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

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.

 

Color Story – Wardrobe Architect Week 5 & 6

Modern.Elegant.Clean.Confident.Classy

For Week 5, the assignment was to build you color story based on the words you came up with in Week 2, your mood board, current pieces and your fabric stash.  The words above are what I associate with the colors below and inspire my color choices when sewing.

The assignment for Week 6, was to organize your choices as I have done below.  These will be the colors that guide me as I create my new wardrobe. 🙂

Neutralsneutrals

Pastels to Rich Tonespastels-to-rich-tones

Poppop

Assessment:  I knew my color story was going to lean towards neutrals.  After all, my current wardrobe already does and I love it.  Every so often I love to add a feminine tone or something really vibrant.  I am attracted to those colors but I rarely purchase them or sew clothing in those colors because I feel like I will either get bored of them or not be able to wear them as much as I would something in a neutral tone.

I’m excited to see what comes next!  What does your color story lean to? 

Wardrobe Architect – Week 3 & 4

Wardrobe Architect – Week 3

Week 3 is all about determining what shapes make you feel comfortable and happy, and which feel foreign and wrong for you.  I tried not to over think this one as the directions suggest but I can’t say that I think this is entirely accurate as my feelings change about certain shapes depending on the season, where I am going and my mood.  I tried to be all encompassing when rating though so I think this paints a broad picture at the very least.

wa3

Wardrobe Architect – Week 4

Week 4 builds on week 3 in that you use your shapes and ratings and create silhouettes or outfit formulas.  Colette Blog suggests using Polyvore for this exercise.  Here is a peak at a few:

 

Tailored/fitted slacks (natural waistline) + semi-fitted turtleneck pullover + sneakers

I love tailored slacks with a pair of clean sneakers.  I just wish I could wear them to work.  I would have to change them out with a pair of ballet flats or loafers. Honestly though, I would rather have my whole foot covered because I get really cold in the morning so I would need a really nice pair of Chelsea boots or something that doesn’t throw off the look of the pants.  It’s a bit of a tough one.

 

Knitted t-shirt dress (somewhat fitted, mid-thigh length) + scarf + loafers + floppy hat

This is a very versatile outfit for me.  I can wear it to work with a pair of tights and cute boots or running around town or while teaching sewing lessons.  I would probably add a long sleeveless sweater or jean jacket.

 

Jeans (somewhat fitted, natural waistline) + fitted jersey knit top + sneakers

This is my go-to look when I’m just hanging out.  I like a pair of semi-baggy jeans either rolled up or cut off with my Adidas and a cozy shirt.  I would add a floppy hat and my cross-body bag to accessorize.

 

Short sleeve knit blouse (somewhat loose) + Skinny cords (very fitted, high waistline) + long coat (somewhat loose) + thick heel boots

I like this outfit for work or hanging out.  It keeps my ankles and feet warm.  The top is simple but fashionable and the coat will keep me warm but is easy to remove and the outfit will still look cute and comfortable.

 

Silky dress shirt dress (somewhat fitted, mid-thigh length) + tights/leggings + ankle boots

This is another great pick for work.  I like the professionalism of the dress shirt style but love the ease of it being a dress.  It will also keep me warm with thick tights and cute boots.  I can throw a nice coat over this and be on my way.

Wardrobe Architect – Week 2

Wardrobe Architect – Week 2

Defining a Core Style

Goal: Uncover the styles that make you feel like yourself and attach words and images to them.

When you are wearing your favorite clothing, how do you feel?

Answer: I feel confident, poised and beautiful

When you’re wearing something that is not quite right, how do you feel?  What are the feelings you want to avoid about the clothes you wear?

Answer: I feel like I am not myself.  I want to avoid clothing that doesn’t empower me to reach my goals.

Who do you consider to be your style icon(s)?  What is it about them that appeals to you?

Answer:  My mom when she was younger would be my style icon.  She always had really nice elegant pieces and great shoes.  I used to love looking through her closet and stealing her shoes as a kid.  Even today, the pieces that she has passed down to me from her youth are my favorite pieces of clothing.

What are some words that describe styles that you like in theory, but are not quite you?

