Flock of Seagulls

Yup, totally dating myself with the hella cool 80s reference!  Did I also mention that I am from NorCal?  My CA friends get the reference and know what I’m talkin about!

I think I gushed earlier that I have been seriously fixated on loose, flowy, tunic patterns.  Not sure why – but I like how floaty fabric feels.  And let’s be honest, I’m feeling bad about my weight right now – so tunics hide a multitude of issues for me.   

Let me start by saying that I LOVE the Internet.  Seriously – wth did I do before its invention? (Again, aging myself here).  Like I said, tunics have taken over my brain.  So one afternoon, I started googling terms and stumbled upon Liola Designs.  This is a new to me indie company and the pattern is the Natalie top.  There is also a cute Peter Pan pattern hack – I may try that soon.

The pattern is beautifully drafted and I am totally and completely in love with this shirt.

Can we start with the fabric?  I absolutely had to have this fabric.  The bird motif has a Japanese vibe – peaceful but a little hectic all at once.  It’s a light weight chiffon.   You can see my bust dart in this photo.

I finished everything with French seams.  The only change made was to shorten the sleeves and omit the button bands on the sleeves.  I will add those in a future make.  Here’s a photo:

Close your eyes to the messy back yard!!!  

I think I need to narrow the shoulders as the top of the sleeve cap is drooping slightly.  Other than that, I’m really pleased.  I’ve worn this to work a lot!

Overall, great pattern and another shirt in the operation replace pit stain pile!  🙈

Shiny fish scales….

ok.  Not a great title for my post, but I’m lacking title creativity!  We’ve been busy in these parts!  End of summer means vacation.  We recently got back from visiting my family in California.  It was a great trip and the girls had a wonderful time with their grandparents and aunties.  So spoiled!  DH and I got the chance to drink lots of wine, take a wine blending class, eat lots, and see a lot.  I really wanted to get to Britex fabrics in SF – but unfortunately, there was not a lot of time.  I did however get to the Japanese Tea Gardens in GG Park.  It’s a shame I’ve never been before – especially when I used to live two blocks from the park.

Some pictures from the trip:

   We had a great time!!!!

On the sewing front, I’ve been a busy bee.  I  purchased the fabric as part of operation “replace pit stain shirt”.  It’s a shiny, silk like polyester – wash and wear – which makes it both a great option for travel and a busy life.  I also like that it has a little Japanese vibe – which is a nod to my heritage.  The scales remind me of the coy fish that we saw in the Japanese Tea Gardens.  I have to say, when I brought the fabric home – I was like “WTF were you thinking?  That’s a lot of shiny fish scale fabric.”  There is nothing like fabric buying remorse – am I right?

Determined not to let it sit in my stash, I plunged ahead.  Recently, I blogged about the free pattern I got from Spit Up and Stiletto.  I had such great success, I decided to try the Atalie Top.  The pattern calls for a stiff, structured fabric.  But, it reminded me of the flowy tunic tops that are all the rage right now, so I threw caution to the wind and decided to use a soft, unstructured fabric. But, I am glad I did – while not my usual style – I really love this top – shiny fish scales and all.

On the construction front, I used French seams throughout.  Everything is neat and tidy.    

There is a front placket which I love.  It was a bit of a Beyotch to put it!!!  Grr.  But the end product was worth it!!  The buttons where a tough choice.  I went back and forth between little pearl buttons or tortoise shell buttons.  In the end, I opted for very simple, very tiny white buttons.  I think they work well and don’t compete with the fabric too much.  Overall, a success.  I have already worn it several times – traveled to the west coast with it twice.  It can be dressed up or down.  A nice staple for my wardrobe.  (The skirt is another made me piece – more about that one soon!!!)

This is my mama. and proof that I have been wearing this a lot!! She my sewing inspiration by the way!!!  She’s amazing – can you believe she’s almost 80????  Thank goodness I have her genes – I may have a fighting chance against wrinkles!!!! 

Sometimes it pays to go outside of one’s fashion comfort zone – but you may find you take to it – like a fish in a pond.

