Halloween 2014 – Haunted Mansion

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Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew AnitaDisney’s Haunted Mansion is turning 45 this year, so of course I wanted to honor my favorite ride by dressing up as one of its cast members this Halloween (here are some of the photos I used as reference). And I am super excited to share it with you! This is a long time in the making sort of thing too. I originally decided I wanted to dress up as one of the Haunted Mansion cast member two years ago, but had no luck finding the perfect fabrics till this year, when I finally lucked out and found this amazing green twill for $5/yard on Fabric.com. So I happily ordered myself five yards of it. To add more details, I decided to buy one yard of this fabric that replicate’s Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion’s wallpaper from Spoonflower. It looks cool, not as vibrant as I would like it, but still super cool. And in a stroke of luck, a few days before starting to sew this, I got together with a few other friends for a fabric swap, and one of them had that amazing glittery black fabric, and it occurred to me it would be the perfect fabric for this jacket.

After I had all the materials assembled, I sat and worked on this. It took me about two weeks to get all pieces together, a total of four! I made the vest, the jacket, the skirt, and the petticoat that goes under that skirt. Doesn’t it look super fun, I mean, dreadful? The only thing you may have noticed is that the vest is held together with pins. I haven’t decided yet how I want it to close… It’s a bit large on me, so I’m thinking of maybe sewing it shut, so I’d put it on like a shirt, not a vest. I have a fancy little clasp I bought for it, but I don’t think it will work unless I wear this vest with something under it, and I don’t think that really works. On Halloween I’ll probably wear it with a tan-colored tank underneath, just for modesty’s sake since I’ll be wearing it at work, but we’ll see. I have some time to think about it (I am writing this post a week before Halloween).

My costume wouldn’t be complete, though, without the details. I bought a gray and green wig on Ebay, the choker is from a seller on Etsy, the lipstick is from Lime Crime (sold out), the purple tights are from Target, and the shoes are old ones from Nine West. I wish I had cool pointy booties for this costume instead, but I forgot all about shoes in my excitement about the rest. And the best detail of all, my original Disney World name tag. It ties everything together beautifully, doesn’t it?

Anyway, below are a bunch of more pictures of this costume for you to check out all details.

Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew AnitaPatterns used:

Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita

Want to see more handmade Halloween costumes? Check out my Elizabeth Bennett costume from Pride and Prejudice!

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A Tale of Two Leopard-Print Skirts

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To be completely fair, I don’t have much to talk about those skirts, lol. I bought this leopard print from the remnants section at Hancock’s, and it cost me $2 dollars one yard. I cut this Butterick 5566 pencil skirt out of it, and I think it looks very nice. It’s a little bit big, and I think I’ll take it in before actually wearing it, but it should be a quick fix.

Butterick 5566 | Sew Anita

The other pencil skirt I made, I used the left over black fabric from my fail shorts, and I had almost enough to make another Charlotte skirt. But not quite enough, so I cut the waistband from the left over leopard fabric. I have worn this skirt a few times already, and I find it really funny that people think I have a furry leopard belt, they don’t notice that it’s part of the skirt. It’s a fun little detail, and this skirt turned out pretty amazing. With a blazer on top, it looks ready for a power meeting!

Charlotte Skirt | Sew Anita

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A Fabric Swap Shirt – New Look 0947

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New Look 0947 | Sew Anita

A few weeks ago I did some really fun: a fabric swap! My friend Jen Jenkins organized it all, she knows a lot of gals that sew, and she invited all of us to her home with our bags and bags of fabrics so we could all try to get rid of our scraps and unused pieces as much as we could. Most of what I brought found good homes, but I also came home with a lot of great fabric. I loved this idea and the opportunity not only to meet new gals that love to sew, but also to get some fabulous fabric for no dollars. That was probably the best part :) The first thing I made from all those goodies was a quick shirt with this cute cotton eyelet I took from Jen’s stash. I have no idea what she bought this for (hey Jen, if you are reading this, let me know in the comments!), but when I saw it I knew it could be turned into a simple blouse. I used a pattern I already used a couple of times, the New Look 0947. It makes a boxy shirt, but they are a quick project, and don’t use a lot of fabric. And I only had enough fabric for this shirt and that’s it! No leftovers. It’s simple, but I like it and it looks nice. Thanks, Jen!

