Posts Tagged ‘Seychelles’

Sewing: Comfy Sweater Raglan with Kangaroo Pocket


A long-sleeve raglan tee is a favorite wardrobe staple of mine that I’ve longed to make for the last several months. It took me so long to finally get around to making one for the simple fact that I tried to draft one up on my own and failed miserably. The first one I drafted was too straight-edged (literally, I just drew straight lines) and didn’t fit right. The second was too curvy (draped on my dressform) and also didn’t look right. All around too baggy or bulky in the wrong spots. So I went for a pattern instead. Shoulda done that from the get-go. WAAAY easier in this case.


I used a rayon/polyester blend double knit for this top. I fell in love with the print a week ago. It reminds me of something art-deco/the matrix (minus that hideous computer green), but I wasn’t totally sold on the texture. I tend to steer clear of polyester because I’m so particular about texture. Thankfully, a cycle in the washer and dryer softened it up to perfection.


The Hey June Lane Raglan pattern* I used recommended I sew up an XS based on my waist measurements (although I wonder if those were meant to be bust measurements?). Since the double knit didn’t offer a 50% stretch like the pattern recommended, I sized up. I almost wish I would have sized up to the medium for a hoodie-like fit (a little closer to what I had envisioned), but the tighter fit is still very comfortable, and lends itself towards a more polished look.


The fabric pattern is pretty busy – borderline overwhelming – breaking up the print with jersey knit piping around sleeve lines solved the issue.

I winged it with the pouch, and if I were to do it all over again, I’d shorten the top trapezoidal part of the pouch by about an inch and a half.


The pocket does add a little extra weight to my middle section; but I’m so over the moon how this top fits, I couldn’t care less. I’m sure if I zipped up the sides tighter it would reduce that visual weight. Or I could simply add a structured jacket overtop, no extra sewing required!

It’s been so cold around here, I’m not ready to part with my winter wardrobe just yet. I have plans to make even more early spring transitional pieces in the near future. It’s all about comfort, medium/lightweight fabrics, but long sleeves and hemlines to cover the skin from chilly breezes.



I finished the top just in time to throw it on and pick up the kids from school (Felix is loving his preschool, btw!). I felt comfortable, warm and put-together. All three major wins in my book. I will definitely make more of these in the near future.


Outfit details:

  • glasses:
  • earrings: c/o Pamela Susan
  • necklace: handmade by my dad
  • bracelet: THP
  • purse: Basik 855, c/o UmbaBox
  • raglan: handmade by me
  • denim: Forever 21
  • booties: Seychelles

A few simlar raglans, in case you don’t want to make your own.

*Pattern courtesy of Hey June. Just a little shout out about her patterns: they’re awesome, well drafted, well written and 25% of all patterns sold goes to Christian Care Foundation, an organization that provides care for special needs children in Thailand. This hits close to home since Felix is now technically “special needs”. We’ve been so blessed to have such great resources at our fingertips to help felix and our family grow together. I think it’s pretty awesome that there’s an organization out there providing supplemental help out there to families that may not have access to the same care that we do.

Sewing: Vintage Bikini


I felt heartbroken when I tried on a much anticipated swimsuit order and there was a 1 inch gap between my little girls and the bralette cups that were marked at size “A”. It’s frustrating not being able to find something that fits. I’m happy with my body, but my body’s small “features” are hard to fit. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just augment my body so I can actually buy a swimsuit and feel feminine in it. Of course that’s ridiculous. Sewing is way cheaper than plastic surgery. And I should embrace my body the way it is. I love this NY times article all about the small-chested.


One of the things I haven’t tackled with my sewing machine is the bathing suit. I haven’t been interested or confident enough to even think about it until I was on a complete sewing high in LA with some crazy talented ladies. Justine was actually the one to give me the boost I needed to take this on. We were in Michael Levine and I was asking her about swimwear and she showed me the “good stuff”. I couldn’t back down.

It’s fitting that I’m showcasing this swimsuit in her sewing the trends series, is it not?


I’m in love with the vintage bikini, the one that shows only a couple of inches of stomach. I’m in love with the bralette trend as well. The bralette isn’t a kind of look that I would  wear on a day-to-day basis, but it’s perfect for swimwear. You can see all of my swim inspiration here.


This bathing suit cost just over $10 for materials. About $400 in my time, though. I often get asked if I’ll ever open an etsy shop and sell my sewn creations. I always say no. I’m the sole breadwinner now, and I couldn’t charge enough for my sewn creations to make ends meet. I would love to work with a clothing company to create a limited line of clothing. And maybe someday I’ll be part of the design process, but never the manufacturing process.

If this swimsuit basically cost me $410 in materials and time, why did I do it then? Why not just commission a girl like Bev to make one for me? It boils down to happiness. I love a challenge. We all need challenges to feel happy. Besides this being great blog content, I pushed myself so much farther on this project than any other one I’ve done to date. Drafting up that top, and sewing muslin after muslin took a lot of discipline. And that discipline paid off big time.

The bottoms fit me like a glove. Everything is fully lined. Do you see how smooth those bottoms are? The lining makes such a big difference.


I drafted everything from scratch. I had a ton (like 5 yards) of lining fabric, so I could mess up as much as I wanted on the muslins. It took 4 muslins to get the bottoms just perfect. 1 for the top. I totally winged the top based on a bra I was planning on using for support. When I fitted the muslin, it fit me perfectly so I opted for soft cup inserts instead.

I took the flat shapes I wanted for the bralette, and with the slash and spread method, I made them into pattern pieces that would form perfectly around my girls. It’s nothing short of a miracle that this fit on the first try. That NEVER happens.


I did mess up on the waistband of the bottoms, but it wasn’t too bad. They were really high waisted, so instead of unpicking the waistband, I just cut off the old one and put on a new one. Surprisingly not much time or material was wasted here.


I still can’t believe I made this swimsuit! It fits better than any swimsuit I’ve ever worn. We’ll see how it does at the pool today.

Outfit Details:

  • swimsuit: handmade
  • sunglasses: c/o BYUTV
  • shoes: Ruche (seychelles)


I’ll see if I can come up with a tutorial on how to draft your own vintage bikini, but it’s kind of daunting to think of all of the steps I would have to explain.

I have found similar patterns available for download. Burdastyle has one and so does Oh Lulu.


The bottoms were easy enough with basically two pieces and a band. I just drafted them up from a pair of swim bottoms that fit me well enough, then I tweaked and tweaked until they were perfect.


I’m glad I used a print for the top. If you look closely you can tell where I wasn’t perfectly precise with the bralette, but it’s masked by the pattern. I thought I would need boning to keep the top in place, but so far it hasn’t been necessary. I can always add it on afterward.


You can see here the lining. Seriously, if you’re going to sew your own swimming suit, I can’t stress a high-quality lining enough! It makes all the difference!

Here’s the schedule for the Sewing the Trends series. There are some remarkable sewers in the line up, I’m thrilled to be part of it. Be sure to check them all out.

Fabric provided by Michael Levine’s


Sewing for the Weekend


It’s like sewing is my job! This week I’ve made two shirts, a pair of leggings, a skirt and some pajama pants. I’ve certainly kept myself busy because I want to look all cute when I meet up with my sewing gal pals in LA today. If I sew and I’m going to fly to LA to hang out with sewing girls, I have to represent with some new duds. Right?


I’m just in love with Megan Nielsen’s crescent top, but I wanted something a little simpler and with sleeves. So I mashed up her pattern and my scoop top pattern and this is what I got. I used a rayon jersey for the top and a rayon challis on bottom.

I had just enough of the floral challis left over from the banksia top I made over a year ago I didn’t want to throw it out, but I didn’t have enough to make another top. What do you do with awkwardly large fabric scraps? Save? Toss? Recycle? Donate? I usually recycle, but I loved the print and drape so much I saved it. I’m so glad I did!


I don’t know why the left tugs in the photo, but it doesn’t appear to do that in real life. Or maybe I just don’t notice it.


The top was easy enough to construct, the hardest part being the hemming and trying to make that look nice. I did all right. I’m glad I wasn’t hemming a curved jersey. The challis was hard enough.


With 20+ of us women bombarding the LA fabric district I want to look dressed up, feel comfortable and be ready for anything. Outfit Details:

  • necklace: handmade
  • glasses: coastal
  • top: handmade
  • jeggings: PacSun
  • shoes: Ruche



As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m hitting up the streets of LA through this weekend to stock up on fabric, notions and anything else that strikes my fancy. I’m so excited to be spending time with some wonderful women and to meet and greet lots of great people behind brands I love.

Follow along with all of my finds on Instagram and Seesaw. We will all be using the hashtag #fabricweekend2013.

A few companies are going out of their way to make our trip to LA exciting, I’d like to give each of them a shout out below. jo-ann-mood-michael-levine-ruche
Even though I’m sure to find unique fashion fabric in the warehouses of the fabric district, Jo-Ann always seems to surprise me with their knit prints.

I’ve never been to Mood before – they were closed when I went to NYC almost 3 years ago. I’m excited to finally step foot in one of their stores and go a little Project Runway crazy!

Michael Levine is totally new to me. They sell fabric by the POUND (squeal!) in parts of their bricks and mortar store and they also have an online store with crazy awesome fashion fabrics.

And oh Ruche, I’m so excited to hang at your headquarters for a visit!




It’s so cold in my studio these days (the glories of an unfinished basement). These fingerless gloves have saved me.

  • coat: Forever 21
  • top: Anthropologie
  • necklace: Cambria Cove (Blogher ’10)
  • gloves: ASOS
  • denim: PacSun (I promise I don’t wear them everyday)
  • shoes: Amazon, Seychelles

Thrifty: Stealing from Chris’s Closet


A few years ago I was at Forever 21 looking for a jacket, when I stumbled across the menswear section & spied this ugly sweater. It was $3. And just the right size for Chris’s, then 180lb., frame. He never liked it much, but he did wear it a lot to shovel the snow or do other misc housework. It didn’t make the cut for his wardrobe like I thought it would, but heck, it was so cheap. I was glad to see him get even a little use out of it.

Then. . . Chris gained over 30lbs. It seemed like it was over night. I was sad to see his wardrobe go. This was about the time when I was pregnant with Felix, so I stole a few of his awesome too-small-for-mr-muscles sweaters & put them in my wardrobe. This sweater was perfect for sporting the baby bump. Now that I no longer have the bump, I just zipped along the sides with my sewing machine & took in the sweater about 3 inches on each side. Now I have a comfy, sort of ugly, sort of cool sweater to wear when it’s just a bit nippy in the studio. For practically free.

I’ve been avoiding thrift shops lately (no energy to do grocery shopping, let alone thrift), so I ask you. . . What have you scored on the cheap lately? Do you steal from your significant other’s closet? Share in the comments below!

Outfit Details: 
  • earrings: Miss Malaprop (from Alt)
  • top: Forever 21, refashioned
  • bracelet: handmade
  • skinnies: Forever 21
  • shoes: Seychelles, Amazon
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