Category Archives: Sewing

Sewing for Me: Simplicity 1538

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If you had told me last year that I’d be able to get the print of plaid fabric to match up for a button-down shirt, I would have laughed you out of the room. As it turns out, if I cut each pattern piece individually, I can get very, very decent results (i.e. cutting every piece from a single layer instead of folding the fabric to get two sleeve pieces at once, say). Not perfect, mind you, but pretty darn good.

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This is Simplicity 1538. And the cotton fabric is from Drygoods – I hear this beauty of a plaid sold out in record time. If you follow Kelly, who is so incredibly prolific and also one of the nicest people I’ve met, you may have seen this same fabric on her instagram feed. I contemplated being twinsies with Kelly and sewing this up into an Archer too, but in the end, the much less labor intensive Simplicity pattern won out. I love love love this shirt. I especially love that I cut the back yoke on the bias:

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The pattern promises to be easy-to-sew, and overall it delivered on its promise. I liked view D and opted for one pocket rather than two, just because. The only part I just couldn’t get right was the sleeve cuff opening bindings (now that’s an inelegant way of describing it — what is that called?). The instructions weren’t difficult or anything, but the binding piece refused to lay flat so it’s a little scrunched. But like my other button-down shirt from last week, I don’t ever anticipate wearing the shirt without rolled-up sleeves, so I didn’t lose any sleep over it.

s1538-plaid-shirt5Here’s a little modeling for ya — but let’s be honest, it looks like I’m remembering the whiplash I got from a car accident years ago and am thinking, “Man, that crick in my neck is acting up again…” Here’s another attempt at varying my usual unimaginative poses:

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Ready to start square dancing: do-si-do, anyone? The Ford modeling agency won’t be knocking on my door any time soon.

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Anyway, back to some more info about the shirt. I added the same metal buttons I used for K’s rain jacket, and I still have a couple dozen left so you’ll probably see these buttons again. I cut the size 12, and this one is a slimmer fit than last week’s grey polka dot shirt. Definitely preferring this fit a lot more. And this was major for me: the bust darts were in the perfect spot without any modifications. So nice to have bust darts that don’t aggressively point northward…you know, the kinds that highlight the the inevitable pull of gravity on my non-spring-chicken body.

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I’m making slow but sure progress on my fall sewing plans. Two down, two to go! I got a few skeins of merino wool/cashmere blend (in grey, of course) ready to be cast onto knitting needles, but I have a feeling the jeans are going to take a loooong time to materialize…onward and upward!

 

 

 

 

Happy Friday + Randomness (a grey polka-dotted shirt)

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Happy Friday, friends! I try to be a stickler about my blog schedule and meant to post this on Wednesday, but you know how it goes. Though I had a completed shirt, with the waning light situation (and oh, it’s so frigid these days), I didn’t have decent enough brightness to get photos until yesterday morning — I jumped out of the shower and snapped a few quick pix while I toasted a couple of slices of bread for breakfast.

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Details, details:

Pattern: Pattern m from Basic Black Book

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Grey Cotton with White Polka Dots from here (they only seem to have the black available)

Size: M

Modifications: Before machine stitching, I hand-basted the collar, cuffs and front plackets. This makes for a much cleaner finish, I think.

Do you remember the black Franklin dress I made a few weeks back? This is the same fabric in the grey color way. I should have invested heavily in the grey because it has the perfect weight and drape.

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I’m liking princess seams in lieu of bust darts more and more – I think the shape is a lot more flattering. Here, I’m tossing the camera remote and pondering about what I can scrounge up in the fridge to put in K’s lunchbox (pomegranate seeds, sunflower butter, string cheese and pita crackers as it turns out).

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I’m not a fan of the sleeve cuffs, but it doesn’t really matter since I’ll always wear the sleeves rolled up. What you see above is how the sleeves look sans rolling. And I think the collar might be a little too big for the overall shape. I’m also of the opinion that the buttons should be smaller; to my eyes, the current size is throwing off the balance — what do you think? I didn’t have enough of any other buttons and these were grey so I said “design element!” and called it good.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the shirt a lot. It’s neutral and it has polka dots. That’s sufficient to earn my approval. A word of caution about the instructions though: they’re super sparse. In fact, I had to fill in the blanks on many occasions and I suspect I put the collar on incorrectly as it didn’t fit very well, but the beauty of fabric is that it stretches and careful hand-stitching can hide many a flaw.

