DIY One Shoulder Top Using Vogue 9318 and Pattern Review

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lordthe Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

Hey Everyone!

I hope you guys are having a great week! I finally got a moment to finish writing my review for this pattern.  My procrastination was due to me not having the right shoes to accesorize with this look.  I originally settled on a pair of Sam Adelman platform sandles because it was the best that I had and I still wasn’t happy.  Then I realized that I could just say screw the shoes all together and just crop the photos to more of a 3/4 view.  So this week, your not getting head to toe.  Besides, its about the top anyway lol!

Pattern Review

This week’s make is Vogue 9318 view A.  I really enjoyed this make and I originally intended on making both A and B as a set but didn’t have enough fabric.  So A was as far as I was able to get.  Then in the process of making view A,  I was inspired to turn it into a mini babydoll dress and I decided to make myself one in linen which i’ll be posting sometime in July most likely.

This pattern is a part of Vogue’s Sew Easy Collection.  Which I really like because they have some great design options.  There is only 2 pattern pieces for this top with a 3rd piece that is the elastic guide.  The sizing runs small-xxlarge. The sizing is very generous. I cut the large which was according to the finished measurements on the pattern envelope my size. But even that was a bit big.  I had to still take in another 2 inches of ease through the assymetric neckline.  Which I did by cutting the elastic inside of the casing down by 2 inches and that gave me a better fit.

I was able to cut and sew this together in less than 2 hours. The directions were straight forward and easy to follow.  Its definitely beginner friendly.

Fabric

I used a light weight stretch cotton in this very pale gray floral print.  I bought this fabric last year on a fabric shopping trip to Chicago.  But this is such a versatile pattern you could use: Linen, cotton, rayon, even a knit fabric would be nice if you sized down the pattern first.

Style Details

So my orginal plan of making a set was hampered by not having enough fabric.  So I styled it as separates and had the hardest time finding something in my closet to coordinate.  I settled on this denim skirt that I purchased from the Goodwill last summer. I already told you that the shoes were a bust and as always I like my accessories simple.  My favorite oversized hoop earrings.  And thats it.  A simple summer outfit.

 

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Well that’s all for now.  Until next time…..!

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DIY Tunic Top using Simplicity 8094

 

But as for me, I trust [confidently] in You and Your greatness, O Lord; I said, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14

Hey Everyone!

I’ve been appreciating all of the love with the Thrift The Look series that launched on Monday.  Today’s post is a continuation of the Summer Sew Easy Series.  We are on Look #3 already and I can’t tell you how much I love this tunic.

I used Simplicity 8094. I bought this pattern last spring and I think it is out of print now.  I’ve found it on Ebay and Etsy though.  I love it for many reasons.  There are so many style variations that you can try with this pattern.  The first time I made it in a tribal print medium weight knit fabric and I made view E.

This time around I made the sleeveless option view D using a red light weight cotton from my stash.  I love the dramatic side slits that start at the waistline.  It gives a modestly sexy side profile ( can you use modest and sexy in the same sentence..?).  But if you don’t like showing that much silohuette you can always wear a tank top underneath, wear high waist pants, or just sew the slit a little lower.  Overall its a great casual everday look or you could dress it up by wearing faux leather leggings or a pencil skirt underneath.  Even wearing a pair of stilettos with your skinny jeans would amplify the look.

The pattern was easy to cut and sew.  I plan on making a few more of these.  I could see it in a nice printed rayon or linen would be beautiful as well. If you use cotton I recommend one that has a nice drape to it.  Nothing too stiff.

I styled it very casual with a pair of dark wash skinny jeans from NY and Company purchased like 2 years ago.  And my favorite cognac and snake print wedges that I purchased on clearance from DSW last summer.

Photo credits: my beautiful daughter Asabea.

 

Well that’s all for now. Until next time…..

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DIY Linen Pants Using Simplicity 8389

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Hello Lovelies!

I hope your week is going splendidly.  I’ve been breezing through my Sew Easy Sewing Makes for the summer series.  Its been such a breath of fresh air for me.  Not just because I’ve been flying through my projects list.  But also because its been really liberating my thought process around my personal style choices.

