As my pile of store-bought items dwindles down in my closet, I’ve realized that I’m missing some key items: basics. I need bottoms in particular, and some solid items in general. I often start planning a sewing project based on a piece of fabric, rather than starting from the idea of a garment and my love of prints has been well represented during this project, but it is getting harder to come up with an outfit that I can wear to work. So when I saw the Summer of Basics post from Grainline Studios, I knew I would be joining in.
First up was a Chardon Skirt from Deer and Doe. This was to replace an old Zara skirt I had for years and wore until you could practically read through it. I’ve made this skirt before and know that it’s a silhouette that works for me and a pattern that doesn’t require any alterations. I love the shape and I love those deep pockets. I used some charcoal grey stretch-shirting that I had in my stash and it makes for some crisp pleats. It looks grey or blue or purple, depending on the light. I used black bias tape to finish the hem, used a plain old regular zipper on the back and finished the seams with my serger. I’ve been wearing this skirt a lot already and it’s really come in handy during the warmer temperatures. I’m happy to have a neutral basic in my wardrobe again!
Project: Chardon Skirt from Deer and Doe
Total Cost: $41 (CAD)
Total Time: 6 hours
Techniques: Bias tape hem, serging
Fit Adjustments: None! I made a straight size 38
The Bruyere Shirt from Deer and Doe is a tried-and-true pattern for me. I’ve made several versions before and am always happy with the results. In the past, I have gone up a size and then taken it in as needed, but this time I opted to make my true size just to see the difference. I still removed some of the width of the upper arm, but the fit was pretty good without any kind of full-bust-adjustment. I think I would still try one next time, to help move the waistband down a bit.
Not that I didn’t make any changes, though: I like to interface the waistband as well, which means I also add a lining that piece. I used French seams where I could, but I’ll flat-fell them next time. I took out about 1 inch of length on the bottom pieces, but I feel like I could take out even more. I also moved the button-holes down an inch (I like to line up one within the waistband and go from there).
I was happy to conquer the sleeve plackets this time! I used the pattern piece (and instructions) from the Colette Negroni which was quick, easy and gives a clean finish. I did laugh at how big they are, though. I need to grade the pattern piece down for a better proportion on a woman’s shirt. I was excited that I got them to work, but they feel comically oversized. THEY ARE ALL-CAP PLACKETS. I also sewed the arms on the wrong sides at first and the plackets ended up right at the front. I must remember to mark which arm is which!
I knew I was going to need some long sleeved shirts for winter and this teal Robert Kauffman Shetland Flannel (bought at the lovely Patch Halifax) is so comfortable. I ended up taking out one layer of the interfacing on the collar because the fabric is so thick. I found it was almost too think for the button plackets and they are a little stiff. I’m hoping they will relax after a few washings. This shirt got a lot of wear over the holidays. It’s great for layering and I’ve worn it with leggings around the house and a blazer and trousers out for drinks. (I also have it on in this news story about my project!)
Project: Bruyere Shirt
Total Cost: $76
Pattern: $20 (CAD)
Time: 8 hours
Fit: I made a straight size 38, removing 1 inch of width from the arms and 1 inch of length from the bottom of the shirt.
What to work on: a quick make! This shirt includes 9 button holes, sleeve plackets, pleats, darts, a collar, etc. etc. After this and my winter coats, I’m ready for some less intensive projects.