Something to Remember Me By (Design Your Wardrobe Look 1)

Friends at long last I can show you the first look I planned from the Design Your Wardrobe program. Get ready for a massive blog post as I have a lot to say about these three patterns. First though Design Your Wardrobe is a program from Seamwork magazine (it is free for members) that helps you define your style and plan your sewing in outfits rather than individual pieces. It has changed how I view sewing completely and really helped me see the gaps in my wardrobe and what style I want to fill those gaps with. You can do this at your own pace or each fall and spring you can sign up for the email prompts.

I found what was missing most from my wardrobe was more functional but stylish clothes. I had warm, comfortable clothes but they did not make me feel attractive. So first up was a York Pinafore in a rust microsuede. I purchased this fabric from Mardens a few years ago (I’ve also gotten a skirt out of it) and I’m still amazed at how cheap it was for how nice it is. It’s even underlined.

I made this in a size small in the bust and graded out to a medium at the hips, which is what I needed according to the size chart. For reference, I am a 34″ bust and 37″ hip. I was swimming in this thing. The one you see here has been taken in a good inch on both sides which is all I could manage without taking off the pockets (I could have done that but I was feeling lazy). I have made another one in a straight size small and it fits me much better. I would recommend since this is such a loose fitting style sizing down if you are in between sizes or going by your bust size alone. I also wish I had done something other than suede for my first time making this pattern. The suede was difficult to manipulate with the bias tape on all those curves (I’ve since learned I should have used a larger stitch length as well) and made it hard to iron also. For my second York I used a rayon blend corduroy that was much easier and it turned out sooo much better. Lesson learned. I also want to take a moment to praise Helen’s instructions, as they were possibly the best I’ve ever used in my three years of sewing.

Now on to the Rowan. I could wax poetic on this pattern. And bodysuits in general. I want a hundred of these. I never even considered a bodysuit before coming upon this patten by Megan Nielsen and now it’s the only knit top I want to make. It is perfect for high waisted pants/jeans, skirts, pinafores, overalls; you name it. No riding up, no shifting around, no more tucking my tops into my tights AND I swear they make me warmer since they cover my butt when I’m wearing tights hehe. I made the size small in a viscose jersey from Minerva Crafts and did very small seam allowances on the side seams because it is much more fitted than I realized. The viscose knit is a little more drapey than I would recommend but it works and next time I use that fabric for one of these I will take in the sleeves a little more to compensate. I’ve made another in a cotton lycra (sized up to medium in the bodice and did a 7/8 seam allowance on the sleeves) and it is the perfect stability for this patten. I’m excited to make tee versions for spring and summer but there are endless possibilities because as always Megan gives you a world of variations. Meanwhile the mock turtleneck height is perfection and I can’t get enough of it.

Last but not least, my Oslo coat. Boy do I have a love/hate relationship with this thing. I cut a size 10 (muslined first) because instead of the button I wanted to wrap and tie it as you see here. This worked well with my muslin and works pretty well with my actual coat. For the tie I just measured and cut two rectangles and sewed them together; turned them out at one end and hand sewed it shut. I used a wool blend from Fabric Godmother and a sunback lining from B and J fabrics in Copper. Sunback is a flannel backed satin I learned about from Heather of Closet Case patterns in one of her coat making blog posts, it’s perfect to add warmth without adding an interlining. Both fabrics were easy to sew on and behaved wonderfully. My gripe is with the pattern and even more so the intstructions.

This was the first Tessuti pattern I have ever used and I have to say it may be the last. The instructions were so vague but not only that the pictures…The sample coat they made for the photos are the darkest blue fabric that make it so impossible to see that the only reason I was able to get this coat together was with help from other bloggers who have previously made it. This was my first coat; so I don’t blame the pattern entirely for my troubles but I do blame it in part. Some steps weren’t even photographed. I don’t mean to make this a negative rant against tessuti, some new photos and a little more detail added would greatly improve the instructions and they DID offer me help via direct messaging on instagram when I mentioned them in my story. That being said the pattern comes together nicely and is a fairly simple coat which I would otherwise recommend for beginners. Just remember you will have to look up pictures of other people’s coats.

Even though I made it with the tie I actually prefer this coat open as I can’t look past the mild bathrobe vibes I get when it’s tied. The pockets are a little low and I do wish I had added them to my muslin so I could have adjusted that. I’m only 5’4″ though so that may be because of my size. I did not lengthen or shorten this or make any adjustments other than sizing up to accommodate for wrapping it.

Overall I am happy with my coat making experience and am glad I took the adventure. I learned a lot of new techniques and that is never a waste of time. I love the whole look together and it certainly has the 70s vibes I complied on my mood board (you can see that on my instagram here). I definitely recommend the Design Your Wardrobe program for anyone looking to gain direction with their sewing and Seamwork as an overall pattern company as well.

Till next time -Addy Bryce

PS my lipstick is Chocolate Kiss by Besame Cosmetics and my necklace is from Larissa Loden

The Stuff Dreams are Made Of (Carolyn Pajamas)

I’ll admit I am the person that used to say why would I sew pajamas when there are so many other things I want to make that people will actually see? However; when it became harder for me to find pajamas that I actually liked; and I found a cowboy print flannel from Fashion Fabrics Club I knew I needed to find a pattern that was worthy of this rodeo fabric.

