Me-Made-May 2017: Week 1 recap

It’s my first year participating in Me-Made-May and if I’m being completely honest, I started stress sewing on the last day of April because I was already worried I was going to run out of clothes.

THEN I remembered this post from Heidi Parkes (a hand-quilter / creative mender / yoga teacher I discovered through QuiltCon & admire very much). Clothes are meant to be WORN. They’re meant to be loved and repaired. Repeating outfits just means I love my clothes enough to wear them again and again 😉

This reminds me of the quote “all my secrets are hidden in my seam allowances” 😉 {source}

All that said, you’ll definitely see some repeats this month…

For those of you not following along on Instagram [and also for those who want to know more about the outfits posted], I’m going to try to share a recap of my Me-Made-May posts each week on the blog so stay tuned!

My #MMMay17 pledge:

I, Jordan Slice-Metcalfe, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavor to wear, use, or accessorize with at least one thing I’ve made with my own two hands each day for the duration of May 2017.

As I warned in my first #mmmay17 post, get ready for an abundance of work-bathroom selfies this month! Somehow the new YMCA does not have any full length mirrors in the women’s locker room [can you even believe it?!] and I’m too awkward to ask fellow gym-goers or coworkers to assist…and I’m too impatient to wait until I get home for the day in hopes the Hubs could assist {because let me be honest, my PJ’s come on ASAP once I’m through the door from work so evening pictures would not be a great plan anyhow}. So, forgive me for these unprofessional documentations 😉

Day 1: My 1st Tank Dress

Day 2: My 1st Fen Dress

Day 3: Refashioned Housedress

Day 4: My 2nd Tank Dress

  • Pattern: The Tank Dress with optional elastic casing in the back (moved up a few inches to better match my natural waist) from Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: quilting cotton from my local JoAnn’s
  • Blogged: On My most worn garments of 2016 list

Day 5: My long-sleeved Out and About Dress

Day 6: My London Backpack

I KNOW what you’re thinking. I’m already cheating by posting bags I’ve made instead of outfits. BUT I was totally honest in my pledge 😉 – I USE my bags [and accessorize with them] daily! Plus, I LOVE this bag. It’s one of my most used – especially for traveling or walking around town on the weekends.

PS: This photo was taken in front of the new Indah Coffee shop. If you’re local, go visit! Their coffee is great {also served at the Soda City market} & the shop looks like a delightful place to hang out [we were only there briefly before heading to the market but we’ll be back!]

  • Pattern: The London Backpack by LBG Studio
  • Fabric: Mostly scrap upholstery from my stash along with this Cath Kidston fabric I picked up when we went to England in 2014
  • Blogged: I’m embarrassed to admit that I have almost an entire post drafted but for some reason I haven’t shared it. Le sigh. I’ll add that to my list of things to eventually do (so stay tuned 😉 )

Day 7: my Day Tripper Top

How cute is this mug?! My sisters-in-law got it for me for Christmas & it’s a definite favorite.

  • Pattern: Day Tripper Top {short sleeved without shoulder tabs & bottom band} by Shwin Designs
  • Fabric: floral knit from my local Hancock Fabric before they closed. I wish I had a thousand yards of it – it’s so soft & beautiful!
  • Blogged: here!

Me-Made-May/Sewing-related resources I’m lovin’ this week:

1. These tips for custom fitting a pattern / handmade garment

Straight Stitch Designs mentioned this post in her recent newsletter about Me-Made-May and highlighted the same quote that jumped out at me:

Ego has no place in a well fitting garment.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting on making more advanced fitting alterations to garments I’m making. After viewing most of this Intro to Fitting video from the Blank Slate Patterns team, I realized there are many more fit options out there that may be applicable in helping me love my handmade wardrobe even more.

2. The Reggie wrap dress pattern just released by Seamwork Magazine

I’ve already used a credit to claim it. My Spring/Summer to-sew list just grew by one very cute, loose-fitting wrap dress…those sleeves make the 90’s child in me so happy!

