Tag Archives: wardrobe basics

Fall/Winter 2015 Sewing Plans

18 Sep

Well, I don’t know about where y’all are, but down here the temperatures have slooowly started dropping at night, which means I can finally start planning my fall/winter sewing without feeling like a total lunatic. I love this time of year – the change in seasons is a nice shift from the blistering heat (I feel the same way once spring rolls around, too, for opposite reasons. Change is good!), and, man, I love winter clothes. I love sewing winter clothes! Yay for wooly long sleeves and cozy necklines!

I don’t have a lot in the plans for this season – I want to focus on basic pieces that can be mixed and matched. I like the idea of having a more minimalistic approach to the way I dress – I already do this when I travel, and I’m working on dragging it into my every day life. I recently realized that I don’t really care if people see me wearing the same thing two days in a row. If it bothers then, that’s their problem, not mine. I want to spend my sewing time working on fitting and fine finishes and enjoying the entire process – not rushing to get to the next project. If that means making less as a whole, fine with me!


sway dress
Papercut Patterns Sway Dress

Ah! I made this fun tent dress in a summery linen, but I really would love to make a winter version as well. I have a really nice black boiled wool that I think would suit the pattern nicely. It would be so cozy with black tights and a long sleeved turtleneck.

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

Kitschy Coo Lady Skater dress

I make this dress every year, and there’s a good reason why – it’s an awesome dress! The scooped neckline with long sleeves and slightly flared skirt is basically my perfect dress. And it’s made for knit fabrics, so it’s super comfy as well. I have a rad star knit from Lillestoff (which I can’t seem to find on the website now, wah) that I want to use for those one. And maybe make another with a cowl neck (like my ikat print Lady Skater from last year). The green one above is made with an emerald wool knit, which is pretty awesome too. Lady Skaters rock!!


guise pants
Papercut Patterns Guise Pants

MAN. Ever since this collection was released, I knew I needed me some of these pants. My friend Carla gave me the pattern as an early birthday gift, so now I have no excuse! I’ve spent most of the summer looking for the perfect black flanneled twill to make these out of, and I think I’ve found it. Cozy black pants will be mineeee!

Ginger Jeans

Closet Case Files Ginger skinny jeans

I can always use more jeans in my wardrobe! The Ginger jeans that I made last year are still going strong and wearing well, but it would be nice to have a few more pairs. I bought one of the denim kits waaaay back when at the beginning of the year, so I am really excited to use that stuff for my next pair!

style 1559 Style 1559

Fuck yeah, there needs to be a 70s-style skirt in my wardrobe! Wouldn’t this be great in denim, with jeans topstitching and cut to a mini length? Wellllll, spoiler alert… I’ve actually already finished the skirt as of this writing (lolz), but it’s part of my ~fall plans~ so I’m including it here anyway dammit πŸ˜›


Seriously, though - how cute are the illustrations on these @vvvesta patterns?? πŸ˜βœ‚οΈπŸ˜

Vesta Patterns Grail Tshirt

I always need more long sleeve tshirts! Really excited to try the Grail pattern – this one is drafted based on 3 different body shapes. I have a couple patterns to play with, and I promise to report back once I’ve made them up! Could be a nice staple for winter. And, as always, I have more Renfrews (especially the cowl neck!) and Plantains planned as well. Can’t ever have too many tshirts!

Geneva Raglan

Named Clothing Geneva Raglan Tee

I also want to make some raglans – specifically, the Geneva looks pretty neat! The raglan seam is a bit different than what you typically see on a raglan – I have a similar vintage tshirt that I really like the fit of, so I’m hoping I can knock it off with this. For fabric, I got a bunch of swatches of the awesome merino wools from The Fabric Store – just have to narrow down my selection to something budget-friendly! Those things add up fast! haha!


waver jacket Papercut Patterns Waver Jacket
I have SLOWLY been building up the supplies for this one! I ordered my coating a few months ago – this Dark Navy Aztec Print from Mood Fabrics, plus a matching navy silk charmeuse lining. And, of course, faux fur for the hood because yesssss. I am really excited about this little jacket! I think it’s gonna turn out really cool πŸ™‚

STACIE-JACKET StyleArc Stacie Jean Jacket

I’ve been meaning to replace my sad old Gap jean jacket for YEARS now, but it’s been really hard to find one that I like (or a sewing pattern for one!). I just discovered this pattern, and it’s almost like this shit was made for me. Such a nice design, and all the finished versions I’ve lurked look super legit. This one is probably going to take some extra finesse for me to work through, as the instructions are pretty freaking sparse, but I think I can manage it if I make up a muslin first. For my final jacket, I have a nice piece of denim from Imogene + Willie that I’m hoping I have enough of.

oslo cardigan
Colette Patterns Oslo cardigan

Is this considered a Colette Pattern or a Seamwork Pattern? Either way – cardi! Yay!! I have a couple of fabrics I’d like to make this in – a soft grey/black slubbed double cloth and a cozy mushroom wool sweater knit (purchased from Mood Fabrics, but I can’t find it on their site now!). Perfect for lounging on the couch, or running outside to chase the pig.


carolyn pajamas

Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamas

Oh yes – more pajamas! I love my linen pair, so of course I need a flannel pair for winter. My mom always buys me flannel pajamas for Christmas, but they never really fit quite right (the crotch is always way too low, or the legs are too long, or something else is wrong). So I’d rather make my own! I haven’t found a good source for cotton flannel fabric – any suggestions? Looking for something that isn’t super cutesy and preferably around $18/yard or less.


