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

Patterns for Pirates – Peg Leg Leggings

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

EVEN. MORE. ACTIVEWEAR. SEWING.

Yep, I’m on a roll and perhaps even a little obsessed. Most of my sewing the past couple months has been geared toward some type of sports, exercise or outdoorsy-ness. Sorry, not sorry.

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

This is my first Patterns for Pirates make and it’s pretty successful. These are the Peg Legs – a simple leggings pattern with no side seams (yay!) and no waistband elastic (double yay!).

The fabric is again from Rockywoods.com (gotta maximize that shipping!). It’s a fancy UnderArmor HeatGear poly/elastane knit with SPF 50+ and wicking ability and all that cool stuff.

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

I made a size medium, capri length but this fabric is so stretchy the legs could easily stretch to my ankles.

 

My only struggle with this pattern wasn’t with the design itself but the assembly. P4P uses “no trim” printing pages. You just line up the edges. At first I thought this was cool, no cutting! But my printer doesn’t print less than ~3/4″ from the edge in any direction. That means lots of edges got cut off including most of the page numbers.

p4p_wtf

For example – is this a B or a D? I’m pretty sure it’s a 4?? Who knows!? In the top corners, printed numbers 1, 4 and 7 get so truncated that I can’t tell them apart. A page number printed in the center of the page (like a watermark) would have helped. There wasn’t even a full page layout image included in the instructions to which I could compare my printed sheets!! Ugh, that annoyed me.

Luckily there weren’t many sheets as this pattern is only one piece (you cut the legs shorter for the four length options and the waistband is just a rectangle you cut out separately) and the pattern tells you not to print a couple pages if you’re below a certain size.

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

If I were to make these again I would even out the rise between the front and the back. The back waist is a little high for me and the front waist is a little low.

Since these leggings have no pockets for keys they’ll probably be relegated to yoga/exercise rather than running.

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

These were a fun pair to whip together in an afternoon – few pieces and even fewer seams! But they’re a little plain. Next time I want to try the Sewaholic Pacific Leggings as they have more decorative seaming and a back zip pocket at the waistband, better for running.

Busy Busy January

I’ve been neglecting the blog in favor of Instagram this month. I haven’t finished many projects but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been sewing. So so much sewing… and drafting and cleaning and planning, etc. As a little re-cap, here are just a few of the things I’ve been working on lately…

Blank Slate Sewing Team

Blank Slate Denver Hack

Earlier this month as part of the Blank Slate Sewing Team I shared my Denver Sweatshirt hack over at MellySews.com. I loved this gold painted knit that I used for my shirt, it’s the perfect mix of sparkly and subdued.

Cleaning Up My Sewing Room

I am the worst when it comes to cleaning my sewing room but it had reached a breaking point. I spent a good day throwing out trash, organizing fabric, and returning long lost pattern pieces to their envelopes.

Then I brought to one of my sewing group meetings several boxes full of patterns, fabric, and old me-made clothes to give away.

All the fabrics were leftovers from previous projects. You know how it goes, the pattern calls for three and a half yards but you manage to squeeze the pieces into two and a quarter. As for the remainder, well, there are only so many Scout Tees a person can make.

goodbyedresses

Sometimes a project doesn’t turn out the way you’d have liked. Other times you find yourself never wearing a garment you made for whatever reason. The worst is when your body changes but your clothes aren’t suited to alterations.

Giving away clothes that I’ve made is always difficult, especially when I don’t know if the people at Goodwill will put my clothes on the rack or send them directly to the cotton recyclers.

I didn’t want that fate to befall some of my beloved dresses so I let my friends have first dibs. Luckily most of my clothes were adopted into loving new homes including the above four dresses. The rest will take their chances at the thrift store.

Vintage Patterns for Sale

vintagepatternscollage

In my effort to organize I’ve come to the conclusion that having a full dresser drawer of vintage patterns isn’t doing me any good, especially if I can’t use them all.

So I’ve reserved some of my favorites and I’m slowly adding patterns to my Etsy shop for sale. They’re mostly 60s and 70s. I have a bunch of 80s patterns that I’ll probably sell as one big lot seeing as most people don’t get that excited over 80s designs.

Making Bias Tape from Scraps

biastapesAmong my leftover fabric were several scraps under half a yard that seemed unusable. But then I got an idea – bias tape!

Most of the fabrics were so cut up that I couldn’t get a good size square or rectangle to do continuous bias tape so I had to do it the old fashioned way – cutting long strips and sewing the short ends together.

I wrapped three yard lengths around pieces of cut up gift boxes and now they’re for sale at Me & Ewe. I made 20+ bundles and still have tons more fabric I could use.

Historical Costuming – Late 1880s Bustle Dress

lobstertail_bustle

But this is the big project that’s taken up so much of my time.

If when I complete it, this will be my fastest costume make to date. A full outfit from the ground up in less than a month (well, I’m cheating, I already had the chemise and corset) including a gigantic bustle, petticoat, underskirt, overskirt, fully lined bodice and trimmed hat!

I’m already off to a good start. One day I made my lobster tail bustle. The next I made the petticoat to go over it. The third day I tested the fit of my bodice then redrafted the pieces into a new design.

bustledress_progress

At this point I’ve cut all the pieces that I can from the fabric I have and I am now waiting on my velvet to arrive for the trim.

Oh, and did I mention that I still have to make a hat!??!?

I keep reminding myself, “It will be finished. It will be beautiful. It will be finished. It will…”

Sewing Indie Month with True Bias: Summer Concert Tank

I have followed and loved Dixie for years now so I was super excited to be paired up with her to create a tutorial for her blog as part of Sewing Indie Month. I already loved the Summer Concert Tee by Dixie. I made it up a couple of years ago in some hand dyed shibori fabric and that top is still in regular rotation in my wardrobe. I’ve always wanted to make a tank top version of this swingy top, so I figured this was the perfect occasion.

To start off you just need to assemble your pattern pieces and cut them out as usual. You will not, however, need the cuff piece.

Starting on the front pattern piece, mark the width that you want for the shoulder of your tank. I decided on 2 inches, knowing that I could make it thinner later on. You will also need to add 1/4″ seam allowance to each side. So I made a mark 2 1/2″ total from the neckline.

Now move down to the underarm and draw a line out from the armpit that is perpindicular to center front for about 5 inches.

Draw another line up from the flat part of the side seam (right before it curves back out for the sleeve) and continue that line up for about 5 inches. The place where the two lines connect will be the new top of your side seam.

Either by freehanding it like I did, or by comparing it to a tank from your wardrobe, curve the underarm point to meet your new shoulder point. Repeat these steps for the back pattern piece.

Here is what your two pattern pieces should look like. Don’t worry too much about it being perfect. Knits are super forgiving.

Sew up your shoulder seams and side seams and try it on. You may choose to thin out the straps or take a bit more out of the side seam at the armpit. Make those changes now.

Finish your neckline and hem according to the instructions.

You are going to finish the armholes in the same manner as the neckline. Measure your front and back armholes and subtract 2-3″ from the length for your binding. Cut out two pieces of binding that are the same width as the neckhole binding but the length that you just calculated. Sew them to your armholes.

That’s it! A fun, swingy tank that is ready for a summer concert or day at the park.

Thanks so much Dixie for having me!

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Big thanks to Kelli from True Bias for this tutorial! I love how Kelli seems to be able to take the simplest garment and make it look effortlessly chic. I’m always inspired by her personal style.

Follow along with Sewing Indie Month 2015 and check out more tutorials like this neat button loop hack of the True Bias Southport Dress from Lisa of Paprika Patterns.