Emery Dress No. 2 + 5 Sewing Tips for Beginners!

Aloha friends! Spring is in the air and it's officially time to bust this dress (and these pictures) out of the archives. This lovely is my second Emery dress and i must say... I love it just as much as my first Emery. The shilouette is classic and can be dressed up or down depending on the fabric used and the alterations (i.e. shorter skirt, no sleeves, flowy fabric). If you would like an in depth review of this sewing pattern then check out THIS POST

 Garment:  Emery Dress  by Christine Haynes // Fabric:  Pear by Call Me Chartreuse

Garment: Emery Dress by Christine Haynes // Fabric: Pear by Call Me Chartreuse

There are so many benefits to sewing your own clothes (can we talk about the customization!!!!), but it can be hard to know where to start since there is a ton of information out there!

Because I love you all, here are 5 Sewing Tips for Beginners that have helped me the most in my sewing journey. 

1. Oil your machine! I know, I know...sounds way too simple right? Trust me, wether you have a $50 machine or a $1,000 machine a clean machine makes all the difference. It'll run a whole lot quieter and smoother if it's free of lint and freshly oiled.

2. Get yourself a walking foot. A walking foot provides you with an extra set of grips on top of your work to help the fabric feed easier, which prevents the top fabric from shifting while you sew. It's especially great for matching stripes, slippery fabric, and stretchy fabric. This presser foot is by far my favorite sewing accessory and very rarely leaves my machine.  

 Bernina Walking Foot... insert heart eye emoji.

Bernina Walking Foot... insert heart eye emoji.

3. Use a pencil for tracing pattern pieces onto fabric. This tip I learned from Jen of Grainline Studios. Pencil is great because it shows up on a wide variety of fabrics, doesn't smudge like a chalk tracer, and doesn't disappear after ten minutes. Cut just inside the pencil lines when you are done tracing and you are good to go.

4. Start with a pattern that has a sew-a-long. When an indie designer releases a new pattern often times they will also host a sew-a-long on their blog with in depth pictures and instructions regarding that particular pattern. This is a great option if you find yourself staring at the original written instructions going "wait....WHAT?!" every 5 seconds. 

5. Unsure about the fit of a pattern? Make a muslin!!!!! If you are unsure about how a garment is going to fit buy some cheap fabric and make a practice piece. For my first Emery I was pretty sure i'd have to shorten the bodice and was positive i'd have to do a small Bust Adjustment (SBA), so instead of cutting directly into my final fabric I cut out the bodice pieces in some cheap fabric and basted it together to see where i'd have to make those adjustments. which means you will be much happier with the fit of the final piece. If it's my first time sewing a pattern that has techniques I haven't done before or if I want to test the fit (but still be able to wear the piece if it comes out good) I make a wearable muslin from a low cost pretty fabric. 

**Bonus** Head to Sprout Patterns for easy peasy customizable cut-and-sew projects. Sprout combines Indie sewing patterns with designs from the Spoonflower community. Just pick a sewing pattern (from pouches to baby clothes to adult garments) and chose the design. All you have to do is cut it out and sew it up! To pair a garment with one of my own designs search by designer when choosing a design and type in Call Me Chartreuse. I purchased a Lark tee in my Camera pattern, so i'll be sure to report back. 

 Pear fabric//Call Me Chartreuse

Pear fabric//Call Me Chartreuse

What sewing tips would you give to a beginner?? Let me know in the comments!

Dressed in Donuts

Donut Dress 01

Hello friends! I present to you my Donut Emery Dress. Sometimes it can be hard to visualize how a simple piece of fabric can be molded into something functional. I thought I'd get those wheels spinning by turning one of my own fabric designs into a wearable garment that would make even Ms. Frizzle proud (I know i'm not the only one who still watches The Magic School Bus). 

 Dress: Made by Me using  Donut You Want Some (purple)  | Garment Pattern:  Emery by Christine Haynes

Dress: Made by Me using Donut You Want Some (purple) | Garment Pattern: Emery by Christine Haynes

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The fabric is Donut You Want Some in purple printed on Kona Cotton. The garment pattern I used is Emery by Christine Haynes. After stalking every Emery made, I finally caved and bought the pattern. This dress is a lovely, simple, and classic silhouette which makes it the THE perfect garment to display boutique patterns in all their glory. The best part....it has pockets!!!!!!! It can't get any better than that. 

