Mood

1/2/3/4

Sometimes when I’m struggle trying to pick out something to wear I ask myself one question “if you could wear anything in the whole universe right now, what would that look like?” And then I’ll pick the closest thing to that or put it on my sewing list.

This little routine exposes the big gaping holes in my wardrobe. Sometimes my closet feels like the swiss cheese of wardrobes when I’m getting dressed. It’s littered with pockets of items that I should probably have for my lifestyle, but have been too lazy to sew or the item has been nearly impossible to find in rtw.

This week I’m focusing on upscale casual. You know the restaurant/bar look. The one you wear your heeled boots to instead of those awesomely comfortable sneakers with your even more awesome vintage broken in hoodie. I’m looking at you 1980’s white UC Davis pullover with small unnecessary zipper. The outfits that might be kinda boringbalone, but then you throw on a scarf or statement jewelry and BOOM, now it’s an elevated look.

My goals this spring include some jeans, a jumper, a wrap dress, and a couple of basic tops into my sewing queue. BUT WHICH PATTERNS?!?! This might be my favorite part about the whole sewing process. The Hunt. That whole part where you get to draw out your ideas and look for the perfect fabric. You know, before the fitting woes take their toll on your dreams and gulp up an entire day then your left with a pile of fabric and shaky hands from all the coffee you thought would help you through the mess. Ahhhhhhh sewing.

I have some patterns floating around in my head:

  1. Ginger jeans 
  2. Roxanne top – but maybe not so hi low
  3. Hadley top
  4. Highlands Wrap dress

If you have any suggestions for some effortlessly chic patterns I WOUD LOVE to hear them!

Happy spring sewing guys! Thanks for reading!

Named Talvikki Sweater

Named Talvikki SweaterI have been dreaming about sewing the Talvikki Sweater from Named since last year. I even attempted cutting it out once, but when realized I didn’t have enough fabric I trashed the whole project. LIKE A DUMMY. I’m thinking we still have a few more weeks of cooler weather judging by the wintery mix I woke up to yesterday so there’s still time to enjoy cozy sweaters.

I straight up copied Heather’s from ClosetCasePattern’s version. NO SHAME. I loved how squishy and effortlessly cool it looked with the slide slit, but yet comfortable. The problem was I couldn’t find sweater fleece with any stretch. Luckily, I wasn’t the only person in sewing blogland who wanted to stitch up this pattern in a bulkier sweater without stretch. Named Talvikki Sweater Named Talvikki Sweater

Details

I sewed the smallest sized based on the finished measurements. I’m 5 ft nothing and weight about 100lbs. So tiny. The Talvikki Sweater definitely made me feel small. I’m not saying that I’m swimming in it, but the style is meant to be less fitted and more forgiving.

Fabric

Sweater fleece from Joann’s with little to no stretch. The only stretch it had was through the crossgrain so I cut out the fabric with the heathered flecks going down my body instead of across. I was too worried I wouldn’t get my head through the hole.

Modifications

I shortened the length of the sleeves by two inches and then cut the sleeve lengthwise down the middle and narrowed it by two inches to remove bulk from the sleeve.

Since the patterned calls for fabric with at least 30% stretch and mine had basically none, I had to modify the funnel neck by adding a half inch to the front and back pattern pieces at the neckline. Then I added one inch to the facing by placing the facing pattern piece one inch away from the fold line.

Stretch interfacing wasn’t necessary because my fabric is sturdy enough that it didn’t need it.

I did not hem the sleeves. It looks really stupid on me without the cuffed sleeve. So yay for shaving off five minutes of my sewing time!

Named Talvikki Sweater Named Talvikki Sweater

In Conclusion

This pattern is a quick sew. Seriously took only a few hours. The instructions are easy to follow. This is my first Named pattern and I am in love with their aesthetic. I wasn’t sure how to wear this sweater. The funnel neck is really wide and not something I’d normally wear, but I’m trying to branch out of what has been lovingly called “lesbian chic” style. You know, jeans, flannel, and a casual v neck with Vans slipons. This sweater makes me feel fancy, but also gives me a reason to wear bigger earrings. The earrings are the only way I’ve figured out how to balance that giant funnel neck that makes my head look like a tiny pea.

