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Katy and Laney Geometry Top!

 

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Top: Geometry Top; Skirt: J Crew; Stockings: American Apparel; Shoes: Frye.

Looking at these photos I’m thinking maybe I should have named this post fall colors top….the blouse matches the leaves! The pattern is the brand spanking new Geometry Top by Katy & Laney.

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The pattern was released on Sunday, but I was lucky to get an early peek at it, because Katy & Laney were looking for pattern testers.

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I made it up in rayon challis (which you might recognize from this top and this skirt), which I’ve used before and wanted to throw out the window and set on fire  had a rough time with .  The pattern instructions are really, really comprehensive though, and include a helpful section with tips on working with silk and silky fabrics like rayon.  I ended up treating the fabric with gelatin as the instructions suggested, which worked like a charm!  Who knew?!  When I was a synchronized swimmer in college (and now you know where my love for lamé comes from) we used to put it in our hair to keep it in place for shows.  Turns out it works just as well to stabilize fabrics.  Post-gelatin, the fabric was much easier to cut and sew with.

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I love the way the top turned out.  I’m a sucker for loose shapes and dropped shoulders (I’m looking at you, Wikstens 1,  2, 3, and 4), so this silhouette is right up my alley.  It’s a shape that I don’t see very often amongst the indie patterns out there, so I’m really pleased to have that option.

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I’m planning more versions of the top already. I have another piece of rayon challis that I’d like to use, and I think a jersey version may be in the works as well.  The top is a relatively quick project.  I didn’t time myself, but I estimate it took me only a few hours from gelatin to finished product.

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Have any of you guys ever worked with gelatin as a stabilizer? I thought it was a great, cheap alternative to stabilizers I’ve tried in the past such as sulky solvy.

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Cotton and Steel Wiksten

Yes kids, it’s Wiksten number 4 (see number 1, number 2 and number 3)!  And I have no intention of slowing down on this pattern.  This one is made with a gorgeous print from Cotton and Steel, which I purchased at Grey’s Fabric and Notions.

cotton and steel wiksten - 02Dress:  me made, pattern here; cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft; necklace: me made; earrings: my mother’s.

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I really love this print- I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it at Grey’s, and wasn’t able to resist buying it.

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The pattern has two variations- a tank and a dress, and as you can see I made the dress version.  I didn’t like how wide it was when I first stitched it up, so I took quite a bit of width out of the side seams to narrow it out.  Rather than flat felling the seams, I just serged them all, and the neckline and armholes are finished with bias tape.

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Jeans!

Here they are- the long awaited jeans!

IMG_4679Jeans: me made; Shoes: thrifted; Belt: thrifted; T-shirt: American Apparel; Cardigan: stolen from boyfriend.

I cranked these out last weekend in a sewing bender that started Saturday afternoon and kept on going until late Sunday night.  They are the Wyome Boyfriend Jeans by Named. My love for Named is well documented (here, here, and here), but these pants really take it to the next level.

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I LOVE this pattern! I made a muslin to start with, but they fit so well that I decided to make them up with no alterations.  The only changes I made to the pattern were to put in a zip fly rather than a button fly.

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I also changed up the order in which I constructed them a bit- I read a lot of how-tos online before I got started and while I was working.  My go-tos were the Male Pattern Boldness Jeans Sewalong and the Thread Cult podcast on Jeans (does anyone else listen to this podcast?  I really like it).  What I read  encouraged me to construct the whole front and whole back separately and then sew them together, so that’s what I did!

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I am beyond pleased at how these turned out- I have been wearing them constantly.  They are hands down my favorite thing that I have ever sewn.  I am planning another pair very soon- maybe fleece lined this time for winter?  If I can get away without wearing long underwear this year, I will do it!

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The secret to my success on these was that I set up a bit of an assembly line.  I have two sewing machines, and I set both of them up, along with my serger.  I loaded the denim topstitching thread into one machine, kept my topstitching foot on it, and set the stitch length to 4.  Then on my other machine, I kept the regular foot, thread and stitch length.  That way I could stitch a seam, serge it, and then topstitch it without having to mess with the settings on the machine.  I think this really saved me some time.  It had the additional benefit of taking up a lot of space in my apartment.  I knew I had to finish quickly and take down the assembly line before my roommates got annoyed!

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I can’t believe how well these jeans fit- when I bought the pattern, I knew that I wanted a pair of boyfriend fit jeans, but I had no idea how well these were going to come out.

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I did have one little hiccup, though.  I can’t figure out how to make the buttonhole!  The waistband is too thick to fit under my buttonhole foot.  So I’ve been hiding that fact under my belt…

Does anyone have any tips for putting buttonholes in really bulky spots?

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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

 

The tangible things I make in this digital world