I have a tendency to move quickly from one thing to the next but I really wanted to be sure and do a wrap up on my handmade summer wardrobe even though it is late October. Originally, I wanted to jot down reflections so I could have a record of the progress I made toward my goal. But, as I started writing I realized that I am also sorting through some conflicted feelings. I started the handmade summer wardrobe idea with a deliberate plan that involved assessing my fabric stash and finding the gaps in my summer wardrobe so I could make wearable items from what I have. I set out to make three dresses, three tops, two tunics, one romper, two pairs of shorts and a cardigan. I ended up making two rompers, three pairs of shorts, three tops, one tunic, one skirt and a cardigan. Overall, I’m thrilled I could tick off accomplishments and am proud of some strong additions to my handmade wardrobe. Most are things I will wear (the tunic and ikat top being the possible exceptions). It’s so neat and tidy as a little plan, isn’t it?
But, sometimes we create boxes to organize things and then we resent that we are sat in a box, you know? I guess it is the push and pull of creative limits? As it turns out, I hated my self-created limitations and often found I was reluctantly dragging myself back to stick to the plan. (more…)
Mmmm, double gauze is like the ice cream of fabrics. It’s a double layer of soft, light, sweet goodness and I have made myself a pair of City Shorts so my skin can celebrate this fabric as much as possible. Truthfully, these shorts are really for lounging but that is all the more reason to focus on comfort, cuteness and scrumptious fabric. (more…)
A good pair of shorts is at the heart of any basic summer wardrobe and I was determined to make them. I didn’t have a solid plan when I added them to my handmade summer wardrobe plan but I knew they had to be there if I was serious about making what I will actually wear. So here it is, summer is OVER and I am thrilled to show off two pairs of thurlow shorts…one in speckled chambray and one in olive twill. Neither pair are traffic-stopping exciting to look at but I’m positively thrilled! It was a sewing accomplishment to be sure with a good fit, functioning zipper, fitted waistband as well as welt pockets. If only sewing skillZ COULD stop traffic, right?!
Remember the accidental skirt? The one that was the bottom half of a hacked Sanibel dress? Well, what remained of the top half was calling to me and frankly, would not shut up. My close and tearful assessment of the top was that it had three main complications, a) it was voluminous at the hem, b) I had made a lining that was a bit smaller than the outer portion so it didn’t lay straight, and c) it was too short. You know, I’ll just come out and say it: the top is CROPPED and VOLUMINOUS. I mean, what the what? Who am I? Is this Hot Topic?
I wanted to give up on this top and I put it on the dress form in the studio because I didn’t know what else to do. It looked really pretty up there and kept inviting me to try get back together. I blame it on the neckline. I reached out to Instagram, as you do, and got lots of fantastic ideas (sewists are really the best people). Lots of people suggested adding a band to the bottom, Jess (coralbunnyandlo) even suggested adding a wide lace band for a boho look, which I thought was brilliant. And I tried. I really tried to make something like that work. But, you know what? It wasn’t working. I had the darn ‘too small lining’ thing going on and it kept making puckers. (more…)
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…)
Hello friends. I’m not exactly sure how it happened but it has been nearly a month since an update. It was completely unintentional but it turned out to be a ridiculously busy time; I had a birthday (41!) and my sister got married. In fact, I was the officiant at my sister’s wedding. It was a beautiful honor to marry my sister to her incredible husband but I was really nervous. I did manage to get through the whole ceremony without too many tears. Score! Nobody wants a blubbering officiant. I wish my recent sewing had been as successful as my words, but no luck. Instead, I present to you this accidental skirt. (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…)