Pinup girl stripe Trifecta Top FTW!

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While browsing Instagram, I came across a picture posted by Pinup Girl Clothing that made me stop in my tracks!

After seeing this top with the red pants, I knew I wanted to make a stripey top and what better time than now to try Kitschy Coo’s Trifecta Top pattern. I made the size 3 with no alterations. Only thing I didn’t follow was the sleeve length. There’s a cut line if you’re doing the cap sleeves with arm bands and a line lower for hemming the sleeve. I cut at the hemming line but still added the arm bands.

Once I started cutting, it was a bit late, and I wasn’t about to start matching stripes on a raglan…so, really, my top isn’t an exact copy as you’ll see but I totally got inspired by PUG.

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What’s on the ground that I keep looking at? Geez, Breton! Apparently it’s funny so I’m going to guess: squirrel?

The jerseys I used for this top are so super soft they make me want to curl up inside and take a nap. Sorry, I don’t remember where I got the stripe. It might have been from The French Seam here in town- which would make sense because it’s seriously delectable. The black rayon jersey is from Fabric Mart.

Pants are from Banana Republic.

Lip pretty is from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. A lip stain called Stalker. Steph from Cake Patterns got me hooked on this brand. It’s amazing, feels great, doesn’t cake and I don’t have to reapply even during work.

What do you think? Should I make another Trifecta with mesh? #MeshQueen

 

MESH QUEEN! Comino Cap Top

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Once upon a time, there was a Mesh Queen. She bought all the mesh after making a bunch of Lolita Patterns and Ralph Pink dresses. She fell in love with mesh. Every time there was a mesh sale, she was there. She looked off into the distance, dreaming of mesh. She pondered the fabric she’d underline it with to make it pop. She dreamt of the see thru-e-ness of the mesh and every pattern she came across had to have the potential for mesh.

Thus, the Mesh Queen was born. She lived for a hundred years (she lived that long because she made everything with mesh) and she ruled her mesh kingdom kindly.

One day, Kitschy Coo put out the word that there was a new pattern and the Mesh Queen fell in love with it’s mesh potential. Amanda called this pattern The Comino Cap Top (and there was a dress option, too) and the Mesh Queen was happy.

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I’m wearing my Grainline Studio Moss Mini and in order to show off the mesh yoke without a bra strap showing, I went for my Panache Evie Bridal strapless. On the bra fitting, I think I need a 28 band because I bought the 30 band and after only a month I’m already on the second set of hooks. It still gives a nice round shape and doesn’t flatten me a ton. My bust apex ends up lower in my strapless bras but it’s the price I pay. And I don’t really mind it.

Here’s a pic of the strapless.

 

I cut a straight size 3. No alterations. I could make some in the back but honestly, it’s a knit top and I’m trying to not over fit everything I make. As you can see, I did the neck and sleeve binding but I only did a rolled hem on the bottom of the top. It works quite nicely.

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I got the mesh and this rayon jersey when Fabric Mart was having a huge sale. I bought like 5 yards of the black jersey and I don’t regret it at all.

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I got eaten by mosquitoes to bring you these photos. I hope you like them…and send me bug repellent because apparently I always forget to pick some up.

You might have seen on IG that I have two more of these tops in the works. They are very quick to make- if only I could stay off social media long enough to make them. Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. I love you guys! #sewcialists

Go pick up this pattern and play with mesh! I have some more coming in the mail thanks to my faux wife, Heather, who sent me a link to some gorgeous fabric over at Marcy Tilton. If you don’t follow Heather’s blog, you really should. She’s the queen of tutorials and drafting and just an overall amazing person.

 

 

on staying focused

I’m constantly distracted by new patterns and new fabric but it’s important to me to stay focused on my sewing to-do lists. In part because several things on my sewing to-do list are for other people, and they are part of my income, so there’s a drive to do good work and fulfill orders in a timely manner.

I want to continue doing freelance sewing work so staying focused is key. 

Here’s a swimsuit I’m making for Betsy who has been commenting on my blog for some time now (tho that’s not her whole story- this woman is beyond amazing). Anywho, I just have elastic to put in the legs and I can ship it off to her to try on! It’s a muslin which is why I used a bunch of different swim fabrics but that’s the point of this part of the process. 

Can’t wait to send it off so we can go to the next stage. 

Another freelance gig I’ve got going is for a woman who has recently lost a lot of weight. As I started pinning her skirts and pants and taking one thing in here and another in there, I realized how little my time with her was about alterations. We talked body image, weight loss and, of course, well fitting bras. She just stopped by today to pick some of her stuff up and ask about altering a pair of pants and showed me her new bra. It fit so great and she’s all excited to wear her t-shirts tucked in now. 

Some hems and zippers are just about hems and zippers. Others come with deep personal life changes. I like being a part of this world. 

I’m just gonna need more fabric! 

 

 

Winner of the Capital Chic Patterns Giveaway!

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Many thanks again to Sally from Capital Chic Patterns for offering up a pattern to give away!

And the winner- thanks to the random number generator- is….

gmariesews!

Her comment reads:

What an amazing skirt. Love the eyelet and the color is so bright – perfect! I really like Martini – might work for the wedding or rehearsal dinner, no? The other really good one – Belini. Thanks for sharing.

I’ll be putting our winner in touch with Sally so they can work out the details.

If you didn’t win, first off, thank you so much for looking at Sally’s patterns and go back on over there and buy some of her pdf’s! You won’t be disappointed. Buy all the patterns!

Capital Chic Patterns and my Blueberry Manhattan

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**This giveaway is now closed*

No, I’m not serving drinks over at Three Dresses Headquarters. I’m talking about a new pattern company out of London called Capital Chic Patterns!

I was contacted by Sally, the owner and designer at CCP to see if I’d test a couple patterns for her. I chose the Manhattan skirt and the Martini dress. I still have to fiddle with the fit on the Martini cos, yeah, hi bewbs, whatcha doing sneaking out? The Manhattan, even in beta form (and the final pattern didn’t change from beta), fit perfectly. I made no fit changes. The sizing works really well for my body. Usually I have to make the waist larger or take in the hips. The difference between the two on me is a mere 6 inches. Anywho, it’s always nice for someone used to making all the alterations, to get a break once in a while.

Here’s some more info on CCP:

Named after cocktails, each of the PDF patterns comes with two variations included. The collection comprises two skirt patterns, a blouse pattern, a sweatshirt pattern and two dress patterns. Each of the designs is inspired by the catwalk, red carpet fashion and London street style, contrasting with many existing indie pattern offerings based on vintage or retro style.

The patterns’ difficulty ranges from intermediate to advanced, perfect for those looking to move on from sewing beginner styles. Techniques such as using boning, French seams and machine-rolled hems are explained in detail; following each set of fully-illustrated instructions is a great way for sewists to learn and improve their sewing repertoires.

The patterns are available now for digital download from http://www.capitalchicpatterns.com as print-at-home and print-at-copyshop PDF files. The patterns currently come in five sizes, from UK 10 to UK 18, and they are nested for easy blending between sizes. A wider size range may be available later in the year, depending on demand.

The blue eyelet was a purchase I made after seeing Heather’s dress! The fabric is so nice. I lined it with black and put in an invisible zipper instead of the exposed one.

Manhattan and modded Olive front Manhattan and Olive back Manhattan and Olive closeup Manhattan and Olive full view front Manhattan and Olive side close

 

Ok, now, an exciting part. Sally is offering my readers a PDF of your choosing! Yay! I’ll encourage you to like her on Facebook and Twitter but really, what I want you to do to enter this giveaway is to go to her site and tell me which is your favorite pattern of this brand spakin’ new company. If you don’t want to be entered into the giveaway but you still want to chime in about your favorite pattern, just be clear about that.

I’m closing the giveaway on July 7th at 9pm Eastern. Get your favorite pattern in the comments and I’ll let the lucky winner know on the 8th and you’ll hear from Sally. K?

Go have fun! And thanks again Sally for including me in the testing.

Vogue 8900 Muslin, the first

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Meet Vogue 8900. A sporty little dress.

Yeah, I’m insinuating that there will be a second muslin. I’m not sure if I like how this design fits me. I added to the front sides and lengthened for bewbs. Also filled in the cut in armholes to cover my bra but I don’t think I needed to. I’m wearing a strapless under the muslin and it seems fine. Lined everything up and found that it was too wide in the front so I pinched it out, pinned it, and also had to shorten the torso. I’m glad I did my 1″ swayback/flat butt alteration because this dress presupposes a longer torso than I have. The waist is too tight as is so I’ll have to take it out. Luckily those seam allowances are HUGE.

That said, I’m thinking I might redraw the cutouts because they look funny to me now…like they’re too small or something? or maybe it’s just my short torso? The neck is too high for my taste- I don’t think it’s flattering. But I don’t know what I think, to be honest. So, as usual, I take to social media. Weigh in.

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What if I redrew the side cutouts so that they were proportionally more suited to my body- so probably make them bigger since I shortened the front and all?

Also thinking I’d rather have a lower neckline…or, what about just making it strapless? It’s not as sporty but that neck has to go down, bro! Granted, I didn’t press down the seam allowances at the neck so it’s still gonna be 5/8″ lower but I don’t think that’ll be low enough. Any votes for a strapless version?

This is why I do muslins! I haven’t messed with the nice fabric and if I don’t like how this looks then no harm, no foul. Anyway, that’s my test garment/toile/muslin public service announcement.

The Rambo Project and my Hummingbird Skirt

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I get THE coolest emails. One of them was from Seamstress Erin saying she had a pile of fabric that was used in the movie Rambo III and asking if I wanted to participate in the Rambo project. She’d send us the fabric and we just had to come up with a way to make it into a garment and blog about it.

The fabric was used as turbans in the movie and we were told, and you might already guess this if you’ve seen the movie, had snags and stains from being, y’know ON SET! So yeah, we were getting about a two yard piece (more or less) of 26″ wide fabric which makes for some need to be a sneaky cutter. I swear I cut around all the stains but I see some on my new skirt. Let’s just say it adds character and what a story!

So, I chose the Cake Hummingbird skirt- a pattern I love and really am reminded of how much I enjoy making and wearing it. I started with the size 40 hip and took out a ton on the sides but hey, that worked and I know Steph made the pattern for easy fitting and I’d call that easy fitting. I might try the 35 hip next time, tho. Once you get the pocket sewn together, the skirt is a breeze. And I love invisible zips. They are so fast.

So, on to my Rambo Project Hummingbird!

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So, this piece of turban fabric had stripes on both ends and I wanted to use them in an interesting way. Bias stripes worked for the upper pocket piece! Woot!

I feel like a part of Rambo III in a way I could’ve never imagined. This skirt is now a part of movie history. It’s pretty amazing. Thanks Erin for including me!

Now, go check out the other Rambo Projects on Erin’s blog!

Filling wardrobe gaps…aka, making the plans

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With Me-Made-May coming to a close, I want to start making plans for Spring and Summer wear. My 4 Ralph Pink Patterns Skater dresses have seen a lot of wear this month- granted I did just make them- but they’re easy to wear and so cute and fun. I could wear one every day and never get tired! So, that goes on the list to start filling the gaps in my warm weather wardrobe.

1. Casual dresses

I also found myself wearing my Grainline Moss skirt a lot and wishing I had more of them. Part of it is that the short skirt shows off my tattoo so nicely…

2. Short skirts

Somehow, I have one pair of shorts! And that’s it?? I just downloaded Grainline’s Maritime shorts which should start me off just nicely!

3. Shorts

I have a bunch of nerdy t-shirts, which I love, but I need to pair them with something and sometimes I don’t want a super short skirt. I want a skirt I can sit cross legged in and that skirt was the Cake Pavlova. Especially the version I made out of double gauze that Gillian sent me. It’s so light and airy and perfect for this weather!!

4. Long skirts

I went to a wedding and luckily it was casual enough that one of my skater dresses sufficed but I realized that I don’t have anything fancy schmancy for those last minute, hey, you wanna tag along times. And the lovely Vicki spoiled me with copies of both By Hand London’s Flora and Elisalex so those are going on the list! And really just a BHL category.

5. By Hand London dresses

That’s about it for the gaps I noticed in my wardrobe this month. Since I started waiting tables and needing all the black clothes, I filled that need. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I need some short sleeved work tops but I don’t want to put time and effort into those since you get so grimy.

Any gaps you’ve noticed lately in your wardrobe? Oh and yes, this was a link-free post. Just cos. Chime in if you have an opinion on this. I like linking because it makes following through easier for readers but sometimes I feel like an ad. y’know?

Once Upon A Time…A Tattoo Story

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It all started once upon a time…probably when I was in college…I wanted to get a tattoo but didn’t know what to get. I’d often fall asleep at night, imagining what I’d get tattooed on my body- and where. That went on for years but I never did anything about it.

Back in October 2013, I started looking around for tattoo artists and found Corey Clark at High Caliber Tattoo. I had been staring at orchids since before October and knew I wanted him to draw them on me. I went in to talk to him and had him design the tattoo. A couple of weeks later he was working on the outline.

One day my leg looked like this:

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The next, I had the outline all done and my only concern was to keep it clean and moisturized as it healed. This was day 1. The outline was fresh and I was sore but it was worth it! It was perfect!

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For a week and a half to two weeks, I was smitten with the outline and I thought that’s all I wanted. It was beautiful. I showed the kids and they thought it was perfect just as the outline. So, I started taking pictures of the outline like there was no tomorrow.

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My kids (and I’m looking at my pink loving daughter right now) had no idea it was going to be a beautiful color bomb once it was colored in and while, at first, I loved the outline just as it was… one day, I realized I really wanted that color and I noticed how the line work was all nice and healed and I was mentally ready for more needling. The line work took about an hour an a half and I did just fine. It felt warm but didn’t hurt, per se. Corey and I sang along to The Police and talked about life. He’s a totally nice guy besides being awesome at his craft. I knew I’d be fine under his care.

Finally, the day came for color work. I couldn’t have been more excited. It took 3 hours of me being absolutely still! And, honestly, it was only the last 30 minutes that really burned. I twitched (involuntarily) twice but that was toward the end and it didn’t happen again. I’ll go back once I’m all healed up for touch ups. But look at this beauty!

Below left is a pic while still at the tattoo place. You can see Corey’s arm with his black gloves, dabbing my leg as he works. When he was done, he put plastic wrap around my leg. One thing I couldn’t have anticipated was how tired and hungry I’d be after getting the color done!

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The next day, while I waited for the kids to get home, I took a load of photos. I love how my tattoo goes so well with my leopard print Gunmetal.

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Later that day, I took the kids to get sushi and I got a great shot while sitting in the car, waiting for the sushi restaurant to open for lunch. You can see a bit of bruising around around the blue shading. The color kept looking better and better with each photo I took! Especially in the lovely light in my bedroom!

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You can especially see how raised my thigh is in this photo below. The swelling is all down and there are only a couple of places that still need to heal but it’s looking nice.

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And how cool that most all my clothes are matching my new tattoo! Some photos show the color saturation more than others. Over all, it’s a hard tattoo to photograph because it wraps around my thigh….which is why I need to take so many photos!!

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And then it started peeling… and as much as I tried to keep it moisturized, it still peeled. It itched a little bit but not that much. Since I’m still home during the day with my kids, I was able to air dry the tattoo after washing and I could moisturize throughout the day easily.

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And rather quickly, the bruising went away and now, about a week and a half later, I see no bruising and things are looking quite gorgeous! I even started jogging again.

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There you have it. My first tattoo. I’m super happy with it and I like showing pictures (see above) whenever I get a chance. Now I’m off to bed so I can wake up early, wear black pants and a black top for work and weep at the fact that I don’t get to see my tattoo until I get off my shift.

Happy Tattoo Staring!

Pretty Knickers Sewing Week

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So much going on right now I don’t know where to start! Let’s talk discounts! Don’t forget to use the sewing indy promo code over at Lolita Patterns- type in sewing15indie until May 19th and get 15% off your Lolita Patterns! It’s a great way to try out a new pattern company.

Remember when I had that knicker giveaway? Well, Susan is hosting a week of encouragement to get people to make at least one pair of knickers! We can do it, right? Join in the fun with Susan. I’m totally playing along! More handmade pretties!! I’m thinking of doing lace backs! Yowza!

 

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