Pink Walrus

Here’s project #2 for Project Sewn, y’all. This has been a week, I tell ya. Lots of things didn’t work out, lots of things did work out, things are crazy, things are subdued, things are exciting, things are boring. You know. Just one of those weeks. So you know, Pink Walrus. Doesn’t mean anything, it just popped into my brain and that’s what I’m going with this week.

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This week was all about the pink. This was a fun challenge for me because I’m naturally attracted to pink. I love me some pink. So what did I do? I made more separates! At the end of all of this, I hope you’ll be interested to see how my mini Project Sewn wardrobe mixes and matches and even if you’re not interested, you’ll be getting a dose of it anyway. Yessss….. Anyway, I’ve a load of things to share with you about this project. Ready to lend an ear?

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The pink jacket is none other than Named’s latest Kaisla Jacket. Named contacted me before their latest Spring collection aired and asked me if I wanted one of their patterns. I nearly fell off my chair! Did I want a free pattern from their upcoming collection? Me? Hell yes! I then actually did proceed to fall off my chair when I previewed their upcoming patterns. Les sigh. Soooooooo gorgeous. These gals have outdone themselves again! Since I could only pick one, I picked this jacket because I instantly knew it had to be made up. In pink. For Project Sewn. Additionally, I thought it would give the Named gals a little more well deserved publicity. The jacket came together pretty nicely, but I changed a few things for the sake of my own ease in sewing. I ditched the back vent because time and patience. I love back vents on jackets, don’t get me wrong, but with a lining……. someone carve out my heart with a spoon. Ugh. And then I completely drafted a new lining for the jacket because I have this way of drafting linings that I really like and that saves me myriad headaches. So if you want to try out this pattern, just know that I didn’t try it out all the way. The jacket shell has really good bones. Made only one small fitting adjustment (for my broad upper back) and then boom! It was done!

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OK, actually it wasn’t that simple. Can we chat for just a minute about all things tailoring? I love jacket making. I die for jacket making. The challenge is exciting to me and I mean, who doesn’t love a good jacket? But, if you want to make things a crap load ton easier on yourself, do not make a jacket in a bright solid color until you’ve mastered most of the techniques. Oiy. It’s hard. Why? Because every single flaw will show. Printey fabric is like cake compared with solid colors. I also managed to do a double whammy hard thing on this jacket. I picked a bright solid color and a drapey rayon/silk blend (from my shop!) to boot (drapey being the key word there). Can’t lie. This thing was pretty difficult, but in the end, I think I finished out on top. Take that you rayon/silk blend fuschia loverly cloth! I pulled out a favorite lining combo from my stash. The body is lined in this lilac acetate/silk hollywood lining and the sleeve in Liberty of London silk charmeuse (did you even know that Liberty comes in silk!!!). I know, you can swoon right now.

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And then there’s the pants. The pants are BurdaStyle #129B. I have a love of BurdaStyle pants patterns because at the behest of other fellow bloggers that I’ve read, I’ve found that they are drafted magnificently. And they are. They fit me easily too, meaning not a lot of alterations (only shortened the crotch depth and then I was done). Easy, breezy beautiful. I made these from a stretch cotton sateen (again from my shop). I can see several more pairs too. These are definitely a nice close fitting trouser. They feature a fly front and side slash pockets and that was key for me. These are pretty versatile too. They will be worn and worn a lot.

Hop on over to Project Sewn and vote friends!!! And definitely, don’t forget to enjoy the other makes. They are most fabulous! I’ll be back, later this week, with a tutorial. GASP! I know. It’s been so long since I posted a nice tutorial. So long. Too long. So, you’re in for a treat. Ta!

  • Karen Fuhrman - I love the fuschia with your hair. The jacket is well done and the look is just perfect for young professional woman! And did you have to tell me Liberty comes in silk. Great, now that I know, I will be checking out that today and deciding how to fit that in my budget.ReplyCancel

  • Rose - I hardly ever post comments but I love this jacket – beautiful. Could we see a shot of the inside?? Good luck for the rest of Project Sewn.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Yes, of course! I’ll definitely post a follow up about the jacket and the inside!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - I absolutely LOVE that all of your projects are going to coordinate with each other. You have a strong grasp on your personal style. I’m really envious, as this is something I wish to master. For as difficult as your jacket was to construct, it looks effortlessly easy and gorgeous here! Great work!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you! I’m very excited about the coordinating as well. Its actually been wonderful so far because everything is going so well with what’s already in my closet. A definite bonus.ReplyCancel

  • Doris Steele - Sunni, I too love Burda patterns as they are drafted so much better than the big 4! A famous sewist in the SF area also said as much; she loves Burda too. Once you make pants from a Burda pattern, you won’t use anything else. sincerely, DSReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I completely agree. I’ve never had much luck with the Big 4 pants patterns (let alone the other styles) and this has held true when I’ve helped fit others in pants. Burda pant patterns always look better and are easier to work with. That crotch curve is simply magical.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - This jacket is ADORABLE! Stop making me want blazers, blazers, and more blazers (I’m still dreaming about a perfect plaid blazer after your amazing inspiration a few months ago)! Let me cast my vote for a shot of the inside, too! I want to see more of the lining!!ReplyCancel

  • Janet - I love Burda for pants too! Great tips for blazer making. Your plaid blazer inspired me to take a tailoring course last summer. And I did it! A plain navy wool blazer with plain navy lining. :) ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - Really fantastic! What a lovely shade of pink, too. Well done, again! Good luck this week.ReplyCancel

