Charlie Caftan

Closet Case Patterns just released the Charlie Caftan and I’m excited to share my tester version!  I dig the caftan vibe but I’ve been reluctant to  make one because they are basically tents which generally don’t flatter curvy figures and tents require a gazillion yards of fabric.  So what’s awesome about Charlie Caftan is that there’s two options – modern take that I made and the slightly more traditional version that can be made in full length. The long version in the largest size only takes a max of 4 yards of fabric. Woohoo!

I have always loved the Carolyn Friedlander Euclid linen from Kaufman fabrics but never knew what to make. Then I got this pattern to test and I knew it would be perfect! It needs some more washes though, because it’s a little rough feeling and it wrinkles just from looking at it. I took photos immediately after ironing and I have no idea where those wrinkles near the hem came from!

There are a couple of changes that were made from feedback testing.

  1. Add a second arm opening an inch or so above the first for more coverage and
  2. Lower the bust panel about an inch so its not hitting at an empire height anymore.

In my version had already moved the placket down by an inch by lengthening the pattern by an inch above the placket. So my placket is in the same spot as the final version but my dress is an inch longer. I forgot to move my pocket notches up so my pockets are too low. This is easily fixable and someday (someday!) I will do that. 🙂

I’m planning on making a long version of View B with a lightweight cotton. I think it’s going to be swishy and amazing! I love that its going to look totally different from my tester dress. Two totally different looks from one pattern.

Notes: As a pattern tester I get a free copy of this pattern. All thoughts are my own.

Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge

When Tanya announced her Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge (#dresslikeyourgrandma) I immediately emailed my mom and my aunt for some photos. I was ok with any era, but what I got was mainly 1940s photos, which worked for me  since I like 40’s clothing. But there were a couple of challenges. First, main of the photos were washed out or lacked details. Second, I don’t want to sew something that I’m only going to wear for photos for this blog post!

In the end I went with separates rather than a dress.  For the shirt I used the Wearing History Smooth Sailing Blouse, which I modified to raise the front yoke. I overlaid the front and back yokes with a single piece of navy point d’esprit lace.  I wasn’t sure if point d’esprit was around in the 40’s but found out it was after I researched it! I wish the Smooth Sailing Blouse pattern was available in the larger size range. I did an FBA to make it fit my bust but neck was tiny so I also had to enlarge that and the collar.  I went way overboard and had to fix it. It ended up being okay, but I’m not sure I’ll wear the blouse again.

The skirt is a self drafted 3/4 circle skirt that I made from Telio Rayon Twill. This fabric is yummy but stretches on the bias like crazy!  I put in a lapped zipper in the center back. The belt is made from some leftover navy ponte that I topstitched. I can definitely see myself wearing this skirt again.

You can see everyone’s makes on the Dress Like Your Grandma Pinterest board.

Kalle Crop Top

Closet Case Patterns has just released their new Spring pattern – Kalle Shirt + Shirtdress which means I can post my tester version! Yay!  This pattern started off life as a fabulous white linen shirt dress that Heather posted on Instagram last Summer. Besides the shirtdress, the Kalle pattern includes a tunic and a crop top.

I made a crop top for my tester version. This is definitely outside of my comfort zone in terms of wardrobe, but I had just enough Kaufman Union chambray leftover from another project to make one so I went for it. Side Note: did you notice that the sample for the tunic version is the same fabric??

This version has a covered button placket, which I’ve never sewn before but it went to together quick and easy! I originally though to wear this with a fuller skirt or high waisted pants but I didn’t like how it looked with either! Luckily I tried it with one of my Magic Pencil skirts and loved the look. I think I also need to make a pair of high waisted shorts to try this with.

Heather let me know that she made two changes to the final pattern based on tester feedback:
– Reduced neckline size by about 2″. The collar now sits much closer to the neck.
– Made sleeve wider on upper sizes. (I’m glad this was done as you can see the sleeves are a little tight on me)

I can’t wait for my new pattern to arrive. I’ve got some black and white buffalo check shirting that’s been waiting to be made into a tunic! You can order the pattern here in paper or pdf or pick it up at your local retailer.

 

Note: As a pattern tester I receive a free copy of this pattern.

 

Interview Outfit

I had a job interview last week and (I thought) nothing to wear! So I decided to spend a Sunday sewing up a new outfit.  I decided to make the Itch to Stitch Zamora blouse because I like pussy bow blouses and it is cup sized to DD so no FBA needed!

The pattern calls for “light-weight woven fabric with or without stretch. Shirting, rayon challis, broadcloth, linen, satin and crepe are great choices.”  I used Telio Milos Plus which is stretch shirting in cotton/nylon, which I actually regret.  I think this shirt would look much better in a drapier fabric. I do like the pin tucks but the outer two release in a weird spot on my chest. Overall I think that although it fits, it makes me look way too busty.

I removed one of the two front waist darts and I thought about removing the second one, but this fabric is delicate and you can see the old seam. I still may remove about an inch of the 2 outer pin tuck seams.

I also wanted to make a skirt. Pamela’s Patterns Magic Pencil Skirt is my TNT work skirt that also falls into the secret pajamas category. I picked up this lovely rayon ponte (Telio Jockey Ponte) at Fabric Depot during their big anniversary sale. You only need 1 yard and it takes about an hour to sew! I make the high waisted version and omit the front darts.

Blue & White Retro Sundress

Spring is finally emerging in Portland so I immediately need to make something summery! This dress is the spring 2017 pattern from Gretchen Hirsch (Butterick 6453) and she’s currently doing a sew-a-long for it.

I bought 4 yards of Cotton + Steel 1″ Checkers gingham in aqua to make it originally. But then I decided I wanted to make it in View B first and I dug out this neat brocade type fabric I got from Joann’s ages ago.

I cut out my standard Big 4 size (18) and got to doing my flat pattern adjustments before cutting it out. It’s a pretty straightforward sew with the addition of the lapped zipper.  I met Gretchen at Modern Domestic last month and she said she prefers doing lapped zippers because they are stronger than an invisible zipper and you don’t need an exact color match.

Flat Pattern adjustments to the front pieces

Modifications:

  • 3″ FBA
  • Remove 1/2″ from princess seam under bust
  • 3/4″ broad back adjustment
  • Raised armholes 1″ (for bra coverage)
  • Added 1/4″ to strap width (to 5/8″)
  • Removed 2″ from bottom before hemming
  • 1″ full abdomen adjustment

Future Adjustments:

  • Shorten bodice by 1″
  • Move rear strap extensions in toward center