Y’all I am so excited and I can’t even BELIEVE this is real!! The Patti Pocket Skirt aka my first ever PDF pattern is now live in the shop and available for purchase!!!!!!!!! Sorry not sorry for all the exclamation points.
Guys! I made my first swimsuit!! .. and yes it’s true my husband hates it. I won’t go into all the details of the complexities of my husbands issues with my wardrobe choices. But lets just say his preferred bikini style is a bit more.. teeny weenie? Nevertheless, I made a swimsuit and I look like a mermaid so IDGAF! Details & pattern review to follow.
When my friend Colleen asked me to be one of her two bridesmaids I of course said yes. When she asked me to make the outfits I immediately thought of the Gabriola skirt by Sewaholic patterns. This skirt LOVES your body. It is so sleek and beautiful, I feel like a million bucks wearing it.
Unfortunately I don’t have a whole lot of reasons to wear it. This beautiful satin taupe fabric is a little to formal to wear on a daily basis. Maybe paired with a t-shirt like so, but even then I’d have to at least have somewhere to go (no grocery store runs in this baby).
For the pattern I cut a size 6 waist and blended into a size 2 hip. It’s a little loose so I could have gone with a size 4 waist, I may even still alter it at some point. Sewaholic’s patterns are drafted to favor a pear shaped body, so pay close attention to the sizing chart when cutting out your pattern.
My favorite thing about this pattern aside from the beautiful drape is the seaming. The seam detail around the waist and hips really accentuates the body, and creates wonderful lines. The intricate piecing gives great opportunities for color blocking. I’d love to make this skirt in a stripe and experiment with the stripe placement.
Here are a few pictures taken from the wedding. Lauren, the other bridesmaid, and I chose our own blush colored tops to go with the skirts. Colleen is wearing her great-grandmothers wedding dress (which was also her grandmothers AND her mothers) from the 1900s!!! So beautiful. It’s a miracle this picture turned out so well because it was QUITE a cold day in Brooklyn.
Bonus material: the morning after this wedding, the Gentleman asked me to marry him 🙂
Pattern: Gabriola skirt by Sewaholic Patterns
Fabric: Satin Taupe from Mood
Notions: Invisible zip
Adjustments: Cut a 6 waist and 2 hip, (should have cut a 4 waist & 0 hip) Took in some at hip.
Finishes: Serged seams, baby hem, clean finished waistline
Time: 3 hours?
Sew it again? Yes! Hopefully in a stripe 🙂
Well HELLO there gang! I’m back from my over-a-month-long hiatus to introduce you to my new friend.. Banjo! He’s an 11 week old Boston Terrier and my new little buddy. Between getting married and obtaining this little cutie things have been a little wacky in the last couple months (hence my interweb silence). But I’m more than ready to get back to business in the sewing room and sharing my makes with you fine folks… plus I have so many great wedding DIY’s to share – including my dress(es). More to come on that when my pictures come in!
Today I have this little floral Tiny Pocket Tee to share. The pattern is by Grainline Studio and its my first time to ever revisit a pattern. I’m trying to do this more often with my favorite pieces to create variety with simple shapes that I already know I love.
With my first Tiny Pocket Tank I ended up lowering the armholes after I sewed and fit the garment. So I knew before I cut that I wanted to make adjustments. I made these adjustments to my paper pattern before I cut the fabric. I lowered the armhole by about 1″, and in doing so had to lengthen by armhole bias binding by adding 1 1/4″.
This silk floral print fabric was some leftover I had from a school project blazer lining that I never blogged. It’s such a pretty print, and so slinky and soft! I did a contrast pocket from a scrap of chambray I used for my first tiny pocket and my vintage romper. I think the navy chambray compliments the floral silk nicely.
As with my other tiny pocket, I finished the insides with french seams. Neckline and armhole openings are finished with bias tape as the pattern specifies. There aren’t a ton of seams in this pattern so the extra step to do french seaming is minimal effort for a really beautiful & upscale effect.
This is such a great and easy pattern to execute. I love Grainline Studio for their focus on shapes that can be used as closet staples. These tanks get a lot of wear. I think next I’d like to try their scout tee.
Pattern: Grainline Studio Tiny Pocket Tank
Fabric: Floral Silk and Navy Spotted Chambray from stash
Difficulty: Super Easy
Adjustments: Lowered armhole 1″
Finishes: French Seams, bias finished armholes and neckline to the inside
Time: Maybe 1 hour?
Sew it again? Truly I think theres no limit to the amount of tiny pockets one can have in their wardrobe. I’d love to give Jen’s dress hack of this pattern a try.
I’m pleased to introduce y’all to a new series I call Sew the Runway. I was inspired to start this series when I started noticing strong similarities between the fashion I see in magazines and on the runways and the sewing patterns released by both indie and larger name pattern companies. And why not? The trends apply to anyone that wears clothes, and the modern day sewist wants to wear fresh, stylish looks just as much as any other consumer. I think we the makers are lucky to have such an emergence of tasteful, fashion-forward designers in the sewing pattern industry. We’ve come a long way from Buttericks and Simplicity (not to say those patterns aren’t relevant – many are), and I wanted to use this series to highlight some of these forward thinking pattern designers as well as showcase how current trends can be recreated right from your own sewing machine.
This particular style is not new by any means – I think its safe to say that it was more or less invented by Chanel back in the day. But these days you will find designers experimenting beyond it’s tweed godmother, using materials denim and even leather. Ace & Jig (left) does an adorable quilted version in sustainable textiles with contrast piping. Named Clothing’s Lourdes Jacket (right) has the traditional fit but with added princess seam pockets and an adorable scooped sleeve hem detail. Jackets like these are so versatile during those “medium” seasons when the temperature is up and down or you are sitting in a chilly restaurant… and the cut is super flattering over any outfit. This could be a fun one to experiment with.
THE BOYFRIEND COAT
Adapting menswear looks has been a growing trend over the past few years. These days you can find a “boyfriend” version of everything – which really just means oversized and slouchy. The oversized blazer style coat is growing among menswear prone fashionistas. Oversized pieces are just so cozy, yet their clean lines keep things chic and not sloppy. Selena Gomez demonstrates it’s effortlessness in an issue of Teen Vogue (left). And French pattern company Republique du Chiffon’s Gerard Coat (right) is an absolute stunner – with oversized patch pockets to boot! This one is definitely on my make list for fall.
OVERSIZED SHIRT DRESS
Seriously though… who doesn’t love a shirtdress? Especially a lovely flowy one with plenty of room. This image of Rodebjer’s Aker Shirt Dress (left) has taken over pinterest recently. Meanwhile, BurdaStyle released its own version (right) that includes some clever pleated back detail. Only one question remains: sew it in a crisp solid or a fun printed silk? Bet you cant guess what I’d pick. 😉
RELAXED PLEATED TROUSERS
Another style arguably borrowed from the boys. Relaxed fit trousers look chic with sandals and a fitted tee or heels and a silk button down – again with the versatility! Delpozo does a very crisp version in a muted salmon (left). Sew your own using BurdaStyle’s pleated hight waist pant pattern (right). You cant go wrong with a cuffed hem.
SPLIT-FRONT PENCIL SKIRT
Side, princess, and back seams are more common places to find skirt slits. Lately folks are shaking things up by not only throwing a slit in the front but curving into the slit to add some interest. This Jill Stuart skirt (left) I spotted in Lucky Magazine gave me the idea for this series. It immediately called to my mind the Vanamo Two Piece Cocktail Dress by Named Clothing (right). You really get a two for one deal with that pattern as you can wear the pieces together or mix and match them into your wardrobe.
Aaaaaand thats it for Part 1 of Sew the Runway! If you enjoy this series or have spotted your own high fashion/indie pattern look-alikes I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Simone was yet another double make for this past Christmas. I made the top version for my bestie Jessica, and went ahead and whipped up this dress version for myself! One of the things I love about piggybacking my personal makes on gifts for others is how differently one pattern can be interpreted. Really, thats what I find interesting about all my wardrobe makers out there. There are truly endless possibilities. For instance, Jess saw this pattern and loved the top version. She immediately envisioned it in solids to let the details shine. Me? I was drawn toward the hi-lo dress version and just HAD to cut it in some contrasting prints. So funny huh!?
