Category Archives: Sewalong

The Sleeping In The Past Pajamas (Mad Men Challenge #2!)

I am a big pajamas fan. I know this is a strange thing to love and enjoy, but I do. I love pajamas. I love making them. I love wearing them. I think at this point it’s actually something I have almost entirely replaced in my wardrobe with all self-makes, which I honestly cannot say about any other group of clothing I own. I have actually always really enjoyed pajamas, especially pajama sets, and as a younger person I demanded such things of my parents for Hanukkah year after year, which is how I ended up with a set with cow prints on it that I loved so very much I couldn’t stand it. My mother eventually convinced me to give it up when it had almost fallen to pieces, but that was a sad sad day for me. And for cows, obviously.

I particularly love vintage pajamas, or pajamas that look vintage. Not the little fluffy sets, but the actual full pajamas with collars and cuffs. And when we recently made a pajama set at work for a production of Marisol, I admired the silky seperates, and even felt sad when we had to scuff them and cover them in fake blood (it’s a strange play, go with it). So I thought I would make myself a pair of pajamas as a memorial to those fallen comrades. I picked up a vintage pajama pattern, McCalls 4201:

4201amay250

and got to work, basing my pair vaguely off of these Mad Men duds:

0b843c9c384c57ccfaa113a767606fcd-1I actually have glasses like this but what’s his face hates them so they are rarely worn. Maybe if someone arranges for a home massage for me I will break them out again.

SITP 2.jpgThese are a bit looser then Joan’s, of course, but come on, I just don’t see the point of tailored pajamas. I might make the pants a little slimmer next time, but as it is, I’m very happy in these, and I slept wonderfully in them!

SITP 3.jpg

If you look at the pattern you can see there was originally a dart in these but I just let that go. I really don’t think bust shaping is going to help me sleep better.

The collar is nicely rounded, which makes it easy to turn:

SITP 6.jpgIt’s a little blurry but you get the idea. Also, I don’t did three buttons. PAJAMAS. ARE AWESOME.

SITP 1.jpgThe fabric is a kind of seersucker, which I don’t think you can see in these photos with little flowers on them. I got it from work. This was very much a work-inspired project, as you can see. The fabric is lovely and light-weight, and very comfortable, and I must say, this is extremely silly, but I kind of love feeling fashionably vintage even as I sleep. I swear I had sepia-tinted dreams. A

SITP 4.jpgA little back view. See, the pants are baggy, which, well, they should be, but they could probably slim down a bit. Ah, well, next time. This was an easy and fun pattern, I can see myself making it again. Maybe with short sleeves and shorts for summer? That could be cute…oh, I am just filled with pajama plans!

SITP 5.jpgI know, I’m not Joan. But at least I can sleep like she does now!

 

 

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Filed under Challenge, McCalls Patterns, Sewalong, Sewing, Vintage

The Coco Mademoiselle Dress (Mad Men Challenge #1!)

I’m not a big fan of bandwagons. Unless you count the musical, The Bandwagon, because it’s awesome and Cyd Charisse is amazing and because musicals about Broadway musicals are hilarious. Fred Astaire does a dance in an arcade, it’s great. The point is, I’m not a big follower, never really have been. In fact I can be quite contrary, often neglecting to do something because it’s so very popular. I literally just saw Frozen last week. And you know what? It’s a-god-damn-dorable. Seriously that thing is charming as hell. I have no idea what country or time period it’s supposed to be in, but whatever I just want Olaf the snowman to be my best friend. And we could have adventures with Sven the reindeer and sing together and live our lives in utter happiness in some unknown mildly Scandinavian country, oh, it would be so great! But, tragedy of tragedies, I don’t live that life. I guess I have to Let It Go, right?

