Saturday, April 30, 2016

Stashbusting Ramble and Me Made May Pledge



I do not know where April went. Do you? 
Mine was lost in a blur of work, paper writing, apartment hunting and what feels like very little creating. Dabbling here and there but mostly treading water as I count down the days until school the job, and school the online, are completed.

Stashbusting, First off I'm so proud of how my little idea has grown over the years into this vibrant community! It has become part of the sewing world and will live on now regardless of what I do. This makes me happy. I am so thankful for everyone who participates and helps lead and give feedback. Stashbusting forever!

Transition from that high, I'm pretty sure I gave into my fabric fears by not sewing much of anything this month. I am greatly enjoying all the new additions to my wardrobe from the contest I entered last month though. Eventually they will all get blogged... Oh I just checked my list, I sewed up two pieces of fabric this month. A tunic and a sack dress. I guess two pieces out is still two out. I don't think I bought any fabric this month although I've started looking at the emails... must stop!


me-made-may'16

 After much dithering, I decided to participate in Me-Made-May this year. I pledged to not stress out about taking photos every day or wear a certain number of handmade pieces. Instead I am going to wear whatever I want and keep records. Here's what I'll be tracking:
  • number of wears
  • how it makes me feel
  • why I wore it
  • how it functioned
After writing it down that actually doesn't look too complicated... what I will do with this data remains to be seen. Can you think of anything else that would be good to track? Are you participating in MMM?

Well I better get back to my final research paper... I keep telling myself I can sew summer dresses as soon as I finish it...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: Mona Jacket

This is part two of my capsule wardrobe collection, part one, the tops here.

I was originally very nervous about making the topper for the collection. It had to match with EVERYTHING and the only jacket I had planned was this Turquoise Mona. I knew it would be a risk shape wise with the tunic tops but it was a piece I had been planning for years and I knew it was finally time to get it done.



I guess I'm an intermediate seamstress because I didn't struggle with the sparse instructions, and the photos in the online tutorial provided more clarity on the back placket steps. This jacket pattern is well constructed and it went together quickly. Even with me putting the sleeves in backwards the first time! I'll have to make sure to better mark front and back next time around.

I really like how simple and easy wearing this jacket is... my real worry is how often can I get away with wearing it? Twice a week? Three times? I guess it all depends on how much coughing the kids are doing at school... germs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wardrobe Challenge: The Tops

Since I've started working at school, I've been needing more casual dressy (is that a term?) things to wear to work. So I decided to stack my cohesive wardrobe with tops!

I loved the Lani Tunic from Style Arc so I invest in some of their PDFs and I am sold on their draftsmanship! Since their patterns only come in three sizes and you print the PDF in one size I made the Daisy tunic first to check my size in their patterns. Spot on!

The Daisy Tunic has a fun double hem and POCKETS!!! My friend liked it so much she ordered one from me so you get to see the Daisy in two incarnations!  Flannel on the left and chambray on the right.

When that turned out so well I started on my Lani Tunic! Lots of pieces that I just managed to fit on the three bits of coordinating fabric I had. Part of me wishes I would have pieced the front differently but I don't think I would have gotten all the pieces cut in any other layout.


The striped Cabarita turned out to be a quick make, even after I realized the stripes were printed vertically on the fabric so I was going to have to cut a single layer on the bias to get happy vertical stripes. I add bands to the hem which I split for a fun look.

I loved this silk but never wore it as a skirt, I used my TNT block to experiment in turning it into a shirt. I pinned and cut the double layers then sewed them so all the seams were inside. It made for a quick make even with the shifty silk.

Finally I delved into my vintage pattern collection and was able to squeak out this little blouse from my vintage remnant. I kept the pleats running from the shoulder loose because when sewn per pattern instructions they ended in a place modern bosoms don't go. :) It's not a perfect top but is definitely workable for not making a muslin or altering something from the 50's. The fabric and buttons make sure I will wear it even if the perfect fit isn't there. Once in an outfit, it gets lots of compliments and I feel pretty professional in it!


Well that's my tops! So I have a question for you who work with children. How often do you wash your clothes? I hate throwing something that is "clean" in the wash after one wear but sometimes they are hacking and coughing so much I feel covered in germs. How do you handle washing work attire?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

My fabrics!
In true shoot for the moon, land among the stars mantra I'm joining two Capsule wardrobe challenges. Pattern Review and Sew-a-Longs
Pattern Review has a shorter time frame and a stricter garment policy: 10 garments consisting of 2 bottoms, 2 tops, 1 topper and 5 wild cards which all must go together.

If I can't make that I should be able to have a solid entry for Sew-along which is a considerably longer time frame and a more relaxed approach of a cohesive wardrobe of 8 pieces all your choice.

I think I have my plans figured out... we'll start with the hardest piece.

The Topper (which must go with everything)

I've been wanting to make this jacket for FOREVER so it's about time! Turquoise corduroy is what I've also had picked out forever so I had to reconcile myself to the fact that all pieces must coordinate with it.

The Bottoms
I've had these fabrics earmarked for trousers for an abysmally long time and it's about time they get made up. The brown corduroy will be my Maritime Shorts Jeans hack and the sparkle denim will be another lovely pair of Endeavours. I'm hoping the stretch in it will compensate for wearing over leggings during these cold months since the ones I've already made with zero stretch are too snug.

The Tops

This seems to be my biggest wardrobe hole, dressy work appropriate tops so I'm going to make quite a few.
Daisy Tunic in Red Flannel

Lani Tunic with those two cottons as my base fabrics and I'll figure out the other coordinate fabrics when I get there.


Some sort of Cabarita hack in this turquoise stripe that is running vertically down the fabric!! So it will be cut on the bias and I'm toying with trying to figure out long sleeves... I guess it will depend on my fabric yardage.

My Kimono Top pattern for the silk skirt I'm going to up cycle
I think a cute vintage blouse for the red vintage polka dots. I forgot to take a photo of it...

A Dress

I love dresses and this brown wool with a tiny turquoise plaid stripe will make a lovely 50's vibe winter one. Now I need to figure out how to wash the wool...

A Gauzy Thing

Not sure if this will be a top or a dress... we'll see when I get the fabric laid out. Since it is so sheer I think I want to try this voluminous vintage dress pattern I've been hoarding. Definitely the short dress length... but short or long sleeves?

My only concern with this mix is that the jacket will not pair well with my tunic tops. What do you think? I was reassured it would be ok and I know I'll wear the turquoise jacket once it is made just not sure about these tops...

This stacks up to four TNT patterns, a PDF jacket I must muslin for fit, three vintage patterns, and two PDF Tunics from a new to me company (hoping the sizing will be consistent for both)

Now for my real dilemma! What should I call my collection? Do you have any catchy name ideas?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Building A Sewing Business! Subscribe!



Well Sewing Friends,
  I have made some decisions and decided to spread my wings! Long have I deliberated on how to promote my business without turning my blog into a giant boring advertisement and the solution was really quite simple once I thought about it. Create an email list!

I'd like to introduce you to: EmSewCrazy's Snippets & Surprises

This email will be sent out... monthly? Or less... Haven't figured all that out yet. If I don't have any amazing finds or sales or cool things to show you why would I send an email to just clutter up your inbox? 
When I do send you an email it will always be connected to sewing somehow... whether it's something I've made that expresses our love for sewing or delightful vintage fabric and patterns I've picked up in my wanderings. 
I also want an easy, quick way to notify you of sales that are happening in the sewing world! So if you are interested... subscribe below and get your first surprise! A coupon code for my new collection!

Collection?
What collection??

Let's celebrate Valentines Day expressing our love for those incredible buttons! I'm trying to bring vintage buttons back out into the light of day without harming them and these elegant and fun beauties are what I've come up with. This is just a sneak peek up on Etsy now. The rest will be released February 4th so you can shop and ship before the holiday. 

Not the best photo but... I'll also be releasing limited edition vintage embroidery pendants. All cut from damaged linens the delicate handwork still remains. They're perfect for Valentines because you can insert a small love note in the back if you so desire.

Ok... what do you think? Why do you sign up for newsletters and what do you like to read in them?

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

MuuMuu Confessions: Happy Homemade Sew Chic Blouse



Hello, my name is Emily and I love muumuus.


They are so comfy, flowy and easy to wear. They always look “Sew Chic” which is the name of the book I got this pattern from!
I used design D Blouse with Front Tucks with a couple of alterations. 
  • I lengthened the blouse to dress, shortened the sleeves and added cuffs. 
  • Decreased back pleat, partly as a design decision and partly to better accommodate my shoulders. I’m 5’10” with a 37” bust. I cut a size 12 which lists on the measurement chart 36 1/2 bust 29 waist and 38 1/2 hips.

We all know and love Japanese patterns for their simple designs with unique details that can showcase splendid fabrics. I used this magic on my vintage silk sari. It was a lot of fun to use the borders to highlight different design details. 

To completely use up the sari I made a simple top with the print that is only on the one end of the sari.  I ended up never wearing it so I gifted it to the friend you see in the photos with me. She loves purple and is just a tad smaller than I so it fits her better.


How has it worn? 
Oh man! Wearing silk is lovely! This turned into comfy loungewear after work at camp and became breathable pajamas when I came home and the wood stove started up. This was old silk so it pulled at the seams from the beginning. I'm not sure if I hand washed it this last time in too abrasive of soap but all of a sudden it has started shredding. I'm sad that its days are limited but I've been wearing it almost every night. 

Don't take our MuuMuus away!!!
Do you wear silk? What are your favorite pajamas to wear?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

MuuMuu Confessions: Zsayla Tunic


“Friends don’t let friends wear MUUMUUS!” said my best friend as she rapidly dismissed me back into the dressing room. Well she’s married now, expecting her first and lives on the opposite end of the US from me. So here I am with two glorious tunic/dress things that I absolutely LOVE!

I bought the Zsayla Tunic pattern during a pattern parcel sale. I really liked its look but was worried it would be a bit too baggy so made it up first in this blue lightweight cotton. It turned out PERFECT! The designers of this pattern really got it right with just enough fullness without us drowning in the fabric. 

With my first success, I cut into my precious Kaffe Fassett fabric that was my big purchase of 2014! Thanks to Sarah, from Rinestones and Telephones, for introducing me to his fabrics. It took several tries to find a matching red for the yoke and sleeves. Finally something surfaced in the stash. I was hoping the length would come out alright and IT DID!!! 


I LOVE THIS DRESS! I really love this dress. The one thing that would make it better would be pockets but I LOVE THIS Dress. It makes me so happy when I wear it or even look at it. I let it hang to air dry and I don't usually need to even iron it. Hurrah for low upkeep. I wore it with a long sleeve shirt and leggings until it got too cold. I can't wait until spring and summer rolls back around! 

The Zsayla is a hit for me! Have you ever had a pattern turn out better than you expected?