New Look 0947 | Sew Anita New Look 0947 | Sew Anita New Look 0947 | Sew Anita

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Ikat Kenyan Mod Skirt – M7022

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Ikat Kenyan Mod Skirt - M7022 | Sew Anita

I am very lucky to have wonderful friends, and this post is about one of them. My friend Shalese went to Kenya this summer and kindly offered to buy some fabric for me, since she was going to buy some fabric for herself. When she came back, she arrived with a bag FULL of fabrics, and they were all amazing. She told me to just pick some yardage of all my favorites, and I chose three, including this beautiful blue and black and gold ikat print on wax cotton.

I went back and forth on what pattern I wanted to use with it, and ended up settling on the McCalls 7022. I wanted the pattern to be something simple and that would really show off the amazing fabric, because the fabric was what this was all about. This pattern felt like a great choice because it’s simple and really displays the print, but it still has enough details to keep it interesting. Also, this print felt like it would fit like a glove in this mod, Megan-Draper-Like style of skirt. Of course Megan would wear this MUCH shorter than I do, butI also lead a very different life than she (fictionally) does.

It was my first time sewing this pattern and it was easy, but with enough challenge to make it interesting. I added lining, which I self drafted because the pattern did not include instructions for lining, but this fabric was a bit transparent. I really love it, and I don’t think those photos do it justice, but it’s pretty awesome. I got plenty of compliments the two times I wore it (work day, and then later on a Saturday hanging out with friends and running errands).

Ikat Kenyan Mod Skirt - M7022 | Sew Anita

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The Starry Night Moneta

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Starry Night Moneta | Sew Anita

You know how I make a post with my sewing plans for the next month and usually stick with it? So halfway through this past month I just saw this fabric sitting in my stash (I bought it as a remnant last year) and I had to do something with it straight away. Initially I wanted to make a kimono, but then realized it was a bit too costume-y for a kimono—when am I ever gonna wear it?—then inspiration stroke again and I decided it was the perfect fabric to make a second Moneta Dress! And so I did it. And you know what? It’s still pretty costume-y, lol.

Starry Night Moneta | Sew Anita

This fabric was not the easiest to work with, it frayed like crazy when I was cutting, and there was dark blue velvet lint EVERYWHERE. And I didn’t want to invest too much on it, as it was such a silly dress, so I sewed it pretty quickly and didn’t really strive for perfect fineshes. But luckily knit is pretty forgiving, and the Moneta dress is a breeze to put together. I do need to lengthen the bodice of this for future makes, I know it’s kind of supposed to be short, but I have a very long torso and I think the bodice is waaaaay to short. It sits about 5 inches higher than my natural waist (which also means this is an incredible dress to wear when out eating a pizza).

Starry Night Moneta | Sew Anita

Now I really think this will be a special occasion dress. It’s silly and it looks like it would look nice in a cast member from The Craft (available on Netflix streaming, FYI), but I still like the cheesiness of it. So I’ll save it for some Halloween work parties or New Year’s Eve.

Starry Night Moneta | Sew Anita

 

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Bike Belcarra Blouse

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Bike Belcarra | Sew AnitaOH YES I DID IT. Another one. I’m not even counting anymore, is this my 5th, my 6th Belcarra? I DON’T KNOW. But it’s love and I can’t get enough of it. I grabbed this fabric from Girl Charlee fabric thinking it was knit (reading the description, why would I do that?) and was very surprised when it arrived and it was some sort of polyester. It was still super pretty, so I just had to scrap my original plan for it, and what better than a Belcarra blouse to save me from bad fabric shopping? I made this blouse in about a night, and it looks pretty awesome and very different from my other Belcarras due to the fabric (not the color choice, because this would be my 3rd blue Belcarra…).

So what is there to tell about this make that I haven’t said before… I don’t think there’s anything left. It’s love, you guys.

Bike Belcarra | Sew Anita

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September 2014 Recap

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Jen Jenkin's Mad Hatter Entry | Sew Anita

Goodness, where did this year go? It’s already October, and I had another busy month! Surprisingly didn’t go anywhere this month. It was about time I spent some time at home! Which didn’t mean I’ve been any less busy, work has been crazy, and I took on some extra curricular activities (which I’ll talk about soon). But overall, I’d say September was pretty chill!

Before and After Hair Cut | Sew Anita

Got a hair cut:

This does not happen often so it required its own subheader. I chopped off 5 inches of my hair, and most of the red dye in it. It was the longest my hair had ever been, but unfortunately, due to the dry weather here, my hair just can’t live that long and prosper, so it had to go to give place to healthy hair. Another hair decision this month: let the grays grow. I’ve been coloring the grays for a very long time, but decided it was time to let them be and see how I felt about them. Experimenting!

