Sunday, September 11, 2016

Navy Eyelet Skirt and Copycat Twist Top

I have two non-pattern sewing projects to share today. Eyelet skirts and dresses have a big trend this summer and after looking at a bunch of inspiration photos, I decided to just draft a skirt myself.
Navy box pleat eyelet skirt and cloned knit pattern from old VS twist top

Sunday, September 4, 2016

DIY Makeup Bag and Zipper Bag Gift Set

Sewing home decor makeup travel cosmetic bag with zipper in yellow white and navy
The makeup case in my gym bag has been slowly falling apart and I had some leftover scraps of fabric still sitting on my table from another project so I figured it was the perfect time to put my sewing skills to use on something practical. Not that apparel sewing is not practical, but home decor sewing usually feels more utilitarian to me rather than inspiring. On the upside there's no need to make a muslin and fiddle with the fit.

I used tutorial from So-Sew-Easy. It was my first time going through it and the whole project still took under an hour. Talk about instant gratification! Not to mention good use of scraps and a very handy result. I had a lot of fun making the bag and liked how it turned out so I decided to also make a gift set for a friend at the same time.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Coral Belcarra Blouse

It's sunny and hot so I'm continuing to sew some much needed summer tops. This is my new rayon challis coral Belcarra blouse.
Sewaholic Belcarra pattern sewn up from coral rayon challis fabric

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sewing McCall's 7094 Top

I'll start with the positives. I like the pleated detail below the yolk, the fabric is light and bright, and ... I think the list ends there. At least until several reworks to make the top wearable.
Handmade summer sleeveless top from voile like fabric and M7094 sewing pattern
My biggest complaint with this pattern is the sizing. It's waaaay too big. I realize it's supposed to be a loose fitting top, but I could have fit two of me in it when I first tried it on. I should have made a muslin, but I wasn't really attached to this fabric and figured this can be the muslin if it didn't work out. Plus, I was overly optimistic that the fit wouldn't matter as much on this design. I removed ~1" from the length of the torso on the pattern before cutting to adjust for my height and decided I could take it in a bit more later if needed. That "bit" turned out to be ~3" on each side and I would have done more if it didn't start distorting the sleeve opening and the overall silhouette. Maybe with a crape-like fabric the volume wouldn't be as noticeable because of the drape. However, my fabric had a little bit of body to it and when I first put it on, the top looked like a parachute. I didn't even take pictures, but you can imagine based on how loose-fitting the top still looks after taking out all that fabric.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Denim Skirt and Lace T-Shirt

Handmade denim skirt cloned from ready to wear
I like denim skirts and own a few, but only had one RTW one that was long enough to wear to the office. Unfortunately my hip and back measurements have <cough> altered a bit over the last 10 years. I would try to shimmy my way into it and in denial put it on a shelf until the day it would fit again. I'm not quite sure why I held on to it this long because I'm usually good about letting things go when I pair down my wardrobe. The one good thing that came out of keeping the skirt was that last year I learned that it's possible to "rub-off" a pattern. After taking the Craftsy Pattern Drafting from Ready-to-Wear (which by the way I found very helpful), this was the first pattern I wanted to tackle. The Pattern Preview skirt contest was the final motivator and I got to work recreating the pattern by tracing the original and using the pin method to line up the rest of the seams. I figured out the sewing order from what I already know about construction and by studying the original. The whole thing was definitely more time intensive than sewing from a pattern, but more educational too.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sewing Activewear - The Pink Workout Top

I've had hit and miss luck with buying good quality activewear fabric online. I'm very particular about workout clothes because on weekends I'm often biking, running or both for 2-3 hrs at a time, sometimes longer in the Texas heat. This means I'm drenched in sweat and if the clothes are chafing somewhere then it's real problem. Something that can feel perfectly comfortable on a 5 mile run can feel unbearable when running 15 miles. I've often spend more on cycling and running gear than on work clothes so my bar for tech apparel is set high and half the time when I've bought activewear fabric online I was thoroughly disappointed in the feel, breathability, stretch etc and chucked the fabric aside. On a couple of occasions though I've been thrilled with the purchase. This bright pink Nylon/Poly/Lycra from FabricMart was one of those fabrics.
Workout top from lycra/nylon blend  for cycling or running

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Textured Green Pencil Skirt

May has been busy and although I've been keeping up with my MeMadeMade pledge, I haven't been taking pictures of the outfits to post. The one I did take was one of my favorite self drafted patterns to date - green pencil skirt. Usually I don't gravitate toward green, but I came across this fabric on Fabric Mart Fabrics a few years ago and something about it just caught my eye. It's really nice quality cotton with slight stretch and really interesting textured finish.Self drafted and sewn  green textured pencil skirt for MeMadeMay

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Me Made May Pledge and Georgette Blouse

I've enjoyed following the Me-Made-May challenge on the blogosphere in the past and this year I decided to take part. The only problem is that by May it's HOT here in Austin and my me-made wardrobe has more transitional weather pieces so I can't commit to wearing sometime handmade each day, but I think 4 pieces a week is a good challenge. So here we go:

I, Olga of the, sign up as participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavor to wear 4 handmade garments each week for the duration of May 2016.

Speaking of summer garments, I recently finished up this silk georgette shell.
Sewing handmade light blue silk georgette shell blouse with cowl neck

Monday, April 11, 2016

B5493 Ruffled Tank

While doing some spring cleaning I came to a realization that I’m short on warm weather tops. I needed more easy to care for knit tops that can be dressed up for work, but be comfortable to wear when I’m running out into 100 degree weather in the summer.
Handmade Butterick B5493 ruffled tank top in black jersey knit

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cashmere Coat B5685, Just in Time for Spring

I made this coat last year, but it was my longest project to date so I figured it deserved a post on the blog. I was in a need of dressy winter coat. Something I could wear with a pair of heels to work, restaurant etc. I had a long, really warm coat from Chicago, but that was too heavy for mild Austin winters. After some unsuccessful searching, I decided to just make one.
Sewn petite black cashmere coat from Butterick 5685 pattern
It was my first attempt at sewing outerwear, but I figured that if I was going to invest all this time into a coat it needs to be nice and I splurged on cashmere. Usually it would run about $90/yd, but I lucked out and found this nice quality, soft cashmere wool at Fabric Mart for half the price. I bought the recommended 2 yds for the pattern, but with careful cutting ended up fitting all the pieces under 1.5 yds.
Sewn petite black cashmere coat from Butterick 5685 pattern modified collar

Monday, March 28, 2016

Fabric Mart Mystery Bundle

This will be a long post because I have not one, but three outfits to share with you today. Fabric Mart Fabrics was doing a mystery bundle pinterest challenge. Two weeks ago I received 3 different fabrics about 2 yds each and came up with the following outfits.
3 sewing projects for March Fabric Mart Challenge
Both of the dresses were new to me patterns so they took a bit more time to make fit adjustments and muslins.  The top was kind of tired and true. I made a similar one for myself a few months ago and wore it quite a bit, so I made this one for my mom. So here's a bit more detail about each.

How I Started Sewing

I've actually been sewing pretty regularly for a few years, but finally took the plunge to start a blog. I've had a papercrafting blog for a number of years where I've been posting on and off, but wasn't sure if I'd have the time to keep up with both. I have a few hobbies and little spare time so I often cycle through these on a week to week or month to month basis, but I love following the online sewing community and decided to give it a try. I think it's appropriate to start things off with a story of how I started sewing.
I grew up in a household where sewing machine was a standard appliance. My great grandmother and grandmother sewed for fun, my dad made a living for a while as a tailor and worked magic with leather. I knew how to work a sewing machine at a young age and on occasion made little doll clothes. However, by the time I was in my teens I couldn't even remember how to thread a machine. I did buy a basic machine when I moved into my house after college and needed to make some curtains, but I shied away from clothing. I actually made one attempt at making a silky robe because I've had my eyes on one for months, but the "one size fits all" sizing in stores is comical for someone petite. Well, I bought some slippery poly fabric, cut it out without any type of a pattern, basically eyeballing it. I had no patience and as you can guess, the result wasn't pretty. I didn't even finish it, but I still have those scraps somewhere as a reminder. I was put off from garment sewing and it wasn't until my 30s when I finally decided to give it a real go. I can't recall if I came across something online first or I had an epiphany when I noticed sewing patterns at Joann's that reminded me of my grandma's sewing, but one day I bought a Simplicity 2892 blouse pattern and drapy poly fabric and decided the time healed of wounds and I can make something wearable. I knew so little at that point, I'm still shocked that what I made was a cute, totally wearable top. I didn't even make a muslin since at the time the concept was foreign to me.
Sewing floral blouse from Simplicity 2892 pattern