Completed: Ginger Jeans, With A Heart On

25 Nov

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Fun fact: I am wearing this same outfit as I type this blog post. Don’t be fooled, though, I took these photos months ago! I don’t know what my deal is, but for whatever reason I’ve become the sort of “blogger” (I am putting this in quotes because I think I’ve maybe written 6 posts this entire year lol) who takes photos and then… hoards them? Whatever.

Anyway, here’s a new pair of jeans to share! I think I’ve made enough pairs of Ginger Jeans to probably warrant never needing to post them again – students always ask me how many I think I’ve made, and the answer is I actually don’t know! I’ve lost count! – but I feel weirdly guilty about all the blog neglect this year, so I’m posting for the sake of posting something and keeping the ol’ stomping ground alive.

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Also my hair looks really good in these photos, so there’s that. Gotta take those small victories wherever you find them!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Even though I’ve made tons of jeans, I recently reached a point in my wardrobe where I realized I was in pretty dire need of some wearable bottoms. My wardrobe goes through a lot of shifts and purges – things don’t turn out the way I envisioned, the fabric or fit is weird (let me tell you right now that no matter how much you sew or even use TNT patterns, you will never be immune to making these mistakes from time to time!), it’s a strange color or style I don’t actually wear, my weight has fluctuated and it doesn’t fit anymore, or I’ve worn them so much they are wearing out and need to be replaced. The last 2 reasons have really hit hard this year, when it came down to me owning 1 pair of (very poorly fitted) shorts and maybe 2 pairs of jeans. So I’ve been on a pants and shorts making binge which has been quite fruitful!

I used 3 different jeans patterns to really round out my pants wardrobe, so stay tuned for the other 2! Today, I want to talk about the Gingers!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger Jeans

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you probably know I have a mad love affair with this pattern. It’s one of my TNTs (tried’n’true), and like I said, I’ve sewn it so many times that I’ve literally lost count of how many pairs have passed through my sewing machine. I don’t know if it’s my favorite because it’s actually the best, or if it is just familiar. I do like the style and the fit works quite well for my body, though! It also helps that this is the pattern that I use for my Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshops, so I feel like I truly know this pattern like I know the back of my hand.

I haven’t made this pattern since the end of 2017, and while I love that pair and still wear them regularly, I can see that they definitely have an end date – they are starting to wear very thin in some places, and the lycra is losing its elasticity. I think they still have quite a bit of life left to live, however, I think it’s always good to secure your back-up plan before it’s needed!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger Jeans

My fabric is a wonderful stretch denim that I purchased from Crafty Gemini back in August when I was in Florida for a sewing retreat. Usually whatever shop hosting my class will carry the specific denim that I recommend (this one from Robert Kaufman!), however, some shops like to source their own and that is also fine! In this case, Vanessa was able to get her hands on some very nice, dark indigo US-made stretch denim, which everyone in the retreat used. I was kind of jealous of how nice their pants were turning out so I decided to get a couple of yards for myself, too! This denim is just as stretchy as the RK, but a little heavier – maybe a 9 or 10oz. The color is nice and dark but I haven’t noticed as much dye rub-off as I tend to see with the RK denim.

I decided to go up a size in these jeans, which turned out to be a mistake. As I mentioned, my weight has gone up a bit this past year – mainly in my hips – so I’m sizing my new makes appropriately, and while I could squeeze into those 2’s if I really put my mind to it, I wanted some jeans that were a little less… painted on. Unfortunately, these ended up way too big so I should have just stuck with the 2’s! They look great now, but I did have to size down the side seams, and after taking these photos I also took in the waistband and center back a bit more. I think the issue is that 1. I’m exactly in between sizes with Closet Case Patterns (a little bigger than the 2, and a little smaller than the 4); and 2. My denim is very stretchy (about 25% stretch, the same as the Robert Kaufman that I usually use) which typically warrants sizing down, not up. Anyway, it was a fun experient and it all worked out in the end so I’m not mad about it, just making a mental note for next time!

Other than the sizing stuff, I did not make any other changes to this pattern. I added 1″ to the calf (ages and ages ago), but otherwise I get a pretty good fit out of the envelope, so that is nice and easy!

I did change the front pockets to be actual pockets, and not a pocket stay. I am fully aware that I am the minority in this thought process, but I HATE HATE HATE those pocket stays! I find them rigid, uncomfortable (which is all kinds of wrong when you’re wearing stretch denim, I mean wtf) and they make the fly area incredibly bulky. I know people loooove their pocket stays so please don’t @ me with your defense, just stating my personal choice here! Free-hanging pockets FTW! I have no issue tucking my pockets back in if it means I can eat a plate of nachos and not feel like I need to unbutton my pants! Fight me!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger JeansHeart on Ginger Jeans

 

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger Jeans

For some fun customization, I used contrasting thread to do my bar tacks, and stitched this cute little emoji patch on the butt pocket. Mostly because it makes me laugh, but also because I love any excuse to tell people I have “a heart on” lulz omg.

I also do not use the back pocket markings as suggested in the pattern, because in my experience they are too low and kind of unflattering! I think a high-waisted jean needs a high pocket, so I always place mine a little higher. In my Sew Your Own Jeans workshops, I custom place these on each booty (oh yeah I bet you didn’t know that fee included a nice hand down your pants!). For me when I’m sewing alone, though, it requires a lot of basting, trying on in the mirror, removing pants and unpicking stitches, rebasting, putting pants back on again, repeat ad nauseum. Fortunately I’m at a point where I have a general idea of where the pockets should be placed with just a good confident eyeballing, but my point is that you too can have good pocket placement, even if you don’t have the luxury of a second person to help you! Just be prepared to take your pants off a LOT and also maybe consider taking photos of your butt (why is this starting to sound like a Tinder conversation… ?).

