Archive for November, 2011

November 29, 2011

This Is Always the Part Where I Freak Out

Remember this fabric purchase?

The fabric on the left is on it’s way to being another Kimono Sleeve Dress.

This is always the part where I start to freak out…

I start to see better uses for the fabric –  a bias cut really brings out the pattern whereas straight grain is a too linear.

I have second thoughts – will this print overwhelm me?

I almost give up – have I wasted fabric, money, and time?

This is also the part where I take a deep breath and tell myself…

I don’t sew just for the finished project. I also sew because I love the process.

There are hundreds of ways to use this fabric but you have to choose one.

Maybe the print won’t look good but it’s part of the process – learning what works and what doesn’t.

It’s also the part where I take a deep breath and accept that I’ve already cut the pattern out.

Do you have second thoughts mid-way through a project? How do you keep going when you start to have doubts?

November 26, 2011

Home Again

Kelley and I had the great pleasure of visiting Vietnam these past silent weeks.

We ate delicious food…

Ca Phe Trung (egg coffee)

took trains, planes, and bicycles…

Yes, I'm blinking but my husband looks so damn cute!

explored alley ways…



Minh Mang Mausoleum

and markets…

Cho Dong Ba

were inspired by the art…


and colors…

My Khe Beach

and even spent 5 hours in Seoul…


It was, without a doubt, the greatest trip I have ever taken.

Now home, I’m looking forward to catching up on my reader and hauling out the sewing machine. I have six more garments to complete for my black and white challenge and can’t wait to get them started! Stay tuned!

November 9, 2011

We Interrupt This Program

Source: via Lee on Pinterest

I’m taking a blogging vacation! I’ll be back in two weeks, recharged and ready to complete my winter wardrobe. For those of you in the states, I’d like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for all of the new friends I’ve met through my blog this year!

November 4, 2011

4. A Different Short

Pattern: Scallop Hem Shorts from Pattern Runway

Fabric: Cotton gauze from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics and some silk habotai scraps for the pocket bags

Notions: Invisible zipper and silk organza for interfacing.

Cost: Approximately $10

When I first started thinking about the pieces for my Winter Wardrobe Challenge, I had played around with the idea of making winter shorts to pair with tights. Originally, I wanted these to be very structured and made from a highly textured fabric. However, the fabric I ordered for this project turned out to be much heavier than I had anticipated and my vision was getting farther and farther away from me.

While looking around for some inspiration, I stumbled upon these beauties from Leifsdottir and I knew my shorts needed to be floaty and ethereal!

Although the ruffles are charming, I don’t (and didn’t) think my hips would appreciate the added attention. I still wanted to keep the overall effect though and  decided a cotton gauze would give me the texture I desired without the added weight.

As far as modificiations go,  I took about an inch/inch and a half off the crotch length. This seems to have solved my biggest complaints from my first pair but I still think I should go back and cut a smaller size.  For a unique touch, I decided to draft my own waistband which can be tied at the side. It’s a little hard to see with the black fabric but hopefully this picture gives you a better idea.

Although the shirt isn’t included in my challenge garments, it is made by me.

Pattern: Self-drafted with the help of the lovely Miss P (see tutorial here)

Fabric: Rayon challis purchased last summer at

Cost: Around $4

This shirt is quickly becoming my best friend! I call it my not-a-t-shirt-t-shirt. Although the rayon challis is a woven fabric, it drapes like a jersey but the greatest thing is it doesn’t cling like one! It’s also incredibly soft and just keeps getting softer with each wash. I will definitely be buying and using more rayon challis in the future.

I used a double needle for the hem and the sleeves. The neck is a bias-band edge that I learned from Lynda Maynard (page 26 if you happen to have her book). This is the first time that I’ve this technique it in a garment. The sewing isn’t perfect by any means but I think next time around it will look really professional. Also, I think I’ve finally convinced myself to take the time to properly staystitch. I staystitched the neckline on this shirt but I did it in one line rather than moving from the center to the shoulder like I’ve been taught. You can see the ripples on the left side that are a result of my improper technique.

Winter is approaching fast and the light is fading with it! Hopefully you can look past my noisy photos!

November 3, 2011

3. The Contemporary Batik

For me, the most difficult part of maintaining a sewing blog is getting my picture taken. Some days (or in this case, weeks) I just don’t feel like being in front of the lens. I think this photo captures this perfectly.

I realized yesterday afternoon that if I didn’t get some photos of this skirt to post, I might never post about it. Since completing this skirt two weeks ago, I’ve sewn three more garments – all of which I’d like to show you. So, without further delay….

Pattern: self drafted

Fabric: Silk/Cotton Print from Gorgeous Fabrics, lined with silk habotai

Notions: invisible zipper, hair canvas, silk organza, and petersham ribbon

Cost: approx. $30

The skirt is a simple design to showcase the linear pattern. I cut two rectangles and then pleated them for added volume. The waistband is cut straight with a petersham ribbon on the inside – a technique I learned from Lynda Maynard. It makes the most comfortable straight waistbands! You can give it a try with this tutorial from Interweave press.

One thing that I’m not thrilled about – this skirt is susceptible to static cling. I was surprised by this considering that the self-fabric is a cotton/silk blend and the lining is silk. It was so bad one day that I broke down and bought a box of snuggle dryer sheets at the laundrymat. After wiping down the skirt with one, I stunk but at least my skirt wasn’t riding up!

November 2, 2011

Darling Ranges Pattern

I received my Darling Ranges Pattern today and I’m already impressed.

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The pattern, printed on sturdy paper, comes in an envelope that velcros shut. There’s a large instruction booklet with clear instructions and illustration. In the back, Megan has included some suggestions for modifications and a pattern log where you can record your projects. So stinkin’ cute! I can’t wait to get started.