4.30.2016

flower bomb

Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507

Well hello there everyone! I hope you've all had a great April! Around here we've been truly living up to the old saying "April showers bring May flowers". Well, at least the bit about the showers. The flowers we get all year round. In other words, it's been wet! I can't believe I'm saying this, but... I'm ready for summer. Yes, summer, and all it's triple-digit, 100% humidity, sweaty, stifling, sunburnt, nastiness. Bring. It. On. You northeners can keep your spring (and your bad tacos, but that's a rant for another day)! I'm ready for the heat! Maybe it's because winter was such a joke this year, and I have no patience for this in-between bullshit, but I'm really looking forward to the days when I can throw on a dress and sandals, put my hair up, and sweat. We're almost there. almost. We just need the sun to decide to make an appearance...

Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507 Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507

And on that note, let me introduce you to this backless beauty! This was my April make for the Mood Sewing Network, and, again, you've probably seen some sneaky peeks on my Instagram all month as I slowly chipped away at it.  I feel a bit weird calling this thing a "shirt" or even a "top" as its open-back, voluminous, apron-style design makes it feel as if I'm wearing nothing at all.  But it does cover the essentials, and after wearing it to work for a whole day I can attest to the fact that those essentials (somehow) stayed covered. Phew. I'll be honest, I wasn't sure if that would be the case. This also isn't the most bra-friendly design, so if the goods did come out, they would be alllll out! But thankfully (for both myself and my unsuspecting coworkers) we good.

Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507

Okay, so what is this, you ask? (What? You didn't come to hear the gripping tale of how I did or did not flash the entirety of Galveston Island?) This is Vogue Patterns #1507 made up in some Italian Printed Floral Cotton Batiste from Mood Fabrics online.  I was super super excited to see that Rachel Comey had released a few more patterns for Vogue this season.  Her designs always delight and excite me, and I feel like the resulting garments are truly one-of-a-kind pieces.  This top was my favorite out of the recent bunch (although I also love this dress) so it was the first one I wanted to sink my teeth into.  While I think the plain green version on the pattern envelope is great for seeing this top's interesting style lines and features, in my head I always imagined it in a bright, exuberant print.

Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507

This cotton batiste was everything I could have hoped for this make: a large scale, painterly floral print, easy to handle during construction, and light and airy to wear.  The whole top is double layered, so despite the fact this fabric was somewhat sheer, I didn't worry about a lining.  I really love how the print of the underlayer actually peeks through the sheer areas of the top layer. I didn't bother with print matching, or even give much thought to print placement with this make (I may have been print placement-ed out from my last make!) I really love the resulting sporadic feel of the top.  

Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507 Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507

I took a few indoor shots on my dress form because the gusty winds during my photoshoot were doing this top (and my hair) no favors! Hopefully these help give you a better idea of the lovely intricacies of this design.  I have to say, it was truly a pleasure to work with a pattern where the actual pattern pieces were practically unrecognizable and how it was all going to come together seemed like a mystery.  Often times when I see a garment I have a pretty good visual idea of what the flat pattern pieces will look like, but this one was completely wacky! Definitely a good project for pulling me out of my sewing autopilot! 

Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507

That being said, the actual construction really wasn't all that difficult once you figured out what went where.  The trickiest part was that just about every major part of the garment - both the top and bottom layers of the bodice and the sleeves - called for a teeny, tiny 1/8" hem.  And those hems were verrrryyyy loooonnnnng and veerrryyyy cuuurrrrrvyyy. This probably would have been no big deal if I had a rolled hem foot for my machine, but I don't.  I also contemplated doing it all by hand, but I wanted to finish it before June so I followed the instructions.  First I sewed a line of stitching at 1/2" then I used that stitching line as a guide and folded the hem up once, trimmed close to the line of stitching, and folded again at 1/8", edgestitching that in place.  By the time I got to the sleeves I was pretty pro. Or at least there was much less cussing.

The back neckline is finished with a small bias facing and the back yoke edges are bound in bias binding. The instructions had you finish the armholes with bias binding as well but I had run out of red bias tape and actually thought that might be a bit bulky, so I used my serger instead. No regrets.

Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507

And here's a closeup of those cursed teeny hems. Honestly this was at least 70% of the sewing! Choosing a thread color for this project was a bit of a head scratcher, because no matter what I went with it was going to be in contrast with the print at some point.  I decided on off-white, however I'm sure an invisible hand-rolled hem would have been the more elegant option.  But I don't think the visible stitching detracts from the finished top at all.

I'm quite happy I chose such a well behaved fabric as cotton batiste for this top, because while it wasn't a difficult sew, a lot of the pattern pieces fall on the bias, and I could see that, coupled with the teeny hems being a real headache in a trickier fabric!

Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507

Fit wise I'm fairly pleased with how this turned out.  There was, frustratingly, no finished garment measurements printed anywhere on this pattern so I had no idea how much ease was built in.  I decided to play it safe and go down only one size since I find, in general, Big 4 patterns tend to go crazy on the ease, with the occasional exception of these Vogue designer patterns, which sometimes actually have spot on measurements. I figured if I went down one size I could counteract any built in ease, but that the top was also voluminous enough that if there wasn't a whole lot of ease built in it would probably still fit me anyway.

In retrospect I think anyone making this top could probably safely go down two sizes.  I find the shoulders to be quite wide, even on me and I have good, wide, linebacker shoulders.  From an engineering standpoint the shoulders are really the only thing holding this top on the body, so if you've got narrow shoulders you might find yourself with a garment that simply doesn't stay on.  I would also suggest reinforcing the front neckline with some staystitching or even some light interfacing or organza to help prevent it from stretching out during construction. The instructions don't call for this, but that's my two cents for anyone thinking of making this up in the future.

Mood Fabrics Floral Cotton Batiste | V1507

As I mentioned, I wore this top to work yesterday and felt like a total superstar! It felt so unique and special, and as I was getting ready at the gym in the morning (yes, I shower at the gym most days - glamorous, I know) women kept sending their friends in to see my outfit.  Not that I base the success of a make on how many compliments I get on it, but it's always really nice when other people like your work as much as you do.  

I'd really like to make a pair of black linen tap shorts to pair with this little topper for the ultimate breezy ensemble once the dog days of summer really hit. Nothing like pairing a little volume on the top with some long legs on the bottom! 

Obviously my wardrobe planning is all about summer.  What about you guys? Anyone else ready for a heat wave?

xx

4.06.2016

cat lady

Mood Fabrics Anna Sui Cat Print Panel | McCalls6696

Hellooooo friends!!  Please excuse my frizzy hair and general unkempt-ness in these photos.  The week I took these photos the weather was truly the worst - mild, but sticky, overcast, and permanently threatening rain, but never delivering – like living inside a cloud. Good for the plants, but not so great for looking polished and put-together! Of course since then the sun has decided to come back out and I feel like all is right with the world again! I don't know how you northeners do it, my tolerance for lack of sunshine has definitely gotten worse since living in Texas! A few weeks of cloudy weather and I'm alternately whining and throwing a tantrum, shaking my fists at the sky, or else despondent and unable to move, because what's the point of moving if you can't see your own shadow?

Mood Fabrics Anna Sui Cat Print Panel | McCalls6696

I was actually half tempted to re-shoot these photos in this glorious, sparkly sunshine, but then I figured I'd probably never get this post up and you'd all think I had abandoned this space, and no one wants that! So you'll have to deal with Soggy Sallie. And anyway, frizzy hair and melting makeup can’t put a damper on my enthusiasm for this new dress! Those of you that follow me on Instagram have probably seen sneak peeks of this buddy coming slowly together this past month. March is my birthday month and I always like to work on something a little extra special as a bit of a gift to myself. So this month for the Mood Sewing Network I put together this little puzzle of a dress in Mood Fabric’s Famous Designer Yellow/Green Kitty Cat Border Printed Bamboo Twill Panel. That’s right, there are fat little kitty cats marching all over this dress!

Mood Fabrics Anna Sui Cat Print Panel | McCalls6696

This fabric was pretty much too cute for me to resist (there’s even a purple colorway that I’m thinking of snatching up so I can make an identical twin dress!) But I have to confess that when it arrived I really had to give it some thought as to what I could turn this fabric into.  I don’t really have any experience working with border prints, so that alone was a bit of a headscratcher. However this print is also a panel print, with the printed areas being fairly narrow rectangles.  It’s not a whole lot of real-estate, print-wise, to work with, so I knew whatever I decided to make would have to have lots of pieces.
Sometimes when I’m feeling really stumped about one of these designer prints I like to try to hunt down the fabric online and see how the designer originally intended to use it.  Luckily for me, I knew the designer – Anna Sui – because the name is printed all along the selvedge. Some quick googling gave me a few clues, most notably this:



this...


and perhaps most intriguing to me...


