Weston Shorts by Seamwork Magazine

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!

Details:

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

Hiccups: Sizing

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!

Purge: Closet Edition – Wardrobe Architect Week 14.1

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. 😉

Self-Drafted Off-the-Shoulder Dress aka Bardot Dress!

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.

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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!! 🙂

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Thanks for stopping by!

Wardrobe Architect Week 13

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?

Ariane Slip | Seamwork Magazine

Ariane Slip | Seamwork Magazine

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.  Originally, I 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.  😉

Sizing

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.

Ariane Slip  Ariane Slip

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.  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.

Tips

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.

Ariane SlipAriane SlipAriane Slip

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.

If you’re interested in sewing up the Ariane Slip  head to the Seamwork web site.

For more lingerie fun:

Bare Essentials Demi Bra Pattern

Just Patterns Bias Tank Night Gown Hack

Florence Bralette | Seamwork

Kwik Sew 3167 Camisole and Panties

12 weeks of BBG – Goal Completed!!

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.

I’m super excited to see some progress!

Wardrobe Architect Week 12: Accessories

This week’s exercise is about adding accessories.  I’ve slowly began to add accessories to my everyday outfits but I still struggle with my work outfits.  I don’t like to spend too much time on my work outfits because I’m focusing on other things in my morning. I just like to get something ready the night before and not think about anything but that when I’m getting ready.  I mainly just adjust for the weather and that’s about it. In an effort to be better here is a list of my functional and decorative accessories:

Make a list of requirements for your accessories. List what you consider to be functional accessories and decorative accessories, and what your requirements are for each.

Functional Accessories:

Comfortable yet fashionable shoes – I walk a lot during the day and I don’t like to change into sneakers at work.  I usually wear boots or loafers.

Sneakers for the weeknights and weekend

Sandals for the warmer months

Large tote for work – for my notebooks, papers, lunch and water bottle, also to store stuff when I run errands on my lunch

Extra grocery totes – for when I go grocery shopping on my lunch break

Hair tie – always need a hair tie

Cap – when it gets seriously hot in LA and I’m running errands on my lunch

Wide-brim hat for walks outside of work

Mini cross body purse for my phone, wallet and keys when I’m walking or going for a run

Small Cross Body Purse for everyday

Scarf for my shoulders when it’s a mild day but I still don’t want to get burned

Chunky scarves for LA winters

Performance Headband to cover my ears on windy days

Sunglasses

Decorative Accessories:

Simple minimalist jewelry – includes necklaces and bracelets

Diamond earrings – wedding gift from my husband

Hats – usually wide brim to match

Skinny belts

Skinny rings

Chunky watch

Decide how many of each to include for the coming season. How many of each do you need for your current capsule wardrobe?

I need/want pretty much all of them except for the chunky scarves and the performance headband.

Add accessories to your capsule wardrobe. Be sure to look towards what you already own before window shopping!

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Wardrobe Architect Week 11

In Week 11 of Wardrobe Architect, I am planning my wardrobe pieces.  The image below is what I am basing my Spring/Summer 2017 wardrobe on.  I already have the white button down shirt, sweat pants, wide brim hat, torn jeans, plaid shirt, flip flops, trouser shorts, loafers, Adidas sneakers, oxfords and black tights.  I have a few pairs of black work pants as well but I’m a little over the silhouette and want to make some improvements.  I’m also really crushing on those frost gray Vans Sk8-Hi shoes.  I haven’t worn vans in ages… I guess I’m feeling a little nostalgic!

After a bit of brainstorming and searching the web here is a list of items that I want to either buy or make for Spring/Summer wardrobe:

Work Life:

  • Deer and Doe Safran Pants

safran-pants-pattern

  • Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt

melilot-shirt-pattern

  • Long Vest Coat
  • Boxy mini dress
  • Boxy blouse

Everyday Life:

  • Silky Gray or Taupe Camisole
  • Short Vest
  • Deer and Doe Plantain T-Shirt

plantain-t-shirt-pattern

  • T-Shirt Dress
  • Button Down Dress Shirt Dress

Vacation Life:

  • Off shoulder mini dress
  • Colette Weston Trouser

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  • Deer and Doe Fumeterre Skirt

fumeterre-skirt-pattern

This is definitely a few more pieces than in my inspiration board above but I feel like these all have great potential to mix and match.  I have divided up my wardrobe into three categories because I feel that these are the settings these pieces will be worn most but I will of course mix in some work clothes with everyday clothes and vice versa to expand my outfit selection.  Looking at this list it does seem a bit ambitious but hey why not go all in!

Wardrobe Architect – Week 9 & 10

Week 9: The Capsule Wardrobe – Spring/Summer 2017

Colette Blog: What is a Capsule Wardrobe?  A capsule wardrobe is a small, manageable subset of your wardrobe, and it usually is something you can plan seasonally.

Today’s focus – Choosing silhouettes

Going clockwise: Outfits 1 & 2 are my Everyday Lounge Wear, Outfits 3 & 4 are Hot Summer Days and the last two are Work Wear

 

These are the silhouettes I aspire to wear this Spring and Summer.  I would love to be able to sew up most of them if I only had the time but I’m going to try my best either way.  Some of these pieces I already have and some I just received for my birthday (I may have hinted a bit…).  I will most likely add some more flowing pieces but for now this is a good base to work with.

Week 10: The Capsule Wardrobe Palette

This week’s exercise: Choose your capsule palette for the season. Use the list of favorite colors you came up with in week 6, picking a few colors from each category.

Spring Summer Colors

 

This Spring/Summer I want to go for lighter colors.  I will probably wear plenty of black as that is my usual work color but I am going to make an effort to make/buy this season’s clothing in the colors I picked above so that I don’t just stick with blues, grays, white and black which is what I am always drawn to.

 

Fitness and Food Update – BBG Week 9

It’s been a whole 4 weeks since my last BBG post and I’m happy to say I haven’t missed a day.  I’m not sure if I look that much stronger but I do feel stronger.  Week 8 was great because I was able to get through my exercises with more ease but now that I am in Week 9 I’m back to being beaten down at the end of my workouts.  I definitely have not lost the will to keep going though so at least I have that.

Since my last fitness post I have been really working on eating as clean as possible.  I do have a cheat meal or two over the weekends and sometimes I like to indulge in a little bit of ice cream which is kind of funny because I’m not really that into ice cream.  I guess you can say it’s my craving of the moment.

I also downloaded the MyFitnessPal app so I can watch my nutrients.  It has been super helpful and motivating to get me to eat the right amount of healthy food to reach my fitness goals but also is an eye opener on how indulgences can really throw your health off if you have too many.

Here are just a few of the food changes that I have made:

I am making a huge effort to wake up early enough to make breakfast.  My go to meals are either whole grain toast topped with sautéed spinach and a sunny side up egg OR dairy-free overnight oats with chia seeds and some fruit.  I like to have a glass of water with a splash of lemonade with this as well.

I’m thinking about experimenting with some morning smoothies as well in order to get more calories in early.  We shall see!

Otherwise, I have removed all yogurt from my lunches and make a sweet potato and coconut milk pudding that I used to make in the past and loved.  I have also removed all red meat from my diet and will save that for big events.

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My next step is to cut out sandwiches for lunch and eat a lean meat and vegetables instead.

I have been doing a pretty good job of eating more vegetables than starches or meat during dinner and I intend to keep that up.

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Still a work in progress but I am getting there!