Staple Top and Why I Sew

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I remember the first knit t-shirt that I made on the kitchen table with my mother's help.  It was a basic salmon colored t-shirt but I was really proud of it.  Proud that I made it, proud of the flaws, proud that I had something different.
Fast forward to end of grad school (PhD finally done!) and accepting a university job.  My family and I moved so I could start a new job in a medium size southern town.  It is the smallest place I have ever lived and it was culture shock (My husband and I grew up in large cities in the north).  Gone were the big city days (well now, holidays are devoted to a city!).  Things that I used to enjoy were no longer as fun.  Shopping became such a chore because the shops/boutiques did not carry the styles I liked.  If a shop happened to carry something I did like, I rarely found it in my size or it was outrageously expensive.

Santa Claus was nice enough to gift me with a sewing machine.  My husband was also happy Santa gifted the sewing machine so my complaining about clothes would stop!   My mom would be proud that I didn't even need to look at the manual to thread the machine or get it started.  Within a couple of days, I made a tunic dress (quite hideous on many levels: fabric choice, style, and the fact that I was getting back into the groove with sewing!).  I was smitten.

I sew for me.  I sew for my family and friends.  I sew to let go of stress.  I sew to learn new things.  I sew for style.  I sew because I can do it better and cheaper than RTW.  I sew because I like it.  I like having clothes for my family and I that are unique, fun, and special.

And sewing I did.  A couple of weekends ago I stopped at an estate sale and picked up oodles of fabric!  In this bounty was a yard of striped polyester fabric.  I figured I could squeeze a top out of it since (a.) it was girly colors  and (b.) between tops and shorts I cannot come up with anything else to do with a 1 yard of fabric (any clothing suggestions are welcome).

Experiment:
April Rhodes Staple Dress, pattern hack
Size: XS

Material:
1 yard stripe polyester fabric
Gutterman gray thread

Procedure:

I loved the simplicity of the April Rhodes' Staple dress.  I wear it at least once a week for convenience and comfort.  Hence, the lightbulb went off when I saw this fabric -- a summery blouse to be worn with jeans or capris.  I have professed this before but I am really in need of blouses or tops.  My closets is full of dresses and skirts.  I have a few go-to blouses and several comfy knit tees.  That means a giant void begins to slowly close when I sew a blouse.

I folded the material twice so that I could squeeze a front and back out of it.  In fact, I only used the back piece of the pattern to cut, then on one of the pieces I deepened the neckline for the front.    I also didn't have enough material for the bias neck tape or the arms so I improvised.  The neckline is finished with little bias strips that I hacked together, not the most elegant approach.  The arm holes are finished with a rolled hem (Thanks to that handy little sewing machine foot!).
Ironically, I didn't even aim to match stripes. I mean, I had very little fabric and I thought it would just be a funky shirt if they didn't line up.  But the sewing stars aligned and I got lucky.  Shoulder and side seams matched!  Huzzah!
I orignially put in some elastic shirring in the back of the shirt to give it some structure.  I wore it out and it felt really uncomfortable.  That evening I ripped it out (Hello! Why did I think it would be easy!?). It was time consuming!  I kind of like the boxy structure of the blouse and the fabric has a lot of drape so it is a bit billowy.
This was incredibly easy.  I am loving it.  I am still lusting after Sewaholic's Belcarra blouse.   Since, I am a Sewaholic virgin. *gasp* I haven't found a reason to order it yet.  It is sort of the same style shirt with some neat details in the sleeve area.  Should I get it?


Happy Sewing!!
Annie

 photo sig_zpsbfkxh0ji.png
share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
24 Comments »

24 Responses to “Staple Top and Why I Sew”

  1. This is such a cute top! Oh, and I love it when stripes just "fall" into place!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a grand feeling when you don't have to work at it too hard!

      Delete
  2. So cute! It fits you perfectly and I feel like you can never go wrong with a front, back - done! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very cute! I have the same blouse gap in my closet lol time to start filling it

    ReplyDelete
  4. simple, classik top!it matches with many "bottoms";-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. cute top and great idea!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Really cute top, love the fabric and how you used it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would never call myself creative but sometimes I do listen to the fabric!

      Delete
  7. So lovely top! I really love the bright and girly stripes. The whole outfit is so pretty, love your shoes as well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the shoes too! Thanks Hana.

      Delete
  8. Gorgeous top.

    I loved to read about how and why you started sewing and how and why you started back again. I guess a lot of us share the same frustrations (I'm stuck in a regional town too, hate it) and sewing is such a great way of dealing with so much - emotionally as well as practically.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah Liz, I couldn't agree more. Someday I hope to get back to a bigger city -- but until then, I sewing makes this place fun!

      Delete
  9. You've done it again Annie - great fabric, great shape and a great sew! Difficult choice on purchasing a Belcarra, on one hand lovely blouse but you have a shape very similar, why not go for one of the other super designs- I have the Alma an although not yet made up yet there are some lovely options. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your Belcarra was so pretty -- the sleeves are what draws me in...I wait to see your Alma then I will splurge!

      Delete
  10. Wow, what are the odds for the stripes to match without trying?? Awesome!
    The top is really cute and the colors are lovely. It looks so easy to wear as well :)
    I am a Sewaholic virgin too, even though I do own a pattern. Best be getting around to try it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful blouse and thank you very much for your text. Sometimes it can be really helpful to reflect why to sew at all and it is very interesting to hear the reasons of other bloggers why they sew, so thank you.
    It has been such a long time since I found a beautiful fabric at an estate sale or even at a flea market, seems nobody sews here anymore, only sewing related things to buy here are armadas of untended 70ies sewing machines.
    Your fabric haul sounds like a great catch, that striped fabric is so great and it matches that pattern you chose so well. I am not a great friend of knits and often too lazy to sew complex blouses, maybe I should start sewing tops like yours, it looks great with jeans.
    love, ette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finding fabric at an estate sale was a gold mine -- I wish I were in a place with gobs of goody fabric stores. I am learning knits too...it can't be that bad :)

      Delete

I love to hear what you think -- it makes my day! I will try to respond to each of them.

Annie