Shibori Prefontaine Shorts

I’m back with another post for the Perfect Pattern Parcel! I’d only planned on doing one, but after seeing all the super cute Prefontaine Shorts popping up around the blogosphere I had to make some of my own! The contrast bias trim and the curved overlapping hem totally won me over.

I wanted these to be comfy shorts for outdoorsy activities, so I thought linen would be perfect – light and cool for the summer. I was definitely inspired by Holli of Stitched’s use of linen for her Prefontaine shorts as well as Kelli of True Bias’s shibori summer concert tee from PPP #1. This was my first experiment with shibori dyeing as well as my first time working with linen.

I found the construction method for these shorts really interesting. I’d never thought of using jersey as bias binding before, but it works great and is nice and soft against your skin. The pockets are sewn directly to the front piece, rather than having a pocket bag. If these were dressier shorts I’d probably add one, but as-is they’re fine for sports shorts.

The pattern comes with two inseam options – 5″ and 1.5″. However, I knew from making shorts in the past that my preferred inseam length is 3″, so using the instructions for shortening to 1.5″, I shortened to 3″ instead. It’s pretty simple – you just have to draw your own shortening line rather than using the included one. I also overlapped the sides by about an inch more than instructed on both sides in order to get a slimmer fit. 

I left off the back pockets, mainly out of laziness, but also because I didn’t think I’d use them.

I’ve been curious about shibori dyeing for a while, and I thought this would be a fun pattern to try it out on. I used Dylon dye in ocean blue and this tutorial to dye a piece of linen and a piece of jersey. I dyed the piece of linen using the accordion method, and the jersey (for a future t-shirt) using the pleat and bind method. The great thing about Dylon dye is you can use it in the sink with warm water, rather than having to put it in your washing machine and clean it out later.

The whole process was quite fun, and cleaner than expected! My fabric didn’t end up quite as dark as I wanted it to, which may be because I didn’t mix the dye thoroughly enough (I found a lot of dye sediment caught in the drain stopper afterwards).

When my husband and I went on a mini-hike trying to find a good photo shoot location for my Bombshell Swimsuit, I realized I didn’t have any “exercise” clothes. I do pilates at home in Forever 21 bike shorts and old t-shirts cut into tanks, but I don’t have any “real” fitness wear. These shorts will help fill that gap, and I’m also planning on making Papercut’s new patterns: the Pneuma bra/tank and Anima sweatpants.

Perfect Pattern Parcel #3 is only available through THIS Friday. That means you have two more days to decide! And then, yes, the blog tour will finally be over ;)

Buy Pattern Parcel #3

I also wanted to add a quick note about Me-Made-May. About halfway through the month I found that almost all my outfits were repeats, so I didn’t bother to re-document them. I did, however, stick with my pledge of wearing at least one me-made garment a day. In fact, I’ve continued to wear at least one me-made garment a day ever since. Handmade clothing constitutes enough of my wardrobe now that I actually find it hard not to wear something I’ve made every day. And it helps that all of my favorites pieces are things I made myself. I haven’t bought any new clothing (minus socks and camis) since December and last time I walked into a mall I was so thankful I didn’t have to do my shopping there anymore. I’ll take a fabric store over a mall any day! I’m actually planning on going the rest of the year without buying any RTW garments… wish me luck!

<3 Lindsay

I received the patterns from PPP#3 free of charge in exchange for being part of the blog tour, but, as always, all of my enthusiasm is genuine, and all opinions are my own.

Me-Made-May Weeks 1 & 2 Round-Up

Here’s my first weekly round-up…er…make that bi-weekly. Oops. At least I’ve stuck to my pledge of wearing me-made everyday!

I’ve also been posting my daily outfit pictures on Instagram – find me @designbylindsay!

 Day 1 – Archer shirt

 Day 2 – Lady Skater peplum

Bonus Day 3 – Nettie Dress

Day 4 – No picture, but I wore the same outfit I wore on Day 7

Day 8 – Archer shirt (same outfit as Day 1, but different hair at least)

Day 12 – No picture, but I wore the same outfit I did on Day 5

Wearing me-made everyday hasn’t been hard, but trying to come up with new outfits has been a bit of a struggle. I still need to make more basics: t-shirts, bodysuits, and shorts mainly. Maybe a dress or a blouse. And one day I need to conquer my fear of making jeans as well.
How’s your Me-Made-May going?
<3 Lindsay

The Nettie Dress

I’m in love with this new pattern from Heather Lou at Closet Case Files. In case you haven’t heard of it yet, this is the Nettie Dress & Bodysuit. When I first saw this pattern I realized that a bodysuit was exactly what I was missing from my wardrobe. I recently finished some floral Tania Culottes that I love, but haven’t worn yet because I didn’t have a top that would go with them. I only liked the look of tucked in shirts, but you could the wrinkles of the shirt fabric through the skirt. The bodysuit is the PERFECT solution.