  • Julia Bobbin - Lady, the amount of style and swagger you have is OUT OF THIS WORLD! Absolutely love this look!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh thank you! Swagger – now that’s an awesome word! I like that I have swagger.ReplyCancel

  • Gail - I agree with your comment on Burda’s drafting. Nothing beats German engineering.ReplyCancel

  • Linda - I went to the project sewn site through the link and could not find the place to vote. Can you give us the exact link for that please?ReplyCancel

  • Maddie - You and jackets are like me and dresses. I just can’t get enough! I’m surprised that you like pink. As a redhead, I steer away from that color. I have to admit though, looking at the hue again your skin tone and hair color – it doesn’t look bad at all!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - As I was growing up, this is something I heard a lot as well. Also red and orange, stay away from those because “you’re a redhead.” The weird thing is, these are all colors that look really really good on me. Couldn’t tell you why exactly but it might be my particular shade of red/orange hair or my particular complexion coupled with the hair, but I get compliments every time I wear colors like this. Without fail. You should definitely try it. I’ve never taken much stock in anything that anyone says that redheads can’t wear. Today’s post is a case in point.ReplyCancel

      • Becky Thompson - I’m a strawberry blonde but I have a LOT of red in my facial skin tones…so do you. This allows pink to look good on girls like us, regardless of our hair color. Usually green looks better than pink on redheads, but in this case, I absolutely like the pink jacket better than the green in project #1. Oh, and your tailoring is A+++!!ReplyCancel

  • lisa g. - i was hoping you would start posting some of your new wardrobe mix and matches, so i definitely look forward to that! love this jacket. love LOVE!! the pink looks amazing on you. i’ve been wanting to try a burda pant, so it’s nice to hear your glowing recommendation. the whole outfit looks great, good luck this week!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Oh Sunni, thank goodness for you and your style. Your entry has such CLASS and sophistication. Enough said.ReplyCancel

  • Danica - Beautiful work! And I love how you incorporated the patter into the sleeves. Nice job!ReplyCancel

  • How to: Sew & Attach a Patch Pocket » A Fashionable Stitch - […] be showing you how I attached the patch pocket to my pink jacket – the Kaisla, in case you’re interested – which is the same method I used to […]ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - You knocked this one out of the park! Wow! What clean lines this blazer has, in a colour that looks terrific on you. When you removed the back vent, it appears that it flares out a bit like a peplum. Can you please explain in more detail how you did this? Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thanks Tammy! Actually when you remove a back vent, all you’re really doing is just following the seamline down the rest of the jacket. It’s like a slit, but instead, I chose to sew the slit closed. The jacket doesn’t actually flare out like a peplum, I think that’s just the way I’m standing. Otherwise, its all the cut of the pattern. The pattern definitely has some shape in the back, more following the lines of your curves. A really great pattern to be sure!ReplyCancel

  • Behind the Seams: Pink Walrus Jacket » A Fashionable Stitch - […] of y’all wanted to see the innards of my Pink Walrus jacket from last week and I’m more than happy to oblige. Far be it from me to withhold more nerdy […]ReplyCancel

Behind the Seams | Fashion Icon Challenge

Today, I thought I would answer a few questions I received about my green jacket that I made for Project Sewn. But first. Wow! Hasn’t this week been ahhh. mazing? I have to say I think everyone outdid themselves. It’s been really really fantastic. So much variety and it was exciting. Forget mind being blown, my brain was blown. Ladies, I bow (and wink) to your creativity and inspiration. Hey now, don’t forget – you can still vote for your favorite until tonight! If you haven’t already, be sure to hop on over and snag your favorite make.

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OK, this green with envy jacket. Someone asked about rub-off’s. What’s that? A rub-off is creating a pattern from an existing piece of clothing. This usually involves not harming the original garment. You guys, I’m BIG into doing this. I do it alot because my original garment already fits me the way I want it too and boom, you’ve made a pattern and then you can make dozens of your favorite garment with different twists, details and such. It’s killer diller. You can find more information on doing this sort of thing from the following resources:

  • Patternmaking for a perfect fit by Steffani Lincecum – this little underated and not talked about enough book walks you through how to do this. Love it.
  • Steffani also has a Craftsy class on this very subject. Also a worthy investment because you can watch someone doing it.
  • Kenneth King’s Jeanius class on Craftsy and also this class on Pattern Review are both about his approach to doing this. You’ll find that there are several methods for creating a rub-off and all are worth knowing about. They come in handy at different times.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for how to do this. It’s very addictive and well worth knowing how to do.

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Did I match the plaids on the texturized wool? Funny you should ask because yes, I did. These types of details are important to me, especially now that I understand how it works on a jacket. It’s worth the effort to me here and I also did want to see if it really made that big of a difference in a plaid that was more subtle and textural than anything else. Probably not all that noticeable, but it’s still a nice touch.

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Was the waist cincher apart of the original garment? Yes, it was. You guys, this is such an ingenious way to make a boxy jacket look fitted. I love this on my original jacket (scroll down for that). I definitely see more waist cinchers on my jackets in the future. Plus they are cute. There’s a myriad of ways that you could do this detail and each time have it look different.

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The jacket has three main body pieces. This made it kind of cinchy to match the plaids. The pieces are a jacket front, jacket side and jacket back. The side combines both princess seams from the front and back into one.

