I’m probably out of my mind, but I’m attempting the Wardrobe Sudoku contest at PR this month. It’s a tall order to make 10 items in 2 months, but as I started work, all of my plans kept falling in a similar color palette. The writing and photography aspect of this will be the toughest. Getting in 10 individual reviews plus a composite review plus my own writing here is no small task. Yet, on the sewing end, I’m putting the finishing touches on item #6. That’s not too bad for the better part of 4 weeks to go. My first two items are this hummingbird tee and Burda denim skirt.
Hummingbird Tee and Burda denim skirt
Hummingbird tee: Burdastyle 2-2011-106
I’d meant to make a version of this Burda round neck top since the pattern came out. The high neck and long sleeves are just the kind of basic tee I wear all winter long. The pattern is 2-2011-106, and it’s a really basic long sleeve tee.
It’s sewn up here from an ultra soft cream supima cotton knit that I cut from a RTW tee. Reusing knits is one of my favorite practices. Finding really nice quality knits is not always the easiest task for me. I either find knits in my color palette that are junky quality or I find great knits that are not in my color palette.
As for the fit, I like it better than my Jalie 2921 whose side seams have needed an overhaul for a really long time if I’m being honest. I first made the Jalie post pregnancy, and as such, the side seams are far too generous for my current size. I’ve compensated by always basting in the sides in any tee first, then taking them in afterwards. While it’s effective and leaves some room for error when dealing especially with knits with less stretch, it’s also time consuming. I immediately transferred the better fitting Burda side seams to the Jalie. Hopefully, my side seam process will be quicker now!
The only thing about this pattern is that I could use a dart (gotta love those side seam wrinkles). I’ll have to see how this changes in a couple of months when I’m not nursing. Then it’ll be time to tackle a better fitting tee period.
Geometric Embroidered Hummingbird
I was inspired to add a bird applique after seeing this Loft tee.
The scale of the bird is a little too big for my taste, and I wanted the bird on the opposite shoulder. I try and keep embellishments on my right side so I can play violin without worry of it getting squashed under my instrument.
First, I traced a picture of a hummingbird. Then, using a window as a lightbox, I reduced the lines of the hummingbird to straight lines. The wing is the only line in the correct place. The rest of the lines connect the different points on the edges across the bird. Somewhere on Etsy I saw a print of a bird like this and thought it looked cool.
I traced the geometric bird onto a piece of soil separator cloth. This stuff is my go to material for embroidery and tracing patterns. It’s sheer, strong, and yet you can sew right through it and tear away the excess. I don’t have an embroidery machine, but I imagine it functions a lot like a tear-away stabilizer would.
After cutting out the soil separator tracing, I basted it to my finished tee with a layer of aqua powernet in between. Using a triple stitch and a blue Metrosene thread, I stitched all along the geometric lines. Then I pulled off the bits of soil separator and cut the powernet close to the stitching lines. It was a remarkably simple embellishment.
Burda World of Fashion 1-2008-111
Saving wardrobe orphans everywhere, it’s a denim skirt! I haven’t had a denim skirt in my wardrobe since I was pregnant with my 3rd son, and boy have I missed it. It turns out in winter, I really like slimmer skirts with boots, but the only one I have (this corduroy skirt) is a color that doesn’t necessarily look great with everything. The denim is more of a universal solution.
The denim I used is this 10 oz bleached indigo Robert Kaufman. The color is the perfect lighter blue that I’ve been on the hunt for. Dark denim is not my thing. The lighter hues fit into my color palette so much better and aren’t as visually heavy on me as the dark ones are. The hand of this denim is not my favorite. It’s a little papery feeling, but it was really easy to sew.
The pattern has a lot of cool details, namely the front zippered welt pockets with zipper pulls. It was suggested to cut the zipper ties from a bias strip, but that was obviously not happening in denim. Instead, I made the thinnest topstitched strip I could as if I were making belt loops. After multiple attempts, I couldn’t fit it through the zipper pull eye. I searched around and found some large jump rings that worked perfectly to attach the strip to the pull. I ran a little row of straight stitches through both layers of the denim strips so that they wouldn’t come unthreaded from the jump rings.
Selvedge belt loops
Whenever I see a pretty denim selvedge, I always try and incorporate it into my project. Here, I used the raw edge in the center of my belt loops.
On the back, I added a yoke and back pockets. I used one of the templates that Heather offers for her Ginger Jeans for the pocket topstitching. She really did some fantastic work offering a selection of back pocket designs. The shape of her pocket is a little different than the one I used (from this pattern), so I modified the angles slightly.
The bottom cuff is finished off with little tabs and tack buttons.
Since I finished this skirt, I’ve been wearing it with everything. By adding leggings, sweaters, tees, tanks, and everything in between, this skirt has already won its place as a permanent fixture in my weekly rotation of clothes.
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.