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Seamwork Almada

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Hiiiiiiiii! It's definitely been a minute since my last post and I've had a major change in my life. If you don't already know from following me on Instagram, I'm pregnant. Despite a lack of blog posts, sewing still has been happening behind the scenes (or in front of the scenes if you follow me on Instagram, but whatever), however, I have been more thoughtful about where my time is being spent in regards to sewing patterns.


One factor I always think about when making something is "will this get worn?" If the answer is "no" or "maybe, once in a while" then the pattern usually isn't purchased/sewn. Yes, there are some special exceptions, but 95% of the time that's how my mind works. Time is very precious and making clothing that is useful is really important to me. And when your back hurts, it's hard to get comfortable, and breathing normally is a luxury then time is extra precious.


So, what I'm trying to say is that I was able to sew this Seamwork Almada robe in an old school pre pregnancy Erin sewing session that was completed in an afternoon. I wanted to make a robe to wear in the hospital, for nursing, for this maternity photoshoot, and even out and about in the summer. This robe is the definition of multi use to me.


The fabric was purchased from Hart's Fabric in Santa Cruz last month and it's a lightweight cotton voile in my favorite color (or non color if you want to go that route), black. It's sheer, so if this is going to be worn out on the town then I'll probably wear a tank underneath and leggings. But isn't the black so good? Yeah, this is going to get worn a lot for sure.


The Almada Robe was released a while back, maybe a two or three years ago? It's one of those patterns that I slept on and am confused why I didn't make much sooner. Directions were to the point and easy to understand. I omitted the snap on the front and it doesn't seem like it shows too much boob when tied correctly, interfaced the sleeve cuffs and waist ties for more structure, and used store bought bias tape which was kinda stiff in a good way. Still kinda in awe that this was all sewn in a day since that hasn't happened in a long time. Maybe the fact that the photoshoot was scheduled that afternoon put a fire under me haha.


Shoutout to the wonderful Kacie Jones for taking these photos. I met her through my BFF Ariana and have had the opportunity of working with her a few times now. She gets my style and vibe and Luke and I just adore her. I'm posting some photos that are more artsy and less focused on the garment, so deal with it πŸ˜€

Power Clash!

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Power clashing is when you wear leopard print shoes, a black and white striped t-shirt, and a floral corduroy pinafore. Ok, that is not the exact definition of power clashing and I don't know what the official definition is, but I feel like this outfit fits the description of what I imagine it to be.


Top: A Grainline Studio Lark Tee. Crew neck neckline with short sleeves. There are different neckline options and this is my first time sewing a crew neck (with this pattern) and I like it. Nothing super exciting to say about the construction of this, just serged and zig zag stitched my heart out. While making a knit t-shirt isn't the most exciting garment to sew, I LOVE making them. I like making things that don't chill in my closet and Lark fits well in my life and on my body haha. I've made two Larks with the v-neckline and I wear them constantly. Oh, striped knit is from The Fabric Store in Los Angeles (RIP).

Pinafore: The Helen's Closet York. This was the first Helen's Closet pattern I had sewn and let me just say, I am a fan! Her instructions are thorough, I like that she gives a quick overview on making adjustments if needed, and I like the diagram that helps assess the fit.


This is View A, the view with the large scoop side pockets. Oh, don't see the pockets? That's because I pattern matched themmmmmm! They're pretty decently camouflaged and I'm pleased with the outcome. If I was fancy and did gifs this would be where I upload something of me dancing around with my hands in my pockets.


The armholes and neckline are finished with bias tape. Attaching the bias tape was the most time consuming part of sewing. That said, I sewed this pinafore in a day, so it really didn't take too long since I was using premade tape. I used scraps, so my neckline is finished in black and the armholes are finished in red. It's so satisfying using up weird and random bits of bias tape from previous projects for some reason.


Current status: comfy dress (I've never worn a pinafore before and the word doesn't roll off my tongue very easily) in a fun corduroy print from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley, California. It was one of those impulse buys that needed to be immediately purchased so it could sit in my stash for a few years haha. Luckily I bought three yards of it because I needed to use more fabric than the pattern called for. The cutting layout had the front and back pieces going in opposite directions, which wouldn't work with the fabric pile. I ended up cutting the fabric with the selvedges together and the pattern pieces going in the same direction. Problem solved.

