Ginger Does Home Dec!

Whaaaaaaat? OK, I’ll be honest… there’s almost nothing I’d rather not do than sew home dec stuff. I’m just not into it! And I’m really not good at interior design or picking out things that go together in my apartment- it’s a pretty basic setup chez Ginger! So when Julie at Mood asked if I’d like to do a special project to celebrate the opening of Mood’s new home dec showroom, I was like, “No, thanks!”. Not my cup ‘o’ tea! Fast forward a few days, and I get a rare, unprompted sewing request from Man Friend to make some curtains for our bedroom (we have blinds, but they’re looking pretty rough these days). How can I say no to him? So, I emailed Julie to say I was in and headed for Mood!

The new showroom is bright, spacious, and located in the lobby of the building Mood occupies (they’re on the second floor). It’s such a great space for inspiration! I was immediately drawn to these two fabrics, annnnnnnnd the second I saw them, I put the thought of curtains right out of my mind and decided to make some pillows for the living room.

home dec sewing | Ginger Makes

These are both Waverly fabrics, and they’re 100% cotton. The blue one with the animal print is called “Mexicali”, and the red floral is called “Mayan Medallion”. They feel like canvas, and have a nice heft. This fabric choice was unconsciously influenced by my recent trip to Svensk Tenn in Stockholm, a super fun and fancy design store (check out their site! it’s majorly droolworthy! I definitely wanted to buy e v e r y t h i n g in the store!). I didn’t realize until a few days after buying this fabric that it’s got a very similar feel to Svensk Tenn’s special exhibit of textiles and items inspired by Mexican folk art.

Envelope-style closure

I used a simple envelope-style closure for these so I can easily slip them off to clean them. Although I’m never motivated to sew home dec items, these are probably the easiest things I’ve ever sewn. EVER. So easy. So fast. Why don’t I do this more often, people?

Before…

The pillows we had on the couch previously were a gift and have seen a fair amount of wear and tear, thanks to the pugs co-opting them to use as beds. So this is an awesome upgrade! They add a great burst of color to the living room without overpowering a small space that doesn’t get much natural light. Plus, they pick up on the colors in the framed prints we have hanging throughout the living room. Hopefully now things look a little less hodge-podge and a bit more intentional!

After!

Don’t worry- the pugs have already adopted the new pillows! And I’m even energized to make the curtains for Man Friend after this painless sewing experience, so it’s a happy ending all around! Home dec for the win!

OK, guys- honest truth… do you sew things that your partner/roommate/kid/parent requests? And how do you feel about sewing home dec? What are some easy projects that can revamp your home?

 

 

 

Book Report: Casual Sweet Clothes (+ Giveaway!)

Hi, guys! It’s been kind of a gloomy week around here, with people noticeably feeling down and the weather cool and rainy. It feels much later than August, almost like fall has already arrived. I still have a bit of summer sewing queued up, but it feels kind of silly- how much wear will I get out of sundresses before the season changes? So I started thinking about fall sewing and remembered I have a book to show you!

Laurence King Publishing sent me a copy of Casual Sweet Clothes to review before its release on August 26th. It includes 18 patterns, and unlike some of the Japanese sewing books I’ve reviewed before, they’re mainly for separates. There are three dress patterns, but the rest are for tops, pants, shorts, skirts, and even jackets… 5 jackets! I think you guys know how I feel about jackets… love love love ‘em!

Here’s the pattern that I was immediately smitten with, “flared jacket with raglan sleeves”. I love me a slouchy jacket, and this is just the ticket for early fall. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I really like it. I can’t decide what kind of fabric I would use for this- what would you use? I definitely wouldn’t do army green. :)

While this dress would look TERRIBLE on me, I like the idea of colorblocking in two neutral colors. I’ve not really been into the colorblocking thing, but this kind of sparks my interest.

Laurence King provided a copy to give away to a US reader, yay! So if you’d like to enter the giveaway, let me know in the comments below! I’ll pick a winner with a random number generator. Let’s close the giveaway a week from today, Wednesday, August 20th at 11P EST.

