Wardrobe Architect: Part 1 – Making Style More Personal

The first worksheet for Wardrobe Architect is “Making Style More Personal”

There are prompts for History, Philosophy, Culture, Community, Activities, Location, & Body. I’m not going to address each section individually, but I’ll share some of my thoughts on a few of the categories.

Personal History

The photo above is my 9th grade school photo. The shirt I’m wearing is a shirt that I made myself. By the time I was in 9th grade I was sewing a lot and mostly without any help from my mom. This was probably the first collared shirt that I made myself and I think I did a pretty good job.

The reason that I bring this up is that sewing has always been part of my relationship with clothing. As a kid I usually resented wearing mostly hand-me-downs and hand made clothing, but now I appreciate the quality and fit that I can get when I make my own clothing.

Philosophy

My personal philosophy in most things in life is to not draw too much attention to myself. I’m an introvert, and I like to operate behind the scenes. My clothing choices usually reflect this attitude.

I am also influenced by my religion. I live in Utah and belong to the predominant faith here. Modesty in dress is a value of the LDS religion and something that I personally adhere to.

Activities

I’m a mom of two young kids. On any given day my clothing is likely to be tugged, pulled, and slimed. My clothing needs to be comfortable, allow for easy movement, easy to care for (preferably no ironing) and not too fussy. 

Junior Prom…I still have this formal and I think it still fits. But in 15 years I haven’t found an occasion to pull it out.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Comfy Mom Clothes: Simplicity 1198

I finished this t-shirt about a month ago and I’ve worn it several times since then.

This fits the bill for exactly what I need in my wardrobe right now. Easy wearable pieces that are comfortable and don’t need much accessorizing to make me feel put together. The pattern is Simplicity 1198. I made view E.

As soon as I finished this piece I cut another out in black stretch velvet and wore it on Christmas Eve with dark skinny jeans and pearls. My black stretch velvet is another wardrobe workhorse because it can be dressed up or simply worn with jeans. Now I need a denim pencil skirt so I can wear it to church.

I recommend making this pattern in more drapey knits. A less fluid knit wouldn’t hang as well and with the front fold-over detail you do really want something that isn’t going to be too voluminous or stiff.

The version pictured here is a Nicole Miller rayon knit print from Joann’s. I love a lot of prints from the Nicole Miller line. I have another t-shirt made from the same line and black has faded quite a bit over the last 6 months, but I still love it. I would consider being a little more careful with this one, but I’m a realist and with two little kids at home and several loads of laundry a week I don’t spend a lot of time paying close attention to clothing that requires special care.

I’m sure I’ll be making this again. When I do I’ll be sure to shorten the neck band piece because it gapes quite a bit. I ran a piece of 1/8″ elastic through the neckline of the stretch velvet piece and I need to do it with the rayon print shirt as well. It worked great, but it would be better to simply have a neck band that does that itself.

Now I just need to find another great printed rayon knit.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Wardrobe Architect – SAHM edition

My wardrobe has undergone several transitions over the past few years. During my two pregnancies I was working 30-40 hours a week in a business casual environment. My post-partum wardrobe with my son consisted of dress slacks, loose fitting blouses, and cardigans. When my daughter was born I made the decision to leave my job and stay at home with my two kids. I didn’t need my dress slacks and blouses from the first time around. And I didn’t have as much time (or money) to do much shopping for new clothes.

Fast forward 9 months. I’m wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans again. I’ve cleaned out my closet about a dozen times in the past 3 years. I have gotten rid of a lot of clothes that I liked but knew I wouldn’t wear.

I put on a pair of royal blue jeans the other day. I think I bought them in 2011 or 2012. I hauled my kids somewhere exciting like the grocery store or Arctic Circle. I looked around and thought to myself, “Do 32 year old moms wear royal blue jeans?” I honestly have no idea.

The next day I put on a pair of grey terry jogger pants. I’ve worn them at least twice a week since my baby was born. And I had the very same pair in the maternity size during my pregnancy. So let’s just say that grey joggers are a good wardrobe staple. I had no idea what kind of top to wear that would be better than a sloppy t-shirt, so I put on the sloppy t-shirt again.