For a long time now i’ve been struggling between creating things that I deem wow and blog worthy vs. what is truly my personal style aesthetic.  Working through my fabric and pattern stash has given me a framework to focus my individual projects while forcing me to take an internal inventory.  And i’m realizing the following:

  1. Buying fabric is like clothes shopping.  You can sometimes purchase things that are a hit and sometimes its a miss.
  2. I have alot of  summer weight woven fabric in bright colors mostly from natural fibers like cotton.  (A lot of cotton.)
  3. I’m not challenging myself to my full potential.  I keep buying the same kind of fabric and choose the same kind of projects. Pants are a prime example.  I hate working through pants fitting issues.  So I tend to stick to making dresses or skirts.
  4. I want to make things that are really pieces that I can incorporate into my everyday life.  Whether they are wow to others or not.

Which leads me to today’s DIY project.  I bought Simplicity 8389 last summer because they seemed like an easy pull on pants pattern.  It has been lurking in my sewing room for a while and everytime I passed it, I would pick it up and look it over.  So finally about 3 weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and try my hand at pants fitting again.

Fitting palazzo pants is much easier that fitting fitted pants.  I created one muslin before going into fashion fabric.  What I learned from the first fitting is that I didn’t like the rise of the pants.  On the model in the pattern envelope picture it looks like the pants are high waist.  But in reality they fit more like a mid-rise.  Below is a picture of me in the muslin. IMG_3045

On my curvy pear shape.  This isn’t a flattering cut for me in a palazzo pant.  So I made a few modifications which  I list below:

Modifications:

  • Raised the waistline 2 inches only at the side seams and back rise.  This made the pants high waist which is more flattering for my shape but it also added length to the back rise.  (I didn’t need to add to the front because it would have lengthened too much in the front.)
  •  Lengthened back crotch curve by 1in.  There was bunching at the bottom of my butt where the fabric curves into the crotch.  Which was an indicator that I needed to lengthen the crotch curve at the back.
  • The waistband was a bit of a challenge. For the following reasons:  a. The pattern itself was off by about 1.5 inches too short.  So I had to redraft the pattern to make sure it fit. And b. the back band did not stop at the side seams like in a traditional pant. It instead reach around to the front band at the princess lines.  Once I put the elastic in it caused a weird gathering and unflattering fit at the side seams. It gave me a bit of a muffin top.
  • I widened the waistband  from a 1.5″ wide band to be a finished width of 3″.  I also re-drafted the front and back bands to sew together at the side seams. This gave me a more flattering fit at the waist.
  • I took in 1 inch at both inseam and outer seam starting at the hip.  There was too much fabric in the leg.
  • The last thing I did was more out of trying to save my final project because the modifications created a great waistline, and fit in the seat. However, there was way to much room in the front rise.  So I opted instead to release the front pleats and convert the entire waistband to an elastic waistband instead of how the pattern was originally drafted and removed about 7 inches of ease from the front waistline.

My final is more of a wearable muslin.  Even with the emergency modifications there is about an 1.5″ of ease from the front crotch that needs to be removed.  However.  I really like the way they came out and wore them to church styled in the way they are featured below.  These pants have some great styling possibilities and i’ll be posting those as #OOTD on my Instagram page throughout the week. So stay connected.

Photo credits: My beautiful daughter Asabea..

Well that’s all for now! Until next time….

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DIY Poncho Wrap Top Tutorial

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” Romans 8:28 (amp)

Hello Lovelies!

Its a great day!  The weather here in Milwaukee is starting to break and i’ve been experiencing a series of challenges and triumphs the past few weeks.  I’m so thankful. I am really hanging onto my faith and trying to see things from the glass half full mindset.

As for this weeks post. My DIY Wrap Top Tutorial is about a week later than I promised but I finally got it done yesterday and I like it.  I hope you do to.

