Friday, June 28, 2013

Color Blocked Scout Tee

Pattern: Grainline Studios Scout Woven Tee
Fabric: Ivory - Tencel Shirting (100% Lyocell) from Joann's, Dark Purple - Cotton Sateen from Spring Sewing Swap (thanks again, Meg!)

Hello readers! First I would like to say THANK YOU for reading this blog. I am amazed that people take time to check out what is happening here on my little slice of the inter-webs.  I can honestly say that I never expected this to become a blog people actually read - hahaha. It started as a way for me to share my projects with family that lives far away, and to help others looking to sew the same garments I had. Sometimes I think my posts are inadequate, I am not a great writer (really - why can't there just be pictures), I don't do enough tutorials or giveaways, and why do I spend all this time blogging in the first place. However, I can see how other blogs have really encouraged and inspired my sewing, connecting me with people I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise, and I really hope to do the same.  If you have and suggestions of things you would like to see more of here at the quirky peach, please let me know - I will try my best to accommodate. Until then, you are stuck with slapdash reviews and average pictures of things I sew that are cute - deal with it :)

Okay, moving on! I made a Scout Tee! This pattern has been popping up everywhere on the web, due to it's simplicity, chic style, and vast opportunity for modification and embellishment. My own was inspired and provided by the wonderful Meg of Meg Made This when we were paired up in the Spring Sewing Swap (see the original post here). She sent this lovely dark purple sateen fabric for a Scout Tee and I could not wait to make it!

Unfortunately things do not always go according to our best laid plans...  While working on this tee I realized that the fabric had somehow stretched itself out of shape a bit (I do love using that iron), so I was gently tugging on it to try and correct the problem when this happened...


GASP! Can you believe it? And here it was a gift! Sent from across the country! I couldn't get more, and I definitely did not have enough material to cut out another back piece. I had to rethink my original idea - make lemonade out of lemons if you will. I frantically ran (well, drove) to the local Joanns to find another fabric to do some color blocking - here I had thought "No, I won't try color blocking on my first Scout Tee - I'll wait until I make it successfully in one color the first time" Ha.

When I found this amazingly soft and silky ivory fabric, I knew it would be perfect. I didn't know it was $25 a yard perfect! Good thing it was on sale for half off, but still - I don't think I have ever purchased fabric originally priced that high!  Lyocell, or Tencel, is a new fiber to me so I whipped out my phone and googled it (of course).  Here is the wiki definition:

"The US Federal Trade Commission defines Lyocell as "a cellulose fabric that is obtained by an organic solvent spinning process". It classifies the fibre as a sub-category of rayon. The fiber is used to make textiles for clothing and other purposes"

I found some really interesting facts about it in the Wikipedia article, as well as here and here. Although it is expensive, it feels amazing and I can see myself purchasing more in the future (for a deal, that is). I managed to cut wisely enough to use it for two Scout Tee's (second one coming soon!). Have you ever sewn with Lyocell?

Now for the details:

Pattern: Grainline Studio's Scout Tee

Fabric: Tencel/Lyocell for upper half, Cotton Sateen for lower half

Size: 4

My Shape: Tall (6'0), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso

Size Alterations:

- Lowered the armscye by 1", altering the sleeve to fit
- Lengthened by 2"

Design Changes:

- Colorblocked top half
- Added faux button placket on back  *Buttons are vintage Etsy buy - blogged here
- Curved hem

Construction Notes:

- Constructed back panel with faux button placket first
- Attached front and back upper half to front and back lower half, then continued as instructed
- Turned under for narrow hem at neckline, sleeves, and lower hem

WAIT! you say.  Didn't Meg send you bias tape and a bias tape maker specifially for this pattern and to use with this fabric?! Yes, yes she did. And yes I feel terrible that I didn't use it. However, the ivory fabric is actually somewhat sheer and I knew that bias tape, in that fun print especially, would show through. So I didn't use it :( But I PROMISE my next Scout will have bias bound neck and armholes. Deal? Deal.

