I’m Kara, or Knitsandsews on Instagram, and I have been sewing the majority of my wardrobe for the past three years. As a stay at home parent, I love the creative outlet that sewing and knitting provide to me. The timescale of parenting is long, and sometimes it is hard to see progress when it feels like you are stuck in an endless loop of daily activities. Creating my own clothes allows me to see concrete progress on a project and feel the satisfaction of learning a new skill.
As someone with no sewing friends in my daily life, I really like the idea of paying tribute to other Sewcialists who inspire me virtually. I love Instagram as a source of creative inspiration, and my IG feed is full of beautiful makes. Today I’d like to highlight one of Instagram sewist in particular: Jess Waldegar of Kunklebaby.
Day 5: #mmmay17 brand new Alder Shirtdress. My summer sewing might just be filled with these!! 💙 I used some more buttons that had belonged to my grandmother too. That always makes me happy. . . #memademay #jesshandmadewardrobe @grainlinestudio #aldershirtdress #leahduncan #grainlinestudio #sewcialists #isew #sewing #makersmovement #makersgonnamake #dressmaking #handmadefashion #handmadeclothes #shirtdress #mountains #imademyclothes #sewtogetherforsummer
Jess is a creative mother of five who also teaches at Sew to Speak in Worthington, OH. Her style is has a few indentifiers: a great use of prints, plenty of blues, greens and yellows, mostly sleeveless dresses and tank tops. As someone who also loves blue and sleeveless tops, I’m on board!
Weekend = comfort. Made this pretty, blue, Nani Iro double gauze #willowtankdress I added front pockets this time. The fabric is so much prettier in person. 💙 This will layer nicely with a cardigan & ankle boots for fall. . . #seasonofthewillows #grainlinepatterns #naniiro #jesshandmadewardrobe #isew #handmadewardrobe #moreblue #sewing #grainlinestudio
Jess also likes to use block printing to make her clothing totally unique. She elevates a basic pattern in to something spectacular, like this bison print dress:
Handprinted Bison Dress. I love this fun, print even more than I expected to. I used the Woven Essentials pattern again. It's quickly become my go to dress pattern. It will pair great with a knit sweater this fall. (Close up of print in last photo) . . #jesshandmadewardrobe #memadeeveryday #isew #blockprint #handprinted #wovenessentials by @onegirlcircus and @alisonglass #handmadewardrobe #makeallthethings #drawmeschmoe #agsewalong
I have no knowledge of print making, but I wanted to try to create a garment in the style of Jess’ wardrobe. I made a Grainline Studio Willow Tank in some thrifted blue cotton, and used fabric markers to create a simple pattern around the shirt hem.
My design is of abstract mountains and one crescent moon. The fabric pens bled a tiny bit, but I think the unevenness of my lines add to the overall character. I’m pleased with my first attempt at designing on fabric, and I hope that Jess views my shirt stylings as a compliment!
I have made at least three other Willow tanks, and I think it is a very versatile pattern. The fitted bust combined with the A-line shaped hem create a garment that is flattering but easy to wear. In the summer I wear my Willow tanks with shorts or a simple jersey knit skirt, and in the winter I like to layer a Morris Blazer over my Willow tanks.
For even more inspiration, check out Caitlyn’s round-up of bloggers she loves over on Practice Makes Pretty!