I’m wearing the shirt as I write this in a coffee shop late in the afternoon and it’s so comfy. A man sitting next to me complimented me on it — not something that happens often. Actually, he saw the photo of the shirt on my laptop and asked me if I’m a photographer. I said, “Er. Uh. Um. Sort of.” Awkward. He was very friendly and when I ‘fessed up that I sew and that I was actually wearing the shirt in the photo, he told me about a time he tried to sew pajama pants in college (it didn’t go so well). “Your shirt is incredible!” he effused, which prompted more  ”Er. Uh. Thank you. Um.” I need to learn how to accept compliments more graciously. And here K and I are, pow-wowing over whether she should wear that uber bright pink top to school (she ended up nixing it):

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I wouldn’t call this the easiest shirt to sew, but it was a gratifying project and I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of it. I have another one already to go with a different button-down shirt pattern, and I might be able to share it next week…we shall see.

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The winner of the giveaway is Mirabilys. Congrats! So so fun to read all the awesome/suh-weet/killer/lovely comments, yo.

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Have a delightful weekend, all!

It’s that time again
Advent calendar planning
My mind is churning

The ones from last year and year before have been huge, huge hits in our household. I may have set an unsustainable standard for myself…

 

 

 

Monday Outfit: Small Fry Skinny Jeans

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I did it! I made skinny jeans! For K!

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This was a labor of love folks, because let me tell you, these jeans required some sweat, blood and loss of sleep (I am very protective of my sleep). Well, okay, mostly loss of sleep. And only because I decided to start sewing this in the late afternoon and once I got going, I was having too much fun to stop until I was done. I opted to go with the no zip, half-fly option, and that was a good move since trying to install a zipper might have meant no sleep at all. Doesn’t that look like some kind of jeans ad up there? I’m swooning a bit.

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I reviewed all the recommendations I received from you lovely readers and purchased patterns for both the Small Fry and Peek-A-Boo skinny jeans, and decided to start with the Small Fry. The results are grade A professional, and I love how Laura added so many authentic details like the top stitching on the sides, the way the pockets are constructed, etc.

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K harangued me the whole time I was making it, asking every few minutes, “Are you done yet??”

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I was nervous when I started prepping this project because the thin denim fabric with supposedly 3% spandex that I wanted to use didn’t stretch at all. I finally figured out that it stretched ever so slightly up and down (along the grain/selvage) and not side to side the way most woven fabrics do. So all the pieces are cut cross-grain — I called upon the sewing goddesses so that K would be able to shimmy herself into them without losing blood circulation.

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The instructions are detailed and excellent, and I found the photos to be immensely helpful. Though this was a major time commitment due to all the pieces and top stitching and whatnot, the elements came together easily. Based on the measurements, K was between a 7 and 8; since I wanted these to be snug, I went with the 7.  As you can see, the fit is fantastic (whew). Do you like the wonky butterfly on the back pocket? K specifically requested one butterfly on one pocket. I aim to please.

We tried a variety of tops with her new favorite jeans. Do you recognize some of them? The stripey top is still going strong, and I just recently found that orange cashmere hoodie buried in the back of K’s closet. I’m pretty sure my mom thrifted that from somewhere and is actually an adult size small that must have shrunk. That jacket is from almost two years ago! We should really retire it, but it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. The bolero sweater is so, so old and ratty but she adores it.

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K wants me to make a pair of skinny jeans in every color possible. I’ll need to recharge for a while to start on the Peek-A-Boo version, but now that I’ve entered the jeans-making realm, I’m feeling like I might be able to sew up a decent pair for myself. I’ve got these and these and these ready to be prepped. Stay tuned for the skinny jeans pattern comparison!

 

 

 

Happy Friday + Giveaway! [CLOSED]

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Here in Washington, grocery stores and many retail stores charge five cents per bag if you don’t bring your own to carry out your produce or miscellaneous household items. A pragmatic and environmentally sound move, but I’m constantly forgetting to bring my handy nylon eco bags because they’re always filled with library books. Between the accumulating nickel charges and overdue library fines, I’m sure I’m frittering away enough money to feed a small country.

