I was gifted the class the EasyT by SewHere.com a few years ago. I created woven and knit teeshirts and dresses cut to my own measurements. When my mind wandered to caftans thanks to the hashtag Caftans and cocktails it came up with a shape I couldn’t quite find in a store bought or indie designer pdf. I began looking at that self drafted block and wondered, What IF I…..
Go to Zede and Mallory’s blog SewHere.com to read how I turned a simple block into this.
Once upon a time we moved to Los Angeles, it was a big move and one we have been so thankful to have made work for our family. It wasn’t easy, we made lots of moves for financial reasons, educational ones and once unplanned circumstances but made it to homeownership again. We searched for a year with our oh so patient realtor and finally found a home one mile away that checked all the boxes, with the caveat that the home came “as is”.
Our home was built in 74′ and other than new flooring and a coat of paint (right over the original light switches and outlet plates too) it was original. The appliances were Harvest Gold the kitchen light fixtures were coated in dust and cooking grease (no dis, we USE our kitchen too and I have to get up on a ladder to clean our cooking debris) and the cabinets had a fresh coat of shiny poly right over all that cooking love. It was sticky. I love me some autumn but it was a bit much.
With the purchase finalized and basic safety updates underway there were no funds for a hired contractor kitchen redo but I though “no big deal, I got this”. We did all of our refresh on our home in Orlando, lighting, mirror wall removal, carpet removal, wall paper removal, paneled feature wall to hide some of the mirror removal and paint in every room. It was a lot, this seemed like such a small thing in comparison. Seemed like.
The cabinets were coated in polyurethane and a dark stain. I first thought keep the deep color and just re coat them, but that wasn’t working with the veneered drawers and the detail in the cabinet face was just a crevice of gunk. The wood grain was interesting but I couldn’t make it work in my mind with the tile counter. I tried HARD.
It was too dark and cave like, not in a good way. After stripping all the cabinet fronts and drawers with Citrisolve and removing any last bits with IsoProAlcohol and steel wool it seemed like paint was the easiest way forward. We weren’t changing the counters or flooring so I had to work with what I had.
It was a slog of a project and I wanted to quit so many times but once a clear design took hold it was like rolling downhill. I knew where things were going and it was just a matter of doing it . There were many trips to the hardware store and more than eight paints tried out on that back wall.
It came together beautifully, and I am so glad I did it. My vision realized so much so that my husband now thinks the kitchen never needs another touch, and has no interest in remodeling it in the future. I don’t know whether to be happy about my work or frustrated I missed out on a new kitchen.
Here’s the list of what I did: striped the cabinets and drawers, painted the front of cabinets and doors, painted pantry white Kilz, installed draw handles and cabinet pulls, drew with gold Sharpie on the painted wall and back splash, installed under cabinet lighting, painted canisters copper, applied Rub N’Buff to light fixtures to make them antique gold, assembled and installed window valance to hide old blinds, Made and hung planter.
It’s wonderful to be finished and we all love using our kitchen, it’s light and cheerful with no stickiness on it’s surfaces. Now with three cooks in the family and one more learning, it gets frequent use. A hard project I never want to do again, but so worth the effort.
Wow it is so hard to photograph navy sheer brocade! But I think it was finally managed. Having sewn the original Washi Dress pattern with a successful full bust adjustment or FBA, and loved the shape on me I was ready for more. So when Rae of Made by Rae, gifted the expansion pack for testing the extended size range of her Ruby pattern I couldn’t wait to try to make the dress into some tops.
This fabric was picked up in Downtown LA at a discount fabric seller, I didn’t know what to do with it but my fabulous fabric finding friend said I should get it, the price was right, and I rarely put a good fabric or friend down. I love to fabric shop with others, if you can I highly recommend it. I am so glad I listened because the drape of this fabric made it perfect for a Washi top. The construction of this was seamless and fairly quick project for such and elegant wardrobe addition. I have already mentioned that I did a full bust adjustment on the Washi dress which the expansion uses the bodice and skirt. If you are larger than a B cup I would recommend you do an FBA as well. I did a rough cut how to video on how I do them here. A simple guide would be half an inch for each cup size above a B but your individual data points ie: measurements, will help you choose the right amount for you. Everyone’s body is unique and you are trying to make a two dimensional pattern fit your three dimensional shape.
I love the way this top came together. I had to serge all the pieces because the fabric did unravel while I worked and if you haven’t worked with elastic thread in your bobbin before it can be tricky. I used Gutterman brand and had a bobbin case with decreased tension just for the shirring portion of the top, then a quick blast with the iron or steam and BAM! gathered back and cuffs. That way when I was constructing the top I had thread in the bobbin and the case had the proper tension, when I moved on to the shirring I took out the bobbin case and bobbin and used the loosened bobbin case and a bobbin hand wound with the elastic thread. Lengthen your stitches and take your time.