Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Planning for FESA 2014

Hooray! It's FESA time! This really is my favourite time of the year and FESA is one of my very favourite sew-alongs.  I have been tossing plans around for several weeks now and I think I have it all narrowed down.  You all know how I love a good plan!

This year, I am not going to create from every category.  In years past, my ambitions far exceeded reality and I consequently got quite down on myself for not being able to meet my rather unrealistic expectations.  This year I am determined to be smarter and kinder to myself.  I am not planning a knitting project either as I am afraid of reinjuring my shoulder if I jump back in too quickly.

My much amended FESA 2014 Plan

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather 
My denim Meringue skirt is the single most worn skirt in my handmade wardrobe.  I plan to make one from charcoal grey twill with a bit of a twist.  When I was planning for FESA, I got thinking about wardrobe staples of the past, particularly a khaki skirt with a ruffled hem that I bought from Old Navy more than 10 years ago.  I literally wore it until lit fell apart!  For this Meringue, I'm going to make sure to add a ruffled hem rather than the scallops.

Charcoal grey - a new neutral in my wardrobe.

I am also thinking about adding a pair of dark charcoal cigarette trousers to my wardrobe.  I did purchase two pairs of Heyday trousers last year and wore them frequently during last year's bitterly cold winter.  Butterick 2507 is a 1960's pattern that I've used successfully before.

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates 
White blouses are a staple in my wardrobe.  I wear them no matter the season.  For fall and winter, particularly, I wear them under dresses and knitted vests.  This year, I need to sew up quite a few and I have some absolutely delectable fabrics in which to do so.  I am planning on using a very reliable and must sewn pattern to make these: McCall's 5451 without the waist gathers.

Sorry for the blusish cast - it's the light. The fabrics are all white.

Sorbetto is my go-to blouse pattern - I simply add sleeves - and these two fabrics below will be made up with 3/4 sleeves. They'll go nicely with all of my skirts and trousers, not to mention layered under solid dresses.

The Renfrew top is a huge staple for me.  I have made many versions, most for cooler weather, and they are worn a lot.  I plan on making long sleeved Renfrews from these pretty polka dots knits, as polka dots are a neutral in my wardrobe.  I have already made 2 versions of the Lane Raglan and, unfortunately, no matter how carefully I pinned and how slowly I sewed, the neckline on both are unfixably wobbly.  So disappointing!

Fabulous Frocks
Last year, during our freezing winter, the dress I wore most was the Lady Skater.  It was easy to wear, easy to wash and dry, and was warm!  I want to make more of them this year.  The red ponte knit will be a 3/4 sleeve version as it's quite toasty, and the red star and charcoal will be long sleeved as they are more t-shirt weight.  Cozy and fashionable!

I need to finish my Winter Washi dress and I would love to make a cozy version from this beautiful quatrefoil fabric.  I am just stuck on whether I should make a Laurel or a Lisette Diplomat dress.  I think View B  of the Diplomat dress would look great with contrast piping on the front seam.

With the 'cake' portion well taken care of, I do have a couple of frosting pieces I'd like to add to my wardobe.  Dress C from the Sweet Dress Book has fast become a favourite.  I have made two versions in the short time I've had the book (version 1 here and version 2 here) and I would love to make a version in jersey.  I have a fuschia solid knit that I love and would look great with my collection of madly coloured tights.  Check out Louise's jersey version of this dress - I love it!

The second frosting piece I'd love to make is Dress R from the Stylish Dress Book #2. I have seen this done beautifully and it was this version, in particular, that I really loved.  It's so simple but so beautiful.  I have some midnight blue linen earmarked for this.  Layering with a slip, tights, and a cardigan, will make this dress an all-season piece for me.  I love, love to layer to stretch my wardrobe!

So, there's my plan.  I may not get everything done, heck, I may not even get half of it done, but I will remind myself to celebrate the pieces I do complete.

Are you creating along with us?
What are your plans? 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Kicking Off: Fall Essentials Sew-Along 2014

Today's the day! One of my favourite days in my yearly sewing cycle: FESA Kick Off!

Fall is often a very busy season for many of us, filled with activities that often have us running hither and yon. Making your items should be a form of relaxation; a time to slow down and enjoy the creative process. The goal? Stock your wardrobe with quality pieces that you will wear again and again.

FESA is open to all crafty types: sassy sewists, knifty knitters, and clever crocheters!  For those of you in the southern hemisphere, please feel free to sew your spring essentials.  You can make as many or as few items as you like.  Some participants create from each category and others from only one or two.

The sew-along runs from September 1 to November 30, 2014. I am so delighted to be co-hosting this year's FESA with Lisette of What Would Nancy Drew Wear! She's such a fun person (she's a costume designer IRL!) and sews amazing 70's style garments. 

There are seven categories for fall/winter wear to give you lots of inspiration!  Feel free to find your inspiration from any era - vintage or modern - and create your ultimate list of fall essentials.

The elegant Miss Phryne  Fisher in her signature trousers.

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather
Trousers, skirts, legwarmers and more! Anything that keeps your lower portion fashionably cozy fits perfectly here! The chilly weather necessitates the donning of bifurcated bottoms and sassy skirts!

Beautiful Miette cardigan in cream wool with cowl.
Chic Chemises for Cool Climates
Blouses, tops, vests, cardigans, and sweaters! These wardrobe essentials can carry you from day to night, not to mention provide necessary layering to keep out the chill.

Stunning Washi dress with cozy layers.

Fabulous Frocks
Dresses of all styles; mini, midi, or long! Keep yourself warm in your modish designs, layering with tights and boots!

Ohhh Lulu Ginger Body Suit & Separates

Underneath It All
When you're spending months covered from the neck down, a glamorous underpinning of your choice adds a secret, luxurious touch that chases the cold away!

Tender Tootsies
Let's not forget your frosty feet! Socks, slippers and the like are the order of the day. Keep those tootsies warm and dry!

Cozy gingham flannel pajamas!

Those Cozy Nights
Is there anything better than snuggling up in a cozy pair of pajamas with a hot drink and a book whilst Jack Frost works his magic outside? I think not! Sleepwear of all types are the way to go here!

A classic red winter coat.

Baby It's Cold Outside
Coats, hats, and mittens donned to keep the cold at bay, especially when out enjoying the spectacular fall colours!

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I hope you'll join me on another mad crafting adventure!  Copy the code below and paste the button on your blog or website. Please leave a comment so I can follow along with your progress!

Please email me your Pinterest user name to be added to the FESA 2014 Pinterest board to showcase all of your creations shortly.

FESA Small Logo (200px wide)


FESA Large Logo (300px wide)


Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Great Pattern Destash

My Great Pattern Destash has begun!
I will be listing over 50 patterns, both modern and vintage, in my Etsy store.
Grab a bargain! Shipping is cheap, too!

Vintage patterns will appear more slowly as I need to take extra time to ensure that they are complete. 

Happy shopping!