Yari Jumpsuit by True Bias

I’ve long been an admirer of jumpsuits, overalls, and basically any type of one-piece outfit. Thanks to my height of 5’10”, I’ve never actually been able to wear ready-to-wear jumpsuits without discomfort. Last year I made my first jumpsuit and fell in love (see it here), so I was all in when Kelli  of True Bias asked me to test the Yari Jumpsuit (purchase pattern here). The pattern includes both a shorts and full-length option as well as sleeved and sleeveless options. There is also an option to add a D-ring cinch at the sides for more waist definition.

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After seeing Kelli’s samples and the line drawings for the Yari, I had a vision of a woven striped jumpsuit inspired by Ace and Jig. Luckily, Indiesew had the perfect fabric (teal is sold-out, but orange is still available here). I LOVE the metallic thread woven throughout the fabric because it kind of makes wearing this jumpsuit feel like magic.

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I couldn’t use a beautiful fabric and not use equally magnificent buttons so I turned to my Arrow Mountain stash. I used these mirror buttons to add even more sparkle because this look clearly isn’t bold enough on its own. I’ve been ordering buttons from Arrow Mountain since the summer of 2016 and I don’t plan on stopping soon. In fact, my stash is nearly depleted so I’m filling up my Etsy cart as we speak (did you see the gold mirror buttons? I NEED them).

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I found construction of the Yari to be straightforward and enjoyable. In fact, the actual construction of the jumpsuit took me several hours over the course of one evening. This fabric doesn’t allow for them to be very visible, but the princess seam lines in this jumpsuit are everything! They also allow for a bit more shaping if necessary.

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Let’s talk sizing and alterations for a quick minute. I’m a definite pear shape with a small chest and hips that don’t lie. My small chest and wider hips put me in a size 4 bust with a 10 at the hips. This woven cotton doesn’t have much drape, so I took in the bust and waist by a total of 1 inch (.5 inches on each side) for a bit of a closer fit. If I had added the optional D-rings, I likely wouldn’t have needed to do this as those would’ve given that shaping.  I found the sizing at the hips to be spot on, but my legs are a size or two smaller than my hips. For this reason, starting at the bottom of the pockets, I took about 1 inch out of each leg. I removed .5 inches from the leg outer seams and the inseam.

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The last alteration I made was to add length. I added 1.5 inches to the bodice length and 2.5 inches to the leg length. The length added to the bodice was a bit too much as I probably should’ve only added .5 inches to the bodice length and  instead added that extra 1 inch to the leg length for a total of 3.5 inches to the legs. As a result, the crotch sits a little lower than I’d like. This is really due to my lack of muslin vs. the actual pattern. Maybe next time I’ll learn my lesson and make a muslin…maybe.

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Despite my unintended dropped crotch, I plan to wear the heck out of this jumpsuit over the summer. This fabric is lightweight and breathable enough that it should take me seamlessly from lounging around the house to a day spent at the amusement park. True Bias Patterns have a way of making me feel a little bit more cool and hip than I really am, and the Yari is no exception. I’m now on the hunt for a black tencel twill for my next version. If you find any good sources,  please send them my way.

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Me Made May 2018 Weeks #2 and #3 Recap

05.07.18

Got dressed and ready real quick today because when I called to schedule an oil change, the dealership had an opening right away. I wanted to look at least a little bit put-together because I was meeting with a home inspector and the current owner to discuss the home we’re buying. The weather was somewhere in the mid-70’s on this day and this outfit took me seamlessly through all my errands and an afternoon at the park. My top is the Cali Faye Collection Valley Blouse sewn in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze (read more info about this version here). I love this blouse for spring and fall because the long sleeves provide a bit of warmth, but the loose shape makes it breathable enough for those warmer days. Trying to get some more wear out of this one before it gets too blazing hot. I purchased these black pants last fall in a moment of desperation after realizing my last pair of jeans was failing me. I needed a pair of basic, casual pants to tide me over until I could make some jeans.
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05.08.18

Didn’t snap a picture today, but I wore my Tea House Dress designed by Sew House Seven (you can see the dress here).

