Show us your Stash this week!

show us your stash

We’re doing something a little different for this week’s link up  – Show us your Stash. I thought it would be fun to see everyone’s fabric stash…how much you have, how you store it, where your stash may have spread to.

IMG_9918Last week I posted on Instagram some of my stash overflow. But…I wasn’t totally honest. You know how it is desirable to put your most lovely photos, with the most artful filters, up on Instagram. So I took a perfectly angled photo displaying my folded fabric like that was somehow the extent of it.

The truth is, my sewing room isn’t always pretty. I enjoy shopping for fabric, and I am a very slow seamstress. I also tend to “save” my favorite pieces of fabric. Ugh. This has recently gotten out of control.

A year and a half ago -- so clean!

Those green buckets are stuffed so full!

I have 4 green bins that slide into my cutting table where I keep my fabric. At one time, that was perfect, and I kept a few more items in the closet under the stairs. Wasn’t my sewing room beautiful?

IMG_9914In a feeble attempt to keep it organized, I bought a big plastic tub. It was instantly filled AND then I couldn’t put the lid on it. So I just started piling new fabrics up on top. Then they spread to the nearby chair. It is a mountain that I now call my shameful pile of fabric.

IMG_9919

The closet under the stairs

Now that I’ve admitted to my shameful stash problem, let me see yours! I created a link party that is open for 4 months, so you can join in whenever you can.

To link up, you can write a blog post that gives us all the juicy details and link to that. Or you could link up a flickr photo or a Instagram photo if you’d like. We can’t wait to see! #addictedtofabric #ilovefabric #fabricporn

Next week I’ll be back with Sew it Chic in a Week, so save up your gorgeous projects for that and we can all admire.

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Wrap up on the McCall’s 6991 blouse

IMG_9789Sewing this blouse (McCall’s 6991) was an uphill battle that has been dragging on for months. I began a little distracted, and quickly realized that I needed all my attention on my project when I

From Instagram

Instagram

immediately finished the wrong side of the self-faced edge. Ugh. I wasn’t going to pick out my beautiful baby hem, it would have just shredded the fabric anyway, so I just refolded it. But I had already sewn it to the yoke. Had to unpick that. Then it didn’t lay as well at the join. So I set it aside in a huff.

McCall's blouse 6991 aThen last week I ordered gray serger thread from Wawak (seriously, SUPER fast shipping and GREAT prices, I heart Wawak!) and as I was waiting for my 10 year old to find time in her schedule to sew doll dresses with me, I looked around for gray projects to work on. Turns out, I have a lot of gray projects since I love gray! I picked this little blouse up and thought, well, it is nearly done! I should just finish it up. God I’m dumb sometimes.

mcCall's blouse cI did go read PR reviews and realized I needed to take it in both widthwise and the back hem was too low. Those were successful alterations. I also read that the sleeves were too wide. But how about button tabs, like Erica did? Yes, I love button tabs! It was the only thing that went well in this project. I adore my button tabs.

McCall's wrap blouse 6991Nearly the final step is to sew up the sides, so I wasn’t totally certain how it was going to hang until it was finished. And viola, I do not like it! My fabric has just a hint too much body and that neckline is so tight and high. It looks like a tent, but how much worse would it have been if I hadn’t read the excellent reviews on Pattern Review and made pre-alterations? I shudder to think.

McCalls 6991 aMy question is, do I make it again in a better suited fabric? In a smaller size? Or is this drape top trend over anyway and I should move on? It is almost summer anyway and it is time to make 100 summer dresses and sleeveless things!

McCall's 6991 blouse d


Wild cherries on my sweet girl

Shwin and shwin maggie mae 1And now it is time for Kid’s Clothes Week! Yes, I am in the middle of my wardrobe project, but I do love to sew for my girls and I love the inspiration I get during this special week.

The theme is “wild things” and I snapped this cherry challis up at the SewExpo Vogue fabric booth a couple of years ago. I started a Colette Sencha blouse, got it almost completed with french seams and perfect finishes, then decided I hated it. The neck was too high and the release darts were not flattering. It happens like that sometimes. Maybe I should try it on again and see if I still hate it (2 years later)? Maybe you’ll see it soon on the blog!  Never say never.

