Sunday, December 27, 2015

Everyone needs a Holiday Capsule Wardrobe right?

I've been quite intrigued by the capsule wardrobe concept recently.  I have a mostly handmade wardrobe now, but without a lot of thought as to what I needed and what actually goes together.  I'm very big at just sewing what I like.  I have little time to sew, so I often don't want to bother with the boring stuff.  Thing is, boring stuff is actually pretty easy to make!

So I thought I'd test out a mini capsule, by making stuff I REALLY needed.  Christmas outfits. [Insert hilarious laughter from my audience]  Seriously guys, I have a problem, I did not need more Christmas clothes.  What I do need is pants, and more separates.  This plan did have a silver lining though. I DID actually make several separates that are totally not really Christmasy and work together in various combos (when I don't wear them with Christmas socks ;) so it was actually a win-win for my wardrobe!  Actually everything I made an be worn beyond.  I do have two pretty kitschy pieces, but I made them in previous years, and they serve to Christmas up my outfits!

Lets start with the subtle:

Sloane Sweater (basic sweater knit) with double gauze inserts.  Super comfy and casual for every day.

Now pair that sweater with a crazy Gnome print skirt and red tights?  CHRISTMAS PARTY TIME. Seriously, I wore this to my work party.  We went indoor glow in the dark mini golfing.  I beat my bosses boss.  That's good for my career right?

Now on to the less subtle:

Washi (expansion pack version with the BOW clearly) in Christmas washi fabric!  My mom knows my love of Christmas clothes and bought this for me this fabric in the summer and told me to make a dress.  So OF COURSE it had to be a wash.

Don't worry I don't normally go around with no sweater in the winter.  (Sweater hand knit by my fabulous mother in yarn first dyed for this sweater and now a standard colour over at Indigo Dragonfly yarn)  and red tights of course.

Now back to the subtle..

Day Tripper (Shwin Designs) in this super soft bamboo knit and a self drafted gathered skirt in this neat woven Japanese fabric (it's probably really to light and stiff for a gathered skit and I probably should have made a pleated skirt, but whatever, to late, and it's still works.

I also tucked it in, but I think I need a different shirt maybe to do this with (time to make a red tank for summer? haha)  This shirt also goes will with my other skirt and even just with jeans!

And just to round out this post and confirm I like kitschy Christmas sewing, here are some pieces I've made previously but have no good photos off!

Who doesn't need a Made by Rae Ruby in Rudolph fabric (with bodice mod to allow nursing)

Lane Raglan (lengthened probably 4 inches) and self-drafted tights in Christmas Sweater knit fabric!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Denver in Blue

I love pattern testing!  It forces me to sew on a timeline and use up fabric from my stash, you never really know how it's gonna turn out and often get a chance to use new techniques.  It also forces me to blog, ha!  As a busy summer meant I... never blogged at all.

It's all win-win really.  So I naturally jumped at a chance to test for the Denver Dress, part of the Unbiased Collection out from Pattern Anthology now!  (It's $29.95 for a limited time only too and comes with some nice bonuses!)

I love a knit dress (secret pajama's ya'll!) and this one is definitely comfy!  I'm quickly becoming a fan of princess seams too as they are easily adjusted for my teeny bust.  And it comes with instructions for large and small bust adjustments!

I had this fabulous slightly heavier weight cotton/lycra from Verhees that I picked up from one of my favorite Canadian shops Duncan and Kate and it was perfect!  I think the dress could work in any knit though!

I'm planning a number of tunics for the winter with the pattern now!

Don't forget to check out the collection before the sale ends!

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Double Gauze Bonnell!

You all now I love dresses, so naturally I jump at any chance to test a pattern for something new and fun!   So when Dixie over at Dixie DIY posted about her new dress pattern, the Bonnell, I knew I wanted to join in and she kindly let me!

I had actually just gotten in some delicious Nani Iro Double gauze in from the fabulous Miss Matatabi and was looking for a pattern to use with it, and so BAM, it was a perfect match if I do say so myself!

I'm also secretly (ok not secretly) sewing a mini capsule wardrobe of soft pretty dresses for a trip to Prince Edward County Wine country in July (our first trip over night away from our boys!)  So again, PERFECT.

I had also wanted to get out of my habit of making loose fitting, or knit dresses and attempt to fit a woven bodice again, so this dress gave me a chance!  I didn't do the best job and had to do some post construction adjustments, but I mainly blame that on the fact I have no dress form and it's hard to fit something on yourself with a back closure, oops!  It still worked out, and I'm inspired to actually spend the time next time and do a proper Small Bust Adjustment.  Oh and Dixie has basically done the best thing ever and written up the best tutorial ever on how to do this!  Most tutorials out there are on Full bust adjustments and so I just never felt like figuring it out, and usually just do side seam and bust dart length adjustments, so I'm excited to try her tutorial next time and it get a perfect bodice fit!  

