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Britex silk chiffon = conquered!

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Back in 2012 (I think?) I sewed with silk chiffon for the first time and it was a total disaster (not trying to quote Donald Trump here, but it was). I didn't realize then how big of a disaster, but now that I have learned more about sewing I felt ready to try again. Round two was a success.

The fabric in this post was generously given to me by Britex Fabrics in San Francisco, California. It's so cherry, isn't it? Initially I was terrified of this silk chiffon, but after deciding that I badly wanted an orange silk Named Asaka Kimono in my life I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone and make this combo happen. And I'm so glad I did. Worth the extra effort for sure.

Sewing with a slippery fabric can be tricky, so I did a lot of research and felt much more confident about silk. If you'd like to read my tips, tricks, and revelations please head over to the Britex blog where I wrote a blog post allllll about it. Of course, it didn't hurt that I was using a high quality fabric that was perfectly on grain, but in conclusion: it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be once I was prepared with the proper supplies and knowledge.

Let's discuss the pattern. But, let's first start out with a list of things that I talk shit about:
  1. Cutting and taping pdf patterns.
  2. Not having AC during the summer.
  3. People who torture animals.
  4. Neegan from the Walking Dead (such a psycho jerk!!!!!!).
  5. The neighbor who would climb onto our trash cans to pick avocados from our tree.
Well, take number one on my list (cutting and taping pdf patterns) and times that by ten. That is how I feel about putting in all that work and THEN having to trace the pattern pieces because they are tiled on top of one another. Yeah, I know that I could have taken the pdf to the copy shop and had them print it out, but it was going to be $$$$$$$ and that made me annoyed too. THEN I realized after taping, cutting, and tracing that I needed to add 1/4 inch seam allowance to the pattern pieces if I wanted to use French seams.... @&*#^@!(#^$)!@^$. Alright, now that I've got that complaining out of my system. I'll work on my PMA for the rest of the post, promise.

Sewing the fabric went really really smoothly. Like, "too good to be true" smoothly, so shout out to my extra prep work and this silk. The directions for Asaka were great too. I think the pattern would have came together really fast if it wasn't for the French seams, but they were necessary, as the fabric is super sheer. The only minor changes I made, other than the French seams, were to add some extra top stitching around the collar and to make the belt loops bigger. Not sure if that last change was a good one, but oh well! This garment is going to get a lot of wear when the weather is hot, it breathes beautifully and feels amazing on my skin.

Underneath the kimono is a True Bias Ogden Cami made in cotton voile. I didn't get any solo shots of it, which is my bad, but it is the same fabric that I used for the collar and belt of the kimono. The pattern was a super straight forward sew, a great day project. I don't have much to say about it other than I like it and will probably make a few more as layering pieces. It's so nice to have a pattern for a wardrobe basic. Sometimes it seems like the simple pieces are the ones people buy from fast fashion stores, so it is awesome to have the option to make this instead of purchase.

It's such a good feeling to face fears and then beat them. And it's so freeing to know that I don't need to shy away from silk in the future. In fact, I'm planning a black silk dress right now :p


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Once upon a time I had a blog and I actually updated it! Life was freaking crazy lol. It's been a while since my last post, so I decided to shock people and actually update this thing! I even remembered my password!

I went to Maui recently with my family and of course I had to make some Hawaiian themed clothes (yeah, I was THAT tourist) and I want to share them with you guys over the next couple of posts. The scenery there is stunning, but you prob saw that if you follow me on Instagram, and I took full advantage of the natural backdrop.

First off, my fabric choices were completely inspired by Tom Selleck of Magnum PI fame. He was my mom's number one celebrity crush until she discovered Chris Isaak, so I am very familiar with ol' Tommy. This Hawaiian quilting cotton was purchased online from Hawaii Fabric Mart. At the time there was a five yard minimum order for their fabrics, so I bought five yards at $4.99 each, but now the website is saying they can do one yard cuts for some of their stuff. Not much to say about it, but it's pretty nice fabric and was a good choice for the patterns I paired it with. And I'm actually stoked that I ordered five yards because the print is beautiful and I want to make something for my niece if I ever decide to stop being selfish with my time.