05.09.18

Tried to be a “cool mom” today and wore my dinosaur shirt. Made this one 3-ish years ago with scraps from my stash. The pattern is Simplicity 1366, which is actually made for use with wovens. I just sized down and added a neckband. It’s one of the oldest makes that I still wear regularly. I love that it’s a little bit quirky. Apparently it also turns me into a bit of a goofball (see more evidence here). My jeans are my second Ginger Jeans (more about them here) in StyleMaker Fabrics brushed denim. They’ve been pulling their weight this month and are my current favorites.

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05.10.18

Today I mostly took care of things around the house and then headed to a sewing night with my friends in the evening. I meet together with a few of my sewing friends about once a month and it never fails to boost my mood and save my sanity. Since we meet in the evenings in our homes, most of us can be found wearing sweats at our monthly get meet-ups. It was a little cooler this day so I wanted to be both warm and extremely comfortable. First, I started with my Helen’s Closet Avery Leggings and paired them with my Grainline Studio Lark Tee in rayon/french terry (used the same fabric for this top). I added extra warmth and comfort with my Seamly Moto Sweatshirt in oatmeal french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. All of these fabrics are no longer available and I regularly wonder why I didn’t buy 10 yards of both the rayon french terry (from Indie Sew) and the oatmeal french terry (from Raspberry Creek).

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05.11.18

The outfit from yesterday was calling my name so I wore it again today. No shame in my repeat outfit game.

05.12.18

Today was a cool rainy Saturday spent at the cabin with family. Dressed for warmth and comfort in my Hepburn Turtleneck (full post on that here), Joy Jacket (full post here), and Ginger Jeans. I’m only mourning the end of winter because I can’t wear this Turtleneck in 90 degree heat. It is one of the softest tops I own and as a result, was worn 2-3 times a week all winter long.

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05.13.18

Today was Mother’s Day which means I got the luxury of sleeping in and having breakfast prepared for me. I chose to celebrate the occasion by wearing my favorite and most feminine dress, the Highlands Wrap Dress. My son joined me in wearing handmade with another Sketchbook shirt in Anna Maria Horner fabric. Teaching him young to appreciate color and beautiful floral prints.

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05.14.18

Today I continued my love of floral dresses into Monday. This modified Chalk and Notch Waterfall Raglan has been in heavy rotation since I made it in February 2017  (read about it and my modifications here). It’s extremely versatile and gets worn all months of the year. Last summer I wore it to church, the amusement park, 4th of July fireworks, etc. In the winter I mostly wear it to church paired with tights, boots, and a cardigan.

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05.15.18

I’m definitely seeing a comfy, casual look emerging this month. My life as a SAHM, seamstress, etc. doesn’t leave a lot of room for anything that isn’t extremely functional. I’ve definitely seen my style evolve to pieces that are more functional at this stage of my life. I used to wear more restrictive tight-fitting clothes pre-motherhood. Now an item has to allow full range of movement for “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” before it will catch my eye. Today my son was sick so I threw on my Grainline Studio Scout Tee and Crushed Velvet True Bias Hudson Pants for lounging around the house and a quick trip to the store.

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05.16.18

Every Wednesday I visit my mom to keep her company and assist with household chores. Today before heading over, I put on a rayon/spandex Grainline Studio Scout Tee and cotton checkered Ready To Sew Jumpy pants (original post here). I mostly like the fit of these pants except for the rise. I think that I need to add at least 1 inch to the rise. This pair sits just below the top of my hips when I think it should sit closer to my natural waist. My issue with the fit is that they tend to slide down my hips throughout the day.  As I was walking the dog today I had to keep pulling at my pants to keep them up. Perhaps I’m just not tying the front tight enough, but I really think a higher rise would eliminate my issue.

