Happy First Day of Spring!

It happens every year at this time.  I just can't help myself.  It's like being drawn into a weird gravitational orbit.  

Daffodils poke through, robins return from Florida, bears come out of hibernation and I make a 'too-cute-for-its-own-good' outfit!  Every dang year!  Even though I know it's going to happen I can't stop myself.  This year I didn't even see it coming until I was half way through making it!!!

It usually starts with yummy pastel linen, or something sheer and etherial.  And it ends up with gathers and sometimes even a bow!  I really didn't see this one coming.  It started out as a sweatshirt of all things.  But it's spring so it ended up with pastel ruffles! These are not my normal projects.  But, truth be told, I love them.  It's my version of a new Easter dress.  Sometimes I even end up wearing them.

This year's offering really did start out as a sweatshirt.  I wanted to make something to wear on a trip to Tennessee where the weather was going to be early spring-ish.  I was looking forward to leaving the boots and heavy winter gear in Michigan and enjoying some warmer days.  I had a piece of wool and cotton fleece/knit that was the perfect weight.  I wanted a tunic style to wear over tights or jeans.

I had a picture of a dress that I liked that had the sweatshirt tunic with a cotton ruffle poking out of the hem.  

...AND I just happened to have a lovely pastel plaid linen that looked super with the wool fleece.  ...yup, here's how it starts... I thought about just adding a ruffle to the top, but, jeez,......
I had 2 yards of the linen, that would certainly be enough for a whole dress...you see how it happens?...here it comes...can't stop it...full blown "too-cute-for-its-own-good" spring outfit!!!!!  

I started with the sweatshirt (thinking maybe I could avoid the ruffles this time if I distracted myself...HA!).  I made a 'trial balloon,' checked the pattern pieces to make sure I had enough fabric, and realized that wool and cotton should definitely be pre-shrunk.  Oops, 3 inches too short!  If I cancelled the pockets it would work...but the pockets really make the shirt...

I kept the pockets.  I used a cotton t-shirt weight jersey for the facings and pieced scraps to make the pockets insets....gotta have the pockets.

One thing I like to do when I'm working with knits is stabilize the shoulder seams (and other seams if there will be stress from the weight of the garment).  I use 3/4 inch, bias cut tricot fusible interfacing, works great.

Once the sweatshirt was finished I knew the plaid ruffle would be awesome....more trial balloons....

Much pondering to get all the seams and plaids to match AND still get the ruffles on the bias!  

Another trick I like is to make the bottom buttonhole on a shirt placket before putting it on the garment.  Trying to get the buttonhole attachment to maneuver over the extra layers of the placket makes the bottom buttonhole a real bear to make.  Since I don't know if I'll want to lower the neckline or exactly how many buttons I want I just make the one and wait till I finish the neckline to make the rest.

Like I said, "Too-cute-for-its-own-good!"

Sweatshirt with cute ruffle sticking out! (and pockets! Yeah!)

Me in the Smoky Mountains loving the spring weather (note sunglasses!) and wearing the perfect sweatshirt tunic.  I'm saving the ruffles for Easter!

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