Heart on Ginger Jeans

I left the jeans unhemmed, because I’ve learned over the years that no matter how much you pre wash your denim (this one was 3x!), the length will continue to shrink in length over several more washes. I used to just hem my jeans on the long side, but these days I don’t bother hemming at all and just wear them rolled for a few months until I feel like they’ve gotten their shrink out. These are hemmed as of this posting, but were not as of the photographs.

Oh, I also made my top! It’s a True Bias Nikko Top, made with some really fun chartreuse knit that I bought at Fancy Tiger Crafts when I was there in June! I was very drawn to the color, but wasn’t sure how it would look on me – it took a lot of convincing from Bob, and then another few months of me staring at it on my shelf wondering if I had made a mistake. Honestly, though, I LOVE how it looks on me! I think it really works well with my skin tone and hair color, and it’s also a color that just makes me happy! So, Bob was right and I stand corrected!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Ok, I’m wrapping up this long-ass post with a photo of me + Amelia. Don’t be fooled by the bitchface, she loves me and was purring very loud during this photo haha.

Want to learn how to make your own jeans? Join me in 2020 and let me teach you how!

Announcing Sew Your Own Jeans 2020 Workshop Dates!

19 Nov

Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop at Blackbird Fabrics 2019

Friends, readers, and random people who just dropped in via an interesting Google suggestion – I’m happy to announce that my 2020 dates are finalized and I’m ready to announce my ~2020 workshop tour~! Yay!

I’m trying something a little different this year and announcing everything at once, rather than as they are listed and available for registration. Last year, it felt like a lot of people missed out on signing up because the seats would sell out before I even had a chance to announce them! I also felt like I was posting WAY too much about workshop stuff, which I completely understand can be super annoying for those who are not interested in ever signing up for one! My hope is that this burst of dates (as opposed to the slow trickle last year) will allow everyone interested to plan in advance, and be informed when the seats are available to sign up for.

Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop at Blackbird Fabrics 2019

Please note that not all the classes are listed as of this posting (I will update as they are!). I strongly recommend that you follow the shop hosting the workshop, to be notified when the class is listed so you can sign up quickly and hopefully secure a seat! I will update my classes page as workshops as listed, however, I cannot guarantee they won’t be sold out by that point (this happened quite frequently last year!).

All dates and links are listed on my WORKSHOPS page, as well as in this post. For more information, including pricing, please visit the shop’s website or send them an email!

Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop at Blackbird Fabrics 2019

A few notes and frequently asked questions about my workshops:

These are the ONLY workshops that I am offering for 2020! I am completely booked! Once they are sold out, they are sold out (i.e., I will not be adding additional dates) so I encourage you to sign up ASAP!
For my jeans classes, we will be sewing the Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns. This pattern is a high-waisted, stretch denim jeans pattern that is available in sizes 0-20. Plus sized? Girl, I got you! You can make the Cashmerette Ames Jeans, which is available in sizes 12-28 and includes options for both an apple shaped torso or pear! Dudes or Non-Binary, i.e., don’t wanna wear girl pants? Yo, I got you too! You can make either the Quadra or the Fulford jeans pattern from Thread Theory. Jeans for everyone!
“I don’t wear high-rise jeans – will we have the option to make this change in class?: If you are interested in sewing a mid-rise jean, there is a Mid-Rise Ginger jeans pattern available for purchase on the Closet Case Patterns website that you are welcome to use instead. Additionally, there is a Flared Leg add-on if you don’t do skinny! Unfortunately, there is not enough time in class to make drastic changes to our patterns, especially with adjusting the rise, outside of minor fitting issues. It is definitely something that we can go over in class, though, so you can apply the changes to all your future jeans!
Required Skill Level: You don’t need to be a Sewing Master to tackle this class, however, you absolutely need to have experience using a sewing machine and following a sewing pattern. All skill levels are welcome!

Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop at Blackbird Fabrics 2019

+ + + 2020 LLADYBIRD Workshops + + +

JANUARY
Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
January 10 – 12, 2020
Urban Sewciety, Westfield, NJ

Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
January 24 – 26, 2020
Crafty Gemini, Gainesville, FL

FEBURARY
Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
February 21 – 23, 2020
Craft South, Nashville, TN

MARCH
Jeans Making Sewing Intensive
March 7 – 8, 2020
Workroom Social, Brooklyn, NY

Sew Your Own Classic Shirt Weekend Workshop
March 20 – 22, 2020
Hello Stitch Studio, Berkeley, CA

APRIL
Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
April 17 – 19, 2020
Blackbird Fabrics, Vancouver, BC

MAY
Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
May 1 – 3, 2020
Pintuck & Purl, North Hampton, NH

Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
May 29 – 31, 2020
Darrell Thomas Textiles, Ottawa, ON

JUNE
Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
June 12 – 14, 2020
Josephine’s Dry Goods, Portland, OR

Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
June 26 – 28, 2020
Fancy Tiger Crafts, Denver, CO

JULY
Jeans Making Sewing Intensive
July 18 – 19, 2020
Workroom Social, Brooklyn, NY

Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
July 31 – Aug 2, 2020
Darrell Thomas Textiles, Ottawa, ON

AUGUST
Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
August 14 – 16, 2020
Crafty Gemini, Gainesville, FL

Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
August 28 – 30, 2020
Blackbird Fabrics, Vancouver, BC

SEPTEMBER
Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
September 11 – 13, 2020
Stitch Sew Shop, Alexandria, VA

Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
September 25 – 27, 2020
Fancy Tiger Crafts, Denver, CO

OCTOBER
Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
October 2 – 4, 2020
Hello Stitch Studio, Berkeley, CA

Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
October 30 – Nov 1, 2020
Pintuck & Purl, North Hampton, NH

NOVEMBER
Jeans Making Sewing Intensive
November 14 – 15, 2020
Workroom Social, Brooklyn, NY

DECEMBER
Sew Your Own Jeans Weekend Workshop
December 4 – 6, 2020
Sew With Sonia, Menlo Park, CA

Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop at Blackbird Fabrics 2019

Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop at Blackbird Fabrics 2019

Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop at Blackbird Fabrics 2019

Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop at Blackbird Fabrics 2019

Whew! I was going to share a pair of my own recently finished Ginger Jeans, but I think that’s enough for this post! Actually I have 3 pairs of finished jeans so stay tuned for a ~Jeans Extravaganza~ here on this blog shortly! In the meantime – who’s taking a workshop next year?! I am so excited!!

