Thursday, April 26, 2018

Me Made May 2018--I'm in!

Hello everyone!

It is almost May, and you know what that means...

Me Made May will be in full effect!

And, for the FIRST year, I AM IN!!!!!  I am elated to be participating in this year's challenge.  Me Made May is created by Zoe at Sew Zo: What do you know? It is currently in its ninth year, and it was designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments to wear their created pieces and love them! That's right! Rock your Me Mades!

There are tons of ways to participate, but for all the official rules of engagement you can go HERE.

I already signed up, and here is my entry statement:

"I, Vanessa @sewfilled, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '18. I endeavour to wear at least one Me Made Item a day!It's my FIRST year participating and I am elated to see just how far I can push my wardrobe with what I created last year, and have made already this year. May 2018'"

I have started pulling out items I have sewn, and creating a space in my wardrobe for all of the things I made.  I am surprised to find that I actually have a lot more than what I originally thought.  So here are my thoughts on how I will accomplish this goal...

  • Wear what I already made
  • Create combinations that include at least ONE Me Made item
  • Sew TNTs to fill in any gaps
In years past, I would gaze longingly at the people who participated.  I wanted to get in on the action, but I never had enough of a wardrobe to carry me through the month.  Even though you can be a part with one created item (no stress or pressure), I wanted to give myself the best chance to stretch myself, and truly embrace all the pieces of clothing I have spent my time and effort on.  So, I am grateful 2018 is the year I am ready to dive in.

As I make my way through the month, I will try to anticipate any gaps, and sew for those with TNTs (remember, no stress or pressure).  Some of my favorites are as follows:

I mean, come on! This pattern has carried me through!  I love View A with the flounce, and View B with the cold shoulder look.  It only took me one night to finish, which is perfect.

Here is another quick sew for a basic top! I would love to make View B with the short sleeves. It is wonderful because no hemming is needed.

The Aurora tank by Seamwork was a definite favorite from last year.  It is easy to mix leftover pieces for a put together look, and it comes together in an hour or so!

And if none of those TNTs cut it, I'll just line up four or five Laura tops by Rosy Pena, lol!  This top is fast, and well worth it for comfort and style.  

I can think of a couple of honorable mentions, like the New Look 6378 Kimono and the Moneta Dress by Colette.  In short, I believe my month of Me Mades is going to be a thrilling ride!

I would love to know if anyone else is joining, and what plans you have to make your month a success!  I WILL be taking daily photos, but probably posting everything once a week on the blog and IG (#MMMay18 for social media).  I look forward to learning, growing, and sharing in this experience with all of you!

Stay sew filled!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Rosy Pena Laura Top Spring Item#2

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all well! I am continuing to plow ahead with my Spring Capsule wardrobe, as well as creating Tops that Pop (with a twist).  So today I am showing you my second item from the capsule, and my first entry for the Tops that Pop challenge.  It is the Laura Top by Rosy Pena Patterns, and it is a good one.  Staple alert!!!!!!

I made this top in a size S, slightly graded to a M at the waist, since it has a relaxed fit.  Since I was using a rayon spandex, and was super stretchy, the S fit the bill.  For this pattern, there are two views--dress and top. Both views include a curved hem that covers your bottom, but the dress length is MUCH longer.  

I knew I wanted a top that fell more into the "tunic" category, so I proceeded with the dress view. However, the finished dress (combined with this floral fabric) looked too much like a nightgown on me!  Oops!  So, you know I had to take up the length some.  I ended up cutting about 6 inches off, which I like MUCH better.  Here you can see that I still get good coverage of my behind.  

When it comes to my wardrobe, this top is perfect for pairing with leggings.  I am always looking for something to throw on over them, and run out the door.  I am sure I will make more for that reason. 

Overall, this is a QUICK top that comes together in a blink of an eye.  The instructions are super easy to follow, and the neckband is sooo beautiful!  Considering that this was my first Rosy Pena pattern, I must say I am impressed, and am definitely open to sewing more from her in the future.  

Before I go, I also wanted to share a bit of my latest fabric shopping excursion with you!  I posted a few pics to Instagram, so some of you have already seen it, but I had such a great time!  I was GIDDY to get back to Fine Fabrics without any of my kids in tow.  Better yet, I was accompanied by my best friend, who only recently (a few months ago) started sewing too.  

We just made it a moms morning full of fabric shopping, laughter, and lunch!

