Ajusted Renfrew (with bows!)

I made this little shirt several months ago and then immediately lost it. When I found it and realized why – it was still in the bag I used to carry it to my sewing group meet up to show it off. I must have never unloaded it from the bag.

Oh well, also I just got my camera working again but alas, the focus isn’t functioning well on my lens so for these pics I had to choose between “in focus and angry face” or “blurry smile.” Focus won out (for the most part) because pics of the shirt are more important than pics of me looking like I like the shirt. I do like the shirt, really.

The Goal: A few months ago I made my Espresso leggings. When I went to clean up my sewing space I realized that I might have just enough fabric left to make a t-shirt out of it! SUCCESS!!

Don’t ya just love when that happens?

The Pattern: So I whipped out my Sewaholic Renfrew pattern that I had adjusted for my last Renfrew so I knew it would fit.

The Fabric: Leftover rayon/spandex jersey from Austin Fabric Co-op. It’s very lightweight and drape-y. Stashbusting for the win!

The Changes: I didn’t use the band at the bottom of the shirt and I kind of made up new collar and cuff pieces ’cause I couldn’t find the originals. Oops.

I used Susan’s tip of adding Stitch Witchery at the hem for a crisp edge.

But the cool part – BOWS! BOWS! BOWS!

I got the idea from here but I didn’t follow that tutorial. It’s the same basic process, though, just with fabric rather than ribbon if you want to try it yourself.

There wasn’t really a plan to the bows. I cut another piece of fabric the width of my sleeve cuffs, sewed the long edge, turned it inside out and pressed flat. Then I folded it into the bow shape, wrapped it in another piece of the tube and hand stitched it to the sleeve. In the end it was pretty much the same idea as that tutorial.

The Results: I love when I can whip up a project in a couple hours. So satisfying. And it’s a solid so it’ll get a lot of wear. Plus, BOWS!!!!

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!?!?!

OWOP Home Stretch!

One Week, One Pattern 3.0

I’m sorry guys. I know I’m super late with this last one. I swear I finished it on time but didn’t take photos on time and them I didn’t post on time, either… I know. Bad Dixie.

One Week, One Pattern 3.0

Anyway, here is my third and last shirt for the One Week, One Pattern challenge. Check out my first and second versions.

This top was self drafted, again with my favorite loose fit for summertime (It’s going to be 88 degrees today! UGH!).

One Week, One Pattern 3.0

This time I widened the sleeves so they are less fitted. But I had an oops. In attempting different sleeve styles I wound up not having enough fabric left for two sleeve cuffs so I had to cut off the lower part of the back to make another cuff. Bad Dixie! So this shirt doesn’t have the “mullet” look of short in the front, long in the back that I liked in the other tops.

One Week, One Pattern 3.0

I bought this fabric from Fabric.com. I doubt it is still available on the site but if it is, don’t buy it. It’s cheap for a reason. It is a rayon knit that is so easily snagged I think this top may only last one season. The hem even snags on the rivets and belt loops of my shorts for crying out loud!

But that’s ok because I like the stripes and the fun alternating direction.

And the coolest part of this shirt isn’t even in the front!

One Week, One Pattern 3.0

I bought this crochet applique thing locally but you can find similar ones and even fancier designs just as cheap or cheaper on Etsy. I like this shop because they have a variety of colors and if you want beaded styles this other shop has plenty although they are more expensive than the yarn appliques.

These appliques are so fun and you can add them to an existing shirt or as you make a shirt from scratch. I’ll do a tutorial sometime soon to show you how I attached it but it’s really easy.

One Week, One Pattern 3.0

One problem that arose with the scoop neck in front and the wide applique in back is that the shirt kept slipping off my shoulders. I remedied this by adding bra strap holders but since I couldn’t find my tiny metal snaps I used hook-and-eyes which kind of works but I’m going to replace them with snaps once I locate them. I refuse to buy supplies that I know I already have. Is anyone else that way??

One Week, One Pattern 3.0

I plan on making one more version of this shirt with a better fabric, hopefully in another stripe, and then finish the pattern for it.

I also bought two different dye colors to dye the first shirt I made for OWOP so if that goes well I’ll show you that, too!

One Week One Pattern, numero dos!

Self Drafted Top 2.0

Don’t you love how the more times you make a pattern the faster it is to finish? That’s one of the great things about this challenge and repeat pattern sewing.

I whipped this shirt up in a couple hours. You can see the first version of my self drafted top here.

Self Drafted Top 2.0

It’s basically the same idea as last time but I shortened the sleeve cuffs.

The fabric is a feather printed, rayon jersey from Fabric.com which is drape-y and soft and very light weight.

Self Drafted Top 2.0

Suzanne made a really cool sleeveless top out of the same fabric (in a different colorway).

I’ve got one more top to make before the week is over!

Self Drafted Top 2.0

On a side note – this is the first time I’ve worn these shorts since last summer (ok, more like October) and I have a problem. I’ve lost weight.

At the end of last summer I took the buttons off these shorts and reattached them further towards the sides. This made the waist smaller when buttoned because even back then I wanted them a little tighter.

Now I put them back on (these shorts are also part of my Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe I’m making this year) and not only are they still a little loose in the waist but the legs seem huge! They were never tight shorts to begin with but now they look like I’m wearing an A-line mini skirt. I don’t remember them feeling this large last year.

In most cases losing weight would be a good thing, right? Not for those who sew. Now I have to go back and alter these shorts. I’ll have to take out the hem and re-finish the seams and re-hem again. Ugh. I am annoyed because I hate hate hate having to make alterations on something handmade after it’s been finished.

If you loose a lot of weight you’ll need to get a full new wardrobe but even losing (or gaining) a small amount of weight can be frustrating, too, when the clothes you spent so much time making don’t fit any more!

I can’t even imagine how I’d feel if I was one of those people who spend hundreds of dollars on a very customized dressform that matches your exact measurements and then went up or down a size! Or maybe that’s a good motivator to stay a certain weight so you don’t waste that investment?

Have any other sewers had this problem? Did you alter all the clothes you sewed to fit your new size or just make all new clothes?