Skip to main content

Made By A Fabricista: Sewing Elevated Basics

 

Hi fellow sewists! It’s Andrea from @happy.things.here. Today I am sharing the details on two recent pieces that were sorely needed in my wardrobe – versatile solid color tops that can be worn with a variety of bottoms and dressed up or down. I am SUCH a fan of fun prints and whimsical patterns – my self-sewn wardrobe is full of stripes, florals, and geometric prints. So every now and again, I have to take a step back and push myself to make more flexible and basic pieces…and one way I get myself going is to look for options with those little details that really elevate a piece. Of the two tops I’m sharing today, I sewed the first per the pattern as the design already included a fun detail I really liked. For the second piece, I did a little hack to add a fun feature. 

For my first piece, I sewed up the Moira shirt from Wardrobe by Me; it’s designed for wovens and has these amazing bountiful gathers along the neckline. Look at these gorgeous gathers!

There is also an option for a gathered three-quarter length sleeve which is the one I selected. The pattern features raglan sleeves, which is a little unusual for a woven top so it’s a fun construction process too. You assemble the sleeves and bodice, and then gather the neckline before finishing it with a bias binding. This was my fourth time making this pattern (so you can tell I really love it!) and so I was able to apply two learnings from my previous versions. First, the designer includes specific markings on the binding piece, sleeves and bodice pieces which are soooooo important for getting the gathering right and attaching the binding – so mark those really clearly on all pieces and it will make the assembly process much smoother for you. And second, lots of pins are your friend! The gathering can feel like a bit of a long haul with this top but if you mark all those notches and use lots of pins, it should go smoothly for you! 

I used a luscious purple linen and I feel like it was the perfect fabric for it – it has both structure and drape, and I love how it turned out! 



For my second elevated basic, I chose the Cadence top from Love Notions Patterns. This is another tried and true pattern for me, and I’ve sewn several up over the last three years. It’s a basic blouse with darts, facings, and multiple sleeve options. I selected a sand-washed cotton which happened to be a Julie’s pick a few months ago and the fabric was a steal at $4.99 a yard. Definitely keep an eye on those specials! Since the fabric was fairly translucent, I opted to do a bias bound neckline instead of using the facing piece since I thought it would show through. In hindsight, I probably should have done a fully lined bodice, but I paired it with a white tank top underneath which also works. I opted again for the three quarter inch sleeve option, but I did a little hack where I added a gathered ruffle to the sleeves. To do this, I cut a piece of fabric twice the width of the sleeve opening and one inch longer than my final length to account for seam allowances. 

I then sewed a few rows of gathering stitches, gathered the piece to match the sleeve width, and then sewed two rows of permanent stitches to lock the gathers in place before I attached the gathered/ruffled part to the sleeve. 

I then assembled the sleeves and finished the top per the instructions. 

Check out these sleeves! 

I don’t have anything like this in my wardrobe and haven’t sewn a sleeve like this before, so I had fun doing the hack…and it’s still a basic piece that will go with everything from jeans to solid pants to a printed skirt. It was worth all that gathering fuss!

I paired my new top with pants I sewed up a few months ago in a blue ponte knit from Fabric Mart using the Apostrophe Patterns My Fit Joggers pattern. Check out my previous post for more on this pattern.


How about you? Do you gravitate towards prints or solids? I had so much fun sewing up these tops, so I really need to remind myself to go for those solid-colored fabrics now and then, and to slow down to sew the basics. 

Happy Sewing!

Andrea  |  @happy.things.here


Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: LINEN & SHIRTING.

Comments

  1. Loved your makes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I had so much fun making them!

      Delete
  2. The white blouse is perfection, the cuffs are wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I sort of winged it and it worked out 😊

      Delete
  3. Both your tops are luscious! You clearly are enjoying them! I am envious but delight in your joy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for your post. I have some purple light weight linen from frabric mart I bought a few years ago and your peasant top is a inspiration for me. Your tops look so nice. Best Wishes,
    Gail

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy sewing with it as much as I did! Linen is such a dream to sew.

