Wardrobe Planning: Too Many Distractions

With the changing of the seasons I start planning my spring and summer hand made wardrobe. I’m sure you’ve heard that statement sleeves are all the rage this season. I’m not falling for ginormous bell shaped sleeves.

spring closet Wardrobe Planning: Too Many Distractions

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Not that it doesn’t look smashing, but I’m a practical person and those wackadoodle sleeves just don’t have room in my closet. That being said, somehow a 1970′s caftan does??

vogue 8551 192x300 Wardrobe Planning: Too Many DistractionsAnd, that is how I plan my sewing wardrobe for spring. It’s all about what I feel like at the moment. I’m at the whims and mercy of whatever presents itself to my eyeballs. As you can imagine planning can be more like riding the crazy train then a nice straight jaunt. Continue reading

 Wardrobe Planning: Too Many Distractions
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Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 3: Applying Bias Tape

Just joining us? This week, Kimberly’s sharing her pro tips for applying bias tape to the Ravenna Blouse neckline. We’ve got a few copies of the Ravenna Blouse paper pattern left in the store. If you can’t find it there, you ca

n grab a paper or digital copy directly from the designer at Straight Stitch Designs – plus, check out her other amazing patterns!

FB Ravenna Top Sew Along 300x251 Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 3: Applying Bias Tape

You have nearly completed the Ravenna pattern, other than hemming, all that is left to do is attaching the bias tape to the neckline.  For this final sew along post I will be walking you through the steps needed for the bias tape.  I promise it is really easy!

There are a couple options when it comes to bias tape, you can either buy some from your local fabric store, or make your own.  I prefer to make my own bias tape because it tends to be softer than store bought bias tape.  It also gives you a chance to use the same fabric for the bias tape as you did for the top.

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 Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 3: Applying Bias Tape
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Spring & Summer Handmade Wardrobe Planning, Part 2

Last week, I spent some time pondering spring and summer wardrobe planning – inspired by Mimi G’s article in the new issue of Sew News – focusing on purging (oops), determining what is missing and making a list of to-makes (namely, basic tanks and tees, lightweight pants and a few more summer skirts…and maybe a summer dress as a treat).

The next part of the process, as Mimi lays it out, is to:

4. Choose colors and fabrics. Colors, hmmm. I’ve been wanting to “do my colors” for a while now, but I always get distracted. I think that’s because I frame the task in an aspirational way – i.e. what colors look best on me, what colors I should wear, what colors I want to want to wear. Instead, presented below in all their boring glory are the colors I actually wear, with a few pops and prints. I’m considering this a useful tool for tuning out distraction at the fabric store, because as far as I’m concerned, a garment I don’t actually wear is as bad as a garment that doesn’t end up fitting. But, I like the idea of having a few challenge colors for spring and fall, lest I become an absolute and utter bore. I’m hoping to bring these in in a selective way to counter-balance the drab (no offense, apparently I love drab).

Screen Shot 2017 03 16 at 10.11.01 AM Spring & Summer Handmade Wardrobe Planning, Part 2

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 Spring & Summer Handmade Wardrobe Planning, Part 2
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Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 2: Installing an Exposed Zipper

Screen Shot 2017 03 13 at 11.29.50 AM 233x300 Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 2: Installing an Exposed ZipperReady to sew up a fabulous blouse for spring? Grab the Ravenna Blouse paper pattern over here, then read on to learn how to insert an exposed zipper with designer Kimberly Payne. (Pssst! If you missed last week’s post, head over here for tips on sewing the blouse darts.) 

Today I am going to be walking you through installing the exposed zipper onto the back of your top.

Installing an exposed zipper is not difficult at all, but it does require doing a few steps that are different from what you would normally do. Just follow along and I promise you will have a lovely installed zipper by the end.

Start by taking your two back pieces and placing them right side up.  Line the interfacing up with the top edge of both the left and right back piece. Iron the interfacing in place.

8 199x300 Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 2: Installing an Exposed Zipper

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 Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 2: Installing an Exposed Zipper
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Spring and Summer Handmade Wardrobe Planning

Screen Shot 2017 03 14 at 8.52.21 AM 278x300 Spring and Summer Handmade Wardrobe PlanningMimi G’s article on spring & summer wardrobe planning in the new issue of Sew News has me all kinds of inspired. In the past year, I’ve tried to be much more intentional about my wardrobe, sewing pattern and fabric choices. I’ve been very focused on basics because I’ve learned that, despite the temptation of special garments (which is why I got into sewing in the first place), basics are what I wear on a daily basis. Her article offers some clear steps to first purging, then building a wardrobe that works for you. I particularly love her take on trends:

“True style is not necessarily about fashionable on-trend items, but more about you as an individual and what makes you feel best.”

Preach! She also warns about the pitfalls of Pinterest and Instagram – how it can derail the best laid plans the latest releases and pretty looks that might not necessarily work for you or your lifestyle. Been there!

Here are the first four steps of her process….and my progress with them.

1. Clean out your closet. Okay, I have not made a lot of progress here. We moved a year and a half ago and I still have a box of maybe clothes…and those probably need to get gone. Big purge way overdue…but I’d rather sew!

2. Determine what is missing. For the spring and summer, I’m actually missing basics. I tend to go for “special” things on the rare occasion that I buy something in the store. And then those special things don’t get worn. Basic tees and tanks are something I need. And maybe a few pairs of lighter weight pants and skirts for summer. What did I even wear last summer???

3. Make a list. I’m a big list-maker. I think I’ve actually got three lists running for spring – one on my phone, a written list in my design notebook and a random list in my purse from when I traveled to Sew Expo two weeks ago – talk about derailed!!

The big themes: tanks (knits and wovens, 1 million), tees (3-4), pants (again, 3-4) and skirts (two-ish). And maybe a shirtdress or two, as a reward later. icon wink Spring and Summer Handmade Wardrobe Planning I’m not a big trend follower but I am planning a few hacks to bring in some high-low hems, maybe some color-blocking and at least one tie-front top.

4. Choose your colors and fabrics. Is black a color for spring? This spring, my makes list looks a bit gloomy but I do wear a lot of black, and I need some black basics. Black, black and white, natural, gray, army green and denim…with a few carefully selected prints in the mix. Boring, probably, but things I know I’ll actually wear. THEN fill in with some fun/just-because makes.

Join me next week as I take the next steps in Mimi’s process: choosing patterns and making a design sketchbook. How is your spring and summer sewing coming? Do you have any special techniques for planning?

 

 Spring and Summer Handmade Wardrobe Planning
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Sew Along with Kimberly Payne, Straight Stitch Designs

Are you ready to sew your Ravenna Blouse? We can’t wait to get started with our first sew along from the new April/May issue. And this blouse is a good one – the perfect wardrobe builder with style and customization options that make it so much more than basic. The creator is Kimberly Payne of Straight Stitch Designs. Going beyond basics is what drives her pattern design philosophy – and that’s why she’s one of our favorite indie pattern designers! Read below for more from Kimberly, then join us tomorrow for week 1 of the Ravenna Blouse sew along!

Screen Shot 2017 03 13 at 11.27.10 AM 300x198 Sew Along with Kimberly Payne, Straight Stitch DesignsSN: What is your sewing background?
I was lucky enough to learn all about sewing from my mom while I was in high school. She not only taught me the basics of sewing but she did it on the sewing machine she used to make her clothes growing up. Although over the years I have sewn a little or a lot, it has been a constant in my life as a way to express my creativity.

Sewing for my kids is what finally brought me back to sewing regularly and gave me a renewed love of the art of making.  Once I sewed my first piece of clothing for myself I knew it was an exciting new direction I was headed in.

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 Sew Along with Kimberly Payne, Straight Stitch Designs
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Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 1: How to Sew Darts

The Ravenna Blouse is tops on our must-make wardrobe basics for spring list but this blouse offers so many customization options, it’s far beyond basic. Grab the Ravenna Blouse paper pattern over here, then read tips below from the fabulous Kimberly Payne of Straight Stitch Design, the pattern’s designer. 

FB Ravenna Top Sew Along Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 1: How to Sew Darts

As we make our way out of winter and start to look for new spring tops, comfort usually wins out above anything else.  Finding a top that is both flowy and fitted is the perfect transition piece, the Ravenna top is just that.

What makes this pattern stand out is the ability to really customize the top to fit both your style and current mood.  You can sew this top in either a knit or a woven and include any combination of the design elements in the pattern.  Leave everything off for a simple modern look, or include the ruffles and exposed zipper for a flirty modern look. Screen Shot 2017 03 14 at 1.32.47 PM 300x258 Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 1: How to Sew DartsScreen Shot 2017 03 13 at 11.29.50 AM 233x300 Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 1: How to Sew Darts

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 Ravenna Blouse Sew Along, Week 1: How to Sew Darts
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