Little Wiggles Sun Hat

Big hair and a big head (23.5″) has made finding good sun protection challenging. One of the cool things about sewing is that when you can’t purchase something that fits in the stores, you can make it yourself.

I block printed khaki canvas from Joann Fabrics and used this free pattern. My hat is a size large with a 4″ brim. It was a super fast and easy make!

The Perfect Summer Dress

Sometimes you see fabric online and you wait. Wait just a little too long and then it’s sold out. That’s what happened with this squishy linen I saw a while back on Fabric.com. Then a fellow maker posted a photo of her stash and there it was! I commented, she said she’d be up for a trade, it happened. I was happy.

I knew I wanted to make something summery and eventually came around to the idea of mashing up the Willow Tank with a gathered skirt. Even though Me Made May revealed I don’t want any more dresses, I didn’t want to waste any of this fabric by just making a top.

This stripe deserved to be played with so I cut the bodice horizontally and the skirt vertically. When I first planned this in my sketchbook I toyed with the idea of a button placket on the bodice. I’m glad I left it off as it would have detracted from the fun and totally unplanned thing that happened with the bust darts. The fabric is also so squishy a placket would have been a nightmare.

I had two yards to work with and just barely squeaked out the bias binding, two skirt pieces, front and back bodice pieces, and 4 large pocket pieces. I’m quite pleased that the front and back of the skirt are perfectly symmetrical and that the stripes on the side of the tank match up. I’m usually so bad at pattern matching so this win feels great!

I cut a straight size 6 in the Willow. I previously made a size 4 and found that after a day of wear my armpits hurt. I could have just scooped out the shape and recut the bias but it was late and I was determined to have it all cut out. I think the size 6 might actually fit me better than the 4…

I wanted the bodice of the dress to be fairly short so I used the lengthen/shorten line as the bottom edge. To that I added 1/2″ of seam allowance and squared the corners to make it attach to the skirt a little easier.

Determining the skirt shape involved just a little math but was mostly controlled by the amount of fabric I had left after cutting out the top. The skirt ended up being about 20-ish” wider than the bottom edge of the tank and after measuring, I ended up using the stripes as my cut line. The skirt length ended up being half of the fabric width (30″).

The fabric is a fairly loose weave and since I throw everything in the washing machine, I decided French seams were the only way to go. I assembled and finished the tank first, then sewed up the skirt using this tutorial for inseam pockets with French seams. I definitely ran into issues with the pockets, which can happen when you steal a pocket with a different seam allowance from another pattern and cut everything out late at night.

I basted the skirt in a circle and would NOT recommend this strategy. If I were to do it again, I’d baste the front and back portions separately so creating the gathers and matching up the side seams is easier. Sewing a french seam with gathers was an interesting challenge, but I’m glad I did it. EVERY SINGLE SEAM is a French seam.

I can finally wipe a make off this board. I have two Kalle Shirts that are SO CLOSE to being finished and I’m working through some butt issues with the Persephone Pants too.

Patternmaking Dart Manipulation Exercises

One full week of summer break has passed and I’ve been trying to power through as much of my Patternmaking & Design class as I can. It’s a self-paced program and my pace for the last year has been not much faster than a snail. I’m picking up speed and the program finally feels like I can draft independently without constantly relying on my wonderful teacher. Maybe I’m at a turtle’s pace now?

Above is my moulage or “mold” of my measurements which, once it had a perfect fit, I turned into my bodice sloper. The next section of the program is Dart Manipulation. I was able to draft 12 different exercises with 4 different backs in one week and then sewed all of them the following week. I’m pretty excited that I got through a section with the suggested timeline of 4-8 weeks in 2! Ok, I’m not actually done yet. I have to design, draft, and sew two designs of my own, but I’m feeling pretty confident I can do so this week.

The front sloper has 4 darts that can be manipulated into different designs, the back has two darts. All 12 exercises used this sloper and I’m quite impressed with the variety of styles achieved.

High Neck Point Dart – Slash a line from the high neck point to the high bust point and then fold all other darts into it.

Center Front Neck Dart – Slash a line to the high bust point and fold all other darts into it.

French Dart – Slash a seamline to the low bust point from a position lower than the existing side dart. Fold all other darts into it.

Armhole Dart – Slash a line to the high bust point from any point along the armhole. Fold all other darts into it.

Y Dart – Draw a seamline starting at 3″ – 5″ up along center front to the low bust point. Fold all other darts into it.

Diamond – Draw a line from the center front neck and center front waist to the high bust point. Fold all other darts out.

