A Statement Jacket – Sew Lisette Moto Jacket

You may recognize this jacket from an older post about my wardrobe sudoku contest entry. This jacket got a lot of love from the sewing community. And to toot my horn just a little bit, it was a great match of pattern and fabric.

I’ve long professed my love for everything from the Liesl + Co brand. That includes Oliver + S sewing patterns for children, her Sew Lisette brand for commercial pattern companies (previously Simplicity and now Butterick), and the Liesl + Co sewing patterns for women.

When I got the initial urge to participate in the wardrobe sudoku contest, this fabric soon became the focal point of all my planning. It is a special piece I picked up at the Sew Expo in Puyallup, WA a few years ago. Since nice apparel fabric stores are hard to come by in my neck of the woods this was a very treasured piece of fabric.

The Sew Lisette moto jacket (Butterick 6169) was a good contender for a jacket pattern. It’s a very stylish and simple pattern, great for a statement fabric like this green, black and cream tweed.

A few notes on construction and sourcing supplies

I used my Palmer Pletsch Jackets for Real People book for the bagged lining method and a few other construction tips. Liesl’s sewalong is also very helpful.

Since this was a fairly loose woven tweed I block fused interfacing to the entire piece of fabric before I cut out the pieces. I purchased my weft interfacing from Wawak. It helped to reduce the fraying of the fabric and also gave it a little extra body. I added a muslin back stay and small shoulder pads.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the zipper. The zipper is from Wawak as well. They have a great selection and amazing prices. Their shipping is fast and very reasonably priced. I bought 3 zippers (black, cream, and green) and simply used the one that matched the best and saved the other 2 for my stash.

 

 

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Spring Sewing – a sweet SewLisette Easter dress

This is the second project I have made with this lovely linen/lyocel blend from Joann Fabrics. The first was this kimono for my wardrobe sudoku contest.

I bought 2.5 yards of the peachy pink for an Easter Dress. I originally intended to use Butterick 6168, a cute dress with a pleated front. Of course, it’s also a Sew Lisette pattern because I have collected so many and loved every one that I’ve used.

I settled on the fit and flare style of Simplicity 1419 (sadly now out of print) because I thought it would take less effort to fit properly and I knew I would be short on time. As with all her patterns, Liesl was able to take this great classic style and make it something special.

What’s so special about this fit and flare dress is the pleated skirt and the keyhole front.

This is definitely a feminine dress. Perfect for Easter. I wasn’t 100% sure the color would flatter my fair skin, but I think it is a good choice.

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Wardrobe Sudoku: Spring Mini Wardrobe

One of the things that keeps me sane during this stage of my life is my sewing hobby. I saw that Pattern Review had a wardrobe contest and I decided to try and enter. It was a pretty ambitious contest – sewing 10 items in 2 months.

I started with a vision of navy, gray, and white. All colors that I tend to wear quite a bit. Then I got into my stash to see what I had in this color scheme. When I pulled my fabric out, a green/cream/black tweed called my name and I found that I had several other coordinating fabrics.

Once I decided on the tweed, I knew I would make a Sew Lisette Butterick 6169 moto jacket. I’ve made this jacket before and loved it. Sadly, my carpet beetles loved it too and it was ruined after one wear. The carpet beetles are now history, but I needed a new moto jacket.

Once I had a selection of coordinating and inspiring fabrics, I set out planning my wardrobe.

The idea of wardrobe sudoku is to use 16 items – 4 tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories – and place them in a sudoku grid to create 10 outfits. Melly Sews has a good description on her blog. For the Pattern Review Contest 10 items had to be made during the contest time frame. Accessories could include jackets, cardigans, etc.

Tops

I used one purchased cream blouse from the Limited for my “free” piece and made 3 tops.

The pattern for this polka dot polyester crepe blouse was Simplicity 1620 [OOP]. This is a top I have made before and I like the easy but flattering fit.

I made two tee shirts using the Liesl + Co Metro Tee pattern. Both are rayon jersey, but the cream is quite a bit heavier than the black. I prefer the heavier knit to sew and wear. The black knit was difficult to hem. I ended up using 5/8″ fusible knit interfacing and folding under, but I’m a little unhappy about the effect it has on the stretch at the hems. I might just cut the bottom hem off and leave it unfinished.

Bottoms

I used a purchased pair of skinny jeans (a wardrobe staple) and made 3 bottoms – 2 skirts and 1 pair of pants.

This olive twill skirt was from another Out of Print (OOP) Simplicity Pattern, 2152. I was inspired by the photo on the pattern, but opted to leave the waistband in the main fabric. I also used another favorite technique for an exposed back zipper, a Craftsy tutorial which has the zipper installed with the entire tape exposed.

When I went to cut out this pattern I realized that I must have cut the paper out several years ago because the pattern was cut in a size 10. I haven’t been a size 10 since long before my blogging days. This pattern was very easy to grade by adding 3/8″ to the center front and center back panels. I didn’t change the side panels so I could avoid messing with the pockets and pocket trim.

My second skirt was another old favorite, Simplicity 1541. This is an Amazing Fit pattern which means that it has different pieces for curvy and straight fits and 1″ side seams for easy adjustments. Although I’m slightly pear shaped, I used the Average fit and the waist to hip curve worked well for me. Every time I’ve made this skirt I’ve pegged the hem by about an inch for a more flattering silhouette.

These pants were made with Burda 6938 [possibly also OOP]. This was another pattern that had been previously cut, this time a size too large. I took an extra 1/2″ from the side seams and I still feel like these pants are too roomy. I made them with a rayon twill from Fabric.com. It’s slightly heavier than most rayon challis, but still fairly thin and drapey. I think I’d like them to have just a bit more body to them. They wouldn’t hang well with side seam pockets in them so I took the pockets out and put on patch pockets like you often see in this style of RTW pants.

Accessories

I don’t make enough “completer” items for my wardrobe. This contest was a good incentive to add a few third pieces.

The first piece I made was this vest, with Vogue 9215. I bought the fabric first with this type of a vest in mind. This is a polyester textured knit purchased from a local shop, Tissu Fine Fabrics. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have a pattern like this in my immense stash. When I looked through the catalogs this was the pattern I settled on. It was not on sale at the time and I wasn’t sure when it would be, so I used my teacher discount card to get it for $12.00 or so. That’s more than I ever spend for a pattern I can get at Joann’s but I knew it was the one I wanted. I’m happy with the pattern and plan to use it for a cardigan in the near future. Once you know a pattern works it’s always good sew it again, right? The shiny, new patterns always distract me, but I’m getting better at reusing the tried and true (TNT).

Once I got a little momentum I started on this jacket. At this point I had been gone for a little getaway to the Sew Expo in Puyallup and had a week of the flu, so my time was running short. Like I said before, this is the Sew Lisette for Butterick, 6169. This was by far the most time consuming project. I first block fused the entire piece of fabric with fusible weft interfacing (from Wawak). This helped a lot with the fraying of the tweed. For the zipper I just ordered a black, cream, and green zipper from Wawak. At $1.40 a piece I didn’t mind using one and keeping the other two for my stash. I decided on the green zipper and I’m happy with how it turned out. I referred to Liesl’s sew along for the bagged lining and also the Palmer Pletsch “Jackets for Real People” instructions for machine sewing that small space by the jacket facing and the hem.

When I finished the jacket I had 6 days left in the contest and 4 items to sew. Luckily they were all simple pieces and I was able to finish them all in time to get the photos and reviews written.

The third “topper” was this Simplicity Kimono, 1318. This was another piece that I’ve made before. The first time I made it was in a very lightweight polyester crepe. This black fabric is a Nicole Miller tencel from Joann’s that received quite a bit of love from some other sewing bloggers. It has more body than the rayon I used for the pants and if I had more fabric I’d definitely make a pair of pants out of it. I haven’t seen the black at Joann’s recently, but they do have a pretty blush color right now and I snatched a few yards of it.

The most boring thing I made was this black cowl. I needed something quick and easy to fill the contest requirements. I used 1/2 yard of french terry and cut a piece 32″ wide. I serged it together to form a loop and called it a cowl. This is another thing I’m pretty happy with in the end. I don’t own any solid color scarves and now I know that I could probably use a few.

Shoes

The shoes were all purchased and already in my collection. A  pair of Dansko flats, Born sandals, Sperry flats, and Born booties.

Stay tuned for a few of my favorite outfit photos.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.
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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”

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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”

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