3. The Self-Created Podcast with Jernell & Shanika

One of my favorite things to do while sewing is to listen to podcasts. My favorite right now is the Self-Created Podcast. My creative bestie (Shanika) is a co-host and I could listen to these gals talk forever. They discuss some really interesting topics. Browse their episodes and find one that speaks to you – I think you’ll love it. {PS: I got multiple shout-outs in the last episode so it gets my recommendation 😉 }

Week 1 Reflections

I’m really enjoying participating in Me-Made-May. It’s giving me a whole new outlook on my handmade wardrobe and forcing me to take a second look at some of my less-worn handmade garments to think about how I can incorporate them back in or alter them to be a favorite (or cut them up for a new project 😉 ).

Posting pictures of myself day-after-day is pretty awkward. I’ve really appreciated all of the positive feedback and encouragement on Instagram. I’ve also loved seeing everyone else’s photos and browsing the #mmmay17 hashtag.

My most worn handmade garments

If you set a resolution for 2017 to build/expand your handmade wardrobe, this list is for you!

With almost 3 years (!!) of sewing garments under my belt, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my most-worn, most-loved patterns. I have learned a lot along this journey. While some garments were fun to construct [or maybe not so fun], they may not have turned out to be as loved in a day-to-day way.

My goal with this list is to provide you a few pattern recommendations that will surely be worth your time!

handmade-wardrobe

Disclaimer: The list is purely subjective and recalled from memory; not from actual daily tallies of use [but wouldn’t that be a fun experiment?!].

Being that I have avoided adding closures of any kind to a garment thus far {no zippers, no buttons, no problem!}, I would say that all of these patterns are beginner-friendly.

beautiful-things

Along this journey to build my handmade wardrobe, I have discovered “my style.” It’s eclectic {code word for: comfortably weird}.

My style moves on a continuum between dressing like a tween to dressing like a 90-year-old. To be honest: it’s not much a continuum – I mostly cling to one end or the other without much that fits in between. But I think that’s the beauty of sewing your own clothes: You have the freedom to choose exactly how you want your garment to look. You want a dress to match your dachshund? Girl Charlee’s got you covered. Need bright green leggings to make spin class more appealing? Imagine Gnats has you covered.

You’ll see both extremes of my style throughout the list below. I can’t promise my style is in style, but it’s mine. And I’m embracing it 🙂

iris-apfel

Handmade Garments I wore most in 2016

TRANSITION PIECES

Below are pieces that easily transitioned from season to season [aka: just-add-leggings]. 

Sew Caroline’s Out and About Dress | pattern

out-and-about-dress

The 3 Out & About Dresses I’ve made so far – from L to R: version 3, 1, and 2.

This was the very first pattern I sewed {first dress ever} and it has remained my very favorite! I even turned it into a shirt once.

The dress transitions perfectly to fall with a few layers – just add leggings, boots, a sweater and your favorite scarf!

out-and-about-dress-2

During the cooler weather, I wear my long-sleeved version almost every week.

I just ordered some dark gray ponte de roma fabric from imagine gnats that I’m hoping to turn into my 4th Out & About Dress – stay tuned!

{Read all about version 1 & 2 here and version 3 here.}

Sew Caroline’s Tank Dress | pattern

tank-dress-2

When this pattern was first released, I didn’t think I’d jump on that bandwagon. I thought the hemline was “too trendy” {I’ve already confessed my inner 90-year-old}, BUT I love it. It’s actually really easy to construct since it can be made with a woven [non-stretchy] fabric.

My second version [pictured here] is my most-worn because: I raised the elastic casing on the back of the dress about 2 inches [I think]. I’m petite which often requires altering (usually raising the waistline in dresses works for me). In my first version {mentioned in this post}, I was having some bunching in the back above the elastic because it was sliding up to my waist. It was such a simple alteration that completely changed the comfort and fit of the dress for me.

I wear this dress to work with a simple black cardigan and platforms in the summer and transition to fall/winter by adding leggings and boots. I love the versatility of the dress – easy to layer from season to season.

Fancy Tiger Craft’s Fen Dress

fen-dress

My first version of the Fen Dress [pictured here] is my favorite.

{Read all about both of my Fen Dresses in this post and see my 1st Fen Dress in action in this post.}

Shwin Designs’ Day Tripper Top | pattern

day-tripper-top

I got this pattern a long time ago as part of the Pattern Anthology “Just Add Jeans” collection. Embarrassingly, it’s the only pattern I’ve sewn from the collection so far.

For my version, I accidentally omitted the shoulder tabs and waist band which shortened the top (perfect length for petite frame FYI).

