For this version, I used a beautiful, striped merino jersey from The Fabric Store. It looks like my stripes might be sold out but there are other options that are equally as beautiful. It’s a lovely weight fabric for layering, or for wearing alone in Fall. I love merino jersey because it is soft and comfy to wear. It’s warm! And very importantly, it launders well.
With a few exceptions (coating fabrics, dry clean only plans), I wash all my fabric hard (on hot) and put them in the dryer (on hot) before sewing with them. I do this to make sure there’s no chance of future shrinkage or change when my finished garments accidentally get thrown in the dryer in the future. I’ll usually still try to gently wash my “nice” finished garments, but I know at some point they’ll all end up in the dryer, accidentally or not. I’ve learnt from experience that life gets in the way of garment care in my house. I’ve also found that if I choose quality fabrics, they are usually tougher than you imagine. I sew day-to-day clothes using plenty of silk, linen, wool, and cotton. I haven’t (nor have my washing helpers) destroyed a single fabric yet!
But back to this great cardi. I made very few modifications. I lengthened it by a few inches (3-4 inches for the hem and 1-2 inches for the sleeves). I also cut the back piece as one, and widened the shoulder seams to accommodate my swimmer shoulders. My binding is a little wider than the pattern suggests. I just went with the width that I thought would look better for this striped pattern.
I know I will get a lot of wear out of this great cardi. Merino knit is probably one of my favourite fabrics to wear in Winter and Fall.
My second Fall project for 2018 is this linen dress. I love the oversized style of it!
I used Vogue pattern 9186 and a beautiful medium weight linen (Hampton Stripe) from Pitt Trading Fabrics in Australia (obviously they ship internationally ;-)). The fabric is truly beautiful. I think they may have sold out of this now, but I imagine it would have made a great pair of trousers or a blazer too. No lining required.
I altered this pattern a little. I did my usual broad shoulder adjustment at the shoulder seams. I took a photo this time too!
I also lengthened the hem by about 14 inches. This turned out to be a little too much on one side because of the asymmetrical nature of the dress. I ended up chopping off a corner and piecing the hem a little to create a more even hem, whilst still maintaining a good length.
I really LOVE the sleeves and placket and the fit and shape of the dress. I’m not so sure about the elastic casing at the waist. I loved the dress without, but there is excess fabric on one side of the dress to allow for the ruching. I sewed the elastic casing in and then unpicked most of it because I didn’t like the look. I don’t mind keeping just a little section on one side. I will sew this pattern again, but I’ll probably cut the front and back on the fold and ditch the elastic casing and extra fabric on the other side.
Introducing my first Fall sewing project. I’ve also been wearing this dress quite a bit already (even though the weather is hardly Fall-like yet here in KC).
The pattern I used is the Lois Dress pattern by Tessuti Fabrics. I made very few changes to the pattern, only altering it a little to fit my shape. My body measurements aren’t that well aligned with Tessuti Patterns sizing. My bust is two sizes larger than my hips and waist, and is mostly due to my back width rather than cup size. Technically, I also should have graded it down a third size for the hips but I try to avoid such a big difference between top and bottom, or err on the side of more ease around my hips. I learnt a long time ago, that trying to fit a body too perfectly can sometimes exaggerate or emphasize body shape, or in particular the imbalances that we all have (imbalances are good and normal by the way!). I don’t particularly like looking like a triangle with broad shoulders and slim hips, so if I’m making a dress, I’ll fit my shoulders more precisely, and allow a bit of extra movement or ease around the hips to give the illusion of a bit more size there.
I made my usual shoulder seam alteration. I add about 5/8″ to the width of these seams on both sides. I also added a front seam (as my fabric was a little narrow) and about two inches to the length of the dress. The bodice V-neck probably sits a little higher on me because of my height. The under bust seam and waist seam also probably sits a little higher and tighter than it is intended (because it sits higher it catches my rib cage and lats a little), but I actually really love the fit at this level. What I will change next time is the side darts, which are ingeniously positioned to incorporate a side zipper. I think I will try lengthening them a little to hit my hips at a more true position for me.
The fabric that I used for this pattern is thrifted Liberty of London. I picked it up at an Estate sale a few years ago. It even came with a sew-on Liberty tag. I think it is a wool blend, possibly lantana. I’m super happy with how this dress turned out. I plan on layering it up in Winter to wear to work. I also can’t wait to sew this pattern again, but in a lovely drapey silk next time!