Friday, February 16, 2018

Fun Shirts in Twos

I love wearing the clothes I make. There's just something really awesome about going through the day in a garment that I made. It gives me an extra boost of confidence and makes me feel all put together and ready to tackle the day!

Please note the ice-coated field in the background.
On the morning we took these pictures, everything was covered in 1/4 inch of ice!

Now, my favorite thing to sew, and really, wear, are dresses. Unfortunately, dresses are just not the most practical thing for my everyday life - especially when it's freezing cold outside! (Which perfectly describes the last couple months. . .)

My second favorite thing to wear is jeans - comfortable, perfectly suited to my life, appropriate for winter temps, and something I don't plan on sewing for myself! Ahh yes, most of my wardrobe revolves around jeans - so this leaves me one thing to sew for myself for everyday wear. Shirts. Preferably knit shirts as they are comfortable and quick to sew.

Plain, boring T-shirts? Those are no fun to make! (Or wear for that matter) Thus, I'm always on the look-out for fun shirt designs. I was quite thrilled a couple weeks ago when a "Not boring" knit shirt pattern came across my Facebook feed.

It was the testing call for the "Lace Me Up Top" from More 2 Hug patterns. A shirt with a lace-up back (or front!) yes please! I immediately applied to be a tester, and was quite excited to get accepted. I needed this shirt in my closet!

I then proceeded to make this shirt twice during the testing phase. The shirt came together quickly and easily and looked fabulous when it was done. So, since I had the fabric already in my stash, how could I not make it twice??

The first shirt (pictured at the beginning of the post) is made out of the navy stretch velvet left over from our Christmas dresses. The second (Which makes a great backdrop for an adorable little goat, doesn't it?) is made out of a drapey rayon jersey, left over from a shirt I made my mom, and a nearly see-through white mystery knit I brought home from Wal-Mart a couple months ago. 

The drapey rayon worked a bit better for this design, but I love the look of the velvet shirt too! 
The "Lace Me Up Top" pattern is available for 25% with the coupon code "BEMYVALENTINE" until Sunday (Feb. 18). So if this shirt pattern interests you, get it!

Now, as exciting as one fun top pattern is, that's not enough to fill my closet with everyday shirts I'm excited to wear. A few more designs are necessary for that endeavor. 

With the "Lace Me Up Top", the pattern was picked first, and then I found fabric to match. This shirt was the opposite. I found this lovely patterned jersey knit at a fabric store in Romania last summer. (Yes, I tried to go fabric shopping in every country I visited on the World Race.) It was soft, and beautiful, and begged me to take it home. So, I bought all of it that the shop had left - 1 meter. Yep, just over a yard. That's not a whole lot of fabric - but thankfully, at 60" wide, it's just enough to make a T-shirt! 

The main pattern pieces laid out - with just enough fabric left over for the sleeves!
So, I bought the fabric knowing that in approximately 4 months, when I was home and reunited with my sewing machine, it would become a shirt. What the shirt would look like? That I didn't know, until I got home and happened across a Kwik Sew pattern sale at Joann's.

Kwik Sew 4189 leapt out at me from the pattern book as "the shirt" to make out of my Romania fabric. The handkerchief hem and diagonal waist seam elevated this shirt design from "standard T-shirt" to "fun to make and wear shirt"

As you can see, the pattern/fabric combo worked out splendidly! However, right before I cut into my fabric I got nervous. What if it didn't work out well? I'd brought this fabric back all the way from Romania, and I had a limited amount of it. What if I made the shirt and didn't like it? With these thoughts running through my head, I decided to make a test shirt before cutting into my precious fabric.

From my stash I pulled a remnant of purple cotton/poly interlock for the bodice of the shirt and my nearly see-through pretty mystery knit. The test shirt came together quickly and I was mostly pleased with the result. 

My only issue with the test shirt was it came out a tad looser than I prefered. This wasn't something that would keep me from wearing the shirt (Indeed, it has been worn plenty since it's completion!), but it was something I wanted to change for the final version.

So, I cut the pattern down one size for the final shirt and the result is perfect! My test shirt paid off in two ways - my Romania fabric became a shirt I absolutely love, and I wound up with two shirts from this fun pattern!

Fun everyday shirts are definitely better in twos!