Posted in Sewing

My Two Teahouse Dresses

I had been eyeing the Teahouse Dress pattern by Sew House 7 for some time before I finally bought it. By the time I finally got around to making it, I was on a hiatus from sewing in my own apartment because of a confrontation with our old downstairs neighbor that was the final straw in us deciding to move out of there. To scratch my sewing itch, I would go to Friday afternoon Social Sewing Time at Gotham Quilts and even went so far as to go to Open Sewing Night at Urban Sewciety, which was quite a trek from Queens but is a great place to meet up with my other New Jersey sewist friends, Hannah and Erin.

33350442_181004595892816_8184568968648851456_n

The above photo is from Open Sew Night at Urban Sewciety. I believe this is where I began stitching this dress together but was a little distracted talking to my friends. (I also was constructing it off of my own intuition because it seemed that a lot of instructions were missing. It wasn’t until later that I remembered I had printed them out double sided 🤦‍♀️.) So it wasn’t until the princess seams were completely done that I realized I had forgotten to add the waist ties! This was a bit of a nuisance, especially since I had french seamed everything, but I’m glad I went back in and attached them correctly rather than trying to jimmy them on. I put the very last stitch into this dress during a Friday afternoon Social Sewing session at Gotham Quilts. While Open Sew at Urban Sewciety was free, Social Sewing Time at Gotham Quilts cost me about $25/ hour. I think I only went to two, two hour sessions and finished two projects in that time- this dress and an Ogden Cami. So although it was costly, it was very therapeutic to have somewhere safe to sew outside of my apartment during a very stressful time so I could actually enjoy myself and not feel like I was walking on egg shells in my own home.

CRA Dress 1

I was so excited when the poster for the movie Crazy Rich Asians came out. Not only because of what the film signified for the Asian community, but because the colors matched my dress perfectly! I posted this picture to Instagram the weekend it opened to celebrate. It was also the very same weekend To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before premiered on Netflix. It’s been so exciting for me as a 30- something Asian American woman to finally see Asians be represented in more diverse ways in film and television recently. Growing up, the only role model I had who looked like me was Michelle Kwan. Luckily, she was an amazing one to have (most decorated figure skater in US history- I still worship her to this day!) Kristi Yamaguchi was also a badass on the ice who I adored but I guess I related more to Michelle Kwan because she was younger. There was also Julie on Friends, but she was only around for two episodes! Finally, we got Lane Kim on Gilmore Girls but she was a supporting player! It’s so satisfying to finally see Asians star in things now.

DSC_0613

I also broke out this dress to wear while walking around a garden during our trip to California. I just love this fabric so much! Nani Iro sure does know what she’s doing.

As much as I loved my first Teahouse Dress, I wanted a longer version as well because I loved the photos for this pattern on Sew House 7‘s website. I actually thought my first one would turn out longer and was a little disappointed when it didn’t, especially since I had plenty of fabric to do so. I guess that’s why people make toiles? But who has the time for that?! This dress is very easy to put together. The only gripe I had about my second attempt was how shifty this rayon fabric is! I held off on leveling the hem for a few days while it set and once I finally got around to doing it, it wasn’t that bad. But man, rayon is a pain to work with.

IMG_20190420_153502I made this to wear in time for my friend’s bachelorette party in the Dominican Republic and then I bust it out to wear again to a friend’s wedding last weekend. I think I will now wear loose fitting dresses with waist ties to every wedding. I was able to eat as much as I wanted to and when my dress started to feel uncomfortable, I just loosened the tie 😂.

Advertisements
Posted in Sewing

Hooray for the Wiksten Haori!

 

I had been eyeing the Wiksten Haori pattern for some time but the steep price of $18 was holding me back. Finally I just bit the bullet and purchased it and I am so glad I did!

I had a little bit of trouble when attaching the collar to the jacket. It was a little too small and I had to let it out as much as I could to make it work. Even then, I still struggled to make it fit. I think it’s because the interfacing I used was too heavy. It calls for a lightweight fusible interfacing and I used medium weight because I didn’t read the directions before I bought it (whoops!) The only slip stitching called for in the instructions is around the sleeve hems, but I decided to slip stitch the lining to the collar also for a cleaner finish than top stitching it. It took so long but it was worth it. I find that top stitching things closed doesn’t always leave me satisfied with the results on the outside of the garment. I also added patch pockets to the lining in case I’m ever feeling in the mood to wear this with the blue side out.

20190329_174204

The outer fabric is sage twill from Fab Scrap and the lining fabric is a Rag & Bone chambray from Mood Fabrics. Fab Scrap is a great company out in Brooklyn that collects dead stock fabric from fashion companies and re-sells it at a low cost to keep it from going to the landfill. I really admire what they’re doing and hope to get out there to volunteer one day. Volunteers receive five pounds of fabric in exchange for two and a half hours of work! So it’d be a great way to help out the environment and build your stash all at once. I just wish Brooklyn were a little closer…

20190329_174342

This jacket has been perfect for Spring and I’ve worn it so many times already.img_20190407_160902

I wore it while perusing my local yarn stores during the NJ Wool Walk. Here I am holding a bag with my purchases from my favorite yarn shop, Yarnia. I also hit up The Local Yarn Store that weekend and it was so cute and had such a good selection of yarn. I definitely need to visit them again. #ShopSmall!

IMG_20190330_135036

I also wore it to the Turtleback Zoo. I just love how comfortable and easy going this design is. It definitely fits my style because I am lazy and I do not like wearing tight fitting garments.

I do want to make a warmer one out of wool for the fall at some point but lately I haven’t felt the desire to buy much fabric. Yesterday I cleaned out and organized my scrap fabric and there is SO much of it! It makes me feel so guilty because I hate the thought of all of that fabric being dumped into the ocean. I’ve bagged up what I don’t think will ever be useful to bring to H&M to recycle. Hopefully they do actually recycle it…Fab Scrap also takes scrap fabric recycling to turn into shoddy for a small fee but their location in Brooklyn is just too far for me to travel to, especially with heavy bags of fabric. I’m hoping that once they open up their store front in Chelsea, they’ll accept scrap fabric recycling from there since that would be a little easier for me to get to.

 

 

Posted in Sewing

A Couple of Kalle Shirts for Shirt Month

When Allie Olson of Indie Sew first announced this year’s Shirt Month back towards the end of January, I was excited to finally be pushed to make the Kalle Shirt. I had bought the pattern during Indie Sew’s Black Friday Sale two years ago but it just sat in a basket because I was too afraid to cut it out and also too lazy to trace it. Since January was also the first time I had found myself unemployed in over two years, it seemed like the perfect challenge to keep me distracted while I half-heartedly looked for new work and recovered from a stressful few months at the same time. I thought it was pretty humorous when Allie introduced the new fabrics she was stocking for shirt month the next day and one of them was pretty much identical to the fabric from my stash that I had planned on using. The only difference was that my fabric has that extra thin stripe running down and across it. Plaid Kalle Shirt 1

I traced out the size 6 and it took me so long. I usually don’t trace patterns and just cut into them because I just don’t want to deal with all that extra work. Sewing for other people for a living, I just want to get right to the fun stuff when it comes to myself. In the end, I’m glad I did trace it since now my original Kalle pattern is still intact and I will be able to make other sizes from it in the future. I also took the risk of cutting the pieces out of my fabric as I needed them because I just hate plaid matching so much and wanted to get straight to sewing, especially after spending so much time tracing the pattern. I was pretty sure I had enough fabric though so I wasn’t too worried.

Plaid Kalle Shirt 7

This was my first time doing the burrito method. The first time, I made the silly mistake of not attaching the front pieces so I had just enclosed the shoulder seams of the outer and inner back yokes. When I was done, I was confused as to how the front pieces get attached. So I referenced the sew along on Closet Case Patterns‘ website, said “duh!” to myself and then got it right on the next try.

Plaid Kalle Shirt 8

After that, it was on to the side seams! I french seamed them because I like my homemade garments to look as neat as possible on the inside when I have the time and motivation to do so.

Plaid Kalle Shirt 22

I didn’t realize there was a front and back piece to the sleeve cuffs and only traced and cut out the back cuff piece so it was huge! And I didn’t realize why until I was done. So I kept taking it in until it fit. So it’s a little awkward around there but I think it still looks fine. I also cut the cuffs out on the bias because, again, I hate pattern matching.

Plaid Kalle Shirt 19

And as much as I hate pattern matching, I love that inverted back pleat!

Floral Kalle Shirt 1

Floral Kalle Shirt 8

I actually finished a second Kalle Shirt while I waited for some wooden buttons from Arrow Mountain to finish my first one. This one went so much quicker and smoother since I had just gone through the trials and errors of making it the first time. I lengthened both of them by 3″ and wish I had lengthened them just a little more since I don’t like my shirts to be too short. The original cropped length the pattern comes as DEFINITELY would have been too short for me and I am SHORT!

Floral Kalle Shirt 4

I love this floral Rifle Paper Co. fabric so much. It feels so luxurious when I wear this shirt. I know so many places carry Rifle Paper Co. fabrics but I got mine from Sew Jersey because I like to support small NJ businesses as much as I can, it being my home state and all. The little buttons are from Yarnia, my favorite local yarn store.

IMG_20190222_120001

I wore my floral Kalle shirt to the bookstore and I think it goes pretty well with the wood of the shelves I’m standing in front of.

 

Here I am wearing my plaid Kalle shirt. I had been saving it to wear for the first time to my friend The Rambling Rosie‘s Easter themed get together. I even attempted dyeing an Easter egg to match my shirt. How’d I do?