Will I make it again? Maaaaaaaybe. If I can find stretchier sweater fleece fabic that still has the structure, then Yes! I think a black one would look super cute and chic.

I’ve got one more turtleneck coming at ya shortly! Thank you for reading! Happy spring, guys!

 

Chambray Grainline Studio Archer

Seriously everyone has already made the Archer Button Up Shirt pattern from Grainline Studios and I feel a little beside myself for not making one sooner. I purchased the Archer pattern when Jen first released it in the beginning of time. I finally cut everything out last year and the pieces of fabric have been living peacefully in the same spot since summer 2017.

Sewing a shirt is not hard, but I thought it would be. I didn’t want to sew a button up because it always seemed intimidating no matter who said “don’t be scared this is easy.” They were right, obviously, and I feel stupid about it, kind of.

Here’s the thing about sewing a button up shirt: THERE ARE A LOT OF PIECES. Around 14 I think? Also, a lot of buttons. BUT, if you like sewing straight lines I promise you’ll like sewing this shirt. Just get over the big scary words like PLACKET, BUTTON HOLES, and COLLAR STAND. I swear they are nothing more than a bunch of straight lines followed by a couple of clipped curves.

If you have any concerns about the pattern, just follow the sewalong. Jen basically holds your hand through the ENTIRE project. And if you don’t like her version of how to put together the collar, use Andrea’s tutorial, she’s a wizard.

Fitting. The Archer Button Up is supposed to be a loose fitting shirt. I sewed a size two even though deep down I knew I should have sewn a size smaller (judging by the finished measurements), but I didn’t want to change too much on my first try. So my shirt is extra loose fitting and the shoulder drops past my actual shoulder too much, which I don’t want to hate as much as I do. I did shorten the sleeves by two inches. Also, why on earth I didn’t shorten the bodice blows my mind. I’m 5ft nothing, this thing completely covers my ass.

Dear Brenna, you are tiny, please shorten bodice by at least two inches. Thank you.

I made a note to myself a year ago that I should sew the side seams and sleeve seams at 5/8 instead of ½, but totally forgot. Next time.

Fabric. I purchased this poly cotton chambray about six years ago on ebay. Love the color and it presses well. The copper buttons are from an Etsy seller from a few years back. And the fusible interfacing is from Fashion Sewing Supply. Love their stuff.

Not that you can tell in the photos, but I accidentally used interfacing that’s too stiff. I don’t know which one I used. I have several different weights, but I don’t remember which one I cut out, so that’s pretty cool. It makes the drape on the shirt more stiff than I wanted, but again, first time. I’m not going to be hard on myself.

I love the shirt and want to make another one in a drapier fabric like rayon challis or voile.

Guys, thank you for reading and it’s finally spring! We did it!

 

Monday Mood

1/2/3/4

You guys, it’s been a while. So much has happened since last January, but lets not get caught up in the details, unless you wanna talk about turtlenecks. That’s right, I can’t stop looking at them. If there is one thing that’s been on my mind recently, it’s turtlenecks. My number one guess? I suspect it’s the sub arctic wind chills we’ve been having in the Midwest. I can’t even look at my beloved rayon challis without piling on another layer of socks.

Let’s talk patterns. True Bias just released this little diddy and I am truly excited about it. Not only does it look super easy sew, BUT I’ve been wanting to remake that sleeveless turtleneck dress from CupcakesandCashmere for a really long time. It’s so chic and put together. You could easily throw on a slouchy cardigan or get some structure with a blazer. Ugh. I love it.

I’ll just breeze through the next two because it’s 15 degrees outside and I want both of those patterns made in sweatshirt fleece, on me, right now. They’re like casual athletic, but super stylish. My favorite version, hands down, is from Closetcasepattern’s genius Heather Lou. THIS SWEATER is the business when it comes to combining fleece and elegance. They pose as sweatpants, but you’re holding a champagne flute. (But not like the people who show up to brunch on Sundays legit wearing sweatpants acting like they’re too busy to put on real pants. Let’s be real).

That’s all. I miss writing on here and I miss sewing. Until next time guys!

 

 

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!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

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!

 

 

Save

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!

Save

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!