9

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 …

20

A Mess of Baby Clothes

A bunch of baby clothes has a nice alliteration to it, but it seems that the proper term for “lots of baby clothes” must be a mess, since that’s what they are all going to turn into once they actually get worn! I started working on this pile of baby clothes during my first trimester. Since it’s been a crummy pregnancy the whole way through, it took me weeks to cut out the clothes and then months to get them sewn. But that’s okay. Each bit of sewing stemmed from a small burst of energy, and I was able to pour that energy into tangible bits of love and excitement for baby’s arrival. I made a range of sizes from newborn to 9 months so that she doesn’t outgrow my work all at once and used a pile of different patterns as well, including several vintage patterns. All the fabrics …

3

Pink Sequin Lace Shift Dress

Pink and lace and sequins, oh my! When told to make a fancy dress, lace seems appropriate. Sequins are also appropriate. And in my mind, pink is appropriate for every occasion. So when I found this delicious fabric that combined all three, it obviously needed to become a fancy dress! I underlined the dress with silk habotai (the lining that Minerva included with the kit was a bit heavier than I had in mind) so oh boy does it feel dreamy to wear. I bound all of the seams and the neck in the same habotai. I opted to leave the sleeves unlined for a little bit of sex appeal, but it’s quite subtle as the pink underlining isn’t too far away in color from my pink skin! Yes, my choice of vintage McCalls 9575 dress pattern was heavily influenced by Heather Lou’s lovely sequin shift. Fortunately, my sequins were much, much easier …

4

Pink Sequin Lace Dress Sneak-Peak

In celebration of Minerva Crafts’ big meetup (coming up on the 14th. Oh how I wish I could be there!), they sent each of us in their blogging network extra-fancy materials so we could make an extra-fancy dress. They will all be revealed on the day of the meetup, but we were given permission to post sneak-peaks ahead of time. I picked vintage McCalls 9575 for the dress because I thought that the simple silhouette would be perfect to show off the gorgeous lace fabric. Excuse me, the gorgeous lace and sequin fabric! I ended up sewing the whole dress on the sewing machine that my mom learned to sew on in the 70’s. An old Kenmore. My new(ish) Pfaff was in the shop for a couple days so I started the dress on the Kenmore and I enjoyed sewing on her so much (as is usually the case when …

7

The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 3: Fitting Revelation (or Muslin Fitting 2)

I recently spent another afternoon getting Sunnygal Studio‘s help on fitting my jacket muslin and our final product was a revelation. It changed my entire relationship with sleeve caps and my shoulders. The earth moved, the stars aligned, and *BAM* I finally understood how to get a fitted garment well-fitted through my shoulders. I have always struggled to get garments nicely fitted through my shoulders (my fitting challenge is that I have a narrow ribcage but prominent shoulders) – either they dig into my underarm or I can’t lift my arms or I’m drowning in fabric to compensate. I’ve made all sorts of non-standard changes in all sorts of places in the sleeve, sleeve cap, and armscye and all to no avail. And now, I know EXACTLY what to do to EVERY SINGLE fitted garment that I sew with sleeves for the rest of my life. AMEN! The changes that I had …

6

The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 2: Muslin Fitting 1

Making muslins is always a good idea, but the more complex your pattern is, the more precise the fit required, and the more expensive your material is, the more important it is to make a muslin. Since my wedding jacket will be an enormous investment of time (as I hand tailor it) and money (luscious Britex fabric), and since it’s hard to fit on your own body, I wanted to get some help perfecting the fit of my jacket. I turned to the talented and knowledgeable Beth of Sunnygal Studios for a day in her studio, fitting my jacket muslin. We started by pinning on the main front and back tissue pattern pieces. Interestingly, we found that both the bust apex and waistline were 1″ too low for me (even though I’m 5’10”, although most of my height is below my navel). We pinched out the 1″ at the bust …

25

1959 Bow Neck Thanksgiving Dress

Well, I’m a day late to my own party with this dress. But I think I have a pretty good reason. You see, I sat down to write this post, showing pictures of my Bow Neck Thanksgiving Dress (for my final contribution to my Bow Neck Blouse Sewalong), on the day after Thanksgiving. I found a quiet corner amidst the chaos of a house very full of family.  And then Adam asked if he and I could get a bit of alone time together, maybe go out for a cup of tea, because I had been in the kitchen cooking for two days straight (one day to bake 5 pies, one day to cook our Thanksgiving meal), and he thought a spot of fresh air away from the chaos would be good for both of us. Apparently, the offer of tea was just a ploy, as he took me to …

18

What Was I Thinkin’ Bow Neck Blouse

While I don’t listen to much country music, this bow necked blouse started as a straight up Dierks Bentley song. As in “What Was I Thinkin’?“. I thought that making a loose lace blouse would be a fun piece to layer, dressing up or down. But this really felt like a hot mess. I hated the shape, I hated the sleeves, I hated the placket in the front, I hated the peter pan collar (although I always think I’m going to like it) and I hated the fact that the bow wouldn’t lie straight! I bought McCalls M6648 because it was on sale. And it had a bow. And I thought it was kind of elegant. I don’t know if my choice of lace was what killed it, or if it’s just not my style. I like the blouse the model is wearing, but a close look at the line …

