September 22, 2015


If only it were fall in Los Angeles - it was in the 90s and 100s this weekend, but I'm pressing onward with my fall wardrobe!

While this may not be the most exciting combination ever, these jeans and sweatshirt will be getting major rotation in my wardrobe when the temps cool down. Mixing and matching basics like these is the MO of cooler weather dressing, and I'm excited to add two new pieces to my closet.

And because there is nothing quite groundbreaking here, there are little details that make both of these items a little special and different from my other versions of the same pattern.

Pattern: Grainline Linden Sweatshirt
Size: 10 (bust), 8 (waist), 12 (hips)
Modifications: Split hem bands!
Fabric: French terry (now sold out) from Girl Charlee

As seen previously in my Fall + Winter Wardrobe Plan, first up is a new Linden sweatshirt. This is my favorite, read: only, sweatshirt pattern and this is approximately the 7th or 8th time I've made it. I found this knit on Girl Charlee a few months ago, and snapped it up immediately. French terry makes for easy wearing in LA's warm to cool seasonal temps - it's warm, but not too warm. I think it will also layer really well with button up shirts.
In order to make a basic sweatshirt a bit more fancy, I decided to go with a split hem, following Jen's tutorial. I also went with actual rib knit for the cuffs and bands due to the low stretch of the terry - and luckily Joann had a perfect match.

Pattern: Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans
Size: 10, View B (high rise)
Modifications: Added 1/4" at the top of each leg piece, grading to nothing below the pocket. This added about 1" and helps my waistband lay flatter.
Fabric: Cone Mills Denim in black

A girl can never have too many jeans, and this happens to be my 5th pair of Ginger Jeans. A few months ago, Heather very kindly sent me some extra black Cone Mills denim she had purchased from Closet Case Files, after it had sold out. The denim is, of course, really nice, and it's almost more of a dark charcoal gray than a true black. That's just fine for me because I think I'll be making some true black pants in ponte knit this winter (ahhh elastic waists...).

Because of the black denim, I wasn't quite sure what to do with the topstitching - I was waffling between very visible topstitching and subtle topstitching. Gold struck me as too bright, black seemed too bland - so (for some reason) I decided to go with purple! The inside of the pants is a full on purple party too - serging and pockets. I think the purple blends in pretty well below the hip (it's only on the center leg seam). Above the hip there's definitely a lot more color, but most of my shirts cover the fly and most of the pockets - so it wasn't too crazy of a choice. I also have some pink topstitching thread that I'd love to use some day. :D

And that's all, folks! Two very basic, very key pieces in my fall/winter wardrobe are finished!

September 14, 2015


There's something that's so fun about making a wardrobe plan (for me anyway) - it's a chance to reassess your style, think about what's happening during the season (travel? work? school?), and plan for the future. It's also a great opportunity to think critically about what you actually need (and want), what fabric you already have, and what needs replaced. I almost think the planning is just as fun as the actual sewing!

I'm not always the biggest fan of a "capsule" wardrobe (who wants to limit themselves?), but I was really inspired by this One Suitcase: Winter Vacation graphic from 16 items that make 40 different outfits. I'm not sure if I'd really mix and match as much as the image suggests, and I used it more as an inspiration than an actual plan. My own overabundance of sewing plans leaked through, of course, and there are a few more than 16 items here. Ooops :D

My spring wardrobe was plagued by overreaching myself, but even though there are basically as many items here, I feel a lot more confident. For starters, I've already completed some of these items, including making two of these shirts in one day. I also already have a pair of blue jeans, so if I don't get to Jamie - no sweat. I feel like most of these items are less complicated than my spring wardrobe (tees and tights - easy!) so I'm really excited to dig in, without feeling too overwhelmed.

Enough talk - here's the plan!

1. Mandy Boat Neck in black bamboo - basics.basics.basics!
2. Linden Sweatshirt in gray and white striped French terry (I got mine from Girl Charlee, but it's no longer in stock - here's a link to all their terry)
3. Scout Tee in pink lace with a scalloped hem - I bought my fabric in the garment district, and unfortunately I couldn't find anything similar. This top is super cute in any lace though!
4. Coppelia Wrap Cardigan in green cotton spandex - time for color!
5. Modified swing top in black rayon from the garment district (similar) -  I'm learning to make my own block at Camp Workroom Social, so I'm hoping to apply this Seamwork Block Paper Scissors tutorial to mine!
6. Linden Sweatshirt using awesome sweater panels (O. Jolly is out but her other fabric is beautiful and similar) - this is the most weather inappropriate thing on my list, but I don't care!

