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Let’s Catch Up

Happy Fall Guys!

Today is my first official post of the season and it’s such a perfect and beautiful day here in Georgia.

Although Autumn started a couple weeks back, we have been experiencing record breaking 90+ degree temperatures here.
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But today is different.  It’s really nice and cool here out on the deck, I wish you were here!

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Since it’s been a while since my last post, I am super excited to start catching you guys up on my life and some of the projects that I’m working on.

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To keep this post from being EXTRA long, I am breaking it up into multiple posts that I’ll be releasing over the next few weeks.

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My next post will potentially be the most revealing and most uncomfortable post written to date, but I feel like it’s some thing that I need to share with you guys.

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I should be finishing up my next post within the next day or so and hopefully releasing it before the week is out.
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I should also be finishing up and posting a freshly sewn outfit as well.
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So please stay tuned……
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Angie H.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Slit Front Maxi Outfit

Hey Guys,

Today I’m featuring another couple of thrifted gems that I recently picked up from my local Goodwill.

I really feel like I hit the jackpot that day because I ended up with 4 blazers, 2 pair of shorts, 1 pair of pants, 3 tops, 1 kimono topper, a 2-piece pants set and this forest green slit front maxi skirt.

Although it’s extremely important to me that I love and wear all of the pieces in my closet. I don’t ever want to get into a style rut.

While I really do love classic styles they can sometimes become a little stale, and often too predictable.

For this reason, I like to shake things up a bit by trying out different colors, updated classic styles, or vintage pieces.

Thrifting definitely makes it easier and more affordable for me to do this.

Details

It’s official, dark green is now one of my new favorite colors. Can you tell?

I was in love with this dark green beauty the second I laid eyes on it.

Although it is a size large and has a front slit , I knew that lowering the split or taking in the skirt would be easy fixes.

Thankfully I didn’t have to do either because the skirt fit me perfectly.

Styling

  • A demure top. Because of the front split, I decided that I wanted a white top with a high neckline . This layered ruffle front Zara basics top that I found was perfect.
  • A pair of matching double tiered Forest Green tassel earrings that I made using 8 skeins of embroidery thread.
  • My favorite black faux fur clutch and a pair of black open toe sandals.

Thrifting Success

Lately I’ve been making some pretty good choices for myself. I’m loving, wearing and keeping most of the items that I am picking up.

Probably one of the best tips that I can pass on to you guys is to try on your pieces.

See how they look, feel, and fit on your body. I didn’t do this with a couple of pieces that I bought and unfortunately they didn’t work for me. Had I taken just an additional 5 minutes to try them on I would have saved myself the $9 that was spent.

Trying on clothes at thrift stores can sometimes be a real pain because dressing rooms are either limited or non existent but don’t let this deter you. The investment of time will pay off in the long run.

Pro Tip. One tip that I learned from a pro-thrift shopper is to wear a close fitting top, and leggings when shopping, so that pieces can be tried right on the sales floor.

Have any good thrifting tips to share? If so, please feel free to drop them in the comments below.

Until next time…..

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1950’s Inspired M6886

Hey Guys,

I’ve been sewing up a storm these past few weeks. I have several pieces to post over the next 3 weeks.

Today’s post is another M6886 dress made up in a black soft and luscious Mohair. This dress is destined to be a fast favorite.

I love this dress so much. It’s got a vintage classy vibe that takes me back to the time period that my mom was born….the 1950’s.

I love this pattern so much because it can be manipulated in so many ways designwise. By just changing up the fabric a dress made using this pattern can easily go from effortless casual to super dressy.

Pattern Adjustments

  • Because my waist sits high on my body, I removed 1.5 inches between the bust and waistline.
  • I added 1.5 inches between the waist and hips.
  • I cut a size 14 and increased the hips to a size 18.

How I Wore It

For this version I added a super long sash that can either be worn double wrapped around the waist (as shown here) or left hanging long.

This dress doesn’t need much when it comes to accessories. I added an off-white beaded statement necklace and snake print heels.

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The Button Front A-Line Maxi – Mccalls 7906

Hi Guys,

I was missing in action the last month due to a severe bout of Anxiety.

On top of losing a lot of sleep, I was experiencing chest pains, body aches, nausea, and terrified of driving or having to interact with other people.

After giving up caffeine, overhauling my diet and taking a break to get some much needed rest, I am happy to say that I am feeling so much better.

I still have a couple of cool weather pieces that I made back in February/March that I haven’t posted yet but the seasons have changed on me now. Here in GA we are about to start seeing 80 plus degree days, which are not the temps to be taking pics wearing a coat.

Today’s post is a skirt that I made for March Sew Your View on Instagram.

