Rest of Summer Sewing Plans

I’ve actually been doing a fair amount of sewing, but haven’t taken any pictures. My fiancé and I are in San Francisco and Napa this weekend, and I brought one of my new favorite dresses, so hopefully we can snap some pictures while we’re here! In the meantime, I have about 3 weeks left of summer before we take a trip for a friend’s wedding, after which I’m going straight to a conference for work, then my parents are coming in town for a week, and then my summer break is over. So I thought I should make a plan to get as much summery sewing as possible done before that.

I’ve been using a sketching program on my iPad to make a croquis and draw out what I’m planning to make. Please do not laugh at my art skills.

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I want to make a couple of summery dresses, and I think the staple dress will be perfect because it is quick and the resulting dress will be nice and light for how hot it’s been. To be super efficient I thought I could cut two at once! I have a navy and white polka dot voile from Michael Levine and a blue and white striped linen from The Fabric Store, which will both make perfect summer dresses.

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I’ve been wanting to make a kimono tee pattern, and was thinking of drafting my own, but then realized I could just shorten the staple dress! I’m planning to do that and make it up in a jade Swiss dot from Mood Fabrics (that I got with a gift card from my friend Lacey for my birthday! Thanks, Lacey!).

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I also have a really nice purple jersey from The Fabric Store, and I think it will make a great tank dress. It’ll be nice to make a few knit dresses with looser tops, after the Moneta rampage I’ve been on (pictures soon!).

If I can get all of this done by August I will be really happy and amazed. Then it will be time to think about what I’d like to sew for Fall!

Until next time,

Karin

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Anthropologie Knock-off T-Shirt!

So remember when I went into Anthropologie and didn’t buy this shirt (sold out!) even though I wanted it with all of my heart?ImageAnd I didn’t buy it because my friend kindly reminded me that I can sew, and therefore do not need to spend $60 on a shirt?  Well, I did it!

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Dots and florals!

I looked around for a while for fabrics I thought would look cute together, and I had this floral in my stash from Girl Charlee (they don’t seem to have the same one anymore, but here is one that is kind of similar).  Then my parents got me a gift certificate to Mood Fabrics (aren’t they nice?) where I spied this super cute tiny polka dot!

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Please excuse that expression, it was insanely bright!

The polka dot from mood is SO SOFT.  I love it and want to make all of my clothes out of this fabric.  The floral is really pretty, but not as soft.  Also, it didn’t stretch as much, so this may not have been the perfect first knit garment to make, because sewing them together was slightly difficult.

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For the pattern, I used the Scout Tee from Grainline Studio and I used Jen’s Knit Scout Tutorial to make this top.  I cut a size 18 – I didn’t realize how much ease was in the pattern!  I think it is actually a really flattering cut for me, though!  And I think that this size would work well even in a woven, because the jersey isn’t actually stretching when I wear it.  I think it would have been helpful for me to have made the woven version first just to get a little more directions, but overall the tutorial was great.  Although, I accidentally but the binding on the wrong way at first!  But being able to work though much less detailed directions reminded me that I am probably not a beginner sewist any more.  Hooray!

ImageThe only thing I am not 100% happy with fit wise is how big the sleeves are, especially in the back.  This might be partially my fault, because it’s very possible I stretched them while hemming.  However, I might try to narrow them a bit on the next one.  I might also do a slight narrow shoulder adjustment, although I think in a slouchier style like this, it isn’t a big deal.  Here especially you can tell that I had a hard time sewing the two fabrics together – because the sleeve was made out of the stretchier fabric, I got some waviness on the back.  Also, although I feel ok about using the serger, I definitely am going to mess around with both that and my sewing machine a lot more to figure out how to use a twin needle so it looks nice and how to get all the seams to look good.

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All in all, I am super happy with this shirt!  I can’t wait to make myself a bunch of knit tops, especially interesting ones like these, that I can wear everyday with jeans, as that is basically my uniform.

Until next time,

Karin

 

Geometric Staple Dress

Hi everyone!  Life has just been doing everything it can to keep me away from my sewing machine lately.  But, I managed to finish this super great dress!

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Indoor pictures now that it gets dark at 5pm.

This is The Staple Dress by April Rhodes. And despite that look on my face, I love it so much! This was a super simple pattern to put together, and it is exactly the type of dress I want a bunch of in my wardrobe: loose-ish, comfortable, but cinched at the waist so that I don’t have to wear a belt.  I really hate having to wear a belt for something to look reasonable.

ImagePlus pockets!  Hooray.  The only adjustment I made to the pattern was the neckline – when I mentioned I was going to make it, Leila warned me that the neckline is drafted really high, and if you look at the photos on the pattern that is definitely true!  I cut an XXL, but used the XS neckline, then took another half an inch off of that.  I’m definitely happy with where the neckline is now!  The only thing I might do differently next time is try to do a size in between the XL and the XXL so it isn’t quite so drapey up top.  But I’m very happy with the dress as it is!  It probably took me about 3 hours total, including doing french seams on the shoulders which I’d never done before.  It could be made even faster if you didn’t include pockets (although why anyone would do that I don’t know) or used pre-made bias binding for the neckline and sleeves.

