Striped Jersey Top

I made this top for someone I work with. She is always so helpful when she doesn’t have to be and admires my other sewing projects when I wear them to work. She is also a sewer but some vision problems prohibit lots of sewing in her life. She is also very crafty, making her own jewelry for friends and family so I knew she would appreciate and wear this top. I found that jersey was on sale at the fabric store and I bought her favorite colors, purple, black, and gray for minimal cost.  I zig zagged the jersey to keep it from pulling the threads out and cut the stripes wide since some people don’t like thin stripes.  I went for a vertical stripe to keep things flattering–horizontal stripes aren’t always flattering to some either.

I started by sewing the stripes together and then added the neck piece and hem piece.  I sewed the shoulder seams together and finished with the side seams, trimming along the way to make sure things were even throughout. This top only took a few hours to put together, a simple beginner or afternoon project if you have measurements handy.

I used a three inch piece of gray jersey on top to sew the shoulders together and give a nice cowl to the neckline without there being a black and purple seam to get in the way. I had seen some other shirts with diagonal stripes but thought this would suit the person I was giving it too a little nicer. I kept the back simple with solid gray knowing the recipient wears sweaters/cardigans almost every day and scarves regularly. This stripe block wouldn’t get in the way of a scarf of necklace and compliment most colors within range without being too busy. She loved the gift and the flowy nature of the jersey made it compliment her nicely.

I left the sleeves and hem un-hemmed since the jersey won’t fray and will curl up and  look super cute. Zig zag yours if it bothers you!

Silky Breezy Tunic Top

I found this piece of fabric in the remnant bin and *score!* less than $5 for the investment. I had a shirt made of similar fabric from Target and I wanted to replicate it. I splurged on two spools of elastic thread in hopes of working some more magic. I have never used elastic thread and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was. The hardest part of rewinding it by hand. I did hit a few snags on this thin fabric but some minor adjustments were not a bother.

I didn’t even bother to make top shoulder seams on this fabric, the weight and drape of it were great and instead I just cut a head hole that I also sewed up with elastic thread to give it some more interest and pull. I used six rows of elastic thread right around my waist line to form some shape. I also kept the top nice and flowy so it can be worn easily by itself with a cami underneath or under a nice blazer/sweater for dressier occasions. I zig zagged the arms, side seams, and hem to help keep the material from unraveling later on. I will wash this in the washer and hang dry. I washed and dried this once (will wash and hang dry from now on) to get the elastic to tighten up.

Sew What Part Deux

I’ve been working my own little sweat shop. Take a look at what else I’ve been crafting.

The scarves were easy enough, no more tutorials needed. A yard of lace and a yard of contrasting cotton made these simple and affordable.  Make sure you wash the fabrics before to make sure nothing gets warped when you do finally wash your new things! Sew right sides together and leave an opening on one end to pull everything through.

My second creation turned out pretty well after a little fitting and repinning/resewing. Thanks to C&C for a great tutorial! This shirt came together in just a few hours in one yard of fabric. I purchased yards of other patterns so make so I could have some comfortable shirts to wear under cardigans/blazers for work.  I find that most shirts are either too informal or too sheer/see through and while I can appreciate wearing cami’s and other shirts, sometimes I need some more coverage because it’s getting cold but I don’t want long sleeves. I also want something that’s more wash and wear instead of any kind of delicate/hand wash/complicated washing instructions involved.

I’ve got a few more shirts on deck for when I have time on weekends to bust some things out!

I’ve Been Sewing….

It’s true: I can sew.  My wonderful Mema taught me when I was a kid. I had her old sewing machine for years before it finally got tired, retired, and then just died.  I wished I could have kept it but it would have cost an arm and a leg to fix and I am still in a somewhat nomadic stage of life. Moving is not conducive to moving a non-working gadget.  I was sad to part with it.  My mother quickly bought me a new Singer but I can still see my Mema’s mint/olive green machine because I spent so many years sitting in front of it, beside it with a stitch picker, and around it as the center of many hours spent with my Mema. My mother is also a very talented seamstress. She took to sewing prom gowns, wedding gowns, Halloween costumes, and everything in between. I credit both of these women to my sewing successes and with hours of patience and ‘right sides together’ I can sew pretty well. Enough to hem pants, mend things, resize things, and dabble when I have the time.

I’d wanted some place mats for eating and for photos for the blog.  I used to have all kinds of linens but truth be told, I purged many of these things when I was getting divorced.  The physical things felt like emotional baggage so I parted/donated/gave away all of the sets I had from before I moved to start my PhD. It’s not all sad, they were from big box stores and didn’t have a whole lot of personality.

I used pre-cut fabric squares that were 18×21 from the fabric store. Wash and dry your fabric before you sew! It does shrink! I followed an awesome online tutorial from Vixen Made so I don’t feel like I need to reinvent the wheel here! She gives great instructions so just follow along!

Pinterest has fueled my sewing craze and while practice makes perfect, most of my projects are far from perfect but that’s what gives things personality right?? That’s what I keep telling myself anyway… 😉 The next task I tried was adding side panels to some summer shirts that have shrunk and warped through summer wear.  I would also like to say this is an excellent way to get some more miles out of cheap summer shirts that you find on sale that are too small or for maternity alterations.  I bought some fat squares and sliced them up for these shirts I scored at Loft a few months back. This tutorial was pretty helpful and a few new seams were easy to do!

Scarflette’s have been a lot of fun to put together! Seriously!  I went hunting at the local Good Will stores for mens L and XL sweaters and even found some old coats and sweaters to take the buttons off of (notions are usually the most expensive part of any sewing project) for just a few dollars.  Yes, I am THAT person who cuts the buttons off and then re-donates, don’t worry, I’ve only done it once 🙂

These turned out super adorbs and I sent the black one off to FL to a good friend from grad school!

Want to check out my sewing Pinterest board for ideas for yourself? Check it out! 

I’ll show you what else I’ve been sewing next week!