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And now, here’s the original jacket. By the way, this thing is pretty old. From my college days when I worked in an expensive clothing store. It’s held up well. Except for the lining which I took apart and redid this year. Now it has my favorite lining tricks, including silk sleeves and rayon bemberg lining in the body. Still wearable for years to come.

Hope you enjoyed!

  • Chris - I loved everything about your outfit yesterday. I make a lot of things using a rub-off to start – it really takes the guesswork out of whether something will fit right. I have the book you mention and have recommended it to friends. I’m pretty sure Claire Shaffers book ‘ Couture sewing techniques’ covers a rub-off of a skirt too. Best of luck with project sewn:)ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - So beautiful! I’ve done a tiny-tiny version of this on my winter coat in progress, by copying off the collar of an existing coat which is really cool and unique. So far it’s worked! But I’d love to learn how to do a full copy in the future.

    By the way, I’d love to see a posting on all your lining tricks!ReplyCancel

  • zeddie - This is a very interesting design/construction as I don’t think I have seen a jacket with a side armhole princess seam without front darts (either bust or waist). Sometimes, if the princess seam is more to the front, there won’t be darts in the front but here the side piece is really off to the side and doesn’t have darts.ReplyCancel

  • Sunni - @zeddie – exactly! I noticed the same thing. And yet, the jacket isn’t completely boxy, it still has shape. And in only 3 pieces! I was super excited to get a pattern from this jacket.ReplyCancel

  • Becky - Well, you may have sold me on rub offs. My very favorite jacket is a thrift store herringbone wool that has an inset belt detail in the back, like an Eisenhower jacket, know what I mean? It is so flattering, comfortable, and darn cute. I get compliments on it every time I wear it. I have not seen a pattern with this detail. I really think this detail fits my style. I even like it in a robe – no more hunting for that dang belt! I guess I will have to add this to my list of must learns. I think this jacket is just gorgeous. It really is a beautiful pairing of fabric and pattern, both of which are perfect for you.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - I looooove this jacket! Thanks for giving me a closer look! Love the waist cincher detail- how awesome! I have a mid-’60′s dress pattern for a shift dress that includes a waist cinch/belt thing- there are buttons attached to the body of the dress, then you make a little rectangle with buttonholes on either end and button on. The rectangle’s a little narrower than the dress, so it gathers in the back. Older clothes tend to have fun details that are missing from cheap modern clothing!ReplyCancel

  • Alida - LOVE the waist cincher. I may have to add that to every blazer I ever make. GENIUS.ReplyCancel

  • Maddie - I totally agree that rubbing off a pattern is a very effective way to get a pattern that fits. It’s also good for bra making because there many many patterns available.ReplyCancel

  • RobinD - I just love this cheerful green jacket – especially with your coloring.
    The matching plaids are nice, too!ReplyCancel

  • futuralon - As rub off means something entirely different in my home country of Australia, I like to think of it as reverse engineering. The first thing I reverse engineered was a bias cut nightgown/slip. I had no idea how to draft for bias so tracing the seams of a lovely Natori garment was a quick and dirty solution. A handy technique, to be sure.ReplyCancel

  • Siri - I just love this bold jacket, and seeing the original I totally understand why you rubbed it off! Such a gorgeous shape. And the details are great. I really want to sew a jacket now :) ReplyCancel

  • Norma Gordon - Great Jacket.Sunni I thought the fabric was beautiful. Do you know of a pattern like this that is available. Or, maybe you should make patterns of the jacket for sale.ReplyCancel

  • Sunni - @futuralon – I also think that Kenneth King calls it that, which is probably much more “socially acceptable.” ha ha!

    @Norma Gordon – Thank you Norma! I will say that I have looked into producing patterns before and its a lot of work. Unfortunately I probably won’t be doing that anytime soon and sadly, its one of those styles that I’ve never seen in a commercial pattern before. So so sad, because it totally needs to be a pattern!ReplyCancel

  • Camilla - I’ve got Pattern making for a perfect fit and have used it to make a rub off of an A-line mini. I’ve not tried it on anything as ambitious as a jacket yet. Your jacket is gorgeous, I’m a big fan of green.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - What a beautiful jacket! I only wish I had a jacket that I loved enough to copy.ReplyCancel

  • sheseams - Oh thank you for the cincher idea, it would also be helpful if you lost weight, you could adjust it for a better fit. :-) ReplyCancel

  • Serac - Love that jacket! I am glad you matched the plaids even if it is very subtle. Those kinds of details really make handmade pieces special. Very beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Becky Thompson - I am enrolled in both of those classes on Craftsy (Stephanie’s & Jeanious). I used Stephanie’s technique the other day when my son asked me to make him a shirt just like the one he has from Old Navy but to make it longer. He liked many of the design elements of the shirt so finding a pattern would be hard to duplicate. He’s 6’8″ and ALL shirts are way to short for him. Knowing how to do a rub-off makes this easy.ReplyCancel

  • dapper » A Fashionable Stitch - […] and this jacket is definitely no different. This is the original jacket from challenge #1 – my green jacket there being an exact replica of this one. My love for this thing knows no bounds. It will […]ReplyCancel

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This is my first entry into the Project Sewn competition. The theme for this particular week was fashion icon. I mulled over this one for a whole month, not knowing what to do and finally, when I did start sewing, things took their own turn. A turn, I’m happy to say, ended up working. I chose Katharine Hepburn as my icon and before you say, “You’re outfit doesn’t look anything like Katharine Hepburn,” let me explain. I chose Katharine because of her tendency to sport menswear and its one that I’ve found myself favoring a lot in the past year or so (ever since the pixie cut). I look good in masculine type cuts, yet with lots of splashes of femininity. This ensemble? Case in point.

