Archer, Grown Up Style!

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o, Grainline Studio's Archer has become my most made pattern. After making my flannel and then reading Andrea's tutorial on changing the neckline I have completely fallen in love.
It's one of those staple patterns that can make you look like a comfy relaxed person or a put together classic chic person with a simple fabric and button change. As you know I am rarely drawn to bright colors, maybe it was my red hair that made me shy away from wearing brights. My grey hair is a different story. I have a thing for this bright orangish red color. Not only did I make this shirt in it, on a shopping trip with my friend I found a pair of skinny trousers that are the exact same color and have gold zippers at the ankle for $2! Thank you JCPenny!
It's just such a simple silhouette I don't feel overwhelmed by wearing a bright color. The fabric is a lightweight polyester that has a drape and softness to die for! It was harder to work with than my flannel, but I wanted to step up my closet, you know grown up style and junk.
The buttons I used are gold and textured; adding that extra oomph a dressy shirt needs. I don't work out of the home so there is no point in creating some "go to work clothes." But I do like to look nice when I go to church, or meet up with friends.
 Pattern: Grainline Archer, Fabric: Lava Silk, Buttons: Gold Shank Buttons
Do you have a color or pattern you're drawn to lately? Perhaps a texture? I have a feeling that texture's are going to be really big this year!

Sew The Show: Nessa Stein Style

 

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have to tell you Alida from Alida Makes has come up with such a great idea, it combines my two passions: Sewing & TV! February's pick for Sew the Show was The Honourable Woman, which was a great little mini series and it features one of my celebrity girl crushes Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Now Nessa Stein is all about that business, and pleats! I think the most notable takeaway from her wardrobe was the perfectly pleated and pressed pieces. I chose BurdaStyle's pleated pants which was surprisingly quick to sew. It helps that there is no zip fly, just a side zipper and I have to thank my Ginger Jeans for giving me the confidence to whip these up.
The fabric is a stash blast! This very light/almost see through cotton/ linen blend was pretty easy to work with. Ironing was a different story. I pressed and steamed these pants right before taking pictures and, well you can see that they wrinkle pretty badly. But that's the story of linen I guess.
Because they are so light weight, they aren't suitable for our current weather, below freezing. They'll have to be put away until Spring.
The shirt pattern is Spit Up & Stilettos Isabella Tank, WHICH IS FREE! Get over there and download now before she realizes that she's too talented to be giving these patterns away! The fabric is also part of my stash blast, so you get 2 stash blasts in 1 post, woohoo! I love the cut out of this shirt, I do need to find a lower bra to wear with it, or at least make a cute one or something.
 I used ric-rack to make my closure, because I was too lazy to make a button loop out of real fabric! Just being honest. I think this would be a great shirt pattern to make into a comfy summer dress. I'd definitely have to grade out on the hips. And I wish that this pants pattern would have had welted pockets.

How to Line a Bodice w/o Handstitching

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an, does this picture make me wish for Summer. I am a big fan of half-assery! I figure if there is a technique that I can do that requires less time and gets the same if not better result it's worth learning.
If you've sewn any dress pattern where it is fully lined I'm sure you've seen "hand stitch shoulder seam closed." Well here is a trick/ technique to avoid hand stitching all together!. 
 Stitch all bodice pieces together, my zipper was positioned in the back.
 Do the same with your lining.
 Lay lining on top of your bodice right sides together and pin an 1" away from each shoulder seam
 stitch necklines and armholes stopping at each pin, this is very important
 trim your seam allowance or notch it to get a nice clean curve. with your bodice laying flat, turn the front piece of your bodice right side out, but leave the back bodice.
 next take the right side of your bodice and insert it into the right side of your back bodice, lining up the shoulder seams and pin lining to lining and your outer fabric to your outer fabric
 stitch these pieces together
 next pull your bodice further through your shoulder seam until you see stitches, now you will stitch the seams closed across your shoulder seam.
 fold it right side out and iron
It's so clean looking and no worries of hand stitches not holding up to the rigorous child's play. . I've found it's best to do the step by step while sewing, because some things are just easier to understand when you're own hands are working it.
Now to work the zipper in all you do is fold your lining out of the way and stitch it to your shell, then fold the lining down, fold in the raw edges around the zipper and top stitch close to the zipper. voila! Hope that speeds up your sewing time and if you're having a hard time following the steps feel free to leave a comment or message me.

Valentines Day Handmade Lingerie


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figure since Valentines Day is so close I can justify sharing my handmade underthings on the blog today! Amy at Cloth Habit rolled out her first pattern inspired by 70's lingerie. I have to admit that I had completely written off the idea of sewing underwear and bras. I figured it was too hard, and a bit too personal. Why would someone sew something that they can't show off? Well my tune has completely 180ed.
First off she does such a great job of walking you through, especially with the sew a long, Thank God for her tutorial on sewing in elastic. Second there is something special about making a piece only you know about. I mean come on, who doesn't feel like a sexy beast in a matching lace set?
Also it is surprisingly cheap to make. you need 1/8th of a yard to make a bra! The notions can be a bit pricy, but if you buy neutral and in bulk it's not too bad. You just dye it as you see fit. My straps, closure and elastic were originally white, I bought black rite dye and they turned out the most perfectly matching blue I can't even believe it. Especially since I was going for black!
But my absolute favorite part is I'm able to make something that fits me perfectly. It may take a couple trial and errors but that's okay, because once you find that right size you're set! No more $40 Victoria Secret bras! No more having to awkwardly get measured by random people!  So I have to ask, what are your feelings on this sewing movement of handmade lingerie?

