I don’t normally make requests when it comes to ordering a Girl Charlee KnitFix – I sort of love the element of surprise. However, when I saw the mint pink multi-strip in July’s preview, I knew I had to have it. Thankfully, they do a good job honoring requests and that is exactly what I received in my bag.
This weekend, I put it to good use and made and oldie, but goodie, Jalie 2005. I felt like this top had a nautical feel and needed to become a boatneck style…. And I love the results!
A few things about this top:
- The fabric is pretty sheer in the oatmeal stripe sections – it’s very much like a burnout in these areas.
- I cut the sleeves twice to get the stripes to match up. I just couldn’t handle them being ‘off’. I am extremely happy with the end result even if I wound up having to use more fabric than what I anticipated.
- The material must also have a very high rayon content because I almost melted it with my iron!
- The arms in this top are pretty tight. I think I could have easily gone up a size and not had it look too big on me at all. I also should have lengthened the hem some as well, it is pretty short in comparison to other tops right now.
- I entered this into a contest to win…. more fabric. I had hoped to make a few more (I did make one more, but more on that tomorrow) to increase my chances, but never had the time to work on them all.
When it came to trendy tops this season, I really only had in mind making one peek-a-boo shoulder style top. That is until I saw Deepika’s review of Burda Style’s Cold Shoulder Top…. then I knew I had to make another.
It’s been ages since I’ve sewn with Burda’s magazine and working with this pattern reminded me why…. I hate tracing\adding seam allowances and the instructions are horrible. How horrible? I just winged the neckline because I was in a hurry and didn’t want to decypher what they were trying to get you to do (in hindsight, I think my ‘method’ – sewing the band to the neckline then folding under the seam allowances on the shoulder\’open parts’, then topstitching – worked just as well and was much easier than what Burda Style was asking you to do).
The fit on this one is spot on…. except (like many other reviewers have noted) it comes out way too long. How long you ask? This top almost became a dress. In fact, I really liked it as a dress. Unfortunately, it would be too short to wear after adding a hem so I opted to add a 3″ band at the bottom. The end result was cute, but it was still just a tad too short – when I raised my arms up over my head, I risked flashing everyone my underwear. Plus, I figured I would get a lot more use out of a shirt before I would the dress – so I chopped off the band, took 2″ off the shirt and added a wide, 1″ hem. The finished result is still longer than most shirts that I own, but it is more figure flattering than the dress (you can see how the weight of the fabric pulls the dress down making it ‘blousier’, but the shirt shows off your curves a bit more.
Would I sew this again? Maybe. Although I’m not sure how many off-the-shoulder style tops I need in my closet. I may consider lengthening the pattern some to make a dress sometime in the future, though. Would I recommend it? Yes, but beware of those instructions!
Sometimes, even when you have experience with a pattern, things go wrong. I show a lot of finished projects that go swimmingly, but I think it’s just as important to show the ‘wadders’ (i.e. the ones that go directly into the trash) because even the most experienced sewists make mistakes. In my case, I had two issues: one was the fabric choice and the other was just construction.
When I received my April Knit Fix, I fell in love with the polka dots. I thought that it would make a fun Layton (you can see my previous version here), but using this print ‘all over’ might make it look like a set of pajamas… so in an attempt to make this look like a ‘two-piece’, I went with a solid top. The end result was just ‘meh’.
I might have gone ahead and worn it anyway if it wasn’t for the fact that I made a big construction error….. I attached the front of the bodice to the back of the short. This could have been ‘fixable’, but I had already sewn in the elastic around the waistband as well. OOPs. Considering the way I felt about the fabric combination and given the time it would take to rip all that elastic and seams out (I also predicted that doing this might cause a few holes in the fabric), I decided that I would just scrap this whole project. As much as I liked my first Layton, I think I’m done making rompers for awhile.
