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That time I finally made something for someone else

Earlier this summer, I was suffering from a self imposed fabric buying ban.  I was saving up to pay the tuition on a web development class which I am currently taking- so I had to pinch some pennies and curb my insatiable desire for MORE FABRIC.  Let me tell you, it was trying.  I focused on sewing down my stash, which has gone fairly well so far.

linen shirt - 1 But then I saw this gorgeous gray linen, and my resolve began to slip. I tried to think of a creative solution to my conundrum (besides shoplifting, that is).  What I came up with was that my boyfriend really needed a new shirt.  So I convinced HIM to buy the fabric! You might consider this to be a bit of bending of the rules, but it helps that we got an amazing deal on the linen.

I had previously attempted to sew Dan a shirt, using the Negroni pattern, but I have embarrassingly never quite finished it.  It  is well on it’s way, but just a bit too tight on him- so it’s lying in the UFO pile.  For this shirt, I wanted a more classic cut- so I went with a vogue pattern- V8096. I must say that I enjoyed every minute of sewing this shirt. I love the way a button down shirt goes together like origami, with all that clever construction to hide the seams on the inside.

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This is Dan doing his best model face.  Isn’t he handsome?

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I was nervous while I was sewing it up that he might not like it. I also was afraid that it might come out looking too homemade, and then I couldn’t blame him for not wanting to wear it.   Luckily for me,  it came out great and he loves it! And hey, I think it looks pretty good on me too:

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Marimekko Wiksten

SURPRISE! I made another Wiksten! this brings the total to 4 (….I bet you’ll never guess what I did for One Week One Pattern).

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IMG_4394 Dress: me made; Cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft; Necklace: me made; Belt: thrifted; Boots: Steve Madden.

This beauty may be my favorite yet. I’ve been hoarding this fabric for aaaaages. I bought it at a Crate and Barrel outlet over a year ago and couldn’t decide what to do with it.

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I only bought about a yard, which was foolish. In fact, the whole trip was a bit foolish- I think I bought one yard of about 6 different non-coordinating prints. I’m not really sure what was holding me back from investing in serious yardage, since Crate and Barrel retails it for $4/yd (about 10% of what Marimekko does). I think it was a a deer in the headlights moment….. struck temporarily senseless in the face of such large and majestic prints, I grabbed everything in site and can’t be held responsible for what followed.  Not even the blog post that followed.

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Anyway, I still have several of those one yard pieces lying around. One turned into this timeless, priceless, completely unintentionally, hilariously misjudged apron.  A larger piece turned into curtains. Which are unblogged. And likely never to be blogged. Because ugh, curtains. If I did blog about them I would title it “rectangles that block the sun so that I can sleep.”

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This, however was the most beautiful of all of the kings children piece of fabric and I hoarded it for months. I didn’t want to break up the print by making it into anything too complicated, so when I finally stumbled upon the Wiksten it seemed like the perfect match.

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I made not one alteration except to leave off the pocket and use the bias as a facing rather than a binding. It’s a pretty big departure from my normal wardrobe of dreary solids in navy, grey and black, but…dare I say it….I think my shell may be cracking. There’s a whole world out there of loud prints, and it’s just waiting for me to start rolling around in it.

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That’s all folks. Stay tuned for my next post, because GUYS I made jeans. JEANS! I’m actually that excited about it.

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Red Chambray Wiksten

 

IMG_5983This was actually my very first Wiksten, but it hasn’t made it onto the blog until now.  Just like the last one I blogged, it came together very quickly.  I can tell this pattern is going to become my go to for a really fast top or dress (I’ve already made 3…no plans to quit yet!).

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IMG_5986I made this one from a beautiful red chambray that I bought at Grey’s Fabrics

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I don’t have too much else to say about it except that it was so so easy, and I wear it all the time!

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Stay tuned for a post about Wiksten #3 very soon!