I made a quick muslin to see where I needed to adjust the fit. I ended up doing a small bust adjustment and shortened the bodice so that the waist falls at my natural waistline. On the muslin, I shortened the skirt by a few inches, but decided not to alter the length after all. I made this dress specifically for my brother's college graduation. I left the sleeves off because I was assuming that there was going to be some semblance of warmth in Rochester, Ny... boy was I wrong. Good thing it was held inside because it was freezing. Any who, I must say I really am infatuated with this dress. I even have donut earrings to match! 

Donut Dress 04
 left: old size || right: updated size

left: old size || right: updated size

 three color ways available printed on Kona Cotton

three color ways available printed on Kona Cotton

The fabric is available in my Spoonflower Shop in three different color ways. I changed the scale of the pattern in order to make it more suitable for smaller projects (this dress was made with the old size). While the Kona Cotton is a dream to work with, it does have a tendency to fade a bit with the first wash. The good news is that the basic cotton ultra and the new cotton lawn ultra fabric bases don't fade at all. Hip Hip Hurray for bright colors! 

#LindenSwap

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Hi guys! Happy Tuesday. This past week has been a huge whirlwind of events/emotions. My father-in-law passed away a week and a half ago, so I took that time off to spend time with family and help get things in order for the memorial service. Dealing with the death of a loved one plus being away from the studio for so long is not the best recipe, but spending time with relatives that I haven't seen in awhile (some I met first time) was worth the time away. It also gave me a chance to get back into really working in my sketchbook. Not to figure out ideas (although i do use it for that), but to use the page to rest.

Now what you came for... the Linden Swap! To recap, Carrie of Oh She Dabbles and Ingrid of We The Sewing started a swap for all those who adore the awesomeness that is Grainline Studios' Linden Sweatshirt. This was my first time participating in a swap, so I was a tad bit nervous. It's weird to not to try on a garment throughout the process of sewing it, but it turned out to be such a great experience that i'd totally do it again!

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I swapped a Linden with Jess from Wardrobe Ecology and this is the one she sent me! Isn't it lovely?! She made View B for me since my first Linden had long sleeves. The patterned fabric is an organic cotton jersey from Feral Childe called "Somthin' Else" and combined that with a mid-weight black knit fabric. I did a happy dance when I opened the package because it's so......ME! Our tastes seem very similar when it comes to wardrobe, so i'm not surprised that she read me so well. 

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If you would like to see the Linden I made for her go check out her Instagram :) Carrie recently posted the first round up of swapped Lindens. You can see those HERE.

p.s. I'm back in the studio and trying to get more organized. I'm in desperate need of some sort of planner or weekly calendar that has a good amount of writing room. If you have any suggestions for a functional and beautiful planner let me know in the comments. 

First Make of 2015

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Of course my first make of 2015 had to be a Grainline's Linden Sweatshirt. I've been hoarding this fabric not knowing what to make with it and finally decided that it'd be quite fitting as a Linden. This knit is a red and navy St. James stripe. I bought it from the sale bin at a local shop in Alaska, but I'm pretty sure that I found it on Fabric.com...or at least its look-a-like.

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This linden is a hodge-podge of view A and B. I used the front bodice and hemming method from B and the sleeve length and back bodice from view A. I'm really diggin' the high low effect it gave the shirt. I cut a size 0 and the only alteration I made was shortening the sleeve by about an inch. Since I didn't make a muslin I just made an educated guess based off of the other Grainline patterns I've made up (specifically the Archer). 

Can we take a second to check out that stripe matching?! I love stripes and last year vowed to get more of them into my wardrobe, but boy do they make me anxious. I tend to stare at the fabric for a good ten minutes getting up the nerve to cut into it.  Luckily this knit is medium weight, so it didn't shift and stretch a lot. It also retained it's shape well after pre-washing which is awesome!! 

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p.s. Carrie of Oh She Dabbles and Ingrid of We The Sewing started a Linden Swap on Instagram! I'm sure it's not too late to get in on it. I ordered my fabric for my partner's (@Jesssomewhere) Linden and hopefully it'll get here by next week, soon excited!! Who else is participating in the swap??

p.p.s. I realized I never actually explained the why behind my want to create a handmade wardrobe...i'll get on that :)

Black, White and Knit all Over

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Today I present to you the Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes. One of the four finished garments I've finished recently. The Marianne is Christine's newly released sewing pattern. As soon as I saw the post saying it was available I knew I HAD to make one…add to that a kit including this beautiful black and white striped knit and I was swooning. It's seriously the softest silkiest knit ever! All of the fabric kits are sold out, but there are still notion kits available. 

