Three's a Charm

An alert reader asked about the dress/tunic that I have on in this picture from my DOL trip. 

Before I launch into the story of the tunic, let me introduce my lovely 'room mate' who is wearing the apron that she designed and made while in Ashland.  She started with a pattern that Diane whipped up for the retreat.  It was one of the ways to get our creative juices flowing.  It certainly worked for my roomy! Her apron is darling and very much 'her.'

The top that I have on is one of three that I made using a pattern that I designed this winter.  I really liked the shape.  A little bit of fitting through the bust and waist but mostly a 'sweatshirt' shape.  The fun part was figuring out how to place the fabrics to take advantage of the princess lines and cool angled pockets.

The first iteration that I did I used a fabric that I purchased in the fall when I visited Mood Fabrics in NYC.  It was a really thick wool ottoman with dark gray ribs on one side and light gray ribs on the other.  I knew whatever I made it into would have to feature both sides of the fabric, and it would definitely be a deep winter garment!

The second version is the top that I wrote about in an earlier post, Warm and Wooly.  I think this might be my favorite of the three.  Cutting the front panel on the bias really gave the top a nice drape and I like the way it hugs in a bit when I wear it.  This one too is for the dead of winter.

The third in the series is the one that I am wearing in the picture from DOL.  I used a textured grey and black knit with a lot of body (I think it was also a Mood find) and a cotton jersey that I got from Natalie Chanin's store.   Alabama Chanin cottons come in two lovely weights and the colors are gorgeous!

I embellished the front panel by hand stitching cords made by cutting the jersey on the lengthwise grain and letting the cut edges curl in on each other forming a 'double tube.'  (If you cut on the cross grain the edges curl the other direction and you see the 'purl' side of the jersey, I think the cross grain tubes are a bit more stretchy as well.)
You can see the tubes forming from the strip of jersey.

I simply followed the pattern of the gray and black knit with my jersey tubes.  I stitched down the center and let them curl up to hide my stitches...

The 'knots' are just that...I tied the tubes into knots and tucked the ends in as I sewed them onto the garment.

The front panel of the top is embellished, the back and the backs of the sleeves are the un-embellished gray and black knit.

Even though  all three tops are made from the same pattern, I think they are different enough that it doesn't look like I'm wearing the same thing everyday!  They got a lot of wear...they are so cozy and feel like sweatshirts...actually the perfect thing for everyday!  They probably won't be the last versions I make from this pattern!  Stay tuned...


  1. It's a great design. All three are wonderful and so different. Love the fabric of the last one especially and the embellishments. Beautiful.

  2. I kept trying to use a different pattern, but it kept working!

  3. Thanks for sharing your process. I am inspired by your dresses and your embellishments. : )

  4. So glad you like them! I had fun creating them.