Fabric Mart Mystery Bundle

With my most recent Fabric Mart purchase, I decided to do something I don’t often do and buy a mystery bundle. I chose the 6 yard bundle, then anxiously awaited my package, obsessively checking the tracking every day. When it finally arrived, I’m not sure whether I was more excited to see the fabric that I chose myself (several textured double knits for lightweight blazers and cardigans and a few ITY knits for summer tops and dresses) or the fabric that was in the mystery bundle.

My mystery bundle contained:

navy cotton jersey knit (bottom right)
heathered light greyish-tan poly jersey knit (bottom left)
a black and white floral print with a bright green border ITY knit (top)

 

 

 

For as much as I love wearing navy, I had a grand total of 0 solid navy long sleeved shirts. So, I decided to use the navy cotton knit jersey from my Fabric Mart mystery bundle to make a basic navy long sleeve shirt using my tnt knit top pattern (a heavily modified New Look 6735).

Since I wear jackets/blazers/cardigans over my tops a good 90+% of the time, I love having an interesting neckline that will “pop” under an overlayer. As I was cutting out the pieces, I noticed the edges had a tendency to curl in a kind of pretty way. I decided to make use of this, and cut and curled narrow strips to use as trim around the neckline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first thought when I pulled this jersey out of the box was “oh, comfy top.” The knit is a bit sheer, so I wanted to make a top that I could easily layer a tank under, if it turned out to be too sheer to wear on its own. I used Simplicty 2364 (view A), a 3/4 sleeve top with a sewn-on faux shrug detail, and supposedly a cowl neckline. Though I’ve used the pattern before and gotten a super deep cowl, somehow this time, with this fabric, I ended up with a fairly straight neckline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit that I was a bit befuddled as to what to make when I realized that the stretch in this black, white, and green floral border print meant that the border ran vertical rather than horizontal. And while I loved the floral, the green border threw me for a bit of a loop. I wanted to feature it, but didn’t want an entire green line down the length of a top or dress. First I thought about cutting the border off and reattaching it running horizontally. Then I thought about making a pair of leggings that used the green border along the side seam, but wasn’t sure I’d actually wear them enough to make them worth making. I started thinking about other patterns that I have that have interesting seams that could highlight the border print, and came up with Lekala 5883, a “sleeveless dress with bias dart.” I cut the pattern in half along the center front, so that I could place it so the border would fall on the center front and disappear as the dart and lower center front seam are sewn. I’m not a fan of sleeveless dresses, so I added small cap sleeves using the sleeve from my tnt knit top pattern.

 

 

 

Burberry Brit- Inspired Outfit

Since I’ve started making my own clothes, I’ve found that I enjoy browsing catalogs/websites searching for inspiration. Back in the beginning of March, we got a thick Bloomingdales catalog in the mail (they were advertising some upcoming sale, if I recall correctly). Out of the entire catalog (which was close to an inch thick), I tore out about 6 pages of things I liked – either in color, silhouette, or style. Apparently I liked one complete outfit much more than I realized I did because it kept popping back into my head off and on for the next few weeks. Even through I’ve never been a huge fan of stripes or polka dots, these fabrics started catching my eye – in other garments, in store windows, and in fabric shops (the most dangerous place known to woman). When I saw the Barganista Fashionista challenge on Pattern Review, I knew that I had to make this outfit that had so constantly wiggled its way into my subconscious.

At the time I began this project, I couldn’t find photos of any of the three pieces online. About midway through the month, they did appear on Bloomingdales’ website. However, the blazer has the stripes going in the opposite direction (vertical rather than horizontal) and the pockets are a bit different. I like the horizontal stripes much better, so I decided to stick with the original magazine photo rather than the photos from the website.

These pieces are:
Burberry Brit White and Navy Striped Blazer: $465
White and Navy Polka Dot Sweater: $350
Navy Highcross Skinny Trousers: $325
The total cost for this outfit is $1,140

With Needle And Thread - Burberry Inspired Outfit

For my outfit, I started with the blazer, which seemed like the most time-consuming piece. Since I’ve never worked with stripes, it seemed like darts rather than princess seams would be the better choice. So, I started looking for a pattern that would suit these needs. I ended up using Lekala 5018, a classic darted blazer and making a few tweaks to make it look more like the inspiration blazer, The fabric is, I believe a cotton canvas type home decor fabric that my mom picked up at a flea market several years ago. She got a bolt that had about 7 yards for $5 ($.072 per yard). While the inspiration jacket claims to be navy stripes, the first time I saw the photo, I was sure they were teal stripes, and a perfect match for my fabric. I still like the teal stripes.

As far as the pattern goes, it fit well “out of the envelope” and I only had to make a few fitting tweaks: removing some ease from the sleeve head and narrowing the sleeve by about an inch. I also lowered the break of the lapel and curved the front hem rather than using the straight lines of the pattern. I decided not to line this jacket, and instead drafted a back facing to attach to the front facings/lapels. Even after washing, this fabric is rather stiff and bulky, so I decided to simply serge all of the raw edges around the hems/sleeves/facings. I opted against shoulder pads, going for more a dressy jean jacket type feel, and used random white buttons from my stash. This was my first time working with striped fabric, and I am fairly happy with how the stripes lined up throughout the jacket.

