Hello! I didn’t mean to go so long without posting again! I haven’t been doing too much sewing for myself these days but I’m hoping to change that soon. Whenever I had some time to sew, I felt so indecisive about my choices and would end up not making anything. Last week, I saw a Nina Lee Bakerloo blouse (I_seam_sew_happy_xx leopard one to be exact!) and I felt so inspired. Before I knew it I was taping together a Pdf pattern and digging through my fabric stash. I haven’t been so excited about a make probably since my last post in August.
The Bakerloo blouse has an amazing large collar with ruffle trim. I made the long sleeve blouse but there’s also a short sleeve and a dress version. It’s no secret that I love collars and ruffles!
For fabric, I used a Rifle Paper Co rayon from the new Strawberry Fields collection. It’s absolutely beautiful. I loved it so much, I also purchased it in the white color way. It also comes with a blush background. I thought I was going to make a simple dress with it but I find myself wearing jeans more and more lately so a blouse will get plenty of wear.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough fabric. I always forget how narrow the Rifle Paper Co rayons are (44”) and I should always order more than I think I’ll need. The pattern piece for the sleeves is quite big and I definitely wanted long sleeves. I had to shorten the pattern in length and width to make it fit on my fabric. I think it worked fine, although I do wish they were an inch longer. I also omitted the sleeve facing which would have helped. My collar ruffle was also a little short so it’s not as ruffled as it should be.
Despite these things, I absolutely love this blouse. I love it in rayon. I like how it softens the look of the large collar. I’d like to make another one day in a solid white. It was so nice to feel inspired again! Hopefully I am back soon with another make.
Oops! I accidentally went two months without a blog post. Life has been busy and full of changes which has left little time for sewing. I squeezed in some time last week to make this dress!
I’ve been wanting a dress like this for a while. I have seen a lot of tutorials to make something similar. I’d rather just have a pattern to work off of so I was excited when the Victory Patterns Sophia popped up on my Instagram feed. The Sophia dress has a shirred bodice, four different sleeve options and a long skirt that can be lined. I used a tencel cotton lawn from Sew Me Sunshine. I saw it on the website earlier this year but hesitated to buy it because I was worried I only wanted it because Valentine’s Day was coming up. Well, Valentine’s Day passed and I was still thinking about it but it sold out! When I was browsing the website in the spring I was so excited when I saw it was in stock again. This fabric is sooo soft! It is a bit sheer though so I lined the front bodice and the skirt with a white viscose. I was a little short on fabric so I had to lessen the angle of the A line on the skirt pieces so they would fit on my fabric.
I love how it came out. Perfect summer dress! But let’s be honest- I’m definitely throwing a cardigan and tights on with this dress at Valentine’s Day.
I’m excited to share my Selkie Lin play suit today! I bought this pattern as soon as it came out last year. It has a square neckline, princess seamed bodice, 3 sleeve and 3 pant length options. I used a pink linen from Joanns and a coordinating Lyocell to line the bodice (and back the waist ties because I ran out of fabric. You absolutely need the fabric requirements. Oops!) This linen reminded me of one of one of the samples used on Selkies page. There’s a lot of nice details in this pattern and I thought a solid fabric would really let them show.
I was a little concerned about fitting the bodice. The front has princess seams and the back has four darts. I almost made a muslin but just decided to go for it. There was enough ease in the pattern and a lot of seams if I needed to make any adjustments afterward. I made the smallest size and graded up slightly around my waist. I got very lucky because I think it’s pretty good!
The sleeve cuffs have non functional buttons on them. I used some small white flower ones I had in my stash. I realized after editing these photos that I put one of the sleeve cuffs on backwards. It will be pretty simple to fix.
I wore this all day on Saturday and it was so comfortable in the heat. I definitely think it will get worn a lot this summer. I’d like to make a pant length version of this eventually, maybe for next spring. This was my first Selkie pattern and I am very impressed!
I am excited to share my Lola dress with you today! This pattern is by Forget me Not patterns. Lola can be made as a top or a dress. There’s a boat neck (what I made) or a scoop neck option. The back is really pretty with a yoke and an inverted box pleat plus an optional ruffle (which I of course added)
Lola has so many size options! I was really impressed. There were small, medium and full bust options. I went with the small, size 32 and the fit is perfect.
For fabric, I used a spotted rayon crepe I bought of Etsy. When it arrived it reminded me more of chiffon. It was ever so slightly sheer and wasn’t going to work for the jumpsuit I had planned it for. I’m glad though because I just love it as this dress! I can wear this dress over my slip and it’s perfect.
The only adjustment I made was I shortened the dress by a few inches when I was cutting it out. It ended up being a little shorter than expected but I think it’s fine.
This pattern also has an optional waist tie. I really like it styled with this belt I own but I might make it later! I can picture myself wearing this dress all year round! With tights and a chunky cardigan in the fall and like these photos in the spring/ summer. It can be made in a solid fabric as a basic or it’s a great canvas for a really fun, bold print.
