"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Winter Wear Designs Tidewater Tee - Draped Back Modification

I haven't really stopped sewing since Me Made May ended and I have several projects to show you, but first, I want to introduce Winter Wear Design's Tidewater Tee.  I was chosen to be a tester for this pattern and Suzanne and her team have been working non-stop to make this pattern a great one with lots of options.

There are three sleeves, two necklines and opportunity for creativity with that back yoke.  You could cut the yoke from a contrasting fabric, coordinating fabric, lace... or cut it on the bias to create a diagonal pattern feature.
Even though I try to be dutiful tester and help the pattern designer by following directions exactly, toward the end of the testing week, I got the itch to modify.  I've made a few cowl necks and draped fronts and backs and I thought I might be able to use my previous experience to create an interesting drape option for that back opening, which is one of my favorite things about the pattern.
Here is how it turned out.

There are some similar style ready to wear versions here, here (in woven) and here (as a dress).

If you like it and think it's something you might like to attempt, I'd be happy to share with you how I did it.

First, I cut the back pattern piece at the lengthen/shorten line and tilted it away from my fabric fold.  The more you tilt, the more fabric there will be to drape, so you can control the drama a bit by tilting it less.  Experiment!

Then I cut it out.  Starting at the inside top of the back opening, I created my own new curve all the way to the fold.  Again, you could experiment with this.  Cut it shallower or deeper for different results.

At this point, you could follow the directions for the rest of construction, but because the wrong side of my fabric is lighter than the right side and I didn't want it to show when it draped, I decided to cut a facing, which is similar to a lining except it's only partial.  For the facing, you just want a duplicate of the top part of the middle back piece.  I took the piece I had just cut out and moved it up about 4-5 inches on my fabric.

Then I cut out the shape of the back opening again.

Now we have a facing for the draped back portion.  Sew right sides together along the top and then flip the facing to the inside and press.  You can under stitch or top stitch if you think it might be helpful in encouraging the facing to stay inside your shirt.

After you attach the yoke, here is what you end up with.

The originally drafted back opening allows for  wearing a regular bra with no straps showing. (awesome!)  With this modification, you could either wear a sticky bra, or something with a strappy or lacy back that's meant to be seen.  I thought it would make a trendy yoga top if you made it in some tissue knit or activewear.
Or you could exagerate the drape even more, sew it up in a slinky knit or ITY knit, wear it with a high-waisted pencil skirt and heels and be ready for date night.

One more quick tip: Depending on the drape and weight of your fabric, it may not want to lay perfectly in this beautiful puddle.  Mine isn't quite heavy enough to stay like this, so I will be sewing a button or two onto the inside of the facing to give it a bit of weight and keep it puddling nicely.
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Me Made May - Days 25-31

May 25th - This is a self-drafted dress I based off of a dress already in my closet.  I saw this tie dye fabric at JoAnns last year and fell in love instantly.

May 26th  - same as May 2nd

May 27th - I decided I wanted a maxi dress with a slit in the front, but I had no pattern.  I used a Butterick dress pattern for the bodice and just lengthened the skirt and added a seam down the middle front.  I sewed the seam to where I wanted the slit to begin and then sewed down the seam allowance on either side of the slit.

I wore it to my anniversary date with my hubby.  We went to the symphony and then dinner. We didn't get very good pictures of the dress, but we had a very nice time celebrating 12 years of marriage.

May 28th - Yet another item that I hardly take out of my closet.  I definitely don't wear it in warm weather because I don't like the fabric I chose for the back, so I like to wear it with a cardigan.  Fortunately, we had a cool day and I took advantage of it.  This is a McCall's pattern I put together with some ITY fabric.  It's definitely a unique piece in my closet.  

It's a little fussy to wear because that front drape opens up all the way to my belly button.  I have to pin it closed and keep an eye on it.  It's a ton of fabric and feels kinda weird on, but I do like the unique look.

My 29th - Another Target and Thread and Grain collaboration.  It's my new Tango top!  I was a ballroom dance instructor for a few years, but don't really get to dance or teach anymore, so I couldn't resist the throwback to a bygone era.  It's also kinda like wearing a secret code that only some people would recognize.  But now, you are someone who can recognize it if you see it, because now you know that slow, slow, quick, quick, slow is the tempo for the steps to the basic Tango pattern.

But that doesn't really count as a handmade.  Here is todays sewn wearable, my headband.

