My Ph.D. Dress

I did it. It’s done. I finished my doctorate. On Friday I gave my exit talk so I am now officially SeamstressErin Ph.D. After 7 long years, I can shout to the world that I am doctor! I have worked long and hard and am shouting to the rooftops my accomplishment because I am so dang proud of myself. I want to take the chance to reflect a bit on my journey and, of course, share the dress that I made for the occasion. In the sweet words of my fiance, “Who else do you know who both: 1) has a PHD in molecular biology, 2) gave her exit talk in a dress she made the night before?” I’ve grown in so many ways over the last 7 years. Of course I’ve developed as an academic and a scientist. Graduate school is not easy for anyone. I had a particularly …


When to Underline your Sewing

Adding an underlining is one of my favorite tools in my sewing arsenal.  It’s so simple to do  – just cut all your pieces out of two different fabrics and use them wrong sides together as one. Easy as pie (which is a phrase I’ve never quite understood because baking a good pie isn’t actually that easy. Maybe easy as eating pie? Because I can easily eat a lot of pie.).  If you don’t regularly underline projects or are new to sewing, you might be wondering “When should I underline my sewing projects?” Underlining is great for garments when your main fabric is: 1) Loosely woven Anything that fits you snugly has tension on its seams. If your fabric is loosely woven, it can pull at the seams, separating the weave of the fabric, and eventually pulling apart. Underlining prevents this because you have the strength of the underlining fabric …


What Was I Thinkin’ Bow Neck Blouse

While I don’t listen to much country music, this bow necked blouse started as a straight up Dierks Bentley song. As in “What Was I Thinkin’?“. I thought that making a loose lace blouse would be a fun piece to layer, dressing up or down. But this really felt like a hot mess. I hated the shape, I hated the sleeves, I hated the placket in the front, I hated the peter pan collar (although I always think I’m going to like it) and I hated the fact that the bow wouldn’t lie straight! I bought McCalls M6648 because it was on sale. And it had a bow. And I thought it was kind of elegant. I don’t know if my choice of lace was what killed it, or if it’s just not my style. I like the blouse the model is wearing, but a close look at the line …


How to Underline Sewaholic’s Robson Trench Coat

Underlining a coat like this has two major perks: It gives you the chance to really spice it up as your underlining and bias taping will be visible. It also opens up the fabric options you have for the outer fabric as you can hide ugly or scratchy wrong-sides or add weight to a not-quite bulky enough fabric. I think the underlining on my Sewaholic’s Robson Trench Coat is the best part and I wanted to share what I did to make it easy for you too to underline your own trench. Most of what you’ll be doing is the same as the instructions included with the pattern, so I will just be highlighting what to do differently. The major difference is that you will be finishing the edges of your pieces before sewing the coat together instead of as you go. This means that you don’t have to constantly re-thread …


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 …


Grey Wool Thurlow Shorts

I’ve managed to squeeze in a bit of time to sew for myself this month, even though most of my free time has been full of making Christmas gifts. I made another pair of thurlow shorts to wear for winter. This time I used some grey wool that I pulled from my stash that my mom bought forever ago (25 years?). I used the rest of it last year to recover the seats of our dining room chairs.