Author: avaz

Simplicity 2211 Modified Lisette Market Tunic

Simplicity 2211 Lisette Market Tunic in Liberty of London Alma

This has been another pattern I’ve been wanting to use for a very long time. The main thing missing were comes Top 64 from Merchant and Mills for mods, and voilà we have the making of a (fun)ctional top.

Momentous moment, finally cut into my First Liberty of London fabric for a modified #LisetteMarketTunic. #lisettepattern #simplicity2211 #markettunic

Simplicity 2211 Lisette Market Tunic in Liberty of London Alma

There was only 1-1/2 yards of this Liberty of London in Alma to use, so the black linen came in handy, although I ran out before I could add cuffs for my sleeves. I’d been sitting on this fabric for more than a year, trying to decide what to make. It’s definitely a pricey fabric, but the idea is to make quality over quantity and I plan to wear this til it falls apart. Going thru a lot of my fabric makes me wince when I see how often only a yard or yard and a half was bought- little did I know then that it really limits what you can make. So I’ve been more careful about ordering in 2-1/2 to 3+ yards if they’re meant for clothes. Live and learn.

Simplicity 2211 Lisette Market Tunic in Liberty of London Alma

This is a size 14 and thought I would have plenty of room for my broad back according to the finished measurements. However, I forgot to take into account the sleeves. These are close fitting sleeves- quite nice actually, without all the extra looseness around the armscye. The problem is that I never thought about how the sleeve’s construction can change the ease in the back. So it fits, but it is a little snug when I bring my arms forward while driving, etc. When this is back on my cutting table, I’ll add an inch at the back for extra ease.

Simplicity 2211 Lisette Market Tunic in Liberty of London Alma

All hail, Liberty of London fabric- and the colors are so nicely saturated. A bit out of my comfort zone, but the black gives a litte relief.

Simplicity 2211 Lisette Market Tunic in Liberty of London Alma


Modified Vogue 8840

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

Happy New Year, here is the first make for 2015 in a modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton. From Miss Matatabi, of course. Apparently, brushed cotton is a fancy way of saying flannel. With winters being so short in San Antonio, I had to stop waffling about cutting into this gorgeous fabric.

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

Also. This had gold accents. Yes, gold..on me? If Naomi Ito designs it, I will probably love it.

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

For a while I was wanting to make this into a Weekend Getaway Tunic, but didn’t have enough fabric. But my 2 and 1/2 yards would be enough for something a little simpler- Vogue 8840 (size 14) came to me in a flash since it was already cut out and would be easy to modify.

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

So, modifications to the pattern: Added 8″ to bodice length, and sleeves. Did a freehand faux button placket, a la Lisette’s Market Blouse– sadly out of print. And added in seam pockets using the Endless Summer Tunic pocket pattern piece. I also sewed all the way up the back since the opening is just big enough to squeeze my head through after mods.

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

My 2015 is already off to a good start- hope yours is going swimmingly, as well!

Merchant and Mills Dress Shirt Pattern

dec 21 merchant and mills gauze dress shirt collage1

To say that the last few days have been trying is like saying San Antonio summers are a little warm. Eva is firmly entrenched in her terrible twos and the holidays have me scrambling. I almost reached my tipping point a couple of days ago when Z walked into the living room, gasped and said, “MAMA! look what sister diiiid!” This usually is a terrible precursor to something that will either be covered in marker, leaves a wet mess, or her with all her clothes off in a combination of the first two. But let me backtrack.

dec 21 merchant and mills gauze dress shirt collage

I had been sewing, and had the iron on which was nearby on the iron board for easy reach. The last month has been an ongoing love affair of Merchant and Mills patterns, and that day was reserved for The Dress Shirt pattern. In a lovely single gauze purchased at, you guessed it, Miss Matatabi on Etsy.

dec 21 merchant and mills gauze dress shirt sleeve adjust

So there I was enjoying the whir of the sewing machine, the puff, hiss of my iron as it waited patiently to be used to press a seam. The faint scent of starch was a pleasant aroma. As so often it happens, time got away from me and I lost sight of how quiet E had become for the last 20 minutes..never a good thing for a two year old. Z comes clomping down the stairs and goes into the living room and starts screeching.

