rib knit blomma tank

Made a size 8 and it was way too big. The armholes and neckhole also stretched out a lot; will have to try something other than an overlocker on the seams next time. Cool, but time consuming binding method. I like the end look though.

summer shorts journey

I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of shorts for a while now. I’ve tried many indie patterns, from the Peppermint spring shorts to the All Well Studio Pants. Nothing has quite fit me well, and I finally realized that I would need to step off the beaten path and draft my own. It’s taken many many pairs of shorts, but I’ve finally created a pattern I really like. Here’s a look into the journey and the modifications I made each time:

SHORTS 1 – light blue denim

The basic studio pants pattern shortened into shorts. Full seat adjustment. Added 1/2″ to the crotch.

SHORTS 2 – yellow satin

Shorts 1, but with a side panel.

SHORTS 3 – made from mom’s old jeans

Added a few inches to the side panel and back pockets. Added a lot of rise.

SHORTS 4 – mid denim

Added 1″ to the front rise. Added scooped side pockets instead of back pockets. Took off 1″ of side pantel. Lengthened back crotch 1″.

SHORTS 5 – light blue scrub shorts

Trim off 1″ on back short. Smaller pocket facing by 1″.

SHORTS 6 – teal scrub shorts

Trim 1/2″ off back short. Add 1/2″ to back crotch.

SHORTS 7 – cobalt canvas

Took 1/2″ off front and back sides. Trimmed another 1/2″ off back short.

SHORTS 8 – black linen

Shortened front and back rise by 1/2″. Angled instead of scooped pocket. Added buttonholes for a drawstring.

cobalt shorts!

I actually felt like taking pictures of me wearing the clothes I made and I got dressed up to go to the farmer’s market so here they are. Cobalt summer shorts and mom’s old tank top.

self-drafted a collar + updated a shirt

Found this old shirt that I’m 99.9% sure my grandma in Taiwan made for me years ago. I actually really like the fabric now and could see myself wearing this. I wanted to fix the collar and armhole hems though, so that’s what I did. I unpicked the armhole binding and hemmed it. I also undid the old mandarin style collar and replaced it with my own self-drafted one. I was a bit apprehensive at first about drafting my own collar; the only other time I’ve done it was in FSAD 1450 and I was able to use a sloper then. I searched up how to self-draft a collar and found a website that said something similar to what I had learned in class. I followed that as best as I could and just went with it. This was one of those projects where I had to stop overthinking everything and dive into it before I could back out. Took a lot of initial motivation, but once I got started, it was pretty fun. I wanted to match the navy blue placket, but I didn’t have a similar fabric so I made the collar out of navy corduroy scraps instead. At least that meant I didn’t have to use interfacing. All in all, I’d have to say it turned out really well. The part where the collar meets the placket is a little funky, but I can massage it with my hand to make it lie “right”.

button up top

this was SELF DRAFTED!!! i’ve been on a self-drafting whirlwind lately; just super inspired to create my own clothes instead of buying a pattern and it’s been great. i have wanted to make a button up top like this for the longest time now and it feels fantastic to finally make one. i was inspired by the hemming’s adelia dress/top. i wanted real sleeves though (and i wanted to save money), which is why i didn’t use that pattern. i did trace the sleeves off of the elbe textiles sage tee (a free pattern!), and despite being meant for knit fabrics, i’ve found that the pattern still works well with wovens since the fit is so loose.

the button placket on this top took the most brain power to figure out, but it was really quite simple. i used the original center line of the shirt as my starting point, then added on increments of fabric. i wanted a 1″ wide button placket (my buttons were 1/2″ wide) so i added that, then i added another inch for the hem and a half inch to fold over so the edges on the inside were neat. i also cut a 1″ strip of light interfacing to add a little more stability. to make the facing, i just folded over the raw edge and topstitched it down with the rest of the button placket.

i am SO happy with how this shirt turned out and i can see myself wearing it a lot. the fabric is a really cheap lightweight gauzy cotton, so perfect for summer. the stripe pattern isn’t what i would normally wear, but i could get used to it!

the shirt is a little wide though, so next time, i am going to take in 3/4″ off the center of the design.

self-drafted linen v-neck top

i’m very proud of this self-drafted top!! i used the all well box top pattern as a base, but modified the width, hem, sleeves, and neckline. i still have some more modifications to make before i’m completely happy with the design, but it’s not bad either. made this from the leftover white linen of my graduation dress.

story coat

this was my dad’s blanket. he bought it when he first arrived in ithaca, ny from taiwan. age 14, didn’t speak english, no parents around. he’s brought this blanket on every move he’s made since: to university in canada, to med school in los angeles, up and down california for residency, research, and jobs and finally to where we’ve settled since.

this blanket wears the marks of time and two generations of childhoods. there is a hole that needs to be mended, an old nosebleed stain in the corner, discolouring, but it’s still in tact and warm as it ever was. my mom had stowed it away in the garage years ago, and it sat collecting spiderwebs and dust, until i found it again one afternoon and decided to give it another life.

so i made a coat out of it. a pretty modified all well cardigan coat that i was trying to make look like the wiksten haori. i should just buy that pattern but i’m too cheap at this point. the quilting lines don’t completely line up and the discolouring is blinding, particularly at the shoulder seams because i didn’t cut around it. the hole in the blanket sits directly on the back of the coat. but although the outward appearance of this coat is shabby, it was made with care. i bias bound all the seams on the inside, and the hems, even handsewing it shut so the binding would be neat. and i have ideas on how to fix the discolouring. i want to dye the entire coat with indigo, and embroider over the hole in the back. it’s still an ongoing process and i’m excited to continue. making this coat, especially knowing the history of the quilt it’s made from, made me ridiculously happy for some reason. so here’s the base. i need to go out and buy some materials for indigo dyeing, and i’m hoping to finish it before i leave for college this summer. maybe i will even bring it with me. i like the idea of things coming full circle – my dad bought the quilt in ithaca, and now his daughter is returning there, with the same quilt. but if i don’t finish by then, i’m ok with that too. this quilt has lasted over thirty years and it still has more life to live. there’s no rush.

dusty blue slacks

after making the purple pair of tapered free range slacks that i hardly wear (i really regret choosing bright purple fabric), i’ve been pretty cautious about making colourful pants, and mainly pants in general. however, after seeing many beautiful versions of canvas pomona pants on my instagram feed, i decided to give it a go again.

i chose this dreamy dusty blue canvas and sized up from my last attempt. although the canvas is a bit rough at the moment, i really hope it softens up with wash and wear. there must be some difference between the tapered and wide leg versions of the pattern, or i goofed somewhere, because these pants are too big on me. my last pair was a little too small, so i reasoned that sizing up a size would be perfect, but alas that was not quite the case. eh, still wearable though. the only thing i did not like about this project was: the elastic waistband. god, that was such a pain to insert and topstitch without having the elastic fold over. i did see another technique for attaching waistbands on instagram that involves serging the elastic directly to the waistband, and i’m keen to try that method on my next pair of pants/shorts!

i love the colour of the canvas on these pants! i have not yet worn them out and about, so i will wait until i do that to make any further comments on the wearability of this pair of slacks. i’m a huge fan of the look of promised movability of slacks, but so far, i don’t think i can quite pull them off. fingers crossed this pair will change that!