Tag Archives: handmade clothes

M7445 Cropped Wide Leg Pants

What do you know, all my obsessive planning has at last resulted in a completed sewing project that instantly became a beloved wardrobe staple. It’s taken a couple weeks to get this post up and I’ve worn them no less than 7 times already! Behold my new McCalls 7445 cropped wide leg pants for which I shamelessly copied Katie’s modifications because I love how flattering and comfortable a completely flat front pant is.

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In addition to replacing the front closure with a hidden back zip, I added one inch to each side at the hem and blended up to the hip notch to widen the leg without affecting the nice snug fit through the hip and waist. Since my frame is it’s widest at the hip, I find the proportions more attractive on me and closer to the look on the models on the envelope. Aside from those changes, I sewed everything up according to the instructions and it was so quick and easy I can’t believe I didn’t start making my own pants sooner! I did a little unpicking to adjust the front crotch curve after trying them on, but found the fitting instructions that came with the pattern really helpful and applicable to any pants making project so the money spent on the pattern was an especially good value.

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The fabric is a light-weight denim with a slight 4 way stretch making the fit snug yet comfy without ever sagging after wear…confirmed because I wore them for 4 full days before washing them the first time. Since this fabric has been stored in my stash since working at JoAnn’s over 15 years ago (a bad habit I’ve broken), I was unsure of the fabric content or quality, so I went into the project hoping for a wearable muslin. It was a pleasant surprise to come out with pants I absolutely love. Considering the decline in quality of so many other things in that same period of time, the age of the fabric may have been to my benefit, come to think of it.

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My sewing project list is long at the moment so I’m not going to sew these up again right away but I definitely want another pair in a colored or printed fabric and with my traced off and modified pattern pieces it will be a breezy afternoon project next time, yay!!

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I wish I’d taken a photo wearing these on my trip to Santa Fe, but didn’t think of it. They were so perfect for the 90 degree heat since skirts tend to cause sweat/chaffing issues underneath if you know what I mean and these were light and swishy enough to keep my skin protected but not overheat like a standard pair of jeans. I know these will get lots of love in my summer rotation and beyond!

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Colorblock Jacket

After languishing on my make list for well over a year, this jacket made its way into my closet and I finally managed to get some photos of it that aren’t mirror selfies! These are once again courtesy of my 3 year old (equipped with a tripod).

02-04-18 The Jacket 1

The image below was my original inspiration for the color-blocking and I’m especially in love the fabric I found for the sleeves in the home decorating section of my local shop, Fabric Town. I was also surprised how close I was able to match the bottom portion with a designer knit from Mood (I got on a birthday trip in September of 2015…that’s how long I’ve had my eye on this!). The brown linen upper, gray linen binding and cream stretch jacquard I used for lining were all from JoAnn’s. My goal was a simply shaped statement jacket I could throw on over a variety of outfits and judging by how many evenings I’ve reached for it this week, I’d say I accomplished that. It’s neutral enough to go with most of my closet and colorful enough to make me feel fun and creative. Win win!

02-04-18 Jacket Inspiration

I used the same Butterick pattern (B6328) that I used for my “Used to be a Tablecloth” project since I knew it fit and was the basic shape I was after.  Starting with View C, size 8, I modified the pattern to match my inspiration photo and to accommodate my preferred construction method. Per the instructions, only the front portion is lined but in my opinion it was easier and more neatly finished to fully line the body. These are the changes I made to the pattern:

  • lengthened the front 4″
  • matched up the front and back side seam notches and lengthened the back to match the front (the recommended construction required different seam allowances on the front and back so they weren’t originally the same length)
  • measured up 11″ from the front and back hem to create the color blocking, cut and added seam allowance to both cut edges
  • measured up 9″ from the sleeve hem to create the color blocking, cut and added seam allowance to both cut edges
  • omitted the collar piece

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The construction was pretty straight forward. First, I sewed the color blocking together for the two front pieces, the back and the sleeves.  I chose to line only the body of the jacket so I could wear it for multiple seasons, so I took extra care to finish the exposed seams inside the sleeves.

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Out of laziness, I had off white thread in the bobbin and by sheer luck, the white stripe of the sleeve aligned exactly where the lace hem tape needed to be sewn down inside so the thread blends seamlessly into the outside of the sleeve…don’t think I could have planned that if I tried!

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The body and lining were constructed as usual and with the lining placed inside I used handmade binding to finish the armholes inside and the front and neckline on the outside. The outside binding was a design decision because I felt like it needed one last element to pull all the different fabrics together and the inside binding was just the best way I could think of to properly finish the raw edges without creating a full sleeve lining. I didn’t originally purchase the stretch jacquard with a lining in mind but I’m really happy with the look and definitely the feel of it.

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The one issue I ran into was with the pockets. The jacket was complete with in seam pockets, but even after tacking them down inside, they just made the jacket hang weird and added a ton of bulk at the widest part of my hip…not a good look for an already oversized jacket. There was a lot of unpicking to get back into the pockets to remove them but I’m glad I took the time. I’d thought to use patch pockets instead but was concerned that since the lower portion is a knit fabric I’d have issues with sagging there as well so I just left them out. Kind of a bummer, but with a preschooler in tow I generally have to carry more than I can fit in pockets anyway. This is my second project with failed pockets so I’ve got to get this figured out eventually.

02-04-18 The Jacket 3

As you can see by my living room, I love lots of color and texture so this jacket is 100% ME and feels amazing to wear!

We’ve had some very warm daytime weather the last two weeks which had me digging into my spring/summer storage box sooner than I’d planned, but I’m looking forward to going through the process I did for my winter wardrobe and preparing my next seasonal closet. Even though fashion week is currently showing Fall, I’ve collected my inspiration from the August Spring shows and hope to be back soon with that, plans for my next sewing project, and take-away’s from my first seasonal closet. I’d also like to note for the record that I haven’t stepped foot in a thrift store to look at clothes once this year…a true victory for me 🙂

Still Sewing, Still Learning

I’ve made a little more progress on my #2017makenine line up, beginning to tackle McCalls M7473 view D, the line drawing included in the image below.

01-10-17 #2017makenine

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.”    -Albert Einstein

The good news is, I’m alive and well. Unfortunately, I’m sharing another failure / learning experience. It was so disappointing because I sewed a muslin, made fit changes, altered the pattern and thought everything was good to go. Then I cut my fabric and mostly constructed the entire thing before slipping it on. Great fit! Pattern matching, not too shabby! Left side, love! Right side, hmmm??

 

It took a while staring at it in the mirror and thinking about the process to come to the conclusion that the underside, when cutting the front and back pieces on folds, must have slipped and come up shorter. I’m not sure how I want to go about salvaging the fabric yet but I see no way to fix this particular garment.

I really like the pattern and feel good knowing the issues weren’t due to the modifications I made to it, which were to lower the neckline, drop the notch on the side seam to create coverage down to hip level and extend the sides of the front panel to more closely match the shape of the back. The original pattern is only sewed to below bust level and I’m not about showing off that much skin at this stage of life or requiring the right under layer in order to wear it.

What really bums me out is after my failed initial attempt at the Anna dress using a similar type of fabric, I thought I’d done my homework and was more prepared to work with such shifty material. I didn’t pre-wash it and took great care to line up the pattern and keep the grain straight but just didn’t anticipate the underside slipping so much, even when pinned.

I’ve since read advice to use a felt board or flannel backed tablecloth to keep the fabric in place so I will try that next time as well as tracing off a full pattern piece rather than cutting on a fold. I’m feeling hopeful about the next version, but need to figure out what to do about fabric as I’ve used this piece down to scraps. So much to learn. So little time.

 

Me Made May 2017: Wrap Up

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Me Made May 2017 is a wrap, so I thought I’d pop back in with an update. I challenged myself to wear each of my me-made items two different ways and complete 4 mending or upcycling projects during the month. I’ll go ahead and throw it out right now, I did not crush my goal, but I had fun with it and did what I could.

The Outfits

MMMay17 cat shirt

Outfit 1: Cat shirt, thrifted and upcycled | sweater, thrifted | Paige denim, new 2015 | Frye boots, new 2011

Outfit 2: Cat shirt | Wet Seal vest, thrifted | shibori skirt, thrifted and upcycled | Simple shoes, thrifted

MMMay17 moon shirt

Outfit 3: moon phase tank, upcycle from husbands closet | Patagonia pants, new 2017| Toms, new 2015

Outfit 4: moon phase tank | sweater, thrifted | jeans, thrifted | Toms, thrifted

MMMay17 green shirt

Outfit 5: green 70’s blouse | sweater, thrifted | jeans, thrifted | Palladium shoes, thrifted

Outfit 6: green 70’s blouse | necklace, new 2014 | Patagonia pants, new 2017 | Clarks shoes, new 2016

MMMay17 dress & skirt

Outfit 7: skirt, thrifted & refashioned | One Heart tank, thrifted | Simple shoes, thrifted

Outfit 8: denim dress | scarf, new 2010 | Simple shoes, thrifted

Pieces That Got No Love

MMMay17 unworn items

The May gray was partly to blame and when sunshine did peep through I reached for other favorites first. The kimono was never love so I’m not shocked there. The blue tank was a favorite in the summer but it’s very low cut and I could use a new layering piece to put under it so I couldn’t be bothered. Then there’s the crochet jacket which I’ve decided doesn’t get wear because of the color so I’m going to dye it gray to make it more versatile.

The two pieces which aren’t accounted for were me-made by my loose definition for this challenge and include a skirt and sweater which I thrifted, tailored and mended. The skirt was in the laundry most of the time, but it was too cold to even notice. The sweater got one wear but my cat needed an emergency visit to the vet, then a couple hours later my son suddenly had a fever of 105!! Anyway, no photo that day.

The Projects

I did two out of the four I aimed for. One was the shibori skirt and the other was a quick tailoring job on a pair of joggers I lived in two summers ago. They were too saggy in the hips and the fabric was shredding next to the rear seam so I removed the inseams and took them in, simultaneously solving both issues. I haven’t worn them yet, and as I type I’m recovering from a 24 hour migraine and can’t manage to photograph them, but I’m sure they’ll make an appearance here eventually.

In Conclusion

Life threw me some curve-balls and the weather was all over the map but the first two weeks were great. I got a feel for what type of items I’ll actually wear, figured out how to make a couple older items wearable and I’m looking forward to next year if this continues! Thanks Zoe!

Shibori Look Midi Skirt

05-17-17 shibori skirt feature

After creating my wardrobe mood board and realizing the dominant color was a shade of blue that wasn’t represented in my current closet, the racks at the thrift shops became a sea of blue! Proof that shopping with a plan works…especially when diving into the donation thrift, which can be an overwhelming amount of options. I have so much love for the hunt that giving up shopping new fast fashion didn’t cure me of over buying inexpensive second hand things that didn’t earn their space in my closet. This $2 shibori look skirt, however, was money well spent and fits in with my wardrobe goals. The color, print and silhouette are on point.

05-17-17 skirt & moodboard

I fell in love with the fabric at first sight, knew the skirt wouldn’t fit as is, but could see there was plenty of fabric to re-style into a midi skirt that would. This was a pretty straight forward project that was complete in an afternoon. Here’s what I did:
  1. Cut the waistband off close to the stitching
  2. Ironed new waistline of skirt and laid flat
  3. Marked a line 6″ from the top all the way across and chopped that piece off, leaving a piece of fabric to cut a new waistband from and the skirt portion, already constructed and hemmed
  4. Basted new waistline in preparation to gather and fit new waistband
  5. Using my waist measurement, cut a piece of elastic and a new straight waistband
  6. Stitched elastic together with ends overlapped so it has to stretch slightly to fit
  7. Serged waistband front and back together at the side seams
  8. Folded waistband in half and inserted elastic, pinning in place.
  9. Serged raw edged of folded waistband together
  10. With right sides together, zig zag stitched waistband to skirt
True to recent form, I did steps 5 – 10 twice. Old habits die hard and I first fit the waistband to my hips, then quickly realized I’d only want to wear it that way with a swimsuit on the beach and the purpose of the skirt was to build my everyday wardrobe. Out came the seam ripper. Repeat steps 5-10. Definitely made the right decision.

05-07-17 shibori skirt sxs

Confession: I probably should have lined this. I knew it while working on it, but didn’t have any on hand. Slow is a state of mind that’s hard to remain in while racing against a toddlers nap time. The zig zag stitch finish is sloppy but it’s okay because I’m going to add lining once I get to a fabric store then properly bind the raw edges.

I LOVE this skirt and I’ve worn it four times already as is, but it has reminded me of an article I once read about the fashion industry taking the ancient art of shibori and turning into a print. I realize one day this skirt should be replaced with a fully handmade version, from the dyeing process to the sewing. In a world where a child didn’t dominate my time, I’d prefer to grow the indigo and make my own vat…but back to my current reality: I’ve ordered a shibori kit from Dharma Trading Co and added the project to the end of my current list. I’ll be wearing this proudly in the meantime though, especially once lined and properly finished to my perfectionist preferences.

05-15-17 shibori skirt outfit

Here’s my favorite way I’ve styled it so far. I felt like a million dollars when I wore this on Mothers Day, even though it only cost me six! Bonus: looks pulled together, feels like pajamas.

  • vest (Wet Seal, thrifted years ago, $1)
  • shoes (Simple, thrifted, $2)
  • cat shirt (thrifted and restyled, $1)
  • skirt (thrifted and restyled, $2)


Once upon a time, I wrote enthusiastically about all the slow style posts I was planning on. They haven’t come to fruition, but I’m getting back to work on my original goals for the series and hope to have more thrifting, styling and outfit posts sprinkled in between sewing project features. One new development is this little bro turned 3 and he’s my new photographer! Although, I’m not above mirror selfies in a pinch.

04-19-17 new photographer

Me Made May 2017

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All 10 pieces in my “Me Made” wardrobe

I loved scrolling through the flood of Instagram photos and reading the thoughtful blog posts surrounding Me Made May last year and it’s inspired me to participate this year. If in it’s 8 years running, you’ve not heard of it, more details here.

I currently have 10 pieces (8 handmade / 2 thrifted and restyled) and I’m a SAHM making athleisure perfectly appropriate for my days of gardening, cooking, cleaning, toddler crafts and play. The day may come that I make my own yoga pants, but for now I prefer to focus my sewing on my personal style and support decent companies when shopping for those other pieces life requires. All things considered, my challenge will only include days I actually dress to leave the house for errands, meet ups, appointments or weekends out. Here’s what I arrived at:

I, Kaci of textileandstitch.com / @textileandstitch IG , sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. My goal is to wear each one of my 10 me-made / restyled pieces at least two different ways during the month. I also plan to add 4 pieces from my mend/restyle drawer back into my closet by months end…so 1 per week, hopefully?!

Looking forward to browsing #MMMay17 on Instagram and expanding my sewing community!

#2017MAKENINE: 3 Schnittchen Anna Dress

Here I am, a little later than expected, with my 3rd project for #2017makenine. Below is a quick recap of my plans and today I’m sharing the Schnittchen Anna, a simple A-Line dress with kimono sleeves and side slant pockets.

01-10-17 #2017makenine

Since this is my 3rd project, it makes sense that I’d sew it up 3 times, right?! Well, it wasn’t the plan, but that’s how it went down and I have ONE new dress to add to my closet after all that. I should add that the issues I had were 100% user error. The pattern is perfectly drafted. So, a brief rundown.

Round 1

02-20-17 Anna DressFor this version, I attempted to grade between sizes based on my measurements and quickly learned that reading blogs about other makers grading between sizes does not an expert make. Add an afternoon at a brewery before jumping in and I should have seen disaster on the horizon. Needless to say, my grading skills paired with fabric that was pretty shifty resulted in a dress with too many issues to correct. This will be cut apart to salvage what I can of the fabric.

Round 2

04-04-17 floral Anna dress

Don’t mind the un-showered selfie in my kiddo’s messy room

For this version, I re-traced the pattern using a straight size 38 based on my bust and hip measurements. My only modifications were to omit the patterns facings to finish with a back zip and bias facing instead and shorten the sleeves. This wasn’t a total failure, but the fabric feels a little too granny chic (luckily it was $2 at the thrift store), the pockets are too high due to my long torso and I’m not loving the A-line silhouette on me. Since the pockets and hem can be easily remedied, this will go in my fall/winter storage and may come back out to pair with tights, boots and sweaters later this year.

3rd Time’s a Charm!

04-18-17 blue Anna 2

LOVE at last! For this version, I went back to my traced size 38 pattern with the already shortened sleeves, dropped the pocket placement 3″ and took 3″ off each side of the hem, blending up to the new pocket notch. After these final adjustments, I was just able to squeeze the pieces out of 1 1/2 yards. I flat felled the side and shoulder seams, which resulted in the one bummer about this dress…no pockets. I found some instructions online for in seam pockets with flat felled seams, but I got mixed up and basically did the trimming and folding backwards. The only way I could see to salvage it, without risking the dress being too small, was to omit them.

04-18-17 blue Anna 4

It was an afterthought to drop the front neckline by 1/2″ to eliminate the closure, so on a future version I could cut both the front and back on folds to get rid of the center back seam. The plus side, when considering slow fashion, is I have the option to change the shape of the dress if I tire of the shift and want to fit it more in the future.

04-18-17 blue Anna 6

I had considered keeping some of the edges unfinished so when I ran out of thread before hemming, I decided to give it a wash and wear to decide how I like the frayed end. It hasn’t been washed yet, so the jury is still out. I love how easy this dress is to wear! No special underwear required, not see through, interesting alone but easy to pair with any sweaters, jackets, shoes or accessories in my closet. Definitely a win. My only concern with the fabric is it smelled of chemicals even after washing and drying the yardage, so in terms of ethical clothing this probably doesn’t score high on the environmental front. I’ll definitely be more mindful fabric shopping from now on, but this color and style filled a huge gap in my wardrobe.

I followed along with Me Made May last year but wasn’t ready to play along yet, so I’m looking forward to finding a challenge that will work for me this year. Be back sooner than 2 months…I think 🙂