Thursday, January 18, 2018

Jan17 Fabric Haul

I realized as I was writing my fur cape post, that my visits to the downtown Los Angeles Fashion District are becoming more regular. Shocking, I know.

It's usually a full afternoon of my mom and I traipsing around Maple St, oohing and aahing over the array of beautiful fabrics. I actually really love just admiring the silks over at Michael Levine.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Game of Thrones-Inspired Fur Cape - New Look 6475

The path to having a fur cape started back in October when I became a tad bit obsessed with a faux rabbit fur I happened upon at a distant Joann's.

It was on sale, and oh-so-soft! But I simply couldn't justify the purchase without a concrete plan for it. What does one make with fur to wear in Los Angeles where it's currently in the 80s this winter?

I finally asked the lovely sewists at the Curvy Sewing Collective Community what they would do with it, and the winning idea was a GOT-inspired cape. I had no plans for a cape, like ever. But things change.

My local store never seemed to have the fur in stock, though they had faux bear and other tough animals. None of them were even close to as soft as my beloved rabbit, so I kept searching. Finally the after-Christmas sales started and there was my fabric, discounted AND available at the original store. I ordered online and waited for the email telling me my rabbit was ready.

And waited. And then waited some more.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I Got a New Toy!

I treated myself recently after winning my fantasy football league. Free money is fun money.

The Brother 1034D is apparently the go-to starter serger (or overlocker, if you're from one of the fancy countries with a cool accent), but I also found that the upgraded Brother 1034DX is available, too. However it's an extra $80 for what is essentially a change of knob locations. No thanks.

I did take a little trip to my local sewing store, where they had a used Babylock Triumph on sale—for $2500. I about died. There is no way I could justify spending that much money on a machine, even though I recognize that it would be an investment rather than a mere purchase. But I only won a couple hundred dollars, not a few thousand!

Monday, January 8, 2018

A Cape for Wacky Capers! - New Look 6479

Who's ready to go on some wacky capers?!

When I finally put on this cape to show it off to him, my husband called me a cape-ist. I said we should go on capers.

This make is the cape from New Look 6479 View C. It was originally just supposed to just be a muslin because a) the fabric is blue (ick), and b) it was free!

The fabric was a gift from a fellow sewing enthusiast and it's clearly wool, but very thin and did shrink a tad when washed (it pressed like a dream though). It's also scratchy as hell, but like one of the upper circles of hell not the really horrible lower levels where murderers and loud talkers go.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Jan18 Plans

Happy New Year! I always love the beginning of the year. It feels like the ultimate reset. Everyone is starting something new. Whatever that thing is for each of us individually, we're all in it together.

I met my husband in January, right after New Year's. At a bar, as all good love stories start. Today marks 5 years since that fateful night.

We call it our "meetiversary" and always celebrate by returning to that same bar and sitting in the same bar stools. One time, a new couple took our seats as we were leaving. It was their first date. We told them our story and wished them good luck. Who knows, maybe they're married now too! Those stools are magical.

But back to the big ol' plans for the month. January's #sigcotm is garnet which can be interpreted as just about any red shade. So that is the guiding color for open choices this month.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sewing Challenges and Prompts for 2018

Looking for sewing inspiration? Below is an ongoing list of what is happening around the online sewing community in 2018. All of these provide a great way to connect with the community and expand your skills.

I'll update the list as I learn more!

Update Jan 9: now alphabetized irrespective of hashtag

CONTESTS (with sponsors and/or prizes)
  • 2018 Ready To Wear Fast: hosted by Sarah Gunn, this started Jan 1 but encourages everyone to abstain from buying RTW clothes for the entire year in favor of sewing them instead. CLOSED
  • 52 Week Sewing Challenge: Facebook group with a weekly challenge and various sponsors.
  • #CashmeretteActive: sew up any of the new Cashmerette Activewear garments and post a photo wearing it while doing your favorite exercise and be entered to win prizes, last day to enter is Feb 12.
  • #CurvyYearofSewing: bi-monthly challenge hosted by Curvy Sewing Collective where you choose the patterns for any of their given themes.
  • #DayandNightDressChallenge: the idea is to create 2 dresses, one for a coffee date during the day, another for a cocktail in the evening. All the details are over at Elizabeth Made This. Open on Instagram until March 5.
  • GreenStyle Creations New Year Mini-Fit Capsule: join the Facebook group to participate in making a mini-capsule of 3 athletic garments from the GreenStyle Creations Patterns. Deadline is Feb 28.
  • PatternReview: multiple monthly challenges with various themes and rules, must be a member of
  • Project Sew It: Facebook group with monthly prompts for wardrobe basics, monthly prizes in the form of pattern giveaways.
  • #sew100in2018: want to take on a serious output mission? With a stated goal to sew at least 100 items in 2018, you'll need to join the Facebook group to read the extensive rules.
  • Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests: Facebook group with themes that last 1-3 months, monthly challenges may or may not be sponsored.
  • #SewAlteredStyle: a year-long skill-building challenge around 6 pre-defined wardrobe basics (with a huge emphasis on pants), join the Sew Altered Society Facebook group for more and see the calendar of themes at their blog.
  • Sewing with a Plan (SWAP 2018): create an 11-piece capsule wardrobe, must be a member of the Stitchers Guild, ends April 28.
  • #SewMyStyle: monthly pattern challenge, sign up for discounts to featured monthly patterns and access to the VIP Facebook group.
  • #SummerofBasics (Southern Hemisphere Edition): aimed at makers in the Southern Hemisphere, this is hosted by New Zealand-based Fabric Drop to create one basic summer make each month (Nov/Dec/Jan), runs through the end of Jan
  • #SMYLY2018: stands for Sewing Makes You Love Yourself and only runs from Jan 1 to Feb 28, so head on over to Athina Kakou's blog for more details.

PROMPTS (unsponsored challenges)
  • #2018MakeNine: "a gentle challenge for makers" was originally the brainchild of Rochelle New from Lucky Lucille and encourages a plan for 9 total garments a year, of your own choosing.
  • #2018TakeNine: "a gentle photo challenge for makers" is another work-at-your-own-pace prompt-based challenge also from Rochelle, but with a twist. Check out her blog post for more info.
  • #2018UseNine: an attempt to reduce your fabric stash, the concept is similar to #2018MakeNine but using the fabrics in your own stash. Play along on Instagram.
  • #2018sve: 2018 Secret Valentine Exchange is a lovely idea hosted by Sanae and Ute to "spread love and cheer through handmade goods." Sign up by Jan 10 to be part of the exchange at Sanae's blog. CLOSED
  • 365 Days of Sewing: Ciara is attempting to sew every day for the entire year and encourages you to join her!
  • #burdachallenge2018: a synergistic "no pressure" exercise created by Hila of Saturday Night Stitch to concentrate on BurdaStyle patterns
  • #bpsewvember: a daily Instagram prompt hosted by Amanda of Bimble & Pimble that takes place in November. More info and a review of the last four years on her blog.
  • #CashmeretteChallenge: what started as a dare between Gillian (@gilliancrafts) and Jennifer (@weboughtamanor) to only wear Cashmerette patterns through the month of February, is now open to the Instagram community as a whole who can play along by using the hashtag
  • Chambray Blues Sew Along: Jessica has chosen 12 commercial patterns to create free sew alongs around, with her assistance in making them.
  • #JustSewJan: a twist on the daily Instagram prompt for January, started by costumer Pauline Loven (@periodwardrobe) and Martha from @jukiclub and doled out in 10 day blocks with extended explanations of their prompts
  • #MAGAM Sewalong: stands for Make a Garment a Month and hosted by Sarah Liz on Instagram and Facebook, with a full explanation on her blog.
  • #MMMay2018: an annual Instagram event started by Zoe Edwards to encourage makers to enjoy their handmade items as possible throughout May. Info regarding 2017 available on Zoe's blog.
  • #OrganizedSewing: a daily Instagram prompt throughout January, brainchild of Seamstress Erin Designs to inspire everyone to start the year off organized
  • Project Sew It: Facebook group with monthly prompts for wardrobe basics. This now has prizes.
  • #SewStripes: the Sewcialists are reprising this fun prompt throughout February, just sew anything with stripes and post on Instagram using this hashtag.
  • #SigCOTM: my personal monthly signature color challenge inspired by birthstones.
  • Seamless Pledge: similar to the 2018 RTW Fast above, but ongoing and you choose your own timeline. If you missed joining the Goodbye Valentino's fast, this might be for you! Check out Sew Seamless for more info.
  • #StashShrinker: on a goal to shrink your fabric stash? The SewJourners challenge may be for you. It also comes with a free tool to assist with your endeavors. And dovetails nicely with #UseNine above.
  • The Monthly Stitch: monthly themes, only one of which is sponsored (Indie Pattern Month).

If you know of others, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll add to the list. These are great for inspiration and making New Year's ReSEWlutions! If you're interested in making your own sewing goals for 2018, Helen and Caroline of the Love to Sew podcast have a great episode about this exact topic!

Happy sewing!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Dec17 Recap

I'm not ready to get out of bed and face the new year yet, so let's look back on the last month of the year instead!

I completed 6 projects in December, 5 of which were clothing, 4 of which were successful! And for the first time, I think I actually knocked some queued projects off the list: