A while ago I wrote about how I like to dress down at home, but somewhat nice at work. However, I find it easiest to make clothes that fall in between – too nice to wear at home, but not nice enough for a professional setting. Several months ago I bought some cotton jersey, intending to make ALL THE THINGS, but the colours were not what I expected, so the fabric got set aside. A few days ago I decided that sometimes good enough now is better than perfect someday, and that I should use what I already have rather than buy more stuff.
So I pulled out my Alabama Chanin patterns, and set to work making a tunic to wear at home. I used the basic T-shirt pattern, but lengthened the hem to end mid-thigh and shortened the sleeves to end just above my elbow. I also added a pocket, because POCKETS!
I turned the neckline under to stabilize it. I may turn the other hems under, but then again, I may not. I have also thought about felling the seams, but that just seems like a lot of work for an already functional garment. In my imaginary world I will applique leaf shapes all over the tunic and it will become a work of art that I wear with leggings and a hat as I walk through piles of autumn leaves. But sometimes good enough now is better than perfect someday. And I can always add to my finished tunic.
This month I participated in Me Made May. I’ve seen this in the past and wanted to participate, but didn’t really know how. I looked it up this year, and basically Me Made May is a challenge to wear the things you have made every day in the month of May. I wasn’t sure if I had enough handmade clothing items to do this, but I decided to try. It ended up being a great way to find things I had made that I had forgotten about and to try different clothing combinations. I will definitely do this again.
One dress, three ways: I love my Alabama Chanin inspired grey dress. I feel very cute wearing it, and it is so easy to style!
Tank Tops: May is warm where I live, so I wore my tank tops a lot. One is self drafted and two are Wiksten tanks (one of which I upcycled from a shirt my husband had torn).
Socks: I wore my Fraternal Slytherin socks a lot. As in every time they were clean. Also, I finished my Pink Floyd socks this month and they have been a bright addition to my handmade wardrobe.
Accessories: The Chevron Lace Headband is my first published pattern (and it’s free). I’m about to publish a pattern for this cowl as well – it will be called Raindrops and Wildflowers and I’m planning to publish it in July. I also wore my Wedding Shawl and a ribbon rose hair clip I had forgotten about.
Other: I don’t wear skirts as much as I used to, so I had forgotten how much I loved my Joseph skirt. I wore my Lace-Back vest, and my long sleeve Alamaba Chanin t-shirt for the odd cold day.
Historically clothes were often remade. But somewhere along the way clothes became cheap and thus disposable and we stopped remaking them. Well, we also stopped making clothes (that’s a discussion for another day) and thus we lost the skills to make (or remake or mend) clothes.
The other day my husband ripped the elbow of his dress shirt. He has done this before and it always pains me to throw out an otherwise perfect shirt. This time I had an idea: why not use his shirt to make a shirt for me?
I laid the shirt out, cut off the sleeves and up the side seams, laid my pattern out (I’m using the Wiksten tank), and cut out the pieces. I was in a bit of a conundrum about the bias binding until I remembered the perfectly good sleeves (well, one of them was perfectly good, and the other very nearly so). Using the sleeves as bias tape also reduced my waste.
I pinned and sewed and ironed and sewed some more, and here is what I came up with:
I made some modifications to the pattern because of what I had to work with:
- The shirt is a little less full at the bottom than the pattern (because my husband is a skinny man). It still fits very comfortably.
- The last time I made the Wiksten tank I really didn’t enjoy turning up the hem. Since I was working with a shirt that already had been hemmed I kept the existing hem (even though it was a little different in shape from the pattern).
- The neck is a little higher – partly because I feel more comfortable with a higher neck, partly because I wanted a button at the very top of the shirt.
- The neck and arm holes are simply sewn over with bias tape instead of being turned under.
- I moved the pocket to the right hip area (and it’s a man-sized pocket so it fits ALL THE THINGS).
I feel so pretty and comfortable in this shirt! And I can wear it with jeans or coloured pants. And the pocket! Did I mention the pocket? I love pockets.
What would I do differently? Well, I somehow messed up the shoulder/back neck so it doesn’t hang well in the back. I need to raise the whole back panel. And I think I will end up putting in some bust darts because the arm holes are a little wide for my taste.
All in all I like it. Would I do it again? Maybe.
Ah, the joy of (finally) finishing something! Starting new things is always fun, but I tend to start lots of big projects and the middle always becomes a bit of a joyless slog (well, as joyless as crafting can be). I always forget how quickly sewing goes compared to knitting!
On Thursday I printed (and taped) the pattern for the Wiksten tank. Due to a problem with the printing size I had to do some math to make sure my shirt would fit. After mathing it was time to lay out fabric and cut. Scary! Eeek! Cutting was accomplished, I pinned, matched thread, and began sewing. The pattern is very clearly written with excellent photo instructions, and it has french seams. I adore french seams for the tidiness inside the garment. Thursday night I finished the basic construction of the garment.
Friday and Saturday I worked on all the edges and bindings. I think the finishing actually took longer than the construction, though all in all the shirt took me about 6 hours – and that is hand sewing. This thing is seriously fast, people!
I love it. Go buy the pattern and make your own, because this one is mine and I’m not sharing. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make 20 more.
A few weeks ago I bought a few sewing patterns. I put off printing them because I don’t have a printer at home. Thursday was the day, though, the day I went to the print shop. I taped my pages together, laid out my fabric and cut! Then I sewed my major seams while on the phone with my best friend. This is the Wiksten Tank in a light cotton. It’s so bright and summery! I’m in love. This picture was taken before I finished any of the edges, so I will take some better ones soon.
I saw this book months ago at Barnes and Noble, but didn’t buy it. But then about a week ago, I did. Now I want to buy all the wool and make all the gnomes! They seem so fun and whimsical….
And look at this gorgeous salmon I made last night! It was delicious.
What have you been up to?
This has been a week of small starts and no finishes. Work on the blanket continues. I swatched for socks and a tee, but have to wash the swatches before I can do more. Here is the red blouse I have been working on – languishing in want of a zipper.
What do you think? I’m pretty happy with how she is shaping up.
I recently bought the Wiksten Tank pattern and this fabric to make it in. Yummy!
My Sister in Law recently had a birthday. She loves books even more than I do (and I love books a lot), so I made her this necklace. I hope she loves it. I’ve been saving this book charm for a long time.
I like to take a few glamour shots when I finish a project. The flowers are so beautiful this time of year!
Should I wear this yarn crown all the time? I’m hoping it will become a fad.
I pulled out an old project and have been sewing recently.
Kitty thinks sewing time is actually petting time. Silly kitty.