Foxglove Tank and Dress

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I’ve had my eye on the Foxglove Tank by Selvage Designs for a pretty long time. I remember first seeing on Indie Sew as that site was coming on the scene. I didn’t buy it for a while because it was more expensive than other woven tank patterns and I was still leaning about all that goes into putting a sewing pattern together. Not that I’m an expert by any means but after a year of really regularly following a bunch of indie pattern designers I feel like I have enough of a sense of the workload that I definitely don’t feel like I’m overpaying for a $12 pattern as long as it’s a good one.

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And this one is! The pattern goes together easily, there are only two pattern pieces, the instructions are thorough, and the construction is straight forward.

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Continuing in my tradition of making two versions of easy patterns (which totally defeats what I’m usually going for, a quick sew) I dove in with a bunch of double gauze and made a tank and a tank dress.

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I was inspired to make this pattern when I finally gave in and bought some Cotton & Steel Bespoke double gauze last weekend. After I got home I decided that I wanted to try turning the pattern into a tank dress but of course I hadn’t bought enough fabric for that. So I dug up this Kokka broken plaid double gauze that I bought last year and never cut into.

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I made two modifications in order to turn this pattern into a dress. The first was to lengthen both the front and back pieces by 6″ at the lengthen/shorten lines. The second was to lower the front hemline. The original hemline is a high/low hemline. I wanted to maintain the low in the back and mirror the shape, though not quite as low, in the front. Basically I wanted to create a shirttail hem with the pattern pieces I had.

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After making the pattern modifications I cut out my fabric and got sewing. Nothing special about the construction for either of these. I used french seams on the shoulders and side seams which is one of several suggested finishing methods in the pattern. Bias binding around the necklines and armholes and narrow hems finished off these quick makes.

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The only thing I’d like to fix when I make this pattern again is to open up the neckline and the armholes a bit. I’m fine with the style of the higher neckline but it’s actually a bit challenging to get over my head! The armholes are also a bit higher than I’d like so the top feels a little tighter than it actually is. Opening both of those up will be easy and give me the perfect fit I’m looking for.

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I’m so happy to add two new double gauze items to my wardrobe. My double gauze Eucalypt tank got lots of wear during Me Made May and I’m glad I was able to make more pieces out of this fabulous fabric. These are both incredibly comfortable. The Foxglove pattern is also usable with knit fabric and I’d like to give a knit version a try soon!!

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Details:

Pattern: Foxglove Tank by Selvage Designs

Fabric: Kokka Broken Plaid double gauze from Gooba Designs on Etsy and Cotton & Steel Bespoke double gauze from JP Knit & Stitch

-Hannah

 

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Mini Collection One–The Reunions

I mentioned in my Me Made May round-up that I was going to try a new method for planning out sewing projects. Instead of making a crazy long, exhaustive list of everything I want to make for a given season I’m going to try focusing my plans on mini collections for specific trips or events. So here’s my first one…

This mini collection is for two reunions that I’m headed to this month, my husband’s family reunion next weekend and my ten-year high school reunion the weekend after. Because my timeline is fairly short I’ve limited this collection to four garments, one of which I actually finished last night and another of which is in progress. Here’s what I’m planning:

My first project, now completed, is a tank dress that is a modified version of the Foxglove Tank pattern. I’ll post more details about how I modified the pattern very soon. **Update: Info on modifications for the turning the Foxglove into a dress are posted here. **

My in progress item is a maxi-length linen Southport Dress. I bought this pattern the day it came out and quickly matched it up with this gorgeous turquoise linen. I got started on this last month but it got pushed to the back burner for a while in favor of some faster projects. This really shouldn’t be a long project either. I think this is going to be an incredibly comfortable dress so I’m hoping to get it finished soon!

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My next two projects have not been started yet but will hopefully be fairly simple makes too. First off is the Cabernet Cardigan which I’m planning to make in this black sweater knit. I think this fabric is a little on the light side for the pattern but is a very similar weight to a store-bought cardigan in much the same style as the Cabernet. I’ve been wanting to add more cardigans like this to my wardrobe and I’m anxious to see if this pattern fits the bill.

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Last but certainly not least, I’m going to give the Greenwood Tank a try. This pattern looks like it’ll produce exactly the sort of tank I tend to wear most so I’m hopeful this will become a quick staple for my wardrobe. I’m planning to make it in this dark green jersey. This should be another easy make and I’m looking forward to using the pattern for some interesting variations later in the summer.

