CaliFaye's Back To Basics

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e've been having the most random weather lately. In one day it'll go from 60 and sunny to snowing. Adelle keeps asking me if it's Summer yet and my mind has been overflowing with landscaping ideas. I am ready for Summer!
CaliFaye just released their basics pattern line and I was lucky enough to be a tester. I got to try out the tank and the drop waist skirt. She's made a couple changes to the patterns since testing them so there are a few tweaks but the ideas are the same.
These pieces sewed up nicely. Perfect for a person who's just starting to explore handmade wears you really get a chance to learn some basics. The tank used bias binding for the armhole and neckline and as for the skirt it has an invisible zip. I used a very stretchy Bengaline so the zipper wasn't really necessary for my fabric, but if you used a cotton or challis you'd need it.
I think for a piece to be considered a basic it has to be able to incorporate well with pieces you already own. Since the silhouettes are so simple you can really go crazy with fabric choices or embellishments.
I rarely wear skirts, especially skirts that can easily be blown by the wind. If I did this skirt over I'd make it longer, just for that reason. And perhaps not periwinkle. I feel like a little kid in it. I think if I would have done it in a dark plum, or charcoal grey it'd be more up my alley. I did have fun playing with embroidery stitches and adding a little character to the hem. It made it feel that much more summery.
To be honest I'll probably get way more wear out of the shirt! I love the little bird pattern and the drape on this shirt is amazing! When I tested the pattern I did not chance the length of the shirt. I know that she has since added 2" to the length and after sewing one up with the improved pattern I'm much happier with the length!
 Here's a picture of my second one showing off my custom made tag. I used a shimmery textured polyester I got for super cheap at Hancock Fabrics. I wore it immediately after I hemmed it! Check out that handmade bias tape!
These are great basics for a summer wardrobe, especially that tank top! I mean who couldn't use another flowy tank? Try them out and check out the rest of the collection!

Oh LaLa! Adelle's Floral Dress

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his girlie had her Kindergarten Program last night and I realized the day before that she uh, didn't have anything to wear. She was so excited when I told her I was going to make her a dress. Perhaps I've been doing a little too much selfish sewing!
She's such a little fancy girl! The pattern comes from BurdaStyle (of course), Its their Sweetheart dress and I have to say that this is one of my favorite patterns I've ever used for a little girl dress. I made this dress in 3 hours and with only 1 yd of fabric!
 The fabric comes from Michael Levine, and was something I ordered to use for my Stylo Magazine spread. It ended up being back ordered so I didn't receive it till the deadline had already past. It's been sitting on my shelf waiting for a special reason to be used. This certain print is no longer available but the Bungalow line is available here! I ended up having to add some length to the skirt, because Adelle has such long legs and I'm so glad I did because the lace makes the dress! I love the scalloped edge, it's so 1920's!
Adelle was so proud of her fancy dress & her pearl necklace. She did a great job singing, Which is a huge achievement for her considering a year ago she had to wear headphones whenever children sang because it hurt her ears. I'm still trying to process the idea of her growing up. Does that really ever end?
If you haven't voted yet today, head on over to Indie Sew and vote for my dress please! There are so many amazing pieces that are being shared, but I'm crazy competitive, especially when prizes are at stake, and I'm trying my hardest to hold on to 3rd place!

SSW: Not Your Grandma's Florals

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oday kicks off Self Sewing Week graciously hosted by Indie Patterns. So before reading the rest of this post, head over and VOTE FOR ME so I can win some awesome swag!
Okay, you voted? Phew! Now I can share. I have to be honest and say I'm a pretty selfish maker as is. I've wanted a maxi dress ever since it became a thing, but being short is hard, and floor length dresses always make me look squat! Well, no more! Sew Caroline has created such an amazing basic knit dress pattern. It's so versatile I'm looking forward to making a knee length one.
 I love that she gives you two different sleeve options and that the 3/4th length is shaped to fit nicely at your elbow. Not to mention that there are pockets! You want to sell me on a dress pattern, put pockets in it!
I did some alterations to the pattern. Shortened it by 2", curved the back bodice pattern up at the waist rather than down because I wanted a fitted waist. I also added clear elastic into the seams around the waist, and the shoulder seams so that they wouldn't get stretched out with wear.
I used the floss gathering method to gather the skirt, and I will say now that I will never go back to the basting stitch.
Caroline also recommends using a fused webbing at the hem and sleeve to prevent rolling. It works!
Even after washing and drying it the hem laid nicely without having to iron. That is a huge win, especially for a dress that is made for day to day wear. And I may just wear this dress every day! Don't judge me!
Look at my kids waiting so patiently! Don't worry they were rewarded with frozen custard! 
Now lets talk fabric! I had decided on this maxi dress sure that I had fabric in my stash that would work, However, Not only did I not have enough of 1 piece of fabric but I had nothing that screamed "SPRING IS HERE!" So I headed to Joann's to find the most lovely light weight impressionistic floral knit that has ever existed. Using my 50% coupon I got it for about $5 a yard. Not too bad! And I mean, what is more Spring than florals?
I could not have asked for a better day to take photos, Finally some much needed nice weather! And a whole week's forecast with temperatures above freezing, woohoo!
Indie Sew has a whole week's worth of projects coming, so it's okay to be just a bit selfish and make something all for you! And if you REALLY want to help me win you can VOTE FOR ME DAILY throughout this week! I promise I'll share!

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?