Tales from the Remnant Bin – Sadie Slip, Olya Shirt and Rise Turtleneck

I had a week off work – and what can I say, I got productive!

This time I decided to challenge myself to sew from my seemingly endless stash (again) and also to sew an outfit using ‘remnant bin’ rescues.

For no particular reason… it just seemed like a good idea.

I was originally inspired by these two pieces I had found sitting alongside each other.

Rayon knit and khaki linen - looked so good together!

Rayon knit and khaki linen – looked so good together!

I had 1.6m of print rayon knit and 1.4m of khaki linen.

I played with several ideas for the top but eventually settled on the Rise Turtleneck by Papercut Patterns. I had this pattern in my stash, having made the Fall Turtleneck a couple of years ago.

There isn’t much to say about this! It’s an easy make, I cut and finished this in about 90 minutes – extra time spent on hems. I was between sizes and decided to make up the Small instead of the Extra Small. It’s a looser fit – but not baggy. I think I will add more of these basics to my wardrobe. Easy, comfortable and practical.

Rise Turtleneck by Papercut Patterns in a rayon knit

Rise Turtleneck by Papercut Patterns in a rayon knit

I was prevaricating between a loose pinafore style dress, trousers or a straighter pinafore style… and in the end I chose none of these options.

I almost made trousers… well I actually did make trousers – just not khaki ones! I whipped up a test pair in my last piece of cotton/linen (see my Pipit post) and decided while I didn’t hate the trousers, I would like them much less in a solid, prone-to-crinkle linen. And I didn’t think a fitted turtleneck would pair very well with front-pleat trousers and elastic in the back waist.

Testing trouser patterns

This was just a test with my leftover linen. Pull-on pants with front pleats and elastic back waist. Pattern from Kana’s Standard

I was SO tempted to put the fabric aside and move onto something else… however that’s not really the point of a challenge. The challenge is to finish.

I got up the next morning and pulled out my Tessuti Patterns, Sadie and Claudia. I umm-ed and ahh-ed and decided I would prefer the neckline of the Sadie with a turtleneck for autumn layering. This was a real squeeze on 1.4m of fabric – however as I am 5 foot 3-ish, I’ve shortened my Sadie pattern pieces considerably and it ‘just’ fit.

I’ve made this dress four times now! After my first version, I lengthened the facing pieces to be much longer – a similar length to the Ogden Cami by True Bias.

I discovered with my first version, that the neckline facing wanted to roll outwards a lot – despite understitching. I’ve also seem this on other Sadies and even saw someone at The Fabric Store wearing one with the facing stitched down from the outside – which probably helps but the visible stitching would annoy me. I’ve found by lengthening the facing, almost a half lining, the rolling is minimised. I still use the original facing pieces and just cut interfacing using these and apply the interfacing to the top of the facing pieces.

Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns. Inner lining/facing

Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns. Inner lining/facing

I added the optional back fisheye darts as the linen has much less drape than my versions in lightweight tencel denim and silk.

Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns.

Very windy afternoon – sorry! There are fisheye darts in my back!

I left the hem raw. I will run a line of stitching around the edge to keep fraying slightly under control – however I love a bias frayed hem and in linen it adds some rustic charm.

Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns.

A linen Sadie Slip Dress. Taken on a windy afternoon!

I’m surprised just how much I like this! An incredible simple, versatile sundress. Or slip under a shirt or jacket – or layered with a turtleneck. Will look great with a faded denim jacket and sneakers.

It’s been very warm for late autumn, today it as 28 degrees – so no photos with the turtleneck other than a garage selfie (currently dance studio and gym).

Sadie Slip Dress

garage selfie late in the evening

Sadie Slip Dress and a Rise Turtleneck

Sadie Slip Dress and a Rise Turtleneck – hoping this works for layering for autumn

And finally I pulled about ANOTHER piece of remnant bin yarn-dyed linen in mushroom pink and it also seemed to pair beautifully with the khaki linen (khaki is a fabulous neutral!) so decided to add it to the challenge…

I made myself a Paper Theory Olya Shirt. I needed determination to make this one happen!!

Firstly there was an epic pattern Tetris episode to fit it on the piece of linen I had chosen. I even photographed by leftover scraps because I was so proud of myself!

