Showing posts with label For women. Show all posts

Wear to Where? - a sewing challenge

Hi everyone! Today it is all about style (or the lack of it in my case... but more on that later...) and what to wear to where. And now say that again. :) 

A bunch of sewing and fashion bloggers were challenged by the amazing ladies Katy (Wild and Wanderful blog) and Angelica (Gardening in High Heels) to dress according to the occasion. We were given a theme and we had to dress accordingly. Of course that for the group of sewing bloggers that could only mean one thing: sew an outfit. 
An opportunity to make clothes for myself is a no brainer. So, I was more than happy to join the "Wear to Where?" blog tour.

My theme was "Date night out". I must admit that I usually dress up a bit more than I seem to on my outfit choice for this tour but I was eager to make these two patterns (top and wrap) and so I just went for it. 

M is for Moto Joggers

Hi! Today I am on the M is for Moto Joggers Tour, or should I say, M is for More Dressed-up Joggers. :) I really don't wear sportswear nor joggers. I am not of a sporty type - I should, I know, look at me and all that fluffiness crying out loud for some calorie burning activities. :) So what I am doing on this tour? Well, first of all I really love trying new patterns from new-to-me designers and I also love to modify patterns just a bit to make them my style or something that I really need on my wardrobe. I always see that as a challenge and I can't say no to a good challenge.

When Elizabeth kindly sent me an invitation for this tour I realized that this pattern could also be made in woven (instead of knit) and in several styles - you have to check all the options! -, so there was hope for my non-sporty self and I accepted the challenge.

A Modified Paulina Top

Hi! School has started around here three weeks ago and we are all still adjusting to the new routines. There is a 3rd grader that goes to school #1, a first grader that goes to school #2 and a kindergarter that goes to school #3... Good thing is, school #2 and #3 are close to each other and are only 5 minutes away from school #1 so isn't as bad as it sounds, although having them all at the same school would definitely simplify our lives... 

They all start at 9am, come home to lunch (it is a common thing around here, although school canteens serve great healthy food), go back to school, leave at 3.30-4pm and a few days a week there are extra curricular activities (ballet, judo, arts & crafts). Time flies during the day...

Today I am joining the Itch To Stitch Birthday Tour! I have been following Kennis work since the beginning and have tested one or two of her patterns. Her patterns are really good and professional. If you don't know them, well you should! :)

The Ravenna

Hi! Today I am joining the celebration of the 1st anniversary of Straight Stitch Designs at the "Remix The Stitch" tour. I am proud to be part of this journey since I have been testing and touring Kimberly's wonderful patterns since the very beginning. 

You may have seen the children's free Mae tunic pattern I made here. Then the Ballard (knit), the Bellevue (knit and woven) and recently the Greenwood tank (knit). Love them all and they are in heavy rotation on my wardrobe.

Today I am showing off one of my new favorite tops. It's the Ravenna, and you can find it here. I changed the pattern a bit to make it suitable for the Fall weather that arrived last week and I made it out of an amazing navy blue silk crepe with a swallow print. Not an easy fabric to sew but it drapes beautifully... I wish I had a V-blog so you could see it. :) 

Refashion Month at House of Estrela

Hi! Today I am over House of Estrela as a guest blogger for her Refashion Month series - 2015 edition!

I am sharing a simple alteration I made on this blouse I had only used once. It was too tight on the armscyes so I took the sleeves off and applied bias facing to make it a sleeveless top (after some adjustments on the armscye curve).

The Valencia Tunic

Hi! Today I am showing you the Valencia tunic, a pattern by Mouse House Creations for Willow and Co. as part of their SS2015 tour! When I was contacted to join this tour I was leaning towards the Aberdeen jacket - another pattern from this collection - but my Spring/Summer wardrobe is in a great need of tops/tunics/blouses so that is all I am sewing for myself these days. :) 

I am trying to build a capsule wardrobe for this season but the truth is I started too late, so in a couple of days I will be starting to plan my Fall/Winter capsule wardrobe. Do you plan in advanced? Or do you just sew as you go? 

The Nina Culottes

Hi! Have you jumped to the newest big fashion trend yet? I did! 
As a child I had culottes and I loved them! I was able to run and jump and, well, do all the monkey business that kids do while looking like a girl. :) I still love culottes so I was happy when I saw their return two seasons ago. Most people I know don't seem to be very fond of this style but I love that they look like skirts, making us look really feminine, but yet are super comfortable and practical for moms with busy little kids. I can actually run with these and chase my little monkeys! 

On my daily life I will be wearing these culottes with ballerina shoes, not with high wheels, these were just for the photoshoot of course. :) As much as I love wearing high wheels (I really do) I don't use them as much as I used to before I had kids. Although I manage running in these pretty well and walk on them while carrying a child on my lap I am not getting any younger these days and I don't want to risk damaging an ankle... (Speaking of ankles let's talk about these right now, shall we? Yes, I have puffy ankles. No, there is nothing I can do about them. I am accepting them and showing them to the world as ugly as they are. I hope they don't hurt your eyes. :) Now, we can go on with the post.)

Women's Bundle Up

Hi! I did some sewing for myself! Yay! :) If you follow this little blog of mine you know that one of my (sewing and personal) resolutions for this year was to sew more for myself. When I first started to sew - 4 years ago - I have sewn a lot for myself. Only a couple of years later I decided to sew for my kids (surprising, right?) and the thing is: I stopped sewing for myself. 

Now they have a whole lot more clothes than they need. (It's a shame, I know!...) And I have an almost empty and dull wardrobe because all over these last years I kept telling myself "I am *not* going to buy this blouse or that coat, because I can make them myself!" when I am at clothing stores. Truth is, I just keep sewing for them and not for me... Can you relate to this? I bet you do... :) 

So, to push myself into some self-care sewing, I am joining every blog tour and pattern testing for women clothes that I can! :) 

Today, I am part of the Women's Bundle Up from Pattern Revolution
I am sharing two patterns I have made from this bundle and I will be sharing a third one later this week. Can you guess what? I have made my first pair of jeans!
I can finally scratch that off my "sewing techniques to learn and sewing challenges to overcome" list. :) I feel like I reached another level of sewing! :) Now I only have to tackle: sewing bras, draping, smocking and heirloom. And after that I have to find another hobby. :) Luckly, I think it will take me a while to learn these techniques, so I will be here for the next... few decades. :) 

A Self-Drafted Top (aka Some Selfish Sewing)

Hey! Today is the last day of Selfish Sewing Week* and yesterday I finally managed to make something for myself. Yay! :) It was a whole "selfish day" kind of day actually, since I was alone at home most of it. Yes, no kids, no interruptions. Just me and my sewing machine. (and a house with a week load of laundry TBD... oh well, that could wait, right?)

Yesterday I woke up determined to make something for myself. I looked at a bunch of PDF patterns and I couldn't decide... I picked my drafting paper and tools and... I have self-drafted this top in the morning and sewn it in the afternoon. 

The Barcelona Wallet

One of my (sewing) goals for this year was to venture myself into the art of sewing bags. Some say it is easier than sewing clothes, some say it is harder. I say... it depends on the pattern! :)
This year I had already the opportunity to make two amazing bags - the Retro Rucksack and the Senna tote - and I loved sewing them up! The only thing I regret on bag patterns is that it takes a lot more time to cut and interface all the one million pieces then to sew it up. :) But the result is always so rewarding!

Today I am sharing with you my last making - the Barcelona wallet!

These next two weeks are going to be Handbags Galore on the sewing blogosphere, because it is time for Perfect Pattern Parcel #7 and it is all about HANDBAGS!!
This parcel includes: 

  • Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
  • Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns 
  • Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs 
  • Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White 
  • Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns 
  • BONUS PATTERN (if you choose a price higher than $32): Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet - this is an exclusive release!

Barcelona wallet, pattern by Pat Bravo.

Cork (as main fabric), wool (for the tab, you may recognize it from this dress) and floral cotton (for the lining).
Who would say that cork would make such an amazing fabric? Well, it does! It is super pliable and great to work with. It is very resistant and waterproof! Great for making wallets and bags. And umbrellas and shoes. Oh yes, just google it and you will be amazed! 

I really enjoyed making this wallet.The instructions are clear and easy to follow. 
This pattern has lots of pockets: 3 card pockets, a big bill pocket, a zipper pocket, and a main pocket which is perfect for carrying your smartphone!
It closes with a zipper and a snap that is sewn to the tab.
I have add a keychain and a little bling to the zipper - a charm and a little black bow.

This wallet is perfect to keep all your important stuff and the size is just perfect! (Not too small, not too big!)

I already have fabric cut to make one more bag from that amazing list... the Betty Bowler! I have been eyeing it since it was released and I have been tortured by all the wonderful versions of it on the Swoon Patterns group on Facebook. I am so excited for being working on this patern! 
I have to say I am not sure I will stop after this one... I mean, look at all these gorgeous bags!!... 

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

How Pattern Parcel Works
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year. 
This is the last Parcel of the year and it is all about great patterns to make gifts for the holidays as well as do some selfish sewing

Make sure to check all these links in the next two weeks to get your daily dose of Inspiration for these Pattern Parcel!

Friday, November 7 Stitched || Sew Exhausted
Saturday, November 8 Made by Sara ||Oliver's Fancy || Strawberry Patch Ramblings
Sunday, November 9  from a box || Mia's Creations || MOMENTS
Monday, November 10 owen's olivia || While she was sleeping
Tuesday, November 11 Nutta || Radiant Home Studio || La Pantigana
Wednesday, November 12 Sew Fishsticks || Stacy Sews || Stitching Insane || GnomeAngel
Thursday, November 13 Needle and Ted || Patchouli Moon Studio || Sprouting JubeJube || The Crazy Tailor
Friday, November 14 Casa Crafty || A Jennuine Life || 'So, Zo... What do you know?' 
Saturday, November 15 Stitches by Laura || Rebekah Sews || Serger Pepper
Sunday, November 16 Blogs Like A Mother || Vicky Myers creations || Blossom Heart Quilts
Monday, November 17 Shanni Loves || So Sew Easy || GYCT Designs || Tiger In A Tornado
Tuesday, November 18 The Nosy Pepper || Keep Calm and Carrion || There & Back || Sewing Sober
Wednesday, November 19 Sew Like My Mom || Knot Sew Normal || Stacy Sews || sewVery
Thursday, November 20 Mimi's Mom || Our Family Four || shades of BOLD || Modern Handcraft
Friday, November 21 Shawnta Sews || Lulu & Celeste || Amanda Rose || Robin's Fabric Nest || House of Pinheiro

Happy sewing!

And, Peace!

The Ballard

Today I am part of the Ballard pattern tour! 
I was really sad that I couldn't apply to test this pattern when I saw the tester call. My schedule was already fully booked for that period... So, when Kimberly invited me for this tour I was thrilled! (Thank you Kimberly!) 

This top is made out of knit, it is super comfortable and a super quick sew! 

Pattern: the Ballard top, pattern by Straight Stitch Designs
Fabric: light-weight knit with a panel print that I used for the bands (neckband, waistband and sleeve band) to add some color contrast to the pale main color. (I don't know what I had in mind when I chose this knit because this color doesn't suit my skin tone at all... oh well, lesson learned! :) )
Details: This top features a gathered scoop neck, 3/4 sleeve (perfect for Fall weather), banded hem (which I love!) and an open back detail. The pattern is really great, the fit is perfect, and the instructions are fantastic (each step has a well designed illustration). I already have in mind a few ideas to flip it a bit and that means that I love this pattern! My next version will be just like this one on IndieSew. It is a perfect addition to my fall wardrobe!

I am loving all the versions for this tour - like this floral and this striped, oh and this houndstooth version?... {swooning...} -, so make sure to check them all! You will get lots of inspiration!

Kimberly is definitely a new designer you should keep an eye for. Her first pattern was the Ravenna and I can't wait to sew it! It has the most beautiful detail on the back. I am looking forward to see what she will be coming up next as her third pattern! I am sure it will be amazing...

{And now you can skip a few ramblings on selfish sewing and body image if you want to... I won't take personally. :) }

This post doesn't have many photos, I am aware of that. And no, it wasn't because they were all blurry (they weren't, my dear husband always does a good job taking pictures of me - thank you sweetie!). The truth is I had a hard time picking a few photos because I don't like what I see in them. I don't recognize myself in this after-having-three-kids-in-less-than-four-years body. I keep focusing on all the curvy spots (as seen in the photo above), I can't see past that and I'm having a hard time sharing it with the world. (Adding to the fact that I am shy... {I am sure all my real friends are laughing out loud now... :) })
 I really want to sew more for myself - I know that my wardrobe needs it more than my kids do, now that I have been sewing for them like crazy in this last year :) - but I am dreading having to take photos and blogging about it. I would rather not. And the truth is I don't have to, right? I can sew just for fun and don't blog about it...
But then I keep telling myself that I have to face it. That I have to accept this figure as it is. That I can't wait for the perfect time, sometime in the future, when I'll loose all my baby weight and be back to my pre-mom body. Because honestly, I don't think I ever do. And the present is now and I can't live thinking about the future and saying to myself "Then it would be perfect!..." Stop that, Sara. Stop finding excuses not to sew for yourself. "I don't want to cut into all the gorgeous fabric I have been keeping on my stash before I loose all the extra weight... I will be ruining good fabric!"... Humm... Not an excuse because if you saw this post you know I have cut a beautiful fabric that was seating on my stash for about one year, on a dress for one of my girls and you know how fast kids grow, right?... "I haven't find the perfect pattern"... No, there are a lot of amazing patterns out there! 
So, I think it is just about time I stop finding a few excuses and start sewing more for myself. It is about time I accept my body as it is and stop wondering "what if?" or thinking "one day..." 
And maybe I blog about my makings maybe I won't... :)

So... Is there anyone out there that would like to join me? Together we can do it!

The Senna Tote

This is the Senna tote, pattern by LBG studio for Willow & Co.
You can find it here and read more about it here.

This was the first (big) bag/tote I have ever made and I love LOVE it!
It was a breeze to sew it up! The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. 
I love all the pockets - one at the front, one (huge one) at the back and an inner pocket (which is divided).

I have used a very lightweight floral print denim and red twill for the bottom piece.
Next time I think I will make the straps just a tad bit longer but it is perfect as it is!

The Willow & Co. ladies are running an amazing contest with awesome prize packages!! Go make something with a Willow & Co. pattern and link up here (until Sep 1st) for a chance to win!

Delilah top

I have just found one of my go-to wardrobe staples! The Delilah top - pattern by Golden Rippy - is a knit top that is sewn on a snap!

Pattern options

This top comes in six different sizes (XXS to XL) with two sleeve lengths and two embellishment options (both with pattern pieces and instructions) - bow or flowers. I opted for the short sleeve + shoulder bow and I love it!

Fabric details

I used a knit solid + floral combo. If you are not new here you already know how much I love floral prints. :) (If not, check my previous post and you will know what I mean... ;) )

What I love about this pattern

I love that it is a quick and super easy sew!
It took me less than one hour to make this top (+ 10 more minutes for the bow). And yet, it is so stylish and comfortable!
I also love that it is roomy at the waist - it hides my curvy mommy waist. ;)

And if your little girl wants to match mommy, you can make her the matching Dahlia top in her size! Isn't that so much fun? I will be making a mommy and me blog post soon with it!

Note: This pattern is absolutely beginner friendly! It is super easy and since it has drop sleeves there are no sleeve attachment steps!

What I will make different next time

According to the size chart I am in between sizes M and L so I opted for size L. Although I like that it is roomy I think next time I will make a size M and make it a bit shorter (I think it is supposed to hit at the hips but this one tends to stretch all the way down).

I am definitely adding this pattern to my go-to list of knit top patterns! (see the other three I love here, here and here) You can grab your copy here at a 25% sale price!

**Giveaway Alert!**
You can also enter this rafflecopter giveaway to win two patterns from Golden Rippy!
And there will be two winners! The giveaway ends at midnight PST on August 6th and winners will be announced the following day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Check the blog tour map for inspiration on different looks for this pattern!

July 28
July 29
July 30
July 31
Aug 1
Aug 2
Aug 3
Aug 4
Aug 5
Aug 6

The Notebook Top

This week's theme for Project Sewn (season 4) is The Leading Lady. The challenge is to "make a look inspired by a leading lady from the movies." 
Well, choosing was not easy... There were many leading ladies from all of my favorite movies to choose from... Several of them wearing 1940-50's clothes.
My leading lady's choice ended up being determined by my fabric choice. Sometimes I go through my stash to get inspiration. When I laid my eyes in this polka dot cotton lawn I imediately thought: The Notebook! That beautiful polka dot red dress that Allie (actress Rachel McAdams) wears at some point. In fact, many of her clothes throughout the movie are red. So my inspiration from this leading lady are red and polka dots!

I endend up using two different color coordinating fabrics with matching (handmade) bias tape.
The pattern is the Belle des Champs tunic from the Japanese Magazine "Boutique Series" (French translation). It is a good thing that I am a visual person because the instructions are just two pages with a few graphic images and even fewer words. I had to set my mind on that kind of instructions but once I was focused I could easily follow through. It is a simple pattern and it was sewn pretty quick.

Although I had graded it up to my size (the magazine only had 3 sizes) using my own measurements I think it ended up being a bit too slouchy - well, Japanese pattterns tend to be like this actually... I personally like a slouchy top as much as I like a fitted blouse. It all depends if I'm going causal or dress-up.

Make sure you go to Project Sewn's blog to get inspired by everyone sewing along, here, and by the five contestants, here.

Well, I couldn't end this post without quoting The Notebook (a movie based on the novel with the same name from Nicholas Sparks, full of cheesy quotes), so here it goes, one of my favorite quotes from this movie - not so cheesy and so true...

“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.” 
― Nicholas SparksThe Notebook

Oh, and yes, I am the kind of person who sobs uncontrollably with this kind of drama movies... :)

Blue, Birds and Flowers

I joined weeks one, two and three of Project Sewn but I was not planning to join this week's  challenge.
I sew so little to myself (a lot more for my kids of course...) that I honestly can't say what my "Signature Style" is because I think I don't have one yet...

As always - when I don't know something... - my brain kept thinking about it and gave me no rest until I was able to find my style... or at least a style I own or like... 

First I went to my closet. After all, the colors and prints and styles of the clothing I wear should say something about it, right? The first findings were: I wear mainly blues and reds (followed by black and pink), and I wear flower prints (what?... that many? I didn't see that coming...), polka dots and plain color blouses and tops (and these outnumber jeans + trousers + skirts all together).

Then I looked at my garment fabric stash. It seems that I have been hoarding fabric for blouses and tops... (Once I make something out of them all I will have a different top or blouse for every single day for several months...) And most of them is in (can you guess?) a flower print , followed by... bird prints! (Really?... Did I really have to buy so many flower prints?... And birds? What was I thinking?...)

After considering these findings I would say my style is: blue and red, flowers and birds, blouses and tops. (Can't say I am totally happy with that, but it is what it is... and I don't want to think much now about what does it say about me... Shhh... Don't say it!...)

So, it was almost lunch time this Thursday when I decided to join this week's challenge... Meaning I had just a few hours left to make something... It had to be simple...

The pattern is really easy to sew and quick to make (which seems also to be one of my signatures...). 

It is self-drafted (after models I have seen here and there) using my body measurements and has only 4 seams (two on the shoulders and two on the center sides). It has a drape look on the sides and I like that.
I have made one before (here) and I am really happy about the way this pattern looks and fits. And I get a lot of compliments on this...

I used a silky fabric in navy blue with flowers and a bird (it is hard to see it in this pictures though...). I have finished all the hems (all around) by hand (don't tell me about it...) with a blind stitch because I don't like the look of topstitching on silky fabrics...

So, this is it. I am pleased with the result! And I have to admit I love this print...