This skirt was a bit of a struggle for me because:

1. I don’t think that I naturally gravitate towards button front garments, particularly styles that are closer fitting. In RTW ( Ready To Wear) I always seem to have trouble with gaping in the bust and thigh areas as these are fuller parts on my frame.

2. Before this skirt I hadn’t sewn a button hole in over 20 years and back when I did years ago, I don’t remember my sewing machine making it quite so easy

3. I am an impatient sewer. I love instant gratification but pressing pleats, sewing on 7 buttons and 1 hook (which I haven’t done yet), topstitching, handstitched facings and hems do not happen instantly.

Despite my struggles, I am glad to say that I pushed through and ended up with a great a-line button front maxi skirt that I absolutely adore.

To cinch and also visually lower my high waistline I added a black belt to match my black button down shirt.

I even love the top of the waistline without belt with this style

PATTERN REVIEW

Pattern Description: Very full pleated skirts worn 2″ above the waist. I made view C/D without the carriers.

Pattern Sizing: I sewed a size 16 based on my waist measurements.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I don’t think you can tell from my picture that, this is the same skirt. The pleats really got lost in the print and mine is longer.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I don’t know why but I get so confused with pleats so I was glad to see that Brittany Jones has a tutorial for this skirt on youtube. I watched her video and also read the instructions all the way through before tackling the skirt. This made everything go so much easier.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I am an impatient seamstress so the handsewing was a challenge for me. Not the sort of project that I can whip up in 3-4 hours.

Fabric Used: A 60″ leopard print twill that I picked up from one of the local fabric outlets.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 13 inches and reduced the hem to 1inch to get the length that I wanted.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I haven’t made a garment with buttons in over 20 years so when I saw that this was the Sew Your View project hosted on IG by ThatSewMonica for March, I thought that this was a good piece to brush up on my skills. I don’t plan to make another, but I do recommend it if you like this style. It makes up really nicely in the Midi length.

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The Leopard Print Midi Pencil Skirt & Victoria Beckam Inspired Turtleneck – Mccall’s 7843 & Kwicksew 4069

The Leopard Print Skirt

Pattern Description: Close-fitting skirt with elastic waist and side slit. 2 lengths. I made view B

Pattern Sizing: I made a 16 at the hips and 14 at the waist.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t really need them. This was an easy make with only 3 pieces.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Initially I wasn’t sure I’d like this style on me because of my full thighs. It doesn’t fall straight from the hips….it definitely pegs in at the hemline…but once it was completed and styled I love it.

Fabric Used: I used Neoprene.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No changes to the pattern were made except I sewed the slits at the height that I visually liked.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I’m not sure that I’ll make another but I’ll hold on to the pattern just incase I need to make a replacement leopard print skirt. I would recommend it if you like this style.

Conclusion:
Easy and Stylish!

Victoria Beckham Inspired Turtleneck

Firstly I found this pattern at Walmart under the Name of Mccalls but it’s the exact same pattern. I think it cost me less than $3.

Pattern Sizing: I cut a medium and grated to a large at the hips

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No. I used it to create a Victoria Beckham inspired design. The neck height has been increased and the sleeves have been redesigned.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that the size lines are separated. I love that it also has shaping at the waist. I hated the neck it was shorter and fuller than I like mine but this was an easy fix. I decreased the width and increased the height to my liking. I probably should have raised the neckline but I didn’t…and it came out great.

Fabric Used: Fleece Lined Jersey that I purchased from the Fabric Joint. It’s such a nice fabric with a wonderful drape. I’ve used it in 3 other projects recently.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As mentioned above I changed the neck and sleeve

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. Ive made another with a stretch crepe with bishop sleeves. I definitely recommend this pattern but as stated by others before me, you may have to make some alterations but nothing too complicated.

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Bloom Where You’re Planted – A Floral Maxi Dress

About a year ago, I decided to go on a Disposable and Fast Fashion fast. While I am still not making purchases from larger retailers, I have begun to make purchases from local small businesses. Today’s look is this creamy white bold floral maxi that I picked up from a pop-up shop that was hosted by a local retailer that I met over on Instagram. Per the label, it was made in the USA and is a super soft and comfy blend of Polyester (95%) and Spandex (5%) that doesn’t require dry cleaning.

I really, really love this dress. Floral prints are not my usual taste but I was really drawn to this one. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down, literally! While it has this pretty, romantic Marie Antoinette vibe that is USUALLY NOT me, it’s expressed in a way that is me. The florals are bold and the colors are unexpectedly earthy like me.

How I Wore It

I paired it with a dainty rose gold earring and necklace set and rosegold framed aviator style sunglasses.

and this dark green Michael Kors satchel that was gifted to me by a dear friend.

and these fun Rose Gold open toe ruffle accented chucky heeled sandals.