So there it is! I'm heading over to Kollabora to upload it for the Sewalong - I am new to Kollabora, but excited to try it out! Are you on Kollabora? What do you think? I am interested to see how it compares to using BurdaStyle and Pattern Review.  Goodness, now I have three places to update my makes, besides my blog. Is that a little much? Are you on one of these? What do you think about them? Have you made the Scout Tee? Have you ever had a "GASP!" mistake in the middle of a project? Please share in the comments below, and thanks for reading! :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Find a New Reader!

Hello friends! Just a quick post to remind you that Google Reader is shutting down on July 1st! If you use Google Reader to follow the quirky peach, consider switching to Bloglovin'.  I have been using it for a few months now and would highly recommend it. You can also just subscribe through e-mail to get new posts send directly to your inbox. See the sidebar for both options! Thanks so much for being a reader - I hope to see your face around here after July 1st! Stay tuned for an upcoming Scout Tee post :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Easy Breezy Summer Shorts

Pattern:  Dixie DIY Movies in the Park Shorts - Modified
Fabric:  Blue/Gray Floral Rayon Challis / Charcoal Gray Ponte Knit

Hello friends! Did you know that Karen of Did You Make That was hosting a PAJAMA PARTY? Well I did! And then I completely forgot... until several pajama related posts started popping up on my feed yesterday. Forehead smack!  My subconscious must not have forgot, though, as I have been thinking about these amazing lounge shorts I saw at Anthropologie non-stop for the past few days. Indeed, I already had it all figured out in my head, I just had to crank it out! And this was the perfect motivation :)

After sketching out my Anthro knock-offs, I realized that my sketch looked awfully similar to the Dixie DIY Movies in the Park shorts I had been eyeing.  It featured:

- Curved Side Seams
- Slant Pockets
- No fly/front closure

I purchased, printed, and assembled this pattern in less than an hour - the actual shorts are only 12 pages!

Here is how I modified the pattern to fit my design:

- Cut waistband out of ponte knit - did not interface
- Added two button holes at center on front waistband piece for tie
- Gathered shorts along top edge
- Narrow hem, not binding

I also traced the pattern pieces (that's a first for me) and added 2.5" length to the front and back.

The assembly was very straightforward - I followed the written instructions for steps 1 - 7, then kind of did my own thing from there, adding the knit waistband, tie, and hemming the shorts.

Here are the specs:

Fabric: STASH!  Rayon Challis (leftover from this UFO), Gray Ponte Roma Knit  (leftover from this top)

Yardage: Only 24" of rayon! And around 8" of knit!

Size: I traced an XL for the front and back, adding 2.5" length. I probably ended up with a M for the waistband (kept trimming off extra)

Time to Complete: One evening

Alterations: After almost finishing the shorts, I realized that the crotch was a bit too tight - I cut it lower by about 1.5", but next time I will definitely have to adjust this before cutting into fabric.

Next time:  

- Different fabric for waistband - this seemed a bit too thick, although it feels wonderful
- Add more room for hips, especially at back
- Adjust crotch (needs to be looser) - perhaps use my Thurlow shorts pattern as guide

IN CONCLUSION, I really really love these shorts - they are so lightweight and breezy - perfect for summer when you are trying to save on the AC bill. I can see myself wearing these all day and night! In fact I just ordered fabric to make THREE more pairs :) 

All images and fabrics from
If anyone else would be interested in making these, let me know! I would be happy to do a tutorial, or a sewalong or whatever you want to call it! It's a quick, easy, affordable project ;)

And because these are for a pajama party:

That pillow is one of the first sewing projects I ever made! See it here

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Who Copied Who? Shorts Like J. Crew

Pattern: Sewaholic Thurlow Shorts
Fabric: Joel Dewberry - Modern Meadow Herringbone in Pond

Hi readers! Back when I first started sewing, one of the very first fabrics I ordered online was this fun herringbone print in "pond" (which is still available from  I loved the pattern and the color, but once I got it, I had no idea what to do with it!  Fast forward a few years and I decided it would be a really fun pair of shorts, and I had the perfect pattern to make them.

