A few things...

10:19 AM 15 Comments A+ a-

1. Every woman should own a sewing machine and know how to sew a seam, in my opinion. Case in point... I bought this dress (and it's sister in navy & white) at Walmart on the clearance rack months ago (lets be honest, probably over a year ago) for something like $5. Unfortunately it was about 2 sizes to big but I really liked the print and I firmly believe that a girl can never have too many knit wrap dresses. (Particularly a girl like me who literally gets out of bed 30 minutes before she has to be at work and needs clothes that are EASY) Anyway, all I did to this dress (and it's sister) was to take it in about 2 inches all the way down the side seams. I didn't even adjust the sleeves because they weren't baggy enough to bother me and I'm pretty lazy. Literally took maybe 5 minutes per dress and I've gotten so many compliments when I've worn them these last few weeks! Everyone should be able to do this, particularly if they're on a budget. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but I'll make this my life mission. Sewing machines for all!

(Now lets not talk about the fact that I've had these dresses for months a year and just got around to doing the 5 minute alteration...)

2. I spent all Sunday adjusting my Clover muslin, transferring the adjustments to the pattern, then because I'm cheap and hate wasting fabric, picking apart the original muslin, ironing it and recutting based on the pattern adjustmensts. Luckily after all that the fit was decent enough for my non-perfectionist self, so I spent last night making Sallie Oh's trouser modifications to the pattern, then I cut everything out. Now I'm a little too scared to sew it together. What if after all this time and effort they don't fit? What if they look terrible on me? AHHH! I'm going to try to bite the bullet tonight and put them together. Hopefully they'll fit perfectly, look fabulous and make all my dreams come true. Stay tuned...

3. I have been wanting to make a black circle skirt for 100 years but I can't seem to make myself do it. Circle skirts are pretty simple right? Like I could do this in a night? (minus hemming since it has to hang for a while...) I might need something easy after these crazy pants...

4. Enter my blog birthday giveaway! You have until next Monday! Go go go!

Happy Birthday...

9:39 AM 30 Comments A+ a-

to my blog! She turns one year old today!

I've had such fun with her over the past year and she's been a great way to meet and get to know all of you! Now, I know we just had Sew Grateful week, full of fun giveaways, but I figured maybe y'all wouldn't mind if we had one more to celebrate my blogiversary right?

So here's the deal, I'm becoming more and more of a fan of independent pattern companies, so I thought I would share the love with two of my new favorites!

First up, Victory Patterns! I love love love these sweet patterns. The day I heard of them I immediately purchased the Ava Dress, but I've also had my eye on the Madeline skirt. I think it will be part of my blogiversary presents to myself! I'll take any excuse to buy myself presents!

Next, is Pattern Runway! Such beautiful simple designs! I have the Gorgeous Pussy Bow Blouse and the One Shouldered Bow Party Dress. Haven't made either yet but they're so pretty to look at, the daydreaming is half the fun!

Source: etsy.com via Forrest on Pinterest

I will give away one pattern from each company to 2 different winners. You must be following this blog to win, then just leave me a comment telling me which company and pattern you'd like to win! Giveaway ends on on March 5, 2012 at noon!

A big thank you to all my sweet, fabulous, talented readers who have made this past year so fun!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


8:14 PM 4 Comments A+ a-

So I have actually been sewing but I've been getting home after dark all week so I haven't been able to take pictures. Coming soon...

In the meantime, do we think I could make this dress with some modifications on the Lonsdale?

And the winner is...

10:00 AM 1 Comments A+ a-

Ginger of Ginger Makes! Shoot me an email with your address lady and I'll get the patterns in the mail! 
Congratulations and thanks everyone for entering!

You're Welcome Craftsy!

10:08 AM 7 Comments A+ a-

or, an example of why you should always check your email...

I, like many of you I'm sure, have been desperately waiting for Gertie's second Sew Retro course on Craftsy since it was announced in their email a month ago. As soon as I saw the email this morning I immediately purchased it...

Then, about 5 minutes later on a whim, I decided to also purchase the Jean-ius class with Kenneth D. King, which shows you how to draft a pattern for jeans based on ones you already own. I don't have a pair of jeans I love right now, but I thought this would be useful to have in the future and I wanted to take advantage of the sale...

$39.99 each didn't seem too bad until I went back to read the confirmation email from Craftsy and saw this!

Pretty sure this means I could have gotten the Jean-ius class for $25 instead of $40... Ugh. I'm looking on the bright side and considering the $15 as a donation to Craftsy for having awesome classes. The other downside to this is that now I can't focus on work because I can't wait to get home and watch these classes! Why won't someone just pay me to sew clothes for myself so I don't have to have a real job?

Happy Thursday Lovelies!

Valentine's Date Dress

4:35 PM 9 Comments A+ a-

You know how when you sew you think you need to make a new dress for every occasion? It doesn't even matter if that occasion is in the next 24 hours? That's kind of how I feel about this dress... The boyfriend and I planned to have a quiet dinner at his place with wine, lamb, creme brulee and a movie, so of course I figured I needed a new dress. Preferably one that I could wear to work that day and be comfortable in while eating large amounts of food. Ever since the early days of Pinterest, I've been dreaming about making this dress...

So I figured the need for a comfortable, work appropriate Valentine's Day Dress coupled with this weird piece of red 70's estate sale poly jersey (that smelled like moth balls as I unfolded it, how romantic!) would be a great opportunity to test out the Hope Wrap Dress from BurdaStyle as a possibility for the eventual navy dream dress. First lets look at it through the rose colored glasses of poorly lit photography before I start complaining...

The boyfriend likes this picture best so I'm including it for him, even though I think I look like a weirdo...

Overall this is a really awesome pattern. It went together really easily and quickly! The 2 issues I have with it are entirely my fault. First of all, it's an ungraded pattern and I was an idiot and didn't really pay attention to the measurements. In the picture, the girl modeling it looked close to my size and I figured since it was jersey it would be forgiving. It's not terrible but it is a little on the tight side. Plus I felt like my boobs were hanging out the whole time. Fine for Valentine's Day dinner, but it definitely required a safety pin at work. Good thing it's all ladies in my office so they weren't too scandalized.

Secondly, I decided to make this pattern the night before Valentine's Day. And I didn't start cutting the fabric until after 8pm. And I also washed dishes, put away laundry, changed my sheets, took a shower and was still in bed before midnight. So even though this is a quick pattern, I did a bit of a rush job and you can really tell on the trim/binding of the neckline. Plus I didn't finish the ties out of sheer exhaustion/laziness...

So in conclusion, I probably will wear this dress again, but definitely not to work, although it might motivate me to loose my 5ish Holiday pounds that won't go away. I also will probably make this dress again in my dream navy, but I'll grade the pattern up a bit and take my time. Also, every time I sew a knit project I decide I'm never sewing woven again because finishing seam allowances is the bane of my existence. Then I forget and sew something woven again. I guess it's like having babies, you have to forget how much it sucks sometimes so you'll keep doing it...

Hope you all had a fab Valentine's Day!

Don't forget, my Sew Grateful Pattern Giveaway ends tomorrow!

Happy Valentine's Day...

9:34 AM 1 Comments A+ a-

to my best buddy...

I love you more than root beer floats!

Clover Pants Muslin

3:25 PM 4 Comments A+ a-

aka, the time I showed an awkward picture of my butt to the world...
So, the good news is these are not as bad as I thought they would be. I read horror stories of other blogger's struggles to fit their Clovers, so I was relieved that these fit as well as they do. I made them with a black pointe from Fabricmart. I bought 6 yards so that I could use it for the muslin and the final pair. I had hoped to add the modifications from Sallie Oh's fabulous Clovers but I think this material is too thin for pockets and a fly zip, so I'm planning to finish out this pair as is, then make another with the pocket and fly modifications and thicker fabric.

Here's the front. The main problem I see is the baggy crotch. I also feel like it sits a little high on my waist (you can't really tell from the picture but it feels off) and there's obviously a lot of extra fabric in the shin-area.

The back actually fits pretty well, which is good, considering how much it hurt my brain to think about how to alter that area. Again, there's way too much fabric in the legs, which shouldn't be too hard to fix, but I'm not sure what to do about the diagonal lines around my hips... Any ideas?

So this is my solution so far for the front. I folded the waistband down about 1.5 inches, which makes it sit a lot better and fixes some of the bagginess. I need to inspect the Colette pants fitting cheat sheet to confirm how to transfer this alteration to the pattern (this is a crotch length alteration right?), and to figure out how to get rid of the rest of the bagginess. I also folded up the hem a few inches to approximate where I want them to hit on my legs. Looks so much better than the first picture doesn't it?

Hopefully the fixes needed for these pants will be as simple as they seem. Is there anything weird y'all see that I might be missing?

Happy Friday my loves! Hope your weekend is fabulous!

PS Remember you have until Thursday to enter my Sew Grateful pattern giveaway!

Sew Grateful Giveaway!

4:12 PM 31 Comments A+ a-

Sew Grateful Week 

I know I'm a little late to the party, but I am SO (and sew ;) grateful for all of you! I started this little blog almost a year ago and I can't believe how much fun I've had sewing for this blog and getting to know all of you! So here's a little giveaway to show my love ;)

I picked 3 really fun patterns out of my vintage stash that I love but probably won't get around to sewing. They're either 32 or 34 inch bust and one person is going to get all three! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Giveaway closes at noon on Thursday, February 16. Good luck and thank you for being you ;)

Just a Plain Black Pencil Skirt...

