New project: raspberry swing skirt


Just finished another project! This is New Look 6816. This one was a dead simple knit swing skirt made from a cotton rayon blend jersey that had a twill-like knit on the reverse. I accidentally melted it with my iron…thus discovering it wasn’t 100% cotton!

Allow me to gush for a moment about my new walking foot that Mr D got me for Christmas. It makes sewing knits dead simple! I used to struggle with puckered seams and the top fabric not following along with the bottom and this foot solved all that!

I made the skirt in 3 hours, pretty close to the patterns 2 hour estimate. (btw, the fabric really is raspberry, see?):


Total cost: 2yds jersey @ $10 yd, plus $1.50 for some inch wide elastic.
Make again? Absolutely! I’ve already got another fabric on the table ready to cut this week! It’s another crazy print, this time picked out by Mr D!




Posted by on January 29, 2012 in creations


New project: Silk charmeuse bias cut cowl top


I made a new silk top, using some beautiful silk charmeuse I got at Fabricker, and some awesome stretch mesh lining I bought at TexStyles.

I haven’t hemmed it yet, because it’s bias-cut, meaning I have to let it hang overnight. I’m not sure how long I’ll make it yet.. probably a little longer than hip length. In the photo above, I’ve cinched the waist with some scrap silk that I’m thinking of making an obi/cummerbund with… I haven’t decided yet whether I like that better than the elastic gathering I’m supposed to do on the sides. I’ll decide that later 🙂

This was a new skill set for me. A slithery silk mounted on a stable knit that supports the drapes in an awesome way, and serves as a lining, too. It’s kind of cool because you sew the silk to the mesh, then flip the whole thing inside out and you’ve got the 2 halves of the blouse ready to stitch together, and all the seams are already encased in the lining. Neat!

I did a really hideous job on the grading and full bust adjustment, but the bias cut is pretty forgiving, so you can’t really tell (or I’m telling myself that, anyway)! I’ll most likely wear this just as I am now… black skirt, maybe a black cardi on top. I really need to get a long string of jet beads, too. Yay, fun with sewing!

Fabric: White silk charmeuse with black flower silhouettes ($18 yd, 2.33 yds) . White stretch mesh ($6)
Time: Oh all the time in this top is in the redrafting of the pattern! That took a whole weekend! The sewing itself once the pieces were cut only took about 3 hours.
Make again? Oh definitely. Might even skip the lining and make it out of a knit next time. I’m a sucker for cowls.

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in creations, new skills


Sewing is delicious

I’ve been working hard on sewing (though not as hard on blogging!), and have really gotten into a groove where I feel like I kind of know what I’m doing. So exciting! I’ve done enough full bust adjustments (both kinds – the pivot method and the slash and spread method) and graded enough patterns that I’m feeling really comfortable with both techniques… though it is really time consuming to trace and re-trace every pattern before you use it! I’m a little impatient in that way. I’m still at a point where I’m using a new pattern every time I sew… I haven’t wanted to make any repeats! So this means the labor-intensive drafting/adjusting must happen before I get to dig into fabric.

But… I’ve really loved everything I’ve made so far! Right now I’m in the middle of my most challenging project to date… a cowl-neck, stretch-mesh lined, silk-charmeuse top..that’s bias cut! Oh man do I wish I had a bigger table and ironing board!!

Here are some terrible photos of my recent creations and fabric acquisitions:









Posted by on January 22, 2012 in creations


Charmeuse sencha, deconstructed

Thank you so much for all your lovely compliments on my Sencha blouse! As promised, here’s a photo post detailing all the steps… well, most of them, anyway 🙂 It’s hard to remember to stop and photograph when you really get going!


This is going to be a pretty picture heavy post, so let’s put it behind a fold, shall we? All the photos are up on Flickr, so if you want to just browse through those, click here. Hopefully all the photos will show up.. I had to rotate a few and that caused them to be “temporarily unavailable”…but if you’re having trouble, go check them out on Flickr!

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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in creations, new skills



Girls, this is what I’m talking about!

Did you see this delicious creation over on Carolyn’s blog?


click the pic for more photos. It’s her fabulous interpretation of vogue 8764… A pattern I was pretty meh on, until I saw Carolyn’s version.

This lady looks seriously fine! She’s employing the fabulous Rule of Thirds here… You thought that was a photography term? Well, maybe so, but it also applies to clothes. This was an awesome lesson from Sewing for Plus Sizes… Never wear things that cut you in half. Either raise or lower your waistline… Your choice!

So classic Chanel jacket? Out!

Long riding coat? Definitely in.

Low rise anything? Ten foot pole territory!

High waisted skirts? Oh, it’s on, baby.

Carolyn’s dress does a much more elegant job of illustrating this phenomenon than my pencil skirt of last night, though. No fidgeting or adjusting to maintain your proportions throughout the day!

Keep rockin’ what your mama gave you, Miss C! You are an inspiration to us all!

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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in fashion, inspiration, planning, smokin hot


Grading for Plus Sizes

I’m getting to the point where I’m feeling more comfortable with adjusting my patterns and grading patterns.

A lot of that comfort has come from a combination of reading and re-reading everything I can get my hands on about the subject, and then just sitting down with some sacrificial fabric, and trying things out. Sewing is all about trial and error, I’ve found!

Some books that felt too advanced for me, have become easier to understand over time. One of these was Sewing for Plus Sizes. There is some great info in there on selecting flattering designs for larger women, how to select a pattern that will compliment a large frame (and why that mightn’t work on a smaller frame) and how to grade a pattern without throwing all the proportions off. I wish it had a thousand more images, but the info is solid.


I find it a little frustrating that plus size seamstresses must learn advanced techniques right off the bat in order to get anything to fit right.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from all my projects so far is to NEVER use your bust measurement to find a pattern! That will result in overly-wide necklines for your shoulders and things that just want to fall off you everywhere else but your bust!

What lessons have you learned in fitting for a fuller figure?

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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in book review


Sencha: Finished!

I finished my silk top! What do you think?


I learned so much on this project! I’ve got lots of photos to share, but here are my big take aways from this project.

Sewing with silk is not hard.

My new sewing machine is awesome.

Organdy interfacing is pretty cool.

Blind hemming really requires the same color thread. I only have black and white silk thread, so I made do, but I might re-do it some day.

Fastenings are not always necessary.

I’m sure I’ll remember more when I go through the photos!

I’ll be wearing this to my friend’s puppet show tonight… It’s an adult show called Riddley Walker, put on by our awesome local puppet troupe, Trouble Puppet.

I’m definitely ready to get into trouble!



Posted by on October 14, 2011 in creations, fabric, new skills