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What do you have for summer sewing plans? Any trips or events you’re planning to sew for?

-Hannah

Me Made May Round-Up Part Two

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I’m feeling very proud of how well I did with Me Made May. I had two goals when I signed up, the more measurable goal was to wear a minimum of three me-mades each week. I achieved this goal easily, and then some!

I wore handmade clothing 27 out of 31 days (I didn’t get photographs on two of those). At least two of those four days that I didn’t wear something handmade I also just didn’t get dressed. I’m a lazy Sunday sort of person! I guess this just means I need some me made pajamas!! There were six garments that were repeated at least once but even with those repeats I managed to wear 20 unique handmade garments in May!

Here are links for all of the garments that I’ve written posts about:

My other, less quantifiable, goal for Me Made May participation was to use the experience of trying to wear me-made for the month to clarify my sewing aspirations. I don’t have any enormous revelations here but I’ve certainly learned lots from the experience.

The first lesson is one I was expecting, and probably one that many of us have learned over and over again. DRESSES ARE FUN TO MAKE, BUT IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO WEAR ONE TO WORK EVERY DAY IT’S TIME TO STOP MAKING THEM!!

What is it about dresses? Sure they’re less work than making pants and a blazer but they’re not an insubstantial amount of work. Why are they so captivating? I’m a nanny so technically I can wear whatever I want to work but of course the goal is that I’m comfortable, not worried that anything that happens to my clothing is going to permanently harm it, and most of all that I can run after a three and a half year old in it. This doesn’t rule out dresses for me entirely but generally I need to stick with things that are really washable, roomy, and long enough that I can bend over easily. I have some dresses that fit the bill but for the most part separates just work better. I don’t need to swear off making dresses but should focus more attention on separates that I can wear day to day. Those are the things that I wore the most during May.

The second lesson, and one that I’m still learning, is that it’s ok if I don’t want to sew certain things, it’s ok if I like my Gap tanks and tees. I’m still in the process of figuring out which basics and wardrobe staples I want to spend time sewing and which I don’t. I’m really excited about the pair of jeans I made and I’m looking forward to making more of them. But I don’t want to make long sleeve t-shirts or knit tanks in basic colors. Making super basic items in the same fabrics I can purchase RTW items, not my cup of tea! I know it is for some people and I’m not swearing off making these things. If it’s what I or someone else really wants to make there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But sewing is an escape for me and deciding that I “should” be making basic tees when I could buy them (likely for less than the cost of the fabric I’d need to make them) takes away from sewing as a soothing activity for me.

My third lesson is really less of a lesson and more of a puzzle that I’m still trying to figure out. That puzzle is all about how I make my sewing plans, stick to them, and get through some of my massive stash of fabric. About six weeks ago I posted here about my summer sewing plans. It included eight garments in May, five garments and a bag in June and six garments in July. I actually sewed quite a bit in May. I made, from start to finish, six garments as well as working on but not yet completing three others. That’s a really productive month for me but unfortunately only one of my finished garments and one of in progress garments were on my list. I’m really happy with the garments I have made but there are also several things on my list for May that I was excited about and would still really like to make.

I think this means that I need to come up with a better system for planning. While I like the idea of having a long list of projects I’d like to get to at some point having three months of sewing all planned out has felt limiting. One thing that I can find a bit overwhelming about the online sewing community is that there are so many patterns coming out all the time and sometimes I just want to jump on the bandwagon and kiss my plans goodbye.

One idea that’s resurfaced several times as this topic has been percolating in my brain is to try to focus myself on really mini collections, the sort that would be perfect for a weekend getaway. I have several shorter trips planned in the next several months and focusing myself on three or four items to make for each of those instead of trying to have one massive plan for a whole season’s wardrobe seems easier. I’ll be back later this week to tell you about my first mini collection.

So there are my Me Made May thoughts. How did Me Made May go if you were participating? Do you plan out large numbers of projects or just sew whatever is on your mind?

-Hannah

Summer Sewing Plans

As I’m nearing the end of my spring sewing list it’s time to plan out the next goals. It’s totally possible that I am completely overestimating the time I’ll have for sewing in the next couple months. I have a crazy ambitious list of things on my summer sewing list. There are several items that I want to make duplicates of in addition to several patterns that I’ve used previously. Hopefully that will help these projects happen more easily.

In an attempt to tame some of the crazy I’ve grouped these in three chunks.

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May

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June

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July

So those are my plans, crazily ambitious ones, I know. Anything I’m missing?

-Hannah