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Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Our son dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. At the time we were deciding on our costumes, his game character was wearing Zora armor, so he specifically requested to wear that gear as his costume. We brought up his character in-game and took photos for reference!

I made the blue shirt and stealth leggings by hacking Simplicity 1030. It’s a Captain America costume pattern in which the lower half of the shirt is pieced stripes. (Side note: I am really impressed with the design of this pattern. Often costume patterns are badly drafted and ill-fitting, but this is not the case for Simplicity 1030! The style lines and construction are well-done!). The upper part of the shirt has some nice style lines that were perfect for Link’s blue shirt, so I combined the side panel pieces to extend as one piece from the underarm to the hem and lengthened the upper torso pattern pieces to the hem. The result was a very sharp-looking athletic shirt, and I’m contemplating making it again with another fabric!

I added the side accents by layering some scraps I cut into the proper shapes and attaching them to the shirt with basting stitches. The blue fabric I used for the shirt and pants was an interesting athletic knit I found in the clearance section of G Street Fabrics, but it was difficult to stitch, so I thought it would be better for those side panels to be temporary. We will likely repurpose the shirt and leggings as winter pajamas!

I found a free jacket pattern (in my son’s size!) that was the perfect starting point for the scale jacket, and I hacked it beyond recognition, haha! I used a sueded fabric that was handed down to me in a bin of fabrics–it was the perfect color. After I cut the outer layer pieces, I hand-cut all the scales and sewed them in rows before stitching the pieces together.

My final contribution to the Link outfit was the beaded bandolier. I used Sculpey (polymer clay) to mold the moon medallion and the long beads (in retrospect, perhaps dry ziti would have been a lighter weight and easier solution for the long beads!). I strung them with some plastic faceted beads, and my husband spray painted them all with chrome paint. I used a scrap of vinyl to create the “leather” strap that goes over his shoulder, and the beaded strand is attached to key rings I stitched to the ends!

Now, on to the showstopper parts of the costume: the armor!

Husband sketched out the armor pieces on paper after studying the reference photos we took of all angles of Link, cutting out the paper templates to test sizing on our son. When he was satisfied with the design, he traced the pieces on to layers of craft foam and cut them out by hand. After constructing the pauldrons, bracers, and faulds (hip guards), he spray painted them with chrome paint. If we make foam armor in the future, Husband notes that he will apply some sort of sealant to the foam before spray painting to prevent the metallic paint from soaking into the foam and give a shinier end result.

The pauldrons are pinned to the shoulders of the scale jacket.

The faulds are threaded onto the belt with elastic loops that are adhered on the back.

The bracers have elastic straps for our son to wear them on his forearms.

The greaves (shin guards) are also constructed from craft foam, which Husband hand-painted with brown and metallic gold craft paint.

We had a lot of fun taking action photos of our soon acting as Link during our photoshoot at the pumpkin patch…

(No healthy pumpkins were harmed in the making of this trick shot!)

This last photo is a little teaser: Husband created Sheikah slates for our Zelda and Link! Stay tuned for a guest post from him about how he made them!

Summary of patterns:
shirt: Simplicity 1030 (hacked)
scale jacket: Shwin and Shwin Mr. Postman (hacked)
pants: Simplicity 1030 (lengthened)
belt, shoes: ready-to-wear

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Our daughter dressed as Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

We found some amazing reference images from a book of concept art (aff link), and those images gave some great insight into the layers we needed to create.

We used ready-to-wear leggings and boots on her lower half, and we spent our energy creating the layers on her upper half.

The first layer was a blouse with lantern sleeves, and I used the Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up (aff link) as my starting point. The main hacks I made were to the collar and sleeves. Zelda has a tall collar closed with a single round button, so to create that effect on my daughter’s blouse, I increased the height of the collar stand and omitted the collar pieces altogether. I was pleased with how easy it was! Since there is no visible placket on the character’s blouse (fantasy means no practical concerns such as how you put on a garment!), I added hidden snaps between the placket layers.

I used a modified version of the Melly Sews lantern sleeve hack: instead of inserting a rectangle, I used a trapezoid shape. That resulted in an ungathered seam at the elbow and an asymetric blousing effect at the cuff. I stitched the gathers to wide elastic and then covered the elastic with a cuff made from the same knit as the jacket. If I were to do this again, I would omit the elastic and just stitch the gathers into a cuff!

The middle layer was a jacket effect. Since there were no visible closures (again!) and raglan sleeves on Zelda’s, I decided to use the Blank Slate Rivage Raglan (aff link) as my base pattern and an aqua knit I found in the clearance section of G Street Fabrics. After making a quick trial version from scrap knit, I added 2″ of height toward the neckline on the back and sleeve sections, drew the notches in the hemline and sleeves, and modified my pattern pieces. After I cut and assembled the new hacked pieces, I started adding the gold trim. Let me tell you, lamé bias tape is no joke to work with! I also realized only after I’d opened my packages that I’d purchased single-fold bias tape, rather than double-fold! It was an adventure, but I took it slowly, stitching it on with a long stitch length in clear thread (and just plain white in the bobbin). (I will admit that this costume was an exercise in not letting perfection be the enemy of the good…).