Modern Meadow Herringbone PondImage of 1203 Thurlow Trousers

My hubs wasn't convinced, but I could see it! A perfect pair of shorts, with a plain tee and keds - it could be the perfect summer staple :) So I started on them, and everything was going great! I loved how easily the instructions were to follow, and I also used Lauren of Lladybird's Thurlow Sewalong quite a bit. It wasn't until I got to the welt pockets that I had a problem - I was debating how to use the weird print - do I try to match them, or cut them perpendicular - so I googled "herringbone striped shorts" and you would not believe my surprise when the following image came up:

3" chino short in herringbone stripe
J. Crew 3" Chino Short in Herringbone Stripe
THOSE ARE MY SHORTS! I mean not really, since they were just two flapping pieces of fabric at the moment, but seriously! They are almost the identical color and print, and the exact shorts design I was going for - chic and simple with welt pockets. I mean, how crazy! You can bet that I immediately felt more confident in my project, being as J. Crew is very fashionable and preppy chic, and justified my idea to the doubtful hubs, who was equally surprised - who has good taste now? Haha.

Since J. Crew obviously read my mind and copied my idea for shorts, I decided to copy their idea and pair them with a sheer black and white top for some pics, and I rather like the look :) I can definitely see this with several variations throughout the summer!

*Please excuse the sitting-on-train wrinkles :)

As for the welt pockets, I didn't get much help from the model's picture, so I went ahead and did my own thing, cutting the welt pockets to make a diagonal arrow, of sorts:

I was surprised with how well it was going making these welt pockets, as it was my first time, when I realized that I had done this several times before, just on a much smaller scale.... as bound buttonholes! (1940's dress, I thank you!)  That's right - welt pockets are giant bound buttonholes - for some reason I find this incredibly cool!

As for the rest of the construction, everything was pretty painless, except figuring out what to do with the front fly extension - do I sew it to something? Do I not? It was an ongoing guessing game - lol.  However, it's amazing how much motivation you have when you know your finished product is going to be something you like (or at least close enough!)

Front View
Side View
So here are the specs:

Pattern: Sewaholic Thurlow Shorts

Fabric: Cotton (probably for quilting... lol)

Size: Straight 10 - next time I might go with a size 8 at waist, graded to 10 at hips

Alterations: Only the center back seam, which is designed to be taken in or out as much as needed

Design Changes:
- No cuff
- No belt loops
- Added grosgrain ribbon trim to front pockets

And in case you're curious, here are a few detail shots:

Inside out, front fly/zipper/button/hook/etc
Grosgrain ribbon trim on front pockets
Happy Shorts!
So there you have it - I can say that they have endured a day of city walking, train riding, and ice cream eating - love these shorts! And can I also say that these have fulfilled my SEWING DARE from Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow:

"Sally from The Quirky Peach is going to use stash fabric to make one of the new indie patterns she bought recently!" I don't know what would be more stash than the first fabric I ever bought! Lol. And by "recently", she is referring to this post from January, and I'm slightly embarrassed it's taken this long.  I couldn't be happier with the results though! Already have my second pair planned...

So what about you? Have you ever seen a copy of something you've handmade in RTW? Are you doing a sewing dare? Do you like to eat ice cream in the summer? :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Scout Themed Sewing Swap

This year I participated in my first sewing swap, where sewists from around the world put together a fun package for each other and, well, swap them! This Spring Sewing Swap was hosted by Kestrel of Kestrel Makes - I was paired with Meghan from Made by Meg, and I have to say Kestrel hit the nail right on the head with that one :)

Through e-mail, Meg and I discovered that we had both been eyeing the Scout Tee pattern from grainline studios and were hoping to get in on the sewalong over at kollabora with the lovely Wanette.  This worked out perfectly as inspiration for both of our packages - we decided to find some fabric and notions to send to the other to make a Scout Tee (or two :), and included the pattern download price in our swap. Here is the awesome package I got in the mail:

Here's where it gets really exciting - Meg must have been reading my mind, or I guess just my blog, and discovered that I have a frustrating relationship with bias tape, evidenced with this top and this dress.  I have seen it done really well by others, but I would do just about anything to avoid having to use it in my own garments.  I had often wondered if this was due to the fact that I have only ever used store-bought bias tape, which is quite stiff, and thought about trying to make my own, but never did.  Now... just look what Meg sent me:

