Posted in Uncategorized

I’m Back!

Hello everyone,

Ok, I took a bit of a long pause there. Not entirely intentional, but I have good reason. My friend got married in the dress we made her (finally!!) and I found out some interesting news. I have been tired and nauseous and not fitting into clothes… I’m pregnant and due in June! The hubs and I were just talking about maybe trying for #2 sometime next year… That’s what we get for planning haha!

The only problem with that is that I don’t want to make any of the clothes I had set out for myself since I won’t be able to wear them for a long, long time. I also have gobs of maternity clothes from last time, so I don’t really need to make myself anything. That doesn’t mean I won’t find something I MUST have, but I really don’t need anything. Also, my energy level has been 0. So I have no new projects from the last few weeks. I let you down, I know!

This week I am going to be on a mission to figure out a new sewing plan. Mostly cloth diapers. So many cloth diapers. But I want to make some fun things and keep the tutorials coming. I am trying my hand at some re-usable ziploc bags and I’m hopeful they work. If so, you should see the whole process soon! You never know, I might even pull out the crochet hooks again.

Happy creating,

Kat

 

Posted in Fashion, Homemade Living, Sewing

How I learned to sew

Hello Everyone!

I learned to sew in a very interesting way. I grew up with my mother who made EVERYTHING. All of our Halloween costumes were made, not bought. My mom made my dress for my first school dance. Our curtains were all handmade. You get the idea.

While I watched everything and loved the idea that I was not limited to pre-made items, I wanted nothing to do with the sewing machine. I would sit with my mom and soak in the experience, but I never offered to help or take her up on her offers to teach me. It wasn’t until after I left for college that I decided I wanted to learn for myself. My mom still laughs at me for that one.

I was bad terrible at first. I understood how to cut out a pattern and generally what all the symbols meant from watching mom do it all those years. I did not possess, however, any patience. Like, at all. If I messed up a seam, I just kept on going and dealt with a crappy end product because I didn’t want to take the time to undo it and start over. I picked projects that were definitely above my comfort level and just ruined them. I actually wore a dress that I made to a work function that should not have gone out in public or made it past the trash can (still one of those wake me up in the middle of the night just to feel the shame moments). People asked if I made it. No one should ask if you made it (unless they know you sew and are curious). They should be shocked and awed when they discover you made something they assumed was bought in a store. This particular nightmare was very much the epitome of a shitty, rushed, homemade disaster.

If you think it taught me my lesson, it didn’t. No good story happens without a bit of embarrassment and shame (or is that just me?!?). I made many more things that didn’t go so well. I made a bridesmaid dress for myself for my best friend’s wedding. While the dress itself was not terrible (I had managed to get a bit better at sewing by then), I didn’t take the time to finish any seams or give any sort of finish at all inside. I was just going to wear it once right? Why take the time to do it right, it’s only a WEDDING (oh god, it hurts just to write it out)? Yeah… I caught the waist seam on my bracelet and it totally unraveled. I had to safety pin it together so I wouldn’t walk down the aisle in my underwear. 100% face palm moment. My friend still loves me, I think…

I have since learned from my past mistakes and then some (lots and lots of YouTube and practice and loving glares from my mother). Beyond any skill, I learned patience. Mostly I hear my mother’s voice in my head saying “Slow down. Take your time. This is not a race.” Even if I am making something as simple as a pillow cover, I make sure to take the time to do it right. There is no sense in me taking any time at all on a project if it is only going to last a week. It’s also not cheaper for me to make something rather than buy it if I just have to re-do it over and over.

Now, I sew every day. It’s my business. It’s my passion. When I make something, I make it to last. I love knowing that I have made something beautiful and of quality that will likely outlast many purchased garments. I’m pretty sure my clients appreciate it too 😉

If you are new to sewing (or not, let’s be honest), please let this help you remember that it is not a race. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will that dress you are dreaming about making. I consider myself a fairly advanced sewist, but none of those skills matter if I don’t take the time to slow down.

In the words of my mother, slow down. Take your time. This is not a race.

Happy creating,

Kat

 

Posted in Homemade Living, Sewing

My Sewing Space

Hello Everyone!

I have been working on my sewing space for a little while now and I think it is ready for the camera. It’s a bit cramped so its not perfect, but I wanted to share it anyway. I have dreams of a separate studio with a MASSIVE drafting and cutting table and comfy lounge chairs. Unfortunately for now, that is just not in the cards. Someday…

For now, I have figured out something that will work in the small space I have. There are still things I would like to do for better organization, but it’s working right now. I nabbed a round table for $15 at a yard sale a few years back and decided it would be perfect for my sewing table. I cut in in half and attached it flush to the wall so I can have 2 sewing machines set up at a time (between my mother and I we have 4 sewing machines… we might have a problem). I found these cute hanging basket shelves and have assigned them to all the bits and bobs I don’t feel like having out all the time. I also store specific projects neatly so I don’t have a jumble on my cutting table all the time. I have an issue with multiple projectitis.