IMG_9740But I had a little bit of this fabric left over and I still really liked the way the girlish cherries were balanced by the black background. Paired with this REALLY lovely pink stretch satin, it became a Maggie Mae tunic by Shwin and Shwin. Continue reading


Sew it Chic in a Week #12

Light ChicSpring has truly sprung here in the state of Washington, so we have had lots of rain interspersed with lovely sun. Thursday was the first day of the year that we dined alfresco! And I’ve started dressing in a less layered style – how fun! Changing seasons are always so invigorating for my wardrobe. I’m looking forward to wearing old warm weather favorites, making lots of new items, and buying just a few new things (shoes and maybe a hat?).

IMG_9757Sewing-wise I spent the week making doll clothes with my 10 year old. Shwin and Shwin posted a free pattern for an American Girl doll Frozen inspired Elsa dress and we’ve been making 4 copies – one for each daughter and 2 for friends. It has been so fun sewing with her and she adores it so much! And it is not so serious, since we are just making doll clothes. I can get pretty stressed out about my sewing projects sometimes, even though this is supposed to be my relaxing hobby. So it was fun to take a break! But next week I should have 2 garment projects done. That will be a first for this snail of a seamstress!


Lady Sewalot1Our last link up party was a wonderful group of projects and brought Lauren from Lady Sewalot to my attention. She posted a lovely purple cardigan that everyone clicked on! So I asked her to answer some questions.  Here they are:

1. What is your motivation to sew?
Still being at school, I have pretty much no disposable income so sewing for myself is the only way I have new clothes. Sewing is a great creative outlet that really kills 2 birds with one stone as I can wear my creations for years after I’ve made them. It’s definitely more productive and more fulfilling than watching TV! Next year I’m going to uni to do a degree in Costume Construction. I’m super excited to be sewing costumes all day and every day!

2. What is your favorite thing about sewing?
My favourite thing about sewing is the total freedom you get when making your own clothing. With a sloper, the world is literally at your fingertips! You can mix and match the right fabric to the right pattern to express yourself as an individual in a way that I struggle to do with ready to wear clothes. Through making my own clothes, I’ve learnt that I love full skirted dresses, and simple designs with an interesting and unique design detail which can never be found in stores. I also love having clothing that fits my body and my personality.

Lady Sewalot23. What is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I think my least favourite thing about sewing is the steps at the end of the project where the main body of the garment is done. My ‘vision’ has been realised and I’m raring to wear it already, but those little things have to be done (like hemming) before I can wear it. I wish I had a hemming robot to do my hemming for me!

4. What is the most recent thing you’ve learned about sewing?
Shortcuts are not a good idea. They usually lead to mistakes or a quality I’m not happy with, so have to be re-done, taking more time and work than if I’d just done it properly in the first place!


 

What do you have to link up this week, my friends? Here is just a quick run down of those little rules again:

Women’s garments only
Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!
Optional additional ideas:

If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as eating outside in the fresh air. They are encouraging and build community.

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Sew it Chic in a Week #11

Light Chic

What a great week of contributions at the link up! Really amazing stuff last week, I was so impressed. Thank you all, and I’m bursting with inspiration!

But I can’t get distracted by the next shiny project. I have to stay focused on my wardrobe contest entry. Even though I only have one item done, I have started 2 others and am still waffling about the last Sewist’s Choice piece. I just got a bunch of new patterns and I keep thinking maybe I should change my plans! Or I should make a new plan! Or I should make extra garments! What, am I crazy? It is fun to contemplate, though.


 

Cookin and Craftin1 This week I would like to introduce you to Meg from Cookin’ and Craftin’, whose Maya top was the most clicked item of last week’s link up. I love the beautiful printed challis she chose. If I had a length of that lovely fabric that is exactly what I’d make! She graciously answered some questions about her sewing process so we can get to know her better.

What is your motivation to sew? 
I’ve always enjoyed making things, but for some reason, I find sewing to be deeply satisfying. I love being able to envision something in my head, sew it up and wear it the next day. Sewing is also very relaxing for me. Except cutting into the fabric: that is so stressful for some reason!
What is your favorite thing about sewing?
I love how it uses both sides of my brain. It requires creativity but also technical skills and math.

Cookin and Craftin2

What is your least favorite thing about sewing? 
This is sad, but I don’t really love hand sewing. I am really bad at it. I want to get better, though!
What is the most recent thing you’ve learned about sewing?
Patience! I don’t necessarily always adhere to the rule, but in most case, patience really wins out over rushing it as far as sewing goes.
Thank you, Meg! What lovely projects you have shared with us and it is fun to hear your thoughts on the process.

And now for our 11th link up! Take it away, ladies! But first, in case this is your first time, here are the rules:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as waking up to coffee on my bedside table. They are encouraging and build community.
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Sleeveless Mathilde for summer

Mathilde Sleeveless2Gingham declares summer, don’t you think? So I feel this is a perfect start to the spring/summer wardrobe that I’m creating.

Sleeveless Mathilde blouse2I’ve made the Mathilde blouse before, so I thought this would be a breeze. It mostly was. I do enjoy sewing more quickly when I feel confident about the fit, but I still had a little hiccup. I think my pleats were just a hair too deep, and that meant my top did not match my yoke and it was a little smaller in the chest than it should have been. It still fits fine, though. I gave myself a smidge more room in the back when attaching buttons. Easy fix!

Mathilde top Sleeveless2One unique detail this time was the bias cut yoke. I ended up self lining that yoke piece so it wouldn’t stretch out of shape. It also makes the gingham seem more textured.

Sleeves on MathildeAnd then the sleeves…I knew that giant billowy gingham sleeves were not for me. The cotton is not the right drape, certainly, but also I just thought I would be overwhelmed with gingham. So I slimmed down the sleeve quite a bit, which took some wrangling to get it all on grain. Finally got that slim, elbow length sleeve on there and was like, “Blech! Hate it!” If you follow me on Instagram, you can agonize with me about such decisions!

Of course it was supposed to be a sleeveless Mathilde all along! Yay!Mathilde Blouse Sleeveless2

I got to use my Simflex and Chakoner

I got to use my Simflex and Chakoner

My other extra detail was doubling the buttons! I am trying to use up stash, so I looked through my button box several times. 7 buttons is a hard number to come up with. I couldn’t find any great ones. But I did find these rather plain ones that I made special by doubling up!

Sleeveless Mathilde blouse1Confession- it makes the top impossible to put on or take off on my own. Ha!

I am learning how best to present my entire wardrobe plan. There are a couple different programs I can use to gather that information up and make it look compelling. It is fun to play, but it also means more computer time. I’ll get it together and share very soon!

 

 

 

 

 


Sew It Chic in a Week #10

Light ChicOur Sew it Chic link up is already in the double digits. So far I’ve really been enjoying it and I hope you have, too!

I’ve discovered new blogs and actually made new friends. If everyone still likes reading this and linking, then I will continue hosting every week. And I can’t wait to see what you have for me today. Remember that you don’t have to have a blog to link up. If you have written a review on Pattern Review, posted a project on Kollabora, or even just post pics on Instagram, you can still share!

This week I started on my contest wardrobe…so far so good! I am a very slow sewer, so I have to just remember to get in the sewing room everyday. Does anyone else struggle with an attitude of “if I don’t have an hour or 2, then why bother?” Especially since I’m so slow, if I only have 20 minutes, what am I going to get done? One seam? But, of course, if you sew enough single seams it does make a garment. And, just for fun, I added the wardrobe project to my timekeeping app to see how long it takes me from start to finish. I had to wait and start on Wednesday (April 1st) but I have already put in 2h 42m. Progress is being made!


Chiffon Roxanne Top

Chiffon Roxanne Top

At last week’s link up party, everyone was clickity click click on Jillian’s (from SewUnravelled) amazing culotte pants. They were bold and beautiful! So I contacted her to get some more info about her sewing thoughts and she graciously answered my questions.

Motivation to sew:
I’ve always sewn or crafted, for as long as I can remember. My mother sewed and knit and passed the skills onto me at an early age. It just always “was”. Throughout my life I’ve crafted in one way or another constantly – from sewing to knitting, to silversmithing and crocheting (badly!). The motivation now comes from the ability to have the exact clothing I choose. Creating something different from the norm and that truly reflects me. That’s pretty good motivation! Oh and a little girl who loves dresses in which to twirl and a hubby who begs for items for himself.
Chambray Alder Dress

Chambray Alder Dress

Favourite thing about sewing:
The ability to wear clothing that FITS! Both in the tailoring sense and a style that works for me.
Least Favourite thing:
1. Hemming. Seriously, by that stage of a project I just want it done, on my body and being enjoyed. It can take me days to hem something because I can never decide on length. Up, down, up, down…

2. Fitting: even though it’s also my most favourite thing in terms of the result, I find it a great big frustrating mystery!

Most recent thing I learned:
I can make trousers/pants! I have traditionally stuck to summer sewing (simple dresses, tops, skirts) because they require the least amount of “skill”. I like a quick win. But, I can make trousers and they fit!

Now for the link up rules: 

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as waking up to coffee on my bedside table. They are encouraging and build community.
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McCall’s 6711– the blouse!

McCalls 6711 blouseI really like the versatile and comprehensive pattern McCalls 6711. I have made the dress, muslined the jacket, and I like both the skirt and pants. And now I’ve made the blouse (which is just a shortened version of the dress). If it goes on sale I may buy another copy to have on hand!M6711

This blouse is made from a beautiful, gorgeous, lovely silk-cotton that I bought in the LA Garment district. Of course I’ve been hoarding it, like I do. Why do I do that? I know I will enjoy the fabric more once it is made up and I can actually wear it! So I jumped over the hurdle of my habit of “saving the good stuff” and made this blouse. I think it turned out pretty and I will wear it quite a lot, actually. I’m chastising myself right now for waiting so long to use it!

McCalls6711bI was torn as to whether or not to line the blouse because it is so sheer. I lined the blue dress with cotton and it resulted in too much body. That meant the top of the dress didn’t hang like I wanted it to. Grrrrr. So this time I didn’t line it (except the yoke is self lined so all the edges are enclosed) since I figured I wear a camisole 80% of my life, since I am always cold. And I do love how the soft drape tucks in nicely.

Speaking of camisoles, I would love to have some silk ones. I could make a big batch of them and feel super luxurious everyday. I think my next big project (after the Wardrobe Contest) will be lingerie and underthings. I am intimidated and intrigued by the process, but it would be a fun challenge.

McCalls6711dCan you see the subtle sparkles in the fabric? They are so subtle that my eagle-eyed photographer/daughter did not believe that they were there until we went out into the sunlight. I don’t think we did a sufficient job of capturing them in a pic. Please believe me, they are there!

McCalls 6711 detailsI remembered to write a note on the pattern to take the neckline down another inch. Yay for actual notes I wrote down! And I lengthened it just about 1.5 inches so that it would tuck in easily and securely.

McCalls6711cNow, gathers…I had rows of perfectly gathered fabric at both shoulders and the back. The shoulders turned out well, but the back does not have even and tiny gathers. The trick that has finally dawned on me is—it doesn’t matter how perfect you have basted and gathered, the final step of sewing it must be as close to the basting line as possible. Especially in a fine fabric such as this one. I sewed the yoke on maybe a quarter of an inch away from my basting stitches and so it folded and pleated and made me so sad. I think next time I might just sew right on top of my basting stitch and pick out any stitches that show. It only takes a second to pick those stitches out. But I do not think I could have unpicked the entire back of this blouse in that delicate fabric after I had sewn the yoke down, so it will stay as is. At least it is on my back and I won’t lament it often.

MCCalls6711aTomorrow I get started on the big wardrobe project!!! My promise to myself is that if I do not get at least 4 pieces done in the first 3 weeks, then I won’t enter the contest. I do not want to be stressed at the last minute. The Sewing Bee was different because we were only given a week to complete each challenge. But I plan on thoroughly enjoying this fun project!


Sew it Chic in a Week #9

Light Chic

Sally

Sally’s Cascade Duffle Coat

We had such amazing projects linked up from a wonderful variety of seamstresses this last week, and in all the excitement of my new puppy (eek!) I forgot to contact any of them for an interview. Sorry about that! We did have a talented first timer link up: Sally doesn’t have a blog and didn’t know how to link up, so she wrote up her first review on Pattern Review to show off her beautiful Cascade coat that she modified. It is a very special project!

Coconut

Coconut

You all know that I love my Pattern Review contests, and went through the crazy fun ride of the Sewing Bee last year. I guess I didn’t learn my lesson because I am planning on entering their upcoming Wardrobe contest. It involves making 8 items in 6 weeks; 4 tops, 3 bottoms and 1 free choice. And actually 1 more item that can be purchased or previously sewn. The key is they must all coordinate and ALL tops must match ALL bottoms. This has been a fun puzzle to ponder for the past few days, especially while waiting around for my puppy to potty so I can give him a treat. Ha!

As long as I keep in the blue/gray/white family of colors, I have plenty of fabric in stash for this. I also think this may give me a push to make those more simple, wearable items I like to have but don’t like to sew. I really like to wear the clothes I made myself everyday, but I’m not always up for getting so fancy. And yet I don’t really sew T-shirts. Last year I planned to do something like this with my Gear up for Me Made May plan, but didn’t get it all finished. Oops. But this year I will be wearing these pieces all through May and beyond!

I’d love to see you link up items if you are also entering the contest! Wouldn’t that be fun?


 

Now for the link up rules: 

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as new puppy kisses. They are encouraging and build community.
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Sew it Chic in a Week #8

Light Chic

This week has flown by and it is time once again to share the garments we have sewn up. Yay! If you saw the caliber and attention to detail of the links last week, I was not surprised that there were only a few. If everyone is working on projects like that, you certainly can’t post every week! It was astonishing.

So, I love sewing, and I love pattern designing, but besides those 2 glorious past times I also have a job. I really like my job, and I’m not complaining, but I have been in a bit of denial about how much time it takes up. I work from home and structure my time at will; I also bill my hours as needed. I am not a “full time employee” but I do need to get the projects done that I am assigned. I’ve been getting by without working full time hours until recently. My work load has increased steadily until now there is no denying it. I really work full time!

I’m glad I made that obvious discovery, though, because I think it is going to force me into structuring my time more wisely. If I am determined to fit in the sewing I want to do and the designing I long to do (and the parenting I have to do, and the marathon training I’m crazy for doing) I have begun to schedule my time into “periods” like in school. My work sessions are a bit longer than a class would be, but I do and must take a break in the middle of the day to refresh. That break will be sewing time. And then there are the glorious evenings where sewing time stretches out in front of me. Some of that I will use for designing.

Of course I wonder how everyone else structures their sewing time, too. I might make that a question in the next Sew it Chic feature. Is that of interest to others?

Now we turn to our featured seamstress: Geni! Last week everyone was excited to see her leopard trench, a perfect spring piece! She doesn’t keep her blog up, since she prefers to sew durin gher free time, so here is a link to her Pattern Review page.

Genisewfeature1What is your motivation to sew?
There are several things that motivate me to sew.
1. Creative outlet:  I am a Registered Nurse and need an outlet to burn off some of the stressful energy that often builds up, but more importantly it allows me to refill my bucket so to speak.  I have always had a creative spirit and it has been useful over the years when budgets were tight.  This leads me to my next…
2. Financial savings:  Yes, I spend and have spent quite a bit of money on my sewing, however when you open my closet…it looks like I spend thousands on clothes!  I have several favorite patterns, aka “TNT” that I have made up multiple times which saves money.  I love to have multiple jackets for different occasions, but they are very pricey and generally change from season to season. But sewing for myself, I can make up what I want for the long haul…or short, whatever I choose.
3. One hole that I always had in my wardrobe were tops.  I never could find tops in the stores that fit my style.  I don’t necessarily like to be in the trendy crowd so shopping was always a chore.  Now that I sew…and A LOT, I have more tops than I could have ever imagined I would have.
4. Someone to sew for: My husband is more than supportive of my art and loves to wear things I make for him.
5. Fit! I have learned over the years to ignore the printed size on the pattern and revel in how something that fits me just right actually can make me appear smaller than I look in something that is either too tight or too loose.
GeniSewfeature2What is your favorite thing about sewing? So many things are my favorite, but if I had to choose one thing its that I love the details.  This has not always been the case. My mother always harped on me to press every seam after sewing it….press press press.  Ugh!  Now I love pressing because the finished garment shows in the quality.  I like to challenge myself to do topstitching perfectly.
What is your least favorite thing about sewing? Not very much…lol!  I guess when I make something and it just isnt working.  Its hard to throw away something that has taken so much energy.
What is the most recent thing you’ve learned about sewing? I have recently learned how to make a bra.  I have taken thousands of hours of classes mostly through Craftsy and bra making is one of the most recent.  Still a long way to go, but I’ve started.  Oh and I just started a class on pattern making for a pant sloper.  I am really excited to actually start…I have asked my Mom to be my model ;)

Here are a few simple rules for linking to Sew it Chic:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as finding real wool at the thrift store. They are encouraging and build community.
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