Potential Project Tuesday, Vol. 1 // A Raincoat

September 30, 2014

Last week was pretty much all clouds and rain here, and as I was getting my things together to leave my Wednesday night class, I had this conversation with myself:

"Man, this lightweight, waterproof jacket is so functional."
"It really is ugly, though. I wish I had a cuter one."
"Oooh, I want a pink one! No, a printed one! A polka dot one! Better yet, plaid!"
"I could totally make one, I would just need the right pattern and fabric. I'm going to look into it when I get home."

Once I got home, I started searching through online pattern catalogs and trying to source fabrics, and I realize I do this all.the.time. I'll find inspiration from ready-to-wear clothes/accessories/decor or wandering thoughts like the ones above, I'll research everything I need to make it, sometimes I will even buy some of the supplies, and then I won't have time to get around to it for weeks/months/years, if at all. Then, if I do finally get around to working on the project, I have to track down the pattern and fabric sources AGAIN because it has been so long since I first found them. I waste all that time researching and sourcing and the idea just floats around in my head. So, I have decided to start a new blog series, Potential Project Tuesday, where I can get all of my ideas down on "paper" and have a resource when I do get around to the project. It may also serve as inspiration for you if you are looking for a new project and need ideas, making it a win-win for us both! Here are the ground rules:

  • I might not have a potential project every Tuesday, but I'm aiming for at least bi-weekly
  • The series will probably focus mostly on garments, but some accessories/decor items may creep in, too
  • Each post will contain my inspiration, 3 potential patterns, and 3 potential fabrics. I feel like 3 is a good number that gives some different options, but limits me so it's not overwhelming (and when it comes to me and fabric, things can get out of hand very quickly, so I think it's good to have a place to make me stop).

Anyway, without further ado, the first Potential Project Tuesday, a lightweight, waterproof rain jacket!


Replacing my current ugly one (see above). My current jacket is a short, sporty one like the first image, but after looking around online at some other jackets I kinda like the idea of a longer, dressier, trench length one.
PPT Vol. 1 // A Raincoat - Inspiration by Hey it's SJ
From left to right: Helly Hansen (via Nordstrom)
Ilse Jacobsen (via Nordstom)
French Connection (via Nordstrom)


McCall's 6517: This is a more classic take on a raincoat. I don't love the button front, but I like the length, the sash (not pictured), and it has front pockets.

Sewaholic Minoru: I love that this pattern has a zip front and a hood, but I think my favorite part is that the hood can be hidden in that awesome wide collar! I also think the ruching would be very flattering. I would definitely have to figure out a way to add front pockets, though.

Jalie 2795: This is obviously a sporty, windbreaker style. The pattern is written for stretch fabrics, but I think with a few minor tweaks it could be easily made in a non-stretch fabric.

PPT Vol. 1 // A Raincoat - Patterns by Hey it's SJ


Sport Nylon in Royal Blue: If ya'll don't know by now, I have a serious soft spot for royal blue. I think the Minoru jacket would look uh-mazing in this color.

Polyurethane Laminate in Black: This is a more classic raincoat fabric and has a bit of a sheen in real life. While making it up in the McCall's pattern may be a bit on the boring side, it's sure to be a classic jacket that would never go out of style. 

Diagonal Waves Waterproof and Breathable Polyester: A jacket in this fabric would definitely be a statement piece! I know it's a little loud, but I love the colors and the abstract plaid print. I think this fabric would work for any of the patterns as long as you aren't scared to stand out in a crowd.

PPT Vol. 1 // A Raincoat - Fabrics by Hey it's SJ

So are you feeling inspired?! Do you have a favorite raincoat pattern or one that you are dying to try out? I think that royal blue Minoru is calling my name, but I have a ton of projects in the line up that I need/want to get to first.