The pattern is “Simone” by Victory Patterns. Victory is a great little indie sewing pattern company with TONS of great top & dress patterns. I think I have nearly ALL of their dress patterns on my “to sew” list. I was glad to finally try one of them out. I found the instructions to be very clear, with helpful illustrations. I purchased the printable pdf version (I usually go this route – partly because I’m cheap and partly because I like to recycle and print my patterns on the back of junk mail and scrap paper). The pattern itself has a lot of complex details, with front pleating, an asymmetric hem, and a cut-out front with a button tab. I was unsure about the tab at first, I even considered eliminating it. But something made me decide to stick with it and I’m glad I did, its a cute detail and another way to incorporate the complimentary fabric.
As far as fabric goes, I chose this beautifully printed crepe de chine I was lucky enough to inherit from an internship from my days in NYC. OH how I miss the perks of working in the garment district! I brought RIDICULOUS amounts of free fabric with me to Texas and feel fortunate enough to have accumulated quite the stash – especially since the nearest fabric store that isn’t Walmart is a JoAnn’s 45 miles away. The contrast fabric I used on the racerback, front piping, and tab is actually from a pillowcase set I picked up at a thrift store interestingly enough. I love rustic stripes and figured I’d use them to make a skirt or as a secondary fabric for something. Its a medium weight cotton and provides great structure for all those curves in back. I think the two fabrics work great together! (you guys actually helped me pick them out on instagram)
I didn’t make a ton of changes to the pattern. Really the most notable thing I did was omit the side zipper. I took a chance and decided it wasn’t needed and I turned out to be right. The body is so flowy, and there is a lot of room in the arm area since its a racer back, that I just didn’t think a zipper was necessary. I’m SO not a fan of unnecessary zippers. Granted, those a little more – ahem – blessed may need the extra room a zipper provides to get into the dress. I personally don’t have that problem and would much rather wiggle my way into a dress than deal with a zipper – lazy I know. For the top (pictured below) I did take out some of the “flare” in the hem as requested by Jessica. I agreed with her on this move, as there is plenty of room and body provided by the front pleats, that the excess flare at the side seam can be omitted for a little more shape. That’s really it for changes to the pattern. The armhole had lots of room (again with the racerback) so I didn’t need to make my usual dropping the armhole adjustment.
For inside finishings I used my serger to clean finish most seams. The armhole and neckline are finished with bias binding I cut in the contrast fabric. I was even thoughtful enough (aka decided not to be lazy) and changed my topstitch thread for each fabric for the binding so everything would blend really nicely. (note – I was still too lazy to change the bobbin thread as you can see below) The hem is just a 1/4″ turned hem. I had a little trouble with the crepe de chine and the drastically curved hem but the print is crazy enough that its quite forgiving (another perk for fun prints!)
This dress is just so fun and easy and light! I think it will get a LOT of wear this summer and I just can’t wait to prance around in it. It is extremely comfortable, forgiving enough to go bra-less (a MUST in Texas summers), and versatile enough to wear with sandals or dressed up with heals. I just love that about silk prints. Another thing I need more of in my life! Yet another plus is that it really doesn’t need ironing – I’ve been trying make less clothing that requires ironing because…who really likes to iron? I do more than enough ironing when I’m sewing the darn things!
As I mentioned at the start, Jess wanted solid colors for her top. That was really the only guidelines she gave me “Solid colors, nothing to bright.” I combed through my stash and found this grey stretch twill and thought it worked great with this lightweight pink twill I had. I just love this color combo! I thought the pink would be too much to use on the front yoke, I wanted it to look clean and simple so I only used it on the racerback, the neck piping, and the front piping.
I took some inspiration from the Simone’s on Victory’s site and decided to experiment with some decorative stitching on the front yoke since I was using solid colors. You know me – I just cant leave well enough alone! I just chose a stitch from my machine, and black thread. I started 1/4″ from the cut out opening on each side and continued each row 1/4″ apart from the previous. I’m super happy with the way it turned out. I think just a plain yoke would have been a little… blah. I dont think I’ve ever used decorative stitching from my machine on a garment before, I look forward to giving it a try again.
Pattern: Simone by Victory Patterns
Fabric: Dress: Floral Print Crepe de Chine, Cotton stripe (from a pillowcase) Top: Grey stretch will, pink twill cotton? – all from stash
Notions: Accent button for front tab
Difficulty: Intermediate – a little tricky business with that front yoke and those pleats
Adjustments: Removed zipper, took out flare for the top version
Finishes: Serged seams, bias bound armhole and neck, 1/4″ turned hem
Time: about 2 1/2 hours each
Sew it again? Yes! so comfy and easy!