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White Lace Wiksten

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Times have been a bit tough over at the Crafty Foxes Sewing Club of late.  Not only is Sarah Grey moving away to the wild wilderness of Michigan (on the map I’m pretty sure it’s just labeled “thar be quilt shops”). But we are also losing our other favorite Sarah to a new job down south. I tell you, we’re going to be a sad crafty bunch when these lovely ladies depart.  The only upside to this is that there is some serious stash cleansing going on.  Sarah hooked me up with this gorgeous white lace a couple of weeks ago, and I knew it was time to conquer my fear of whites. IMG_7713

I’ve had a couple of mishaps already, but with my Tide to Go stick ever at the ready, I persevere. IMG_7743

I made this guy from the Wiksten tank pattern.  This pattern is my new darling, let me tell ya. I’ve got another one in the blog queue in some gorgeous chambray, so stay tuned for that.  The pattern is just so versatile.  I think it’s going to be a real stash buster for me. 

I was lucky enough this past Sunday to be graced with the excellent photography skills of fellow crafty foxes and bloggers Peneloping, Katy, and Cashmerette.  My boyfriend’s been doing his best with my iPhone (and doing pretty darn well, too), but the iPhone just can’t stand up to the majesty of these SLR photos. 

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It works just as well tucked as untucked.  I purposely chose not to underline the lace because I wanted the lining and the overlay to hang separately at the hem.  So it’s all tacked together at the armholes, neckline, and shoulder sleeves, but everything’s flowin’ freely from there on down. 

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So far my favorite way to wear it has been with big bright high tops, high waisted shorts, and big hoops.  I’ve also dressed it up for work with a pencil skirt and flats.

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And of course it really goes best with

“You MADE that??”

“Why yes, yes I did thank you.”

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Lace Crop Top

Lace crop top trend, I am on to you. DSCN3969

Top: me made, Shorts: me made Katy & Laney Tap Shorts, Sunglasses: thrifted, Pin: vintage, Farm: Clark Brother’s Orchards (and I’m a Clark, kiddos. I didn’t rent a farm for the photoshoot ala every urban outfitters catalogue ever.  But then again, don’t tell my uncle or he might start charging me.)

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The pattern is from Named.  It’s the Kanerva Button Back Shirt.

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It’s a pretty easy pattern, and it also has a peplum variation.  I think I’ll be making it again.

My inspiration was this top from Needsupply.com:

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of course that looks lovely in white and everything, but who am I kidding?  I am WAY too much of a slob for white, and I’ve been living with that acceptance for the last decade.  No need to fall off the wagon of resistance to white, off white, cream and beige clothing now, even for the white lace crop top trendosaurus. Plus, I had some beautiful maroon lace squirreled away.

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I know the top is supposed to have a button back, but frankly the buttonholer on my machine is doing all kinds of crazy shit and I’m not sure why.  I decided to use this vintage pin from my grandmother to hold it shut in the meantime so I could wear it to work, and whaddya know, it looked pretty good.  So I decided to just stick with it.  DSCN3977DSCN3980 DSCN3989I did up the insides with french seams, and finished the neckline and armholes with bias tape.  For the button placket, I stitched in a band of plain ol’ cotton in a matching color in place of interfacing, since fusible obviously wouldn’t have worked with the lace.

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ALSO I tried to revive the glory days of gifs at the end of my posts, but GifBoom seems to have changed their settings such that I can’t copy the code directly anymore to embed it in the post.  Which is truly tragic because the Gif I created is not to be missed.  Anyone have tips on a better app to use for creating gifs than GifBoom? Hit me up in the comments!

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Drop Waist Dress

Hello hello,

Happy Monday!  In honor of the start of the work week I’d like to share with you all a brand new make that I love SO MUCH that I’ve already worn it 3 different times since I made it.  Which was less than 7 days ago.  But ah….different cardigan, different outfit amIright?

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Dress: Me made,  Lousia Drop-Waist Dress. Necklace: LouLou. Earrings: vintage, my grandmother’s. Shoes: Born.

