Double Good Plan Success!

By which I mean, I finished multiple items that were ALL in my planning post!

I know, right? I can hardly believe that either. But it’s true: I have made 3 garments from my encyclopedic planning post. And even though 2 of the pieces are the same pattern made in the same fabric but in different colors, I think that’s worth celebrating!

And now Named has gone and smashed up my planned queue with their Fall collection–I literally only left 1 pattern unpurchased! O_o They get me when it comes to Fall stuff, apparently…Anyway! Back to business.

Penny Raglan x 2

First, let’s talk about the least-exciting of the two patterns: the Penny Raglan. Thrilling she is not, but function is her jam and I can appreciate that. I think a shirt like this can be very wearable with mini skirts, slim trousers, and skinny or boyfriend jeans. Bonus points if you throw in a slouchy boyfriend-style blazer! The trick to this pattern–apart from deciding that an aggressively over-sized raglan t-shirt is the garment for you and rocking the shit out of it–is in the fabric you choose. The pattern hilariously calls for fabrics with at least 20% stretch (maybe I’m being a bitch, but 18″ of positive ease doesn’t strike me as a situation where I need anything even remotely approaching 20% stretch; YMMV), but the most important factors here are drape and weight. If you want to make this pattern, I advise making it up in the lightest knit fabric you can manage. My I-wish-it-had-been-wearable sample was made in a cotton blend jersey–something close to a nice interlock weight, I would say–and I looked like I was wearing a brick of fabric. An unflattering red/navy striped brick of fabric, to be exact. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ If I’m dealing with bricks, they’d better be made of cheese or I’m not happy.


Shirts and Skurt-2

Big ole shirt

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Sheer, too.

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Goofing off

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Back neckband, V.2

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Best Penny!


Dress form side view




Cool, right? At least I feel cool in them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Both tops are made from silk/modal blend jerseys that I bought at Fabric Mart a couple years ago. This stuff is amaaaaaaazing to wear, just FYI. It’s also the perfect weight for a top this shape. The first three pics are of the pink version, and the rest are the rose gold (aka THE BEST) version.

The rose gold Penny is my favorite not just because of the color (which matches a pair of shoes I have–swoon!), but because I did the best job on it. The pink one had been a highly-wearable trial, and while I wear it proudly, there are some things I could have done better: for one, there is a small tuck at the back of the neckline because I didn’t smooth things out enough when attaching the band. I also set the differential too high on my serger and the side seams look slightly ruched as a result–oops. My final crime is that I did very narrow hems for the sleeves and hemline; they’re fine and un-puckered, but they don’t look as “nice” as a deeper hem would have. I remedied all of these things on the rose gold Penny. For hems, I didn’t whip out my stretch twin needle, even though I have one. Here is what I did instead:

  1. Added extra hem allowance–1″ for everything.
  2. Marked 1/2″ up from the raw edge, then turned that under the final 1/2″ and pinned in place, stretching slightly as I pinned.
  3. Basted the hem in place near the top of the fold, stretching slightly as I went along and removing pins as I moved.
  4. Gave that sucker a good press from the wrong side.
  5. Sewed the hem from the right side at approx. 3/8″ to ensure I caught the top fold, stretching slightly as I went along.
  6. Pressed again.

Since none of my hems need to stretch, that method worked for me. If these were fitted knit tops, I would have tried the twin needle. Failing that, zig-zag or lightning stitch.

Pattern Alterations

As with the last time I made a Grainline pattern, I needed to add some length. 2″ was added at the lengthen/shorten line, plus I cut the pattern pieces at the hemline of the largest size, PLUS I added the 1″ hem allowance to preserve all that extra length. My height is concentrated in my torso, and Grainline topsย just hit me at an awkward spot without alterations.

I also brought the neckline up significantly after the “striped brick” trial version. I felt that the original neckline was too droopy on me to be flattering. I added 1″ all the way around and am much happier with the look now. So hooray for 2 whole wearable shirts!! This pattern is super easy to sew up, especially if you and your serger are on speaking terms. (My Juki and I are still in the honeymoon phase…) I got 2 done in rapid succession and have a 3rd in-progress!

