March 27, 2015

SECRET PAJAMAS // WOVEN HUDSON PANTS

Well, now not so secret pajamas... And, I may or may not have forgotten to take pajamas with me this past weekend on our trip to Buellton, CA - and I may or may not have worn these as actual pajamas.

We love going up to Santa Barbara County (we have friends that live there), and a visit from my sister plus a wine drought in our home made for the perfect excuse for a weekend trip! The weather was fantastic, and the sunset was beautiful!

And these pants are awesome - and a great new way to use the Hudson pattern I love so much!

Pattern: True Bias Hudson Pants
Size: 16
Alterations: Used this tutorial to turn a pattern for knits into woven pants
Fabric: Black and white damask rayon poplin

I really love the Hudson Pant pattern from True Bias, and I've made four pairs already (including one as a gift for my mother-in-law... and she loves them, of course!). When Kelli posted her tutorial for woven track pants made from the Hudson pattern (meant for knits) - I was completely sold. Pair that with about 1 million people wearing pants just like this on our honeymoon - and these made my to-do list! As mentioned in my winter and spring wardrobe planning posts, I had every intention of making these in the winter, but never got to it. So I'm happy they're the first complete make from my spring list!


Kelli made a really excellent tutorial - and these came out perfectly, as far as fit is concerned. I did as Kelli suggests: sized up two sizes, and lengthened the pockets and legs at the ankles. I lengthened the pant legs by the suggested 4.5", but I might add another half inch or so in the future, because I could only do a very small hem (1/2"). I also left off the drawstring in the waistband and the pocket detail.


The only real fit "issue" is really minor - but it's just that the pants are now fairly tight around the calves (because they don't stretch like a knit would). This isn't an issue I would fix on a future pair (it doesn't effect me when walking or anything), but it does make it difficult to lift the bottom of your pant leg up if you, say, got stabbed by barbed wire while climbing onto a hill to watch a sunset. :D

The fabric is a viscose/rayon poplin from Fabric.com. Caroline at Blackbird Fabrics seems to carry the same line that these are from sometimes in her store... so maybe this or something similar will pop up there if you're in Canada! (She also has some super nice looking linen viscose right now that would be perfect for these!) I really love working with and wearing rayon, and this poplin is a great weight for pants. I find sometimes that rayon can get wrinkly (a major concern for pants), but this fabric is heavy enough that it doesn't seem to crease like challis can.


I also really love the pattern on this fabric - I think these could work with a t-shirt, tank top, chambray shirt or a nicer blouse like the one I'm wearing here - really easy to dress up or down! I also tried really hard to do pattern matching, but I didn't have quite enough yardage so the back was cut upside down (the only place this is really noticeable are the heart shapes in the pattern - they're upside down on the back!).


I'd really love to make more of these for spring and summer, especially because it only took a few hours to whip these up! As I also mentioned in my spring wardrobe plan, I really want to make some woven shorts from this pattern -- I'm sure those'll be so very comfortable when it heats up.
Our group: Hicham, Greg, Virginia, my sister Sarah, me and Jeremy!

If you've made knit Hudsons, have you considered making the woven version? I highly recommend it!

March 20, 2015

WARDROBE PLANNING // SPRING 2015

So guys - there's something you should know about me: I'm obsessed with making lists (I always have about 10 post it notes around me at any given time too). Pretty much the best way for me to wrangle all my sewing plans and fabric in my stash (and to buy!) is to make a wardrobe plan.

I really loved having my Winter Wardrobe Plan, and I wanted to definitely make one for spring. A few months ago, my spring plan was hazy at best, but then Jeremy and I decided to take a vacation and it suddenly came into focus! Between birthday gift cards and a birthday/Valentine's Day trip to the garment district (the true way to a woman's heart) - I now know my (hopefully) concrete plan for what to make in the coming months. This includes a nice dress for a wedding, bathing suit cover ups, and new summer dresses (I wore my dresses from last summer to death and they all need replaced).

