Boyfriend Shirt (Sewaholic Granville)

The Sewaholic Granville is a a tried and true pattern for me--I've made it loads of times and I wear some version of the pattern at least once a week. A classic oxford shirt is such a wardrobe staple! I recently made a whole bunch of teeny fit adjustments for The Best Shirt Ever and now I'm taking my adjustments OTT for a whole new look!

For this version, I went a fair bit off-piste with my pattern hacking and created my "boyfriend" version of the Granville. This pattern is actually one of the more fitted shirt patterns out there, with bust darts, princess seams in the back, and a slim waist, so it may seem a little counterintuitive to take the Granville as a starting point as opposed to, say, the archer, but I just love how this shirt fits in the shoulders and bust and wanted this shirt to fit like a women's version of a men's shirt, not like an actual men's shirt. I've made the Archer before and I always felt like it swallowed be up! There's a big difference between, for example, the American Eagle "boyfriend jeans" I wore in high school and wearing actual men's jeans, and I always felt like the Archer edged too far towards the "actual men's jeans" end of the spectrum.

I made two major alterations to the shirt to transform it from fitted ladies' shirt to boyfriend-style. First, I added a lot of volume into the back of the shirt--the original has princess seams, and I removed them by grafting the center back and side back pieces together. I also added a bit of extra volume by adding pleats  at the yoke like the ones you see on men's shirts. They are 5/8" deep (a total of 1 1/4" each) because I used the seam allowances from the original pattern pieces. The second and simpler style change I made was to straighten out the side seams some. They aren't entirely straight, still slightly curved, but they are much less dramatic than the Granville as written. I kept the side seams the same above the dart and only changed it from the bust dart down, so that I didn't mess with the fit there or have to alter the dart at all, it's just easier! Then the only thing to keep in mind is having the curve be the same front and back!

I love the way this turned out. I had planned on using my last length of oxford cloth to make a "perfect oxford shirt" with the original Granville style lines, but, like, this is my perfect oxford shirt! I'll save that one for a ruffle collar shirt, I think... I can't wait to show you the pink ruffle shirt I have already made too!


ps: im a shirrrrt machiiine

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#SewnWithHart Pajama Shirtdress (Closet Case Carolyn)

Thank you to Harts Fabric for providing the materials for this post.

My love for Harts Fabric is well-documented on this blog so obviously when they asked me to be a part of #sewnwithhart I said yes, of course, duh, any time!! The awesome ladies at Harts sent over this lovely dark blue railroad stripe shirting and coordinating white cotton for me to try out something new--a Closet Case Carolyn pajama shirt lengthened to a nightshirt!

This cute pinstriped fabric is absolutely the perfect weight and feel for pajamas. In fact, I had asked about several different shirting fabrics and the very nice people there were kind enough to steer me towards this particular one and pick out a white fabric in the same weight to make piping.

To make the top into a dress, I added 8 inches to the hem. If you are less pear-shaped than me, you could probably just add 8 inches and call it a day, but I usually make a size 6 shirt and 10 pants. Since I knew that the Carolyn top would be snug around my hips (I tried to pull it up over my butt and, yeah, no) I ended up mushing it together with the hem of the Sewaholic Oakridge blouse, and then adding 8 inches. The hem of the Oakridge is about half an inch wider than that of the Carolyn, so hacking them together added about 2 inches of circumference to the hips. I don't have a tutorial on how to do this--I literally just overlaid the two patterns and sort of... traced both. I eyeballed it. You know. Also, if you are thinking, "oh, when did you make the Oakridge?" I haven't, I just trust Sewaholic to fit over my hips, so it was convenient.

Other than that, I didn't make any other changes to this pattern, and just skipped the pants entirely! One reason I like making dresses is that you get a whole outfit and I never feel like it is any harder than a shirt. This is extra true for something like this! All the harder parts--collar, piping--are all on the top half, so by extending the length it's literally no harder, and you can skip making shorts or pants. Plus, of course, a sweet little menswear-style pajama dress is always cute.

I've saved my altered pattern pieces for the longer version and anticipate using them as much or more than the originals--I just love this cuter version!


ps: i didn't think about it getting ready but looking at the photos, beauty and the beast vibes, right? 

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2019 Make Nine

sezane / about to be me in my perfect fitting shirt pattern

1. White Granville. The Granville fits me so much better than my ready-to-wear shirts do straight out of the package, so I haven't been enthusiastic about correcting the few minor fit issues I do have. However, it's a shame to leave it at not-quite-perfect since it's such a tried and true pattern! This year I want to perfect the fit and make the ultimate white shirt. (I also want to make about 5 more. I love my Granvilles.)

2. Fremont Tote. I was totally smitten by the Fremont tote when I saw it during last year's Project Sew My Style, but was on a self-imposed shopping ban (meaning I only bought two pieces of fabric and two patterns, oops) and the kit is so expensive, I had to pass it up. It really is such a nice bag though, so I ended up getting it during their Small Business Sale! I could probably put together the kit components myself for less than the $140 they ask for, but honestly it was so nice putting together their Woodland Dopp kit, I decided I'd rather splurge and get all the perfectly-matching details.

3. Barbie Cocktail Dress. While I do have black dresses I don't really have an LBD. I'd like to spend a lot of time fitting a muslin (pattern tbd) and splurge on some black silk for the ultimate little black dress.

4. Scrappy Quilt. I am not super interested in quilting in general, but I am quite interested in using up a bunch of scraps, and I think a quilt made of whatever-I-have-on-hand will be a fun way to dip my toes into a new craft while clearing out my fabric stash a bit. I'm not planning on following a pattern beyond "half square triangles all put together somehow" so wish me luck?

5. Orange Lingerie Fenway Bra. This seems like a nice tee-shirt bra option (with the added foam cup) and I had so much fun making (and remaking) the Berkeley. I'd like to try out a couple other bra patterns actually!

6. Camel Opium Coat.  Either this early spring or this fall, I'll make a camel version of the Deer & Doe Opium. This project keeps getting pushed back but I know that I am finally at a point where I have all the skills I need after having made my pink Bamboo coat and I even know what size I need to make having tried on Camille's Opium!

7. We Are Knitters Weekend Sweater. This kit was another Small Business Saturday purchase. I don't know if I'll ever be super into knitting but it seems like a good way to slow down my making.

8. Flannel Pajamas. I have lots of handmade pajamas already, and every time I make more I say "this is the last! I don't need any more!" But I really enjoy making and wearing handmade pajamas and haven't made any in flannel. I have some very ratty L. L. Bean pajamas that could due with replacing.

9. Silk Slip. I have a few full slips in my closet but none of them are perfect. I'd like to make a nude silk slip with a lengthened Ogden Cami pattern and donate all the not-quite-perfect slips in favor of one perfect one that I can wear a lot. You might have seen my silk-dyeing experiments on my instagram already! (UPDATE: Silk slip complete--see the post here!!)

I already have patterns for the Granville, Fenway, slip, camel coat, and I plan on using a stash pattern for the Barbie dress (since I have so so many patterns in my stash, I'd rather not buy a new one!), and fabric for most of these as well. The Fremont tote was a splurge item, as will be the black silk for the Barbie dress, but for the most part, I'm really well situated going into 2019. I'm feeling good about my closet after having purged a bunch of old unworn items, and I'm not feeling any pressure yet to sew a bunch of stuff for Me Made May this year. Also, with the end of my RTW fast, I feel like the world of options has opened up! I also want to expand my skills a bit and take my time with some time-consuming projects: the quilt and the sweater kit. All in all, I'm looking forward to a productive year of making high-quality basics that will get a lot of wear for years to come.


ps: i also have a Gucci-inspired bomber on my list but that is contingent on a few different things so not going on the make nine list :)

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Avocado-Dyed Silk Slip (Measure Fabric)

Thank you to Measure Fabric for providing the materials for this post.

