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.

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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.

True Bias Roscoe Blouse

Hello and Happy Monday! My family and I took a mini vacation this weekend and decided to escape to the cabin owned by my husband’s grandparents. I used our weekend plans as motivation to finally finish sewing my True Bias Roscoe Blouse (purchase here). This Mountain Mirror rayon by April Rhodes (purchased from Imagine Gnats) was basically begging to be photographed in front of the mountains. Perhaps I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to photograph a mountain print top in front of all this beautiful scenery.

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We love spending weekends at the cabin because it always gives us time to reconnect as a family. There’s no internet and minimal to no cell service depending on where you stand on the property. We always come back home feeling refreshed and happy to have a break from our work and devices. Our four year old loves exploring and fighting imaginary monsters so that’s pretty much the only item on the itinerary when we visit. This last weekend we were greeted by snow covered mountains and frost dusting the ground. Once we got a fire started, we played my son’s version of Monopoly and cuddled while watching Spongebob. Not a bad evening if you ask me.

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We woke up the next morning, got ready for the day, and headed outside to snap these photos. As evidenced by the snow and frost on the ground, it was freezing outside. My son was bundled in his winter coat and having the time of his life chasing monsters. My husband and I, on the other hand, didn’t pack the appropriate outerwear and were a bit cold. If you look closely at the photos you may see my fingers turning red from the cold and goosebumps on my arms and neck. I did bring this rtw cardigan along and it made finishing this 15 minute photo session a lot more cozy. I love having items like this Roscoe Blouse in my wardrobe that are easily made cold-weather appropriate with the addition of a cozy cardigan or stylish jacket.

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While layering over the Roscoe to make it more winter appropriate was rather easy, I may have had more time to wear this sans layers had I finished it back when I originally started. I purchased this fabric and pattern sometime around the end of August as I intended to finish it before my early September trip to Colorado. Clearly, that did not happen. I had just started to sew my blouse and was on step 2 of the pattern when I made a HUGE mistake. I had attached the neckline facing and was cutting the neck slit. Feeling pretty accomplished, I lifted the fabric to realize that I had unwittingly cut a large hole into the middle of my blouse front. I pulled out my extra fabric and found that it was about 3 inches too short to cut a new front. I was frustrated to realize that I would need to purchase another yard to finish the blouse. I set the fabric and pattern aside and decided to revisit it at a later date.

IMG_2232IMG_2229  When I returned from Colorado, I hit the ground running and finished my Highlands Wrap Dress (here), Hampton Jean Jacket (here), and family Halloween costumes (here). I had all but forgotten about my Roscoe Blouse fail until a few weeks ago when Imagine Gnats announced a great sale on their rayons. I searched through their sale section and found this Mountain Mirror rayon which reminded me of my unfinished project. I quickly ordered a yard and waited for it to arrive.

I almost immediately cut out a new blouse front and waited for an opportunity to sew it up. This time I paid careful attention when cutting the neck slit and avoided my earlier mistake. I sewed this up in a time frame of about 3 days. I didn’t keep track of my actual sewing time, but I would estimate this took me somewhere around 3 hours total. It was a quick, easy sew and I love its relaxed, flowy fit. The voluminous raglan sleeves are one of my favorite design features and will make it perfectly breezy for eventual summer wear.

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I’ll leave you with a quick note on sizing. I sewed up a size 4 with the only alte,ration being 1″ added to the sleeve length and blouse length. I’ve sewn several True Bias patterns over the last year ( Lodo Dress, Hudson Pants, and Lander Pants) and have found the sizing on each pattern to be accurate according the measurements included. I’ve only made minimal length alterations to each and would highly recommend Kelly’s patterns.

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Thanks so much for reading!

 

Itch to Stitch Blog Tour: Hepburn Turtleneck

I’m thrilled today to be part of the Itch to Stitch Love Blog Tour.  Kennis of Itch to Stitch has quite the repertoire of well-drafted patterns under her belt and I’ve enjoyed sewing her patterns in the past (see those here, here, and here).  Recently, Kennis was on vacation and came home to find that her home had been burglarized. Thieves took her computers, machines, and many other things essential to her and her husband’s businesses. This tour came about because the sewing community joined together to support one of our own. Read to the end of the post for information on all the generous sponsors and talented bloggers joining together this week.

When I was invited to join, I searched the website to find inspiration and decide on a project. Upon seeing and buying the Hepburn Turtleneck pattern, I knew I had the perfect fabric/pattern combination.  I purchased this soft striped rayon french terry from Indiesew and it’s been sitting in my stash for months waiting for inspiration to strike.
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Today I’m sharing my Hepburn Turtleneck styled two different ways. It’s been several years since I owned a fitted turtleneck and I wasn’t quite sure how to style it. The first look is a slightly dressed up classic look that I envision wearing for a night out or even to Thanksgiving dinner. I pulled my hair into a low bun, painted on red lipstick, and paired my new top with these denim Lander Pants (more about those here).

