Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring/Summer 2015 Wardrobe Plans

     Now that the seasons are changing, even though it might snow on Friday, I've been thinking a lot about what I want to make for the spring/summer season. I'm trying to avoid buying any clothes unless it's something that I absolutely have to have, won't be able to find again, and is a reasonable price. When I was planning everything out I was looking for patterns that were nice for summer but dependent on the fabric they're made in could transition for work and for fun summer events. I always feel like I'm behind the curve during the seasons - on the first nice day everyone here busts out their cutest sundresses/shorts/tops/etc. While I want to be fashionable I don't want to buy 'fast fashion' or clothes that are cheaply made and will only last for the season even if they look good now. It's hard not to be tempted but I think I can avoid this dilemma based on what I choose to make.

To start - dresses. I love wearing dresses period. They make you look nice with minimal effort and they're usually pretty comfortable. Especially on a hot summer day when pants just feel sticky and a nice breeze is desired. Looking at these now I realize that the silhouette for each dress is pretty similar - fitted in the bodice with slight bell shaping in the skirt. It's definitely a silhouette that I love because it highlights my  body at it's smallest point which is my true waist. I also already own two dress patterns, the By Hand London Sabrina & the Deer and Doe Belladone, and I've blogged about them here and here. I haven't gotten a chance to make up the Sabrina dress in the button up version yet so that will probably get added to my list as well.

Next up we have shirts & blouses. I feel like a lot of the shirts/tank tops/blouses I own I've had for years and have kind of grown out of. But since I don't have anything better to replace them with I've held on to them. I wanted patterns that'd be versatile enough to wear a bunch of different ways and patterns that had fun design elements like the cutouts on the Datura blouse. I think the Granville Shirt is going to become a wardrobe staple mainly because of how fitted it is and I know I'll be able to wear this alone or layered underneath things. I'm also planning on making sleeveless versions that can be more summer appropriate as well as perfect for layering under sleeveless dresses.

Row 1: Ginger Jeans

I bought the ginger jeans pattern and kit way back before Christmas but just haven't gotten around to sewing them. I'm planning on making both the high waisted and regular versions and I have some otter wax that I'm planning on using to make a waxed version. I wanted to make the maritime shorts pattern last year but never got around to it. I feel like you can never have enough shorts in the summer and I think having a pattern that is a decent length will be nice; nowadays the stores are only selling those super short diaper/butt cheek hanging versions - blegh. I feel like these will look good in twill, denim, or other fun fabrics as well.

I had a ton of fun making a swimsuit last year and I've seen a number of people use this pattern which has quite a few options for you to mix and match. 

 Instead of linking to each fabric I'm going to link to my Pinterest Board that has all of the important info

This season instead of focusing on a certain color palette I decided to stick with fabrics that are mainly neutral - grey, navy, tan and a mix of graphic prints. I typically don't wear a lot of prints and I think that's because I don't have enough basics in my wardrobe to mix and match them with. I feel like all of these prints can be worn with a variety of things I own and mixed-matched for layering as well. Another thing I worry about with prints is that they'll go out of style. I've been seeing tons of tiny 90's flowered things everywhere lately so I'm trying to stay away from fad like fabrics and think long term.

If you've made it to the end of this post you deserve a prize - this was a long one. It's likely that I won't get around to sewing even half of these things. I know at some point I'll be traveling, camping, or just too busy laying in the hammock in the yard to do any sewing. Such is summer. I am trying to prioritize though so I can get the most out of this seasons sewing. I already am working on cutting out a Granville shirt which will be followed by the Ginger Jeans. From there I think I'll try and alternate between dresses and blouses and more Granville's followed hopefully by some shorts! Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Floral Belladone Dress

Fabric: Mystery Cotton from Colorado Fabrics
Pattern: Deer & Doe Belladone

Let me start by saying that I have so much regret...regret that I waited so long to make this pattern because it is fabulous. This is the first pattern I've made from Deer & Doe, a pattern company based in France, and this pattern has basically sold me on them as a whole. I had originally planned to make this pattern way back in the fall when I picked up this fall floral themed fabric. I don't know why I twiddled my thumbs for so long. Sadly now that it's nearly spring it probably won't get a lot of wear until August/September, but believe me when I say I'm going to wear it to death until winter's truly over. It snowed just a tiny bit yesterday so I have a little bit of time.

 Check out that diamond keyhole back! (definitely the technical term)

The pattern instructions come printed in both French and English and while they didn't hold your hand through the process they were still easy to understand and interpret. Based on the measurements I sewed a 40 through the bodice and waist and graded out to a 44 through the skirt. I think I could probably get a way with a 42 through the skirt just because it flares out naturally, but depending on the fabric the bigger size could make for a fuller skirt. The bodice fits pretty well but it's the slightest bit loose. I don't think it's loose enough that I could go down a size. Next time I'd probably take a half inch off each side around the back zipper.

Every dress should have pockets!

I'm pretty sure this is going to become a tried and true pattern for me. I'm already envisioning making a ton of different versions. I think you could really play around with contrast at the waistband and around the back and neckline where you stabilize with bias tape.

Even though it did snow the other day I've got spring on the brain. There are a ton of other fall/winter patterns I wanted to sew this past season but it just didn't happen. I'm putting those aside for now and focusing on the upcoming season. I've been pinning all of the patterns I want to make over on my Spring 2015 pinterest board while trying not to go to overboard. Do you guys plan what patterns you're going to make seasonally?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Upholstery: Completed Wingback Chair

I finally finished the wingback chair! If you haven't been following along you can read about phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3 by clicking the respective links. Get ready for a lot of pictures in this post - I might have gone a little overboard but it's because I'm so happy with how this turned out and I'm really sad that it's finished. If you just want to see the finished pictures scroll down to the very bottom.

I'm going to start with a ton of pictures from the most recent update so you can see the whole process through to the finished chair.

The completed deck

Starting the inside arms and wings

Maurice being ever so helpful

Getting started on the inner back - tying the springs and padding

Prepping the outside arms, wings, and back

All in all this wasn't that hard just time consuming. I think the hardest part or part that took the longest time was stripping the chair. Other than that everything was rather straightforward. You repeat the same steps for each part of the chair it's just important to do things in the right order. Release cuts were hard for me at first but I got the hang of it by the end. Putting the tacks along the perimeter of the chair was also really hard at first and I couldn't manage to keep the spacing or the tacks in line. As I went I got the hang of it but I'm glad I started on the back first so I had time to learn. I learned so much about upholstery in general on this project and I really loved every moment of it. It was satisfying to see things slowly come together and it was nice to step away from the sewing machine for a bit. I also learned that I love the smell of the jute webbing that you use to stabilize parts of the chair. It smells so good I can't even explain it just trust me. So what do you guys think? Would you try an upholstery project? I have a ton of extra fabric and I think I'm going to make some pillows and maybe a little matching footstool. As always thanks for reading!