Last week I had a rant on Instagram video that you may have caught (if not you can still find it in my highlights). It started with a leopard print fabric that I wanted to make a jumpsuit out of. I knew it was a little out there and that I might not wear it, but I desperately wanted to try. This turned into a poll (where you guys were overwhelmingly in support of the leopard) and then into me thinking about how my process has evolved over the years and how reluctant I have become to take risks with my sewing. I use to make a lot of statement pieces and less basics. Less practical, perhaps, but I miss the excitement of sewing something fabulous every once in awhile just because I want to. You see, sewing is more than about clothing my body, it’s about expressing myself, learning new skills, therapy and art. When did it become so much about basics?
So, Heather of Closet Case Patterns and I decided to do something about it. For the rest of October and all of November we will be hosting the Sew Frosting challenge. Here is how it works. From now thru the end of November we want to encourage the sewing community to make “frosting”. (Frosting is a term coined by Tasia, founder of Sewholic patterns, years ago. It was a debate in the sewing community about sewing more cake (everyday basics) verses frosting (impractical makes).) This could mean sewing up that beautiful silk or brocade that has been sitting in your stash, it could include making that cocktail dress for the holiday party this year, or even just pushing yourself to use a fabric that is a bit out of your comfort zone instead of the navy or black that is safe. It can mean different things to different people, but remember that the idea is that you are inspired by what you are making. It should feel more like art and less like work.
And what would a contest be without awards? Here is what we came up with:
- The Most Unconventional Fabric or Material – Think outside of the box about what material you could use or supplement for your project. Maybe it’s a crazy print, or surprising textile.
- The Couture Award – Take those sewing skills to a new level and really show us what craftsmanship is made of.
- Oona Ballona Award – If there is anyone who comes to my mind when I think of Frosting it is Oona. She pulls of mixing print and color in a way I can only imagine. Check out her blog for inspiration and show us something fabulous that we could see her in.
Wondering about the prizes? I am blown away by how generous out sponsors have been! These prize packages are pretty incredible. We have prize packages for the three awards above plus 2 randomly selected community awards.
- The Most Unconventional Fabric or Material :$100 gift certificate to The Fabric Store, $100 gift certificate to Stone Mountain & Daughter, $75 gift certificate to Oak Fabrics, a bundle of 3 naturally dyed silks from A Verb for Keeping Warm, 3 meters of vegan bamboo silk from Ray Stitch
- The Couture Award -$100 gift certificate to The Fabric Store, $100 gift certificate to Blackbird Fabrics, $75 gift certificate to Style Maker Fabrics, 3 patterns of your choice from By Hand London, 3 meters of vegan bamboo silk from Ray Stitch.
- Oona Ballona Award :$100 gift certificate to The Fabric Store, $100 gift certificate to Imagine Gnats, $75 gift certificate to Fancy Tiger Crafts,$50 gift certificate to The Confident Stitch, 3 meters of vegan bamboo silk from Ray Stitch, 3 yards of this gorgeous botanical silk print from Bolt in Portland
To enter, all you need to do is tag your entry on Instagram with #sewfrosting and @tag both Heather and I in the caption of your post. And of coarse use the tag #sewfrosting to post pics of fabric choices and the sewing progress during the entirety of the challenge. We want to follow along and be inspired by what you are making. If you don’t have instagram simply email your entry to myself or Heather. We will announce the winners of the challenge on our blogs December 1st.
As for what I will be making, here is what I know so far. Of coarse I am making something amazing out of that leopard print jacquard from The Fabric Store. But I will talk more specifics next week. In the meantime, I have started a pinterest board with all of my #sewfrosting inspiration. You can check that out here to see what I am thinking about and maybe even get some inspiration for yourself.
I hope you guys are excited. Be sure to hop on over the Heather’s blog to see what her thoughts are for the #sewfrosting challenge. Also, check out all of our amazing sponsors for the contest below.
Today the Emerson Pant and Short was rereleased as a paper pattern in addition to the original mid rise fit. The pattern is also now available as both a paper and a pdf pattern depending on your preference.
I have always loved the Emerson pattern because it is such a beginner friendly option for a pant pattern. It was designed to pair with the Ogden cami, and now that there is a high rise option, it pairs even better for a faux jumpsuit look.
The pattern now includes four views to accomodate the preferences of shorts or crop pants and both waist height options. The original mid rise option hits a couple of inches below the waist with a slightly curved front waistband and comfortable elastic back waistband. The new high rise option hits at the natural waist with a straight front waistband and the same elastic back waistband.
If you have bought the Emerson pattern in the past, you will receive an email sometime today with the updated pdf pattern. If you do not get the email by tomorrow, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your proof of purchase and we can get it for you.
The PDF version of the pattern is discounted by 20% for the launch through this Monday October 8th, no code needed. Let us know if you have any questions.
