Thursday, March 30, 2017

Playing with Proportion: Hey June Santa Fe

Ever made a pattern four times, but then given up? Today I'm sharing my third tank top version of the Hey June Santa Fe. I've also made one with dolman sleeves. I think, after this third iteration, I have to call it quits on the tank tops. Lemme explain.

Side note: this post is going to come off like I'm being hyper critical of my looks. I promise, I'm not internalizing any of my own criticism. I'm merely observing the proportions and commenting on them, not getting down on myself.

If you're not familiar with this pattern yet, it has sort of a swing top look to it, but in a knit. There is a swooping hem and it requires a fabric with good drape. This particular one is made from cotton jersey, so not the best match since it doesn't drape as well as rayon knit or ITY (like my first two, here and here). But setting fabric aside, I don't think the overall triangle shape works for me. I feel like my hips look wider than they are, and my boobs look lower than I'd like.

At first, I thought it was an issue with the neckline. As drafted, it's higher than I usually wear, which seemed to contribute to my less-than-perky boob look. I realized after making the dolman version that it has a lower neckline. For this bird version, I copied the lower neckline over and thought it would fix everything.

It's just not working for me. The tops are insanely comfortable. I want to like them. But from certain angles, I look like I'm wearing a tent. The drape falls straight down from my breasts in a weird way I don't think is flattering.

Secondly, the wide sweep of a hem at my hips kind of requires a skinny pant to balance the figure. Don't believe me? Look at how squat I look when this is paired with shorts.

It's a tank top. I want to wear it with shorts. Yes, this is Indiana and our weather is crazy. There are situations where a tank top and jeans are appropriate. But for such a fun, floaty top, I want to wear it when it's 90 degrees and I just need some air flow. With shorts. I LOVE the dolman version of the Santa Fe and have no complaints about it at all. Somehow, having the sleeves to balance my top half just makes more sense for me.

Is there something I'm missing here? I'm sure it's not all as bad as I'm making it out to be, but I simply don't feel confident with the way I look in the tank tops. These will be fine for around the house this summer, but that's about it.

Update July 2017: This post contains affiliate links. Text of the original post remains the same!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Oliver+S Little Things to Sew Tutu

Heyyy I'm alive! Isn't it always the way, kids are on vacation (preschool Spring Break) and mom gets sick? I don't think Daylight Savings Time or our recent cold snap helped much either. Rather than sewing my days away, I've been doing absolutely nothing and letting my five year old be mom for the week. So how about we let her model instead of me?

Sorry to be confusing...she's wearing a second pink tutu on top!

Leading up to Spring Break was Dr. Seuss week at preschool. One day was Silly Socks day, then Wacky Wednesday, and finally Fancy Friday. I'm not big on fancy clothes for kids who spill food basically every day, so we were in a pickle about what she could wear. We rifled through my fabric stash together and landed on some pink tulle that a friend had sent for her. I pulled out my Oliver+S Little Things to Sew book and showed her the Tutu project, and we decided to try it together.

I think this might have been my first time working with tulle. Sewing it wasn't THAT bad, but laying out and cutting, oy. It's so floaty and yet sticks to everything. Ooof. Luckily, we were basically just layering rectangles and sewing them to a piece of ribbon. Not too tricky. AB started it with me and I ended up finishing it alone. H was NOT happy that we had kicked her out of the room to hang with Daddy, so unfortunately AB and I didn't get much time together to sew.

Even though this was a simple project, it was true to O+S form and was constructed neatly and cleverly. I ended up going to Jo-Ann's to buy more tulle and ribbon because what we had wasn't opaque enough for my liking. Also be warned, the photos are a little deceiving and it is open in the back. I just had AB wear tights underneath.

The tutu is also reversible. And superhero-approved!

If you have the patience for cutting tulle, and no almost-2-year-olds banging and crying at your door, then this is a great project to do with a kid just learning to sew. It's simple to customize to any size (in fact, there are no pattern pieces) as well. Have you ever worked with tulle? I'd ask for tips, but I can't see myself sewing it again any time soon!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pink Lace Jasmine Bra

One of the awesome benefits to sewing your own clothes is that you can customize a look however you want. Last summer, I made a Hey June Santa Fe top with lace insets. It's super fun and pretty and I can't wait to wear it this summer (now that I'm not pregnant and can!).

I mentioned in my review at that time that the insets are low enough to show off whatever bra you're wearing. No biggie, I have pink bras. But it randomly hit me one day while I was driving (second only to "falling asleep" as when I have my best ideas) that I still had yardage of the lace, why don't I make a matching bra??

One afternoon and bam, it was done. This is the Jasmine Bra from Ohhh Lulu. It's my second one (first here), so it went pretty quickly. This is a small. For reference I wear a 32D.

The bra is lined with pink milliskin fabric which I bought at Girl Charlee, and actually the lace is from there too. Since it was lace yardage, and not lace trim, there is no scalloped edge. I used picot elastic trim to finish the bra, which I bought at a local-ish fabric store ages ago. They were selling scrap 1-yard pieces for cheap so I bought a ton. They've been working great for bras and undies which only need small pieces anyway. The nude elastic and hook and eye are from Sew Sassy Fabrics.

The straps are 1/4" pre-made straps, also from Sew Sassy. They're not my favorite. They're too narrow (the pattern calls for 1/2" strapping) but they matched the bra, and they work with the shirt as I intended, so it's fine. Just not a lot of perk happening with 1/4" straps. Or with a soft bra, for that matter.

It's so fun having a top/bra matching combo! I'm dying to make some backless tops and pretty show-off bras as well. I mean, it may be a bit much for a mom of three, but I've been breastfeeding on and off for over five years. Showing my bra is the least of my concerns. In fact, showing my bra is guaranteed to happen, might as well make it pretty!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Wool French terry Halifax Hoodie

Sometimes you get lucky and find that one of a kind fabric. And even more rarely, it gets sewn up into something amazing that you get to love on forever. Here's hoping that this hoodie lasts me forever, because I love it super hard!

This is my first crack at the Halifax Hoodie from Hey June (see my other one here, with a more in-depth pattern review). I made a medium, and it's a little too big, but I mostly don't care. It doesn't feel too big when I'm wearing it, it feels cozy and warm.

My fabric is wool. French. terry. WOOL FRENCH TERRY. I don't think I've ever seen such a thing besides this one, which I purchased from Mood maybe a year ago. And it's navy and grey, two of the four colors that I wear regularly (the others being pink and black). It's kind of like this fabric was made for me, as I'm fairly wool-obsessed when it comes to my kids (Google the company Sloomb and you'll see what I mean) and I'm trying to incorporate more of it into my wardrobe.

I have some scratchy wools hanging out in my stash, but this isn't one of them. It's very soft, and even though the loops are large and pronounced it's not rough. And it's basically reversible. This hoodie is only made from one fabric, the solid color is the back of the stripes.

The only issue I had was sewing it. No matter what I did with my serger tension, the stitches were showing. So I made it a ~design feature~ and all the seams are sort of like flatlock stitches. I suppose I could have changed to navy thread...oh well! I like it the way it is.

It took me so long to sew this up because I couldn't decide how to pretreat the fabric. It is not washable, according to Mood. In the end, I did nothing (runs and hides in a corner). I handwash my kids' wool pants (see note above about Sloomb!) so whenever this gets dirty, I'll handwash it. I have special soap on hand for just such a thing. But the amazing thing about wool is that it resists odors well and is durable. I mentioned that the hoodie was buried in the back of my van, I finally pulled it out and it had no musty smell at all.

I've been wearing this like crazy during our weird not-spring-not-winter weather. So here's a kick in the pants for you to pull out your favorite stash fabric and sew something with it!

Update July 2017: This post contains affiliate links. Text of the original post remains the same!

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