I also have been trying to focus more on patterns that I already have - so this list is a reflection of that. There are so many awesome indie patterns out there (and from the big 4 also) - but if I try to keep up, I only make each one once. And, in what should be no surprise after the first paragraph - I made a spreadsheet listing all my patterns, and went from there in choosing my Spring 2015 Wardrobe Plan!

  1. McCalls M6696 view A (or Alder if I get my FBA right) in Palos Verdes La Venta Voile: I've made a test version of this dress, but I made it out of rayon and it stretched out a bit. Hopefully the voile will be more stable!
  2. McCalls M7084 in Kaufman Nautique Chambray Anchors Indigo: This is definitely the spring of shirt dresses! I'd like to use the bodice from this dress and add a simple gathered skirt (rather than godets, as the other views have). 
  3. McCalls M7084 in Robert Kaufman 6.5 oz Indigo Washed Denim: I'm hoping to make view A (the straight skirt) from this light denim with visible topstitching for extra punch. 
  4. Sewaholic Yaletown in Rayon Challis from Angel Textiles: I've made this dress before, but it was all over too big, so I'm planning to size down, and remove some of the blousing... and make a self fabric belt! I also want to make it sleeveless like Jenny @ One Last Press
  1. By Hand London Kim Dress in floral voile from Angel Textiles: I've had the Kim dress for awhile, but still haven't made it. I was inspired by Mary of Idle Fancy to get the pattern, and further encouraged by the BHL Kim sewalong floral version. I'm planning to do the sweetheart neck with the gathered skirt. 
  2. Sewaholic Saltspring midi dress in paisley silk from Angel Textiles: Inspired by this Anthro dress, I'm going to make a midi skirt version with side slit, no blousing, and a self fabric string/tie fed through the elastic channel, instead of elastic. I'm planning to wear this to a wedding in a few weeks, so I better get cracking!
  3. Sewaholic Saltspring with knit from the Michael Levine Loft: I'm going to make another Saltspring for a bathing suit coverup/summer casual dress. Not sure yet if I will make the regular length, or a maxi like Kelly
  4. Megan Nielsen Eucalypt with knit from the Michael Levine Loft: This actually looks like a different colorway of the knit just above. I want to make either a straight dress version, or one of Megan's variations with a gathered skirt for a simple summer dress/swim coverup. 
  5. Megan Nielsen Eucalypt with knit from the Michael Levine Loft: This knit is a heathered t-shirt knit, and I'm not sure which variation to make yet (maybe her maxi version!)
  1. True Bias Hudson in damask rayon poplin - I had a goal to make woven Hudsons in the winter, but I never got around to it... but these pants will be perfect for spring (and spoiler alert - they're already done!!!!)
  2. Megan Nielsen Cascade in ikat rayon poplin - I really only have 2 skirts, and they're both 1) worn to death and 2) Cascades. This skirt is basically my ideal skirt, and I'm making this one with the ties in front, and the hem leveled. 
  3. Closet Case Carolyn view C in silk (!!!!!) from Angel Textiles: I bought a lot of silk a month ago in the garment district, and silk pajamas were #1 in my mind. I love this chevron pattern, and I'm going to use black piping (that's actually shiny) - ala Sophie-Lee
  1. Deer and Doe Datura in Palos Verdes Wayfarer Voile: I am in desperate need of new tank tops, and this is really just the beginning. When making a handmade wardrobe - don't forget about basics!! I've made Datura once before, but this time I think I'll do the triangle cut out neckline to compliment the chevrons in the fabric. 
  2. Grainline Archer View B in silk from Angel Textiles: aka the ruffle butt version! I've also made this once before (unblogged), but I used some terrible fabric. This redemption will be sleeveless and in this gorgeous silk that I love. I've never made a button up in silk, so that should be fun...
  3. Grainline Hemlock in knit from the Michael Levine Loft: Another basic!! I also bought a ton of this fabric (it was by the pound) - so some other dresses might crop up in this stripe knit as well!
Whew - that's a ton! But I have all the fabric, so it's just a matter of time... and willpower :D

In addition to these, I'd love to make some Hudson shorts (has anyone tried this??), or maybe some Carolyn shorts to wear outside the house, a few Seamwork Savannah camisoles (made from the skirts of failed shirtdresses), some self-drafted rub off tanks (ack! scary!), and two new linen M6613 shirts for Jeremy (we have the fabric already!).

