Tag Archives: in house patterns

In-House Patterns | Chelsea Blouse and a Giveaway

30 Sep

Hi, friends! Happy Hump Day! Just a quick reminder that today is your last chance to enter my giveaway for two Butterick patterns. To enter, leave a comment on my last post here or my Facebook page and tell me your favorite fabric and pattern to work with. I will close the giveaway tonight and announce the winner in a few days.

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A little while back I shared with you my first version of the In-House Patterns Chelsea Blouse. My love for In-House Patterns is no secret on this blog. In my first version of the top, I told you the shoulders were a little wide, admittedly my fault because I added extra width to the pattern and cut a larger size than was probably needed. I knew I needed to give the pattern a second chance so here we are — take two.

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I sized down to a medium for this version and didn’t add any width to the shoulders. I think this time it is nearly perfect. I have concluded that one of my shoulders is wider than the other so I could probably alter my shirts for that, but on something this loosely fitting, I am not going to bother for now.

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I sewed this up in a Theory silk charmeuse earthtone ombre panel that I purchased from Emma One Sock. The fabric is gorgeous in person and of course feels wonderful against the skin. I cut it out in a single layer so I could place the pattern like I wanted it. My only gripe with sewing it was with the rolled hem foot (again) and you can see how the hemline is a little wavy. I find the rolled hem foot makes my bias edges stretch out some. Is this operator error or just a problem with that hemming method?

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Either way, I will still be wearing my top as we transition from hot hot to less hot here in the Deep South. It pairs well with many of my bottom pieces and I can’t wait until it is actually cool enough to pull out some boots and booties!

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In-House Patterns | Chelsea Blouse in Blue Georgette

19 Jul

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Here we are again, on the eve of another work week, and I have another productive sewing session to tell you about. I have completed a Vogue 1353 which turned out great and I will share once I get photos. I have also made another Closet Case Files Sallie Jumpsuit trying to perfect the fit. And I made another McCall’s 7121 that just needs a hem. Spoiler alert — no crazy stripe matching in this version.

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But what I am going to share with you today is this sheer, swingy blue blouse made up with the hot-off-the-presses In-House Patterns Chelsea Blouse. It’s no secret that I love Alexandra Morgan’s skills as a designer, pattern drafter, and conveyor of streamlined and industry-style sewing techniques. You can see some of my previous In-House makes here and here (I think there is going to be another Belle Blouse in my future soon). There are others that have never made it onto the blog (my sister loves the Jenny Tee that I made and gifted to her).

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This top is trendy but basic enough that you could make it up in a crazy fabric to wear now or in a nice neutral solid to keep in your wardrobe for many years. The pattern also provides the option for color blocking or mixed media (think lace or chiffon back panel). I love the way the side seams swing forward toward the front as they head down to the hemline. I think this makes the silhouette more slimming. What do you think?

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I chose to make mine up in a royal blue polyester georgette by J. Crew ($3.50/yard), one of a few pieces in a recent Fabric Mart Fabrics acquisition. While this wasn’t the easiest fabric to work with, by taking my time getting the fabric on grain, cutting it out with a rotary cutter, and carefully pinning and stitching, I think I was able to achieve a satisfactory garment.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t my best work ever. My rolled hem foot gave me fits and my neck binding refused to be stitched in the ditch so I had to resort to handstitching it. But the casual observer will never notice these things.

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For sizing I chose a large with D cup and I added 5/8″ width to each shoulder as well as making a 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment. I chose these adjustments based on the fit of my Blossom Blouse but I feel like the width I added to the shoulders was unnecessary and makes me look even broader than I am. Based on prior experience, In-House Patterns are drafted with very little ease so I don’t try to fudge on choosing my size. But I think in this pattern I could have gone with the medium.

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As far as construction goes, I used French seams for everything, including the armscyes. As mentioned above, the French binding on the neckline was stitched down by hand with a fell stitch.

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The body and sleeves of the blouse are hemmed with the rolled hem foot on your machine. From prior experience, I knew this would be tricky but I forged ahead. I had to adjust my needle position to get the stitching to hit in the right spot. And some places aren’t rolled right but it’s not obvious from the outside. It got a little easier as I went along, though, and the sleeves aren’t too bad.

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The Chelsea Blouse from In-House patterns is another solidly drafted pattern by Alexandra Morgan. I would love to see your version if you decide to sew it up!

Me Made May 2014, Part 2

1 Jun

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Wednesday, May 14 — A “day off.” I spent the day running errands and doing house chores. I paired my workhorse McCall’s 6559 knit dress with new flip-flops and my trusty LOFT jean jacket. The necklace is from Kluster Shop.

