Spring Wardrobe/// My Sewing Plans

Saturday I shared my plans on building a capsule wardrobe. I started with what I had, looked at what I want to make, and then went shopping for pieces to fill in the gaps.

Well today I want to share what those sewing plans are! I will link to patterns and fabrics as they are available. If the exact fabric isn’t in stock, I will link to similar items! Let’s dive on in, shall we?

I have been wanting to make M7981 for a long time. I love a midi skirt and I’ve wanted a button front one that was swishy and flowy. This capsule calls for a daytime to dressy skirt and I thought this in this gorgeous lightweight washed linen in the color powder blue from Blackbird Fabrics would be perfect.

I made the Pietra Pants by Closet Core patterns last year and they are one of my most worn makes! I wanted to try them in a more neutral color and love this lyocell twill in the color rust from Melanated Fabrics. I’m planning on version B with the more tapered leg for spring!

Overalls are a piece recommended in the capsule and they also happened to be the pattern for the April Needle sharp kit. I will be making the Harlene Overalls by Merchant and Mills in this speckled linen.

These two lovely cotton jersey knits in the colors sienna and blush pink will be a t-shirt and a tank and I plan on this pattern being my review for the month- so stay tuned!

I am in need of a classic white shirt and I also wanted to start my make nine plans of working on shirt making for spring. I like this M8041 because it has a half placket, something I think I’ll wear more than a full button down. I’m using this classic pinpoint oxford cotton shirting in white. Stylemaker offers it in quite a few colors if you’re in need of good shirting options!

Oh… I’m excited for this one! When I saw the Rozan blouse in the latest issue of Fibre Mood I knew I wanted to make it up soon. This fabric is a gorgeous hemp and organic cotton chambray from Blackbird. Sadly this color is no longer available, but the other colors are equally springy and beautiful.

I have been on the hunt for a yellow gingham and was so happy to see this Sorbet Gingham Linen as part of the newest collection at D&H Fabrics. I think it will be so pretty as the vintage wrap top Simplicity 7351 that I picked up recently. I can see myself wearing this all spring and summer!

I love to wear dresses when the weather gets warmer so I have three planned. First is this easy, comfy t-shirt style dress M8085. I bought this Galleria Good Nature Double Brushed Knit Sketched Floral recently at Joann and I think it will be a nice one to throw on and go.

I bought this olive green window pane viscose at Melanated Fabrics over the holidays so I’m sorry to say it’s no longer available. It’s going to be this M8031 shirt dress. I love the classic look of this and again it’s part of working on shirt making techniques.

Finally, I have one last shirt dress, M8104. I love the bust of this as well as the sleeve options. It feels so light and flowy and in this bright Retro Vibes Tropical Leaves Textured Voile I think it will carry over easily into summer! Maybe I will have a date night or somewhere fun to actually wear it soon?

Whew! Those are my plans! I know it’s a lot, but most of these I will easily be able to wear into the summer and so many of these patterns have been on my wishlist for awhile. I’ve already made a few of them and will start sharing later this week! Can’t wait to see what everyone is making this spring.

Does Fashion Even Matter Right Now?

I’ve been reflecting on my closet and what I wear and have started sharing the process of building my spring wardrobe here, but I have to admit that I often wonder, does talking about fashion and clothes even make sense right now? So much is going on in the world, so many people are in pain and need. Why spend a breath or a blog post talking about what we’re wearing?

Well I think a few reasons. I hope it’s obvious I do not think fashion is as important as racial justice. Or climate change. Or the pandemic. But I think they are all interlinked and by shrinking from the ownership of our day to day decisions, we are throwing up our hands like nothing we do can make much difference anyway.

That’s just not true. Unless you are reading in the nude (which, hey! props to you!) you made a decision about what you put on your body today. And whatever that is, it means people sold it to you. People made it. People sourced the fabric. There is a long line and a whole lot of people from around the world that are affected by the clothes you purchase and put on your body. Being more aware of this and making decisions that are informed and intentional can only lead to good things for everyone in that long production line.

We need to quit saying that fashion is frivolous. It’s a multi billion dollar industry! There’s nothing frivolous about it! Also, choosing to make purchases and wear clothes that you feel good about and make you feel good is a great thing.

No, looking stylish won’t change the world, but feeling like your best self shouldn’t be looked down upon. The power that can come from loving how you look is real and anyone that says otherwise isn’t being honest. You don’t have to follow fashion magazines or invest time in learning the newest trends. You can simply focus on what you love and what fits best and that be all the energy you put into it. There isn’t fashionista or nothing!

