Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Hi there,

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Fall Sewing Recap

Back in early September, I laid out some goals for myself for fall sewing between September and Thanksgiving:
  1. Julia Cardigan
  2. Grad school bag
  3. White Archer button-down
  4. Birthday presents for some special ladies in my life
  5. Fall napkins

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

White Archer

Without further ado, here is my white Archer! I've been building up this make for quite a while now, so I'm very pleased to finally blog about it. Since I made and blogged a muslin of this pattern, I don't have as much to say about this make as some of my others. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving napkins


Now that we're officially in Thanksgiving week, I think it's appropriate to unveil my completed Thanksgiving napkins.  Who am I kidding, I just finished these this weekend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The anatomy of a white button-down

One of my goals for this fall was to make myself a white button-down shirt.  I already have three white button-downs, so why did I think I needed another?  Well, that's a good question.  As I've been working on it, though, I've come to realize how different each of my store-bought shirts are. Before I reveal my own version, I wanted to share my others as a reference point.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Archer wearable muslin

Now that I've been sewing for almost two years, I finally feel comfortable enough to try a button down shirt and jumped on the Archer bandwagon--almost two years after it came out.  The Archer is designed as a casual shirt, described as a "loosely fitting button up shirt."  Why do some people say button down and others say button up?  Somebody should do a study on that...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Senna Tote School Bag

This post checks another item off of my sewing for fall list and fills a very important need in my life: my grad school bag!  I've been using my largish leather purse for the past two months, which works well for books, but is just a tiny bit too small to comfortably carry my laptop in.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Moneta for my Momma

This is my third Moneta.  My previous versions (see here and here) were also black and white, but this one isn't for me.  I made it as a birthday present for my mom! I was fortunate enough to see my mom the weekend after her birthday and conned her into taking pictures in her new dress, with a pair of heels I brought just for the occasion. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dusty rose Julia Cardigan

This is actually my second version of the Julia Cardigan.  I got a little eager and posted my tan, gifted version last week, but that was my third version.  You can find my first short-sleeved version here

Friday, October 3, 2014

Gifted Julia Cardigan Plus Labels!

Hi guys!  I'm back with another Julia Cardigan today.  You can check out my first wearable muslin version in this post. This version isn't for me, it's actually for my sister-in-law.  She's not technically my sister-in-law, but for all intents and purposes, she is...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall BurdaStyle Baby Dress

One of the best surprises about moving to Chapel Hill was finding local fabric shops in the area.   I could never find an indy shop in DC, so this is a real treat for me.  The local apparel fabric shop is called Mulberry Silks and Fine Fabrics. I made sure to make a trip there in my first month in the area and bought my first BurdaStyle magazine--for half off!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pretty in Pink Julia Cardigan

I first pinned the Julia Cardigan on Pinterest months ago.  I'd seen it around Pinterest and the blogosphere, specifically on Scruffy Badger, and Notes From A Mad Housewife, among other places, and knew that I wanted to make my own. It seems like such a useful item to have, a wardrobe staple if you will.  I wear a sweater of some sort almost every day.  Being cold indoors is the worst. I prefer to be at a nice warm nap temperature. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Black and White Bird Circle Scarf

Back in July I bought a remnant of black and white poly crepe with a bird pattern from Joann's.  It was just over half a yard for under two dollars, so I couldn't resist.  I didn't have any specific plans for it, but thought that I could put it to use one way or another.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What I'm Working on Wednesday, September 10

I've got a ton of projects going on right now, so I thought I'd give a sneak peek of a few of them.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sewing for Fall

Sneak preview of fall caught on my run today

Things I've learned from my month post-move:
  1. My new office and classroom are freezing.  Need to wear layers.
  2. Fall will come a little later in the South, so I have some time to prep for fall sewing.
  3. My laptop is *just* too big to fit in my purse and comfortably tote it around all day.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sleeveless Striped Moneta

At the same time that I bought the fabric for my fourth and fifth plantain tees, I also bought some striped fabric with the idea of making another Moneta. When I bought this fabric, I thought that it was navy blue and white.  It turns out that it's black and white.  I have a ton of black and white dresses already (see my other Moneta here and my b/w Coco here, plus a bunch of other pre-blog or RTW dresses), but what's the harm in one more?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Saying goodbye to some me-made makes

At the end of Me Made May, I confessed that there were some makes that never made it into my outfits throughout the month.  In packing up to move, I decided that it really was time to donate some of them.   I really appreciate it when bloggers show their failures as well as their successes, so here goes...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Plaintains # 4 & 5

