My Popover Poncho

As promised when I told you what I was lovin’ in October [way back when], I’m spilling all the details of my Popover Poncho with you today!

popover poncho

The Popover Poncho is a pattern from one of my favorite designers – April Rhodes (my Date Night Dress was also her pattern). It’s a simple pattern to follow and you end up with such a sophisticated piece.

I found the gorgeous wool blend I used for the main fabric at JoAnn’s (you can find it online here). Everyone keeps asking if it’s Pendleton Wool [I wish] which makes me smile (because it’s actually much softer and much cheaper!).

poncho fabric

After completing the poncho and realizing how delightful this fabric was to work with and to wear (and how stunning it looks as a garment!), I ran back to JoAnn’s in hopes of buying all that was left. To my horror, it was all gone. There was a similar version with teal and orange tones – I bought the remaining 1.5 yards to try to eek out something fabulous!

For construction, I used french seams throughout. After learning how to do french seams with the Date Night Dress, I’ve fallen completely in love with how polished they make the inside of the garment look. Despite the fabric being a bit thick, it cooperated perfectly for the french seams. This fabric was actually a breeze to sew!

I sewed the Small/Medium size and did not make any alterations for the length. When the Popover Poncho was released, I followed the blog hop to read all about how the pattern worked for different people (I love when Indie designers host blog hops when they release a pattern. It’s so helpful to read the reviews and tips from these much more experienced seamstresses on how to best utilize the pattern – many share alterations they made / would make in future versions and fabric suggestions / sources. It’s also great to see how the pattern will look on different body types).

Some of the participating bloggers mentioned that it was a little short and they would try lengthening it for their next version. I was very excited to hear this (weird, right?!) – I felt like that was a good sign that if I followed the original size, it wouldn’t be awkwardly long on my petite frame. I was right! The length is perfect for my height – a stranger even commented on how great the length was for me (she was also petite & mentioned how hard it was to find a poncho that wasn’t way too long. I, of course, recommended that she give the pattern a try). Win!

I did make one omission: I did not add the drawstring to the cowl. I wasn’t in love with the look of the drawstring enough to give grommets or buttonhole-making a try yet (no, I have not learned how to make a buttonhole yet, but I plan to…eventually!). I love how the plain cowl neck of the poncho looks without it (like on this one by Delia Creates).

For the interior of the cowl (which folds over and is shown as the exterior when worn), I used some leftover incredibly soft sandalwood ponte de roma fabric I ordered from Girl Charlee for the Hubs’ Finlayson Sweater. Having a super soft fabric on the interior of the cowl is essential! I wanted something that would feel luscious and warm on cold days.

I also used scraps of the same ponte de roma for the bias binding around the bottom of the poncho. I used my machine to attach the binding and finished it with hand stitching. I used to hate anything that required hand-stitching. It wasn’t until I bound my first quilt that I realized how soothing hand stitching can be. Yes, it’s time consuming, but it really slows you down to appreciate the quality of the piece you are completing – totally worth it!

And I love how the hand-stitching added detail to the edge of the poncho.

popover thread

I was inspired by how precise the pattern matched up on Cut Cut Sew’s Pendleton Popover Poncho so I took the extra time to cut the front of of my pocket piece to match the pattern where it would be sewn. It’s not totally perfect, but I’m quite proud with how it matched up!

popover poncho

See the pocket – it’s almost a perfect match 😉

I have been wearing the poncho every chance I get! You can see it in action below at brunch with my family for my birthday 🙂

bday breakfast

My sister & I at our favorite local brunch spot: Cafe Strudel!

If you are interested in sewing your own Popover Poncho, you can find the pattern here – this is a great pattern for beginners!

What I’m Lovin’ in October

Being that last month’s posts were focused on my birthday giveaways, I’m sharing What I’m Lovin’ a little late! This also means that this post has mostly turned into a “what’s coming up soon on the blog” post 😉

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What I’m Lovin in October

Yes, it’s November, but in my mind it’s still October! And I wanted to share a few things I loved last month.

