White Archer

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think besides the Little Black Dress, the crisp collared white button up is the item every fashion magazine says is a necessity to a wardrobe. I'll be honest, I disagree.
 I have yet to pull this shirt out of my closet to wear anywhere. Maybe it's the fact that it's white and I'm afraid of messy little hands, or my amazing ability to spill whenever I wear something white. Or that I prefer a little more relaxed look, over the starched collared shirt. I jokingly tell my husband that I'm uptight about my appearing to be laid back, which is funny because it's true. And maybe that's my problem with the shirt, I feel it reflects a perfectionist nature rather than a "go with the flow" kind of vibe. Get'n deep here!
 I do feel a little better with the sleeves rolled up rather than like Dwight from The Office with them cuffed and buttoned. Even while writing this post I feel restricted looking at the pictures, and I'm not even wearing the button up right now.
So what say you? Necessity or just nice to have?  If you have some outfit ideas I'd love to hear them. It'd be nice to get some use out of this shirt.

Archer Week: Buffalo Plaid

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live in this shirt! Probably one of my most worn makes, It's just so warm and comfortable. We've been having oddly warm January weather, Nebraska is kind of known for it being 50 degrees one day and 0 degrees the next. Yay for mid-west living. 
This button up is perfect for this temperature change though. I can wear it under a heavy knit cardigan and my coat when I take Adelle to school in the morning and then by itself in the warm afternoon.
Blue is a great color for any skin tone and with my affinity for anything buffalo check there was no way I was going to pass up on this flannel. My favorite detail however is the collar stand facing which is a cotton shirting. I love the touch of bright next to my face. It goes well with my lipstick don't you think?
 Ignore the rumpled sleeves. I spend most of my day with my face in a coffee cup, I'm not even kidding. I also don't trust people who don't drink coffee. I mean, where do you get all that energy? And why don't you like coffee?
Besides the obvious shortening of the shirt and sleeves that I always have to do I graded the sizing from the smallest size in the shoulders to a 4 after the armhole. This is my first time grading, I never even thought about this idea which now that I know I can do that, I do it to everything!I have no clue why it took me so long to get this technique but it is just one step closer to a custom fitted wardrobe!
 Pattern: Archer, Fabric: Not Available, but black & blue flannel, buttons: shirt buttons
I love the bias back, and I feel I did a damn good job matching up those checks! Grainline Studio has a tutorial on how to get a perfect line up every time. The trick is in the underarm.
Out of all the patterns I have, including Burdastyle magazine patterns, this has to be my most revisited thus far. So This Buffalo plaid flannel is my kick off to what I'm deeming Archer Week. Come back Wednesday to see a different version. Until then, enjoy the nice weather.

Stash Blast Challenge

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s I shared earlier, I have a freakish amount of fabric and I want to not only contain it but actually use it. So each month I'm going to do at least 1 project that is strictly stashed fabric. I'm not going to limit myself to only using my stash because I feel like that's a good way to end up with a bunch of makes that I'll never wear. It's just unrealistic. If you'd like to join me in this challenge and share your makes join me on Instagram with the hashtag #stashblast15. If you despise instagram, no judgement, then there is also a flickr group. I'm looking forward to this making challenge and seeing what you've been squirreling away!

Free Leather Pencil Skirt Pattern

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on't mind me, I'm just kicking ass and taking names in my awesome leather pencil skirt. Okay, well I at least feel like I'm kicking ass in it! I've been ogling leather skirts on Pinterest for the better part of this winter. I originally wanted to make a pleated olive green skirt but you'd be amazed at how hard it is to find that color in vinyl leather, let alone one made for apparel! This fabric is actually a leather coating from Hancock fabrics and it has just enough stretch for movement and accentuating curves.
The best part, the pattern is free! FREE! Republique Du Chiffon was one of my many french blogs/ pattern makers that I've been google translating and gushing over. Her patterns are very minimalist. Which is great for leather, It can only bend so much. I love the style lines of this skirt and it didn't take long or a lot of fabric to piece it together. I chose to topstitch each panel, just an extra step to up the anti in my book.
This is the first pencil skirt I've made or even worn that doesn't flare out because of my bum and it's all about the way the pattern pieces are curved. That kick pleat is a God send, especially when trying to get in and out of a mini van! I'm still amazed that this pattern is free. There are so many possibilities with it. If you wanted to add even a little more stretch to it you could do a thick ribbed knit on the sides. it'd be a great texture mix. You could even go for an exposed metal zipper, accent it with a neon color.
Keep in mind that this pattern does not have instructions to it. I've translated (to the best of my ability using google translate & deciphering cursive handwriting) the pattern pieces. So here you go: There are no instructions her handwriting is hard to read and the pieces are labeled in french
Milieu Dos: Center Back
Cote Dos: Side Back
Entre Deux Dos: are the back pieces that are between the center back and side back
Cote Devant: Side Front
Milieu Devant: Middle Front (cut this one on fold where it says pli au tissu
Entre Deux Devant: are the front pieces that are between the center front and the side front
Cenforme Devant: Front facing (cut on fold)
Enforme Dos: Back facing
If you know French and if I am completely off, please leave a comment so I can fix it. 
 Sweater: Thrifted, Skirt: Handmade, Shoes: Ninewest, Necklace: Forever21
I'm claiming this skirt as a solid basic. I looked for a few different ways to wear it and I was surprised to find so many ideas that kept it polished and even, dare I say it, work appropriate! Or in my case church appropriate since that's really the only place I go dressed up.  I also wanted to see if I would be able to carry it into my spring wardrobe, and I have to say it transitions quite nicely!
I made a Colette Sorbetto from some floral fabric I had left over. It ended up being a little short for me but it's the perfect length for a high-waist pencil skirt. the mixture of leather and floral makes me feel like a fashion ninja. I know that combo isn't a new concept but it opens up a whole new world of possibilities when you go beyond just color matching but think about texture, pattern, etc.


