Thursday, April 8, 2021

Fibre Mood Norma Blouse & Self-Drafted Shorts

When I look at this outfit of Norma Blouse from Fibre Mood and self-drafted linen shorts, I wonder if I'm having a midlife crisis. The thought was buried deep in my subconscious when I put these things together, but I'm pretty sure I had this same outfit in high school. I definitely had a different version of the same watch (intentionally like my dad's work watch) in high school, and a different version of the same hair style. The top was probably more of a t-shirt than a blouse, the sneakers were probably a brighter color, and I certainly didn't sew any of it, but the combination feels eerily familiar. I'm not gonna dig too deep into the meaning of this repeat and just believe that you wear what you feel good in. 

I used to never wear anything I made until I had photographed and blogged about it. It sort of seemed too risky. I'm going to give myself credit for increased confidence in my ability to recreate anything that meets with a wayward splash of red wine, or that wire that sticks out on the screen door. I've been wearing these shorts since last summer, and this top has been the focus of at least 3 outfits since I finished it a few weeks ago. Black and white, it just goes with everything. 

The Self-Drafted Linen Shorts

The shorts are self-drafted. I've blogged about them in the past. It's just my wide leg pants pattern shortened in length and widened at the thigh. They are simple but exactly what I like to wear. If you've ever stopped by this space before, you don't need me to extol the virtues of custom fit pants again. This pattern was the best thing I ever did for myself. It has ruined me for ready to wear. 

The shorts are made with the leftovers from my Wiksten jacket. Its European Washed Linen from in a very basic black. It's medium weight and fully opaque, even with white undies. The interior finish is a testament to my love for this pattern. The pocket bags are bias bound with coordinating linen from another project as is the tag.  

The Fibre Mood Norma Blouse

The Norma Blouse by Fibre Mood was a pitstop on the puffy sleeve journey I took a few months ago. They billow in all the right ways. I did make a muslin, and as a result I raised the point of the neckline 1/2" and increased the width ever so slightly from underarm to hem. 

Like my last project, this Indian block print came from Rohiyan on Etsy. It's a loose weave cotton, and less than 2 ounces per square yard, making it billow nicely about the sleeve. The logical drawback is that it's a bit sheer.  I also made a hand stitched bandana with some of the left over. 

Supply List:

Shirt Pattern: Norma Blouse by Fibre Mood
Shirt Fabric: Indian Block Print from Rohiyan on Etsy

Shorts Pattern:Self-Drafted (Past shorts post)
Shorts Fabric: European Washed Linen in Black from


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Block Print Hilary Top & Self-Drafted Skirt

I'm going through a puffed sleeve phase, and I'm not a bit sorry about it. Figuring heavily in my billowing daydreams is the Hilary Top by Tessuti Fabrics made here in a floral hand block printed cotton. I'm wearing it with a self-drafted skirt in a flowy tencel from

After not sewing for over a year (baby, pandemic, virtual school, you know), I've got to catch up on the trends that popped up while I was hunkered down at home wearing Target leggings and a college sweatshirt. When I picked up my scissors again in January getting some puffed sleeves into my wardrobe was the first order of business.

The Hilary Top 

I had my eye on the Hilary Top by Tessuti Fabrics first because it seemed like a sure thing. Easy fit through the body, and all of the gathers are made with elastic rather than the typical baste and gather method, which I find tedious (so tedious!). I made a (mostly) wearable muslin to trouble shoot the fit and familiarize myself with the construction. I LOVE the way the facing and the sleeve seam are finished together. The inside is so neat and tidy and better than anything RTW. 

The original Hilary Top design has a peplum. I used the advice on the Tessuti blog to lengthen the top 6" to eliminate the peplum. I also added some extra width to the sleeve (because I am that serious about puffs). I added 1" at the shoulder and 3" at the cuff by slicing the arm pattern piece in half lengthwise (image below). I'm not sure I would do that with a bulkier fabric, but I love how it turned out here. 

The fabric for the top is a hand stamped, Indian block printed cotton from Rohiyan on Etsy. It was my first time ordering from this seller so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  When I got it I knew the super light weight cotton would be perfect for those elastic gathers. I did a little math, and this fabric is around 2 ounces per square yard. 

