Saturday, June 26, 2021

Three Tops and a Dress | The Itch to Stitch Glenelly Top and Dress Pattern

As I was going through my summer wardrobe, it became apparent that I was lacking knit tops.  You know, something I could toss on with a pair of shorts and still look halfway decent when it's  oppressively hot outside. Like it has been for the past few weeks.

Luckily, I had a chance to test a new top (and dress) pattern from Itch to Stitch and now that hole in my wardrobe is quickly being filled. 

The Glenelly Top and Dress pattern may look like a basic raglan sleeve top but it has a few extras.  First of all, there is a regular and full bust option. If you've been following me for a while you know that I appreciate a well drafted pattern that has the FBA (or full bust option) already done for me. The pattern also has a slightly squared neckline (a fashion trend right now - see my Pinterest Board) with excellent neckband sewing instructions.  Here's the line drawing.

The first version I sewed was this pink and red one. I didn't plan on color blocking the sleeves, but I was using fabric left over from another project (a big FAIL that I never blogged about) and didn't have enough pink fabric for the sleeves. 

I really like it in the two colors.

It's been in the 90s and this has become my go-to top when we walk the dog.  Who is looking pretty scruffy in these photos. I better get busy and schedule a visit to the groomers :-)

Now if I could only remember where I purchased this fabulous cotton spandex knit as I want to buy more! Much, much more. It was a dream to sew and is so comfortable to wear.

Next I sewed a turquoise blue top.  I adore this color, especially for summer!

This fabric is a rayon jersey and is heavier than most rayon knits I've sewn.  I love the feel of the knit and it is very comfortable to wear in this hot weather. The only drawback is that it shows off my lumps and bumps. Especially that back roll that has arrived in the last six months and refuses to leave. There's a reason you're not seeing the back views of my tops, Ha Ha!

Since this top only takes about an hour to sew I decided to whip up another. This time I used a double brushed polyester knit, which has the softest feel!  Alas, I forgot to take into account that it didn't have the 50% stretch that this top was designed for so it's tighter than I'd like.  

By the way, I discovered that my camera makes a difference in how my top looks. And by camera I mean my cell phone set on a tripod that I control with a remote clicker :-)  I think this top looks pretty flattering in these pics, but trust me it doesn't look as good when I check it out in a mirror.  

This floral knit top shows the square neckline the best. The neckline might not be as square on me as I have narrow and sloping shoulders. The designer does have a tutorial on her website for a narrow shoulder adjustment, and maybe I'll try that on the next one I sew.

After sewing three tops I decided to try the dress. I mean, who doesn't love a comfy knit dress? 

I liked that the gathers were limited to the front and back of the skirt - no excess gathers along the side edges. 

For the dress I graded up a size at the waist and hip as I wanted a looser fit.  

Once I realized how comfy this dress was I was disappointed to discover that I didn't have any knits on hand that would work to sew another one, or two, or 12.  Seriously, I could live in this dress all summer long. 

I do wish it had pockets. But that's a easy thing to add, something I will be doing on my next dress. 

The ITY knit I used for the dress was purchased as a pre-cut bundle at Walmart. It was three yards for six dollars and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality. 

The pattern is a PDF pattern, and I've become much more comfortable with the printing, taping, and copying needed. I still prefer a printed pattern but no longer rule out a pattern just because it's a PDF.

If you think you may purchase this pattern, I'd be appreciative if you'd use my affiliate link. I doesn't cost you anything, and it provides me with a small commission which I use to continue to produce content on my YouTube channel.  

Oh! Be sure to check out the Itch to Stitch blog post on this pattern as you can see this top and dress on all of the pattern testers. I think it looks flattering on everyone.

I published a short video on YouTube where I model each of these if you're interested. If you're not subscribed you can find my channel by searching "Sharon Sews" on YouTube, or click this link.

And I leave you with this photo of the moment I sat down and was unprepared for the little one to jump on my lap. When she was a puppy she jumped on my lap every single time I sat down. I guess some things never change.






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Monday, June 21, 2021

Black and White Voile Top 113 From May 2019 BurdaStyle Magazine

When I received the May 2019 issue of BurdaStyle magazine I glanced through it, marked a few garments I wanted to sew, and tucked the magazine away. After all, we were only a month into our cross-country move and I was still recovering from my major surgery (I wrote a post about it here

I knew the button front top, #113, was one I wanted to sew. I liked the v-neckline, the big sleeves and the way the pleats created a small peplum. Well, it only took two years but it's done! 

Button Front top 113 from BurdaStyle Magazine May 2019 Sharon Sews

Here's the line drawing from the magazine.

I used a black and white voile that I received in a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart Fabrics. It turned out to be a good choice as it's lightweight, an important factor where I live, but also holds its shape.

The shaping at the bottom of the sleeves is created with darts.  I did expect the sleeves to have more drama, but I found them to be a bit subdued.

Button Front top 113 from BurdaStyle Magazine May 2019 Sharon Sews

The faux peplum is created with pleats at the waistline (in the front) combined with a slightly curved side seam.

Button Front top 113 from BurdaStyle Magazine May 2019 Sharon Sews

Burda Magazine patterns usually fit me with minimal adjustments, including the bust area. On this top I lowered the front pleats by 1" or the fullness for my bust would have been too high. 

Button Front top 113 from BurdaStyle Magazine May 2019 Sharon Sews

My waist is about 1-1/2" lower than where the waist on this top is and I'll need to lower that if I decide to sew this one again. I think I will also lengthen the top an inch or two.

Button Front top 113 from BurdaStyle Magazine May 2019 Sharon Sews

The top closes with only four buttons (per the design) so it is open along the lower front. There's enough overlap that I don't feel exposed. 