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Setting Up A Sewing Space When You Don’t Have A Spare Room

Carving out a creative space in a home where there is not a room to spare can be real tricky . This was the challenge that I recently faced when I had to trade my 6’×9′ sewing nook for a home based office.

After carefully considering every square inch of my 1600 sq ft home, the most suitable space for sewing ended up being our Dining Room which is a part of an L-Shaped Living & Dining Room Combo.

Admittedly, setting up space for sewing in a public space that has to pull double duty is not easy but with a little forethought, planning, and good storage it can work out well.

Today I’ll be sharing a few pictures of my new sewing space along with some of the storage solutions and tricks that I’ve used to keep my creative space functional and tidy.

If you are in a similar situation as mine and you have some tips to share, please drop a line or two in the comment section below.

Why I Chose My Dining Room

Sitting and sewing in this room on a sunny day is the best!

The main reason I am using my dining room is because I like where it’s situated in the house. While I don’t have a door for closing it off from the rest of the house, it occupies the part of the house that I don’t spend a lot of time in. And although it sits near the front entrance to the house, it sits back off to the left side of my living room space, so it’s not readily seen by visitors.

I also like that it isn’t carpeted. Straight pins and wall to wall carpet can quickly become a safety hazard. Having the hard floor covered with a low pile rug eliminates this issue.

As a bonus, the space also sits near a pair of French doors which open to the outside and it has high ceilings, which makes it a really airy and light filled space.

Dispersing & Purging

Before making the move, I took inventory of my sewing machines, sergers, sewing patterns, notions, and fabric stash. After doing so, I quickly realized that there was no way that I would be able to move all of my sewing stuff into my small 10 X 10 Dining Room. To make the space work I would have to get rid of some things and move some other things around .

Because I wanted the Dining Room to primarily look like and also function as a dining space, I needed to keep my dining table, chairs and buffet. But keeping these pieces would mean that I wouldn’t be able to add much more to the space.

Prior to the move I had purchased a shallow 3 drawer storage cabinet to hold my 200+ sewing pattern collection. With no space in my Living Room or Dining Room to accommodate the piece, I decided that it would be a good opportunity for me to reduce my pattern stash.

My former Pattern Storage Cabinet sits in my home office and now holds my other non-sewing Crafting Supplies. I reduced from 200+ sewing patterns down to around 50 – 60.

I decided to take a different approach with my fabric. Although I have purged a few pieces, I decided to keep most of my fabric. I placed off season fabric in boxes that are being stored on a shelf in the top of a bedroom closet. Current season textiles,not planned for immediate use are being stored in my foyer inside a painted black wooden bench and in my office inside a pair of rolling stacking wicker chests.

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This is the black painted storage bench that sits in my foyer. I purchased this storage bench unfinished and used it to hold my kid’s school supplies for many years, but now that I only have one kid in school, I don’t need to store as many school supplies, so I am now using the bench to hold my seasonal fabrics.

I found these roomy stacking wicker chests at my local Home Goods. They also hold seasonal fabrics. The most awesome thing about these is that the larger one has wheels on the bottom which makes moving  around my heavy fabrics really easy.

Sewing supplies and notions were moved to my dining buffet after I reorganized and cleaned out the stuff that wasn’t needed or being used. I usually sit right in front of the Buffet while sewing, so it’s really easy for me to get to any sewing notions or tools that I might need while cutting out or sewing.

Perhaps one of my favorite features in the space is my PGM dress form. It’s awesome how what she is wearing matches the room decor.

To accommodate my sewing machine, serger, sewing patterns, and a few notions I was able to add a tall shelf in the corner. To keep my machines from being the focus, I placed them on the lower shelf and placed more decorative items on the higher shelves.

I only made one storage purchase for the space and that was a wicker storage chest to hold fabrics for my current projects.

Here’s the tall metal and wood shelf that I moved from my former sewing nook. The top 4 shelves hold a lamp, decorative items, zippers in jars, and the wicker chest filled with my sewing patterns. My sewing machine and serger are sitting  out of the way on the bottom shelf .

Both sewing and cutting take place on my Dining Table. I keep both of my self healing cutting mats hidden under a protective table pad and table cloth.

I use a table pad/protector underneath my table cloth to protect my cutting mats from spills and heat.

In the Living Room, I use a couple of shelves in a black painted cabinet to store my iron, 2nd serger and sewing machine. I even store some items under my skirted sofa in the Living Room like my over sized cardboard cutting board, pattern tracing paper and interfacing on the bolt.

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I purchased this piece from Home Depot a few years ago. It is part of their Home Decorator collection. It is one of the smartest purchase that I have ever made. In addition to holding sewing supplies, it now holds a small library of books, my daughter’s school supplies and a few other random items.

Keeping It Tidy

Perhaps the biggest challenge of sewing in a public space is keeping it tidy. Unfortunately there isn’t a magic pill to fix that dilemma but good storage is definitely key.

Hidden Storage. In order to make that as easy as possible, I have incorporated a lot of hidden storage. In fact, much of what I use for sewing is stored behind closed doors and I love it that way because the spaces where I sew and store my sewing stuff are also my receiving and entertaining spaces.

Convenient Storage. Because the sewing and storage areas are convenient to one another, setting up and breaking down the space for sewing is relatively quick, easy, and painless.

Additionally, items I use most often are stored in the dining room and items that I use less frequently are stored elsewhere but still close by.

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The Bardot Top – M7686

Pattern Description:
Close fitting off the shoulder tops elasticized neckline and sleeve variations. I sewed view F.

Pattern Sizing: 6 – 14. I sewed a size 14 but I should have sewn a 12. This pattern has a good amount of ease.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes. It did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? No dislikes

Fabric Used: I found a fleece backed Jersey knit at one of the local discount fabric stores.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No alterations or design changes on this one…..I do think that my fabric was a little too thick, but it still worked out. The fleece lining made it extremely comfortable and warm to wear in the cool weather.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I am not sure that I will need another top like this one anytime soon but I will hang on to the pattern just in case. This is a classic style.

Conclusion: Great pattern. Very quick and easy.

Love how it pairs with my new satin half circle skirt.

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The Pretty Satin Skirt & The Thrifted Black Sweater

One of my goals this year is to add more thrifted/rescued pieces to my wardrobe.

Three years ago I realized that I wasn’t making the best choices when I shopped second hand. As a rule, much of what I was buying would end up right back at the thrift store.

So I took some time off from shopping second hand so that I could get crystal clear about my style and also establish some ground rules before making any more purchases.

Basically, I decided that I will ONLY purchase items that I would be willing to pay full retail for and pieces that I would actually wear regularly in real life.

These are also the rules that I currently live by when it comes to choosing items that I sew.

The pieces in today’s outfit post definitely embody and embrace my current ideals.

In today’s post, I am wearing a fun self drafted green satin half circle skirt paired with a thrifted black high neck cropped rabbit angora sweater.

Although a little fancy, I think this piece is very versatile. It can be dressed up or down with just a simple change of top, shoes and accessories.

I accesorized the outfit with:

  • A black and gold accented clutch
  • Black suede/Calf-hair leopard print pumps
  • Gold Statement Earring & Necklace Set and stacked thin gold bangle bracelets.

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The Green Velvet Wide Leg Pants – M7757

When clothes don’t fit properly it can make you feel like there is something wrong with your body but the truth of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with your body.

Your body is Unique and Exceptional & Ready To Wear (RTW) can’t handle that!

While our bodies come in different shapes and sizes RTW clothes usually do not. RTW pieces are made to a standard set of measurements to accomodate mass production. And the same is true with sewing patterns (exception-custom ordered patterns), they are also drafted to a standard set of measurements.

That being said, when it comes to sewing, even a simple style can initially take a little extra time and effort to properly fit. Take these simple wide leg pants for example. There are only 3 pattern pieces but I had to make a test garment to ensure that the pants fit me.

As it turns out, the crotch was hanging too low in the back,and the waistline needed to be graded down on the side seams to a small/xtra small and I added 2 inches to the leg length.

Based on needed alterations and fabric choice an 1 – 2 hour project can turn into a half of day project. But it’s all so worth it, when the project turns out well.

Pattern Description: off the shoulder top and trousers! Loose fitting tops with an elasticised neckline and waist. Also features sleeve variations. The loose fitting, pull on trousers have an elasticised waist and pockets.

Pattern Sizing: XS – M

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Sort of.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I did not use them but these are super easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved that the pants only have 3 pieces. Now that I have worked out the fit to my liking I plan to modify and use this pattern for all of my stretch fabric pull on wide leg pants. as a staple pattern.

Fabric Used: Olive Green Stretch Velvet from Fine Fabrics

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I raised the back crotch 1.5 inches because my pants pull down in the back seat area. I eliminated the pockets because I was using a clingy velvet and didnt want the bulk. I added 2 inches to the hem and left the edges raw because I don’t mine them like that. If I make another pair with intentions of hemming, I will add a couple more inches. I didn’t want a roll down casing, so I created a seperate casing for the elastic. I like that look better for these pants.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. I only plan to sew 3 pant styles this year and this style and pattern made the cut.

Conclusion:
Overall, I am really pleased with how these turned out.

How I Wore It

I paired my wide leg pants with a thrifted fitted Saks Fifth Avenue black wool sweater.

I added a Black Contemporary gridded statement necklace, stacked gold thin bangle bracelets and gold framed aviator sunnies.

I added a gold accented clutch and black pointed toe sling backs.