Friday, June 27, 2014

Puffed Sleeves

Well, I've made myself two pairs of Jalie swim shorts and they're awesome! But, I have no tops to go with they'll feature in a future post.

So for today we have the Olivia Puffed-Sleeve Blouse (Ottobre 6-2007-13) and the Ashlee Capri Pants (3-2009-45).

They weren't joking when they said "puffed sleeves"! The non-drapey fabric doesn't help, but the sleeves were bit too 1980s.

It doesn't look wonderful, but it is improved with the stitched-down pleats I added to the sleeves.

But I really like the collar and yoke.

Sara chose the plaid fabric from my stash. Even if the fabric is less than perfect for clothing, I'm happy to report I really AM making a dent in my quilting fabrics (:

But a shortage of this fabric led to the under-collar design feature.

I've made several pairs of these capri pants now, generally a new pair for Sara every summer. The other girls are the lucky recipients of the well-loved pairs. (And it turns out littlest sister Molly isn't as scrawny as her sisters were at her age, since they don't even come close to zipping up!)

These are in a lightweight stretch poplin (?).

The pockets are cute, even if they are too tight to actually use.

And the (largish) side vents.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Trifectas

Summer came. It was time to do some t-shirt supplementation.

I made some long-sleeve versions of Kitschy Coo's Trifecta top earlier this spring. In my short-sleeve versions, it was fun to try out some of the variations ... v-neckline, pocket, triangle inset (which I faked and serged on top instead).

It turns out, I reach for these first whenever they're clean, beating out my custom-made self-drafted tees (boo).

Next up: Jalie's new swim shorts. They must have been reading my mind (or my posts) since up until now I've been frankenhacking assorted swim shorts with varying degrees of success.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

State of the Wardrobe Address

Another year has rolled around, bringing my Handmade Wardrobe Quest to its 6th completed year. (You might also call this a nerdy 6 years of data collection...) 

Last year, at the five year mark, I tallied up my wardrobe to see my stats (because stats are almost as fun as patterns, you know.)

Originally, my goal was to avoid buying any clothes, except for underwear and knitted items. But eventually I realized, gee, I can make underwear! So, for better or for worse, with the exception of some underwear, a coat, and a jacket, I have stitched everything.

[RTW = Ready To Wear]

So how do the stats stack up?
Total Garments
Last year: 55% Handmade
                  45% RTW

This year: 61% Handmade
                  39% RTW

Garment Categories

  Bar chart of individual garment categories. (Click to enlarge.)

Total tops
Last year: 71% Handmade
               29% RTW

This year: 77% Handmade
                23% RTW

Total Bottoms
Last year: 73% Handmade
                27% RTW

This year: 77% Handmade
                23% RTW

Friday, April 25, 2014

A whole lotta blue

For the girl-who-doesn't-wear-dresses, I thought I'd flip through my Ottobre magazines to find some dressy item she might approve of for Easter. I don't really care if she never wants to wear a dress, but this shirtdress seemed like it might pass muster.

She pre-approved the pattern and chose the fabric, and - yay! - even likes the end product.

I don't love the somewhat boring fabric choice - a lightweight stretch shirting - but I do love all the details on the dress.

The front closes with an invisible zip. Which is grey. Because that's how I roll! Hey, except for the pull, it's invisible.

The dress is "Helmi Shirtdress" from Ottobre 4-2008-35.

And blue item number 2 is a plaid shirt, made from Ottobre's 6-2011-28 ("Blue Poplin Shirt"). It's shown as a boys' shirt in the magazine.

Both the front and back have princess seams and there is a back yoke. The shirt almost looks curvy in the back.

I'm glad she loves this shirt and has plenty of growing room, because this was one of those well-loved fabrics intended for a me-shirt.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


How long do you think the cowl craze will last? This pattern is out of print and yet cowl iterations keep popping up here and there.

This sort of cowl neck is probably an easier neck treatment than a neck band or binding. And then there are the raglan sleeves here. So...this is probably the easiest garment I've ever sewn for myself. Well, besides leggings.

Reviews I read suggested the bodice seam was oddly placed, so I lowered it about an inch and a half. I made it a longer tunic-not-quite-dress by adding 7 or 8 inches.

I loved this so much I wore it possibly to ALL of the events of the winter holiday season, so now I'm more than ready to retire it for a while.

But then, the cowl is so versatile, maybe wearing it like this could revive my interest.

Anyway, Vogue 8634 is a great pattern - comfortable and easy to sew.
My black leggings are the "Treviso Leggings" from Ottobre 2-2011-6.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Princess Castle Cross-Front Dress

I thought I'd grab the last bit of daylight to get this photo. Of course, we were being pelted with sleet in the beginning stages of a fresh snow storm. I'm excited to get another 10 inches or so!

This pear print jersey is probably my favorite Chez Ami fabric. Little sister Molly wasn't pleased her older sister was getting it - luckily I do have a yard left.

The pattern is Princess Castle Cross-Front Dress (Ottobre 4-2013-14). It was fun to stitch up and to coordinate the fabrics and, of course, the pockets are the best part.

I used Chez Ami's cotton/lycra jersey for the unusual leggings. They are called "Uncomplicated Leggings" (Ottobre 4-2013-15). And they're even more uncomplicated than your average leggings. They are two pieces: a front and a back. Grace isn't too keen on the fit, as the seat is baggy and hangs low. So, I probably won't make them again.

Monday, March 31, 2014

We'll call this a spring coat

I've been trying to clear out some of my more childish prints before the kids completely outgrow them. It's easy enough to go and buy a cute corduroy, but I don't want them aging unusable in my stash until I have grandkids (eek.) This print isn't super childish, but what was I going to do with bright pink corduroy for anyone older than 5?

So it became a spring coat - made large enough to work for this fall, too.

The coat is kittywampus in this photo, but here's proof she likes it. She has thanked me for it about a hundred times. There's my payment (:

The hood is the best part.

She made sure to turn and give me all the angles in our photo shoot. I didn't think I necessarily needed a back view, hehe.

But there it is. The print hides the front and back yokes. The back yoke even randomly print-matched with the coat back. Good for it.

The front is pieced, so the slit pockets fit nicely in that seam.

And polka-dot flannel (more stash!) fit the bill for the lining.

The pattern is the Rosy Red Velveteen Coat (Ottobre 6-2008-17) and is meant to have batting for use as a true winter coat. I think it's a great pattern and maybe I'll revisit it sometime with a wool coating.