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SEWN : BLACK JUMPSUIT MCCALLS 6083

4.14.2014


Last fall I made most of this jumpsuit and put it in the pile of UFOs because it was starting to feel like a ridiculous idea.  You may remember this post when I talked about it.  Well, this weekend I had a birthday and wanted to wear something new and fun to celebrate in.  I knew that I didn't have the time to make something brand new, so I picked this up for another try instead.  And I am so glad that I did!  I know that many are against the romper trend, but I have been converted.  I felt cute, on trend, and super comfy all day.


The base pattern is McCalls 6083.  As you can see I made a few changes including shortening the legs to make them mid calf, tapering the legs, and adding elastic to the bottom.  I think these changes just make it less formal, and more practical for my daily wear.  I also think that the shortened length allow it to extend further into the warmer months.


The fabric is my favorite bamboo knit from Mood fabrics.  As always it's soft, has a great drape, and thick enough for good coverage.  I think that black is a good intro for me into the world of rompers.  I think it adds a dose of maturity to the silhouette.  The pattern says that you can use a woven fabric as well, but personally I think it would be nearly impossible to get in and out of it in a woven.


I think this is actually a pretty great pattern.  I love the cross of the top and short kimono sleeves.  I could see adding a shirt to the top for a great summer dress.

ps check out that weird stairway to no where behind me.  Such a mystery.

DIY LEGGINGS ROUNDUP

4.09.2014


Leggings - such a polarizing subject.  How many times have I seen a friend's facebook statis say something like "Leggings are not pants people!"  I know where this is coming from.  There are many potential fashion emergencies.  Such as the nude legging which causes you a double take, the light colored legging on a hot day creating an unfortunate sweat line right between the cheeks, or the thin legging revealing every outline of the obviously darker underwear.  Despite these things I proudly put myself in the "Leggings are Pants" club.

What would I have done without the leggings trend pre and post both of my babies?  It saved me.  And I still wear them a lot.  I have a few loose rules for wearing leggings (please note that these are my rules and I completely support others breaking them :).  First I like to pair them with a top that covers my behind (for obvious reasons).  Second, when sitting or kneeling you should never be able to see my skin through them.  If so I layer them with a second pair.  Third, only dark or busy prints.  This hides a lot - whether it be underwear lines, fat rolls, dimples or sweat.  So there you have it.  Take it or leave it.

I made these leggings up for my daughter and I just because I loved the fabric and it was cheap.  I don't usually think it's worth my time to make leggings since they are so cheap to buy, but I've also found it a good use for knits in the stash.  The fabric came from Fabric.com and I think they are sold out.  Unfortunately it's not a nice quality and it already starting to pill :(  I used a pair of current leggings that fit well and just used those as a pattern.  I think this a really good option for most, but there are also lots of great tutorials and patterns out there as well.  Here are a few to check out :


Virginia Leggings by Megan Nielsen - I hear these are worth it and fit with no adjustments.  Seems worth $12 to me.

Make Your Own DIY Leggings Tutorial by Randomly Happy

Drafting and Sewing Leggings by One Little Minute Blog

Super Simple Leggings (kids) by Make it Love it


So there you go.  Do you support wearing leggings as pants?  Do you ever sew them up or is it not worth your time?

REVIEW : KIMONO TOP BY SALME PATTERNS

4.03.2014


When Elisa of Salme patterns offered to let me try out one of her patterns I immediately knew that I wanted to try her kimono top.  I have a pretty straight forward daily mom uniform these days which includes skinny jeans and a flowy top so I knew that I would get a lot of use out of this one.


I made it up with some silk that I bought from Paron fabrics here in NYC.  It's a panel print so I knew that I needed to make something without a center front seam and immediately thought of this pattern.  I forgot how much I love wearing silk.  It is so nice on the skin and breathes so much better than it's polyester alternative.


I didn't make any changes to the pattern except for making it into a v neck instead of a scoop.  The fit is nice and flowy so it's pretty hard to go wrong.  I love the fold up sleeve on this pattern and always wondered how it all came together so there was a nice learning element there as well.  It just adds a nice detail to an otherwise simple top.