I currently have a few full slips: this bias-cut blush slip made from a vintage pattern, a very short nude poly lace slip (sounds a lot sexier than it is honestly), and a black polyester slip that came with a Ted Baker dress. None of these are exactly the perfect slip, though, and making one would be easy: all I needed for the pretty and practical slip of my dreams is about a yard and a half of nude silk and my lengthened Ogden Cami pattern. So here I am! Of course, I decided to complicate it slightly...

Measure Fabric has a nice selection of silks and few of them are PFD White aka "prepared for dying." They also have the required dyes so you can create any color of silk your heart desires. For my Ultimate Silk Slip, however, I wanted a pale warm pink, and I knew that one way to achieve that color was through avocado dyeing! I mean, just look at the gorgeous colors avocados create! (Plus, it was a great excuse to eat a bunch of avocado.) I think part of the magic is that you don't quite know what color it will be, but basically every color I've seen online has been in the range of just pretty to absolutely perfect so I wasn't too concerned with the exact shade--and although my silk turned out more peachy than millennial pink it's actually the just about the exact right shade for my skin tone!
(...which is why I look naked in all these photos haha)

There are a million tutorials for both avocado dyeing and lengthening the Ogden Cami into dress-length out there, so I wont retread that ground in depth here, but basically:

1. To make the Ogden slip dress length, I added about 10" at the bottom.
2. I dyed the fabric before I cut and sewed my pattern since I wasn't sure if the dyeing process would affect the size/texture/drape of the fabric.
3. Avocado dyeing is super super easy and basically everything I have is now crying out for a little dip in an avocado dye bath.

As for the sewing, I made up my usual size and did teeny little french seams at the side to make this project a bit more durable and topstitched down the facing since I want this to be pretty wash and wear. My french seams aren't quite perfect so I have a bit of seam sticking out out at the sides--I always have this problem! I don't think I am aggressive enough trimming my seams. I added little bows to the front straps so I can easily tell front from back.

I had a lot of fun doing my first natural dyeing project and I'm looking forward to experimenting more... I'm so so into this--are you?


ps: thank you so so much to Measure for allowing me to be a Measure Maker these past 6 months!

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January 31 x 31 Challenge

For the past few years I have really been leaning in to that whole "new year, new you" January reset/"detox" vibe. I have done dry January for three years I think, and eaten vegan for the past two. It's such a good way to relax after the stress and overindulgence of the holiday season! My philosophy is "January will be miserable no matter what so I might as well go all in." Does this sound super ascetic of me?

This year I'm adding another element for additional misery! (But I love it.) If you aren't familiar with the 10 x 10 Challenge, it's a capsule wardrobe challenge where you wear the same ten pieces for ten days. There are loads of examples on Pinterest! You can also do more days and more clothes, i.e. 14 items for two weeks of outfits, etc. I'm doing mine for the whole month of January so it will be 31 items and 31 days--phew! Here's my wardrobe; I've marked the items that are off the rack and linked to the blog posts of the handmade items:

2. trench coat - rtw
3. leather jacket - rtw

5. grey sweatshirt - rtw
6. black sweater - rtw
7. cream sweater - rtw
8. camel sweater - rtw
9. navy sweater - rtw
10. black cardigan - rtw

11. black ogden
12. nude ogden
13-14. white tee (2) - rtw
15. grey tee - rtw
18. mariniere

22. black Rae skirt (unblogged?)


25. black Adidas sneakers
26. black Cole Haan heels
27. L. L. Bean Signature loafers
28. White sneakers
29. Dr. Martens boots

It's about half and half handmade and ready to wear, basically because almost all my wovens are handmade and all my knits are purchased (and I don't have any handmade shoes). It's also a little bit generic--lots of blues and black and white, as are many of the capsule wardrobes on pinterest--it's just so easy to start from there! This is definitely not a capsule with tons of personality, but hopefully that will make it easy to mix and match with for the whole month. I have been documenting what I wear every day on instagram, but of course, January is the worst month for lighting! This is a bit like Me Made May, I suppose, if you only had a limited number of handmades, unlike me, who has a closet overflowing with them. Maybe I should do some destashing while I'm at it...

Have you ever done a challenge like this before? I'm excited about it!


ps: you may notice that in fact this 31x31 currently only has 29 pieces... that's because I plan on adding a couple things throughout the month as I figure out what I am missing.

