Cropped T with Flutter Sleeves

I made this ages ago, but between Pinewoods and madly sewing for the Nahant Vintage Dance Weekend (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen some sneak peeks of those costumes in the past few days) I haven’t had a minute to post about it. And it’ll be a quick minute!

This started out based on the Knit Sweetheart T in Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, but I made a bunch of changes. What I’m most happy with is the fit! I’m so glad I lowered the pleats in the center bust–it looks much better than my first attempt.

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Washed-out photo so you can see those pleats.

So here’s what I changed:

  • Lowered the front neckline and pleats
  • Narrowed the shoulders
  • Cropped it just above the natural waist and finished the hem with a wide band (looks much cleaner than turning under for me since I can’t do stretch stitches, coverstitch, or twin needle finishes)
  • Replaced the sleeves with flutter sleeves (following this tutorial); flutter sleeves are hemmed with the narrow hem on my serger

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I think for the next one I will raise the neckline and lower the waist by just a smidge (1/4 inch or so), but overall I’m very pleased with how this came out and think it’s quite flattering. I’d like to do a similar one with long sleeves and a higher neckline in a sweater knit for the fall. (I believe the fabric for this was interlock? I don’t remember, sorry! It’s sort of a midweight knit with decent body, as you can see in the sleeves.)

Speaking of the seasons, here’s my updated spring/summer capsule wardrobe. There’s one item I’ve completed but might not blog about (the gauze skirt…it’s just not that interesting and didn’t turn out great) and two I think I’ll move to the fall plan (jean jacket and jersey maxi skirt). Of course, since we’re hitting 90 degrees, I’m fantasizing about what I want to make in tweed and corduroy once I finish this latest costuming push….

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Dresses

  1. Gray floral Lady Skater
  2. Green dress (purchased)
  3. Cream floral Lady Skater
  4. Calico Giselle
  5. Black/gray calico Simplicity 1080 View A

Skirts

  1. Jersey maxi skirt (McCall’s 6608 View D) in black–MOVE TO FALL
  2. Black gauze petticoat skirt with ruffle (unblogged, but made)
  3. White petticoat skirt
  4. Brown midi petticoat skirt
  5. Jean Hollyburn
  6. Nevermore skirt

Tops

  1. Wrap top (Butterick 6285)
  2. Cropped black T-shirt
  3. Gray rose peasant top
  4. Black Weekender tunic

Outerwear

  1. Jean jacket (Simplicity 8020 View A)–MOVE TO FALL
  2. Army green jacket (purchased)
  3. Green spencer
  4. Gray jersey cardigan (purchased)
  5. Aurelia cardigan?

Dance Practice Tank & Skirt

I’ll be going to Pinewoods for the first time this year, and I recently glanced at last year’s schedule and realized that I’d need clothes for FIVE evening dances PLUS four days of classes!

Now, I’d known I needed more bras, specifically some sports bras, and had come across the Brazi Ladies’ Bra and Dress pattern. After confirming that I could make it entirely on my serger (no stretch/zigzag stitching necessary), I grabbed it and made a test bra out of leftover red roses fabric. Well, turns out that particular fabric is too soft and stretchy to make a bra on its own (yes, I researched sports bra and activewear fabric AFTER I sewed this up), but it was so comfortable and fit well over my regular cross-back bras that I added a black panel to the bottom and voila! A tank top!

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The skirt is a basic half-circle skirt, with a high-low hem for some additional interest. The waistband is just some 2-inch-wide black elastic. This was super fast and easy, requiring only one vertical seam, joining the elastic into a circle, then serging the elastic to the waist of the skirt. I didn’t finish the hem and…I’ve pretty much decided to just leave it that way. The fabric is a silky and drapey rayon/nylon/spandex ponte knit.

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Now that I’ve done more research into activewear fabrics, I’m ready to try making that Brazi bra out of the right materials. I wonder if I can actually manage a tank top that’s supportive enough to not require a separate bra so I can pack less….

And I’ve really got to finish my ball/party dress, but I’m on the zipper insert stage and ugh. 😛

(In other news, I moved a couple of weeks ago, hence the new photo location!)

