Reading and Books

Nursebean Reads: Summer 2018

This summer has been a season of reading. Despite an entire month (May) when I did not read one book and instead sewed all the things (see exhibits A and B) and a weekend during which I sewed multiple versions of my new favorite pattern (exhibit C), I still managed to read a lot of books, most of them really excellent. I have especially enjoyed reading on my front porch. And I was so lucky to have a vacation in a cabin in Maine in early June. Really is there anything better than hiking during the day and reading in front of a fire in a cabin in Maine?Here are the books.

The Nix was my book club’s choice for July. It was published in 2016 and I had seen it in the library forever but didn’t have a clue as to what it was about. It is over 600 pages so a bit of a commitment but I was so drawn into the story that I couldn’t put it down. So good! If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. I borrowed it as a e-book from my library but there were so many passages that I wanted to underline and couldn’t. I will be buying this to have my own copy. That is very rare for me. The only other time I have gone out and bought the book after reading it during the last year was this book which if you haven’t read it, why haven’t you?

After finishing The Nix, I didn’t think I could read another book as wonderful but then I read A Place For Us. This is a debut novel and the author is 26. The writing is beautiful. The characters are beautifully written and I cried my way though many sections. I read it in a weekend. Once I got caught up in this family’s story, I couldn’t put it down. I knew it would be good because both Anne and Annie recommended it but I still couldn’t believe that someone in her twenties could so accurately capture what it feels like to be a parent, a child, a sibling, but she really gets it. Do yourself a favor and get on your library’s wait list because this is going to be a top 10 book of the year. Of this I am sure. One of the themes in this book is substance abuse so if this would be hard for you to read about, would skip this one although it is not the central theme which is family.

I also really loved the next book which I heard about on the What Should I Read Next podcast. It is quite short and almost fable-like. Translated from the Japanese, it tells the story of one woman but made me think about so many aspects of what it means to be an individual in a culture that is not always accepting of differences-not the Japanese culture per se but the culture of being any individual in any society. I think it would make a great book group book. So many things to discuss.

I read this next book about being a woman, being a parent, being a mother, being an adoptive mother, written, amazingly by a man. I loved how it depicted the central character who is very human and who makes decisions that you might or might not agree with. Similar in some ways to A Place For Us, it speaks to the ways that all of us make decisions from the place of our own limited understanding of a situation, usually with the best of intentions but sometimes with ramifications that we don’t anticipate. This would also make a great book club read.

I discovered Kelly Corrigan this year and the Middle Place is the third book of hers that I have read and I loved it best. The way that she writes about her father is just beautiful. More tears. Just read it. She does talk about her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment so if those topics would be challenging for you to read about, would wait on this one.

I discovered The Throwback Special because it was recommended on From the Front Porch which along with What Should I Read Next, is a must-listen every week. These two podcasts are my major sources of great reads. I recently discovered a third reading podcast which I am also loving, the New York Public Library’s podcast, The Librarian is In. What I love is that each of these three podcasts (I discovered the second two when their hosts were guests on WSIRN) is that I get different reading recommendations from each of the three. I feel as though each of the three channels different types of books and aspects of my reading personality. I highly recommend all three. Fun to listen to and great sources of great books.

Anyway, back to The Throwback Special, I really loved the writing and the way the author captured the way men relate to each other and to sports. The rituals, the trivia. And I remember actually watching the football game that inspires this group’s annual outing in real time so it felt like reliving a part of my own history. I read a lot of books about families and couples and women but not so many about men and how they relate to each other and their roles. This does an excellent job. I highly recommend it.

Tangerine is a very atmospheric read that has a noir feel. I enjoyed the description of Morocco where the story takes place and the suspenseful feel of the book. I didn’t love the characters so much. I have a hard time with books where the characters are people whose lives I can’t really relate to. I have seen mixed reviews by people I follow. Some have really liked it, others not so much. If you like suspense and mystery and don’t need to love your protagonists, give it a try.

I was late to the party on this next book but I found it to be a very enjoyable light read. Perfect for my summer cabin reading. And the books on the cover glow in the dark! So definitely worth reading the paperback rather than the e-book. 

I was also the last person on the planet to read this next book which if you are the other person who hasn’t read it, I highly recommend it. Another perfect summer read. A couple of tears, mine (this month’s theme, maybe.)