It was the last image which gave me the idea for a shirtdress.  I had bought 4 yards of this fabric, so I had a decent amount to play around with, which was good, because I certainly made some mistakes along the way! This was one of those projects where cutting took almost twice as long as sewing! Not only did I have to consider print placement, and how best to utilize all the parts of the print – the small, closely spaced cats, the larger border cats, and the solid stripes of color – but I also had to attempt to print match as best as I could, which was no easy feat! See, these kitties like to change direction throughout the print, making something as simple as cutting out a left and right bodice front a brain tease! And, just to really up the ante, the bamboo twill is deliciously lightweight, and devilishly shifty, not to mention it wrinkles up if you simply look at it! So it’s no exaggeration when I say that I spent three separate weekends simply cutting and puzzle-piecing this dress together!
Mood Fabrics Anna Sui Cat Print Panel | McCalls6696
For the pattern I used McCall’s 6696 – a most beloved pattern among the sewing community.  I’ve had this in my stash for awhile and was glad to have a reason to finally pull it out and give it a go.  I ended up cutting my size based on the finished garment measurements rather than the size chart, because as we all know, Big 4 patterns loooove their excess ease! So I cut a 10 (with a B cup) at the shoulders and bust, tapering to an 8 at the waist, and a 12 at the hips. Having sewn my fair number of shirts, and, for that matter, dresses, I didn’t really follow the instructions, but rather used my own method of construction.  I’m very happy with how the dress fits, however if I do make the dress again I might make a few small adjustments. The biggest thing I would change is how full the back is.  I’ve read this about this pattern before, but thought I’d try sewing it up as is to see the results, and, sure enough, the back is indeed poofy! So I’d probably try to either reduce the gathering at the waist or convert it to darts.

Mood Fabrics Anna Sui Cat Print Panel | McCall's 6696
It was pretty much inevitable that I would need to do some creative piecing somewhere on this dress, and the back of the skirt ended up getting the treatment, but more as the result of a mistake than actual planning and consideration! See the back skirt is supposed to be cut on the fold, but the print panels are much too narrow to allow for that, so I intended to add a center back seam.  Of course once it came time to cut the back I completely forgot to add a seam allowance and decided to make up for it by sewing a strip of plain yellow down the center to make up for the missing width.  The sad thing is, I actually made this mistake twice! I cut one skirt panel, realized I forgot to add a seam allowance, then proceeded to cut another skirt panel, and promptly forgot again to add the seam allowance! *head slap* Such a waste of good fabric! But of course, it all worked out in the end.

Mood Fabrics Anna Sui Cat Print Panel | McCall's 6696
Another change I made was to round the collar, simply because I thought these kitties suited a rounded collar more than a pointed one!

Mood Fabrics Anna Sui Cat Print Panel | McCall's 6696
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Apologies for the bad indoor lighting (my apartment has the worst light for photos!) but I had to get a shot of the innards because I lined the bodice and skirt in ivory silk habotai which is, in my opinion, one of the loveliest fabrics to wear next to the skin. It’s truly like having an air conditioner installed inside your dress! Which is important when your climate is akin to a damp dishrag.  This was also necessary for modesty, as the kitty cat print was a bit on the sheer side.

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Because this fabric is so lightweight and shifty I made sure to interface areas that I felt would need a little help in order to hold their shape, like the pocket openings.  This really helps them from stretching out and looking droopy.

Mood Fabrics Anna Sui Cat Print Panel | McCall's 6696

I’m really happy with my new shirtdress! The kitty cats are such a cute surprise when you notice what they are, and I’m really happy with the way I used all areas of this tricky border print panel throughout the dress to enhance the design elements. Do you guys have any tips for working with border prints?

xx

2.19.2016

kaleidescope

Mood Fabrics - Deep Forest Abstract Jersey Wrap Dress

Hellllooooo Nurse! Ugh. It's the end of the day you guys and my humor has reached Animaniacs level... It happens. Clearly I can't think of a proper introduction for this post so we'll just... You wanna talk about the weather? Let's talk about the weather! When in doubt, right? Winter, man! Sucks. *she says as she basks in the 75F degree sunshine* Please don't throw things at me! Truly this has been an oddly mild winter.  If I let my thoughts stray too apocalyptic I'd say it was a sign of The End of Times and that we should all head for the bunker, but I'm feeling optimistic today and just enjoying the apocalyptic pleasant weather with a smile. I'll tell you what, though, all this warm weather has put a real damper on my winter sewing plans.  Oh! The things I had planned! Somehow it just seems strange to sew a quilted Tamarack jacket or a faux leather biker jacket when I feel like I need to start preparing for the impending doom of summer, like, now. Don't even get me started on the chunky wool sweater I've been spending my evenings toiling away on... Ah well. There's always the, like, three cold days of winter to look forward to next year...

Mood Fabrics - Deep Forest Abstract Jersey Wrap Dress

But enough of that! Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures I've still been on a mission to add a few new long sleeve dresses to my wardrobe. Sometimes you just don't want to do the whole dress/cardigan layering jig. Sometimes you just want to put on one piece of clothing and have it be appropriate for the cooler seasons. I don't care what fashion blogs tell me, sometimes layering is for the birds! This dress is for those days. And lots of other days too.

This is my February make for the Mood Sewing Network.  I'm still working through my blah feelings I wrote about in my last post, and so whipping up quick-sew knit garments is still sounding very appealing to me. This time I went for a wrap dress silhouette. If I had to wear one type of garment for the rest of my life it would be a wrap dress. So comfy. So flattering. So sexy-yet-work-appropriate. If you haven't gotten on board with wrap dresses I urge you - I implore you - to give them a try.

Mood Fabrics - Deep Forest Abstract Jersey Wrap Dress

But this is obviously no ordinary wrap dress. Okay, I'll just call out the elephant in the blog post - DAT FABRIC, 'DO! Isn't this a spectacular print?? This is the Deep Forest Abstract Viscose-Cotton Jersey Knit Panel print from Mood's online store, and though I'm usually flummoxed by panel prints I just had to give this one a go! It looks simultaneously organic and futuristic with a heaping helping of Art Nouveau thrown in for good measure. The hand is really interesting too - it has a moderate amount of stretch in both directions and is a good medium weight.  The face of the fabric is actually looped, like the wrong side of terry cloth, and the back is smooth and white. The texture adds some visual interest, but it feels really nice against the skin. I ordered three panels and only had to do a small bit of piecing on the upper back (I created a yoke) to make this dress work.

Mood Fabrics - Deep Forest Abstract Jersey Wrap DressMood Fabrics - Deep Forest Abstract Jersey Wrap Dress

By far the most interesting and challenging aspect of making this dress was in figuring out print placement.  I figured out early on that, given the flared shape of the skirt, matching the side seams on this print was not going to happen. Instead I concerned myself more with placing the pattern motifs so they would be most flattering when the dress was worn.  My original idea was to use the faded out black areas at the waist in order to create a slimming effect, however when I draped the fabric on my dress form I quickly realized that this was not the best idea.

FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRender (2)

Here's my tip for you guys - when you're trying to decide on print placement drape the fabric over a form, or yourself, in roughly the shape of the garment you're trying to make and then take a picture of it.  I find that looking at a photograph helps give me some distance on the fabric so I can see the bigger picture and not get lost in details like I do when I'm looking in a mirror, or trying to shuffle pattern pieces around on a length of fabric.  Even better, make the photo black and white so you're not distracted by color and can see how the larger shapes are playing out across the figure.  I find this is helpful in avoiding mishaps like the good ol' flower-on-boob mistake we've all made!

Or just in determining the best use of a print, like in my photos above (please excuse my messy sewing room!) The first photo shows my original idea for the print placement, which you can see is still nice, however it really wasn't as flattering as I was hoping for, and the best parts of the print were underutilized.  In the second photo you can see that the swooping lines of the print actually creates the waist-flattering lines I was hoping for, and is a much better showcase for this print. Plus, the first placement may have left me with some unfortunate crotch and butt vortex-ing going on! A lucky save!