So what about you? Is there a combo you've been wanting to try?


Sewing Room Sweet Sewing Room


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esterday we were lucky enough to have a snow day and it was so nice not to have to venture out into the freezing cold at all. We spent our day at home tooling around relaxing. It was just what we needed.
today I wanted to share my sewing room with you guys. We've been in this house for about a year and a half and what sold us on it was the basement area. There is enough room for the kids to have their play area that houses their toys and Brett and I are able to have our own offices.
Our hobbies take up a lot of room. Brett with his painting, guitars and gaming and me with my overflowing fabric stash and sewing machines. I love being able to have my own space, organize it and decorate it and close the door when I don't feel like picking up my mess at the end of an intense sewing session, like when I sewed my zipper in wrong on my ginger jeans!
 This $25 bookcase has saved my sanity! I used to have two rickety organizers stacked on top of each other, until my fabric stash started leaning and knocked them over. I can't believe it took me so long to get it, but I'm glad I finally did!
As you can see I've kept things very neutral, partly because I love me some clean minimalist whiteness but it makes it easier to focus on what I'm working on, especially when I'm staring at a bright color or intense print.
Everything is in arms reach from my sewing table. I would hate to waste such precious time on something so obnoxious as getting out of my chair. : )
 I keep my fabric stash in a sideways turned bookshelf. It's the perfect height to house those small bolts inside and the taller one's on top. I love having my fabric at an easy view point. It's accessible and keeps me from buying more fabric than I already do. You don't even want to know how much fabric is stashed in the closet! If you're looking for a way to organize your stash, ask your fabric store for bolts.
 One of my favorite new additions to this sewing room are these clipboards. Target had them for a buck so I have 3 matching ones that hold prints and paintings that inspire me. This one is called Her Favorite Book by Pino and the colors are so inviting. I love the simple elegance she has. There's a print that says "Creatives are not competition." Which is of course the mindset I want to have this year as I shared with you guys on Monday.
 This little eleveated desk houses my Singer and my Bernina serger. I love the height of the desk because it helps me have better posture. It was also a free antique that Brett's mom gave to me. The veneer needs to be fixed on it but all in all I love it.
 If there is one thing that every sewing room needs, besides a sewing machine, it's the cutting table. It's just a simple dining table that was thrifted that I painted the legs with a metallic gold and the table top white. I cut at this, iron, write posts, etc. I love being able to spread everything out without the back ache that comes with crouching on the floor.
I want to do a faux brick wall in my sewing room, and I've found some great tutorials. I think it would warm/cozy it up a bit and give it a nice focal point.
last is the corner where my hair chair sits. I do a few friends' hair on occasion and I love having a designated spot to do so. The mirror is from what used to be called Garden Ridge but is now At Home. I think it'll look great hanging on a brick wall!
So there you have it, here is my sewing space, my hide away. I know it's not always possible to have a room dedicated to your hobby so I really appreciate it. The things I've learned while putting it together is: paint can help incorporate any random thrifted piece. a tile floor is perfect for a pin dropper like me, and creating a room with lots of light, organization and where you feel inspired is key to nurturing creativity. Hope that didn't seem too cheesy but I honestly LOVE my sewing room!

First Pair of Ginger Jeans

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oo bad I'm not a ginger anymore! so, I made jeans. FRACKING JEANS! I'll admit that all the talk about the crotch curve and the fear of having to adjust it 1/4" at a time had me a little nervous to try them but Heather from Closet Case Files did an amazing job creating this pattern! I haven't heard one bad thing about it and seeing all the bloggers who've made their own pairs made me want to give it a go.
This is my first pair of ginger jeans, well technically 2nd. I made a muslin but my denim ended up having more stretch than the muslin fabric so I had to go down a size. They also ended up twisting in the leg. I tried to take them in and fix the twisting but they ended up looking tight, lumpy and wonky all at the same time.
First time I did the zip fly, I took my time, got the top stitching perfect and then realized I put the zipper in backwards. ugh! I had to tear everything out and fix it. I wasn't as neat the second time. Thankfully I used black top-stitching thread so my flaws wouldn't show. I used the same wishbone cotton fabric that I used for Adelle's First Day dress for the inside of the waistband; kind of as an ode to wishful thinking. I don't like that it shows so I think next time I make them I'll use denim fabric for the facing.
I had to shorten the length by 4 1/2".  I also altered the width of the legs to be more of a skinny jean. I'm going to grade down to the next size in the leg with my next pair because I feel like the knees and inner thigh are still a bit baggy; however the waist and butt fit perfectly.
I mean really? Look at that pocket placement! I moved them up about 1/2" from the pattern. I love having control of where my pockets go, they can make or break a pair of jeans.
I chose to skip the rivets. My reasoning was one of my favorite RTW pairs doesn't have rivets and I wanted a dressier pair of jeans. I have denim to make a pair of blue jeans and I'll be adding rivets to those.  I also have a great floral denim that I've been eying for over a year and now that I've got my first pair in my back pocket (get it!) I'm a little more confident in it.
 Shirt:Handmade Hemlock Tee, Jeans: Handmade Ginger Jeans, Shoes: Target, Watch: Target, Necklace: Forever21

