Monday, June 1, 2015

Mint Morris Blazer

Why hello! Today, I'm modeling a brand new blazer in a lovely mint color. The dress I'm wearing is one of the first dresses I sewed when I started this crazy sewing journey back in 2008. The insides are a bit messy, but it still gets a lot of wear. Let's talk about this blazer:

Fabric Notes- The fabric is a mint green Ponte de Roma doubleknit from Girl Charlee. It's very soft and drapey. A bit too drapey to pull off anything with structure, so be warned. It's a lovely color for the summer. It reminds me of light, tropical ocean or a retro kitchen appliances!

Sewing Notes- The pattern is the Morris Blazer by Grainline Studio. I love that this blazer is more casual and can be made up in knit fabric. The perfect thing to pull on to look pull-together while still being super comfortable. The pattern calls for some strange top stitching. Like others, I found that the front facing wanted to hang funny, so I simply stitched down the facing along the edge. Since this is a more casual blazer, I think that's a good solution that I plan to use in future versions.

I think there will be more versions of this blazer. I'm already thinking up a metallic version. Or a version in white faux leather. Wouldn't that be fancy?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Emerald Sheath

Sewing notes- The pattern is Butterick 5554. I can't believe this is the fifth time I've used this pattern. Certainly a tried and true! (Other versions: Inception little black dress, Matrix dress, Boston conference dress, Go for the gold dress.) I've tweaked the back seams enough now that I think it's a nice, sleek fit on my waist and curves. Looking at the photos, I could probably take in the front seams a bit more too, but I want to keep room to walk and sit... it's a trade-off to have a few drag lines when standing still.

Fabric notes- This is a vivid emerald Ponte de Roma knit from Sometimes these fabrics are hit or miss, but I really like the hand and feel of this one. It's 75% Polyester/21% Rayon/4% Spandex--I usually don't like something with that much poly, but I think there's enough rayon to still make it feel nice. 

I would love to have a closet full of these dresses in every color of the rainbow! I'm slowing making that happen.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Maritime Shorts and Concert Tee

It's officially summer here! We're having temperatures in the 100s which means tank tops and shorts for the next 6 months. I made both the shorts and the shirt. Let's talk about the shirt first. 

This tee started out as a men's long-sleeved raglan shirt. I liked the design, but I was swimming in the shirt, so I refashioned it. Back when I started sewing seriously, I did a lot of T-shirt refashions, so this was like going back to my roots. I kept the white ringer neck, nipped in the sides, and cut off the raglan sleeves to leave a halter top. The final step was to hem up the armholes and take up the bottom hem. Voila! A cute new summer tank! Now let's talk shorts.

Sewing Notes- I made my first pair of Grainline's Maritime shorts last summer--my Secret Rainbow shorts. I have notes on construction on that post, so check it out. When I sewed them up the Secret Rainbow shorts, I got ambitious to create a hybrid pattern between Grainline's Maritime shorts and Moss mini skirt. I used the pockets and back yoke from the Moss and the shorts legs from the Maritime. I drew this out last summer and put it away. When I got the fraken-pattern out this summer, I had to trust that I had finished all of the necessary alterations. Spoiler alert: it worked! Here's some photos of the finished shorts. If anyone is interested in seeing photos of my altered pattern, let me know.

Fabric Notes- I love the colors and print of the fabric for the shorts. It may be a little wild, but I've found it to be surprisingly versatile. I've been treating it like a neutral and having fun with print mixing. This fabric is a stretch cotton sateen from It really doesn't have a sheen, which I'm happy about. As of writing this, it's still available!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Black and White Sutton and Bellatrix

Hello! Today is all about black and white. Although I love crazy colors and prints, I've been trying to focus on building my wardrobe with more solids and neutrals. And I have to admit, I love this chic black and white look! This is the type of outfit that people can't believe is handmade.

Jacket- This is my third Bellatrix Blazer from Papercut patterns. The fabric is a stretch cotton from JoAnn, and it's lined with a lovely light rayon. I love this jacket, and it gets lots of compliments at work. (I didn't realize that my back collar was popped in all of these photos until too late! Oh well!)