To be honest I’ve had a bit of difficulty really settling in to my new routine. I guess that’s reasonable after working for 9 years and the 5 years of schooling to prepare for my career. I love that I can stay home with my kids and I feel like settling in to my new wardrobe will help me settle in to my new daily routine.

I feel like this is a great time to go through the Wardrobe Architect series. If you’re into sewing and social media you’ve probably heard about this, but you don’t need to be a sewist/seamstress/sewer to appreciate this great series of posts that guide you through “crafting a small wardrobe that reflects who you are.”

If you see me at the grocery store or Arctic Circle wearing grey joggers and a sloppy t shirt please be kind. And stay tuned for more Wardrobe Architect posts.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Holiday Dresses: Oliver and S Building Block Dress

I was thrilled by Liesl’s announcement of the Building Block Dress several months ago. If you follow this blog much you know I’m a huge fan of Oliver and S Patterns, so this book was a must buy. I don’t much sewing for people besides my children, but when I do it’s usually for one of my nieces. I had a vision of my daughter and her two cousins dressed in matching but not identical dresses for Christmas. Luckily, I had the time to pull it off.

My vision was a dress that was festive but not so much that it couldn’t be worn after Christmas. I found two fabrics in my stash that seemed to fit perfectly, a cranberry red baby corduroy and a sparkly blue chambray shirting.

I started with my daughter’s dress in size 6-12 months. I made the A-line variation silhouette, a gathered cap sleeve, and the tie collar.

This photo was taken before hemming or finishing the neckline, but you get the idea.

And my adorable baby girl, with crazy post nap hair and wrinkled dress.

The second dress I finished was made in a size 8. Since my niece is tall and thin, I lengthened the bodice and skirt to a size 10. That’s one of the best things about sewing.

My niece Ava pretty much designed the dress herself. She really liked the foldover pockets. These were the hardest drafting task of any of the three dresses, but they turned out great. I chose a cute button with a sparkly rhinestone center. Too bad I didn’t get a better photo of that little detail.

With the third dress I asked Bella’s mom if I could take creative license and she said, “sure.” I did remember that she liked the shaped yoke and wanted long sleeves, so this is what I came up with. This dress also has an a-line silhouette, which I think is ideal for babies and toddlers. Bella’s dress was a size 3T.

Instead of doing the yoke like the instructions, I made an external facing. It seemed like it would be a little easier to topstitch the facing down rather than fiddle with curved seams. 

The yoke/facing is straight on the back and has the cute scallops on the front.

This dress has gathered long sleeves with a cuff. If I were to do it again I would have gathered the sleeve head a little more and definitely sewn the cuffs on before sewing the sleeve together. It was a headache to get my sewing machine inside that little 7″ cuff.

The three girlies looking adorable in their matching dresses. Seeing them all together was such a treat. Next year I’ll have to treat the nieces on the other side of the family to matching dresses because this is definitely a once a year type project.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Sewing Classes for 2017

I just wanted to give you all an update on current sewing classes and lessons.

I will not be teaching any sewing classes at Hobby Lobby for the foreseeable future. The classroom availability and my own schedule haven’t been very compatible, so for the time being these classes are on hold.

I am teaching classes at my local Joann store in Centerville, UT. I will try and keep my class schedule page updated with the classes I am scheduled to teach. I cannot schedule or take payment for these classes, but they can be arranged at the store or on the Joann Website.

Joann’s has two opportunities that I hope to take advantage of in the future.

  1. Create a Class – this is a custom class offering. It is for a 3 hour class on whatever topic you wish (see my 3 hour project post for a few ideas). I have yet to run a class like this, but I see it as a great opportunity to attend a class if the course catalog doesn’t have what you are looking for.
  2. Meetups at Joann – anytime the classroom is free, I (or you, or anyone) can use the classroom for a meetup. I plan to try and use this offering every month or two to host a free Open Sew. Subscribers to my newsletter will receive priority notification of these free classes, so sign up for my newsletter to get this special advanced notice.
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

2016 Sewing Highlights

2016MakeNine only covered a few of my sewing projects for the year.

Here are a few more of my favorites.

Christmas shirts for the littles. Fabric from Girl Charlee (a few years back, but still familiar to many). I used knit ribbing for the neckbands. The first time I made a t-shirt with Girl Charlee knit in the neckband it wasn’t stretchy enough for little heads. The pattern is Oliver and S (field trip raglan). Baby girl’s shirt was shortened a few inches and a gathered peplum added to the bottom.

Continue reading “2016 Sewing Highlights”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

2016MakeNine – A follow up

The end of 2016 is upon us. Thank goodness.

2016 was such a weird year…a hard year. We added a second child to our family. My children are such a joy…and equally exhausting.

In August, when my baby girl was just 4 months old, my husband was in a bad bicycle accident and fractured most of the bones in his face. It was a pretty rough couple of months.

I have managed to get sewing in here and there throughout the year. My 2016MakeNine didn’t get followed too closely, but I did manage to make my gingham Grainline Archer. I might not have followed through on that project without my original intention made public.

These were my original plans…and here is how it went.

Sew Sweetness Dot Dot Dash – Nope. I didn’t make a bag of any sort this year. Continue reading “2016MakeNine – A follow up”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Pattern Testing: Megan Nielsen Karri

I was excited when the opportunity to test Megan Nielsen’s latest pattern, the Karri Dress.

Megan has really been on a roll lately. She has recently released the Dove Blouse, Harper Shorts & Skort, Reef Camisole & Shorts, Axel Skirt, and Sudley Blouse & Dress. I want them all.

Testing was going on back in July and it’s been hard to keep my mouth shut about this cute pattern.

unnamed

The line drawing really opens you up to a wealth of possibilities. Color-blocking, yes!

I had several color schemes for color-blocking running through my mind. In the end I decided to use something very wearable, and already in my stash.megan-nielsen-karri

Continue reading “Pattern Testing: Megan Nielsen Karri”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

3 Hour Sewing Project Ideas

Last month I told you all that I was planning to start sewing classes in October. I’m excited to announce that my class schedule is posted for October 2016. I’ve also updated the main page for all things related to this new endeavor.

One of the things that I’m most excited about is Open Sew. This is your chance to bring your machine and project and sew with other human beings for a few hours.

Sewing is usually a solitary activity and that is awesome in many ways. I love sewing late into the night with my Netflix or podcasts in the background. But sometimes it’s really fun to sew with a group of people who also like to sew. I always learn something new from my sewing friends.

Open Sew is for all of you who want to meet other sewing friends. It’s also a good place to get some help with a project. Want to learn how to install an invisible zipper? Bring it to Open Sew and I will show you…or any other sewing technique you might need help with.

What if you don’t have a project in mind but you want to come and sew anyway? Here are a few ideas for beginner sewers that you could most likely accomplish in a 3 hour Open Sew session.

  1. A Pillowcase (also a great Christmas Gift – I’m dreaming about a day when I give all my nieces and nephews a new pillowcase for Christmas each year)
  2. A pair of Leggings (great for you, and a great baby shower gift)img_2156
  3. A tee-shirt (my favorite kids pattern is the field trip raglan, my favorite women’s pattern is Megan Nielsen Briar)
  4. A knit pencil skirt (draft your own or use McCall’s 6654)IMG_1449

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Come Sew With Me

I hinted last week on Instagram that exciting things would be happening here.

I’ve decided to start teaching sewing lessons, a little dream of mine that’s been brewing for quite a while.

Please check out my new page for a few more details. My ideas are running wild, but the truth is that I have two very demanding little ones at home, so classes will be limited to start.

Classes will start in October and will be held at Hobby Lobby in Layton, UT.

I have a feeling that the children’s classes will be most popular, but I really hope that adults will take the chance to learn to sew also. What class would you be most likely to take?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail