Posts Tagged ‘style’

Sewing, Weight-Gain & Le Tote

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This post is in partnership with Le Tote. They’re like Netflix for clothes. Borrow clothes, wear them, try out new styles and return them. They do the laundering and help with styling and fit! Try it free for 14 days with this special link.

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I’ve talked about depression before. It’s not a big deal when it’s under control with lifestyle, diet and medication. But lately, I’ve been frustrated by one of the most common side effects of my medication: weight gain. It’s like I have no self-control. All I want is sugar and carbs and I’m always hungry.

In the last 2 months, I’ve gained nearly 5% of my body weight. It may not seem like much. And to be honest, it’s not as big a deal as many other medications out there, but it’s significant enough that I don’t feel comfortable. I have a rather healthy body image, so I really don’t mind what I see when I look in the mirror when I get out of the shower, but I don’t feel like I belong in my own clothes.

WEIGHT DOESN’T MATTER, but confidence does. 

Over the last three months, Le Tote has “grown” with me. As I’ve fluctuated, I’ve always had something fabulous to wear. Going through transitional weight phases sucks. It’s happened every time I’ve had a kid. I have a conundrum of wanting to look and feel beautiful, but not wanting to buy clothes in that transitional size for fear that it won’t fit later on. What a waste!

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Le Tote has had my back. They’ve been there to make me feel beautiful inside and out, no matter what my size.

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This month I wanted to challenge myself to sew. I’ve had this shirt half done on my cut table for nearly a month, it was time to finish it. I literally used the leftover scraps from two projects (this skirt and this shirt) to piece together this top. I had barely enough fabric! There’s something satisfying about keeping great fabric from going to waste.

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I had a fun time getting back into the sewing game. I made a scout tee and added a ruffle bottom to it. I found the print in the L.A. fabric district and the plum at JoAnn.

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Outfit Details:

 

Matching Back-To-School Tees

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Girl Charlee approached me to see if I wanted to sew something with their fabric. Uh DUH. Yes! It’s about darn time that I turn on the freaking sewing machines.

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This horse fabric screamed both Penelope and Junie. And heck, I had enough yardage, I made a third shirt for Penelope’s BFF, Kate. The girls were particularly bored yesterday so I asked them if they wanted to help me make matching tees for them.

Their reactions couldn’t have been better if I had asked them to go to Disneyland with me. #bestreactionever

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While they helped me cut the pattern pieces, they were planning on which days they schemed about which day of the week they would wear their matching shirts. Originally they wanted to wear them on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Ha!

Shirt Details:

  • Penelope’s shirt (2/3 of a yard) using size 6/7 in Megan Nielsen’s Mini Briar
  • Kate’s shirt, 2/3 of a yard using one of her favorite tees as a template (using this concept)
  • Junie’s shirt, 1/3 of a yard using a pattern I made for her Easter dress (still not posted yet, EEP!)

The fabric is light weight, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a dress unless it was gathered at the waist to add extra volume. However, when the girls wore it, it was substantial enough that they didn’t need to wear camisoles underneath. It’s possibly because of the print/color. Love it though. Easy knit to work with and plenty of structure to sew with a standard sewing machine (although I totally used my serger for most of the work).

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Can you guess who’s the star of the show? It breaks my heart that Junie is growing up so fast. How did this girl get so big?!? She’ll be 2 next month!!

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Sewing Style: Sequins and Leather

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This top took me FOREVER to construct. I’ve known I’ve wanted to do this sweater since last winter and I discovered the glories of quilted knits. As the sweetest surprise, Lauren Dahl gifted me a couple yards of this gloriousness from Mood. Yes. You better believe I was beyond giddy to cut into it.

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And cut into it I did. But it took me a month to remember to buy sequins and beads whenever I was at the store.

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And then another 2 months to sew the darn things on. Chris was a trooper through this project. I had a pile of various sized sequins glittering the floor in our living/dining room for about 6 weeks. I’d sew one or two on before having to get to an email, calm a fussy child or police the troublemaking that Penelope and her neighborhood buddies like to initiate.

I kept telling myself it would be worth it.

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The sequins I started with were huge. I didn’t like how big they were. So I graduated them to the smaller size toward the bottom of the shirt. I like the subtle depth it adds to the top.

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I cut out my regular size Lane Raglan only to realize I should have gone up a size if I wanted more of a sweater look. As a stroke of genius, I added a ribbed racing stripe down the sides of the arm and bodice to remedy my mistake.

A happy mistake, if you ask me.

Another happy mistake was with the shoulders/elbows. I had initially cut out leather shoulder pieces, but I forgot to sew them in place when I was constructing the top. Instead of unpicking 5 large serged seams, I opted for leather elbow patches instead. I used Megan Nielsen’s elbow patch download instead of drafting my own. That lovely woman is a life-saver.

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After I completed the sequins and lined the front panel (to keep the sequins from falling apart), the sweater came together rather quickly.

After I triumphantly completed the sweater, I wore it to my grandparents’ house for a dinner we had planned. That night June came down with rotavirus and vomited all over the sequins. Poor girl.

I was confronted with the issue: how do I wash this thing now? It’s got hand-sewn sequins and leather patches. It’s truly a dry clean only top. I don’t like making tops that aren’t easily laundered. I don’t want to be hesitant to get messy. I’m in a very messy phase of life with 3 littles under the age of 7. They’re darling, but disgusting.

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As much as I love this top, I don’t want them to feel like mommy can’t play with them because she’s wearing her ‘nice clothes’. But I still want to have a couple of nice things. I’m torn.

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Speaking of nice things, these pants are my favorite post-partum find. The midrise waist with stretchy denim is fabulous. I’ve lost some of the pregnancy weight so they’re getting looser on me, but they’ve never felt uncomfortable. And I got them about 10 pounds ago. Lulu*s for the win.

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Aaaaand. . . I finally found my leather jacket. I started a pin board of leather jackets to get my mind in the space of what I was looking for. When I was in Vegas hanging with my calligrapals, we went on the hunt and successfully found the jacket. And when I say the jacket, I mean the only jacket I’ll ever buy for the rest of my life. It was worth all those pennies, though. It fits like it was tailored just for me.

Outfit details:

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Sewing Style: Hawaiian Print Scout Tee Dress

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Last night I had a neighborhood meet-up of the artists in the area. I love our neighborhood. There are a surprising amount of creatives and artists. Many of them are young kids. It’s a thrill to see their creativity ignite as they learn new things.

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This is my neighbor Sam. She’s got the raddest style. She’s had such an independent style since I started working with the youth when she was 14. A month or so ago, she approached me to see if I could help her sew a variation of this dress she spied on Urban Outfitters.

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The inspiration dress was made out of a knit. She had in mind using this cotton woven she picked up from Hawaii recently. The print is amazing. Ultimately she wanted a bold version with sleeves and the tunic-style slits.

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We had just about a yard of fabric to work with, so getting the prints to match up was nothing short of magical. They don’t match up exactly, but there’s great horizontal continuity with the seam matching.

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I loved doing the color blocked sleeves. It was a happy accident, really. She had mentioned she wanted a longer sleeve, but I forgot when we were cutting out the sleeve. OOPS! After realizing this, we brain stormed a little and decided to color block instead of cut out new sleeves. I love happy accidents like those.

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I love how this turned out. The best part was that she really owned the project. I helped her pick out the pattern (Scout tee), size the pattern, make slight adjustments, but then it was all her. I made her do all the sewing, and she rocked it! I did the neckline for her, since that’s a little difficult dealing with biased tape, but other than that, she did it all.

I’m so proud.

 

Sponsored Style: Sweater Tunic with Indiesew

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This post is sponsored by Indiesew. Get bundles of PDF patterns from your favorite independent apparel pattern makers at a discount!

Find patterns, browse projects made by community members and beef up your sewing skills all in one spot!

I’m thrilled to be partnering with Indiesew to help debut their spring collection! It’s been fun to find out about new-to-me designers through their collection bundles.

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The Marianne dress from Christine Haynes really caught my eye. I love the possibilities for pattern play in View B and the sweet collar in View A is screaming to be made out of some sweet floral (which I need to find).

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Mother Nature has a funny  sense of humor this year. We have absolutely NO SNOW in our mountain (we should have 4-5′ of snow drifts this time of year). I’ve even seen a couple of tulip sprigs pup up between the mounds of dirt in our front yard. We need snow! I need more winter!

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It’s still fairly chilly, so between that and my desperation for more snow I sewed up a sweater tunic variation of the Marianne. Printing and taping the PDF took longer than cutting and sewing the pattern. The instructions are very straight forward and the fit is true to size. Even with hemming and finishing edges (I like lots of topstitching), this still took me about an hour to make.

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Here’s what I did differently from the pattern:

  • I cut the sleeves 19″ from the shoulder seam notch, tapering them in gradually just like the pattern
  • I cut the front and back bodice short to make it a top. Front piece is 16 inches and back is 17.5 inches (not including seam allowances)
  • Since I was planning on the side slits, I didn’t cut as dramatic an a-line for the bodice
  • I sewed the side seams to just about 9 inches below the armpit seam and made slits on both sides

I’m thrilled with the final piece. I didn’t do any tailoring or fitting afterward. Mega win. The only thing that I could have changed was that I accidentally cut the bottom knit perpendicular to the grain. So it stretches vertically instead of horizontally. There’s still some horizontal stretch, so it works. But if you look at it closely, you’ll see the knit is horizontal when it should be vertical. OOPS! That’s what I get for rushing. :)

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I’ve been kind of in a little bit of a dark grunge zone lately. The black nail polish, monochromatic clothing and acid wash jeans are all things I’m totally crushing on lately. Now all I need is the right leather jacket and I’m set! I found one this weekend that’s close, but the fit wasn’t quite there. Any suggestions on places to hit up for a leather jacket?

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Outfit details:

Save an extra 10% for the first 25 people that purchase the spring bundle! Use code: SPRING15

This post is sponsored, but all writing/thoughts/opinions are my own.
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