Fabric scraps after pattern tetris to make an Olya shirt

Fabric scraps after pattern tetris to make an Olya shirt

Then I realised when I went to attach the cuffs (late in construction)… I had only cut out one set. I felt like crying. I lay awake in bed, contemplating if having contrasting cuffs was cheating… and if I did that, should I add contrast collar band and button plackets… yes, I like to overthink things.

Whew - two pieces large enough for cuff pieces

Whew – two pieces large enough for cuff pieces

Fortunately I found two pieces and squeezed out two more cuffs pieces. Whew!

THEN I unpinned my collar bands to discover I was missing a chunk of fabric from one of the bands (the perils of block fusing and then cutting out on the fold!). There was definitely no.more.fabric to cut another band. Cue more overthinking…. and then I decided to just ‘patchwork’ a piece onto the collar band. Not ideal but it worked.

collar band - rescue patchwork

Agreed. The grainline of the piece is not ideal… however it was the only option.

This is a slightly more complex shirt in some ways – there are hidden pockets in the front seams and the front yoke extends into the sleeve. I highly recommend following along with the Paper Theory sewalong online for attaching the sleeve. There is a pivot point, which is a little tricky and then you need to figure out where to go next and where to stop. Hard to explain however the best advice I can offer you is to just slow down – or even walk away for a while if you are finding it perplexing. There is nothing to invites disaster more than exhaustion and frustration!

Olya Shirt, Paper Theory & Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Olya Shirt, Paper Theory & Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Olya Shirt, Paper Theory & Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Olya Shirt – it is a very roomy shirt, boxy and airy.

Olya Shirt, Paper Theory & Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Love these colours together!

I made this pattern up as a shirtdress last year. Sorry it hasn’t made it onto the blog… I left off the front pockets on this version. While I like the dress in itself, it feels like a massive pyjama shirt due to the colour/stripe and I’m not sure what to do with it. Maybe dye it… or wear it open as a duster coat. Or just put it aside for a while. I did that with my Flint Pants and now wear them regularly.

Olya Shirt dress

Olya Shirt dress

Anyway… I’m pretty pleased I hung in there and finished off these three remnant bins garments. Challenging myself to use a piece of fabric, find a suitable pattern from my stash and turn them into versatile wardrobe additions is a real win.

Fabric: 1.4m Rayon print knit, cost $3.80; 1.4m khaki premium linen suiting, cost $10.40, 1.5m dusky pink yarn dyed linen $10. Total cost $24.20

Patterns used: Rise turtleneck, Papercut Patterns; Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns; and Olya Shirt, Paper Theory.

So there you have it. Three new wardrobe staples in 4 days. All unloved pieces from a remnant bin!

Banjo on the beach during COVID-19

I’ve had people asked me if I get embarrassed taking photos at the beach. Well this one is 9kms long, you are always excessively socially distanced on this one! Yes, that’s old Banjo who always made regular and popular appearances on this blog and Instagram. He will be 11 in August!

A Summer Dress – Lisa Dress from Tessuti Patterns

Aka the Little Big DressLisa Dress, sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

Old Banjo makes his blog return

This is one of those patterns that seems to have been floating about in my head forever. I loved it when I saw it but spent…. years… wondering if it would be too shapeless on me. It’s safe to say, I like to make well considered decisions!

The best way to figure this out is to try it. Thankfully Tessuti Patterns are mouth more affordable than many independent pattern companies so I threw caution to the wind, along with $12, printed off the A0 sheets at Officeworks and got sewing.

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns, side view

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns, side view

It’s debatable if this is flattering when I am standing still – but what is flattering anyway? It’s such a subjective concept. Garments that showcase our curves? I don’t think they always need to ‘nip in’ at the waist etc. I think we should all consider our clothes as how they sit on our bodies and how they move against and with us when worn. I believe this is where ‘sack dresses’ come into their own. When sewn in a lighter fabric with some drape, sack dresses hint at what lies beneath without clinging to curves. And as a result, loosely fitted, feminine dresses will always have a place in my wardrobe.

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

I topstitched all the seams – with the exception of the waist seam. I did topstitch it, decided to it looked odd and then unpicked it.

