Sewing

Chambray Ogden Cami

Another Ogden Cami…this time in scraps of chambray from my Marigold Dress. I think I only had about a yard left, but I was able to cut out a size 4 with no problems. (You may have noticed it in my previous post about the wide-leg rayon pants…)

Chambray Ogden Cami | True Bias | Radiant Home Studio

I already reviewed the pattern in my Rayon Ogden Dress Post, but it’s obviously a good pattern when you make it twice in one week!

One thing I learned from making the dress is that it is essential for moms to reinforce their straps. The first time I wore my cami dress, my 9-month-old managed to rip the strap out while struggling to get out of my arms. That and the stress of holding her on my hip all day was too much. Thankfully, I had a second layer underneath!

I went back and repaired the strap, plus I reinforced all of the strap ends with some medium weight interfacing and another row of stitching. On the second chambray cami, I just went ahead and reinforced everything the first time!

Chambray Ogden Cami | True Bias | Radiant Home Studio

The second Ogden went together faster than the first. I don’t think I even needed to look at the instructions.

This pattern is the perfect scrap buster. I think I have a few more small pieces that will become Ogden Camis when I get a chance!

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Sewing

How to Make Wide-Leg Rayon Pants with the Parkside Shorts Pattern

A couple of weeks ago, I tried on some black and white wide-leg rayon pants in the store and loved them. I couldn’t bring myself to pay $40 for thin, cheap fabric and less than perfect pattern matching and construction though. Don’t we all do that? How many times do we leave things behind because we can “make it better ourselves”?

How to Make Wide-leg Rayon Pants with the Parkside Shorts Pattern by Sewcaroline | Palazzo Pants Hack | Radiant Home studio

This time I actually did it. I ordered this black and white rayon crepe from Style Maker Fabrics. I know many bloggers regularly shop there and always highly recommend the shop. I actually emailed the owner to make sure this fabric would be heavy enough for pants before ordering. She emailed back a couple of options that would work well, including the one I had my eye on.

I looked at several patterns but in the end, I decided to hack a pattern I already own. I just needed a simple elastic waist pant pattern with a wide leg. I was wearing a pair of my linen Parkside Shorts earlier this week and realized that I could definitely hack the Parkside Shorts pattern. I already knew it fit and I could easily extend the length!

I did some quick calculations and ordered 2 1/2 yds. of fabric. If you are considering ordering rayon crepe, be aware that it shrinks a lot! I lost 12″ in length and 8″ in width. I expected some shrinkage. I always wash rayon, even though it’s prone to shrinking. I don’t have time to hand wash all of my clothes, so I just wash them on delicate and tumble dry on low. This material really crinkles up a lot though.

How to Make Wide-leg Rayon Pants with the Parkside Shorts Pattern by Sewcaroline | Palazzo Pants Hack | Radiant Home studio

After washing, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit my pattern pieces on the fabric anymore. I had planned to place the pant legs side by side, but losing the width made that impossible. I bought enough extra to stagger the legs, placing the wide part next to a narrower part but that wasn’t working either. And I didn’t have enough to place them end to end.

Then I remembered a top I made earlier this year with rayon crepe. I left it crinkled and cut the pattern pieces like that. The top ended up being much too big.

So I decided to try ironing the fabric to see if I could stretch it back out. I gained 4″ in width, which was almost enough to squeeze my pieces across. To save a little more fabric, I taped the front and back pant leg pieces together overlapping the seam allowances to create one seamless pant leg piece. That gave me the last inch I needed to make it fit on the fabric! (I made a medium, so if you are a small or x-small you should be able to get away with 2 yds. of fabric.) – See the end of the post for an update about what happened after washing…

How to Make Wide-leg Rayon Pants with the Parkside Shorts Pattern by Sewcaroline | Palazzo Pants Hack | Radiant Home studio

I definitely appreciated not having to match stripes on the outer leg seams, but I did lose the pockets I was planning to add.  I think pockets may have been too heavy anyway, so the trade-off worked out. Plus, ironing out the crinkles was a good call for a better fit.

Other than creating one pattern piece and eliminating the side seam and pocket, the other change I made was to add length. I measured a 34″ inseam and cut straight down from the existing side seams on the shorts. That’s it! I had more than enough length to create a 2″ hem at the end.

I constructed the pants with french seams to keep the rayon from fraying everywhere. Without pockets, it’s really just sewing the crotch seams, the inside leg seams, and the waistband. It didn’t take very long to sew these together.

The only thing I would do differently is straighten out the back waist seam. It’s drafted at an angle, which is fine for solid fabric. On the striped fabric, it creates little chevrons across the backside instead of straight horizontal stripes like the rest of the pants. I don’t think it’s too noticeable now, but I did alter the back seam slightly after sewing it to make the effect more subtle.

How to Make Wide-leg Rayon Pants with the Parkside Shorts Pattern by Sewcaroline | Palazzo Pants Hack | Radiant Home studio

The pants are super comfortable, but taking photos made me feel like they might not be that flattering. I’m used to wearing more fitted clothes. These make me feel very conspicuous….like I’m wearing pajamas. I’m sure I’ll still wear them. I just need to work out the best way to style them…

UPDATE: So…ironing the fabric was not the right call. One wash and the pants are at least two sizes smaller. The waist still fits, but the pants are a few inches too short and way too clingy now. I think I will save them for my preteen daughter. They should fit her next year, so it’s not a total loss!

