Friday, September 29, 2017

Week 4: Jeansmaking- What They Made

This is it, the final round! And we certainly did not go easy on our three remaining contestants this time. This round they had to make their own pair of well fitting jeans. I think they all did an absolutely outstanding job!

Take a look what these ladies accomplished & be sure to vote for your favorite! (Link at bottom of post.)

And, don't forget to show us your me-made jeans on Facebook or Instagram. Details at the bottom of this post.

Danesha from Classyfied Life
So first I must say that this entire challenge has been just that...a challenge! Two weeks ago there was hurricane Irma and I was blessed enough to not lose power and then I went out into the aftermath to capture some photos of my submission. Then two weeks ago I had a big trip planned so I had to do EVERYTHING in two days. Then the BIGGEST challenge of all...THIS week! I got the challenge and I was super excited to have an extra few days and then before I could even get started I ended up in the emergency room twice plus an overnight stay. I had originally planned on making my black pair and then a dark blue pair of jeans because I really wanted to the judges to see my detailed topstitching. I am thankful that healing took place and I was able to stay in the competition. I went with what I wanted...a black pair of skinny jeans! I will say this is the BEST piece I have sewn to date! I took GREAT CARE in making these and I think that even though I used black fabric and the topstitching is black it will still wow the judges and everyone else...including myself! The final challenge I faced was getting pictures taken for this post...for the first time during this challenge I had to take pictures in the evening and there was NO SUNLIGHT...I will say I got so anxious and worried...BUT I trust my hard work will still shine through! 


Usually, when I purchase jeans they gape A LOT in the back because my hips are much wider than my waist and therefore when I purchase jeans I have to buy them to fit my hips. Also my skinny jeans usually aren't as fitting on my legs since I am buying for my hip measurement and that is very annoying. Lastly, they are usually too long for my liking and it causes me to have to fold up the bottom of my pants. See the image below! 


The funny thing is I made this same exact pattern before- MimiG S8222 skinny jeans- and I didn't finish them because I was NOT PLEASED! I will now make this pattern over and over because this time I think I almost perfected the pattern! Practice really does make perfect. Mimi G has a sew-along video that you can follow in order to make your own! I did make a few changes for fitting! I cut a size smaller because I learned from my first make that I needed a 12 to get the true skinny jeans fit instead of a 14...which is the designated size based on my measurements. I also adjusted the width of the belt loops twice, which you will see in the picture below. They were too wide for my liking so I ended up shortening the width of the pattern piece by 1/2 inch. I also kept the length of the size 14 and cut the rest of the pattern as a 12. 



I decided to pair my jeans with two different denim tops for two totally different looks because I love black with denim! The off the shoulder shirt was a DIY from an old men's button-up. Keeping with the last three challenges I decided to stick with the black jeans because as you know black is my FAVE and every wardrobe needs a black pair of jeans! I cuffed the hem for the look with the loafers because I wanted to show a little more ankle! Scandalous...lol! Enjoy the rest of my photos!

 DENIM AND BLACK TWO WAYS!




My Jazzy Jeans!
Have you ever wanted to try something new and had so much self-doubt that you walked away? Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone with no turning back? Have you ever dreamed of making those designer jeans that were the perfect length, no smiles in the front and your butt wasn't showing when you sat down? Have you ever frowned over a challenge that seemed massively intimidating at first, but had the determination inside to do it?

Well, that's exactly me! I always wanted to challenge myself in sewing, but for the past 3 years I feared commercial patterns and making garments other than skirts.  This sewing challenge took me out of my comfort zone using commercial patterns and I am so thankful for this journey! The Jeans Sewing Challenge is like waking up from the perfect dream, creating jeans that fit my sense of style and body type.  I cannot recall the last time I found a close to perfect pair of denim jeans. Ever since giving birth to two amazing kids, I had to settle for any RTW (ready to wear) styles that had a long length that was close to a decent but not perfect fit. Over the last 3 years, these RTW affordable long jeans seemed to be getting shorter as the factories have been skimping on fabric. Moreover, I have had so many bum peekaboo issues, that I had to constantly wear longer tops with my jeans to avoid the humiliation. I really wanted to challenge and empower myself and win from within with my finale, my first denim jeans focusing on 2 key essential areas: fit and length.



