Monday, May 8, 2017

April 2017 Sewing Makes!

 Hello everyone! Sorry about the random blogging! I never know when I will get the chance to do anything, so I can't promise to be on a better schedule, but can you tell I'm feeling better and getting my groove back? 

This April I worked hard to finish some projects and I can't believe I sewed nine (-ish) garments/items!!!!

 Looking at all the cute vintage kids patterns I had collected but never used started to make me feel guilty. So I thought up an Easter "collection" for my kids! The first one I'm displaying is a mint gingham Simplicity 8306. I LOVED how it turned out and I want one for myself! Someone pointed out that I made the empire waist line too high, and that is true, but I still like it!

 This dress is a Simplicity 8348 made in a lovely coral color. The frills and sleeves are just too cute!!!

This dress is a Simplicity 1075 with a thrifted white button up shirt. Again, I love this dress! I wanted to make it a bit more "Easter" like so I used a vintage lamb pattern instead of the poodles it calls for. 

I also learned how to sew a zipper properly from Allie J. on her instastories and I adore how (more) professional it looks from the inside!

So I foolishly didn't start sewing this pink dress until the night before Easter. I sewed from 11 o'clock at night until 5 in the morning, no joke. I can't believe I actually did it, and I don't recommend it! However, I really didn't want my one daughter to not have a special dress, since her sisters' dresses were already done. I didn't get to the pinafore though. I sewed that two weeks later and I adore how it turned out! The roses and ruffles are a sweet addition to the dress!

This was a small project, but fun. I wanted an outside banner of sorts for Easter and I wanted it to be Spring like but also a reminder of what Easter is really about, so I made a lamb, because Jesus was the lamb of God! It is a sweet reminder to me of the Savior.

Forgive the grainy picture but I love this skirt! I finally did some selfish sewing and work on my capsule wardrobe. Using the correct fabric for a pattern can make a huge difference! I made this same skirt with a stiff jean and it was a flop, as I have mentioned before! But I love the colors of this skirt!

I also made up a Pussy Bow Blouse in the same fabric and I adore how it turned out! It's so feminine and the contrast of colors I think look great and work well for me. Also, florals are too much fun! I had to include them in my capsule wardrobe plans, which I hope to blog about more soon. Technically I finished the project in May, but I had cut it all out and started sewing it in April so I will count it still!

Finally, I also sewed two Colette Sorbettos that I already blogged about last month! My Moana shirt (because of the tropical print) and a mint gingham one with leftover fabric from my daughter's dress.

Wow! Thank you pinless sewing, nap time, and one all nighter for helping me get all this work done!!! 

(P.S.- I really don't suggest pulling all nighters! Be smarter than me and get sewing projects done early!)

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Seamstress Tag

Have you ever watched "Seamstress Tag" videos on Youtube? As a sewing fan, I find them very interesting. I think other people's stories are quite fascinating. I like to see how the people behind some of my favorite blogs talk and what they have to say about their "sewing journey". 

I tried myself to make a Seamstress Tag video and it was a MAJOR FLOP! I couldn't get my camera to focus. I filmed the whole thing a couple of times in different ways and each one was completely blurry. I have a feeling I might need a different lens or something else expensive. Also, I was majorly awkward in front of the camera (#introvertproblems). Finally, a Youtube account seems like a lot of work, too much for me! So I am just going to write the Seamstress tag questions and try to answer them like that!

1. Who are you?

My name is Sarah. I also go by my super secret alter ego, Sara (without an H).

2. When and why did you start sewing?

 I started sewing when I was 23 years old as a reward to myself for paying off my college school debt. I have wanted to sew since I was a little kid! I knew it was my ticket to having the clothes I wanted.

3. What is your favorite or proudest make?

I would have to say probably my lemon 1950's dress. It won second place the 2016 Vintage Pledge competition! It also as the first time I used French Seams successfully! I usually love the last thing I made though, which currently is a floral Sew Over It Pussy Bow blouse!

4.  What is your most disastrous make?

Oh boy, I have had a couple of doozies! I think a lot of them involved bad fabric choices. I tried making a 1940s dress that was supposed to be knit in a woven fabric and it was AWFUL! Another time I spent a fortune on this beautiful 1940s Bird fabric and I forgot to make a muslin (it was early in my sewing days). The end result had major fit issues. It's heartbreaking! I can't get rid of it because I spent so much on the fabric but I still haven't mended it! I'm afraid to! Lastly, I made an A line skirt recently in some very thick jean fabric and it looks terrible! I have tried multiple times to fix it and I think I just need to scrap it! I'm sure there are more examples but I just can't think of them now!

The sad skirt I have tried to salvage but probably can't!

5. Where is your favorite place to go fabric shopping?

In my home town, I love shopping at Hobby Lobby for really beautiful, trendy fabric. I go to JoAnns for more specialty interfacing, tools, and fashion fabric that is harder to find. Finally, I go to for everything else (i.e.- what I can't find locally).

6. What is your most used pattern?

I would have to say the Colette Sorbetto, although there seems to be a lot of issues with it, so I am on the look for another pattern staple. I know having a good pattern that one is really familiar with can be really versatile and easy to sew with, but I do have pattern ADD. I want to try everything! Another pattern I seem to use a lot is the Sassy Librarian pattern. These are both shirt patterns but I really love sewing dresses! Also a good dress pattern staple would be good to have!

7. Your most dreaded sewing task is...

Darts! I don't know why they stress me out so much but they do! I am always afraid I will put them in the wrong place. I got a special rotary marking tool and transfer paper to help mark them, and that really helps a lot, but it still makes me nervous, I don't know why!

8. And your favourite sewing task?

I love pinless sewing and really pressing down the gas while I am sewing a straight line. I love sewing fast and just watching the edge where I want my seam allowance. I'm not a perfect seamstresss, but I am getting better and sewing fast and well!

9. What is your favorite sewing entertainment?

Sometimes I get in the zone and I don't have time to listen or watch anything. However I always start my sewing time out by listening to the Book of Mormon and then a Conference Talk. Did I mention I am LDS? I also love listening to audio books. Right now I am listening to "The Midwife of Hope River" for a book club I am in. I think the main character is too modern for the time period but I like hearing the stories of her work! I think being there when babies are born would be really special!

10. Printed or PDF?

It's really apples and orenges for me! Either one works. I like the little envelopes the printed patterns come in but I like how easy PDFs are to print off!

11. What sewing machine do you use?

I use a Project Runway Brother and it has been my good friend for the past almost decade or so! I can see the advantages of having a sewing machine that cuts one's own thread or has a knee lift for the raising the sewing foot, but I think a good standard sewing machine can do a lot of good too!

12. Do you have any other hobbies?

Yes, way too much for a mom of four kids! I can't help it though! I love reading, writing, running, music, yoga, gardening, baking, cooking exotic foods, genealogy, scrapbooking, decorating my home, and studying languages. Do I do any of these things particularly well? Not really! But that doesn't stop me from trying! And no, I don't do these things every day, except for sewing, reading, writing, and I run a couple times a week now.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Two Colette Sorbettos

 The Colette Sorbetto has been a staple of my handmade wardrobe and it's one I always recommend to friends who want to start sewing their own clothes. They just released a new version with sleeves and extra large sizes! Yay! Did I mention that the pattern comes at an awesome price? It's FREE! It's one of those amazing things that seems too good to be true but doesn't disappoint!

 I made my first Sorbetto out of a tropical print that had been handed down to me. The color is AMAZING as well as the flower print! My husband even really likes this shirt!

The second shirt was made out of some leftover gingham fabric from a dress that I am making for my daughter. It's going to be my Easter shirt of course, going along with my crazy holiday shirt pledge!

Go here for more information about how to sew the Sorbetto!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Capsule Wardrobe Progress

Planing a capsule wardrobe has been a blast! It has come with plenty of editing and changing of plans too, on the other hand!

I found a better floral fabric and then decided to base the rest of my wardrobe colors around that. I have less colors altogether that I am working with but I think it works better! I made an Everyday Skirt in a denim fabric that was more thick than I originally thought so I took the skirt in some until I liked it. I added a scallop skirt I made a long time ago to the wardrobe and I made a Pendrell blouse that I think turned out fantastic (the fuchsia one above with the ruffles)!

I made a navy striped shirt that did not turn out! It was my first time sewing with knit fabric and even though I took it apart and resewed it a three times (!!!) it was still not right. It was too big and I'm tired of working on it now. I put it in my repair basket and perhaps I will try to fix it later, but maybe I won't! I made plans for another kind of shirt just in case.

Below is my updated plans for my capsule wardrobe! We'll see how it changes as I move forward but I'm liking the plans I've made so far.

After all this you may ask, what is a capsule wardrobe? From the it says, "A mini wardrobe of really versatile pieces that you love to wear". If you are wanting to delve into the process of making your own capsule wardrobe, use the formula above (which can give you 96 different outfits) or look up Wardrobe Sudoku and use that method. The Wardrobe Architect series on the Colette Blog has been so helpful for me and I also loved the book The Curated Closet

It's been fun to take a look back at all changes I've made trying to make a wardrobe that works for me. I hope this month that I can sew my floral shirt and skirt! Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge

 I find the subject of family history endlessly fascinating. When I heard about Mrs. Hughes' Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge where one gets to sew an item of clothing to recreate an ancestor's picture, I knew I had to join in! Sewing and genealogy?! Yes please!

I used the top of pattern Butterick B6212
to make this shirt. I have a few things I still want to tweak about it, but it is good enough for now!

I chose to make a copy of my Great Grandma Jackie's sweetheart shirt because I always thought it was so pretty and it was from one of the few family pictures I have. 

My Great Grandma Jackie was a very different person than I am. She was very funny and popular. That information always intimidated me, a very introverted nerd! She was an extremely talented pianist and she was very fashionable.

Doing this challenge was so much fun! I get that I am not the greatest hairstylist and maybe this whole look works better for my grandma, but it's still neat to see oneself besides an ancestor! It's cool to look back and think about where one's family comes from and hear the stories of their lives!

And because I can, I am also adding it to the 2017 Vintage Pledge Pinterest board!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Belle Inspired Emery

 One fact about me is that Belle from Beauty and the Beast is my home girl. My soul sister. My spirit animal! Whatever you want to call it. She has been from 1992, that's how far back we go. We both have brunette hair, we both love books, we both want more than this provincial life, and we both fell in love with Beasts (ha ha, I kid, I kid! About the last similarity anyways... I love you Matt!).

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of the live action Beauty and the Beast for years and I am so excited that it is here! I had to make a dress to go with it.

Will you accept this rose?


 I wanted a dress that could double as an Easter dress, so I found some perfect yellow eyelet fabric. I have been meaning to have an excuse to make a gorgeous Emery dress from Christine Haynes patterns and this seemed like a perfect one! It really was such an easy pattern to follow with great lines.

I think I kind of do look like Belle!

What was Disney thinking hiring a famous Hollywood actress to portray Belle in their upcoming movie! They should've picked me! I killed in my fourth grade production of Rumplestiltskin!

I will be linking up to Akram's and Judith's Easter Dress Sewalong (even though I am a tad early!) and Allie's Social Sew!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Capsule Wardrobe Update

My newest obsession is thinking about my "Winter Berry" capsule wardrobe and how I can do it justice! I don't want to spend a fortune but I don't want to compromise on what I really want since I will be sewing each garment. I want the right colors, the right mood, the right patterns, ect. I want it to be flattering for my coloring, body shape, lifestyle, budget, and most importantly my dreams! 

In my last Craftsy class I took, the teacher suggested first finding a print you'd like to wear and then gathering the other colors you'd like in your wardrobe. Well, I did it the other way around! I picked out the colors I wanted first and then tried to find a print I wanted that would match them. It is harder to find a print that way, and maybe the one above is a bit of a stretch for the colors I want, however I don't think it is very off base either. I was looking for a cool, not too bright or bold, small floral with pink, blue, and purple. This fabric is speaking to me! We'll see how I feel about it in a few months, but I think this will work.

In my last post I talked about the 12 garments I need to make a wardrobe that can be style 96 ways.
The patterns I would like to use are the following (I think about this project so much I almost have them memorized!):

Navy Pants- Liv Bell Bottoms (drafted into flares) from Sewing Vintage Modern (sorry, I could only find an image of the book its from)

Navy Jean Skirt- Simplicity 8019 

Navy Striped Shirt- Liesel + Co Maritime Knit Top

Navy Blazer- Butterick B5926

Maroon Tweed Jacket/ Oversize Cardigan (I can't decide which one I really want yet, and the pattern could be either)- Simplicity 2154

Maroon Shirt (maybe with a raised collar)- Susie Blouse from Sew Over It

Maroon Maxi Skirt- M6966

Grey Skirt- The Alberta Street Pencil Skirt from Sew House Seven

Light Purple or Pink "Sweater Set" (I can't decide what I want more and I'm using two different patterns to sew the pieces)- Fitted Cardigan from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book (couldn't find a picture of it, sorry) and the Orla shirt from Tilly and the Buttons

Printed Blouse (Floral Fabric above)- the Pussy Bow Blouse from Sew Over It (Agnes for Knit)

Printed Skirt (ditto)- The Everyday skirt from Liesel + Co. (M6966 for knit)

So here is a mock up of how the colors will work with each other...I'm hoping they will look good and I think they will!

 (I used a Burgundy instead of the maroon mentioned on the top image and I think it works better! Also I'm planning to use the Barbie Pink as a lipstick color!

I have collected these patterns over the years from sales and many I have won in a few competitions! Now all of my pattern hoarding is paying off. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 Sewing Goals- Capsule Wardrobe

 Last year I had a baby and was just happy to get any sewing done at all!

I always feel I don't get enough sewing in, but when I look back at the year, actually I have! I sewed all these outfits (just the fur wrap for the Cruella costume) and also two curtains, a plain black shirt, a blanket repair, a refashioned button up dress, a baby doll basket, a blessing outfit for my son, a red gingham bombshell swimsuit (yes! a swimsuit!), a red polka dot Sorbetto top (it looked great on the dress form but terrible on me!), a Franken-pattern two piece gingham nursing dress (another flop), three pillow case dresses, and a Christmas Nativity Sorbetto top. I even won second place in the Vintage Pledge Competition with my lemon dress pictured above (side note, that dress is NOT "a lemon"! It's one of my most favorite!).

I did do a lot of work on the Wardrobe Architect series in 2016 and found it fascinating! It really gave me so much direction and clarity about what I want to do with my sewing. Now I can walk through the fabric stores and instead of coveting everything, I can discern what is a good color/fabric/style for me!

However, I am very unsatisfied by the colors and outfits I chose last summer. I bought the Craftsy Class Sew to Flatter and it was amazing! It had awesome tips about how to pick the right colors and styles to flatter one's body and draw attention to one's face, which I didn't realize should be the goal of fashion but it makes sense!

From what I learned, I am very sure that I need cool colors and silver jewelry to really accent the coloring I have (dark brown hair, olive skin, blue eyes). I kind of already knew that but it was good to have it reinforced! I've decided the above colors are what I want to aim for (but I might also go for a emerald green, black, or light yellow!).

 These colors in particular I want to focus on. They seem like winter, berry sort of colors. Is it too cheesy that I think of them as "Winter Berry" in my head?

In the class, the teacher also mentions a formula for having the fewest amount of clothes but getting the 96 different outfits out of them. 

Here is a basic sample of what she suggested while adding some specifics that I want to make for myself (these also correlate to my #makenine2017 found on my instagram account):

 So I am sticking with navy, maroon, grey (darker than the photo), light purple, and a light pink floral for my colors and fabrics. I think they vibe with my need for cool colors, comfort while chasing after kids, and the vintage/romantic/feminine style I hanker after. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Day and Night Dress Challenge

Elizabeth from Elizabeth Made This has put together a really cool sewing competition called the Day and Night Dress Challenge. To be apart of it, one must sew a day dress of any color and a night dress that is all black (I double checked with Elizabeth just to be sure!). I really enjoyed this challenge, and yes, worked really hard too! My house is a disaster and I will probably have to take a week off of sewing just to catch up on my chores! 

 I call this my Zooey Deschanel moment ;)

 I wanted to take pictures outside for this "Spring time" dress, but my whole town is covered in snow and ice!!!

 Daisies are one of my favorite flowers!

 ~Shoulder bows are so hot right now~

 The before mentioned Elizabeth took photos of her night dress with her violin so I had to as well!

Yes, I can play violin. Once upon a time I thought I was going to go pro! But I didn't and I don't regret it at all.

 I am a big Project Runway fan but only in the last couple years figured out what the judges mean by the word "cohesion". To put it plainly, it means the same kind of person would wear all the clothes in one designer's collection. Well, from watching all the amazing entries that have come in for this competition, I must say everyone has their own "cohesive aesthetic"! I hope mine does too! I love vintage, French style things and maybe my dresses won't come across like that to everyone, but I certainly am reminded of those things when I wear them! I love these dresses and plan on getting a lot of use out of them! I used a Frankenpattern hack of Butterick B6259, McCalls M7087, and the sleeves of Simplicity 2444 to make my day look dress (a more modest copy of a Forever 21 dress from long ago that I couldn't afford at the time but I never forgot). I straight up copied the picture on the envelope of Butterick 6582 for my night dress. I've always wanted to just take the artist's cues for fabric on a pattern and I'm glad I got the chance to this month! I also used Simplicity 2444's sleeves for the night dress, I just cut them a little shorter. Also, I am very proud of myself for yet again trying French seams! I love how they look!

Thank you Elizabeth for putting this together!