{Read all about my Day Tripper Top in this post and see it in action herehere and here on Thanksgiving.}

 

SUMMER

Sew Caroline’s Magnolia Shorts | pattern

magnolia-shorts

These shorts got some serious wear this summer. In past summers I have lived in my black Patagonia elastic waist shorts. The fabric is great for the heat (light and quick-drying/nearly-sweat-proof). While I love them so much, they make me look like a soccer mom (but not the kind that dresses up to sit on the sidelines. I’m the soccer mom wearing big sunglasses trying to hide the fact that she’s napping in her bag chair).

The Magnolia Shorts helped my summer wardrobe appear slightly more pulled together. I used a crepe fabric that had been donated to my stash from someone’s attic. The fabric was perfect for the shorts – drapey and breezy. It made my version morph into a skirt visually {thus, taking my wardrobe up 10 notches}.

{Read all about my Magnolia shorts in this post and see them in action in this post and here on Instagram.}

*PS: If you’re looking for shorts with pockets, check out the Parkside Shorts {read all about mine here}! I made 2 pairs – you can see the second pair in action at the bottom of this post.

My Refashioned Housedress

housedress_before after

This was one of the quickest, easiest projects so far. It was an easy-breezy hack-and-hem into the most comfortable dress ever saved from a landfill.

{Read all about the project in this post. I’m feeling inspired for more refashions – hopefully I’ll find some fun ones for 2017!}

 

WINTER

Blank Slate Pattern’s Tulip Top | pattern

leopard tulip top

I found 2 versions of the Tulip Top particularly inspiring: Sewbon {I love the textured knit and really like how she lengthened it and omitted the sleeve cuffs & neckband for a whole new look} & Sew Charleston {I loved the short-sleeve hack – we’re both in the always-hot-state-of-SC so short-sleeves get a lot of wear}. I actually copied Sew Charleston’s short-sleeved hack in this version, but unfortunately this version hasn’t been worn as much as it should be.

Fun note about the Tulip Top – it was just re-released with a cross-over back option.

Also: I was recently shopping for my adorably preggo sister at Motherhood Maternity and saw a nursing top (similar) that made me think this pattern might be a fun modification for maternity (cross-over in the back) and nursing (cross-over in the front). I’d love to say I’m going to make one for my sister, but my sewing list is so long my nephew might be walking by then!

{Read more about my leopard print Tulip Top in this post.}

I hope this post has inspired you and given you fresh ideas to build your handmade wardrobe. I’d love to hear what’s on your “to make” list for 2017 – share in the comments below!

What I’m Lovin’ in February

Aside from the fact that February brings lots of pink (yay!), it’s also the Hubs’ birthday month! Scroll on to see what I’ve been lovin’ this month…

resliced by Jordan

1. My latest Out and About Dress

out and about dress 3a

If I were a gamblin’ kind of gal, I’d bet my coworkers are getting tired of seeing me wear this dress every.week.! But I tell ya: I’m not sick of it! Not one bit. It’s so comfy. {Read all about the dress here}

2. My Leopard Print Tulip Top

leopard tulip top

I love how leopard print always makes me feel so sassy. And paired with bright pink accents means I feel extra sassy in my new Tulip Top! The pattern is by Melly Sews of Blank Slate Patterns. I bought the leopard french terry knit {looks like it’s sold out…I’m pretty sure I bought the last of the yardage! Here’s a zebra print french terry – equally as sassy!} and the pink knit ribbing from Imagine Gnats.

It’s not as noticeable in my picture, but the criss-cross front adds a sweet feminine element to this top and I love it!

3. This scarf MY SISTER SEWED for me!

scarf 2

On Saturday we had plans to meet up with Amber (who just so happens to be my quilt guild president, the sewing class teacher and bag-maker extraordinaire – I’m not convinced she sleeps) to model some of her bags.

You wouldn’t believe my excitement when my sister showed up at my door with THIS SCARF she had made me!! My heart just soared. I’m so proud of her. She was a trooper during the sewing class we took and has since been planning her next sewing project. I knew she was planning to attempt a scarf – and of course she didn’t pick the easiest pattern out there (we Slice Sisters go big or go home!), but I had no idea she was going to make me one too!

