Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just what I needed, more fabric!

Got an order from today! I ordered 6 yards of this lovely stripped charmeuse that I'm wildly excited about, but I really didn't expect the stripes to be that big. (hand included for scale) I really have no idea what I want to do with it, but I'm in love.
And, since has free shipping for orders over $35, and I was just a few bucks shy, I got some lovely thin cotton fabric in this fun color combo. Be honest, now, it doesn't scream Christmas, does it?
I'm thinking that this really should be one of these dresses, but which one? Boyfriend thinks the fabric isn't fun enough to be view a. Is he correct? Perhaps view d.

I also got the lining fabric and zipper to go ahead with this project, but I'm a bit scared to start. I am so in love with the fabric that I'm afraid to ruin it. Also, I've never sewed with something so thin and slippery before, so that should be interesting. I'll have to french seam it, I guess, which will be interesting.

Progress shots when I have them!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Not much to report today, other than I picked up zippers for several projects, did some reading on fitting techniques, and made myself some underwear! I used cloth habit's Rosy Ladyshorts pattern, which can be found here. I cannot stress how great this pattern is. Super simple to make, and with a great fit.

I didn't have matching elastic, so I used completely non-matching elastic, and I'm glad I did! I love the weird way these colors work. Also, notice how I tried so hard to get the plaid on the shirt in my last post to match up with no success, while these line up almost perfectly with absolutely no effort. Sigh.

I'm a bit afraid to start on my other projects. They are all in fabrics I love, and I'm afraid to ruin them. I just need to keep telling myself it will be fine, and s l o w l y use my good scissors.

Also, all I want to do for ever and ever is buy more fabric. It's a problem.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Still alive!!

Here's the part where, if I had readers, I'd apologize to them. I have not been eaten by dragons, or fallen into a volcano. Here's what actually happened.

Boyfriend and I go on a big vacation once a year. This year we left Dec 17 and returned Jan 6th. We went to Florida and New Orleans, and a blast was had. HOWEVER- I just had to complicate things and take on 5 days of shows in the two weeks before we left. 4 of them in the same week. I know, I am insane. To top it all off, I'd wanted to make some clothing for the trip before we left. Hah! Luckily I had Boyfriend and best friend Jamie talk some sense into me. (Often as I was sewing for shows until 3 in the morning.) The shows were great, with one exception that was still a learning experience, so it all ended well.

While finishing the last week of our trip in Nola, I got bronchitis. Sigh. Then, after a 16 hour drive from there back to Chicago, Boyfriend got the Death Flu. His fever got up to scary levels. This dragged on with both of us sick for another week.

On top of everything else, I've been sitting around wallowing in depression since then. I have clinical depression, and winters/post holidays are really hard for me. Really, all I have accomplished since recovering from being sick is sewing a shirt (Simplicity 1941), hanging some wall storage in my craft room, and going to a knitting group.
 I actually made a muslin. Shit got serious.
 I was having fitting issues in the back, but needed to let out side seams anyway, which fixed it.
Finished shirt with awkward face!

So I'm done with all that and ready to get back to our regularly scheduled programming. I'm afraid I rather botched my goal already by having to buy warm weather clothing before our trip, but then again, it's my challenge and I can cheat if I want to! Actually, I've decided that I'd move the challenge from November thru November to a January start. Setting that goal for myself when I had so much work to do was not realistic. My schedule is much more open now, so it's time to get serious.

In pursuit of that goal, here's what's going on! I went through my patterns and picked a good selection of items to be "top priority." Now, I'm going through my fabric to see what I have material for and what I need to look for.

These are the fabrics I don't have projects for yet.

Here we have five yards of poly charmeuse, three of a linen-look fabric (or maybe linen blend) and invisible due to it's blackness, 6 yards of crinkle cotton.
Two yards each of a one way stretch double knit in two awesome colors. Perhaps a pencil skirt ala Suburbs Mama?
My big splashy prints, starting with 4.5 yards of a heavier silky floral, 1 yard and some change of a thin silky butterfly print, and 3 of another linen-ish fabric.
This DIVINE 100% wool pin stripe, about 2.5 yards
And this oddly somber but lovely floral medium weight silky something, about 3 yards.

Now on to the stuff I'm planning! I'm sorry if you're sick of looking at pictures, already.

I'm thinking the plain front 3/4 sleeve option

I can't decide which pattern would look best with this amazing wool check
Just had to show you the full awesomeness of this gradient print. It's a light weight silky that I'll probably use with the pattern below
And use the same pattern again for this insanely bright sheer. It's such a busy pattern that I want to keep the actual dress as simple as possible.

So, what do we think?

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Joann Fabrics has a sale starting today for Simplicity Patterns. 5 for $5. As I had exactly 5 dollars, guess who got new patterns?! Boyfriend, puppy and I are going on a long vacation starting in mid December down to Florida to spend Christmas with his family, go camping in the Keys, then back up through New Orleans for New Years. Therefore, I need vacation clothes, so that was the main motivation behind some of my pattern choices. Anyways, here they are!

I'll be modifying this one a bit to take out some bulk from the waist, but other than that, perfect comfy casual skirts/shorts/pants.
This is so versatile. Lots of different style options, and I love that the vest pattern is included
I actually got this one to make the tank top for daily wear, and am thinking about making the nightgown view B as an every day casual dress. Is there something inherent in the design that would make it always look like a nightgown, though?
Nice basic shirt selection.
I just really like these. Hopefully they like me back. Guess we'll see!

Now finding fabric for everything will be interesting. I have several lengths of knits laying around, but a few of them are a yard of this, a yard and a half of that, so I'll have to get creative to use them. I've been thinking of doing some color block shirts or skirts with a few of them, we'll see what I come up with!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I want to make ALL the things

I've sorted through all the patterns I own, which is saying something, and found several that I want to make. I've been reading a lot lately about what to wear based on your body shape, (mine apparently is apple shaped,) and am finding it rather confusing. You can find completely opposite instructions on different sites, so I'm just going to read about why they say certain things are good or bad, and try to use my own powers of logic to figure out what's desirable.

More precisely, I'm apple shaped with broad shoulders, a large chest, and a short waist. My bust is 45", my waist is 38", and my hips are 44". This has always made finding clothing that fits more difficult than it has any right to be. Things that fit my bust don't fit anywhere else, and fitted shirts are always fitted in the wrong places. I've been reading about how to adjust sewing patterns to fit all these things, so hopefully my days of ill fitting clothing are coming to an end!

Anyway, on to the patterns! I've been wanting jackets lately, because they allow me to extend my silly t-shirt collection into cooler weather, and they help distract from "problem areas." I also like how they instantly dress up any outfit.

 I like how this one has a classic silhouette, but has interesting detail in the side panel and gathers. I want to make view B.
 I'm slightly unsure about this one. I absolutely love the lines of this, but I'm afraid it will make me look like I have football player shoulders. Thoughts? I like the jacket in the main photo.
 I like the dark purple-ish red version in the top right corner, but I don't know if it's the right style for me. The interwebs say that one button jackets are ideal, but this one is so pretty!
 Basic, classic jacket that I could wear with everything. I like the main photo version, and the top right. I'd have to see if the longer version hits at a good spot on my body, though.
I'm not sure how "everyday" this jacket is, but I really like the military feel of the details.

I can't buy fabric to start any of these till the fifteenth, but I'll probably start cutting out pattern pieces till then! If I were to cut out two patterns, which ones should I remove? Also, Joann Fabrics is having a sale on Simplicity patterns, 5 for $5 starting on Thursday, so I'll have many more soon!

Monday, November 5, 2012


So, let me preface all this by explaining why I'm here. I've been sewing for 18 years. Good grief, saying I've been doing anything for 18 years is weird. Anyway. When I was younger I was very much an "Eh, that'll be fine" sewist. Not very detail oriented would be putting it politely. I still managed to make some wearable clothing, though none of it was ever a staple of my wardrobe. My lackadaisical attitude towards patterns, directions, and caring kind of undermined my confidence in my clothing sewing abilities. Go figure.

Fast forward to this last January, and I started my own business making things. Sewing wise, I started small with makeup bags, and moved on to purses. I became obsessed with quality control. I am downright anal about making sure the things I sell are of the absolute best quality I can make them. So, total sewing attitude 180, though I hadn't even tried to make clothing in a while.

Then for Halloween, Boyfriend hired me to make him a costume. He wanted to be Dr. Horrible. (If you don't know who that is, go google it right now, I'll wait.) Now, I love boyfriend with all my heart, but he is the pickiest person alive. I mean, really, trying even to order takeout with this man is a trying experience, so I knew that his lab coat would have to be perfect. I worked my ass off on that coat, and I have to say, it turned out amazing. The only thing about it that bugs me is that I should have used stabilizer on the button holes. That's it.

Then, being completely insane, and having less than a week till our Halloween party, I decided to make myself a costume, so I would not be outshone by Boyfriend wearing my work. Sigh. This is the pattern I chose. I used the clown as inspiration to make a scary clown costume. The jacket is fully lined, as is the top of the dress. I didn't make the vest, I thought it detracted from my overall costume, but I did make the top hat. I must say, it also turned out amazing. So, all the sudden, I feel like I can sew clothing again!
I spent this last weekend recovering from the party by sitting on the couch watching Netflix and reading about sewing clothing. I have had some body issues that made store bought and handmade from pattern clothing fit oddly in the past, so I read about how to adjust for these things, what kind of clothing is best for my body shape, and all that jazz. I learned so much!

This morning, as I was walking the dog, I had an idea. I'd already been thinking about making clothing for myself on a regular basis from now on, but what if I took it a bit further? What if for one year, I made all my own clothing? Then I thought perhaps that was a bit unrealistic, but how about 75%? That seems much more reasonable, right? I figured there are some things that shouldn't be included in that. I'm not going to make my own bras, that doesn't sound fun. And socks I could knit myself, but that takes some time, so those should just be bought. Other than those two things, at least 75% of all new clothing this year, I will make myself.

I already have a pile of patterns I want to make, and have checked them all out on to see how people liked them, and what problems to expect. I'm not at all thinking I'll get a perfect garment every time, but since I can't just go out and buy more clothes, I'll do everthing I can to make sure these clothes are going to fit. I'll make muslins, I"ll do fba's on pretty much everything, and I'll adjust for my short waist. It's going to be interesting!