Tag Archives: flannel

The Snow Over It Shirt

I don’t think I have ever felt this way before, but I can honestly say that as much as I love this project, I really hope I don’t get to wear it again until next fall. Because I am over this weather. Over it. My friend Bix recently told me he just isn’t accepting weather under 60 degrees. He might be clinically insane but dammit I respect the sentiment! I don’t mind the winter. I like it, even. I’m not one to complain about the cold. But it has been a lot of snow and freezing weather and constant days of gray and sadness, and the lack of light in the winter does sometimes get to me. Now, of course the light increases daily these days, but the temperature is still rather brisk here in New York, and when I wore this shirt last week I was thrilled to be in something so warm and snuggly, and sad that I had to. It’s difficult to feel so conflicted over a piece of clothing. It was deeply traumatic. See what this winter has done to me? SEE?

There is an irony to the weather getting nicer just as Game of Thrones approaches. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Remember when I couldn’t get into Game of Thrones? Those days are long gone. I’m in it now. I’m counting down to the premiere. If you need me in two Sundays, I will be the one drinking wine and wishing Jon Snow would CALL ME. I have to do that now that Robb is no more. Whatever if that’s a spoiler, it’s been almost a year, if you don’t know by now you deserve to have the surprise ruined.

Back to the clothing. I got a little obsessed with flannel this winter, partially because What’s-His-Face wears a lot of it and partially because come on, it’s flannel. Do I really have to have a reason? So I found this fabric on sale at pinkchalkfabrics.com and sprang for it, and due to a shipping mix up it came quite a bit later than I thought it would but as it turns out, that matters not at all! Because apparently March includes flannel weather this year. What fun.

SOI 2.jpgSee? Isn’t that the face of fun? This shirt is crazy cozy, I will say that for it. It’s an Archer, from Grainline Patterns, which is a lovely pattern that I can’t stop making.

SOI 4.jpg

The only change I made was to lengthen it 4 inches. I love the Archer but on me it’s come out a bit short both of the other times I’ve made it, so I wanted it to be a bit longer and better with pants. I’m thinking of lengthening it even more next time for a shirt-dress kind of thing. Has anyone tried this?

SOI 5.jpgSee, that’s some nice coverage there, don’t you think? The checks do not quite match, and I’m sorry. Am I? Honestly, I’m kind of okay with it. I love when plaids and checks and stripes match but I’m not going to torture myself if they don’t. Is that just me?

SOI 6.jpgThey match up with the front, that’s the most important part, right? Sweet collar, right? I love this pattern. Every time I make it I try to take my time with it and make the collar even better. This pattern has kind of taught me the joy of going slow, which has taken me an embarrassingly long period of sewing time to understand. Sigh. Knit dresses and tops are all well and good but sometimes you need to take a few hours to make something work.

SOI 7.jpgAren’t the buttons nice? I like them very much.

SOI 3.jpgOh, that is some backlighting there! Oh boy. Watcha gonna do.

I love this shirt, I’m very glad I made it, I was petting my arms all through class and so grateful to be encased in flannel, but I seriously hope I have to put this one aside for a while. Flannel is all well and good, but honestly, I’m snow over it.

SOI 8.jpgThe look on Cadfael’s face implies how bad that joke is. I DON’T CARE. I STILL THINK IT’S FUNNY. WHATEVER.

I’m ready for some lightweight fabrics. How about you all?

 

 

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Filed under Clothing, Grainline Patterns, 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 Double Booked Dress

I tell you, it’s all feast or famine when it comes to my weekend plans. Either I have a zillion things to do and I’m completely overwhelmed and end up crying in a corner clutching some wine, or I have nothing to do and I’m sad and lonely and end up crying in a corner clutching some wine. So it’s pretty great either way, honestly. Do you ever look around and wonder if your friends have some kind of conspiracy going, like, “we’re all going to have birthdays in May this year, that’ll work!”? I do….yes, I know birthdays aren’t a choice. They are, however, a scam invented by Hallmark to sell birthday cards. God, what I’m going to do when that show ends? This must be how people felt about Breaking Bad. But not me, because I just couldn’t get into Breaking Bad. For a show about drug running I felt that thing moved awfully slowly. SEE WHAT I DID THERE? I’m going to laugh about that one for a while. See, it’s humor like this that helps me out when I’m all alone crying in that corner.

