Almost like a switch, spring began and the snow just melted away and left behind a ton of warm, beautiful sunshine. Which meant that after a fairly calm and quiet start to the new year I spent the last two weeks turning out 3 new tops!
As much as I would like to think that I am the type of person to wear dresses and skirts all the time, the truth is, I live in pants pretty much exclusively from October to May. It was becoming a frustrating routine going to my closet each morning, feeling bored out of my skull, reaching for the same 5 sweaters/tops I’d been wearing for months on end. Until recently, my clothing focus was making and finding “professional” and grown-up pieces, things that I could wear to work, or to an event where I wanted to feel a little fancier. This has been very successful, but on lazier days, I was really longing for something cute and comfortable that I could just throw on with my jeans and go. I mentally filed this need as a priority in my spring sewing and started thinking about prints and colours, and of course, searching for patterns.
Having some experience in pattern drafting I can appreciate the value of a well-drafted pattern, and since I really dislike doing it, I am totally happy to buy them. However, now that I have been stocking up for years, and have quite a few in each category, I am finding it harder and harder to justify to myself purchasing ‘basics’, especially when I know how easily I could self draft or alter a pattern I already have. BUT at the same time I am also quite lazy and would rather just have a pattern ready to go. If only there were a way to get cool new patterns for free. If only new designers and indie pattern companies would release some easy, pdf basics into their repertoire at no cost. Oh wait… they do!
You heard me; I spent zero dollars on these 3 very distinct, interesting patterns that add a huge jolt of life into my transition wardrobe.
The first make was this super soft Plantain Tee from Deer & Doe. This was my second time making this pattern, my first being from a heavier knit and with long sleeves. I didn’t really like the depth of the scoop neck nor the hip flare, so I did end up making a few changes to this pattern inspired by a shirt I saw at Artizia. I reduced the hip flare on the side seams and added 6 cm in length to the front, and 10 cm to the back. I then curved the hemlines in, and raised the neckline.
The fabric is yet another score from the Blackbird Fabrics remnant sale and is a super soft melange knit. It sewed and pressed like a dream and looks so sophisticated and cool. This tee is my new everyday favourite. In the two weeks since I have made it I’ve already worn it 4 times. The success and joy gleaned from this project spurred on the need to keep sewing!
The second top is the cropped version of the Tate Top by Workroom Social. I was drawn to this pattern when I was on the hunt for a woven crop top pattern in the fall. I really love the silhouette and the neckline cut on me. I didn’t make any pattern adjustments on this go-around, but since I am pretty self-conscious showing too much skin, I will likely add a few cms of length to future versions so it overlaps with high-waisted skirts and pants.
The fabric print is hand dyed by me. I actually cut and prepped this fabric in the fall while doing textile marbling with Courtney. One of the days we set up an indigo vat at the same time and it’s been waiting for me ever since. The cotton I used is fairly stiff, but not uncomfortable. In fact, I think it helps show off the individuality of the tie-dye design. I know this one will have SO much fun in the sun this summer. Plus it helps that this pattern sews up in about 30 minutes. 2 for 2, my friends!
Then lastly, after spotting the re-release of the Sorbetto Top by Colette patterns, I fell completely in LOVE with the sheer tunic version. My first Sorbetto was plagued with fitting and fabric issues (far too short, bust darts too high, quilting cotton with next to no stretch) so I was amped for a re-do. A number of bloggers have already covered the detailed differences between the pattern blocks so I won’t go into detail about that but as I was making it I had to adjust for the fact that the bust darts were now too low for me by taking it up in the shoulders. I opted not to add my standard 3cm bodice length because I felt like the tunic length would be long enough for me as is, and I have to agree. It’s a little too short for me to so sans-pants, but that’s fine, because this was a quest to find things to pair WITH pants.
The fabric was one of those I-stumbled-upon-it-while-searching-for-something else kinda deals. Searching for a semi sheer chiffon like the Sorbetto sample images to be precise, but once I caught the eyes of this big, abstract floral there was no turning back. When I got home that I realized that I was looking at the wrong side of the fabric, and that the right side was far more saturated, with the blue being very navy, almost black. I wasn’t sure which side I wanted to use, since I had fallen in love with the softer hues, but felt bad putting the “right” side on the inside. Ultimately, I realized my reservations were silly and I should just make it how I wanted, so softer colours it was. The fabric is 100% polyester so it will be interesting to see how comfortable it is once it gets super warm out, but for now, c’est parfait.
On an unrelated note, this Sunday is my Blogiversary! It’s been 4 years since I’ve started this little space to document my creative projects. It’s always a wild ride (and more than a little cringeworthy) going back and looking at old content from over the years. I’ve enjoyed the journey going from random little DIYs to mostly talking about apparel sewing. The community online is more lovely, supportive and fun than I ever could have imagined and it makes me so thankful to share my words in such a special place. So thank you to you, for reading, sharing and being a part of the journey with me!