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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winter Sewing Update

The theme for #bpSewvember yesterday was planning, which got me thinking about my winter sewing plans. It's finally cold here in Austin - the weather suddenly shifted straight from summer to winter. Sadly there were no changing leaves or crisp autumn days to be had. Oh well, at least I can wear coats and jeans again!

Speaking of coats, what I'm currently working on is my Gerard Coat. As the pattern comes with the pieces nested and no seam allowances (like a burda magazine pattern) the tracing step took up a good chunk of time. As did cutting out the fabric and lining and interfacing the pieces. But I finally started sewing yesterday and I don't think I should have any problem meeting the Dec. 4th coat-along deadline. By the way, I didn't end up using the blue coating. It's a very long story involving some truly terrible customer service, but I eventually got my replacement coating for free (although I think the free-ness was just another oversight on Mood's part). All the fabrics I got from Mood are gorgeous and great quality... it's just too bad it took twelve e-mails, a phone call, and two weeks before I finally got them all. Anyway, I'm using this charcoal gray herringbone coating from Theory, and I LOVE it, so all's well that ends well I guess.

Also high up on my sewing list is a second attempt at the Jamie Jeans pattern. My first pair was okay, but there are definitely some fitting issues I need to work on. Heather's jean fitting guide is super helpful and *fingers crossed* I think I know what adjustments to make. I'm planning on ordering a couple denims from today so hopefully I can get a pair made up in the next couple weeks!

Another Bruyere. I love my first Bruyere, so a second one is definitely happening, although this time I'm going for a less shifty and easier to work with fabric. Namely, Kaufman chambray dots. This fabric is the darling of the blogosphere for good reason. I've previously used it for a short-sleeve Archer, and it's sooo nice, both to wear and to work with. I think I'm going to go with either the olive green or dark indigo colorway this time.

Last Christmas I made my husband a Cooper, and this Christmas it's my turn! I usually carry a big totebag for short trips, but I think a backpack will be a lot more practical and easier on the shoulders. I bought this gorgeous Nani Iro water window canvas at Form & Fabric (actually my mom was visiting and bought it for me - thanks mom!) and I think with some careful pattern piece placement it'll be a great looking backpack. It's not terribly thick, so I'm planning on using some stiff interfacing and maybe a studier fabric for the lining too.

A flannel Archer. So excited about this one! This black and white buffalo check was part of the aforementioned Mood order. The fabric is so soft and comfy - I know I'll be wearing this shirt a LOT once it's made. It's not my first rodeo with the Archer, so I think this'll sew up pretty quickly.

I'm also still planning on making the faux fur jacket I mentioned in my fall sewing plans post. I bought the snow leopard fabric I linked to in my post and it is NICE (haha, sorry guys, I know I keep gushing - I guess I just get really excited about high quality fabrics). It doesn't have that plastic feel that faux furs sometimes have. In fact, I totally pet it for a minute and daydream about the jacket it will turn into every time I walk into my sewing room. I think I'm going to draft a pattern and make a simple, boxy jacket.

I'm still jealously hoarding the silk I won in the Anima pant comp. I solicited ideas about what to make with it on instagram and there were so many good ones that I still can't decide! The colors are more springlike anyway, so this fabric may just have to wait a few more months. We'll see...

With the other fabric I won I made a Sigma. Well, I mostly made one, then decided I hated the silhouette and left it hanging in my closet for a few months. But now that it's about to be holiday party time I figured I should pull it out and fix it up. I again solicited advice on instagram and the consensus was to change the skirt to a pencil shape. I'm also either going to shorten or get rid of the sleeves. Fingers crossed it'll turn out okay! I'd hate to waste such pretty fabric.

I think that should be enough sewing to keep me occupied for a while! Plus I'll probably need to sew up some Christmas presents... How about you? Any exciting winter sewing plans?

<3 Lindsay

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cat Lady Shirt

This is my entry for the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge hosted by Erin of Miss Crayola Creepy. When I saw this challenge I knew I just had to participate. I'm a lifelong cat fanatic. When I was little I "married" my cat. Every time I go on vacation I befriend random cats in the street. In fact, my mom tells me that the first word I ever said wasn't the typical "mama" or "dada", but "cat". Sounds about right! I currently have three cats - Jubal ("Jubes"), Julep ("Lady"), and Dingo ("Dinge"). I could go on and on about how they came to live with me (all strays or rescues) and their very distinct personalities, but I don't want to bore you too much. :)

...But because they're so adorable, I will share a few pictures from Jubal's cross-country road-trip when he was a kitten. Just try and stop me ;)

Not many kittens get to see the Grand Canyon or the Pacific Ocean! He was so good in the car too. We drove from Texas to Portland, OR (and back again 1.5 years later).

And here he is today, in all his glory:


Err.. anyway, did you come here to see a garment? Oops. Well, like I said, I knew I had to participate in this challenge but... I don't really do novelty prints. There's definitely some adorable cat fabric out there, and I love seeing everyone else's makes, but I know that if I made a cat dress out of quilting cotton it would never get worn. So I tried to go a more subtle and practical route, while still keeping with the cat lady spirit.

I found this metallic leopard print ponte de roma at I usually try to avoid polyester, but this was my favorite of the leopard print fabrics that I found. It was super easy to sew with, and the edges are so clean that I didn't bother hemming or adding a neckband like I'd originally planned. I modified a self-drafted pattern (that I'm planning on releasing soon!) to get the silhouette I was after. This fabric is fairly thick and doesn't have much stretch, so I probably should have sized up. But for a top that took less than an hour to make I'm pretty happy with it! And the leopard print is subtle enough - even though it's metallic - that I'll actually get some wear out of it.

So definitely not the craziest or most adorable entry, but I'm glad I found a way to participate that was in keeping with my style!

Stay crazy, my fellow cat ladies ;)

<3 Lindsay