I’ve been thinking that I need to really make my own eco bags, and it’s as though Tuttle Publishing sensed my thoughts and sent me this lovely book:

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Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics has 60 (!!) ideas and patterns and also comes with a couple of extremely detailed and picture heavy “lessons”. When I saw the eco bag on the cover, I knew that I had to make one right away. Well, I ended up making two because it’s such a quick sew. My favorite part of the pattern is that the bag folds itself into the front pocket (you attach a button on the backside of the pocket and a loop for closure on the opposite side — steps you could easily skip and still have the transformative effect). I’ve had this robot Kokka fabric for so long, it’s practically an antique. It underwent some mishap and was dyed pink when I accidentally washed it with something red. Until now, I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

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My first bag took less than an hour, and the second one took less than half an hour. The blue and grey striped fabric is cotton from here. The french seams make the insides look nice and tidy, though I should point out that the instructions for creating a french seam are incorrect in the book. There’s a section in the back of the book that provides mini tutorials on various stitches and methods, and the technique shown under “french seams” is actually for a turned-and-stitched seam. This is a well-done tutorial for actual french seams.

Another unique aspect of this book is that it’s intended for hand-sewing. There’s an abundance of running stitches required. Of course, I ignored this and used my machine, and there’s no shame in that.

Minor issues aside, this bag is great for scrap busting as are all the bags in the book. Would you like to see a sampling of the projects?

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So many sweet ones! And as always, I love the styling of Japanese craft books.

Now, I’m a big believer in paying things forward, and it seems silly for me to keep this book in my possession when all I really needed was an eco bag pattern. Which, by the way, isn’t too big or too small and will fit perfectly in my purse when tucked into its pocket.

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Are you interested in the book?

As for the giveaway question…hmmmmmm. Yesterday, K told me that a classmate of hers instructed his grandma that the word “awesome” is essentially passe, and updated her lingo. This hip grandma now likes to say “I’m rad”. I think that’s rad on so many levels, not the least of which is that she refers to herself as awesome and rad (relates to my post from earlier this week, no?). These words actually feel like throwbacks from the nineties, and it’s fun to see them in active use now. I remember my college roommate liked to tell me how “stoked” she was about everything — do people still say that?

“That’s cool” has always been my go-to phrase, but what about you? Is there a particular slang that you tend to use to describe something interesting/great/delightful? Or one that used to roll off your tongue when you were younger and is no longer in general circulation?

I’ll keep the giveaway open until next Thursday, November 13th and will announce the winner the next day! Go for it, international folks (those of you in the US are always welcome to participate, naturally) – I love to learn about colloquialisms and slang in other countries. Good luck!

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Happy weekend to all!

It’s wicked awesome
to be part of this cool world
of groovy people

Monday Outfit: Werebear?

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Good morning, friends! I present you the down-to-the-wire, who-knows-what-the-heck-this-is costume. I cut out the main faux fur on Halloween eve, then petered out after an hour, and finally put it all together with additional fake fur trimming after school just in time for a 6:30pm trick-or-treat meet-up with friends. Despite my attempt to make a werewolf ensemble, when K tried on the in-progress costume, she exclaimed, “Oh, it looks like a bear! I love it!”

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I’ve decided to call it a werebear. Or maybe it’s a bobwolf, since the hat — which was something my mom brought for K a couple of years ago — looks bobcat-ish.

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This came together surprisingly quickly because it’s essentially faux fur pajamas. At this point, I can easily self-draft a long-sleeve tee and a pair of leggings in my sleep. The trickiest part was sewing the fur trim around the neck and sleeve cuffs (so, so, SO messy) and I worked my machine hard with all the bulky layers. I used the main fabric as the facing for the trim, and that worked like a charm. The neck trim is actually a backwards collar so that K can get her noggin in and out with ease — the trim wasn’t quite as stretchy as the main fabric.

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The fabric is super cool. It’s nice and stretchy like a regular knit and has all these scar-like designs that look almost burned/branded and I thought, “jackpot!” when I saw it. The texture is closer to velvet, but it’s decidedly fur-looking. I got it from here when the request was still a wolverine. I guess I imagined a cute yet battle-worn wolverine. I know, just go with it. I love how K decided to put the attached paws onto her feet up there.

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The tail elicited a lot of guffaws since it looks unmistakably like poo. I’d bought into the bear idea by the time the tail phase came up, so I cut out a circular piece of the main fabric, basted the perimeter and cinched it to create a rounded tail. The top is pretty long and could potentially cover my masterpiece of a hind end, so I positioned the tail lower than I normally would. The result, I must admit, was quite unfortunate.

werebear8Though the exact animal identification is dubious at best, K adores this costume and she wore the top all weekend. That’s always the best endorsement a sewing mama can experience. For a last minute hack job, I’m sort of preening with pride at how well it all turned out. An additional bonus was that the costume kept her warm while we dashed about the neighborhood collecting exorbitant amounts of candy (in fact, K complained that she was getting hot and sweaty).