It’s a pdf technical sketch pictorial with both cutting and sewing directions.  This is a great beginner friendly tutorial that requires no pattern and I was able to complete quickly.  Less than 2 hours.  You can download your copy of the tutorial in the link below.

DIY Wrap Top Tutorial

If you missed last week’s post where I went into further detail and shared my styled photos you can catch up here.

Let me know what you think and if you make it I’d love to see your version of it.

Well that’s all for now! Until next time….

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Shift Your Perspective: DIY 40s Inspired Wrap Top

“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” Romans 8:28 (amp)

Good Day Lovelies!

I hope everyone is doing so well!  This weeks post is a result of some sudden yet unexpected blunders on my part.  I was planning on giving you all Look #1 of the Summer Sew Easy Series.  Complete with a diagram tutorial on my first make.  When a few things happened.

Blunder #1 I left the power cord to my mac book at the coffee shop last week Wednesday and didn’t notice it missing until Saturday and after calling the coffeeshop.  They said they didn’t have it. (so sad right…?)

Blunder #2 I had to order a new one on Monday morning and lucky for me I was able to pick it up at my local Best Buy on Tuesday only to come home and find out that I bought the wrong cord.  So I went back and very happily exchanged it for the right one later that afternoon.  Which leads me to….

Blunder #3 where it is Wednesday (blog posting day) and I realized that because I had already made and photographed my  project I still had time to post only to arrive at the coffeshop ready to work on creating the PDF diagram tutorial and I forgot my mouse and mouse pad at home.  Which I absolutely need to illustrate in Adobe Illustrator.

So this is probably where I…. at any other moment in my life, would have shut down the computer and cried or walked away and ate a bag of salty chips. lol! (the struggle is real).  But God has been doing such a wonderful thing in my life lately.  And that is…. He’s been helping me to shift my perspective.  While yes…..!  I was feeling a little frustrated and yes! I did shed a tear or two yesterday about the power cord issue.  I decided who cares if it doesn’t work out the way you want it too..?! What is the solution?  and keep going.

So here is my solution to this week’s post.  I am sharing with you all today Look #1 and the tutorial i’ll share tomorrow.  And I am totally smiling as I type this.  Its all good!

This week’s post is inspired by this 1940’s wrap top that I’ve seen on Pinterest for a few years now and i’ve always wanted to give it a try and liked the idea of making it for this series.  Its suuuper duuuuper easy to make and only really requires 1 yard of fabric for the average s-xl sized woman. If you are plus sized you will probably need more yardage.

I used a border printed stretch cotton panel that I purchased in Chicago last summer.  The fabric looked like it was printed with the idea of using it to make a gathered short skirt or tunic top.  Neither of which appealed to me.  I just really liked the print so much that I bought some.

I styled it kind of 90’s inspired with a denim skirt that I thrifted from the Goodwill last summer and yellow block heeled sandals and my favorite craft inspired (but store bought) statement necklace.  Its an easy summer outfit that I plan on wearing often.  The shirt is super comfy to wear and In addition to a skirt I could see it paired with shorts, wide leg jeans or palazzo pants, even as a swimsuit cover-up could be nice.  Below are a few pictures.  I even put together a collage of photos demonstrating how to tie it on.

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floral wrap shirt 8

Well that’s all for now.  Thanks for reading.  Until next time…..

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Summer Sew Easy Series

 “casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”  1 Peter 5:7 (amp)

Heelllo Everyone!

I hope all is well with you! I’ve been super busy trying to manage multiple hats and as a result blogging has been on the back burner. New changes are coming as I am seeking to merge both areas of my business.

I value simplicity and order. So I am working to streamline my business so that the various components complement one another and allows me to be consistent with my output.

But I am so ready to get to blogging again. I miss creating and sharing content. I think I had a blog block.  For the life of me I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about.  Until today.  I had a light bulb go off and I decided to write all about it.

One of the things that I love about summer is that I actually get a vacay.  My children go and live with their dad for the summer and I get to be single and while I miss my kids;  I love the extra time that I have.

