Sunday, March 31, 2013

Summer Sewing Schemes

Usually I laugh at people who complain about the weather. I'm a hardy Montana girl, and people in Indiana are whiny babies about the cold. Then again, people in Montana are whiny babies about the heat. But even I am growing weary of the cold as April approaches. Instead of this...

I guess it is nice to get a lot of wear out of my new Minoru...

isn't it almost time for some of this...

...but shorts and blouses are sounding awfully nice
Oh man... remember what grass feels like on bare feet? Can't wait! So I'm sewing and scheming for the weather I want. First up, I'm working with some prize fabric i bought during our trip to Maine last summer - a voile from Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms collection. This particular pattern is called "Night Tree" and the color is "Lime Peel." 

image from here
I'm attempting to make McCalls 6550 with it, a blouse pattern from the 1970s.

I was going to make view C, but I have run into some... difficulties... which may necessitate making sleeveless version view D. And it's all because I was too lazy to try my hand at pattern grading. Shame shame. On a different note, I would like to loudly proclaim that I love 70s sewing patterns. I LOVE THEM! Moving on...

I went on a small, online fabric shopping spree last week when I discovered I had a positive PayPal balance from something I returned. Do you ever do that? I know it's not really free money, but I decided to interpret it that way. was having some good sales (20% off your total purchase) as well as free shipping on orders over $35. I spent a delicious hour perusing the sales, imagining different possibilities and playing with yardages to keep it within my PayPal amount, and finally ended up with these:

don't they look enticing on my newly painted table?
From top to bottom we have a striped black cotton gauze, Robert Kaufman's Carolina chambray in black, Robert Kaufman's Essex linen in ivory, and a cotton stretch sateen ikat print. I'm always a little nervous whenever I buy fabric online, so I usually try to stay with names I trust or - even better - specific stuff mentioned on Pattern Review. Kaufman seems to be a good bet and never very pricey. The gauze and the ikat were gambles... but I think they paid off!

Here's the gauze held up to the light, to show it's cool stripey pattern. I'm thinking about making this into a pleated top, like this loose fitting t-shirt from Salme patterns:

But I also saw this blouse on Etsy, which has made me think twice about how to use this fabric.

and you can still buy it....
Don't you love that asymmetrical collar? And the flower embroidery? I would love to try to recreate this, and Burdastyle has a blouse pattern that's quite similar...

I love finding patterns that match up this well!

Moving on to the ikat print...

I really love the colors in this. I was thinking about being very practical, and making shorts or a skirt that would get a lot of wear. I'd like to try Grainline's maritime shorts, or the paperbag-waist skirt on Simplicity 2413:

Orrrr I could make myself a birthday dress!

The dress on the left is a Betsy Johnson number, and I happen to own Colette Pattern's Lily. Now picture my zigzaggy ikat in place of that floral print, with black accents... and maybe I'll reshape the neckline to mimic the sweetheart neck on Betsy Johnson's dress. Hmmm.....

What's everyone else dreaming of for spring? And anyone want to weigh in on my sewing decisions?


  1. Haha. You should never come to Australia! If it gets below 20 here in Perth everyones walking around in jeans and jumpers.
    I love 70s patterns too. I just found out the theme for hubbys christmas party (they plan well ahead) is Disco Fever. I'm so excited to get planning and making the most ridiculous and lurid outfits!
    Loving the yoked blouse too.

  2. I've got the Lily pattern too and I've been thinking about doing a sweetheart neckline - thanks for the visual to help envision what this might look like!