My favorite woven top (Megan Nielsen River)

Recently I was struck by the all-consuming "need" to track down and purchase The Ultimate Woven Tee pattern. For a long time, the online sewing community was allll about the Grainline Scout, but recently, there haven't been a lot of woven tee patterns that take over the blogosphere in the same way that one did. I don't know if it's because people are getting into knits, or less interested in woven tops in general, or some other reason (I'd love to hear your guesses as to why). But for someone as knit-averse as I am, a simple woven tee pattern sounded like the perfect way to use up some stash materials and broaden my handmade wardrobe.

After looking at a bunch of woven tee patterns, I realize I already had one that I like in my stash--the River from Megan Nielsen. I was actually a tester for this pattern, approximately 100 years ago, so I have made the top in both a knit and woven. The knit one never made it to the blog--I wore it a ton but it was still in testing when I spilled on it and stained it. RIP white knit River tee! The woven one you can read about here. For this third one, I pulled a piece of rayon/linen from my stash, left over from this dress. The tee version requires 1 1/4" of 60" fabric, but I squeezed this out of under a yard by cutting the back piece in two and shortening the sleeve pattern piece--the short sleeve pattern pieces are really long as drafted so that you can cuff them.

The other change I made is to draft a facing for the neckline finish instead of using the bias bound finish. It is hard to get that point in the V neckline sewn crisply, and with a v-neck there is a lot of bias cut edge that is prone to stretch out if not properly stabilized, so I think a facing is a bit easier to deal with. In this case, a topstitched facing is no more casual than the original bias finish, so it doesn't much affect the dressiness of the top, and is easier to sew.

The next tweak I'd like to make is to put a  little dart in the top of the sleeve to allow the sleeve to lay better from the neckline to the em. Currently it sticks out, and I think I should be able to add a dart somewhere to smooth it over the shoulder (like in many other raglan pattterns). You can see in the photo the fold in the sleeve that I could rotate into the neckline... I haven't quite figured out this alteration yet, though, so you may or may not see it on my next River!


ps: i have a few more piece in my stash that may turn into rivers as well--it's such a simple pattern to knock out!

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Fall Sewing/Style Plans

My fall/winter color scheme. Three out of four of this stack are in fact already sewn! 

Black twill jeans. I have some black stretch twill from Theory that I'd like to make I've actually already made another pair of jeans out of. I love my black denim Gingers (although they are a bit worse for the wear) and my black distressed Ashes and I've worn both items tons and tons since I made them, so I may as well have another pair considering I already have the fabric and two patterns I like!

Coated denim jeans. This is my most exciting project for fall! I ordered some amaaazing coated denim from the Fabric Store (all the way in Australia) and shipping was a fortune so I absolutely HAVE to make some black leather-look jeans out of this. It is just in the stretch range for the Ash or Ginger pattern so now I just have to decide which I want to make! I'm thinking Ginger, for the pocket stay. This will be a tricky project since I've never used this type of fabric before... I think it will be a no-unpicking zone, yikes!

Something with the leftover black sweatshirt fabric/ribbing I have. I don't know what, I'll have to measure it. I could just make another sweatshirt, maybe cropped this time?

Megan Nielsen River tops. I loved my white knit River (never pictured here because it was during a looong testing phase, during which time I stained it) and I also love my black linen River. The shape is everything I want in a slouchy top. I haven't made any more than that because I dislike doing the neckline binding--give me a facing every time! I want to make a couple more of these tops for fall in something drapey, but I have a few changes to make first; I want to raise the back neckline (the round one; it's meant to be reversible but I only wear it one way) and draft a facing! (I already made a blush linen blend one you may have seen in my instagram stories, and I have couple more stash fabrics I may use.)

Black eyelet top. I made this black eyelet dress a few years ago and wore it a ton and now I sort of feel like off the shoulder is done and I should rework this into something I'll wear a ton again. This is a gorgeous eyelet from Mulberry Silks and there isn't any more so this will definitely be a pretty minimal refashion. This may also end up a River top!

Megan Nielsen Sudley dresses. I made a black Sudley last winter and wore it frequently although it's a bit too short for work. I had originally elasticated the waist, but I recently unpicked the elastic and I think I like it a lot better in its originally swingy silhouette. I'd like to make a couple more in a work-appropriate length, and maybe play around with the closures some to take advantage of it's reversibility. It would be cool to have a dress that closes with, say, buttons you can either button up in the front or back. Since I already have a black mini version, I'm thinking olive green and pink would look cute with black tights and boots for winter.

That's a lot of black! I've been making black stuff all summer, I'm totally on a black/neutrals kick, so I apologize if this isn't as colorful of a space as it has been in the past! But of course, I have to have that pink in there somewhere... :)


ps: several of these should be coming up shortly! 

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