The Self-Drafted Gathered Skirt

I didn't actually intend to wear this top with this skirt, but as the skirt also has elastic gathers and the colors work so well together they ended up on my body at the same time. This skirt is a self-drafted favorite of mine. A simple gathered skirt is a great place to start drafting for yourself. A few key measurements and you can quickly have a made to measure garment. It feels so good to reach for a pattern that you know will fit you just right. 

This skirt design has elastic at the middle of the front and back, but no elastic at the sides to minimize the bulk where I want things to look slimmer. The front elastic begins and ends just above the pockets. I've written about the skirt a few times before: red print, black, teal. The first time I made it was in 2014! 

The skirt fabric is Telio Tencel Twill II from I've used very similar (possibly the same) fabric before so I knew how the drape and body would translate into a gathered skirt. The color is called Wine, and it works great with the pinker hue of the floral block print. I actually bought the fabric to go with a different top, more on that later. 

The Hilary Top is an easy one to dress up or down. As good (if not better) with jeans and flats (or more likely sneakers) as it is with boots and a skirt. I think it will see more casual wear overall. Here I'm wearing it with my favorite jeans (Everlane Cheeky Straight), and hand me down flats. 

Supply List:
Shirt Sewing Pattern: Hilary Top by Tessuti Fabrics
Shirt Fabric: Indian Block Print Cotton from Rohiyan on Etsy

Skirt Sewing Pattern: Self-drafter by SweetKM (me)
Skirt Fabric: Telio Tencel Twill II in Wine from

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Wiksten Haori with RK Taos Flannel Lining


Wiksten Haori Black Linen RK Taos Flannel Sierra Stripe
Wiksten Haori Black Linen RK Taos Flannel Sierra Stripe
The Wiksten Haori from Wiksten. I have several jackets of this style (okay, 4!), and one other from this pattern. I wear them often but was feeling a gap in the mid-weight jacket wardrobe category.  The boxy cut and long length fits over the baby carrier and bulky layers, and draws attention away from the fact that I'm wearing the same leggings as yesterday. Sometimes I just wear it around the house because I love the pockets. Make a Haori, and you'll never wonder where you put your phone again. 
RK Taos Linen Sierra Stripe Wiksten Haori SweetKM

The European 100% Washed Linen from*. The fabric is the highlight of this garment. Black linen is a beautiful basic. I like to think the fluid drape and natural fibers can compete with a nice dress or elevate the rattiest t-shirt.  This linen is one of my sure thing basics. It's a great weight for a jackets or pants, it's opaque, and washes well. I have some self-drafted shorts in Fig (blogged here), and made another pair in this black with leftovers. 

The RK Taos Flannel in Sierra Stripe from*. When I hesitantly chose this lining fabric I had cooler weather in mind. I knew a long length Haori would see the most wear in the spring and fall months when I wanted extra warmth. However, I had a few reservations about a linen jacket for cold weather, and lining linen with flannel. It seems like a contradiction, an oxymoron, a possibly inexcusable fashion dichotomy. But I just had to have this fabric. I love the whole line of Taos yarn dyed prints. Luckily, this is a case where two nice things are even nicer together. 

I've been wearing this jacket a lot in the past few weeks. Even jeans and a tee are dressed up for me lately. I normally throw this on over workout clothes when I do neighborhood errands. I would like to add some sort of front closure for the cold days in Philadelphia. I like that I can continue to alter this garment to be whatever I want.

SweetKM Wiksten Haori RK Taos Flannel


Jacket Pattern: Wiksten Haori sewing pattern by Wiksten

Jacket Main Fabric: European 100% Washed Linen in Black from*

Jacket Lining: RK Taos Flannel in Sierra Stripe from*

*The links are affiliate links. The thoughts are my own.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Hinterland Dress & Anna Vest

Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress Karen Templer Anna Vest Knitting Sewing Sweetkm

The linen Hinterland Dress (pattern by Sew Liberated) and wool Anna Vest (pattern by Karen Templer). They are the perfect combination of disciplines, fibers, and seasons. And possibly, the ideal way to ease back into the sewing circle.

I'm torn between making excuses for my absence and jumping back in as if nothing ever happened. I've got nothing to say for myself, so I'm going with the latter. I'm looking for an illusive balance, and I should know better. Life leaves me with digital homework to oversee more often than it does leisurely afternoons to search out fall's last flowers. I'm happy to have come back to needing this space. The planning, making, documenting, and sharing process always makes my thoughts feel extra tidy. A calm place in a head full of chaos. 

