Me and #MeMadeMay-A Brief Post…
This will be the first year a I have enough handmade clothing to really feel like I can contribute to #memademay.
Though, I have enough clothes now to participate, I don’t have enough to wear me made every day, so my challenge to myself is to wear something me made 3-4 days a week and to do a compilation post once a week. It will be a really fun challenge because I’ll be getting married this May and my dress is handmade, so I feel like I get to contribute in a fun and special way.
Happy sewing and I can’t wait to see everyones #memademay items. If you want to see day of posts in the outfits I’m wearing, I’ll be posting them on instagram-you can find me there @happyechos 🙂
A warm skirt for the cold winter months. That was the simple goal of this Miette skirt pattern from Tilly and the Buttons (my favorite pattern designer ever in case you aren’t able to tell yet 😉 ). I have to admit that wasn’t why I bought the pattern though- I bought it so I could make a cute wrap skirt as a Christmas gift for a friend and then couldn’t resist making myself one(first hahaha).
I knew it was meant to be mine when I went to Joanns for gift fabric shopping and came across this gorgeous thick plaid-the softest fabric that I have EVER felt there in all honesty. I immediately bought 2 and a half yards and used pretty much all of it for the Miette. I think I have enough to whip up a pretty fabulous infinity scarf to match it…is there such a thing as being too matchy with patterns?
As with all Tilly’s patterns, everything was really straightforward with great visual and written instructions. I cut out a size four for both me and my friend and got to work. With all Tilly’s patterns because they’re on such great thick paper, and I want to be able to fold them back together as perfectly as they come delivered, I trace the pattern on wax paper and use that as my pattern pieces. It causes me some extra work/time in the beginning but I think preserving those patterns and the abilities to make different sizes in worth the extra effort. I find this especially true because I have to get them shipped overseas and can’t just run to Joanns on the next cheap pattern sale and replace the pattern for a $1.99 if I want a different size or something.
Anyways, as usual I’m getting off topic. I sliced and diced the pattern and fabric pieces and then went to work trying to figure out my new serger a Singer ProFinish I treated myself to as an early Christmas gift (which I lived to regret believe me, but that’s a story for another time). With some difficulty I serged all the edges and then stitched everything together on my sewing machine.
I didn’t make any major alterations except I did do two holes for the ties for the skirt to go through instead of the one. I thought this made things easier and tidier with a more even look. I cut out the front pockets for the skirt and even sewed them on before deciding I really didn’t like the look with the skirt. The plaid didn’t match up perfectly and the fabric was heavy enough that it tugged down in the front which was not a flattering look to have on your midsection. A lot of cursing and unpicking followed that revelation.
Next time I will also shorten it more. I left the length long because it is supposed to be a warm winter skirt that I’ll be wearing boots and tights with but the next one will be a more versatile knee length skirt(maybe in denim).
All in all, I would definitely have to say it’s a great make especially since I have already made two(one for me and one as the gift) and see many more in my future both for myself and others.
Let’s Start With the Knitting!!!
- #263 Neck Down Wrap Cardigan-this will be my first knitted sweater! I bought the yarn already so I can’t wait to start 🙂
- Rose Red Wrap-it’s from Once Upon a Knit: 28 Grimm and Glamorous Fairy-Tale Projects which I’ve owned for a few years now and have always wanted to make this wrap.
- Farmers Market Shawl-because when you haven’t finished your shawl already the smart thing is to add another shawl to the que right? I just love Shannon Squire’s designs though so I see myself making many of her shawls 🙂
- Regina-it’s the last thing on my to knit list for the make nine. It is a gorgeous twenties inspired knit cap that I saw on instagram and absolutely adored.
**All photos are from the designers Ravelry**
Now Lets Start With the Sewing!!!
- Well the very first and important make nine of the year is my wedding dress! I’ve already sewn the mock up but still need to do the fitting. The fabric is bought but oh man do I need to get sewing because I’m getting married end of May. Send me all kinds of positive sewing thoughts! The pattern is Butterick 5882 from Gertie and I love it!
**photos from Gerties Blog**
- Next is the Butterick 6285-it’s been on my pattern shelf for about a year but I just treated myself to a serger so now I really want wait to sew it!
- Tilly and the Button’s Rosa! All my patterns for my #2018MakeNine are all already bought patterns because I really want to focus on my stash. Women struggle with a finding a good button up and I am no exception. I want to make the dress version in a Star Wars cotton I already picked up in anticipation.
- The next is Tilly and the Button’s Cleo. I loved the look of this pattern since its release, but really hesitated purchasing the pattern. As a petite woman I constantly worry about looking childish and worried that an overall dress would push the outfit more in the childish category. Then I decided I just really don’t care!! I wanted the dress, I wanted the pattern, so I made it mine! I’m envisioning it in a burnt orange denim- styling it with tights, knee high brown boots and a shawl style scarf.
