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Posts Tagged ‘clothing’

  1. mccall’s 6553

    February 28, 2014 by Megan

    M6553 FrontShe’s here!
    :::said in the style of Liz Lemon impersonating Oprah:::
    My dress form is here!
    I have christened her Lady Sybil, but I’ll save proper introductions for a later post.

    I’ve got a good 12 months worth of garment sewing to share with you that has never been shared because:
    a. my personal photographer spends all his time flying helicopters and having light saber battles with army brats; and
    b. I loathe being in front of the camera.
    {this stems largely from a deeply rooted instinct to make goofy faces and pose like asian tourists anytime a camera is placed before me…which does not a hip fashion photo make}

    So starting with the oldest, here is McCall’s 6553!
    I ♥ this dress something fierce.
    I actually saw this dress on Fashion Star and likely audibly gasped when I saw it.

    image {saks 5th ave}

    image {saks 5th ave}

    And then it won, and I was stoked that I could purchase said audible gasp dress only to discover it was $345!!!
    The audible gasp quickly transitioned to the sound of a deflating balloon.
    You can imagine my glee when McCall’s released the pattern as part of their Fashion Star line.
    There was more audible gasping.

    I bought the pattern with the intention of sewing it as a maternity dress while I was pregnant with The Peanut.
    {hahaha…sewing while pregnant. i crack myself up}
    Fast forward a year and it became the perfect postpartum dress!
    Fast forward another year and I’m still wearing and loving this dress to bits.

    mccall's 6553 back
    The pattern includes a belt which I sewed up but never actually wear.
    I tend to wear it with a cute little colored belt to jazz up my grey/navy/black wardrobe.

    mccall's 6553
    Not sure what’s going on with the front there.
    I sewed it from some suspect polyester suiting that actually is crazy comfortable and drapes beautifully.
    There is some 14″ of ease built into this pattern, which even with a big drapey style 14″ of ease is ridiculous, so I cute the smallest size and it’s still roomy.

    mccall's 6553
    Here’s with the belt from the side
    There are slits for the belt to slide through, which leaves it draped free in the back.
    The belt slits, if you sew as directed leaves a good 2″ of my midriff showing so I sewed that much narrower than directed.
    It’s a super easy dress to sew, and I’m excited to sew another version.

  2. kelly skirt in nani iro

    February 19, 2013 by Megan Home Front

    A few months ago I got pretty frustrated with this post-baby body of mine.
    {pretty sure every female who has had a child or 3 has been there}
    Still loosing rapid weight, but hadn’t plateaued yet.
    Definitely a good problem to have except that the wardrobe that I ♥ so much was all too big.
    This meant that eventually I could buy smaller clothing but since I was still loosing over a pound a week that shopping spree was a ways off.
    So logically I sewed something.

    This is my most favorite pattern sewn in my most favorite fabric.

    Nani Iro Kelly Skirt
    It’s the Kelly Skirt pattern by Megan Nielsen.
    It’s a dream.
    {a dream i tell ya}
    I sewed it in Nani Iro’s Painting Muji which is a lightweight canvas.
    I loooove this fabric.
    There is actually a panel of it hanging on my bedroom wall.
    I hoarded it for the duration of my pregnancy saving it for this very project.

    Close Up Kelly Skirt

    The pattern is totally sewable exactly as drafted and written.
    It’s actually the second Megan Nielsen pattern I’ve sewn if you recall the Darling Ranges maternity dress I sewed last year.
    The only changes I made were to use gathers instead of pleats, make the raw selvedge edge the hem, and to make the waistband and placket a bit wider to accommodate the larger buttons.
    The reason I went with gathers instead of pleats is because the pleats weren’t very flattering on the post-baby-belly squishiness.

    When I say I love this pattern, I’m not exaggerating.
    The Nani Iro version was the 3rd version I had sewn in the span of 3 days.

