I’m not quite done with the Wardrobe Architect Series – I have yet to edit my closet but I will and Me Made May is just an extra little push for me to get it done. Here is my pledge:
I, Kelly of www.sewingunaffiliated.wordpress.com and @sewingunaffiliated, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavor to begin wearing the clothes that I really want to be seen in, rather than the same old things I usually reach for most mornings, to get out of a wardrobe rut by focusing on my lesser-worn items and creating new outfits that include those and to discover what the rest of this large community of makers has created and is wearing in their day-to-day lives, and enjoy the support, advice and inspiration that they will provide each day for the duration of May 2017.
Follow along on Instagram for my progress @sewingunaffiliated
Oh Weston, what fun you were… 🙂 This was my first time sewing up adult sized shorts! I don’t typically buy shorts and I’m not really into the current short trends. I do have one pair of linen shorts that I bought out of desperation while I was traveling in Italy. The heat was getting unbearable and I was ready to buy anything. Luckily, I found a nice pair of gray linen trouser shorts that I still wear to this day several years later.
Every summer I tell myself I should buy a new pair of shorts. I casually look around but nothing catches my eye so while working on my Wardrobe Architect project I decided that I most certainly need a second pair of shorts and I will be the one to make them… so Weston was born.
I was apprehensive at first. Pant zipper, waistband, two hems!?! But, I was up for the challenge and you know what? It was actually pretty easy!
Fabric: Denim Chambray from Hart’s Fabric, Black metal zipper from JoAnn Fabrics, 2 black buttons, interfacing, matching blue thread
Pattern: Weston Pattern from Seamwork Magazine
Fun stuff: To button or not to button?
I looked at the measurement chart, measured myself and decided that since I have never sewn pants that maybe I wasn’t the smallest size and I decided to size up. I even double checked my measurements but I was wrong. Once I sewed up the side seams and tried it on it was much too big. I measured how much I needed to remove then undid the side seams. Based on my measurements, I needed to cut out the smallest size instead. Luckily, I was early in the game and was able to trim the sides and sew it back up. I left the crotch area the same and moved on to the waistband.
It took me a few times to read through the waistband instructions to make sure I had it right but eventually I got there interfacing and all. I attached them to my shorts and my next step was to add the buttons BUT… I loved how the waistband looked on its own so I tried it on again and loved it even more. The interfacing allows the flaps to stand up straight but have a slight curl at the top that just makes them look so modern and fashion forward. Should I add buttons still?? That was the big question. So off I went to Instagram to get confirmation from the sewing community and I’m glad I did because everyone was so helpful! They confirmed for me that the no button high waisted flap was indeed a good choice! (Thank you everyone!)
Now, the last step… hemming! I was very detailed in this process and it turned out better than expected. So viola, it is complete and I am thrilled with the outcome. So happy I get to wear these this summer!
The final exercise of Wardrobe Architect is “Overcoming Editing Hurtles” aka Clean Out That Closet!
Purging my closet… such a difficult task. I’ve actually done this a few times because of space limitations. Currently, I am working on doing it again and it’s harder this time because I have already rid myself of so much. The fun thing about cleaning out your closet is that you always stumble upon a little treasure that you realize you could have been wearing this whole time! This has happened to me numerous times which is like a getting a random gift from your sub-conscious who secretly tucked that garment away in the recesses of your psyche or the back of your drawer… Whatever you want to call it 😉
I try to keep my closet organized pretty well – I keep everything divided by type of clothing. Dresses, shirts that need to be hung up, coats, formal clothing and scarves. It’s not filled to the brim as it used to be. I even had those hanger extensions so I could fit more clothes in one spot but those are now gone. I have my nicer shoes in boxes in the shelf above and next to it is a stack of hoodies (I could probably get rid of more of these) and next to that is a pile of handbags that I could also probably edit. Above that is my wedding dress box and on top of that box is a space bag with some clothing that I can’t seem to part with even though I never wear them. I can’t wear them anyway because they are sentimental pieces from my youth. The rest of the shelving in my closet is dedicated to books, papers and trinkets. Writing this out makes me realize how much is actually unnecessary but like I said purging is such a difficult task.
Let’s not even talk about what’s under our bed. I’m not even sure anymore. Shoe boxes and an electric guitar and dusty bunnies at the very very least… sometimes I find our cat down there too. He seems to like it the way it is.
Alas… down to the nitty gritty. Below are my hopes and dreams of what I plan on fulfilling purge-wise – closet edition. Not sure how I will come out on the other side but I will be sure to write about here. Check out my not so complicated but emotionally complicated goals below:
My biggest editing area needs are the following:
Jeans/Pants cubby – Goal: Get rid of pants I haven’t worn in over a year
Underwear/Sock Drawer – Goal: Get rid of underwear/socks I no longer wear
Shoes – Goal: – Get rid of shoes I haven’t worn in over two years unless it has some sort of sentimental value… don’t judge me. 🙂
Handbags – Goal: This is a HARD one – really be honest with myself about what is necessary and what is not. I can keep some fun ones for old time sake or repurpose them.
Under my bed – Goal: JUST CLEAN IT OUT ALREADY LADY!
Fingers crossed I complete this – more to come when I do!
