Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Sewing Style: Comfort and Joy


Since having June over 2 1/2 months ago, I’ve been obsessing over the joggers and over-sized sweaters. Part of it is because the 90s is in full swing and I’m embracing it whole-heartedly and the other reason is that it’s just SOOOO much more comfortable than wearing real pants.

I mean, come on. When given the option to wear elasticized joggers/leggings or wearing poorly fitting pre-pregnancy pants, one is always going to go for the most amount of elastic. Let’s be real here, my pants only fit when I’m fastening them with an extra bit of elastic (like this).

This oversized sweater from White Plum is a postpartum must-have. The heart graphic, boat neck and long length give it some great style while still feeling like pajamas. I’ll wear out this sweater before the winter is through.

I’ve had this tribal-esque sweater knit for nearly a year, in the hopes to make a pair of joggers. After obsessing over the hudson pant by True Bias, I just had to make myself a pair. I ended up making two. One out of this knit and the other out of a light-weight  chambray. I can’t wait to share that with you soon. I LOVE THEM!

It’s been MONTHS since I’ve had the time to sew anything and GOSHDARNIT I miss it terribly! This week I’ve made myself two pairs of pants and a top. I don’t want to stop! I’ve got more plans for baby clothes (lots of friends and family with new baby girls, I can’t help myself), I just need to square away some time. These pants were made instead of sleeping. I was up until 4am putting on the finishing touches to my new pants: hence the grainy photos and tired look.

Seriously, this is an outfit I plan on throwing on often. I’ve been utterly slammed with family things and work this last month, so I’ve rarely been able to get out of my pajamas. These pieces are effortless and fun. Perfect for those pajama days, but without looking like a disheveled mess (because my pajamas aren’t cute).

Outfit details:

  • sweater: c/o White Plum (get 25% off your order through 12/25 with code LOVEYOUHOLIDAY25)
  • scarf: gift
  • earrings: gift
  • jacket: Forever 21
  • joggers: handmade, pattern c/o True Bias
  • shoes: JCPenney (I know, right?!?)


Sewing!!!!! An Open-Knit Sweater Hoodie


Last week it took a melt down for me to carve some time for selfish sewing. I’ve been really busy with black friday business for I Still Love Calligraphy, prepping for Alt Summit and taking care of kiddos. No complaints though!! We’re flabbergasted at how quickly the calligraphy kits sold out (buying supplies for more kits tomorrow!). Your support has made putting food on the table and a roof over our heads possible. Thank you for keeping us busy!


In addition to being busy, it’s been cold around our neck of the woods. The chill has been anywhere between -14º and 5ºF. Our furnace chugs nearly 24/7.  Naturally, if I’m going to sew anything, I’m going to sew something cozy and comfortable.


I found this crochet-like sweater knit several months ago. I can’t remember where, but there were only 3 yards left. I bought all 3. This yardage called my name every day since September, begging to be something warm. It took me until a few weeks ago to figure out how I was going to finish the edges. It’s a really loose knit, so I couldn’t do a blind hem and call it good. It’s also too bulky to use for a cuff. That’s when I found this lightweight oatmeal knit that matched perfectly.


I used the oatmeal for a lining (this hoodie is technically reversible), for the cuffs and the hood. The hood is technically functional, but it works more like a scarf than anything.


The briar sweater pattern fit the bill for this piece. I straightened out the hem at the bottom and raised the neckline at the top. I traced a hoodie I had lying around for the hoodie pattern.

This hoodie took some time to complete since I lined it (sewing both inner and outer tops separately, then connecting them with the hems). I also reconstructed the bottom hem. I originally sewed it too loose and long, making the proportions look bottom-heavy. Reworking that hem wasn’t fun, but I knew I wouldn’t wear it if I didn’t make those changes!


I also sewed the leggings from the block I made back in September (you can get a PDF pattern here, too). They’re made out of a super stretchy brick-patterned ponte knit. They’re really thick, making them more passable as pants than other leggings I’ve made in the past. They’re my new leisure pants. I have enough yardage to make a wiggle dress or some more leggings. Which should it be? Hmmm.


I just love the striped patterning in the texture!! I’ve seen so many great oatmeal/off-white/angora colored sweaters this season, maybe I can fit in with the cool crowd?


What are you wearing non-stop this winter to stay warm?


Outfit details:


Looking for similar sweaters? Above is a list of similar sweaters for under $45.


Food: Baked Potato Soup


It’s snowing and cold again today. When the weather’s like this, I can’t live without this soup.

It takes about 20-30 minutes to make and I typically have everything on hand. Bacon, green onions, cheese and heavy cream are basic staples around our house.


This recipe is from the Favorites cook book; given to me by my mom, it’s chock full of fabulous recipes.


Totally ignore the fact that I can’t spell tabasco. Sheesh.

Typically, I’ll add chicken for an even heartier meal. The bacon, is a must. ABSOLUTE MUST. The more the better. I typically cook up a pound of bacon and that tends to disappear just as quickly as the soup.


Baked Potato Soup

adapted from Favorites, serves 4-6
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cups broth (chicken, vegetable or beef)
  • 4-6 red potatoes (yukon gold are awesome, too), peeled and chopped
  • 2-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash tabasco sauce
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 1 cup half and half (whole milk works, too!)
  • 5 leaves basil, chopped
  • green onions, chopped
  • sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1 package bacon, crumbled

Peel and chop all veggies in advance. In a large pot, melt butter on medium high with onions until onions are clear. Add flour and mix together (will look like a paste). Add broth, potatoes, carrots, salt, peppper, tabasco and garlic. Make sure liquid covers vegetables, add more water if needed. Cook on medium high for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.* Add half and half, basil and warm all the way through. Serve with green onions, cheddar and bacon.

*To cook your veggies faster, chop your vegetables smaller.


Style: Confidence to Sew


Confidence in my sewing abilities waxes and wanes on a regular basis. Recently it’s been waning (as evidenced by the lack of refashions around here). I know I’ll get back into it, I just have to be patient and slowly build my confidence.

Saturday night I was having a hard time going to sleep, my mind racing with projects for the next month. I guess I needed something to unwind. So I made myself a single-seam tube skirt. Since I’ve already made one before, I had this one finished in under 20 minutes (hems included). And I wore it to church the next day.

There’s something about brainlessly and successfully completing a piece that you can actually wear that I crave all the time. But I don’t think I need a million of these in my closet. Only like 4 or 5. I found this fabric at on super clearance. It’s sort of an off-putting color scheme, but I still like it. The texture is great as is the stretch, lending itself perfectly to a tube skirt. I made Penelope a little top out of this fabric last spring (when my sewing confidence was much higher).

I wonder if I’m the only one whose confidence waxes and wanes in one’s own ability to sew (or DIY) a project. Does yours? I’m happy I finished this simple piece successfully. I’m hoping it’ll give me the confidence I need to attack all the projects I’m brewing for Christmas break.

Outfit details:

TUTORIAL: Flat Gathered Elastic Skirt


I’ve been meaning to post this tutorial for some time, I figure late is better than never. Nearly 3 years ago, I refashioned a muu muu into an elastic waist skirt. I liked it just fine, but I felt like it poufed out at the waist a little too much for me. I never wore it and eventually donated it to DI; from whence it came. I figure I’m not the only one who’s picky about the volume in clothing around my midsection. I don’t like feeling 3 times larger than I am. Do you?

Since that refashion failure, I’ve figured out my own little method that I have yet to share with you. I used it with my 2-second ruffle skirt, my housedress refashion and the skirt I made for Alt (which I still need to share) with great success. A few people have asked what my technique is, so I’m here to share it with you.

Again, I’m tooting a tutorial horn that’s been tooted MANY, MANY times before in many different ways. Check out the end of the tutorial for a list of my favorites. The reason why I’m posting my own version is to share my techniques for sewing the skirt and attaching the waistband. The way I attach my skirt reduces a lot of the mid-section bulk that you get with a typical handmade gathered skirt. I do hope you enjoy. Check out the tutorial after the jump.


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