Flannel Archer

ImageHey all! I’ve been trying to do some stash-busting recently, and found this lightweight black and white flannel at the very bottom of my cabinet that I had never quite gotten around to using. So last week, I took my third stab (ahem) at the Archer shirt from Grainline Patterns, and I’m happy to say that this time around it was a success!

ImageMy two past attempts at making the Archer weren’t necessarily unsuccessful, they were just too big. I cut them at a size 8, and convinced myself after my first make that it was supposed to be kind of a loose, not fitted shirt, and that it being maybe a little too large was all in my head. So like a dummy I went and cut another one out of chambray and sewed that one up too. Well, the chambray button-up gets worn sommmeetimmmeess but mostly just sits around in my closet, unloved and unused. So this time around I decided to go down a size and see what happened, and to my delight I think it’s a great improvement! The shirt is definitely supposed to be loose fitting  and comfy, which it still totally is, but cutting it at the right size definitely makes a difference (surprising no one).

ImageHaving the flannel fabric also gave me a chance to do some fun stuff with how I cut it! Like cutting this yoke one the bias and…

Image… cutting the pockets on the bias as well! I think little touches like these are super fun, and I’m trying to have more of them in my sewing.

As far as the pattern itself goes, everything lined up nicely and the instructions are pretty solid. There’s a small confusing bit when you’re attaching the collar stand to the shirt, but luckily Jen has a great sew along on her website that reallyyyyy helps make things clear, especially if you’re a visual learner like me.

Image(Had to include at least one of the many stupid dumb poses I made when photographing myself. There has got to be some trick to not looking stupid or feeling silly when taking these pictures that all of you other awesome bloggers out there have already mastered, and I just have yet to crack.)

I am really loving my flannel Archer now, and am glad I got it done while things are still at least a little bit cool down here in Texas! Soon it will be too hot for anything other than a summer dress or shorts and a tank top, so I gotta wear this business while I have the chance.

 

 

The Lady Skaters

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Let’s talk some more about knits!

After cranking out a million Plantains (although let’s be real, I’m definitely going to be making more), I decided to dive into a different knit fabric project – the Lady Skater! I actually made a wearable muslin before I cranked these two out, which was incredibly useful because I ended up raising the waistline on the dress by 2 and a half inches so it would fall at my natural waist. I also omitted the armbands and opted to just fold them over and sew them with a long straight stitch.

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This version is made with a simple black jersey knit from Joann’s. It’s a pretty stable knit with a bet of thickness to it, so wearing the dress around feels a bit like wearing yoga pants, which is perfecttttt. The neckline is a little weird because I dooped and accidentally cut the neckband with the grain, so it wasn’t as stretchy and I had to add a few inches at the last minute when I realized it wasn’t going to make it all the way around.ImageThe other thing I learned from sewing my original muslin is that using elastic on the waistband isn’t really a suggestion, it’s MUST. Without the elastic the dress was a lot baggier around my waist from the get-go, but once I sewed it into this black version it really all cinched up quiet nicely and now I love the way it fits.

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So, recognize this fabric? Well I had a surprising amount left over after I made the cardigan Plantain, just enough in fact to squeeze out a comfy Lady Skater. I was actually surprised I was able to get the whole dress out of this fabric! The Lady Skater pattern is definitely a fabric eater with that circle skirt, so I wasn’t sure it would fit but it totally did and I couldn’t be happier about it.

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I really need to be better at remembering to take pictures of the side seems, because by some fabric miracle these match up! This is definitely a little sewing feature that I am starting to appreciate.

Now that I’ve mad some Plantains and a few Lady Skaters, I’ve got my eye on some of the other knit patterns out there (I’m looking at you Parisian Top and Out and About Dress). I’ve also got it in my head to remake a RTW garment my roommate has, which I think I can do if I alter the Lady Skater pattern, but we’ll see! I’m still documenting the backlog of garments I’ve made in the last 2 months, so those might come first depending on how easy or complicated I make things for myself. 🙂

Plantain Cardigan

So I may have mentioned my love for the Plantain pattern in my last post, but Teresa over at Dandelion Drift took it a step further with her cardigan version, and I knew I had to make one for myself. So I did!

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This might actually be my favorite thing I have ever made. I think I reallyyyy just love cardigans. I pretty much mimicked exactly what Teresa does for her cardigan (extend the sleeves and the shirt hem by a few inches). I think the only difference is that I made a long neckband to finish the front.

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Holy cow I love this cardigan. The fabric is an “Aztec print” sweater jersey knit from Mood Fabrics, and man am I fan. It’s really cozy and warm, great for the chilly evenings we’ve been having (although our chilly evenings are coming to a close here in the South). I get really nervous around fabrics labeled “Aztec” or “Native” or any kind of “Ethnic”. There’s all kinds of weird feelings surrounding popular appropriation and mass commercialization of another culture. I really dig this pattern, but you definitely won’t see me stomping around Austin in a Native American headdress that costs $60 at Urban Outfitters. Weird. Feelings.

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But look!! You can kind of see in this picture how I tried to match up the side seams! This was mostly a success, although just because of how intricate the design is it’s obviously not going to be perfect. But almost!!