P.S. I really don’t like the Purge movies but the word just made sense for this activity. 😉
My inspiration for sewing this dress up was an episode of the show Schitt’s Creek (Yes, it’s pronounced just how you think 😉 ). Have you heard of it? It’s a show about a very well-to-do family from Hollywood who lost everything and had to go live in a motel in a town called Schitt’s Creek that they bought as a joke. The family is extremely well dressed and in one of the latest episodes, the daughter Alexis, was wearing the cutest off-the-shoulder dress that I knew I had to replicate. I didn’t create mine in the exact fabric as her (although I would have had I found it) instead I just borrowed the cut and added my own design details to it.
I wanted the challenge of self-drafting this garment and one day while I was perusing the internet I came across this tutorial from By Hand London, written by Elisalex De Castro Peake (Thank you!!). I used this excellent tutorial as a guide for measurements then basted it in muslin. I ended up making one minor adjustment which was to take in the fullness of the skirt. It was a little too wide for my body shape so I took it in 1” on the paper pattern which translates to 4” overall.
I sewed this baby up in a light wool blend that I bought at Mood Fabrics. I was originally looking for a linen fabric in a light tone but I came across this fabric in pastel pink and that was it! I was ready to buy it right then and there. I also added a bit of tulle to the inside of the sleeve area of the dress. This wasn’t a part of my original idea but I saw this tulle in the fabric store and I just knew I had to add it to this dress. I debated for a while on what to do with it (should it go on the ruffle, below the ruffle, around the ruffle??) but ultimately I think I made the right choice. Lastly, I used bias binding on the armhole openings. It took a bit more time but it completes the dress so well and I love little details like this. Regarding the ruffle and skirt hem, I did a scant ¼”. I also used pinking shears to cut the fabric out for more stability. I am in love with this dress!! 🙂
On week 13 of Wardrobe Architect, Colette offered a free downloadable worksheet from A Sewist’s Notebook by Beth Byrge to help plan your sewing projects. I happen to be working on my self-drafted Bardot dress (blog post coming soon) and used this handy worksheet. Check out the photo below.
What I like about this worksheet is I often forget the exact name of the fabric I am using as well as any special finishing techniques I decide to do mid project but this allowed me to write it down. This worksheet is so helpful because it allows you to have a more organized project and to also plan projects out ahead of time. It is also a great reference when you are shopping for fabrics and supplies. But, honestly if you are anything like me and you look back on a garment you made a year or more ago and can’t remember how you did what you did then you might need something like this!
If this notebook doesn’t float your boat, then check out Colette’s Sewing Planner. At the time of the original blog post, Colette had yet to release their sewing planner book. They now offer a hardcover book with many resources. I will admit I am a bit torn between Beth Byrge’s 110 Creations: A Sewist’s Notebook and Colette’s Sewing Planner. I’m not investing in one just yet but I think either would be a great addition to my sewing resources. 🙂 I’m also a sucker for anything that makes me feel like I am more organized than I really am as well… so I think it’s in my near future. 😉
Do you have any special organization tips whether it be for sewing or just life in general?
I’m very happy to say that I finished my Ariane Slip and it is so delicate and sexy! I didn’t necessarily envision it that way but it was a nice little surprise. I originally wanted to sew this up as a camisole but decided to go for the slip instead because I thought I could wear it as a dress. I do think it can be worn as a dress depending on the fabric you chose but I think I’ll leave my for the privacy of my own home. 😉
I typically cut out an XS for most patterns and I did the same for this one; however, I’ve been working out quite a bit and I didn’t realize that maybe I should have cut out a size small instead. Luckily, my slip still fits it’s just much tighter than I am used to.
What I loved about sewing this garment is that I got to sew cups up for the first time. At first, I confused myself and didn’t understand how the pieces fit together AND THEN I realized I was missing a piece. Silly me! This was also my first time using foldover elastic and sewing with viscose fabric. It was much less complicated than I thought and I’m really glad that I have some knowledge of how to work with them now.
A couple tips on the viscose would be to be very very careful when you are cutting it out because it is slippery fabric also use a 75/11 ballpoint needle. I tried to use an 80/11 ballpoint and it wasn’t sharp enough. Regarding the foldover elastic, be very careful when you pin it to the fabric as the little fibers are easy to prick and pull away from the elastic. My last tip would be to try on the slip and have someone help you measure the shoulder strap length before sewing the straps to the back as the instructions direct you to.
I’m really happy with the outcome of my slip. I really love the lavender gray and I am so happy that the white straps with gray stitching make the slip pop.
I made it through 12 weeks of BBG! I started with 4 weeks of pre-training which brings me to a total of 16 weeks. It has been a wonderful journey. I made progress towards reaching my fitness goals and truly created a habit which was the largest goal of all.
I’m feeling a lot stronger and looking a little bit more toned but most importantly I’ve taking large strides in how I approach eating. I aim to eat clean Monday through Friday and give myself a break on the weekend when I’m not on my routine. It’s easier to not be so hard on myself by just giving myself that pass on Saturday and Sunday. Of course I don’t over-indulge!
A part of my new fitness routine as I move out of these 12 weeks is to gain muscle which means I need to lift weights but I also have to eat more. I’m currently using the MyFitnessPal app to count calories and make sure I’m eating enough calories to sustain my workout. In doing so I have added a pre-workout/post work-out protein shake to get those extra calories and heal my muscles.
My workout for the next 7 weeks (I’ve already completed week 1) is Tammy Hembrow’s fitness program which focuses on the glutes. I chose this one because I felt like this was the one area that was missing on BBG and I want an overall toned appearance so this will hit that goal. I will be doing this 3 days a week and the other 2 days will be dedicated to BBG 2.0 arms and abs.