My home and my garden are an extension of my creativity and my peaceful respite from the world. As an essential worker I have often been overwhelmed in the last few months. This week is no exception. I’m physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. I’m tired of science deniers telling me that covid is being overblown. On a brighter note I learned quite a bit about Juneteenth today! I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t realize that it’s history was connected to Texas. That is shameful and tells you what isn’t taught in schools. This day commemorates the day that slaves in Texas were finally informed of the emancipation proclamation in 1865, a full two and a half years after it was signed into law. I also just saw on the news the story of #opallee a Fort Worth woman who is 93 years old and led a group of people on a 2.5 mile march today in an effort to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Hell yeah! What an inspiration. Not only that but 4 years ago she walked all the way to Washington DC for the cause. She was 89 when she did that. You can google her and sign her petition to officially recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday.
I’m sneaking in a last minute post for #ankaraappreciationweek and boy do I love this beautiful fabric. If you want some serious color and print inspiration check out that hashtag or #sewankarafabric You can probably tell that this isn’t a recent make, in fact it’s from 2013! I still adore this dress to this day and it was an early fitting win for me. I need to wear this beautiful dress more often. I’ll put the link to my blog post in my profile in case you want more details about this pattern. Off to enjoy some other lovely Ankara makes, and share them in my stories. #ashleyakersblog #simplicity1651
I posted this photo the other day with a caption acknowledging my privilege and then deleted it. I was trying to shut up and listen and learn. And I had tagged the photo black lives matter and realized I was just drowning out black voices. But this photo still seems relevant so here it is again. I grew up in a country and family that allowed me to never struggle. I do not fear for my life when going about my daily business. I am definitely privileged in many ways and live in a self imposed introverted home body built bubble. I KNOW that racism is real, that it runs deep in this country. From overt and institutionalized racism in our justice system, our for profit prisons, our fucked up and biased laws, to long held biases that people don’t acknowledge or want to admit. I know this country is not built for everyone to succeed. Now it’s time for me to start learning what I can actually do about that. I went to my first protest and as a quiet person it felt very strange to yell in public. But we all need to be yelling. I know that attending one protest will not affect change. I’m taking myself back to school to learn and re-learn. I’m not much of a reader but I may turn to audio books. Posting about race and politics in my instagram stories from my couch is most definitely not enough. I’m sure for the most part I am only reaching people who have the same beliefs as I do. I’m still sewing and making but I will be here quietly learning and trying to DO something about it.
#memademay2020 day 26 #ruskatee with elbow length sleeves in striped cotton jersey from @blackbirdfabrics and my #magiclanderpants #landerpants that I over fit and still seem a little odd in the crotch. They’re made from ventana twill that doesn’t stand up well to stress at the seams but I love the color so much that I keep trying to wear them. Also they were an early “success” aka breakthrough in pants fitting for me, even if I did make them too tight by taking in the side seams too much. Oh well, live and learn. #mmmay2020 #memademay #sewover40 #ashleyakersblog #b36w27h39
#memademay2020 day 25 I’m feeling this look y’all! Easy, casual, comfortable but put together. That’s my goal and this outfit hits all the marks. Deer and Doe #plantaintee in #leahduncan knit #persephonepants #mmmay #memademay #ashleyakersblog #b36w27h39 #sewcialists #justtouchyourhair
#memademay2020 day 24 maybe I’ve lost steam? I skipped a couple of days because I haven’t been going anywhere after work, plus dirty hair and being tired. But I “made” this skirt last night. It was cut off of a thrifted dress and is this gorgeous plaid linen that this photo isn’t doing justice to. I haven’t worn a bias cut skirt in probably 18 years and I’m totally into it! I think this will be a year round wardrobe staple and more bias cut skirts are in my future. Top is rtw that I couldn’t pass up because cacti. When I was a teenager I had a sweet collection of t-shirts from science museums that had plants on them. I would visit with my granny and Pawpaw and my granny would buy them for me. So this shirt reminds me of that and I love it. #mmmay2020 #memademay #refashionedclothing #thrifted
