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)
  • 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.
  • #ColorUsCreative: a multi-blogger hosted Instagram challenge to inspire each other. Started by @tabithasewer and runs through April 2018.
  • #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.
  • #DressLikeYourGrandma: a vintage sewing challenge inspired by the generations before us. More info and sign-up details on Tanya Maile's blog. Ends April 30.
  • 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.
  • #NoFearNewJeans: Closet Case Patterns is encouraging everyone to take on jeans making in February. They even have discounts on their jeans patterns and courses on their website.
  • #LiterarySewingCircle: a book club for sewists!! The group reads a book and then creates something inspired by the story. How novel! (Pun intended!). More at Following the Thread.
  • #MIYMarch18: Wendy Ward's annual Instagram photo challenge has a new twist this year.
  • PatternReview: multiple monthly challenges with various themes and rules, must be a member of PatternReview.com.
  • 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.
  • #SewTogetherforSummer: this year's theme is a wrap dress! More info on Sew Sarah Smith. Ends June 21.
  • #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.
  • #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.
  • #GreatBigPatternSwap: post a pic on Instagram of any patterns you're willing to give away, choose some to receive from others participating, mail your patterns off and make something from your received pattern by August 18.
  • #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
  • https://bemorewithless.com/project-333/https://bemorewithless.com/project-333/: an Instagram "journey through your closet" to inspire you to only wear 33 items for 3 whole months.
  • 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. 
  • #SummerofSelvedgesal: hosted by @OakBlueDesigns on Instagram to encourage makers to use up their fabric edges
  • #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: