Posted on 6 Comments

The Things My Sister Makes Me Do

14711507_728065614649_8268011911975841328_oSo, Stephanie thinks a point of view of a non-sewist living with a sewist would be interesting to read, sooo…  my name is Virginia and I am Stephanie’s older, non-sewist sister.  I am the least crafty person in my family.  Still not sure why or how I got talked into writing for a sewing blog, but little sisters know when to pull out the persuasiveness and she definitely whammied me.  While my mom and sisters all have talents in making beautiful objects, I have no desire or skill to do so.  Living with someone with the ability to make clothes can be pretty damn awesome though (I seriously hate shopping and not having to go clothes shopping may be the best thing ever!).  However, you never realize how much room a “hobby” can take up.  When we were house shopping we specifically looked for a house where we could have a craft room.  We found one and have an entire room devoted to crafts, however, it is starting to move into other areas.  It is hard to complain when you get so many beautiful clothes out of it.Stephanie - Avery - Red - Top (2)

This does not mean I do not enjoy the end results of my family’s skills.  I am constantly asking for clothes and afghans to add to my ever-growing collection (I can already hear my mom sighing as I find another color and design for an afghan I want).  My closet is full of clothes Stephanie has made for me, and I am slowly and happily weeding out the ready to wear.  While I can’t say having her make our clothes is less expensive than purchasing them, I can say I am a lot happier with the fit and style of the ones she makes.  Before she started sewing, I would have thought sewing your own clothes was done to save money, it sure did not take long to realize that was a huge misconception.  Maybe a few decades ago but definitely not so anymore.

Watching the process of her making clothes is enthralling.  I don’t know why she asks me to join her in the craft room, when she is constantly asking me why I am watching her.  As someone with no skills in sewing, it is beyond mesmerizing to watch a piece of fabric become an item of clothing.  I have seen her make everything from underwear, to jeans, to a winter jacket.  Very recently she made me a jean jacket.  She doesn’t know I am mentioning the jean jacket today, it is for blog tour and is a surprise!  I feel that since I am writing for her blog I can sneak in a mention or two.  (She may regret asking me to do this)  Anywhos, that kind of skill is just awesome.

Now, all of this and me not being a sewist myself does not mean I do not get involved in the sewing process.  For some reason, Stephanie sometimes asks me to help in the process of making clothes. It is almost like she expects me to help make my own clothes (isn’t this why she has those skills and I don’t).  She will ask me to print and/or glue together a pattern.  I can tell you from experience that gluing together patterns is just about the worst.  The pages never seem to want to stick together for me, my fingers get covered in glue and ink, and the pattern ends up so big I have to cut it as I go or the whole thing falls apart.  I personally would be happy just fabric shopping and choosing what pattern I want with what styles.  Thankfully I don’t have to print much, but man when I do, those patterns are huge!  Since our printer is ancient I have to hang out by it and make sure nothing breaks or dies.  I think Stephanie is secretly hoping I will get fed up enough we can get one of those A0 printers.  I think she should start putting that idea into our parent’s heads for a birthday/Christmas gift (I know at least one of them reads her blog so…hint hint).12508879_10153827694472311_8091317085687337900_n-2391838579-1534789359469.jpg

I will admit fabric shopping is just about the best thing ever and my personal favorite part of sewing.  Of all the parts of sewing Stephanie has shown and tried to teach me, fabric is the one area I absolutely love.  If you ever want to get someone interested in sewing, I highly recommend starting there.  I find myself learning about fabric without even realizing.  When we go to Fine Fabrics I do decent at knowing what a type of fabric is just by touching it, and if I don’t I have no problem asking.  This is really helpful since we love to buy fabric from a few places online as well (company pug here:  Sly Fox Fabrics is my favorite!!!!).  There are so many pretty fabrics it is hard to remember we have a budget and can’t just spend all the money on the fabric.

Stephanie has certainly tried to get me more involved in the entire sewing process, outside buying all the fabric.  I am sure she would be thrilled if I decided to start sewing with her.  Although, then she would have to share her machines and I’m not overly sure how that would go over.  I will ask her questions that she is always happy to answer, but still no desire to sew anything.  I do know how to sew, at least something simple, and if she handed me a garment and said sew this seam, I can do it.  I just don’t have any desire to learn how to put together an entire piece of clothing.  Our grandma and mom taught all of us how to sew at a young age.  Unlike Stephanie, I never caught the bug and only did what I had to, usually just in school.  Anyone else remember having to take a sewing and cooking class in school?  Do they still make you do that?  DSC_0103Anyways.  Stephanie has really found her passion in sewing.  This is probably why she loves doing pattern tests and helping other sewists learn new techniques and improve overall.  I think she is hoping one day I will cave and ask her to teach me how to make clothes.