Let's talk about the SBCC Paloma Blouse. Actually, why aren't you guys talking about it?!?! It's a great pattern from a great company. It is geared toward petites, and I now realize that I fall into that category, so I rarely have to make any adjustments to the patterns, which makes me happy! This shirt was sewn without any major changes (other than spacing the buttons a little wider apart) and I am really really happy with the fit. The style is awesome and will be perfect for showcasing some of the quilting cottons I have stashed away and will also look good with silk or rayon, two of my newfound loves. Well, View B (the view I made) will be great for the quilting cottons and View A will be good for the other fabrics. My only complaint, and I feel so petty and dumb for saying this, is that I wish that the instructions told you which seam allowance to use while sewing. It's listed at the beginning, but I like being reminded during the actual step because there is a 76% chance that I will forget and sew the wrong one.

The shorts are the Seamwork Weston pattern, a high waisted retro style short. I didn't make a muslin for it and didn't make any changes, but I feel like I ended up with a decent wearable muslin! Yeah, I for sure need to adjust the fit for my next pair, but I am still stoked on these. I prefer a higher rise to a lower one, so once I make some changes this is going to be my dream pattern for summer. Of course, I sewed these at the end of summer, so the next pair will have to be my Future Summer Dream Shorts of 2017. The actual sewing of it went well, however, I did get confused when it came to doing the fly front. I've only sewn one a couple of times and I needed more help than the directions provided. I think I referenced the directions for the Ginger Jeans since that is the only pattern I have successfully done a fly front for.

Shout out to my sister for taking these photos at our Airbnb. I have to give her a shout out or she'll probably hit me with a lawsuit soooo fast. jkjkjk

I have to include this photo because I look so awkward and it cracks me up!

Any Tom Selleck fans out there? Mahalo.

Yarn, knitting, memories.

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I'm definitely fast about whipping out my credit card to buy yarn, but my actual knitting process is much more time consuming. On average it seems that sweaters take me three months to complete and socks take me between one and two. This seems like foreverrrrrrr when I compare it sewing a knit top, which I can wrap up in a few hours and wear the same day.

One of the things I like about the slow process of knitting are the memories, both good and bad, that are attached to the item I am making. When I look at the finished object, or see photos of it being worn by the recipient, I am reminded of where I was at that moment in my life when I made it. When I cast on my last sweater it was while spending time with my mother in law (who I am obsessed with) and watching my brother in law compete for Australia in the U17 World Cup. The last two beanies I made were for people (one for a stranger and one for a friend I've known since first grade) going through cancer. Yarn was purchased for the shawl I just completed when I was in New Orleans running through a sudden downpour in the French Quarter with my husband. The ribbing for my Seawall socks was worked on while I cheered for the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center and the last few inches were in progress while my sister lost a family member. Last week my BFF's brother was murdered and I have spent the time since thinking about her and her family while I work on another pair of socks.

I couldn't be more grateful to have a hobby that is there for me through my highs and lows.

Me Made Maying in some Ginger Jeans

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Me Made May has been going on for quite a few years, but up until this year I had never participated. Honestly, my reason for not joining in was dumb: I didn't want to bore people with what I wore. There are so many people who make beautiful dresses and skirts and I just wear jeans and a t-shirt five days out of the week, the opposite of fanciness and excitingness. But then I thought, "this is what I wear every day, this is why I make so many causal clothes, and I should share this with everyone because this is my real life." Sooooo that's whats up.

So hard to photograph black. So easy to photograph dog and cat hair :/

The one piece of clothing that I needed for my wardrobe was jeans. I knew it before MMM, I've known it for years. Yes, I was one of those people who was intimidated by sewing jeans despite seeing twenty million pairs of Ginger Jeans blowing up the World Wide Web accompanied by proclamations of "it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be." Now, that I have two pairs of Gingers under my belt (no pun intended) I can officially join the latter camp.

Little Cotton and Steel pockets!

I was really fortunate to have been contacted by Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley, California. They asked if I would be interested in sewing up the Gingers with their fabric and using their denim kit and of course I said yes. Without their offer I probably wouldn't have made jeans and would procrastinate for thirty MMMs and just be wearing Levis everyday :/ So, thank you Stonemountain! Hearts hearts hearts. Anyway, I am a huge fan of their store and always stop in when I'm in the Bay Area. Funny story, I ran into my ex boyfriend when my husband's band played at The Gilman in Berkeley. I told him that he needed to check out Stonemountain and that I loved the store and the girls who worked there and blah blah blah. My husband kindly reminded me that my ex probably didn't sew lol. What can I say, I get excited when my mind turns to fabric! :P

Just wearing some Ginger Jeans and animal hair at the same time. Jealous?

