Thursday, January 15, 2015

WIWOTN : What I'm Working on Thursday Night

Hi all! It's been a while! I haven't been sewing much because I got the crazy idea to totally redo my sewing room! I wanted to pop in really quickly and show you a few pictures of the progress (one day late for WIWOW).

This is my sewing table before. It was a 6' Ikea desk that has travelled with me for 7-8 years now. It was nice to be able to spread out, but ultimately I just used the length as storage. You can also see a dinky but useful plastic drawer unit (also from Ikea) that I use for fabric storage.

I spent a week or so going through everything in my sewing room, which was a bit of a catchall for anything crafty, plus a few office-type things as well. I bought new containers and sorted everything. I purged a bit along the way.

This is what the room looked like cleared out as I was playing with the layout (and the subsequent mess I made in the living room!). I used a large piece of tracing paper to stand in for the standing height table I was building. 

I might cover this more in depth later, but here is a sneak peak at the new table. I used two shelving units for the legs, and bought a piece of birch plywood (that I had Home Depot cut to size) for the top. I spent all day Saturday sanding and sealing it.  It looks so good! It is about 37" tall and the surface is 3' x 6'. I am v. excited about it!

Finally, here is a panorama showing the layout I finally landed on.  I'll be doing most of my sewing at the small desk in front of the window I have a few more pieces of art to hang and then I can show you some finished shots! I can already tell it is going to be great for my productivity (and my back)!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ten Items

The other day I told you about my sewing goals for 2015, part of which is to sew ten new items. I would like to sew four shirts, three skirts, and three dresses. Now I'm here to tell you about my plan!


I have a serious lack of shirts that fit me. I can make store bought knit shirts work in most cases, but wovens are a lost cause. And I want to wear button downs, dang it! To help remedy this, I have three woven tops and one knit planned.

One: Maria Denmark Edith
If you've been reading, you know I've been working on the muslin for this one. The final will be made in a lightweight black poplin with tiny white polka dots.
Status: Fabric and pattern in hand. In muslin stage.

Two: Colette Sorbetto
I've made this one before, but I want to split the dart and make it out of black rayon. I think this will be great tucked into skirts for work or worn with jeans on the weekends (or casual Friday!).
Status: Fabric and pattern in hand. I will convert bust dart into two darts before sewing up.

Three: Colette Violet
I've had this pattern for a while but I haven't muslined it yet. I have a sheer red Swiss dot fabric I'd like to use for this one.
Status: Fabric and pattern in hand. 

Four: Colette Moneta 
I know what you're thinking - but that's a dress, Dana! 'Tis, but there is a great cropped sweater hack posted on the Coletterie that I am dying to try. I have a cool hemp knit in mind for this. (I want to make the dress too, so I figure this will be an easy one to try once I have the dress fitted.)
Status: Pattern in hand. 


I love skirts! I much prefer them to jeans most days. I love being able to layer them with tights and boots in the cooler months. The first two on my list will be work appropriate and the third is more casual.

Five: Colette Meringue
I've been working on the muslin for this, too. The final will be in a cobalt blue cotton twill. I think it will be great for work. (My picture of this fabric is way too light. It's really a nice deep cobalt.)
Status: Fabric and pattern in hand. In muslin stage.

Six: Bluegingerdoll Betsy
This is a skirt I've been crushing on hard every since I saw Mary's version. I think pencil skirts are so flattering but I've had a hard time finding one that fits. I plan to make one that is work appropriate out of a stretch black cotton sateen.
Status: Fabric in hand.

Seven: Jennifer Lauren Cressida Skirt
I had a Zinnia in this slot but one look at the Cressida and I knew it was the skirt I've been dreaming about. I have two choices in my stash for this - either the heart print denim I picked up last week or some Robert Kaufman herringbone I originally intended for a Colette Beignet. (Sensing a pattern here? I own A LOT of Colette patterns).
Status: Fabric in hand. 


Dresses are another staple that I know I will get more out of when I have some that fit me better. I love being able to throw one on with a few accessories and have a complete outfit.

Eight: Colette Moneta
I feel like a major hole in my wardrobe is simple, comfortable things to throw on for the weekend. So I want to make a black knit Moneta with 3/4 sleeves, using some lovely, high quality fabric. I know I will get so much wear out of it.
Status: Pattern in hand.

Nine: Colette Hawthorne
I know, ANOTHER Colette. I just love what they do. I've been wanting a good shirt dress - so classic and lovely. I'm not sure what I'll make this one out of yet - perhaps this pinky red shirting? Who knows.
Status: Pattern in hand.

Ten: Simplicity 1873
I had a Colette Hazel in this slot, but the fitting issues with it have really gotten me down. I recently picked up this pattern when it was on sale for $1.99 and I think I'm going to give it a go. I'm not sure what this will be out of, either. Something with polka dots?
Status: Pattern in hand.

And that's that! I will obviously be adaptable if my needs change, but I feel confident that all of these will be wardrobe staples. I have a backlog of patterns, so if I'm doing really well on time (ha!) I can always add to the list. I'll keep you posted on my progress. I should have another WIWOW this week!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sewing Goals for 2015

As the new year approaches, I wanted to talk a little about my sewing goals for 2015. I have never been great at New Year's Resolutions, but I find if I make goals with flexibility to adapt in mind I am more likely to keep them. With that being said, I have three main goals for the year.

Sew with knits

This is a no brainer, and it's pretty silly that I've been putting it off. I wear a lot of knits. I know they are much easier to fit. I need to sew with them to make a well rounded wardrobe. I have a few knit patterns already and many more on my wish list, so it's time for me to learn sewing with knits. I have some plans for what to sew - see #3.

Make seasonal sewing plans

Again, no brainer. If I want a well rounded wardrobe I have to plan it. I went through the Wardrobe Architect series earlier this year, but I haven't done a good job of implementing it. I'd like to work through it again and really think about clothes I need to sew or purchase. And I need to think about the clothes I need to make when I am buying fabric. I can get a bit distracted by fancy fabric (don't we all)! Case in point - I went to JoAnn's the other night for some supplies and some stretch denim with hearts just jumped into my arms! But I think I've worked it into my third goal.

Participate in Me Made May

With the first two goals in mind, I felt that participating in Me Made May (that link is for the 2014 sign up, but contains an explanation of what MMM is) would be a great third goal and a way to get my butt in gear with an early deadline. If I'm not meeting my goals as May approaches, I can re-evaluate. That being said, I already have things that I have made in my collection - scarves, jewelry, and clothes - that I don't wear enough, so I think I'll have plenty to rotate through the month.

Based on my first round with Wardrobe Architect, I have come up with a list of ten things to make. I will finish as many as I can before May. I have mostly planned to sew things with fabric and patterns I already have (including a Moneta dress and cropped sweater hack). This list may change in the next few months as I work through fitting different patterns, so I'm keeping my plans adaptable. Right now I am thinking four shirts, three skirts, and three dresses will be a good start.

I'll be back later this week to share my ten items!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WIWOW : What I'm Working on Wednesday

It's been a few weeks, but I've been busy! Here's this week's WIWOW.


I finished my first muslin of the Edith blouse and the fit was good, but not great. I made a bunch of changes - I reduced the waist darts, added 1/2" to the CF, lowered the back neckline 1/2", and re-drew all the facings to cope with the changes. I am cutting out version 2 tonight!

I also traced the Colette Meringue skirt and made the necessary changes. I'll be cutting out my first version of that tonight as well. And I already have an outfit planned with my completed Edith and Meringue! I'm getting ahead of myself. But won't these fabrics be so good together?!

Annnnddd I've been trudging through the Hazel pattern. If I could sum it up in two words they would be DART WOES. I tried several versions just to see how they would work (I know some of these are pretty wonky - I was desperate) and they weren't great. I finally pinched out two darts and that's how it now sits, crumpled on my sewing table. I'll get back to it one day.

But the coolest thing I have done recently is make these tags! I designed them in Photoshop and then used Spoonflower to print them on cotton sateen. When they arrived I cut them and did a narrow hem finish to the edges. The front has my name and the back has the city and year. I'm pretty excited to get a finished garment and stick one of these in!