She has even started to get me to help cutting out fabric.  I can not believe she trusts me enough to help in this area.  I have a slight reputation for sabotaging things I don’t want to do (ask my dad about a lawn mower when I was a teenager), so I don’t understand why Stephanie trusts me with the fabric.  To be fair, she is pretty smart in having me cut fabric for my own clothes as there is an extremely less chance of me messing that up.  No matter how many times she tells me about cutting on the fold, with grain, and a whole lot of other technical things I don’t remember, I can never seem to keep it all straight and ask her the same questions over and over again.  Not sure how she has the patients to deal with that as it would irritate the hell out of me.  She just keeps on trying though.  Keeps telling me, the more I help the more she can do.  And damn if I don’t want some more work clothes and pretty clothes for my wardrobe, so I keep falling for it and end up helping her more and more.  I did help a bit with my jean jacket (mentioned again!).  This time with cutting and sewing.  Anyone else seriously hate ironing?  Such a simple task is just the worst for me.  I will wear an entire wrinkly outfit before I iron.

She has started to do more than just sew (hello blog), so now she is getting me more involved there as well.  I am still not sure how I even ended up writing this for her.  Apparently, she thinks torturing me and asking me to write what amounts to a paper on my summer break is fun.  Oh well.  Life with a sewist is interesting.  She is constantly trying to find time to work her part-time job for a pattern designer, while doing pattern tests, as well as sewing for herself and those around her outside of her full-time job.  If you sew your own clothes, you know people are always just amazed by what you can do and ask you to sew for them as well.  Stephanie is always being asked to sew clothes for people who know her (that is a whole other topic entirely, people really don’t appreciate how much time and work goes into create items of clothing from scratch).  Since I mentioned it, don’t be surprised if you see a post about it from me in the future.

So how am I supposed to end all my rambling thoughts????????

P.S. I don’t really have any of the pics of me or anyone else in Stephanie made clothes so I chose random funny ones. 🙂

 

Posted on 1 Comment

5oo4 – Jessie Top

5oo4 Jessie 3XL

If you are looking for a top that is fitted but not tight and still full of options, check this one out!!  A nice simple sew, with minimal construction fanciness?  Check!

This was seriously the fastest sew, ever.  It look longer to glue the pattern together than to actually cut and sew!  For a shirt where I need to do minimal alterations to make it work correctly (ok, zero alterations), this is a win for me!

Now, if you’re looking for some fun options to spice up your t-shirt, Jessie has you covered as well!!

This nice low back is a great base for whatever strappy delight makes you happy!!  She included instructions for this combo and for a single strap across the back, but always encourages the sewist to have fun with it!!  The binding is fairly simple and quick but really takes a basic tee up a level!!

5oo4 Jessie 3xl (7)

I had so much fun making these to add some basic, but fun tops to Virginia’s closet!

<3 <3

My model for this is my gorgeous sister, Virginia.  She is cool with these photos being put on the internets. 🙂 Fabric for the red top is from Fine Fabrics.  Floral and stripe are an amazing bundle from So Sew English and of course, you can pick up your pattern here Jessie Top.  

Posted on 1 Comment

TBT – Patterns for Pirates Sweetheart Hack

This TBT thing… not something I’ve ever participated in. But then I realized, I have years of sewing to share and what better way to keep track than picking random projects every once in a while?

I have to start with my favorite make ever. The Patterns for Pirates Sweetheart Dress is super cute and surprisingly versatile. It was actually one of my first knit sews!

Then I was invited to a wedding and needed a pretty dress! The fun begins here. I decided to make one small change to have a strappy back of my dreams!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did I mention it was a twirly dress? Every lady needs a twirly dress!!!!

Some super quick instructions for anyone who would like a similar back…

From the pattern, you need the skirt, the front tank piece and the lower back piece. I then cut twelve 1″ wide strips that were way longer than I needed and a facing for both the front and back pieces. (If you need help with these steps, leave a comment!)

I sewed the strips together to make six tubes, then turned them right side out.

Sew straps to the front tank, as central as possible. Mine are slightly overlapping! Then sew the facing to the front. I sewed over the straps a few extra timesfor extra security.

On the back, I laid out the straps in the pattern I wanted.

I played with placement a bit and what worked for me might not work for you! My first strap was 1/2″ from center, then 2″ between each strap.

Sew the back facing on, making sure to secure the straps! I added elastic to the back to help prevent gaping and support this very heavy jacquard double knit fabric! (How gorgeous is this texture?)

Sew sides seams together, and understitch as far as you can.

From here, you can finish the rest of the pattern as per the tutorial.

Now you can have a twirly, strappy dress as well! Who has a fun event to wear it for and can I come with? 😆

PS: I did get to wear this to the a ridiculously fun wedding! It was perfect!!

Pick up your copy here – Sweetheart Dress 

Virginia is wearing an Essential Tank Dress – Essential Tank 

Both fabrics are from Fabric Mart which is a wonderful company. You should check them out. 😉

Stephanie xx