- Lastly, this dress/pattern Butterick 6453 was seen across the internet when it was released. I rushed out and bought it immediately to then not make it! Super fail on my part. I even have purchased multiple fun prints of fabric for this dress so I really need to get on it sewing wise and just make it!
Alright, I guess there isn’t much to say except I better get busy sewing a knitting! Happy New Years and Happy Challenge!!!
I’ll leave you with another funny photo of Echo :p
Why Hello! This post has been in the making for quite a while now. I took the photos way back in end of July for the OAL2017 hosted by Andi and Lauren.
I’m going to cut this into two posts and this one is dedicated to the knitting portion of the OAL! This was the summer I really learned how to knit. I could say relearned but let’s be honest the first time I learned years ago I never got beyond knitting and purling scarves and couldn’t look at the stitch and tell them apart if I messed up! Not much of a real knitter then.
Now I can at least tell the difference haha. This was my first garment I knitted and it definitely had its ups and downs but a lot of fun was had along the way. I decided I was going to do the Thunder Road by Amy Appel or Poison Grrl Knits-it’s an adorable bolero that’s inspired by the movie Grease(so honestly how could I NOT pick it…?). You’re supposed to knit it in cotton but of course I had to do it in a wool because I live to create problems for myself haha. The yarn I did go with was Quince & Co Chickadee which was absolutely lovely to work with. I used almost all of the two skeins I purchased.
I don’t want to talk too much about the pattern because it is a paid for pattern and I wouldn’t want to give anything away but I will say Amy writes a great pattern. As a newbie knitter I did have to google some stitches and things like that but the instructions are all clearly written with some great pictures to go along with it.
I did swatch as I am told any good knitter should 😉 and my gauge seemed to be correct(though I did have a hard time measuring the lace portion). I think when I knit it again(which I definitely plan to) I am going to go up a size because it is definitely tight in the shoulders and lower back section. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t gauge correctly or if it is because I used wool instead of the recommended cotton and I’m too much of a newbie to know to make sizing changes because of stretch etc. Either way the bolero is adorable and I can’t wait to wear it-this is especially important because at the moment I work in a conservative work environment and need to have my shoulders covered.
This pattern gets 5/5 stars in my book! I can’t say I can’t wait to try another of her patterns because I already am! You’ll just have to lurk around this space for my next review of Amy’s patterns!
Is that a groan I hear? Another CoCo you might say? Though really there shouldn’t be all that much grumbling since I haven’t even blogged about all 4 or 5 I’ve sewn now. The one I haven’t blogged about (yet) and sewed months and months ago now is still my favorite but this one gives it a good run for its money.
I finally did my first (completed) dress version of the CoCo. The purple version [here] was originally supposed to be a dress before I did some very tired/stupid sewing a chopped it MUCH too short and turned it into a cute top. I really did measure before cutting and everything but I didn’t count on the weight of the knit pulling down on the form and making the dress seem longer than it actually was. Regardless here is my new CoCo in an actual dress!!!
Again, the construction is pretty straight forward because Tilly is an absolute CHAMPION at making clear written instructions with coinciding pictures(seriously I would buy literally any pattern that woman puts out). I always have to be aware of the length as a pretty short gal but that’s standard for me.
I went with right above elbow length sleeves and added ties to the sides so I could pull it in a bit and give myself a little shaping. I love a good t-shirt dress(what I was going for) but I’m a tad too curvy for it to be flattering unless it’s either really tight or loose with ties on the sides or well… I guess belted but sometimes even that causes things to bunch awkwardly around my hips.
I used about two or so yards of a light weight knit fabric from Joanns and some extra polyester green thread I had in my stash. Two funny stories about the thread:
1) I used till the end of my bobbin with only about 4 cm of thread left after finishing one of the whole sides of the dress(it felt like quite a sewing BAMF moment even if it was completely accidental).
2) I totally overestimated how much thread I still had left in that color and ended up having to use a lighter thread for the left half of the dresses side and the bottom hem but oh well-live and learn.
Either way, I couldn’t be happier with the dress and can’t till fall so that I can layer it with boots, tights and scarves to add fun to a plain dress. Any dress that feels like pajama’s but I can wear out in public is a win in my book 😉
*side note:the hem isn’t crooked but the way I stand must be lol*
I’ll leave you with a photo of me and my fella watching the Eclipse and one of Echo being her usual cute self..
This was a very fun sewing project and another I did without a pattern which I’m rather proud of if I do say so myself.
