Introducing the Sew it Chic in a Week Link Up

Light ChicI don’t know about you, but I follow more than 300 blogs in my reader. I love it! I love being inspired by the seamstresses in our community and seeing what they are up to! I also follow some fashion blogs, some running blogs, and quite a few craft blogs. What ends up happening is my blog reader is crammed full of posts to read at all times (so awesome) but it also means there are so many things to read I don’t always get to them all (especially on weekdays).  And then I will miss some beautiful creations and am sad!

My main interest is in sewing and fashion for women. I do sew and post about things I make for my daughters, and it is fun, but my passion is women’s clothes (and the reason I’m excited about making patterns). So I had the idea to hold a link up just for women’s clothes sewn in the past week. I really want to see everyone’s creations! I also want to encourage and build community. We all know what the bigger bloggers are sewing this week, but what about the huge variety of less well known blogs?

I know it takes quite a bit of time and energy to start and maintain a blog, time that could be spent sewing, so I’d like to open this up to Pattern Review pages, BurdaStyle pages and Kollabora pages. Those are definitely garments that need to be shared and admired, too. You may need to upload an image from your computer instead of the permalink page, though (specifically Kollabora).

The rules are very simple:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Saturday, and then I’ll open a new one. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try, like me, to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to http://www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as fine silk. They are encouraging and build community.

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100+ hashtags for Instagram #sewing

 

sewing hashtags for InstagramI admit that I didn’t get what all the fuss was about on Instagram until, like, 2 weeks ago. I followed a couple people, and when they didn’t post lots of sewing pics, I lost interest. Usually I do not want to see pictures of your dinner. It just made me hungry. I need no help in the getting hungry department, thank you very much.

But I found the “explore” button, and so I explored for a bit. Some sewing, yay! But mostly random people’s selfies and, please, enough with the glamour dinner plate shots already! Finally, finally, I figured out hashtags are the way to go. Aha! I’m slow, but I got there. Continue reading

A pair of bows on their backs

IMG_8959I know that my girls are probably getting tired of dressing alike. But this pattern was just so cute that I wanted to make it twice! And since I have 2 girls, and both of them love to wear cozy sweatshirts, it seamed perfect to me.

As part of my pattern designer’s group, I got the opportunity to take part in a pattern swap. I love the idea of the swap, because we get someone to interpret our pattern. You must go see what Anne did with my pattern! She totally changed it up. http://www.sofilantjes.com/uncategorized/shirt-turns-dress/. And we also get to try out a fellow designer’s pattern for fun. It is a win-win. Continue reading

Top 10 patterns I’m looking forward to sewing this year

This is not a post about my specific goals for 2015 or anything official like that. It is more like sharing with my sewing friends what I’m excited about for the future. Since we don’t have an unlimited amount of time for sewing, or an unlimited budget, it is helpful for me to crystalize my favorites into a list for future reference. And I would love to get your feedback! What is on your sewing list for the year ahead?

1. I am looking forward to sewing another Vogue 1247 top and also using the skirt pattern. I do love my current version, but I am envisioning a silkier, more flowy top and structured skirt. I have seen so many beautiful versions of it, and continue to see more cropping up all the time! I need to remember to add a little bit of length to it next time, too.

2. Either the Sewaholic Granville or Oakridge button-up shirt patterns. I want to (start to) learn to detailed art of shirtmaking, and have been on the fence about Grainline’s Archer shirt pattern for quite a while now because of the boxier shape. I have a few RTW button up shirts in my wardrobe that I don’t love wearing, even the one that I took in on the sides to make more form fitting. Sometimes I wear them under sweaters. But the Sewaholic patterns have darts and details that make the silouhette more feminine. I really love the bow option. It will be a very fun challenge, I think. Continue reading

Leather up front, comfy party in the back

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Deep, dark confession of one of my biggest fashion struggles: I am always cold. The climate here is not friendly to fashion. Furthermore, I work from home, in front of a computer screen all day. I sit there, not moving or generating any body heat, and I get colder and colder and colder. I drink hot water like an old lady to keep warm.

So, on a daily basis I struggle with the pull to wear clothes that I love and made with my own 2 hands, and staying cozy in my jammies all day until shortly before I retrieve my girls from the bus stop.

I think these leather and knit “jeggings” fill a gap. They are warm, stretchy, comfortable, but I still feel great and stylish in them. Continue reading

On Starting a Pattern Label – Pt. 2

onstartingapatternlabelAs explained in the last post, I rushed into starting a pattern line last year and have had an exciting but difficult ride. The new year is a great time to reassess my focus. “Focus” is my word of the year!

I have so many fun ideas for GrayDay Patterns, but I am realizing that I didn’t know what I didn’t know when I started. My beginning pattern drafting skills will not allow me to create the designs I want. I don’t know how to make a sleeve! If I want to create a top quality pattern, I need to invest a large amount of time and energy into the following things;

 

  • Hands-on learning of pattern drafting from a teacher, not just books
  • Practice and proficiency with Adobe illustrator, because that tool is so vital in putting out a quality, professional pattern
  • A website that is fast, easy and helpful as a tool to my customers
  • A clearer vision of what I want to provide for my customers. I hope to create a cohesive style so that you can look forward to new design releases with confidence.
  • A business plan in place to make GrayDay Patterns a legitimate business and not just a side hobby. I had given no thought to all the other details that must be attended to in running a small business. Like customer service, marketing and outreach, let alone the nuts and bolts of accounting or taxes!

 

And so, the next steps for GrayDay Patterns is actually to take a step back for a few months to work behind the scenes and get everything together.

I will be intensely focused on pattern drafting learning, and plan to release a free pattern soon. It will serve as a tool to help me learn in a real and applicable way, and as an offering to the community of sewers that have been so supportive during this journey!

I do have a nearly completed pattern that I plan to release in March. I draped it (in case you were wondering. No sleeves!) and I am excited to share it soon. I will be taking the new skills I am learning in drafting to this project, too,  so I decided to push the release date back to make sure it is the best I can make it.

I will continue to do lots of sewing to share on the blog. I am finding especially now that my focus has changed to drafting, that sewing things for me or my girls is such a fun thing! I love to sew. And the relief of working with an already expertly drafted pattern is the perfect antidote for the intense stimulation of learning all the time.

When I first came up with the idea of GrayDay Patterns, I knew I wanted to be transparent during the process. Winning a contest that was partially judged by popular vote made me feel part of the community. And it is very obvious to me that I will need to build confidence before you know what you can expect from my pattern label.  There are no smoke and mirrors here, and I will continue to allow you to see the process if you find it interesting.

On Starting a Pattern Label – Pt. 1

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When The Monthly Stitch announced their Project Indie contest, I had already been thinking about designing patterns. I had designs in my head and I had started learning about pattern drafting from books. I had really wanted to dive in further, but I needed a push.

And due to a certain quirk in my personality, contests appeal strongly to me and push me to try new things or finish what I start. I’ve known this about myself for years and try to utilize it to help me reach my goals when I can. That is why it seemed like incredible luck that Project Indie came up. Like it was made for me!

I quickly signed up for Pattern Workshop by Lauren Dahl to help me learn all the important details that make a pattern usable. I didn’t realize I would have to become proficient in two new, rather complicated computer programs. Learning something like Adobe Illustrator takes time and practice. I had a deadline and admit to getting frustrated. I certainly didn’t master it!  But I got it finished and submitted.

Continue reading