Loominous Upton!

Was there anyone more excited about Cashmerette’s new pattern, the Upton Dress? Probably not. I was stoked. The Appleton and Washington (hacked) have become wardrobe staples for me so I was thrilled to see her come out with a woven pattern. I have had such trouble getting dress bodices to fit lately that I thought surely this was my ticket to the perfect fit.

And the end result is not quite there. Over the Memorial Day weekend I made up my first version using the same size as my previous Cashmerette patterns and it is too big. Womp womp.


This is a size 14G graded out to a 16 for the waist and hips. Looking at the back of the envelope I’d been worried the dress would be too tight if I made the size 12G, but I should have just followed directions!

Even with adding additional darts to the back neckline there is too much fabric. The neckline is too wide! Just really too much fabric everywhere. But before moving on can we talk about the paid matching. I matched the shit out of that plaid and this is the best invisible zipper installation ever.


I like the way this dress looks so much better with the extra fabric pinched out so I suppose I’ll suck it up and unpick the lining so I can take it in at the side seams. I couldn’t face it last night but it is much needed to make this a more wearable dress. Didn’t stop me from wearing it to work today anyways!


I switched out the neckline for a square neck since it suited the plaid fabric. Also bias cut the waistband because 1) I like it and 2) the plaid on the fabric wasn’t symmetrical. A bias waistband helps masked the non-matching plaid pattern down the center front. I also didn’t have enough fabric to make the full skirt with 5 pleats each front and back. For 45″ fabric the pattern has you cut out 4 skirt panels then seam the center front. I didn’t want one more spot to match the plaid, so I omitted the outermost pleats to get the skirt to fit across 45″ wide fabric and still have a very successful skirt.

With a cardigan this dress is 100% win! But next time I will for sure cut one size smaller and I’ll alter this one once I can face the seam ripper. I still have hope that the Upton will be really successful for me! In the meantime I’m going to bask in the knowledge that I am an ace plaid pattern matcher and how much I love where I placed the color bands of fabric to suit my shape.

This Isn’t the Whole Rainbow?

Woot! Woot! I finished knitting a sweater. The best sweater ever because it has 6 shades of purple. It’s like a whole rainbow with only my most favorite color!


Yay purple!

I’ve been knitting this sucker for 2 whole months straight and I could have it done in nearly half the time except I had to rip the whole thing apart when I discovered it was too large. Way way way too large.

I won’t lie. It was painful to pull apart all the little lengths of yarn from each stripe. But in the end I am so glad I persevered to finish. Worth it.


The pattern is Jagged Little Stripe from Mary Annarella. Mary is a fantastic knit wear designer. Everything she creates is classic with a fun twist and her patterns are wonderfully clear. Its a treat to knit them.

I did need to alter the pattern for a couple reasons. 1) I was using a gradient set as the main color and 2) I needed to add more stitches to the front to accommodate my bust and tummy.

Working with a gradient set came with some challenges. I needed to figure out how to work with the stripes to make sure the colors transitions naturally. What I found through trial and error was that it didn’t matter where in the color sequence I ended for the short rows. In order to achieve my vision I only needed to start with the lightest color at the shoulder and the first row of the waist slash. Then finish the hem, sleeves, and waist slash with the darkest color. I also made sure to end the first row section with cream and end the waist slash with the cream color.

Now Mary is a different build from me, so I had to knit things a little different shaping wise. First I added extra stitches to the sleeves as I was already doing the increases. Then to accommodate my bust and tummy I added 10 stitched when casting on the neckline to join in the round. My waist is also higher and bust lower. So I knit more rows before starting the short rows and worked the waist decreases earlier. All of this worked great. It is not super fitted through the waist, but I like the ease as it is.


My daughter Lu took these pictures. She’s very funny and demanded she take a photo of my skirt and shoes as well as the sweater. The skirt is Gabriola which I talked about in my previous post. So you can see a bit of the funny stitching around the zipper.

In all honesty I made that denim skirt specifically to go with my purple gradient sweater. This sweater is a big reason I switched to a skirt with a closer fit through the hips and is much better suited to wearing a top untucked.


The yarn is from Astral Bath Yarns. Its the Spectra base and I love working with it. I bought the gradient set off my friend. Well I bought half the set as neither of us needed the full 3,000 yard of yarn it contained. Then I bought two skeins of naked yarn to pair with it. I still have a ton of both left so now I need to decide if I keep the left overs or try to destash them.

Anyways, now I’m off for the glorious first holiday weekend I’ve had in many months. We’ll be busy busy busy, but I’m hoping I can sew together the new summer dress I cut out this evening. I think I can. I think I can!

Art Deco Separates

My love affair with separates continues! And mostly it is thanks to the patterns from Sewaholic! Having skirt patterns pre-drafted to a pear shape is making my life so much easier! I have many pretty blouse patterns I’ve never made because finding commercially made skirts is so frustrating! I’ve tried making skirts too, but the all too often looked homemade. This is the year I change that trend.


This is the Gabriola skirt. You might not recognize it because the pattern is for a maxi length skirt and its supposed to be made with a drapey fabric. But I like to make things my own, so I hacked a ton of length off the bottom and made it in denim. Rules? What rules?


And because my goal is to make my skirts appear less homemade I put in an exposed metal zipper. It is not my best zipper installation of all time, but it looks pretty good. Then I top stitched every single seam. And I love the lines of the skirt! It reminds me so much of those 1920s and 1930s bias cut dresses!


Here is where you can see the combination of denim and this front point isn’t perfect. But whatever. Most women seem to think leggings are appropriate to wear out on public, so I’ll forgive a few oddly draping spots in my skirts. Still way way way better than anything I’ve seen in a store in many many years.

And I’ve wanted a jean skirt for quite a while. Summer at my job is very very casual and heck even during the year a dark denim skirt wouldn’t be out of place. So I picked up this fabric at JoAnn’s on sale figuring I could use it for another Hollyburn skirt. But recently I’ve really enjoyed wearing skirts that fit closer through the hip. It seems more flattering to my shape. That’s when I decided to go for the Gabriola instead.


The blouse is also new! It is Jennifer Lauren’s Afternoon Blouse and another lovely nod to retro shapes. The hardest part of this pattern is taping all the pieces together! Sigh, I love a printed pattern so much more than a pdf, but this pattern kept calling to me, so I took the plunge. So glad I did. Jennifer currently drafts her patterns for a D cup, so I cut a straight size 18 and it worked perfectly. Plenty of room in the cut on sleeves (so rare for me) and I’m happy with the fit for a casual summer blouse. The fabric is from the collection London Calling from Robert Kaufman. I’m pretty sure I bought it to make the girls something, but too bad. Mine now.

I’m tempted to make the dress version, but I can’t decide if it will just end up looking like a tent. I’d say I should try it for a weekend dress, but I have plenty of those already. I think I’ll ponder a little longer.

Really I like both of these pieces a lot and I know they will get plenty of use once our weather warms again (its only in the high 60s right now). I have some striped chambray set aside for another skirt and some Liberty of London yardage for another blouse. I’ll get to them eventually.

And hey! The outfit even gets a thumbs up from Charlie!





Gillian Wrap Dress

Looking through my Me Made May outfit for the month reminded me that I never did talk about my Gillian Wrap Dress from Muse Patterns, and that is a real shame!


I made it last June and I think I never posted about it because I had grand plans of getting John to take pictures while we were on vacation. But then the best picture I got was this one when we paid a visit to the Loopy Ewe. The fine breweries of Colorado might have distracted me.

But over the course of the last year I have worn this dress a ton in spite of the hem that loves flipping upwards.


So here is my Gillian Warp Dress Today! I’ve really come to love dresses that hug my curves more than hide them. Plus by converting this dress to a faux wrap it is a breeze to wear without worrying about tying the waist just right.


There are a couple fit issues such as this pooling at the back (and it rides up at the hem too).  So when I make it again I’ll be sure to cute it wider in the butt area. It is meant to be a little loose in the back, so I’m not going to worry about it.


I also remember being really bothered by the flab of extra fabric at the underarm, but it hasn’t ever bothered me when I actually wore the dress. I do wear it safety pinned at the bust, but that is more of a preventative measure!

Oh and the fabric is this Art Gallery knit I bought at Hawthorne Threads. Can’t believe they still have it in stock! They make really nice jersey, though since it is navy printed on white the color didn’t stay as deep as I’d hoped.

In the end I’m so happy to be wearing this lovely wrap dress again this spring and hopefully some day I’ll get around to tackling it again!


Me Made May – Week 2 Round Up

Two weeks in and going strong on this year’s Me Made May!

Mom on the go!

On the left is my Tiramisu that I think I never blogged and on the right is my Moneta/Washington Hack.

And really I wear these a lot, like to the zoo and walking the dog. I live my like in skirts and dresses and love it!

I like beverages!

On the left is my other Tiramisu. This was the first knit item I ever made for myself and it is still going strong. On the right is a Washi Dress I modified to have short sleeves.

