For this round of projects for the Cali & Co. blog, I wanted to do some fall separates, easy pieces I knew I could add to my daily rotation and that would get a lot of practical wear. I decided on a top and a skirt, both Megan Nielsen patterns. The Axel skirt pattern I’d bought as soon as it was released but hadn’t sewn yet – I love a knit pencil skirt. I thought I would start with Version 2, which has the ties, or hip sashes, and I chose this taupe ponte de roma knit. Topping it off with the Briar t-shirt; this is one of those patterns that everyone has made for years but didn’t really appeal to me until recently. For the short sleeved crop top version I chose this pretty wine modal jersey. The wine color is very rich and reminds me of a nice glass of syrah. It’s a poly/modal (aka rayon) blend, very soft and drapey, but I find it easier to work with than a similarly thin rayon knit. I needed another layer, so I decided I would make myself a flannel since Ron recently added some great ones to the shop. I chose this traditional looking black and red flannel for me and this gray-red-white flannel for Tim. I’ve been calling it the ‘buckeye flannel’ ever since I saw it online and since he’s an Ohio native it would make a good addition to his ever growing collection of me-made shirts.
The pencil skirt was quick and easy – I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the hip sashes but I think I love them.
The top was also a quick sew. I ended up leaving the sleeve and bottom edges raw after experimenting with hemming techniques, none of which I liked. When I sewed this fabric before it was using a pattern that finished the sleeves with a band, which looked fine, but I don’t like the way it looks turned under and stitched.
It’s a good thing I decided not to hem it because even for a crop top it is very short on me in the front. No worries because my new flannel is going over it…
The red and black flannel is very soft, I love it. The pattern is Butterick 5526. I cut the side panels on the bias – for stylistic reasons? maybe to avoid plaid matching at the princess seams? – and still was able to just barely squeeze this shirt out of 2 yards (it’s only 45” wide), except for the under collar which is the other flannel, but who’s looking?
The buckeye flannel is very heavy and cozy, like a blanket. Don’t believe me, ask Ringo! He decided to curl up in it and try to sabotage me as I was attempting to carefully match my plaids while cutting.
It is thick but easy to work with, and very warm. I’d recommend it if you live in a cold climate or enjoy winter camping, it would be a great layer. Any of the double nap flannels would work for extra warmth, really. The pattern is the Colette Negroni, which I’ve made over a dozen times at this point. It’s actually one of my favorite patterns to sew, because I’ve made it so many times I can enter a sort of meditative state while sewing it.
We’re both happy with our new flannels! The only bad part of this month’s projects? That Tim is such a better model than I am. He is the Hansel to my Zoolander, right down to our hair. It’s a walk-off! (Backyard walk-off not pictured.)
This month’s projects really represent the mix of things I like to sew – some quick, easy, instant-gratification knit serger projects mixed with some slower, more careful or tedious projects that require tailoring or fitting challenges. I hope you enjoyed it and if you’ll excuse me I need to go buy some more flannel! Thanks for reading!
Leslie is a geologist/sewing enthusiast living in the Bay Area with her man and two cats. She likes to sew while watching football and hope it doesn’t end with a seam ripper and tears. She blogs here.