Craziness – or surviving my job

I started a new job at my company about three months ago.  It was a job I sort of pitched, and my leadership created it, and I got the job.  I have to say that I really love it, but it frustrates me too.  I get to be creative, influence change and be visionary – which is awesome.  But, there are politics to navigate, the team is small, resources are limited, tools are hampering and there is a ton of pressure to deliver.  So, needless to say, I’m stressed out.  I don’t know about you, but I handle massive amounts of stress well – until I don’t – and then I am really stressed out.  So.  I’m at that point and I need to get de-stressed in order to keep a calm corporate image in place.  Grrr.  

What’s a girl to do?  Go for a run?  Check.  Drink lots of wine?  Check. Recreational bitching?  Check (sorry).  Sew?  Check.  Yeah.  Sewing really helps me to process the day.  People always ask me how I find time to sew.  Usually, I fit it in when the girls are taking their showers at night. I usually get a good 15-30 minutes in.  And, now that the girls are older and hanging with their friends, I can squeeze an hour or so in on the weekends.  My hubby will work in the office sometimes and we’ll spin some vinyl and hang out.  It’s nice.

Needless to say, I’ve made a few things recently!!  Last weekend I finished this Swiss dot cotton shirt.  I’m in love.  Soft, girly, great color.  I’ve made this pattern before.  It came out cute, but the fabric was all wrong.  I knew I wanted to make it again in the right fabric.

It’s a BurdaStyle pdf pattern.  I omitted the sleeve cuffs and opted for a rolled hem.  Be warned, the neckline is a little low – I raised mine based off the first make.  And – the collar instructions totally SUCK.  But other than that – it’s a quick make.  I opted not to French seam – everything is surged inside.


A close up of the gathered yoke detail.


How I wore it to work.

Dork.  I think it will look better with an a-line skirt – I’m such a square – no hips at all.

I don’t know about you – but I’m so glad to have my sewing.  What’s your process for de-stressing and squeezing in sewing?

Sewing (work) Basics…

My husband recently told me he secretly got rid of one of my favorite work shirts cause it was too ratty and had “pit stains.”  Nice.  He also pointed out a few more shirts that “need to go.”  Now, this is the man who will wear the same pair of shorts for years, crotch hole and all, in public (mowing the lawn).  Must be bad.

Time to add some work basics to my rotation. I gotta say, sewing basics hasn’t gone very smoothly lately.  I recently (Saturday) made a shift dress to replace an old one – horrible.  I had used the pattern previously – in my early sewing days – when fit and bust darts didn’t really register in my brain the way it does now.  Funny, how something you thought was amazing, isn’t.  Sadly, the fabric is AWESOME – so I need to salvage it into a skirt.

I had to go fabric shopping of course.  I picked up a gingham check seersucker, some plain black rayon, and blue Swiss dot cotton.  And then, as I was walking to get my fabric cut, a crazy print caught my eye.  Stripes, polka dots, hot pink, red and black. Yeeessss!  What to make?  Then, I remembered Cut Cut Sew sleeveless Grainline Hemlock Tshirt.  So cute.

Inspiration + fabric = work basic.  I used my Tessuti Mandy Boat Neck pattern with no sleeves.  It’s a box with a neck.  It will work with lots of separates.  I love it.

I’ve paired it with a new white denim Maria Denmark Yasmin skirt.  I can’t even blog about that pattern anymore because y’all are sick of it!  The picture on the right is how I wore it to work.

And…a little middle age suburban comedy for you.

What am I doing?  Selling you a watch?  Grabbing my a-cups?  IDK.  Stay dorky.

Granville revisited…

or, I am a square and not a pear…

I recently posted my polka dot short sleeved Granville.  The sewing was lovely, if I do say so myself, but the shirt was very Pear-y – and I knew mods would be necessary for my next make.

I posted a few preview pics of the new Granville.  I love this pattern.  I made the long sleeved version – plackets, cuffs and all.  The primary modification I made was to raise the dart and slim down the bottom.  I graded down 3 sizes from the waist to the bottom on both the front and back side pattern pieces.

The fabric is a lovely cotton from Cotton & Steel.  I’ve never sewn with their fabrics, but man, I will be again.  A soft, easy to sew fabric.  Just goes to show that fabric selection plus the right pattern makes all the difference!

Well, without much ado – some photos for you:

 The only issue I would say – I used a lightweight interfacing on the collar.  It doesn’t hold its shape the way I would like.  Live and learn.

