Moneta – One of a Zillion

Over the long weekend, my fiance and I drove up to Napa, where his mom lives, and hung out there and in San Francisco for a couple of days.  It was fun and relaxing and gave me a chance to get a few pictures of my latest dress, the Moneta by Colette Patterns!

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I absolutely love this dress.  It is exactly the kind of silhouette I love with the ease of a knit.  Plus it is fast to sew!  We took these pictures by the dock in Vallejo while we were waiting for a couple of friends to meet us for lunch in Napa!  It was really windy and really bright, so my face looks kind of weird, but at least you can see the dress moving!

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This is actually my second Moneta.  My first is so adorable you guys.  It is a two sided almost sweater knit type fabric, and one side has stripes and one had polka dots, so I did the top in stripes and the bottom in polka dots.  It is the best!  Except when I washed it, it frayed like crazy on the hem, so I had to cut it off and re-hem it, and now it is super short. 😦  I might try to make one like it with some type of jersey some day.  Sigh. 

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Size-wise, I am on the high end of the XL and the low end of the 2x, but when I compared the bodice to my lady skater pattern, which I knew fit, the XL was closer, so I went with that! I’m glad I did – it fits really well up top and I like the length of the bodice a lot.  The fabric is from Jo-Ann’s – I went in for a couple of notions and I found this stripey fabric and it was on sale for only $5/yard and I really loved the colors.  It is really soft and nice, and the dress is so comfortable!

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For the first one I struck out on my own, but for this one I followed the sewalong which was super helpful, especially when it came to the elastic attaching.  I am still going to need some work on it, but this version was way better than my first.  Also, Devon helped me a few times at Sew L.A. and she was super helpful and nice so I liked learning from her!  I also made a third version during the sew along which I hope to share shortly!

So that’s it!  I really love this dress and plan on making a zillion, hence the title of this post. 

Until next time,

Karin

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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

Me Made May Reflections, plus some other things!

So…. I kind of failed my first Me Made May attempt!  If not at the wearing, definitely at the documenting.  Mostly I just started wearing a bunch of repeats so I stopped taking pictures!  However, I took a couple more before the wheels fell off! (These are all from instagram!)

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This dress is a Staple Dress which I never blogged because I made one previously!  It is made with a gorgeous voile that I got from Sew L.A.  I wore this dress on my birthday!  I guess I’d had in my mind that this was a special occasion kind of dress, and while it is super awesome, it is also really comfortable and is casual.  I really loved wearing it and will try to more often!

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On my birthday I decided to take the day off an treat myself to something nice. So, I made my first visit to The Fabric Store and picked up these beauties!  I seriously wanted to buy every single thing in that store, and spent ~2 months of my sewing budget in there.  The top two are jerseys – the teal is just the most perfect color, and is actually a wool blend.  I think that will become a Moneta (I’ve actually already made one and I love it so much and will post pictures soon)!  The wavy purple will likely be a dress as well – probably a tank dress because it is very lightweight!  The light blue stripes are linen – I am thinking a fit and flare dress that will be perfect on the hot weekends coming up!  And the front is actually silk!  My first silk!  It is just the most beautiful fabric ever.  I think I will make a kimono sleeve blouse with it – super simple since the pattern is a lot.  I am scared but also excited to sew with silk for the first time!

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One thing I got a lot of wear out of during the month was my polka dot lady skater!  This day I wore it with polka dot socks, because you just can’t ever get enough polka dots. It is just so easy to throw on and fun and comfortable.  I think that was the main take away from MMM for me – I just like being comfortable, and for me that means mostly knit dresses and t-shirts!  So before next time I want to have a lot of those made!  And maybe eventually trying my hand at pants/jeans since I will need something to wear with the t-shirts 🙂  I did notice that I only wore a skirt once.  I am not sure if this is because I am just not a skirt person or because I never feel like I have anything to wear with them.  I will have to think about that!

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I also made a convertible dress!  I’ve had this ITY knit sitting around for a long time (I think it’s from Fabric.com?) and I wanted to see how easy it would be to make one up. There’s a bunch of tutorials online but I ended up mostly using this one, which was very clear.  The only think I did differently was attach the tube top part directly to the skirt, and omit the waistband.    I didn’t have quite enough fabric to make the scarves as long as would be best, but overall I think it worked!  I’ll probably never wear it because the wrong side of the fabric shows, but it really was just to see if I could do it in a reasonable amount of time.  Why, you ask?  Well, I am strongly considering making these for my bridesmaids for my wedding in February.  I think they would be fun because they could switch up how they wear them.  It took maybe 3 hours to make from pattern drafting to sewing (I did most of it on my serger), and I think it would be pretty awesome if my bridesmaids could wear something I made!  Either way this would be a fun dress to have around so I might make one for myself in a different fabric eventually!

Lastly, I will be going to the LA Blogger Meet Up on June 14th!  I’m super excited to meet some fellow LA sewists and go fabric shopping with you all!

Ok, that’s it for now!  This summer I am hoping I will be sewing up a storm!

Until next time,

Karin

 

Coco Top (And MMM’14 Week 1 Round Up)!

