Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Pattern Fun!

The magic of a new day. I have been getting strange headaches for a little over the last 10 years. No matter what I do, they last for 48 hours. While still miserable, they are a little better. Last year I saw a therapist who specializes in people who have had the kind of head trauma that I've had, and it has made a difference. Sadly, with Covid, I haven't been able to see her. But, like I said, the good news is that while the headaches still last for 48 hours, they are easier to deal with. So yes, I am very grateful for a new day :) 


While inspiration posts are great, if one is unsure about how to lift that idea off the page, well, it's not worth much.

I came across this pattern from the Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop. Quite similar to the sweatshirt I posted yesterday. The inspiration sweatshirt is much more oversized, but not everyone wants an oversized top. You can find the Pemberley Pullover pattern HERE   

Paula sent a lovely idea for recreating the top that I loved so much from yesterday's post. She recommended the Belgravia Knit Dress from Oliver and S. While the pattern is a dress, it can most definitely be shortened into a top. If you would like, you could fill in the neckline and and add a turtleneck.

I have not bought a new paper pattern in I don't know when. Well, now that I think about it, I did purchase the Wilder Gown from Friday Pattern Company. Although, I haven't made it up as of yet :/ 

Vogue recently had a sale on their patterns, and I bought a few that I am excited about.

I bought Vogue 1722 for the sleeves. I thought that the lower portion of the sleeve would just be a big rectangle, and it is. I actually want to use the sleeve pattern with Vogue 9237. 

I've made 2 dresses from this pattern, and I just love it. So I thought that for winter, this sleeve would be quite fun. 

I love the side panels in this Tom and Linda Platt dress. I plan to add sleeves so it will be more comfortable to wear during the colder months. 
Finally, the 2 Marcy Tilton patterns. Both are great for more relaxed wear. 

The pattern on the right is all about having fun with mixing prints. I love the one on the left for the draped aspect of the dress, and I especially love the little jacket that comes with the pattern. So, some fun things coming up :)

If by chance you have made either of the Marcy Tilton patterns, I would love to hear your thoughts/tips about the patterns. 

Have a wonderful day, and wherever you may be, I hope the sun is shining :)


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Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday Morning Inspiration/Too Cool To Sweat

It's a rainy, gray, quite cool day in Chicago this morning. I so love days like this. Feels like the universe has given me a blanket to snuggle into. 

I recently shared that I was having a problem with getting pictures from my phone onto the blog. Well, low and behold, one day, everything just came through, like magic. It all seems to be working just fine at this point. I think there are mean little trolls that live in "the internet cloud" who just enjoy having a little fun with us. I think that once they had their fun with me, they released my pictures ;) Whatever, I'm just happy to have it all working once again!

Last week, I shared the romper I made using the Ellie and Mac pattern. I loved it so much that I made another in brown. For those of you who are following my shoe collection...I even bought a new pair of booties to wear with the outfit. You'll see them soon :) I'm typically not a person to wear sweatpants and sweatshirts, but this pattern made me a new convert.

With the thought of wanting some sweatshirt inspiration, something a little less ordinary, I began to look, and found some fun ideas.

Adding a placket down center front, and doing lace up ties really takes this sweatshirt beyond typical.  

I love the idea of a wrapped/overlapped front. Adding the ties with a ring closure makes it all the more special.

Here's another example where they played with the an asymmetrical design.

With this sweatshirt dress, a simple ribbon belt was stitched on and a ring used to keep it all together. Gives the piece a waist definition without any pattern work.  

A more complicated design, but I so love the tie at the neckline. This would work best with a sweater knit rather than an actual piece of sweatshirt knit.

With this top, the band was cut off the bottom, and an asymmetrical casing sewn in. So easy to do, and eye catching.  

Basically the same design as the top above, just done in a sweater knit.

I LOVE this piece! The curved hemline, and the ties, so cute!!! 

Another top with an overlay, and a side tie. 

I think this is my favorite. I love that the pants have a fly front. As for the top, the wrap around aspect is fabulous!

Here the waistline is accented, but not at all fitted. I also like the small bell-shaped cuff.

Another favorite. This is a take on a piece I did for a Fabulous Free Pattern Friday post that you can see HERE. With this, the back section is cut away and then slashed and spread apart. A tutorial for this will be up soon.

I hope this has spurred your imagination, and maybe inspired you to make your casual wear a little more fashion forward :)
Have a wonderful week!
And keep sewing!!!

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

It Was Always There

I think we can all say that it has been quite the summer. Mine began with my friend dying, and me having to completely clean out her house. But, with a lot of hard work, and very long days, I had the house on the market and sold in 5 weeks. I have been told that I should be hired to take care of estates. My answer is, "No Way!!!" Way too much work, and way too much stress to do that on an ongoing basis. My primary goal was to get the house sold as quickly as possible as it worried me having it sit empty. I ended up missing out on being able to work in my garden. But, I am not super woman, and I had to choose a priority. The garden will be here next summer :)

When I initially walked into the house, I felt a little overwhelmed, where do I begin? I decided that the easiest place to start was with her clothes. Get the closets cleaned out, and get the clothes and shoes packed for charity. That in and of itself was quite the endeavor. I thought I had a lot of clothes. One thing I learned is that she really didn't throw anything out. So, there were bags upon bags of clothes and shoes. 

A few years ago, I made this denim cape for a Sew News sew along. It's the Cape Super Express from Islander Sewing. I had a lot of fun with this piece. I lined the hood with a burnt orange velvet. The body is lined with a piece of home dec fabric. And, to finish it off, I used purse snaps for the closure. Sadly, those clamp style purse snaps are no longer available.     

I made 2 of these capes, 1 for the Sew News magazine, and another for the sew along. The cape that I made for the magazine has a lovely silk lining, and is made with 2 coordinating pieces of faux fur. You can see pictures of that cape HERE

My friend saw the capes in the Haute Couture Club of Chicago's fashion show that year and raved over them. So, I decided to give her the denim cape. She was thrilled!!!

After going through all of my friend's clothes, the cape was no where to be found. I thought that maybe she had given it away. But then, that was so unlike her. 

Once the house sold, I began working on clearing out the furniture that I had used to stage the house, and clean for the new owner. The furniture in the 1st floor bedroom had been moved out, and I went in to vacuum and mop the floors. While vacuuming, I closed the door to clean behind it, and low and behold, there, hanging behind the door was the cape. I couldn't believe it, it was there all along.

It was obvious that she had placed it there so that she could quickly throw it on.

The process of closing out one's life is one that I have said that everyone should experience once in their lifetime. It has made me look at objects and possessions in a very different manner. At one point, I was so tired that I told my husband that I wanted to sell everything we have, buy a tee pee, and just sit on the floor of that tee pee, no furniture, no stuff!!! Trust me, I am over that ;)

Along the way, I have also learned so many life lessons. With the cape, I learned that it can be so very easy to overlook things that are right in front of me. In this case, all I had to do was move the door. Just move something that was in the way. 

The cape is back in my possession. The temps are beginning to fall. Mornings are crisp and cool, perfect cape wearing weather. I think that each time I wear the cape, I will be reminded that in order to find what I want, sometimes all it takes is to move a door. Sometimes a physical door, and sometimes a door that I have created.     

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Monday, September 21, 2020

A Sweatsuit With Style

I would usually try and do an inspiration post on Monday morning, but I just have to share a recent make as I am so very happy with the pattern. It's the Off-Shoulder Romper from Ellie and Mac Patterns.

While it looks like 2 pieces, it's actually 1!

I made mine out of a great piece of ponte knit. The top band does not have elastic in it, so the sturdy stretch of the ponte works beautifully to keep the shoulder in place. 