I cut the decorative shape at the neckline from craft foam, painted it with a few coats of metallic gold paint, and attached it at the front, behind which the gold crosspieces are pinned in place: I wanted to have enough room for her to get her head in and out!.

The outermost layer is a corset effect (velcro closure in the back), which I constructed from scratch. I added batting and quilted the design, adding the top bands of gold trim over a strip of aqua fabric to match her jacket layer. Husband created the “leather” belt from craft foam. He scored and heated it to give the effect of leather tooling before painting it brown and giving it a wash of black paint for further depth.

He also created the Triforce medallion from layers of craft foam and painted the details with metallic gold paint. We simply hot-glued it in place!

The final touch was her hairstyle! I have no idea why I have not used YouTube for braiding tutorials before–now this has opened a whole new can of worms, haha! THIS video was the perfect tutorial for this cute headband braid style: I learned some new tricks, and we’re excited to keep trying some more in the future.

We got some absolutely beautiful (if I do say so myself) photos of our daughter acting as Zelda during our photoshoot at the pumpkin patch…

Summary of patterns:
blouse: Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up* (hacked)
jacket layer: Blank Slate Rivage Raglan* (hacked)
corset: made from scratch
leggings, boots: ready-to-wear

*affiliate link

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My children talk almost nonstop about their progress playing through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild! Since they love the game so much, it was the perfect source for costume inspiration. Without further ado, I present Link and Zelda from Breath of the Wild!

Our son specifically requested to wear Link’s Zora armor, which is what his character in the game was wearing at the time we decided on our costumes.

The costumes were a collaboration between Husband and me: he made all the foam accessories (Link’s armor pieces and brooch, Zelda’s belt and Triforce medallion, and the Sheikah slates), while I focused on the fabric pieces (and I made Link’s beaded bandolier).

During our photo shoot at a nearby pumpkin patch, they had a really great time getting into character and acting out scenes for the camera.

I’m thrilled with the costumes, and I think our children are, too!

I will do separate posts (Zelda, Link) with details for each costume and one for the Sheikah slates, but until then, here is a list of the patterns I used:

Zelda:
blouse: Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up* (hacked)
jacket layer: Blank Slate Rivage Raglan* (hacked)
corset: made from scratch
leggings, boots: ready-to-wear

Link:
shirt: Simplicity 1030 (hacked)
scale jacket: Shwin and Shwin Mr. Postman (hacked)
pants: Simplicity 1030 (lengthened)
belt, shoes: ready-to-wear

*affiliate link

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When Melissa asked me if I’d like the opportunity to sew up one of her new fabrics through Riley Blake, I jumped at the chance!!

I sewed up the sunshiny-golden geometric print into a Bexley dress from Blank Slate Patterns (<– aff link). This cotton-spandex knit is so soft and the perfect weight for the dress. Ask your favorite fabric shop to stock this line– it’s gorgeous and includes rayon challis and knits!

I feel like I’m wearing sunshine when I wear this dress!

Thank you, Melissa!

disclosure: I was gifted this fabric in exchange for sewing it into a Blank Slate pattern. All opinions are my own!

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There’s something about a vacation that makes me decide to sew something at the last minute… The week before our beach vacation at the end of August, I decided that a new maxi dress was a necessity, haha!

On the Wednesday before our trip, I cut out and sewed a test version of the pattern to check the fit. By the end of Thursday, I’d sewn everything but the hem on the actual dress. On Friday night, I added the hem, and we left for the beach on Saturday morning!

It was a wonderful combination of what I had in my stash. I’d downloaded the Manassa maxi dress from Sew News in May of 2020, and I had this amazing galaxy print cotton spandex jersey knit from LA Finch Fabrics from an end-of-bolt sale back in December of 2019. A perfect match!

I love everything about this dress, and it was so fun to wear!

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I just had a “big” birthday, and I decided to celebrate in part by making myself a dress!

I’ve had this cherry-printed blue poplin in my fabric collection for a while– I’d purchased it for another project that didn’t quite work out, and so I was saving it for the perfect dress. After making and wearing the Simplicity 8051 dresses for my #epicdressproject, I knew I wanted to use this fabric for another one! I decided that even though the construction process is not my favorite, I liked view B better enough to make it again. I used the same modifications and revised bodice construction as I detailed in my Minnie Mouse ‘bound blog post.

The decision to make the dress was quick and a bit last-minute! It’s been a busy year, so even though I really wanted to make and wear this dress, I was having a hard time getting motivated, even though I’d only given myself about two weeks to complete the project. I decided to document my progress in my Instagram stories and if you’d like to see a series of timelapses and progress photos, you can check out my saved “Bdaydress2021” instagram highlight!

Husband surprised me with a trip to Philadelphia on the weekend of my birthday, and I was so pleased that the weather was perfect for me to wear my dress! We enjoyed walking through the city and spent most of Saturday in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It had been decades since I’d been there last!



