Eileen Fisher Style

I’ve been drawn to the Eileen Fisher aesthetic lately. The fabrics the brand uses   are lush and the shapes are relaxed. It seems like the brand is meant for people who want to be comfortable, yet elegant. Can anyone suggest a store where I could find merino wool knots and silk knits? I want to add that lushness to my wardrobe.

Advertisements

Butterick 6178 Culottes in Black Linen

I started on these Butterick 6178 culottes about three months ago. I promise you that they don’t actually take that long to sew. With the one-two punch of my sewing room being uninhabitable due to summer heat and me being on travel for part of the summer, my sewing pace slowed considerably.

Butterick 6178 culottes

These culottes are made of black linen from Ebad Fabrics in Manhattan. The linen is flowy and slightly see-through. I sewed a size 18 and added about an inch to the back rise of the culottes to allow for more booty room. I did not follow the directions for the waistband; I didn’t interface it and I folded it in half before sewing it to the pants. The waistband is finished with a zigzag.

I enjoy these culottes and I am excited that I finally finished them!

Pants Lesson in New York

I’m finally starting to feel settled in New Jersey. I’ve been on the job for three weeks; we finally have a sofa and storage pieces; I have become familiar with the bus and train systems of New Jersey (sort of…Newark Penn Station is confusing still, with all the different places that have similar names where passengers need to wait for the bus). Last weekend, I felt settled enough to do something just for me—take a sewing lesson.

I decided to work on pants in this lesson. I’d tried fitting these Vogue trousers before, in a different sewing class in SC, but I then gained a lot of weight, which made all the fitting moot. The lesson I had last weekend was at the New York Sewing Center, located in the Garment District. The instructor was awesome. She was patient and didn’t talk to me like I was a kid (an issue I have had in other sewing classes in other cities). I made a huge amount of progress in two hours, getting the pockets, inseams, and side seams sewn. I plan on sewing the crotch and attaching the waistband before going back to work on fitting. I suspect I need more room for my butt, less of a curve on the hips, and less length overall, due to me being a shorty. I’m really looking forward to my next lesson!

New Look 6053, View E: African Wax Print

I sewed New Look 6053 again. This time, I used a fabric from my stash–an African wax print that I bought in a fabric warehouse somewhere in San Francisco last summer. Since I am in the process of moving, I did not have the chance to take modeled photos for the blog; those will come later. (Edited to add a photo of the skirt on me. Photo was taken quickly by my husband, so please excuse the slipper socks and stuff in the background!)

47E929D2-6D01-4018-A44A-7508BF60E199

Modeling pose.

New Look 6053 skirt

New Look 6053, modeled by the closet door.

I believe I sewed a size 18, although I probably should have gone down to a 16, due to losing weight. I used yellow ready-made bias binding to finish the edges of the facing, and I understitched the facing to help keep it in place. I used dark blue ready-made bias binding to finish the hem. This was much faster than easing in the hem to do a double-fold hem.

I used Kathleen Fasanella’s method of inserting a centered zipper. I like this method because it is fast, neat, and does not require hand sewing. I had a bit of confusion with the Pfaff zipper foot because it doesn’t look at all like the zipper feet I’m used to (see a picture of it here and compare it to a Brother zipper foot). I was basically like, “How do?” I put it on backwards at first. After looking at the manual (which I should have done first), I put it on the correct way. I then sewed the zipper on backwards, unpicked it, and sewed it on the correct way.

Even with the zipper hiccups, I went from cut to sew to finished within two sessions spread over two days. I would estimate that I spent four hours on this, which would make it my fastest item yet. I wanted to have it completed for the Black Panther release date, so I would have it ready to wear when we go to the movies.

I’m also proud of myself for sewing from my stash. One piece out!

2018 Sewing Resolutions

I resolve to actually sew.

This year has been a busy one, with lots of travel and lots of work. I changed my diet right around Memorial Day weekend; now, I cook multiple times a week and have to plan my menu around my nutritional requirements. I wanted to sew. I filled that want with buying fabric and patterns and with reading sewing blogs–with accumulating rather than doing. When I did sew, most of what I made didn’t turn out well. I stopped sewing when I started losing weight, since I realized that my measurements were rapidly changing.

Today, my husband helped me with organizing my sewing room. We’d tackled the other rooms in the house over the holiday weekend, but none were as fraught for me as the sewing room was. We still haven’t finished going through everything. The amount of stuff I have is ridiculous for my sewing pace.

