Sunday Lately: Embarking, Enjoying, Experimenting


It is week 2 of the 2019 Sunday Lately series! If you are new to Sunday Lately, it is a weekly series for the Blogger Tribe featuring three prompts to get us writing and sharing our stories from the past week. Each blogger can interpret these topics however they choose in their post. Then we all link back to Katy to share with each other. This week we are talking about embarking, enjoying, and experimenting.

Embarking:

Last week I shared about my new adventure in 18th-century history and this week I have a much clearer idea of where to go with my costume. I am using Simplicity 8579 for my chemise and corset. I am making those two items first because I will need to take new measurements once I have the corset on in order to cut and sew the right size for the caraco (bodice) and skirt. The blue fabric above is what I will be using for the corset. It is a pretty heavy duty woven drapery cotton from the 80’s. It was actually given to me just a couple of weeks ago, so I am glad it won’t have a chance to hang out in my stash too long.

I know I will be using McCall’s 7916 for the caraco and skirt pieces, but I have not settled on fabric yet. As of right now, I am thinking I want to do a brown wool caraco and a mustard yellow skirt. A trip to Zinck’s Fabric Outlet in Ligonier, IN is in order to find some lightweight wools for these, so my colors will probably change depending on what they have. I think Zinck’s will be my best option though because of how inexpensive their fabrics are. Last time I got some army green wool for $2.99/yard, that is how cheap I am talking! I have been wanting to build up my stash of vintage Talon zippers too and this is where I got the first few from, so it’s just one more reason to go.  I haven’t been there in a couple of years, since before we moved to Chicago, and now it is a 3-hour trip each way. Maybe sometime in February. Any Chicago Sewists or quilters up for a day trip with me? Maybe even go to Shipshewana to do some more fabric shopping?

Enjoying:

This past week I have really been enjoying getting caught up on podcasts.  I typically let them build up so I can binge them while sewing or cleaning.  I am all current with most of the regular ones I listen to like Stitcher’s Brew, Love to Sew, and Make & Decorate so I have been binging years worth of others like Modern Sewciety, Dressed, and Clothes Making Mavens. If you have any other good sewing related podcasts let me know. I am always on the hunt for more.

Other than sewing related podcasts I also enjoy business ones. They really are the motivational get-off-my-ass-and-do-something push I need. The best one is Mimi G’s Business SHET. She gives it to you straight with no sugar coating things. Smart Passive Income is also great, while not every episode is relevant to the sewing niche that I want to pursue there are still some great general tips and ideas for me to try to implement. I also subscribe to Being Boss, but I haven’t started it just yet. I gotta get caught up on the others first.

Then, of course, there is Serial. If you don’t know about Serial by now, I am not sure what to tell you. I am addicted to this one. Season 3 was great and really just pissed me off all at the same time. Sarah and her team illustrated how unjust the justice system in Cleveland is. It is infuriating to listen to these stories of people trying to do the right thing and making up for the wrongs they have committed but being systemically held back. I listened to this right around midterm elections last year and while I cannot directly affect change in Cleveland, it did make me pay more attention to the judicial candidates on my ballot.  I did a bit of research on their careers and cases to make my informed decision.

Experimenting:

Pattern Review announced the 2019 Sewing Bee contest this past week and the first round started on Friday (1/11).  Each week there will be a different challenge for sewists to interpret and then the panel of judges will determine who moves on to the next weeks round. There are four rounds in total. There are some great prizes, including $100 Fabric Mart gift certificate. Yes, please! I have not previously participated in this challenge but I am going to give it a shot this year.

The first theme is to make a knit cardigan inspired by the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral. I have a few pieces of coral knit in my stash. I pulled them and a few cardigan patterns out to experiment with different combinations. I have until Saturday (1/19) to make, photograph, and upload my review. I will, of course, share it here too. Stay tuned near the end of the week for that.

Check out the FB Blogger Tribe group for a list of future Sunday Lately topics. I hope you will join us! What are you embarking, enjoying, and experimenting with this week?

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Sunday Lately: Obsessing, Perusing, Praising

Welcome to the first Sunday Lately of 2019! If you are new to Sunday Lately, it is a weekly series featuring three prompts to get us writing and sharing. Each blogger can interpret these topics however they choose in their post. Then we all link back to Katy to share with each other.

