The Year of Blankets

This year, I made three blankets! A whooping three blankets, probably the highest count since I started sewing.

The first blanket is for my little one. When my older one was born she was given three hand made blankets and we love them and use them all the time. So Ive been thinking about another one now that I have two girls. This was made from a cute alphabet fabric gifted by a friend who was trying to downsize her stash. I saw the fabric and I could not resist just making a simple baby quilt from it. Since its just one piece of fabric, it was easy to make – just quilt the squares, sew a border in, and viola! I am done. I did decide to hand sew one side of the border so that there’s no extra threads showing through.

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This quilt is perfect for keeping a doll warm, or to shade the window during long car rides, or for a little picnic. The girls used it quite often! Here it is with all the other (gifted) handmade baby blankets.

 

The second blanket is for my hubby. He used to wear a lot of cute woot T-shirts, featuring shows/movies/culture we love together. Some of them has holes and I’ve collected enough of his old shirt to piece together this T-shirt quilt. For the back I used a sturdy cotton twill from Ikea featuring orange cat faces. When I told him I am going to use the ikea cat fabric, he said “really? You are going to use that cute cat fabric for MY blanket? I feel so special!” Lol, my hubby understands my possessive nature with my fabric well!

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He uses this blanket all the time – as his sleeping blanket during the summer and as his throw blanket when he put the girls to bed. It makes me look forward to his next themed blanket!

 

The third blanket is for my older one, but I use it quite often. I made this fur coat for myself and the girls love to rub themselves on the fur side whenever possible. They just love how soft the fur is! The fur is a little too long and overwhelming for me to want to make something wearable for them, but i thought they would enjoy a blanket made from it. So I hunted for a suitable fabric around the house, which came out to be this 1 layer wool blanket I “made” a few years ago. (By “make” i just cut it to shape and pulled threads out for the fringe.) I sewed them right side together and turned them inside out, the girls love it! I use it all the time myself too.

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It is actually currently being used as her sleep blanket, she just loves the softness. Because its so soft and slippery, I couldn’t refuse her even though this is pretty much all polyester and the fabric snob in my is screaming a little. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to cause much static!

Thats the three blankets I made 🙂 I quite enjoyed them and i love how much they are loved!

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Simple Double Layered Grey Rib Knit Dress

I’ve been wanting to make a simple long-sleeve, slightly-below the knee grey dress, mainly inspired by a bunch of grey-dress+leather jacket + scarf inspiration pins.

The pattern itself is simple enough – something I made many times before. This time, I wanted the fabric to be thick – I didnt want it to cling to every little features of my curve 😉 So I decided to double up the fabric and use two layers instead of the default one. And then I decided that instead of struggling without a cover stitch machine, I would simple serge the two fabric together at neckline, sleeve hem, and hemline, so that I’d have a pretty professional finishing on the edges without having the cover stitch. It came out great- stretchable and clean and not a thread in sight!

 

 

With me wearing it (sorry, no full body shots of the dress as i am feeling the lack of time to properly take photos of me wearing the dress!)

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I pretty much used much all the fabric I had available – because I doubled up, It came out knee-length only, but its nice and thick and warm, and works well with 👢 instead of sneakers in my original planned outfit. I feel the slight need to make two more – one short body con and one longer, midi length dress!

 

 


Water Resistent Trench Coat

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I’ve caught the trench coat bug since the last trench make. Trench coats do have a lot of details though, so I really only have the energy for one a year. Earlier this year I decided to try a raglan sleeve pattern with a water resistent (but cotton) fabric, and i really had to put the project aside because:

  1. The raglan sleeves just didnt look right on me – its a pretty stiff fabric so it looked oversized and boxy
  2. The top stitch thread I choose didnt look strong against the fabric
  3. the fabric slips under my presser foot, making sewing it not at all a pleasure
  4. I totally forgot to add a back flap – which REALLY bummed me out

I used BurdaStyle trench coat 09/2012. #103. I had to take in the sleeves and the sides by a bit – so the pattern does run a little big. (Ideally I would take it in from the top sleeve/shoulder seam but I already top stitched the seam and this fabric is not forgiving). I also added a sleeve extension so it hit my nuckles instead my of wrist.  My favorate part about this pattern is its generous collars – the ratio just seems right to me!

The fabric is a water resistant cotton coating/jacketing from fashion fabric club. Ive had pretty good luck finding nice trench coat material from them! The wrong side is coated for water resistance, so it was slippery to sew. the right side however, feels like soft brushed cotton. It feels really good on! I hope this coat softens over time as well.

Usually trench coats are not lined, and that’s probably better for drape as well. But I just cannot resistant a pop of color on the inside. I lined it with smooth cotton satin, and did my usual embroidery. I love how it looks and feels!

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I am so glad I picked this UFO back up and finished it. Now that its done – I am wearing it quite a lot for the fall! I cant wait for rain so I can see how it does in the water!

