Friday Favorites: Rocky Mountain National Park

Views of Rocky Mountain National Park

Two weeks ago Alex and I took a vacation--our belated honeymoon, really--to Rocky Mountain National Park. We both enjoy hiking and do not enjoy planning, so we did this for four days and five nights. It was so fun--we hiked about 10 miles a day and then were able to shower and change into clean(-ish) clothes for a hot dinner and drinks. We hiked down the eastern side of the park which was just beautiful, with panorama views of the Rockies. Our highest ascent was about 11,000 at the peak of Estes Cone, but I'd love to come back for some of the 14ers!

I do say "clean-ish" clothing because although the organizer Phebe did transport our luggage, we were only allowed one carry-on sized suitcase, so I did a lot of outfit repeating and remixing! I did bring several handmade items: my rose quartz dress, my gingham archer, my Sewaholic leggings and top, and my new Seamly cardi which was perfect for travel! I took fewer outfit shots than I intended (read: none, oops) but I had the most fun accessorizing my rose quartz dress to look fresh every night: I wore it once as seen "as intended" with some statement earrings, once loose with the sash tied as a neck bow, and once more casually with a leather belt and wedges.

It was an amazing trip and a wonderful way to celebrate our first anniversary and my birthday and our wedding. We're already scheming to get back to the mountains on a similar trip--maybe this one??

Are you an outdoorsy type? Ever been on a backpacking trip? My longest trip ever is five nights, and I will admit I smelled much worse at the end of those trips--hot showers and beds along with your 10 mile days is the way to go!!


ps: the same organizer who plans this trip also has one in Alsace which I am saving my pennies for! doesn't it look amazing? 

allie J.

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Indiesew + Seamly Wrapped Cardigan

the perfect travel outfit: 
plus your carry on tote (handmade by my mom), sunglasses & sneakers for naps in your seat and long walks between terminals

This past week, I went on my honeymoon. Yes, I did get married a year ago, but who wants to plan a vacation and a wedding at the same time? Not me! I could have maybe managed planning an all-inclusive resort trip, but I'm not a beach person--my family always went to the mountains, not the ocean. More on our (amaaazing) vacation as soon as I sort through my pictures--but today let's chat about travel clothes!

When I fly I am very particular about clothing: I don't want any part of my legs touching the airport/plane seats, so I always wear pants or leggings. I don't want to be too hot or too cold, so layers are a must. I want to feel somewhat cozy and/or snuggly in case I take a nap, and I don't want to look like a mess leaving the airport. Usually I wear leggings, a tee, and a Juicy Couture velour hoodie I have had for literally ten years, but that wasn't quite living up to the "handmade by allie J." bar.

I had already been planning for a while to make a big wrap coat/cardigan for travel when Allie(!) over at Indiesew contacted me to let me know she needed testers for the new Seamly Summer Collection--I had even purchased the Lisette for Butterick 6244, but never made it since it was a woven and I wasn't sure what weight would be best. Luckily, the Seamly Wrapped Cardigan was exactly what I was looking for in a travel piece--super comfortable since it's a knit, versatile so you can wear it several ways during your trip since it doubles as a wrap dress, and long enough to cover your butt in leggings if you care about that.

This is the tester version, size small--the final version is exactly the same as the tester, but the instructions were massively improved. It's a bit of a fabric hog with all the drape but once you have it all cut out it's a quick make and so worth it! I used this coral knit from because I had it on hand, but I think it would be wear-every-day versatile in a navy, charcoal, or black, and a pretty floral would be nice to wear belted as a dress, don't you think?

The Seamly Summer Collection also includes a swingy tank and a tee, so if you are interested in seeing everyone's items, be sure to click on the links below!

June 10: Dandelion Drift
June 14: Fa Sew La
June 15: Sew Mariefleur
June 17: Allie J.
June 18: Cut Cut Sew

What do you wear traveling? Do you try to dress up or go for 100% comfort? Do you have a travel "uniform"?


ps: please tell me i'm not the only person who is neurotic about touching airport/plane seats! 

allie J.

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#MMMay16 reflection

Every year, I (along with so many of us in the online sewing community) take a little bit of time to reflect on the state of our wardrobes post-Me Made May.