1. My Seamwork Magazine Subscription

seamwork-2015-11

{Click the image to be taken to the current issue}

In addition to access to some high quality sewing articles (which btw – are free to everyone), I also get TWO patterns of my choosing…for only $6! {PS: The wool cape on the cover above is one of this month’s patterns! #Swoon} And if I don’t claim 2 by the end of the month, they keep adding up (as mine are now because I’m a slacker).

I have been debating a subscription ever since they featured this article written by my good friend Addie. Addie is my sewing inspiration and I loved reading more about the process of her ready-to-wear fast.

In late September, I browsed over to Seamwork Magazine site and saw the Moji pants and immediately subscribed.

moji

{Photo credit: Seamwork Magazine – click the image to see the pattern details via Seamwork}

My sister confirmed that the pants are a little bit old-lady-style and thus, perfect for me. I can’t wait to sew them up! I think I am going to use this Robert Kaufman chambray I snagged from Allie Mac‘s fabric destash on Instagram to attempt to replicate the original pictured above.

Other Seamwork patterns on my “to-make” list: the Wembley cardigan (because I love cardigans!), a Paxson sweater for the Hubs, matching Denali vests for me & the Hubs (he doesn’t know I plan to make matching versions…mwahaha!), and a Madrid tote (I’m in search of beige shimmery / light, subtle gold faux leather…let me know if you know a good place to find some!).

2. My new #OutAndAboutDress

outandaboutdress

{Post-yoga selfie – excuse the lockers 😉 }

Stay tuned – I’ll be sharing more about how much I absolutely love this dress very soon!

3. How well my sister knows me

My sister totally spoiled me for my birthday! Not only did she and my parents take me out for a lovely brunch at Cafe Strudel (my favorite!), but she got me the coolest gifts! She obviously caught on that I have fallen completely in love with Liberty of London fabric. The Hubs and I visited THE Liberty store when we were in London last Christmas break and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Whenever I think about it, I just want to cry I get so happy!

Without me knowing, my sister has started following some fancy fabric suppliers on Instagram (she’s so cute!). Somehow she stumbled across Alice Caroline fabrics and ordered a yard of Liberty fabric just for me!

liberty

Did I mention that she also bought me 3 lovely Essie shades?! She knows me so well!

The pink Liberty fabric is so soft it feels like silk!! I’ve already washed and dried it (before I read this article by Megan Nielson about hand washing delicate fabric and realized I will be hand washing this luscious fabric from here on out!) so I’m ready to make something with it! I’m looking for a blouse pattern that only requires 1 yard of fabric. Leave me a comment below if you know of any good 1-yard-blouse-patterns!

4. My Popover Poncho

popover poncho

It is so stinkin’ comfortable! I promise to tell you all about it very soon – stay tuned!

5. Sewing for the Hubs

While I still much prefer selfish sewing, I get great joy from seeing the Hubs wear his Finlayson Sweater I made him!

finlayson

The fit isn’t perfect, but he loves it – which makes me want to make him more clothes! I’m so thankful for his support (and for leaving me alone when I’m in my sewing room 🙂 ).

And of course – I promise to blog about the Finlayson very soon – in the meantime: If you are interested in this pattern, I highly recommend following Thread Theory’s Sew-Along.

Things I’m really excited for this month:

I’m taking a class with Columbia’s Cooking to learn “How to Cook a Plant-Based Thanksgiving Dinner“! We’re actually spending Thanksgiving in the mountains with Jeremy’s family visiting his grandpa, but I plan to bring a dish to ensure I have something fabulous to devour (even if I’m the only one eating it!).

I took a vegan baking class with this same group before graduating (they are based out of the university) and it was amazing! I learned so much and left with a plate full of sweet goodies to share with the Hubs (who generously picked me up [because we were poor college students who liked to avoid paying meters] and thoroughly enjoyed all of the no-dairy desserts!). I still have the reference guide and recipes they gave us and use them often.

I talked my friend Addie into joining me as my cooking partner for next week’s class. As long as our hands aren’t too dirty, we’ll try to take lots of pictures to share!

Thanks for reading! You can catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ posts here.

My First Date Night Dress and Slip

Y’all know my love for April Rhodes‘ fabric from my first quilt, but did you know she also designs garment patterns?! I hadn’t made any of her patterns yet, but I’d had the Date Night Dress pattern in my “to-make” pile for a while.

