December 9, 2014


Over the past year, I've made a lot of collared shirts (specifically button front shirts - check out this kind of interesting video from Buzzfeed) for Jeremy using McCalls 6613. This is a great, basic collared shirt pattern that I turn to time and again. I also just finished another flannel version!

This is a bit of a travel/handmades (and picture heavy) post - I thought I'd gather all of Jeremy's shirts he wore on the honeymoon in one place. I think only the blue checked and black chambray versions were specifically made/finished for the honeymoon, and the rest were made over the last year. But here they all are with Italy as a backdrop! :D

Waiting for our UBER to take us to the airport two days after our wedding!


We started our trip in Rome, for three nights. We've been to Rome before (we spent 2 weeks in Italy in 2011), so we made time for important sites, but allowed ourselves maximum relaxation. Between aperitivo or hitting museums... Aperol Spritzes and prosecco won basically every time (see the above and below orange concoction).

Fabric: Tan linen from Michael Levine

The picture below was taken in Rome at the Largo di Torre Argentina, a square that has the remains of the Theatre of Pompey (and some temples) - where Julius Caesar was assassinated, and is now a cat sanctuary. Jeremy is a complete cat magnet. 
Fabric: Red plaid flannel from Joann's

Yes, my husband took a flannel shirt with him to Italy - where it was in the high 80s the whole time :D

While in Rome, we stayed in the Jewish Ghetto in an AirBnB apartment - which was pretty centrally located between the Colosseum and Roman Forum and the other main sites in Rome (Piazza Navona, Pantheon, etc). 
Fabric: Black Chambray from Angel Textiles – 846 S. Maple Avenue, Los Angeles
These photos were taken near Piazza Navona, in some of the many alleyways and streets surrounding it. For some reason, we didn't eat much gelato on our last trip, so that was remedied this time!

Jeremy also rides a motorcycle, and he was always checking out the cool motorcycles and motorbikes around Italy.

In my last Handmade Honeymoon post, I mentioned that we chose to stay in Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. Ravello is a totally beautiful, totally serene small town perched in the hills above the actual coastline. This provides beautiful views like the one above - taken at our amazing hotel - the Hotel Parsifal

Fabric: Very lightweight blue check cotton shirting from  Michael Levine

We stayed in Ravello for five nights, and we pretty much ended every day with a bit of a stroll, and aperitivo in the main piazza.

Fabric: Super drool-worthy white linen from Michael Levine (I wish we had 10 more yards of this stuff, great weight, loose weave, perfect for summer). 
Fabric: black and white check shirting from Michael Levine

We stopped in Naples just for one night on our way to Florence, and I know that it's not at the top of many people's lists - but it should be! The feeling we had in Naples this time (we stayed 2 nights in 2011), was that it's just a normal Italian city, where people aren't catering to tourists. It's much different from Rome and Florence, and a lot of historical buildings are just surrounded by newer buildings without much fanfare. We spent our day and evening in Naples eating pizza, going to the National Archaeological Museum (below in a non-handmade t-shirt), and walking from our hotel to the Bay of Naples.

We stayed at the Hotel Piazza Bellini, and I highly recommend booking them through their website - they gave us pasta for booking that way! The hotel isn't super "Italian" feeling - it's more modern - but it was very comfortable.

Fabric: Blue linen from Michael Levine

We stayed in Florence for 4 nights, in a really great AirBnB in a medieval tower! Florence was another city that we've visited before, so we prioritized eating, aperitivo, and walking around wherever we liked. One new-to-us place that we visited were the Boboli Gardens.  We spent several hours walking around, hiking to the top of the hill they're on (to get the view below!), and just taking in the gardens.

We also hit up the Accademia again (you can take pictures of the David now!), as well as the Brancacci Chapel and the Duomo.

Blue check, same as above... but now in a field of sunflowers!

Finally, we stayed at the fantastic Il Fontanaro agriturismo - which was the perfect way to end our honeymoon! I highly recommend staying here, and Lucia (the owner along with her daughter) was such a welcoming host. By this point in our trip, I was actually coming down with a cold, and she made us tea and gave us medicine... in addition to drinking wine with us and imparting her wealth of knowledge of grapes, olive oil and Italian food.
I didn't get many pictures of Jeremy besides the one above (sickness setting in...), but I'll end this with a few beautiful photos Jeremy took with my camera (and therefore, I get to pretend they're mine!).

December 1, 2014


Pattern: True Bias Sutton Blouse
Size: 10
Modifications: Evened up the high-low hem
Fabric: Silk from Michael Levine in DTLA (not sure what kind, but it's a bit grippy)
Worn with: My Ginger Jeans!! (which I wear every day)

[Cue music] Back in the saddle again! It's been a fast and busy few weeks between work and the holiday, but there's a glimmer of time now before it all ramps up again. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!!

I finished this shirt a few weeks ago - and it's the first silk shirt I've ever made! SILK!! I bought this stuff about a year ago at Michael Levine, and I've been terrified to cut into it ever since. "Horror" (or rather, difficult sounding) stories abound about working with silk. Jen @ Grainline has a post about cutting it between sheets of paper, and I know you're supposed to use silk pins. This all sounds fairly terrifying, so I stuck the silk deep into my stash and waited for strength.

Then along came Kelli and her True Bias Sutton Blouse pattern, and I slowly conjured the image of this silk shirt in my brain - and here it is! A year later and my sewing skills have vastly improved, and I even was brave enough to make my own silk bias binding. I will admit to almost flaking out on that though... but I'm happy I made the effort.

BTW - I totally cut it like normal (I did have to match up the stripes, with moderate success along the front), and used "dressmakers pins" which seem like slightly thinner pins without plastic heads.

Sutton has a pretty boxy shape, which I usually stay away from. See, I have a pretty strong hourglass shape, and fabric falling from chest to hip with no waist definition makes me feel/look like a square. BUT - I sized down one size, and I am quite happy with its flowing fit. This pattern definitely cries out for drapey, soft fabrics - stiff and structured fabrics need not apply.

In addition to my silk bias binding (lots of steam and understitching needed), I did full French seams throughout. During #bpsewvember (which I participated in until I got busy with work in the middle of the month), many people seemed to say that they loved using French seams as their favorite finish. This is not me. I hate doing French seams. Sure, I get why it is needed - it looks great, makes for pretty insides, etc. BUT it just takes too long to do! Ain't nobody got time for that.

However, the pattern instructions shamed me into doing them (in a good way!) - and I am quite pleased with myself.

The only real modification I made was to even out the high-low hem. I think it's a super cute detail, but I'm just not really into high-low hems on my own body. I lengthened the front at the lengthen/shorten line (I think this is the first time I've used this line for anything), and then remarked the slit - creating an even front and back hem, as seen below. Maybe on a future version I'll make it up as intended.

Overall, super great pattern! I haven't posted my Hudsons yet, but Kelli seriously makes the best PDF patterns. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but I have enjoyed putting together both of her PDF patterns more than any others ever. Just putting that out there!!

This is the first completed make from my Winter Wardrobe planning post (besides my Gingers, which were in-progress when I posted that) - and I already have 2 more fabrics planned for use with this pattern (including an impulse buy this weekend - oops), and my Antrho dream shirt lurking in the back of my mind.