Klum House Maywood Totepack

I mentioned that I wanted to make another Klum House project in my 2019 Make Nine plans so I was obviously so excited when the ladies at Klum House reached out to me to be a reviewer for their latest kit, the Maywood Totepack. I just recently purchased myself a cute Fjallraven backpack and didn't need another backpack at the moment but my husband Alex has been using a ratty old work-swag backpack to lug around all his Dungeons & Dragons gear (books, notebooks, pencils, dice, miniatures, etc.) and it was time for an upgrade. Plus, in waxed canvas and vegetable tanned leather, it totally fits the aesthetic of a roving band of adventurers, don't you think?

As with the Woodland Dopp Kit, the Maywood Kit that Klum House put together was gorgeously packaged, super organized, and contains everything you need to make a professional quality bag. The Maywood is a convertible bag with an ingenious system of straps that allows you to use it as either a backpack or a tote bag. It also has a large internal pocket big enough for a 15" laptop, a front pocket with a magnetic snap, and a zip top to keep all your gear secure!

I did make one large-ish mistake in the construction of this bag--I was so excited about learning my new riveting technique that I got totally carried away and riveted the lining and exterior fabric together in several spots where only the exterior was supposed to be riveted! Klum House's kits do provide extra rivets in case of mistakes but... I had riveted too many rivets to turn back. This made my sewing a little challenging since my fabric was stuck together at spots it was not supposed to be. I would not recommend this--I recommend following the instructions, which clearly state not to do this--but I managed with some wrangling. The end result is that the inside of my backpack isn't quite as tidy as it is intended to be. Everywhere you see leather supports and rivets on the inside, like in the last photo, they should be hidden by the lining.

These kits are not the most affordable afternoon project (for that I'd go with the free Megan Nielsen Acacia undies pattern and some jersey scraps from your stash!) but I do think they are worth the price. First, Klum House does all the hard work of sourcing all the matching notions. They cut and punch all the leather strapping so you don't to invest in a full hide or any leather tools. The even cut the fabric pieces for you, and wrap it all up in a beautifully packaged kit. (Bonus: if you purchase the kit, you also get free access to the virtual class on April 28th.) If you compare the cost of a Klum House kit to, for example, the waxed canvas-and-leather Filson bags my brother collects, it's competitively priced.

It's honestly so satisfying to learn a new skill, and just as when I made my first jeans using a jeans hardware kit, or my first bra using a bra making kit, it's nice to know that you have all the necessary and appropriate gear. Focusing on the skills you are learning without having to second guess your materials is one of those little luxuries in the sewing room!

xoxo,
allie

ps: did i punch through my cutting mat and into my table a little? maybe.



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Little Black Day Dress (Megan Nielsen Sudley)

Just dropping in to let you know I have a guest post up today on the Minerva Crafts blog featuring this sweet and simple Megan Nielsen Sudley dress in black rayon from Atelier Brunette! Click here to read my review.

xoxo,
allie

ps: i also love that this company is called minerva, goddess of arts but also war strategy :)



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Candy Stripe (Sewaholic Granville)

Thank you to Sewing Supply Plus for providing the fabric for this project.

As part of my quest for the perfect fitting oxford shirt, I'm making a few variations, and here is the girliest one by far!

Doing the tiniest fit adjustments here: first, I shortened the sleeve (at the lengthen/shorten line) by 1/4" since the Granville sleeves have always been a tiny bit long on me. Then I did a 1/4" broad shoulder adjustment, which affects the front bodice and back yoke pieces. It only took a few minutes and I don't know why I didn't do it before! I don't actually have broad shoulders (this isn't one of my usual adjustments) but since I plan on wearing this buttoned up all the way, it just gives me a little extra room across the shoulder. I also did the smallest scant 1/4" full bust adjustment (my first FBA ever haha) and slimmed down the hips about 1/2". Overall, it was lot of teeny adjustments that improve the fit almost imperceptibly. I felt confident in making these changes sans muslin because the original Granville fit me pretty well already and none of the changes are that drastic.  You can't really tell in photographs which I why I'm not bothered by just covering up the whole shirt with a sweater :) Y'all have seen 80000 Granvilles from me already.

Unlike the very subtle fit adjustments I made, the design changes I made to this one are pretty obvious! Instead of the Granville collar piece, I cut out a little rectangle and gathered it to make a sweet ruffled neck. Similarly, I shortened the cuff pieces and inserted a little ruffle there as well. I plan on wearing this most underneath a sweater or sweatshirt and having the little ruffles peek out of the neckline and cuffs is just the cutest thing in my opinion. This is a really easy "hack" that changes the whole look of the pattern!

If you want to do the same, here are the dimensions I used on this size 6. You can use roughly the same dimensions on shirts around this size and just gather to fit:
- shortened the cuff by 5/8"
- cut neck ruffle 3 1/4" x 32"
- cut sleeve ruffle 2 1/2" x 16"

To make the ruffles, fold in half lengthwise right sides together, sew short edges, flip right side out, press, two or three rows of basting stitches along open long edge, gather to fit cuff length or collar band length. Super easy!

I love how it looks dressed here, peeking out from underneath my sweater, but this change would also look super cute with a blazer or nicer cardigan and a pencil skirt for a more feminine take on business wear. The fabric I used is a really nice Egyptian Giza cotton oxford shirting from Sewing Supply Plus, and it feels so smooth and wonderful--noticeably nicer than other Oxford cloth I have sewn. It was great to sew and should wear really well--I anticipate wearing this shirt constantly!

I have another length of Sewing Supply Plus oxford cloth with which I was planning to make a classic white shirt, but I love this version so much I'm thinking I should make a ruffle collar Granville in white too--I love the little ruffle peeking out and white would go with everything! Once again, how many Granvilles is too many..?

xoxo,
allie

ps: you can add this ruffle onto any collared shirt pattern!



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