Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Lander Shorts = Pants Making Goal Reached

I know, I know, I claimed that I had conquered my pants making fear with Flint a while back. While my Flint pants fit and are gorgeous, they are flowy and loose. Not three fitted tubes going around my legs and torso. Pants, why do you have to be so confusing?!

Enter Lander.

Lander shorts

I purchased, dowloaded, printed and traced off this pattern back in February. Then I got cold feet. I even had the fabric for quite a while. But I was scared. Now I am pretty sure my fear of pants sewing was created by my previous attempts to drastically alter poorly drafted big 4 sewing patterns into something they were not. Read, start with loose fitting pants and try to turn them into cigarette pants. That's what scared me off for, literally, years.
  Lander Shorts

I decided to participate in the Outfit Along hosted by Lladybird and Untangling Knots. Their official patterns were the Lander Pants and a knitted Waters tee. I needed a push to make pants AND to knit something in the summertime. Now my official OAL2018 pants will be out of Ventana Twill in Brick Brown and my Waters top is being ever so slowly knit with Quince and Co Sparrow Linen yarn. You can see them here. I don't think I will finish by the end of July because I am the slowest knitter in the world, and I am also going on vacation in July. In the meantime my Lander Shorts will do.

Lander Shorts

Lander's sizing had me in a size 2 at the waist and an 8 at the hips. I thought it was a 6 at the hips before but my booty has grown from weight lifting. I made a muslin with the 2 at the waist and 6 at the hips and it was too smallllll. I think that sizing could work with a stretch denim. I ended up cutting a 4 at the waist and an 8 at the hips, then I added 1/4" to each back side seam. I am very happy with the fit and while I usually despise wearing shorts I actually feel very comfortable and confident in these. I think the next version could benefit from a shaped waistband, but otherwise I will probably keep the adjustments as is. I see more Landers in my future and my fear of pants sewing has dissipated drastically. Thank you Kelli for drafting such a lovely pattern!

Lander Shorts

Fabric is a Cotton/Linen blend and can still be found here. Buttons are from Taylor Tailor. The top is my Tessuti Alice top, a pattern that I need to revisit.

Lander Shorts

I think this is my perfect Summer outfit. It is hot here y'all.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Ogden and Brumby, A Perfect Pair

Brumby and Ogden

This is the well loved Ogden Cami pattern by True Bias and my third Megan Nielsen Brumby. I made the skirt last year, it was my third version and I have worn it more than the other two (blogged here).  The Brumby is a tried and true pattern for me. There isn't much to say about this version except that I used an invisible zipper and felt super clever using a small cut of expensive eyelet on the hemline. I love the interest that it adds to this otherwise simple skirt.

See what I mean....
Brumby and Ogden

This rayon challis Brumby proved to be a perfect match for my rayon crepe Cactus Ogden Cami. I feel put together and cute in this outfit without feeling over dressed or fussy. My dad did ask me why I was so dressed up but hey, I felt like looking cute to go to town for a coffee. These photos were taken in my parents front yard, isn't the property gorgeous?!

Brumby and Ogden
I couldn't do this pose without making this face for some reason. 

As a master procrastinator I will never be the first seamstress to sew a new pattern. But I will chime in and agree with the masses that Ogden is a winner. It is drafted beautifully, and takes quite a bit less yardage in my size than the pattern calls for. I can squeeze one of these babies out of about 2/3 of a yard. I'm working on a second, cropped version now and have more planned. This pattern is easy, quick and super flattering. I was quite impressed that it needed no alterations. My usual one would be to shorten the shoulder straps but it wasn't needed here. You can see here that my bra strap shows a tiny bit. I don't think its enough to be tacky, but another option would be to wear a cute bralette whose straps are meant to be shown off. I love that this cami has a built in lining/facing. I do have a hard time figuring out which is the front and which is the back, but truthfully I think it can be worn either way. I have yet to use the custom labels that I ordered as I didn't like the color they came out. I guess I need to order another batch.

Brumby and Ogden Brumby and Ogden

Isn't this fabric fantastic?! I scored it cheap at my favorite warehouse fabric outlet off Harry Hines in Dallas. I discovered Rayon Crepe with this fabric last year and I love how squishy and comfy it is. Plus the cactus motif is just so fun. You can see here that I under stitched the facings, and that keeps them from turning to the outside quite nicely.