Well that about sums up this project. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
This dress was another 2-for-1 off the sewing table. I made one at the request of my cousin for her Christmas/Birthday, and one for myself (conveniently we’re the same size!) I had a little fun with these dresses as I wanted to make them each different, so I cut them both out of white linen and experimented with a unique DIY dyeing technique for each one. In an effort not to make this a ridiculously long post.. I’m focusing on the version I made for myself in ombre yellow dyed with onion skins.
The pattern is by Pauline Alice and is available here. I have to say this dress is quite adorable. I’m really into the whole drop-waist situation lately, and y’all know how much I adore pockets! So throw some pockets into the seam of a drop waist dress and I’m one happy camper. I love the idea of an easy dress that you can just throw on with flats and run to the store or dress up with heels for a night out. Versatility + Comfort = A+ in my book! I’ve definitely been focusing on adding more items that fit this description into my wardrobe.
This was my first time sewing with a Pauline Alice Pattern and over all I was quite pleased. The instructions were very clear, I didn’t have to make any fit changes, and the pattern came together quite easily. The only change I made to the pattern was my usual dropping of the underarm – not something that would be necessary for everyone but I’ve started doing it to all my patterns lately because I’m such a spaz about a tight fitting underarm. Maybe I’ll do a tutorial on this at some point, yes?
The ombre dye using onion skins was something I’ve had in mind to try for a long time. Coincidentally enough, we use a lot of yellow onions at the restaurant… so I have an infinite supply of yellow onion skins. When I saw this technique on Maddie’s blog (AMAZING sewing blog if you’re not familiar with it) I just had to give it a try. I highly recommend this tutorial – actually a guest post by Argaman & Defiance – definitely check out their website for great products and inspiration. I’ve done a lot of research on natural dyes and this tutorial is one of the most straightforward, clear, and easy to follow that I’ve seen out there. I’m more than happy with the results and cant wait to try it again with other projects. Although I’d be hard pressed to use this technique to do a solid color – the ombre just looks so cool! I will say to let the fabric get WAY darker than you think you want – there is a LOT of color fading after you rinse (obviously you should do a test run too).
If I were to make another one of these dresses (which I very well might) the only thing I’d do differently is remove the little cap sleeve and make it a simple sleeveless silhouette. In the pictures the sleeve looks ok but in reality I feel its a little odd. It kinda reminds me of those military epaulettes – not quite enough to be a sleeve so it just sort of flops on the top of the shoulder. Maybe it’s just me. Its definitely not enough to keep me from wearing the dress. I even thought about changing it on the current version but decided that it didn’t bother me enough to go through the effort of fixing it. #lazysewerprobs
A few words on the little details: 1) I cut the pattern as is and took a 2″ hem – which I think is a little more than the pattern stated. I did this because I wanted the dress to be a bit shorter – I think it makes the loose fit a little more fun and youthful. I also just prefer a thicker hem – I feel it makes the skirt fall better, especially with thicker fabrics. 2) I love the in-seam pockets with the skirt gathers at the opening! Such an interesting touch. 3) I tried something different with the facings and ran the loose ends through my blind stitch machine instead of hand-tacking them down (more #lazysewerprobs). It obviously shaved away some time but it also makes the insides much nicer and secure. The only thing is that it shows through just a bit more than I’d like it to on the front.
Pattern: Malvarosa Dress – Pauline Alice
Fabric: White Linen – from stash
Notions: Thread – thats it!
Adjustments: Lowered Armhole, 2″ hem
Finishes: Serged edges, blind stitched hem
Time: Approx 2 hrs (not including dye time)
Sew it again? Yes! (But without the little sleeve cap.)
This top is the result of a pattern test that I did for Beth at Sew DIY. I saw her put a call out for pattern testers on Instagram along with a teaser pic of the cutest little top, I knew that it was going to be such a fun make so I immediately contacted her. Plus, I’m kind of a sucker for boxy tops… Aren’t we all?
The top is as simple as its name, a little box top with no more than five seams that was super easy to cut and sew. I of course complicated things for myself by using a super drapey and super soft silk. You can see the results of these complications in my wonky curved hem – still getting used to sewing with the good stuff.
