January 22, 2016


Happy New Year, everyone!!!! It's been a very busy few months! It all started back in November when Jeremy and I traveled to Indiana for Thanksgiving, came back to LA for 5 days and then went off to Germany. Somewhere around August, that all seemed like a good idea... At least we had fun!

In December, we spent two amazing weeks in Germany and Austria (you can see some of Jeremy's awesome pics here). We spent 3 days in Germany in 2011, and we'd been craving a trip back ever since. This time we did 4 days in Munich, two in Hallstatt, Austria, two days in Salzburg, 4 days in Mittenwald, and back to Munich for two days. It was a great balance of city and country, long stays and short - and we hit up many a Christmas market. All in all, we had a great time and I'm sure we'll get the itch to return again in the not-so-distant future.

I feel like I've spent the last few weeks recovering from travel and the holidays - so I'm just now getting around to posting some new handmade clothing - finished just in time for my trip! I made several new items, and these are the best of it.

Also - the pictures of the first three items were taken in Hallstatt, Austria, and the last set were taken in the beautiful Englischer Garten in Munich.

Pattern: McCalls 6996
Size: Large, View C
Modifications: None
Fabric: Teal tweed double knit from the LA Garment District
Worn With: My first knit hat - the Magic Hat in Madelinetosh Nebula

Cardigans used to be a major staple of my wardrobe, but since I began sewing - my cardigan collection has aged because they're almost all from my RTW days. McCalls 6996 seemed like as good of a choice as any - plus it's easily picked up in a Joann's sale (although I may have ordered this from McCalls during a $3.99 sale due to impatience). 
This pattern sews up quite quickly, and I easily made two of these in one day (the other is a very thin, white sweater knit that's been dubbed the "Ghost Sweater" and likely won't make an appearance here). The sizing, however, as McCalls tends to be - is a little on the large size. I made a size Large based on my measurements, but easily could've gone down to a medium if it was included in my envelope. The overall effect isn't too large, but in a bulky double knit - it's bigger than I'd like. 

The fabric was a lucky street-side find that I came across while rolling with my Katie gang through the LA garment district (made up of me, my friend Katie, and Katie of What Katie Sews). It's a fairly thick double knit, with a teal tweedy textured (say that three times fast) outer layer, and a black inner layer. It probably has a bit of poly content, but it's really soft and super warm. 
Size: 44 with a 1" FBA
Modifications: Slimmed the sleeves, omitted sleeve tab, used different cuffs
Fabric: J.Crew Plaid Shirting from Indiesew

My second winter make today is also my second version of the Pauline Alice Carme Blouse. I've made this pattern up once before, but I was never that crazy about the outcome, although it fit pretty well. My main issue on my first version was the sleeve pattern - it's a bit billowy at the wrists, and it's gathered into a narrow cuff - but I get too many Shakespeare vibes from it. 
For my second go around, I used my Archer sleeve pattern (which is a 12 graded down to a 2 at the wrist) to slim down the Carme sleeve, and I used the Archer cuffs instead of the narrow cuffs included in the pattern. I also did a 1" FBA (2" total), and changed the position of the dart - and I really like the fit. I also changed up the front panel by eliminating the pleats, and cutting it on the bias. 
The fabric is a navy and red plaid J.Crew shirting from Indiesew. The fabric has a really nice feel to it, but the plaid was terribly off grain, and lining everything up was a serious headache. Such is the life of a sewist who wants matching plaids and stripes :D With the placket, front panel and band collar - Carme is a great alternative to my regular uniform of Archers and Granvilles. 
Pattern: Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans
Size: 10, View B (high rise)
Modifications: Added 1/4" at the top of each leg piece side seam, grading to nothing below the pocket. This added about 1" and helps my waistband lay flatter.
Fabric: Cone Mills Denim in 11.5oz Indigo, from Threadbare Fabrics

Ah, another pair of Ginger jeans! Can there ever be enough?! I've been wanting another pair of indigo Gingers for a little while now (I've worn this pair basically every day for over a year). The denim is, of course, Cone Mills Denim in 11.5oz Indigo (available at our fabric store, Threadbare Fabrics). The 11.5oz, in my opinion, is the perfect denim weight for a pair of skinny jeans. 
I chose to make this pair with silver topstitching, to make them a bit different than my pairs with gold topstitching. I like the look, and they are effectively different. It's also funny how much darker they are when the denim is fresh, rather than being lightened by washing over a year. 
There's one slight issue with these jeans - a few pairs of jeans ago, I decided to add a bit of room through the hips and waist on the pattern. This works okay for a stiffer denim, but the 11.5oz has such a nice stretch, that it was a bit of a mistake to leave that extra room in this pair. They fit great straight out of the washing machine, but as the denim relaxes a bit with wear - they become a bit too big in the hips and waist. My other pair can be worn for basically two weeks straight without washing or bagging out, while these need to be washed more frequently to tighten up the hips/waist. Note to self - when using the Cone Mills S-Gene... leave the sizing alone :D 

Pattern: McCalls 6613, view D
Size: Large
Alterations: Diagonal yoke and pockets
Fabric: Plaid flannel shirting from Michael Levine

Jeremy's been itching for a new flannel shirt (this one has been worn completely to death) - so I made him one just in time for our trip. The flannel is from Michael Levine, but I'm not sure of the brand (I had my eye on some Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel, but this one isn't it). The fabric is super thick, and was super warm for our trip - as well as Jeremy's motorcycle commute to work. 
There's not too much more to say about this shirt (I've made it about 15 times or so) - it's made exactly as instructed in the pattern. There's only one pocket - I had a bit of a fabric shortage, and messed up the pocket plaid matching a few too many times. The inner yoke is a red chambray - again due to fabric shortage. 
The one part I'm most proud of is the plaid matching. I've always had stripe matching across the fronts and seams down, but I've struggled with matching the plaid. This is probably the first shirt where I feel like I truly nailed the plaid across the entire front, including the button band - keeping the main plaid stripes balanced vertically (I think I did pretty good with this shirt too, actually). Jeremy loves this shirt, and so do I!
I hope everyone is having a great new year so far!  Slowly but surely, I'm getting back into sewing - but I am currently loving knitting (I'm working on the Rosemont Cardigan from Home & Away). Has anyone else suffered from a lack of post-holiday sewjo/motivation? Any tips on dealing with it?

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