Blouse-This is my first version of the True Bias pattern Sutton Blouse. I colorblocked it with a black yoke and white bottom. And I put the neckline binding on so it's visible from the outside. The fabric is 100% rayon challis. I ordered a bunch of rayons from Fashion Fabrics Club. This was my first order with them, and the fabric is lightweight and will be lovely for hot summer days.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Yellow Bellatrix and Nautical Skirt

Hello! It's been a while. I've been sewing like crazy, as usual. I had a few extra minutes this morning to pop in to show off some recent projects. First off, my hair! Yes, the end are purple! I am absolutely in love with it! It won't be purple for long, as I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow, but I think it's a look that I'll do again in the future. 

Jacket- This yellow jacket is my FOURTH version of Papercut Pattern's Bellatrix blazer. This is the shortened view, and I modified the shape of the lapel. This version is unlined. I quite like the Bellatrix blazer, and I hope to show you other versions soon. The fabric is a medium twill from

Skirt- Does the skirt fabric look familiar? It's the last of my SOS Dress. I drafted a simple pattern to make pencil skirts out of knit fabric. I made three in an afternoon, and I imagine I'll make quite a few more, as they work well for my wardrobe.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Silk Butterflies Blouse

Sometimes, simple is best. That's certainly true for this outfit--a simple, loose blouse, a slim, straight skirt-- these are the silhouettes that I feel most comfortable in. I'm often drawn to more flashy or voluminous patterns, but it's the simple shapes that I pull out of the closet again and again. 

Fabric Notes- The fabric I used is 100% silk from I ordered it a few years back, and it took me a while to work up the nerve to use it. I love this fabric--it is absolutely gorgeous! But it is also very lightweight; it's see-through. I was worried that it would be troublesome to work with. I shouldn't have worried. It was a bit finicky, but workable. I used French seams throughout to keep the silk from fraying and to make the inside looks just as nice as the outside.

Sewing Notes- This is my first attempt at Sewaholic's Belcarra blouse. I was looking for a simple work shirt, and this certainly fits the bill. It's a very simple raglan-sleeve pattern, and it's drafted very well. I think that Tasia of Sewaholic is very talented at drafted simple shapes well--classics!

The skirt I'm wearing is one of my Grainline Moss Mini skirts. The blue/purple color of the skirt works perfectly with the color in the butterflies. This will definitely be a standard outfit!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Graphic Neon Cambie

This dress really makes a statement! This may be the most striking dress I now own. It's so bright that I think it may actually glow in the dark.

Fabric Notes- The fabric is really the star of this make! I found this navy and neon green peach skin from Girl Charlee. (You can find the print here.) Striking, isn't it? I made an extra effort to center the design and match up the lines. I think it was worth it!

Since the peach skin is poly, I lined the dress in a soft, black cotton lawn. That way, I have a breathable fabric next to the skin. 

Sewing Notes- The pattern used is Sewaholic's Cambie dress. I cut out a size smaller than usual--not sure why. As a result, it was too tight, and I had to add in a small panel at the back zipper. Thankfully, the pattern is busy enough that it's not too tragic, but it does mess up my careful pattern matching.

Still, I'm quite proud of this dress. I really like the way the cap sleeves look while standing up. After wearing the dress all day at the office, I noticed that the sleeves gaped when sitting down. Anyone else have this problem with the Cambie? I am reluctant to take in the straps any more as it fit very nicely now when standing...Would love to hear your suggestions on how to deal with the gaping while sitting.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Go for the Gold (dress)

I'm always on the lookout for good gold to wear to work. Plus, I have a dream to have a wardrobe full of simple sheath dresses in every color of the rainbow! One step closer!

Fabric Notes- My fabric is a gold rayon/poly double-knit from It has a slight gold shimmer to it. I wasn't sold on the shimmer at first, but now I think it makes the dress feel more special.

Sewing Notes-The pattern used is Butterick 5554. (See other versions: Inception Little Black Dress, Matrix Dress, and Boston Conference Dress) This time, I drafted some little sleeves to make it special. I'm quite pleased with how these little sleeves turned out, and it was rather easy to do.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Secret Rainbow Shorts

Let me introduce the Secret Rainbow Shorts, made with the Grainline Maritime shorts pattern. I've been wearing these shorts for a while now, and they're amazing! p.s. Also wearing my Black Rainbow Tank made back in 2012!