If jeans are on your list of challenge makes for this year, I have a few suggestions:
Get the ginger jean pattern and follow Heather's sew-a-long! When stitching the inseam & outer side seam start from the bottom hem and work your way up the leg, this will help with twisting. And be patient with yourself!
I was so disappointed in myself when my first pair hadn't turned out that I had almost resolved to just give jeans up. I looked at a few different blogs while obsessing over jean making and one, can't remember which, said to be patient with yourself when trying something new and that sometimes it can take 2-3 times to get the fit right. I think that is honestly my goal this year is to be patient with myself and others.

My other goal this year is to not view other Creatives as competition. I feel like it's been wired into my brain to always compete with others, maybe it's the whole survival of the fittest thing. Sewing the ginger jeans and seeing what others had made and hearing encouragement from them was a wonderful reminder at how supportive the sewing community really is. I've connected with so many different people sharing my process on instagram and seeing their projects. Reading comments and recommendations seeing sewing plans and fabric choices. I've really loved the connections and I'm excited to see what we have in store for this new year!
So what's your challenge project this year?

Free Patterns For Good Basics

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ood morning, I hope all is well after the Holiday binge and you've got clothes on the mind. I wanted to talk goals today, specifically for the New Year. I made a decision in December to overhaul my closet and simplify and it has been such a blessing and motivation for sewing. I've got my main list of Makes which include an LBD, pants, shirts, even a few coats but I wanted to share a list of FREE Indie Patterns for some much needed basics with you guys.

Honestly if you offer me a free pattern to try out, I will most likely come back and buy one of your patterns, what a brilliant marketing tactic. SO if you're looking at your ready to wear and thinking of making a few things for daily wear here are 8 Patterns from 8 majorly awesome Indie pattern makers! The best part about these patterns is that they are just that. Fully drafted patterns!
First up is one of my favorites, The Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio. I've made 3 of these. two long sleeve and one short. I only have 1 left in my closet, I spill a lot, but if you're looking for a great boxy, off the shoulder seam shirt this is it!
Another long sleeve, but more fitted tee is the Tonic Tee from Skinny Bitch, Curvy Chick. This is a basic crew neck long sleeve tee and she offers it in a short sleeve as well. I bet you could pinterest a tutorial on how to turn it into a V neck easily enough. I have yet to make this one, but it is in my pattern folder and on my list.
Looking for a scoop neck tee? Try Deer & Doe's Plantain top. I've made two. It's a great pattern for those with a pear shape since it flares out a bit at the hem. I love the elbow patch detail!
If you're thinking ahead to Spring & Summer or in need of some sleeveless shirts to wear under your cardigans or blazers there is the famous Sorbetto top from Colette Patterns and the Polly Top from By Hand London. I've done a couple different versions of the Polly Top, including one in knit. I actually don't have any of them in my Wardrobe now so I may need to bust out some Rayon Challis and whip one up. I have yet to try the Sorbetto top but that front pleat is such a polished detail and Colette patterns are known for their tailored look.
For a bonus, The ladies behind Colette just launched their own Magazine called Seamwork and if you sign up for a subscription they offer 3 patterns with each issue! Pretty nice!
Looking for a good tank top dress pattern? Well Megan Nielsen offers up Eucalypt Tank Top and Dress pattern! I have not used this pattern but it's on my list for Summer Sewing! You could easily make a loose tank maxi dress by simply lengthening the pattern!

Now lets talk about the basic that you could always use more of, Underwear! Cloth Habit has a hip hugger pattern that is so easy and fast to make. I made these Rosy Lady Shorts in under and hour. the hardest part was finding stretch lace but if you shop online She'll show you where to look. I'm really looking forward to reading her Sew-A-Long for her new Watson Bra, and perhaps trying my hand at it after I get some of my other items checked off my list.

Madalyne offers a bikini underwear pattern named Amerson as well. I haven't tried it out but I have plenty of random knits lying about in my stash of left overs I might as well try it out, right? Think of all the cute prints you could have!

All of these items can be made pretty quickly, especially if you have a serger. And if you're looking for an easy project between those harder ones these patterns are like instant gratification. I love being able to in the same day decide I want a new shirt and just make one! Would love to know if you have any favorite basic patterns, especially if they're free!