Likes

  • I like the cut of the armholes.
  • I like the neckline and the loose fit of the bodice.
  • The high-low bodice waistline is cute.
  • I like how Tessuti sew their pockets, it’s neat and also helps the pockets hang forwards, rather than flapping about.

Changes

I cut 4 inches off the length – it would be have far too long at the drafted length. For reference, I am 5 foot 4 or about 164cm tall.

I didn’t make any other modifications, however I would like to make this again and I would pinch out at least 1/2 inch in the bodice as the bust darts are crazy low.

Depending on my future fabric choice, I’d consider shortening the skirt again and adding a deeper ruffle to the hemline. Both Kylie & The Machine and Lisa of Tessuti Fabrics have done this.

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Thoughts

It’s a loose summer dress. Perfect for those long steamy summer days. An added bonus is you will also have plenty of room for lunch!

Pattern: Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Fabric: Tencel denim, Spotlight Australia (from the bargain table, fabric cost $12)

Claudia Dress – Tessuti Patterns

And now for something completely different.. and quite a large departure from my ‘usual’ style – whatever that is these days.  Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea on me, that’s OK.

Claudia Dress by Tessuti Patterns

Claudia Dress by Tessuti Patterns. Note to self, take hands out of pockets for photos! – ruins line of dress!

I fell in love with this dress when it was released by Tessuti Fabrics.

Described on the Tessuti site as: this stylish, pull-on sundress features narrow shoulder straps, bust darts, stitched-down pockets and above-the-knee side splits with wide hems and topstitched details. Suitable fabrics include medium to heavy weight linens or linen blends and cottons. Not suitable for lightweight or drapey fabrics.

Excuse creases and wrinkles - that's linen for you - and I took photos of four different garments in this lunch break! You have to make use of spare time when you can find it. Let's not talk about the ten surfers that came and jumped into the water as I took the photos...

Excuse creases and wrinkles – that’s linen for you – and I took photos of four different garments in this lunch break! You have to make use of spare time when you can find it. Let’s not talk about the ten surfers that came and jumped into the water as I took the photos… a beautiful late autumn day and the water was warm.

I measure slightly above the Tessuti XXS sizing chart – however this is too large on me. Perhaps I could scale down the pattern when printing if I make it again.

I took up the straps a lot (sorry detail escapes me as I sewed this a few months ago – bad blogger – must blog faster).

Thoughtful design details

The pockets are beautifully inserted. I guess they are called ‘single welt side pockets’? They are much more complex to construct than the simple side pockets you get in many patterns – however the instructions are excellent (illustrated by photographs) and they are sewn to the front of the dress which is a nice detail. I did topstitch in a lighter topstitch thread around the pocket opening but then opted to make all the other topstitching less obvious as I rather like the denim-y plain look of this fabric.

You can perhaps see all the potential top stitching in this line drawing from Tessuti.

Claudia Dress - line drawing courtesty of Tessuti Fabrics

Claudia Dress – line drawing courtesty of Tessuti Fabrics

I love the mitred hem finish. My fabric is so dark it’s hard to see all the details so please visit the Tessuti blog post for more detail shots – and a much better model!

I wish more patterns had thoughtful detaqils like mitred hem finishes. It really does make the dress so much nicer!

I wish more patterns had thoughtful details like mitred hem finishes. It really does make the dress so much nicer!

The neckline is lovely, square with narrow straps.

Claudia Dress, front view

Claudia Dress, front view

The simplicity of this design really appeals to me. It can also be worn with a tshirt on cooler days.

Thoughts

An absolute sack on me. Perhaps not the most figure-flattering shape on me… but does everything have to be? Some days you much want to mooch about in an extraordinarily simple linen dress.

I’m fond of it anyway. I have no desire to ‘cinch it in’ at the waist or belt it in any way. I prefer it as it is.

There is something lovely about slightly crumpled linen sack dresses that makes me feel happy.

A fun pattern, a classic shape and highly wearable on a warm day.

It’s hard to beat a Tessuti PDF Pattern at $12 – and the PDFs come with an A0 copy shop file – always a thumbs up from me!

Pattern: Claudia Dress, Tessuti Fabrics
Fabric: described as “Italian Linen” purchased many many years ago on Goldhawk Road, London

Claudia Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Claudia Dress, Tessuti Patterns