Do you ever try to make a seasonal wardrobe plan? What's on your Spring 2015 list?

March 17, 2015

LUMBERJANE ARCHER // WINTER WRAP UP

Oooh it's another two for one special, and what I would consider to be my last post for winter. I'm closing winter down! Goodbye sweatshirts, flannel shirts, and jackets. I would like to wish a very big hello to dresses, tank tops, and my knees and ankles.

My two makes this week are what I'm calling my Lumberjane Archer, and a new Merino wool sweatshirt for Jeremy - with pictures from our recent trip to Arizona! (Or as Jeremy has called it - Arisewna... hahaha)

I also have a short Winter Wrap Up at the bottom of the post!!
Pattern: Grainline Studio Archer
Size: 10 (bust), 8 (waist), 12 (hips)
Alterations: Tapered the sleeves to a 2 at the wrist
Fabric: green and white plaid flannel from Joann's (not available online)
Worn with: Ginger Jeans

There's not a whole lot to say about this Archer that hasn't been said before - this is such a TNT pattern for me, that I don't need to make changes anymore (which is such a great feeling to have!!). 

This fabric came from Joann's, and it's the same fabric that I used for Jeremy's last McCalls 6613 (here) - just in a different color way. It definitely has some poly content, as it doesn't breathe very well, but that makes it nice and warm for winter.


This past week and weekend, Jeremy and I took a road trip to Arizona to visit his mom, who lives in Flagstaff. I've never really been to Arizona - just one time to the Grand Canyon (on a little flight from Vegas), and a 20 mile drive through the state when I moved to Los Angeles. So this was a really exciting trip!!

Northern Arizona is really beautiful, and I think my mind was the most boggled by the Grand Canyon and Sedona.
 
Living in Los Angeles - we have a lot of natural beauty... the ocean, beaches, and some of my favorite scenery: the hills of Santa Barbara County. But, the rock formations in Arizona are on a whole other level. The landscape also changes vastly over the course of even just 20 miles or so.


Pattern: Stretch & Sew 100
Size: 42
Fabric: Merino wool from The Fabric Store

Jeremy's new sweatshirt is another version of the raglan pattern that I've made before. We've actually been working on perfecting 2 t-shirt patterns for him using this pattern and McCalls M6973.

The fabric was a Christmas present from me to him from The Fabric Store here in Los Angeles (how nice to have a husband that wants fabric - yay!), and it's Merino wool. The fabric is really soft, but it's not very stretchy, and it would've been nice to have matching rib knit for the neckband.


For this version, I raised the neckline to be a bit higher than his other version. I also did a bit of a mock coverstitch-type stitch on the seams to break up the solid color a little bit. This worked out alright, but I can do this for real now because I got a coverstitch machine a few weeks ago (!!!!!!!!). I do think if I can get the settings right on the next iteration, the coverstitching will add a bit of a RTW look + pizzaz to the seams of a plain sweatshirt.


I'm sure these winter staples will carry us well into spring, but I am ready to move on! 

WINTER WRAP UP
Briefly, I'd like to give you a bit of a follow up to my Winter Wardrobe Plan for 2014/2015. I did, in fact, manage to make every pattern on my list - but not all with the same fabrics I'd planned. Below is a quick rundown:
  1. True Bias Sutton Blouse - in silk from Michael Levine: full post here
  2. Deer and Doe Bruy√®re - in Robert Kaufman Chambray Dots in Burgundy: full post here
  3. By Hand London Victoria Blazer poly gabardine from Michael Levine - full post here
  4. Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans - in 3 fabrics! 11.5 oz Stretch Denim in Indigo from Fabric.com, Cone Mills Denim from the Ginger Jeans kit, and a gray denim from Mood Fabrics - full posts here (1, 2, 3)
  5. Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber - this wasn't on my initial wardrobe plan, but I'm so glad it made the list anyway!! #rigelbomberjanuary was so much fun, and Mel from the Curious Kiwi picked mine as her favorite (I chose the Papercut Pneuma tank, btw) - full post here
  6. Grainline Studio Archer Shirt - in plaid flannel rather than denim - ABOVE!
  7. True Bias Hudson Pant - I did end up making these in gray French terry from the garment district, but alas - they are unphotographed 
  8. Colette Patterns Moneta Dress Pattern - I did make this too but it is also unblogged. I wasn't crazy about the fit - I did something weird with the sleeves - so it also remains unphotographed (and unworn)
I also sewed a few Christmas gifts, as well as some Lindens and t-shirts for Jeremy. 