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RTW Fast 2018 Wrap Up

RTW FAST-001 2.jpg

My 2018 Ready to Wear Fast has come to an end! This year, I'm proud to say I did not buy a single clothing item--not dresses, not shirts, not pants, not even bras or underwear (though I did buy 4 pairs of socks). I learned a lot during my fast, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect and share my thoughts here.

Frustrating parts:

- I really should have bought a new raincoat/rainpants before going on a hiking trip in England. I lucked out and we didn't get any rain, but if we had, I would have just been out of luck. I could have borrowed some, but I didn't think and ran out of time. Fasting definitely takes a bit more planning/forethought than just popping over to the store and picking something up.

- I really hate sewing tee shirts. I didn't really need any new tee shirts during this fast but I did make a few and... I really just don't enjoy it. If I were to do a RTW Fast in perpetuity, this would become very annoying. Honestly I'd probably just stop wearing tee shirts?

- I wanted to buy some tees to support various podcasts, etc. and came thisclose to buying a shirt from the merch booth at the Shredders show I attended before realizing it was forbidden! I did end up buying a baseball hat from Two Girls One Ghost to get around the fast restrictions while still supporting the creators.

What I loved/what I learned:

- I like having designer things, and I'm often tempted to buy, for example, the same label I saw my favorite actor/blogger/whatever wear. I know this is stupid but it's human! I enjoyed not being tempted to buy expensive things that I might not love as much as I should, just because of the brand/who wore it/etc.

- The biggest thing I noticed was that by eliminating a whole category of potential purchases I had some amount of, like, brain power diversion or choice paralysis elimination. I'm not sure how to best describe it but I really liked knowing that I just didn't have to think about clothes shopping. I am someone who really enjoys shopping but also never buys anything. I will pick up a million items and decide which ones I like and then panic and put everything back. (I did this with toys when I was really little, too, my parents tell me. It's just who I am apparently.) This also applies to clothing sale emails--I just delete them without worrying I'm missing anything!

- I was forced to finally tackle making a couple of things I was dreading: bras and tee shirts! I'm 1 for 2; I loved making bras and will continue to avoid making tees.

- I didn't actually buy more accessories, I don't think, so I probably saved some money. I didn't tally it up in any way! I probably bought a little more fabric, but not much. I think the money is probably a wash.

- Not having the ability to purchase new things helped me assess the current state of my wardrobe, as well. I come to the same conclusion after every Me Made May--I need more tops!--and not being able to buy tops reaffirmed this. Unfortunately, I didn't learn to love sewing tee shirts, so I'm likely to have the same feelings during next year's Me Made May as well. Oops!

- As I went through the year, I did several closet purges, of both handmade and store-bought clothing. I don't have any statistics or anything to back this up, but I so think I ended the year wearing more handmades every day than I started the year off with.

- I was better able to focus on basics and sewing practical items I will actually wear, rather than one-off patterns (or "cake" rather than "frosting" if you've been a part of the sewing community for as long as I have haha). This made my blog a little boring as you saw endless variations of Ginger jeans, Granville shirt, and Simplicity 4475, but I like what I like! I wear what I wear.

Will I do it again?

I'm giving myself all of January to buy any staples (read: tee shirts haha) I may need, but then I plan to be back on my fast until the end of the year again. I might make a few exceptions for merch (i.e. that concert tee) though. I'd like to maintain this sort of mentality through the years between now and the next official fast.

Would you recommend the fast?

Yes! There won't be an official fast in 2019--I think it happens every 4 years?--but I'd definitely encourage each and every one of you to pick a duration of time and do a wardrobe fast, whether it be for a month or a whole year, and get yourself ready for RTW Fast 2022!


ps: the real challenge would be a fabric fast...

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Pink Coat Redux (Minerva Crafts)

Dropping in to let you know I have a guest post over on the Minerva Craft blog featuring a gorgeous pink coat made in their poly/viscose coating and the Waffle Patterns Bamboo coat patten!


ps: see the first pink coat here.

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