We also need to recognize that no matter how conscious we are in our buying choices, no matter how much work we put into owning our style, it’s absolutely ok and necessary for things to change.

This past year is a great example! I’m sure we are all getting dressed very differently and how we wear our clothes has changed. Our bodies change, how we spend our time changes, our lives change. We need our wardrobes to change and know how to make that happen in order to continue to love what we wear.

When we stop and assess our clothes- what we wear, where we shop, and how we shop- we can make intentional choices that move outside the realm of fashion. I hope you can build a closet where you walk in and you love everything in it and you wear it all with pride!

And please remember “Not to strut your stuff outrageously is a crime!” 😉

Spring Wardrobe///Building a Capsule

It was a little over a year ago that I started really taking the time to think about the clothes I wear, how I get them, and what that means for the world around me as well as my personal style. I shared all my thoughts while I read the book A Conscious Closet and you can see all those posts here!

I’ve changed so much in how I get dressed and how I plan what I want to sew this year. I get dressed pretty much every day. I have focused on my skin care and how I treat my hair. I have found that when I take the small amount of time every morning and at night before I go to bed to feel good on the outside, it really isn’t something I think about throughout my day. I feel good and happy in my skin and I hope that that shines through in other areas of my life.

When I was getting ready to plan what I wanted to wear for spring, I did quite a bit of reflecting. You know I love my modules, but I wasn’t feeling that right now. Instead I looked through my patterns and pulled a bunch that I just really wanted to sew. I tried to get tops, bottoms, and dresses so they could work together and then went looking for fabric. I ended up with a giant stack that I will be sharing with you Tuesday!

Then I watched a video by Whitney from TomKat Stitchery where she talked about the EveryDay Style School. I started listening to Jennifer’s podcast and was hooked pretty quickly. Her style philosophy really speaks to me and I went to research her capsule wardrobes.

Every season Jennifer puts out a capsule wardrobe. The spring one is still available to purchase, but I believe you can get a free mini capsule if you sign up for her newsletter if you’re wanting to see what this is all about.

Basically the Everyday Style Team builds a 39 piece capsule wardrobe and then gives you links to pieces to buy, tons of ways to style them up and wear them, as well as a lot of advice on how to love your closet and get dressed quickly every day. There is also a very active Facebook page if you happen to be on Facebook.

I was really intrigued. I’ve looked at capsules in the past but always felt they were boring or take the fun out of getting dressed. This one seemed to be so well thought out that I decided to give it a try!

I printed out her shopping list and first pulled pieces I already had in my closet. Then I looked at my sewing plans and was able to plug all of those pieces into the capsule. Already knowing the colors I wanted (I changed up the capsule recommendations a bit!) and styles I liked meant that everything already worked well together. It was just a matter of having a little guidance to fill out the pieces that were missing.

From there I went shopping! I ordered a few things from Thred Up and some new shoes from Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. I have 3 pieces coming from Boden and then my capsule should be done. My plan is to share all my makes here with you in the coming week and then in May wear everything and show you how it all goes together!

I’ve had a lot of fun thinking about this and it’s been a fantastic tool for me. I don’t need a closet full of ‘stuff.’ I need a closet where I go in and know that anything I pull, I truly love to wear. To me, a closet full of clothes you love and wear is a conscious closet. I hope that in making things with intention and shopping with intention, I can slowly build a wardrobe that represents who I am right now and what I want to say to the world when I get dressed.

I hope you’ll follow me along as I build and then share this capsule! Please let me know if you have any questions or specific details you want. I will be happy to share in the weeks to come.

Week in the Sewing Life No. 10

I haven’t done one of these in a few weeks, but here’s what’s been going on over here!

I’ve been getting my spring wardrobe ready. I’m excited to share the capsule that I’m building and my resources for it soon and more than anything I’m excited to dress for spring. It’s snowy and cold this weekend but I know those sunny warm days are just around the corner… Right!??!?!

Next week I’ll share thoughts and plans and then I hope there are a lot of finished garments up on the blog for the weeks to come. I’m also hoping to build my handmade wardrobe page that I have linked up there at the top of my blog. I would love for you to be able to see all my makes and easily click through to find links and descriptions. I’m thinking starting with this new season may be easiest!

I’ll be hunkering down this weekend and getting some sewing in. I’ve been sharing a lot of makes as I go on Instagram if you want to follow along there!

Looking through articles I bookmarked, here is a free tutorial for a twisted headband. I might see if Harper and I could whip some of these up this weekend.

I am loving all the photos coming out of the ‘House of Gucci’ set! This is a cool article about the costume design.

The Ancient Fabric No One Knows How to Make’ That’s all you need to know, go dive into it!