The only other difference from the pattern was that I used clear elastic and a small zig-zag stitch to attach it rather than the elastic thread shirring. This was just because I didn’t know where to get elastic thread and I had clear elastic on hand.  I picked up some elastic thread last weekend though so next time (and there will probably be a bunch of next times) I will try that!

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Let’s talk about this fabric.  It is a gorgeously soft and lovely cotton by Thakoon from Mood Fabrics (unfortunately sold out!).  This is by far the nicest feeling fabric I’ve worked with – it almost felt silky, but was super easy to work with since it’s cotton. I love how it feels, and I love the awesome geometric pattern.  It is super fun and will go with any number of jackets and sweaters in my closet.  Unfortunately it is a tiny bit see-through, but that can be remedied by use of the correct undergarments or not caring.  I chose the latter.    

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Fancy poses.

I wore this dress out on Saturday night with my utility jacket and got loads of compliments from my friends!  Luckily we don’t have much in the way of seasons here in LA so I think this dress will get worn year round!  I really love it a lot.  This is a great beginner pattern and I can see myself coming back to it when I just want an easy, new dress in between more challenging projects.

Until next time,

Karin

 

Some plans!

I really like having a short list of projects on the docket so that I don’t get distracted by all the shiny new patterns/fabric I see around.  I’m also trying to not spend much money on sewing this month so I would like to stick to patterns and fabric I already have!

October should be a really interesting month – my boyfriend is leaving for Paris for two weeks tomorrow for work (I cannot even describe how jealous I am), so many of my evenings will be free for sewing (and also missing my boyfriend, I suppose…)!  On the other hand, this week I start a class to become a docent at the LA Zoo!  I am so thrilled to be back in a class AND to get to hang out with animals.  The classes will be pretty much all day on Saturdays from now until April, so it will be interesting to see how that affects my productivity.  Either way, if I can get these three projects done in the next month I will be happy.

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The first is the Colette Zinnia in royal blue corduroy, which I’ve mentioned before.  I have everything cut out and interfaced, so I just have to sew this up, and I will have a great and versatile fall skirt!

staple dressThe second project is April Rhode’s Staple Dress in this great Thakoon cotton I managed to get on sale from Mood Fabrics before it was out of stock.  (Sorry y’all.)  I’ve been wanting a black and white geometric dress like this one from J. Crew for a while, and thought this would be the perfect pairing!  And will be a heck of a lot cheaper than the J. Crew version, too!

V8815The third project is a little different…I have been wanting to learn more about fitting, so I am taking the Plus-Size Pattern Fitting class on Craftsy!  I’m so excited to learn some good fitting lessons which I’m sure will help me a ton in fitting all the other great patterns that are out there.  The class comes with the peplum top Vogue 8815 and I am thinking about making View B in this beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabric.  I also have a mere 1.5 yards of this awesome sheep fabric, but I might be able to squeeze View A out of it.  I mean, who doesn’t want a peplum top with sheep all over it?

I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated with how things are going!  Do you have any specific fall plans?  And speaking of sheep, be on the look out for some awesome zoo animal pictures on this here blog!

Until next time,

Karin

Fall for Cotton Update!

Hey guys!  I wanted to give you all an update on my Fall for Cotton plans and progress!  It’s been pretty fun so far thinking about all the options!  I am making a blouse and a skirt!  Fun times!  For the blouse I am making view C of Simplicity 1692.

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And for the skirt I am making a button down A-line skirt inspired by this one:

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And here are the fabrics!  For the top, I am using the plaid shirting from Mood Fabrics, which is basically all of my favorite colors in one fabric, and these super awesome star buttons for the shoulders.  It seems like novelty buttons were used in 1940s fashions, and I thought the stars on the shoulders would be a fun nod to the military-esque nature of some of the clothing of the time.  For the skirt I am using this blue corduroy and these cool clear buttons (sorry, they are on backorder because I got the last ones ;))  The corduroy is a bit brighter in person, but it is still a nice color.

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I was a little worried that a corduroy button down skirt would turn out a little too 70s, but then Rochelle just happend to write this whole post on how period appropriate corduroy is, and posted this great picture that I am going to use for more inspiration.  I might even add the pockets as seen on the green version on the left!  I will talk more about the skirt in another post, but I am going to be designing it myself using the Design and Sew an A-line Skirt class on Craftsy.  Which, by the way is only $9.99 right now!  So far I’ve watched all the introduction, and I am so excited to learn some drafting techniques.

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I’ve already made a muslin for the shirt and done a lot of adjusting.  I cut a size 20, with a size 14 neckline (I would feel like I am being choked in that super-high neckline, plus it’s not always flattering on us busty ladies).  I ended up lowering it a bit more though 🙂

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It was a little too narrow through the tummy and hip area, so I fixed that by grading from a 5/8″ seam allowance to a 3/8″ seam allowance.  Then I felt like there was a little too much fabric under the bust so I just sewed the front darts 2.5″ higher from where they originally ended.  I also made the sleeve narrower by 1.5″ at the end, and curved it into the side seam.  Now I feel like it fits well and its pretty flattering.  I can’t wait to get the top sewn up, hopefully during this week!

Until next time,

Karin