Do you ever feel like sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach when it comes to sewing projects? By which I mean you get grand ideas of all the complicated and fantastic projects you're going to sew in the near future and then realize, oh wow, there's no way I can do all that?
As we all post "Make Nine" plans to Instagram, I'm reminded that while an intricate project can be rewarding and satisfying, we also need to take breathers in between. Sewing palette cleansers, if you will. And when I look at my wardrobe, I find that my most worn garments are these quick, easy projects I throw together in between endeavors.
That's why this month, we're embracing the satisfyingly simple, focusing on a much-needed (but maybe not the most brag-worthy) wardrobe staple - the sleeveless blouse.
This humble top is the lynchpin of most of our closets, and yet we haven't done a box with this type of garment since four years ago! We're correcting that now with four gorgeous patterns that you can make again and again and wear all the time. (You can even pair them with February's cardigans for a cozy me-made look!)
And if you're going to have a simple pattern, it's important to use the best fabric you can find. For us, that meant silky rayons, smooth lawns, and even a silk charmeuse! All in colors and patterns that will get you ready for spring, even while there may still be snow on the ground around you (Hey, we can dream of warm temps, right?)
So, without further ado, let's dig in!
Sew Essential Box: Alize Blouse from Atelier Scämmit
Our second pattern from Atelier Scämmit, the Alize Blouse really encapsulates the style of the pattern company. They take everyday garments, blouses especially, and add just the right twist to boost it out of the ordinary. For the Alize, it's turning a simple swing top into a flirty, ruffled stunner that we need in our wardrobes.
Looking at the pattern, I just want to twirl. The wide, very drapey hem lends movement and flow while the back yoke and optional ruffle neckline add unexpected details you wouldn't normally include in a shell top. And we just love every part of it!
Because of the swingy nature of the pattern, we fell into two camps for fabric, the fluid and the voluminous. You get to pick the path you want to take. But no matter which you choose, you'll get saturated colors and surprising patterns. So let's take a look!
- Paisley Patchwork Rayon Voile - Our favorite rayon voile is back, this time with a bold, complex, and all together unique print. Combining flowers, paisley, patchwork, and a whole lot of color, this fabric is a stunner. Deep blues and greens, bright whites and yellows, and hint of red give the voile so much character, while the silky, semifluid drape and soft hand make it a dream to wear. For a top that is as unique as you are, this is the fabric for you!
- White Cotton Batiste - As sewists, we may often gravitate towards bold prints or fancy weaves, but there is something so natural and comforting about a crisp cotton. This voile, lightly crisp and wonderfully light, has a drape that will show off the slight flare of this top with delicate volume. The smooth hand adds a touch of luxury and the bright white is an absolute classic. This top will go with everything, which is perfect, because you'll never want to take it off!
- Piccadilly Sunset Rayon Lawn - When the weather is cold, it's nice to wrap yourself in warm colors, like this cinnamon brown, rose pink, and deep maroon rayon. Though it looks like an abstract dotted print, it's actually wildflowers with the petals scattered to the wind. Plus, the fabric itself is a luscious lawn, with its tight weave and silky hand. Just a hint of body shows off the shape of the body while still draping wonderfully. A gorgeous choice!
Sew Select Box: Verano Tank from Christine Haynes
Possibly the most casual of our four options this month, the Verano Tank from Christine Haynes is the exact shirt you grab to pair with your favorite jeans so you can run some errands on Saturday. And I mean that in the best way possible. It's the workhorse of the wardrobe, the top you wear because it's comfortable, good-looking, and easy. And we need more easy things in our lives, right?
With the option for either a simple A-line or a button front, as well as a dress-length shift, this pattern helps you create just the right look for your wardrobe, with all the modern details such as a shirttail hem, chest pocket, and bias finishings. You'll want to make this top over and over again until you have a whole closet full!
In terms of fabric, this pattern works well with fluid and crisp wovens alike, so we gave you options for both, in rich, spring-like colors to help you anticipate the new season. Here they are!
- Bold Meadow Rayon Lawn - I first fell for the rich, teal green in this fabric. It's just so lush and saturated. Add to it the bright magentas and papayas, the cool pastel touches and the pop of yellow, and I'm in love. Like a bouquet of wildflowers strewn across a lush green meadow, this is the perfect fabric to anticipate spring and all its renewal. Plus, in a rayon lawn - tightly woven, but with soft drape - you have a fabric that become a modern tank of your dreams!
- Awaska Sunset Rayon Lawn - This printed lawn, designed to look like an ikat print, is sunny and bright. A bold, marigold yellow background is dotted with white, red, and pink geometric design for a timeless yet modern look. The lawn is silky and deeply saturated, and it will feel simply wonderful against your skin. Plus it will drape so nicely for this casual A-line pattern. A perfect pair for jeans or trousers, it will become a much beloved part of your handmade wardrobe!