I’m trying to make more clothing to build my handmade wardrobe. The Date Night Dress pattern is pretty straight forward so I figured it was a great piece to jump back into garment-making with.

The Date Night Dress

To begin with, my sister’s birthday was coming up so I made a “muslin” to test the pattern which I planned to give to her for her birthday (she fits typical clothing sizes better than I do). I shortened the size Medium by 2 inches and it was still a bit long for her, but she claims to like it 🙂

Here is how it turned out:

datenightdress2

Katie’s Date Night Dress!

That adorable floral knit fabric is from Girl Charlee.

For my own Date Night Dress, I shortened the pattern an additional 2 inches (4 inches total) and brought the neckline in and up a bit. I used a burgundy linen blend fabric that I picked up a JoAnn’s for my version.

datenightdress1

My Date Night Dress!

Fits perfectly! I’m so glad I took the time to adjust the pattern as I was going to best fit me. Now I’ll easily be able to whip up future, well-fitting Date Night Dresses with ease!

The Simple Slip

One of the cool features of the Date Night Dress pattern is that it comes with a second pattern: a simple slip! When Rachel from Sew Happily recommended this pattern to me, she recommended making the slip because the arm holes are quite large (which is actually really nice when you live in an area with extremely hot and humid summers like we do… Hello, air flow!). Since neither of the materials I used were translucent (and I thought a matching bra or undershirt would suffice), I considered skipping it. But I knew a slip would be worth my time because of its versatility so I gave in.

For my slip, I ordered this rayon challis fabric in ivory from Imagine Gnats. It was so soft! Perfect for a slip. With 2 yards, I even had enough left over to make my own bias tape for the straps:

bias tape

I shortened the slip the same amount that I shortened the dress. I ended up cutting off the first set of straps I made (I think I attached them wrong – there was a double layer across the back that didn’t look great) and bringing the armpit in a bit (for some reason it was gaping open awkwardly on me). It was worth the modifications because the fit is great on this one too!

slip

I’m excited to keep plundering through my “to-make” list so stay tuned! I reorganized all my patterns last weekend and rediscovered a lot of great tops and dresses I had forgotten about (like the entire Just Add Jeans collection from Pattern Anthology). I’ve already got a Day Tripper top (pattern by Shwin Designs) underway and hope to have it finished soon – pictures to come!

What I’m Lovin’ in August

We’re enjoying a super hot August here in the South so I’ve gladly been spending my weekends in the comfort of the air conditioning (and working on becoming a little more pasty).

But on the bright side (pun intended): I’m actually posting this What I’m Lovin’ blog during August! So cheers to being on time this month!

resliced by Jordan

 

So here we go friends! The short list of what I’m lovin’ this month:

1. April Rhodes‘ Arizona Fabric Collection

From the moment I saw the collection, I’ve been dreaming up what I wanted to make with it. I’ve tossed around every idea I could muster up and finally decided I love the collection SO much I’m willing to give quilt-making a try! Yep, you read that right: I’m working on my very first quilt! And don’t worry – I’ll definitely be posting about this! Be sure to follow me on Instagram – I’m going to start posting progress pictures soon! 🙂

[insert heart-eyed Emojis!]

[insert heart-eyed Emojis!]

2. My [first] rotary cutter

I have read over and over how great rotary cutters are, but being the cheapskate that I am I couldn’t bring myself to splurge on one…until I decided I wanted to make a quilt.

The Hubs subscribed for a free trial of Amazon Prime (what are you thoughts on this? Should we keep it?) so I used that to my advantage and ordered a rotary cutter + self-healing mat + quilting ruler kit (all for under $30!) with free shipping and it arrived in 2 days – Win!

rotary

This kit is the bomb!

Ripped it open Saturday morning and realized investing in a rotary cutter was totally worth it!

3. Racing season is upon us!

In February I conquered my very first half marathon and went on to finish a second one in March. Since then I’ve been trying to convince myself to do it again, but the summer humidity has put a damper on my training so I’ve been doing short intervals indoors (which is beyond boring…I’m the kind of runner who likes to sight see while running – I run slow enough that this is an option).

