After the sewing whirlwind that is Me Made May, June is usually a pretty low key month for me but this year the frenzy continued. During June I sewed two versions of the massively popular Zadie Jumpsuit and decided to tackle the pile of partially sewn projects dating as far back as 2015 (Oh my word). There were 8. They are now finished!
What happens to me is that I get started on something or a couple of somethings because I like to cut out more than one version of a pattern at a time and then a new pattern launches and I get distracted or life gets busy and I have no time to sew and then the weather changes. I am so glad I rescued these.
First: three versions of the Made by Rae Beatrix Blouse. The first is made with the leftover fabric from a blue linen York pinafore that I sewed in May.
I had just enough leftover fabric. I cut one of the sleeves on the cross grain and used other scraps for facings.
I had started this last year to go with the brown corduroy York pinafores that I sewed last fall and then life got busy and the button placket felt overwhelming which is actually silly because it was very quick.
After I finished this in short order, I sewed the two sleeveless versions I cut out four years and two years ago respectively. I love this beautiful Melody Miller cotton lawn. I am so glad I finally sewed it up! Look at those button holes! Such a confidence boost when they come out well. The buttons are antique from a button jar I found at a tag sale 25 years ago.
And another version in this beautiful woven lightweight cotton fabric. I had planned on the sleeved version but I wasn’t happy with how the stripes lined up and I cut off the sleeves and used bias binding to make a sleeveless version. I used elastic thread to gather the sleeves. It works really well but after you sew the sleeve in, it is important to take out, or at least cut the elastic stitches in several places or it will cause your garment to have puckers as you can see in the sleeved version. I realized this again when I made one of my ruffle Gemmas. More button holes below. I use a disappearing marker to mark them first. It works really well for me. The navy buttons are recycled buttons that I got at Fab Scrap.
With sleeves (notice the puckers-I could have gotten rid of them but I decided I wasn’t happy with the way the stripes lined up)
I love that the same pattern can give you such different looks.
Second: I had a summer dress idea for a Gemma tank with a skirt. I was really successful with this approach when I sewed this double gauze version
but when I started a green Loominous version last summer I cut the bodice too long and the whole effect was frumpy. I had already gathered the skirt and didn’t feel like unpicking the whole thing so I took a chance and sewed a second seam joining the bodice to the skirt to effectively shorten the bodice and then I shortened the skirt. Amazingly, it worked. Now I love it.
I had also started a rayon version of the Gemma peplum tank last year with a tiny remnant of striped rayon. I loved this fabric and knew it would be perfect for this pattern but the rayon was slippery and bias binding the neck temporarily overwhelmed me and there it sat. I tackled it this past weekend, hand basting the neck binding before machine sewing it and used scraps of cotton lawn in solid colors for the arm bindings and the hem binding. I love it! The rayon has a beautiful drape and the stripes look just the way I had hoped they would.
I wore it to work with pink jeans! 10 years and 25 lbs. lighter ago, I would never have worn pink jeans because they didn’t seem slimming. Silly me! Getting to the ripe age of almost 60 has made me appreciate having a healthy, strong body. All those wasted years of worrying about a couple of pounds. (sigh) I am hoping to tackle sewing myself a bathing suit this summer. Stay tuned.
I also finished a solid navy lawn Gemma that I will wear all the time. It is perfect with all of my York Pinafores and all of the Cleo skirts that I have made and plan to make. A great basic.
I also refashioned this dress that didn’t really flatter me into another Gemma ruffle tank.
These are so great for the really hot days. I actually cheated and used the already hemmed part of the dress for the ruffle to save time. Winning!
Then I finally finished a Ruby blouse that I started in 2015. I batch sewed some bodices the first year I started sewing my own clothes with some quarter yards of quilting cotton. You can see them in this post.
I have since used white double gauze to make several blouses for my daughter and a friend. I used this one to make one for me. I have sewn two other double gauze Ruby’s that I have worn to death. They are the best! You can see them here and here.
This is a very neutral top that I know will just get more comfortable with washing and wearing. The cotton double gauze is great for hot weather-very breezy.
I bookended the month with a pair of Zadies. I sewed the lightweight denim jumpsuit in a day on June 1st to be able to have it to wear to the New Haven Documentary Film Festival.
We went to see Pizza, A Love Story. So fun. The Zadie was so quick to sew-I was really surprised. Great directions. I bought the fabric at Joanne’s and thought it would be my wearable muslin but I am so happy with how it turned out that I don’t feel the need to make another version right away. I will definitely make a linen version at some point, probably next summer, just for fun, but for now, this one is perfect! It is so comfortable. I love it! I added two inches to the bodice length and a couple of inches to the pant length (I am 5’9″) and otherwise it is a straight 12. My measurements are 37 bust, 32 waist, 42 hip.
I had been seeing several dress versions of the Zadie popping up on Instagram so I made a version in double gauze from my stash using a gathered skirt. I lined the bodice with white cotton batiste.
I ended up hand sewing the lining in. Then I sewed a line of machine stitching to the edge of the bias binding to secure everything.
It was a pain but it worked well in the end. It isn’t my usual style but I like it.
Other things I have enjoyed this month. These books:
And some lovely summer days and greenery after SO MUCH RAIN! I took advantage of the rain in the northeast to plant seeds in my planters. It is my cheap and easy way to have blooming things in the summer. One packet of seeds per planter at a cost of $1.50 a packet. Nasturtiums are my favorite.
Now that I am mostly caught up with my backlog of sewing projects, I have a short list of clothing projects that I want to sew but will also be turning my focus to quilts. I have a goal to sew a quilt for each child by the end of the year. There are 5 of them so must get going!
This picture sums up how I feel about summer sewing. Taking your own picture while jumping. My new superpower!