 All of the photos are taken at Fine Fabrics except the upper right corner.  We started our day at Fine because we knew how huge and amazing it was, but we also wanted to check out the second location of Gail K Fabrics, which you can find in close proximity to where we were.

Now, I must say that Fine Fabrics is one hoppin' place on a Saturday morning!! We got there at 9, and there were already lots of people perusing the aisles.  I brought a shopping list so that I could stay on track.  I knew that loads of fabric without a plan would overwhelm me.  In fact, even with a list I was a bit overwhelmed.  There are just so many aisles of happiness and fabric!

My lovely friend Keiva (who made the fabulous shirt she is wearing) had an altogether different plan.  This was her fourth time there and she was READY!!! She pulled so many bolts in such a lightning fast way that my head was spinning, lol!  One of the bolts she pulled seemed to be a "seamstress favorite" because two or three customers added a cut of it with what they were already purchasing.  It is a gorgeous floral fabric with purple flowers shown below:

All of those fabric lovelies went home with my bestie, while here is what I decided on:

The two fabrics with the shades of blue were remnants I purchased for $6.99 for 3 yards!  That might be enough yardage to do a mommy and me theme with my daughter.  The far left is a woven, while the middle blue/green print is a knit (probably poly). The last piece was a jersey knit I just fell in love with.  I have been wanting to include pinks in my Spring collection, but it hasn't been easy to find the colors/prints I really like.  Fortunately, this one really spoke to me!

The Gail K. trip was far less exciting.  The newest location in Norcross is not as impressive as their Midtown location, though the service was great.  I only purchased half a yard of black and white plaid to use as a trim on a garment I will be working on.  The rest of their fabrics, while lovely, are not priced as reasonably as what you find at Fine.  It is worth a trip, just expect to pay a little more and you will be good to go.

Both locations (Fine and Gail K) had older, out-of-print patterns for $1 each!  Fine took the mold because they had classic Burda patterns!!! I rifled through them, but didn't see anything that I could use.  However, now that I know about this area near the cash registers, I will be checking it out each time.

After our long day, the BEST news was this--I was so far under budget that I got to place an order with Fabricmart Fabrics as well.  They actually had quite a few pieces I was looking for, including a pretty pink rayon challis for another kimono. Winning!

Lastly, here is a sneak peek of my next top:

I actually haven't sewn a seam yet!  I just pinned the two pieces to the form and free formed how I thought it would go according to the line drawing.  I plan on working on it tonight, and hope it is another quick one to make. 

Until soon!
Stay sew-filled!

Friday, April 13, 2018

New Look 6378 Kimono Spring Item #1

Hello everyone!

I finally put a dent in my Spring wardrobe capsule!  I present to you the first item of the collection, New Look 6378, a kimono made from a lovely floral rayon challis:

I chose a kimono because it is such a transformative piece.  I mean, you can have on a plain tee and jeans, but as soon as you layer on the kimono your whole outfit just...transforms!

As far as my closet goes, this will be the only kimono in it for now.  I actually owned one a couple of years ago.  It was sheer, also floral, and mostly jade green.  Well, my niece came to visit one summer, and immediately fell in love with it.  When she tried it on, I hate to admit it, but it looked so much better on her!  So, with love and kindness, I gave my kimono to her.  Sadly, I have not invested in another kimono until sewing one now.

For the future, I WILL make another one of these!  I have an upcoming trip to Fine Fabrics where I will scout out another beautiful rayon challis print.

Here are the details for this version:

The rayon challis is from my stash, and I wish I could remember where I bought it from.  It is a gorgeously soft piece with a navy background, and flowers that include shades of blue and white.  NL6837 (View C) was an incredibly easy sew, and I made a size S, graded to a M at the waist.  For my next version I may just sew a straight S.  I also did a 1/4" Forward Shoulder Adjustment and 3/4" lengthening.

I decided to use my serger to finish all of the seams inside, but you could also opt for french seams if you don't have a serger, or wanted another way to finish the insides.  As you can see, the serged seams still look nice:

The edges and neckline are finished with bias binding, and add the perfect weight for the kimono to hold its shape.  I wanted to make my own, but decided to go with a purchased binding instead.  If you make your own, be warned: you will need a least 4 yards, and you will use most of that yardage!!

Overall, I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this kimono!  I get cold easily, and will love having another piece that I can layer on me while I am out and about.  

