Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Can it be the way it was?


Well, hello there!! I have returned!
It has been at least a couple of months since my last post. We're finally moved although we are not unpacked. Life is still crazy and hectic right now and for a while I started believing I would never use my sewing machine again. But, even with half of my household still in boxes, my urge to create became a force I could not ignore any longer. I unpacked my sewing machine and supplies and started sewing.

Before my sewing sabbatical I fell in love with Megan Nielsen's patterns. I have always been a huge fan of Megan's blog. I love her aesthetic. She knows her style and she dresses herself beautifully. When I purchased patterns from her newest line, she emailed me to tell me that she used to live in my hometown. I remember Megan used to blog from Virginia (before I had actually discovered her) but I had no idea she had been living in my little town. Of course I don't start sewing her patterns until she's on the other side of the world. Very tragic. I won't lie...I have thought that maybe we could have been beeeest friends. I tease...a little, because seriously...wouldn't you love to be buddies with her?

Anyway, I appreciate that she's a mom and that she factors that into her designs. I've read that she wears her garments for a while before releasing the patterns...tweaking it here and there to work for her in her everyday life. I think that sort of thought that she puts into her designs really shows. All of her garments become staples of my wardrobe because of their style and wearability.

You can imagine my happiness when I peeped her newest pattern line. The Crescent blouse caught my eye immediately. I must confess that ever since I was in the sixth grade and my mother let me wear a black velvet skater dress with shoulder cut outs for a school dance, I have been obsessed with bare shoulders.

(I've had this finished for over a week but my camera was broken. After a quick chat with my fellow sewcialists via twitter, I was convinced to use my iPhone for pics. These aren't the best, and I can't get rid of that annoying black box... but they do the job!)

The fabric is rayon challis from Anna Maria Horner. It is gorgeous and I am in love and I may not ever want to wear another fabric again.

I cut a size small and decided to skip the collar because it seemed too busy against the pattern. The pattern instructions were fabulous. I love how they walk you through French seams. The construction of the blouse was less difficult than I anticipated. It definitely looks more complicated than it is.

I love the fit of this blouse. It is loose and boxy but the bare shoulders and curved hem make it very feminine.

I paired this blouse with my first pair of leggings. Why did it take me so long to make leggings?? They are ONE PATTERN PIECE! It took me about 30 minutes from start to finish and I took a page out of Oona's book for the waist. They are comfortable and I love them and I may not wear any other kind of pants again.

The Details:

Pattern: Crescent Blouse by Megan Nielsen

Fabric: Anna Maria Horner Cypress Rayon Challis from her Field Study line.

Size Made: Small

Alterations Made: Eliminated the collar. Otherwise, none.

I definitely plan on making this pattern again. I can't wait to make one with the peterman collar and I'd also love to try the tunic variation.


Sunday, May 26, 2013


  I just want to give you a quick update on life happenings right now. When my husband's father passed away in February it threw our life into a bit of commotion. Grieving, planning, moving....I feel like we've been going non stop either physically or emotionally since that dark day in February. My husband and I reevaluated some things and made some decisions on where we want to be and what we want to be doing right now. In the end, we feel very confident that we made the right decisions. At the moment we are living with my parents, which is cramped and a bit stressful because of it. We've been here since before my FIL's death and had planned on possibly moving out of state by the end of this year but when tragedy hit, we made some difficult choices that will keep us in the area for at least a couple more years. As I type this we are packing/packed up ready to move. We're hoping to be moved in by the middle of next month and so, for the moment, I have returned my mother's dining room table back to her and packed up my beloved sewing machine. As I mentioned, our new home will have enough room for my own sewing room so that is something I look forward to.
  I haven't fallen off the Me Made May wagon. I am still keeping my pledge I am just not documenting the efforts. Between moving, boxes and the stress I'm under, I just haven't been up to pictures every day. The challenge has actually made me super productive, I've churned out a fair amount of clothing, especially jersey knit tops. Also, and I plan on making a whole post dedicated to this soon, Megan Nielsen patterns are a HUGE WIN in my book!! Here's a peak at the garments born this month.


 I ask that you stick with me for the next month while I get things sorted out and I promise to be back next month with a bunch of new makes. Even though I won't be blogging much (if at all) for a couple of weeks, I'm still available through other forms of social media... You can follow me on twitter, @FiveEver. As for my Instagram, I've separated myself into two accounts. My personal account, and the one that many of you follow me at, is still Everfive. However, sewing isn't my only passion. I am an avid music lover and follow 2 specific bands intensely, and my feed does have quite a bit of concert pics. I have lot of followers that follow me specifically for my music related posts, and I never thought it would be an issue until I lost a couple of followers recently after I posted pics from a couple of shows I have been to. I completely understand that what I'm interested in isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I really enjoy the interaction with my fellow seamstresses and sewing bloggers and it's important to me that I keep that open. So, for the benefit of those that would prefer to see JUST sewing/blog related things I started another account. My name is SuchaStrange_Girl. If you would like to follow me on both, that is awesome and I would love for you to. If you want to follow only my new one, I completely understand! Futhermore, if you follow Everfive and would like to unfollow me and only follow SuchaStrange_Girl, that is certainly ok by me! As long as I can keep bouncing ideas off you lovely, talented people, I am a happy woman!

Thanks for reading everyone and I'll see you SOON!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

MMM 13 Week 1-2 Roundup

My original pledge was to wear me made at least 3 times a week and/or every time I was in public. The first week started out wonderfully. May has turned out to be pretty busy for me and I was presented with lots of opportunites to not only get out of the house, but wear my me mades. May 1-5 saw me walking my dog, having a 2 day yard sale, attending a midnight movie premiere (Iron Man 3!), helping throw a surprise Saturday night birthday dinner for a friend and going to church followed by lunch out with the family on Sunday.

MMM13 Week 1

Starting from upper left, and moving clockwise, garments are: Yet to be blogged Kelly Skirt; Yet to be blogged Grainline Tiny Pocket tank; Colette Hazel; Mission Maxi with RTW cardigan; Miz Mozelle Dress; Kelly Skirt with New Look 6808 w/ self drafted peter pan collar.

 If you haven't kept count that's 7 separate me made items in 5 days. 

  This past weeks was just as busy for me but much more challenging to wear my me mades. I stayed home Monday and Tuesday doing Mommy/Wifey things and barely changed out of pajamas. Wednesday and Thursday were spent in DC attending 2 The Airborne Toxic Event concerts at the 9:30 Club. I had planned on wearing me mades, but I had nothing that I felt was appropriate concert attire. I'm not too upset about it though....the concerts were ah-mazing and well, this happened...twice

MMM13 Week 2

(If you're interested in seeing my other iphone pics from the shows, they are all here)

  Needless to say, all day Friday was spent recovering from my sleep deprived, 2 day music binge. Saturday I wore a tshirt I altered but was too lazy to photograph and just so I can prove that I could wear me made today, I interupted my Mother's Day morning to climb out of bed, get dressed, climb back into bed and snap this grainy pic. 

Mission maxi with tshirt worn over it.
This would be me in my bed, wearing my mission maxi with a RTW tshirt worn over it. and that would also be my child's head.

Sooo, altogether that's 9 separate me made items worn in the first 2 weeks of May. Since my pledge was at least 3 items a week, I think I'm still doing pretty good. I have already broken my "in public" pledge BUT this has inspired me to make something that I do feel comfortable wearing to concerts. I have one next Sunday that I'm determined to wear something I've made to it. 

Anyhoo, Happy Mother's Day to all my lovely fellow Moms. If no one has already told you; good job, well done, congrats and God bless you for giving birth to and caring for your children. Let's face it, they'll always be the best thing we've ever made . <3

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Miz Sazzypantz

Miz Mozelle

   The name of this pattern kind of makes me laugh....Miz Mozelle. Miz. Three snaps in a "Z" formation. I feel sassy when I say the name of the pattern. Or should I say... sazzy? I imagine conversations I could have with people.

 Random Fantasy Stranger, "Oh hey, girlfriend. Great dress! I know you made that, yeah?"

 Fantasy Me, looking fabulous, "Heeeey, Random Fantasty Stranger who knows all about my sewing prowess, yes, I did make this! Isn't it the bomb? I used the Miz Mozelle pattern. That's right. So sazzy, all "s"s have been replaced with "z"s. Phat."

  Oh, I crack myself up. Mind you, I'm not making fun of the name. I love it. Anyhoo, as you have gathered, this is Miz Mozelle, another pattern from Jamie Christina. This pattern has been on my radar since I first picked up needle and thread. I fell in love with this picture.

  I think this represents my style, or the way I want my style to come across. Down to the pale skin, red hair and tattoo. Retro with a bit of punk?

  I held out buying the pattern because the keyhole neckline kind of scared me off, but I finally bit the bullet and purchased it after my Mission Maxi was such a success.

Miz Mozelle

 I used this knit jersey I purchased at Girl Charlee. It is extrememly lightweight but probably the softest thing ever. My daughter wrapped herself in it and it took some coaxing (ie: cookies) to get her out of it. The only downsides of working with it was that it rolled like a bitch. Because that's what bitches do, right? Roll? Ha.

