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Made By A Fabricista: Three Spring Basics – With a Twist

Hello Sewing Friends! By the time spring rolls around I am ready to pack away my winter wardrobe and wear my warm weather clothes. Since I don’t go into an office setting – and I like to be comfortable - basic essentials in my wardrobe include t-shirts, cardigans and knit dresses.

The Cardigan

The idea of sewing elevated basics came about when I spotted this fabulous FTY knit with a sequin floral and scrolls pattern.  With sequins for daytime being a spring 2023 trend, I decided to use the fabric to sew a cardigan.

This is not your typical cardigan. Not only did I choose a sequin knit, but I chose what I consider to be a unique pattern, the Cascade Dress from The Sewing Workshop (now out of print). I have sewn it a few times but never with sequin fabric.

My cardigan is actually a top that is designed to button down the front but I made a few small changes to the pattern. I lengthened the front by four inches, removed the front plackets, and added a button and fabric loop at the front neckline.  Since the selvage edge did not have sequins in it, I used some of that for the fabric loop.

Instead of turning the hems to the wrong side and stitching (per instructions) I faced the hem and neck edge.  I didn't want the sequin showing on the back side nor did I want sequins along the inside of my neck. I used a pre-made jersey knit binding, something I had purchased from Fabric Mart about five years ago. I always check the notions and sales sections on the site as you never know what you might find!

Sometimes a garment made from sequin fabric can be quite heavy.  Not this one! You can see how lightweight it is in the back photo.  Because it’s lightweight it drapes so nicely in this cardigan.

I plan to wear it with a black tee and pair of jeans for a casually elegant look.

The Knit Dress

To elevate a basic knit dress, I choose a pattern that works great for pairing multiple knits together. It’s another Sewing Workshop pattern, the Edgewater Dress. It’s basically a t-shirt lengthened into a dress with visual interest at the hemline. Because I’ve sewn it multiple times I knew I liked the way it fit.

Originally I was going to sew this dress with only two knits – the black and white polka dot and black and white abstract print. However, I decided it needed just a little more,  so I pulled out a black and white striped knit (from Fabric Mart of course! ) that I had left over from a previous project.

To create visual interest at the neckline, I cut the neck binding on the bias.If I didn't want the stripe to be diagonal along the neck edge I could have just cut the neck binding along the grain line since knit stretches.  I also added a raw edge piping I created with a strip of white knit.  I added that same raw edge white piping along the seam lines near the bottom of the dress to highlight the seaming and fabric change.

I like that I can wear the dress now with a denim jacket, and wear it alone as the weather warms up. I can see myself wearing this dress with trainers and a hat when I visit the local farmers market this spring.

It appears both dogs approve of my new dress. Or maybe they just wanted to be in the picture with me.

The T-Shirt

I wear a lot of t-shirts and prefer to sew my own so I can get the fit I like and use fabric of my choosing. When we sew we aren't limited by what's available in the stores - even for basics like t-shirts. Fabric Mart has so many great knits that I have many custom made t-shirts in my closet.

To elevate this t-shirt, I choose a pattern with an interesting sleeve detail, a twist in the center of the sleeve. 

The pattern is top number 102 from the BurdaStyle May 2022 magazine.  Without those interesting sleeves, this would just be another loose-fitting t-shirt. I love that I can sew and create a t-shirt that no one else has.

The lightweight rayon fabric worked perfectly in this top as the twist feature of the sleeve has a bit of bulk.  A heavier knit would not have worked.   I love my elevated tee, it is comfortable with a unique design detail.  This is a versatile tee that I'll wear with my blue jeans now, my white jeans in the summer, or pair with leggings when I'm hanging around at home.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

SHARON  @thesharonsews

Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories ITY KNIT, JERSEY KNIT, & KNITS.


  1. I love all of your makes.

  2. These all turned out lovely Sharon! I know you'll get lots of wear out of them this spring & summer.

    1. Thank you! They were fun to sew and I'm already getting lots of wear out of them!

  3. Wonderful creations!!

  4. way to elevate the basics Sharon! These are absolutely lovely!

    1. Thanks G! I had so much fun sewing these "basics"!

  5. Always look forward to seeing what you make Sharon!!


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