Finished: Floral Ponte Print McCall’s 5845

Hey friends!

I hope you are having a lovely Saturday thus far. It’s a rainy, blah-ish day here in Chicago. You know, one of those days that’s a perfect excuse to stay inside all day and work on sewing projects? Yeah, well unfortunately, that’s not in my future. Some good friends are moving today, and I promised to help out. Helping friends friends move in the rain – that’s true love, folks.

Anyway, before I force myself to function for the day, I wanted to share a finished project with you all. And guess what?? It’s another McCall’s 5845 hack! The first one was the silk taffeta bridesmaid’s dress I blogged about here. This one was the eh-I-have-time-so-why-not version.

Flipped hair don't care
Flipped hair don’t care

Remember how I said there have been weddings on weddings on weddings this summer? I wore this to one or two of them, plus a few fancy events.

Heyy!
Heyy!

I think this is one of my favorite garments I’ve ever made. The fabric is a ponte knit that I’ve had in my stash for a while, so there is enough give to make it comfortable while still maintaining it’s structure. Bonus: The teal heels I’m wearing have been in my closet for years, and matched the colors in the fabric perfectly!! It was meant to be, ya’ll. Extra bonus: The earrings I’m wearing are my go-to pair from Mata Traders. They’re a sustainable fashion company based here in Chicago. They employ women in India and Bangladesh and provide the ladies with a fair, living wage so they can support their families. Mata has some beautiful items, check them out!

Floral print McCalls 5845

Love me some low backed dresses.
Love me some low backed dresses.

Floral McCall's 5845

The bodice of the dress is another hacked version of McCall’s 5845. I lowered the neckline 1 1/2 inches and scooped the back. The skirt is a self-drafted half circle skirt. There are tons of great tutorials out there, just give it a Google and you’re sure to find one.

 

Le front
Le front

Construction was pretty standard, I bagged the bodice using the same tutorial from Neeno (that tutorial is linked in this post) and attached the skirt. I’m very proud of how straight that waist seam line is! It’s the victory in the little things.

Le back
Le back
Seriously love this print.
Seriously love this print.

All in all, very happy with this one and looking forward to years of use out of it. May you enjoy your clothes and find something silly to laugh about today.

My roommate, who takes my pictures, can always make me laugh.
My roommate, who takes my pictures, can always make me laugh.
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Christmas in Mexico


Hey friends!

So I fiiiiiinnnnally got around to editing my pictures from my trip to Ensenada, Mexico over Christmas (because better late than never, amirite?). My parents moved there at the beginning of last year to experience some adventure in their retirement, or “re-fire-ment” as they like to call it (da-dum-tsss). Major puns aside, it’s been an interesting journey for them, moving to a new country, attempting to make friends and learn a new language in the process. I was really lucky to be able to spend some time there, especially over the holidays when what’s familiar is so far away. I thought I’d share some of my favorite images from that trip.

Ensenada is a beautiful city, about 2 1/2 hours south of San Diego, California. It sits right on the ocean, surrounded by mountains and greenery. It was certainly one of the more memorable trips I’ve ever taken and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering traveling there.

City view - whoo!
City view – whoo!

 

Hey friend!
Hey friend!
I was ecstatic!! I love this stuff.
I was ecstatic!! I love this stuff.
No bad days allowed, I guess
No bad days allowed, I guess
Beautiful sunsets
Beautiful sunsets
My dad looking at the city on Christmas morning
My dad looking at the city on Christmas morning

And of course, I can’t visit a new city without checking out the fabric stores there. I’m not sure where the fabric and garments were made (my Spanish is muy terrible), but it was fun to look around.

My step-mom showcasing the mounds of fabric
My step-mom showcasing the mounds of fabric

Clothing stores in Mexico

There were so many street shops like this one, selling clothing of all sizes. Mostly to tourists, I think. I loved the overlapping colors and textures. I did end up buying a little bit of fabric but I’m not sure what I’ll make with it yet. Who knows, I’ll probably figure it out by next Christmas ;-). Buying fabric or some small piece of jewelry is my favorite souvenir from any trip. It becomes a beautiful, wearable memory of that unique experience in my life.

Have you ever bought fabric in another country? What kinds of souvenirs do you like to bring home from trips?

Finished: Navy Blue Silk Taffeta Dress

Hey friends!

Happy Saturday! I love this time of year. The sun, the heat, the beach – August is when things get good and hot here in Chicago. People are happy and nice because there’s sunshine (no polar vortex or snowpocalpse can keep us down!), and there’s so many free things to do! Movies in the park, dancing in the parks, street festivals – Chicago is a great place to be in the summer (*end of shameless plug*).

The Princess Bride! "Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya!"
The Princess Bride! “Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” What a great line.

You what else there is to do? Weddings. So. Many. Weddings. For three months this year, I was either in a wedding or attending some wedding-bridal-bachelorette festivity every weekend. I’m really happy for all my friends and family who’ve gotten hitched this year, but sometimes a girl needs a weekend of Netflix, sweatpants, and ice cream, ya know? My couch and my cat felt sadly neglected.

But one of the nice things about weddings upon weddings upon weddings is that I got to make a lovely dress which was first used as a bridesmaid’s dress (been one of those 7 times now, *self-five*) and then re-worn to a friend’s wedding two weeks later.

Pensive thoughts.
Pensive thoughts.

Navy Blue Silk Taffeta M5845This was my first time working with silk taffeta. I was more than slightly terrified to cut into it (and put it through the wash when I wasn’t supposed to, oops) but all in all I think it turned out pretty well. The fabric is from Mood, and was a beautiful, rich navy blue. I love the descriptions and pictures on that website. So far, everything I’ve bought from them has been true to what I read about it online. Yay for consistency!

Navy Blue Silk Taffeta M5845

Navy Blue Silk Taffeta M5845The pattern is a super-hacked version of McCall’s M5845. I lowered the front neckline by 1 1/2 inches and changed the back to a low scoop. I was originally going to draft a box pleat skirt pattern a la Zooey Deschanel from New Girl to copy this dress:

Totally trying to steal your look, Jess.
Totally trying to steal your look, Jess. Via pinitgallery.

But in the end, I ran out of time and went with a simple gathered skirt. I think it was for the best, as the silk taffeta shows a lot of wrinkles, which are less obvious in a gathered skirt where intentional wrinkles are kind of the point.

Le front.
Le front.
Le close-up
Le close-up

 

Le back

Please excuse that invisible zipper insertion. I have since figured out how to *actually* do it right. Who knew that when tutorials tell you to sew as close as possible to the zipper, they literally mean in that little groove right along the zipper teeth. I know…..just give me a break ok?

Navy Blue Silk Taffeta M5845I lined the bodice using this tutorial from Neeno over at SewMeLove. The idea to hack the M5845 was also inspired from her many hacks of that pattern. What, imitation is the highest form of flattery, right??  The cut fits my shoulders well, also I need to tweak the pattern a bit across the upper bust.

Navy Blue Silk Taffeta Pockets

Love it!
Love it!

I also inserted pockets into the skirt pattern. The fabric is made from an Indonesian batik print that my mom got for me as a present. Woo-hoo! I love the small pop of color.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with how this project turned out. I’m looking forward to re-wearing this one throughout the years, as it’s fairly classic and not likely go out of style soon. Enjoy the rest of your beautiful Saturday, friends!

Wheee!!
Wheee!!

 

 

 

 

Sweatshop: A Mini-series

Hi friends,

One of my goals with this blog is to provide resources for empowering you to make informed and conscious decisions about your clothing and fabric purchases. So I will occasionally post documentaries, blogs, articles and other resources that I think are helpful or informative. I want to start out with a Norwegian mini-series called Sweatshop: Dead Cheap Fashion. It aired back in January and provides powerful insight into the fast fashion industry.

Three young Norwegian fashion bloggers travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to experience first-hand what life is really like for those who work in the textile and garment industry there.

There are five episodes, linked below, as well as the trailer for the series:

Episode 1     Episode 2     Episode 3     Episode 4     Episode 5

So….

Hey there!

It has been a MINUTE since I last posted something. And I’m sorry for that. Life became pretty overwhelming with lots of changes – school, work, relationships, moving….It’s felt like I was just barely holding it together.

But one of the benefits of taking a hiatus is that I’ve been able to evaluate the kind of work I’m doing and how I want to share that in this space. I now have a sharper, clearer vision for how I want to proceed going forward. And I think you’re going to like it. So that’s it – stay tuned to see what else pops up along the way!