I'm bad about updating my blog, but I just wanted to say that I appreciate all of you who still read and comment on my posts. xoxox

Quilt Life

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One of the differences between sewing a quilt and sewing a garment is that quilting is NOT an instant gratification project. I'm not saying that making all clothing is quick, but I can pump out a knit t-shirt in a couple of hours and I have never made a quilt anywhere near that quickly. Elisabeth is hosting a quiltalong for the book she cowrote with Nichole, The Fussy Cut Sampler, and there have been several blocks that I have spent hours cutting and sewing. Yes, hours plural. No, not instant gratification. For sure, strangely satisfying though.

I think this is my favorite block so far. The fabric is all designed by Libs Elliott and I love her stuff!

What I'm trying to say is that I have been spending more time at my sewing machine and less time with my knitting needles. 50% of sewing time has been working on garments and 50% has been working on quilts. Productivity wise, when it comes to finished projects, my numbers have been down, but once I finish up some of the bigger projects in the next few months I feel like I will have something to "officially" show for it. In the meantime, here are some photos of my current quilt WIP for The Fussy Cut Sampler QAL!


These blocks are insane, colorful, mismatched, definitely not perfect, and SO fun to make. I'm learning a lot and having a blast. I hope all QALs are like this. I might be hooked.

Larry Bird loves guarding my blocks 😐. Anyway, happy Tuesday!

Addison Aloha

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This tank adds to the Tom Selleck garment situation I have going on in my closet and I'm not mad about it. If you lurk back in my blog you will definitely notice the Hawaiian vibe I've had going from the beginning. My first ever wearable garment was a pencil skirt made in a plumeria print and a leopard print for the facing and today I'm posting a Hawaiian inspired fabric tank with leopard shoes. Some things never change πŸ˜‚ I guess I know what I like!


I don't know if I've ever blogged about anything sleeveless, as I don't usually wear anything that shows my upper arms. At work it's always long sleeves and on the weekend I get wild and go with short sleeves. For whatever reason I have always felt weird about showing my arms, but the temperature is rising and it's almost summer, so I decided that I just don't care anymore. Since coming to this conclusion a whole new world of patterns has opened up. Tank top season is here and I'm going to get ready for it.


Or maybe you think I'm trying to show off my sickkkkk tat? That honestly doesn't have anything to do with it, but I will talk about it for a sec since it's in your face and I like giving shout outs to people and places that rule. My friend Gary (who owns Sink or Swim Tattoo in Grover Beach, CA) came up with the concept/drawing and tattooed me several weeks ago. Gary is my bud, I've known him since I was a teenager and actually used to work for him in his shop (bet you didn't know I used to work in a tattoo shop back in the day), so I feel like I've known him for forever. We even have friendship tattoos! I know first hand that he keeps his business really clean, he's very talented, his employees are all down to earth and super chill, and he let me watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (tv show) while I got my first tattoo in 2004. So he's a solid dude and I highly highly recommend him if you're looking for some work.


Ok, back to my Seamwork Addison. Technically this should have been sewn in a light weight fabric like linen or rayon, but I really wanted to use this Blend Fabrics quilting cotton. It gives a vintage vibe to the fabric that I'm into. Hawaiian fabric can go really right or really wrong. And fast. This fun print paired with the pussy bow add on bonus collar for Seamwork subscribers just worked like peanut butter and jelly. Or coffee and donuts. Or Tom Selleck and wild Hawaiian fabric 🌺🌺🌺🌺. That said, the print itself is great, but the quilting cotton is definitely a little bulky around the neckline. Maybe I should just follow the fabrics that patterns suggest in the future idk.

Bow detail.

As with all Seamwork patterns I have sewn, Addison was a fun and uncomplicated garment to make. No pattern adjustments were made and I don't think that any need to be made for my second version. I might tack down the facing in "the ditch" (that's my quilt talk coming out) to minimize the chances of it riding up, but that's probably the easiest "adjustment" ever. Speaking of the facing and all hemming on this tank, I didn't follow the directions and serged the bottom to keep it from unraveling, folded it up a half inch, and then stitched. That's me being lazy and keeping it real.


The exciting construction bit would be the burrito method for attaching the lining to the main fabric pieces. I've only burrito-ed once and it was a longgggg time ago. Thankfully the directions/diagram for Addison made total sense and created such a nice finish. And the fit! I'm stoked on the fit. My bra straps aren't hanging out, the arm holes aren't super baggy or digging into my armpits, and the bust is fitted without being uncomfortable. I'm going to make another version with the pointed collar soon. And of course I need a version in all black because that is my life.

