Monday, January 30, 2017

Birkin Flares

I accomplished something major: I made jeans! Specifically Birkin Flares from Baste+Gather.  I feel so joyful. 
My material is burnt orange corduroy from IndieSew and it's great.  I snatched it up right when it was advertised and have no regrets.  I went rogue for this pattern and didn't make a muslin.  I like the fit. It's right under my belly button and there is negative ease in the hips which means they actually stay up when I walk around.
Everybody says jeans aren't hard, and they actually aren't.  There is a sewalong on the Baste and Gather website that is fabulous and really helped through the challenging bits. 

Close up of the front:
 Close up of the back:
You'll notice that there is something weird going on with the back yoke. The piece didn't look right when I cut it out, but since I didn't make a muslin I just went along with it.  The middle part of it seemed to have too much of a diagonal as compared to the sewalong pictures that seemed to continue up in a straight line from the leg.  I'll have to revisit that next time because the extra fabric makes the yoke wavy. 
I do not plan to wear a shirt tucked in with these and the rest is satisfactory, so I'm OK with that.  Being the opposite of Type A really helps in sewing....

I enjoy topstitching quite a bit.  It makes it all look put together. My sewing machine kept spitting out my needle when I tried to do the narrow row of zigzag on the pockets.  I eventually had to give up on that after doing the best I could. 
I chose to have the front of my pocket lining facing me so I can see the fun burst of color.  Nobody looks inside my pockets!

I highly recommend this pattern if you are a first-timer.  Go for it! You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Moto Chic Jacket #2

I found this pretty turquoise corduroy at my local fabric store (Sarah's Fabrics) and decided to make another SBCC Moto Chic Jacket with it because my first one gets lots of compliments.  This was a hard one to find a matching zipper for, so I substituted circular buttonholes. The Craftsy course Couture Finishing Techniques with Alison Smith helped me with those. 
I felt like I borrowed BeyoncĂ©'s wind machine for these pictures.  The one above is suitable but if I'm being transparent almost all of the others looked like this:
Not okay! I could have waited for another day, but I don't have closure on a project until I've blogged it and I'm itching to move on to something else.

Besides the buttonholes, the only other change I made was to the lining.  The pattern lining doesn't extend to the hem, which leaves some of the innards exposed.  I extended the lining piece with the intention of slip stitching it to the corduroy hem.  I didn't take into account the gathered peplum, and so I had to settle for a free floating lining hem. 
Side view:

Onward to new things!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Colette Wren

I've been made fun of for not owning one single black garment.  But why choose black when you can choose, say, orange? Or a happy little print? Bright colors and prints aren't always appropriate for the occasion though, and that's where this dress comes in.
I needed a dark dress, and I had purchased the Colette Wren pattern awhile back but never got around to it.  I had also picked up this very thick fabric of unknown origin from the discount bin from a nearby Hancocks some months ago, and I decided I would combine the two.
I love the pattern.  I'll be making more because I enjoy the bodice quite a bit.  I also like the fabric well enough, but something happened at the waistband and I think it's a result of the fabric being made of some sort of synthetic something-or-other.  Do you see how it bulges and rides up on my right side at the waistline?  It's so strange!
I have to constantly pull it down for it not to do that.  And who wants to constantly be pulling something down?  I thought the heaviness of the skirt would pull the bodice down, but no.  I tried to press it from the inside, but melted the material and had to stop.  A press cloth didn't even help.  This fabric does not like heat and unfortunately I think heat is what it needs. 
I actually almost threw it in the reject pile because of the waistline, but then I decided I would give it a chance and wear it once.  I think it was reasonably successful, but I'm going to consider this a wearable muslin for this pattern which, again, I really do love.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Actually, the winner is....

Unfortunately after a week I've been unsuccessful in making contact with the original winner. I've drawn again at random and the new winner is Annmarie DeGuire. Annmarie, can you please send your address to me at

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Tunic Bible Winner Is...

The winner chosen at random is:

Tasha October 10, 2016 at 6am
I love your version! I can't wait to make a tunic from this book!

