Friday, April 20, 2018

Pattern Testing - Laela Jeyne Cosette



I answered the latest tester call for the Laela Jeyne Cosette because I’ve been wanting to get into more pattern testing. I’m enthralled by the pattern making process and have learned so much about it in just the last couple of months. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Packing for Northern Climes - A Travel Capsule


As I mentioned in my last capsule wardrobe post, I'm all about the mini capsules for traveling. In my former life, I spent a LOT of time living out of a suitcase. Which means I got really good at having to pack and repack every other week.

Friday, April 13, 2018

SWAP Fail - Another Circle Cardigan Story


In my last post, I mentioned that the mauve floral fabric was a contender for one of the "accent" prints for my Sewing with a Plan capsule. And because I wear my original Circle Cardigan ALL THE TIME, I figured one in a floral Liverpool might be useful, too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Adventures in Skirt Making - Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal Skirt

PetiteFont.com floral Lindy Petal Skirt

Who doesn’t love a pencil skirt with a little something extra? A little va-va-voom, if you will. Some pizzaz. I’ve said it before: I’m all about showing off those legs!

That’s where the Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal Skirt comes into play. It’s a quick and easy pull-on knit skirt with a cute little crossover front hem that’s still modest enough for the workplace. And it's FREE!

And because I’m what my teenage niece would call “extra” (side note: what the hell does that even mean??? I’m not actually sure I’m using the term correctly…), I had to make a PETAL skirt in a FLORAL fabric. Because why not? When you design your own wardrobe, you can do whatever you damn well please.

And I like big bold florals. Hello, Lindy!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

April18 Plans


Well, not making plans last month really worked out well so why not do that again this month?

The truth is that I'm feeling bogged down by the SWAP requirements and completely uninspired by the signature color of the month, which is diamond. Like El Husbando recently challenged over our weekly bagels & coffee breakfast down by the water:

"Diamonds aren't supposed to HAVE color. That's one of the four Cs! What are you going to do, make clear clothing?"

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

March18 Recap


I started March off craving some down time, away from sewing. I'd spent a LOT of time at my machines in January and February and felt like I needed to step away and concentrate on other projects.

I didn't even take my monthly fabric trip up to DTLA!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

You're the Boss! Vote for the Next Skirt Pattern


The bright ladies over at The Monthly Stitch have deemed April Miss Bossy month. The theme is to choose 3 unused stash patterns and let your readers choose. Sounds easy!

That means YOU get to decide what I'm making next month!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Adding Petite Stitchery Thumbhole Cuffs to All the Things


Remember my awesome Circle Cardi? Well, because the sleeves were so long, I decided to play up that feature and add thumbhole cuffs to them instead.

I have a RTW hoodie tee with thumbhole cuffs and I love it. They're completely impractical, but so what?

Sunday, March 25, 2018

#sewmystyle March18 Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirt


Hello from Cali, in my Kalle Shirt!

I have been unsure about the Kalle since it came out. It looks cute on so many people but I didn't think it would suit my body type. Since it was the #sewmystyle pattern for the month, I decided to take a chance on it despite my misgivings.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Aqua Floral Tee - My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns Simple Tee


When I purchased Love Sewing Magazine Issue #47* I saw there was a free "scuba tee" pattern included. I didn't read the article (I barely read the magazine until this month...issue 47 was from late last year!), just dove right in. What I missed, by not reading carefully, is that this is actually the Simple Tee from My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns.

My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns was a successful Kickstarter campaign from Sarah and Freya, the team behind Crafty Sew & So. I was actually a backer of the campaign—I got a cool branded tote out of it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

All The Tweaks - My Standard Pattern Adjustments

Tweak tweak tweak. This always has to be done to a pattern. Lucky is the unicorn that doesn’t need to adjust a pattern.

I am not a unicorn. Unfortunately.

When it comes to sewing from a pattern, whether it be commercial or independent, I know I will ALWAYS need at least one adjustment. Most commercial (and lots of indie) patterns are drafted for a 5’6” woman with a B cup bust. As a 5’3” woman with a D cup AND short-waisted to boot, I almost always need to add at least an inch to the bust and either take away 3” from the overall length of the bodice (the shirt portion of a pattern). Most of the time I also have to move the waist up the bodice (which adjusts the overall length for me as well).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mathing is Hard


In honor of Pi Day (3/14), here’s a post about numbers.

I  was always pretty good at math, but after college and matrices and all kinds of weird statistics and shit, the math part of my brain shut down.

I don't have kids so I didn't know anything about Common Core math until one of my friends started raising hell about it on Facebook. I still don't know what it is and from what I hear, I'm better off. Memorizing multiplication tables sounds a lot easier than drawing football fields with lines for each purple pancake, or whatever it is they do in schools now.

That being said, sewing requires a LOT of math. It's really the simple kind, add 1" here and there, multiply inches by 2.54 cm, etc. (Those using the metric system have it REALLY easy here, wish Americans would just switch over already!) But sometimes, you have to convert fractions into decimals or vice versa and that's where things can get a little hairy.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Cardis for Mom & Me - Rebecca Page Circle Cardigan


(Before we begin: do you spell it cardi or cardie? Apparently both are acceptable, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, so if you see both spellings here, don't worry. The hashtag for it is actually #circlecardie and this was the first time I had ever seen it with an E!

It's like grey vs. gray. I usually spell it with an E but anyway...)

I bought the Rebecca Page Circle Cardigan PDF pattern almost immediately after its release, which is something I rarely do. I usually prefer to wait on the maker internet to show off their versions before committing to a new pattern. But I was in the market for a replacement to the waterfall cardigan in my #2018makenine after multiple fails with it, and this looked like a safe bet.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Pattern Testing: The Wearable Studio Franki Top


This was my first go at being a pattern tester and I think I got super lucky testing what turned out to be an awesome shirt. Spoiler: I LOVED IT! *all the heart eyes!!* So much so that I made it twice. You know how much I love a good ruffle!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March18 Plans

After the whirlwind of sewing and lack of blogging the last 2 months, my plans for March are to have little to no plans. I need to get out of the house and sewing ALL THE THINGS doesn't really allow me time for that.

The weather is warming up nicely too, so the outdoors are calling to me. "Come, Paulette, play with us!" they're saying.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Resort Life & Cocktails - The Kenedy Dress



Oh Kenedy. I’ve learned so much from you.

This is the Seamwork Kenedy. Seamwork patterns seem to have a lot of haters (or is it Colette that has the haters? I can never remember.), but either I’ve chosen well or they’re just made for a Petite Font body in mind because I don’t have any complaints for the patterns I’ve made so far.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Feb18 Recap


For the second month in a row, I feel like I spent ALL OF MY FREE TIME at the sewing machine. I have finally started forcing myself to take an hour long lunch break and just stop completely once my husband gets home from work. I don't know when I became so ambitious about productivity, but it began bordering on obsessive and it felt like I never left the house, so I'm taking a little break in March.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

7x7 Mini Capsule Wardrobe Challenge


Earlier this year, the ladies over at Sew Altered Style challenged the makers of the internet to dive into PANTS. January and February were dedicated to making casual pants. The interpretation of "casual" was left up to the individual maker, so I chose the ultra casual pull-on pants from New Look 6399.

THEN the clever ladies decided to challenge us even further by prompting us to create a 7x7 capsule wardrobe using at least 2 handmade items, one of which had to be bottoms (not necessarily pants, but if you did just make a pair, clearly you could use them).

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Red Turtleneck - Kwik Sew 4069


Do you watch Archer? It's an adult cartoon on FXX about a bumbling spy who considers himself 007. It's hilariously mature comedy and there's a running gag about his proper spy outfit. He must wear a black turtleneck.

I have been on the hunt for the perfect black sweater fabric so I could make myself an Archer-inspired t-neck. I wanted something breathable, but all of the black sweater knits I found were poly-spandex blends and ain't no one want to be wearing that clinging to their body.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Lounge Pants - New Look 6399

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm celebrating by rocking my first successful SWAP pattern—AND THEY'RE PANTS!

I've had so many fails with my multiple attempts at several pieces in this capsule wardrobe that I was so happy when something finally just worked! Who would've thought the first pattern to actually come to a fruition would be PANTS!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Feb18 #SigCOTM Inspiration: Amethyst

This month I wanted to take a deeper dive into why I'm doing a color-focused project.

I'm the type of person who eats with her eyes. If something looks appealing, I WANT! And by "eat" I mean "consume." Whether it be food or fabric, beautiful things call to me.

And if you have ever been inside a fabric store, with so many gorgeous colors and textures seducing your senses, then you now what I mean.

In order to avoid becoming overwhelmed, I thought sticking to a color theme would help narrow my focus. It certainly doesn't hurt that my favorite colors are red and purple, and those were the first two colors of the year. I didn't even realize it when I decided on the signature color of the month concept, but it certainly has been a way to ease into this.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Franken Hack the Dress - McCalls 6886 & Friday Patterns Sunny Dresses



I hear you asking: what is a franken hack? It's when you take two (or more) patterns and mash them together into a new Frankenstein-esque monster of a me made garment.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Cozy Chocolate Brown Sweater - Thread Theory Finlayson


Another #sewingforhim post! El Husbando has 5 me made pieces, 2 of which were made in just the last 2 weeks.

And to borrow from a certain men's clothier: I like the way he looks!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Jan18 Recap

I gave myself some lofty goals for January. I was super excited for the new year, and that added to my ambitions.

And I'm proud to say I've met most of my goals!

The plans were:

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Feb18 Plans

Vector Graphics by Vecteezy.com
February!! I'm excited for this month. There's Valentine's Day and love and also El Husbando and I share another little anniversary because we celebrate every little milestone.

I have a new resolution too!

I’ve talked about Beerocrats TV before. We produce shows weekly and most episodes are shot from the waist up. As I continue to grow my Me Made wardrobe, I want to start focusing on clothes to wear for filming. That means tops and blouses. SWAP will definitely help me get there, since I have 5 tops on that. But I’ll definitely be focusing more on tops throughout the year, as I don’t want to repeat clothes on the YouTube channel (though I've worn the Spanish Loretta twice).

Monday, January 29, 2018

Joggers for Her - Simplicity 8268

The upside of a unisex pattern is the twofer deal: one for him and one for me. The major upside of fitting into the same size as your husband is using his muslin as your finished piece.

For the non-sewist, a muslin is a "practice" piece made to ensure fit. Sometimes it's actually made out of muslin fabric, which is a lightweight cotton weave. This time though I made the muslin out of outrageous red fleece with massive sugar skulls all over it. I scored it at Michael Levine on sale for a ridiculous low price, so even if it didn't work out, it didn't cost much. Also, bright red fleece! Yay for sticking to the #sigcotm plans!

But it DID work out and I'm totally thrilled. Now I have circus pants!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

#sewmystyle Jan18 - Friday Pattern Co Sunny

There has been much ado about the Friday Pattern Co Sunny Dress pattern in the #sewmystyle Facebook group. Two camps have emerged: you either love this pattern or you firmly do not.

I am, unfortunately, in the latter camp.

It's a basic t-shirt dress pattern that seems to work just fine if you're on the slimmer side, maybe a US size 12 (max) or smaller. That isn't to say this can't be sized up very easily, but the pattern itself is weird.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Joggers for Him - Simplicity 8268

When I made my #2018makenine plans, I had two pairs of pants on the list because I really want to learn how to make them. The easiest way to start: by making stretchy unisex sweat pants (or joggers, if you're fancy). I figured conquering an "easy" pair of pants would help me relax about making the more difficult pairs later. Enter Simplicity 8268.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

My Favorite Shift Dress - New Look 6411

I do not remember what my original inspiration was for making this dress, other than I found the pattern in my stash. But when I sewed it up in some leftover blue floral liverpool, I fell in love!

I massively added to my New Look collection last September after that huge 99 cent sale they had last summer. But I somehow got my hands on this pattern much earlier than that.

I had never made a raglan shirt OR shift dress, so this was brand new to me.

I opted for the size 14 with a large FBA (3.25" to be exact), and the dress came together pretty quickly. It is made for wovens AND stable knits, and I had a lot of extra of this liverpool.

I originally used it for the Cali Faye Collection Pocket Skirt from the 2017 #sewmystyle challenge, and later for one of the hacks of the One Hour Top during #OWOP17. But before that, came this dress.

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)


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.
  • #2018SewingChallenge: created by Rachel Chilcott of Bunyip Crafts to improve her sewing skills! Anyone can join the Facebook group and follow along with the monthly prompts.
  • #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 led 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.
  • #MakerMarch2018: "a daily [Instagram] photo challenge meant to bring together makers across crafts and across social media platforms" hosted by Sew Altered Style
  • #MarchMeettheMaker: hosted by Joanne Hawker on Instagram, this is for any small business involved in the creative space. 
  • Miss Bossy: the April 2018 theme from The Monthly Stitch, requiring your readers to choose either your next project, fabric, or both!
  • #MMMay18: an annual Instagram event started by Zoe Edwards to encourage makers to enjoy their handmade items as possible throughout May. Sign up at Zoe's blog: Zo So What Do You Know
  • #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.
  • #SewingLeftovers: Shauni of The Magnificent Thread invites sewists to use up their leftover fabrics to build cohesion, reduce waste, or whatever your goal might be!
  • #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.
  • #SOISelflessSewing: the gals at Sew Over It are encouraging makers to dedicate April to sew for others this month. 
  • #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 #2018UseNine 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: