Patterns

I like to follow patterns. I also like to change patterns. And I also like to not follow patterns.

I like math. I like challenges. I like problem solving. I like order. I like lists. I like steps. I like technical writing.

I’m not a graphic designer nor a photographer.

I’ve done some pattern testing, editing, and writing.

With all of that said, I’ve added a Patterns page to my blog. There have been some things my mom and I have figured out how to make without using a pattern. We’ve had people ask us for the pattern and were able to write down our steps. I figured it would be easiest to make them available to anyone who wanted them. They’re by no means professional, but they should get you a finished product. They’re all free and you can download them on Craftsy. The links are on the Patterns page.

Since I’ve been sewing more and more apparel, I’ve discovered a need for a few things. Pattern weights are one of those.

I started looking at different options to buy, but that turned out to be a bit expensive, especially for anything attractive. And I like everything to be attractive.

Then I took to Pinterest to determine how to make my own. The most popular option was washers wrapped in ribbon, so that’s what I started with.

I make it into a hardware store maybe once per year. They’re not really my thing, which I’m sure is not a surprise to anyone who knows me. For the first sets of weights, I actually got my sister and brother-in-law to pick up the washers because they go to hardware stores all of the time. For the second sets, I went myself.

 

Pattern Weights

 

The ribbon was purchased from Joann Fabrics. They have end caps with the cutest little ribbon spools that all seem to go together very well. The spool will wrap one weight with just a little left over. I debated buying larger spools and I did buy a few for some generic colors, but the larger spools that were available were not very fun patterns. The little ones on the end caps had a much cuter selection. The satin-y ribbon works the best, I think, but the grosgrain works well, too. I used a bit of both. My sister helped. Then I modified the School of Sewing drawstring bag to be 3/4 of the size and am using that to hold them.

 

Bag

 

Then I saw an Instagram post by Jemellia in prep for a SewOK swap. The had the cutest little triangle pattern weights made using Carolyn Friedlander’s Crew pincushion pattern. I bought the pattern, picked out some fabric, and whipped them up in no time. I filled them with black beans we had hanging out for a while. I purposely used fabric to match a Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch that I had finished shortly before so they had their own bag.

 

Pattern Weights

 

I’m pretty set with pattern weights now. A pressing ham is on the list next.

I’ve been wanting a Silhouette Cameo for a while. I went to a Crafty Weekender retreat and a friend there had one and let us play with it a bit. My mind immediately thought of all of the awesome things I could make if I had one.

Then it just kept popping up EVERYWHERE. You know how that works, right? Once you know about something, you see it everywhere. My friend had one and we talked about it. Facebook groups I belonged to mentioned it. I started seeing things made with it on Pinterest. I was bombarded!

But I held out. Then I found a bundle sale and I caved. While I waited for it to ship, I read tutorials, ordered materials, and spent a lot of time pinning and planning ideas.

I LOVE IT! I can’t wait to do even more with it. Here are some of my first projects and I am so please with how they’ve turned out.

 

Hashtag and Emoji Shirts

 

Obviously, my first projects was for the kitties. I ordered most of the vinyl from Expressions Vinyl. This is HTV – heat transfer vinyl.

 

Kitties

 

This is also HTV (GLITTER!!!) even though it’s not on fabric. The tutorial I read said this would help it stay on in the dishwasher. I’m skeptical. I’ve also learned that outdoor vinyl is good for projects like this because it’s “weather resistant.”

 

Selvage

 

This is regular vinyl. It’s a bad pic, but I used white glitter vinyl to write SELVAGE on the vase where I keep my selvages.

 

Halloween

 

I was most excited about these. I think HTV is going to be my favorite.

 

Skull

 

You can also use it to cut fabric for applique. I was pretty excited about this. I used some awesome voile I had laying around.

I have a lot of projects in my mind and on a Pinterest board. I need to keep practicing and spend some more quality time with the software. I upgraded and I think it’s going to be totally worth it. If you’ve been on the fence about one of these, I’d say go for it!

After I made my bridesmaid dress for the wedding in Denver, I got the crazy idea that maybe I should make my clothes for the entire trip. 🙂

As always, I immediately started planning and pinning. I had a few outfits already pinned that I really liked, so I wanted to replicate those. Here’s what I came up with.

