Zipped up Bento Tee


I made a Bento Tee! This has been sitting in my to make list for a while now.  The main problem I have with the sewing community is there are so many awesome patterns to make! It’s overwhelming at times, and more fun things keep coming.  I need to work on sewing up some of the patterns and ideas that have been floating around in my head for the past year.  The #2017makenine has really prompted me to stick to some of my sewing plans and stop spastically looking up more and more new sewing patterns.


Ok, that was a long and drawn out way of getting to the point.  I sewed up the Liesl & Co Bento Tee in a quilted gray knit.  I had seen a few different versions of this boxy tee with different side seam accents, and this one Liesl made with a side zip had me sold!  have really wanted to try the exposed zipper, and finally just decided to go for it.  There are plenty of tutorials online, I mainly used this one from Megan Nielsen.  It was written to go with the Brumby Skirt pattern (which I also own, and bought fabric for last spring, but have yet to sew it…why? No idea.)  The directions were easy to follow, and I think the side zippers turned out really well.


The fabric is a quilted knit from Joanns.  It is really soft on the outside, but is some sort of polyester blend, and the inside isn’t quite as nice.  However, it is soft and cozy, and perfect with a shirt underneath.  I’m not sure my version is quite as boxy as others I’ve seen.  I might have to size up next I make this one, to get more of that oversized boxy look.


I love it, and am excited to be adding some casual and comfy clothes to my handmade wardrobe!

Pattern: Liesl + Co Bento Tee
Fabric: Quilted Poly Blend from Joann’s
Size: XS, with exposed side zips; Donut Pull zippers from ZipIt on Etsy


You Guys! It’s been forever! Seriously, I’m going to try and figure out how to explain to my mom how to find this blog, and then I will feel like I am writing to someone, instead of talking to myself.  I mean, I talk to myself all the time, but going one step further and typing it all out is a little crazy, no?

I kid, someone is reading this.  Mom?

Ok, so, I’m firing up the ole’ blog! I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve attempted this, but in my mind it’s going to happen.

I’ve found lots of inspiration on Instagram lately, to help me do a little more forward thinking and planning this year.  I decided to participate in #SewMyStyle, a fun way to get more women into planning and sewing their own wardrobes.  You can read more about it here: #SewMyStyle and while I think sign ups are officially over, you could always still join in on the making!  This particular project has assigned patterns for every month.  I’m not entirely sure I’ll do the exact project, but I do already own most of the patterns, so it’s quite possible I will!

I also hopped on the #2017MakeNine craze.  This was started by last year by Rochelle New. I have been reading so much about wardrobe planning, capsule wardrobes and just being more thoughtful about to make and buy.  I think this planning is a good way to tame all the crazy ideas I have bopping around my head all the time.  See for me sewing is more about the process.  The challenges, learning techniques, and just enjoying the time spent making.  It’s a bonus to end up with something I can wear at the end!

So, here is my #2017MakeNine!


  1. Closet Case Files- Ginger Jeans:: Ok, so this is crazy! I am going to a Ginger Jeans workshop at my local sewing shop, Stitch Sew Shop next weekend!  I’m crazy excited, if not slightly emotional over the whole thing.  I mean, the timing is terrible, but it’s going to be so amazing!  I have to have a pair of jeans basted together to so I can be ready for all the fun fitting and sewing.  I can’t wait!!
  2. Liesl & Co- Bento Tee:: I have a side zip version of this planned! (I already made it, and it’s awesome!) Hoping to have blog post soon.
  3. Grainline Studio- Archer Button Up:: Because I actually need more button ups, and I’m probably the only person in the entire sewing world who hasn’t made this pattern yet.
  4. Cali Faye Collection- Valley Blouse:: I’ve loved the style of this blouse ever since I saw it on Instagram.  I really did the Cali Faye style.  It’s not exactly me, because for the most part I’m a frumpy jeans and t-shirt kind of person, but I aspire to be more boho and put together (most days)
  5. Grainline Studio- Alder Shirtdress:: Again, I may be one of the last sewing girls around who hasn’t made this dress, and it calls to me for some reason, so why not!
  6. Paddleboat Studio- Carson Dress:: something about this dress catches me. I’m sure my husband would hate it, but it looks perfect for those hot and humid VA summers, when the idea of putting on anything that might actually touch your skin is just too much.
  7. Blue Prints for Sewing- Geodesic:: This just looks fun! It’s like quilting and garment making all rolled into one! I can’t wait to make this one.
  8. Hey June Handmade- Cheyenne Tunic:: Because if you make one button down, you might as well make 2.
  9. Cali Faye Collection- Hampshire Trousers:: These are actually also included in the #SewMyStyle project, and I have a serious hole in my handmade wardrobe when it comes to pants, so I wanted to make sure I included this one.

I’ve linked to each of the patterns above, if you are interested in checking them out.  You may notice that these are all Indie designers.  I really love supporting Indie designers.  I have nothing against the bigger pattern companies, and have spent my fair share of time perusing those giant pattern books at Joann’s.  However, I think all these awesome ladies are wear it’s at.

Stripes Lane Raglan, 1 of 2

 I have this problem with stripes.  I have made 3 striped knit shirts in the last month.  3.  I’ve made 5 shirts total this year so far, and 3 of them have been striped.  That’s ok, right?


The Hey June Lane Raglan pattern has been on my wish list for a while.  When I saw that it had been revamped, with a curved hemline and more fitted sizing and I decided it was time to make some! This is the first time I’ve sewn a raglan style shirt for myself. I have made a few for my kids, so I had a good understanding of the construction method. However, that didn’t stop me from making a few mistakes, because I’m awesome like that. 

I decided to sew the curved hemline with 3/4 length sleeves for this version.  I used a striped “bargain” knit from Imagine Gnats.  I love how light weight this fabric is, perfect for spring into summer.  I did not enjoy hemming it, however.  I ended up trying a hem tape, which made the fabric a little stiff, and I also realized that it does not have a lot of recovery.  The 3/4 sleeves looked pretty bad after being stretched and mangled into a hem. I ended up cutting them and adding a cuff instead.  I left the hem alone, but I’m afraid I may snap the threads. I need more practice with heming knits!

Here are some awkward photos that I’m hoping show the nice curvesd hemline. I’m thinking of investing in a remote and tripod for my camera.  Maybe that will make me feel less awkward as I try to photo document all my clothing makes. Maybe.


25110307244_e10824b2bf_oMy main mistake came from sewing the neckband to the shirt with the seam in the front. I was trying to line it up with one of the raglan seems, instead of the center back, but I picked the wrong seam line. Oh well, I tried to make a little tag to cover it up.  It looked better in my head than it does in real life, but I tried.  

I’m not sure if I’ll get photos of the other version I made, we’ll have to see how the week goes!

Pattern: Hey June, Lane Raglan
Fabric: Jersey Stripe Bargain Knit in Navy
Size: Small with curved hemline, no modifications

A second Gallery Tunic

After finishing a new garment, I almost always have revisions I’d like to make, or some small mod to the pattern, to get an even better fit.  However, I rarely take the time to make the garment a second time.  This is mostly because I have project ADD.  I have so many things I want to make, and my brain is always bouncing around thinking about the next one.  However, Liesl + Co hosted a Gallery Tunic sew along in February, so it was the perfect opportunity to make this shirt again.


I made a few simple changes, in order correct some things that bothered me about my first attempt.  For this tunic I shortened it by 2.5″.  I am 5’1″ on my tall days, and have virtually no waist.  My ribs pretty much just sit on top of my hips, seriously.  That means I will probably need to shorten most tops I make.  See, I’m learning!

The stiffness of placket really bothered me on the first tunic I made.  The pattern instructs you to interface the placket, collar and cuffs.  However, despite my best researching skills, I found little information on specifically what type of interfacing should be used.  I learned in the sew a long that the interfacing should not change the hand or drape of the fabric.  Good to know! That also explains why my last tunic seemed so stiff, I was clearly not using the right stuff!

Here is a quick pic of my tunic mid way through completion.

24951292310_7936d7f5bc_bTake note on that stiff placket (yes, you’re right, the collar is not stitched down).  The red shirt on the right is a ready to wear shirt that was in my closet.  Now, I’m sure it’s not proper sewing form, but I actually like the soft floppy placket on the RTW shirt.  So, to achieve a similar look, I boldly ripped out my interfaced placket (having to go up into the sergered shoulder seams to get it out, eek!)  I replaced it with a simple strip of fabric, making the finished placket slightly smaller, and hopefully more flexible. I also decided to take in the tunic about 1/2″ on each side to get it to be slightly more fitted, even after trading the hips down a size.  I had a little trouble with the split hem after doing this, but I tried to just iron it into submission.


I chose the 3/4 sleeves with banded collar for this version.  I topstitched the collar in place, because I was impatient after all that ripping, and my hastiness shows.  I will definitely hand stitch down the next time.

Overall I’m very pleased with how this version turned out.  It’s even made me brave enough to go back to my first tunic and alter the placket on that piece as well. Sewing a handmade wardrobe is a lot of work, and it won’t be worth it unless I actually like and wear the pieces I make!

Pattern: Gallery Tunic by Liesl + Co
Fabric: Cloud9 Double Gauze from Joann’s
Size: 2 graded to a 0 in the hips

Striped Grainline Hemlock Tee

DSC_0358I bought this fabric at Joann’s a while ago.  I believe it’s a double knit, as it is striped on one side and polka dots on the other. I have a thing for stripes.  If I could wear all stripes I probably would.  Well, that may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but I do like stripes.  I knew I wanted to make t shirt of some sort, but I was thinking a boxier style would fit this fabric better than a more fitted tee.  There are actually quiet a few free tee patterns by some of the bigger Indie designers. I decided to go with the Grainline Hemlock Tee because it is a boxy style and looked pretty easy.

Printing and assembling this PDF pattern was very simple, as its a one size pattern. That means no tracing!  When sewing a PDF pattern, I always print/trim/assemble, then trace the size I want to make. I don’t want to have to go through the whole process again if I need to make a size change after sewing the pattern, so tracing seems to be the best way to leave the PDF as a master. At any rate, with a one size pattern, there is no tracing!

