I made the True Bias Lander Shorts and Nikko Top to take on my trip to Maui. The Lander Shorts were on my 2018 make 9 but the Nikko Top was a bit more of an impulse make since I wanted something that would look good with my shorts and Kelli just always looks so cute when she wears hers together. The Nikko Top was a super last minute make for the trip and it isn’t even hemmed in any of these pictures.
I honestly was very unsure that the lander pants/ shorts could work for me because of the wide leg and because I am such a pear shape. When I talked to Kelli she suggested starting with the shorts version! I have to say I think these are my favorite shorts that I’ve ever owned. They are roomy and comfortable while being stylish. I absolutely love them!
Having said that I did make a ton of pattern modifications. I started with the tissue fitting method that I learned at Camp Workroom Social. I love that you can get a pretty good fit without having to muslin and in the process you transfer all of your adjustments to the pattern. I also got the updated Palmer Pletch book on fitting and I’m excited to try this method on non-pants. I did shorten the rise significantly since I’m pretty short in the torso. I also shortened the pockets as well. Because this method has you cut a straight size from your hip measurement I did have to widen the darts just a bit. I added some curve to the waistband which meant that I had to cut two pieces instead of one piece that you fold over.
The Nikko Top was much simpler – I just graded out from a size 2 at the bust to a size 8 at the hips and shortened by 1 inch. I’m super happy with how it turned out though I’m definitely not sold on the turtle neck thing. I’ve never liked wearing turtle necks and having that much fabric around my neck. It will probably take some getting used to but this is the softest bamboo knit so I’m hoping it will be an easy adjustment.
I wore this outfit hiking around some waterfalls on Maui and it was a success! Unfortunately I spilled at least 3 things on my shorts that day and couldn’t wear them the rest of the trip! I know I will get a ton of use out of these this summer and they’ll be one of the first things I throw on after they get out of the wash.
Going to Hawaii was the perfect excuse to try sewing another swimsuit! I wanted to try a different pattern but I was a little frustrated with the lack of cute swimsuit patterns available. I previously made the Closet Case Patterns Sophie Swimsuit which I love. I just spent hours looking at different swimsuit patterns when Friday Pattern Company put a post on instagram that they were in the process of releasing a new swim suit pattern (the Vernazza two piece) – it seemed like fate!
I got all of my fabric and supplies from the fabric fairy. I absolutely love this fabric – it is a unique print and I’m always struggling to find floral knit fabrics that are realistic enough without being too cartoony, too cutesy or too feminine. I know – it is a pretty specific thing to want in a fabric but that is basically all I want in a fabric. With this fabric and white swimsuit lining this swimsuit fabric was opaque. I also added a layer of power mesh to help stabilize both the top and the bottom. I used quilting adhesive spray to temporarily attach my outer fabric to my powermesh and then I just followed the instructions, sewing the outer fabric/ powermesh as though it was one fabric. I also did add swim cups to the top for a little more modesty.
I struggled a bit with the fit in the top. I ended up taking 2 inches out of the shoulder straps after I had sewn everything together but I’m still not 100% happy with the shoulder straps. There is definitely extra fabric that gapes a little bit on the neckline. If I make this pattern again I’d definitely try to fix that.
Despite having so many issues with my attempts at making underwear I had no problems with the bottoms of this swimsuit! I did add swimsuit elastic to the waistband of these, which I think was necessary. I think I actually like these bottoms better than my Sophie bottoms. At some point in this trip wearing the Sophie bottoms felt a bit baggy and heavy in comparison. It is possible that I need to size down next time I make the Sophie but I also think having the extra seams in the bottoms does weigh it down a bit.
I also did mess up sewing the lining in the top back a little but I decided I was ok with it and not to fix it. If it looks like there is extra bagginess on the outer fabric of my top back that is entirely my fault and has nothing to do with the pattern drafting!
I actually really loved wearing this swimsuit on this trip. I was never worried about a wardrobe malfunction. I do think the high waisted bottoms are making me look a bit bottom heavy. It doesn’t help that I am a pear shape and made an XS top and M bottoms. Next time I might try making a regular style and high waisted style bottom so I have more options.
I made this dress using the Ogden Cami from True Bias. I followed this tutorial on her blog to make the dress version. The fabric is from Indie Sew but unfortunately it looks like it is out of stock/ discontinued. I actually really liked working with this fabric. Because it is a rayon crepe it is super drape-y but not quite a slippery as other rayons. It is pretty thin while still being opaque enough to make an unlined dress.
In these pictures I’m wearing the dress with a belt to create a little more waist definition but I can definitely see myself wearing the dress both with and without a belt this summer. This dress is one of the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn!