I had a really busy month--a weekend in Charlottesville for mothers day, a weekend in Kentucky for a wedding, my #berninatakeover on instagram, and some hectic-ness at work gearing up for Summer Reading season in the children's section of the library--and I got hardly any sewing (or blogging) done. All the participants of the Me Made Basics Social Sew really put me to shame (thanks, y'all!).

However, I'm feeling pretty good about my handmades--this is maybe the first year I've not felt like I'm reaching into the deep, dark, recesses of my closet during the last week.

I wore some old favorites (this dress) and some newer makes, and did some creative layering (like this combo). I really nailed down that my color palette is coral, navy, and white/cream, with some ballet pink and nude thrown in--and that I'm quite happy with that but I'd like to add (a lot!!) more neutrals of the nude and camel varieties. I have a few things planned on this front--plus, I've been working on an inspiration board on pinterest (of course).

The only other tweak I'd like to make (for the moment) is to make more boxy tops like my breton striped rtw copycat. I have crop tops, and I have fitted tops, but I think what I most like to wear with slim pants (and full skirts sometimes) is a non-fitted top (Laura Petrie style).

How did your Me Made May go? I always love seeing everyone's handmades on instagram every day, I'm sad it's over! Are you totally sick of everything you've ever made, or inspired to start work on your next capsule wardrobe, or...


ps: isn't there a dick van dyke show episode for every occasion?? i just love rob & laura. 

allie J.

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#MMMay16 Favorites: Instagram Round-Up

skirt | top | cardigan | shoes

skirt | top | cardigan | shoes

dress | scarf, j crew (similar) | shoes | bag (10% off all Bosom Buddy Bags with code alliej)

dress | shoes, boden (similar, similar) | blazer, ann taylor (similar) | bag, ksny (similar, similar)

dress | sunnies (OBSESSED) | shoes 

 skirt | top, lands end canvas (similar) | water bottle (my favorite beauty accessory ;) | shoes | watch

dress | top (unblogged crop top) | cardigan | shoes | sunnies


ps: want more? find me @helloalliej on instagram, snapchat, and twitter.

allie J.

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Inspiration: the Sun Dressing Social Sew

After a depressingly gloomy, hard-to-dress-for Me Made May, June has arrived and I'm finally feeling like summer is here--we've had a few pretty hot days down here in North Carolina already. The neighborhood pool is open (although I haven't quite made it there yet), school is out in just a few days, and the library where I work is absolutely full of kids reading comic books and families checking out audiobooks for road trips. All of this means it's time for the Sun Dressing Social Sew

Remember, my main goal is designing the Social Sew link-up was to make the theme narrow enough that someone unsure of what to make next could find some guidance, but broad enough that someone with sewing plans could find a way to make their pieces fit. If you're a bit stumped on what to make for this month's theme let me suggest...

A sundress. Um, duh? I, personally, define a sundress as "a day dress generally in woven cotton," but that's just me. Some people like sleeveless, some like sleeves to protect bare shoulders, some like jersey knits... whatever type of dress you plan on wearing in the sun.

Patterns: Literally any day dress pattern, vintage, indie, or big 4. Go wild!

A bathing suit. This is something I haven't made yet, but now that I have my serger and a good understanding of the stretch stitches on my Bernina 350 PE, I could theoretically sew my own swimwear. There is such cute swimwear inspo out there right now, whether you prefer bikini or one-piece, retro or super-sleek. (ps if anyone wants to buy me that dolce and gabbana lemon bikini--and one for my friend jennie who loves lemons?--that would be great, thanks)

Patterns: Closet Case Files' Bombshell is a retro-inspired blogger favorite, or try Named's Beverly Twisted Bikini or Papercut's Soma for more modern looks. The new lisette for Butterick swim patterns 6360 and 6358, are both adorable as well!

A pair of shorts. I generally don't wear shorts--I find them hard to style for some reason?--but I am warming to the idea of wearing them as a matched set (like I did here) or a faux-romper like Ada Spragg. What do you think? I especially like the girly, lacy ones.

Patterns: I have the Coachella shorts pattern but haven't made them yet--they seem perfect for a faux-romper like Ada Spragg's though. Other favorites include Katy & Laney's Tap Shorts, Sewaholic's Thurlows, or the (freeeee) City Gym shorts pattern by Purl Soho.

