Wool + Pleather Linden Minidress!

Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well and sewing up a storm! OK, question: do you have seasonal color palettes? I know I do! Sometimes I feel like my closet is split between two different people- winter me and summer me! In warm weather, I’m all about bright colors and fun prints, but in the winter, I wear much more subdued colors, like heathered browns, navy, or, my very favorite, greys. My cold weather clothing drawer is almost entirely grey! The unexpected benefit of this is that I have a really, really easy time getting dressed in the winter- my separates all mix and match, and for once in my life, even my boots, tights, hat, and scarf get along with the rest of what I’m wearing, yay!

Grainline Studio Linden Minidress | Ginger Makes

So, for February’s Mood Sewing Network project*, I decided to give one last hurrah to Lady Grey and choose this delicious wool blend sweater knit. Guys. It’s SO thick and warm, but it’s amazingly lightweight. It’s a nice firm knit, so I don’t have to worry about it being too sheer or bagging out, but the wrong side has tons of loft so it’s really incredibly comfortable in cold weather. I planned to look for a bit of pleather in black for a bit of contrast, but I found this beautiful grey Rag & Bone pleather in the vinyl section on the third floor and couldn’t resist it. I really like that the contrast comes from the textures rather than color- it’s subtle, but fun.

Grainline Studio Linden Minidress | Ginger Makes

The pattern I used is the Grainline Studio Linden sweatshirt. This is actually the fourth Linden I’ve made this month, but I haven’t blogged any of the others. I made one for my #LindenSwap partner, another for my bestie, then one for me. So, this pattern was on my mind and I decided to just go for it. In Grainline sizing, my hips are two sizes smaller than my bust, so I just chose the size based on my bust measurement and dropped the hem by 9″ to give me this minidress length. The extra size through the hips gives me plenty of ease to move and sit. I used the hem band piece unaltered, since I didn’t add any additional width, but I shortened the sleeves by 4.5″ and adjusted the cuffs accordingly to give me a three-quarter-length sleeve. If I’d thought this through a bit more, I would have planned for the sleeves to finish at this length without a cuff… the cuff seam allowance is a bit bulky. I thought about cutting off the cuffs and turning under a hem, but I don’t really want to lose the sleeve length, at least not while it’s this cold! Lori suggested using the pleather for the cuffs with a v-notch detail, which could be really cute and would give me more ease (since the pleather doesn’t have any stretch, which you usually want in a cuff).

Grainline Studio Linden Minidress | Ginger Makes

For the pleather details, I cut two pieces 2″ by 24″ (a little longer than my sleeve length) and lightly pressed the long edges under by 3/8″. I tested this first on scraps, but I was able to use a warm, dry iron on the wrong side without any damage to the pleather. Then, I centered the strips over the shoulder notch and the midpoint of the wrist on the flat sleeve pieces and taped them in place with light masking tape. If I’d had a fabric glue stick, I would have used that instead, but I didn’t, so I was stuck with tape. I edgestitched the pleather in place, sewing in the same direction (i.e. top to bottom) for each side to help prevent pulling and puckering. I was a bit nervous about sewing pleather to a knit, so I did a few tests before I sewed on the actual sleeves. I had success using an 80/12 universal needle and holding the fabric in place firmly in front of and behind the presser foot so it wouldn’t stretch out of shape or drag. Then I trimmed off the excess pleather and inserted the sleeves like usual. Ta-da!

Ahhhhh… look at that soothing grey-on-grey action. It’s so comforting! It makes me want to get back into my winter cocoon and stay there til spring! Now, do you have a seasonal color palette, or am I just a crazy person? Do tell!

*Once a month I receive a fabric allowance from Mood to make something fun! I blog it first on the MSN blog, then over here. If I use stash materials or things purchased from another source, I’ll let you know in my post. 🙂

Yoke + Gathers Sorbetto Hack Tutorial!

Ginger Makes | Yoke + Gathers Sorbetto Hack

Hi, guys! I’ve been meaning to share the tutorial for my Colette Sorbetto hack with you for a while (see my Rambo top and my Watch This Lace top) and finally got organized enough to photograph it today! Before we dive in, let me just make it clear that I’m not a professional, so there may be better/different methods for pattern alteration, but this is what I did. Also, if you don’t already have this pattern, you can download it for free here! Got it? Allons-y!

Ginger Makes | Sorbetto Hack Tutorial

First things first: take your bodice front and fold it back along the pleat line, eliminating the pleat.

Ginger Makes | Sorbetto Hack Tutorial

To create your yoke, draw a straight line perpendicular to the fold line, below the armhole and above the dart. I drew my line 5/8″ below the armhole- this was a flattering yoke placement for me.

Ginger Makes | Sorbetto Hack Tutorial

Trace around your bodice above the line you’ve just drawn, and add a 5/8″ seam allowance below this line (the seam allowance for the neck and armhole is already included in the original pattern so you don’t need to add it). Be sure to mark your fold line so you don’t forget it! This is your front yoke piece.

Ginger Makes | Sorbetto Hack Tutorial

Next up, the bodice front! First, you need to decide how much fulness you want to add to create your gathers. For both of my versions, I added 4.5″ to the flat pattern, resulting in 9″ extra in the piece. You could add more or less- your call! But once you’ve decided, trace along the line you drew to create your yoke and continue it the desired amount past the center front/fold line. Then, draw in your new CF/fold line, making sure it matches the length of your original pattern and marking the fold on it. Next, fold out your dart and crease it so it stays closed. Then trace over your side seam, beginning below the yoke line.

Ginger Makes | Sorbetto Hack tutorial

You’ll notice that your side seam is slightly shorter than your center front line. Use a hip curve to gently blend the hem line and give it a nice curve. And before you cut your pattern piece out, be sure to add 5/8″ seam allowance above the yoke line!

Ginger Makes | Colette Sorbetto tutorialNext, take your back bodice piece and draw a line (again, perpendicular to the CB/fold line) to create your yoke. IMPORTANT: your back yoke line needs to be positioned the same distance below the armhole as your front yoke line! It’s going to look super janky if it doesn’t match at the side seams!

Ginger Makes | Sorbetto Hack Tutorial

Now, trace around the back bodice piece, beginning and ending at the yoke line.

Ginger Makes | Sorbetto Hack Tutorial

Add your seam allowance to the yoke line, mark the fold line, and you’re good to go! Now, you need to decide if you want gathers on the back of your shirt or not. I didn’t add gathers to the back on mine because I didn’t want any extra volume, but you could if you liked.

Ginger Makes | Sorbetto Hack Tutorial

If you DON’T want gathers, just trace around the back bodice below the yoke line, trace the yoke line, and add 5/8″ seam allowance above it. If you DO want gathers, extend the yoke line beyond the CB line the desired amount like you did for the front bodice.

Ginger Makes | Sorbetto Hack tutorial

That’s it! This is a good time to double-check that your side seams are the same length, and if they do, congratulate yourself!  To sew, gather your lower bodice piece with basting stitches and stitch to the yoke. Press the seam up carefully, using the tip of your iron, then stitch the side seams together. Finish the neckline and armholes with bias binding as directed by the pattern. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can finish the top with a second yoke like I did for the brown Rambo version. Cut second front and back yokes, and stitch them like you’re sewing an all-in-one facing (tutorials here, here, and here). This will give you thinner straps and a lowered neckline- you can see this in my brown top.

Hope this is helpful! Drop me a line if you have any questions! Also, I’d love to see your finished top if you make one using this tutorial!