      Delete
  5. Exquisite pieces!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Really love the white top and the sleeves. It looks like an easy make

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! The overall blouse construction is very straight forward. I highly recommend the pattern!

      Delete
  7. Both blouses are beautiful, and I have one of those patterns I think I'll try it, those sleeves are great.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You must be a dancer - you have such lovely shoulders and neck. I could never wear these tops, but admire them very much! The sleeve treatment on the white top is perfect, it is a controlled frill. Yes, I do have to remember to make tops in basic colors and these are truly stunning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I don't think I've ever received that compliment before. :-)

      Delete
    2. Oh, and, no way am I dancer. You don't want to watch me dance to anything. :-)

      Delete
  9. Where can I find the Moira pattern for the purple top? I love it , but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! If you go to the pattern designer’s site - wardrobebyme - and search Moira, it should pop up for you. It’s a great pattern!

      Delete
  10. Love both of your makes. Very inspirational . Thank you for sharing the hack. I'm going thru my closet and realizing I have a lot of prints. Ready to add a few solids.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Summer Sewing is in Full Effect

Hi Guys! Today I’m coming to you with this easy, breeze caftan from Simplicity Patterns because summer sewing is in full effect! While looking through my pattern stash, I came across McCall’s 8413. This pattern is described as McCall’s Sewing Pattern Misses’ Caftan In Two Lengths.  This is an Easy to Sew caftan in two lengths has ruched front with drawstring that ties at the bottom, V-shaped neckline, dolman sleeves and narrow hem. View C caftan has contrast on the left side. OK, let’s get into it because I have a few things to share and say about this pattern. When I first saw this pattern, I purchased it because I loved the ruching in the front. I think that ruching can hide just about any “imperfection” you might think you have. Now, I must mention that this is one of the few caftan patterns I’ve ever purchased because I’m petite and feel like I get lost in all that fabric.  Well, I didn’t even realize this was a caftan pattern until I read the pattern description while writing this

Made By A Fabricista: Embracing the linen wrinkles!

Hello wonderful sewists! Today I have a project that I have been meaning to sew for a while, but you know how it goes. Too many ideas, throw in some analysis paralysis, so many, many gorgeous fabrics to wear, and then, bam! Eons have passed. I’m working on sewing the plans that have been in my head the longest, which brings us to this dashing summer frock.  This is the Style Arc Esther Woven Dress. The style is intended for lighter wovens and the design is ripe for color blocking with the included center front and back seams. You could make right and left sides match; go full checkerboard with opposing rear right and left front; or just use four prints and go wild! I’m sticking with the most basic of blocking and splitting the dress down the center.  Importantly, I got matching threads for each linen color for all the topstitching. Matchy matchy is the name of the game in my book. I added bonus bartacks to keep the side seam pockets forward facing.  Medium Sky Blue and Light Steel Blue

Made by a Fabricista: Sewing a Maxi Dress: More Time, More Space, More Reward

My latest posts often mention time and space restraints. Indeed, sewing is a rather time-consuming activity that requires generous amounts of floor space, counter space, tablespace, and any other surface available. Despite everything, I was so glad to finally embark on a journey to sew myself a maxi dress. I know most readers have a strong sewing background and appreciate the effort required in a project like this. Still, I had fun keeping a mental score of all the steps to get this done, and what they mean outside of a sewist’s bubble. It is easy to underestimate the time and material needed to get a maxi dress like this done! Whenever I see someone wearing one on the street, I think: “That’s so beautiful, I should make one!” So, when this fabulous rayon showed up in Fabric Mart, I knew the moment had come. I chose the Elodie Wrap Dress by Closet Core Patterns because of its flowy and voluminous look and the dolman sleeves that are so comfortable to wear. The fabric itself is wonder