I’m not panicking, you’re panicking!

So my anxiety has been escalating as each day passes. My engagement party is on Sunday, which will be the first real time my family and my fiance’s family will be together for any period of time. So the thought of all that is very stressful (I don’t have the greatest relationship with my family, so spending time with them in any manner is stressful, and when they’ll be invading in my personal safe space… well it’s kind of a mental bomb right now)

So this has lead to a lot of executive dysfunction for me. I haven’t been able to get any sewing projects finished. And as for knitting, I’ve been picking up and putting down every project I have on the needles and doings a few rows, putting it down, picking up a different project, knitting a few rows, repeat.


Though I am nearly finished with my “skimmer socks” they’re socks designed to be worn with flats or ballet flats. I just thought they’d be fun to have in my sock drawer. I’m not following any specific pattern, I’ve been looking at quite a few and just picking up little bits from each and incorporating it into my pair, but for the most part I’m following my own sock recipe and doing things as I think they should be done. I’m looking to create a pattern for these and possibly use it to sell some finished ones in the shop. I’ll probably use a sport weight yarn for any that I sell, just so that I can get them finished a lot faster than the light fingering weight yarn that I’m currently using for this prototype pair.
So yes, I’m on the ribbing on those and should be finished with them in the next day or two, with the way things are going. I’ve made a little progress on the two hats I’m working on (the Brioche Cable Hat and the Tied Knots Hat).


I’ve gotten a decent amount worked up on my Afetos Shawl. I’m working one of the garter sections right now in a variegated Linen/Tencel yarn I picked up from a local shop while in California in June, the lace sections I’ve been using the same base of yarn but it’s a light teal color that complements the variegated yarn but isn’t the same color as any of the ones in the variegated. They’re all a light mid-tone color in various shades of blue and grey, so the light tealish blue matches well while also being different enough to make the lace pop just a bit more.

The Color Me Kale Cowl that I’m working on for my Fiance’s Sister’s Husband is chugging along slow and steady. It’s going pretty slow because it’s pretty much entirely purling, and I’m not a fan of purling. The pattern design is worth it though, it looks great and isn’t too feminine or too bold, but just a nice texture that also squishes up the yarn a bit which will be nice when wearing as it’ll be a bit warmer. I’m hoping by the end of this cowl, I’ll be better and quicker at purling, and maybe I’ll find a way to do the motion without it hurting my hand.

And I really want to cast on another sweater for myself, this time in some DK weight yarn I have but I want to get at least another project off the needles before I start another one.

As for Sunday, I have everything planned out in my little planner of what I’m cooking/baking/prepping on what days. SO I just need to take a lot of deep breathes, and maybe a xanax or two, and just do it. I’ll be preparing the full menu, minus the meat dish. So my menu will look a little like this:

Arugula fruit and berry salad with sunflower seeds and homemade blueberry balsamic dressing
Blanched Green Beans
Oven Roasted Potatoes
Warm Chickpea and Artichoke Salad with Italian Seasonings
Gluten Free Vegan Baked Ziti
(Apricot Chicken)

Gluten Free/Vegan Chocolate cookies
Gluten Free/Vegan Chocolate chip Cookies
3 Variations of Homemade Vegan Ice Cream (to make ice cream sandwiches with the cookies or as a dessert itself)
Coconut Whipped Cream (for a topping and/or for whoopie pies with the cookies)
Gluten Free Chocolate chip Cookie Crust Vegan Cheesecake Bites
Gluten Free/Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting

So I have my work cut out for me since all of this, minus the chicken, will be made by me. So Friday will be making the cheesecakes, cupcakes, and the buttercream (though the cupcakes won’t be frosting until Sunday). Saturday will be prepping the sauce for the ziti, prepping the chickpea/artichoke salad, prepping the salad and the dressing, and baking/making all the desserts. Sunday Morning will be spent getting ready and prepping and baking the ziti, prepping and cooking the potatoes, blanching the green beans, cooking the chickpea/artichoke salad, and the fiance’s mom will be making the chicken in the crockpot and frosting the cupcakes with my future sister in law decorates the house.

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Capsule progression

Even though my depression has been hitting me very hard lately, I’ve managed to make progress with my sewing and knitting.

Continue reading “Capsule progression”

September Plans: Sewing and Knitting

As I’ve talked about extensively already, I have a lot of plans for sewing for my fall and winter capsule. I have a few specific things that I’d like to get finished this month. 

First up: I purchased some Olive Ponte Roma from fabric.com recently that I have plans to make a pair of pants. I’m going to use the Sew Over It City Break Capsule ebook with the Mia Jeans pattern. I’ve made these before in a thick black ponte and it was love at first try on. So these are definitely on my top priority list. 


Next in line: 

Some light grey shorts using my tried and true plantain tee pattern. I have enough for 3 and maybe a color blocked 3rd one with some of the other jersey scraps in my stash. 


3rd up: 

A green linden sweater. I have an olive/army green sweater knit and I have a true green sweater knit. I’m not sure which I’ll pick to sew this month, but it will be a green one for sure. 


And last in line:

I need to stitch up some new bras for myself since our new washing machine mangled the underwires in my favorite bras. I’m going for a lace one first and then play around with some other fabric combos. So I’ll need to order some more underwire. 

I’m also working on a pair of slippers and warmer inserts for my sisters birthday next week. They are out of scraps of black with floral quilting cotton and black flannel lining. I’m going to use my hot glue gun to put some grip on the bottom. The inserts will be just plain quilting cotton filled with rice and sewn sections off. 


As for knitting, I’m working on a pattern for low socks to go in ballet flats. If I figure out a good pattern and enjoy making them I may sell them in the shop. 

I’ve also picked up my burgundy sweater that I started at the beginning of the year and am hoping to finish it. I just need to do the sleeves and I was only planning on making them short sleeves, about elbow length. So it should be pretty easy to get finished. 


Other than that I’m working on a cowl for my fiancés brother-in-law. It’s out of a nice olive green (do you see a color trend for this month?) colored yarn. His birthday is the beginning of October, so I have a deadline for this one to get finished by. 


So lots of plans! Now I just need to get sewing! Which has been difficult due to my depression hitting me hard lately. But I’m hoping that since I have concrete plans it should be a little easier to get one seen item finished each week. 

August Roundup and Overview

August has been very up and down. My sew-jo was either nonexistent or flowing pretty freely for short bursts.

First up: Sewing for the shop:

I had a handful of orders for the shop this month. A cute silky cream and grey bra with white power mesh. A high waist pantie and bra set in black power mesh and blue floral fabric with picot elastic. A blue sequined mermaid bra with a white base. A red velvet bodysuit with underwire. Another of the black with blue floral high waist panties. I also finished a pair of panties with floral and black mesh for the shop to match the newer bra I listed out of the same purple and black floral with black lace and mesh.

I’m hoping I get a good amount of orders in September, because money and keeping busy is always nice.

Sewing: Capsule!

I managed to sew a whole 2, count ’em, TWO, items for my capsule this month. Both happened to be black, made from sweater knits (the same sweater knit to be exact), layering pieces, cardigans, and patterns from seamwork mag….  First up is the Oslo Cardigan, which is a loose fitting tunic length cardigan with a shawl collar and optional button closure (That I omitted for this one). And the second, and my most recent finish is the Wembley Cardigan. It’s an asymmetrical cropped cardigan. The back is shorter than the front pieces, which end in a diagonal point in the front, which looks really nice and is great for tying the front of the cardigan if you’d like something a little more figure hugging.

Knitting:

I managed to finish a hat and a SWEATER. My first real sweater, and it isn’t even for me. This sweater will be a Christmas present for my Fiance, it’s the Drangey Pullover by Stephen West. The hat is the Tied Knots Hat by Justyna Lorkowska knit out of Knit Picks Hawthorne Sport in the Aurora Borealis colorway. This hat pattern is so gorgeous, I will definitely be making another in the future. As for this one, I think it will be going into my Christmas gift pile, as it’s just not screaming “me”, you know?

So, I did manage to get a lot done, just not as much as I would have hoped. But given the depressive funk I’ve been trapped in for most of the month, I did a damn good job at powering through and making things anyway.

So Here’s to hoping for a great September Sew-Jo!

Mo-Jo Maybe? Sewing has been done!

So I did manage to get a little bit of sewing and things done this past week. Finally! I worked on my capsule, really planned it out, and started getting some things worked on for it. I made a cardigan that was a huge success, and another (different) cardigan is cut out and pinned, all ready to be sewn up. We also had my cousin’s 6th birthday party, which I made some beautiful cupcakes for.