#memademay2020 day 21 #morningglorytop over vintage #mccalls8786 this dress is loose at the waist so trickier to layer but the morning glory top proves to be an expert at layering and I just tied it a little looser in the back. It’s getting pretty warm here but not quite spaghetti strap season for me yet. I love this combo! I’ve been re-visiting my #wardrobearchitect posts from two summers ago and trying to come up with a concise two word description of my style. It’s so hard! @threadandstrings1 described hers as Romantic Minimalist and ever since I saw her post I’ve been trying to work mine out. 70s art teacher? Eclectic casual? I can’t figure it out, maybe it’s beyond categorizing but I would love to know the answer. I’m off work today and I’ve been cleaning and working in the yard. Happy Thursday! . . #ashleyakersblog #memademay #memadeeveryday #handmadewardrobe #imadethis #vintagesewingpatterns #b36w27h39 #printmixchallenge #ikat
#memademay2020 day 19 Last night I changed out of my ikat skirt that felt too dressy and too restrictive and into my #terrapants with my brand new #ogdencamihack and you guys, this outfit just felt like ME. Do you know what I mean? Like everything is just perfect about it. The proportions, the fabrics, the drape and fit. I guess that’s the best part of sewing your own wardrobe. I’m still surprised by how much I love this style of pant. I do not remember the last time I owned pleated pants. It also is a surprise that two voluminous garments make me feel so confident, put together, cute and did I say confident?! I’m off to make an entire wardrobe of these two patterns..... . . #memademay #ogdencami #patternfantastique #truebias #ashleyakersblog #b36w27h39 #memadeeverday @patternfantastique @truebias
#memademay2020 day 18 Started and finished this #ogdencamihack today. I’m so thrilled with it! @anna_miriah gave me the idea to widen the straps and add ties at the shoulders. I also slashed and spread for more trapeze like volume. This is a very wearable muslin aka a test run for my #rubystarsociety fabric. I may or may not add a button placket to the front on my next version. I feel like the #ogdencami is such a good starting point for fun hacks. I think this is my 5th time to use the pattern, its a great scrap buster too! I paired this cropped cami with a ikat skirt that I made from a vintage pattern. I also have a cropped Ogden in this ikat. The Tencel for my top is a scrap from my #style2321 dress and I hope to squeeze some shorts out of it too. . . Really proud of this one, and I think I can riff on it some more. Check out the video for more views and because #imnot2d . . #ashleyakersblog #memademay #memadeeveryday #truebias #vintagesewingpatterns #imakemyclothes #handmadewardrobe #sewover40 #youcanhackit #b36w27h39 #patternmixing #printmixchallenge
Nope, not going anywhere, just playing dress up for #memademay2020 Once again the #printmixchallenge has me inspired! I paired my #simplicity8606 ruffled wrap skirt in the swishiest rayon voile with my #sewhappycolor hand dyed linen top made from vintage #simplicity8587 This is another combo that I never would have considered so thank you @katiekortmanart and @andrea_djones for pushing me outside of my comfort zone. I’m really enjoying it out here in print mix land! . . I am a little sad tonight because my husband is playing music live on Facebook with some friends this evening. While I’m a total homebody and handling #stayathome pretty well I do miss live music! @margaretchavezmusic will still be fun to watch online though. It’s also my sweet mamas @connie.akers birthday and I miss my family but I know many people are in the same boat. . . #memademay #memadeeveryday #vintagesewingpatterns #simplicitypatterns #ashleyakersblog #b36w27h39
#memademay2020 day 15 coincides with date night. I finished this #calyxsmock this afternoon and I’m so in love with it! I’ve been hanging onto this #leahduncan voile for ages waiting for the perfect pattern to present itself and I think this was a good match. The skirt is one of three #megannielsenpatterns #brumbyskirt that I’ve made. I love the combination of volume and featherweight fabrics, just perfect for warm weather. #prettypearlygirly really wanted to participate today! Ok off to pick up a pizza and have a picnic with my favorite dude. . . I made the Calyx in size 10. Shortened by 3.5”, eliminated the hem facing and did a 1.5” hem. I did a mid length sleeve with a .5” hem and was able to squeeze this baby out of 1.5 yards of 45” wide fabric! On this version I lowered the neckline a little by making it less gathered but I probably would not to that next time. I love everything about this pattern and am ready to make a dress version soon. . Earrings made by @gwilliamson . #ashleyakersblog #memademay #imnot2d #memadeeveryday #handmadewardrobe #isewmyownclothes #isewlated2020 #b36w27h39