I am not a sweatshirt/pant kind of a person, but I love this!!! As I was putting the piece together, I realized that the pattern is quite versatile. The pants could easily stand on their own, just add a waistband. The top could easily stand on its own. The top portion of the pattern could easily be lengthened to a dress. So, rather than just a romper pattern, it's like a wardrobe pattern. I know that for some, the off the shoulder aspect of the pattern might be uncomfortable. Little straps could easily be added. I have another idea of combining the Chelsea Raglan Tee pattern from Fabrics-store.com and creating a non off the shoulder version, which I think would be just as cute.       
As for the pattern, I absolutely love the pockets. They are just the perfect depth. I walked Berkley yesterday afternoon, put my phone in the pocket and never felt that it might fall out. 

The pattern is on sale!!! Even better :) Once again, you can find it HERE. It's a back to school sale, so I am not sure how long it will run, so if you like the pattern, don't delay. I've already cut a second version. The pattern took me no more than 2 hours to put together, so it's a fast make. That did not include the cutting time. 

I am so pleased with the pattern that I bought 3 more patterns, 1 that was free, and the other 2 were only a dollar...SCORE!!! You'll see those soon, I hope ;)

Have a wonderful week,
And Keep Sewing!!!

I am STILL having problems with sending pictures from my phone. I found that if I copy a picture and paste it into an email, it will go through, otherwise, I have no idea where it is going. If by chance you have any advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it. I do need a new phone, and I will be taking care of that later this week, so maybe that will fix the problem.  

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Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Tale of Two Tops

A few weeks ago, I posted the dress I made using the Islander Sewing Systems Easy V Express Top. I was very happy with how it translated into a dress.  

A number of you asked about the pattern, and the difference/similarity between the Islander pattern and the Presto Popover Top from Naughty Bobbins Patterns.

While both patterns look similar, there are some very different details to each pattern. The Easy V Express Top has a set in pleat in the back neckline. Look closely at the picture above and you'll see the pleat detail. 

You can easily see that pleat in the picture below.  

The Naughty Bobbins Presto Popover Top does not have the set in pleat. 

For the picture, I left the neckline standing, but once on the body, it will crush and drape a bit, depending on the fabric that is used.

The Presto Popover Top is much more form fitting. It is also has a fully lined front bodice.

The Easy V Express Top is softer. The front bodice is not fully lined, but has a fold back facing. The Express Top is also a much more forgiving fit. In other words, not form fitting. 

Both are great patterns, with easy to follow instructions. Both patterns go together very quickly. I can't say that I have a favorite, I like both and the subtle differences. One thing to keep in mind is that since the Presto Top has a fully lined front bodice, it does take more fabric. One of the reasons I chose the Presto Top for the white version is that it is fully lined.  

I hope that has answered some of your questions. If you have more, please leave a message and I will do my best to answer. 

Until next time...
Keep Sewing :)

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Moving On with the One Year Challenge

Oh the internet, it can be so wonderful, and then when it doesn't work, it's beyond frustrating. I have been waiting all week for my videos to download. None have yet to appear in my inbox. So, I thought that I would do a different post, tried sending pictures, and they won't come through. I have no idea what the problem is. I have a feeling that at some point, it's all going to mysteriously just appear. So, rather than wait any longer, I thought I would at least get you a little up to date on my 1 year challenge. 

All the way back to August 23rd...
I made this dress for a Sew News sew along. It's the Summer Breeze Top pattern from Hot Patterns which seems to no longer be available. Such a shame as it's a rather fun pattern to make. I took the 2 pictures to show that as much as I like those yellow shoes, I did change into my Keds to walk Berkley :) 
One of my favorite skirts. A friend gave me the Picasso panel. I debated for some time as to what I would do with it. Finally, it was a skirt. Since it was such a special piece, I decided to give it a more couture finish by underlining it with silk organza. It even has a silk charmeuse lining. Maybe a little over board as the back is a lightweight denim. I paired the skirt with a Molly Tee from Pattern Union.

This was a fun challenge of sorts. Helena of Gray All Day posted that she had purchased a large lot of fabric and would like to share it with a few others just as a goodwill kind of a thing to do. we were given 2 yards and told that we could do anything we chose. In the photograph, the fabric looks white. It is white, but it has tiny little yellow puffs all throughout. I decided to use the Odgen Cami from True Bias  and add a skirt, making a simple summer dress. The fabric is such a lovely gauze, so it floats all over the place. Fun To wear! 

A friend of mine had told me about the Scout Tee from Grainline Studio, and how much she likes it. I think she's made maybe 10 or so! I decided to give it a try. I too like the pattern. Easy to make, and just a great wardrobe staple. The skirt is the Summer Equinox Skirt from Naughty Bobbins Patterns. I really love this skirt as it has darts that give it such a nice fit. The skirt is part of her Summer Ensemble package. 

The latter part of August was so very warm. I just needed an outfit that looked cute, but was cool. I had the batik, so I did another Ogden Cami from True Bias Patterns and paired it with a pair of basic elastic waist pants.     

We took my mother out for her birthday, and I decided to wear something fun. It just feels so Emilio Pucci to me :) The top is self drafted, a tutorial is coming soon. The skirt is a piece I did for my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday series. You can find the instructions HERE. The leggings are from Sew News, and they are the Loveland Leggings

We're finally up to August 30th!
The tunic I'm wearing is from Alice and Ann. I really like the pattern as it has a lovely front placket. It's the Adley Shirt.Here again, I paired it with an Ogden Cami, and a pair of pants that are really a pajama pant pattern from Martha Stewart.    

The top I'm wearing was one that I made from a free pattern. It's a lovely pattern, but I'm not sure if it's still available. You can see my post on the blouse HERE. I also posted instructions on how to down load the pattern which you can find HERE. Again, it may no longer be available, but it's worth a try. The pants are a favorite, the Barb Pant from Style Arc

The blouse I'm wearing is one I drafted. the sleeves are from my Sleeves on Saturdays series, the Draped Cowl Sleeve. I also did a tutorial on how to draft the cowl neckline, and you can find it HERE.

And finally, at least for now :)
The skirt is from Tessuti. It's their free Libby A-line skirt. It comes in 3 lengths. Another great wardrobe staple pattern. The top is another from my Sleeves on Saturdays series. I especially love this sleeve has it has such a 1940s vibe, and yet quite modern at the same time. It's the Cowl Sleeve and you can find it HERE

This post takes me up to September 2nd. At least I'm finally in the same month!!! Hopefully I'll soon be able to figure out why I can't send my photos from my phone to my email address. 

Until next time, keep sewing!

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Monday, September 14, 2020

Monday Morning Inspiration/Byron Lars

I have loved Byron Lars since he first appeared back in the early 1990s. First of all, how could you not be drown in by that infectious smile?!!! The New York Times says, "he was heralded by insiders, and overlooked by the fashion system. So he created his own." And did he ever! You can read the full article on this incredibly talented man HERE. A very inspirational read.  

I absolutely love this piece from his current 2020 collection. While it has a vintage look, it is so modern and fresh.

In 2011, Mr. Lars designed the dress below for Anthropologie. To this day, it remains one of their longest running hits selling more than 60,000 and counting. You can find it HERE on the Anthropolgie website.

Designed in 2010, this skirt is just as exciting now as it was then. Talk about cargo pocket inspiration!!!!

I always love seeing a designer's sketches. What a gorgeous dress!

This piece is from Spring 2015. Absolutely love all the detail on the pants.

Mr. Lars is a designer who has never taken no for an answer. I think that you'll find the article uplifting and thought provoking. It would even be a great discussion topic for a sewing/design group. So much to ponder.

Before I go, I thought I would share a piece that I put together last night. It's the Envelope Dress from Cris Wood Sews.

I have this great batik border print fabric, and I thought the border would be fun running down the center of the dress. I ended up cutting the length and making it a shorter dress as I know I'll wear it much more often. It'll be great worn as is, paired with a t-shirt or turtleneck. Pictures of me actually wearing the dress will be coming soon! This is a piece that you can literally put together in an hour. Simply a great, fast make :)

Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, September 13, 2020