Thursday – Flying: P4P SOS Pants, P4P Women’s Raglan Hoodie, P4P LMU

Inspiration: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/209206345168397396/

Friday – Day: P4P SOS Pants, P4P Women’s Henley, P4P Grandpa Cardigan, P4P LMU

Inspiration: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/209206345168397489/

Friday – Rehearsal: M4M Megan Dress

Saturday – Getting Ready: P4P Peg Legs, P4P Summer Kimono, M4M Mama Mya, P4P LMU

Sunday – Flying: P4P Peg Legs, P4P Carefree Cardigan, P4P LMU or M4M Mama Mya

Swimming – Ohhh Lulu Sews Zooey Swimsuit

Sleeping – P4P Peg Legs, P4P Boyfriend V-Neck

I briefly debated making my own underwear using some Ohhh Lulu Sews patterns, but then I bought all new underwear and bras from Gap Body because I fell in love with their Breathe line and that idea went out the window. I still want to make some of those patterns, though.

I actually already had fabric for a few pieces and at a few pieces already made. I already had fabric for the peg legs since I constantly buy Robert Kaufman jersey in gray and black. For the hoodie, I knew I wanted to use some amazing French Terry that I ordered from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I already have two Carefree Cardigans that I love, so I decided to use one of those. Also, I’ve made a few of the v-necks and they are perfect for sleeping in.

Most of the fabric I ordered came from Girl Charlee or Fabric.com. For the SOS Pants, I ordered a teal ponte and then the black Super Stretch Denim from Robert Kaufman. I bought a gray and white striped jersey for the LMU. I found a great white burnout knit for the henley and a awesome gray and black leopard print sweater knit for the cardigan. The LMU actually came later when I discovered how see through the burnout was. I ended up using some leftover fabric from another project. I found an adorable black and light pink polka dot ponte for the Megan Dress and a crepe for the kimono. There was this wonderful white slub jersey knit for the Mama Mya and I ended up making an LMU from it, too. I planned to wear each LMU a couple of times or the Mama Mya twice. I found a great Nicole Miller scuba knit at Joanns for the Zooey Swimsuit and that ended my shopping.

I had very little time in February and March to work on any of these, but when I had time, I only focused on this. Then I went to Crafty Weekender and knocked out the rest. I’m in love with so many of the things I made. The only piece I’m really disappointed in are the stretch denim SOS Pants. They just don’t wear right. The ponte ones are fine, so I’m thinking it’s the fabric. I ended up scrapping that project entirely. I may or may not come back to it someday. The swimsuit was a good trial. I could make some improvements, but for a wearable muslin, I’m OK with it. I wish I would have left the bottom band off the cardigan, but it’s not a big deal either. The Mama Mya is AMAZEBALLS and I can’t wait to make a million of them. The LMUs feel AMAZING. And the Megan Dress makes me feel like the loveliest lady ever. The hoodie might be my favorite, though. The French Terry is so soft and wonderful and I love the print so much.

I ended up deviating from my original plan quite a bit, so here’s what I actually wore.

Thursday – Flying: P4P SOS Pants, P4P Women’s Raglan Hoodie, P4P LMU, Boyfriend Jeans from The Limited

 

Me Made May - May 26th

 

Friday – Day: P4P SOS Pants, P4P Women’s Henley, P4P Grandpa Cardigan, P4P LMU M4M Mama Mya, Skinny Jeans from Ann Taylor, Cami from Ann Taylor, Plaid Shirt from The Gap

 

Me Made May - May 27th

 

Friday – Rehearsal: M4M Megan Dress Same as above. It was casual.

Saturday – Getting Ready: P4P Peg Legs, P4P Summer Kimono, M4M Mama Mya, P4P LMU Cami from Gap

 

Me Made May - May 28th

 

Sunday – Flying: P4P Peg Legs, P4P Carefree Cardigan, P4P LMU or M4M Mama Mya, Skinny Jeans from Ann Taylor, Cami from Ann Taylor (I got home and changed into a P4P Sweet Tee Dress.)

 

Me Made May - May 29th

 

Swimming – Ohhh Lulu Sews Zooey Swimsuit

Sleeping – P4P Peg Legs, P4P Boyfriend V-Neck Crafty Weekender Screenprinted Target V-Neck T-Shirt, True Bias Hudson Pant

Here are some of the other items I made for the trip, but actually didn’t wear on the trip.

