Maybe I’m Overdoing the Disney Planning….

Not long now before a long-planned trip to Disney World with some girlfriends! I’m super excited, and have been madly planning and sewing for months now. So with apologies to my bike-y reflective fashion followers (and perhaps many more of you), here’s what I’ve been sewing for my trip.

In my last post, I shared my Spaceship Earth tunic. Spaceship Earth is not only one of my favorite rides, but the iconic feature of EPCOT. I’m really looking forward to wearing this not only because I love it and enjoy its subtle nod to the ride, but it’s not quite cotton lawn tunic weather here in Northern Virginia, and I haven’t gotten to wear it yet!

Style Arc Lennie Overshirt

I just made this fun Maleficent skirt to wear to the Villains After Hours party the last night we are there. I’m not normally one for the Disney villains but if I’m going to their party, I feel like I should dress respectfully, amirite? I had planned on downloading a skirt pattern from an independent company but they are on vacation and it wasn’t available. So I dug around in my pattern box and found this McCalls out of print pleated skirt pattern I bought ages ago. This is the perfect opportunity to test the pattern – if I don’t like it, I’m probably not going to wear a Maleficent skirt often, so it won’t matter if I don’t like it!

McCalls 7253 skirt pattern

Turns out, I love the pattern! And I love the skirt. The pleats are flattering and create the skirt fullness I love without making my hips look *huge*. I added some flame stitching, in homage to Maleficent (no dragon stitch on my machine, alas). Next time I will add pockets, since the pattern doesn’t call for them. Cause there is definitely going to be a next time for this pattern! Speaking of digging around in my stash – despite planning on wearing jeans with the tops I have made, I realized the weather might be too warm for jeans, and I might need shorts. Expect I don’t love the shorts I own. So I pulled out a knit skirt pattern that I have made multiple times for a friend but never for me, then discovered a big enough piece of navy blue knit fabric to squeeze out the pattern pieces. And voila! A new skirt that will actually be perfect for many, many casual occasions, even if I don’t wear it at Disney World.

I’ve also bought a few things for the trip that I probably could make on my own but didn’t want to work out with limited time. These clear vinyl zip bags are perfect for zipping (as it were) through the security lines on the way into the parks. I ordered one each from two different Etsy sellers, both of whom have fun options. But I really love the Mary Blair style of the one first one, and the calm parks scenes of the second one. I may be sorry I bought the smaller sizes; I have such a hard time packing light!

Clear vinyl pouch by Amy’s Small World/Etsy

Clear vinyl pouch by CYFCreations/Etsy

Another clever Disney trip thing I ordered from Etsy is this fun turquoise glitter Minnie Ear holder. The carabiner makes it easy to clip to any bag, purse, or belt loop, and the Mickey snap fastens easily around the headband’s bow. I should now, I tried all four of my ears on this! It also means I can take a smaller bag into the parks with me, since I won’t need to worry about fitting the ears into a bag when I opt not to wear them (they do squeeze my skull after a while!).

Minnie Ear Holder holding my silver Minnie ears on my #memade silver glitter purse

Going further down the Etsy-Disney rabbit hole, I found these *adorable* Hidden Mickey rose pins, and ordered a mystery pack. These will be so cute pinned to my tops or jackets!

Don’t worry, I will share my outfits with me in them after I get back (or you can follow along on my Instagram account)! Sewing projects never look the same on a hanger as they do on a body, so I do apologize for the lame photos.

MeMade Disney sewing – some subtle prints, some not-so-subtle prints!

Of course, once this trip is over, I need to start thinking about sewing for the next trip.! I’m all about the planning, haha! The Mechanic and I are going to Costa Rica with his family this spring, and although I don’t have much planned for that, I do have two garments that I want to make before we go. I’ll *try* not to over-plan that trip the way I clearly have this one though….

Really, I need to clear my table – literally and figuratively – to FINALLY make my reflective tweed jacket. That is a big project and I need to clear my head so I can really focus on that. I’m not good at slow sewing, but really want to do a good job on this.

Just because Cinderella’s mice friends made her a ballgown quickly doesn’t mean I need to make a tweed jacket quickly! Although if my fairy godmother would like to come along behind me to clean it up, that would be okay too : )

Questionable Calm Before the Moving Storm

You know the saying, “When it rains, it pours.” Actually, here in the Washington, DC, area, that’s a fact, not just a saying. Saturday AND Sunday both had crazy rain storms with absolutely pouring rain. The Mechanic and I were driving to a friend’s party Saturday (yes, we drive sometimes) and watched that storm roll in. It was pretty cool, I have to say. Until it started to pour.

