Tuesday, August 28, 2018

There's a Certain Greatness to My Lateness...

This afternoon as I sat here in a sweatshirt and jeans and contemplated how many layers of warmth I should plan to take to watch the boys football practice tonight, I started writing a blog post about sleeveless dresses and tops. The season is fast wearing down, but better late than never and all that.  I had planned to write this post weeks ago.  I even took the photos weeks ago.  And then life happened.  And then distractions happened.  And then other blog posts happened... However, maybe there'll still be some warmer days, or maybe you're in the southern hemisphere and you're heading into summer soon.  Or maybe you can just tuck this away in your mental filing cabinet for next year.  Whatever the case, I wanted to highlight two free patterns that have been in constant rotation in my wardrobe this summer.

The first is the Agnes dress from Halla Patterns.  It's a paid for pattern unless you're in their Facebook group - go join the group, check out the announcements and get a coupon code to get it for free.  You won't regret either of those instructions I'm giving you.  The Facebook group is warm and welcoming and you'll get lots of inspiration from the sharing going on in there.  As for Agnes, when I downloaded it last summer, it was simply a top or dress.  Now, it's been updated to include sleeve options as well as more length options.  Last summer I made the top version, because I was convinced I wouldn't like the dress.  (what was I thinking????)  I made it from a one metre remnant of Liverpool that I found at the local fabric shop for a couple of dollars.  I wasn't willing to spend a lot on it, because I wasn't sure I'd even like the top - I normally shy away from swing tops and dresses - but I sewed it up figuring I had nothing to lose.  I then wore it all the time for the rest of the summer.  I wore it so often with my jeans to work I'm sure people were starting to wonder if I didn't own any other tops.  Here's that first version last summer.

Because I loved last summer's top version, I decided to throw caution to the wind and make a dress version at the beginning of the summer.  It's such a ridiculously quick sew and turns out I loved the dress version as much as the top version.  For my dress I used a Double Brushed Poly from Sew Sew English that I'd bought last summer and had been hoarding.

I decided I absolutely needed to make a second dress because like last year's top, I was starting to wear my dress every second day.  I ordered more DBP, this time from Elevated Fashion Fabrics and as soon as it came in I sewed it up too and have worn it approximately eleventy billion times since.

These dresses are perfect for throwing on and feeling comfy for kicking about home in, but dressed nicely enough to go out in.  I have all the love for these dresses.  I'm now on the lookout for the perfect fabric for a sleeved version for fall to wear with tights and boots!

I also have another metre of Liverpool I ordered in the spring to make another top version, but have kind of run out of time and hot weather so I'll probably plan that for next summer instead.

The next pattern I want to tell you about is Itch to Stitch's Lago Tank.  It's one of her free patterns that is available on her site all the time and although it's a freebie, like all ITS patterns you are guaranteed to have the same great standard of pattern drafting that you've come to expect from designer, Kennis Wong.  I made two tanks in quick succession and only thing stopping me from making more was time.  I can't tell you how many times I've washed and worn these two tanks since making them!  The only change I made to the pattern was to add my usual length in the body.   You can squeeze this pattern out of such a little amount of fabric that it's fantastic stash buster.  I keep thinking it would be a fun one to use my Silhouette Cameo and cut out some vinyl for on the front too.  Hmmmm.  Future project idea...

The first one was made using a jersey of unknown content, left over from the fabric I made my green Molly top in during the winter.  It definitely has a touch of drape to it more than a regular cotton lycra, but I have no clue what it is.   Maybe it's just a poly knit because I can wash and dry it without any signs of shrinkage.  (and if there's one thing I excel at, it's shrinking all cotton).  Whatever it is, it's soft, washes and dries like a dream and feels cool and comfy.

The second one I made is DBP that I had in my stash from the same Sew Sew English order as the feathers print I used for the Agnes.  I loved this print so much and was going to make a Patterns for Pirates Sunshine dress.  I had planned to do a sleeve hack and got everything cut out and sewn up.  I don't know what happened along the way, but disaster ensued.  Ok.  I know full well what happened with the sleeves.  Like a complete dolt, I had forgotten to change the armscye to accommodate sleeves and couldn't move my arms. Rookie mistake there.  I know better!  So no worries, I'd make it sleeveless like the pattern... except things went south from there.  My bodice was way larger on one side than the other throughout the shoulder.    My bodice was also hella crooked in length.  As in a good 1 1/2" out from one side to the other.  AGGGHHHHHH.  I called it quits at that point.  I mean really.  There's a line that has to be drawn in the sand as to what you can selvedge and what you can't and this was it.  But I was so sad about the fabric.  I was able to cut on the cross grain (thank you gods of four way stretch!) and rescue just enough fabric from the skirt.  So while the fabric wasn't destined to become the dress I dreamed I'd wear all fall long, it did become my very favourite tank top of the summer and I'm ok with that!

I'm thinking I might still make a few more Lago Tanks if I have the chance even though summer is fast coming to an end.  I think they'd make the perfect layering piece for fall.

So there you go.  Two awesome patterns to fill your warm weather wardrobe with! Now I'm off to go have a cup of tea and find my fuzzy slippers because damn it's chilly tonight!

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