Nothing says summer like shorts and a t-shirt.   After these two makes, I'm proud to say that I now own--and wear--more me-made tees than store-bought tees!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hi-Low Skirt (McCall's 6076)

Both this fabric and this pattern were impulse purchases (surprise!) made on separate occasions.  It took me a long time to be brave enough to pair them together, though. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Laptop case

Last weekend I bought a new laptop for grad school.  It was a tough call, but I went with the 13" MacBook Air.  Since it is so light and fragile compared to my old computer, I wanted to make it a case to protect it a little bit.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blue Belcarra #2

I needed another Belcarra in my wardrobe.  It's dressier than a t-shirt, but just as versatile and comfortable.  So, off I went to Joann's to find some appropriate fabric.  Pickings were slim, as usual, and I ended up with this mystery blue fabric with very small textured dots.  I thought it would be great for a summery top since it is quite thin. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

T-Shirt Pillows

At a certain point in everyone's life, they reach their t-shirt quota. For me, this happened in college thanks to all of the free t-shirts given away at any and all events.  I mostly wear those shirts to work out, but a few are special to me.  With a few of these special shirts of my own and from my boyfriend, I decided to make some throw pillows. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mushroom skirt

During Me Made May I realized how versatile my pink a-line skirt is.  After all, I did wear it practically every week. I also realized that this was one of the first skirts I ever made, and some of the finishings leave a little to be desired.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chambray All Day: Simplicity 1688

Well, apparently I just can't get enough chambray.  Right after my chambray Miette, I used up the leftover fabric on a dress. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chambray Miette

This is my second Miette by Tilly and the Buttons.  It is a simple wrap skirt that is great for beginners. If I remember correctly, the first version was my first PDF pattern.  I upcycled the first one out of a green recycled tablecloth.  Green in two ways--color, and it was made with recycled bottles. I wore it during the fourth week of Me Made May, but in general I don't wear it very often because it is so distinctive.  One great thing is that it doesn't matter when i spill on it!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Patio Chair Cushions

Word of my sewing abilities has started to spread around my office.  It's not rare for a coworker to ask if I've made something I'm wearing.  I enjoy talking about sewing, so it's nice that people notice.  It's even nicer when they ask if I've made one of my favorite RTW pieces. I've also started to receive a different sort of attention for my sewing. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Blue Belcarra Blouse

Me Made May helped me realize that I need some more versatile shirts in my wardrobe.  Shirts that are appropriate to wear to work now, but will also be appropriate to wear to grad school in the fall.  I think this fits the bill. It is the latest pattern from Sewaholic Patterns, the Belcarra Blouse.  It's a loose fitting shirt, with just enough shape. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Banana Republic Look-Alike Shorts

One of my goals during Me Made May was to not buy any RTW clothes.  I was successful in this endeavor, but that didn't stop me from window shopping a few times. The photo below was taken outside of Banana Republic. 

When I saw these shorts in the window, I couldn't believe how much they looked like the pair of pink shorts with white circles I had just finished making using McCall's 6930. Here's the front view. They have the same front pockets, but no front fly.

Instead, they close in the back with a zipper and and overlapping waistband with, in this case, snaps. The patterned called for a bar and hook, but I didn't have one on hand. There are two patch pockets on the back of the shorts.  If you look close enough, you can see them. 

I'm pretty proud of some of the details on these shorts, like the front slash pockets.  I made this pair with a remnant of quilting cotton from the clearance rack.  Unfortunately, this means that they are also see-through and not wearable.  Hence, no pics of me wearing them. 

After using these as a muslin, the shorts fit reasonably well.  I'm not sure if I'll make another pair, though.  The design with a rear zipper is pretty bizarre.  I've never seen a RTW pair like this.  

It was a great learning experience, though.  These are my first pair of pants/shorts without an elastic waist (cough, pajama pants, cough). They came together quickly, and were finished in one weekend sewing day. 

Pattern: McCall's 6930
Fabric: Quilting cotton from Joann's remnant bin
Cost: <1 yard of fabric @ $3/yard = $2 + zipper and interfacing from stash =  $2 ($3.40 if you count the cost of the pattern)
Time: Approximately 4 hours

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer Baby

A few months ago,  I was able to go fabric shopping with my boyfriend's mom.  It's so much fun going fabric shopping with other people.  At that time I bought the fabric that made the failed dress shown here (it ended up being far too big and I haven't finished it).  She, on the other hand, picked out some adorable fabric to make some spring/summer clothes for her 18 month-old grand-daughter.