Doom over DC

The storm I was actually referring to is the upcoming weekend and next week. I am heading to my association’s annual international conference on Saturday (woot, New Orleans!) and then we are moving to a different apartment in our current complex, then we plan to adopt a rabbit buddy for Gaston. All in the span of a week. And since the move is happening while I’m at aforementioned conference, The Mechanic will be doing it all himself, and I need to have all my stuff packed before I head to the conference. Trying. Not. To. Panic.

Time for a bunny buddy!

But before I could pack up my sewing stuff, I had to finish the dress I had started. I didn’t want to move it unfinished, and besides, I might want to take it to New Orleans. Originally I purchased the McCalls 7597 pattern with the idea of doing the contrast bib and back yoke with reflective fabric and the Charley Harper cotton I pre-ordered earlier this year. However, when Britex Fabrics tweeted a photo of this blue fish rayon, I had to have it, and knew what to do with it.

I briefly considered making the waist tie out of the gray reflective camo fabric, then considered putting some of the blue reflective fabric in the yoke seam and front bib seam. In the end, the gray reflective piping I ordered ages ago turned out to be perfect; it blends in perfectly.

I am a bit disappointed by the fit. I very carefully checked the shoulders and the length and the waist location, and altered to what I thought would work better, and of course, I was wrong. I probably didn’t need to widen the shoulders, and I don’t think I needed to drop the waist. I widened the sleeve but in adjusting the armhole to coordinate, something went wrong and the sleeves now are gathered into place, rather than eased. I really wished I’d lengthened it a bit as well – it’s just a tad bit shorter than I’d like. None of these are major problems, and I’m sure it all looks fine on me, but I am annoyed that once again, I tried to get something to fit right, and it doesn’t. But whatever – I can fix these things if I make the pattern again. And anyway, it’s done and it is perfect for summer.

Had to add a straw hat! Here you can see the reflective trim reflecting.

Reflective across the back reflecting as well. Not quite as full across the hips as I’d hoped. Hope I can swing my leg over my bike’s top tube!

So this will be my last blog post written from this apartment <sniff>.  I really like this but look forward to the next one. No stompy upstairs neighbors, as we’ll be on the top floor, and a lovely grassy courtyard full of trees to look out over. I might post something from New Orleans, but the conferences usually are pretty busy, so probably not. Maybe we’ll have a new bunny when I write next! We plan on taking Gaston to a few shelters when we get back, to let him pick out a new friend.

Once this bike is finished being refurbished, it will be perfect with my new dress!


My Holiday Sewing Staycation

Since The Mechanic and I neither traveled internationally or visited family for the holidays (I’d prefer to do both at the same time – family trips to Europe are awesome!), I opted for the next best thing – a sewing staycation!

I took off the week between Christmas and New Years, and have been madly sewing. It’s been lovely. I’ve gotten so much done and I still have one (hopefully easy) project left to go! I had grand plans – with nothing to do but sew, I figured I could schedule in workouts and yoga every day, and be in bed by 10pm, to reset my sleep schedule. I don’t suppose it will come as a surprise that my plans didn’t work out… I did yoga one day, and went for a lovely bike ride another day, and definitely have not gone to be at 10pm any night so far! But look at what I’ve done:

Pegasus Blouse

I’ve been dying to make a blouse out of this rayon for months, indecisive about which pattern to use. Finally I decided upon Version C from this Simplicity 8216 pattern, in part because I also want to make the Version A dress in the summer. simplicity-8216Turns out the new blue reflective fabric from Mood matches the colors in this print almost perfectly, so it was easy to make reflective cuffs. Not so useful in the winter when I’m buried under coats and gloves, but there will come a day… Too bad it’s a bit narrow across the back. But I love this blouse and can’t wait to wear it!

It actually looks pretty good with my red pants, too!

It actually looks pretty good with my red pants, too!

Denim “Edna” Skirt

The denim for this skirt was given to me by a friend, who found it in her mother’s stash of fabrics after she passed away. Therefore I named this the “Edna” skirt, in her honor. Friends on Facebook pointed out that it looks a bit Wonder Woman-esque, which would have been a good option too, but I like honoring the fabric.

Denim is hard to photograph indoors....

Denim is hard to photograph indoors….

