Well, I’m spending today and tomorrow in self-isolation. My symptoms were enough to send me for testing but not enough to keep me bedridden, so I sewed make #6 for 2021 out of a couple of yards of quilting cotton I’ve had in the stash for a while.
I have a ton of cotton, really. It’s 90% of what’s available locally plus it’s just so easy to sew. Since I tossed and reorganised my stash I’ve confirmed that I have a lot of nice prints hiding away in bins, and I think those prints should be hauled out and used. I have a lot of patterns that are suitable for woven cotton so I won’t have trouble figuring out what to do with it all.
So! This is Bianca by Made by Rae. It comes in both a dress and top length and now that I’ve made one I know I need to make the other. I like that there’s a choice between an elastic casing and shirring – even if I absolutely cheated and used neither, instead sewing the elastic directly to the wrong side of the bodice, stretching as I went. I do have elastic thread; one of these days I should get around to trying it out.
I mostly ignored the instructions, but I mean… what else is new. I generally put things together in the order they’re supposed to be put together but I don’t tend to follow instructions down to the letter. As long as things come out well it’s all good, right? Right.
Full disclosure: This fabric was gifted to me by Minerva.com in exchange for a blog post on their site. It can be found right here.
Flamingos in the middle of winter? Sure, why not. They keep me from forgetting that snow-town doesn’t last all year, and that warmer weather will come around again eventually.
And this is definitely a warm-weather fabric, at least without layering. It’s a softer-than-expected viscose challis with a wonderful crinkly texture and tons of drape. It likes to shift more than the stable wovens I’m used to working with, but I found that careful pressing and a few extra pins took care of that. I sewed just a little more slowly than my usual million-miles-an-hour, and both my sewing machine and serger had no problems with the fabric at all.
I feel like this fabric would make an excellent summer maxi skirt or long dress. It has the kind of flow that’d be lovely on something of that length, though it’s just a bit sheer so a lining would probably be ideal. I’ll absolutely take this top to the beach in a few months, but for now, adding leggings, boots, and a cardigan will be the way to go. Maybe even a long-sleeved top underneath, as well, for those particularly frosty Canadian mornings.
I’ve made this pattern – Made By Rae Trillium top – before, but always out of stiffer fabric, and this is a pleasantly soft interpretation. The few little pleats are less defined and the peplum drapes closer to the body than in other versions. The pattern includes both a top and dress version, with cap sleeves or without, and has recently been expanded to include plus sizing from 1-5, up to a 59″ bust and hip. Pattern sizing put me in an XL graded to a 1, but ease in the peplum meant I could sew a straight XL and have it work out.
My new flamingo top is headed straight into my wardrobe rotation, and tonight I’ll be dreaming of sunshine and my bare feet in the sand.
We’re expecting 20 to 30 cm of snow late tonight and into tomorrow, but this morning was not quite chilly enough to keep me from taking photos of recent makes.
First up is a Love Notions Melody Dolman. Look, I sewed a collar! Camp-style, so on the lower end of complicated, but still – a collar. And my one-step automatic buttonhole thing on my sewing machine decided to behave, too.
I started off with a size XL for the shoulders and bust, blended to an XXL for the waist and hips. I also – of course – cut a couple inches off the hem. No other modifications… oh, wait, actually, I didn’t follow the button guide. It was laid out in such a way that there would have been a gap between buttons right over my bust, so I added a sixth button and recalculated the distance between each so I’d have a button in the right place.
The fabric is quilting cotton. I sew with it quite frequently – it’s all I can get locally, aside from a few solid-coloured cotton/lycra knits, but besides that, there are tons of great prints that don’t come in other fabrics. I’ll never quite understand the “quilting cotton is unsuitable for garments” mindset, because I’ve had a ton of fun sewing all kinds of printed cottons into all kinds of different items of clothing.
Next up! An Ellie and Mac Everday Tee. I sewed a straight XXL, shortened by almost five inches. Really like the fit of this tee – the scoop neckline, the dolman sleeves, the high-low curved hem.
The fabric was kind of a bitch to sew, though. It’s a very thin rayon/spandex knit that my sewing machine and serger both really wanted to eat. The twin-needle hems I sewed tunneled like crazy, and it’s definitely noticeable in the photo.
Next time I should probably use a stabiliser under the fabric – I’ve never done that before, but then again, I’ve never sewn with something quite so thin, insanely stretchy, and shifty. I found it in a fabric shop about an hour from here, in a bin of mixed knits that were rolled into balls and sold by the pound. (I also found some fantastic cuts of spandex and stretch lace that I’ve been sewing into dance leotards and leggings, but that’s another post…)
Third make is a Chalk and Notch Fringe Blouse with puffins! Quilting cotton, again. I sewed a size 16 with zero mods – I love how well Chalk and Notch patterns fit me right off the printer. A 16 is a couple sizes smaller than my body measurements say I should make, but there’s a bit more ease in the pattern than I prefer for my own clothing so I sized down, as I usually do.
I really should make the other view of the Fringe one of these days. I made one ages ago but I’ve stuck to the button-front since then. Fake button-front, I should say, because if I can get the garment on over my head without undoing the buttons you’d better believe that’s going to be a non-functional placket.
No, I’m not a lazy sewist – why do you ask?
One more make to go, and then I’ll throw myself back into my studio.
Last one for the post is a Made by Rae Trillium top. I love this pattern, and I love this whale-print fabric, and I think they look great together. I pondered sizing a lot and ended up going with an XL – it’s a bit snug, but my weight has been trending downward lately so maybe it’ll be okay. It’s still pretty and wearable.
Trillium really is one of my favourite patterns. It’s a good shape for me, and fits without adjustments. I can’t wait until the expansion pack – with different sleeves and necklines and pussy bows – is released for the updated pattern size range.
Speaking of favourites, I think the Art Gallery cotton I used for this might become one. I’m used to standard-quality stuff, I guess, so when I get my hands on the good stuff I tend to make all kinds of ‘ooo’ noises while pressing, cutting, and sewing. It’s cool and smooth and feels almost silky, in a way.
And that’s that.
On a final note, I’m super-excited to mention that I got an invitation to join Minerva.com’s Maker team! My first fabric arrived last week and it’s on this weekend’s list of projects. It’s a special fabric, too, so I’m doubly excited.