Zadie Romper

I’ve been loving my first Zadie Jumpsuit but since its Summer I wanted a shorts version. I made this version out of the sandwashed rayon from Stonemountain and Daughter. I really love this fabric! It is so comfortable to wear and I love the slight color variations. Also – I used 2 yards of fabric for the shorts version cut single layer (size 6 at the bust size 8 at the hips).

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I made a lot of changes from my first version. I took an additional 1/2″ from the length of the bodice. I also sized down one size in the legs. I drafted a facing instead of bias tape to finish the neckline opening. In order to do this I also added 3/8″ seam allowance to the neckline. I interfaced my facings, the pocket openings on the front pant, waist ties and either side of the slit in the seam that the waist tie goes through. I also stay stitched before starting any of the other steps. I stay stitched the front and back bodice neckline, the pocket side of the pocket opening and the back crotch seam. Because I wanted to make the shorts version but I wasn’t sure how much I would need to shorten them I gave myself 9″ down from the crotch (which was too much – next time I’d probably give myself 7″ which will still be plenty).

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The first version I made I pretty much followed the instructions as they were written but for this version I went more with my gut on the order to do things. For example some of the seams I serged the raw edge on before sewing the seam instead of sewing the seam and then serging the edges separately. I love the end result of both versions but this version definitely took more time to make (re:interfacing). I hope the changes I made will help it stand the test of time because I love this romper and I want to wear it until I’m 100 years old at least.

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What do you think? Do you follow pattern instructions exactly as they were written or do you just follow your instinct when sewing the pattern together? I’m definitely the type of person who likes to follow directions exactly so I felt like a bit of a rebel doing things my own way on this one but it felt GOOD!

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Willow Tank And Ginger Jorts

This post is going to be a 2 for 1 but I’ve made both of these patterns before! I made the Grainline Studio Willow Tank and the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans as shorts. I’ve made two versions of the willow tank before (a cropped version and a regular version) and I’ve made three pairs of Ginger Jeans before. Version one is the high waisted version. I actually used left over denim from that version to make these shorts so its a pretty interesting comparison to see how far I’ve come since my first Ginger Jeans! Version two and version three are both the low rise version.

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Don’t tell my other willow tanks but this version is by far my favorite. The fabric just hangs away from my body and is so light and airy. It feels amazing to wear and I’m sure this is going to get lots of wears! I used the Loominous fabric by Anna Maria Horner. The design is completely woven in to the fabric!

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Just look how cool that fabric is! I got this fabric from a local quilting shop and they didn’t quite have enough fabric but I made it work and was able to fit it all on the fabric I had.

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I’ve made the high rise Ginger Jeans and two pairs of low rise but I’ve been wanting something more in the middle so I decided I wanted to try the mid-rise version. Since I’ve been struggling a bit with the fit I wanted to make a short muslin of the mid-rise before I go for the full length jeans. These shorts are definitely my best fitting pair so far but I’m still struggling with the crotch. This fabric does stretch out throughout the day and is a bit thinner and with a higher sheen than the cone mills denim I used for my other pairs so it definitely shows the wrinkles more. Other than that they fit pretty well though… I’m thinking that I might try the Megan Nielsen Ash Jeans though to see if those have the same issues with the crotch. Have any of you tried the ash jeans? From pictures it seems like people aren’t having as many crotch issues but it also calls for fabric with more stretch…

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I adjusted the back yoke since my last pair and they are fitting much better in that area! I feel like I’m really close on getting this pattern to fit exactly how I want it to but I’m also a bit discouraged that after 4 versions I still haven’t figured out the crotch… I took apart a pair of ready to wear jeans that were threadbare and I’m hoping to compare those to my pattern for the Ginger Jeans that I’ve been adjusting and the Ash Jeans and then decide what my next step will be.

Midi By Hand London Anna Dress

This is actually the second By Hand London Anna Dress that I’ve made but I haven’t taken photos of my first one for a blog post yet. Hopefully I’ll get to that soon but for now here is my midi length version! For my first version I made several muslins and adjustments to the bodice because I wanted a more fitted look. I made a couple more adjustments for this version and if I make another version I may make even more tweaks but overall I’m really happy with how it came out!

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I used the April Rhodes Heritage Rayon for this dress and I absolutely loved working with it. I didn’t do any pattern matching on this (which would have been a huge pain with all of the skirt panels) and because the print is so busy you can’t really tell! I just barely squeezed this dress out of 2 yards of fabric!

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One thing I still need to perfect is the fit in the back neckline. I did take a pretty big amount out of the neckline but I could take a bit more out to get it to lay completely flat.

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I love the slit on one side! I don’t know that I’ll make another Anna in the near future but I’ve been thinking about making a skirt. I’ve also used the bodice for another project recently which will be on the blog at some point but maybe not for a couple of months!

Grainline Hadley Tank

I’ve made the Grainline Hadley before in a double gauze but I’ve always loved the v-neck version. I think the neckline looks so good on everyone – so flattering and elegant! I used the Splatter Paint rayon fabric from Workroom Social. I absolutely loved working with this fabric – it feels more substantial than other rayon fabrics that I’ve used and is pretty easy to work with.

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I used the same size I had when I made my first version but after I was almost completely done I tried it on and it was way too big! I ended up taking in the side seams/ facing side seams quite a bit and now I’m happy with the fit! Next time though I’ll probably re-measure and probably cut a different size. I may also raise the neckline just slightly because even though it is very elegant its a little low for everyday for me.

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I also love the shape of the hem on this shirt. My first version was the higher neckline which has a hook and eye closure at the back. I don’t know why but my hook and eye never stay closed! I think I may need a narrow shoulder adjustment or something to get the top to lay flat against my skin to prevent it from coming open but until I figure that out I’ll just stick with the lower neck version that doesn’t require the hook and eye.

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This tank top is also perfect for layering underneath cardigans. I’m wearing it here with my Helen’s closet blackwood cardigan, which I love.

Photos in this post were taken by the lovely Emmanuelle of the Zoubi Zoubisou blog.

Zadie Jumpsuit

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I made the Zadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory Patterns. I had included a wrap jumpsuit in my 2019 make 9 and the Zadie Jumpsuit came out pretty soon after. It seems like everyone has been making it and it looks great on everyone! I am wearing my Zadie with the sandals I made that I posted about last week!

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I made view B which is the “sleeveless” version. I made size 6 at the bust and graded out to size 10 at waist/ hips. I shortened bodice 1/2″ and I shortened crotch rise 2″. Next time I might size down in the legs and shorten the bodice more. I also might do a sway back adjustment. I also love all of the shorts versions I’ve seen so I might do that next. 

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Although I love the pattern there are a couple of things that I’d change for next time. The bias binding method is different from any method I’ve seen. The Coco’s Loft blog has some tips that look like they’d end up with a better result. In the end I did a bias facing instead of a bias binding. I followed the instructions from Blue Prints for Sewing on sewing a bias tape facing as although she has instructions for sewing the binding as well that look excellent. If I make this again I’d create a facing for the neckline instead of using bias tape. It seems like a pretty common adjustment to add a facing. The Joanna Essentials blog has a tutorial for creating the facing pieces so I’ll definitely try that next.

I think because I changed the way I finished the neckline my waist tie ended up folding over in a weird way and came out above the wrap point instead of below. was pretty unhappy with the way it felt until I realize that my ties were in the wrong place and not parallel to the ground. Once I moved them to the right place the ties weren’t pulling in a weird spot and now I’m super happy with the fit. The extra 30 minutes to redo the waist ties was definitely worth it!

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I used the mora slub linen viscose blend from Stonemountain and Daughter. The fabric was pretty shifty and grew quite a bit while I was working with it. Next time I’d interface the pocket bag openings and I’d either interface or stay stitch the back crotch seam.

Otherwise its super comfortable and fun to wear! I’m sure I’ll get a ton of wear out of it this summer.

I Made Sandals!

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I don’t talk about my job on here a lot – I may have only mentioned it once a while back but about a year and a half ago I quit my job at a medical software company and I bought a shoe repair business. The previous owner taught me how to repair shoes but up until this point I have just been repairing and never made my own shoes. I’ve wanted to make shoes for a long time but I’ve been working a lot and I haven’t necessarily wanted to spend more time at work. The other thing that has been holding me back is that while I have 90% of what I would need to make shoes I don’t have any shoe lasts. Lasts are shaped like feet and the leather upper is stretched around the last to help form the leather to the shape of the foot/last. The good news is that you don’t NEED shoe lasts in order to make sandals (although I do think it would have made the process slightly easier).  I also just don’t know how to make shoes and I was putting off making them because I felt unqualified. I spent a lot of time on instagram looking at how other people were making shoes and I finally decided that the only way I was going to learn was to just start doing it. This pair of sandals is not perfect but I learned a lot while making them and that is kinda the point.

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This is by no means going to be a “how to make sandals” instructional post. This is my first pair of sandals and I didn’t stop to document everything I did and unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures during the process. Also because of my job I have access to a lot of materials and machinery that most people do not have access to so what I did probably won’t help anyone trying to make a pair of sandals at home. To make these shoes I took a foam insole (mens size 11) and I traced around my foot. I then traced the insoles on to some insole board and glued the insole board to the insole. I took that over to my sander and smoothed out the edges and tried to get the right and left insole/board to be as close to each other as possible.  I then traced the insoles on to some pigskin leather with about an inch of extra all the way around. I glued the leather to the insole. The bottom of the insole had a lot of extra leather. Once the glue dried I sanded the excess leather off to make the bottom flat. I’ll now refer to this as the “footbed.”

