Menagerie + La Maison Victor Dolores Skirt

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Is anyone else drooling over the new Cotton + Steel Rifle Paper Co. Menagerie Collection!? It’s so good! My favorite print of the whole collection has to be this gorgeous monstera leaf print though. I was instantly drawn to it. This fabric is a cotton rayon lawn blend, and really just the perfect weight. It’s not as shifty as a 100% rayon, but not as thick as a 100% cotton. It has really lovely drape too.

I chose this print for my Dolores Skirt, a pattern out of La Maison Victor’s magazine now translated into an English version! Let me tell you, this magazine is stunning! It’s filled with 8 sewing patterns, instructions and beautiful images of the finished patterns. It’s hard to pick just one! I also like that they included patterns for everyone: babies, kids, women and even men. I’m thrilled to be part of their worldwide tour celebrating the new English Version. If you’re from the United States, you can pick this up at your nearest Barnes and Noble store.

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All of the patterns in the magazine can be found in a center fold out. Everything is very clear and easy to understand. There’s two patterns per page overlapping one another marked in black and red. I used a green marker to outline the size and pattern I needed, and then traced it onto pattern paper. There are two pieces for each skirt piece that need to be taped to together to make the completed skirt front and back.

The instructions were very clear and the skirt came together in one night. I did take off about 1 1/2″ off of my hemline. No other adjustments were made. I really love the look of this skirt and the length is amazing. Midi skirts are having a major moment.

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I find that because I don’t have a lot of shape to my figure (no hips), skirts without a lot of volume aren’t very flattering on me. I love the bit of gathering along the waistline of this pattern to help add a little bit of volume for me. I really love the button front, I chose some wooden buttons from my local Joann Fabric store. I’m excited to wear this skirt into the beginning of fall. I love that I can dress it up for church, or wear it casual for an outing with my kids. It’s super versatile! Go grab a copy of La Maison Victor’s newest issue and sew up a Dolores Skirt for yourself! Happy sewing friends!

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La Maison Victor provided the magazine for this post, and Cotton + Steel provided me the fabric.
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Top Sewing Trends for Fall/Winter + Style Maker Podcast Part 2!

Hey guys! Maker Style has another great podcast episode lined up for you. In this episode I share my top favorite trends for Fall/Winter, and some really great patterns I’ve matched with each trend. Some I’ve already experimented with, and some are still on my to do list.

Disclaimer: I’ve since added a few more trends that I didn’t talk about on the podcast. Take a listen, and below I’ve included a visual reference and direct links to go along with it. Enjoy!

My Top Trend Picks + Patterns for Fall /Winter 2016:

  1. Jeans: The first thing I think of when planning my fall wardrobe is a good pair of jeans, am I right? I’m loving everything raw, distressed and high waisted! My go to is always a dark wash skinny jean, but I’ve decided to mix it up a little this year. I recently sewed up a pair of high waisted Safran Pants by Deer & Doe  and added a staggered hem, a current trend I’m obsessed with. I also love the distressed denim look, and I want to try sewing up a distressed boyfriend jean, using the Morgan Jeans Pattern by Closet Case Files, (we’ll see if I’m brave enough to distress them!!). Boyfriend style jeans are a little outside my fashion comfort zone, but I think they will be a really great wardrobe staple for me, and I’ll be able to get the fit just right by making them myself.

(Nordstrom Inspo)

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(Safran Jeans)

2. Fur: It’s everywhere this season. I always think of fur as a more dressy wardrobe piece, but I’m excited to try this trend as a more casual, everyday look too. I sewed a faux fur coat using  M7257, and I’m so happy with it. Don’t be intimidated by fur! You can read my recent post all about how to work with faux fur on fabric.com’s new blog!

(Nordstrom Faux Fur Inspiration)

(M7257)

3. Plaid: Let’s be honest, every fall I really just want plaid everything. My go to is always a classic plaid button down, try the: Archer Shirt by Grainline Studio. For a classic button down with a twist, try:  McCall’s M7472 (pictured below). Another fun pattern I haven’t tried yet that I think would be fabulous in a plaid is the: Sarah Shirt by By Hand London.  If you want to go plaid crazy, take it a step further and sew up a coat or even a pair of trousers, try: Tyyni Cigarette Trousers by Named Clothing. When it comes to plaids, be careful about matching your pattern, and make sure to order a little extra fabric so you have enough to be able to match your pattern pieces when cutting.

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(M7472)

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(Archer Shirt)

4. Bold Florals: I’m just LOVING the bold floral trend going on right now, there’s too many great examples of this to share too. I’ve already tried my hand at this trend, and I feel like it’s really all about the fabric. I sewed up the Fen Dress with a really beautiful floral from Indie Sew, but sadly it’s sold out. I also sewed up V9201 in the gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. Les Fleurs fabric. I absolutely love both looks, and wear them all the time.


(Fen Dress // V9201)

5. Turtlenecks with everything! My go to turtleneck pattern is: (Paola Turtleneck Tee by Named Clothing) and I want to try pairing it with the Lottie dress by Christine Haynes going along with the look pictured below or maybe a denim button down skirt, try: The Erin Skirt, or a lengthened Chi-Town Chino Skirt.


6. Jackets and Coats:  Another must for fall/winter! I’m seeing Bomber Jackets, try McCall’s: (M7100) (For a fun twist try adding a shearling lining!). I’m also loving utility jackets, and I’m currently sewing one up, I’ll be posting about it towards the end of this month. Try:  (Allie Olsen’s new pattern the Lonetree Jacket, I can’t wait to share this one with you!).


7. Bell Sleeves: Bell sleeves are also everywhere, and they are one of my favorite trends right now. I love the flowy, feminine, 70’s vibe they give off. I’ve been making bell sleeve tops since last fall, and I LOVE them. I haven’t sewn this one up yet, but it’s on my do to list for this season. You can see Megan Nielsen’s Dove Blouse vs. Nordstrom Blouse, so so similar! Can’t wait to have a moment to sew this one up!

Here’s my knit top version from last fall, I still wear this top all the time:

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8. Velvet: It’s everywhere!! I’m seeing blazers, skirts, tops, dresses, shoes, you can’t go wrong! I think you could really sew up anything in velvet, just make sure it’s the right weight for your project. I have a really fun collaboration/tutorial I’m currently working on for next month, and I can’t wait to share it with you. For now, here’s some velvet inspiration for you:

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I hope this helped get you inspired for some fab fall/winter sewing and I hope you enjoyed the podcast! Thanks for stopping by!

Style Maker Podcast Part 1

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A few weeks ago, Rachel of The Wild Stitch asked if I would be interested in being a guest speaker for her brand new podcast, Maker Style! I lovvvveee podcasts, so it was an easy (a little nervously) yes for me.

We talked via skype, and before I knew it a whole hour had gone by. It was truly such a blast, and I honestly felt like we could have easily kept on going for another hour even. I love sewing talk, and especially with other sewing enthusiasts!

Rachel is the sweetest, and I’m really impressed with her skills and hard work in creating a new podcast. She also knows how we like to listen to podcasts, binge style! So, she has uploaded 4 great episodes to get us hooked. They are all amazing! You can find our conversation in episode 3.

We chatted a little about where I like to look for inspiration, patterns and fabric and I also shared a few of my favorite sewing tips. Rachel posted a little Q and A and the link to the our conversation along with the show notes on her blog.

Our conversation was a little longer than expected, so Rachel decided to split it into two podcasts. Stay tuned for part two coming October 16th where we talk my favorite Fall/Winter trends and my favorite patterns to recreate the styles for yourself!

Thanks again Rachel! What a dream!

Sew Conscious Box

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I got my first Sew Conscious box in the mail recently, and I’m excited to share a little more about it! Sew Conscious is box subscription service for the garment sewer. You just have to give your size, and pick your style profile: The Spirited One, The Minimalist, and The Classic Chic. It’s basically like receiving a surprise package in the mail every month included with all the tools you’ll need to sew up a new garment piece.

For my box, I chose the minimalist style. Here’s what I got:

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  1. Threads Magazine
  2. Fitting the Upper Torso DVD
  3. Sewaholic Pendrell Pattern
  4. Needle
  5. Matching Thread
  6. Georgette Fabric (2 yds)

Included in the box is a card that includes every item in the box along with it’s individual price. I really like this feature. It’s nice to see what type of fabric is supplied in the box, yardage, and how much you’re saving on the box as a whole compared to the individual suggested retail pricing of each item. The box is $65, plus shipping. It’s a little expensive, but when you compare the pricing it’s worth it for all the stuff you are getting.

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I’m really happy with all the items in my box! I wanted to have my pattern sewn up for this post, but because we are heading into colder days, I think I’m going to save my pattern for spring/summer, and use my fabric with a more fall inspired pattern. I probably wouldn’t have bought this pattern for myself, I need to have a bit more sleeve coverage than the pattern provides, but I have some pattern hack ideas in mind for it come spring. I think the print is really fun for fall/winter.

How cool is the Smart Fitting DVD? I love how they added it in with the Pendrell Top pattern. It’s a great resource to have for understanding how to fit the upper torso, I’m excited to implement it to my future sewing and the Pendrell pattern.

I love to read any chance I get, (which isn’t very often) so I loved the Threads Magazine that was also added to my box. So fun! They really thought of everything. Annnnd Gutermann thread- my fav.

I was chatting with Allie of  Allie J about our first impressions of the box. We both agreed we are a little picky about the fabric we choose for our projects. I personally love choosing and putting together the pattern and fabric for my projects, but I sew enough that I think it would be fun to receive a mystery box too. And let’s be honest, anyone that’s willing to find my fabric, pattern, and notions, along with some fun goodies is saving me a whole lot of time and hassle (you should see me on my weekly Joann’s runs with my two toddlers). Pretty great! Check out Allie’s blog post all about her box: The Classic Chic.

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Special thanks to Sew Conscious for sending me my first box! I can’t wait to dive right in!

This is not a sponsored post, but I did receive my first box free as part of their grand opening. All opinions are my own. 

Stylish Dress Book + Pattern P

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Recently, I found Stylish Dress Book at my local library.

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I love the simplicity of the Japanese patterns in this book. The first part of the book show cases all of the pattern options, one for each page, labeled A-Z. The second part of the book illustrates the instructions to construct each pattern. All of the patterns can be found in a little pocket at the very back of the book.

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It was hard to pick just one. I really want to make them all, but lets be honest, how could I say no to a buffalo check top? (Pattern P). I went with a slightly bigger print with my fabric, and I really like how bold it reads. I found my fabric at Joann’s. This pattern is SO easy, and simple. I put the whole thing together in a few hours. I blindly followed the pattern in size small. I realllllly wish it was longer. Note to self, don’t trust the picture on the pattern and MEASURE. I was trying to hack this out for a weekend getaway, and didn’t take the time I should have to measure the length. The model must be wearing a few sizes up, a little oversized. I also had to add a little more elastic in the neckline than what the pattern calls for. Other than the length, I am happy with the over all results.

Just a cute, little simple top if you’re looking for a quick project. Coming up next is something I’ve been waiting to make for a few weeks now, and I’m so excited to get started. Stay tuned!

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Podcasts + Prophetic Dialogue

I’m a mama of two little ones by day, and when it’s bed time I thoroughly look forward to jumping back into my current project in progress. Lately I have been listening to sewing podcasts while I sew. I’m totally addicted. I’ve been having so much fun hearing different points of view, and learning how some big names have gotten started in their businesses. A few nights ago I listened to While She Naps Episode #51 featuring Christine Haynes. I really enjoyed listening to this particular podcast because Christine discusses all the processes behind her pattern business, and she talks about how she has outsourced and gotten help with some things. I really thought most of these women have done almost everything by themselves, and I really enjoyed her honesty in discussing what she has done herself and what she has gotten some help with. I feel like most people keep these details a secret, and it’s hard for someone just starting out in a business to figure it all out. It helped me better understand that starting a business is totally doable, it’s okay to get outside help, and some tips on how to do it all. I’m always inspired by others’ backgrounds and stories of how they began, figured out their niche and found success.

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Christine has written some awesome books about sewing. While listening to her podcast, I noticed I had one of her books I recently checked out from the library. It’s called How to Speak Fluent Sewing: The Indispensable Illustrated Guide to Sewing and Fabric Terminology. It really is Indispensable! It’s a great guide for new sewists, and sewists who have been going at it all the while. I learned a few new things myself! I follow a lot of bloggers and sewists from the UK, and sometimes they use terms I have never heard. One such term I’ve seen many times is “Toile” (also known as muslin). I finally learned what it means! Haha.

The Podcasts I’ve recently discovered and love are:

  1. While She Naps
  2. Seamwork Radio
  3. Thread Cult
  4. Modern Sewciety Podcast

In all of the podcasts I’ve been listening to, they all discuss the joy that comes from working with ones hands. I believe there is a real power behind creating, that brings feelings of success and happiness. I have to say that’s one of my main motivating factors behind my own blog. I feel so accomplished when I finish a new garment. I feel like I spent my time well. I also feel like I am happier when I spend time sewing. Being a mother is the best job I could ever ask for, and there is nothing else I would rather be doing, but having some sort of a creative outlet has helped me to really focus on my kids and family during the day, because I know I have something I get to do for me once they are asleep. Truly, I have such a passion for sewing, it’s hard not to think about my new projects all day. I’m glad to have a hobby that I love so much, and a place to share it.

On another note:

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Over the weekend my family and I got to spend time together listening to the words of our Prophet and his apostles. Our church holds a General Conference meeting twice a year with four 2-hour sessions (+ a 2 hour session just for women and a 2 hour session just for men). It is marvelous. My heart is so full from the words that were spoken of and for families, women, and the ultimate plan of salvation and happiness. Below are some of my favorite talks given by the leaders of our church, feel free to watch and listen! You won’t regret it.

You can find and watch all of the talks here. I have to say I really loved every single talk given in this conference, but a few of my favorites were:

I loved this talk by Rosemary M. Wixom given to women, she talks about our divine nature, and our individual purpose in this life.

Another talk given during Women’s Conference I love love loved was give by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He tells a beautiful story about a girl and her great aunt, and how we can be happy, skipping through life, no matter what our circumstance may be. You can watch it here.

One of my MOST favorite talks was given by President Russell M. Nelson. He counsels to all women and speaks of the impact we can and must have here today on this earth. This on touched me the very most. You can watch it here.

And most importantly are the words spoken by our dear Prophet President Thomas S. Monson. You can find his words of truth here.

I am always so positively impacted and uplifted by General Conference. I know all of these words spoken are true, and I sustain these great men and women of faith. You can find more at lds.org.

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Merchant & Mills Sewing Book

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I recently picked up Merchant & Mills Sewing Book at my local library, and I loved it so much I thought I’d share it. I have a few friends who have been asking me to help them learn how to use their sewing machines, and many with sewing questions. This book is a great recommendation to anyone out there who wants to learn sewing basics. I enjoyed reading it myself, and relearning techniques I have since forgotten and some that I have not used in a while. I have to say my favorite part was the intro, “Keep it simple and do it well, do it once and you will surely earn your outfit. Making is your opportunity to reclaim fashion for yourself”. I’ve always had a passion for fashion and making, and I love how personal and original I can be when I make my own clothes. Fashion is a means of self expression. Picking out my fabric, the pattern, and making it all my own gives me a great feeling of accomplishment and pride in my work, and abilities. Merchant and Mills desires for it’s readers to feel this creative joy, and by doing so clearly lays out the very basics of sewing from tools, hand sewing techniques, finishes, machine know how, etc. Even though I’ve been sewing for a few years, I learned a few new things from this book.

The second part of the books offers fifteen projects and two patterns with a step by step tutorial for each. This book explains the classical art of sewing in a traditional way, and ignites a passion to create in its readers.

This year Merchant & Mills also released Elementary Sewing Skills  + another one I can’t wait to get my hands on: Merchant & Mills Workbook. I hope this is a helpful reference for anyone who feels ready to dive into the sewing world, or anyone who wants to brush up on the sewing basics!