May 30th - same as May 5th

May 31st - I bought three iron-ons from Thread and Grain and I saved the best for last.  "Fabric is my Love Language." Perfect, right?  I put my other two iron-ons on Target tees, but that didn't feel right for this one.  I felt like the tee needed to be me made.  This is a Riley Blake knit stripe made into a basic tee with a little special treatment on the neckband. I cut the fabric strip diagonally so the stripes would spiral around the neck.

So there we have it!  Another Me Made May in the books.  I think that was my best one so far and I got such a great response on Facebook and it inspired me to get to sewing again and add some things I love to my wardrobe.  I might just do it again in September.  There was a Self Stitched September one year.  I might do my own if no one else starts one this year.
Well, I've got more to cut and more to sew and more to plan, so I'd better not waste any time...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Me Made May - Days 19-24

May 19th - Leggings I made with a McCalls pattern a loooong time ago and have hardly ever worn.  I'm really not a leggings gal.  I want to be...seems really convenient.  I'm just not.  They were definitely comfortable to sit in my car with a cup of coffee while my two-year-old took the rest of a nap he began on the way home.

May 20th - I discovered Thread and Grain, y'all.  I had seen Katy's picture around the sewing world as a tester for various patterns, but I didn't know until recently that she had her own sewing and design business.  I really want a Cricut or some kind of vinyl cutting device, but until then, a $7 iron-on from Thread and Grain + a $3 clearance Target tee will hold me over pretty nicely.  I made the chambray button down from a Lisette pattern.

May 21st - I started feeling like I was really running out of things that I wanted to wear.  I was longing for my ready-to-wear favorite items and I just couldn't stand it any longer!  So I used a me-made clutch as my item and felt like I was cheating, but the truth is, this clutch doesn't get a lot of love and I forgot how much I really like it, so it was great to bring it out again.

The pattern is from Charlie's Aunt.  There are some really unique and innovative bag styles in her shop, although I don't see this one any more.  It's the Casablanca Clutch.

My 22nd - same shirt as May 8th.

May 23rd - same pants as May 3rd.  Told you I was running out of things...

May 24th - My first try at a Style Arc Pattern.  I was on the hunt for a twisty tie-front shirt pattern and really looked everywhere, both indie PDF designers and the Big 4 patterns, and couldn't find one that was what I had in mind.  I did come across the Style Arc Dee Knit Top and eventually came back around to it after seeing some examples sewn up.  I had heard not so good things about their directions, but I thought I could probably figure it out.  I also saw that it was looking a bit longer than I would like on other ladies, so I shortened it by a few inches.... but it was still another 4-5 inches too long for my taste!  Now that I've gotten it the way I like it, I do like the pattern, perfect for thin or drapey knits.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Me Made May 2017 - Days 14 - 18

May 14th - We went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for Mother's Day afternoon with my parents.  It was beautiful there!  
I was able to finish yet ANOTHER hack of the Halla Slim Dolman pattern, right before we went.  This time, I shortened even the short dolman sleeves of the pattern and I also made the bottom of the skirt more of a pencil skirt shape.  Not too body-con, though.  I feel like the tighter, the more formal and I wanted something pretty, but casual.

May 15th- This is a maternity shirt I made back when I was early on in my pregnancy with my now two-year-old.  It's made from the same ITY as the dress from May 

May 16th - a tank I made long ago that's really too tight in the armpits and a little shorter than I would like.  I never wear it, but I wore it as a lounge-around shirt on this day.

May 17th- This is a Ki-ba-doo Raglan in a draped and soft bamboo lycra.  

And these are the nails I had for Mother's Day that just happened to go perfectly with this shirt a few days later.  :)

May 18th - My first day of Classical Conversations Parent Practicum 2017.  Classical Conversations is the program we use to homeschool.  Every summer, there are free 3-day events called practicum that teach parents the background and workings of the curriculum as well as training the tutors that share the curriculum with the kids throughout the school year.
I made a Halla Stardust tank with no star and got lots of compliments.  Again, I'm stealing fabric intended for my children...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Me Made May - Days 10-13

May 10 - My photographer was playing upstairs and I didn't want to bother her, so, since I've blogged this top before, this is what you get to prove I wore it on the 10th.

May 11 - This is my Easter dress from a few years ago that never ever was worn again.  I was going through my closet and cleaning out unworn items and decided to try to give this a second chance by shortening it to a blouse length.

We visited Fernbank Science Center here in Atlanta and had a great time in their new outdoor play and explore area.  Can you tell my son was enjoying himself?

May 12 - The Halla Slim Dolman again for the win.  I lengthened it into a dress and it's one of the most comfortable dresses in my closet.