Let's talk about this denim. It's black, as I'm sure you're already aware, and I am proud to report that it did not fade/lose color one bit when I prewashed. I know this because I threw a Color Catcher in the wash (along with some vinegar!) and it came out white. Yeahhhhh buddy. This makes me happy and makes me feel confident that I can wash these pants with the rest of my laundry without worrying that my other stuff is going to get an unintentional dye job.

I made View B, the high waisted version.

This fabric has the perfect amount of stretch (70% cotton, 28% polyester, 2% spandex) and doesn't seem to bag out much after wear. It's soft and comfy and I'm stoked on the quality. Actually, I'm so stoked on their denim selection that I bought some (non stretch) fabric to make the Morgan's too.

Awkward butt photo. You can't make jeans and not show the back, sorry.
There isn't a lot to say about the actual pattern that hasn't already been said. My wearable muslin (I'll show you guys them at some point on this blog, I'm sure) was full of mistakes and it took me longer than expected to sew up. Sewing with denim, using lots of top stitching, inserting a fly front zipper, using a hump jumper (the weirdest sewing tool name I've heard), and installing rivets were all completely foreign to me and I slowly worked my way through the pattern. I relied a lot on the online sew along photos, but didn't really reference the Ginger Jeans E-Book that I had purchased a while back. My second pair (the one you're looking at) was sewn up much quicker and with a lot less confusion and head scratching. I'm glad I made two pairs back to back!

The only changes I made from my muslin was to go down a size and shorten the legs by three inches. My first pair was baggier than I wanted. This was confirmed when my sister asked if my jeans were supposed to be skinny jeans or boyfriend jeans... My second pair is borderline high water status which is the look I was going for, seriously. I love pants that are this length and now that I can make my own (high five) I'm going to make them however I want!!!!!!

Stonemountain is so generous and offered my blog readers a coupon code to use on their website. Use coupon code MISSCC15 to get 15% off your total purchase. Just throwing it out there, these jeans kits are all amazing if you hate gathering supplies as much as I do and this corduroy is the best $45 (I bought three yards) I've spent on flower fabric ever.

So, which camp are you in? The camp who has sewn jeans and feels it was no problem or the camp who is hesitant to get started?

Archers on Archers on Archers

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Oh, I've just been busy being a member of Archer-holics Anonymous. K, I guess it's not anonymous anymore since I am posting this on the World Wide Web. Oh well.

These are Grainline Archers #3 and #4 and while they may look basic to you guys, they are not basic to me. I sewed with plaid for the first time, sewed on buttons using my machine (why did I wait so long to do this?!? I'm annoyed with myself right now), and used the Archer expansion pack to make tower plackets. So, a lot of firsts that won't be my lasts.

It was super windy when my husband took these, so we didn't get many usable photos :(

I followed the directions for the original pattern as written until I got to the part with the tower plackets, then I switched over to the expansion pack instructions. Honestly, I was super confused with installing the tower plackets because I basically stitched it all wrong from the beginning and was stubborn about unpicking and wasted a bunch of time and hated my life for a minute. When I realized that I was being lame I got out the seam ripper and restarted from the beginning and had no problems. Don't you hate it when you realize that something is actually not that difficult, but you managed to make it super confusing? I'm the Queen of that.

There were a few adjustments made to the pattern (you can read about them here) and the only extra change I made was to shorten the sleeves an additional half inch, for a total of two and a half inches. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the fit, so I want to bust out a few more of these and have an Archer section of the closet. Actually, for these two I sewed them at the same time and didn't change the thread until the buttonholes. Two at a time sewing (and knitting!) is awesome until you have to do some unpicking/unraveling and have to undo twice the work which is unawesome. But it was super rad to have made these two in a week!

My husband is a big fan of Fred Perry and Ben Sherman shirts, in fact, that is exclusively what he wears to work. One day I was side eyeing his shirt and liked the contrast on the top of the pocket. So, I stole that idea from him. Thanks Fred or Ben! I also copied the top stitching and did tiny squares, but it's hard to see in the photo above because there is a pretty sweet cat hair situation in the exact spot I am trying to explain about :/ Cat hair, don't care.

