Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Quilt Finished! ~Blast from the Past ~

A little over 20 years ago, I had this small quilt group with my friends and one of their mothers, who is a master quilter, taught us a shortcut on how to piece these quilt blocks. I made all the blocks, made them into a quilt top and I even marked the designs for quilting... then I stopped there. I think I was working on something else and got distracted. Between moving three times, three kids, many surgeries on top of everyday life, the top got tucked away and I forgot about it. During the sew my stash challenge, I came across this and decided it was time to finish it.
I used to be so intimidated by machine quilting. I am still not that good at it, but I actually enjoy it now. With my beloved Babylock sewing machine, Aria, I finished quilting it in a few days. I quickly put the binding on, so I could hand stitch the rest in the car when Mr.TRH and I were traveling up to Kennewick Washington. That was about a 20 hour drive in total... needless to say, I finished the quilt!
Over the years, my taste changed quite a bit, but I still love this cheerful colored quilt and I had so much fun finally finishing it. I named this quilt "Blast from the Past" and I think it fits perfectly on her.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Light Denim Wide Pants

I can't believe we are already in the second week of November! I made this lightweight denim pants a couple weeks ago, but life got busy and I didn't have a chance to post it until now. The pattern I used is from one of my Japanese sewing books and the whole process was so simple and easy as the title of the book claims it to be. With one glance, it kind of looks like a skirt.
I am toying with the idea to make this with plaid if I find something that catches my eye, or...
Lengthen it and sew sleek pants with solid fabric. I don't know if I could pull off the look with my height though... it would be an experiment for sure!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Simple Fleece Jacket for my Girl

I knew it was getting colder, but we had snow yesterday! My "sew my stash challenge" is still ongoing, but I have been wanting to make a coat this year. My goal is to make a wool coat with liner, but that type of project is not only intimidating, it is costly too (no room for mistakes)! I wanted to start somewhere a lot simpler and easier. I felt like the coat pattern Simplicity 8811 is a great one to start. I bought a slightly better grade of fleece and dove right in! Just as I predicted, it was very easy to make and I am so happy at how it turned out. Since this was for my daughter, I personalized it with a pocket liner. Since she is a good scholar, I used cute pencil prints inside the pocket. She loved the special feature just for her.
I saw her wearing the jacket inside and outside the home a few times already and I assume that is a good sign.
Now I am very curious to see how the jacket would look if I make it with different materials.  Hmm... There are so many things I want to make and not enough time! I need to add that thought to my "to make" list.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Cotton + Steel Rayon Separates


I bought this beautiful Rayon Challis "In Bloom" by Cotton + Steel a while back. this Rayon is the perfect weight and very smooth to the touch. It is a little different choice of fabric than my usual pick from solid or floral, but when I saw it I immediately fell in love with the design. After going back and forth between sewing a dress or separates, I decided to go with separates! For the pattern, I used Simplicity 8910 dress pattern from my previous post for the top but extended the length and made a blouse. For the skirt, I used my all time favorite flare skirt pattern I drafted. With the left over fabric, I was able to make sashing. I prefer wider sashing, but I didn't want to buy more fabric just to make the it... so it is what it is and I still like it.


I thought it would be fun to have a wrap belt with black fabric for a different look and whipped up one with cotton fabric I had in my stash


The blouse has moderate puffy sleeves, so I knew it would be a little difficult to wear it with a standard sweater or cardigan, that was part of the reasons why I decided to go with separates. This way I could wear them separately with other items and have more options. I normally don't wear black, but the sweater in the picture is an exception. I love the softness, v-neck, and fluffy texture.



During the process, I second guessed my decision for my fabric choice... I thought maybe the pattern and the colors are a little too bold for me, but once I wore it I was glad I trusted my gut instinct for loving the fabric. Sometimes it's nice to get out of your comfort zone and be a little adventurous. :)

Monday, October 12, 2020

Olive + Navy Top with Flare Skirt



I never use broadcloth to sew clothes because I don't think the fabric drapes nicely and could make the clothing look cheap. Then, when I saw the combination of this olive and navy fabric, I immediately had an image of a finished top in my head and I couldn't resist. I broke my own rule. I used a pattern from a Japanese sewing book created by Yukari Nakano. The book contains 28 pieces of simple, sophisticated and well designed clothing; I pretty much want to make all of them. Also, what is nice about her book is that unlike many Japanese sewing books, the seam allowance is already included in the pattern! It cuts down on the process and time which is a huge plus. For the skirt, I used my favorite flare skirt pattern I drafted years ago. 
 

Overall, I love how it turned out. I feel like the front of the blouse is a little bland compared to the back, but I guess that contrast is a good thing. One thing I regret is that I wish I finished the skirt with a zipper, not with elastic. Most of the skirts I make; especially now are with elastic... I am staying home most of the time, I want to stay comfortable. Though, in this case it would look much nicer with a regular waistband without getting bulky when I tuck the blouse in. Well, we live and learn, right?


It's too cold to wear this by itself now, but I am looking forward to next Spring and Summer.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Light Weight Denim Dress with Simplicity 8910/R10183


I had this light weight denim forever and there were a few times in the past that I almost sewed something with it and then changed my mind. When I had Simplicity pattern 8910 in my hand and was revisiting my stash, I felt like they were a great match. There are many reasons why I adore the design of this dress pattern. I love the simple shoulder with modest puff on the sleeves little above the wrists. I also love the thick pleats in the front and the back. I feel like these pleats have a slimming effect compared to other similar dresses. Another aspect I love is these unique slash pockets and how they compliment the pleats nicely. The only change I made for this pattern is that I brought the neckline up higher.
 

After I tried on the finished dress, I realized that I wanted the top portion of the dress slightly shorter; if I am going to make this dress again in the future. You see, I have a short torso and long arms. That is why I normally don't buy petite clothing even though I am a short girl. The sleeves will be too short for me. One of the greatest aspects of sewing your own garments is that you have some control over how the clothing fits you. I already made an adjustment to the pattern and made the top front/back 1/2" shorter.
 

The air is getting cooler, so I decided to do a fall coordination with a shawl. Because of the nature of the fabric, I feel like I could wear this dress pretty much all year round. I also think that my daughter might even be willing to wear a shorter version of this dress if I sew her one.
 

I sewed quite a bit during September; mainly light weight dresses, I still have some similar dresses I want to sew lined up, but part of me wants to start working with thicker fall material. Well, you might start seeing a mix of these posts in the future! :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Pale Pink Linen Dress...


Remember this linen dress I made last year? I really liked how it turned out so much that I wanted to revisit the pattern with different fabric. I had pale pink linen fabric I purchased at the same time I bought the purple fabric and I decided to use it for the same dress...


But the thing is; I had a little less fabric so I had to make the skirt shorter and I couldn't make the belt. I thought it would still be fine, but I like the longer length much better. I think that would make me feel more "me".



The air is getting a bit chilly around here, so I also wanted to take some pictures with a cardigan and a scarf, but when I was looking at the pictures before writing this post, the white cardigan and the pink dress reminded me of the nurses when I was in the hospital in Japan growing up! Ugh!! Well, to be honest with you, this is not my favorite dress I have ever made... but, you live and learn, right? I also know that when you are in a creative endeavor, they can't all be winners even though that's what we strive for. Isn't it so interesting how just a few inches off the skirt length or less than a quarter inch of difference could change the whole look of a piece of clothing? 
 

I wish I could turn back time and make something else instead... I will still wear it around the house, but this was a learning experience for me. I hope my next project will be something I could say "I love" and share with you!
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