Check out my placket!

I topstitched the heck outta this baby. The inside seams were serged in hot pink (no French seams), but still fun.  Overall, very pleased with the outcome!

More to come – I’ve been sewing like a fiend.  Some previews for you.

Check out this hot mess – 

But, I’m trying to fix the “house dress” look. 

And a little peek at what I call my “egg yoke” shorts.  

Gah!  I HATE my hair right now.  Had to say it.

Stay cool!

Summer is here!

Today is the last day of school!  So, officially, summer has started.  Yay!  I took the afternoon off for the epic neighborhood parents vs kids water balloon fight.  The bus driver even gets in on it – arming the children as they get off the bus with water balloons. Too much fun!  And then the kids scattered and went off to play with their friends – leaving me with 2 HOURS(!) of sewing time.  By. My. Self. Eee!

I recently discovered Spitup and Stilletos website.  Her patterns are so adorable and FREE!  What??  Yup, free.  I am a skeptic, but decided to give one a go – and guess what?  I love it!

This is the Harper blouse, sleeveless, mandarin collar, fast sew shirt.  I used a quilting fabric in my stash.  I planned on making a duvet cover this winter for my oldest, but never got to it.  I cut a straight size 4 with no adjustments.  The only tweak I would make in the next version is to use a lighter fabric and move the bust darts up slightly.  

I serged the insides and used bias tape around the arm holes.  Overall, a nice summer top that I can dress up or down!

A close up of the collar & a selfie!  

See the cute gather detail around the collar? 

So, cool.  Free pattern, stash bust, wearable muslin, and the start of summer.  Doesn’t suck – does it?



My month – a reflection in friends, family and life

wow, that sounds like a deep subject, doesn’t it?  Let’s chat.  May has been a pretty great month.  First off, it’s #madememay and who in the sewing world doesn’t love it?  Lots of bloggers sewing and posting!  Eee!  I get so happy to read everyone’s posts.  Second, I’ve had lots of opportunities for fun with family and friends.  Brunches, beer runs, rib cook-offs, marathon training, shopping sprees, planting, sewing.  Third, a new job that I’m pretty excited about.  Lucky girl, amirite?  

My girlies…pretty, awesome, rotten, smart, sassy, silly…..big personalities all wrapped up in those tiny bodies – amazing!

And sewing?  Yeah, I LOVE it.  This month, I managed to wear at least one made me item a day!  I learned that I have a good selection of foundational items – grainline maritime shorts, Maria Denmark Yasmin Yoke skirts, and my tried and true Jean Hardy tshirts  lead the pack.  I also got a lot of wear out of my Salme kimono sleeve dress, my Cynthia Rowley blue dress and my ever reliable black & white Vogue wrap dress.

Oh, yeah! I actually made things too!  My second Sewaholic Granville shirt (which, I need to stop being a lazy turd and show you!), a grainline tiny pocket tank (unblogged), and the adapted tiny pocket dress (see below).

I’ve loved Ebony’s tiny pocket dress  foh-ev-ah!  I stumbled upon this great blue linen ikat print at Joann’s recently.  I knew it wanted to come home with me and become a dress!  I used Jen’s tutorial to adapt the pattern.  I was moderately successful.  I’ve worn it twice – and took it in about three inches after the first wear – it was really baggy.  I struggle with patterns sometimes because I’m convinced that I’m bigger than I probably am in real life….I usually cut a size too big.  Next time, I think I’m going to go down a size or two for this particular pattern.  I *tried* to do a front placket – but if you look closely – it didn’t come out very well.  So, I need to unpick that and fix it. I pinned it and wore it anyways.  Lazy bones.

First picture – just the dress.  Second picture – how I styled it and wore to work on Friday.  Probably too casual for work, but whatevs.  

My husband  photographer insists on holding the camera low so I look like I’m looking up every time.  I need to fire him and get a kid new photographer.

Well, it’s been a crazy wonderful month.  Here’s to the dog days of summer & wishing you a fabulous June!

Work in Progress

Remember the gifts the fabric fairy brought me?  Well, I’ve been inspired and busy!  One of the fabrics is a lovely dark blue abstract print from Cotton + Steele.  Seriously soft cotton lawn.  And, can I tell you, it sews up beautifully too.

