CHENILLE Sweater for Minerva

My fabric stash and my dresser drawers can attest to the fact that charcoal grey knit is my spirit fabric. I’m sticking to what I love with the grey sweater knit fabric that I chose to make a Chenille Sweater from Kommatia Patterns (now Studio Calicot).

Today you can read about the Chenille that I made for the Minerva blog. You can see the full details here.

Until next time,

Melissa E of mahlicadesigns

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Viewridge top- pattern review

This spring I’m finally getting around to starting in on those woven tanks I’ve been meaning to make for the last three summers. It feels like I have oodles of patterns in the stash to try, but I’m starting with the Viewridge Top from Straight Stitch Designs that I won in last year’s Indie Pattern month on The Monthly Stitch.

 

I like loose fitting tops for summer, but gathers and pleats seem to add too much volume at the bust for my taste. The Viewridge does have small gathers at the front, but I think they are nicely balanced by structured side and yoke pieces.

Viewridge view B includes small gathers at center front. Photo from Straight Stitch Designs

The Viewridge should be pretty easy for an advanced beginner sewist due to the use of bias tape to finish the neckline and arm hole and making even gathers. Even so, I managed to make it difficult on myself. I didn’t press my fabric when I pulled it back out of my stash. Slightly wrinkled shifty and slippery rayon wovens are not fun to cut and I ended up with one piece slightly off grain. I definitely had some hair pulling as I tried to figure out why one piece ended up slightly lopsided (because it was off grain and wrinkly) and how to fix it.

As I was working through that, Rachel of Oakblue Designs was sharing her success in cutting the same type of fabric after treating it with a spray stabilizer. Noted.

I also found a small error on the pattern at the shoulder. The pattern marking doesn’t line up. Use them to help you know which pieces go together, but you’ll be fine lining up these pieces without them.

 

The Pattern: Viewridge Top from Straight Stitch Designs, view B in size 10 and shortened 2in at the adjustment line. I chose a size 10 based on my 37.5in bust measurement. The pattern instructions suggest that for larger cups sizes to try one size larger for the front pattern pieces than you use for the back pieces. I stuck with a straight 10 and feel like it fits well.  Overall I give the pattern an A, the instructions are well put together and the pattern is well drafted. That one misaligned pattern marking is easily overcome.

The Fabric: I picked up this floral rayon a year or so ago at Joann Fabrics. It’s beautiful and unfortunately it was only available for a moment.

 

As always, thanks for reading today.

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through my links, I get a small commission to help pay for my sewing hobby.

You might like: My Ella Cami Set made in the same fabric.

 

Save For Later  Pin this image, so you can come back when you’re ready to start sewing your version.

Ella Cami & Shortie set from Designer Stitch

I got to test out* the new Ella Cami set from Designer Stitch last week and now I feel complete, in the summer pj department : )

I love the loose flowing pieces to keep me cool and feel pretty on trend with the ruffled cami.

You can also style the cami as a summer top. It works perfectly with my Chi Town chino shorts.

The Pattern and my alterations: The Ella Cami set from Designer Stitch includes a cami with ruffled band and a flowing bottom in short or pant length. I made two alterations to the pattern. I’m not a big ruffle person, so I took a total of 10 inches out of the length (front and back) of the ruffle band. I still think there’s plenty of ruffle here. On the shorties I added my usual 1 inch Full Seat Adjustment (FSA) and lowered the rise (front & back) by 3 inches making them a low rise short. If lowering your rise, be sure to check that you are leaving enough room for the elastic casing above the top of your pockets. My casing landed just above the pockets and I might consider lowering it another 3/8in next time so I can secure my pocket bags under the casing seam to keep them in place.

The Fabric I found this delightful Mini Floral rayon woven at Joann Fabrics amongst a ton of polyester in their Silky category. I used about 2 yards for my cami and shorties set.

 

The Ella Cami set and all Designer Stitch patterns are on sale for a limited time. Now’s the time to grab them up.

 

As always, thanks for reading today.

You can follow me on instagramBloglovin, or by entering your email in the right side bar.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, if you purchase through my links I get a small portion to help pay for my sewing hobby.

*I received a free copy of the Ella pattern in exchange for my work reviewing the pattern instructions before release. These are my straight up thoughts on the pattern.

Chi-Town Chinos #SewingDare by mahlicadesigns

A couple months back I took a #SewingDare from Gillian at Crafting A Rainbow. Gillian’s challenge: “I love your mustard skirt, and how it stands out against the neutrals in your wardrobe… so I dare you to make something else bright that can mix and match into your wardrobe!”

My stash is almost all neutrals, so I  grabbed the most colorful fabric in there and started brainstorming. Generally I’m not a florals person, but this cotton twill has moved between my stash and my giveaway pile so many times it’s a little silly. The challenge and the recently released Chi-Town Chinos was a good push to getting cutting.

I really like the chino style of the Chi-Towns and have put the skirt version on my Sew Everything list. I definitely want more of these shorts, but that will have to wait for Spring sewing.

The Pattern: Chi-Town Chinos shorts from Alina Design Co. in size 10 based on my measurements. The pattern includes a shorts or skirt version and four options for back pockets.

I liked that you get all the pattern pieces ready right at the start and that the single piece front pocket is nicely finished with facings and french seams. There is a lot of attention to detail that makes everything about the shorts a step above.

The pattern and instructions have fitting built in, which is great for your first time sewing the pattern. The back pattern piece includes an extension that makes it easy to fit the waist and in my case a fuller seat. The instructions walk you through basting and fitting the back piece before you do your final sew.

I found I did not need the extension or need to do a full butt adjustment in my size, but I did have a lot of excess fabric in the back of the legs below my seat. I think this is an indicator that I need to size down and do a full butt adjustment for the smaller size.  I ended up removing 1 in at the inseam and side seam of the back piece only. I like the fit I have now, so I probably won’t experiment with going down a size.

Next time I will also adjust the front crotch curve. I find it scoops out just a little too much for me.

I’m pretty impressed that most of the fitting issues were worked out on the first try by following the pattern instructions.

The fabric: One yard of Cone Mills cotton twill and about a FQ of lightweight cotton both from inherited stash.

I’m pleased that the shorts do work with several tops, but honestly the jury is still out on this print. I’ll need to give these some wearing around before I decide if they are “me” or if they will be downgraded to around the house shorts.

Chi Towns feature banner

The Chi-Town Chino shorts took me about 5 hours to complete, including fitting and adjustments. I’m hoping to cut that down to 3.5 hours next time.

Total Cost: $13.75    Fabric $0 (inherited stash)        Pattern $12      Notions: $1.75

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.

Under the Banner

My father has delved into the art of marquetry (wood veneers inlaid to make a composition) and I’ve been trying to encourage him by managing his blog Earlsmarquetry and being a sounding board for his ideas.

custom pet - CopyCustom pet portraits by Earl’s Marquetry

With a couple shows lined up for the fall, Atlanta’s Makers Faire and the art show at Roselawn, I wanted to make him something for his booth. I landed on making him a banner that could fit along the front of his table. I downloaded some letter templates and after measuring their width, I calculated the spacing I would need to make it all fit on a banner 10in tall and 70in long.

I have four layers here in this reverse applique banner; the dark brown front and backing, a layer of flannel to give it some body, and a layer of woody looking fabric layered under the brown front to be revealed by the reverse applique. I traced and sewed the letters, then cut out the top layer of brown to reveal the woody fabric for the letters.

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Even with my meticulous measuring, I still goofed the spacing up. Unfortunately I traced and stitched the first word before discovering my mistake so the second word is a little scrunched.

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A project like this should take you about 3.5 hours.