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Floral Scuba Trapeze Dress

It’s probably a good thing that I don’t go into a daily office job right now because then there would be people (other than my husband) to notice that I’m wearing this dress a lot this winter. Like, a lot a lot. It’s comfortable as all get-out, it’s warm, it’s my exact winter palette, it works great with leggings (I’m working on a leggings pattern and I’ve gotta make sure the samples are comfortable to wear!), and did I mention how comfortable it is? I drafted the pattern myself off of my t-shirt block (all it takes is a few vertical slits from hem to bust that are spread evenly) but the Closet Case Patterns Ebony is obviously pretty similar if you don’t want to do any drafting yourself. I wanted to have a swoopy hem with some interesting shape to it, but the underside of the scuba is white …

Wasabi Rose Socks

Sock yarn is something I often buy as a souvenir. And then it typically sits in my yarn stash for a very long time before I decide to use it. That wasn’t actually true for this yarn. I bought it this summer at the Sheep Dog Trials on our island (a national competition and a lot of fun to watch!) and started to knit it pretty quickly thereafter. I like to have a very portable project on my needles (I do generally prefer to knit sweaters so I always have several projects going at once). I’m finally finding the time to knit such portable projects as my toddler has reached a stage in development where I can plop in one place and let her run in circles around me while I knit, at least for short stretches of time :) I chose the pattern because I had it in my …

Pink & Black Sporty Watson Bra

You know what I find really interesting? My current desire to wear unstructured bras. Before pregnancy I mostly wore foam-cup bras that helped to give the illusion of curves to my torso, to balance and soften my otherwise angular and hippy body. While pregnant and shortly after I only wore soft cup bralettes since my boobs were huge (to me) and my body was so covered in curve that no extra curve was necessary. But now that I’m back down in cup and body size I’m no longer as interested in the foam cups I once felt necessary. I’m more drawn to soft cup bras. I don’t really know how to unpack this new desire. Is it because my post-baby body is softer even at the same weight as before so I don’t need to add more softness? Is it because I’m more comfortable in my own body than ever …

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Folkwear Afghan Nomad Dress

This dress needed to be sewn. I don’t know why. I have so much plenty of other fabric calling my name. I have a giant list of sewing projects that range from very necessary (it would be really nice to have more than 2 long sleeve shirts now that cold weather is here) to completely impractical (though I actually take offense at myself for saying this because I do wear every weird thing I sew so therefore it’s not really impractical is it? I digress). This was not on my list. Until I woke up one morning and needed to make it. I don’t actually know why but it had to happen. So this dress is what I sewed over the last couple of weeks. The pattern is Afghani Nomad Dress (now called Afghan Nomad Dress to be in keeping with modern terminology) from Folkwear patterns and oddly enough I’ve …

3

Denim Shorts with Patch Pockets

I’ve never really been a shorts kinda gal. I’d rather rock a miniskirt. But as I get used to sewing for my post-baby crotch, shorts seemed like a good place to start. No, this isn’t the start of an overshare, but rather a discussion of the bane of many sewists existence – the dreaded crotch curve. Pre-baby I had quite a flat stomach and a full (though low) derrière but eventually worked out a pretty good fitted pants block that accounted for my body’s unique shape. And then I had a baby. And now I have no butt and a definite curve to my belly. So it’s back to the drawing board on crotch fitting. I figured shorts would waste less fabric if it was a flop. And of course it’s been summer so shorts seem fitting (haha, that’s a pun). I didn’t make these shorts skin tight as I …

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A Very Me Garment: Denim Mini Skirt

This blog post isn’t really about showing off my awesome sewing since the denim miniskirt I hacked out of an old pair of my husband’s worn out jeans took me less than an hour to sew. But I do think it’s worth sharing since the skirt feels so very me. I’ve been trying to re-figure out what exactly my style is for quite a while now. I feel like my strong sense of self identity was eroded away as my self-confidence and happiness were eroded away over too many years in graduate school. And then I started to figure some things out but then I had a baby which meant dramatic changes to my body. So I’m (mostly) back to a place of feeling self-confident and comfortable in my body, but my wardrobe hasn’t caught up. I went through the curated closet and I now have a much more cohesive …

Boho Kimono (Ultraviolet Tee Hack)

