Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog

3.20.2017

My 5 Favorite Patterns and Alterations: 2017

At the end of every year I figure out what my hits and misses are, but it's been almost 18 mos since I sat down and really thought about my favorite patterns. These are the patterns that I want to use often and base my wardrobe on. My list is small because these are the basics of basics.Tops
1. Cheyenne Tunic Pattern*
2. Halifax Hoodie Pattern*
3. Dressy Talk Woven Tee Pattern 
Bottoms
4. Altering Thrifted Jeans 
I only have one post of this to share, but I do this to almost every single pair of jeans that I get. I usually only have to do the waist, but most of the pants I buy need some sort of alteration. Especially when I thrift pants.
5. Pleated Pencil Skirt

3.10.2017

Me Made: Faux Suede Ikat Evergreen Jacket

I have had this amazing faux suede (microfiber) Ikat fabric for three and a half years. I ordered a bunch and used it to reupholster a chair (which we still use daily). I had about two yards leftover and some scraps. I wanted to make something really cool for myself because the fabric is amazing. I thought about making faux suede pants: I didn't think I would ever wear them. I thought about making a pencil skirt: I'd wear it all the time, but it wouldn't use up all the fabric. I wanted to make a blazer and was set on that for about a year. I even made a wearable muslin of a blazer pattern. Then I bought a knit blazer and realized that I only want to wear blazers with stretch. I was back to the beginning. I started perusing pinterest for a suede anything and came across a suede moto/aviator jacket. That was something I had never even considered, but I fell in love with the idea immediately. I researched patterns and decided on the Evergreen Jacket Pattern*.  I finished this jacket over a month ago before we started packing up to move, so some of the cutting and sewing details are a little fuzzy.
The Evergreen Jacket Pattern* is made for stable knits. I read through the fitting section and sized up one size. I can't remember if I added length to the waist area. I almost always have to, but I think after checking the larger size to my length I think it was long enough. I can't remember if I added length to the sleeves. The sleeves ended up being too tight, I should have added width so I just let out both seam allowances as much as possible. The sleeves also ended up being a tad too short so I made the faux fur cuffs extra tall. The body also ended up being a tad too short so I added a waistband to the hem. It doesn't have the zipper go through it so I added four navy metal snaps. I used navy metal zippers on the front and the pockets.
 shirtjeans* altered (back waist in, legs in, distressed, shortened and staggered hem), flatscrossbody bag*, rose gold infinity ring* (shirt and shoes are from Thredup, use this link and get $10 off!)
I was really careful when I cut out the pieces. I lined up everything horizontally and made each reverse piece match perfectly. It took me a really long time to lay it out, but that part can make or break a finished item. I'm especially proud of the back bodice. That's three pieces across the back that look like one seamless piece. I'm a little disappointed with my yoke pattern placement. I did well with the vertical line up, but I forgot to think about the horizontal repeat. I should've picked a different part of the pattern since it repeats too soon the bodice. 
The pattern instructions were fantastic and I didn't have any problems sewing it together. I had more problems with sewing faux suede, it's slippery in a stiff way, so a couple of times I had to unpick, carefully pin, and sew again.The microfiber Ikat fabric is literally couch fabric. It reads similar to a velvet or a faux suede though. It doesn't have any stretch but the loose fit makes it comfortable. I can't wear a thick sweater underneath though; the sleeves are too fitted for that. It's great with a short sleeve shirt though. I lined the jacket with a faux fur. That fabric is a stretch fabric so it has a lot of movement inside. I interfaced the collar and zipper area so it sewed like a woven. I love the cozy faux fur. It's a beautiful color, and it's very warm and soft.
I love this jacket. It's a little more bold than I usually wear, and I usually only wear solids. The colors fit perfectly into my wardrobe though. Luckily, I've been mostly making and wearing solids, so a pretty print like this is easy to fit into my wardrobe. It's not a basic jacket that I can wear daily, it's more of a "wow" jacket, but it's just so beautiful! 

2.24.2017

How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas

My baby girl is about to turn one years old! I can't believe it's been one year since she was born. (Skip to the end of the post for baby gifts ideas!) She's been a fairly easy baby, but that is because she found her own special "pacifier". When she was about 9 mos old she started using the arm of this tiny stuffed bunny as her pacifier. Since she started she has slept and napped well even when she's teething or sick. It's pretty amazing because her siblings never figured that out. But because she sucks on the bunny arm, I have to wash it a couple of times a week to keep it clean. 

  • I have found that it's best to wash the stuffed animals in a hot, regular cycle with mild detergent. Some of our stuffed animals have been in the middle of a sickness so they have definitely needed to be washed. The animals lose a little bit of their softness, washing changes the feeling of the fur slightly, but it's not noticeable enough to my kids. You can also sanitize it if your washing machine has that option.
  • I also dry all the softies that I wash, because my child rarely can wait any longer to get their special friend back. I have never had any issues with putting sofies in the dryer.


  • Each of my kids have a special softie. My son has a puppy, my daughter has a kitty, and my baby has the bunny. If you want to give your child a softie you should check what it's made out of and the care instructions. The fibers should be easy to clean like polyester or cotton. I often ignore the care instructions and do it the way I think is best. After learning about fibers and textiles in college I realize that a some of care instructions are just trying to protect the company. Also, a softie should have no buttons or plastic pieces to fall off and be choked on by little babies and toddlers.


  • My kids get afraid of their softie being washed, so I always let them be apart of the process. They get to put their stuffed animal in the wash and then help move the wet wash to the dryer. They get excited about helping and feel so grown up. It helps them take responsibility about keeping their softie clean also.

Here is the bunny, clean from the washer and fresh from the dryer. The day after I washed this bunny and took pictures, the bunny was literally thrown in the toilet. So right back into the wash it went!


5 First Birthday Gift Ideas
1. Cute Stuffie - I love giving a new stuffed animal to my babies when they turn 1. It's a toy that they'll actually play and snuggle with. I fell in love with this Super Elephant Doll from Estella. I love that it's a superhero and that it's an animal. Estella has their hand knitted items ethically made by women in Peru. Besides being completely adorable, I love supporting companies that manufacture ethically. The little cape is removable. Since I'm giving it to my baby girl, I decided to hand sew the cape on and the knot closed. I didn't want to worry about the cape falling off.
2. Active Wooden Toy - Both my older kids loved wooden toys that they could be really rough with. (Or as rough as a one year old can be.) My son loved the Pound and Roll Wooden Tower (affiliate link) and my daughter loved the MULA Multicolor Stacking Rings. I love wood because the knicks and scratches just make them look loved and worn. I also love that these toys require imagination and involvement;
3. Lovey or a Blanket - My babies have each gotten baby blankets when they were born. It's so nice to have extra blankets when you need them, but when they turn one it's nice to give them a special lovey for snuggling at night or during naps.
4. Family Picture Book - A lot of our family lives far away, so I love introducing my little ones to all their relatives. I made a soft family picture book with just our little immediate family, but I really want to make one with all our extended family. 
5. Special Book - My first child was given the booWherever You Are: My Love Will Find You (affiliate link) which I love. I love how sweet it is, and I love reading lovey books like this to my kids. I literally tear up everytime I read it to one of my children. 
Happy birthday, baby girl! 

2.20.2017

Me Made: Three Halifax Hoodies

I've been missing a lot around here lately because we are currently in the market to buy a home. We've found one so we've been working with everything that comes with that along with cleaning and packing. We're hopefully near the end though! 
Luckily, I did a little bit of sewing before I packed everything up. (It's just taken me forever to take pictures of them.) I made three Halifax Hoodies (affiliate link) by Hey June Patterns. A really good sweatshirt pattern has been on to-find and to-sew list for a long time. I purchased the Halifax Hoodie a little while ago and finally tried it out. After three different versions, I really love it. Just like I love all the Hey June patterns I have tried. The first version I made was a navy French terry version. I sewed view A with the neckband of view C. I made a size small and added 1" of length at the waist.
I got this navy French Terry from a warehouse sale near me. It's so soft and comfortable, and the color is perfect. I really love the heathered look. The cuffs and waistband makes this sweatshirt come together really fast. I also added a little tag to two of my hoodies that I got from the Dutch Label Shop. I had some custom tags printed that say "Feathers Flights Handmade" with a simple feather icon next to it. I did a long tag so I fold them in half and sew them into the clothes I make for myself.
Next I made the same style (view A and view C, size small with the bodice lengthened) with a sweater fleece I got from Joann fabrics a couple of years ago. It is super warm and soft since it's fleece, but it looks like a sweater. This color is perfect and I wear it all the time.
The problem I had with this one was since the fabric was a little stiffer I noticed that the neckline was too high. This isn't a problem with the pattern, it was my own fault when combining the two views. I decided to just cut a slit in the front instead of fix it. Maybe I'll go back and fix it one day. I added a tag to this one too.
They fit loose, but it's a perfect fit for a comfortable and warm sweatshirt.
Lastly, I made myself a zip up hoodie. I am really proud of myself for making this jacket! I think a zipper hoodie is a big accomplishment. I mean the pattern makes it easy to make it look nice, but there are a couple techniques on zipper hoodies that can be hard to master. I did view C with added length at the waist. I used a French Terry that doesn't have a whole lot of stretch, but it's still a good fabric. My SIL gifted me this fabric so I can't give much information about it.
I couldn't find any ribbing that remotely matched this turquoise fabric. I knew I wouldn't wear it if I did a coordinating gray and white would get dirty so quickly. I've learned that I will only wear something if it's all the same color, especially when it's a layer. Instead of ribbing I had some cotton lycra that matched perfectly. I did the waistband the wrong length, it's a little too long, but besides that it worked out really well.
I used white twill tape for both the neckline detail and the hood drawstring.
I really wanted a non-metal zipper that matched. So I searched online and ordered one from Etsy that turned out to be metal and more of a kelly green. I tried Joann fabrics again and found a great coat zipper that was the right length and a really close color. I forgot to buy 1" twill tape, so I used some 1" bias strips that coordinated to finish the zipper tape area. I had to sew two topstitching rows next to the zipper instead of one to make the insides look good. 
As much as I want an item to be all the same color, I don't mind a bit of fun on the inside. That's the fun part of sewing for yourself, you can make it to your exact preferences and you can add fun wherever you want.