Note: All photos in this post were taken at my workshop at Blackbird Fabrics this past April!

Completed: Simplicity 9215

30 Sep

I don’t know exactly how long I’ve had this Simplicity 9215 pattern for, but it has been at least a few years. Maybe even a full decade.

Garfield Top

I originally bought it for the lol factor. I love these old licensed patterns – not necessarily anything hilarious about that – but the cover art is just something else. How cool is that kid with his (handmade)(but properly licensed) Garfield tshirt, matching shorts, and FANNY PACK*? How about those drawings? The cool sk8r boi with kneepads? The coonskin cap (and, bizarrely… wrist guards? Which would make more sense if he was also on wheels). Everything about it delights me to no end. I love it so much.

*It’s a fanny pack, y’all. Stop calling it a ~belt bag~ and get real here.

Garfield Top

Even better – the pattern still had the Garfield iron-on transfer intact. It was just a matter of time before I set about making it myself.

Garfield Top

The pattern actually has you applique the image, using fabric scraps for the main colors and then black thread for all the outlines. I intentionally bought very soft, lightweight knit fabric to sew up the shirt portion, and I was afraid the applique would make it too stiff and it wouldn’t hang right (and while I considered using jersey for my applique pieces, I didn’t want to go through the headache of trying to find the right colors that were also a similar weight). So rather than use fabric, I decided to paint the entire thing directly to the front of my shirt. I did still use the iron-on transfer to get the lines in the right spot – but as this pattern is over 30 years old, it didn’t *completely* transfer so I ended up re-drawing a lot of the lines before starting to paint. After that was done, I spent an afternoon with a small paintbrush and tulip brand fabric paint (this is literally the same brand I bought, and yes it’s from Walmart. Keepin it cheap today, guys!) filling in all the areas with color. After a few coats, I outlined everything with puffy 3D paint (obviously black, not turquoise, but I’m not seeing black on the website for some reason).

Here’s a fun (and also disappointing) fact about modern puffy paint – it’s not actually 3 dimensional! All the beautiful dimension totally flattened as it dried (and before you @ me, I will point out that I grew up during the Puffy Paint Renaissance and yes I know how to apply this shit properly), which is a little surprising considering that they say right on the bottle that it should be 3D. Alas.

Garfield Top

I let my masterpiece dry for a few days before moving onto step 2 (also, hello sparkly cat patch!). Step 2 was sewing it into a shirt, spoiler.

Garfield Top

Garfield Top

Yes, I used the pattern pieces to make the shirt! My copy of the pattern was already cut into a size Small, but after comparing the finished measurements to my own body measurements, I knew that it would fit me just fine. I added about 1/2″ to the side seams for some extra insurance/wiggle room, but ended up removing it when I tried the shirt on. I probably could have swung a little FBA to add more boob room to the front but tbh I’m not that concerned about it.

The fabric is a wonderful organic cotton jersey knit from Blackbird Fabrics (I used a light heathered grey colorway, which I’m not seeing on their website at this time). I was aiming for an “old and loved vintage tshirt” look, which I think this perfectly emcompasses. It was also relatively stable, which meant it was easy to paint on. I used my serger to sew everything together, and coverstitched the hems and sleeve and neck bands.

Garfield Top

The fabric paint instructions have you heat set the paint to keep it bright and intact, but since I was going for a vintage look I chose to skip that step. Look at the difference between the finished Garfield and the one I’m wearing – it faded quite a bit! All of the fading happened in the initial wash – I’ve worn and washed this piece plenty throughout the summer and it really hasn’t faded more than what you see here. And if you can’t tell from the photos – the paint dried to a nice flexible finish, so the image isn’t stiff at all. It feels pretty similar to a screen print.

Garfield Top

Garfield Top

These photos were also taken at Clutch Camera while teaching my second jeans workshop for Josephine’s Dry Goods while I was in Portland OR earlier this year! All weird poses are courtesy of me feeling awkward in front of the camera (I mean, that’s not new – but having an audience is).

We also had a fog machine available, so I’d like to introduce you to my band: LLADYBIRD and the Jeans Queens. Unfortunately I did not have time to make a proper pair of graphic shorts or a fanny pack, sorry.

Garfield Top

Anyway, this was a fun project that gave a nice breath of fresh air to the things I’m used to making. I feel like it focused more on the artistic/creative side of sewing (not that sewing is not creative, but I was literally painting a picture to make this piece), similar to the stuff I was into when I originally started making my own clothes. I used to dress real goofy, which is something I’ve lost over the years (prob because I’m not 16 anymore, who would have guessed?), and it has been fun trying to incorporate a little bit of that back into my sewing practice + wardrobe.

Updated: Sequin Cat Hoodie

13 Sep

Y’all remember that Stella Hoodie dress I made last year?

French Terry Stella Hoodie Dress

It was real cute for sure, but I think I literally wore it twice after completion. The fabric was a little too heavy to be comfortable as a summer garment (and I’m sorry, but a mini / sleeveless dress *is* a summer garment, fight me), and it was also real, real fucking short. Like, butt-cheeks-peeking-out-to-say-hello-whenever-I-lifted-my-arms short. And while I think it would make a good swimsuit cover-up, still, I’m gonna be real with y’all and point out that I go swimming about twice a year. There is no room in my life for a swimsuit cover-up.

