Buttons, buttons, buttons

I’ve got buttons on the brain right now after sorting my grandmother’s collection. I feel very well-acquainted with the variations found in buttons – two holes, four, shank, no shank – having stared at them for so many hours! I suppose it only makes sense I would feel inspired to draw them as well.

crabandbee.com | button illustration by crab&bee

I also finished an unfinished buttoned blouse I started in September. I had found some silk – washed silk, I believe – secondhand at the fabric stash shop and thought it would make up beautifully as a soft blouse. (Sidenote: doesn’t secondhand silk sound tawdry ??)

I used a pattern that I had first tried during Me-Made-May 2012 in  a stiff stretch cotton (Day 10 in this post) and again in stiff cotton from a thrifted sheet (Day 22 here). Needless to say, the drape of the silk suited the boxy shape of the blouse much better! The pattern calls for bias-bound armholes, which is the point in the project where I abandoned it. Even though I’d been able to sew the silk well enough up until that point, I developed a fear of cutting out the bias strips.

crabandbee.com | Burda sleeveless blouse

The blouse sat unfinished until I got so desperate to do some garment sewing during the quilt-making process that I decided to go for it. I think cutting was the most difficult part; sewing the binding on wasn’t too difficult. The only issue – and I don’t think this was necessarily because of the silk – is that the  placket area is pooling above the hem. I’m going to try to fix this – any tips?

I really wanted to use some of my grandma’s buttons for the placket, but none of them had quite the right size or weight for the fabric. I used some thin shell buttons, also purchased at the stash shop.

Speaking of my grandmother’s buttons, here are the giveaway winners! If you’ve won a set, you should have an email from me in your inbox. Just let me know where you’d like the buttons sent within a week!

Thank you to everyone who shared  a favorite family heirloom in the comments section!


Week 2: MMM ’13

Hello, hello! Here’s what I wore during Week 2 of MMM.

DAY 6: Unblogged Wiksten tank with button placket (2013 – this weekend)
Reflections: I made this tank because I got frustrated with the pants I’m making, a sewing palate-cleanser. I added a button placket and some length to the tank view. Adding a button placket was easy. I cut two pieces for the front, and added 2.5″ to center front for a 1″ thick placket that is folded over twice. After wearing it all day, I realized how voluminous this tank is! The neck was gaping and the sides were billowing. I’ve since taken it in by creating a center back seam. I’m wondering if the fabric’s deep wrinkles reformed between pressing and cutting?
Morning activity: None! I couldn’t fall sleep because of the hot weather.


DAY 7: Sleeveless blouse (May 2012)
Reflections: This is a generally good blouse, but for some reason, I don’t reach for it often. Perhaps it would be better in a lighter-weight fabric, since it’s a bit boxy. I used the Burda Sleeveless Blouse pattern.
Morning activity: Another warm night! Nathan and I watched Lost later at night instead of going to sleep early.


DAY 8: Anna K skirt (November 2012)
Reflections: Gosh, this skirt is just really nice to wear. I really took my time with it and tried underlining for the first time. The fabric print still makes me really happy.
AM activity: none, Wednesday is my day off (it’s a bad week for early rising so far!)


DAY 9: Redness bustier (April 2012)
Reflections: I led off MMM ’12 with this top (pattern is McCall’s 6325). I still love it! It could probably use some more structure through the bodice, as it’s a thinner quilting cotton, as well as some in the straps.
AM activity: It’s cooled off quite a bit! I did some light yoga and stretching this morning.


DAY 10: Wiksten tank (April 2013)
Reflections: Clearly one of my favorite outfits! Not too much to say here as I just blogged about this tunic, aside from the fact I felt awesome in it all day. One thing I noticed was that this Wiksten felt way less voluminous than Day 6’s (before the addition of the CB seam).
AM activity: I woke up MAD (not sure why, just happens sometimes) and lay in bed stewing. I don’t consider stewing in bed getting up early!


DAY 11: Unblogged Burda Sleeveless Blouse (May 2012) and black skirt (Winter 2010)
Reflections: This blouse was my first of two attempts at the Burda Sleeveless pattern. The fabric was leftovers from my Minoru lining. I dunno. In order to make it less boxy, I curved the side seams (too much). It photographs worse than it looks, but it’s still not my favorite. The facings on this pattern kind of drive me crazy, and it’s very clear to me that I sewed it too fast. The skirt is one of  many made using Simplicity 2451. As my only black skirt, it’s been a bit of a workhorse item for me but it’s starting to look its age! The denim hasn’t kept its color that well. I wonder if I can re-dye it?