Time that my work-a-holic tendence can really bloom if i’m not careful.  but i’m honestly getting tired of that and I want to enjoy life a bit more.  So I decided that I want to maximize my time in the sewing room so that I can sew fewer days and live more.  Which leads me to announce the Summer Sew Easy Series.

I’m thinking easy pull over tops and dresses, pull on palazo pants, wrap dresses and skirts, upcycled pieces, small accessory projects.  Patterns that have less than 5 pieces to them.  Or better yet require no pattern to create.  No zippers, no buttonholes.  Just easy breezy.  Things that can be accomplished in an afternoon.  Things that I can raid my fabric and pattern stash to create ( because I really am practicing sustainability in my sewing I have only bought new fabric to make samples for my apparel line and even started saving the scraps for smaller projects instead of tossing them.)

I already started sketching some projects on my first set of posts and working on creating a hit list of content ideas. I think I might share them with you all on my Instastories later this week or over the weekend.  So stay tuned!

What about you all…?  What are your summer sewing plans? I’d love to hear about them.

Until next time……

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Sewing and Self-Care

“She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] And makes her arms strong.” Proverbs 31:18 (amp)

Hey Everyone!

I pray all is well with you!  With the new year swiftly approaching 2019 goal setting or re-setting has been high on my priority list.  One of those goals is always self-care.  Tis’ the season to overeat then diet and detox. lol!  That’s not what today’s post is about.  I actually have been thinking about self-care from a sewing perspective.

What do you mean a sewing perspective…? Isn’t wellness a universal thing…?  Yes it is.  It is also my belief that no matter what you do professionally we as humans should strive to live a healthy lifestyle.  However, there are certain professions that physically demand more from us than others.

Sewing is one of them.  I didn’t notice it when I was hobby sewer, because I made a garment for myself or a loved one and worked at my own pace.  But when it became a vocation for me and I started to sew for others.  I began to really notice the effects on my body.

I began to have lower back and neck pain.  I would feel physically drained from the stress of sewing under constant deadlines.  Which had its affect on my cortisol hormone and caused belly bloating and sudden weight gain.  I had constipation.  Overall, I was pretty miserable.

At first I didn’t understand what was happening but as I met some older women who worked for factory sewing companies they began to share their stories with me about the strain of sewing on their health.

One woman told me she had suffered a stroke from the strain and stress of her job. Leaving her slightly paralized on one side of her body.  Another woman shared that her eye sight had weakened from so many years of sewing.  One of my professors from design school use to contract sew like I did and she told me she had to give it up because of the stress as well as wore a back brace when she would have to sit sewing for long periods of time.

After hearing all of these stories, I began to realize that I needed to figure out a way to live out my sewing dreams without the expense of my health.

Proverbs 31:18 says: “She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] And makes her arms strong.” Proverbs 31:18 (amp)

When I read this scripture two things dawned on me 

  1. While health is a promise from God; we have a responsibility to take care of our bodies.  It has been my experience that God will provide opportunities, resources and tools to aid in the journey.  But we still have to do the work and make the right choices.
  2. I also quickly realized that sewing for me has to include a self-care component.  When I workout before going into my sewing studio I noticed that I have less body aches, my mind is clearer and I can even sew a little longer or it doesn’t take me as long to complete projects because I make less mistakes.

However, like many people prioritizing self-care can be a struggle for me.  It is also something that I have to be intentional about. Through self-examination, I have been able to pin point stress triggors and map out wellness strategies that help me maintain a balanced life.

Here are just a few things that i’ve learned along the way.

  1. Rise early, pray and the read the word of God and journal often.
  2. Exercise at least 4 days/week.
  3. Eat healthy plant based meals.  I’ve tried to be a vegetarian for many years now and its not easy, especially because my family likes meat.  So I strive to eat plant based meals as much as possible and sometimes I include meat and fish.
  4. Drink a lot of water daily.
  5. Take a multi-vitamin.
  6. Limit sugar and caffeine.
  7. Try and get at least 8 hours of sleep daily.
  8. Enjoy my life. As a single mom I tend to get tired easily from work and kids.  Going with friends or socializing beyond phone conversations isn’t always on my list.  But I have afew activities that I try to hold onto when i’ve got a little free time.  Like salsa dance, lunch with a friend, or taking a yoga class with a friend.