Started Learning a New Language:

Michael and I have a trip planned to Japan in the Spring of 2016, which we are REALLY excited about. He already took a few years of Japanese in college (and now is learning on his own) and really encouraged me to pick up the language. So he picked the textbooks for me and I started learning! Right now I’m working on my lessons three times a week, with Michael as my sensee (that means teacher, fyi—let’s start dropping those Japanese words where I can, alright?). So far I learned all the Hiragana characters, and am on my way to actually also memorizing them all (it’s going great, by the way). Reading is a bit easier than writing right now, but I’ll get there. I also learned a bunch of words too, and it’s pretty exciting. I haven’t really studied a language since college (Je parle un peu de Français) so this is definitely a fun challenge. The down side is, I’m down to only a weeknight of sewing. I still got the weekends, though! Which leads me to my next section:

September 2014 - Makes | Sew Anita

Made things:

With each new month it seems I’m getting more and more into sewing, with so many new things to add to my wardrobe, and with most of them being actual wearable (short fails aside). This month was special because I made two of my new favorite things: the skull crop and skirt set and the heart sweater. Other fun projects included the gray lace belcarra, the moneta dress (my second knit project!), and I also sewed and listed a ton of new baby dresses on my Etsy shop (three from that link were already sold). I also had a few more garments finished and photographed, but I haven’t had time to blog them yet! So get ready for a ton of new posts the next few weeks!

 

Jen Jenkin's Mad Hatter Entry | Sew Anita

Took Photos Of Friends:

Speaking of creative outlets, I had the pleasure of photographing two of my favorite Jens this month (my third favorite Jen is usually my partner in crime in photography, and I unfortunately did not get to shoot with her since April!). The first one up was Jen Jenkins, who made the craziest most excellent hat ever for a Mad Hatter competition online. She needed photos for the contest, and I was happy to oblige (and even pose with said hat, as you noticed on the beginning of this post!). I think it rocks, and she definitely deserves first prize for it.

Then later in the month, I shot the illustrious Jenn Mitchell, who is thankfully fearless and sexy as hell and was game to be the main character of my first ever cake-smash session. If you are not familiar with cake smash sessions, it usually happens on a kid’s first birthday, and the parents buy them some silly outfits, a goofy looking cake, and overall spend an absurd amount of money on a photographer to capture their little monster destroying a cake and getting a sugar high. I have to say I much rather shoot the grown up version of it than the traditional one. Plus: Jenn also had bourbon and pink high heels. And she used those photos so promote her 30th birthday party extravaganza. Which I missed.

Jenn's Smash the Cake Shoot | Sew Anita

Read Books:

With two book clubs on my list of social commitments, of course good part of this month was dedicated to some reading. One of the highlights was The Interestings by Meg Woltzer, which we haven’t had a chance to meet to discuss yet, but that I thought fascinating. It’s not actually a feel-good type of story (which I gravitate towards), and it’s really gritty at times, but I was still fascinated following the life stories of this group of kids that meet at an art camp and lead very distinct lives, and not necessarily connected to art. As a sort of an artist (graphic design counts, okay?) I could really relate to some of the struggles the main character goes through. She ends up having to choose a more “normal” path for her life instead of an acting career, because she simply does not have what it takes. Being a creative, I can understand the feelings and disappointments when someone tells you you just don’t have it in you. But unlike the main character, I still managed to settle and still find my way to pursue my creative and artistic endeavors for my day job, which is fantastic and it pays the bills.

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Winter, I love you.

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Heart Sweater McCalls 6992 | Sew Anita

I’m in love. Head over heels, crazy crazy crazy in love. This sweatshirt creation was absolutely amazing from start to finish. From finding this lovely french terry on Fabric Mart, to the cutting and sewing and construction, seeing it all come together filled me with fuzzy feelings and love and all good things. I’m not even exaggerating. This was a super quick make (the pattern does say “EASY” but you know how that goes sometimes) from McCalls Patterns #6992. By the way, the pattern looks WAY cooler in person than the drawing/photos on the package. I can’t stop gushing about it. I made version A, but didn’t use any contrast fabric because I didn’t have any contrast fabric. I think it could have looked even cooler with solid red or solid black ribbed knit on the cuffs/collar/bottom, and then just keep the main pieces with the heart fabric. But I was super anxious to finish it, so I just did everything with the hears fabric, being careful of keeping the hearts always oriented the same direction. I think it looks freaking amazing. I’m actually already working on a second one, but the second one is for a gift. As I was making this, I couldn’t help but knowing someone that would love it, someone who I didn’t get a birthday gift yet, but as I was making this and falling in love with it, I knew I had to make her one too. Hopefully she likes it. Cause if she doesn’t…. grrrrr Well, if she doesn’t, I guess I could have two. ;) Now onto buying some more french terry knit to make myself an army of cozy sweatshirts for winter that look good and professional! Right? I can totally wear this one to work with a pencil skirt, don’t you agree?

