Tennis Skirts in Chicago!

We recently visited family in Chicago and played some tennis! I have been experimenting with making a lot of different styles of tennis skirts with my serger.

By the end of the trip, the whole family was learning and it was really fun.

I gave my sister in law my earliest skirt and it just happened to match a cute top she had already.

I’m particularly proud of my skirts because I make them with pockets. Most tennis skirts don’t have these so you stick the ball in your pant leg… I prefer a pocket lol

My brother in law did a great job taking these photos! Here’s a few more fun action shots

MeMadeMay 2021 week 2

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.

Summer Dress

I’ve been doing a bit of sewing and experimenting with rayon fabrics. Rayon is a cool/breathable summer fabric. That said due to the pandemic, I’ve had to order everything online which makes picking out fabric feel like russian roulette. I don’t have nearly enough knowledge to really understand what I’m getting before it shows up and I can actually touch it.

With that in mind – this rayon fabric was a bit of a surprise. It was way more drapey than I expected. I decided to turn it into a cute loose summer dress.

This fabric has a repeating print with a distinct edge and you call this a panel. I tried my best to position the peices nicely and cut them so that it would be symmetrical. In order to achieve this, I cut the fabric “flat” instead of “on the fold”. Normally you can lay out the fabric and fold it in half to get two of each piece -but by laying the fabric flat and cutting individually you can have more control of lining up each piece.

For this dress, I used the StyleArc Pixie Dress pattern. I really like StyleArc patterns, I think they fit well and have accurate sizing. That said -the directions are pretty hard core. They usually only include one or two pages of mostly text and very few pictures so you really have to have an idea of what you’re doing already. I don’t think I could have used them immediately as a beginner but now I do love only needing to look at one page of instructions the whole time.

New Pants

My husband is teaching in person this year at his high-school and so he needed some new pants – ontop of PPE.

I was nervous about this project because this fabric was a little “shifty” so I was concerned about it not draping well. Turns out it was not as challenging as I expected and I’m pretty happy with the final look!

They survived their first day of class today too!

A New Jacket

I had some leftover fabric from some old projects and I decided to make a new casual blazer.

This pattern is from a cool Canadian brand called Helen’s Closet.

This was fun! I used a series of sewing techniques to complete this. The sleeves are finished with a blind hem, the collar is prick stitched, and I hand finished the back hem. The inside is mostly serged.

I liked it so much I started to make another one!

More tennis tops for the final days of summer

I purchased a neat navy stretch fabric from moodfabrics.com and combined it with a very stretchy jersey from our local FS Fabrics to make another tennis dress.

This time, I put the pocket on the left side and it was much easier to hold the racquet in my dominant hand and then pull balls in and out with my left hand. This took a little more time to plan and double check while sewing but it was worth it to figure it out.

I dont know a great way to show off pockets yet but I’ll get there.

Some friends across the country have received their masks too!

A new tennis top

I had some left over camo print and so I matched it with a black stretch fabric from my local store. This turned out pretty fun and there is also a pocket hidden inside the pleats of the top.

We are continuing to try to play as much as possible while the weather is still nice.

New Leggings!

My work with stretch fabrics has continued and with the right machine it’s not that hard!!

I used an old pair of spandex shorts to cut out the right shape and make these leggings.

They have a pocket on the side of the left leg too.

These are a subtle yet reflective camo print which I realize is a bit of an oxymoron or just a worst nightmare for someone actually looking to blend into a forest.

We got to play a little night tennis last week. Trying to enjoy all the nice weather before it’s too cold.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Mask Medley

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 hope you all continue to stay healthy and safe!

Holiday Mashup – Halloween Costumes for Christmas!

My father in law made a vampire cape 40 years ago and over the years it was accidentally misplaced, but since then he’s talked about it sometimes. My sister in law remembered it mainly from the terror it caused her as a child and finally it was time to be reborn!

I hunted around Mood for about two years and finally at Halloween I was able to pick this up when I got the fabric for our One Punch Man outfit. I am also posting this all on quite a delay – but overall here is this wacky and incredibly successful project lol

I used cardboard to make the collar and cut some triangles out to give it a slightly rounded shape and taper.

From there, it was time to take the sparkly stretch jersey to hand sew around the collar, basically like a pillow case:

I then sewed the fabric wrong side to right side around the cardboard and flipped it inside out a final time to hide the seams. I then gathered and tucked the top of the cape into the bottom of the collar and sewed it all shut. I then attached the little neck ties. There was a point where I thought… Is this too much? too high of a collar??

I don’t have a direct reaction picture, but it was VERY well received and was worn around the house and throughout all Christmas present unwrapping! Even trips to the fridge!

We also had some family photos taken and we had a few fun extra pictures!

Happy Halloween 2021 and Merry Christmas! (And Happy New Years and Presidents Day)

Also featured here – my brocade separates