Feather's Flights: A Sewing Blog

12.08.2016

Me Made: A Woven Runway Skirt + GIVEAWAY

I've tried to be pretty choosy when it comes to testing or "touring" a new pattern. I try to only choose patterns that I have considered making a similar style or that I would spend money on. This way I actually make things I'll wear, and I'm much less stressed during the process. (It's all about learning to say "no" in multiple aspects of our lives, right?) I want to expand my Tried-and-True patterns but very carefully and deliberately. Well, I exclusively wear pencil skirts, so I said "yes" to try to the new Runway Skirt pattern. It's a pencil skirt for knits and stretch wovens with some fun gores on the back, and it's 20% off this week only! (Scroll to the bottom for the giveaway!)
Let's talk about the details of this skirt. I decided to do my own thing and not use a knit or stretch woven. I used a gray suiting that I think has a high polyester content so it didn't press well. So I sized up and made a size 6 and the knee length version. I LOVE that this skirt has petite, average, and tall for each length. I wanted it to be a very fitted pencil skirt so after putting together the sides and gores in the back, I put it on to fit it. The waist fit well but there was extra room in the hips. This happens to me often since I'm a borderline rectangle. I would say this skirt's measurements lean towards a pear. I took in the hips and all the way through the hem. I combined two pieces in the back reducing the gores from 5 to 3. I did a machine blind hem, and I had to add an invisible zipper since there was no stretch. I also used the same gray suiting for the gores and cut them on the bias. They still stick out a little, but have great movement. Business in the front and PARTY in the back.
I often feel the pressure to make something special and different for a pattern tour, but then I often don't wear it. I just made a solid gray skirt that will get worn often. It matches everything in my closet! And it matches my gray blazer. My husband suggested the idea so I could have a suit. I love it; I don't really have anywhere to wear it, but I love the idea of it. They work great together and they work great separately with other pieces in my closet.
I put together a little video so you can see the skirt in action! The back moves beautifully!

The Runway Skirt is a great pattern. I like it and will wear it a lot. I can see myself using it again since I wear pencil skirts a lot. The instructions are clear  and easy to understand. I think it's a great skirt for confident beginners because you don't need to do a zipper and the gores make a really cool detail. The stretch makes it a very forgiving pattern. I would see that you should be will to put the time into it to fit it to your body. Every pattern should individually be fitted to your body since every pattern and every body is different.

12.06.2016

Fat Quarter French Seam Pillow Tutorial + GIVEAWAY

I'm so excited to share a really cute and really easy pillow tutorial with you today! And it's just in time for the holidays so you can make your own holiday pillows. I'm having a moment with woven fabric at the moment. I want to only sew with woven fabric right now. I wanted to make some holiday pillows since my kids are really getting into the holiday spirit this year. They were really excited about this holiday fabric from My Fabric Designs! My sister (the amazing hand letterer) designed the holiday calligraphy fabric, and I designed the watercolor evergreen fabric. Well, let's learn how to make these pillows! (Scroll to the end for the giveaway!)
SUPPLIES
2 fat quarters
Sewing supplies
DIRECTIONS
1. Gather your supplies. Wash and dry your fat quarters first.
2. Cut the front (the lettered fabric) 18"x18".
3. Cut the back 18" tall. Then cut the fabric in half widthwise. A fat quarter comes 21"x18" so the two backs should be 10.5"x18".
4. Hem one long side of each back. If your fabric is directional make sure you hem the opposite sides.
5. Lay the front right side up. Lay one back right side down on top of the front with the hemmed edge towards the middle. Lay the other back right side down on top of the front and other back with the hemmed edge towards the middle. The hems should overlap a couple of inches.
6. Pin the edges.
6. Sew all around the pillow with a 1/4" seam allowance. Trim the corners. (My seams are serged, but you don't have to serge at all.
7. Turn the pillow right side out and press edges carefully.
8. Sew 1/2" around all the edges. This encloses the raw edges and makes a nice "frame" for the pillow.
9. Insert a pillow form and enjoy your pretty new pillow!
These holiday pillows are so fun and so festive! If you need an easy gift idea, check out this custom throw blanket tutorial!
I'm also giving away one French seam envelope pillow today! The pillow says "JOY" on the front with a snowflake "o". The snowflake has been embroidered with gray embroidery floss. The back is a fabric with white snowflakes on a gray background. It has been washed and dried and pressed since being sewn. It also comes from a smoke-free, pet-free home.
TO ENTER: Subscribe to my mailing list! There's an entry form on the top right of my blog sidebar underneath my face. Comment that you entered or that you are already subscribed. (I'll be checking for honesty!)
The giveaway will be open until Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 11:59 pm. 
The giveaway is open to US residents only.
Good luck!