The skirt is a simple pleated skirt. I drafted it using 3 rectangles one very large and two half its size. I then just continuously pleated the rectangles until they fitted the waist band which I replicated from my polk a dot shorts pattern. I even relocated the longer band(which if you recall I didn’t like because it was hard to hook the hook and eye closures). I used some vintage plastic buttons for the band which are a lot easier to button then the tiny hooks.
I used interfacing to stiffen the waistband and horse hair braid to give the skirt volume without any petticoats underneath. The horse hair braid is from Amazon because it was much cheaper there than my local Joanns-I picked the the one that was about a half inch in width.
Everything about this was simple and easy but there is a funny story with the fabric(which was also used as the lining in my shorts heart pockets). My coworker insisted I take this fabric home with me because she loves to up cycle everything! But the fabric is her shower curtains!!!! You would never guess right? 😉
Not much else to say here!
I’m calling these my What’s Love Got To Do With It Shorts because of the heart pockets…duh. It’s not the most creative of naming but I like it so who cares? haha. I made these when it was much too cold to actually wear them anytime soon because when you get a sewing craving you go for it right?
Anyways, I got this shorts pattern from Joanns on one of their fabulous pattern sales(the only way I try to buy non indie patterns these days because patterns are expensive). It is McCall’s M6930. I had to wait for nice weather to photograph them because I came across the same problem with my Tilly Arielle skirt where the denim was too dark to photograph well in the house and still show the gold polk-a-dots well which honestly is the very best part!
Okay on to the shorts! the pattern is pretty damn simple. I broke my rule of tracing and not cutting the pattern because I had read lots of reviews on the pattern and read it ran large so I did my measurements and went from there. I cut out the pattern(still a few sizes larger than I wanted and folded down the seam lines to get my size.
Cut and traced the pattern and went from there. I chose to do version A but with version B’s heart pockets because they were just too darn cute to resist. I used the same gold polk a dot denim as previously mentioned and then used some white fabric from my stash that had matching large gold polk a dots to line the heart pockets. Though the lining isn’t visible I love those secret touches of some what matching lining fabric-I think thats what really makes home sewing so special.
Things I had trouble with: Getting the heart pockets that perfect heart shape but I was very picky and didn’t want the hearts to seem too pointy. Also the inseam on the crotch. I had to adjust that a few times and I’m still not happy with how much fabric is there but the shorts also have full useable pockets in the front(amazing for women’s shorts I know) so I think I’m just not used to having to make space for useable pockets in the front of my garments without a front zipper. I used Singer The Perfect Fit Sewing Reference Library for help/advice on fitting the shorts. I bought 3 different versions of the Singer Reference Library at my local Goodwill and couldn’t be more pleased with the purchase! So helpful!
Things I Changed: As a petite woman who also loves short shorts I cut quite a lot of length off the shorts but I should have widened the leg holes because once I cuffed up and seamed it also added to the poofing in the front that I mentioned I had trouble with earlier. I think it doesn’t look bad though and gives it a more retro feel to the already high waisted shorts.
Things I hate: OMG I absolutely HATE the way the shorts close in the back. I will definitely be changing the way it closes when I make this pattern next. the zipper is great no problems there but the piece of waist band that covers the zipper and goes farther to the left and then is closed by the tiniest hook and eye closures(which this is my problem for picking those out). But my goodness they are really difficult to catch and close especially when you are in a tiny bar bathroom and don’t have a lot of turning/reaching room. I consider myself a pretty flexible person and I have a lot of trouble reaching around and catching them so it is without a doubt a huge problem.
Overall, the pattern was fabulous and easy and a great addition to a summer me made wardrobe!!
-Happy Sewing Everyone!
I Made A Thing!!
I made a project bag because what is the best thing about picking up a new hobby?? All the new fun accessories and books you get to add to your project collection!
Once I realized that yes I am liking picking up and relearning this whole knitting thing again and after having to run to Joanns/Michaels to pick up different sized knitting needles for projects I promptly decided their had to be another/less expensive way(in the long run) to go around all the needle needing. I did some research and decided that I just HAD to have interchangeable knitting needles. I asked around, did some research, examined my budget and then also used a birthday Amazon gift card and bought myself some interchangeable ChiaoGoo bamboo knitting needles. I have to say so far I LOVE them. The set is beautiful and came with three different cable sets in two different sizes(small and large) the lengths are 14”, 22” and 30”. It also came with a whole bundle of stitch markers and other fabulous things.
Anyways, this is getting off track. The whole point that I was making is that I’m getting into knitting and then had to make a thing-and that thing is a project bag to carry my new shawl I’m knitting in! I found the outside fabric from Michaels and it is by Loops & Threads. It’s a beautiful blue with fun pink and yellowy-green yarn balls. The inside is a baby blue with white polk-a-dot fabric fat quarter square from Joanns.
It was a pretty simple project. the dimensions folded in half were what I was looking for. I decided not to cut out a separate circular bottom for the bag this time because I didn’t want to add a third color to the mix and wanted to sew and go haha. I stitched it up inside out-leaving one small part of the side open so I could pull it inside out and then folded down the top and stitched down and then pinned the sides inside out and stitched away!
As you can see from the above pictures I originally had the tie band for the bag that was a cute pink tape measure. I had bought one in pink and blue from Joanns for a dollar each in a haul earlier planning on finding a project for them(and I really thought this was the perfect project!). Sadly though it just was not meant to be because I couldn’t really cinch in the bag while using the tape measure so it had to go.
I decided to use some extra bias binding I had laying around from previous projects. I had a bit of pink and just enough dark blue. I just folded the ends and stitched them down to create a tab on each end and then stitched down the binding sides with matching threads and then weaved it through the top of the bag.
And there we have it! An easy-peasy cute project bag!!!
Say What? Another Coco…well this might be the first coco you’re seeing but it won’t be the last because I actually made three in quick succession. All very different of course 😉
This was the last to make the cut(haha). I’ll in honest, it was totally supposed to have sleeves but I severely underestimated the amount of fabric needed- so sleeveless it became. I still really like it.
The fabric is a super soft knit from Joanns because that is the only fabric store my town has to boast -which is still better than my last town which only had a Ben Franklins and they only carried quilting fabric(not that I’m complaining THAT much because that is where I found my precious banana fabric haha). Anyways I’m getting off topic…
The details of the last Coco I made but the first I’m blogging about. By the time I made this pattern it was an easy trick. This one literally took me I think two hours at most to make because the pattern was already traced and cut to my size.
-I made fairly large because I really just wanted a comfortable top to drive to Seattle in and long car rides are no fun in restrictive clothing(at least I think so)
-I made it sleeveless and just did a simple seams around the arm holes with no bias binding or anything
-I made the back slightly longer than the front because I plan on wearing it with leggings and boots around town and wanted my butt to be slightly covered haha
-I did make the collar piece but it isn’t very obvious because I made it shorter with no interfacing so it kind of just drapes around my neck
-It’s made with a knit from Joanns that I picked because I LOVED the coloring and wanted to feel like I’m wearing pjs when I’m not(that is how I judge most of my comfy clothing)
As with all of Tillys patterns the instructions were so, so easy with fabulous pictures to explain every step along with all her blog posts you can visit. Also you can look up her patterns on pinterest and see what anyone under the sun has posted to get ideas of different looks and shapes the pattern can take. I followed my usual system of laying out the pattern, checking what the finished measurements would be and tracing it in wax paper. This pattern follows all the things I love/look for: looks nice without a ton of effort getting dressed, feels like pjs and transitions well for any season because I am not the kinda gal to have a seasonal wardrobe.
(I was told I looked like WonderWoman a few times today so I thought I would roll with it haha)
Another wonderful Tilly and the Buttons pattern! This time not from Tilly and the Buttons book but the Arielle pattern from her website-though I actually bought this one through the website Modcloth where she also sells her patterns. I’ve loved this pattern since it was released and was so excited to finally give it a chance.
What I did: like all of Tilly’s patterns the instructions are just fabulous and come in a great little booklet with pictures. I traced the pattern on wax paper as has become my habit and then cut the traced pattern and cut out the fabric from there.It’s my least favorite but most helpful step.Chalked out all my darts and seams a little after. It makes the pattern more manageable to use and it is preferable to preserve the pattern for future use.
What did I use: a fantastic stretch denim with gold metallic polk-a-dots from Joanns along with gold metallic thread, and plastic gold shell buttons that I’ve had for ages from the button bin at Ben Franklins Craft Store.
…What did I try to use? a beautiful white fabric with gold polk-a-dots that I tried to use as the lining in the skirt. I even sewed in the fabric to the skirt before trying it on and realizing the denim had quite a bit of stretch and the lining didn’t-making it so the skirt didn’t fit in the smaller size I had cut for a more form fitted look.
Lessons learned and how I altered the pattern: use a fabric with stretch as a liner! Also do not use metallic thread no matter how pretty it looks and how much it matches the skirt fabric. That S.O.B thread snapped on me constantly no matter how I played with the tension.
I didn’t alter the pattern too much. Shortened it a tad but hell I’m a short gal so that’s standard for me. I also did the decorative gold stitching on the outside(that doesn’t show at all in the pictures well) which also worked double in keeping the inner edge of the facing down flat.
All in all, I’ve worn the skirt several times now and absolutely love it. I can’t wait to make it in all kinds of different fabrics and in the future lining it with the right kinds of fabric. Maybe a wool with a silk lining next time…