Monday, November 20, 2017

Itch to Stitch Brassov

Now that the days have turned a bit shorter and chillier, I found myself hauling out the warmer tops. Even inside the house it's cozy to have something snugged up against the back of your neck. And though I'm generally a 3/4 sleeve kind of person, a long sleeve is really nice when the wind is blowing.

The Brasov top, from Itch to Stitch, fits all my winter criteria.

The Brasov is a faux-wrap top which features:
  • Soft-draped surplice neckline
  • High back neckline
  • Curved surplice hem
  • Shoulder pleats
  • Side pleats
  • Long sleeves
The neckline is high in back and in front, which I like a lot. Not only is it snug and cozy, I don't have to worry about showing too much chest when I bend over. 

Back view for you
I used an ITY knit with a brushed surface. Though it's light-weight, it feels soft and cozy. I liked the colors and print in the abstract; now that it's on me I think it veers a bit into old lady territory. But, heck, I am an old lady so it's all good.

The instructions were very clear. Construction involved some layering and flipping, making me feel like a genius, even though all I did was follow the nicely illustrated steps. Just make sure you mark your notches and keep straight about which is the wrong side of your fabric and you will have no troubles at all.

I'm toying with making version two for our upcoming holiday trip to Las Vegas. I can picture it in black, or maybe a jewel tone, with a pencil skirt and a pair of bling-y earrings.

My pattern review is on here.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Denim Skirt for Free

My friend, Jessica, has become involved with FabMo, a non-profit organization that rescues discarded materials from designers and provides them to teachers and artists for a nominal donation. They have everything from fabric to wallpaper to tiles to rugs.

Here's their self-description from their web site:

"FabMo provides unique, high-end materials to artists, teachers, and others for their creative reuse. These exquisite textiles, wallpapers, tiles, leathers, trims, etc. are from the design world, and are usually not available to you at all except through a designer. FabMo makes them available on a donation basis, diverting about 70 tons/year of them from their otherwise destination - the landfill!"

If you haven't been to one of their events, give it a try!

The materials are usually sample-sized, but every once in a while you can find a larger hunk of fabric.  Jessica had her eye open for me, bless her soul, and she scored a piece of black denim that was about a yard.

Hand in pocket, which is hard to see  otherwise

I used it to make myself a second version of Burdastyle 10-2011-119. Black is notorious for masking design details, so here's the line drawing:

Burdastyle 10-2011, skirt #119

It's just like your favorite denim skirt from high school, only with better pockets.

Close-up of pocket. I'm in love!
I made this skirt in a washed-out blue denim some years ago and I ended up wearing it quite a lot, especially last summer. That first version had gotten an ugly grease stain on the front, so I shortened it quite a bit, giving it a new lease on life in my wardrobe. Wearing it was like wearing a comfy pair of shorts, only even cooler on a hot day.

I've been wanting a darker-colored version for a while now.

This skirt is hemmed as Burdastyle drafted; 26 inches. Since I'm a short person, that means it's a midi-length on me.
Here's a view without hands in pockets
I was tempted to whack it back to just above the knee, like my light blue one, but I decided to keep it longer. At least through the winter. I can see this length being a good match for a pair of boots and a sweater once those dark, rainy days kick in.

This pattern is available as a download from the Burdastyle website, in case you like the looks of it but don't have 10 years of back issues stashed in your closet, like I do.

My pattern review is on here.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Social Sewing Two

My friend Beth is like many of us; she used to sew back in the day. Then the job, the husband and the kids came along and she had no time or energy for such things.

But the years passed; the two kids became beautiful young ladies who fluttered from the nest to attend out-of-town colleges. She and her husband would look at each other on a Friday evening and realize they didn't have to ferry a single kid anyplace for the whole weekend. The sewing bug, which had lain dormant for decades, began to stir.

So we got together and made a Kirsten Kimono Tee.

Pretty print, yes? Perfect for a tee.
This free pattern from Maria Denmark is the bomb. It has two pattern pieces (plus a neckband). It has a nice, body skimming fit that flatters most everyone. There are no sleeves to set. And you can get it out of a yard of fabric.

I've lost count of how many versions of this top I've made up. It works well in all weights of knit fabric and it's great on it's own in warmer weather or under a jacket or cardigan when it's chilly. Did I mention it's free?

Maybe you're jumping back in the sewing pool after a break, like Beth. Or maybe you're new to knits and looking for a simple but useful pattern to cut your teeth on. Or maybe you sew regularly but want to add a nifty staple to your pattern drawer. Wherever you're at with your sewing, I highly recommend this pattern.

Here's one of my stable of Kirsten's. I have three in black.
Don't be shy; give it a try!