block printed garment of the month – hand dyed hemp linen

I’m running out of corners of my house to take photos in, but the good news is, it’s starting to stay light out after 5pm, and this week we had temps above the teens so I think Spring may actually be on the way! I really miss taking photos outside. …or doing anything outside besides freezing my face off. But anyways! Here’s my latest dress, and it’s arguably the most “me made” thing I’ve ever created.

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not all who wander-er are lost

I’m honored to be today’s stop on the Wanderer Fabric Tour to promote April Rhodes’ new fabric collection! I know, I’ve been doing a lot of fabric tours lately but I can’t help it. I love them!! For about two weeks I had been pondering what to sew, knowing I wanted to make some kind of shirt dress, but I couldn’t decide on a pattern. I thought I had narrowed it down to the perfect one, Simplicity 2365, but after I messed up a narrow shoulder adjustment on my muslin I got frustrated and scrapped the whole project. Flash forward to Monday night when I had the genius idea (sarcasm) to design my own dress pattern and attempt to fit it/finalize it in roughly three days (hence the blog silence this week). WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I went back and forth in my own head about how terrible of an idea this was, but how proud I’d be if I could pull it off, until the Vulcan half of my brain was drowned out with sounds of “La la la lalalalalalala can’t heeaarrrrr yooouuuu!!” and I just went for it.

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Carolyn Pajama Shorts

Happy Friday! A casual Friday, that is. You’ve seen the new Carolyn Pajama pattern by Closet Case Patterns, right? Well if you haven’t, and you live in lounge clothes like I do, I highly recommend checking it out. When Heather released the pattern I instantly fell in love with the blue shorts version she shows as a sample. It’s so cute!! I ended up buying the pattern within the week it was announced because I was getting frustrated with the fitting process on another pattern. When all else fails, and you just need to sew something, turn to PJs as a pick-me-up!

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sew to flatter: warm vs cool

As I work towards my Me Made May goals, I find myself analyzing past sewing projects in order to work out the reasons why I don’t wear them routinely, even when I’m happy with my craftsmanship. There are countless projects that I love on a hanger, but then something isn’t quite right when I put them on. I used to blame it on fit alone, but then another possible factor dawned on me. I always tell myself I don’t care if certain colors flatter my type, I’m just going to wear what I like! But it’s becoming more apparent that I obviously care on some subconscious level, or else I would be wearing what I make all the time, instead of falling out of love with projects a week after making them. Yesterday I was browsing some of my older photos and I realized I’ve got a lot to learn about how I wear color.

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The Hack-tory Dress Preface

The Factory Dress by Merchant & Mills has been on my radar for a little while now and I’ve been dying to make it. I finally found a retailer in the U.S. where I could buy it online (Purl Soho!) and once it arrived at my door I tore into it expecting to start working on it immediately. But after browsing through the instructions I decided I wasn’t too keen on the way the front is constructed, mostly because I was scratching my head at how one might finish the edges on a serger without some serious fandangling (you’ll see what I mean in the photo coming up). So I decided to pattern hack and re-trace the bodice my own way and make it a button front instead, hence “The Hack-tory Dress”.

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Alexia’s Rayon and Occam’s Razor

As I mentioned earlier this week, Cotton & Steel just announced their new rayon fabric collection called Frock which is due to hit stores in February. Now, when your favorite fabric company contacts you and asks if you’d like some sample yardage to accompany a blog tour, you say “OMG YES!!!” right away and worry about the challenge later. What I mean is, I’ve never actually sewn with Rayon before! I’ve bought rayon, but I’ve yet to sew with it. Until now that is!

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cotton & steel rayon frock tour

There are exciting things afoot for garment sewers thanks to the masterminds at Cotton & Steel. Perhaps you’ve already seen their gorgeous cotton lawns and double gauze, but now …there are RAYONS! That’s right, new rayon fabrics, and they’re beautiful.

I’m honored to be included in the official Frock Fabric Tour, along with some other amazing sewing wizards, to help kick off this new collection. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

Here’s the tour schedule, along with everyone’s details, if you’d like to follow along:

frocktour2(photos via Cotton & Steel on instagram)

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accidental smart things

I recently bought the new Granville shirt pattern by Sewaholic, (which if you haven’t seen yet I highly recommend checking out because it’s beautifully tailored) and though it’s not on my immediate to-sew list, I couldn’t help but peek through my stash to see if I had anything that might work well with the pattern. This amazing vintage fabric was a gift from a blog reader (Thanks, Jackie!) and I’ve been saving it away for the perfect project (one that I’ve mastered the fit of and will actually wear and love, of course). Once I pulled out the fabric I grabbed some thread off my table and set it on my ironing board, which is set up near my sad stash of yarn that’s been terribly neglected since my wrists have been bothering me. Well, once all the colors kept popping out at me I couldn’t help but make a little collage, and an accidental color palette was born!

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musings on wearable muslins and lady turtles

If there’s one thing I’m good at doing, it’s being brutally honest about myself on the internet. Whatever, no one can say anything hurtful about me that I haven’t already said to my own face, so at risk of publicly embarrassing myself, let me tell you a funny story about how naive I am. I don’t claim to be a super experienced seamstress, I’d say I’m intermediate at best, so quite often I find myself having these ridiculous moments of epiphany when I realize how much of an idiot I am. I don’t take anything in life too seriously, so I rather enjoy laughing at myself when I make these epic “discoveries”. See I used to think “wearable muslin” meant you could sew a pattern right out of the envelope, for the first time, in any fabric, in hopes it would turn out okay and you could actually wear it. In fact, if you asked me last month I’d tell you “Oh yeah, I have tons of wearable muslins!” …lies!! ALL LIES I tell you. No my friends, I have tons of me-made garments that don’t fit quite right, made up in fabric that I don’t quite love, sitting in a box in my closet. I don’t think those “muslins” count as “wearable” at all.

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Me Made May: loose plans, solid discoveries

If I learned anything last year it’s not to set too many goals in stone. However, one can’t really reach goals without at least some kind of direction and a rough plan of action. To better set myself up for success I have several goals, stretch goals, and absolute bottom line goals in mind to help me achieve my big sewing accomplishment this year: wear one handmade garment everyday for the entire month of May (you can read more about this goal in my previous blog post).

I can list any numerical goal of things to make, but if I can’t narrow down WHAT I want to sew/wear/love for Me Made May then I’m pretty much hopeless. After all, I already have a bin full of me-mades that never get worn. As you may have noticed, I’ve been living in leggings, over-sized sweaters, and looser dresses/tunics for a while now. I’ve also had a big itch to sew something vintage, but nothing in my stash suits my needs at this time.

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