Bust Gathers with Yoke – In my fittings I learned that a lot of the exercises that used the low bust point need some tweaks. You can see on the muslin that on the bottom yoke I pinned out about an inch that would make this pattern more fitted. Gathers also tended to add more volume than anticipated.

Curved Shoulder Darts – Low bust point used.

Horizontal Gathers at Waist Dart – Low bust point used.

Neckline Gathers – High bust point used. Helpful to add finished neck length on to the pattern for gathers.

Rusched Front Panel – High bust point used, move toward center front until directly under the high next point.

Cowl – This one was the most confusing as far as construction went. It also required its own back to be drafted along with it.

Backs – The Shaved Darts back (left) was used for most of the exercises because they were the easiest to knock out. I paired the Transferred Darts back (middle) with the Curved Should Darts front and I honestly can’t remember which exercise I paired the Ignored Darts back (right) with. The Ignored Darts back has a looser fit and requires easing the back shoulder with the front.

#MMMay18 Week 4

Oh man. the tail end of Me Made Made was made extra special with a week-long head cold. Oh, and end of school year craziness. Hence this post being a week late ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Day 23 – Yummy Colors

Me Mades: Mitchell Dress, porcelain necklace and earrings, Wiksten Oversized Kimono Jacket.

Other: Thrifted Frye boots, thrifted sweater because it’s cold.

Day 24 – Need more sweaters

Me Mades: Woven Hudson Pants, Shirt No. 1, WAK Classic Sweater.

Other: Vans, Shape Shape Shape Shape necklace.

Day 25 – A New Garment!

Me Mades: Hacked Wiksten Kimono, Emerson Crop Pants, silk noil Willow Tank.

Other: Dansko boots, vintage necklace.

Day 26 – It’s Finally Warming Up! (and I’m about to get sick)

Me Mades: Woven Hudson Pants, silk noil Hemlock Tee.

Other: Vans, Block Shop Scarf.

Day 27 – Cheater Day

Me Mades: Hand Block Printed Scarf, Purl Soho apron.

Other: Vans, thrifted jeans, thrifted t-shirt. I was working with dye today and didn’t want to risk getting in on any me-mades. The rest of the day was spent on the couch nursing a cold.

Day 28 – I FEEL TERRIBLE.

Me Mades: Linden Sweatshirt, self drafted culottes.

Other: Lots of Kleenex (not pictured).

Day 29 – BLAH.

Me Mades: Dress No. 1 with inseam pockets.

Other: Vans, thrifted t-shirt, sickness.

Day 30 – still BLAH.

Me Mades: Maya Top, Emerson Crop Pants.

Other: Vans, sickness.

Day 31 – Starting to feel better but then stayed up too late and made it all terrible again.

Me Mades: Roberts Collection Jumpsuit.

 

INSIGHTS

Before May stated, I could already identify the gaping holes in my Me Made wardrobe. I was hoping that the challenge of wearing only me-made garments would light a fire and get those holes at least partially filled in by the end of the month. After all, I made so much during May 2017. None of that happened. My productivity was pretty low and I’m trying not to beat myself up about it.

MAKES I NEED TO PRIORITIZE

Outerwear – It was fricking cold in the Bay Area (okay, cold for CA) this month and I was forced to cheat a few times because of that. My current outerwear selection is mainly oversized kimonos and one Kelly Anorak, which I found didn’t pair well with the loose fitting silhouette of most of my me-made bottoms. It was just too much volume all together. I intend to make the Grainline Tamarack and the Hampton Jean Jacket to remedy this situation.

Jeans – Holy crap did I miss fitted pants. I really need to just go for it. Planning to make Ginger Jeans, Persephone pants, Landers, and Morgans (but with high waisted mom jean goodness).

Knit Tees – My serger is on the struggle bus which makes sewing knits (or anything really) infuriating. I’m starting to save for an upgrade, but until then I’m still going to try to knock out a few knit tops out, mainly Larks and and Hemlocks. I am intrigued by the Nettie Bodysuit too…

Hand Block Printed Scarf Workshop

Taking art and making classes has been one of the best things I’ve done as an adult. It’s helped me develop an art practice, meet new people, and chop up the monotony of adulthood. I recently stumbled upon a local community art space & school and on a whim signed up for a block printing class the day before. It wasn’t all I was hoping for, but it was something to do over the three day weekend.

It’s less than a mile from my house, so I chose to walk despite coming down with a cold. A bird pooped on me and I saw a man pooping, but otherwise it was a nice walk.

