Sewing and Style with Seamstress Erin

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Go check it out!!! My Sewing & Style post over on Seamstress Erin‘s blog!
Continuing the discussion started here, the one all about style and sexiness and the expression of both!

I’m honored to be included in this series. Some really awesome folks preceded me.

Thank you for asking me, Erin!

{Sew} Treat Yo’ Self

treat-yo-selfLesley Jean is my ambassador of Treat Yo’ Self! Not only did she send me, unsolicited, lovely vintage sewing patterns, she recently posted about the masterpiece that is Treat Yo’ Self from Parks and Recreation.

Being a sucker for a good skit, and an even bigger one for a catch phrase, I was immediately hooked!! Making the discovery of this concept even more serendipitous: the arrival of some sewing peeps, my fave NYC gals and a planned day of basking in each others ambiance.

{Sew} Treat Yo' Self 2013

Sallie (!!), Oona (!!), Ginger (!!), Latrice (!!), Kelli (!!)

{Sew} Treat Yo' Self 2013

Puu (!!), Heather (!!), and the days’ official photog, Jennifer (!!)

{Sew} Treat Yo' Self 2013

It was fun!

It was lovely!

It was life giving (I LOVE talking to smart women)!!

We basked, you guys. We BASKED!

It was {sew} a fucking treat!!

I further ramped up the day’s Treat Yo’ Self theme by adding some of the most beautiful fabric I’ve ever purchased to my collection. Shopping with ladies with great taste is tough on your budget, but fantastic for your sewing! Just look!

Jamie Jeans Denim

Stretch Denim

Emerald (trust me) Silk Crepe de Chine

Silk Crepe de Chine

Gold & Navy Silk

Navy& Gold Silk

Black Wool Jersey

Black Wool Jersey

Anna Sui Silk Crepe de Chine

Anna Sui Silk Crepe de Chine

Navy Cotton Jersey

Navy Cotton Knit

I am overwhelmed with good feelings. The positive influence blogging has had on my life continues to grow!

We are all so lucky!

Treat Yo’ Self!

Testing…Testing…Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

I was deeelighted to be asked to test sew Mari of Disparate Disciplines newest pattern, Dandelion!!!

Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

The fit on this is seriously fantastic! I sometimes have a bit of room at the upper back and usually need a sway back adjustment, but this one lies flatter than anything I’ve made in both spots with no adjusting. I’m certain this is due to the design features that Mari built in. The back is slightly smaller than the front which results in the back hugging nicely, while the front skims. Perfect! Especially in light of a certain button popping incident with a recent make, lol

Though, I have to admit, that belt came off after lunch :P

Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

 I have to say, I’m totally proud of this top!! I usually shy away from anything that looks difficult to fit or to choose a size for. I’m easily scared, lol. BUT, agreeing to test sew meant that I had to plow ahead and hope for the best. I decided to go all-in and use the good fabric, right out of the gate. Life’s too short! I nearly cut a size 6, but lessons learned from past makes helped me decide to go with size 4, instead.

Great choice!

Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

Size four, with the length of the largest size, is perfect!! If you’ve visited here before, I’m sure you recall that I cut things long all the time. Other than that, there was no fudging the side seams afterward, or anything. I used the specified seam allowance, but I installed my zipper differently than the pattern stated. My only regret is that you can’t see the great design lines in this fabric!!

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 2.52.50 PMSchematics from the pattern!
 Though, the choice was wise as I serged a hole in the left side piece when I was almost done!! I’ve never done that before!! I only had to finish the inside seams! The busy fabric hides the repair, so I got over it pretty quickly. I’m already dreaming of a color blocked version! And a raglan sleeved dress….and a tank dress. This pattern gives you LOTS of options!
Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!
It’s such a great addition to my wardrobe. Mari made sewing it up so easy with her clever printing guide, too. The ability to get just the pages you need relieves some of that pdf taping together anxiety. And the boost of confidence I felt when I zipped this baby up and it fit like a dream pushed me to move onto other projects in my stash.
But its biggest accomplishment? It just might be the pattern that makes me switch from knit to woven tank-style tops!! And I looooooove a tank top!

Mari, you’ve got a winner!

Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

Check out more Dandelion’s in the wild!

Oh, Canada!

Kristiann, in all of her sweetness and generosity, offered to send me a copy of Flare, the magazine she’s interviewed in. Along with it, she sent an awesome hand-written note, that goes right in the draw with all of my sewcialists keepsakes, and a really cool DIY themed poster!!

Thanks, Kristiann!!! You’re a babe and a doll.
We’re all so jealous ;)

Sewing in Canada's Flare Magazine

Sewing in Canada's Flare Magazine

Sewing in Canada's Flare Magazine

ps- I stole these pics from Kristiann ;D

The Amazings, Amazing Feat

Have you heard of The Amazings??? 

The Amazings
If not, let me bring you up to speed. The Amazings has this really brilliant concept. Learning time tested crafts from our elders!! Isn’t that cool!! All of those “Not your grandma’s insert craft type here” memes never sat well with me. They ARE their crafts and that’s fucking awesome!! I was SUPER delighted to receive an email asking whether I’d like to give their classes a try. Uhmmmm….YES!! Yes, of course!!

I’m currently enrolled in three. It was hard to know which to start with!! I have tons, and tons of sewing thread and an entire roll of melt away stabilizer that I’ve, literally, had for years.  I also have some found-on-the-street hardcover books that once altered would be an awesome addition to any librarian’s home.

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But, the truly awesome thing about the chance to enroll in these classes? This opportunity finally pushed me to try something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, make the switch to homemade beauty products (at the moment, I have 5 or 6 library books on the subject). I already try to stick to simple scents and basics like coco butter as I have small children and I am SUPER sensitive to strong smells. I almost never wear perfume and I can’t stand scented deodorant. My husband even had to switch because the smell of his was driving me crazy.

In addition, something I haven’t really talked about here, my paternal grandmother is a breast cancer survivor (don’t worry, this was not recent. She got the all-clear at her last check-up). Her cancer was concentrated in/around the breast tissue near her armpit. Which I’ve since read can be partially attributed to chemicals in commercial deodorants. She had her breast removed and underwent chemo. Scary stuff. If I can lessen my chance, and my preteen deodorant wearer’s chance, of experiencing the same…well it’s a no brainer.

The Amazings eliminated one thing that was stopping me: the need for hand holding while trying out this new-to-me craft. The other, sourcing the supplies. It turns out, I was over-thinking it. I got the pretty jars from a Freecycler and all of the oils from GNC. Because my hubby has their frequent shopper card, I saved a ton of money!

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I started with the salt scrub. The kids decided that lemon was the scent of the day.

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Side note: I even craft in homemade. I’m rocking a refashioned dress ;p

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They had a great time helping me measure, pour and mix! And it smelled sooooo amazing!

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In the end, we had two jars of lemon icy scented awesomeness!!! We all tried it on our hands and walked around sniffing them for the next hour or so, lol. I tried it in the bath and it was wonderful!! I’m totally and completely HOOKED! I went right onto making the witch hazel toner which felt great after my honey face wash. (I’d run out of honey and started using some leftover cleanser I had and it does not work nearly as well as raw honey and warm water.)

It was a good night for handmade at chez Sown Brooklyn!! I have another GNC run (for beeswax) before I can make deodorant, but I see more making on tonight’s agenda!

Share your fave beauty recipes in the comments and if you have none,
consider giving The Amazings’ Elders, with all of their wisdom, a try!!

Oops, I Grainlined It Again!

Hemlock in Stripes

I’m sewing with Grainline patterns!!
Again!!

This time, it’s Jen’s latest, the Hemlock Tee. And it’s FREE!!Hemlock in Stripes

This look is way more fall than I think I’m ready for, but I’m sure I’ll be wishing for yesterday’s mild temps, today.

I love a loose, slouchy tee!! But, I think making this drives home how much I prefer them with a hi-lo hem. I felt a little frumpy with the tee hanging down, loose. with it tucked in a bit, I felt a lot more comfortable. And it looks much better, too.

Hemlock in Stripes

I already have Hemlock Tee II cut out. In the cream version of this fabric. I got them both at Mood. At $12 a yard and 72 inches wide,  my yard and a half of each leaves me with enough for at least one more top. Probably two. I’d buy this again in a heartbeat!! It sews up like a dream and is not nearly as sheer as I thought it would be. Zipping this together on my serger was super easy as it didn’t roll much at all.

Hemlock in Stripes

Hemlock in StripesThe only mod I made to this perfect (one size) pattern was to lengthen the sleeves a teeny bit.  About an inch and a half. I will very likely wear them pushed up, like so. But full length is great for those freezing days ahead.

Anyway!! Visit Grainline. Print out Hemlock. Sew it up. Put it on. Pose with a skeletal kitty cat.

:)

Hemlock in Stripes

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

Ahem….DUDES!! I made a JACKET!!!

YEEEEESSSSS!!

And I love it sooo much I took pics TWICE and still didn’t get them nice and crisp.

