I ordered some knit rayon from Britex over the summer and this was one of my first projects to test sewing a dress with my serger. I’m quite happy with how this turned out although I think I am still learning some techniques and developing my skills.
I really like the details of this fabric and it’s fun to have something easy and comfy in the summer.
This is a StyleArc pattern and photo credit to my brother-in-law!
Alright it’s week two of MeMadeMay and here’s a roundup!
First, I recently made this rayon knit peony dress with fabric from Britex (a San Francisco store I used to visit in person) This is a dress pattern from StyleArc
Next I used some chambray from a local Jersey City fabric store to make this StyleArc Panel dress. To are the fabric a little more interesting I embroidered it with intersecting lines – inspired by the Japanese Sashiko embroidery technique.
From here I had made this top last year. When we originally went to Chicago for the start of the pandemic we only brought winter clothes. We ended up staying with family for so long I made some summer clothes and this was from fabric I ordered from Spoonflower. I like the print but I honestly don’t like the cotton very much -it is not very soft. The skirt used to be a dress but the top got old so I cut it off and made a skirt.
Next is this ruffle top that I traced from the style of a jcrew shirt. This is also a 2020 pandemic project. Fabric is cotton from Joanns
Next is the rayon panel dress from MoodFabrics that I recently competed. This is a StyleArc pattern.
On Saturday I wore a Liberty of London cotton voile dress that has a gathered neckline (self drafted technically, also basically a bag). Also a homemade mask from Joanns. This is me getting my second covid vaccine! Yay! I am lucky and thankful.
This brings us to today – I did not feel that great today so I technically broke my memade streak and only wore old store bought pajamas and a Blackdome t-shirt from my grandpa. I did finish these curtains that I had been working on to add a little privacy to our den.
This was a hard project!! I ordered a brocade from MoodFarbics and I really like the way they turned out. That said – I’ve never made something THIS BIG before. It was a lot of fabric and the execution had to be pretty spot on so they would hang okay. I ended up sewing the bottom and tops by hand so that I could control the fabric. When I tried with my machine, the fabric was pulled around and they became uneven. This also involved a lot of precise measuring. That said, I am happy with how they turned out and now I am going to make even BIGGER ones for our bedroom window.
I bought a really nice cotton Liberty of London print for my mom from Britex in San Francisco. She wanted some pajamas and I thought it would be a fun project!
I have started using some online patterns and so I decided to try the Closet Core Caroline Pajama pattern. These had a few options and I kind of did a hybrid of their pants with piping but then I cut the pieces to be shorts and short sleeves.
Another thing I finally started to do was add interfacing when the directions call for it. Interfacing is a second fabric layer that can be ironed on or sewn to your outer fabric and it adds a level of sturdiness and structure to the outfit. In this picture below you can see the white fabric getting iron on.
I realized I didn’t take any in progress shots. Well… this was actually a pretty complicated pattern so I was definitely focusing!
The shirt and shorts both have a golden bias tape that I used as piping. This was really interesting because you basically tuck the piping into the area where you’d normally sew a seam such that when you flip it out it appears from within the seam. This was pretty technically challenging and in hindsight using a metallic fabric was also pretty unforgiving since it catches the light. I am still very happy with how these turned out!
Here are the shorts -they have a fake fly, pockets, and elastic waistband.
Here is the shirt! This was a very interesting collar. The shoulders are finished with a flat-felled seam and other seams are french seams. Buttons are from Britex too.
Here’s the inside so you can see the interfacing and inner seams:
This was a fun project that arrived safely through the mail!
Well, this post has become a real accumulation of the events of the past few weeks, starting at the end of February.
I had a work trip to San Francisco at the time for a conference and before I left I started to get worried about being on the plane with possible covid19 exposure. The morning before the flight, I dipped into my fabric stash and pulled out a really cute swatch of cotton from Tokyo. I then took to bra straps from an old bra and cut them up to make elastics. Last, I used a really soft cotton flannel from mood as the liner. Ta da my first mask was born.
From here, I sent a text to my mom to ask if this made any sense or if I would just be causing public alarm. She called me back and explained since this isn’t medical grade fabric I couldn’t necessarily rely on it to keep the virus out. I felt a little silly but brought it with me and didn’t wear it because I didn’t feel sick.
