Sewing Solids #1 and #2

Lane_slipHey hey! Presenting piece one and two of the sewing solids experiment. Which I will no longer be tagging as #solidsexperiment on Instagram. I really enjoyed the change from print to plain colors. It’s had me looking at the stash with new eyes and making good color choices, mostly. And I got to try out two patterns by new kid on the block Named Patterns. If you haven’t already fallen in love, check them out. Pretty much, you could make an entire wardrobe just from their patterns alone, mixing up prints and solids forever-ever and not get bored. They’re classic but on trend, feminine but not fluffy and are very very wearable. My particular favorites are the Lane slip and Blair Batwing you see here, the Laurie T-shirt, the Julian knit dress and I cannot wait to try my hand at the Jamie skinny jeans (finally a good looking pattern). Check out this version by Very Purple Person.
They’re also not especially cheap, more like mid-range which I suppose is why I had certain expectations of them. I can deal with print-out tape-together patterns. I can even deal with print-out, tape-together patterns that need to be traced but at between $13 and $25-$35 aud a pop, some diagrams among the instructions would have gone down real well (That’s what Burdastyle is for, right?). And not to undervalue that amount of time and energy that goes into the art of drafting and producing sewing patterns but anyone who sews them up, especially visual learners, knows that diagrams are your friends. So that’s my only gripe and not to be put off, they are beautiful patterns and I will definitely ‘invest’ in more…
Pattern: Blair Batwing by Named Patterns
Fabric: Merino Jersey from The Fabric Store (just opened up in LA)
In hindsight this was not the best color choice for me. I could be wrong, but to rock neon I think you need to have a solid tan. However, I was inspired by the khaki / yellow neon combination of this outfit and just decided to ignore the obvious difference in our  skin hues. I love the shape of this top, have been wearing it every thrice-weekly and plan to give it several brothers and sisters in due time. It’s a higher neckline than I normally go for which works well with my new attempt to preserve the skin on my decolletage. I got badly burnt last summer so now I’m going to be a whitey and cover up. I also really like the fit of the top, it’s slouchy but not baggy, with cute batwing sleeves and looks great with pendants. I’d like to make anothery in a solid and also some stripes…post solids experiment.
I changed a little in the construction and added binding to the neckline and pinched the strips from the Mission Maxi pattern. Because this knit is flimsy I didn’t think it would look good folded under and top-stitched like the pattern suggests. But then afterwards I didn’t like the look of the binding so I folded it under again and top stitched, which took it back to the start except now it’s sturdier and the finish is really nice. I’d probably do the same thing again.
03_09_2013_Sophie-174-500x333 03_09_2013_Sophie-179-500x333
Pattern: Lane slip by Named patterns
Fabric: Wool lycra jersey from The Fabric Store
I nearly killed this dress. Not in a malicious act. Just an unwillingness to step away from the machine when tired. I’ve been feeling crapola lately, chest infections, bee stings, all those fun things and my sewing capacity has waned. Normally I’m a kids-are-in-bed-hit-the-sewing-machine sewer but some nights I’ve just had to crash. Anyway, long sob story short, I adjusted this dress to within an inch of it’s life when I should have walked away and now its royally toit. You can probably see my lunch being digested. The design of the dress is a very lovely slip with a very low back and I thought I would outsmart it with the bra thing. I decided to erect a built in bra with cups and all, using some cups from a sports top I own, painstakingly placing them evenly, sewing them into a separate facing and adding an elastic shelf underneath. It was a feat of sewing architecture and looked bloody amazing. And then when I tried it on, of course there was nothing to actually pull the elastic taut so the whole bra contraption bunched up out the front like some hideous growth.
Part two, I took the elastic out, which left a dress with cups in the front and not really anything to hold them up. In which case I would need to wear a bra, so I decided to change the back and make the scoop higher. So I just sewed a seam right up the back. Only I didn’t bother to pin because of the reckless downward spiral I was on by that stage. And I sewed it wonky. And so I sewed it again, straighter, which ate up a good portion of the back piece in the process and now it is okay for beach, not okay for school pick-up. I tried it on with a bra, realized the ridiculousness of wearing a dress with cups and a bra underneath, and abandoned the bra. And now I wear it sans bra, minimally supported. The end. So, not a complete disaster. I actually really love this dress and will definitely make another, maybe with a shallow scoop at the back and an extra inch on the length. Before the meddling, the fit was good and the shape of the neckline and knee-length are really flattering. I also added binding to the armholes and neckline following the instructions from the Mission maxi, folded it under and top-stitched again like the top.
Something interesting, in abandoning prints I’ve feel like I’ve been noticing more about the design and shape of clothes and appreciating nice details, like a batwing sleeve, which would normally get over-shadowed by prints. It’s also prompted me take a look at what’s in my wardrobe currently to see which solid colors could be introduced to go with all the prints. Neon yellow is not one of them. It goes with this dress and nothing else. But it was a whim, you know those ones where you throw everything you know about what suits you to the wind?! Out of my system now…

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  • lisa g.wrote:

    it’s so great to start seeing these patterns made up! i’m totally cool with the pattern tracing, and really think i’d be fine without illustrations. i love the outfit you pulled together here, even if it didn’t come together quite as perfectly as you had hoped. maybe you could just add a band of fabric across the back of the slip?

  • Kelli Wardwrote:

    you look amazing. i am a big fan of solids and am convinced that they generally look more expensive. your colors are spot on. i want both of those patterns but am a little reluctant of the no diagram bit. bummer. we will see.