Overcoming My Fears:
I was so scared to start the process that I did about 20 hours of research (reading blogs, articles, and watching Youtube videos) to make the most out of the challenge. I swear, the pant making research process seemed like the dreary days of writing the 20-page term paper back in College. My focus shifted from having the perfect top stitch with my Brother Sewing machine even though that it is very important in jeans making. Quite frankly, the fit for my body type based on my weird body measurements (size 8 at waist and 14 at the hips with a huge bum) had me panicking at first! I read every single seat adjustments articles that I could find until I found a blog post on Closet Case “15 Common Fitting Adjustment for jeans and pants.”  I  felt like I won the lottery when an Instagram sewist with the same body type as me confirmed how she truly enjoyed the course and felt that Heather made you feel so comfortable when making your own denim pair of jeans.  I instantly stopped the research and bought the course, “The Ultimate Jean Making Workshop” and began my own amazing journey on jeans making.


Pattern of Choice:
Closet Case Tutorial, guide and pattern can be modified to just about any FIT when it comes to jeans with women of any body type and height. I opted to use a PDF pattern for  more flexibility in the event I had to redo a specific pattern piece as well as create more customized jeans. The pattern I chose was the Ginger View B from Closet Case, as I plan to make more jeans in the future.   My first and most important modification for this project were the back-pattern pieces for the full seat adjustment.  After taking my personal body measurements and comparing it to the original pattern, I knew I had to add length to the back seat curve to accommodate my curvy figure. I did the proper method as outlined in the guide by cutting the pattern and extending it 1/2 inch rotating along a hinge which added length and width throughout the seat area. I opted to size up the measurements around the hip based on the changes to the pattern. After the changes, I measured the pattern to determine if other changes were required.  I also lengthened the pants by 1 inch at the knee based on my height, as I wanted my pants to hit my ankle.  I strategically placed the pattern pieces and ensured the cuts were on grain, and followed the steps in the video.



My scariest moment during this entire process was doing my first fitting after I assembled the jeans with basting stitches.  I was extremely nervous and had just enough to make another pair if need be.  I cried when I tried it on because the modifications were perfect for my taste; no bum issues, no seat issues, and I was floored.   Even though I could have sized up a wee bit (½ inch) more on the hips for a looser fit, I was extremely happy and went full force in completing my jeans tutorial and assembly my very first pair of jeans.


Other modifications to the pattern were required for the pockets and yoke, and I realized a minor error I made.  I used another copy of the pattern pieces to make the changes and cut another additional front pocket piece based on the modifications.     


Personalizing my jeans:
I chose a dark denim stretch fabric to elongate my legs and show off my curves. I  added a bit of leather detail to the front coin pocket and shifted it up slightly to bring a little more attention to the eyes. I also added minimal leather trims to the back pocket to give it a classic rocker feel.  I love details and making a commercial pattern your own.  I wanted to do full leather pockets, but after sleeping on it, I realized that with a stretch denim, the look may not work. I also opted not to hem and to leave a fringe finish.  With my next pair of jeans, which will be the Morgan boyfriend, I will jazz it up with more leather defined details.




I am extremely proud of myself for conquering my fears of cutting and sewing up a pair of jeans and I can honestly say that I am in love!  I had so many “aha” moments during the lessons and did take away so many valuable and memorable life lessons and experiences from this journey.  Your first jeans may not be perfect, the top stitch may be  a bit off, the fit may have to be modified several times to get the right fit, but the goal is to create a pair of jeans to fit. I learned that perfection doesn’t always create growth.  I personally needed the reassurance to let go of being the perfect rookie sewist.  The most valuable lesson is that I conquered and defeated my fear of failure. I will stand tall with grace when I wear these jeans and will proudly say I made my first pair of jeans that will go down in MY history book!