ImageA few weeks ago I made Tilly and the Buttons great pattern, the Coco top!  This is a super versatile pattern with a classic, Breton top shape, that I really like.  I was pretty much treating this as a wearable muslin, as this fabric is much stretchier than what is recommended.  However, I still ended up with a very wearable top.

ImageI cut a straight size 8, and I actually think I could possibly go down a size, especially if I want something a little more close-fitting, more like a Breton top. But this top is super comfortable as is.  I thought about adding a patch pocket (and even cut one out), but decided the placement would be awkward.  Where do people with large busts put pockets?  Or should I just avoid them altogether?  I think a contrasting pocket would be so cute!

ImageI think one advantage to using a ponte as suggested would be slight smoother lines in the back!  I think I might also want to narrow the sleeves a bit.  I love the neckline, though!

ImageSide split!  Such a cute detail.  It would probably look nicer in a stable knit. 🙂  Overall, I think I will making plenty of these in the future!

I also wanted to give you a Me Made May Round-up.  You’ve seen my outfits if you follow me on instagram!  I had pledged to wear three me made items a week, so here are the two outfits other than the outfit above!

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Both of these are knit scout tees and you will notice that all three of my me made items this week are knit tops.  Definitely a staple of my wardrobe and something that I will be making a lot more of!

Until next time,

Karin

 

 

 

The Quest for the Perfect Knit Dress: Lady Skater 1 and 2

As mentioned in my previous post, one of the main things I want to make this season are knit dresses that I can just throw on whenever. This was actually one of the main reasons I wanted to get serger! I decided to try the Lady Skater by Kitschy Coo because there were so many great versions on the interwebz and it’s a shape I really like to wear and it goes up to my size!

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For my first version, I cut a straight size 8 from this adorable bright pink and white polka dot jersey from Girl Charlee. Over all I love it, and I’ve already worn it a bunch! There are a few things I wanted to alter though.

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1) I think the waistline is too low – it’s actually hitting me where I am the largest, so on the next version I raised it 3.5″. 2) Like pretty much everything I’ve ever made (I should probably have learned my lesson by now) I need a narrow shoulder adjustment. In the next version I did a 0.5″ narrow shoulder adjustment.

(Side note: I have been trying on wedding dresses and this narrow shoulder thing made all the straps/sleeves hit me in a weird place! I would have never known why things looked strange if I’d never started sewing!)

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I also have a lot of bunching in the back, but I hoped that will be taken care of by raising the waistline.

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For my second version, I used a jersey from Joann’s Fabrics. Along with the alterations mentioned above, I decided to try a drindl skirt. I really like that style and figured it would also use less fabric! It turned out a little weird though – I don’t think I gathered the skirt very well.

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I also didn’t think about the fact that raising the waistline to a narrower part of my body meant that I should also take it in a little bit. I’ll have to fix that next time! So this dress isn’t as fitted as planned, but it is still super comfy! I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it this summer.

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I’m still getting a lot of extra fabric in the back, so maybe I need a sway back adjustment?

I will definitely be making more of these, although I think I will switch back to the circle skirt the patter comes with. The new Moneta from Colette Patterns has a gathered skirt so I think I’ll be trying that for my next one!

Overall, these are two simple and nice dresses that will continue to get a lot of wear, and they sewed up really quickly! Definitely a nice way to get back into sewing after a long break!

Until next time,
Karin

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

 

Hoodie Sweatshirt!

Since my manfriend bought me a serger for Chanukah, I thought the nice thing to do would be to use it to make him a hoodie!

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And he graciously let me take pictures of him in it!

He’s just so cute.  I used McCall’s 6614 View D for the pattern, but obviously didn’t use contrasting fabric for the cuffs or hood.  He’s not really a contrast-y kind of guy. But I did use this super soft hunter green sweatshirt fleece from fabric.com.  Jeremy wears hoodies a lot, and until this year they were all black, but then he branched out to gray.  I thought I’d push him a little further and try for a nice dark green.  I think it looks really great with his eyes!

ImageThe serger worked out super great for most of the seams, but I definitely still need to work on getting my sewing machine to deal with knits.  This was especially difficult for it because the fabric is so bulky.  I think most of the top stitching turned out ok though.  I am planning to make one for my brother next, and hopefully that will turn out even better!

ImageThe only big issue I had was that somehow the 24″ zipper the pattern said to buy was 4″ shorter than the front of the hoodie!  I have no idea how that happened, although you’d think different sizes would require different lengths.  So I ended up creating little darts in the front so that it would attach in the right place.  As you can see the hoodie has a bit of a deeper neckline than it should, but since he will always be wearing a t-shirt under it it doesn’t matter too much.

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Back view!

The other thing I didn’t end up loving about the pattern is that the hood is super bulky.  Maybe the under layer would be better in cotton or something?  It definitely works, it just doesn’t lay nicely in the back.  But I think that’s something most people wouldn’t notice too much.  Hopefully.

Anyway, it was really fun making something for Jeremy, and he loves it and has been wearing it pretty much non-stop! In fact, he wore it on the day he proposed!

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Just before the proposal.

I definitely want to make more things for him as gifts in the future!

Until next time,

Karin