Sunday, December 21, 2014

Coat-along Round-up!

Sorry it's a bit belated, but here's the coat-along round-up! Thanks again for participating ladies. I think we made some pretty kick-ass coats!

Bella from Bellbird: Burda bubble coat

Kirsten from Fifty Two Fancies: Malu coat

Friederike from Sewing Is Therapy: Chloë coat

And I'm sure you've already seen my Gerard coat.

Make sure to check out everyone's blog posts at the links above for more pictures and pattern info!

<3 Lindsay

Saturday, December 20, 2014

One Year Blog-iversary!

Last Sunday marked my one year blog-iversary, so I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the past year!

I rang in 2014 with my husband in Auckland during our two week honeymoon in New Zealand. That trip was definitely the highlight of the year! I'd been wanting to go to New Zealand since I was 11 and first saw The Fellowship of the Ring, and I have to say it did not disappoint! Totally worth the wait. New Zealand is an absolutely gorgeous country, and everyone we met there was so friendly as well! Definitely go there if you ever get the chance.

After we got back I started following along with Colette's Wardrobe Architect series. It really helped me define my style and start making garments that fit into a cohesive wardrobe, rather then just making whatever struck my fancy at the moment. I now know what fabric types, color palettes, and silhouettes work for me, and while I still experiment with different styles, it's done much more thoughtfully, and therefore with more success.

Other Sewing Highlights:
  • I had the opportunity to be a part of Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 and #3 and help raise money for teachers and students in need!

And now some Top 5 lists:

Top 5 Favorite Makes

1. Gerard Coat
I love Gerard! I'm still really proud of myself for making my first coat. The fabrics I used are so nice, and I think Gerard is classic and neutral enough to stay in rotation for a long time!

2. Bruyere Shirt
This is definitely one of my favorite patterns. I really love the silhouette, and the double gauze I used is so comfy!

3. Birthday Shirt
Out of all the shirts I've made for my husband, this one is my favorite! I really took my time with the construction and I think it shows.

4. Tania Culottes
I made these for my birthday trip to New Orleans! The bold floral fabric makes me happy and I love this pattern for being comfortable and practical, but also super cute!

5. Rigel Bomber
I love the way this garment came together! I'm crazy about metallic accents on fabric, and I think this was the perfect fabric for this pattern.

Top 5 Most Worn Garments

1. Sleeveless Archer
I lived in this shirt alllll summer long.

2. Maritime Shorts
Same goes for both my white denim and blue denim Maritime Shorts.

3. Merino Plantain
This striped merino wool is one of my all-time favorite fabrics, and this is one of my all-time favorite shirts. In fact, I'm wearing it right now!

4. Otago Archer
My first Archer! I love this fabric too. Both it and the merino were bought in New Zealand, so they have great memories associated with them.

5. Julia Cardigan
A more recent make, but I've already worn it a ton. It's just what my closet needed!

Special mention: my husband uses the Cooper Backpack I made him every day. It's gotten so much wear and tear that I'm about to replace the lining and the straps!

Top 5 Boundary-Pushing/Skill Learning Makes

1. Bombshell Swimsuit
My first time sewing swimwear! I was a little intimidated to try the Bombshell, but Heather's instructions were fantastic and I love how it turned out!

2. Galaxy Anima Pants
These were the result of a make-it-work moment when my first pair of Animas didn't go as planned. Painting the fabric was really fun and I ended up winning a great prize pack in the Anima Pant Competition!

3. Leather Jacket Refashion
I deconstructed my dad's old leather jacket and reconstructed it into a new cropped jacket. This was my first time sewing with leather and my first jacket. It's not perfect, but it was a great learning experience!

4. Shibori Prefontaine Shorts
My first experiment with dyeing fabric! I'd definitely like to try out some more fabric dyeing techniques next year.

5. Madewell Copycat Dress
I learned a lot by altering the Lady Skater pattern to make this Madewell-inspired copycat dress. It's also one of my favorite dresses!

  • I'm taking a trip to Paris and Barcelona in March (which I'm super excited about!) - if you have any fabric store recommendations or if you live there and would like to meet up please let me know!
  • I'm also (probably) going to Chicago in April - same deal with fabric stores / meet-ups!

Looking back I've really learned a lot this year, and I think I'm a much better seamstress than I was a year ago. I'm so glad I started this blog. Not only has it been an archive of my style/what I've sewn, but it's been an amazing way to connect with the sewing community. I've become acquainted with so many truly lovely people, and I hope you know how much I appreciate every one of your kind comments!

Thank you all so much for reading, and I can't wait to see what Year Two has in store!

<3 Lindsay

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Introducing... the Phlox Tee & Tunic!

I'm so excited to finally release the Phlox Tee & Tunic into the wild! This is a pattern I've been developing since last summer when I was on the hunt for the perfect t-shirt. And for me, this is it! Hopefully it will be for you too :)

View A
View B

The Phlox Tee & Tunic is a wearable wardrobe basic for all seasons. View A is a short-sleeve scoop neck t-shirt with a unique pieced pocket detail. View B features a v-neck, long sleeves with cuffs, and an added hem band that makes for a perfect tunic to wear with leggings.

Phlox works well with a variety of fabrics, from drapey rayon to french terry. You can dress it up using metallic fabric or go casual chic in stripes.

This pattern is designed for light to medium-weight (5–11 oz) knit fabrics with a cross-wise stretch of at least 30%.  For fabrics of heavier weight or with less stretch, I recommend sizing up by 1 - 2 sizes. View A is designed for a jersey with a lot of drape, like rayon, while View B works best with a medium-weight cotton jersey.

Suitable for confident beginners, this project can be completed in one afternoon.

Sizes 0 - 18. See size chart.

