Hi! I’m Cass (@CraftyProfessor on Instagram) and this is my first blog post for Cali Fabrics, so I’ll start by telling you a bit about myself. I have always been crafty, and I have always sewn, but it was only about three years ago that I really started sewing and using patterns. Prior to that, I had made lots of pillow cases, curtains, duvet covers, and dresses out of thrifted men’s t-shirts. Then a few years ago, I got my first PDF pattern for children’s leggings when my son was about six months old. I was surprised that it was so much easier to follow a pattern than to just make something up! Soon after that, I upgraded sewing machines, turned my office into an ‘atelier’, and I now sew every day! I am a full-time accounting professor, and have a three-year-old son and a husband, so I have to squeeze my sewing into my free time on evenings and weekends during my son’s naps.
One thing I have learned to be extremely important in apparel sewing is matching the fabric to the pattern. To help me with this, I have a spreadsheet (I told you I was an accountant!) with all of the patterns I have (or want) and then I mark off which types of fabrics would work well with each pattern, including colors, prints, stripes, etc. This helps me plan my makes, because when I’m browsing fabric online, it’s easy to just impulsively get some that I’m attracted to without really thinking about what patterns it would work with. I ran into this issue a while back when I ended up with a bunch of pieces with bold prints that didn’t pair well together. While I still love prints, I’m really gravitating towards solids right now, and I am pretty obsessed with textures as well!
For this post, I chose two solid color fabrics, but both have AMAZING textures and I am so happy with how they turned out. I wanted to create a whole look, so I made a top that could transition from winter to spring, and a skirt that could transition from spring to summer. So, let’s talk about them!
I chose Robert Kaufman Chambray Double Gauze. Double gauze fabric is so lovely to work with. I love how it maintains a bit of an intentional wrinkle after washing and it is so soft and flowy. This gauze is pretty light weight (typical for a double gauze), though it tightened up a bit after washing. I wouldn’t recommend making anything too structured with this, but it is perfect for an open cardigan or flowy skirt. I did end up wearing a slip under the skirt I made, though it probably wouldn’t be necessary.
I made the Meadow Skirt from Twig and Tale. I actually tested this pattern and this was my fourth variation on this skirt, but I lengthened this one a bit more than any of the others. Although not called for in the pattern, I chose to use French seams and the inside is as pretty as the outside! I made size e and tightened the back elastic a bit so it is pretty snug. The construction is quite easy, and I love that the back is elastic, so it pulls on easily and there is no need to a zipper or buttons. I also love the optional attached belt, which can be tied in the front or the back!
I have plenty of top patterns, but I have been loving all of the makes of the Adrienne Blouse by Friday Pattern Company, so in anticipation of this post, I bought that pattern, as I thought it would go well with a high waisted flowy skirt. I chose Dusty Blush Soft Brushed Wide Rib Sweater Knit. It appears to be out of stock now, but you could achieve a similar look with another sweater knit or even a French terry, such as:
True to the reviews, it is a really simple and fast project. I made size small in the bust, graded to medium in the waist, which is a size larger than my measurements, but I didn’t want the fit to be too snug. I also shortened the sleeves about an inch. This pattern literally only has three paper pattern pieces, which I love! The front and back pieces are the same, and the sleeve pieces are symmetrical (cut on the fold), which makes it easy to keep track of everything.
The only thing I found a bit strange about the pattern is that the seam allowance is 5/8 of an inch. Because of this, I had my needle moved to the far-left position, and that, mixed with excitement to get started, I sewed through my finger on the VERY FIRST STITCH of this shirt. I gasped, threw a band aid on it, and the rest of the top went smoothly!
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Instagram to see more of my makes and feel free to send me a message if you have any questions!