Ginger Made: Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank!

Hey there, party dudes! Hope you all had a great weekend!  Today I have something a little bit different to show you- exercise wear!  Before we get started, I’ll just warn you that you’re about to see some pasty white limbs… it’s been a long winter!

When Katie at Papercut Patterns asked me to test her new collection, I was really excited.  I guess I’m a bit of a shallow person, but I hate working out in old t-shirts.  I’m already red and sweaty- I definitely don’t need frumpy, disgusting clothes to make me look even worse!  But I’m also a bit of a cheapskate and don’t want to pay premium prices for things I’ll only wear to run in.  So this collection really addresses a wardrobe gap for me.  (Sidenote: Melissa at Fehr Trade has a nice collection of workout clothing, too, if that’s something you’re interested in, but I don’t like to wear super fitted clothes for running.  But if you do, check out her patterns!)

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

Seems like a regular tank top…

The Pneuma Tank is a sports bra with attached tank panels.  You can make it as just a sports bra, too, but I like having more coverage when I run.  From the front it looks like a regular tank, but there are openings at the side and back that show the bra underneath.  The pattern is available as a paper pattern or as a PDF, which is nice, since Papercut Patterns were previously only offered as hard copies.

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

… but what’s that peeping out?

I used a nylon-spandex blend from Spandex House for the bra, which gives nice compression.  It takes just a tiny amount to cut out the two pattern pieces, about 18″ x 18″!  You could make a matching bra from leftover scraps any time you make a pair of leggings!  I love that it uses so little fabric!

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

Why, it’s neon leopard!!!

The pattern calls for bra strapping instead of fabric straps, which is a cute touch.  I chose this fun pink color from Pacific Trimming and used less than two yards of it.  The jersey I used is thicker than what I should have used, but I wanted to use up something from my stash (it’s some sort of double knit from Mood Fabrics, leftover from my very first knit garment, this Renfrew top!) and I had just enough to make this.  It’s a little bit bunchy right under the straps where it’s gathered and stitched to the bra- using a regular-weight jersey would solve this problem.

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

Sewing this is really straightforward.  I stitched it up on my sewing machine, using a stretch needle for the bra portion and a regular ballpoint needle for the tank part.  The tank openings are just turned and stitched, and the bra openings are finished with elastic.  It’s nice to be able to decide how tightly you want the bra to fit around your rib cage so you can really customize the fit.  Mine is supportive enough that I can run in it, but I have a small chest, so may not work for running if you need more support.  This would also be nice in a softer fabric like a cotton-lycra for lower-impact activities like yoga.  You could even sew this up as a swimsuit top!

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

It’s a little tricky to get into the top without twisting up the straps, but that’s easily sorted out.  One thing I’ll be keeping an eye on is the stretch recovery of the bra strapping.  I can imagine it stretching out over time, which could be annoying, but the straps are the last things you add to the tank, so you could go back and shorten them easily if you needed to.

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

I’m excited to have some fun with my workout wardrobe, so I’d like to make a few more of these!  Since I used stash fabric for the tank, I only used about $6 worth of fabric and elastic for this top, a far cry from what stores like lululemon charge!  I’m going to keep an eye out for nice stretch mesh- wouldn’t that be breezy for sticky summer running?

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

Love the curved hem!

Now all I need is motivation to run! Last year I really enjoyed running, but this year I’m struggling to force myself to do it.  I’m having a really hard time getting up early enough to run and shower before the dogs need to go out.  Any tips or tricks from my running readers?  Or are there other kinds of exercise that you prefer?

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

This is a stretch, right?

*Bonus points to Kat for pointing out that the names of the pieces in this collection (Anima, Soma, and Pneuma) mean Mind, Body, and Soul.  Deeeeeeeefinitely did not know that.  Can we just blame my ignorance on the American public education system?

 

Ginger Made: By Hand London Flora Dress!

Hi, guys! I’m so excited to show you my newest dress! Yay! I was lucky enough to be a tester for By Hand London‘s newest sewing pattern, the Flora Dress.  I’ve had the hardest time keeping my trap clapped- I wanted to spill the beans so badly!

Flora has two bodice options, a fitted tank with a high neckline, or this faux wrap. I generally don’t like wrap dresses (I know, I’m alone in this) and I rarely even wear a v-neck, but I thought it would be fun to try something different from my usual style. You can also choose between a pleated skirt and a pleated skirt with a dipped hem (I chose the latter).