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The opportunity to create a small mini wardrobe from this competition has been soooooooooooo fun. One of those “aha” moments where you finally get the point of what it means to create a wardrobe – that’s what its been like for me. This first entry incorporates so many details that are well, so much apart of my daily uniform. Pants/trousers (a must for a gal on the go like me), one hell of a jacket and a lovely little top. I’m finding more and more that jackets are my thing. Good gravy, I love a good jacket! I created a rub-off pattern from my favorite jacket of all time for this one! For the most part, since this was the first time making up the pattern, I opted to go with the details of the original jacket. Except the pocket – had to do something a little bit different there and I added bound buttonholes. The interesting thing about this jacket is that the body is comprised of 3 main pieces – jacket front, side and back whereas usually most jackets are comprised of more pieces. The fit is perfect for me, the whole reason I rubbed off a pattern from the original. PERFECT! The jacket was fusibly tailored and took a good chunk of my time frame, but I’m so happy with it I could shout for joy, which is exactly what I did! I also have to add that this green texturized wool – it loved being tailored. Seriously, loved it. Ate it up. Did exactly what I wanted it to do and the best part – you can still get it here.

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The pants are my Burda 7447 (sadly out of print now, AAACCKKK!). A TNT (tried and true pattern). I made a few more tweaks from the last time I made it – admittedly, it takes a few times to get all the kinks out of a pattern. Love these though. Made from a plain weave navy wool suiting from my shop. This wool has some pretty lovely drape and they look so nice as pants. So nice. I realized something about pants and me and this is good because I’ve needed to realize this for some time now. Originally, I was planning to knock off Katharine Hepburn’s wide legged men’s trousers. I created a pattern from my TNT and I’m finally coming to the realization that I really really don’t like the way wide legged trousers look on me (or it could be that I just haven’t found a pattern that I feel flatters me). I don’t look long and lean and swanky. I look doudy and frumpy and blah. I have stumpy legs. I’ve always known this. And tapered (yes, I just typed tapered!) trousers look good on me. Oh. my. goodness. Did I just admit that my mom’s 80′s trousers look good on me? Why yes. Yes I did. Fully lined in bemberg rayon, these lovelies are pretty much pj’s to wear. Sigh.

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My top is just a simple shell made from Newlook 6483 and tops are well, a new thing that I really need to get in the habit of making more of. I don’t have enough tops and I don’t make enough tops. And there is a huge, deep and dark void in my closet and if I’m honest, a good portion of my wardrobe doesn’t get worn because I have no tops to go with the things I make. The interesting part about this top is that it was the hardest part of this particular outfit. I don’t know about you, but bias bound edges are not my friend. Oh my gosh! I hate bias binding so much (at least when done in silk charmeuse)! However, the top really does complete this outfit giving it instant fun and color. Pulls the whole thing together in a pretty brilliant way. I used a silk crepe from Mood and underlined the blouse and bias bound the neckline and armholes in silk charmeuse from my shop.

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Don’t know if you noticed, but in the past year I didn’t share a lot of makes. I was doing a lot of soul searching and finding a style that captures my personality. Sure it’s not original, but this look gives you a much more…. authentic representation of myself than I’ve ever really given here before. Knowing what looks good on me, what feels good on me and how I like to express my personality through my dress has been a real eye opening experience in the past year. And that, in and of itself, really feels good. I’ve loved where this journey is taking me.

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Now, hop on over to Project Sewn and vote for your favorite creation – and I do mean favorite, because you know, my creation may not be your favorite and that’s A. OK. I’m just loving the challenge to create a fresh wardrobe of things that I’ll actually wear, on a daily basis. However, this is not to say that I wouldn’t love your vote, because I really, really would. Enjoy friends. Now off to put the finishing touches on something pink!

  • Christine - I love this and your comments on style which I really relate toReplyCancel

  • T - I adore this colour and pattern combo. Definitely won my vote for round one!ReplyCancel

  • Nicki - You look amazing! The green of that jacket is just so delicious, and I love the whole look. Best of luck!ReplyCancel

  • Annika - You look great! This blazer is just wow!ReplyCancel

  • Karen - That jacket is so perfect for you! The fit is really flattering, yet it looks comfortable. And I love the color! Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Lou - This is perfection Sunni. It really is SO flattering and chic. Isn’t personal style idiosyncratic? Your outfit would look TERRIBLE on me (tapered is not my friend) but its so flattering and exactly “You”.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - Totally inspirational!ReplyCancel

  • Jan - Love your outfit. It is perfect for you. Nice job…..it inspires me to sew more :) ReplyCancel

  • oonaballoona - that green on you is THE BOMB. just delicious!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Gorgeous!! I love everything about this entire outfit. You make such beautiful clothes!ReplyCancel

  • Kate McIvor - Great job channeling Katharine Hepburn. She is one of my style icons as well. Your take is so modern, so YOU!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - Behind the Hedgerow - Oh, how I adore this ensemble! You’ve done a stunning job and I love hearing about your journey of your style discovery. Can’t wait to check out that ‘something pink’!ReplyCancel

  • Diane @ Vintage Zest - Love the ensemble, and I’m totally with you on not sewing enough tops!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - This looks amazing! You girls are really bringing the heat! I’m so excited for the rest of the challenges- can’t wait to see what else you come up with! Seriously, awesome job!ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - This is really beautiful, it’s playful and fun and captures your personality so well! I love it. It’s wonderful that you’ve been thinking about the styles that suit you best. I love the mix of colourful fabrics in conservative styles. Very nice!ReplyCancel