 

 

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Thursday, May 15 — Work all day. I wore my new Simplicity 1810 dress again, this time styling it with a RTW cropped lace cardigan that picks up the deepest red color in the silk fabric. The shoes look more fun in person — they are a nude color with some shine in the leather. I definitely liked this outfit.

 

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Friday, May 16 — TGIF! I wore my new Lolita Olive blouse to get more photos for the blog tour. I paired it with my new white jeans (J Brand), and my pewter flats.

 

 

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Saturday, May 17 — Mr. Homemaker and I spent all day working around the house, getting it ready to go on the market. I am wearing my striped Renfrew and some Athleta capris I picked up in Philly. Love these pants!

 

 

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Sunday, May 18 — Off to church in an unblogged dress that is a miss-mash of a TNT princess seam bodice and the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt. I paired it with a cropped white lace cardigan and some white strappy sandals. The necklace is from Kluster Shop. Like my newly made-over dining room?

 

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Monday, May 19  — Back to the office for a busy day. I wore unblogged Simplicity 2365 that I made as a swimsuit coverup for our cruise back in February. I love the pintuck detail on this tunic but it is really blousy in the back and would benefit from some tailoring and a swayback adjustment in its next version. I made it from some J. Crew cotton voile from a recent Fabric Mart Fabrics sale. I paired it with my Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans, my gold flats, and a “vintage” turquoise necklace.

 

 

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Tuesday, May 20 — Another normal day at the office. For dinner we went out to celebrate my stepson’s end of the school year. This is McCall’s 6654 knit skirt is great to wear but is a bit cumbersome in the office because long things get tangled up in my rolling stool. I paired it with a white lace-trimmed cami and black lace cropped cardigan (both from Nordstrom). My shoes are open-toe low heeled Cole Haans.

 

 

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Wednesday, May 21 — A day off spend running errands again. This is one of my favorite me-mades of all time — McCall’s 6559. I paired it with my jean jacket and some flower-adorned flip-flops. The necklace is from Premier.

 

 

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Thursday, May 22 — Back to work and a professional conference in the evening (where I was able to get some knitting done, too!). I wore my Belle Bow Blouse with my white skinny jeans and some pointy-toe flats.

 

 

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Friday, May 23 — Normal office day and my stepson’s award day at school. Isn’t he a handsome young man? I wore my unblogged Kirsten Kimono Tee (see a blogged version here), and some red skinny jeans from David Kahn. Gold flats.

 

 

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Saturday, May 24 — I whipped up this Nettie bodysuit before heading to Mobile for the trunk show and pattern fitting with Sandra Betzina. It was really easy to make and I love the idea of a bodysuit. My only complaints are the very narrow shoulders and the fact that the coverage in the back isn’t enough to cover my big booty. I will definitely be tweaking this pattern and making it again, though! I paired the top with my Citizens jeans and red patent flats.

 

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Sunday, May 25 — I spent all day sewing with Sandra and other seamstresses. I dressed for comfort in this McCall’s 6559 and gold sparkle flip-flops. I also took a batch of Mimosa Punch to share with my classmates.

 

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Monday, May 26 — Memorial Day started out with hospital rounds in the nursery followed by housework and a cookout at home. I paired my Sewaholic Lonsdale with some new yellow sandals.

 

 

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Tuesday, May 27 — This was a normal day at the office. I paired my unblogged McCall’s 6898 with my white skinny jeans and some old pale pink kitten heels. While seeing patients at the office, I slipped on one of my heels and landed on my knee on the concrete floor, resulting in an ugly bruise. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time these shoes made me fall so I put them straight into the Goodwill pile when I got home.

 

 

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Wednesday, May 28 — My first real day off in weeks it seemed. I spent all day working around the house, knitting, and sewing. I made this hot pink stretch lace slip with my trusty McCall’s 6559 pattern, cutting the length off about mid-thigh. I used a contrasting lavender knit for the neck and armscye bands. Sorry, no photos of me lounging in this one 🙂

 

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Thursday, May 29 — Back to the office where I wore my first pair of me-made panties. As you can tell, I made them to match my slip from the day before. You may also notice I used leftover fabric from my Nettie bodysuit for the lining.

To make these, I traced a favorite pair of RTW panties then stitched them up and added a little lavender elastic at the waist. I finished the leg openings with a simple serged hem.

I also wore a blouse made from Vogue 1386, a Sandra Betzina pattern. This top was made by Sandra herself and gifted to me after our class over the holiday weekend. Thanks so much, Sandra, for a great class and this beautiful blouse! I paired the blouse with some slim jeans and animal skin slingbacks.

 

 

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Friday, May 30 — Another Friday at the office. I wore my Vogue 8747 white blouse with some slim jeans and new camel T-strap sandals.