This is the dress obviously, but I definitely have plans for a few bodysuits in the works.

I really wanted to try the body-con dress variation as well, and I just so happened to have a convenient excuse… 

Saturday night my husband and I were going to an event at his university. So of course I decided on Friday that I would make a dress. Nothing like a time crunch to motivate you, right? On Saturday morning I whipped up this dress in just two hours. Talk about instant gratification.

I’ve had an idea for a dress like this in the back of my head for a long time: open back, high neckline, long-ish sleeves, just above knee length. The great thing about the Nettie pattern is it includes so many options. It was easy to create exactly what I wanted without any modifications.

The fabric is a lovely deep purple knit from Jo-Ann. It’s super soft and fluid – I believe the bolt said it was 95% rayon, 5% spandex. If you use a thinner knit this dress will definitely show every bump and bulge, so careful underwear consideration is a must.

Heather includes instructions for adding a shelf bra with cups, but in my case I just wore a NuBra (they’re basically sticky bra cups – I find them to be pretty comfortable, and they work well, but they do lose their stickiness after a while.)

I love how you can make this pattern as sexy or as modest as you like. Hopefully I struck a good balance between the two – I don’t think I scandalized anyone last night ;)

The Nettie’s so quick to make that I’m planning on whipping up a couple of bodysuits before my husband and I leave for my birthday trip (24!) to New Orleans on Friday. I’ll be posting lots of pics on Instagram, which I’ve finally started using. You can follow me @designbylindsay!

I hope everyone’s having a lovely Me-Made-May, and I can’t wait to see more Nettie’s popping up around the blogosphere! If you make one leave me a link – I’d love to see it!

<3 Lindsay

Summer Basics

After cleaning out my closet I realized my wardrobe is definitely in need of some new basics. I started by making some white denim shorts and a gray tee shirt. You can never have too many neutrals, right?

The shorts were made with Grainline’s Maritime pattern, and I made the same alterations as I did to my first pair (took out an inch at center back and shortened inseam to 3 inches). This is one of my favorite tried-and-true patterns. The fabric is a 100% cotton denim from Jo-Ann.

For the pocket lining I used some lightweight striped shirting fabric (the rest of it is waiting to be turned into an Archer). For some reason the waistband gave me a lot of trouble this time, but on my third attempt I finally got it to behave. Because I was using a thicker fabric I just serged the leg hems and turned them up once instead of doing two bulky folds.

I made the t-shirt using the bodice of the Lady Skater dress pattern. I altered it by drawing a straight line down from the armpit point and lengthening the piece. Somehow it still ended up being too short so I sewed a band around the bottom to add a few more inches. The fit is okay, but it’s kind of a strange mix between tight and boxy. If I use this pattern for a t-shirt again I’ll have to play with it some more.

The fabric is a hachi knit from Girl Charlee. It’s nice and lightweight, and I think the subtle stripes give it some interest.

I plan on sewing many, many more things this summer, but this is a good start! It’ll definitely help with my Me-Made-May pledge.

Do you have any summer sewing plans?

<3 Lindsay

Me-Made-May 2014!

I’m so excited to be participating in Me-Made-May for the first time this year! It’s strange to think that at this time last year I’d only made four garments for myself, but now (after some Wardrobe Architect-induced spring cleaning) my closet is about 75% me-made.

My pledge is as follows:

‘I, Lindsay, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavor to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2014. In addition, I plan on taking a picture of my outfit every day and posting weekly round-ups on my blog.’

At this point I think I am wearing at least one thing I’ve sewn most days, but this challenge, for me anyway, is all about mindfulness. I’m hoping to discover which garments I get the most use out of and identify any gaps in my wardrobe, so when I plan new makes I’ll be sure to create something useful as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Are you participating in Me-Made-May? Leave me a link to your blog in the comments!

<3 Lindsay