I decided to clean out my dresser drawers to really see what I have and to organize what has turned into a mess of unfolded clothes. I started another bag of donation items and threw out a few items. I have 2 stacks of shirts that if they don’t get worn by winter, I need to donate them, they’ve all just been sitting in my drawer, untouched for a long time. So I’m working on creating items and outfits that involve them, now it’s just about actually putting them on! Mainly they are smaller shirts with nerdy/geeky graphics on them (think The Avengers, Power Rangers, Pokemon, etc.) so I usually wear them as a crop top as they are shorter (read: kid’s size) but I don’t often wear high waist bottoms in order to wear these tops with. So I have 2 pairs of high waist pants and have another pair planned (with fabric for it on the way).

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Other than that, my drawers are looking much emptier than they were. Though this will definitely change once my sweaters come back out of storage.

Shop Progress:

I have been working on a mermaid bra order. So I’ve been hand stitching a ton of seashell sequins onto the cups. One cup is finished and I will be doing all the finishing touches to that side today and starting the sequins on the other cup. I’m hoping to have it done this weekend to go out for monday. 20994078_10154891879803441_5832685707598067480_n

I also have a red velvet body suit order that I’m waiting on more fabric to come in for that. So I haven’t worked on that one yet.

Speaking of ordering fabric… I may have purchased some more (from fabric.com)… Like I don’t have enough in my stash already, right? But I needed to order some fabrics for the shop and I figured I might as well get a few things to make the shipping cost more worth it. (Always an excuse, right?)

So I picked out some Olive Ponte Roma fabric for another pair of the Sew Over It Mia Jeans, since I love that pair so much and I love olive colored things but don’t seem to own anything olive anymore. Plus that’s within my Fall Capsule Sewing Plans and color schemes.

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I picked up some Burgundy/Wine Double Brushed Poly for a pair of leggings. Again, within my fall capsule plans and color scheme. Plus with everyone on the P4P facebook group raving about how awesome DBP is for leggings, I figured I should give it a shot!

Next on the list was some fleece. I picked some inexpensive Burgundy Fleece for an Oslo Cardigan/Coat. I’m really excited about this one. I’m all for comfy cozy outerwear that I can wear around the house and just head out to run errands in without having to switch jackets out. I can already see myself wearing this to death.

Last up was some grey Chambray for a button down shirt for my Fiance. He has an awesome button down that’s grey chambray and I want to recreate it. I love the way it looks and the little details and he’s been wearing it a lot and I love the way it looks on him. But it’s pretty old at this point and starting to fray at some of the seams. So I want to try to recreate it. This will probably be his birthday present, since I have already knit him a sweater for Christmas. (and I’m working on a hat with the leftover yarn from the sweater)

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So I have a lot of fabric and a lot of plans. Now I just need to get my butt moving to start sewing it all!

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for: The Cardigan I finished! I made the Oslo Cardigan by Seamwork Magazine by Colette Patterns. I used a cheap very lightweight black sweater knit (it was one of those $1 knits from Walmart). I figured I would test the pattern with something cheap before digging into my nicer sweater knits.

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I made a straight size xsmall with no adjustments! And it fit wonderfully. I might size up for the fleece version, just because the fleece doesn’t stretch and is much thicker. But so far I will definitely be making more of this size as is in my other sweater knits. I may add some pockets to my next version too.

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The pictures that Seamwork has of the oslo don’t show much of the actual fit, they focus on the little details. The details are great and I want to see them, but I want to see the actually fit and shape of the item too! But overall the pattern ended up working out and being what I was looking for in a longer cardigan. It’s loose but not super oversized, it has a nice shawl collar, the sleeves are long, but I’m only 5’0″ so that’s to be expected. I did find that the cuffs were extraordinarily long, to the point where I thought I was sewing it wrong, but nope, I got it right. So, I’ll be keeping the cuffs folded up in half, or even folded up twice. But I do like thick cuffs and I tend to fold my sweatshirt cuffs up anyway, so this isn’t a deal breaker by any means. Though I will be cutting down the length of the cuffs for the fleece version as it’ll be a lot harder to fold up with the already double thickness of the fleece.

