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Woven T-Shirts

I whipped up a couple of woven tees last Saturday afternoon. I used my bodice block and simply took out the darts. I started with a drapey purple fabric (likely rayon) that I had recently pulled out to make my Chevrons, Colorblock, and Derp Skirt. I added a little pocket to the chest to give it some interest. The second shirt I made a bit longer with a V neck. I’m afraid that with the blue color and the V-neck it looks a scrub top. I added pink piping to the neckline to spice it up. Here’s where the ends join. The third shirt I lengthened the sleeves to show off the stripe in the fabric. I widened the back a bit and added darts. I cut the back out of a different fabric because I didn’t quite have enough of the main fabric to fit it all. I played …

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1940’s Blouse

This blouse is the 1940’s reproduction from Simplicity 3688 that goes with my khaki trousers. I was reasonably satisfied with the blouse and thought that it made a nice professional looking top. My biggest complaint is that it is very loose in the waist, and must be so to fit without a closure. I’ll probably make it again, but I’ll cut the waist in and add larger darts and a hidden side zipper so I don’t have to wear a belt. I closed the neck with a creme satin covered button. And I did a lovely job of hand sewing the neckband, if I do say so myself. My problem with this blouse was the fabric I chose. I bought some cheap fabric from Joann because I had a coupon and it seemed like a good idea at the time. The first time that I wore the blouse was to …

1940’s Khaki Trousers

Here’s another derp story about a sewing project. I put these on to wear to work last week and laughed at myself, thinking “Man, I must be tired this morning because I just put my pants on backward.” Then I shook my head, pondered a little bit, and laughed out loud. Because I discovered that I didn’t put my pants on backward that morning. In fact, I had been wearing my pants backward for two weeks! These are Simplicity 3688, the 1940’s reproduction pattern that’s swept the sewing blogosphere. I’ve been planning on sewing these for quite a while, but the fact that they are Debi’s tried and true pattern and Lladybird looks so cute in hers too encouraged me to get them done.  I sewed these pretty much as-is, but added an inch and a half to the rise. I probably didn’t need to add quite that much, but …

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Chevrons and Colorblock and Derp Skirt

This skirt represents one series of sewing disasters after another. Amazingly enough, I really like how it turned out in the end, but with the series of misadventures that got me here, I never would have thought that would be the case. Hold onto your seat, because what follows is an emotional rollercoaster of sewing mishaps! I started this skirt by taking my waist and hip measurements, dividing each by 8, connecting a line from waist to hip and following it through to ankle. So I ended up with 8 triangular panels to sew together to form an A-line skirt. I wanted to make the skirt a series of chevrons, so I chalked out 8 triangles on a 45 degree angle across my striped fabric. I got it all chalked and ready to cut, when I realized that I had forgotten to pre-wash the fabric. So, I tossed it into …

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Guatemalan Cowgirl Blouse

I’ve had all sorts of time to sew because Adam has been gone for a couple of weeks for work. So, this means I get to share a whole series of finished sewing projects!  It starts with this Guatemalan cowgirl blouse. The Guatemalan fabric was part of a recent gift of fabulous fabric from a friend. I immediately thought that it would be lovely as the yoke and pockets of the blouse, so I followed through on my inspiration. There’s still quite a bit left, so more Guatemalan fabric projects await! I sewed it from McCalls 3688. The first time I sewed this pattern was 10 years ago when I bought the pattern. I didn’t fit it at all and used a stiff fabric and heavy interfacing. It was beautiful on the hanger, but unfortunately never got worn. I used the pattern to sew a pink gingham cowgirl dress a …

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Sewing Organizers Made by Mom

My mom is super crafty. I’ve mentioned before that she’s an amazing quilter. But she’s also pretty amazing at anything she does with her hands. She just texted me some photos of a project that she made this week – little booklets to organize hand sewing materials. The fabric choices are so fun, and very much my mother. You can see her experienced eye as a quilter in joining disparate patterned fabrics to make a beautiful ensemble. My mom loves detail and buttons as much as I do, so here she’s got a button closure and a button on the end of the strap. (Sorry about the fuzziness of the photo. She texted me cell phone photos, so this is what I had to work with!). The pattern she used is from Quilts and More Magazine, Winter 2011.

Not Your Typical Duffel Bag

I’ve had a gigantic green duffel bag for years now. I bought it before I spent a semester in East Africa in college so that I could stuff it into the bottom of my backpack and fill it up with souvenirs as I went. I got it from a surplus store and it smelled a little funky but I figured I could wash it out. Well, many years and many washes later, it still smells funky. So, I put it in the donate pile and made a new one. I stuck with green, but I had to spice it up a little. I had a bunch of this cotton upholstery fabric that I bought on a gigantic sale at some point and had sitting in my stash. I was worried that it wouldn’t be quite sturdy enough on its own, so I fully lined the bag with the same fabric. …

Stuff Sack for Inflatable Mattress

I’m lucky enough to live in a 2 bedroom apartment, but because I live in San Francisco, the 2nd bedroom is tiny and has to serve as my sewing room, Adam’s office, and our guest room. To make this possible, we bought a really nice inflatable mattress that is comfortable enough that even our parents can sleep on it. Unfortunately, after we took it out of its nylon stuff sack for the first time, we have never been able to fold it back small enough to fit again. Because it hasn’t fit in a sack, it’s been shoved awkwardly from one closet to another, never staying together, and in constant risk of puncture. I decided to sew a stuff sack for the inflatable mattress out of some gifted upholstery fabric in my stash. Not much exciting to share on the construction end – It’s a big rectangle. I serged the …

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Gold and White Striped Long Sleeve Tee

There is a dearth of long sleeved tees in my wardrobe. Which is silly, because SF weather is perfect for long sleeve tees the majority of the year. So, this shirt is one step toward remedying the situation. I’ve had these two gold and white striped fabrics sitting on my shelf for a long time. I think I got them on the $1/yd table at the discount fabric store. This shirt is a first draft for making my ultimate-favorite-t-shirt-pattern. I cut the shirt weeks ago but finally got around to sewing it up yesterday. I did the majority of the sewing on my serger, which is atypical for me. I usually sew everything on my normal sewing machine and then finish the seams with the serger. I like the shirt well enough to wear, but there are some changes to make for the next go-round. I put too much ease …

Can’t Stop Wearing My Jumpsuit!

I’ve been having so much fun wearing my romper, even in SF weather, that I had to make a cooler weather version – a jumpsuit. I gave a sneak peak of  it a while ago while it was a work-in-progress, but I must admit that I finished it a while ago and I’ve been wearing it incessantly since. Seriously, once (or even twice) a week. I feel like I’m wearing pajamas it’s so comfortable! I’m quite happy with my fabric and construction choices. I like that it looks a bit like workmans coveralls, but a fun and funky version. The grey is very versatile and all of the yellow contrast details (buttons, topstitching, and belt) really perk it up. I think the three-quarter sleeves and scoop neck keep me from drowning in grey fabric. I usually wear it without accessories (although it could use a big yellow bangle) and with …

Toddler Activity Book

I sewed up my sample of my Toddler Activity Book and shipped it off to One Yard Wonders so it can be photographed for inclusion in their next book! They picked an adorable print from Free Spirit Fabrics that made me smile the whole time I was sewing it up. Edit: I am not currently selling the pattern individually. The pattern includes a cutting layout and 7 pages of step-by-step instructions, including 15 how-to illustrations. It includes instructions for snaps, buttons, a zipper, hook & eyes, a marble maze, a lace maze, buckles, and laces.

Curtain Panel Maxi Skirt

I’ve jumped on the maxi bandwagon. I’ve always been a fan of maxi skirts and dresses and as I’m quite tall, I think they work well on my figure. I whipped this skirt up out of an old curtain panel that a friend gave me (not the first time I’ve made a skirt out of old curtains). I wasn’t sure I was even going to wear it because I didn’t like the color at first. But I’ve already worn it a couple of times and I’m really enjoying it. The skirt is super simple construction. The skirt front and back are two rectangles gathered into the waistband. I drafted my own waistband on a slight curve and flat-lined the waistband with an off-white cotton. It has a knee-length lining of tee-shirt stretch-cotton so it’s super comfy. Here you can see how the sheer fabric looks over the lining when the …

Wardrobe Planning – Coordinating Separates

I’ve noticed that I have lots of individual pieces that I like in my closet, but it’s often hard to put together outfits out of separates, especially when I want to look respectable. When I was a kid, my mom would take me to Nordstrom every fall to buy a new back-to-school wardrobe. It was always a selection of coordinating separates and that shopping trip with my mom was one of my favorite events of the year. I figure if I get started now, I can sew a new fall wardrobe for myself of well made, coordinating separates that should be fun to wear and look nice too. (This time around with fewer turtlenecks and jumpers). I’m starting with bottoms. I’ve decided to  base the selection around this piece of wool blend that I bought at SewExpo this year. I’m not sure what it is about the print or colors, …

A Bachelorette Present – Silk Kimono Style Robe

For bachelorette presents, I’m not thrilled about giving the traditional raunchy gifts. Don’t misunderstand, it’s not from any overt modesty on my part. It’s more that I want to give a truly heartfelt present to my friend, something that conveys love, excitement, and best wishes for a new part of life. In my opinion, thong underwear just doesn’t express those sentiments. So, I sew a silk kimono-style robe. I think the robes are sexy and practical (I’d be happy to be described that way), likely to be worn a lot, and last a long time. Ok, so I’ve stretched the truth a little. This robe isn’t actually silk. It’s a nice quality synthetic, thick and with a tightly woven right and wrong side.  I decided to make the robe a little fun and funky by using three different colors of the same fabric – the body is off-white, the sleeves …

More Romper

Recently, I made a romper. I’m in love with it. My first post extolling my love of the romper and sharing some construction details can be found here. I thought I would write another ode to the romper to show how I wear it in San Francisco. Because we don’t actually have nice weather here. So, I put it on over tights, toss a cardigan over it it, and pull on my leather boots. I think it works. And please don’t tell me if it doesn’t, because I’m so in love I’m going to keep wearing it anyway!

Dress Re-Make: From Scallops to Greece

I sewed my dress to wear to my step-sister’s wedding last year. The result was tolerable enough that I actually wore the dress, but it just didn’t come together in real life like it did in my head. (Side note: wasn’t my step-sister a beautiful bride!!) The color makes me look washed out. The scallops are uneven if you look too close. The length (just above the knee) seemed not right. And the slight gathers in the waist and the slightly-too-snug hips conspired to make my belly look very, very poochy. So, I cut it apart at the waist. I decided that the bottom of the dress was a lost cause and put it to scrap. I took a length of sage colored fabric from my stash (I believe they were once my mom’s curtains) to remake the skirt. The bodice of the dress ended up rather Grecian in my …

Sewing a New Picture for Our Dining Room

I just sewed us a new picture for our dining room. See it here above our beautiful credenza. The canvas has had a couple of different different lives. I painted it with a gigantic flower when I lived in my pink and green apartment. When Adam and I moved in together, he didn’t want our home to be painted pink and green (go figure!). So I painted over the canvas in a blown-up version of the purple twigged fabric. It looked okay, but it was pretty amateur and the black marker I had used to outline the flower leeched through the new layers of paint. I have grand ideas for a triptych that I want to embroider to go in that space, but it’s not at the top of my “To Make” list any time soon. I’m not sure where the inspiration struck me, but I realized that I could do …

Bringing Back the Romper!

I made a romper and I’m totally in love with it. I wore it into lab last week and got in a long conversation with a labmate about how ridiculous rompers are and how I want to single-handedly bring them back in fashion. Then I stopped by the bench of another friend of mine who immediately remarked “Awesome romper! I’ve been looking at one I really want from the Gap.” So, it turns out that rompers are fashionable right now. I didn’t know. I supposed I should have guessed, given the fact that I sewed the romper from a pattern that I recently bought. I rarely sew from patterns. But, I happened to pick up a few on 99 cent pattern sale. One of them was Simplicity 2222. (And apparently Suede is a well known designer. My mom pointed him out to me at Sew Expo but I didn’t put …

Toddler Activity Book

Edit: Pattern is not currently for sale. I recently posted a Toddler Activity Book pattern for sale on Craftsy. I had so much fun making the pattern. It was inspired by an idea I saw somewhere for making an enclosed marble maze as a part of the activity book. I built on the idea from there and raided my stash of notions to come up with zipper, snaps, buttons, hook & eye, buckles, holes maze, and laces. Of course the cute flannel fabric also came from my stash. I thought the little cacti were super cute and that flannel would be a nice fabric to feel for the kiddies and easy to wash for the parents. I’m looking forward to getting it in the hands of a little one, and even more excited to see others make more books!