Ginger Made: Naughty Kitty Petrouchka Top

It’s still January, right?

OK. I may have technically missed Jungle January, but I was with you in spirit and have been dying to add some animal print madness to my wardrobe! As soon as Anne announced the month-long extravaganza, I pulled this jersey out of my stash and started plotting. I picked it up at Mood several months ago during a mega shopping expedition with my sister, and the whole time I couldn’t stop saying to her, “This is so awful… I HAVE to have it!” It’s neon leopard print jersey, people! It’s too obnoxious NOT to bring home with you (ladies: this mantra does not apply to dudes). I found out at the cutting counter that it’s Betsey Johnson… makes sense, right? Homegirl loves her crazy prints!

I used Papercut Patterns‘ new(ish) Petrouchka Top pattern, a raglan-sleeved peplum top with a curved seam at the midriff (totally obscured by the print, but it’s an adorable detail). It was mondo easy to put together– seriously, the most difficult part was trying to figure out what 1cm seam allowances are equal to (I spent a ridiculously long time trying to do that math… before I figured out that there’s a 1cm mark on my sewing machine…). I made an XS, and I had to remove a ton of excess from the side seams and sleeves (like, as much as 4″ in some places). I wish that there was a chart of the finished garment measurements (OH WAIT, THERE TOTALLY WAS BUT I IGNORED IT BECAUSE, AGAIN, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT 99 CM EQUALS IN REAL NUMBERS???). So yeah. After I’d already made all the alterations, I spent 3 seconds Googling “99 cm to inches” and realized that 39″ in the bust would never work for me, so I should’ve known better and just sized down from the get-go. Live and learn. Let’s see… I also re-serged the seam joining the peplum to the bodice to raise the waistline a little. I still think it’s a bit too low, but I don’t want to lose any more length in the front, so I’ll just leave it. I’ll shorten the bodice and lengthen the peplum if I make this again.

I’m still not 100% sold on the peplum trend. This doesn’t emphasize my hips, luckily, but I’m not sure how flattering it is to have all that fabric hanging from the waist. But I definitely wouldn’t have tried a peplum at all if I hadn’t loved this pattern so much, so that says a lot. I will probably make this again before ye olde peplum’s 15 minutes of fame in 2013 is up. I’ll say this, though– I definitely feel like a bit of a naughty kitty in this top.

Wicked, wicked kitty…

I’m so glad I finally have a reason to get this out of my stash and onto my body! It’s so trashy and fun– I feel like throwing a cosmo at someone when I’m wearing it! I’m sure Anne would approve this message– if she’s not president of the Sewing Bad Girls Club, I don’t know who is.

Ginger Made: The Renfrew Top (Or, The “Holy Cow, I Can’t Believe I Made a Shirt That Looks Like a Shirt” Shirt)

GUYS.  I’m seriously so happy with this.  It’s the Renfrew Top from Sewaholic Patterns, and it turned out so well that I feel like a champ!

When Tasia asked for testers for her new pattern back in November I  jumped at the chance!  This was my first time sewing knits, so I was both apprehensive and excited, but I knew that Tasia’s pattern instructions would be clear and thorough.

I had some trouble finding knits that were stable enough– most of the prints that I liked were way too stretchy and flimsy– so I used a double-knit jersey that I found at Mood.  It’s kind of a boring color, but I know I’ll wear it all the time.  I made view C, with its dressier cowl neck and three-quarter sleeves (my favorite!  I’m always pushing back or rolling up long sleeves).  Constructing the shirt is easy as can be, and I love the way that the sleeves and hem are finished with bands of self-fabric– no hemming!!  I started with the stretch stitch on my Janome, but since it was a sort of triple stitch, it used TONS of thread, and the plain zigzag worked just fine, so I switched to that mid-way through.  For some reason I had a ton of trouble attaching the first sleeve– I messed it up so badly that I had to put away the project in frustration for a while.  When I came back to it, the second sleeve went on perfectly, and I have no idea what I did differently!  I ended up having to cut a new sleeve piece to replace the first one– yeesh!  I cut a straight size 4 and it fit really well without any alterations– now I see why people like to use knits!  No muslins, no seam finishing, no fuss!

I know I’ll use this pattern in the future– it’s such a nice basic piece, but it’s so flattering and feminine.  I highly recommend it!  If you’re trying to fill out your wardrobe with more self-stitched items, this is a great place to start.  And I have to say, I received the best compliment on this!  When I tried it on for the first time, Man Friend said, “Hey, that looks like an actual shirt!”  That seems like a pretty high compliment from a non-sewer.  🙂

I do have a bit of bad news for you guys… poor Doug the Pug doesn’t fit into last year’s jacket!  It doesn’t meet around his middle at all and has to hang open!  Guess the holidays are hard on everybody’s figures!

What are you working on these days?  Anybody have any special projects going?  Also, be sure and stay tuned for a Sew Grateful Week giveaway!