Moss Mini Skirt

And now for the exciting piece: a Moss mini skirt!

Shirts and Skurt-20

Moss mini!! And legs!!!!

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Fly front

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Back view, complete with bunchy, tucked-in tank top

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Sorry for the pose–I was itchy


Beautiful serged innards!


Full (fly) frontal


Back insides; didn’t realize JR was so bodacious from the back!!

I am really thrilled with this one with ONE exception: I wish I had used a jeans button instead of a hook and bar. Without a button it almost reads “Tennis Skirt” and no. Just no. But I can live with it. (Read: I hand-sewed that fucker on and I’m not uninstalling it.) This fabric is a stretch cotton-blend twill from Fashion Fabrics Club/Denver Fabrics. I’ve had good luck shopping with them for the most part–just BELIEVE their descriptions regarding weight. And swatch if you can if color matching is of great importance to your project. Learned that one the hard way once! You can get some great stuff there though, for sure. The quality of this material is incredible, and I paid $3/yard per my records. Boom.

I would like to take this opportunity to bitch about the zipper situation on this pattern. The instructions tell you to buy a 6″ zipper. My opinion? Buy a 4″ or 5″ and save yourself the waste of having to cut off the top of the 6″ zip they tell you to buy. I cannot for the life of me understand this whole “buy it too long and cut it off” philosophy. We are capable of installing the correct length of zipper to begin with, you guys. We totally are. For the record, I used a 4″ zipper for my skirt. My fly functions correctly. A 5″ is probably okay too in terms of not having extra zipper to cut off, but I will be sticking with 4″.

The pockets, however, are shout-out worthy. They attach in a way that keeps them in place all the time, and it’s awesome.

Pattern Alterations

Once again, length was added. My legs are short for my height IMO, but I wanted to make sure this mini was going to be appropriate to wear at the office. 2″ were added at the lengthen/shorten line. After trying it on unhemmed, I decided to take a 1″ hem (two folds at 1/2″ each) and I’m happy with the length; the pattern has you take two 3/8″ folds for the hem. I will try it at the original length though, just for fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

I also ended up taking the waist area in about 1″ before installing the waistband. I could use another 1″ removed I think, so I will make those changes before Moss 2.0 is cut out. The pattern sits below the natural waist, and while I thought I might need to make this type of adjustment, I didn’t want to do that before trying things on! Better safe than sorry, right?

I also did some gratuitous topstitching on the skirt (not in the instructions) and I like it. Definitely keeps it from looking like a tennis skirt. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So there you have it! I got some of my planned garments done before Named went and got me all in a tizzy about their Fall line. I’ll still try to stick to the original spirit of the plan, but we may have some last-minute substitutions over here. ๐Ÿ˜€

Before I go, here’s aย gratuitous Mulder pic:

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“Hi, Rhonda!!!” =)

Thanks for reading! โค

How is your sewing going this month? Do you have one favorite pattern company that just seems to “get” you and your style?ย 

22 thoughts on “Double Good Plan Success!

  1. Snaps to you! I am yet to do my planning posts but have been making extensive notes. And swooning over the new Named line. I want the blazer, the pants and the sweatshirt. How bout you?!!

    • Hey, notes totally count as planning! ๐Ÿ˜€ We are on the same page with those Named patterns! I am thinking of a heavy scuba knit for the sweatshirt myself. (Now I have to decide on color: black, or ginger??? Gah.) I love that they always have a trouser offering and don’t shy away from involved patterns.

  2. YES THE ZIPPER THING. I found that with Grainline’s Portside duffle bags and it is frustrating to no end. Also: I finished a few Lindens and holy ease batman. The first one looks kinda huge and frumpy on me. Good thing I used scraps for it (it has officially become my bumming around the house sweater). Love the Pennys but love the Moss even more. I can see what you mean about the tennis skirt but also seam ripping is literally the worst so I wholeheartedly support your decision to leave it (because *obviously* my opinion counts for so much LOL). I do hope you make some more Moss skirts and share!

