Esme Top {Fox Trot}

I’ve never sewn garments before and last year I spotted a tunic pattern at Joann’s while shopping for fabric. The Esme Top by Sew Liberated was the perfect pattern for my first attempt at garment sewing. While this pattern is suggested for advanced beginners, I thought why not!?

I held on to the pattern for many months before spotting the perfect cotton fabric at the International Quilt Show last year. Fox Trot by Dear Stella is the cutest fabric with little foxes, dainty greenery, and mini mushrooms. The fabric and pattern sat on my to-do pile for quite some time! I recently went with my mom to an Intro to Garment Sewing class where I learned some basics of pattern reading, pattern tracing, sizing, supplies and more. Mom definitely helped me get started! We traced the pattern on tracing paper and cut the fabric together. I’m a petite person and we went with the sizing that I measured…but in the end, I feel the finished top came out too big. A con about this pattern, there are no finished garment sizes listed. I took in the side seams during the construction, but the overall cut was already large. This did help some and I will not mind wearing it a little oversized (that’s stylish with some fall boots, right?), but I will definitely try this pattern again in a smaller size and a different fabric type.

Neko definitely approved of this cute cotton print…

neko approved fabric 2
neko approved fabric

I pre-washed my fabric and added a tricot stitch for the edges of the cut fabric pieces. After my first wear and washing the finished garment, I was not happy with the amount of fraying and trimming of threads that was needed. I want to try pinking shears next time. What is your experience with using pinking shears? Is there still fraying after washing? Sewing the yoke on was a breeze and adding the gathers was fun to do. I was able to complete the front, the back with neck facing, and attaching the two bodice pieces at the shoulders. Then I was at a standstill as I was challenged with putting the sleeves in. I could not get my sleeves to match the opening length. Mom came to visit me and showed me how to set a sleeve in. After that, I was then able to stitch the sides up (where I then took the size in 1 1/4″ on both sides). I had planned to make some ties from the same fabric to help with the fit, but I had trouble making them, so I passed and decided to just finish up. Gathering the base of the sleeves and adding the cuffs was fun to do and I love the look of the poofy sleeves. Added a rolled hem to the bottom of the bodice and I was done!

My finished top lived on my dressform for a few weeks before I bought the buttons for the finishing touch. These are not real button holes, but it was definitely an option to make. The bronze buttons I found were perfect and is my favorite part. Definitely a cute pattern and as I’ve mentioned, I want to try it again with a different fabric type. The cotton I used doesn’t drape as well as I think the pattern is meant to with the gatherings and such. I’m not happy with the cut of the back either. Not sure if smaller sizing and fabric would make me think differently…there’s just no shape to the back as you can see. The dressform is made of felt so it’s grabbing the top, which is giving it some shape. I’m very happy to have completed my first garment and looking forward to the next!

Esme Topbuttonsbuttons 3sleeveside view_esme top_2back view_esme top


UFO Challenge #6

For the month of May, I was challenged to complete #6 on my UFO list. #6 is to complete 3 Beeutiful QAL blocks. Last year I completed blocks 1-7. For May, I completed Blocks 8-10. I finished block 10 today, 15 minutes before the shop closed! I technically have until Wednesday to have my completion checked off by my local quilt shop. Hopefully I can make it there during the work week…but if not, at least I was able to meet my goal!

I showed you block 8 and my work in progress block 9 during my SAL Update, but here’s all 3 final blocks for your viewing pleasure:

Block 8: Bee Simple

Block 8Block 8_zoom

Block 9: Bee Fruitful

I added little quilt ties 🙂

Block 9Block 9_anglezoom_quilt tieszoom_quilt ties 2

Block 10: Bee Kind

My favorite…

Block 10Block 10_angle

SAL Update 5.14

Sorry friends for the delay on today’s post! I’ve been recovering from oral surgery this week as I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. Ouch! Because of this, I was unable to schedule my SAL Update to post this morning, even though I did get some rest-in-bed-stitching done 🙂 Today is also Mother’s Day, so my husband and I spent the afternoon with our mom’s. We went on a historical home tour and had lunch. Luckily I survived the tour in my condition. I’m doing ok, but I’m not 100% recovered. I still have some soreness in my lower jaw, eating soft foods, and taking my meds. Luckily, Sunday is still here and I’m just getting around to writing my SAL Update.

Here’s where I’m at with Winnie the Pooh and his pals. I completed filling Pooh in and continued working on Eeyore. I’m so excited seeing this from afar. Eeyore’s head is turned toward Pooh and Piglet, so the black stitches are forming his other ear, if you can imagine.

SAL Update 5.14

For the month of May, my quilt shop drew the number 6 for our UFO Challenge. #6 on my list is to complete 3 Beeutiful QAL blocks. If you remember, I joined this group working on these embroidery blocks, but had stopped to focus on Winnie the Pooh. So far I’ve completed 1 embroidery block, #8 of the series. I’m currently working on #9 and have yet to start #10.

Block 8 – Bee Simple

Beeutiful QAL Block 8

Block 9 – Bee Fruitful (In Progress)

Beeutiful QAL Block 9

Finally, I would like to show off my new project bag that my mom sewed up for me. Even though it’s Mother’s Day, mom always has a gift for me. She is so giving, so supportive, and so loving. Thank you again mom for this beautiful bag!

Project bag frontProject bag back

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Time to check out the progress from the rest of the SAL Group:

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Wendy, Linda, Catherine, Mary Margaret, and Timothy