So, overall, this garment was pretty useless. I thought it might work as a shirt, though, so I kept it around waiting on inspiration. After announcing the 2019 OAL, I went through my UFO drawer and decided to see if I could salvage the dress into something I might actually wear.

Sequin Cat Applique

Turns out all it needed was a little chop and some bling! And thank god I saved it, because this is seriously one of my favorite shirts now!

Sequin Cat Applique

Sequin Cat Applique

This was a really easy refashion. I removed the kangaroo pocket and tried on the dress to determine how long to make it, then cut about 2″ longer and used that as a hem allowance for a nice deep hem (I chose to make my hoodie cropped, as I’m really into the cropped shirt / high-waisted jeans look these days, but since the hem is so deep I can always un-crop it if I decide I want a longer shirt someday). I then stitched the hem with my coverstitch machine, same as the original dress hem. I was initially planning on sewing the pocket back on, so after hemming I tried the top on again to determine pocket placement, and that’s when this big ol’ blingy cat patch caught my eye…

Sequin Cat Applique

Isn’t this patch AMAZING?! I bought it at Hai Trim in NYC when I was there over Christmas. Honestly there are loads of cool patches in all the shops around the NYC Garment District, but I think Hai Trim has the best selection (and most are $12-$18, which I think is a pretty reasonable price). I bought it without any idea what I’d do with it, and have had it hanging on my wall in the months since. When I held it up to the shirt, I couldn’t stop smiling. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a perfect match.

Sequin Cat Applique

Sequin Cat Applique

I sewed it to shirt using Invisible thread, which is a thin nylon thread that kind of looks like a spiderweb. Usually when I do this sort of sewing, I just use regular sew-all thread – but I had recently read a Threads Magazine article that mentioned using clear thread to applique and I thought it sounded like a fun experiment to try. You load your bobbin with standard polyester thread, and use the clear thread in the top. Then you zigzag around all the edges, being careful to position the needle so that it lands inside and outside the edge of the applique with each zigzag. I would show you a close-up – but it’s literally invisible lol. So hopefully that makes sense! It is definitely more forgiving than using colorful thread, since you can’t see it at all – so if your zigzag strays off course at all, it can just be your secret.

However, the thread is really delicate and prone to breaking. I found that I got a better experience by loading my thread in a thread stand so that the thread comes from the top of the spool, instead of out the side (whenever I loaded sideways, it would eventually twist around the spool pin and break).

So far, this has held up fine in the wash! I turn the shirt inside-out and then wash/dry as normal (cold, regular cycle, etc). The threads did pop in one small section, but I think that was because a dog jumped on me lol. I just stitched it back down and it’s fine! All good!

Sequin Cat Applique

BTW if you’re wondering how the hell I got these BOMB-ASS PHOTOS (tbh the only reason this post is even warranted haha), we shot them in a professional photo studio in Portland, OR when I was up there earlier this year for a jeans workshop at Josephine’s Dry Goods! Since Josephine’s is such a small shop, we opted to move the workshop to this place so we’d have more space… and a great backdrop to take photos (which obviously I took full advantage of). I can’t take any credit for the quality of these photos as Bini’s husband set it all up- as well as let us use his equipment – but hey they are cool and I got some neat jumping shots!

Sequin Cat Applique

I really like my hair in this one 🙂

On a final note – I was creeping on Gucci recently and I was surprised to see this cat all over their F/W 19 collection, but specifically these sneakers

Gucci Cat

They call it “Mystic Cat” which I love but I think mine is better because it actually sparkles.

Sequin Cat Applique

Completed: Deer + Doe Myosotis Dress

26 Aug

Welp, I see that it has been 3 months since my last post haha! Honestly not trying to kill my own blog but it looks like I’m causing a slow death regardless.

ANYWAY

I have a new project! Yay! This is also 1/2 of my Outfit Along project – the sewing portion. The knitting portion is, unfortunately, still unfinished. More on that in a minute, I want to talk about the dress!

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

I actually started this dress back in 2018 – I was inspired by Fiona’s gorgeous white version and immediately wanted to make one for myself. I ordered the Myosotis Dress from Deer & Doe, and a lovely white rayon lawn from Mood Fabrics to make it up. I got as far as cutting the fabric pieces and then… just kind of gave up. I’m not sure what exactly caused the flame to burn out – but I stuck it in a drawer and left it alone for the winter. I definitely still had every intention to sew it – it survived a pre-move purge and was shuttled from one house to the next – but not really any current desire. I think I realized that the style + color weren’t really something I wanted to wear (looking at Fiona’s post again, I still think the dress is great but I also don’t know WHAT I was thinking when i decided to make it for myself as it is absolutely, definitely not something I would necessarily wear myself), but since I had already committed and cut the fabric I felt the best solution was to sew it up and at least then I could donate the dress to someone if I still didn’t like it.

So, that’s a long, boring-ass story about how the dress started. This year, when Andi and I planned the OAL, I immediately knew the Myosotis was going to be my sewing WIP. I got the pieces out, and had everything sewn up with a couple of days.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Now, the first rendition of the dress post-sewing looks completely different than the final version. I had a feeling that I was going to want to change the color, but I wanted to give the white version a fair fighting chance before I made that decision. As far as sewing – this was a simple, efficient make. I cut a size 36, with no pattern adjustments. I made version A, with aaaaall the ruffles, and added slim waist ties to pull in the waist a little bit (I can’t take credit for this inspiration, again, this was something I saw + liked on Fiona’s dress!). I sewed all the seams with a fine 70/10 needle and serged the seam allowances. Even though I was fairly certain I was going to dye the dress, I still chose to use white thread since I wasn’t sure what the final color would be. Since the thread is polyester, that meant it would not take the dye – meaning the topstitching would end up contrasting. I was aware of this going into the sewing, and just made sure to be extra careful that my topstitching was even and nice-looking.

