Wardrobe Architect 2016

Writing a blog has something in common with sewing: Both are things I like but unfortunately, I don’t spend as much time on it as I would like to. Maybe I can change this with participating in the Wardrobe Architect Series 2016. So what is the Wardrobe Architect Series? It’s a project started by Colette Patterns in 2014 with the objective to design and build “a thoughtful attire”. The project’s single steps guide sewists through a process of figuring out their needs regarding clothing (e. g., does your current wardrobe actually fit your life?), planning and finally sewing garments they really are going to wear, suitable to match each other and / or other clothes in their wardrobe.

My reasons to join the WA Project 2016 are the following:

1. In 2013, I moved to a region where the summer usually is longer and hotter than in my home country and I noted that I really need more clothes suitable for this weather. I sewed a few summer garments last year but I think I still need some more.

2. I have lots of nice fabric in my stash as well as sewing patterns I haven’t used yet… And  I really want to shrink my stash this year.

I hope that participating in the WA project will help me to sort and prioritise my sewing a little so that I’ll have a proper wardrobe for summer.

As far as I understand it, the current edition of Wardrobe Architect is not hosted by Colette Patterns, but by Christine Haynes who scheduled it into 13 steps.

Every second Tuesday, there’s a topic to be treated in your blog posts. I’m already a little late, but I hope I’ll get to write my post on the first topic until the end of this week.

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Coco dress

On my bucket list for a long time, I finally made a Coco Dress by Tilly and the Buttons.

I used a striped organic cotton jersey from Lillestoff. Breton stripes would have been nice, too, but these kind of stripes (sailor stripes?) really are my favourite. While Coco  in general can be a quick project (I think that depends on each person), I took a lot of time to match the stripes when laying out the pattern pieces – and I think it was worth it, it turned out almost perfect. You can find a very useful guide on matching stripes and other patterns in  the September 2015 issue of Seamworkmag.

The pattern recommends knit fabrics with little stretch and my fabric has 5% Lycra, but I think it still works fine. I made the long sleeve version and sized up the sleeves as I have rather ‘sporty’ upper arms and I wanted the sleeves to have the same easy fit as the bodice. Nevertheless, I had to shorten the sleeves quite a bit.

Sewing the neckline and the hem with a twin needle on my very basic sewing machine turned out a little difficult. The next time sewing with knits, I’m going to use a light hemming tape to stabilise when finishing hem and neckline.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the result, I love the shape and that it’s a quite comfy dress.

I’m going to make the shirt version, too. I was thinking about narrowing the sleeves but as I’m not very experienced with altering patterns and the dress is intended to be worn rather loose, I thought it might be not that that important. Anyone has experience with narrowing the shoulders on this or similar patterns for knit fabrics?

P. S.: I will add more photos later on, at the moment I have a very slow internet connection..

Nautical Megan Dress

I made a sleeveless version of the Megan dress from Love at First Stitch by Tilly and the Buttons. The top is made from an organic striped jersey I had in my stash for a long time. The skirt is made from a double knit fabric I bought for this project.

I reduced the neckline and armhole (the upper part, not where the armpit is) by 0,5 cm on my pattern – I wasn’t sure if that was ok because somewhere I had read that if you change a pattern’s neckline too much you also have to alter the bodice. So I’m very pleased that it worked out well.

The back neckline stands a little off where the top of the zip is – maybe I should have lined the zip or topstiched the fabric on the left and right side of it? Actually I don’t dare to try this because I don’t want to ruin the fabric. Anyway, I don’t mind this little imperfection.

Anchor buttons, striped bodice and navy blue skirt make a perfect nautical 60s summer dress and I think the fit is really flattering. I will definitely make more Megan dresses in the near future.

Megandress front  Megan dress side  Megan Dress back 

Polka Dot Sorbetto Top

So here’s my first blog post! I wanted to start this blog ages ago, but never took the time to do so.

At the moment I sew lots of summer clothes because I moved from northern Germany to Catalonia last year and recently found that my wardrobe is not appropriate for the heat we are facing for about two months now… 😀 So I’ll post more of my summer makes soon!

I made a breezy top from the Sorbetto pattern which you can download for free from Colette Pattern’s website. The top has a straight, 60s inspired cut, a pleat on front and is finished with bias tape. It was the first time I sewed bias tape to a garment and thanks to the easy to understand instructions of the pattern, it worked out quite fast.

Added a bow made from leftover bias tape to the pleat – it’s a little off-centre which I’d like to correct, although my boyfriend reassured me that no one will notice.

The fabric is a beautiful, lightweight Japanese cotton lawn, just perfect for summer tops and blouses. I had not expected it to be so delicate: finishing the seam allowance was annoying as the fabric frays very easily. I finished with zig-zag stitch which didn’t help so next time I work with a similar fabric, I might try to finish the seam allowance with a kind of binding or the like. Do you have any tricks to prevent cotton lawn from fraying? I’m curious to read about!