I hope you all had a steamy lovey weekend filled with v-day celebrations. I did. I mean, I picked out some old Harlequin romances from my bookcase (yes, I have a select few) and read them and loved their trashiness. Les sigh. I was telling my mister about it and well, we giggled. They are rather fun! I mean, its really awesome when you already have the whole thing figured out from the beginning, the books always follow the same story line and they have as little depth as possible. I have to say, its wonderful when the goods are delivered. And you can definitely judge Harlequins by their cover. Ha ha!
Onto other pressing matters, I guess. I’m flattered to have made it thus far in Project Sewn. Seriously. It’s been pretty intense what with the workload I already have going, but I am determined to give it my all. That said…. this week’s challenge was shoes. Here’s the thing though. I have to preface this by telling you that this outfit wasn’t actually made for the challenge. The outfit itself was actually based around these leopard heels, but I made this stuff way back in September and never blogged about them because of the hours I’ve been keeping for the last few months. And we can’t have that, now can we? I mean, I never blogged this skirt! How dare I?!! Alas, this week was one of those where my inner worker bee finally said ENOUGH! and I couldn’t bring myself to crank out anything from my sewing machine and I barely kept up at work. Taking a break has been much needed and so, it was Harlequins, Deep Space Nine and me-time as I slowly turned into a pumpkin all week.
Still, the outfit bears some pretty remarkable elements and I’m proud to say that I can finagle my way out of tight situations with finesse (thank goodness I had sense in September to feel that I needed to make this for Project Sewn). So let’s talk. You can see that I didn’t deviate from my jacket obsession. My oh my. This jacket, as you already know if you read me, is not me-made. But since I had to re-line this thing (it being my favorite jacket ever) and since re-lining a jacket isn’t exactly the easiest thing ever, I included it in this week’s challenge. I’ve done this with several jackets that I already have actually. I’m all about making a garment last as long as it possibly can 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 survive!
My button-up is Simplicity 2339 (out of print, boooo!) and it’s a go-to pattern for me. Though I’m getting ready to give the famed Archer a try. I love me a good button up, especially when one can move their arms freely. You know me. I have that problem with sooooooooooooo many things. I even get tired of re-iterating the same fitting problem over and over. (Note to self: grow smaller upper back to accommodate patterns more easily). My top’s made from a Liberty of London cotton lawn. What else? This shirt, I have to say, was impeccably made. I’m singing my own praises just a little bit, but really, it’s really really good. You would never even know that I made it. I am very proud of myself on that front. I used all the tricks that I’ve gathered from everywhere and it bears some real fine workmanship.
The skirt is my own self drafted skirt. It’s made of a lace that I seriously splurged on because I’m not really a lace kind of gal and when I see one that I like, I die and like, have to have it! The lace was incredibly expensive ($80/yard – YIKES). I underlined with a 4-ply silk crepe, lined the skirt in bemberg rayon lining and finished it off with a petersham ribbon waistband. It’s pretty much gorgeous. Pretty much. This brings me to another find that I’m hesitant to tell you about because this online shop boasts some pretty remarkable fabrics and I am loathe to give up my secret sources because then it means that y’all will go out and buy all the fabric. I go there when I’m in the mood for something ….. different. Fabrics and Trimmings on Etsy has really lovely fabric. A lot of what they have is novelty apparel and I have to say, very very tasteful and well, sooooooooo cool. Oh I can’t even believe I’m telling you about them, but I have to. You’ll love the stuff you find there and you know, it’s important that we keep these little resources going. So go and shop with impunity. It’s where I found this lace that was worth every single cent. And I made sure that I went on over there before I posted this and bought up all the good stuff anyway…… You know, I tease. right? Right? (wink, wink)
And now a a pic of me and my man. I mean it was Valentine’s Day over the weekend. Mr. S told me to tell you that he got in a fight at a bar defending my honor, hence the mark on his lip that looks an awful lot like a cold sore. The blazer he’s wearing is an oldy that I altered for him (made it fit him a whole lot better) and I relined it too. Granted this was in December that I did this for him, but I instinctively knew that he would defend my honor so well that the jacket was completely justified. What can I say? We’re both hopeless romantic jacket people.
Now, enough of my silliness. Project Sewn awaits your vote!
I know, I know. It’s been a seriously long space of time since I did a tutorial. I love tutorials and at one moment in time, I felt I had a lot to give in that arena. Thing is, things have been so busy. Something you’ve heard from me for a bit. The great part is though, I’ve got help now! Oh my gosh! You guys, you’re going to start meeting some of my staff here and I’m going to coax them into writing a few bloggy blog posts. They are all so creative. Can I just say, its super fun being around creative sorts and its so much fun to see the light in their eyes when they talk sewing. Anyway, anyway today, as a finish to the week, I thought I would get back to a little tutorial writing. Today’s topic is sewing and attaching a patch pocket.
Lest you think this might be a yawn, I’m here to say that patch pockets can definitely turn a handmade project into homemade at a moment’s notice. The kind where people are like, “Hmmm…did you make that?” And in their head they’re like, “cuz it looks like it.” Oh the shame, the shame! So let me give you some of my tips, eh?
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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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!