- White Embroidered Cotton Lawn - If you're looking to create an heirloom style top, look no further! The eyelet is very subtle, with tiny holes at the center of embroidered flowers, and in a lightweight cotton, this fabric will have a softly crisp drape, like a cotton voile. If you're looking to make a white top with lots of detail, this is the fabric for you!
Sew Curvy Box: Springfield Top from Cashmerette
The indie sewing world is getting better at offering extended sizing, which means that we haven't used Cashmerette in several months in our Curvy Box. But sometimes, when you want something done right, you have to go to the experts. And Cashmerette really knows how to design tops with the curvy body in mind.
The Springfield Top is endlessly versatile, whether you wear it as a tank in warm months or under cardigans in chillier weather. And it has so many genius features to get the right fit on bustier bodies. Bust darts help eliminate armhole gaping, while back princess seams create a fitted look (and cover any swayback adjustments). Side seam slits create movement and ease and a hemband gives you the chance to colorblock if you like!
For fabric, it's dealer's choice - pretty much anything will work. We decided to go with transitional fabrics like viscose and linen that will work well as layers in March and on their own in the summer months. Let's dive in!
- Burgundy Blooming Floral Rayon Lawn - I'm fully enamored with the prints this month, which veer towards complex, wallpaper-style designs. This one, with a red currant background, might be my favorite. The berry-tinged hue is rich and deep, and the flowers - in peaches, creams, and mints - seem to float on the surface. Intricate but not busy, it pairs so nicely with the simplicity of the top, allowing the fabric to shine. The drape will work beautifully with the split hem and A-line of the blouse, and silky hand will be a dream to wear!
- Mist Gray Silky Viscose Linen Noil - With the look of silk noil, breathability of linen, and softness of rayon, this fabric has it all. Honestly, this fabric has become my go-to woven for tops and dresses. The surface has a nubbly texture that creates a rustic feel, while the icy gray color is neutral but never boring. A stunning fabric!
- Constellation Rayon Lawn - Whether you're Team Astronomy or Astrology, you can embrace the beauty of constellations in the night sky. This fabric personifies that grandeur with star patterns over a dark teal blue background. In a silky rayon, the fabric is soft and supple, with a semi-fluid drape and cool hand. Paired with this pattern, it will transform into a dreamy top that you'll love to wear!
Sew Indulgent Box: Hadley Top from Grainline Studio
I'll admit, I was always appreciative of, but never really enamored with, the Hadley Top. Then, I made one top over the summer. And then promptly made another one. And made a third. Then had to stop because I really didn't NEED more, but I had fallen in love. This has fully become my favorite top pattern.
The beauty of the top is the details. The deep V is slightly curved for a softer look, while the hem is finished with a facing for an upscale finish. With the option for long sleeves, it can be either a simple tank or a sophisticated blouse, depending on your desire. It's perfect for workwear, casual Fridays and everything in between!
Because this blouse can basically do it all, the fabric choice can make a huge impact. In simple broadcloths, it's ideal for jeans or shorts. In silk or viscose, it can be worn to your favorite cocktail spot. We wanted to cover all the bases, so we chose a variety, in deep blues, creams, and reds. Here they are!
- Flora Fields Rayon Lawn - While some of the florals this month are bold and saturated, we went more muted with this soft blue and light pastel meadow print. Tight batches of pale yellow and purple flowers are interspersed with white pollen and blue sky. It reminds us of spring meadows and country prints, both of which should get you looking forward to warm weather coming up. Paired with the drapey shape of the Hadley, it will be swingy and soft, just what you want in a sleeveless blouse!
- Fizzy Rust Viscose Crepe - Atelier Brunette might have our favorite crepe around. This viscose fabric is silky soft with a very subtle crepe texture and stunning, semi-fluid drape. In a deep rust color, somewhere between a red and a brown, it is rich and warm. Spotted with abstract ovals of white, orange, and gray, the fabric nods to the midcentury while feeling thoroughly modern. We're swooning!
- Ivory Sueded Silk Charmeuse - A sueded silk charmeuse, meaning its brushed face is even softer than a regular charmeuse, is what dreams are made of. It has a drape to swoon over, and a luxury feel you'll love. The ivory color means that this top will go with absolutely everything, from your favorite pair of jeans to your best work suit. This top will hold a special place in your wardrobe for years to come!
In addition to some truly lovely top patterns, this month's boxes will also include a brand-new product from us as a free gift. While we won't spill the details now, we're really excited to share it with our subscribers first. 😊
Lastly, our Tried and True Boxes will revive our Turtleneck theme from last February. A quick sew, the turtleneck is a wonderful end of winter make as it transitions nicely from cold to warmer weather as either a layering piece or a standalone top. So if you prefer knits this March, we've got you covered.
And that's it for this month. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for some exciting news about things we've been working on for the new year. You won't want to miss them!
Until next time. . .