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 🙂
“Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.”
This skirt gives me a very Twin Peaks vibe…well at least the original-I have yet to see the new season yet. Audrey Horn is a pretty classic character these days and her style is turning rather iconic…but then again so is just the pencil skirt 😉
This plaid was gifted to me in a bag of other fabric odds and ends. The zipper was picked because it was on hand already from a bag of zippers I bought for cheap on Amazon of pretty much every color imaginable. The buttons were from Joanns that I had bought for a previous project where you get a container of all different sized buttons all falling under on color scheme. Lastly, the skirt pattern itself is one I copied from Gerties Ultimate Dress Book and added the waist band from my retro shorts pattern. All in all, a very cheap project to make since all the materials were already accounted for and purchased for other projects…I love when that happens.
“Through the darkness of future past / The magician longs to see / One chants out between two worlds / Fire walk with me. I’ll catch you with my death bag. You may think I’ve gone insane, but I promise I will kill again!”
The project was pretty straightforward to make: trace, slice and dice(alright not dice but saying sew didn’t sounds as flashy or rhyme :p ) I traced my size but gave myself ample seam allowance because I had never made the pencil skirt portion of the dress I was copying from Gertie’s book. Turns out it was completely unnecessary because I ended up taking in the sides/ though area of the skirt quite a bit…I think an inch or two on each side. I of course shortened it quite a bit too but being so petite that is a standard pattern alteration for me even when I use the “shorten here” lines.
“I feel like I know her… but sometimes my arms bend back.”
Things I would change: I really wish I had done a different style waist band. The waist band from the shorts pattern wraps around a bit and the overlapping looks a tad sloppy in a fabric without a heck of a lot of structure. Also when I was making the button holes to be able to pin down the overlapping part of the waist band I accidentally cut through by button hole and tore the fabric…believe me a lot of cussing went on. I always stick two pins- one on either side of the button hole when I cut through them with the seam ripper and I’ve never had that happen before-it was a pretty tragic moment. I also wish I had added a slit in the back or one slit on each side because I’d like the little extra movement they provide but overall I’m really happy with the skirt.
If you haven’t guessed all the quotes are from Twin Peaks. I’ll leave you with a hilarious blooper pose gone wrong…and then an adorable photo of Echo.
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…
This post is about two fun projects I made this last summer that it took me this long to write about. The first is a simple tank top I made with some funky faux silk fabric from Joann’s.
This tank top took about a half hour to an hour to make and all I did was trace an existing tank top I owned to create my own pattern. I tried to use a looser fitting tank because the faux silk fabric has pretty much no stretch what-so-ever. Then I just used some pink lace that I already had in my fabric stash and isn’t at all visible in my pictures because I wore my hair down in all of them haha. But regardless… for the straps I just measured a different tank top and cut away. Everything stitched up pretty simply and easily. I have it untucked in my pictures but I also love to have it tucked into my high waisted retro style jeans from Modcloth.
The next project is a bag that I LOVED from Hedgehog Fibers but couldn’t justify spending the money on the bag and shipping because it ships from overseas.
Isn’t it just fabulous??? I loved it. Love Hedgehog Fibers website! And love their yarn. But yarn I cannot make but this bag I knew I could.
So what did I do? Went to Joann’s with a coupon of course! I bought a yard of clear, thick gauged vinyl just to be safe. I didn’t use the whole yard and now about half of it is sitting rolled up in the craft area of my garage but I like to be safe then sorry when it comes to sewing. I measured out and planned my whole pattern on paper. Then I traced the pattern onto the vinyl with sharpie and cut it out with scissors.
The trick with sewing with vinyl is to use tape instead of pins to hold the pieces together so it doesn’t move when sewing. The other trick that I found online is to use tape on the bottom of your regular ol’ sewing foot. They sell special ones online but I don’t really think it’s necessary… good old scotch tape is cheaper and does the trick just as well.
So how do you think I did???
I used colored thread because I liked the visible look with the clear bag but that’s just a style opinion. It also doesn’t have the cool grommets on the Hedgehog Fibers bag but I saved myself like $30 so to me that’s a fair trade haha.
So there was my two “recent” patternless sewing projects! Overall I’d say they were pretty damn successful don’t you think? 🙂
Another one from Tilly and the Buttons fabulous book. I decided to expand my skills-or at least try to-and give the Mimi blouse a try. Funny story to go with the name of the pattern…my younger brother used to call me Mimi when we were both younger…if I’m remembering correctly because he couldn’t pronounce Shelby and it just kind of stuck. Of course I hated it because that’s how all nicknames that stick are like. I had forgotten about it completely until I went to write this post actually, funny what the mind dredges up in unexpected times.
As true of all Tilly’s patterns I’ve attempted the directions were very clear and concise with lots of helpful pictures to talk me though all the steps. The top is a loose fitting button up blouse. There is a gathered yoke in the front and the back with pleated sleeves for another nice detailed touch.
What I used: a plaid fabric from Joanns for a nice drape and to give it a fall/winter feel and glass blue vintage buttons from my stash I’ve hoarded for about 7 years.
Things I struggled with: the collar. Especially the interfacing in the back…I accidentally chopped it a bit too short so it kept threatening to stick up in the back. I also had a hard time keeping the gathers on the back yoke even. I had to unpick it twice to straighten things because it drove me crazy otherwise haha.
Things I would change: I would definitely go down a size because even though it’s meant to be loose fitting I think its too loose. I’m also torn because I would like to say I’d make it a bit longer fit wise but if I wear it tucked into my skirt the length wouldn’t matter anyways.
I loved the pattern though and it was first experience making button holes on my machine. It was also my first time making that kind of collar and it was certainly a learning experience but I can’t wait to make this pattern again in a thinner fabric!!