The community arts space has all sorts of classes and workshops available ranging from welding to drawing. Once the school year ends, I’m going to do some drop in figure drawing sessions and maybe screen printing for fabric.

I channeled Block Shop Textiles to get ideas flowing.

The class description said that you could “design your own scarf” and “unlock your creativity,” but in reality we had to choose from pre-made wood blocks and just two colors of dye. Most of the blocks were intricate floral designs, which are nice, but not my aesthetic. Thankfully I found one “border” block that was sort similar to what I had sketched out before class.

There were only three other workshop participants making things pretty cozy. The instructor gave us a very brief history on the 400 year old craft and her husband brought samosas and lassi. We listened to really old Bollywood movies while we worked.

The other participants chose to create a border and then a dot repeat pattern for their scarves. I chose to fill in the whole scarf and took twice as long.

I will probably end up dying this. The white is a little too white and doesn’t really coordinate with my wardrobe. Maybe indigo?

Two Wiksten Kimonos

I had the immense pleasure of pattern testing the new Wiksten Kimono, which first appeared as the Oversized Kimono Jacket in Making Magazine No. 4 / Lines. The updated, standalone pattern will be released by Wiksten, hopefully next month.

In the Making version, I made a size XS. The new pattern includes a larger range of sizes and after comparing the pattern pieces, I made a size S here.

The fabric is also from Wiksten and I think it’s a perfect pairing. Because the black square is a kind of squishy weave I had a hell of time getting the patch pockets pattern to line up. They ended up not, but oh well.

I’m glad I was able to add this to my me-made wardrobe as it’s been one of only three outerwear pieces I’ve had for #MMMay18.

Speaking of Me Made Made I haven’t been anywhere near as productive as I was last year. I only just finished a silk noil Hemlock Tee (21 days in to the challenge), which had mostly been made last month and two Kalle shirts have been all cut out and waiting on my ironing board.

Then, after a particularly long commute home, I just auto piloted through this kimono. It’s been unseasonable chilly in the Bay Area and I yearned for another layering piece.

I cut and hacked this together without much of a plan and feel quite relived it worked out. One side even has some magical unplanned pattern matching on the shoulders!

I’ve had this Baule cloth for over a year, all the while knowing it was destined to be an Ace & Jig-esque jacket. I bought it at the Alameda Antiques Fair and discovered a piece of gum mashed into the fringe as I was cutting it up. At least it’s washed gum.

The textile is only about 54 by 36 inches which posed a cutting layout puzzle. I made an XXS, hacked off quite a bit of sleeve to make it fit, made a half collar, and added a coordinating stripe fabric to the collar piece, which I think is my favorite detail. It’s also unlined.

As it’s unlined, I had intended to flat fell / faux French the seams to fully encase all of the raw edges, but the thickness of the fabric and 3/8″ seam allowances made that impossible. Planning would have been helpful here. The shoulder seams are kind of a mess as I worked out this kink in construction and the side seams just ended up being serged. Another last minute decision was to topstitch the shoulder and sleeve seams with my new Bernina edgestitch foot. While I’m super impressed with the foot, the topstitching doesn’t really work well with this woven fabric. The burrito method was used to apply the half collar.

I’ve now made four Wiksten Kimonos. Too many? Nah.

#MMMay18 Week 3 (and a little of week 4)

Day 13 – I need more me-made loungewear. I’ve been really wanting to make a robe for weekend mornings, which I think will be my first loungewear make (before a lot of Hudsons).

Me Mades: Emerson Crop Pants, Linden Sweatshirt (this poor thing is falling apart due to a serger fail I didn’t notice until the end).

Other: none.

Day 14 – Monday.

Me Mades: Emerson Crop Pants, woven Linden Sweatshirt.

Other: Vans, Fibrous earrings.

Day 15 – CHEATER. I cheated and wore a RTW item.

Me Mades: Cleo Skirt, Shirt No. 1.

Other: Thrifted Pilcro jean jacket, Birkenstock sandals, Fibrous earrings, Blockshop scarf.

Day 16 – I’d like for it to be summer.

Me Mades: Self drafted culottes, Scout Tee, Driftless Cardigan.

Other: Vans, Shape Shape Shape Shape necklace.

Day 13 – Very Voluminous. This was not a good outfit. The Mercer pairs better with skinny pants (which I have yet to make) and the culottes pair better with a tight knit top tucked in (also need to make), or a cropped woven shirt. You gotta balance out the bulk.

Me Mades: Self drafted culottes, Mercer Tunic.

Other: Avarca sandals, Baleen earrings.

Day 18 – Day OFFFFFFF.

