Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sheer Dotted Kimono

Kimono summer sheer handmade handsewn diy fashion design blogger sewing sewn chiffon polyester navy music festival hippie gold splattered denim jeans brunette girl smile summertime springtime clothing

Can we talk about how dangerous a Going-Out-Of-Business sale is at a Joann's Fabric store? Because I got caught in one a couple months ago, and HOLY WOW. 


I've touched on this before, but guys, I do NOT need more fabric in my life. It's taken years of stashing for me to wake up to this conclusion. And yet, I still waltzed out of the store a few dollars lighter and YARDS and YARDS of fabric heavier. 

Kimono summer sheer handmade handsewn diy fashion design blogger sewing sewn chiffon polyester navy music festival hippie gold splattered denim jeans brunette girl smile summertime springtime clothing

This pretty dotted chiffon was, you guessed it, one of my purchases at the aforementioned sale. I bought whatever was left on the bolt (most of what I got, I took what was left on the bolt. DANGEROUS), which was a little over a yard. The good thing about this was that I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it, since a lightweight kimono was something my wardrobe was lacking. I based this off of a vintage kimono my mom had given me, making some adjustments to length and sleeve shaping.

Kimono summer sheer handmade handsewn diy fashion design blogger sewing sewn chiffon polyester navy music festival hippie gold splattered denim jeans brunette girl smile summertime springtime clothing

Kimono summer sheer handmade handsewn diy fashion design blogger sewing sewn chiffon polyester navy music festival hippie gold splattered denim jeans brunette girl smile summertime springtime clothing

All in all, it was a super quick project because it turned out to be all rectangles. The hardest part was dealing with a 100% polyester fabric, and pressing it. I serged all the inside seams and double turned the hems. I'm super pleased with how the seams look in this fabric; the lines with the sheerness just really delight me!

Kimono summer sheer handmade handsewn diy fashion design blogger sewing sewn chiffon polyester navy music festival hippie gold splattered denim jeans brunette girl smile summertime springtime clothing

I mean, how great is that? This is a nice piece to throw on over a casual outfit. A good little finishing touch, if you will.

Kimono summer sheer handmade handsewn diy fashion design blogger sewing sewn chiffon polyester navy music festival hippie gold splattered denim jeans brunette girl smile summertime springtime clothing

Kimono summer sheer handmade handsewn diy fashion design blogger sewing sewn chiffon polyester navy music festival hippie gold splattered denim jeans brunette girl smile summertime springtime clothing

If you're curious, the jeans are an old make, they just happen to fit me for the first time in a long time! My sandals are from Etsy, and they are my favorite purchase of the summer. They're real leather, so they have molded to my feet to create the most perfect fit. I'm a little heartbroken that sandal season is almost over--where did summer go?!

Kimono summer sheer handmade handsewn diy fashion design blogger sewing sewn chiffon polyester navy music festival hippie gold splattered denim jeans brunette girl smile summertime springtime clothing

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Handknitting: Chuck Sweater

hand knit knitting diy handmade crafty red sweater pullover cabled fiisherman brunette girl woman

Two years ago, I started knitting this Chuck sweater (one of Andi Satterlund's patterns). Today, I finally wove in one last end. Good things take time? 

hand knit knitting diy handmade crafty red sweater pullover cabled fiisherman brunette girl woman blue and white striped dress

I'll confess, I'm not a very diligent hand-knitter. I pick projects up and set them down periodically, as I did with this sweater, which should have been a relatively quick knit. I have completed several projects over the last year or so, but this is the only large hand knitting project I have ever completed in all my years of knitting. That's a big statement! I did finish knitting this sometime over the winter, but didn't finish weaving in the ends. Who has time for that??

hand knit knitting diy handmade crafty red sweater pullover cabled fiisherman brunette girl woman  fitbit gardening

 I found the pattern to be pretty easy to follow, even though I'd never knit anything that was constructed this way. The only other sweaters I've started were either top-down raglans where everything is connected, or seamed with set-in sleeves. I really love how the shaping on the side of the bodice looks, and the sleeve seams are pretty clean, but I'm not in love with the transition from sweater to neck band. I wish I had seamed that, because it looks a little messy. Other people who have made this don't seem to have this issue, so it must be just me!

hand knit knitting diy handmade crafty red sweater pullover cabled fiisherman brunette girl woman

A funny thing about this sweater is that from when I started making it to when I finished, I went through a style transition. Now this is style is more on the fringe of my sartorial choices. I'm sure I'll still find opportunities to wear it, but now I know for next time: knit faster!

