Posts Tagged ‘H&M’

Draw it Sew it: Swim Coverup/Dress


I am completely exhausted. Keeping up with work and blog posts means that I get about half the sleep I need to function and my house is a complete disaster.

Over the last 5 years I’ve struggled on and off with anxiety and depression. I’m now managing it successfully without drugs, but I have to be aware of my triggers. The lack of sleep and falling behind on my to-do list is triggering my anxiety. For the next few weeks I’m going to be paring down to 3 posts a week rather than 4 or 5 mediocre ones.


Last week’s results were neck and neck, the subtle hemline winning out by 6% of the votes. Short it is! Thinking that this dress would be much easier to sew up than it was, I didn’t really allot myself much time to make it. I started cutting around 9pm Wednesday night. Big mistake.


Turns out, this fabric is evil. It’s cursed or something. I bought it from Michael Levine loft, it was in a crumpled mess, all wrinkled and kinked. I thought that was part of the design. Not the case.

This fabric wrinkles easily and does not iron well. Naturally. It’s a synthetic. Usually synthetics are slow to wrinkle though.


As I was cutting out this fabric, I was fighting to keep it from shifting around and kinking. While sewing, I was fighting to keep the edges lined up together.

It was 3:30am before I threw in the towel and went to bed. I had everything done except for the ties, the button hole on the side and a little fit detail I needed to fix on the neckline. It was going to take me another 2 hours before I could call it complete.


I finally finished it today, spending about an hour just ironing out all those kinks. GAH, this stuff is annoying!

On the bright side, I love the color and I love the drape. It flows really nicely as I walk around. I just need to remake this dress in a different fabric. A real silk perhaps?  It’d be a lot more expensive. I got this fabric for something like $3-4 for 5 yards. I used about 3 1/2 yards.


Drafting up a pattern for this dress was simple. I shortened the high-low on Megan Nielsen’s cascade skirt and I used my basic scoop tee pattern (actually had to draft up a new version since I couldn’t find my physical pattern anywhere) for the top. I needed a curved ruler in order to do this. Otherwise it was simple.


If you look really closely, you can see marks from the steam and my iron (it didn’t burn or melt the dress, but it did make random marks in some spots).

Outfit Details:

  • necklace: Ardor
  • dress: handmade
  • bangles: thrifted, gifts and c/o Apricot Lane
  • earrings: H&M
  • shoes: thrifted


I’m looking forward to wearing it to the pool. I also made it long enough so I can wear it out and about as a dress. I love how it turned out despite the nightmare of working with the material. I’ll definitely make another one.

Which combination of fabric should I choose for this raglan tee?

@melissapher: Which color scheme? #sewing #fashion #diy

Wrap Bracelet “Tutorial”


This is the most complicated tutorial on my blog to date. I kid, I kid. You probably already have everything on hand, it’s just a matter of repurposing. And maybe you’ve already done this before.


Yes, make an awesome, hip, trendy, amazing wrap bracelet in a matter of seconds.

Find the skinniest skinny belt in your closet.

Wrap it around your wrist a ton of times.



Mind blown? I sure hope so. The gold belt above I scored as part of a sweater set at H&M. I made the hot pink one from leather cording and a lever-back clasp.


I measured the leather cording to my waist and glued the leather into the end cups. Each wrap took 2 minutes to make and an hour for the glue to dry. So I can wear these as itty bitty skinny belts or multi-wrap bracelets. I like these as bracelets as they’re flexible, comfortable and don’t get in the way.


Outfit details:

  • glasses:
  • scarf: thrifted
  • blazer: H&M
  • top: Forever 21
  • pants: target
  • shoes: thrifted
  • bracelets: handmade and H&M
Leather and clasps courtesy of (cording here, clasp here).


Sewing: Gathered Tulle Skirt


At my church we have two weekends a year where we listen/watch a broadcast of our general church leaders from home, and I love it. Growing up we have a tradition of crafting/making/sewing while we listen. So I made a skirt on Saturday.


I’ve had the idea of this skirt in my head for some time. I was going to make it a gathered skirt with a jersey underneath, but Miriam convinced me that I make it out of a thinner woven material (that she then gave me). I liked her idea. Then I decided to make it with a real waistband with a zipper and everything. I’m so glad I did.

The tulle that I found (thrifted) is really soft with a very drapey hand. I’ve not found anything like this except for a floral netting I came across at Joann a while ago (they don’t have it listed online, but I’ve seen it in stores). Does anyone have a good way to describe this kind of fabric?


The pink color is my absolute favorite. So soft and romantic.


I used the same template as I used in my woven maxi tutorial for the underskirt. I did change the zipper to the back rather than the side. So I measured at the half-point and added a seam allowance and cut the back pieces accordingly. I then gathered about 4x my waist measurement worth of soft tulle (I think this may be classified as a lace more than a tulle?) and attached it to the bottom of the skirt. Then I attached the waistband.



I added extra width in the waistband so I could attach a button (I’m getting much better at sewing button holes!) for the final enclosure. I didn’t have a matching invisible zipper on hand, so I used a regular one. This just so happened to match perfectly.


I love the way this skirt flows. It’s my new favorite!

Outfit details:

Button provided by Use code: BUTTONS4CHARITY for 10% off your purchase.