One of the biggest complaints I read about this pattern is that people seem to really hate all the gathering. Y’all, I don’t know what kind of lazy sewers are out there but honestly it’s really not that bad and goes together really fast.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Once I finished the dress, I tried it on to confirm that the style was not going to work for me. Again, it’s a beautiful and romantic look – which isn’t how I like to dress. Furthermore, the fine, lightweight fabric was essentially see-through (as clearly seen on my dressform). I’m no stranger to dressing like an absolute hussy in the summer, but even this was a bit outside of my comfort level (and before you get at me with crazy suggestions like “adding a lining” or “wearing a slip,” let me remind you that summer here is very hot and I try to get away with wearing as few layers as possible, ha!).

Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

I knew I’d never wear the dress as it was, so I decided to experiment with dyeing it using coral Rit dye! I followed the instructions for doing this in the washing machine, using about 3/4 of the bottle and allowing it to agitate for about 50 minutes. The resulting color is VERY saturated – much more me! – and also takes the edge off the sheerness so that I can wear this dress without looking like I’m trying to win a wet t-shirt(dress?) contest. I should also report that I was dismayed to discover the dye turned my washing machine pink, despite running a couple of loads with bleach + old towels afterward (as instructed by the bottle). I own my washing machine, so it’s not a huge deal, but it was kinda lame regardless. That all being said, after a couple months of regular laundry, the washing machine is no longer pink whatsoever (I should also did – and did not transfer any dye to my other clothes). So it does eventually come out! Now, the dress itself – I have to wash it by itself as the dye still bleeds. I wash it in the sink using Soak rinseless wash (if you don’t already own this, do yourself a favor and invest. It’s marketed toward knitters but I use it for all my hand-washing, including lingerie, and it RULES) to prevent it from dyeing an entire load of laundry. My kitchen sink is stainless steel so I have not noticed any dye transfer by using this method.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Here is the dress after dyeing! It was almost good but I tried it on one last time and decided the sleeve ruffles had to go.

I cut them off, plus a few more inches so the sleeves would be cap-length. These were turned under and hemmed – using white thread, to match the rest of the topstitching.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

The finished dress is definitely much more my style! The saturated coral color is one of my favorites for summer, and loose, swishy shape is perfect for the extreme heat we are experiencing lately. I’m actually surprised at how much I enjoy wearing this dress – it’s still a slight departure from my usual style, but it is a fun little way to change things up.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

So that’s my finished sewn garment for the OAL – what about my knitted garment? Well. I had an Improv sweater waiting in WIP purgatory that I had all intentions of finishing for this OAL. I had started it about 3-4 years ago (back when I lived in an apartment in West Nashville)(ooh and here I am back in West Nashville IN MY OWN HOUSE look at how things go full circle yay), got about halfway down the body and decided I didn’t like how loose the fit was. Rather than unknit, I just left it in my knitting basket. Upon rediscovering for the OAL, I tried it on again and was fine with the sizing so decided to finish that.

Unfortunately, since this sweater has been out of my queue for so long, I seem to have lost all the notes I made with the math for sizing. I was able to finish the body, but the sleeves are a little slower going as I had to work out the equations for decreasing, and also try the sweater on frequently to make sure things aren’t going haywire. It is working out fine and I will certainly finish it – it’s just slow-going. At this point, the sweater is too bulky to comfortably carry around outside the house (and again, there’s that whole issue of trying it on as I’m knitting), which means it doesn’t go with me when I travel – which is frequently! AND, in the meantime, another WIP that I started right before the OAL had a major error that required a lot of unknitting so I’ve been focusing on that. So, I didn’t finish my knitted sweater – but I plan to in time for sweater season! Which to me encompasses the general spirit of the OAL that I was aiming for!

I think that’s all for this make! Lord, I don’t know how I manage to take a simple dress and turn it into a giant blog post of verbal diarrhea. If you’re wondering, I’m like this IRL too when people try to talk to me. What can I say, I’m from the South haha. Mindless chatter is our love language.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

** Note: The fabrics + RIT dye used in this post were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewciety Blog (oh yeah, MSN moved!). All opinions are my own!And extra big thanks to my friend Jennifer for being a real pal and taking these photos for me when I was in Brooklyn last month for recent Jeans Making Intensive class at Workroom Social! Which, btw – 2020 for WS dates are listed! Yay! More dates to come as a I finalize them!

Completed: Bathroom Update + New Shower Curtain!

22 May

WHAT UP FOLKS it’s time for my yearly home decor sewing post 😛

Bathroom Update!

I actually don’t mind this sort of sewing – it’s certainly not something that I would do for income (past Lauren has been there, done that. Ooh, fun fact – I sewed curtains for this guy’s house once for a feature in Better Homes & Gardens lol y’all I can’t make this shit up), but it’s a fun sort of puzzle that requires some mental energy upfront (good) with lots of mindless making once you’ve passed that peak (even better). And, while it’s definitely not cheaper than buying something from Target, it is definitely the least expensive way to have custom soft goods in your home. There is a reason why this shit costs so much to have made – it’s a lot of work!

Anyway, I’ll get back to the whole point of this post! My updated bathroom! Let’s start with a series of before photos:

Bathroom Update - the before

Bathroom Update - the before

Bathroom Update - the before

This pretty close to how the bathroom looked when I first moved into my house. By the time this photo was taken, I had already made a few changes – for once, I changed out the mirror (the original one was just some cheap $25 mirror with a black frame that I’m sure the sellers slapped in at the last minute). I also added a curved shower rod and some hooks to hang towels and toilet paper. Those updates were fine for while I was still unpacking and setting up, but now that the house is in a “normal” state I am ready to really get started on the fun updates!

The main thing I wanted to do was repaint the room. The sellers had everything painted this same shade of gray, I guess to help sell the house to make it look a little more modern and trendy. They also painted all the doors, and some of the window frames, black. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a reasonably inoffensive gray, and I totally get if that’s your thing. More power to you, etc. But, gray is NOT my thing, and now that I can I’m gonna paint every fucking room in this house. It’s been a slow process (I currently have the kitchen & studio changed to white, plus now this room), mostly delayed due to paint color debates. The idea for this coral came pretty quickly, and once I’d decided on the color I got to go on the adventure of finding the right decor items to finish out the space. At some point I’d love to change the flooring to something less grey – however, that laminate is brand-new and I don’t see a point in ripping up a perfectly functional floor so the grey floor stays for now.

Bathroom Update!

Bathroom Update!

The paint color is “Simply Coral” by Behr (edit: Update, the paint is actually by Valspar. I don’t know why I said Behr!) (I know, riveting name choice there). I painted this on a Saturday afternoon, leaving it overnight to do the 3rd coat first thing in the morning. Yes, 3 coats! Despite this gray being fairly light, it did take a bit of effort to get full coverage! Which wasn’t too bad, due to the wainscotting and shower liner taking up most of the wallspace in this tiny room. Also, I feel like it’s worth noting that I actually took some extra effort with this project, including taping off the edges (I am actually really good at edging with an angled brush, but there were so many tight angles in this room that it made sense to take the extra time to tape everything off. Just so we are clear, I still managed to get paint on the ceiling and door trim haha), waiting for the paint to properly dry between coats, and actually doing that third coat (even though 2 would have been “good enough.”). Since I know I’m going to be in this house for an indefinite amount of time – and any poorly done projects will eventually need to be fixed by, well, ME – I really want to do things right!

Bathroom Update!

Anyway, sorry to go on so long about painting! There is a sewing purpose to this post, I swear! Because I made the shower curtain! I actually was not planning on doing this – I am perfectly happy to pay someone else (i.e., a manufacturer) to do my home decor sewing so that I don’t have to. However, I had a specific vision in mind that was apparently impossible to fill! Everything I found was either the wrong colors, bad proportions (I didn’t want leaves that were, like, 5′ long haha) or just didn’t look quite right. The few that I did find that were passable were either 1. Printed directly on plastic, which imho just looks really cheap and was not the look I was necessarily going for! or; 2. Quite expensive (more than twice what I was willing to pay), but not necessarily good enough to warrant the splurge. I am happy to pay extra if I’m getting exactly what I want, but in this case I was not. After a couple weeks of looking, I came to terms with the fact that I’d probably have to sew my own and took a look at some of the home decor offerings on Mood Fabrics. And – lo and behold – my perfect fabric was waiting for me! This tropical home decor print ticked off all the right boxes – medium weight with a nice hanging drape, a beautiful texture that adds some visual interest, and a print with the right colors, proportions, and randomness. This fabric actually comes in a few colors, but I chose the dark green because I thought it would look best with my coral.

Bathroom Update!

Bathroom Update!

I bought 3.5 yards, which put me right at my limit for my monthly allowance. This amount was sufficient, however, a full 4 yards would have been perfect in retrospect. Due to minor fabric limitations, I didn’t have *quite* enough to get the full length that I wanted (more on that in a minute), but I am still pretty happy with the end result!

Before I started sewing, I had to do some basic math so I’d know what dimensions to cut everything to. Funny, this actually isn’t the first shower curtain I’ve ever made – I recall sewing a black one about 10 years ago for a bathroom redo (actually, I’m pretty sure that’s around the same that I bought these curtain hooks HAHA)– but it has definitely been a looong time time I have embarked on this endeavor, and furthermore, I’m definitely a better seamstress now than I was back then!

Bathroom Update!

To start, I measured my current shower curtain and wrote those numbers down (68″ wide by 71.5″ long, which I think is pretty standard). I then added in seam allowances, which gave me cutting dimensions of 69.5″ wide and 75.5″ long. My fabric is only 55″ wide, which meant I did not have quite enough for the full width. And, while 3.5 yards sound like an ass load of fabric – when you cut it in half lengthwise, you only end up with 63″ in length and you will recall that I needed nearly 10″ more than that for my length. Hence why getting the full 4 yards – or even a little more than that – would have been more sufficient. Oh well! I knew going into this that I would need to piece my fabric, but upon receiving the whole piece I realized that the scattered and random print would not lend itself well to matching, which meant a seam right down the middle of the curtain would look pretty shitty. So instead, I pieced along either side of the curtain, adding side panels that were approximately 7.25″ wide. Having them on either side makes them look intentional, I think, and doesn’t make the unmatched design look as jarring. I sewed these on with flat-felled seams, which, again, I think makes it look a bit more intentional.

To preserve as much length as possible, I used leftover fabric (after piecing the sides) to add facings to the top and bottom of the curtain. By using a 1/4″ seam allowance, I only lost about 1/2″ in total which keeps the curtain from being too short. With the hem being 1″ and the top taking about 3″ of fabric (as it is turned the full amount twice), I was able to save quite a bit of length by doing this! I think adding a trim to the bottom – such as a pom pom trim or even a fringe! – would look really cute as well as add some length, but I haven’t found anything I like yet so, current length certainly works for now 🙂

Anyway, once I had my dimensions figured out and my plan written down, the sewing part was very easy and relatively mindless! I pressed all my edges and topstitched with matching thread, added my facings and understitched and topstitched, then sewed the button holes along the top edge for the curtain hooks. I used my old curtain to help me get the spacing right, and then sat and waited while my machine sewed 12 buttonholes. LOL. Interestingly, I did not use interfacing for this part. The original curtain does not use it, so I decided to go with their lead. Since the fabric at the top is turned twice, there are plenty of layers behind the buttonhole for stability. And since I am not using the buttonhole very frequently, there’s not a lot of wear happening up there so I think the uninterfaced part is fine. Time will tell!

