Among the t-shirts and jeans and shorts and other standards in a closet is another, more exciting wardrobe basic…the dressy but not too dressy top. It’s the top that does all the work for you; not requiring any extra effort from other items of clothing. Know what I mean? You can throw it over jeans for effortless styling while running errands or put it on for a low-key date night or kid’s performance at school. It’s the “I have an everyday thing I’m going to that’s a little bit more than a mundane thing but not an exciting, over the top thing”. It’s always been a bit of a closet unicorn for me. Easy to imagine but hard to find.
It seems, however, that my moment has come. I have found my unicorn in this navy and coral Datura Top. This top is going to work-it-work-it for me.
It’s quite possible that hidden inside of most sewists is a desire to make dresses for little girls. I’m don’t even think it stems from a longing to put clothing on a small being. It’s really about two factors with irresistible appeal, 1) little girl dresses look great in fun fabrics and 2) they don’t involve complicated fitting issues. Basically, kid bodies are popsicle sticks and little girls look adorable in every print known to the universe. Whether or not one gets to follow through on this perfect sewing storm depends on circumstance and for me the circumstances rarely arrive. It’s the downside of having two wild boys.
I could feel the pull to make a girly dress getting stronger, though, when I received the Sundressing book and it was full of so much cuteness for little girls. So many cute dresses! I hatched a little plan to make one for a friend’s daughter but didn’t realize it was going to turn into an all-around magical adventure. My friend Sabrina is a super talented photographer and we decided on a swap…she would spend a few hours giving me a one-on-one photography lesson and I would make her daughter a dress. What a win. I really want to improve my photography so I was thrilled she agreed. All of these gorgeous photos are hers, by the way, I’ve not mastered it yet! But, I’m really hoping that as I work with her, you will start to notice the difference. By the way, don’t miss exploring her website, it’s stunning and heartwarming. (more…)
I know. You didn’t even know that a ‘mountain-scape tunic’ was a thing? Because it is not. And, you know whose closet doesn’t need one? This girl. I got started on this idea after seeing a top in a random catalog I receive called Poetry. Except their top was darker colors and more artsy-looking. (It doesn’t look like it’s even available anymore.) I thought I would recreate it and then my brain piped up with a contribution of its own, “what is better than a top? The answer is always a tunic! Let’s make ours special by making a tunic! Yeah, a tunic!” So, I shopped for a similar fabric and found this mountain-scape fabric on the Mood website. It was brighter and more figurative but was the closest I could find. So, I went for it. My brain is still excited and egging me on. “Yes! A bright and detailed mountain-scape tunic!” Well, as it turns out I don’t need a mountain-scape tunic. Like, I don’t need it at all. (more…)
There is always a little niggle in the back of my mind when I make something for the first time. Much as I love pattern hacking I mostly avoid major pattern tweaks on a first try. I follow the rules of the pattern on my initial attempt. I do this mostly so I can discern whether an un-altered pattern will fit me as-is and to be certain the pattern makes sense. It’s very logical but it means I forgo any alterations I want to make. That can make me eager to stitch up a second option soon after the first. Most of the time, this doesn’t make a ton of practical sense. Why have two different colors of the same shirt when I really only need one? You know. But, it bothers me, hence the niggle. I have these fun alteration ideas and have to walk away from that particular brain wormhole, leaving behind all these adaptations that never come to be. The urge was too strong with the Sanibel Romper, though. I was compelled to try out a summer-y version; I couldn’t resist the wormhole so down I went. Enter, the fancy pants summer romper. (There is also a dress version disaster but I’ll share that later because oof..of course, if you follow me on IG you may have some idea). (more…)
Hey, happy August everyone. I figured it was probably about time that I wrote down and owned up to my summer wardrobe planning and scheming. You know, before the summer itself ends.
The back story is this, during Me Made May I had a bit of a reckoning (it’s not the first time, MMM does this to me). My handmade wardrobe was out of touch with what I actually wear. I managed to wear something handmade every day in May but I wasn’t always pulling something I loved out of the closet in order to accomplish it. I realize May was a long time ago in blogger years but the point I am making is that still, even after SO MUCH sewing, I am not that great at sewing for my actual real life. Considering I’m actively trying to be aware and sew for real life, well…it was a frustrating realization to say the least. I took a look at those items I did want to wear regularly and realized something pretty quickly; my most-worn handmade clothes are versatile, comfortable and low-key. Everything pictured below was worn more than once. (more…)
There is something new hanging on the clothesline and it’s for dudes….boxers! It has been a long time since I stitched something for my husband, K. In fact, his handmade pajama pants are so well-worn they are nearly thread-bare at the waistband. I just don’t sew for him very much and to be honest, I find it hard to sew for dudes. What would I make? He wears t-shirts and neutral colored shorts for the most part. Not that exciting. If I could knit, I think I would have more options but as it is, I am limited. So, when Betz White asked me if I wanted to play with her new fabric line, Dutch Treat, I decided it was time to make something for K. Thankfully, I took one look at her charcoal and yellow print and saw boxer shorts written all over them. Hence, the cheeky name Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts! I made it my Project Sew It challenge for June to create a boxer shorts pattern that fits him. (more…)
It’s around this time of year that I lose all tolerance for annoying things like jeans or tight-fitting dresses. I want to either be wearing grub-wear in the garden or a dress I can throw on over a swimsuit. I also have pretty nit-picky criteria for sundresses…they should be so easy and comfortable you can wear them all day in the sun and also feel free to stop in at the ice cream shop or indulge in a boardwalk funnel cake without shame/discomfort. You should be able to sweat freely, no pools of sweat that collect at a tight waistband. They should allow enough length for sitting but not so much that the breeze can’t dry any sweat behind the knees. They should never, ever involve anything that even stands a chance of scraping or itching such as a zipper. Save all that other stuff for the fancy dresses! I’m a delicate flower in the hot sun of summer and my tolerance for irritation plummets to all time lows. I really don’t think I’m the only one. Let’s be honest, summer days meander with uncertainty and a sundress should be ready for all of it. (more…)
I have got this funny little fear of quilting. Really, I break into a sweat standing next to an un-quilted quilt top. I like making the quilt top but it’s the whole putting it all together that makes me a basket case. The actual quilting. It seems an extra cruel final step, the quilting. You work so hard on a quilt top and then every. single. thing. can mess up when you go to quilt it! Ah, the pressure is insane. I’d so much rather make a complicated jacket.
The problem is, I really, really want to make quilts. Specifically mini quilts. I love that a mini quilt can explore an idea or an aesthetic in a way that is creatively energizing far beyond garment sewing. At the beginning of the year, I quietly decided I would make mini quilts. Just for fun, as little breaks for myself. But, I haven’t followed through on that..until now. (more…)