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Me Made May 2014, Part 1

13 May

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How’s everyone’s May going? I’m off to a pretty good start around here with a different me-made garment each day so far. I’ve also worn a few things that I haven’t shared with you yet and I have plans to do dedicated posts on some of them soon. But before we get too much further into the month, a round-up of my daily me-made picks:

 

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Top: Me Made Sammy Cami Jacket: LOFT Pants: Womyn Shoes: Me Too Necklace: Kenneth Cole

 

Thursday, May 1 — I worked in the office for most of the day then left a little early to catch a plane to Philadelphia for a conference. Two of my wonderful employees accompanied my on the trip. I wore an unblogged Sammy cami from Iconic Patterns, available for free download! And with only two pattern pieces, it’s as quick as lightning to sew up. I made mine from a navy knit with printed on white polka dots. I used white fold over elastic for the neckline and sleeves. I hemmed it with two-sided fusible tape, no stitching.

 

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Top: Me Made McCall’s 6898, unblogged but highly recommended Jacket: LOFT

 

Friday, May 2 — I attended some conference sessions to learn more about the EMR (electronic medical records) we use in my office. I skipped out mid-morning to check out Philadelphia’s Fabric Row and shipped myself home a nice little box of goodies including silks, knits, sequins, leather, trims, and zippers. That night we had a delicious dinner at Parc Brasserie. If you are ever in Philly, you should go there if for nothing other than the pureed potatoes!

 

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Left: with Zoe from Zo Sews at the Workroom Sewcial meet up Right: at Per Se Both: wearing Me Made Elisalex in Leggy Roses

 

Saturday, May 3 — I attended more conference sessions then we caught the afternoon train to Penn Station in NYC to spend an exciting 24 hours before heading home. That night for dinner, I got to pop in at the Workroom Social party before heading to dinner at Per Se in Columbus Circle. You may remember me talking about my excitement about trying the restaurant. While it was good, it wasn’t quite what I had built it up to be but it was still a wonderful evening out with two lovely ladies.

 

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Skirt: Me Made McCall’s 6654, similar version already blogged Jacket: Nordstrom Shoes: Me Too

 

Sunday, May 4 — I squeezed in a little time in the Garment District and picked up some more silk, knits, and cottons.  Paron’s shipped my purchases home for a very reasonable charge (even purchases from other stores). The weather deteriorated as the day progressed and I ended up looking a little silly with my long skirt and trench coat, not to mention stringy, windblown hair. Before catching our late evening plane home, we popped into a local joint called Jack’s, just around the corner from the big button, and had a nice little meal with entertainment by a charming Irish bartender.

 

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Top: Me Made Renfrew Pants: Dillard’s Shoes: Cole Haan Necklace: Kenneth Cole

 

Monday, May 5 — Not getting into bed until almost 1 AM made for a rough start to the day. I opted for an oldie but a goodie that I could rely on for comfort while I saw patients in clinic.

 

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Top: Me Made Jalie 2921, unblogged Pants: Elie Tahari Shoes: Pliner

 

Tuesday, May 6 — Another normal office day.

 

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Top: Me Made Renfrew Jeans: Citizen of Humanity Rocket high-rise Shoes: Me Too

 

Wednesday, May 7 — My day out of the office and I spent it running errands.

 

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Top: Me Made Simplicity 2599 Pants: Limited Cardigan: Talbots Shoes: Stuart Weitzman Necklace: Premier

 

Thursday, May 8 — Back to the office.

 

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Left: with my sister and parents and our husbands, wearing Sewaholic Gabriola Right: after dancing to the Molly Ringwalds

 

Friday, May 9 — I was able to take the day off to attend my sister’s graduation from her doctorate of nursing program. I am so proud of her! That evening we attended the annual Steak Cook-off in our town and got to dance the night away to the awesome 80s cover tunes of the Molly Ringwalds. I actually wore two different me-mades this day!

 

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Dress: Me Made McCall’s 6559, unblogged but 2 blogged versions on the site

 

Saturday, May 10 — I did a lot of housework this day so I wore a simple cotton knit tank dress that was my muslin of McCall’s 6559 — you can see my other two versions here and here. I know this picture is crazy but I sent it as a joke to my office RN who HATES mayonnaise! 🙂

 

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Dress: Me Made Simplicity 1810 Shoes: Cole Haan Necklace: Dillard’s

 

Sunday, May 11 — My new dress, Simplicity 1810, got its official debut at church and afterwards at Mothers’ Day lunch. Blog post to come soon.

 

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Top: Me Made Vogue 1291 Jeans: Citizens of Humanity Shoes: Me Too

 

Monday, May 12 — Vogue 1291, which I made last year during the Sandra Betzina workshop. I don’t really like this top because I forgot to center the pattern and the bottom is too snug to stay where I want it to on my hips so I have never given it a blog post. If you make this shirt, consider using a knit, not a woven. If you use a woven, you may want a larger neck opening and more ease at the hips.

 

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Skirt: Me Made Vogue 8603 Top: Limited Cardigan: Boden Shoes: Chinese Laundry Necklace: Kluster Stethoscope: Littmann (haha, just seeing if anybody is reading the fine print:)- )

 

Tuesday, May 13 — Another normal day at the office. I wore my Vogue 8603 skirt which is one of my favorite makes.

 

On a side note, Kluster, the Etsy seller I purchase many of my bead necklaces from (including the coral one in the last photo), is having a huge sale through the end of the weekend. Check out her shop and score an extra 40% off sale items with the code FINAL40. I am in no way financially connected to the Kluster Shop (other than being a normal customer), but I love their products and wonderful customer service so I thought I would share this sale with y’all.

 

That’s it so far, friends. I will be back soon with more details on the new dress. Have a great night!

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Susie Does Housekeeping… And Me Made May ’14!

30 Apr

 

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Hi, y’all! I hope your week if going well. Ours is very wet here on the Gulf Coast. I don’t have anything new to show you today but I do have a few exciting things to tell you. First of all, I am squeaking in under the wire to say that I am participating in Me Made May for 2014:

‘I, Katrina of Susie Homemaker MD, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item each day for the duration of May 2014 and at least one hand knit item during them month of May.’

Alright, next on the agenda is an award — the Sunshine and Shine On blog awards to be exact. I was kindly nominated by Annette over at Mrs. Toad Sews. I am apologizing in advance for not fulfilling all the requirements of the award (listing 10 things about myself, nominating 10 others), but I hope you will forgive me because of the next item on the agenda…

 

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I am packing as we speak to leave for a work-related trip but I have managed to squeeze a little sewing related fun into the mix and I will be joining my brothers and sisters of the needle and thread who live in the NYC area for the Workroom Social Sewing Swap Meet and Party! I am so exciting about meeting the faces behind some of the blogs I follow. I am also going to get to do a little fabric shopping in Philly and NYC so I will tell you all about it when I get home.

The last little bit of excitement may not seem like much to most of you but I finally get to eat at a restaurant of my favorite chef, Thomas Keller, while I am in NYC — Per Se. I will let you know if it lives up to my expectations when I return.

That’s it for today — meeting adjourned! 🙂

McCall’s 6559 — Knit Maxi Dress

11 Jun

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Ladies and gentlemen, I have found my official pattern for summer — McCall’s 6559.  This knit tank dress pattern (post-tweaks, of course) is nearly perfect — easy, casual, chic, and comfy.  On top of that it is quick and easy to sew up since it only involves two pattern pieces plus neck and armhole bands.  My fabric for this dress was one of my treasures from last year’s NYC trip.  I don’t know the exact fiber content but I would guess some viscose and elastane.  It is a lightweight, soft knit with great recovery.

 

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I strayed from the pattern instructions (didn’t even look at them, actually) for the neckline and armhole binding.  I have never been satisfied with the bands that most patterns call for so when Lauren at Lladybird posted about this binding method from Megan Nielsen, I was all over it.  I LOVE the results and don’t think I’ll ever go back to the bands unless I have a fabric that is uncooperative.  I stabilized my neckline with knit staytape from Emma Seabrooke and used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 and a twin stretch needle for my hem.  I have gotten so many compliments on this dress, especially about how professional the finishes look.

 

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As with all Big 4 knit patterns I have encountered, this one runs huge so I just based my size choice off of finished pattern measurements, going with a 12 in the shoulder, grading to a 14 at the bust/under the arms for a cheater FBA, tapering in to a 10 at the waist and then back out to a 14 at the hips.  If I had gone by the measurement chart I would have cut a 16 in the bust, 14 in the waist and an 18 in the hips!

 

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I started with a wearable muslin from a sturdy cotton knit and realized that I would have to make all future versions with a center back seam if I wanted it to fit my figure.  I had to take a 3/4″ swayback adjustment and then added a 1″ wedge back in over the derriere to accommodate for the swayback adjustment plus some for the junk-trunk.

 

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There will definitely be more versions of this dress in both the long and short varieties.  On the next rendition, I think I will go ahead and trim the seam allowances down to 1/4″ for serging and I will raise the neckline a bit to make it more work-friendly.  I will also take a bit more out for the swayback adjustment so it hugs my low back better.  Finally, because my fabric is a bit heavy, this dress could use some reinforcement in the side seams to support the weight.  I will be adding some clear elastic to the seam allowances from the underarm to the hip to prevent stretching and will keep this in mind for future versions if the fabric is really stretchy.  I don’t think it will be an issue with less stretchy knits.

So what do you think?  Could knit dresses be your go-to this summer?

 

 

 

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NYC #2 — The Fabric!!!

10 Aug

Okay, I won’t make you wait any longer.  Here’s my haul from the recent trip to NYC.  I will let the pictures do the talking… mostly 😉

This is a red and ecru dot silk charmeuse I picked up from a men’s fabric store.  May become a blouse…

 

This is a silk border print that I got 3 yards of.  Definitely seeing a dress in its future.

 

On the left a silky soft cotton floral print (3 yards) and on the right an equally soft and shiny royal blue cotton sateen (2 yards).

 

On the left a free remnant of some abstract print.  On the right a gorgeous silk woven with a little stretch and some texture (3 yards).

 

This is one of my favorite finds — a silk Shantung or dupioni with grey and black large-scale paisley print and bright navy blue sequin embellishments.  Perhaps a dress and/or blouse if I can squeeze it out of the three yards I bought.

 

On the left a Missoni sweater knit remnant I got for $40 (about 2.5 yards), and on the right 1.5 yards of cashmere and linen blend for a sweater with an exposed hot pink zipper up the back (zipper coming up soon).

 

Both knits, on the left a more stable piece with chocolate brown, aqua, tan, and white; on the right, a jersey with olive green, aqua, brown, and white.  Knit top from the piece on the left and maybe a DVF-style wrap dress from the piece on the right.  3 yards of each.

 

On the left, one yard of a gorgeous black woven fabric with texture and sheen, destined to become a LBD or pencil skirt for dressier occasions.  On the right, 4 yards of a wide navy and white stripe knit for a maxi skirt.

 

On the left, tan dot silk jersey with plans to become a tie neck blouse.  On the right, a fine rib knit in soft green with aqua, burgundy, and olive green — one of my favorites.  Three yards each.

 

On the left, a ponte knit stripe with plans to become an easy to wear dress.  On the right, a beautiful, light silk chiffon.  2.5 yards of the left, 2 yards of the right.

 

On the left, a silk voile with no specific plans yet.  On the right, a pretty silk twill with dress plans.  Three yards each.

 

Another favorite — 3 yards of wool knit hoping to be made up into a cowl neck sweater or sweater dress.

 

My two leather hides — one in mint and one in chocolate.  Both of these were on the sale rack and cost $25 each.  I came out pretty good compared to the ladies who were buying enough hides to make jackets and skirts.  I don’t have the guts for something like that yet!  We’ll see if these little delicious-smelling babies can whip up into a cute clutch purse or a case for my iPad.

 

And last but not least, my aforementioned hot pink zipper and a cute jade colored belt buckle.  I have no idea when or how I will ever use the latter, but I really like it and it came from Mood!  🙂

So that’s a grand total of 53.5 yards of fabric, two hides of leather, one zipper, one belt buckle, and one roll of tracing paper (not pictured).  How much did I spend?  Come on, ladies — my husband reads this blog, too!  🙂

I had a blast visiting NYC and scouring the city for the best fabric I could find.  I know it will be years (if ever) before I sew all this up, but I can’t wait to go back again and discover more treasures.  I would also love to spend more time seeing more of the sites that the city has to offer.  Have you ever been to NYC?  I’d love to hear about your favorite Big Apple experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun in the Big Apple

9 Aug

 

I have so much to tell you all about, I am having a hard time deciding what to post first.  But this definitely has to be it — I recently returned from a fabric-buying trip to NYC.  That’s right, a trip to New York City for the sole purpose of acquiring fabric for me to sew up into whatever my heart desires (or just lust after as it sits in my stash 😉 ).

Like the shirt I’m wearing? Stay tuned for more details and a review of the pattern!

I went with a friend and fellow sewing enthusiast and we had the best time.  We joined up with a bunch of other fabric junkies as part of Peggy Sagers’ NYC garment district tour/buying trip.  Although I have never sewn any of Peggy’s Silhouette patterns, I have watched some of her free, informative webcasts and sat in on one of her sessions at a sewing expo in Atlanta back in March.

 

 

She took us to several wholesale fabric distributors who typically don’t sell to the public so we had access to awesome selections at great prices.

We also got to go to the popular spots like Mood and Pacific Trims (where they have walls of nothing but zippers!).

The most unusual stop was a leather store where they sold hides of everything from pigs to stingrays.  I picked up two small pieces off the clearance rack to try out for a small clutch or sleeve for my iPad.

The highlight of the trip for me was getting to tour the Nanette Lepore studio and main office.  During conversation over dinner, Peggy mentioned that one of the stops on our tour was next door to the Nanette Lepore offices and that on some priors tours they had visited the NL studios.  When I told her that NL was one of my favorite designers of all time, she arranged for me to have a private tour!  I was thrilled and loved seeing where some of my favorite fashions are designed.

I love the fact that most Nanette Lepore clothes are actually made in the USA, right in NYC.  When my tour was done, Nanette’s assistant took me to the warehouse and let me shop the racks from the sample sale that had occurred the day before — then gave me an extra 20% off!  Talk about icing on the cake!!  I brought home a blouse, skirt, and dress to add to my collection.

We spent one day with friends of my sewing buddy and they took us to a cute little town in Pennsylvania for lunch.  The best part?  All the tables in the restaurant used old sewing machine bases for the legs!

 

 

 


I am so glad I had the opportunity to take this trip (my first time in NYC, at that).  I can’t wait to start sewing up all my delicious fabrics!  More pics of the fabric to come.  Keep watching my Flickr for a sneak peek.  You will also see photos of an upcoming recipe that you will absolutely love 🙂

Have a great weekend!