She had gifted me a set of fat quarters for Christmas, but I hadn’t settled on a project for them yet. The scarf pattern she chose involved using 6 fat quarters. She had already found some fabric she loved and ordered on Etsy, but was nervous to start with. I gave her back the bundle to practice with and reminded her: “what’s the worse that could happen?! We chop it back up and use the fabric for something else? Just go for it!”

And go for it she did! She made the scarf specifically to match my new favorite dress! Not only does it match my purple dress perfectly, but it matches the mint in my 2nd favorite dress perfectly too!

scarf

{PS: See our model shots here, here, herehere – and follow Roar Haus on Instagram for more or browse her Etsy shop!}

4. the Zoo

zoo 2

Yes, we totally celebrated the Hubs’ birthday at the zoo! It has been quite a while since I’ve been to the zoo and we had such a blast. Visiting the zoo as an adult is much different than when you were a kid (aka: the cages start to look smaller and the animals look a little more sad than you remember, but it was still fun!).

zoo

Ostriches always make me laugh. I’m not exactly sure why, but this picture makes me laugh every time I see it! In other giggle news, check out this adorable little penguin who put on quite a show for us! He was too cute.

 

5. IndieSew’s version of AddieK’s Canny Tunic

This version has me desperately wanting to make a Canny Tunic in a floral print ASAP!

indiesew canny

{Image via IndieSew – click the photo to be taken to their site}

 

You might remember my love for the Canny Tunic or maybe you know from all the other times you’ve seen pictures of me wearing them all.over.town. (here – oh! – and in England – here, here and here – they were pretty much all I wore while traveling!). I even converted the tunic to a dress for my sister!

The pattern is only 2 pieces which is pretty much GENIUS and most definitely beginner-friendly.

6. Our feature on Mortgages.com

Y’all might remember that time I shared a little bit about mine and Jeremy’s decision to skip a wedding and buy a house instead. It’s a story I love to tell. Skipping a wedding isn’t for everyone, but we’re still loving the decision we made.

Last week a super sweet colleague from a previous job contacted me and asked if she could share our story for Mortgages.com. Of course I said yes! What an honor! Kylee did a great job capturing our story – you can read it here if you’re interested.

Sending you sprinkles of joy and warm hugs til next time,

Jordan

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

Out And About Dress: Round 3

After having a moldy closet repaired (oh, what an experience #OldHouseProblems), we decided to take advantage of the fact that the room was empty and repaint.

That room happened to be my sewing room.

*happy dance!*

In case you were wondering: absolutely no fabric was harmed in the moldy closet {PRAISE!}. Probably because I keep my fabric thrown anywhere but the closet (because let’s be honest: I like to be able to see my fabric so I can give it heart-eyes as often as possible).

It took a lot of restraint not to paint the room purple, but the Hubs made me promise to stay away from purple since I’d already chosen that for The Cave {formerly known as the Man Cave…PS: You can see the lovely shade of purple in this post}.

So of course I picked the 3rd best thing {2nd would have been pink} – BLUE.

sewing room 1

Painting in progress!

Here’s a birds-eye view of the room courtesy of the Hubs playing with some lenses I never took out of the package…

image

‘scuse the mess – I’m still getting sorted!

It’s a bit “baby boy blue,” but I still love it!

And it only took me 3 weeks to finally get it done. Probably because of things like this…

sewing room 2

aka: why you shouldn’t let a perfectionist be in charge of painting.

Anyhow, I’m finally starting to move my sewing stuff back in which brought on a second purge of supplies and fabric. And the shocking realization that pattern/fabric hoarding is not a joke anymore. I think I might be sick.

JUST KIDDING.

*as I grab for my credit card and order another 3 yards of the mulberry ponte knit…*

OK KIDDING AGAIN.

I’m trying very hard to limit my pattern-and-fabric-purchasing. Right now my focus is on using the patterns and fabric I have so I can try to keep my sewing room organized and simplified 😉

The project I’m sharing today may be proof that I need far fewer patterns than I think I do…

out and about dress 3b

Yes, I made another Out and About Dress! It’s my favorite! A gathered waist and pockets seem to be a staple in the definition of “my style” (also purple seems to be a part of that definition…).