I had planned on making patch pockets with flaps, as in the inspiration photo, and even cut them out, but didn’t like the way they fit on my jacket, so I decided to leave off the pockets. Yay for making clothes yourself and being able to do whatever you want with the finished look.

Cost: $1.94
Fabric: $0.72 x 2 yards = $1.44
Notions: 2 3/4″ buttons from my stash, $0.55

It was harder than I thought it would be to find a white with dark dots polka dot fabric. I finally found a white polka dot cotton jersey at lowpricefabric.com. I ordered the fabric (1 yard at $4.00) on a Saturday and had the top finished the following Friday. I did deviate from the original inspiration a bit in this piece. The Burberry top was a long sleeve sweater, and since Summer is quickly coming (and it’s a relatively warm Spring), I went for 3/4 length sleeves. I used my tnt knit top pattern, NL 6735, in which I have made the armscye smaller, changed the angle of the shoulder, removed ease from the sleeve head and sleeve, raised the neckline, and removed some ease from the sideseams through the waist area. I gave my top a banded neckline, and used my coverstitch machine to hem the sleeves and bottom hem.

Cost:$4.00
Fabric: $4.00 x 1 yard = $4.00
Notions: none

In the inspiration photo, it looked like the model was wearing dark skinny jeans, so that is what I decided to make (coincidentally, dark skinny jeans have been on my ‘to make’ list for several months, so that is one thing to cross off). When the pants finally appeared online, I realized that they actually aren’t jeans, but decided to stick with my jeans anyway. The jeans were easily the most expensive undertaking for this outfit, though that’s not saying much. I used a dark denim that I bought last year from Fabric.com. The pattern is my tnt jeans pattern that I made using Kenneth King’s Jeanious class on Craftsy, and have used many times before. My pattern is a cross between straight and bootcut legs, and I wanted tapered legs. Since all stretch denims seem to stretch differently, I baste the legs on every pair before stitching the inseam/sideseam, which provides me with the perfect opportunity to tweak the seam allowances all along the leg for a custom tapered fit. I’ve found that I like a skirt/slacks zipper better than the traditional jeans zipper because the pulls are typically less bulky and are less likely to create ridges along the fly.

Cost: $11.86
Fabric: 6.98 x 1.5 yards = 10.47
notions: basic 7″ zipper and jeans button from my stash, both of which I bought in bulk several months ago, $.039

Total cost for all 3 items: 17.85
Total percent savings: 98.4%

SWAP 2013: Sunset on the Beach

I have officially completed Artisans Square/Stitchers Guild SWAP 2013. Sewing has been done for several weeks. Photos were submitted two days ago. For background on SWAP, see my previous post or Stitcher’s Guild.

I am calling my 2013 SWAP “Sunset on the Beach.” The first collection was inspired by the colors of sunset while the second collection was inspired by colors seen on the beach. Combined, you get “Sunset on the Beach.” Both collections are meant to be casual/dressy casual.

My linking piece is a black ponte knit jacket that works with both colorways, inspired by White House Black Market’s tiered ruffle jacket. I started with Simplicity 1919 and redrafted the front pieces to fit the stand collar and ruffle lines.

Sunset collection consists of:

  • Red skinny jeans, modified from my self-drafted jeans pattern in a lightweight stretch denim
  • Jeans from my self-drafted jeans pattern in a medium blue stretch denim with dark red topstitching and embroidered back pockets to fit with the colors of the sunset theme
  • A red knit top, made with Hot Patterns Festival Fringe, a free pattern on fabric.com, although I didn’t follow the instructions and sewed the scarf piece on differently to hid the raw edges
  • A multi-color floral smocked ITY print top, made with New Look 6735, without the neckband
  • A modified purchased multicolor variegated tank top that I cut apart, then used like fabric using the main pieces from New Look 6735

Sunset on the Beach SWAP 2013: The Sunset Collection

Beach collection includes:

  • A black ponte knit skirt, Butterick 5566 in a black ponte knit (same as the linking jacket). I eliminated the zipper and used an elastic faced waistband.
  • A polka dot elastic waist skirt, self-drafted (if it even counts as drafting – I cut a piece of elastic the size of my waist and sewed fabric to it without even measuring the fabric)
  • A white lightweight knit top, made from Hot Patterns Festival Fringe, a free pattern on fabric.com, without the scarf detail. I added a hand-tacked rope of twisted fabric to give the neckline more visual interest.
  • A sand colored top in a smocked-look knit that really had very little stretch to it, made again with a neckband-less New Look 6735
  • A missoni-esque variegated sweater-type knit top in shades of blue and green, made with New Look 6735

Sunset on the Beach SWAP 2013: The Beach Collection