The era of my life where summers were all about music festivals is over, but I hope I’ll never be too old to enjoy setting up some portable speakers and having a private dance party in my garden. Of course one must dress for the occasion (even if it’s a rather small affair), so I whipped up this little kimono style topper using a hack of my Ultraviolet Tee pattern. I used a lightweight floral print poly that I originally intended to be for purse linings (and has actually lined a few Presidio Purses I’ve made) but it was the lightest floatiest thing I had in my stash and it just seemed to fit the bill. I figured it wouldn’t get too sweaty since the topper is so loose and open. To hack your own, take the Front pattern piece and draw a line straight from the edge of the …

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Simple Summer Linen Dress

Isn’t it delightful when a few different long-percolating ideas can come together? I’ve had this lovely embroidered linen in my stash for a bit. It was a gift from a friend who bought it for me at Mood when she was in New York last year (or the year before?). She was texting me photos while she was there and I thought it was just to share the excitement but much to my delight one of the cuts of fabric made it my way! I knew that it needed to be a simple garment since pattern matching was not going to be possible given the irregularity of the embroidery and the amount of fabric I had. After releasing my Ultraviolet Tee I brainstormed a list of ways I could hack the pattern and turning it into a dress was definitely on the list. I browsed through my wall of fabric …

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Workout Clothes for Boxing

I’ve taken up boxing. This winter was a dark time for me and starting in early spring I knew I needed to do what I could to help myself get out of it. One of the things that I know helps me when I’m struggling with depression is to be more physically active. Of course the worse I’m feeling the less I want to exercise, so I knew I needed to find an exercise class that I would enjoy to help give me that extra push since I just didn’t see getting into a routine again on my own. There aren’t a whole lot of options since I live on an island, but I knew there was a small studio I liked since I had enjoyed classes there before I got pregnant. There was one class that wasn’t full and was scheduled when I regularly have childcare so I decided …

Lengthening the Ultraviolet Tee (High Drama Option 2)

With just a little bit more work (than the standard easy way to lengthen the Ultraviolet Tee) you can have a shirt that is high drama. By keeping the side the same length but lengthening the scoop on the front and back, you get belly and bum coverage with quite a bit of sexy sass. To make the high-drama lengthening, draw a new lengthen line through the middle of the curve at the bottom (instead of using the one that is included with the pattern) (Step 1). Cut the Front and Back pieces through the line and separate them your desired length (the example shown is 2-3″) (Step 2). Redraw the curve by gently connecting the point an inch above the cut to an inch below the cut (Step 3). Remember that you use the circle to match the side seams and you want the center front of your shirt to …

Lengthening the Ultraviolet Tee (option 1)

If you’re not keen on the “slightly cropped” aspect of View A of the Ultraviolet Tee (or if you have a particularly long torso) but you want to keep the gentle curve on the front and back and the scoop on the side, this is how you go about lengthening your pattern pieces. This is also the same process for lengthening View B. Since the pattern pieces are essentially straight at the sides, it’s just about as easy as can be to make the pattern longer. 1 – Cut the pattern along the lengthen/shorten line on both the Front and Back. 2 – Separate the pattern pieces the amount you would like to lengthen the shirt. 2-3 inches will bring the shirt down to a non-cropped length (like the sample shirt pictured in this post). 3 – Connect the pattern pieces and fill in the gap.

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Rainbow Raindrops Waterproof Minoru Raincoat

I live in the Seattle area. You may not have heard this about Seattle, but it rains a fair bit here (ha!). In fact we broke rain records yet again this year so a raincoat is a timely project. Of course I finished it just in time for May flowers instead of April showers (or all winter long incessant drizzle as the case may be). But I can promise you that this raincoat will be getting plenty of wear over the years. Though I didn’t finish many projects this winter, I really took my time with what I did sew to make them as perfect as possible with deluxe fabrics and this coat is no exception (my wool & silk Fumettere and quilted velvet puffer vest being prime examples of what I mean). I used Sewaholic’s Minoru pattern (that I’ve had and been meaning to sew since it came out …

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Wool, Silk, and Leather Luxe Fumeterre

I started this skirt at the beginning of the year. I meant it as a replacement of an old high-waisted wool maxi skirt that I loved in theory, but I had made it so long ago that the shoddy construction I used back then drove me crazy now. I used Deer & Doe’s Fumeterre skirt pattern for a replacement wool skirt. I certainly could have drafted my own 8-gore maxi skirt, but I just couldn’t get over those delicious front pockets. Again, I could have figured them out on my own, but Eleonore had already done the work to get the proportions perfect and I like to support indie designers so I went ahead and bought the pattern. This is a very deluxe skirt that also happens to be quite frugal. I used a gorgeous wool crepe that I picked up at the thrift store for $2/yard, a silk crepe de …

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More Than “Good Enough” Nursing Bra

Apparently “good enough” isn’t good enough. I was sure that the “good enough” nursing bra that I just made was going to last me just fine until I’m done nursing. But sitting down to blog about it got the idea of making a better version stuck in my head. So I used Evie’s nap time the last couple of days not doing any of the tasks I really *should* be doing (or working on one of the other handful of WIPs I already have going) but instead sewing another bra. And I’m pretty well chuffed about it. Never mind that this set of photos look pretty dang close to the last set of photos, I swear they’re of a different and better bra! It’s the same Kwik Sew K3594. I went down one band size and used 2 layers of power mesh for the band (instead of the 2 layers …

2

Kwik Sew K3594 Nursing Bra

This bra isn’t that exciting. It’s Kwik Sew K3594 that I converted into a nursing bra. As much as I want to sew only exciting things, apparently practical still wins out occasionally. This bra was meant to be a wearable muslin – I do have pretty fabrics and lace that I want to sew into a bra, but I’m not totally sure what size I should be wearing right now as my bust size has changed yet again since I have been slowly losing weight post baby. Since it’s pretty near impossible to figure out if a bra fits until it’s almost all sewn, I figured I’d start simple and then when I figure out the fit go ahead and use my pretties. I haven’t quite gotten the fit right with this bra. You can see there’s a bit of extra fabric in the bottom of the cup. The one fit …

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#OOTD Month 2: I Quit

I’m not one to give up on things. I finish reading books even if I hate them. I can’t leave a movie half way through. If I find a new musician I like I listen to their whole discography. But I’m already quitting the challenge I gave myself at the beginning of the year. Why? I learned what I needed to learn from it for a while. I challenged myself to take an OOTD photo of myself every day to help me re-figure out my style and to push myself out of dressing like a schlub and back into looking at every day as another chance to play dress up. I learned quite a bit during January about the current state of my closet and the silhouettes that feel good to me right now. I cemented those findings when I read and worked through the Curated Closet. I posted some photos in …

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The Curated Closet and Curating My Own Closet

As I’ve talked about before, I’m currently re-discovering my style in my stay-at-home life, in my post-baby body. I’ve never really quite been able to put a finger on what my style is, but it has been bothering me recently. The only style book that I’ve ever connected with is Women In Clothes (my review here) and it’s an awesome inspiration for letting your own freak flag fly, but it’s not so much help in figure out what your own freak flag looks like. Enter The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees. It’s a great book that describes a really easy way to figure out your own style and to build your own wardrobe around it. No trying to make yourself fit into a prescribed category, no lists of things you need to have, no pressure to have a capsule wardrobe. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a bit of …

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Quilted Velvet Puffer Vest

When winter set in and I started thinking about what I wanted to wear, vests were at the top of my list. I tried a quick-and-easy vest and it was a hilarious flop, so I started working on making myself a quilted velvet vest. And I slooowly worked on it, and worked on it, and worked on it. It’s finally done (just in time for the weather to warm up, of course) and I don’t want to take it off, inside or outside. I think it’s the perfect blend of unique, comfy, practical, and pretty for me. I’m kinda obsessed. Before you get too gaga about my velvet puffer vest, I have to admit that it’s not actually a silk velvet. It’s an upholstery velour or velveteen (I so remain perpetually a bit confused about the nuances of difference between velvet – velveteen – velour) which sounds decidedly less glamorous, …

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#OOTD Month 1: What I’ve Learned

Wow. 1 month of taking photos of my #ootd and I’ve already learned a ton. (As a reminder, I’ve challenged myself to take #OOTD photos for a year in order to get out of my current rut re-discover my style). The first thing I’ve learned, which isn’t really much of a suprise, is that I hate taking photos of myself every day! Other than that, I’m pretty excited about what I’ve been learning about the clothes I like to wear, the clothes I look good in, and the gaps in my current closet. I think that my overall philosophy toward clothing has certainly been cemented this month. I’ve decided that it’s of the utmost importance to me that the clothes I have be well made and fit well. I’d rather have a smaller selection of things I truly love than a closet full of things that leave me frustrated or un-inspired. I’ve challenged myself …

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Red Winter Skirt – Butterick B6219

Working through my #ootd project has already taught me many things and one of them is that I need more skirts I can wear in the winter! I decided that something I could whip up quickly would be a good start (even though I’m fantasizing about elaborate wool concoctions) so I grabbed Butterick B6219, some fabric from my stash, and got to it. It took me 1.5 baby naps (how I measure everything these days), so Fast & Easy is right! I made a couple minor fit changes to the pattern. I added a few inches in length (which is standard for me since I’m 5’10”). I also added more shaping to the yoke and shortened the waistband piece as I wanted to reduce as much bulk as possible from the elastic gathered waist. I generally make elastic waistbanded garments with as little gathering at the waistband as possible (my Conifer …

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Green Jasper Sweater Sweatshirt

It’s about time that I sewed a Jasper. I’ve adored this pattern from afar since Lisa released it but my sewing queue is always so gigantic and I’m so easily distracted by shiny things (literally and figuratively) that even my grandest intentions often go a while before being fulfilled. Speaking of intentions, I do intend to sew this into a dress this winter too. Come on self – make it happen! I call this a sweater sweatshirt because the I was drawn to the sweatshirt fleece for how it looked like a sweater knit (and for how it was bright green, if we’re being honest). Something about the prominence of the knit stitches and the heathered green makes it almost look like it could be a nice heavy knit. In fact, it’s a cheap sweatshirt fleece from that big box sewing store we all love to hate. I bought it …

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Red Robin Hood Hat

This hat is interesting enough that it’s not just another beanie but it’s also a quick knit that’s easy enough you can knit it in the dark. Yes, you can literally knit it in the dark. I speak from experience. I knit it sitting on the floor of Evelyn’s nursery in the dark when we were sleep training her. Okay, it wasn’t pitch black – I had a small, red plastic dinosaur nightlight, but that didn’t give me much more than the ability to see where my knitting was on the floor. I knit the hat in November and finally got around to blocking it and adding the buttons in the beginning of December. I wore it often through December and absolutely adored the green buttons on the red hat. But now that it’s not Christmas time any more, do you think the red and green combo still works? Does …

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70’s Muted Funfetti Knit Wrap Blouse and Skirt

Once I got the idea into my head to sew this fabric into a 70’s wrap dress (when I was talking about it in my Sunday Stash post) I had to drop everything and make it happen. I rushed to get it done in time for Thanksgiving and used all my free time the week before (including a bit of my work time. Shhh. Don’t tell.) and I’m glad I did. It was comfy and cute and felt nice to wear something festive that actually fit and was nursing friendly. The fabric is from Girl Charlee and is a hacci knit (so very lightweight, drapey, and stretchy). I don’t know quite what I pictured when I ordered it (because it was the middle of the night and I was making an I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself purchase), but this wasn’t quite it. I guess I pictured it being brighter – more like funfetti cake. It’s a …

I’m Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This is not the year for fancy Christmas party dresses. However, I can’t let the holiday season go unmarked by some thematic outfit because, well, I just can’t! This top came together in a matter of minutes and I know it’s going to get some pretty solid wear until Christmas. The bodice was originally a maternity shirt and had long ties that wrap around the belly. I wore it once and hated but I adored the fabric so I just couldn’t let it go. I cut off the ties and sewed down the cross-over but it’s kind of an awkward cropped length so I didn’t wear it. The red stripes were scraps left over from my 80’s striped dress. I had to piece together several scraps to make this skirt (and I wish I had had enough I could have made it dress length!), but I saved every little bit of …