Obsessing:

Today, I start a new and exciting adventure.  I am volunteering at a local history museum about 18th-century French fur trade in Illinois. Originally, I thought I was just going to be helping by doing mundane office tasks like making copies and answering phones. Turns out it is so much more than that.  I will be there one day a week giving tours to field trip students and talking about history. What’s even better, and totally didn’t realize when I signed up, is that I also get to dress in period costume one Sunday every month for their monthly Living History demo! This is where the Brigade of volunteers dress up and spend the day reenacting life. Guests come to watch and learn about frontier life. There are even special events that our brigade can attend to meet with other reenactor groups.  I know I know, I am a giant nerd, but I don’t care because I get to make and wear a fun costume.

Now, I have quite the closet of Tudor and Elizabethan garments and accessories, but I do not have anything 18th century. I have done a lot of research on 17th century England but not much on 18th-century French fur trade. This past week I have been obsessively scouring the interwebs searching for resources. I have been pinning like mad.  I even have a couple of books that came in yesterday from Amazon to help me understand life in the frontier.  As far as costuming goes, I have also been lusting over some patterns from J.P. Ryan and shoes from American Duchess. I tend to go towards the more high-class nobility garments, which I know are not going to work for this, so I have not bought any pieces yet. After today I will have a better idea of what kind of garments to make and what accessories I need to find.

Perusing:

I was a terrible blogger and blog reader in 2018. I miss blogging and I miss reading about what everyone is making. I have been primarily on Instagram for 2018 and while it is more instant, you do not get the depth of postings as you do with blogs. This weekend I am getting back into blog reading and chatting with you all. I am really enjoying reading about everyone’s 2019 goals and Make Nine plans.

I just jumped on the Make Nine challenge for 2019 too.  I sew way more than nine garments a year but we will see if I can commit to making these specific ones before I get bored or distracted by something else.

Praising:

Speaking of getting caught up on blogs, I need to give praise where praise is due. Here are a few of the standouts from what I have read so far.

Manju from Sewmanju always kills it with her style and her 2018 wrap up post is full of gorgeous pieces I wish I had in my wardrobe.

Sara wrote a beautiful, what I am going to call, love letter about how sewing helped her find herself again in 2018.

Girls in the Garden’s, Lori, made this absolutely fabulous floral rayon blouse. Sadly, the fabric is sold out, but I can dream.

Jenny has written a great inspirational piece about sewing for the body you have now. This is a must read!

 

Check out the FB Blogger Tribe group for a list of future Sunday Lately topics. I hope you will join us! What are you obsessing, perusing, and praising this week?

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Let’s Do This, 2019!

Well, here we are at the end of another year that I feel like has barely even begun. Confession time, I coasted through 2018 like a bad case of senioritis. It wasn’t a bad year for me per say, I just didn’t really achieve much sewing wise/financially/personally/professionally. I just let the year happen. I rolled with what came at me instead of planning and goal setting. In truth, it feels like I wasted a lot of time and resources that could have gone to bigger dreams. Well, I don’t really want to do that again in 2019, so I am getting organized.  I have been thinking about this upcoming year for the last couple of months and what I want to accomplish. I have some financial and personal goals that I will be working on, but that is not why you are here.  You are here because you and I both have a love of sewing. So let’s chat a bit about what I accomplished in 2018 and my sewing goals for 2019.

I did sew up 46 projects totaling 121.5 yards of fabric this year, which does seam like a lot even though I said I didn’t accomplish much. Maybe I accomplished more than I thought. It just feels like I didn’t do much because I didn’t photograph or blog about most of those projects. There were a lot of pattern tests and muslins in that bunch. One of my stand out projects was the Cascade duffle coat that I last blogged about. Another surprise to me was just how many pieces I made using indie patterns this year. Nineteen garments came from Big 4 patterns, five came from self drafted patterns, and an astounding 20 came from Indie designers. This past year really was the year I embraced the PDF pattern. Look at me, all branching out and growing in my sewing.

After making my 4th of July quilt I also donated the leftover fabric, 23.75 yards, to a local chapter of Quilts of Valor. I knew that fabric would just sit in my stash for years if I didn’t do something.  Someone on Facebook introduced me to Quilts of Valor and what they do. They make quilts for Veterans as a way to say ‘Thank you for your service’. As soon as I checked out their page I knew I had to donate my fabrics. I got in contact with my local chapter and donated my fabrics. Maybe once I become a more proficient quilter I can actually make a quilt for them. For the time being I encourage you all to check out what they do, find a local chapter, and help out in anyway you can.

Now the not so hot. I did purchase 102.5 yards of fabric and 64 patterns this year. Of that 121.5 yards I sewed, 42 yards was newly purchased fabrics. While more yardage went out of my stash I am still disappointed that I still managed to purchase so much. This was the year I discovered the whole wide world of custom print knit fabrics. Technically, I found them in 2017, but it was only one group.  In 2018 though, I joined several FB groups and purchased from a few different companies to satisfy all my geek fabric desires. For real, 32 yards came from custom knit groups, 32!! I now have Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, nerdy science prints, Doctor Who, Deadpool, and all the Star Wars under the sun! Bring on the geeky clothing for 2019!

Goals

Getting Organized: I am traditionally a paper and pen kind of planner. To help me get and stay organized this year, I knew I needed a different type planner than what I have used in the past. I considered a bullet journal because I loved the idea of customizing layouts to work for me. I also love the creativity that goes into making it so personal. Practically thinking though, I know I won’t keep this up. I do not need another creative outlet to find time for. What I found is a hybrid of sorts from Write It Down Books, on Etsy. It has all the monthly and weekly spreads pre-done, but it also features a monthly page for goals, to-do, and some reflections. These are things I was searching for! I have already started filling it with goals for the year. My 2018 planner is just bill due dates, alterations appointments, grocery lists, and a list of meals to make. Boring! For 2019, I also want to try and do a bit of daily journaling with it. Just a sentence or two a day about what I did.

Top Nine: I already posted on IG about my top nine plans for 2019, but I thought I would share a bit on here too. I couldn’t settle on just nine projects for the year. Considering I made 46 things this year, I see why that was hard. Instead I broke it down into three catagories; garments for me, garments for Eric, and non-garment projects. The garments for me is a lot of finishing the Smells Like Fall Spirit collection I started this year. A whole lot of indie patterns are going to happen again this year. I have most everything in my stash to complete these projects. The only things I need are will be fabric for my holiday dress and the quilts along with a few patterns. I would like to keep my new fabric purchasing limited to the things on this list though. The only other new fabrics I know I will get will be for Cali blog posts and strike off sewing, which won’t be too bad either.

Blogging: I have barely blogged in 2018 and I miss it!  So do a lot of other people too. The Blogger Tribe group I am a part of is reviving itself and bringing back the Sunday Lately series. Basically, there are three general prompts that we all blog about every Sunday and every week those three prompts change to keep us going. I hope this will be a way to get me back into blogging regularly. I also want to change up my garment posting style a bit. I want to focus more on writing pattern reviews on the PR site and use my blog to post more how-to’s. I am still working out the details, but I have started a topic list.

Mae Scott Designs: So here it is, that is the name of my pattern company. This has been on my dream list for far too long. I have talked about it before, but really have not done anything to make it happen other than draft a few patterns for myself. I am setting some hard deadline goals this year in my new planner. They are inked in, so I have to do something now. No more thinking about it. It is time to actually write it out and break it down into actionable steps this year. I am going to serve the plus size niche because that is what I know and sew but also because it is under served. Anyone have a PDF pattern maker and illustrator they can introduce me too? I can draft all day, but I do not have Adobe Illustrator skills to convert those patterns to PDF’s.

Let’s chat, how did your 2018 go? What are you goals for 2019?

 

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My Cascade Duffle Coat

Hey, Sewists! I am back to share my newest coat make and review. The pattern I used is the Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat in the longer view B. This coat has been a long time coming and is a part of my Smells Like Fall Spirit collection. I have been sharing bits on Instagram for the last few months and I can finally share the finished project! I bought pattern years ago and originally had intended to use a different wool for it. Then I picked up three yards of this red/black and cream/tan herringbone wool blend from Fabric Mart and knew that it was meant for this pattern. I had to let it sit in the stash for a couple of years though before I could muster the desire to cut into it.