  • Ericka - Your outfit pops! It all comes together nicely and I agree the blouse pulls it all together a fun but polished way.ReplyCancel

  • Elle - You are like the Blazer Queen. This one is gorgeous. I totally relate to your thoughts about personal style…I, like you and so many others, have fallen prey to making things for myself which aren’t my style or which I never wear. If it makes you feel any better, I think there aren’t many people besides Katharine Hepburn herself who would look as great as she does in those giant flared trousers.ReplyCancel

  • maddie - Sunni, you are a queen. What better woman to represent than Katharine Hepburn. She was not only gorgeous, but strong. Not strong physically, but a strong woman!ReplyCancel

  • MarrieB - Your jackets are always amazing, and this one is such a stunner! And the tapered trousers do look great on you! :) ReplyCancel

  • Rox - Wow! So much hard work and it shows! It all adds up to an amazing outfit that looks distinctively YOU. And that jacket. DON’T. EVEN. GET. ME. STARTED. It’s bananas!ReplyCancel

  • crystalpleats - You look so great, Sunni. Love that you’re finding your style and that we get to see some new makes from you. I always love your color mixing.ReplyCancel

  • Alida Makes - I love that you chose Katharine Hepburn! Your coat is amazing, I want one exactly like it. You really knocked it out of the park!ReplyCancel

  • zeddie - I love the blazer! You wrote that the jacket has three pieces: front, side front, and back. I would love to see the back in more detail (and the side front – I’m assuming it’s an armhole princess seam). Did the original jacket have the same closure at the back or was that your own idea?ReplyCancel

  • Mary Danielson - Wow. Sunni, that jacket is absolutely stunning and the whole outfit evokes a modern Katharine Hepburn vibe. You look smashing! Good luck in Project Sewn!ReplyCancel

  • Lu - I LOVE this outfit! I just cut my hair into a pixie cut too and I agree – I’m all about masculine collars, pants and ties at the moment. So much fun! Good luck with Project Sewn :) ReplyCancel

  • Julia Bobbin - Lady you are flawless! Just amazing work and such beautiful styling. I love everything about this look. Well done!ReplyCancel

  • Sheseams - Wonderful fabric and lining color choices. It is nice when you know your own style, even nicer when you can express it creatively.ReplyCancel

  • Miss Demeanour - Oh doll I see what you mean about finding a representation of your style. This just sings you :) That jacket is so beautiful and the colour just pops. Massive well done.ReplyCancel

  • Becky Thompson - Great job! I SO envy your skills and most of all your opportunity to be around fashion fabric. You did amazing work on that jacket and pants scare…well, scare the pants off me! And so true about personal style. The 19 y/o sales clerk snickered as I plopped my mom-pants-high-waisted, plain pockets, Wranglers on the check out counter. They fit perfect, envelope any waist rolls into the waist/hip, and don’t have loud pocket stitching to draw the eye to you-know-where. But now that I’m 50? I owned it! I said, “Mom-pants. (grin) But I’d NEVER wear anything to draw attention to my tush or give me a muffin top!”…(as I looked at hers in her ill-fitting $90 MissMe’s). HAReplyCancel

  • Gail - Love the mix of colours and texture here. The pockets and back detailing on the jacket give it an extra edge.ReplyCancel

  • Shona - Just to say, I didn’t vote for you but it was such a close thing and I am second guessing myself right now. Love it love it love it love it. So well done, you must be feeling so proud.ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - i love the outfit you’ve pulled together here. these wearable pieces are far from boring, but still practical. the green color looks divine on you… such a great color palate!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - Very cool and very wearable! Very well done!ReplyCancel

  • Paunnet - Such a gorgeous outfit! You had my vote right away :D ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Pinheiro - Sunni, your style is YOU and I love it. Everyone did such a great job but that jacket took my vote. XxReplyCancel

  • laura - I love your jacket!! But are you saying.. you created it without a pattern??? when you say it is a “rub off” ?? That blows my mind!

    Came over from Project sewn! Hope you make the cut! I love love love your jacket.ReplyCancel

  • Maddie - Best outfit ever. I think we have twin styles. (Well you are wearing my dream style). Just started sewing again (first time since high school). This would be my ultimate outfit to make once I get the hang of things again.ReplyCancel

  • Sall - This is a great outfit! That colorful shell top is PERFECT :) I am so tempted to go buy that fabric right now! Completes the outfit perfectly!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy M - I love wide leg trousers too – but not on myself! They stumpify my long legs like nothing else. One of my recent sartorial realizations. So sad.ReplyCancel

the Fashionable Stitch Classroom!

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Oh my goodness – time flies! I can’t actually believe that January has come and gone. Wow! I have lots and lots of things to update you on and I thought, since we just finished with it, I should show you the new Fashionable Stitch Classroom. To fill you in, this is the basement section of our fabric shop. This is where I used to teach classes when it was Yellow Bird Fabrics and now that we’ve renovated it, I’ll be teaching a very light load once again.

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I taught in the basement for over a year before buying out the business from the previous owner and though I thought it was perfectly adequate, I did have revisions in mind. So, when we bought the business, I decided to shut down the classroom because 1) I didn’t have time to teach classes anymore and 2) I wanted to revamp the entire downstairs.