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In mid-February, I decided to a bit of sewing. It was the first garment project I’d started since my epic dress project. The sun was shining, the kids were outside playing, and I decided to break out some fabric I bought at the end of 2019 and a pattern I purchased in 2016! Ever since I bought the pattern, I’ve been wanting to make the Halifax Hoodie from Hey June Handmade.

I found this lightweight grey French terry at LA Finch Fabrics, and I absolutely love it. It is super soft and has a wonderful drape. I made view E in size XL with no modifications.

I took my time with this project, adding some topstitching details along the wrapped side seams and along the hem band and cuffs. I ended up playing thread chicken a few times, too!

In the end, I finished it in time for an early March spring break trip to the beach. It was absolutely the perfect thing to wear when it was windy or cool in the evening.

Husband was my persistent and patient photographer on this day at the beach. It was so windy! It was kind of challenging to get photos that showed the sweatshirt at its best (rather than poofed out like a full sail!). It got pretty silly… and of course there are always the shells to distract me…

I’ve been wearing this sweatshirt on repeat ever since… And I have my eye out for the perfect fabric to make another one (or more!).

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I’ve been wanting to make myself a new handbag for a while, but apparently I needed a deadline to motivate myself! We took a spring break trip to somewhere nice and warm, and about a week before, I decided to start on this project, haha.

I used the Thistle Tote pattern, which is a free pattern from Blue Calla. This designer came highly recommended to me, and the pattern didn’t disappoint! Not only is it a lovely design, the instructions are very clear and the construction is very straightforward.

I bought the floral cotton on clearance a couple of years ago to use to make cloth napkins, and shortly thereafter inherited a huge stack of napkins, so this fabric has just been waiting for a new purpose. I’m excited that it will coordinate with my aqua cold-weather jacket and also look good in warmer seasons (the first example being our trip to the beach!). The blue and aqua solids that I used as accents and lining fabrics are remnants from other projects! I had recently received some hand-me-down (but new!) fleece interfacing from a neighbor, and I was able to scrounge scraps of fusible interfacing from other projects. I love when I can use what I already have. I even had the zippers and coverable button on hand! The only things I purchased for this project were one of the magnetic snaps and the strap hardware, and some thread (and that will be useful for future projects as well).

The prize for “I-had-it-on-hand-ness” goes to the piping, though!! I made this piping in 2011 (!!!) for my Amy Butler Field Bag, and I had just a short length left. It was the first piping I’d made, and I was very proud of it, so there was no way I was going to throw away the scrap! As I was waffling around about what fabrics to use where for this purse, I pulled it out, and lo and behold, it was literally the exact length I needed to add to the top of this purse. It was SO SATISFYING!!

I made the pattern almost exactly as-written. The only modifications I made were to insert two interior zipper pockets (rather than one plus a slip pocket), and I added a zipper pocket to the exterior back as well.

I really like that the strap is adjustable so I can wear this purse cross-body or over my shoulder!

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Last August, I started this pair of white Garnet Shorts (affiliate links used where available, at no cost to you, but I may earn a small commission!). As soon as I finished my denim pair, I knew I wanted to make a white pair. I got them fully constructed, but when I tried to buy buttons, there were only 9 at the store, not the 12 I needed! The buttons were on backorder, and got lost in the shuffle of restocking after COVID-related supply chain issues. I finally acquired the rest of the buttons I needed, just in time for a warm and sunny spring break this March!

I used the same pattern pieces as my denim version, but I adjusted the front rise length a bit more. However, the biggest modification that I made was to fully line them. The white twill (from my stash) was going to be just a bit too sheer for shorts, and so I used white cotton (also from my stash) as the lining layer.

To add my lining: I constructed the outer layer (front and back, including pockets) as written, but stopped before adding the bias binding. I then taped my pocket pattern piece to the front pattern piece to cut my front lining pieces, and constructed my lining layer with no pockets. I stitched my outer layer and lining layers right sides together, understitched as far as possible, turned them right side out, and topstitched the finished edge. From this point, I followed the written pattern instructions to attach my waistband and finish the shorts.

I love the vintage vibe from these shorts, and I know I will get a lot of use out of this pair! For my first outfit, I decided to put together a Donald Duck Disneybound look–

why yes, I did wear a yellow mask… too “on the nose?” ::wink, wink!::

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I was honored to be able to test another Just an E pattern– the Presentation Pin Pouch! Abbe’s pattern released this weekend, and you can find it in her Etsy shop.

This pouch is such a cute way to display your pins! I love that you can show them off and keep them safe!

I made the smaller size, which measures 5″x5″ when finished; the pattern also includes pieces for a larger pouch with a finished size of 7″x7″. The pouch has a clear vinyl window in the front so that you can see the padded pin insert inside.

The pattern is so easy to follow, with tips for working with vinyl, which makes it a great one for beginners working with vinyl, leather and cork.

The zipper at the top opens so that you can pull out the padded pin display insert:

With one pouch, you can make multiple inserts to show off pretty fabrics and different sets of pins. The instructions include a wristlet strap so you can either clip your Presentation Pin Pouch to a larger bag or use it on its own.

Abbe’s patterns are always so clear and well-written. Go check out her shop and get sewing!

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