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05.17.18

Wore my cropped Willamette Shirt (full post here) and first pair of Ginger Jeans (full post here) today. This was one of those days where I wonder if I accomplished anything. At least I felt cool and hip while trying and failing to accomplish things. I don’t know what it is about this combination of jacquard chambray and crop top, but they feel hip to me. Although, as a 27 year old mother and seamstress, I’m not sure that I have more than two hip bones in my body. See? Now I’m telling dad jokes. Probably the farthest from hip I can be.

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05.18.18

Today my husband and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. It seemed momentous to us as this last year has been filled with more changes than any other (well, except for the year our son was born of course). During our 6th year of marriage we moved out of our first apartment, moved to a new city, my husband took his dream job, replaced both of our old cars (20 years old and 16 years old), took our first real family vacation, and started the process of buying our first home. We celebrated with dinner at our favorite local place and a night at a hotel in Park City (for about 2-3 weeks in May you can find hotels for quite cheap there as it’s in-between skiing season and summer vacation season). Once we checked into our hotel I took the uninterrupted time to style my hair and makeup. After getting ready we headed to dinner. My husband snapped this picture after dinner. When I looked at it I realized this was the first time all month that I’ve taken the time to style my hair and wear a full face of makeup. Maybe I should attempt that more often. Maybe…

Apologies for the rambling. Let’s get back to the outfit. I made this Grainline Studio Scout Tee hack back in April of 2016 (IG post about it here). I had a little less than 1.25 yards of this Nani Iro fabric and wanted to use it for something special. I took my time to carefully measure and draw each scallop onto the fabric. Sewing the scalloped hem took longer than constructing the rest of the top, but sometimes those details are just worth it. Paired the top with none other than my brushed denim Ginger Jeans (told you they were my favorite).

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05.19.18.

This morning we checked out of our hotel and headed home. In the afternoon, I took my son to the Great Salt Lake so we could help my friend Rachel of Little Fish with a swim trunks photo shoot. Didn’t grab an iphone pic of my outfit, but Rachel helped me out with this one which is clearly better than a phone pic. I’m wearing the Sew Liberated Matcha Top in a linen blend and my Ginger Jeans. Both fabrics for this outfit came from StyleMaker Fabrics. One of my favorite details of this outfit is that the jeans pockets are actually lined with the linen blend used for my top. Whenever I wear these together I feel like I have some sort of clothes matching secret (kind of like when your underwear matches your outfit).

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05.20.18

If you haven’t caught on by now, my perfect formula for a church outfit is Anna Maria Horner fabric and an indie pattern. The Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress is one I’ve been dying to make again. This was my test version last summer (that post here) and I love how easy it is to wear. I don’t know if it has to do with the dart placement or the neckline, but this dress manages to float away from the body without looking like a sack. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sack dress. This one is just infinitely more flattering.

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Hey June Handmade Willamette Shirt

Every once in a while, I’ll find a pattern that I want to make over and over again. I’ll see any pretty fabric and think “Hey! that would make a great (insert favorite pattern here).” The last pattern that made me feel this way was the Grainline Studio Scout Tee. I’ve surpassed double digits with that pattern, but have been waiting to fall in love with another pattern the way I fell in love with the Scout. Enter the Willamette Shirt by Hey June Handmade. Although, I’ve since made a third version, today I’ll be talking about my first two versions.

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I’m about to say something that may sound blasphemous to some, but this was my very first Hey June pattern. I’ve had the Union St Tee bookmarked in my browser for literally years, but the my introduction to the Willamette is what finally pushed me over the edge. Last May, I invited a few of my sewing friends to join me for a sewing weekend. During that weekend I watched Sara of The Sara Project and Rachel of Little Fish Apparel each sew a Willamette. Admittedly, watching them make their versions gave me a bit of FOMO; so I immediately added the Willamette to my must-make list.

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For my first version I opted to sew view A in Rifle Paper Co. rayon. This first one took a total of 7-ish hours to sew up over the course of a few weeks. The instructions were clear, and I found the construction to be fun and just challenging enough to keep it interesting. Due to the shifty nature of the rayon, I spent at least two of those sewing hours attempting to get the placket nicely top-stitched. I must’ve redone it 3 or 4 times before deeming it “good enough.” Despite the placket’s imperfections, the busy floral does a great job hiding them.

