Wiksten Tova Top :)

I’d had my eye on the Tova top from Wiksten for months, ever since I saw this beautiful version from the Craft Sessions. How simple and lovely!

I thought this top would look great in a pumpkin orange–a sort of boho chic fall top. I was thinking a burnt orange cotton with a navy blue leaf or almost paisley print would be perfect, but of course it was easier to imagine than to find. But I found this adorable orange cotton with little yellow umbrellas all over it and it was just too cute to pass up! This fabric came from the now closed Satin Moon fabrics on Clement St in San Francisco.

So I really had meant to get this done for fall, but it just didn’t happen. I actually got it cut out sometime before the holidays, but with it having several pieces to it, it just seems like it took so much more mental energy to sit down and do it.

Cutting out the Tova top
Cutting out the Tova top

But once I sat down to do it last month, it really went by pretty quickly! And what’s great is I’ve now gotten to the point where I can sew on weeknights, rather than just on the weekends. When sewing was still very new to me, it felt like it took so much more energy to work on a project, and I just couldn’t muster up that strength during the week. But with more practice it’s gotten easier, and sewing on weeknights too now helps me complete projects even faster ๐Ÿ™‚

The biggest lesson I learned from sewing this top was that I really need to be super precise when cutting straight lines for small pieces like the cuff, collar, and the placket. When I had to turn over just a little bit of fabric and it was slightly uneven on the edge, that made my line of stitches uneven as well. Lesson learned!!

I also didn’t do a great job sewing in the inset–it was a little tricky to turn those corners nicely, and one of my corners is slightly off. I also get lazy with marking the notches, which probably would have helped me out with the inset too.

But…not bad for my first Tova!

Wiksten Tova!
Wiksten Tova!
Closer up look of my Tova top
Closer up look of my Tova top

I’ve seen photos of Tova online in plaid, and it looks adorable! I’d love to make one in plaid sometime. The dress version of Tova is super cute as well. I think I’ll wait until next fall to make a second one though ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Cleo dress from Tilly and the Buttons!

I have to say that the Cleo dress from Tilly and the Buttons is by far my favorite sewing pattern! This dungaree dress is super trendy now, and not to mention pretty beginner-friendly.

I made my first Cleo dress back in November. I’d seen this beautiful plaid corduroy fabric at Satin Moon Fabrics on Clement Street (which sadly closed in December), and I just had to have it. As can be seen by my Pinterest board, I LOVE plaid, and this fabric made all my plaid dreams come true.

Plaid corduroy
Plaid corduroy

I had a couple bumps in the road with my plaid Cleo. With my first attempt, I had trouble matching the plaid with the front two pieces. So I ended up having to buy more fabric (which thankfully was still in stock) to re-do the front pieces. But…the second attempt wasn’t much better, so I just decided to leave it.

The second thing that gave me trouble was the curved seams on the sides. One side of my dress got a little puckered, but by that point I was too tired to re-do it, so it stayed ๐Ÿ™‚ Overall, I think it’s pretty dang cute!

Cleo Dress, plaid corduroy
Cleo Dress, plaid corduroy

When I first put it on, I wasn’t quite sure I loved how it fit. Because it’s a pullover dress, it fits a little loosely on the sides. But my initial uncertainty may have been partly as a result of staring at it for so long while working on it, because I got over it pretty quickly ๐Ÿ™‚ I love this as a winter outfit!

I loved Cleo so much that I just had to make another. I got a lovely mustard yellow corduroy from Britex Fabrics in downtown San Francisco. Sewing this dress went much quicker this time around, except for just one thing: for some reason the needle kept skipping stitches and the stitches were really loose! I couldn’t figure out what it was. I made sure I had a needle for thicker fabric, I adjusted the tension, I re-threaded the machine. I was visiting my family for the holidays, so I used my mom’s machine, so I thought that could be it. Finally, my mom told me she had an even thicker needle. So I tried that, and it worked! I didn’t think that the difference between my lightweight plaid corduroy and medium weight mustard corduroy would make a difference, but turns out it did. Lesson learned ๐Ÿ™‚

Mustard yellow corduroy Cleo
Mustard yellow corduroy Cleo

And finally, I made aย thirdย Cleo dress for my friend/co-worker. We worked together to pick out a fabric she liked and figure out her measurements. It was a really fun process, and the color totally suited her. And this time, I had two Cleos under my belt and didn’t hit any bumps along the way ๐Ÿ™‚

We love our Cleo dresses!
We love our Cleo dresses!

I could honestly have like 5 more Cleos and still not be tired of them! I also thought about doing a black corduroy Cleo, and perhaps a denim Spring version? ๐Ÿ˜‰ But for now, I’m trying out some new patterns, since there’s so little time to sew all the things I want!