Woolen Nintendo Switch Bag

Woolen Nintendo Switch Bag

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A long while back, I released a tutorial on how to sew a Nintendo Switch carrying bag that looks like a messenger bag. Since then, I’ve made a few more! This one however, is my favorite one yet.

The exterior fabric is a melton wool from Fabric.com that was an absolute joy to work with. I’ve never worked with a wool like this before, it was plush and took to a steamy iron perfectly. I have a large swath of this fabric leftover, and I have way too many ideas for what I want to do with it! More bags? Luxurious picnic blanket with crochet borders? Cool wizard hats…?

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The interior fabric is a basic Kona cotton, but I used new interfacing for this! I wanted fusible interfacing with even more support than the medium weight to hold up the wool, and found this Pellon ShirTailor interfacing that almost feels like it’s a peel away interfacing. It’s not! It’s supportive and lightweight, and worked great for the lining.

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I’ve made a few alterations to the pattern to make this. The length of the fold-over flap was reduced by 2 inches so that there’s no excess fabric hanging over when the bag is empty. And because the wool I chose was so plush, I semi-quilted the strap with a few more lines of stitching along the length. I added 3 in of the wool to the top of each of my lining pieces so that the purple didn’t show through from the top of the bag. It was easiest to just baste the wool on top of the interfaced lining pieces prior to constructing the lining, then treat it as normal.

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I adore this bag. I think that I’m going to have to make another one for our own household because this one went away as a Christmas gift. I hope you also feel inspired by this lovely wool!

Kalle Ponte Crop Top

Kalle Ponte Crop Top

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Way back in February, my husband and I went to Las Vegas. Working in a hospital, I wear scrubs five days out of the week, and pajamas the other two. So, despite avidly sewing for myself, I don’t have a very robust closet anymore (thanks weight gain!) and went into panic mode to try and make some things to wear in the southwest. My friend gave me this lovely maxi skirt to wear there, and I had no tops to go with it. So naturally, I dug in my scrap pile and found just enough of this polka-dot ponte to whip together a Kalle crop top. And of course, to make it more complicated, I decided to alter it to be a popover rather than a full button placket!

I barely scraped by with enough fabric on this bad boy. I skipped the collar and made it a band collar, though I have to say, I love a good band collar. The hem facings and inner yoke are cut from black quilting cotton, and the sleeves, collar, and front button band are another black ponte I had laying around. My machine had a little trouble chugging through the thick layers of ponte, but a couple needle changes later it worked out.

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I love the overall fit of this top, which I expected since I love the Kalle shirtdress. However, I will definitely lengthen the top in my next make! The front length is nearly indecent on me, the top of this crop comes just above my high waisted jeans. Lengthening it by about 2 inches would be the perfect length, so I’ll be doing that in future makes. It takes so little fabric to whip together, I will probably be making this up frequently to use up my scraps!

It’s a shame it feels so short on me because I really do love the overall look of this shirt. It’s kind of bad ass, and makes me feel simultaneously comfortable and confident. Come summer and spring, I’ll try to pair it with more high waisted skirts and shorts to make it work.

 

Black Corduroy Rosari Skirt

Black Corduroy Rosari Skirt

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This is a project that’s been a long time coming, mainly because it’s been on my to-do list for over a year! I was inspired to make the Rosari skirt after falling in love with Lladybird’s mustard corduroy version years ago. The use of corduroy with the vintage a-line is exactly what I wanted to add to my closet. And a nice, bad-ass version in black would be perfect to wear to concerts. So I snatched up this black corduroy to fulfill my bad-to-the-bone skirt dreams.

The fabric is impeccable. This is made up of Kaufmann’s corduroy, and feels beautifully medium-to-heavyweight. Its plush and thick, unlike some corduroys that I’ve worked with from Joann’s whose pile crushes down immediately. I spent days vacuuming my house from the amount of lint it produced when cut, but it was totally worth it. I admit to sitting there, petting the corduroy while making this skirt!

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I enjoyed making this up. The pattern felt like it came together quite quickly. I used version A’s pockets and the midi length. The length ends up coming right to my knees, so the term midi is applied loosely. It kind of falls in an awkward spot on my frame, so in my next Rosari I’ll take it up an inch or two. Additionally, I probably won’t add the coin pocket to the pockets (not useful for the time it takes) and will extend the length of the pocket lining, mostly because I love deep pockets. I left out the belt loops on this version in the interest of time, but will probably make it up with belt loops in the future.

While the pattern calls for buttons, I’ve had a bit of an infatuation with snaps lately. I wanted something that felt as bad-ass as I wanted to feel in this skirt, so I hammered in some Dritz heavy duty snaps. It took some trial and error, but a combo of my awl and snip scissors made quick work of putting them in. And I felt much more secure in them lining up properly than buttons might allow! They definitely feel secure and I love the utilitarian feel they have. And, it’s a bonus that they jingle when they’re not secured. While adding the snaps, I might have stabbed my finger once with the awl… it just adds to the literal blood, sweat, and tears that go into making a garment though right?

I have some heavyweight red wool in my fabric stash, so maybe we’ll see another one of these once the seasons change again?

 

My First Archer, in Denim!

My First Archer, in Denim!

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I’ve had this pattern for a real long time, but I had bought it was a PDF and struggled to find a print shop in Des Moines that would print it off inexpensively for me! After calling about 6 different print shops, I found that Beeline and Blue was my best bet around here. Not sponsored or anything, just an FYI from my own personal struggles and research!

After seeing a million bloggers be over the moon about their Archers, I finally found the time to whip together my own. This one is made of a super lightweight denim from Fabric.com (can’t find the link for this anymore, sorry!) and has only been shorted by 1 in along the bodice and sleeves. I love the burrito method of finishing the yoke, and the easy to follow sew along helped take care of any worries I had if I was doing something wrong. I finished the button band with pearlized snaps, and I absolutely love them. There’s nothing as satisfying as hulking out of a shirt at the end of a day.

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At first, I thought this shirt was way too big on me and felt unflattering. But I was reaching for it more and more in my closet. Turns out, I adore it! The only changes I’ll make in the future are to narrow the sleeves and cuffs. Even with the pleats, they feel quite large. I’ll be grading them to be 2 sizes narrower at the wrists, which is apparently a common alteration because I’ve seen this same problem on many on other blogs. I also don’t know if the chest pocket is necessary for all make ups. It is conveniently sized to hold my phone perfectly, but doesn’t add a whole lot to the look of the shirt!

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Since I’ve been so slow to post this (it’s been months), this shirt has seen the trials of wear. I’ve noticed some fraying at the bottom of the button band, because my stitching didn’t quite hit the right spot. This is entirely my mistake, I trimmed that seam allowance when I really shouldn’t have. In my next make of this, I’m not trimming the button band seam allowance at all and will also be reinforcing it with iron on hem tape to ensure that my top stitching is clean and catches all the allowances my first run through.

All things considered, I’ve had to make some fit alterations. But the overall proportions of the collar size are great. I currently have another Archer cut out and ready to sew on my sewing table, so I can’t wait to see how my other alterations change it up!

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Polka-Dot Kalle Shirtdress

Polka-Dot Kalle Shirtdress

I love a good shirtdress. In fact, shirts and shirtdresses are what I’ve sewn the most in the past year or so. I have an assortment of shirtdress patterns in my library, but I still couldn’t pass up trying Closet Case Pattern’s Kalle shirt/shirtdress. Especially after seeing the version made up by True Bias! It looked so effortless and comfortable. Luckily, I’d have this polka-dotted shirting fabric in my stash waiting for the perfect pattern to shine.

 

I adore this dress. I wanted to wear it so badly, that I used the snaps in my stash rather than waiting to run to the shop for a set of buttons! It’s comfortable, breezy, and I still feel well put together when I wear it. It has versatility to be worn in the fall with tights, a belt, and sweater, or in the summer with sandals! Not to mention the other versions, the tunic to wear over leggings or the crop top for just about everything! And the neckline variations of the band collar, popover placket, or hidden placket. Speaking of which… there might be a band collar popover placket cropped shirt coming up soon.

I sewed up a size 10 with no changes to the fit of the pattern. The shape and fit of the sleeve/sleeve band is great. I know that some bloggers found the thigh curve to be too high, but I like it as drafted because it feels like it allows for leg movement.

Between my husband’s and my taste in clothing, I’ve become admittedly pretty good at a collar and button placket! The directions were written out well, and the sew-along was great with further clarification. I was pleasantly surprised when this pattern was still able to teach me something. One of the things that slows me down when sewing a collar is ensuring that the top stitching catches the under collar. I’d ensure this with hand sewing the seams together, which disrupts my sewing flow and slows me down. The Kalle directions recommend using iron-on hem tape or fabric glue to hold it in place, then top stitching. This worked like a charm! It was fast and clean, everything was held in place like I wanted it. I’ll definitely be using this technique again.

I have a popover placket shirt Kalle cut out and half sewn on my sewing table currently. I couldn’t even wait a month before starting another one! So expect to see that shortly.

Lost In Time Shawl

Lost In Time Shawl

In the past year, I taught one of my friends who knits to crochet. She picked it up unbelievably quickly and has inspired me to try new projects and techniques along side her. In her journey looking at crochet patterns, she was inspired by the Lost In Time shawl as a yarn stash buster and suggested we combine our yarn stashes to make some color palettes that worked well. Little did we know, this project is not so much a stash buster as it is a yarn hog…

The first two repeats came together really quickly, and we were motivated by how the design was shaping up! However, the last two repeats of the pattern dragged on. It was a combination of the increasingly lengthy rows and the lack of stitch counts to keep us on track, that we both ended up making some dire mistakes and needed to rip out numerous rows.

Though when mine was completed, I loved it. The autumnal color palette, the interesting stitch combinations, and the warm weight of the shawl made it feel worthwhile. It took a few evenings of movies to weave in all my ends, but overall I loved it. So, I started on a second one!

This monochrome version was a delight. I couldn’t stop staring at how the colors intertwined in the pattern through its construction, and I’m really happy with it. In order for the pattern to alternate colors appropriately, I did not change colors for the double row of sc’s prior to the initial popcorn stitches (rows 21 and 22 respectively). For this project unfortunately, I still ended up weaving all my ends because I didn’t have the insight to carry over my strings at the ends of my rows. Well, you live and learn!

If I end up needing a gift for someone, this is definitely a pattern I’ll consider making for them. In only one or two colors, it comes together more quickly because you won’t have to weave in the ends. It’s stunningly beautiful and is nicely challenging for an experienced crocheter.

Mustard Laurel Dress

Mustard Laurel Dress

I love the design of the Laurel. It’s simple, streamlined shift dress pattern has 3/4 sleeves (my favorite), and a sleek design. I fell in love with Fiona’s black Laurel, and wanted to create my own. I picked out my fabric based on the recommendations, and was ready to liven up my wardrobe of natural colors with a pop of mustard.

Unfortunately, this dress has turned into one of those dresses that theoretically should have been great, but just flopped. It doesn’t feel flattering when I wear it at all. I had to take in the hips by 1/2 in on each side because it was ballooning around me, and now it clings to my stomach and makes me feel 20 lbs heavier. It was doing this before my alteration, but afterwards it was much worse. I’m admittedly pulling in my stomach as much as possible for these photos, for the sake of my dignity.

Adding a belt makes it better! But something about it makes it miss the mark.  The crepe should have been nice and drapey, allowing for a cozy shift dress to wear with tights and boots. Instead it ends up just, blah. I’m contemplating chopping off the bottom, opening up the side seams, and making this a top in an attempt to save it. Only time will tell! Until then, this sits in the back of my closet.

In the future, I may try this pattern again in a black crepe to try and create my own Laurel like Fiona’s. I fear it’ll take many more alterations to make it into something I’ll feel comfortable in. I’m considering loosening the hips again so it’s not sitting on my tum, and taking in the waist and back darts for a more flattering fit. But for now, it goes on the back burner while I try and alter the Archer to be my perfect shirt!