Colette Patterns Aster in Dotted Kaufman Chambray

Colette AsterI purchased the Aster pattern  by Colette Patterns the moment they released it into the universe back in 2015.  That image of the woman with the wide brimmed hat and crisp blue chambray button-up sold me. I could not get over the cuffed sleeves and the curved hem. If I had it my way, I would live in button-up shirts. Plus, V-necks are just magic when put on tiny torsos like mine.

Since this shirt was destined to be paired with black skinny jeans and Vans sneakers, casual chambray was the only option. I got this fabric from Fabric.com and I love it! The color! Oye! A perfect soft wine fabric dotted with baby white spots that are positively small and not too girly. The texture! So crispy fresh with a little give. You know, cool denim without looking like a denim shirt. We’ll call chambray the tender denim.

Colette Aster

The instructions were wonderful. I didn’t really need to use the sewalong, although I had them in front of me just in case. You never know when something might look weird.

Two problems with construction.

  1. BIAS TAPE. For whatever reason, the bias tape was really small. Like, I’ve never made it that small before so finding the right size stumped me. I cut down bias tape from already purchased tape to 3/4″ and that seemed to workout.
  2. THE CUFF. I worked on that cuff origami for seriously four hours. There was something about how you wrap it around or whatever that blew my mind. Thank you to everyone who posted pictures of your Asters because I zoomed in and stared at your sleeves for what seemed like days.

Everything else was fine. Even the neckline! I thought the neckline instructions were pretty straight forward. The only thing I really messed up I somehow made the shirt uneven in the front. Who cares though!

Another thing I learned in this project is how to store your interfacing. Let’s just say I totally forgot about where I stuffed my pile of interfacing, and had to reach for the parchment paper to carefully iron it out. Yeah. It’s nicely rolled up in a cardboard tube now. Thanks, Internet.

Colette AsterNow lets talk fit. I changed nothing. HEAR THAT WORLD?! Sewed up a straight size 0. I didn’t even shorten it. For a moment when putting the sleeves together I thought my tiny arm wouldn’t fit through the even tinier hole, but everything worked out just peachy.

Two things I don’t like:

  1. I don’t like is how it stays puffed out. Now, I know it’s because of the stiffer fabric. And I have washed it a few times so it’s softened up quite a bit. As a matter of fact, I hated the top until I washed it twice.
  2. The neckline. Guys, it doesn’t lay flat. I too thought mine would be different, but here I am with a neckline that doesn’t quite lay on my shoulders.

Things I LOVE:

  1. The overall fit is great! It has the most forgiving amount of ease without looking dumpy.
  2. The neckline and hem make this shirt.
  3. The cuffed sleeves are adorable and a great length.

Colette Aster

Colette Patterns Aster is a great pattern if you can figure out the cuffs and I think well worth the effort. I want to make it again in white rayon challis or in a navy rayon poplin. The front pleated version looks like a dressier version and would be super cute in a drapier fabric as well….like black silk. Ugh. With gold jewelry. Stop. It.

Not sure what to make next…I’m printing a pattern out as I’m typing right now, but not sure if I’m ready to commit to it yet. Happy sewing!! Thanks for reading!

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Clipboard Wall Art

Clipboard Wall Art

January, the time when people scramble to get their lives together and organize everything. I have a solution for you: GET CLIPBOARDS. Not only do they look good, but they also serve a function.

The problem started when the bare walls in my living room began driving me nuts. I was on the lookout for some type of mood board or inspiration wall that didn’t involve cork board. Sometimes I think cork board can go from functional cute to really effen cheap Bed Bath and Beyond wall decor at light speed. My wall needed something that illuminates my sources of inspiration, but also doesn’t look like elementary school Brenna pasted stuff on the wall. Enter the oh-so-multitasking clipboard.

This wall art not only brightens up my room, BUT it also holds my WIP’s, future patterns, along with scraps of fabric and other pieces of life that I want to see everyday to keep me moving. I’m pretty pumped that I found these in the dollar bins at Target. Gold is my new color/choice of metal right now. Shiny gold everything. Try and stop me.

Clipboard Wall Art

The clean lines, the grid pattern, and the shiny metal clips on my wall command organization. I want to clip everything under those tabs. To harness them in place, I used one Command strip per clipboard so I don’t have to worry about holes in the wall and I can move these guys around in case I want to add more (I want to add more).

I was just thinking how I could up my organization and motivation and then Beth from Sew DIY busted out this free download for your sewing journal. I could totally print out a page a month and post it on my wall….I’M. SO. PUMPED.