#memademay2020 day 14 The #printmixchallenge is giving me life. It’s my Friday night. Didn’t want to work today. I’m a bit burnt out and not feeling myself. I need to start doing some yoga or weight lifting or some kind of mood boosting intentional movement. I’m afraid this summer is really going to be long and hot and depressing. Anyways I’m boosting my mood through clothes today. Wearing my #cloverdress as a top with my “self drafted” ikat skirt that consists of 9 rectangular pieces of fabric and a bandana that my mom gave me, which I presume she dyed (or discharged rather). I’m dress up to go to the self service kiosk at the post office which is pretty silly but that’s my life right now! . . . #quarantinelife #isewlation #isewmyownclothes #memademay #memadeeverday #ashleyakersblog #papercutpatterns #shibori #ikat #sewover40 #justtouchyourhair
#memademay2020 day 12 @deer_and_doe_patterns #ddplantain in @leahduncan knit and vintage #m3835 overall dress . . #ashleyakersblog #memademay #vintagesewingpatterns #deeranddoepatterns #plantaintee #mccalls3835
#memademay2020 day 11 We went down to Dinosaur Valley State Park today. It is seriously the most beautiful place in this part of Texas! It was a little too cool to swim but pearl didn’t care. It was peaceful and relaxing and just what I needed. I wore a handmade swimsuit and the #ogdencamihack that I made last year with hand dyed linen for #sewhappycolor The bikini top is a vintage pattern that I’ll have to dig up and share. I need to make one in every color because it’s perfect! The bottoms were a copy of a rtw pair that I wore to death. . . I hope the weather is nice wherever you are at and if not I hope you’re inside sewing. Xoxo . . #ashleyakersblog #handmadeswimear #sewingswimwear #memademay #imadethis
#memademay2020 day 10 Happy Mother’s Day! We worked in the yard all day and I’m so happy to be showered and dressed but now I’m too pooped to cook dinner. I’m trying out another #printmixchallenge combo that I have never considered before. This is a refashioned thrifted circle skirt that I turned into a wrap skirt with an old make #simplicity1106 in #annamariahorner rayon. I’m digging the red/orange and yellow/green pairing. #ashleyakersblog #b36w27h39 #memademay #memadeeveryday #handmadewardrobe #refashionedclothing #thriftedfashion #imadethis #sewersofinstagram #sewcialists
Day 9 of #memademay2020 is an uninspired outfit for an evening walk on the trail. I’m wearing my #landerpants shorts, which are the only shorts I’ve ever made. I need to remedy that this year. My top is a copy of a rtw knit top that I also need to make more of. I’ll try for something more interesting over the next two days because it’s my weekend!
Not the most exciting outfit for #memademay2020 day 7 but this #twohourtop in hemp knit from @fancytigercrafts is my go to casual favorite and most worn piece. They say that hemp fabric lasts a long time and ages really well and I have found that to be true. I paired it with my #persephonepants in mint cone mills denim. Between these and my #terrapants I feel like I’ve finally hit my stride on pants fitting this year. Of course the Terra Pants didn’t require any adjustments other than taking in the side seams, but still. We are out delivering Mother’s Day flowers and gifts to my mother in law and I put the bouquet together for her with flowers from work and greenery from my garden. . . #ashleyakersblog #memademay
It’s #memademay2020 day 6. Today I am completely flipping out on how much I LOVE my new #Terrapants I honestly wasn’t sure right up until the waistband was on if they were going to be for me. They are amazing. Somehow these make me feel both effortlessly chic AND supremely comfortable. They are expertly drafted and just fit like a dream. I love that they are both timeless and on trend. Now I need about 5 more pair. . . I sized down for the higher waist fit and made a straight size 8. However they were still fitting lower than I wanted, possibly due to having a very high waist and/or a high hip to waist ratio? I took them in 1/4” on each side seam, therefore removing 1” total ease through the waist and hips. I think I could do a straight size 6 for a slimmer fit but I adore this fit so much I’m not sure I’ll go there. Maybe in a stretch woven just in case? I added 4” to the length and I think this length is perfect on me. I’m 5’4” for reference but didn’t want the Capri look. . . The fabric is a tencel chambray from Joann. The top is a yet to be hemmed copy of a rtw piece and is made from some of the #merinowool from @wearethefabricstore . . Thank you @patternfantastique for such a great design. I’m so glad I took the chance even though I was never sure it would work for me. I’m pretty sure my next make will be a #calyxsmock . . #ashleyakersblog #memaday #patternfantastique #b36w27h39 #imadethis #handmadewardrobe #sewersofinstagram #patternfantastique #sewover40