 

Red Rose Wrap Top

As soon as I saw this pattern, Butterick 6285, announced, I was dying to make the wrap top. And now I finally have!

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I highly recommend checking out Gertie’s sewalong posts in addition to the instructions. She tells you how to finish the sleeves by machine, plus I find her explanations much easier to follow. (I admit, I didn’t know what “break your stitching” meant, so her note was really helpful!)

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Knowing this is a wrap top made of stretchy knit, I valiantly sewed a straight size (none of my usual adjustments for my waist being a size larger than my bust) according to my upper bust measurement (to account for my narrow shoulders). It ended up a bit small in the torso (very unusual for a Butterick pattern!), but I think it still looks great. Except, um, the sleeves a really tight. I’ve never had that problem before, so I’m wondering if maybe my fabric wasn’t stretchy enough? Or maybe I just do need to make it a size larger.

The other slightly off thing is that the main body of the top ends right at the bottom of my rib cage. That’s an awfully short crop top! Unfortunately, the pattern doesn’t include any lengthen/shorten lines, so I’m not sure how to fix that. But fortunately, this particular fabric is really stable and the ties are quite wide, so I can just wrap them in the right place to get it down to my natural waist. That said, this is the reason that if I make this again, I might only do so if I’m planing to layer it over dresses.

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I also sewed this entirely on my regular machine using a straight stitch, per the instructions. It worked out perfectly fine, but I think next time I’d serge it so the seams are a bit less bulky (not that it’s at all noticeable, I think). Fabric is Red Rose Floral Bouquets on Black Cotton Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee and it’s so soft and gorgeous. It’s definitely a medium weight, and pretty easy to handle.

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Anyway, it was quick to make and cute, so I’m pretty happy!

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Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Dresses

  1. Gray floral Lady Skater
  2. Green dress (purchased)
  3. Cream floral Lady Skater (this is a holdover from fall/winter that didn’t end up getting made then)
  4. Calico Giselle
  5. Calico Simplicity 1080 View A (I’m not 100% sure this pattern will work for me, but…I’m just dying to try it!)

Skirts

  1. Jersey maxi skirt (McCall’s 6608 View D) in black
  2. Gauze maxi skirt with ruffle (rework gauze circle skirt for this)
  3. White petticoat skirt
  4. Brown midi petticoat skirt
  5. Jean Hollyburn
  6. Nevermore skirt

Tops

  1. Wrap top (Butterick 6285)
  2. Cropped black T-shirt
  3. Gray rose peasant top
  4. Black Weekender tunic

Outerwear

  1. Jean jacket (Simplicity 8020 View A)
  2. Army green jacket (purchased)
  3. Green spencer
  4. Gray jersey cardigan (purchased)
  5. Aurelia cardigan?

Gray Rose Peasant Top

When I ordered this fabric–Small Gray Floral on Black Cotton Spandex Blend Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee–I was planning to use it for a t-shirt. But when it arrived, it was so soft and drapey, and rather thin, that I decided to make something to take advantage of that. A peasant top!

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(Hello, kitty!)

This is based on McCall’s 5050, View A. I’ve made this pattern a couple of times before and knew that it was quite large. So since I was using a stretchy knit, I went ahead and cut out the extra small. I think I should’ve done larger sleeves so they have a bit more puff, but overall it’s certainly fine!

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I made things tougher for myself by using strips of fabric to form the elastic casings rather than folding down the neckline and folding up the sleeves, PLUS that means that you can see the inside of the fabric! Argh! But it’s still sooo comfy and cute that, um, I’m going to just pretend it’s a “design feature.”

I added some nice cotton lace around the neckline and sleeves. I reallllly wanted to use it on the hem, but I was short about 5 inches. Oh well! Narrow hem on the serger it is.

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This was sewn entirely on my serger, except for attaching the elastic casings.

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Oh, yeah, and the ribbon bow on the center front. That’s just a requirement for peasant tops, right??

