Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Wardrobe: Wiksten Tank

As part of my plan to sew at least one project a month throughout this year, and as one of my goals to make more of my own clothes and accessories, I decided I wanted to try to make a garment. I am a big fan of Jenny Gordy's blog Wiksten Made and her clothing line, Wiksten, so I was thrilled when she released her Tank Top and Dress pattern.

This is my first sewn garment that fits, and it fits well. I was a little nervous about how the tank would look on me, but I'm thrilled with the fit. I think it's universally flattering and it is so comfortable.

Jenny's instructions were very clear and helpful. There were a couple of times when I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing, but I trusted her directions and did what she told me, and eventually everything became clear. I'm not a very experienced seamstress but I had no trouble following these directions, and I can't praise the pattern the pattern enough.

The adorable pocket detail is one of my favorite parts. I think the fabric is vintage--I got it at a barn sale last summer. I was happy to find such great fabric for this project in my stash.

I'd like to make the dress version, and I also have Jenny's Tova shirt and dress pattern that looks perfect for fall. So much to sew, so little time...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Wardrobe: Tote Bags

As part of my plan to sew at least one project a month, I made two tote bags in July (I'll catch up on April through June soon). I'm also trying to craft with the seasons and create more of my own clothes and accessories. Even though I was busy this summer I managed to make several things for my summer wardrobe. Link

The first one was the Broadturn Bag from Amanda Blake Soule's wonderful book Handmade Home. This is one of my favorite craft books. It's a wonderful blend of personal history, beautiful photographs, clear instructions, and projects that fit my aesthetic, budget, and lifestyle. This is not an easy feat! One thing I love about it is the frugal Yankee mindset that runs throughout it--this is something that runs in my family as well, and it's very inspiring to see it executed so beautifully in this book.

I had a little bit of trouble sewing the oval bottom to the body of the bag, but i often have trouble with that. I dug into my stash of fabric and found a large piece from my grandmother that had panels of coordinating fabric already sewn together. I separated the two fabrics and used one for the strap and the other for the body and bottom of the bag. I was pleased with myself for using stash fabric and for completing this quick and easy bag! It's already come in handy for corralling books, craft supplies and other random items for day trips.

I also made the Inside Out Bag from The Purl Bee. I love this blog so much, and over the years I have been able to make so many things from my stash thanks to the inspiration I've found there.

Instead of bias tape, I used extra-wide ribbon I had lying around. There is a great fabric shop around the corner from me and they sell huge rolls of ribbon for a dollar. A dollar for the entire roll, not a dollar a yard! This means I end up with a lot of ribbon. I also used some great red fabric from the stash that I had originally intended to make curtains with, but I've been using it for other projects here and there. This bag has also seen lots of use--the magazine pocket and smaller pockets are genius! I'm always carrying magazines with me and I hate when they get wrinkled, but that doesn't happen with the special pocket.

I'm still learning about sewing, but I'm glad I've been pushing myself to complete sewing projects every month. I even made my first garment, which I'll share next time.