I wear my Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet all the time – so when when Helen asked me to test her new Pattern, the Suki Kimono, I was totally on board. I already have two robes – one is a really fluffy light pink bath robe that my Grandma gave me for Christmas one year and another one is one I got at one of the Victoria Secret sales a couple of years ago. To be honest I don’t really wear either of those robes… but I was pretty sure that this one would have something to offer that neither of those have.
I chose a rayon satin from Harts Fabric. I wasn’t really sure what rayon satin is since I’ve never worked with it before. It turns out that rayon is the material the fabric is is made of and satin refers to the weave of the fabric. The satin weave is what makes the fabric smooth and glossy looking.
One of the great things about this pattern is how customizable it is. You can easily make the sleeves longer or make the front band extend all the way down. I made view B without contrast bands. I used a size S bust and graded out to a size M at the hips. I also shortened the front and back pieces by 2 inches.
The most frustrating step in this whole project for me was cutting out the fabric. The rayon satin was extra shifty and slid around easily, which made it super difficult to cut out. It ended up taking me way longer than I expected to cut out the pattern.
Once I had everything cut out though it was pretty smooth sailing. I appreciated that Helen had you do some of the smaller steps ahead of time like making the loops. That way you can get them out of the way while you still have a lot of momentum going.
I length of the sleeve is perfect – they aren’t going to get in the way at all but also add a little bit of drama to the robe. The inner ties and the tie that is secured at the back really help to keep everything in place. I don’t ever feel at risk of the robe falling open. I also love how high up the neckline is. It really makes a huge difference in how comfortable I feel in the robe when I’m not worried about it staying in place.
I used french seams for a clean finish on the inside. Helen added instructions for how to do a clean finish in the final version, but I sort of winged it. When I got to the front band I also wanted that to have a clean finish so I ended up sewing the outer neckband to the front, sewing the front seams, including adding the front inner tie, and then folding the front band over the front edge, and hand sewing the inside of the front band down. In the end I’m really glad I decided to use clean finishes on this since I wanted something a little more special than the two robes I already have. This definitely fits that. I can see myself wearing this in the mornings on the weekend and wearing it to sew in when working on a project where I need to try on something multiple times.
I made this Willow Tank by Grainline Studio out of a voile fabric that I got from the Imagine Gnats shop. I used my typical adjustments that I make for all Grainline Studio patterns of grading to a larger size at the hips and shortening by two inches. However, I really don’t think I needed to grade out to a larger size. It looks like there was enough built in ease in the style that I did not need additional ease for fit. Recently I feel like I’ve made this same mistake several times – one day I’m going to learn to look at the finished garment measurements and know how much ease I actually need for different types of garments so I can determine whether I actually need to grade out.
Next time will not grade out and I also would move the bust darts up a bit. As you can see they hit lower than my actual bust.
Other than that, I really like this tank for summer. It hangs away from the body and is pretty light weight. Part of the reason I wanted to make this project is because I had never worked with voile before so I wanted to get a better idea of what it is. It is slightly see through – you can definitely see where my jeans waistband is. However, it is super easy to work with. This particular fabric was not super soft but it also does not wrinkle as easily. Also, when I cut the pattern out the triangle print was slightly off grain which was so frustrating. I ended up deciding it was more important for the triangles to be parallel to the ground than for the grainline to line up. It would have bothered me so much to have the triangles slightly at an angle.
This project is probably my longest ever in process make. I originally started by making a muslin in June of 2016 and didn’t end up finishing the final version until March of 2017… and I’m blogging it in July of 2017… There aren’t that many steps to this but I just couldn’t work myself up to actually making the shirt for quite a while. In part I think I was not that excited to work with silk and I also wasn’t entirely convinced that the shape is flattering on me. The shirt is very boxy by nature and since my shoulders are much slimmer than my hips the boxiness kind of takes over.
I love the box pleat in the back – its just so pretty. I also love the kimono sleeves. It also looks awesome with the super shiny silk. This fabric is so light weight and floaty. It is just so nice to wear. Unfortunately the super shininess of the fabric also makes wrinkles extremely obvious. This was my first project working with silk and I took my time to stay stitch the neckline and french seam all of the seams except the side seams which you can’t use french seams on because of the split hem. Instead I serged those seams.
Also – look at that split hem! So good! I’m a sucker for a split hem.
For the pattern adjustments I stuck to my usual – I shortened the pattern a bit and I also graded out since I’m a pear shape. I think in this case I may have shortened it a bit too much. The boxiness in combination with where the shirt hits on my body is not necessarily flattering (though I guess wearing it with something other than leggings could help).
Next time I’d probably lengthen both the front and the back just a tad. I’d also work on contoring the neck line a bit more to reduce the gaping at the neckline. I also think I’d use a fabric that is a bit more forgiving than this silk. I think with those couple of slight changes I will really love my next version! In the mean time I’ll be trying to figure out how to wear this light weight floaty shirt for the rest of summer!
I made the Tania culottes by Megan Nielsen. This is my first Megan Nielsen make. I was looking for something that would be good to take while traveling but still be cute. I like the idea of culottes because I often sit crosslegged even in chairs. I read some other blogs where other people ended up using version A but then cut the length of a size or two up from their actual size and those lengths looked good to me. I didn’t want a super short skirt because I want to be somewhat modest while traveling.
The only other modification that I wish that I had made would be to add pockets. I had already cut everything out when I realized that there were no pockets. Megan Nielsen does have a tutorial for adding pockets to the mini Tania culottes and it would be the same for the adult version. I could have still added pockets after I had cut it out but I wasn’t really sure about the side seam zipper with the pockets and I just wanted to get sewing so I skipped it.
I bought this fabric a while back from the imaginegnats shop. I love florals but don’t like anything too loud so this fabric was perfect. I bought two yards without having a real plan. This pattern actually calls for two and a half yards of fabric but I cut on a single layer (huge space saver!) and I also cut some of the pieces upside down since these flowers don’t have a direction.
This actually was my first time working with Rayon fabric. Since it shifts and grows quite a bit I was a little concerned but I just cut it single layer with a rotary cutter and didn’t have much of an issue. I stay stitched the waist seam allowance to try to prevent the fabric from getting out of shape there. Other than that everything came together relatively smoothly. Some of the pieces still grew a bit but not enough to make a difference.
I’m also wearing these with my second Close Case Files Nettie bodysuit! This version is a 3/4 length sleeve with the mid- back and scoop front. I made this out of an art gallery knit from also from imaginegnats.
I love the mid-back since it feels a bit risque and interesting but not at all inappropriate. I again added the snap crotch but this time I used some silk that I’ve been holding on to in the hopes of making it in to a True Bias Sutton Blouse. I added the built in bra for this version but instead of attaching the front of the bra to the back I added a back bra piece which I connected to the front. This ended up coming down to the bottom of my rib cage so I cut the elastic off and tried again. The second time worked really well.
I also shortened this a bit more than my first version and ended up shortening the bottom pieces before adding the snap crotch for a better fit. Ultimately though I just need to figure out the sway back adjustment. I also think there is probably something I can still do in the shoulders since they feel a bit like they are floating away from the skin when you really want them to be skin-tight. For my next version I think I’ll try taking out some volume at the shoulders.