Studio Tour!

7 Sep

Hey everyone!

It’s been over a year since I moved into my new house, so you know what that means – time for an updated studio tour!! Yeahhhh!!

2018 Studio - room

Same as with my last delay, I kept putting off sharing this room with y’all because I really wanted to feel like it was “done” first. Even though, realistically, nothing is ever finished in my home – I’m always moving things around! I had a little kick in my pants via a Sewing Space feature over at Tilly & the Buttons , which forced me to suck it up and take the dang photos already. What you’re about to see is my studio in it’s natural state – it’s tidy, but not show-room perfect (i.e., I really should reorganize my fabric shelve, but, priorities).

While I was compiling the photos for this post, I ended up falling down a pretty deep rabbit hole of my past studio spaces. You may not be aware of this, but I’ve had a dedicated sewing room in some shape or form since 2006. My tastes & decorating have definitely changed a lot over the years, which I personally find pretty interesting! I think it’s also relevant as a lot of people comment on how well-organized my space is – which, it should be, I’ve been working on it for over 12 years! πŸ˜› So before we jump into the NEW studio, I want to share a little bit of my evolution first!

Apologies in advance for the poor photos – it looks like my photography skills have also evolved, at least a little πŸ˜‰

2006 sewing room - Broadway

2006: My very first dedicated sewing space, back when I lived in Midtown in Nashville TN. I loved that apartment so, so much and stayed there for several years – it was a beautiful old building with crazy cheap rent. I eventually couldn’t handle the poor maintenance or the noisy bars getting built up around me, so I moved… but not before moving my sewing room all over this one apartment. First stop was in what I think was the dining room – or possibly a small servant’s quarters (it was a 100+ year old building right by Vanderbilt with a layout that suggested this might have been the intention). It was a VERY small room – like I’ve had bigger walk-in closets than this space – but it was perfect for a tiny sewing set-up.

Also, if you are curious – the dress I’m wearing is New Look 6557, which was the first proper sewing pattern I made by myself and I made DOZENS of that dress lol

2007 sewing room - Broadway

2007 sewing room - Broadway

2007: Still in the same apartment in Midtown, but I moved shop into what was the bedroom (with my bedroom in the living room, and the tiny dining room being a sitting room). My ex boyfriend and I painted the room orange, and then he claimed it for his office (a bold move considering he never paid any rent). As soon as I kicked his ass out, I reclaimed the room for myself. So this is my “fuck you” sewing room haha. I also got Amelia, my cat, around the same time – for the same reason πŸ™‚

Very little of this room is still in my possession! I have all new sewing machines and furniture. The only things I still have are the desk chair and that Little Prince poster. Also, lol at another New Look 6557 being on the dress form. And, yes, I had 4 irons. I did a lot of dumpster diving at Vanderbilt University back then and irons were a popular thing to throw away I guess.

2008 sewing room - Broadway

2008 sewing room - Broadway

2008 sewing room - Broadway

2008 sewing room - Broadway

2008: Decided I was DEFINITELY worth the biggest room in the apartment, so I moved my studio to the living room (and took back the bedroom for, well, my bedroom). This room was massive and I looooved that space so much. Painted it green, which in retrospect… not my best idea. I built a makeshift long table out of some old cabinets and a piece of plywood covers with peel and stick tile. And I upgraded my machines – I still use both of those today! Actually found the receipt the other day while I was cleaning out my files; I bought them at the end of 2007 :3

2008 sewing room - Broadway

For funsies, here’s a photo of me at that time – scene hair and all! I made that dress with knit fabric from Walmart haha

2009 sewing room - Broadway

2009 Sewing Room - Broadway

2009: Same room, with some updates! I repainted the entire thing bright turquoise (which became “my color” as far as studios are concerned!), as well painted my furniture. Got a cutting table (just one of those cheap ones from Joann’s), some new storage, and made curtains. This was taken over Christmas, hence the sparkly tree (which I still have today!)

2010 sewing room - South Nashville

2010: Ok, last one! This is the saddest looking photo ever, ha, but it’s literally the only one I have! I ended up moving out of my Midtown apartment and in with a friend who lived in South Nashville. He never used his living room, so I took it over as my sewing room! I had to work around the existing furniture, but I made it work. Lived here for about 2 months and then I moved to East Nashville to live with my BFF.

Other sewing spaces have their own blog post!
2011: Yellow Sewing room in East Nashville, TN
2011: Pale Blue sewing room in East Nashville, TN
2012: Giant Turquoise sewing room in West Nashville, TN
2015: Oddly Shaped Turquoise sewing room in Kingston Springs, TN
2017: Apartment sewing room in West Nashville, TN

Whew! Ok, this post has gotten long already and we aren’t even at the good stuff yet!

Anyway, here is where I am today! I moved into this sweet 1935 Tudor in 12 South/Nashville a little over a year ago. It’s a wonderful house + neighborhood and I really love living here. I use the second bedroom as my studio – it’s very small (just barely 11′ x 11′), and there are two doors, plus a closet, which made furniture arranging a little bit of a challenge! I had to take a lot of measurements and draft up a few room layouts before I figured out a good fit for everything, but it was definitely worth it.

The back half of the house was originally carpeted, and before I moved in I negotiated with the landlord to have the carpets removed (they were gross. Not, like, “ewwww carpet, gross” but like “10+ year old covered in stains gross”) and we were both delighted to discover the original hardwoods underneath. I also had her paint the walls a bright white, which really helped the overall vibe of the room. Before I moved in, this house was dark and dirty… it’s pretty fabulous now, though. I love it so much.

