I decided just the other day that I wanted to join in the Fall for Cotton Sewing Challenge, hosted by Rochelle and Tasha. This is an interesting challenge for me because for about a year now, I’ve been creating a wardrobe that doesn’t really involve a lot of vintage style. I love vintage, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time its hard for me to not feel like I’m in costume when I wear vintage get-up. For me, the 70s and 80s are where its at. Keeping that in mind and the idea of my Everyday Wardrobe, I searched my pattern stash for a suitable “Sunni” pattern. Amidst a few of my grandma’s old patterns I found one. Vogue 2902.
Pierre Balmain anyone? The pattern isn’t dated, but I’m pretty sure this is a pattern from the 70s. We’ve got the illustrated model in that popular mustard color and she’s wearing platforms (a throw back to the 40s, you know) to boot. Its a pretty lovely pattern and from what I can tell, it was made by my grandma though maybe for a daughter because someone chopped off a lot of length from the skirt. Someone likes em short!!
Anyway, pattern’s traced and I’m about to mock up a muslin. The other challenge and possibly even more challenging part about Fall for Cotton is actually using 100% cotton fabric. I searched through the stash and though I have several great possible fabric options for this pattern, none were 100% cotton. So I went in search of some suitable cottons and found this army green cotton flannel. I’ve wanted a flannel dress for some time now. I’m excited to say that this will not only be everyday wearable, but also warm! Yesss! I freeze to death when it starts getting cold and so looking in the closet and actually seeing something warm to put on will be a win.
Any of you doing Fall for Cotton? What are your thoughts on vintage? Do a we need a little 70s resurgence here or what? Happy Weekend Everyone!
This is another Tyler shirt. Compared to jackets (and I’ve been on a jacket kick for sometime) shirts whip up in no time, so you get a double whammy this week! As I was going along I made some spontaneous changes to the pattern. This is a silk print crepe de chine from Yellow Bird Fabrics. Its so gorgeous I think and its one of those types of colorways that goes with just about everything. Its unbelievably comfortable too. It’s been sometime since I owned a silk shirt and this one is just amazingly wonderful to wear. Chic – check, simple to wear and care – check, goes with everything – check! By the way, I have no qualms when it comes to cleaning my own garments the only exception being coats and tailored jackets.
Again, the print camouflages the raglan sleeve, but its there. I opted not to add the collar, just the collar stand resulting in a mandarin collar shirt. I like this option quite a bit for a silk shirt because otherwise the collar ends up flopping about like a fish out of water. I hate that. Additionally, I chopped off the sleeve length, widened the cuffs and just raised the cuff treatment to my elbow instead of my wrist. Kind of a poet style sleeve. Ended up looking rather marvelous with the fabric choice if I do say so myself. All in all, no major changes really. I did do pink buttons though. As I’ve stated several times, my stash is overflowing and since this fabric was in the stash and so were the buttons, I went for it.
I also made the skirt here and excuse me if I say that red is really hard to photograph. I know this thing looks photoshopped, but it ain’t. Its quite electric red. Not quite that electric in real life, but I’ll admit it is a bright orangey red. I made the skirt at the beginning of summer and just haven’t put it up here on the blog yet. Its Kwik Sew 3278 – a simple a-line skirt with welt pockets. The whole reason I bought the pattern was for the welt pockets because being a connoisseur of such details, I find it interesting to see how pockets measure up against each other, you know for science and all that. This pattern was worth it for the welts. They were breezy to construct. Additionally, you’ll notice that I left out the button down center front. I did this because first I didn’t want to mess with the buttons and second because button up skirts can tend to show more skin than feels comfortable. I mean you can wear a slip but well, you know. I just didn’t want to bother with it. Actually were I to do it with the buttons, I would make it a faux button front that is stitched closed and include a side or back zip. The skirt is made from some cotton/linen blend from Yellow Bird as well (can I say, I’m apart of the Yellow Bird Sewing Network???) and its fully lined in rayon lining. Pretty straight forward really, but its an easy piece to wear. So easy.
