Tag Archives: swap

Completed: Another Alma Blouse

28 Sep

I’m still wearing those damn Thurlow jeans, btw. SORRY FOR NOT BEING SORRY.

But, hey, look, new blouse!

Alma blouse

This blouse is extra-special to me because the fabric actually came from Liz – can you believe she dumped this in the swap pile!? I certainly couldn’t! I snatched it up with visions of an Alma floating in my head. I almost felt like I needed to save the fabric for something more, I dunno, substantial – like a dress. But I’m pretty happy with the end result & I think it will get a lot more wear in it’s blouse-form. So there!

Alma blouse
This fabric is pretty amazing, at any rate. It’s actually a double fabric (I’m guessing double-gauze? Maybe? Help me out here.), fused together. Which mean it’s super warm and actually kind of heavy when sewn up into a blouse. Almost like a lil’ non-knit sweater! So obviously, long sleeves were in order. And a peter pan collar because, c’mon.

Alma blouse
I knew I wanted the collar & cuffs to contrast (although I love the look of a solid print on everything, I think this fabric was just a little too much!), but I couldn’t find a suitable match in my stash and I REALLY didn’t want to tromp back to the fabric store after spending so much at Vogue while I was in Chicago. Then I had a no-shit-Sherlock moment when I realized I could just flip the fabric over for the perfect orangy contrast! That’s right – all the orange accents you see here are actually the wrong side of the fabric. I’m so brilliant, durrp.

Alma blouse
There is totally an invisible zipper right in that side seam. Oh, you can’t see it? Neither can I!

Alma blouse
I just think this pattern is drafted so beautifully. The collar pieces include separate under collar pieces, so there is no fug seam ruining my beautiful collar line.

Alma blouse
Really sorry these pictures are so cruddy, by the way. It’s overcast today and I guess my camera is on strike or some shit.

Alma blouse
Since this fabric is so thick, I separated the two pieces for the collar & facing, then interfaced the single layers.

Alma blouse
I actually ran out of interfacing while I was cutting out the pattern, and rather than wait for more to arrive in the post, I kept the cuffs at their double-layer status & just sewed as normal without interfacing. I’m not sure if I’m totally thrilled with the end result, they don’t exactly sit right. Oh well – they have leaf buttons! LEAVES, you guys!

Alma blouse
The fit on this guy is a little different than my previous Alma blouse – I wanted it to be a little more loose-fitting, like a cozy sweater. I did have to shorten the sleeves about an inch, and take about 1/4″ out of the sleeve seams.

Alma blouse
I love the little leaf buttons, as impractical as they are.

Alma blouse

Alma blouse
Thought I’d have a little fun with the different fabrics – surprise undercollar!

Alma blouse
The inside of the shirt is actually quite orange, just the facing matches the outside fabric 🙂 Since this is a double-layer, I was able to catch-stitch the facing down so it doesn’t pop out.

Alma blouse
And here is proof that there actually is an invisible zipper in that side seam. Haha! I’m quite proud of this zipper insertion – it’s a metal invisible zipper, which is probably one of the most wtf sewing notions ever. Seriously, these things suck! They don’t fit in my invisible zipper foot, so I have to use a regular zipper foot & push the needle waaaay over. The teeth don’t press down, so sewing it in is a matter of pushing the teeth down with your fingers & praying that the needle doesn’t sew through something it shouldn’t. And apparently there’s a really fine line between “invisible” and “this shit won’t zip up.” I bought these stupid things at the flea market, and I can’t say I’m surprised that they don’t appear to be manufactured anymore.

The end result is pretty good, though, and yes I’m tootin’ my own horn 😉 Deal with it.

Alma blouse

More Swap Bragging

12 Jul

I KNOW, it’s totally not polite to rub this in everyone’s face… but I have been the lucky recipient of not one, but TWO boxes full of goodies, from two of my favorite bloggers. It’s like my birthday all over again, y’all! Happy day!

The first box was from Sonja of Ginger Makes. We were matched up via Kestrel’s Summer Sewing Swap. Sonja sent her box FAST – I’ve been holding onto it for a few weeks now! I wouldn’t let myself post the contents (or use any of the stuff she sent me) until I sent her box, hence my delay. Anyway, I finally shipped hers yesterday – keep an eye on your mail, lady! – so now I can share my spoils. Whee!

The whole box!
Here’s the whole stack! We were limited to 5 items max (it was really hard to narrow everything down on my end. I wanted to cheat so bad haha).

I just LOVE the fabrics! Sonja also threw in some boning tips (at my request; they are cheap but very expensive to ship for some reason, blerrgh) and a generous length of fuzzy leopard print seam binding. And LOOK AT THAT PATTERN. I was dying that I couldn’t immediately start sewing it up!

Advance 8295

Next project
I, *ahem*, already picked out the contrasting fabric for the neckline/ties – a lovely blue linen blend. Yellow isn’t a terribly great color on me, but putting a bit of blue around my face will solve that!

Colorful Fabric
This colorful fabric is the bomb, dude. I kind of want to make it into a shirtwaist.

The second box came from Oona of oonaballonna. This wasn’t the result of any organized swap – she expressed love for those crazy zippers I bought at the flea market a couple of weeks ago, and I offered to send her one. She sent me a whole mess of awesome shit! Wheee! Don’t worry – her return box has more than one zipper 🙂

The whole pile
Here’s all of it! Not shown: the neat ziploc bag with a mustache printed on it, trolol

The crazy bright zig zag print was the first thing to catch my eye. At first, I assumed it was fabric. Awesome, awesome fabric.