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What I love about this version: The bold jewel toned floral makes a statement without looking childish. This rayon fabric has just enough drape to make the top feel breezy and balance out the boxy shape. I can see this top looking equally lovely paired with a skirt as it does with the jeans pictured here.

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Before I started my rayon version, I was undecided between View A and the cropped View C. I settled on View A but promised myself that a cropped version would be in my future. This cotton chambray was purchased from Fancy Tiger Crafts back in September and sat in my stash until inspiration struck. It was the end of a bolt and I only had a little over a yard and a half so I wanted to be sure that I was making the perfect selection. Once my decision was made I cut the project immediately and waited for sewing time.

IMG_2693This cropped version came together in one morning. I spent somewhere around 3-4 hours sewing this top including the time it took to feed my son breakfast and help him with his online preschool program. I’ll attribute the quick turnaround and ease of construction to a few things. First, this wasn’t my first rodeo and being familiar with the construction techniques was a real bonus as I didn’t have to spend so much time reading and rereading instructions. Second, the cotton chambray was stable and that placket top-stitching was “good-enough” on the first try. Winning! Third, the straight hem took at least 15 minutes less to press and stitch than the curved hem on View A. It’s not often that I complete a sewing project before noon so this one felt like a victory.

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What I love about this version: The stiffness of the chambray combined with the cropped length create a true boxy silhouette that I’m all about. The fabric is less busy than my first version and really lets the yoke, cuff, and collar details shine. I love the comfy, casual vibe of this top and can’t wait to experiment with styling over the summer.

IMG_2705IMG_2683Over the winter months, I didn’t get a significant amount of wear from these tops, but I have big plans to make them wardrobe staples over the summer. Now, please excuse me while I go plan another Willamette for every day of the week.

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A quick note on sizing: All versions are sewn in a size 4 with 1.5″ added to the length.

Me Made May Week #1 Recap

05.01.18

The first day of the month had me feeling really optimistic. I spent the morning with my mom and sister then took my son to his Kindermusik class. Dressed super casual on this day, partially because I could and partially because I still needed to catch up on laundry after vacation. I wore my new Helen’s Closet Avery Leggings paired with a rtw tee and Hampton Jean Jacket (full post on that here).

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05.02.18

Tried a looser fitting, relaxed look on this day. Paired my True Bias Roscoe Blouse (full post here) with some old jeans that belonged to my mom. Not sure that I really loved this look. It could have something to do with the fact that I didn’t really style my hair and makeup that day, but this look isn’t exactly the most flattering. I love both of these pieces separately, but I’m not sure that I’ll try them together again. Later in the day, I did throw my Wiksten Oversized Kimono over this outfit. It became extremely useful when I got caught in a downpour while carrying a week worth of groceries to my third floor apartment.

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05.03.18

Got together with some of my favorite sewing babes to put on a little fashion show at the Utah Quilting and Sewing Marketplace. I’ll be honest and say that my son was sick this day, so I didn’t even have  chance to get properly dressed until about 4 pm when I headed out the door for the fashion show. I wore a few different outfits in the show, but this one was my favorite. The top is my most recent make, and my third Hey June Handmade Willamette top. Paired with my brushed denim Ginger Jeans, I think this outfit or a slight variation will be in heavy rotation during the next several months.

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05.04.18

On Friday I again got to join together with my sewing pals while we spoke on a panel titled: The Case for a Handmade Wardrobe. I wanted to feel both confident, comfortable, and put together so I grabbed two of my favorite pieces. This red scuba Lodo Dress (full post on that here) is THE definition of secret pajamas. Over the last year, it has become my go-to for date nights and events because it makes me feel confident and sexy while also feeling like I’m wearing some sort of light, soft sponge on my body. I paired this dress with my Wiksten Oversized Kimono because I’m rarely seen without it these days. It’s easy to wear and the giant pockets make it functional for my day to day activities. It also feels like wearing a big blanket which works well because I’m 98% sure that I was born cold-blooded. Okay, not really. It just feels that way when you’re always freezing.