My next garment will be the Laura top!  I am gearing up for the Tops that Pop Sew-Along (with a Twist), hosted by the fabulous Faye of Faye's Sewing Adventures.  It starts April 15th and runs for two weeks. Since the Laura top is one of the easier items on my Spring wardrobe, I thought it would be a good place to start.  My goal is to finish two or three tops for the sew-along, even though there are no quotas you have to meet to be a part.  If you are interested in signing up, I would encourage you to do so!  There are some great sponsors this year AND who doesn't need some nice spring tops?

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Erica Wrap Dress and my first sewn LBD!

Hello everyone!

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Easter holiday yesterday!  By far, I had one of the most peaceful weekends with my family.  First we went to church on Friday evening to celebrate.  Then I had a date night out with my hubby on Saturday, and BBQ'd at home with the family on Sunday.  It was lovely!

Early on Sunday morning I decided to take pictures of my finished Erica wrap dress.  It has been completed for a few days now, but I must admit that I sometimes lag when it comes to getting sewn items photographed and up on my blog.

Once the pics were finished, I realized I didn't want to take this dress off!  So, I didn't!  It wasn't practical, but I wore it all day while prepping our Easter meal, and spending time with my kids at home.  And, it was surprisingly comfortable!!!

This is the Erica Wrap Dress by Seamworks, and I love it!! You see, this dress fills a BIG hole in my closet!! Actually, it fills two holes!  I didn't own a wrap dress (gasp), and I didn't have a Little Black Dress (double gasp) either.  That was the very thing on my mind as I began this project.  How could this have happened?  But as I searched through my wardrobe items, I realized I had neglected this staple for a while. 

Well, I can now see why wrap dresses are so beloved!  For this one I sewed a size S for the bodice and a S graded to a M for the skirt.  I did a 3/8" Forward Shoulder Adjustment, though I think I can get by with a 1/4 instead.  I also lopped off about 8 inches from the original pattern design below:

Though the length looks a bit similar, trust me it is not.  The original pattern is described as hitting you mid calf.  My final version hits right at the knee for me.  

I used a rayon jersey knit and it had such a beautiful drape to it that I thought it would lend perfect to this design.  Also, the medium weight of the knit gave me no issues while sewing it.  The instructions were very easy to understand.  My only errors with the facings were due to myself, lol!  I had to redo them twice because I finally figured out that my seams were not lining up with the bodice pieces because I had not adjusted the facings for the Forward Shoulder Adjustment.  Ah-ha!

The only other change I made was how I finished the front left and right skirt edges.  I didn't want to turn and stitch them so I decided to do a narrow hem finish.  It worked well, and didn't add a lot of weight or bulk to the seam.  In hindsight I probably could have serged the edges, then turned and stitched them.  I am happy my method worked out. I was just going for a nice clean finish in case you get a view of that area while the dress is being worn (and you do at times).

I do have a sewing confession for this dress: halfway through constructing it I ran out of thread! Did I head to Hobby Lobby? No, not at all!  Instead I finished the dress with a dark navy.  So, if you get close up to the seams, you can see the pop of navy, and it makes me smile!  I did get a chance to go to Hobby Lobby late last week, and I DID stock up on black thread.

Speaking of black, I never knew how hard it was to get details to show when you photograph it.  I mean, I have read of people having issues with that, but I guess I haven't sewn a lot of solid black for the blog EVER, lol!  I wanted to include some more photos of the inside, but feared it would all look like one big blanket.  You don't want to see that!

Instead, I will say that this dress is awesome!  The fit is wonderful, and the only change I would make for the next time is to add a fastener at the neckline so there is the option of wearing it without the tank underneath.  

Before I go, I have one more exciting thing to share! If you keep up with Instagram, you may have seen that the #sewtogetherforsummer item is......a WRAP DRESS!  Last year I worked so hard to try and finish up my shirt dress, and missed the deadline entirely.  Somehow, this year God has smiled on me and allowed me to finish my wrap dress right when I can enter it! In fact, my entry will be EARLY, lol!  I am giddy, and can't wait to see what others will sew up!  You can find more info about this sewing challenge HERE.

Since this dress is the only item I finished for March, I don't think a re-cap will be needed.  But, spring sewing is ON!  I will be cutting out spring patterns this week, and take off from there.  Here is a refresher of what I have chosen:

Let's get it!

Stay sew-filled!