Mood Fabrics - Deep Forest Abstract Jersey Wrap DressMood Fabrics - Deep Forest Abstract Jersey Wrap Dress

For the pattern I simply traced an old American Apparel wrap dress I've had for literally ages. I have two of their wrap dresses, and despite the fact that I've trashed a good portion of my AA crap from my undergraduate days, I've always hung on to these wrap dresses.  I'm pretty happy with the way the pattern turned out, however I have a few minor complaints.  There's something slightly off with the shape of the armhole, which never bothered me in the originals (isn't it funny how we can totally overlook wonky fit in RTW garments, but we're so picky about it in our handmades?) and I wish I would have flared the skirt more (because swishy skirts are fun).  I might explore using my CCF Nettie pattern as a base to draft my own in the future. Or just stick with this one. Who knows?! 

Construction was straight-forward - mostly serged seams with finishing done on my sewing machine using my trusty triple-step stretch stitch.  One construction detail I did that I am very happy about was adding a piece of 1/4 inch elastic along the inside of the neck binding to help the neckline hug nice and tight and prevent gaping, and also to keep the neckline from stretching out over time, which is a problem I've had in previous knit wrap dress makes. 
Mood Fabrics - Deep Forest Abstract Jersey Wrap Dress

I've already worn this dress for several work events and am quite smitten with it! The print makes it a real show-stopper, but the wrap-dress and comfy knit fabric allow for me to feel good in it all day.  Nick has let hint that he thinks I "look sexy" in it, which is never a bad thing in my book, either! I'm pretty sure this will be a dress I reach for again and again! 

Well, friends, that about wraps up (yuk yuk) *head slap* this post! Until next time...

xx

1.27.2016

january blues

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Wow you guys! It feels like it has been FOR. EV. ER. since my last post! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! So much belated happiness! My holidays were lovely, with a nice long visit with family on the East coast. Since coming back to Texas (and real life) I've been a bit slow to find my groove. If you follow me on instagram I've been trying to give little peeks at what I've been up to, but honestly my life feels pretty boring right now! I started a new knitting project (the Riptide pullover from Brooklyn Tweed's new Winter 16 collection - and I'm in luuuuurve with it). And I also joined a local gym which feels like a big step since my last post on my fitness journey. I decided I really wanted to lift heavier weights, which just isn't feasible in my apartment.  So far it's been good! I've never been so sore, or hungry! Seriously, I'm like an eating machine... I also got a new lens for my camera (Christmas present from Nick, he's good to me) - a Nikkor 35mm. I love having my camera back in action, but I'm still getting used to the new lens, so forgive me if some of my pictures are a little out of focus. But when the focus is right - oh it's good!

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And now we're all caught up! You will note that I didn't mention too much about my sewing plans in the above paragraph. That's because my sewing room has felt a bit stagnant as of late. Perhaps it's the winter blahs and the fact that they really promote couch time and knitting, or that I feel like I'm constantly schlepping from home to gym to work (a choice I willingly made) but I've been feeling a bit uninspired in that department.  It's happened before and I know I just need to ride it out and it'll pass, but it's always disconcerting when the sewjo plummets, ya know?

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However I did manage to pull these two pieces out for my latest Mood Sewing Network make (I can always count on those MSN posts to get me into my sewing room!). They're not going to set the world on fire or anything, but they are comfy, cozy, adaptable to my wardrobe, and together look quite chic. 

The sweater jacket uses Mood's Italian Black and White Double Cloth Blended Wool Slubbed Knit (phew! that's a mouthful...). I bought a yard and a half of this stuff back in the fall with the intention of making just such a garment. It's really lovely and thick and because of the wool content it's very warm, however since it's a blend it's not scratchy at all. Basically an ideal snuggly layer. After seeing Sarai's Oslo cardigan hack over on the Coletterie I knew that I wanted to use this fabric to make my own.  However for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to cut the pattern pieces out of my yard and half! I'm actually still scratching my head about how Lauren managed to do it. Granted she did not do the kimono sleeve variation but still... clearly she's a wizard. Anywho. Long story short I had to order another yard. It was worth it. Even if it did mean that this garment got pushed back into the new year.

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The Oslo cardigan is from Seamwork magazine.  The variation that I did involved a little bit of pattern manipulation to create the cut-on kimono sleeve, but nothing too difficult. And rather than the buttons in the front I added belt loops and a tie.  The only thing that I'm slightly bummed about is that I forgot to add width to the sleeves to get that cool kimono look that Sarai's has.  I thought the kimono sleeve looked kind of dumb at the regular slim sleeve width so I chopped them off at the elbows.  I say this was a happy accident as the shorter sleeve is kind of cool and makes for an interesting layering option.

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Construction wise this was pretty straightforward. I used my serger for all the seams and my sewing machine's 3-step stretch stitch for the hems.  The only place where I got a bit creative was in attaching the collar.  The way the instructions have you do it would have involved me running three layers of fabric through my serger. Since this fabric is quite thick I didn't think that would be the best idea so instead I used my sewing machine to sew the right side down, then attach the underside by stitching in the ditch.  Which was really a breeze on this fabric because the stitches just sank right in! No one can tell how accurate (or, ahem, inaccurate) I was.

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The dress I'm wearing is a Closet Case Files Nettie dress made up in Mood's Black Cotton-Viscose Jersey.   I used this same fabric previously to make leggings and I love it. It’s very stretchy and soft. This dress feels a bit revealing when I wear it alone because of the negative ease (I’m not comfortable in skin-tight dresses) but I love it as a layering piece.  I added length to the sleeves to make them nice and long so they bunch up at the wrists.  Construction wise, this was the same as for the sweater jacket – serger for the majority of the seams and a 3-step stretch stitch for the cuffs and hem.  

I love that stitch for stretch fabrics. It's really the only conventional machine stitch I’ve found for knits that doesn’t pop with wear. For some reason my machine’s zig-zag stitch never really seems to have any give, but the 3-step straight stitch does. Plus it looks super clean and professional. I highly recommend you give this stitch a try for knits if your machine has it. I'm sure most do. I have a very rudimentary machine.

Mood Fabrics | Italian Black and White Double Knit

As a whole, this outfit works pretty well as secret pajamas. Especially because they're like pajamas and a robe! And when the winter blues come a-knocking it's really all I can do to not wear my bathrobe to work (I wish I had my life together enough to own actual pajamas but...)  This is a decent second best in my opinion.  And both pieces work really well with the rest of my wardrobe. So even if I'm not blowing anyone's mind with these makes, I give them an A+ for wearability and the kind of thing I'll reach for again and again.

And there you have it! My first post of 2016. Feels good to dust off the cobwebs. I missed you guys. Anyone else in the midst of the January blues? Let's all hang out on the couch underneath a heating pad and commiserate...

xx

11.10.2015

momma's got a new pair of jeans

Mood Fabrics | Chambray Popover

What the What?!?! Two posts in one week?!?? No need to check for air born piggies, dear readers, and no, it is not The End of Days.  I'm just getting caught up on a few posts here on the old blog. I've actually been fairly productive behind the scenes this past month or so and am wrapping up multiple projects in fairly quick succession. Nice to breathe some new life into this space!

I was about to title this post "Canadian Tuxedo" but then I stopped myself... why is denim on denim called a Canadian tuxedo? If recollection serves me correct, the implication was that wearing denim on denim was trashy, or redneck-y, neither of which are things I associate with Canadians... All the Canadians I know are chic as hell! So my friends, if you have more insight into this particular slang phrase, please, do enlighten me! 

Mood Fabrics | Chambray Popover

Regardless, this is my take on the denim on denim look and I think it's pretty darn sharp! This chambray popover was my most recent make for the Mood Sewing Network, however what I'd really like to talk about today is my new jeans.  I thought to spice things up a bit I'd split the sewing talk between both sites, that way I'm not posting the same rigmarole twice. Well... it keeps things interesting for me at least!

So just to give you the quick rundown on the chambray popover - I used chambray from Mood (obviously, duh Sallie) and altered my Grainline Archer pattern to a popover style rather than a full button front shirt.  this was a pretty easy alteration to make, I just cut the front on the fold and then inserted a partial placket.  To read the full details, head on over to the MSN site!