dec 21 merchant and mills gauze dress shirt back

Turns out, that pleasant aroma of starch was drifting from the living room, not my ironing board like I’d thought. She had decided to try and completely cover the TV stand and TV with starch. She was quite proud that she had figured out how to work the spray nozzle, and had the area completely saturated. Much drama ensued as this was our only big TV and it was quite important to the kids and hubby. (I couldn’t care less if we had a TV at all in the house, but that is neither here nor there)

dec 21 merchant and mills gauze dress shirt full

We thought it was a goner, lights blinked crazily and the screen was fuzzy. Of course, hubby tinkered and got the back casing off and managed to soak up most of the starch and the next morning it was working again. Just another catastrophe averted in the Vaz household. That’s just one day that has blended into many days of the same these past few months. Some days I think I’m crazy to say yes to more teaching gigs, since there is so much coordinating to be done, etc. But the time will pass anyway, and I’d rather avoid that loathsome feeling of, ‘what if?’ There have been special orders for customers that have been delayed for lack of torch time and class supply lists that needed to be updated before getting sent out for a future class in the Seattle area. These crazy days of kids running around underfoot will be short and soon missed once they get old enough to be embarrassed by their parents.

dec 21 merchant and mills gauze dress shirt

Lots of little things that have added up to a big headache before the end of the year. But this is nothing new for most of us, by the time the end of the year is on the horizon, I usually start reflecting. Of course, I’d like it to be deep and profound- but let’s face it; with a two year old and a first grader in the house it’s mostly been about messes that had to be cleaned, dirty diapers you hoped didn’t leak before they were changed and trying to maintain some sort of balance for sanity’s sake.

dec 21 merchant and mills gauze dress shirt akimbo

My hubs has coined this make ‘the Reverse Penguin’ since he said the bib is black instead of white. Men. Fit for me and details on the make:

Size 12 and the fit in the shoulders is quite nice. The waist and hips are quite spacious, perhaps a bit too much- maybe go down a size in that area? I’m thinking I may do an inverted pleat and sew it down a couple of inches below the bib to control some of the billowing. Again, I’m really wishing the pattern had a finished garment measurement  on it somewhere. This fabric is quite thin and semi-sheer in the light, not sure how it will withstand the inevitable tugging and grasping of a two and 6 year old. The fold back sleeve is a nice touch, you can leave it rolled down if you looking for a little bit more length. I’d love to make this again in a yarn dye linen. Maybe next time add some in seam pockets since my hands had nowhere to hide. There is still much love for all things Merchant and Mills (ack! Entomology pins) and look forward to trying this one again.

Here’s to a merry and bright holiday season!

Sewaholic Renfrew Top and Handmade Outfit

It was bound to happen with all the sewing I’ve done this year. I was picking out clothes to wear with my (finally) finished Sewaholic Renfrew Top, and managed to put a complete handmade outfit on. The best part was that I wasn’t trying to grab something made by me, it just happened to catch my eye and let’s face it, white will go with pretty much anything!

dec 12 renfrew ensemble

dec 12 renfrew collage

Although the photos may not capture it, the fabric isn’t bright white- maybe a bone or slight off-white. Ponte knit bought frommmm..Girl Charlee, I believe. The jacket is my favorite make from Sew Chic Happy Homemade, Jacket J. The skirt was in heavy rotation this summer and is Simplicity 1428 in View D with French General fabric by Moda.

Almost made myself crazy trying to pick a pattern- finally decided to keep it simple and remembered how much I've been wanting to make skirt D. Pull up skirt with pockets FTW! #sewing #simplicity1428

I traced a size 12 in the Renfrew and it has been sitting on my table for the better part of a year. Which is probably why I forgot and sewed the recommended 5/8″ seam rather than a 3/8″. It’s a little more snug than I like, especially in the arms. The cowl neck version is very flattering and if you Google images for this pattern, you’ll find some fabulous makes. Just need to narrow down the fabric so I can get one made.

dec 12 renfrew top1

dec 12 renfrew back

You can see how it’s too snug in the back, I’m hoping the extra seam allowance will make enough of a difference so I don’t have to really tweak the fit.

dec 12 renfrew ensemble full

It even looks slightly festive for this time of year.

