Summer Sewing Roundup: Part 2

After all of the tops I shared in my previous post, I knew I needed something to wear with these tops. Now, living in California, most people would think that my mind would jump to shorts and/or skirts for summer. Well, I’ve never claimed to be like everyone else, and the first thing I thought to make was a jacket. Which isn’t as crazy as it sounds because my office does run cool and most people there wear some sort of layering piece through the summer. Some of us like to joke that we can dress for summer for the drive to/from work, but that it isn’t summer in the building. Since all of the tops I’d made recently had shades of blue, I decided to draw on that for my jackets.

WithNeedleAndThread - Lekala 4268

On the jacket front, I’ve had my eye on Lekala 4268, a short-sleeved jacket with front and back princess seams, a darted front, welt pockets, and a shawl collar with angled front corners, since I first discovered Lekala patterns, but I never bought it because of the short sleeves. It finally dawned on me while watching a Peggy Saegers/Silhouette Patterns webcast that all I had to do was take a long sleeve that I liked the fit of and transfer that armscye/armhole onto the other pattern to use the long sleeve. I ended up taking a two-piece sleeve from another Lekala pattern and had to make virtually no adjustments to the armscye, even for fit, which I’ve had to do on a few Lekala jacket muslins.

Even though this jacket looked somewhat complicated, and Lekala is not known for its great directions, the only problems I ran into were the welt pockets, which I had never done before. I read some tutorials online, and ended up just going for it. They aren’t perfect, and I ended up making  them faux pockets, but in such a busy/texture fabric, I think (and/or hope) that I’m the only one who sees the flaws.

For this jacket, I used a textured knit that I got from FabricMart Fabrics and a coincidentally matching button that I took off of an old raincoat back my freshman year of college when I used the rest of the raincoat to make a waterproof bag to put in my bike baskets, and kept knowing it would come in handy at some point. Though I found a matching button easily, I had a hard time getting a buttonhole to look good on this fabric, so I wound up sewing a snap closure in, and putting the button on as a non-functioning decoration.

WithNeedleAndThread - Lekala 4162

Still thinking of summer-style jackets, I also tackled another blazer pattern that had been on my mental to-make list: Lekala 4162, a classic blazer with princess seams, a notched collar, and a single button closure in front. I used another textured knit from FabricMart, this time in a slightly sparkly light blue. I didn’t make any fit adjustments to this pattern, either, but in the future, I may raise the armscye a little, as there is a little too much room even with the shoulder pads. I left off the welt pockets, thinking that the fabric was busy enough on its own, and pockets would just make it look a little less clean. I also chose to serge the seams and leave off the lining. With no lining, this jacket came together fairly easily. Finding the right button may have taken longer than most of the sewing of the jacket. I do love this jacket, and have plans to make it in several other fabrics, both classic blazer type fabrics and a few fun colors/fabrics.

I’m loving textured knits for jackets/blazers and cardigans lately. At some point, I’m thinking that I have to tell myself that I have enough textured, colored jackets, but I don’t think I’ve hit that point quite yet.

Summer Sewing Roundup: Part 1

It seems that this summer, I was more into the sewing than the writing-about-the-sewing. Before I knew it, summer was essentially over, and I had a pile of new clothes, but no new blog posts. At least I was being productive with one of the two, and will aim for a better balance this season. Though it was fun to write this post and look back at how well everything I’ve made in the last few months works with each other to form a cohesive and easy-to-wear wardrobe. I also seem to have ended up with a bunch of tops that look great with white jeans, which wasn’t my intent when I chose my fabrics, but is nice for summer.

WithNeedleAndThread - Lekala 4119

WithNeedleAndThread - Lekala 4119

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lekala 4119, a kimono sleeve, drapey cowl-neck top was the first pattern that I took on for the summer season. A very simple pattern, with just three pieces, this is a great pattern for those who aren’t sure about digital download patterns (though, I, myself, am sold on the idea and have no problems taping printer paper together).

I loved the first one (pink floral) that I quickly whipped up a second version of this top. Both tops are made with ITY knit, which I think is one of the best fabrics for this style top as it has a lot of drape and doesn’t form permanent wrinkles within the cowl.

I did find that the pattern had a bit more ease than I was expecting, and the sleeves were far longer and baggier than I was expecting. I ended up taking about an inch+ from the bottom of the sleeve, tapering a similar wedge down to very little at the side. I also added a bit to the top curve of the front cowl to get more fabric to drape and fill the neckline. The top wound up being long enough without the hem band that I was able to leave off the band for a slightly dressier look. Once I decided that I was going to leave off the band, I realized that this would be a great project for me to play with the rolled hem stitch on my serger, and finished all edges with a lettuce/ruffle rolled hem.

WithNeedleAndThread - Lekala 4284

I followed this pattern with another Lekala pattern, Lekala 4284, a knit top with a bow-style back, and a subtle (or not, depending on your fabric choices) yoke in the front. There are darts drafted into the front of the pattern, but I chose to leave them off and to ease the excess material into the seam as I sewed the side seams. Much to my excitement, this was the only alteration that I made to the pattern. Well, that and hemming the sleeves with a deeper hem to get more of a cap sleeve.

Although it looks like it would be a stand-out type of piece that you would only have room in your closet for one of, I quickly made this top in three different fabrics (a print, a textured solid, and a solid with lace and lace overlays on the bow/yoke),  and get different reactions to all three versions. I love that the front is modest/subtle, yet when you turn around there is a pop of style from the dipped bow.

After making these five shirts, I decided it was time to get away from knit tops and add another type of garment to my wardrobe. Stay tuned for Summer Sewing Roundup: Part 2 shortly.