Nothing like another sewist to give you a swift kick in the pants and high motivation to try a technique you've been avoiding! :) But really, I am so excited to try this! And look at that awesome fabric! My favorite color, dark purple, with a super soft and fun geometric print to make bias tape. And of course, a bias tape maker - I knew there was a reason I kept forgetting to buy one - it was already on it's way to me! And if that isn't enough, the teacher in me got a huge smile when I flipped the card:

Not only the material and the tools, but where to find a tried and true bias tape tutorial! I really need to go start making this Scout Tee right now.  I am pumped!  And of course, if I need a break from all this bias craziness, I have a wonderful knit option as well:

If I had to choose one knit print to add to my stash, this would have been it. I'm actually amazed I don't already own this fabric! Navy and white... stripes... nautical buttons... could it be more perfect? I am seeing some awesome Scout Tee's in my future.  (Looks like Jen is attempting a knit Scout Tee - I'll have to see how it goes for her :)

In conclusion, THANK YOU MEG! And thank you, of course, to Kestrel for setting up the whole shebang! Can't wait to do it again soon!

P.S. Here's a little peek at the package I sent to Meg:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Limone Peplum Tank

Pattern: McCall's 6754
Fabric: Limone Rayon Doubleknit - Gorgeous Fabrics

Hello friends! I have a second make of McCall's 6754, View A for you today. I finished it last Friday to wear to see an awesome show in the city - Fight Girl, Battle World - in which my friend Shelia was the lead! :) Unfortunately I did not get a chance to photograph it until today, but it was worth it - a beautiful sunny day!

My first make of this pattern was in gray ponte, a size Medium, with a longer and less full peplum. It is comfy and versatile but a little too big, especially around the shoulders.  I made a few adjustments the second time around and kept some of the original changes:

- Cut Size Small, but still had to take it in all around, not sure if that was due to extra fabric stretch or if this pattern just runs BIG
- Did not adjust length or fullness of peplum (different from first make)
- Raised front neckline a few inches
- Double line of topstitching around neck and armholes
- No elastic casing

One main issue I have with this pattern is that it is cut for someone with broad shoulders - I am realizing this now after the second make, no matter how much I take it in, it still is big up top, and the shoulder straps tend to fall down.  If I make this pattern again, I will be sure to pinch out at least 2" from the center of the front and back pieces so the straps are closer together and hopefully fit my narrow shoulders without falling off.

I really enjoyed shopping the Gorgeous Fabrics website - every listing is personalized with great descriptions of the fabric as well as ideas for what styles and patterns to use - definitely not your average online shopping experience :) Although the fabric was priced a bit higher than I normally spend, I went ahead and splurged, knowing that I already had the perfect pattern and design for the fabric and it wouldn't immediately become part of the stash (how often does that happen!?)

Looking forward, I have one more peplum top variation that I can't wait to make - inspired by Anthropologie, perfect ponte fabric found at Gorgeous Fabrics...

Antonia Peplum Tank - Anthropologie

Vari-Stripe Ponte Knit - Black/Ivory
Vari-Stripe Ponte Knit - Gorgeous Fabrics

My only question is, do I use the same pattern, or try and find a better fitting peplum pattern for my narrow shoulders. I remember seeing some awesome peplums over on Made By Meg that I should probably check out for pattern ideas! Can you have too many peplum tops??? :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Striped Knit Dress

Pattern: Butterick 5837
Fabric: Navy and Coral Stripe Knit - Girl Charlee

Hello readers! Today I have a new knit dress (my first one, actually) just in time for some BE-A-UTIFUL summer weather :) I got this fabric from Girl Charlee with the intent of making a cute and casual dress - when I saw this Butterick See and Sew pattern at Joanns, I knew it would be a great match.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Score Your Sewing Space!

Hello readers - today I have something fun for you! I have been re-doing my sewing space (still trying to figure out how fit an office, a guest room, and a sewing area in one tiny room) and I found this interesting article in a pile of sewing goods from my mom :)  It was very helpful in planning my new arrangement, especially with things I would never have thought about, like lighting or waste baskets.