Entries in By Amy (7)
by Amy, photos by Hannah and Heather
Mornings and evenings have been noticably cooler recently, and I have been needing the right layer to wear over my summer wardrobe of Sorbetto tops, so I pulled this wrinkled pink thing out of my closet a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been without it since. I made it several years ago from Martha McQuade’s elegant design at Melissa Frantz’s instigation. A few minutes of folding, a few short seams (I stitched mine by hand), and you’re good. Really good.
Okay, I should have taken a minute to make it look nicer for you, but trust me: it gathers gracefully at the neck, and has interest from the back without being fussy. As a transition piece, I find it indespensible.
I knew I would need to make another to refresh my memory of the pattern, so I made this version out of a super soft hemp blend sweatshirt fleece.
We have so many lovely knits right now that I feel sure we can find just the right one to keep you cozy through fall. A nautical stripe for your last of summer beach trip, perhaps? Bonus: two and a quarter yards makes two wraps, so you can gift the second one!
I often tell customers that, given the price of individual patterns these days, if there are at least two patterns in a sewing book they feel they would like to make, it is worth buying the book. I wanted to show you one more pattern out of Tanya Whelan’s book Sew What You Love to bring home this point. I picked another pattern for knit fabric which can literally be banged out in a few hours. One pattern piece, four seams, and some hemming…you gotta love it.
I have to say that as I was sewing this one up I wasn’t sure if I would like the style on me. It’s been a few decades since I rocked the dolman sleeves, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The torso is rather long on my short body, but scrunches up casually on my hips in a way that I like. I might try a little elastic thread “ruching” next time to emphasize this effect.
If you were considering this book after seeing the Go-To Dress, I would definitely encourage you to try on the tunic sample next time you’re in the shop. It’s another basic piece that I’ll be making over and over again.
We all love a sure thing: the recipe that never fails; the outfit that always gets a complement; the sewing patterns that are tried and true. I’ve personally made half a dozen of Colette’s Sorbetto top, for example. But I have a new love, and I want to share it with you. Behold, the “Go-To” Dress from Tanya Whelan’s book Sew What You Love:
If you have been tempted to try sewing with knits (who hasn’t?!?) but feel a little nervous about the learning curve, this is a perfect pattern to start with. There are only two pattern pieces. I made a first sample with a fabulous grey jersey covered with fuchsia flocked stars from France. (It was so sassy and fun that someone swiped it from the store!) The replacement sample above is in a super soft and drapey bamboo pique, which I think will transition well into fall. The effect can be completely changed by your fabric choice.
I sewed this up in an afternoon on my regular home machine (no serger necessary) with the help of some Wash Away Wonder Tape, a ball-point needle, and some elastic thread. The pattern calls for three rows of shirring at the waist, but I liked the way one row was skimming my body, and left it at that. It can be made alternately as a tunic top, you can add shirring at the shoulders, and there are instructions for a sash or belt as well. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it looks good on everyone who has tried it on at the shop.This is a pattern I plan on returning to again and again.
(Stay tuned for Just In, coming up tomorrow!)