Day 12: Self-drafted self-printed tank (never blogged, 2011)
Reflections: I silk-screened this cotton voile with one of my illustrations. I was experimenting with tank patterns at the time, and this was the most successful one. I know I’ve got a muslin of it in my scrap bag, but I’m kicking myself for not making a paper pattern out of it because it’s a great little tank! It saw me through some serious Mother’s Day food prep and two visits to our p-patch garden without breaking a sweat.


As far as sewing went this week, I was happily sidetracked by a non-garment gifty project. I  haven’t gathered the resolve to fix the pants yet. I hope to get them fixed and as well as enjoy some early mornings this week!

What are you working on now?

The Fourth Week, MMM 12: Grey Days

The title says it all; I wore a significant number of grey garments this week! I think it’s interesting that I started with all of my brightest reds, oranges and blues and worked my way down to the greys (with the exception of Day 25).

Day 21: I wore a refashioned cotton sweater. It used to have really unflattering batwings, so I re-made the sleeves and took in the armpits. (Gross, “took in the armpits.”) I’d hurt my back from too much desk work and sewing, hence the shorts. Also wearing my Savage Salvage necklace.

Day 22: I made another Burda sleeveless blouse! As I said in my Flickr description, I make everything in twos.  I really liked the other blouse (worn on Day 17 and Day 10), but had a few things I wanted to improve on. I made it longer with a pointed hem, and didn’t nip the sides in so dramatically but compensated by adding darts in the back. The fit is great! And, I was lucky enough to find this polka dotted cotton at the thrift store.

Day 23: I’d bought this tunic at the thrift store because I liked the fabric so much, but it was too big. I took in the sides and re-did the sleeves and hem a bit. Worn with thrifted jeans and the coolest necklace ever (found at the Goodwill). And no, I’m not using hyperbole.

Day 24: The third Simplicity 2451 makes an appearance! I made this one in tribal cotton twill from Gorgeous Fabrics. Worn with a store-bought shirt and tights, as well as a vintage necklace.

Day 25: My trusty blue linen tank made a reappearance (also seen on Day 5 this month). Worn with a thrifted bolero and jeans, and a favorite pair of shoes that had been at the cobbler until recently.

Day 26: Saturday was so lovely in Seattle! I put on my tunic/dress made of linen curtains with Simplicity 2497, one of the Cynthia Rowley patterns. I find this piece a bit challenging to wear because of the low neckline and lofty ruffles. It looks pretty good with a shirt under it, but that would have been too warm yesterday!

I can’t believe there are five days left!! There is a slim chance I’ll have a new project before the end of MMM ’12; otherwise, get ready to see some previously-seen, lovingly hand-washed favorites!

The Second Week, MMM12: Blue Period

It seems I wore blue self-mades every day, with only one or two exceptions! And with the morning light being as it is, my black clothes also photographed blue.

Day 7: My self-drafted, hand-printed cotton voile tank. I so need to duplicate this project in other fabrics! It’s so easy to wear but still feels a bit fancy.

Day 8: Here is one of my favorite self-mades ever, blogged here. I’d love to make one or two more of this one! I used Simplicity 2281.

Day 9: This was my first attempt at the bustier I wore on day 1 (not counting the muslin I made). I was a little bit sick when I made it, and I rotated one of the pieces. It’s given the garment a slight pouf where I eased in the piece, but I still think it’s wearable. If I get ambitious some day, I’m going to fix it. The pattern is McCall’s 6325.

Day 10: A new, unblogged project! I downloaded the Burda sleeveless blouse PDF. I used the lining leftovers from my Minoru, which is still in progress. I love the blouse but found the instructions to be quite spare! That said, now that I know how to use this pattern, I will probably be making several of these. Also wearing my Simplicity 2451 skirt.

Day 11: Last year, I started Me-Made March with this shirt. It’s just slightly too big through the bust and waist, due to my misunderstanding the pattern instructions (Simplicity 2554, for reference). It was a mix of knit and woven patterns and I mistakenly assumed that it was all for knits. I’d actually be interested in making it in a woven fabric at some point, although the idea of doing a narrow hem on those ruffles again gives me pause!

Day 12: My thrifted and shredded tank, created last year during Me-Made-March. Here’s the Outsapop tutorial if you’d like to make your own or just read a really cool blog on thrifting and DIY fashion.

Day 13: What’s this? A picture of me outside of my bedroom? Nathan snapped this photo of me between mother’s day events. I’m wearing my blue Simplicity 2451 skirt, an older recently-repaired tank top and a vintage Coach purse from ebay.

I’m getting a little concerned as I’m getting down to the projects that I don’t normally wear. We’ll see how this coming week treats me; there might be some re-styling aka repeats. (I have no qualms about repeating garments weekly in the real world, but it’s more exciting to share new ones during a sewing challenge!)