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Other than that, I’ve been knitting on the socks for my friend, they’re slowly progressing. I also started working on a hat for my fiance with the leftover yarn from his sweater. I’m using the “Brioche Cable Hat” by Marilynn Blacketer. My main color is the dark navy and my contrasting color is the turquoise. And after many tried of casting on an intricately cabled cowl, I gave up and decided on my 2nd option of the Color Me Kale Cowl by Nichole Call  this cowl will hopefully be finished by the end of September for my Fiance’s brother in law’s birthday. I’m using a sage green yarn from loops and threads woolike. I’ve done a few rounds on it, but I only started it last night.

So I have a lot of projects to keep me busy over the next month or so. Now hopefully I can get them done!

Sew-Jo has been a No-Go

I’ve seemed to slid into an unmotivated sewing state. My depression has snuck up on me lately and has zapped me of my motivation. On the plus side, I’ve been doing a lot of planning and prepping and a ton of mindless knitting.

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I’ve managed to complete my orders, only one more left to make for now. The first was a silky cream and grey floral print with sheer white mesh bra. The second was a lovely set of a bra and high waist underwear using a blue floral fabric with black mesh and picot elastic.

I picked up some cheap, $1 knit fabrics from a Walmart on my way home from a cardiologist appointment on friday. I figured if they had anything decent I’d pick some up to use as wearable muslin fabrics. I ended up with 14 yards of fabric! 2 yards of a mauve/blush tone jersey knit, 3 yd light grey jersey knit, 4 yards of green sweater knit, and 5 yards of black sweater knit. All are very lightweight and a bit sheer, but usable for wearable muslins for all the cardigans and things I’d like to make.

I washed all but the green sweater knit so far, but I’m hoping to get that in the wash tonight. And I printed out the Seamwork Oslo Cardigan pattern and managed to tape and cut that out. I’m working on cutting the oslo out of the black sweater knit today. I’m planning on printing the Seamwork Wembley cardigan out tonight or tomorrow.

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Otherwise I have a few plantain tees planned for the new jersey knits, a linden sweatshirt out of one of the sweater knits, an oslo from the sweater knit, a wembley from the sweater knit, a Lola Coat possibly lined with one of the sweater knits, a hemlock tee. Plus I’m going to try to squeeze out another 2 pairs of leggings from some athletic fabric I have in my stash plus some fun stretch fabric for a contrasting side panel.  A few more Linden sweatshirts are also in the plans.

Though I’m trying to think of any other knit patterns I wanted to try. I’m drawing a blank to anything other than maybe the tshirt from the Sew Over It City Break Capsule ebook. I can’t try any dress patterns due to the lightweight and sheerness of the fabric.

As for knitting, I’ve finished the Drangey Sweater for my Fiance! It looks gorgeous and I really really hope he likes it and actually wears it. He won’t get it until Christmas, but still. I’ve also been working on the socks for a friend and my Tied Knots cabled hat (which is almost finished). In fact, I’ve been doing so much knitting, I’ve hurt my arm from stressing the muscles out. So I need to dial it back with the knitting and such for now.

This weekend is pretty busy, tomorrow the Fiance has a very full day, but I’ll be home the whole day to get some things done. Saturday we will be going house hunting, so we’ll be out the whole day. Sunday is my Cousins 6th birthday party, I’m not very excited about going, but I haven’t seen my “Extended” family in over a year so I should go. I need to work on a gift tomorrow, I’m thinking of some simple slippers or something small and quick like that. However, I don’t know his shoe size, so I’ll just be guessing. He’s on the smaller size for his age, so if I pick the average shoe size for a 6 year old boy it should be fine. So overall, a pretty busy weekend.

I’ve been thinking about doing another me made month challenge this fall, to get a better feel for what I have and what I still need in my me made wardrobe. I know “Self Sewn September” is a thing, but I was thinking about doing October. Anyone else doing another me made wardrobe challenge?

Knitting Away

I haven’t been sewing nearly as much as I thought I would have over the past week. I did do a lot of Fall/Autumn wardrobe planning though. I’m starting to pair patterns I have that I’d like to wear this fall with fabric I have in my stash. I have a pretty good tentative list going, but I’d like to refine it and list it out in an order I’d like to get them done in. I know that I probably won’t do them exactly in that order, but at least it’s somewhere to start.