Because spring is on its way (and I'm sick of winter clothes) - I'm ready to start my Spring Wardrobe Plan! I'm really excited about everything on the list (there may be some vacation wear in there) - and I'll be posting it soon (hopefully on Friday)! Woot!

March 5, 2015

POSH PAISLEY PAJAMAS

Oh boy - is it the weekend yet? With spring right around the corner (we get an extra hour of daylight this weekend!!!) - I've got clothing for warmer weather on my mind... But it is still cold out, and I have new cozy PJs to prove it.

I've never been much of a pajama set person before (my usual winter bedtime uniform this year has been a sweatshirt and Hudsons) - but I've officially become a convert! I totally want 5 more pairs of Carolyn Pajamas - so chic! So fancy! Plus... if I'm being honest - they still mix and match quite nicely with sweatshirts and Hudsons :D

These pajamas also make me feel like a rich old man smoking a cigar... in a good way! This is mostly due to fabric choice though... on to the details!

Pattern: Closet Case Carolyn Pajamas
Size: 12 (top) / 14 (bottom)
Modifications: Shortened waistband - see below
Fabric: Rayon challis from Angel Textiles, piping and buttons from Joann's

In keeping with her record of releasing patterns that seem to fill an indie pattern/my wardrobe gap (hello Ginger jeans!), Heather Lou released the Carolyn Pajamas pattern about a month ago, and I snatched it right up. I had no specific fabric in mind, but knew I wanted to use rayon - because rayon is the best fabric ever. On a trip to the garment district, I picked up 4 yards of this royal blue/orange/white/black paisley print - and I was lucky enough to snag some silk for my next pair.


For sizing, I match about a 12 in Closet Case Patterns, but I went with my hip measurement on the pants, which put me closer to a 14 (better to have a looser fit while sleeping). The top is a straight 12, but I may shorten the shoulder seams a bit on the next pair, as they seem slightly boxy. I love the feminine shape of the top (the pattern cuts in a lot at the waist which is great), and the pants are about as flattering as pajama pants can be.

I sewed everything up basically as instructed - and I have to say, I really think Heather Lou did a bang up job with this pattern. The instructions are really easy to follow, and her notched collar tutorial is a humongous help. Plus - it's two garments in one (or really 4 or even 6 depending how you look at it)!


This pattern uses facings to create the notched collar - something that I usually hate, but is absolutely necessary in this pattern. Heather Lou does eliminate the back facing, though - which is awesome. I also dislike using fusible interfacing, so I used some voile and a glue stick, ala Tasia from Sewaholic here. And to be real with you - I used an Elmer's disappearing purple washable glue stick, rather than a "fabric" glue stick. This worked out pretty well, but after washing - I did need to iron out the facings (they got quite wrinkly - this probably would've happened with fusible too). But, how incredibly posh to have to iron your pajamas! ;)


I elected to use store bought piping, rather than homemade, and I'll probably just keep doing that out of laziness on future pairs. Multiple people have mentioned using a piping foot to apply the piping, but I found that my edge stitching foot worked pretty well.



The only change I really made to this pattern was shorten the waistband because I only had 1" elastic on hand. Heather Lou has some other suggestions for waistbands here, but I don't mind the more narrow waistband. I will say I might've made the elastic a bit loose though...

My next plans are to make a silk short sleeve/shorts version for spring and summer, as well as potentially a knit pair (I have a ton of knit yardage from trips to the garment district). And I think it would be cool to try to make an actual shirt from this pattern (did anyone see the new Named pattern that looks pretty similar?).