Thursday, May 29, 2014

What I Sewed - And Didn't Sew - Over Memorial Day Weekend

I had four days to sew last weekend, so I gave myself a design challenge. I wanted to make something really unique, using the Nuevo Shirt pattern I've been working with this spring. I wasn't going to use any of the design elements given in the pattern - the collar, pocket, inset, etc. - and I thought I had all the fabrics lined up. This print was to be my key fabric:

It's a remnant of a crinkled blend of shirting, from Sawyer Brook. I love the colors, and it paired well with a solid black linen and a tiny black and white plaid shirting that looks gray from a distance. I had everything planned out, but something about this fabric kept gnawing at me. Then I realized what it was. The words. They're noisy. They're bold. They're anxiety producing. RUSH. URGENT. OVERNIGHT. These are not words a laid-back introvert wants to put on her body. Ever. The piece of fabric went into the red remnant box. (Yes, I keep my remnants sorted by color. It's the only way I can keep track of what I have on hand! And it's just about the only organized thing in my studio, for sure.)

So, I switched gears, and took another look through my boxes of remnants. Mind you, I had purchased black linen from Sawyer Brook and had the main shirt pieces cut out, so I wanted to continue with my plan. This time I chose this printed linen:

It, too, is bold and loud. But in an arty sort of way, one that I could live with easily. This is a huge print - the strings of green triangles are 6 to 8 inches or so long. I found a textured solid in the neon green color, and was on my way to make this awesome creation. I thought the giant print would give me great options for placement and topstitching on the solid black and all, but in the end it just befuddled me. The printed fabric is now laid out where I can look at it often, so I can figure out how to make this fabulous shirt. I'm not going to force it, because I know the key to making it work will come in time. Tomorrow I'm going to pin the fabric up on my design board so it's even more in my face. There's no giving in on this one!

So, you ask, what did I make over the long weekend? Not something unusual at all, but a very sedate, follow-the-pattern, solid color tunic.

This is Katherine Tilton's Butterick 5925, made from a bamboo jersey from Marcy Tilton (gotta keep it in the family, ya know). I like the details on this top, specifically the cool lower side pockets and the twisted neckband.

The band on the pocket uses the same technique as the neckband for making it look as though the fabric is twisted. In reality, the long edges are simply offset by a couple of inches. In other words, when folding the neckband and matching the markings, the markings are about two inches from where they normally are. It's simple to do and the look is quite chic.

I shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length. After wearing the tunic today, I wish I had made them an inch or two longer. The only other change I made was to cut the armscyes and sleeve heads a size smaller than the rest of the pattern. I'm really pleased with the fit, and it's a really comfortable top to wear. 

I'm not giving up on that arty Nuevo shirt, so keep watch here because it will be showing up eventually!


  1. Very nice top - love the neckband and the pockets. Very nice indeed.

  2. Great, comfy make. Gotta love comfy knit tops! Looking forward to the shirt - whatever you decide.

  3. The lovely comfy top you made will be so nice to have in the wardrobe. It looks great on you. Looking forward to seeing the shirt.

  4. Loving the tunic. Could you add bands to the sleeves to make them a length closer to that which you prefer?

    1. Hi Ruthie! Yes, I could add bands to the sleeves. They're not too bad, though, so I'll probably leave them as they are. On future makes, I would definitely lengthen them.

  5. Great make, Dixie. The color is just lovely on you. I am totally enamored with those pockets.

  6. Thank you, ladies, for all of your comments. I appreciate you visiting my blog!

  7. It's so nice to see you blogging again! As usual I love your makes!

  8. I'm with you on the noisy print. I think it's the words - they're shouting! Love the Katherine top. I also bought that pattern but of course haven't made it yet. Yours is very cute! Practical and comfy yet not something you see everywhere.

  9. You always have such a great eye for color, and I love hearing your thought process as you make decisions about fabric pairings for your new makes. And then I get to see the finished projects in person - such a pleasure! Thanks for sharing -

  10. Well I love the fuschia tunic! and the twisted band is the perfect subtly quiet detail.