Showing posts from June, 2016

The Hankie Stash // 4th of July

How is your summer going so far ? If you're in the US, happy upcoming fourth of July ! Independence Day ! Woo ! If you're in England, sorry that we're celebrating our rebellion against you, haha !

Well, for me one thing we always do at the fourth of July is help my grandma set up a booth at an antique fair.  My grandmother enjoys collecting, and has LOTS of antiques.  But she's a shrewd woman, money-wise--she won't pay more than what she thinks something is worth, no matter how much she likes it. Also, if you're buying from her, she'll give you a pretty good bargain.

One of my favorite things to do at the antique fair is to walk around and see what else is there. Usually, I'm looking for vintage handkerchiefs and old laces and pretty linens.

It started in elementary school, when said grandma would babysit us.  She would take us around to Salvation Army and Goodwill, looking for things she could resell. On one of those trips, she found a big bag full of …

Swimsuit # 1

Some time ago, I posted my swimwear sewing plans...and now I have the first part of what really happened.

Here it is. My first wearable swimsuit. As you can see, it doesn't line up with my plans at all, except for the fact that it uses my geometric print and black.
Well, after my woes with Watson, I knew I wasn't going to use that pattern, so back to my pattern collection I went. And what jumped out at me except for M6759 ?

Pattern: Top is M6759. Bottoms are self drafted/traced from existing/mashup.

Materials Used: Geo print is from the Fabric Fairy. Black milliskin is from Spandex World. Lining is from one of those two, I don't remember which.

Directions/Construction:  This was really easy to put together, and I didn't use instructions. It has two basic pieces. I did add some underbust elastic to the lining. I forgot to do before I sewed the side seams, so I had a hard time maneuvering the layers so I didn't accidently sew the main fabric. I added this elastic for su…

Ready for Racerbacks !

So, who's enjoying summer ? ? ? It's been obscenely hot all week with no rain here :( And that's been affecting my wrist and joints. So I want it to rain already !! Which is not something I usually want.

Summer for me, though, often means doing things I don't do in the school year. And here's one: wear horribly bright tropical printed racer back bras.

  I bet these will last into the year and become a staple as they are just so great.  Here's how I made them.

Materials Needed: A tight tank top style bra or swimsuit pattern. I used M6759, which is going out of print, but any tank top style bra/camisole would work.

1. To start, trace your pattern onto paper.  Here it would be a good idea to make the pattern as is to address any fit issues that may arise. I had to make mine (originally a size 8) narrower in the chest and back.  I also should have lowered the armholes, but I didn't and so they were reworked in the racer back portion.

2. Figure out what size ela…

Unselfish Sewing, Part 1

Selfish sewing has become quite a normal term to hear in the sewing blogosphere. Generally speaking, it refers to when one prefers to sew for oneself.  It can be because others are not appropriately grateful or simply because one is a hoarder and doesn't want to share his or her fabric.  (Here I think of Heather saying, "All the pretties" while stroking her Lillestoff.)
Whatever the case may be, I don't see anything wrong with selfish sewing. In fact, I would normally say I am one, but . . .

In the past 11 months I have sewn:

A tank for a friend's 13th birthday
A sweater for my mother for Christmas
Infinity scarf for a friend's Christmas present
Appliqued swing tee for my friend Catherine's present
Colorblocked knit top for yet a different friend's Christmas gift
Lovely rayon top for Catherine's birthday
Striped tee for Mother's Day
Woven shorts for Catherine's graduation present
Yoga shorts (like my Frida Kahlo floral ones) for the friend…


So Gillian is back at it with Sewing Dares ! These are voluntary dares where someone challenges you to make something a little bit out of your comfort zone. But first they look to see what is your comfort zone. Sounds confusing, right ? It's really not.  Here's a transcript of my dare:

Sorry it looks funny- I couldn't get it all on one screen. So that's what I'm doing--I'm refashioning two tops.  Here they are beforehand: That's closer to the real color; it's more of a salmon/not quite coral, instead of a bubblegum color. Theoretically I like this color and this shirt, but when I go to put it on, I'm thinking eeew, pink. Also in these pictures I have already removed the buttons.  I'm going to dye this one red and see if I like it better. Since it's already pink, I don't know what color it will turn out, but I'm willing to risk it.