This article is about the Swedish crochet artist responsible for all the British rockers wearing crochet back in the day is interesting.

This is old, but our Interior Secretary Deb Haaland being sworn in wearing traditional Native American clothing is pretty cool. I’ve been thinking a lot about why clothing is important, and a moment like this proves that clothes absolutely have power to speak for us.

And finally, a nice tribute to the ballerina Misty Copeland. Representation matters and hearing other dancers reflect on her legacy is pretty cool.

Winter Makes Wrap Up!

I wanted to put together a wrap up of all the things I made this winter (Jan- now) and listen… the number is high. 24 things! in 3 and a half months!

There is no way this is sustainable, nor do I need this many new things in my life. I’m including some house projects and quite a few kid related projects in that number, but still. It’s high. But, it’s still a pandemic, it’s been pretty snowy and cold here, and I’ve gotten into a good work flow that helps me get through projects fairly quickly.

When I look at all these makes there was really only one true fail, the bomber jacket!, and everything else has been getting worn on the regular. That makes me feel good and like I’m on the right track in building a wardrobe I love.

I also tackled three coats/jackets as part of my make 9. I have some thoughts on coat making and I hope to make some more this fall and winter.

  1. You just have to jump in. It’s scary! There are a lot of steps and pieces and notions you don’t normally use! But like any other project, you just have to take it one step at a time. All my coats were fairly simple, and I think this was a great way to get started. Now I’m ready to keep going and keep honing my technique!
  2. You have to invest time and money. It’s going to take more time to sew a coat and you need to allot for that. It’s also going to cost money. Materials and notions for coats usually cost a little more plus you usually just have to buy more of it (lining, size and amount of fabric for a coat, specialty notions, etc). Planning for this investment is helpful and knowing that a ready to wear coat costs more than other garments is a good way to keep it in perspective.
  3. It’s worth it! There are some items I’m beginning to think aren’t worth sewing, for me personally. I was curious to see what I thought of my handmade coats. And a part from that bomber jacket… totally worth it. I love that I could make a coat in the exact color and style I wanted! And the second I put on a blazer and it wasn’t uncomfortable and tight across the shoulders, I knew it was worth the time I put in. With more practice I would think that I could sew a beautiful coat with finishings and details that would cost me a lot more money in the store. Being able to customize and get the exact coat you want is worth it to me!

I’m so ready to move onto spring (as I sit here and watch it snowing outside…) but I wanted to wrap up my winter makes before starting to shift my closet over. You can find a lot of my winter makes here!

Mini Me/// Burda 9304

Today I have a quick, cute little dress to share with you. I like putting these here, even if there’s not a ton to say about them!, in case you find yourself looking for kids’ clothes to make. I hope you enjoy!

This is a classic little girls sundress, Burda Kids 9304, and it comes in US sizes 6-11. I chose version A with a fully lined bodice, gathered skirt, patch pockets, and ties for straps. I’ve had this pink gingham in my stash for years and was happy to use it up for this breezy summer dress for my daughter. I bought some yellow buttons (her favorite color!) to add a fun detail and sewed up the size 11 pretty quickly.

It’s not warm enough to wear this out yet (hence the no pictures!) but soon I hope to get a picture with her and her brothers. I made them little bow ties out of the scraps!

I did have an issue with the button hole foot on my machine so I ended up just closing the skirt together and sewing the buttons on top for decoration. It works out fine, I’m not sure what was going on but I’ve made buttons on another project and it worked again.

Happy to have this fabric out of my stash and my daughter is very happy with her pretty new dress!

Whit’s Reviews/// Hey June Handmade

Every month I pick an independent pattern company, buy and sew up one of their patterns, ask them a set of questions you all helped me come up with, and then I tell you about it here! Thanks to your generous tips in my Ko-fi account last month, I was able to purchase the pattern, fabric, and fabric for next month. I really appreciate that! If you like these reviews but can’t contribute, liking/sharing these posts is always helpful as is just going and checking out the company I review. I’m so thankful for all your support!

I’m here today with this month’s Whit Reviews and we are looking at the company Hey June Handmade. To look through all of the pattern companies I’ve reviewed, click here!

Let’s start with the answers to our questions and then I will show you what I made. I reached out to Adrianna and she quickly responded. I appreciate the care and attention she gave our questions and I hope you enjoy her answers!

What is your design background? When and why did you start making your own patterns?