Both fabrics were purchased locally at Picking Daisies in San Luis Obispo. I love the owners of that shop so much! It's great knowing them and going to visit them at work and it is so hard to leave that shop empty handed when there is so much fabric goodness everywhere! The polkadot face fabric is designed by Sarah Watts for Cotton and Steel. Quilting cotton is something that I rarely use for clothing nowadays, but those cute little faces were begging to be made into a garment! I'm not sure what the fabric makeup is for the plaid, but in comparison to the Cotton and Steel it was more difficult to sew. It was a little shifty for me and wasn't the easiest to match up the sides, but I did a pretty decent job! The lines on one of the sides is off a tinyyyy bit, maybe a sixteenth of an inch, which is good enough for me.

Have an Archertastic day!

Camden Cape

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I'd like to start this blog post out by saying that I am truly in love with what I've made. It's not everyday that Britex sends me beautiful fabric and lets me choose what to sew with it. And it's definitely not everyday that I spend more time on the details of a garment than on the actual sewing. I've been binging on knits the last couple of years and I wouldn't say that I'm hungover and not into them, but this project is a nice break.

The shining star in the photos is most definitely the fabric. It's stunning, right? Until this point I had never sewn anything like it. I kind of swore off sewing anything remotely like outerwear because I didn't want to put the time into making something that would only be worn a few times a year. But then I thought about how if I did make something it would be a quality and classic item that I loved and if I was only going to wear it sporadically it would probably last forever. Or for years and years. Or whatever. So that changed my mind and I chose to make something from the Amoeba fabric. And I'd like to pat myself on the back because it was an amazing choice in fabric.

The fabric is coat weight, easy to press (shout out to my clapper inspired by MarrieB), didn't fray much (I used interfacing on the buttonholes though, just in case), and went through my sewing machine and serger without a hitch. It's amazing what a nice quality fabric can do for a garment!

Leggings are an unblogged pair of Papercut Ooh La Leggings made from a ponte knit. I wear them almost every week and love them.

The lining is also from Britex and purchased by me. It's a black bemberg rayon which sells for $15 a yard. It would have been cool if I had taken photos of the interior of the cape, but I was so stoked on taking photos of the outside, that I completely spaced on having my sister take some of the lining. So you guys will just have to take my word, that the fabric is niceeeee.

The cape pattern is the Camden by Seamwork. We all know how much I like Colette Patterns and Seamwork, right? I've always had success with following their instructions, the line drawings are spot on, and it's very rare that I have made something by them that I have been unsatisfied with. Camden is no exception. Totally smooth sailing on this pattern. The actual construction was simple (for me), so I decided to jazz things up and made some additions that weren't included on the pattern.

Addition 1: fabric covered buttons. Never made them before, but thought, "why not?" They weren't difficult to construct at all (you can check out the tutorial I wrote for Britex on their blog) and I think they add a polished touch to the overall look. And honestly it was probably cheaper to make them than buy them! I bought the button parts from Wawak and at $1.55 I'd say it was a good purchase.

Addition 2: bound button holes. I had never made them before either (yay for learning new stuff!) and despite being nervous about it I took the plunge. Honestly, they weren't as bad as I made them out to be. I closely followed the tutorial over on the Sewaholic blog,  which was the online tutorial that made the most sense to me. That's not to say my bound buttonholes are perfect (far from it!), but I am still really proud of how they turned out and super excited to add a new skill to my toolbox.

Thanks to my sister for taking all these photos at her home. She said that if I didn't credit her on my blog she would sue me. She was joking, don't worry.

These extra additions definitely added to my sewing and prep time, but even without them this project was a lengthy one. There are a lot of pages to tape together (it's a pdf pattern) and I definitely went through a few glasses of wine while taping and cutting (not complaining, it was an excellent Zin). There was a lot of pressing of the wool and of the lining and some hand stitching along the pockets and along the base of the lining. Honestly, there is no way I could have everything done in three hours, but that said, I am a slow sewer. It is quick, just not three hours quick (for me).

How do you guys feel about sewing outerwear? Is it something you do often or is it more of a rare occurrence?