a finished top + new travels ahead

toronto top1toronto top4toronto top3toronto top5Simplicty pattern #1694, version E.
French seams on chiffon are definitely the way to go!

I’ve been trying to focus for seriously the past hour on giving the dirty details on the makings of this shirt. My mind is totally elsewhere though.

Because I’M LEAVING FOR JAPAN IN A WEEK.

So so many loose ends to take care of since I’ll be there for about two weeks. Already starting to pack since I’m only taking carry-on luggage with me. I must not forget to get my rent and other stupid bills together before I go. I would totally worry about my plants, but since they already died about two months ago (R.I.P.) that’s one less thing to take care of. I’m kinda freaking out about my HAIR because I totally can’t be bothered with all that while I’m there. But I’m going to the local Beauty Supply tomorrow to buy some hair weave [sigh] and attempt to do this style on myself in the next few days….

For better or worse, I’ll show pics before I go. NOT excited about doing this either. Last time I had any type of braids in my hair was….middle school? Wayyyy long ago. And I totally didn’t put them in myself – No Way! But thanks to YouTube, I think I gots this *cracking knuckles*

But seriously, let’s talk a moment about this shirt.

  • Simplicity pattern #1694 is an easy project that could technically be finished in a single day. It took me longer, of course. I tend to take lots of Instagram stalking and looking-in-the-refrigerator-for-what-I-don’t-know breaks. But it makes for a simple flowy shirt. Be forewarned it’s a loose, boxy cut. Not form hugging or acquainting much at all!
  • This is the fabric I just purchased in Toronto on my last trip. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough fabric to finish, hence the bright pink satin-y piece I placed in the back. I think it’s a nice contrast though + I’m in love with the single center-back pleat!
  • First time working with chiffon fabric. Naturally, I was scared. BUT Oona and Miesha left some helpful tips in the comments of the previous post – SO VERY HELPFUL!! Thanks ladies!
  • I secretly wanted to make a quick and easy project to wear for my trip. Now that I’m finished though, I’m not sure that I’ll be taking it. However, my Rainbow Brite plaid/chambray shirt is sooooo coming with me!

Definitely more before I go. Have a great weekend!

mom shorts

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High waist shorts practice pair. Or perhaps, freshly cut mom jeans.

Now true I modified this pattern some. I added an inch to the waist to make it higher, which apparently I had no business doing. And I obviously shortened the trouser leg to make shorts. Nevermind the “cuffed” bottom you see in the photo. I was just getting an idea of where I wanted the length to stop on these shorts.

However, had I known that the Simplicity 5259 pattern were none other than a “mom” trousers pattern, I would’ve probably looked at other patterns first. It looks like I have these on backwards since I’ve got this odd air pocket hanging over my stomach where it looks like one’s booty would go. As much as I hate the idea of starting over completely, especially when I’ve been averaging one day at home per week lately, this wasn’t a total fail at all. I’ve been dying to learn how to make alterations, and truly this probably an excellent project to start with since there aren’t many pieces nor doesn’t require much fabric.

Armed with more muslin fabric and some patience, I’ll definitely be back at it after this next trip.

P.S. — Although it’s a pretty crummy photo above, that tank top is the one I made some weeks ago.

gotta go but….

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I wish I had this done already BUT cheers to slow progress. First time making a shirt cuff + placket….turned out so cute!  Anyways, have a good week!

the sweetest plaid you ever did see

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Built by Wendy button-down shirt pattern…….in progress.

If Rainbow Brite was in her mid 20s to early 30s today and wore a plaid print, this would so be her fabric of choice. Hands. Down.

Was this my intention going in? No. Am I ashamed though? Nah.

I added in some chambray accents in the back, collar stand, inner button flap, and it will be present on the cuff too. I’m so close yet so far from being finished. I am curious for these results because my love wanes and grows for this piece the longer I work on it. So there’s that.

Also a quick side-note I forgot to mention a post or two earlier – I got featured in DIY Summer Style Ideas article for my diy shorts tutorial by the nice folks at Earth911! Mine was 1 of 17 nifty DIY ideas mentioned for your summer wardrobe, so you should definitely check it out!

one sleeve + a collar

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A “selfie” shot.  I really loathe that term.

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Missing a sleeve, buttons, and a lower hem BUT this is as far as I’m willing to go for a practice top.

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A much needed quick sew project – McCalls 6128 racerback tank pattern.

My little heart has been set on a button-down shirt with sleeves and a collar.  No real reason that I know of since both of those last mentioned elements are sweat-inducing in July. I rarely make clothes with sleeves anymore. Setting in sleeves in a garment is not one of the sexier moments in sewing — it can be a pain. I haven’t set in a sleeve since my brief stint in fashion school, but this one-armed tester piece has restored some of my confidence. Maybe it ain’t so bad.

You see the pics above and I’m sure you assume my next move is to grab the “good” fabric and get to work, right?

Not so much.

It’s actually quite snug. Not like oh-this-is-form-fitting-and-kinda-sexy-for-a-button-down-YASSSSSSSS snug. More like too too tight around the bust, fitting oddly somehow in the back, and perhaps if I had another sleeve attached then clapping my hands would become a problem. If I took shallow breaths all day and didn’t have to move, I think it would totally be okay.

Obviously that means two things:
1. Seriously glad that I took the time to make a practice before I started on the final after all, and
2. If I want to make this top work I MUST ALTER THE ORIGINAL PATTERN.

Ugh. I may just leave #2 alone. Now true enough, I could possibly just take it a size up, but I’m not that seriously in love with this pattern to take the time to figure out how to fix it in the least. I JUST finally figured out the collar part! Which didn’t turn out to be a big deal. I actually have another pattern in mind to tweak if necessary to get what I want. So til then I guess.

