A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Simplicity 1358 Sleeveless Maxi Dress Review

You know how sometimes your style is altered by those around you?  I'm that way when I spend time with my sisters-in-law on my husband's side.  I always feel as though they are a little more fashion-forward than I am.  In the summer, my uniform is skirts and tank tops.  But sometimes when we are together I can feel a little frumpy - particularly if we are going out.  They always wear cute dresses and I'm usually in the same old stuff I wear every day.  We had a family reunion at the lake last week, and this year, I was determined to be fashion-ready for any occasion.

Simplicity 1358 sleeveless maxi dress in green rayon jersey.

Monday, August 5, 2019

My favorite TNT patterns

Hi friends!  There isn't any sewing going on here these days, because I'm on vacation. We have been having a fantastic time visiting family and friends and enjoying the warm weather and everything that goes with it.  I've also really enjoyed wearing my handmades on this trip.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Lago Tank Pattern Review

Itch to Stitch Lago Tank pattern review by the Itinerant Seamstress.

Virginia tends to be pretty steamy during the summer.  I wanted to make a few knit tank tops for our summer trip home since most of my summer clothes no longer fit.

Monday, July 22, 2019

More Simplicity 1887 shorts

Handmade olive green linen/viscose/lycra shorts made from Veronica Beard fabric and the Simplicity 1887 sewing pattern.

I do love a good TNT, so it shouldn't be too surprising that I'm here blogging my eighth and ninth makes from the Simplicity 1887 pattern.  In 2016, I used the pattern to make four pairs of shorts and two skirts (see here and here). Those items constituted the backbone of my summer wardrobe for three years.  Now none of them fit (and some are looking a bit raggedy for wear), including the black linen skirt I made from the pattern earlier this year.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Graphic black and white Simplicity 1059

Graphic black and white print stretch poplin sleeveless dress made with the Simplicity 1059 Jiffy sewing pattern.

I put Simplicity 1059 on my to-buy list years ago after seeing Mimi G's velvet version. I didn't have plans to make it up any time soon, and I certainly had never planned to sew it in a woven. But back in June, during my sewjo explosion, I was casting about for something [else] to make for my trip home. I came upon the pattern while rifling through my pattern bin and decided to give it a whirl.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Liana Jeans #2

Itinerant Seamstress models skinny black denim Liana Stretch Jeans.

Immediately after completing my first pair of Liana jeans Liana Stretch Jeans (affiliate link) I cut out a second pair.  This time I used a black Cone Mills denim that Fabric Mart briefly had in stock in March.  It was a 62" wide denim, so I used less than two yards of it. It's a stretch denim, but it's not the S-Gene that everyone raves over.  It's also a bit lighter weight than I had thought it would be.  The recovery is excellent, though.

Monday, July 1, 2019

June 2019

A collage of nine sewing patterns, four of which have been sewn already.

This month was a little bit insane.  Fueled both by the need for clothes that fit AND the knowledge that I was going to be away from my machines for all of July and August, I sewed 15 16 17 garments (19 20 21 if you count both pieces of the four two-piece sets that I made). I completed another item off my Make Nine list- the Liana Jeans - twice.

Monday, June 24, 2019

DIBY Club Anna Button-Up Skirt

A button-front denim skirt made from the DIBY Club Anna pattern.

Allow me to present my new favorite skirt.

This is the Anna Button-Up Skirt from the DIBY Club, a new-to-me pattern company. Nicole of DIBY reached out to me, asking if I'd be interested in reviewing one of their patterns.  I took a look at their offerings and loved the buttons, the gores, the wide waistband and the close fit of the Anna.  I've been missing my trusty Tillery and Alberta Street jean skirts, which no longer fit, and the Anna seemed like a good candidate for a new denim skirt.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Liana jeans, finally

Modeling hand-sewn Liana skinny stretch jeans in Robert Kaufman denim.

Me-Made May made painfully obvious that it was time for me to make some new jeans. As I had put the Liana Stretch Jeans pattern (affiliate link) from Itch to Stitch on my 2019 Make Nine, it was clear what had to be done.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Summer sewing for the girls

One of my 2019 sewing goals was to sew more for my children.  I made some strides in doing that in May.  We had a trip planned to Cartagena on Colombia's Caribbean coast, where it's 90 degrees and 80+% humidity year-round. The girls' hot-weather wardrobes were looking a little bedraggled, so we pulled a few fabrics from the stash and I got to work.

