Another Archer and #SewingCommunityGives

Grainline Archer

Another day, another Archer.

Grainline Archer

I’ve now made Grainline’s Archer shirt more than any other pattern. What can I say, I love this pattern! A classic button-down shirt with an easy fit and no darts? Sign me up!

Grainline Archer

This pink and blue cotton is from The Cloth Pocket (where these photos were taken and where I’m teaching some classes this month) and these perfect pink buttons are from a defunct local store.

Grainline Archer

For this Archer, I cut pockets, placket, yoke, cuffs, and collar on the bias. This plaid isn’t perfectly square which made it difficult to get the angle of the lines perfect, but I like the result.

Grainline Archer

Instead of pleating the center back under the yoke, I gathered the fabric.

Grainline Archer

Now onto something a little more serious…

Sewing Community Gives

Ya’ll know I don’t often get personal on this blog but today I’m making an exception. A few weeks ago, Erin over at Seamstress Erin messaged some pattern designers, bouncing around this idea to harness the power of the online sewing-sphere to give back to our communities.

I think Erin was expressing a desire that many of us share: a growing need to contribute, to share, to show love and compassion in the wake of an election season that, no matter who you supported, weighed heavily on all of us and capped out a year that for many was filled with struggle and mourning.

This sentiment struck a chord with me as lately, I have been challenging myself to do more. After the election, many probably feel like I do, that I didn’t do “enough.”

Enough of what and how much that means, I’m not exactly sure. But I do know that I can no longer be content with a kind of passive activism, expecting those impacted by bad policy to fight for change while I sit on the sidelines being “supportive” but not doing the work. I can no longer use shyness or anxiety as an excuse for not putting myself out there and making a difference. I can no longer dismiss my own implicit biases but instead must educate myself about other people’s experiences.

I am in a unique position. With no kids or a typical job, I have plenty of more time to devote to causes and because of that, I have a responsibility to do more. For me, 2016 was a tremendous year of personal growth and I feel I can take that energy I’ve accumulated and put it to use in 2017.

So what have I done to get off the couch/facebook and do the work? Well, in just the past few months I was a poll worker for two elections. I’ve joined organizations that share my values, including the League of Women Voters. I’ve donated money and volunteered to lobby for legislation I believe in. I’ve marched. I’ve attended meetings. I’ve called my senators and representatives (and it gets less scary each time I do it). I’ve visited my state legislators’ offices and met my new state rep – twice! I’ve met my city council member and visited one of my US Senator’s office. I’ve read memoirs by Supreme Court Justices, histories of segregation and the Civil War, and biographies of suffragists.

Sewing Community Gives

If you, too, are feeling inspired to do more (or to continue the good work you’ve been doing), join us for #SewingCommunityGives!

With #SewingCommunityGives, Erin is inviting sewists to pledge their time, energy and/or funds to help their local and global community this week January 16-22.

To celebrate, you can fill out this survey to tally everyone’s collective contribution and enter to win one of five fantastic pattern prize packs (including one of my patterns)!

If you’re looking for ideas, here are a few local Austin charities that I’ve volunteered for/supported in the past:

  • GirlStart educates young girls in STEM fields through camps and after school programs.
  • SafePlace is a shelter for victims of domestic violence and also runs Eloise House, one of the only places in Central Texas where sexual assault survivors can get a rape kit done.
  • Casa Marianella is an emergency homeless shelter for recently immigrated families, refugees, and asylum seekers.
  • OutYouth provides programs, services, and counseling to LBGT+ young people.

I can’t wait to see how much we can accomplish together!!

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

You guys — I looooooooovvvvveeee this jacket! The Lupin Jacket by French pattern company Deer and Doe is a cute cropped, fully lined jacket that is perfect for Texas’ not-quite-winters.

I love the princess seams in front, the epaulettes, the light gathers at the waistline and cuffs, the floppy lapels, everything! Yes, I’m gushing but this is a great jacket for me and my climate right now. 10/10 would sew again!

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

(does anyone else think of Harry Potter when you hear the word Lupin? It’s not a word you hear often in English.)

The shell fabric came from The Cloth Pocket (these photos were also taken at the awesome mural outside their new building!). I’d describe it as medium-lightweight. It’s light enough to make the lapels hang nicely by thick enough to supply some warmth.

What’s great about it is the gold sparkle comes from threads woven into the fabric rather than glitter stuck into the fibers or “glued” on top. That means the metallic can’t be washed out or ironed off (which I have experienced, much to my disappointment).

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

The lining is some plain black cotton voile, the source of which I can’t remember. Metal buttons from Joann.

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

Once I finally got everything cut out and organized, the jacket came together rather quickly.

I appreciate that the lining isn’t simply a copy of the shell, but slightly bigger in places to allow for movement. The assembly was different than what I would have expected but I liked the method they used — similar to the bag-lining technique but you finish by sewing the waistband rather than an interior sleeve lining seam.

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

My only change, I added a button and buttonhole at the waistband. I’ve seen this done on a few other people’s makes but it’s not included in the pattern. I wanted the option of closing the jacket if I needed to. Plus, these buttons came with 3 on a card.