 

Me Made May - May 9th

 

Me Made May - May 15th

 

Me Made May - May 20th

 

Me Made May - May 18th

 

Me Made May - May 5th

 

So there you go. I had a lot of fun planning this and sewing it and I think it’s something I’m going to try to do more often. We don’t take a lot of trips, so maybe I’ll have to do it for a certain week of the year or things like that.

I had three amazing friends in college and the last one is got married Memorial Day weekend in Denver. Well, technically, I’m the last one, but I don’t count because I don’t want to get married. Anyway, Ali told the bridesmaids to get a gray dress. Any grey dress. Long. Short. Dark Gray. Light Gray. Grey. Whatever you prefer.

I thought about it and I kept coming back to the idea of making my own dress. I’ve been fairly successful with garment sewing and I needed a challenge. I started planning and pinning on Pinterest and I soon had an idea of exactly what the dress would look like and what fabrics I would use. I wanted lace and tulle and something super feminine and pretty. This was my inspiration: minus the bow and plus sleeves: Dress

The pattern was easy. I would start with the Colette Macaron, which I already owned, but had never made. Then I would just add a simple tulle circle skirt. I did some heavy Googling to find people who had made the Macaron with a lace overlay. All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go had made the perfect version and it had a keyhole back! I wanted a keyhole back! I found out how to create a loop from thread for the button on the back. I Googled Couture finishing techniques. I Googled putting in an invisible zipper even though I’ve done it before, but I wanted/needed more confidence. I Googled the best ways to work with tulle and make a circle skirt. I basically did a TON of research.

Once I had done all of that, I needed to find fabric since my local shop doesn’t carry the special occasion fabric. I thought about ordering from Mood or somewhere online, but I would have to buy swatches first. I didn’t want to wait that long. So I gave up and went to Joanns. They actually had quite a few options. I found a good lace, a good lining, and some decent tulle there. Overall, I was pleased with what I came out with.

Next, I had to mess with the pattern a little. Colette patterns are drafted for people who do not have my shape. I was hoping that with a decent bra, I wouldn’t need to do a small bust adjustment. I knew that I would need to lengthen the waist though, so I added two inches. Then I had to mess with the pattern pieces a bit since I was using a lace overlay with a side seam plus the keyhole back. Overall, it wasn’t too hard and I think I only had to re-cut a couple of small pieces. I cut VERY carefully because of the pattern of the lace, the edges, and just not wanting to mess up in general. I drafted the circle skirt, which was super easy. I had already decided that I would bind as many seams around the lace as I could so it would look nice, so I also cut some bias binding strips.

Then I got started. I dedicated an entire weekend to the dress and I spent the majority of it in my sewing room. I think a took a break to teach a class. 🙂

I started with the bodice because I figured the circle skirt would be the easiest part. I was right for the most part. I took my time. I sewed slow. I thought. I stopped. I looked. It took forever. I sewed down all of the binding by hand. I pinned like crazy. I was careful.

It turned out beautifully. I was sooooooo proud of it. I tried it and on it fit. Ideally, I would have made a muslin especially for a project like this, but the fabric wasn’t expensive and I could always go out and buy a dress, so I chose not to. The fit was snug, but if I took a small seam allowance, it would be OK. I’d size up next time and do the small bust adjustment. I could have added another two or even more inches to the waist. If I hadn’t added the two that I did, it would have been an empire. I was pretty disappointed in that, but unless I wanted to start completely over, I had to leave it, so I did.

I didn’t even take much of a break and I went right to working on the skirt. Six layers of tulle does not tame easily, but I managed it. And I put in the invisible zipper, which was not fun AT ALL. It looks easy, but there are little things about it that definitely do not make it easy. I was successful, though, and I think it would be easier without tulle. There bottom side seam lines up when the zipper is zipped, but the top one is off by a bit. I’m not sure what happened there, but it’s going to be hidden by a belt, so I let it go. I actually think I ripped it out once and decided if I didn’t work out the second time, I wasn’t going to bother with it. I left the tulle unhemmed and used a rolled hem on my serger for the skirt lining.

I ordered a wide black belt, hot pink shoes (the bridesmaids had different colored shoes), jewelry, and a black clutch. The outfit was totally finished and accessorized.

Are you ready to see it?

 

Dress

 

Dress

 

Dress

 

Dress

 

Me Made May - May 28th

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