Dartmouth and Fantail Revisited

It rained! There was actual water falling from the sky! I didn’t think it would happen this year and started sewing up some spring clothes, but then dang. Mother Nature is showing me who is boss. Ha! I’d planned to share my thoughts on the Colette Myrna today, but I like to wear my makes before I review them and the weather suddenly stopped cooperating. Hopefully I’ll get be able to test it out soon!

Instead today I’m revisiting a couple patterns I’ve made before, Cashmerette’s Dartmouth Top and Scroop’s Fantail Skirt.


I’ll start with the Fantail Skirt. It is easily my favorite skirt pattern. Both of the skirts I’ve made are in constant rotation! This new version is made in black wool twill purchased from Renaissance Fabrics last fall. It looks like it is no longer in stock, but sometimes they are able to restock popular fabrics. This is a size 42 waist blended to a 44 hip and it went together so smoothly. Since my serger is now set up all the time, I went ahead and serged the seams before sewing the skirt together. It makes it so much easier to wash without all the seams unraveling as often happens with this type of weave. There is only one thing I dislike, the interfacing I used. I went with some left over Pellon I found in my interfacing drawer and I much prefer using silk organza instead. Oh well! I’ll try to remember for next time.


And the Dartmouth Top? It is not my favorite. I feel like I gave it a fair shot. I’ve made 1 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve, and 1 dress. They are all just fine and totally wearable tops, but they just aren’t what I pull out when I want to feel good.

Back when I first reviewed the pattern, Jenny recommended using a lighter fabric and so this fall I went in search of some good choices. I settled on some solid green rayon blend jersey and this sort of brick colored modal blend jersey from Harts Fabrics. Both fabrics were easy to sew up, but neither shirt looks like I’d hoped. It looks okay in the photos, but they seem pretty big in person.


Could be because I’ve lost a few pounds since I first made this pattern. I made a size 14G/16/18, but it looks like I’ve lost just enough weight to need a smaller size. When I made my (awesome favorite) wrap dresses I used a size 12G/14 for the top and that fits a lot better. But aside from the sizing changes I think I will still skip Dartmouth as a top. I really prefer to wear my tops tucked in and having 4 layers of hemmed jersey on my hips is not helpful. Oh well! The pattern is well worth keeping to make more mock wrap front dresses.


Ngaio Blouse

I have a new favorite pattern! The Ngaio Blouse was released by Scroop Patterns in early May and it has quickly become my favorite item to wear to work. I’ve actually made two!


I have a full review on the Curvy Sewing Collective, but I wanted to say a few words here about the how it feels to wear this blouse.

The more I sew quality garments, the pickier I’ve become when it comes to buying patterns. Styles really need to stand out or be really easily hacked to fit my retro-ish style. Scroop patterns fit into the first category for me. The Ngaio Blouse is really really wearable and professional. It is feminine, but not juvenile and that is a really hard balance to find. I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing a costume to work.

Ngaio is also really easy to wear tucked in. The darts at the back hip keep the blouse neatly placed while leaving the perfect about of volume above the waist. No other blouse I’ve worn has stayed in place so nicely.

And they feel so wonderful. The white version is a cotton lawn and even though it is slightly tight through the shoulders, it wears well. I don’t remember the last time I owned a white blouse (maybe college?), but it is so very versatile. It even coordinates with this awesome, but never worn skirt I made last year.


And I love the rayon version. This dusty lavender rayon batiste is light as air. I thought I’d lose my mind trying to cut out the pattern. Every breathe would move the fabric, but sewing it was super easy and it pressed perfectly.


The Ngaio Blouse and Fantail skirt combination is now my equivalent of a power suit for important dates at work. It feels fantastic to be cool, put together, and have that little swish follow me while I walk. Perfect outfit.

And lastly, I wanted to give Leimomi Oakes a huge shout out for including a sleeveless and sleeved option for the Ngaio blouse. Not only did she include both options, but she provided a different armscye for each version. That attention to detail is something missing from a lot of patterns, both Indies and the Big 4. It is one of those touches that has me eagerly awaiting what comes next.

Navy Fantail Skirt

There I was standing in the aisle of Harts Fabrics. My mom and I took a morning trip to Santa Cruz before heading back my sister’s wedding festivities. The morning hadn’t gone well. I’d promised my daughters some fun, but nothing was working out right. I was annoyed. I was mad. I was short tempered. My children were running in circles around the displays. But gosh darn it, I was going to find some pretty fabric.

Thankfully my mom started entertaining my older daughter by looking for some last minute wedding supplies and I was left with one child who we much better behaved once her partner in crime was occupied.

I wandered the aisles and kept coming back to the same roll of fabric. It was navy, it was twill, and it was rayon. Gorgeous and reasonably priced. 3 yards came home with me.


I had no idea what to make with this lovely fabric, but it did fit in with my capsule wardrobe color scheme. I just had to pick a pattern.


And then it hit me, Scroop’s Fantail Skirt. Could I make it with 3 yards of fabric? Yes! It even takes less than 3 yards of 60″ wide fabric. And I totally love the finished skirt. Look at those lovely pleats in the back. It has all the movement of an old fashioned skirt with the slim silhouette of modern clothing.


Such fun to swish around in. The only bummer is the fit is more slim than I expected. I made a size 42 graded out to a 44 at the hip. That should have given me plenty of ease, but yet it clings slightly more than I’d wanted. At least it isn’t too tight to wear, but next time I might size up a tad depending on the fabric.


But really, I don’t think I could have found a better fabric and pattern combination. The rayon twill drapes perfectly and this navy color will have me looking nice and professional even on the warmest summer day!