Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Vintage McCall's 3835

McCall's 3835 Front

This was my first finished garment of the year. I actually started this overall dress back in December but the topstitching was giving me so much trouble that I set it aside for a while. My machine just didn't want to stitch over even one layer of this lightweight denim with topstitching thread and it was super frustrating. I finally cleaned and oiled my machine and came back to the project with more patience. In the end it was totally worth persevering. This is McCall's 3835 from 1973. Oh how I adore 70's fashion, I am a child of the 70's after all. I found the pattern on sale on Etsy and just had to have an overall dress. I used some Japanese cotton Denim leftover from the Miette Wrap skirt that I made for my friend Gretchen.
  McCall's 3835McCall's 3835 McCall's 3835 Back

Styling wise I think this dress works pretty well with tights and this tee, however it looked even cuter with a more fitted Nettie top that I wore with it this week.

The original pattern has an invisible side zipper but I wasn't feeling that. Instead I made a little tab for
a button and button hole. I sewed one side shut, as I only required one button to be open to shimmy into this thing.
  McCall's 3835 BackMcCall's 3835  Back detail

I shortened the dress, and had to draft the missing strap pattern piece. I use the term drafting loosely because, rectangles, duh. It did work out better that way so that I could make them fit my hardware perfectly.
  McCall's 3835 Vintage Overalls and Overall dress pattern

I am really happy with this addition to my wardrobe and I feel like I will wear this dress year round. The fabric wrinkles easily but that really doesn't bother me too much. I think this style is the perfect mix of vintage and modern, hip and art teacher-esque.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Where I Have Been

Ack, where have I been?! It has been over a year since I posted anything here. I guess I will start with showing you what I spent most of last year devoting my energy to. Frank and I have been in our sweet little 1923 bungalow for almost 16 years. It was in desperate need of some love and attention and we gave it quite a bit last year.

This is the front of the house after a face lift. We put in new windows, doors, a new roof, a fresh coat of paint, new light fixtures, house numbers and spruced up the landscaping. Front porch

This is the front room. We painted, de-cluttered and put in a new light fixture that you can see in my Christmas selfie below. I adore that light fixture by the way.Front room Christmas selfie

Our dining room after a fresh coat of paint and a new light fixture. Dining Room

In our hallway and front bedroom we put planks on the ceiling to cover the old glittery popcorn. hallway

Aaaah, our bedroom. It is my favorite and most complete room in the house. This is the smaller of our two bedrooms and was Frank's music room for about 15 years. We swapped rooms so that we could share the back room and to give me a dedicated sewing space. I still need to make a bedskirt for the bed and frame and hang photos on the big wall to the left, but otherwise this room is just how I want it.
  bedroom

Probably the most exciting thing for me about this entire year was creating a sewing studio in our back bedroom. Previously my sewing projects were strewn across the dining room table, creating an ugly mess or preventing me from sewing altogether when I would clean and pack up the mess. I am so happy with my space now. I have a ton of storage and am more organized than ever. I can see my fabric and have quick access to all of my tools and patterns. Best of all, I don't have to put anything away. I used an Ikea shelving unit for storage and an Ikea kitchen island that I converted into a rolling cutting table. We had new light fixtures installed so that I can actually see what I am working on! studio

Our back patio. There's a lot more to our back yard but I couldn't find any good photos. Of course right now it needs a ton of work (weed pulling) to get ready for Spring. I will have to get some good pics after we clean it all up. We really enjoyed eating meals out on the back patio last Spring and Summer. They always needs work but I love our gardens. back patio

There are more projects to do, now and forever I am sure. Our living room needs some touch up paint, and we totally ran out of money to renovate the kitchen and bathroom. Someday we will get to those major projects. For now we are enjoying our home and I am back to sewing, cooking and exercising, all things that were sorely neglected last year. I can procrastinate with the best of them, so this blog renovation is slow going. I am back, and plan to share my sewing and other creative endeavors here. I am slowly but surely updating the layout and cleaning up this space. I hope you enjoyed my little home as much as I do.

* I neglected to mention what wonderful parents I have. They spent so much time helping us with these projects last year and I can never thank them enough. My dad put in our doors, finished out our windows and showed us and helped us install that ceiling and all of our fans. My mom helped me paint and clean and do all kinds of dirty work around here. Now don't I feel like a jerk. Really, I hope they know how much we appreciate them!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year!

I am late to the party, nothing new there. We had a good holiday, how about you? I took off three extra days in the weeks leading up to Christmas in order to preserve my sanity and it worked. We visited my family in Austin, then hosted four of our best friends for New Years.

Here are myself, my niece Karlie and mom all wearing tops that I made on Christmas day. Theirs were Christmas gifts. We look alike, don't we?! Untitled
For mom I used a gorgeous crossweave linen from Joann and the Fisherman's top patterns from Merchant and Mills Sewing Book. Karlie's tunic is made with the juvenile apparel knit from Joann and I'm so in love with it! I used Simplicity 1785, which I had sewn for her before.

And her model pose.    Untitled Untitled I asked Frank for this ring made by our friend Claire for my Christmas gift. I adore it! It fits perfectly with my wardrobe and my everyday jewelry. I never wear rings but this one is perfect.