I like intricate craftsmanship like beading and lace but it’s much too fancy for my look.

Look over your answers from last week on history, philosophy, culture, community, activities, location, and body.  List at least 15 words that you associate with your answers.  Think about descriptive words, moods, and feelings you associate with these things:

Quality, Modern, Neutral, Edge, Juxtaposition, Polished, Classy, Feminine, Clean, Elegant, Craftsmanship, Patience, Invest, Confident, Minimalism.

Look over the answers to all the questions above.  If you had to narrow your list to only 3-4 words to describe you, which words would you choose?

Modern, Elegant, Clean, Confident and Classy

Visual Exercise: Collect 15-20 images that represent these 3-5 words for you.  You could create a pinterest board, a folder on your computer, a mood board, or a collage.  Be creative and have fun!

Answer: Pinterest board below:

wk-2-inpiration

Wardrobe Architect – Week 1

img_2917The Wardrobe Architect from Colette is a huge feat.  It’s 14 weeks of discovering your true style and I will admit, I’m definitely intimidated.  In the past couple of months there have been a lot of renovations going on at our place which has forced me to move my clothes and shoes several times.  That makes you realize how much stuff you don’t actually wear or need.  In the attempt to be the architect of my style as well as a climber trying to conquer the wardrobe mountain here is week 1.

I added this fun picture of my cat, Howard.  He is currently in the midst of conquering my wardrobe mountain. 😉

Wardrobe Architect – Week 1:

This week’s focus – Thinking about how we are different and how that affects our aesthetic choices.

History – How has your personal history informed the way you dress?  When did your tastes crystalize?  Have they changed over the years, and why?

Answer: My mother always emphasized that it is important to buy quality clothing.  She taught my sisters and I how to spot high-end fabric and craftsmanship.  She was always willing to spend a little more for a lasting piece.

I’m not sure if my style has crystallized.  I would say I am attracted to neutrals, modern shapes and subtle trends.  I like to look polished and classy but not stuffy.  I want to have a slight edge- something that pops and is exclusively me.  That comes from my former Betsey Johnson/Grunge phase in high school.  I don’t like pops of color as much now as I do a pattern or fabric pop.  I do like things to be wearable in several settings.  This change came from just growing up and wanted to be sophisticated and well put together.

Philosophy – How does your philosophy, spirituality, or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits?  Or, what aspects of those things would you like to see reflected?

Answer: I don’t like having “things” and I do not get a high from shopping.  I’m very particular in my purchases.  I see something I like and I wait to see if I still like it.  If I do, I may buy it.  If not, I forget about it.  I want that reflected as a minimalist style but not a “simple” style.  I want minimalist pieces that are high quality and high craftsmanship.

Culture – How has your cultural background shaped the way you look?  How did the aesthetics and values you grew up with affect your tastes as you got older?

Answer:  My background shaped the way I look today to not be sold on trends and to highlight what suits my body.  I must wear the clothes, not let them wear me.

Community – How are you influenced by the people around you, including friends, family, and other communities you’re involved in?

Answer: The influence really comes from everyone buying cheap clothing.  It’s so easy and they are so cute.  But then you just buy without thinking about it because the price is so great.  Then there is Pinterest…all the pretty things on Pinterest.  Honestly, its great and has helped me define my style.

Activities – How do your day to day activities influence your choices? / Location – Does the place you live inform the way you dress?  How does climate factor in?

Answer: Even though I live in Southern California I am always cold.  I’m on my way to work before 7AM and it’s chilly.  I take public transit and it’s chilly.  I get to the office and it’s chilly.  I try to keep myself covered up so cold air doesn’t get through by wearing long pants, boots and socks and layers.  During my lunch break, I run errands and often end up too hot so layers are essential.  Staying warm is a big factor in my everyday clothing decisions to the point that it makes my wardrobe boring sometimes.

Body – In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing?  What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in?  What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?

Answer: Clothes that make me feel good about my body are those that are tailored to me.  I don’t like ill-fitting clothes or pieces that are too suggestive.  Body image affects my choices in that I don’t want to give people the impression that they should look at certain aspects of my body.  I also do not want my clothes to distort my size or be messy.

On to the next worksheet… 🙂