I've been reading NOS4A2 by Joe Hill for what seems like forever. It's hard to get around to reading when I have so much sewing to do! But I'm almost finished. I'm not sure what I'll read next - let me know if you have any recommendations! Nick and I did finish listening to The Shining, and it was really good. It made me super tense though - I drove out to my sister's gripping the steering wheel very tightly with clammy hands. Ha! Light fantasy reading next, please! 


And in other news, I got this whole box of silk and rayon velvet ribbon for free and I'm trying to decide what to do with it. It's all cut into 18" lengths, so it will probably involve some piecing. But it's so beautiful!

Lastly, I'm trying to convince Nick to let me commandeer his DSLR so I can stop posting iPhone photos on here. I know you guys would love that.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WIWOW : What I'm Working On Wednesday

I'm going to try for a semi-regular thing here. On Wednesdays I'll post a few things I'm working on (I know it's more traditional to call them WIPs or Works in Progress, but WIPW isn't as fun to say as WIWOW, dammit). I might include what I'm reading or listening to as well.

Without further ado, here's what I'm working on this Wednesday!


I'm in the middle of making my second muslin for my first Colette Hazel. I tried to fudge it without an FBA but it's not working, so I had to cut another one. I did an FBA using this diagram and we'll see how well I did! I'm also making a muslin for a Maria Denmark Edith blouse. Lotsa white and beige in here this week (and so boring to photograph).

Zzzzzzzz. I swear, flashy fabrics coming soon.


Nick and I started listening to the audiobook of The Shining on our last road trip, so I've been finishing that up. We plan to go to the Stanley Hotel for our anniversary next year (I know, so romantic)! And I totally want to make something out of this fabric one day.


Annnnd I have been watching my way through Gilmore Girls again. I love this show so much. SO MUCH.  Preach, Lorelai.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Finished Objects : November 3, 2014

Okay! After a long hiatus and lots of (over)thinking, here is my first sewing blog post! I wanted a place to log some of my makes and decided this would be a good way to do it. Later, I'll include more detail about what I did and better pictures, but I decided to just go ahead and get this one done.

Without further ado, here are three recently finished objects!

One: Colette Sorbetto Top

This is my third version of this shirt. I have been slowly learning to fit with the Sorbetto pattern, practicing the FBA and other fitting techniques. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good! This is the first time I made my own bias tape and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

  • Red and white gingham, probably poly-cotton (bought on clearance at JoAnn's)
  • Turquoise ric-rac left over from our wedding decorations
  • The fit on this is pretty good, though next time I need to lower the armhole a bit and I think I will split the darts (they are a little pointy).
  • This fabric is pilling like crazy after just 2-3 wears. I'm a little bummed about that.

Two & Three: Simplicity 2459 (Simply Baby)

I made these two for our friends' twins. Baby clothes are so fun to make! The hardest part was deciding what fabric to use. They came together pretty easily, though I had to adapt a few things on the fly. I finished them both with all enclosed seams for durability. I accidentally sewed the pocket onto the back bodice of the overalls, but it looked so nice that I just left it (so there is one on front and back). I delivered the dress a few weeks ago, but was delayed on the overalls when I sewed the straps in upside down. Oops! It was a pretty easy fix though.

PATTERN: Simplicity 2459 (Baby's romper in two lengths, jumper, and knit bodysuit)

  • Both pieces were pretty simple to put together. It was nice to practices some of the techniques on a small scale like that.
  • I traced the pattern (these were made with the largest size - 18 months) so I can make them again in different sizes
  • I am not a baby clothes expert, but they both seem to have a good bit of ease, especially in length.
  • That interweave chambray is GORGEOUS. It has two different color yarns, one in weft and one in warp, which blend to make a very luminous shade of blue. I plan to make myself a skirt out of it in one of the colorways soon. 

SO! That's all from me right now. I'm working on a muslin for a Colette Hazel that I will eventually make with this Michael Miller Floraliscious. Then it is onward to work appropriate clothing!