Fabric Requirements:
View A... 1 - 1.25 yds (1 - 1.1 m)
View B... 1.5 - 1.75 yds (1.4 - 1.6 m)

To celebrate the release both the Phlox Tee and Senna Dress patterns are 20% off for the next week! No coupon code necessary. Sales ends at midnight CST on December 17th.

Thanks so much for your support!

<3 Lindsay

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bonjour, Gerard!

C'est fini! My coat-along coat is finished, and on time too!

This is of course the Gerard Coat pattern from Republique du Chiffon. It's a "boyfriend-style" coat described as a good introduction to coat-sewing. Because it has kind of a boxy silhouette there's not a lot of fitting and tailoring involved.

This was my first time making a coat, so I'm sure there are bits I didn't do properly. Like I probably should have used some nicer interfacing rather than the stuff from Joanns. And the lapel could have probably used some extra something... whatever it is you do to lapels to make them roll at the roll line and stay put. But for my first coat I'm pretty proud of it! Especially considering how sparse and questionably translated the instructions were.

I didn't make a muslin (I'm bad, I know) so I was a little worried about the fit... just not worried enough to make a muslin, haha. Since the coat was supposed to have a slouchy, over-sized fit I figured there wouldn't really be any changes to make. And luckily I was right! So this is the pattern straight out of the envelope, as it were. My measurements match RDC's size small pretty exactly so that's what I made.

During the sewing process I kept trying the coat on, trying to decide whether or not I actually liked the silhouette on me. It wasn't until I'd completely finished it and put it on over winter clothes that I could tell I liked it. Loved it, more like. Which was a huge relief, because I spent a lot of time on this coat!

This was my first time sewing with an RDC pattern and there were both pros and cons:

First and most importantly, the fit is great. I also really love the style both of this pattern and of a lot of RDC's other patterns. And it was pretty cheap at ~$8. The downside, which I didn't realize until after I'd bought the pattern, is that the pattern pieces are nested and don't include seam allowances. So you have no choice but to trace the pieces (of which there are quite a few) and then add seam allowances to all of them. This + cutting was definitely the most time-consuming part of the whole process. Oh, and the pattern pieces are labeled in French, so make sure you print out the the sheet with translations when you're tracing your pieces. I also thought it was odd that the pattern pieces were hand-drawn and scanned rather than drafted in Illustrator. I think that was the cause of the small inaccuracies I noticed when matching up the pieces. It should also be noted that the instructions are pretty sparse and the diagrams, when labeled, haven't been translated into English.

With that being said, I still definitely recommend the pattern! It was just more like using a BurdaStyle pattern than using a pattern from a typical indie company, which is kind of what I was expecting. There's definitely no hand-holding here! But if you're an intermediate level sewist and can use google then you should be fine. Definitely check out Kelly's Gerard detail post for some good tips and tutorial links.

Since Texas winters are usually fairly mild I wanted to keep this coat pretty lightweight so I'd actually get some use out of it. I already have one heavyweight wool coat from when I lived in DC, and it doesn't get worn too often anymore. So I didn't use any interlining, flannel, thinsulate, etc.

Both fabrics are from Mood. The outer fabric is a gray herringbone wool blend by Theory, and the lining is a terracotta rayon bemberg. The wool was really easy to work with and sewed up beautifully. The rayon bemberg... not so much. But I love rayon bemberg, so I'll deal with its annoying shiftiness.

So overall, I'm very happy with my new coat! It's one of the more ambitious projects I've taken on lately, and I'm really pleased with how well it turned out. Thanks to Bella for creating the coat-along with me, and to the other ladies who joined in! Having a deadline definitely motivated me to finish. I'll do a round-up of everyone's coats next week, so if you'd like to be included please leave me a link in the comments!

<3 Lindsay

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

X-Mas Gift Ideas!

Whether you're looking forward to it with anticipation or dread, Christmas will be here exactly one month from today! Which means it's time to start thinking about gifts for friends and family. And for me anyway, that means gifts that can be sewn. If you know the measurements of the person you're sewing for, then the world is your oyster! But if not, it can take some thinking to come up with a gift that will fit, but also isn't too generic.

I put together this list of gift ideas to help organize my plans, and I thought you might find it useful too.!

How fun is this trapper hat pattern by SewBon? And while you have the faux fur out why not make a matching vest using SewCaroline's tutorial? Then you can either gift them as a set or divvy them up!

Who couldn't use another cardigan? And when sewn up in jersey the fit is forgiving enough to fit lots of different body shapes, even if you don't know the exact size of the person you're giving it to. The Scarf Neck Cardigan (free) and the Julia Cardigan ($9) would both be great options. I wear the Julia Cardigan I made all the time.

How about some flannel pajama pants? For women you could use Sewaholic's Tofino Pant pattern or the Margot Pajamas from Tilly's book Love at First Stitch. It would also be pretty easy to draft a pattern yourself. A classic plaid flannel would work for either mens or womens versions.

I love the look of these Liberty of London ties! They'd be perfect gifts for dads, brothers, or husbands. Free pattern and tutorial from The Purl Bee.

Tote bags and clutches are quick, easy sews. Use a fun fabric and maybe some leather accents and you're all set! Clutch tutorial by you & mie.

In need of a last minute gift? A circle scarf is perfect! All it takes is one yard of fabric and fifteen minutes of your time. Tutorial here.

This is a bit more time-intensive, but a backpack would be a great gift for a college student or someone who likes to travel light. I've previously used Colette's Cooper Backpack pattern and highly recommend it!

Hopefully this gave you some good gift-making ideas! I still have to decide what to make for whom, fabrics, etc... But a month is plenty of time, right? ;)

Happy holidays!

<3 Lindsay