The Wendy Top Simplicity 3964 for Core Wardrobe building

Wendy Top

My blogging calendar says I should be planning ahead for fall and I even worked up a long sleeve tee in obedience, but the summer heat says “Sun’s out Guns out” and who am I to argue. I still need summer pieces for my Core Wardrobe.

There are a lot of cute woven tanks roaming about the internet and I have the Ella Top and Isabella Tank on my list, but I decided I’d make up a stash pattern. Simplicity 3964, a Built By Wendy design that I purchased last year.

Wendy Top by mahlicadesigns

I made a few modifications to the pattern. Flutter cap sleeves look dopey on me, so, sleeveless. This was super easy, you just skip the sleeve in the instructions and proceed on to inserting the armhole facing.

Wendy Top S3964 by mahlicadesigns

I decided to do a button and loop for the back closure instead of bias binding for the neckline and a tie. When I was choosing a button, I thought I should see if I could just slip the top on with the back opening closed and voila! No neckline opening is even needed. I unpicked the back opening and sewed it shut (making it a CB seam in the back yoke). I then attached the facing pieces right sides together with the bodice, understitched and turned the facing to the inside to get a cleanly finished neckline without having to use bias binding.

Wendy Top by mahlicadesigns

For a cleaner look, I eliminated a lot of the top stitching  by sewing the back facing and much of the front facing to the seam allowance of their corresponding bodice pieces. I did have to do a little hand stitching around the facing for the insert, but not much.

I used French seams at the sides by sewing 5/8, trimming, pressing, and then sewing again using a 3/8 seam allowance. Looking at my photos I think I took in the sides too much. They are pulling across my high chest though it doesn’t feel snug.

Wendy Top by mahlicadesigns

Now, let’s talk about where this pattern beat me down. Those angles, arrgg. The center front angle on the insert just would not come out sharply or without a pucker. Dang it. After many tries, I just said good enough and moved on. With pressing it doesn’t look bad, but with wearing the angles start to look mooshy.  I’ve done some post make investigating on how to do it better for next time.

wendy Top by mahlicadesigns

Paired up with a closet orphan (an item I have nothing to wear with)

Fabric: Black cotton/poly voile.

Fabric $8  Pattern $12.50  Total $20.50

Simplicity 3964 took me about 6 hours including extra time for some hand stitching.

Summer StashAThon SQ2

Throwback Sew Days with Butterick 5029

Me Made May was quite a spark for me to continue evaluating my wardrobe.  I had already paired down my closet and done a little work with the Wardrobe Architect series, so taking pictures and trying to make outfits during MeMadeMay was a logical step in continuing the process. So, while digging through my closet for me made clothes to wear,  I was confronted with my decision to save anything handmade from my initial paring down session.

Frankly there’s stuff in there that doesn’t get worn much. My solution is to trot it out for all to see and ask you to chime in on it. And hence, my Throwback Sew Days posts begin.

First up for evaluation is this Butterick 5029 dress I made a few years back. It’s a cotton in an almost tribal print detail.

Butterick 5029 by mahlicadesigns

My evaluation: At the time, I modified the front cross over portion of the bodice to cover a bit more. You can see I wasn’t quite successful. I have more coverage but it’s too wide where the ties cross my shoulders. I think putting in a little tuck will make it more narrow at the shoulder and may help with the gapping at the bust. The waist yoke is also a little too wide. I should have adjusted it more for my short waist. There’s no fixing it now.

Butterick 5029 by mahlicadesigns

I go back and forth on if this color is flattering for me, it’s pretty close to my skin tone.

Butterick 5029 by mahlicadesigns

So what do you think? Is it a keeper or should I put it in the upcycle pile?

Charcoal Shorts S1430 for Core Wardrobe building

Charcoal shorts

I got lucky with a good fit on my Cobalt Shorts using simplicity 1430, so I decided to make one more pair in charcoal to fill out the shorts portion of my summer core wardrobe.

Charcoal Shorts by mahlicadesignsToo bad luck doesn’t strike twice. I used a reversible bottom weight in a poly blend from Joann’s. Its a classic and more dressy looking fabric, but I had a harder time with fitting since it has no stretch.

Here are the shorts almost done.

Charcoal Shorts pullingThere’s a little pulling across the front and gapping pockets. From the side you can see the too tight seat is pulling at the hip which is distorting the front.

Charcoal Shorts pulling I let out the center back seam as much as I could for only a minor improvement. I was too lazy to unpick the side seams for a little more help.

Charcoal Shorts by mahicadesignsYeah, not as slimming as one would hope. I guess rear pockets may be in order the next time I feel daring enough to try pants or shorts again.

A few details:

Simplicity 1430 view D size 12. The pattern calls for 1 1/4yrd. For both versions I made used closer to 3/4 yrd.

I narrowed the leg by grading the width at the inseam from 5/8in at the crotch to 1in wide at the hem.

I spent a little extra time cutting out each piece individually to make sure the stripe of the fabric was lined up properly. I used a printed quilting cotton instead for the pocket facing to reduce bulk. (The wrong side of the fabric was a hounds tooth, interesting)

pocket detail

I made a small position adjustment so the top of the zipper would not peak out like on my last version. Next time, I need to take into account that a little wider zipper overlap is needed when using a thicker fabric.

Charcoal Shorts by mahlicadesigns

Simplicity 1430 view D should take you about 6 hours.

Fabric $12*   Zipper $1.50*   Pattern from stash    Total Cost: $13.50

*Price after using discount coupons.


Kirsten Kimono Tee and the Lindy Petal Skirt for Indie Pattern Month


I’m diving into the Indie Pattern Month contest over at The Monthly Stitch. This weeks contest is all about separates. Hey, that’s what I do! This time though, I’m aiming to make them play nicely together. Let’s see.

Kirsten Kimono an Lindy Petal by mahlicadesignsI’m putting together the Lindy Petal Skirt from Itch to Stitch in a size small (blogged here) and a new work up of a personal favorite, the Kirsten Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark with a small modification, in a size medium.

The Lindy was made using a wonderful French terry in charcoal gray from Raspberry Creek, one of my Core Wardrobe colors. I made a size small and shortened the length by 1in. Next time, I may slim down the hip area to reduce some of the lumpiness there. The pattern is well put together, with easy instructions for making alterations. The Lindy is easy to make, a great stash buster at less than 1 yd (for me anyway), and looks so smart.

Kirsten kimono ans Lindy Petal by mahlicadesignsFor my second try at the Kirsten Kimono I sized up to a medium. (first version here). I like my summer tees a little looser, so this fit is better. For something a little different this time I wanted to add a 2in bottom band. I reduced the tee length by 4in when cutting as it was looking pretty long, and then added on the 2in band. The Kirsten Kimono pattern does not include seam allowances, argh, so I trace mine with 3/8in seam allowances for serged seams. The sleeve has a 1in hem allowance added and is sewn down with a stretch stitch.

I used a light weight mystery knit for the Kirsten Kimono, a prize from Elizabeth Made This during Sew Mama Sew’s giveaway day. It’s a bolder color than I would normally choose but I’m so glad I got to try it out.

Lindy Petal Skirt & Kirsten kimono by mahlicadesignsI like the two pieces together, but tucking in the tee gives a little bit of lumpiness under the skirt. Untucked is fine, but only just fine.

Lindy Petal & Kirtsten Kimono by mahlicadesignsTake a look as I pair it with my Cobalt Shorts. I like these two together.

Kirsten Kimono & Cobalt shorts You can check out what others are making for the contest over at The Monthly Stitch.

Me-Made-May ’15 Wrap Up #2

Lindy Petal Skirt

My Me-Made pledge was to wear three handmade items per week. My goal in participating was to use these pictures to help with my Core Wardrobe work.

Week Three I wore: Ann T top, jeans and jacket; Simplicity 2601 blouse and jeans; Peasant Blouse and Lindy Petal Skirt. My observations:  T-shirt and jeans are nothing special, but hey, I wore a belt and jacket too! The silver/gray stripes on the simplicity 2601 blouse are really hard to pair up and I feel the peplum part sits too high on my waist, I think it is giveaway bound. Peasant blouse and skirt go well together, which I’m glad since they are both part of my core wardrobe and thats the point.

Week Four I wore: Orange Zip skirt with silk blouse; Lindy Petal Skirt and knit top. My observations: I like the Lindy skirt and knit top, I don’t look so frumpy. Silk blouse and Orange Zip Skirt are not bad, the poofy skirt would look better with a slimmer black top. Please feel free to chime in with your feedback. Do you think these outfits work? Are they the right shape and color for me? Any suggestions on how to do it better?

Lindy Petal Skirt from Itch To Stitch; Core Wardrobe Building

Lindy Petal Skirt by mahlicadesigns

Lindy Skirt by mahlicadesigns

A lot of times I hem and haw when deciding on a pattern and then spend even more time on fabric. As you may know, I’m slowly working on building my Core Wardrobe. One of the items on my list is a summer weight skirt in charcoal gray. I associate charcoal gray with the winter season, so it’s been a challenge to find a pattern and fabric inspiration for this piece.

Lindy Petal Skirt
Lindy Petal Skirt

The Lindy Petal Skirt pattern was released a couple weeks ago and gave me that ah-ha moment I needed. The Lindy is a knit skirt, which I hadn’t thought of doing, and I had just enough of this rayon terry left over from one of my Jaspers to use. The length, silhouette, and wrap look of the petals all said spring/summer to me.


If you’re looking for a quick and easy sew that ends with a great look the Lindy has what you need. The pattern is free from Itch To Stitch and it looks like she takes care to make quality patterns.

I used a medium weight terry knit, I think using a lighter weight knit like a jersey with a little stretch would be ideal so you don’t get some of the lumpiness at the side seams like mine. Shortening by 1in was my only pattern alteration. I’m 5’4.

So what do you think? Did I get a spring/summer success? I feel pretty good about it.

Oh, and yeah I got a hair cut between photos.

The Lindy Petal Skirt should take you about 1.5  hours.

Fabric $8  Total Cost: $8  Yea, more stash busting.