By Hand London Flora Dress by Ginger Makes

I used a bright polyester taffeta from Mood Fabrics NYC. It was kind of a strange fabric, very tightly woven (it was really hard to get pins to pierce it!) and almost like windbreaker material, so it might be kind of an unusual choice for a party dress, but it has lots of body and I thought that would make for a fun, billowy skirt. I used a sharp needle and low tension, which worked well.

By Hand London Flora Dress by Ginger Makes

The pattern is very easy and quick to sew up. I understitched the lining very carefully along the bodice and used a lining that was very similar in color to minimize flashing the lining, which worked really well.

By Hand London Flora Dress by Ginger Makes

Here’s my perky pink lining, made with cotton shirting from Mood. You could easily add a skirt lining, but I didn’t feel like I needed it. I used French seams where I could, and where I couldn’t, I used ready-made bias binding from my stash that coordinated perfectly!  If you make the version with the dipped hem, you need to make sure that your center back seam is nice and pretty since you’ll see peeks of it! Hooray for pretty seams!

By Hand London Flora Dress by Ginger Makes

I haven’t made a lined bodice with a faux wrap before, so I was glad to have it explained clearly as figuring it out on my own would have melted my brain (but that’s just me). You need to press under the lining and dress shell seam allowances at the arm holes and then slip stitch them together. I’d never done this before and try to avoid hand stitching as much as possible, but I couldn’t figure out another way to finish the seam allowances! To avoid puckers, I ran a basting stitch just inside the seam allowances around the arm hole, then clipped every 1/2″ or so around the arm hole before pressing them under. I left the basting stitch in because I was worried about fraying- hopefully that will work!

By Hand London Flora Dress by Ginger Makes

I’m a little bit unhappy with the fit, sadly. I made a silly mistake, so it’s all my fault. I made a muslin and decided I wanted the waist to be more fitted (I tend to under-fit rather than over-fit to avoid this, but I thought the dress would look nicer if the waist was more emphasized). But when I made the changes to the muslin, I must have stretched it out a bit because the final version in the fashion fabric is too tight (the polyester has absolutely no give whatsoever).  There are diagonal lines pulling from the waist to the bust, which is kind of annoying. I also didn’t think about the fact that taking in the waist pretty drastically would pull the bust darts closer to the side seams, so they’re not quite right now, either. I’ll know better next time!

By Hand London Flora Dress by Ginger Makes

Fit issues notwithstanding, I’m really happy with this dress! It’s a fun party dress, and I feel like a princess when I’m twirling around in the skirt (even if I look like an idiot in reality)! I’m looking forward to making another! I know I sound like a total fangirl, but the By Hand London girls have a knack for designing patterns that I didn’t know I really wanted to wear. I just love their aesthetic!

By Hand London Flora Dress by Ginger Makes

This is what happens when I try to twirl.

So what do you guys think? Do you like this pattern? What’s your perfect party dress? Have you made it already, or is it something you’re still dreaming of making one day?

Ginger Made: Papercut Patterns Meissa Blouse!

Hi, guys!  I hope your Mondays are off to a great start!  Don’t be too jealous, but I’m having the best kind of Monday– a day off of work!  🙂  Before I dive into my patternmaking homework and hopefully some sewing, I wanted to share one of my newest projects with you!

Papercut Patterns Meissa Blouse

The lovely and talented Katie of Papercut Patterns asked me to test one of her new patterns, and I jumped at the chance to try out her Meissa Blouse pattern!  I love, love, love buttondowns and wear a basic plaid buttondown to work basically every day, so I was really excited to try out a shirt pattern that’s a little different.  The Meissa Blouse has feminine details like a gathered yoke (in the front and the back), a rounded collar, and a curved hemline.  Fun, right?

Papercut Patterns Meissa Blouse

My plan was to make this with peach-colored voile (which existed in my mind), but when I got to Mood NYC, I couldn’t tear myself away from this Theory brushed cotton.  It’s SO soft, like, CRAZY soft, and definitely what you want to wear in cool November weather.  It’s solidly medium-weight, which I knew was pretty risky for this blouse.  It would probably look a lot nicer in a lightweight fabric– the gathers would sit nicely and the whole thing would be really floaty and sweet– but I wanted to push the envelope and see if I could get away with this heavier fabric.  It probably looks a little sloppy, but I like my buttondowns really slouchy anyway, so I can live with it.

