Revisiting Old Favorites

Jenny Maker Navy Anchor Embroidered Corduroy S2451 (1 of 2)

The evolution of the sewing blogging community has been an interesting thing to witness. I myself have been blogging about sewing (off and on) since 2011(!). In those early days, the phrase TnT, which stands for tried-and-true, was used quite a bit. Many of us made it a habit to use the same patterns over and again in a variety of colors or fabrics. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? Lately, the focus of the community at large (often, myself included) seems to be more toward trying all of the latest patterns, particularly indie, as they come out. So many patterns, so little time, am I right? While I can definitely see an argument for either way of sewing or cultivating a wardrobe, this specific set of fabrics brought me right back to the TnT way of thinking.

You see, while browsing Cali for new ideas, I first came upon this anchor corduroy fabric. Anchors are just one of those classic motifs loved by nearly everyone and I’m certainly not an exception. I’m a Naval Officer’s daughter who grew up 20 minutes from a beach, so you could say my love for all things nautical runs deep. Ingrained, really. So, there was no question that I needed to add this fabric to my wardrobe.

Choosing a pattern was instant too. One of my first TnTs when I started sewing my own clothes was Simplicity 2451 and, for a time, I was on a bit of a roll buying up corduroy and whipping one of those skirts together. So, it just seemed natural that in buying a new cord, I’d sew up my old favorite. And you know what? I love it just as much as I did before! (For the fit changes I made this time or need to make for the next, keep an eye on my personal blog for an updated review of this pattern.) It’s a fairly classic style, works really well in corduroy, easy to sew together, and is comfortable to wear. I’ve always felt it was a perfect match for baby wale, because it’s not too formal, allows for a few casual details, like an exposed zip and topstitching, but still has the pleats for a bit of visual interest.

And I have to say this Kaufman cord was a nice step up from the ones I used during my first run with this pattern. There’s a bit more weight and structure to it, making it easier to sew and wear, while still keeping the softness that works so well with the pleats. What more could I want?

Jenny Maker Navy Anchor Embroidered Corduroy S2451 (2 of 2)

From there, I decided I would make a mini capsule*, so I went in search of a nice jersey to make a simple tee to wear with the anchor skirt. This classic red and white stripe seemed a perfect match to play up the corduroy’s embroidery. And what better pattern to revisit than the Sew Over It Molly Top, which was essentially designed to showcase nautical striped fabrics haha. I’ve made this pattern once before, actually using another Cali fabric (you can read that post here), but it was a solid, so I was excited to sew up a striped version to showcase the dropped shoulders. And as a bonus, this pattern goes together so easily, even I managed to cut and sew it in a single afternoon! The resulting tee is so soft and cozy, but not sloppy and it’s going to be a great year-round piece in my wardrobe! Note: I would recommend cutting striped rayon jersey flat, rather than on the fold, to ensure your side seams will match. Rayon can be a bit shifty and, even though I matched up the stripes at the selvedge, something shifted in the middle of the fabric and my seams aren’t as well-matched as I would like.

From there, knowing that the weather was going to turn colder soon (I picked these fabrics in the early fall), I browsed the always reliable French terry section and found an amazing navy blue cotton (similar). Sold! And I knew instantly it needed to become another of the modified Hey June Tallinn sweatshirts I made earlier this year. This fabric was perfect for it! It’s a great weight to keep the chill off, and for making the funnel neck without too much drape (so it can also be worn up on the face if needs be), and still very breathable. And between the stable fabric (which also pressed well) and a well drafted pattern, this one came together fairly quickly too. Nothing better than a tried-and-true pattern that also works up very quickly so you can sew them during smaller blocks, or fill your wardrobe with them if your sewing time allows! Right? Oh yes, I have many more of these lined up in my sewing queue!

Jenny Maker Navy Hey June Tallinn Sweatshirt (2 of 3)

Now, about that title. The fun thing for me is that it’s actually two-fold. Obviously, I picked it because I was revisiting old favorite patterns. But, when I decided to pack all three items on a trip back to my hometown, I decided the photos should feature old favorite spots as well! I wore the skirt to Colonial Williamsburg, which I’d visited frequently during my last two years as a Virginia resident, and annually since, soaking up the history and the ambiance. The sweatshirt I wore to Virginia Beach, where I spent so many childhood days it would be impossible to count, yet hadn’t had the opportunity to visit again in the 10 years since I moved! I am so glad I finally had a chance to go back! And the sweatshirt was perfect for keeping off that chilly October sea breeze.  I didn’t get a chance to snap photos of the tee during the trip, but the week after we returned, we decided to go for a walk on a favorite historic property, located just a few minutes from our house, so of course we decided to take photos while we were there, rounding out the trio.

*If you’re wondering why I’m not actually wearing the pieces as a capsule outfit, it’s because while they work well together, wearing them as such meant hiding the bottom of the tee and/or the pleats of the skirt. So for my reviews, I thought it best to pair them with items already in my wardrobe. The good news is, they all mix and match well with what I already owned, which makes it an even more successful capsule!

So tell me, are you a TnT kind of sewist or do you prefer to try all new patterns as they come out?

Happy sewing! x

Jennifer M, from Jenny Maker

Hi! I’m Jennifer, or Jenny if you’d like, and I blog at Jenny Homemaker. I currently reside in Atlanta with my fiancé/sounding-board/photographer, Brandon, and fur baby/supervisor/photobomber, CoCo.

I started sewing in 2009 after a long-distance move, when it became clear I needed a new hobby. I was fearless, choosing a fully-lined, polyester satin, bubble-hem party dress as my first garment. As you might expect, it was a bit of a disaster and was never worn (we dubbed it the “shiny trash bag” dress), but I saw potential in the idea of sewing my own dresses and didn’t hesitate to jump back in.

What started as a way to pass the time has turned into one of the things I’m most passionate about! I’m well on my way to having a fully handmade wardrobe, sewing everything from lounge clothes to silk dresses! When I’m not sewing, I’m learning. When I’m not learning, I’m planning.

Since fabric is such a great part of sewing (sometimes the best part, right!?), I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Cali Fabrics team, sharing some amazing fabrics and helpful tips with you!

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