1. Granville Shirt in swiss dot cotton (similar) - I love my Archer but it's not great for layering under things.
2. Morris Blazer in quilted knit - the knit pictured is from Caroline but I think it's almost sold out! (cue tears and kick yourself for not getting it sooner). Here are some similar ones (Blackbird,
3. Carme Blouse in plaid (sold out) (similar, similar) - Carme has so many fun bias cut opportunities!
4. Granville Shirt in chambray - It'll be great to have a more fitted chambray shirt in my wardrobe.
5. Morris Blazer in striped ponte knit - can't have just one! 
6. Oslo Sweater in sweater knit from the garment district (similar) - I've made this before and it was a bit oversized, but I think with some tweaking it'll be the perfect cardigan.

1. Leggings (maybe Matilda or Virginia) in black cotton spandex and/or ponte knit - I'd love to make a pair of fleece backed leggings too, but regular ones will be more practical (and I want to make 2-3 pairs over the season) 
2. Jamie Jeans in dark indigo denim - Fancy Tiger Crafts currently has Cone Mills denim but my order is, at this writing, lost in the mail. The word on the street is that thieves have actually been stealing mail up and down my road. I wish this was a joke - the police were even called (and it was on the news!).
3. Ginger Jeans in black denim - unfortunately Heather Lou is now sold out!
4. Capitol Hill Dress in navy ponte knit - It'll be nice to have a basic/solid dress to dress up or down this winter. 
5. Davie Dress in black + striped ponte (similar) - I plan on making the sleeveless version with a striped front and back, and black side panels 
6. Olivia Wrap Dress in fuchsia point knit from the garment district (similar) - I hope this dress will look good in ponte, as I'm dying to use this color/fabric I picked up a few months ago.

1. Brumby Skirt in denim from the garment district (similar) - Time to jump on the Brumby train with full on topstitching and all!
2. Osaka Skirt in [reversible] cobalt and stash black + gray suiting (similar, similar) - This is one Seamwork pattern I've really wanted to try and haven't yet. I also realized that I basically have all the fabric already sitting in my stash.

Things for me to work on are 1) not getting too stressed out about getting all of this done (which is hard) and 2) to not be afraid to throw other projects in the mix. And I swear that Jeremy is finally getting me-made pants this fall!

What's the biggest/best/most exciting thing you want to make this fall?

September 3, 2015


You can thank Jeremy for that title ;)

This may come as a surprise to no one, but I have two more finished McCalls 6613's today (and the aforementioned sweatshirt). I've basically said it before, and I'll say it again - this is the perfect men's shirt pattern. If you've ever hesitated about making a collared shirt for a spouse/father/son/any man in your life - give this pattern a chance (actually its unisex, so if you're down with oversized shirts...). I've made it many, many times (what is this - 15? 16?) and I can assure you it's a keeper!

Soon, I also need to transfer this pattern to oak tag as it's ragged and falling apart. The sign of a true TNT pattern!

There's not really anything else I can say about this pattern, except that we've really begun just making some variations. And by variations I mean more buttons and different pockets.

For this shirt we used Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen Blend Yarn Dye in Olive. The Brussels Washer linen is a blend of linen and rayon. Not only does that seem to make it budget friendly (we bought 15 yards at once), but it's also soft and doesn't really seem to wrinkle too terribly.

Jeremy chose to have the pocket flap variation used for this version, as well as a contrasty gold-green thread, with some tortoiseshell buttons. For our pictures, we buzzed up a canyon in Malibu on the motorcycle, where there were some surprising fall vibes going on. If only the temps would cool off a bit...

This red shirt was made in the Brussels Linen Blend Yarn Dye in Red. I think of these two shirts, this one is the real stunner. The green is handsome, but the red really pops. I feel like in this color you can also really see the texture of the yarn dyed fabric, and it has more of a chambray vibe rather than a solid color.

We also went with a self drafted pocket - I just took my square pocket template from Archer and redrew it with an angled bottom. Jeremy also wanted buttons on the collar, so I added those. Having never done this, I placed the buttons where the pattern marked them, but I personally think they need to be a bit higher on the neck so the collar doesn't pull down. Jeremy's happy with it though, so they'll stay.

And finally, a new sweatshirt! The pattern is the same raglan pattern that I've made a few times (here and here), again with some new modifications.

The fabric is a really nice, and I suspect rayon-ish, French terry from The Fabric Store. Dudes, they had a massive sale a few weeks ago, and I wish I'd picked up more fabrics (I did get some amazing wool suiting for a coat at a great price, and met Beth of Sew DIY during one of my trips though).

The main design feature of this sweatshirt is that it was sewn loops out with contrast cuffs/bands/collar (aka the right side of the fabric). Jeremy saw a loops out sweater on Iron & Resin's website (a local-ish motorcycle/outdoors inspired shop) - so he requested a similar one after seeing the French terry. I also added a pocket from M6613 and a V neckline detail (stitched on with a dense zigzag) and it was complete! Easy peasy!

Overall, Jeremy seems very happy with these three new shirts, and hopefully they'll take him in to fall and winter. I'd like to make him (and he's requested) a new flannel shirt - but other than that, I think we're pretty set for collared shirts for awhile. Next is pants and sweaters for him!

Do you have any menswear items on your Fall sewing list?