Cashmerette Vernon - TomKat Stitchery Shirt Making 101


I had the great pleasure of spending this weekend in the Indianapolis area sewing with my friend Whitney from TomKat Stitchery, and almost a dozen new sewing friends! I took Whitney's Shirt Making 101 class, love my final shirt, and had a blast making it.

The first evening was focused on fit. Whitney helped take our measurements and assess which size would fit us best. She had prepared muslins in advance for us to try on based on our measures and that helped us speed through any adjustments we needed to make. I fell into the size 6 range and, although this pattern offers much more ease than I usually wear, I liked that style and decided not to size down. I did shortened the sleeves 1" for length and and additional 1 3/4" to use the longer cuffs. I also shortened the body 1" at the lengthen/shorten line and made a 3/8" broad shoulder adjustment.

Our homework on the first night included cutting out our adjusted pattern pieces and interfacing so we could start sewing first thing on the second day. Whitney didn't follow the order of construction in the pattern instructions and it was very interesting to learn the order of steps she prefers to construct her shirts. By the end of the second day our shirts were mostly assembled and looked like shirts. I think my biggest takeaway from the second day was, in addition to using the burrito method for the yolk piece, Whitney also used a modified burrito method on the collar stand and cuffs. I don't think I'll ever make a button up shirt another way!

Of course we finished day two with a field trip to True Cotton, a local fabric shop that supplied the materials for our course. I don't think anyone, myself included, left empty handed. Hopefully you'll see makes with those fun fabrics soon.

The third and final day we focused on the finishing touches including hemming our shirts with bias tape, buttons and button holes. I'm so thrilled with how well my shirt turned out and can't wait for the linen to soften with time.

Pattern: Cashmerette Vernon
Size: 6, shortened in the sleeves and body with a broad shoulder adjustment
Fabric: linen cotton blend from True Cotton
Time: I was able to finish my button up over the course of the three day workshop

Cost to Make: Whitney's class included all supplies needed, some fun swag, and food during the day - approximately $520 value


Colors of Korea Formal Simplicity Dress

My husband and I recently took a trip to Sweden and attended a formal gala themed "The Colors of Korea." We were asked to wear colors from the South Korean flag and I didn't have a dress for the occasion, so you know I made one!

Over the course of the next year it is my goal that each new make of mine uses a fabric and/or pattern from my stash. I needed to purchase a fabric for this dress since I didn't have one in my stash that fit the dress code so I searched my stash for a pattern I already owned and found Simplicity 2580. I originally thrifted this pattern for a very inexpensive price since it looked like something I would wear, but I didn't have any specific plans for it. Glad I grabbed it when it was available!

Working with this fabric was a breeze, even when I needed to unpick seams a few times. However, I really struggled with the sizing and ease of this pattern. My measurements had me in a size 12/14 but I am usually a size 10 in Simplicity patterns so that's what I cut. I ended up taking three inches out of the bust in a number of increments and could have taken a bit more out. But the hips were a good fit so I graded from the under-bust to the hips. Thankfully there was elastic in the center back to help hold the dress up.

This view of the pattern called for a tie closure behind the neck but I decided to trim down the ties and sew them together at the center back to create a more formal look. To get into the dress I really have to shimmy my head through the opening. This may not have been the best idea, but it was the quickest fix. I also cut an additional three and half inches off before the bottom of the skirt before hemming it.

Ultimately the dress looked great and I felt comfortable eating in it. However, the weight of the fabric pulled the dress down as the night wore on and I needed to readjust the tension at the front of the neck multiple time throughout the night. It was choking me! I may wear this dress again because I've already made it, but I honestly wouldn't make View E again.

Pattern: View E of Simplicity 2580, printed in 2009
Size: 6-10
Fabric: 2 1/2 yards of matte jersey knit fabric with 50% stretch, 94% polyester and 6% lycra, machine wash and line dry
Time: 4-5 hours due to fit issues, it should have taken much less time

Cost to Make:
pattern - $1-5, I can't remember the exact cost
fabric - $8.99/yard, for a total of $22.50 (but it often runs 30%)
*elastic and thread from stash
TOTAL VALUE: approximately $25

Cher Top in Minerva Linen Viscose

My husband and I recently took a trip to Sweden. The weather was cool and called for a moderate amount of rain so I packed lots of layers, including my new Cher Knit Top in Minerva Core Range Linen Viscose Sweater Knit. I felt both comfortable and stylish in it, a travel win! Head over to my Minerva profile to read all about this make and purchase your own linen viscose here.

Fabric for this make was gifted to me by Minerva in exchange for a post on their site. This post contains affiliate links and I appreciate your support!

Maroon Cotton Lycra Westminster

I've had the Styla Westminster on my to-make list since it came out, and I can't believe I waited this long to make it! I love that this single piece can elevate my whole outfit. It has truly become a staple in my fall wardrobe.

I used maroon cotton lycra jersey knit from The Fabric Fairy in my perfect shade. This fabric is gorgeous and has stood the test of time and multiple washings. I think I need shirts in every color.

To create a square neckline the Westminster is self-lined, creating a shapewear effect. I made the long sleeve view with an elastic channel and love the visual interest these sleeves offer. One critique I have of this pattern is that the inner sleeve seams are longer than the elasticated outer seams and I find myself pulling up the inner sleeve seams throughout the day as I wear the top. If I were to make this top again I would size up one size, make the scoop neck version and use a single layer of fabric on the body finishing the neckline with a band. I would also make the shorter sleeve version and potentially add elastic to the inner seam as well as the outer seam.

This stylish new Westminster was the perfect addition to my fall wardrobe. I can wear it casually with a pair of jeans or dressed up with a plaid skirt. The sleeves add visual interest without adding too much bulk allowing me to layer over this top well. I'm getting a lot of wear out of it!

My goal for the next year is to make garments using a pattern and/or fabric from my stash. I had the Westminster pattern printing and waiting to be made and was able to use a fabric featured in my calm summer palette. This make is fitting all the bills.

Size: 4 
Time: 4-5 hours

Cost to Make:
pattern - $11 value (gifted to me)
fabric - $20 value, plus $9 shipping (gifted to me)
*elastic and thread from stash
TOTAL VALUE: $40 value

The Fabric Fairy fabric and Styla Westminster pattern were both gifted to me. I'm genuinely loving this top and am sharing my honest opinions in the post above.

Cashmerette Lygon Robe in Minerva Deluxe Viscose

It has been a pleasure joining Cashmerette on their fall Cashmerette Club pattern releases. This month they released the Lygon Robe, a super luxe robe with prominent channel stitching and optional accent fabric. I used Minerva Core Range Deluxe Viscose Challis in fuchsia and a few remnants of the Minerva Exclusive Dynamic Brushstrokes to create a soft and flowy robe. Join Cashmerette Club this month to receive the Lygon Robe pattern and to read all about my make head to my Minerva page!

The Lygon Robe pattern was gifted to me in exchange for photos of the finished garment and fabric for this make was gifted to me in exchange for a post on Minerva's site. This post contains affiliate links and I appreciate your support!


Stanton Hoodie 1/4 Zip


It's September, I'm officially moved, and the weather in Michigan is cooling off at night. That means its time to start sewing snuggly things!

I recently had the pleasure of joining Cashmerette in sewing up the 1/4 Zip option for their Stanton Hoodie expansion pack, this month's Cashmerette Club pattern. The 1/4 Zip was a quick and rewarding sew and my new sweater is perfect for this transitional weather. I really appreciate how detailed Cashmerette pattern instructions are, even down to the pattern piece numbering (sew piece one to piece two, then piece three...). The instructions even include a suggested stitch length for each step. Plus all my seams matched up perfectly. Slow clap for this pattern.

To make a coordinating set I used the True Bias Hudson Pants for a pair of jogger shorts. I widened both the front and back pieces by 1/4" at the base of each side seam to give more ease around my thigh. I also elongated the outer seam by 1/4", but wouldn't do that again. There was just barely enough fabric for these shorts, but I'm so glad I was able to make it work!

To complete the outfit I made a StayStitch Pattern Lola Tank in white cotton interlock. It was quick, easy, and so stylish - a perfect naptime sew!

Packing up everything in my last sewing room, fabric and patterns and notions, forced me to take a long hard look at everything in my stash. For a while now I've been purchasing fabric and patterns more quickly than I could sew the garments I've been dreaming of. But I really want to make those garments, that's why I've purchased all the supplies! So over the course of the next year I plan to only make garments with a fabric and/or pattern I already own. I want to focus on using the items in my stash that I love. 

For this outfit I already owned the Stanton Hoodie pattern and was gifted the expansion pack. I already owned the Hudson Pants patterns and have made them several times this year. And I won the Lola Tank pattern in an Instagram giveaway! My main fabric, the French Terry, was gifted to me from the Fabric Fairy and I already owned the pocket lining fabric. I only needed to purchase the ribbing from Minerva. I was also gifted the white cotton from Fabric Fairy. This set is a perfect match for my "calm summer" color palette and I feel great wearing it.

Patterns: Stanton Hoodie and 1/4 Zip Expansion Pack, Hudson Pants, Lola Tank
Size: 4 in the Stanton, 4 in the Hudson, 
Fabric: 1 1/2 yards Candy Pink Cotton Lycra French Terry knit from Fabric Fairy, 1 meter Minerva Core Range Tubular Rib Stretch Knit in Bright Pink, 2 yards Light Pink 3/8 Cotton Hoodie Drawstring Flat Tape, remnants for jersey knit from my stash; 1 1/2 yards Bright White Cotton Interlock from Fabric Fairy
Time: 4 hours for Stanton Hoodie, 3 hours for Hudson Shorts, and 1 hour for Lola Tank

Cost to Make:
patterns - Join Cashmerette Club for as little as $9, this month, and get the Stanton Hoodie plus expansion pack, $18.50 Hudson Pants pattern (which I used multiple times), $16 Lola Tank pattern
fabric - $17 French Terry, $1.50 Flat Tape, $15 Cotton Interlock (plus $9 shipping) from Fabric Fairy; $13 Tubular Rib (plus $5.50 shipping)
*interfacing, pocket lining, thread, and zipper from my stash
TOTAL VALUE: $104.50

The Fabric Fairy fabric. Cashmerette Club pattern, and Lola Tank pattern were gifted to me for these makes. And I sure an thankful, because I've been wearing this set weekly! All opinions are my own.

Vintage McCall's in Dynamic Brushstrokes


I am in love with this pairing - the 1979 McCall's wrap dress and Minerva Exclusive Dynamic Brushstrokes viscose challis. Whether I wear the wrap in the front or the back I feel so elegant in this dress. Visit my profile on the Minerva blog to learn more about this make and purchase your own Dynamic Brushstrokes viscose challis through my affiliate link here.

This fabric was gifted to me in exchange for a post on Minerva's site and this post contains affiliate links. I'm loving this dress and appreciate your support!


Summer White Tennis Set


This year I've been subscribing to The Everyday Style School's seasonal capsule wardrobes and, paired with sewing exclusively in "my colors," I've been loving my makes! One trend I've been noticing this season is white tennis dresses/outfits and pairing the GreenStyle Creations Aria Twist Top and Rally Skirt, in my true white, was my answer to this trend. For fabric I used two yards of The Fabric Fairy's Carbon White Bi-Layer Poly Lycra Tricot.

I'm not much of a tennis player, but I'm looking forward to the ability to mix and match these pieces, most likely wearing the top for yoga and the skirt to play golf. Due to the bi-layer nature of the fabric this tricot is highly wicking while still being structured and opaque, making me confident in my choice to use white. I appreciate that the skirt comes with both briefs and shorts options. I know I'll enjoy the addition of the pockets offered in the shorts view!

I made size "E" for both patterns, using the shorter top with the racer back and the 3/4 circle skirt in the shortest length. I think I'll get the most wear out of the skirt and would be more likely to make that pattern again in the future. If I were to make the top again I would size down to a "D" and would try to add a shelf bra or cups.

The second adjustment I would make if I were making this set again would be to use a zigzag stitch at the top of the skirt waistband. I made the mistake of using a triple straight stitch at top of waistband and, while it does stretch, I have a difficult time getting the skirt on and off. I've made this same mistake with leggings in the past - when will I learn?!

Both patterns were quick and easy to make and the fabric was a breeze to work with. By the end of the first night wearing the set I had avocado on both pieces (thanks Baby A!) but I'm happy to report they laundered well and I have a perfectly white set again. I love this addition to my summer capsule.

Patterns: GreenStyle Creations Aria Twist Top and Rally Skirt
Size: E, both patterns
Time: Both garments were quick sews and I would estimate I spent about 5 hours on them both including printing and taping the pattern and cutting everything out

Cost to Make:
patterns - $15.50 (purchased on sale) plus printing costs
fabric - $25 plus shipping (value)
*thread from my stash
TOTAL VALUE: $40.50+

I recently joined The Fabric Fairy's promotional team and was gifted this fabric. But rest assured I love it and would purchase it again on my own!

