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.

Liberty Pajamas for my Mom!

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!

First Christmas in our Apartment

We’re staying in our home for Christmas this year and so we realized we didn’t have some basics –

It was time to make stockings!

These were honestly pretty easy – all from old scraps from our pirate Halloween costumes, a dress, and a dress shirt. Makes our apartment feel a little more cheery even though we’ll certainly miss our families this year.

We hope everyone continues to be as well as possible ♡

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!

Halloween 2020

I saw a funny video of people planning to deliver candy through socially distant means and it made us think that a certain Christmas present needed an upgrade!

This is a velvet mask lined with linen for breathability. Red velvet mouth with white teeth. These are actually the materials from our earlier pirate costumes and one punch man costume.

Fun stuff!!

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!

Masks and More

It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted anything but I’ve definitely been sewing up a storm.

Here is a collection of friends and family in masks and some other projects like some mending, a shirt for my dad, some shorts, a scrunchie, a mask for a high school mascot, and other odds and ends. I think I’ve now made close to 120 masks. I also made a purple dress and matching shirt for D. I will follow up with photos of that.

More recently I have finally started to try and sew stretch fabrics using a serger. These machines use 3 or 4 needles and “loopers” to make an interlocking stitch that can stretch a lot. It was hard at first to but I figured out I didn’t have part of the machine lined up correctly and then it got a lot easier. (The pressure foot should be down when sewing!)

Now I’m going to be able to make lots of activewear for tennis. This isn’t too bad at all in my books for a first try!

There are little shorts sewn in under the skirt too. Another major feature of this skirt is that I tried to add a pocket. Most women tennis skirts do not have pockets and you just shove the ball up the leg of your pants. I haven’t played tennis long enough to not think that’s weird still. I watch the pros and all the people put the ball up their pants. This is not the most beautiful pocket but I am going to keep working on this to find a way to make it work.

Keep taking care of each other and staying safe ♡

More Masks for NYC Friends & Directions to make your own!

This time a batch headed to NYC where we have friends who are doing everything possible to stay safe!

Our friends in Manhattan are looking good!! Everyone is getting their best smize on.

Additionally our long island friend has received his masks! He is staying safe – he got a special math fabric as he teaches math!

Do you want to make one on your own? Here is how I make them:

First cut a shape like this – note the curved nose ridge:

Here is how it fits on my hand when I really stretch my fingers apart- grab your face and see how it will fit

From there cut 4 of these and follow these directions:

Let me know if you run into questions!!