Crazy awesome skirt
Nope, it’s an awesome awesome skirt!
Dude, it’s pretty much neon in real life haha YES!

And it fits!
So you know what this means… we are clearly the same size, at least on the bottom half. I guess it’s a good thing that we don’t live in the same city, because I would totally steal everything skirt-like out of her wardrobe haha

I made a whole outfit for it, because I got all excited.

My new shoes
ALSO can we talk about my shoes? They weren’t part of the swap, but they are pretty sweet! I got them for $37, marked down from $150!

Ok, back to the swap…

Skirt - pocket & piping
More skirt detail – here’s the piping & pockets.

Skirt - pretty zipper!
The pink zipper (you can also see my nails – they look like an early 90s beach condo, no?)

Skirt - crazy stitching at waistband
And the crazy stitching all over the waistband (and hem, for that matter).

There was also fabric – 2 yards of each
Teal/White floral fabric

White/Black/Blue floral fabric


Tiny Car for Landon :)
And a gift for Landon, haha 🙂

I am pretty excited about my new stashies! I’ve already got some ideas rolling around my head haha 🙂 If you have any suggestions for the fabrics (other than the yellow – fancy sundress, you can’t talk me out of it!), let’s hear ’em!

Thanks again to Sonja and Oona for your boxes of awesome! Keep a look out for your packages from me 🙂

My Blogger Swap with Casey

11 May

For the past couple of months, Casey & myself have been in cahoots with a swap we were planning. It started with me offering her my copy of Simplicity 5148 (which – can we just agree that this particular style would look darling on her? Yes? Yes.), and we decided to just take advantage of the opportunity & fill each other a little box of goodies that we swapped out over the weekend. Casey actually had a birthday on Friday, and mine is a little less than 2 weeks away – so the timing was pretty perfect!

I almost feel bad posting this because the entire package was full of the most AWESOME stuff, and it’s just going to make everyone else jealous aha. So sorry, y’all!

Here is the whole pile in all it’s glory:
The whole shebang!
Right?! Are you salivating yet? I swear, every single thing I lifted out of that box made me shriek with delight.

White slip
Here is a pristine white slip, with beautiful scalloped edging. I really love that this slip is white, and not that horrid pink that is suspiciously close to my skin color (like all my other slips).

Linen tea towel
This gorgeous linen tea towel – which, if you’re wondering, looks great in my coral kitchen 🙂

Acetate fabric
A generous length of fabric – it’s labeled Acetate, and even though it’s very clearly a lining I’m still tempted to sew it up into a circle skirt. Would that be painfully obvious?

Simplicity 4604
Simplicity 4604, a simple – but perfect – sheath dress

Simplicity 8497
Simplicity 8497 – this 60s style dress is one of my favorites (I have 2 vintage dresses just like the long one, although the fabric is quite a bit less formal). I know I’d never wear that brocade full-length one, but I am seriously tempted to sew it up anyway.

Simplicity 8496
Simplicity 8496 – I’m imagining this in a soft wool for fall. I think it’s so sweet!

There were also books in my box…
How To Make Belts & Hems book
How To Make Belts & Hems by Simplicity. UH HUH, my belt-making is sorely lacking so this is a great blessing to appear in my home!

Home Sewing Is Easy book
Home Sewing is Easy – ahaha, this book is so awesome & unintentionally funny. The woman on the cover looks like she’s about to eat her young, and the book is actually written out like a comic book. I love it! Casey – where the hell did you find this, btw??

Creepy lady
See what I mean? She’s totally about to eat a baby.

Home Sewing Is Easy

Home Sewing Is Easy

Home Sewing Is Easy
(on second thought, maybe she’s just planning on eating that other woman instead)

Home Sewing Is Easy

Complete Book of Sewing
There was also the Complete Book of Sewing (the hardcover book at the bottom of the stack). I actually collect sewing how-to books – I know, it’s totally dorky, and I have at least a dozen lol. All mine are from the 60s-80s, though. This one has a copyright from the early 40s and the illustrations are gorgeous.


Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing
(she is beautiful, but what I’m really eyeballing is that scalloped collar. Uh-mazing!)

And what sewing goody box would be complete without a few notions?
Lace trim, red buttons, and pretty buckle. I think the buckle *may* be Bakelite – it smells like formaldehyde, anyway 🙂

Oh, and knitting supplies!
Knitting needles & stitch markers
Those little sheep are STITCH MARKERS. That’s actually what killed me in the end. When I realized what they were (at first I was just a little confused but I still thought they were cute!), I actually yelled & the cat practically fell off my sewing table in surprise hahahaha. These are seriously the cutest things I’ve ever seen. And there are actually 6 of them, but you see 4 because 2 of them are already stuck on a knitting project 🙂

Sheep stitch markers
I can’t even tell you how much it delights me to reach a stitch marker and then remember that it’s a SHEEP.

Ok, I think that’s it! I hope I didn’t forget anything – as soon as I unpacked the box it ended up strewn all over the house because I was carrying everything around like a mama kangaroo carries around her young… I forgot to take pictures! Oops! At any rate, I can’t even express in proper words how much I love love love everything that was in my little box – best birthday present ever! If Casey enjoys her box even half as much as I love mine, I will consider this a splendid success 🙂

Thank you, Casey, for organizing this swap with me! Everyone else, I hope this inspires you to reach out & maybe have a mini-swap with someone else – it is so much fun to plan & collect everything, and get an awesome surprise on the receiving end!

If you want to lurk the box that I sent to Casey, she has written a post about it here!