I used buttons I've had in my stash for quite some time. Long enough that I no longer remember when they were purchased.  I'd forgotten how delicate shell buttons can be, and one broke as I removed it from the card. 

I'm glad I finally found time to sew this top, and once the temps cool off again (at least below 80 degrees F) I suspect I'll wear this often. 

And my little one pictured in a few of these photos...well, she's no longer allowed outside of the gate. She's always been so well-behaved but a few days ago I opened the garage door and she ran past me to the street and growled at two dogs that were leashed and on a walk in front of our home.  I'll be extra vigilant when I open doors to the outside in the future!

Button Front top 113 from BurdaStyle Magazine May 2019 Sharon Sews
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Friday, June 18, 2021

Simplicity 9236 - Bright Green Pants for Summer

Recently I had an opportunity to visit SR Harris Fabric Warehouse in Minnesota, where I proceeded to load up on fabrics I thought would work well for my summer wardrobe. One of my purchases was a   bright green, lightweight cotton blend that I planned to use for loose-fitting pants. 

I decided to sew Simplicity 9236, a fairly new release. It is ridiculously easy to sew, taking just a few hours from start to finish. 

Fabric recommendations are lightweight denim, linen, microfiber, poplin, silky types, and soft cotton. Without doing a burn test I'm not positive what my green fabric is, but it sewed beautifully and is quite comfortable to wear in our current temps (mid 90s F).

The pull-on pants are pleated (inseam and side seam) into an ankle band.  For reference, I'm 5' 5" and I made no length adjustments.

I purchased the pattern because I liked the little hem detail and the leg shape.

 The inside pockets are top stitched in place on the outside of the pants. My thread matched so closely you can barely see the topstitching. 

I wasn't crazy about the finish for the waistband.  Next time I'll either leave off that stitching at the top of the casing, or add a flat front waistband combined with an elastic back (like my beloved McCall's 7786 (blog post here). 

 I found the fit to be a bit generous, and I'll likely go down a size next time. 

The color is not one I normally wear and I am struggling a bit regarding what tops to pair with the pants. Many on my Instagram post commented that I should view green as a neutral as it goes with almost anything, just like in nature. 

I'm patting myself on the back, because I sewed something in the actual season it will be worn! 

By the way, if you're curious what I bought when I visited SR Harris, I published a fabric haul video on my YouTube channel.


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Monday, June 14, 2021

Vogue 8588 - Side Drape Pants with Big Pockets

I remember pondering whether or not to purchase Vogue 8588 when it was released in 2009.  I ultimately decided against it as I was working in a fairly conservative environment and didn't think I'd have too many opportunities to wear them.

Of course once the pattern became OOP (out of print) I wanted it. But not enough to pay the high prices when I would find it on Etsy and eBay, haha.  Can you relate? 

Recently a sewing friend sent me a few patterns she was not going to use, and Vogue 8588 was included! Lucky me! 

Vogue 8588 Side Drape Pants with Big Pockets in Floral Knit worn by Sharon Sews

The pants are rated easy and described as "above ankle length, with upper and lower sections forming drapes at the sides, large pockets, and stitched hems".  Here's the pattern cover and line drawing. 

 The pants are designed for knits and I used a floral ITY from Metro Textiles.   I sewed a 14 and found there is quite a bit of ease, especially since the fabric is fairly lightweight.

Vogue 8588 Side Drape Pants with Big Pockets in Floral Knit worn by Sharon Sews

I'll admit, combining a bold print with a bold design is not for everyone. I'm your typical extroverted introvert (and more of a behind-the-scenes type), but when it comes to my clothing choices if I like something I don't care if it causes people to do a double take :-)

Vogue 8588 Side Drape Pants with Big Pockets in Floral Knit worn by Sharon Sews

I did have to really think about how to lay out the pattern pieces as I had a hard time figuring out exactly how they would go together.  Because the fabric had such a large floral print, I was trying to keep it somewhat symmetric on the left and right sides. 

One thing I hadn't considered was the curved seamline along the front and back. The top of the pants (front and back) ended up black so that curved seam is evident, as you can see in this photo.  I won't wear a shirt tucked in so it won't be that noticeable.

Vogue 8588 Side Drape Pants with Big Pockets  and Cashmerette Concord Tee n Floral Knit worn by Sharon Sews

By the way, I used the leftover floral knit to sew a Cashmerette Concord Tee so I would have a faux jumpsuit look.  Sadly, the summer heat has arrived - after a long bout of daily rain and cooler weather - and the ITY knit tee is uncomfortable to wear outside. 

Vogue 8588 Side Drape Pants with Big Pockets  and Cashmerette Concord Tee in Floral Knit worn by Sharon Sews

 The pattern is easy to sew but you do have to make sure you mark all of the dots.  If my fabric would have looked the same on both sides it would have been important to mark right and wrong sides too. 

Vogue 8588 Side Drape Pants with Big Pockets  and  in Floral Knit worn by Sharon Sews

Did I mention my favorite part is the BIG pockets?!?  They're not really practical but they sure are fun.

Vogue 8588 Side Drape Pants with Big Pockets  and  in Floral Knit worn by Sharon Sews

These pants are even more comfortable than my leggings!  I plan on sewing a pair in black soon. 

Vogue 8588 Side Drape Pants with Big Pockets  and Cashmerette Concord Tee in Floral Knit worn by Sharon Sews



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Monday, June 07, 2021

Minerva - McCall's 7325 Floral Boho Pullover Top

 I am over at Minerva wearing big and bold florals!  My flowy pullover top is McCall's 7325 and you can read all about it here.

McCall's 7325 a pullover boho top sewn with a floral peachskin fabric from Minerva modeled by Sharon Sews


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