Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chevron squiggle overload: the updated Cake Patterns free Tee pattern

Cake Patterns "The Tee" V neck with micro pocket

I actually made this Tee a month ago while I was working on the updated envelope art, but couldn't share officially until the pattern was out in the wild (available now as a free PDF via Craftsy, or a printed (and of course not-free) paper pattern via Etsy.

As you all know, I illustrate for Cake Patterns and thus have access to the patterns for free, so this isn't an objective review or anything, but I don't get paid to sew Cake and I made this for fun and my opinion is my own, and etc. So when I tell you I love this Tee pattern—I mean it!

The basics

Pattern: The Tee, Cake Patterns Riff No. 2224. A knit custom-fit and custom-length T-shirt with cut-on sleeves, hem band, V-neck or round neck options and micro pocket options. I made the single-pocket V-neck version in a 26" length (I wanted an almost tunic-length top):

Fabric: 1 yard of a really uncooperative (if totally fun) thin chevron printed rayon-spandex knit from Tex Styles in Austin, Texas. The pattern wasn't even SLIGHTLY close to on-grain at all, so I cut it to make the lines look as straight as possible. And I used a bit of chevron for the pocket to look like an "M" for "Mikhaela."

Size: I made the size 35, with 38" bust and 39" hips and a 26" length. I normally would do a snug waist with negative ease, but since this fabric was so tissue thin I only brought the waist in to 33" at the fit check step.

Cake Patterns "The Tee" V neck with micro pocket

Modifications: No modifications, except those directed in the pattern (bringing in the waist slightly for a closer fit during the fit check stage).

Cake Patterns "The Tee" V neck with micro pocket

Construction notes: This is a very quick and satisfying make—no sleeve setting required. Cutting out the recalcitrant fabric was probably the hardest part.

The round neckline version would have been quicker, but I love a V-neck and have never made one before, so decided to try it out and am happy I did. I just followed the written instructions, but Steph recently posted a step-by-step photo tutorial for mitered V-necks that breaks it down more clearly for beginners.

The pattern also comes with a little pressing template that makes getting perfectly shaped little pockets much easier.

Wear: I've been wearing this versatile basic constantly—with jeans, skirts, whatever. Next time I might make it a little longer to be more tunic-length for over leggings. I probably SHOULD make a solid-colored one as I need some plainer Ts, but I'm sure I'll go for a pattern again.

Cake Patterns "The Tee" V neck with micro pocket

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a free Tee pattern!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Do you have too many (or too few) clothes? + Me Made May VICTORY and wrapup

So somehow I did it—wore at least one me-made every day of May 2014, and got some kind of documentary photo to prove it, even if was just a low-quality bathroom mirror Instagram selfie.

Not only that, but it was really a "Me-Making May" (to use Susan's term). I completed EIGHT garments for myself during the month, and FOUR for children (which is a definite record for me—I didn't even have time to blog them all!): two dresses, five tops, three skirts, a sweater and a jacket. Um, that's my average sewing output for an entire year.

So I'm a little TIRED and taking a little break from sewing for a week or so to recover, but I'm making great knitting progress on my Hetty cardigan. It looks tiny BUT it's lace and all scrunched up, AND my gauge swatch grew quite a bit when I blocked it, so I'm not going to worry (yet):

Super sick today and had to stay in bed and sleep all day. Finally feeling better and taking out my Hetty by @andisatt for a little therapeutic #knitting . It's coming along so quickly!

Anyway, I was trying to think what I learned from Me Made May this year, and here are my random thoughts:

  • I have too many clothes. That is, too many clothes I never wear, and don't necessarily like. When putting together outfits for Me-Made-May I found myself wearing (or trying to wear) some me-mades and old ready-to-wear or thrifted pieces that I hadn't worn since LAST Me Made May... and that I think I just need to ditch. I brought quite a few bags to the clothes recycling at the farmer's market this month, though I hate to just get rid of me mades that way (maybe I'll give them away here?)
  • I have too few clothes. That is, too few clothes in certain basic categories that I rely on a lot: basic denim and solid-colored skirts, solid-color tops, jeans, knit camisoles. This is partly because I stopped buying most fast fashion two years ago after reading Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion... and I haven't really been focused enough in my sewing or thrift shopping to fill those basic areas.
  • I dress very differently when I'm going to be showing photos of myself on the internet. I wear heels and makeup slightly more often, and more dresses and skirts than usual. I swear I wore jeans for more than 50% of days in April, but since I don't have any me-made trousers I actually like, I only wore jeans or trousers four times the entire month of May.
  • I have/make too many polka-dot things. I know, this blog is called Polka Dot Overload. But I also love all kinds of other prints—bold florals and geometrics, stripes, chevrons. I need more of a mix here, I'm starting to bore myself.

How about you? What do you have too much or too little of?

Anyway, here is the last week of Me-Made-May... on to June!

Me Made May 25: Polka Dot Twins

Me Made May 25: Polka Dot Repeat

The little girl and I wore polka dots (yeah, I know) for my grandmother's 92nd birthday party. Mine is the third wear of my McCall's 6070 for the month. I think I need to make more of this pattern, as I'm obviously very into it.

Me Made May 26: Me Made Everything

Me Made May 26: Me Made Everything

I'm relaxing on my mom's porch in one of my Cake Hummingbird tops and a self-drafted knit half circle skirt. Z is wearing her new wax print Made By Rae Baby Sunsuit as top and Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt. Yes I have pale legs.

Me Made May 27: Stripes and bows

Me Made May Day 27 ... almost there!

My Tilly and the Buttons Miette skirt (blogged here) and Burdastyle Magazine Feb. 2010 top (never blogged). Plus old RTW cardigan for the summer-like heat.

Me Made May 28: Finally hemmed!

Me Made May 28: Finally Hemmed My Dress!

Finally got my act together nd started hemming the five unhemmed me-made dresses and skirts that had been piling up (I was wearing them, but unhemmed). The dress is vintage Simplicity 7575 (blogged here before hemming) and the jacket is out-of-print McCall's 5529, just finished last week (blogged here).

Me Made May 29: Dots and Denim

Me Made May 29: Dots and Denim

Jalie 2005 T-shirt and Cake Hummingbird denim skirt.

Me Made May 30: My Stash of Fabrics for Theme Friday

Me Made May 30: My Stash of Fabrics

My six main drawers of fabric, patterns and yarn are behind me (though I will admit I have fabric squirreled away in a few other places in the apartment). Wearing my (finally hemmed) Cake Patterns Red Velvet knit dress. I think this is my favorite photo for the whole month.

Me Made May 31: I Need a Nap

Me Made May 31: Goodbye Me Made May!

The me-mades here are the simple knit half-circle skirt and some hidden underthings. PHEW.

So what are your wardrobe challenges?


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