Monday, June 23, 2014

Long overdue Meissas

I made these Papercut Meissa blouses waaaay back before Easter and took pictures of them a few weeks later. And then they just sat in my blog folder, neglected as I frantically prepared for Me Made May. So, considering the fact that I haven't made anything of note besides a turd of a Darling Ranges dress (such a bummer) because all I do is study for anatomy, these will work perfectly!

The first version I made is chambray, and those of you who followed me during MMMay know I wear the shit out of this one. The fabric is so comfortable, and I love the little feminine yoke details.

Those double buttons are super great too, I get tons of compliments on them! I'm really really happy with the fit of this shirt. I think the pattern has a little shaping at the waist, but if I remember correctly I made it more dramatic. My waist tends to drown in almost everything unless I add some curves. While I do love the loose, bohemian style, dressing in a flat sack is not my cup of tea.

The fun yokes gave my edgestitch foot its first real run, just look at that sparkling topstitching! I believe this was the first or second shirt I made after I purchased (and got over my fear of using) my Bernina.  The Peter Pan collar is really nice as well, but I can say with 100% confidence that I will never wear the shirt buttoned all the way up like the pattern model.

 My biggest gripe with this shirt are the plackets. Or lack thereof. Instead of a vertical placket they have you do a horizontal one (I think that's what it's called). The instructions didn't really help me a lot, and it's pretty fiddly. Basically the cuffs are an inch too short, and you turn under the gap twice and topstitch. Or in my case you try, fail, and say f it and let it fray because the cuffs cut off the circulation in your arms anyways. These sleeves are very slim cut. As in, I can't push my sleeves half way up my forearm even with the buttons undone.

I made my second version out of a quilting cotton... and while I don't hate it, I don't reach for it like my chambray version. I did make the cuffs longer and make a vertical placket, but I didn't widen the sleeve so it's still pretty tight. I can almost get the cuffs pushed up to my elbows, but not quite! 

I wish I would have cut the yokes on the bias or cross grain or something, but I was just barely able to squeak this out of the 2 yards I ordered. The inner cuffs are cut on the selvedge, and you can totally see the part that says "Blah blah blah made for Art Gallery Fabrics" when I turn the cuffs out! Whoops. I had a ton of the chambray left after making the shirt, but 45" < 58" and I should have known better.

This version is definitely a little looser, which is probably why I don't wear it as much. I think the print is also a little boring for me. There's too much white, which means it shows dirt much too easy to be worn at work. Or at the farm, for that matter!

I'm trying to make up my mind if a popover version of this would be cute. I can't decide if it would be too much with the front yokes and the peter pan collar. What do you guys think? I have some really nice purple chambray that is just screaming at me to become a button down!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How many Liebsters is too many Liebsters?

A couple of weeks ago Amy nominated me for a Liebster award and then today I got word from Elaine that she nominated me too! You guys, thanks and also your blog names are scary similar. What Miss Amy Did Next and What Diana Did Next? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hella confused when I was trying to find you both on Bloglovin' after following your Instagrams. I hope you two follow each other!!

Anyways, so for those of you who don't know the Liebster is a way to help small blogs with under 200 followers find a bigger audience and wonderful new followers. Is it basically a chain letter and can I honestly say I skipped all the Liebster posts on my blog feed until I was nominated? Yes. So I totally understand if I go from 12 followers to 0 because of posting this or that you're not reading this at all. Since my life has been sucked into the black hole that is my Anatomy class, I haven't had time to make anything blog-worthy or take pictures of all the other stuff I've made so this will have to do!

Here are Amy's questions:

1. What’s your earliest sewing memory?
I think my first hands-on experience with sewing was this drawstring bag we made in my 6th grade home ec class. I used that bag to carry my gym clothes all throughout middle school. We were only allowed to sew on "turtle" speed and had to sew pieces of paper for like weeks before we were even allowed to pick out fabric.

2. Where do you get your sewing inspiration from?
Other sewing blogs and sewing Instagram accounts. I'm getting better about it, but I am generally not great at looking at a line drawing and imagining a finished garment. So I look to my fellow sewists for inspriation. I can honestly say that I thought the Wiksten Tova was absolutely hideous before I saw all the gorgeous version cropping up during MMMay. Now I have one waiting for its hem :)

3. What do you watch/listen to while you sew?
Audiobooks are my jam. My dog listens to books while I'm a work all day and we listen to them almost all night. Every once in a while I'll put on some Netflix, but definitely not anything that I've never read/heard/watched before because I miss important things while I'm pressing or sewing a long side seam. 

4. Do you snack and sew?
I usually try to take my snack breaks in the kitchen, but yes there are a few Milky Way wrappers hidden in my scrap catcher.

5. What’s the latest you've stayed up just to finish a sewing project (or what other crazy sewing deadline have you had)? Just one more hem….
Probably 1:30 am. I'm starting to be able to recognize the symptoms of "YOU'RE TIRED AND GOING TO SEW THAT ON BACKWARDS YOU IDIOT" so midnight is usually the latest I'll be at my sewing table. 

6. An important one: cat or dog? (Or, if you are feeling rebellious: tortoise, or snail, or moose…)
Mostly dogs but also cats! I'm allergic to both, but I love my dog Clyde and my parents have about a million farm cats and I love them all! I can't meet a dog without getting some sloppy kisses, and I can't meet a cat without wanting to stick my face in its face.
That's my boy Clyde

Farm cats!!!

7. What’s the make you’re most proud of?
I think my dot chambray popover Archer. It's one of my most successful collars to date, and I managed to make the popover modification successfully! It's also the shirt I get the most complements on.

