Shirts, a skirt, and a new platform

March 21, 2016

Deer&Doe Fumeterre in a Renfrew sandwich.

I don't love change. Sure, I don't mind a little house remodel or tweak to my haircut, but mess with my routine, and I'll give you the stink-eye. So what do I do when Google takes away my photo site? I spend the next few weeks looking at photo-sharing sites and end up creating my own website.

For a week I fought with Blogger, trying to make a buggy template bend to my will. I finally made my way to the service I thought I wanted from the beginning, SmugMug. Of course I had to try the free service first. But I got what I paid for. So here I am, stepping out of my comfort zone and creating a blog (but one built into a photo site, so that makes me a bit more comfortable). This first entry will likely be far more verbose than any that follow. It's also a big experiment on how I want to present my photos in the future. 

On my last Picasa entry, I promised T-shirts, so here they are: a couple of Sewaholic Renfrews. I decided to revisit the scoop neckline. This waffle knit from Fabric Recycles had poor recovery, so I knew it would not work to make the binding out of self-fabric. Hence a trip to Modern Makers, where the store owner (I think her name is Elizabeth) had just gotten in this ivory rib knit a couple of hours before. Score! You might remember my first sad scoop neckline from 2013. I've given up on that pretty but unwearable shirt. But hey, rib knit saved the day!

If I remember correctly, the rib knit is an organic cotton from Birch, but it's no longer on the web site. According to my notes (I tried really hard to take good notes for all these projects), I shortened the neckband by 3 inches from the size 4 pattern piece.

I also took in the side seams by a half-inch.

And then I made another!

I saw Stitchology post several merino knits on the Facebook page this winter, and I resisted. But then Melisa had to go and post another picture while I was finishing my second Colette Wren. (I hope those Picasa links hold up — please Google! EDIT: Those links so didn't hold up, so I've updated them to links within this site.) I loved working with that merino, sooooo I called her and ordered a couple of colors.

So worth it.

I can wear this V-neck well into the spring. I had enough leftover to make a tank, too, but I forgot to take pictures of it. The only change in fit this time was to let the side seams out at the bust. Different fabrics make for widely different fit.

I also bought black, which I plan to make into a skirt in the next few weeks. But I have many sewing plans, so who knows what will actually keep my attention.

And then I made a lovely warm, wool skirt.

Pictured with my chambray Alma.

Just in time for spring to arrive more than a month early. I finished this about Valentine's Day, when highs were around freezing. And the highs promptly shot up to the 60s.

I finally wore this at the beginning of March on a sunny 50-degree day. Didn't even need tights. I was surprised the fabric (from Fabric Recycles) didn't itch without them.

Pattern is Fumeterre from Deer&Doe. I was so excited about this pattern (and the Cardamome, which is also in my sewing plans for the next few weeks) when it came out in the fall that I had Stitchology mail it to me. And then I didn't get around to it until now.

But that's OK because I love it!

Next time I plan to use a medium-weight fabric for View A with the button front.

But aren't the patch pockets for View B fantastic?

I got to use a new tool throughout this project. I bought a walking foot late last year. I'd used it a few times before this project, and it's been super useful, especially with some of the slippery fabric I've used recently. But matching plaids went smoother than usual. A pricey accessory, but I'll use the hell out of it. Also, brag moment: That center front seam is invisible below the fly!

I didn't love that the instructions called for a portion of the back waistband to have a band of elastic. I briefly considered interfacing the waistband like normal but gave this technique a try. I thought it night look wavy and ugly, but it turned out just fine. And it is quite comfortable.

As for the construction details, I cut size 38 and made only two changes. I cut 1.25 inches from the length (and made corresponding adjustments to the hem facing) and interfaced the left fly extension. Which reminds me, I recall this being one of the easiest and simplest flies to construct.

I'm not going to complain about our unusually nice Kansas City weather, but I am a little bummed I don't get to wear this more this season. I'll make sure I wear the hell out of it next winter. I feel super cute in it!

Detail shot purge:

Top left: Cutting on the bias meant I didn't have to match plaids at the pockets!  Top right: No weird waviness from the elastic. Good idea, Deer&Doe. Sorry I doubted you. Bottom left:Button is from my stash. It looks like it's leftover from my seersucker Thurlows. Bottom right: Hem facing is wool gabardine from Mikey's skinny Jeds.

All right, if you'd made it this far, congratulations! You've come to the last project, Nell by A Verb for Keeping Warm.

Mikey talked me into this shirt pattern while we were in Portland last year. I bought it at Modern Domestic (along with a French terry I haven't yet decided how to use), which is down the street from Bolt, where I got that lovely purple merino knit.

I wasn't sure about this pattern because I generally prefer fitted tops. But with this rayon from Fabric Recycles, it's perfect. The fabric has just enough weight to give it some structure but has the drape needed to give this pattern shape. I cut the smallest size and then took in the side seams a half-inch, grading to no change at the hips.

The instructions indicate the collar can be worn up or down, but I couldn't get it to point down. It actually doesn't bother me. I should have taken a picture of the inside, but I forgot. I folded the bottom of the back facing under twice and stitched it as a hem. I considered topstitching it to the shirt back, and that will probably look nice on a future version. I made sure to catch the rest of the facing in as many other seams (shoulder topstitching, sleeve) as I could to keep it from flopping around. All other seams are finished with French seams.

I considered interfacing the front panel or facing. Maybe I should have because the front collar is a little floppy. I would definitely stick to a light interfacing. I used black cotton fusible interfacing on the back collar facing.

It's not too bad. Looks better on me than my dress form, so that works out OK. Also, those gathers are pretty.

I stitched the center front seam of the front panel with a slightly small seam allowance to get a white pinstripe down the middle. It was tricky because that stripe is so thin, but it was necessary  because it looked funny all black down the middle.

I spent about half my construction time on these cuffs. First I pinned like crazy to match the stripes on the cuff and facing. After attaching the cuff, I tried to pin the facing in place but stabbed myself several times in the thumb because the cuff is just so deep. It made machine stitching tricky, too. So I catch stitched the facing to the sleeve by hand after topstitching it. Next time I'll do that in reverse order.

Every time I put the shirt on the sleeves feel short because of the notch, but it hits perfectly on my thumb side.

It turns out Mikey talked me into a good one. I like this pattern. I want to make it again with contrast cuff and front panel facings.

Also, I'm getting better with the Nikon remote app on my iPhone.

So what do you think? Do you like this format better than a click-through album. If you like both, I could probably copy and paste most of this information into the captions in the gallery. (Did you notice if you click on a photo, it takes you to the gallery for this entry?) What do you think of the design? How does it load on mobile devices? Are there any colors or layouts that make your eye twitch? Please leave me feedback in the comments, or email me. Please don't be mad at me if I don't use your suggestion. This website will be an ongoing experiment, and I want to know your opinions!

  • Amy Schmitz

    on April 5, 2016

    Kristen, thank you! Have fun, and definitely go to Fabric Recycles. I usually go to the location in Overland Park because I'm over there about once a week, but the one in Lee's Summit is bigger.

  • Kristen Weigand

    on March 23, 2016

    Love it, you are such a great seamstress. I'm trying to sew more often and mostly in knits so getting inspiration from you. Also I'd never heard of Fabic Recycles, going to check out.

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