 

 

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Saturday, May 31 — Woo hoo! The last day and I made it!! I wore my Kirsten Kimono Tee again with some jeans and my red patent flats. My sis took this photo at a small gathering at her house where she announced that I am having another niece! Yay for girls!!! 😉

So if you’re still there, why don’t we talk briefly about what I learned from Me Made May ’14? I learned that a few things I made last year don’t fit (that’s the motivation I’ve been needing for that pesky 5 pounds!). I’ve also learned that I’ve made a lot of things suitable for days away from the office but I haven’t made many work-appropriate items. This is something that I hope to address this summer. Finally, I learned that I am terrible about remembering to take daily photos as most of mine were taken at the end of the day when everything was looking a little wilted.

Overall, May was a great month for me — very productive and satisfying — and I am looking forward to my upcoming sewing and knitting projects. I hope y’all have a great week and we’ll chat again soon!

2013 in Review

1 Jan

Now that 2013 is officially over, I thought I would take a minute to reflect on what the past year has held.  The year started out with lots of excitement when I traveled across the country by myself to attend a 3 day sewing workshop with Gretchen Hirsch and Heather Ross. While there I made quite a few friends, in particular Lauren, who started her own blog not long after the sewing weekend. She and I worked on the same pattern so we were able to give fitting assistance to one another. I also got to visit the brick and mortar Hart’s Fabric, which has become one of my favorite places for fabric shopping.

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My next trip took me to Washington DC for work-related business but I managed to squeeze in a little time to shop at G Street Fabrics.

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I participated in Me Made May for the first time and surpassed my expectations by not repeating any items for over 2/3 of the month.

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I attended a local sewing workshop with Sandra Betzina and made her pattern Vogue 1291. I also got to enjoy a lovely dinner party at a friend’s home with Sandra.

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I participated in the Spring Sewing Swap hosted by Kestrel. I was paired up with Shelly of Shelly’s DIY Style and got some great goodies all the way from Australia.

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I reviewed a pattern for one of my favorite indie designers — In House Patterns — and ended up with a gorgeous, breezy Blossom top. I currently have my next pattern to review cut out. Will be making a muslin soon.

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I participated in a garment sewing competition on the Hart’s Fabric website and thanks to all my wonderful readers, I won a $50 Hart’s gift certificate!

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In August I made an evening ensemble to wear to our hospital’s charity gala. I ventured into couture sewing with a lace bustier with spiral steel boning and self-drafted a silk charmeuse skirt.

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The last major sewing of the year involved creating dresses for my nieces to wear in my sister’s wedding — sewing for little girls is so much easier!

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I did squeeze in a quick sewing project right before Christmas — 10 infinity scarfs from my stash fabric to give as gifts to all the girls in my family. I used this tutorial but didn’t snag any pictures of my finished products before giving them away. Maybe one of the recipients will send me a picture so I can post it…

Top 5 Recipes

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Decadent Hot Cocoa Mix

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Caesar Salad

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Bourbon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken

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Cuba Libre, Reinvented

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Goat Cheese Spinach Dip (most searched post of 2013)

Top 5 Sewing Projects

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Knit Maxi — McCall’s 6559

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Bustier Top  Simplicity 1664

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Lace Bustier — Vogue 8849

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Date Night Dress — New Look 6457

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Belle Bow Blouse — In House Patterns

Top 5 Things I Learned

New binding for knit necklines

Underlining to create neat seam finish on vertical seams

Using spiral steel boning

Handpicking zippers

How to draft a skirt pattern

5 Goals for 2014

Post my backlog of completed sewing projects

Learn how to match patterns on fabric when creating a garment

Make some good basics for my wardrobe (knit tops, specifically)

Sew a jacket

Fess up that I have learned to knit in the last few weeks!!!

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Dulce Neck Cozy — free pattern on Ravelry

In-House Patterns Blossom Blouse

9 Aug

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Howdy, friends! I hope you have been busy sewing/baking/creating tons of wonderful things. I have been sewing a good deal but have recently had some minor computer issues with my 1-year-old iMac (read: failed hard drive that is requiring replacing), so blogging has been a bit difficult lately. Luckily, I had already uploaded these pics to WordPress before the screen of death descended on my computer so I do have one project to share with you.

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A little while back Alexandra of In-House Patterns (you may remember her Belle Bow Blouse I sewed up previously), contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out her new Blossom pattern. Since we all love a freebie and I know Alexandra drafts an excellent pattern, I quickly answered in the affirmative and she sent me the pdf file.

With this pattern, she tried something a little different with the tiled pdf pages, and I must say I love it! Instead of having to fold and cut and overlap pages to make the pattern page, you simply butt the printed pages up together and tape them — no cutting or folding necessary! This is awesome in my mind since I hate cutting with scissors (I am a rotary girl). The only drawback (if you can really call it that), is that the printed lines do not extend all the way to the edges of the paper — they stop within about 1/2 inch of the edge — so you may want to fill those in before you cut. But I didn’t and everything worked out just fine.

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I pulled a fabric from my stash for this top — a luscious tan silk charmeuse with black polka dots of varying sizes. I picked up two yards of this dreamy fabric two years ago in Atlanta at Gail K’s. I can’t tell you how important it is to use a drapey fabric for this pattern. I considered using a cotton lawn but that would have been a disaster. You really want something that floats and moves around your body. And if you enjoy petting it because it feels so good, that’s an added bonus 🙂

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While the Blossom blouse is not my typical style as I go for more tailored or fitted clothes, I think Alexandra did a good job of designing this blouse to look loose and airy while not having a maternity look. Especially since there are separate pattern pieces for different bust cup sizes, you don’t get a lot of excess fabric draping out from under the bust (or the tent effect!). On a side note, our downtown has been quite the tourist attraction this summer so I thought I would join the fun for these photos and mingle amongst the shopping visitors 🙂

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As I found with the Belle Blouse, this shirt is also drafted very close to the pattern measurements. I cut the medium and it fits well overall but I could probably use a tad more room in the upper bust/shoulder area as it pulls a bit when I move my arms forward, but this isn’t a surprise as I have broad shoulders.

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Everywhere else fits great, and as usual, the directions for finishing are wonderful and even include some techniques I had not seen before.

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For example, the directions tell you to sew the sleeve hem band on right side to the wrong side of the inside of the sleeve then turn it out and fold it up then topstitch in place on the right side of the sleeve. What a professional looking sleeve!

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Alexandra also drafts the pattern without excess seam allowances so pay attention to this (she mentions it clearly in the directions). I love this since I hate trimming seams.

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The only change I would make on my next version would be to create an inner back yoke piece instead of the back facing. I just think this would look cleaner.

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I would also raise the neckline as there is no way this top would ever be decent on me without a cami underneath. Style thought: this pattern in a longer version would make a great swimsuit coverup.

So in summary, the Blossom blouse is a wonderful new pattern by independent designer In-House Patterns and I highly recommend it!

Belle Bow Blouse — In House Patterns

26 Jan

Don’t forget to enter my One Year Blogiversary Giveaway!  The giveaway will end Thursday, January 31 at midnight CST.  Click here to enter a comment on the giveaway post and be entered to win a free Craftsy class of your choice!!!

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In my office at work.

This is a finished object that has been hanging in my closet for quite a few months now (since the summer).  Sorry it has taken me so long to get some decent pictures of it.  This blouse is the Belle Bow Blouse by In House Patterns, an indie pattern company that was new to me until I came across their downloadable offerings on Pattern Review.  The blouse features a neck tie, button front, waist tucks in front and back for shaping, and gathers at the shoulder yoke with sleeveless dropped shoulders.

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I must say I am very impressed with In House Patterns so far.  This pattern was very well-drafted, the instructions are excellent and create a very clean, professional finish, and the seam allowances are already reduced to keep you from having to trim everything.  To top it all off, these patterns are drafted for a D-cup so I didn’t have to spend time doing a full bust adjustment (FBA).

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I can tell you from personal experience that the top fits very true to the size chart without excess ease.  I was one size bigger in the hips than the waist and bust but I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal so I didn’t grade up.  Mistake — I ended up having to let my tucks out a little bit to accommodate my hips.  Next time I will know to go ahead and grade out at the side seams.

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I made the shirt from a cheap polyester that I picked up at the Vogue Fabrics booth at the Sewing Expo in Atlanta last year.  It took right at 1.5 yards.  It gets staticky like crazy.  I used tricot fusible for the button placket.  I used the buttons I picked up in England for the closures.

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Shirt: Made by Me!
Cardigan: Talbots
Jeans: AG
Shoes: Via Spiga
Necklace: Kluster on Etsy

When I wore it to work this week, I layered my favorite ivory cardigan over it.  This shirt also looks great tucked into a pencil skirt.  The pattern includes a collared version without the tie and I am thinking about making that one up next…

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I love how it just skims the hips.  The tucks are so easy to sew and are also great for alterations when you ignore the size chart 🙂

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A view of the inside.

As far as the finishes called for, the facing edges are serged.  The front bodice/yoke seam is clean finished so no exposed edges show.  The back yoke seam is finished with the serger.  The side seam edges call for a serged finish.  The sleeves and bottom have a narrow machine hem.

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Front yoke seam — inside view.

All in all, I can’t recommend this pattern enough.  If you haven’t seen In House Patterns before, go check them out.  And if you’re concerned because you aren’t a D bust cup, Alexandra has a lot of great information on her website about how to alter her patterns for larger and smaller sizes.  I am looking forward to new patterns from this great designer!

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