October 30, 2014


Pattern: Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt, View A
Size: 10 (bust), 8 (waist), 12 (hips) - exact same as my Archer pattern mods
Modifications: None - but will do some next time
Fabric: Sparkly cream sweater knit from the Michael Levine Loft, ribbing from Stylish Fabric

Although I live in Southern California, and our winter is arguably a mild fall anywhere else - I've been craving some cool weather clothing. Over the summer, in preparation for my Handmade Honeymoon, I made a slew of dresses. Needless to say, I'm ready to move on. 

Along came the Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline Studio just in time for a trip I was making to the garment district in Downtown LA.

The Michael Levine Loft is such an insane place - you may have read about it from other bloggers, but it's a by-the-pound smorgasbord of leftover fabrics from the main store. Some of it is still on the roll, and you get to cut it yourself (it is by the pound, after all, so how much you get is up to you). The rest of the fabric is in giant cardboard boxes on the floor, and you get to sort through them. I used to sort through them a lot, but now I mainly just pull pretty or shiny things off the top.

I snatched this fabric up in an instant, due to its sparkly nature and soft feel.

I bought the ribbing from Stylish Fabric after readings Jen's first post for the Linden Sweatshirt, but unfortunately I think it's a bit too thin. The weight works with my lightweight sweater knit, but paired with anything with a bit more heft and it would be too light.

This is a great, super easy pattern and a very quick and satisfying make. It was also sewn completely on the serger. I've made Jeremy several raglan sweatshirts from a vintage pattern (that'll be up soon), so I didn't even need the directions - though they were excellent and would be great for a beginner.

My only note would be to, depending on your preference, tighten up the hem band, and possibly cut a smaller size at the hip if you want more of a cinched in sweatshirt feel. I'll also probably remove about 1/2" - 1" on the sleeves, as I had a minor bit of pooling at the wrists.

I still have what seems to be 100 sweater knits left from my last trip downtown, and I can't wait to whip more of these up in different sleeve lengths, with and without ribbing, and the View B hemline.
We were at our friends' house for the weekend, and this is their cat, Trout, getting all up in the camera.


Pattern: Colette Moneta
Size: Medium
Modifications: Used Deer and Doe Plantain sleeves instead of the included sleeve options
Fabric: White ponte-ish knit from Angel Textiles – 846 S. Maple Avenue

When I first saw Colette's Moneta, I thought it was bee-ay-utiful and bought the pattern immediately. I loved the red example of V1 with the little collar, and loved the idea of a cute, knit dress with a bit of something extra (interchangeable collars - hello!).

My first attempt was using some drapey purple, potentially rayon, knit from the Michael Levine Loft. First of all - big mistake. I think my fabric was too lightweight - the torso sort of bagged out, the skirt was too heavy to be supported by the waist, and the armholes were way too huge. I loved the idea of this pattern, but I placed it on the back-burner for the time being (along with, unfortunately, some other Colette patterns: Hazel and Laurel).

Then I found this ponte-type knit (unmarked - no way to know for sure) at Angel Textiles (my favorite) in downtown LA, and had my heart set on re-trying Moneta. I had a very lofty goal of accomplishing this before my Handmade Honeymoon (along with 1000 other things, on top of wedding planning), but that never happened.

Fast forward to about a month after we returned, and I whipped this puppy up in about 3 hours, from cutting to hemming.

The first time I made this, I cut a size halfway between a Medium and a Large (my measurements fall about halfway between the two, and Colette usually runs a bit big on me). Post Moneta Fail, I determined this was still too large, and I used a straight medium this time.

I had a bit of trouble gathering the waist with the elastic on the serger - I will use the sewing machine next time for more control (the serger is just too fast, and a bit scary, sometimes for precision). After washing, it looks alright, but it's not my finest work.

Overall, the fit is just a hair tight in the bust and waist, but I think my next Moneta will still be a medium (a gorgeous burgundy ponte knit with a bit more stretch).

The only real modifications I made, as mentioned at the top, were to use the sleeve from Deer and Doe's Plantain, as I wanted more t-shirt sleeves than tight sleeves (the measurement on the sleeve head is the same). Next time, I'm going 3/4 sleeves for winter.
 (Pilling already - yikes!)

October 27, 2014


A lot of my sewing (though less of it than he would like) is for my husband - Jeremy. Mostly this involves collared shirts (I count 9 that he wears on a regular basis).
Pattern: McCalls 6613, view D (pockets from view C)
Size: Large
Alterations: Diagonal yoke and pockets
Fabric: Buffalo check flannel from Michael Levine

This particular shirt was made in 2013, not long before we got engaged. See below for an "after" engagement shot (the ring was in the shop rag in his pocket):
This is one of my earliest versions of this shirt, and the flannel proved to be extremely difficult to match up (hence the diagonal yoke and pockets). I may or may not have announced that it could be the end of my plaid flannel makes forever.

This is one of the first times I used a double needle to do the topstitching. I think the result looks great, but I really hate the zigzag it makes on the inside - although he doesn't seem to mind.
This is also old enough to be a shirt with muslin used as sew-in interfacing. I'm not wild about the look (it makes for a pretty thick and lumpy placket and collar), but I haven't found iron on interfacing that I like. I probably should try harder to source a better brand (Lauren seems to use interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply a lot...). But alas, he actually likes his shirts with floppier cuffs, collars and button bands, so I just leave it out now. He's a big fan of the casual look.
Overall, I highly, highly recommend this pattern. A straight large fits him perfectly, and it's a perfect base shirt for customizing yokes, pockets, buttons and topstitching.

October 22, 2014


Pattern: Grainline Studio Archer
Size: 10 (bust), 8 (waist), 12 (hips)
Alterations: Tapered the sleeves to a 2 at the wrist
Fabric: Some not-so-nice denim from Joann's (something like this)

Over a year ago, I made my 2nd successful Archer from Grainline Studio. I say 2nd, but in truth, it was my 3rd. However, the first was made on my old, old sewing machine - which was essentially a hunk of garage sale junk, but I was just starting out and didn't realize just how bad it was. In hindsight, my red chambray first attempt isn't really that bad considering, but it shall remain in the closet.
I love Jen's patterns, but I find the sizing to be a bit weird on my body. My measurements (real talk - about 39.5 / 32 / 41.5) match up with her sizes 14 at the bust, and 12 at the waist and hip. I think I made my first attempt in a straight size 14, but found the end result to be too big and bulky. I realize the design is meant to be a bit loose, but wanted to create something more close fitting and shapely.
Wrinkled back and inverted pleat
So for my 1st real attempt (after grading between sizes), I used a flannel sheet I picked up at a thrift store called The Man Cave (no joke) in Buellton, CA. I probably should include a photo, but imagine my denim version in green and white small-check flannel. Very cozy. I believe my final size was mainly 10 at the bust, graded to an 8 at the waist, and a 12 at the hip (and all the way down to a 2 at the wrist for the arms). Much better!

This version was made the exact way, but with pretty cheap denim from Joann. I do love the result!
These pictures were also taken by my husband the day after we got engaged. Happy smiles all around!