Carmen from See Carmen Sew 


It has been so much fun to be a part of this contest and I am beyond excited to share with you my final entry: Jeans! Jeans are no joke. They're probably one of the hardest things to execute successfully. I know, because I tried last year, and I failed. So, I was apprehensive about this week's challenge, worried that I'd make the same mistakes again. But then I heard Tim Gunn's reassuring voice in the back of my head. I was just going to have to "make it work." 

I returned to the pattern that foiled me last year: Mimi G's Simplicity 8222. Last year, I bombed the front fly and my waistband made zero sense. The jeans fit, but they looked like hell. I had put them in a "to-do" pile, thinking that I'd return to them at some point, but I never did. 


I went to the local fabric store and bought all of my supplies. Everything, including fabric and all notions, came to less than $40. That's pretty good for a hot pair of jeans. If you're new to jeans making, I highly suggest you pick a fabric with at least 3-5% stretch. The stretch in the denim will help you perfect the fit. A little stretch can be very forgiving. 

I already had my pattern pieces cut out from last year, so that helped me to save a little time. I cut the size 16. Tip: remember to transfer all of your fabric markings on the right side of your fabric. You will rely on these markings when it comes to pocket placement, top stitching, etc. 

Everything was going along very smoothly (I love to topstitch) and then I finally made it to the moment of truth! Zipper insertion! This time, I followed an online tutorial by Baste and Gather. And this time, I realized where I had gone wrong before. Last time when I attached the zipper I used up all of the seam allowance on one leg of the jean. So then there was no overlap for the denim to cover up my zipper. Does that make sense? I sure hope so. So when you initially attach your zipper, be careful to take up only half your seam allowance, so that you get that correct overlap for you fly front. It was such an easy mistake to make! But if you don't get the fly front correct, the whole project is pretty much shot. 


The inside of my jeans were finished using my serger. And thankfully, the jeans fit like a glove. They appear a little high-waisted on me, but fortunately I verge toward vintage fashion so I love the look of a pair of hip hugging high-waisted anything.


So after I finished them I still had some time left and I knew I had to come up with that extra "something" to really bring my A-game for this final round. I decided that I wanted to make my own leather patch to attach to the back of my jeans, a la Levi's style. Here's how I did this: I designed the text on the computer using a font software. I picked a font that had a retro-style script to it because I thought that would complement my style and the look of these jeans. My boyfriend is a hobby machineist, so he took my design and programmed it into his CNC machine, which then cut out basically what is a metal stamp. I bought a sheet of plain leather from Michaels. Then I cut the leather into a strip and went to our local Makerspace (my boyfriend and I are each members; a community makerspace grants you access to all of their woodworking, metalworking, and other machinery as part of your membership). There, I used their press to "stamp" my metal piece into the leather. And voila! It worked. Afterwards, I applied some leather oil to the patch to darken it up and make it look a little more vintage-y. Once all of that was finished, I cut my label to size and applied it to my jeans using the leftover rivets I had. 


I am grateful for this challenge because it pushed me to try something again after I had previously failed. ​


Congratulations to all of our amazingly talented contestants & good luck judges!​


REMINDER!!
Don't forget to get your Reader Participation entries in! They are due Sunday, October 1st. Click HERE for details.
 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Winner of Week 3 & Week 4 Challenge: Jeansmaking

It was another tough week of judging. Judging gets harder and it gets easier. It's harder because everyone steps up their game as the challenge goes on and it gets easier because there are less people to judge! We got 4 very different looks this week-- let's see who won the challenge...

And the winner of the Day to Night Look challenge is...

Congratulations Marica! You move on to the next round and are the winner of a prize pack from Pamela's Patterns and pre-cut fabric pieces from Fabric Mart. Great job!

Unfortunately, Lindsay did not make it on to the next round.

Reader Participation: We had 4 entries in this week's reader participation. Congrats to @mygymdress on Instagram, you win a Pamela's Patterns prize pack! 


Here are the other entries. Thanks for participating!




Week 4: Jeansmaking
Jeans are probably one of the most popular items we wear. They go with everything and can be worn dressed up or casual. 

But how often do we have a great fitting jean? Not too often. The hips fit but there is gapping. They are too loose in the bottom but fit at the top. Oh the dilemmas we face! The important thing to remember is it is NOT your body! Everyone has different body types and that is what makes us interesting and unique. RTW jeans have certain standards so they fit a "general" group of people. Unfortunately it's impossible for them to take every body type into consideration.

Thankfully as sewists, we have the ability to make our own clothes that fit us! It comes with a lot of trial and error, but it is possible to have great fitting clothes  --- including jeans!

This week's challenge is to sew yourself a pair of well fitting jeans. They can be whatever cut you like -- skinny, boot, wide, etc -- something that will be useful to you. 

Tell us what common issues you have with finding a good fitting pair of jeans.If you're comfortable enough, show us a photo of you in the ill fitting jeans. Share with us how you are making adjustments to the pattern to fix these issues.

You have a few more days to finish this challenge!

We will be judging on a 1-10 scale (10 being the highest) using the following criteria: 

Fit – Did you share with us some common issues you face when wearing jeans? Did you address these issues in the pattern and share with us how you fixed them? Do the jeans fit? 
Do they pull or sag in places they are not suppose to? If there's something about the fit that you think we would challenge, please tell us why you chose to do what you did.

Craftsmanship - Did you put a lot of care into the construction? Top-stitching straight, seams match, careful overall construction, etc?

Presentation - While we totally understand not everyone has a professional camera and the perfect backdrop for photographing their creations, (Me included!!) you are in front of a world of other sewers. Make yourself look presentable. Submit a photo of the front, back and side view of the garment, as well as a "presentation photo" (this should be the best photo!) Detail photos are also requested so we can be better judges. If you do some embellishing or a specific technique, zoom in and share with us! Not all the photos may be used in the blog post, but for judges reference.



This week's judges are two ladies that know a thing or two about jeans -- Angela Wolf from Angela Wolf Designs and Heather from Closet Case Patterns


 

Heather Lou is a pattern designer, blogger, and sewing educator for the modern maker. As the force behind Closet Case Patterns, she has been writing about sewing for over six years, and has taught thousands of people to sew, both online and in her sold-out sewing workshops across North America. Her work has been featured in Threads, Sew News, Seamwork, Love Sewing and Sewing World magazine.

Angela Wolf is the anchor of the PBS series It’s Sew Easy and hosts the weekly Facebook live show Behind the Scenes. She teaches online classes on Craftsy, PatternReview, and on her own site with over 100,000 students from all over the world. Author of "How to Start a Home-based Fashion Design Business", has contributed to both Threads and SewStylish magazines, and blogger for Brother’s Blog Stitching Social.

Angela started sewing at a young age and continued to design women’s apparel all thru college. With an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for fashion and sewing, she launched and ran a successful custom apparel and alteration business for over 18 years. She has since launched a pattern collection Angela Wolf Pattern Collection(TM) for the home sewer. Angela is a blogger, spokesperson, brand ambassador, and consultant. She is the winner of 2008 Passion for Fashion, 2012 American Sewing Expo’s teacher of year, and spends her time speaking and teaching all over the country.

All photos, text, etc. are due on Thursday, September 28. This gives you two extra days to work on your jeans. The finished projects will be revealed for reader voting Sept 29-Oct 1 and the winner will be announced on Monday, October 2!

Attention readers! Don't forget to vote for your favorite piece! A link for voting will be provided on reveal day.

Everyone is a winner this time! There will be three contestants left and they each win something:


Grand Prize Winner will receive: $25 a month for one year to spend on fabric at FabricMartFabrics.com, plus be a Fabric Mart Fabricista for 6 months writing guest posts for the blog (which includes more fabric!) You will also receive a Julie's Picks Membership. (A $350 value with media exposure.) PLUS you will receive special prizes from the judges - Your choice of any one pattern from Closet Case Patterns and a jeans making kit for your next pair of jeans! You will also receive Angela Wolf's Delila pattern.

Second place will receive: $100 gift certificate to spend at Fabric Mart, plus a Julie's Picks Membership. (A $150 value.)

Third place will receive: $50 gift certificate to spend at Fabric Mart, plus a Julie's Picks Membership. (A $100 value.) 


Show us your me-made jeans! Post a photo of your me-made jeans on Facebook or Instagram using #Fabricista5Jeans by Oct 1 and one winner will be picked at random to receive a special gift from Angela Wolf Designs and Closet Case Patterns - any one pattern of your choice from Closet Case Patterns and a jeans making kit for your next pair of jeans and the Delila pattern from Angela Wolf. 

**Jeans do not have to be made during the challenge.**


Ready? Set, Go!

Thank you to Angela Wolf and Heather Lou for judging this week as well as donating prizes to the grand prize winner.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Week 3: What They Made

We're more than half way through the Fabricista Fashion Challenge and the competition is fierce! The ladies did a great job this week coming up with day to night looks that work well in their everyday lives.

Take a look a be sure to vote for your favorite! (Link at bottom of post.)

And don't forget to post your day to night look on Facebook or Instagram. Details at the bottom of this post.


Danesha from Classyfied Life


Sew, for this week's challenge we had to do a look that could be transformed from day to night. The rules were that we had to create two of the pieces and then choose one item from out wardrobe to mix and match to create the two looks. I decided that I wanted to make a duster...it's actually a piece I have wanted to add to my closet for some time. I began to think about my fabric choices and I quickly decided that I would be making one item in black fabric because as you know that is my FAVORITE color to wear! I then remembered this beautiful floral fabric I purchased this past summer in L.A. When I got home I could not decide what to make out of this fabric because I remember thinking hmmm I would love it as a dress, or a top, or a skirt, or even a pair of flared pants. Then it dawned on me I could use it to make my duster that could also be closed and worn as a top or even a dress! My first outfit is something I would wear to run errands during the day and then my night look is something I would wear out on a date! Love how quick I could switch it up!


For the duster, I used Simplicity 8059 which is sized for stretched knits and I figured it would work seeing that my fabric had some slight stretch in it. I cut my true size and it came out PERFECT! I am sooo in love with this duster and the fact that I can also wear it as a dress is a huge plus. I did make a few minor changes when sewing the duster. I did not use pattern pieces 9 or 10 so I omitted steps 2-7.



For the pencil skirt, I actually utilized Mimi G's tutorial but I decided that I wanted to add a waistband and insert the elastic instead of connecting the waistband directly to the skirt. For the item from the closet, I chose a basic white boyfriend tee which is a staple for me. I decided to knot it in the front since I made a high-waisted pencil skirt. This outfit was very simple which reflects my personal style. Simple yet classy and stylish!


For the dress, I decided to use some of the leftover fabric to create a sash so that I could tie to duster into a faux wrap dress.


From the Boardroom to the Ballroom! “Be fierce, be bold, be you.”


The day to night look was a bit of a challenge in deciding what I really wanted to create to add to my collection of vibrant colors.  I wanted to create 2 pieces that fits my personal style; one garment that I was familiar with creating and another one that I always wanted to create and had fears. The idea of creating and wearing a sweetheart bodice with my love of skirts was ideal for the night look as I could cover with a jacket or cardigan from my closet to wear during the day.  I chose to select vibrant colors that can transition from one season to the next.  I wanted to show versatility omitting the typically greys and dark tones that we tend to wear in the business arena.


