Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Fall Capsule Release 1 Callahan, Laura, Emmie, Elliot

 I'm excited to finally be able to show off part of my Fall/Winter 2020 capsule! I wanted to be able to demonstrate the versatility of the pieces, so needed to wait until several pieces were done. My plan is a 15 piece capsule. Today I have 2 tops and 2 bottoms that I can mix and match to make 4 outfits! Our Winter months are very mild in the hot desert land of Phoenix, so there isn't a need for anything extremely heavy. But I will be adding in some layers. 

First up is the Callahan pants by Seamwork patterns. Gosh I love these pants. This is actually me second pair. I made my first pair in a gray twill and posted them to instagram, but they didn't make it on the blog. The Callahan is a high waisted, wide leg pant with a fly zipper. Both the front and back legs have a pintuck detail. They are surpisingly easy to make. If you are new to zipper flys, the instructions are really great. I made a 14. My first pair was a little too tight around my upper thigh. I added 1/4" inch to each inner thigh piece (where they come together to join the crotch), and graded out a smidge in the hip area. I used a rust colored corduroy, I'm not sure where I got it from. Both the color and the corduroy are Fall essentials! And although rust isn't traditionally a neutral, I behaves as one when I mix it with other items. 

Next up is the Elliot Sweater by Helen's Closet. This pattern features raglan sleeves along with different neckline and hem options. I chose the cropped version with the cowl neck. I knew the cropped version would look fab with the high waisted trend. The fabric is a black waffle knit from I made a size 16/18 without adjustment. I sewed it all on the serger and coverstitch machine in about 90 minutes. This top is a wardrobe staple and I would love to make another couple of versions in some ribbed knit. 

My Elliot Sweater also pairs nicely with the Seamwork Laura Skirt. The Laura skirt was released several months ago and I've never thought much about it. However, in putting together my capsule, I went back through the Seamwork catelog and realized this would not only pair well with multiple pieces, but would be a perfect match for this light blue Tencel fabric I've had in my stash. Fabric is from Joann. I made my typical 14. The waistline is easy to fit considering it is a wrap style. And in true Seamwork fashion, it was an easy make. It is cut on the bias. One tip that I utilized that Seamwork does not mention, is that you need to hang the garment for 24 hours prior to hemming. The bias fabric will stretch as it hangs, causing an uneven hem. By letting it hang, you can true up the hem prior to putting in those final stitches. 

And finally I have the Emmie Top also by Seamwork. I don't think I've met a peasant blouse I don't like. What makes this one special is the elasticized neckline with hook and eye closures, and the billowing sleeves. I used this floaty rayon voile from La Finch fabrics. I made a 14, no adjustments to the sizing. Don't let the frills and gathers intimidate you, again they are easy to do following Seamwork's instructions. 

That's it for now, I'm plugging away at the rest of my capsule along with a few one-off projects. And then comes the sewing for the holiday season (mixed emotions about that one). 

Until next time!


Monday, August 10, 2020

Simplicity 8834

 I fell in love with this zebra print rayon challis from I snapped up one of their great deals on an end of the bolt piece. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted it to be made into at the time. I settled on Simplicity 8834. I love the tie front and faux wrap skirt of view C.

I made a size 20, using my measurements and doing a tissue fitting beforehand. Word to the wise- view C is very short! I am 5' 3" and most often shorten the length of garments. However, I added 3 inches to this. It's a bit tedious because of the curved shape of the wrap, but well worth it to get it to my preferred below the knee length. 

This uses an invisible zipper. I'm not new to these and have sewn them in for many years. However, I could never get a smooth finish at the end of the zipper. There is almost always a bump or jag where the zipper ends and the seam is sewn shut. I learned about Kenneth King's invisible zipper technique available on YouTube. It requires a few more minutes of time but results in a perfectly smooth seam!  

I am very happy with how this turned out! It's light and flowy, perfect for the Summer. When the cooler months arrive, this will look great with a denim jacket or cardigan and some booties!


