Black Fringed Scarf

My friend K and I had been friends forever. She’s probably my oldest friendship! We have not lived each other for almost 20 years, but we always keep tabs on each other throughout these days. She visited again me a year ago, and we went to the ocean one day. It was a little chilly and she put on my Pom Pom scarf and i thought she looked lovely.

So after she left I got some black rayon again with fringes this time (the Pom Pom catches too much lint) and made a quick scarf and mailed to her. Her husband recently took some photos of her for me to share!!

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From the beautiful lady herself:

‘This is my favorite scarf! It keeps me warm during winters at home. The scarf envelops all of my neck and shoulders and the ends are long enough to tuck in very well into my jacket. Yet it is not too bulky. I also travel everywhere with it because I get cold in airplanes and it doubles up as a blanket. Large enough to cover all of my body and keep me warm. The fringe makes it fashionable. Living with 2 cats, keeping their fur out of clothes is a real struggle. I don’t know what the material is but it keeps out fur. So even though it is black, I don’t need to be de-linting it all the time.’

I am so happy you love it K!

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Striped Shearling Moto Jacket

I struggled to pick a name for this jacket, because its been called the zebra jacket, the prison-escape jacket and the i’d-totally-wear-this-to-burning-man jacket. All three are very good descriptions and only one of them was meant to be a compliment 😂. But hey! I really really dig this jacket, much to hubby’s dismay.

This jacket was inspired/a copy of a jacket in this year’s gap commercial worn by Janelle Monae. I really loved the jacket, but I wasn’t going to pop $800 dollars on a jacket, esp something that is a little bit on the edgy side. Sooo… I made a copy!

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Perhaps not as professionally finished as a gap version, but a pretty damn good copy for a material list of under $50 dollars! First, some photos of my inspiration:

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Collecting material was not a just-from-the-stash affair. I found some cotton backed fake striped leather on etsy – its actually a very nice, soft material to sew with. It also drapes beautifully. Then some cheap shearling from Joanns, my go-to slippery black cotton sateen for lining, and a very cool pull-ring resin zipper from maybe a garage sale for a pop of red. (Oh the drama on that zipper! I tried to order two similar ones so I can do the pocket in the same zipper – but two order attempts from china and the colors are always off. After 2 months of wait, i finally gave up and sewed the pocket up with the leather material).

This is the inside of the jacket – I love looking at it being hung on a hanger because that logo just looks so sharp and centered!

Oh and I still wanted to put my full handle and time stamp somewhere, so I hid it in the pocket instead:

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Here is a shot where my hands are not in the pocket – I made the pocket very roomy. In fact, I can fit a small packet of opened chips in there and just eat from there – very useful when you have two little girls to run after who occassionally asks for chips.

 

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The pattern is McCall7694 by Melissa Watson, with the back modified into a single piece as the more designed back would have broken those stripes. I actually had made a muslin for both a motojacket from burdastyle and this one. The fit on this one was much more suitable – I chose a smaller size (size 6) since I have narrow shoulders. The shoulder/arm was perfectly fitted to my frame (I was surprised as its a one piece sleeve), and the bodice part was perfectly the right amount of oversized I had desired.

Then I had to do a lot of cutting up of the pattern since I had to divide between the striped and shearling part. The body and arm part was easy, but the lapel part was a little hard to deal with. I had made the bottom part of the lapel with lining – so that there isn’t too much shearling/bulk sitting on the lapel. The jacket could probably use better ironing before the photo shoot so the lapel sit flatter. But after all that work I think I would have been fine with just using shearling the whole front panel.

The jacket I was trying to copy had no stripes on the shoulder – just black leather. I would have loved to copy that as well, but it was a little too daunting to sew away the white parts 😆 so I got lazy and left it as striped.

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As you can tell, the jacket drapes quite well in the back. And this is my “prison jacket” shot 😆

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I really quite love this jacket even though its a bit controversial. I did dare to wear it to work. But honestly it might be a little too 🦓 for work. Hubby groans a little when I wear it with him, I guess he never fantasized about being the warden. So now it’s a jacket i wear when going to dance class (in fact when I wear here is something i wear to my dance class – we dance in those boots!) or when I have kids activities. I do love the fit tremendously, and the length is oh so flattering for my height – I feel tall without high heels! So I am probably going to make another one in a more conventional fabric. (Though part of me wants to go all out again, like a vibrant floral). Anyways! Thank you for reading!!

 

 


Black Maxi/Midi Dress

 

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One of my #2018makenine is this black maxi dress I’ve been eyeing for years. I was going to use this most luxurious rayon non-challis kind of fabric, but realize that is too heavy for a maxi, so i switched over to a very light weight black cotton eyelet.

I am very glad I did! This fabric picks up wind wonderfully. I did the math a little wrong and ended up using up every last bit of the fabric when the dress had hit right at my ankle – not my usual preferred length. I was about to add another inch or two of gathered black rayon fabric on the bottom when hubby caught sight of me trying the dress and declared the dress done, forbidding me from making any changes. I am glad he did! I end up quite liking this length. And the shorter length allowed me to move around without worrying much about it hitting the ground.

Pattern is a modified  burdastyle 07/2016 #101, i changed it from a wrap to a side zipper, curved the neckline in instead of out. Instead of a flounce I added two stripes of rectangle gathered.

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Here is wearing it without a bra underneath. It is a little risky of a cut. So for chasing around the kids I do wear a black bralette with it.

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I left the hem raw. But slightly tempted to go in and cut out the little half circles and leave it as a scalloped hem.

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BTW – the last three posts were all shot in Hawaii! in anticipation of my Hawaii trip I decided to start sewing summer dresses earlier. I was also quite busy at work the prior one month, I feel like Ive been a mad woman trying to get all the clothing done! (Plus a unblogged pair of pants which are really quite nice but unremarkable). Though it probably took less time to make all 6 garments than a coat!


Red polka dots

Hubby requested that I make a wrap dress with some kind of red fabric. So… i bought some rayon fabric and made myself a red wrap.

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The pattern is basically Burdastyle 10/2011 #123 with a flounce added on the bottom. I also cut the neckline a little lower.

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2210BA6A-7836-44DF-ACDA-F01B7E4C33D2I love how it looks in a twirl! I also made two little dresses for the girls:

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I used Tadah tea party dress – this time with a little cap sleeve and lower cut arm holes, and no closure at all. The neck hole is just big enough to slip their head through!

We wore the dresses plenty on a trip to Hawaii, though after day 1 we never seen to wear them at the same time. I guess not too much matching will happen in the future!!

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I love the dresses and I was extremely proud that I had just enough fabric to finish all three dresses. However, a few days later I discovered i already had exactly the same fabric in my stash and i didnt need to buy any!!!! Ugh. I really need to get my stash to a smaller state so I can remember all the fabric I have, or at least easier to dig through. #firstworldproblems 😂 Anyways, thank you for reading!!


Grey Swiss Dot Ralph Pink Dress

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I discovered Ralph Pink pattern when I was really into corset making two years ago. At some point I booked marked the Phaedra Drape to make, and I finally got around to making it!!

I decided to start with a cheaper, cotton Swiss dot fabic – its a little more structured, but given this is my first time using his patterns, I didnt want to put in my precious silks.

I loved the pattern! It is very well drafted and fits perfectly. Even though its a A shaped flowy dress, it feels like it still has a good, flattering shaping to it. Some tips on the pattern:

  • When I was making it, I wanted to have no seam between the pocket and the side panel, but the pattern pocket was marked on the wrong side for one of them
  • similar to  Emily’s tip on the pattern, I did my usual “stitch the neckline & armholes and just put one of the tubes in the other thing”.
  • The dress on the picture had extra panels in the front comparing to the line drawing. Some extra (easy) hack would be needed to do the two-fabric version

Other than that, this is an amazing pattern, and very simple to make up. I do find the opening for the legs a little restrictive when i am sitting around in weird positions (having an overly active 3 year old will put you in some weird positions!), and may make the entire bottom open next time when I make this up with similar stiff-ish fabric (which would change the shape drastically). Though as is i love the little thick interfacing on the bottom of the skirt! I also really like this neckline and racer back shaping – its nice to have a satisfying shape without having to fiddle with it.

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I cant wait to make my next version!  Thank you for reading!


Pale Pink Coat

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I was never a girly girl. I didnt quite own any pink in my wardrobe as of a year ago. I put pink in my engineering presentation as an intern because I thought it was funny. Yet lately I’ve been very drawn to pale pink. I am not sure if its because I have two girly girls who loves pink – all of sudden I got pink flats and pink purses. So of course, I felt the need for a pink coat!

As usual I decided to use BurdaStyle Talea pattern and just alter it for the look I want. (I was going to make it with the Gerard pattern in my #2018makenine plans but chickened out last minute because I wasn’t sure if I can really pull off the oversized shoulder… there’s just no way to try it on without a large investment of time! #sewingproblems)  I put in a kick pleat, which I am really getting a hang of – I only had to watch the tutorials about 3 times before I remembered how to do it.

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I made it double breasted and a slightly exaggerated lapel. I also used a simple stripe of rectangle as the collar. (And the decision on how the collar should be was quite a democratic instagram exercise!) I am quite pleased with how the collar turned out! It is quite different than any designs Ive seen, and I have been patting myself on the collar for coming up with it as i went.

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I used two different fabric for lining – silk chaemeuse remnant for the sleeves because its slipper and I didnt have a lot, and a poly-rayon mix left over from my last coat project. Of course, white embroidery of my logo for a personal touch.

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On the down side – I was on the last stretch of this not-so-fusing fusible interface from walmart, and it stopped sticking to the fabric half way through the project :\ it creates a not so sharp look for the front pieces and makes me regret buying fusible from Walmart. Lesson learnt – do not cheap out on interface!

The buttons are something I didnt cheap out on – they are amazing vintage buttons I found on etsy. I searched for navy buttons (to match with jeans easily) and this is a double navy! There was only 12 so I had a lot of thought exercise about whether I had the budget to put buttons int he back and on the sleeves and on the shoulders… in the end I decided I wanted them to be all visible from the front. I am glad – it looks very nicely this way! It was very hard to get the buttons symmetrical for me though!

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I love my new coat! I am actually in great needs for lighter color coats as I am starting to gravitate towards more fun colors – I really only have my blue one in that category so this expanded my wardrobe choices quite a bit. It makes me want to make more neutral but colored pieces!

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Thank you for reading along!! I have been really thankful for all of you (even the ones I don’t know about) for reading about my obsessions with my sewing projects – it truly makes me happy to share it with you all!


Mini Me cat dress

Little A’s very first solo photo shoot!! I fiiiinally made a dress for little A. She saw me with the cat dress over the summer and would tell me “mama can you make that dress for meeeeee?” in the cutest little begging voice. Of course!! I made the dress per her request and she loves it! The only thing i wish I added was some pockets.

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This is the very first fully lined dresss Ive made for the girls. The result is a very sturdy feeling, almost vest-ish warm dress – I love it! It’s great for her in spring/autumn/winter. Also love the exposed zipper! I used the Tadah Tea party dress pattern as usual.

I had thought about making one for little K so we can all match, but she doesn’t seem to have the affinity for the fabric like little A does. still got some more of this delicious fabric in my stash!