Mood Fabrics | Chambray Popover

But my jeeeaaannnnzzzz!! Guys, I think this might be my favorite pair of jeans that I've made yet! So many things came together for me for this pair! But let me back up real quick here... This fall I've been pretty focused on fleshing out some fresh wardrobe basics.  Jeans and shirts get worn pretty hard around here, and I feel like I can never have too many.  And what with all the exercising I've been doing I didn't really feel like my old jeans were fitting me quite the same.  They felt very tight through the thigh and bum, and were gape-y at the waist.  The jeans that fit the best were my high-rise white Ginger jeans, which I adore, but sometimes you don't want to wear white jeans! So a classic, dark-denim pair of jeans was quickly rising up my sewing queue.

Mood Fabrics | Chambray Popover

As much as I love the high-rise version of the Ginger jeans, I really wanted something with a more casual feel.  So I decided to give the low-rise version of the Ginger jeans a try.  Ugh. You guys. I freaking love this pattern. I didn't even make a muslin, and I barely did any fitting. It just works for my body.  I made a straight size 6 with no alterations except to sew the waistband a bit snugger.  I was initially thinking I might peg the ankles a bit because, well, I've been a die hard skinny jean wearer for the past... oh... ten years? And yes, I suppose these would still classify as skinny jeans in the grand scheme of things, but to my swaddled ankles they feel downright bootcut! But after doing a test fit I decided I really liked the silhouette. It seems to work for both dressier occasions and casual ones... or maybe that's just the secret of a good looking pair of jeans?

Mood Fabrics | Chambray Popover

I would be remiss if I didn't wax poetic about this denim.  This is the Cone Mills s-gene denim that I got in the Ginger jeans sewing kit Heather and Jen were selling after the pattern launch. (fyi - they just did another sale of denim kits about a month ago - supplies go fast so I think they're all sold out now.  I have no idea if they'll be doing it again, but it's worth it to follow them on Instagram if you don't already so you can get the heads up in case they do) You can't really find Cone Mills denim sold by the yard as it's really only available for wholesale, so if you happen across it somewhere, definitely jump on it! I think the "s" in s-gene stands for sorcery. This fabric is... sigh.... ah-mazing. It's soft, and has an amazing amount of give - perfect for comfy, close-fitting jeans that flatter and hug your curves, but it also has incredible recovery, which means that you don't get baggy knees and a saggy butt after wearing your jeans for a day.  Honestly, I wore these jeans for a week straight without washing them (because that's how I do) and every. stinking. day. they looked fresh and crisp. I just can't even. You've probably heard the hype before about this denim, and guys, believe it. It's seriously that good. It's spoiled me. I don't know how I'll ever go back to other denims. I don't want to, that's for sure!  Thank goodness I still have another bit of yardage of the lighter weight denim for me to love on!

Mood Fabrics | Chambray Popover
Mood Fabrics | Chambray PopoverMood Fabrics | Chambray Popover

One of the most fun things about sewing your own jeans are the myriad of ways you can customize them.  I generally err on the side of classic finishing with my jeans, but I couldn't help getting a bit creative with the topstitiching for this pair.  As you can see I used a standard copper/gold thread for all the topstitching, but then I used red for all my bartacks.  I remember on a recent pair of Lauren's jeans she made a little "L" on the side seam bartack that holds the pocket in place and I thought that was so cute! Since bartacking an "S" would absolutely be beyond my skills I decided to create a bit of a theme with these diagonal red bartacks.  They're used on the back pockets, the coin pocket and the front fly, and again at the base of the side seam topstitching for a little extra flair. The little red touches make me super happy, and the jeans still have that classic look that I like. 

Mood Fabrics | Chambray Popover

That's it for jeans talk! They've already been in heavy rotation, so that must be a good sign!

Before I head out I'd thought I'd just mention that perhaps you guys have noticed that my photo setting has been the same in the last two posts. That's because I sadly broke my camera lens and am saving up money to replace it.  In the meantime, my boss has been kind enough to let me shoot blog photos with the work camera, but it means I have to keep it at work.  Luckily, my "office" is a pretty lovely setting in itself - including those two little white kitties that are hopping around in my photos! Allow me to introduce you to our work cats - The Ghost and The Darkness (who I'm holding in the picture above).  They're brothers.  If you don't have cats at your work I highly encourage you to bring that up at the next staff meeting. Sure, they may not be great for productivity, but they're a huge morale booster, and they pull their weight in the pest control department too! 

Okay lovelies, until next time!

xx