And this one...just looking at it, I ought to like it.  It's a dark navy which is mostly neutral and…

Unseasonable Sewing for Unseasonable Weather

Brrr ! It's freezing here ! That's not right for June.  So, to fit in with the weather, I made a snuggly sweatshirt/sweater !

Actually, I had planned this out before the unseasonable chill, but took advantage of the weather to take pictures.

Pattern: A mashed up version of M7261's top.

Size: 8, like my white version where I actually followed the rules.

Materials Used: This is a charcoal gray poly double knit sweater knit from JoAnn's.  I had been admiring its soft snugglyness when I found it on the clearance table and bought it all up (just over 2 yards.)

Directions/Construction: Yeah, no.  It's a knit top with bands instead of hems.

Alterations: You may notice the lack of princess seams ! To do this, I just laid my pattern pieces out on the fabric, overlapping seam allowances at the shoulder/raglan seam to make sure I didn't mess that length up.  Then I just kind of cut and fudged around and it worked.  I did have to try to eliminate the high-low, which was relati…

Update: I Learnt One More Thing

So I learned one more thing in Me Made May, or at least recently, while doing all my summer planning.

Having a completely me made wardrobe is not practical nor ethical to me.

Don't get me wrong--I would love to have that life. Right now, though, it makes no sense.
I get a lot of hand me down clothing from family, friends, and clothes swaps. This clothing is FREE, something that sewing will never be. Also by wearing it, I am saving it from landfills or Goodwill, which can't sell everything. These hand me downs fit me and my style, so turning them away in order to sew is just garbage. It doesn't make sense.
Why would I sew jeans when I have plenty of almost perfect pairs ? Ok, jeans actually are the clothes that fit the worst on me, but still. I can wear them without looking indecent and that, to me as a teenager and not a couture sewist, is more important. My wardrobe isn't flawless in terms of beautiful, beautifully fitting clothes, but it's cohesive and fits me.

Yoga Shorts, for Lack of a Better Title

Now that school's out, I have been getting up at 7 AM and doing yoga on some days. I really enjoy it as it's similar to dance. It also has a more peaceful, healing focus than other sports. So I made myself some shorts for it !

I also sleep in these shorts (only one pair at a time, ha ) so it makes my morning routine really easy.

Pattern: M7261 Size: I made a size 8, even though, like always, McCall's says I should make a size 12. Materials Used: The ones above are made from a printed rayon spandex from JoAnn's with a polyester lime green stretch crushed velvet waistband. The ones at the bottom are made of a crazy cotton-poly knit from JoAnn's with a dark green cotton-poly waistband. Directions/Constructions: I didn't look at them, let's be real. It's a nice easy project that--hems aside--can totally be done on a serger, which I did. I just used a twin needle to hem the floral ones. For these rayon ones, I used a walking foot for the hem, which is also twin-…

Introducing Summer: Inspiration

Now for all the pictures ! This is all my inspiration for this summer, but first I must begin by saying what I already have that I like.

I cleaned out and organized my closet-like area (no actual closet for me) on Friday and had a few realizations. All my summer clothes from last year are brightly colored ! Florals, stripes, graphic tees abounded. I internally shielded my eyes and screamed, "The light ! The light ! It hurts!"  I looked back into what I had been wearing lately, my transitional type clothing. Talk about monochrome and solids ! Most of my clothing was white, gray, or black, with the exception of my chartreuse sweater, crimson Keds, and my coral purse.  And I had exactly one striped shirt. Everything else was plain. That's it.

That was my awakening:
I like wearing boring clothes. In solid colors. Without frills or other girly details.
Knowing that, I began to think about how I wanted to dress and what I wanted to make this summer. I pulled these images from…