ANYway, this past Friday I had not one, but TWO parties to attend! I know, I know, cue the sad violins because you just feel so damn sorry for me. But it’s a lot of pressure! One was a pub crawl in the East Village for my friend Josh, and one was a BBQ Birthday Bash in Astoria for my friend Victoria. Two parties, two friends, two worlds, one Leah. So what could I wear that would work for both of these events, and also look decent at work during the day before either of these parties, AND keep me warm and comfortable dashing around New York in the October chill, because it is chilly, and god knows I don’t suffer for fashion? In the Struggleverse, fashion suffers for YOU. What could fulfill all of these requirements? Nothing already hanging in my closet, obviously, because that’s all be SEEN and besides, I wanted to make something new, duh. And then I thought, what have I been craving most as the leaves change and the apples are harvested. Something cozy, something plaid, something cute, something plaid, something flannel, SOMETHING PLAID. And so here we go:

DB 1So I made myself something plaid. Are you mad? Don’t be mad. Of if you are, just be mad for plaid. Hehehehehehehe, see, no wonder I’m alone in that corner…whatever, more wine for me!

DB 2I used the Amy Butler Liverpool pattern, something I’ve had for at least two years now and never got around to trying. It’s a nice pattern and her instructions are pretty great, especially the diagrams, really helpful. The collar and collar stand threw me a bit at first, but I just went slow and breathed my way through it, and I think it turned out beautifully, honestly, I’m unabashedly proud of this collar:

DB 7To see my true pride, check out this facial expression:

DB 6I am feeling like a pimp, yes, and I will indeed be brushing my shoulders off, thank you very much. Having not tried Amy Butler patterns before, I cut the pattern to my size, a 6, and for the most part it fits, but clearly the bust was drafted smaller than the independent companies I’ve gotten used to, because it’s a touch snug. It’s not bad or uncomfortable, I can just see a little pulling at the bust buttons, sigh. Next time I would do a full bust adjustment. Oh, how I’ve become so spoiled!

DB 4Otherwise the fit is pretty good, I like the slimmer fit and the sleeves are great. I omitted the cuff buttons and went with the 3/4 length sleeve, because I tend to roll things up anyway. The back is especially cute:

DB 5You insert these ties into the sides and tie it in the back, which gives you nice waist definition in a sneaky way. I like sneaky clothing. Who wouldn’t?

You can’t really tell in these photos but this fabric is actually navy and red, not black and red. I got the fabric on Ebay, it’s an extremely cozy flannel, which I also don’t know if you can tell here. The lighting at my job sometimes leaves something to be desired. But my lovely co-worked Michelle, a costume design student and stand-up human being, agreed to snap these of me on a break, so I can’t really complain. My costume shop co-workers are so great, they coo and clap over my stuff even though they are sewing bosses and I am in so many ways a lowly layman. Thanks, costume shop friends!

DB 3

Oh! I don’t really know how this happened because I didn’t really try and didn’t have enough yardage to really make an effort, but somehow, by some strange magic, my sides and sleeves totally match on this thing! The same cannot be said for my collar/stand/back, but I have long hair whatever whatever just look at the nice plaid matching, please!

DB 8Thank you, magically matching plaid! You are a sewer’s best friend!

So the most important question, did my dress make it through the night? It did, with flying colors, staying as comfortable and cute as it was when I put it on from Pub Crawl to smoked brisket to the ride home, looking good even as my Guatemalan cab driver shared with me about his recent messy divorce. People, man. You want to see it in action? Well, by the time I got to Astoria enough wine had been consumed that photos weren’t going to happen, but I did get a shot in the East Village:

DB 9Here with my friend Liz! I know my face is totally blurred, but trust me, that’s me, how many other people would show up wearing a plaid shirtdress? Well, I mean, hipster is king, so maybe a lot…

The only problem is, I think I’ve caught plaid fever. There is no existing cure….

How is your fall going?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Amy Butler, Clothing, Sewing

The Cat’s Pajamas

Not everyone enjoys sewing for other people. I know this, and I respect it. After all, it’s a hell of a lot of work. I think that Oonaballoona (who I deeply adore, from afar, for her daring and her mad skillz, and for her cameo on Royal Pains) summed it up best in this blog post, and if you click on that, read the comments, because they are all insightful and amazing. I must say that more and more as I’ve been sewing for longer and, of course, my garments look a hell of a lot better, when I mention that I sew (I’m just kidding, I never mention, I scream it to the rooftops) people have started asking, do you take commissions? To which I just grin. Because in my mind I’m thinking, honey, do you know the time and effort it takes to make a garment? And fit it? And finish the seams and make sure the design is right and hem and baste and blah blah sewing blah? And you want it in chiffon? That’s cute.

But it’s just like anything else, isn’t it? Like, someone sees an actor perform in a role. And they think, hey, I’m attractive and I can talk and I have feelings, I should be an actor! But what they don’t think about is that that’s an art form, and it requires work and skill and effort. Sewing takes a lot of work, and the longer you do it the more you realize that you don’t know, and still need to learn. So when people ask you to make something for them, “real quick”, it demeans you, in a sense, because they think that what you do is easy and quick, whereas we know that sewing is labor and time intensive, not to mention the cost of materials.  It’s one of the reasons learning to sew will put you off, as the British say, buying RTW, because you know that the labor isn’t being compensated fairly if you only need to pay 10 dollars for a blouse.

That being said, I am someone who does make things for other people. Not when they ask, necessarily, though I do like to know what they want before I spend timing making something, but because I love certain humans and want to show that love with hand-made items. And that is why, among the many things I made for people this holiday season, I made my mother and father pajamas. And you know what? They turned out pretty baller, if I do say so myself.

I think my parents make excellent models, don’t you? The pajamas my mom is wearing come from vintage pattern Simplicity 4006, which is one I have also made for myself. I made it for myself first because A. I’m selfish and B. I wanted to check the fit on my mom before I made her a pair in this lovely flannel that is more her color palette (she’s an Autumn). I scored the fabric from a fabric.com flannel sale and I got the pattern from this lovely etsy seller. I got the buttons from PA Fabric outlet, because that’s all I ever do. I think it turned out really well, and my mom certainly likes her new pajamas!

Oh, I think I love the collar best of all, it’s inside edge bound with lime bias tape:

As for my father’s pair, I got that vintage pattern from this other lovely etsy seller, and it’s Advance 8217. I loved the style, but I ALSO love the fact that three out of the three cover sketches are smoking. Thank you, 1960’s.

My dad's head looks enormous here, but I can assure you that's fairly normal for him, he has a very large head.

I got the fabric from the same fabric.com order (come on, I had to make it to the free shipping! Anyone would have done the same!) and I got the buttons from PA Fabric outlet. My father wanted a collarless style, and a fabric shortage led me to cut the exposed front non-collar thing (it’s hard to explain) on horizontal stripes, when everything else had been cut on vertical. I think it looks kind of cool, what do you think?

Sorry about the wrinkles, but these are pajamas, after all.

I also really enjoy the cuffs:

 

So there you have it. Two cool cats in very cool pajamas, looking comfortably vintage in their flannel glory.

But just because I made this for my folks, don’t get any funny ideas, okay, people?

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Filed under Butterick Patterns, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage