12/26/16

Pleated Tunic



What a fun, busy and blessed holiday it has been!  Yesterday was filled with joy, food, laughs and family while the kids were going crazy with their new toys.  As the year is coming to an end, I know we're finding time to rest and still spending more time celebrating.  This Very Easy Vogue (V8977) pattern is a great piece to add to your colder weather wardrobe as well as being a bit more dressy.  I love these loose tunics because they can be styled all sorts of ways.  But first I want to talk more about the construction of this top.  First, the fabric I choose was from a local fabric store called TexStyles Fabric.  It's a very thin and drapey rayon knit.  What drew me to it was the color, and second was the drape.  I was a little concerned about the stretchiness of it with this type of pattern, but I decided I would give it a whirl.  The pleats, back strap and button band were all easy to sew.  The part that gave me the most trouble was the neck facing.  Because my fabric had a lot of drape and stretch I really had to fiddle with making sure the neck facing was lining up correctly as I sewed.  There are spots along the back where the fabric bunched up (nothing a little ironing out couldn't fix).  I also didn't change the length of the the sleeve pattern before cutting and the sleeves turned out way too long.  So I had to shorten them after they were already attached to the bodice.  I think they still turned out fine.  My favorite feature of this top are the gathers of the sleeves near the shoulder and the sleeve band, I think they add a fun and elegant touch.  I love this pattern and would definitely sew it again but probably with some type of challis fabric with no stretch.

I styled my pleated tunic with leather leggings, open toe booties and gold accessories.  I think this top would also look great with skinny jeans and leggings.  This would be a great look to celebrate the New Year with my family.







12/19/16

Creative Time and Bloglovin'

I wanted to share a blog post that I wrote for my MOPS blog recently.  I wrote it to share my experience of becoming a new mom and reaching a place where I wanted to be creative again while navigating through early motherhood.  I talk about how it's OK to find your way to spending a little time (however few and far between) to do something that makes you happy.  Follow this link to read my post directly from our MOPS blog or scroll on down.

Also, Misty a la Mode is up on Bloglovin'. Follow me over there along with your other favorite blogs.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
 

"Lose Yourself In Creativity"
By Misty Stafford

A long time ago, way before I started having children I absolutely loved to create, craft and make all kinds of things. I made jewelry, crocheted and learned to sew. I even started an Etsy shop and sold all of my creations at crafts fairs. It was so fun, relaxing and I was so proud that people admired my work and would pay to own a piece.  Those were also the days when my free time was unlimited to work on what ever I wanted. Weekends, evenings, holidays were all used for time to work on my projects, update my shop site and setting up my little table to sell my goods. And then life happened.  I married my college sweetheart, went back to school, and navigated through a career change.  Not too long after came our first baby – and there went all of my free time, and creative time for that matter.  I don’t think I was too sad about not having a lot of time to create.  I was so involved in being a new mom, taking in every milestone of my baby and most importantly, trying to get some sleep. 

As I was learning to adjust to being a new mom I did manage to find a little bit of a creative outlet like the occasional crocheted baby hat, however those moments were few and far between.  Eventually I felt like I needed more.  I missed sitting down and focusing on a project without being interrupted.  I craved to learn a new skill and try a new pattern.  I think most importantly I wanted to feel a sense of self.  Over the next couple of years I learned more about finding balance in my life while being a stay at home mom.  While motherhood is fulfilling as you watch your babies quickly grow and learn, I think for my own sanity I knew I needed to fit in more creative time.  Thankfully with the support of my husband I slowly started taking a couple of sewing classes starting last year.  Getting this opportunity to get back in the saddle of creating I have finally reached a goal of making my own clothes and wearing them.  The classes and time I had to create helped me feel happy and gave me confidence to take on new skills.  I have loved sewing for the past year and I am excited about what I have been able to make considering my little free time.  I recently decided to start a blog (www.mistyalamode.blogspot.com) to document my projects and to share with my family and friends what I have learned and made.  For me, it’s difficult to put myself  “out there” but I have decided not to care if my projects aren’t perfect.  I am grateful to have the support that I need in order to find a space for something I have been wanting – learning, focusing and creating.

While my two sons are my pride and joy and my most precious “projects,” I know that in order to be a good mommy I need to be happy and to be happy I set aside small slots of time in my hectic schedule to do just that.  It may be an hour here, a half hour there but I’ll take it while I share in the joys (and pitfalls) of being a stay at home mom.  It’s not easy being a mom so I encourage each of you to tap into your curiosity and learn that skill you have always wanted to learn how to do.  Lose yourself in those moments, step away from the craziness, ask for support from your spouse or loved one, take a short class (there’s so much online these days) and get to creating.  

12/12/16

Drapey Cardigan


With an endless to-do list and Christmas quickly approaching, I found the perfect pattern that is super quick and so chic.  I discovered this McMcall's pattern while browsing Joann's one morning.  The day I went I really had no idea what sewing projects I wanted to do next.  I aimlessly walked through the fabric isles several times and kept flipping through pattern books.  All of sudden a moment of inspiration hit me, and I was out of the store with this pretty gray stripped jersey knit and McCall's M7441 (and two other projects!).  I went with Pattern A and it is only 3 pieces.  Since my fabric has a subtle stripe, I was very aware of how everything was going to line up as I was cutting out the pieces.  I also shortened the sleeves by 2 inches.  When sewing I used a stretch stitch for all seams and hems (rather than following the pattern instructions for the hems).  I also forgot to mark the places where to tack the front, but when I put the cardigan up on my dress form I just approximated where to tack.

This cardigan is perfect for dressing up or down.  I styled it here with a relaxed fit jersey top and a turquoise crocheted necklace that I made a while ago (back in my crochet days).  I could see this cardigan as a layering piece with a fitted jersey dress too.


12/6/16

Gray Aztec Top


I've been working a lot with knits lately and have really been practicing how I can make easy to wear tops.  One of the first patterns that helped me start working with knits is Simplicity 1062A.  It's from their "Learn To Sew" pattern series.  Last year when I began sewing garments, I made two tops with this pattern.  Both times I followed the pattern instructions exactly as they were written.  The first top turned out cute and fit well.  However the instructions indicate to use a zipzag stitch so the seams stretch with the knit fabric.  I used the zigzag stitch for the seams but used a straight stitch for the neck band and arm band (because that's what it looked like in the pattern instructions).  Later these seams ended up bursting open because there was no stretch.  The second time I sewed this up I used all zigzag stitches but the neck band didn't look right, and I stayed away from those arm bands.  Well, after some knits education, lots of practice and finding the perfect knit for this style of top I decided to try this out on my serger.  Well the results are so much better!  This time around it was so easy to sew up.  I also used a double needle for the top stitching on the neck band and bottom hem.  This pattern is great, however Simplicity should come out with a serger series for this type of project.  The fabric was also purchased at Joann's.  I bought two different knits and used View B in the pattern (contrasting neck and arm band).  I love this top with distressed jeans or a denim skirt and of course finished with booties.