Patchwork Trend

Sew, this Fall it seems as though the patchwork trend is in full swing.  I say, “YAY” it’s fun sewing!  I made some patchwork jeans last night.  I love them!  I’ve tried patchwork before and it was a failure.  I blogged about my first try here. This go round I tried a slightly different method. Instead of putting the pieces together on purpose while assembling the garment, I assembled the fabric as patchwork. Here’s the result this time.
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How does that happen?  I used denim to create my patchwork trend.  I knew I wanted the top of the jeans dark, you know, to hide all those body imperfections, I hope. I cut out the pattern to short shorts length using the dark denim.  From there,  I pieced together whatever I could find to make a large enough amount of patchwork “fabric” to cut out the rest of my jeans.  It was fun! I used my seam ripper a few times, and had to piece some parts in at the last minute to make it work but overall, it wasn’t that difficult.

What was difficult was the Mimi G pattern I tried using.  Let’s just say, it was not made for my body.  I tried all sorts of alterations, none worked for me.  I did give it a run for it’s money and my seam ripper too.  I think the seam ripper saw more action on those jeans than the sewing machine saw.  I really wanted them to work, but just like ready to wear, all styles do not fit all body types.

The pattern I used, is tattered, it works like a charm and fits perfectly every single time.  I have used the pattern for three pair of shorts, three pair of pants, and now one pair of jeans.  I use Simplicity 1165 for all my pants.  The Mimi G pattern I experimented with was Simplicity 1167.  The pattern and instructions were great, my body just would not conform.[envira-gallery id="2202"][envira-gallery slug="patchwork-trend"]

I hope to get a lot of wear out of these jeans and try other fabrics using the patchwork trend as well.  I hope this has inspired you to mess around with the technique as well.  No matter what you do, ENJOY!


Featured image can be found here.

Sewing without Knowing (beginner)

There are so many things I wish I knew when I Started Sewing without knowing as a beginner.  I had sewn before, quite a lot.  But the brain forgets in 30 years all the things you once knew, or at least some of them. So, essentially, I was once again a beginner. At least I remembered a few things like pressing while sewing. I actually did a blog on this. Here are some more articles you may find helpful: This and this one, too! The following things I really did not know or did not believe were a factor for me.

  1. RELAX- sewing while rushing or tired makes things take longer.
  2. READ- reading the manual is more important than anyone wants to admit.  I didn’t read mine.  Then I was totally excited to find my second machine had a thread cutter on the side! Guess what, so did my first one, I just didn’t know about it. The manual has more information than the internet or someone else’s experience.  It’s about YOUR machine.  Invaluable.
  3. TOOLS- I promise, it’s not necessary to break both arms at the same time to buy a cutting mat and rotary cutter. I never would have tried this method until the broken arm incident.  I love the sound of the scissors and fabric together.  But, honestly, the mat and cutter make cutting patterns more professional.
  4. SEW- If you do not actually get in there and fight that beast of a machine, you’ll never learn anything.  So what if you mess up? That’s what the seam ripper is made for. The first dress I sewed after 30 years took me forever.  I was terrified.  Why?  I hadn’t tried it before and I only had three days to finish.  I was going to a funeral and owned not one single black dress! The compliments were worth the time.
  5. CONCENTRATE- this is the hardest part for me, I want to second guess the pattern instructions.  Please follow their instructions, it’s a huge time saver.  They are professional and know what to do to get the same results they did. I believe I spend more time thinking about the garment than I do sewing it.  I roll over and over in my head how I’m going to make it look. It’s helpful, but not productive.  Thinking doesn’t make it happen.  You have to actually do something to make it happen.
  6. KEEP TRYING- It’s okay to mess up. That’s what the seam ripper is for.  It’s okay if you sew something perfect and then it doesn’t fit.  I’ve done this.  It only makes the next one easier.

Most of all ENJOY!




Building a Fall 2015 Wardrobe

I’ve been  looking at all the ways to build a wardrobe. Some will tell you Capsule Building a Fall 2015 wardrobe is the only answer.  For me, I love the idea.  But, what happens when I’ve sewn all my pieces?  Does my machine just collect dust for the rest of the season?  I found a Seasonal Shopping Plan that works on the basis of 2 or 3 of each item listed is enough.

