Myosotis Dress I

finished objects, sewing

I made this Myosotis dress back in May using this beautiful silk panel print that has lingered in my stash. My original plan was to make the ruffle-y version, but sadly, I did not have enough fabric. I purchased 2 panels worth of material, but the fabric was barely 40″ wide.

Experimenting with how to make this work. Not the final layout.

Somehow it worked out that I was able to match the prints fairly well between the sleeves, bodice and skirt. I added more fullness to the skirt piece to take advantage of the left and right selvedge edges: no need to finish the side seams! I also thought it would be a way to add more fullness without the ruffle. Spoiler alert: I think the added fullness at the waist isn’t the most flattering thing.

Because the silk is very sheer, and I am a sweaty person, I fully lined the dress with Bemberg rayon (THE BEST!). If I am going to be super-technical, I actually underlined the bodice and finished the seams with bias tape. 🙌for sewing 6 darts once, not twice!!

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I hand-sewed the collar, sleeves and front facings with silk thread to make it feel special. I love how this detail looks! This print is so unique, and I love how I was able to use the different parts given how little fabric I had. I am especially happy that I found a spare sliver of the purple section to use for the collar.

I LOVE this dress. I am definitely going to make another with the ruffles soon. Based on other people’s reviews, I went down a size and I am happy with that decision. There’s still a lot of positive ease in the bodice and waist so its quite comfortable.

Pictures in public make me so self-conscious!
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Tracing a RTW Short Sleeved Shirt

finished objects, sewing
You can’t even see the pocket! Pattern matching FTW!

I’ve made quite a few collared shirts for Jacob over the years from different patterns but none of them fit him perfectly, so I ripped apart a RTW shirt that fits him well to make a pattern from it. I was pretty intimidated by the idea of this, but it wasn’t too hard.

To start, we went to the thrift store to find a short-sleeved shirt that fit well. Next I spent an hour or so seam ripping it while watching TV. I found this strangely meditative, and it went very quickly. I dissected almost everything completely, except one side seam and the center front folded stuff, I ripped those just enough to figure out what was going on there.

Some of the shirt pieces.

I noted the seam allowances and where they were trimmed down. I then traced the pieces and added SA where necessary. I harvested the buttons from the shirt to use on my version.

Scribbles for notes.

At this point in my sewing life, I have sewed several collared shirts so I didn’t need instructions. It was helpful to have the seam-ripped pieces handy to check things, like where to put the pocket. It was SO EASY to lay the RTW left front over my cut one, and figure out the perfect pocket placement. My buttonholer hasn’t worked since the Jean Jacket Saga of 2018, so I took this shirt to Jonathan Embroidery and they sewed the buttonholes perfectly and quickly.

The verdict? Jacob is really happy with the fit of this shirt, so its going to become his go-to short sleeved shirt pattern! He requested a fun fabric so he could participate in “tiki shirt Fridays” at work this summer, and I am in the process of sewing a second one in a more subdued check.

Fumeterre Skirt

finished objects, sewing

I finally got around to making a Fumeterre skirt from Deer and Doe. I have almost made it so many times, but whenever I felt the urge, I didn’t want to wait for the pattern to ship from France. So a couple of weeks ago, when I got their email newsletter announcing this skirt among their newly available PDF patterns, I jumped on it!

I got this VERY fancy wool-bamboo houndstooth from B&J Fabrics. Its my second most expensive fabric I’ve ever purchased, EEEP. I used faux-leather piping for the pockets, and I am particularly happy with my zipper fly. The back elastic seemed superfluous when I was adding it in, but it really helps to keep up the skirt without digging in to my waist too much. I did hong kong seams and wow did they take forever. It looks really nice, though!

I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern, I am 5′6″ and its floor length in flats. I wore it to work for a party last week, and I had to hoist it up as I walked since it dragged on the ground a bit. The fabric is so dreamy and drapey, and it’s very fun to wear. I will definitely make this again in a warm-weather fabric this spring.

Ginger Jeans

finished objects, sewing

I finally made some jeans, and I am pretty happy with them! The motivation to make these came from the sad day when the zipper broke on my favorite pair of black jeans. I really felt their absence from my wardrobe, so I decided I would take the plunge and use my Cone Mills black denim and try out the Ginger Jeans (View B).

posting a picture of my butt on the internet is a very odd feeling.

Overall I am extremely happy with these jeans and have incorporated them into my everyday wardrobe, so thats a huge positive!!! I am also very happy with the zipper fly, the way the pattern has you do it is very easy. I did a raw hem, so I cut 3.5″ off the bottom of the jeans, and did a straight stitch a 1/2″ up from the bottom to prevent extreme fraying.

Next time I will place the pockets higher on the butt, and take in the waist a little more, they are a little bit baggy in the front crotch area. I also think I’ll raise the hem a couple of inches, as these could really have a higher rise. 

Oops, I forgot to lengthen my stitch length for the waistband…

BTW, I am wearing my Shadow Pullover and my New Yorker tote in these photos!!