 I sewed the body of the dress using my serger and the collar construction was done with my brand new BFF. Which handled the lightweight jersey like a dream, FYI.

Miz Mozelle

 I cut a size 8, because I didn't want there to be too much ease. Next time I go back up to a size 10.

        Miz Mozelle

  And oh, I need to remember to get pics of my side seams next time I sew a pattern because even though you can't tell from the pictures, there are parts where the pattern is matched so perfectly, you can't even see a seam in the side. Cue the Macarena, cabbage patch, running man, raising the roof and all those other old school dances that make me offically old for remembering. Uncool, too.

Miz Mozelle

  Oh, and about that keyhole? I was right to be afraid of it. The keyhole is shit. Seriously, I effed that up so badly. It's stretched out and gross. But whatever. I'm still a beginner with knits and it was a learning experience for sure. Plus, it's not unwearable. Is it? Oh damn, don't answer that.

Miz Mozelle

The Details
Fabric: Knit Jersey purchased from Girl Charlee
Size Cut: 8
Alterations Made: None

My children are often joining me for these photo shoots. I have to entertain them somehow...

Miz Mozelle

....and it works :)

Miz Mozelle

 The Verdict: Despite the botched keyhole, I love this dress. I feel like I'm walking around wrapped up in the  most comfy sheets every. I also plan on making this again. I'm going to try it out in a woven and also adapting it into a maxi dress.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Me Made May and other news...


 'I, Jamie of Such a Strange Girl, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear me-made-garments at least 3 times a week and every time I leave the house for the duration of May 2013'

  When I very first started sewing, me-made-May was a goal from the beginning. The thought of having enough clothes to wear for an entire month was exciting and daunting! Over the past year I feel like I have sewn enough articles of clothing to participate, even if not to the fullest extent. As you can see I geared my pledge to my predicament as a Stay at Home Mom. I'm home most days, I probably get out of the house about 3 times a week. I haven't sewn much "lounge wear" yet and I don't see the point in wearing a pretty dress or skirt to scrub the floors. I have a couple of tops that can be worn around the house, which I will try to get full use of, but I want to challenge myself to always wear me-made clothing when I am out in public., which I don't already do. I'm very excited about this. I plan to post weekly wrap ups showcasing what I put together.

 In other news, while putting together my Mad Men challenge dress, it became apparent that my sewing machine was not functioning to it's full ability. And it's full ability isn't much, considering I was sewing on a $125 Brother that I purchased at WalMart years ago. It probably needs a tune up but I wondered if it was even worth it. I don't want to knock it too much, though. It's served me well, very user friendly and functional. I would recommend it for any beginning seamstress. Still it was time for something more. I did a bunch of research and had my heart set on a Bernina. I found a dealer in my area, an adorable little shop in the nearby town of Culpeper, Va by the name of 145 Art & Design Studio.

Iphone shot of 145 Art & Design as they packed up my machine
 The staff was so very sweet and helpful. I was greeted warmly right when I walked into the shop and treated with kindness during my entire visit. They walked me through all the different features of the various models and even let me test out the machines. They offer many different classes and clubs. I recommend checking them out if you happen to be in the area. About 45 minutes after I walked in, I walked out with a brand new Bernina 350PE. 


I am in love. I have yet to sew a full garment on her, just some hemming and understitching here and there, but I can already tell I have upped my game.
 While talking to 145 Art & Design's staff I discovered that just a couple of store fronts down is a newly opened store, Exquisite Fabrics, formally located in Georgetown. How have I missed this? A real fabric store!? I didn't have time...or money...to check it out but I am assured it is phenomenal. I can not wait to go back and shop.

 I'm moving next month and our new place has enough space for me to have a whole sewing room to myself. What am I going to do when I'm not sewing at the dining room table? I anticipate being much more productive. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Just call me Mrs. Draper

Mad Men Challenge

So, here she is! My finished Mad Men Challenge dress. If you read my post, or follow me on Instagram (everfive), it's probably obvious to you which dress I decided to replicate, but in case you missed it, here was my inspiration. I hear most people say that now that the show is moving into the late sixties, they don't enjoy the fashions as much. I am so different, I LOVE the styles! The makeup, hair, clothes... I die.

I know that I may be in the minority, but I don't hate Megan. She's not perfect, but is anyone on that show? I was hoping she'd be good for Don...and maybe she still will be. As for Don, I can't help it. He's an asshole and obviously a horrible husband but I adore him. I mean, that man has issues but he came by them honestly. And he's so dreamy. Oh, and if you saw the episode last week, then you know what I mean when I say, "Go TRUDY!!"

Mad Men Challenge

Now, onto the dress. Once I picked which dress I was going to replicate, I immediately started looking for a pattern for a decent shift dress. I studied these pictures like my life depended on it. I needed a shift with back shaping that would not flare out at the bottom. When Colette Patterns released Laurel, I knew I found what I needed.

Mad Men Challenge

 For the fabric, it was obvious I needed something with some weight to it. I went to the fabric store to compare fabrics and decided on this cream gabardine. I also purchased olive green gabardine and coral linen, since it was the closest I could find in the color I needed. I ended up trading out the green gabardine for some scraps I had left over from this skirt since the color was a better match. It's a stretch cotton sateen, but I sewed it wrong side out (to eliminate sheen).

  Once I had all that in my greedy little hands, I started experimenting. I traced off a smaller size than I normally wear because I knew I needed less ease than the original pattern was designed for. I sewed together quite a few muslins trying to test my colorblocking. There was a lot of cursing, I won't lie.

Mad Men Challenge

Mad Men Challenge

 The bust darts were proving a problem and I made a decision to convert them to french darts. In the back, I had to chop through the top of the back darts for the bottom stripe of coral. I just closed up the dart in the stripe and redrew the dart starting a little lower and ending a little lower. This worked out really well. The whole dress is lined in a coral satin that I'm going to admit I purchased mainly for the color. I had planned on inserting a back zip, but the thought of fiddling with all those stripes to match scared me off. The dress slips over my head just fine, so I took the easy way out and eliminated it.

Mad Men Challenge

Mad Men Challenge

I went with a more military style button. I could have chosen the round gold ones that Megan's original dress has but I really hate gold and I was hoping the military ones would make it less dated. They weren't the best buttons to pick because of the shank, but I still like the look.

Mad Men Challenge
So, I'm pretty proud of this. This was my first time attempting colorblocking and I feel I was pretty successful. It's not perfect. I won't point out specifically what bothers me, except to say my french darts aren't perfectly executed and pressed.

Mad Men Challenge

The Details
Pattern: Colette Laurel
Size Cut: between a Sz 6 and Sz 8
Fabric Used: Cream Poly Gabardine, Olive green cotton sateen, Coral Linen
Alterations: I sliced up the top to colorblock it, I also converted the bust darts to french darts. Eliminated the zip and sleeves, fully lined dress.

Mad Men Challenge

Mad Men Challenge

Mad Men Challenge

Mad Men Challenge
 This project has absorbed most of my creative thoughts for the past two months. I had so much fun making this dress, I almost don't know what to do with myself now that it's all finished!  Actually, I know exactly what I'll be doing with myself...Me Made May :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fake It Til It's Warm Parfait

So, after proving that I'm impatient, a bit of a follower and sometimes just plain lazy, I am now going to prove that I'm flighty and indecisive. Just days after declaring how "edgy" I'm getting, I present you with a frilly, girly number. Evidence that this strange girl just can't make up her mind.

Colette Parfait

Ever since I made my first Colette Parfait I have been obsessed with the pattern. I've had my non sewing friends beg me to make them a version and I get compliments every time I wear it. I had always planned on making a heavier winter weight version but could never find a fabric that inspired me. Then spring started creeping up on me and the idea of making a cold weather dress seemed silly.

Colette Parfait

When I spotted this lightweight, printed denim I instantly fell in love and knew immediately I wanted it to be a Parfait. And it's the best of both worlds, perfect for layering when it's cold but light enough to wear alone in warmer weather.

Colette Parfait
Romy getting in on the action.
Colette Parfait

I solved some of the fit issues that I had in the last one by cutting the waist/skirt portion one size smaller. I also adjusted the strap placement.

Colette Parfait

Colette Parfait

Colette Parfait

   Last time I made it I sewed the buttons on the tabs but this time I decided to make it right and installed all the suggested buttons correctly. I'm glad I did because it seems to help with the fit. The second, smaller button behind the strap helps take some strain off the main button and keeps everything in place. Wow, those Colette Patterns people really know what they're doing, huh? Speaking of buttons, these particular ones took me a while to decide upon. I love them though, especially the little blue roses on the pockets!

Colette Parfait

   Do not be fooled by these pictures. It was not warm enough for me to be baring all. Only about 52 degrees F. But I'm all about faking it till you make it and in this case I'll just keep pretending it's warm enough to bare my pale ass legs in a dress and strappy wedges until it actually is. And when it is finally warm enough...I'll still be just as pale, but a little more freckled.

Colette Parfait

The Details:
Pattern: Colette Parfait 
Size Cut: Size 8
Fabric Used: Printed lightweight denim from Hancock Fabrics
Alterations Made: I messed with the strap placement but other than that, nothing major

Colette Parfait

The Verdict: You have not seen the last of this incredibly gorgeous, flattering pattern!