May 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. When 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! I was given this beautiful striped cotton knit by Cloud 9 Fabrics to sew my tester version of the Jade pattern. I 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. The 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. All 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. I was really happy with the finished shirt and have worn it several times already. The fit is so good! Back view:Sewing 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. 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. I 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.
Here it is with the Jade striped top and jeans. I 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?
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.