Capturing the Unicorn: Cropped Herringbone Jacket

Jacket Collar
You may recall, from posts of old, that I started sewing in early fall of 2012. After taking a handful of classes at the local JoAnn, I signed up for Sewing 301: Dressy Jacket. Well, it may have been a little out of my league. And by a little, I mean a lot. Never one to purchase fabric as directed (read: ugly), I chose something I would actually wear. This meant making the entire sewing process infinitely harder on my very beginner self. Continue reading

Sewing Project – Herringbone Cape of Magic

Cape 2
A little backstory:  I took my first sewing class in August of last year. In that class I learned, among other things, how to read a pattern and how to purchase fabric from a pattern.  During my next shopping trip at the fabric store, I came across two things I instantly fell in love with.  This cape pattern, and this lavender and cream herringbone wool-like fabric in the clearance aisle.  At the time I had no idea how to sew (aside from the cute fold-over supply pouch created in the first class), but I knew that someday I would, and this fabric would be glorious.  I painstakingly picked out the interfacing and matching lining, went to the cutting counter for the first time, and left the store excited with possibility. Continue reading

Sewing Project: Highbrow or 80s Hip Hop

Baseball T 3
I’m back! More on my extended absence in the next post, there’ve been some exciting developments on the homestead! In the meantime, I wanted to share a little sewing project I whipped up in the last few weeks. I was inspired by a couple high-end raglan-sleeve tops I’d seen around, and wanted to try my hand at a similar version. In the oft-used Simplicity 9499 pattern set, there just happens to be a baseball t-shirt design, which I thought would work perfectly. It’s been awhile since I’ve sewn, so I thought it might be a good idea to do a little practice run on some fabric I had laying around – as it happens, yes, I had emerald green velour laying around. I think velour is fabulous, but more on that later. My trial run went pretty well, and, as I’d hoped, I learned a couple of valuable lessons for the real thing. (Paying closer attention to laying out pattern pieces on the grain of the fabric; even though the front and back look almost identical, there really is a difference – both in the sleeves and the body; and patterns always call for a neckband that’s entirely too small.) Continue reading

Sewing Project – Shorts!

With the outrageously hot weather came the opportunity to shirk outdoor responsibilities in favor of cooler, saner, indoor projects. Needless to say I was excited. I love the outdoors, and will generally do whatever I can do get outside in some fashion (something to do with my mother, I’m sure) but when it becomes hard to breathe due to the heat and humidity, I think that’s a free pass to stay inside. Kind of like any precipitation coming down sideways. Well, that’s enough about the weather.

Shorts 1
I had been dreaming about these paper bag-waist shorts for quite some time (here) after seeing the skirt tutorial on Adventures in Dressmaking. To make these I took a pattern for some pajama shorts and modified it a bit – creating a much longer waist to accommodate a 1” elastic band and about 1” of “ruffle” or paper bag effect on top of that. I made belt loops and a fabric tie belt to go along with it, so they looked a little more polished.

Shorts PatternNormally I would say “pajama shorts!?!” But the pattern had boys’ sizing, so I was able to choose a more form fitted size than what you might picture as slouchy, comfy lounging pants / shorts.

This has been one of my most satisfying projects to date, because I fashioned so much of the design myself out of different resources, and because they turned out exactly as I’d hoped. That’s not to say I didn’t have to use the seam ripper in a few spots, but to me that just shows I was willing to go slow and get it right. (Which is vast improvement over my behavior on other projects I’ve attempted.) Success all around! Now, if only I could take a better picture, we’d be all set.

Shorts Waist
What has been your most satisfying project?

Sewing Projects – Pillows

In reading through some other lifestyle blogs, I realized that the possibilities with sewing projects are pretty much endless, even though I’m still a beginner.  It seems obvious, but sometimes you just need a new perspective to see it!  In my marathon JoAnn Fabric trip, I bought some upholstery fabric on clearance and two pillow inserts.  Voila!  A little sass for our otherwise tame and tasteful sunroom. This fabric isn’t really indoor/outdoor, but the sunroom isn’t exposed to the elements; save for bugs and extreme temperatures.

Pillow 1Pillow 3Pillow 2Pillow 4Pillow 5
The sunroom is probably my favorite room in the house – all the windows open up with screens, and it’s nice and breezy.  I have whiled away many a morning and afternoon in this chair!