My most worn handmade garments

If you set a resolution for 2017 to build/expand your handmade wardrobe, this list is for you!

With almost 3 years (!!) of sewing garments under my belt, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my most-worn, most-loved patterns. I have learned a lot along this journey. While some garments were fun to construct [or maybe not so fun], they may not have turned out to be as loved in a day-to-day way.

My goal with this list is to provide you a few pattern recommendations that will surely be worth your time!

handmade-wardrobe

Disclaimer: The list is purely subjective and recalled from memory; not from actual daily tallies of use [but wouldn’t that be a fun experiment?!].

Being that I have avoided adding closures of any kind to a garment thus far {no zippers, no buttons, no problem!}, I would say that all of these patterns are beginner-friendly.

beautiful-things

Along this journey to build my handmade wardrobe, I have discovered “my style.” It’s eclectic {code word for: comfortably weird}.

My style moves on a continuum between dressing like a tween to dressing like a 90-year-old. To be honest: it’s not much a continuum – I mostly cling to one end or the other without much that fits in between. But I think that’s the beauty of sewing your own clothes: You have the freedom to choose exactly how you want your garment to look. You want a dress to match your dachshund? Girl Charlee’s got you covered. Need bright green leggings to make spin class more appealing? Imagine Gnats has you covered.

You’ll see both extremes of my style throughout the list below. I can’t promise my style is in style, but it’s mine. And I’m embracing it 🙂

iris-apfel

Handmade Garments I wore most in 2016

TRANSITION PIECES

Below are pieces that easily transitioned from season to season [aka: just-add-leggings]. 

Sew Caroline’s Out and About Dress | pattern

out-and-about-dress

The 3 Out & About Dresses I’ve made so far – from L to R: version 3, 1, and 2.

This was the very first pattern I sewed {first dress ever} and it has remained my very favorite! I even turned it into a shirt once.

The dress transitions perfectly to fall with a few layers – just add leggings, boots, a sweater and your favorite scarf!

out-and-about-dress-2

During the cooler weather, I wear my long-sleeved version almost every week.

I just ordered some dark gray ponte de roma fabric from imagine gnats that I’m hoping to turn into my 4th Out & About Dress – stay tuned!

{Read all about version 1 & 2 here and version 3 here.}

Sew Caroline’s Tank Dress | pattern

tank-dress-2

When this pattern was first released, I didn’t think I’d jump on that bandwagon. I thought the hemline was “too trendy” {I’ve already confessed my inner 90-year-old}, BUT I love it. It’s actually really easy to construct since it can be made with a woven [non-stretchy] fabric.

My second version [pictured here] is my most-worn because: I raised the elastic casing on the back of the dress about 2 inches [I think]. I’m petite which often requires altering (usually raising the waistline in dresses works for me). In my first version {mentioned in this post}, I was having some bunching in the back above the elastic because it was sliding up to my waist. It was such a simple alteration that completely changed the comfort and fit of the dress for me.

I wear this dress to work with a simple black cardigan and platforms in the summer and transition to fall/winter by adding leggings and boots. I love the versatility of the dress – easy to layer from season to season.

Fancy Tiger Craft’s Fen Dress

fen-dress

My first version of the Fen Dress [pictured here] is my favorite.

{Read all about both of my Fen Dresses in this post and see my 1st Fen Dress in action in this post.}

Shwin Designs’ Day Tripper Top | pattern

day-tripper-top

I got this pattern a long time ago as part of the Pattern Anthology “Just Add Jeans” collection. Embarrassingly, it’s the only pattern I’ve sewn from the collection so far.

For my version, I accidentally omitted the shoulder tabs and waist band which shortened the top (perfect length for petite frame FYI).

{Read all about my Day Tripper Top in this post and see it in action herehere and here on Thanksgiving.}

 

SUMMER

Sew Caroline’s Magnolia Shorts | pattern

magnolia-shorts

These shorts got some serious wear this summer. In past summers I have lived in my black Patagonia elastic waist shorts. The fabric is great for the heat (light and quick-drying/nearly-sweat-proof). While I love them so much, they make me look like a soccer mom (but not the kind that dresses up to sit on the sidelines. I’m the soccer mom wearing big sunglasses trying to hide the fact that she’s napping in her bag chair).

The Magnolia Shorts helped my summer wardrobe appear slightly more pulled together. I used a crepe fabric that had been donated to my stash from someone’s attic. The fabric was perfect for the shorts – drapey and breezy. It made my version morph into a skirt visually {thus, taking my wardrobe up 10 notches}.

{Read all about my Magnolia shorts in this post and see them in action in this post and here on Instagram.}

*PS: If you’re looking for shorts with pockets, check out the Parkside Shorts {read all about mine here}! I made 2 pairs – you can see the second pair in action at the bottom of this post.

My Refashioned Housedress

housedress_before after

This was one of the quickest, easiest projects so far. It was an easy-breezy hack-and-hem into the most comfortable dress ever saved from a landfill.