    Version 1 was made in a lovely chambray.
    (pardon the instagram photo)

    chambray kelly skirt

    Version 2 was made in a rayon challis.
    (and  again with the instagram photo in my dirty bathroom nonetheless)


    The only changes I made on these two was to do gathers instead of pleats.
    I also used fusible interfacing along the placket of the rayon challis version because it needed the added stability for the buttons.

    I hope you like them.
    I sure do.
    And if you sew at all I HIGHLY encourage you to try Megan Nielsen’s patterns because they are just that lovely.

    I hope you have a happy Tuesday.
    We are hunkered down at home on this gray and rainy day.
    My Helper has a stomach bug so we are catering to that with lots of couch time.

  3. wiksten tova maternity style

    April 26, 2012 by Megan Home Front

    See! I told you was sewing a maternity wardrobe!
    This is the Wiksten Tova dress pattern that I put the simplest of maternity alterations into.
    It actually doesn’t look like the pattern has been altered at all which I love!

    I cut my normal size but before I cut the front piece I added 1.5″ to middle fold.
    {yeesh, how can it be so difficult to explain something that was so easy?}
    The front portion of the pattern is cut on the fold.
    Before I cut the fabric I shifted the pattern over 1.5″ and then proceeded to cut normally.
    :::see picture above:::
    Because the pattern is drafted to be straight at the bottom of the yoke and the center of the hem that is the only alteration I needed to make.
    It adds a full 3″ of fabric to the front of the garment to cover the bump.
    When it calls for you to gather this section of the garment I just did some extra gathering to make sure it lined up with the yoke.
    {hopefully the picture helps with that abysmal description}

    Here’s a close up of the extra gathers and the yoke section.
    You can also see the lovely woven fabric I used for the dress which I bought at JoAnn’s 2+ years ago.
    {and yes, i have been known to hoard fabric for that long}

    Oddly enough, my favorite part of the Tova tunic/dress {besides wearing it} is hand sewing the inside of the collar.
    Something about hand-finishing a garment makes it that much more enjoyable to wear.

    I’m off to take a nap, because I’m sick, pregnant, My Soldier is home…and I can!

  4. wiksten tank dress

    February 13, 2012 by Megan Home Front

    So there is this wicked virus traveling around this wee rock we live on.
    It comes complete with awful congestion and a cough that keeps you up all night.
    Bonus: we’ve had it for 2 weeks and there is no end in sight!

    So now that I can kind of breath, {emphasis on kind of} I finally got around to taking photos of my Wiksten Tank dress.
    {i’m not sure if i’ve mentioned this before, but i ♥ wiksten patterns}

    To accommodate the growing baby bump, (and all other lady lumps that are need accommodation) I sewed it up a size.
    Actually, I’m between sizes in Wiksten patterns, so I rounded up a size and then sewed a full size bigger.
    Right now it’s a little tent-like but oh-so-comfy.
    I wore it to church last Sunday belted above the bump and it was per-fect!

    I also got to use some fabric I have been hoarding.
    I have a wee small collection of select prints in the Moda Etchings line by 3 Sisters.
    Specifically all the script, map, and architectural prints.
    I took a page out of Karyn’s book and sewed it in a map print and pattern matched my pocket.
    Instead of bias binding the neck hole and arm hole facings I decided to use some cording to add a visual pop.
    I wish had used bias tape for a prettier hem finish but I didn’t have any and barely squeezed this dress out of the 2 yards of fabric I had on hand.
    The hem and I did not get along, not one bit.

    If you look closely you can barely see the pocket above the word ‘Front’ in my watermark.

    I love how it turned out and it will be so easy to wear in Hawaii or layer when it gets cold.
    I plan on taking it in at the side seams after baby has arrived.

    :::Apologies for those who anticipated seeing a photo of me in my maternity clothes.:::
    My Soldier/Live-in-photographer is down range at the moment.

