Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lace Renfrew and Renfrew Cami: PASS/FAIL



I fell in love with this stretch lace at Haberman Fabrics last spring, but didn't know what to do with it (other than drape it around myself, admiring all the pretty dots). Inspiration struck a year later when I saw a young woman on campus wearing a sweatshirt with lace inserts and elbow length sleeves. Eureka!

I had never sewn stretch lace before. Researching techniques and sewing test swatches were helpful steps to take before making up this Renfrew. I was surprised to find French seams were unnecessary. Trimming the seam allowance, pressing to one side, and topstitching looked very neat and was easier to accomplish.



The only problem with this shirt is that it's hard to determine the right and wrong sides with a quick glance. I met a dressmaker/designer at work one day. I could see her looking at the seams and didn't realize until afterward that my shirt was on inside out!

Once I had my lace shirt, thoughts turned to what to wear underneath. I like the look of a contrasting color, but also wanted a nude camisole for when I want to put the focus more on the lace. Out came the bolt of swimsuit lining from last year's trip to Montreal.


I cut a slightly deeper neckline and a dramatic scoop in the back, but you would never know from the final result. I clearly need more practice applying elastic! The neckline is gathered too high to wear with my lace shirt, so I wear this backwards and stuff the shoulders into place (repeatedly). How can anyone focus on the pretty lace when I'm fidgeting with my undershirt? Good thing I've got more swimsuit lining.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Drop Pocket Cardigan: PASS



If you spend your days in an office, you can appreciate my summer work wardrobe dilemma: dressing for my commute means I freeze once I get inside. Enter the fabulous Jalie 3248 drop pocket cardigan. This cardigan has everything: big pockets, simple design lines, and clever construction that hides all the raw edges. Plus, it doesn't wrinkle when you stow it in your bag.

I made this up with the last yardage of gray mystery knit from Fabric Warehouse (as seen in these leggings and this skirt) and ponte from JoAnn's. (OMG PONTE IS THE BEST! I think everyone who reads sewing blogs knew that already, but this was my first time working with this incredibly soft and easy to sew fabric.)

This cardigan hangs just beautifully. Plus, when you pair it with a matching pencil skirt it makes for a classy and comfortable suit.

I looked very profesh in this outfit when interviewing job candidates last week. No one on the hiring committee could tell I had a big ol' carrot stashed in my pocket until I ate it during our debrief meeting. Now that's good pattern design!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mystery Animal Tank: PASS



As soon as I spotted this adorable little animal print, I knew it would make a lovely Renfrew tank. It's from an equally adorable little fabric shop called Sew to Speak in Columbus, Ohio. The store is packed with treasures and the staff is super friendly and knowledgeable.


This knit has a beautiful feel to it, soft and springy. I wanted to showcase the print with a delicate finish, so I swapped out the bands for narrow hems. I also scooped out the back neckline (sidestepping my gaping problem) and narrowed the straps a touch. To preserve the shape of my hems, I applied clear elastic before folding them under.


I'm still not sure what these little creatures are (donkeys? rabbits? aardvarks?), but I sure am delighted with the result!