Tag Archives: linen

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.

Dad’s Birthday Shirt

Last October was my Dad’s 70th birthday.  He was going on a cruise with my mom and my sister (and her husband). So I decided he needed a nice shirt. I totally stole this idea from Oonaballoona.

This is McCall’s 6932 which is the same pattern I used to make the Diamond Anniversary Shirts for Vanessa and Jeremy. However this is a pure linen instead of a linen blend for extra wrinkleyness!

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I have always wanted to play around with hemstitching, so I tracked down a winged needle. I went into a local sewing machine shop and asked for one and they had no idea what I was talking about. So I searched through the Schmentz needles until I found it and then explained what it was used for.

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My machine has 4 built in hemstitches and I tried all of them before deciding on this simple one. After I cut out the piece, I drew in 3 straight lines with washable marker and used them as my guide. I also used a lightweight thread.

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I actually bought white linen, but after I finished sewing the shirt I thought about my Dad and realized that white was going to be a terrible idea. So I tea dyed it! I steeped a bunch of Lipton tea bags in a big pot and threw in some salt and the shirt. Luckily I had used all cotton thread for my sewing and embroidery!  It took up dye very quickly.  I was intending to have it be a little lighter than this, but I like the way it turned out.
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Tea dying has some meaning too as my metz mama (my dad’s mom) used to tea dye things and it makes me think of her. I sent the shirt to my sister and asked her to give it to my Dad, but in the craziness of the baptism she forgot and they sailed away without it.  So I don’t have any tropical photos of him wearing it but I’m sure he’ll get to wear it this summer!

Diamond Anniversary Shirts

My sister, Vanessa, and her husband, Jeremy, celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary last month. A couple of weeks before that I was in Joann’s looking for some linen when I spotted this diamond print linen blend fabric. Do you know what the symbol of the 10th anniversary is… diamonds! So I picked up a few yards. The bolt was slightly short of what the pattern needed for 2 shirts, but I knew I could make it work!diamondshirts-3

I used McCall’s 6932 which is a Palmer/Pletsch unisex camp shirt pattern. I actually bought it for myself to make a 49er jacket, but I’ve made 3 shirts out of it and none were 49ers and none were for me! I got my mom to ask them for their chest measurements so I could figure out what sizes to make. Thanks Mom!

My sister is petite so I made the smallest size and took 3 inches out of the body and 2 inches out of the sleeve length and used the side vents. I made Jeremy’s shirt with no alterations.

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These shirts went together very quick and easy. I was very particular about keeping the pieces separate for each shirt. That is until I swapped out the yoke linings. Eek! I didn’t notice this until after I sewed one in completely and trimmed the collar seam.  I didn’t have enough fabric to cut new pieces, so I just had to make them work.

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Making a camp shirt is definitely a bit different construction than a more classic shirt like Grainline Archer. There is no collar stand and it overall has a very relaxed look that definitely works with the linen fabric I used.  However it still has a back pleat and lined yoke so that everything inside looks nice.
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One of the interesting things about making this shirt was that I didn’t do any basting to gather in the sleeves. I used a ton of pins and eased it in. There were a couple of spots that I had to rip out and resew but overall it was neat not having to do gathers!

I didn’t get these shirts done until the day of their anniversary but I stuck them in the mail and they got them a couple of days later. I didn’t mention I was making anything so they were totally surprised! They are off to a cruise to the Bahamas with my parents next week so I know they will get to be dorky and dress alike on the ship! Good news that they fit perfectly.:)

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Oonapalooza Skirt

I wasn’t exactly planning to participate in Sewcialists’ Oonapalooza  –  Oonapalooza is a month dedicated to sewing inspired by Oonaballoona. However when I was in JoAnn’s and spotted this awesome multicolored zebra print linen…let’s just say I was inspired.

My original intention was to sew some pants, but that was nixed when I realized the fabric was not 60″ as I thought when I purchased it. Oops! I draped it on my dress form and realized I did not like this fabric as a dress. But a skirt? Yes a long skirt would work!

Alas, I did not have a long skirt pattern…or even a flared skirt pattern So drafted my own! I used the instructions in Skirt A Day to make a basic sloper and then created a flared skirt from that. I only made it knee length and extended the seam lines when I was cutting it out to make it max length.

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WIth trying to match up my “stripes, I wasn’t able to cut have much of a hem allowance so I ended up using single fold bias tape to do the hem. I actually really like the way this looks and I may use it again in the future..even on skirts with proper hem allowances!

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There’s a back zipper and with a tab and hook. I started off with pockets but they were distorting the side seams and making me look oddly shaped…I mean more so than I already am…so I took them out.

I’m very happy with my Oona Maxi Skirt. It’s perfect for this hot weather we’re getting in Portland. So nice and easy to throw on a maxi skirt and a tank top and look put together!