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

 

Hi everyone!

I’ve been really busy lately with non-sewing things, but if you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen a few exciting things re: sewing that have happened lately!

The first is that I made another Staple Dress, this time for my friend Elisabeth for her 30th birthday!

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She looks pretty cute, huh?

I made this one out of a buffalo plaid chambray from Sew L.A.  They are always so helpful!  It turned out super cute, so much so that I actually squeaked a bit when it was finished.  This time I used the elastic thread, which was really fun and worked out quite well!  I also made bias tape from the fabric and used exposed bias tape (as explained here) to finish the neck and armholes.  I thought it would be a cute detail and break up all that plaid!  This was my first time aligning buffalo plaid, which is probably one of the easiest to line up, but I used some tips from Lauren and it worked out great!  I forgot to get a picture of that so you will just have to take my word for it.

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Exposed bias facing!

The second very exciting news is that something I’ve been wanting forever was on super sale, so my boyfriend and I split it as my Chanukah gift!

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Meet Klaus!

This is of course the eponymous Brother 1034D, my very own serger!  Amazon happens to be selling them right now for $180, plus we got free shipping since my boyfriend has Amazon prime.  I knew I picked him for a reason.  I have been thinking about getting a serger for a long time, because I want to sew knits.  I know you can do that on a sewing machine, but everything I’ve seen/read/talked to people about says its much easier on a serger.  Plus it just looks so fancy and professional.  And I couldn’t pass up the great deal!

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I mean just look at how beautiful that is.

I probably won’t do an actual review here, since that’s been covered in a lot of places, but so far I love it with all of my heart.  The first item I’ll be making with it is actually a hoodie for my boyfriend, so stay tuned for that. I also bought the Beginning Serger Sewing class on Craftsy (which is also having a 50% off sale right now, FYI), and I can’t wait to learn more about my serger!  

Ok, that’s all for now.  I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving or Chanukah or weekend!

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