SweetKM Hinterland Dress Sewing Pattern Sew Liberated

SweetKM Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress Sewing Pattern

The Hinterland Dress pattern by Sew Liberated. I went back to the ol' record books to see when I conceived of this dress. It was long enough ago that by the time I had made a bodice muslin I had to size it up so it would work as maternity wear. But then I was pregnant and would rather nap than look nice, or finish a sewing project. My initial idea was to make a piece that could transition from pregnancy, to nursing, to the rest of my life. I got the last part right, so I'm gonna go ahead and call it a wardrobe success. 

I never wore this when I was pregnant because it made me feel like a parade float. Really, when 8 months pregnant in July, most anything gives you that Snoopy-on-34th-Street feeling. I finished all the raw edges separately to facilitate alterations as my body changed, or to size it back down postpartum. Now I like the extra easy volume. I altered the Hinterland to eliminate the button placket for a pull on style dress. I'm sure this is a tutorial somewhere, but I don't have the patience to find it. 

The European Linen Striped Shirting from I bought this fabric in April of 2019, and naturally it isn't available any more. This olive green is similarly subdued, or this check equally understated. I love the weight and drape of the European Linens. They're supple and tremble like they have a mind of their own. 

SweetKM Karen Templer Anna Vest Knitting Pattern Brooklyn Tweed Shelter
Sweetkm Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Karen Templer Anna Vest Knitting Pattern

The Anna Vest by Karen Templer. The vintage styling makes this a timeless piece that will mature well. The diminutive size makes it a timely piece that knits up quickly. The finishing, well...not so much. This pattern offers the choice of picking up the button band or sewing on a separate piece. I like the clear delineation and solid structure of the separate button band. My top button is a few rows north of where it ought to be, but I'll not hold it against the vest or the knitter. 

The Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Barn Owl. The sophisticated neutrals of Shelter (and BT in general) can't be beat. The simple variations in color adds dimension to this simple stitch pattern. The Barn Owl color is retired, but Wood Smoke would be a good substitute. 

SweetKM Karen Templer Anna Vest Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress

Despite its long shelf life, this is not my oldest WIP. Hopefully we'll get to that one before the year is out. In the meantime I'll be over on Instagram trying to figure out what everyone's been up to. Please stop by and catch up.


Dress Sewing Pattern: Hinterland Dress by Sew Liberated

Dress Fabric: 100% European Striped Linen (similar) from

Vest Knitting Pattern: Anna Vest by Karen Templer

Vest Yarn: Shelter in Barn Owl by Brooklyn Tweed

Knitter's Notes: My Anna Vest knitter's notes on Ravelry links are affiliate links. Thought are my own.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Maternity Sewing: True Bias Shelby Dress & Megan Nielsen Briar T-shirt

I've recently discovered the key to good maternity clothes is not wearing maternity clothes. With pants it's hard to avoid, but so many of my favorite tops and dresses have proven maternity friendly (at least for the second trimester). I tested the brand new Shelby Dress sewing pattern by True Bias a month or so ago. I was delighted to discover that it still fits even at 26 weeks pregnant! I'm a little desperate for variety after wearing the same 3-4 maternity outfits on repeat for a few weeks. 

The Shelby Dress sewing pattern has 2 lengths, 2 sleeve options, and skirt or pants options for the bottom. I made the long view b dress with the longer sleeve. It features head to toe princess seams, a back tie, and button front. The long view buttons end above the knee for a really nice slit front. 

For the fabric I wanted something with a true 90's vibe of dainty floral on a dark background (just like the one I used to borrow from my sister in high school). When I first got this swishy rayon challis floral (similar*) from* (affiliate link) I sort of panicked because it's not 1995 and I gave up on bold floral prints long ago. To hedge my bets, and add some layers to the maternity look, I made a Briar Top by Megan Nielsen to wear over it and make it more of a skirt/top combo. I've recovered from my print anxiety, but it's still nice to have options. 

For the Briar Top from Megan Nielsen Patterns I used a Kaufman Laguna Stretch Jersey* in Pepper from*. I sized up based on my measurements, but I wouldn't next time. 
I've been torn about how much time to spend (or is it waste?) sewing for my pregnant self. Pregnancy and postpartum are a moving target, and I like to invest my time and energy into garments I will get a lot of wear from.  I've decided hedging my bets with maternity friendly standard patterns is the best use of my time. 

