VintagePledge July Dress (Butterick 3068)

To celebrate #VPJuly, I sewed a 1970’s dress (Vintage Butterick 3068) from 1970’s fabric.  To read about the pattern and the vintage aspects of the dress, pop on over to A Stitching Odyssey. (And while you’re there, look at the other inspiring vintage makes she has gathered over the course of the month!) Here, I thought I’d a personal account about why I chose the fabric and pattern. I agonized about whether or not to use this fabric. You see, I totally adore this floral fabric. Like massive #fabriccrush. It’s vintage (from a stash I inherited from a friend who inherited from an elderly friend who probably bought it new back in the day) and the flowers are a combination  of printed onto the thick, loose-weave linen and then painted on top of the print. And it seemed like it would be perfect for the bodice of this dress. So why not use …


A Mess of Baby Clothes

A bunch of baby clothes has a nice alliteration to it, but it seems that the proper term for “lots of baby clothes” must be a mess, since that’s what they are all going to turn into once they actually get worn! I started working on this pile of baby clothes during my first trimester. Since it’s been a crummy pregnancy the whole way through, it took me weeks to cut out the clothes and then months to get them sewn. But that’s okay. Each bit of sewing stemmed from a small burst of energy, and I was able to pour that energy into tangible bits of love and excitement for baby’s arrival. I made a range of sizes from newborn to 9 months so that she doesn’t outgrow my work all at once and used a pile of different patterns as well, including several vintage patterns. All the fabrics …


The Sweatshirt That Shouldn’t Have Been a Flop

I love the pattern (having drafted it for myself and used it for another sweater that gets tons of wear). I love the fabrics (having made several pairs of leggings from the ridiculous scuba print that I adore). I love the color (me and fuchsia get along real well). I love sweatshirts (I wear a seriously high quotient of sweatshirts). And yet this combo of fuchsia and scuba sweatshirt is a flop. I really tried wearing it for a couple of weeks but I just gave up and sent it to the thrift store. It’s funny because I don’t think it looks that bad in the photos – but part of the reason is that I figured out exactly how the sweatshirt needs to sit to look right, and it only does that when I’m carefully posing for a photo. A big part of what was so successful in the first go …


Pink and Green and Floral and Sexy Ceylon

The sexiest attribute that I can imagine? Self confidence. Forget body shape, size, height, musculature, eyes, lips, whatever. If I can see that someone feels confident in their own skin, I am attracted to them. This dress is my Sew Sexy Sewalong dress because I feel hot in it therefore I am hot in it. While such a modest dress may not be what most people think when they think “sexy”, and honestly, it’s totally not on my first train of thought either, this dress makes me feel so good! The shape is great at highlighting my attributes (defined waist, slender neck),  minimizing my not-as-strong points (hips), and giving the illusion of other strong points (bust gathers FTW). And have I mentioned that it’s a pink and green floral print dress! I love pink! I love pink and green! I love floral print! I love dresses! (Enough with all of …


Just Some Flannel Pajama Bottoms

Yep, the post title says it all. I made a couple pairs of simple flannel pajama bottoms.  I really had no plan to sew pajamas any time soon, but, as I was putting on my pajamas the other night, I had an Oh-My-Goodness-I-Can’t-Stand-This-Any-More moment. See, most nights I wear oversized t-shirts and flannel pajama bottoms. And I’ve been steadily wearing out my pajama bottoms until I’ve been down to one pair. One cute pair with little pink pigs all over it that I happen to have made in high school. That was a long time ago, and it showed. And I didn’t realize it bothered me until all of the sudden it really did! The only interesting bit about these pajama pants I drafted is that they have pockets. Not that one really needs to use pockets while one is sleeping. But they’re nice to have for the Post-Wakeup-I’m-Still-Such-A-Zombie-I-Can’t-Get-Dressed-For-The-Love-Of-All-That-Is-Holy-Give-Me-Caffeine period …

Fall for Cotton Camisole

For the Fall for Cotton Sewalong I’ve sewn all four pieces from my mom’s 1976 McCalls pattern. I’m sharing them piece by piece with modern styling (how I’ll actually wear them) before the big reveal of a full-on 1976 photoshoot. This is piece 1 of 4. Oh San Francisco, how your confusing weather torments me. Just as the dismal summer weather leaves me sure I’ll never see sun again, and just as I get excited to start using pumpkin pie spices in everything while wearing scarves and sweaters, you turn warm. Warm enough that I can wear a skirt and this 1976 McCalls 5088 cami top a week away from October. The top is cut on the bias and the front is gathered slightly into a triangle inset to give shape over the bust. For the main part of the blouse I used the chambray leftover from my Guatemalan Cowgirl …


White Linen Cropped Victoria Blazer

At first I wasn’t terribly sold on the Victoria blazer by By Hand London. It just felt a little too late 80’s – early 90’s to suit my style, and I’m not usually a fan of boxy clothing on my torso. However, I’ve been swayed by many cute versions popping up on the blogosphere, so when I ordered the Anna dress pattern (stay tuned for a couple versions of it coming up!), I figured I would save on shipping and added the Victoria to my shopping cart. I’m so glad I did! I made up the Victoria in off-white linen, fully lined in the same fabric. (Like many, I opted to add a lining to the sleeves). I actually intended to line it with a fun blue batik print, but I didn’t want there to be any chance of the blue bleeding onto the white linen in future washes, so I …


Mom’s Maxi Summer Hippy Dress

I sewed my mom a sundress for Christmas. Yes, kind of a silly thing to do for someone who lives in Seattle since it was months before she could wear it. But I had the fabric and the pattern and the vision and it was a fun project to make me dream of sunshine midwinter. And now she’s finally wearing it (and wearing it a lot!) so I can share it. I drafted the pattern myself, making it similar to a RTW dress that she already had and liked. The fabric is a cotton/rayon  batik print that was a gift from a friend (and a stashbuster!). It has princess seams and front and side facings with a smocked back, although the drape of the fabric and the busy-ness of the print hide the construction. The dress gaps a bit in the back now since my mom has lost 20 pounds …


Silk Tunic Blouse

For Mother’s Day this year I made my mom a tunic blouse, just like her Sew Grateful for Mom blouse. This time I used a lightweight undyed silk that my cousin bought for me in Bangladesh years ago (Over 10 years old and it has been sitting in my stash since. That definitely makes this a stashbuster!). The silk was divine to sew with. I got such crisp seams, it pressed beautifully, and yet it still has some drape. It seems like every time I sew with silk I’m surprised by how much I love working with it. Note to self: you like silk. A lot. The back and sides have slits. It is interesting comparing this blouse to the exact same blouse in rayon. The silk does have a bit of drape, but nowhere near as much as the rayon. One noticeable difference is that the sleeves look shorter …


Sparkly Underlined Sewaholic Robson Trench

I’m a bit of a coat junkie, but I rarely actually follow through on my coat cravings because I commute by scooter, so every day I wear my motorcycle jacket. When I saw the Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat pattern, there was no question, I had to buy it and make myself a trench coat. And I happened to have the all the needed fabric, underlining, and bias tape in my stash! I don’t know anything about this fabric other than I bought it on sale quite a while ago, it’s a navy blue of something synthetic that sloughs water, and it has silver paint dots all over it. It has almost no drape which gives great structure for the collar. However, it wasn’t easy to work with the painted fabric. I put together a post of hints for working with heavily embellished fabrics based on my experiences with this fabric. Because …


Pink Brocade Peplum Top

This weekend Adam and I went to Vegas. I had dreams of a cute little cocktail dress out of this beautiful pink brocade that I had in my stash. I pictured something tight, short, sexy, and, well, Vegas. And this is what I ended up with. A fairly modest, slightly peplum top with a belt and bow and vintage flair. Oh well. I made the pants to go with it, but I think I may need to make a little pencil skirt instead to make the ensemble a little sexier. I started out by making the skanky dress I had in my head. It was mostly self-drafted, but took cues from Gertie’s Wiggle Dress (which I have previously made to great success). But when I put it on, it looked horrible. Even Adam, who will only ever say nice things about how I look, couldn’t find anything nice to say. …


Archer Blouse from Bangladeshi Fabric

I’ve made button front blouses with collars and placketed sleeves before but never this well. This blouse is perfection. Seriously. I set myself the goal of sewing perfect things in 2013 and this makes it high on the list. I’m in love. (My new blouse is shown here with my curtain panel skirt.) The pattern is Archer by Grainline Studio. While not typically a fan of oversized blouses for myself, I just had this feeling in my gut that this blouse needed to be made, and I was right. I like it both tucked in as well as draping open. As I was sewing it, I had fears that it would look a little too 90’s (flashback to Fresh Prince of Bel Air), but I think it errs on the side of elegant-hippy-chic and that’s fine by me. I cut the blouse out of a lightweight woven cotton that my …


March Sewalongs 2013

I may have bitten off more than I can chew for this month. But there are so many fun sewalongs that I simply can’t say no!  For the stashbusting sewalong, I’ve already made a skirt that would qualify for this month’s theme of impending seasonal change. However, when I first saw the theme, I thought immediately thought of making a hoodie tunic with kangaroo pocket out of pink and grey plaid from my stash. So, I’m not going to let myself get out of using it up! I am head-over-heels in love with Tempest’s David Bowie sew-along. I could wax poetic about how I’ve been in love with him my whole life, but I’ll save that for another time. In the meantime I will say that it inspired way too many ideas on my part, but as I’ve already got a lot on my plate, I’m keeping it down to …


Cake’s Tiramisu Dress

I think Cake’s Tiramisu dress pattern is great. It’s a wonderful blend of fun and flirty and functional. The construction instructions are clear and the sizing allows for fit on many different bodies. Unfortunately, I just don’t like how it looks on my body. I had misgivings when planning the dress but I so badly wanted it to be cute on me like it is on so many women that I went ahead and sewed it. I finished the dress and, just as I thought, it looks good on every body type but pear, and I happen to be a pear. Oh well.


Pink Pleated Maxi Skirt

This pink pleated maxi skirt was a quick-and-simple project that wasn’t actually all that quick to sew up. But I’m happy with the time spent on it as I think it will be a wardrobe staple. Ok, so I admit that sheer striped pepto-bismol-pink maxi skirts aren’t wardrobe staples for everyone. But it will be for me!


Roses on Black Shirtwaist Dress

I made this vintage-style shirtwaist dress form Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. Like my bow-neck blouse from the same book (and made from the same stashed cotton-rayon blend fabric, incidentally), I thought I didn’t like it as I was finishing it up. However, I find myself having worn the dress several times already, so, fortunately, my initial opinion has been proven wrong!

Yellow Twill Skirt

This is a wearable muslin for a pattern I drafted for a trouser skirt. I know that “wearable muslin” is a contentious term, but that’s exactly what this is and I think it serves a purpose. Since I drafted the pattern myself, I need to wear it around for a bit to see how the fit works with use. I know it works if I’m standing still in front of the mirror, but I want to know about fit while sitting, riding my scooter, walking around.


Bow Neck Blouse

I made the bow neck blouse from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I was frustrated and disappointed by the time I finished the blouse. But now that I’ve worn it a couple of times, I wish I could take back those emotions, because I disagree now. I really like the blouse! The fabric is a cotton-rayon blend (I’m guessing) and a gift from a friend. For being such a simple blouse, it took me quite a while to sew, mostly because of the bound buttonholes. I also had to futz with the neckline quite a bit to keep it from choking me. In all, I lowered the front of the neckline by about an inch and changed the shoulder seam a bit. This left the gap in the neckband in the back larger than I might have liked, but wearable. The buttonholes are bound. They turned out okay, but …


Sew Grateful For Mom Blouse

 My sew grateful project is for my mom. Who better to show my appreciation than the woman who sewed my clothes as a kid, let me raid her fabric stash when I decided I wanted to start sewing as a tween, and taught me how to read a pattern and do things right when I finally had the patience to ask for help as a teenager.


My Stash is Out of Control

As part of my Organize January mission, and inspired by the stashbusting sewalong, I decided to take every piece of fabric I own off the shelf, measure it, organize it into piles, fold it back on the shelf, and make a spreadsheet quantifying my stash. Oh my goodness I have a lot of fabric. I have 254 yards of stashed fabric. Even I will admit that it’s a bit excessive. If I don’t count fabric that I have been given and don’t count fabric that I’ve had since highschool, it leaves me with 100 yards. That’s still a lot. So, I’m putting it out to the world that I’m happy to share my fabric! I’ve photographed everything and listed a description and yardage in the same order as the picture.  So, if anything catches your eye, let me know!! Blouseweight fabrics: Easter egg cotton blend 1.75 Black and roses 1.00 Tan …


Baby Shoes Galore!

I got a little carried away this weekend cutting and sewing baby shoes! I decided to participate in the stashbusting sewalong and baby shoes seemed like a good way to use scraps, January’s stashbusting theme. I sat down on Saturday with my friend Beth to catch up on Season 7 of Doctor Who and while we were watching I went through my scrap bin and just kept cutting and cutting and cutting.