One of the most fun parts of this coat is the surprise print lining. This leopard poly charmeuse was originally intended for this coat only it was going to be with the olive green Melton wool I first bought. I decided that I really liked the crazy loud combination of the leopard and herringbone. The contrast of the two is so fun and definitely unique.

I only made a few alterations to the pattern pieces after making the first muslin way back in January. First, I added an inch to each side seam and the underarm piece for a bit more ease. Second, I shortened the length by 3″ to make it hit me just above mid-thigh. I did also make a few additions that the pattern doesn’t call for. As is my standard, I did underline all my shell pieces with cotton flannel for added structure and warmth. I also added 1/2″ shoulder pads for more definition. Without them, the shoulders were just a bit too droopy. Lastly, I tacked the shell to the facings at several different spots in the sleeves, hood, and hem to prevent the lining from pulling away.

My favorite part of the coat is the olive green and gold vintage Talon zipper I used.  It is a few inches shorter than the length called for, but I could not find a modern coat zipper with as much awesome vintage appeal as the Talon zip. Most modern zips that I found were plastic too. That just didn’t seem like it would hold up well in the long run and I didn’t want to have to replace it down the line. Plus, using the vintage zip was a little more sustainable than using a new zip I would have to go out and buy.

I took my time with the other details on this coat too. The instructions called for topstitching on one side of the seam only. I opted to press my seams open and topstitch 1/4″ on each side of the seam. I did this for all the front and back panels as well as the shoulder seams. I think that topstitching both sides added a more professional look to the finished coat.

The toggles I picked up were brand new and came with pre-punched holes. The pattern only called for three, but I added a fourth. Each toggle was also handstitched down to ensure they were attached consistently. That is the one thing from when I made Eric’s coat that bothers me.  Even though his were store bought, I machine stitched them down and you can tell. It is hard to machine stitch those perfectly.  The pre-punched ones were a lifesaver and look so much better! I plan on stashing several more sets of these for future projects.

In the end, I am so in love with this coat! I don’t know why I put off making it for so long. It was easy.  Yes, there are a lot of steps because it is a much more involved project, but there is nothing super challenging.  I fully recommend this pattern to any level of sewist who is wanting to make outerwear.

I did blog a bit about it over on the Sewcialists with a few starter sustainability tips for sewing.  Go check it out!

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Sew Long Summer, Hello Fall

Call me a basic white girl all you want, I will own it. Except for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, those are gross. Fall is my absolute favorite season. I enjoy summer for its sunshine and lovely greenery, but its heat and humidity can go back to where they came from. I want none of that crap. So, it is with open arms and a big ole smile that I happily welcome fall. I was so ready for fall back in July that I actually took the time to fully plan a 10 piece fall collection for myself. I shared the quick and dirty sketches on Insta with descriptions of each. I then added a couple more garments after sharing that are not pictured. The collection is a little bit of 90s grunge with modern design silhouettes.

I will eventually share some more about coming up with my collection once I get another piece or two completed, but today I am excited to share the first garment. First up in my Smells Like Fall Spirit Collection (thanks Nirvana) is my first York Pinafore from Helen’s Closet. This is also my first time using an HC pattern. I must say, they do not disappoint.  Her instructions are well written for new sewists to easily pick up on. She has included lots of tips and why it is important to follow them. I am interested to try the Suki Kimono at some point in the future.

For this version, I reached into my more recent stash acquisitions and pulled out this rusty coral brushed cotton twill. I picked this up from Cali Fabrics in end of 2016. I was going to use it to make a Kelly Anorak but decided it was a bit to structured for what I was going for.  Thus it made its way into my stash. I think it was the perfect fabric to pick for my first York. It sewed up really easy since there are not a lot of seams in the garment and the armholes and neckline are finished with double fold bias tape. That really helps to eliminate a lot of bulk that would otherwise happen.