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Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Dresses

  1. Gray floral Lady Skater
  2. Green dress (purchased)
  3. Cream floral Lady Skater (this is a holdover from fall/winter that didn’t end up getting made then)
  4. Calico Giselle
  5. Calico Simplicity 1080 View A (I’m not 100% sure this pattern will work for me, but…I’m just dying to try it!)

Skirts

  1. Jersey maxi skirt (McCall’s 6608 View D) in black
  2. Gauze maxi skirt with ruffle (rework gauze circle skirt for this)
  3. White petticoat skirt
  4. Brown midi petticoat skirt
  5. Jean Hollyburn
  6. Nevermore skirt

Tops

  1. Wrap top (Butterick 6285)
  2. Cropped black T-shirt
  3. Gray rose peasant top
  4. Black Weekender tunic

Outerwear

  1. Jean jacket (Simplicity 8020 View A)
  2. Army green jacket (purchased)
  3. Green spencer
  4. Gray jersey cardigan (purchased)
  5. Aurelia cardigan?

Hoodie + Hooded Tunic

It’s a two for one! Both of these items are based on Simplicity 1251, View B. First up: A tunic. I wasn’t really planning on this one–it’s not in the right colorway for Wardrobe Architect and isn’t very stretchy at all…but I saw a possibility with the border print (plus, I’d bought this fabric from Girl Charlee ages ago–Marigold Floral on Dusty Teal Border Print Cotton Jersey Knit Fabric; it doesn’t seem to be available anymore–and never done anything with it) and the hoodie was so easy to put together (yes, the hoodie came first) that I went for it anyway.

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So, as you can see, I placed the border print on the bottom of the sleeves and around the hood. I think I followed the pattern instructions pretty closely for this one, except that I turned the hems of the sleeves and bottom up rather than attempting to do a lettuce hem.

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Oh, the other modifications were that I increased the flare from the waist (as usual), made the hood a bit bigger, and chopped off about 3.5-4 inches from the bottom. That tunic is really long!

Next up is the hoodie:

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This is a super-soft and cozy modal/poly sherpa fleece knit from Fabric.com. Sooooo comfy. (Also apparently no longer available! So sad!) This was from the same pattern pieces as the tunic (with the added flare), but I kept the original length in the back and cut it up way shorter in the front. And I added an inch in the center front for the seam allowance around the zipper. (The zipper is 12 inches in length, just fyi.)

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For this one, I did attempt a lettuce edge with  my serger, but the fabric just wasn’t stretchy enough so it isn’t obvious. Oh well.

In addition to adding a separating zipper in the front, I decided to use cotton twill tape to bind the neckline rather than bias tape, based off an OTR hoodie I have. It looks great on the inside and is soft, but I’m not sure how you’d use that method to do the V-neck if you wanted to make it without a zipper in the front….

Anyway, my one regret is that I cheaped out on the zipper, and it STICKS IRRITATINGLY. I’m trying to decide if it annoys me enough to buy a new zipper and replace it (especially since I did such a nice job installing it, siiiigh)….

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Overall, I found this pattern to be easy and flattering and I loved the shape and bell sleeves! (I might have to steal those sleeves for other things….) The hood was a little small for my giant hair, but for someone with a cute pixie cute like on the pattern envelope it would be fine. Fortunately, that’s an easy thing to change if you prefer giant hoods like I do.

Obviously, I didn’t do any of the needle felting–that’s not something I know how to do or am interested in learning/investing in anytime soon (so many other things to do/learn/buy first!). I like the roses, though, and it’s good inspiration for appliqué placement.

I’m not sure how often I’ll wear the tunic since the fabric just isn’t that comfy (not stretchy enough), but I’m tempted to make another in a better fabric. At least the hoodie means one more thing finally checked off the Wardrobe Architect plan!

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Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Dresses

  1. Gray floral Lady Skater (short sleeve)
  2. Black Weekender dress (short sleeve)
  3. Green purchased dress (short sleeve)
  4. Gray wool Giselle (3/4 sleeve)–Perhaps to be replaced with a long-sleeved Lady Skater or two??
  5. Black knit dress (long sleeve)
  6. Red purchased dress (long sleeve)

Skirts/Pants

  1. Brown tweed Hollyburn
  2. Black wool Walking Skirt (need to fix waistband)
  3. Corduroy Ginger
  4. Jean Hollyburn
  5. Nevermore skirt
  6. Green plaid wool skirt (need to add lining)
  7. Jeans

Tops

  1. Plain black T-shirt (short sleeve)
  2. White sweetheart T-shirt (short sleeve)
  3. Gray cropped V-neck (elbow-length)
  4. Black wrap top (elbow-length)
  5. Cream turtleneck (long sleeve)
  6. Black cameo Bronte (long sleeve)
  7. Black Weekender tunic (long sleeve)

Outerwear

  1. Black corduroy blazer
  2. Pumpkin corduroy blazer
  3. Black fleece zip-up hoodie
  4. Bottle green wool sweater
  5. Black or gray wool sweater?
  6. Heavy black wool coat

Accessories

  1. Slips
  2. Tights & socks
  3. Black boots
  4. Brown oxfords
  5. Scarves
  6. Brown satchel
  7. Black She Who Sews Dottie bag
  8. Black leather gloves
  9. Brown leather gloves

Ivory Turtleneck

This is KwikSew K4069, view B. Super simple! I picked the size based on high bust and actually I think it fits pretty well. I originally graded it up 2 sizes at the hips since I’m “pear-shaped” and like more flare anyway, but that was waaaay too big. I might’ve been able to just sew up a straight size.

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This fabric is an ivory rayon/spandex blend (which seems to be out of stock at fabric.com). It’s a bit sheer (and obviously shows every bump in my bra) and it’s very drapey, but it also feels quite slinky and cool. I think it’ll make a good layering piece.

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I actually followed most of the instructions in the pattern and did the majority of the construction on my serger. Because I hemmed the bottom and sleeves with a straight stitch (my regular machine can’t do zigzags in knits–this is why I gave in and bought a serger in the first place), they’re not stretchy, so if I make something in the future where I’ll want to push up the sleeves I’ll just add cuffs instead of turning under the sleeve hems.

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Anyway, this took almost no time to put together and I’d definitely be up for making some more of these as basics in fabrics with a bit more structure! This would also be cute in a comfy sweater knit. (Maybe for a sweater I’d shorten the bodice so it ends at the waist since I’m wearing so many dresses and skirts with high waists.)

About the rest of my Wardrobe Architect plan…uh…I might’ve ordered some fabric for two more Lady Skaters and might be abandoning my wool Giselle plan. Let’s see what develops when the fabric actually arrives and I start sewing, though….

Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Dresses

  1. Gray floral Lady Skater (short sleeve)
  2. Black Weekender dress (short sleeve)
  3. Green purchased dress (short sleeve)
  4. Gray wool Giselle (3/4 sleeve)–Perhaps to be replaced with a long-sleeved Lady Skater or two??
  5. Black knit dress (long sleeve)
  6. Red purchased dress (long sleeve)

Skirts/Pants

  1. Brown tweed Hollyburn
  2. Black wool Walking Skirt (need to fix waistband)
  3. Corduroy Ginger
  4. Jean Hollyburn
  5. Nevermore skirt
  6. Green plaid wool skirt (need to add lining)
  7. Jeans

Tops

  1. Plain black T-shirt (short sleeve)
  2. White sweetheart T-shirt (short sleeve)
  3. Gray cropped V-neck (elbow-length)
  4. Black wrap top (elbow-length)
  5. Cream turtleneck (long sleeve)
  6. Black cameo Bronte (long sleeve)
  7. Black Weekender tunic (long sleeve)

Outerwear

  1. Black corduroy blazer
  2. Pumpkin corduroy blazer
  3. Black fleece zip-up hoodie
  4. Bottle green wool sweater
  5. Black or gray wool sweater?
  6. Heavy black wool coat

Accessories

  1. Slips
  2. Tights & socks
  3. Black boots
  4. Brown oxfords
  5. Scarves
  6. Brown satchel
  7. Black She Who Sews Dottie bag
  8. Black leather gloves
  9. Brown leather gloves

Weekender Tunic

I acquired the Craftsy Weekender Dress pattern as part of a kit and while I had some issues with it, I found the resulting dress to be both comfortable and flattering. So when I came across this tunic version on Patterns Reviews, I was immediately inspired to make my own version.

wtunic4(And then I got stalled out at some point and set it aside for like 3 months? But it’s finished at last!)

