#LetsSewThisTogether: April Sew Swap

Hey friends! Jen and I excited to introduce a new sewing event. For the April session of #letssewthistogether, we thought a sewing swap could be a fun way to connect with other sewcialists and spread some love across the community. We all often gush about how supportive and generally super badass the IG sewing community is so here’s an opportunity to spread some much more tangible appreciation and love.

Inspired by Sanae and Ute’s Secret Valentine’s Exchange (which, sadly, is on hiatus!), we were planning to have this event for occur in February, but then SewFancyPants consumed our Januaries (in the best way possible) and we decided to push this swap into April. Since April pairs well with showers (like a good wine), let’s shower each other with love!

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So here’s how April Sew Swap works-

  • Sign up for the swap.

The sign up form is here (NOW CLOSED). The form will open on March 1st and accept responses for 10 days or 100 participants, whichever comes first. Some fields are optional.


  • Get paired with another random participant.

    We’ll take care of the random partner assignments and then we’ll email you the details with your partner’s mailing information. We will try to pair you with someone residing in the same country whenever possible to keep shipping costs as minimal as possible, but we cannot guarantee it. The swap is open worldwide, so do consider that you may need to ship internationally.


  • Curate a small Love & Sewing themed gift for your partner.

Get stitching and crafting! Try to use stash materials in making your item(s). Think love, rain showers, rainbows. Be creative! There’s no wrong answer. We’re sharing some ideas and inspiration below. Throw in some notions or a fat quarter of fabric if you like. Just try to keep things small and light to minimize the postage (if expense is a concern).

Bonus points- Check your partner’s social media posts for hints on what colors and motifs they are drawn to.

We recommend a budget of about $20-25 (with shipping). This is at each maker’s discretion.


  • Mail it.

Do your best to complete your gift package and mail it to your swap partner in the first week of April. That means you need to mail your package in April, no later than Monday, April 8th.


  • Share it!

    Share little sneaks of your work if you like. Once your package is received, go ahead and share the full she-bang. Use the hashtags #letssewthistogether #aprilsewswap when sharing on IG.



Project ideas!


QuietPlays’s Heart on a Spool Paper Pieced Pattern

Small zippered pouch- Noodleheads’s Lil Cutie Pouches

Photo credit-  Noodlehead

Photo credit- Noodlehead

Simple reusable bag- Fold-up Market Tote

Photo credit-  Purl Soho

Photo credit- Purl Soho

Photo credit-  sew many ways

Photo credit- sew many ways

Photo credit-  KelbySews  for Totally Stitchin’

Photo credit- KelbySews for Totally Stitchin’

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Photo-  KATM

Photo- KATM

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag

The April SewSwap is open to EVERYONE AND EVERYBODY who wants to share the love of sewing. We hope you’ll join us because we think it’s going to be a lot of fun!



May's #LetsSewThisTogether Inspiration

I never do this, but I got so excited about May's #letssewthistogther theme that I decided an inspiration post was in order. If you know me, you know I'm not the planning or pinterest board type. That's just how eager I am to get started sewing white pieces for my summer wardrobe.  Let's begin with these white crops from J. Crew-

White cropped Lander Pants, no!? I have so many heart eyes for these.

I don't actually own the Lander Pants pattern, but it calls for non-stretch fabric. I may sub the Birkin Flares pattern here (I've made them once before) which is designed for stretch denim and just do the slight mods for the patch pockets and straighter legs.

LA Finch Fabrics (our sponsor for May!) has 2 white stretch denims in stock. They both sound yummy.

Fashion Denim Off-White Cupro Blend Woven (sold out)

Fashion Denim Off-White Cupro Blend Woven (sold out)

Famous Maker Off-White Tencel Blend Stretch Denim

Famous Maker Off-White Tencel Blend Stretch Denim

Amber (@soisewedthis)'s recent top in eyelet is completely just-go-ahead-and-copy-that-for-myself material. I mean it just screams perfection! She used Butterick 6100, but I'm tempted to use the Hey June Key Largo (again).

 

I have been known to covet eyelet so I've got a few options on that front in my stash already.

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This one is available from LA Finch-

Espana Daisy White Cotton Eyelet

Espana Daisy White Cotton Eyelet

While we're talking about eyelet, check out the back of this raglan sweatshirt-

I'd use the Lane Raglan pattern (sized up and boxier) since I have it in my arsenal already or the Linden Sweatshirt pattern.

I need to double check if I have some white French terry in my stash, but if not, I'll grab this one from LA Finch-

French Terry Designer Off-White Knit

French Terry Designer Off-White Knit

How about this $278 gem from Anthropologie?!

I mean Farrah is close enough for me! (And I already own the pattern and have sewn it.)

I think I even have some white cotton lawn in my stash...

 

Check out Tami (@sewsophielynn)'s tester version of Farrah in white swiss dot!

Her blog post has lots of photos and more details on the pattern.

 

A white version of the Evergreen jacket also sounds like a fun project. I've probably already bitten off more than I can chew with the projects listed above, but just maybe!!!

 

 

I hope you'll sew some whites for your summer wardrobe with Jen and I in May. We've got a couple prizes to give away, so be sure to use the #letssewthistogether tag. Details here.