I ordered an organic black knit from Fabric.com in order to make view B. Pretty sure I still have enough of the black and white knit to make view A as well. My measurements were between size 0 and size 2, so I just cut the 0 since it included a good amount of ease already.I might cut a size 2 as well to make a drapier (?) version. If you look closely you can see that I left off the buttons on the cuffs. No life shattering explanation behind that choice…I just didn't have enough buttons plus I put myself on a sewing "no buy" for the rest of December haha. The struggle is real. 

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This is a super quick sew and after cutting can easily be sewed up in a few hours. The instructions are clear and include notes on how to sew this dress up on a regular machine or a serger. There's really not much to say other than how much I love love love this dress. I'm definitely going to be making a whole heap of these… especially for summer. 

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Keep a look out for the Marianne Sew-A-Long in the beginning of January! I'm already plotting my next version. 

Neon Alder Shirtdress

 Dress | Alder Shirtdress // Boots | Macy's sales rack (old) // Backpack | PINK by Victoria Secret

Dress | Alder Shirtdress // Boots | Macy's sales rack (old) // Backpack | PINK by Victoria Secret

Hey gang! I'm sure you all know how obsessed I am with Grainline Studio (if you don't know, now you know). Jen's patterns never miss their mark… so comfy, so stylish, so simple… pretty much everything I want from my wardrobe. When she announced that she was going to be releasing a shirtdress pattern (lovingly dubbed the Alder Shirtdress) I was ecstatic! The anticipation was too great, I had to buy three different fabrics in preparation for the release. This is Alder number one, made from Michael Miller's Neon Dots in pink from Purl Soho with neon pink bias binding (also from Purl Soho). I had to work quickly to sew this up before we moved and after some technical difficulties, I finally took proper pictures of it. 

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There's not much to say about the pattern other than that it is AMAZING! I bought the printed pattern instead of the PDF, so I saved time by not having to cut and tape pages together. I traced off a size 2, but i could of gotten away with tracing off the 0. Since this was the first time I've dealt with bust darts i made a muslin because I knew I'd have to do some alterations. I ended up moving the bust darts up 1 inch and shortened the dress by 1.5 inches (give or take a few). It's a quick make since you don't have to deal with sleeves (yay!!), but you still get the satisfaction of have a finished button up.

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 Pretty neon bias binding from Purl Soho…I totally should have bought more than I did.

Pretty neon bias binding from Purl Soho…I totally should have bought more than I did.

 The guts...

The guts...

If you've been on the fence about buying this pattern or any other from Grainline Studio then get off that fence and go for it! Once we get settled into our new house I'll be whipping up at least 2 more of these (one with sleeves of course). 

p.s. Did I mention that she just released the Linden Sweatshirt?! yeah… you might want to jump on that too haha. Have a great weekend!!!

Anima Pants + Where I've Been

 Shirt |  Chambray Archer  // Pants | Anima Pants // Shoes | Black Vans

Shirt | Chambray Archer // Pants | Anima Pants // Shoes | Black Vans

Hey team! I know I've been M.I.A. for a few weeks, so before I get into the AMAZING creation that is the Anima Pant which you see above, let us play a wee bit of catch up first.

  • Our time was up in Alaska which meant... MOVING TIME!!!! I had a bunch of garments I wanted to get sewn up before I had to be forcefully separated from my beloved sewing machine, so I had to sew like i've never sewn before. which also means i have a few un-blogged garments that will be making their way onto the blog. Thank God the army handles all the moving details because moving is stressful, especially when it's considered an overseas move.
  • The day before we were scheduled to fly out I had a flair up of an unidentified chronic illness…which meant I was down for the count once we reached our destination.
  • My husband and I have been taking his younger sister on college tours. Ubber exciting!
  • Went to an Atlanta Falcons game….ATL won by a landslide. The perfect game to go to for my first NFL game.
  • Made a trip to North Carolina (where we will be next) to check out the area and make a decision about where we were going to live.
  • Lastly, we've just been taking this time to visit with family and enjoy being back on the east coast.
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Now to the main attraction…the Anima Pant by Papercut Patterns. How much do i love the Anima Pant??? Let me count the ways. seriously though these are THE most comfortable pants i have ever worn…plus they are unbelievably quick to sew up. These took me two days from tracing the pattern to sewing, so once you trace off the pattern you can crank out a few pairs in a matter of days!