 I’ve always been more interested in the technical aspects of sewing, so from day one I started making my own patterns rather than using pre-existing ones.  I’ve moved from paper, to using Adobe illustrator, and finally to a CAD program for my drafting and grading.  I was self taught using textbooks for several years before I was able to take flat pattern drafting classes.  When I first started nearly a decade ago, PDF patterns were only just emerging and there were none for simple, every day knit basics, so that’s where I began.   

Who do you design for? Who is your Target Audience?

Anyone who loves to sew and wear comfortable, everyday basics! 

What level of sewer do you design for?

The majority of Hey June patterns are designed to be beginner or advanced-beginner friendly.  They are also designed to be very “hackable”, so you can use one pattern to create several looks.  It’s my goal to cater to those who just want to use a pattern without having to think about it, as well as those who want to save some money and get creative by using one pattern to create almost any garment they can imagine.  The HJ website is full of tutorials and free add-on patterns for this very purpose.

What is your price point and why?

Patterns are $10 – $12.  They are purposefully kept at a low price so they can be accessible to anyone without a sale. We do offer a bundle discount as well as two site-wide sales per year.

What is your size range? Why did you pick this range? What is the size, cupsize, and height that you design your block on?

In the past, it’s been 2 – 22, then for a short time it was 0 – 24, and currently it is womens 0 – 30, though it is always evolving.  Sizes 0 – 20 are a B sewing cup, and 14 – 30 are a D sewing cup (this is not related to bra cup size).  I don’t like to talk about over all height, because it is very rarely proportionate to adjustments needed in leg or torso length and I think it can set people up for failure.  Instead, I offer total lengths in my patterns for inseam and back length so everyone can make a good choice for their individual bodies.  I like to share the anecdotal data about my own body – I am 5’7″, which is two inches taller than the standard height for drafting, but I have to shorten all my tops by 2″ because my torso is so short.  If I was a newer sewist and just chose to add an inch or two based on my height, it would yield poor results.

Do you support Black Lives Matter? What are some ways that you are anti racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis?

Always.  Everyone is always welcome and I hope that my communities online have supported that inclusive mentality to all our members.  I am very proud to say that up to this point I haven’t had to remove any member due to hateful language and I hope that the HJ community will continue to reflect our shared goals toward inclusivity and anti-racism. 

Is there anything else you would like people just discovering your company to know?

The HJ website is chock full of helpful information if you’re just getting started.  Make sure to read the product listing, the dedicated blog post for each pattern (linked in the product listing) the FAQ, and the comprehensive overview of PDF patterns linked on the home page for all the information you may need.  Then you can venture into the tutorials and sewalongs for even more helpful information and inspiration!  We also have a very active facebook group if you have questions, and we also just love to see your finished projects!

Hey June Handmade has been on my radar for awhile, I had just never sewn any of their patterns. I decided to purchase the Evans blazer since I’m focusing on coats/jackets right now and I thought a knit blazer would be a good place to start.

I’m so happy this was my first blazer! The drafting on this is pretty great and the instructions and support offered through the blog is exceptional. I was nervous about those welt pockets after my disaster of a bomber jacket a few weeks ago, and although they are not perfect, they are pretty dang good! And more importantly (I think!) I actually learned something and understood what I was doing.

I made a straight size 8 and the fit in the shoulders is pretty spot on. I need to lengthen the sleeves next time, but because of the fabric I used I am just leaving them so they are long enough. I used this lovely ponte knit in the color new brick from Melanated Fabrics and it was really great to work with.

I had trouble with my knit interfacing but have recently seen some Instagram posts on crap interfacing and I think I need to upgrade mine. I think this may have contributed to a few issues in the collar and pockets. Sometimes it bubbled and sometimes it just peeled up and moved while I was working with it.

The construction of the Evans blazer is pretty straight forward. There are darts and fish eye darts for shaping and the collar in built into the front of the jacket. There are welt pockets and two piece sleeves, all typical elements you would find in a woven jacket. That means this looks polished and professional but with the comfort of the knit.

I never wear blazers because they are always too tight in the shoulders, but the stretch here keeps this comfy while still playing with that structured look. I really love how this turned out and will be showing some different ways I plan to wear it later this week! I enjoyed this whole process so much, I hope to be making more Hey June patterns in the future and highly recommend them to all of you!

Sew the Stash///April

It’s the beginning of the month so you know what that means, time to pick out some fabric from the stash to use up! Last month I made this outfit for my daughter as well as some tie dye yoga pants. I didn’t get around to the sweatshirt because, quite frankly, I’m over sewing sweats and ready for all the spring things! I will save that lovely knit for fall and winter when I’m back in a cozy, hibernating mood.

