Summer sewing – WIPs

Hi,

What are you working on? Projects for summer and fall? Now that summer solstice has come and gone, I feel pressure to get going on the summer clothes. One good thing about living in California is that it stays warm through September, even in the Bay Area, where the weather is a lot cooler than Southern California – so I’ll be OK even if I don’t finish my summer sewing projects by the end of August.

I’ve just finished making another Deer and Doe Chardon skirt – this time out of some heavyweight linen fabric. Here’s a sneak peek of the main skirt fabric, which I got at Britex Fabrics and my side pocket:

Linen fabric - pocket detail for Chardon Skirt - csews.com

Hopefully, I’ll be able to take photos of it in the couple of days so you can see the finished version with the red linen contrast band. This is my fourth Chardon skirt. (Here are the links to my first Chardon, my second one with a black contrast band, and my maxi version.)

Also on my list – dresses – one each from the Japanese sewing books, Basic Black by Sato Watanabe and Stylish Dress Book: Clothing for Everyday Wear by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I want to make the dress on the cover of Basic Black. (I made a 16-paneled skirt from this book earlier this year.)

Basic Black by Sato Watanabe - csews.com

I already got some black seersucker fabric. It’s a perfect project for the Sundress Sewalong, hosted by Handmade by Heather B! It starts on July 1 and continues to August 31 – plenty of time to finish it! Thanks, Heather!

Sundress Sewalong 2015

The other dress is one I thought I would make for the Japan Sew Along (hosted by Tanoshii) but I was only able to complete one garment, the A-line Block Skirt (from Basic Black) by the end of the sewalong.  This is the pattern…

Stylish Dress Book - sleeveless dress with ruffles - csews.com

… and here’s the pretty purple cotton voile fabric I got for the dress:

Fabric - cottons and wool - csews.com

Oh, and let’s not forget tops! I cut out my mock-up of the Asymmetical Top from Drape Drape 2, which I’ve been meaning to make ever since I saw a couple of MaciNic’s versions on her blog The Somnolent Dachshund. I cut a straight size L/XL. I’m using a drapey rayon knit so we’ll see how well it fits. My guess is that it will be tight in the hips. The top was a bit of a pain to cut out because it is one huge pattern piece. So I had to lay it out on the floor. It’s waiting to be sewed.

And way back in December I cut out a mock-up of the Renfrew top, Sewaholic’s best-selling and versatile knit top. It got pushed to the bottom of the project queue when I started making my Chardon skirts, Japanese sewing patterns, and my Spring for Cotton dress. I need to sew this up as well.

I also bought my first Blueprints for Sewing pattern – the A-frame skirt, which looks like a great stashbuster. Just think of the color blocking possibilities!

A-frame skirt - Blueprints for Sewing
(image from Blueprints for Sewing)

The drawing is unique – rather rustic but don’t be put off by it, the design is rather elegant with two options – an A-line and a pencil skirt. And the pocket detail is quite lovely. You can see more versions of it on Blueprint’s blog.

Another pattern I got earlier this month is the Flutter Blouse by Papercut Patterns. I like the floaty sleeves. You could make it tunic length and wear it as a dress (check out SewBusyLizzy’s version here). I don’t know if I would make it tunic length – like SewBusyLizzy I worry about it looking like a sack. My hips are rather wide so I don’t think that will be flattering on my figure. It will be fine as a blouse though.

Flutter blouse - Papercut Patterns - csews.com

I love the packaging on Papercut Patterns!

There are other indie patterns on my to-do list as well – Deer & Doe’s Bruyère Shirt, maybe another By Hand London Anna Dress for the International Anna Party (I’ve made two so far – one with a border print and a color blocked version), and Sewaholic’s Granville Shirt. What’s on your sewing list?

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Finished: My First Chardon Skirt

Deer and Doe - Chardon Skirt - sewing pattern

Voila! I finished my first Chardon skirt during my sewcation (sewing vacation!) over the holidays. This was my very first Deer & Doe sewing pattern. I made the skirt from this pretty floral fabric I got from my mom’s closet – a cotton twill with some Lycra in it.  I’m usually not into pink but I love these flowers against a black background. Such happy colors!

The pattern calls for a medium-weight fabric and this was a little heavier than that. But I like it because I can put stuff in my pockets without ruining the line of the skirt. Plus when you use a fabric with a little heft to it, you can really see the fullness of the skirt and you don’t need a crinoline. It just had nice body to it as is. I think if you use a lightweight fabric, you’ll end up with a droopy skirt and you won’t really be able to appreciate the inverted box pleats.

I’m wearing my black suede boots in the above photo. I had to lighten it so you could see my boots. They seem to meld with the tights in the other photos. The sun was shining on the other side of the street but I just love this red wall.

Green bracelet - csews.com

The Chardon skirt has pockets, which I love. In fact, I had my hands in my pockets for most of the photos! Heheh.

Chardon skirt - side view - csews.com

You can make the skirt with belt loops or a bow or neither. I left off the belt loops because I wasn’t sure if I would like a belt with it. And I’m not a bit fan of bows, plus I read in Camille’s post about her Chardon skirt that the bow in the back wasn’t very comfortable. Apparently the knot dug into her back when she sat down. Her linen version is very pretty and is what inspired me to make this high-waisted skirt.

Chardon skirt - back view - csews.com

I’m showing my finished Chardon skirt first and then I’ll be doing a separate post on the making of the skirt so you can see the details. I’m doing this backwards but it will take me a while to go through those photos and I didn’t want to wait another week before posting about it.

I pretty much followed the pattern as is (traced a size 44) and made a couple of minor adjustments:

  • invisible zipper instead of a regular zipper in the back,
  • deeper pockets because I have long fingers,
  • slightly longer length because the pattern is drafted for someone who’s about 5 feet, 5 inches tall (1 m 68 cm) – and I’m 5′ 8″ (about 172 cm).

This is essentially my muslin. The waist has a little too much ease at the top so I think I’ll take in the center back seam just a little bit – maybe 1 cm or 3/8 inch.

Chardon skirt - belt - csews.com

I did take some photos with a belt and my black leather shoes but I don’t know if this is the right belt. Here’s what it looks like from the back.

Chardon skirt - back view - csews.com

Then I went across the street, which was the sunny side of the street.

Chardon skirt - front - csews.com

In case you’re wondering, I’m wearing a black vintage velvet hat, which doesn’t photograph well because it sucks up the light.

Chardon skirt - side - csews.com

Vintage black hat - csews.comHere’s a detail of the hat – the crown and underside of the brim is black velvet and the top of the brim is a black fabric (photo lightened so you can see the velvet). My husband doesn’t really like this hat for some reason. He thinks it’s odd or maybe too small for my head but I like it. I use a hat pin to keep it on my head

 

Chardon skirt - back view - csews.com

See how full the skirt is?

Chardon skirt - csews.com

This is a great pattern for people with hips! I didn’t need to grade up in the hip area, which I usually need to do. 😉

Chardon skirt - csews.com

Stay tuned for construction details. Meanwhile thanks for visiting!

Deer & Doe Chardon Skirt - csews.com