Here she is in all her glory (machine #2 is getting a much needed cleaning):

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For my cutting space, I found an old door at the local ReStore for a few bucks and cut it to fit my cutting mats. I built a simple frame out of scrap wood in the garage and attached wheels so I can move it around. I covered the door in a tablecloth and attached velcro to the corners. I put velcro on the backs of my cutting mats and put them on the new table. Now, I have a decent sized cutting table/ work surface and I can remove the mats anytime for other projects!

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I would love to see other work spaces to give me ideas on improving mine. I also hope I gave you a few ideas for your maker space. Leave pics and ideas in the comments!

Happy creating,

Kat

Posted in Fashion, Homemade Living, Sewing

Fall wardrobe bucket list

Hello everyone!

Fall is almost here! For me, that means I have a ton of things I want to make because fall fashion is so fun. It makes me think of long trench coats and blazers and cozy sweaters. Also boots. All the boots.

I never have enough time to make everything I want or the money to buy all the fabric. That doesn’t stop me from dreaming! Here is what I am hoping to make this fall season or just ogle on everyone who actually has one ♥♥.

  1. Simplicity 8174 View B

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This jacket looks bad ass and I love the shoulder and waist details.

2. Simplicity Pattern 8222 View A

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I love the quilted look on this bomber and the fact that it is fully lined.

3. Simplicity pattern 1016 Views A and B

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Anyone noticing the Mimi G pattern here? This is the last of her patterns, I promise. I just love her fall line. I feel like I would wear the jacket without the cape much more often, but everyone deserves NEEDS a cape. When I feel fancy, I think the cape would really make a statement.

4. Butterick pattern 5966 View C

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I love me a good long trench coat. I am not a fan of the mock turtle neck on views A and B, but C is just so pretty. I would wear this everywhere.

5. McCall’s pattern 7248 View B

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This is the quintessential feminine fall shirt. Its blousy, structured but flowy, and perfect with jeans and a french tuck or leggings (yes, I am one of THOSE people). I feel like this is a wardrobe staple and it looks fairly simple to make.

6. McCall’s pattern 7247 Views B and/or C

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For the many casual cozy fall days, this looks comfortable but not without style. I can’t decide if I want a fun print or simple color block. Maybe I’ll make a few…

I’m sure I won’t be able to make all of these but that won’t stop me from trying! What are you thinking of making this fall? I’ll be posting pictures of my makes as I manage to finish them!

Happy creating,

Kat

 

 

Posted in Fashion, Homemade Living, Sewing

I might be a Fashionista

Hello everyone!

I am starting to realize just how much I might be into fashion. That sounds noncommittal, I know. It also seems silly, because I sew. But sewing and fashion sewing are VERY different things. I have always liked looking nice and I try to put more than 30 seconds into what I might wear for the day, but I wouldn’t have considered myself a fashionista until recently. I am going to classify myself as a low maintenance fashionista for the time being.

I bring this up because this year I discovered Mimi G. For anyone who doesn’t know who that is, she is a fashion sewist with a line of patterns for Simplicity. She has a blog and does videos on Youtube giving step by step instructions for her patterns (among many other things). This chick is a straight up diva and I LOVE her. She has no idea who I am, I just want everyone to love her as much as I do. She is completely self made in her career and gives lots of advice for other sewing entrepreneurs out there. She also helped me realize how much I want to sew my own wardrobe. Her patterns are great and (at least in my opinion) are cut in a more flattering and modern way than some other patterns I have tried. I don’t love all of her designs, as some of them are form fitted knits and I haven’t lost the baby weight… Ok, its less me not liking the design and more me just being jealous tbh. If you didn’t know who she was before reading this, please please please check her out. I think about sewing and my business in a whole new way after following Mimi G.

Here is a pic of me (and my lovely momma) in my new blazer that I made from the Mimi G for Simplicity pattern 1167, view D. It fits great and is the perfect casual blazer. I already have fabric to make another one because I am so in love with it!

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Let me know if you love Mimi as much as I do!

Happy creating,

Kat

 

 

Posted in Homemade Living, Sewing

DIY Custom Buttons

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Hello everyone!

It has been a very busy week. We have been working on a dress that is for a dear friend and this weekend was crunch time. My amazing cousin is out on vacation and has been super accommodating (meaning mostly sitting and watching) and generous enough to help out a bit. The dress is finally finished and it’s GORGEOUS! That being said, this dress has a very special feature that I wanted to share with you. There are over 175 buttons. You read that right. 175+ buttons. Each button was hand made using the lining and lace trim from her mother’s wedding dress. Not only is this really special for her and her mom, but the buttons are a crucial element in the style of her dress. There is a 3 ft. train and the buttons go all the way to the hem.

This brings me to today’s tutorial. It is easier to make a custom button than you may think. Whether it’s a bridal gown, jacket, or a shirt, buttons add a ton of character to a garment. I know I change buttons on things I buy all the time because I love the jacket, but not the buttons. Simple fix. Buy pre-made buttons or make ones that I love and are tailor made to the piece I am working on.

Here are a few of the buttons we made over the weekend for the dress (beautiful right?!?).

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I promise you, it’s not hard to make these little beauties. Let’s get started!

There are a number of button making kits out there, but most all have the same premise. These are the ones I used and you can find them online or at your local craft store in a multitude of sizes.

In the kit you will find a button and button back, as well as a pattern for your fabric and the button “press.” The pattern is on the back of the package so make sure you don’t throw it away before cutting it out!

Cut out whatever fabric you are using and center it on top of the clear plastic piece of the press.

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I am using 2 layers since the lace is see through. Make sure if you are using two layers that the outermost layer (the one you want on the exterior of the button) is down, or touching the press.

Grab your button piece and place it in the center of your fabric. You may have to move this around a bit to make sure everything is centered, but it doesn’t take more than a few seconds.

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Now, take the blue piece of the press and push everything down.

The next bit can be a bit tricky, but don’t worry. Press all of the fabric into the center of the button. You can use your fingers, the edge of your scissors, or the blue presser. I tend to use a combination of all of these, whatever works! When you are done, it should look something like this:

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Place the button back on top of the fabric with the shank facing up, like this:

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Take the blue presser and center it over the shank. Press firmly. The button back should “snap” into place with enough pressure. It does not actually make a loud noise, it will just be very difficult to remove if done right. Sometimes, like when using two layers as I am here, it may not want to press down. I have a small hammer that I use on the top of the blue presser to really secure it down. Don’t be afraid to pound away. Relieve some stress!

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Once the back is secured, you have a button! Simply pop it out the clear form and it is ready to be used on your project.

See? Not hard at all and you have a beautiful, custom button that you can tell everyone you made yourself.

Leave any questions in the comments and I hope this inspired you to add something personal to your next project.

Happy creating!

Kat

 

 

Posted in Homemade Living

Can You Do It? Yes You Can!

Hello everyone!

I have been making or repurposing a lot of my own clothes, home decor, furniture, and all sorts of random things basically my whole life. It’s just the way things were at my house growing up. Want to be a ghost for Halloween? Mom made the costume. Want a new dresser for the bedroom? Dad would help make one or (more often) we would all pile into the car to go “thrifting”. Somebody’s trash would become my new treasure and a fresh coat of paint or stain was all it needed to be exactly what I had always wanted.

I am the person who thinks “I could make that” rather than go to a store and buy it. I want to help you have the confidence to feel the same way. It’s not that there is anything wrong with buying something new at the store. Make no mistake, I buy plenty of items new. But I have saved my family a TON of money over the years making rather than buying and had fun in the process. Also, who doesn’t enjoy the pride that comes with completing a project and showing it off?

Whether it is a simple project or an elaborate masterpiece, YOU CAN DO THIS! We live in the age of YouTube and Pinterest. Take advantage of it! I have taken on projects I never would have dreamed of doing because I watched a video that gave me the confidence to try it myself. There is a video or tutorial on almost anything (I hope to have my own here soon!) that can help you tackle any project. If videos aren’t your thing, picture tutorials or books are available on any subject. If you have the desire to make something on your own, simply take a few minutes to research how others have done it and get making!

The best example I can give you is my dining room table. I was fairly confident with most power tools and had made a few simple wood projects. I decided I wanted to make a farmhouse table for my dining room. I looked and discovered I would be able to make the entire thing for around $250, compared to the $1500+ I was looking at in the stores. Most importantly though, I wanted it to be nice. I had never tackled something like this before. I watched videos online and altered some plans from Anna White (I have no affiliation/sponsorship with Anna White, that chick is just AMAZING. Check out plans for anything you could ever want to make here) so the table would match the dimensions I wanted. With a little hard work and lots of trips to the hardware store, I created this:

 

Is it perfect? No. It is, however, exactly what I wanted and just as nice as anything I would have bought in a store. I know where the flaws are because I made it and I have ridiculous creative OCD which means nothing will ever be perfect in my crazy head. The other thing I got from making this table was confidence. I surprised myself in making it and have tackled far more difficult projects since then without being afraid to do so. I even started taking custom furniture orders through my business and feel confident that I will give my clients a piece that can hold up to anything in a store.

I guess what I’m trying to say through all of this rambling is never underestimate yourself. There are things you aren’t going to be good at, but you may surprise yourself if you try something new. Start with a project that won’t cost a ton of money, so if it doesn’t work out you aren’t mad at yourself (or short your rent…). I challenge you to get inspired and try something you have never done before. Something that scares you a tiny bit. You may very well be surprised at how awesome you are 🙂

Happy creating,

Kat