So, my favorite fabric company added a few new to them/me types of fabric to their store and I am IN LOVE! Holy shit. I may have ordered all of them. Seriously. Don’t tell Virginia, or I’ll have to share.
Some of the new fabrics were chosen with guys in mind. If any of you have sewn for men, you know it can be hard as hell to find fabrics that are the feel, look, color, pattern, whatever, that guys want to wear. (Caveat here, not all guys. Guys can wear whatever the hell they want in whatever fabrics they want.) This knub jersey is PERFECT!! It feels really similar to the triblend, which is 100% my current favorite fabric. Super easy to work with, it doesn’t slide around too much, or curl a ton. Plus this deep red is GORGEOUS!!! (Pro tip, the charcoal is to beyond lovely as well.)
When this fabric was on the way to me, I had a few patterns in mind and just had to wait to feel it for it to tell me what it wanted to become. It chose this gorgeous hack to the Made for Mermaids Catherine and I freaking love it!!
Let’s chat about this hack for just a minute. Easiest. Hack. Ever. I cut all the same pieces as the pattern calls for, including “lining” for the yoke. (Ok, I shortened the sleeves too, since I like them shorter.) Then I took the two front yokes and folded them each in half, right sides together and sewed the neckline. The two back yokes got sewn together along the neckline. Then I lined up the shoulder seams of the front to the back. But, I didn’t want to sew this flat, folding it over so the front was wrong sides together, sandwiched right sides together with the back. Once this is sewn, it pulls out so beautifully to the perfect neckline.
Then I mostly followed the instructions. Just was quite careful about basting the front yokes so I didn’t have an overlap or a huge gap, right along my seam line (hence all the clips!). Sew the rest of the shirt and voila!! I LOVE this style shirt. It is cute and comfortable, and I get tons of compliments on it when I wear it (which I’ve already done 3 times!).
Back to the fabric, this knub blend is PERFECT for this top!! It is lightweight, and flowy. It wears comfortably, without wrinkling. I’m not super hot like DBP in Atlanta heat. Overall, two thumbs up and I highly recommend you go buy some, mostly because I already bought more.
Gifting to guys is basically impossible. I feel like we get my dad the same stuff year after year. Mostly just something fun with that Packer G on it. He always seems happy. But it is even harder to MAKE something for guys. I run into this problem with all the guys I gift to. So, what to do?
I decided a cord roll would be super helpful! Doodled out my idea and sewed up a practice one. Instant love!!! It took about an hour, while figuring out how to actually make it. Plus it is an awesome scrap buster! It has a great zipper pocket for plugs or what-have-you, and spots for 7 cords!!
Tweaked the pattern a little bit and sewed up a second one. Pretty sure this is perfect. Why don’t I write it up and share it with my favorite readers?! (That’s you!!). So you can totally download a PDF with instructions and dimensions here. I’ve included a few different closure options and some photo step by step instructions.
The personalization options are just endless on this! I’ve got three different closure options on these. The first is flannel with snaps, the second suede with cord elastic, and the last quilting cotton with a ribbon tie! The suede roll, I decided not to top stitch, but instead slip stitched to finish it off.
INTERFACING – I have to admit to using featherweight interfacing for most project. It is light enough for most my apparel sewing needs, but provides just enough support for projects like these. Which means I can keep a lot of it on hand and not worry about not using it.
ZIPPERS – I like to buy all purpose zippers in bulk as well (are you sensing a theme here?). It is convenient to keep a bunch of different colors and lengths on hand for random projects. Then I never have to run to the craft store in the middle of a project to grab a quick zipper. One of the perks to this project is the ease with which you can shorten your zipper! That means if you have a 9 or even a 14 inch zipper on hand that is the right color, it is perfect! No need to fret about having exactly a 7 inch zip!!
Everything else you need are basic sewing supplies. Fabrics, scissors, your sewing machine and needles, of course. My favorite part of this project is that you don’t really need anything special!! Just grab stuff you have on hand and go to town!
If you want to make it extra special, you could add a little key chain loop and attach one of these key fobs that I show you how to make. Even easier, in that you can throw it on your wrist and just go, or pull it out of a full, busy bag quick and easy.
I can’t wait to make these for a bunch more people (and one for me!!). Please let me know if you have any questions!! And share what you’ve made! I’d love to see everyone’s versions. <3
So, 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.
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).
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? Anyways. 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. 🙂