Also, because this comes up often – yes, I move a lot. I’m a renter, and my city is unfortunately going through some growing pains with skyrocketing rents + half the affordable houses either getting bulldozed (to build more $1M houses) or turned into AirBNBs (do not even get me started on the tragedy that is AirBNB over here, omg. It is a big, big problem and I encourage you if you visiting a popular city like Nashville to be very weary of any AirBNB that clearly is *only* an AirBNB and not someone’s home). I would love to buy and stop moving, but right now it just is not feasible. I like to think I’ve found a great long-term home here, but this is an expensive/trendy neighborhood so fingers crossed my landlord doesn’t try to turn it into a short term rental or sell it to the highest bidder.

Details about all products (including furniture & decor) are at the end of this post!

2018 Studio - doorway

Here is the studio when you enter through the hallway in the back of the house!

2018 Studio - room

As full of a view of the room that I could get!

2018 Studio - sewing machines

The back wall (facing the door you enter through) holds all my sewing machines. I built the long table with IKEA components (this will be a running theme in this room haha), because I wanted to house all my machines on one single table that I could just roll down in my chair. There are lots of drawers which is great for storing notions and supplies. The windows get a lot of light and a very pretty view, but there are several mature trees in front so I also get some privacy.

2018 Studio - sewing machines

Another view of the table and machines. You can also see part of the side porch through the window.

2018 Studio - sewing machines

Above the machines, I hung lights for some extra brightness in the room. True story – I rarely use these lights, as I realized immediately after that the main overhead light could hold 3 bulbs and 2 were blown out. I replaced all the bulbs with super high wattage daylight bulbs and HOLY SHIT BRIGHTNESS BATMAN. It’s like high noon in this room now, all the time! It’s amazing!!! Y’all can have your ~ambient lighting~ all you want but I am all bright, all the time haha

side wall

Looking to the left of the machines, this is where I keep my bookshelves that hold sewing/knitting/art books, Papercut Patterns, and knitting supplies. All my yarn fits in that one big basket πŸ˜› I also keep WIP patterns in the magazine holder on top of the bookshelf. Over the book shelves, I hung two long wall shelves – the boxes store swatches, zippers, and lingerie supplies, and the top shelf is purely decorational. Those plants are fake as fuck, btw.

2018 Studio - books and shelves

Here’s another angle – thread racks, an extra stool, and a lamp that rarely gets used (again, daylight lightbulbs are the BOMB you guys).

2018 Studio - dressform

If you continue down that wall to the left, you’ll end up back at the door in which you entered. There is a door in the middle of the wall that leads to the side porch. This is where my dressform lives. I wasn’t crazy about the large blank wall, but didn’t want to spring for wallpaper (or bother painting… I like painting, but I’m not a fan of painted accent walls and I didn’t want to paint the entire room), so I bought these wall stickers on Amazon and made a dotty wall! It makes me so happy! πŸ™‚

2018 Studio - fabric

So, going back to the machines and swinging right – you will get my fabric stash! Really thought about reorganizing this for the photo (it actually does need to be sorted and culled), decided not to haha. My old shelf that I’ve been using since 2009 wasn’t going to fit in this room, so I passed it on to a friend and bought something a little more modular. This area holds my fabric, PDF patterns, embroidery and art supplies, and my snap setters.

2018 Studio - ironing board

Next to my fabric is my ironing station! I started out in this room with a proper ironing board, but I desperately needed more storage so I swapped it out for a tabletop ironing board. I can’t take credit for this – I totally took the idea from Jasika as she made the exact same thing. It’s perfect! I padded out the top of an IKEA kitchen island with a few layers of cotton batting, then wrapped fabric (it’s Robert Kaufman Essex linen, specifically, if you are curious lol) around the whole thing and stapled it down. The station has drawers that hold ironing supplies and camera equipment, and shelves to hold my current projects and my Cricut Maker. The bucket of fabric next to the table holds scraps that are too big to throw away but not big enough to justify putting back on the shelf.

My iron is a gravity feed iron (I’m still using the same original one I got back in 2012!); the tank is suspended from the ceiling with a heavy duty plant hanger. Rather than keep the iron on my table, I found a small metal shelf on Amazon (used to house tv speakers) and attached that to the wall. This frees up space on my board, plus makes me feel a little less wigged-out about having an iron on top of cotton + wood. Over the station, I have a hanging light that is plugged directly into the same power strip that powers the iron. This way, I always know if the iron is on or off – and I never leave it on by accident!

The ironing station my cat’s favorite place to perch (second favorite is behind the sewing machines), so she can look out the window! I have a really great back yard, but unfortunately my crappy back neighbors tore down the entire tree line that separates us so I now have to stare at their house instead of beautiful green trees (and now no privacy! Boo!). Also, unfortunately for them, this has not deterred me from changing directly in front of that window haha

2018 Studio - desk

Next to the ironing station is my desk! This is where I get all my work done, unless I’m sitting on my porch (which is equally pretty great). On the wall beside my printer is where I hang my rulers, as well as an inspiration bulletin board and my fabric swatch board (where I keep track of the fabrics I want to sew next).

2018 Studio - closet

Next to the desk is the tiny closet. Sorry about this picture – this was the only way to not make it loo horrifying haha. I keep the rest of my patterns in here, organized in boxes. PDF patterns that I am working on are hung with clips on a small tension rod, and rolled PDF patterns are stored in a small trash can on the floor. I also keep supplies for my other job in here, on the top shelf. Rather than stack things, I built shelves with plywood so this closet is basically a giant shelf behind a door.

For more info about how I organize my patterns, please check out this blog post!

2018 Studio - cutting table

One side of my cutting table has drawers (holding pincushions, muslins, extra interfacing scraps, and lesser-used sewing tools) and bins (holding swimsuit fabric and… well I just realized that other bin is empty lol it was holding a WIP that I finished).