I also felt inspired to make some new jewelry designs. My friend Matt asked me to make his wife some small-ish earrings. Inspired by Claire's work, I finally got my hands on some brass to play with and am happy with what I cam up with. I think I need to make both of these for myself now!
Untitled

Here are my top nine instagram pics from last year. Pretty much sums it up, lots of sewing, a little travel, including our trip to Tulum that I still need to share, and some adventures in the kitchen.
ashleyakers

There hasn't been any New Year Resolution stuff going on over here just yet. I have plans but got sick and have no groceries, so no gym or healthy eating plan for us at the moment. I promised myself to get back to the gym asap. We are in the midst of refinancing our home and planning to do some work around here, so that will consume most of our Spring. I also promised myself to not buy any new fabrics, but instead work my way through my stash this year. I may break this rule for things I really need but don't have fabric for, like winter wear and possible jeans sewing. We shall see. Mostly I won't be too hard on myself or too rigid. I'm in a good and happy place and hope to stay here.

 I hope you too are having a wonderful new year filled with whatever it is that makes you smile.
 xoxo Ashley

Friday, December 11, 2015

Simplicity 1377 in Cotton Ikat

I made this skirt sometime last year but never blogged it. It is made with a gorgeous cotton Ikat from Joann (of all places) that I wish I had bought more of. The pattern is Simplicity 1377. I have actually made the shorts and pants form this pattern as well. Neither worked for me, but both times it was my fault. The shorts were too short and too small so I gave them to a friend. I need to make myself another version though, as they were super cute on her! With the pants I narrowed the legs too much and when I sat down it would stress the seams. Those went to the donation box. This skirt is the clear winner of the three. It is a simple and quick pattern and I think it works well with this fabric. I eliminated the back pleats in order to eek out the pattern from my small yardage, but I think I like it with the minimal volume. I'm not big on volume at the waistline. I will use this pattern again and I highly recommend it. It is versatile and great for a beginner, aka a super quick make.

I think this is truly more of a summer skirt, but I was trying to be creative and layer my clothes to utilize more of my handmade wardrobe. I'm not sure I'm crazy about the way I styled the skirt here as it kind of looks like I'm wearing a unitard under it, while it was actually tights and a tank top. This photo shoot was fun because we were at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens to test out our action camera for our vacation (this post is long overdue and I am still playing catch up).  I love this little cactus garden and had fun with these pictures. Frank is really nice to be my personal photographer!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Vogue 8379 Knit Wrap Dress

Here I am playing catch up on all things Fall, and Fall, my favorite season, is slipping through my fingers. We planned and saved and I sewed and sewed for our trip to Tulum. It was amazing by the way, and I will be belatedly sharing some things about the trip eventually. Let's just call me perpetually behind.

This dress is actually seasonally appropriate right now, but I made it late last Spring, too late to wear. It is made from this gorgeous, warm and squishy French Terry knit that I scored at one of the outlets on Harry Hines in Dallas last year for a song. I sewed it up into Vogue 8379. Vogue 8379 Vogue 8379 Vogue 8379 Vogue 8379

I slightly changed the construction to suit the knit fabric better. If I'm remembering correctly my only change was to eliminate facings in favor of bands, more in line with how I know to sew knits. It isn't my be all, end all of knit wrap dress patterns, but I do love it. I think it is the pleats at the waist that bring it down a notch or two for me. I like a wrap dress that is fitted at the waist and this one just adds extra bulk there, which isn't slimming. I notice know that It does show every bump, perhaps I need a slip underneath? I would recommend this pattern if you like the pleating detail at the waist. It is easy to put together and I love the slightly circular skirt. I think it is pretty flattering over all.

Monday, October 19, 2015

I Joined Kollabora

I joined Kollabora and have started uploading a few of my finished projects. I am on Pattern Review but always hated the way that website functions (or doesn't function). Kollabora is much more user friendly and modern.

I can see here that my wardrobe is evolving to be quite cohesive, well at least these three outfits. I definitely have an affinity for blue and white and black and white. kollabora screen shot
The clean and modern look of my project gallery just makes me so happy! I think I need to create a gallery page of finished projects here on my blog as well. Are you on Kollabora? How do you like it?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Feeling Clever in my Alice Top

I purchased a piece of Anna Maria Horner's Loominous in Austin when we were there for Karlie's birthday. They only had one yard left so I wanted to use it for the yoke of this Tessuti Alice top. I had this gorgeous crossweave linen rayon in my stash but the combo just wasn't doing it for me. I happened upon some black and white ikat cotton napkins at World Market and inspiration struck. I used two napkins for the yokes of this pattern. It may not be any cheaper than buying yardage, but I felt pretty clever. The black and white ikat was the perfect pair with this luscious teal linen blend. You can't really tell in pictures but the linen is almost iridecent. Thanks to the rayon content and cross weave, it shimmers and changes color in the light. The Loominous is destined for another pattern, but it got me to this happy place.

Meet Alice, isn't she great?!
 Tessuti Alice TopTessuti Alice Top Tessuti Alice Top Tessuti Alice Top Tessuti Alice Top

I made the XS and eliminated two whole inches from both the center front and center back. Even with that amount removed this top is still very roomy. I think next time I would cut an XXS, so just beware. This top is quite long as well, I probably chopped off about four inches from the hemline. Alice hangs a little low in the armholes for my taste, but not enough to stop me from enjoying wearing her. I always need to take tops and bodices up at the shoulders and I did not adjust for that here. Overall I am thrilled with this pattern and will definitely make it again. I think it is a great way to highlight a special piece of fabric in the yoke. Needless to say I am pretty pleased with myself. It feels good to be on a sewing roll and to have an ever growing handmade wardrobe!