The Heart’s Invisible Furies was recommended me by Catherine whose blog is a must-read for me. I have loved all of the books that she has written and all of the books she recommends. She also posts amazing recipes.

Anyway, this book. Beautifully written, wonderful characters, heartbreaking at times and a really interesting look into what it was like to live in Ireland the last 75 or so years. Since one branch of my family was originally from County Cork, I was really shocked by much of what I learned about the religious and political institutions and their impact on peoples’ lives. It is one thing to have a general idea of the beliefs and the institutions and another to read in such specific detail of the lengths that fellow human beings had to go to and probably still have to go to to just to live quiet lives loving who they love. Highly recommended.

I loved the new Anne Tyler book. She writes characters who I fall in love with and I really enjoyed the relationship between her 61 year old protagonist Willa and a young girl she befriends. Now I want to go back and read the rest of her books that I have missed. I have read about 15 of them but I think that leaves at least 5 that I haven’t yet read. She is so prolific. Lucky for us! This was my July Shelf Subscription pick, a gift I give to myself each month and the way I make sure not to miss great books. Many of the books on this list were sent to me from the Bookshelf as Shelf picks.

I finally read An American Marriage after being on the library waiting list for months. Worth the wait. A really powerful story. I was drawn into the characters’ lives and couldn’t put it down.

On a lighter note, I read this delightful middle grade book that reminded me of one of my favorite childhood series, The Melendy Family books by Elizabeth Enright. I loved it and it made me miss living in a brownstone in Brooklyn when my kids were little.

Also in the New York vein, I also read this short book by Roz Chast about living in New York. Loved it and highly recommend. I heard about it on this episode of The Librarian is In. So fun!

And for a total guilty pleasure I read the first two books of the Crazy Rich Asians series. I definitely enjoyed the first more that the second but they were both fun and I have the 3rd saved for an upcoming plane trip.

So many good books! What have you been reading and loving this summer?

I have written so many posts about books that I have loved, all of which you can link to here.

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Helen's Closet Patterns, Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing, Washi Dress Pattern

Star Washi and Mustard Blackwood

img_6990There are some dresses that just make you feel happy when you wear them and this Made By Rae Washi dress fits the bill. I made this last summer with Cotton and Steel quilting cotton that I bought at The Cloth Pocket on a trip to Austin. There is quilting cotton and there is quilting cotton. This fabric is really soft with a bit more heft than typical quilting cotton and it makes a nice summer dress.  I lined the bodice using Rae’s sausage technique. She has great video tutorials on her blog but I have done it so many times that I don’t need the video anymore. It is nice to know it is there though! I used one of my all-time favorite cotton lawns by Melody Miller.img_6977 I love The Cloth Pocket and had the opportunity to visit in person and actually take a class there last year. Highly recommend! Great teachers, fabric and vibe. I buy most of my quilting fabrics from them online and they have a wonderful selection of chambrays.

I finished hems with a hem facing as I always do. I find it gives me much nicer results and it is fun!img_6998Since I was in the middle of sewing all the Cleo’s and spent a lot of last summer gathering skirts,  I decided on the spur of the moment to gather the skirt instead of using the pleats that are in the original Washi pattern. It was really quick and I love the swingy feel of the gathered skirt and the bright colors and pattern just feel like summer to me. I love pulling out my summer clothes after the long winter. It is like meeting up again with good friends. img_2390

img_2391I made this in a hurry and used fewer lines of shirring than I normally do spaced a bit farther apart. I like it this way!img_2403And a nice surprise was how well my new Blackwood Cardigan goes with this dress. I pulled it off the shelf this morning because it was cool and I love the colors together. Just like a bunch of summer flowers!img_2422If you haven’t made the Washi or the Blackwood, what are you waiting for? They are both flattering, comfortable, cute and relatively easy to sew. And as it turns out, they are great together!

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Gemma Tank, Helen's Closet Patterns, Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Helen’s Closet York Pinafore in Linen X 2

When I first spied a tester version of the Helen’s Closet York Pinafore during Me Made May before its official release, I knew it was going to be hugely popular. I guessed that this was Helen’s new pattern because I am a Patreon Supporter of the fantastic Love to Sew podcast hosted by Helen and Caroline and in one of the subscriber-only extra LTS podcasts, Helen mentioned that her to-be-launched new pattern was a modern take on a pinafore. Since I am from Connecticut, I didn’t know what she meant by pinafore-here in the US, we call this particular garment a jumper- but when the tester posted a picture during Me Made May and referred to the garment she was wearing as a pinafore, I knew it must be the pattern.

