The cat’s pajamas

Cat pajamas

Cat pajamas

Cat pajamas

Cat pajamaspajamas: self-made, pattern here, fabric here

First off, I’m obsessed with this fabric. In fact, all of these are pretty much adorable and amazing and I need them. I have half a yard of the grey/white cat heads but I think I need a summer pajama set in the cream colorway of this fabric. All the meowzers!

Anyway, the moral of the story (of these pajamas) is that I watch too much New Girl. In my defense, Jess spends a lot of time in pajamas and they are always adorable. So I decided I needed my own set of cutesy old man pajamas, complete with piping and short sleeves. I used view B of McCall’s 6249 but with the short sleeves. And I made a contrast bow for the pants but decided it would be huge and uncomfortable so I left it off. I pretty much went according to the pattern except that for the pants and the sleeves I slashed it partway in to attach the contrast piping.

In other news, I learned how to make piping! Turns out it’s not that hard if you can identify which foot is the zipper foot.

My only beef with this pattern is that the front facing seems to be attached weirdly. I’d thought it would extend into the shoulder seam but it’s a bit short and the instructions seem to want you to just fold the edge parallel to the shoulder seam (but about 1″ too short) over and finish itself. The problem then is that it keeps flapping toward the front and the right side is visible in nearly all the photos. I also interfaced it as instructed but that was a bad idea. The fabric is a little on the thick side for this pattern so the neck area ended up being a bit too rigid. I might take it apart and redo the facing and remove the interfacing. Maybe.

In other news, KITTEHS! My favorite part are the happy mice. See if you can spot them.


Moar maxi

Floral stripe maxi

Floral stripe maxi

Floral stripe maxi

Floral stripe maxi
dress: self-made, self-drafted, fabric here

I lost the stupid screw-on plate thing that attaches to my camera that then slides onto my tripod. It’s meant getting a little creative with outfit photos, which is why I’ve been sitting in all of the maxi dress photos. Boyfriend was making fun of my contortioning in the last photo and I realized I rarely smile in blog photos so I threw that one in.

I’ve spent the past week falling further and further down the rabbit hole of researching sewing machines. Last week I was dead set on getting a Bernina. Then yesterday I was positive that one of the Pfaff Ambitions was what I needed. Today I still want a Pfaff but I’ve decided I also need a vintage Bernina. Probably a 730/830 Record.

I’m currently sewing on a borrowed really basic Brother that only sometimes likes to play nice, and my machine back home is a pretty basic Janome. After over a decade of sewing I think I want something a little fancier. Especially since playing around on the machines at Grey’s made me realize that no, you’re not supposed to have to fight that hard to make a straight line.

Sidenote: IDT sounds amazing. Not having to shell out an extra $100 for a walking foot also sounds amazing.

So yeah, any sewing machine advice would be greatly appreciated.

Horses prance through a silver storm

Horses maxi dress

Horses maxi dress

Horses maxi dress

Horses maxi dress

Horses maxi dressdress: self-made, fabric here // belt: thrifted 

To be totally honest, I kind of hated maxi-dresses until kind of recently. I usually prefer short floofy skirts. I think it was having to bypass more than half my wardrobe when getting ready for work that made me reconsider going maxi. Now I’m kind of addicted.

A few months ago I bought an olive green maxi-dress with two super high slits up the leg in the front. It was super hot in a slightly Khaleesi kind of way, but also semi-skanky. I thought about returning it until I decided that would be dumb because I can sew things and it was a really gorgeous dress. I’m really glad I decided to listen to myself on that one because once I sewed up the slits 3″ on either side it’s become one of my favorite dresses. So much so that I ended up tracing it and making a pattern from it, from which I’m basically creating a small maxi army.

The first one was that black maxi skirt from a few weeks ago, and this is the second one. I’m normally horrible at waiting for things so the word “preorder” makes me run the other way, but I saw this horse knit at and was so smitten I didn’t even mind waiting the extra two weeks for my entire order to get to me, just to have these horsies.

Now, I’d heard some mixed reviews about Girl Charlee and I’m still a little on the fence about them, but it’s the kind of fence where I just spent $60 there and already have another cart full of fabric I’m coveting. Most of what I’ve bought from them has been awesome but about half of it has ended up being lighter weight than I had expected based on the product descriptions and some fabrics (like the horsies) have been pillier than I’d hoped. On the plus side I was worried this one would be see-through but it’s totally not! Anyway, I’ll keep buying from them since they stock such cute prints but probably not for things like leggings because my tush does not need to see the world.

Sidenote: I did not realize I had a tan line.

The dress pattern is pretty simple. I think this one took me an hour to put together. It’s just a front and back bodice with two identical skirt pieces. I cut a strip of fabric the length of the waist (all the way around, front and back) and stitched in the ditch to attach it to the bodice/skirt seam, then sewed the other side down about 1.5″ above, making a nice cozy tube for some elastic to live inside. My pattern drafting skills are still nonexistent but I can do a tutorial if anyone’s interested.

