Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in Review 2013

I am particularly proud of my maternity collection that I sewed up this year. I only purchased two RTW items for my pregnancy which included a swimsuit and a camisole. Otherwise, it was all Byrdie Couture items for me. Most of the items are things I can continue to wear whilst not pregnant. And, on more than one occasion I was stopped by a stranger to ask me where I got such cute maternity clothes!

It always surprises me what people take a liking to. This striped dress was probably my easiest make and the most complimented.

This maxi dress was worn several times throughout my pregnancy.
These super easy sundresses always fetched me at least one compliment when I wore them.
While most of the year was consumed with maternity appropriate clothes, I managed to squeeze in a few non-maternity makes as well.
Of course there's the most recent Archer. I've already made a second that I need to photograph.
I love the animal print trio I did in January including my Minoru jacket.
I love this black and white heart print blouse and am debating if I need another one.
Not to toot my own horn but I didn't have very many failed garments this year. However, there were a couple that went straight to the Goodwill pile. I didn't even blog about them. I had purchased Megan Nielsen's maternity survival kit which included four patterns. Two of them worked out well- the Ruched Maternity Skirt and the Ruched T-Shirt. However, the Wrapped Maternity Top made me look like a stuffed sausage/mummy. And the Rie Top was not flattering on my body in the least. I'm not blaming the designer- I've seen both designs work out great for other people. They just didn't suit me.
I've been better about this in the last couple of years but I used to sew a lot of crap just to make things. I ended up with a closet full of mediocre things that I would never wear. In fact, I just recently went through a major purge of stuff that I knew I would never wear.
In the spirit of the New Year, here are some of my goals/inspiration:
  1.  I want to sew a French couture jacket (a.k.a. the Chanel knock-off). I've already started collecting books and doing research. I've got my fabric picked out.
  2. The blog is getting a new look. I am currently collaborating with a website designer and the new look should be debuted within the next week or two.
  3. I've become a sewcialist! I'm now on Twitter and Instagram. I've been on Facebook but have kept sewing out of it up until recently. I don't have a page dedicated to my blog but I am posting sewing related stuff. I've discovered tons of other blogs to follow from Twitter. The new blog will have all of my social buttons up so that you can follow me more easily. You can find me on Twitter @byrdiecouture.
  4. I want to continue to be more thoughtful about what I sew, concentrating on things that I will love to wear and that will work well into my wardrobe. This last year I focused more on finishing techniques and I really think this took my garments to the next level.
  5. Are you fasting? I am. I've taken the RTW fast challenge initiated by Goodbye Valentino.
  6. On that note, I really need to conquer sewing pants and jeans. I think I will sign up for some online classes to help. I've sewn these items before but they never turn out great.
That's just a few of the ideas I've got stored up. I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Grainline Archer in Chambray

My inner dialogue:
"Why is everyone going nuts over this Archer pattern? It's just a button-up shirt people. Get over it!"
months later...
"Hey, you know what might look really good with that one skirt you've never worn?"
"What's that?"
"A button-up shirt in chambray."
"That's a good idea. You could use that Burda pattern you used to make your flannel shirt again."
"True, true. Or I could try that Archer pattern from Grainline Studio and finally see what all the hub-bub is about."
"Do it!"

Yes, it's all true. I actually scoffed at the cult following that the Archer received. However, things changed recently when I did a major purge of my closet. I went through everything and got rid of things that were no longer my style, or things that don't fit and ain't gonna anytime soon. During the process, I found some gems that I had forgotten, including this skirt. I won this skirt on Ebay many moons ago- I'm talking 6-7 years. I fell in love with the shape, print, and sequin accents. But alas, I've never worn it because I could never pair it with the right shirt.
I got the idea of the chambray from Jessica Quirk of What I Wore. I've been following her for years and have always been green with envy admired her for the way she styles her outfits. The chambray shirt is one of her staples. She wears it alone, layers it with other pieces, and quite frequently pairs it with fancier skirts.
You guys don't need a full review of the Archer as it has been done a thousand times before me (hey, I'm slow to catch on sometimes). But I will sum it up. This is one of the most well drafted indie sewing patterns that I've worked with. Everything went together perfectly. The instructions are clear. Jen did a great sewalong. I'm not new to sewing button-up shirts but I still learned some new tricks after perusing the sewalong links.
The chambray fabric is from my stash- probably from Joann Fabrics. I'm totally in love with this shirt. I did not want to take it off- it is so comfortable! It has just the right amount of ease. It's quite versatile. I wore this out to lunch with my family with skinny jeans and flats after the photo shoot. My husband promises to take me somewhere nice to show off my skirt!
Like many before me, I will declare the Archer's praises and proclaim that I too want to fill my closet with many versions of this wardrobe staple!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

American Burda Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Aminat from Sew Fit!
You are the winner of the Winter issue of the American Burda Style Magazine! I don't see your email address on your site or profile, so please email me your mailing address to the address on the right and I will get your magazine in the mail right away!
Check out Aminat's blog for more sewing inspiration! She always makes very stylish and modern garments.
Thank you to all who entered! The winner was chosen at random using the number generator at Random.org.