Sears Kenmore 1430

In the best news, my macheen is back!! Her timing belt was busted AND her tension was off!  UGH Just look at her now. All beaming and ready to sew. Unfortunately, it’s the busy season at my job so I’m down right exhausted after work and my numero uno rule in sewing is NEVER SEW WHEN TIRED. I’ve made too many mistakes to just jump right into a project when I should be jumping in bed.

Fashion Sketch Inari tee dressFashion Sketch Linden Sweater

I’ve been sketching up some patterns I want to work on. These aren’t winter appropriate outfits, but these silhouettes are just speaking to me right now. I have the jewelry for them so I MUST sew them up and wear them. I drew up this short sleeve Linden Sweatshirt last year,  but couldn’t find the right fabric. This year I WILL find the right fabric. The Inari Tee Dress will be sewn up in some black fabric and paired with this gold plate necklace that I got for Christmas. It just goes to show I need to start making my lists of things to make this year.

HAPPY 2017 everyone! I can’t wait to see everyone’s makes this year! Here’s to finally getting our list’s up and running!

 

 

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Aster

Colette Aster

I started this project months ago. I loved the v-neck and the curved hem. The drape seemed like it would be perfect in both rayon (my favorite fabric) and a chambray like fabric. When I finally got to putting things together last week I was super pumped and ready to wear this wine colored polka dot chambray (found at Fabric.com) button up.

Right now, this is where I stand with the Aster. Seriously, five minutes into sewing and machine starts misbehaving. The tension wouldn’t hold and I’m left scrambling to find the answers from the sewing gods on Google. Colette Aster

I LOVE the back of this top. I made a muslin and ZERO problems putting this part together. Colette does a great job with the instructions. HOWEVER.

WHO THE F!?&%$ uses 1/4 in bias tape?!?!? FO REAL. Be honest. This is where things get wonky. MAYBE. I mean, just MAYBE. I am totally unlearned to this whole, teeny tiny bias binding neckline. It’s totally possible. I spent a grip load of time rifling through texts trying to find how the BLANK wide, this bias tape should be. Don’t worry internet, I figured it out…..But holy BA JESUS. That was confusing.

Colette Aster

It was at this very seam that my machine went kaputz. The thread began to tangle relentlessly, the tension refused to maintain its equilibrium, and I knew at that that moment she needed to go in for a tune up.

Don’t worry, though, I get my machine back tomorrow and we’ll be back on track by this week. I want this shirt. GUhHHHH. Just look at that Color!.

Also, I couldn’t resist the urge to freaking glitter this bulb….I have glitter in my house, ok!?! What is a human supposed to do with an adorable light bulb when it burn out?!? Just throw it away?!

Glitter Light Bulb Ornament

Merry Christmas!! Happy Holidays!! I hope everyone has an AMAZING HOLIDAY WEEKEND!!!

DIY Glitter Acorn Ornament

DIY Glitter Acorn OrnamentI never thought that as an adult I would like playing with glitter, but here I am, 34, and living in an apartment fully stocked with glitter. To be fair, I couldn’t help it. I was on my daily walk with my dog, and I looked down and saw all of these adorable little brown nuggets just beaming at me. How could I not scoop up these tiny bellies with hats and stuff them into my pocket?!? At that moment a Christmas ornament idea overcame me. So here I am, sitting in an apartment with dozens of acorns, glue, and glitter.

DIY Glitter Acorn OrnamentThe process is simple and every step is important, but not as important as this: DO NOT MAKE BIG MOVEMENTS. I mean it. The second you make one grand gesture like stand up too fast, move your hand quickly to sneeze, bat the dog away, it’s over, you now have glitter in your house FOREVER.

acorn-49Step one: Gather your tools

  • Acorns or whatever you want to glitter (pine cones, old light bulbs, your children’s toys), scrubbed of any dirt
  • Glitter
  • glue or just Mod Podge
  • paint brush
  • newspaper or sheet of paper (crease paper in the middle so you can pour the excess glitter back into it’s container when you’re done)
  • Acrylic clear coat spray to assure that no glitter gets out of control
  • Fishing wire
  • Hot glue gun

acorn-54Step two: Lay your newspaper or paper our on table. While your at it set up a podcast  or Netflix cause you’re about to be stationary for a minute.

Step three: Apply a coat of glue or Mod Podge with brush

Set four: Apply glitter. I dumped a little pile of glitter in the crease of paper and rolled the acorn around in the glitter with a fork or end of my paint brush until it was fully covered. Let dry.