The most memorable candy giver was a young couple with a folding card table set-up on a street corner. They weren’t dressed up or anything, and they hadn’t decorated the table, but had a nice bowl of candy available for the kids. They seemed genuinely impressed with all the costumes and had a kind word to say to every child. It was a bit confusing and sort of weird, but also charming. Sadly, torrential rains started about forty minutes after we started trick-or-treating, so the fun was cut short, but 2014 Halloween is done and done with success! Did you have a good one?

werebear10P.S. I’ve had yet another poor showing with KCW, but I’ve been enjoying the creations popping up around the interwebs. I think Meg and Dorie do such an amazing job of creating community — so inspiring! Goal: KCW Winter!

Sewing for Me: All About the Comfy

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Hudson, meet Renfrew. I’d planned on having these Hudson pants done last week as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel #6, but I already discussed my land-of-the-unicorns approach to my sewing output level (read: completely fantasy-based).

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But here we are, just a mere seven days later and voila, the comfiest lounge pants known to mankind. And look, I’m branching out and trying a new position other than my usual awkward standing. I give you awkward sitting.

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I love wearing these because they’re the very definition of relaxation, but I have to be honest…I don’t love how these look on me. I mean, check it out:

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I have these calves that would be called “daikon” in Japan, referring to large, napiform radishes (now there’s a vocabulary word for you). A rather unflattering moniker for bulbous calves, but sadly accurate. I fear that these so-called joggers highlight my stumpy legs and bulky calves. Not to mention my non-existent derriere.

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Gah.

I think I’m exacerbating the problem with the light grey knit (no idea what type it is). This is the kind of garment that should be made exclusively in black, at least for my body type. And I am going to have to make another pair because these are so darn comfortable. Maybe the shorter, capri version would work better — I will report back! Another tactic I might try is cutting one size smaller for the thigh area. I’d heard that this is extremely slim fitting so I went up a size to 10, but I think less bulk around my thighs would make the whole look more flattering. The pocket detail, by the way, is the denim knit I use all the time (e.g. here and here and here).

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Earlier this week, I posted a blurry shot of this stripey Renfrew top on instagram — hastily taken by K with my ipad — but I felt like it should be showcased a little better here. I’ve had this amazingly soft black-and-white striped sweater knit in my stash for some time, and though it was slated for K, I couldn’t resist using it for myself. K has already asked for a mini-me version. This is my second Renfrew top by Sewaholic (I haven’t shown you my first one yet), and I made some tweaks to improve the already great pattern. I lengthened the bodice by 2 inches, and also reduced the width for the sleeve cuffs and bottom band. The cuffs were too loose on my first Renfrew, and though I like the band looser just fine, I wanted to give this stripey version a slightly different look.

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If this outfit doesn’t say, “I’m not getting out of bed. Ever” I don’t know what does. Speaking of which, I think I might go take a nap.

 

 

 

Monday Outfit: Halloween Ninja

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Good morning, friends! Every year, I seem to end up making two Halloween costumes for K. This, I’ve realized, is because I never finish the main costume in time for the annual Halloween bash held at her school (which was this past weekend), so I resort to frantically sewing something quick and effortless.

Enter Ninja K.

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I’m quite impressed with K’s idea for origami ninja stars. I helped her make them, and we used the pinwheel instructions similar to this one since that’s what we happened to have in a little booklet, but there’s also a shuriken (ninja star in Japanese) tutorial online too. We wanted to add the extra badassness with the wristguards, but I’m now wondering if it seems as though she’s sporting two broken wrists. K expressed serious concern that she didn’t look like a girl; since female ninjas used to typically wear purple, we improvised with a purple flower barrette.

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The light blue criss-cross ties are actually fold over elastic. She thinks they’re beyond cool. In fact, she declared this the best costume I’ve ever made, though I’m still partial to the owl I made last year.

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I self-drafted the entire costume, and it’s rather slapdash and sloppy as far as costumes go. I didn’t even bother finishing any hems, edges, etc and the crossover top is safety-pinned together on the side. However, I’m pretty proud of the knickerbocker-like pants/leggings, which gives the costume an almost authentic vibe. Excuse the visible dust all over her socks and general garb — it’s the curse of black fabric.

The costume comprises five pieces (not including the FOE): The mask, a turtleneck tank, a crossover cardi, a sash and the leggings. It was a super fast project and I’m certain K will wear these regularly. Sometimes it feels like it’s the jankiest, least polished items I’ve made that she loves best.