May 13 - I kinda got lazy today and just wanted to wear some of my "normal clothes."  ha!  I did carry a me-made bag, though, so that is going to count.  It's made from my first love bag pattern, Amy Butler's Birdie Sling.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Me Made May - May 7-9

Brindille and Twig patterns are some of my favorites for my little boy, so when I discovered that the designer had begun a women's line, I was very interested.  I bought the Street Style Patterns Draped Cardigan and also picked up the free leggings.  I haven't tried the leggings, but I did try the cardigan with some mystery (sweater knit?) fabric that was in my stash from a bargain table several years ago in DC.
You should go check out the website to better see the seam lines of this cool pattern.  It looks like it would be more challenging, but, other than cutting out more pieces, it's not really any more challenging than any other cardigan pattern I've tried.

The pattern is well-drafted and has such creative seam lines.

I want to try another and lengthen the back a bit and maybe even try the tassel option.  (go look at the website)

May 8th I wore a v-neck raglan tee.  This fabric was purchased for my children, but I got greedy.  I needed it.

May 9th, I wore a knit maxi dress that I made years ago (originally blogged here).  It sees my closet lights more than the light of day and I'm so glad Me Made May encouraged me to bring it back out again.  I felt a bit overdressed at the playground, but definitely comfortable.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Me Made May 2017 - May 1-6

May 1st
I'm kicking off this May with a brand new make in a different city.  My family lives in Atlanta, but my husband and I went on a trip to New Orleans for a few days and I packed my Me-Mades so I would be ready!  
This is the Margo Blouse from Blue Dot Patterns.  I cut the size according to my measurements, but I will probably cut one size larger if I do it in woven again.  It's a bit tight across my upper chest and under my armpits.  I made it from a mystery lightweight woven I got in DC a few years ago.  Probably a cotton lawn?

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde was a lovely start to my day.

Later, in the evening, we went to Brennan's and had a delicious meal topped of with Bananas Foster flambéd talbe-side.  Brennan's claims to be the original inventor of this dessert.

I used an ITY knit, also waiting in my stash for several years from a DC purchase, to make this pleated sheath.  Super duper win on this one, because, even though hubby knew it was Me Made May, he totally didn't know this wasn't store-bought.  When I put it on in the hotel before dinner, he commented that he hadn't seen it before and really liked it.  Then I had him cut a brown thread off and mentioned I should have used black and he looked astonished.  "Wait, you MADE that!?"
Pretty awesome coming from someone who knows I make a bunch of stuff.

May 2nd
This is the Halla Slim Dolman in double brushed poly from Love Adore.  I added a thick ruffles to the sleeves.  This pattern has been so useful for me!

In the evening, we rode the trolley down to Mr. B's for dinner and I wore a Butterick pattern dress made from some ITY knit

 This second photo, I took to show the wrap detail on the bodice, but it shows off my new favorite necklace, too.  It's Lucky Brand, which I'm starting to really love.  Brighton used to be my favorite jewelry brand, but Lucky Brand is right up there with them now.

May 3rd
Just some knit pj pants today.  No pattern.  I traced around a pair of lounge pants I have owned since college.  (full disclosure: I decided soon after this photo that it was going to be too hot to sleep in these, but hey, I did wear them for a minute.)

May 4th
Before I headed to the airport to travel back home to Atlanta, I had my husband snap a quick shot of me in the hotel.  I made these chambray, elastic waist, lace-trimmed, wide-leg pants several years ago based on a pair of wide-leg linen pants from Anthropologie.  I don't wear them much... but that's part of the charm of Me Made May.  Now that I'm trying to wear a Me Made every day, I'm forced to pull things out that I don't often reach for.

May 5th
I didn't dress on theme for Star Wars Day on the 4th (May the 4th be with you.), but I tried to make up for it on the 5th.  We'll call it "Revenge of the 5th."
This is the Ki Ba Doo raglan and a hacked up Walmart nightie paired with some really beautiful watercolor print knit from JoAnns.

May 6th
This is the Halla Slim Dolman pattern with double brushed poly from Love Adore.
I am about to start a protein rich diet with lots and lots of water drinking to regain some of the figure I have lost over the past several months (and added a few more pounds to in New Orleans).  I have a wedding to attend in June and the dress I bought currently won't zip up.  This water bottle or another like it will be my constant companion for a few weeks.

I am teaching my girls (7 and 9) to be my photographers so that I can have some better photos for the blog.  I think they are doing a good job.  You can see the 7-year-olds (edited) work on days 5 and 6. :)