August 26, 2015


Back in the Spring when I was planning my wardrobe for that season, I really went over the top. I had so many beautiful fabrics, and a trip to St. John and Spain ahead of me. However, I think I really put too much pressure on myself to get everything done. Making a wardrobe plan, for me, is such a great way to organize my sewing (and my brain) - but I've realized that it has to be done in moderation!

I did manage to get most everything done, but I have really had to take a step back and think more about what I'm sewing. I used to have a pretty serious love of shopping, and I've now morphed that into a belief that I can still sew in the way I shopped - as in, dresses on demand. If I know I have a trip coming up, and that I want 5 new dresses - I start getting to work. However, sewing isn't always about making on demand clothing. Post-Spain, I've realized that I love sewing more complicated garments and methodical sewing. I just finished a Minoru, and there are more Gingers on my horizon (as well as some new winter basics). 

I'm hopeful that the dresses I made over the spring and summer will hold up until next spring, and I can really just add to my collection, rather than sew a whole new wardrobe like I tried to do this year.

To recap - here's the link to my original plan, if you're interested.

1. Gray t-shirt knit Southport - I had this on my wardrobe plan as a potential Eucalypt hack, but then Southport was released and all plans were thrown out the window!
2. Striped Rayon Yaletown - one of my lesser worn dresses, mostly because it wrinkles so badly after washing
3. Striped Saltspring - this fabric was also slated for a Eucalypt hack, but I went with Saltpring instead, with braided straps!

1. Silk Saltspring - I sewed this up for a wedding, but it got a decent amount of wear all summer. Sometimes it felt a bit too fancy for work though.
2. Denim M7084 - I finished this before my trip to Spain in July, and now the denim seems to really be wearing in due to so many wears and washes.
3. Voile Southport - this was my first Southport, and despite a few sizing issues - it's one of my most worn. I originally pegged this fabric for M6696, but I'm glad I went with Southport instead.

1. Ikat Cascade - one of my pre-St. John vacation makes. I love this skirt pattern and I love it even more in the rayon poplin I used. It's been great with a nicer blouse, tank or tee.
2. Striped Hemlock - I whipped this up the morning before I left for the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival in April.
3. Silk Southport Tank - I'm not super crazy about this tank (the silk bias finished arm holes and neck are kind of wrinkled), but I'm glad I went for a Southport tank rather than my planned sleeveless Archer. Wrangling silk is no joke.
4. Woven Hudsons - I love these pants and wore them a lot while traveling. They're extremely comfortable, and I can't wait to wear them even more when it cools off.

I also sewed many things not on this list, as I found them to be more necessary (tanks, shorts, jeans, etc.). Below are a few of my favorites, but not pictured are my light Gingersfloral Southport, and polkadot Soma.

1. Mercer Tunic - I made this in a seafoam linen, and after making a few changes to the pattern, this has been a super wearable shirt for summer
2. Linen Hudson Shorts - I lopped the legs off of my Hudson pattern to make shorts!
3. Coachella Shorts - I copied Indiesew's excellent styling for this pair of casual shorts
4. Greenwood Tank - such an amazing basic pattern! I need many more of these - but these three have gotten a lot of wear

One of the main things I did not get to were my silk Carolyn Pajamas - I have the shorts completed (but with wonky-ish piping that I should maybe fix), and the top is cut out but not sewn. The silk proved to be shifty enough that I lost patience. But I hope to pick it up again soon!

I'm really, really excited about my Fall/Winter sewing plans, and I'll be sharing them in a few weeks!!! I even feel ahead of the game because I've now finished two items on my list!

What was your favorite make of Spring or Summer? Mine are definitely my Southports!

August 19, 2015


How's everyone doing? It's been a whirlwind few months, with no signs of slowing down for Jeremy and I in the near future (trips all over the country, and out of the country) - including Camp Workroom Social... ARE YOU GOING? I cannot wait! I signed up immediately last year when tickets went on sale, and I can't believe it's almost here. :D It's going to be so awesome to meet sewists I've admired online... and is it weird to already be planning the clothes I'll take (and make before then)?

Pattern: McCalls M7084, View A
Size: 18 (but should've made a 16)
Modifications: Shortened bodice 1" (and then a bunch more stuff :D)
Fabric: Robert Kaufman 6.5 oz in Indigo Washed Denim
Pictures: At the Paramount Ranch, in 97 degree heat!

Last year when Jen released her Alder shirtdress pattern, I quickly snapped it up, splurged on some awesome linen at Joann's and made it up in the size that matched my measurements. Fast forward several hours later, and I had a dress that was too big, and I was too sad/lazy to fix it (it still hangs on my dress form, so at least I can look at it). I was encouraged to try again by my friend Heather, so I performed an FBA on a smaller size with success (despite an accidentally NSFW v-neck), and I now feel confident in my Alder fit... However, I tell that whole story because during my grieving time for my never-to-be Alder, I bought M7084 as a "replacement" pattern.

McCalls M7084 is a princess seamed shirt dress with options for both a straight skirt and a fuller skirt with godets. The shape appealed to me in my post-Alder funk - I figured it would work better on my hourglass frame, had easier-to-fit princess seams, and was a little more form fitted with a bit more of a defined waist. Turns out I was mostly right - and now I have two shirtdress patterns that fit well (post-tweaks) and have different looks...

To start - sizing. I never seem to learn my lesson (that McCalls patterns tend to have too much ease), and I made this initially in a size 18 (which matched my measurements). I looked over the finished garment measurements, and I still felt confident in my choice - this pattern has much less ease than M6696 (which I've also tried to make before). M6696, however, turned out to be a unmitigated disaster (too big, hadn't yet realized my short waisted-ness, used rayon that I let hang and it stretched out, etc) - but I was able to work with the excess ease issues while sewing M7084. The one smart thing I did from the offset was to shorten the waist pieces by 1" - although this still wasn't enough.

From the beginning the bodice was a bit too large (see ease issues above), and I ended up removing another inch from the waist during the sewing process. I just lopped the extra 1" off the bottom of the bodice, in not the most professional manner. I also brought in the side seams, and cut the skirt pieces down to match. The sleeveless version of M7084 (i.e. leaving off the sleeves) results in shoulder seams that are way too long, and almost cap sleeve in nature. I shortened the shoulder seams by about an inch (maybe more, I took sparse notes), and reshaped the armscye.

Overall the fit was acceptable, but I still felt it was a bit too large looking all over. A belt helped immensely (finally a use for my skinny belts that I literally have never worn), but the arm holes were still gaping. I fixed this (again, in an unprofessional manner), by sort of folding the side seam under the arm over itself, and sewing it down. This results in a tuck, but it's pretty hidden under the arm, and I really never notice it.

I think this pattern could be a good base shirt dress that is a little different from other popular options (it has a v-neck unlike the standard collar/neck of M6696). The addition of the godets in the skirt could be really beautiful, and I'm looking forward to making this again in the spring.

This is also officially the last item I'm going to post from my Spring 2015 (and Summer!) Wardrobe Plan. I'll have a wrap up of that soon, as well as my Fall/Winter 2015 Wardrobe Plan. I'm so excited to get started on it, and I've even finished something already! :D

What's your favorite shirt dress pattern? Has anyone tried this one? Another I've got my eye on is Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress pattern - so pretty!

August 11, 2015


I read a lot of blogs. A LOT. Sewing blogs, lifestyle blogs, cooking blogs, trashy/gossipy entertainment blogs, etc. After the collapse of Google Reader (RIP), I made the switch over to Feedly. However, I know a lot of people use Bloglovin' as a blog reading platform. Recently I went to take a look at what the hype was all about and decided to "claim" my own blog. But the catch is that you actually have to create a new blog post to do it. :/

One awesome thing about Bloglovin', as mentioned in this Oonaballoona post, is that they now have a sewing specific category. Yay!

So this is just a bit of business post, but for some fun - here's a sneak peak of some of the fabrics I've chosen for fall/winter sewing.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin