Cotton

Plain Jane

It’s UFO time! (UnFinished Object) I started this shirt almost a year and a half ago! I know this solely on the date that I started this post. I tend to write as I sew. This comes in handy in case I make adjustments to a pattern as I go because I won’t remember them as I go.

Let’s step back in time to the beginning of 2016…

This blue, kinda denim looking fabric came from my mom’s stash that she gave to me.  Yay free fabric!  I used my oldie but a goodie B5526.  I have the number memorized now.  I used to have to look it up. Ha!  This time I used a different version of the shirt that didn’t include the princess seams.  I plan on adding a partial pplacket to the shirt instead of a full button down. The change to cutting it out was to cut the front on the fold and not include the extra fabric for the button placket.  Well you shouldn’t, unlike what I did… But we’ll get to that disaster in a minute.

Everything was going great with sewing this shirt up.  Even found a great tutorial on how to create a cute little placket for the front from MellySews.  I made mine 11″.  Everything was constructed and ready to come together. Collar, sleeves, cuffs. Woo-hoo!  Moving along at full steam.  I started working on the collar.  That’s when things went wrong and I had to walk away.

Remember where I mentioned earlier that you should not include the extra fabric for the button placket.  Well I included some of it because I thought that it would make it a bit more roomy.  The shirt is not supposed to be fitted.  In adding that extra bit of fabric, I made the collar stand and collar not long enough.  Well shit…

Flash forward to now. Obviously I was more annoyed with this than I realized. Annoyed so much that I left this shirt in the bottom of a pile of fabric to be forgotten forever. When you clean your fabric stash it’s amazing the things you find! Yes, I hid it there. I think I meant for my future self to never find it.

Since I have found it, I needed to figure out what to do with this extra fabric I just had to add. I figured I needed to get rid of 1″ off each side of the placket. The cute placket I made, I decided I hated. I ripped it off. Totally ripped apart the cuffs I sewed to make the placket pieces. I cut out the extra fabric from the neck and tapered down to the bottom of the placket, which cut out two triangles of fabric. I added the placket that I know the best. I’ve used it on the other two popovers I’ve made (one, two).


I added the collar, which I decided to use only the stand. Yup, just like the other two.


Since I used the fabric for the cuffs on my placket, I needed to figure out something different for the sleeves. I always roll up my sleeves so it’s not necessary to have all that length. I kept just enough to roll the sleeves once or twice plus enough to make a “cuff”.


As I mentioned before, this is the third time making this exact shirt but three different sleeve lengths. Yeah for repeats!


Seriuosly! Same shirt! Curved hem at the bottom, roomy, partial placket and mandarin collar.


The length is awesome because it covers enough of my bottom standing and sitting. I freaking love these shirts. I could have a closet full of these. Oh, and B5526 is my favorite shirt pattern.


This version is a little plain compared to my other two and rather plain for me. I always prefer prints. It’s nice to change things up every once in a while right? But not too much, to stay on the safe side.

Same but Different

I don’t know if you’ve heard but Colette has come out with a new and improved Sorbetto pattern. Say what!?! I love Sorbettos. I’ve made 7 of them now. Check them out… one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven. The team listened to everyone’s issues with the pattern and out popped the new Sorbetto.  There’s three versions of the pattern; the classic tank style, tunic, and short sleeved version.  Since I’ve made so many of the tank top style I knew I would pick either the tunic or short sleeve.  I ultimately went with the sleeved version.  It’s cute enough for work and casual enough for a day off.

Here’s a quick look at the old pattern with *new* version 3 of the pattern. The top paper is the size 8.  I always make a size 8 in this pattern and grade out by about 1″ at the bottom to accommodate my bottom. The larger pattern is the new version.  You can see it’s longer.  I’m not sure if this is only for the sleeved version or the tank top too.  It’s also wider.  This is a size 6 graded to a size 8 at the bottom.  In other words, check your finished garment sizes before cutting! The neckline is pulled in tighter, which I’m happy about because I always thought it was way too wide.  The bust dart is lower.  I didn’t realize until after I cut the pattern and sewed in the bust darts and tried it on.  It ended up being about 1″-1 1/2″ too low.  I never thought my lady parts to be high on the landscape known as my chest but I guess they are? I do know this has been a complaint by a lot of people that have made this pattern in the past but it always suited me. The shoulder, of course, is wider on this one because I’m doing the one with sleeves. I would assume if you were doing the classic version it would be about the same as the original.

