It’s Sewing Indie Month and National Sewing Month!

Hi, in case you didn’t notice, September is the month to celebrate sewing. Yep, it’s not only Sewing Indie Month, it’s National Sewing Month! So if you need to jump-start your sewjo, this is the month to do it.

Sewing Indie Month - Blueprints for Sewing - A-Frame skirt - csews.com

I finished my project for The Refashioners 2015 challenge – to make something from a men’s shirt. (See my post Refashion, Stylish Remakes book review. Psssssst – if you comment on that post, you’ll be entered to win a copy of the Japanese sewing book Stylish Remakes.)

I’ve been wondering if I should attempt making something for Sewing Indie Month, which celebrates “indie sewing patterns and people who make them.” A couple of weeks ago I bought Pattern Bundle #2 (paying $25 and getting 5 PDF patterns – 20% of the proceeds go to the nonprofit organization Women for Women, which helps women survivors of war.) But I hadn’t made anything yet. Then I got this fortune cookie and decided it was a sign – time to get going on my Blueprints for Sewing A-frame skirt and maybe a Nettie Bodysuit by Closet Case Patterns, and a pair of Rose Hips Tights by Seamster Patterns!

Fortune cookie fortune - sewing indie month 2015

I got a PDF of the Nettie bodysuit/dress pattern as part of my bundle and I got the Rose Hips Tights paper pattern from Mari, the designer behind Seamster Patterns and the founder of Sewing Indie Month. Mari and I follow each other on social media and I got to meet her in person when she was in the Bay Area.

More than 20 designers are participating in Sewing Indie Month (#SIM2015), offering tutorials, interviews, and prizes! Yes –  there are sewing contests – make something from one of the patterns or tutorials by one of the participating designers.

I need more casual clothes so I’m aiming to enter the Everyday Casual contest hosted by Idle Fancy. The other contests are Pattern Hacking, hosted by Ronda’s Creative Life and Dressed to the Nines, hosted by Lilacs and Lace. It’s not too late to enter! Your projects just need to be posted by Sunday, Oct. 4. Check out the contest rules here.

I bought the A-Frame pattern more than three months ago but I got busy with other things and only got as far as tracing some of the pieces. I think I saw a finished skirt on Instagram and I really liked the design of version 2, which has a lovely flare. But in the interests of stashbusting, I’m going to make version 1 using this denim fabric, which I got 40% off at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco. I’m going to use both sides of this fabric and use the lighter (wrong?) side of the fabric as the contrast part of the skirt.

Striped denim fabric - csews.com

Don’t be put off by the drawing on the front of the pattern! Yes, the gals pictured seem a bit rustic and the boot-wearing gal on the left seems like she’s ready to go for a hike but …

A-frame - Blueprints for Sewing - csews.com

… check out the line drawings! The pencil skirt and the A-line skirt have lovely lines. Plus you gotta admit, those cover gals are unique and the artist is offering an image of a woman who you don’t typically see on pattern envelopes – women with real figures, not a super-slim models with sticks for legs. You know they saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, don’t just a pattern by the models on the front.

A-frame skirt - Blueprints for Sewing line drawing - csews.com

And here’s a finished version 1 – the pencil skirt (oh the color blocking possibilities!) – from Blueprints for Sewing’s website:

A-frame skirt - version 1 - Blueprints for Sewing pattern

And here’s a finished version 2, the A-line Skirt (love the pockets!):

Blueprints for Sewing - A-frame skirt - version 2

So it was the line drawings and the finished versions that sold me. I bought a paper pattern and then I contacted the designer to see if she’d be interested in donating some of her patterns to give away at an upcoming Bay Area Sewists meetup. (I’m the organizer for the group.) And she generously offered to send the A-Frame Skirt and the Cabin Shirt/Shift Dress. This Saturday our meetup is at Sips N Sews in San Francisco and we’ll hold a drawing for the A-Frame Skirt AND for Seamster Patterns Rose Hips Tights! If you’re in the Bay Area, you can RSVP for this meetup here. Thank you Blueprints for Sewing and Seamster Patterns!

Check out this illustration of color blocking ideas!

A-frame skirt - Blueprints for Sewing - csews.com

I’m going to make a mock-up of this skirt using this blue floral sheet under the color-blocking drawing.  I got the sheet at Goodwill (charity shop) for a couple of dollars. You know what I’ll be doing over the next week!

What are you making for Sewing Indie Month or National Sewing Month?

Summer sewing – WIPs

Hi,

What are you working on? Projects for summer and fall? Now that summer solstice has come and gone, I feel pressure to get going on the summer clothes. One good thing about living in California is that it stays warm through September, even in the Bay Area, where the weather is a lot cooler than Southern California – so I’ll be OK even if I don’t finish my summer sewing projects by the end of August.

I’ve just finished making another Deer and Doe Chardon skirt – this time out of some heavyweight linen fabric. Here’s a sneak peek of the main skirt fabric, which I got at Britex Fabrics and my side pocket:

Linen fabric - pocket detail for Chardon Skirt - csews.com

Hopefully, I’ll be able to take photos of it in the couple of days so you can see the finished version with the red linen contrast band. This is my fourth Chardon skirt. (Here are the links to my first Chardon, my second one with a black contrast band, and my maxi version.)

Also on my list – dresses – one each from the Japanese sewing books, Basic Black by Sato Watanabe and Stylish Dress Book: Clothing for Everyday Wear by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I want to make the dress on the cover of Basic Black. (I made a 16-paneled skirt from this book earlier this year.)

Basic Black by Sato Watanabe - csews.com

I already got some black seersucker fabric. It’s a perfect project for the Sundress Sewalong, hosted by Handmade by Heather B! It starts on July 1 and continues to August 31 – plenty of time to finish it! Thanks, Heather!

Sundress Sewalong 2015

The other dress is one I thought I would make for the Japan Sew Along (hosted by Tanoshii) but I was only able to complete one garment, the A-line Block Skirt (from Basic Black) by the end of the sewalong.  This is the pattern…

Stylish Dress Book - sleeveless dress with ruffles - csews.com

… and here’s the pretty purple cotton voile fabric I got for the dress:

Fabric - cottons and wool - csews.com

Oh, and let’s not forget tops! I cut out my mock-up of the Asymmetical Top from Drape Drape 2, which I’ve been meaning to make ever since I saw a couple of MaciNic’s versions on her blog The Somnolent Dachshund. I cut a straight size L/XL. I’m using a drapey rayon knit so we’ll see how well it fits. My guess is that it will be tight in the hips. The top was a bit of a pain to cut out because it is one huge pattern piece. So I had to lay it out on the floor. It’s waiting to be sewed.

And way back in December I cut out a mock-up of the Renfrew top, Sewaholic’s best-selling and versatile knit top. It got pushed to the bottom of the project queue when I started making my Chardon skirts, Japanese sewing patterns, and my Spring for Cotton dress. I need to sew this up as well.

I also bought my first Blueprints for Sewing pattern – the A-frame skirt, which looks like a great stashbuster. Just think of the color blocking possibilities!

A-frame skirt - Blueprints for Sewing
(image from Blueprints for Sewing)

The drawing is unique – rather rustic but don’t be put off by it, the design is rather elegant with two options – an A-line and a pencil skirt. And the pocket detail is quite lovely. You can see more versions of it on Blueprint’s blog.

Another pattern I got earlier this month is the Flutter Blouse by Papercut Patterns. I like the floaty sleeves. You could make it tunic length and wear it as a dress (check out SewBusyLizzy’s version here). I don’t know if I would make it tunic length – like SewBusyLizzy I worry about it looking like a sack. My hips are rather wide so I don’t think that will be flattering on my figure. It will be fine as a blouse though.

Flutter blouse - Papercut Patterns - csews.com

I love the packaging on Papercut Patterns!

There are other indie patterns on my to-do list as well – Deer & Doe’s Bruyère Shirt, maybe another By Hand London Anna Dress for the International Anna Party (I’ve made two so far – one with a border print and a color blocked version), and Sewaholic’s Granville Shirt. What’s on your sewing list?

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