Now that I have hade a knee length trench coat and a mid-thigh trench coat, I am ready to think about my next, hip length trench coat! Maybe a more fitted one! 🙂

 


Asymmetrical Sweater Top

Made a quick top – took me a few weeks because, life. But I love the result – just in time for fall too! I became aware of this pattern because of Raliat’s version – and i just had to have one after seeing her outfit!

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I used a pattern – McCall 7194. The top was really long on me initially, I had to lower the whole arm hole/shoulder seam/neckline down by 3 inches to make it fit (thus both shortening the bodice and narrowing the shoulder. The two asymmetrical seams ended up starting from the arm hole – but it actually didn’t look bad. Next time though I think I might try to make this even shorter – maybe a 4 inch reduction.

The fabric is this quilted knit from Joann, and its very squishy and warm. I like the subtle difference in the “bubble” pattern on the top and bottom of the sweater from the way its aligned differently. The whole thing is serged together and zigzagged on the edges.

I love this outfit – something I gravitate towards in the fall – sweater, legging, and boots. Love that the legging’s front and back seams are covered by the hem so I feel a bit more modest, and yet the sides and high enough that its a good proportion on my petite frame. I am also wearing my hand made splats here- it goes quite well in this outfit!


Gatsby Summer Picnic Dress

This probably has never happened before – but I made a dress for an event!! I usually never make anything for a single purpose – not even for a wedding. But – I dont remember which came first – I loved Mary’s picnic dress in Downton Abbey but needed an excuse to make that dress; and I found out about this amazing Gatsby Summer Picnic a few years ago and needed a dress to go to the event. I also happened to have some red stripes +  the perfect lace from my dad in my stash I want to use up, and so, a dress is born!

 

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I also made a red velvet belt to go with it – I think if I wear this again though I will sew it in – it slipped around and didnt stay on the seam all day as I hoped. I re-used an umbrella from a friend’s wedding, an awesome friend bought me a vintage purse from an estate sale, plus amazon hat and necklace – the outfit is complete! (And of course being a dependent on my apple watch I had a hard time taking it on. so lets just say I was ahead of my times on the watch front!)

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This is my lovely date Tracy – we had a great time at the event together! She’s also the photographer for my outfit photos here 🙂 We were pleasantly surprised that the ride into the event from the gate was either vintage cars or horse carriage!! This is both our first times riding either.

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I am particularly proud of how the back fits on this dress. Usually store-bought dresses are too small for my hips area, but this one fits and shows off my junks nicely. Unfortunately I did gain 5-10lbs between the making of this dress and the event… so things were, a little snug.
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The lace is actually not sewn on – because I could not bear the thought of cutting it into two and fitting that into the zipper. so I just attached it with clear buttons.

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I should really probably end my post here and say I had a lovely time and was really inspired but all the lovely outfits and I will be back next year with an actual picnic spread… But I cannot resist posting the next as the last photo 🙂

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Anyone wants to join me next year? 🙂


The Office Spider

Its quite hot in the Bay Area lately and for some reason the office is pretty warm despite the AC. I felt the need for an unlined cotton dress for the office.

I found this barcode stripe stretchy cotton in my stash, and Ive had burdastyle’s sheath dress 2016/10 #105 printed out for a while. Decided the stripes + different pattern pieces would create some interesting visual effect. I was very aware that with a normal stripe (nota. Barcode one) the visual will be more consistent and better, but I m in destashing mode and didnt have any other better stripes in my stash.

I printed out the pattern @91% as usual and the pattern fit super well! I made no alteration. I didnt cut the front pieces on grain in order to achieve the spider-y pattern, but it seems to do fine and didnt have any weird sags. It was impossible to get every single line on the barcode stripe to match, I did as best as I could… trying to match the dark line here and there. I think it turned out good despite the chaotic lines.

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I cant wait to re-make this in normal stripes! There re several other stripe placements that would look great 🙂 Or maybe color block too! I love wearing this one to the office, comfortable and flattering 🙂 Oh and the name is because it looks like a spider web… not because I have spy everywhere in the office ^_^ (for all you game of throne watchers, tomorrow!!!!!)


Flirty Little Thing

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I made this little number, inspires by this dress. This is actually version number 2, as a result, I was a little short on fabric towards the end and decided to leave the dress unhemmed and a bit short. Luckily there was just enough fabric to make a teeny pair of shorts that I wear underneath as a boomer 🙂

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The top part is drafted from a basic 4-dart bodice piece. The rest are all pretty much gathered together with a gathering feet. This was made on the Juki machine and I had a lot of fun making it. The fabric is a pretty stiff cotton quilt-y fabric, and I think for what I wanted originally a rayon challis would be better. But I couldn’t find any tiny flowered blue rayon fabric.

I really like how it turned out. I wore it for a whole 3 days before letting it go in a wash! Normally I do not go around with a short dress like this, but the boomer solution made a huge change (its in fact longer than most shorts I wear out). I love how twirly this is, and its perfect for hot hot weathers when you dont want a bra on.

 

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