I traced off the second to smallest size (maybe size xs…can't remember off the top of my head) and they fit great! For this pair I used Tomahawk Stripe in Knit from the Arizona collection by April Rhodes. I added an inch or so to the elastic at the waist and left off the ankle cuffs. Other than that, no additional alterations were needed.  

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 Check out those matching side seams!!!! I'm so proud of myself!!

Check out those matching side seams!!!! I'm so proud of myself!!

Pants can be quite intimidating when it comes to sewing (at least for me they are). These are a great "first pair of pants" sewing boost if you are in need of one. Comfort + style + great fit + little effort and time = WINNER! 

p.s. hip hip hooray for another handmade outfit!! if you missed the post about my Archer you can find it  Follow me on Instagram (@CallMeChartreuse) for sneak peeks and updates.

p.p.s. FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING is available in my shop from now until October 12th (midnight PDT). Use this link>>> http://society6.com/CallMeChartreuse?promo=WPN6HWB3JNYQ <<< if you want to take advantage of this promotion. ***excludes stretched canvases, framed prints, and rugs*** 

What do you find intimidating when it comes to sewing??

Archer x 3

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Raise your hand if you remember Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus… don't fret, I'm definitely going somewhere with this :) If you remember Ms. Frizzle, then you remember how each dress she wore was a perfect match for whatever crazy awesome field trip the class was about to go on. My husband and I have been watching it again on Netflix and seeing her in those colorful, loud, and quirky outfits made me want to create and customize a wardrobe that would fit me perfectly. 

After stumbling upon Grainline Studio (an independent pattern shop), I knew that Jen's Archer and Scout Woven Tee would be the first new additions to my closet. 

 &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Archer #1: wearable muslin

                                   Archer #1: wearable muslin

I made my first Archer a wearable muslin and sewed up a size 0 as is, in order to get a feel for how to construct the shirt and to see how it fit. Archer #1 was very straightforward. I used a cotton fabric from Joann's and followed Jen's sew-a-long on her blog. As the shirt was coming together I grew less and less fond of my fabric choice (the color…not the actual fabric). I can't even remember what made me pick up that color… wait… I think it was because if the shirt turned out horribly then I wouldn't be too upset. Therefore the lack of attachment was purposeful, but i digress. It came out great and the only alteration that would need to be made for my future Archers is to shorten the sleeves a bit. I actually find myself reaching for this version a lot which is a nice surprise.

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                                                                                Archer #2

Archer #2 is a sleeveless archer (following her Archer Variation #1 directions) with french seams and is my version of color blocking. First off let me say that I absolutely love the finished product, but my fabric choice proved to be a huge pain. There was a lot of yelling coming form the sewing room that day. I used a brown linen fabric from Joann's and a stunning Dahlia cotton fabric from Fabricworm. The linen was not the smartest choice. It's too light and stretchy to be paired with the more structured cotton, so i had to do a lot of seam ripping and re-adjusting. Not to mention I cut the right front button band wrong not once, not twice, but three times! Both fabrics were leftovers from previous projects, so it's a miracle I had enough to get it done.

I used the Dahlia fabric to add some awesome accents, as well as a way to stabilize the linen. 

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                                                 Armhole binding close up.

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                                                                                       Archer #3 

Now we come to Archer #3 made in the dreamiest Robert Kaufman Chambray. The sleeves are shortened in this version and I also took the sides in a half inch. Everything was gong smoothly until it came time for me to french seam the side seams. This fabric, as amazing as it is, is the same on the right side of the fabric and the wrong side. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that about this chambray, but I ended up doing the first step of the french seam on the wrong side of the shirt and didn't realize until I had graded my seam allowance. That led to a double french seam (which i'm sure I just made up haha) and a lot more yelling. 

On a brighter note, because the fabric is double sided I was able to do the alternate archer pocket. Yay! 

All in all the pattern is amazing and I'm already cutting out my fourth Archer :) don't be surprised if I end up with twenty of these.  

My husband was kind enough to take these pictures for me. If you want to see more head over to my flickr.