Because this fabric frays (and I also didn’t feel like rethreading my serger) I used French seams for the whole dress. It has such a nice clean finish. I tried to use my narrow hem foot for all the hems but I’m still getting the hang of it. I ended up just folding the hem as I went along on my machine and it turned out fine. The final touch? A Crafty Pinup label at the neck. I really like adding labels to my me mades now.
I saw several RTW blouses recently that had a ruffled collar. I loved the style of them but to my surprise I could not find any sewing patterns with this detail! It seemed easy enough to hack so I searched through my patterns for a simple blouse to start. Megan Nielsen’s Sudley was perfect. This pattern is reversible so you can wear the keyhole or the rounded neckline forward. I love how you get two different looks out of one garment. I also knew I wanted a long sleeve with an elastic cuff so I made view D. I happened to come across a vintage pattern close to what I was looking for so I used that as a starting point for my collar.
I cut three rectangles- one for the rounded side and two for the key hole side. My shorter rectangles measured about 4″ x 10. 5″ and my longer rectangle measured about 4″ x 22″. You can adjust the height for a narrower or wider ruffle, and also the length for more gathers or less. As different sizes have different neckline widths, you may need to adjust. I french seamed the short ends together. (One short, long, and then the other short) to create one long rectangle. I then narrow hemmed the two short ends and one long end. After that, I sewed one line of a gathering stitch (machine stitch length set to 4 or 5) 1/4 inch from the non hemmed edge.
I then pinned the collar onto the blouse , matching the ends to the keyhole opening and the collar seams to my shoulder seams. I gently pulled the gathering stitch until my collar fit on my neckline. Once it was pinned in place, I stitched it with a 1/4” seam allowance. I then followed the rest of the instructions and bias faced the neckline.
I love how it turned out. I planned to wear the plain side forward but I love the keyhole side more! It’s good to know I have options though. This was my first time using the Sudley pattern. I will definitely be making the dress with a pater pan collar. I already have my fabrics picked out!
I hope everyone is doing okay with everything that is going on in the world. I had planned to share my Persephone pants last week but didn’t feel up for writing a blog post. I’m trying to take things day by day and find some new sense of normal for the time being. The only perk of this situation is because I can’t work from home, I pretty much have unlimited time for sewing at the moment. I’m crossing lots of projects off my to-do list and ordered supplies to fill up my Etsy shop.
I bought the Persephone Pants pattern by Anna Allen when I realized it was very similar to 2 pairs of (my favorite!) Free People pants I own. The Persephone pant pattern is high waisted and does not have side seams. There’s waist inseam pockets, belt loops and a button fly. After making them, I realized the only differences were the button fly and that the Persephone pants has single darts in the back and my Free People pants have double darts. I bought this Robert Kaufman Ventana Twill from Stone Mountain Fabrics late last summer. I knew the forest green would be a good addition to my wardrobe. I used scraps of Rifle Paper Co cotton for the pockets.
After making jeans, these weren’t difficult to make. I did make a mistake, though! My button fly was not laying completely flat so I decided to redo it. Big mistake. I had already snipped into the fabric and this fabric unravels so I created a big mess after unpicking. I almost threw them in the trash. I managed to save them and added extra reinforcement (bar tacks) in that area.
The fit is okay. I graded the waistband out a size according to the measurements but on my next pair, I will just sew a straight size 0. I also hemmed a couple inches off of the length.
I’d love to make more pairs or maybe even a pair of shorts! I think an off white twill would be great for summer. I think I will use a zipper instead of a button fly next time as well. She has a zipper expansion pack with instructions on how to do this.
Hello! It’s been a little while. I haven’t been sewing much for myself lately but I think that’s going to change soon. I’m feeling very inspired and ready to work on spring garments. I moved a few weeks ago and am loving my new sewing room. I am so excited to share it with you today.
In our old apartment, I shared my sewing space with my “closet” (a rolling rack and a dresser). Our new place has two closets in the bedroom and a large set of built in shelves where I can store all of my clothing and accessories. I do share the space with our laundry machine and cleaning supplies now but they are tucked away behind closet doors so I don’t mind. The room is a little smaller than my old one but since I am not sharing it with that extra furniture, it feels less cluttered.
It was very important to me to be able to walk around my work table to make it easier to use for cutting. I had a bad habit of cutting out on the floor and I really wanted to stop that. I cut out a project the other day and it made such a difference.
My favorite part of my new room is… my peg board! I’ve always been jealous of other sewists with their pegboards. They looked so organized and useful. Being a renter though, I was always nervous of hanging anything too big on the walls (and our old place it was nearly impossible with the type of walls we had). I had the idea of zip tying one to the open side of my table and it worked perfectly! I bought a peg board from ikea and it was the perfect size. It’s been so useful already and keeps my table more clear of clutter.
I set up my machines on the end of my table next to the wall. I intended to get another chair for the other side with my serger but so far I’ve had no problem just standing and using it. I can always move my chair if needed. I also bought this lovely Kate Spade lamp from Home Goods. I just love it! I may consider adding a floor lamp at some point.
I still have my fabric stored underneath my table in clear containers. I also have a basket in the corner where I store my rolls of pattern paper as well as patterns for the classes I teach.
