Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sewing For Yourself: Me Made May 2015 & Personal Style

As May begins, we here at Stonemountain and the Fabric Lady blog would like to invite all of you to participate in Me Made May 2015.  If you aren't familiar, Me Made May is a month long celebration of everything handmade. Participants are encouraged to wear a handmade item for as many days of the month as they can, document it and share their images through social media. This tradition, now in its 5th year, aims to encourage makers of all skill levels to share their wears with a larger community of sewists.

Burda Skirt 8282, New Look Top 6267

We love the idea of this tradition and feel like the message is so in-tune with the Stonemountain philosophy of making.  Supporting local businesses and curating your own handmade wardrobe is increasingly important these days.  The garment industry and "fast fashion" are far from perfect, and making your own clothes gives makers a more sustainable, eco-friendly, and humane way to dress themselves.  So join us while we participate in Me Made May 2015!

The New Hippy Pants 

They say that if you wait long enough, styles will come back in season. Having been in Berkeley for most of my adult life, I'd like to say that we lived first hand the bohemian lifestyle and the soft, easy clothing that is the Boho-chic we still see today.

This free spirited way of dressing comes naturally to me. My father had the first Hippie counter culture fabric store in Los Angels in the 60's.  The clothing that came out of this era is enjoying a resurgence in popular retail outlets today.

We were going for the hippie look when we picked out these great palazzo pants from New Look (pattern 6271) and found the perfect block print cotton gauze from India!

Working with this fabric is easy, but you have to watch for the inconsistencies in the dying process. The selvage edges of this piece did not absorb the dyes evenly and they were heavily crinkled, so it was a good thing that we allowed for some waste in cutting our pattern.  Basically two pant lengths will be enough for this pattern, avoiding the selvage edges.

The pattern has both elastic and a drawstring at the slightly lowered waist.  You could leave the elastic out and just hold them up with the drawstring.  We added both. The thing to remember about slip-on pants is to make sure that the elastic waist is large enough to slip up over your thighs and hips.

Laurel uses a long thin paintbrush to turn my drawstring right side out. It's tricky to start the turning process in such a narrow drawstring, but once you get it going, it falls into place.  You can also try using a bodkin or a loop turner - it makes the process very easy!

I love the way these pants flow.  The fabric you choose needs to be soft if you're going for the Boho look, especially because the elastic waist could be bulky of the fabric is too stiff or heavy.

An Effortless Top, Two Ways

Another staple of the Boho look is the classic peasant blouse.  We've made New Look's 6267 before and loved the ease and comfort of the styling.  We made our first blouse in a gorgeous combination of silks in a great neutral palette, but we thought we'd try it again. It's amazing to see how a pattern can change depending on the fabric you choose!

This time we chose a soft crinkled cotton voile.  What do you know, another drawstring! Drawstrings are a popular characteristic in the Boho style - they add a relaxed look and feel to clothing that is effortless and chic.  

This time around I paired them with my awesome linen pants that Laurel made in Summer of 2013. These pants are made with linen that Laurel treated with Sandra Betzina's great instructions...

"If you want for your linen to wrinkle a lot less, do the following: Before you preshrink, open the windows and iron the linen with the hottest dry iron possible, to set a wrinkle-less finish,which is already on the fabric. Next, throw in a little detergent and wash and dry in the hottest water and hottest dryer you have. Take out of the dryer when close to bone dry. You will notice that smaller softer wrinkles have replaced the hard crease usually associated with the fabric."

We love how this top turned out, just as wearable and gorgeous as the first time, but a different feel. It's amazing how one sewing pattern can be integrated into different wardrobes. Laurel loved how the palazzo pants turned out so much that she's making a pair for herself from some of our rayon challis!

We all have our own personal style and ways of wearing our clothes, which is just another reason why sewing for yourself is so fun and important. It gives each and every one of us an opportunity to express ourselves in our own unique way, whether your a Boho gal, a modern prepster, a vintage maven or something in between. Join us in celebrating Me Made May and make something for yourself that you'll wear and love.

with gratitude,

p.s. I love these pants so much here's a preview of my next pair of palazzo pants!

1 comment:

  1. I had to sew my clothes growing up and even made my children's clothes after I married. Glad to see people still do that.

    Thanks for visiting. I have seen Mom's ferns that thick but not in years.