    I have been working on a dress for a friend and also on my Refashioners Jeanius challenge project (and maybe two if I can squeeze it out!). Fingers crossed I don’t completely fuck them up ๐Ÿ˜€

    • FOR REAL THO on the zipper–I was not a happy bear when I read the fly instructions completely and realized they meant to have you cut it off. It’s just so…amateur. RTW isn’t always great, but you can bet they don’t go around guillotining zippers! >=[

      I definitely thought of you when I was starting the skirt–it was tough to choose between the Moss and Rosari! I hope the Penny low-down was helpful; lots of ease can be good in the right fabric but it’s a fine line sometimes for sure. I made a 3rd Penny and will now be moving on to a more fitted tee pattern (which one, I have no idea!); I will be sure to share results!

      Can’t wait to see that refashion of yours: you can do it!!!!

      • LMAO guillotining zippers hahahahahahaha love it. I am going to think of that every time I have to do that on a pattern. The penny info was helpful. I think I am glad I picked up Scout instead. I like to wear that style of top but it just makes me look wide and wouldn’t really go with what I need new tees for. And thank you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I took a break from the refash for the time being to finish up a few other projects for other people, but I will have it done in time…it is going to be very…artsy…..aka possibly borderline weird but I’m rolling with it… we shall see.

  3. I love all your new makes, especially the Moss, and yes I concur about the zipper thing. Honestly, just buy a zipper that fits. LOL. Your progress on your list is inspirational….I have photos cut out of magazines and lists of patterns and gobs of fabric but have yet to make a coherent plan from them. The NAMED fall line is stunning!!! I want them all,and almost hyperventilated when I saw them, pathetic but true. Not sure which I will actually buy…still contemplating.

    • I am so glad not to be alone on the zipper hacking hate train, LOL. I am as surprised as anyone that I made so much progress–I think making a plan at least centers my thoughts and calms down the intense creative energy caused by a large fabric and pattern stash (i.e., limitless possibilities!). Now if I could remember to bring my Fashionary with me and actually record fabric/pattern pairing ideas…;-)

      And there is NOTHING pathetic about getting excited over new patterns! My sewing friends and I were swooning over those new Named patterns. The only one I didn’t buy was the green button-front dress with giant pockets, LOL.

  4. Congrats on busting out a full outfit! I’ve been loving everyone’s Pennys but it’s not on my radar yet to buy. I’m hacking the Grainline Hemlock to give me a breezy tunic top now and I think I can almost get away with a Penny-looking top if I just shorten it. Hmmm…

    I think I respond well to Deer and Doe’s patterns although I just have 3 and have yet to make up one. I’m dying to buy more but 1) I can’t get through all my patterns I already have… thanks Seamwork… and 2) I’m waiting on a Black Friday or Christmas or something sale so I can stock up. I’m hemming and hawing about the Safran pants – not sure if I should get those since I have the Ginger Jeans and they’re almost the same thing.

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see more stuff from you, Mads! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Red! I bet you could definitely achieve a similar silhouette by hacking the Hemlock–good call! (Why didn’t I think of that?!? D’oh.) I totally get the buying vs. sewing ratio: I own 18 Named patterns and have only made 2 so far, but their aesthetic just works for me so I keep buying them with the intent to sew more. (God that sounds like a Sewing Crime: Pattern Purchasing with Intent to Sew, punishable by up to 5 years in stash jail.)

  5. Love that little skirt on you -kewute! But cutting zips is just silly. Whenever I have done it I have lost the pull and had to replace the zip (twice, with my Birkin jeans). Never again. Buy the right size! And I like the light weight floaty tops. They need to be translucent, don’t they? Offering opportunities to play with light and shade and colour. Nice.

    • Thank you, Kate! And you mentioned my worst fear with respect to cutting zippers: losing the pull! No thank you. =) I agree completely that tops as roomy as these need a light fabric to keep them wearable–I couldn’t imagine one in, say, a double knit. O_o

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