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05.05.18

Needed something easy to wear today because we had planned a busy Saturday. First, we headed to Home Depot for their monthly free kids’ building event. My son loves them and proudly displays his projects in our home. Next, we spent most of the afternoon looking at houses with our realtor and found one we loved and submitted an offer. Lastly, we headed to the local amusement park to enjoy a few rides and purchase our season passes. Paired my Chalk and Notch Farrah Top (full post here) with my first pair of Ginger Jeans (full post here) for a fun, but put together outfit. The Farrah is one of those tops that I reach for when I want an outfit to look young and playful. Feeling ecstatic that it’s finally warm enough to show off these ruffles on the regular. They don’t deserve to be covered in bulky cardigans.

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05.06.18

Took the opportunity to wear handmade with my son for church on Sunday. We’re both wearing prints designed by Anna Maria Horner because I’ll be a fan girl until the day I day. Her bold prints and colors speak to my soul and I just can’t quit her fabrics. Ken is wearing an Oliver and S Sketchbook shirt which may be my most sewn pattern. Over the years I think I’ve made nearly twenty of them. I wore a Grainline Studio Scout Tee hacked into a swing dress. This dress is one of those items that I reach for every time I don’t know what to wear. I’ve worn it to church, the amusement park, date nights, and just to the grocery store. It’s easy to wear and looks equally good paired with sandals or a bulky cardigan in the winter. It’s not my best constructed garment, but it is certainly my most worn handmade.

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Thanks for reading my weekly recap. I’ll be back next week with a recap of week 2. Kept it pretty safe for the first week, but I’m hoping to bring out some items that get less wear to evaluate during the next few weeks.

Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2018

Hello! I’ve been anxiously waiting for this day since Michelle asked me to be part of this tour. Style Maker Fabrics is fully stocked with new arrivals. When I saw all the fabrics, my imagination ran a bit wild and I planned approximately fifty new projects. It took me a day or two to come back down to earth and realize making all of them might not be realistic on any sort of deadline. I spent about a week deliberating and finally narrowed my decision down to three projects and four fabrics.

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I know you’re supposed to save the best for last, but I’m bucking tradition here and going all in by talking about my favorite piece first. This woven stripe was love at first sight. Do you ever see a fabric and think “I need that on my body?” No? Just me? Well, that’s how I felt about this fabric. I considered some sort of button up shirt, but after scrolling through Instagram for inspiration I saw the Wiksten Oversized Kimono from issue 4 of Making Magazine (here) and couldn’t get the thought out of my head. Michelle was a great help in selecting a coordinating fabric and suggested this washed linen. They’re a match made in heaven, don’t you think?

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The over sized shape and giant pockets drew me in, but the possibility of making the kimono reversible is what sold me. If you’ve been following me for a while you might know that I like bold patterns and colors. My love affair with print and color has made my wardrobe a technicolor dream, but that does create some issues when putting outfits together. This way I can have bold, but it will also coordinate better with some of my louder pieces. I realize the over sized look isn’t everyone’s cup of tea although it is certainly mine. This is bound to get endless wear over the next few months and I envision it being my go-to on cold summer evenings.
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Next up, my latest Grainline Studio Lark Tee. Everyone has their favorite tee pattern, and this one is mine. I’ll be honest and say that I actually haven’t made any other basic tee pattern because I liked this one after the first try. I’ve made six or seven of them and wear them regularly.  I made a size 4 and in this coral jersey knit it’s my idea of a perfect fitted, but slightly slouchy tee.

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Finally, let’s talk about these jeans. These were my second pair of Ginger Jeans (see my first ones here) and was able to sew them up in just a couple of days. I used this brushed denim and comfort is an understatement (hardware kit also available here). They are unbelievably soft and every bit as comfortable as the old worn-in mom jeans that I actually stole from my mom (a bit of a tangent about those on this post). Skinny jeans and comfort don’t usually go hand in hand, but in this case they get along quite nicely. I was careful not to over fit them and they’ll be just as nice to wear for a day at the park as they will be for date night.

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Lest I lead you astray, making these jeans wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. This was my first attempt at installing rivets which ended up being a bit of an ordeal. First, I attempted to install them at home with a wimpy little hammer that promptly broke. Next, I secured a new hammer at my parent’s house and using an old skillet as a metal surface when I dented the skillet in several places (sorry mom and dad). Then, I dug through boxes and found a cast iron skillet, installed the rivets, and thought everything was complete. Upon a final pressing and inspection I noticed a few tiny holes near the back pockets. These holes were apparently made during my rivet installation fiasco and I almost cried when I saw them. For once, I decided to keep a clear head and find a solution right away. Finally, I settled upon the idea of a little visible mending. I stabilized the holes and used perle cotton to stitch the shape of an asterisk in four places. I chose to stitch four so that it would look more like an intentional design feature than a mistake that needed to be fixed. It may seem silly, but I often toss a project to the side when a mistake like this is made. The extra stitching actually adds a nice little detail and reminds me that sometimes you just have to “make it work.”

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Now that I’ve gabbed on and on about my outfit, I just want to add on a little shout out to my husband who is the real MVP when it comes to these photos. Due to a small shipping delay and our schedules, the only time we had to take these photos was in the middle of wild winds and under threat of rain. I got dressed, we hopped in the car, and crossed our fingers that we could get the necessary photos. Guys, we took these photos in five minutes. After all the photos he’s taken for me, I think we’ve finally found our stride. The threat of rain and wild winds may have been a factor in making this photo session so quick, but I’m seriously impressed that we were able to just get it done. I’ll leave you with one last decent photo of my outfit and if you scroll to the bottom there’s one that will illustrate the hilarity of our 5 minute session.

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Now, I think that I’ve sufficiently run out of words. Are you ready to shop the Style Maker spring fabrics? Find the new arrivals here. Want more spring sewing inspiration? Check out yesterday’s post by Leslie (here) or see Lori’s post coming tomorrow (here). Want to be inspired by everyone on the Style Maker Spring Style Tour? Find links to all the tour posts here.

Finally, here’s likely the only reason you read or scrolled all the way to the bottom of this lengthy post:

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Whew! You’ve made it all the way to the end? Are you ready to read more? No? that’s cool this was a huge post. Yes? Here are links  to a couple of other projects I’ve made using fabrics from Style Maker. See my Joy Jacket here or my Gemma Dress here.

Closet Case Patterns Clare Coat and a Coat Making Party

Can you believe it’s the first day of spring? I’m celebrating in unusual fashion by finally posting about my Clare Coat. Not unlike my Ginger Jeans, I’ve had the Clare Coat Pattern on my “to make” list for years. Luckily, my friends Rachel, Tiahna, and Jennifer wanted to make one as well. This last January we joined forces to host a Coat Making Party on Instagram. We were fortunate enough to work with a few generous sponsors, Riley Blake Designs, Raspberry Creek Fabrics, and Closet Case Files, who provided us with fabric and generous giveaways for participants. Without the motivation of sewing friends and our awesome sponsors, I’m not sure that I would’ve finished this coat, but I’m about to tell you why I’m so glad that I did.
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First, let’s talk about this olive green wool from Riley Blake Designs. Riley Blake was one of our sponsors and was gracious enough to provide each of us with wool to make the outer shell of our coats (see Rachel’s dark green one here, Tiahna’s pink one here, and Jennifer’s red one here). I chose this Olive colored wool and anxiously awaited its arrival. This wool is a mid-weight and seems similar to the weight of the fabric on my favorite ready to wear coat. I found working with it to be relatively easy and enjoyable. I did have a bit of trouble pressing, but this is likely due to the fact that I have a terribly cheap old iron and not an issue with the actual fabric.

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While the olive green shell of the coat is certainly striking, I think the lining is my very favorite part. Our other fabric sponsor, Raspberry Creek Fabrics, provided me with this Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel. I took a bit of a leap of faith selecting this without seeing it next to my wool and I’m so glad it turned out to be a perfect match. The flannel lining makes this coat extra cozy. It really feels like I’m wearing a secret blanket which is exactly how I want to feel in the winter. One aspect that I overlooked when planning this coat was the need for a sleeve lining that would be a bit more slippery to make the coat easier to put on and take off. I had already planned to use this black and white striped rayon challis as the lining for my Joy Jacket (see it here), so I simply added an extra yard to my order and used it to line my Clare Coat sleeves as well. I’ve found myself regularly wearing my sleeves rolled just to show off the fun striped lining.

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Now that I’ve talked your ear off regarding fabric choices, let’s talk about the actual process of making the coat. I spent four evenings preparing fabric, tiling the pdf pattern, and cutting out all the pieces to the coat. The amount of preparation that goes in to making a coat is something that I wasn’t wholly prepared for before I started this project. It likely would’ve only taken three evenings for the prep work if I hadn’t spent an entire evening tiling the pattern pieces for view b when I was supposed to be tiling the pieces for view a. How I assembled all the pieces before realizing it was the wrong view is beyond me. That is a mistake I plan to avoid in the future and a time-consuming lesson that I likely won’t forget.

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About halfway through January, I finally completed all the prep work and got down to business. These welt pockets on the front were the first and most time consuming aspect of the project. I spent my first evening focusing solely on them and despite a few minor imperfections, I think they turned out well. These perfectly-angled and flannel-lined pockets keep my hands nice and toasty when I forget my gloves (which happens almost every time I go out).

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Once the welt pockets were installed, the rest of the coat construction went rather smoothly. As a visual learner and first time coat maker, I found myself relying heavily on the sewalong (here) to understand each step. I was a bit nervous about the zipper installation, but soon found that I had no reason to worry. As it turns out, installing a separating zipper is even easier than a regular zipper. Who knew? I also got a bit confused about bagging the lining, but found it to be rather simple and magical once I followed the instructions and just went for it.

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Before I wrap this up, let’s talk for just a second about sizing and adjustments. I chose a size 10 for my Clare and because I wanted it large enough to fit over a bulky sweater. If I planned on only wearing thin layers underneath I could’ve possibly sized down to an 8, but I’m really happy with the fit of the coat as a 10. I only made one minor fit adjustment to the pattern and that was to use the full length (view b) sleeves and add 2 inches to their length.

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Honestly, January was a bit of a rough sewing month for me. I had a hard time getting back in the swing of things after the holidays and was seriously lacking in motivation. Most days I felt like sewing was more of a chore than a pleasure. This doesn’t happen regularly, but when it does I sometimes wonder why I sew. Looking back on January, I’m feeling grateful that I forced myself into the sewing room because I was able to accomplish two huge sewing goals , jeans (here) and this coat, that gave me the confidence boost needed to fall right back in love with sewing come February. Over the last few years of growth, parenting, and change, sewing has been the constant that reminds me I can do hard things, I can be proud of those things, and there’s always something to learn. In short, sometimes you won’t always love insert hobby or passion here, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. It just might mean that it’s time to push through resistance because something great is on the horizon. It also might not mean anything, I’m not claiming any miracles here.

My First Pair of Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

Jeans! The Ginger Jeans had been on my “someday I’ll make this” list practically since the day the pattern was released. Why did I wait years to finally make them? First, I made the excuse that I didn’t have time (I did have a 1 year old at the time so that was partially true). Second, I kept putting off buying quality denim. Last spring, I finally decided that 2017 would be the year I finally made jeans. I purchased the printed pattern and planned to start right away. Just a few days later, my husband was offered a great job and we decided to move.