I had to make a few modifications to make it wearable. I looked to a favorite ready to wear shirt that I have in my closet. It seemed to be made with a similar construction and shape, so I used it to make a few mods.  If I was a better blogger, I would have taken a picture of what it looked like before I made my mods.  Trust me, it was pretty bad.  I might be a little small to use a one size fits all pattern, and not have it look like I just dropped a sheet over myself and called it done.

I shortened the sleeves, the overall length, and decided to do a high low hem. After shortening the sleeves, they seemed very floppy and loose, so I tapered them from the underarm to the new hemline; using my RTW shirt as a guide.


Overall with the modifications I made, I think the shirt fits pretty well.  I like the loose/boxy fit.  I’m almost a little sad that I chose to use the stripes side.  There are fun polka dots hiding just inside this crazy shirt!


Also, on a side note, blogging is hard.  Taking pictures of yourself, or having your husband take them, and then realizing none of them really turned out well enough to blast them out to the interwebs.  Wondering, “Do I really look like that?”  “What’s happening with my hair?” and a million other things that you’re probably better off not worrying about.  That’s the part that is slowing me down!

Pattern: Hemlock Tee by Grainline Studios
Fabric: Double Knit from Joann’s
Size: One Size fits all with Mods

Gallery Tunic

I found the Liesl + Co brand through Oliver + S.  When I first started sewing I would see so many cute kids clothes that were made from the Oliver + S pattern line. I have since sewn two Oliver + S patterns, the Fairy Tale dress for C, and the Art Museum Vest for L. This past fall I started dipping my toes further into garment sewing, and made two Everyday Skirts for myself.  I loved making the skirts.  I think it is actually the easiest PDF pattern I have ever assembled, and the skirt comes together easily and looks very tailored.  The Gallery Tunic is the first top I have made for myself from the brand.

Liesl and Co Gallery Tunic

I really enjoyed sewing this top. I first made a muslin in a size 4; however it was much too big. I retraced the pattern in the size 2 and it fits much better. The shoulders and arms fit well, with out being tight. There is a pleat in the back that allows for some movement without being constricting.  My fear with sewing woven shirts is always that the shoulders and arms will be too tight, and I won’t be able to move around comfortably.  I’m about 5’1″, so I do a lot of reaching during the day!


I chose to sew View A, the tunic length, with the collar and long sleeves from View B.  Everything came together nicely, however my placket and collar are a little stiff.  In looking back over my materials, I think the interfacing I used was just slightly too heavy.  Live and learn.  I am hoping it will soften as I wear and wash it more.

Being relatively new to garment sewing, I am always curious about what the insides of finished pieces look like.  I almost gave up sewing completely when I made a dress for my daughter a few years ago.  The inside was a hot mess!  I have since researched many finishing techniques, and most importantly, discovered a serger.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be attempting a handmade wardrobe without one.  Just for reference, or incase you are curious too, here is a shot of the inside of my tunic.

I sewed this with Robert Kaufman Gingham in Navy.  Looking over the pictures, I realize that I forgot to add the buttons to the sleeve bands…ooops!  I guess I’ll be starting February off with a little finishing work!


Pattern: Gallery Tunic by Liesl + Co

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Carolina Gingham


Hudson Pants and a Hat

I’ve grown less timid around knits, but still hesitate a bit when it comes to sewing with them. I really need to work on getting over this since most of my ready to wear clothes are knits, especially tops.

These Hudson Pants are one of the first knit garments that I’ve sewn for myself. I have to say, I love these pants!  They are very similar to my favorite pair of sweat pants. And I love sweat pants. I really do my best to act like a grown up, and not leave the house in sweat pants.  However, sometimes I find myself at the grocery store at 9:30pm, in my sweat pants.  I know it’s happened to you too.


I have seen so many great pair of Hudson Pants, that I had to try the pattern myself.  I am about 5’1″, around 110 lbs, and have about at 37″ hip measurement.  This put me squarely in the size 4.  I sewed the pattern exactly as is, without any modifications.  I have fairly long legs for my relatively small height, so I think the length was fine.  I could have *maybe* shortened them by about an 1″, but I think the extra length is fine here.  It will keep my ankles nice and toasty in all this snow.  Not that I’ll be wearing these outside…


Maybe you noticed that it snowed? A lot? Yes, indeed it did!  These pictures were taken in my In Laws back yard, amidst a snowball fight.  Don’t you think that is the best way to take pictures for a sewing blog?


The hat was a quick fun knit from Very Shannon, called Landslide.  I used Quarry from Brooklyn Tweed that I bought on a whim the last time I was at Fibre Space, the most awesome local yarn shop.

Pattern: Hudson Pant by True Bias

Fabric: Stretch French Terry from Imagine Gnats (looks like my awesome red is sold out, but there is still some basic colors)

Hat Pattern: Landslide Hat

Yarn: Quarry by Brooklyn Tweed in Gypsum