Me Mades: Linden Sweatshirt, woven Hudson Pants.

Other: none. Because I was home. All dayyyyy.

Day 19 – Patternmaking Class

Me Mades: Geodesic Sweatshirt, woven Hudson Pants, silly necklace, Caravan Tote.

Other: Vans

Day 20 – I need to get my serger fixed to make more knit things.

Me Mades: Toaster Sweater, Emerson Crop Pants.

Other: Vans, Bookhou bag.

Day 21 – Monday. Last full week before summer break…

Me Mades: Inari Tee Dress.

Other: Dansko Maria Boots.

Day 22 – Not Enough Coffee (But I Sewed a New Garment!)

Me Mades: Wiksten Kimono, Emerson Crop Pants, woven Hemlock Tee.

Other: Blockshop scarf, Baleen earrings, thrifted clogs.

INSIGHTS: I definitely hit a wall in week 3. The challenge of wearing only me-made garments felt like a chore and some weird outfits came out of it (*shudder* Day 17)… And I cheated. I wore a RTW jacket. It’s been unseasonably chilly and I only have two Wiksten Kimonos and a Kelly Anorak as outerwear (which I’ve discovered doesn’t work with most of my me-mades). I need to make the Hampton Jean Jacket and Tamarack Jacket.

Another contributor to the Week 3 struggle was my sewing fail with the Persephone Pants. I made a straight size 4, which matches perfectly with my measurements, but are HUGE. I’m not sure if it’s a crotch curve thing or a fabric thing, but either way they don’t fit. Once I put them on and realized they weren’t going to work, I wadded them up and they’ve been on the floor ever since. I wasn’t immediately good at making them and that feeling just affirmed all of my fears of making fitted, non-elastic waist pants. Totally irrational. I’m taking some space from them before trying to overcome this setback.

My serger is also having lots of tension issues I can’t seem to resolve, putting all the knit tops I want to make on the back burner (and making me dream of this beauty). BUT last night I finished the first garment this month! I put the bias finish on the neck of a silk noil Hemlock Tee I sewed up last month. Here’s to a better week!

Travel Plans!

Planning trips in my sketchbook. Please comment with any art, architecture, food (no booze, please), parks, fabric, and thrifting things to do in Paris and Brussels!

#MMMay18 Week 2

Day 7 – Ugh, Monday.

Me Mades: Cleo Skirt, Inari Tee I made for my wedding, Wiksten Kimono.

Other: Clarks shoes, thrifted necklace, Warby Parker sunglasses, tights from somewhere.

Day 8 – Bunchy Tuesday

Me Mades: Roberts Collection Dungarees, Kelly Anorak, Lou Box Top. I have a hard time feeling comfortable in these dungarees if the shirt underneath isn’t super tight. I need to make some form fitting knit tops.

Other: Vans, Etsy necklace.

Day 9 – Black and Brown Forever

Me Mades: Emerson Crop Pants, Scout Tee, Driftless Cardigan.

Other: Nisolo shoes

Day 10 – I ripped this jumpsuit on my bike 🙁

Me Mades: Driftless Cardigan, Roberts Collection Jumpsuit.

Other: Blockshop Scarf, Vans.

Day 11 – Wish I had jeans.

Me Mades: Shirt No. 1, self drafted wedding skirt, Wiksten Kimono.

Other: Kork-Ease sandals, Fanny Penny necklace.

Day 12 – Morning/Evening

Me Mades: Timber Quilt, Farrow Dress.

Other: Baleen Earrings, wedges I bought on Instagram, Thief & Bandit leggings.

INSIGHTS – This week I really started to feel challenged and miss my RTWs, but two really good combos came out of it. I felt super comfortable, yet put together on Day 9 and although my wedding skirt was a wee bit too tight, the colors and textures of Day 11 were just yummy.

I’m not having the same jump in productivity as last year, but I think that can be attributed to a few things. My drawing practice is taking up more of my free time, this time last year I wasn’t enrolled in my Patternmaking class, work isn’t killing my soul like it did last year (I am 100% ready for summer break though), and I’m not doing a monthly make challenge.

I have two Kalle shirts cut out and I NEED Persephone pants in my life. Hoping inspiration will hit and those will be on my body before the end of May.

How’s MMMay18 going for you?

Repeat Pattern Party

Remember how I said I was obsessed with making repeat patterns? Well, I’ve made 23 in the past two weeks. Here’s a gif I made of all but the most recent one while trying to figure out Photoshop last night. Once the school year ends, I plan to dive into Adobe Creative Suite and upload a lot of these to Spoonflower. I’m excited.