Saturday, January 7, 2012

Now . . .

I've realized lately that I've been depending a lot on knit tops to round out my wardrobe--they are quick to make, easy to care for in the laundry, easy to wear, and the colors/prints available now are just so much fun!  Knit tops made from a pattern with interesting design lines in a fabulous print can really make a statement as well--and after all, is that not part of why we sew our own garments?  But I need and want some simple, yet interesting, blouses to wear that can both hold their own as a stand-alone garment (well, with a bottom garment, of course) and be worn under a jacket.  With that in mind, I've set another mission for myself this year to bring a few of my shirt/blouse patterns to TNT (Tried-n-True) status, so that I can just pull the pattern, lay it on a fabric, cut and sew with only a little thought as to adapting the fit for the specific fabric chosen.  I started off with the Now Shirt pattern from The Sewing Workshop.

According to the size chart on the pattern, my current measurements put me in an XL (sigh.  I'm working on that--yet another of this year's personal missions).  I then pulled the tissue and did a little flat pattern measuring.  After that, I decided to trace a Large through the shoulders and armscyes, extending to an XL through the body of the shirt.  I also added 5 inches in length at the hemline.  I knew from looking at the pattern, as well as reading others' experiences with this pattern on Stitcher's Guild and Patternreview, that the Now Shirt was designed to be high hip length.  That length is not terribly flattering on my body structure, so I added.  Then I also ended up taking about 1.5 inches out of the sleeve length.  I have short arms, so this is a common alteration for me in tops and jackets.  (Or, as I read how Shams put it once--"I have the arms of a tyrannosaurus rex"--made me LOL and spit coffee on the computer.)

I also toyed with whether to add an FBA.  Sometimes I need to and sometimes I can get away without.  I decided to try going without the FBA and see what happened.  I ended up with a few draglines from the bust--more visible on the dressform than on me, thank goodness--which I decided didn't bother me.  If I keep my arms moving, no one will notice right?  Finally ready to put scissors to fabric, I went to the shelves and pulled out a beautiful rayon batik in various shades of rust and green.  It has aged in the collection for several years and I decided I deserved to use it.  Can't remember specifically where I got this fabric, but it had to have been Sawyer Brook, Waechter's or  They are the only places from which I've ordered rayon batik in the last couple of years.  Buttons ended up being problematic.  I didn't have anything in my button stash that was appropriate, so I traveled to the local fabric/craft store.  An entire wall of buttons, and only one style really jumped out as working well with this fabric.  Of course, they only had four in stock and I needed five, so I have to wait until they restock to completely finish this project.  In the meantime, however, this is what I ended up with (the orangey tone is a little more muted in reality than in the photos):


  1. Great marriage of fabric and pattern. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I think it is beautiful. Great first stab at it becoming a TNT for you.

  3. I love it! The fabric is gorgeous and I'm sure it looks great on you. I've made the Now Shirt several times and it's a favorite.

  4. Beautiful, fellow t-rex! It looks really nice longer and that batik is gorgeous.

    Sorry to hear I'm endangering your keyboard! :)