Burda Desert Moto Jacket for the Sewing Bee

FrontA1Once the weather turned really cold, my sewing ideas turned to jackets. I love to wear jackets! I think they look great AND KEEP ME WARM. Also, I can wear them with jeans. All good reasons to make dozens, right? This Burdastyle Desert Moto Jacket has been on my wishlist for a while. Aren’t the style lines cool? Yes, but they are darn tricky to sew!

ShirtCollageI made it to the second round of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee and the next challenge was to use men’s button down shirts to create a new garment. This pattern is great for that because of the many small pattern pieces, making it easier to get it out of the limited yardage. But, this ended up being the most challenging item I have ever tackled. Whoa. I’m still a little shell shocked.

Lining1First, I thought I was going to use the great gray windowpane plaid flannel for my jacket, but as I cut it out I realized it was so off-grain that it was impossible. I hate cutting, so the fact that I had to re-cut almost made me give up. But then I cleverly turned those already cut pieces into my lining, so that was salvaged. I didn’t have enough maroon shirt left to cut the facings anyway.

closeShoulder1I used a scrap of pleather I had left over- I used it before in my Renfrew sweater dress and knew it was pretty easy to work with. I had just enough and started sewing that tricky curved yoke. Oh dear, that was a bear! It went together with the chamois maroon shirt okay, but when I got to the light weight cotton that I had cut the side panels out of, no no no. It puckered, then I tried to press it out, that stretched the leather and left the cotton still wrinkled. I picked it out and sewed some of it on top of the cotton where it wouldn’t make the turn and that looks okay. Much better than my first 3 attempts.

Cuffs1Then the zipper was too long. It says 18″ zipper, but I had to shorten it by more than an inch. I had never done such a thing before. There was quite a bit of grunting, not to get the zipper teeth out (that was fun and cathartic, even) but trying to get the top stops off. I finally got one off to realize that I couldn’t get it back on to the zipper tape in the correct place. Grrrr. Finally I just sewed it in without the stopper. I trust that the jacket will stop at the top where I inserted the collar, right? I certainly hope so.

I also used hammer on snaps for the first time and felt like a rock star. That was pure fun!

Back1I did have to take in the waist quite a bit and curve it, but after doing that the fit turned out well. Perhaps I should have made it wider in the shoulders, and slimmer in the arms, but I am basking in the glow of getting this done 1 day early and being able to add it to The Monthly Stitch in time for Outerwear Month!

frontA2I will wear this, yes I will. It is not incredibly warm, but it is exactly the layer I need to make me feel put together and stylish, even in my comfiest jeans. Note: the jeans pictured are not my comfiest jeans, they are alarmingly tight. I’ve been stress eating like nobody’s business. That is exactly why I need an everyday moto jacket to elevate my comfy jeans!

Oh look, there’s more! Sandpoint Tops, that is.

Not all of my pattern testers have blogs, so I get the exciting exclusive opportunity to show you these lovely ladies here on mine! How fun! Those that do are linked if you’d like to see their other work.

First up we have Suzanne, who was the first tester to finish and post pics for our group to admire. It was the first time I had seen someone else make up my design and it was so exciting!
Alana’s pretty pink one is so vibrant.
Cecellia made hers in a stunning aqua color.
Continue reading

The possibilities of The Sandpoint Top

If you have not bought The Sandpoint Top, perhaps you are waiting to see the amazing versatility of the pattern? I had the most lovely group of pattern testers ever, and they have given me permission to share their versions so you can better imagine your own (and so you can ooh and ahh over their cute tops!).

The good news is that these 7 are only the portion of my testers who have blogged their creations. I did not require or ask them to blog, but I sure as heck want to show them off! Click through to see how talented all these ladies are. And don’t worry, there are quite a few more great Sandpoint Tops I’ll show you in a later post of pattern testers that either haven’t blogged or don’t have blogs. They did amazing work, too!


First we have Susan, who blogs at knitters-delight.blogspot.com and made 2 printed versions!KnittersDelight4


Then we have Annie from Continue reading

The Sandpoint Top is waiting for you!