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This first look seemed like a simple and natural styling choice. I love the understated elegance of this outfit, but likely won’t dress up quite this much on a regular basis. My second look is a casual one that is less classic and more trendy. When styling this outfit, I pulled my hair into a top knot, applied minimal makeup, grabbed my Rifle Paper Co. Keds, and pulled out my vintage Levi’s 550 jeans.

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These jeans are my literal mom jeans because I took them from my mom’s closet. I’m pretty picky about jeans and only own one pair besides these. My mom wore these jeans when I was younger, and it seems only natural that I would wear them now that I’m a mother. They’re worn to comfortable perfection and have completely sold me on the mom jeans trend. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this outfit until I put it on and realized that it’s likely to become my winter momiform.

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My Hepburn Turtleneck has been worn at every opportunity since it was finished a few days ago. It’s the perfect fit and weight for winter layering and wearing as a transition piece in late fall and early spring. I’m already envisioning new ways to style this top and keep it in constant rotation. How would you style a fitted turtleneck? Which look do you prefer?

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A quick note on sizing: My bust measurement fell between the size 2 and size 4 with my hip measurement being a size 6. I opted to make a size 4 and grade to a 6 at the hips. I’m 5’10” and added 2″ to the body length and 1.5″ to the arm length.

Read below for more inspiration and instructions on entering a couple of great giveaways. 

Your ITS Love bloggers are:

Monday: Sew Sophie Lynn, Merritts Makes, Sewing with Sarah, Sewing with D

Tuesday: Shalini’s Blog, Auschicksews, Rebel and Malice, Sewing Vortex

Wednesday: Replicate Then Deviate, mahlicadesigns, Sewing with D, The Petite Sewist, kreamino

Thursday: Sewing Curves, Creative Counselor, Sew Mariefleur, Fairies, Bubbles & Co, Sewing by Ti

Friday: Harper+Lu, MeMade, On Wednesdays We Sew, Heather Handmade, Bellevi, and visit by mooglii on IG

The ITS Love Tour sponsors have been so generous in support of Kennis of Itch to Stitch that we’ve been able to put together several prize packages to share with you.
First, you may enter our giveaway to win one of three prize packs:

Prize Pack #1 includes:

5 Itch to Stitch patterns

$25GC to Simply By Ti

$50 Raspberry Creek Gift Card

$50 Bella Sunshine gift card

                  Prize Pack #2 includes:

$50 Knit Pop GC

$25 Designer Stitch GC

$25 Chalk and Notch GC

3 patterns of choice from Coffee And Thread

Prize Pack #3 Includes:

$15 Thread & Grain store credit

$25 Maker Mountain Fabrics GC

3 patterns from Halla Patterns

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Your second way to win is to share with us your recent Itch to Stitch creations (made between October and November 2017). Add your creations to our Link Up Party before Nov. 20th for a chance to win one of two prize packs.

LinkUp Prize Pack #1 includes:

5 Itch to Stitch patterns

A $40 value PFRE Sly Fox Fabrics.

$25 Maker Mountain Fabrics GC

$50 Love Notions GC

LinkUp Prize Pack #2 includes:

$25 Stylish Fabric GC & sewing box kit

$25 Chalk and Notch GC

5 patterns from Rad Patterns

Pattern of choice from DG Patterns

Click here to view and add your links.

Matching Loungewear: Brilliant Idea or Fashion Blunder?

Way back in August, my son decided that he wanted to be Spongebob for Halloween and requested that I dress up as Squidward. Part of me was rather proud as I was a Spongebob fan back in the day. In the sixth grade I even got a Spongebob alarm clock for Christmas (It sang the “F.U.N.” song to wake me up and was a real treasure. I’m sure my parents were delighted when it finally broke).  I had spent a few weeks puzzling on how to execute my Squidward costume until I was in Denver and Emily made this Blueprints for Sewing Geodesic Sweatshirt. The wheels in my head started turning and I came up with the idea of a matching mint colored loungewear set.

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Emily’s lovely mauve french terry inspired me to check the Raspberry Creek Fabrics Etsy shop where I found this solid dark mint french terry. I knew that I would use the Geodesic pattern because I already owned it and had been planning to make the longer version eventually (see my cropped version here). I decided to purchase the True Bias Hudson Pants pattern (here) and the two together make a perfect pair.

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I sewed up a size C/D with no alterations in the Geodesic and it all came together rather quickly. My background in quilting is what drew me to the fun geometric lines of the Geodesic and I think it made the construction a little easier as well.