9. Stay organized. Even if its a simple To Do List and a calendar app

10. Attend weekly worship service and bible study at church.

I know it seems like a lot but its not.  Outside of my church acitivies all of these things can get done anywhere from a few minutes to an hour at most.  And when I do these things consistently, I get to a place where I have energy, a focused mind, increased productivity and i’m a nicer person and mom.

So as your preparing for the holiday season and thinking about your 2019 goals, I hope that you include a strategy to maintain your health so that you can keep sewing for a long time.

Until next time!  Have a blessed rest of your week!

xoxo,

Iris

DIY: Holiday Sequins Pencil Skirt and Tips for Sewing w/ Sequins

Hello Everyone!

I pray all is well with you.  It is December already and no doubt many of you have holiday office parties to attend.  I’ll be honest with you.  I can’t remember the last time I went to a holiday party and I have never worn sequins prior to today’s post.

If you know me.  I like to keep things casual.  I’m not huge on evening gowns or overly glamorous oufits.  I do however, love the way designers are bringing sparkle to our everyday lives through sequins.  The incorporation of luxe fabric like velvet and sequins into ready to wear day looks inspired today’s make. Below are a few examples of my inspiration.

I thought it would be fun to make a stretch sequins pencil skirt.  I liked the idea of creating a holiday inspired piece that could stretch into the new year.  This skirt would be lovely and very appropriate at an afterwork holiday party and could be easily worn after the holiday season for a date night with your sweety!

This is a self-drafted pattern that I created using an existing knit pencil skirt. Its high-waisted and has a black elastic waistband.  I also added a lining made from some nude powermesh that I had in my stash for ages.  A little quick tip with the lining.  I like to cut my knit powermesh lining a 1/2 inch smaller than the outer skirt.  It gives a little compression and smooths out your curves nicely.  The sequins I purchased from Joann Fabric.

I chose to keep it sleek with a black blazer, black tank top and suede stilleto boots.  I added a little extra bling with these rhinestone black/gold tassle earrings.  I wanted the sparkle of the beautiful blue sequins to be the star of this outfit.

I also included a few tips that I learned from sewing with sequins below the pictures. I hope you find them helpful.

Tips for Sewing w/ Sequins

  1. Use lots of pins to pin your pattern down.  Those sequins are slippery.  I also used a very sharp rotary blade to cut my pattern instead of scissors. Made it easier to keep the fabric from shifting.
  2. Depending on how bulky your sequins is you may have to remove the sequins from the seam allowance prior to sewing your sequins.  Mine wasn’t so bad and I was able to cut it and sew without removing any of the sequins.
  3. Use a very sharp micro-tex needle.  I used a size 80 microtex needle. This went through my fabric easily without skiping stitches or thread breaking.
  4. Use an all purpose thread in a matching color.  I used a zig zag stitch and followed up with a straight stitch because it was a knit fabric and you could see the thread through the side seams.  Going over the seam a second time with a straight stitch helped tremendously.
  5. Hem your garment by hand.  I top stitched my pencil skirt hem but wish I would have hand finished the hem. It stretched out my hem a little bit.  Not too noticeable.

Well, that’s all for now! Until next time!

xoxo,

♥ Iris

DIY Upcycled Faux Fur Mittens and Tips for Sewing with Fur

“Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].” Colossians 3:15 (amp)

Hello Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all are enjoying your holiday.  This is my favorite time of the year.  I always look forward to the holiday meal preparations and family gatherings.

Today’s post is dedicated to the DIY gift makers.  A few years ago I made a bunch of fleece lined mittens from upcycled wool sweaters for the men in my family. They were a hit.  I thought about making them again when I realized that we might be in for a pretty frigid winter this year.  However, I wanted to give them a twist.  While I like how warm and economical it is to make them from wool sweaters.  I wasn’t esthetically feeling some of the wool sweaters that I was finding. They were a bit ugly or dated.

Then came an idea to try and source other kinds of wool fabric to make the mittens from.  I wanted them to still be warm and wondered if I could use an old wool suit or something like that.  I began to surf pinterest for ideas and tutorials but really couldn’t come across anything.  Then the other day the kids and I were in Target and I found these fun kids mittens made from bright blue, red and pink faux fur.  They were so cute.  They reminded me of cookie monster, elmo and cloe from Sesame Street.  The kids loved them.  So the idea eventually came to me to create my own furry version of a sweater mitten.

I found this beautiful black merino wool and angora sweater at the thrift store for $2.50.  It was the perfect weight and super soft.   

The faux fur I had in my stash from another project and I lined it with fleece that I had from some bath robes that I made the kids.

It took me a while to work out the design of this project and its still not perfect. But I liked the first go round.  I will say this project will work better with a short pile fur.  This fur is long and was meant to be used on a collar of a coat I was making.  But I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on this project so I just gave the fur a hair cut.  They look like chubaka and pepe le pieu had a baby lol! But I think they are fun a bit glamorous and 100% warm.  Just what every single woman who has snow shoveling duty needs in her life!

I also thought is was a great opportunity to give a few tips for sewing with fur. Below are some pictures and quick tips.

  1.  Never cut into the fur. It will cause a lot of shedding. Instead turn the fur over so that the knit backing is facing you and the fur is touching the surface of your cutting table.
  2. Place your pattern on the knit backing and using a marker trace your pattern onto the backing of the fabric.
  3. Use the tip of your scissors or even better a box cutter and cut just through the backing of the fabric (not the fur) along the traced pattern line.
  4. Once done.  Shake out all of the loose fur and pin your pieces together trying to keep as much fur out of the seam as possible.
  5. After you sew your seams together you may have to trim some of the fur on the inside and outside of your fabric at the seams.
  6. Never press faux fur.  You will have to press the seams down with your hands or a hammer.

Thats it.  Super simple. The pattern maker in me wants to work out the kinks in my pattern and play with fabric ideas.  So stay tuned.  You may see more improved versions of my furry sweater mittens.  Until then enjoy the rest of your day!

xoxo!

❤️ Iris

That Style Though Sewing Planner Review

I’ll be honest planning ahead is not really one of my strongest characteristics but it is something I have had to be intentional about.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25

Hello Everyone!

Happy Hump Day! I pray everyone’s week is bursting with productivity and new opportunities!  One of the things that I have been trying to do for the past few weeks is planning ahead.  Especially for the blog.  It has always been a blog goal of mine to be 1-3 months ahead of schedule. Having makes and post ideas done a season ahead frees me up to do other things as well as be more consistent with my posting.

I’ll be honest planning ahead is not really one of my strongest characteristics but it is something I have had to be intentional about. One of those intentional actions included using a blog and sewing planner. I had been looking for one for awhile without success.

Until an opportunity to collaborate with Dari from “that style though” sewing blog.  She put out a request for testers on instagram for her soon to be released 2019 sewing planner. I thought “great…! why not help someone else out and see if her planner layout works for my planning needs.”

This was definitely a win for me.  I love her planner because not everyone’s sewing process is the same and this gives you multiple ways to use it.  If your a sewing blogger or vlogger you can use it for that.  If your a sewist and just want a way to map out your design ideas from conception to finished garment; it definitely allows you to do that as well.

What I particularly like is that it allows you to organize your makes by seasons and/or months. For me, I am a seasonal sewing planner and I used it to map out my fall/winter makes not only for the blog but also for some other projects i’m beginning to work on for 2019.

I also like that it walks you through a project planning process which includes a mood board, a color palette page, a sheet to sketch out some of my ideas, pages to document the patterns I plan on using for my projects and even a closet inventory sheet.

If your looking to organize your sewing life I highly recommend “That Style Though” sewing planner. It was just released on November 6th and you can purchase your very own copy for $10 here.

Well that’s all for now!  Until next time!

❤️xoxo

Iris