I decided to give the Sewaholic Http://www.sewaholicpatterns.com/Granville-shirt/ Shirt another try.  This time, I went to a size 6 and graded the hips down A LOT.  I’m also making a long sleeved version.

Here are some photos of the work in progress:

I also am super excited that I’ve done my first set of sleeve plackets.  Eeee!  


More to come….should be able to show you the whole shirt soon! 

Made Me May – reflections on my sewing

It’s Made Me May, and I always use this month to reflect on my hand sewn wardrobe.  I won’t be posting daily outfit posts, but instead, a weekly recap of life and my sewing habit.  Shall we begin?

May 1 marked the first day of a new job with my current employer!  We created a new group and I am tasked with defining and building it.  Very exciting!  What did I do on my first day on the job?  I took a vacation day!  And instead, ran a 12 person, 206.8 mile relay with my best running buddies.  Doesn’t get much better than a bunch of grown people in a van for 36 hours, sleep deprived and stinky.  You can only imagine the convos!  And, tmi, I’m a super pooper – we’ll leave it at that.  Nope, no made me running wear.  Yup, that’s a hole in my sewing wardrobe.  

The remaining days, I found that my made me items were staples.  Shorts, skirts, a dress.  Which I am glad and kinda depressed by.  After almost two years of not buying clothing, I’ve found that my made me items are pretty basic.  Perhaps it’s my style.  Perhaps it’s me not venturing outside of my comfort zone.  I also noticed that tops are lacking in my made me items. Soooo.  What’s a girl to do?  Talk to the fabric fairy!

Some pretty lawns and twill.  Just wait.

I also remade my trusty Cynthia Rowley t-shirt dress recently.  The old one was pretty ratty and I decided to retire it.  It was one of the first items I made.  I basically made it in the same color as my original.  I find this blue very versatile.

A quick pic before work: 

I hate my hair right now.  Growing it back out.  

Week 1:  Good staples.  More excitement.  Venture into something new.

Happy spring!  

Flat felled seams…

Wow!  I didn’t mean to be MIA for so long.  It’s been a crazy first quarter at work – and 15 days of travel in March away from home – have made me a little road weary and missing my family.  Sewing hasn’t made it into the picture, sadly.  But, I’m hoping the spring will change all that!

This week, I took a few days off of work for spring break.  My youngest daughter needed more space/different space in her bedroom. This prompted a three bedroom swap.  Did I mention I took time off work?  To move furniture?  Dressers, desks, beds, cabinets, and yes, sewing machines.

My tiny craft closet was sadly turned over to my eldest this week.  My office and craft room was moved to the youngest’s room.  Which is the smallest room in the house.  Sigh.  I thought it would be terrible.  But, it’s turned out really great!  Bay window with beautiful natural light.  A downsized fabric horde, super organized now.  Yea!  Everyone won.  Even the hubby, who has been spinning vinyl while I sew.  Double bonus!!  And the girls?  Well, they both got rooms of any kids dream.

So, on the sewing front – some exciting news – Meigan from Get My Stich On is moving to my city!  Yea!  Another sewing blogger!  Super excited. 

I also finally got some long awaited sewing time in.  I purchased the new shirt pattern from Sewaholic.  I’ve had a white cotton polka dot fabric in my stash and it was screaming to be a shirt.  The pattern came together very quickly, once all the cutting out was done!  Whew, shirts have A LOT of pieces.  The pattern was great and the instructions are very good.  I made a few modifications – raised the bust darts, omitted the pockets and shortened the sleeves.  In addition to that, I used Grainlines method for collar sewing.  I find the method in the Sewaholic version easier to understand, but doesn’t come out as neatly.  Oh, yeah, I did flat felled seams throughout.  Took a little mental calculations, but it came out beautifully.




I like it, but I’m likely to take the sides in – I’m a square and Tashia definitely designs for pears.  I may go down a size too.  It feels fine, but looking at the pictures the shirt appears rumply and baggy.  

I gotta say, I am super proud of my sewing on this one.  The finishes are soooo good it could be reversible.  I can tell that my skillz are gettin madder!  Ha.  I crack myself up.