Anyway, I have been trying to cure myself of this knee-jerk anti-following reaction when it comes to sewing. When it comes to moral decisions and Juicy Couture sweatsuits, I think it’s positive that I make up my own mind about it rather than following others, but when it comes to sewing, well, maybe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? So when Tilly released her newest pattern, the Coco top/dress, I bought it almost immediately, and assembled it the same day. Only, I had to wait for my fabric to come, because despite my stash of jersey fabrics, this pattern demands a jersey with limited stretch. Honestly, I might try it in a stretchier fabric in the future because minimal stretch jerseys aren’t easy for me to find and also, comfort is essential to all things, because the more stretch int he fabric, the more food I can eat, the happier I will be. But for the first time around I wanted to follow the rules (well, sort of, more on that to come) and use the right fabric. So I waited patiently as Cocos popped up all over the internet, biding my time, telling myself it was worth it to wait and get it right. And you know what? I think it was!

CM 1.jpgOkay, so I mentioned that I stuck with the fabric recommended. What I did not do is leave the hem as it was drafted. First of all, I lengthened it quite a bit, because Tilly, waif that she is, has drafted this dress to be shorter then even my diminutive stature would be comfortable with. And then I realized that the original flare in Tilly’s design wasn’t working for me at this longer length, so I cut off a chunk, slimmed down the skirt, and added the extra fabric back in as a band, neatly finishing the hem and giving it a slimmer silloutte. And I always want the word slim to involved with me, frankly, so I love it!

CM 4.jpgSo this is the first of several, yes, I say, SEVERAL Mad Men Challenge Dresses! I love love love Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Challenge (huh, maybe I AM a follower!) and I’m always excited to sew tribute dresses for the show that has changed the face of fashion on television. Even now, as we head into late 1960’s hell, I’m going to make it work. That being said, my next copy-cat will probably go a couple of seasons back. Come on. Can you blame me? phontoWhen I saw the Coco, especially Tilly’s mod versions, I thought, I bet there are some Mad Men dresses out there along those lines. And low and behold:

4071fba39e658f13b2b0d51141f9d2a4And then there is this:

2718d06b3097c8045f4bcd908298640e

And also, this:

830e552d5a2071ec6e4aa843f7d7f7d3Coral knit shifts seem to be the uniform for brunettes at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. That and misogyny. AM I RIGHT? So I tried to use elements of all three:

CM 3.jpgIt’s darker than this photo would imply, but not by too much.

CM 8.jpg

What I really like about the design is the funnel neck, which is sort of like a turtleneck but has the added benefit of NOT making me look like the bustiest person who ever lived. Turtlenecks are not my jam, but I do like the way they look, so this offers me a tribute-neckline without the negatives.

CM 6.jpgI cut the back on the selvage and seamed it, and the front on the fold. The sleeves didn’t quite ease correctly so I gave them a little pleat at each shoulder seam. I have to say, the thickness of the fabric is nice because it adds structure and warmth, but it’s still a comfortable dress. I used a Ponte de Roma from GirlCharlee.

I finally had time, given that this is spring break for me, to take daytime photos in my apartment alone with my tripod. Not only is the light good, but it has the added benefit of being able to include a guest star:

CM 9.jpgHe’s ready for his close up:

CM 10.jpgAnd so am I!

CM 7.jpgBoy am I glad I followed the crowd on this one. This dress went from dinner to a show to drinks afterwards and back home again in perfect comfort. It’s a nice spring dress for this brisk New York weather, and it’s just insanely cute for such a simple shape. Thank you, Tilly. I’ll get on your bandwagon any time.

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Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Sewalong, Sewing, Tilly and the Buttons

Sewing for Small People updates and a giveaway!

First things first, here is the badge! I figured it out! I know it’s not as nice as someone who actually has skills in this department but whatever, guys, I’m excited!

It looks like this:

SFSPSA

 

And here is the link:

I cannot for the life of me figure out how to put this in a little code box. I have looked at and tried to use so many tutorials to help me do this and all have failed (well, I guess I have failed, the tutorials are just fine, I’m just a technologically illiterate struggle.) So hopefully this is good enough for you guys!