After the decision to move, summer and fall moved quickly and I put the idea of making jeans out of my mind. Fast forward to the end of November when I received an exciting email from IndieSew. The email informed me that I had one their monthly giveaway and my prize was a jeans kit complete with 3 yards of denim and all the hardware needed for a pair of jeans. I was in the living room when I opened the email and immediately ran to tell my husband the news. I’m pretty sure he thought I was about to tell him that I’d won the lottery (which would be a bit difficult seeing as there isn’t actually a lottery in Utah). The hardware kit and denim arrived in early December. Since I had a lot of Christmas sewing at the time, I had to wait until after the holiday to get started.

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Finally, all of my excuses were null and void. I began cutting my jeans during the last week of December. I was all ready to finish a pair of jeans before the end of the year until my husband and I both got sick. After getting sick, it took me about a  week to get my sew-jo back. I was finally able to complete this first pair of jeans by the second week of January.

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First, Let’s talk fitting adjustments:

After taking my measurements, I determined that my hip was about a size 12 with my waist measurement sitting somewhere in between a 10 and 12. I decided to cut a 12 and adjust from there. I am about 5’10” and because of that, usually need a bit of extra length in the rise. I added 1/2″ to the rise and 2″ to the length of the legs. I added the leg length by adding 1″ at the lengthen/shorten line and 1″ below the knees. Once I made these initial adjustments, I basted everything together to check the fit.

I should’ve taken some photos to better document the fitting of these jeans, but I clearly didn’t quite have the foresight to do that. After my first baste fitting, I had a few major issues. First, the waist was gaping by about 1″ at the center back. Second, I had a a decent amount of extra fabric making lots of wrinkles under my bottom. Third, the legs were just a little too big. Here’s what I did to fix these areas:

  1. To fix the gaping at the center back, I took out a small wedge at the center back of the yoke. I drew a line that started 1/2″ away from the top of the center back and angled to the bottom of the center back yoke. I trimmed the yoke pieces along this line and then sewed everything according to the pattern instructions. FYI: this is definitely not the proper or recommended method, just what worked for me personally.
  2. To fix the excess fabric below my bottom, I followed the tutorial under the “Extra Fabric at the Seat and Thigh Pull Lines” header on this post. I know it says the adjustment is no longer necessary with the current file, but I did have a paper version of the pattern which may or may not be updated.
  3. The legs being slightly big was the easiest adjustment of all. Instead of using a 5/8″ seam allowance on the side seams and inseam, I simply used a 3/4″ seam allowance which seemed to remove the excess just fine.

I can’t say that my adjustments were all necessarily done the “right” way, but they seemed to work out just fine and I’m really happy with the overall fit of these jeans. Although the fit isn’t 100% perfect, they’re still the best fitting jeans I’ve ever owned and that’s a win for me.

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I know I won’t be the first person to tell you this; but after fitting, the construction was actually pretty easy. Thanks to my Lander Pants (here) and the two jean jackets (here and here) I made over the last six months, I was quite prepared when it came to topstitching and some of the other skills needed for these jeans. The actual sewing of these jeans came together quickly and took probably 6 hours or less. In fact, I was able to sew up my second pair in two days (more about those coming in a few weeks). Sure, a fly zipper can be intimidating (Until these jeans, it had been years since I last inserted one. I honestly didn’t find it any more difficult than a lapped or invisible zipper.

Overall, I found this jeans making experience quite rewarding. I’ve been wearing these non-stop and suddenly want to make all the jeans.  I have online shopping carts full of denim from at least three different fabric stores and just can’t decide which pattern or denim to use next. I keep kicking myself for waiting so long to finally make a pair of jeans.

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Have you made jeans yet? If the answer is yes, awesome! How did you feel about them? If the the answer is no, what’s stopping you? Is it the fitting (read this post)? Is it the construction intimidating (follow this sewalong)? Are you just nervous about the in-depth knowledge of your body shape that comes with sewing jeans (read this post)? I’m not saying you HAVE to make jeans, I’m just saying that I’m happy to be your cheerleader if and when you do. Now, go make some jeans, or pat yourself on the back for that pair you’ve already made.

All photos in this post were taken by my friend Kim of Sweet Red Poppy. She found this studio with the awesome pink wall and now I don’t want to photograph my makes anywhere else.