Step five: Apply coat of Mod Podge. Let Dry. Apply another Coat of Mod Podge. Let Dry.

Step six: Spray that son of a bitch down with the acrylic spray and then let dry.

Step seven: Cut some fishing wire to make into a hangy loop for acorn. I cut mine too long in the first pic. I like the acorns hung a little closer to the tree, it’s all up to you. Squirt a tiny glob of glue on top of the acorn and press the two ends of the fishing wire into glue to make a loop. Hold for a few moments to make sure it sticks.

Step eight: Go wash your hands and carefully CAREFULLY wipe down your table. Wash your hands again.

Now you can sit down and enjoy your handmade ornaments without ever worrying about rogue glitters all over your face…..hair….socks……sweater….on your dog…..in the sink…in your car?……at your job?! You’re welcome.

I hope you all have the happiest holiday season!!

DIY Glitter Acorn Ornament

 

Noelle Halter Swimsuit

 

Noelle Swimsuit-16-1I made a swimsuit!! After wearing this swimsuit countless times, I can confirm that I love this pattern. Thank you Madalynne for the Noelle bra pattern! I looked everywhere for a halter swim pattern. The style was on trend this summer and I loved it. The halter is the best way to show off your shoulders and not your boobs (an asset I always find overexposed with swimwear).

Noelle Swimsuit-15-1I made the smallest size and still shaved off an inch and a half from each side seam of the top. I could probably shave off a little more, as you’ll notice it’s still a little baggy in the back. I also didn’t add the bottom band to the bra top. I felt like it was too much swimsuit with a high waisted bikini. If I make a pair of low cut bottoms I will definitely add the band.

The bottoms are cheeky perfection. I lurv em. I might shave them down on the sides about a half an inch. I forgot you want more negative ease for the pool…the water tends to pull if you know what I’m saying.

Noelle Swimsuit-38-4 Noelle Swimsuit-42-5The pattern was easy to follow. You’ll notice only one strap on the bra…..lazy move that makes the top twist in the back, but I can’t see or feel it, so I DON’T CARE.

Noelle Swimsuit-56-8The swimsuit is fully lined, which gives it some heft and adds a nice compressed feeling. I might actually try this in actual bra form, but with Madalynne’s new bra patterns coming out I don’t know. That’s always the dilemma, right? Too many patterns with too little time? Anyway, I have other stuff to show you guys at some point. I’m just glad I finally got pictures up. Get this pattern! It’s free and prints in like basically no pages.

Noelle Swimsuit-48-6 Noelle Swimsuit-49-7 Noelle Swimsuit-62-9

Thanks for reading!

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Hudson Pants

hudson pant 1 (1 of 1)Sewing with someone else might be one of the best ways to spend a day off. I not only got to finish a much longed for pair of sweat pants, but also I got to teach someone how to use a sewing machine. Have you ever done that? Showed someone close to you your secret world of fabric cutting and sewing seams? It’s f*!#ing exhilarating.

hudson pant 2 (1 of 1)I bought the men’s Hudson pattern from True Bias for my boyfriend thinking I would be the one sewing them up. He recently had an accident that put him out of commission for a while so he decided to learn a few new hobbies. This guy, injury and all, traced the pattern, cut the fabric, and sewed these pants up. Guys, we are looking at my boyfriends first sewing project.

To make it easy on both of us, I sewed my Hudson pants at the same time. We alternated sewing one leg on mine and then one leg on his pattern. Teaching sewing this way made it easier to explain each step. It’s funny, I always consider my self almost a beginner sewer, but demonstrating things like thread tension and grainlines made me realize really how far along I’ve come with sewing. Watching someone else learn also inspired me to start sewing again. I kind of put it by the way side, but watching his excitement when his pants came together moved me.

He made a straight medium with zero changes. He’s about 6’3″ and 170lbs. He said for his next version he might go up a size. The medium is snug around his butt. We’ll call this version a wearable muslin, although he won’t wear them in public. The fabric is French terry from Fabric.com. It’s a lot thinner than I expected, you can see his underwear through them, but for learning to sew and work with knits, its perfect. The only problem he encountered was pulling the elastic through the waistband, but I mean, seriously, who doesn’t hate that mess?

hudson pant waistband (1 of 1)We omitted the drawstring from both waistbands. After cutting the elastic fairly snug, adding drawstrings to the pants seemed unnecessary.

I cut the smallest size for my Hudson pants and had to lop off two inches from the leg length and one inch from the cuff. I’m 105 lbs and 5 ft tall. They’re a little saggy in the butt, however, I think that’s because I’m lacking in that department. The fabric I used is a poly cotton knit that I purchased from Mood two years ago. It’s light weight and has a decent amount of stretch.

hudson pant leg cuff (1 of 1)This project was pretty easy to put together considering the final product. So many of my friends reacted in disbelief when I said that we made them. All the tiny details like the contrasting fabric on the pocket, the double stitching on the waistline, and the cuffed legs, make these sweat pants look professionally made.

Hudson Pantshudson pant with dog (1 of 1)We both really like this pattern and will definitely make another pair. Maybe together? Or maybe he won’t even need my help for the next pair. I guess we’ll see.

Thanks for reading!

Men’s Button-Down Shirt Refashion

Blue Shirtdress RefashionSummer finally arrived in Northern Kentucky just a few weeks ago. The second the oppressive heat wave came in, my brain went into creative overdrive trying to put together a breezy dress that I can live in the rest of the summer. I didn’t mean to post two refashions in a row, but here we are. Also, what timing. I didn’t know that The Refashioners 2015 series was one, starting today, and two, involved refashioning men’s button-down shirts.

Blue Shirtdress Refashion

I pulled this old man’s shirt out of my bag of thrifted clothes. It’s like an extension of my fabric stash. Sometimes I just can’t go full throttle on a project, I can only cut and hem. And maybe make bias tape, but that’s it.

I had this idea that I wanted to buy the Alder Shirtdress pattern from Grainline Studio, but didn’t know if I could commit to the shape of the dress. I thought if I liked this version, maybe I’d actually enjoy a real shirtdress pattern. One thing led to another and I found myself several feet deep in a garbage bag of used clothing searching for a shirt to cut up. I know, I know, my storage solutions are so Home and Garden.

It turns out that I do love this style. And this DIY is so simple. I will say, I have a SERIOUS advantage with my size. I’m tiny. I sometimes underestimate my size. Growing up my favorite book was Thumbelina. Her stories always made me feel at piece with my classmates calling me “shrimp” or “shorty.” I’m sure they meant those names lovingly.

I didn’t do a step-by-step tutorial because I felt the simplicity of this make was so easy I might have spent more time doing damage control from insulting your intelligence. The important part of this project is the fabric. Try to steer clear from stiff fabric. You want soft and drapey fabric.

Blue Shirtdress RefashionBlue Shirtdress Refashion
-Find a shirt long enough to make a dress and cut off the sleeves. Keep sleeve fabric for self-made bias tape!
-Pin down where you want your width of the dress.
-Here’s the only tricky part to this project. The armscye. I wanted a loose fitting dress with almost bra showing armholes. I marked where I wanted the dress to lay on my shoulders and swooped a curve line from the shoulder to where I pinned down the sides. Because this dress has so much ease I only had to worry about how much bra exposure I wanted.
-Make bias tape. I used this tutorial.
This tutorial for inserting binding into armhole.
-Hem if necessary to match sides.
-For modesty, I sewed up the bottom of the button placket below the last button so it wouldn’t spread open as I walked.

Blue Shirtdress Refashion Blue Shirtdress Refashion

Voooiiiillllaa! A shirtdress. Now that I know I like this style I might consider buying that pattern.

Another thing, is it too late to join the #sewphotohop? I’m three days behind already!

Thanks for reading!

DIY Kimono from Dress

DIY Kimono refashion

What do you do with a dress that you’ll never wear, but you love the fabric?

My friend unloaded a ton of her clothes on me before moving out of state. Some of them I wasn’t thrilled with, but a few I kept for no other reason than I loved the fabric. She was an impulse buyer and never wore most of the cheaply made dresses bought from places like Forever 21 and Love Culture.

This dress…who wears this stuff?

DIY KimonoDIY Kimono dress sleeve (1 of 1)

The bottom half of the dress seemed sufficient enough to make something with. To clarify, I am 5ft nothing weighing in at almost 100lbs so a lot of things are big on me.

I cut off the bottom half of the dress and removed the stretchy lining. For help and inspiration for this project I used these two sites here and here since I didn’t have a pattern. Luckily my fabric wasn’t too slippery so I didn’t spend time chasing it around my apartment.

My only qualm was that I didn’t have enough fabric to work with so I ended up with a cropped kimono. I even recycled the bias binding from the old dress for my neck band. I patted myself on the back for that one. I also kept the original hemline, which you know, shaves off like 20 minutes of sewing time. Love refashions.

