Sewing for Me: Coral Stripes, Lace + Geometric

A couple of days ago, I made a muslin for a pair of sailor pants, and it was huge. And after reading through the directions, I realized that it would take more time than I have available, so I made a couple more knit tops instead. It was a good move, because I love them so much.

Let’s talk about the kimono top first. I made this in a black stripey jersey knit a few years ago, and mentioned its dismal craftsmanship here. Despite the seams falling apart, I wear the black top frequently and knew that I wanted to make another. The pattern isΒ New Look 6648, and the fabric is a beautiful rayon/cotton jersey blend with coral stripes on a “stone” background.

I love the voluminous sleeves and the ruched waistband that gives the otherwise loose shape some definition. I think the boat neck/wide scoop neck is flattering and it’s one step away from becoming a pajama top – it’s that comfy. This fabric has a wonderful drape that feels silky and floaty, and although it doesn’t wrinkle easily, I seem to have ironed some in up there.

I thought it would add some visual interest to have the stripes go in different directions, and it feels very Anthro to me (can you tell that I’m a little obsessed with that store?). Sorry about the crazy hair – this is pretty much how it looks normally.

Now, this color-blocked top is a bit of my own design. I’ve been seeing a lot of tops with lace detail on Pinterest lately and I actually own a similar all-white one that I wear all the time.

I started off with M6744, which is actually a pattern for knit dresses, but I liked the basic shape of the bodice and I think it worked out well. The lace is from my mom; I’m not exaggerating when I say I have a ton of fabric from her – she has an entire room dedicated to fabric that is filled to the gills, so you can imagine how much she’s gifted me.

The cool geometric indigo knit is a heavier, thicker rayon/spandex/cotton mix from here. It has a gorgeous embroidered texture, and although I wanted to use the grey side (the right side), it didn’t quite mesh with the cream-colored lace. I think the indigo side looks like Japanese textile, and I adore it. I have more of this fabric and will be making something that showcases the awesome grey print!

To create the color-block effect, I just took the front and back bodice pattern pieces and split them up where my strapless bra wouldn’t show. I created bias binding out of knit that matched the lace, though next time, I would make the bias strips thinner. I worried that the fabric would be too heavy for the lace, but it actually works surprisingly well, and I like that the dark knit doesn’t cling to my every bulge.

I have two more garments that will definitely come with me on vacation! I’m not sure if I’ll hit my goal of 10 handmade items for my vacation wardrobe, but I’m getting close. Here’s my sketched plan again, and I have a couple of other things on my sewing table, so who knows?




25 thoughts on “Sewing for Me: Coral Stripes, Lace + Geometric

  1. I think one can never have enough striped tops! It looks totally store-bought! And the back of that lace top is stunning – make sure to always turn around!

    1. Wouldn’t it be funny if I was having a conversation with someone and kept suddenly turning around (I’m imagining it with a “Zoolander” look here). And store-bought is the ultimate compliment for handmade clothes!!

    1. Hi Teresa! The lace I used had a lot of stretch in it so it felt more like a knit. I haven’t done much with delicate lace, but I don’t think it’s too bad. I used a zig zag stitch to make sure it was securely attached and that seemed to do the trick!

  2. Seeing your creations is slowly giving me the courage to start sewing for myself. I think that when I take the plunge a top will be my first go at it. I have a very hard time getting a store bought fit. My granddaughters will probably not be happy as they think everything I sew should be for them.

    1. Oh, I hope you do sew for yourself, Karen! It is SO rewarding. These days I spend more time thinking about what to make myself than what to make K – very addictive!

  3. love your vacation wardrobe sketches! kind’ve a fun visual diary too:)
    You are completely wowing me with the knit tops – I love them! Where did you purchase that great coral stripe knit? Probably somewhere local, lucky you. As for the fabric stash you inherit from your mom, we’re all slightly envious of that – especially since she clearly has such good taste in fabric!

    1. Hey Lucinda! The coral stripe knit is from Drygoods of course, and it looks like they still have some left. Girl Charlee also has one yard left here.

  4. These tops are equally fabulous! Your mom has great taste and its nice to see your making such lovely garments from her hidden treasures! Looking forward to seeing what you whip up next!

    1. Thank you Nicole! My mom’s stash is very much like a treasure trove. She thrifts a lot of her fabric, but also has the fortune of living close to the LA Fashion District so she has an impressive collection.

    1. Voluminous sleeves are where it’s at, Liza Jane! I think I want to make at least a couple more of these – love this style!

  5. Wow, I love both of them! I think the lace one might be my favorite though… just something about it that’s sweet and yet has an edge. Great job! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Sarah! Sweet and edgy is such a cool combo, I’m so glad you think my top falls into that category. πŸ™‚ It’s also incredibly comfortable, which makes the top even better!

  6. Wow Sanae,
    You blow me away, again. That top is so lovely, the shape, the stripes, everything. I want to go up to my sewing machine and copycat this rihgt away. I can fell how comfy it is just frim the pica. The colorblock top is ubersweet, i love the back. Thanks for inspiring me so much!

    1. Haha, so pleased to be a source of inspiration, Marit! Sometimes I’m a little embarrassed that I’m posting such simple clothes to make, but it feels good to be making small measures of progress.

  7. bravo! i love both of them! love the idea of a pj type tee (and exclusively wear knits in my everyday life). while i don’t think i could pull off the stripey shirt, i wish i could since it’s adorable and looks so comfortable. i love that lace detailing on the tank and have been seeing a lot of that too–maybe i can figure out how to work that into something soon!

    1. Thank you Ashley! You can totally pull off the stripey shirt! And yes, I love small touches of lace in clothing as long as it doesn’t start to look like it belongs in a wedding. πŸ™‚

  8. Hard to pick a fave because I’d wear the heck out of both of theses…. But that lace one is super cute! Oh, and those shoes. WANT.

    1. Thanks Erin! You know, I think there might be a state law that says Washington residents must wear clogs. Everyone I know here owns a pair!

  9. Oh, I LOVE that stripey top. It looks great! Maybe its time I overcome my fear of sewing with knits – I could wear this pattern 24/7!!

    1. Hi Clare! You can do it!! Knits do seem daunting at first and they definitely take getting used to, but I just love making clothes in knits because it pretty much guarantees that I’ll wear them. And once you start to feel comfortable, you’ll find that knits are very forgiving.

  10. I love the lace on the top! I want to use something with lace this summer too. And I love your sketch for your summer wardrobe. What fun!

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