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WHAT’S DOING VOL. 5

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Friday marked the last day of my old life. In the coming week I’ll be re-arranging my apartment, building a new studio and cracking down on the next pattern. I can’t wait to get started!

One piece of business before I start our weekly roundup – I love reading your comments and I love it even more when those comments help me to discover your blogs. If you have a Disqus account and a blog, please make sure your web address is linked in your profile so I can go cyberstalk you.

ADMIRING

The best BHL Charlotte skirt I’ve seen yet in perfectly pattern matched dog print by Hyer Handmade – love this new-to-me blog.

I always thought I hated piranhas (the bf makes me watch this fishing show called River Monsters and its gives me nightmares) but Sonja just totally made me want to cover myself in them with this rad dress.

Kirsty at Top Notch made a gorgeous Liberty print top, making this the third week in a row I’ve fallen for a peplum.

This Bombshell swimsuit hack is inspired.

Debbie at Lily Sage & Co. made a stunning white linen pinafore and included a tutorial so you can also look as crisp and fresh as a glass of cold milk.

Kelli makes me want to have babies so I can make them tiny pinstriped overalls.

Andrea almost lost her mind making this swimsuit but I adore her final result.

LISTENING

Design Sponge is one of my favourite non-sewing blogs. The “Biz Ladies” series is always inspiring, and I’ve been listening non-stop to their “After the Jump” podcast. Great interviews and content about making and working in the creative online world.

READING

Devoured the novel Night Film over a long weekend in the country. It’s a smart, spooky, intricate thriller with Kubrickian overtones.

Never really thought I was much of a fantasy lady, but I’m super sucked into The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemison. Really refreshing to read something in this genre not written by an old white dude.

I’m on pins and needles waiting for the next season of Project Runway. I went on a google hunt trying to find out if the designers are allowed to use pattern blocks and found this great behind the scenes interview with one of the producers. I have even more respect for what those designers have to do to survive.

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GRAINLINE TANK IN FOUR PLY SWANK

Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files-6

There is some kind of jedi force you start to feel tapped into the longer you’ve been sewing. Maybe it’s the days you spend reading about sewing (guilty), or the hours you lose shopping for fabric online or in person (*sigh* guilty), but I think many of us we can start to identify fabric from a mile away. Especially when that fabric is sumptuous 4-ply silk crepe.

Lauren was the first person who peeped me to this stuff. It’s not widely available in Montreal except for one insanely expensive couture fabric store in the ritzy part of town that gave me serious wrong side of the tracks/Pretty in Pink anxiety the one time I went there (I see $120/yd pricetags and I’m terrified I’m going to leave greasy fingerprints all over everything).

So this stuff. It has the same hand as regular crepe, that sort of rough texture that helps it cling together when you’re matching seams, but it has a weight and a palpable luxury that turns the silk crepe knob to 11. I found it last year in San Francisco at a place called Fabric Outlet . They had a huge table piled with silk for under $10 a yard and I think I terrified the staff and customers with my rabid dissection of its contents. I knew this was 4ply the moment I laid eyes on it, and clutched the scant yard to my chest like a toddler with a security blanket. It had a slight faded line on a portion of it (perhaps sitting in the sun for too long at some point in its lifespan) but I didn’t care. It was $8 and one of my favourite colours and I would Make It Work.

Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files-5 Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files-3
Fast forward a year later. In dire need of some breezy summer tops, I bought the Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank with the intention of hacking a high-low hem to cover my butt for lazy legging days. I was sure I could squeeze the pattern out of my remnant, but quickly discovered this was not the case. A quick search of the pattern stash revealed that I didn’t own a single top pattern that can be made for less than a yard and a half. After futilely moving the pattern pieces around in abject misery, trying to will more fabric into being, I realized I was only going to Make It Work by getting creative with the shears.

I dropped the back hem by about 5 inches and cut the back piece into two parts. This created two additional seams – one running across the small of my back, the other running vertically to my butt. Breaking up the pieces let me eke out what I needed; I only had a few measly scraps when I was through. I honoured this noble material with french seams throughout and a tiny rolled hem, along with the suggested bias tape at the neck and arm openings.

grainline-tank1

Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files-2

The fit is divine. Perfectly drapey with my favourite scoop neckline, it is flattering while giving my chocolate belly a little room to breathe. I didn’t even have my usual back neck/narrow shoulder gaping, probably due to the drape of the fabric. A summer workhorse staple!

Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files-4

Photos by Guillaume Gilbert

 

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WHAT’S DOING VOL. 4

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Big, huge, heartfelt thank yous and love to everyone who commented this week regarding my exciting change of life (the non-hot flashy kind). It’s a little less scary after hearing your own personal stories of free-fall freedom.

Now for a little weekend link party.

ADMIRE

I just learned that I apparently need an entire lingerie draw fill of neon lace. Thanks Make the Things for teaching me something new about myself.

We haven’t heard very much from Melanie this year since she was too busy making the greatest wedding dress of all time, along with her bridesmaids dresses and robes, and I’m guessing everything everyone wore to her wedding because she is a sewing superhero. She’s been blogging a lot recently to catch us up and I’ve been in couture heaven. She just made this gorgeous peplum top – the insides are bananas.

Loving this skirt and sweatshirt from Capital Chic patterns on Sew Amy Sew. I’m not gonna lie – I was kinda bummed seeing the sweatshirt pattern since I had plans to release one of my own. But the quilting details are so rad I didn’t stay mad for long.

Adrienne (my Canadian soul sister living in Sweden) just made a lovely silk dress and the photos are golden hourly delicious.

I love the simplicity of Meg’s gauzy Scout peplum top. The perfect thing for steamy days.

EXTRA EXTRA

Jen at Grainline just launched a new perfect-for-summer shirtdress along with new paper patterns! So happy for her, and us.

SNAG

I had a wedding this weekend and debated about what to do for a gift since they weren’t registered anywhere. And then I stumbled on this Hudson’s Bay hammock and stopped debating. For those of you who don’t know, The Bay is Canada’s oldest department store. They have a troubled colonial history that’s pretty gnarly but I still love these stripes. Iconically Canadian. And everyone needs a hammock.

EAT

When I’m lazy and its hot all I want to eat is salad bowls.

READ

Did you know there’s a sunscreen debate? Allegedly the drugstore stuff is super toxic and I’ve been reading a lot of DIY posts about making your own. Some people even claim eating a diet high in antioxidants helps with sunburn! Here’s an interesting article on choosing a safe sunscreen from another Canadian icon, David Suzuki.

I’m a huge reader and books and words are as necessary to my survival as food or water. Two really empowering, inspiring books that helped me decide to quit my job are #girlboss and Lean In. #girlboss (yes it has a hashtag in the title) is written by a woman I was kind of obsessed with when I was selling vintage on Ebay a few years ago since she did it better than anyone before or since. She’s brilliant and funny and badass and went from hitchhiker/dumpster diver to CEO of a hugely successful online store in under a decade. Gotta love an underdog, especially when they quote Kim Gordon and Emma Goldman. Lean In is less spunky, but it was an interesting analysis of why we don’t have more women in positions of leadership. Worth a read if you’re struggling to balance a work and family life, even if you don’t necessarily share her worldview (um, COO of Facebook).

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