I made view A with the large scoop pockets. My measurements put me into an XXL and I made that size without alterations. The pattern does say it is drafted for a 5’6″ frame and I am 5’8″. I did not add any length to it because I wanted it to come up a bit higher than my other dresses. I wanted to able to pair it with leggings for fall like I did in these photos.

I do want to say I used less fabric than the pattern called for. The twill I used was about 60″ wide, so I was able to fold the selvedge edges to meet in the center. This created two folds allowing both my front and back pieces to be cut on the fold side by side. The pattern called for 1.6 yards and I ended up using just over 1 yard. I still have 1.25 yards of this fabric left. I also used a package and a half of gray double fold bias tape as mentioned above. Total materials cost for the bias tape and fabric is $11.60. I put about 2.5 hours of time into cutting and sewing it including breaks. I value my time at $20 per hour, so the total garment cost equates to $61.60. Honestly, I think that is fairly close to what I would pay retail for a similar garment from Torrid.

I plan on styling this for fall with the leggings, t-shirt, and striped vest like I have here. I also want to pair the York with a close fitting striped shirt that is on my to do list for my collection.

Have you made a York yet? Share them with me if you have, I want to see them!

Welcome to the Sew Long Summer blog tour. We’re going to have a fun one this year.

A nice group of sewing bloggers are going to share with you how we say “Sew Long Summer” and we’ll be asking you to join in with a Social Sew too (read on for details and prizes)

Sew Long Summer is all about getting those transitional wardrobe pieces ready; finishing up all those things we meant to make this summer; and well, basically whatever Sew Long Summer means to you.

 

Share what you’ve been making to say “Sew Long Summer” to be entered into our random drawing.

Continental US participants will be entered to win a $20 store credit from Simply by Ti Fabrics.

All other participants will be entered to win a pattern of choice from DG Patterns.

To enter, please tag your sewing project with #SewLongSewcial18 on Instagram or facebook. You can also leave a link in the comments on the mahlicadesigns intro post. Please limit your entries to items you’ve sewn between Sept 10th and Sept 28th 2018. Winners will be notified and announced shortly thereafter.

We can’t wait to see what you’re making.

The full tour includes these talented sewists, so I hope you’ll follow along this week.

Sept. 10th Sewing A La Carte, Tenille’s Thread, A Custom Clothier, Made for Little Gents, Miss Marah Sewn

Sept. 11th Manning the Machine, mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Crafting Fiend

Sept. 12th Auschick Sews, Aurora Design Fabrics, My Heart Will Sew On, Vicky Myers Creations

Sept. 13th Flaxfield Sewing, Sewing with D, Musings of a Seamstress, Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier, Petite Font

Sept. 14th Sewing à la Carte, Sewing by Ti, Stitches by Laura, Sewing with Sarah, My Sewing Roots

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Modern Patriotic Star Quilt

Hey Sewists!  I cannot believe how quickly summer is going by.  I blinked and we are all of a sudden near the end of August.  I thought I should get around to sharing the quilt I made for the 4th of July before Halloween comes around.  I am pretty proud to share this one.  I have made two other quilt tops and am still hand quilting the double ring wedding quilt I started years ago, but this is my first completely finished quilt.  I even quilted it on my home machine myself! Talk about challenging a small basic machine.

I had been wanting to make a 4th of July quilt for a few years now.  There are so many quilts pinned to my 4th of July board for inspiration that I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted.  The only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to make a literal interpretation of the flag.  I also did not want any prints that were in the Independence Day-themed section.  No, fireworks, stars, or eagle prints period.  I wanted a modern quilt full of fun patterns and vibrant reds and blues. I added in the turquoise as a way to pop with the reds.  I really tried to pick prints that went well with the others without singling anyone out as being different.  I think that I achieved that.  I really love every single print I picked out and I think that is why it took me so long to collect them all before starting.  It was totally worth taking that time too!

I settled on making a variation of this July Star Blocks Quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew.  I opted to make the star out of different white on white cotton prints surrounded by random other prints.  I also alternated my star blocks with a basic 9 patch block.  I like the overall look with how the white stars pop out from the craziness of the reds and blues. The finished quilt size is slightly bigger than a twin size with the measurements of 75″ x 95″.  It is the perfect size to throw on the ground for Eric and I to stretch out and watch the fireworks display. It is also big enough that we could put it on both of our laps if we are sitting in chairs too.

