7

A Summer Ensemble in Yellow Cotton

I’m not sure why, but this was a summer of yellow clothes for me. I made and adored this outfit (and then took forever to get photos onto the blog) which is obviously very yellow. And I wore any little bit of yellow I could find out of my existing wardrobe. And then bought a dozen yards of a yellow and white stripe knit that I’m sewing up as samples for a someday-to-be-released pattern. And I find this all very amusing because I’ve never actually liked yellow that much before (probably in good part because it’s honestly not the best color on me, but let’s not go there). The super-high-waist and crop top is a recurrent theme for me this summer too as I started the summer with my red and white versions of this same outfit (top is Simplicity 1426 and skirt is Simplicity 1166, both 1950’s re-released vintage …

11

Pink Anchor Dress I Will Never Wear

I guess the title kinda gives away the punchline, no? I do adore the dress in the photo above. But before I zoom in on its faults, let me step back a bit and tell you why I sewed this dress. Everyone has their least favorite tasks when sewing. Many people complain about cutting fabric, which I actually happen to love. My least favorite part of sewing is fitting. I do not have a straight-from-the-envelope body which is one of the major reasons I started sewing, so I spend a fair bit of time fitting every new pattern that I sew. I also tend to sew a pattern once and, even if I love it, never get around to a next time. Well, recently I had this revelation that if I sewed a pattern more than once, I wouldn’t have to spend time fitting it on any future versions. Duh! …

8

Happy Hippo Dress

I know that just about every time I sew a new dress I go on about how it’s my favorite. And I totally recognize that the sillier the fabric I use for the dress is, the more I rave about how it’s going to be a wardrobe staple (e.g. my Farm Animals dress, Southwest Eyeblinder dress, or Baseball Staple dress). And, recognizing my behavior patterns, I’m going to repeat them. Because OMG look at this dress! It’s my new favorite thing and I’m going to wear it all the time!! For serious! So where do I find all this amazing/ridiculous/awesome fabric? The thrift store. All of those amazing/ridiculous/awesome dresses were sewn from fabric I bought at the thrift store, most from Granny’s Attic, the thrift store on my island. When I lived in San Francisco I didn’t have nearly such good luck finding awesome fabrics at thrift stores because everything was …

How to Turn a Soccer Jersey into a Bike Jersey

If you’re a member of my family, summer means bike rides. Well, to be perfectly honest, summer means not having to ride your bike in the rain, because riding happens year-round. So summer means even more bike rides and we are all gearing up for the start of summer and the (continuation) of bike rides! My stepdad recently asked me to help convert some of his old soccer (or football since he’s a Brit) jerseys into bike jerseys so that he could get more wear out of them since you’d be hard pressed to find him on a soccer field and hard pressed to find a day that he’s not on his bicycle. You need:  – a soccer jersey (or any other type of sport shirt that breathes. Shirts from ultimate frisbee, marathon running or American football will work just as well). The shirt should be fairly fitted. – a rectangle …

11

Red & White & Retro Summer Outfit

We’ve had some sunshine and warm weather the last few days that make it feel like summer is definitely on it’s way, and I can think of no better way to celebrate the arrival of summer than with this sunny outfit! I sewed the outfit from vintage reproduction patterns from the 1950’s – Simplicity 1426 and Simplicity 1166. The fabric was provided by Minerva Crafts for being a part of their blogging network. I made the top from a lovely polka dot print cotton poplin. The poplin isn’t opaque, so I lined it with a white muslin since if I self-lined it, the polka dots would have showed through. I made the skirt from a solid cotton poplin. The color was called “claret” which I think is a good description of the true color, although I was hoping it would turn out a bit more true red like the polka-dots since …

19

Southwest Eyeblinder Dress

Occasions often inspire my sewing, and there’s no occasion quite like traveling to Borrego Springs, in the middle of the Anza Borego Desert, in SoCal, to visit my mom for a week. I love visiting the desert and I will admit to some slight disappointment when I arrived in the middle of the worst week of weather they’ve had all year! Fortunately, it warmed up by the end of the week and I got to wear my new dress. Of course I had a great time visiting my mom, regardless of weather. Just for the occasion, I sewed Vintage Simplicity pattern 6926, from 1976 (so it’s another Vintage Sewing Pledge). I bought the pattern this winter in New Zealand and happened to find the ridiculous/perfect cotton fabric at the thrift store two weeks ago. It’s so bright and patterned that it’s a little harsh on the eyes, which is exactly what …

7

Mismatched Casual Bridesmaids’ Dresses

Since I didn’t sew my wedding dress, I definitely wanted to sew my bridesmaids’ dresses. Of course, picking a style was a decision I labored over for a long time. I wanted something that would flatter the very different body types my gals have, and I really wanted the dresses to be something that they would wear again and again. I wavered between same-fabric-different-dress, same-fabric-same-dress, and all-different-but-same-color. And nothing quite felt right. Finally, I had an epiphany. What wasn’t feeling right was the formality of the dresses I was considering. As soon as I switched from thinking of silk dresses to picturing them in a nice jersey everything fell into place. I did a fair bit of looking for the exact perfect color of purple in a nice jersey (since I had already bought the fabric for the groomsmen’s ties and it needed to be a decent match) but didn’t find anything in …

15

I Am My Own Von Trapp Family

Several sources of good ideas and grand intentions went into making this monstrosity of an outfit. First, I wanted to try sewing another Summer Concert Tee but thought it would be an interesting experiment to use a woven fabric. Second, I seem to be on an orange kick recently and this thrifted duvet cover in my stash that kept catching my eye. Third, Seattle summers are way warmer than San Francisco summers so I actually needed a couple more light-weight cotton pieces to get me through comfortably. Fourth, I’ve been working on high-stress (i.e. wedding) sewing all summer and I wanted a couple easy projects in contrast. Add all these influences together and what do you get? I am a one-person Von Trapp family. When I initially put on the outfit, I thought that I was drowning in fabric and it was hideous. Oversized top and full skirt in the …

6

Baseball is a Summer Staple Dress

When we first arrived in our summer home, of course I got my sewing machine set up right away. But, despite (or perhaps because) of the giant list of things I have to sew this summer, all I wanted to do was whip up something silly and easy. Certainly influenced by the very summery weather (that I’m not actually used to after 7 years of San Francisco summers), I wanted a sundress. And, despite the fact that I kept out many nice cottons that would have done very well, I got it in my head that I absolutely had to turn this ridiculous 1980’s baseball print that I had found at a thrift store forever ago into a dress. Since I didn’t have much of this print, the dress was going to have to be something without a lot of volume. I ended up choosing the Staple Dress by April …

11

My Summer Sewing Space

It may not look like much, but this quirky little sewing space already feels like home to me. We’ve been in our summer cottage for a week now and it’s starting to settle into a routine. Adam is off on a business trip, I’m home sewing for the wedding. It’s taken a bit longer to get to routine than I thought it would – at first there was unpacking, and then time catching up with all the to-do’s that got dropped in the rush of the move (turns out you still have to pay your bills, even if you’re busy), and then a couple days spent on my butt on the couch decompressing (at least that’s what I’m calling a couple days of the blahs). I picked the sun room, what was probably a sleeping porch when the house was built in the 1800’s, as my sewing space. There’s a …

13

Red White and Blue Kat Sundress

Happy 4th of July everybody! For the first time ever, as of yesterday, I live in a small town for the 4th of July! I’m so excited to go over to my mom’s house to set off fireworks on her beach! My man, who grew up in Southern California, is sooooo excited about the fireworks since he never got them as a kid and his enthusiasm is certainly contagious! Speaking of being in a small town, one day in to living here we had our first small-town experience. We had a massage therapist give us both massages today to help us shake some of the stress from what turned out to be a nightmare move (our moving truck no-showed on the day of our move!). The masseuse was talking with Adam about riding bikes and mentioned a man who lives on Tramp Harbor and works at the pharmacy on the …

12

Sew For Victory Sailor Girl Shorts

I had big ideas for Sew for Victory this year, but ended up with one pair of shorts. Fortunately, they are darn cute, darn flattering, and I’m pretty darn happy with them (although definitely a little jealous of the Pinhouse Playmate for making a much more awesome version!). Generally, I abhor shorts. I’m not one to judge them on other people, but I really, really hate the way they look on me. The only pairs you’ll catch me wearing are heavy and layered for winter (and both of those I actually just donated because I found I didn’t wear them at all this winter). But something about the high waist and full leg on these takes them out of mental short status and makes them feel like a skirt, so I’m sold. These shorts are from the Wearing History 1940’s sailor girl pattern. I intended to make the full shorts, …

4

Mom’s Maxi Summer Hippy Dress

I sewed my mom a sundress for Christmas. Yes, kind of a silly thing to do for someone who lives in Seattle since it was months before she could wear it. But I had the fabric and the pattern and the vision and it was a fun project to make me dream of sunshine midwinter. And now she’s finally wearing it (and wearing it a lot!) so I can share it. I drafted the pattern myself, making it similar to a RTW dress that she already had and liked. The fabric is a cotton/rayon  batik print that was a gift from a friend (and a stashbuster!). It has princess seams and front and side facings with a smocked back, although the drape of the fabric and the busy-ness of the print hide the construction. The dress gaps a bit in the back now since my mom has lost 20 pounds …