Just a couple of differences in my version: I didn’t use lace for the waistband and, obviously, I made it long-sleeved (with a bit of a bell shape at the cuffs).

wtunic2Like the dress, I think the top turned out quite flattering (and comfortable).

wtunic3I’m kind of wondering why I included this in my “spring/summer” capsule wardrobe since at this point it may be too warm for long sleeves (well, that aren’t an outer layer that can be removed). Oh well! It’s ready for fall, at least.

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It’s been so long since I started this that I can’t remember where the fabric came from. Pretty sure it’s either cotton jersey or a cotton spandex knit from Girl Charlee. The lace is just the borders from a wide piece of stretch lace I got at a local fabric store.

About that capsule wardrobe . . . Now that we’ve had a few warm days and I’ve been wearing more of my warm-weather clothes, I’ve realized that my favorite, favorite thing right now is layering knee-length dresses over ruffled midi or maxi skirts. So I’ve moved a couple of tops into dresses and added some underskirts. I’ve also realized that I have a couple more pieces in my closet that are still workable even though my initial intention had been to replace them and/or I didn’t originally think they would work well with the other pieces. In the process, my 22-piece wardrobe has grown to 25. Oops. I think some of these may not really be necessary (and it’s possible that once I start wearing them I’ll find that actually some don’t get worn much even though right now I really, really want to make them). Well, it’s a learning process! Here’s my much-modified and updated plan:

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe Sewing Queue

Skirts

  1. MAKE: Knee-length Hollyburn in black cotton poplin; white lining with white eyelet ruffle (longer than overskirt); contour waistband; elastic in back of waistband
  2. MAKE: Maxi petticoat skirt in black voile, gathered at waist with back elastic
  3. DONE: Brown midi petticoat skirt (decided to keep this as-is after all)
  4. IN PROCESS: Blue denim Hollyburn–need to take in waistband
  5. IN PROCESS: Black floral circle skirt with attached black eyelet petticoat–need to replace waistband
  6. DONE: White midi petticoat (made this sometime last year, but am now considering it part of this capsule wardrobe)
  7. IN PROCESS: Brown maxi petticoat skirt (this needs a new waistband and closure–like most of my half-finished projects, haha–but would work well in the wardrobe if I fix it!)

Tops

  1. DONE: Sweetheart t-shirt in white interlock (from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual)
  2. MAKE: Sweetheart t-shirt in black jersey (keeping this on the list after all since while I do have a couple of black t-shirts, they’re not quite right–and now I know the Sweetheart tee works well)
  3. DONE: Peplum top from Lady Skater in cream jersey
  4. HAVE: Black & white polka dot Bronte top
  5. HAVE: Gray & black horses print Bronte top
  6. DONE: Black tunic top from Weekender Dress pattern
  7. IN PROCESS: Black gauze top–need to add shirring to waist

Dresses

  1. HAVE: Gray floral Lady Skater
  2. HAVE: Black and gray Weekender Dress
  3. HAVE: Green and pink floral Lady Skater
  4. HAVE: Green knee-length dress with neck ties (purchased)
  5. MAKE: Green Lady Skater w/ collar and back zip
  6. MAKE: Dress in black interlock with Nevermore collar (Simplicity 1699 view B, however, may use the Lady Skater for this, too)

Outerwear

  1. MAKE: Long-sleeve bolero in gray (or black?) linen or laceweight sweater knit or lightweight sweatshirt fleece (Butterick 5232) (currently, I’m jonesing for a ballet cardigan instead, so may change this)
  2. HAVE: Olive military jacket (purchased, but need to fix closures)
  3. HAVE: Gray jersey elbow-length cardigan w/ ruffles (purchased)
  4. HAVE: Black and cream lightweight sweater knit cardigan (purchased)
  5. HAVE: Jean jacket (purchased)