All in all, I spent about 3 hours on this project. That included all the measuring, cutting, and sewing. Obviously with the cost of the fabric, this was not a money-saving project – but it could be, if you used less expensive fabric. For me, it was a way to get exactly what I wanted and I could not be more thrilled with the outcome. I especially loved figuring out ways to solve the puzzle of getting this to work with the amount of fabric that I had.

Bathroom Update!

Bathroom Update!

Oh! One last update I did – I added some color to the mirror. I’ve actually had that mirror for many years (I bought in my early 20s, from a thrift store for a solid $24.99), and it’s changed colors a few times as well as moved from room to room. It’s also gone through a few repairs, but it still hanging out strong! Like I mentioned, the original mirror in this bathroom was really boring and uninspiring, but as soon as I saw it I knew I could replace it with something more fun! I wasn’t terribly thrilled with how the plain creamy white frame looked in the bathroom, so for fun I used my coral paint to color in the flowers. It’s a very slight update but I really love the way it looks!

Bathroom Update!

This was a really fun project to work on, and surprisingly not too expensive when all was said and done! Here’s a cost breakdown of all my updates:
– Paint: $36 – I only needed about 1/2 a gallon (Lowes)
– Shower curtain: c/o Mood Fabrics (price would have been $104.95 without my allowance, though!)
– New bath rug: $24.99 (Walmart)
– Towels: Approximately $100~ (Target) (I don’t have an accurate amount since I bought them in phases, so this is just an estimate. Also, new towels definitely aren’t necessary but I have been wanting to replace mine for a while so I used this as an excuse! Buying towels specifically to match my bathroom sure feels grown-up lol)
– Wicker Shelf: $8 (Nashville Flea Market) (fun story: I offered the guy $10 for this shelf and he haggled me DOWN to $8! What!!)
Plants: The one on the windowsill was a cutting from my mom, in a vase that I got from a wedding. So, free! The one on the shelf was $9 from Lowes.
Make-up Mirror: $4.99 (Ikea)
Towel hooks (silver): $.499 (Ikea)
Hand towel hook (lemon): $1 (Nashville Flea Market)
Window Privacy film: $13 (Amazon)
Monstera Leaf Painting: Painted by me! Eventually I’d like to build a simple frame and hang it on the wall.
I also changed out the light fixture globes, although I don’t have a before photo of what used to be there! (I tried to find a photo and Google is failing me… imagine a shallow glass shade. Believe me when I say it looked terrible.) These came from Habitat for Humanity and were $6 for both. Eventually I’d like to replace these with something that looks like flowers, but they are good enough for now!

Bathroom Update!

ANYWAY I guess that about wraps this post up! I am really happy with how the bathroom turned out – it brings me joy just to be in there now! And as an added bonus, coral is a SUPER flattering color for me, so I basically am always feeling my look when I’m getting ready in the morning haha.

I’m not sure what room I want to work on next, but I’m excited regardless – I feel like this house is one big neverending art project, and I am here for it!

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

Announcing the 2019 Outfit Along!

15 May

Well, friends, it’s that time of the year again: The Outfit Along: WIP Cleanout, hosted by myself and Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots!

This year, we are shaking things up a little bit and focusing on those works-in-progress languishing in your sewing space. You know the ones I’m talking about – everything has been planned and purchased, and perhaps you even started (or nearly finished!) the project, but *something* has caused it to be doomed to the UFO (unfinished-object) bin. Well, this year, let’s do something about that!

OAL 2014: Completed Simplicity 1803 + Myrna Cardigan

After 5 years of Outfit Alongs, it is likely that some of us have projects we haven’t finished (including me, and I’m a host! Hey, shit happens y’all. Don’t judge me). This year is a great opportunity to pull those out and give them the attention they’ve been waiting for.

As with every OAL theme, the only requirements are to knit a piece and to sew a piece. Either one (or both!) should be a WIP – other than that, the rules are quite lax! Your WIP can be any that you have, whether it was for a previous OAL or something that’s been languishing in your stash for a different reason. Did you plan your project and just stall at the cutting or swatching stage? Did you reach a point the instructions that left you stuck and frustrated? Were you nearly finished and realized there is a major fitting problem that you didn’t have the energy to address? Did you just get bored and burnt out? This year, we want you to dig deep and bust that stash, so we are getting veeeery flexible with our definition of WIP! So pull those bad boys out of purgatory and let’s get them finished so we can clear the space for other fun things!

OAL2015 - M6887

OAL2015 - Vianne

In addition, all previous OAL knitting patterns (including Myrna, Vianne, Zinone, Anaheim, and Waters) are 20% off through June 1st using the coupon code OAL2019 on Untangling Knots or Ravelry.

We will kick off on June 1st and run through July 31st as our official parameters. Participants will need to have one sewn and one knit garment (either one or both being a WIP) that work together to form an outfit, and will need to post their finished outfit on the Finished OAL 2019 Outfits thread in the Untangling Knots group on Ravelry to be eligible for prizes. We will have 3 randomly selected winners this year, each receiving 3 Untangling Knots patterns of their choice as well as a $25 gift certificate to Indie Sew. Winners will be announced on the Finished Outfits Thread on Ravelry as well as the Untangling Knots instagram!

OAL 2014: Completed Simplicity 1803 + Myrna Cardigan

Join the conversation in the Untangling Knots group on Ravelry, or you can use the hashtag #OutfitAlong2019 if you’re more into the ‘gram these days! Both Andi & myself will be posting our progress + tips on our blogs and Instagrams – you can follow me @LLADYBIRD and Andi @Untangling.Knots.

For more info, as well as some frequently asked questions, be sure to check out Andi’s announcement post on her blog.OAL2016: Hollyburn Skirt

OAL2016: Zinone Sweater

Even if you are not officially participating, I HIGHLY encourage you to use this opportunity to clear up the ol’ WIP drawer along with us this summer! This is a great excuse to dig out those old makes that have been languishing and taking up room in your subconscious (ok I’m sorry to sound a little woo-woo but SERIOUSLY I do think they take up mental energy even if we aren’t aware of it!), and give them the finish they deserve!

