Friday, May 22, 2015

A couple of awesome basics, or "I sew all the cropped things."

Linden Sweatshirt and Lisette Top

Today I'm here to share a couple of pieces that I've made this month but haven't blogged ... mostly because I've been wearing them all the time! Isn't that the best? Especially since it's Me-Made-May, and I need all the comfy and practical me-mades I can get right now.

First up, above, is my new Linden Sweatshirt. Since I made this a couple weeks ago, I've been wearing it as often as I can! I love it!

As you know, I made my first Linden from a thrifted Izod sweatshirt, and while it's not perfect, I wear it often. It's perfect for lounging on cool Oakland evenings. So I knew I wanted to make more of these. For this Linden, I used a really nice marbled red hemp/cotton french terry that I bought at Stonemountain. This stuff was not cheap (it's this but in a different color) but it just screams "quality." It washed and sewed beautifully, and had a nicer drape than 100% cotton sweatshirt fleece. I normally could care less about "hemp" in my fabric but this stuff is so nice. The marbled color gives the fabric a lot of depth and it feels wonderful on.

When I saw that Kelly at Cut Cut Sew made a shorter sleeved cropped version of the Linden with what looks like this exact fabric (but in blue), I knew I had to copy her exactly! So this is the Linden Sweatshirt in the cropped length and short sleeves, with a hem band and sleeve cuffs. I know I've expressed some skepticism about "cropped" shirts, but the length of this sweatshirt is just perfect. It dips down so slightly in the back ... very flattering.

This is such a simple, great pattern! I need more! I have already bought another piece of really luxurious french terry, this time a remnant at Harts Fabrics in Santa Cruz (I just so happened to be traveling to Monterey for a business trip, and ... the rest is history), and I'm ready to make another one.

So here's where I pretend to be Jen from Grainline:

Linden Sweatshirt and Lisette Top

What do you think? Not bad, right? Hehe. That was fun.

Linden Sweatshirt and Lisette Top

Okay, next up is another practical cropped item: the top from Lisette's Butterick 6182. I made the skirt recently, and I love it. I knew I wanted to make the top ASAP, in a drapey material. So I went hunting through my pile of rayon challis, and found a yard of Anna Maria Horner's rayon challis "Sinister Swarm" (I can't find any online sources to link to right now, but I think it's still obtainable if you're willing to search). I love this fabric, and figured it would be perfect for a simple slouchy top.


Yeah, well ... not so much. Major fabric choice error here! See, this pattern has seams down the center front and center back, with cute little darts emanating from the center front. I would not recommend choosing a large scale print for this pattern! When I first cut it out, I thought, "no problem, I don't need to match the patterns, random will be fine."

And this is what happened. Um. Not matched. Also not random. At all. DOH!!!

I was really frustrated and put it aside for a while. But the fabric was too good to spoil, so eventually I just sucked it up and ordered another yard of this fabric and actually matched it across the front and replaced that piece. Major waste of fabric here! Argh. Never again!

Then the project turned out to be double-cursed, when I mistakenly serged part of the front onto the CF seam allowance. At that point I just about cried. I carefully unpicked as much as I could, but there was an area with a very small tear. I wasn't about to replace that piece AGAIN, so I decided to iron a little fusible interfacing on the back and call it a day.

Here, I sloppily circled the area of fraying right near the CF seam. It's there, but it's pretty unnoticeable right now. I just hope it doesn't get worse!

Linden Sweatshirt and Lisette Top

Luckily with such a busy print, it's pretty unnoticeable and the top is still wearable. We'll see how it holds up over time ... have you ever had a project that just seemed cursed? This was one of those.

Linden Sweatshirt and Lisette Top

The thing is, even though this particular project was a bit cursed, I really love this top and I will absolutely be making more of these. I used a straight size 12 and made no modifications to the top besides adding about 2 inches to the length. Even with that extra length I would consider this a "cropped" top.  The surprise is how wearable I'm finding it. It looks really great with my high waisted skirts and jeans. When I make it again, I may add a couple more inches to the length, to allow for tucking in, but I actually really like the short length just to shake things up. I already have a really nice piece of solid (!!!) burgundy rayon twill set aside for another one of these tops. I think a solid will really show off the unusual lines of the top.

Once again, sometimes it's the simplest and easiest sewing projects that get the most wear. What I'm learning is that I can make myself a whole wardrobe of relatively simple pieces, and I'm actually as likely to love those pieces as the more complex items. 

Have you ever had a relatively simple project (or fabric) that carried some kind of evil curse?


  1. I love your Linden, very comfy-chic.
    My most worn item is a basic Kwik-sew tee, in stretchy black cotton lycra. I wear it every Saturday, through Winter, to footy/netty. I can feed in it, it is warm, but not too warm if the sun comes out and layers nicely underway leather coat.
    As for cursed sewing, I have made three LTTS Red Riding Hood capes and they always take forever. I read blogs were girls claim they made one in an hour. Well, they must be on good drugs because I have never got one done in under two. And that is flat out!

    Always lovely to see your smile Inder.
    xx N

  2. Both look great! I am impressed at your pattern matching as it never would have occurred to me that there were seams in the front of the shirt if you hadn't mentioned it. Now that I know which pattern it is, I think you improved upon it by lengthening the top. I can't do crops - they don't work for my body, but with the added length it is really cute!

  3. Great fabric for your linden. I must try the short sleeved version next! Glad to see your version of the lisette top. The pattern caught my eye but you've convinced me I need it. Sucks to have so many problems with a project but it turned out really well!

  4. I LOVE your Linden! The color is gorgeous and it looks super comfy. Sorry about the top, I have definitely had projects like that:/ Glad it's wearable, though.

  5. First of all, I love your Jen from Grainline pose. I might have to add that to my standard three blog post poses! I really like both of your tops. I made my first cropped Linden with the bands added and I am surprised how much I like it. I have that Lisette pattern and I'm glad you said you lengthened it. I will have to add a few inches to it, I'm sure. And lastly, I just finished what I thought was going to be a simple tee shirt that I made too short, added wavy bands to the bottom, then cut a hole in it when I was trying to fix the bands. It wasn't even fabric I really cared too much about but I was determined not to let that silly t-shirt become a wadder.

  6. Ah so now the short-sleeved Linden makes total sense! I just didn't get it before. But yours looks completely fab. Maybe it's the addition of the bands? In any case I love it. I am partway through my first Linden right now and I suspect I'll live in it.
    The rayon top is just lovely too and I hope it holds up, because it really suits you. I manage to royally frock things up with projects I've made before, so I'm just expecting to sail through, and then I'll overlock a sleeve to a neck hole or something. Note to self: watch out for Linden #2.

  7. The sweatshirt looks so wonderfully comfortable and useful! And I love that fabric- the texture and the color. Nice work powering through on the second shirt. I've definitely had cursed projects that just wouldn't cooperate.


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