I started collecting fabrics in 2016 that fit the aesthetic I was hoping for even though I didn’t know what design I was going with.  It was when a local Jo-Ann’s was closing, so I was able to get so many pieces of fabric for a super low price.  By super low I mean, I was able to get my fabrics for $1.50-$2.50 a yard! I ended up using 11 different prints from what I bought in 2016.  I added 24 new prints, including the white on whites, and 2 others that have been in the stash since 2008.  Total wise, I used  11.25 yards of fabric for the top.   I also used 4 yards of the Warm & Natural Cotton Batting that was also purchased during the closing sale for $4.25 a yard ($17.00 total).

I love the overall look of the quilting pattern I went with. It has a window pane kind of feel that really stands out from the back. Speaking of backing, I used 4.5 yards of a dark indigo denim chambray.  I picked it up back in 2016 from the same Jo-Ann’s closing sale as I got some of the front fabrics from.  I got a great deal on it at $3.09 a yard for a total of $13.91.  Originally, I had wanted to patch denim from old jeans together to make the backing.  I ended up not having enough old denim to repurpose for this quilt, so I will save it up for another one down the line.

Overall,  I used 19.75 yards of fabric for a total fabric cost of $85.87, which doesn’t even include the thread costs.  I went through three brand new spools, and three partial spools.  So much thread!  This qualifies as one of the more expensive projects I have made.  I am glad I quilted it myself because that would have added another $150-$200 if I had taken somewhere to be done.  I think straight lines is probably the limit of my machine quilting capabilities.  Anything more detailed I will have to take in to be done.

I pushed myself outside of my box of garment sewing to make this and it worked.  It was so incredibly easy compared to garment sewing since it is all straight lines.  Don’t get me wrong, what it lacked in difficulty it more than made up for in how time-consuming it actually was. Quilts are not the instant gratification projects that a lot of garment sewing can be. Every tiny 1/4″ seam was pressed open before I could stitch anything else to it.  I am so incredibly proud of this quilt.  It turned out exactly how I had envisioned it once I started.  I have already started thinking about what kind of quilts I want to make in the near future.  I think I might have a new obsession with this.

Have you tried quilting? What did you like about it?  Or what didn’t you like?

 

 

 

 

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Sew Americana Blog Tour

Hey, Sewists!  Welcome to day two of the Sew Americana Blog Tour.  I am happy to be participating again for the third year in a row.  For 2016, I made this white eyelet version of McCall’s 6742, that remains one of my favorite dresses.  Last year, I made a new version of my self-drafted kimono.  This year, I wanted to go bigger to celebrate the 4th of July.

I decided to make two different pieces.  First up today, I am sharing my version of Simplicity 1280, view D. Unfortunately, this pattern is out of print, however, this pattern has been re-released as New Look 6555.  This is my second time making this view.  I am constantly wearing my other version, which is in a black and white leopard print.  Every time I put it on I think about how I want to make another version.  I figured it was high time I got around to doing that.

I made an XL, and I have more than enough ease in this.  So much ease, I opted to wear a belt for these pics.  I am hoping that it will shrink up just a bit more after washing the finished garment.  Even if it doesn’t, I am sure I will still reach for this shirt often.

For my fabric, I used two yards of this Arrow and Eagle Rayon Challis print from Sly Fox Fabrics. This is my first experience with Sly Fox and I must say I am impressed with their prices and quality. They helped sponsor this year’s blog tour by providing fabric to all participants if we wanted it.  They have even curated a Sew Americana Collection consisting of all their red, white, and blue fabrics in one spot for all their customers.  Thank you, Sly Fox, for hooking us all up!  I will definitely be ordering from them in the future.

All in all, I am pretty pleased with how this top turned out.  I think it looks great with my red skinny jeans and sandals for the 4th, but I think it will be great with some light washed skinnies or any other color of skinny jeans in my wardrobe.