New Favorite Halifax

Does every new thing you make suddenly become your new favorite thing? It happens to me almost every time. (I'm excluding my Stubborn Sewist makes, naturally. I don't want to talk about those.) 

Anyhoozle, I sewed another view of the Halifax hoodie pattern last night (finally). I previously played with view E because I love the diagonal side seams. I used some luscious modal French terry from La Finch fabrics, one of the fabrics chosen for February's #letssewthistogether. 

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Now, I know it's March, but February is short and I had a bit of a sickness come over me in February. I was bitten by the No Fear New Jeans bug that spread rapidly after being introduced by Closet Case. I'm digressing as per usual.

Back to my new favorite Halifax!

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I lined the hood and the pockets with a light weight white sweater-y rib.

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This made the pockets a bit bulky where the zipper is attached, but I'm still very happy with the overall outcome.

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My favorite detail is the twill tape used to finish the zipper. I honestly wasn't expecting this because I'm guilty of not reading through the pattern instructions before starting a project. So it was late last night when I got to the steps for installing the zipper and, well, this was the twill tape I had on hand. I love it. It's details like these that really make making your own clothes rewarding. (One word of caution on this twill tape. It's the first time I've used this particular one in clothing so I can't attest to how it holds up with laundering.)

I would love to get some personalized twill tape to use for future makes. Wanna recommend a vendor (from etsy, for example)?

And I love how it fits! I cut a straight size small after sewing several in size medium and finding them pretty over-sized. (Body measurements- bust 36", hips 40".) I also find that the shoulders are a tad wide for me on Hey June patterns, so I shave 1/2" off the armscye.

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I used a two-way jacket zip, because I think they're fun and they add a little bit more bling.

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ready to wear inspiration

ready to wear inspiration

I think the only other little tweak I'd do for my next one is to make the bottom band one continuous piece instead of having seams at the side seams. And I do plan to make another one immediately. I've got some brushed poly with extra lycra that's very similar in fiber content to a rtw hoodie I received for Christmas.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Sewing Biscayne

Sewing buddy Jen, @makerheart, and I had recently decided we wanted to do some sewcial sewing, picking a fabric we both had in our stash and inviting folks to share in sewing the same fabric with us; #LetsSewThisTogether was born. We both purchased Art Gallery rayon in Winterberry Pine after fondling it in person at Sew To Speak in Columbus on a sewing meet-up. (There are a lot more details I could share this but I'm thinking it's a topic for another blog post, maybe!) Anyhow, I picked the Biscayne pattern by Hey June and Jen picked another pattern. 

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Biscayne released in 2015 and had been in my #2017makenine grid. When the calendar changed to 2018, it was still on my "patterns I own but haven't sewn" list. #theshame

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Before I actually tackled Biscayne, I made a Carrie Cardigan using double brushed poly in a teal to coordinate. It was a sewcrastination ploy; I was sweating the sizing on Biscayne.

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Those are the 2 big hurdles in getting started sewing; sizing and fabric. Since I had already picked the fabric before the pattern, I was really sweating the sizing. I'm 5'5" with 37" full bust, 30" waist, and 40" full hip, so I was initially tempted to sew a L. I asked for sizing help in the HJ FB group but it was Terri Odd's blog post on her Biscayne that really helped me decide which size I wanted to cut, especially since I'm a rather lazy sewist and seldom make a true muslin. I ended up cutting a S, and grading out to the M at the hem (though I'm usually more of a M to L). There's loads of ease in this design which you can see reflected in the finished measurements chart.

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There's an option for a patch pocket or a welt. I thought this might be the first time I sewed a welt.

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And then I waffled with cutting it down to a simple patch. But spoiler alert- I skipped the pocket options altogether (like I very often seem to do) because I didn't want a pocket to interfere with the drape of the rayon on my blouse.

Biscayne features a hidden button placket. I've done a few other types of plackets before, but this specific style was new to me. The origami was fun (read: slightly mind boggling), but it really wasn't all that complicated. There does seem to be a full sew along for this blouse, but I didn't notice it until writing this post.

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Anyhow, I ended up using a little tape to keep my placket pieces in place for stitching (and removing it right after). I think it came out rather nicely.

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I didn't have any other new obstacles. The French seams, neckline, and bias binding are standard stuff.

That's not to say I didn't use my seam ripper. I certainly did. I think a small section of facing got caught when I was attaching the collar... even though the instructions specifically warn against doing just that. Yup.

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Nice, clean finishing throughout.

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Look at the drape! Nom.

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While cutting a S for my bust really made me anxious, you can see there's still plenty of ease through the upper chest. I could probably even do an XS next time (grading to a S or M at the hem).

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The placket came out virtually invisible with those wooden buttons hidden inside. 

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And here's the full winter look. When I was working professionally, sleeveless blouses were a huge portion of my wardrobe. They are great in all seasons since they layer effortlessly and as such work well under white coats.

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Bottom line- I would sew Biscayne again, though I'd probably go down one more size in the bust. A woven top really doesn't need to have much ease when it's sleeveless.

Lastly, I wish I could say the jeans are me made. These are my favorite ready to wear pair, but I've been baby-stepping my way to sewing jeans and recently took the plunge and muslined some Birkins. More to come on that new sewing adventure!