Sunday, April 12, 2015


 What's that? Well yeah, I did finish Butterick 5748 mas o menos two years ago. Excuse me? Yes, I did have this blog back then but I was busy with-- well yeah, I do normally procrastinate homework as much as possible, but shouldn't it be a good thing that I didn't procrastinate further by putting this dress up? Yeah I suppose you're right, I was probably procrastinating just as much, if not more, by Netflix bingeing. Ok, no excuses for this one: it's pretty damn late to post.
 It was a test! Yeah, that's it! I've proven that I can still fit into semi-fitted dressed two years after I make them to my previous measurements! Because this thing's bust and waist are supah fitted! Although I'm pretty sure that my measurements have increased mainly in my tummy and hips. Thankgod that patterns' waists are usually the natural waist ;)
 I really like how flowy this dress is; I'm pretty sure it's a full circle skirt (that's how it seems when I hold the side seams out as far as they go) This skirt, as long as it is, nearly gave me a few Marilyn moments this afternoon when I was out and about getting shit done after church.
 Ah, I really need to either take notes as I sew or write posts while I sew/as soon as I finish. Because now I'm not 100% about what kind of fabric this is. What I DO know is that it's a beautiful spearminty blue and SHEER. This bodice was my firsthand experience about the necessity of underlinings. I sewed up all my darts and did the mandatory hold-up-to-abdomen check to see if things were going smoothly and ALL THE FRICKIN DARTS SHOWED THROUGH HOLYCRAP WHYYY??? And then I realized I needed another layer of cloth. Unpicked all the darts. Attached underlining. Resewed the darts. And then they looked wonderful :)
 Besides the underlining, the bodice is also lined. It was one of those things where I sewed everything together right sides together and had to turn everything right side out through one of the straps and for a few minutes I wasn't sure it was gonna make it. But the turmoil was worth it because NO FACINGS and look how nice the neckline looks!
 Look how beautifully the skirt flows!! Makes me happy. Another point for the sheer-ness of the fabric: the skirt is self lined and still really transparent. Thank goodness I for some reason own a half slip.
Yay for finally posting things I made forever ago!
Okie dokie, howbout a little list of details I actually remember?
Pattern: Butterick 5748
Notions: Invisible Zipper (hand picked)
Finishing: Bodice and Skirt lined, seams bound with Bias Tape
Wow that's a short list. I really need to take notes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Low Tech Labels

In an effort to make a habit out of posting, I thought I'd share more than just completed makes. And because I usually don't remember to pause my sewing to take process photos, I'm going to try to update the blog with cool tools or tutorials or fabric or I come across, or sewing ideas that I'm mentally toying around with. That way I'm already in the habit of posting if/when I finish pieces more regularly.
For a while now I've wanted tags or labels to put in my makes. Even though I'm not selling them, I guess I just want to mark my territory in a way. Like, I spent all this time on this, I want to claim it! I've looked up ways to make my own, because most premade labels aren't really appealing to me. Lots of them say stuff like "Made with love by Grandma" lol notme. I really do like the ones that say "this took forever!" I think Sewaholic sells them? Anyway, I've read tutorials on ordering fabric from sites like Spoonflower, but that seemed intimidating--I nearly always screw stuff up the first time I print. If I can't get the margins on my resume to look right, I don't want to buy fabric, pay for shipping, and then feel stupid that I did it wrong once it comes in.
So I went the at-home route!
The above is my finished product and I really like it, even though I designed it using a combo of Paint and Microsoft Word. Fancy, right? I'm not a techie and I don't have a Mac. My computer's kind of a piece of crap and it gets freezy trying to run newfangled, complicated programs. She can handle Paint and Word.
 If you, to want to make labels super-duper easily, this is the stuff I used! Got it at Hancock fabric, and the pack has 4 A4 sized sheets. There's separate packs for inkjet and laser printers. It cost $7 and I had a 15% off coupon (yay coupons!!!)

The directions are very clear: get your image perfectly perfect on the computer; print it out on the fabric side; let dry 10 minutes; iron on high heat 2 minutes (no steam!) and you're good! I used pinking shears to cut each one out, as the fabric is 100% cotton. it says dry clean only but I'm not sure if I'm going to honor that condition.

Besides my cute lil labels, I bought something else sewing related: a dressform! Look at her! Isn't she great?
 I haven't used her for an actual project yet; that cloth in the picture is just the product of me messing around on her making pleats. I will have more to tell about her once I've used her more. For now all I can say is I'm so excited to have a dressform and she creeps out a majority of my family members. If they ever see this post they'll probably be more creeped out by the fact that I refer to it as she. How're they going to handle it if I name her?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring Colors

A week ago I skipped on over to Kollabora for a bit of garment-lust sewjo inspiration and lo and behold, I found this beauty. Ah Simplicity 2250, famous for reducing many a seamstress to tears, or at least frustrated growls. Those were the vibes I was getting when I read the Pattern Review posts at least. I myself began a foray into the depths of Simplicity 2250 in May 2013. Got the bodice done, connected it to the 'ol lining, constructed the skirt; even added pockets! Then I tried the bodice on. I really shoulda known it'd be bad because I had looked at all the reviews, but reading through the alterations gave me a headache and I was of the, 'yeah, I'm just going to make it and see if it's really that bad then deal with it' mindset. That's how I got frustrated enough to let the separate bodice and skirt sit around for almost 2 years. But Kate's dress! So gorgeous! So colorblocked! I needed my version to be that pretty!
I broke out my sad WIP and got to work. Originally the green at the top was white, but the blue-white combo reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, and as a petite babyfaced 20 year old, prepubescent girls aren't want I want to be emulating through my clothes (no offense to Alice). I think I made a good call with the green, it looks so spring-ey with the bright blue. That was what I was going for, a bright springtime dress. Not to be cocky, but pretty sure I nailed it.
Since one of the things about the WIP that bugged the crap out of me was the way the lining didn't fit well to the bodice, I took them apart...then decided to just ditch the lining. I also opted out of the kind of pleated, kind of gathered skirt and just gathered the whole shebang.
 So I totally spent ages situating the straps to cover bra straps before sewing them down. Lol that worked out.
yes, the bodice pattern piece was craycray
Overall, I FREAKING LOVE this dress. The bodice is pretty well fitted without being constraining and the skirt is roomy, which, while I don't think it's the most flattering shape for my figure, means I can run around and dance without being afraid of ripping anything or flashing anyone. Plus, pockets.
When I wore it to my family's Easter get-together, my grandma complimented me on it by saying that she likes how modest it is. Haha thanks grandma. I know she didn't mean for it to be a backhanded compliment, but I usually lean toward clothes that g-ma doesn't classify as "modest" so I dunno how I feel about it.
I hope everyone's had a lovely Easter full of family, relaxation, and candy. I've personally been bingeing on Jolly Rancher jellybeans--they're the best. And there's not even a gross black licorice flavor!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Springtime Already?

So it turns out that a 16 hour semester and about 42  hours of work per week between two jobs is quite a lot to handle...who knew, right? Unfortunately, my sewing has suffered because I spend most of my free time sleeping, and the rest of it trying to spend time with my boyfriend. Just to make things even more hectic, my boyfriend has a work schedule almost exactly opposite of mine, so we usually spend time together late at night, after most restaurants and dateworthy places are closed. Taco Bell and Denny's are our dinner date spots, you can usually catch us around midnight, though the Taco Bell lobby is closed by then so we dine in the car like true classy folk.

Onto my sewing...I really liked that post I did about my fall sewing plans. Did I get around to any of it? Nope. Well actually I did start on one of the dresses, but it's still in many, many pieces. There's a main fabric plus underlining plus lining, and I've got to summon the willpower to baste 8 million pleats before I can start sandwiching the layers >.< Other than that dress (it's going to be a beauty once I get around to tackling it, I swear!) I've recently made a faux chenille quilt for my cousin's 3 month old, and replaced a broken zipper and button on a pair of boyfriend's jeans. I'm actually kind of proud of myself about that--I'm not normally one to get into the guts of RTW. AND replacing the button meant I got to hammer the new one in! PLUS the button came in a 5 pack SO jeans may happen!

Even though I don't have any pictures of those projects, I wanted to make  post about a book I found the other day. The title is Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified by Cal Patch, and the technique by which I came across it was to pull every promising looking sewing book off the craft shelf in Barnes and Noble, plop down at a table by the cafĂ©, and skim 'em. I had a pile which included The Patternmaking Primer and one of Burdastyle's books, both of which I'd heard of from le interwebs, but in the end I went home with only Cal's book. After skimming and over looking some Amazon reviews, I was sold on it.
It's goal is to teach readers the basics of pattern drafting, and it does so in a very user-friendly, hand holding way. It's got 3 parts:

1)Before You Begin: lots of info on all sorts of measurements, as well as an overview of tools. I LOVE how she says that all you really need to start is paper, a pencil, and a ruler; you can get the fancyshmancy tools later

2)Making the Patterns: So this is where you get to start making the patterns (duh)! Cal walks you through making patterns for an A line skirt, Tshirt, button down shirt, basic dress, and pants. These are super basic styles, and after showing you the basics for each block, she shows you a few modifications for each piece. For example, she shows you how to make a yoke for the skirt and Tshirt, and a pintucked bib to the button down.

3) Customizing, Fitting, and Grading: This part shows you more ways to make the patterns your own. It also briefly talks about grading, which I found really interesting, as I haven't seen info about that before. It stresses the importance of making a muslin when you're making your own patterns, and addresses what to pay attention to when fitting your garments. Then there's info on how to make patterns from existing garments. Usually I see this as a topic for an entire book, so I'm interested in whether or not I can understand the basics of the technique from only this one section.

Now, I'm definitely not going to make every variation of every pattern the book describes. But I still think every variation is useful because it demonstrates a different way to mix a pattern up. I think Cal Patch does a great job of showing just how different one basic pattern can turn out once you start varying factors, and empowers readers to get creative and go beyond the patterns that she has given us.

 I just got the book on Sunday, and I'm excited to try out the instructions--I'll probably start out with the skirt block; one can never have too many skirts in the springtime. Or anytime.

While I'm here writing for once, look at this crepe I found at Joann's! I actually found it on Sunday, but the cutting line was sooo long. I waited half an hour and then my impatience overtook me and I left. And when I came back for it yesterday I STILL had to wait 20 minutes to get my yardage! Seriously, why the hell is a cutting line that long at 12:30 on a Tuesday?! I was going to be early for work, and my persistence to get this fabric made me 10 minutes late but LOOK AT IT. Also it was on sale so yay! I'm thinking summer romper. Thoughts?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Planning

 I went to Hancock Fabrics for the first time in forever last weekend, and I actually think I did pretty well in the self-control least I have an idea of what I want to make with most of what I bought, which is better than just buying for the stash, right? Right! 
I'm writing this post in the hopes that it'll motivate me to actually sew up everything I'm planning! Not sure if this tactic will work but there's no harm trying!
First up in Butterick 6054, a wrap dress, in a super soft turquoise knit. It's for my sister, who I said I'd make a dress for a really long time ago and have not thus far actually done. I've never made a wrap dress before so I'm a bit nervous about the dreaded neckline gape, especially because the Vneck looks like it's supposed to be deep anyway...
 Ok, I'm not gonna lie: I saw this coating at a super discount and couldn't resist. Then I had to go back and find a coat pattern haha At least I already had the lining! I cannot wait to turn these materials into a super girls coat, hopefully something like this one! I've never made a coat before so fingers crossed!
 Sidenote: I love the black haired girl's hipster glasses. This pattern calls for challis/crepe, but I think it'd look cute in a stiffer fabric like this. I'm not actually sure what it is, besides polyester. I found it in this "Flat Folds" bin, which is apparently a thing now at reminds me of the bins at mall stores full of $1 panties xD
 This dress has me sososos excited, I honestly want to skip all my obligatory sewing and make it, even though it's probably the most impractical of my planned projects. But that shimmery fabric! Be still my heart! And you can't tell too well from the photo, but the bodice has such pretty pleats! I need a wedding or other type of shmancy occasion so I have an excuse to make this dress NOW
And finally...this sweater knit is straight-up Slytherin colors, and because of that, I needed it. I don't have a specific plan for it; I'm thinking something in the sweater/sweater dress area. A lady in back of me in line at the cutting table asked what I was going to make, saying it'd make a good scarf. I told her I wasn't sure what I'd make, I just loved the colors because they're Slytherin-esque, and the lady was like "Oh, for a Halloween costume!" ...I didn't want to earn a weird look by saying no, not for a costume, for everyday wear, so I kept quiet...