Dress Pattern: Shelby Dress by True Bias
Dress Fabric: Floral Rayon Challis (sold out, similar*) from
Top Fabric: Kaufman Laguna Stretch Jersey in Pepper from*

* links are affiliate links.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Denim Wiksten Haori & Liberty Linen Inari Tee

It's spring refresh time, and the weather in Philadelphia is actually cooperating. To fully embrace the cherry blossoms and 70 degree days, I'm lightening up my layers and my color scheme with the Wiksten Haori, Inari Tee, and self-drafted pants.
The Wiksten Haori fabric is Robert Kaufman 10oz Denim in Washed Bleached Indigo (out of stock, link to similar) from*. I like the outer wear feel of the heavy weight fabric. I didn't line it because it felt a little precious, but after wearing it a few times I'm wishing I had lined it in flannel for an even cozier jacket. 

I sewed a medium based on my measurements. It is generously sized, next time I might size down depending on the fabric. The only minor alteration I made was to add a 3" sleeve hem facing to make a cuff so you don't see the hem when rolled. 
I've been meaning to make the Inari Tee since it was first released years ago. I'm not sure what I've been waiting for, this fabric maybe. The design is just as relevant and easy wearing today as it was when it came out. So I'll still get years of wear out of it. 
The Inari Tee by Named Clothing (got mine at Indie Sew) is made with Liberty Fabric Louis Sycamore Linen from*. I can't say enough about this fabric. It's got the delicate drape of a good linen and the sophisticated Liberty print and color scheme. I only needed one yard to make the top, making it about the most cost effective garment use possible. 

I sewed a size 10 based on my measurements with no modifications. I'm a sucker for a good finish, but I sure made a project out of a project with this one. First I added depth to the neck facing so I could fold the edge under, then I remembered I had the nicely contrasting pink linen so I ripped out the fold and bound the edge instead. I also bound the hem edge so no unsightly serged edges would show. 

Jacket Pattern: Wiksten Haori by Wiksten
Shirt Pattern: Inari Tee/Dress by Named Clothing
Pants Pattern: Self Drafted
Pants Fabric: Tencel Twill II from Blackbird Fabrics (color out of stock)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

SweetKM Cowl Sweater & Seamwork Neenah

It's February and it seems like I've been cold for day, weeks, months maybe. I've had layers on the brain, warm fleecy layers. This combination is a self-drafted cowl neck sweater on top for warmth, and a snug Neenah Turtleneck from Seamwork to lock in the body heat. I'm wearing them here with my denim Persephone Pants by Anna Allen that I blogged about before. 

This self-drafted sweater is the third iteration of a sweater pattern I started playing with last year. You can see the original version here, and I may blog about it before spring. After playing with the layers with the first sweater I decided I wanted a giant thick cowl sweater to wear over another turtleneck. My sister is pretty sure I got the two turtleneck idea from my mom. Maybe I did, but I definitely got my tendency to be perpetually cold from her. I liked the idea of the underlay peaking out at neck and sleeves.  
To make the giant cowl I made a dickie size sample to make sure I could get it over my head and was as enormous as my vision. I used the basic body shape of the pervious sweater but cut 5" off the length. I measured the front from the wrong line on my pattern and ended up taking a bit extra off, but I like the exaggerated difference between the front and the back at the side slit. The sleeves have a 3" cuff and can be worn folded or straight. 

The brown fabric is Rayon Sweatshirt Fleece in Cocoa from*. I can't say enough about this fabric. The cotton makes it very sturdy and cozy and the rayon gives it a drape that makes it feel more dressed up than your average sweatshirt. I would buy it again in every color. 
I've been meaning to try the Neenah Turtleneck pattern by Seamwork forever. But I sometimes get stuck in a rut with a pattern that works and I don't take the time to try something new. I really like this form fitting turtleneck style, and would make it again. 
The fabric is a Rayon Spandex Jersey knit in black and tan (similar) from fabric .com*. The light weight is great for a bottom layer, but paired with the slim fit, I might not wear it on its own very often. 

Cowl Sweater Pattern: Self-Drafted
Cowl Sweater Fabric: Rayon Sweatshirt Fleece from*
Turtleneck Pattern: Neenah Turtleneck by Seamwork 
Turtleneck Fabric: Rayon Spandex Yarn Dyed Stripe (similar) from*
Pants Fabric: 10oz. Denim from Indie Sew 

* links are affiliate links.