Tilly & the Buttons Fifi Camisole

A silk cami seems kind of silly for winter, but hear me out on this one! I always wear tanks under my sweaters – one, so I can strip down layers if I get too hot; and two, because it’s easier to wash a tank rather than a whole sweater. Rather than run to Target and buy some flimsy little knit tanks, though, I’d love to make some slinky bias-cut silk Fifis. Ooh la la!



Graphite Sweater

This is kind of cheating, since I started this sweater at the beginning of the year (yeesh!). It went into UFO status for a few months, but I’m ready to finish it up and get to wearing it! Just need to knit the sleeves and the neck binding, and it will be done!

down east

DownEast Sweater

Then onto a big, squishy, bulky sweater! I already bought the yarn for this one, so there’s no turning back now. Ha!


Whew! Looking at all that seems like a lot – but you know I’m up for the challenge πŸ˜€ What about you? What’s on your sewing plate for the upcoming season?


Me-Made-May ’14 – My Pledge

18 Apr


Hey everyone! Have you heard that Me Made May is open for 2014 and currently accepting pledges? Woohoo!! I admit, MMM is one of my favorite parts about keeping a blog – while taking daily photos can be a huge pain at times, it’s a wonderful exercise to keep myself on my toes as far as actually using and wearing my handmade wardrobe. Although the majority of what I wear is handmade anyway, I like this opportunity to find new ways to wear outfits and bring out old pieces that I may have otherwise forgotten about.


I’ve been thinking about my pledge for the past couple of weeks. Although I tend to wear mostly handmade (I rarely, rarely buy new clothes – they are usually thrifted, and even then, I’ve been slowing that game down dramatically – and try to make everything that enters my wardrobe), my supply is dwindling thanks to my ever-changing body. After swapping out my summer clothes and trying on everything, it’s pretty apparent that I’ve got a lot of wardrobe gaps that need to be filled asap. So, with that being said, I am modifying my pledge to suit my current closet statistics and try to keep things realistic.

‘I, Lauren of LLADYBIRD, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2014, with no 100% outfit repeats.’

Last year, my pledge was no outfit repeats whatsoever. Y’all, that was hard. I quickly learned throughout the month that there are lots and lots of pieces in my wardrobe that simply don’t get worn anymore for whatever reason – either I don’t like the style on me, I don’t care for the fabric, or the fit is off (this is the main offender – the fit was good when I made it, but my body has changed and now I’ve got some glaring fit issues in many of my older garments). As a result, nearly every single one of those pieces ended up in the donation pile. I love the freedom of having an empty-ish closet that is no longer holding stuff I don’t wear hostage – but it also makes things a liiiiitle difficult when you’re trying to plan an entire month of only wearing handmade! Especially when you can’t dupe an outfit. So for 2014, I’m allowing myself partial outfit dupes – as in, I can wear the same dress during the month, but it must be accessorized/shoed/jacket’d differently. Hence the no 100% repeats. I think this is still enough of a challenge for me to really stretch myself, as well as find some wardrobe gaps to fill while I’m at it. I’m excited!

I call this look ~2nd Grade Teacher Chic~ ✏️

If you’d like to participate in Me Made May, you can view all the info here on Zo’s blog. If you just want to watch from the sidelines, I’ll be posting my daily outfits in the Flickr pool, as well as on my own Instagram. As with prior years, there will be a weekly round-up post every Friday in May. Expect to see lots of mirror-shots like the one above πŸ˜›

As a side note, I recently got a new phone that includes a panoramic camera (say what!) (yeah, y’all, I’m behind on the times). As I’ve been working on updating my sewing room – to remove clutter, reorganize what I’m keeping, and include an actual desk so I stop camping out at the dining room table – I jumped at the opportunity to take some giant, poorly lit shots. What do you think?

Sewing Room

Sewing Room

My sewing room is totally my happy space β™₯

Completed: The Tie-less Miette

31 Mar

Ever since I made up my my first version of Tilly’s Miette wrap skirt, I’ve been meaning to make a second one. Isn’t that how it is, though? You find a pattern you like, you vow to make another one post haste, and it falls to the backburner in favor of something more *new* (I’m the same way with knitting socks. I’ve been meaning to knit a pair since I started knitting, but I keep getting seduced by gorgeous sweater patterns. Someday, I guess!). Miette fell by the wayside for, oh, a year.

Red Miette - no ties

What’s even dumber is that I finally sat down and made that shit up, and it took me all of two hours. Oh, priorities.

Red Miette - no ties

So, back to Miette. Like I said, I’ve made this pattern before – and I still wear it aaaaall the time. That polka dot fabric goes with everything as far as I’m concerned, and it’s a great skirt for “oooh I have nothing to wear” because any top you wear with it looks instantly polished. I wish Mood Fabrics still had some of that navy, by the way. I tried to find it in the store while I was there a couple of weeks ago but all they had left was brown with white polka dots (which I totally bought, by the way).

Red Miette - no ties

This fabric in question is Organic Cotton Twill. It was one of the first things I grabbed in my first NYC-Mood-store-run (I also bought some navy because, c’mon, it’s just beautiful), and one of the only *basic* fabrics I bought the entire weekend (truth, I realized I should save my money & suitcase space for stuff that’s more special/can’t be later bought online). I love this stuff; it’s the same twill I made my skinny red Thurlows with, and I can personally vouch that it wears and washes beautifully. The only drawback is that it also attracts thread and cat hair like it’s going out of style. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Red Miette - no ties

Back to the skirt. The only thing I didn’t care much for in the original pattern was the waist ties. I knowwww, the waist ties are basically the whole point of the damn pattern! But on me, I always felt like they looked a little too twee and added too much bulk to my waist. I usually wear the bow tied to the back (it’s a tiny bow, but I make it work, dammit!), which is fine, but it means I can’t wear belts with the skirt. Y’all know how much I love abusing my belt privileges, too. I briefly experimented with tucking the ties in the waistband so I could put a belt over it, but that added even more bulk.

Red Miette - no ties

So I just made the skirt without the damn ties. Instant win!

Red Miette - no ties

This was sooo easy. Using my original skirt as reference, I sewed up the 3 waistband pieces as normal and attached them to the top of the skirt. Before I sewed the facing on, I tried on the skirt and measured how much waistband to cut off to get a good fit (the waistband does not sit completely in line with the skirt top; there’s some excess on either side). I wanted the underlap to have about 1.5″ of excess, and the overlap to be completely flush with the skirt. After I finished the waistband (sewing it as you would normally sew a plain waistband), I sewed a button hole + button to both the underlap and over lap. easy!

Red Miette - no ties

Red Miette - no ties

The inside of this skirt is very plain. I just serged all my seams, pressed them open, and topstitched them down. The topstitching helps keep the seams open (one thing I always need to re-press with my former Miette), and makes the skirt look more casual.

Red Miette - no ties

I think the pooling at the back is due to how I’m standing, btw. After seeing these photos, I checked in the mirror and that shit is smooth.

Red Miette - no ties

This is a great, full-coverage wrap skirt. I can personally vouch that I’ve worn my other Miette on some SUPER windy days and that shit stays put. I also ride a bike in this skirt, no fear of flashing! The fact that it wraps in the back helps things stay perfectly in place.

Red Miette - no ties

Also, in case you were wondering – I did make my tshirt as well! It’s a Renfrew, and the fabric is from Elizabeth. It’s a bit on the sheer side (ok, a LOT on the sheer side hahah), but it’s great for layering during this weird, fickle season. This is the same top I wore during the NYC meet-up, btw. I have lots of handmades like this – basic, simple, didn’t take a lot of time to sew up – and I’m reluctant to post them because it just seems like a such a boring post on my end. This is not to say that I think people who post about a tshirt are making a boring post – I love reading that kind of stuff! But I personally make soo many, it just seems really redundant for me to keep posting the same pattern over and over. So I try to sneak them in posts like this. A twofer, if you will. lolz.

Red Miette - no ties

Huh, I guess I should clean the lens of my camera tho.

Red Miette - no ties

Um. Sorry in advance for all the cat hair you’re about to see :X

Red Miette - no ties

Topstitching! For this, I used my blind hem foot and stuck the little blade in the ditch, then stitched down each side (single needle). This gave me a perfectly straight line that mirrors both sides πŸ™‚ With my topstitching, I also like to increase the stitch length a bit (going from 2.5 to 3), as I think it looks a bit nicer.

Red Miette - no ties

Decorative button at the over lap.

Red Miette - no ties

Plain button at the underlap.

Red Miette - no ties

So there you go! Plain Miette, perfect wardrobe basic that I assure you will get worn a LOT this summer. I just love making wardrobe basics; I know the pretty/fancy stuff is more interesting to make for some people, but I really find a good basic to be a great way to work on really perfecting my technique. Plus, unlike fancy piece – this shit gets worn to death.

What about you? Do you like making basics? Or are you a special-occasion-only sewer?