Which brings me to this month’s stash! This month I want to make a sweet dress for my daughter out of this cotton gingham I’ve had for years. I bought it thinking I would make a friend’s kids matching outfits. I have no idea what I was thinking as I was working and raising young twins at the time and only just learning how to sew! They obviously didn’t get made, but now I can use this happy fabric for my own children. I’m thinking I will try and get matching bow ties for the boys out of it too. Some day we will go to church again and my kids are going to look stylin’ when that day comes!

This blue cotton was given to me by my mom. I think it was originally for a home decor project? I’m going to be starting in on some shirt making and am going to use this for wearable muslins. It’s a great way to practice my techniques and the fabric will work for my boys! I’m going to try and make Chris a shirt as well. I know it will take some fitting and tweaking so using a fabric I’m not precious about will be perfect. I don’t foresee myself making my husband a lot of clothes, but it’s a great way to practice and know how to fit him!

Finally I have this interesting fabric that I picked up from Shop WellFibre on instagram. I’m not exactly sure of the make up of this, it’s like a mix between a knit and a tweed? I loved the colors of it though and have been bouncing around ideas on what I could make with it. I’m thinking I may have enough for an oversized blazer but also possibly a pair of pants. Stay tuned as I have this playing a part in my Spring wardrobe, I’m just not exactly sure how yet!

Tag me or leave a comment if you play along this month and sew up something from your stash! I’d love to see it!

Mini Me/// Burda 9356

Today I have a fun little project to share with you! I saved my leftover fabric pieces from this project and whipped up something for my daughter. I had a lot of fun with this and loved using every last bit of fabric that I had. Just so you know, I’ll be showing pictures of the garment and not her in because we’ve been having a lot of talks lately about putting pictures on the internet and she didn’t want to be photographed. I know that’s tricky when this is a sewing blog and fit is a big part of that, but you will have to trust me that she looks adorable in it!

I sewed up Burda Kids 9356 out of this corduroy in the size 11. This is a classic pattern with an option to also just be a skirt and it has US sizes 6- 14 in the envelope.

I knew it would probably be something she wore more in the fall than now so I sized up. She is also fairly tall so I like that this is plenty long enough and she feels comfortable wearing it as an every day piece.

This pattern came together very quickly. The instructions are clear and the drafting and finishings are great. The two bib pieces are fully lined and the waistband of the skirt allows for a really clean finish on the inside. I also appreciated the construction of the pockets. There is one piece that fits under the front of the skirt and it makes the pockets lie flat and keep any bulk or weird bumps happening.

The shirt I just traced off from a t-shirt she had in her closet. I didn’t have enough fabric to make it long sleeve, so it’s about three quarter with a thick cuff. This fabric is really comfortable and she (and I!) love the colors so I know she will wear it a lot.

A fun project and she loves it! Used up some scraps and also now we have matching outfits- winning all around.

1 Piece, 3 Ways

Today we’re playing the styling challenge, 1 piece, 3 ways! This is where we take one piece of clothing and find 3 different ways to style it up. Sometimes a fresh take on clothes you already own can be just as fun as getting something new. Let’s begin, shall we?

The Piece: I’ve been playing along with the Sew Happy Color challenge on Instagram and this week is the color blue, so I went looking for blue and came up with this Nikko Top by True Bias .

I made this early last year in a couple of different colors and one of the dress versions. I reach for these all the time. This bamboo rib knit is so soft and light, it makes for a great layering piece. I do find that I’ve mostly been wearing it with jeans, so I decided to change it up and bit and see what I could come up with!

Outfit #1: I love the idea of layering a turtleneck under a spring dress, but have to admit it’s not something I do very often. I went looking for dresses and picked my Calvin Wrap Dress by True Bias because I’ve been wanting to try layering a t-shirt under it and had the idea in my head.

I feel like this is a fun nod to the 90s trend going around and I paired it with my most combat style boots. I like the blue with the dark gray and think this is a fun way to extend the life of a warmer weather dress.

Outfit #2: I love to wear this top with my high waisted jeans, such a 70s vibe, so I decided to keep that silhouette but play around with some color. I paired it with my new Persephone Pants and I love this color combination. I would not normally think of putting these two colors together, but after this month’s color challenge and seeing all the ways people are mixing and matching colors, I decided to go for it. I love this one so much.

Outfit #3: For my final look I went back to my jeans and t-shirt. This time these jeans are straight cut Gap classic style blue jeans with my white sneakers. To add a little something extra, I threw on this blazer I thrifted that has a bit of an 80s shoulder. Feel like I could run for vice president in this outfit! Sam’s my campaign manager!

Play along with something you own in your closet that doesn’t get enough love these days! Tag me or leave a comment and let me know how it goes!