I’ve been able to really master this pattern for my shape. I’ve gotten the bodice modified to a point where it fits me like a glove. {See my original Out and About Dress post to read about my alterations} Yes, it’s made with knit fabric which is forgiving and doesn’t require a perfect fit, but I still consider it a win for fit!

out and about dress 3c

We’ve finally started getting some chilly weather {remember how it “snowed” last month?! 😉 } which made me want to start the long-sleeved Out and About Dress I’d been dreaming about.

out and about dress 3e

See all the cold weather “blowing in”?! 😉

I ordered this dreamy ponte de roma knit fabric from Imagine Gnats. If you’ve never ordered from the Imagine Gnats shop, I highly suggest joining the mailing list and taking advantage of the next sale {and no, Rachael is not paying me to say this, but I’m totally open to fabric bribes should those ever be on the table #JustSayin}.

I have a very indecisive personality [I’m a Libra…what can I say?!] so I get overwhelmed with too many choices {this also explains why I prefer shopping at Trader Joe’s for groceries}. I appreciate that there aren’t 20 different choices for purple knit fabric. There’s one – maybe two – which helps keep me from flying down the rabbit hole and spending hours debating myself about which purple is best for me.

So when I saw a sale a while back, I knew it was time to buy that purple ponte de roma I’d been eye-balling and get chopping away at my next long-sleeved (!!) Out and About Dress.

I’ve been trying to hold myself loosely to projects this year. Meaning: last year I stressed myself out by putting expectations on projects – forcing myself to finish something that day rather than allowing myself to step away to enjoy other weekend leisures. This year, the Hubs and I have been enjoying long walks around town together on the weekends. Rather than limiting those, I’ve allowed myself to step away from the project knowing that it will patiently wait on me to return. {And I’ll return a much happier seamstress 🙂 }

That’s exactly what I did with this dress. I don’t mind that it took me 3 weekends to finish because I was able to work on it in chunks which was far less stressful. I didn’t feel rushed so I was able to focus on the small details that lead to a wonderfully constructed garment.

out and about dress 3f

I reinforced the shoulder seams with twill tape. I also used elastic to gather the skirt which should keep the waist from drooping over time (so I hear).

To add the elastic: I cut a piece (un-stretched) for the front that was the same length as the bottom of the front bodice. I cut an additional piece that was the same length as the back bodice. I stretched the elastic as much as I could to fit the skirt pieces which gathered them without having to baste stitch. I ended up chopping about 2 inches off the back skirt piece (vertically) and about 4 inches off the front skirt piece.

I used the original sleeve length (I think I cut a size small) which fit my arms perfectly.

Towards the end I realized I didn’t have quite enough purple thread so I had to use gray for the underside. You can’t see it and it’s not terribly noticeable even when you’re looking at the interior hem. And frankly, this article has given me my new mantra: fuck perfect. And I love my new dress.

out and about dress 3a

When I posted this dress to Facebook, a friend asked if I use a serger. The answer is no. Sergers sounds fabulous, but I’m still trying to master the basics. {Proof: I recently took a Sewing 101 class with Sewn + A Sewing School (taught by my quilt guild president) and learned so much!}

My point is: There are a ton of fancy sewing accessories, supplies and machines out there. And boy would I love to have them all {Hubs: are you reading this?! There’s my b-day wish list: ALL THE SEWING THINGS}. BUT – they’re not required for you to make beautiful things!

Rather than a serger, I use a twin needle, but even that’s not required! I made my first Out and About Dress (which was also the first garment I ever made) using a plain ole zig-zag stitch…because I had never heard of a twin needle. {I have since learned what a twin needle is thanks to that time I pattern tested the Canny Tunic and discovered this article from the designer-who-became-my-friend-Addie.}

My point is: Don’t hold yourself back. If you want to sew garments, then by golly jump inhead first! What’s the worst that could happen? You end up with a dress that doesn’t fit right? Okay, so what! Cut that bad boy up and make a scarf…or two. Give one to a friend – they’ll think you’re brilliant and your confidence will be restored.

Then go start on another dress. ‘Cuz why the heck not?!

If you’re passionate about it, you’ll figure it out. Just stick with it.

out and about dress 3d

PS: Is my sister reading this?! I hope she is. Because she took the Sewing 101 class with me (which made MY HEART SING! LOOK AT HOW ADORABLE SHE IS SEWING HERE!!) and I hope she remembers the joy of creating something – even if that something requires that you sew the same seam 10 times because your sister forgot to tell you to roll the edges on your French seam…

Anyhow friends – go forth and sew things. Because you can. And what you make does not have to be perfect. I give you permission to make crappy things. As long as the crappy things make you happy. {remember our new mantra: fuck perfect}

And if you ever need a reminder that you’re awesome, send me a message – I’ll be your sewing cheerleader!