Mahalo!

Do you even lift, bro?

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My husband Luke has always been really good about working out on a regular basis. Me, on the other hand... not so much. I enjoy taking yoga classes from Niccola Nelson (and if you live in the San Luis Obispo area I highly highly recommend her!!!!), but other than yoga there wasn't a workout class or routine that I was totally sold on.

My bestie Ariana's husband is a personal trainer, so my husband and I have been working out with him. Matt is super knowledgeable, doesn't use "traditional" gym equipment, and mixes up our workouts so we aren't doing the same things every time we see him. His workouts are intense and I leave feeling exhausted, knowing that I gave it my all. I feel stronger, my anxiety chills out for a while as I focus on what I'm doing, and it's fun working out with my friends. At least, as fun as a workout can be haha

The point to all this rambling is to say that since I'm working out more I'm going to try and make some workout wear, starting with the Seamwork Shelly leggings. I've made leggings before, but never with a gusset and not without an elastic waistband. Wait, I take that back, I've made two pairs without an elastic waist and they wouldn't stay up during yoga and got banished to the pj drawer. So, I was curious to see how a different construction and a new pattern would hold up.


This fabric is a nylon spandex from Michael Levine. On their website it's listed under swimwear prints, but in the description it says, "perfect for creating designer swimwear and activewear separates." It might be great for laying out by the pool and drinking Mai Tais, but it's not ideal for yoga or anything super physical. There isn't four way stretch (which always makes fabric more comfortable in my opinion) and I don't like that. When I wore these on Saturday for my sewing day with my buddies I felt sweaty when I was sitting down and can't imagine what it would feel like after a one hour workout. Definitely going to wear them casually and not when I'm swinging a kettle bell around.

Can I just say that I am really pleased with how the fit turned out? I am in LOVE with this pattern. My husband and I both agree that these are the best fitting leggings I have sewn and the best part is that I didn't make a single adjustment to them. For my next pair I will have to make a little more room for my butt (I have a big butt) because the waistband dips slightly lower in the back. But even without that change I am super stoked on Shelly. Way stoked. Like, "I'm going to cut into the nice fabric I bought from Blackbird Fabrics" stoked.


The gusset was not hard at all to sew in, but the construction was different from the other leggings I have made, so I tried not to overthink things and trusted the instructions. The gusset ended up being longer than I originally realized, it reaches my knees. This fabric is super busy and it's hard to see unless you are looking for it, but just an FYI to you guys reading this in case you care. Oh, and another FYI, I'm considered petite and normally have to shorten patterns or omit cuffs to make garments fit better. The hem on these leggings are 5/8 inch as opposed to the 1 inch hem suggested in the directions. If you are on the taller side you may need to add some length.

Now I need to work on some tank tops for the gym. Do any of you have a favorite pattern that I should try out?

Named Inari

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One of my most loved patterns that hasn't been shown any respect (in the form of a blog post) is the Named Inari Tee Dress. I made a striped linen dress towards the end of 2016 and my sister called dibs on it 😐 Then in summer 2017 I made the knit version out of some purple fabric, wore it nonstop, and immediately didn't make a second version like I stated would happen. Finally, a month ago I righted my wrong and made another knit dress.

Photo of myself and the Inari thief, my sister Kelly.

There isn't much to say about the construction. If you can sew a t-shirt you can sew this dress. The fun details that I like are the slits on the sides, the slight cocoon shape, and the back hem which is slightly longer than the front. It's not a fabric eater (doesn't require a ton of yardage) AND it can be sewn in a knit or woven, which makes it pretty cool in my book. Perfect for showcasing a fun print since there aren't many pattern pieces.... hahah I have yet to sew it in a fun print, so don't even listen to me rn.

Check out my stripe matching πŸ‘

Part of the reason I hesitated in sewing this is because of stripe matching. I got this cool fabric from Bolt Fabric in Portland when I was visiting friends in December and knew that I wanted to make another Inari, but didn't take into account that the stripes were irregular. I procrastinated, made an Instagram poll asking everyone if stripe matching was necessary (the answer was "no"), then got all annoying and lined everything up anyway. I figured that never once have I regretted stripe matching and if there was enough fabric I should just suck it up and do it.


Slightly dressy and super comfy = a win in my book. Another dress to come, for serious this time. I bought fabric for it this week.