So, my sewing resolution will be to use what I have: patterns, fabric, interfacing, zippers, other fastenings, bias tape, and so on. No more buying fabric until I have used what I have. This is a multi-year goal.

After we move next month, I will work on pairing each fabric length with a pattern and with matching notions from the stash. Then, I will work on scheduling out each project. I am successful at work when I plan ahead, follow a schedule, and document my progress; I should be successful at home if I apply the same principles. My husband enjoys project management and wants to build me a project/interactive spreadsheet of some sort to track my progress and use of my stash. I’m interested in seeing the data from that as well. I’m also interested in applying project management principles to something I have total control over.

I have other goals that I want to meet this year:

Social Goal

Meeting new people and making friends in the town we are moving to

Personal Improvement Goal

Improving my Spanish vocabulary and strengthening my knowledge and use of the complex verb tenses by taking advanced classes or going to language exchange meetups

Professional Development Goal

Learning how to use Adobe Technical Communication Suite programs, probably by taking classes (this can be on-going and go into 2019)

I’m trying to not give myself too much to do because that’s how I got into this fabric panic in the first place. I give myself too much to do and then I do nothing because I am overwhelmed.

What are your goals?

 

Simplicity 1062, View C: Dolman-Sleeve Knit Top

I made Simplicity 1062, View C again. The last time I made it, I used a size Large and a rayon knit; this time, I used a size Medium and a mystery poly knit. I got the fabric on a shopping trip with my mother-in-law at Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, NJ.

Simplicity 1062 View C

I don’t know why I have such a look on my face.

I used the serger to sew all of the bands, and I used a zig-zag stitch to secure the hem. This was really easy and quick to make, and I like how it feels in a thicker knit. I also like how the longer back hem covers the gap that can appear when you bend over while wearing jeans. I would definitely sew this up a third time!

Simplicity 1062 View C Again

It’s wide! Also, serious face.

Just so you know, this pattern includes about 8 inches of ease in the body, but the arm bands are snug.

Are there any knit tops that you like?

 

McCalls 3830 and Cation Designs Dolman Tee

Hello there! I’ve been sewing rather slowly. My old Brother sewing machine decided that it likes to eat knits, even when I’m using the walking foot. I now have a Pfaff (with the IDT!) that my husband kindly got me for my birthday. It handles ITY knits like a champ! I’m excited about it.

I started both of these items about 25 lbs. ago, and it shows–they’re both rather too big for me know. I know I’ll still wear them on the weekend, though, as long as I can without them falling off.

I’ve made the Cation Designs Dolman Tee before. I love it for work because it comes off as elegant and it also has sleeves, which are necessary in a chilly office environment. This one is made of an ITY I got while shopping with my mother-in-law at the Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, NJ. It is a size XL; next time I sew it, I will use a L or M.

Cation Designs Dolman Tee and McCalls 3830 Skirt

Awkward timed selfie.

The McCalls 3830 skirt is made of a rayon/linen blend. I think I got that at Joann’s, as I couldn’t find plain linen in dark colors online at the time I was shopping for it, for some reason. I like the hand of the fabric. The skirt is the shortest view with no back vent and I believe I used a size 18 or 20. I should use a 16 next time, I think, and also take a little off the side seam curve, as my hips are not as curvy as the pattern is. I am closer to success with this pattern!

Cation Designs Dolman Tee and McCalls 3830 Skirt 2

This one is much better and shows the drape of the knit.

I love the idea of #sewmystashseptember. My stash has gotten uncomfortably large from all these shopping trips while traveling and little gifts to myself when I am feeling blah and uninspired. Now it is time for me to make these lengths of cloth into clothes I love.

I am interested in going at it from a capsule + purpose perspective: travel capsule (quick-drying, anti-wrinkling, stretch, chic for tourist photographs); casual Fridays/weekends capsule (structured, but not TOO structured, colorful), and work capsule (basic, dark colors, opaque, full coverage). I wonder how I can fit my stash in there.

My grandmother used to buy me complete outfits whenever we did back to school or vacation shopping. I remember getting coordinated shorts and tops sets with matching socks and a coordinating cardigan (and maybe matching hair bows and barrettes too) when we prepared for our first vacation together to Seattle. So much pink! I would like to approach my sewing this way too: for every top, there must be a bottom, and every bottom must have a top. That doesn’t mean a 1:1 ratio, as many tops can match a bottom. However, the styles and shapes must go together. That’s something for me to think about as I approach the stash.

How do you approach building a wardrobe and managing your resources?