Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Senna Two-Piece Set-Acular!

You may recognize this outfit as my first pattern, the Senna Dress. This is variation 2 - the crop top and pencil skirt combo! I'm currently accepting testers for this pattern, so if you're interested check out the post here!

And it just so happens this pattern works perfectly for Sophie's Two-Piece Set-Acular! I've been loving the crop top + high-waisted skirt/shorts trend this summer. There's something so fun and flirty, but still classy, about having just a sliver of skin showing. I wasn't quite sure I was a floral co-ord kind of girl, but since I'd already made this skirt and I had enough fabric left over for a matching top, I figured I'd give it a go!

And hey, it turns out I really like it! I've been way more adventurous with my clothing since I started sewing (especially since I started blogging), and I love discovering new silhouettes, fabrics, colors, and patterns that I never thought would work on me. Of course there have been some misses too, but I learn something new with every piece of clothing I sew.

I wore this outfit when I went home last weekend for my mom's book launch party. I noticed a few double takes, but I'm choosing to believe they were thinking "oh, what a cute outfit" and not "omg what is she wearing". And hey, I felt good in it and that's what matters right? Plus my 90 year old grandmother totally approved. And by the way, she was also wearing a newly-finished handmade dress. I hope when I'm her age I'll still be whipping up dresses and rocking purple hats at parties!

So how do you feel about co-ords? Sewn anything two-piece set-acular? Tell me about it in the comments!

<3 Lindsay

Monday, August 25, 2014

Call for Pattern Testers!

Are you interested in being a pattern tester? I'm looking for testers for my first pattern, the Senna Dress!

Senna can either be made as a dress or as a separate skirt and crop top combo. It comes with crew neck and scoop neck variations. The top is loose fitting with kimono sleeves and the bottom is a ruched pencil skirt.

If you're interested please take a look at the size chart below and fill out the form located HERE
You can also e-mail me at lr.woodward@gmail.com if you have any questions!

I'm hoping to have the pattern sent out to testers by this weekend. Thanks for your help!

<3 Lindsay

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shibori Pneuma Tank

I used to hate exercising. I'm soooo not into cardio. I know tons of people love running, but it's just not my thing. On the other hand, I love pilates. I first discovered pilates a couple years ago via youtube. I've done a bit of yoga on and off and I think I was looking for stretching videos when I came across the Blogilates youtube channel. I liked pilates immediately, but I didn't start practicing on a regular basis until earlier this year.

My activewear wardrobe is pretty pitiful though. Because I exercise at home I never bothered with buying cute new clothes. Plus who can afford those lululemon prices? So up until now I've made do with old tank tops and cheapo bike shorts from Forever 21 *hangs head in shame*. But no more! It's cute activewear only from here-on out!

This is the Pneuma tank by Papercut Patterns. It's part of their activewear collection, Tri, which also includes the Anima pant and Soma swimsuit. I fell in love with the design of this tank the minute I laid eyes on it! The interlaced straps, the dipped hem, the peeks of the attached sports bra underneath... so cute!

I dyed this jersey at the same time I dyed the linen for my shibori Prefontaine shorts

The pink sports bra fabric is some sort of performance fabric called "Cool Max Knit" from fabric.com. I haven't actually worked out in this tank yet, so I can't attest to its alleged sweat-wicking properties. It was cheap though! Hopefully it'll hold up.

I'm not normally a hot pink kind of gal, but I really like the pop of color underneath the tank!

I made a muslin of just the sports bra first, using the same type of fabric in royal blue. I didn't have the right widths of elastic on hand, so I used 1/4" instead of 3/8" around the top and 1/2" instead of 1" around the bottom. That ended up not being the best idea, especially around the top, because the elastic digs into my sides/armpits in an uncomfortable way. It really does need to be folded under that extra 1/8" to be comfortable.

I used white bra strapping on this version, which worked okay, but I like the look of the (un-folded) foldover elastic I used on the tank a lot better. The thicker straps stand out more, and the foldover elastic is actually a lot stretchier and more comfortable than the bra strapping. I did end up using way less strapping than suggested - like 9 inches per strap less - because of the extra stretchiness.

One thing this pattern is missing is an option to add bra cups. Next time I make one up I may try to add those pockets you see on RTW sports bras/swimsuits with removable cups.

I'll leave you with my attempt at a yoga pose. So serene and graceful right? ;) I should probably head to a yoga class one of these days, now that I have some activewear I won't be embarrassed leaving the house in.

Have you made activewear before? Do you know of any other good patterns?

<3 Lindsay

Monday, August 11, 2014

Project Indie!

Hey there, friends! Sorry I haven't been terribly active on the blog of late. The truth is I've been busy learning some new skills, which I'm really excited (and a little scared) to share with you today!

This is a sneak peek of my soon-to-be-released first pattern(!)... the Senna dress!

Versatile, comfortable, and modern, the Senna Dress is a knit dress (or skirt and top) with a loose kimono-sleeve bodice and a ruched pencil skirt. The neckline comes with boat neck and scoop neck variations.

The kimono sleeve top with added waist band has a slightly cropped length and makes a great casual shirt.

The ruched pencil skirt can easily be dressed up or down for casual, work, or evening wear.
The Senna Dress is my entry for The Monthly Stitch's Project Indie contest! My pattern is digitized, graded, and has a set of instructions, but it hasn't been pattern tested yet. I may be putting out a call for testers soon, so keep an eye out for that if it's something you may be interested in! The winner is determined 50% by the judges' score and 50% by public voting. You can take a look at the other entries and vote HERE!

