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.

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!

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!

Memorial Day Dress

I hope everyone had a nice holiday!  I have had this summery linen from Britex fabrics in San Francisco in my fabric collection for a long time.

It was finally time to turn it into something fun! 

This dress is one of my favorite simplicity patterns and it is super easy to make! I started sewing Sunday night and this was ready in time for our hamburger bbq on Monday!

I dont have any more zippers with me so I cut the front in half and added an extra inch to create a panel for a button closure.  I swear the bottom lines up but its hanging open in this photo.

The side has a nice gathered feature that I like.

The back has a big solid panel that is quite nice to highlight this print.

It was a really nice day and it was nice to have something summery to wear.

Masks for Frontline Friends

Here are some masks out in the wild!

We have a friend who works at Walmart and they are wearing masks at work.

He is a really close family friend and we are really glad that he has been safe so far and able to continue to work safely.

Another friend of mine is a doctor in Denver and she needed a mask for protection in her day to day activities outside of work. She at lunch outside one day and sent me this picture 🙂

It was fun to get to make something for them – Thank you both for everything you do!

More masks are headed out soon too!

More masks and sewing with the scraps

I have continued to make some masks for friends and family – along with some cooking!

Here is the process I go through to make one of these:

I made a few last weekend:

This left me with many scraps which I have now transformed into a turtle! I added a little sashiko stitching to the top shell and gave him little eyes.

We have also done some fun cooking:

Cuban pork with a parsley, lentil, radish, dill, and celery salad with lemon and olive oil and a famous potato bun!
Grilled souvlaki and vegetables with yogurt/dill/lemon/cucumber/parsley dip and eggplant dip

Continuing to wish everyone the best health and safety.

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!

To all a good night!

I made this outfit!! I have eaten steak at Bavettes! As well as a mint julep, a glass of chateau neuf de pape’s little brother, and a amaro ninino.

Yum.

Now it’s time to rock at Phantom of the Opera Chicago.

This was also my first day of work outfit. A brocade from Mood that’s washable.

Merry Be-lated Christmas! Stay tuned for my official sewing post.

1920’s Dress

Did I post this already? Not sure what is going on. Either way… here’s an update on my 1920s outfit!

I flew back from San Francisco on a red eye and got in on Saturday – I had to do something to stay awake all day, so why not go fabric shopping to start my 1920’s dress? The weather was horrible on Sunday too so Saturday was a perfect time to go to the city and explore a bit!

D came with me and first we got lunch at Cafe China. It was pretty good and cute. We got Dan Dan noodles, wontons, and cumin lamb. Next time we may order a few things we saw other people order lol – there was a really good looking lobster, pepper chicken, and beef shortribs. yummm

Back to sewing! After lunch we went to Mood! It is always fun and we got to say hi to George. We then went to the wool section and got a theory fabric which will become a nice pair of pants one day.

I also picked up a black silk charmuse and a black silk georgette with a 4 inch fringe trim! I studied a bunch of dresses online and decided to make a flapper shift dress.

Here’s the plan:

Yep I know you can totally tell it will be great!

I will make this with french seams.

Update: I forgot to post this… so here’s how the rest of the project went!

I made the slip! And then I tried to make the sheer outer layer to hang wider over it… but it didn’t look that good. I decided to sew the fringe onto the charmuse and call it a day.

Turns out -this is hard to do!

The fringe is really static-y and heavy and so it started to be very challenging to keep in place. I finally started pinning it everywhere!! And this started to work.

Progress began to slowly be made…