Monday, August 21, 2017

Fall Capsule Wardrobe

After my success with my last wardrobe, I decided to try out another one. I really wear a lot of items from my last wardrobe so it was well worth the time invested in it. Of the items I made, I never really wore the capri length Eleonore pants much, I think it was the color and the length. I also don't wear the blue cardigan much. I think the main issue is with the fabric. It is kind of flowy and slippery and seems to just float up and off my shoulders when I am walking. If I were a movie star or a model, it would be fantastic. Instead, it just makes me look like my clothes are sloppy and falling off as I walk down a hallway. I wear everything else pretty consistently and my favorites are the orange cardigan, the dark blue eleonores, and the orange/gray striped shirt. For this capsule wardrobe, I again used the system at Putting Me Together. Her "system" is 4 tops, 3 bottoms, and 3 "completer pieces" like cardigans, blazers, shawl, etc. I'm deviating slightly because one of my tops is actually going to be a long tunic/short dress.



Most of the patterns are Ottobre with a few Jalies in there. I love me some bomber jacket so I had to make another one.


Here are all the fabrics I plan to use. Well, except for the thin denim for the Ottobre dress. From left to right: Liverpool knit for the bomber jacket, a thicker wool knit for the loooong Ottobre cardigan, black Nike Dri-Fit for the leggings, a gray stretch wool, a red/purple knit for the Jalie Marie-Claude turtleneck, a zebra-ish knit for the Ottobre tunic, a black stretch denim, a crazy tribal-ish knit for the Ottobre turtleneck, and a thick gray sweatshirt fabric for the Jalie Helene cardigan. I'm wanting a warm, cozy wardrobe.  



Here's a close-up of the knit tops. I like the tops to be crazy and wild and the bottoms to be neutral. That way it's easier to mix things together. The two on the ends are from Girl Charlee and the middle one is from the National City Swap Meet.






















These are the fabrics for the "completer pieces". They should be nice and warm. I'm all about cozy warm in the winter. 


And our beast is settling in well. Her favorite is warm laundry. If I were her, I'd do the same thing. 

Do you guys have fun fall sewing plans??


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Jalie 3130– Shirt Dress

I know the first time put on the Jalie button down shirt, I knew I would be making a shirt dress. I used the same fabric as I used for my Vanessa pants. It’s a rayon-linen woven and I really love it. I went to JoAnn’s and also bought the teal and dark red color too. For this dress, I extended it about nine inches and kept the same curved hem. Isn’t it fun? I was going to make a self-fabric belt but I ran out of fabric. Boo. I might still go back and get some fabric for a belt because I think that would be the perfect finishing touch.
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I could have made it more fitted in the hips but I like it loose and swingy like this.
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I made all the topstitching green and added green buttons.
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I love, love, love my new machine. It has the best stitches and makes the nicest buttonholes. Seriously. I did all 14 buttonholes in, like, eight minutes. And they are perfect. Perfect. I have this automatic buttonhole attachment and it’s totally automatic. You just push your foot down and it goes around and stops when it is done.
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Oops, I did all the topstitching in green, except this. I could have just put green thread in the bobbin, but I didn’t. Why? Who knows.
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Look at this beautiful stitching.
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Next up? An easy Ottobre dress.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Birthday Gifts for Twinsies


So my twin Little People will have a birthday soon and, as per tradition, they each asked me to sew a special something for them. They both love jackets and so each went through my patterns and found something they thought they would like. One of them adores my floral bomber but wanted something a little more flashy. The other one wanted a tough moto-jacket.


For the bomber, I used my trusted Jalie 3675 Charlie jacket. For the moto-jacket, I used an Ottobre pattern from 2016 (it’s 04-2016 #29 in size 140).
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Since The Cousin was in town, she got to try on the jackets and be the model for the day. The twinsies still haven’t seen these but I need to wrap them before they find them. The Cousin is about the same size as the twins so she’s the perfect model.
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I used a lace overlay with no stretch and put it on top of a black wool. The back is just the black wool. I figured that it needed some stretch so I didn’t do the flashy red, lace, sequin fabric on the back.
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I attached this red lace to the wool by topstitching the woven with red thread.
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One thing I wanted to show people is how  made a zipper stop. When you use a metal zipper you can take off and reposition the metal stopper. When you use a plastic zipper, you can’t really move the stopper without breaking it off. So, instead, I used the skinny zigzag on my machine. I made it fit in the area between the zipper teeth and the edge of the fabric. Then I reversed once or twice to make a hump.
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Next I made this Ottobre moto jacket. I really like how it turned out. It took me a LOT of time with the padded, quilted arm patches, shiny bling, topstitching, and the waistband. I used a sweatshirt fleece with zero stretch. It’s really cozy on the inside though.
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So much topstitching on this. I used a light violet and did my triple stitch so it would really show up.
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The inside of the elbow has a piece of Warm and Natural and another piece of the main fabric.
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I used a sew-on snap on the collar.
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I love how the inside is finished on this jacket. The deep hem is folded up and topstitched.
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I really, really, really like how this jacket turned out. I’m really excited! I hope they love their jackets as much as I loved making them.
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

This is FREAKING Amazing!

You guys!!!!! I’ve been working on fit, I’ve been on a mission lately. Then I saw Kelly’s post about making your own dress form. I’ve always wanted one and would have sprung for a moderately-priced one but I always worried that, with my long torso and that length being between my neck and bust, a standard one would not fit me.

So, this baby took me the last three days which is a LONG TIME for me. I was super precise with the seam allowances, the curve clipping, the stay stitching, etc. I worked hard on this and I was rewarded with something I can really use. This pattern is really cool actually. You put your measurements in and they send you a customized pattern. I made sure to input the Fit Adjustments because that is where my bust/torso issues could be resolved. You even get to choose how prominent your butt is and the slope of your shoulders.

First, the insides. Like I said, I spend a lot of time on this. The instructions are very thorough and thank goodness, because this would be confusing without good directions.

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First you make the shell and then you make this thing below. You put this inside the shell and it connects at CF and CB. Then you stuff each side with A LOT of batting. I mean, A LOT. I used up one and a half bags of my own batting and then I went to Goodwill and and I bought three more bags. I used two and a half of those bags. So, essentially, this is what I would look like if you sliced my torso in half. Look at that booty (I chose the Curvy option).
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And here she is! It’s supposed to be in a stand, obviously. I like this vase option, but it (she?) spins in the vase so I will have to do something about that if I keep it (her?) in that.
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You use cardboard in the armhole and the base. In the neck, you use a large sponge that you carve into a cylindrical shape. I couldn’t find a sponge that large so I used three regular-sized kitchen sponges and stacked them.
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I will probably put a bra on it (her?) for a more realistic shape.
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I used a regular quilting cotton and a thick fusible interfacing. This would be totally fun in a bright floral. This would also be awesome if you were sewing for someone that is far away.
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I did have one fitting issue with it. I measured my Low Hip and it was 37”. When I measured the hips here, they measured 39.5” so I’m not sure what happened. You can see how pointy the sides of the hips are here.
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Here’s a close-up of the pointiness. I don’t think anyone has a hip like this. Anyway, I pulled out part of the stuffing, and pinched the pointy part from the inside. On the outside, I whip stitched a new seam that “cut off” the points. That’s why in the top pictures, you can see that there is some bumpiness in the hip area. It’s because it’s hard to hold tight fabric with one hand and sew with the other. There was NO WAY I was going to unstuff the whole thing (her?) and then turn it (her?) inside-out and sew that again.
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For funsies, I put on one of my shirts. One of my main issues is a major swayback. This t-shirt fits it* (her?) just like it fits me. I’m hoping this dressform is going to really help me get fit right!
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Look at that pooling! I get that too.
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*I feel weird calling it, it, when it is my body double.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Clothes Making Mavens Podcast

Hey guys! Do you even wonder what people sound like? When I’m reading someone’s blog, I often wonder what that person sounds like or acts like in real life. Anyway, here’s your chance to hear me (and I totally think I don’t sound like myself). Lori from Frivolous At Last and Helena from Gray All Day interviewed me about activewear and sewing in general (you will also get to hear me talk about my recent black bear encounters, how I go to sleep at night, my favorite pattern companies, and my tips for sewing with knits). The podcast is at Clothes Making Mavens. Hope you enjoy it!


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Friday, July 21, 2017

Hey Fishy, Fishy

If you’ve spent much time reading my blog, you know we are into game meat and fish. We spend the fall hunting moose, caribou, and bison (yes, really, we have some in Alaska) and summer collecting up delicious fishies. We just wrapped up commercial fishing. You know that “Alaskan Sockeye Salmon” you buy at Costco? Well, that very well could have come from our nets. Of course, there are lots of commercial fishing operations and we are a tiny one. This year we hope to break even. Most years we lose money fishing. We treat it more as a fun family vacation where there is a lot of hard work. I do these wrap-up posts most years and you can read more about the fishing here (2016, 2014, 2013, 2012). This year I seem to have no actual fish pictures. Oops.


This is our little creek that flows behind the cabins. This year, a busy beave dammed up the bottom of our creek so the level was really high.
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Usually we can hop over this creek, but not this year. It made for lots of fun though.
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Before I left town, I made lots of headbands for beach breezes. It usually isn’t cold but there is an almost-constant breeze. It’s the ultimate easy project. One rectangle and two stitches, no hemming. Let me know if you want me to share the dimensions and the super hard sewing directions.
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Our poor dog had a porcupine encountered. Luckily it was only two quills and they weren’t embedded all that deeply. They were scarily close to her eyeball though. We pulled them out with pliers.
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My son did a Cook Inlet mud walk to get our dinner for the night, a couple of pinks (DELICIOUS before they are frozen), a chum, and a silver. He’s looking a lot more teenager, isn’t he?
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It was warm enough that they could float down another creek on floaties. This creek is much colder than our creek.
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This is the night we got back to town. The cat wasn’t even alone much, but she was so, so, so, so, SO happy we were home.
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