Monthly Archives: October 2015

Dropje Vest

10-djope3I recently joined up with Go To Patterns (affiliate link) to become one of their Brand Ambassadors – which means that I get to regularly sew up patterns from designers that I love! Since I own a number of patterns that are already featured on the site, I thought that my first review should be from a company that is completely new to me: Waffle Patterns. Because it looks as if fall may never arrive here (it’s the middle of October and it’s still almost 90 here), I decided to sew a great transitional wardrobe piece, the Dropje Vest.

10-djope2This pattern not only features a hood, but also a front zip, side pockets, and neckline darts that add interest to your final design (unfortunately, this design element gets a bit lost in my fabric choice which has a lot of texture). Even though the pattern calls for a jacket style exterior, I went with a quilted double knit material instead – not only was it the right weight for this project (medium weight), it looks on trend with what I’ve been seeing in stores lately too.

Before I talk specifically about the Dropje vest, I want to take a step back and say how much I love Waffle Patterns for making their 10-djope5designs so easy to print. While most PDF files have you print all the sizes, Waffle Patterns layer their PDF files so all you need to do is click on the size you need (be sure to also click on the labels as well otherwise putting your pattern together may be more difficult) in Adobe and you’re set! There was no guesswork as to if I was cutting on the correct size because there was only one size I needed to cut – easy!

The Dropje pattern pieces went together easily – everything lined up nicely and the pocket, while it looks complicated when finished, was the easiest exterior pocket that I’ve ever sewn! The instructions are clear and very concise (they are not detailed, but they have all the information that you need included) with great illustrations that support each step (I will say that I used the illustrations more than what I used the actual text).

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As for the fit, I think it’s spot on. When I measured myself, I was in between two sizes so I went with the smaller one after looking at the final jacket dimensions (I wanted a more fitted look, plus I figured that since I was using a knit, I would have a bit of give if I needed it). Overall, I can definitely see getting a lot of use out of this one until it gets cold enough for heavier jackets. This pattern is rated as “intermediate” and I would definitely stick by that since there are lots of darts, facings, and a zipper to insert. I think an “advanced beginner” could tackle this – just be prepared to take your time while sewing.

10-djope1And now, If you’ve made it this far, I present to you the “Fun Photo of the Day” – aka “The Hazards of Outside Photo Shoots”.

As we were taking pictures, what appeared to be a large bug (which turned out to be some sort of beetle…. alright a ladybug) came flying toward my face…. right at the moment this picture was snapped. This may actually become my Facebook profile picture since it seems like an appropriate look for Halloween!

 

Small Stripe Dolman

10-jaliedolmanThere is something about the month of October that makes for busy weekends. Maybe it’s the perfect fall weather (alright, not this year, it was still 90 degrees out yesterday) or just all the soccer games we have! No matter what it is, sewing has been a slow work in progress.

My latest creation is Jalie’s Dolman Top and the black and cream small stripe that I got in my September Girl Charlee Knit Fix bag. This was one of my favorite prints out of my bag (probably because I adore stripes) and I was itching to use it in a dolman pattern solely because the stripes look so interesting in the sleeve area. All that is left to do is hem everything (I was in a hurry to finish this for a contest deadline – the winners get a free October Knit Fix bag!). I’m anxious to wear this one, it definitely has a much dressier vibe to it that the others I have made (perhaps it’s the sleeves?) and I think it will look great paired up with another project I have in the works for later this week!

Tula Pink Coloring Book

10-tulaGenerally when I see something created by Tula Pink, I say “Go ahead, take my money!” Whether it be fabric, quilt patterns, or artwork there  is something about her distinct style and design that just I adore. So, when I had the chance to review her latest endeavor, the Tula Pink Coloring Book, I jumped at the chance to check it out!

Adult coloring books are ‘all the rage’ right now (in fact, I own several myself) so it only stands to reason that a prominent fiber artist would jump into the mix. In between the covers of this book are over 75 designs created by Tula… and if you’re a Tula Pink fan you’ll recognize that these images have appeared in her previous fabric lines (Nest, Nightshade, Parisville, and more). The designs range from “intricate images”  such as the owl on the front cover, to fun patterns and geometric shapes – there’s a little something for everyone! In fact, while reviewing this book, my family (even the 7 year old) pitched in and and we all did at least one page:

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Not only was this a fun activity for everyone, it was relaxing (studies have even shown that adult coloring can relieve stress), and gave me the chance to play with the colorways of some of my favorite designs. The only problem? I have realized that I need new art pencils – you would think that 36 would have plenty of colors to choose from, but I’m thinking I need to go bigger…. like this set of 72!

Linky Thursday

Make a simple knit top designed by Gertie.

Learn how to create a fun swan collar inspired by Valentino.

Making Halloween costumes this year? Then be sure to enter your creations into Thread’s latest contest.

If you child has been asking to be Baymax (from Big Hero 6) this Halloween then you’ll definitely want to check out this costume tutorial.

Men won’t mind wearing an apron when they cook\grill with this professional half-style design.

Tulle skirts aren’t just popular for little girl wear, they make fabulous costumes for everyone! Learn how to make a full and fluffy version with this Totally Tulle Tutu Tutorial (now try to say that 5 times real fast!).

Start this quick and easy Cocoon Cardigan and have it in time to wear by the afternoon (video 2 of 2).

Tired of the same ‘ole purses? Make a bag that’s in the round!

It’s hard to believe when you look at that these “patchwork” pumpkins that was a no-sew project!

Show your team spirit. Make a tote out of your favorite sporting shirt.

Looking for the most adorable Mommy & Baby costumes? Look no further than this post – filled with several low sew\no sew ideas.

Making a raglan shirt  (my favorite style) doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a new pattern. Learn how you can draft your own with this tutorial.

Quilted Diamond Knit

10-quiltknitWhen I bought my Fraser sewing pattern, I sort of fell in love with the quilted knit that they used for view C.  You can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across (what I think is) the same fabric while shopping at Fabric.com (I snagged two yards, but as of today, there is only 1 yard left. For those that live in Canada, you can find lots of yardage here)!

It arrived yesterday and I intend on using this with a (soon to be revealed) different project first and cross my fingers I have enough left over to squeeze in the Fraser too!

I also had a killer find at Target yesterday – A Darth Vader Sugar Skull tee…. this is not an exact match (but close enough) to the Star Wars sugar skull knit prints I had purchased earlier in the year. It took me 3 stores to find them (in the sizes I needed… and yes, I got more than one), but I totally plan on reconstructing them into something fabulous soon.

E.N.U.F. Recon

What prompted this weekend’s closet purge was digging around for a particular t-shirt that I’ve been holding onto for ages (as a side note, I’m not kidding around about the ages part, if you google the logo, you’ll find people reselling them under the ‘vintage’ section of websites). This particular ‘vintage’ tee is extremely oversized and outdated, bu matches the floral knitfix that I received in September’s bag pretty well so I decided it was finally time for a recon.

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For this shirt, I used the Rainier Ragalan pattern again – this time I went up one size from my previous version to accommodate the reduced stretch of the tee shirt material and because I found the my first top a bit snug along the upper bust. It’s a good thing I did this because the limited stretch pretty much makes the fit the exact same as the previous version. The only other change I made was leaving the hem on this one unstitched (I think it keeps with the vintage feel of the shirt and makes a nice roll when you wear it). Overall I love the end result: the floral makes it a bit funky and is definitely on trend for tees\sweatshirts this year (from what I’ve seen there’s a lot of hoodies and tees that add floral elements, especially in the sleeves), plus I finally got to recon the shirt I’ve been hanging onto for years!

Letting Go

There is something about cleaning out your wardrobe that is dreadful: You stand in your closet, half naked, trying on clothing that neither fits or is flattering\in-style for hours only to have to say goodbye to some of your former favorites.

This was my weekend. I’ve been working on the motivation to do this for, well, years and finally had enough of the mess that I decided it was time for “The Great Purge”.  While I have cleaned out a few items here and there, I determined from some of the sizes\styles\items that I went through it’s been almost 8 years since I’ve done a thorough job. Saying goodbye to old favorites, especially ones that you sewed yourself, is always a difficult chore, but I went in with this mindset that made it a bit better:

  • There is no way I am going to be size X again. I’m not kidding myself – those size X’s haven’t fit in 10 years they aren’t going to suddenly fit now (and if for some reason I would become that size again, I deserve to reward myself with something new anyway!)
  • There are always more patterns & fabrics to be sewn. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I have a tendency to hang onto a garment that I’ve sewn longer because it has more “sentimental value”. Chances are I’ll be filling up my closet very soon with new creations anyway.
  • I took a good look at my lifestyle (for the most part, I live a very casual lifestyle with an occasional ‘business casual’ or ‘dressy’ event here and there) and purged a majority of the clothes that don’t fit into those categories.
  • Your clothes\shoes have served you well. Thank them for their service and remember someone will probably love it just as much as what you once did.
  • And of course, “If you haven’t worn it in the past year, get rid of it” rule.

Now for the full disclosure: the only thing that I didn’t purge were my T-shirts. I have a t-shirt problem. I’m like Sheldon Cooper and could wear a kitschy tee almost every day and for almost any occasion. With that said, my closet still looks fabulous (I can even see everything I own and it’s neatly organized). and now I have PLENTY of room for new stuff – in fact, I’m heading into the sewing room today so that I can start filling up those empty hangers.

 

Bizarre Catwalk Show & Updates

10-peopleI have come to the realization that I am procrastinating on my jacket because I am just not in love with it… I’m going to have to work myself into some motivation this weekend and just finish it. Maybe I’ll find something to love in the process. In the mean time, I am seriously contemplating on making a floral hoodie\shirt. I saw a shop advertise these the other day and I think it might be a good use of the latest floral I received in my KnitFix bag.

In other news, did anyone see the Rick Owens runway show? I can’t imagine walking down the catwalk with another person strapped to you – and how does the model on the right not get kneed in the face with ever step?

Linky Thursday

Looking for a great Cosplay\Halloween costume this year? Learn how you can make this iconic Leeloo multi-pass costume from The Fifth Element (you can see the original garment from the movie here).

Take embroidery on the road with you when you stitch up an adorable traveling stitch kit.

This triple zip pouch looks like a fun way to show off colorful zippers and have a handy storage bag too!

Winter is just around the corner, keep you gams warm with a cozy pair of fleece leggings.

Make something special for your trick-or-treaters by whipping up one of these easy treat bags. Looking for something larger to haul your goodies? Check out these glow-in-the-dark versions instead.

Sleepy lambs and goats make the perfect bedtime buddies.

I’m a sucker for cute bag patterns and I find that hardware can make all the difference. Such is the case of this Fashion Buckle Bag at sew4home.

Get your boys ready for cooler weather with this free long sleeved shirt pattern.

Set your drink on something creepy when you make one of these felt eyeball coasters.

A great transitional piece or a cute jacket to take the chill off while you’re at the office: Kimono Cool.

Skip the skinny pants, wear wide legged trousers instead.

Show how much you love Instagram when you make this app themed purse.

This tunic is promoted as being a beach cover up, but I can totally see this being worn with boots this fall.