Saturday, September 27, 2014

Selfish Sewing Week: Tania Culottes

Selfish Sewing Week has been such fun and I'm so excited to be a featured stitcher this year. So many ladies are participating and it inspires me to sew even more than I planned! 

Let's talk culottes. I never wore culottes growing up and I know so many people have negative feeling when it comes to them. I was a little wary myself but when I saw this pattern, I changed my mind. The Tania Culottes are genius and at first (and second) glance you can't even tell that it isn't a skirt. So many amazing people were sewing these culottes last year and I thought they were cute, but didn't feel that I would be able to pull them off. My sewing skills have improved in the past year so I thought I would try them out.(Disclosure: I was planning to but this pattern but I was fortunate that Megan provided it to me to sew for SSW.) All  I am so grateful for all the sewing bloggers out there. I love being able to research a pattern fully before taking the plunge and it's so helpful to see different versions as well as being able to bypass potential errors.

The Instructions: This was my first time using a pattern from Megan Nielson and I loved it. The instructions were so clear and easy to follow. After cutting the pattern I was able to sew this up in about 1 1/2 hours.

Making a Muslin: I did my research and read a ton of wonderful blog posts about the culottes. I decided to make a muslin to check the fit and I'm so glad I did. My measurements put me in a Medium so I cut that size with a XL length. Well, the waist is just a little tight, it hit too high on my waist, even with the added length they were short and the inseam was pretty high and quite uncomfortable. So I did even more research and found how to add even more length, how to lower the inseam and made a larger size so they would sit lower on my waist.

Figuring out the Right Size: The second pair I made (this blue daisy floral) ended up being too big and too long. So I had to take in the waist quite a bit and its still too big. Its pretty hard to shorten the circle skirt once sewn so I did my best with that. For my next pair, I will try a size medium in the waist, lengthen the inseam and add 2" (instead of 4") to the XL circle skirt length. Then I may have the perfect pair!
Finding the Perfect Fabric: This fabric is a rayon challis and is great for these culottes. Lightweight with plenty of body. And I just love these tiny daisies.
Helpful Hints: After making my first pair I found a very helpful tip on how to match your pattern on the front. Make sure to line up your center seam pleat for the front pieces (and back pieces) to ensure that your seam line will match up. That way it looks more like a skirt than culottes!
Final thoughts: I love them. I'm planning to make a pair that is more appropriate for cool weather--I'm hopeful that at some point we will have some! My friend saw me wearing these and asked me if they were culottes and then promptly asked if I could make her a pair. I'd say that's a good sign

featured stitchers: Call Ajaire The Crafty Kitty Max California the quirky peach Sewbon Swoodson Says sewVery a happy stitch sew a straight line Sew Caroline Our Chez Nous Casa Crafty verypurpleperson Flamingo Toes Sewing Rabbit justmejay groovy baby and mama you & mie oona balloona sew Amy sew Idle Fancy miss matatabi Dandelion Drift Modern Handcraft Buzzmills u&mii B.Yazoo A Quilter's Table lbg studio Diary of a Chainstitcher Compagnie M. Sew Chibi la inglesita Modern Handmade Sing All You Want Cookin' and Craftin' Behind the Hedgerow Milkybeer Handmade The Charming Needle

Friday, September 26, 2014

Black and White Boatneck Tee + Jamie Jeans // Selfish Sewing Week

I've been doing a ton  of sewing lately but haven't really been in the mood to take pictures, edit pictures and blog. I set-up the tripod this morning and took 15 minutes to snap these pictures because this top is too cute not to share! I've been meaning to sew this for awhile and since it is Selfish Sewing Week now seemed like the perfect time! 

Here's the story about this shirt. I bought a boatneck tee at H&M 3 years ago and it was my most worn shirt. But with shirts that get worn a ton, they also get washed frequently. Over time it shrunk and perhaps I grew a bit ;) so I decided to try my hand at rub-off patterning. It's a technique that is used where you don't need to take apart the clothing to get pattern pieces. I used this tutorial and it worked great!
My first one was a little big so I took it in and the second try was great! I even adapted the pattern to work for this self-drafted dotty chambray dress. I made a few additional alterations for my third top and I love the fit. This is my favorite style of shirt and I'm so happy to have a pattern that is exactly what I love.
This gorgeous black and white knit is from the Michael Levine Loft DTLA and it is wonderful. On my recent trip there I took my daughter (her first time) and I left with about 20 pounds of fabric! She even chose her own very sparkly fabric and was so excited to touch and feel all the fabric.
My fall wardrobe is being planned out using all this fabric. You could say that I love black & white, gray and stripes.

The jeans are my first pair of Jamie Jeans that I made earlier this year. They are still holding up, though the fit is a bit tighter than I remember. I still need to make some revisions to the pattern and get started on another pair.
And as always, the kids love sneaking in for some pictures as well. Dirt covered faces and pajamas. Typical morning for us! I'll be back in a few days sharing another make for Selfish Sewing Week!


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