I’ve been making a few summer wardrobe staples these last few weeks. I did finish my pair of chambray Spring Shorts after writing this post. Although I actually haven’t worn them yet. Go figure. I’ll save those for another post.
I was very excited to see Helen’s Closet’s newest pattern, the Ashton Top pop up in June. It seemed like such a versatile tank! I really like that it has both bias tape finishing and a facing option. I really wanted to give the facing a try to see if I could get over my hang up with facings. I just have memories of them popping out of the neckline as a child.
So for my first go I grabbed this triangle pink chambray that I had bought from Drygoods Design a few years ago. It was too pretty to sit around any longer so I washed it and cut out the Ashton! I think I got ahead of myself in the instructions, so I ended up doing a bias tape finish even though I had intended to do facings. Ah well. Ended up that after finishing I decided that I needed a few fit adjustments. I knew from past experiences that I’ve always wanted to try a broad back adjustment. So I gave that a try after following along with this video (and obsessively checking a few others). I did a quick muslin after making the broad back adjustment to the pattern pieces. I also moved the lower part of the armhole slightly lower and dropped the neckline a small amount (maybe 3/8″).
The second tank turned out really well. I remembered to do the facings (ha!) and I really love how it came together. It seems like the fit adjustments were pretty good I think. This tank is comfy and I feel comfortable in it. The triangle version is a bit snug across my shoulder blades, but I think I’ll still wear it, that print is too good! I’m really glad I gave the Ashton a try and super excited about the broad back adjustment working! yay!
Pattern: Ashton Top by Helen’s Closet (she’s doing a whole month of hacks this month, Ashton August!)
Fabric: Chambray with Triangles from Drygoods Design (this print is long gone, but she has an amazing selection of garment fabrics) and Liberty of London I’m pretty sure I bought years ago from Jones & Vandermeer.
Ooookay, so this is a testament to how long I can hold on to my favorite fabrics. Does that happen to you? I love hanging on to a favorite and waiting for when inspiration strikes and the fabric gets used. This is what happened with this fabric! I remember I bought it thinking I would make shorts with it??? Not sure how that would have turned out, eeeek!, but I’m glad I waited! This is the Cheater Print (a cheater print is a single fabric designed to look like patchwork) from Ellen Luckett Baker‘s first(?) collection with Kokka from 2012, called Stamped. I, of course, had bought and used a lot of the designs from that collection: Scallops, triangles, circle flowers and now this cheater print. Yep, guess I liked it!
Runaround Bag – Circle Flowers print || Tablet Case from my book, Handmade Style – Scallop print || Gingham Tote with rounded pocket option from my book, Handmade Style – Triangle print (Gingham Tote photo credit Holly DeGroot)
So I was digging through my fabric trying to get it a bit more organized (and cleaning out a bit for my annual sewing retreat with my friends) and came across this beauty and knew that I had to put it to use. Summer time sewing is a bit more limited and so a project like this Wool + Wax Tote is quite rewarding to make. With the scraps I made a coordinating zippered pouch which is always fun. I think I might be satisfied only making these totes with pouches for the rest of my sewing life. hahaha.
I used my Natural leather handles and attached them with rivets. If you’re curious about rivets I have a post here that explains a bit more and has links to sources. The contrast bottom is a waxed denim from AL Frances Textiles on Etsy. To keep things really simple I used Big Sur Canvas in Natural for the lining. For me I think I could use this for lining every bag. No need to add extra interfacing which is always a plus. And it coordinates so well with so many fabrics (plus it comes in a ton of other colors, too).
Pattern: Wool + Wax Tote (available as a stand alone PDF or as part of a collection in my Everyday Essentials booklet) and improv zippered pouch.
Fabric: Cheater Print (from Stamped collection) by Ellen Luckett Baker, (see Ellen’s latest collection here, looking forward to it later this summer/early fall!!!), Waxed Denim by AL Frances Textiles, lining is Big Sur canvas in Natural by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Natural Leather Handles in my shop, Brass rivets from Minkus Margo on Etsy
How’s your summer going so far? I feel like I need to acknowledge that it’s passing very quickly, but my family and I have been having fun and jumping at pretty much every fun opportunity that comes our way. We even have a real vacation planned to Chincoteague later this summer. Looking forward to some time at the ocean, it’s been too long! I haven’t mentioned it here on the blog yet, but on my Instagram you may have seen that my next fabric collection, Driftless, with Robert Kaufman Fabrics was just released (that means that shops are now seeing it and are able to order). I’m so honored to have been able to work with Robert Kaufman Fabrics once again.
Driftless fabric collection by Anna Graham for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Driftless is a collection of 26 prints overprinted on Essex and Essex Yarn Dye, and Essex Yarn Dye Homespun (yesssss! eeek!) all printed in the USA. I’m so thrilled with how the fabric turned out. Don’t you love a good fat quarter stack like this? Here’s the super important part – it’ll be shipping to stores in December! Yep, I fully know it’s a ways away, but I think it’ll be worth the wait for you! If you’re interested in these fabrics, please share this with your local quilt shop and ask if they’ve ordered. That way they can be sure to get some! I hope this small peek of the collection will provide a little bit of inspiration and get you excited about sewing with it.
Annnnnd, I’m bursting at the seams excited to show you the projects I made using it! Also, I can hardly wait to talk to you about things that inspired me while designing the prints. Here’s a little hint. I’ll be saving the projects to share for when it gets closer to the release date (so maybe sometime starting in November?!) as I know it can be so hard to be inspired to make something yet not have the fabric available. So please hang in there!
Thanks so much for your constant support and encouragement over the years! This is truly a dream come true! I’m so excited for Driftless!