Tag Archives: tencel

Completed: Popover Tank & Lander Pants (Plus: OAL Winners!)

10 Aug

Heeeey everyone!!

Before I dive into garment details, I want to congratulate our OAL 2018 Winners!


Dizzy Erica made a Lady Skater dress + Hetty Cardigan! Interestingly, I was just rediscovering my love for both these patterns the other day! I am happy to see that the Lady Skater in particular is still going strong and living up to it’s awesomeness 😀
Wendy made a Waters tee + an A Frame skirt. I love the colors she choose – perfect summer outfit!


lsorenson7208 made the Rabbitbrush cardigan & Lander Pants! I am really digging this monochromatic look – I always find black and white to be so chic.

Big congratulations to our winners – and thank you to everyone who participated! You can see all the finished outfits in the OAL 2018 Finished Outfits thread on Ravelry. Also, a massive thank you to our sponsors The Confident Stitch & Indie Stitches for supplying prizes! And thank you, Andi Satterlund, for hosting this with me again!

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You’ll notice that I didn’t share my OAL project – and it’s not in this post, either (surprise!). I did finish my Lander shorts and have worn them loads, but sadly my Waters tee is still on my needles as of this posting. Can’t even finish my own outfit in time for the OAL I am hosting, I am the worst! In all seriousness, I started to fall out of love with the project – I’m not happy with my stripe sequence, and honestly, I need to frog it and start over! Rather than force myself to finish something that I likely wouldn’t want to wear, it’s sitting in time-out until I can be sure that I need to either frog it or finish it. I don’t like keeping UFOs, but sometimes you need a breather to think about your options and next steps.

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Ok so anyway, on to this post! Featuring a DIFFERENT pair of Lander pants, mwahahaha!

AMH Popover Tank

But first, I want to share my tank with you because it’s super cute!

AMH Popover Tank

No lie – every single time I wear this top, I get people practically foaming at the mouth to ask what pattern is that! Here’s your answer – it’s the Anna Maria Horner Popover Tank! This is a pattern that Anna released to be used specifically for garment classes at Craft South. I’ve taught this class a LOT – it’s a great first project, easy to sew and looks super cute! And it can be sewn in 3 hours (YES, SERIOUSLY). But I’ve never made one for myself – just loads of samples. When Anna released it as a paper pattern and included a cropped version, I was ready to give it a try.

AMH Popover Tank

This is a super, super simple pattern. Two pattern pieces, then 1″ strips of knit fabric to be used as facings around the neck and arms. No darts, no closures, barely any pattern markings, and an easy fit. Students learn how to sew French seams, apply knit facings, and sew a 1/4″ rolled hem.

One tip I will give if you want to make this pattern is to check the finished measurements, and possibly consider sizing down. I find the recommended sizes to be a bit loose-fitting, especially around the arms, but you can go for it if that is your jam! I made the size XXS, although my measurements put me at the cusp of XS. I like the size of the armholes and the fit of the bust. My fabric is also lightweight with more give than your typical quilting cotton, so that helped.

The only change I made was to swap out the knit facings for actual woven bias facings. I didn’t have any knit fabric that remotely matched my fabric, and I prefer the bias facings anyway. Knit facings are wonderful to keep the class at 3 hours, but when I’m sewing at home on my own time I do what I want! I used some beautiful lightweight cotton voile and applied the bias facings the same way I always do. No need to trim seam allowances, either – the knit strips are also sewn on a 1/4″.

AMH Popover Tank

I love the back – the shoulders wrap around and make a v at the center back, which is then topstitched. I told you, this pattern is easy!

AMH Popover Tank

I should mention my fabric – it’s a beautiful lightweight cotton that I bought at Nagada while I was in Egypt! I only bought a yard – it was expensive, even by American standards – and waited a loooong time to find a good pattern to match it with. The raw applique reminds me of Alabama Chanin, and I love the soft neutrals.

Since the fabric has some texture that makes the thickness a bit uneven, I didn’t do the French side seams and instead just serged them. This is also why I used lightweight voile for my woven bias facings, instead of self-fabric.

Just a head’s up – the cropped version is SHORT. Like, it will expose your belly button. I wanted to lengthen mine… but I forgot and just cut shit out. Oops. Soooo my hem is the tiniest thing ever, serged and rolled under as little as possible. It’s still short, but I like it with high-waisted pants. FYI for your Popover Project, tho.

Here, have some more photos. I don’t know why I took so many.

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

Whew.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

True Bias Lander pants

True Bias Lander pants

My second pair of Lander pants! Sorry these photos are basically useless, navy is super hard to photograph.

