You guys getting sick of seeing my Union St. Tee hacks???
I’ll be honest. I’m not. Hack all the Unions!!! That’s my motto.
I feel like three things really merged together for me to end up with this top:
- I’ve had this shoulder ruffle hack from the Megan Nielsen blog as one of my browser tabs for a verrrrrry long time,
- I’ve really wanted to try making something with velvet,
- and my in-laws booked family photos for a bit after Christmas
So there you have it.
For the family pictures, a color scheme was decided upon and I was fine with it until I went through my closet and didn’t find anything I’d be excited to wear for the photos. I had all but given up on the idea of making myself anything festive for the holidays but when professionally taken photographs that will end up in other people’s homes are threatened, I’ll occasionally make an exception. Of course, I wasn’t at all sure that what I was attempting would work out, but I knew if I could find the right fabric the rest wouldn’t take long at all so I just decided to go for it.
I found this fabric at Harmony in Provo, Utah. I mentioned this cute shop before but I really love it and love that my parents live close to it. Finding independent brick and mortar apparel fabric shops is insanely rare these days. Even rarer to find one that offers quality fabrics. Harmony fits the bill and I will gladly add going there to the itinerary every time we’re in town for a visit.
I believe this velvet was $12/yd (or maybe $12.99…I can’t remember) and I purchased 1 yard. I would’ve been excited if I could have found some mustard colored velvet (another color in our family photo color scheme), but this is what they had which also fits the color palette. And, I mean, I’m no stranger to gray so this definitely works. The one yard was actually plenty to cut out a size medium, even with the long sleeves and ruffles. I did play a bit of fabric tetris-where you fold just to the size of the piece you’re cutting. Of course, I made sure to keep everything on grain, even with all of the folding/refolding. Keeping things on grain is always important and maybe even more so when your fabric has a certain nap to it.
This was my first time working with velvet and it didn’t pose any particular problems. It is a bit funky and you might find yourself covered in furry little fibers at the end of your sewing session, but it really isn’t too tricky. For the ruffle, I followed the instructions on the Megan Nielsen blog post but I did change one thing: She cuts out four pieces and then sews two pieces together to make one ruffle. I wanted to cut out the step of sewing two pieces together. To cut out that step you can either use the pattern piece she has you make and cut your fabric on the fold along the straight edge or you can mirror that pattern piece so that your pattern piece looks like an oval (but with pointier ends) and cut out two. I did that latter (with the almond-ish pattern piece). It was very easy; you just fold, iron and then baste along the curved end. I do have to say that I’m just now realizing that I totally forgot to remove the seam allowance, so my ruffle is bigger than the one on the tutorial. Oh well, it still works.
I’m always apprehensive about trying out a new for me look. When I put this top on I was a little bit worried that it was too much. And I don’t even know what it was too much of. But I showed Ben and texted a picture to my sister and they both gave thumbs up. Letting things sit for a bit also helps. No, I can’t say I’ve worn this top a ton but I do think that I like it enough to wear it for our family pictures. I also like any shirt that stays within the realm of comfort while also giving the impression that you’re at least in part a responsible adult. Because this is velvet I envision wearing it to lower key holiday parties (you know, where my ugly sweater isn’t quite appropriate) but I think it’s also appropriate for just any ol’ day, you know, during winter.
Pattern: Union St. Tee from Hey June Handmade (you can see another Union St. Tee hack here)
Adjustments: Adding shoulder ruffles. I shortened the bodice and the long sleeves by about 2 inches.
Fabric: Velvet from Harmony Provo
Cost: Fabric was under $13, everything else I had in my stash (including the pattern but for reference the pattern costs $10)
Would I make this pattern again: Obviously I’ll make the Union again and again. As far as the shoulder ruffle, I do think I’ll add it again sometime. It’s an easy addition to the pattern to change the look of a basic tee
Would I make something with velvet again: Yes! It’s kind of a funny fabric but I like that it’s just kind of extra. I’d love to do just a basic tee using a colorful velvet. I also recently saw some kids jogger pants out of velvet and they were adorable! I’ll have to add that to my list as well!
Thanks for reading, guys! Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!