Me-Made May 2016 - Week 4

I'm a little sad to be ending this great challenge of wearing one handmade article of clothing each day. It's been so inspiring to see what others have made and to recap the (larger than I thought) collection of items that I've made. The experience of wearing my own clothes has helped me figure out ways to grow and become a better seamstress. It's made me realize some of my pitfalls, helped me figure out what styles and fabrics I like best, and where the gaps in my me-made wardrobe are.Also that I like to wear blue. Like, a lot. Maaaybe I should branch out more? But, then again, I know I'll wear it if it's blue...Here's a quick photo recap of the last week and a half's outfits:[BestWordpressGallery id="4" gal_title="MMMay Week 4"]I have a ton of dresses and a few solid skirt options, but my trousers and shirt options are very limited. I also don't have any me-made sweaters (except for that one in the back of my closet that's never seen the light of day because I ran out of yarn and had to get more and you can clearly see where the new yarn starts and it drives me crazy...)I guess my challenge for the next 2 months is not to buy any more fabric and to repair my makes that need some help. I've already fixed two dresses and a shirt, so it's a start!Oh, and one other awesome thing about wearing/making your own clothes is that it helps you limit RTW clothing purchases. Kind of hard to justify buying something if you could make it cheaper and better. Although, I did just buy a pair of jean shorts. They were only $10, ok?? And I've already worn them three times! And jorts are haaard. Although, I can't make my own shoes (yet) so I still can't help but buy those. I'm working on it.

Me-Made May 2016 - Week 3

Week 3 of Me-Made May had me looking quite blue! I know there's a lot of blue, white and gray in my closet, but this week really showed me how much I reach for those colors. I'll blame it on the rainy May we've had so far, although it looks like the weather may be finally turning around!And I have a ton of blue-hued fabrics in the stash...oh well, I guess I should stick with what works! At least I know I'll wear it.Here's the past week's MMMay recap:[BestWordpressGallery id="1" gal_title="MMMay Week 3"] This past weekend I unearthed a box of UFOs...unfinished objects. An ominous phrase in sewing. I have several piece that need just a few touches before they're wearable again. Hopefully this week I can find some time to dedicate to these unloved pieces.A lovely package (the details of which will be shared later) came from L.A. Finch Fabrics. Their selection is so lovely, and from what I can tell, their fabrics are very high-quality. Can't wait to dig into my new fabrics!Unfortunately, I had to do some practical sewing this past weekend...new cushions for a super cool mid-century modern chair frame. It still had the original cushions on it and I've been saying for literally two years that I'm going to redo the cushions. Brad, in typical Brad fashion, found some foam (he still won't tell me where) and batting, so this weekend's project was to finally make new cushions. It took several hours of intense sewing (and a few choice words if I'm being honest) but we got it done! Now I can do some fun stuff. I'll share before and after photos later this week, as well as our process. 

Pattern Review - Simplicity 1755

[responsive]DSC_0256[/responsive]I've been on a sewing binge lately, hitting up the fabric stores...ordering a serger...lying awake at night dreaming up my next project...it's getting out of hand. The first sewing project I decided to make during my latest binge was Simplicity 1755 in view A, a Leanne Marshall pattern. I really like the unique neckline, preppy collar, angled raglan-style seam lines and the delicately pleated skirt. All those features make this pattern a little less versatile, but I can see making some frank-en-patterns with the pleated skirt attached to a different bodice, or the bodice turned into a peplum with a little circle skirt.I cut a straight size 12 after double checking to make sure the waist wasn't going to have too much ease. (My measurements are 36" bust, 31.5" waist, 42" hips.) It fits perfectly with no alterations! A big four miracle. The fabric is an inexpensive chambray from Hancock Fabrics. I found it lying in the apparel flat fold pile and thought the weight would be perfect for the structure this dress has. And now you will be subjected to my solo photography while the sun is setting struggles. I'm sure the neighbors were highly amused by my antics (walking in high heels in the mud, trying to avoid doggy land mines, changing the angle of the tripod, etc.)[suslider source="media: 782,783,786,785,784" link="image" width="600" height="800" title="no" pages="no" mousewheel="no" autoplay="0" speed="0"]The instructions were clear and easy to follow. If I make this pattern again I will wait to slip stitch the lining to the skirt until after I sew in the zipper so I can machine-stitch the lining to the zipper tape. Hand sewing isn't my favorite but I guess it's good to practice.The pleats were a little difficult to interpret on the side seams. It took me pinning the panels together at the sides to understand how they were supposed to be folded over the seam to hide it.All in all it was a quick dress to make (maybe 12 hours total) and I LOVE the look. It's kind of got a sporty 50's vibe. I also got to try out a new technique for hook and eye closures by knotting thread around itself to form a loop, sort of like those friendship bracelets everyone used to make.[suslider source="media: 780,781,788,787" link="image" width="600" height="800" title="no" pages="no" mousewheel="no" autoplay="0" speed="0"]

Review of Simplicity Sewing Pattern 1801 Misses' Dresses Cynthia Rowley Collection

It's been a while since I've posted about a sewing project. Partly due to the fact that I haven't been sewing much and partly due to my newest side project...Parker Natural Care! After about 6 months of making my own products (everything from lip balm to deodorant) I decided to start a natural skin care company to share my products with the world. So far 'the world' is just friends and family, but it's growing!Anyway, my latest venture in sewing was spurred by a fabric. A beautiful, lightweight rayon challis from fabric.com. Honestly, the fabric probably wasn't the best for this project, but it still worked out. I ended up having to fully line the dress in order to make it somewhat opaque and I had to be really careful when ripping out gathering stitches because the challis is pretty delicate and shows snags easily. Also the wrong side and right side are virtually indistinguishable except in certain light.I cut a straight size 14 of this pattern after checking the actual waist measurement and making sure there wouldn't be too much ease. I figured with the way the top and skirt is gathered the fit should be pretty forgiving. That was pretty much right on, although if I make this pattern again I will probably adjust the neckline to make it higher and take a little out of the shoulder seam and a little out of each waist seam.[responsive]IMG_3540-edited[/responsive]That said, this dress is very wearable and it's super light and flowy. Perfect for summer! Actually, the looser waist is kind of nice, too, so I don't feel like I have to suck it in all the time :)[responsive]IMG_3483-edited[/responsive]There was nothing too crazy about this pattern except for the side zipper and in-seam pockets. I've done in-seam pockets before but it was a little different when I had to sew a zipper into the side of the pocket. The instructions were clear, though and I didn't have an issue with the pockets. Of course, I put the zipper in on the right side instead of the left. Oops. Just a learning experience for the next time, I guess![responsive]IMG_3551[/responsive] Bonus:I had my phone set up to take a few quick pictures and set the 10 second timer. Didn't realize that it also took 10 photos in a burst, but I thought they look pretty cool as gifs.[responsive]dress_gif_2[/responsive][responsive]dress_gif[/responsive]