Lunch Bag Clutch (Measure Fabric)

In this first foray into leather bag making I wanted to stick to something really, really simple; like my leather jacket, this bag has no closures or anything fancy. It just relies on that iconic lunch bag shape for interest! Obviously I am not the first person to have made a lunch bag clutch. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) they were popularized (but not invented) by Jil Sander and there have been tutorials online for DIYing this super simple clutch bag since like, 2010. Here's just one of many tutorials if you want to make your own. The dimensions of mine are 11" by 26" to create a bag 11" high with a 4" by 6" base (use 1/2" seam allowances). I love the color--like a real lunch bag!--and it's big enough to carry your essentials. Plus, the neutral color will go with everything, as seen here--I've staged it on my new clothing rack which has been so so fun to play around with. I expect you'll be seeing lots of it in the future.

Measure Fabric was really helpful in picking out a leather--this one is thick enough to hold its shape but thin enough that my machine had no problem sewing through all the layers of this clutch! Having an expert you can ask for help is my absolute number one tip when it comes to sewing new types of garments or accessories. When I made skinny jeans I called Harts and had them recommend a denim, when I made a bra I asked Erin about 900 questions (and bought a kit designed specifically for my pattern so I knew I would have everything I needed), and when I made this clutch I chatted with the ladies at Measure, explaining what I wanted to make and what sewing machine I had, so they could ensure everything worked out smoothly. You don't have to be an expert on everything, but it's really nice to know a bunch of people who are!

I have enough leather left over to make an identical clutch, and I'd like to give it away!! Obviously you don't have to use it to make a lunch bag clutch, but it will come to you in the perfect lunch bag clutch size, so if you decide you want to all you have to do is sew four really easy seams and stick a piece of cardboard in the bottom... dead simple and would make a great gift!

To enter the giveaway go to my instagram, follow me and @measurefabric, and like and comment on this post. See you there!!


ps: would it be too much to pack my lunch in this? ;)

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Nude Lace (Orange Lingerie Berkeley Bra & Evie La Luve Bella)

There's something nice about sewing yourself lacing undergarments in the winter, when they'll be covered in about a million layers, don't you think? It brings to mind delicate lingerie peeking out from oversized cashmere sweaters, even if I'll be wearing mine mostly under very practical daywear, rather than those impractical "just reading a book in my lacy underwear, don't mind me" outfits you see on tumblr.

I kept the same changes I made the previous times, but actually changed sizes from the 32C to the 30D--going down a band size while maintaining the same cup volume. Since the D and up sizes use a 3-row hook and eye closure, I then had to change the back band slightly back to a 2-row hook and eye closure--after all, a 30D is not a large volume despite the letter (see also: all the small bust adjustments I have made). This is the best fitting bra yet--and these little tweaks to fit are basically addicting, I can see how people get super particular about bra fit! I might actually size up in the cup one more letter for the next one. Endless tweaks!!

I was determined to make a little set this time, with matching undies. This is the Bella panties pattern from Evie La Luve and it's just perfect--I actually had this in my stash from a year or two ago when I ordered a kit. I've worn the pair I made with that kit a ton but it never made it onto the blog.

Finally, I'm ashamed to admit that while I have been signed up for Project Sew My Style for the past two. years. this is the very first month I'm participating in. But when you have a gorgeous kit in your stash just waiting to be sewn up, you have to join the club and sew along. (Plus I eventually want my drawers to look like this.) But! My friend Maddie is taking over Sew My Style for 2019 and I'm super excited about the changes she's making and the people she's hosting with... so if you haven't heard of Project Sew My Style, definitely go check it out!


ps: in these photos you see that when you have a small band size a D cup is... not very large haha my rtw bras are all 28DD and it's not really as exciting as it sounds. 

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DIY Raw Denim (aka Higher Standards part 3, Megan Nielsen Dawn + tutorial)

Last week I shared my completed Megan Nielsen Dawn jeans, which I altered to show off the selvedges of the Japanese denim I used (from Fashion Fabrics Club, but sold out--I know because I bought the last remnant!). Today I'll show you how to make this change to whatever pattern you are using to make your pants. I had a copy of the Ash Jeans (straight leg view) printed out so I'm using that, but you can use whatever pattern you want.