4:16 PM 4 Comments A+ a-

Amazingly, I've actually finished something in the last few weeks! I've had several things on the ironing board that were 75% finished but I couldn't seem to get motivated to get them done (aka, I hate handstiching more than I hate sleeping with wet hair, which is seriously a lot). However, once I bought tickets for my New York trip, which has now moved from mid April to mid March (aka, I'm going to freeze to death) I decided I had to get my booty in gear so I could start working on clothes for the trip. A Sunday Downton Abbey marathon got me through several garments worth of hand sewing, including fixing the boyfriend's mangled silk tie that he put IN THE WASHING MACHINE! ARRRRGGGGHHHH! It's sort of fixed but I warned him I would murder him if it ever happened again.

By the way guys, I'm a few episodes into season 2 and I need to know, am I supposed to like Mary now? She kind of sucked last season but now I'm kinda rooting for her to end up with Matthew although he's clearly too nice of a guy for her. And why did Edith get kinda trampy? Also, if Carson has another heart attack scare I'll lose it. But seriously, how amazing is this show?

Anyway, I'm a lover of a good pencil skirt and when my trusty black college-era Forever 21 skirt finally bit the dust last fall I knew that I would need to replace it fairly quickly. Unfortunately, I'm lazy so I finished not quickly and right at the end of winter, about the time when I want to start making spring colored clothes and not boring black things. I mean seriously y'all, I live in Texas and aside from the crazy cold snap we're having right now, in like 5 minutes it'll be 80 degrees everyday and I'll want to wear sundresses! In ice cream colors! Geez.

I used Burda's Jenny pencil skirt pattern, that many a blogger has raved about, with some black stretch cotton I bought forever ago from Fabricmart. I have to say, I totally get it. This pattern is crazy easy to put together and really flattering. Also, a touch more grown-up looking than my Forever 21 skirt. RIP.

However, it was a bad idea to try to take photos at work with this huge sweater on. The skirt is totally wrinkled and covered in sweater fuzz and I had to hold it up to show the waistband. Plus the shower curtain in our office is hideous. Not like I needed to point that out, it's pretty glaringly obvious...

Here's a shot of the waistband and a shot from the side. When I cut the skirt I thought it might be a little tight, especially since I can't put down the girl scout cookies lately and an extra 5lbs have been creeping up on me, but it's actually a little on the loose side. I'm giving it a few wearings to decide if it's annoying enough to fix. Originally I had a crazy zipper butt bubble situation, but the perfectionist in me, who normally remains silent when it comes to sewing projects, spoke up, so I ripped out the back seam and re-did it. Looks pretty decent now...

I lined it using the same fabric I used to line my Minoru, plus make a dress a few years ago. So glad to finally have it out of my stash! If I could send a message to newbie-sewer me 2 years ago I would say "Stop buying 5 yards of fabric because you're afraid you'll make a mistake! It will be annoying to have everything in your wardrobe made out of it later!" 

I'm sure I was supposed to use a black lining so when the slit in the back opens while I walk people won't be trying to stick their head up my skirt to see what crazy fabric is lining it... but oh well, I don't like following rules.

So there it is, the first finished object I've posted in ages and it's a plain black skirt. Whatever y'all, I'm so happy to have something done, I don't even care that it reminds me of funerals rather than spring days to come.

Happy Monday!

A New York Wardrobe

3:29 PM 10 Comments A+ a-

I'm going to New York y'all!

I know to most of you this is no big deal but not only have I never been to New York City, up until age 15ish I had a sincere plan to move there after high school graduation and work on Broadway plays. My life went in a little different direction but I've never stopped dreaming of visiting the city.

So the deal is, one of my darling best friends/former college roommates is living in New York this spring while interning at Christies. Yeah, that Christies... She's kind of an art genius. Anyway, the plan is that me and one of my other best friends/former college roommates will fly up for a long weekend in early April, so I'm of course already planning my wardrobe and lining up my sewing projects. I'm not sure what the weather will be like, but since I'm used to Texas temperatures, even if it's "warm" by New York standards I'm sure I'll still be freezing...

This is my main inspiration picture for the weekend's outfits (with a little more color). I have a great leopard trench similar to the one in the picture and since we'll be doing mostly touristy things and walking a bunch I think I'll go with a pair of dark jeans or black cigarette pants (more on that in a minute), a sweater or pretty top and ballet flats for day wear.

I'm in love with these pants! I'm planning to recreate them using Colette's Clover pattern with the pocket and zipper fly modifications from Sallie Oh.

Here are a few more day wear inspirations...

Source: lookbook.nu via Forrest on Pinterest

Then I'll of course need some fun dress for night...

I'm still pretty scattered on what exactly I want to pack/make/buy, but I need to decide soon considering how slowly I've been sewing lately!

Ok, New Yorkers, I need your advice. What will the weather be like in April? Will I look like an idiot wearing any of the above items of clothing? Where should I eat? Which touristy places are worth it and which are lame?

And most importantly...

What are your favorite fabric stores?