Endless Summer Tunic

dec 8 endless summer tunic with jacket j

Finished the Endless Summer Tunic from A Verb for Keeping Warm. The fabric was from High Fashion Fabrics bought this summer in Houston while I was at the ISGB Gathering. It’s a soft and slightly crisp chambray shirting in solid blue on one side and a subtle pinstripe on the back. May not be the best use of fabric for this pattern since it has some body, but it will do for a wearable muslin.

Late night sewing leads to 'interesting' color matching. I've decided that it works since there is enough of this mint/celadon bias strip that I'll do the hem as well. #sewing #endlesssummertunicpattern

It was late sewing on the night I picked out bias binding. This was on clearance at Joann’s, I believe, and now love this color against the blue- the hem was also done using this way. And I must say, doing the shirt-tail hem was a little easier for me using this method- especially when I used the invisible hemming foot to help keep my stitching straight.

dec 8 endless summer tunic2

My son was the photographer since I couldn’t find my remote, he did a pretty good job, regardless.

dec 8 endless summer tunic with jacket j and ze

dec 8 endless summer tunic with jacket ze

This is a size 41, and has room for layering to transition the seasons. I love the fact that the size is the finished measurements- one of my pet peeves for Merchant and Mills patterns is that they don’t include finished garment sizes! But that is for another day.

dec 8 endless summer tunic back

dec 8 endless summer tunic back closer

The armscye was *almost* too low for my comfort in wearing it sleeveless. And I’m enjoying the look of yokes, although they’re not my favorite to sew.

The jacket is my Jacket J from Happy Homemade, a Japanese sewing book translated into English. Such a great layering piece, in olive green linen.

Vintage Butterick 3084

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 collage

One can only hope to be half as cool as Lady E. #vintagepatterns #sewing

Finally finished the vintage Butterick pattern that has been languishing on the table for MONTHS. This fabulous fabric was found at Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz, CA earlier this year when I taught at Kiss My Glass.  It’s an organic cotton shirting, in a crossweave of faded/burnt orange and white. Very lightweight, which made it great to use for this pattern since it required two layers. It was tricky to photograph due to the weave, and feels like butter and makes me think of washed silk.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 front partial

The neckline has an odd pulling, must not have done enough relief time. Maybe I can steam it out.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 front

I actually had to do the sleeves traditionally rather than in the flat, which I prefer. After sewing the (many) darts, you face the fabric right sides together and sew all around the neck, down the back and bottom, leaving a space on the back to turn it right side out. I won’t lie, the sleeves were a bitch.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 shoulder

Pardon that bit of fuzz, please.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 front shoulder

I really hate setting in sleeves, and there are a few puckers that you see if you look closely. The shirt fits great, if a little loose. But if were much tighter, I’d have to unbutton to pull on the shirt. The length is pretty short for me, and barely hits my high hip. Thinking it’s meant for high-waisted pants and skirts. Gotta make sure I don’t inadvertently flash flesh that hasn’t seen the sun in more than a decade when I reach for something high.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 frontal

The pattern has great promise and plan to change a few things before sewing it again: longer sleeves, longer hem and fitting the waist a leeetle bit more. Next from this pattern will be the skirt, hopefully. The jacket looks interesting, as well. So many projects, so little time.

Merchant and Mills Camber Set

Merchant and Mills Camber Set Tee in Nani Iro

Another Merchant and Mills Pattern, this time the Camber Set Tee. This was traced and cut out the same time as the Top 64, so it is in a size 16 as well. It fits loosely and is über comfy, but am thinking a 14 will fit better. Next time. Although this is a simple shape, there are a lot of places that need better fitting on me: the armscye, hem length, waist nip/tuck, and perhaps do a forward shoulder adjustment.

The yoke insertion was quite genius and felt like something new was learned, so a worthwhile make- even if there are adjustments to be made for the next one. The fabric is Nani Iro double gauze from Miss Matatabi on Etsy.