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Smile Together Sweatshirts

Even in challenging times, especially in challenging times, we must continue to create things of beauty and joy. I fully admit that these sweatshirts aren’t works of beauty. But they are certainly joyful. I know nothing about the politics of the man working the checkout counter at Target, the woman waiting for coffee in line next to me at Starbucks, or my neighbors taking their dog for a walk. What I do know is that this sweatshirt made them each smile. We shared in a moment of togetherness, of community, of joy, because of giant furry cat noses. And I guess that does make this sweatshirt something beautiful. If you can believe it, this ridiculous cat fabric came from the thrift store this week. Total serendipity and exactly what I needed. The contrast is a heavy t-shirt weight double knit I bought at Joanns and stashed forever ago, knowing I’d …

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Floral Plantain Tee

Fall is here and with it comes long sleeve tees, flannel shirts, denim, vests, boots, and pumpkin spice all-the-things. Well, it should come with all of those things. But, at 5 months post-baby, my garment pickins are pretty slim (I’ve got plenty of boots and oh boy do I have plenty of pumpkin spice!) . Time to sew is pretty slim as well (I know I keep saying that), so I figured I’d start with the long sleeve tees as they are fastest item on the list. I chose Deer & Doe Plantain tee to start since I’ve made it successfully a couple of times before (with distressed bindings and as a maxi dress). Sewing for my current body is an unfamiliar and moving target (I keep changing size and shape, being 5 months post-baby) but it was pretty easy to try on the shirts I already had to see …

1

Black and Pink Joggers

So, I’m a little behind on the jogger fashion trend. Yeah, more than a little behind. But I got there. That’s what matters, right? Actually, what matters is that I now have a pair of sweatpants that I can wear in public (heck, that I can wear in front of my husband) without being embarrassed by how grubby and ill-fitting they are. Dare I say it, these things are even kinda cute! I used my jeans block as a base, graded up a size, and added in a little bit of wearing ease. Both the black and pink sweatshirt terry were from the thrift store. I opted to add a contrast trim to the front pockets and was going to have hanging pocket bags, but I got excited and sewed on the contrast trim before I sewed on the pocket – oops. I had to modify my plans to add …

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Nursing Watson Bras and My Post-Natal Body

I never really thought that I would get into sewing bras. I’ve always been fairly small busted and quite content to wear RTW foam cup bras that make my body look a little closer to hourglass than its true pear shape. I’ve loved seeing all the gorgeous bras that sewists have made, but never felt the inspiration strike to make my own. I found a RTW brand that fits me well, bought half a dozen of the same bra, and replace them when they start to wear out. Except for right now I’m not small busted and I’m not fitting the RTW I’ve tried and I’m not stoked on the nursing bras that I’ve found. So what’s a sewist to do? Start sewing bras, of course! The combination of nursing and gaining weight from pregnancy has brought my once ~32B’s up to ~34D’s. Whereas  before, I could go without a bra with …

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A Few Summer Tops That Flopped

My quick attempts at some summer tops ended up as flops. Oh well. We had some pretty warm weather here last month and I had a grand total of one camisole that fit me, so I thought it would be a great idea to whip up a couple of lightweight linen sleeveless tops to wear in the warmth. I started by drafting a new basic block (since I’m a different size and shape than my pre-pregnancy block) for myself and sewed it up in a salmon linen I had in my stash. It’s okay. I’m not enamored with the armholes or the fit through the upper back, but it’s wearable and decent for a first draft. I’m still exploring what silhouettes work well on my current body and I’m finding that, having gotten back a little bit of waist definition, I want to wear things that show I have a …

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VintagePledge July Dress (Butterick 3068)

To celebrate #VPJuly, I sewed a 1970’s dress (Vintage Butterick 3068) from 1970’s fabric.  To read about the pattern and the vintage aspects of the dress, pop on over to A Stitching Odyssey. (And while you’re there, look at the other inspiring vintage makes she has gathered over the course of the month!) Here, I thought I’d a personal account about why I chose the fabric and pattern. I agonized about whether or not to use this fabric. You see, I totally adore this floral fabric. Like massive #fabriccrush. It’s vintage (from a stash I inherited from a friend who inherited from an elderly friend who probably bought it new back in the day) and the flowers are a combination  of printed onto the thick, loose-weave linen and then painted on top of the print. And it seemed like it would be perfect for the bodice of this dress. So why not use …