Actually I made two of these skirts with a 3rd cut out and ready to sew too. They are kind of a below the natural waist style and since the pattern didn’t include a contoured waistband, I ended up having to alter that a bit to get it to be contoured. End result is really comfortable and easy to wear. I also like the fact that this skirt isn’t really really a-line or not enough a-line. Its just right. Really, such a great pattern with that tweaking of the waistband.
Last thing, but I wanted to point out that my entire outfit is completely Everyday Wardrobe friendly. Again, this is very important to me as you know because I’ve been down that road of making too many dresses that go with high heeled shoes. Dresses aren’t bad at all, but I’m very careful about making dresses that are more casual or can be worn with flats now because I’ve gotten rid of nearly all of my heels. I still have a couple of pairs but they are for special occasions. I know I need to do more posts on the Everyday Wardrobe, but this idea has completely revolutionized my life and my closet. I actually have items to grab now for everyday wear that look great. So refreshing!
I still think I need one more Tyler shirt. Maybe two. I still have several cuts of Liberty I could potentially choose from and I think I do need a solid colored one too, just to show off the raglan. Are you a Tyler convert yet?
So have y’all heard about Named Patterns? There are so many indie pattern companies now (its so awesome, dontcha think?) and this company is one of the most recent. They sell PDF patterns – something that you all know that I actually kind of loathe, but by the same token, their pattern offerings are rather amazing. Anyway, Named first caught my eye from Rachel over at House of Pinheiro. Immediately, I snatched up 3 of their patterns (this coat, this tee and of course, the Tyler shirt).
This is the Tyler shirt from Named’s current offerings. I love it. The raglan sleeve thing is what drew me to the pattern in the first place (though its hard to tell from my printed version). Then there’s the little cuffs and collar too. I love little things like this instead of the always oversized details from the big 4. I love a good raglan sleeve on really, just about anything and so I decided to take the plunge and make it up first. I made up a muslin. I made my usual broad back adjustment – I can’t wait for the day when I don’t make this dumb alteration. I had to add a good 4 inches back there. Seriously this is actually pretty normal for me. I also shortened the sleeves an inch. Next time around I’m also going to raise the armhole as its a little too low for ultimate comfort. This is definitely not going to be the only version I make (already have a silk print cut out!!). These alterations all resulted in the most comfortable button up shirt I have yet made or ever owned. It’s simply delightful to wear!
The pattern itself is quite well drafted. Especially the sleeve. Usually on a raglan sleeve I experience some wrinkles that point upward toward the tip of the shoulder. This is normal (I’ve read that in several places) and I usually don’t do anything to adjust it, but on this pattern, there is no fitting wrinkles (for me) in the sleeve at all. Beautiful sleeve draft. All the pieces went together without a hitch and it wasn’t too difficult to trace the pattern off after putting the PDF sheets together. They only sell two sizes at a time which is actually kind of a godsend considering how crazy some patterns can be to trace. The only thing that I would say would make it even easier is to leave out the seamlines – all patterns include a 3/8″ seam allowance.
I ended up extending those 3/8″ seam allowances to 5/8″ seam allowances in the body of the shirt because I wanted to do flat felled seams. Made all the more awesome by this rather amazing Liberty print that I picked up some time ago at lowpricefabrics.com (my go to for Liberty’s as they have the best price around for them). It’s got an asian theme and I love the color combo. Liberty’s get me every time. I love these fabrics. However, I confess that I didn’t take the time to print match. I can be bothered with plaid matching, but print matching is something else entirely. I hail those who have the patience for such things. Seriously, all hail. To be honest, print matching can be kind of hit or miss with me. Sometimes I can definitely tell when someone went to the trouble of print matching and other times, I just think, why? Why torture yourself? Especially when I would never have been able to tell unless you told me. Still, I can see its value, I guess. While we’re on it, you can probably see there is a big difference in a print for this particular pattern than a solid, like the original has. I love both for their difference, but this pattern totally works both ways. Great pattern for both prints and solids.