Since the pattern release, it has been popping up all over the place and for good reason. It is a cute modern design, a relatively easy sew and it is fun to customize. I was thrilled because now I have  a pattern to use to sew all the slightly heavier fabrics in my stash (I have a number of linen blends and heavier cottons I purchased for various reasons and have not yet used). And it only takes 2 yards of fabric. So the day it was launched, I purchased the pdf and printed it out.

I had some issues with my printer-it cut off parts of the pattern- but I connected the lines and it looked ok and I cut out the front and back from this linen and started playing with the fit. I cut my first version by cutting between the medium and large cutting lines which usually works for me. I basted the shoulder and side seams and then started trying on the jumper and playing around, taking it in a bit in here and there, sewing more rows of basting stitches, and pretty soon my seam allowances were all over the place but I liked the shape. I was actually afraid that if unpicked the basting seams to sew French seams or add pockets, I wouldn’t be able to replicate the shape, especially since the fabric I used was a lightweight, rumpled linen blend.  So, I sewed a line of stitching along the innermost line of basting stitches, trimmed off the rest of the wonky seam allowances and called it done.

Here are some pictures of the finished garment:

and as worn with my much loved Gemma Tank in white double gauze. It is a little wonky and sack-like but I love it.

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img_2143I had altered this Floral Voile Ruby Dress to make it into a blouse during Me Made May since I hadn’t worn it much in the year since I sewed it. I happened to have it in my sewing room and tried on the York over the blouse and realized it was a perfect match for the linen so I used the extra fabric to make bias binding and a hem binding since the length was a bit short  and I finished it in time to wear to my stepdaughters’ graduation.

Since I raced to finish this wearable muslin before going on vacation, I didn’t actually read the meticulous fitting instructions that Helen included in this pattern.

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After vacation, I printed out another set of pattern pieces and decided that this time I would read and follow the instructions. I was also excited for pockets!

Based on the instructions, my measurements put me in a size Large and given my 5’9” height, Helen’s directions suggest adding 1.5 inches to the pattern by adding 1/2 an inch in three separate places. But when I lined up the version I had already made, it was much smaller than the new pattern that I had printed out and pieced together and in particular, the straps were shorter in my first version and I was pretty happy with where the upper part of the skirt hit my torso on version one. I actually think with my long torso it is sometimes more flattering to have the waist of the garment hit a little higher than my natural waist. So despite the really wonderful, logical instructions, I did not add any length to the straps of the pattern and just cut the pattern out between the M and L lines except for the straps which I cut on the M line at the top and the L lines along the armholes to add a bit of width to the straps. Since the new printed pattern was so much longer than the version I had already sewn, I just cut along the L hem line and decided to sew it up and see what happened. As I did with version 1, I drew a new curve for the neckline about half-way between the two versions of the pattern.

I decided to go for broke and sew French seams even though they always take more than 5/8 inch when I sew them (I have a hard time enclosing all the fraying edges with the 1/4 and 3/8 seams used to create French seams as Helen instructs in the pattern. I ended up sewing a 3/8 seam with wrong sides together and then a 1/2 inch seam with right sides together since it seemed as though I would have lot of extra width. The finished version was longer than version one as planned but even with my 7/8 inch French seams, it was also more roomy. It did not completely make sense but I figured I must have made more adjustments than I realized with my first version- it was such a blur. I tried on version 2 and took pictures. I liked it but did not love it because the linen-cotton blend I used for version 2 was more stiff than the linen I used for version 1 and I felt that overall, the finished garment was less flattering. Here it is with another favorite Gemma tank. I used quilting cotton for the top-stitching to accent the design features and this version had pockets but I didn’t like it as much because it was bigger and didn’t drape as nicely and felt a bit more dowdy.

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I had even lined the pockets using beautiful fabric given to me by a friend (leftover from a Gemma tank that I sewed during Me Made May.)

img_2239I was a bit disappointed but I chalked it up to a learning experience and figured I would try washing it and see if the fabric would soften up a bit.

And YAY! it not only softened up but it shrunk as well and now I love it! Go figure! Here are more pictures with more Gemmas. It is just a bit shorter, just a bit more fitted and much drapier. It is like a whole new garment.