  • Sweaters, Cardigans   (2 or 3)
  • Tops: Sleeveless, tanks, tees, strips  (2 or 3)
  • Tops: Blouses, Button Downs  (2 or 3)
  • Shoes: Tennis Shoes, Sandals, Heels, Flats, Wedges  (2 or 3)
  • Skirts: A Line, Pencil, floor length  (2 or 3)
  • Jackets: Blazers, Jean, Wool,  (2 or 3)
  • Pants: Straight Leg, Skinny, Wide leg, Boot Cut  (2 or 3)
  • Jeans: Straight Leg, Skinny, Wide leg, Boot Cut  (2 or 3)
  • Accessories (2 or 3) I know this must have meant 20 or 30! 🙂

So, looking at this list and using it as a guide, you would need a total of 6 tops, 3 sweaters, 3 pair of shoes, 3 skirts, 3 jackets, 3 pair of pants, 3 pair of jeans and numerous accessories!  Just kidding, she actually said 2 or 3. A total of around 24 items.

I can work with this!  Although no dresses were mentioned, which is concerning for me 🙂

Overall, the first step in building a wardrobe is defining your style.  I found a worksheet for this here. Art in the find has a wonderful graphic of ways to pair your clothing.  I would love to share the entire library here, but I don’t think there is enough space.  Please visit her page.  So much to learn from her.[envira-gallery id="2183"]
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 I included a couple of photos to tease you. Click on the title on her site and a whole library opens up!

There are so many versions on the internet to help you along your way of defining what your wardrobe should and shouldn’t be. Another website has a workbook to help you along the way. Her workbook, PERSONAL STYLE & THE PERFECT WARDROBE can be downloaded in it’s entirety by clicking on the title above.

I really like her workbook.  She has questions I would never think of asking myself. For the perfect outfit she asks  “What is the ensemble perfect for?” and “What are the main accessories, hair and make up variations?”

I am no where near as creative or organized as these ladies.  I personally buy fabric with a vague purpose in mind.  Then make something with it, say a skirt.  At that point I realize I have no idea what type of top, jacket, or accessories are appropriate for said ensemble. Eventually, I get there and look good.  I just don’t take a straight path like these brilliant ladies.  I hope you find something useful for your own sewing here, ENJOY!


Cheap Thrills or Cheap Bills?

Expensive Looking Wardrobe on the Cheap

Cheap Thrills or Cheap Bills? Buying less expensive fabric can be a costly mistake if close attention is not paid to the fiber contents. Inexpensive fabric can be found everywhere if you are willing enough to spend the time.  I’ve been known to spend hours at Hancock Fabrics sifting through the bolts on their tables of spot the dot sale fabrics.  I have a rule for myself at those tables, it must be at least 50% off.  I usually go for the under $3 fabrics.

 I completely love a tonal outfit in linen.  It was one of my first loves in textiles, 30 years ago.  It’s an easy sewing fabric and looks fabulously expensive. I love the fact that this fabric is natural as well.  The fabric comes from the flax plant fibers. This is quite possibly the coolest fabric around. The clothing created from this fabric doesn’t have the fake feel of  synthetic fabric.  Linen gets better with age, it softens up nicely with wear.

  •  Faux Suede

As a child I remember my first touch of this fabric and my grandmother’s quick response. Obviously she had high regard for this fabric’s price and quality. Once known as ultra suede, now known as vegan because it’s difficult to tell the difference between the faux and real. There is an incredibly informative post about sewing with faux suede here.

The benefits of cotton are quite similar to those of linen due to the natural fibers.  Cotton breathes and feels better than synthetic counterparts.  It’s low maintenance, doesn’t pill, and retains it’s shape. The  best fabric for leggings or stretch knit is a cotton spandex blend.

  • Rayon

Rayon looks more expensive but pills and shows wear and tear quickly.  But, in a pinch, and if good diligent care is taken, this is a great inexpensive substitute.

  •  Acrylic

I love working with this because the results look close to RTW (ready to wear) end products. Looks expensive, but looses shape easily, handle with care.

  • Polyester

I hate the feeling of this fabric regardless of how expensive it looks. But, to each his/her own.

What do you think?