I didn’t make too many changes on these vs my red pair… according to my notes (that I now take in a little notebook whenever I sew, specifically for this reason haha), I made a size 2 but used the size 4 at the side seams. I made the pockets slightly smaller, although I still think they are a little big. I also shortened the legs by 1″ at the shorten line, and interfaced the fly shield. I’m sure I had to take a little out of the center back, but I don’t remember how much, sorry!

I definitely like these even more than my red ones. I think the proportions and length are a little more flattering, and the fabric is super swishy so they are fun to wear!

True Bias Lander pants

The fabric is a navy tencel twill that I bought at Mulberry Silks when I was in North Carolina earlier this year! It’s a beautiful weight with a soft drape, making my ideal pants! I found this fabric easier to work with than silk, but it was still a little wiggly… like using a heavier weight rayon challis.

I lined the pockets with silk crepe (from my stash), and the buttons are also from Mulberry Silks! Look closely, you can see that I already lost one 😦 This is what I get for wearing my shit before I photograph it! The button stayed intact for months, and I literally lost it on a flight home (I think) the day before I took these photos. I’m sad because I really loved these buttons, but I’m also mad at myself for not buying an extra. As for how I lost it… well, they are wooden shank buttons, and that one button had a tiny crack in the shank that caused it to fly off. I found it the first time, repaired the crack (or so I thought) and decided to just sew the bottom button hole shut so there would be less stress on the button. It worked for a while, but not anymore! I will replace them when I find a suitable button that fits the holes (::sob::), but in the meantime… I’m just gonna wear them with 3 buttons. Who the fuck cares? Did you see that missing button in my photos above? Are you looking now? ZOOM IN, I DARE YOU.

True Bias Lander pants

True Bias Lander pants

Anyway, big thumbs up for these pants! I especially love them for traveling – they are my summer flying pants. I always get cold on planes and in airports, but I hate wearing skinny jeans and then sweating to death when I step in 90 degree heat once I reach my destination. These are perfect because they keep my legs covered, but they are breezy in the heat. The color goes with everything, and the high waist looks great with a cropped something or with a loose tshirt tucked in!

True Bias Lander pants

I feel like this post has gotten out of hand long, so I’m going to stop now. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Completed: Chambray Tencel Butterick 5526

3 Oct

Well, surprise surprise…. I am back again with – you guessed it! – another button-up shirt. Ha! Is this all I wear these days? Probably. I’ve been sewing – and making button-ups – for years at this point, but it still tickles me to no end that I can get them to fit every part of my body without bagginess or gaping. To hell with all those tiny safety pins and double-sided tape – I finally have buttons where the buttons need to go! Yay!

So now, my wardrobe is just slowly filling up with the button-ups of my dreams. Also, button-ups are really really really fun to make. You like making jeans and bras? You’ll love making button-ups. So many tiny pieces with lots of precise topstitching I LURVES IT ♥

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

When I was in NYC earlier this year, I made some time during my trip for a couple hours at Mood Fabrics flagship store in the Garment District. Since I live way way outside of NYC, I don’t generally get this opportunity except once or twice a year – so I try to make it count! I always come prepared with a list and a plan – and while I allow myself to veer off the list if I see something shiny that appeals to my magpie tendencies (very much like when I go grocery shopping, although that sort of veering usually involves chocolate :P), the list is helpful for keeping me on track so my purchases are a little more focused. I don’t know if you’ve had the pleasure of shopping in the physical Mood Fabrics store, but it is QUITE overwhelming if you’re not used to it! The aisles of fabric go on forever, piled to the ceiling – and there are 3 glorious floors of it!

One of the things on my list for this trip was to find a chambray Tencel shirting. I’ve seen this all over sewing blogs and even in RTW – chambray Tencel was apparently very hot last fall (whether or not it’s still hot this fall – whatever, I like it, that’s all that matters!). I wasn’t familiar with Tencel until a couple of years ago, when I was sewing for Elizabeth Suzann and she started using it for some of her designs. Tencel is very similar to rayon – it’s a wood cellulose fiber, so it breathes beautifully, and it has an incredible drape. Unlike most of the rayons I have sewn with, this is a bit thicker and easier to handle – it’s not quite so floaty. My brief internet research also tells me that Tencel is a very environmentally friendly, and the fibers are grown sustainably. Gooooo Tencel!

I found this particular Tencel in the depths of the shirting fabrics in Mood’s store, and it was exactly what I had been dreaming of when I wrote my list. It’s drapey and nearly as soft as a baby’s butt – just like rayon – but with a thicker hand and an incredible sheen. I am pretty sure this is the same stuff available on the website, actually (also FYI, Mood Fabrics now has tons of Tencel on their site – including flannel WUT). I bought enough yardage to make a long sleeved button up, prewashed that bad boy when I got home, and set it aside to allow summer to pass before I cut into it. And finally, here we are!