I hadn’t planned on making a denim skirt, and I promised myself that I would NOT make anything for our upcoming trip to Disney World, but Version B of this McCalls 7475  pattern called to me…

McCalls 7475

McCalls 7475

I decided to make the entire back yoke out of that same blue reflective fabric. It looks cook but it too won’t be very useful until I’m no longer covered in coats. And actually, I might have to always tuck in my shirt to make it 100% useful. But it certainly reflects!

The point in that yoke gave me a lot of grief and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got. So don’t look at it too closely! But the fabric sewed up beautifully and I’m quite pleased with how the pockets look. The whole thing looks pretty good but I probably shouldn’t have taken in the waist so much because I think it sits too high – that is, it sits right 100% on my waist and feels funny. But looks good!edna-skirt-pocketUnless it’s predicted to be cold in Orlando, this will definitely be going to Disney World with me.

Navy Corduroy Skirt

Technically this wasn’t part of my sewing staycation, because I made it before Christmas, but it’s a recent sewing project so I’m adding it to the list. It’s a straightforward Kwik Sew 3877, which I’ve made before. I made it out of navy corduroy, added a lining, and put some reflective piping down the side seams. Ironically, I didn’t take in the waist and it feels huge – I guess I can’t figure out where and how my waistbands should sit! I do need to shorten the lining in the front a tad, since it peeks out.

Graphic Knit Top

My last sewing staycation project is a knit top intended to be “business” appropriate. (Not that these other things are not, but sometimes I feel I need something a bit more “corporate.”) It’s Vogue 8151, Version A. A “Today’s Fit by Sandra Betzina” pattern, most of the instructions are about proper fit, so I’m looking forward to trying this out. I love the fabric, although it is nothing like my normal preferred prints. v8151

It's cut out and ready to go!

It’s cut out and ready to go!

I hope it goes smoothly. I could get stuck on the hems. I have a twin needle but the instructions walk the sewer through using wooly nylon thread, which I don’t have. But I have a new sewing assistant, so I’m sure he’ll be very helpful. What could go wrong?! sewing-assistantI’ll get to add these to my list of things that I made this year, which feels like a really big list! I can’t wait to review the year and share my favorites with you soon.

Happy New Year!


Assembling My Fall Capsule Collection Sewing List

It’s almost the end of August, the unofficial end of the summer, and I can’t stop obsessing over what I want to sew in the next few months. (Ignore the fact that I haven’t finished my summer sewing!) This season I am determined to stick to a “capsule collection” of items, to create basic garments that coordinate with each other. The idea behind capsule collections, or capsule wardrobes, is that you really only need a handful of pieces to create dozens of different looks. I really love the idea of hyper-focused collection of clothes, and this is why I constantly weed out my aforementioned closet. My challenge will be to create seven pieces that coordinate, can be worn in the office, and all have reflective details so that I will be extra visible as I bike home in the earlier sunset hours. Oh, and trying to stick to the plan will be a big challenge – I am sooo easily distracted by colors and patterns and designs and….

I already ordered this corduroy from JoAnn Fabrics - I couldn't help it, it was 60% off and I love the print! It is described as being gray and teal but that's not what it looks like online, so I guess I'll be surprised when it arrives!

I already ordered this corduroy from JoAnn Fabrics – I couldn’t help it, it was 60% off and I love the print! It is described as being gray and teal but that’s not what it looks like online, so I guess I’ll be surprised when it arrives!

I started hunting for patterns with some criteria in mind:

  1. I need some outerwear, since as the weather gets cooler, I always end up covering my fun reflective things.
  2. I really want to perfect pants fit, so I need to take the time to slowly make a basic pair of pants.
  3. I want a few tops that coordinate with both a skirt and a basic pair of pants.
  4. The patterns need fun ways to incorporate any of my reflective fabrics and trims.

I have had the Vogue 7910 skirt pattern for ages, so this is easily added. I decided that the McCalls Palmer & Pletsch 6361 pants are one of the best basic pants patterns out there, so that’s done. The Kwik Sew 4104 jacket, version B (minus the collar), offers a great way to use my new reflective digital camo fabric. Then, I sort of fell in love with Version C of the McCalls 6844 knit cardigan pattern; I love those drop peplums! For tops, I found two Simplicity blouses I like, in Simplicity 1779, Version C, and Simplicity 6187 Version B. Lastly, I am obsessed with Vogue 7160, which I plan to make colorblocked – look at the line in that skirt! So perfect for reflective trim.

There are a few other patterns that I’m in love with that I will save for more winter outfits, that is, after I’ve made some of these. The pants and Simplicity 1779 I expect to be more challenging – I’ve been avoiding button plackets, eek! But the rest should be fairly easy. I think I’ll add an expose zipper to the Kwik Sew jacket, since I dislike jackets that don’t actually fasten in some way. Plus, I have another glow-in-the-dark separating zipper, so why not?!

Now I am obsessively hunting for fabrics. It’s hard when your local fabric stores are limited to JoAnn Fabrics (the Virginia G Street Fabrics store closed over the summer, alas), so I’m haunting fabric websites. I’ve found some lovely, lovely options at – I had no idea she sold fabric on her website! I love the black marble knit for the McCalls 6844 cardigan, and the Ashbury stretch denim for the Kwik Sew 4104 jacket, but since they are so similar, I can’t use them both. But which?!

Marcy Tilton Black Marble Knit (Image from website)

Marcy Tilton Black Marble Knit (Image from website)

Marcy Tilton Ashbury Stretch Cottom (Image from website)

Marcy Tilton Ashbury Stretch Cottom (Image from website)

While flailing about for fabric and color ideas, Simplicity suggested on Instagram that I look at the Pantone Fall 2015 color collection. Of course! So perfect! I love all the colors.

Pantone Fall 2015 Colors (I forget which website I found this image on, oops)

Pantone Fall 2015 Colors (I forget which website I found this image on, oops)

So I’ve decided that the Kwik Sew jacket will be Stormy Weather, since the reflective camo fabric is gray; the pants should be Reflecting Pond; the skirt will be Marsala; and Biscay Bay, Oak Buff and Cashmere Rose will be blouse and accent colors. Now I just have to find fabrics that fit! I think I want the skirt to be in corduroy, because I love that fabric and it can be 3-season fabric. I’ll probably use a basic twill for the pants, then branch out into nicer fabrics once I perfect the fit. I have reflective fabric that is practically Biscay Bay, and think that will be fun as the yoke on Simplicity New Look 6187. It will be hard to decide on the blouse fabrics, because I love big, bright prints – so many options!

Trying to work through and sketch out my ideas....

Trying to work through and sketch out my ideas….

I've already picked the fabrics for the color-block dress and can't wait to order them! I'm waiting to get the pattern first, to check fabric requirements.

I’ve already picked the fabrics for the color-block dress and can’t wait to order them! I’m waiting to get the pattern first, to check fabric requirements.

While I’m finishing my last two summer projects, I will take the time to think through what I want these pieces to look like. I will need to be super focused and not get distracted, so maybe the longer I hunt for fabrics, the more focused I’ll stay?!

What sort of plans do you have for this fall, biking or sewing, or otherwise?

Reflective Wear-to-Work Challenge, in Review

I did it! I wore something I have made to work for thirteen days in a row! I’m pretty impressed – even I didn’t realize I’d made so much reflective bike fashion!

Week 2

Week One Collage

Week Three

One of the days was sort of a bonus day, since I only made the reflective sash I tied on over my dress and cardigan, so it was more like 12 +1 days.

Seeing everything like this makes me wonder if I need to be more strategic about my projects. Should I try to design mini “collections” each season, that all work together? Or should I just do whatever catches my fancy, as I have been doing? The two projects I’m working on right now, pants and a fancy sweatshirt, are designed to coordinate, although I’m not sure they will once both are done! We’ll see.

But the point of this whole initial idea was to make things I could wear at the office, as well as just around town. Part of me feels like I need to be therefore more strategic, and consider my work shoes and blazers and so on, to make sure everything works together a bit more. Not that any of this is inappropriate, but I could probably step it up a bit.

I also posted each outfit every morning on Instagram (I’m disguised as @earlettef), and on one of the days, I decided to tag the McCalls Pattern Company. They were interested enough that they asked if they could post the top, McCalls 6792, on their Facebook page. Well of course! It got at least 100 “Likes,” 12 Shares, and several comments. I was pretty pleased by that!

McCalls Facebook Love

McCalls Facebook Love

I think it also shows that there could be a market for nice clothing that as reflectivity sewn into it, clothing that does even whisper “tech,” that is just fashionable yet functional. But how best to focus that? I’m still deciding.

It’s been fun wearing my own designs, but the rest of my closet missed me, so for a while, I’ll sort through what is left. Now that the weather has cooled off a bit, it means it could be time to dust off the tweed! Yay!

I need to redesign my sewing space and desk, too...

I need to redesign my sewing space and desk, too…


Busy Bike Fashion Week

It’s been a busy week, but bike fashion hasn’t been far from my mind. I continued my reflective wear-to-work challenge, reviewed some bike accessories for The Discerning Cyclist, tested my new Iladora bike top, and got up today at 6am to order the Altuzarra for Target blouse I wanted. Oh, and pre-ordered the new iPhone 6!

I was only able to get in three days of my reflective wear-to-work bike fashion challenge. One day I had to wear the work polo, and I was off the last day of the week, so that meant only three days. On the plus side, it means I can probably do all this coming week! The weather has cooled off enough that I’m not sure about my sleeveless tops, but I’ll risk it!

I got some fun bike accessories from Bike Belle, to review for The Discerning Cyclist. I am very fussy particular about what I put on my bike, but I ended up loving these! Now my bike has a front basket from Denmark, skirt guards from Sweden, and a bike bell from Poland. What next?! I’ll share the review when it’s on the website, but I’ll give you a sneak peek.

Notice anything different about my bike? Think small accessories....

Notice anything different about my bike? Think small accessories….

I broke down and ordered The Lisa Top from Iladora, in pink. I was so excited that they came out with some colors, and it was a dilemma to decide between the blue and the pink, but pink won out. It’s a bit more mauve-y than I was expecting, but I am very happy with it. If you aren’t familiar with Iladora, it is a San Francisco company that also makes pants and a skirt. The top is bamboo jersey, cut with dolman sleeves for comfort, and that all important dropped hem for coverage. It’s super-comfy; the cut of the sleeves means that nothing binds or constricts the arms while biking. (I will say, however, that it is snug over the part of my waist that I’m currently most self-conscious about, and I’m not happy about that – but I know it is my fault, and not the top’s problem.) But overall, I’m happy with it!

For those of you who don’t know, Target teams up with haute couture designers occasionally, and these collaborations turn into big shopping frenzies on the day of the launch. So far I’ve gotten stuff from Liberty of London, Missoni, Jason Wu, and Proenza Schouler, all high-end designers I couldn’t normally afford. The launch of the Missoni collection crashed Target’s system; luckily I’d gotten up super early to order what I wanted online. I did go stand in line at the store for the Jason Wu collection, but also ordered online while standing there! Today was the launch of Altuzarra for Target, and I had planned on getting up at 6am to bike to Target to get in line, but when I checked the website on my phone at 6:12am, and the blouse I wanted was available, I opted to order online and go back to bed. I was tempted to go to the store later in the day, but considering I just pre-ordered the iPhone 6, well, I couldn’t risk being lured into buying something else.

The Altuzarra for Target blouse I ordered

The Altuzarra for Target blouse I ordered. No idea what to wear them with – now I need new pants!

So this week I need to buckle down and alter the pants pattern and get them cut out. I started making the reflective bias, but I think I need more! I’ve created a monster.



Teal, then Shades of Gray

I’ve always switched up my color palettes with the seasons, not necessarily intentionally, or based on what the “in” seasonal color might be (I hear it’s burgundy/oxblood for this fall), but whatever strikes my fancy. It is sometimes guided by what is in the stores, so last fall when everything was teal, I happily embraced it, since it’s one of my favorite colors. It is also more or less my “Dramatic” color, according to my wrist and my friend David Zyla’s book, The Color of Style. But I hadn’t realized quite how much I’d embraced it until my latest sewing project.

Because sewing for me is not relaxing to me, more like an itch I need to scratch (Must. Design. Must. Create.), I like projects that I don’t need to linger over. The blouse I started last week ended up not being such a project, so I was pretty happy to crank out a pair of easy drawstring pants this week. Inspired by the drapey pants that are so in fashion at the moment, I picked a bright color peachskin and naturally threw some reflective trim in the seams. They are not 100% perfect; a better seamstress could have made them look smashing, but I really love them and can’t wait to wear them next week.

Not the most flattering photo, but I still love the pants!

Not the most flattering photo, but I still love the pants!

Hanging them in my closet made me realize how much of this color combination I have!

Spot a theme?

Spot a theme?

I’m not sure I’m brave enough to wear any one of these tops with the pants, well, maybe the denim shirt. It would be fun to wear the pants I made with the colorblocked top I made, though. But we’ll have to see. (I even have blue and gray heels!)

But my blouse and the two projects lined up after this are all shades of gray. Did the title make you look?! Ha ha – no, this is not about S&M sewing, although sometimes it does seem a bit sadistic. This blouse is a bit of torture to me at the moment, frankly. But it was given to me, and I really really love the print. However, my machine does not like to sew the silky stuff, and I can’t get the tension set correctly! I can’t find my guide book, either. The sleeves didn’t hem the way the pattern said it should, I hated the yoke neckline the pattern called for so I took it out, and if I actually hem the bottom, it becomes shorter than I’d prefer.

I’m going to attempt circular bias out of the silver reflective fabric I bought at Britex, and fold it over the sleeve edges. I think I’ll just do a reflective band on the waist so I don’t lose the length. I’m just not sure about the neck. I don’t want to make self bias because of how much I dislike working with this silky stuff, but that might be best. I don’t think it will need more reflective trim is the waist and sleeves already are. So I will need to sit on this one for a while. Slow wins the race, I’m told.

Then next two projects are also gray! Grays

I want to try complicated pants again. I don’t know why I have to like all the hard patterns! But look at how cool this pattern actually is, and how is just screams for reflective trim!

Butterick 6028 Pants

Butterick 6028 Pants

I picked a cool snakeskin print lightweight corduroy for these pants, and I think hope they will turn out really fun. I promised myself that I would take time with these, and not crank them out. I’d really like something to turn out nice, and not look “homemade” but I need to work harder at my technique to get that to happen.  And try to match the print, which I didn’t even try to do on the teal print pants and I really should have, oops. Beginner. snakeskin corduroy

By the time the blouse and pants are done (wonder if I can pull off wearing them together?), it should be cool enough for the next project, my silver sweatshirt. Silver Velour

I waltzed into Britex planning on buying a print and a solid, like the pattern sketch, but ended up with this soft silvery fabric that I really hope doesn’t make me look like I’m wearing a Florida retiree velour jogging suit. I hope that with the reflective trim it will look sorta… futuristic?

McCalls 9026

McCalls 9026

I think I should be able to wear this sweatshirt with both the snakeskin print pants and the teal print pants. I have two gray blazers that should work with either pair of pants, too, both of which I’ve been wearing a lot lately. One is gray velvet, so a dressier version of the sweatshirt I’m going to make. But it doesn’t have any reflective trim! So I guess I’ll be wearing a lot of gray this fall. That’s okay, since it’s also a David Zyla color for me, at least, the way I’m choosing to interpret my eye color.

And if I end up getting the gray booties I’m lusting after at the moment, I will complete my Shades of Gray looks for fall!

Crown Vintage Tabitha bootie on DSW - Love this gray!

Crown Vintage Tabitha bootie on DSW – Love this gray!

And for the record, no, I haven’t read the book.

At Long Last, the Colorblock Top!

My first sewing project of 2014 was my long-delayed project of 2013! I finally finished my reflective colorblock top! ColorBlock top reflective

Naturally, it was not easy to do – I never chose easy patterns, as my mother reminded me. Those corners were tricky to begin with, and then I added reflective piping, which is tricky itself. Never look too close, if you ever see me in this! If I didn’t like it so much, I’d be very embarrassed by the sad state of my sewing skills.

I altered the pattern a bit – it was supposed to be solid, and seamed, up the back, and the colorblocked part was supposed to be on the right front.

The original design.

The original design.

So I flipped it around and then mirrored that in the back. I feel that the reflectivity is more important in the back, and on the left side, hence the redesign.  Back Reflect

I wore it to work on Monday, but alas, it is still January, and still too cold to not wear a jacket, so I couldn’t get the full effect. That’s okay, we’ll have warmer weather in a few months. Until then, I’m just happy to wear it as a funky top.  front


Finishing this, however, means I am <gasp> project-less! What will I do next?! I’m not even sure, to be honest. I wish I was brave enough to try pants again, but the fit is such a problem when I have no one to help me. There’s always another skirt or dress. Or maybe it’s time to start things for an Etsy shop….

Sewing Project, At Last!

One of the many things I did in Sacramento was rummage through the local JoAnn Fabrics. The store was a bit of a disaster (having worked in a fabric store in college, I still get uptight when bolts of fabric are not properly straightened!), but I did manage to find some decent doubleknit to make my colorblock sweatshirt. I opted for teal and navy, my current favorite color combination, and I think I will make the inset the navy. That way, if I wear it with jeans, I won’t look like one big navy blue comma. Of course, it is now too cold to wear a sweatshirt without a jacket (or two) over it, so the reflective detailing will be hidden until balmier weather next year. But it won’t stop me from starting this project soon! I can’t wait! color block sweatshirt fabric

Sewing, We’re on a Break

That’s right, we are on a break, just like Ross and Rachel from “Friends.”

No, not really like them – it’s only for this weekend. As much as I want to start another sewing project, I need to just take a break. Tomorrow (Saturday) is going to be a 40 mile Team in Training ride, then running errands, then The Mechanic and I are having drinks with friends. Sunday will be the clean house-recuperate day.  Boring but necessary.  Besides, I don’t know what sewing project to do first! There are new patterns out, and I have found some great options.

I have talked about this batik fabric that I’m in love with, and how well it matches the light pink reflective fabric.


Wish I could get a better picture of this fabric!

But I’m not 100 % sure what to do with it. I bought the last yard and a half. Originally I thought I’d make another peplum top out of it.

Redo this one...

Redo this one…

Then I thought I could alter the neck line to be more of a scoop or V-neck. So I’d have to not only make the bias reflective trim (something I’ve never done before and will require concentration, ie, lots of time), I need to trace then re-draft the pattern. Not a speedy undertaking, and I do like instant gratification projects. Plus I still need to buy a cutting mat to use my rotary cutter on the bias.

Then I found some new patterns! Thank you Vogue and McCalls for coming to my design-challenge rescue! I found several tops that are simple, are conducive to reflective trim, and don’t take much fabric.

A loose and easy top that would be perfect with a reflective sash. Vogue 8915

A loose and easy top that would be perfect with a reflective sash. Vogue 8915

I love this blouse, again with a waist sash. I think I'd just edge the sash in reflective piping. I want to make it in teal or aqua. McCalls 6794

I love this blouse, again with a waist sash. I think I’d just edge the sash in reflective piping. I want to make it in teal or aqua. McCalls 6794

Those are my two favorite options. Then there is an interesting long-sleeve top that shows a short sleeve version with three different floral prints. Well, it’s a sketch so you have to use your imagination. But I can imagine it in a trio of “ditsy” Liberty of London florals. Ah sigh, to dream…

I don't really love how they've made it up. McCalls 6798

I don’t really love how they’ve made it up. McCalls 6798

But the short-sleeve suggestion in floral prints is great! McCalls 6798

But the short-sleeve suggestion in floral prints is great! McCalls 6798

Then there is a fall project that I think is pretty fun. It’s a dress, but I would most likely do the top version. And the square is perfect for some reflective trim! But there aren’t any great options for the back, which is where I feel the most reflectiveness needs to be. So I’m not sure. It might be a non-reflective project (gasp!), I don’t know.

Love this as a dress... McCalls 6792

Love this as a dress… McCalls 6792

...but the top is pretty great. A fun take on the sweatshirt, maybe. McCalls 6792

…but the top is pretty great. A fun take on the sweatshirt, maybe. McCalls 6792

While I’m debating and deciding, I tried another project last night. Something smaller, much smaller. See this humble bracelet?

Innocent-looking link bracelet I've never added charms to...

Innocent-looking link bracelet I’ve never added charms to…

Yep, you guessed it! It's reflective!

Yep, you guessed it! It’s reflective!

I used the reflective embroidery floss I ordered from Sublime Stitching to weave through the links, then make a tassel. Because I twisted the floss to double it and make it a bit stronger, then made the tassel, I used up one whole skein of the floss. I should have made the tassel shorter, but it was hard to know how it would look. And I need to perfect tying it to the bracelet, as well as finishing it off after I’ve woven through the bracelet. It works much better with ribbon, as demonstrated on this cool purse strap from LFLECT Chains by Elena Corchero.

I wore it all day today, and I really like it as a bracelet, but now I’m eager to try another one. I have some other ideas – a chunkier chain, the reflective fabric, the reflective grosgrain…. That too will require a trip to JoAnns and/or Michaels.


But while I’m gathering materials, making decisions, and trying to clean house, I’ll take a break from sewing. After all, the Fourth of July holiday weekend will soon be here, so I’ll have some more time to play.

And I really need to organize my reflective trim collection. It’s a bit of a rat’s nest…

Organize Me!

Organize Me!