I was super impressed by the direction and pattern too, loved the diagrams and it was all easy to follow! Aside from the bust/bodice adjustments, which were well with the realm of what I would expect to do with any pattern for my measurements, I added my standard 1 inch to the bodice, and 1 to the skirt as well to adjust for my 5'8" frame.

It even has POCKETS, all dresses should have these.

The cutouts are so fun and unexpected!  The double gauze did make it a bit hard to get the crisp corners I would have liked (soo shifty sometimes!)  but it makes it so soft and lovely wear!

And the V in the back is perfect with the neck in the front!  Oh and I totally can put in an invisible zipper without flinching now!  So odd to think they used to freak me out!

All in all, a good kick off to summer dress sewing!  Goodbye snow, hello sun!

The pattern releases TOMORROW May 19!  Go check it out!  And tell me, what kind of dress would be on your winery vacation list?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Posie in flight!

Yes, I know it's Kids Clothes Week, and I got posts lined up for that later this week!

In the meantime I thought I'd blog one of the many dresses I've made for me lately!  I'm thinking I'm gonna do a series of brief posts on each so they are at least recorded for posterity eh?

I'm particularly in love with making dresses in knits.  They are usually pretty easy, quick, cute and comfy, like wearing your pajamas to work.

 Don't worry, these pictures are almost a month old so the snow is gone now ;)

The Pocketful of Posies dress from Blank Slate Patterns fits this bill very well.  It's loose fitting dress, so definitely comfy, and also adorable.  I'd had the pattern for a while and wasn't sure what fabric to use until I remembered I'd been hoarding a couple meters of this organic Birch knit in the flight pattern I picked up a Simplifi Fabric last year.  It's a slightly heavier interlock, so the perfect weight for this!   And since I have a colour problem and the flight knit was just grey, I had to add a coloured ribbing!

I wasn't 100% of the style on me, but after making this one I'm sold.  I love the big pockets and the easy comfy wearing.  I tend to wear flats, but I could see myself dressing it up with heels or boots depending.  It's a pretty good transitional piece too with the medium length sleeves, but loose enough it'll last well into summer and then again in the fall!

And with all of Melly's patterns, the instructions were great and it was easy put together!

So whose with me on the awesomeness of knit dresses?  It feels a bit like cheating when I wear them to work, but I'm gonna keep doing it!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Selfish Sewing Week (and look, I'm still here!)

I'm still a lazy blogger.  I'll continue to admit it, but I'll still say I will blog occasionally.  Just not that last word.... occasionally.  So once every 3 months seems normal then right?

I think I've found the source of my slow blogging, photo editing!  hate it, hate having to find the camera cable and upload, ha.

So in the intervening months, you should just follow me on INSTAGRAM.  I post everything there, sometimes as bad selfies, sometimes as better photos.  I've discovered the community on instragram is sooo awesome!  So many designers and bloggers all interacting quickly and easily.  So quick and easy to find others versions of patterns and brief commentaries too. Love it!  And even if you don't wanna contribute or don't have a good device for it, you can sign up and follow me! (link on the right!)

Here's a peek at my feed! sewing and cute kids mostly ;)

However in honour of spring Selfish Sewing Week, I'll blog the three things I finished this week, mmmmm k?

It's still snowing here in Canadia, although it's finally hovering around and just above 0, after a RECORD breaking cold winter.  So cardigans are still a must.

I love the idea of the woven accent on Shwin Designs Beautiful Dream Cardigan when she first released last year, and I finally sewed one up!  I got a scrap pack of Japanese fabrics from Miss Matatabi last fall too, so this was perfect for my little piece of Nani Iro double gauze.

I'm part of a Facebook group that has monthly sew alongs for NON-English Patterns, and this month it's a couple patterns from the Dutch pattern magazine Knipmode.  The instructions.... aren't easily translated, even for my Dutch Mother!  But with a decent knowledge of proper garment construction I was able to pull of this knit skirt from some glorious navy french terry bought at L'oiseau Fabric.  Not the best pic, but it's like wearing track pants, but a skirt!

Lastly, I finally used up this awesome bicycle fabric I picked up on a visit to Simplifi Fabric last year.   I wasn't convinced of this pattern, the Marianne Dress from Christine Haynes, but it seemed perfect for a directional fabric like this and BOOM, I love it, it's perfect.  Next time I need to size up the sleeves (a bit snug on the XS) but seriously, I need the snow to melt so I can get to my shed and BIKE!

Also, I HATE taking pictures inside, my house is too dark, I can never take a good photo unless it's outside!  Hurry up SPRING!

How's your spring sewing going?

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