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The pattern is the  Lousia Drop-Waist Dress from BurdaStyles book Sewing Vintage Modern.  I love this pattern and have used it a couple of times now, though each time I’ve taken my own twist on the skirt- I think the ruffles in the original design are horrible. For this version I dispensed with the skirt pattern piece and cut a simple half circle.

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I used a navy blue ponte of indeterminate fiber content that I bought in the garment district on my last trip to NYC.  I love ponte- it’s so comfortable to wear.  It has enough stretch that I can just pull it over my head, no closures necessary.  At first I was worried that the dress was a bit too plain and wanted to add something to jazz it up a bit, but on 2nd look I realized it was the perfect as is.  I can dress it up or down, and it’s perfect summertime work attire.

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As part of my Me Made May inspired quest to be a better seamstress, I took my time to get the fit right on this one.  The pattern i for wovens and I didn’t compensate for that enough when I started, so the dress was way too big the first timeI tried it on.  But rather than doing a hack job to take it in as I normally would, I took my time and I’m very pleased with the result.

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I also added a pocket to one side of the skirt.  My new sewing resolution is to put pockets in everything I can because I ALWAYS regret it when I don’t. Let’s face it- pockets>no pockets, and we all know it.  It may take an extra 15 minutes to put those suckers in, but nothing could be more worth the time.

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I’m already working on another variation on this pattern, so stay tuned. Also in upcoming blog posts: fabric I bought in Alaska! So don’t touch that dial ( er unsubscribe button), folks!

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(…uhhh outtakes?)

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Katy & Laney Tap Shorts!

Hey guys,

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I’m so, so excited to introduce these tap shorts.  When Katy and Laney introduced this pattern at Crafty Foxes Sewing Club I was pretty intrigued, because when summer comes around there’s nothing I love more than a pair of high waisted shorts.  When Katy said they needed pattern testers, I was all in! The pattern comes with 3 variations, large diagonal pleats, diagonal seam lines, and angled side pockets with a front fly.

This is my first time testing a pattern, and it felt like I was just testing a finished product.  The shorts came together beautifully. I chose view A.  I initially intended to make view B (I tested the pattern before views A and C were a thing) but tacking down the pleats seemed more flattering on my figure so I stuck with that just in time for Katy to come out with view A!

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I’m going to have to ask you to forgive the blinding contrast evident in these photographs- my boyfriend and I are not yet masters of photography (though he’s actually quite good!  See other blog posts for further evidence).  Trying to get the dark denim to show up as anything other than a black blob was quite a struggle for us.  I just returned from a long family vacation, so our window was as short as the shorts are and we just couldn’t find the right light.

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I made no fit adustments other than shortening them a bit. And I actually sort of regret that every time I sit crosslegged…..

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I did not make the welt pockets for this version, but the instructions are extensive and I definitely plan to make another pair with the pockets.  I also have a fun variation planned, so stay tuned for that coming soon!

Congrats to Katy & Laney on their first pattern!  I look forward to seeing more.

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I’m the last stop in this blog tour, but if you’d like to see all of the other lovely testers, here are the links.

Tap Short Tour

Thursday, June 12th: Heather at Closet Case Files

Friday, June 13th: Ping at Peneloping

Saturday, June 14th: Jenny at Cashmerette

Monday, June 16th: Mary at Idle Fancy

Wednesday, June 18th: Sarah at Grey’s Fabric and Notions

Thursday, June 19th: Jennifer at Workroom Social

Friday, June 20th: Kelli at True Bias

Saturday, June 21st: Mary at Young, Broke, and Fabulous

Sunday, June 22nd: T at Uandmii

Tuesday, June 24th: MacKenzie at Some Real Things

 

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Me Made May Roundup (yes, I know it is halfway through June)

Apologies for my long absence from the blog, I have recently started a new job which has kept me very very busy! So I have a little less time for blogging, but I’m still making time to sew- there are a few unblogged projects in the queue. And on the bright side, I am I working as a web developer which means I will soon be putting my new skills to use spiffing up the blog!