2018 Studio - scissors

The other side of my cutting table holds all my scissors, and more bins (boxes have leather scraps and silk scraps, bins have classroom supplies and supplies for when I need to take my machine on the road for my job).

2018 Studio - supplies cart

Finally, under the table is space for a big trash can and a rolling kitchen cart, which I use to hold sewing supplies and general art supplies.

Some detail shots:

2018 Studio - shelves

This wall makes me so happy! That jar is holding all my broken/used needles and pins.

2018 Studio - windows

These lights make me happy, too! I could only find them in black, so I spray painted them gold.

2018 Studio - Embroidery

Embroidery designed and stitched by me πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

Ok, so almost done! Finally, here are the links to sources for furniture & other stuff. Most of the things in this room are either from IKEA, or secondhand. Spoiler alert! Also please be aware that a lot of these links are affiliate links, meaning I will get a small commission if you click them and end up purchasing something. Just a head’s up!

Wall paint color: Seriously, I have no idea. White?

FURNITURE:
Sewing machine table: ALEX drawer unit + LINNMON table top
Vintage desk chair: Thrifted
Cutting table: 2 KALLAX shelves + LINNMON tabletop + 2 KALLAX drawers + 4 KALLAX casters. Scissor rail is BYGEL RAIL + s-hooks
Fabric Shelves: HEJNE shelving unit
Bookshelves: thrifted
Ironing Station: FORHOJA kitchen cart + metal dvd wall shelf
Printer table: KLIMPEN drawer unit
Writing desk: Nashville flea market
Desk chair: Nashville flea market, spray painted gold and white
Wall shelves: EKBY JΓ„RPEN / EKBY BJΓ„RNUM
Turquoise utility cart: RΓ…SKOG
Dressform: Professional female dressform with collapsible shoulders (also: full review here!)

ACCESSORIES & DECORATIONS:
Yellow & white storage boxes: DRΓ–NA
Large white storage boxes: IKEA, discontinued (these are similar)
Small white storage boxes: IKEA, discontinued (these are similar)
Fake plants: FEJKA
Industrial paper roll: Given to me when my old job (advertising) was downsizing and clearing out the art room!
Ceiling light (over ironing board): KNAPPA
Ceiling lights (over machines): Geometric Light bulb cage pendant (spray painted gold) + Edison light bulbs + HEMMA cord set
DMC thread organizer: thrifted
Thread racks: given to me by Elizabeth Suzann, but here are some similars on Amazon- thread rack + serger thread rack
Sewing room art: Joanna Baker, via Madalynne giveaway
“I’ve Made A Huge Mistake” chalkboard sign: Custom made by Kaelah
Sewing machine print: Madalynne
Polka dot stickers: Gold polka dot wall decals
Baskets: thrifted & spray painted gold
White floor lamp: NOT floor lamp
White desk lamp: Another score from the art supply room cleanout at my old job
Small turquoise/white stool: Nashville Flea Market
White cutting mats: The Shop Company
White deer head: Gift from Elizabeth Suzann
Snap setters (only people people always ask!): Purchased secondhand from Elizabeth Suzann

2018 Studio - Amelia

Ok, I think that’s all! Hope you enjoyed the tour πŸ™‚

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Completed: Jenny Overall Shorts

29 Aug

I’m just gonna go out and say it now: these pictures are shitty, but I’m posting them anyway. Considering how long it took me to even get photos in the first place, lord knows I’m not gonna make the effort to re-shoot them. Sorry, not sorry!

Also, if you’re seeing this post twice – that’s because I mistakingly published it yesterday, realized my error, and immediately deleted it. I wasn’t going to say anything at all (honestly it’s an embarrassing mistake) but I’ve gotten several comments and emails expressing concern, so I wanted to clarify. The error post yesterday was meant for the Mood Sewing Network.Β I was just typing it in my blog because I like the format better, and unfortunately I hit the wrong publish button lol. Oops! If you already read the other one, I would still suggest reading this one as well because both posts are different – and this one has more (shitty) photos ! Ok that is all!

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

So these are the Jenny Overalls from Closet Case Patterns – one of many, many overall patterns that are currently available. I’ll be the first to admit it – I haven’t been a big fan of the current overall trend (“current” being the key word here – 90s-era Lauren definitely had a pair of denim overall shorts with Mickey Mouse embroidered peeking out of the pocket. God, I loved those things. Wore them with my purple Looney Toons baseball cap and my Adidas slides with white Tommy Hilfiger socks. You’re welcome for that mental image). In fact, when this pattern first came out – my initial reaction was “meh.” Everyone who was at my weekend workshop in Alexandria VA can attest to that, ha! I received a copy of the pattern from Heather, but truly I was more interested in the pants than anything that has a bib attached to it.

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

So what changed? Honestly… I blame Heather. Shortly after the pattern release, she posted an ass-load of photos of her galavanting all over London & Stockholm in her cropped Jenny Overalls. Every outfit looked rad as shit, and I eventually swayed my overall stance. I think my biggest issue is that overalls seem very utilitarian – which really is not a look I typically go for. This specific pattern is more 1940’s Rosie the Riveter glam, with a high waist and wide legs. Make them out of something other than denim, and they seem pretty sleek. I was willing to give it a go!

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

For this pair, I went with the shorts version although in hindsight I kind of wish I’d made the cropped legs (more on that in a minute). I cut a size 4 at the waist, grading out to a 6 at the hip. Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may notice a size discrepancy here – I pretty much exclusively make a size 2 in Closet Case Patterns. Well, my measurements have always been right between the 2 and 4, so I simply sized down instead of up. Aaaaand the 30s are hitting hard, which means I’ve gained a little bit of weight! Just enough that I needed to go up a size – and in the case of my hips and thighs, 2 sizes. Just a head’s up! The sizing on this pattern is still pretty consistent; MY size in particular has been the inconsistent one!