Fantastic Floral Ginger Jeans

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ello fancy floral jeans! This is the beast that broke my machine, There were tension problems with the topstitching thread and regular thread that sent my poor machine all the way to Kansas. Not really that far, but it stinks that there is no local place. Thankfully it was covered under warranty and my machine is back where it belongs!
I love these jeans, LOVE them! I am a huge fan of florals, I think i can brainwash people into thinking that florals are a basic, right? After my first pair of gingers, I felt the need to ramp it up a bit. So after eying this stretch twill for the better half of a year, I finally decided to get it. I'm so glad I did! One thing I worried about was how many outfits I could actually get out of a pair of floral jeans, without looking like I'm trying too hard. I came up with 3 outfits for real life. This first one is date night. We don't really go fancy when we do go out. usually to the movies, or to hang out with friends.
I feel a black leather jacket could be the finishing touch to this ensemble!
Then we have book club. Yes I do book club. We are not reading Theodore Roosevelt's Autobiography, this is just one of my favorite old books that my grandparents gave me. I have started reading it, it's slow going but it does make me feel like a smarty pants!
And then there is the daily "pulled together" mom outfit. The one you wear when you want people to think that you're above sweatpants and tees, when really its the first in seven days you've put on regular people clothes. These pants are comfy and soft enough that I do forget I'm wearing real pants. Plus pattern mixing is a lot of fun!
This is my "I hear ruckus in the next room stance." Children don't you know I'm trying to look all modely and junk? I think the key to this pattern balance is all in the shoes. I tried it on with a pair of heeled boots but there was so much cover up and stuff going on it looked heavy. I think the pointed toe flats give it a simplicity, and I like simple.
So these are my fancy pants. I do love how they turned out and I've loved the challenge that comes with finding the perfect fit but maybe I'll take a break from big projects for a bit, and do a couple smaller ones. So I have to ask, Are you a floral person or is there another pattern you're drawn to?

January Stash Blast

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ow this is my kind of white shirt. It's bellowy, and relaxed. I was hoping to actually share this in January but first week of February isn't bad. The day we took these photos it was 50 degrees in January, now it's snowing and Adelle has her 2nd snow day of the week. I guess that's Nebraska for you!
The pattern is Vogues 1367, I love it! No closures, except for the button cuffs on the sleeves, and that could easily be left out.There are no shoulder seams which I think is just a great little detail. The fabric I used was from my stash! Well actually from Brett's grandma's stash. I've had it for over 4 years and who knows how long Grandma Jan had it. It's a very loose weave, almost an eyelet linen which will transition perfectly come spring.
This shirt was made during Adrian's naptime. I may have left the hem to do in the evening, but it was the perfect project after being so involved with the Russian coat!
This is my favorite trick to hemming things perfectly and quickly. No ironing required!
There is such a freedom that comes with taking pictures wearing sunglasses. No worries about squinting, or awkwardly looking at the camera. While we were taking these pictures I'd say hello to anyone who walked by. I figured if I acknowledged the sideways glances I wouldn't seem so weird, turned out it had the opposite effect, all well. So have you made something from your stash yet? If so please share on Instagram, hashtag: stashblast15 or join the Flickr group!

The Houndstooth coat

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an, I was doing pretty good sharing each week and staying on schedule until...my machine broke and had to be sent in for service, then the whole family came down with the flu. Finally yesterday I felt up to doing more than just sitting my ass on the couch and watching episode after episode of Friends & Poirot. I guess that's the way to end the first month!
I feel so chic in my new houndstooth coat! I mean seriously, I made a coat! If that's not impressive enough for you the pattern, which is free, is in Russian and came with no instructions! Putting the shell together wasn't too hard, This loosly woven houndstooth was kinda hard to work with. I forgot to put pockets in at first so I tried to tear the side seam out to put them in and it did not like me after that. I immediately put down my seam ripper and just stitched my little side seam hole back up. Who needs pockets anyway!
I love the simplicity in the coat, no collar, no buttons! I shortened the sleeves of the pattern to create  more of a 60's silhouette and of course took the whole thing up a few inches, I think 6".
FULLY LINED! I did my first "bag the lining" thanks to Jen from Grainline, I feel like an advertisement for her but she just has all the tailoring techniques I currently need and she explains it in a way I can wrap my mind around. I also had to draft the lining from scratch, yet again, Grainline has a tutorial for that!
Originally I had planned on just using a grey lining, but Amber from So I Sewed This asked me what lining I was going to use which made me realize that plain ole lining was just not going to do it for this awesome graphic coat! I mean, what's the point of handmade if it's boring? The lining is a floral rayon challis and was a little more than I would usually spend on something no one will really see, but I LOVE it!
I love this coat so much that I actually handstitched the lining at the hem to keep it neat and get this, I actually enjoyed it!
All in all I love the finished product. I feel like I made a nice dressy coat that will last more than just a season, and fits well. Plus I feel so fancy with my leather gloves!This coat has added about 4 other coats to my list of want to makes. I'm such a fan of online tutorials but I have to ask, When you want to learn a new technique do you reach for the computer or a book? Which book or website?