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!!

BurdaStyle Book Blouse – Travel Print

Burda Book Blouse - Travel Print
Happy New Year! This shirt was my final make of 2016 and is now my first post of 2017.

This is my third version of the blouse pattern from the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook.

bs_blouse_large

If you know me, then you know I love me some peplums. It’s not everyone’s favorite style but it’s mine. Now you might be thinking “Geez, Dixie, isn’t the peplum a little too 2011 by now?” and I would say, “You can pry my peplums out of my cold dead fingers!! #PeplumsForever #Blessed”

Burda Book Blouse - Travel Print

My first version of this pattern was made four years ago(!!!) and it’s about time to be retired.

That version used the most amazing silk charmeuse print with what I can only describe as an “Asian toile” design. So when I fell in love with this awesome metallic gold-on-navy cityscape I knew I found a replacement for my old favorite shirt.

Burda Book Blouse - Travel Print

I can’t tell if this is a lawn/voile or simply an exceptional quality quilting cotton but I bought it locally at Stitch Lab (which is sadly closing this year).

I made several design changes in an attempt to keep this fantastic print as intact as possible.

Burda Book Blouse - Travel Print

The pattern design features princess seams in front, and center front and back seams. I took the original pattern pieces, sliced off the seam allowance and taped them together them to make one solid back piece and front piece.

Burda Book Blouse - Travel Print

After combining the princess seamlines, I converted the “dart” space leftover into gathers at the shoulder yoke.

I turned the original neckline slit into a short “V” and adjusted the facings accordingly.

I lowered the sleeve cap a little but kept the gathers. Just a personal preference but I think the original sleeve cap is too high, making the gathers stand up awkwardly if you don’t heavily press them down.

Burda Book Blouse - Travel Print

I also lengthened the sleeves a few inches and shortened the cuffs by about an inch total. In the original version the sleeves end oddly right about at the elbow but I wanted more of a true 3/4 length sleeve.

Burda Book Blouse - Travel Print

Finally, I included elastic in the waist rather than ties in the casing.

If you look closely (don’t!) you’ll see that one of the cuffs is upside down but to that I’ll simply refer to my new sewing motto: “How much do I care? Not enough.”

Burda Book Blouse - Travel Print

This fabric is so fun and shiny! It makes me happy just looking at it. There’s London, Paris, Mt. Fuji, Giza, Sydney and more. It comes in a couple more colorways so if you can find it locally or online I definitely recommend picking some up!

Burda Book Blouse - Travel Print

I’ll post a big year-in-review post later but until then I’ll leave you with this great video from Google that really summed up well all my feelings from the past year.

Happy New Year, everyone. And may 2017 be your best year yet!

Hudson Pants and Two Pneuma Sports Bras

Denim French Terry Hudson Pants

Activewear sewing continues!

Denim French Terry Hudson Pants

These are my third True Bias Hudson Pants and my first capri version.

Denim French Terry Hudson Pants

They’re made from a super soft and lightweight “denim” French terry from LA Finch Fabrics that I also used for this Plantain shirt.

Denim French Terry Hudson Pants

I cut a size 4 so they’re pretty slim fitting and I also adjusted the front crotch curve to get rid of some excess fabric in the center. Other than that, the only change I made was omitting the drawstring.

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These two sports bras are made with Papercut Patterns’ Pneuma Tank pattern.

Both were sewn months ago and are in heavy rotation. They’re definitely my favorite sports bras that I own.

Papercut Patterns' Pneuma Sports Bra

The fabric is fantastic – two colors of a lovely supplex nylon knit from Rockywoods.com. I used the fuschia for these leggings.

Papercut Patterns' Pneuma Sports Bra

I doubled the fabric on the front half of the bra to add extra support. Instead of using bra-strapping I made narrow tubes of self fabric for the criss -cross straps.

I have enough of the green fabric left to maybe make another sports bra. I might try a cropped version of Fehr Trade’s XYT Workout Top.

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!