Handmade Wardrobe

_MG_2431Happy Halloween!  Instead of talking about sewing costumes (we bought ours this year…shhh, don’t tell) I want to talk about sewing clothes.  I have become obsessed with making clothes recently, with a goal to slowly convert a good portion of my wardrobe.  I recently purged my closet of all the clothes that no longer fit the way I like, or are not my preferred style.  Instead of restocking with store bought items, I decided to focus on making a few versatile, beautiful pieces that would pair nicely with my favorite jeans, or leggings and could carry me through fall and winter.  First up, this gathered top in luscious Nani Iro fabric.  Forgive the wrinkles…I think the shirt needs a good wash and iron to fall nicely into place.


The pattern is 2b, the Raglan Sleeve Top, but with a few variations.  I decided not to do the slit collar and instead just gather the neckline.  I also took a few inches off the body, otherwise the shirt was too tent-like for my liking.  I also shaved about an inch off each arm to give them a slimmer fit.  I love the outcome- a beautiful pattern, and clean lines.  It is far from perfect, but I figure with each garment I sew, I’ll gain a greater understanding of fit, specifically how to adjust patterns to look best on my body.  If you have any great patterns that you’ve had success with, please pass them along.  Next up is the Wiksten Tova…I just need to fiddle with the neckline and it will be ready to model!

(a few behind-the-scenes shots for you….my boys, always wanting to be right where to action is!)




11 thoughts on “Handmade Wardrobe

  1. The Body Sleuth

    I’m right there with you Christine. I’m sure that there are clothes out there that I’d really like and would find suitably flattering. But I haven’t got the time to find them. Which perhaps begs the question why I feel I’ve got the time to sew them, but somehow the knowing how much time it will take, what will be the end result, and the fact that I only have to leave the house to get the fabric (and that is a quick trip since we’ve got a fabulous store less than five minutes walk from our place). Today, though I’m finishing up a garbage man’s vest first. I could only bring myself to purchase the halloween costume year one, it’s too much of a tradition for me. Happy sewing!

  2. Nina

    I love this shirt. I also love the idea of having most of your clothes handmade. I need to learn to sew first, but maybe someday. Beautiful photos, as always. That last photo is adorable!

  3. Maureen

    I sewed a lot when my children were young, but got away from it as they got older and my work schedule became more demanding and time consuming. I love living in southern RI, but as a “transplant” here I still struggle to find beautiful clothes that won’t cost me my entire paycheck.
    I also haven’t found a good place to purchase fabric and have been reluctant to purchase on-line. I love to feel the fabric, see the colors, etc. before purchasing…crazy as that sounds!

    I LOVE the top you just made! It looks beautiful on you – and you did an excellent job! I’ve been knitting for the past ten years because it’s so portable but I’m thinking about ordering Simple Modern Sewing with the hopes of rekindling my passion for sewing! I would love any more suggestions you may have for purchasing patterns and fabric on-line.

    Many thanks for your wonderful blog! And enjoy the extra hour of sleep this weekend – even though I would prefer to keep more daylight in my 24 hours!

    1. cchitnis Post author

      Hi Maureen, Thanks so much for your comment! I will be honest, handmade clothes are not always cheaper than store bought due to the cost of fabric (not to mention time!), but I think it’s worth it. Of course you can buy a cheap top at a big box store for $5, but who knows what it is made out of, and where it came from. Anyway, when it comes to fabric, a few of my favorite places to shop are Purl Soho, Etsy shops that carry Japanese fabric, especially Nani Iro (my favorite, but not cheap!), Franklin Mill Store (about 1/2 hour drive from Providence, great fabric selection) and Knit One, Quilt Too (a fabulous new fabric and yarn store in Barrington, RI).

      As far as patterns, I haven’t sewed many, but so far I am loving Simple Modern Sewing because it offers so many variations on the same patterns. It seems like you could come up with endless varieties. I also like Wiksten’s patterns, and I am intrigued all the patterns offered in the Oliver & S shop, especially the new Leisl & Co. patterns.

      Hope this helps!

    1. cchitnis Post author

      Hi Kerry- While I don’t have a serger myself, my friend, an amazing seamstress, has been letting me use hers when we have our sewing dates! It is unbeatable for sewing clothes, that’s for sure.

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