Love Notions Rhapsody in Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe Fabric

I had a great day sewing with my mentor Whitney, making bias tape and the Love Notions Rhapsody in this gorgeous Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe Fabric. I can't say enough how soft this fabric is and what a joy making bias tape is. I borrowed her bias tape maker and will certainly be putting bias tape makers on my Christmas list!

This fabric was gifted to me in return for a post on Minerva's site and this post contains affiliate links. I love this fabric and would purchase it again! Thank you for your support.


Minerva Core Range Striped Cotton Jersey


I have been absolutely loving the new Minerva "core range" fabrics. These are fabrics that Minerva can reorder repeatedly so you always know you can get more. I certainly made the most of the striped cotton jersey Minerva recently gifted to me, making a McCall's 6886 cropped to be a t-shirt, a fitted Itch to Stitch Lago Tank and even a pair of Megan Nielsen Acacia Underwear. I wish I'd ordered more, good thing I still can! To read more about these makes visit my profile on the Minerva page and click here to order your own striped cotton jersey, in any number of colors!

This fabric was gifted to me in return for a post on Minerva's site and this post contains affiliate links. I love this fabric and will certainly be ordering more! Thank you for your support.

Stanton Sweater in White French Terry


I was recently gifted both the Stanton Hoodie pattern and this beautiful white French Terry from Minerva to participate in their #TopIdol challenge. The most fun feature of this sweater, for me, is using the reverse side of the French Terry for the cuffs and bands. You can read all about my make on the Minerva site and purchase your own Stanton Hoodie pattern and French Terry here.

This fabric and pattern were gifted to me in exchange for a post on Minerva's site. This post contains affiliate links and I appreciate your support! I love this French Terry and am glad its part of Minerva's "core range" which can be purchased again and again.

Linen Hudson Pants


I can hardly say enough good things about these linen joggers. I just LOVE them and have been wearing them nonstop since they came off the sewing machine!

I used the True Bias Hudson Pants patterns and sized up two sizes to compensate for the woven fabric. I already owned this pattern in tissue, which I had cut out in my size to make my first pair of French terry joggers. You should have seen me trying to add back in the additional two sizes while cutting out the pants - actually you can see a reel on my Instagram account. Its kind of hilarious in retrospect, even if it wasn't too funny at the time!

I also increased the ankle cuff pattern pieces to 12" x 5" so I could fit my foot through the opening and use the same two inch elastic I used in the waistband. If I make woven joggers with this pattern again I would increase the length to about 14", allowing putting my foot through the opening a bit easier.

I used a shoelace purchased from Amazon for the drawstring and, since I wanted to make this a "luxe" look I splurged on gold aglets for the tips of the laces. I love how the coarse texture of the linen contrasts with the polished drawstring details.

To complete the look I traced off my favorite Athleta top and tried to recreate it with a complementing bamboo. I think the bamboo was just too heavy and this top feels too big, not to mention the hems on the body and sleeves aren't particularly pretty even though I used stabilizer. I may turn it inside out and pin out some of the excess material to try to salvage it because I'm not loving it right now.

Eversewn generously donated the sewing tools I used to make this "luxe for less" look. Thank you Eversewn! I love my new linen joggers, and am working on loving the top.

Patterns: True Bias Hudson Pant, Athleta dupe t-shirt
Size: 8 Hudson Pant
Time: Both garments were surprisingly fast sews, I would estimate I spent about 6 hours creating the whole look.

Cost to Make:
pattern - previously owned the Hudson Pant pattern ($18.50 value) and created the t-shirt pattern using my favorite Athleta t-shirt ($54.00 value)
fabric - $19.50 for 1 1/2 yards linen, $24.50 for bamboo yardage
elastic - $9.00 for 2" soft waisband elastic from JoAnn
shoelace and aglets - $7.00 for set of 55" shoelaces and $9.00 for 4 gold aglets
thread and stay tape from stash
TOTAL: $69 for the both pieces, a $141.50 value
[name=Marissa] [img=//] [description=Hi, I'm Marissa, a hobby seamstress. Thanks for joining me on my journey as I create a handmade wardrobe. Like and follow via the social media links below to see my newest makes!] [(instagram=] [(facebook=] [(bloglovin=]