Papercut Patterns Sway Dress!

Hellooooooooo! How are you guys doing? Everybody having a good day? I hope so! So, do you ever notice themes in your sewing? Lately my sewing has been all about fun fabric in a simple shape. Fussy sewing and fussy garments just aren’t very cool in the heat! So, for August’s Mood Sewing Network project*, I decided to stay the course and make one more fun print + simple silhouette dress. Why not keep the streak going? :) I chose this beautiful rayon print because I loved the abstract images… I mean, are these birds, or are they palm trees? My vote is for palm trees, but that might just be because I love them!

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

The fabric has a delicious crepe-y texture, and it’s ever so slightly sheer. I’m hoping that the voluminous shape counteracts the transparency of the fabric. I think it works- no sneaky peekies on display in these photos, anyway! However, I finished the seams with pinking sheers because I worried that serging or Hong Kong binding might show through or look lumpy on the right side. Instead of using fusible interfacing for the facings, I stitched in silk organza, because I’m a very fancy person and definitely not because I ran out of interfacing and accidentally ordered the wrong replacement. ;)

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

I really enjoyed working with this fabric. The texture of the fabric gave it some grip, so it wasn’t slippery to cut or sew, and it responds beautifully to steam. I was careful, though, not to press with the iron on the right side. In a crepe fabric, the texture comes from the twist and crimp in the fibers, which can easily be crushed with the iron. When that happens, you get gross shine marks… no good! So I pressed from the wrong side, steamed from the right, and used my fingers to mush the steam into the seams. Super technical stuff! :)

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

The pattern is the Papercut Patterns Sway dress, the long variation with a tie belt. Katie sent me a copy to try along with the Guise Pants. Thanks, Katie! Now, I was really drawn towards the shorter, trapeze-ier version, but I figured I’d give this longer length a try just for kicks. It feels a little frumpy compared to the shorter dresses I’ve been wearing lately, but I may just need to wear this a few times to get comfortable with the length and the belted waist. The pattern is very easy to put together and the instructions are nice and clear. I generally avoid anything with bias seams as I hate leveling out the hem, but it was really pretty painless. I’ll definitely revisit this pattern!

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

The dress has center front and center back seams, and I was concentrating so hard on fitting all the pattern pieces on the fabric with the print all going the same direction that I didn’t even consider matching the print. Whoops! Hopefully it’s not too noticeable.

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes


Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes
Why, it’s a reversible dress! Since it only needs to fit at the shoulders, it can be switched around and worn with either the v-neck or the round neckline facing the front! Tricky business!

Man Friend review: “The belt is nice”.


Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

Alright, now please tell me- what’s on your sewing table right now? Simple silhouettes with fun prints? All solids all of the time? Complicated tailoring projects? And, are you Team Palm Trees, or Team Birds? Do tell!

*Once a month I receive a fabric allowance from Mood to make something fun! I blog it first on the MSN blog, then over here. If I use stash materials or things purchased from another source, I’ll let you know in my post. :)

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants!

Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well and enjoyed a lovely weekend! I had a great weekend enjoying the beautiful May weather and hanging out with my visiting in-laws. I even managed to sneak in some sewing and a trip to see Mad Max: Fury Road! How about you guys?

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants | Ginger Makes

Question: do you fear trousers? Even though I love wearing them, I’ve been a little nervous at the thought of sewing them. Welt pockets, a front fly, fit… there’s just so much to think about! But after sewing up two pairs of trousers for my second semester of ladies’ tailoring this spring, I was stoked to take on a pair for myself! So I was excited when I saw the Guise Pants in the new Papercut Patterns collection- I was really hoping to find a pattern for pleated trousers! Katie kindly sent me a review copy for free… thank you so much!

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants | Ginger Makes

The pattern features front pleats and a fly closure, with side pockets and back welt pockets. A unique feature of the pants is the elasticated back waist- I’m not usually very excited about elastic waists as they can look a little too casual, but my waistline fluctuates constantly by a few inches, so it’s nice to have some flexibility there. Plus, I never tuck in my shirts, so you’ll never even see the elastic in the back!

