Friday, July 10, 2015

Mix-It Tops and a Little Tip

The Sewing Workshop's MixIt patterns contains three items - a shirt, a top, and a tank. I have made the shirt twice and the top at least three times. My most recent version is from brown linen, to wear with a recent make of TSW's West End pants. I'm still evaluating the pants, but the MixIt tops are just great for these hot, humid days we are having.

Just for something a little different on this version, I added a center front placket and omitted the Mandarin collar. I used David Coffin's book to draft the placket. 

Oops. I need to move that button over so the placket isn't distorted.

I am still not sure if I like the West End pants. I cut a size large and they were size huge. I shortened them. I took in a half-inch tuck in both legs, front and back. I think I like them now.

I totally love the pockets.

These are some old MixIt tops that I wear year after year. The top one is from a crisp cotton print and the bottom one is from a cotton in baby pique. Though a white top tends to wash me out, it is always my go-to when I travel.

A Very Small Tip:

I like black. I like to wear black. But sometimes I struggle to sew black, even in the summer when the light in my workroom is at its best. And I have those wonderful Otte lights. Still, it's a struggle.

I have discovered that with most linens, I like to use either a French seam or a mock fell seam, just to make sure the edges don't fray down to the stitching line. Of course, when I'm lining something, this is not an issue, but for summer, I love clothing made from linen - it's wash and wear - so no lining.

Today I made something with French seams and decided to try using gray thread, instead of black, in the bobbin for the first pass. Then when I tried to trim the 1/4" seam down to 1/8", I could actually SEE the stitching line:

My finger nail is on top of the black thread. Can you see it? I cannot. I can actually see the gray thread from the bobbin.

And I could see to trim the first seam.

Then I switched back to all black for the final pass of each French seam.

This was a wadder but that's OK. I learned something and the fabric was a remnant, too small for my planned project.


  1. I really like the silhouette of this outfit, Martha. It's well balanced and fits perfectly. Looks so Japanese! Great!
    Thanks for the tip on gray threat!

  2. What a good idea to use the grey thread for visibility - I'll remember that!

    The West End pants remind me of my favourite culottes way back when - they were so comfortable to wear and great on a bicycle. The brown linen is a lovely choice for both pieces.

  3. Love those tops--and the West End pants--comfort and style together.

  4. I'm working on a pair of West Ends to knock off my version of Tibi culottes. The pleats or tucks are a "yes" for that style. Yours look great! Check out what Tibi calls their culotte capsule that can be made using the West End pattern.

  5. What a perfect 'summer suit'.