Sewing: Silk is A Pretty Beast


One of my favorite new aspects of the Alt Summit conference was that the bulk of sponsors did not give out swag at the conference. They mailed it to our doorstep the months leading up to the big week. Brilliant. I can devote one-on-one attention to some very neat, hand-picked brands and I don’t have to lug anything home. This was probably the most effective and tasteful brand-placement I’ve seen at any conference I’ve attended. Good Job Alt peeps. Good job.


Kollabora sent us special gift codes that went towards a purchase on their site. Of course, I used my gift code for fabric. Their other supplies were tempting, but look at this silk! I’ve bought silk before, but I haven’t really worked with it until now. Not from scratch, anyway. I wanted to make sure that I did everything right with this yardage, so I did a little (not a lot, mind you) research. Here are a few tips that definitely came in handy:

Use a pattern that’s a winner. Silk is so tricky to work with, you don’t want to be altering anything afterwards, so either make something that’s a winner or draft up a muslin before-hand. I drafted this skirt pattern from scratch, but I had made it before (here) and it was a real winner. The drape of the fabric was a perfect fit with this particular pattern.


Pretreat. If you plan on dry cleaning the silk in the future, no need to do this, but pre-wash the yardage beforehand if you plan on laundering the garment yourself. I just threw the yardage in with my regular wash, but I’ll definitely be hand-washing this now that it’s made. I don’t want my 35 year old top-loader to rip it to shreds! It’s nice to have the option, though. If you’re not sure about how the silk will wash cut a small swatch and see how that does in the laundry first. I’d hate for you to mess up some $80 a yard fabric because of my previous success with laundering silk!

Cut carefully and cut once. My pattern pieces were all on heavy paper, so I trued up the grain on my fabric, carefully laid out the pattern pieces, weighed them down with weights and cut each piece out with a rotary cutter. Jen has a fabulous tutorial on how to cut silk (or slippery threads) with scissors.


Finish all seams. If you have a serger, use that. If you don’t, you’ll want to encase all of your seams with binding or French seams. You don’t want any raw edges showing.

Use a silk needle. Use the sharpest needle possible. I used microtex with great success.

Pin twice, sew once. Go slowly if you have to, but try to get your seams done right the first time. It’s fine if you have to unpick the silk, but you’ll still be able to see those old holes from the previous seam.

Iron carefully. Use the silk setting on your iron and/or use a presser cloth. I just have a sheet of white quilting cotton that I use. I can use my highest setting, and as long as I’m using that cloth over my precious fabric, nothing will go wrong. Nothing should, anyway.


I think this goes without saying, but I love my new skirt. The fabric drapes and flows so nicely as I walk, and it’s so silky and soft. Probably the nicest fabric I’ve worked with ever.

So have you worked with silk before? Am I the only one who trembles behind the knees at the thought of working with something so nice?

Outfit details:

  • top: H&M
  • bow tie: handmade
  • bracelet: thrifted
  • skirt: handmade
  • tights: H&M
  • shoes: thrifted

Fabric was provided by Kollabora, this is not a sponsored post.


Tutorial: Color Blocked Wiggle Skirt


This post is part of the Stretch Yourself Series hosted by Miriam of Mad Mim and Miranda of One Little Minute. You should check out their series if you haven’t already. It’s a very thorough series on the ins and outs of sewing with knits.

Today Heather and I are sharing how to color block with knits. It’s really so easy. Promise.

When asked to participate in Mim and Miranda’s knit series (specifically the color block part), I immediately thought of these shoes. They’ve been circulating the interwebs recently, and I haven’t been able to get them out of my head. So I thought I would translate those shoes to a skirt.

I told Chris this was my business in front, party in back skirt.

We’re only doing it on one side, and we’re doing it with stretchy knit so it’s a lot more forgiving than you might think. Here’s how you can make your own:

You’ll need a stretchy base knit, something that has 40-60% stretch. The gold knit you’ll just grab some gold lame or swim material. It’s got good structure and stretch. You’ll also need pencil, large paper, scissors, seam ripper, pins, ruler and a sewing machine.

Make your measurements. Measure where you want your skirt to sit along your waist, measure your rise (distance between waist and hips), hips and skirt length.

Draft up a quick pattern using the above measurements. This is for 1/4th of your skirt. Since you’re using a stretchy material, we won’t worry about seam allowance.

Now we’ll cut out the material. It’s best to lay it out on the ground and weigh the pattern down on the fabric with bowls, cups and other weighty objects. Cut out with scissors or rotary cutter. Cut your gold piece just a little bit bigger than the bottom of your skirt.

Take one skirt piece aside and lay it on the ground right side up. Lay the gold fabric right side up about 3/4 inches below the hem. Grab your ruler, lay it down and cut through both layers.

Now you have your two pattern pieces cut at the exact same angle! Ready for piecing.

Lay the pieces right sides together, and stitch. Iron seam flat with a cool iron.

Line up front and back pieces right sides together and sew, using a 1/2 – 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Finish the hems: Roll hem with a serger, cover stitch, zig zag or double-stitch your top and bottom hems. Be sure to use a stitch that allows for stretch!!

Outfit details:

  • top, earrings and necklace: H&M
  • skirt: handmade
  • shoes: c/o Blowfish

Now rock and roll!

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