My Sewing Staycation

I had 10 days off of work in March, and instead of taking a fabulous vacation, I took a sewing staycation, and I got a  Spring mini-wardrobe done!  Here's probably my favorite of the bunch:

There are so many new trends that I was itching to try, and I'd been collecting some patterns for them.  Flounces, cropped pants, and asymmetrical hemlines are all trends that I wanted to try out this Spring. I had two woven prints in four yard cuts- one in white and grey, and one in blue and black- all from FabricMart Fabrics precut fabric selections.  So, these formed the basis for my tops and then I added in some solids for the bottoms to go with them

I thought of the white and grey print as my "test" fabric, as I liked the blue and black print more.  So, I started out testing Vogue 9067 which is a very loose fitting top with hem and sleeve flounces. The sleeve flounces are doubled, so you don't have to hem them.  I made a size smaller than my measurements would have indicated, and it is still quite voluminous.  This was really easy to sew, and if you like this look, rest assured that it doesn't take nearly as much fabric as the recommendations tell you!

I do like it, but wasn't sure that I liked it enough to make it out of the blue and black print.  So, on to test top #2 from Butterick 6456, a top with multiple sleeve options and a front pleat.  I chose the mid length sleeves with the flounces- they have just enough flare to be fashionable, but they are not long enough to get in the way.

This style I liked a lot better than the first top pattern.  The only downside is narrow-hemming that small circular flounce for the sleeve was a bear! I also made these pants from a white ponte knit, using the pattern from Pamela's Patterns- Pants Perfected.  This is an interesting pattern because it includes a DVD that you can watch on how to do things like fly zippers and mock welt pockets.  Pamela does a great job of explaining things, and her sizing is very generous, which is great for larger ladies.  I really liked the crotch curve on this pattern, and applied the curve to my next pairs of pants as well.

So, here is Butterick 6456 in the blue and black print.   Sometimes I can get away without doing a full bust adjustment, but in making the test version, I could see that I needed one, as well as a couple of other adjustments- shortening the v-neck and a forward shoulder adjustment.  Here you can see the difference that making these adjustments made:

See how the lower front curves upward in the grey and white print?  And see how it's pulling a little bit at the armholes?  Doing the full bust adjustment fixed both of those problems.  The white and grey one is definitely still wearable, and probably no one but me would notice, but I feel better having done it.  I have however changed my mind, and now prefer the grey and white print, so I wish I had reversed the order in sewing them!

For the cropped, slightly flared pants, I used a light blue stretch suiting fabric and Simplicity 8264.  I'm not sure if these pants really work with the top- they are both pretty bold.  I'd be interested to hear your opinions on this. For fitting, I laid the pattern for the back pants piece crotch curve over the Pamela's patterns version, and blended Pamela's curve into this pattern. It worked great, and I think that this will be the way that I can get a better fit with other pants patterns, but still incorporate the details like leg circumference and flare from the other patterns.  I like the gentle flare on the legs and the pockets on this one, but I don't care for the center back zipper.  I would move that to the side if I make these again.  Also, be warned- I think that these need a stretch fabric, even though the pattern doesn't indicate that. 

I still had plenty of the blue and black fabric left, so I chose one more pattern- McCalls 7579.

 This is a pattern for both a top and close fitting pants from Nicole Miller.  In the pattern, the top is actually cut into many different sections,but I didn't think that the seamlines would be noticeable with my printed fabric.  So, I loosely pieced the pattern pieces together on my cutting table, as well as I could, and then traced a one piece front and a one piece back. It worked, and was a whole lot easier than sewing all of those sections together!  I also simplified the pants by extending the upper edges 1-1/2 inches, and then making an elastic waist instead of a separate waistband and zipper.  I used ponte knit for these too.   You can see the interesting pant seam lines a little in the photo.  I do see that they are bunching up around the knees in the photo, so I think that means I need to tighten it up in that section so there isn't excess fabric.

I have just taken out the excess fabric on one leg, and that was definitely the fix for the bunching problem.  Here is a comparison- you can see the looser leg is shorter after sitting, and the tighter leg stays the correct length.  I will fix both eventually, but wanted to show the difference!😉

So, here is everything all together.   I already wore three of the outfits this week, so I'm pretty sure I'll get a lot of use out of all of these. 

I really enjoyed my sewing staycation and feel refreshed and energized.  Better than a spa!  Have you ever tried a sewing staycation?

Happy Sewing!


  1. Love those outfits--better than RTW--the advantages of sewing wins every time. I need a staycation...

    1. Agreed- everyone needs a staycation! I can't wait until my next one!

  2. Love them all...that blue is your color!

  3. Oh Wow !What a beautiful mini wardrobe and what fun pieces. My favorite ? The blue and black print ensemble. You look great and I love all your shoes !!!!

  4. Wow! You had a productive staycation! All the pieces/outfits are very flattering. Of the four final photos, the second one is my favorite, but I also really like the third outfit. The blue and black color top is so very flattering on you and those white pants are perfect! Why do you like the crotch drafting in Pants Perfected pattern so much? I've only sewn one pair of pants, and I did have to alter the crotch. So, just curious.

    1. Hi Pamela,
      The crotch curve is remarkably different from the standard crotch curve in the Big 4 patterns. The back is longer by 2-3", mostly near the inseam. This is similar to what I see in ready to wear pants, and it is more comfortable to wear.

  5. I want to be like you when I grow up!!!! You look AMAZING!!!

    I love the longer printed tunic with slim ponte pants. So. So. CUTE!

  6. My favorite is the black and blue print top too (for the color - not just the fit improvements). Have you tried pairing it with a pair of slim black pants?

    Grey is one of my favorite colors and I had a comfy grey/soft white dress that I wore all the time when DH and I first fell in love. I'd love to get my hands on your gray/white fabric but the bolder blue fabric really pops on you!

    Thanks for taking your time to show us the different fit fixes. I love reading stuff like this and actually seeing the before and afters.

  7. All the tops look lovely & I like all the different pants you made to go along with them. REALLY nice all round!!

  8. You mentioned difficulty with the narrow hem on the flounce of the sleeves. I tried using a rolled hem foot in a similar situation and it worked very well!

  9. I love the color combinations and the top pattern!


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