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

Rather than use denim, I used Organic Cotton Twill from Mood Fabrics as my main fabric. Again, if you’ve followed my blog for a long time you are probably aware that I LOOOOVE this fabric. It’s the best! A great bottomweight, 60″ wide, available in an array of great colors… and less than $15/yard? YES, SIGN ME THE FUCK UP. I can also personally vouch that this stuff washes and wears beautifully. So it was a no-brainer that I opted to use it for this particular project.

As far as construction goes… not too much to report on this particular make. The instructions are great, easy to follow, and I really found this project to be super satisfying to work on. It’s similar to making a nice pair of jeans – lots of pressing and topstitching, and working with an easy fabric. I didn’t make any fit or construction adjustments to the pattern, other than (accidentally) using too long of a zipper. The only thing I’m not crazy about is how bulky the seam allowances are by the zipper – once you factor in pockets, the lap over the zipper ends up pretty thick. I don’t think swapping out for buttons would change that, and I’d rather have the pockets and just deal with bulk, so it’s not a big deal I guess.

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

So… as for the verdict? Well, they did turn out really cute! Every time I wear these out, I get loads of compliments. I think the dark color and subtle topstitching do help to make these look a little less farmer-y (you do you, but personally I do not want to look like a farmer), and the high waist and comfortably loose leg are definitely chic. I like that the bib is proportionally small, and that the straps cross over. All in all, it’s a nice look.

But… is it a look for me? Not really. I feel kind of uncomfortable in them, to be honest. The fit itself isn’t uncomfortable – the sizing includes an appropriate amount of ease, although I will say that I’m not used to wearing anything quite this fitted at my waist these days (with no stretch whatsoever), so that has taken some getting used to! I also feel weirdly overheated when I wear these if it’s super hot outside, so I can’t wear them if it’s higher than, say, 85 degrees (aka most of the summer in Tennessee). I don’t know why the addition of that bib makes them feel unbearable in the heat, but it’s a thing! Which is why I wish I’d made mine with longer legs – I think they’d be more practical, as I could just wear them in cooler weather. Finally, it has been surprisingly hard to style these. Since they are fitted and high-waisted, they really only work with tight or cropped tops. Anything loose- even if you tuck it in – just looks kind of weird in my opinion. I realize there are lots of tight top patterns out there (including Nettie!), but I don’t have any in my wardrobe as, again, I don’t like wearing tight things in the heat! Pretty much the *only* thing I own that looks good with these is the shirt I’m wearing in these photos – a Papercut Patterns SJ Tee.

Were I to make these again, I’d do the longer version and cut the waistband on the crossgrain so there’s a bit more stretch. Styling-wise, I actually do wear pretty fitted tops the rest of the year so that wouldn’t be a problem.

Organic Twill Jenny Overalls

Overall (lol see what I did there), I do like this pattern and the resulting overalls are pretty cute! The jury is still out on if I really feel sartorially comfortable wearing these, so I’m giving them a few more goes before I make a decision. I’m glad I made them because I did enjoy the experience, and if I decide to pass them on I’m sure someone else will love wearing them πŸ™‚

Note: The fabrics used in this post were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. All opinions are my own!

Completed: Madalynne x Simplicity 8711 Lingerie Set

23 Aug

I am currently in the process of updating my lingerie drawer – turns out I’ve managed to gain a cup size, which means none of the stuff that I originally made fits right anymore. On the plus side, this is right around the same time that everything was starting to get ratty, so it’s not a total loss. And now I have an excuse to make fun underwear, or, as I like to call it – FUNDERWEAR lololol amirite gosh I’m hilarious.

In all seriousness, new undergarments are happening! You’ve probably seen a few in previous Watson makes, as well as on Instagram. I don’t blog too much in the way of lingerie these days, just because the redundancy gets boring (for me, that is), but this one is a little different and fun, which I think warrants a post!

Simplicity 8711 bra

It’s a bralette! But wait, there’s more – it has an underwire!

Simplicity 8711 bra

This bralette is made possible by Simplicity 8711, a collaboration with Madalynne (you can read more about the bra here on her blog!). S8711 looks like a basic bralette, but includes a continuous underwire (or “monowire”) to provide lift, support, and prevent monoboob (which I think we can all safely agree that no one likes. Don’t @ me). The bra includes, um, bra-like features – such as a hook and eye and adjustable straps – but the bralette design looks a bit more low-key casual than a full-on bra.

I actually just discovered the monowire pretty recently – my boss gave me a gift card to Agent Provocateur last Christmas and I have been CLEANING UP when I travel up to NYC. The Essie is my newest one, and my first introduction to the monowire. Btw, do you seen what I mean about having fun lingerie? That shit is FUN.

Simplicity 8711 bra

Soooo anyway, back to the thing I made.

I used a Madalynne kit (the cream & black floral lace) for all my fabric & notions, which meant I didn’t have to source anything on my own. The kit includes enough fabric and elastic to make at least 1 bra, if not an entire set of bra & panties (depending on your size). I was also pleased to see that I received 2 hooks and eyes, so I have an extra for a future bra. I also received 3 monowires – my size, plus one size up and one size down, to really determine which one I needed. The one that was my suggested size fit perfectly, but now I have 2 more for, again, future bras.

The kit comes packed in a beautiful reusable drawer box, which was helpful for storing all my supplies in between sewing sessions (and supplies for a future bra, now!).

Simplicity 8711 bra

Simplicity 8711 bra

Based on the size chart in the pattern – as well as Maddie’s suggestion – I cut the size 32DD. I typically wear a 28E so I was a liiiiiittle apprehensive of this – it sounds really, really off to me! But I trusted and I’m happy to report that this little bralette actually fits perfectly. The 32 band is nice and tight, and the cup size is exactly the size I need. I’m not sure how Simplicity’s grading works in that I’m such a different size, but I would definitely suggest trusting the size chart for the bra.

