Sunday, 11 May 2014

SEWN: MOTHER'S DAY MANDY


Sometime recently I simply ceased to buy any RTW outerwear. Let's make this clear, it wasn't purposeful, it was insidious. It kinda crept up on me. I used to love nothing more than trawling the nearest giant shopping mall. Now I can imagine nothing worse. I never seem to find quite the right thing and between fights for parking and dragging a 4 year old around, it's not my idea of fun - at all.

That's not to say I won't buy RTW again, it's just been a while. I will seriously have to master pants/jeans soon if it's going to last as I live in jeans all winter.


If I was to avoid hitting the nearest shopping centre, I decided it was time to start making some cake. Well, as near to cake as I make. My perception of cake is mix-and-match, plain dyed neutrals, kinda boring but necessary. I don't do cake, not even RTW cake. I like frosting. Not necessarily sequins and feather boa frosting, but bright prints and statement fabrics. Jeans are definitely my default cake base for my frosting in winter.

Remember I was undertaking Colette Pattern's Wardrobe Architect project?? I lasted about 4 weeks into the project, not really doing the homework but reading the pieces and realised I am doing totally fine. EVERYTHING I make I wear. I enjoy all of it and mix and match be damned. And accessories? My printed fabrics are my accessories. It took me a while to recognise that. I don't "do" accessories in the traditional sense (necklaces, bangles, bracelets, earrings, scarves etc). I feel too fussy when I try to incorporate accessories. Weirdly I threw on a necklace and my ubiquitous hair flower today. Weird.


This is the Mandy Boat Tee from Tessuti Fabrics, made up in a gorgeously drapey 60% cotton/40% modal jersey knit.

I love me a free pattern! I already made up the free Fave Top pattern quite sometime ago and am quite the fan. I have worn it to death and you can kinda tell. The fabric was a viscose elastane blend and even after taping the shoulder seams it really did stretch out quite a bit over time, making it look a little tired. It also has a slash/boat neck and it has stretched so much it's turned into a not-so-desirable off-the-shoulder number.

Knowing the potential, for neckline stretch I actually removed 1.5 inches from the centre front and centre back of the pattern, bringing the neckline in a whole 3 inches total and it sits perfectly without showing off the bra strap.


I reinforced the shoulder seams by sewing cotton tape into the seam allowance. I also hemmed it about 1.5 inches shorter and might lengthen it a tad next time.

I had to cut this out flat. The print on this fabric was sooooooooo off grain as to be a bit cray cray. I just couldn't fold and cut the fabric and have any hope of the stripes coming out right. I simply traced off the cut-on-the-fold pattern and taped the front and back halves together and cut them on the un-folded fabric.

I did something even more naughty as well and cut according to the stripes of the print instead of in line with the "grainline" (I'm not even convinced it had one). I really thought it was all going to go to hell, but it seems to hang and drape just fine. We'll see after a few washes.


So it's an okay top. It didn't turn out quite how I expected. The Fave Top is just a bit edgier and more interesting. I get that the Fave Top is voluminous and sometimes gets in the way as a result but this one is simply a bit "blah". Hence to me it is very cakey.

It'll get worn though as we all need our own versions of cake in our wardrobes. And I can always make things more interesting by wearing it with my locally designed and made locket.

Happy Mother's Day to all you awesome Mums! Hope you are having as lovely a day as I am!

13 comments:

  1. Oooh I love that locket! And you hit the nail on the head with that talk about accessorizing with prints. I think I do the same! I do actually have some great necklaces etc but everytime I try to wear them I just feel overdone. I think it's possibly because I also have a little too much frosting in my wardrobe. But these days I force myself to wear the frosting that first time, and then it just becomes very delicious fancy cake that I can wear everyday. By the way, I really like that print, definitely a fancy cake.

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  2. Having just come from the great big mall that I used to love to walk around empty handed, tired and frustrated I know exactly what you mean! This top is exactly the sort of cake that I would wear. Urgh to mixed up grainlines and stripes. So hate that, but you've done great.

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  3. Thanks Kirsty. You know what it is I reckon? We have much higher expectations. We used to take the "that'll do" item, but now we know we don't have to settle. Bugger that, I'd rather not waste my money and just make it to my exact specs.

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  4. The locket is great! The picture is hand illustrated on vintage paper. And I have no problem wearing the frosting! I used to be very self-conscious, but for some reason I just don't feel that way anymore. If the frosting draws attention I can proudly pronounce it handmade by me!

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  5. I think it looks great - I did the same as you re centre front width, it would have been a mumu otherwise! I love the print, it's almost liberty-esque - a bit like their art nouveau designs. I think it's the kind of pattern that does need a little something something to jazz it up and yours looks amazing!

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  6. It's like you're inside my mind! I have exactly the same attitude, on all points! I love your new top - it looks pretty cakey to me! Also loving your necklace and boots!

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  7. I hear you! It takes a bit of courage wearing the frosting at first (had to force myself). But I'm getting used to it now for the same reason (it's all mine!), and I figure it gives me license to make more!

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  8. Thanks Gail! Yep, it's definitely cake in my book

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  9. Thank you Sarah. I loved the print too, but I think with this top the combo just looks a bit dated? Hmmm, I'm just not sure. I think this type of tee looks better in a stripe (like my Fave Tee) or a block colour. I'll have to experiment :)

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  10. I really like the Mandy Boat Tee...though I need a cake version in black!

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  11. Thanks Melanie! Yep I think a good basic black one would be great!

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  12. Gabrielle Corbett15 June 2014 at 00:29

    I love this post - I've read it a few times now (why haven't I commented on it before then? I don't know!!) and I love your attitude. YES you are doing totally fine, no need to change your approach to your wardrobe. And cake sewing is boring, I agree, but srwing something straightforward from an interesting fabric makes it less cake-like :). Your top looks great - it's a very stylish outfit. And I agree regarding accessories; I'm hopeless at wearing jewelery but I think you're right, it's because the clothes themselves are doing the accessorising :). I'll shut up now though as I seen to just be nodding and saying yes a lot :)

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  13. Nodding and saying yes is just fine haha! I have been wearing this top, but really don't like it much. I think I'll go back to the Fave Top to avoid the blah.

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