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

I used my very favorite shirt pattern, Butterick 5526, to sew this up. I’ve made this pattern dozens of times at this point, so there’s not much I can say about it that I haven’t already said dozens of times. I’m so familiar with this pattern, I’m pretty sure it could sew itself if I gave it a chance. I decided to mix a couple things up to make my shirt look a little more like a workshirt – rugged, casual details, but with that pretty, slim fit that only princess seams can give you. And also to make it look less like I am just wearing the exact same shirt every day. Even though I totally am.

I redrafted the back to include a yoke (and by redrafted – I mean I just sliced off the top of the pattern piece and added seam allowances, ha!) and swapped out the simple bias plackets for a more manly tower placket. I also drafted pointed pockets with matching pointed flaps (again, I am using the term “drafted” VERY VERY loosely here!). Another big change was to topstitch everything at 1/4″, instead of my usual 1/8″ edgestitching. It’s a lot more bold and pronounced, like the RTW stuff I’ve been lurking on, and gives a completely different look! I imagine that over time, the edges will curl and wave a bit and make the whole shirt look more settled in. All the interior seams are flat-felled, with the exception of the yoke – which is faced with more Tencel. Oh, and I added button tabs to the sleeves, so I could roll them up if I wanted to!

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

Working with Tencel wasn’t much different than any other shirting fabric I’ve used, although it does have a tendency to stretch and slide if it things it can get away with it. I added lightweight fusible interfacing to all the normal shirting bits – collar, collar stand, button placket, etc – as well as the sleeve tabs and pocket flaps, just to give them a little more structure. This fabric responds really well to heat, so I was able to steam everything easily into submission, which is a must for shirt making.

I did have one pretty big unpicking session with this shirt – for some reason, the collar ended up too big (I don’t think it stretched out, as the top collar is cut on the straight grain and was also immediately interfaced after cutting – I am thinking maybe I skewed my seam allowances somewhere, somehow?) and went almost to the ends of the collar stand. I noticed it right before I started topstitching, and while I tried to convince myself it was ok – it wasn’t, and I knew deep in my heart of hearts that it looks absolutely fucking shitty. At this point, I had already aggressively trimmed down all those seam allowances and pressed the shit out of everything, and while I could still unpick things – it would going to be a giant PITA. I left the shirt on my dress form for a few days so I could get some space, and upon revisiting, I knew I wouldn’t be happy with the collar the way it was. Considering how much time I had already spent making this shirt (and the uncertainty of knowing whether or not I’d be able to get more of this fabric to cut another one), I ultimately decided it was worth the time to unpick everything, re-sew the collar with larger seam allowances, and then re-insert it. Not gonna lie – it took me about 2 weeks of leaving the shirt wadded up in the corner of my sewing room (so it could really think about what it had done) before I got up the energy to do all that unpicking, and another week or so before I re-sewed everything. But you know what? It looks SO SO SO much better now (it’s not perfect, but it is a 1000% improvement, no question) and it was worth the anguish! Sometimes you just gotta step away from whatever is frustrating you, to get another perspective.

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

B5526 Chambray Tencel

Butterick 5526 is *my* personal go-to button-up pattern for sure – I’ve got my tweaks down to a science at this point, and there’s nothing this shirt pattern can’t do for me! I love a good button-up shirt and I’m so happy to see more of this sort of pattern emerging out of the wild these days! Cashmerette’s Harrison Shirt is drafted specifically for plus sizes all the way up to an H cup (like, seriously, the double princess seams with no gape is absolutely mind-blowing to me) and Tilly & The Button’s new Rosa Shirt & Shirtdress is a gorgeous little beginner-friendly piece that will walk you through every single step (stay tuned for my Rosa review, btw, bc OF COURSE I made one of those bad boys!). I also love the Grainline Studio Archer for a more rugged/boyfriend looking shirt (lack of princess seams on this one means less fitted, but also much more suitable for those cozy plaid flannels!) aaaand I just got my hands on a copy of Deer & Doe’s Mélilot shirt so that’s coming up next! What’s your favorite shirt pattern?

As a bonus, the skirt I am wearing in these photos was also made with fabric from Mood Fabrics! I used a cotton corduroy and you can read all about it in this post from earlier this year. This skirt has been on hold during the summer – it’s too hot here to wear cord, plus, it just looks silly in 100* weather – and I am excited to bring it back into wardrobe rotation with these dipping temperatures! Mustard and denim – is there a prettier color combination? I think not!

Note: The fabrics used in this post were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, as part of my participation with the Mood Sewing Network. That fabulous hat is all mine, though 😉