Brumby and Ogden

Isn't this eyelet beautiful?!

Brumby and Ogden

Brumby Skirt: 
Version 2
Cut, between size XSmall and Small
Rayon Challis with Cotton Eyelet Trim

Ogden Cami: 
No alterations
Size 4
Rayon Crepe with rayon challis facing

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Vintage Simplicity 9006 or Dream Dress

Vintage Simplicity 9006

Dream dress here. You can tell I'm feeling cute and clever in this outfit.
  Vintage Simplicity 9006

I took my time on this one, though don't I always. I am a slow maker. I did make a muslin for fit but something went awry in the chest. It is TIGHT and though it looks cute it isn't the most comfortable of garments that I have made.

Vintage Simplicity 9006

Tightness in the chest aside, I adore this dress. Those brass buttons pop! That slit is adorably demure. The linen denim, and the topstitching, and oh the buckles from France. Need I go on? The pockets, the pockets. The 70s vibe. It is all there for me. If only it weren't so tight in the chest. Oh well, lesson learned.
  Vintage Simplicity 9006

I made a muslin, I swear I did. And it fit! I think I probably set the buttons slightly too far over and maybe the buttonholes as well. I feel like I need about an inch of ease added to the top of the bodice. Like if I unbutton the top two buttons I am good lol. I kept the topstiching mostly to one line because I didn't want too much of a Western look. Though I'm coming to realize my style has a slight Western vibe. Not overly so.

Vintage Simplicity 9006 Vintage Simplicity 9006

Pattern is Simplicity 9006 from 1979. I could tell this pattern had potential, despite the terrible model shot. It is always the line drawing that reveals a pattern's true potential. Pro tip, look at the line drawings!

Simplicity 9006

See what I mean? Look at that sassy vibe.

Simplicity 9006

This was a Junior size 11 but I took a chance on it because I got it really cheap on Etsy. My muslin and fitting had me add 3/8" at the front waist, tapering out to nothing at the armhole and just below the hip. I curved the back bodice waist for a swayback adjustment. That's how I always do it, not sure if it is "correct". I added 1" at the back bodice waist and 1.5" at the back skirt waist. Again, tapering to nothing at the armhole and below the hip. I'm not sure altering the original partner pieces was the smartest idea but you know, laziness prevails sometimes. Maybe I was out of tracing paper?

Simplicity 9006 Simplicity 9006

Next time I am adding that bodice ease all the way up to the armhole. But for now this is my dream look. I am slowly developing a handmade wardrobe, custom fit (even if tightly) and custom to my imagination. I am loving it. Why on earth did I end up in a career where I wear a uniform to work?! You can see progress shots over on Instagram.

Shoes are Swedish Hasbeens, scored at 70% off retail. Sign up for their emails and you might catch a deal.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Indigo Patchowork Kalle and Colette Beignet

Patchwork Indigo Kalle

Slow Maker, slow blogger here again. I mostly made this Kalle crop top last year but waited again to use my mom's bernina for the buttonholes in January. The top is View A of the Kalle Shirt Pattern. I squeezed this pattern out of a very small amount of indigo dyed linen and a shibori indigo piece for the yoke and facings. Both pieces of fabric were gifted to me and dyed by my mom. I am so lucky to have such a talented and generous mother. I would me in trouble if I didn't mention that my father is also talented and generous. Have I mentioned that he is helping us renovate a 1976 Serro Scotty trailer? I am thinking about adding a page on my blog to share progress on that project. But back to the subject at hand, these handmade clothes.
  Patchwork Indigo Kalle

I just love the contrast yoke. For me indigo is a neutral and I love the pop of interest that the shibori dyed yoke gives this top. By the way I added about 1" to the length of this top and it is still way cropped for me. It works perfectly with this Colette Beignet skirt. I actually made this skirt years ago, probably eight or more years ago. I wasn't too proud of it at the time because the corduroy is quite thin and gave a bit of a saggy appearance. While I think the design is better suited to a more structured fabric I am now extremely proud of this skirt. First of all I HATE making buttonholes and would you look at all the buttonholes on that skirt?! Secondly, I was pretty much a beginner seamstress when I made this and I fitted it quite well, and it is not an easy pattern. I had never known what to wear with this skirt either and wasn't used to such high waisted garments, but I have since come around. I think these two are the perfect pair. And the colors? They are my jam!

Patchwork Indigo Kalle

Patchwork Indigo Kalle
The curved hemline is one of my favorite features of this pattern.  
Patchwork Indigo Kalle
Being so cropped, I actually prefer this top as a jacket
Patchwork Indigo Kalle
I made the facing into a feature and it makes me so happy
Patchwork Indigo Kalle

Patchwork Indigo Kalle

Patchwork Indigo Kalle
Pearl had to make an appearance, duh

Pattern details: 
Kalle View A, size 6. Lengthened 1"
Colette Beignet size 4, no alterations.
Earrings by Claire Sommers Buck can be found here
If you haven't ever noticed these earrings I would be surprised because I wear them ALL THE TIME.
Boots are Frye Sabrina

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Ice Dyed Flutter Blouse

Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

This Silk Dupioni Papercut Flutter Blouse was actually my first version of this pattern (second version here). I made it in the Fall of 2016 to wear to a wedding along with this self drafted silk wrap skirt. Because of some major issues with attempting to hem the skirt by myself I didn't actually wear this outfit to that wedding. These were the first pieces that I sewed after spending most of 2016 on a sewing hiatus while we remodeled our house. This piece of silk is very special to me because I ice dyed it with my mom on a Summer vacation almost four years ago. I just love the random print that the ice dyeing created. It reminds me of a lace agate or layered sedimentary rock in technicolor.

Papercut Flutter Blouse
I used the less shiny side of the stretch charmeuse on the exterior of this skirt. 

Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

I made the XS but altered the pattern by removing some of the gaping at the back neckline and hemline.  I also added 5/8" seam allowances and French seamed the interior. I used a contrasting fuchsia silk dupioni for the bias binding and let it peek out just so on the sleeves and neckline and I love the effect. I shortened this version quite a bit to make it work better with a high waisted skirt. I have the option to tie the points together in the back and create a slight blousing at the waistline. 

Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

The fit of this pattern in this more structured fabric is so different from my other version in Rayon Challis. I actually think the quite curved, dropped shoulder works best in a more drapy fabric. That doesn't stop me from being thrilled with the outcome of this version.

Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

My skirt is a gorgeous stretch silk charmeuse that I paid more for than any other single cut of fabric that I've ever bought. I then proceeded to make a midi length self drafter wrap circle skirt. Not having mom live nearby anymore and not owning a dress form I attempted to hem it and all went haywire. It was terribly crooked and I couldn't live with it. I kept chopping it shorter and never could get it straight so I gave up until my mom was visiting and could trim it while I wore it. I probably threw away half of the fabric, which is a shame, but I do love this length after all, so I'm not mad about it.

IMG_1851Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

Flutter blouse insides
Interior cunstruction

Monday, February 19, 2018

2017 Makes

2017 Makes
I was inspired by Arrowmountain's post on Instagram to take an inventory of what I made in 2017. Being a procrastinator through and through, it is no surprise that it took me almost two months into 2018 to write this post. Partly, I was waiting to get my last two makes of 2017 photographed, and blogged and that is now done. So here you go.

Here are my maker's stats for 2017

  • 22 finished items
  • 19 made it to the blog
  • 11 Tops
  • 3 Dresses
  • 3 Skirts
  • 2 Knit hats
  • 2 Swimsuits
  • 1 Pair of pants
Patterns Stats
  • 3 Self Drafted
  • 3 Megan Neilsen
  • 2 Blueprints for Sewing 
  • 2 Papercut   
  • 2 Vintage
  • 1 Simplicity
  • 1 In the Folds      
  • 1 Colette         
  • 1 Built By Wendy 
  • 1 Deer and Doe 
  • 1 Tilly and the Buttons  
  • 1 Charlotte Kan  
  • 1 Closet Case Patterns 
After rounding up all my makes for last year I realized that I was much more productive than I had imagined. I call myself a slow maker and a procrastinator. I am those things, but apparently I am pretty productive when I am enjoying what I do.

I participated in #sewphotohop on Instagram last September and it really helped me hone in on what I needed to make, and have a solid plan. I did not make the two skirts, but everything else on this plan was completed. I focused on tops, and added some much needed pieces to the upper half of my wardrobe. I never made a solid Winter sewing plan, and here in Texas Winter is already waning. I do need to do this exercise again to focus my attention on what I really need in my wardrobe. 

Fall Sewing Plans

I loved putting the fabric swatches together and seeing where my color choices overlap and work together.

Fall Sewing plans

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gretchen's Saltbox Tee

Here is Gretchen in her Saltbox Tee. Doesn't she look gorgeous?! I think it suits her so well. 

Saltbox Tee Saltbox Tee Saltbox Tee

During the process of receiving the handprinted fabrics from Gretchen and making our Saltbox Tee's I was posting on Instagram. In hindsight I wish I had taken better quality photos to share here.
Here are the two other prints that I didn't use. It was so hard to pick. Gretchen has since printed more designs on fabric and you can see what she's up to on her Instagram.


And one of my all time favorite photos of us. This one was taken by my mom in Santa Fe in the Summer of 1997. We were visiting Gretchen while she worked at a Summer Camp.
    Gretchen and I 1997 Santa Fe


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saltbox Tee, Twenty Seven Years in the Making

There is so much more to this blog post than this pattern, this fabric or this make. I have a story to tell about my oldest friend and the 27 years of friendship that lie behind this handmade tee.
  Handprinted Saltbox Tee

In the seventh grade I started a new school. Picture me, super shy, super awkward and the new kid in a tiny, country middle school. The Forty some odd kids in my class had mostly been in school together since kindergarten. It was hard. I met Gretchen Schermerhorn that year. It was 1986 to be exact. She was popular, but different than most kids in that she was interested in art. She was always nice to me, but it wasn't until the summer after 9th grade (1990) that I got up the courage to call her and invite her over to my house. I asked her if she wanted to come over and make purses, and she did. My mom had a craft and sewing room above our garage and we took full advantage of the space and her materials. We painted with acrylics and 3-D fabric paint and glued together envelope purses with ribbon for straps. I will leave those to your imagination, though I do have one or two still. Those purses were our first handmade bond, a tradition that carries on to this day.

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

Gretchen and I remained close friends and graduated both high school and college together. We took watercolor, metals and ceramics classes together and were roommates in college. I majored in metals and she went into printmaking, ultimately pursuing an MFA in the field. Gretchen is a working artist and teacher, in printmaking, paper making and bookmaking. She works at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

Clearly I have brushed over the intervening years since college, but the point is, that our handmade bond continues. G gives the best gifts, always something unique and often handmade (by her or other artists). We have continued to make things for each other and together. When I saw her post a video on Instagram of herself printing on fabric I was, of course, intrigued. My interest was met with an offer, if I would make her a top with her fabric I could have some for myself as well. Yes, of course I said yes. This has to be the most special fabric that I have ever sewn with or worn. It was designed and printed by my life long friend and she trusted me to sew with it. I felt honored.

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

Gretchen picked the Saltbox tee by BluePrints for Sewing. I made the size C/D for myself. I love the details and structure of this top. The forward shoulder seam gives the appearance of a yoke, and the simple side vents lend a really nice fit. I was skeptical about the instructions for attaching the sleeves, but they really did ease in nicely. The contrast fabric is thrifted linen that I indigo dyed. It started a light mustard yellow, so it has a bit of green in with the indigo blue. This top is an excellent pattern for highlighting special prints, or even pattern mixing could be fun. This was my first time using a pattern from Blueprints for Sewing but it won't be my last.

Taylor the pattern designer says:

Blueprints for Sewing patterns are simple, flattering, comfortable, and classic with an artistic edge. They emphasize functionality and simplicity and feature thoughtful embellishments and adaptable cuts. Each pattern takes its inspiration from an architectural style.

I find all that to be true and it fits well with my personal aesthetic. I loved all the nods to architectural blueprints in the pattern layout. 

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

The handprinted fabric is quite stiff, but may soften up some with washing and wear. It is printed on Kona cotton. I had a really hard time picking from the 4 prints that G sent me, but the cactus won out in the end. I just adore this fabric so, so much.

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

I am waiting for Gretchen to send me a photo of her in her Saltbox Tee. We took a photo together at Christmas but it is dark and blurry. I will post her photo and some of my pics of the fabrics soon. You can see a bit more here. Thanks for letting me share a bit of my personal history with you.