OAL2017 Anaheim Sweater

So!! Who will be joining in this year? 🙂

Completed: Cherry Print Knit Boylston Bra

4 Apr

What’s up everyone! I’m bringing it back a little old school today with a lingerie project – yes! I haven’t shared one of these in ages, since I feel like they can get a little redundant to talk about (I mean for me specifically, as the writer. How many times can you discuss the same pattern repeatedly before you get bored as hell? Yeahhh I’m not doing that!). But this project in particular is a little different and I think warrants its own blog discussion. So here we are!

Also, side note – I’m in the airport lounge as I write this and despite trying to find a sneaky little place where no one could see behind me, I think I failed and undoubtedly there is someone who is watching me upload photos of my underwear to the internet. So, there’s that too.

Boylston Bra made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

Anyway, about the bra in question! This is the Boylston pattern from Orange Lingerie. I’ve made this pattern a few times in the past, but it has admittedly been a minute since I whipped one up. My cup size has changed in the past couple of years, and while I wasn’t entirely sure what the new size was, I knew it wasn’t whatever I had been previously sewing. This is a balconette-style pattern, but it was, um, VERY balconette on me haha. I know one of the biggest hesitations that people have with starting to sew lingerie is the understanding that your first project(s) may not fit! And while I totally believe that it’s not an absolute waste if you were able to learn from the process, it still really sucks to make something that doesn’t fit the way you intended! This is where I stood with Boylston (and honestly, most bra patterns) until I finally sucked it up and just tried out a cup size bigger to see what would happen. And guess what?? EVERYTHING WAS FINE.

Boylston Bra made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

Boylston Bra made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

Boylston Bra made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

So that’s where this bra comes into play! I made the size 30DD, which is exactly the right amount of cup coverage (finally!). For fabric, this bra is made with… wait for it… jersey knit! Yes! Ever since this pattern was released, I have been DYING to try it in a jersey, which I believe was originally suggested by Norma in the big reveal. Since this pattern relies on foam cups, you can use pretty much any fabric as that area is already stabilized. I fell in love with the idea, but honestly, it took me almost this long to find a fabric that I felt deserved to be made into a bra.

My jersey knit is from Mood Fabrics and it was one of those last-minute purchases that grabbed my attention when I was filling up my cart and I just couldn’t say no. Y’all know I love a good cherry print – however, I don’t wear light blue. But it was on saleeee and it was cherriessss and I just… well it arrived at my house and I had to do something with it. This print was a great contender for turning into a bra as it is reasonably stable (not super flimsy and lightweight, like the knits I like to wear as garments) and the print is small so it’s not totally cut up by the pattern pieces. This specific fabric is unfortunately sold out, but Mood Fabrics has tons of other fun prints available on their website. The Cotton Jersey Prints specifically is the line that I pulled this one from, FYI!

Boylston Bra made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

After I pre-washed my fabric, I cut a small yardage off and block fused the entire thing with lightweight fusible weft interfacing. I wanted the knit fabric to be stable so that it would be easy to handle, and also work for a bra pattern (this pattern does not call for stretch fabrics, except at the very back band, so you want to stabilize your fabric in order for the garment to fit properly). Once the fabric was fused, I then cut all my pieces except for the back band (which, again, needs to remain stretchy). I also cut the cups out of foam, the bridge and frame pieces with sheer cup lining, and the back band pieces with medium weight powermesh. I like my bras to be lined (hence the sheer cup lining) and the powermesh was needed to keep the uninterfaced knit back pieces from stretching out over time.

Boylston Bra made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

Once all that was cut, this project sat in a WIP box for about a month. Ha! (not for lack of wanting to sew – but for traveling + moving house!) But once I was back in Sew Mode, this came together in a couple of hours! I raided my stash for notions and was pretty pleased with how well everything matches! I’m actually trying not to stash lingerie notions anymore (it can be really obnoxious to have everything you need for a project except some weird width of elastic in a particular color, or whatever) and in the future will just buy on a per-project basis. But in the meantime – I need to work through my stash. Other than the cherry fabric, this was 100% a stash-busting project! Yeah!

One question I get pretty frequently whenever I post a lingerie project is whether the pattern (whatever pattern I’m sewing) is good for a first-time bra sewer. While I do generally recommend Orange Lingerie as a good resource for first bra patterns (my first bra was a Marlborough!), I honestly would not recommend the Boylston for your *very* first. Making and inserting the foam cups can be a little confusing, and if you’re already embarking on a new adventure in lingerie then you probably don’t want to add any more stress than necessary! Once you’ve sewn up a bra or two and understand the general idea of how they are put together, though, I think this is a great next project!

After I finished the bra, I had enough fabric left over to make some matching undies!

Acacia Undies made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

I used the knit fabric (uninterfaced, to retain the stretch), and finished the edges with red fold over elastic. The pattern is the Acacia Underwear from Megan Nielsen patterns. These were super fast to sew and look really cute with my new bra!

Boylston Bra made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

Boylston Bra made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

I actually have tons of this fabric leftover (I think I bought 2 yards and lingerie sewing just barely sips on fabric yardage), so I may make some matching knit PJs. It’s a little too thick for what I like to wear as a tshirt, and the color isn’t something I’d reach for in the every day – but who knows, maybe wearing this set will change my mind 😉

Boylston Bra made with Cherry Cotton Knit from Mood Fabrics

Anyway, I think I’ve waxed poetic enough about this pattern *and* I’m pretty sure they just swapped out breakfast for lunch at the buffet which I desperately need to investigate so consider this blog post officially done!

Have you tried this pattern before in a knit fabric?

** 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!