Vogue 1247 Shirt, or, Extreme Color Blocking

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Yay! Back to sewing! I’ll show off my newly painted sewing room later, you know, after I clean it up. So that probably means sometime this summer…

This is the top from Vogue 1247 (I love the skirt, too, but I already have too many skirts).

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Since it is loose fitting it was quick to put together. No fiddling with darts or fighting set in sleeves! I made a size 10, one size smaller than I usually make and two sizes smaller than the pattern measurements recommend, and I’m glad because any bigger and the top wouldn’t stay on my shoulders!

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The whole thing required French seams which for a sheer fabric would have been great. For this fabric I think serging instead would have removed some bulk. It does make the inside look pretty, though.

Next time I might raise the neckline by a couple inches. With such a loose fit if I bend over you get a pretty wide view if you know what I mean. Ahem…

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(batwings make for easy movement!)

I love the cool style lines on this top, very geometric. And yes, I realize my center front points aren’t matching exactly but I don’t care enough to fix them.

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(Peanut!)

Talk about crazy color blocking – purple hair, teal shirt, red pants. From the neck down I’ve got a Christmas theme and from the waist up I’m channeling Mardi Gras or the Joker, not sure which.

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The fabric is a lovely “Ocean Teal” raw silk noil. I’ve never worked with noil before but it’s got a lovely drape and the texture reminds me of a linen but with lots of little nubs all over. I debated for so long about what fabric to use with this pattern. I love this white version but I’m a tired of sewing pretty white fabric that turns out to be see-through. Teal is a much safer bet.

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If you read my sewing resolutions and what I learned from my closet catalogue you’ll remember that solid color tops were high on my “needs” list. Check!

Also, these jeans are new, however they are not handmade and that makes me a little guilty. Going into the ethics of fast fashion vs. taking the time to make my own clothes requires a post of its own but I’m low on pants and I don’t plan on sewing some Clovers for a few weeks.

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Independent Sewing Pattern Companies, or, Adding Way Too Much to my To-Do List

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One of my sewing resolutions this year was to support indie pattern designers but that idea also needs to fit in with my other resolutions – like sewing clothes to fill gaps in my wardrobe. These are just a few that I plan on making.

I love Megan, she’s Australian living in the USA and she’s just so darn cute with her skirts and her curly hair. She already has a line of maternity patterns but this dress is the first of hopefully many designs based on designs from her clothing line. This meets my “filling out my wardrobe” requirement as it is a dress but also relaxed enough to throw on and look cute. Longer sleeves means it works for multiple seasons and I can be lazy and not shave. Omg, don’t you just have those days when you do not feel like trying to look good? I’d say that’s 50% of my life. I love easy-cute! I’ve already begun cutting pieces out!

I’ve made the Anouk dress and this is next on my list. It fits a few requirements like the Darling Ranges dress – it is a dress and has long sleeves. It also is part of my resolutions to try new styles I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards. I have a slightly fear of wearing a dress without a defined waist because I think it’s going to make me look like a balloon. Like I’m not skinny enough to pull it off, which is ridiculous thinking. So making a dress that isn’t even cinched in with a belt is new territory for me.

It gets hot in Texas. Like melting-the-skin-off-your-face hot. It’s a fact of life that I need shorts and I’d really want some cute ones without a ridiculously low waist which I am veering away from style-wise. These have a higher waist and a cute curved detail.

I need more nice, solid tone, easy to wear tops in my wardrobe that aren’t as casual as t-shirts. The pleats are interesting but not overwhelming. I’m thinking a nice black silk?

I love Sewaholic and Tasia’s designs even if some of her designs aren’t my own style or wouldn’t be practical for my wardrobe as it is right now. I do love her new jacket pattern which I could easily make for Texas’ mild winter. I desperately need a solid color jacket. All of my coats/outerwear are plaid! I’m thinking navy because that goes with everything, right? Unfortunately with 65 degree days I may put this coat on the back burner until fall with hopes that next winter will be colder.

I also desperately need more pants! I like that these are ankle length or cropped and they’re simple enough to adapt in many ways. I’m hoping I can use these to perfect my fit after the disaster that was the Jeans from Hell.

Honorable Mentions to Paper Cut Patterns – I love their designs but I just can’t justify spending $30 on a pattern right now.

***Can you recommend any other good companies out there that I’ve missed? Have you tried any of the above designs? And a note to all you pattern designers – I’d love a good blazer pattern, pretty please!

Self Drafted Sweatshirt Jacket, or In Other News, I now have Purple Hair

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I made this jacket partially as a contributor challenge on the Sew Weekly (in case you haven’t heard yet, the Sew Weekly has opened up the floodgates and is allowing anyone to contribute a project for each weekly challenge!) but also because from my Closet Catalogue I knew I needed (and wanted) more jackets! So excuse me is much of this post is taken from my Sew Weekly post.

This jacket was originally inspired by a stylish friend’s heather knit jacket but it has since morphed into something else entirely.

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I began with a sketch, started piecing bits together here and there and kind of making it up as I went along. I changed pieces in places in mid sewing – like the angle of the lower pieces on the front. Since I really didn’t know what I was doing I made several mistakes, especially in trying to figure out how to put in those darn pockets. This all resulted in much hand sewing!

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The extra long cuffs along with extra buttons were made out of necessity. See, I had a bunch of this sweatshirt material deep in my stash but I had very few big sections. Luckily I also had a failed dress and a shirt that I had previously made with this fabric so with everything together I had enough to cut out all the necessary pieces.

I didn’t have any piece long enough for a full sleeve so I chopped off the quarter length sleeves from the old shirt and added these  long cuffs.

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The body of the jacket itself has princess seams with sections at the bottom that have pockets hidden into the seam.

Since the knit fabric was so bulky I couldn’t for the life of me get my automatic buttonhole foot to work! It ended up stretching the fabric instead of moving it so I had to use a regular foot and manually make all 8 buttonholes. After all that work I just made the buttons on the pockets decorative. ;)

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And in other news – I have purple hair! I thought that might be something fun to do this year. I probably won’t have it purple for too long so I want to enjoy it while I can.

And in other other news – I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all you readers who have been coming to my blog or following. I don’t always get the chance to respond to every comment but I want you to know I do read them and often I visit your blogs, too, even if I don’t get the chance to regularly share the comment love at your place. Anyone with a blog reader list, even one that is relatively small, knows how fast that reader can explode with posts (I can never seem to catch up!) so know, that even if I don’t comment often I do follow a lot of your blogs and read regularly. And thanks for reading here, too.

Closet Catalogue Pt 2

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Yesterday I posted the results of my Closet Catalogue where I counted and categorized every piece of wearable clothing I own (with a few exceptions) with the hopes of learning about my style, my needs, and what I should sew next. It’s really eye opening!

Here’s what I learned: 

I definitely have a few items that I wear more often than others like my one pair of Gap skinny jeans and this loose fit printed t-shirt which is super comfy for hot summers (aka, every day of my life). I also wear another slightly dressy t-shirt often and in the summer I practically live in one pair of jean shorts (even though I don’t totally love the style, they’re just convenient). I get plenty of use out of a couple sweaters and a couple blazers especially when it’s not cold enough for a coat. Of the dresses I’ve probably worn my Anouk dress more often since I’ve made it than any other dress I own.

Flow-y Floral Summer T-shirt
(most worn top)

Clothes I wear the least:

  • Sleeveless anything – because I’m lazy and sometimes I don’t feel like shaving. I admit it! Don’t deny that you don’t feel the same!
  • Clothes that require extra clothes – like shirts that need a tank top underneath or skirts that need tights or leggings. Or even strapless bras. I don’t want to have to track down extra clothes and make sure that they are clean.
  • Skirts - and I have so many!! I think this is because I am lacking in solid color tops that aren’t t-shirts. I feel the need to have nicer shirts to go with skirts – that t-shirts are too plain or something. And I need black or white or solid tops because I have so many darn printed skirts.
  • Dresses - this is mostly due to the fact that some dresses are too nice for everyday wear. Others are sleeveless and a couple require “extra clothes” that I’m too lazy to dig through a drawer to find. Sad but true.

Gaps that need to be filled:

  • Long sleeves! I only have two long sleeve shirts in my whole wardrobe. One of which has gotten so much wear over the past few winters that I think my boyfriend wants to burn it and free his eyes from it. Yes, Texas winters are short but occasionally I do leave the state in the cold months.
  • Nice solid color tops for the above mentioned reasons. Hopefully they will encourage me to wear more skirts.
  • Pants. For obvious reasons. And for the fact that I love skinny jeans. They are so versatile. They can be dressed up or down; worn with heels, boots or flats; and I don’t have to shave. Yay for being lazy but still looking put together.
  • Everyday dresses which means long enough that I don’t feel self conscious, that have sleeves of some sort and aren’t too low cut – another thing I hate – worrying if I’m letting it all hang out. It’s less of a modesty thing and more of an annoying, fiddling with my shirt, thing. Since I don’t have a dress code for work I don’t need dark colored shift dresses but I don’t want something so casual that I look like a slob. I need cute and comfy dresses that are no fuss.
  • More blazers – because I really love them but one is showing a little age, one is too hot for winter, one is tight in the arms and my favorite one is denim so I can’t wear it with jeans or I risk the Texas tuxedo effect.
  • A solid color coat. I have one but it’s more of a jacket and I don’t really like the style of it. I just wear it out of necessity when I don’t want plaid on plaid or plaid on stripe since my other coats are plaid.
Colette MacaronVictory Patterns Anouk Dress

  • “Church Appropriate” dresses – this was a need that I think I may have filled. I don’t go to church except with family on major holidays – aka Easter and Christmas. Most of my dresses I felt like they weren’t church appropriate. All my fancy dresses were either strapless, sleeveless, not the right season(too dark/light) or too fancy or too casual. Now that I made my Macaron dress last year I think I have a good Easter dress and my Anouk dress with its long sleeves and floral makes for a good Christmas dress. Sweet! Something I can check off the list!

So what does this mean for future sewing projects? Well, I’m going to try to pick patterns and fabric that meet my needs. I’m going to stop buying patterns for fancy dresses that I’ll never have an occasion to wear. I’m going to clear out my closet of the unwanted items. I’m going to make more of an effort to wear items I like but don’t utilize as often as I should. And I’m going to get more use out of every new item I make because I know it will fit my style and my needs and I’ll love it!

***I hope this has inspired you to do a closet catalogue of your own (and now I know of some who already have!). It really doesn’t take that long. Just go through your closet, then your drawers and finally your dirty laundry. It’s a perfect thing to do while you’re doing laundry anyway. If you’re really ambitious you could take a picture of every clothing item to help you create new outfits you might not have tried. Needless to say, I’m not that ambitious. ;)