  5. my wee hipster

    October 27, 2011 by Megan Home Front

    My Helper is a wee bit dramatic.
    My full-time job till she says ‘I do’ will be helping her keep her emotions under control.
    The craziest things cause this child to weep.
    Heck, maybe she’ll become an actress and get paid for all the waterworks.

    I’m in a stripes mood and it’s becoming crazy hard to NOT sew her an entire wardrobe made of striped fabrics.
    {it’s hard. real, real hard.}
    I made a new shirt for her the other day.
    The day I made it she declared,
    “It is the best thing I ever had in my whole life!”
    {yes, in all 4 years of her life, this shirt topped it all}

    Fast-forward to this morning when I asked her to put it on so I could take her picture.
    Lord help me, did she turn on the waterworks!
    Crazy dramatic, jr.-high-girl-type crying.
    I don’t even know why.

    Here she is doing her best impression of a hipster.
    {the expression reads: my life is hard, you’ll never understand my burdens, leave me to my sad music and senseless poetry}
    She was doing an interpretive dance to The Avett Brothers last night so maybe she’s a full-on card carrying hipster.

    {she’s so emo}
    A little tank with the tiniest of cap sleeves.
    It’s a pink ticking stripe on an ivory background.

    The back is my favorite.
    {i love playing with stripes}
    My camera was doing something funny to the stripes,
    you can see it much better in that top horizontal section.

    One positive to her moodiness is that she is likely to get cast on America’s Next Top Model.
    {seriously, this is how she poses. piece. of. work. this child o’ mine}

    My mom arrives tonight.
    I’ll try an check in regularly.
    Happy Thursday!

  6. tova

    October 21, 2011 by Megan Home Front

    Happy Friday!
    I was going to say TGIF but it always brings to mind early 90’s TV.
    {anyone? full house, step-by-step, urkle!}

    At long last I have finally finished my Wiksten Tova tunic!
    That means I can cross it off of my Make, Do & Mend list!
    I have had the pattern for over a year and on a whim I whipped it up the other night.
    And by whipped it up I mean I got so frustrated with the fabric at times I had to take a break and console myself with Ben & Jerry’s.

    Forgive the headless/awkward shot.
    {can we pretend that it’s artsy?}
    I’m still trying to figure out a good way to take a self-portrait and this was my 1st go with my self-timer.
    Someday I’ll figure it out.

    That pattern itself was a breeze!
    Well written and illustrated and totally fit like Ready To Wear without a single adjustment to the pattern.
    The fabric is the loveliest of double gauze and it SUPER light and totally appropriate to wear in the winter here.
    I bought it from Unique Shiny on Etsy probably a year and a half ago.

    Here is where the frustration came in;
    I was only able to buy 2 yards of it!
    The pattern calls for 2.5 yard (at 45″ wide).
    It took some creativity and lots of patience to figure it out but it worked.
    The other reason it was so difficult was that double gauze does not like to hold it’s shape.
    I had to cut the collar pieces twice and ended up using a bit of light fusible interfacing on the back piece to get it to maintain it’s nice curve.
    In a perfect world where fabric stores carry lots of yardage of dreamy fabrics I would have bought 3 yards of this to match the plaids a bit better.
    It’s easy as the seamstress to focus on the imperfections but a friend the other day told me it looked store bought so I guess I did fine.

    I’m off too scrub my house since my Mom is coming in next week.
    {so. very. excited.}
    I hope your weekend is swell!

  7. 2 new dresses

    October 12, 2011 by Megan Home Front

    Crazy sewing this weekend.
    I’m on a clothing kick at the moment.
    I think it was the big evaluation of my pattern collection that had me itchin’ to make clothes for me and My Helper.
    Although it also very well could have been a combination of Pinterest {follow me!} and Elise Marley’s Kid’s Clothing Week Challenge that kicked it all into high gear.
    Either way, I plowed through both of these patterns.

    I’ve had the Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress for ages.
    I blogged about the long sleeved version I made back in December.
    For some reason I got uber panicky that she would be too big for the largest size of the pattern which is 3T.
    Maybe it’s because it is no longer in print and it would mean I can’t make her another one.
    {yes, i realize it is strange that i panic over such things}
    Much to my delight she still comfortably fits in their 3T.
    :::wipes sweat off brow:::

    I used the left over American Jane Pin Dot from this dress.
    {side note, the odd thing happening with the arm holes on that dress has since been fixed. i also took out the zipper and installed an invisible one because once you go invisible you never go back}
    I had barely enough fabric to squeeze out her dress and actually had to take 5″ out of the width of the skirt panels to make it work.

    {yes that is the same tinkerbell tattoo. i promise we bathe her}

    Oliver + S patterns are a dream to sew.
    So very clever and modern yet also very feminine.

    To me she looks like a wee Audrey Hepburn.
    Gotta love a shirt waist.

    Here you can actually see the very wee pin dot and the lovely ivory.
    {don’t look too closely because you can also see the light blue water soluble fabric marker that I was too impatient to fully get rid of because My Helper and I were both so eager for her to wear it}

    I made a dress for myself too!
    I used Simplicity 5960 circa 1965.

    {i actually found this pattern on etsy today for as low as $2.75 in case you wanted to snatch it up}

    {you get 1 photo because self portraits are not my specialty, although apparently wrinkles are}

    Honestly the easiest clothing item I’ve ever sewn.
    I used the fitted sheet of the sheet set I scored at Target.
    Same sheet set that produced this 10-minute diddy.
    It is SO very comfortable.
    I wore it all day yesterday {my crazy need extra grace and coffee day} belted and with a scarf from H&M.
    If I lived some where that actually participated in all of the seasons I’d throw a cardigan, some boots and tights with it.
    But I don’t.

    In case you felt like doing a bit of interweb wandering today The Kitchn is hosting a Le Creuset giveaway today.
    {swoon and die ~ i want to win this so bad}
    I also might have found a new favorite fabric shop online.
    Drygoods Design Online is all kinds of splendid.

    Happy Wednesday!

  8. i had 10 minutes and a pillow case

    September 15, 2011 by Megan Home Front

    Seemingly random things but to My Helper it meant a new dress.
    I kid you not, it took me 10 minutes.
    I know this because My Soldier said, “We have to go in 1o minutes or we’ll be late!”
    So naturally I sat down to start a new project.
    {yes, i am like that}

    (I apologize for the poor picture quality, it was late evening when I took this and Army issue lighting is less-than-friendly.)

    A simple pillow case dress for My Helper.
    Here is the close-up of the front.

    The splotch on her arm is a temporary tattoo.
    She’s cool like that.

    The pillow case came from a set of organic sheets that Target had on clearance for $17.
    I had been looking for a similar striped fabric to sew myself a dress and yay for me I found it.
    I folded it in half, cut some length from the closed end and then free-handed the arm holes, serged, folded and sewed.
    I had some satin ribbon lying around and just tied it up in the back.

    {i realize it’s totally blurry but my helper pulled this pose from the deep recesses of her inner super model}

    I decided to have it tie in the back for 2 reasons;
    a. because it was WAAAAY too fussy in the front
    2. she’s 4 and that bow is the only thing holding her dress up, one small tug and she’s neked.

    Yay for finishing projects!
    Boo for starting (and finishing) an entire project when I have no less than 6 others needing attending to.
    Silly me.

  9. friday confession

    August 26, 2011 by Megan Home Front

    I know I have hinted at my love for blogs in general, but specifically I have an addiction to sewing blogs.
    Let’s define addiction for you:
    I subscribe to no less than 50 sewing-related blogs.

    {this is where i attempt to justify if only to myself why-oh-why so many sewing blogs}
    Unlike lifestyle bloggers, sewing bloggers don’t update daily.
    Most don’t update weekly.
    So by no means am I reading 50 blogs a day, not even 50 a week.
    They update occasionally with a new project or tutorial and it is within these posts that I learned most of my sewing skills.

