Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Evolution of a Fabric Stash

I equate having a perfectly organized fabric stash to a state of sewing nirvana that is unachievable in this lifetime. Maybe heaven is a giant room filled with shelves of fabric that are always perfectly folded to be the same size, and are somehow simultaneously organized by fiber content, in ascending yardage and also color order. Is this even possible? Don't you dare say that it is.

A few days ago, in an effort to make more room in my plastic fabric boxes and to get rid of some stuff I knew I was probably never gonna use, I set up a destash account on Instagram [@missmake_destash if you wanna follow!] and sold some things. It felt GOOD.

I love looking through my fabric stash. I'm a really visual person, and that's how I remember things. If we have a conversation, I might not remember all of it in a month [sadly], and I am TERRIBLE with names after people introduce themselves to me. But when I look at my fabric I remember exactly where every single one is from, why I bought it and the shopping experience of picking it out.  Maybe I should pin a piece of fabric to everyone's shirt when I meet them [although I still wouldn't remember their name, I would just be like, oh you're Robert Kaufman Laguna Jersey in Pepper.]

In the midst of rolling around in my fabric stash pressing and folding the destash orders, I looked down at the stack of my most recently bought fabrics that were waiting to find a home, and they looked so different than the quilty rainbow explosion I was surrounded by that I had to take a picture of the contrast.

Here's some of what I'm destashing:


[Let it be known that there are fabrics in this picture that I still love, they are just too small to really do anything with. And also sometimes you just gotta let go and make room for the new.]

I think it's pretty easy to tell that quilting is what first roped me into sewing seriously as an adult ['murican flag calico, anyone?]. I liked picking and pairing colors and prints, and the fact that you only had to buy a quarter or half yard of something to use it. I've always felt like making a quilt was like making a big, pretty, snuggly collage.

Buuuut now I make clothes! Here's that new stack that was waiting to be put away, all things I've gotten pretty recently:


A leeeetle different, no?

And because if I were reading, I'd want to know, here's what they all are:

1. floral rayon challis for a TBD tank/shirt 2. gray stretch twill for a cigarette pant, possibly clover? 3. acid wash jegging knit(!!) for jeggings, duh 4. melon jersey for a tshirt 5. black rayon challis for a TBD tank/shirt 6. rayon jersey for a pair of anima pants 7. buffalo plaid jersey for a tshirt 8. floral rayon jersey for a tshirt 9. striped double knit from a pair of anima pants [from The Fabric Studio] 10. gold metallic woven fabric for a clutch [from The Fabric Studio] 11. striped tissue knit for a hemlock [from Britex] 12. motorcycle jersey for a tshirt 13. striped rayon sweater knit for a cardigan/wrap 14. striped jerseyfrom a myrtle 15. rayon challis for TBD tank/shirt [from Wanderlust, out of stock]

I like how these pictures don't look like the same person bought all the fabric, but when you see them side by side they still kind of make sense together on some level:


Has your stash changed over time? What do you keep and what do you part with? Do you ever look at fabric you bought a long time ago and what what the hell you where thinking?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

I've had workout pants on my list of things to make for a while now, because a) why not and b) I'd like to have choices other than black or neon. These are the Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings, and I am calling them my Rainbow Sparkle Pants of Awesome. They are not actually sparkly, but I feel sparkly when I wear them. I think it is likely that, as I huff through the neighborhood, any unicorns and fairies that happen to be in the vicinity will see my pants and have no choice but to join me. I will be like a pied piper of sparkly, mythical creatures.

Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

I loved the pattern! My measurement were exactly the same as the XS, so that's what made. The PDF went together fine, and since there are a lot of pieces none of them were that big, and I just cut them out as I went so there was no major paper wrangling. 

 Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

I did as the instructions suggested and basted the accent stripes on the side seam together, and when I did they lined up perfectly. But then after I serged them they were off a little. Bummer. Luckily they are surrounded by a pastel rainbow so it's not so noticeable.

Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

I think everything is pretty ok fit wise. They're a little long on me, not ridiculously so but they could stand to be shortened. I think for the next pair I'm going to end them right at the bottom of the back knee accent thing, for better ventilation while accomplishing great feats of athleticism.

Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

I skipped the interior pocket [it was supposed to go on the center back] just because I didn't think I'd ever use it. Also the pattern called for 3/4" elastic, which I didn't have, but I wanted to finish the pants RIGHT NOW so I just used 1" and it was fine. I like wider elastic better anyway because it feels less muffin top-y when you wear it.

I used a wide zig zag to stitch down the waistband and hem the bottoms, because to be honest I've been experiencing some twin needle fatigue recently, and I'm just sick of using them. I hate switching it out and rethreading. I actually considered getting out my old machine to set up just to be a twin needle it worth the table space?? Is that more or less work?

Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

Ok I know this next picture is ridiculous. This is apparently what I look like while trying to jump. I was trying to do something athletic. But I'm including it because it's the only one where you can see the top of the back. THAT IS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU.

Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

Let's talk about the fabric, or my failure thus far to successfully find workout pant fabric. Despite its unicorn-attracting properties, it's actually not so great, not quality wise but just appropriateness. It's basically swimwear fabric. It's slinky and really stretchy and SEE THROUGH, and when I put it on it makes me instantly feel clammy. I think I'll have to save the unicorn charming for cooler weather.

I have found it really hard to shop for activewear fabric online because I don't really know what I'm looking for. I have these workout pants from Target that I'm trying to emulate that are some kind of synthetic jersey, but they're softer and slightly thicker and fuzzier(?) than like a spandex bike short material. It seems like every online listing for workout fabric says something to the effect, "for dance, activewear, yoga pants, blouses, dresses." That is not helpful. Also who is using the same fabric for all those things?

Does anyone have any specific fabrics to recommend? Melissa actually has a very comprehensive list of where to buy activewear fabric on the Fehr Trade website [this fabric is from Spandex by Yard], which was super helpful, but you still never know what something will feel like when you're looking at a website.

Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

I had to buy a yard of each fabric, so I have lots left over of the navy. I think I'll make another pair, just reversed, despite the clam-factor.

Also, thanks everyone for chiming in on my last post about my partial fail shorts! I so appreciate all your suggestions and feedback!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Partial Fail: Kwik Sew 3854


Ok so. Here are some shorts I made. They're Kwik Sew 3854.

I can't decide about them. I think they might be a fail. Not necessarily a Sewing Fail, but a Project Choice Fail, a Not the Most Flattering Fail, a Will Probably Never Wear Outside the House Fail.

Let's start with the pattern envelope.


I know that illustration on the left is terrifying. But I saw could see through those aggressive pleats that were ready to devour my thighs. I saw potential. They made me think of vintage sailor ladies. In the shorter length they could be cute, right?

Well...from the front they make me think of my fourth grade teacher, who was awesome, but every day wore high waisted pleated shorts and opaque white tights with a turtleneck and sweater vest.


Also, those little triangles are leather, which I thought would be a cute detail because there is topstitching there, and I don't know, ok? But now when I look at them, all I can see is A FACE. And it is weeping.

And then from the back...I use the term Vintage Bootyshorts. My mom said she thought Hot Pants was more accurate. I suppose it depends on the individual.


I know they aren't even that crazy short, but the hem is just so full. I had to sew the pleats down, because with the stiffness of the hem the bottom edge was hanging at least six inches away from my butt. It was DRAFTY.

Should I maybe wear them with my shirt untucked?


No, don't think so.

From some angles - and maybe from a distance? - I like these.


But then other angles? I just don't know! Maybe they're just outside my comfort zone.


What do you guys think?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress


I'm right in the middle of leading the sewalong for the new Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress. Last week I finished up all the procedural pictures for the rest of the upcoming posts, which means that as a byproduct I finished a Myrtle. And this is it!


I love it! It makes me feel much more glamorous than I'm used to feeling.


I feel like I say this all the time now, but this dress is really comfortable. It's secret pajama level comfort just like my Monetas. But it feels fancy. I don't think I really even captured it in the pictures, but in the light color and with the tabs at the shoulders it feels very goddess-like. Ok maybe it feels more goddess-like than it looks, but hey, it's what's on the inside that counts, right?? I think with the right fabric you could really fancy this number up.


My measurements were putting me at XS-S-S, so that's what I cut. And it seems to have worked out.


I didn't do any fit adjusting besides the cutting. Sometimes Colette patterns give me this extra blob of fabric between my front armpit and shoulder. I think it's just the shape of their block on my body shape. But with the cowl neck and shoulder tabs on the Myrtle, I can just kind of tuck it up under and it blends in. Woohoo for less adjusting work!


The fabric is this drapey rayon knit from Harts Fabric. I was worried that it would be too sheer with the light color but with judicious choice of undergarments everything is ok!


I did the length of View 1 and the shoulder tabs from View 2. They wrap around the shoulder and button down on the inside, which I was fully prepared to skip out of laziness. Let's just stitch those babies down and call it a day. But then I realized that with a button, you could button it AROUND your bra strap so that everything stays together while you wear it and you don't get any strap peekage. Amazing!


We still have a week to go before the sewing portion of the sewalong starts, so you have some time to get your shopping done if you want to follow along. On Monday we'll dive in with the construction, and you'll go BACK IN TIME and to see me make this dress, step by step. Whoa!


I hope you can join me!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Victory Patterns Chloe Dress (Round 2)


I've been meaning to make another Victory Patterns Chloe Dress for a while [first one blogged here]. And well looky here, I finally did.


I love how this turned out, the color, the flat piping, the buttons, everything. I was worried about giving off a baton twirler vibe when I first considered the buttons, but I think I was just being paranoid.

[And oh hey, just a warning, Hootie felt the need to get really involved in these pictures.]


The fabric I used was Carolyn Friedlander Botanics. It's this great mustard color with gold metallic details. I love the color and print, but since it's a quilting cotton it shows every little wrinkle and pull line when I move around. I actually don't notice it in real life but when I was editing these pictures all I can see are wrinkles. Oh well.


So funny story - I made this dress for a wedding, and I originally put in both pocket bags on the front. I used the quilting cotton, which was my first mistake, because it was way too bulky. I thought it looked mostly ok, but then the day of the wedding I decided that there was way too much bulk in there and it was unflattering and I would be self conscious and sad and schlumpy.


So I went to a CVS, got one of those little mending kits and hand stitched those suckers shut 15 minutes before I had to be ready. Then I hacked them off.

It was terrifying and exhilarating.

So those pockets have been downgraded to faux.


Hootie and I are emoting so much, can you feel it?


And now for some pictures of the inside, because look how pretty!


One of my favorite parts about this dress is the lining. I love using pretty/crazy linings if I can because they make me feel extra happy while I'm getting dressed. This one is London Calling lawn from Robert Kaufman that I had left over from when I made an Emery Dress for Elisabeth. I just think it looks so good with the white binding and the gold shell. The only part that makes me sad is that no one sees it while I'm wearing it.


I handstitched the binding on the inside, so it looks the same from both sides. As I was taking these pictures I realized that this almost looks like a reversible dress.

Hey wait a minute...could this be a reversible dress? It's fully lined, after all.

*Awkwardly struggles to zip self into dress with backwards zipper*



All you would have to do to make this reversible is use a reversible zipper and make the hem even on the bottom [or be ok with one side peeking out.] WHICH I FULLY PLAN ON DOING.


I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited about this. It's like making one new dress but getting two!


Would you make a reversible dress? If so what would you put on each side?



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