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Category: sewing

fall wardrobe: additions

Mondays are usually the worst, but I woke up this morning excited for a new day and a fresh start. I’ll be out of town again next week (who am I with all this travel lately, sheesh), so the next few days are all about wrapping up a few projects and styling and photography and editing and writing posts. I’ve been hard at work on my fall wardrobe, and lots of progress has been made. So far I’ve finished four skirts, two dresses, and a cardigan, which, now that I type it out doesn’t sound like much. Keep on keepin’ on, I say!

I had a moment last week when I looked at some of the patterns I’d picked and some of the fabrics I was working with, and I decided that I needed to do a little editing. So, I spent an entire afternoon removing a few things from my list of projects and saving a few others for my “winter” to-do list. I’ve scratched a couple new patterns off my list in favor of ones I’ve made in the past with success.

My shirtdress kick is still going strong, and I loved this design from Vogue’s fall collection. I love the pussy bow, and had every intention of doing view B with the bow in a gorgeous olive sateen. This dress isn’t quite a shirtdress–there’s a button placket down center front, but it doesn’t extend all the way to the hem of the skirt. And there’s a side zipper. Guys, I’m just going to put this out there: I cannot stand side zippers. Talk about a pain. Plus, what’s the point of a shirtdress if you can’t get into it like a shirt? Anyway, after looking closely at the pattern pieces, I decided to put this one away for another day. I still love the design, but I will need to invest some serious time into extending the button placket all the way down center front and eliminating that pesky side zipper.

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how to: hem a circle skirt

Hey, y’all! First things first, you’ll have to pardon my radio silence this week. Ty and I went to Oklahoma last weekend, so my usual weekend catch-up/photography/blog writing days were spent on the road. I’ve got a quick post for you today, and then lots and lots of fun things coming up next week and into October. I’ve finished a number of fall projects, so I’m really excited to show you what I’ve been working on.

Last week, I showed you how to level a hem on a circle skirt (or a skirt in a delicate fabric). To kind of bring everything full circle (ha!), I thought it would be a good idea to show you how to hem this type of skirt. Every once in a while I’ll get asked about this, and it’s one of the easiest things to do. For this project you’ll need your skirt that has been leveled, an iron, a hem gauge, and thread.

If you’re sewing a full or circle skirt, there’s no need for a deep hem. I happen to love the look of a deep hem on a lot of things, but it’s unnecessary on a circle skirt. If you want to spend the extra time and effort on a hem facing, go for it. It would be fantastic if you’re working on an evening gown or a couture piece, but for our purposes, you don’t need more than 3/4″ for the hem. Remember that the sweep of a full skirt can be quite significant, so you don’t want to make things more difficult for yourself if you don’t have to.

This hem is completed in three easy steps: turn up 3/8″, turn up 3/8″ again, and stitch. Some people turn up 1/4″ or an 1/8″ and then 3/8″ or more. None of these methods are wrong, I just happen to like mine better. Plus, I’ve been doing it for so long and hemmed hundreds of these types of skirts, so I could probably do it with my eyes closed at this point. Maybe that’s a stretch, but I digress.

Step 1: With the wrong side of your garment facing up on your ironing board, turn up and press 3/8″, all the way around.

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how to: level a hem

Isn’t it funny how quickly people can dismiss sewing as “easy” or “old fashioned”? I used to get really, really bothered when someone would say they didn’t know sewing was “a thing” anymore or assume that because I knew how to sew that I also spent my spare time in a dark basement somewhere churning butter or washing clothes on a washboard. Because that goes together? At any rate, I don’t care anymore. Sewing is a serious skill, and there’s a lot more that goes into it than people realize.

Back in the day, before all the sewing hours and experience had really added up, I was a little intimidated by hemming things. How do I do it? Is it done by hand? How much does one hem something, anyway? Turns out, just like everything else, there’s tons of different ways to do things and different projects call for different hems.

Have you ever noticed a dress or a skirt in a store with a funny looking hem? Uneven or longer in some spots? I have, and I even bought one once because it was linen and floral and pretty and I had to have it. I also knew it was an easy fix.