Finally, a Beautiful Bruyere

Saturday, March 28, 2015

As soon as Deer & Doe released the Bruyere pattern, I was smitten. Completely in love. I'm not really one to wear button down shirts because being short waisted they are often difficult to buy in RTW that fit.
Of course the beauty in sewing is the ability to make items that are tailored to my unique shape, but button down shirts are also fairly intimidating. I've made items with several patter n pieces, so that wasn't intimidating, but all the detail in a button down shirt was. The collar, the cuffs, the shape, the buttons, and let's not forget - the topstitching.

I bought the most delicious light grey and white dot fabric from Blackbird Fabrics (sold out, but still available in navy/white) and knew the fabric and Bruyere were a match made in Heaven. I wanted to be sure that my Bruyere turned out perfectly, so I made a muslin to check the fit. I traced the pattern several months ago and my weight has dropped since then, so my muslin was a bit loose. I also found that the sleeve dropped off the shoulder quite a bit, so I shaved about 1/2" off the shoulders.

Even after having my muslin put together, it took me quite a while to actually sew my shirt. I was intimidated by it, so I favored easier and faster projects over my dear Bruyere. Finally one weekend I decided, we're doing this!!
I discovered that making a button down shirt is very satisfying! This is by far my favorite thing that I have ever made, and I plan to wear it far more than actually appropriate. I'm super impressed with myself and see more button down tops in my future. Yay for advancing skillz!!

Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I read on Tanya's blog about the Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge, and instantly knew I had to be part of it. It's no secret how much I adore my pugs, even my blog is named after my sweet Lily.

The challenge is to sew something dog related, or something for your dog. The ladies hosting the challenge have some really awesome sponsors for the prizes, which only sweetened the deal for me to participate.

I had a lot on my plate during February, so I had a hard time thinking of what I was going to make for this challenge. I sort of wanted to make something for myself, but I just couldn't fit another project on my plate. I decided I would make something for the Pugs and scoured my scraps stash for inspiration.

I found scraps of one of my Myrtle dresses (listed on my Top 5 of 2014 list), as well as scraps from my Nettie bodysuit (not blogged) for a pop of solid color to break up the print. I decided to make little matching dresses for my girls. I thought I would be able to draft a pattern based off one of their existing outfits, but that day I simply couldn't wrap my head around it and googled a pattern. I found this website, chock full of various styles all for free, and decided on the Winter Dress pattern.

Due to the sizes that the girls fit into, I only used the bodice portion of the pattern and cut them shorter to allow for the skirt. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted a solid piece to break up the pattern so I made a faux belt which I attached at the waist seam and side seams to secure it in place. I then gathered a solid rectangle for the skirts, and turned and stitched to finish the neck and arm holes.
These are the most adorable things I've ever made. It's a shame Miley prefers being a nudist, because they are both awfully cute in their dresses. It reminds me of when my sister and I dressed up in matching dresses for Easter.
I definitely found inspiration in seeing what everyone else has made. In particular, Heather's pug Alder shirtdress. This was the same fabric I was looking at when considering making something for myself, but seeing Heather's dress made me want to make something with that fabric too! I've already purchased the fabric, hopefully by next weekend I'll be working on a new pug themed Sewaholic Granville shirt.

I've Been Featured on Layla's Elaborations!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Just a quick note to bring your attention to this post, written by my friend Layla, about yours truly. I'm so honored that she asked to interview and feature me on her blog. She's doing a series featuring some of the awesome, inspiring people in her life.

Layla herself is pretty damn cool, and sells gorgeous handmade jewelry that can be found on her website, Layla's Elaborations.

Be sure to check out her jewelry, and her feature on me!

Mimi Blouse in Owls!

A couple months ago this rayon owl fabric from became super popular among some of us on Instagram. I saw it on someone's feed and knew I had to have it. 
RAYON OWLS. They look like smart owls to me! Smart enough that it's possible they all hold jobs delivering mail to lucky wizards or something like that.
I knew I wanted to make a button down blouse with a collar. I initially wanted a button back, Peter Pan collar top, but no patterns really stood out to me that seemed appropriate. For Christmas however I bought myself Tilly Walne's book Love at First Stitch, Demystifying Dressmaking. I drank that sucker up. First, Tilly is just a doll and we need to be friends. Also the patterns in the book are just adorable. Enter the Mimi blouse! 
As per my usual, I stalked the interwebs about the Mimi blouse before I made it. Many people mentioned that it has quite a lot of ease in it, good for tucking in and blousing, however I prefer a bit less ease in my tops. I ended up making a blouse two sizes smaller than my measurements indicated but I was confident that I would be comfortable, able to tuck it in, while not having excess ease that I feel is unflattering on me.
I have decided that fusible interfacing kind of sucks, especially on facings. I always use woven interfacing but wanted to preserve the fluidity of the rayon. I wanted to keep my blouse soft, not just to the touch but also to the eye. I decided to try using muslin as sew in interfacing and it worked pretty well! It keeps my collar nice and "soft" while keeping the neck and front facings comfortable to wear.
The size range in the book does not extend too far, but with this blouse and some of the other patterns in the book there is enough ease that there doesn't need to be much grading of sizes going on. (I have also made the Margot pajama pants from the book in my proper size according to my measurements and they're quite loose!) I did however grade the sleeves out to the largest size at the bottom because I find sleeves can be a bit tight there for me. As they are now, they're quite comfortable to wear.  
Blue and orange, one of my favorite yet unexpected color combinations.
This blouse has a ton of sweet details that makes me very proud to have made this top. Besides the obvious Chelsea collar and button down front, there are gathers at the front and back yoke, sleeve cap as well as a sweet tulip pleat detail on the sleeves. I find the blouse to be on the short side however so this may need to be lengthened for most people.
I absolutely adore this top and it is now part of my work and casual wardrobe rotation. Have you peeked in Tilly's book? It's darling!