Per usual I love the back of the ogden cami and in this super soft drape-y fabric I love it even more! If you want to see my previous ogden cami makes you can check out my Black and White Ogden Cami as well as my post on three other Ogden Camis I made using scraps leftover from other projects.
Up until now I had made every pattern that Helen’s Closet has released except the Winslow Culottes. I was hesitant to make culottes at all because they are super trendy and I like to stick to more classic styles. I also was hesitant to make them because I just don’t think they are very flattering. I’m a pear shape but also pretty short. Due to the length they make my legs look shorter and there is just SOO much fabric around the hips. For these blog photos I decided to pair the culottes with my nettie body suit which has bold horizontal stripe in order to draw more attention to my upper body/ seem more balanced.
To be quite honest, it is still way too cold in Wisconsin to wear these outside. However, it is SUPER FUN to wear these! they are just so big and swishy but you don’t have to worry about flashing people. I’m not sure at this point how much I’ll actually wear them but I think once it warms up a bit I’ll wear them more often.
I mean – just look at all of that fabric! The good news about this pattern is really the only measurement that matters is the waist measurement and there aren’t that many fitting issues that could come up.
This fabric is tencel twill from the Blackbird Fabrics shop. I originally was planning on making the knee length version of the culottes again because I think this length isn’t great on me but I had enough fabric that I decided to just make the longer version since I can always hem them again if I decide I don’t like this length. I’ll probably wait a few months to see how much I actually wear them at this length and then make a decision. What do you think? Should I chop these off and make them knee length?
Both of the fabrics definitely feel like something that you would find in a ready to wear garment. They are a bit thin and I’m not really sure how they will hold up over time. The real test will be how the fabric holds up after multiple wears/washes. Because this fabric is drapier than other fabrics I’ve used in the past it does seem to fit better in the shoulders though.
The first version is a v-neck out of this really wide striped %100 rayon jersey. The bottom stripe is dark navy which sort of gets lost when I’m wearing dark jeans. However – since I’m pear shaped I think having the dark navy at the bottom was the correct choice since there isn’t a bright giant stripe at the widest part of my body.
My next version was a fun bright “paprika” striped knit which is 97% Rayon and 3% Lycra. I love that the stripes are uneven and that some of them are not solid lines. I would say that the fabric is a bit brighter than my usual go-to fabrics but after a dreary and cold Wisconsin winter I am searching for some additional color in my life! I made the scoop neck version for this one with the cap sleeves.
Both of these shirts are so easy to wear – I can see myself wearing them a ton this spring! I typically don’t go for “cheap” fabrics (I got both of these on sale for $4/yard) but I couldn’t resist the fun stripes! Hopefully they will hold up over time…
This was a pretty quick make. I finished all of the seams with french seams. I made bias tape from the same fabric for the neckline. Over all even though it is a fairly simple top I’m super happy with how it came out in part due to the clean finishes on the inside.
This is meant to be a boxy shirt so I think next time I’ll use a fabric with more drape for a softer look.
I also took this shirt on my trip over a year ago to Vietnam and Thailand. The Scout Tee is a great pattern for situations where you may need to have your shoulders covered (so many temples). I had never used double gauze before and I was hoping that this would be a super breathable top for the hot weather there. In some ways this was a great fabric because it hangs away from your body and is lightweight. However, I think the dark color was not a great choice and it does get quite wrinkly after being shoved in your backpack. If I was packing again I probably would leave this one at home.
I wore this to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand – one of my favorite things from my trip!
For Christmas I made my boyfriend the Dopp Kit from the Grainline Studio Portside Travel Set. I used a waxed canvas for the top half and ticking fabric for the inside. I used leather for the bottom half. I bought 2 12″ by 12″ squares of leather off of Etsy. My pattern pieces just barely fit on to the squares and in fact the handle didn’t quite fit but since I ended up not sewing inside out I didn’t actually need the seam allowance for the handle.
For the most part I didn’t run in to too many issues. I used a leather needle on my machine and a walking foot for the leather. I ran in to two areas that I had trouble with. Sewing over the zipper was a bit difficult as was stitching around the bottom of the bag. I’d recommend leaving out the stitching around the bottom of the bag step if you are using leather. I ended up taking it to work and sewing it there. (Advertisement: If you are making this bag and you do run in to issues on your home sewing machine you can take it in to your local cobbler and have them finish up the stitching for you. They probably have gotten much much weirder requests.)
I think this is the perfect gift because even though most people have some sort of travel bag for their toiletries it probably isn’t a bag that they really love. You also don’t need the person’s measurements and you don’t need to worry about fit.