hand knit knitting diy handmade crafty red sweater pullover cabled fiisherman brunette girl woman

If you are on Ravelry, add me! Link to the project is here.

hand knit knitting diy handmade crafty red sweater pullover cabled fiisherman brunette girl woman

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Crackle Print Neoprene Top / Skirt Set

handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing brunette girl woman crop top midriff set

Well hello! I feel particularly Taylor Swift-like in this outfit, which is significantly more Taylor Swift-like than I feel... in any other outfit. What can I say, she knows how to rock a midriff.

taylor swift 1989 concert crop top midriff shorts tank top sunglasses summer

I didn't ever think I would be interested in a crop top, to be honest, but something about the proportions is just so summer and just so great. It's such an itty bitty amount of skin, and as summer has progressed, it's grown on me. So I made this little set to jump on the bandwagon.

handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing brunette girl woman crop top midriff set summer smile fitbit plants balcony

This is made from a BEAUTIFUL digitally printed neoprene fabric from Mood Fabrics. I am obsessed with how soft and lofty it is. When I ordered it (back in, like, April. Fabric hoarder, guys.), I expected it to be more like actual neoprene for scuba suits, or the stuff Can Koozies are made of, you know, quarter inch thick. (Side note, is it Koozies are the only instance where I'm down with replacing C's with K's for the sake of cleverness. I mean. It's a hug for your drink. It deserves that kind of kitsch.) However, when the fabric arrived, it was this thinner, buttery soft fabric with a beautiful drape. At first, I was a little disappointed, as I had been planning to make something really structured with it. I set it aside, determined to love it because of this amazing print, but didn't know what to make for a very long time.

handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing brunette girl woman crop top midriff set hand sewn fashion design

In the time after it arrived, I periodically poked around to see what other sewists had made with this fabric, checking out the Mood Sewing Network blog (great reference if you aren't sure how a fabric behaves!) and searching on Pinterest. I mostly saw form fitting dresses, and saw that the fabric didn't press well, so lots of seaming didn't suit it. With that in mind, I settled on a fitted top and a fuller skirt, wanting to take full advantage of the fun drape of the fabric.

handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing brunette girl woman crop top midriff set fashion designer technical designer


handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing brunette girl woman crop top midriff set face portrait canon eos rebel sl1 24mm lens

The top was roughly traced from a cropped tee I already own, just plain and fitted. The skirt I based off of a pleated skirt pattern I made for my senior collection in school, skipping the pockets and zipper and instead adding an elastic waistband.

handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing brunette girl woman crop top midriff set high heels stilettos gardening strappy sandals summertime


handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing brunette girl woman crop top midriff set cracked paint print digital print mood fabrics neoprene

The finishes turned out really great in this fabric. I faced the neckline, set the skirt waistband in circularly with the elastic caught in the seam, serged all seams, and then blind catchstitched all of the hems. I had aforementioned concerns about pressing, but for the neck and the hems, I put the iron on medium low, steamed the crap out of crease, and then clapped my sleeve roll ham on top and pressed down for about ten seconds. It worked really well! But I didn't even bother to try pressing the armhole seams, as you can see.

handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing facing hem catchstitching pressing crop top midriff set handsewn how do i sew how to sew

handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing handsewn fashion design technical designer catch stitched couture finish crop top midriff set

Unrelated, but you can see my little balcony garden behind me here! I've had such a fun time adopting this new hobby this year. I have tomato plants, jalepenos, basil, lavendar, mint, kale, some cacti and some succulents. I also grew snap peas and cilantro but they died already (after a small harvest!). Such a rewarding hobby!

handmade sewn diy neoprene dress skirt top sewing brunette girl woman crop top midriff set fashion designer handmade pretty

Monday, July 13, 2015

Casual Linen Shorts w/ an Accidental Paperbag Waist

Brunette girl modeling tan linen summer shorts with gray tshirt


Hello and Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend full of sunshine! I sure did -- can you tell? This golden sunset helps me look more sunkissed than I really am, but I did spend some time pool- and lake-side this weekend! I also spent plenty of time sewing machine-side.

Image of paper bag waisted shorts I sewed, detail of stitching and draw strings

Here are some linen shorts I made! The pattern was self-made, and I knew I wanted them to be pull-on, so I made them pretty loose. I wanted something super comfy for the heat we are (hopefully) about to have, and this linen is a perfect complement to the fit.  

Image of me wearing the casual shorts I DIY made out of linen

image of me with hands in pockets of casual linen shorts that i made on my sewing machine

 They have patch pockets in back, front pockets, front pleats, and double needle topstitch detail. I serged the inseams/outseams and rise, and then topstitched down for a faux-flat felled look. Funny story, I actually killed three partial spools of thread with all the topstitching on these shorts. Don't ask me why I had three partial spools of tan thread! I planned to just have a drawstring waist, but these shorts had other ideas. Somehow, they accidentally became paperbag waisted.

close up image of girl modeling cream colored linen shorts i sew

"Somehow" meaning, I wasn't thinking when I topstitched the top edge of the waistband above the drawcord channel. I had set two lines of stitching before I tried them on and realized I was headed for a ruffled mess: the stitching made the top edge stand away from the body like there was a wire in it! I dug around for some elastic, and set that in the waistband below the stitching to help mitigate the disaster, but it was only about 1" high elastic for a 2" waistband. This, of course, does not help prevent the ruffled mess--it just makes for smaller ruffles. In retrospect, I should have gotten wider elastic, picked out the top stitching, and set the elastic at the very top of the waistband. But that would have required patience (and the dreaded seam ripper), and honestly, I have neither! I just wanted to finish these shorts.

dslr image taken with canon sl1 camera and 50 mm f1.8 lens

side stitching detail image of double needle topstitching and patch pocket detail

back detail image of paper bag waistband and patch pocket with back darts

In the end, I can live with the waistband because my shirt will cover most of it, most of the time. Once I threaded the drawstring through, I decided I halfway liked the waistband, even! These only took a handful of hours, and the elastic waist meant fitting was simple. Should there be a next time for this pattern, I will make several corrections, but for some easy-breezy summer shorts, I'm happy with how these turned out!

This is me, modeling the shorts I just sewed.

Friday, July 10, 2015

#HawaiianShirtFriday


image of girl brunette girl in crop top with hawaiian shirt button up tied and high waisted jean shorts

Hawaiian Shirt Friday is the greatest excuse to wear the finest, most cheerful prints in your closet. 

brunette girl modeling crop top with yellow sunglasses and jean shorts handmade and hand sewn

It is also a great excuse to make another Grainline Archer shirt. I wanted to try different things with this pattern: namely mistake recovery, but also short sleeves and a new body length. 

image of brunette girl modeling grainline archer pattern shirt with hawaiian print and stripe contrast trim handsewn and handmade

I started cutting this out at about 11pm one Saturday night, and guys, this was not my greatest plan. To begin with, I am not patient with pattern layouts. I like to pin, cut, pin, cut, one piece after another, and hope for the best. But when you have just over 1 yard of fabric from which to make your shirt, you should probably plan your cutting layout, right? RIGHT? 

sewing machine made buttondown shirt with short sleeves rolled up and back box pleat sewn

One might hope! One might... piece fabric together after mistakenly cutting two left fronts. One might have button bands that overlap the wrong way. One might need to use contrast fabric in order to even complete the project. ...So much for mistake recovery.

contrast piping and pieced front buttondown shirt sewn and handmade

In all seriousness, I'm pretty happy with how this shirt turned out. I cut the same size as before, size 4 blending to size 6 at the hips, but went with the original pattern length, and shortened the sleeves.  I sewed the sideseams and underarm seams at 3/8" instead of 1/2" for a slightly boxier look. Because of fabric constraints and cutting mistakes, I had to piece one front panel together, along with the placket. The under collar and stand are contrasting, as is some trim on the sleeves and the pieced seams. I have about three yards of this amazing striped fabric, so expect to see plenty more of it!

diy clothing detail image with contrast collar stand sewn and handmade

What else is different? I resolved my issues with the placket, and folded over the proper amount for the underplacket. Had I put more than a single pocket on this bad boy, I'm 90% sure they would have been the same distance from CF. Maaaaybe 93%.

yellow sunglasses and girl with jean short cutoffs and crop top

I serged my side seams, underarm seams, and armholes, saving myself a fair amount of time in doing so. Skipping long sleeves and cuffs helped as well, but the holiday weekend slowed production down on this shirt. Otherwise, it was a really quick go around for a second try of this pattern.

image of girl with summer shirt tied up belly button showing

cool hipster girl with shirt tied up hawaiian print summertime sunglasses





I also picked up a new camera and lens - a Canon SL1 and 50mm f/1.8 lens. I am learning so much! But it's already magic without much effort -- look at that depth of field! The lighting! I'm so excited to keep learning about photography and experiment with these new tools. Any tips on this new adventure of mine?

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