Sunday, March 15, 2015

Thinking about Spring


Hello! Hope you're doing great. This is another in-progress/ruminating post because I just haven't had the time I'd like to make stuff and finish projects. I've spent the last couple of weekends improving my InDesign skills for work. It's actually been great, and I can already see a vast improvement in my work, but, you know, something's gotta give.

Before I start describing my little sketch, which is actually pretty self explanatory given the accompanying notes, I want to say how very nice it was to be featured on Rhonda's Creative Life. How very cool! Being able to connect with people who also like to make things is one of the major reasons I wanted to blog in the first place. Thank you, Rhonda and other fellow creatives, for letting me know that I'm not just shouting into a void.

Okay, here's another UFO from several weeks back...


I'm SO close to being finished with this project. It's the Deer and Doe Bruyere bodice combined with a Deer and Doe Sureau skirt. Put those two together and what do you have? A shirt dress, that's what! I can't take credit for the idea, though. I saw a beautiful version on the lovely blog - La Couture Rose.
BTW, do you ever look at blogs in foreign languages? I may not speak or understand French, but that doesn't stop me from admiring all the pretty things this lady makes.

I added in-seam pockets and lined the skirt. Still need to hem the bottom and sleeves, add buttons/holes, etc. The dress is already a perfect length, so I'd like to create bias binding for the hem with my scraps.

I really should hurry up and finish it before it's completely out of season. The only thing I don't like about this so far is the shade of grey. I love warm greys and charcoals, but there's something about this shade that I have negative associations with - like pollution or ashes or something. I'm trying to think of a color for tights or a cardigan to brighten it up; so far I can only imagine aubergine.

Speaking of colors I love, here's something else I'm dreaming about:


I really want to make a triangle quilt in these colors. Right now Beej and I are constantly fighting over the couch throw that's not quite big enough for both of us. So right now I'm collecting scraps in these colors and hopefully soon I'll have some time to piece them together. So much to make, so many interesting things to learn and do.

Finally, I'm sharing a before/after DIY project that I completed a while back but never blogged about. I've got spring/decorating/decluttering on the brain and am trying to work out ways to freshen up my apartment. The first pic is a chair that Beej found on the sidewalk - AKA street treat.



I took off that yucky old fabric and pulled out about a million staples and cleaned it up as best I could. Then I covered it with a bit of pretty upholstery fabric from Britex. I can't remember a lot of details about the fabric. It was a bit pricey, but I didn't need much. I have enough of it leftover to do something with.

Well that was kind of a long and scattered post, wasn't it? Anyone else out there shifting over to decor inspiration lately? Must be a spring thing.

Have a lovely week and thank you very much for reading!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another Sutton


Hello There! Happy Hump Day. Since the weather's been so lovely (sorry, east coasters, not trying to be obnoxious), I took another break from my Pavot  for some instant gratification. This is my third True Bias Sutton blouse. You can see my other two here and here.


Obviously, I'm a fan of the pattern, and since I've made two already this will probably be a short post as there's nothing new to note about the construction. I feel like I was getting to be a bit of a pattern junkie, which I'm totally okay with cuz, you know, it's way less harmful than being a real junkie, but lately I've really been enjoying playing around with the patterns I already have. What about you? Do you have any patterns that you keep going back to?


The Sutton ticks a lot of boxes for me. V-neck, kimono sleeves, hi-lo hem, and no closures means no-stress sewing. I also think the back yoke/pleat and subtle shaping make it a little less boxy, and the focus on finishing in the instructions (french seams, lots of trimming, understitching) forces me to slow down and then I'm more likely to end up with a garment I'm proud of.

The fabric is a rayon blend from Fabric Outlet in the Mission. I don't remember how much I paid, but I do remember that it was 50% off, so probably somewhere around 5 or 6 dollars per yard for a two-yard project. I wore it all day and didn't notice any heavy wrinkling, which is why I suspect it's some sort of blend. We'll see how it behaves after I wash it.

So that's it for me. Enjoy the rest of your week and thanks so much for reading!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pavot Progress


Hello Hello! Hope you're having a fantastic weekend. It's been a busy week for me with a number of different chores and projects, plus the whole earning-a-living thing. But I still feel like blogging, so since I don't have a finished project to share here's the process on something I've been working on for a while now.

Despite my two unfinished Colette Anise jackets (Oh the shame!) I still went ahead and purchased the Deer and Doe Pavot pattern back in November. I totally ignored the fact that I'm just not that big of a fan of peter pan collars and bought it anyway cuz I'm a middle-aged Deer and Doe fangirl. I kept envisioning a cool little trench - olive green with a leather collar. Sometimes when I get an idea in my head I'm like a dog with a bone. I just had to see it through

Pavot Progress

I redid the collar and like it much better now. I didn't like the rounded peter pan shape, plus it made the leather pucker in a way that made it look ill-fitting and cheap.  You can compare the two side by side. Although there are still other fitting issues to tweak (and, of course,  finishing, hemming, buttons, etc.) I think I'm almost there. 

Here are some more details:

  • To avoid the leather puckering and a too-thick seam, I cut the leather just short of the seam allowance (on the inside) and just stitched the leather on top of the cloth collar.
  • I just traced over the regular collar and drew a more angular shape. See below for a picture of the pattern piece. 
  • The leather was a scrap from an old skirt that I had already cut up to make an ipad case.
  • The fabric: Organic Cotton Twill from Discount Fabrics at 10.99 per yard. It's a really good weight for this type of coat. 
  • I'll have to take some pictures wearing it once finished as it doesn't look quite so frumpy on.
  • Fitting adjustments include an FBA on the princess bodice and grading out for the waist and bottom skirt. It's actually too big right now, even for outerwear, because the placket added more inches than I expected. I'm not sure how to fix that, though, because of the side seam pockets. 
  • The next time I grade out the waist, I'm using this awesome tutorial on the Curvy Sewing Collective.

Overall, I think it will be cute and, hopefully, wearable, but I think I should keep an eye out for an actual trench coat pattern for next time. Any suggestions?

Have a great week. Stay warm and safe and do something nice for yourself. Cheers, Donna

Monday, February 16, 2015

Nothin' but Love


Hello there! Hope you had a fab weekend.  So as you can see from the above pic (and if you've followed my most recent posts) I have caught the lingerie-making bug. Although making my own bras would require a feat of engineering that I'm not quite ready for, a bralette for sleeping in is a new and intriguing idea to me. This is the Florence bralette from Colette Pattern's Seamwork magazine. Have you tried any of the Seamwork patterns? I really love having a subscription and the surprise each month of two new patterns. So far, I have loved all the patterns and hope to make the Madrid tote and the Oslo sweater as soon as I have the right materials on hand. 


Okay, back to my bralette. This is not something I can wear out of the house as it doesn't provide the necessary support. Sarai suggests that a bralette can work well, even for larger bust sizes, as something to lounge in and as sleepwear. Like I said, I'm intrigued by the concept. Plus, it's so pretty!


I also think it's a great way to test the bra-making waters without getting in too deep with expensive bra- making supplies. The cost of materials was next to nothing. I picked up the stretch lace at Fabric Outlet at 40% off a while back - so, less than two dollars. The burgundy bamboo rayon knit was a scrap that I'm grateful I didn't toss. The straps, including the rings and sliders, were harvested from an old bra that I never wore because it didn't fit correctly. I used foldover elastic from my stash for the side of the cups and the bottom band. It's not the correct type of elastic to use but worked out okay, I think. Even after cutting down the size of the band, it was still too big, which is why the elastic is gathered at the bottom. But I actually like it as a ruffle. Next time I will pay more attention to where the panels of lace are sewn together by the manufacturer. I've got a seamline down the middle of one cup as a result, which is unfortunate.

Overall, a very fun project  - quick and pretty and there's something so lovely about making pretty undergarments for yourself that encourages a healthy body image.


Here's something pretty that I didn't make - one of two beautiful necklaces from my Valentine. Usually we just make each other cards, but this year I got sort of obsessed with looking at pretty pieces on Etsy and sort of sent him a bunch of links thus dropping giant hints. It's a Peruvian opal, by jewelry artist Alexis Russell, and I think it's amazing and looks almost topographical.

So that's the latest with me. Have you caught the lingerie bug yet? Hope you have a fantastic week. Don't forget to do something nice for yourself!

Monday, February 9, 2015

More Plaid, Please


Ever since I made my first Airelle, by Deer and Doe, I knew there would be another one. I love the simplicity and the sweet, Chelsea collar. I used the reversible fabric purchased recently, which seemed like a no-brainer for playing up a contrasting collar. Not too much to tell. I forgot to include the side darts (whoops) and made my front and back (diamond) darts a little deeper. This made the overall top a bit more fitted. I think I'll make sure it hangs a little looser next time. Also, will add a half inch to the cuffs as they ride up a bit when I'm wearing a cardigan and become just a bit too tight.


I love the soft gauzy fabric so much. It's a loose weave that loves to fray, but it's such a quick and easy pattern that you can finish up before it starts fraying all over the place.
Just a few notes:
  • You can sew the sleeves in flat. I love that. 
  • You do need to gather a bit for the cuffs. It doesn't say that in the instructions because, I guess, it's so obvious. I like Deer and Doe's instructions and clear illustrations, but I find it difficult to know sometimes if a step isn't listed because it's so obvious or if I should skip that particular step. I still need a lot of hand-holding, I suppose. 
  • This pattern is not unlike the Mimi blouse from Tilly's Love at First Stitch, which makes me think it would be pretty easy to add a button placket, faux or otherwise, for a bit of extra visual interest.

Of course, I couldn't resist making a pair of matching drawers. :) Have a lovely week!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

In the Works


Hello! Hope you're doing well on this gorgeous Sunday. I managed to finish a project this weekend and plan to share it in my next post. Right now, though, I think I'll just share some new fabrics and maybe brainstorm about what I might do with my lovely textiles.

I haven't made too many things lately because I'm usually too spent when I come home from work. But I still spend a lot of time thinking about what I'd like to make. Actually, there's nothing better at the end of a long day than curling up on the couch with my ipad, a notebook and some markers or colored pencils. Are you a sketcher or a listmaker? I think I'm a combination of the two. Do you have any favorite tools for planning projects?

Recent Fabric Purchases

Seeing my recent fabric purchases all together like this really hits home the fact that I shop so randomly. These four fabrics have nothing in common. Maybe I should work through the Wardrobe Architect exercises to hone my style.  Oh well, I really like all four fabrics even if they're totally different and will not turn into garments I can wear together.

Top Row:
  1. An awesome reversible plaid from Fabric Outlet. 50% off, so 4.44 a yard. It's actually two different plaids in a very loose weave sewn together. Like double gauze, maybe it even is double gauze and just wasn't labeled as such at the store. I've already made something with this.
  2. Robert Kaufman shirting in a pretty shade of rose - or maybe it's a chambray - from Fabric Outlet.  After making my polka dot Bruyere, I totally get the Robert Kaufman love. So when I see it in a great color at Fabric Outlet for 8.99 a yard x 25% off, I'm all over that shit. This will be some sort of button-up - maybe another Bruyere if I can find something else for the yoke, placket, etc.
Okay, these next two, are expensive (for me) fabrics I wouldn't normally buy, but I had a Britex gift certificate from Christmas and decided to buy fabric that I had a visceral response to as opposed to something practical or having a project in mind. It seemed more in keeping with the spirit of a gift.

Bottom Row:
  1. First one is 100% rayon, woven, 2 yrds @18.99 per yard, with pretty, pretty butterfly wings. I'm thinking a Sutton blouse, but maybe that would be too much large pattern for my short frame? It would make a really lovely skirt, but I hardly ever wear skirts. I'll have to sit on this one for a while.
  2. Next, it's another rayon, 2 yards at 25.99 per yard, but this time it's a stretch fabric. I love love love the colors and the blurry/focus, almost Monet/ Water Lillies vibe. Absolutely no clue what I will do with it. Maybe a simple shift dress?
Well, please feel free to let me know if you have any ideas. I'm looking forward to sharing my latest project with you, but the sun went down before I had a chance to photograph it. Have a lovely, lovely week. Cheers!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Undies: The Sequel


Hello Lovely People! Just a brief post to record my experiences with  another undies pattern. Wait..."brief post" ...I swear I'm not trying to come up with underwear puns. Honestly! :)

I went ahead and purchased the Grace Hipster pattern from OhhhLuLu like I said I would. I was intrigued by the possibilities of mixing woven with knits. I know they look considerably larger than my previous pairs, but I think that's because the front and back are from woven fabric. They are the same size (XL) as the others I've made. (It might be hard to tell the size just by itself, but trust me, they look almost comically larger when placed next to my other pairs - like clown undies.)

This is my test pair. I'm wearing them right now, and so far they feel very comfortable. I'll be sure to include an addendum after I've worn them all day and ran around at work, etc.  - not just sitting around my apartment on a holiday. For future undies, I'd like to purchase some stretch lace - like the pretty examples in Sarah's Etsy shop - but I'm currently on a scrap busting mission, so that will have to wait.

  • I used my serger for most of it, and that seemed to work out well since woven seams need to be finished. 
  • The only thing I don't like is the size (height) of my zig zag; it's way too big. I'll have to change that for next time. 
  • That and not use black serger thread next time. 
  • Very important: The Grace pattern has a 1/2 inch seam allowance and the Lola pattern is 3/8. Just good to remember since it's easy to lump pattern brands together in terms of seam allowances. Probably has to do with the woven fabric factor.
  • The hibiscus Hawaiian rayon challis is my final bit of fabric from a Wanderlust splurge several months ago. I ended up making a top, camisole, boxer shorts (sleep shorts for me), and now this pair of knickers out of it. Not bad.
  • The radiant orchid knit is actually ribbing that I reused from a failed project. It may not have been the best thing to use as it has a tendency to stretch out. We'll see.

Well, have a lovely week and thanks so much for reading. Cheers!