Out And About Dress #2

I gave you a peak at my new Out And About Dress in my What I’m Lovin’ in October post and, as promised, today I’m going to share all the details with you!

When I was first dreaming about garment-making, I started examining my closet. I wanted to see what styles I gravitated towards so that I could be intentional with the styles I was going to attempt to sew (no need to waste my time tackling a pattern I won’t enjoy wearing). This is actually a great practice even if you don’t sew – find out what styles you like to wear that make you feel good. Use that knowledge to decipher whether you really should buy that clothing item (especially in terms of “but it’s only $5!” sales which can lead to closet overload).

I quickly noticed that my favorite dresses had a cinched, elastic waist (I’m a sucker for comfort – and I don’t like for clothes to hug my midsection 😉 ). I also like sleeves. I certainly don’t mind sleeveless (and very much appreciate sleeveless in this year-round incredibly humid climate that I call home), but when I have even a little sleeve I feel less obligated to add a cardigan (although, next to scarves, cardigans are my favorite accessory!).

At the time, I had been following Sew Caroline and a few other clothing bloggers on Instagram and falling madly in love with their handmade styles. When Sew Caroline released her Out And About Dress pattern, I knewhad to give it a try!

It was quite a bold choice for my very first garment pattern. In general, knit fabric can be tricky to work with because of the stretch (though there are tons of great tips out there – Addie K’s post about twin needles totally changed how I sew with knits!). The cinched waist is definitely the hardest part of the pattern. Caroline has really great instructions to walk you through it (step-by-step instructions with pictures = why you should use indie sewing patterns!).

For my first version of the Out And About Dress, I used a sweet fawn print cotton jersey fabric from Girl Charlee (my choice is no longer available, but you can find similar versions here, here and here). For my first time working with knit, this fabric was a good choice – it wasn’t super, duper stretchy which made it much easier to control.

I knew I would need to alter the placement of the waist because I am petite. Before I started, I found a dress in my closet with a cinched waist that fell where I wanted this one to fall. I measured from the shoulder to the waist and used that as a basis for how much I needed to shorten the front and back bodice pieces. I ended up shortening them by about 2 inches.

It turned out perfect!

outandaboutdress1

circa March 2014

While making this dress definitely built my self-confidence as a seamstress, it was a little more labor intensive than I was prepared for so I decided to stick with some easier patterns for a bit (aka: less sleeve-setting and waist-line-cinching – like the Canny Tunic – still an absolute favorite & closet staple).

I’ve been on a serious garment-making kick as of late and was feeling much more confident so I decided to dust off the pattern for a second try (because I still love wearing the first one I made!).

I found some mint colored knit fabric at JoAnn’s and bought 2 yards on a whim quite a while ago. I had ear-marked it for a future Out And About Dress so I’d avoided using it with my other projects because I knew it would be perfect for this one. I can’t remember what the bolt said, but I think it may be a ponte knit – it’s super duper soft with a four-way stretch (which sounds much stretchier than it actually is).