A note before we begin: there is a reason that jeans are not drafted this way to begin with, and it's because your legs are not shaped like this! If you make this change, do not expect your jeans to fit "sewing blogger perfect." We are valuing showing off selvedges over perfect fit; in the same way that we sewers obsess over fit and notice fit issues that normal people wouldn't, denim people will notice all the weird wrinkling and think: "ooh, nice, those must be selvedge." Check out these jeans by well-loved and well-respected purveyor of selvedge denim, A.P.C.:

Any sewer would look at those lower legs and immediately start brainstorming fit adjustments! That's about as good as you're going to get in selvedge denim though, since you don't actually have a lot of control over the fit--the outer seam is totally fixed (selvedges, remember) and there's only so much you can do just by changing the inseam.  (This leg adjustment also changes the angle at which the jeans legs exit the crotch, so you may find you need a few tweaks to the crotch once you've tried your jeans on.)

First we need to find the widest part of the hip. To do this, extend the grainline to the waistline of the leg pattern piece:

Trace your size.

Use your ruler to find the widest part of the hip: the part of the curve furthest from the grainline. (Don't forget to look at your size.)

Extend that line down to the hem, parallel to the grainline. It will cut through the larger sizes.

When you get to the bottom, square off your pants hem.

The outer seam is done! Now moving on to the inseam changes. First, measure the distance between your new straightened outside seam and the original seam (in your size). At the hem, mine is 1 5/8".

Continuing up the leg, measure at intervals.

We've added a bunch to the outside, now it's time to remove it from the inseam. At each point that you measured distance between original and straightened outside seam, take that much away from the original inseam. So, here at the hem, I added 1 5/8" to the outside of the leg, I am measuring 1 5/8" from my size of the original inseam. Mark a dot there.

Once you've made all your dots, connect them together. The new leg should be taking shape!

Continue up the leg towards the crotch. When you get to the crotch point, taper to nothing--even though you may have a little bit of difference on the outer seam.

You can see in the photo below that there is a slight difference in original vs. selvedge outside seam at the level of the crotch but we really don't want to change anything in the crotch (anything at or below the ruler in the photo below), so just taper to nothing at your size's crotch point. Crotch crotch crotch. Sorry.

Round off all your dots with a french curve or by eye and you are done with the back leg! Do the same with the front and you'll be ready to sew! No changes are required to the other pattern pieces. I do suggest making a muslin before diving in--you may want to make a few tweaks to the fit. It's also possible you decide fit is more important to you than selvedges and you can't bring yourself to accept leg twisting etc. etc. It's up to you! If you do end up following this tutorial, though, let me know! I'd love to see how your jeans turn out!


ps: now that i have these ash pieces all done i guess i might as well use them right?

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A.P.C.-Sleeve Sweatshirt (Clothes for All Seasons + tutorial!)

While I was traveling in England, I was lucky enough to stop in at the Liberty department store. Needless to say, it was amazing--the store itself is gorgeous, the employees are accommodating, I touched like 100 bolts of the softest silkiest fabric ever...

We also ventured down to the men's section on the basement level and I got to ogle all the designer menswear I wanted! A.P.C. has been a favorite sportswear designer of mine for years and they had a great selection of clothes there. I mentioned in this post that I copied their double-pocket on a tee shirt for Alex, and the other feature that caught my eye at the Liberty store was a very interesting sleeve that was on a lot of their outerwear. Basically it is a set-in sleeve in the front, and a raglan sleeve in the back. The shoulder seam continues down the sleeve to make this possible. You can see it really clearly on their Urban Mac here. I thought this was really cool and immediately determined to figure out how to do it myself.

I turned to the Japanese pattern book Clothes for All Seasons because I knew it had a regular tee shirt, a raglan sleeve baseball tee, and a sweatshirt (with set-in sleeves) that were all built on the same block. In fact, the tee shirt and raglan tee are the same pattern: the front and back pieces have a cut line for set in sleeve and a cut line for raglan sleeve, and then there are two sleeve pattern pieces that you can swap in. If you wanted to do the "A.P.C. sleeve" (as I've taken to calling it) on a tee shirt, all you would need to do is cut the raglan variation back body, regular sleeve front body, and the split both sleeve patterns down the middle, using the back of the raglan and front of the regular sleeve.

I was really hoping that the sweatshirt would be the same way. I couldn't remember if there was a raglan-sleeve variation for the sweatshirt/hoodie--unfortunately, there is not! Sadly, I would have to do a bit of pattern hacking. Making a raglan sleeve isn't too hard though. I started with the sweatshirt pattern in a size large, and in addition to lengthening the sleeve slightly, I made these changes. (Note: the pattern I am using does not come with seam allowances. If your does, you'll want to get rid of them while you make your changes and then add them back afterwards.)

First, extend the grainline marking up and down a few inches.

Then, draw a line parallel to the grainline and starting at the center notch on the top of the sleeve (the notch that is supposed to match up with the shoulder seam).