Merchant and Mills Camber Set Tee in Nani Iro

My boy is home this week for Thanksgiving break and wanted to get in on the action. Merchant and Mills Camber Set Tee in Nani Iro

You can tell how much ease (too much)on the back. Even though double gauze feels like a dream to wear, it does have a bit of body and isn’t nearly as drape-y as say, rayon. Merchant and Mills Camber Set Tee in Nani Iro

Having these gorgeous Nani Iro fabrics in my stash was making me antsy, so glad I finally have another make with her fabric.


Merchant and Mills Top 64

This is the Top 64 from Merchant and Mills in a size 16. Merchant and Mills Top 64 pattern Aja Vaz

I fell btwn size 14 and 16 and probably would’ve been fine with a 14 since there is a lot of ease built in the pattern. If you don’t want to pay shipping from the UK, some of the shops-mine was found at A Verb for Keeping Warm– on this side of the pond stock them.Here are a few shots of the interior, such a lovely shop- I even got some gorgeous Madeline Tosh yarn and I don’t even knit!

A Verb For Keeping Warm. Yarn and fabric inspiration.Ahhhh, the color. At A Verb for Keeping Warm.At a Verb for Keeping Warm.

I’m still ambivalent about the fit on me- it’s meant to be boxy and loose-ish since it’s modeled after a fisherman’s top/artist’s smock.

Merchant and Mills Top 64 pattern Aja Vaz
The pockets are more of a design element than useful, as you can see with my hand as a reference.

Merchant and Mills Top 64 pattern Aja Vaz
The fabric is Robert Kaufman’s cotton double cloth in Indigo- soo soft and comfy.
It’s a pullover, so no worries about closures- the main trouble for me was getting my top-stitching just right. Definitely shows when you get off track.
It will get worn, especially since my winter garb inventory is sorely lacking. And I’ve already cut out fabric for my Camber Set T-shirt, in some lovely Nani Iro double gauze, from Miss Matatabi on Etsy. Lengthened the sleeves to make them elbow-length, just hope it works out.


Getting Ready for B.A.B.E.!

It always comes around so quickly- it’s already November which means the BABE!show in Oakland, CA this Sat. from 10-6 and Sun. from 10-5pm.
Here is a printable coupon code for $2 off admission, would love to see you there!

Here is a quick pic of a few beads I’ve been working on:

Yummy handful of metallic hollows. For BABE next weekend. #bighollows

Ready for capping and coring. #bighollows

Most of my work has be packed already, since I’m trying to be less of a procrastinator and hopefully less stressed by the time I fly out Wed. morning. Quick prayer that my hubby doesn’t go crazy with kids the 5 days I’m gone.

In an effort to get a little sewing in when possible, here are of couple shots of my recent makes that made the cut:

nov 7 moneta dark blue

This dress is soooo comfy, and I’m curious to know what would happen if I didn’t hem the neckline- does top-stitching serve a purpose for more than decoration in the Moneta pattern? The color is lovely, an inky blue that I got from Girl Charlee nearly a year ago, in Prussian Blue. This is a size Lg. and I added 8 inches to the skirt since it’s getting pretty chilly ’round these here parts. I noticed some looseness around the armholes, need to tweak that for next time.

nov 2 simplicity 1377 pants collage blue jacket

nov 2 simplicity 1377

These Simplicity 1377 pants are View A in a corduroy I had in my stash that had been languishing for more than a year. It’s a great color that incorporates well into my wardrobe, but was a bad choice for a wearable muslin. I sewed a 16, but for some reason made the waist 18, which was not necessary- especially since the waistband is elasticized. It must have a LOT of ease built in around the legs and hips since they’re so loose and comfy…but not very flattering as a trouser-ish pair of pants. They’d make a great pair of pj pants, I would just need to add a few inches to the length. They scream ‘mom pants’ to me, and I’d like to get around to skinnny-ing them and taking in some of the puff when I get back from CA.

Speaking of California, I plan to hit up Britex Fabric in SF while I’m in the area, woot! I was blown away last year by their wall of color coordinated fabric on the main floor. Can’t wait to go back and make more informed fabric choices. So thankful that my friend Joy is willing to squire me about. Once we get to Oakland on Friday, I may try and swing by A Verb for Keeping Warm. It looks and sounds delightful.

I’ll be updating my teaching schedule in the upper right corner of the home page, these are the only classes currently scheduled for 2015.