This dress came together in a very serendipitous way. I didn’t realize that the fabric and pattern would be a perfect match. I had no clue how it would look sans collar and buttons. But daggumit I went for it. And I love it.
Remember when cutaway necklines starting cropping up a few years ago? I’ve always liked the look, but the bra situation can be dire. Standard bras are out, since the straps peek out in both the front and the back. I avoid strapless bras like the plague unless one is absolutely necessary. For now, I settled on pairing this top with a racerback bralette bought from Gap Body god only knows when.
Bra-talk aside, I am thoroughly pleased with this pattern: the Ruby Dress/Top from Tessuti Fabrics. This is the second Tessuti pattern I’ve sewn—the first being the Mandy Boat Tee. The directions were yet again straightforward and easy to follow, and the cut of the pattern is modern and flattering, probably on a variety of shapes. Here are the deets:
Fabric: mustard linen blend from JoAnn fabrics; leftover dark-gray linen for the binding
Size: cut an AU size 10. The units are in cm, so a 10 roughly corresponds to 35.8″-31″-39.8″ bust-waist-hip measurement. I decided to go with the bust measurement as my guide, since the top slightly flares at the hemline. It’s a teensy bit big, but the style’s so forgiving that a little extra width doesn’t make a huge difference.
Alterations to the pattern: added 1″ of length to the bottom hem
Construction: I followed the pattern’s directions for the French seams, double-turned hem, keyhole facing, and thread-chain-loop closure. Tessuti has a helpful tutorial on its website for those of us who haven’t sewn a thread loop before. Sewing one reminded me of the hours I used to spend making friendship bracelets that were no doubt lost or thrown away after a week. Oh to be a fickle adolescent again.
I strayed from the directions in two places: stabilizing and binding. I couldn’t find tearaway Vilene shields (used to prevent the neckline and armholes from stretching), so I just staystitched those edges. It seemed to work fine. As for the binding, the pattern instructs you to apply the binding to the right side and then stitch in the ditch to secure. I REALLY HATE stitching in the ditch, so I took a tip from the Thornberry blog, which suggests applying the binding to the wrong side and then topstitching in place on the right side. That worked great for me! It’s the same technique used in the Colette Sorbetto top, and I once again used Colette’s trusty tutorial for making continuous bias tape.
One of my favorite things about wearing linen (blends) is that you don’t have to worry about wrinkles. It’s the one fabric where massive wrinklage is expected. (We all know wrinklage should be a word so let’s just accept it.) I’d be wary of anyone who wears linen without having it become a creased mess. There’s probably some Stepford shit going on there if that’s the case.
And that’s that! Ruby in linen gets a big thumbs up from me. Have you sewn any Tessuti patterns lately? I’d love to hear about any favorites!
I think it’s safe to say that Grainline Studio’s Scout Woven Tee is the darling of the indie pattern world. I’ve read rave reviews from probably 15+ bloggers at this point, most commending the pattern for its sizing, breezy fit, and ease of construction. Not to mention that it makes it really easy to highlight a fantastic print.
But, being slightly cynical, I wasn’t quite sold by the blogosphere’s near-unanimous praise. A slouchy, loose-fitting T-shirt with no bust darts (no darts at all, actually), to be made with a nonstretch woven fabric. Uhhh, I’m all for embracing this summer’s boxy shirt trend, but I was a little afraid this would veer into the “looks like you’re wearing a tent” arena. Still, at only $6.50 ($7.50 total because of dumb Illinois tax), I had to give it a shot.
Scout calls for a lightweight woven fabric. Per usual, I hit up the Needle Shop in Chicago’s North Center, where I found a beautiful Leah Duncan hyacinth fabric (not in stock anymore).
It’s 100% cotton and super soft—really an awesome print for summer with its crisp off-white color and pops of navy. I washed and dried it, then got to work laying out my PDF pattern pieces and cutting out the fabric.
There are only four pattern pieces total—the front, back, sleeves, and bias neckline binding—making the cutting process a total breeze. The pattern includes seam allowances (my last PDF pattern did not), which is another huge plus in my book. So far, so good, Scout.
After sewing the back and front pieces together, I used Grainline Studio’s tutorial, Getting Flat Bias Necklines, to finish the scoop neck. If you haven’t visited the Grainline Studio website, check it out. Jen Beeman, the brain behind Grainline, sells her PDF patterns there and also shares super helpful tutorials and tips that complement her designs. Plus, I read an interview that revealed she lives in Chicago and likes Black Dog Gelato, the best dessert in the city/state/world. OK, done fan-girling and pining for goat cheese cashew gelato. Back to the pattern!
I finished the bottom with a simple double-fold hem. Next were the sleeves, and the directions call for a double row of basting stitches in order to gather the sleeves when attaching them to the bodice. The sleeves went in without a hitch, and I finished each edge with another double-fold hem and gave the whole thing a quick press.
At this point, I was… done?! How could it be!? Surely this was too good to be true. I’d never sewn a (wearable) shirt in less than 90 minutes, so naturally I assumed it would look wonky when I tried it on.
To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure about it when I first tried on the finished product. I usually wear more fitted tops or ones that are cinched at the waist. This tee is kind of the opposite of all that. The garment details aren’t lyin’ when they say that “this top falls into a loose shape below the bust.” But within 15 minutes of wearing Scout, I was converted. It’s loose, yet somehow manages to skim the body in a flattering way. It’s also insanely comfortable. I can see pairing this shirt with everything from linen shorts to skinny jeans or even tucked into a pencil skirt with a belt thrown on top. This is really a great, simple pattern and I can’t wait to sew up a few more. Maybe I’ll try Jen’s Madewell Scout variation next.
And that’s about it! PDF pattern #2 complete for my summer challenge. If they’re all as easy and awesome as Scout, I might need to up the ante and start sewing two or three per month! Any personal favorites?