From there I returned home and things started to get more intense. Out of an abundance of caution I went to our local F+S Fabrics and picked up some elastic and quilting fabric. I figured if we didn’t have medical grade fabric it could still be nice to have something for a worst case situation. From here we then moved on to mask style 2. And 2.5. At first I had the elastic sewn in like you see below but then I started to run out. With the elastics I tried to make them reusable with button side attachment and a more custom fit.
Honestly these elastics really hurt our ears. I didn’t buy enough of it originally to give us more slack.
That has brought us to mask style 3 and the new advice that now we should actually wear these in public all the time. I started to add these ties and now I’m making them for a friend who is a doctor and trying to make enough for our family such that if someone gets sick we will be able to have enough to take care of them for a few days with some washing. I have made a few for local family and it is pretty weird that this is something that I’m able to do and it’s considered helping.
And here’s a math mask for my math guy 🙂 (Britex fabrics)
These are heading out west to a friend that’s a doctor.
I’ve decided to take this project seriously* so I am going to make a muslin – a test garment out of un-dyed cotton – to test out the fit of the pattern before I cut and sew it in the official fabric.
I visited my local F+S Fabrics to pick up 3 yards of the un-dyed cotton and I laid out my pieces to cut them out. I also labeled each of them because I’m going to bring them all with me to my next stint in San Francisco. I am going to hand stitch the final jacket, so this first muslin will be a great practice. Traveling with a needle and spool of thread is also way easier than traveling with an entire machine! I will be able to work on this bit by bit at night to pass the time (after eating ramen etc don’t worry).
*I am still going to only have tons of fun no matter if the final project is unwearable or whatever. This is all just fun for me pretty much no matter the sewing result.
Well, I have been waiting and waiting to share this post. I decided it was time to take a risk and pursue a career change. I made it to the final rounds of a remote nyc job for a company in San Francisco. With the interview I got to fly out and once the interviews were over I had time to explore. I am REALLY enjoying visiting fabric stores in all the cities I get to visit (Tokyo, Chicago, & Vancouver). This time it was time to visit Britex fabrics. Oh My it was amazing. It reminded me of the library in Beauty and the Beast but with fabric!!! Why is this the only picture I took? They had huge walls of fabric stacked like this to the ceilings with sliding ladders going back and forth.
All I can say is that I was FOCUSED on the fabric instead of taking pictures. When I walked in I was on the phone with my husband and the store assistant saw me say “WOW” and then promptly wrap up the call to get to step inside.
The entire staff was SO NICE!! I also immediately said something like “Hi I’m here from NYC for an interview and I just wanted to visit so badly! It’s beautiful here!” The bottom floor was all wool folded on the walls and the silks, very fancy couture beading, and brocade were on tables. It was stunning. There was also a TABLE stacked with Chanel tweeds. They were so detailed and glimmery.
The staff was so nice. There was a woman who showed me all around the main floor and she was very complimentary of my dress and explained a few of the fabrics to me. There was additionally a really nice man who was wearing a very colorful dress shirt with a vest and slacks (I stalked him on instagram so you can see how great his clothes and style are). He definitely represents my future menswear sewing goals. He was also complimentary of my dress. Wow – these folks sure know the way into my heart: talk about tons of fabric and sewing, compliment your sewing in a totally genuine way, seem to be truly nice. I also got to meet the owner of the store. She was so nice too! I really can’t believe she came over to say hi to me.
Upstairs there were also all of the cottons, linens, stretchy jersey, trims, bridal lace trims, buttons, and tools! I got sucked into the linen and cotton shirting. D agreed that I should get something fancy… but I dont think he could imagine how fancy this store was and I made myself at least temporarily resist the Chanel table.
I found a shirt design that can hopefully replace the best shirt (RIP) and then I saw these pink flamingos. Oh man I didn’t know I needed this in my wardrobe until suddenly I had no other choice! This reminded me of the vancouver dress and so I think I can do something similar.
It was a WONDERFUL trip and I got to see old friends in the area too. I have not convinced then to sew just yet 🙂 Now D and I can match:
All in all – I am also excited to announce that I will be returning to SF with some frequency for training! I got the job! Look out Chanel fabric…