I decided to go to my current favorite pattern maker; Closet Case Patterns (I had just finished my first sallie maxi dress and was so thrilled that Heather’s size 6 was my exact measurements) and found the gorgeous Carolyn Pajamas. There are so many gorgeous versions of this pattern out on the blogosphere I was quickly convinced. Since I had previously owned three pairs of flannel pajamas in this style I knew that I would wear them to death (as I did my three pairs before). Though this pattern is a bit of a fabric hog (5 yards!) I figured it was worth it especially for something I really wanted. Cowboy pajamas. I had searched high and low for something like these and what is sewing for if not to make exactly what you want. But alas winter ended before I was able to make them and so in the bin of cut out projects they stayed. A few weeks ago I had started a pair of denim lander pants and realized I couldn’t move beyond the first few steps until my zipper came in the mail; so I decided to start these bad boys as my pajama wardrobe was a hot mess.

My Longmire pajamas were born! I didn’t really have much difficulty with these as Heather’s instructions are very detailed. I had done an elastic waistband before but had not done a notched collar, or in fact a shirt collar really of any kind. I think these pajamas are a great place to start if you are interested in shirt-making because if the collar isn’t as crisp as you’d like they are only pajamas! Practice makes perfect. Or better at least. Progress not perfection I like to say.

These wrinkles are 100% authentic people I have worn these three times already (oops sorry to anyone who is grossed out by that) and am fully obsessed with them. I didn’t add the cuffs to the sleeves because I’m petite and the sleeves seemed long enough to me however after a few wears I think I will add them on to this pair and include them in my next pair. I have some Michael Miller flannel that is destined to become this pattern. I’ve got plans for two more besides this and might even venture into trying piping for my next set.

My coffee mug is a Longmire reference. I hope that someone out there understands and appreciates it. Thanks for reading!

-Addy

Cowboy Take Me Away (1997 Simplicity 7577)

A 90s song for a 90s dress. Hi and welcome to my blog! My name is Addy Bryce, I’ve been sewing for about three years and decided it was finally time to have a space to share my creations. I’m very excited to start this endeavor and it’s been a long time in the making; so thank you for visiting and let’s get to the sewing talk.

I found this vintage pattern while looking for this one that Katie Makes a Dress used and fell in love with the midi version. It felt like I hadn’t completed anything in a long time and I am pretty pleased with the results of this fabric/pattern combo. My fabric is a Moda cotton I got for $3.99 a yard at a Marden’s a few years back and I am so happy I finally used it. Fall colors are my favorite and this dress has them all.

Usually I have to take in big 4 patterns even if I cut out the size according to my measurements so I sized down on this one and it fits perfectly. It was pretty easy to put together and I am really proud of the inside as well as the outside. I am also enamored with the coconut shell buttons I bought from etsy to go with it. They give the dress more of an earthy vibe which is what I often go for.

I only made two adjustments which was to lengthen the ties and move them closer to the side seams so I could nip in the waist more. Things I love about this pattern and why I would make it again: The length of the sleeves is perfect (something I could alter on other patterns but it’s nice when you don’t have to), the waistline sits at my natural waist (90s patterns tend to have a dropped waist), and the bodice fits me better than my beloved Fen dress pattern. The only thing I would add is pockets. I struggled to get the right shape on my patch pockets so I left them off. Inseam pockets could be drafted easily and I think I’ll do that on my next version.

Midi length dresses with tall boots have become a staple part of my wardrobe ever since I first lengthened the Fen and I can see myself making many more dresses this style. I would love to trace this pattern so I can use it multiple times and not destroy the tissue paper so if anyone has any painless ways of doing that please tell me.

For those of you wondering; my lipstick is Maybelline Super Stay Matte liquid lipstick in Globetrotter, my bronzer is Angel Dust by The All Natural Face, and my cuff is by Larissa Loden. Her jewelry is high quality for reasonable prices; edgy but bohemian, and is 100% my style.

Thanks for reading

-Addy Bryce

 

 

My Southwestern Maxi Fen Dress

Hey there! Thanks for checking out my first post. Today I’m sharing my Michael Miller maxi Fen Dress. The pattern is by Fancy Tiger crafts and is one of my all time favorites. I highly recommend it as a beginner pattern as well as one that is very adaptable. I’ve made five versions of this and they all look so different. With kimono sleeves and no closures it is super quick and satisfying to make.

The inspiration for this dress came from a few different places. First, I have always loved western things, but since watching (and becoming obsessed) with Longmire my discovery and use of Southwestern prints has increased drastically and made me want to incorporate them into my wardrobe even more.

The second inspiration was the Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns. I adore Closet Case Patterns as the size 6 fits me perfectly with no alterations and Heather’s style has a lot of similar elements to mine. I purchased this pattern as soon as it was released and was so excited to try it. Yet after practicing the center panel a few times and not mastering it I decided to use a pattern I was more familiar with for my precious Michael Miller fabric (which I purchased from Marshall Dry Goods.)

I realized by using the V neckline option, lengthening and adding side slits to the skirt, and adding waist ties I had a very similar dress to the Charlie Caftan. For reference, I am 5’2″ and lengthened my skirt to 32″ when cutting it out. I didn’t add to the physical pattern but instead folded it at the lengthen and shorten line to straighten the hem and then measured and traced using my chalk pen. I used the neck band piece to cut out two rectangles of fabric and then made the ties from those pieces, pinning them into the side seams where the bodice and skirt meet before sewing up the side seams. I just tied the ends off in a knot but you can tuck the edges in and make a small hem if you desire, but I’ve washed this a few times since making it and have had no issues with fraying even though my fabric is just cotton.

I absolutely am in love with how this dress turned out and already have plans for two more like it. Never be afraid to find inspiration from seemingly strange places! I am actually inspired by TV shows and music videos all the time. If you have any patterns similar to this one or advice on the Charlie Caftan, please share!

-Addy B

 

Hat: Forever 21

Booties: Teva