The only negative that I can think of is that her patterns do not come with seam allowances.  This is not my favorite, but I am getting used to it.  That being said there are so few pattern pieces that it wasn't a big deal.  I want to make this again in a few basic colors like black and white for practical wear.  It really is a great staple piece and an excellent make for the warmer weather coming.

OUT AND ABOUT DRESS BLOG TOUR

3.26.2014



I was one of the lucky ladies to try out the Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline for the blog tour of her new pattern.  It has been so fun to watch Caroline's blog progress over the last few months as she has released her first pattern and fabric line.  I couldn't be more excited for her success.

When I saw the Out and About Dress pattern I immediately remembered that I had this similar dress pinned on my inspiration board from Curator so I decided to go ahead and try to make my own version.


I did make a few changes to make the dress more like my inspiration.  I lowered the back neckline by about 4 inches into a dip.  I just thought it was a little bit more youthful feeling.  I also chose an in-between length for the skirt - more midcalf - instead of maxi or knee length.  I omitted the band at the bottom of the sleeve and added about 10 inches to both the front and back skirt panels for more gathering and width.


The fabric is my favorite bamboo knit from Mood fabrics in NYC.  I have used this fabric for so many projects.  It has a gorgeous drape and weight to it and washes up really well without pilling.  I'm a big fan.


I love my Out and About Dress.  It's so versatile and easy to wear.  Every version that I have seen has been so different and specific to the sewers taste.  After seeing Adventures in Dressmaking's gray version I want to sew one just like it for everyday wear.  If you want to see all of the other Out and About Dresses on the blog tour then check out these links:

Adventures in Dressmaking
Four Square Walls
Alida Makes
Paisley Roots
Lexie Made
Sewing Like Mad
A Golden Afternoon
Lladybird
House of Pinero

IS FABRIC DESIGN THE NEW THING?

3.19.2014


I remember just two years ago first discovering the small world of indie pattern makers.  I found Megan Nielsen and Grainline at about the same time and I was seriously blown away.  I thought that it was the most brilliant idea that I had ever heard of and I couldn't wait to dive into this new community.  Now, just a couple of years later, there are more indie pattern companies than I could name.  There are companies geared to men, lingerie, rockabilly, modern, children, and every other niche you could think of.  They cater to every skill level from complete beginner to couture.  I love supporting indie pattern makers and I say the more the merrier.

In the last few months I feel like I am seeing another avenue open up for home sewers and sewing bloggers.  It seems like we are desiring to not only have custom patterns, but also be able to create the fabric to go with it.  As some one who agonizes over finding the perfect fabric for a project - and seems to have a hard time finding it - I am super excited about this.  I think that this is a trend that is going to continue to grow as companies become more aware of the growing home sewing community and the desire to have fabrics geared towards our tastes.  Here are some of the recent happenings that I've noticed in the way of fabric design:

Cotton + Steel : I watched their vimeo story about a month ago and felt so inspired.  They launch their first line of fabrics in May as a collaboration of 5 designers with RJR fabrics.  They seem to have a rockabiliy vibe to their designs and from what I can tell will mostly be producing cottons.

Art Gallery Fabrics - AGF announced earlier this month that they are creating a Limited Edition run of fabrics in collaboration with three sewing bloggers/patternmakers.  While most of these fabrics are printed as quilting cottons I was really excited to hear that they are also releasing some of their designs in knits and voile too.  I hear that they are going to continue this collaboration with other designers in the future.

By Hand London - This young and hip company once purely created sewing patterns but just recently announced that they will also be selling custom print on demand fabric.  They have great taste so I can only imagine that their fabric is going to be killer.  They launched a kickstarter campaign to buy their own digital printer.  You can read more about it and contribute here.

Spoonflower - While they are by no means new to the scene I can only imagine that with the new competition they will continue to expand and find ways to connect with their audience.  In fact I noticed that they just added a new lightweight modern jersey fabric option.  I have found some really amazing designs while exploring their archives and I love that they offer silk in addition to other fabrics.

As excited as I am about the options above, I still think that there is plenty of room in the market especially for modern, less feminine designs in apparel fabrics such as silk, rayon challis and linen.  I can't wait to see this industry expand and see what is next.

How about you guys?  Have you noticed this new trend starting as well?  Are you excited about these new collaborations?  Have you ever tried custom fabric before?