Tips for rayon crepe anyone? The time I didn’t iron, the garment was too big. When I did iron, it was too small. How do you prep your fabric?

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Sewing

Striped Knit Dance Dresses

This year, my oldest daughter started taking ballet lessons. As with most girls their age, our daughters love to put on “shows” and regularly choreograph dances for us. They’ve been practicing a dance for our family reunion talent show for weeks and requested matching dance dresses. I used a striped rayon jersey knit to make them matching dance dresses.

Striped Knit Dance Dresses | Handmade Girls Tank Dress | Radiant Home Studio

I could have bought them something, but I thought quick, knit tank dresses would be easy enough. I ended up just creating patterns for them myself by tracing a store-bought tank they already had and adding some length. (I probably could have used the top of another pattern like I did with the knit Southport Dress here…but I didn’t think of it then.)

I cut the front and back of the tank plus some 1 1/2″ wide strips for the bindings. I folded those strips in half horizontally, wrong sides together. In order to attach the binding flat (and to avoid figuring out exact measurements for sewing them on in the round…), I sewed one shoulder seam, then added the neck binding. Then I sewed the other shoulder seam and added the sleeve bindings. If you’ve made almost any t-shirt pattern, the method is the same. Just stretch the binding slightly as you sew.

For the most part that worked well. At that point, I tried the dresses on the girls and discovered there was too much ease under the arms. That was an easy fix because I hadn’t sewed the side seams yet. I just took in the side seams under the arms and graded out to the original line.

Striped Knit Dance Dresses | Handmade Girls Tank Dress | Radiant Home Studio

I left the bottom edge raw and cut it with an uneven hem. My daughter had a unique hemline on a top that she liked so we copied that hemline. It has a rounded front and back with squared off sides.

For dancing, a turned-up hem would have weighed down the “twirliness” of the skirt. The shape of the dresses is an A-line shape, so they don’t spin out as much as a circle skirt would but they still have pretty movement.

Striped Knit Dance Dresses | Handmade Girls Tank Dress | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, the girls love the dresses and are happy to have matching dance outfits for their many performances, so I call that a success!

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Sewing

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress

I’ve been eyeing this beautiful Treasured Kermes print by April Rhodes since it was released. Blue and red are my go-to colors for both clothes and decor (as you can see from the colors in my kitchen). Every garment I’ve seen in this fabric is gorgeous. Last week I needed a more fabric to fill up my cart for free shipping, so I grabbed a couple of yards. Please tell me you do this too!

I knew two yards would be enough for a top but was hopeful that I could squeeze a sundress out of it. It was just enough for an Ogden Cami Dress!

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

I’m a big fan of the True Bias patterns I have used (see Hudson Pants, Southport Dress, and Lodo Dress). I didn’t buy the Ogden Cami right away because it seemed so basic. As usual, I always need basics but forget to sew them. It turns out the Ogden Cami is basic, but not overly simple. The details make the top. It has a half lining and the shape is nicely fitted at the bust flaring out slightly at the waist and hips. It seems to be flattering on a variety of body shapes.

The Ogden Cami pattern doesn’t come with a dress option, though Kelly shared a dress hack on the True Bias blog. I had less fabric to work with so I just cut the front and back longer instead of adding a fuller skirt.

I measured the pattern pieces at the hip to make sure that there was enough ease (there was). I measured 36″ from the underarm and marked that as my length (that hits just below the knee). Then I measured 2″ beyond the hip width and drew a smooth line from the bottom of the pattern piece to the bottom corner I marked. I used the hemline on the pattern piece I wasn’t using to create a slightly curved hem.

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

The cami could be a super quick sew if you skip some of the finishing steps, but I wanted a quality dress and spent the time doing all of the staystitching and understitching. Since I used rayon, I felt like it was important to finish the side seams to avoid fraying. I should have planned ahead and cut larger seam allowances for French seams but I didn’t.

After sewing the seams I decided the best way to finish them was to fold the seam allowances under to create a straight, clean edge. Is there a name for this? I couldn’t find one (other than “clean finish edge”). It worked well and overall it’s less bulky than a french seam.

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

I always find it helpful to compare sizes. My measurements are around 34, 30, 38. I cut a size 4, graded out to a 6 in the hips. I think the fit is just right.

As with all of the True Bias patterns I’ve made, I’m sure I will make more Ogden Camis! This is such a classic shape that can be layered and worn in many different ways. A simple black one would work for a night out or as an everyday top. I need more versatile pieces like this.

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Here are a few of the best Ogden Cami’s I’ve seen around the sewing blog community if you’d like more inspiration:

This striking Silk Crepe de Chine Ogden Cami by Sewbon is one of my favorites.

I unintentionally copied, and I’m now matching with @lindsayinstitsches! I totally missed this when I was searching for inspiration.

Leslie’s linen drawstring dress is a really creative use of this pattern.

Teresa made the perfect classic black Ogden Cami. This is definitely on my to-do list.

 

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