I have my pattern all picked out (shh, it's a surprise) and as long as my muslin isn't too heinous, y'all will be seeing a lovely new dress gracing these pages sometime soon! What are you thinking of making for these first days of summer? Do you have a whole capsule planned, or just a few little things?


ps: psa from your librarian! your library totally has audiobooks--maybe even available streaming on your phone--and this is such a great money saver, as those things are expensive and rarely do you listen to them more than once!

allie J.

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Social Sew #3: Sun Dressing

The Social Sew is back! Thank you to everyone who has participated in the first two Social Sews--we had 6 entries in April and 12 in May, so I can expect 24 June entries, right? 

June's theme is Sun Dressing!

You could, of course, go for the obvious choice and make a sun dress (this is totally me), but what else to you wear in the sun? A bikini? A cover-up for aforementioned bikini? Keep an eye out for the inspo post going out on Friday! Remember, the idea is that the theme is narrow enough to inspire if needed, but loose enough to fit anything in you have in mind, really... can't wait to see what y'all are making!

The link up will be open from the 1st of the month (at about 8 am est) and will close the last day of the month. 

Some rules: 
1. This is for adult apparel sewing, so no kids clothes or home decorating (unless specified otherwise in the theme).
2. Newly blogged garments, please: the things you add to the link up should be made in the month the link up is for. Remember, the theme and the link up are there to inspire you to create something new! 
3.  Please click on the logo above to download it, and put it either in the post you are linking up, or in your sidebar. I'd also appreciate you linking to the Social Sew--the more people who discover it, the more participation we'll have, the more inspiration! Thanks, y'all.

Upcoming themes:
June (this month) | Sun Dressing
July | Vintage


ps: i have the prettiest dress planned, wish me luck bringing it to fruition!

allie J.

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Me Made Basics Social Sew Round Up!

Thank you to everyone who participated in May's Social Sew. It was so interesting to see what everyone's "Me Made Basics" were--as someone who considers extra-full skirts a "basic," I loved seeing what y'all had created as your own essential pieces--everything from a silk kimono to jeans to tanks and tees!

Lisa from Pattern and Branch made some truly impressive Gingers. They fit wonderfully, and just take a look at that gorgeous rainbow topstitching!! Click through to look at the detail and hear how she tackled this ambitious project.

I'm really into new-to-me blogger Alexandra of Library of Alexandra--not only do we share the same name and profession, she's been making gorgeous retro shirtdresses from blogger favorite pattern McCalls 6696. Sooo cute.

Amy of SEWSNBOWS created a silk crepe de chine kimono--using fabric she designed herself! This garment is so luxe--and yet, is totally at home with jeans and boots. Ahhmazing. AND she bested all of us with even more basic, yet stylish, pieces: a stripy tank and some cute tulip shorts! Very "festival," Amy!

DoodleNumber5 was extremely productive and made loads and loads of those practical basics, tees and tanks in black, white, and grey. I'm very impressed by such dedication to Me Made May--she'll never run out of handmade tops to wear!

Yearling blogger The Petite Passions aka Laura took "basics" in a different direction and linked up an interesting look back at her first year of sewing, including her most worn items: a pussy bow blouse, a chiffon shell, and some pajama bottoms!

Almost a Hippy Alexa also made some Carolyn pajama bottoms, out of a pretty strawberry print. I usually do wear matching pajamas, but they take a ton of fabric, so I like this idea of breaking it up and making just the pants!

Belgian blogger Nathalie Sews returned to the Social Sew and made a very versatile bat-wing cardigan to fill the separates gap in her handmade wardrobe, and she's already worn it a bunch for Me Made May! Woohoo!

Melissa of Mahlica Designs took a leap and made a TnT skirt pattern in a bold yellow to go with all of her basic tops.

Miss Dixie O'Dare made a whole outfit--some chic pants and a very ladylike bow blouse. Y'all know I love a good bow.

Bilingual blogger Friederike from Sewing is Therapy (truth!) made a very impressive coat (the Roger from Republique du Chiffon) and checked off an item from her #2016MakeNine project list. 

Again, thank you for joining me! We had twice as many entries this month as last--let's keep it up! Up next, June's theme is Sun Dressing!

While a sundress is always a good idea, what about a bikini? a sarong skirt cover-up? a tunic? an off-shoulder top? The June link-up will go out tomorrow!


ps: there's still time to sneak in--if you add a creation to the link up today, i'll add you in to our round up above ;)

allie J.

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