The Cat Dress

I love cats, so its no wonder one of my favorite dress is a cat dress. Unfortunately its white-based, so I am deathly afraid of wearing it around the kids. It also doesn’t fit terribly well. So I decided to remake this.

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It fits quite well! πŸ™‚

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It has really nice deep pockets. I’ve noticed with larger phones I need larger pockets, also pockets with more supporting seams to make sure it doesn’t drag the side seams. So the top of these pockets are actually sewn into the waist seam, which accidentally makes a pretty good waist-stay.

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Close up of the two darts in the front, and the nice V neckline – I’m quite proud of it.

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The pleating in the front was especially fun to make. I basically did all the pleating on a rectangular piece of fabric, and then laid front skirt piece on top and cut it out smoothly.

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Back pleats. Unfortunately, this fabric attracts cat hair like nothing else… its somewhat appropriate!

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A side by side comparison of the original and mine. I lined mine in the same luxurious black rayon satin fabric as my Burberry inspired coat. Getting in that lining just makes it so much dreamier!

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I am quite pleased with this dress! This shape is really quite flattering on me. I usually avoid wearing patterned dresses to work – studies shows that floral clothing diminishes a person’s authority at work and I imagine cat patterned dress is even worse πŸ˜› But I just cant help it – dress lining feels so good and this is perfect for a chilly early summer California weather. So I pick days when I dont have any meetings to wear this dress, when I dont need as much credibility!

 


Belle inspired dress

I didn’t know that I was making a belle inspired dress until I was almost done with it. This is one little K commissioned during a play-sewing-date with one of my sewing friends and daughter. She chose the fabric from my stash, options in the tea party dress pattern, and the decoration at the end. Half way through she said something like “just like belle!”. =_= I suppose she knows about my dislike for Disney princess and didn’t want to tell be before hand that she’s scheming for a Belle dress.

In any case, I love how the dress turned out πŸ™‚ It sure does make her feel like a princess! I used up all the remanant of that fabric, unfortunately, or one for little A would have been great!

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Burberry “Inspired” Coat

I finished my first creation of 2017 in March! Its been an insane 2 months – littered with many episodes of flu/cold/tummy bugs and two travels without the kids.

So this coat took a while. I first caught sight of the patternΒ Lekala 4298 years ago. The inspiration itself Β was not a coat I’d normally buy, but I LOVE to sew those types of curves in the front. So this year, I finally made it happen.

I have a lot of good things to say about this pattern. I made almost no changes to the pattern except to take just a little bit in on the sides (maybe half an inch). The armholes are much lower than what I usually like, but it actually worked out well in very cold weathers for layering. I was really amazed at how the arms doesn’t look fat even though it has a lot of room – the pattern was drafted in such a way that the sleeves lie pretty flat against the body and looks slim from the front while giving a lot of room – Ive never experience this with other coat patterns! The arm itself is a little short, but I may have made a mistake when inputting my measurements. All in all – the made-to-order pattern fits really really well!!! I may try to make the waist more snipped if I ever remake this. But really, I dont have the wasp-y waist the model has. Lastly, as most patterns out there, they dont really give you the right pattern pieces for sleeve vent and back vent. I found that I needed to follow this tutorial to draft the vent, and this tutorial to sew the vent.

The material for this coat is not the best wool I’ve used. It is not as stable as I normally like, and the interface from walmart didnt stick very well. I used the luxurious 100% rayon satin though – and I LOVE it. I think I may walk away from synthetic lining forever.

after the last post, I also realized I’ve sewn three beige coats in a row. I am not sure what I think of that πŸ˜›

To see some of the inner details and progress photo, check out my instagram feed with the tag.

Here are the husband-grade photos:

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The photos are taken in Boston over a really really cold weekend – or at least, by California standard. I really appreciated the longer length of the coat. The coat itself was not quite warm enough for 15F weather, but I found a perfect inner down layer in Uniqlo to pair with this. I hope the material last long enough through a few cold winters!

 

 


2016 Sewing Review

It’s march 2017, and I’ve been hoping to have time to take husband-quality photos for my creations. But I think it’s not going to happen. So here you go! There are some new-to-blog creations below πŸ™‚

I started sewing apparel late 2007, so I am coming up on my 10 year sewnniversary! In year 2016, I probably didnt sew as many as before, but I’ve spent time on pieces that I wore over and over again. There are really not that many “meh” projects from this year!!

Here is the count:

  • baby quilts: 2
  • coats: 3
  • Costumes for little K: 2
  • Skirt for little K: 1
  • Corset: 1
  • Dresses: 6
  • sweater: 1
  • splats: 1

Sewn:kept:wore often ratio (quilts included):

17:17:15

Not worn often:

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Unblogged Monument valley costume for Mia – she only wore this once. She finished this game this year with some adults help, so i thought I might make her a custome for a school event. But there are not that many Monument Valley fans and she was “meh” about it afterwards. She still loves the game though!

I love the color, but the fit prevents me from wearing it often. It does make me happy when I see it in my drawer – so I am keeping it!

Worn often:

This is a little short to wear often around the kids – works well as a tunic though!

 

I love the fit for this one – its a little “badass” and I don’t wear it super often as its midi length – a little hard to pair. But when I do i love how I look in it!