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Dawn Jeans and Arisu Top

Hello there! This week, I've got 2 new me-mades to share. First up is for my latest knitting project. I don't think I've shared much of my knitting on the blog yet. I learned to knit in 2019 by reading a book and watching some Youtube videos to figure things out. It's quickly become a new obsession, second only to my sewing. I'm drawn to lace patterns. I love the design elements and it's a fun departure from simply knitting in the round. This is my 3rd knitted garment. I made my first top earlier in the year, followed by a top for my daughter. I used the Arisu top pattern. I live in the hot climate of Phoenix and was drawn to the Spring/Summer style and lace details. I was expecting a challenge but the lacy leaf print was surprisingly easy to follow. I am proud to say that I didn't have to tink or frog back any rows on this project! Usually, I cannot say that. I used this lovely merino wool/alpaca/acrylic blend from Universal Yarn in the color Jam. Although there is wool in the content, it is soft and lightweight. I just love how this turned out. It is a slightly cropped style and looks great with high-waist pants.    



Next up is my new Dawn Jeans!  I purchased this white, non-stretch denim from Blackbird Fabrics. I also purchased one of their jeans hardware kits for the zipper, buttons and rivets. White is a bold choice for me, I've never had white jeans. But I think they look great in Spring/Summer. According to my measurements, I would fall into the size 16 in the Dawn Jeans. I just got the straight-size pattern, not the curvy. I cut an 18, thinking that I could take them in here and there if needed (I'm too lazy for a muslin). They sewed up easily. The instructions are well illustrated. I did do a zip fly instead of the button-fly and Megan has a nice tutorial for that online. The hips were too small for me, I let them out 1/4" each side which was perfect. The waist fits great. I don't quite have a C.T., but my nether regions are hugged a little more tightly then I would like. For my next pair, I think I will do a thick thigh adjustment, which should give me some extra crotch room. I'm not sold on the length, I think they need to be a bit shorter but my husband talked me into keeping them long. I used a white, heavyweight topstitching thread. Overall, I'm pleased with them. I do want to make 2-3 pairs of shorts with the same pattern and will be making the above adjustments next time. 






Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Seamwork Rhett and Lito

Hello there! This week I am sharing my Seamwork Rhett jacket and Lito dress. Not one to sew for the seasons, my Rhett is done, right in time for a record 106 degrees today!  I'm not off season, I'm just planning for my 2020 Fall and Winter wardrobe, right? My Lito dress can be worn all Summer long!

Let's start with the Lito dress. This pattern is a simple, easy to throw on and go, dress. The original version is an above the knee version with sporty looking neckline and sleeve bands. I sewed up the bonus version, which gives this softer look. It has a scoop neckline and the length is below the knee with a lovely curved hem. I used a cotton spandex printed knit from Joann Fabrics. I've had it in my stash for about 3 years. I loved the print but couldn't figure out what to make it into. I instantly thought of it when I saw this pattern. I made a 14, without any changes. I sewed up the seams with my serger and sewed the hems with my coverstitch machine. It took less than 2 hours. Nothing earth-shattering here. It is a quick and easy project and I love the finished look! I'm thinking that this would be great for some nightshirts, cut about 12 inches shorter. 

The jacket is the Rhett pattern. I got this vibrant mustard denim from a local fabric swap. I instantly fell in love with the color and had my eyes on it, eagerly awaiting my turn to grab a piece of fabric at the swap. Luckily, I didn't have to fight anyone for it. I am so not a pattern hacker. I am a boring, sew it as it looks, kind of girl- not including the occasional length changes. But I really loved the suggested hacks Seamwork included for the Rhett, and I used 2 of them. The instructions were very straightforward and easy to follow. I made a back yoke and center back pleat. I love the little bit of room this gives in the back. I added hidden front pockets! These were trickier but worked out just fine by following the instructions. I cut and sewed a 14. I ran out of fabric and shortened the sleeves by 3 inches. They turned out to be full length sleeves still (this may mean you might want to check the length before you cut)! This was a longer project, taking about 5 hours. I topstitched with a heavy-duty thread. I love the end look. The mustard fabric is a stretch for me, not a color I would normally wear, but it is a nice change of pace. 

*I am a Seamwork Ambassador! In exchange for a complimentary year long membership, I have agreed to sew and post 10 patterns. Reviews and opinions are my own. 