Cut the sleeve along this line into front and back pieces. The front body stays the same, and goes with the front of the sleeve (each with a single notch in the armscye). For this alteration you'll need the back body and back sleeve.

The back gets changed into a raglan sleeve. Align the sleeve and the body like so, with the double notches matching:

And the shoulder points matching. Your pattern pieces might overlap a little, like this:

Then we're basically just lopping off some of the body pattern piece and attaching it to the arm pattern piece. Draw a curved line from the notches to the neckline.

Cut along the curved line and attach the shoulder of the body to the sleeve, like this:

Add your seam allowance and that's it! Construction order changes slightly as well--you attach the front sleeve to front body and back sleeve to back body, then sew the whole front to the whole back. Then do your cuffs and hem and neckline as usual.

I think this is a really cool change that adds a lot of personality to a simple garment like a sweatshirt. It's subtle, but adds interest; no surprise there--subtlety is exaaactly what A.P.C. does so well.

Will you try the A.P.C. sleeve? If you do, please let me know, I'd love to see your versions!


ps: i snuck it in on this black sweatshirt too, but didn't mention it because it i thought this unusual sleeve deserved its own post!

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Winter Wish List

I know what my big present is this year (a very nice trench coat my parents bought for me in London) and is it bad that I just have gift cards on my wish list this year? After a whole year of fasting, I'm ready to get my RTW on in January!

1. Cuyana wallet: I have a Cole Haan wallet that I love--I got it on Gilt years ago and it's held up really well apart from one encounter with a dog--but it's slightly too large to fit in my favorite vintage bag. I've just been shoving my cards in the bottom which is... not the best idea.

2. A.P.C. gift card: I'd love to get my hands on one of A.P.C. minimalist bags--their half-moon bags are simple and iconic and that black crocodile one is just perfect isn't it? A gift card will help me get there. They also have the greatest stripey breton top... It's so impossible to find that thick knit jersey, I think this is something it's easier to just buy.

3. Harts Fabric gift card: I have sung the praises of Harts Fabric before (like, constantly) and they always just have the best stuff--even if I don't have any fabric in mind, I'll always find something I have. to. have. at Harts.

4. Winc Wine Club gift subscription: Maybe it's because I listed to too many podcasts--practically all of them sponsored by Winc at some point--but the idea of personalized wines just showing up at my house? Yes, please.

5. Donations to Direct Relief: In the spirit of the season!

Is this the most boring gift list or what? At the moment I've been saving money for a future kitchen remodel and feeling like I have so much stuff in my house (and especially in my sewing room!) already.


ps: if anyone wants to give my a kitchen remodel that would be fine too, thanks.

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DIY Raw Denim (aka Higher Standards part 2, Megan Nielsen Dawn)

Here is part two of what will be a three (probably) part series on this pair of jeans! In part one, I mentioned that I wanted to make a pair of raw selvedge denim for myself and that I was thiiinking about using the Megan Nielsen Ash. I sent her a message asking about straightening out the out side leg seam and sizing up for a less-stretchy fabric and she let me in on a little secret: she was going to be releasing a non-stretch jeans pattern! My plans immediately changed, obviously, and when she offered to send me a copy of the pattern to review I was so thrilled!

The Dawn pattern from Megan Nielsen is "a classic high waisted rigid jean set" that includes tapered, straight, and wide leg views as well as a shorts version. It also has a button fly, which is perfect for raw denim that might shrink and warp your zipper (although I went for regular zip fly).

I initially made a muslin in the size 10 since the Ash jeans ran small on me; my measurements put me between an 8 and 10 but it's always easier to go smaller! They were pretty large, so I ended up sizing down to the size 6 for my final jeans, and probably should have gone down one more size since my fabric did, in fact, have a teeny bit of stretch. I ended up taking them in along the outseam from waist to high hip and all along the inseam, as well as some extra out of the inner thigh--the fit on this variation is "tapered" rather than skinny/slim, but I wanted a skinner fit. Combined with the width I took out of the waist, I've made this pattern significantly curvier than it is as written, I think, just FYI. Although I ended up modifying the fit through the thigh, I really love the fit of the lower leg.

I actually just bought the last 2.5 yards of this fabric from Fashion Fabrics Club, so this isn't the last you'll see of this fabric. I was thinking of trying out the Ash skinnies again in this same material, so you can see the difference the leg angle change makes to fit, and I can sort of go from both directions, making a stretch and non-stretch pattern with this slight-stretch fabric.


ps: as a side note--Megan Nielsen really kills it when it comes to variations! the Wattle skirt has four versions as well and they are all super different, which makes it such a bargain.

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