When cutting and sewing the Hudsons, I made a size 10 with the only alteration being an added 4″ in length. I only needed to add 3″ to the length, but I prefer my sweats a little extra long. It probably has something to do with the fact that nearly all rtw sweats are a few inches too short for my legs. Perhaps I’m just making up for years of wearing sweats that look like I’m expecting a flood.

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While I’m satisfied with both pieces individually, I’m still not sure that I’m sold on wearing them together. They kind of remind me of the blush velour sweatsuit I owned in middle school and I’m still trying to decide whether or not that’s a good thing. The comfort level of this outfit is unreal. I have been wearing it around the house all day today. I guess the point of loungewear is actual lounging though, so I will certainly wear these together during those times. My biggest question is whether or not I would wear matching loungewear out and about during everyday activities. How do you feel about matching loungewear? Is it something you would wear? How and where would you wear it?

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Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with a quick iPhone shot of our Halloween costumes so you can see how I incorporated these matching separates into my Squidward costume.

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Cali Faye Collection Valley Blouse

Last fall, I was working on a children’s clothing collection to show at Utah Fashion Week. I made a children’s unisex top using this gorgeous double gauze by Cotton & Steel and couldn’t help being a bit jealous of the kids who got to wear it. I rarely make clothing in solid colors, but this teal gauze was too good to ignore. I finally settled on the idea of a using the fabric to make myself a Cali Faye Collection Valley Blouse.

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Overall, I really liked the style of the pattern. I did make a few small adjustments to simplify and tailor it to my liking. First, I cut two of the back yoke pieces instead of one as instructed. My reasoning for this was that I wanted the back yoke lined just as the front. When sewing, I sewed the front yoke to the back yoke at the shoulder seams and did the same for the front yoke linings and back yoke lining. I then placed the yoke linings and yoke pieces right sides together and stitched them together along the neckline.

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Second, I omitted the front key hole. The neckline is nice and wide which makes the key hole unnecessary as anything but a design feature. To accomplish this, I simply didn’t cut out the key hole. This allowed me to skip a few steps in the construction and attach the bottom front the same way as instructed for the bottom back.

IMG_1145IMG_1114I finished this blouse about a month ago and haven’t had too many chances to wear this top due to the summer heat. This morning I felt a bit of a chill in the air. It made me hopeful that fall is coming soon. I plan to make a nice fitting pair of Ginger Jeans to pair with this top in the cooler months.

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Side Note: Did you notice that embarrassingly large crease in the center front and center back? I cut out the pieces about a month before sewing up my top and left thee pieces folded. My poor old cheap iron couldn’t press out those dang creases. I have washed my top a couple of times since taking these photos and the creases are now gone. Any suggestions for a new fairly inexpensive iron? Do I need to look at something more high end?

 

A Weekend Retreat and My Driftless Cardigan

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Way back in October of last year, I purchased this gray jersey knit from Suppose and cut out my Driftless Cardigan (find the pattern here). I was clearly getting ahead of myself because I had approximately one billion other deadlines at the time. April came around and I thought to myself, “Life has finally slowed down, I can now finish all of those other projects that I started last fall.” I was wrong. My husband ended up applying for and accepting an amazing new job which meant life was about to get crazy again.

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Meanwhile, I attended a blogger meet up in SLC and Sara and I came up with the idea for a small weekend sewing retreat. I spent the next few weeks stressing about my upcoming move and finally decided to pull the trigger on planning a retreat. This mama needed a break. Sara and I set a date, I got permission to use the family cabin, and we began counting the days.

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The weekend finally arrived and it turned out to be both rejuvenating and productive. My sewing weekend goal was finishing a pile of unfinished projects so that they would no longer clutter my sewing area. Each of my projects were only a few steps away from completion, but had been sitting unfinished for months. Sewing for an entire weekend allowed me to complete a couple of baby quilts, a quilted pillow cover, two simple baby dresses, and my Driftless Cardigan.

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While setting aside time to actually sew this took months; the actual time it took to sew this cardigan was roughly 3 hours. One of those hours was used to hand stitch the neckband. I have loved Grainline Studio patterns for years because of the clean lines and well-executed details. The Driftless Cardigan is a great example of this with its hidden pockets and optional split bottom band. This was completed a month ago and it’s gotten quite a bit of use despite the blazing summer temperatures. It’s perfect for an extra layer at the movie theater (ours is always freezing) or for wearing on chilly evenings.

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A quick note on sizing: I sewed up a size 4 and added 2.5 inches to the length at the lengthen/shorten line. I also added about 1.5 inches to the sleeve length because I like my sleeves extra long.

Special thanks goes to Kim of Sweet Red Poppy for taking these lovely photos.