So that's it, all my fall sewing plans sofar! Hopefully I'll stick to it!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kimon-ohmygosh I finally used that awesome fabric and didn't screw it up hells yes!

Cheese and crackers, I feel like I haven't done ANY sewing lately! I transferred schools this semester so now I'm in STL fulltime. It's taking getting used to, and I'm getting back into the swing of things for school, so that's my excuse. BUT I have my own room at school and it's hugeee (compared to most dorms anyway)
And it has enough room to fit in a sewing table!! I am way too excited about this fact because this is the first time in my sewing machine owning life that my little Brother gets to stay out fulltime and doesn't have to share space with my school stuff on my desk! Woot!
I christened my new sewing space by making a kimono as per By Hand London's tutorial. I used the lacy knit fabric I bought in Costa Rica at the end of freshman year and lemme tell you: I was absolutely terrified of cutting into it and fucking it up, but I managed to not do that, so score one for me ;) I think going with a super simple design was a good choice because a) there wasn't much to mess up, just 2 seams and b) it lets the awesome fabric shine.

 I've seen so much on blogs lately about taking nice photos and editing, and here I am with my crappy camera and nonexistent editing. Wellll to be fair Tumblr told me I could download an old version of Photoshop as freeware and I'm trying to get in on that sweet action but I need to put in my computer's serial number for it and the program keeps telling me that the number I put in isn't right. And I'm like, dude, I opened up the command program and gave it the command to find out the serial number and it gave me this number and I don't think my computer would lie about its identity so let me have freeware. But so far my pleas have gone unanswered. So the blog gets crappy unedited photos in the meantime.

Of course now that I've sewn this cute, super light kimono, Missouri might be going into premature winter. Yesterday morning was in the low 40s, and it sucked. But it's kind of warm out right now so I may get to wear this piece a few times before the cold decides to settle in for good.

Coolest fabric evah

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I'm just about certain that these are the coolest pants I've ever worn. And the craziest.

If you drool over Oonaballoona's makes as much as I do, then you'll probably recognize this pattern, Simplicity 4192. WRAP PANTS! I didn't even know they were a thing until I saw Oona's! I wanted to copy those suckers as soon as I saw 'em, and a month later I caved and bought the pattern. I would've never considered getting it if not for Oona's wonderful pair, because the envelope art looks sooooo...middle aged touristy? Not judging anyone who is middle aged, but that's not the look I want.
And then I found this wonderful pink and purple print at a thrift store and knew that my dream of blatantly copied pants would soon come to be. 6 yards for $3.50; that is called a WIN. And at my height I could totally make a maxi dress out of what's left.

The construction of these pants is super quick; there are only three pattern pieces and four or five seams! But I was soooo confused while trying to visualize how each seam would turn out in relation to the garment, probably because I had no clue what the hell the pants were supposed to look like when complete. And I couldn't find any complete-but-not-on-people's-bodies versions online! So I basted everything together to make sure I wasn't going to fuck shit up. Which I guess responsible sewists usually do anyway? Whatever :P
In case you were wondering, this is what they look like without me in them.
Since my all fabric I buy seems to fray like no one's business, I used French seams AGAIN. Wooo French seams for making me feel fancy!

I love these crazies. They're fun to wear and hella comfy! My sister called them "skirt pants" which I'll take as a compliment. They're so swishy and harem-ey-- what's not to love? They would be the perfect pants to complete an Avatar the Last Airbender outfit, dontcha think?

Oh, and it turns out that right as I was finishing these up, the Sewcialists announced Oonapalooza! Well I didn't really go into this project with the mindset of "how can I jazz this up on the fly" but more of an "THESE PANTS LOOKED FANTABULOUS ON OONA I WILL MAKE SOME AND THEY WILL BE FABULOUS ON ME DAMMIT" Extreme determination is very Oona though, right?