OK, what’s on your fall (or spring) sewing list? What are you most excited to sew and wear in the upcoming season?

Dude Sewing: McCall’s 6044, v.2 (or, the Shark Week Shirt!)

So… a word of explanation. Shark Week is a pretty big deal chez Ginger. Man Friend looks forward to it every year, and loves to kick off the week with a bang each summer. So, when I was watching “Sharknado 2: The Second One”, I was struck with the idea to search for shark fabric to make a surprise Shark Week shirt for the fella!

McCall's 6044 | Ginger Makes

I found this crazy print at Fabric 313 on Etsy- it’s called “Kanvas by Benartex for Ocean Avenue”, and it looks like it’s still available. It’s got a quilting cotton weight and drape, but I’m wondering if it’s not 100% cotton because it doesn’t wrinkle at all.

McCall's 6044 | Ginger Makes

Somebody doesn’t like modeling

This is McCall’s 6044, view A. Last time I made view E, which has long sleeves and western-style detailing. I made that earlier this year, and with my recent back-to-back Alder shirtdresses, I was really in practice, so this come together in a flash! Isn’t it nice when you’re able to practice techniques until they become second nature? There’s definitely a benefit to making the same pattern multiple times! Plus, view A is really streamlined since there aren’t any sleeve plackets, cuffs, or yokes- sweet!

McCall's 6044 | Ginger Makes

I didn’t make any fit alterations (it’s a straight size medium), but after looking at the photos, I wonder if I shouldn’t narrow the sleeves a bit. There’s no drape at all in this fabric and the sleeves seem a little wide, especially compared to the slim fit of the shirt itself. But that’s an easy fix.

McCall's 6044 | Ginger Makes

Overall, I’m happy with this.  It really cracks me up- it’s so over the top! Man Friend loves it, and even wore it to work today (!). So I’m counting that as a success!

McCall's 6044 | Ginger Makes

SHARK ATTACK!!!!!

What are you guys working on this week? Any dude sewing going on? Anyone else looking forward to watching “Great White Serial Killer” tonight?

Happy New Home!

Hi, guys! Welcome to my new home! I’m hoping to make the transition really smooth, but I definitely don’t know what I’m doing, so please bear with me! Bloglovin should be sending everyone over here automatically, but if you guys notice anything weird like duplicate posts, please let me know!

Also- I wanna talk for a minute about my new logo! My friend Dana Wulfekotte is a really talented illustrator and animator (and knitter!!), and I’ve long admired her animal drawings. So when I thought about doing a new logo, I knew right away I wanted to commission some work from Dana. I really, really love it, and if you guys do, too, you should check out her Tumblr and her Instagram. I smile every time one of her drawings pops up in my IG feed!

Thanks for your patience and for putting up with any strangeness during the move. Hopefully everything will be back to normal in a day or two. :)

Ginger Made: Alder Shirtdress, v. 2!

Guys, I’m addicted to this pattern! As soon as I finished my first version of the Alder Shirtdress, I cut out a second one, this time in a treasured print! This is a Vlisco cotton that’s been in my stash for nearly a year, just waiting for the perfect project! Sadly, this particular print is sold out, but there are tons of gorgeous ones just waiting for you (look at this beauty!!! LOOK AT IT!!! Just don’t look at the price… I’d have to sell an organ to pay for this fabric, but WOW, it’s lovely!)

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

Part of the reason this fabric has been in my stash so long is that it’s such a large-scale print. It really looks cool when it isn’t broken up, but it’s a little challenging to use in a garment. I thought this pattern would be a nice one for it, but now that I’m looking at the photos, the effect in the front of the dress is kind of dizzying. There’s just a little too much going on! If I’d thought of it in time, I would’ve changed this up to make it a popover (instead of buttoning all the way down) to dial back the chaos. Since I didn’t do that, I may go back and remove the pockets. I like the pocket detail, but the dress looks so busy!

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

I really like the back, though! Seriously, look at the size of that starburst pattern! Crazy! I love it so much!

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

OK, here’s another nitpicky thing- I didn’t notice in my first version, but I’m getting some bubbling in the front high bust area. I probably need to adjust the pattern to fix that, but I felt like the shoulders fit well, so I’m not 100% sure what to do there. It’s not a huge problem, but I should probably work it out before I cut #3 out.

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

I decided to try a different method of finishing the armholes, but it didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. I shouldn’t have strayed from the instructions! Other than that, I didn’t change anything in my construction. I forgot to mention last time, but I followed Andrea’s collar construction order- that’s become my default process for collars!

Pug belly!!!!!

I’m forcing myself to set this pattern aside (long enough to make a shirt for Man Friend, at least), but I’m really tempted to go straight into version #3! It’s true love!

Peggy says hi!

What are you guys sewing? Anything fun?

 

 

Ginger Made: Alder Shirtdress!!

It’s official. This is my new summer uniform!

Guys, I’ve been looking forward to the release of this pattern since I heard rumors that it was coming (in fact, I crushed hardcore on the original version of this dress in Jen’s rtw line, Hound). It’s the Alder Shirtdress from Grainline Studio, and it’s just the perfect summer dress! There’s even a lovely print version for the PDF-averse! When I heard the launch date was in July, I picked out fabric for my July Mood Sewing Network project, then waited semi-patiently for the pattern to be released! I’m not even kidding when I say that knowing this pattern would be waiting for me on my return helped me to avoid post-vacation depression (that and seeing the pugs again, of course).

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

I’ve really been going crazy with prints lately, so I decided on a nice navy instead for my first go at the pattern. Navy is my go-to neutral color- it’s not as harsh on my pale skin as black, but it’s still pretty chic, in my opinion- and when I found this shade in a crisp cotton pique, I was over the moon! (This Japanese cotton pique looks exactly like the one that I used, although I picked mine up in-store at Mood Fabrics NYC).

Look at that great texture! It reads a little sporty in person, in a courtside-seats-at-a-tennis-match kind of way.  The fabric has lots of body and not much drape, so it really gives you a crisp a-line shape in this dress. It’s really, really breathable, a must for a summer dress! It’s a medium weight and it’s nice and opaque, so it doesn’t need a lining- perfect!

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

OK, back to the pattern. This is view A, and it’s a really fun sew! It’s like making a buttondown shirt, but without having to set in sleeves or worse, sew the sleeve plackets! It’s a simple silhouette, but it’s got nice lines, and the drafting is great. Not to geek out too much, but the armscyes are just the perfect depth! Not too low, not too high- just right!

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

I sewed a straight size 4 without any alterations (my bust is a 4 and my hips are a 0, so there’s a bit more ease there than there would be if I graded between sizes, but I decided just to sew it up and see how I felt about it). I don’t mind the additional fulness at all. You get a nice clean finish if you follow the pattern instructions. There’s an inner yoke to clean finish that seam and the armholes are finished with bias binding. The side seams are the only exposed seams, so I serged them, but I would use French seams on thinner fabric for a completely immaculate finish.

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

There’s a subtle difference between the right side and the wrong side of this fabric, so I was careful to mark all the wrong sides with chalk. Isn’t it annoying when you forget to do that and you end up with one part of your garment that’s just a little different than the rest? Ugh! Other than that, I didn’t use any special techniques! This was a really straightforward project. :)

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

Overall, I’m really happy with my new dress! Quite a few of my other dresses are just a little too flashy for wearing around the neighborhood or even to work (ummmmmmmmm PIRANHAS, I’m looking at you!), but this is just right. It’s nice to have a basic dress in my closet.

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

But don’t worry- I haven’t completely reformed! In fact, I’ve already cut out a second Alder in a gaudy large-scale print. Mwahahahahahaha!

This was the exact moment when an SUV full of beach-going ladies pulled up next to me and one of them shouted, “Work it, girl!” A second later they turned up their dance music and Man Friend laughed so hard he almost fell over.

What’s on your sewing table right now???