I hope you are as excited as I am about this.
The original Nikko pattern includes pattern pieces for a top (with or without sleeves) that is fitted, and a dress that is straighter through the waist and hips. I wanted to combine the two for a Nikko dress that is more body con like the top is. It’s a very easy hack so I thought I would share.
First of all you will use the top pattern pieces instead of the dress one since it has the more fitted waistline. I decided to use the sleeved version, but this would just as easily work for the sleeveless one. The only pattern pieces that you will be adjusting is the front and back. The neckband and also the sleeves or sleeve facings stay the same.
All you are going to do is lengthen the center front and center back straight down as those are cut on the fold. For the side seams you want to gradually angle it in about an inch so that it is fitted at mid calf. How long you extend it is up to you, but I would say somewhere between 20-30 inches from the original hem.
Once you have cut and sewn the Nikko according the the instructions, I find it really helpful to try the dress on inside out and mark any areas that I want to pull in a bit and make adjustments. I then hemmed it using fusible knit tape like the pattern suggests. Because the pattern calls for really stretchy knits you don’t actually need a slit at the hem, just make sure that you use a very forgiving stretch stitch to finish it.
Let’s talk a bit about fabric. I used a thick ribknit from The Fabric Store for this. I think that the thickness really is key to a body con dress so that it has more coverage. Rib knits are especially good for this. They kind of hide any lines or bumps that you may not want to draw attention to.
That’s it! Super easy hack for a fun dress. Can’t wait to wear it for date night.
I’ve had a hard time finding the exact color of non stretch denim that I wanted for some Lander pants, so I decided to give fabric dying a go. I went with RIT because it was easy to find and inexpensive. Honestly I had no idea or confidence in how this was going to go, so I didn’t want to invest too much. For fabric, I went with my tried and true bull denim in natural. White would work as well, but since I knew that I wanted a darker color in the end, I figured the natural was more likely to get me there.
I did two separate dye batches. I scoured the RIT website which has a great section on color formulas and went with potter’s clay as my first batch.
I bought the three colors it asked for – tangerine, apple green, and scarlet and got to work.
Essentially I just followed the directions on the bottle and on the website. I added salt which was recommended and used this paper towel to test the color before adding my fabric. One thing that made a more successful product this time (compared to past attempts) was getting a large enough bucket so there was a lot of movement, and also stirring a lot for the first 10 minutes.
I let it soak for a few hours with occasional stirring because I knew that I wanted a deep color.
The end result is this beautiful deep rust color that I love so much. I would say that it is a little more red than the intended hue, but it is still such a gorgeous color that I can’t be upset.
Next up, I wanted a true camel brown. It’s my favorite color to wear with a simple black turtleneck in the fall so I knew I needed to make it. I looked again at the RIT color formulas and landed on caramel.
I bought the golden yellow and cocoa brown dyes and used the same natural colored bull denim.
I used the same process as before and ended up with a perfect medium camel color.
All in all a big success. The only change I might make next time is to add a small amount of black to my dye to get a darker hue.
I can’t wait to make up a couple of Lander pants with these for the fall and winter which is fast approaching.
One of my goals for this year was to dive into sewing lingerie. It’s something I have wanted to master for awhile, but have been seriously intimidated by. I am a pretty confident sewist, but bras are one of those things that has felt like a new craft. It didn’t feel intuitive to me so the learning curve was steeper than I was use to. To get over my fears, I decided to take a class from Amy of Cloth Habit at Fancy Tiger Crafts.
It was such an amazing intensive where I was able to get over my mental hurdle and realize that bra making really isn’t that hard. In fact, start to finish, it’s just a few hours so you improve and get confident really quickly. The hardest part is fitting the bra since you really can’t check fit until you’ve sewn a whole bra. Luckily Amy gave us each a fitting during the class. The problem was that my body went through some changes right after the class and so my bra size changed. When Braugust (Bra August) was announced, I decided to use the month to really tackle the Harriet bra again.
During the month of August I made up three different versions of the Harriet bra. I made small tweaks to each one for fit, but all three are wearable. I can’t get over how pretty and delicate they look.
The light blue and black bras were my first two. The lace and findings for these bras both came from Tailormade. I love her kits. It makes it so much easier knowing that you have all of the small parts to make a bra.
The rust colored bra is probably my favorite and was the last bra I made. I had a bunch of white lace and elastics in my stash left over from other projects that I threw into a dye bath. All of the parts came out in different shades from light pink to dark orange. I am pretty obsessed with how ombre affect that this gives when you combine them all into one bra.
Now that I have a great fitting Harriet bra I want to take some of the scraps and try to make some matching undies. I am also interested in trying out a foam version of the Harriet. I see lots more lingerie sewing in my future as it seems to be the perfect palette cleansers between working on my own patterns and larger projects.