Instructions-wise, this pattern was easy to follow. There is a pattern guide that you can download if you need additional help (it includes a photo tutorial and more information about monowires in general), but the instructions on their own are perfectly suitable. The only part that wasn’t inherently clear to me was which way to insert the monowire into the bra – it is designed so that the center isn’t completely flat, so I wasn’t sure if that goes flat against my chest or the other way around (the AP bra was no help, as the center of that monowire is actually flexible). I ended up making it flat against my chest, which I hope was right! And speaking of putting that shit in the channeling… LORD, it’s a tight squeeze! Be prepared to wrestle with it a bit, ha.

The bra lined with mesh – there is a lightweight mesh for the front, and a heavier powernet for the band. The ruffle is unlined. Interestingly, the bottom band is topped with strapping elastic – so it’s less stretchy, giving that nice tight fit.

Simplicity 8711 bra

I debated leaving the lace ruffle off, but I’m glad I kept it on! I think it’s a really sweet addition.

Simplicity 8711 lingerie set

I had plenty of fabric and elastics to make the matching panties, so I did! I left off the butt ruffles because I knew those would be useless in my wardrobe (most of my pants are pretty tight in the butt) – and also, I’m just not a butt ruffle type of girl! The ruffles are sewn on top of the back, so it was easy to omit them.

Simplicity 8711 lingerie set

The panties are fully lined with the lightweight mesh, and I added a piece of cotton lining to the crotch (this was the only thing not included in the kit; but I had some in my stash so no problem there). The pattern is, again, true to size if you use your measurements + the size chart, however, I was not thrilled with the elastic lengths. They were WAY too tight. Like, gave me massive amounts of muffin top (I may not be the skinniest girl in the room but man you gotta squeeze me quite a bit to get some muffin top). I unpicked the top elastic and patched a piece in, then re-sewed – which helped, but I need to also do this to the legs. They are very, very tight. I would recommend ignoring the elastic guides and just applying your elastic on freely, with minimal stretching. The guides had you stretch them very tight, which is what causes the muffin top.

Simplicity 8711 bra

I think that’s about all I have to say about this set! I really love the bra; it’s a fun addition to my lingerie drawer. I like that it looks casual but gives the same lift and silhouette as a standard underwired bra. The coverage is pretty solid, in that I could probably get away with wearing this more exposed… I debated including a photo of it on me here, but in all honesty I’m just not that comfortable posting bra shots here. Sorry! There are plenty of shots of women wearing this bra on Madalynne’s Instagram, though, if you are curious. Once I muster up the energy to unpick the elastic from the legs of the underwear, it should be an easy fix to re-sew so they are less tight. The lace is just far too pretty to waste!

Note: The pattern & bra kit were provided to me by Madalynne, in exchange for a blog post. I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own!

Completed: Popover Tank & Lander Pants (Plus: OAL Winners!)

10 Aug

Heeeey everyone!!

Before I dive into garment details, I want to congratulate our OAL 2018 Winners!


Dizzy Erica made a Lady Skater dress + Hetty Cardigan! Interestingly, I was just rediscovering my love for both these patterns the other day! I am happy to see that the Lady Skater in particular is still going strong and living up to it’s awesomeness πŸ˜€
Wendy made a Waters tee + an A Frame skirt. I love the colors she choose – perfect summer outfit!


lsorenson7208 made the Rabbitbrush cardigan & Lander Pants! I am really digging this monochromatic look – I always find black and white to be so chic.

Big congratulations to our winners – and thank you to everyone who participated! You can see all the finished outfits in the OAL 2018 Finished Outfits thread on Ravelry. Also, a massive thank you to our sponsors The Confident Stitch & Indie Stitches for supplying prizes! And thank you, Andi Satterlund, for hosting this with me again!

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You’ll notice that I didn’t share my OAL project – and it’s not in this post, either (surprise!). I did finish my Lander shorts and have worn them loads, but sadly my Waters tee is still on my needles as of this posting. Can’t even finish my own outfit in time for the OAL I am hosting, I am the worst! In all seriousness, I started to fall out of love with the project – I’m not happy with my stripe sequence, and honestly, I need to frog it and start over! Rather than force myself to finish something that I likely wouldn’t want to wear, it’s sitting in time-out until I can be sure that I need to either frog it or finish it. I don’t like keeping UFOs, but sometimes you need a breather to think about your options and next steps.

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Ok so anyway, on to this post! Featuring a DIFFERENT pair of Lander pants, mwahahaha!

AMH Popover Tank

But first, I want to share my tank with you because it’s super cute!

AMH Popover Tank

No lie – every single time I wear this top, I get people practically foaming at the mouth to ask what pattern is that! Here’s your answer – it’s the Anna Maria Horner Popover Tank! This is a pattern that Anna released to be used specifically for garment classes at Craft South. I’ve taught this class a LOT – it’s a great first project, easy to sew and looks super cute! And it can be sewn in 3 hours (YES, SERIOUSLY). But I’ve never made one for myself – just loads of samples. When Anna released it as a paper pattern and included a cropped version, I was ready to give it a try.

AMH Popover Tank

This is a super, super simple pattern. Two pattern pieces, then 1″ strips of knit fabric to be used as facings around the neck and arms. No darts, no closures, barely any pattern markings, and an easy fit. Students learn how to sew French seams, apply knit facings, and sew a 1/4″ rolled hem.

One tip I will give if you want to make this pattern is to check the finished measurements, and possibly consider sizing down. I find the recommended sizes to be a bit loose-fitting, especially around the arms, but you can go for it if that is your jam! I made the size XXS, although my measurements put me at the cusp of XS. I like the size of the armholes and the fit of the bust. My fabric is also lightweight with more give than your typical quilting cotton, so that helped.

