Fall Sewing #1: Minoru Jacket

Woohoo!! I made a Minoru jacket, just in time for the beginning of Fall. Umm…actually, I made it just in time for a massive heat wave that hit San Francisco. Temperatures were in the 90’s in SF for nearly 6 days! When it gets that hot here (which is rare), the whole city goes a little bit crazy – there’s a wild giddiness in the air, especially at night. Nobody has air conditioning, so we all moan and complain, and crowd the beaches like we’re in LA or something:) Luckily, the fog poured back in for a few days, leaving us all shivering and happy. And I got to wear my new jacket!

Minoru front view collar up

This is the first project on my list for Fall Sewing. It feels like I’ve been working on this forever (2 months), and dreaming about it for even longer. I love the casual and sporty, yet feminine, look of the Minoru and have seen so many cool and inspiring versions of this online. Like this one. And this one (I love red jackets!). I was a bit nervous that this project would be over my head, but I just went for it. My mom’s advice was to “go slow, don’t give yourself a deadline, and you’ll be fine.” Advice taken.

Continue reading “Fall Sewing #1: Minoru Jacket”

Fall Sewing Plans – 2015

Fall Sewing idea board

I’ve been inspired by the Colette Wardrobe Architect series and Sewaholic’s Summer and Fall sewing plans to do a bit of planning for Fall. I always have ideas of what I want to sew floating about in my head, but it was nice to sit down and plan out a whole ‘season’ of sewing. And to put it on my wall to keep me focused. Plus, I recently went on a fabric shopping spree, so I knew I had to buckle down and make some concrete plans!!

hanging fabric closeup

So here is my list for Fall Sewing: Continue reading “Fall Sewing Plans – 2015”

10 Surprising Things I’ve Learned About Sewing

It’s been just over a year since I started to really sew. I thought I’d share some surprising things I’ve learned so far.

  1. 80% of sewing isn’t sewing. It’s pressing, pinning, cutting, tracing, pressing, sewing, pressing,…which brings me to…
  2. Learn to love your iron. You will be spending lots of time with it.
    my iron is ready
  3. Same goes for your stitch ripper. Seriously. In fact, you probably need at least two or three of these, for when you break one during an angsty stitch ripping episode, or (on a more positive note) when your sweet husband offers to help you rip stitches out of a long, long, messy seam.
  4. You can use a rotary cutter for just about everything! Wow, this one was a joy to learn because when I cut with shears, my pieces are always so messy. Just keep a bunch of spare blades on hand.
  5. Another (sewing) life-changing one: 95% of the time, you don’t need to pin your pattern to the fabric before cutting. What?? You see, there are these cool things called pattern weights. And if you don’t have those, use your phone, the tape dispenser, and your son’s ‘volcano’ sculpture.
    pattern weightmakeshift pattern weights
  6. Swedish tracing paper is the bomb. It’s sturdier than tissue paper and less stiff than regular printer paper. It’s easy to store your traced patterns. You can write on it. Heck, you can even sew it if you want.
    tracing a pattern
  7. Planning is half the fun. You get to look a pretty pictures online, browse though fabric stores, dream up the perfect color combinations, and decide on which variations and features you want.
  8. Even I can be artistic and creative. I think it’s just human nature. I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly artistic person, at least in terms of visual, creative arts. I am a geochemist. I’m good at math. But sewing has really brought out my artistic side, and I’m enjoying it.
  9. Constructing a garment is like putting together a puzzle; some garments are simple puzzles, and some complex. It makes me look at everything I wear and buy in a whole new light.
  10. Sewing is not so hard. No, I’m not an expert seamstress. Yes, there are plenty of things I don’t know how to do. There are things I have to do poorly three times before I do them well, but it just takes practice and a bit of guidance. Lucky for all of us who are learning to sew, there are many resources at our fingertips – tutorials, videos, online classes, and the like. And a great online sewing community to turn to for inspiration and advice!

So thank you blogosphere for the inspiration and education!
Fall Sewing idea board

What about you? What’s surprised you the most about sewing/crafting/making?

Sewing for me!! Two Josephines

two josephines

I finally did some (blog-worthy) sewing of clothes for myself! I made Rae’s Josephine blouse and tunic. Actually, I made the first one quite a while back when I took a sewing class at Stonemountain in Berkeley, but had trouble with the taking-photos-of-myself part of blogging. So I am just getting around to posting it now. My first one was a ‘view b’ blouse made with a lightweight cotton print (lawn I think). It’s soft and comfortable and breathable so that it’s even nice to wear in the summer (at least in San Francisco, where it’s never really hot).

print Josephine Continue reading “Sewing for me!! Two Josephines”