Additionally I paired my Liberty with a scrap I had for the inner collar stand, sleeve placket and inner cuff. Speaking of, I used my own sleeve placket. I don’t bother with trying to do it a different way because this one works like a dream every time. Its the one from this Thread’s article.
I decided on snaps here in lieu of buttons. I love me some snaps people. I can like rip out of my shirt now! Yessss! Plus, I used the Snap Setter, and if you’re still in the dark ages and putting on snaps with that rotten Dritz plier, let me enlighten you. These things really work, they ain’t too hard to use and I have yet to break any of the pearl snaps. Win. Worth it. Plus they have every color of snap and snap type under the sun. What’s not to love here?
This pattern is not for beginners. And actually, now that we’re talking about that, just so you are aware, while the pattern comes with instructions, it does not come with illustrations. I’m totally cool with that. I would rather have an excellently drafted pattern than sewing instructions any day. I have a much different way of a constructing a button up shirt – more in line with David Coffin’s excellent book on the subject – than any pattern instructions I’ve ever seen really offer. Speaking of, I also really really like this book on sewing shirts too.
Now for the PDF thing. This pattern was actually brilliantly put together for PDF printout. The pattern pieces are all overlapped on top of each other (like a Burda Mag) and since you really have to trace off these types of patterns anyway, this is really really awesome. Yet, since there are only two sizes, the pattern lines were easy to see and everything worked out pretty much like a piece of cake. I’m totally sold. Pattern makers take a cue!!!! I only had to print out 12 pages. This compared with something like 75 for a jacket from Burda Style that I did once. So dumb!
I’m seriously, seriously loving the semi androgynous look of this new pattern company. While I love many of the cuter, more ladylike patterns that many of the other indie’s offer, I admit that I have to be pretty careful with stuff like that. I just look really weird in some of those styles. So, I did have some misgivings about this small size of the collar and cuffs here. But since the style is a bit more masculine-ish, it totally rocked my world. Named – you’ve got my attention. Love. at. first. stitch.
This is a follow-up post to this post and again, if you don’t have Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long, you need it and you should buy the e-book right now! Today, I wanted to share my online resources plus a few tips on what kinds of fabrics can work as a lining. Sometimes ideas from others make a big difference in how we view the usefulness of a fabric. So here goes.
bemberg rayon lining
First let’s talk lining fabrics and what kinds of fabrics work as linings that aren’t labeled “linings.” So there are the typical “lining” fabrics that you can find at a fabric store. They are usually labeled “linings” or a sales associate will most likely point you in that direction when you say you’re looking for a lining. You probably already know what I’m talking about too. Usually the “lining” fabrics are all solid colors, many are polyester or acetate and they all have that “slippery” quality. But let’s say you’re pretty much tired of these low-grade low-quality, unbreathable crummy linings and you’ve decided to expand your search for something else. What do you do? Well, there is a great lining that is called bemberg rayon lining or ambiance. It comes in a variety of solid colors, its breathable, it high quality and lasts and feels wonderful against your skin. I use bemberg for most of my lined garments. I have easy access to this fabric and quite frankly its the lowest cost/highest quality lining “lining” fabric out there. But wait, there’s more!
silk charmeuse solid & printed
Let me acquaint you with my favorite luxury lining – silk charmeuse. Yes, you can use silk charmeuse as a lining. I find it very interesting that people get so turned off by this idea or that they laugh in my face because yes, the price is a little astronomical, but I’m telling you, you have not lived until you have a garment that is lined is silk charmeuse. There is a very valid reason that couturiers use this fabric as a lining. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should line everything in silk charmeuse, but when the lining really counts, silk charmeuse is the ticket. Plus you can get printed silk charmeuse for extra special garments. And it is worth every. single. cent.
silk crepe de chine, printed & solid
There are other types of silks that work great as linings as well, including crepe de chine and china silk. Crepe de chine is a crepe silk that looks like the matte side of silk charmeuse. It works great as a lining in jackets, I think, but its not as slippery as a charmeuse, so keep that in mind. China silk is very very lightweight and has a plain weave to it. It’s great as a lining in garments that are delicate.
