Well, it was bound to happen! It is now October, the summer has effectively flown by, and the first peeks of Fall are coming through without even one post from me. As you can imagine, I have been entrenched in caring for my husband and kids; however, a big portion of my hiatus was dealing with a terrible bout of tendinitis in my left arm. I was in so much pain I didn't even want to sew! This issue has been a chronic one since I had my son three years ago, but this last time was almost unbearable. I laid around A LOT, and activities of daily living were extremely difficult.
Thankfully, after a few MD appointments, a prescription for steroids, and a natural joint supplement, I began to do SO MUCH better! I still have some days of dull aches, but every day I feel better and better. Since I am back working with toddlers I have to be careful not to re-injure my arm, but every "good day" has been filled with sewing in small increments.
Today I am going to talk a little bit about my summer wardrobe pieces, and how my wardrobe plans turned out. Remember this?
I attempted all of the items (except the second pair of shorts, more on that later), but I have to be honest and say that there was a lot of "meh" items so some of the items are unfinished. In fact, I wandered so deep into "meh" land, I almost thought I wouldn't get out! So, some of these items I have taken photos in, while others are on my dressform.
My first piece is the Sewaholic Renfrew done with a short sleeve. I have made other versions of this top (cowl neckline, V neckline, long-sleeve) and this was the only view I had left to make. Since my wardrobe has been lacking in solid colors, I decided on this lovely navy poly-rayon knit I purchased from Fine Fabrics this year. For some reason, it came out a tad snug around my hips, and I will have to adjust that in future versions.
However, it does pair well with the shorts I ended up making:
As you can tell from my pasty pale legs, I am not a consistent shorts wearer--even during the summer months! I am not sure why. My legs are not the feature I like to play up most, so I guess I dress accordingly. In fact, most of my pants are capri or full length for summer.
Anyhow, the shorts shown above are not what I originally wanted to make for my summer wardrobe. Let me show you the wearable muslin I created before I decided to go in a different direction:
I started out with S1167, but ended up having quite a few fit challenges. Once I sorted out the back rise (which was too low) and applied the waistband, I had pocket gaping. Not giving up, I made a full seat adjustment, re-worked the pockets, sewed up a second pair, and STILL had pocket gaping. Besides the gaping, I really like the shorts! I could probably wear them with a longer top that covers the pockets, but as you can see, I haven't even bothered to put the button snap on yet. Yeah, I'm just not that into them...
After the disappointment of S1167, I turned to my beloved Ginger jeans pattern, and the wheels began turning... Why not turn my beloved jeans pattern into shorts??!!! So, I created a pants block from the Ginger jeans, and reduced the length by about 9 inches in order to get the pair shown here. I also combined the back yoke to the back pants, and kept the topstitching to a minimal so that it mimicked all of the trouser-like features of S1167.
It was a good solution to a frustrating problem!!!! Also, it made sewing these up so much easier, and I now have a solid foundation for making future pairs of shorts next summer. My only change would be to create a pocket facing that attaches to the lining so that there is no show through. This will also allow me to use all the pretty fat quarters that I stocked up on in the last $1 sale at Joanns!
For the sleeveless tank top, I chose another Fine Fabrics purchase. This time it was a blue marbled rib knit that looked like it was begging to be a tank! Since it was a quick sew I figured I wasn't going to muslin it...but ended up regretting that choice. In short, the armholes were huge on me! I fixed that by sewing deeper into the side seams, and the end results were actually very nice:
This tank is my husband's favorite!! While I don't think I will revisit this pattern, this item has gotten worn so many times--because when your hubby says he likes something, you just put it into the rotation!!!
I do like the split hem on this one. There is just enough length without it going overboard.
Here is my total me-made look! I do like that I have additional choices to wear with my kimono. For my next wardrobe, I think I will choose fabrics around a print again, but probably not my topper. I found it hard to integrate the clothing underneath the topper without making EVERYTHING a solid color--still learning! But I can see the appeal of sewing separates that play well together!
My last top, TC1617, a sleeveless blouse, is actually a great pattern that I just feel "meh" about. I really liked the pattern instructions for this one. I love how they had you create the front placket, and although there is LOTS of hand sewing, I didn't mind that either. I believe this is a well made shirt pattern, and I am convinced I will be trying other versions for Fall--especially the hidden button placket, which I have never done before.
The thing I struggled with is the length of high-low hem for the back. It just looks ridiculous to me!! Right now this top has been in timeout until I can decide on the changes that will bring me a love for this item, lol! It is a rayon crepon from Fine Fabrics (I only know because I saw it online too).
With patterns that have darts, I find that I have to move the bust dart down about 1/2." That is what I did to this shirt, and it fits well. Again, I am still learning fit with woven fabrics so I am being kind to myself in this area.
Overall, I created three wearable items out of the five. I can live with those numbers and regroup for next year, lol! You may see other mini-wardrobes on my blog throughout the rest of this year, but I will be moving back to my original monthly plan of making the Sew Your View item, as well as a garment of my choosing.
Stay sew filled!