Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Sponsored: Penelope’s Summer Style

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This post is sponsored by Sven Clogs. Original hand-crafted clogs since 1974. Clogs made-to-order with premium styles and materials for Man, woman and child.

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As evidenced by Penelope’s porcelain skin, she hasn’t been out as much this summer as she was last. I can’t believe it’s finally drawing to a close! Now I’m craving sewing time so I can make a couple of special clothes for the school year.

I don’t often make clothes for the kids because they grow out of them or destroy them so quickly, but this was a fun little number to whip up from extra fabric I had lying around after I made a dress (coming soon!). So yes! We’re totally matching. I have a few mother-daughter looks queued up.

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I didn’t use a pattern, I grabbed some shorts and a shirt and started cutting. Next time I make her a romper, I have a few ideas to make it a little more balanced between top/bottom (the bottoms came out tighter and the top looser than expected).

In fact, I ended up cutting the bottoms too small entirely. I got clever and grabbed some white fabric with tiny red anchors on them and made stripes to add width to the bottoms. Hindsight, I should have added more. But she owns them.

 

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Here’s what I did:

  • I traced a pair of shorts and sewed them up. Seeing that they were snug, I added the racing stripe by cutting down the sides and adding the strip.
  • I topstitched the strip to make it look more finished.
  • Next, I found a loose fitting shirt and cut out a pentagram shape. Leaving the top part a little longer so I could make a loop.
  • I cut the back taller than the front.
  • To assemble the top and bottom, I sewed up each of them separately, attached elastic to the shorts, then put right sides together and added the top (two rows of stitching at the waistline).
  • I hemmed the shorts, the arms and the neckline. I cut a tube of extra fabric and threaded it around the loops at the top and tied it in a bow.
  • Fini!

Penelope knows how to tie bows, so getting in and out of the romper isn’t a big deal for her. It would be a little more complicated for a younger child.

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Sometimes I wonder how she got so old and grown up, then I get her a My Little Pony and I realize she’s still in the throws of her childhood. I sigh in relief.

She’ll be starting second grade any day now. Am I the only one that loves back-to-school season? I love getting supplies, I love the new clothes, organizing everything and a fresh start with new teachers, new classmates and new things to learn.

Outfit details: 

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Sewing Style: Floral Button-Up

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This outfit has been in the queue of things to blog for MONTHS. I got the skirt just in the nick time for Inspired Retreat. It traveled marvelously well and proved to be just the perfect statement piece I needed for a dinner there.

The top was something I sewed in May for Silhouette Summit. There’s something about going out of town that urges me to sew like crazy!

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I had this fabric in my stash from an excursion to the fabric district years ago. I thought I would just make something for Penelope with it, but it just sat. And I never made anything for her. The bright, tropical print was screaming at me the second I purchased my flight to Hawaii, so I did something about it.

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I made this button up without a collar. Basically using Grainline’s Scout Tee, extending the middle front and adding buttons. It was easy enough. I sort of wish I would have made a collar for it. It wasn’t the easiest fabric to work with, but I think a collar would have looked nice.

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It was part laziness, part strategic planning that I opted for only 4 buttons in the front. I tie the front of most of my button-ups anyway, so I just omitted them for that very reason. Tying up the excess like that makes for a sleeker line with the skirt since there’s no bulk of a shirt underneath the skirt. I know. I’m genius. It’s not a matter of style, but a matter of comfort in this case. I don’t like bulk.
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It was an easy enough sew, taking me just under 2 hours to make it happen from beginning to end. I feel a little Miami granny-ish with the florals, but paired with the metallic knife pleats I just own the look.

Outfit details

I was stoked to find Pleated Empire is local to Draper! I’m a huge fan of the rebel skirt (featured above) and their Floral Blazer and Mesh Ribbon Skirt.

Sewing Style: 90’s Influenced Fit & Flare

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Megan Nielsen sent me this gorgeous lawn (at least I think it’s a lawn) about 2 years ago. It was more time than I would like to admit. Why, oh why do I tend to let such pretty fabric just sit in my stash? I have no idea.

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I wanted it to be something flowy and free for summer. Miriam convinced me that I should make a fit and flare dress. She’s right. She’s always right when it comes to sewing matters.

I didn’t have any good light-weight stretchy black knit on hand, so I ended up dicing up an old maxi dress that I made (and never blogged, only wore once) while I was pregnant with Juniper. That fabric is getting much more use now as the top and sleeves of my dress.

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I used the scout tee for the base of this dress. I pieced the front and took in the sides to compensate for the knit in the back. I considered not taking it in and having it with more of a 90’s proportion, but it feels so feminine with the tapered waist. I’m glad I didn’t make it baggy.

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The dress is so comfortable and light-weight. Perfect for those hot summer days. It was an easy sew, too. Because of the knit back, I didn’t need to put in any enclosures. And I put in a knit binding at the collar so that was super easy.

Anyone know a good technique for binding a woven neckline without it puckering or curling? Let me know. I’m all ears!

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Outfit details:

  • dress: scout tee, revised | fabric from megan nielsen
  • necklace: H&M
  • bracelet: THP shop
  • shoes: Forever 21
  • bag: coach (!!!! a mother’s day gift from my mom !!!!)

All photos by Sam Pierson

Sewing: The Feminist Bathing Suit

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When I tell people that I like to sew my own swimming suits, I tend to get the same reaction of awe and I-could-never-do-anything-like-that self-doubt. Sewing a swimsuit isn’t that hard. Shopping for one is hard.

Let me put this in perspective. How many women out there go to the store, pick out the first suit they like, try it on, love it and go home? And if you’re reading this and you do that, you’re either pre-pubescent or a freaking unicorn. Because that doesn’t exist.

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Every woman I talk to spends at least the double-digits in hours either searching for, trying on, buying/returning a swimsuit. It’s a laborious task finding the swimsuit of the season. It is!

I’m thin. My BMI is in the “you need to gain weight” range. It always has been. So many think it might be easy for me to find a suit I just love. It’s not. I always end the swimsuit excursion feeling emotionally bankrupt, thinking: My boobs are too small, my torso is too long and my body is too pasty. 

Why? Why on earth put myself through that kind of torture? WHY?!?!?

 

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You know what? I have an amazing body. WE ALL HAVE AMAZING BODIES. It’s just that 99% of the time our bodies don’t fit the block created by one manufacturer or another. And is that bad? NO.

So I’m not going to waste another minute feeling upset that my body doesn’t fit a man-made proportion, or spend a second on the things I could do to enhance or change my god-given proportions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thought about it. It’s just not for me. Not right now.

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Now I spend that half-day obsessing over muslins and sketches. I huddle over my sewing machines finishing every detail as best as I can. I’ve drafted my own sewing pattern through lots of trial and error (version 1.0 here), so now I have a pattern for swim bottoms that fits me perfectly. I can adjust that pattern to the style I’m going for. Drafting a top takes more time, but it’s worth it.

At the end of the experience, I have a swimsuit I’ve made. A swimsuit I’m proud of. A swimsuit that fits me. 

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Some may think that sewing is so antiquated. I’ll tell you there’s nothing more empowering than that sewing machine. If you’re on the fence about sewing a swimsuit this year, get off the fence and start making one right now. It’ll be the best investment in you you’ll make this summer.

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Outfit details:

  • floral knit: L.A. Fabric District
  • scuba knit: Fabric.com
  • necklace: H&M
  • shoes: Forever 21
  • bracelet: THP shop

I drafted each pattern from scratch. I would consider starting at Burdastyle, if you download their patterns make sure that patterns have seam allowance before you cut them out. :)

If sewing isn’t for you, check out my swimwear inspiration board.

All images by Sam Pierson

Sewing with Kids: Felix’s Rockstar Tee

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I gave Penelope my hand-me-down Bernina Record 830 (she has NO IDEA what she has – those things go for A LOT on ebay). She knows how to do a straight line, but that’s about it.

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At some point I’ll teach her the foundations of sewing with patterns, using the back-stitch, finishing seams and what-not. Until then, I’m loving every minute of her free spirit made manifest through clothing. This girl’s creativity just rocks my world. And Felix’s patience for her creativity is unmatched.

I think the dot of green marker on his left earlobe completes the look, don’t you?

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