Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Maritime Shorts and a Renfrew

It is quickly getting warm around these parts, and I desperately needed a well-fitting pair of shorts. I've shed some weight over the last few years and many of my shorts have quickly taken on the dreaded "mom" look. I'm no longer actively participating in a RTW fast. However, since fasting all of last year, I've become more critical of the things I buy in stores. I've become more aware of quality workmanship, or the lack thereof. Simply put, I can make things that are better fitting, and of higher quality than the things I can find in stores on the same budget. This was true of finding a perfect pair of shorts.
I used a dark blue, stretch denim that I had in my stash. I couldn't tell you where or when I got it, other than I know it came from an online purchase. I do recommend the stretch as these are a close fitting pair of shorts.
I haven't had the greatest luck with making pants or shorts in the past. I came across the Grainline Maritime Shorts pattern. The pattern had all of the details I was looking for. After a quick Google search, I found several cute, well-fitting pairs on other women. So I decided to give it a go.
These went together quickly and without any hiccups. The instructions are adequate. There is a tutorial available on Jen's blog where she shows you step by step how to complete them.
I chose the size according to my measurements on the size chart. As far as fit, I did not have to make any changes. They fit great around the waist and hips. For personal taste, and for a more flattering look on myself, I added enough length to give me a 5 inch inseam. The hook and eye closure on the waistband lasted one wearing before popping off. So I added a buttonhole and jeans button for a sturdier closure.
My final verdict: the perfect pair of summer shorts! They are well-fitting and flattering. I seem to always have rear-view issues but these really are flattering from all angles. They have received repeated wear already. I will have to make another couple of pairs for some variety.
I paired this with my latest Renfrew Top from Sewaholic Patterns. I think this is my favorite style: short sleeved, with a V-neck. My summer uniform! I used a cotton/lycra print from Girl Charlee. This particular print does not appear to be in stock anymore. This is my 5th version so I won't do a full review. But you can check out my other versions:
And while we are on the subject of knit tops, I recently purchased a Brother serger machine. I got the DZ1234, which as far as I can tell is the same as the 1034D, but came with some extra feet. Holy moly, I never knew what I was missing out on! After about an hour of getting to know my new serger, I was ready to get going on the Renfrew. My top went together in about half the time I was used to. There were no tension or other stitching issues. AND... My top is more comfortable to wear! This I was not expecting but it only makes sense. The stitches are made to give and stretch, allowing for a more flexible, comfortable top. I really don't know what I was waiting for other than a little thing called money... lol!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Colette Laurel in Ponte Floral

Long time, no see! For those of you who missed the first story, or want an update... I've been scarce lately because I'm in graduate school to become a nurse practitioner. I still work full-time as a nurse, and have two small children. Studying means late nights, after the kids go to sleep. I'm about half way done with my program- a little over a year left to go.  I haven't been able to sew anywhere near as much as I want to. I've started to designate one night a week to sewing so hopefully I can be a little more productive now. And blogging the projects is a production as well. Right now the kids are parked in front of the tv while I ignore their demands distracted.
I first made the Colette Laurel in an underlined black eyelet. Still one of my favorites! I love the easy shape and always get compliments whenever I wear it.
I decided to make a second one in a floral ponte knit. I got this one through Girl Charlee Fabrics. Looks like this print is sold out but they have other lovely options.
I won't write a full review, just click back to my first one. For this version, I added an inch or so to the length. I also omitted the back zipper (only after sewing half of it in and then realizing I didn't need a zipper with the knit-doh!).
I really like how this version came out. It's perfect in the cooler months with boots and tights. I can wear it in Spring/Summer with sandals. And I don't think I'm done with this pattern yet! It's so classic, easy to wear, and can be done in many different fabrics.

Monday, November 10, 2014


I had enough fabric left over from each of my Renfrews to make my kids their own tees too.
Logan's tee is made using the Vintage V-neck pattern from Blank Slate Patterns. These are pdf patterns for boys and girls. There aren't a lot of cool little boy patterns available buy Blank Slate has a good selection. I made a 4T based on his measurements. There isn't a lot of room for growth so I will go up a size the next time.
Next up is the baby's tee. She just turned 1 year old and is about 20 pounds. I used Simplicity 1566. This is a good pattern for basic separates- tops, pants, jackets, vest, and jumper. I made a size large (18 months). Again, there's not a ton of room for growing. This was also super easy. The most time consuming (and annoying) part was hand sewing snaps on each shoulder seam. These are necessary though so that the top can fit over baby's head.
Both tees came together quickly and they were a great way to use up the leftover fabric.