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Made by a Fabricista: Two Tried-n-True Patterns

Hi everyone! I know you don't see me around these parts too often, but I'm excited to be sharing a few new makes with you. For those of you that don't know me, I'm Julie, co-owner of Fabric Mart. My main tasks are buying fabric and managing our wholesale division.

I don't get as much time in my sewing room as I would like, but when I do I want to make things that I know will turn out well the first time. In this post, I'll share two of my newest TNT (tried-n-true) patterns with you. 

Pattern #1: Pamela's Patterns - Cap Sleeve Shell

If you are a Julie's Picks member, you probably know that I am a big fan of Pamela's Patterns, because I talk about them a lot. I love how they fit any body and she has so many great professional tips included that really make your garment look less homemade and more RTW.


Pamela recently came out with the Cap Sleeve Shell pattern. It is her first woven top pattern release. I was really excited when I saw it because I have lovely woven fabrics in my stash but I don't touch them too often because I don't have a good pattern to use with them. Well, I have found it! 


The shell can be made with any drapey woven such as challis, crepe de chine, chiffon, georgette, etc. If you're using a sheer fabric, you can line it. Pamela includes instructions on how to line it. 


For this tunic length top, I used a rayon crepe challis from my stash. I have had it in my stash for a few years, but I remember it was from a buyout of fabrics we got from a boutique designer based in Washington DC. 

The pattern comes with two different length options and two finishing options. I actually did both! 

Length options:
I get really worried about woven tunic tops because they can either be too tight or too loose on me. It is really hard to get one that fits just right. I would say this fits just right. The tunic version has a rounded hem and and open side hem, so that already sort of solves the problem. But it does not gap or pull at my hip which is a big pet-peeve of mine. 


And here is the top length. I made this from a viscose georgette that will be in the May edition of Julie's Picks. Sorry, it's only available to Julie's Picks members, but if there is any left, it will be available online at some point. Check back in June!


For the top version, I added a tencel challis lining from my stash. Pamela includes specific instructions on how to line a sheer fabric. The lining is attached at the neckline and sleeves, but hangs separately from the top layer at the side seams and hem. 



Finishing options:
The pattern comes with instructions on how to finish the neckline and sleeves with facings or bias binding. I did both. On the tunic I used the facing pieces and then used the 3-step zig zag that I talk about below. (For some reason I see I never serged the sleeve facing. Ooops!)


I love using the 3-step zig zag. You use it when you're understitching a facing. It is basically a zig zag stitch with little stitches in each zig and zag. First choose the 3 step zig zag selection on your machine. When using a 4.0 width; 2.5 length stitch width you will get a nice wavy zig zag versus a more rigid one. Pamela also talks about this in the pattern.


The bias binding option is nice too. I don't know that I have a preference. I guess it would depend if I have enough fabric left to make bias tape. It creates a nice little trim-look effect, which is nice! Here is a photo of that version:


My only slight complaint -- and it's the slightest complaint -- is that the sleeve area is a bit more snug than I'm used it. Don't get me wrong, it fits, but I feel like I could have just the slightest amount of ease put in there. I'm not sure where I want to put that ease in. I thought about the shoulder blade area, then I thought about in the cap sleeve area. But what I don't want to do is make it too big and have bat wings. Otherwise, I can deal with the way it is. The woven fabrics I have used both relax on me and I'm not bothered by the slight pull. The other thought is that it is the stitching pulling. I'm so used to wearing knits that I'm not used to that. Something to work on and report back if I find the answer! 


Pattern #2: Helen's Closet - Blackwood Cardigan

The Blackwood Cardigan from Helen's Closet has been around the sewing community for a little while now. I am late to the game on this one but was so inspired by all the makers out there that made their versions!

I made this cardigan four times already! You will see 2 out of the 4 versions in this post. My first version ended up not fitting so well because I accidentally chose a sweatshirt fleece that had almost no stretch to it!! It fit someone smaller than me really well, so that was gifted! The third version is from a wool blend sweater knit that I never got to take pictures of. I cut out the shorter length for that one and do like it. 


The second version is here. I used a cotton blend sweatshirt fleece knit that we had online a few months ago. It has mechanical stretch, but it is a good quality knit that stretches for ease and is super soft! This cardigan is wonderful! I grab it often. It is like a security blanket to me. I also LOVE the pockets. They are perfect for my phone.

The fourth version is made from a rayon blend ponte knit. I am in love with the goldenrod/mustard color that has been popular for a couple of seasons. I love this pattern, but at first I wasn't so keen to my fabric choice. Most rayon blend ponte knits have more stability and structure to them, therefore creating a bit more structured cardigan. At first it felt like a lab coat. I got over it and am happy now. 


When making it I goofed on two things: 1) I couldn't find the pocket pattern and said to myself when I do find it, I'll add the pockets. (I found it but haven't gotten around to it!) 2) I accidentally used the hem piece for the shorter cardigan! It still turned out ok and I never went back to see if there was a major difference between the two. But the directions do call your attention to making sure you are cutting out the right piece!


There you have it. Two TNT patterns that you may want to try! I know I will be making these over and over again. What have you been sewing? Don't forget to share your makes on Instagram. Use #fabricmartmake and follow us at @fabricmart.

Comments

  1. Very nice Julie! I hope you will give more wovens a try now. The top pattern is a real staple, as is the cardigan, and your versions look so cozy. I love the yellow one especially.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So happy to see your post and your makes. I love, love the yellow cardigan.

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are such cute pieces! The tunic is so pretty and it's a great fit!

    ReplyDelete

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