Recently, Rachel from Sew RED-y did flat felled seams on her Grainville shirt and because I’m a big copy cat of her, I decided to give it a go on this.  You can see on the pic above the left is the outside seams and the right is the inside. Not too shabby for my first go.  I followed the instructions from Colette for the process.

Here’s a good shot of my flat felled seam and my bias tape.  Self-made of course!  I’m really getting the hang of it! There was a few spots that it felt really thick and I had to slow down to push through all the layers of seam and bias tape.

Kind of looks like hospital scrubs doesn’t it?  I think it’s the fabric.  It was a cotton that I had in my stash.  Still trying to shop my stash for any projects I’m working on.  Look at that length!  Faboo!

You can see it’s still pretty roomy for being a size 6-8.  Since it’s cotton it doesn’t give and I would worry if I went down another size I wouldn’t be able to get it on!

My bust darts are not pressed as well as they could be.  Sorry!  You can deal with that right?  They sit right on my bust.  I had to redo them 3 times to get them right.  I gave up on the markings on the new one and got out the original pattern because I knew they would hit me right.

I did realize after I finished there will be no celebrations in this shirt.  I can’t lift my arms all the way up!  I can move them forward and back but not up very well.  I guess it would be better in a knit and then you could have the stretch to move but I’m not really sure what’s up with that.  Ideas?

This is it… This is the new Sorbetto.  How do I feel about it?  I don’t really like it.  I prefer the original.  Granted I modified the hell out of it, but it worked.  I love it!  I do like the tighter neckline of this one but the super low bust dart really pissed me off.  I think I’ll continue using the original or maybe a mix of the two for the tighter neck line and length.  Who knows?  For now, I can say the teal color is super happy and it’s a easy shirt to knock out in an evening, as long as you don’t have to rip the bust darts out multiple times.

Pirple Blurple

I’m well on my way to working through my 2017 make nine. I completed pajamas, Jamie Jeans (even though they sucked), Simone dress and now one of my favorite patterns, B5526. That makes 4 out of 9 and with it being early March, I shouldn’t be scrambling to finish my list on December 31. I’m feeling optimistic people!

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I completed my Jack of All Trades shirt last year and I wear it so often. It’s easy to wear with jeans and it’s a quick go to. I knew I wanted to make another and I had bought an gradient cotton from Fabric.com that I was planning on using for one of my other favorite tops, a Sorbetto. For whatever reason, I changed my mind on its use. The fabric has a gradient of pink to almost a bluish purple.  I figured it would look best if the gradient went from top to bottom compared to left and right.

I had 1 yard to work with, which would be just fine for a Sorbetto but not B5526. I sat with the fabric and two pattern pieces for quite sometime. I turned the fabric and patterns this way and that. The fabric wasn’t big enough. I needed a new plan. If I cut the pieces without the proper width at the sides, I should have enough to squeak out panels to add to the sides. This also leaves enough for the collar and front placket. No little sleeves though but that’s okay.

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Ideally, I wanted the placket to blend in on the front but with the minimal fabric, that wasn’t an option. I was worried that since I was going to have a dark placket it was going to look like a pieced together turd of a shirt.  I forged on anyways.  If it looks bad, it will still be comfortable and it can be a weekend top. I picked a dark piece for the collar too.  I was hoping if both pieces matched it would look intentional on the bright pink. I did have an oopsy with the placket.  I followed the same instructions (IndieSew) I did on the Jack shirt.  Somehow my placket was not straight across at the bottom.  It was more of a 45 degree angle.  I did fix it but now I have a bit of a puckering, bubble type deal going on.  It’s not super terrible so if I can ignore it, I believer the rest of the world can too. I added a little snap to the placket to keep the ladies from trying to put on a show. You may ask why I just don’t make a shorter placket. Well, I think I have a big head or something because I need that snap undone to pop this guy on.

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Blur alert!  My blue chair is perfectly in focus. Because that’s what’s important. *eye roll*

I tried to use the same tone for both the panels on the sides so they matched. They ended up being 3 1/2″ wide by about 17 1/2″.  I stitched them in place and added a bit of top-stitching to keep everything flush inside the shirt.

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I recently purchased a Clover Bias Tape Maker.  Oh man!  I don’t know how I had the patience to make my own bias tape prior to having this little gadget.  I’m in love. The gadget + continuous bias tape making tutorial (Collete) makes me all kinds of giddy. I did make the bias tape purple. It does not match the purple on the shirt but in my heart they go together.  I used it around the arms and at the bottom of the shirt.  I had one arm done and popped on the shirt to make sure everything was sitting fine.

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Check out the Pirple Blurpleness.

The arm hole was a bit big.  You could see my bra under my arm and the straps at the back.  Well shit… Clever girl that I am, I added a bust dart.  I didn’t need it for shaping but it did take 1 1/4″ off the arm.  It worked like a charm. Always making it work!


I think it turned out pretty decent. The dark collar and placket were totally not a big deal. I don’t normally do sleeveless shirts like this style but I think it works.  I need to lift weights a bit more so I have something a little more worthy to have lost my sleeves for.

Jack of All Trades

My sewing mojo has been on the fritz lately. I tried making a chiffon skirt, which I’ve made before, and it didn’t turn out well. There will be plenty of ripping, a dash of cussing and finally a glorious skirt will appear at some point.

So what have I been working on? I decided to go with a fail safe to work my confidence back up.  A TNT pattern if you will (Tried N True). Let’s take a step back. Have you ever found yourself envious of someone else’s make? I found myself in those green shoes (Get it? Green with envy? I’m hilarious people!) During Me Made May 16, I saw this little beauty from SewaStraightLine. I thought I could make a version of it but popover style.  I picked up a cotton sateen from Jo-Ann’s designed by the lovely Gertie.

Now is the time for that TNT pattern.  My fav pattern B5526.  I picked version A. I knew I was going to leave off the sleeves and use the collar stand only. Now each version of this pattern has a full button down placket. The easiest thing to do was to figure out the width of the finished placket and add that width to the front bodice piece that is cut on the fold. To make the baby sleeves I extended out the shoulder width by about 3″. The last adjustment that I made was to taper the bodice from the waist to the bust.


For my first partial placket, I relied on the instructions from Indie Sew and their easy placket tutorial. I made my placket 9 1/2″ long.  I think the interfacing that I used may have been a little too stiff because my placket has no give.  I’m hoping this will be fixed by a few good beatings in the washing machine. I felt like being a bit lazy and not adding buttons to my placket. Since it’s short, I figured it wasn’t necessary.


The collar didn’t take me long to add. Not having the actual collar and only the stand really only takes half the time.  Yippee!  There was quite a bit of the neck that needed to be eased into the stand.  I think my placket may have been a bit too wide thus creating more fabric to work in.


I made bias tape to edge the arms from random black fabric I had. I did have to make an adjustment to make sure they fit my massive biceps. I had to drop the arm hole by 5/8″. The bias tape also helped to drop the arm hole a bit more. After trying the shirt on, The arm holes worked fine and if I dropped them anymore my bra would be on display.


I’ve also been working on a pressie for the bestie.


I decided I wanted to design her a tank top. She works as a seamstress and a sewing shirt is pefect for her. I went with a classic tattoo style with a vintage sewing machine. Throw in a few banners and roses and ta-da!


The second item is a little sewing kit. I had a cute little round tin that needed a second life.  I used modge podge which is my second go round with this sticky weird stuff.  I used fabric to cover the lid and bottom portion. I bought a crazy little sewing kit for the tin’s guts. I had little strips of faux leather I was going to put around the edge of the lid and the bottom of the base.  I hated it.  I ripped it off and luckily found a few things in my stash that would work.  I used lace on the base to cover up the sides a bit more.  They were lumpy.  I had a strip of pre-made store bought bias tape that I used around the lid which may have also been lumpy.


I lined the inside with felt and made a little pin cushion on the under side of the lid.  There’s plenty of room on the inside for her to add her own bits and bobbins. Let’s just hope she likes it!

Side Note: I just bought a new sewing machine so hopefully things will be flying out of my sewing room and onto the blog.  New toys to play with are the best.