Fabric Notes- I really needed a pair of plain, black shorts in my wardrobe. My old pair got worn to death and no longer fits. Luckily, I had this black/gray denim from in my stash. Although I am drawn to bright colors and crazy prints, I want to make more items like this that will get a ton of wear. The best part of sewing your own clothes? Even though these are plain shorts, I can customize the inside with rainbow colored fabric! I love, love, LOVE this lining fabric. It's a black cotton with rainbow bits! I found this fabric at our local Goodwill. There was only a little bit, but I truly wish I could buy up a whole lot of it!

Love the lining fabric in these shorts!
Sewing and Pattern Notes- I have to give a lot of credit to Lauren from Lladybird for making these shorts happen! I took her advice in three areas:

1) To insert the fly, I used Lauren's fly front tutorial, which is based on instructions from Sewaholic's Thurlow trousers sewalong. This tutorial worked well for me and made more sense than the instructions. The only issue is that the tutorial shows how to make a fly front that opens on the left, and I wanted these shorts to open on the right. So I had to flip everything in my head to mirror image them.

Here you can see the back extension and how much I took the center back in.
2) I used Lauren's waist band with back extension tutorial, also from the Thurlow sewalong. This gives you better options to adjust your shorts, if needed.

3) Also like Lauren, the back gaped a LOT on me! I ended up taking out 1.75" from the pattern piece. Beware of this, baste, and do a fitting!

Let's talk about the pockets. You know I love pockets, so this is a very important feature to get right.

Back Pockets: These are nice and roomy with a cute design! I added a zipper to the top of the back right pocket. This is one of my favorite additions to back pockets. Perfect way to carry your ID and cash without having to worry about it falling out. 

Front pockets: I really like the look of the pockets as drafted, but unfortunately, I found them a bit too small for my hands to comfortably fit. I was surprised by this because the pockets from Grainline's Moss Mini skirt are perfect. I'm working on drafting up a Moss-Maritime hybrid pocket to try out in my next pair. That's right, I am planning to make a second pair!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Moss moss moss mini mini mini

Friends, I am in love with the Moss Mini Skirt by Grainline Studio. This year, I took a good hard look at my closet and thought about what I actually need and wear. Slim skirts have got to be near the top of that list for me. I love to wear skirts, and I prefer a comfortable skirt with a fly front and pockets. The Moss Skirt fits that perfectly. I started with the metallic silver one, continued with the red/pink/tan Navajo-inspired print, kept on going with the electric blue, and I imagine they'll be quite a few more of these before I'm done.

Sewing Notes- I found this pattern very easy to work with. All three came together beautifully even though this was my first attempt at a fly front. I'm happy with all three of these fly fronts, and I followed the instructions that came with the pattern. I've since been experimenting with some alternate methods. More notes on that after I've thoroughly tested out another fly-front option. Two things I'd like to note about this pattern: 1) It's simple! That means that it can work as a plain basic that you'll wear again and again, OR it is the perfect piece for some statement fabric. 2) It doesn't take much fabric! If you embrace the "mini" length (like I did with the Navajo-inspired print), you can easily squeeze this out of a yard of fabric or less. That particular piece was a remnant that was about .8 of a yard (and I had enough left over to add back pockets). On the other versions, I lengthened by 2-4".

Let's Talk Fabric- Silver Metallic-I bought this beauty from JoAnn at least a year ago. It was my intention to use it for a skirt, but I didn't know what pattern to use until now! This fabric is a stunner and it gets a lot of compliments! The only drawback, it's scratchy. And I didn't notice it until I tried on the almost-completed skirt. I ended up going back and binding all of the seams with soft, hot pink cotton voile. Navajo-inspired print- This was from the remnant bin at JoAnn. It's not my normal colorway, but I loved the look of the print. It's a thicker fabric--like a thick denim or even maybe home-decor weight cotton. I think it works great as a mini skirt! Electric Blue- This is a cotton/poly twill blend bottom weight, also from JoAnn (man, I swear they're not paying me!). I picked a poly blend with the hopes that it won't wrinkle. So far, so good!

Both the outside and the inside are beautiful! The pattern gives you the opportunity to pull out some fun, contrast fabric to use on the inside of the pockets and as facings. I certainly had fun picking out some nice, soft cottons to add as lining on the inside. I'll leave you with some pretty pictures of the skirts laid out flat.
Pretty lining fabric and lilac hem tape


Back- left has back pockets, right does not

This is a great pattern to pull out contrast fabric for the innards.