8. Sewing for others – yes or no?
I tend to over commit myself here. I love to make things for people, but I hate things that cut into my sewing time for me. So yes, but not often.

9. Pattern first, or fabric?
FABRIC! If I see a great colorful geometric print, I have to have it. If all else fails and I can't think of anything to make, I'll just whip up another Archer. Problem solved.

10. How do you get yourself out of a sewing rut?
I sew an old faithful. I've usually sewn it enough times that I don't have to think about it, and that practice lends itself to a well-executed garment which usually gets my mojo flowing again.

11. If you could sew one thing, where money, skill and time were not limited, what would it be?
Homegirl wants to sew with some cashmere. Silk cashmere? More practically, my couch needs a slipcover (now taking volunteers). 

Ok, now if you're still with me after that..... here are Elaine's questions:

1. Why do you sew/make stuff
It started out because I'm tall and I have a huge  ass and I was tired of buying clothes that fit one part of my body but were too big/small elsewhere. Now I just love to pick out my own patterns and my own prints and turn them into clothes that I love.

2. Do you have a favourite pattern -- and what is it?
Does the entire Grainline Studios shop count? Seriously it's probably the Archer though. I have at least 6 of them, and I could have an entire closet full of them and be happy! Plus the pattern is drafted really well and Jen's sewalong is just so great.

3. Whose wardrobe would you love to raid? 
The fictional character Beca from Pitch Perfect. She's just edgy enough while still being slightly feminine. She also has a lot of great jackets which reminds me that I need to make a Minoru.

4. What do you like to listen to/watch while you're making stuff?
See question 3 above :)

5. What's your favorite thing about blogging?
The comments! It makes my whole day when my blog e-mail account dings at me! It makes me feel like the popular girl in school and it satisfies my inner social butterfly. 

If you're still with me, nice work. That is a lot of text. NOW IT'S MY TURN!

I nominate:

Erin of The Sewing and Life Adventures of Emerald Erin. Have you seen the bras she is churning out? They're amazing and bright and so well made. She's got a great eye for color and I love reading her posts!

Cheryl of Orange is a Neutral. Cheryl ORANGE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE COLORS and that romper was totally epic and I want one. Every time I see one of her posts I'm like "Yep I need that!"

ZoĆ« of Fozzel & Bean takes gorgeous photos (even when she's not trying I swear) of her gorgeous handmades, and does this series called Etsy Eyecandy which has accounted for quite a few of my most recent Etsy purchases. Her style is so great and close to my own aesthetic and she has her own Etsy shop!

C from Oh, She Dabbles. I pretty much religiously stalk her Instagram and want to steal everything in her closet. I'm pretty sure you were just nominated for one but you haven't posted yet so there! 

So that's my list and it's not 5 people long and I didn't extensively make sure you haven't already posted a Liebster. I also was just going by your Bloglovin' followers so yeah. Answer my questions, guys!

1. What is your favorite garment so far?
2. Favorite textile to work with?
3. Why did you start sewing?
4. Are you a planner or do you wing it?
5. If your sewing machine was an animal, what type of animal would it be?

So here's the part that I dread where I have to go tell everyone that I nominated them. It's like walking up to a bunch of really good looking people at a party and starting a conversation out of nowhere! It gives me heart burn. Also I totally won't take it personally if you're not into this kind of thing!

Thanks again for nominating me Amy and Elaine!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Just when you thought everybody had stopped talking about it... Me Made May the end!

So at this point, if you're like me, whenever you see a post in your feed about Me Made May you're just like "YEAH I GET IT" and do a quick scroll through to ogle the pictures but don't read any text. I don't blame you if you do that to me, because omg I'm so MMMay'ed out. 

Yes, May was over like 6 days ago... but holy crap. I'm taking Anatomy this summer, and between cramming information into my brain and trying to catch up on sleep from staying up too late, I've been exhausted. Blogging and sewing have been pretty low on my priority list, only slightly below eating and showering. I haven't touched my sewing machine since Sunday and it's killing me. Especially since the tiny pocket tank I made turned out really bad. I stretched the neckline out so bad that it's pretty much not even wearable. Ugh.

Ok so without further ado, I present five more selfies in various bathrooms.

Day 27: This day tripper again, with awesome matching shoes! Do people judge me when I match my shoes to my outfit like this? Is it a fashion faux pas? Do I care? Not really.

Day 28: Hey something new! I had to whip up this Datura real quick because the AC in our office decided to break and the forecast for the day was 85. I needed something that let my armpits breathe a little. I do wish I had lengthened the pattern a lot more though.

Day 29: Yeah, this again. 

Day 30: I washed this and the linen isn't so awful and scratchy anymore. Maybe I forgot to put a dryer sheet in during the pre-wash? It's highly probable.

Day 31!!!! My tank dress again. Drank some margaritas and realllllly appreciated the shirring after I dominated an entire plate of enchiladas/rice and chips/queso. I'm all about that elastic waist after binge eating to celebrate the end of Me Made May.

I only had one day where I didn't wear a me made, which was above and beyond my pledge of 5 garments a week. Yay for low-balling my goals so I could totally knock them out of the park!

So what did I learn?

  1. Bottoms. I need bottoms. I just cut out a pair of maritime shorts and another moss skirt. Neither of which I can wear to work, but whatever.
  2. Stop only making things in obnoxious prints. I maybe, maybe need some neutral tops. Or maybe I should make more neutral bottoms so I can keep wearing obnoxious prints! I like that plan better.
  3. Remove your clothes from the dryer immediately and lay flat so you're not late to work every morning in May because everything is in a wrinkled pile of sadness in the dryer