One of the coolest things about this pattern is that it has several mix and match variations to choose from. Beth has drafted the pattern and written the instructions to easily adapt to being sewn in either a woven or a knit. There are also multiple necklines and hemlines from which you can choose, and the pattern is made so that you can switch back-and-forth easily depending on which variation combo you want to make. It’s a very unique way of pattern drafting, and I don’t think I’ve seen anyone really do it like this before… Go Beth!
I chose the curved hem and the scoop neck for my pattern test. When made up in a woven, the instructions call for you to leave a slit in the center back with a button loop closure at the back neck. When I was cutting mine out I noticed that my head could easily fit through the scoop neck line, so I decided to omit this feature. If I would’ve thought of this before I was cutting, I could have omitted the whole center back seam … Making it an even quicker sew! I of course had to add a pocket, which I cut from a cute little floral silk from my scrap stash that happened to match my body fabric perfectly.
I chose French seams because well, they look pretty. Also I’m challenging myself to really take time to make the insides of my garments look just as good as the outsides. Since I chose french seams, the hem was even more challenging as I had to figure out how to easily transition from the cuved hem into the sideseam. The instructions call for a little split at the sideseam, but I could not acquire this with my French seams so I chose to omit that as well.
Overall, I’m super happy with this top. I definitely plan on experimenting with the different variations and making many more in the future. Also it was my first time sewing with this fabric – it’s been in my stash for a while and it’s so dreamy! I’ll be wearing this one a lot! Not sure when she will be officially releasing this one – I’d follow her on instagram if you want to keep yourself posted.
Ok so I know its fall and everything for all you nice people up north. But down here in the great state of Texas, we are still seeing days that reach ninety… so no, I’m not THAT crazy for posting this make in October. (okay so I meant to post it earlier this summer but I just procrastinated a bit – jeez)
This McCalls pattern was a junk store find, and one that I just had to actually make (as opposed to letting it sit all lonely-like in the pattern bin). And if you really want to talk about procrastinating, I actually made it LAST summer. If you remember (and of course you do), it was part of my sewing goals for Spring/Summer 2013! This little outfit is so much fun to play around in with little sneakers on a super hot day, or dress up with heels for a retro-pin-up look at night to an outside concert or something. Sometimes I put this on and think .. “Is it TOO much?” and then decidedly answer “NO WAY!” and prance out the door to the delight of many compliments and admirers. 🙂
I love refashioning projects because there is so much great vintage/used clothing out there made with beautiful textiles that are just sitting on the shelf/on the rack/in the basement because the silhouette is out of date or something is damaged or theres just no use for them. Refashioning breathes new life into those items and they get to re-enter the world with a big smirk and a brand new strut. Plus I like to think that it potentially keep these lovely little beauties from eventually clogging up the landfills.
This is one of those items that I’ll have to admit even I didn’t see much potential in. But I got to hand it to the Gentleman – he has a pretty good eye for fun pieces. This little apron/smock was a last minute grab, you know the one you spot while your already in the check out line? The gentleman picked it up and said “what about this!?” Me: (eyebrows raised – unsure if my man’s judgement has gone off a bit) “um…I guess I can make it into a dress?” I love the idea of an “apron dress” don’t get me wrong, but these colors were SO BRIGHT and the print was SO WACKY I thought it would be too much.
Boy was I wrong! What a lovely little transformation from smock apron to bright vintage summer dress. Luckily I had the perfect little matching bandeau to wear underneath. This dress is so comfy and cool for hot days, and I get so many compliments on it! I especially love the pocket detail.
|Bandeau: American Apparel, Shoes: Lotta from Stockholm, Pearls: Vintage – from my grandmother|
The adjustments I made to make this little gal wearable were all pretty small changes that really made a big impact on the silhouette. I took in the sides, which moved a lot of the open space from under my arms to the center back. I added buttons and button holes down the center back of the apron to close the flap and make it into a skirt – aren’t the buttons so perfect? Lastly I hemmed it. I generally hem all of my vintage finds since I’m teetering on the shorter side and they tend to hit me in a weird place. Usually I get a little over-zealous and make the hem too short, but I’m finally starting break this habit and I think I hit this hem just right. I used the excess I removed from the hem to make my button and button hole plackets in the back which I also fused for stability.