P4P Brunch Blouse: New Pattern Release

Ready for another new pattern release!?

This is the pattern I didn’t even know I needed until I had it but boy, oh boy was I in need of it! What pattern am I talking about, you ask? Well the new Patterns for Pirates Brunch Blouse of course!

In case you missed it, I had a pretty adventurous time sewing a dress made out of a beautiful woven fabric a few months ago that made me a bit nervous to take on this project, but the style was so cute and I already had the fabric (a silky print from JoAnn’s) in my stash so I took the leap and made another dress, this time with much better results!

Now don’t get me wrong, I still love me some good knits but sometimes I have a hard time getting a good “dressy” or “professional” look from my beloved and oh so comfy Double Brushed Polyester or Cotton Spandex blends. Wovens, however, lend themselves much better to a dressy and professional look but of course can be totally casual too (it’s all about that styling!). 

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CWE: Sewing with Wovens is so much Harder than Sewing with Knits ( + Pattern Review)

So far in my clothing sewing journey I have only been working with knits. Most people say they are a lot harder to work with than knit fabrics but I have to completely disagree! I started sewing with knits because they are what I wear every day. In t-shirts and loose dresses, I live in knit fabrics. I am no where near an expert in sewing with knits, or the serger I have been sewing them on, but my skills have been steadily improving, and I wanted another big, new challenge.

I picked up this Simplicity Amazing Fit Pattern about a year ago and had it sitting in the “to-do” pile ever since, unopened, uncut, and a tad frightening. The pattern is designed for medium weight woven fabrics with no stretch, and has form fitted princess seams , which I didn’t realize when I bought although I probably should have. I think I was attempting to buy a different pattern but grabbed the wrong envelope, something I do WAY too much really. I decided it was a cute dress though and the sizing was right so I ended up keeping it and thinking maybe someday I will make it. 

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CWE: On The Fast Fashion Debate

Today I wanted to talk quickly about one of the big things that brought me to the idea of utilizing a capsule wardrobe in the first place. This topic is a bit different than the projects that I usually share but to me it is important and I am going to try to keep it brief!

I have mentioned before on my blog that I love a good documentary. They are one of my favorite things to listen to while I am sewing and I will watch a documentary on just about any topic really, I’m not picky. Vegetarianism, the Hoover Dam, weird animals of the world, an island that operates completely off of clean, self made energy (highly recommend by the way!), are all topics I have learned more about through a documentary because, seriously, I will watch anything.

 A couple of months ago I stumbled across a documentary on the fast fashion industry called The True Cost. The caption intrigued me and I hadn’t found anything else to watch yet so I put it on as simple background noise. Ten minutes into the documentary I was no longer sewing, I was completely engrossed in the documentary.  In a tiny little nutshell, the movie explains the changes in the fashion industry over the last couple of decades, the reasons behind the change, and how it has affected people across the world and it resonated with me on a personal level. It is heartbreaking, upsetting, disturbing and eyeopening all at the same time. (If you dont know about how bad fast fashion can be I highly recommend you read this as soon as humanly possible!)

I had started the documentary and began to sew not more than two hours after getting home from the mall where I had purchased clothing items from Forever 21, Francesca’s, and other stores that advertise getting new stock everyday as a great thing. None of the items I bought that day were things I loved but they were trendy and cheap so I brought them home anyway. The items were also terrible quality. I knew even when I was buying them that I wouldn’t have them more than a couple of months. They were the exact pieces of clothing that the movie talks about. The exact cause of all of the pain and suffering I had just watched.

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Sewing As Therapy: Love all Around Blocks

This last month and a half has been an absolute whirlwind. From starting a new job, buying a car, and trying to keep up with  every changing politics, January and the beginning of February proved to be more than stressful and its been quite a while since I have posted. Trying to be a productive member of society and a functional adult all at the some time proved more complicated than I was ready to handle.

Sewing has always been an outlet for me, a way to be creative and expressive in both a productive and intricate way. Lately it has become much more than that, however, it has become my way to practice self-care, to keep myself grounded and engaged it what is going on around me. Self care is a very common phrase in my own social circle, and I think its becoming more mainstream in general conversation, but all it really means is taking the time to take of yourself, in whatever way that means to you. For some people its a bubble bath with a glass of wine, for others it may be a walk in a local park with their dog, and, don’t get me wrong I love both of those things, but for me right now it definitely means hours of uninterrupted sewing.

Making short term projects, something like a dress or a bag, gives me a great sense of accomplishment and is my go-to when I have a longer time frame to commit to sewing on any given day, but having that large chunk of time doesn’t always happen. In an effort to make a bigger project smaller,  I have  started a long term project that I think is doing me even more good that a bunch of those smaller projects, a quilt from May Chappels Love All Around Block.

In my post about what projects I wanted to tackle in 2017, of of the big things on the list was a quilt. I originally wanted to make a sampler quilt but changed my mind when I decided to participate in sewing up SewCanShe’s monthly mini quilts and a tiny sampler quilt that I will be sharing soon. I still couldn’t get the idea of making a full size quilt however but I also knew that I really did not have the time or the space to commit to making one in a conventional way and time.

Instead I am making a couple blocks a week of this beautiful and meaningful pattern and, hopefully, by the end of the year I will have enough blocks for an entire quilt. What I have been doing so far its making a block for each time I am touched by the kindness of a stranger in my own life and a block for each time I find myself worrying about my own future, or the future of America. I am hoping for enough blocks to make a twin size finished quilt by the end of the year, but who knows, maybe I’ll end up with enough for a full or a queen size. So far I have about thirty blocks completed and more in the works every day it seems.

 

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Pattern Review (and hack!): Sew Sweetness Tudor Bag

There is something about a great tote bag that makes me unbelievably happy. I have a great love of carrying them, filling them, and even sewing them, although sewing a tote bag can sometimes be a process in and of itself. Life has been so crazy busy lately that when I was looking for a somewhat quick tote bag project to make, I immediately though of the Sew Sweetness Tudor bag, a pattern that has been on my sewing to-make list for quite a while.

I loved how classic the lines of this bag were, the relative easiness of the construction, and just how practical and versatile the finished bag could be. And now that the bag is done I love all of those things even more!

I chose to use the adjustable strap and zippered closure options in my bag but the pattern also has options for snap closures and many other features that make it truly easy to make a bug that what works for you. As for the fabric, the flowered printed fabric that I used for the bag accents is a replica of one of my most favorite Lilly Pulitzer patterns and was purchased at Hobby Lobby and the two grey prints are both from the Quilter’s Showcase line at Joann’s. They were all very inexpensive fabrics but I loved how they looked together and the finished feel they give the bag: light, happy, preppy, modern, and put together.

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