It’s pattern release day again! This time it’s the Cross My Heart Cami. I love these days, especially if I’ve been able to test the pattern prior to the release. It’s so fun to see all the testers’ garments and then exciting waiting to see for what everyone else starts to sew up!
Judy at Patterns for Pirates has done it again with this pattern. As soon as I saw the concept, I knew I wanted to make a million of them. In fact, I did make a ton during testing…well, four to be exact. That’s a lot for me in one week! I think the floral version below is my favorite…but I really do love them all. Especially paired with this semi-sheer sweater knit Pumpkin Spice Dolman (I widened the neck by 1.5″ and made a longer neckband).
The pattern has options for a regular length cami, tunic length, and a cropped/bralette length. I made all cropped length because 1) I like the style and 2) I wanted to use up a bunch of fabric scraps. It’s definitely a great project for that! In addition to the length options, there’s also V and scoop necklines, and these different decorative strap options; high front X pictured above. I was the most obsessed with this version, but I did make some of the others too.
For the white one, I used a cotton jersey, made the plain V front but then added stretch lace for some added interest. I looooooove it. On the back, I used the scoop neckline, high X and also added lace there too. In hindsight I should have added some length (probably about 1″) to the high X binding on the back due to shoulder width. But I don’t feel it pull nor does it bother me, so that’s good. Paired with a Summer Kimono.
For the leopard print version, I used a single brushed poly, the plain scoop neckline for the front and then the low X with V neckline for the back. I’m not gonna lie to you, the single brushed poly was not fun to work with, especially when it comes to sewing the straps/binding. But more on that later. And it’s extremely comfy; I’m wearing it now in fact! So I’d say it was worth it for this one.
For the plain black one, I used a supplex/yoga blend, high X front and V neckline back. This one is also awesome, because it’s so basic it goes with everything. The supplex gives a bit more support too, so I may have even slept in this one a few times already…it’s that great. Paired with a modified Pumpkin Spice Dolman in sweater knit.
And lastly, the floral one I lead with is double brushed poly. Soooooo soft; I don’t even realize I’m wearing it! I made the high X front and V neckline back on this one, too. It’s a winning combo. Paired with a brushed poly Sweet Tee mashed with Mama Ava neckline.
Ok, now on to the question everyone’s asking. Is the binding difficult? In my experience, not really! I mean, you do need to be careful to keep your stitching straight and go slowly, but it really isn’t as scary as it looks. The instructions in the pattern tutorial are great. In fact, I actually found making the binding to be pretty cathartic in a way. When you iron it down and it’s all perfectly straight…nothing like it. 😉 I may be crazy. But just thinking about it making me want to make another one! Paired with a modified Pumpkin Spice Dolman in sweater knit.
Also, I gave my twin needle a run for it’s money with all of these. It worked like a champ; no issues at all! I couldn’t even believe it myself. If you need some tips on using twin needles/what even are they?!, I have a tips and tricks post launching soon on the Patterns for Pirates Blog. Keep an eye out for that one!
I will say this. If you don’t have a serger, it will be a little harder for you. This is because the pattern tutorial suggests serging the edges of the bands to help guide you when pressing and topstitching. It helps a LOT. If you don’t have a serger, it would benefit you to use some kind of faux-serge stitch and trim the edges…you’ll have to experiment.
As a parting gift, here’s a quick little guide on how to attach the lace like I did on the white version.
How to Add Lace Accents
1. Using stretch lace, cut the lace the same length as your binding pieces, for whichever neckline you are using.
2. After you’ve attached and folded over the binding as directed in the tutorial, pin the right side of the lace to the wrong side of the neckline/binding. In the picture below, the fabric is right side up.
3. Repeat for the back as well, if you’d like. Then, sew it on as you topstitch the binding, per the pattern tutorial. Here’s how it should look all said and done; wrong side up shown on the bottom of the picture, right side up shown at the top.
4. Be sure to catch the edge of the lace on the side of the shoulder binding as you attach it.
5. Finish the shirt as the pattern tutorial directs. That’s it – easy peasy!
I’m absolutely going to make more of this cami; most likely my next one will be another with lace accents, but probably tunic length. Here’s to making shirts which are actually long enough for my tall self! Never an option with store bought items, which is the big reason I started sewing in the first place. It’s so awesome having clothes that fit right!