I’m planning:

  • 3 long sleeve Grainline Studio Linden sweatshirts, 2 in sweatshirt fleece (one black, one grey; given that I have enough fabric for that, I haven’t checked), one in sweater knit
  • 1 Sew Over It City Break Capsule Ebook Lola Coat (The Shorter version, but I’m going to add pockets) and I have some mystery fabric in my stash, it feels like a lightweight windbreaker fabric in black, so I’m going to test the pattern in that and use it as a wearable muslin.
  • 1 pair of Patterns 4 Pirates Peg Legs leggings, I have black athletic fabric for this. I need to get more fabric to make more leggings, just about all my rtw ones need replacing and I just busted through another pair this week :,(
  • 1 or 2 Seamwork Oslo Cardigans, I have some sweater knits for this
  • 1 Seamwork Wembley Cardigan, again in a sweater knit
  • 3 Button down shirts, I have some crepe chiffon that I’m going to use for wearable a muslin. I have various shirting fabric in my stash that I’ll use once I perfect the fit of the patterns
  • I’d also like some more Sew Over It City Break Capsule Ebook Mia Jeans, but I don’t have any more fabric in my stash for that.
  • Same goes for more tshirts, I need to pick up more fabric in order to make more
  • If I have the chance, I’d also like to make 2 blazers, a cropped one and a full length standard one. But those aren’t a priority

As you can see, it’s a lot of layering pieces mainly. Once the cold weather hits, I just throw an oversized sweatshirts on top of my baggy tshirt and leggings. So I’d like to look and feel a bit more put together and have nicer layering pieces. I’m hoping the button down shirts can also be used as a layering piece to throw on with a tshirt for something lighter than a sweater knit cardigan.

I’m also thinking about my knitting plans, I’m thinking about sweater knitting a lot. I have one started and just need to knit the sleeves and it’s finished, but I’m just not motivated to work on it, probably because the sleeve chart is confusing and doesn’t quite add up to where I left off when I separated the sleeves from the body. My probably is that most of the patterns I lean towards are fingering weight sweaters, which take forever and I lose motivation on working on it before it’s finished. However, I don’t have a sweaters quantity of worsted weight yarn in my stash to use, so I’d need to purchase some, and I’m on a really tight budget. So for now I might stick to shawl and sock knitting for myself and save up for some sweater quantities of yarn.

Speaking (or rather, writing) of sweater knitting. I’ve made significant progress on my Fiance’s sweater. I’ve finished the body and the bottom ribbing of the sweater and am almost halfway down the first sleeve. So that’s going really well and I should have it finished in plenty of time for Christmas. (I’ve made even more progress on the sleeve since I took this picture this morning!)

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I think I also mentioned that I wanted to knit a sweater for my cousins 6th birthday… Well I was almost at the point of separating the sleeves when I was told he doesn’t like anything that he has to put over his head…. So I’m ripping that sweater out now and have zero ideas as to what to do for his birthday. I hate cardigan knitting because I don’t like purling continuously, the motion hurts my hands. So I’m stumped! Any suggestions on what to make for a 6 year old boys birthday?

In other knitting news, I’ve been working on a pair of socks for a friend. She asked if I could make a pair of white ankle socks with a frilly top and I said sure. So I picked up the yarn this past weekend and cast on. I’m a little past the toes now, but it’s slow going as I’m using a light fingering weight yarn, so it’s teeny tiny itsy bitsy teeny weeny stitches. But I’m enjoying having a pair of socks to work on again.

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Wedding Planning! I’ve managed to get a base idea of the different things I want for my wedding, like bridesmaid dresses and shoe colors and flowers for the decor and bouquet. I’m thinking about what I’ll do for my bridal shower dress, because of course I want to make that too. I’m thinking of something with lace applique too so I can get some extra practice for the dress itself. My parents have also paired with the Fiance’s parents and they’re planning an engagement party for us next month. So I’m debating if I have time to make something for that. I have some nice off white chiffon that I could make a button down out of, but I’m not sure yet. I kind of want a dress, but I’m lost as to what pattern or style I would do for it.

Jason helped put everything in perspective though about my need to have every detail planned out even before we start planning: I have the basics, I know what I need, and I won’t know the rest until we pick a venue when the time comes. So there’s no point in fretting over these things that I can’t finalize anyway. I have everything else for now and besides, we need to start looking for houses because we ARE moving first, wedding comes later. So I’m trying to calm down about it all and just focus on looking for houses in good neighborhoods and figuring out how to construct my wedding dress for when the time comes. I’m also looking at lace options that all match and pricing for the fabric to find the best deal, but I still think that’s a necessity for figuring out before the planning starts.

(We also went to the beach, finally, as you can see in the photos. It was gorgeous! We arrived to explore just before sunset and managed to catch some amazing photos)

So what is your favorite pattern or piece of clothing for fall?

Pattern Review: Colette Wren Dress

I quickly fell in love with the look of the Wren Dress by Colette Patterns as soon as I saw it. I love wrap bodices of all types. I just think they looks so pretty and classy and just easy to wear for any occasion (which is my favorite type of garments, ones that are super versatile in how you can dress it up or down).

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I made a mock-up as soon as I downloaded, printed, taped, and cut out the pattern. I was so excited. I used some cheap poly knit that I save for testing knit patterns. I found it came together super quickly and easily and required only a tiny bit of alterations for it to be exactly what I wanted. (I donated the fully finished mock-up to a local thrift store because it needed a few alterations for it to fit me perfectly, but this first version will hopefully still get some love and wear!)

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The Colette Wren Dress is a dress pattern for knits with a faux wrap top bodice and 2 options for skirts (with extra add-on options), and options for sleeveless or short sleeves. The pattern is designed to be more of an empire waist dress. Empire style dresses don’t flatter my body, so I altered the pattern slightly for it to hit me at the natural waist.

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Basic Blue Bra

Alterations: I added length to the bodice, as I mentioned, to turn this pattern from an empire waist to a natural waist. I also used a full circle skirt instead of the 2 standard option included in the main pattern (a gathered skirt and a fitted pencil style skirt). I also added a tiny bit of length in the shoulders to lengthen the armscythes, but that’s just a personal preference and I only added a tiny bit of length, it hardly needed any.

My Final Versions:

V. 1: Black Scuba knit fabric, full circle skirt. I personally wouldn’t recommend using scuba, especially not for the bodice as it just has too much structure to sit right on the body (plus scuba usually doesn’t have a ton of stretch, and with no closures, a wiggle dance may be needed to get the waist over my shoulders when putting it on). The skirt has a ton of body and was very full, I loved the way the skirt looked. If I were to use scuba again, I would only use it for the skirt and use something else for the bodice.

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V. 2: Maroon/Mulberry ITY knit fabric, with all alterations mentioned above. I love this dress. It is definitely my favorite and most worn me made dress so far. The ITY is lightweight and has so much drape. This is one of those pieces that can be dressed up with some nice jewelry and a pair of heels, or dressed down with just a pair of sneakers. It drapes over my hips and middle so nicely, it passes the twirl test 100%, the sleeves hit me at just the right length, and the bodice hugs my body beautifully. After I made this one, I may have bought 3 or 4 more colors of this ITY knit to make more.

V. 3: Bright Blue ITY knit fabric and black lace fabric. with all alterations mentioned above, plus a slight shoulder mod: my front bodice pieces didn’t quite fit on the fabric, so I just decided to make it a style element and added a piece of lace lined with power mesh to make up the length missing at the top of the shoulder. This one fits beautifully just like V. 2, but I may have added a little too much length at the shoulder with the lace detail, as this dress sits a little lower on my waist than V. 2 does. I could just take it up at the waist a little and call it a day, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ve worn this one a few times as well, but not as many times as V. 2.

So here’s my condensed review:

  • Pattern name: Wren Dress by Colette Patterns
  • Size range: XS-3X
  • What size did you make?
    • XS
  • What are your measurements, height, and body type?
    • I am 5’0″ and pear shaped body (with balanced shoulders). My measurements are: Bust: 31.5″ Waist: 23.5″ Hips: 38.5″ and I am a 30B bra size.
  • What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
    • As stated above, I added length to the bodice (about 1.5″) and added height to the armscythe. It took a very short amount of time, the pattern includes lengthen/shorten lines to adjust the length.
  • What fabric did you use?
    • Scuba, ITY Knit
  • What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
    • The construction process was a breeze, I whipped up a dress in a day. The instructions were very detailed without being too wordy and were very easy to understand (perfect for newer stitchers!)
  • How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
    • I love the fit of the pattern, it was very well drafted. I do think it works well for my body type and could work for many other body types as well.
  • Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
    • I have a few more planned and will likely make more than that too. I don’t think I will make any other changes to the pattern, though I may try the other skirt or sleeve add ons. (I’m thinking a cotton lycra long sleeve Wren for fall winter!) I am looking to make the fitted skirt for a more formal style dress, I’m just looking for the right fabric to make it with.
  • Do you have any advice on this pattern for other sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
    • My main advice would be to just read through the instructions before you start, use the suggested fabric for the pattern, and double check the finished measurements given for the pattern to make sure you’ll be making the correct size. The Colette Blog has a bunch of posts that are great resources for finding the best fabric, sewing it up, making alterations, and hacks and add ons. Also, check out the hashtag #colettewren on instagram for inspiration and other peoples versions.

Pattern Rating:

Size Range (1-5): 5
Instructions (1-5): 5
Construction Process (1-5): 5
Final Fit (1-5): 4
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation : 4.5 overall I love the pattern, the alterations were for my personal preference for fit and style. There are very few pattern pieces (5 pieces total: front, back, neck, sleeve, skirt) The dress can be made in many different fabrics and many different styles. It’s quick to sew up but with enough steps in the process to keep things interesting. It’s a versatile pattern in the sense that the final piece can be dressed up or down in daily wear. There is a large size range available for the pattern as well which is great. The pattern is available in both printed and digital download. The only reason I didn’t give it a 5 out of 5 was due to having to make alterations and due to the price of the actual pattern (I understand that it’s an indie company and that makes patterns cost more, but it still makes my wallet sad, alternatively, you could sign up for seamwork and use your credits to purchase the PDF pattern, which ends up a little cheaper).

So, if you’ve been thinking about or just eyeing the wren dress but weren’t sure about it, I definitely recommend giving it a shot. With very few alterations or using the add on options, I think it could work for just about any body type.

(I am not affiliated with Colette Patterns or Seamwork Mag at all (but I’d be totally happy if they wanted to make me an affiliate lol), I just really like this pattern and wanted to review it and put it out there. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

 

Plans for Planning

This week has been relatively productive. I managed to finish a few things that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while now.

First up: refashioned panties. A while ago I was helping the fiance’s mother clean out some old clothes from the attic. We both went through them and donated some and stored the rest back in the attic. I was allowed to have free reign over things I wanted to wear or wanted to re-purpose for the fabric. I picked a small pile of things and finally got around to starting the re-purposing. I made 2 different styles of panties (along with the thong from last week) out of a pair of pants that were 100% rayon. The fabric was practically new, aside from some holes in the bottom where it looks like the unlucky owner leaned/sat on something that ripped little holes in it. So it had a lot of potential for undies.

I went with a standard bikini brief cut (slightly more coverage) and a slightly higher cut leg bikini style (slightly less coverage), and black cotton jersey for the lining and a black stretch lace on both.

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I haven’t started on any of the other items yet, but I’m still figuring out plans for some of them.

I also managed to bang out a new Grainline Studios Linden shirt. I used a stable knit that is a mystery blend as I got it from a church destash. I’m pretty sure it is some sort of wool blend, based on the feel of it, but I can’t be sure. Anyway, I chose short sleeves because I didn’t have enough fabric for long sleeves, but I actually like the short sleeves on this one. I also didn’t use a neck band or bottom band, but just folded them under and stitched them in place. AND the best part? I lengthened it and made it a high low split hem! I really like how this detail came out.

I sized up on this one to be sure it would fit nicely, since the fabric has little to no stretch. I don’t think I necessarily needed to size up, now that it’s all finished, but I like things a little over sized anyway, so I’m totally fine with how loose fitting it came out.

I have a few more linden sweatshirts planned for the fall. I will also do an in depth review of the pattern in the near future, so stay tuned for that!

After all this sewing for me, I did do a little work for the shop too. I finished an order of one pair of sheer white mesh undies. Nothing too exciting there, but it’s a very popular item in my shop.

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The new item for the shop that I hinted at last week? Yeah, I finished that too, and it came out just as I imagined it. It’s made from a beautiful black and purple and pink floral print crepe double knit. It’s a pretty stable knit with some stretch (maybe 10%) but it’s perfect for bras. I also used black power mesh, black scallop lace, and black elastics, straps, and findings. I love it!

I plan to make a whole line that matches that bra, but it’s been stormy out so my blood pressure has been too low to sit at my sewing machine or to stand and cut things out. I’m hoping to get at least a pair of matching underwear finished by next week, if not a couple matching pairs.

I’ve been making good progress on knitting my fiance’s Christmas Sweater (The Drangey Pullover by Stephen West). I’m already finished with the yoke and halfway done with the body! I’ve also started on a child sweater (the flax sweater by tin can knits) for my cousins 6th birthday later this month. I may be a little ambitious with that deadline, but if anything I can give it to him for Christmas.

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Other than that I’ve been starting on my plans for my fall capsule wardrobe. It looks like I’ll be making a lot of layering pieces mainly. I have plans for at least 4 cardigans (and maybe 2 different styles of blazers). I’m also hoping to get a few pairs of leggings and pants finished. I desperately need to replace some of my rtw leggings as they’re ready to fall apart from being worn and washed so many times. However, I’m on a fabric buying ban and only using stash fabric due to having student loan debts dumped on me after I was told they were taken care of, as well as saving for my wedding, and wedding dress.

Speaking of my wedding dress, have a mentioned that I’m planning on making it myself from scratch? Yeah, I may be a little crazy, but I’m also very determined. So right now I’m looking at lace and lace appliques online and trying to gauge how much I should set aside for the materials of the dress. I’m also sketching up some of the lace appliques, trying to figure out placement ideas and if they’d work well with other appliques I’ve found. Here’s a little sneak peek of that (I’ve got plenty more started):

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Have you started on your fall wardrobe plans yet? What’s the “hole” in your fall wardrobe that you’ll need to be making first? Mine is definitely cardigans!

Trudging Through the Slump

Due to my health being all over the place, I’ve been in a bit of a sewing slump. But I’ve been working through it, getting orders done and working on a few small things.

I finished a bra that I had made with a modified version of my standard pattern for myself. This one is more of a plunge style and I narrowed the bridge a bit. But I forgot to add a little bit of width to the sides from taking width out of the bridge and also to account for the not so stretchy stretch lace that I used for the full bra. So it’s a little too snug for me to wear; I can get it on, but it’s not comfortable at all especially since I like a slightly looser band. Plus I used the underwires I had sitting in my drawer since I first started making bras for myself and before I really gauged which wire size was right for me and my shape. So the underwire is a size 30, which should fit the size 30 B bra (which is my size) but I need a 32 wire because my breast root is a bit wider than a 30 wire accounts for.

 

So all in all, I have a pretty new bra that I made in an evening, but can’t wear it. Oh well. It’s up in the shop but I’m not very hopefully of it selling due to the tiny size that it is.

I also whipped up a quick little thong as a model to show to a potential customer. It’s pretty cute and I hadn’t actually made one with the fold over elastic for the shop, it’s mainly been either stretch lace edging or picot underwear elastic. But I like the look and will be making more for the shop in the near future.

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Other than that, I have finished 2 orders: a classic Harley Quinn bra and a Slave Leia bra. I also managed to finish a pair of socks, which I might have talked about last week (using Badwolfgirlstudios yarn in the mermish colorway) but I have a picture this time! They’re gloriously soft and I can’t wait to wear them. I’ve been doing too many messy things (like baking) to feel comfortable wearing these and not ruining them. Hopefully I’ll be able to wear them soon though!

I finished the bright blue circle skirt that I’ve had cut out for a few weeks now. I can’t wait to get to making the top that I’d like to pair with it.

I finally got around to washing and blocking the socks I made for my fiance, which I had knit quite a while before we got engaged. Haha oops, but the good thing is that they’re ready for him to wear now. And while I was at it, I washed and blocked my Tennessee souvenir shawl, so now the lace is more open and the picot bind off is actually visible. I can’t wait to wear it in the fall! I love the color of it.

New cast on! I started a big project for my fiance for Christmas. I’d been thinking about it for a while and bought all the yarn for it, so I finally got around to purchasing the pattern and casting on. It’s so exciting and I hope he loves it! I’m making the Drangey Pullover by Stephen West in a dark navy that looks almost black for the main color and a bright turquoise blue for the contrast. It’s a little hard to photograph at this point because it’s grown considerably and is now bunched up on the needles. But I’m nearly done with the yoke part, so I’m assuming the progress on it will slow down quite a bit as it turns to just solid dark colored yarn.

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I’m in a bit of a bra making mood, so I may whip up a few new ones this week. I have quite a bit of fabric in my stash to choose from and I’ve definitely got my eye on one in particular. I’ll give you a little hint: it’ll be floral and lace with rich colors.

What projects are you most looking forward to working on next?