The only change I made was to swap out the knit facings for actual woven bias facings. I didn’t have any knit fabric that remotely matched my fabric, and I prefer the bias facings anyway. Knit facings are wonderful to keep the class at 3 hours, but when I’m sewing at home on my own time I do what I want! I used some beautiful lightweight cotton voile and applied the bias facings the same way I always do. No need to trim seam allowances, either – the knit strips are also sewn on a 1/4″.

AMH Popover Tank

I love the back – the shoulders wrap around and make a v at the center back, which is then topstitched. I told you, this pattern is easy!

AMH Popover Tank

I should mention my fabric – it’s a beautiful lightweight cotton that I bought at Nagada while I was in Egypt! I only bought a yard – it was expensive, even by American standards – and waited a loooong time to find a good pattern to match it with. The raw applique reminds me of Alabama Chanin, and I love the soft neutrals.

Since the fabric has some texture that makes the thickness a bit uneven, I didn’t do the French side seams and instead just serged them. This is also why I used lightweight voile for my woven bias facings, instead of self-fabric.

Just a head’s up – the cropped version is SHORT. Like, it will expose your belly button. I wanted to lengthen mine… but I forgot and just cut shit out. Oops. Soooo my hem is the tiniest thing ever, serged and rolled under as little as possible. It’s still short, but I like it with high-waisted pants. FYI for your Popover Project, tho.

Here, have some more photos. I don’t know why I took so many.

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

AMH Popover Tank

Whew.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

True Bias Lander pants

True Bias Lander pants

My second pair of Lander pants! Sorry these photos are basically useless, navy is super hard to photograph.

I didn’t make too many changes on these vs my red pair… according to my notes (that I now take in a little notebook whenever I sew, specifically for this reason haha), I made a size 2 but used the size 4 at the side seams. I made the pockets slightly smaller, although I still think they are a little big. I also shortened the legs by 1″ at the shorten line, and interfaced the fly shield. I’m sure I had to take a little out of the center back, but I don’t remember how much, sorry!

I definitely like these even more than my red ones. I think the proportions and length are a little more flattering, and the fabric is super swishy so they are fun to wear!

True Bias Lander pants

The fabric is a navy tencel twill that I bought at Mulberry Silks when I was in North Carolina earlier this year! It’s a beautiful weight with a soft drape, making my ideal pants! I found this fabric easier to work with than silk, but it was still a little wiggly… like using a heavier weight rayon challis.

I lined the pockets with silk crepe (from my stash), and the buttons are also from Mulberry Silks! Look closely, you can see that I already lost one 😦 This is what I get for wearing my shit before I photograph it! The button stayed intact for months, and I literally lost it on a flight home (I think) the day before I took these photos. I’m sad because I really loved these buttons, but I’m also mad at myself for not buying an extra. As for how I lost it… well, they are wooden shank buttons, and that one button had a tiny crack in the shank that caused it to fly off. I found it the first time, repaired the crack (or so I thought) and decided to just sew the bottom button hole shut so there would be less stress on the button. It worked for a while, but not anymore! I will replace them when I find a suitable button that fits the holes (::sob::), but in the meantime… I’m just gonna wear them with 3 buttons. Who the fuck cares? Did you see that missing button in my photos above? Are you looking now? ZOOM IN, I DARE YOU.

True Bias Lander pants

True Bias Lander pants

Anyway, big thumbs up for these pants! I especially love them for traveling – they are my summer flying pants. I always get cold on planes and in airports, but I hate wearing skinny jeans and then sweating to death when I step in 90 degree heat once I reach my destination. These are perfect because they keep my legs covered, but they are breezy in the heat. The color goes with everything, and the high waist looks great with a cropped something or with a loose tshirt tucked in!

True Bias Lander pants

I feel like this post has gotten out of hand long, so I’m going to stop now. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tropical Print Chair Cushions (aka boring home decor sewing)

31 Jul

Hello everyone! I’m back again with my annual ONE boring home decor sewing project for the year!

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

When I moved into this place last year, one of the biggest perks was the amazing porch that takes up an entire side of the house! Situated in the perfect spot to catch a good cross-breeze, and shaded by several walnut trees at the peak of summer, it is a seriously cool area (both literally and figuratively) to hang out in. I love sitting out here, whatever the reason – while working in in the morning, while having cocktails with friends, I even use this space to clip my cat’s nails (she loves it haha). Real talk, I am sitting on this very porch right now writing this blog post hahaha.

I brought this patio set (originally from IKEA – here is the table & the chairs)) with me when I moved here – it’s a bit small, as it was originally intended for a MUCH smaller space. Anyway, I have been wanting to add chair cushions to make them a little more comfortable. Since the seats are very small, I couldn’t find any cushions that fit – plus, outdoor cushions are expensive! I figured I’d make my own, which set me on a looong quest to find that perfect outdoor cushion fabric. That fabric ended up being this Sunbrella Fusion Tropics Jungle Leafy Jacquard from Mood Fabrics (surprisingly, still in stock!). I’m loving this botanical vibe that’s currently taking over home design, and this fabric is one of the best ones I’ve seen! Since it’s an outdoor-suitable home decor fabric, I knew it would stand up to the sun, wind, and rain. At $42 a yard, this fabric certainly isn’t cheap – but it’s wide, so even a yard goes a long way.

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

I bought some inexpensive upholstery foam from Walmart and used the seat measurements to make a very basic pattern (basically 2 big rectangles, then 4 smaller rectangles to go around it). I wanted a cushion cover that would box around the entire block of foam, with a zipper at the back so I could remove it to wash if needed. The foam I used is quite thin, so I doubled it for a cushier chair pad. The metal zippers were pulled from my stash.

