It’s pretty embarrassing to be writing this in July. In May I started the process of switching the website over and it took waaaay longer than I expected. Then life happened and I lost steam, so here we are talking about sewing projects from two months ago.
I didn’t expect to fall as hard in love with the Anok pattern from Kosedo Studio as I did. It’s a princess seamed trapeze dress with several sleeve variations and three bust cup options. I love my cotton lawn version (left) because of the way that the fabric holds the swingy shape of the dress. Also the neckline, the sleeves and the print add up to cottage core dreams and I’m here for it! My viscose version (right) is my go-to dress for hot days since it’s so slinky and cool.
Aside from coming away with two fantastic dresses, I really loved the testing process. Kosedo designer Vanessa was so invested and responsive. I really appreciated how willing she was to make changes based on our feedback, even when it meant delaying the release. I think she’s put forth a really great pattern. I know I’ll be making it all summer long.
The best part though, was that upon hearing my podcast about accessibility, she reached out to me to discuss how to make her instructions more accessible. Since that conversation, she changed the structure of her instructions so that they’re more visually intuitive and easier on folks with either vision or neurological differences. They’re so beautiful and easy to follow. They even have layering so you can isolate either the illustrations or instructions! Even though my part was small, I’m still very proud of this pattern release!
I’m so glad I finally prioritized getting some basics made up and into my wardrobe rotation! I desperately needed tee shirts so I’m glad I put some of my more exciting plans on hold to whip these up. Plus it was freezing most of May so I got a lot of wear out them both right away.
First I made the Forget Me Not Vera top. Jo has a way of adding just the right amount of character to a pattern. Like it’s still just an everyday tee shirt, but with a little something special. While I love this pattern, I don’t love this particular make. I sized up because my cotton jersey version that I made in October was feeling a bit tight. That was not a great choice for this slinky bamboo jersey from Textielstad. I tried to take it in at the arm/shoulder join and throughout the side seams, but it’s just too big. It’s too long in the chest and the neckline gapes. Such a bummer because the fabric and pattern are a match made in heaven and this color is so beautiful!
Second, I made a non-PJ version of the Jackson Tee from Helen’s Closet. I sized down for this one and made the cropped version. I lowered the neckline by 1.5cm and added 3cm to the length so that it hits just over the waistband of my jeans. It’s absolutely perfect and I want a whole closet full of these tees. I used the same bamboo jersey from Textialstad as the Vera Top but in this deep magenta. It’s the perfect boxy tee and I’ll certainly be making more!
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I have to say it was so painful to make these dresses in May when it was so freaking cold. They’re both so summery! I’m so glad it warmed up in June and I’ve gotten loads of wear out of both dresses!
When I tested the Wren top back in March, I knew I’d need to make a dress version. After hemming and hawing for ages about what to make with this foiled double gauze, it finally occurred to me to eliminate the button placket from the Wren and add a belt! I really wanted to make the print the star of the make, so I initially wrote off the Wren because I didn’t want to break up the print, but it was actually so easy to hack. I simply used the center fold line of the pattern to cut the fabric on the fold. I love, love, love how it turned out! You can read a bit more about it here.
Last year I made Ember and I matching strappy dresses and we loved it. When this yellow cotton poplin came, I knew I couldn’t keep it to myself. I used the same patterns as last year, but sized up for both of them. For mine, I decided I wanted to echo the gathered tiers in the Mini Marcel dress by cutting my Heidi dress at the hip and adding the skirt panel from the Wren dress. It worked so well. I love how they look together. Even more I love how much Ember loves her yellow dress! You can check out my blog post here!
Me Made May
It feels a bit silly to write about Me Made May when we’re so far past it, but I’m gonna do it anyway. If you’re unfamiliar, Me Made May is a sewing community challenge around wearing your self made garments and accessories. This was the first year that I really participated. I tried to wear at least one garment I’d made everyday and document it on my Instagram stories.
Full honesty: it was a struggle. Wearing the things I made wasn’t really a problem, but I was very frustrated by the end. I was very bored of wearing the same three or four outfits everyday. Partially May was very cold and I couldn’t wear the cute summery dresses that I’d just made, but the other reason is that most of my clothes don’t fit me anymore, and that was hard to face.
Around January, I hit a major turning point in my chronic illness journey where I started feeling so much better. I’m sleeping better, I have more energy and mobility. It’s been amazing. Concurrently my size has changed and all my clothes are too small now. The beauty of sewing of course, is that I can make new clothes to fit my new body, but I’m still morning some of my favorite makes. I missed the way tossing on my favorite Sheridan sweater made me feel effortlessly chic, or how breezy I felt in my linen Heidi dress. I know I’ll find those feelings again with new makes, but the interim is tough.
Sewing Community Things
First up was #AllButtsWelcome at Sewcialists. It was our last theme month before saying goodbye and it was…a gas! So much joy, love and butt puns. We covered topics ranging from gender affirming underwear to the great crotch scooping debate. I even wrote a little piece about finding the perfect beginner pants pattern!
I joined Seamwork! I’d been going back and forth about it for ages. I finally figured out what was stopping me was really silly. I basically wanted the deal where you pay less by paying for the whole year up front, but I wasn’t sure if I’d really use it for the whole year. Hello! That’s why you can also pay per month. My inner cheapskate grandmother cringes a bit whenever I pay even slightly more for something, but it’s so silly. I went for the 2 patterns for $9/month and it’s been fantastic! Beyond getting to choose from their great pattern library, I’ve been blown away by the magazine itself and all the extra resources. The Style Workshop is so thorough and I’m really excited to go through it in a cohort in August!
I also finally started supporting my friend Sally on Patreon! Sally has created such a lovely little corner of the internet over at the Modista community. Every month she collaborates with indie sewing brands to bring fun discounts and content. There’s also a low-key contest and a zoom sewing session every month. I used one of the rotating discounts to pick up a couple remnant beauties from Rainbow Fabrics!
Thanks for catching up with me! I know it’s a little ridiculous to be chatting about May in July, but it feels good too. Thanks for reading and happy sewing!