12.02.2016

Using a Pattern to Upcycle a Thrifted Tee

I've been meaning to do this upcycle forever. I bought this extra-large long sleeve tee at the thrift store a couple of months ago and planned to use a pattern to make it fit me. I love reusing hems any time I can. It makes sewing so fast! The original tee is on the left and the finished/altered tee is on the right. 
SUPPLIES
A tee two sizes larger than your regular size
A tried-and-true tee pattern (I used the Union St. Tee* with these alterations.)
Sewing supplies

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Cut open the tee along the side seams.
2. Carefully lay your pattern on the front so that the pattern is laying only on fabric. I lined up the edges of the neckband with the edges of the neck on the pattern. The bottom went past the hem slightly but there is hem allowance in the pattern to take into consideration.
3. Do the same to the back and line up the edges of the neckband with the edges of the neck on the pattern so that the front and back neckband will line up.
4. Lay the sleeves on top of each other and facing opposite ways. Cut out the sleeves. I didn't have the long sleeve pattern piece printed out so I made do with the short sleeve pattern piece.
5. Construct the tee as the pattern directs but the hems and neckband will already be in place. I like to sew to the edge and backstitch and then serge the edges. Then I tuck the serging tails under the seam allowance and tack it with my sewing machine. I usually do a diagonal from the seam and hem edge away from the seam at an angle. This insures that the serging tails is stuck under the seam allowance. Then I trim any strings hanging out. Here is a view of the outside and inside of my tacking.

11.29.2016

Me Made: Mama Bear Sweatshirt

I decided to give myself a slow and easy project to enjoy. I just needed something slow to look forward to instead of feeling the need to rush through something. I ordered one of my graphic tee panels from My Fabric Designs; the Mama Bear one on the interlock blend fabric. Once I got the panel, I cut out all the pieces and embroidered around the letters.
Let's talk about the pattern and fit first. I used the Union St. Tee pattern (affiliate link) but straightened the hem, straightened the curved sides, and shortened the body by a couple of inches. I didn't have enough fabric to cut out the sleeves (the interlock blend isn't very wide), so I cut the sleeves, neckband, sleeve cuffs, and waistband from mint cotton spandex. I bought this fabric that was leftover from a fabric manufacturer. I was a little worried that the sweatshirt would look too baggy and would need waist shaping but after getting responses on instagram I'm happy with the fit and look.
I decided to embroider around the words. I used a variegated embroidery floss. It goes from white to mint to turquoise to evergreen and back. I like that it pulls in mint from the rest of the sweatshirt. I thought the embroidery would show up a little more, you can hardly see it from far away, but I'm still glad I did it. It was a relaxing thing to do while watching TV.
After embroidering I decided to water down some black acrylic paint to "dye" where the letters are. I thought it would just fill in with a nice charcoal, but it came out really dark and filled in all my letters. I still like it, but I wish it would've been a little more faded.
I surprisingly really love the mix of colors. In the past I've struggled with wearing colorblocked items. I think since white and mint are part of my wardrobe colors, and since white and mint are similarly lighter colors it is easier for me to wear. I love a good cozy sweatshirt for winter and the graphic makes it just a step up. It's easy to throw on and easy to wear with other items in my closet.
Here's a little video to see the sweatshirt in action! Subscribe to my youtube channel to see more videos!
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