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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Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes: Fail

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Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes | Sew Anita

What is up with me and shorts that we just cannot get along? My last project that I considered a quasi-complete fail was a pair of shorts (which I saved by wearing it to golf). But this pair? It has no salvation because I MADE IT TOO SMALL. DAMN IT. I followed the instructions and cut the size indicated, but it ended up being so tight, not even Spanx can save it. It’s just way too small. And it rides up uncomfortably. That’s why you only get those few pictures.

I don’t blame it on the pattern maker at all, it’s just that, I don’t usually have a problem with patterns being too small, it’s usually the other way around… I usually need to take stuff in. Anyway, other than that, this was pretty fun and easy to make. The fabric is a rayon challis and it was a little bit on the slippery side, but I can manage it.

I’ll try again, on a bigger size, once summer is on the horizon again. For now, this is going to my scrap pile. Sigh,

Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes | Sew Anita Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes | Sew Anita

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By Hand London: Anna and Charlotte Set

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Anna + Charlotte, By Hand London | Sew Anita

Talk about an exciting make! I bought this fabric for a By Hand London Charlotte skirt and was terrified I didn’t have enough fabric to make this skirt. I even decided to skip the peplum part (which I was going to put at the bottom) because I didn’t think I had enough fabric, but in the end I did. After cutting all pieces for the Charlotte skirt and seeing how much fabric I had left, I was very tempted to turn this into an Annalotte (where you pair the Anna dress top with the skirt into a super fancy dress—see exhibit 1, exhibit 2, and exhibit 3), but in the end, I decided I really wanted just a pencil skirt, because I can get a lot more use out of it. But this didn’t stop me from rationalizing I might as well do a crop top with the Anna top pattern in the same fabric. I KNOW. MIND BLOWN.

Here’s the thing, I’m pretty happy with my body and all, but I am very aware I don’t have the body type of a girl that wears crop tops. And to be clear, that does not bug me, and the crop top trend is not one that I think I’d get into even if I had a super skinny body. But anyway, I thought this time it was worth the attempt. As long as the amount of midriff being bared is not too much, and as long as the bottom reaches all the way over my bellybutton, I should be fine. So I grabbed the Anna top and just extended a couple of inches in the front, and some extra inches in the back (so it wouldn’t bare anything where I can’t see it to control it). And when it was all finished… MAGIC (I might be abusing of the caps lock, but damn, I’m that excited about this set).

So now I have a crop top + pencil skirt set and it’s HOT. I’m in love with it, all together, or separate. I want to wear it for my birthday, but I still have to wait a month and a half for it, so go on and find me an occasion to wear this sooner, cause I’m not sure I can wait till mid October.

Anna + Charlotte, By Hand London | Sew Anita

Construction wise this was a total piece of cake. Seriously, I finished this in half a day. Actually, I had to stop because I didn’t have a zipper for the top, but I was pretty much done. This fabric is denim with a bit of stretch, so really the perfect pair with a pencil skirt without a flap and a tight-ish crop top. This skirt is ridiculously easy to make, by the way, so if you’re looking for a pencil skirt that’s easy to make and super flattering, this one is the one. I had to chop off 3 inches of the hem though, because it was way too long for my short body, but I’m happy with the current length. And I am happy I didn’t add the peplum, it would have been way too much for this print. The Anna top was no mystery either, I’ve already sewn the dress so many times. The only thing different I made was to add those extra inches at the bottom, and the zipper zips from the bottom up, because otherwise it wouldn’t have gone through my head. But it works now.

Anna + Charlotte, By Hand London | Sew Anita Anna + Charlotte, By Hand London | Sew Anita
Anna + Charlotte, By Hand London | Sew Anita

Anna + Charlotte, By Hand London | Sew Anita

I had to add a close up of my awesome manicure, done just to look bad ass with this outfit. Yes, really, I did my nails in black just so it would look good for the outfit pictures. And in the meantime, you can also admire this print up close. What a happy skull. I can’t help but think of Frida Kahlo when I look at it, maybe that’s what she’d look like as a skeleton. I have no way of knowing for sure, though.

And next, I took some pictures of the pieces separately, so you can see another idea for how to wear the set. The pencil skirt is easy and it will get out of the wardrobe often, the top I’m more worried about. I don’t have a lot of skirts or pants with a high-enough waist, but I’m willing to try. I love how the top looks with the pleated skirt and my heart shoes, I thought it would be a great outfit to go out on a date or a girls night out. And the pencil skirt outfit is perfectly acceptable for the work day.

Next, some more photos because YES I WAS THAT EXCITED ABOUT THIS OUTFIT. And tons of good photos followed. PS: no phothoshop was used on those photos. That’s how flattering those outfits (above and below) are.

Anna + Charlotte, By Hand London | Sew Anita

Charlotte Skirt, by hand London | Sew Anita Charlotte Skirt, by hand London | Sew Anita Charlotte Skirt, by hand London | Sew Anita

Anna Crop Top, by Hand London | Sew Anita Anna Crop Top, by Hand London | Sew Anita Anna Crop Top, by Hand London | Sew Anita

 

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Sewing with Knits, Part 2: The Moneta Dress

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Colette Patterns Moneta | Sew Anita

As soon as I finished my Mabel skirt I immediately went online to the Colette Patterns website and ordered their other pattern for knits, the Moneta. The Mabel was so easy and such a pleasure to sew, I was confident to try something a little bit more complicated. And I was hoarding this knit fabric for a few months already, just waiting till an appropriate time to cut into it and make a dress. It looks very simple on the photos, but it actually has silver glitter sprinkled all over. It’s just hard to photograph it outside, in the sun. But it’s there, trust me.

Anyway, not much to say about making this. It was super easy. I think I whipped almost all of it on a night, then finished up the next night. I didn’t follow the instructions completely, I didn’t add lining to the top, so I added a t-shirt style finish to the collar, and the step where you have to create the gathers with clear elastic was a total nightmare, so I gave up and just made gathers the usual way. So that’s how I ended up doing it so fast. It fits nicely, but it does show absolutely everything in terms of muffin tops and other body pastries. It’s a shame.

It’s a basic and simple dress, and I’m pretty happy with it! I think I need to make another one with a short sleeve and maybe a fun print, but I’ll save it for summer time. For now, this one will work nicely.

Colette Patterns Moneta | Sew Anita Colette Patterns Moneta | Sew Anita Colette Patterns Moneta | Sew Anita

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New Baby Dresses on Sew Anita Etsy Shop

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The Sew Anita Baby Dress Shop on Etsy has been restocked! Head over there to check out some very cute little creations for the baby girls in your life. Sizes range from newborn through 6 months old, and there’s something for everyone’s taste and budget! And all dresses have been thoroughly inspected and approved by teddy bears. See proof below:

Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita

Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita Handmade Baby Dress | Sew Anita

Freebie | Sew Anita

 

All dresses on my shop will also come with this cute little postcard I have designed especially for the parents. You can see below a little behind the scenes of packaging. This pink chevron dress is going to a very special lady in Germany.

Packaging | Sew Anita

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