Ginger Made: Belladone, v.3 (Or, the “I Call the Big One Bitey” Dress of Maximum Happiness)

Duuuuuuuuuuuuudes! I like this dress very much. Very, VERY much. IT HAS PIRANHAS ON IT. I felt completely and totally exuberant the moment I put it on!  Can you tell?

Deer & Doe Belladone dress | Ginger Makes

But let’s back up for a minute. So, if you’ve been involved with the sewing community for a while, you probably know that people who sew are some of the kindest, best, most generous people around. True story! I’ve made so many wonderful friends through this here blog that have come to mean so much to me, and even though I know sew-y types are amazing, I’m STILL continually surprised by their kindness. Just one recent example: I commented on Mary‘s Sweden-inspired dress post that I had a trip to Stockholm planned, and the lovely and sweet Naomi Molly emailed me a gazillion tips about her town. Man Friend and I have enjoyed SO much good food, window shopping, and delicious coffee this week thanks to her expert recommendations. Take it from me- people that sew are amazing!

Deer & Doe Belladone Dress | Ginger Makes

In that vein, this AMAZING fabric was a gift from Jennifer. I skipped the #NYLon2014 trip because of the aforementioned trip to Sweden, but Jenny saw this fabric in London, thought it was my style, (should I be worried about this, readers? Heeheehee!) and grabbed some for me as a surprise. How awesome is that?! I can’t even tell you how much I love this fabric, dudes! But I especially treasure it since it was a gift from a friend.

Deer & Doe Belladone dress | Ginger Makes

Here’s the thing: I know that it’s easier for me than most to get to know other people who sew since there are quite a few who live here in the city, and even more who trek here for visits from all over the world (it’s a perk of living here that I remind myself of every time NYC gets me down). But, I’m guessing no matter where you live (OK, except for maybe you, Em!), there’s SOMEONE in your area who sews (and if not, internet friends are awesome, too!). I think I’m one of only a few major extroverts in the sewing community, but even if it’s a struggle for you to make the first move, I really encourage you to reach out and get to know someone who shares your passion. It’s really worth it! It’s just so energizing to spend time with other creative people. So, if you’re feeling too shy, nervous, or busy to connect with other people, but deep down you’d like to get to know someone, I really encourage you to take a small step today. Tweet about your next project! Email someone to tell them how much you like something they made! Offer to walk a friend through an easy sewing project! You can do it!

Deer & Doe Belladone dress | Ginger Makes

OK, I’m done cheerleading. FOR NOW. Let’s talk dress! When Jenny gave me the fabric, I wasn’t sure what to make, but I knew it needed to be good! Oona suggested I make the Belladone dress since I really love the pattern, and I loved the idea! So this is my third Belladone (here’s #1 and here’s #2)! I just love this pattern. It’s so cute and wearable!

Deer & Doe Belladone dress | Ginger Makes

I didn’t really do anything differently than I did on round 2. I stabilized the bias edges of the back cut-out with Hug Snug (I bought two rolls from ZipperStop ages ago and it lasts FOREVER) to keep them from stretching out like I did last time, and I just serged all the seams (no lining this time around). I love how easy it is to sew a garment from a pattern you’ve made before!

Deer & Doe Belladone dress | Ginger Makes

I didn’t bother matching the print since it’s so random, but I did place the pattern pieces on the fabric carefully to feature my favorite dudes. I also lined up the waistband pieces so the waistband would be a row of ferocious teeth, which is fun, but probably not too noticeable. I made yards and yards of matching bias tape- not my favorite thing to do, but I like how it looks.

Deer & Doe Belladone dress | Ginger Makes

So yeah. That’s the story of this dress! It’s a fun, fun, fun dress, and it will always be extra special to me. Thank you, Jenny, and thanks to all the rest of you for being so supportive, kind, and generous. Now, tell me! Have you made any friends since you began sewing? If so, was it easy for you to reach out and make friends? What tips would you give to someone who’s looking to make friends? Have you ever received an awesome sewing-related gift?

Deer & Doe Belladone dress | Ginger Makes

 

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