    I am also picky.
    I don’t like bright and busy stuff, so most quilters I can’t handle.
    The joy of sewing is that it all comes down to fabric choice.
    What is too busy for me because of a large selection of too bright fabrics can be simplified by my own fabric selection.
    {hello beige linen!}

    A mate from college of mine asked specific questions on the last two posts so I have decided to answer her questions here on the ole bliggity blog.

    So here are my current favorite sewing blogs and why I love them!

    General Sewing
    Sew, Mama, Sew
    Great tutorials on lots of household, clothing, and kids items. I don’t love it all but it is still a great resource. They also have a fabric shop which has reasonable prices.

    The Purl Bee
    The blog portion of the NYC shop Purl Soho. {i would be content to die in that store just because of their stock of liberty of london fabrics} The blog covers knitting and crocheting as well but their sewing projects are really awesome.

    Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business (ECAB)
    She has lots of awesome sewing tutorials, every single one of them I would use. I love every aspect of her blog, not just the sewing tutorials.

    Design Sponge
    Design Sponge is another just all around legit blog. Their DIY posts and particularly their Sewing 101 series is super informative.

    Make Something
    Her quilting aesthetic makes me swoon. Muted yet still full all the charm of patchwork. Karen’s blog is actually my favorite blog right now. Her clothing is amazing and she established my love for Japanese pattern books. No real tutorials but awesome inspiration.

    Maggie and Sparrow
    Again, no tutorials. She actually produces quilts to sell but her children’s quilts are totally inspiring. I wish I could combine fabrics the way she does. All of her quilts are modern yet feel timeless.

    Red Pepper Quilts
    An awesome resource chock full of tutorials. Her blog has helped my quilting technique remarkably.

    Oh Fransson
    Although we have very different design aesthetics, she sews awesome quilts and has great tutorials.

    The blog from Colette Patterns. An amazing resource on sewing clothing. Their patterns have a vintage flare which I appreciate. Really detailed tutorials and they post them frequently.

    Make Something
    Seeing a theme? She sews a lot from Japanese Pattern books which have the awesome ability to look simple without looking cheap which when sewing clothing is really hard to do.

    She lives in Spain. {that has little impact on her ability to sew, but i wouldn’t mind living in spain so it makes me love her blog that much more} I want her to sew an entire wardrobe for My Helper. She has mastered the art of making simple, modern, feminine clothing that doesn’t look painfully girly. {think poofy, bubble gum pink, and covered in bows}

    Katie Did It
    Sadly Katie doesn’t blog anymore because some Creepy McCreeperson used images of her darling kids as their own on Facebook and Flickr. Thankfully she has left the sight up thus far even though she hasn’t blogged in over a year. She is another person I wouldn’t mind having sew an entire wardrobe for My Helper. I wouldn’t mind wearing adult versions of the clothing she sews for her daughter. {seriously, scroll down to the tea time post at the bottom of the homepage—i’d wear it all}

    By no means is that an exhaustive list.
    It only covers blogs I reference frequently when it comes to sewing. At some other point in time I will have to post a list of my favorite tutorials. That would also be quite the extensive list.

    I’m off to finish a dress to wear tonight.
    I’m dragging My Soldier out on the town to celebrate his birthday.
    He loathes having any attention focused on him and I love making him the center of attention.
    Fun will be had!

  10. my 1st & highly embarassing sewing projects

    August 25, 2011 by Megan Home Front

    I have been sewing just shy of 5 years.
    The beginning of the sewing adventure will forever be etched in my mind because it is directly associated with the beginning of motherhood.
    Both pregnancies I have ended up on a modified bed rest.
    An elder’s wife from our church in Texas once wisely told me that, “Pregnancy is like a disease.”
    {she’s had six kids so she knew what she was talking about}

    I ended up on modified bed reset {aka house arrest} with My Helper due to freakishly low blood pressure, and anemia.
    I also was competing for the title of Worst Morning Sickness because I had 30+ weeks of puking all day.
    {could there be a more graphic way to set the scene}

    Enter my desire to sew a quilt for My Helper.
    And I did.
    Zero experience, a menial understanding of a sewing machine, a generous friend who loaned me her machine, and an idea.
    ::::drum roll please::::
    (My Helper still sleeps with this quilt every night.)