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Anyhow, one costume down, one more to go! If anyone has any suggestions on how to make a werewolf costume with tattered dress pieces attached (to indicate that the werewolf used to be a girl), I’m all ears. We went from fancy-maid-girl to wolverine-in-a-fur-dress to girl-turning-into-werewolf. Although she’s indecisive, kudos for her originality…ninja star coming atcha:

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Sewing for Me: Perfect Pattern Parcel #6

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I hadn’t consciously planned on three tours in a row, but I’ve noticed that these opportunities to try non-Japanese patterns give me the much needed push to get me out of my sewing comfort zone and try something new. And when you combine a good educational cause with a bundle of patterns I’m eager to try like this Perfect Pattern Parcel #6, it’s all kinds of goodness.

I’ve been part of the Pattern Parcel round-up before here and here and here, and though they’ve all been great, this collection of indie designs is particularly appealing to me and includes:

I, of course, erroneously thought I would be able to sew the Julia Cardigan, Bronte Top and the Hudson Pants by today. Oh, and I thought I’d throw in the Syrah skirt and Zsalya Dress with the extra time I would surely have. I really need to stop overestimating my time management skills.
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I managed two Julia cardigans, though, and I love them! I’m confident that if a fabric store carries a fabric in a indigo + grey combo, I will sniff it out like a police hound, hyperventilate happily and unfailingly leave the store with at least a couple of yards. This polyester blend sweater knit is so soft and I’m gaga over the stripes, naturally. I sewed the version with the collar facing, and the additional fabric is so cozy and ideal for fall. The stuff is actually quite clingy and prone to rolled edges, so it wasn’t the easiest fabric to sew, but I’m so pleased with the end result. I believe I got the fabric from here.
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I’m not sure why my lower body is always in focus when I set the camera up to focus on my upper body, but my boots are cute, and I bet I’ll figure it out one day. I sort of wish I hadn’t worn such a body-hugging cami, but I was rushing to get photos in the dying light so I didn’t put a lot of consideration into the styling.
Anyway. The grey knit is textured with a subtle lace-like pattern. Super drapey and unlike the sweater knit, very easy to sew. I got it from here, and the bolt didn’t have any content info, but I suspect there’s a little bit of rayon and a lot of cotton.
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Because of the fluidity of this knit and because I didn’t use the facing, the collar has more of a cascading effect, which I like. It makes it seem more flirty and fun. I had in mind a 3/4 sleeve version (the stripey one is the longest sleeve length, which I actually had to chop a couple of inches), but I didn’t have quite enough of the grey knit. I do like that the simple shortening of sleeve length imparts a completely different look.
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I love love love polka dots, but now I remember why I rarely wear this RTW top: it looks like I smuggled one of K’s garments and threatens to be midriff-baring. Hmmmm….maybe I can lengthen it with a contrasting knit.
At any rate, like all excellent patterns that are easy to make, I want to fill my closet with Julia Cardigans! These are certain to be go-to items in my wardrobe for daily wear. And I’ll eventually sew up all the other patterns too…or so I say. Let me work on that time management thing.
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So here we go. Details about the Pattern Parcel:

How Pattern Parcel Works
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised over $12,000 for classrooms in need!

Bonus Pattern
Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #6 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That’s only $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll. Vintage inspired silhouette is had two flattering necklines and a gorgeous skirt. The Odette Dress pattern goes from a size 4 through a 24!

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win
Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Monday Outfit: E & E Ponderosa + (Slightly Modified) Hemlock

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Good morning! Any time Heidi of Elegance & Elephants asks me if I’d like to try out her patterns, it’s an automatic yes. Her designs are comfortable and stylish and the kind of garments that K actually wants to wear.

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“OH MY GOSH I LOVE IT,” is what K said when I presented her the Ponderosa dress. I’m a fan of the chartreuse double-knit combined with the muted bold stripes, and K is a fangirl too.

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The only part I didn’t follow exactly was the neckband attachment. I used my regular method of folding the band in half initially and sewing to the neck opening, then simply overlocking the raw edges.

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Do you like the pink shades? They are actually Nancy Drew stealth spyglasses — ordered via Scholastic Books — and it comes with an earpiece to enable eavesdropping. You have to stand right next to the people conversing to hear anything which renders the stealth part moot, but it’s been a major hit around here.