Anyway, without further ado, here is my Me Made May Roundup!  I didn’t quite manage to take a picture every day, but I did stick to the pledge every day, despite the lack of photographic evidence thereof. I’ve left out most of the duplicates as well, since I doubled up a few days.

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Dress: Gertie’s Strapless Bombshell Dress mashed up with a By Hand London Elisalex skirt. Blogged here.  Necklace: LouLou. Boyfriend: not available online.

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Top: Kanerva Button Back Shirt, Named Clothing-blogged here.  Skirt: American Apparel. Hat: Asos20140604-112622-41182635.jpg

Skirt: By Hand London Charlotte Skirt – blogged here.  Cardigan: funky cardigan my grandma knit up for my mom back in the ’70s. Shirt: American Apparel.20140604-112623-41183208.jpg

Dress: Colette Patterns  Macaron – blogged here.  Hat: Asos.  Plant: Lemon Verbena.20140604-112621-41181473.jpg

Dress: Deer and Doe Belladone in recycled cotton- bloged here. Cardigan: Ann Taylor.  Necklace: made from an old chandelier crystal.20140604-112621-41181894.jpg

Blouse: Named Clothing Fran Tie Front Blouse, blogged here. Jeans: Forever 21. Cardigan: H&M.  Friends: Crafty Foxes Sewing Club!

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Skirt: Self Drafted foxy pencil skirt.  Shirt: American Apparel. Cardigan: stolen from boyfriend. Ice Cream: Cookies and Cream

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Dress: Peplum mash up!  Charlotte Skirt, Belladone  bodice, Macaron sleeves and a half circle peplum. Blogged here.  Necklace: Another edition of MacKenzie-hangs-random-things-on-chains.  It’s a copper pipe fitting.

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Dress: Lady Skater, blogged here.  Belt: Anthropologie. Cardigan: Cruelly robbed from boyfriend.  Earrings: my mother’s.

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Dress: Recycled Cotton Belladone making another appearance. Necklace: Ditto for the chandelier crystal.

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Dress: a mash up- modified Belladone skirt, Burda top, self drafted collar and cuffs- blogged here.  Shoes: Frye.  Crafty foxes making another appearance! Katey, Sarah, and Ping.

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Top: Deer and Doe Datura in lovely Liberty – blogged here.  Shorts: Thrifted and cut off. Plants: Mahoney’s garden center

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Dress:  The peplum mash up makes another appearance.  Belt: vintage, thrifted. Cardigan: Ann Taylor. Bag: me made, sadly yet to be blogged.

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Skirt: Self drafted chiffon maxi.  Top: American Apparel. Cardigan: Ann Taylor.  Bag: Bag: me made, sadly yet to be blogged.20140604-112627-41187345.jpg

Collar: Named Clothing Alva Collar- blogged here.  Dress: PinkyOtto.  Cardigan: Ann Taylor20140604-112626-41186423.jpg

Top: refashioned peplum top from a thrifted silk blouse (unblogged).  Jeans: Topshop. Hat: Asos.  Clutch: me made leather clutch. Necklace:  me made from a chandelier crystal. 20140604-112627-41187027.jpg

Bag: me made (and really this thing deserves a blog post since I use it every single day).  Dress: from a boutique in Chicago, can’t remember the brand to save my life.  Stockings: American Apparel.  Cardigan: H&M.