But in the meantime, I had to finish something over my days off. Hence the quickie project.

And I know I don’t mention this enough, but a serious THANK YOU to all you awesome folks who write encouraging notes below!! I at least owe you guys a picture of some mountains or a beach. I’ve been totally slacking on my “fun” travel lately.

Low funds = NO funs.

wear it out

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Front.

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Back.

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Perhaps a captured moment of bliss.
Or maybe the sun was in my eyes.

The headband I’m wearing is actually one that I stole from my mother. The print is absolutely beautiful. She says she made it out of some scrap fabric years and years ago, so somehow it just feels extra special. Especially since I don’t remember her touching a sewing machine past my second grade year of elementary school. Next add a self-made blouse, a darling necklace with a Singer sewing machine charm (YES, you read correctly) given to me by my best friend for my 30th, and a yellow clutch gifted to me by a dear friend from Francesca’s Collections.

It’s definitely feeling personal.

I hope you all had a great 4th of July! I finished my trip that afternoon and fell asleep early to the sound of enthusiastic kiddos and far away fireworks. I totally missed out on all celebrations, food and firework displays. Believe me, I was just happy to be at home!

i just can’t quit you

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I go into the occasional serious sewing slump, but I’ve been on really great terms with my sewing machine as of late. A really really late night together and a couple all-day dates last week. A spat here and there of course, but for the most part we’ve been getting along just fine. I think more and more this job may be coming between us.

Kansas City + back yesterday. Toronto + back today. Early in the a.m. (technically, today) I begin a 4 day trip with layovers in Sacramento, Bakersfield, and Tampico (Mexico).

Sometimes, I just want to be at home sewing the day away.

This is fabric is actually from my personal stash, and the Simplicity 0273 pattern is one that I picked up on sale for 99 cents a couple months back. So this is pretty much feeling like a free blouse in the making. No buttons, no zippers, no extra trip to the fabric store, and only 4 pattern pieces (version B) to deal with so I couldn’t pass at the chance to make it.

The print is rather busy with this tie-neck style….but I think I’m totally okay with it. I still have facing for the sleeve openings, an issue with the neckline I gots to solve, and hemming on the bottom left to do. Hoping to get this project finished at the end of the week since I don’t come back home again until July 4th.

Ughhhhhhhhh. I have to wake up in 4 hours. Have a good week you guys.

$1.50 salvation army dress refashion

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These $9.95 Forever 21 sandals cost 6x more than the drawstring tube dress I’m wearing. The number of compliments I’ve gotten on this dress after two wearings is absolutely priceless. Happy. Camper.

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Humble beginnings. Size 14 button down collared cotton shirt dress, front + back.

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Hand-sewing gold glass bead embellishments on the existing fabric design.
Ignore the chipped nail polish.

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Closer detail shot of the finished simple beading I added.

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Finished front + back shots.

I stumbled upon this hidden gem when I was living in California about a year and a half ago. I’ve been holding on this old thing with pure laziness + good intentions. This dress was originally priced at $3.00 at the Salvation Army, but apparently on Wednesdays all clothing is marked 50% off. I don’t ever go into the Salvation Army clothing shops really, and I haven’t been in one since. The exact play by play of this purchase is quite hazy now, but all I remember is that dress looked like a tent on the hanger and that the fabric felt like it had been washed a million times. But I loved the fabric detail, particularly on the bottom hem of the muumuu-like button-down dress.

I like showing my shoulders + forgetting the sleeves during Texas summers, so I opted to make this a tube dress and adding a drawstring casing to the new mid-section. Most of this new dress is actually the bottom skirt of the old. I used the top part of the old dress mostly for the drawstring casing.

The navy, off-white + burgundy palette and existing fabric design put me in mind of a kind of nautical look so I added a gold rope trim that I found at JoAnn fabrics to help cinch the waist. I put an elastic band around the top of the tube dress + added gold beads just to give the dress some extra personality. It goes smashingly well with the afro puff.

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personal cards are priceless….well, almost

nancy1Front image of custom birthday card

nancy2Custom inner greeting message. She’s really turning 29, hehe.

nancy3Back of card

nancy4Cookie cake!

In my humble opinion, greeting cards just don’t get the proper press they deserve. I don’t send many out myself, but I definitely admire those few individuals who always take the time + care to still send you a card in the mail for special days. Who doesn’t love to get REAL mail? Those friends of mine that sent me notes + presents when I lived briefly in California absolutely made my holidays. Even if a greeting card is just exchanging hands instead of skipping states, the intentions are exactly the same. You just want to express how much you care, but sometimes a store-bought card doesn’t exactly SAY it.

This card cost $1.99 (tax not included), I was able to upload my image from my computer via Walgreens.com, and it was printed + ready on nice semi-gloss card stock in less than an hour! I made my own custom image to fill the card, but they have plenty of templates ready for your pictures to be uploaded into. And of course you customize the messages inside the card and on the back if you’d like.

Believe me, I’m not cool enough yet to have sponsors on this blog, so I am in NO way affiliated with Walgreens the company. I’m merely suggesting that if you have a location in your area and interested in a personalized gift or note for pretty reasonable price, it’s worth looking into. My friend Nancy + all of the friends that signed the card absolutely loved it! I’m definitely doing this again for sure. And don’t forget that Mother’s Day is coming up soon too!

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Invisible zipper work + boning on the final peplum top fabric

Oh, and this? Yeah. This is the reason I haven’t updated in a while. I just haven’t gotten around to finishing, but here’s proof of progress. I’ve never sewed in boning before, but it wasn’t at all difficult. I’m actually almost finished! For better or for worse, I can’t wait to show you the final results!