Archive for the ‘handmade’ Category

Sewing Harem Pants – Out of My Comfort Zone


Confidence is key when wearing anything beyond just jeans and a tee. That confidence has waxed and waned in the last few years. But mostly waned.


I also have ridiculous fit and texture sensitivities which makes branching out into atypical silhouettes really hard for me. But I really want to give harem pants a try. And I did this week. I’m still deciding if I love or hate them.


I guess they’re growing on me. I’ve worn them mostly all day. At least the fabric is awesome.

Like super awesome. I wish I had made these in the thick of summer when it was super hot. I got this fabric in LA’s fabric district. There’s a black/pink colorway version available here.


I nearly asked Chris, “Do these pants make my butt look fat?” before realizing it’s a question that should never be asked. By anyone. Ever.


There’s a disconnect between how I feel they look and what I see in the mirror (and these photos). And I want to get over that disconnect and feel confident in them all the time.

Do you have any pieces in your closet like that?


Outfit details:

Click to read more about the sewing process (warts and all. I mean all warts).


Leather Tag Bracelet Tutorial DIY


I’m doing much better with my efforts to wear more interesting outfits and accessories. I’m also doing better at putting on make-up in the morning.

I should qualify – I’m putting on make-up about two to three times a week. I’m putting on cute outfits when I leave the house which is also two to three times a week.


There are some really hot moms of 4+ kids in my neighborhood. I really don’t know how they do it. Maybe there’s an apprentice-ship that I could apply for?

One of my neighbors came over the other week to help me shoot some DIYs. We made this little leather tag bracelet and a wood and leather bracelet (tutorial to come next week). They were quick and fun. I’d say both were perfect for a range of skill levels. You could have one of these finished in about 15-20 minutes. Let’s get started, shall we?


Sewing: Leather and Cotton Zip Bag


Walking through the streets of San Francisco made me realize a couple of things: I live in a bubble (a happy one) and my clothes are boring. I’m a mom of two small kids. I’m lucky if I get my make-up on! But walking the streets of SF in even my handmade clothes made me realize that I often put together boring outfits. Even when I take the time to get ready.


To remedy this, I just need to make myself non-boring accessories. It’ll at least help. I want to be cool like my friend Mim, so I made a zippered purse/pouch just like hers.


Not boring, but certainly not as creative since I copied her design. But I made it, so that’s something. And I matched the leather and fabric together. Oh, the leather. . . Mmmmm. It’s so soft. I wish you could feel it. Like butter.


It’s a small bag, perfect for girls’ nights and nights out with my man. I’m thinking this will be perfect for my upcoming Sewing Summit conference in September. I can’t wait for Sewing Summit.



I’m excited about the leather details and the colorful print. It won’t match everything in my wardrobe, but it will certainly add a pop of interesting to it.


I used legit top-stitch thread (and needle) for the first time. It looks so much more professional with that small detail.

Fabric provided by Kollabora and Dear Stella.


Draw It Sew It: Slouchy Hoodie


The slouchy hoodie won last week by a land-slide. Are turbans not cool anymore? I still want to make one, like a legit one. I’ve got the perfect light-weight white with black pin-dot scarf fabric for it.

Constructing this hoodie was not terribly hard. I didn’t use a very easy fabric, and now that I look at it, I would’ve done so many different things with the fit and finishing details. Live and learn, right?


Chris says I look like a Sith Lord. A girly one. 

I used my hand-drafted cardigan pattern, raised the rise of the neckline (to about a t-shirt height) and added a hoodie. The hoodie was pretty easy to draw out, I just measured the neckline and accommodated the seam allowance.

If I do this again I will:

  • take the shoulder seam in
  • make the sleeves looser to create more of a bishop sleeve
  • draft a taller hood
  • finish the seams around the hood and the front with bias tape or twill tape for a cleaner finish


I had just about a yard of fabric, fabric I scored while digging at Michael Levine loft (similar here and here) and I used every square inch. It’s incredibly soft, but not too difficult to work with. I love the transparent stripes! This kind of hoodie is perfect for cool summer nights, and will get some great use in San Francisco!


We get our fair share of cool summer nights on top of our mountain. We always seem to have a breeze, and the cool canyon air seems to come our direction at night. It’s marvelous. A lightweight hoodie like this is perfect for all of the cool nights and days we get here.


Outfit details:


I’m wondering what I should do next. Pants? A legit pair of pants are on my bucket list of things to master. Cobblery is too, but that’d be part of a completely different series.

No Solicitors, Please / July Promo


I’m a new affiliate blogger with Silhouette. Each month I will be posting something in concert with one of their promotions. You can use my code: MELISSA to take advantage of that deal. By using my code, you will get a deal and I will get affiliate kick-backs. I genuinely stand by this tool and I use it all the time! If you have any questions about the machine, supplies or how to get started, feel free to ask in the comments below.

We get a lot of solicitors in our neighborhood. It’s sort of strange since we live very much out of the way of anything. Maybe they like to target our community because there are just homes around us? I don’t know. I’ve had a few incredibly pushy salesmen knock on my door recently, leaving me with a very icky feeling.


Since then I’ve put a “No Solicitors” blurb on the bottom of my chalkboard, but that doesn’t even seem to help. I needed something a bit closer to eye level.

I sketched up a few different ideas (thanks for chiming in on which was your favorite, I had a tough time deciding), digitized it and cut it with my new Cameo.


I could have made it bigger (I just got the new Cameo, it’s enormous and even awesomer than my old SD that I loved so much), but I didn’t want that message be the first thing that friends and family see when they knock on my door. It measures about 2 inches tall by 6 inches wide.

Side note: this is as festive as I get around here. 3 glitter stars pinned to my coffee filter wreath. Boom. Done.


There was quite a response on Instagram requesting the sticker and a downloadable file. I’ve put those up for you. I have 9 stickers left for sale, you can purchase those here. The digital file can be purchased here.


Silhouette has a great deal this month (discount good through July 10th)! If you don’t have a Silhouette and are thinking about getting one, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.


You can get their portrait for $129.99 (which I think is a steal, but if you want to do anything on a bigger scale just go for the Cameo. Trust me, it rocks). If you already have a Silhouette cutter, you can get the designer edition software for half off. I’ve been using the designer edition for a week now, and I’d say it’s worth it. I still design the bulk of my graphics in Illustrator, but I still found it more useful for cutting than the standard Studio software.

You get more creative license with graphics (creating, erasing, scaling and shearing), you can cut with a wider range of files and you can easily create your own rhinestone patterns. If you don’t have Illustrator, it’s definitely worth the extra money. You can see all of the features for yourself here.

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