Some things came up and she wasn't able to finish the clothes; so, she handed the pieces off to me to finish up.  I couldn't have been happier with this task. When I got the pieces, the fabric had been cut out for a top, pants, and a dress.  There was an additional piece of fabric as well, which I turned into another dress.

I finished up the items in a few evenings after work.  Baby clothes are so gratifying to make because they are so quick, and adorable.  It can be tricky to work around such little curves (armholes are so small!), so I tried out a few different techniques to get the finishes as clean as possible.   On the purple dress I used bias tape to finish the neckline and arm openings.  On the blue top I used a tiny hem around the openings.  On the green dress I lined the bodice so there were no edges to finish.  I also played around with french seams on the skirt panels for some of the pieces. 

Despite being made out of different fabrics from different patterns, all three pieces have the same blue buttons.  Does this make them a "collection"!?

Babies grow fast, and Emilie is no exception.  Hopefully these dresses will fit by the time they arrive for her!

Pattern: NewLook 0156 and Butterick 5017
Fabric: Floral seersucker, green polka dot quilting cotton, purple shirting, all from Joann's
Time: Approximately 8 hours

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Me Made May 2014: The End

Happy June! Me Made May is officially over. I managed to wear a me-made item every day this month.  Here are the pics from the final week.

Monday, May 26: Memorial Day visit to Fort Washington

Shirt: Banana Republic
Skirt: NewLook 0116 (pre-blog)
Shoes: Keds

Tuesday, May 27: Work

Shirt: Sewaholic Belcarra (to be blogged soon!)
Pants: Target
Belt: Target

Wednesday, May 28: Work

Shirt: McCall's6604 (pre-blog)
Cardigan: JCrew
Skirt: The Limited

Thursday, May 29: Work

Dress: Sewaholic Cambie

Friday, May 30: Work

Sweater: Gap
Cardigan: Old Navy
Skirt: Blue Simplicity 2226 (pre-blog)

Saturday, May 31: BBQ

Shirt: Floral teal Plantain by Doe and Deer
Shorts: Banana Republic

I made it through the entire month without repeating an entire outfit.  Towards the end, this was a very conscious effort, but it made for some creative outfits that I wouldn't have come up with otherwise.

My most worn item this month was my blue striped plantain by Doe and Deer, worn four times.  Three other items were worn three times: my floral teal Plantain by Doe and Deer, my black and white cowl neck shirt, and my pink skirt. Interestingly, these most-worn items include most of the me-made shirts in my wardrobe.  Speaking of patterns...

This month I wore me-made shirts more often than skirts or dresses.  I never would have predicted that, as I have far more dresses and skirts in my me-made arsenal.

I wore about 55% woven me-mades this make, and 45% knits.  Seeing how frequently I wear them, I should probably make more knit garments, as they currently make up a pretty small amount of my makes.

Another revelation was how many patterns I wear.  84% of the me-made items I wore this month were patterned.  Since I still wear a considerable amount of RTW clothes, this isn't an issue.  If I wanted to wear a completely me-made wardrobe, though, I'd need to switch this balance.

I'll leave you with my favorite outfit of the month, as chosen by me and popular vote on Instagram.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Me Made May 2014: Week 4

Another week of Me Made May is in the books.  Just one week of daily selfies left to go.  Phewf. Here's the round-up for this week.

Monday: Work

Dress: Moneta by Colette Patterns
Belt: Banana Republic
Cardigan: JCrew

Tuesday: Work

Jacket: The Limited

Wednesday: Work

Shirt: Express
Cardigan: Old Navy
Scarf: Gift from the Gap
Shoes: Nine West

Thursday: Work

Jacket: Banana Republic
Shirt: McCall's6604 (pre-blog)
Skirt: The Limited

Friday: Work and sewing

Capris: Loft
Belt: Banana Republic

Saturday: Bike ride

Shorts: American Eagle
Shoes: Keds

Sunday: Brunch and BBQ

Shirt: Camaieu
Skirt: Simplicity 2226 (pre-blog)
Belt: Banana Republic

It looks like this was another week of me-made knits.  Four out of 7 me-made items worn this week were knits. The pattern of wearing my newer makes has continued. Check out how many of the items I've worn this week that are on my blog, a.k.a made this year.  It's great to see that my most recent makes are getting more wear. I'm especially excited about my last two dresses--worn on Monday and Tuesday. 

So far I've been able to not have any complete outfit repeats.  With just a week left, I think that I can keep that up for the rest of the month.