Classroom-8

Sadly, as per my usual, there are no before photos of the classroom, but having spent so much time on renovating it, I do have to say it was kind of…. bad. Several customers and some of my own students said as much and I had been asked many many times if we were going to move to a different building or area. One of my ladies even alluded to the fact that I charged a fairly substantial fee for my classes and hmmmm…. the area the classes were held in was, well, not as substantial. At first, I was quite taken aback, but I’ve come to realize the truth in these comments.

Classroom-6

Now the classroom is actually quite charming. It’s still a basement, don’t get me wrong, but the changes we made and incorporated are quite wonderful. It’s more of a sewing sanctuary now and well, it actually makes me want to go over to the shop all the time and sewwwwww. Some of the changes we made? We painted the duct work, which used to be its normal metal color. We also painted the floor which was in dire need of a new paint job. D-I-R-E. There were lots of stains and such on the floor and it was rather yucky. We changed the orientation of the downstairs. The sewing machines are now out in the open whereas before they were in a stifled square-ish space with no natural light. There are now two cutting/drafting tables. One thing I noticed when I was teaching is that there was never enough cutting and drafting room. We have decent sewing machines to sew on and a couple of sergers too. Additionally, all the tools needed for cutting, drafting, sewing and such are all apart of the classroom. We painted and hung several peg boards around the place for organization (I LOVE pegboard) and we put down a few colorful rugs to warm up the place. It’s really really sweet and fun and I’m pretty sure that it will be receiving some serious love in the future. Hip Hip Hooray!

Classroom-7

And now that the classroom is finished, its time we got back to having actual classes down there. I’ve decided that I’ll be teaching once again – a very very light load – starting in March. We’ve also got new teachers lined up! Miriam Tribe of Mad Mim will be teaching classes. Sheesh! Her classes are very exciting and I have to say that I’m so glad to have Miriam on board. She’s teaching some classes that I had been asked about and didn’t have a lot of interest in teaching, so its really nice to have some variety. Want to see what’s on the docket for February? Hop over here! Additionally, we have a few more teachers coming on board and they will be rather amazing, if I do say so myself. It makes me giddy just to think about it! yay!

Classroom-2

It’s also very very possible, that we might start filming some of these classes (in the classroom, of course) and putting them online for purchase. Now that would be exciting, right?

Classroom-5

If you live in Utah, you should definitely sign up for our newsletter and make a point of coming to a class. We would LOVE to have you! And if you don’t live in Utah, if you’re ever in the area, you should stop by our shop and at least see the classroom. Oh the fun we’ll have down in the little sewing sanctuary! Yay!

  • Maria - It looks fantastic! I visited the shop in autumn 2012 during my holiday in the States. I loved the shop and now I read that you are the new owner. Great! I love to see all the new things and I hope I will come back again!

    See you!
    Maria

    P.S.
    These are the fabrics I bought in the old shop and I love them!

    http://schildiswelt.blogspot.de/2013/02/das-letzte-stuck-amerika.html

    http://schildiswelt.blogspot.de/2012/11/me-made-mittwoch_7566.htmlReplyCancel

  • colleen - How I wish I could take a class with you, if only to sit in your lovely classroom.

    WHAT is that purple fabric that the Archer is made from? Please please please: I must know!

    Have a wonderful time with your new round of classes in your shop!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - Congrats on getting the classrooms set up! They do look inviting to learn and sew in.ReplyCancel

  • Bailee - It’s Adorable. I took a class once in the basement and I LOVE the changes you’ve made!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy Woerner - I am so-o-o-o jealous that I don’t live in close. I live in Maryland, so it would be quite a hike. I love what you have done which is the reason I am jealous. You have created what I call the sewers dream, and I love it.ReplyCancel

  • maddie - Sunni, the space look amazing and you described it perfectly – charming. I’m glad to see that things are coming together well with the shop. It’s an exciting time for you!ReplyCancel

  • Miss Crayola Creepy - The new space is darling!!!!! If I was a student I would be so excited to take a class there!ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - Looks great, really bright and clean! From these photos if you don’t see the ceiling, it doesn’t look like a basement. What a nice place to sew and learn!ReplyCancel

  • Fabric Tragic - Looks just lovely! Wish I could come by – great work :) ReplyCancel

  • Tilly - It looks fantastic! Good work turning a basement into a sewing sanctuary. Your shop is going from strength to strength xReplyCancel

  • Siri - What a beautiful classroom! I wish I could take classes in a place like that! Good luck with all your plans, it will be awesome :) ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Your sewing studio looks wonderful. I’m sure your students will love it.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I really want to visit one day.ReplyCancel

  • Virginia - I’m happy to hear about the online classes. They’re a lot easier to get to.

    I’m loving the basement room as well. My part of England has a higher water table than Utah, apparently, because we need to use a water pump to keep it below knee level. :-P ReplyCancel

  • Sally - I just love this space! Wish I lived closer so I could come to your classes! :) ReplyCancel

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  • Amy Royer - Looks Fabulous! Well done Sunni!ReplyCancel

  • kath - Such an inspiring space! :) ReplyCancel

and now for something fun

To everyone! Thank you for your comments on my last post about a certain comment. I’ve taken the post down because honestly, I’m not feeling good about it anymore. I think you can all relate when you’ve made mistakes and I do feel maybe, it was a mistake to address this particular comment in this way. I’m definitely human and I totally make mistakes – I’m just a regular gal, you know. Also, I know many of you are concerned about the legalities of my employee co-op situation. I’ve looked into it and its legal (in the state of Utah) and for future, I’ll refer to it as a volunteer situation as that more aptly describes how things are working at this moment in time. I’m not going to go into specifics, but all the bases are covered. Many, many have given advice to me about disclosing more than I should. Thank you for your concern. I really do appreciate it and I’ll give it some more thought as I go forward in this new venture. For now, let’s get back to the business of sewing, shall we?

header-smaller

I’m a contestant for Season 3 of Project Sewn. I gave a small hint back in December about it (something to the effect of I would be making a whole new wardrobe) and now we’ve got about a month to go before its here. I thought it would be fun to give you a little insight into my thoughts for this upcoming competition. All my ideas are sketched out and ready to be sewn and I’ve gotten to work on my first project and almost have it completed. I’m running just a little behind, but I think I’ll end up being just fine.

