Striped High Low Wiksten

So I mentioned awhile back that I had a bunch of old projects to share and I keep meaning to get them blogged, but I get distracted by new projects every day and keep falling further and further behind.  I start to wonder if some things were never meant to be blogged.

Buuuut then Rae made a personal challenge to post pictures of past creations that she never blogged about to “clean out the virtual closet” before she dives into KCWC.  It’s inspired me to just get this stuff off my “to blog” list too, instead of letting .  So my goal is to get a few things on the blog and off that list this week.  I can’t promise I’ll get it all up, but if I can cross at least a couple off this week, I’ll be pretty happy.

So the first is a project that I made for me and not too long ago.  I had this idea to use the Wiksten Tank pattern but adjust the hemline so it was higher in the front and lower in the back.  This style is pretty popular, I think, especially on skirts and dresses.  I didn’t want it to be too high in the front or low in the back, so I went pretty subtle.  Maybe it’s more of a medium-low than a high-low?

The fabric is a lacey striped knit from Joann’s that is a bit see through.  I actually thought it was going to be a lot more see through, but when I wear it, it’s pretty much not see through at all.

I had to do a few adjustments to the pattern to make this work with a knit.  I wanted the top to be fitted in the shoulder/chest area, so I went down a size for the top (to a medium).  But I still wanted the bottom to be nice and loose to skim over my tummy, so I cut the size large pattern for the bottom and just used a ruler to connect the lines from the medium armpit to the large hemline.  When I sewed the top together and tried it on, it was still waaaay too big in the chest, so I took it in about 4 more inches!  It’s amazing how much stretch you get with knit.

For the hemline, I kept the shape of the back, just lengthened it by about 2 inches and then cut the front in a subtle arc.

The other difference in construction is that instead of finishing the neck and arm holes with bias, I just folded the fabric over and sewed it down with a double needle.  It was fast and easy.

So there it is!  One project off my “to do” list, and now off my “to blog” list (and yes, I actually keep lists in my journal under each of those headings).  Hmmm . . . let’s see what else I can clear out of my “virtual closet” this week (sorry Rae, I’m seriously stealing your line).

Top of the Tops Week 2!

I’m totally shocked, but my Color Blocked Wiksten Tank was selected as one of this week’s Top of the Tops for Rae’s Spring Top Sewalong!!

Click HERE to check out all the top tops and vote for your favorite!  My top is labeled B, the Color Blocked Wiksten Tank, but there are a lot of awesome tops to choose from.

I kind of just threw this top into the pool on a whim (because Kristin told me to :)), and I don’t expect to win, but it was a fun surprise and a little affirmation for my FIRST ever sewing project for myself.  I’m totally motivated to sew more for me and I already have an idea for another top.  I just have to see if I can get it done before the sewalong ends on April 22nd!

Voting ends on Friday at noon (EST).  Thanks for checking it out!!

Color Blocked Wiksten Tank

So I did it!  Selfish sewing!  I finally sewed something for myself and what do ya know?  I like it!

There are a lot of reasons I don’t sew for myself, or adults in general.  One reason is because fit is soooo important and it feels like details REALLY matter on adult clothing.  Kids can wear elastic waistbands 24/7.  They can have slightly crooked hems or wonky seams and no one will care or notice.  Heck, it makes them look even cuter!  They look adorable in anything you put them in and most of the time they are just going to run around and roll in the dirt, so perfection isn’t necessary.

Adult clothing is different.  There are curves you can’t ignore.  You can’t just put elastic waistbands on everything (or can you? :P).  You want to wear your clothes in public, to work, where people may look at you funny if something is totally ill-fitting.  Or with unfinished seams, or crooked.  Unfortunately, it will not make you look cuter.

Adult clothing also requires a lot more fabric.  That means more money, and just more fabric to deal with, and combined with the reason above, it means more time!  I love how little material you need and how quickly you can whip up something for your wee one.

But the MAIN reason I don’t sew for me is because I don’t like my body!  Because I have body issues, it’s hard to imagine liking any clothing on myself and I don’t want to invest time and money into sewing for me if I’m not even going to like how it looks.  I feel much more compelled to sew for my sister because I know it’ll look cuter on her, like the Winter Party Skirt or the Wiksten Tank in Ikat.

But I decided that shouldn’t stop me and after giving up my Ikat print fabric to use for my sister’s top, I thought about what else I’m into now and I thought I’d try color blocking!  This is a pretty big trend right now and I thought with some bright colors it’d be a fun, youthful spring top.  So without further ado, here’s my color blocked Wiksten Tank!

I used 3 different colors of cotton fabric and sewed them together before cutting out the pattern pieces making sure they were lined up perfectly so the color blocks would match up at the side seams.

When it started coming together I wasn’t sure if I had made the right decision to color block, or if I had picked the right colors.  It looks so BRIGHT.  Maybe too youthful and bold?  I felt like something from the 80s or early 90s, or maybe something super hipster from American Apparel?  I really didn’t know if I could pull it off.  But after finishing it and trying it on (and toning it down with a cardigan), I realized that I liked it!

Let me just stop and say that I chose only the most flattering pictures to share with you.  Trust me, most of them were not so pretty.

And getting a good picture of yourself is hard!  I apologize for the awkward poses and poor lighting/quality.

So the pattern is the Wiksten Tank and I HIGHLY recommend it.  It’s a very simple and straight forward top (no buttons, zippers or special materials needed).  It comes together quickly and the fit is pretty flattering for most people I imagine.  The loose bottom covers little tummies quite nicely!  Because it calls for french seams there are no unfinished exposed edges and this makes the top look neat and professional.  It’s definitely a good top to start with if you’re just delving into adult clothing sewing.

It’s funny though, I kept thinking that the tops were waaay too big.  I made a size small for my sister and I thought for sure that it was going to hang off her petite frame.  But it fit her perfectly!  When I made mine, it looked like a circus tent!  And I was a bit disappointed to find that it fit me perfectly too.  Hah!  I think that it just comes from only sewing tiny little toddler clothes, I didn’t realize how much fabric you need to cover an adult body.

Anyways, I’m kinda inspired to sew more for me!  Between the Sewing for Me series that Kojo Designs and Sewing in No Man’s Land hosted and Made by Rae’s Spring Top Sewalong, I feel like not only is it doable, but it’s important to take the time to create for yourself.  I’d love to make a top to enter in the Spring Top Sewalong, so I’ve got some work to do!  You guys have any great patterns for women’s tops that you’d recommend??  Do you like to sew for you?

Wiksten Tank in Ikat

So my selfish sewing didn’t go exactly the way I had planned.  I bought the Wiksten Tank pattern which I first saw (and loved) here and then I noticed it popping up everywhere!  It’s such a cute top and pretty flattering for different body types.

I bought this Ikat printed fabric, Amy Butler’s Kasbah in Midnight Blue from her Lark Collection.  I’ve noticed that Ikat style prints have gotten pretty popular and thought it’d be a fun springy top.

But then I decided to make it for my sister instead.  Oops!

I couldn’t help it.  She’s just so cute that I thought this would be perfect for her!

I think she likes it.  She better, because I sacrificed some super cute fabric that was supposed to be mine!

As for me, I’m making my own Wiksten tank, but I had a different idea for the fabric.  I’m almost done, but I’m not sure that I like it.  It was a little bit of a wild idea and I don’t think I can pull it off!  But we’ll see and if it’s not totally awful, I’ll show you later this week.