My plan was to make these in a nice soft wool, a pretty mint green, if I could find one, and if I couldn’t, in grey. But somewhere along the way I had the idea to cut into this strange synthetic jacquard from my stash. I bought 3 yards from Chic Fabric ages ago for something like $7/yd, planning to make an Elisalex for a winter wedding, but I didn’t have time and it’s sat in my stash ever since. It’s a pale gold that’s really metallic (hard to tell from the photos), and the wrong side is actually mauve. It smells a little funny when you press it, frays like crazy, and is super scratchy. So maybe not the best choice! But it was really fun to use! The thread, button, and zipper were in my stash, too, and I had *just* enough elastic to make it, so these are a total stash bust! Yay!

Here’s a shot so you can see where the rise sits on me (a few inches below my natural waist).

OK, let’s talk construction. These are a very straightforward sew and nothing was too confusing or difficult. I followed the instructions for the welt pockets and fly and everything went smoothly. One thing I noticed is that Katie refers to “left” and “right” as you’re looking at the garment rather than as you wear it, the way some pattern companies do. It’s clear from the diagrams which side is which, though. There’s a typo on step 7- it should say 3/8″, not 3/4″. And one little thing I did differently from the instructions was to finish the curved edge of the fly facing before doing anything. It’s just easier for me that way. I also finished the hems with seam binding to help control the fraying.

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants | Ginger Makes

As you can see, this fabric is pretty stiff, and these pants would probably look much better in something with more drape. I had to omit the button loops from the back pockets- they were just too bulky in this fabric. It’s kinda funny… in my tailoring class, I realized that I had most success with welt pockets when I chose fabrics that don’t fray easily, but for these trousers, I picked a jacquard that seemed to disintegrate in front of my eyes! Oops!

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants | Ginger Makes

Next time I make this pattern, I’ll add 3/8″ to the lower edge of the waistband facing- Katie has you neaten the waistband edge and topstitch it down from the right side, but I prefer the seam allowance to be folded under. And I will add a bit more room through the ankle- I have been noticing lately that I just don’t have enough room there in almost every pair of RTW pants I own. I could stand to take these in at the side seam a bit, but I was afraid to fit these too snugly since the fabric is so ravelly! I thought I might blow my seams out if the trousers were too fitted!!!

Overall, I really like these pants! I know this relaxed fit isn’t for everyone, but I like to wear this tomboy style and am excited to work these into my wardrobe. I’m thinking I should wear them with a black top, or maybe a classic white buttondown? What do you guys think? I’m hoping they’re not too “mature lady”, as Man Friend described them. :D

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants | Ginger Makes

Alright, fess up- are you afraid to sew trousers? If not, do you have a favorite pants pattern? Any you would recommend to me?

Rigel Bomber January: Your Bombers!!!

Hi, guys!!!!! I’m sorry to bring you sad news, but Rigel Bomber January is over! It’s OK to cry… just let out all the bad feelings. The good news is that I think a roundup of some of the amazing bomber jackets you guys sewed will lift your spirits! What say you? Stay tuned until the end… I’ll reveal my favorite bomber, the winner of a Papercut Pattern of her choice!

OK, so I’m only featuring 1/3 of the finished jackets here… to see the rest, check out Kat‘s post and Mel’s post! Also, there are lots more cool bombers on Instagram… just search for the tag #rigelbomberjanuary and you’ll see them (I just couldn’t find a way to pull photos from IG that wasn’t super time-intensive… sorry!)!

First up, here’s Sally‘s adorable polka dot bomber:

Here’s Carlalissa’s (with a bonus doggie photobomb)!

Check out Amiria’s!

Rose Cherry made a super cute bomber inspired by Shanni’s:

Becky Jo made a beautiful version:

Here’s Eirenep’s lovely floral version:

Now, I want to show you Kat‘s version! She’s managed to fit snails, pea pods, AND leopard print in hers!

Now, here’s my favorite jacket… but guys, I had a really, REALLY hard time choosing just one! I loved seeing all your bombers and really could have picked every single one of them. But, I finally had to just choose one, so, it’s…

Oh, She Dabbles! I really like the mix of fabrics she chose!

Super cool! Girl, I’ll be in touch to hook you up with your free pattern!

Alright, that about wraps it up! Thanks so much for playing along! January was much more fun and bright this year! Now, tell me, which is your favorite jacket? And what’s on your sewing machine right now? Oh, and don’t forget to check out Kat and Mel‘s blogs to see the rest of the bombers!

Ginger Made: Rigel Bomber Jacket!

Woohoo! My bomber jacket is done! I’ve had so much fun making this alongside everyone taking part in Rigel Bomber January! In case you haven’t been following these posts, Kat, Mel, and I are making the Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket during the month of January with anyone else who wanted to join in on the fun! It’s a little “sew-together”! I’ve had this pattern since it came out, so it was nice to have some companions (and a deadline!) to give me the nudge I needed to finally make it! Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket | Ginger Makes So, here it is! Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket | Ginger Makes I’d originally planned to look for something black with gold sparkles or glitter, but this wool herringbone caught my eye at Mood and I had to have it! It was the end of the bolt and there was just enough for the jacket… must have been fate! :) I matched it to this burgundy ribbing, also from Mood. They’ve recently started to carry this ribbing in quite a few colors, in pre-cut pieces that are 38″ x 7″ ($9.95 ea). I just barely squeezed all the pattern pieces onto two pieces of ribbing. This is a heavier ribbing, like you would see in a sporty jacket, not a sweatshirt or tee, in case you’re curious. These colors are totally different than ones I usually wear, but they’re really pretty and have a sort of autumnal, collegiate feel. Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket | Ginger Makes The zipper is a metal YKK from SIL Thread, my favorite place to shop for zippers. It’s $5 for a 22″ separating zipper, and they shorten them to custom lengths for an additional $1, not bad! I think my zipper may have been shortened a tiny bit too much- we had some confusion over converting the listed metric length to imperial measurements- so it doesn’t come up quite as far as I would like it to, but, whatevs. It happens! Since my fashion fabric is pretty lightweight, like suiting, I interfaced the center fronts before installing the zipper to prevent any waviness. Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket | Ginger Makes This pattern is actually really quick and easy to sew! The welt pockets take some time to mark and sew, but that’s the hardest part and it’s over at the very beginning, so the rest of the project is a snap after that! Raglan sleeves are just so quick and easy… I definitely prefer sewing them over set-in sleeves! Speaking of sleeves, I lengthened them by 2″- I probably didn’t need to add so much length, but I like my sleeves on the long side. That’s the only alteration I made- it’s otherwise a straight XS. Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket | Ginger Makes OK, let’s talk about the lining! I agonized over whether or not I should use this lining or not for a very long time. You see, the floral print is Liberty silk twill (!), a gift from the lovely and oh-so-sweet Dibs. She sent me a meter a few years ago and I’ve been too scared to cut into it because it’s just so nice! I really hesitated before using it because I wanted to make something special, but the print goes so nicely with the herringbone and I knew that I would be happy looking at it every time I wore this jacket, so I decided to go for it. Thank you, Dibs! I didn’t have quite enough for the entire lining, so I cut the sleeves from some poly charmeuse I had leftover from my final patternmaking project (my classmate worked in the cutting room for Vera Wang and brought yardage for everyone in the class to use… so kind!). I really like the way the two fabrics work together, and I’m happy I was able to use some fun stuff from the stash. :) As I was putting the finishing touches on the jacket, I realized that it would be really easy to make one that’s reversible! I’ll have to try that sometime… wouldn’t that be fun? I wonder if anyone else has tried that! Alright, I think that’s all! Any other construction techniques or tips I used are detailed in the RBJ posts I’ve put up this month, so if you want more info on how I lined it or anything like that you can look there! Keep posting your finished bombers in the Flickr group or on Instagram, using the hashtag #rigelbomberjanuary. Reminder: Kat, Mel, and I will each pick a favorite jacket and the three makers will each get a free pattern courtesy of Katie from Papercut! Yay! Thanks so much for sewing alongside me! It’s been so much fun!!! Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket | Ginger Makes

Rigel Bomber January: Inspiration!

Y’all ready for this? ‘Cause the holidays are over, January’s here, and it’s time to sew some Rigel bomber jackets! I thought it would be fun to kick off our “sew-together” with an inspiration post! Mel posted some fabulous RTW inspiration already- have you seen her post? I wanted to show you guys some fun versions of the pattern that have already been sewn up… I’m filled with serious bomber envy just looking at these! [Note: obviously none of these photos are my own, and they’re all used with the permission of the owners. Also, when you click on each photo, you’ll be taken to the original blog post about the bomber!]

Florals are a popular choice! Check out Hanne‘s beautiful red floral Rigel:

And here’s Sally‘s fun floral:

Here’s Amanda‘s pretty floral:

And Elizabeth‘s:

Here’s Debbie‘s:

Here’s Julie‘s:

Check out Novita‘s- she made a removable fleece lining for extra warmth! It buttons in… clever!

Florals not your style? How about tiny pineapples?! Look at this fun jacket, made by Elizabeth!

Or polka dots? Check out Lucinda‘s!

I kinda can’t deal with how much I love Clare‘s:

What about a cozy version in sweatshirt fleece, like Sophie-Lee‘s? I’ll take one, please!

Esther used a knit and some stretch lace- how pretty is this?!

Look at Kim‘s faux suede! Awesome!

While we’re already visiting Kim, check out her sparkly metallic version:

What about a classic black version, like Emmie‘s?

Here’s another one from Julie:

Look at this version, from The Pretty Pickle!

Christy made a sporty version out of sparkly ponte. Fun!

This version from The New Craft Society, in quilted Liberty lawn, is fantastic!

Last but not least, I’m OBSESSED with this gorgeous Rigel from Katy & Laney in a vibrant Vlisco print:

Whaddaya think? Inspired yet??? I sure hope so!

OK, just as a reminder, we’ll be sewing together throughout the month of January. You can add your photos to our Flickr group, and our hashtag for Instagram or Twitter is #rigelbomberjanuary. You can grab a copy of the pattern here if you haven’t already. Alright… now… ready, set, Rigel!

Top 5 of 2014: Hits + Misses!

Hi, guys! A belated Merry Christmas to you, if you celebrate, and an early Happy New Year! Hope the holiday season is finding you well and with plenty of time to hang out with loved ones and just relax!

One thing I’ve loved about the end of the year the past two years has been participating in Gillian‘s Top 5 posts. It’s really fun to stop and reflect on the previous year, and to move forward into the new year with a better idea of what you love to make and wear. So I’m excited to do it again this year!

OK, let’s start off with the misses. They’re the most fun, right?

5.) Deer & Doe Plantain T-Shirt

I got tricked by the fun fuchsia animal print into buying a fabric in a color that I hate hate HATE wearing. There’s something about pale grey that makes me look and feel gross (which is weird, because I love medium and dark greys). Also, this shape was a new one for me, and I fell into the old trap of sewing something that I would never buy in a store. I wore this a few times, but ended up giving it away. I can’t even stand looking at these photos! I hate black pants (they’ve also been given away) and my skin looks LAVENDER in these pics. Yuck! Well, at least it was fun to sew!

4.) Nettie Bodysuit #2

I couldn’t think of a single way to wear this- it doesn’t go with anything in my closet and it looks especially idiotic with my usual low-cut jeans. I never sewed anything to pair it with, which probably tells you how much I liked it. Dumb fabric/pattern pairing!

3.) Colette Geometric Laurel-ish

Here’s another garment I didn’t wear even once. There’s just something about it that I don’t like, which is a shame, because I loved the fabric. It wrinkled when you just looked at it, and was kinda messy as a result. Plus, looking back at these pics, I just don’t think I got the fit right. I’d love to have a go-to shift dress in my arsenal, but I haven’t achieved that yet. Blerg!

2.) Honey Cardigan

Why did I spend hours and hours and hours and hours knitting a cardigan when I don’t even like wearing them? Why did my buttonholes only fit buttons better suited for a clown? Why do bad sweaters happen to (basically) good people? WHY?

1.) Simplicity 1690 Crop Top + Gathered Skirt

OK. IN MY DEFENSE, everyone on Pinterest wearing a crop top + midi skirt combo looks super cute! But my proportions are off and this is Frump City, Population Me. Also, HOLY COW, my FAR too anatomically-correct pattern placement!!! Try and tear your eyes away from the, uh, headlights. TRY. This whole outfit is an atrocity.

Let’s turn to happier topics, shall we? Here are my top 5 hits of 2014! [Sidenote: I wanted to cheat and choose extras, but, this post is already long enough, so know that I had some runners-up that I spared you from. I’m looking at you, Gerard!]

5.) Style Arc Romy Anorak!

This project was a real learning experience for me, which I loved. I had never really been into more detailed projects, but after this, I could totally get the appeal of taking on something difficult. It’s a real confidence builder to work through something without good instructions and to find your own way of doing things when you want to change up a pattern. Best of all, I really like the end results! I wore this tons and tons this year, and loved that it replaced an ugly “technical” jacket that I never felt good in.