I made each girl a romper using this free pattern from Purl Soho. I made one for N first.  I cut the size 6/7 width and the size 10 length, with the prescribed strap and elastic length. The sizing ended up pretty spot-on.  I used 28 inches of a plaid shirting that I ordered from Fabric Mart in April.  Looking at the photos, I think she could have used a touch more length in the bodice; this probably won't fit next summer.

Purl Soho Summer Romper in pink plaid shirting.

Monday, June 3, 2019

May 2019

May was a super-productive month for me! I sewed mostly simple projects with the exception of one button-up shirt, and made three summer pieces for each of my girls. They wore them on our recent trip to Cartagena on Colombia's Caribbean coast, and will wear them for the two months we are home this summer.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Chambray Traveler Shirt

Simplicity 2246 sewing pattern review.

I sewed Simplicity 2246/Lisette Traveler last in 2014. It was actually one of my very first sewing blog posts.  I wore both versions constantly until I got pregnant later that year and couldn't fit into them anymore.  I packed them away into a bin of "skinny clothes," and there they sat until a couple of months ago, when I had finally lost enough weight to integrate them back into my wardrobe.  Once again, they are my favorite shirts to wear, so I decided it was time to make a new one.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Striped Plantain Tee Dresses

I've been eyeing up the uber-popular McCalls 6886 pattern lately.  If we lived in the States, I would have picked it up at a Joann's sale by now. As I've been too spoiled by the $1 sales to pay mail-order prices for Big 4 patterns, I decided to use my Plantain t-shirt pattern to make the dress.

Monday, May 6, 2019

The altered wardrobe

So I have been whining here and there about how nothing from my handmade wardrobe fits anymore, and how alterations haven't worked out the way I want them to.  I think maybe I was indulging in some bad-attitude moments, because lately I've been very motivated to alter existing pieces to fit, with a good deal of success.

I did, at first, think I would just start sewing new clothes. But then I realized that I was going to have to redraft and/or refit every single pattern just as if I were starting over.  That knocked the sewjo right out of me.  I had built up such a reassuring repertoire of TNT patterns before I lost weight, that I had many options to choose from when I was hit with the urge to sew something fast and well-fitting.

Not anymore.

So I've been hitting the sewing machine with a few old makes that I wanted to salvage.  Today I want to share my newly altered Josephine tops. These were made in 2017 from a Made By Rae pattern that I modified a bit. They've gotten a lot of use in the summers.  But with my changing shape, the tops had not only become too wide, but the armholes were too low and they now seemed much too long.

This top was made from a long-hoarded Kaffe Fasset rayon challis.  It was actually my second go at this pattern in the fabric; the first one suffered a horrible washing-machine death. Here's a photo of the second version when I sewed it about two years ago:

Before (original blog post).

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

April 2019 and my Me-Made May Pledge

I don't have a focused Me-Made May Pledge this year.  I've gone from nearly everything in my closet being made by me, to not having much that fits, and even less that is me-made. I'm hoping to continue losing weight, so trying to sew a new wardrobe quickly doesn't make too much sense either.  So I will document my outfits on the days that I wear me-made, try to repeat outfits as rarely as possible, see if I can alter anything else to fit, and sew a few new things that I really need - like a pair of jeans and long-sleeved tops.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Yasmin Yoke Skirt

Modeling a stretch bottomweight skirt made from the Maria Denmark Yasmin Yoke Skirt sewing pattern.

Back in January, I decided to try the keto diet. Although I hadn't been happy with my inability to take off the baby weight since Niko was born in 2015, I had begun to accept my shape, and had sewn enough clothes to wear 100% me-made every day.  Sewing really helped me accept the shape I was then, and I had put thoughts of weight loss on the back burner.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

March 2019

I made some good progress on my Make Nine goals this month.  I don't know that I'll make it all the way through my Make Nine, as my priorities are already starting to shift, but I'm happy with the things I've made so far.

I'm not sure I will get to that Yuzu Coat after all, and I'm less interested in the Cynthia Rowley dress than I was when I made this list.  I do still definitely want to make the Extra-Sharp Pencil Skirt and the Classic Shirt, as well as a new Traveler shirt dress.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Lonetree Jacket and a new fitting issue

Indiesew/Allie Olsen Lonetree Jacket in red twill with a gold zipper.

I sewed myself a jacket.  I sewed a jacket because I needed a jacket.  I sewed a jacket instead of buying one because I generally find RTW jackets to be tight in the arms and too big in the shoulders, and, just for once, I wanted a jacket that actually fit me well.  I think I succeeded, and I need to tell you all about it.  So settle in, because this is going to be a long post.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Cupro Cropped Calyers

French Navy Now Calyer Pant in cupro twill with an elasticized hem.

You guys, I'm really pretty excited about these pants.  They turned out almost exactly the way I planned/envisioned.  They go with a good chunk of my tops.  They represent an evolution in my style (I don't think there's any way I would have been caught dead in baggy, elastic-hem pants a few years ago).  And, they are the first finished item from my first-ever Make Nine.

Friday, March 1, 2019

February 2019

This month we hit the half-year mark of our stay in Bogota.  We're a quarter of the way through and it still feels like we just got here.  And although I was thrilled at the thought of no winter when we moved, I'm finding the constant temperatures to be a little bit monotonous. Don't get me wrong; I prefer this to what's going on in much of the United States at the moment, weather-wise, but there's something weird about trying to teach my kindergartener about seasons through pictures instead of through experience!

I only completed two projects this month, but they were both pretty involved.


Orange faille skirt sewn from the Simplicity 1369 sewing pattern.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Denim Gallery Tunic

Denim tunic made from the Liesl and Co. Gallery Tunic sewing pattern.

Before we packed up in Virginia, I paired three cuts of fabric with patterns and put them into clear zippered bags (the kind sheets come in) along with notions and thread. The idea was that they would be the first projects I would work on when I arrived in Colombia.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Thursday, February 7, 2019

January 2019

January saw a return of the sew-jo, fueled both by an island vacation and the fact that I got to meet another IG sewist in person.  Actually, I had met her in person, and had a few good conversations, well before discovering that she was a fellow sewist - our daughters are in the same Girl Scout troop.  So funny that we never discussed sewing, but I guess that's not something I tend to talk about with people unless I know they are interested.  Anyway, after making the IG sewing connection, we got coffee and had a real sewing chat and I found myself invigorated and scrapping to carve out some sewing time for myself both before and after our trip.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The sea of seven colors (and Simplicity 1887)

A man and a woman standing in front of the Caribbean Sea on the island of San Andres, Colombia.

I'm a beach girl. Always have been.  I was lucky to grow up in a family that vacationed regularly.  Not anything fancy; we always drove, and it was pretty common that all seven of us would squeeze into one hotel room.  But we got to vacation, nonetheless.  For a period of my young life, we would alternate our summer destinations - one year by the sea, the next up in the mountains. At some point I convinced my siblings to make a full court press, begging for beach vacations only.  We were successful at some point in my junior high school life, and I've been going to the Outer Banks (on the Atlantic Ocean) almost every year ever since.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Gelato on vacation

Woman standing on a sandy beach, wearing a turquoise linen tank top hacked from the free Colette Sorbetto sewing pattern.

We went on vacation, which meant that I got that have-to-sew-something-new-for-vacation itch. And it just wouldn't sit there and not be scratched.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

December 2018

December began without much hope of sewing. As I keep saying, I've had trouble carving out that time for myself.  I think that part of it, to be honest, was feeling a bit blah on living in this huge, crowded, polluted city. The weather was particularly awful in November and the first half of December - overcast and smoggy with very little sun.

I attempted to  jumpstart my sew-jo with a tiny project.  We had a Girl Scout campout in mid-December, and bandanas were on the packing list.  I used to have a drawer full of bandanas, but it turns out that only one survived my ruthless pre-move purge - I forgot about the fact that maybe my kids would need bandanas at some point too.  Hoping that it would jumpstart my sew-jo, I decided to make a couple the day before the campout.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2019 Sewing Goals

I wasn't planning to make a sewing goals post this year.  I actually wasn't really planning to make any sewing goals, since my time at the machines has been so limited.  But while browsing Bloglovin' this evening, I was energized and motivate to lay out some priorities and plans for the next twelve months.  I think this may actually help me to maximize the sewing time that I do have, since I won't be floundering around wondering what to do.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Top 5 Hits of 2018

Though the move to South America hampered my sewing production somewhat, I think what I did make was fairly successful.  2018 was, in particular, the year of the dress for me. Counting my pinafores, I made seven dresses this year, and three of them are in my top 5.

Top 5 Misses of 2018

My 2018 sewing wasn't particularly interesting, but I ended up with a lot of pieces that got a lot of wear.  Choosing my top 5 misses was relatively easy, then, as a few things I made just didn't get worn very much.