Well, I went and did it again…. I got another KnitFix. Even though I have a lot of fabrics I need to sew up, I couldn’t resist the promise of stripes, neons, and a few fall prints thrown in the mix for July’s bag….. and here’s what arrived:
- Mint Pink Multi-stripe on Oatmeal Jersey Rayon Spandex Blend
- Bright Botanical Jersey
- Neon Green Heather Gray Small Stripe Jersey Blend
- Purple Black Abstract Floral Jersey Rayon Spandex Blend
- Teal Green Mod on Beige Cotton Jersey Knit
- Mauve Blue Floral Rows Jersey Rayon Spandex Blend
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the entire bag. I had requested the mint pink stripe and was thrilled that I received it (although it is thinner than what I had hoped it would be) and I love the floral rows and abstract floral as well (the teal mod is the only print that doesn’t really call to me). However, with that said, my first project from this mix will probably be the bright botanical jersey. From what I have seen on their Facebook page, it seems to be a pretty popular material and seems to be a good fit for summer sewing. When I opened it up, I noticed that it’s almost like a border print so I’m going to have to mull over how I might use this one…. stay tuned!
This weekend I get to see one of my teenage dream bands, Duran Duran. Nothing motivates me more to get sewing than a ‘big event’, so I burned the midnight oil last night and whipped up a pattern that I’ve been long talking about, Striped Swallow’s Desert Breeze.
I had purchased this pattern back in May because I was totally attracted to the cut-out shoulder look and because it had lots of style variations. For my version, I opted to make a flutter sleeve top with (straight) bindings. My bust\upper bust measurements put me in a medium which is what I wound up cutting out. As for the fabric, I decided that this top had such a Boho feel, that I should use a pretty floral with lots of drape – so I opted to use rose\pink floral jersey that I received in September’s KnitFix (I also used a portion of this print in the E.N.U.F. recon project).
Overall the instructions were easy to follow (and there were plenty of good photos to help you through a step if you were unsure) and things came together fairly well. The fit, however, is HUGE. I understand part of it is just the style, but I could have easily cut a small and still had a lot of ease in this (in fact, I went back and took in the sides and the finished top should now roughly measure the small…. and it still has plenty of ease!). The top is also extraordinarily long. In fact it is so long that when I put on a pair of shorts, it looked like I wasn’t wearing any pants…. so I replaced the 1/2″ hem with a 1 1/4″.
The end result? Taylor said that it’s adorable and she’s borrowing it after I wear it this weekend. Me? I’m still on the fence – the oversized boho look is a little out of my comfort zone, but there’s something about it that I like. I plan on pairing this up with a pair of camp shorts and sparkly sandals to jam the night away.
Oh summer, I had such lofty goals for you! With one month left (and 5 days) before school starts, I thought I would have been so much more productive by now. Instead, it’s the baby steps I’m celebrating.
Today’s small step? I managed to cut out material for one of my next projects, the Cold Shoulder project that I mentioned yesterday! I decided to go with the Gray black lattice cotton spandex from Girl Charlee’s May Knitfix.
Not only do I think that it should be a striking combo (the picture washed out the colors quite a bit), but I figured that I had better use up some of my previous month’s fabrics before I buy the one that comes out today. Now to find the time to sew!
A few weeks ago I whipped up a pair of shorts for Easton and entered a contest held by Girl Charlee – I was so excited to find out that I won! My prize? A May Knit Fix! My bag arrived yesterday and I thought that I would share what was inside:
- Gray black lattice cotton spandex blend knit – great color and a nice weight. I’m pretty sure Taylor might snag this.
- Black floral garden on white cotton jersey knit – a fun print (and you know how I love black and white), but this has very limited stretch…. so much so I think it will need to be treated as a woven. If it’s not too drapey after it’s washed, this may become a new pair of Elenore Jeans.
- Blue yellow seagull burnout cotton jersey knit – one of my favorites of the whole bag. It has summery vibe and the colors are beautiful unfortunately it is a burnout so I’ll have to really think how I could use this because anything I make either has to be lined or needs something worn underneath it. The first thing that comes to mind is a 3/4 sleeved boatneck tee, but we’ll have to see what else inspires me.
- Blue green tie-dye ethnic cotton jersey blend knit – I am not normally one for the tribal or ethnic prints, but this print is gorgeous (also another favorite of the bag).
