21 September 2016

Chi-Town Chinos: A Review

I cannot believe I am dusting off the blog and posting something.  It has been so so long.  

And while I have been busy living and loving life... moving, having babies, moving, mothering, moving (#militarylife), friending, serving, moving, and working to name a few, I've also been sewing.

Eight years now-  I was gifted my first sewing machine eight years ago.  I actually still use the same one (a basic Elna).  She remains a solid and reliable companion, and I never give up on such companions.

And so together we make things.  This not being the most recent, but the most recent I have photographed.  Also, a favorite as of late.    

Chi-Town Chinos (expansion pack)

While this pattern had lots and lots of steps, the directions are so carefully written that I felt for the first time I was able to tackle and conquer short making for myself.  I've tried before with more homemade results - not what I was going for.  This time I am so happy to tell anyone that will take  notice of them that I made them myself.  These shorts remind me of something I would buy at JCrew. Except they fit even better.

So go ahead, try making them yourself.  And then marvel at what you made.  And thank Alina and her pattern making skills for teaching you how to do it.  

Also a tip: put on your brightest lipstick when wearing them, simply because life is more fun that way.  Now go!

05 February 2015

Sweatshirt and T-shirt refashion - KCW Winter 2015

I'm realizing as I look through my stack of clothes to refashion that I have a thing for sweatshirts… and not being able to get rid of them.  Why??  Luckily, however, we are in great need of warmer clothing right now.  This photo was taken a few snow storms ago.  There is even less of our corner stop sign still in view at this moment (with three more days of snow predicted for this weekend!).    

The navy blue sweatshirt I received as a hand-me-down while living in Japan about ten years ago.  It always fit around my waist just fine but the sleeves were about two inches too short.  I pushed them up and called it good.  The navy and white striped shirt is from (clearing throat) eight grade!  I'm in my 30's!!  I found it in a box when I came home to my parents during college and was delighted it still fit.  So I took it to put it back into my rotation of clothing.  It is really nothing special.  And super embarrassing to admit! 

I very loosely based this sweater off the Bimaa Sweater pattern with the shawl collar by Lou Bee Clothing.  The striped material on the sleeves are cut at a slant so they come to a point at the elbows.  I used the original hems on the bottom and sleeves of the sweater.  I cut the neck hole much larger and resized the shawl piece to fit.  I made the body of the sweater so it is more of a slim fit and longer than the original pattern called for.  In retrospect, it would have been a lot easier to follow the pattern more closely.  This was supposed to be a really fast refashion!  I also wish I had used a thicker knit for the neckline shawl but I love the color of the knit I used.       

All in all I'm happy with the result, and grateful my girl has another sweater to help keep her warm in this freezing weather!  

03 February 2015

Sweatshirt Refashion - KCW Winter 2015

  I am quite possibly the worst blogger ever.  I have sewn in the past year, promise!  However, I'm okay with being a terrible blogger for this season in my life.  I have three very cute, very active, very time consuming children that I am spending most my days with.  I am also baking a fourth as we speak (17 weeks and counting).  We've moved again (navy life!) and I began homeschooling a few months ago.  Life just keeps rolling for us, and that is the way we like it.

We are in our new home on a six month assignment, the end of which we will celebrate with new baby.  And then promptly another move.  I told my husband as we were unpacking this time that I would finally tackle my big stack of clothes to be refashioned that we have been moving from house to house, or I would donate everything at the end of these six months.  Pregnancy has left me tired and sick until now, and only recently am I beginning to feel a little more like myself.  I was excited to learn about this round of Kids Clothing Week: Refashion as I knew it was the exact kick in the pants I need.

Which brought me back to staring at my old high school sweatshirt.  I've had it almost 15 years (gulp!!!).  I seem to have no problem telling my husband to get rid of his old and ragged t-shirts, but for some reason I could not let go of this sweatshirt (tell me I'm not the only one!).  I always loved it, loved the way it fit and loved that I could be comfortable and yet cute at the same time (or so I thought… I mean, it is a sweatshirt after all!).

This is a photo from my phone of the beloved sweatshirt in all its sad sad glory (Frayed everywhere, holes in the elbows and other random places, and stretched out kind of funny like)....

And this is the refashion.

I used the Bimaa Sweater pattern by Lou Bee Clothing.  Although I've had the pattern for over a year this is my first time sewing it up… and I love it!!  I'm thinking she needs three more variations at least!  I followed the pattern except for adding an additional stripe of light blue at the bottom, making the bottom ribbed knit (refashioned from my original sweatshirt) bigger than the pattern calls for, and leaving the original pocket in the front.  Blue is this girl's favorite color, and she loved it too!  I'm calling this refashion a success!  

01 February 2014

Front Placket Snap Skirt - KCW Winter 2014

Front placket, pearl snaps, full skirt/skinny waist, gathered waistband in the back, winter colors, longer length with room to grow...  these are a few of the things I love about this skirt.  

Truth be told, I made it as practice (that and this cute girl really needs some more formal wear).  I want to make a few versions of this same skirt for myself and I was happy to practice on something for my little lady.  I already have the fabric to get started on one for me!

I went with snaps because they are easier for my kids to do than buttons... that and I'm really digging the way they look!  

I used this tutorial as a general outline.  Unlike in the tutorial, I made a detached placket because I wanted the contrasting fabric to run down the front.  I also gave the skirt a flat front (interfaced) with a gathered waistband in the back (not interfaced) because kids grow too fast and I want her to be able to wear this for a while.  

And... the fabric for the main part of the skirt was given to me by a friend!  A cute and more than affordable skirt!  I'm in love!

Faux Fur Vest - KCW Winter 2014

kid's clothes week

It's here again!  And I'm so glad it is!  I've been out of my sewing groove for a little while now, enjoying instead heaps of crocheting adventures and home improvements.  This is exactly the motivation I needed.  

About two years ago I made my son a bear halloween costume.  I've been hanging onto some extra faux fur fabric ever since.  

I'm so glad I finally found a good use for it!   

My husband said she looks like a "mountain man," Ha!!  She is a rough and tumble lady who loves the outdoors and getting dirty, so I think it's kind of fitting.

This pattern was self drafted using a puffy vest my daughter already owns.  

I'm still deciding if I want to add a snap closure to the front.  While there is not a collar that goes all the way around, the front flaps open to make it look like there is one.  The bottom of the front of the vest also curves outward from the center - somewhat like a suit vest.  It is hard to see in these photos.

The vest is completely reversible and has faux fur/a yellow cotton on in the inside.  I'll try to add a picture of it reversed soon.  

I'm very happy with the results, and so is my cute lady.  Win-win!

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