Summer of Basics – Blackwood Cardi v2

I love my first version of my blackwood cardigan so much that I definitely need a second version. This pattern is by Helen’s closet and it is the perfect combination of cosy and stylish. I highly recommend this pattern if you haven’t tried it yet! This time around I wanted to use a more versatile color. I chose this charcoal gray  fabric from Harts. Although I love the look of this fabric it is a bit itchy for me. I think it will be much better in the cooler months when I’m layering over long sleeved shirts but I think next time I’ll definitely go for a non-polyester fabric for my cosy sweaters. Lesson learned.

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This sewed together fairly quickly, especially since I already had made one version. One thing I did this time around to reduce the amount of stretching around the pockets is I used wonder tape to attach them and hold them in place to sew them. This also acts as a stabilizer, and reduces the waviness of the fabric around the pockets.

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I’m wearing this cardigan with the other two basics I made for the summer of basics challenge – my newest Ginger Jeans and my Rumi tank. I know I’m going to get a lot of wear out of all three of these items. Also – these are all patterns that I can make multiple times and really get to fit the way I want. This is my third version of the Ginger Jeans, and I have a fourth planned! This is also my second Blackwood Cardigan and I love both versions so much I could definitely see myself making another one. Although this is my first Rumi Tank I’ve been in need of a basic tank top that actually fits pretty much my whole life. Once I get the fit down on this I’m probably going to make like 20 of them so I never ever have to wear a tank top that doesn’t fit.

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Summer of Basics – Ginger Jeans v3

My first pair of Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans was my high waisted pair followed by my low rise cone mills denim pair. For this pair I used cone mills denim again but this time I used a slightly lighter weight denim. I also decided to use the traditional gold topstitching thread this time around.

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From my last pair I made a large calf adjustment and I added a bit more of a curve to the yoke and waistband to account for my sway back. I also shortened the crotch curve slightly.

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This time around I finally figured out how to make bar tacks that don’t just end up with a huge thread nest underneath or completely jamming up my machine!!! The trick for me was to loosen the bobbin tension significantly. From there I used a .5 length and a 1.5 width. Honestly – this is a jeans making game-changer for me. I would always get so frustrated with bar tacks in the past because they would always jam up my machine and I’d have to seam rip them. removing the dense stitching was making the fabric weaker instead of reinforcing the spot.

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Although I’m pretty happy with this pair there is still a good amount of extra fabric around my outer knee that I’d like to try and get rid for my next pair. After I made this pair I thought I might need a knock knee adjustment. I don’t think I have knock knees but I may have full inner thighs, which also would mean that I need the legs to angle slightly more towards the center. There is a tutorial on the Closet Case Files Blog or I considered using this tutorial, which would shift the lower leg towards the inseam. However, this would also lengthen the inseam and I have extra fabric around the inseam too. I ended up drawing a line in chalk where the knee should be on my jeans and it is actually a half inch to low. I think the issue is that my legs are just shorter, so I’m going to try just shortening my leg above the knee for my next pair and hopefully that does the trick! I also wanted a slightly closer fit around the ankle so I took off 1/4 inch from each side of the seams and tapered up to nothing at the knee.

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I’m super happy with how these turned out – I think I’m really starting to get close to getting them how I want them to fit.

 

Summer of Basics – Rumi Tank

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I’m on a quest to make a tank top that finally actually fits me. I’m not quite there with this version but I’m really excited about this tank top! It may not seem like anything special but every single tank top I own does not fit me correctly. They all end up rolling up/ bunching up at my waist. Because I’m pair shaped, I buy tank tops that fit the top half of my body. However, they end up being too tight around my waist. At the beginning of the day the tank top stays in place. As I move around throughout the day the tank top shifts up and it just keeps shifting higher and higher until it is completely at my waist. This tank top does not do that!!!

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I used the Christine Haynes Rumi Tank pattern. I graded out from a size 4 at the bust to a size 10 at the hips. I honestly feel like there may be too much fabric at the hips. I want it to lay a bit closer to my body so I can tuck it in to jeans and layer it without any bunching.

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There is definitely something going on in the back. For my next version I think I’m going to try a sway back adjustment. I’ve never attempted to do this, especially on a t-shirt/tank top but I think it will solve the issue and it is an adjustment that I’ll need eventually so I might as well start with my next Rumi!

Cropped Willow Dot Tank

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This is my second version of the Grainline Studio Willow tank. My first version was made from a voile and was a non-cropped length, and I really like both versions. For this version I used dotted chambray from Robert Kaufman. I love this fabric and I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this tank.

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For this version I raised my bust darts a bit but I think they could be raised just a bit more. I also followed the Grainline tutorial on making a cropped version of the willow tank. I love the cropped length! I think it is so cute.

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In addition to raising the bust darts a bit more on my next version I also might try a slight sway back adjustment. It really doesn’t bother me at all but the back is not laying quite right. I don’t think it will make too much of a difference because  the tank is already cropped but I do think it will help.

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I’m also wearing my high waisted Ginger Jeans. I really like this combination but I honestly don’t know if I have a lot of other bottoms that would work well with this tank. Most of my other jeans are low rise. I could definitely wear this with a high waisted skirt, but a lot of my high waisted skirts not the right shape. Since the tank is pretty boxy I would want the skirt to add some shape.

Santa Fe Dress hack!

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This is my first time making a Hey June pattern. This is the Santa Fe Top lengthened to be a dress. I feel like I’ve seen tons of swingy tank-dresses this summer and they always look cute and stylish but also seemed like they would be super comfortable. I used view B of the pattern and lengthened it by 11 inches.

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I love the way it turned out! It ended up being the perfect dress to be able to throw on and have it look cute but still be super comfortable. I also think the seams in the center front and back add a bit of visual interest to this otherwise very simple dress. I’d definitely make this pattern again and there are so many variations so it is a very versitile pattern.

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Overall, I think this was a super fun and quick project to put together. I struggled a bit with the neckline binding – you can see that around the neckline does lay quite right. I’m not sure if that is due to the stretchiness/ lack of stretchiness of my fabric or how to prevent that in the future. I’d also used used my normal sewing machine with a straight stitch for the hem and I’d probably go for the coverstitch machine next time around. The instructions had you just use a straight stitch so I was hoping I could get away with not having to thread my coverstitch machine but next time around I think it would be worth it just to get a little bit smoother of a hem.

Grainline Studio Farrow Dress

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I made this Grainline Studio Farrow Dress out of this linen/cotton blend Robert Kaufman fabric. I love this dress for so many reasons. The slight high low hem is flattering without being overwhelming. The center front and back seams and the angled seams that conceal the pockets are just so good.

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Originally I got this fabric to make a Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt, but once I got it I was worried that it was a bit too stiff/thick so I ended up changing my mind at the last minute. However, the Melilot requires less fabric so I had to really squeeze everything in. Since the fabric is the same on the front and the back I was able to get all of the main fabric pieces to line up. I also was able to get the facings out of this fabric but I had to add a center seam to my front neckline facing – that is how little fabric I had left over!

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I love this linen/cotton blend. However, there is something about the texture of the fabric when it gets super wrinkly where it looks a bit like toilet paper that at some point was wet but has since dried up. However, I think as long as I take it out of the dryer right away and do some light ironing. I think over time this fabric will soften up also, which will help with the extreme wrinkliness that happens.

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One issue that I’ve been having is that my back hook and eye come unhooked a bunch. I think I might switch out the eye to a smaller one.

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Did I mention the pockets???