Friday, June 17, 2022

Project! Joss Pants in Linen by Seamwork

I'm blogging my way through some projects I finished in March and April, right before I got busy and did some traveling. A great thing about belated blogging is a lot of photos of your finished garments in action! So here we go:

Pattern: The Joss Pants by Seamwork. Yes, this is my second pair of Joss pants... this pair is much more outdoor-friendly.

Materials: 100% Linen from Joann's, thread and 1.5" elastic for the waistband. The pattern calls for 1" elastic, but I had 1.5" non-roll elastic in my stash and WOW, am I glad I went with that. Highly recommend a sturdy elastic for this waistband. 

 Cost: 3 yards of this linen came in at a whopping $46, plus another $4 for thread, bringing this project to $50, and making this my most expensive sewing project since my Bryant Gown! I do have a little linen leftover, so I'm hoping to squeeze a tank out of it for a little matching outfit look. 

Timeline: Fast and furious - I made these the first week of April, days before I left for France, when I realized I had very few options for comfy travel pants. Since I had sewn the pattern before, I knew I could bang them out in time. 

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: I sewed a straight size 12, adding a 1/2" in height to the waistband to accommodate the taller elastic. I also added the same slanted patch pockets I used on the first pair I sewed, which I drafted by following Seamwork's tutorial

Since I ended up adding a drawstring to my first pair of Joss pants, I added two buttonholes to the waistband this time. However - the non roll elastic is so sturdy and the linen fabric is so light that I definitely didn't need a drawstring and didn't end up adding it. So there are just two unused buttonholes, waiting on the waistband for the time they might be needed (which will probably never come). 

I go back and forth on the length - when I sit down they REALLY ride up, but when I'm standing I think they look great, so I probably would not change it. 

Feelings about this project: While I liked the first pair of Joss Pants I sewed, they were made out of knit jersey and are really more PJ-type pants. This version, however, is MAGIC. Every time I wear them, people ask where I got them, and then are disappointed when I tell them I made them (because I have nice friends who don't immediately ask me to make them a thing they want).

I love them and have worn them multiple times a week since I finished them. I wore them in Paris when it was chilly, I wore them in Joshua Tree when it was hot. They are versatile, comfy and look chic. They're the perfect pants for my current lifestyle and I am thrilled I FINALLY gave this pattern a second look. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Project! Groovy Floral Striped Madhu Top by Seamwork

I'm blogging my way through some projects I finished in March and April, right before I got busy and did some traveling. So here we go:

Pattern: Surprise, it's another Seamwork Madhu! I love this pattern so much, and both of my tops get a LOT of wear. It might be time to make a third...

Materials: When I saw this beautiful, slightly groovy/slightly Hawaiian rayon at Remainders Creative Reuse, I knew it was destined to be a Madhu. It's a perfect match of fabric to pattern.

Cost: 2.5 yards of this rayon came in at $7.50, and the thread and elastic were in my stash, so a total of $7.50 for this top. Seriously, cannot beat Remainders.

Timeline: I bought this fabric at the same time as my fabric for my Capulet Dress, and cut them both at the same time, finishing at the end of March. 

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: I cut a size Medium and made no mods. Easy peasy! 

Feelings about this project: I waxed poetic about this pattern when I wrote about my Hawaiian Print Madhu Top, and my feelings have only deepened with this second version. It's a perfect t-shirt for me, I will love it forever, and I look forward to wearing it all summer long.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Project! The Capulet Dress (Test) by Stitch Witch Patterns

I'm blogging my way through some projects I finished in March and April, right before I got busy and did some traveling. So here we go:

Pattern: Oh yes, it's another lovely pattern from Stitch Witch Patterns - The Capulet Dress

Materials: I purchased 5.5 yards of this beautiful rayon from Remainders Creative Reuse for another project, intending to use a stiffer cotton for this dress. I did not read the pattern closely, though, and was only able to score about 3 yards of the 45" wide cotton when the pattern calls for 60" wide fabric, and so I used this backup fabric. It's a different dress than I intended to make, but it still came out gorgeous!

I will take this opportunity to shout it from the rooftops: Remainders is amazing and I am so so lucky to have a craft thrift store here in Pasadena. I try to stay chill every time I go in there, but inevitably I leave with vintage fabric. This is where I got the amazing plaid fabric for my Christmas B6453. And I have 2-3 cuts of fabric in my stash that haven't been sewn up yet. 

