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.

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!