This is one of those coats that I didnt LOVE, but seemed to fill a wardrobe gap as I reach for it very often.

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One of my favorite creations for little K! I really made sure this one is sewn up nicely and she wore it to quite a few occasions. She’s not as  crazy about it as the Elsa dress I made the year before, therefore its still going to be good enough to pass down to little A!

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I wore this dress often in the summer – in fact its pretty washed out now… the fabric is not the highest quality and is getting quite faded.

I forgot to blog about this – but I remade one of my favorite Burdadresses in a terry knit – very comfortable  and fairly warm. I wore this often for work.

She wore this almost every week for her dance class.

Hubby’s favorite dress of the year πŸ™‚ Very easy and comfy for the hot summer days.

Sweater, skirt, splats! All worn pretty often.

Lastly, my all time favorate stuff, coats!!!

I love this coat, though I have many awesome wool coat choices so it is not a everyday-wear for the winter.

This coat has been a real stable in my wardrobe!! I wear it almost every day during transition weathers. It makes me quite happy! Its really my favorite thing Ive made!

Even though this is my least productive sewing year ever, I’ve made a lot of things that I wear over and over again. I think its because I finally got out of the post-baby body (for the most part). I am feeling more… self, again. I made more fitting clothing that is suitable for me (for a few years I kept making more oversized style, which can be a bit tricky on my frame). I put more thoughts into fabric + pattern selection, because face it, motherhood comes with a lot of quiet time for cuddling a half-asleep baby and time for your mind to roam and fingers to play on phones.

For 2017 – I think I may become even less productive. There are just so much happening in life these days, its tough to find time to step into my sewing room. But its still something that makes me calm and happy – and I hope to sew an hour or two at least once or twice a week. I also hope I can start sewing with little K πŸ™‚ she’s been stepping onto my sewing machine and making small things with a LOT of help – and I hope to do more with her! She’s such a little creator πŸ™‚


Heart Quilt

After the baby quilt for my friend, I had to make something similar for the girls. I originally wanted to make something big, full sized, with a heart on the lower left corner and pieces falling out. But I didn’t do any math and just assumed things looked about right. Turned out the heart was too big and things just didn’t look right. After it sitting in my room for a while I decided to hack the white space off and make it heart shaped. I like it!

The back of the quilt is actually one of those flat bedsheets that comes in a set (and you really only want the fitted part). Its really comfortable! It doesn’t seem to be a huge hit with the girls though… but I am sure they would love it with time πŸ™‚

 

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Knitted Sweater

Whenever I go on a long drive, I bring a knitting project with me. I am a stereotypical Asian women driver, and hubby does not let me drive him. So on long drives, my hands are free to create! We took a trip to SoCal for a friend’s wedding in 2015 November and I casted on this project and finished a good chunk. But since then I haven’t touched it until I got really sick for a week in October 2016 – I was bored out of my mind and stuck in bed. So I finished knitting the sweater.

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The yarn is actually a 100% virgin wool that is labeled as tapestry yarn – but I saw no difference from regular year – does anyone know? I bought those for a few dollars and was planning to felt it into thick socks.But I really don’t enjoy knitting socks. So I decided to make the Sandshore sweater instead. Sandshore is meant to be a summer sweater though – I had so many doubts when knitting this and almost frogged the project a few times. But I am really glad I persisted. The end result is quite wearable!

When the sweater first came off the needle, it was pretty long. It looked nice but I have a lot of long sweaters already. Plus, it had some weird wrinkles that seemed to need ironing – weird for a sweater. I decided to try felting it to make it thicker and shorter. one wash in the washer and it was at least 3 or 4 inches shorter! It is now very thick and fitted and squishy πŸ™‚ I love wearing it over a shirt, as its pretty itchy against bare skin, as expected.

 

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This whole outfit is quite me-made – sweater, dress, boots! They go quite well together πŸ™‚ too bad I never wear them like that in real life (sweater too itchy), but it was an efficient way to combine the photo shoots!


Convertible boot splats

As a petite, shopping for those cute knee high boots are always a pain. Its rare to find something that doesn’t gap 3-4 inches on the opening – which makes us look even shorter. As a person who LOVES boots, and have about… 10 pairs of boots in regular winter rotation (vs 2 pairs of sandal/flip flop in the summer), this is a real (first world) problem.

A few years ago I feel I love with a pair of boots that is super expensive and looks a bit ridiculous:

img_0053Its a pair of Givenchy. I thought it looks really awesome and ridiculous at the same time – i always loved boots thats thicker around the ankles – it hides my thicker and curvy calfs better. But it always looks a little like a pair of horse feet:

But awesome is awesome. So I bought some leather and decided I should just make the top part of those boots. During the making of those boots though I lost sight of the original inspiration a little, and made the boots more tight fitting. The result is nice, but I think I might remake this again with Givenchy boots as the inspiration.

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It actually stays up on my legs really well, but because of the tight fit on the bottom, it crunches up around there after walking around. The half circle I created in the front also flares out a little on the corners. Process and patterns can be found on instagram.

However, this one is still quite cute and makes my ankle boots a pair a cute knee high – with all the comfort of an ankle boot! The leather is very soft and supple, lining is black satin rayon. I am now on the hunt for another black leather hide to make a version 2.0!