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.
Well, my life has changed a little bit lately and so it’s been much harder to sew with the dedicated amounts of time I had earlier.
I have also had some more unusual seasonal events which have mixed up some of my work compared to my standard project cycle.
For November, I have almost lived in San Fransisco so I’ve been far away from my machine. I was not there for approximately only 5 working days. I have had my hand sewing project with me, but I also finished reading all of the One Punch Man internet comic so my down time has not been as dedicated. I’ve also really focused on meeting friends and coworkers for dinner. I think being a little more soc-ial vs sew-cial is worth it – a healthy balance is always good.
Either way! I have been buying some fabric over these trips and it’s time to do a quick check in on my plans of items I want to work through.
Ironically, this is all being written in the plane to Chicago for Thanksgiving!
Here’s my game plan:
– I have a green cotton fabric I planned to turn into a pencil skirt. I would like to do that unless I can think of a cooler project.
– I want to finish my muslin jacket and move on to the official Chanel fabric. I will need to buy a cool trim for the jacket too. That part is still TBD. Question though: Should I try to incorporate some feathers? I think I will not…. but I kind of want to.
– Flapper dress: this has started with a silk charmuse black slip that I’ll drape under a sheer black silk georgette. I will sew the fringe onto the georgette in sweeping diagonal drapes so that it hangs nicely from the hip. Then if I turn around or spin, there will be the sheer outer layer with fringe and then a dark thinner inner dress. I think it will be cool.
– I then have a few summer fabrics in the collection that need to be converted. A pink linen flamingo dress, and red striped and white striped dress shirts.
– I also have a fabric I bought for my dad but I haven’t made yet. This is getting old! I need his measurements.
– Then! Something new! A pair of grey wool slacks for D! These will be interesting. A new fabric and moving into a more intense tailoring and menswear space. I am excited and I will go slow.
– I also want to upcycle an old lace skirt my Nana gave to me. She was SO Skinny (hi Nana haha) I will shorten it so that my waist can fit where her hip bones & bum used to be.
– Finally, a staff memeber at Britex gave me a great idea for my leftover chanel scraps – I could turn them into a little purse. Thinking on this more, this seems like a great way to work through some of my cooler and small scraps. I can also make some pencil cases or whatever. I have enjoyed making purses in the past and so I think this could be a really fun next step. I think I may do this with the extra fabric from my Nana’s skirt too.
Alright! Flight update! This is a bit of a bumpy one! I am glad science works such that differences in air pressure lift up airplane wings. Is that how it works? I dont remember what the slower air over the upper curve of the wing actually does. Right now I can mostly just focus on hitting the right buttons with my thumbs as we move side to side lol. My mom will not like reading this. I will schedule it to publish once she is already in the air. Haha.
Also! Since we’re on the subject: my favorite tip for riding out turbulance – take a moment to think about if you’re actually in physical pain during the bumps. Not really right? The jostling is weird and unexpected – but it’s not the same as stubbing your toe or even hitting your funny bone in your elbow. That always helps me focus in and push away some of my concerns.
Anyway! Lots of sewing fun and an amazing surprise coming in the future!!! I won’t talk about that yet -that will happen in December or the new year 🙂
I am super appreciative of all of you reading this and all the comments and encouragement!!! I am really looking forward to working through these projects and picking out something even harder when they’re complete!
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…