outandaboutdress

circa October 2015

A few alterations I made to my 2nd Out and About Dress…

  • Elastic waist: I inserted elastic when I made the waist (I’d tell you how I did it, but it was a total disaster the first time…then I had to shorten the bodice after construction and start all over again with the elastic so I’m not gonna go there 😉 ). I’ve heard the elastic will prevent the waist from drooping/stretching out over time. I knew I’d want to wear this dress constantly so I figured it was worth the effort.
  • Slightly shorter sleeve & cuff: To make the dress, I used almost every inch of the 2 yards so I didn’t have enough to make separate sleeve cuffs. I had planned to flip the hem up twice and stitch, but I tried the dress on before doing so and realized that the sleeves were longer than I wanted so I chopped them and used the excess to make a cuff (so in total: I cut 3 inches off each sleeve and used 2 inches of that to make the cuff. Had I realized I was going to cut 3 full inches off, I would’ve used all 3 to make the cuff…trial and error, y’all).
  • Finished the seams with pinking sheers (not so much of an alteration, but just a note): A few months ago I finally “splurged” on a pair of pinking sheers. Ever since, I’ve been using them to trim the seams in all of the garments I make (unless I use french seams like I did for my Date Night Dress). It makes the interior of the dress look much more professional (the perfectionist in me hates having uneven, jagged, raw edges of the fabric exposed…even on the inside).
  • Bound the neckline: For the neckline, I followed this tutorial from Indie Sews to bind the neckline. Since I was using a twin needle, I have a double top-stitch line which looks very professional if I do say so myself!
  • Reinforce the shoulders: Because this knit was pretty stretchy and a little heavy, I knew the weight of the dress would put a bit of pressure on the shoulders. I had some twill tape leftover from the Finlayson Sweater I sewed for the Hubs (see the sweater on Instagram here!) so I just lined it up over the underside of the shoulder seam and carefully sewed into place from the top side of the fabric (lots of pins here to keep the twill from moving while I sewed from the other side for a cleaner look with the thread).

I have to admit, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out! I’m glad I took the time to make the alterations – I know I will be wearing this dress a ton!

If you are interested in sewing your own Out and About Dress, Sew Caroline offers it as a digital PDF AND as a printed pattern (to avoid hours of taping and piecing, I highly recommend this version! And it’s the same price – win!).

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 😉

oct

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.

What I’m lovin’ in June

Whatever happened to things slowing down when the weather gets warm? The only thing slowing down is my energy being zapped by this blanket of humidity that’s taken over Columbia!

June went by in such a flash my list of June-lovin’ wasn’t ready until July – I do hope you’ll forgive me!

june

 

1. Planning my imaginary vacation through airbnb’s Instagram feed.

There’s a such thing as #TreeHouseTuesday which led to me starting a “wish list” of all the treehouses I want to visit.

Like this one in Vermont:

treehouse

this one also makes me long for snow… 🙂

2. Vintage clothes.

This one should be pretty obvious by now, but as a short gal stuck between junior & adult styles who dislikes both, vintage clothing has saved my work wardrobe from looking very confused.

In addition, I love the way vintage clothes are constructed – sturdy, comfortable (and oh-so-soft!) and timeless.

I just got this fabulous shirt from Saint & Rambler Vintage a few weeks ago at the market:

S&R shirt

A few months ago after I made my first dress ever (the #OutAndAboutDress by Sew Caroline – you can see my picture here on Instagram), I found a tutorial for adding tulip sleeves which I added to my “make this!” list. Unfortunately, I haven’t made an Out & About Dress with Tulip Sleeves (yet!), but when I saw this shirt I knew I had to have it!

Aren’t the tulip sleeves just the best thing ever?!

sleeves

3. Succulents.

They’re everywhere right now! I see them all over Etsy in listing photos and on all the hip design people’s Instagrams.

Well I’m neither hip nor much of a plant enthusiast (after the time my cat knocked over my only indoor plant I vowed to never have an indoor plant so long as Mr. Norton is still alive & kickin’…literally). However, I saw this baby hens & chicks succulent at IKEA for $3 and fell in love:

theodore

I named him Theodore and took him to my office before Mr. Norton realized he had been in the house.

I’m happy to report that a month later, Theodore is still very much alive which is a significant improvement from the fate of Dutchess Jamie Lynn the orchid. Apparently hens & chicks are hard to kill (thank goodness!).

4. Garden fresh tomatoes!

The garden we planted at my grandparents is flourishing so of course, my appreciation for fresh produce goes beyond May. 🙂

There’s really nothing more tasty than a sun-ripened tomato sandwich on fresh baked bread (try Heather’s Artisan Bakery at the Soda City market!) slathered in Duke’s mayonnaise and sprinkled with a little sea salt & fresh ground pepper. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

tomatoes

Also lovin’ the fact that my sister is successfully growing lots of cherry tomatoes – and she doesn’t even like tomatoes! Thus, I have been getting little deliveries of tomatoes for the past few weeks 🙂

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5. Light & fresh summer recipes from Cooking With A Wallflower.

Recently, she posted a recipe for a Cheesy Tomato Basil Quesadilla that I tried with a spin (I’ll post my spin on the recipe soon!) using the tomatoes from my sister’s backyard garden. It was heavenly!!

I hope you loved June as much as I did and Happy Independence Day!!

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