In other news, I recently re-watched the entire X-Men series (holy inconsistencies though) and just started reading some of the comics. Sooo if I start sewing exclusively in spandex, please stage an intervention.


Tap shorts giveaway winner!!

*drum roll please*

The winner of the Tap shorts giveaway is…..
Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.26.01 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.26.25 PM

Congrats to Kat H! You’ll be receiving 2 yards of luscious cotton/linen polka dot fabric from Grey’s, 2 coordinating zippers, thread, interfacing, and a pdf of the Tap shorts pattern. I have faith in your welt-pocketing abilities!

Please contact me to receive your prize. And thanks so much to Katy & Laney for the awesome giveaway!

If you didn’t win and are still lusting over this fabric (for which I would totally not blame you because I’m totally eyeing it in a Gollum-esque manner and might go snag some for myself..), you can find all of these items at Grey’s Fabric and Notions. And the Tap shorts pattern can be purchased here.


K&L Tap Shorts + giveaway!

Denim Tap shorts Denim Tap shorts Denim Tap shorts Denim Tap shorts Denim Tap shorts Denim Tap shorts Denim Tap shorts

shorts: self-made, pattern here // top: self-made, pattern here // earrings: Michal Golan // kitten: named Kaylee, borrowed from Seester

Once upon a time (last summer) I came up with all these big ideas about making shorts. I was going to use this pattern, there were going to be two bows on the sides where the pockets are, and they were going to come out perfectly. Except everything became a huge mess, nothing came together correctly and I was slightly traumatized.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, Katy and Laney announced they were making a pattern and did I want to test it? Um, yes! These guys always look amazing and I had no doubts their pattern would be super cute as well. Oh, but it’s shorts. Ruh roh.

But then I remembered all the times I’ve shown up sewing club dramatically proclaiming that I could never in a million years learn how to do a particular thing (e.g. button holes, invisible zippers, self-made bias tape, etc.) and each time one of them has been like “Nay, here is how,” (not an exact quote) and within ten minutes I’m pretty much able to do it myself. So I had faith in their instructable abilities.

And I was not wrong! These shorts came together easy peasy. The pattern comes with two back views, one with welt pockets and one without. I’m just going to say that I 100% do not understand how welt pockets work so I went into it extremely tentatively. They just looked so cute I knew I would be sad if I didn’t at least try. Luckily Katy and Laney’s awesome instructable abilities didn’t let me down one bit and I managed to make two pretty decent looking welt pockets! There’s definitely room for growth there but practice makes perfect and all that.

I did make a few changes to the pattern. I was somewhere between a size 0 and 2 so I cut a 2 in the waist and graded down to a 0 around the crotch area. I wanted the leg openings to be a little less dramatically wide and going down a size in the bottom half achieved that for me. I also trimmed off a good 2-3″ off the bottom so these are quite cheeky. Hee.

When they sent me the pattern it only included the pleated view so that’s the only one I’ve tried so far and I absolutely love it. I made it in a thick denim (and a second soon-to-be blogged pair in a lighter weight linen) and I love the way the heavy weight fabric holds the pleat. They do puff out a bit when I sit down but I don’t really mind. I can’t really speak for how curvier ladies might find this effect. I do want to add though that I think it’s pretty awesome that the K&L ladies took the feedback they received about how the pleat might not be for everyone and created two whole new views. I, for one, am super excited to try out a pair of front-zip ones. (Maybe I’ll get my side pocket bow shorts after all.) Tap Shorts for everyone!


Andd to celebrate the release of their inaugural pattern, Katy and Laney are generously offering up a Tap Short kit to one lucky Peneloping reader! You’ll receive:

-a PDF copy of the pattern
-2 yards of fabric + required interfacing
-coordinating zippers, thread

Just comment below telling me one sewing technique you never thought you’d be able to master. Make sure you include your email so you can be contacted about receiving your prize!


This giveaway is open to readers worldwide and will be open until midnight Friday, June 20th. The winner will be announced shortly after. In the meantime, make sure you check out the rest of the Tap Shorts blog tour!


Thursday, June 12th: Heather at Closet Case Files

Friday, June 13th: Ping at Peneloping

Saturday, June 14th: Jenny at Cashmerette

Monday, June 16th: Mary at Idle Fancy

Wednesday, June 18th: Sarah at Grey’s Fabric and Notions

Thursday, June 19th: Jennifer at Workroom Social

Friday, June 20th: Kelli at True Bias

Saturday, June 21st: Mary at Young, Broke, and Fabulous

Sunday, June 22nd: T at Uandmii

Tuesday, June 24th: MacKenzie at Some Real Things