Return of the Flannels

With the weather finally dropping, it’s time to bring out the flannels! I actually made these at end of last winter season and didn’t get around to blogging about them till now. Both were made with my tried and true collar shirt pattern, Butterick 5526, that I used to make my black and white gingham and my white blouse. When working with plaids, I love to cut the pockets and cuffs on the bias, for a cool contrasting look.   For the pink one, I only cut out one arm before realizing I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the other one. I thought about giving up on the project, but instead I cut the 1 sleeve into two and cut 1 sleeve out of a black fleece, which I cut into 2 and used as the back of both sleeves. Quick fix and I love the way it turned out!   

 The sleeves on the green flannel came out longer than the pink version (Im not sure why…), so I like to wear this one with the sleeves rolled up. 

 On this one, I added a back yoke cut on the bias with a small little pleat in the center.

   So there you have it! Two made by me flannels that I’ll be wearing through the cold days to come! 

 
As always, thanks for reading! PEACE! 

French Terry Bomber Sweater Jacket 

I finished this jacket a couple months ago but I didn’t wear it, let alone blog about it, until I fixed the wonky zipper last week.

This is actually the first zip of sweater I have made! I drafted the sweater from one of my favorite leather bomber jackets. Unfortunately, when I drafted this, I didn’t use pattern paper (I was out!), so this is one of a kind! Next zip up I make, I will be sure to make a physical pattern!  The French terry fabric came from a remnant sale in la and the rib for the cuff and collar was leftover in my stash. Since the f/t was from the end of the roll, you can see a slight knitting line in the back (or maybe you can’t see it!). It’s definitely noticeable to me after working in the garment industry.  Here you can see the top stitching around the armholes and collar: imageAnd that’s my French terry bomber! Another simple casual staple for my wardrobe!

Thanks for reading! PEACE! 🙂 image

Simple Grey Sweater

Just a quick little post on a simple sweater I made for the cooler days to come.IMG_1035

I went to the garment district in LA a couple weeks ago and purchased a lot of new fabrics – this sweater knit included!

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I used a body slopper that I drafted awhile back for the pattern. The neckline is finished with a 1/8″ neckband that I top stitched with a single needle chainstitch. The hem is slightly longer in the back than the front. This was done on accident and I kinda like the way it turned out!

IMG_1077I wore this sweater all day, that’s why it looks all stretched out.IMG_1034

And that’s all she wrote! Thanks for reading!

PEACE 🙂

Leopard and Spray Print Crop Tops

Although summer has officially ended, temperatures here in Southern California have ceased to drop. Thus, it is still necessary to sport my tanks n’ shorts.
IMG_0633The fabric is a rayon challis that was actually about to be thrown out at work, as it was barely 1/4 yard. Accompanying the almost discarded fabric was a long strip of 1″ wide bias binding, which was perfect to make the straps and neck/armhole binding.

IMG_0636Per usual, I made this by using the body of a garment I knew fit me and cut around that on my fabric. (the fabric of the garment was similar to the one I was cutting). The double straps just came about as I was playing with the placement of the bias binding – functional and fashionable!

If you couldn’t tell from the first photo, here’s a closer shot of the double straps.

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I made this tank back in July and it’s definitely one of my favorite crop tops to wear with high waist pants. So much so, that I made an identical one in a polyester “spray print” (that’s what I like to call it because it’s crazy and wild!).

IMG_0658This is basically the same except the binding is wider and single strap. This version also has a little more high-low action going on vs. the other one.

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I’m bummed summer is coming to an end but that only means there is fall/winter sewing on my horizion!

Stay tuned! And as always – PEACE! 🙂

White Summer Dress

This dress started as a muslin (a first fitting) for my black everyday tank dress. I used the same staple knit dress as a base pattern, changing just about everything but the body shape. The jersey that I used didn’t have as much stretch as the original dress, so my version came out slightly tighter and shorter than what I’m accustomed to.
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Since the jersey was so thin and see through (I think it’s a polyester/ cotton blend), I layered the body THREE times!! This fixed the opaqueness of the fabric and gave it a nice heavy weight. Next problem to solve was the length. I left this hanging in my room for weeks before I decided what my next move was going to be – add a flounce at the bottom hem to match the top of the dress!

IMG_5548The top flounce works as a facing and cleanly finished the neck and armhole edges. I made it by tracing the top part of the dress (no longer than the waist), onto paper, marked a couple inch notches at the bottom of the paper, and slashed/ spread, just like I would when adding volume to a circle skirt. The hem of the top & bottom flounce are rolled on the serger.

IMG_5556I have yet to wear this dress, but I see many opportunities within the near future with the weather only getting hotter as we approach August!

On a side note, for those of you who may have ready my ABOUT… ME! section, you know that I LOVE hip-hop. I absorb my musical intake from SoundCloud, and recently, I discovered this AMAZING station – Soulection Radio. They mix old sounds with the sounds of tomorrow. It’s all about the good vibes and that’s what I’m all about. I highly recommend checking it out!

Till next time… PEACE!!

Burgundy Maxi Skirt & Long Sleeve White Bodysuit

If you followed my last post, the white bodysuit may look familiar. The fabric is the same heavy rayon spandex that I used in my tank bodysuit, but for this bodysuit, I double layered the fabric to avoid any opaqueness. Even though it is a heavy knit, I wanted a bodysuit that had a little more structure. Initially, I had intended to make only one body suit, but I cut the neckline wrong on my first cut, so I chose to make the tank bodysuit (which only has one layer).
IMG_5524I finished the neckline with self binding and the sleeve/ leg hole hems are finished with a double needle cover stitch, with two snaps at the crotch.

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I made the skirt out of a lovely rayon challis with a pattern that I previously used to make a maxi dress. The hem is a single needle double fold and the waist band is finished with 1/4″ elastic. It’s a little difficult to tell in the photos, but there is a slit at the front where the two panels overlap, with enough fabric for complete coverage.

IMG_5488It was extremely hot taking these photos with the double layered bodysuit – it’s definitely an item I will have to save to wear for the cooler months!

Till next time… PEACE!!

Polka Dot Skirt & White Tank Bodysuit

Happy belated fourth of July to those of you in the USA! My intentions were to publish this post on the day of our nation’s birth, but other important things were happening, like parties, hot weather and beach time!
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I brought this outfit with me as an option to wear on the fourth as my patriotic expression (white and blue with red lipstick), but it got cut for a dress instead. The skirt is just a simple rayon challis circle skirt with an elastic waist band. The pattern is a self drafted go to pattern that I pull out when I want to make a quick project. Let me just mention, this was my first time working with rayon challis and I have to say, it worked with me beautifully. I finished the hem with a 1/4″ single needle double fold, and the fabric folded with an ease that I hadn’t experienced. Normally while hemming a circle skirt, the fabric doesn’t cooperate and either won’t press in place or ends up getting mushed in areas where there is extra fabric gathering, leaving a sharp point on the right side of the fabric when pressed. This circle skirt had absolutely no issues – it basically sewed itself!

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The bodysuit is a rayon spandex blend that I made by using an existing bodysuit as a pattern. I made my new bodysuit a tank with a scoop front and back neckline, instead of the capped sleeves and sweetheart neckline of my beloved old one. I applied self fabric binding to the neck and armholes. I had to apply the binding twice because I cut the binding too long and it was too stretched out the first time. The leg holes of the suit are finished with a double needle coverstitch and two metal snaps at the crotch. I opted out of modeling the bottom portion but I hope you got the picture of what it looks like because that ain’t blog material!

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Oh and if you haven’t noticed, I emerged from my cave and shot this round of photos outside! There’s nothing like natural sunlight to improve a photo sesh! And if you have been wondering what the little device is in my right hand – that is my new bluetooth remote control for my iphone camera. I used to take a video recording of myself modeling my outfit and later, I would watch the video and screenshot images, until I got an image I liked. This new way is SOO much faster! I just pose, click and repeat and get my shots in about 10-15 takes as opposed to 30 some screenshots I would shuffle through.


Till next time… PEACE!!!

Black Everyday Dress

Aside from my black wrap dress and a circle skirt dress, I didn’t own an everyday black dress before I made this essential. But I didn’t want to make any sheath dress, I needed one that wasn’t too tight and casual for everyday wear.

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For this pattern, I just pulled one of my favorite knit dresses from my closet and used that as a template. Although I do have a sheath dress pattern, I knew that this dress already fit me perfectly and I wouldn’t have to fuss with paper or fix any measurements. The fabric is a heavy rayon spandex that I’ve had in my stash for quite some time now. I used two layers of fabric for this dress to avoid any possible see through-ness and visible undergarment lines. I finished the neck and armholes with 1/2″ self fabric band – one of my new favorite ways of finishing garments. The hem is finished with a double needle cover stitch.

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It’s hard to tell the looseness of this dress due to the dark color, but it is there! Especially in the waistline. I really like the way the fit turned out! It’s comfortable but I don’t feel sloppy.

This is how I wore this dress to work one day:

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I’m so glad 90’s fashion is coming back! Denim jackets and vests are definitely my steez! 🙂

Have a wonderful week and stay tuned for more sewing projects!

Till next time …… PEACE!!

Back At It With Basics

It has been well over a year since my last post, and I can happily say that I am back! Shortly after my last post, I began working full time at a fashion design and manufacturing company. My primary title is Customer Service Representative, working a lot with product development and production. I must say, there are days where I want to rip my hair out and have a nervous breakdown due to the amount of stress and error that occurs on a daily basis, but I truly do love what I do. I’m constantly learning new material and a lot of what I learn, I apply to my sewing projects! Which brings me to why I’m here! To show you my projects! 🙂

Although my time has been extremely occupied, I still always have at least a project, or two (or three!) on my table. What passionate seamstress doesn’t ?

Aside from small altering jobs for my sister, I have been making a lot of basics for myself. Every time I show my sister, who is also my roommate, a newly finished project, her reaction is : “Oh great…. another shirt… just what you need.” (sarcasm implied). But really it is JUST what I need! On a typical day at work, I am running to and fro in the warehouse and the office, so I HAVE to dress comfortable. Usually I’ll wear a t-shirt and jeans with my chucks and a hat, depending on my mood.

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This is a perfect example of what I wore to work one day! I have about 3 different colored v-neck tees that I wear ALL the time, so of course, it only made sense to make another one. I love this purple knit, so I just copied a v-neck tee that I already had by laying it out on top of the fabric and just cut, always making sure to leave enough for seam allowance and voila! I’ve been doing this a lot lately, mostly because I ran out of pattern paper.

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Obligatory back shot. I am really stoked the way this basic tee turned out! This was my first time adding a neckband, and I was so shocked at how easy it was to apply and professional it looked.

Since we’re on the topic of basics, I’ll include a couple more in this post!

This one here is my design, The Perfect Tee.

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Believe it or not, I didn’t own a stripe tee before this one. I would borrow my sisters, but eventually it started looking tattered. I know there’s like billions of striped tees in the stores, but I could never find one I really liked. Solution? Make my own!

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Simple, basic and well fitting. As this next tee is! The pattern is The Perfect Tee, but I made it short sleeve and removed the deep back scoop.
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As a side note, I’m living in a new place, hence the new photo location, so I’m still working out what area of the apartment works best for my photo shoots. Or if I should try outside (probably), and forget about what the neighbors think lol. I was actually riding my bike the other day and saw someone posing, for what I assumed, was his blog, because he was dressed hella dope!

Well that’s it for now! I have a good round of finished projects lined up to show you, just didn’t want to overwhelm ya’ll in one post.

PEACE!

The Exquisite Maxi Dress

Seeing as winter is over here in sunny California, that means one thing: Maxi dress time!

The Exquisite Maxi Dress

You may recognize this dress from a previous post, which it is! I made a few changes, adding a waist defining sash, larger cuffs on the straps and for this dress, I didn’t overlap the front panels as much as the colorful maxi dress, for a deeper neckline plunge.

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The fabric is a fabulous find from Joann’s. It’s mostly polyester, but it has such a soft feel! It’s definitely a summer staple!

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Thanks for reading!

Floral Silhouette Dress

As the rain was coming down here last week, I was working away on a fun floral dress!

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The pattern started as the shift dress from the pattern book, Built by Wendy. I came across this book at the library and immediately checked it out, along with the biography of Balenciaga and a dummies book on fashion illustrations (which is quite educating!). Initially, I was going to make a straight shift dress with the floral broadcloth (from Joann’s), but I saw a couple scrap strips of black broadcloth that were the perfect size for the side panels in the silhouette.

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I measured the shape that I wanted of the silhouette and transferred the measurements to the paper pattern. As with The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook, no seam allowances are included in Built by Wendy, which is easier for changing up the style.

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I didn’t make a muslin for this dress. Instead, I sewed the seams using a long stitch length for easier removal during fittings. I ended up taking more up through the shoulders, so the final length of the dress came out a little shorter than I would have made it, but now its more of a mini style!

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The neckline is finished with a self fabric facing and the armholes with a black bias binding that is inwardly turned. See the hem stitch? Neither do I! That’s a blind hem for ya! After several failed attempts at adding the zipper to the the back, I closed it up and added the zip on the left side seam of the dress.

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I’m a new fan of the side zip!

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Sun’s out, gun’s out! I’m ready for Spring! Thanks for reading!

White Blouse (Butterick 5526) & Leopard Skirt (New Look 6123)

Today’s post is a two for one: A crisp white blouse and a wild leopard skirt!

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The blouse, Butterick 5562, is one of the first patterns I ever purchased. The first time I made it (in view D, not blogged about), I was still figuring out how to follow the instructions on a pattern. Last August, I made this pattern in view C, but didn’t make any changes to the pattern. This is view D, with many tweaks. 1) I removed the poof in the gathered sleeve by folding out 1/2″ from the sleeve cap, all the way down to the wrist.

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2) I brought the shoulder seam line up by 1″. I found that my gingham collar shirt kept riding back on my shoulders every time I wore it. 3) I shortened the waistline by 2″, since this is my typical commercial pattern adjustment. 4) And added 2″ to the bottom to accommodate for the shortening at the waistline.

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5) I drafted the collar pattern, since I lost it, and attached it to the blouse without a collar stand, for a flatter look. 6) I also combined the button placket with the front part of the blouse, to eliminate a seam line.

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The skirt is the bottom half of  New Look 6213, that I used for the black & blue dress, with a few tweaks.

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I cut out a size 8 and used a 1/4″ seam allowance. Instead of following the patterns dart placement, I just did the good ol’ pinch and pin method in the mirror until I got the right fit. And by the look and feel of it, I got the perfect fit! I omitted a waistband, as adding the lining finished the top of the skirt. The lining is my favorite part!

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The vent didn’t come out quite as vent-ish as intended because I used a 17″ long regular zipper, but I like the look of the unintentional slit.

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The blouse is a cotton and the skirt is a very soft suede from Joann’s.

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Thanks for reading!

Quick Weekend Projects

Before delving into a new project, and while plotting what my next move is going to be, I like to rummage around my sewing room for anything that needs a quick fix. My godmother gave me this grey dress, but it needed a few alterations. No big deal for The Seamstress from Venus! 🙂

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I took the shoulder seams up 2 inches and added elastic to the waist. This alteration shortened the hem too, which is what I wanted!

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Now it fits much better!

I also made a quick leopard infinity scarf! (Well, two- one for me and one for my godmother.) I’ve worn the heck out of a leopard scarf that my dad got me for Christmas a couple years ago.

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It only took two yards of fabric (I think it was 56″ wide). I didn’t do any measuring for this! Just tore the fabric in half, folded the half in half, and sewed right sides together. To complete the circle, I sewed as much as I could with the right sides together of each end, flipped it right side out and finished the little open hold by hand. Super simple!

Hope you have a great week and thanks for reading!

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day – The Black & Blue Anti-Valentine Dress

Happy Valentines Day! My intentions weren’t to finish this dress in time for a Valentine’s Day post, but I did, so I added the “Anti-Valentines” because I’m riding solo this year! Black and Blue, because duh, it’s black and blue!

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The pattern is New Look 6123, view C without the arm flange.  I made view B back in August.

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I cut a straight 8, but used a 1/4″ seam allowance in the skirt. By the look and feel of the bodice,  I need to take more in via the darts. I finished the neckline and armholes with black bias binding tape. Next time, I’ll shave off a bit of the neckline and front armhole.

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I love the lightweight feel of the fabric! I found it at a little old fabric store with mostly fabrics for quilting. It’s definitely a poly cotton or rayon.

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I wanted the V-cut to go lower but I ended up taking in an extra inch in the zipper, so it brought up the depth of the V. The zipper is just a regular black zip- all I had on hand! There’s also a vent back there too!

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This is a great pattern for a bold print like this! I definitely have plans to make a few more!

M6744: Purple and Blue Maxi with Gold Brush Strokes

I was really inspired to make a long statement dress after seeing a numerous amount of beautiful bold printed maxi dresses on my Instagram from New York’s Fashion Week.

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You may recognize this print as the same fabric from the lining in my wool winter coat.  It’s a super soft silk charmeuse that shines beautifully in the sun!

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The sun barely came out in time for me to take a few pictures!

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Instead of adding elastic to the shoulders to add ruching like I did for the palm tree dress,  I added 5 pleats to each shoulder.

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I definitely like the pleats better than the elastic because the shoulders stay in place. The dress came out superb for a pattern that’s meant for a fabric with moderate stretch!

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Thanks for reading!