PATTERNMAKING SEWING

EMERSON AND OGDEN FABRIC RECOMMENDATIONS

August 24, 2016

Today we are going to talk about fabric options for both the Ogden and Emerson patterns. I always love this part of the process because of all of the possibilities.

First let’s talk about the Emerson crop pants and shorts. Depending on what fabric you choose, the pattern could be very casual for everyday wear, or super dressy to wear with heels on a date night. The pattern is drafted for light to medium weight wovens such as linen, cotton, chambray, light weight denim and rayon challis. You could obviously use other types of fabric as well, I just recommend staying away from any heavy weight fabrics. Here are some fabrics that I think would work great.

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Now for the Ogden cami. For this blouse you really want a fabric that is light and airy. Stay away from quilting cotton as it will be too stiff. The pattern recommends that you use crepe, rayon challis, voile and lightweight linen. My favorite fabric to make this up in is definitely silk crepe. The nice thing is that since this pattern takes such a small amount of fabric, you can use something a little more special like silk without breaking the bank.

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I hope that helps. Let me now if you have any questions about fabric. I will be doing a quick sewalong for both patterns next week if you would like to follow along.

SEWING

EMERSON AND OGDEN READY-TO-WEAR INSPIRATION

August 22, 2016

I always love these posts. Partly because it gives me lots of ideas on styling my new patterns, but also because it’s super fun to see similar versions of these styles going for hundreds of dollars and knowing that I can make something just as beautiful and perfectly fit to my body.

Crop pants, pleated shorts, and camis are all trendy throw backs to the 90s that you can see everywhere in the stores right now. It’s pretty weird that the throwbacks that are trendy now are the ones that I wore in my teen years. But whatever. I think that sewing is all about experimenting and having fun with what you wear.

First up is the Emerson crop pant. There are two main things that I have noticed about the crop pants in stores. They are high waisted to still give you a long visual leg and they are wide at the bottom (so they are not to be confused with their thinner legged cousin the capri pant). They can be extra full (more like culottes), pleated or flat front, elastic waist or zip fly, but they are always high waisted and wide leg. One other thing that I can say about the crop pant is that they are crazy comfortable. I really never want to take them off! Here are some that I have seen for sale to give you some inspiration.

 

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View B of the Emerson pattern is a pleated short. Just like View A it has a flat front, elastic back and full leg opening. They are super comfy, easy to wear, and a quick sew. Here are a few similar styles that I have seen to give you some ideas of what you could make for yourself.

 

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I am pretty obsessed with the Ogden cami pattern. Not only is it a super quick sew, but it feels sexy and as easy to pair with a pair of jeans as it is with a skirt. I love the Ogden cami paired with the Emerson because the minimalist silhouette of the cami is a perfect balance to the wider and more loose feel of the Emerson crop pant or shots. V neck cami’s are everywhere right now so here are few to give you some inspiration.

 

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That’s it for now. Monday I will post some fabric recommendations and a schedule for the sewalongs of both the Emerson and Ogden Patterns (just waiting on some fabric to arrive before I confirm dates). I also have at least one hack tutorial coming soon as well.

 

PATTERNMAKING SEWING

INTRODUCING THE EMERSON AND OGDEN PATTERNS

July 26, 2016

I am doing something a little different this time around and releasing two patterns at the same time as a sort of outfit. There is the Emerson Crop Pant / Shorts pattern and the Ogden Cami pattern. I love both of them so much and am already wearing them all of the time. I hope you love them too.

First up the Emerson is a pull on pair of pants or shorts with a flattering front waistband and elasticized back waistband for ease and comfort. They both have pleats along the front and pockets. View A is the crop pant which I am pretty obsessed with at the moment. Not only is the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe, but it’s also is super on trend at the moment and fun to wear. Some may argue that it isn’t flattering, but I beg to differ. I look at it like I did the middie skirt became so popular a couple of years ago. I think that wearing a heel or a more fitted shirt really give good balance. If my 5’3″ frame can rock it, so can you.

View B is a short with an approximate 4 inch inseam. I have been wearing these non stop. I love to throw on a tank top or V neck tshirt for everyday wear. The pleats give it lots of room for ease and comfort while still adding some interest. Both View A and View B were sewn up in linen The shorts fabric is from Fancy Tiger Crafts and the pant fabric is from Jo-Anns. But really, any light to medium weight woven fabric works great. I love it in a rayon for a more flowy short or a chambray for everyday shorts.

I am also releasing the Ogden Cami pattern today. This is a simple little blouse that is great on it’s own (especially with the Emersons) or really good to have in your closet for layering under a blazer or open buttonup shirt. It has spaghetti straps, a soft V at both front and back necklines, and a partial facing for a professional finish. It’s a fast make and super comfy. I love wearing mine with some jeans and jewelry for a simple date night outfit that makes me feel modern, but not too done up.

The Ogden Cami is great made up in any lightweight woven fabric. All of my samples are sewn up in silk crepes from Colorado Fabrics. I love sewing with silk crepe and the Ogden is a perfect pattern for silk because it only takes a little yardage. But, if silk isn’t your thing, rayon challis, lightweight linen, or even cotton voile would work really well.