Cost: $16.50 for 5.5 yards of rayon. The rest of the materials were already in my stash so we'll say a total of $16.50 for this dress, since I received the pattern in exchange for testing it. 

Timeline: Finished at the end of March, before the pattern release. 

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: Since this was a test sew, the fit is pretty off. (Madeline has since made changes to the pattern, so go forth and sew it without fear!) As you'll see from my photos, the back had to be taken in quite a bit, so it doesn't have that nice square back. On my next version, I'll be sure to do more extensive fitting. 

Because I am both tall and old, I added length to the bodice and the skirt. I don't think I really needed the extra bodice length, and next time I'll skip it. I also added pockets, because I love snacks and must always have lip balm on me. Since I was sewing with the rayon, I had to make the longer Juliet sleeves! I LOVE them, they're so dramatic and elegant. 

Feelings about this project: I love this dress - it's very romantic and a little 90's when made up in this fabric. This one is on my list to revisit in a lighter fabric with more body in the short sleeve version, so watch out, Summer 2022!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Me Made May 2022 Recap

Well, we're 10 days into June, but here's my Me Made May Recap. Yes, you'll notice there are only 10 outfits, but 10 out of 31 ain't too bad in my book!


Left: Linen Joss Pants and a refashioned tank from Old Navy. Right: Ikat Alder Shirtdress

Left: Linen-blend Burnside Bibs (unblogged, gasp!). Right: Lace Stripes Sweater


And the MVP for this Me Made May goes to... the Linen Joss Pants! I'm actually wearing them right now as I type this, too. They are so comfy but look kinda chic in a burlap-sack, paper-bag-sorta-way, and I LOVE them.

Truly, this Me Made May tested my wardrobe. A lot of my handmade clothes no longer fit comfortably and I don't wear uncomfortable clothes (anymore), so. My options were limited. But onward and upward! Summer is here and I have leftover linen, so look out!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Project! Hawaiian Madhu Top from Seamwork (and matching skirt)

Pattern: The Madhu Top from Seamwork. I finished this one almost immediately after the pattern was released in 2021, but just getting to pictures now!


Materials: Ok, this is when retro-blogging gets me in trouble. I thiiiiink I purchased this fabric from and that's... all I remember about it. I was shopping for fabric to make a simple dirndl skirt with an elastic waist - which was a project my friend, Amanda, requested we work through together. I bought enough fabric for a super gathered, fluffy skirt and matching top. (You can see the skirt in action here and here.) I never posted about the skirt in detail - it's a self-drafted pattern based on all the dirndl skirts I sewed as a Costume Design major in college. The back of the waistband is elastic (Amanda gets all credit for THAT amazing design idea) and a pocket, so I will love it forever.

That was the end of 2020, and I finally made a matching top when the Madhu pattern was released!

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: I thiiiiiink I made a size medium without any mods. This pattern is simple, comes together easily, and is STUNNING. I knew it would be blouse-y enough to get away without making any bust adjustments, and the elastic hides all sins. It's super comfortable, light, looks kinda dressy? And a *hint* of sexy? It's the perfect top and I can't believe I haven't made another one yet. I just bought fabric for a second one, and I have another fabric in my stash that might be a third!

Although not every Seamwork pattern is a home run for me, this one is like my own personal ideal t-shirt. After my success with their Benning Dress pattern last year (here's my floral Benning and my pumpkin spice plaid Benning), I am still firmly a Seamwork devotee. 

Feelings about this project: Do I have to say I love it again?? I love it, wear it all the time, dress it up and down and occasionally even wear it with the matching skirt!

Ps. If you're wondering what a dirndl skirt is - just imagine a giant rectangle of fabric, gathered into a waistband. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Project! The Maiden Blouse Test Sew by Stitch Witch Patterns

Pattern: The Maiden Blouse by Stitch Witch Patterns. This is part of The Maiden Set, which also includes a skirt, but I didn't test the skirt due to lack of time and fabric. The blouse pattern is VERSATILE - two necklines, a sleeveless option, and two different back hem options. 

Materials: This fabric is a midcentury curtain I thrifted about 20 years ago. I think it kiiiinda looks like Michael Banks' coat in Mary Poppins. Or a stick of that Fruit Stripe Gum, the one with the zebra on it. (You can still buy that gum! I had to google it.) I had two of these curtains to start and made a dress and a skirt sometime in the early/mid 2000's, which I no longer have. I'm pretty sad I parted with them at some point, but what are you gonna do? 

Cost: I received this pattern for free in exchange for testing, and this fabric, my muslin fabric (which I will finish soon) and all notions were from my stash, including the boning. So $0, other than the cost of lugging around a stash of fabric and notions for over 15 years.

Timeline: I was on a deadline, so this only took me a few days, like February 5th-8th, or so. 

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: Since I was testing this pattern for fit and feedback, some of the changes I made may have been reflected in the final pattern. I will say - there are two cup size ranges for this pattern (awesome!) and I attempted to use the C-D cup, even though I am a DD cup... I should have just done an FBA. I tried to grade between sizes for the bust to get an extra inch, instead of doing a proper FBA and because of that, the fit is a little off in the bust and the whole bodice could use more length. Live and learn. 

Feelings about this project: I LOVE the delightful circus look of the finished product! I have no clue where I will wear this, but I'm excited for the looks I will get on that day! I used a gingham apron to make the muslin and I will cut a new front bodice and finish that as a sleeveless version (or maybe add little floaty sleeves?) because I love the shape of this top, overall. The sleeves are epic, but they use a lottttt of fabric, so the sleeveless version is great for adding just a *touch* of Ren Faire to your wardrobe with a small amount of fabric.

Feelings about myself: Pretty good! I think I look great in structured tops like this, so I'm very happy with it. I would also love one in linen for a softer version, like a few of the other testers made. 

Feelings about the world: Wow, there's a lot going on, right? I write this blog post right after news of Russia invading Ukraine and it's all I can think about. I'm sending love to all my Ukrainian and Russian friends. 

Extra Pickle Portrait for love. 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Project! Poisonettes Top by Poison Grrls

Pattern: Poisonettes Top by Poison Grrls - this was a test knit in the summer of 2021.

Materials: Paragon Sport from Knit Picks in Black and Turmeric. This yarn is lovely, but unfortunately it's no longer available in most colors. 


Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: So, I'll be honest: it's been so long since I knit this that I've forgotten a lot about it, but I still wanted to share some photos for posterity! I tested this pattern and I LOVED the design at first sight. It's super cute and wearable, and the stitch pattern is fun to knit, but it took me a few tries to get it to fit comfortably. I definitely remember adding rows before and after the sleeve join, to get more length, but I don't remember my other mods. I love that the top band has elastic in it, so it does sit very well on my shoulders. Overall, it's a very cute, unique design!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Project! Twin Set: Fujiyama Mama by Poison Grrls Knits and My Little Secret Crop by Jessie Mae

Pattern: The bolero is the Fuijiyama Mama Bolero from Poison Grrls and the tank is My Little Secret Crop by Jessie Mae. 

Materials: One of my favorite cotton/acrylic blend yarns: Cotton Fair from Michael's! I am so obsessed with this yarn, it wears like a sweatshirt, it's super affordable and comes in nice, bright colors. 

Cost: I bought 4 skeins of this yarn for about $20, and I also paid for the bolero pattern. I got the tank pattern as a freebie when Jessie offered it up in March of 2020 for some distraction knitting. So for both garments, about $30. 

Timeline: This is what happens when I belatedly blog... it's all a little murky... I finished the bolero in April of 2021 and I believe I finished the tank in July. 

Feelings and notes about this project: Although I love the finished product, knitting this bolero was a bitch on my hands - the daisy stitch is GORGEOUS and I love the texture, but ouch. After I finished knitting it, I had almost two full skeins of red yarn left from the original four, so I decided to knit a tank to wear with it (or on its own). I was tempted to write a pattern in the same daisy stitch to perfectly match, but my hands couldn't take it, so I went with this TNT pattern. Easy, portable, wearable, A HIT. 

And yes, my THIRD ripple tank. Aren't they pretty in primary? It's also fun to see the difference between the red tank in a cotton blend yarn and the blue one, knit in wool. 

As much as I love this twin set, I have rarely worn it. Summer 2022, I'll bring it back!