So I have just returned from the Emerald Isle with some giveaway treats for you guys, and some new links and free ideas to play with! First of all, some new free stuff from the great and powerful interwebs:

capsleevedress3 TOMS+side _MG_0481 DSCN2265 charlie1 CRW_8347 mila3+with+IDI know, the adorable never stops. Now, for some goodies! First of all, ripped right off the backs of Irish sheep, we have this lovely treat for one lucky reader!

SFSPG 3Of course I had to pick green, come on, it was Ireland! This is a DK (I think) wool from Donegal Wool Spinning Company, and it’s 214 yards. So it would be perfect for something like this:

58-07-babyschuhchen-miniOr this insanely adorable little set:luring_sett

But that’s not all! No, I also have this for you, two vintage patterns!

SFSPG 1Oh so adorable for a young lady….

AND

SFSPG 2That is some 1970’s style right there, but with modern materials I think it could be pretty damn cute.

So comment to win any and all of these exciting prizes! Just leave a comment for which one you want (and if you want all of them, say that too!) and I will pick a winner after the giveaway closes a month from now, on February 10th!

 

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Filed under Giveaway, Sewalong, Sewing, Vintage

The Sewing For Small People Sew-along: Links, Tutorials, Patterns and Ideas!

First and foremost, I’m so excited that people are signing up for this sewalong! It is so awesome that people want to join in on this with my co-workers and I, and I’m sure that we will all have a great time and share a lot of cool things together. And look, I figured out how to make a badge!

Grab it and go, it’s all yours.

So here we go, people, a round up of free patterns, tutorials and ideas! We will get to patterns for cost and material ideas in the next post, but for now, let’s look at the many things that can be made on the cheap for the little people in all our lives! This is just a handful of things I really like and have considered making, but there is so much more out there. A simple google search of “diy baby stuff” will literally reveal a world of people and ideas, but here are just a few of my favorites, and I will probably sew something from this list (and by something I mean several somethings, another nice thing about kid’s stuff is it can be fast and easy! Insert that’s what she said joke here). Just click on the photos for the pattern/tutorial.

Unisex Stuff:

kimono_shirt-600-1 baby+hoodie+1  mf_baby_jacket-600-6   bloomerstitle2  baby-tunic-sweater-425baby2pantcover babytightscoverpageaa11

toddler-t-shirt-600-5liberty-bonnet-600-1felt-baby-shoes-4-425

Girl Stuff:

Purl Soho’s Embroidered Jumper:

cotton-embroidered-huipil-600-2 Girlstieredruffledresspattern-1024x889 dress1 summerbabydress

baby-jumper-dress-free-pattern

Boy Stuff:

11frontcardigantitle

Accesory Stuff:

burp_cloths_600-1 hooded-baby-towel-2-425biasedbibs2Dolly+Diaper+Bag+Tutorial diaperbag16 IMG_7865

Sleepy Time!:

148_0913_B_sleeping_bag_large nap-mat-600-3crib quilt2zigzagwhole425 pinwheel-quilt-600-1 vegetable-patch-quilt425 play-mat-overhead-425new_super_easy_baby_blanket600-1

Okay, what am I missing here? I have more clothing patterns that cost a bit, but are adorable and super worth it, (I assume? Again, no small people, only cats here) and I will be posting those later, but am I covering all the bases? Any other ideas? I can include more knitting stuff if people are planning to knit! But hopefully this is a good sampling and should give people ideas as January marches ever closer to us!

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The Sewing For Small People Sew-along!

It is my great pleasure to announce that after years of following other people’s sew-alongs, I will now be hosting one of my own! Yes, that’s right folks, I am throwing my hat in the ring on the sew-along train and mixing metaphors willfully as I do it. And you will note the sew-along theme, right there in the title of this post! But, Leah,you say, why would you want to do such a crazy thing, sew for small humans, and by that I mean people of extreme youth, not just people of specific stature. Most sewers dread sewing for little people, especially those who don’t have a small human themselves. And by the way, I am not expecting a small human any time soon, let’s just eliminate that expectation right now, I promise, my oven is bun-free and happy about that. So what’s the dealio, yo?

Well, my amazing boss at the Costume Shop, Samanthe, recently announced that the reason she’s been asking the rest of us to refill the water cooler isn’t a power trip or a diva moment, she’s actually pregnant! Both Sam and her lovely husband Jason work at NYU-Tisch, so they have a lot of fans among the department, and we are all very excited for them, and for their current small person, Samuel (Yes, it’s Sam and Sam, couldn’t you just die?) to be joined by this new gentleman or lady (we should be learning the sex in about a month. I love how I’m saying we, like this is a communal pregnancy, like we’re on a kibbutz.) And I thought, we all want to give Sam and Jason and the new human in their lives something special, but most of us are students and/or artists, and we can’t just turn to Gwyneth Paltrow’s recommendations for ideas. But we all also SEW. And some of us knit and crochet and bead and embroider and generally make stuff with our hands. So why not make a bunch of things, and why not do it as a sew-along? And then I figured, I bet there are others out there, people with friends who have or are having small people, people with small people themselves, who might like a sewing-for-small-people-sew-along! And thus my brainchild, much like Frankenstein’s monster, was born. Bahahahahaha! They called me mad, mad, but I will show the world!

Ahem. I’m back. Sorry. So, please ignore my mad scientist moment and focus on the Sewing for Small People! Let’s do it!

The details:

This is going to be a four month sew (really make, you could do anything)-along, starting in January. I know that everyone has a lot going on with the holidays so we are going to start January 1st, and there will be bi-weekly sew-along posts with prizes, giveaways, featured projects, inspirational images, all that fun stuff. The sew-along will end on May 1st, and everyone can do a big reveal on their own blogs or in the real world, whatever you’re into, and then I will do a round-up of projects over the course of May. Sam’s baby is due in June, so sometime before then my costume shop compatriots and I will be having a really shower, but we can have a digital shower here, too, for all of you! Assuming anyone joins this. Which would be nice. But if not, I will sew along with myself! Oh, that’s sounds really sad.

Leah, are you going to make a badge and a flicker group, you might be asking me? Well, I have to say, I really am not a fan of flicker, but I will do that if there is desire, and I don’t know how to make a badge, but I will figure that out by January, I promise!

Leah, what are these prizes going to be like? I have no idea. But they will be AMAZING, I promise!

Leah, can anyone join? Of course! The more the merrier!

Leah, I know of a small person who is not a fresh-from-the-oven human, but rather a toddler. Can I sew for them? Duh! In fact, I will be including stuff for kids up to 4 years old, as Samanthe and Jason’s son Sam is almost 3, and I wouldn’t want him to feel left out in all the baby preparations, so we are going to make sure he has some goodies too.

Leah, will you be modeling any of these items on your cat? You know it. Please don’t call PETA.

So I will post some tutorial and pattern ideas later in the month, both free ones and reasonably priced options, along with fabric ideas and tips and sources, knitting resources, crocheting concepts, and whatever the hell else people feel like they need. Let’s do this thing! Sewing For Small People Sewalong! Who is in? Just comment below and let me know that you want to be a part of this and who you are making things for and what you would like along the way!

And now, as an early source of inspiration, some items I recently made for another teacher of mine, who has a small person, and is awesome:

SFSP 1Both of these patterns were free from PurlBee.com. I will be covering that in a tutorial and pattern round up later this month, but for now here are two links, the hat, and the bear.

SFSP 4Putting aside the practicalities of giving a small sticky spilling child Liberty of London anything, HOW CUTE IS THIS?

SFSP 2Kid’s stuff is fun, as I have recently learned, because you can indulge in your most colorful silly impulses. Look at this:

SFSP 3I would NEVER put a pompom on an adult’s hat. But a kid? Yeah, man, more pompoms! Also, this hat took me, like, 45 minutes. Little heads, little hands, little everything, this stuff has the potential to be quite quick!

See, with inspiration like this, who WOULDN’T want to join in? So come on over and pledge your allegiance to the small people in your life or the lives of those around you, it’s going to be a blast!

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Filed under Challenge, Sewalong, Sewing

The Lady Lumberjack Shirt

I can sometimes be a little stubborn. I’ll admit it, it’s true. I think if I was REALLY stubborn I would never admit such a thing, or maybe that’s just crossing the line into contrary, so that’s probably positive, and I try not to be inflexible, but hey, you know, sometimes you are the way you are, and the way I am is occasionally stubborn, and usually about the weirdest possible things. For example, I was really tired and not getting a lot of sleep about a year ago and someone, someone who generally irked me with their attitude about the world, told me I should get to sleep early, and I stayed up until 3 in the morning just to spite them. The weirdest part? They never knew! I never told them! I was exhausted, but some part of me took great joy in that act of stupid stubborn pointless defiance. I’m like a freedom fighter for very futile battles. It’s PRETTY impressive, obviously.

So when Grainline Patterns Archer Shirt came out, I liked the look of it, but everyone was into it, and shirts are tricky with all their pieces and stuff, and everyone and their mother was making one, and I just decided I wasn’t going to do that sort of thing. No, that sort of shirt wouldn’t look good on me anyway so why bother making it and I don’t CARE if all the cool kids are doing it I’m just going to eat my lunch in the library and be ALONE, that’s the REALLY cool thing. Wow, I just flashed back to high school there, hmmm, I’m going to need to go talk to some wine about that.

Okay, I’m back, my friend wine and I really hashed that out. The point is I just arbitrarily decided that this well-loved and beautifully made pattern just isn’t for me. And then I changed my mind. I blame Griffin, honestly, my costume shop co-worker, he just has the coolest collection of handmade button down shirts in shades and shades of plaid and he looks so awesome and I got really jealous. And once I noticed Griffin had a bunch of plaid shirts I started looking around and EVERYONE seemed to have plaid shirts and then I was all alone in the library again, and, and, wine, come back here, we’re not done.

So I bought the Archer shirt, and got some plaid flannel, and just went to town. And you know what? I’m so glad my stubbornness didn’t get the better of me, because I love this shirt. I seriously was sewing on the buttons 5 minutes before I needed to leave for my final class of the semester and I sat in the room hugging myself the whole time because it’s so cozy, causing my classmates a lot of laughter and mockery. I don’t care, man, this shirt is awesome. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself:

LLS 2Not only did Griffin inspire me to MAKE this shirt, he also took these photos of me during a slow moment at work today! Griffin, you are the best.

LLS 1

My co-workers are seriously the most lovely people, I can’t even deal with the level of awesomeness they exude, they always love my handmade stuff even though they are serious and seriously good sewers. I’m like the toddler who has learned to walk and can’t stop pointing out how great walking is and they are marathon runners.

LLS 5This is one cozy warm shirt, I made it just in time for the cold New York winter. It’s a little bulky under this skirt, I realized after wearing it all day and catching sight of myself with a shirt-flap shaped stomach bludge. Ah, well.

LLS 3I don’t even care! Because I love it. And honestly, once I got over myself, it wasn’t even that hard. Sure it’s a lot of pieces and steps but if you go slow and follow Jen’s amazing online tutorials it’s really not so hard. And I love the way it turned out, I think it looks really professional and well finished!I love the back pleat, let’s take a closer look, shall we?

LLS 4

 

I flat felled the sleeve settings and did french seams on the side seams but otherwise followed all her instructions to the letter. The collar wasn’t even so hard, what was I so afraid of? I had nothing to fear but fear itself.

LLS 6See? Baller. Like a boss. This is the face I use when I’m making collars like a boss:

LLS 7Just so you know for future reference. Because there will be more Archer shirts. The seal has been broken. I’ve already cut one with the last of the Indian fabric from what’s-his-face.

LLS 9Ooooh placket! Cuff! Ah, it’s a little off, whatever whatever whatever it’s a cuff who cares. LLS 8

The buttons! I love these.

LLS 10What more can I say, I love this shirt! The plaids aren’t perfectly matched, I didn’t have quite enough fabric, but I’m willing to let that go. I can’t wait to make my next one. It’s even Archer Appreciation Month right now! Archer, I appreciate you. You broke my stubborn silliness and gave me something perfect. We are now friends. You can eat lunch with me in the library. But you have to bring your own wine.

LLS 11I’m just kidding! No. I’m not. Bring wine. Thanks.

 

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Filed under Grainline Patterns, Sewalong, Sewing

The Easy Does It Dress

Ease. It’s totally a thing. I was trying to explain this to someone recently, about ease and how your measurements are one thing and ease is another and who ease is so personal and how much ease you need totally depends on you and what makes you feel comfortable blah blah blah. (Oh, and ps: giveaway enterers, guys, don’t tell me about how you don’t resize patterns, maybe I will just take the giveaway back! I would never do that, but YOU DON’T KNOW ME!) At any rate, recently I made a dress. Well, I SAY recently, but I cut this thing out like two weeks ago, and yet I’ve been dragging my feet on it for a good deal of time. the thing is, Sunni proposed a sewalong. And I was like, that sounds fun! And I had this fabric, which I bought at least a year ago, which seemed just spoiling for a shirtdress, so I thought, well, why not?

So I bought the pattern. Do I have shirtdress patterns? Yes, of course I do. But this one seemed cute, so I bought it! Did I follow any of the sewalong guidelines? Hahhahhhhhha that’s adorable. no. Of course I didn’t. That would be crazytalk. I don’t do such things. Still, I ended up with something pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.

How happy do I look? Well. honestly, this dress is actually a bit big on me, the bodice, the waist, there is QUITE a bit of ease built into this thing. And honestly, do I mind the comfort? No. But it’s not the most flattering thing, so if I was going to make thing thing again you can bet your bottom dollar I would cut at least a size down.

The belt is unbearably helpful. Belts can solve all sorts of problems, now, can they? The reality is, this pattern, simplicitiy 1880, has a TON of ease.

Side view! I’m very serious about side views, as you can see on my face. You can barely see it, but the sleeves are pleated.

The back, she is large. Sigh. It’s okay. Serves me right for not making a muslin.

I do all the grilling, because I’m extremely controlling and refuse to let other people cook because I’m awesome. My mamala and I agreed that this dress really looks best with a belt (because of all the ease) so I borrowed one of hers. Thanks, mamala!

The fabric is from Spool, I bought the end of a Kaffe Fasset spool at least a year ago and then put it aside and did nothing with it. The buttons are from the hoarder. So this is a stash busting dress, indeed! I bought the zipper and new thread, but other than that, all stash!

I do love this fabric. The pattern ate up all of it, so that’s it for me, but I love it, and I’m sure I will wear this dress, ease and all. After all, it makes me feel VERY thin. And the busyness of the pattern of the fabric really worked with all the fiddly bits (britishism I’m adopting) of the pattern. I had to piece together one of the four skirt pieces (I love the skirt, boy, is it a fabric hog!)and I don’t think you can even tell.

The notched collar. It turned out….okay. Not great. The instructions failed me here, so I had to kind of make it up. Perhaps if I had waited for Sunni’s tutorial? Alas, I did not. Whatever, it works, and that’s all that matters.

I wore this thing to an office bbq we hosted for the real estate company. It’s my family business, I’ve had my license for 5 years and I’m doing rentals this summer. We made all sorts of glorious food:

And a lovely time was had by all, including these fellows:

And I even had time to dance in my melon patch:

And drink some wine!


And now I must go to bed, because it is my for-real birthday and it’s rather late (or rather early, depending on how you look at it.) Are you working on anything that’s taking a longer time then you thought it might? I am happy with this end result, but it was like pulling teeth to finish it….

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Filed under Clothing, Sewalong, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns