Me-Made-May 2017: Week 2 recap

I’ve survived TWO Weeks of Me-Made-May which is so exciting! So far I’ve identified several holes in my handmade wardrobe (basic t’s, cardigans, work out clothes…). I have patterns already for the missing areas, but have yet to sew them. Finishing a dress for work is about a bajillion times more fabulous than sewing loungewear.

Check out Week 1’s recap here!

Day 8: my Popover Poncho

Plus, a pair of corduroys from Loft that had a gaping waistband until I tacked it – so does that count too? 😉

 

Day 9: Out and About Shirt

This might be my very-first-EVER [wearable] handmade garment. I was working on an Out and About Dress & had butchered a few already {word to the wise: don’t begin your adventures of garment sewing with knit…or maybe that’s the best part about being a beginner: You have no fear or knowledge of what you “should” fear. Whatever, just go for it}. I was feeling defeated until I was able to squeeze a shirt out of the leftover fabric. I’ll never forget the sense of accomplishment I felt afterward.

It took me a few months to recover from the experience, but I LOVED the Out and About Dress I finally [successfully] made {see it in this post}. I loved how it fit. I loved the fabric. I loved how I felt wearing it. I was hooked…

  • Pattern: Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline {affiliate link} – modified by lengthening the bodice (but I’m not sure by how much. This was light years ago. I barely knew how to turn on my sewing machine) & omitting the skirt.
  • Fabric: some kind of knit. I think I found it at my local Hancock Fabrics.
  • Blogged: of course not.

 

Day 10: Peachy Fen Dress

Have you ever tried to take a photo with your dog? Geez, Louise.

Charlotte dog really couldn’t care less that we were wearing matching “outfits” which is really unfortunate because Mother/Daughter outfits are the coolest.

 

Day 11: Upcycled Montlake Tee

May 11th would’ve been my grandpa’s 82nd birthday. It was our first celebrating without him. My grandmother let me browse his closet a few weeks ago and I knew I wanted to refashion a piece of clothing to wear in his honor.

I transformed one of his shirts into my first Montlake tee. This refashion was so fun…and very therapeutic! Ironing clothing really brings out the scent. I love upcycling family member’s clothes because the scent fills my sewing room and brings a flood of special memories. I’ll blog all about this one day, but for now, here ya go:

  • Pattern: Montlake Tee by Straight Stitch Designs
  • Fabric: entirely from my grandfather’s old shirt (it had little stretch like jersey but the feel of a ponte knit).
  • Blogged: not yet!

 

Day 12: my Parkside Skirt

  • Pattern: Parkside Skirt by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: mystery fabric that was donated to me from someone’s attic…I think it might have been a tablecloth at one point 😉
  • Blogged: mentioned in this post, but you can find a full review of the shorts from the pattern here!

 

Day 13: my Parkside Shorts

The Hubs & I got to spend Saturday with my sister and nephew which was wonderful! He’s now 2.5 months old and learning to smile which melts my heart {see a little grin in this picture}.

  • Pattern: Parkside Shorts by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: it was donated to my stash from someone’s attic, but it’s a lightweight denim & vintage floral scraps for the pocket accents.
  • Blogged: here!

 

Day 14: Tammy’s Tulip Shorts

I’ve been keeping these shorts a secret after testing the pattern a few weeks ago. They are a total favorite!! I wore them walking all around town on Sunday with complete comfort (to all my thigh-touching-sistas: there was no awkward riding up which means these are a total win). I made mine with self-made bias tape, but you can use lace or decorate trim for a little extra flair.

The BEST part about this pattern is that 1) it is one SALE – 25% off through midnight on 5/21 {shop here!}, and 2) you can buy the girls pattern too to make a matching set with your mini-me! In Sew Caroline’s collaboration with Simple Life Patterns, they released SIX ladies+girls matching patterns for Mommy-and-Me outfits which included these shorts. Shop the collection.

  • Pattern: Ladies Tammy’s Tulip Shorts by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: more donated fabric from someone’s attic + self-made bias tape for trim.
  • Blogged: not yet!

 

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

1. Repair inspiration

Found a hole in a beloved sweater and not sure how to repair it? Check out how Fiona used tone-on-tone embroidery for mend her sweater! This may motivate me to spruce up my embroidery skills.

2. Pipe-cleaners [yes, those fuzzy wiry things we all played with as kids]

Less of a resource, more of a tip: Keeping a pipe-cleaner in my machine’s “drawer” (is that what the little case under your machine is called?!) is my new favorite thing. A sweet lady gave a wonderful demo at my last quilting guild meeting on how to clean your machine. I took mine apart a few weeks ago {proof here} and was surprised at the dust I pulled off. I’ve been using the pipe-cleaner for dusting each time I’ve used my machine since.

3. Allie J’s me-made wedding dress

It’s PINK!! If I’d had a wedding {read more about that decision here}, I would’ve definitely wanted a pink wedding dress.

I heard Allie talking about her dress on the latest Maker Style podcast episode and had go to searching for a photo. It sounded lovely – and it is.

4. Wardrobe Edit – this is a great post from Becoming Minimalist with 4 easy-to-follow tips on editing your wardrobe. Not only is this handy in paring down your handmade wardrobe to give you a good idea of styles/fabrics you most enjoy wearing {aka: what patterns & fabrics are worth your time & financial investment}, it’s also useful for non-sewists – anyone who wears clothes & is interested in enjoying what they’re wearing!

#mmmay17 posts I’m lovin’ this week

Week 2 Reflections

While my ready-to-wear [store bought] dresses are banned this month, I have been reflecting on those I miss most. My RTW clothes are very neutral – lots of black. While I love a good floral print or bold design, I really want to incorporate more neutrals into my handmade garments. I have been admiring the look of loose-fitting linen dresses lately. Linen can be quite an investment so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for oversized thrift store dresses that I can cut up and use 😉

I also have a maxi dress that I particularly love. It has an elastic waist, an overlay with full lining and no closures. It’s also the perfect length for me (I can even wear it with flat sandals). It’s one of the most comfortable dresses I own that still looks fancy. Being that I know how to sew which affords me the opportunity to make a dress any length, I should really consider a maxi!

Are you participating in Me-Made-May? What have you learned/discovered about your wardrobe?

Advertisements

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 😉

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.