One Last Summer Sewing Project: A Tunic Refashioned into Prefontaine Shorts

September 23, 2014

I know what you're probably thinking, yet ANOTHER pair of Prefontaine Shorts. But this particular pair is special for a couple reasons. First, I refashioned them from an unworn lightweight denim tunic I had hanging around in my closet. Also, this is my first contribution over on the Refashion Co-op!! I'm really excited to be one of the newest contributors, and I'm looking forward to being able to share my refashions with a whole new audience.
Denim Tunic to Prefontaine Shorts Refashion before by Hey it's SJ
You can head over to the co-op to check out the history of this shirt, and since I've made this shorts pattern one, two, three times already, I'm just going to talk about the modifications I made for this particular pair.
Denim Tunic to Prefontaine Shorts Refashion after by Hey, it's SJ
--I used the same inseam length as my American Flag pair, about an inch shorter than the longest inseam on the pattern.
Denim Tunic to Prefontaine Shorts Refashion inside front by Hey, it's SJ Denim Tunic to Prefontaine Shorts Refashion inside front pocket by Hey, it's SJ
--I kept the front pockets on this pair, but to prevent a line of stitching from showing on the front of the shorts, I added a pocket lining piece. I picked up a fat quarter from Joann's to use as the lining for the front and the back welt pockets. Speaking of the back welt pocket, I did it a little differently than the pattern. Instead, I used this single welt pocket technique from Poppy Kettle. It definitely took a little longer than the pattern instructions, but I think the results are a bit better so I think it was worth it.
Denim Tunic to Prefontaine Shorts Refashion inside back by Hey, it's SJ Denim Tunic to Prefontaine Shorts Refashion close up back pocket by Hey, it's SJ
--The only other change I made was with how I applied the bias tape. Unfortunately, there wasn't quite enough fabric to make self bias tape from the tunic; however I was able to find some dark lightweight denim at Joann's that was very similar (By the way, chambray and lightweight denim are not the same thing. This tunic was made out of a 4 oz. denim.) While both fabrics felt and looked the same, after I prewashed the new fabric there was quite a noticeable color difference. I wanted the shorts to be all the same color, so I decided to turn the bias tape to the inside of the shorts rather than leave it visible on the outside. I used the same technique that you would if you were finishing a neckline or armhole.
Denim Tunic to Prefontaine Shorts Refashion by Hey, it's SJ
I absolutely love how they turned out! I've already worn them more times that I ever wore the ill-fitting tunic, so in my book that is a super successful refashion!

Welp, this officially marks the end of my summer sewing for this year (sad face), but I already have some of my fall sewing projects in the works. I plan on sharing at least one as part of Selfish Sewing Week, so stay tuned later in the week for that post(s)!

Planning for Fall Sewing

September 15, 2014

Things have been a little quiet here on the blogfront lately for a few a reasons...

--School is officially in full swing, so my homework has been cutting in to my sewing and blogging time. I knew that going back to school was going to be an adjustment so I haven't been putting a lot of pressure on myself to post. But don't worry, I plan on getting back into the swing of things in the next couple of weeks.

--Also, I've been working two jobs since last Tuesday; I put in my notice at the Lab so I was riding out my last weeks there, but I've also been working at my new job in the mornings. It's not like a super big deal or anything, but my new job title is SEAMSTRESS!! Ok, so it is a humongous deal to me, and I am so over the moon not only to be able to do something I love everyday, but to also get paid for it. The company I'm working for is called Bloom (you can check out our website here). We have various home goods and accessories, and it kinda works like 31 where you get to pick the fabric and personalization. But unlike 31, everything is made by hand here in Ashland, VA by me and some other very lovely ladies. I have to give a huge shout-out to Mrs. Lent in case she is reading; I will forever be grateful to her for letting me know they were hiring. There really is no way I could thank her enough! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

So enough about life stuff, let's talk about the end of summer. If you're anything like me, this isn't a happy conversation. I totally get why people love fall; the cooler weather, the changing leaves, football. But for me, fall just means we are that much closer to winter and I do not like winter one bit. Unfortunately fall and winter are coming whether I like it or not, so that means reluctantly setting aside my summer sewing projects and starting to think about clothes for cooler weather.

