December 07, 2020

More Garment Sewing Fun - with Riley Blake Designer Knits

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I have three new additions to my wardrobe to share today, all made with Designer Knits from Riley Blake. Thank you, Riley Blake for providing the fabric for this post!

Back in September one of the moms I babysit for arrived the first day with a gift for me. It was a shirt with a sewing machine on the front, made by a woman here in town who makes clothes to sell. I loved the fit of the shirt (and the sewing machine on it!), so I messaged the maker to ask what pattern she used. It was the Cachet, from Sinclair Patterns, and now I've made a Cachet of my own. It won't be the last! There are only three pieces to this shirt - the front, the back and the neckband. It's super fast to put together and it's so comfortable. 
Cachet shirt |
I really like the curved hem detail. It's simple, but it makes the shirt more interesting, I think.
Cachet shirt |
I can now thread my twin needle without needing to get out my machine's manual, so I feel like I'm making progress.
twin needle stitching |
I've mostly worn solid colour shirts for years (decades, maybe?), but I find that as I sew my own clothes I'm wearing more patterns. Partly it's that I love the pretty fabric and want to play with it, but also I think it's that the patterns I'm drawn to aren't ones that would be available in ready-to-wear shirts.

Of course, with its short sleeve, the Cachet is completely inappropriate for winter in Newfoundland, but if you throw a cardigan over it you're good to go! 
Cachet shirt and Harper cardigan |
This is my second Harper cardigan from Sinclair Patterns. Did you see the first Harper I made, where I cut two identical sleeves? Well, this time I remembered to mirror the sleeves so I had a right and a left sleeve! It's almost like I know what I'm doing, lol. I love this cardigan and have worn it a bunch of times already. The fabric is so soft and the grey is the perfect colour to wear with just about any tshirt.

Next up, I made a new Tessa Sheath dress, from Love Notions, except I changed the skirt portion. You can see the first two I made here and here. The Tessa pattern says you can use any of the skirts from the Sybil Illusion pattern, so I used the swing skirt. The first time I sewed the skirt to the bodice, though, it looked awful! The skirt was much too big, which made it look lumpy at the waist (right where we want to look lumpy, right?) and the only word I could use to describe how the dress made me look was 'frumpy'. Not at all what I was aiming for! The next day I took that seam apart and compared the width of the skirt to the width of the bodice and the skirt was 3" wider. Yikes! I cut 1 ½" off each side of the skirt and put it back together. Sooooo much better!
Tessa dress with swing skirt |
And it has pockets! The other two Tessa dresses I've made were short sleeve, but I was aiming for a winter dress this time, so I went with the long.
dress pockets |
Should we play a game of 'what stupid mistake did Leanne make cutting the sleeves this time'? Well, I had to cut the sleeves one at a time again, which is what made me cut two identical sleeves with my first Harper cardigan. I remembered to mirror the sleeves, though, so that was fine. But for some reason I cut them out with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. Wanting to conserve fabric as much as possible, I had the pattern piece right to the edge of the fabric...not even thinking about the the fact that the design didn't go right to the edge. Ooops! Thankfully the bit of selvedge that shows after the sleeves were sewn is under my arm, where I doubt anyone will ever notice. Sometimes I just have to laugh at my mistakes, especially when I should know better!
sleeve with selvedge |
sleeve with selvedge |
I had a big box of knit fabric arrive on Friday - happy dance! I'm going to make shirts for the kids I babysit for Christmas, plus for the two siblings I don't babysit if I can fit all the pieces on what I ordered. Plus I have fabric for two Lotte hoodies, with hopefully enough scraps left over to for the Calypso. I haven't tried either pattern yet, but I can't wait to get to them. I may just be obsessed with making clothes. I wonder if Santa can bring me an extra three hours per day, just to spend sewing...


  1. Leanne, such great projects - they all turned out beautifully. I love the look that twin needle gives to a project. The dress fits you so nicely. Congrats on all three finishes.
    You are ambitious to make so many shirts as gifts!! Hope you can find the extra three hours per day :-)

  2. Give me a pattern with pockets and I'm in!
    I haven't sewn clothes in a long time... My size and shape has changed so much in the past 7 years, and I'm just not sure that I want to spend that much time sewing a garment that doesn't fit or suit my shape - especially when RTW is easier. If it doesn't fit, I don't buy it. But looking at your different outfits, I just might rethink that decision - just don't hold your breath waiting for pics!

  3. I like your latest projects, especially the cardigan and the dress. They all fit you so nicely.

  4. They look amazing. And so do you. Well done.

  5. Oh my! How wonderful that you're getting fabrics from Riley Blake! I have no local resources for garment fabrics, so depend on online stores to get me by. But fabric given to you? That's fantastic! Each of your pieces is nicely done, and will get lots of use, especially that cardigan. Good for you to be branching out, particularly as you're working too. Keep sewing!

  6. Your adventures in sewing make me want to get back to making my own clothes

  7. That dress is adorable! I am hoping to get in some garment sewing again next year. It used to be ALL I sewed, that and home d├ęcor until quilting took over. The prints from Riley Blake are fabulous. :-)

  8. Wow! You're progressing so quickly. The garments really look nice. Wednesdays may be hump days but it's the one day a week I work from home. I can quickly eat my lunch and sew during lunch. What a great thing!++

  9. Short sleeves in the winter is perfect for a lot of us! Just wait till you start getting hot flashes - it's SOOO much easier to wear short sleeves and just pull the cardigan off when you get too hot. I've lived like that for the past 15 years!! :-) So keep enjoying the short sleeves!! :-)


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