I debated on whether or not to pre-wash the fabric before sewing – ultimately, I decided against it. The fabric is polyester, so I don’t think it runs the risk of shrinking. That being said, it does fray like CRAZY (seriously, my studio was covered with little green hairs after this project), so I serged every single seam before attaching pieces together. I don’t sew a lot of home decor projects, so I want the ones I do manage to make to last!

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

To attach the cushions to the chairs (mainly so they don’t fly off during a windy day!), I added long velcro strips that wrap around the metal parts of the chair. In retrospect, I’m not crazy about how this looks – I may take those out and replace them with self-fabric ties. But they are functional for now. I had also considered getting fancy and adding piping around the seams, but, again, real talk – that shit was never gonna get finished if I kept upping the ante. Basic and boring is about all I can manage these days.

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

And that’s pretty much it for this project! Short and sweet, pretty simple, but a nice touch to my outdoor space! I actually finished these a couple of months ago and they have been living on my porch since then – through Tennessee summer storms and crazy sunshine (although my porch is pretty shaded, so not *that* much sunshine), and you can see how well the fabric has held up! The colors are still nice and bright, and the cushions have avoided stains. I will bring these inside when winter comes, of course, but they are great for staying out all summer long.

Writing this post made me realize that I have been in this house for a solid year now, and still haven’t shared my new studio! I finally got around to taking photos over the weekend, so I’ll be sharing those soon πŸ™‚

Chair Cushions made with Mood FabricsSoooo then – who’s coming over for a cocktail?!

 

Note: The fabrics used in this post were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. All opinions are my own πŸ™‚

OAL 2018: Quick Waistband Adjustment

12 Jul

Hello everyone! It’s been a minute since I mentioned the OAL, but we are still going strong (and it’s wrapping up in the next couple of weeks, meaning, YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO PARTICIPATE). I wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing, and also offer a little hack-y fitting tip for your Lander waistband (or any straight waistband, for that matter!).

BUT FIRST I wanted to share this – I’m on a podcast!

I was super honored to be interviewed for the Love to Sew podcast recently, and my episode just aired! I’ve been a long time fan of this series, so it was pretty flattering to get my own episode! If you are interested in checking it out, you can listen to the episode here. I hope you enjoy it!

Now, onto the rest of the blog post!

You’ll have to forgive me in advance because I don’t have photos of the progress (just the result); I was experimenting and not sure how this would pan out (story of my life). But I think this is a pretty simple and straightforward adjustment, so hopefully my words are enough to convey the information across πŸ™‚

One of the features of the Lander Pants & Shorts is that they include a straight waistband made from a single piece of fabric. This is very simple to sew, but may not result in a perfect fit if you are especially curvy. Some people get excess fabric and gaping at the center back, since the waistband does not curve with their back. This does not indicate a bad pattern – it just indicates a draft that does not correspond with that particular body shape (there are PLENTY of bodies that fit great in a straight waistband, and PLENTY of bodies that can’t do a curved waistband, etc). This is something than can easily be adjusted by changing the waistband to a curved waistband (or, better/lazier yet – stealing a curved waistband from another pattern and using that), but you have to do it before you actually cut your fabric. If you’ve already sewn your waistband on and are experiencing this – read on!

My previous 2 pairs of Lander pants did not gape very much, and I was easily able to fix it by simply wearing a belt. Since these are shorts, and they felt like they were gaping a little more than I was comfortable with, I wanted to try to find a way to eliminate the gape without needing to wear a belt (it’s hot outside, I don’t need a layer of LEATHER around my waist amirite). Of course, one option it to unpick the waistband, pinch out the excess into a dart (creating a curved waistband, but with a seam), and then taking out the excess in the pants either at the center back or the darts (or all). I wanted my waistband to be fitted while also still being comfortable, so I thought I’d try a little bit of elastic at the back instead.

OAL 2018: Adjusting the Waistband

I cut two slits on the inside of the waistband, positioning them as best I could under the side back belt loops (to hide the topstitching I was able to do next). I only needed to take in a little bit – maybe 1/2″ at most – but in my experience it’s good to stretch this amount over a longer length than you need, which will make things less bunchy.

I fed a length of elastic that fit in my waistband (I found that 1.5″ wide elastic fit perfectly in the topstitched waistband), pinned one end down, and tried them on to determine the best length of elastic – i.e., tight enough to pull in the gape, but not so tight it was starting to gather.

OAL 2018: Adjusting the Waistband

After cutting the elastic, I secured each short end down with a zigzag stitch. Since these are under the belt loops, they aren’t visible from the outside. Then I stitched closed the holes I had made inside the waistband.

OAL 2018: Adjusting the Waistband

Here is how it looks on the inside (oops, I need to re-sew that hole closed I guess haha)

OAL 2018: Adjusting the Waistband

And the outside!

And finally – some gratuitous shots of my butt so you can see what they actually look like on:
(I am really sorry)

OAL 2018: Adjusting the Waistband

OAL 2018: Adjusting the Waistband

As you can see, it mostly flattens out so it is not super gathered. It snugs up the waistband enough so that it sits flat against my back, but the elastic will stretch if needed (i.e., tacos) so they are still comfortable.

This is a SUPER easy and quick fix if you need a minimal adjustment at the back waist – like I said, mine was no more than 1/2″. It’s also definitely a hack fix – the proper way would be to make a flat pattern adjustment to the waistband so it is curved – but sometimes I think a hack is good enough. If it’s the difference between you wearing the pants and not wearing the pants, I’d say it’s worth a try!

I also realized I never shared my yarn or stripe ideas for my Waters tee! God you guys I am awful.