- Photo floral on magenta jersey rayon blend knit – I’ve been thinking of fabrics to make Seamwork’s Layton and I believe this one may be it!
- Rose pink solid silk jersey rayon blend – I love pinks and this fabric is a very pretty shade. It also has a wonderful hand so I’ll have to think about how I want to use this. Maybe if I make the Elenore out of the floral print from this month, this fabric should be the top?
Overall, I am very excited about the fabric in this month’s bag…. now to find the time to actually sew some up! Thanks again, Girl Charlee, I love what I got!
I know I don’t need more fabric, but when I saw the preview for Girl Charlee‘s April Knit Fix bag, I couldn’t resist…. anchors? splatter paint? cool scorpions? I was in. I normally don’t make requests (you can make them and Girl Charlee does a pretty good job honoring them from what I understand), but I really wanted those anchors for Taylor (her sorority’s symbol is the anchor) so it was worth a shot.
My bag arrived yesterday and here’s what was inside (the colors look a bit ‘off’ to me in the photo, we’ve been having rain and cloudy weather so I never could get a great picture):
- White dot on black cotton spandex knit – lovely knit with good stretch and recovery.
- Black anchors on coral pink jersey rayon spandex knit – Yay! Exactly what I wanted. It also has wonderful drape and stretch. It is the same print, but different color way as this teal version.
- Teal heather solid cotton spandex knit – I’m probably in the minority when I saw this, but I am excited to see solids in my bag. I have very little solid fabric in my stash, but realize that there are occasions that I need to sew with them, so it’s nice to have something on hand when the occasion calls. This is a great color too, unfortunately it looks more blue than teal in the photo.
- Royal fuchsia Navajo brushed cotton jersey blend knit – Probably my least favorite fabric in this bag, but the first fabric that I’ve decided what I’m going to do with! Girl Charlee is holding a contest to sew for your ‘little one’ using fabrics from this bag. Seeing that this is the only material that isn’t ‘girly’, I’m planning on using it for Easton…. I’m thinking a pair of funky shorts!
- Small roses on black jersey rayon blend knit – Another really pretty floral that has wound up in my knit fix. I’m going to guess this print will be highly sought after in the buy\sell\trade group.
- Black burnout cotton jersey knit – Is it just me or does anyone else hate working with burnout? I like the way it looks, but it’s not a friendly fabric to work with. With that said, I’ve got ‘plans’ for this material as well (I think a simple tee with a layered tank underneath and maybe a new Comino Dress using this as the upper bodice) – I’m glad it wound up in my bag, but expect grumblings as I sew it.
With all the deadlines I’ve been working on, it feels like ages since I’ve been able to make something just for me. So this week, I sat down, cracked my December knit fix bag open, and went to work. I settled on Peek-a-boo Pattern’s Rainier Raglan and the white floral baroque paisley…. my favorite fabric of the bunch.
You may have already seen the final result if you’ve been following my posts this week at the BERNINA Instagram Takeover, but here she is again…. I really love this top! I actually wound up wearing this one out the same evening and “dressed” it up with a pretty necklace and black pants. Since I only used the paisley for the sleeves, I still have a bit of material left over from this project so I’m wondering what to make next with it? In the mean time, I’m plotting my next selfish sewing project. What’s on your sewing table for the weekend?
There is something about the month of October that makes for busy weekends. Maybe it’s the perfect fall weather (alright, not this year, it was still 90 degrees out yesterday) or just all the soccer games we have! No matter what it is, sewing has been a slow work in progress.
My latest creation is Jalie’s Dolman Top and the black and cream small stripe that I got in my September Girl Charlee Knit Fix bag. This was one of my favorite prints out of my bag (probably because I adore stripes) and I was itching to use it in a dolman pattern solely because the stripes look so interesting in the sleeve area. All that is left to do is hem everything (I was in a hurry to finish this for a contest deadline – the winners get a free October Knit Fix bag!). I’m anxious to wear this one, it definitely has a much dressier vibe to it that the others I have made (perhaps it’s the sleeves?) and I think it will look great paired up with another project I have in the works for later this week!