The Sweetheart Bodice

I am in love with bodice, bustier and corsets and opted to create a sweetheart bodice with loops to secure the back.  I choose to use a pattern that I purchased on Etsy from craftyalex  shop that I can reuse and modify for future projects.  

The pattern is a sweetheart cut line with panels that would work perfect with the off white denim stretch fabric from my stash. This pattern was so easy to cut as it has 4 pieces, and great visuals with clear easy instructions that I could follow.
I watched several YouTube videos before on sweetheart bustier and bodice constructions to learn how to create the case for the boning and other techniques such as top stitching to have a clean and smooth finish. I opted to remove the zipper for this project as I plan to wear this bodice over a fitted classic shirt in the future.


Even though this was an easy sew, the bust area curve and loops required careful execution for a smooth clean finish.  The loops and the details in the back took double the time than it took to sew the bodice.  I had prior knowledge working  with loops from a previous project but opted to use the perfect white cording from my stash.  I carefully used my tape (as a placement test for the loops) and the circumference of my sharpie to ensure that each loop had the exact measurement.  I then taped to ensure placement and position and pinned to my dress form before hand stitching all 12 loops.  This task was extremely tedious as I measured the markings 1 inch apart and then  and used a needle to fully secure before going to the machine to finish the project. I opted to stitch the loop on the inside lining, folding over about ½ inch to close it up and then double stitching to complete the finish. The simplicity cording that I found at Joann Fabrics was absolutely perfect and gave it a beautiful finish.  

I was in limbo about adding more details or creating straps but the beauty and simplicity of the white on the dress form was spectacular with the bold colors from the skirt. Looking back and having worn the bodice all day before the shoot, I would have added boning to all seams to have a more structured look. The instructions only required boning for the front bust area. I noticed that after a while, the denim started to stretch even more than I anticipated. I am very happy with the technique and finish but the next time I create this project, I would consider straps and adding boning in between each panel. I would also add a single piece of fabric to cover the straps in the back.


The Gathered Circle Skirt - Ankara Print (Holland/Dutch wax fabric).


I really wanted to use up the last of my ankara print (cotton) fabric that I purchased this past summer in Washington DC.  I love sewing skirts with bold prints because of its vibrant color palettes and endless possibilities with tops.  The ankara fabric has a lot of structure and is typically used to create hats, blazers, skirts and dresses.  I love the hues as I can wear this skirt both in the fall and spring here in Florida.  I wanted a super full circle skirt so I opted to cut a circle skirt that was double the measurement of my waist and gather it.  

Cutting the circle skirt was a bit of a challenge on my table so I opted to use my floor instead. I carefully used my tape measure crawling around in a circle and marking with a chalk. I then used my curve ruler to connect the markings for the front piece. Once the front was done, the headache of matching the seams of the prints for the back took a bit of concentration. Mind you based on the waist measurement that I used, I had to cut 2 pieces on fold and made my life easier but cutting 1 and placing the other on top as both pieces were identical. I was able to use almost 6 yards and did not even have enough left for a skirt for my daughter. 


The gathering technique that I choose was using the sewing machine to create a single loose stitch and changing my settings to stitch length 5 and tension 3 so that it would be easier to gather. I simply hand gathered the front separate from the back based on my waist measurements and then secured it with a tight stitch before connecting the seams. I know having a gather foot would have made my life so much easier. 


The remaining fabric was used create to create a 2.5 inch waistband. I opted to add an extra inch to my waist measurement as I knew that I will be wearing the skirt with a lightweight sweater or cardigan tucked in. After the skirt was gathered and the waistband was attached, I decided to shorten by cutting 2 inches off. I measures again from the waistband to ensure that the length matched all around.



My Sense of Style
In am in love with modern day fashion using bold prints and colors with a touch of the 50s intertwined with a bit of 70s flair. This look that I choose to create and style with my cardigan is oh so perfect for a board meeting and a night out salsa dancing after a wine tasting event. I truly enjoyed creating 2 pieces for this project that is a true reflection of my personal style. I had an amazing time capturing the beauty and flow of this look especially the skirt. I am in love with bold prints that make a statement the minute you walk through the door. The geometric shapes, the pattern details, the colors, the texture and flow is oh so perfect for the transition of my style from day to night. In closing I will continue to be bold, be fierce, but most importantly, be me!




Lindsay from Lindsay Baker Co. 

Hi friends! It’s Lindsay again. For this week's challenge we had to make two different articles of clothing. I interpreted the challenge to be more of a style challenge, challenging us to create two pieces that can be mixed and matched for day or night.

Since fall is rolling in where I (usually) am, I wanted a cute sweater I could wear til winter. McCalls 7476 is going to be my go to sweater pattern. I love how easy this sweater came together and I have dreams of making it in a dark olive green. The length is perfect for my tall height and very on trend right now. I used a quilted black knit that is just beautiful for a sweater pattern like this. It was a bit tricky to sew without my serger but I zig-zag stitched every edge!

  

The shirt is fun and flirty for a night out, but pairs well with a sweater for work. The mustard fabric is also perfect for fall! I like the bow tie on the front and have a few other shirts like this in my stash. McCalls 7601 came together fast and has options that include something longer or a high neck without the bow.

For they day look, I paired these two me-made projects with my favorite black jeans. They are so comfy and are super skinny jeans I have had for a while. Throw on some comfy loafers and I’d be ready for a day at the office.

   

For the night look, I was thinking realistically. I usually head out straight from work. So I rolled up the jeans and threw on some cute, but comfortable heels. I’m not really one for a wild and crazy night out or for wild and crazy heels. But I do love some chunky block heels that I can actually walk around downtown in. It gets really cold at night so the sweater can stay on or come off depending if we are headed somewhere outside.


These two projects were sew fun and make me ready for fall. I am going to mix and match these pieces with my closet favs all season long.



Carmen from See Carmen Sew 




At the end of this month I'm going on vacation to Florida. I booked a flight on a budget airline and need to pack everything in a backpack that can fit under my seat. Thus, I need pieces that can transition easily from day to night so that I can pack lightly. For this week's challenge, I decided to make a matching crop top and high waisted pencil skirt. Paired with keds and my favorite Levi's denim jacket, you can easily achieve a casual daytime look. For night, ditch the jacket and put on your favorite heels for a fun and flirty night-on-the-town look. 


The top was made using Butterick 6175, which is an uncomplicated bodice pattern with sleeve and hem variations. I love this pattern because it's fast and easy. The pattern doesn't call for a lining, but because my outer fabric is see-through, I created a lining for my fabric. Instead of using facings for the neckline, I attached my lining to my neckline and under-stitched it. This is an easy way to create a nice neckline that stays put. I left my sleeves unlined.




The skirt is from my favorite independent pattern maker, Named Patterns. This is Pulmu, a high waisted skirt pattern. It was my first time sewing up this skirt. What I've learned is that a fabric with more weight would have probably worked better. It was challenging to make a high waisted skirt with light fabrics. Live and learn. All in all, I think it still works.


The other nice thing about making a matching set is that you get a lot of versatility. I could easily wear the top with a pair of high-waisted denim jeans for an easy-going day look. You could also tuck a slinky tank top into the skirt for a whole new look. For my trip, I could pack this outfit, my jacket, a pair of jeans, and a couple of tops and have a completely versatile wardrobe that doesn't take up much room in my bag. 



Congratulations to all of the participants thus far and I can't wait to see what everyone else has in store this week!​



REMINDER!!
Don't forget to get your Reader Participation entries in! They are due Friday, Sept 22 by 7:30am ET. Click HERE for details.