The wonderful ladies who run Project Sewn gave us all of the info that we would need by early December. Yes. They are awesome. For some crazy reason, I assumed the challenges were one week challenges meaning that you would have to complete an entire outfit in one week and that scared the living daylights out of me. Thankfully, that is not the case. They give you plenty of time to get ready and produce some really high quality material for the challenges. This is actually really really good for me. When December finally rolled around, I hadn’t touched my machine in weeks. During December, I barely touched it too, but I have come to realize that deadlines are a good thing for my sewing productivity. I’ve started making my outfits and have given myself some specific timelines for when certain things need to be accomplished. I have come to realize over the years that this really works well for me. I know deadlines don’t work for everyone, but I will say, they definitely work for me. This turned out to be quite fortuitous as it has not only challenged me but it will give me a whole new mini wardrobe in the end. So awesome.

MMJ-21

The whole concept of me being in this competition was something I found, well, interesting. The challenges are not easy for me because I am someone who has at long last come to the realization that what I would love to sew and what I actually wear are two different things. I mean, I came to this realization a couple of years ago and have been striving only to make wearable garments since then. But the idea of being in a competition and not being able to wow anyone with everyday wardrobe items kind of killed my enthusiasm – at first. I was very much against the idea of creating anything costumey. Like at all. I chatted with my mister about it and he agreed. It was very important that I create items that I would wear again and again and reach for all the time. So I will be creating only garments that are part of my everyday uniform of sorts for this competition. I have to tell you, I’m soooooo excited for you to see everything I’ll be making. I’ll be unveiling everything in due time, even if I’m not the lucky winner (which I’m totally A.OK with, I mean this is just friendly competition and I’m very excited to be apart of it).

I’m also very excited to see what the other ladies come up with. This is what makes this contest so fun to watch. The line-up of participants is pretty great and I’m quite sure we’ll all be wowed by the makes. Sheesh! Excitement abounds folks! Hip Hip Hooray!

Have you ever participated in a sewing competition? How do deadlines work for you? And seriously, what about making items that you will wear everyday? Is it hard, or is that just me?

  • amy w - I’m really excited about this round of Project Sewn! Can’t wait to see what you all create. As a procrastinator, deadlines are really helpful for me. I was working on a lap quilt top before leaving for a work trip and I was up until 1:30am getting it pieced together(it was coming with me on the trip). I got 3 hours of sleep before getting up to finish packing and leave for the trip, but that quilt top was done!!ReplyCancel

  • Janette - I look forward to seeing what you and the other participants come up with. I’m glad to hear that you will be making pieces for your ‘uniform’. I don’t sew often but when I do, I try to make things I will actually wear. Seeing “real” clothes on blogs is actually more inspirational to me than all the frilly dresses (not hating – they are lovely and that may be those folks’ uniform!) I love getting fabric and pattern ideas from others and this is a super talented crop of sewists!

    Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer N - I have only recently realized that I have sewn several things last year only to wear them once of twice. my goal is to sew things for daily wear and I am doing the Ready to Wear Fast so that includes basics like tees and pants. I usually stress about deadlines but then happy to have then otherwise I may not complete items and they will end up in my UFO section. I look forward to seeing what you create.ReplyCancel

  • AnaJan Stepalica - How exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing your garments, I’m sure they’ll be interesting, beautiful and perfectly executed.
    When I started writing for Sew News, I faced a challenge of completing my articles and garments within a given time frame. At first I was frustrated by the deadline, but now I’m quite used to it and work well when having a specific date on my mind. It helps a lot the fact that I am more accurate now than I used to be before when evaluating how much time I would need to complete the given task.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - I was so surprised to see you in the line up, not because you aren’t amazing, but because you’ve got so much going on right now! I’m so relieved on your behalf to know they aren’t one week challenges :) I’m really looking forward to seeing what you’ve made, and I love that they are wardrobe staples!ReplyCancel

  • zilredloh - How exciting Sunni. I have to say, this seems a great competition to get yourself spurred on to create a new wardrobe. :) Can’t wait to see what you stitch up.ReplyCancel

  • Maddie - When I first started my blog, I made a lot fancy dresses. Last year, I switched focus and starting making more wearable garments and I think it was because I was influenced by other bloggers who made more casual clothing. But that’s not me. I’m totally an Anthro and Free People gal – I love dresses and will get dressed up to go to Whole Foods. I’ve gone back to making what I wear, dresses, even if they’re a little fancier than what most people would call everyday.ReplyCancel

  • oonaballoona - this is going to be SO MUCH FUN! it’s funny– ruggy and i had the exact same conversation, only in reverse universe:)ReplyCancel

  • Marie - Thanks for bringing this up. The question of sewing vs wearing is an interesting one to me. I like to wear what I sew, and that means I tend to sew a lot of casual garments. I enjoy the challenge of making an everyday item unique and wonderful, without turning it into a costume. However, every once in a while I break out of this mold, and that can be wonderful too. Last summer I was invited to a fancy party, and took the opportunity to make a beautiful cocktail dress. I’m not sure I’ll ever wear it again, but I learned so much from the fitting and construction process that it was totally worth it! (Also, I’m insanely proud of the result.) :) ReplyCancel

  • Stillsewing - I’m delighted to see that you are back sewing again. I often wonder how you manage to fit in all the things you do – and now a shop- well done! I hope that it all goes well for you.

    On the sewing front I seem to make clothes for those special occasions like weddings, the things you only wear once and hate to spend a fortune on while the everyday gear can be purchased without the same guilt factor. I do make lots more than “special occasion clothes” but quite often I find that things I make turn out much more “dressy” than I had intended/expected when I started a project and I don’t get as much wear from it as a result. I wonder have you had that experience as well?

    Anyway as a lurker out here who delights in your blogs and the help that you give people like me — thanks, and as regards the shop to hell with the begrudgers!ReplyCancel

  • Becky - Good Luck! I hope you enjoy the process.ReplyCancel

  • Lori - I am so excited the this season of Project Sewn, thanks for sharing how it works. Also, I so agree with your statement about sewing what you will wear. I have been trying my best to do this.ReplyCancel

  • Sue @ A Colourful Canvas - First off, congratulations in being chosen for this season of Project Sewn! And, isn’t it serendipity that this opportunity presented itself when you needed it most. I look forward to seeing your creations, and to reading more about the process.ReplyCancel

  • Virginia - I’ve never heard of Project Sewn before but it looks really interesting. :-) ReplyCancel

  • Houseofpinheiro - I’m so happy we doing this together. I got one two garments half made. Procrastination all the way so luckily deadlines helpReplyCancel

  • Alexandra - I haven’t heard of Project Sewn but can’t wait to see your mini wardrobe.
    I don’t much care for deadlines (other than self-imposed ones) but I do like to sew regularly to keep the mojo going. I try not to sew for my fantasy life but for the one I have.ReplyCancel

  • Rochelle New - I’m so excited you’re a contestant in Project Sewn!! …but I don’t know how on earth I’m going to be able to vote with so many wonderful ladies involved whom I adore! Regardless, I’m really looking forward to seeing how you interpret each challenge.

    :) ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - i am so excited to see you compete in project sewn! the lineup is spectacular, i’m sure it will be extremely difficult deciding who to vote for! i’m glad you’re deciding to sew true to yourself and stick to things that will be worn–in my opinion, even the everyday things can be fun and challenging. best of luck!ReplyCancel

  • Justine - I was in a kids sewing competition called Project Run & Play run by Liz & Elizabeth as well and it really pushed me to do some of my best work. I didn’t think I was competetive until it started. I sewed week to week and didn’t really prepare anything beforehand so it was stressful. I got out in the fourth week.ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - Congrats Sunni, that’s such exciting news! Best of luck, and hope you enjoy the process. : )

    As for sewing everyday items vs. costumes – I’m totally with you. I want to reach for my handmade garments everyday and be comfortable wearing them. They also have to be functional for my lifestyle. Needless to say, I don’t sew a lot of fancy dresses!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - Yay! Ready, set, go….ReplyCancel

  • Rebekah - Hi Sunni – It was great to see all the great advice that was given by commenters concerning your previous post and I’m happy to find that you have sorted through all the legalities and are back on track.

    I have never participated in a sewing competition before (even though I do dream of being a contestant on the Great British Sewing Bee!), but I have done a sew-along which included deadlines. I find deadlines to be very helpful when endeavoring to do something new and different. Without them, I find myself wavering at those difficult times in a project and winding up pushing aside the project for weeks. Deadlines give me that extra motivation to get to the finish line.

    And making everyday type of garments? Is it hard? I am more of the process type of sewer, so it really doesn’t matter to me what I am making. However, I always look forward to trying something radically different then my previous project. Just to keep it more exciting.ReplyCancel

  • Scary - The other day I went into your store after being introduced to this blog through the Project Sewn blog. Your fabric was beautiful and staff was so kind and knowledgeable. It felt so comfortable. Money is tight for my family so I am sure I will only be able to be an occasional stopper by but I will try my best to spread the word. I hope to be in soon to buy a beautiful cobalt knit that I spotted and the Refrew top pattern.ReplyCancel

  • Christianne Bower - I got back into sewing about 3 years ago, and the first things I made were not at all the kinds of things I would wear everyday..or even a couple of times a year ! I quickly realised I had to expand my sewing skills to be able to sew what I like to wear. And that meant learning to sew knits. I have ventured into knits with some baby clothing, and a couple of skirts for my daughter- in- law, but nothing yet for me.

    I also have made a few blouses, and I am slowly learning to pick patterns and fabric that suit my lifestyle. It is still a work in process, as I am drawn to gorgeous dresses that I would have nowhere to wear !ReplyCancel

  • Judi - I’m all about deadlines! Give me a wedding and a dress to make, and I get it finished. Give me some boiled wool, and no deadline, and I will finish it in April and not be able to wear it for months. I think sewing what you like to wear is perfect, because you know it will fit well, and you will feel cool in it! I have a stash full of dressy fabrics, that just gather dust because I don’t go to dressy places often. What I need are knit tops, jackets, pants, and a few skirts, things I will wear all the time. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!ReplyCancel