Tasha, please email me at with your address. Congrats and happy sewing!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Tunic Bible #2

I have to be up front from the beginning and disclose that I stole the fabric combo idea for this tunic from a dog's outfit on Dogs of Instagram. His polka dot/floral shirt was on point!
If you look closely you can see the small polka dots on the chambray, and you've probably recognized the floral as Cotton+Steel since it's everywhere these days.  I purchased both at Sarah's Fabrics in Lawrence, KS. 
For this version of The Tunic Bible pattern I chose the shorty placket and the ruffle sleeves.  The ruffle sleeves have the perfect amount of bounce and give the top that extra something.  I also shortened the length of the tunic by several inches. 
I don't have a lot to add about the pattern since my previous post, but isn't it amazing that my top from yesterday and this top are from the same pattern?  I love versatility.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Tunic Bible and a Book Giveaway!

I am beyond excited to be one of the stops on The Tunic Bible's blog tour! The Tunic Bible is a new book written by the always inspiring Sarah Gunn from and Julie Starr from  It's already in it's second print run which means it's selling like hotcakes. I was lucky enough to be chosen to sew up a version in advance for the gallery in the book and it was one of my favorite sewing experiences so far.  Having said that, the following is an honest review of the pattern. The giveaway is at the very bottom!

Did you ever read the Choose Your Own Adventure books in elementary school?  I'm referring to the kind of books where everybody starts at the same place but winds up at different places by the end because of the array of choices made throughout the book. This pattern reminds me of that. The front and back bodice pieces are always the same, but the placket, trim and sleeve choices that are available will take you on a different adventure every time!
My mind ran a mile a minute trying to decide what to do for my version, but eventually I settled on the bib placket, tapered sleeves with a cuff and a shortened tunic that hits at the hips.
To achieve my sleeves, I placed the Sewaholic Granville sleeve over the Tunic sleeve and traced the narrower bottom of the Granville sleeve onto the Tunic sleeve.  Then I followed the Granville pattern and directions to add the cuff.  I like the way the piping looks, but it did make for a lumpier cuff. 
I made what felt like a million pleats on the bib placket, and also on the bottom band.  That tag I added to the shirt is #truth, because those pleats took forever.  The line in Finding Nemo where Dory says, "Just keep swimming" kept popping into my head except I was saying, "Just keep pleating.  Just keep pleating." 
Each pleat measures a half inch long when complete, which means each pleat takes 1.5 inches of fabric. I cut one long rectangular piece of bib fabric 45 inches long, and the same width as the pattern piece.  I made one initial pleat to start by folding the fabric under and stitching a line 1/2 inch from the fold.  I pressed that down.  I continued to fold the fabric an inch from the previous stitch line.  I then ironed it to make a crease, and stitched a line 1/2 inch from the previous sewing line.  The new stitch line was then folded down to make the pleat, and I repeated that process over and over until the material was as long as the bib pattern piece.  At that point, I placed the bib pattern piece on the long rectangular pleated fabric and cut it out.  From that point on, you follow the directions in the book.   
 I cut off several inches from the bottom of the tunic pattern to make it shorter.  I have a hard time with shapes that fall way below my hips.  I accidentally cut the bottom band a little too narrow, which resulted in the tunic looking more tapered as opposed to flared as it's supposed to.  I shouldn't say "supposed to" because this pattern is definitely open to interpretation! 

I had never made a tunic prior to this pattern.  I had never even considered making a tunic prior to this pattern.  Now it will be something I return to again and again, not just because of the numerous options available but because the fit is so great.  That seemed to be a common statement among the ladies sewing for the book. This is a very well fitting garment.  I made zero fit changes to the muslin.
The orange fabric is a Carolina Herrera silk-wool from Mood.  The gray fabric is the most fabulous buttery rayon ever from Sarah's Fabrics in Lawrence, KS.

Take a moment and check out the other amazing tunics on parade during the blog tour:
October 3
 Pattern Review
October 4        
Cloning Couture
Generation Q Magazine        
October 5
Featherstitch Avenue
October 6Allie J          
Thanks I Made Them
October 7
Sew Busy Lizzy  
Jennuine Design
October 8
Inside The Hem    
Girls in the Garden
October 9
Sew Manju      
My Love Affair with Sewing
October 10
Creating in the Gap
October 11
House of Pinheiro
The Tunic Bible   

Are you ready for a giveaway!? Leave a comment below and a winner will be chose at random on October 12.   C&T Publishing is providing a print copy of the book if you're in the United States or digital copy of the book if you're overseas.  I look forward to seeing your tunics!