Saturday, February 28, 2015

I Heart These Sweaters

Hello lovely readers! It's been awhile since my last post, which I am going to blame completely on the weather. Freezing cold temperatures and short days kind of kills my sew-jo, and my blog-jo (yes that's a thing). There aren't many fabrics in my stash that lend themselves to cold weather garments, and who wants to sew summer dresses in the middle of snowmageddon! However, this black and white heart sweater fabric was a perfect match for these frigid days!

Enjoying coffee with brunch on a snow day!
The fabric was purchased at The Needle Shop in Chicago, but is now sold out. 
(Update: Found it here on e-bay! Move quick, it's free shipping!)

I got two yards and was able to squeeze two sweaters out of it - there's even some left over!

The black ribbing for both was purchased at Joann Fabrics. 


I've made this free Plantain t-shirt pattern quite a few times - see (1) and (2)*now worn by my cutie pie sister. In fact, this version is my #2 most viewed post of all time! Lol :) The only design changes I made were:

- Lengthen hem a few inches for tunic length
- Graded out at the hips
- Lengthen sleeves and add ribbed cuff
- Raise neckline an inch

This pattern is pretty much perfect out of the envelope!


This pattern is new to me. I wanted to make a sweater like this one, found on Pinterest. Thankfully, Gertie's newest sewing book, Gertie Sew's Vintage Casual, includes one with several of the same features (fitted, short sleeve, crew neck).

Sizing: 6 bust, 8 waist, 10 hips


- Lengthened sleeve by a couple inches
- Added sleeve band with black ribbing
- Lengthened sweater by an inch or two

It is definitely a fitted sweater, a little more than I would like. This may be due to the fabric not having quite as much stretch as, say, a jersey knit. Also, the armscye is too small and tight. Is this something that going up to a size 8 at the bust would fix? Or is it more complicated than that?

Here is a side by side comparison :)

The Verdict: While these are both great little sweaters, the Plantain will probably get more wear because it fits better. I would love to wear the short one over a collared tank (in my sewing queue!). Expect more fabric double-duty next week when I post a Rigel bomber jacket, made with the same black flocked polka dots as my Moneta from January.

And you may have noticed, I have a shiny new pair of glasses! I've never had wear-all-the-time glasses before, so this will be a definite adjustment. The prescription is not super strong, but it has already helped with strain and headaches. I just got them last week and really like them :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Black Polka Dot Moneta

Hi there! HaPpY 2015! Welcome to a brand new year with the quirky peach! It's fun to look back to the beginning of last year and see how much has changed. For instance, my on-again-off-again relationship with bangs, the ever growing inspiration wall in my sewing room, or my love/hate relationship with the word "make" as a noun ;) This year, one of my main goals in sewing to make clothing that I love and will actually wear! I've found that for me, the most worn clothes in my closet are a perfect combination of cute & comfortable. If it's not comfortable, it won't get worn. If it's not cute, it won't get worn... out of the house. I think my first garment of 2015 is a winner - a black knit dress with subtle polka dots that makes my heart go pitter-pat! ♥ ♥ 

Pattern: Colette Moneta (made once before, here)

Fabric: Black ponte knit with flocked polka dots / Lining: solid black ponte - both from Joanns

Sizing: Small (bust) to Medium (waist) to Large (hip)

Design Changes:

- Lined bodice
- Sleeves at "half" length
- Shortened skirt 3ish inches
- Omitted pockets

Outside // Inside
Construction Notes: 

- Lined bodice and understitched neckline for cleaner finish at neckline, and warmth :)
- Added "One of a Kind" label: sewn to lining only, before attaching sleeves
- Zig zag stitch for sleeve hem / skirt hem
- To gather skirt:
(1) stitch two lines of basting stitches along top of skirt
(2) gather skirt to match lower edge of bodice
(3) baste bodice, lining, skirt with wide zig zag
(4) attach elastic and finish waistline with serger

The Verdict: Well it's black, it's a knit, and it has subtle polka dots. I LOVE IT! The skirt is the perfect gathered skirt shape, and will probably become my go-to anytime I want to add one to a knit dress. The only bad thing about this version is that it is tight around the bust and arms. This ponte doesn't stretch as much as other knit fabrics, and I accidentally cut the sleeves on the cross-grain, so no stretch at all there. Getting it on is a little tricky, but once it's on, it wears like a dream :)

So I'm curious - which factors play into what get's worn in your closet? Would you define your style as Cute / Comfortable or something else?? Please share in the comments - I love to hear from you :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - A Year in Review

Well folks, here we are - the end of 2014! A short and sweet review of the year is what I had in mind for this post. Granted, this may be more for my sake than yours - I really enjoyed looking back at last year's end post (here) and how I've changed / grown in a year's time. So without further ado...

1. What I Made:

11 Tops, 3 Cardigans/Jackets, 5 Skirts, 11 Dresses, 1 Swimsuit, 1 Romper, 1 Halloween Costume
14 in Knit Fabric and 19 in Woven Fabric
Total: 33 Garments

My FAVORITE and MOST WORN garments tend to be Knit Tops and Woven Dresses with pockets :) 

See all of them in My Handmade Closet

2. What I Learned:

Blogging takes a long time. There are a lot of great sewing blogs out there. Therefore, one should not feel bad if everything sewn (like this skirt) doesn't make it to the blog - that's what Instagram is for :)

Also, this must have been the Year of the Hem! I tried several new techniques besides a straight stitch:

Narrow hem  //  Bias tape hem  //  Rolled hem  //  Blind hem

Finally, it's okay to get rid of clothes you made! Really! Curating the perfect closet means cutting out stuff that doesn't fit well, hold up under lots of wear, or just isn't your style. Give away or sell what you don't like and you'll be left with what you love :)

3. For 2015:

Use patterns and fabrics from the STASH

Stick to styles, colors, and fabrics I love and will wear

Take the time to construct it well

Make these patterns again, because they are awesome and worn all the time:

Alder Shirtdress // Belladone Dress // Bronte Top and Dress // Bruyere Tunic // Rigel Bomber Jacket

And one last thing:

Thank YOU for reading this blog!

I love reading your comments and interacting with you all on this wonderful world wide web.
So, what is YOUR #1 Goal or Tip going into the New Year?