Akram's Ideas

Sew ‘n’ Tell – What I made in Winter 2017/2018

Most sewing bloggers/vloggers will share a monthly plans and round up of sewing projects. This doesn’t quite work for me as some month I’m far less productive than others. 

In order to balance it all out, I’ve divided my sewing projects into 3-month seasons.  So, since Tuesday was the first day of spring that means it’s officially time to share my winter Sew ‘n’ Tell. 

Winter 2017/2018 Sew ‘n’ Tell 

Winter is always an odd season because it starts at the end of the previous year. This means when sharing my makes I have to think all the way back to 2017… gee that seems forever ago. 

Well, I guess the best place to start is to share my holiday makes. 

2017 Holiday

I didn’t do a lot of selfless sewing this past holiday though I did manage to make two handmade gifts.

Layla’s Pink & Orange Dress

The first was a quick and easy pull overdress for my niece Layla. 

A while back I asked her what she would like and very determined she said a dress in pink and orange. Not the colors I would choose but lucky for this 4-year old I actually had a lovely check print of pink, orange and purple on white in my stash. 

Sew 'n' Tell a review of my winter sewing makes, from December 2017 through February 2018.
A fun pull over dress for Layla

The dress fit, but not over her head. It turns out I really should have put in a zip or something. So, needless to say, I actually still need to fix this dress to open at the shoulder seams. 

Mom’s Gloden Kimono

The second gift I made was for my mom. A long while ago she gave me a silk skirt that she wanted the elastic changed out and hemmed to be shorter. This was like two-years ago but this past Christmas I came across the skirt and decided to fix it. After examining the skirt I thought, she would get a lot more wear out of this lovely print if it was turned into something other than a skirt. 

Sew 'n' Tell a review of my winter sewing makes, from December 2017 through February 2018.
This skirt turned into a lovely Kimono

So, I hacked the skirt into a Kimono using Butterick 6464 pattern, the same pattern I used to make myself a kimono last summer. I had some gold satin in my stash that worked perfectly for the trim. Overall I think it came out lovely. 

As I thought my Mom had totally forgotten about the skirt, to begin with, and was actually pretty happy that I had turned it into a kimono. 

Little Red Dress Project 2017

Moving on to selfish holiday makes, let us begin with my Christmas dress I made for the Little Red Dress project 2017

Sew 'n' Tell a review of my winter sewing makes, from December 2017 through February 2018.
Using a non-holiday print makes this dress far more wearable

For this project, I decided to make the Vintage Shirt Dress from Sew Over It. I had recently purchased this pattern during the Black Friday sales and was eager to sew it up. 

I seriously don’t know why I hadn’t sewn this dress before. It is so, me. 

Christmas Coco

During my birthday fabric haul, I scored some amazing jersey fabric with a lovely Christmas light print on it.  I knew immediately that I wanted to make a Tilly and the Buttons Coco out of it, but was sure if I wanted a top or a dress. 

Review of my Tilly & the Buttons Coco Tops made over the winter season. The perfect tops to keep you cozy.
This Coco top is super cozy

In the end, I went with a top, that I could pair with jeans for those cold December days. I’m so glad I made the top because I feel like I got way more wear out of it this way. 

New Year’s Mayberry

The last project of 2017 was the Jennifer Lauren Hand Made Mayberry dress. I was selected as a reviewer for this dress and was so excited. 

I really love the interesting details of the dress and couldn’t wait to whip one up. 

A quick review of my last make of 2017 the Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry Dress and a tease of what's to come in Season 3 of Akram's Ideas.
I was very happy with how my Mayberry turned out

For this project, I choose a lovely blue fabric that was a bit slippery to work with, but draped beautifully and was so soft. 

January Makes

After all the hustle and bustle of December, I always try to take the month of January off from blogging and vlogging. This gives me time to refocus my efforts and to do some sewing without any deadlines in mind. With that said I actually got a lot made in January. 

Floral Mayberry

Jennifer Lauren Hand Made Mayberry dress was not only the last dress I made in 2017 but the first dress I made in 2018. After I finished the first one I instantly knew I needed a second one. 

I found some floral seersucker in my stash and went to work on it. While I really liked my first Mayberry I must say that I am totally in love with the second one. 

