Laela Jeyne Mica T-Shirt

Thank you for all your lovely comments on recent posts. I’m sorry I haven’t replied to every one of them. It’s been a tough transition with my new job. I will get to replying to them when I can, though. ❤ I appreciate and read every one of them.

Last Thursday was my birthday. I celebrated in a *very chronic illness* TM way by busting my knee and being in bunches of pain. That said, it was actually a really good birthday for me. My brother visited and he gave me some wrist warmers he knit and I made cake and had wings for dinner. My husband took me to a Brazilian steakhouse on Tuesday (since we knew my brother was going to visit) and he gave me a huge bottle of one of my fav kinds of tequila. While my chronic illness and pain can often offset my plans, I’ve learned to relax a lot of my expectations and listen to my body when it says I need to rest. It’s definitely changed how I live my life. I try not to push past where my body can function. I’ve been embracing more comfortable clothing. It helps that I now have a job where I work from home all the time so I can relax a lot of my wardrobe needs.

This top is all about embracing the comfy.

The Laela Jeyne Mica T-Shirt is a free pattern (read how to get it here). The Mica Pattern is a drop shoulder relaxed fit shirt with short and long sleeve options and a V-neck.

I made a 2XL with C-E cup graded to a 3XL at the hips.

It’s oversized in a good way and comfy AF.

I’m wearing it here with my Cashmerette Belmont Leggings and I love it. This outfit has become my go-to outfit the past few weeks since making the top.

The fabric I used is a rayon spandex that I found at the thrift store. It has to be the softest, loveliest fabric and, with the drape, it’s completely perfect for this pattern.

Granted those sleeves are a bit long, but I have mentioned how I prefer that. My brother’s gift of wrist warmers were probably the best, smartest gift ever for this coldy bear. I get cold hands so easily and don’t always have gloves on hand so I find that having longer sleeves helps me out there. So hold your comments on me needing to shorten those since I like looooong sleeves and never adjust sleeve length.

This was my first Laela Jeyne pattern, but not my last. In fact, I also made the free Lotus Bodysuit (also available in this link), but that will come another day. The instructions for the Mica shirt are great and it fits just as expected. I actually have no changes that I would make for this top. I think it fits just as designed and works really well for me.

It’s also a great shirt for video conferences in that I don’t look like I am in my PJs, but it definitely feels like it and that’s what I am looking for in clothing these days. Secret PJs, actual PJs…. etc. Anything that is incredibly comfortable.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: The Laela Jeyne Mica T-Shirt (read how to get it here)
  • Pros: Fairly good size range. FREE. Lovely v-neck. Nice style.
  • Cons: I see no cons.
  • Make again?: 100% yes.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md 5/5 stars

Style Sew Me Alise Sweater

Is there a better print than houndstooth? I don’t know…

I made this Style Sew Me Alise Sweater in a houndstooth doubleknit. It’s a wool blend knit that I got locally and I love it. I used black bamboo lycra for the ruffle details.

I made the largest size and graded up at the hips by one size (outside the size range).

It’s a cute style, but there are definitely some issues with the sizing. The shoulders are quite large. I think it’s partially due to the heaviness of the doubleknit fabric, but the opening itself is a bit large. As well, the ruffle could be more ruffly.

I added sleeve bands and a hem band since that is my favourite way to hem knits.

The zipper in the back isn’t necessary for this fabric. It goes over my neck nicely without issue. However, with less stretch, it would be necessary.

It’s a cute top, though.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Style Sew Me Alise Sweater
  • Pros: Cute style.
  • Cons: Grading the shoulders out for a larger opening isn’t necessary as much in the larger sizes. I do think there could be some improvements in the grading there and then that would make the ruffle more ruffly.
  • Make again?: Probably not. It’s not 100% my style. It’s a cute top, though.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

 

Jalie Yoko Sweater

My mind is on Spring sewing plans, but I still have some projects from Winter sewing to share with you. The Jalie Yoko sweater is a free pattern. It’s a basic top pattern: square shape, turtleneck. If you look at the pattern pieces, it is a rectangle with neckline shaping and arms attached. It’s quick and simple.

I made size GG for the 51 inch bust. I am a bit bigger than that, but I knew the over-sized shape would be fine with an extra inch.

I can’t say much about the instructions, because I didn’t really touch them. What’s to puzzle over with a top this simple? It literally took me 20 minutes to sew up.

The shape is very similar to the Seamwork Tacara that I just made. Although, the Tacara has more hip and cocoon shaping. It also has a bit more shaping in the arm.

I love this top. I’ve always been a fan of turtleneck sweaters since I am always freezing.

I used a purple hacci sweater knit.

I hemmed it with my serger and the made me usual sleeve bands to hem the sleeves.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Jalie Yoko sweater
  • Pros: Boxy shape. Includes several sizes. Would work for any gender, as well. I’m not super sure why it can’t be listed as unisex.
  • Cons: It does only go up to a 51 inch bust…. but it’s got such a range from kids to adults.
  • Make again?: Yep. I would likely make it again. Probably not until cold weather returns in the fall. I’m dreaming of Spring.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Striped Simplicity 8342 top

I made Simplicity 8342 tie top as a result of Tasha’s many versions of it. Of course, Tasha and I have very different body shapes. But I also saw Jasmin Lucero post her version of it on instagram as well and figured that I could make it work for me, too. Both inspirations make this a bit of a Sew Style Hero nod to both Tasha’s and Jasmin’s lovely styles. ❤

 

I knew I would need some adjustments to the length of the top since my bust is larger than average. Even with the pattern going up to a 28W or a 50 inch bust, I knew that it wouldn’t quite fit perfectly the first time.

I lengthened the bust cups by about 3 inches for this version. I made the mistake of also increasing the size of the ties. Basically, I was lazy and instead of doing pattern adjustments, I just made the adjustments as I was cutting it out. Silly me. Especially since I was low on spoons and in lots of pain.

I solemnly swear I will do my pattern adjustments properly next time. 😉

 

The bust fits….okayish. The underbust doesn’t hit quite at my underbust so I need to do a proper bust adjustment for the next time that doesn’t change the tie at all. Although, the tie being that big does cover my bra in the cutout so that is good. I am also thinking of adding some elastic on the underbust seam so it sits better. The straps are in the right location and the back comes up far enough for my bra to be covered. I need some more room in the hips/stomach for sure. It looks good tucked into my chore skirt but not ideal otherwise. The shirt length would be better a bit longer as well.

 

The fabric I used is a cotton lycra purchased locally. I have more of it left so I am thinking of completely remaking the top again with the adjustments.

I definitely don’t hate the top. I actually really like it, but it’s not a good fit just yet. I think I will feel better in it when I redo my bra pattern to be lower. Right now, the bridge of my bra pokes up above the tie.

Some more adjustments plus a better fitting bra pattern and I think this could be a winner for the summer.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Simplicity 8342 tie top
  • Pros: Okay size range. Love the vintage style.
  • Cons: The pattern would be greatly improved by including cup sizes, but that’s my only complaint. I guess I am spoiled for patterns with different cup sizes. 😉
  • Make again?: Absolutely! I also want to tackle those cute pants some day.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

 

Cashmerette Cedar Dolman: Pattern Hacks

Today I am sharing two garments I made back in March… One of the items was waiting on a repair before I could take pictures. I’ll talk about that a bit later.

Both garments are made using the Cashemerette Cedar Dolman as the starting pattern. I really love this pattern for its versatility. It’s a great pattern to “hack.”

First up is a dress version. For this version, I actually used the Cedar Dolman I made as a pattern tester. I added a neckband and sleeve bands. Knowing that I was going for a loose fit, I didn’t want to cut the length of the Dolman too much. In the tester version, I made the tie version so I cut the tester off just above the tie. It’s probably about 4 inches off the bottom. For the skirt, I just added two panels that were the width of the back and the front.

I added pockets to the side seams and sewed the tops of them into the skirt waist. The skirt waist is sewn to the bodice and then about an inch and a quarter below that, you sew again. Then you press that extra up and sew a line of stitching to secure it and then feed the elastic in through that. It’s the same method used for the Colette Myrtle waistband in this tutorial.

This is the kind of dress that you just throw on after work or on the weekend. It’s comfortable and easy to make as well! I made it using a bamboo jersey in mauve that I got from a friend. I really really love this fabric. It wears well and is durable.

Up next is the garment I had to repair.

This Cedar Dolman hack is exactly like my striped one, but this time with ruffles on the sleeves! I simply cut two strips of fabric, folded them in half lengthwise and then gathered them and sewed them into the seams while I sewed up the side seams. I made sure to have the ruffles fall down towards the sleeve hem.

I wore this once and then washed it and a few holes appeared in the fabric. Luckily, they aren’t super noticeable after I sewed them up; they are on the front but closer to my armpit. It’s a rayon spandex from Water Tower Textiles. After two washes (pre-wash and then washed once after it was constructed), the holes appeared. I’m really disappointed. The cut was from the end of the roll and I am hoping it was just a fluke since they were transparent about a flaw on a different part of the pieces. I’m probably not going to contact them since they told me there were flaws on the end piece and I got extra fabric as a result of that. I thought I had cut around them all, but didn’t catch these small holes that then became bigger in a wash. It’s sad but not the end of the world.

The top will be an at home top because of the holes. It’s super comfortable and I love those ruffles. They do weigh the sleeves down, though, and make the ruffles under the elbow instead of above. I think I would just use one layer of fabric next time and serge or baby hem the edge to reduce the weight and the bulk since it was also difficult to serge over all those layers. I have some lightweight hunter green jersey that might become another one of these soon because I really love it.

I plan on trying the top out in a woven next possibly with some colour blocking fun.

That feeling when…

…you are just ready to hibernate and it’s not even winter yet…

So far June has not been good to me!

I began gardening the back patio planter and then came out the day after I got the soil perfect on one side of the planter to this destruction on that very same side:

Planter destroyed!

That hole is through to my neighbor’s patio and all the soil and rocks for drainage is now under HER patio. Great fun. She is having her patio redone and the people doing it ripped it out and destroyed that portion of our fence/ planter. So bye bye newly rejuvenated soil and a bunch of rocks for drainage!

As I was doing that side, there were a ton of roots that I dug out. Turns out a tree is growing off the patio into the property behind us, which is a store. You can’t see a lot through the fence so it just looked like a tree on the other side, but it’s coming out of our planter and is making a nice big hole in it. Fun times.

Bad things come in three… The faucet for the hose in the back needs a part replaced as well before I can use it. For now, I am carting water back and forth from the kitchen. When my landlady replaces that and the hose is on, I can also wash the deck.

I scrapped my idea of having a nice garden in the planter this summer and will focus on it next year. The fence will be fixed and the soil replaced by the builders next door. They promised me and my landlady and best follow through… Then my landlady will have to negotiate the tree removal with the store behind us to get it removed. By-laws in Toronto are pretty strict about a tree crossing property lines. I figure it will take a while to get it out and get the roots removed. Then the faucet will be fixed.

Gardening

I put all the plants into pots and used the soil from the planter since I will need to remove it anyway to get the root system out. I posted a photo and Megan had some great tips on adding interest with levels since all her plants are in pots around her house. For now the recycling bin and other plant pots are temporary. I’m going to keep an eye out for pallets and cinder blocks and curb side tables for better looking things to put the pots on. I already found two steal plant pots. I also thought up some other great ideas and hope to eventually have lots of flowering plants, herbs, and ivy, etc. I will put everything in pots this summer and then maybe next summer I can refocus on the planter. That deck area may also need to be replaced next summer, too. Such a bummer.

I am not a fan of the back patio, but am really determined to make it into something lovely where I want to hang out back there. It may be a place that we rent, but it’s our home and I love every other part of it. Our landlady treats us like family, as well, and I really can’t imagine living anywhere else in Toronto. I got the patio furniture all cleaned up and ready for sangria back there. It’s slowly coming together. The plus side of planting so late is that you can get a ton of discounted plants right now! They will be a little worse for the wear in some cases, but can come back without too much trouble.

Patio furniture

Other than the patio nightmares, I’ve had horrible health! The weather went from 30 degrees to 15 degrees and then back up to 20/22 degrees celcius. I got a week of migraines last week as a result and my allergies are nuts right now. My shoulder is still bothering me and my lower back is now too.

I sound like doom and gloom right now. I’m planning on taking some mental and physical health time and treating myself to quiet nights at home. I also decided not to participate in Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch. I love it. Last year, I wasn’t able to participate because it was the month before my wedding and I had planned out several things for it this year. But it wasn’t to be. My serger broke and that cost a mint meaning I couldn’t buy the fabric I needed for the swimsuit I had planned in conjunction with CSC’s swimsuit sewing month. All plans out the window!

I was in the middle of working on a Cashmerette Concord Tank top when my serger broke. I did manage to get it done on my sewing machine, though. I made two Concord Tank tops:

Concord Tank top!

Concord Tank top!

Nothing much to say about what I did here. I didn’t add sleeves. Made bands for the armhole instead. The pineapple top was cut a bit more narrow in front to get it to fit on the fabric and I think it worked out a bit better for the cotton lycra. The cherry top was a bit wider and didn’t need to be narrowed, but I think the fabric actually needs a size down due to stretch. I still love both tops. Used the same size as before and serged the raw hem.

While my serger was being repaired by Sewing World (took all of 48 hours btw. And incredible customer service so I recommend them as a repair shop. They are also a Janome dealer so they might be the place I go when I am ready to buy a new sewing machine), I reorganized my fabric stash and managed to fit it all into my cupboard again!

The sewing craze before our honeymoon really helped my stash go down. I worked a bit on a muslin for an Upton dress. My size is all over the map right now so two muslins later and still no good fit. It’s all my error with choosing a size, though.

I went through my UFOs since the reorganization meant they weren’t covered in fabric and found a vintage floral linen M6696 from last year that got tossed aside during the wedding and post-wedding blahs.

 

I finished the vintage floral linen M6696, though! I’ve made the pattern several times before.

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

Look at those lovely vintage buttons! And look at it on me!

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

I remember doing an extra inch FBA on this bodice last year and I need another one this year. The waistband was also increased by an inch. I just put in the collar stand and not the collar. I like the look. I made shoulder tabs, too, but neglected to take a picture of them. They are orange and have green flower buttons on them. Pretty cute. The sewing on the tabs isn’t the best, though.

I also found my failed apple print M6887 dress and plan on tackling that again, too. It’s so pretty, but just didn’t look good on me. I’ve taken apart and plan on adding a mint waistband. The apple material is slightly stretchy so using a stable non-stretch cotton will help it look better at the waist. I’m also trying to figure out how to add more volume to the skirt, but I will first bast it on the waistband and see if that improved the look on me. I have only a metre left of the fabric. Luckily, the bodice fits quite well. No alterations there.

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After the apple print M6887 dress is done, I think I might revisit M7084, which was the pattern I used for my wedding dress. I plan on going with the same length from my wedding dress and sleeveless, but I think I will add a waistband since it really cinches me in at my underbust and I find the look flatters me. I will also be tackling my Upton dress again and making a muslin for the Decades of Style ESP dress since I have some lovely Wonder Woman fabric from Tanya that I need to sew now! I also have some awesome nerdy Hello Kitty fabric from Alicia that might also become an ESP dress.

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It’s a summer of dresses! I have many other plans, but for now all I can focus on is making all the dresses.

Who else feels like making all the dresses?

 

Cashmerette’s Concord T-Shirt

Disclaimer: I am a pattern tester for Cashmerette and received this pattern for free. All my opinions are my own. I’m also under no obligation as a tester to post a review to my blog.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I’ve been on the hunt for tops patterns that work well for me. I’m kind of picky about tops, it’s true. I want something loose-fitting at the hips, long enough to go over my booty so I don’t have to worry about pulling the shirt down at any point in the day, nicely fitted with negative ease over my bust, and not wonky at the armsyce.

Of course, I didn’t tell anyone that my hunt was over when I tested the Concord t-shirt a few months ago. I did keep to my plan of making the StyleArc tops and I do really love the Cate’s cousin top. My Eva top is growing on me… I wanted to say last time that for my next Cate’s Cousin top I will be using the curved hem from the Concord t-shirt, because I adore it. And for the Eva top, I wanted to say I had a much better v-neck top to make with the Concord. But I am a good pattern tester, because I was quiet and kept it a secret. *pats self on back* After I get back from the trip, I will probably sew a few more of the Concord t-shirts. It’s a great pattern for a quick project.

For the fuller figure, there is actually not a lot of options for t-shirts, especially when you enter my size range. I certainly haven’t found one that has cup sizing.

When Jenny sent off the information for the Concord t-shirt, I was pretty excited. The great thing about the Concord is all the options: hem length can be cropped, mid, or long curved, sleeve length can be short, 3/4 length, or long (plus the short or 3/4 length can have sleeve tabs and all lengths can either be hemmed or have sleeve bands), and, finally, the neckline can be high, scoop, or v-neck. You get one pattern with a ton of options in it and that is my dream t-shirt.

Another amazing thing about the Concord t-shirt is that it includes cup sizes C/D, E/F, G/H and can fit women from 40 inch bust / 32 inch waist / 42 inch hip to 58 inch bust / 48 inch waist / 58 inch hip. It’s meant to have negative ease across the bust and skim the hips with a bit of positive ease (an inch or less).

My measurements are 51 inch bust / 46 inch waist / 56 inch hips. I chose to make a size 22 C/D graded to a size 26 at the hips for my tester version and then for my others I used the G/H cup size due to some wrinkles at the arm above the bust at the armsyce. I could have just graded to a 24 or left it at a 22, but I like it pretty loose around the hips for my booty.

For my two tester versions, I used the scoop neck and 3/4 length sleeves. One version was mid-length and the other the long curved hem.

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I love my test versions. I even made my mom a Concord t-shirt for her birthday in March using the tester pattern:

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I made her a straight size 16 C/D with a scopped neck and a longer short sleeve since she likes to have her upper arms covered. I made it in her favourite colour. Like mother, like daughter! I wish I had saved some of this gorgeous pink fabric for myself, but I’m sure I will be able to get some more from Fabricland. I did make my Eva top with it. I just wish I had made a Concord t-shirt with it. 😉

Once Jenny sent me the final version, I knew I was going to make up several more tops. I had a bunch of fabric set aside for them. I chose to make the larger G/H cup size to get an even better fit and still grade up at the hips.

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I made two with the long curved hem and a v-neck. On the left, is the 3/4 length sleeve with tabs. On the right is a long sleeve with a band. Of note, the printed fabric is a mid-weight rayon jersey and is quite weighed down. It was difficult to sew with and resulted in some waviness in the hem as well as a lower hem than the shirt on the right. I might resew the hem using stay tape at a future date, but for now I am leaving it. My sewing machine seems to hate mid-weight rayon jersey for some reason. To be honest, I think I am probably going to be needing a new sewing machine in the next year, because the problems keep multiplying with it… The rest of the fabric I used is a lightweight poly rayon spandex jersey and is my preferred material for tops. It’s a dream to sew with and presses so nicely.

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For these two versions, I made short sleeves with bands. The blue one has sleeve tabs and the neckline is high. On the back, I made a scoop neck for fun and like it, but it does pull the shoulder forward a bit unfortunately. The blue shirt is a cropped length but hits me just above my full hip. I am 5’4″ and short-waisted. I can certainly shorten it to make it cropped but am okay with this length. The black has a long curved hem, no sleeve tabs, and the neckline is scooped. You probably guessed by now that is my favourite hem style in this shirt considering 4 out of 6 of mine have the curved hem. It’s long enough to fit over the bum and never have to worry about it riding up.

Construction was easy. The curved hem is done before the sleeves and side seams. The neckline is actually the second thing you do after the shoulder seams. It makes it a lot easier doing it in that order without all the rest of the bulk of the sleeves in the way. The sleeve tabs are sewn on to the sleeves before the sleeve is attached in the flat. Final steps are to sew a button through all the layers to permanently attach the tab. You could add a buttonhole to the sleeve tab, if you want.

Instructions are very easy to follow. The pattern is labeled as beginner and I think that fits. I mostly used my serger for constructing all the shirts, except for top stitching the curved hem or sewing the hems for sleeves or the bottom. The tabs are sewn on with a regular sewing machine and the v-neck is started with a regular sewing machine. I also topstitch all my neckbands down with a zig zag stitch, because I truly hate twin needles and so does my ornery machine. You can construct it entirely on a sewing machine if you don’t have a serger.

I love the fit of the shirt. I could maybe use a narrow shoulder adjustment like with any pattern, but I don’t mind where the shoulders sit on this top.

The pattern is already a TNT for me with six versions for myself. I absolutely adore it and have been waiting for a basic t-shirt with all of these options for a while in my size range. The size range is great and the cup sizing is a dream. You can see how the change in the cup sizes made the fit a lot better for me removing the wrinkling at the armsyce above the bust. A lot of people don’t want to bother with an FBA in a knit garment and, with the cup sizes, you are less likely to have to do one. I really love all the options in this t-shirt and think it offers a lot in a small package.

Concord t-shirts have been popping up a few places so far. Check out Tanya’s, Meg’s, and gMarie’s versions! Now I need a striped one, an orange one, and a fun patterned one. All the Concords!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Concord T-Shirt
  • Pros: Cup sizing, many options, goes up to a 58 inch hip. So much to love.
  • Cons: Um…. smaller sized people miss out? In other words, I can’t think of a con…
  • Make again?: Absolutely. It’s the t-shirt pattern I’ve always wanted.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars