Saturday, July 8, 2017

More Early Summer Makes! (May-July)

Lately I've been doing so much sewing, and very little writing. Hopefully I can make up for that a bit by sharing other projects I have been working on this late spring/early summer! 

The McCall Pattern Company had a contest for their M7542 shirt and I felt I couldn't resist trying it out! I made the top version in black actually second (of the two versions I made), but this has become a real staple of my wardrobe! I made it very plain and it has become very versatile!

I went for this version when I saw a gorgeous orchid sheer fabric at the store on sale and I knew I needed it! It's such a beautiful color! I was also very inspired by the dress Zooey Deschanel wears in the picture below. 

Don't we all want to dress like a vintage girly princess like Zooey? Well, at least I do!!!

This is not apparel related, but I got so sick of the eye sore of a couch in my front room that I just made up a slip cover for it. I just laid fabric around each part of the couch, safety pinned it, and sewed it together. Is it the most amazing sewing project ever? No. But it does make this room look a billion times better, which is all I care about!

Monika from @rocco.sienna on Instagram and a few of her friends held a "Sewing for the Summer" shirt dress challenge and I had to be apart of it. Long story short, I got this amazing red fabric from Mood during my very lucky trip to NYC. It was a dream to sew with and I love the color so much! I believe the pattern I used was M6696.

I asked for help picking buttons on Instagram and everyone voted for these ones!!! Aren't they just too fun?

Renata from Runningstyle along with a few of her friends had a 4th of July Proud / Flags of the World dress challenge and I also really wanted to be apart of it. I got the lovely Suzon blouse from Republique du Chiffon and then added a dirndl skirt to make it a dress! Man, all those buttons were a labor of love! Yikes! But I love the way they turned out and they were also chosen by people on Instagram! 

Next up I am sewing a dress for my lovely aunt. It's a good thing I love her so much, because I am a very selfish seamstress!!!

Capsule Wardrobe Update July 2017

This project has taken me longer than I had hoped. I keep joining in on random sew-a-longs that pop up and I did pick a wardrobe formula with 12 garments to sew AND I picked challenging patterns and fabrics (for me) to sew with. So, this long wait is completely all my fault. However, as I keep saying, this project has been liberating! Maybe some would find it too confining to limit one's wardrobe to a few colors but it has freed me from wanting to buy everything. I needed that, guilty as charged!

In the last few months I have thankfully been able to sew a few of the garments needed, and they are as follows:

A floral Pussy Bow Blouse from Sew Over It

A floral Everyday Skirt from Liesel + Co.

 A chambray skirt with the same pattern from above (it's great! It has lovely pockets!!!).


A re-do of the Maritime Top from Liesel + Co. This time it has a much better fit!

 An Orla blouse from Tilly and the Buttons.

So here is the scorecard on what I have done and what still needs to be accomplished:

With the exception of a few gifts I have to sew and as long as this project doesn't cut too much into my Halloween costume sewing time, I am going to focus on this! At least, I would like it done by fall sometime.

They all do look pretty hanging together in my closet! Hopefully they don't look too homemade, but I'm focusing on progress, not perfection!

Carnegie Hall Dress

Hello again! I'm back, slowly getting to blogging again. It's been a very busy couple of months but I wanted to share some of my latest creations! First one is my Carnegie Hall dress. Why Carnegie Hall? Because I made it to wear to my brother's concert that happened at the real Carnegie Hall in New York City! My brother is a complete rockstar and it was a dream come true to see him do a fantastic job and see the Big Apple!

(Yes, this is me in the actual Carnegie Hall bathroom...where sadly I spent most of my time that evening because my son, who was an angel for most of the trip, lost it that night!)

 The two dresses above were major inspirations for my dress. I love this classic look!

At the time I was still nursing my son, so I wanted a dress that would be cute yet nursing friendly. This would've been the perfect dress for that if I had only placed the zippers an inch or so lower!!!

 I really love this dress though, and I still wear it even though I'm not nursing my baby anymore (bittersweet!!!). The dress shape I feel is very flattering and I love the collar!

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!