Now, earlier I did say I had made two pieces.  If you follow me on Instagram you know what my second piece is.  Unfortunately, I did not quite finish it in time to post today.  I should have it finished tonight or tomorrow and ready to post about it later this week. Before that though, check out some of the other stops on the tour this week!  There are a lot of great sewists and bloggers sharing some amazing projects!

Monday, June 25:
Wild + Wanderful | Marvelous Auntie M | Handmade Boy
Phat Quarters | Call Ajaire

Tuesday, June 26:
Musings of a Seamstress | Sea of Estrogen | Sew and Tell Project
5 out of 4 Patterns | Little Heart Threads

Wednesday, June 27:
Middle River Studio | Elli & Nels | SewSophieLynn
Pear Berry Lane | The Eli Monster

Thursday, June 28:
Auschick Sews | EYMM | Mama & Leia
Seams Sew Lo | Stitched by Jennie

Friday, June 29:
Stylin’ Stacy | Rebel & Malice | On Wednesdays We Sew
FairyTale BT | That’s-Sew-Kari | Very Blissful

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Tie Dye Diva: Mermaid Maxi

Hey, Sewists!  I have something super fun to share today. Have you heard of Tie Dye Diva Patterns? I hadn’t until recently, and I can tell you I am impressed with Jen and her patterns.  The newest release is the Mermaid Maxi and I volunteered to stitch it up and share.  This style is one that my wardrobe had sadly been lacking.  I jumped on adding it to my overly stuffed closet.

To get some details out of the way first, the Mermaid Maxi pattern comes in two different styles (straight or flared) with two different pocket options (flat or ruched).  I went for the flared skirt with the flat pockets. Look at that flare.  It is to die for! Talk about accentuating my curves.

Sizing goes from 0-26 and I made a 20 hip graded to a 24 waist.  I probably could have just graded the waist to a 22 and it would have been a bit better of a fit since it has an enclosed elastic waistband and my fabric is so stretchy.  As it stands it is a smidge loose in the waist but still totally wearable.  Can I once again point out the curves happening here!?!  Look at my behind! This is probably one of the few times I will ever try to direct your attention so blatantly to that area! haha

For this skirt, I used a Liverpool knit from Cali Fabrics, my other great love (ssh, don’t tell my husband).  This was my first time sewing Liverpool and I have to say I like it.  I was a little unsure at first how much I would like it since it is super textured.  It kinda reminded me of those shirts that were popular in the 90’s that were really tiny like a doll shirt and stretched out to fit everyone.  Apparently, it is called a Popcorn Shirt. Who knew?  Anyways, I know that Liverpool is nowhere near that crazy shirt and I am glad I gave it a shot.  It sews up so easily. The best part is that the fabric doesn’t fray so I didn’t have to serge anything.  I was able to press all my seams open flat beautifully.  I also used the new Coats & Clark Eloflex thread to help give the seams a bit more movement.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with the skirt.  The directions were written clearly and easy to follow.  I opted to style it for these photos with a t-shirt, a me made vest, and some flat sandals to make it more casual.  I can easily see wearing this skirt with a dressier blouse and different shoes for date night though. Even making the skirt in a more special occasion knit like a stretch velvet for a holiday party would be cool. This really is a versatile skirt style.

Check out some of the other stops on this weeks blog tour and enter Jen’s giveaway on her blog to celebrate!  Also pick up this pattern right now for 20% off. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Monday, May 21
Tie Dye Diva Patterns – Mermaid Maxi Blog Tour and Giveaway!
Skirt Fixation – Mermaid Maxi Skirt Review

Tuesday, May 22
Musings of a Seamstress
Heather Handmade – How to Hem Lace – A Lace Trumpet Skirt

Wednesday, May 23
Sew Altered Style
sewsewilse
Chook n Duck

Thursday, May 24
Penny Sew Vintage
TipStitched
Sharon Sews

Friday, May 25
Sewing By Ti
Brittany J Jones

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Cali Fabrics Chambray Week

This week on the Cali Fabrics blog it is Chambray Week! We are celebrating every day with a different blogger posting their chambray makes.  Today is my day to share.  I made two garments with a third that is not yet finished.  First up is McCall’s 7539 view C.