  • Teresawrote:

    Oooh…I love the idea of a built in bra! I’m thinking that was definitely a genius idea!!! The whole outfit looks great, and I think you pull off the neon yellow really well!

  • Sarahwrote:

    Both of those are beautiful! I especially love the top!

    I’m really excited to see some of the named patterns being made up, they are so lovely.

  • Heather Louwrote:

    I love this solids experiment – I will be stocking up on solid crepes, jerseys and rayons in NYC this weekend. Neon is surprisingly neutral – you may be surprised at how well it works with stuff. I love that slip pattern and considered making one but honestly, I was not impressed by the lack of illustrations I keep hearing about. If you want to appeal to a wide market, you gotta have illustrations!

    Anyway. Bummer your built in bra didn’t work – I guess you couldn’t run it to the back seams? Which I can’t see so I don’t know if that would have worked or not…

  • sallie oleta barbeewrote:

    First off – you look HOT!! Also, bummer your built in bra didn’t work, because as you were describing it I was thinking to myself, “this is the most genius thing I’ve EVER heard of!!” Next time.. next time..

    I can’t wait to see more of these Named Patterns made up – your two are definitely fabulous. And your solid sewing experiment is totally inspiring. Can’t wait to see more!

  • gingermakeswrote:

    Oooh, these both look great on you! I’m sorry that you had so much trouble with the slip– it’s so hard to know when to walk away sometimes. But it really looks good!

  • anu*mikiwrote:


  • thewallinna.comwrote:

    I like how your experiment started! If you don’t like neon green, you can always die it later! Our sewing mistakes or frustrations, once resolved, become our force for the following project! So I say – well done girl with tackling those bra cups!

  • Madalynnewrote:

    Va va voom! This is one killer dress and you look stunning in it. And those bra cups – whoa!

  • Pienkelwrote:

    Love the dress! (and love solids btw)

  • k a t ywrote:


  • lsaspaceywrote:

    Funny, on my screen the top is a lovely honeydew green color and looks amazing with that brownish-gray. Too bad. Your bra construction looked amazing too, great stitching.

  • Crab and Beewrote:

    I knew you’d do amazing things with solids! Your dress looks like what I always hope/think knit dresses will look like – really fitted, without showing any undies lines.

  • Miss Crayola Creepywrote:

    You rock that outfit!

  • Bubiknitswrote:

    Hey! Those are gorgeous!!!! Love grey and lime together!! You really made the look!!

  • Neenowrote:

    I love that dress!! You rock it!

  • Katwrote:

    You are such a stunner! Love this dress pattern on you. I need to start sewing knits but they scare me a bit.

  • Natasha Janewrote:

    I love both of these creations! And the color of the dress is amazing. I think I may need to join you on this solids experiment.

  • zosews.comwrote:

    Sah-moking Sophie! I have a serious crush on Named as well, but can’t justify buying until I actually use some of the patterns I already own.

  • mokoshawrote:

    you are ridiculously hot! and rocking that slip.. good job on making more solids.. i went to the fabric store the other day, to get me some solid fabrics, and ended up with bunch of flowery and stripey shit.. and only one solid – unusable pink lurex jersey

  • emily.mariewrote:

    I have the opposite problem in my closet (almost all solids…well, and stripes), so I’ve been trying to add more prints lately but solids are my true love! I’d be wearing these daily, the way you layered them is great. The neon top will be great for the summer, but you might try overdying it later if it’s not working out.

  • Carly Tredwaywrote:

    Oh my gosh!!! You have a smoking hot body! I didn’t much notice the dress, except that it showed off your AMAZING figure. Please tell me you work hard for it and aren’t just genetically anomalous??? Please? You look fantastic (and the dress is nice too).


  • sewbusylizzywrote:

    Oh dear the more of I see of these patterns the more I want them… love that tops – so simple yet it’s just lovely.

  • oonaballoonawrote:

    ah! the moment when Officer Reason steps in and says step away from the machine… i never listen either.

    i think the green looks amazing on you, in fact your entire outfit has me on a mission for solids today.

  • crystalpleatswrote:

    Both pieces are great and you look awesome in them.

  • Kimwrote:

    Great makes! I really recognize your story about being tired, then sewing, messing up, messing up x2 and then some.. But I don’t think it shows on the final garment, cause your dress looks absolutely stunning! And I love the Blair top, I’ve been tempted to buy this pattern a couple of times now, trying hard not to! I think your solid experiment is going great 🙂

  • Zoëwrote:

    I think the neon top looks great on you 🙂 Other bloggers have had a bit of a gripe about Named Patterns. I really like some of their designs but I think I will have to wait for a pattern that I absolutely must have before I buy one and go to all that effort.

  • Caroline Hulsewrote:

    beautiful, as always! i’ve been trying to (at least thinking about) sewing with more solids, too. Its SO not as fun, but I guess we have to have SOME cake with our frosting…

  • kristinwrote:

    so lovely!! i’m with you were the prints always seem awesome in the store but when i sew solid garments for me, i thank myself more. i bet you get tons of use out of both of these! carry on. 🙂

  • honigdesignwrote:

    I love both, and that built in bra is genius!

  • House of Pinheirowrote:

    😍Beautiful work… Love sewing named patterns turning out

  • Evawrote:

    Beautifully executed–successful experiment, I’d say! And please tell me about those sandals!! Where can I get a pair?

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