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God what am I even doing, I am obviously still such a newbie at this selfie thing. I sewed most of this thing on my serger, but just hemmed the bottom and the sleeve with two long straight stitches on my regular machine with a walking foot and a ballpoint needle. Does anybody else use a walking foot for sewing knits? I’ve found that it really helps, mostly cause I’m no good at applying even stretch/pressure with my hands as I feed a knit through the machine.

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I’m also rockin’ one of my favorite recent jewelry purchases. I’m not much for jewelry normally but this necklace!! It feels like my magical girl transformation stone. I got it at the Renegade Craft Fair during SXSW, and I have been wearing it more days than not ever since. I’ve totally lost the card that came with it, otherwise I’d link out to the Etsy store of the seller! Here’s hoping she’s at the Blue Genie Art Bizarre later in the year, because this necklace you guys.

Lime Rust Plantain

Woah! Took a bit of a break from my blogging for a little while – not because I haven’t been sewing, but because getting access to a camera and finding some time to take pictures has been surprisingly difficult. But! Now I have a camera of my own, and I am going to get back into this blogging business.

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This is actually the fourth or fifth version of the Deer & Doe Plantain shirt that I’ve made, but it is by far the most outrageous. I mean, that print! It’s a knit fabric I got on clearance from Fabric.com, and the picture on the website makes it look a lotttttt more subdued than it really is in real life. But I thought a crazy fabric like this might work well with a simple pattern like the Plantain, so here we are now. The fabric is… growing on me, I think. It’s pretty soft at least! I’m sure I’ll come around to the lime eventually, but for now when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I continue to be surprised about how over saturated I feel.

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As for that pattern itself, I LOVE it. It’s so simple to make, really a great project for anybody who’s nervous to start working with knits. I think I spent maybe an hour on the whole thing, start to finish! I sewed most of this up on my serger, but you really don’t need one for this project. I cut out a size small and it fits right out of the box. The scoop neck hits me at just the right height and the flair in the hips keeps it from being too snug and riding up like those $8 Target shirts tend to. And this pattern has really helped me overcome my knit-phobia.

I’ve sewn so much stuff in the last few months and I’ve got a ton more to blog about, but that’ll be all for now. Has anybody else found as much success with the Plantain as I have?

Flannel Negroni

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Kyle’s birthday was at the beginning of December, and even though it might not get very cold in Texas, no boy’s wardrobe is complete in Austin without the obligatory flannel shirt!

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I used the much-loved Negroni pattern by Colette (man I seem to be making a lot of stuff from Colette, I promise I make things from other pattern-makers too). I was amazed that this fit pretty much perfectly without any alterations! I used a warm flannel from Joann’s, although I got a little frustrated with how easy it frayed and how hard it was to unpick stitches. But oh well! I’m pretty pleased with how it came out, and I think Kyle is too.

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I found these great vintage pearl buttons at the Stitch Lab here in Autsin, and I think they give a nice subtle bit of flair to the shirt as a whole. Obviously I didn’t even attempt any plaid-matching here, but it doesn’t really bother me. Maybe next time!

flannel_negroni_4The cuffs on this pattern gave me a little bit of trouble, but I don’t think you can super tell and Kyle normally rolls up his leaves anyway.

So after this I was planning to make my dog Thomas a sweater, since it actually does get cold here sometimes and he’s got very short fur. And then Kyle had the genius idea to do this!!

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THAT’S RIGHT, THEY MATCH. I would again like to emphasize that this was all Kyle’s idea, I just made it happen.

flannel_negroni_9Yeah this might be my favorite picture of all time now.

flannel_negroni_10For Thomas’s sweater I just traced a dog costume he already has onto some brown paper bags, and then with some minor alterations whipped this up in about an hour. Overall, huge success!

flannel_negroni_11Now both my dog and my boyfriend are ready for the winter, or at least for what passes as winter here. Now I really just gotta find more excuses to get pictures of them together, because I will never not be excited about them matching! I know it’s kind of cheesey but I have ~*~no regrets~*~!

Carolynn in Violet

One of the first things I made when I got back into sewing last year was the Violet shirt from Colette Patterns. It didn’t fit me quite right, so I ended up giving it to a friend of mine who I thought would like it. And luckily, she does!

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Yesterday Carolynn was a good sport and let me photograph her while we walked around and got coffee, and really it was super fun to just hang out and chat and take cute pictures of my cute friend! She’s got a fantastic personal style, and Hyde Park is always lovely to take pictures in.

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If you’re ever in Austin and would like to spend a Saturday afternoon strolling around town, I’d recommend you start at Quack’s Bakery for coffee and pastries and then wander over to the Elizabet Ney museum to see some amazing sculptures and also some really cool pictures of Austin as a tiny frontier town.

carolynn_violet_8I really like this photo, I mean, check out those sunspots!? Also major props to my boyfriend Kyle for giving me a camera lesson the other day – turns out knowing how to use the ISO and the shutter speed and all that good stuff really helps! I was so pleased with all the pictures I took of CC while we were hanging out, narrowing them down to just a few for this post was actually really hard!

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This is also one of the major benefits of living in Texas – this is the stuff we get to wear in the middle of January! It was a nice cool 70 degrees or so yesterday, and basically perfect weather for wandering around and taking pictures.

carolynn_violet_2I really really like the style of the Violet, I need to give it a go again but in a better size for me. I mean, who doesn’t like a good peter pan collar?? Nobody, that’s who.

PS. Here is a close up of Carolynn’s nails, girl always has the most glamorous hands~*~

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