{Read all about the project in this post. I’m feeling inspired for more refashions – hopefully I’ll find some fun ones for 2017!}

 

WINTER

Blank Slate Pattern’s Tulip Top | pattern

leopard tulip top

I found 2 versions of the Tulip Top particularly inspiring: Sewbon {I love the textured knit and really like how she lengthened it and omitted the sleeve cuffs & neckband for a whole new look} & Sew Charleston {I loved the short-sleeve hack – we’re both in the always-hot-state-of-SC so short-sleeves get a lot of wear}. I actually copied Sew Charleston’s short-sleeved hack in this version, but unfortunately this version hasn’t been worn as much as it should be.

Fun note about the Tulip Top – it was just re-released with a cross-over back option.

Also: I was recently shopping for my adorably preggo sister at Motherhood Maternity and saw a nursing top (similar) that made me think this pattern might be a fun modification for maternity (cross-over in the back) and nursing (cross-over in the front). I’d love to say I’m going to make one for my sister, but my sewing list is so long my nephew might be walking by then!

{Read more about my leopard print Tulip Top in this post.}

I hope this post has inspired you and given you fresh ideas to build your handmade wardrobe. I’d love to hear what’s on your “to make” list for 2017 – share in the comments below!

What I’m Lovin’ in February

Aside from the fact that February brings lots of pink (yay!), it’s also the Hubs’ birthday month! Scroll on to see what I’ve been lovin’ this month…

resliced by Jordan

1. My latest Out and About Dress

out and about dress 3a

If I were a gamblin’ kind of gal, I’d bet my coworkers are getting tired of seeing me wear this dress every.week.! But I tell ya: I’m not sick of it! Not one bit. It’s so comfy. {Read all about the dress here}

2. My Leopard Print Tulip Top

leopard tulip top

I love how leopard print always makes me feel so sassy. And paired with bright pink accents means I feel extra sassy in my new Tulip Top! The pattern is by Melly Sews of Blank Slate Patterns. I bought the leopard french terry knit {looks like it’s sold out…I’m pretty sure I bought the last of the yardage! Here’s a zebra print french terry – equally as sassy!} and the pink knit ribbing from Imagine Gnats.

It’s not as noticeable in my picture, but the criss-cross front adds a sweet feminine element to this top and I love it!

3. This scarf MY SISTER SEWED for me!

scarf 2

On Saturday we had plans to meet up with Amber (who just so happens to be my quilt guild president, the sewing class teacher and bag-maker extraordinaire – I’m not convinced she sleeps) to model some of her bags.

You wouldn’t believe my excitement when my sister showed up at my door with THIS SCARF she had made me!! My heart just soared. I’m so proud of her. She was a trooper during the sewing class we took and has since been planning her next sewing project. I knew she was planning to attempt a scarf – and of course she didn’t pick the easiest pattern out there (we Slice Sisters go big or go home!), but I had no idea she was going to make me one too!

She had gifted me a set of fat quarters for Christmas, but I hadn’t settled on a project for them yet. The scarf pattern she chose involved using 6 fat quarters. She had already found some fabric she loved and ordered on Etsy, but was nervous to start with. I gave her back the bundle to practice with and reminded her: “what’s the worse that could happen?! We chop it back up and use the fabric for something else? Just go for it!”

And go for it she did! She made the scarf specifically to match my new favorite dress! Not only does it match my purple dress perfectly, but it matches the mint in my 2nd favorite dress perfectly too!

scarf

{PS: See our model shots here, here, herehere – and follow Roar Haus on Instagram for more or browse her Etsy shop!}

4. the Zoo

zoo 2

Yes, we totally celebrated the Hubs’ birthday at the zoo! It has been quite a while since I’ve been to the zoo and we had such a blast. Visiting the zoo as an adult is much different than when you were a kid (aka: the cages start to look smaller and the animals look a little more sad than you remember, but it was still fun!).

zoo

Ostriches always make me laugh. I’m not exactly sure why, but this picture makes me laugh every time I see it! In other giggle news, check out this adorable little penguin who put on quite a show for us! He was too cute.

 

5. IndieSew’s version of AddieK’s Canny Tunic

This version has me desperately wanting to make a Canny Tunic in a floral print ASAP!

indiesew canny

{Image via IndieSew – click the photo to be taken to their site}

 

You might remember my love for the Canny Tunic or maybe you know from all the other times you’ve seen pictures of me wearing them all.over.town. (here – oh! – and in England – here, here and here – they were pretty much all I wore while traveling!). I even converted the tunic to a dress for my sister!

The pattern is only 2 pieces which is pretty much GENIUS and most definitely beginner-friendly.

6. Our feature on Mortgages.com

Y’all might remember that time I shared a little bit about mine and Jeremy’s decision to skip a wedding and buy a house instead. It’s a story I love to tell. Skipping a wedding isn’t for everyone, but we’re still loving the decision we made.

Last week a super sweet colleague from a previous job contacted me and asked if she could share our story for Mortgages.com. Of course I said yes! What an honor! Kylee did a great job capturing our story – you can read it here if you’re interested.

Sending you sprinkles of joy and warm hugs til next time,

Jordan

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}