hammered polyester charmeuse
I’ve had a lot of people say that they would love to use “printed linings” more often if they could only find them. Wouldn’t we all? Printed linings can be really really fun. Surprisingly, I’ve found some pretty high grade polyester charmeuses at Joann that would do the job of a lining quite well. No they aren’t as fabulous as actual silk, but especially in a jacket, polyesters can do really well. So keep your eyes open for polyester silky prints at your local fabric store and expect to be surprised at how much nicer they are in comparison to the actual “lining” fabrics you find there.
from left to right, knit lining and two stretch woven linings
What about linings for stretch fabrics? Stretch lining can be practically impossible to find. Seriously. We carry a few a Yellow Bird Fabrics and I always tell customers about them because of their rarity. When looking at a stretch lining, there are woven stretch linings and knit linings. I have a great resource for both below. Be aware that these linings are rarely, if ever, all natural fibers. But that’s OK! Stretch woven lining should have lycra (or spandex, same thing) and you can use it with stretch wovens or knits. If you need more stretch, go with a knit lining. These are like swimsuit linings – the kind that are slick and fairly opaque. If you are wanting more of a luxury stretch lining, opt for stretch silk charmeuse. Yes, stretch silk charmeuse! It’s got a little bit of lycra in it and makes a wonderful stretch lining for say something like a ponte knit jacket.
rayon crepe back satins
Last, but not least, coat and outerwear linings. There are a few options for lining a coat. You’ll want something substantial. For the money, I like rayon crepe back satin. This is a heavier weight than say, a bemberg rayon lining and you can also find linings that have flannel backings which are very nice. If you’re looking to line something really special you can opt for silk crepe back satin which is a heavier, more substantial version of silk charmeuse. It still retains a slick surface in addition to being drapey too.
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Yay! Here are my online sources for finding these great lining fabrics:
Bemberg Rayon Lining (also known as “Ambiance”): Vogue Fabrics, Low Price Fabrics, Sawyer Brook
Silk Charmeuse: Mood Fabrics, Thai Silks (for printed silks), Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
Silk Crepe De Chine: Fabric Mart, Mood Fabrics, Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
China Silk: Mood Fabrics, Gorgeous Fabrics
Silks you can dye yourself!: Dharma Trading
Printed Polyester Charmeuse: Low Price Fabrics
Knit & Stretch Linings: Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
Stretch Silk Charmeuse: Mood Fabrics
Coat Weight Linings: Vogue Fabrics, Denver Fabrics, Mood Fabrics
Cotton Batiste: Organic Cotton Plus
I get a lot of requests on how to create linings for various types of garments. Friends, I could write a book on this subject because there are so many different types of garments out there and there are so many different lining treatments. Luckily though, I don’t have to because there is already a book that should be in every garment sewer’s library: Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long. This is my go to book for creating linings in every type of garment/lining conundrum.
It covers everything from creating a lining for a jacket or a coat (great for when a pattern does not come with one, or if it did how it can be improved) to lining sweaters (that’s right! sweaters!) to 3 different solutions for lining a vented garment + so much more. So just to be clear, this book shows you how to create the paper pattern for the lining, how to sew it, in addition to providing outstanding info on how to pick a lining and what kinds of fabrics work for various lining treatments. If you don’t have this book, and you like lined garments, then all I have to say is “what are you waiting for?”
I have the real life book for my reference and at this point in time, I do believe this book is no longer in print. You can get a used version but the price can fluctuate quite a bit and probably more so since I’m posting about this today. However, guess what? There is a downloadable e-book and I can’t tell you enough that it is worth every single penny.
Later on this week, I thought I would also give you my insider resources for where to find great linings online and locally, in addition to my favorite linings and the kind of fabrics I use the most.
Do you have this book? If you do, isn’t it wonderful? It truly is one of the most amazing little books I own. Definitely a must have!