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img_2244So maybe the fabric I cut out hadn’t been pre-washed (although I am almost positive I had washed it before I put it away last year) or maybe this linen-cotton blend really shrinks a lot? Either way, I am thrilled because after taking the time to line the pockets

and sew French seams and do all the things,

I am really happy with it. Now the only challenge is to figure out what to do about version 3. I am thinking that I will need to make more adjustments to my paper pattern. Such is the life a sewist.

In any event, I plan to wear this all summer. It goes with everything in my closet, especially my huge collection of Gemma Tanks.

Several years back I made many versions of the Made By Rae Gemma tank and I plan to wear my York every week this summer with a different Gemma. I think I have enough that I can wear a different combination every week. Want to join me? I will post every Tuesday with the hashtag #wearyouryorkday I actually have a couple of Gemmas cut out that I have been wanting to finish and this is just the incentive I need.

Congratulations to Helen on such a wonderful new pattern. I made four versions of the her Blackwood Cardigan this May and have more planned. She is on a roll!

 

 

 

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Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Me Made May 2018 Makes part 2

Me Made May 2018 is coming to a close and I am running out of steam but it was a very productive month. You can read my first #mmmay18 blog post here. I will be wrapping up the month with this post.

As of May 28th, I have completed 14 projects, one every other day. This is not a sustainable pace, clearly, but I had been out of my sewing groove for a while and the energy of the sewing community during this month is contagious. It has been great to try some new patterns and I love everything I made. They will all be things I wear and enjoy. I have one more work in process that I will probably complete by the end of the month (a York Pinafore in a linen blend) but today I am putting away the piles of fabric and pattern pieces that are scattered about the house and getting ready to go on vacation. Here is the final tally:

1 Made By Rae Jade knit shirt (the first of many). I was a pattern tester for this shirt. It fits beautifully and I love the striped fabric, an organic cotton knit by Cloud 9 Fabrics, that I was given to use in the testing. I went out and bought more to make a Blackwood cardigan (seen below) and also bought some of the same fabric in navy and black with a thin white stripe which will become Jades. The Jade pattern was just released. You can see more versions on Rae’s blog here.img_0088-1

6 Isla Dresses: a tried and true pattern, also by Made By Rae, now with sleeve options using the Jade pattern. I made 3 using the traditional sleeveless pattern and added sleeves to three including a maxi-dress version. This is the dress I most often turn to in the morning. Comfortable and cute.img_1902-1

I bought this fabric planning to make a Jade top to go with the striped Blackwood cardigan but it just called out to become a Maxi Dress. What could I do but listen?img_1903-1

I love this version of the Isla in Mystery Food cotton knit by Sarah Watts. It makes me smile. Worn with my second most made pattern this month, the Blackwood cardigan.img_0445-1

I made 4 Blackwood cardigans this  month and I wore one of them pretty much every day. This is a pattern I had been meaning to make for a long time and it was worth the wait! I experimented with the length and decided that 3 inches shorter than the long version of the pattern as drafted was best for me. The mustard and grey sweater knit versions are that length. The black and grey version is the length as drafted. I didn’t add pockets but I plan to add them to the striped versions.img_1901I finished sewing a boho blouse using the Made By Rae Josephine pattern and Loominous fabric by Anna Maria Horner-I love how this turned out! I am thinking a white double gauze version will be up next-I think it would be great with the York pinafore.img_0773-1

Here is it as worn.img_0786-1

I also finished a tunic length Gemma Tank using beautiful wax print fabric given to me by a friend. I am going to wear this all summer.img_1787-1

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My mustard cotton Blackwood works perfectly with it.

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You can see the sweater length I ended up liking best on this back view below.

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Last but not least, I made a Grainline Tamarack Jacket start to finish this month. I had been wanting a spring weight jacket and didn’t want to buy one. In previous years, I would layer a jeans jacket over a cardigan but I really wanted a nice jacket to bridge the seasons from winter to sweltering and I am so pleased with this jacket!

I am definitely going to be wearing this so much. I love the soft chambray I ended up using from one of my favorite fabric stores. It just gets softer with washing. I know this is just going to get better with age. And the lining makes me smile.

Finally, here is a picture with all 12 of the versions of the Isla that I have worn so far this month (I actually have made more than these-closer to 20.) All the versions I have made are still in frequent rotation. I can’t recommend this pattern more highly on its own and especially now with the addition of the Jade pattern sleeves.