Friday, May 1, 2020

Seamwork Lyle

Today is May 1st which means that Seamwork Magazine is releasing 2 more patterns to their collection. It's also the beginning of a little thing known as Me-Made-May! What will be your pledge for the month of May? Funny fact- I've never officially participated in Me Made May. I love the concept but it's a lot of work to take pictures and create posts! I haven't been able to commit yet. Maybe this year will be the year. 

In March, I learned I was selected to be a Seamwork ambassador! I am really excited to be a part of the team. In exchange for a complimentary membership for one year, I have agreed to sew at least 10 patterns. Reviews and opinions are my own. In fact, they welcome my constructive feedback. One of the perks is that I get to view the upcoming patterns ahead of the release date. That's why I was able to get a head start on this. 

This dress is the Lyle pattern by Seamwork, one of the two patterns released this month. It is a maxi-length dress featuring a boatneck and curved hem. It is made for knit fabrics. 

I used a geometric navy and white ITY print from SAS Fabrics, a fabric mecca in Arizona. It's been in my stash for several months. An ITY jersey is lightweight and breathable. It has a lovely drape. 

I cut a size 14 according to my measurements. I shortened the dress by 3 inches for more of a midi-length. I carry my extra weight in my abdomen. I wanted the dress to skim my midsection, not cling to it, so I added some width in the side seams. I added 1/2 inch to each side seam, for a total of 2 inches extra around the midsection. If you have a slimmer abdomen compared to the rest of your body, you can probably get away without doing this. 

I used my serger and coverstitch machine to sew this together. It took me about 2 hours total. 

Hemming knits on a machine can be fiddly, even with a coverstitch. One thing I've always done to improve the look of my hems on knit pieces is to stabilize the hem with strips of interfacing. I did this even when all I had was a standard straight stitch machine. I really like this product from SewKeysE. This is the extremely fine fusible stay tape. I use it to stabilize hems, shoulder seams and zipper insertion areas. I used the 5/8 inch width for this dress, but it comes in thicker widths for different projects. It stabilizes the hem and makes it much easier to stitch. 

I sewed a matching fabric tie to add some definition to my high waist. I simply cut a 6 inch strip, the length of my fabric. I folded it in half, stitched it together with a 1/4" seam allowance and left an opening to turn. 

This was fast and easy and I really like the finished look. I live in the Phoenix area and it is already sweltering hot. This is the perfect dress to throw on to look put together while staying comfortable. 


Friday, January 31, 2020

Colette Anise Jacket

Making a wool peacoat has been on my ultimate sewing list for quite some time. I've had this black wool coating from for at least 4 years, probably more. I took a long time to settle on  just the right style of peacoat to fit my taste. The Anise jacket was not first on my list. I actually found a style I really wanted on However, when I was ready to download the pattern and get started, the 2019 Burda Style Cluster-eff occurred. At that time, Burda Style transitioned to a new web site manager and customers were not able to download nor purchase patterns for weeks. The Anise was a close second to my first choice and was available for "free" with my Seamwork subscription. 

Aside from the wool coating, I used a muslin interlining, and a polyester charmeuse from my stash. I went on a hunt for the perfect buttons and found these interesting silver buttons on Mood Fabrics. I used a horsehair interfacing. 

I cut a size 14. My measurements would put me in a 16, but I find that Seamwork has quite a bit of ease in their patterns. Although I didn't make a muslin, I fit as I went and this worked out well. 

As for the construction, it is time consuming, but not difficult. Colette includes detailed instructions with their patterns, and the Anise has a sew-along, with even more detail (just Google it). I did bound buttonholes, really not as difficult as they look! 

I padstitched the undercollar, which ensures your collar has a nice turn and lays correctly. I used the serpentine stitch on my machine to create the underlining, a technique I borrowed from Kenneth King. 

Instead of installing the lining as directed, I used the bag method. The Colette instructions would cause much more hand stitching and a not so clean inside, IMO. I followed the Threads Magazine tutorial to bag my lining. It is easy and creates a cleaner inside. Also, much less hand sewing!

The jacket is gorgeous! I am loving the details I spent extra time on, such as the bound buttonholes. This jacket is timeless and I know I will enjoy it for years. 

By the way, I finished this just in time for 70 degree weather in Phoenix! I might be great at sewing by will never be great at sewing the right season!