4.) Ebony + Nanette Scout Tee

I made this at the tail-end of warm weather (like, late October), so I didn’t get to wear it much this year, but man, oh, man, do I love it! I love the exaggerated shape, the color combo, and the bold print. It’s just so fun! Plus, it felt like a collaboration between myself and several cool, fun bloggers, none of which I’ve ever met in real life, and I love that it’s a testament to the strength and warmth of the weird and amazing online sewing community. I’m so excited to wear this come spring!

3.) Alder Shirtdress, v.2

This was my jam for summer 2014! I looooooved the Alder Shirtdress pattern, so much, in fact, that I made three versions! This one is my favorite- I finally worked up the nerve to cut into a treasured piece of Vlisco wax print, and I’m so happy I did! The large-scale print pairs happily with the loose silhouette and it’s just so fun to wear. This was my summer uniform and I felt so happy and at ease in it.

2.) Isabel Undercover Sweatshirt

I made a concerted effort to sew more wardrobe basics this year, and I’m really happy that I did. I’m a really, really casual dresser 90% of the time, but you would never know that from the way I used to sew! The unfortunate side effect of not shopping, but also not sewing basics, was that my everyday wardrobe was in terrible condition at the beginning of this year. You could find me most days in some sort of ugly, worn, free, unisex t-shirt, paired with an ugly, worn, free, unisex hoodie. It’s hard to feel confident dressed like that! Enter the Papercut Patterns Undercover Hood, the other pattern I made three versions of this year. It’s wearable, looks really different made up in different fabrics, and has made dressing easy and fun during the week. This wool jersey version, based on an Isabel Marant sweater I saw a picture of and loved, is my favorite by a mile.

1.) M6553, v.2

It should be hard to choose a favorite garment for the year, but this was a no-brainer. Every time I look in my closet, it just jumps out at me… I love it! If I could only use a single piece of clothing to tell people who I am, it would probably be this dress. It’s bright, fun, and relaxed, things that I hope describe me (on good days). I love love love this fabric (another peer pressure collaboration THANKS CHARLOTTE) and I’m so glad I used it on a favorite pattern! It was another occasion when I finally had the courage to cut into a beloved stash fabric, and I was so pleased that I did when the dress was done. Yay!

Alright, guys, I’m really excited to hear about your hits and misses this year. Tell me! What were your biggest triumphs? Worst disappointments? Anyone else have a pattern placement problem that made a garment a bit too anatomically-correct? Do share!

Introducing… Rigel Bomber Jacket January!

Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well! I’m really excited to announce a fun new sorta-sewalong, Rigel Bomber Jacket January! The backstory: During #bpsewvember, I posted a photo of my Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber pattern and mentioned that I really need to make the time to sew it. Kat and Mel chimed in that they also want to make it, and thought we should organize to sew it together in January- fantastic idea! There were quite a few others interested in making this (Katie, Heather, Erika, Georgina, Oh, She Dabbles), and I’m hoping lots of you will want to join in, too! I know not everyone loves sewalongs, but I really like the opportunity to sew alongside other people and see how you guys make a pattern your own. Plus, it seems like it’s a pattern that quite a few of us already have, but need a little extra motivation to work through! And who doesn’t want to see a whole flock of babes outfitted in bomber jackets???? OK, let’s talk details! We’re going to sew throughout January and reveal our finished jackets at the end of the month. That gives you a few weeks to gather your materials and order the pattern, if you don’t already have it. Luckily, Papercut just released a PDF version of this pattern for those of you who don’t want to wait for a hard copy (plus it’s a bit cheaper, at around 15USD). Sweet! We aren’t planning to do a full, step-by-step sewalong, but Kat, Mel, and I will share inspiration and helpful tips. You can join our Flickr group to share images of your jackets, and we can share in-progress shots and chatter on IG and Twitter using #rigelbomberjanuary.  Keep a lookout for more details in early January! What a way to beat the post-holiday blues, right? But wait, there’s more! Katie from Papercut has generously offered prizes, hooray! Kat, Mel, and I will each choose a favorite Rigel and each “winner” will receive a free Papercut pattern! But really, we’ll all be winners cause we’ll all have sweeeeeeeeeet jackets!

Guys, I’m so excited about this! OK, so, snag a pattern, get your supplies together, grab a badge (designed by the super talented Mel!), and start planning your dream jacket! Rigel Jacket January Here’s the code for your sidebar: <a href=””><img alt=”Rigel Bomber Jacket January” height=”250″ src=”; title=”Introducing… Rigel Bomber Jacket January!” width=”250″ /></a>

What do you think? Are you in? What fabric are you considering?


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