like this.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Both of the knits for these two shirts are from LAFinchFabrics.com.

Deer & Doe Plantain ShirtI bought them for other projects which have been cut out but not yet sewn. Luckily I had enough left to make a couple Plantains – the free shirt pattern from Deer and Doe.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

This shirt is made with a lightweight but pretty stable cotton poly blend jersey with a very slight, barely noticeable burnout. Best of all it was THREE DOLLARS for two yards! Let me repeat that – THREE WHOLE AMERICAN DOLLARS (plus shipping obvs)!!!!!

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough leftover fabric for the back but I had just enough of some scrap black rayon jersey that was nearly the same weight. I also used that black to cut out the elbow patches.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

I didn’t make any fit changes other than grading between sizes from the waist to hips. I like the way the shirt flares at the hem – good for a pear shape like me.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Onward to Plaintain Part Deux:

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

This one used a denim (it’s a heather-ish blue on the outside, white on the underside) french terry that is super lightweight and drapey. It’s like it was made for this pattern. Too bad it’s now sold out.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

My serger is on the fritz right now so I sewed both of these with a zig zag on my regular machine and used a twin needle on the hems and collar.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

One thing I loved about this pattern is the neckline. I like the wide round shape and the collars on both shirts sit nice and flat. I know every knit is different and there’s no way of knowing if a pattern’s collar piece is going to be too long, too short, or just right. It’s often trial and error, but for both shirts the length was perfect. Like, it’s the Goldilocks collar!

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Sometimes you need a quick sewing project to get your sewjo back. I hadn’t made the Plantain before but both of these shirts came together in only a few hours.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Well, that’s it for today but because you deserve it – here’s another cute cat picture. Betsy says “Happy Sewing!!”

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Cat Print Grainline Alder Dress

Cat Print Alder Dress

I don’t know why it took me so long to make this pattern – it’s a fantastic pattern, as I would expect from Grainline. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t often wear sleeveless tops/dresses? Although, this dress may be the one that breaks that habit.

Cat Print Alder Dress

This’ll be a short and sweet post. Not much to say about this dress other than praise. It’s not very fitted at the waist so I like the scooped side hem. The shorter length in the front and sides helps balance out the looseness, I think.


Cat Print Alder Dress

Cat Print Alder Dress

The pattern is Grainline’s Alder dress and I made no significant changes to fit or design other than slightly adjusting the pocket placement.

Cat Print Alder Dress

Jen at Grainline is a genius when it comes to armholes – she drafts them perfect every time. No gaping, no pulling, not too low or too high. And the armscye works for everyone – even if you need to do an FBA/SBA on her patterns, you don’t have to mess with those armholes. It’s like the Goldilocks armhole.

Cat Print Alder Dress

This cute print is from Stitch Lab here in Austin. It’s a quilting cotton but it works well for this pattern. The little round kitties on this print are so much fun – it’s like wearing Neko Atsume on your body.

The simple plastic buttons are from my stash.

Cat Print Alder Dress

I always get compliments on it when I wear it because of the print. People love cats!

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

 

More activewear sewing! Several weeks ago I began using a Couch to 5k running app to help build up my endurance for some big upcoming hikes. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m no runner. Really, I’m extra slow. And I have no intention of signing up for a half marathon or anything. For me, running is mainly a good excuse to be outdoors. I work from home so I’m stuck inside most of the time.

I tried this same app a few years ago and stalled out on week 6 of 8 so this time around I’m hoping to do better…

With all this extra activity I figured I could use more gear so I sewed up some Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts.

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

About halfway through sewing these I realized the Prefontaines are essentially the same as my Movies in the Park Shorts but with an elastic waist and felt a little silly about buying a whole new pattern when I could have simply adapted one I already had but oh, well.

 

 

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

Turns out, I’m glad I got this pattern as it’s quite good. I appreciated the little tips here and there in addition to the full FAQ section. The full instructions on making your own bias tape would be helpful for a newbie. There are two options for attaching the waistband, which is nice (I went with a simple casing).

I liked the option for making the inseam shorter (which I did – my shorts are about halfway between the 5″ and the 1.5″ length variations).

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

I didn’t add the back welt pockets to my shorts but the pattern included some of the better welt instructions that I’ve seen (yay for one piece pockets!).

While the text instructions were clear, I would have preferred the sample fabric in the photos to be a solid rather than a busy print. Sometimes I found it difficult to understand the pictures as the stitching blended into the fabric.

I also enjoyed the little mini bio on the pattern’s famous namesake.

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

The main fabric is a taslan nylon from Rockywoods.com, leftover from a yet-to-be-blogged project. I had just enough to eek out these shorts. I used a fine mesh fabric that I originally bought for swimsuit material from some spandex warehouse in Dallas. I liked the contrast of the hot pink on gray.

I used a fine mesh fabric that I originally bought for swimsuit material from some spandex warehouse in Dallas. I liked the contrast of the hot pink on gray.

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

 

 

The shorts themselves came together in just a short afternoon – and that includes the time I took to run to the fabric store to buy thread and elastic!

The pockets are stitched to the front layer of fabric so they stay in place permanently and don’t flop around – good for running.

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

(btw you might recognize this shirt as my SJ Tee from a few weeks ago – the sunlight helps see the details and seam lines better in these pics)

Now if only I could force myself to wake up earlier in the morning. It’s getting way to hot now during the day to be out running!

Hiking Archer – More Activewear Sewing

Hiking Archer

Did you know this year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service?

I love National Parks! Creating them is one of the best things this country has ever done. Whenever I get disillusioned by the mess of our current political system and I start thinking “you know, that Justin Trudeaux guy seems like an alright dude,” and “Vancouver is really just like a much colder Austin,” I remember the National Parks and think, “well, at least we got one thing right…”

…Let’s just say, the Parks give me perspective and hope for the future.

natparks1

All pics from my Instagram: clockwise from the top left: Big Bend NP, TX; Bryce Canyon NP, UT; Zion NP, UT; Rocky Mountain NP, CO

I’ve made it a personal goal to visit all the National Parks in my lifetime and I’ve got a good head start seeing as I’ve been to quite a few already.

But I say goal loosely because there’s 58 of ‘em in total and some are only accessible by plane or boat! It’s unlikely that I’ll go to every National Park but I’m unofficially counting National Monuments and Seashores, etc., as bonus points.

This year we’re visiting Hot Springs and Everglades National Parks.

natparks2

More Instagram shots: Big Bend NP, TX wearing Sewaholic Renfrew shirt; Great Sand Dunes NP, CO wearing a knit Grainline Scout tee; Dixe(!!!) National Forest, UT wearing True Bias Hudson Pants

I’ve always worn me-made clothes while travelling but I think it’s high time I made some clothes specifically for the job – in this case, hiking. I don’t camp, I don’t like “roughing it,” but I do love day hikes and exploration – hence the hiking shirt!

Hiking Archer

Like my leggings fabric from the last post, this fabric came from Rockywoods.com. It’s a water-resistant, breathable nylon with SPF 50 which is quite important for summertime adventuring.

Hiking Archer

It’s a water-resistant (take that, rain!), breathable (take that, sweat!) nylon with SPF 50 (take that, diminishing ozone layer!) which are all quite important factors for summertime adventuring. It’s crisp with a crinkly texture and makes a soft rustling noise, not quite the same as cotton but it feels a lot like the types of shirts I tried on at Outdoors-y stores like REI.

Hiking Archer

I bought the color “Rain Day” which I thought would be gray but it looks more like a pale khaki so I’m nicknaming this my “Safari Shirt.”

The fabric was nice to work with as it was nice and stable and didn’t fray hardly at all. Buttons came from Joann.

Hiking Archer

I used my TNT Grainline Archer shirt pattern (what is this, make number 6 by now?). It’s the perfect all-purpose pattern to go with this lightweight fabric. The only change was making the pockets a little smaller.

Hiking Archer

A button-down shirt works well for hiking for a few reasons: long sleeves and a high neck keep my uber-pale skin covered from the sun but I can also roll up the sleeves or wear a tank under it and unbutton the front if it gets too warm. Plus, wearing a khaki dress shirt makes me feel like a fancy early 20th-century explorer like Indiana Jones or something.

I ordered more fabric from Rockywoods – soon to become some Grainline Maritime “Hiking” shorts and the Sewaholic Cypress Cape (for extra rainy hiking or rainy Everglades boat-riding…).

Hiking Archer

Soon I’ll be all geared up for outdoor adventures! If you want, I’ve made a new Pinterest board collecting all the activewear patterns and fabric suppliers I’ve found in the last few weeks. Let me know if there’s a cool pattern I’ve missed! And tell me about your favorite Park!