If you have questions about any of the patterns or fabrics, feel free to comment. More pictures and details on my instagram: @nursebean82.

Also, if you are reading this and are inspired to sew for yourself, my friend Natalie is hosting a series of monthlong dress sewalongs in June and July. She has chosen two beginner-friendly, beautiful summer dress patterns. Natalie’s enthusiasm and creativity are contagious and she is a wonderful teacher. Check out her blog http://www.hungryhippiesews.com to learn more.

Happy summer everyone!

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Uncategorized

Me Made May 2018 Week 1: Sewing with Knits

img_0476May is off to a great start in the Northeast. The weather is finally beautiful after a winter that just wouldn’t quit and with spring, my sewjo has returned. I spent some time the last few weeks testing a new knit top for Made By Rae and this has gotten me back into sewing knits. I finished 4 (!) garments the first week in May and I love all four. Rae’s new pattern Jade, soon to be released, is a knit top with four sleeve options. The best part for me is that the sleeves are designed to work with the Isla knit dress. I have made many versions of this dress, which you can see here, here and here. I couldn’t wait to try one with sleeves. This is Art Gallery fabric that I originally bought planning to make a maxi dress, thinking that it would be navy, but is more of a teal. img_0515When the fabric came in the mail, I decided that it was too similar to a teal maxi dress I made last year and cut out an Isla. And there it sat for months until the Jade pattern testing. Since I had bought a bit more yardage than I typically do since I had planned a maxi dress, I had enough for sleeves and was even able to match stripes. I finished it this weekend and wore it to work today. The fit is perfect and adding sleeves is actually quicker than finishing the armholes with binding. I have two more versions of Isla’s with sleeves cut and ready to go. I can’t recommend these patterns more highly. I mean check out the fit. Spot on! img_0588I was given this beautiful striped cotton knit by Cloud 9 Fabrics to sew my tester version of the Jade pattern. img_9987I sewed a couple of versions using scraps of knits I had on hand to make sure that I had the fit down but it was pretty perfect from the start. I added one inch to the length and one inch to the 3/4 length sleeves. I would add one more inch to the length the next time I make the pattern but it was otherwise perfect.  img_0088The fabric sews up beautifully and it is lovely to wear. So soft and comfortable. I used my regular sewing machine with a walking foot and used a stretch stitch. img_9986All the tips I use to sew knits can be found in this post.  I had to re-learn how to sew cuffs since it had been so long. Here is a visual. You turn it inside out and sew it on the inside.  img_9990I was really happy with the finished shirt and have worn it several times already. The fit is so good! img_0084Back view:img_0081-1Sewing the Jade inspired me to finally sew a pattern I bought last year and that I have been meaning to sew for so long: the Blackbird Cardigan by Helen’s Closet.img_0119 I had bought some sweater knits on sale from Rachael at Imagine Gnats last fall (word to the wise: her sales are amazing and you should be on her email list). I had an afternoon of cutting out various patterns and had the pieces ready to go Saturday morning when the weather cooled off (we had a brief 85 degree temp heat wave for a day or two) and it was only a couple of hours of sewing. img_0173I basically haven’t taken it off since. SOOOOO GOOD!! Here it is with a double gauze Gemma Tank and Luna pants that I sewed during last year’s Me Made May.


img_0154Here it is with the Jade striped top and jeans. img_0200I have a couple of other versions planned, one in the same grey and white striped Cloud 9 knit that I used for the Jade top. Stay tuned. I also sewed up an Isla in awesome Cotton and Steel octopus fabric which I finally found at Alewives Fabrics after searching the internet (I think it was so popular that it is sold out at many stores). I am glad I persevered because I love it as an Isla. I didn’t have enough for sleeves but I like it as is. Sleeves might be too many octopi; although is that a thing?

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Note: I was gifted the Cloud 9 striped fabric to help test the Jade pattern. All of the opinions expressed in my blog are my own. This blog is not monetized. I provide links to resources that I have found useful but I do not earn any money if you click on the links. The Jade Pattern will be available soon from Made By Rae Patterns.