I have my ironing board right by my sewing machine so it’s super convenient for pressing between seams. I didn’t want as big of a gallery wall as I had in our old place but I still hung up some special pieces above it.
The other wall has all of my carts. One for sewing notions, one for various crafting items and one for my patterns. I also bought this small bookshelf on amazon to store all of my sewing books. We didn’t have room in our living room and it really didn’t make sense for them to be downstairs anyway. On top of the carts, I have a bin for cut out projects and things for ironing. I bought this little spool holder from Joann’s. I am keeping my serger thread and extra thread colors in a container under my table. I also have my dress form over there. I used to have two but it seemed unnecessary and too cluttered so I just kept my petite form which is closest to my measurements.
And that’s it! I love this space. It feels so bright and inspiring. I also feel that the way I have everything set up makes a lot of sense. I may find a rug at some point but besides that I think it’s perfect! I feel so lucky and I can’t wait to create garments in this room.
My second make of 2020 is also a project I cut out months ago! I still have one more to go before I am caught up with my sewing from last year. I am sharing my Liesl and Co Gelato blouse today. This pattern has a blouse and a dress pattern included. The dress is very different from the blouse with short sleeves, plain back and welt pockets. I bought the pattern for the blouse. I love a button back detail and I thought the peplum was so cute. The pattern actually has a ruffle that attaches to the sleeve. I decided not to include it while I was sewing, though. I knew I wouldn’t be able to layer a sweater over this top easily with that sleeve and also felt the blouse didn’t need it.
I used stardust double gauze in forest by Atelier Brunette. I thought the color was a really lovely shade of green and loved the gold embroidered dots. I have seen all different colorways of this fabric on my instagram feed and finally splurged on some for myself. I found this fabric fairly easy to sew. The neckline has a bias facing and that’s the only part I’m not thrilled with. It’s fine but it’s not perfect. Hence the Kylie and the Machine Imperfectly Perfect label I sewed there. I wish I used some starch to stiffen the fabric a little.
I made the smallest size with no adjustments. I’m pretty pleased with the fit but I would probably adjust the dart placement next time.
As I said before, I love the button back detail. I used gold buttons I found at Joanns. The button holes are functional but not necessary for me to open to get the top on. The placket between the second and third button down sometimes pops out. I think it happened when I put the blouse on but it happens a little with wear too. I noticed it in some of my photos. I photographed this blouse twice because of it. It might be from where I placed the buttonhole. I plan to stitch that part to keep it closed so I don’t have to worry.
I really like this top and would definitely make another.
Happy New Year! My first make of 2020 was something I cut out months ago but never had time to sew it. It’s a Tilly and the Buttons Indigo dress! This pattern has a bracelet or flounce sleeve choice and a dress or top option. It has a gathered waist with an optional exposed ruffle and side seam pockets. It has no zips or buttons so it’s a pretty speedy sew and super comfortable to wear! The most time consuming part was unpicking all of my exposed gathering stitches.
I made the dress with long sleeves and the exposed ruffle. I used this tencel I bought from Joanns. It has a black background with brown leaves. I intended to make this for the fall but I’m still happy to wear it in the winter. This fabric has a nice drape to it. The pattern of the leaves runs horizontal but I preferred them this direction. I cut the pattern on the crosswise grain instead of the lengthwise grain with the selvedge.
I made a size 2 with no adjustments and I am very happy with the fit. This pattern is absolutely a winner and I plan to make more. I have fabric I have been saving for nearly a year because I was too afraid to cut into it. I think I will finally use it to make another indigo this spring!
I’m excited to share my Helens Closet York Pinafore today! It’s no secret I love a pinafore. I have quite a few in my closet. I love how easily I can create different looks with just changing the top underneath. I’m feeling overwhelmed by the amount of clothes I have lately and how few I actually enjoy wearing. Pieces that I can get more wear out of are important to me. I’m planning on reading the Curated Closet in the New Year and really focus on getting my wardrobe where I want it to be.
The York has multiple styles that can be mixed and matched- there’s 2 lengths, two necklines and patch pockets or a kangaroo pocket. I went with the short length, higher neckline and the patch pockets.
I used this amazing bow print corduroy I got from Sew Over It (it’s sold out now!). I only had a meter because I was planning to make a skirt but I was so excited when I realized it was enough for this. There’s only three pattern pieces which makes this quick to cut out. I did spend time pattern matching on the pockets, though. The arms and neck are faced with bias tape. I used store bought because I was short on time but I wish I had made my own. The pattern calls for double fold bias tape but single fold works as well. I would recommend using single fold if you go the store bought route. The double fold is a little too thick in my opinion and I honestly am considering re- facing the whole thing.
There’s not much fitting involved in this pattern. I used the size chart and my measurements and am happy with it. There’s no fasteners or closures on this garment so it just slips over your head.
I wore it to go get our Christmas tree and it was comfy layered with a turtle neck and tights. I definitely recommend this pattern. In fact, I have another cut out already! The next one will be in flannel with the lower neckline and same length. I’m hoping I have time to sew it up soon.