DIY Kimono DIY Kimono refashion

I used the sliver of fabric leftover from the skirt to make bands for the sleeves. This added length to what little sleeve I had. All seams were finished with French seams. My favorite seams of all time.

DIY Kimono

Here’s a few things I learned from this project:

I didn’t even know I wanted a kimono. They serve no function in my wardrobe, but now that I’ve made this teeny one, I kind of want to make a few more. Longer of course.

Next time I’ll round the front panels so they drape better. The corners turn in already giving the illusion that I rounded them off.

DIY Kimono

I don’t look good in a fitted top + kimono. Tops must be drapey + drapey. Like the tank I wore here. It’s Grainline Studio’s Tiny Pocket Tank in white rayon challis. I made it a few years ago and wear it at least once a week in the summer. So this might be my new summer combo before all hell humidity breaks loose.

So there you have it. A tiny kimono draped over a tiny pocket tank.

Thanks for reading!

All things Tailored

Tailor tools (1 of 1)

Do your friends or coworkers ask you to fix their clothes? I know this is a popular discussion amongst sewers out there. I’ve read posts on learning how to say no to people and how to price out your work when you can’t say no. It’s all good information, but what if you’ve never done the thing they need tailored, do you still do it?

A coworker recently threw a blazer on me saying he needs it tailored in five days. Five days. He only needed it taken in a little, and luckily the coat didn’t have a back vent so I was able to slice out three inches from the center seam.

Here’s the thing. I’ve never tailored a coat before. That’s real. This guy, my coworker and friend, gave me a fancy coat to tailor only a few days before a wedding he’s attending. Do I tell him I’ve never done it before?

PFFFFTTTTT NO! Not me. Not this guy.

So I fitted his coat on a sidewalk next to my car a few blocks from our work in the middle of the afternoon. Never mind us people, we’re just pinching and pinning here.

The actual restructuring process took about an hour. Would’ve taken less time but I started taking pictures of the process as it happened. The most challenging part was just overall nervousness of fucking up. I mean, Jesus, he gave me his only fucking coat for this wedding. I know that’s his bad for poor judgement, but I really didn’t want the rest of our relationship to be like “and then she messed up my coat.”

Tailor newseamline (1 of 1)Tailor seamline chalk (1 of 1)

I actually loved the entire process. It’s like refashioning things, which I’m totally into.

I like seeing how clothes are put together. The real guts of an outfit, if you will. I’ve learned a lot about sewing this way. I mean you can read about sewing stuff and then you can bust out your seam ripper only discover that the SEAMS ON COATS AREN’T FINISHED?!?

Tailor unfinseams (1 of 1)

I get it, they don’t have to be finished because they’re housed by lining, but I was still shocked. Aren’t these items worth several hundred dollars?

Don’t we learn in sewing that finishing the seams helps the longevity of the clothing? See, this is why it’s important to tear up clothing made from the pros.

The coat fit him perfectly, by the way. I’m happy, he’s happy. I have a couple more things to fix for coworkers. Next up is a coral chiffon dress for a bridesmaid. It’s beautiful and I’m not going to mess it up. I am not going to mess it up.

Thanks for reading!

Prep Work

color pencils (1 of 1)

Hey guys. I’ve been thinking about my projects for the next few weeks. It’s always exciting getting another one started.

I read a post from Vivat Veritas about what happens when she doesn’t plan out her projects. It got me thinking about what everyone else does when they plan. Since teaching myself how to draw last year, I’ve become relentless about adding that step to project planning. I would liken it to carrying something around the store to make sure you want it. The more time I spend on it, the more time I have to figure out if this is actually something I’d wear.

The fun part of sketching the pattern is buying supplies. I love my pencils and paints. I’ve been talking to some artists recently about their illustration tools and I think I’m going to invest in markers. Maybe not Copic, but Prisma. Someone told me they’re just as rich in color, but less expensive.

My drawing process is pretty simple. Pencil first. Not mechanical. Go over sketch with micron pen. Erase. Then the fun part, much like stitching everything together under the sewing maching, coloring everything in.

Drawing tools (1 of 1)

Gouache paints

I’ve got a couple of black dresses drawn. Both are knit. Both will get worn. I can’t decide which will get made first.

Sketch Black Lady Skater (1 of 1)Sketch V1314 (1 of 1)

I recently switched gears and traced a pattern that I’ve had for a few years, Simplicity 3964. I think I’m going to make it a top with sleeves instead of a dress. Gahhh..I don’t know. I have a beautiful navy rayon challis that I would love in this pattern.

Sketch Simplicity 3964 (1 of 1)

So, how do you guys plan your sewing?