Review of my latest Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress, made in a seersucker floral fabric just perfect for Spring weather.
I’m only now getting to wear this Janurary make

The sad part is that with the lightweight fabric and short sleeves I’ve only worn this dress for the first time a few weeks ago. It’s just been too cold otherwise. But now that it’s spring you can bet I’ll be wearing it a lot. 

Tilly Pajamas 

I had been in need of new pajamas and made a resolution that I would make myself some first thing in 2018. So, as soon as I wrapped up the Mayberry dress, I got started on the pjs. 

I had already planned to use Margot pajama bottoms pattern from Tilly’s book Love at First Stitch. I made the bottom from some fun flannel in my stash. 

A quick review of my first pajama set made using Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top and Margot pajama bottoms. This warm pajama set was made using knit jersey for the top and warm flannel for the bottoms.
Of all my makes these pajama sets get woren the most

For the tops, I managed to find some matching jersey and decided to pair the Margot bottoms with another Tilly pattern, the Agnes top

Another Vintage Shirt Dress

By mid-January, I had decided to join the #SMYLY challenge which encouraged the sewing community to share their sewing story along with making something you feel beautiful in. 

This got me thinking about the Sew Over It VintageShirtdresss I had made in December. As I said then that dress was so, me, and I did feel beautiful in it.

Sew Over It - Vintage Shirt Dress
I can’t get enough SOI Vintage Shirtdresses in my wardrobe

For my second version of the dress, I decided to go with a navy cotton with a lovely vintage-inspired floral print. I also hacked the pattern by swapping the sleeves for the Mayberry long sleeves

A Blue Coco

I had been wearing my Christmas Coco all through December and even snuck it in a few days in January. But by late January I knew I could no longer wear an out-season print in public. 

So, to make up the gap in my wardrobe for a comfy top I decided to make another Coco top, this time in a beautiful light blue color. 

Review of my Tilly & the Buttons Coco Tops made over the winter season. The perfect tops to keep you cozy.
This bright Coco is the perfect winter to spring transitonal piece

As you can tell by this point I was sick of winter and wanted to wear more bright spring colors. 

February Makes 

I was optimistically hopeful that we’d get an early spring this year. No such luck, instead of February brought with it even colder temperatures than January. So, I knew I had to add more warm me-made items to my wardrobe. 

Three Toaster Sweaters

For Christmas, I had gotten the Toaster Sweater from Sew House Seven, and since it was also on my #2018makenine plans I thought I’d give it a try. 

The Toaster Sweater is a super quick make

This pattern was so easy and quick to whip up, I ended up making three versions.  I’m so glad I finally got around to making the Toaster Sweater I’ve practically lived in them this winter.

Day and Night Dress Challenge

It doesn’t seem like I made a lot in February because the majority of my time was spent working on my Day and Night Dress Challenge project

Sharing the construction details for my Day and Night Dress challenge three-piece outfit, using Simplicity 2229 and Simplicity 4500.
My Day and Night Dress suit is my new work staple

Inspired by 1984’s Day and Night Barbie’s dress I used Simplicity 2229 and Simplicity 4500  to make this wrap around dress. 

Sharing the construction details for my Day and Night Dress challenge three-piece outfit, using Simplicity 2229 and Simplicity 4500.
I actually like the cocktail dress more than I thought I would

I took my time with this make and I think it really shows in the quality. I am super happy with how it turned out and have even worn it to work. 

My First Pants

With a week left in February, I was feeling pretty good after the success of my Day and Night Dress that I decided to tackle another milestone of the project. 

I decided to finally make my very first pants pattern. For this project, I choose the Cinnamon Trousers by Coco Wawa Crafts.

Pattern review of my first pair of pants, the CocoWawa Crafts Cinnamon Trousers, a great pattern for beginners.
I love the Cinnamon Trousers, they are so cute

This pattern featured fun frill details and was actually super easy to put together. 

Warm Winter Makes

The overall theme for this winter seems to be warm makes. While I love making cotton dresses, like the Vintage Shirtdress and the Mayberry dress, I was very upset because I couldn’t wear them out. So, turning gears to make the Coco and a few Toaster Sweaters really got my sewjo back and provided me opportunities to wear my me-made garments in the winter. 

I’m also really glad that I took on some challenging projects this winter, such as the Day and Night dress challenge and my first pair of pants. 

I’d love to hear in the comments below what you’ve made this winter and if you’ve made any of these patterns before. 

Sew 'n' Tell a review of my winter sewing makes, from December 2017 through February 2018.


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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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