 

My second make is the Simplicity 8014 shirt dress pattern.  I opted not to put buttons on it and wear it as a jacket instead.  I am so in love with this version.  I feel super chic in this outfit.

Check out the Cali Blog for more about each of these projects.

Also, my photos turned out so much better now that I fixed the settings on my camera!  Now I need to go back and re-photograph my Stella Sweater.

 

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Breaking Ground Tour: Made For Mermaids

Hey, Sewists!  Have you been following along with the rest of the Breaking Ground Blog Tour this week?  There are a lot of great makes out there.  I am back with a second new make this week.  I saw someone post their version of this pattern on Facebook and I knew I had to have it!  It is the Mama Stella Sweater from Made for Mermaids.  This company has been on my radar for a bit but my dislike of PDF patterns stopped me every time I thought about getting one.  Funny thing, this year is my year of PDF patterns.  Of the 11 garments, I have made so far this year, only 1 has been from the Big 4.  The rest have been PDF’s from indie pattern companies.

The Stella features a front scoop neckline with three different back views.  There is also an off the shoulder view.  I chose to make view B, which features the deep V back with shoulder band. Look at that deep V.  It is just so delicious!

I have to say, I am pretty pleased with Made for Mermaids patterns.   They do not use numbered sizes instead, each size is labeled with a color.  I think this is an interesting way to reinforce the idea that ‘you are more than a number on a tag’.  I like it and applaud them for it.  My biggest complaint about the sizing is that there is not a finished measurement chart anywhere.   The patterns are also drafted for a 5’5″ woman and I am 5’8″, so as is this top is too short.  The great thing is Made for Mermaids has already thought of this and included an easy mathematical formula to adjust for your personal height.  My only other complaint is that the pieces for the neckband, waistband, back strap, and cuffs do not have physical pattern pieces.  They have a chart for what measurements to cut them to, which works because they are just rectangles, but I still prefer physical pattern pieces.  Physical pieces take a lot of the room for cutting error off the table.

The sweater did sew up nice and easy with my fabric choice. I used 2 yards of this Peach and Cream Floral Hacci Sweater Knit.  I picked it up from one of the last few Girl Charlee Knitfix bundles in 2016.  I miss Knitfix so much!  I actually haven’t shopped Girl Charlee since they stopped doing Knitfix. So sad, I  got some great prints in those bundles.

I was so blindly in love with this top that I didn’t even think about what to wear under it.  Luckily for this version I have a coral tank that coordinates well with the colors in the roses.  However,  the pattern instructions feature other versions with the Made for Mermaids Bridgette Bralette underneath and now I NEED to make that pattern.  That one is next up on my patterns to purchase list, so I can make more of this deep V view and the open keyhole back view as well.  I am already trying to figure out which fabrics to use next and what other interesting banding I can do with that deep V.  Next I am thinking of doing several criss crossing straps down the V to give it a corset inspired look.

On a sidenote, being your own photographer is hard.  Somehow I had my camera settings on manual focus so it would not do anything when I set my lense to auto-focus.  I fixed it for next time, but it is too late to retake my photos now. Grrr…

Have you tried Made for Mermaids yet? Which of their patterns have you made?

While you are at it check out the other stitchers on the Breaking Ground Blog Tour and what pattern companies they are trying out this week. The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 12- mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Sewing A La Carte, Little Heart Threads, The Sewing Scientist

Tuesday March 13- Musings of A Seamstress, A Custom Clothier, Octaves of Color, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sew Altered Style

Wednesday March 14- Flaxfield Sewing, Chook n Duck, Tales of a Tester, Sewing By Ti, Sewing Vortex, Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Thursday March 15- Very Blissful, Manning the Machine, Sew and Tell Project, Musings of a Seamstress, Stitches by Laura

Friday March 16- Lulu & Celeste, Tenille’s Thread, Sewing A La Carte, The Bear and Pea Atelier, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sprouting Jube Jube, Kathy’s Kwilts and More

To make the tour even more fun, our Breaking Ground blog team member, Gail is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop Flosstyle to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!

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We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2018 across social media.

Better yet, join the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests facebook group to sew along with the Breaking Ground theme for the entire month of March. In the group you’ll find support and encouragement for your projects and fun themed challenges.

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