One of the projects I've had on my mind for a while now is a plaid flannel collared shirt, specifically one like this from J.Crew. I've had both the pattern and the fabric purchased for a while now, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to be working on a flannel shirt when it is 95+ degrees outside, does it? Now that the weather has started to cool off I can't wait to get started. Since I've never made a collared shirt, I will definitely make a muslin but I think I might also make one up in a solid fabric before trying to tackle plaid matching. I'm also very interested to use this pattern since it has different pieces for A/B, C, and D cup sizes in each size. Fingers crossed that it will save me a lot of time fitting!

(You can click on each swatch/line drawing for more fabric and pattern information.)
McCall's 6649 Collared Shirt Grey Linen Blend Royal Stewart Plaid Flannel Shirting M6649 View C M6649 Line Drawing
One of my favorite fall/winter "uniforms" is a skirt or dress with tights and boots. Most of the skirts I own now are dressier pencil skirts from when I was working at the bank, so when I found an amazing deal on some wool-blends I knew I was going to be making some skirts. I want to try this simple straight skirt pattern for one, but I also want to hack it and add a flounce/ruffle hem, a la this Topshop skirt.
McCall's 3830 Straight Skirt M3830 View E M3830 Line Drawing
Since I've started sewing my own clothes, I have pretty much steered away from tackling any knit projects. I'm not intimidated by them (I did make my own bathing suit, which is about as intimidating as knits get I think), but I don't have a serger, which I really think is the best way to finish seams on knit garments. So as to expand my garment sewing repertoire, I have plans to purchase a serger in the next month or two, and then I have a few different projects I want to dive into.

If skirts/tights/boots are the bottom half of my cool weather "uniform," then cardigans and scarves are the top half. I love this cardigan pattern from McCall's, especially the peplum-like detail at the waist on views C and D. Sewn up in some wool or sweater knits, I am sure it will become an instant fall/winter staple.
McCall's 6844 Cardigan Heathered Beige Wool Knit Royal Blue Wool Knit Black Lurex Wool Knit M6844 View C M6844 Line Drawing I am definitely pro-leggings as pants (as long as my butt is covered by a shirt/tunic) and I purchased this pattern during one of those $1.99 pattern sales at the fabric store. Actually, I only purchase Big 4 patterns when they are on sale at the fabric store, but that is beside the point. I obviously would like to make a classic black pair, because everyone needs at least one black pair of leggings, but I also really want a pair of royal blue ones, too.
M6173 Leggings Royal Jersey Stretch Knit Black Cotton Spandex Knit M6173 View B M6173 Line Drawing Last but absolutely not least on my list is the Papercut Patterns SJ Tee. I mean, it's called the SJ tee. That means I have to make it, right? I can see SO.MANY.POSSIBILITES. with this pattern, from a slouchy short-sleeve version in a light weight knit to a long-sleeve version in a heavier sweatshirt knit. I would also love to lengthen it a bit for a tunic to wear with my new handmade leggings.
Papercut Patterns SJ Tee Wool Blended Knit Salmon Rayon Jersey Plum Jersey Cream Mohair Wool Acrylic Knit Papercut Patterns SJ Tee SJ Tee Line Drawing This list is sure to keep me busy, but I also have some scarf projects from last year that I plan on expanding on, along with some new ones in the works this year. And if by some crazy miracle I have some time and a ton of motivation, I would love to start working on some jeans. I'm still searching for a good pattern, so if you have any recommendations I would love to hear.

(Although it may seem like it, this post was in no way sponsored by McCall's. For some reason I just always happen to be pattern shopping when their patterns are on sale for $1.99. I had all of these patterns in my stash already, and I purchased each one with my own money.)

Do you have big sewing plans for this fall? Are you planning on buying any fun new toys or tackling a project that you have never tried before? I may not be looking forward to the weather, but I am definitely looking forward to some fun new sewing challenges!