A couple more shots to admire this cutie:

Heart Sweater McCalls 6992 | Sew Anita Heart Sweater McCalls 6992 | Sew Anita

PS: did anyone notice my hair “shrunk” some five inches? It was time to go short again.

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My Top 5 Places to Buy Fabric Online

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(Not a sponsored post)

My Favorite Online Fabric Stores | Sew Anita

Surprisingly, I do get asked a lot about where I shop for my fabric, and unsurprisingly, I also always want to know where people buy some of their awesome fabrics. So I decided to write this post to share some of my favorite resources online for shopping.

Fabrics.com

Fabrics.com

I shop a ton on fabrics.com, and it’s usually my go to place to look for specific fabrics, or browse for sales. I scored some great deals there, like a beautiful rayon challis at $4/yard that I turned into one of my most loved maxi dress. The search is kind of wonky, and sometimes it’s hard to find what you are looking for without browsing a ton. But the prices are good, and the shipping is free if you spend more than $35 dollars, which is easy to do.

Fatquarterchop.com

This shop is mostly geared towards quilters, with tons of fat quarters and packs, and I’d guess that 90% of their fabrics are quilting cotton. With that said, I LOVE sewing clothes with quilting cotton! I think they make for great dresses, and some of them have wonderful prints. A lot of my favorite dresses were made with fabric from this shop, including my first Simplicity 1419 with that beautiful beige and blue fabric, that looked almost vintage. The prices are pretty standard for most of their yardage: $10.45/yard

Fabric Mart

Fabricmartfabrics.com

This is the place for cheap cheap cheap fabric! Their selection is not as big as the other two shops I just recommended, but they have GREAT fabric at a GREAT price. You just gotta be flexible with what you are shopping for. I bought some J Crew shirting fabric there that I used to make Michael a birthday gift (and with the leftovers, I made myself a blouse). I also found some great rayon challis there, and made this Anna dress with it. And in average, I spend about $5/yard on fabric there.

Etsy - Bonita Fabrics

Etsy.com

Etsy is pretty much a dream for fabric shoppers. It’s not the cheapest place out there, but if you are trying to find fabrics from different designers or countries, than Etsy is the place. I am a bargain shopper and so far have only actually bought stuff when found it at a good price (like this rayon challis I used to make a wrap dress). But there are several stores I am super in love with, and just holding myself for a few months before I take the plunge and spend some money there, like Bonita Fabric’s knit selection or Miss Matabi’s Japanese fabric.

GirlCharlee.com

I just recently shopped with them, and was very happy with the selection of prints and the quality of the fabric. I’ve made a blouse with some beautiful polyester with bicycle print (haven’t blogged about it yet, but I have a picture of it on Instagram). The prices are super fair, and they have some pretty cool selection of knits.

For more fabric inspiration, check out my fabric board on Pinterest!

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Gray Lace Belcarra Blouse

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Gray Lace Belcarra Blouse | Sew Anita

If you are thinking “oh my god, did she make ANOTHER Belcarra blouse?” then you are right. I did. But let me remind you that last time I made one, I also told you that this is one of my favorite patterns ever. I LOVE it. It’s so easy to whip one up, it’s great to get rid of scraps from other projects, and it just looks good, okay. I had this great gray shirting fabric left over from my birthday gift to Michael, and some lace left over from another project, and suddenly they just called to each other and I had to make them into something together. I didn’t have enough lace for a full blouse, but I had enough for some details.

I cut all the pieces of the pattern in the gray shirting, then I cut the lacc pieces and basted them together to the fabric, so it wouldn’t be see through. The pocket I didn’t baste together the two pieces of fabric because the lace doesn’t iron well (it melts), and I needed to press it to make its shape. So I pressed the pocket, then just placed the lace over it. Took some adjusting, but I made it work. I like the finished shirt, but I think the pocket makes it look really casual. That’s why I’m wearing it with some very casual shorts in those pictures. I’ll probably won’t be adding pockets to future versions of this shirt, unless I have a really good idea (never say never, right?).

I’ll keep this short since it’s not my first time doing and sharing the Belcarra, but I hope you enjoy this new version of it.

Gray Lace Belcarra Blouse | Sew Anita Gray Lace Belcarra Blouse | Sew Anita

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