Sort-of Seamwork Jane



Working at a fabric store obviously means constant access to amazing fabrics that I desperately need. But if I gave in as often as I wanted to, I wouldn’t have a paycheck, so I have a system. When there’s a fabric I want, but I don’t have a specific project with a deadline in mind, I’ll wait on it. I’ll check the bolt every week or so, and when I see that it’s getting low I’ll scoop it up.

That’s what happened with this fantastically weird 100% cotton double knit. I had wanted it ever since I started working at Stonemountain, but I didn’t buy it until months later and it was down to less than 5 yards on the bolt. During that time I daydreamed about what I wanted to make it into and I settled on an out of the ordinary t-shirt dress to fit this out of the ordinary print.

I didn’t have a good t-shirt dress pattern, so I started with the Seamwork Jane pattern. I wish I had sized down more (I already went down one size, but Seamwork ease is out of control), because the shoulders are annoyingly too large. Not in a fun, oversized way, but just a slightly too big sort of way.

Other than the sizing issues that aren’t too terrible, this was a fairly easy sew. Just kidding, this was kind of a nightmare! Since I was making things up as I went along, I had to redo the ties a few times to get the position right. And I had to take it in in the hips, which meant double the stripe matching. And I broke two twin needles on this dress! One time was completely my fault (remember to switch out of zig-zag stitch when you use a twin needle, folks!), but the other was just because this knit is super thick and topstitching the neckline was too much for my machine.

Despite all these troubles, I really like this dress. It’s super comfy and the ties/busy print are a nice distraction for those big lunch days. I brought it to Oaxaca/Peru but ended up only wearing it once because it was too hot for Oaxaca and too cold for Peru. Oh well, it’s perfect for temperate Berkeley.

My coworker actually bought this same fabric and made the Deer & Doe Zephyr Skirt out of it. We’ve only accidentally matched once so far, but it’s funny to see how the same fabric can be used by two people with completely different style!

Neenah as a Top

On my last post I mentioned a wool jersey turtleneck I was hoping to finish before I went to NYC. It actually only took a couple hours on a dreary Saturday to cut out and stitch up, so now maybe I have time for one more project before I leave on Friday.

The pattern is the Neenah Dress by Seamwork, shortened to a top and sewn up in a smaller size than the pattern recommended because I wanted a closer fit. The wool jersey I used might not be as stretchy as the pattern calls for, so the sleeves and turtleneck are quite tight. I don’t mind this because I wanted it to be a layering piece, but it’s not really something you just slip on. I have to make sure I’m not wearing my glasses when I put it on or else my head gets stuck!

It’s a super quick sew and came together without any problem, so maybe knits aren’t so bad after all. I’m already thinking that I need some more and definitely one in stripes. And maybe a solid black one with some embroidery on the collar. I used to wear turtlenecks like that all the time when I was six so it’s probably time to bring that look back. (Does anyone else remember those shirts? I think I had one with paw prints and one with a little schoolhouse.)

I got the wool jersey from a fabric swap. There was some discoloration from sun damage, but I was able to cut around those parts. I think the scraps might become a super cozy (lined) bra. Not really practical for the Bay Area, but it would be great for whenever I visit my parents in Chicago during the holidays!

Catarina Dress in Monochrome

This Seamwork Catarina dress was one of my first projects with “serious” fabric, but it didn’t actually cost me all that much. My favorite shop Stonemountain and Daughter always has half-off designer fabrics and I scored this gorgeous dark navy sand-washed silk with the intention of recreating the Catarina worn by the Seamwork model. This silk is so soft and has a beautiful matte finish. I think the scraps are destined to make their way into me-made undergarments.

Sewing it up was fairly simple. I French seamed everything, so hopefully it won’t fall apart anytime soon. I’m not sure if I like the blousey look of the bodice. I might take apart the waist and shorten it. Or maybe just shorten the straps? I think if I make another one (maybe in this Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel cherry print rayon?) I would bring up the hem and make tie-straps for maximum cute.

It’s really more of a summer dress, but I wanted to wear it the other day so I layered up for Berkeley “winter”. This grey wall was perfect for my basically monochrome outfit!