Handmade Vacation

finished objects, sewing

Hey there! I just got back from my epic trip to Spain, and I wanted to share what handmade clothes I wore while traveling. Two standout pieces, my grey linen Brumby skirt, and my Red cotton/linen Moss skirt, were workhorses. I wore them almost every day!! I was looking forward to getting some wear from my jean jacket, but it was so hot in Spain, I only wore it once. What a beautiful country!

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About to discover the wrong entrance to the Toledo Cathedral in my Brumby skirt and carrying my New Yorker tote.

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Taking in the Barcelona view from Montjuïc in my Moss skirt

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Posing as the Washerwoman at Park Güell with my New Yorker tote and a Wiksten tank dress

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In awe of the Sagrada Família wearing my Hampton jean jacket

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Drinking in the Barcelona culture in my Lois dress

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Bonus Brumby skirt pic next to a delightful Joan Miró sculpture

I was daydreaming of sewing the whole time we were gone, so I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things and get to autumn sewing.

New Work Tote and an Inari Dress

finished objects, sewing

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Have you seen the seemingly infamous New Yorker tote? I have been using it as a work bag for the past few months, and came to the conclusion that I’d rather be carrying a bag I made instead!

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This idea had been bubbling in the back of my mind for a few weeks, then last weekend I met up with some fine ladies to visit Brooklyn General Store. I found some lovely green canvas and the idea in the back of my mind shot up to my conscious and the Copycat Tote’s journey began. I found inspiration from Ashley‘s Portsmith Tote and nabbed a Klum House leather strap kit, too. Upgrade!!

Before I made my bag, I considered the pros of the New Yorker tote: great size, perfect handle drop; as well as the cons: no interior pockets, not waterproof. So I capitalized on the pros and improved the cons. I measured the dimensions of the New Yorker tote, jotted them down, and made some quick sketches for how I would construct it, and what sort of a pocket to add. I wanted a place to easily stash my phone and wallet, and a place to keep a pen just in case something comes up (like you know it always does..). I also wanted a key loop so I don’t have to fish around for them in the tote. I had seen tote bags have flap backs for interior pockets, perhaps it makes the pocket more sturdy? I interfaced and used bias tape for the edges, I really like how it turned out, and there appears to be no straining when I use the pocket.

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I added quite a long facing at the top of the bag, I thought I’d like the look of it (I do!) and it would add some stability (it does!). I also created a double-sided, interfaced rectangle to lay across the bottom of the bag. Overall, the only SNAFU I ran into was hammering the rivets… my downstairs neighbor was not pleased with my banging. It was only 6:30pm, but I think it must have been quite loud, so I finished riveting outside on the sidewalk.

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I went whole hog and waxed this bag with OtterWax. I think I was a little bit overzealous with the top part, its on there pretty thick. Its also been excruciatingly hot, so I am not sure its properly cured yet. The internet has a lot of opinions on how to apply and cure this product, but I followed the package and just rubbed it on and then let it dry. A few days in, its still a bit tacky.

Oh, I also made the Inari Dress I’m wearing, a really quick sew, and I love it! I’ve made 2 tops from this pattern, but just hadn’t gotten around to a dress version until now. I found this amazing fabric the last time I went back to Pgh and went to the Center for Creative Reuse (my favvvvvv <3) and was struck with inspiration to make it into an Inari. I really wanted to create the neckband, but this fabric is not stretchy at all, so I went for the neck facing. I think I might sew it down all around, facings in general just drive me nuts!

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Overall, been really productive over here!!!

Jean Jacket!!

finished objects, sewing

I finished my Hampton jean jacket!! What a saga this thing has been! I was cruising along pretty well, and was almost finished, but right when I began topstitching the armholes, my machine broke. I had to take it somewhere to have it repaired, which was its own difficult tale, but I’ll spare you the details. Long story short, its very hard to crate around a heavy sewing machine in New York without a car! But Crown Machine Services came to the rescue and fixed it right up, so I was able to finish my jean jacket on Friday (just in time for it to be 97 degrees on Monday)!

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I used 10oz. Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics. I just found out that Cone Mill has shut down, so there are no longer any American denim manufacturers in existence, so I wanted to snag some of what’s left. I washed and air dried the fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces, and again after I completed it but before the buttons and buttonholes. I used some stashed scraps of Liberty to line the pockets and the back yoke.

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After reading Alina’s super awesome sewalong post about distressing the jacket, I used 220 and 120 sanding sponges to go to town on the seams prior to topstitching. As I was sanding, I thought it wasn’t really making a difference, but after washing the jacket it looks great and a little bit worn in!

I got a Hot Tip (thanks for the lingo, Karen!) from the_other_emily to take my jacket to Jonathan’s Embroidery in the Garment District to have the buttonholes done, and WOW I am so glad I took her advice! The seamstress sewed all the buttonholes in less than an hour (while I popped over to Mood) and they are BEAUTIFUL! I couldn’t be happier, and I think it helps make the jacket look more RTW.

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I am a little bit disappointed with the welt pockets, the top and bottoms are a little bit wonky, but other than that I really love how it came out! It fits perfectly, and I can’t wait to break it in.

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