But – cool weather is just around the corner!

My original plan was to run the Governor’s Cup half marathon in November, but if this weather doesn’t cool down just a smidge, I might be doing the 8k instead. The Governor’s Cup 8k last year was my first long race (ever)! My running coach and friend, Randy, convinced me I could do it. The race showed me that I really like running (who knew?!) – and I didn’t hate training! Randy knew the bug was planted and graciously offered to train me for the half marathons. Haven’t I told you – human kindness is the best thing ever?!

race

Me & Randy at the Palmetto Half Marathon finish line in March

Now that you see the picture above, you see exactly how generous it was for Randy to offer to run with me! I’m short and slow…he is neither!

4. The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell by Loraine Despres

I’m still on my summer reading kick and I recently saw this book while plundering the shelves of my local library.

belle

I usually avoid books that involve historical references because there seems to be no way to do that without becoming incredibly boring (call me shallow), but this book sure proved me wrong!

While it’s chock full of historical references to the women’s movement, Loraine has a way of keeping the storyline light, romantic and suspenseful. The story completely engulfed me and I couldn’t put it down. My favorite part about the book were the one-liners that Belle (the main character) comes up with throughout the book as rules to live by – she calls her collection The Southern Girls’ Guide to Men and Other Perils of Modern Life.

ch16

Chapter 16 contained my favorite 🙂

I can’t recommend this book enough! I’m planning to read all of Loraine Despres’ collection now. Have you read any of those? What are your favorite summer reading books?

5. Watching the Hubs play lacrosse

It’s summer – which means one thing: the Hubs is looking for every men’s league lacrosse tournament within driving distance to play in. I can’t lie: I don’t make all of them (nor do I really try that hard…there are just so many!), but the annual Blue Ridge Classic held in Asheville is one I haven’t missed in years. I love Asheville – it’s a vegetarian’s food heaven so it’s worth the hours spent sweating on the sidelines for an evening of amazing food and chocolate in a thriving downtown with a serious appreciation of locally sourced food and handmade goods. I promise to blog soon about all my favorites!

This year, the Hubs played in 9 games with 2 different team that weekend. After all these years, I still don’t have a great understanding (ok…any understanding) of the game, but the most amazing thing happened – and I saw it!! The Hubs scored the game winning goal in overtime during the game he played with his old teammates from Presbyterian College (where he played for 2 years before we transferred to USC). It was amazing!!

lax

That’s the Hubs hidden behind #4, throwing a shot – not the game-winning-in-overtime-shot, but still a nice picture! [photo not taken by me btw]

I can’t lie, I love to shamelessly brag on the Hubs’ athletic ability mainly because I am so uncoordinated it’s a miracle I can run without injuring others (yes, others).

#ProudWifeMoment

6. My best friend is getting married! 

I’ve been friends with Caroline since what feels like the dawn of time. We’ve gone from awkward middle school girls who hung out at the school over summer break (true story…we volunteered. Total nerds) to college suite-mates and now adults with “real jobs.”

I remember when I met her fiance for the first time and I just knew. The way he looked at her and the way she talked about him, I just knew my bestie had met her soul mate. It was only a matter of time until I got that special call. Well – I got that call a few weeks ago!

Icing on the top of this whole scenario is that she adorably sent me my “invitation” to be her MOH in the cutest way. She knows my snail mail snobbery and the fact that any card not made my friend MaryAnn of MASW Designs just isn’t good enough.

So, she had MaryAnn custom make the invitations and promise not to post about it until I’d received mine. (Seriously, my friends are the cutest).

card1

Maybe I’m over-thinking it, but fingers crossed for coral dresses! {But seriously it doesn’t matter because Caroline has timeless style!}

How precious is the inside?!

How precious is the inside?!

Seriously I’m over the moon about being asked to be Caroline’s MOH. It’s such an honor and I’m SO excited for all that’s to come! I teared up thinking about my MOH speech while vacuuming the other day…I’m such a nerd!

I hope you enjoyed my list of what I’m lovin’ in August! What did you love (or are lovin’) about August?

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here.}