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The pattern is fantastic. Super easy to construct and the size 8 is spot-on for K. As you can see, I played with the stripes a bit, and the skirt is cross-grain so it might stretch out. That’s okay though — too long is always better than too short. This one is going to get a lot of love.

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Heidi generously provided me all three of her new patterns (Ponderosa Dress, Hemlock Top, Magnolia Skirt) and I had every intention to sew up all of them. Sadly, I could only manage the dress and top, but but two out of three ain’t bad.

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Some of you may recognize the tee fabric from my Skippy Dress. I had just barely enough left for the Hemlock top, and K was over the moon since she’s been coveting my dress fabric for some time. “Why do you always use the prettiest fabric for your own clothes, Mommy?” is a common phrase around here.

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I started sewing the top late at night, and I misread the instructions. This led to me basting the flutters with a zig zag stitch instead of a long basting stitch so I couldn’t gather the flutters. I abhor ripping out zig zag stitches from knits — thus, I decided to make them unfluttery flutters instead. A bit Star Trek, perhaps? The knits are all from here. Such a great little shop and the owner is so, so sweet.

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To me, it actually looks very hipster and I’m loving it. No idea what she’s doing up there.

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Again, K is smitten (for a while she refused to wear a lot of what I was making, so these recent approvals are heartwarming). Huzzah!

Good news: Heidi’s patterns are on sale ($1 off) with the coupon code TOUR until October 24th! Check out the shop here!

P.S. I’ll be posting on Thursday instead of Wednesday this week.

P.P.S. I finally took the plunge and gave K the book. Guess what she said? “I already know this, Mama.”  All that hemming and hawing for nuthin’…I guess she was just confused about the DNA part.

Franklin Dress + Tunic

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Happy Friday! There’s a new player in the indie pattern circuit, and I was excited to be invited to try out Brooklyn Pattern’s brand new offering: The Franklin Dress. Erin, the creator, has such a fascinating background (circus, ballet and opera costume designer!) and because I worked in theater for a while, I feel a kinship with her.

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The Franklin dress has a vintage-inspired feel with a pleated yoke and puffy sleeves, and it actually reminds me of the many Japanese patterns I’ve pumped out to date. So obviously, I love the style. And when you pair a pretty pattern with an equally pretty polka dotted cotton, well…I’d call it a winner.

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We had a prop situation in that K kept wanting to try different ones, so I apologize that there are so many photos (and blurry ones!) in advance. She insisted that I include them all, and I am nothing if not an obliging parent. We started with a glass tchotchke shaped like a Hershey’s kiss.

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franklin-dress11Then we tried a gold clutch to match the vintage gold buttons on her yoke.

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And we can’t forget the Scholastic book order form.

But this was her favorite:

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I love those metal letters. The Robert Kaufman dotty chambray is from here, and it’s the softest, loveliest cotton. I cut a size 8 for K, and it’s a little long, but I don’t mind. I read through the instructions which were pretty clear (but maybe some steps were missing?). However, I find that I like to do things my own way these days, and I didn’t set in the sleeves but used my usual cheater method; I also basted the yoke and facing together to keep things tidy as I sewed. All in all, the whole dress came together easily. One other thing you may or may not have noticed…my pleats are facing outward instead of inward and this was purely my personal preference. Sometimes I get nitpicky about stuff like that.

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And hey, why stop at just sewing the dress? I felt like a dose of color was in order, and wanted to see how quickly I’d be able to sew this if I eliminated the pleats as well as the pockets (which are part of the black dress, but I couldn’t get good shots of her showing them off), shortened the sleeves and made it into a tunic. Can you guess? 1 hour and 44 minutes. I was a speedster because I only had an hour and forty-five minutes before I had to go pick up K. Got it done in the nick of time.

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I’m not sure how long the black dress took. I did a rare thing and worked on it little by little over a four-day period — I never do this, because I’m impatient and want to get it all done in one fell swoop. It was actually super stress-free and very enjoyable. It was fun to speed sew this tunic too, though.

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I’m liking the Franklin pattern! Oh, the cute apple fabric was K’s find. Perfect for fall!

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K made that necklace out of buttons she filched from my stash. She got sort of psychobabbly with her interpretation of what each button meant: “The green turtle is for envy, the purple is for magical emotions, the pink elephant is for happiness…”

Anyway. Erin is offering a giveaway! Here’s the Rafflecopter snazziness, and it sounds as though you might need to “like” her facebook page? That world is a mystery to me. If you’d like to enter the giveaway, here it is:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ve inundated you with enough words and images for today so I’ll bid you adieu and am wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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