Well, Me Made May has certainly been a learning experience. I have more than enough handmade items to make it through a month, but I (like many other bloggers I’ve been reading) have realized that my handmade items are not always my favorite go tos. I think this can be chalked up to a couple of factors. The first is that I am a bit of an impractical sewer. I have made some things that I just cant wear to work (neon floral leggings, strapless cocktail dress to name a few)…. But that being said, there’s still a place for those things in my wardrobe and I have no intention of cutting back on the party dresses. The second and I think more important factor is that I’m a lazy seamstress. I tend to rush through projects, cut corners, skip steps and settle for sub par fit and craftsmanship. This may mean I get to wear the item the next day, but it often means that it doesn’t get a lot of wear thereafter. I have a lot of ill fitting and uncomfortable items in my wardrobe. There’s a wiggle dress so tight that I can’t stand sitting at my desk in it all day. I’m embarrassed to wear my chiffon maxi because the gathers are so uneven. I love my banksia but it’s so short that I can’t wear it with jeans. None of my skirts are lined, and it drives me crazy to have them stick to my tights all day. So my me made May lesson is to slow down, raise my standards and be a better seamstress moving forward. I’ve also already begun the process of going back to fix the fixable.  From now on, I will not rush through the end of a garment at 11 PM-  I want to take my time and put really nice finishes on things, not crappy half assed ones.  I also plan to pay more attention to fit, because the ill fitting garments just plain do not get worn.  And that means it doesn’t matter that I saved time while sewing by not getting the fit right, because if it is unwearable then that is just plain wasted time.

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Me Made May ’14 + Indie Sewing Month!

Me Made May is here! This will be my very first Me Made May, and I’m pledging to wear at least one handmade item every day this month.  Thought this is mostly going to consist of made from scratch outfits, I’m including refashioned items in here, since I do have a couple of reworked bits and pieces kicking around my closet.  Also due to my recent foray into sewing with leather, I have some kick-ass me made accessories!

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My plan is to participate mainly via instagram, so check me out there to see what I come up with daily if you’re into that.  For fun though, here’s day 1:

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I’m wearing a never-been-blogged silk peplum blouse, which is actually a refashion of a huge, oversized 1980s shoulder pad number that I found at savers.  The clutch you probably recognize from this post, and the necklace is one I made from a chandelier crystal.

If you’ve made it this far and have no idea what I’m talking about, then check out the post on So Zo What Do You Know to get the full rundown!

May is turning out to be a very exciting month, as it is also Sewing Indie Month!

Sewing Indie Month

I’m pretty excited about this one!  I’m planning to enter at least one of the challenges….perhaps more, we’ll see. One that I have my eye on is the pattern hacking challenge, because I love a good pattern hack.  Dressed to the nines also seems up my alley since I LOVE sewing fancy dresses, but one month may not be quite enough for me to pull that off.

 

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Moonrise Kingdom Dress

I know I am so late to this party, but I saw Moonrise Kingdom for  the first time a couple of weeks ago.  What an adorable movie!  I have loved Wes Anderson ever since I first saw The Life Aquatic when I was in high school and immediately knit myself a little red cap just like in the movie. I had a similar feeling the moment I saw this cute little pink dress in Moonrise Kingdom:

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I made my version out of a pink linen from my stash:20140422-081507.jpg

The pattern is a bit of a hack.  The skirt you may recognize as a Deer and Doe Belladone, with some of the fullness taken out of it (but pockets intact!), the bodice is Burda 2/2014 #101, and the collar and cuffs are self drafted.  I used Gertie’s series of videos on collar drafting to draft the collar.  Her instructions were great but I wasn’t thrilled with the end result.  I think the problem is primarily that I used the wrong weight of interfacing.  The collar is wicked stiff and needs a lot of pressing to lay flat.  BUT all that being said, I love the dress and I’ve been wearing it all the time!20140422-081558.jpg

This was my first time working with linen, and it was a dream to sew with. Coming off of a run with silk chiffon, velvet and rayon challis, I was looking for something easier to work with and that’s what I got!  The layout and cutting was a dream compared to the rayon.  No special foot or hand basting required here, what a nice break!

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We took these photos on the farm while we were home visiting my dad for Easter. My dad’s kitten Thelma came along for the photo shoot.  Even after she jumped out of the basket she followed us quite a ways up the road- like a little dog.

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The tangible things I make in this digital world