    My inspired idea, {which I thought was so clever}, was to use vintage handkerchiefs on the inside corner of each of those white blocks.
    Well my lack of experience became evident in the 1st wash, when it started to fall apart, because of vintage handkerchiefs, which have the weight of a feather and durability of tissue paper.
    {crazy run-on? grammatical nightmare? sentence that i’m not in the mood to edit. deal with it}
    It also wasn’t cut well, pieced well, sewn well, bound well, or quilted (it’s hand tied).
    But I don’t care, because it was my first, it was beautiful to me, and My Helper still loves it, hanky shreds in all.

    It was my starting point.
    I had bought a rotary cutter, a cutting mat, a quilting ruler and some fabric and I just had at it.
    Not a bad result for just trying it out.
    From then on the interwebs would prove invaluable,
    for I had discovered the sewing blog.
    Sewing tutorials became my best friend and greatest teacher.
    My personality lends itself to try first and crack a book second.
    If I can’t figure it out on my own, then I will seek help.
    I have had some pretty screwy techniques as a result.
    Flip side is that my creativity wasn’t bridled by the laws of quilting.

    My second big project I pulled from the pages of Cottage Living Magazine (R.I.P.) and it came with instructions.
    It was a cover for an industrial shelving unit that would convert it into a desk.

    It had a clever roll down cover so I could hide that crazy clutter when people were over.

    After that unfortunate piece of decorating desperation I started sewing lots of other household goods.
    They all were tolerable, but not a single one is in use today.
    The next big thing was The Cadet’s quilt.
    It was just under 2 years in between the 2 quilts but just that little bit of experience made a world of difference.

    {clearly i still didn’t know how to take a picture}

    Again, not perfect, but clearly making progress.
    I could at least cut fairly accurately and sew a straight line.
    By this time I had gained some standards, became friends with a seam ripper and started to develop my own sense of style.
    That following Christmas my brother-in-law, The Hot Shot, gave me my very own sewing machine (I had still been borrowing off and on from a friend!)
    It was a bottom of the line Singer from Tarjay and I worked it into the ground.

    A few months later my husband became My Soldier and I had 18 months of single parenting and endless hours to sew ahead of me.
    I was finally at an intermediate level with quilting, purses and bags and finally ventured into the realm of sewing clothing.

    This is an oh-so-cute 2-year old version of My Helper.
    This was the 1st top I made for her.
    It’s basically a rectangle with a casing sewn at the top and some elastic.
    For various reasons I love this top.
    It was so simple and completely my design aesthetic and I still wish she could wear it.

    Honestly most of these pictures are really embarrassing.
    The awful storage unit/desk cover has since been deconstructed and the fabric used elsewhere.
    The quilts I keep and still love, but that has more to do with who they were made for.
    By the time I started sewing clothing I could sew a straight line and draft a simple pattern so I am less embarrassed about those pieces.

    Now that I sew a lot of clothing I am still figuring out how textiles play into it all.
    One thing the interwebs have a hard time teaching is about textiles since when it comes to clothing it has a lot to do with feel and drape.
    Blogs are still my go to.
    From blogs I have figured out how to sew clothes that fit my post pregnancy body,
    how to tailor clothing,
    how to alter patterns,
    sew from Japanese pattern books (my fav),
    and I have also discovered my design aesthetic and how to customize what I sew to fit it.
    I love being able to look through the interwebs and say, “I can make that!”
    And nowadays I largely can, and I know how to source what I need to create (or recreate) things I see.
    Thankfully now I have Betty and she plays a big role in my ability to create the stuff I do.

    So that is the so very long post on my introduction into the world of sewing.