If you would like to buy the Emerson or Ogden patterns you can find them here. Use the code LAUNCHWEEK20 to get 20% off the patterns from now through this Sunday at midnight EST.

DIY SEWING

SHIBORI DYED KIMONO ROBE

July 22, 2016

Allie of Indiesew hosted a little shibori dying get together and I decided to take the opportunity to dye some fabric for a bathrobe that has been on my list forever. I’ve done quite a bit of dying over the years, but always use whatever RIT dye or whatever is found at the local craft store. This was my first time to use actual shibori and it was pretty fun. I loved that I didn’t have to boil it as that is always such a mess. Allie said she just bought this shibori kit from Amazon and it worked great for us.

For fabric I just ordered a bunch of this white linen. I love sewing with linen and wearing it in the summer. It’s breezy and natural and I embrace the wrinkles.  And as far as a bathrobe goes, even better.

I used two techniques when dying the fabric. For the main part of the kimono I knew that I wanted it to be mostly blue so it wouldn’t be see through at all, even when wet. So I used a simple clothespin technique that I found on pinterest. Pretty much I folded it into an accordian and then put clothespins every few inches. Here is a pic on instagram that shows what it looked like prior to dying. I’m pretty obsessed with how it turned out. It kinda reminds me of some African mudcloth that I have. I love that it is geometric and repetitive, but still not perfect.

For the accent pieces I went with a pole wrapping technique like this one although instead of putting it on a pvc pipe I used an old fabric tube from Allie’s basement. I think if I went with a thicker tube (mine was probably only 3 inches in diameter) then there would be less white. I love how this fabric contrasts with the darker and more geometric main fabric. This one resembles waves to me and ended up being ombre because the inner fabric got a lot less dye to it.

For the pattern I used vintage Simplicity 0017 from 1985 that I picked up at the thrift store for 25 cents. It’s perfect. I wanted something that was a true, boxy kimono style like this one. A lot of the robe patterns that I have seen have thinner sleeves resembling more of an oversized mens shirt instead. If you are looking for a similar style, Erin of Sewbon has a free kimono pattern on her site that looks almost identical.

The robe was a breeze to sew up. I think the only change I made was to shorten the sleeves a bit. I’ve already worn it a ton and it will probably end up being one of my most worn sewn items ever. That being said, I want to make another one already. This one ended up a bit heavier than I was planning. The linen is more medium weight than lightweight like I was expecting. Now I want to make one in a bamboo knit for serious comfort and maybe even a silk one to wear in the evenings. I’m a little bit addicted.

I also want to copy Sewbon and Indiesew and dye a set of cotton napkins. Wouldn’t that be such a great holiday gift? Or even a set for yourself for summer bbqs. Hmmm. I think I need to do that soon.

PATTERNMAKING SEWING

SUNDRESSING BOOK TOUR + GIVEAWAY

June 17, 2016

Melissa Mora of Melly Sews just released a book all about sewing up easy sundresses for hotter weather and it’s called Sundressing. The idea for the book is that once you have a well fitting bodice (the book includes basic slopers to work with), you can make subtle changes to create many different dresses from that one simple pattern. You can find more out about her book through her blog here.

There are many tutorials to choose from, for both women and girls, but I immediately knew that I was going to sew up the Sutton Dress (a fun off the shoulder dress) as a trendy outfit for an upcoming beach vacation.

The directions were easy to follow and I was able to cut out my pattern in about 20 minutes. It really is such a forgiving style with all of the ease in the ruffles that I wasn’t worried and didn’t do a muslin, although the fit came out pretty perfect anyway.

I did make a couple of changes. First of all I lengthened the ruffle by a couple of inches. Just a personal preference. I also wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the length. The dress is supposed to be mid calf, but at first I lengthened it to maxi to see what it looked like. It totally overwhelmed me. So I decided to hem it in a nice wide 4″ hem right above the knee. With all of the gathering it just seemed to look a bit better on me to have a bit less fabric.

The fabric is the perfectly lightweight tencil chambray that I bought from Colorado Fabrics recently. Because of the abundance of ruffles and gathering, I was afraid it would end up too sweet looking on me in a print, if that makes sense. I was tempted to make it in black gauze (because I like everything in black) but I think this is a good compromise. The chambray dresses it down a bit so I can wear it with flats and not feel too dressed up for daywear. I have a beach trip coming up and you better believe this is getting worn. If I were going to make any changes to it next time, I might just raise the back of the bodice by an inch or so. As is, the bodice cuts straight across the back at the underarm. It still covers my strapless bra so it’s fine as is, but I think it would be nice to have it a bit higher where the ruffle attaches in the back so it doesn’t pull down at all. Otherwise, the fit and style are spot on for me.

I’ve said it once and I will say it again, this is such a great look for those of us who want to cover up some areas, but still want to be on trend. It’s romantic and sexy and still flatterning on a range of body types. I think everyone needs one of these in their wardrobe this summer, even if it’s just a beach coverup.

I have one copy of the Sundressing book by Melissa Mora to giveaway to one of you. To enter, simply leave a comment below. Commenting will close on Sunday, June 26th and then I will contact the winner. (US entries only, sorry.)

Congrats Melissa on your new book! I’m so excited for you.

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