7

Fall for Cotton Sewalong – 1976 Style

For the Fall for Cotton Sewalong I’ve sewn all four pieces from my mom’s 1976 McCalls pattern. I shared them piece by piece (read more about the skirt, pants, camisole, or jacket). Here, I show them fully styled together! I thought that there was no way I was going to wear the individual pieces from this collection together. I thought it would be cheesy and matchy-matchy and old-lady-styled and just really not me. And oh boy was I wrong! I am completely digging the way these pieces look together and I most definitely forsee further wearing of these exact same outfits. My mom and her sister bought this pattern in 1976, when it was released. They both sewed pieces from it although my mom couldn’t remember what they looked like. I was hoping to replicate the pattern cover styling for my photoshoot, but I don’t own espadrilles, I don’t know how to …

2

Fall for Cotton Pants

For the Fall for Cotton Sewalong I’ve sewn all four pieces from my mom’s 1976 McCalls pattern. I’m sharing them piece by piece with modern styling (how I’ll actually wear them) before the big reveal of a full-on 1976 photoshoot. This is piece 4 of 4. There is no more way for me to turn into an old lady, other than maybe a few more wrinkles. I knit. I have cats. I’m forgetful. I call everyone sweetie. I like rocking chairs and I decorate with lace doilies. And now I wear elastic waist pants. And I love them. I had a really hard time getting myself to stay true to this pattern and use the elastic waistband. I thought there was no way that I would wear them if they had an elastic waist and it seemed like a total waste of fabric to make them as is. But, for …

4

Fall for Cotton Jacket Top

For the Fall for Cotton Sewalong I’ve sewn all four pieces from my mom’s 1976 McCalls pattern. I’m sharing them piece by piece with modern styling (how I’ll actually wear them) before the big reveal of a full-on 1976 photoshoot. This is piece 3 of 4. I’m am so happy right now I’m riding on a cloud. I’ve been jumping up and down around my apartment (terrifying my cats, of course). I’m gushing happiness to anyone that will listen to me. I’m inspired and silly and giddy and excited. I feel like me again in a way that I haven’t felt in years (thank you, graduate school). Of course my emotional high was kicked off by a phenomenal time at Sewing Summit. But every day this week since I’ve been back I’ve gotten a piece of good news towards my dream of being a Seamstress (with a capital S). I …

5

Fall for Cotton Skirt

For the Fall for Cotton Sewalong I’ve sewn all four pieces from my mom’s 1976 McCalls pattern. I’m sharing them piece by piece with modern styling (how I’ll actually wear them) before the big reveal of a full-on 1976 photoshoot. This is piece 2 of 4. 1976 meet 1989 meet 1999 meet 2013. This skirt makes no sense, unless you think of timey-wimey as wibbly-wobbly, and then it’s all good. The pattern is from 1976 (McCalls 5088) the fabric is a 10th anniversary 1999 reprint of an 1989 design. And I made it up this year (2013, in case you’ve gotten confused by this point in time). Whew. Somehow, through all this muddling, I think it works. It works as a 1976 reproduction for the Fall for Cotton Sewalong. And it works with modern styling as a new regular in my wardrobe. I adore this fabric. I picked up a …

Fall for Cotton Camisole

For the Fall for Cotton Sewalong I’ve sewn all four pieces from my mom’s 1976 McCalls pattern. I’m sharing them piece by piece with modern styling (how I’ll actually wear them) before the big reveal of a full-on 1976 photoshoot. This is piece 1 of 4. Oh San Francisco, how your confusing weather torments me. Just as the dismal summer weather leaves me sure I’ll never see sun again, and just as I get excited to start using pumpkin pie spices in everything while wearing scarves and sweaters, you turn warm. Warm enough that I can wear a skirt and this 1976 McCalls 5088 cami top a week away from October. The top is cut on the bias and the front is gathered slightly into a triangle inset to give shape over the bust. For the main part of the blouse I used the chambray leftover from my Guatemalan Cowgirl …

2

Guatemalan Cowgirl Blouse

I’ve had all sorts of time to sew because Adam has been gone for a couple of weeks for work. So, this means I get to share a whole series of finished sewing projects!  It starts with this Guatemalan cowgirl blouse. The Guatemalan fabric was part of a recent gift of fabulous fabric from a friend. I immediately thought that it would be lovely as the yoke and pockets of the blouse, so I followed through on my inspiration. There’s still quite a bit left, so more Guatemalan fabric projects await! I sewed it from McCalls 3688. The first time I sewed this pattern was 10 years ago when I bought the pattern. I didn’t fit it at all and used a stiff fabric and heavy interfacing. It was beautiful on the hanger, but unfortunately never got worn. I used the pattern to sew a pink gingham cowgirl dress a …