OAL 2018: Sweater Progress

Here is where I’m at as of this posting. Making good progress, which wasn’t evident until I took this photo, if I’m being completely honest! I’m heading to Canada today to teach a couple of jeans workshops at Darrell Thomas Textiles (and I *think* there is still an open seat for the weekday class, ahem), and I’m hoping I can knock the rest out pretty quickly because I am dying to wear this thing!!!

My yarn is Quince & Co. Sparrow, and the colors are pigeon and lunar (I don’t know why it looks black in these photos, pigeon is actually a nice blue-grey. Oh right because I can’t take photos to save my life lololol). I changed my stripes to be a basic 4×4, and the edging will be the darker color. I need to decide which side I want to be the right side, though – because the purl side looks pretty freaking rad, too!

Ok, I think that’s all! How is everyone doing with their OAL projects? Have you finished yet?

Completed: Scuba Watson Bra + Bikini Set

26 Jun

I can pretty practical when it comes to sewing garments – I’ve figured out what I will and won’t wear, and stick with those styles & colors pretty consistently across the board (save for the occasional wild hair because YOLO). However, this goes completely out the window when it comes to making lingerie.

Me: I should really make some neutral bras, almost all my summer clothe are see-through.
Also Me:

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

ha! I realize there is a trend right now of wearing your underwear as outerwear, and while I did not sew this set with that intention in mind, I will certainly mostly definitely be following it. Because, again, YOLO. btw, sorry about the YOLO.

In all seriousness, though, I actually do need some new bras in my wardrobe. Most of the stuff I sewed in the past has gotten quite ratty and stretched out, and definitely needs to be replaced. I also appear to have gone up a cup size (wah), so they don’t quite fit right, either. It seems really silly to have the ability to make beautiful underwear and yet still be wearing the faded/ratty pieces that give me quadboob, so I’m slowly trying to fix that.

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Sooo, this fabric! This is the Italian Red & Orange Floral Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics. I’ve been creeping on this fabric for a minute now (it’s actually still available if you want to creep, too!) but I honestly don’t like the way Scuba feels and didn’t have any interest in sewing anything out of it. It seems that the thickness and body of Scuba – aka, the two features that people enjoy the most – were everything I did not want in a fabric. Eventually, the creeping got to me and I decided to buy a yard and see what I could figure out.

You know what works splendidly with this fabric? Lingerie. There’s enough stretch for comfort (assuming you are making a pattern that requires stretch), and the additional thickness means you get a little extra coverage. So I decided to make a Watson Bra & Bikini set with this fabric. If you look at the product listing for the fabric, you’ll see that the floral design is fairly large scale, which means it got chopped up to make the cup pieces for the bra. I wasn’t sure how much I’d like that; turns out I LOVE it. It turns this decidedly floral style into something more abstract and a bit painterly. I think it’s very pretty!

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

I did have to do a bit of testing to figure out the best way to sew this scuba – needle choice is very important, otherwise you’ll get skipped stitches (and there is a lot of topstitching here, so I definitely wanted to avoid that). I actually tried every single needle in my arsenal before determining that the 70/10 Jersey needle (not stretch, not ballpoint) was the way to go. After that – it was pretty smooth sailing! I don’t know how well Scuba does or does not press, but you don’t have to press it for lingerie (hence all the topstitching) so that wasn’t an issue.

I’ve made this pattern numerous times before, so nothing new to report on that end. I did go up a cup size, which means I sewed a 30E for this piece. I lined the entire bra with lightweight power mesh – this isn’t necessary (the scuba is comfortable enough on it’s own), but I like the clean interior finish. The bridge is also lined with sheer cup lining under the power mesh, for added support. All elastics are from my stash; likely mostly from Pacific Trimming or Tailor Made Shop. I kept all the elastic white except under the arms, which is orange (just cos a little to get a little wild sometimes).

Oh, I also made some matching underwear, too!

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

Watson Bra made with Scuba Knit from Mood Fabrics

I am making it a point to sew 1-2 pairs of underwear with each bra that I make – so that I actually have matching sets (and stop complaining internally that my lingerie doesn’t match). I did cut two pairs here, but I wasn’t careful about pattern placement and the other pair looked like there was a flower exploding out of my butt. So. Scrapped that one, will revisit later haha. The underwear is single-layer scuba (no power mesh), except for the crotch lining, which is 100% organic cotton (cos I’m a fancy bitch). Again, all white elastics.

AND A BONUS HERE’S ANOTHER WATSON I MADE:

Spandex Watson Set

AKA my attempt at pretending I was going to sew something neutral (this dusty rose is pretty neutral on me, fyi). It all went great until I decided to add black elastics πŸ˜›

So I actually bought this fabric from Spandex House back in March – it’s just a basic, I dunno, spandex knit – in order to sew some underwear. I had just bought the Joan bra from Agent Provocateur and was considering the matching underwear, except they were slightly uncomfortable, very unflattering (on me) and also $60 and you know what, let’s not. So I took my bra to Spandex House and found the exact same spandex, figuring I’d sew my own matching underwear for WAY less than $60/pair. Which I did, but I also decided to make this non-neutral Watson bra, too!

Spandex Watson Set

Spandex Watson Set

So yep, there’s that. Same 30E, but the regular (not longline) version. Lined with matching powermesh (also from Spandex House), with black elastics and topstitching. It’s… neutral-ish. I like it! πŸ™‚

Spandex Watson Set

The matching underwear is unlined and finished with black foldover elastic.

Next up – I need to make some underwired bras in my new cup size, and realistically at least one needs to be neutral. I am hoping to combat the beige boredom by finding a pretty lace to compensate, and sewing it up in the Berkeley Bra pattern. Stay tuned!

**Note: The floral scuba knit was provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. All other patterns, notions, and spandex were purchased by me, though!