Three prints in one outfit?! Who even am I? The #printmixchallenge is opening up a whole new world of options from my #handmadewardrobe . . It makes sense that the prints and multi-colored wovens that I own would go together since I’m so picky about color. When I first heard about this challenge I didn’t think it was for me but after seeing @anna_miriah mixing prints and woven fabrics I was hooked. . . This skirt is a self drafted circle wrap skirt, the top is an old make that I shortened and gave a curved hem to #s2586 an old #cynthiarowleypattern and the jacket is #s1318 that I’ve made three times. . . I never left the house last night but I am today. AND I sewed all day and finished my Terra Pants before I move on to another project. I absolutely love the pants and I’ll share them soon. . . #memademay2020 #ashleyakersblog #b36w27h39 #imadethis #memademay #memadeeveryday #sewersofinstagram #ikat #printmixing
Y’all I’m really living for the #printmixchallenge right now! I made this dress years ago and have NEVER worn it. What a shame! I overfit it trying to match plaids at the shoulder seam and it’s skin tight in the bodice. I can’t wear a bra under it and it’s tight enough to be pretty supportive lol. I never would have thought to pair this with my wax print #melilotshirt but as with #sewhappycolor this challenge hosted by @katiekortmanart and @andrea_djones is making me think outside the box and come up with great new outfit combos! . . It’s also #memademay2020 day 4. It remains to be seen if I will actually leave the house this evening but I am dressed if I feel like it. . . The dress is a mash up of #vogue8577 and #s2180 a pretty winning combo if I hadn’t made it so tight! I’m super into layering tops over dresses lately. I like that it makes them feel more casual and also that it gives me more options. . . #ashleyakersblog #b36w27h39 #isewlation #memademay #imadethis #printmixing #sewcialist #handmadewardrobe #simplicitypatterns #voguepatterns #sewersofinstagram #sewover40
Another after work #memademay2020 look. It’s hot! I’m tired! And we had to to pick up our #serroscotty camper from getting it’s running lights replaced. That is stressful but mostly for my husband/driver @wirenestsound Anyways, I wore my recently made knit wearable muslin copy of a ready to wear top. Could that be anymore wordy?! And my trusty #landerpants shorts. I have such major regrets that when I made my #magiclanderpants that I over fit them because THESE FIT PERFECTLY! What was I thinking making them tighter and hence unwearable?! #ashleyakersblog #b36w27h39 #imnot2d @truebias #memadeeveryday #handmadewardrobe
Today was hard y’all. I work in a grocery store in the curbside department. We have seen our sales triple over the last two months and there is no such thing as a slow day or an easy day anymore. I’m exhausted and so today you get photo of me in my muumuu in my garden with a glass of Sauvignon blanc. Khao Soi is cooking on the stove. #memademay2020 #ashleyakersblog #m7596 #isewlation
So it’s May already. And to seamstresses across inta-land that means Me Made May. I participated for the first time last year and I believe I wore and shared my me mades about 17 times that go round. I do not have high hopes for this go round but here I am anyways. . . I work in a grocery store so I’m in a uniform 40 hours per week. Normally I get dressed to run errands, but not many errands are happening these days. Many fewer anyways. I also haven’t felt like sewing lately. I’m pouring all my energy into my yard and gardens and I’m totally fine with that. Soon enough the heat will push me inside and I’ll get my sewjo back. . . The thing I love about #memademay is seeing what clothes I actually reach for in real life and coming up with new combinations for outfits like this one. This is my #papercutpatterns #clovertop and my #m7774 dress. I particularly like to layer tops over this dress. While I love it alone the sleeveless look is reserved for the hottest part of summer for me. . . My new favorite earrings are by my friends @herndonforge . . #ashleyakersblog #b36w27h39 #mccallspatterns #memademay2020 #imadethis #sewersofinstagram #handmadewardrobe #justtouchyourhair #herndonforgejewelry #cloverdress #printmixchallenge
Happy Birthday to my main squeeze, my favorite guy, my husband Frank! @wirenestsound you are patient, kind, talented and such a good human. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and I think anyone who knows you knows that is the truth. We have had many adventures together and I hope to have many more but I also like just staying home with you. Love you forever old man. Xoxoxo