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

I topstitched most seams in black thread but it’s only visible up close.

All in all, I’m quite pleased! As you can tell. I’ve sewn two other Deer and Doe patterns (and have one unfinished) but this is my first completed photoshoot. I’ve enjoyed using their patterns. I’m only surprised it took me this long to make them!

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Class Update!

I’m going to be teaching a class next week at the Cloth Pocket in Austin on the Washi Dress! And the week after that is my Sewaholic Pacific Leggings Class. Click the links for more info!

Fehr Trade Steeplechase Leggings

Fehr Trade Steeplechase Leggings (doing my best zombie “Thriller” pose)

I’ve been working out lately. Like, a lot. Running every morning (highly recommend the Cto5K app for your phone…), yoga-ing (that’s totally a word, right?), taking Krav Maga classes, and this month Miss Lulu and I are taking a workshop to learn the dance to “Thriller” for Halloween!

Fehr Trade Steeplechase Leggings

So to facilitate all this running and punching and zombie dancing, I’ve been sewing ALL THE ACTIVEWEAR.

Fehr Trade Steeplechase Leggings

These projects are both the Steeplechase leggings from Fehr Trade. It’s a well-drafted pattern with fun seam lines, perfect for a crazy print.

Fehr Trade Steeplechase Leggings

My first pair used a black knit for the yoke and a galaxy print for the legs; both came from Rockywoods.com. The print is fun but if I had more of the fabric I would have spread the print around more so the big splotched of galaxy wouldn’t be so close together. I had only bought a yard, however.

Fehr Trade Steeplechase Leggings

For these leggings, I bought a floral scuba knit from LA Finch Fabrics. I think Finch buys lots of jobbers: ends of bolts and surplus fabric from designers. This print was a little strange, it looked like it was printed specifically for pattern pieces to be cut out from it. For example, the flowers would end abruptly in the middle of the fabric and there was an unprinted horizontal line that seemed to break along yard markings like the fabric was printed in panels.

I was able to cut around the weird printing but it’s something to note if you want to buy the same fabric.

Fehr Trade Steeplechase Leggings

On this second pair the curved seams around the hips are a little wavy.

This could be caused by two reasons. 1) After sewing my first pair on my serger I discovered that my serger had major tension issues. The far left thread would snap if you pulled on the seam too forcefully. Obviously, no bueno. So I was forced to re-sew entirely over the existing stitched seams with a zig zag stitch. On this pair I skipped the serger and did zig zag only. This possibly caused the fabric to stretch as I sewed or 2) My assembly method might have been different trying to sew the points at the front hip. Perhaps if I had flipped the fabric and sewn with the opposite layer on top I could have more easily pivoted around the points?

Either way, it isn’t a big deal but next time I’ll pay better attention/get my serger fixed.

Fehr Trade Steeplechase Leggings

I like the pocket at the back waist, good to hold keys while running or a mouth guard in Krav class.

The legs are a little long on me but that may be the fabric, it’s quite stretchy. I could always cut the capri length instead.

Fehr Trade Steeplechase Leggings

The fact that the leggings have no inseam is a big plus, definitely my favorite feature, but it also makes the pattern pieces extra wide, too wide to lay side by side. Something to think about if you’re buying a wonky stripe or directional print.

I’ve made two of these leggings now and I wouldn’t be against making them again, but at this point I’d like to try out a new pattern. Maybe the Jalie Cora’s?

Starry Night Grainline Archer

Star Archer Shirt
I want winter to arrive. A couple weeks ago we got a cold front and the temperature dipped down slightly. Any time the high is below 80 degrees here in Texas it’s BOOT WEATHER! But then the temps rose back above 90 and I felt saddened once more…

Star Archer Shirt

But that hint of fall gave me hope for the coming season. Until those few glorious, fleeting days, I hadn’t seen a pair of jeans in six months. Those jeans and boots came out from the lost corners of the closet along with my beloved long-sleeved button down shirts.

Star Archer Shirt

If my motto is “When in Doubt, Make a Scout,” then the Archer is quickly becoming my new Scout. I already have two more Archers cut out and in the process of assembly. I’m going full force on making Archer the centerpiece of my winter wardrobe. Maybe by sewing more long sleeve shirts I can force winter to come by sheer will! What? You mean that won’t actually work? Well, you can pry my ankle booties off my cold dead feet!

Maybe by sewing more long sleeve shirts I can force winter to come by sheer will! What? You mean that won’t actually work? Well, you can pry my ankle booties off my cold dead feet!

Star Archer Shirt

Until then, here’s a new Archer!

Star Archer Shirt
This fabric is a lovely cotton with metallic silver stars and moons from The Cloth Pocket. The moons were few and far between so I had to make the most of my fabric to get any moons on the shirt. I made sure to include one on the pocket.

Star Archer Shirt
The buttons are shiny, faceted plastic from Joann. The only changes made – the pockets are about 1″ shorter, which is how I usually make them.

Star Archer Shirt

This shirt adds to my collection of several other Archer variations. And it’s the perfect shirt to wear to Astronomy on Tap!