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Sewing

Navy Double Gauze Valley Blouse

I have wanted to sew the Valley Blouse by Cali Faye since the pattern was first released.  It is a very close cousin to the Voila Blouse also by Cali Faye (and one of the first patterns I sewed) with a slightly curved hem, long sleeves instead of short and a split front bodice joined with a button. I bought navy double gauze fabric last summer from Imagine Gnats and after the new year, this was one of the first projects I started. When I made a couple of versions of the Voila Blouse, I cut out several inches from the blouse width based on Erin’s very excellent recommendation. It is a very blousy blouse and I didn’t need all that volume. I didn’t make a muslin for my Valley Blouse. I probably should have but I decided to just plunge in and I cut between the Medium and Large lines. Then I took about 2 inches out of the front and back panels to reduce the overall volume and lengthened it by about 2 inches. I only had 2 yards of the navy double gauze that I decided to use for the pattern so I cut the sleeves a bit shorter than I normally would have and I used scraps of cotton lawn for the hem facing and to line the bodice.

The sleeves are somewhere between a 3/4 length and full length and I am actually happy with the length despite the fact that they are shorter than as drafted. In retrospect, I would use the double gauze to line the bodice because I think the lawn and double gauze don’t shrink at the same rate and the lawn lining ended up making the bodice a bit tighter than I would have liked but I had to make do with 2 yards. I also have gained a bit of weight and gone up a size or so since I sewed the Voila and a Large is probably a better fit for me at this point. In any event, I ended up giving myself a bit more width across the bodice by sewing the two pieces together and shifting the button. It doesn’t actually line up with the button hole now but I don’t think it is noticeable. When I make this pattern again, and I probably will because I really like wearing it-it is really comfortable-I will probably size up and lose the keyhole which did nothing for me-I actually sewed it together as well because the gaping wasn’t really flattering for me. This was a situation where half way through sewing this project, I almost abandoned it. The neckline felt too low, the key hole gaped, it was tight across the bodice. But then I came back to it several weeks later and made these little adjustments and now I really like it. Some pictures of my process below, mostly so I remember what I did. I find it really helps me if I snap a picture using my phone when I tweak a pattern. I have much more luck when I go to recreate the tweaks at a later date!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bias Binding, Gemma Tank, Liberty Fabric, Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Linen and Liberty Josephine Blouse

I had already started making a version of the Josephine Blouse by Made By Rae in this Loominous fabric when I saw a version of the Roscoe blouse on instagram with contrasting neck and sleeve binding and that was it. I had a vision of a boho blouse in linen with a Liberty floral trim. I had already purchased this lightweight Telio linen checked fabric and I realized that this Liberty lawn would be perfect. Both fabrics from fabric.com. (I plan to also make the Roscoe at a later date but will be making it in rayon.)The Josephine is usually made with pleats but Rae posted a version with gathers that is the perfect Boho Blouse. It is loose and cute but shaped with bust darts. Many of the other styles such as the Roscoe have raglan sleeves and need a really flow-ey fabric such as rayon but the Josephine’s slimmer profile works well in cotton and in linen. It is less full cut and the gathers are more controlled. Rae suggests using elastic thread but I find that I have more control with my two rows of gather stitches. The linen is so crinkly that the gathers don’t have to be perfect and it still looks good.The actually cutting and sewing of the pattern is very straightforward. The front is sewn together and the back is one piece cut on the fold. You gather the fabric in the center back and the center of the two front pieces. You cut the two mirror halves of the front, one back piece and two sleeves. I then made the bias binding and two rectangles to make cuffs. I usually stitch just on the edge of the cuff, not in the ditch. I like the look of the visible stitching.I have to say I was thrilled with how this turned out. I used bias strips of Liberty as hem facings, as one does.Finished blouse below. It is finally warm enough for front door pictures.My sewing room has one window that faces west. Such beautiful light.I had enough of these two fabrics to also make a version of the Gemma tank cropped with a gathered linen skirt. This dress is going to be perfect for spring. More late afternoon light. I can’t get enough of it after a long, dark winter.

And many pictures of the blouse as worn. This is going to be in frequent rotation. I love the neckline. Rae is a genius with necklines.img_9738I used the curved hem from the Gemma tank as my guide for this hem. I love how you can mix and match Rae’s patterns. Back view.The other side view.I look as though I am summoning the backyard spirits but I think my husband caught me on the way to fix my hair and put it behind my ears.As you can see in the next picture. He takes a zillion pictures and then I whittle them down to a few. What can I say? Perfect combination of pattern and fabrics. The Loominous version is going to be great too. Almost finished! Spring sewing is officially underway.

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