1.26.2017

"Happy" Wardrobe Resources

One thing I've noticed on all those "Capsule Wardrobe" posts is a list of clothing items you "have" to buy. "To have the perfect wardrobe you have to buy all these items that I have in my wardrobe. And I'm going to give you another big list in three months." Now I understand that most of these bloggers need to make money, and they make money through affiliate linking. I have nothing against this since I use affiliate linking myself, but I don't find it very helpful when it comes to a happy wardrobe because all it does is encourage spending and often the items are more than I like to spend.
Well, maybe you do have to buy some things for your wardrobe, but first you have to know what styles you like, what fit you like, and the colors you like. AND you can make, thrift, buy clearance, or inexpensive brands to make your "happy" wardrobe. Also, there are no set rules. You don't have to have certain items, shop at certain places, or have a certain number of pieces. Wear only what you love and what fits you.
I don't have a perfect wardrobe, but I'm happier with my wardrobe than I ever have been. It's simpler, smaller, and all of the pieces are my favorite pieces. It feels like me, and it's way easy to get dressed in the morning. I put together a list of some of the resources that have helped me simplify and improve my wardrobe. Most don't have a list of things to buy but might link to some. I'm not trying to encourage spending; I'm trying to encourage figuring out yourself and your "happy" wardrobe.
1. Colette Wardrobe Architect - I talk about this series all the time, and I cannot sing it's praises enough. It is geared towards someone who sews, but I think it can benefit anyone. There are multiple worksheets to figure out your style and colors. It's not technically a capsule wardrobe, but it's still a great way to define your wardrobe.
2. Un-Fancy Capsule Experiment - This one is mostly reading about someone else's experience with a pared down wardrobe. There are a lot of benefits to having a smaller wardrobe and not feeling like you have to buy, buy, buy. There's also a free Capsule Planner if you'd like to use that.
3. Three Wardrobe Building Myths - I love this article and agree that all these are definitely myths!
4. These next three are all series from Putting Me Together. I love that they don't have set numbers of items, set colors, or a set style. It's about figuring out yourself and your wardrobe and tips to do that. I really love her tips for updating your wardrobe because it makes you be honest with your activities. You love dressing like Kate Middleton, but you work from home. Instead of having a bunch of clothing that's too formal for your life, channel her style into a more casual wardrobe so you can still wear what you love in but it fits into your lifestyle.
Building a Remixable Wardrobe
Wardrobe from Scratch
Tips for Updating Your Wardrobe
5. How I Plan My Way to a Better Me-Made Wardrobe - planning is everything!
6. I love thrifting, but I used to find thrifting overwhelming. Everything is under $5 so why not buy it all? Now that I know my style, I'm strict about fit, and I know my colors. I can narrow down a rack to 5 items I'm sort of interested in which I then narrow down to one or none. Here are some tips about thrifting and it's the best tips I've found. Better than any other thrifting article or post I've read.
How to Thrift Quality Pieces for Your Closet: What to Look For
How to Thrift Quality Pieces for Your Closet: Where to Look
How to Thrift Quality Pieces for Your Closet: How to Look
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