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The next thing I did was to make my pattern. I cut some shapes out of construction paper and wrapped them around my foot to check them out. I used two long rectangles for the front straps and for the ankle strap I started with another straight line with two lines coming out perpendicular to the first strap. I then basically was using the tissue fitting method with the construction paper to figure out where I needed to take the strap in and contour it in some places.

I then cut my pattern pieces out of leather. I taped the straps in place and used a grease pencil to mark the location of the straps. I then adjusted the straps as needed until they felt comfortable. This was the most frustrating part because the tape I was using wasn’t very sticky. I was using painters tape from the hardware store to minimize any damage to the leather but basically any time I adjusted a strap I had to start with a new piece of tape because otherwise the tape just kept coming up.

Once I had the straps where I wanted them I went ahead and glued them in place. Once the glue was dry I went back over to my belt sander and I sanded the edges of the straps on the bottom of the footbed to taper them slightly. This is to help with the gluing process so that there aren’t little gaps where the sole can’t attach to the footbed.

I then picked out some buckles and sewed them on with a sewing machine at my work. I wasn’t able to put the sewing foot down but I basically did a zig zag stitch with no length across the bar in four different spots on each buckle to hold it in place. I punched some holes on the other side of the strap.

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Then I was ready for soles! I wanted to use this sole material because it is very durable and I wanted my sandals to hold up over time. However, next time I think I’ll use a material that is softer for more comfort than durability. Once I glued the soles on they went back over to the sander where the soles got sanded down to match the footbeds, more or less. I then gave them a quick polish and they were done!

These are pretty good but next time I’ll do some things differently.

  • I already mentioned that next time I will use a different sole material to make them more comfortable.
  • I also made the straps a little too loose. The leather is pretty soft so the straps are definitely going to stretch out over time and become even looser (at which point I can shorten them). They already feel like they slide around a little while I’m wearing them and this is only going to get worse. the ankle strap is also a little saggy.
  • I might add a lining stitched to the outer next time. This will help the leather hold up better over time and also the nylon thread will help the leather to keep its shape and not stretch out as much over time.
  • I would make the leather that is behind the buckle a little bigger to fully cover the buckle. Because the strap is the same thickness the whole way across the buckle is slightly bigger than the strap behind it.
  • I might do something to burnish/seal the edges of the leather next time. I just left them raw this time but I think they’d look a little more polished/less homemade if the edges of the leather were finished.

Despite all of those notes about what I’d do differently I am really happy with these. They are definitely wearable! They are comfortable and I think they came out pretty cute!

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Pink Burnside Bibs

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These are the Burnside Bibs by Sew House Seven made out of the Brussels Washer Linen in Petal from Imagine Gnats. At first I wasn’t sure if these were really my style but I kept seeing versions that other people made and they always looked so good so I finally decided to go for it!

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This was my first time making a pattern by Sew House Seven and the instructions for these were just so good and sewing them was a thoroughly pleasant experience. I really enjoyed sewing these… except that I made some pretty big mistakes. At one point I was ready to throw these in the trash!

The first mistake I made was to size down too much in the legs. The back of the bibs have extra room and the ties pull in this extra fabric. I wanted to minimize the amount of bunching that happens above the butt so I decided to size down. I mistakenly thought that because the pattern didn’t include finished garment measurements for the hips but did for many other measurements that I would be safe to size down. It was not safe to size down.

The second mistake I made was with fabric choice. While I was committed to making light pink burnside bibs my fabric was a little on the sheer side. I was a little nervous about this at first but I found some examples of other people who made them out of the same fabric and I figured it would be fine. It was not fine.

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This is a picture of the baste fit for my burnside bibs. They are definitely too tight in the hips but the part that I couldn’t get over was how sheer they were. While you couldn’t really see through them you could really see the seam allowance of the fabric underneath and it just really hated how they looked. I did some research and decided to underline them with cotton batiste. I didn’t want to use a rayon because I didn’t want the underlining to bag inside of the pants. There were a ton of options that contained polyester but I finally found a just cotton one! I then had to entirely take apart the bibs and start over. Technically I left the pockets on but otherwise it was a complete restart. I ended up sewing the legs at a slightly smaller seam allowance which gave me just enough room. Thank goodness they were so fun to sew!

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Most projects I work on go relatively smoothly… I feel like this was the first time that I really had to go back and make some major changes to a project. Although it was really frustrating at the time I feel like I learned a lot more making these than I have with many of my other projects recently. I’m not sure how many pairs of overalls I need but I have seen some really cute shorts versions! I’m glad I didn’t end up throwing them in the trash because I really love them now!

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