Papercut Patterns Meissa Blouse

Honestly, I’m a little surprised by how much I enjoy sewing shirts.  They seem difficult and fiddly, but it’s really fun to put them together.  This pattern came together really quickly, despite the fact that I’m really terrible at gathering.  I probably spent more time trying to get the gathers even than I did on any other step in this process (again, this probably would have been easier if I’d used a lighter fabric).

Papercut Patterns Meissa Blouse

Love that hemline!

I made a size XS, my size according to the chart, and I didn’t make any alterations.  The shoulders are maybe a little wide, but I get the same thing in my RTW shirts– not sure if I have narrow shoulders or if this is just a style thing.  I might lose a little width through the upper arms and add a little to the lower arms next time– it fits nicely through the forearm/wrist, but because they actually fit, I can’t roll the sleeves up very far, which is my preferred way to wear a buttondown.  I topstitched the shirt with gold thread to give it sort of a denim look.  Actually, that leads me to a question– how should I style this shirt?!  I generally wear jeans to work, but I don’t really like the denim-on-denim look, and I don’t have much else besides jeans to wear this with!

Papercut Patterns Meissa Blouse

I think this pattern is super cute and I’m excited to see more versions of it popping up on the blogosphere!   Actually, I really like the whole collection, but the Bellatrix blazer is definitely high on my list for fall/winter sewing!  I’d like to make a longer version to wear over jeans and a cropped version to wear over dresses!  Not to tempt you too much, but there’s a 15% off sale right now, plus free worldwide shipping, PLUS the listed prices are in New Zealand dollars, so the blouse, for example, is about $17 USD.  Not as bad as it looks at first sight.  (NOTE: I’m not paid to shill for Papercut and I don’t get a cut of their sales or anything– I’m just a fan!).

Come to Mama… Is it weird that I want a metallic version just like this?! Love it! [photo stolen fro Papercut Patterns]

Also, I’m SUPER tempted to try the Rigel bomber, too, after seeing Sophie’s version this morning.  How cute is this jacket?!  And how cute is she?!  Answer: the CUTEST.  I’d love to rampage through Sophie’s closet just once!  🙂

Adorable! Check out Sophie’s blog, if you’re not already following it! [photo stolen from Cirque du Bebe]

Alright, how about you guys?  Any new patterns you’re excited about?  What’s your favorite of the new Papercut collection?  What’s on your sewing table these days?  My next project is a dress for my neighbor’s granddaughter– it’s been pushed to the back burner for a while, but I really need to knuckle down and make that next!

Ginger Made: Crescent Blouse!

Hi, everyone!  I’m really excited to share this post with you!  A few months ago, Megan Nielsen invited me to pattern test one of her new designs, and as soon as I saw her awesome pattern, I freaked out and totally wanted to spill the beans!  I’m so glad I finally get to show it to you!

This is the brand-spankin’-new Crescent Blouse pattern.  Isn’t it adorable?  Like most of Megan’s patterns, this one has quite a few options– a rounded, crossover hem or a squared tunic hem, and there’s also an optional Peter Pan collar.  You could also lengthen it to make a dress, which would be mega cute!

I used some linen leftover from my M6553 dress, and had just enough for the top– it’s another stash-busting score!  I just love linen.  Sure, it’s a little rumply, but it’s so breathable and has such a great texture.  I particularly love this color, so I was really glad to use up the yardage I had in my stash.

This pattern is EASY to make.  It takes a little time to make bias binding and finish all the openings with it, but it’s otherwise really, really simple.  There aren’t any darts, but you could easily add them if you need the extra shaping.  As always, Megan’s instructions are a piece of cake to follow (mmm… cake…).  The blouse closes around the neck with a button on either side (which I also found in my stash, yay!).  I used French seams throughout the blouse, so the finish is very clean.

I really like this top!  The shoulder cutouts are sexy without being too revealing, and the whole thing is just so summery!  It’s a loose shape, maybe not super flattering on me, but it’s perfect for hot, sticky days.  I definitely want to make a few more of these!

If you haven’t already, hop over to Megan’s blog and check out the entire Breakwater collection!  It makes me REALLY wish that summer would hurry up and get here– I wanna bicycle seaside like the model in the lookbook!  🙂

What are you guys working on?  Sewing for summer (or winter?)?  Found any new favorite patterns lately?