You can also read an interview I did with The Monthly Stitch here. I've learned a ton over the last few months, which I'll go into more detail about in a future post.

I want to thank you all so much for your continuing support of my blog over the last half year. Reading your kind comments is always the highlight of my day! To be a part of such an encouraging and creative community is really fantastic.

I'm so excited to share the next phase of my sewing journey with you all as well. I have tons of design ideas floating around my head, so I'm hoping this will be the first pattern of many!

<3 Lindsay

Monday, August 4, 2014

Subtle Plaid

This is the ninth(!) time I've used this men's shirt pattern from BurdaStyle: Sewing Vintage Modern, so there's not a whole lot I have left to say. For this version I left off the collar and pockets and did short sleeves. Also, instead of using separate placket pieces I just added an extra 1/2" width to the front pieces, finished the edges, then turned them under and stitched, making a 1" placket.

My husband found this fabric when he came with me to The Common Thread here in Austin. I'd passed right by it, but he was definitely right in thinking in would make a great mens shirt. I love how the plaid and polka dots are very subtle, but still add some interest and texture to the shirt. It's yarn-dyed cotton from Japan (available here), but I'm not sure what the brand is.

This was a quick make. It took about five hours total, including cutting out the fabric, which was frustratingly time-consuming. I only bought 1.5 yds of this 45" wide fabric which was just barely enough. It took a while to get all the pieces to fit.

Like I said, not much to say about this shirt. I'm happy with it, husband's happy with it, all is well!

In other news, I want to thank you all for your kind comments on my last post! My galaxy Anima pants ended up winning the 3/4 length category in the Anima Pant Competion, which I'm over the moon about! My prize includes the Sigma and La Sylphide dress patterns, plus a couple gorgeous printed silks(!!!) which I'm super excited about because I've never sewn with silk before. So if you have any good tips for sewing with silk please let me know!

I hope everyone's having a happy Monday!

<3 Lindsay

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Galaxy-painted Anima Pants (with tutorial!)

What's this, heels and sweatpants?! A bit of a departure from my usual style, but for a good reason: Papercut Pattern's Anima Pant competition! Pushing me out of my comfort zone and into the Milky Way...

Now these pants aren't at all similar to my original sketch. And they're actually my second pair of Anima Pants. I made my first (full-length) pair out of white jersey and dip dyed it, hoping for a white-to-violet effect that I would then embellish with gold foil. Sounds nice, right? Unfortunately they turned out more of a grayish purple color, although they do have the color gradient I was going for. The color combined with the long length looks pretty frumpy on me, so they're in a time-out situation until I figure out how to jazz them up.

But I'm actually really glad Plan A didn't work out, because it pushed me to come up with an equally elaborate Plan B! I looked at fabric painting and dyeing tutorials online for inspiration, and I came across a couple galaxy-print shirt DIYs. "Galaxy painted Anima pants?" "Sure", I thought. "Why not?!" And the process was actually super fun, and turned out way better than I expected! ( I've included a tutorial and progress pics at the end of the post if you want to make a pair for yourself!)

I wanted to pair these pants with something simple that wouldn't cover the waistband: enter Nettie #4! The Nettie pattern has earned tried-and-true status in my book, and I knew I could make one up in just a couple hours. This is the scoop-neck, high-back, bodysuit version.

I bought this fabric during Girl Charlee's Fourth of July sale just because it was super cheap, but I ended up totally loving it! It's a soft and stretchy rayon blend (my fave) and the color's actually a really pretty orangey-red jewel tone, though it looks redder in the pictures.

The pant fabric is a medium-weight black jersey that I've had in my stash for a while. I only had one yard, and I was just barely able to fit the pattern pieces for the cropped length on it.

Since this was my second pair it came together really quickly. Overall the pattern and instructions are great, and I would definitely recommend this pattern! The only tricky part was the waistband. I had a lot of trouble doing the foldover method in the instructions, so for this pair I did my usual elastic insertion method where you sew a tube with an opening and thread the elastic through. This worked a lot better for me and this waistband is a lot neater than my first one. I did still have trouble with the buttonholes though. My machine does NOT want to make buttonholes on knit fabric. So they're not too pretty, but they'll do the job.

I didn't follow any one tutorial, but kind of amalgamated the information from a few different ones. The process was basically the same in all of them. Here's what I did:

Step 1: Put some bleach in a spray bottle, dilute it with water, and spray some galaxy clusters onto your pant pieces. I just used some bleach-based bathroom cleaner that was already in a spray bottle. The orange spots take a few seconds to show up, so don't spray too much all at once. You want to build up gradually. I let mine sit for about 30 minutes, and then washed them to stop the bleach from eating away at the fabric too much. Then I let them dry in the sun (which took about 5 minutes because it's so hot).

Step 2: Using a sponge, build up layers of purple, blue, and white fabric paint (in that order). These should also be built up gradually, as you can always go back and add more later. The color fades a little as it dries, so I went over each piece twice. There's no real method to this - just do whatever looks good to you! I concentrated the blue and purple around the outside of the orange clusters. This is what it looked like before I added white:

Step 3: Add stars by dipping a toothbrush in white paint and flicking it onto the pant pieces. You may want to practice this on a piece of scrap fabric first. In this picture you can see my finished back leg pieces with my bleached-only front pieces, as well as the sponge and toothbrush I used for painting.

Step 4: Let the paint dry overnight, and then sew up your garment as usual! I chose to leave my waistband, cuffs, and inner pocket black.

Let me know if you have any questions! And thanks for reading!

<3 Lindsay