And then I have these two ensembles. The left is another Washi Dress in Liberty Fabric worn with my favorite cardigan. Easily one of my favorite combinations to wear. On the right is a totally new outfit I’ll blog soon. Sadly the morning I tried to get Lu to take photos didn’t show the garments very well.

And well, one outfit is missing because I forgot to take a pictures, but I also wore my favorite cardigan on Saturday.

This weekend I went through my clothing and decided to either recycle or donate a few things. On the donate pile were both my attempts at the Emery dress. I’m ready to just be done with that pattern. Also donating my first Washington Dress. I like it, but never feel like wearing it. Plus a couple things that never made it to the blog, like a pair of too tight pajama pants and a Sailor Top I made in the wrong kind of fabric. I also took this opportunity to toss any commercially made clothing that didn’t fit well or had fabric wearing thin.

Then I pulled a few items I’ve made that don’t fit quite right that I want to use for the fabric. That includes my first two Appletons. I like them, but some of my alterations didn’t work like I wanted. It also includes both of my Monetas. The 4 dresses will make some great summer clothes for the kids or t-shirts for me. I also pulled aside my Lisette dress because I’ve been thinking of ways to re-work it.

Whew! It needed to be done and I was happy to be in the right mind set recently to let go of things!

Me Made May – Week 1 Round Up

If you follow me over at Instagram, then you’ve probably seen these already. But I thought it might be fun to post them here too as a way to show that yes! I wear what I make!

What is Me Made May? Well mostly it is a challenge to give your self-made clothing a little love. But it is also a celebration of yourself and your skills. It’s a chance to see which of your self-made items you love and enjoy and which items don’t get any love. At the end of May I’ll be ditching some things I made that I just don’t enjoy wearing. Want to find out more?  There is a great post over at ‘So, Zo…What do you know?’.

Week 1 – Knit Dresses

I’m sure you’ll see these pop up again as the month goes on. My knit dresses are the first thing I reach for after laundry day. Frankly, I am not a morning person. Having to wake up to a baby crying for her breakfast is not my favorite part of motherhood. Having a stack of things that are easy to pull on and don’t need ironing is the best. I have plans to sew up a few more of these for summer as the weather warms up.

Clockwise from top left is Washington Dress Hack 1, Cats! , My Gillian Wrap Dress I never blogged. Whoops! , and Washington Dress Hack 2.

Week 1 – Cardigans

I should just accept that I like and wear one style of sweater almost exclusively. I have one completed pullover and one more in progress, but otherwise I am a cardigan girl.

From left to right is my beta test of Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit program (made pre-blog) and my Viridis (also made pre-blog).

Week 1 – Hat!


Lastly, is my Edwardian Hat (upcoming blog post). I usually have a party for the Kentucky Derby, but this year I was so sick when I needed to start planning that I just could not face hosting a bunch of people. Oh well. I still enjoyed my mint juleps and wearing my fancy new hat!

One week down and I’m feeling pretty great about what I’ve worn so far! Is anyone else participating this year? Do you have a goal in mind for the end of the month?

Quilting Round Up Spring 2016

Lots of sewing going on around here lately, but most of it hasn’t been for me! I got a little backed up on my quilting obligations while I made Easter dresses and and recovered from the cold from hell.

First up I needed to work on my Super Awesome Fun Times quilting bee blocks. This is  Wanta Fanta. This was my first time paper piecing and it went fine, but I have to say it wasn’t my favorite thing to do ever. So much  paper waste! A few blocks was fine, but I can’t imagine picking bits of paper out of a whole quilt top.


Next up was a cute Wonky Star in shades of pink. This was fun to make, though I realized I’m not any better at wonky quilting than I am coloring outside the lines.


Lastly there is this mini block. I say mini because I was testing it for my friend and she accidentally wrote it for 1/4 the size she wanted. So you might see this one again in a bit when I re-make it at the full size.


I also caught up on the Modern HST Sampler QAL only to fall majorly behind again. Oh well! At least I got the whole first quarter of blocks done in with both collections I’m working with.



Lastly a non-quilt make. One of my co-workers had a baby girl this week so I made her a sweet Geranium Dress as a shower gift. Thank goodness someone had a baby girl! My boy fabric stash isn’t very big since I have two little girls and everyone I knew has had boys! I usually use this print to line Lu’s school uniforms, but something school themed seemed a perfect match for a co-worker gift. (I work at an arts school.)


I wish I could figure out what line this fabric came from. There is absolutely no information on the selvedges, but the print is totally darling.

More is in the works so hopefully I’ll have a write up soon!