Nothing, I mean nothing, in my life has compared to the creative surge I feel when I create a garment. It is my favorite medium of self expression!

It occurred to me that creating a garment from scratch, like straight from my imagination, would be even more fun. So I began to learn how to draft my own patterns. It has been a such an amazing learning adventure so far and I’m so excited by the progress I’ve made. So, on to the big announcement:

The Sandpoint Top is being released today!

Pattern Cover

It is a loose fitting T-shirt with a dramatic cowl back feature. There is a shoulder band behind the neck to secure it. In a fluid, stretchy knit it skims the body and drapes beautifully down the back.  It can be made up in a comfortable cotton/rayon knit or made dressier in a slinky jersey. You can make the shoulder band in a contrast color to highlight that fun feature, too!

For this simple T-shirt pattern I am keeping the price reasonable at $8.95. Even better, I’m offering a 20% coupon code for the first week to encourage you to try me and GrayDay Patterns out! The code is “firstweek” and it is good until 10/26/14. 

I loaded this pattern up with features to make it as easy to use as possible. Here are some:

  • Fully illustrated diagrams and friendly instructions
  •  Women’s sizes XS – XL
  • Finished garment measurements and fit guide to help you create your perfect top
  • Layered pattern sizes allow you to print only the sizes you need
  • Hate cutting and taping? Includes large format pattern you can send to a copy shop

new-websiteI am also introducing the new website – www.graydaypatterns.com. I hope it will become a destination to share and gain inspiration for all our GrayDay Pattern creations. There is a gallery dedicated to your garments, and I will highlight one each week in the “Featured Make” section. All my contact information is there, so feel free to ask questions and send suggestions. I would love to hear from you!

None of this would have been possible without the help and encouragement of The Monthly Stitch and the Project Indie contest. What a wonderful opportunity it was!

I also cannot thank my fabulous testers enough! They are a great group of ladies that did a lot more than just fill out a feedback form! They encouraged and supported me when I thought the pattern would never be completed, and seeing their smiling faces wearing my design  was amazing!


Let’s make everything out of this fabric – jeans edition!

Ikat-Jamie-Jeans6The ikat pants are finished! The ikat pants are finished! Assemble a celebratory parade!

Oh, the glamorous life of a pattern designer…you would think I would get to sew all day, right? WRONG! There is precious little sewing going on in my studio nowadays. The pattern designing is almost all done on the computer in Adobe Illustrator. And, as I’ve mentioned, I recently got a promotion at my IRL job and that means way more hours at the computer, too.  Ugh. I’m trying hard to improve my posture so I don’t go hunchback peering at a computer screen all day for my job, then all night for my passion. Continue reading

Sweet, sweet kimono

DIY KimonoThis is a clear case of unrepentant frosting. What on earth is this kimono for? If it is cold, throwing a bit of chiffon over my shoulders isn’t going to help me. And if it is hot, I don’t want another sticky layer next to my skin. A kimono conundrum.
diy kimonoBut the glamour! Ah! So terribly pretty! The embroidery on this piece was a gift from the thrift store gods. A surprise gift, actually, because I bought the fabric for the lovely color and subtle texture, and only much later did I unfold the whole thing to reveal that beautiful beaded embroidery. Super-dee-duper score! Continue reading

Little move and big changes…

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I know that I should have done this a long time ago, but I have finally set up my blog up on a self-hosted site. For you, this means my blog address is now http://www.grayallday.com. It used to be http://www.grayallday.wordpress.com. So confusing! My old site will redirect y’all for an entire year, though, so don’t fret.

On the new website I will be able to do lots of new cool things, the most important of which is sell my patterns! I also want to create a gallery for my customers to show off their work. That is going to be rad! I am so excited to see everyone’s interpretations and beautiful, unique selves in my designs.

Anyway, change over your bookmarks so you don’t miss any of the exciting developments around here and I promise to keep you posted on all of it!