Myla & Me

The biggest downside of writing a book is that I’m left with pretty much zero time for sewing for myself. But it’s February and the obligation sewing is long finished, so when I had a day off from work, I was ready to whip up a little something for me.

I prefer tracing off patterns so I can make modifications more easily.

I’ve had the Myla Tank pattern from Sew Liberated for a while now (just because I don’t have time to sew for myself doesn’t mean I don’t collect patterns and fabric for future use) and when I saw the gorgeous Speckled navy lawn by Rashida Coleman-Hale for the newest Cotton+Steel line, I knew I’d found my match. The fabric reminds me of malted milk Easter eggs, which I love. Also, navy with splashes of aqua — my two favorite colors. *swoon*

Sew Liberated Myla Tank made with Speckled lawn from Cotton+Steel.

The pattern guides you through finishing all the seam allowances with French seams. Since I have a serger (purchased because I’m too lazy to do French seams), I finished my seam allowances with it instead. Even with the French seams, though, I’d say this is a pretty speedy pattern to sew — with the exception of binding the neck and arms.

Ah, teeny binding. Not my favorite, for sure. But I think a wider binding would be far too bulky in those spots. I’m half tempted to make another but add a seam allowance around the neck and arms and do at least a half lining. On the fence about that, though, because …

Sew Liberated Myla Tank made with Speckled lawn from Cotton+Steel.

I like the top and I’m going to wear the heck out of it but I’m not sure it’s the best fit in the chest-al region or the most flattering style for me. There’s just enough gaping around the arms that I will have to wear a tank or other top underneath. I do like the length, especially because I wear skinny jeans or leggings fairly often and this would work well with both.

But first I’m picking up more of that gorgeous lawn (maybe in the purple colorway, too) so I can make more pretties with it.


Tunic Time

Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic

I always enjoy creating treasures from my stash, especially when I’ve had something — fabric or pattern — for a while and have no good excuse for the sewing delay. Last summer, I taught a private class at Intown Quilters and my students wanted to sew an article of clothing for themselves. I suggested the Schoolhouse Tunic, which had been hanging out in my pattern box, and they loved the idea.

Of course, I had to make one for myself before I taught them how to make it. So August found me cutting and sewing some of my favorite cotton lawn from Timeless Treasures. These colors are so me and I love the hand of this fabric like you can’t imagine.

The tunic is designed to be worn over a cami or tank, so if you’re not into the layering thing, it’s probably not the best choice for you. I tweaked the sewing just a bit since I have a serger and am not afraid to use it. I also vaguely remember adding just a bit of length to the bodice to compensate for my slightly fuller bust. I think the empire waistline might have hit a bit too far north otherwise.

This would be a really cute dress in a slightly heavier fabric if I added another 12-18 inches to the hem. I’m not 100 percent sure the current length is totally flattering on me but I don’t care; I throw on a pair of jean leggings and wear it anyway.

A Spring-y Set

Do not adjust your computer screens. The outfit you see to the left was intentionally sewn big. LOL!

My final sample for the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo and Greater Atlanta Shop Hop is the Flora Tunic & Twirl Skirt by Sew Liberated. I have long admired Meg’s aesthetic and was so excited when Sarah started carrying her patterns. This makes the third one I’ve sewn, I think!

Because this was made as a shop sample, I intentionally made it too big for Miss L to wear right now. She’s a pretty skinny size 5 and I cut out the size 6 for both the top and the skirt, thinking she’d wear them next year. Unless she has a massive growth spurt and goes straight to an 8 in the next year, I suspect she’ll get two years out of this outfit.

The top is made from more of that gorgeous Anna Maria Horner voile. I think I need to make a dozen shirts out of this stuff for me. It’s just so soft and divine to feel. *swoon*

It’s a raglan style top with elbow-length sleeves and a neck facing, which came together pretty quickly. I think I’d like to make another closer to L’s current size so she can wear it this spring and summer. It’s just a nice basic top that would go with pretty much anything.

For the skirt, Sarah and I picked out a pretty Alexander Henry home dec fabric plus some of Patty’s Mezannine line for Michael Miller Fabrics. I think it makes for a sweet, Spring-y outfit that’s a little dressy and a lot comfortable.

I followed the directions for the skirt, more or less. The directions have you cut the skirt pieces perpendicular to the grain, so if you’re going to follow them, I’d steer away from an obviously directional print. The pattern recommends home dec fabric for the main skirt and mid-weight fabric for the hem band and waistband. In the future, I think I’d use all quilting cottons. The home dec fabric just fit when gathered to the waistband but the 1/2″ non-roll elastic wasn’t strong enough to pull in the waistband (that’s why Liesl is holding up the skirt). After I took the picture, I ripped out the elastic and replaced it with 3/4″ non-roll elastic and it made a huge difference (although it was a tight fit to get it through the casing).

I did do all machine sewing on the skirt; the directions call for handstitching in two places but I’m just too lazy to do it. I might be more inclined if I were using fancier fabrics or going for more of an heirloom-sewing look, though.

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I’ll be a the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo this morning, working the Intown Quilters booth, so come say “hi” if you’re in the area!

Woodlands Unicorns

My little sewing/crafting break has been nice but I’ve started to miss it and made some time for myself in the studio this week.

The Sew Liberated Woodlands Shirt pattern has been on my cutting table for a couple of weeks, along with the fabric (beautiful unicorns from the Far, Far Away line by Heather Ross for Kokka). I finally remembered to wash the fabric, so it seemed liked perfect timing to whip up a cute little shirt for my little sweetie.

If you have not touched the Kokka double gauze, you’re missing out. It’s so beautiful and soft, really just a gorgeous fabric. Sewing with it was easy peasey and the weight of the fabric is just perfect for clothes. I think I need to pick up some more for spring and summer sewing.

I really like how the top turned out, although I wish I had added some length to the sleeves and bodice. Miss L is a size 5 but has a long torso, which made this shirt a perfect fit for her — as long as I did a narrow hem (unlike the nice double-stitched hem called for in the pattern directions).

I almost left off the funky buttons but decided the shirt would look even cuter with them. I’m glad I did! They’re really fun and Liesl loves them. She also likes that she can manage the snaps all by her big girl self. Yes, the independence thing is a big one around here!

I’m looking forward to making this top again, maybe in more of this sweet double gauze or even some of the Anna Maria Horner voile. It’s a nice, easy-to-wear piece and flattering, too.

An Apron For April

When my niece was here before Christmas, I had the chance to hang out with her and play with her. One of the things I noticed was that she repeatedly donned one of Miss L’s aprons.

Before she left, I asked her favorite color (purple) and told her I would make her something special for her birthday.

Her birthday is next week and this sweet little apron will soon be heading her way. The fabric is some cute stuff I picked up at Joann’s that I just couldn’t resist (pink! birds! purple!). I embroidered her name on it, because I thought it would be even cuter and more personal that way. Plus I have the embroidery machine, so why not?

The pattern is the Lolita Apron from Sew Liberated (formerly Montessori By Had) and really very cute. Sewing it, however, is another story. For your own reference, if you dislike sewing on binding, this is not the apron pattern for you. And I really don’t enjoy that task. In fact, I bought this pattern even though I despise sewing on binding, which might make you wonder what the heck I was thinking. Hello! Three gazillion yards of binding on this apron! I wasn’t sure I’d ever finish with it.

Obviously I did and the results are seriously cute. But I can’t imagine sewing another one like this. I may try the pattern again and modify it to sew without all the binding. Or I may just sell the pattern and chalk it up to another learning experience. Regardless, my foray into sewing miles of binding is O-V-E-R.