Matatabi Makers: City Blazer

Hi friends. I’m still here! and I’m still sewing/stitching/(mis)adventuring! Just being a bit slow with writing and photos and … with life in general. But I recently made a linen blazer for this month’s Miss Matatabi Makers contribution, and I love it. LOVE IT! So I wanted to share it here with you, too.

Saké Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers, ByHandLondon Victoria blazer in linen and nani IROAs I mentioned over on Miss Matatabi’s blog, I purchased the ByHandLondon Victoria blazer pattern months ago and then let it sit on my sewing table. I couldn’t find the right fabric. I went to Mood more than once in search of something fancy, but it was Miss Matatabi’s linens that hit the mark. To bulk it up for cooler weather, I lined the blazer in one of my favorite nani IRO prints. Linen and double gauze are a dream combo, and the natural fibers let the blazer breath but still provide warmth.

Saké Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers, ByHandLondon Victoria blazer in linen and nani IROThis pattern has a clever construction and was quick to put together. At first I though it was too slouchy and casual. But after wearing it for, uh about 20 seconds, I realized it is exactly what my life needed. So comfortable! So versatile! These photos were taken after a bike ride through Brooklyn while waiting for the ferry. The wind picked up a bit, but I was ready. Sunset and autumn chill? No problem, man. This city blazer can handle it!

You can see more details over on Miss Matatabi’s blog. Thanks, friends! I’ll be seeing you all around again soon!

Me-Made-May ’14: Weeks 1 & 2

I started a new day job recently, so perhaps it was a bit crazy of me to commit to wearing Me-Made clothing for most of the month of May. But so far it has been going really well! #MMMay14 has pushed me to break my skinny-jeans-plus-roomy-top uniform that usually dominates my style this time of year, and instead reach for those garments I’ve spent so much dang time working on. I post daily evidence on Instagram, but here is a quick recap:

I pledged to wear Me-Made garments 3 days a week and so far, so good. How about everyone else?

A practice dress, some daffodils, and a barn cat

Practice Cambie dress by Saké Puppets, sakepuppets.comI took advantage of a sunny afternoon and some daffodil-wrangling to capture a few photos of my practice Cambie.A practice Cambie dress in a daffodil patch, by Saké Puppets sakepuppets.comPractice Cambie dress by Saké Puppets, sakepuppets.comThis dress started as a muslin for the Sewaholic Cambie dress, but after I assembled the bodice I decided I really liked the fabric. I added the skirt in cotton sateen and a neon zipper, and now it makes a great play-dress for summer. I left the skirt unlined and spent time hand-stitching a blind hem. I really enjoy hand stitching, and love the way quality details can transform something that started as a waste muslin.Practice Cambie dress by Saké Puppets, sakepuppets.comIt didn’t take long before the barn cat paid us a visit. Cat attack!cat attack in a daffodil patch, sakepuppets.com

Snowbirds

The consensus in New York is that people are done with winter. Over it. Fini. Every time I hear someone mention this, I respond with my best empathetic nod. “Hmm. Yes, I totally understand. It is so awful.” But really, I’m not over it. I, dare I say, like winter.

I missed the snow while we were in Japan (though they are getting record amounts this year!). I love it when snow falls. I love big flakes that stick to your hair and the kind of snow you can brush off your coat and even the icy mix that crunches under boots. When I wake up to snow falling, I still get excited. My days are not affected by school closures or weather in general, but that feeling of snowy morning glee is hard to shake.

Now, I realize that snow in New York is very different from snow in other places. With temps here hitting the 40s, the snow is packed down into wet, slick ice. Mixed with gray skies, exhaust fumes, soggy dog poo, and garbage that hasn’t been picked up in weeks (garbage trucks are too busy plowing), the snow is not a pretty sight. But it doesn’t bother me.

WInter color and an Archer shirt, via Saké PuppetsI’ve found other ways to combat the gray. I started sewing this shirt, oh, five months ago, so it carries a warm-weather vibe. I bought the fabric for 100 yen a meter in the Nippori fabric district in Tokyo and thought it would be ideal for a wearable practice Archer. And boy did it deliver.

Finding winter color, via Saké PuppetsI have made two button-up shirts before, so I had some confidence going into this project. Collar stand, cuffs, button holes = no problem. Some of my top stitching is a little wonky and my seams are finished with a plain ol’ zig-zag stitch, so it definitely feels like a practice shirt, but the fabric is light with nice drape so I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it this summer.

Back it on up, Archer. Via Saké PuppetsI made View B with the gathered lower back, though it is hard to see in these photos. I really like the gathered detail, and I think it would look great with even thinner fabric, like maybe these flamingos? I wanted to make View A in flannel and snaps, but at the rate I’m sewing this year, I wouldn’t get it done before the snow melts. Guess I’ll have to check out the Garment District for more Archer fabric. Darn! ;)

Grainline Archer by Saké PuppetsYou can take the girl out of Minnesota, but it is much harder to get her out of her boots. Flurries in the forecast today, folks!

Summer of Skirts Part 3: Roller Skating Wrap Skirt

Roller skate wrap skirt by Saké PuppetsWhat better way to wear a roller skate skirt than to take it for a spin on your own set!

I started roller derby this year and love it. I’d wear my skates to bed if my Japanese apartment didn’t require I remove all footwear at the door. I’ve caught myself hip-checking strangers on the subway and my gear bag now contributes most of the bad smells in our house.

So when I saw Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Sparkle Roller Skates Ring A Ling, I wanted it immediately. Sewing + roller skates = mind blown.

Melody Miller's Roller Skates Ring A Ling skirt by Saké PuppetsThe fabric is a mid-weight cotton-linen blend, perfect for a summer play skirt. And I’ve hardly worn anything else all summer. If you’ve met me for lunch or a play date in the past 2 months, odds are I was wearing this skirt. After my roller skates, it’s my new best friend.

This skirt encourages wigglingMaybe my photographer is jealous, because I was scolded for moving around too much during this photo shoot. But it couldn’t be helped. I was wearing my two besties and they got along splendidly.

The pattern for this skirt is Tilly’s Miette wrap skirt. Two friends and I decided to make this together as a mini sewalong, because we all wanted a project to do together and I couldn’t be bothered to read something for a book group. We all live in different parts of the world, so we posted our sewing updates and questions on a secret Facebook group. I think our sewalong experiment worked pretty well, and I’m not sure about them but I’d do it again. Especially if it means I can avoid another book group.

I did have one big issue with this project. I was so mesmerized by the metallic details and roller skates with pom poms that I didn’t notice the print had diagonal stripes. Which meant that I should have cut my skirt on the bias, but didn’t. Oops.

oops. stripes.Because the print is quite busy, I decided to just make it busier by adding the pockets.

Busy body printI actually like the way it turned out. Pockets in skirts are a wonderful thing anyways, so it was sort of a win-win. A demonstration shot:

Cell phone goes here! Magic!I’m ignoring the fact that on a recent episode of Project Runway Michael Kors called these “pleasure pockets.” Eew, gross, you orange old man!

Peek!A final action show. Peek!

That wraps up my trio of summer play skirts! It felt great to make a whole season’s worth of wearable, durable clothing, so now I’m looking to autumn. What are you making, friends?