Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Catching up! Sewing for others

Somehow the last month has passed in a blink of an eye! Life has been crazy busy with work and family and just needing some time to maintain a healthy me. Sewing has been happening! however, not as much as I would like and I have not been as good about capturing the in-progress details.

Earlier this year I did some sewing for family members. My siblings had been randomly droping hints about me sewing them something. It is hard to make clothing for them since none of live anywhere near each other!
My older sister, Jennifer, is in Mississippi.
My older brother, Gene, and his wife, Jackie, are in New Jersey
My younger brother Willie, and his wife, Lide, are in the Netherlands.

So, its not like I can just pop in and take measurements or do a quick fitting!

Long story short, 2 of them causally mentioned needing aprons over the past year so I decided to make them all aprons for their respective birthdays!

The ladies aprons are modified Gathered-to-Fit apron by Indygo Junction. I think I picked this up at a pattern exchange at some point. Its a nice pattern. My modifications were to fully line it and basically stitch a channel for the ties. It is very cute, easy to make and no fitting required. I also made an apron for Melissa out of the retro pool scene. I just forgot to take a picture!

My awesome sister, Jennifer, sporting her new apron!

Details of my sisters apron. Fabric out of my collection.

Details of my S-I-L Lide's apron. She's an archaeologist so these cool skulls were very appropriate!
Both fabrics from The Quilters Trunk.


This was is for my S-I-L, Jackie, in New Jersey. This great retro print and the lining were both from Fishman's Fabrics and have been in my collection for quite a few years. SO glad I found the perfect use for it!


 The guys aprons are from Simplicity 1512, an out of print pattern that I have had for quite a while. However a quick google search shows that you can easily find copies of it. The only modification that I have made to this is again to line it. I just feel that a single layer of fabric is not beefy enough to support the large pockets and if you happen to splash 'stuff' on you then a single layer may not give you the best protection!
Not the best view of my little brother in his apron. I loves that his apron matched his jammies!

My older brother, Gene, showing off his apron! Both of my brothers really like to grill and BBQ and I was able to use my seldom used embroidery machine to add some fun personalization to their grilling aprons.


Now... here is something to make you chuckle... I made all of those aprons all in one go and the only person that still does NOT have an apron is ME! How ironic is that??

Happy Sewing! More to catch up on soon!

Friday, May 11, 2018

A coat for the Princess- Kestrel Coat by Clever Charlotte

Sometimes I do actually sew up things for other people! Especially for my Princess!

I had enough coating fabric leftover form my polka-dot cape (blogged about HERE) to make a fancier winter coat for my granddaughter, known as Princess Victoria, more commonly known as V.

YAY for pockets!!

I picked up this pattern at JoAnn's! I was so surprised to see it there and it is just so adorable and unlike some of the big 4 children's patterns this comes in a large size range. From 2T all the way up to a size 8. Winner in my book.


 This pattern from the children's pattern designer Clever Charlotte is well drafted, has good instructions and went together quite easily with a very unique and charming look to it. A nice addition for a young ladies wardrobe for her 'Sunday Best'. There is also an alternative simpler neckline addition that is available as a free download on the website.

Front of the coat

Back of the coat


Inside of the coat



I used the same outer fashion fabric and the same cotton lining as in my cape and even used big snaps for the closure.

If you are wondering if it is your eyes... or are those snaps not in a straight line. Well it is NOT your eyes! The area of the felting is very thick and hard to hand sew through. The beauty of snaps is that when the coat is snapped up you never even see them :)


I ordered reflective piping from Seattle Fabrics as an extra safety precaution. They have quite a variety that you can find HERE. The pattern has several great horizontal seams that I was able to add the piping to as well as in the side seams and on the sleeve. I also underlined the coat in a light cotton flannel and of course added patch pockets. She LOVES her pockets! All kinds of treasures can be found in her pockets.


I left extra length in the sleeves so that as she grows they can be let down and grow along with her.

The weather in Chicago is warming up so this coat will go into the closet to wait for the fall. However, she did get good use of it on a recent trip to Gdansk, Poland to meet her Great Grandparents on her dad's side. This coat was perfect for the weather and she looks quite fancy in it!


V and her daddy both writing in their travel journals!

As you can imagine getting a 3 1/2 year old to model for pictures is pretty impossible! However, I think you get a good idea of how it looks on her.


Friday, April 27, 2018

In The Sketchbook-April 2018

Welcome to In the Sketchbook, a monthly look at fashion design sketches that we are working on for ourselves. Sketching garments on a personal croquis is a great way for the individual couture enthusiast to move beyond the use of commercial patterns and into a world of personalized design! It can be intimidating at first, but with a little bit of practice it becomes something you look forward to. Join us for a look of what we have going on In the Sketchbook! Brought to you by Wendy Grossman of Couture Counsellor and Steph King from Siouxzeegirl Designs.

This month brings us the double breasted garments. This specific style always has me thinking of the 1980's with a double breasted jacket and super wide shoulders and big hair ladies or of pea coats worn by the US Navy. Not really the look I am going for!

Double breasted details have always interested me and eluded me, so I took some time while at the Design II workshop to sketch out several different ideas.

The first one is a bit rough, I have a double sided wool of hot pink and bright yellow and I was just playing with the idea of using a double sided fabric. I started with the top or in this case a jacket. It was intended to have sleeves I just never got around to sketching them in since this was just playing to see what would happen.


I decided quite quickly that the look of a traditional double breasted was not doing it for me and I tried to make it more interesting with adding a skirt (or it could just be the detail at the bottom of a long coat) that echoed the idea of the double breast and showing the reverse color.

Then after some discussion the points of the turn back portion were elongated and slightly softened to keep it from looking harsh and not quite so 80's punk looking.

I also tried a pair of pants and this look is just funny!

The next idea was an idea that I could use for work wear. A softened double breasted jacket that has an asymmetric collar with a pencil skirt. I like this, I think the shape and proportions would look good on me.

I also sketched out a back side of this garment and I decided to echo the double breasted detail with a double back vent and button detail for the walking vent on the skirt. Since I can go crazy with color on work clothes, I am finding that adding in extra details is a nice way to express myself.

The last in the group this month  was to take that same idea and make the entire look more asymmetric. I know that for the high side of an asymmetric skirt I can not go any higher than sketched. Or else I begin to look indecent for work purposes! In order to keep the proportions correct on my body I had to make the jacket a bit shorter than the original one drawn up above. The asymmetry of the jacket and the skirt now echo each other and the proportions on my body look much nicer. With the jacket at the original length I was cut right in half.

If all else fails I can always revert back to the original inspiration!




Make sure to stop by Wendy Grossman of Couture Counsellor to see what lovely sketches and ideas she is working on. Please feel free to share your sketches and ideas with us.


Happy Sketching!!