So, I LOMO’ed out ;)

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

This is By Hand London’s Victoria Blazer, of course!! I’m finally making something when everyone else is! Lol I used a really prettily printed stretch cotton sateen from Fabric.com. Which is puuuurfect for it!I I only lined the bodice with cotton (with minimal stretch) because the sleeves were a little snug (I used a smaller seam allowance to make them more comfy) on the size 4.

Excuse me while I reach around to pat myself on the back for this absolutely kick-ass blind stitching job!!

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

I initially cut a different shell fabric (see it here on Instagram) but fell out of love with the thought of a white blazer when the summer’s ending, soon. I can see now that the sleeves would have been really awkward in that fabric (a thick-ish, cotton twill) so the change was for the best. I also, based on the informal poll taken on Instagram and By Hand London’s own Elisalex, decided to shorten it a little. The 4 fits in the upper bodice, but it was snug at the hips, which pulled the side seams back, making the pockets awkward. I’d love to make the next size up, in a fabric with more drape, to get the desired slouchy look.

Though, this one ain’t bad!!

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

I took a little collection of pins out to try on the cool lapels, but the wind killed my mood. I painted the lady, bought myself the owls on Ebay and the other three are vintage from my granny.

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

Some Victoria details?! Shall we?

Yes, of course!

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

Love! This little thing will see so much wear!

Dotty, Spotty, Victoria!

Newest Britex Guest Blogger? ME!

Britex Guest Blogger

You read that right?? I’ll be joining one of my fave ladies, Jen from Grainline, and other super talented sewcialists over on the Britex blog!! I am so stupid excited about it!!

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I also spent time with beautiful and talented sewcialists (and some of their family members) at the Male Pattern Boldness Day Extravagaaaaanza.

AND, thanks to the easy to decision to sew with Victory patterns, I had my picture in Flare, a Canadian fashion magazine!!

From Kristiann @ Victory PatternsThis week has been awesome for sewing news!!

What’s (sew) awesome with you?

Darling In EFFECT

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I made a dress!! With BUTTONS!! Lol
I told you, be prepared for ALL the buttons on this here blog ;)

Dress :: Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges
Belt :: F21
Tights :: H&M (??)
Shoes :: Mel by Melissa

Darling In EFFECT

These pics are in full (Picmonkey Orton & Cross Process) effect because my bravery in taking these in such a crowded, public place (the Brooklyn waterfront!!) resulted in slightly out of focus pics ;(

Darling In EFFECT

I was in the area having lunch with David!! Such a nice time catching up and touring his amazing workspace!!

Darling In EFFECT

I had a bit of time afterward and wondered on down to this amazing waterfront spot! I must say, I’ve lived in Brooklyn for my entire life and I’m still amazed by how beautiful it is!! I love my city! I can’t wait to come back and explore this area with my children.

Darling In EFFECT

Darling In EFFECT

This bias tape finish is GENIUS!! And this is coming from someone who HATES bias tape!! The finishing on this was sooooo easy. I complicated things a bit by using a very lightweight challis. But, this was an experiment before cutting into my Mood silk/cotton fabric. Which I don’t think it right for the pattern, now.
Darling Ranges Dress :: The Guts

MODS: I left the elastic off of the sleeves. I hate to have my arms squeezed!! I used a dart from a totally different pattern after an Instagram friend reminded me of the trouble people had with the existing ones. Good move, they are nice and flat. I also lined the skirt section. This challis is super, super thin. The two layers together makes it more opaque but still so lightweight that I kept looking to down to make sure it was there, lol!
Seriously!

SIZE: Mostly a small. I shaved some of the back side seams off because there are no back darts and I knew it’d be too big otherwise. I threw off the bodice length with my slapdash dart change, so I had to even them up afterward.

Darling Ranges Dress :: The Guts

Special touch on this dress? That lace on the hem was given to me by my paternal grandma!

Darling Ranges Dress :: The Guts

Don’t be too impressed with the enclosed lining. It was a happy accident! I added more weight to the buttonhole and button bands by layering in narrow sections of challis. I think it was worth it, though it made the buttonholes a bit inconsistent.

Overall, it was a great experience with very wearable results!!

Brazillian Beauty

So, we all know that the sewing community fucking rocks. Right???

Right!!

Today, I received something beautiful from Brazil, from a beauty from Brazil!!
Thanks, Rachel!!!
It was just the thing!
Sewcialist friends are the best!!

Something #beautiful from #Brazil, from a beauty from  Brazil!! Thanks @houseofpinheiro xoxo #fabric #sewing #sewcialist #friends are the best!!

This gorgeous knit has maxi dress ALL OVER IT. Which gives me the perfect excuse to buy the Mission Maxi pattern ;)