Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sweetest Dream

Hello! This January has been beautiful. It's kind of warm, I have a new job, and life is good. Somehow my mind/heart has transitioned into spring, and for me, that means pink. My newest bralette reflects that in the whimsical print and gorgeous pink elastic.
Pattern: This was once based on the Mallori Lane pattern by Madalynne, but it has undergone so many changes. The only thing left from the original is the underbust curves. Is it wrong for me to say that I created most of this pattern? I certainly didn't draft it myself originally but now most of it has been designed and adjusted by me.

Also, Madalynne has probably been my biggest inspiration for this bra. At least the pattern/structure.

Materials: Nightfall in Spark knit by Art Gallery Fabrics, rayon spandex knit from Nicole Miller for JoAnn's (from last spring), white stretch lace (yardage, not galloon lace), elastics and rings+sliders from ArteCrafts on Etsy. I really love this light pink/blush elastic. It's so elegant and pretty without being juvenile.
The waistband elastic on the unders came free in an order from the Fabric Fairy.

Details of the bra:
#1. The front. This is a high-necked bra, very on trend. The front is lined with rayon spandex knit, making it super soft against the skin. The two pieces were sewn right sides together at the sides, then turned so they showed.

#2. Wrap around lace. Instead of only having a lace back, this lace wraps around front and angles in towards the center of the rib cage. Personally I find this very flattering as well as fashionable. Plus it means I get to see more lace, always a good thing. In the front, the lace is simply lightning stitched (stem stitched ?) to the front of the bra, both layers, as well as being stitched at the edge of the front piece.

#3. Ruching in the front. This is actually the least professional looking part of the bra. After I tried it on the first time, I noticed that it felt a little loose. To remedy that a tad, I added some ruching to the lower center front. All I did was stretch some cotton elastic a ton while zig-zag stitching. Easy. The ends stick out since I hadn't planned this, but I don't care. I'm really enamoured with this bra.

#4. Halter neck strap. I tried something a little different with the strap; normally I don't care for halter straps. But I liked the idea of an open back. I also sewed it in under the elastic for a cleaner finish, and I misplaced the straps somewhat. Again, this doesn't bother me as I love the bra.

#5. Aren't my materials adorable ?!?! I love the fabric, and I love that I managed to get the rabbits on the bra, even though they are tipped sideways :P .It's so cute and also very soft, and the more you wash the cotton the softer it gets.
The pink elastic !! So cute !

Also I made matching unders from the scraps I had.

I absolutely adore this set!

Have you ever made anything that just made you ridiculously happy?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Make for Making

Hello! I am cramming one last blog post in before I head back to college and real life. This post is kind of rambling and might not make sense: You are warned.

So earlier, in my Top 5 Goals post I had listed my goals: exactly none. And that still holds true. I feel no need to make goals. I don't need the stress that comes with goals.

I've also noticed that I made a fancy thing, a cream and gold skirt that I adore.

I remember Rae's holiday lace dress post, and some of the comments on that, both myself and others talking about how often fancy things are worn and sewing wearable things, or sewing fancy things because sewing them is fun.

There is a lot of talk in the past few years about capsule wardrobes and sewing things that you will wear, and I hit right into these topics when I started sewing. Colette's Wardrobe Architect was influential, as was the capsules of Caroline, author of Unfancy. I did a major haul of my clothes, and while I tried a capsule wardrobe the "smallness" of it just felt limiting to me. I ended up with a small, refined wardrobe and I was happy with that.

I still am. However, my wardrobe is growing as I explore different things. Like adding in different colors, or prints. Also, the weather calls for me to have lots of layers. All this adds up to me slowly moving away from a small wardrobe.

I mean, obviously it's still small, since I have limited clothes storage. Dorm rooms aren't walk-in closets.

But I made something this Christmas break that I knew wouldn't be worn in day to day life when I made my cream and gold skirt. And I have quite a bit of not so practical fabric around--like gold-copper-ish silk that I got for Christmas, and pale pink lace I picked up when Hancock Fabrics went out of business. And rust silk-like fabric (probably poly) that came from a relative's estate sale.

I find that I am enjoying a bit of freedom when I sew something just because. Planning impractical but fun makes is exciting.

All this to say that I am choosing not to remain completely practical and capsule wardrobe-like. I want to make fun things. And then I want to wear them. I want to find places to wear them.

Maybe this is just a yearning for adventure, I don't know. But I am embracing it. So. For however long as I feel like it, I will sew whatever I want. I will probably sew some practical things. I will probably sew some fanciful, inspired designs as well. I will sew what I want. :) There.

I will also be tagging all my impractical but enjoyable makes with the tag "Make for Making", meaning that I chose the project because it sounded exciting, a little different, or just a little crazy.

Do you ever sew things just because, or do all your makes fill a need?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Birch Tree Skirt

How are you doing on this fine but all too short Christmas break? Late last week I went to my cousin's wedding. It was lovely and enjoyable but involved a hefty road trip.

Anyway, earlier this month I was at JoAnn's, looking at their fancy, holiday party fabrics. While I couldn't justify buying gold sequins when I had no formal events, I could justify buying a less expensive and more elegant cream with metallic gold running through it. It's not a thin fabric but still would work for dresses and skirts. A bit too heavy for blouses. I didn't know what to make with it at the time.

Eventually I settled on a pleated skirt, and made it to wear to the wedding!

Pattern: Butterick 4722, a girls' pattern for skirts.

Size: 14. This is a girl's pattern. The measurements roughly match up to a 10/12 in McCall's women's patterns, which means they would be close to a size 8. Weird, I know.

Materials: Fabric from JoAnn's. Vintage bias tape. Zipper from my stash, originally from Walmart, I think. The fabric is very interesting. It's got a woven pattern kind of like birch tree bark. The nonmetallic threads are very thick and it frays like crazy.

Construction: Instead of using petersham for the waist, I used bias tape. I also hemmed with bias tape. I had to be careful not to snag more gold threads than necessary, which meant I could only sew from the right side of the fabric. As a result, my bias tape application is a bit messy, but it looks fine from the front. My zipper is also too long, but I had it on hand and it matched.
Before doing any sewing, right after cutting, I serged all the edges of this fabric because it had already started fraying.

Alterations: I shortened it (4 inches ish, maybe more) and took a tad bit out of the sides so it sat higher on my waist.

Comments: I really like it. It's a bit different for me, just like the last shirt I posted, and I like it a lot. I'm not sure how much wear it will get, since it's fancy-ish, but I can wear it to church at the very least. And sometimes making fancy things is fun in and of itself. So there.

And here is me all gussied up for the day of the wedding:

Have you made any fancy things for Christmas or parties or other events?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Floral Go Boom !

Greetings ! How was your Christmas, or how is your Hanukkah, or anything else you celebrate? My Christmas was pretty good. And it's unseasonably warm, so I got some pictures taken outside of things I've made!

This make is an older one, and a repeat too. I made it out of a different fabric though, with a slightly different fit, so I think it's worth sharing.

Pattern: S0945, slimmed down, shortened.

Size: 8.

Materials Used: Cotton Spandex blend from Art Gallery Fabrics. It is called Millie Fleur Microbust Tropics, and I purchased it from

Directions/Construction: I should just get rid of this section, because I never use it (or the instructions) anyway.

Alterations: I did longer shoulder darts once again. I didn't slim down the sleeves as much as before, because the cotton wanted more ease.

Fit: Same as before--I still ought to do a full bust adjustment and figure out these shoulders, but chances are I won't.

Future Alterations: Eh. We'll see. If I do any, they will probably just be for style and not perfecting fit.

Comments: It's really bright. Reaaaallly bright. Very different for me, but I quite like it. Also it matches my chartreuse sweater, always a plus.
It does make me look like a grandma-in-training, though, if I wear them together. Here's evidence:

Short hair, check. Turtleneck, check. Big sweater, check.

In conclusion, I really like this. It's different for me but in a way that is familiar. Does that make sense? The print is quite vivid but the style is familiar and gets worn a lot.

I'm also really proud that I kind of centered the print in the front. This was just about my first time trying to influence where the print sat, rather than just matching stripes.

Have you guys tried any prints that are different than your usual style lately?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Top Goals for 2017

Hello again! I am done with exams and am back home. I'm quite frustrated though, as I cut out a whole project then realized half of it was backwards and is unsalvageable. It was in really pretty fabric too.
Anyway, since I have the time (can't sew with a ruined project), here are my goals for next year:


I'm not setting any goals. I don't need that stress in my life. I'm a college student; I get enough stress just by being awake and aware of my surroundings.
Sure, there are things I want to sew, but I'm not going to say I have to do it. I'm not going to make an effort to learn new skills either--by the time I get around to sewing, easy knits are all I really want to see. Or swimsuits. Those types of things. Things I know and like.
New patterns mean fitting--not going to add in that stress unless I want to. Fancy fabrics mean extra care cutting and sewing. I'm going to save that extra care for my physics class.
I'm not going to be practical either, if I don't want to. If I want to make a party dress then I will. As I commented on a post by Made By Rae, sometimes the making is the main point of something fancy, not the wearing. I'm going to be okay with that and make things I like.

So, I have exactly 'none' goals for next year.

What are you guys planning, or not planning?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

(Almost) Top 5 Highlights !

I'm back, with only one final exam left to take, and it's an easier one at that !
So today is my top 5 non-sewing highlights. Things that stand out in my year but don't have to do with the clothes I make.

1. Valedictorian in my high school, and Graduation!
This is a pretty big achievement, and one that I worked hard for. Senior year certainly wasn't easy (looking at you, Composition Class) but I made it through on top.

2. College!
This is a big transition but I have done it. Mostly successfully. My first semester of college is nearly done--will be done tomorrow-and I have managed to survive. Also get an 'A' in accelerated Gen. Chem. Wooh !

3. New friends, and a boyfriend.
Going into college, I knew I needed to make friends, but that can be hard for me. I can now say I do have friends. Also a boyfriend, which was not planned. Anyway, he's pretty great. He's a chemical engineering major.
4. Changing majors
I also realized that engineering is not for me, and I switched my major to chemistry this semester. However, I finished out my engineering classes and discovered I have quite the knack for using the program AutoCAD, with which you can model and design 3D objects. It's weird because I don't even like it but am pretty good at using it.

So those are my highlights of this year. Really they're just large events that happened to me. Next up--and last--is my goals for next year. See you later !

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Top 5 (kinda) Reflections

One last post before my exams start tomorrow! (Don't worry, Mom, I wrote this on Sunday. I'm not missing any study time.) This time we have my top 5 reflections! I think I have learned a lot from sewing this year. As a note, I'm going to say that this is my first full year with wearable, quality sewing that I am proud of. I really started sewing when I was 16, but my earlier work isn't very wearable due to its quality. Around last Christmas I started producing lovely, quality clothing I could feel good about, that wasn't just learning anymore.

Reflection 1:
Perfection isn't worth it, but quality is.
Perfection, to me, means constantly criticizing your work because it just isn't good enough. The stitching could be straighter, and by golly that zipper...*shudders*. But quality is what's really important. It may means unpicking something once or twice because you know it could be better, but it also means accepting your work and being proud of it. It means not pointing out the flaws to everyone, and just saying, "I made it." Quality is important; perfection is blah and we should all forget about it.

Reflection 2:
I'm quite the unselfish sewer.
I like to make things for people, provided they will appreciate and wear what I have made them. So while I'm a tad bit selective about who I sew for, I definitely sew for others. This seems to be contrary to the habits of most sewers.

Reflection 3:
I should probably do full bust adjustments on things I make. Or low bust adjustments. Possibly both. Chances are that when something doesn't fit right, it's the shoulders and bust.

Reflection final:
My preferred choice of colors revolves with the seasons.
In spring, I like light green and pale peaches and will even wear aqua greens with my crimson Keds.
In summer, I like crimsons and greens and tans.
In fall, I like burnt oranges and khakis and rusty reds and golds, mustards.
Now, in winter, I like pale neutrals, rusty reds, crimsons, and greens, along with other fall colors.
So while my basic palette is still "Not Blue and Never Will Be," the specifics of it change throughout the year, with spring standing out as vastly unique.
Of course, there is an exception or two. Chartreuse is always welcome, no matter the season. Just for fun, I thought I would make a handy picture of my colors. I just picked the top five for each season.

It's pretty clear that spring stands alone with its brightness. Oh well. I wear what I want.

So there are my reflections on sewing for the year! Did you learn anything in particular this year ?