Mend & Make Fabulous giveaway winner!

Mend and Make Fabulous - jacket art

You guys. When I asked for stories of garment repair disasters I knew there’d be some funny ones but you guys nearly made me pee. So many crotch stories! You guys are awesome and hilarious.

Anyways, the winner of the Mend & Make Fabulous giveaway is…

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 8.38.20 PMScreen Shot 2014-04-17 at 8.38.51 PM

Congratulations Clara! Hopefully there’s a way to save those shorts! Please contact me to receive your prize.

WIP Confessions – vol 2

Polka dot ElisalexVintage dressBirthday dress

Three of four completed. I’d say the first of the WIP Confessions has been a success! Especially considering the giant capstone project thrown in the midst there. This is fun! Let’s keep this going, shall we?

Here are my projects to finish for the next month:
This was one of the first projects I started when I started sewing regular clothes a few years ago. I’m pretty sure it’s only missing a zipper.

This is another one of those stupid WIPs that’s just missing a few buttons and a hem. Not sure why that’s so difficult.

I made this Katniss dress a while ago but didn’t notice immediately that the hem is completely off and therefore haven’t ever worn it. Should probably fix that.

Andd we’ll just sneak this Archer in again since it’s still sad and neglected.
Polka dot Archer

Feel free to join if you want!

PS Dress was finished in time! PAX was amazing. Pictures to come.

PPS One more day to enter the Mend & Make Fabulous giveaway! You guys are cracking me up with your numerous garment crotch issues.


Kaylee progress

Kaylee progress

Kaylee progress

Not gonna lie guys, I’m freaking out a tiny bit. PAX is in two days and while I’m very close to finally being done with this dress, I’m not quite close enough to total done-ness that panic isn’t starting to crawl up my butt a little bit.

Things I still need to do:
-Back zips on both the top and bottom
-Peplum, plus peplum ribbon trim
-Ribbon waistbandy thing
-Neckline lace
-Finish the sleeve trims and iron the sleeve hems without burning said sleeve trims
-Figure out how to seam the back of the skirt
-Figure out how see-through the skirt is and whether I need another petticoat


The good news though, as some of you may have seen on my Instagram, is that I managed to cobble together a decent looking hoopskirt! I was thinking of posting a tutorial but mine came out kind of derpy so it’s going to hide under that giant gorgeous fluffy mess in shame. I’m happy to post links to the many many existing (and much better made) tutorials I referenced though, if anyone’s interested. If anyone’s interested in learning how to make a derptastic hoopskirt I’m happy to post about that too.

Speaking of hoopskirts, now that the cape is back, can be make hoopskirts be next. They score basically a zero in terms of practicality but omgsomuchfun.

Anyway, I promise I’ll post a more detailed post with more explanation and detail shots (and maybe even some of me in it!) when it’s done.

In the meantime, check out the awesome giveaway one post back.


Mend & Make Fabulous: Book Review + Giveaway!

Mend and Make Fabulous - jacket art
Mend & Make Fabulous by Denise Wild
Interweave/F+W Media; $19.99

Interweave generously provided a copy of this book for me to review, but all opinions, thoughts, and verbal drool-age are my own.

I saw a meme recently that was something along the lines of comparing asking a seamstress to mend things to asking Michaelangelo to paint your garage. I lol-ed but let’s be honest. We all have a stuff-that-needs-mending pile and if you’re like me, it just keeps growing. Mending is generally much less interesting than picking up a shiny new project and lots of what’s in my mending pile is stuff I have no idea how to fix and am kind of in deniable about its salvageability but can’t bear to part with it yet.


But then Interweave sent me this book to review and I basically fell off my chair. (Ok, who am I kidding, I was reading this curled up in bed.) First of all, it’s written by Burdastyle’s own Denise Wild. (She was actually on the Today show last week, which you can see here!) Secondly, the photographs are absolutely beautiful. Like the vintage dress in the photo above. And this adorable pink dress so full of twee I just want to wear it to a tea party with eight kittens wearing mary janes. (I’m not joking.)


Denise divides her book into categories (e.g. hems, closures, rips, etc.) and each section includes detailed photographed tutorials on how to mend that type of issue/area as well as ideas of how to make garments even more fabulous.

Now, I don’t know about you guys, but there are some garment-related issues that I’ve always assumed were un-fixable. Like if you tear sheer fabric, you’re basically screwed. And if your jeans stretch out throughout the day and end up sagging down your butt, you should probably look into different jeans. But no, Denise has the answers.


And her DIY (or MIF, for Make it Fabulous?) ideas have all sorts of wheels turning in my little creative brain. I’ll be honest, I did not expect a book on mending to be such a huge source of inspiration but I’ve got several tutorials earmarked to try. Like this lace applique tutorial! I’m thinking of a peplum top with a lace applique collar. And I have a pair of cute denim shorts that are getting to a level of scandalousness that is a bit NSFW that I could add some lace to the bottoms of! And then this bleaching tutorial! Gah! Do you see those leggings in the top right??


On top of all that, the styling in this book is just beautiful. Even as I flip through random pages my little copycat-ing brain keeps twitching. Ineedthesecoats. Actually I’m pretty sure that entire navy coat outfit needs to be mine.


Anyway, excuse my drooling. Interweave is very kindly offering a copy of Mend and Make Fabulous to one of my readers! Just leave a comment below telling me your worst garment tearing/damaging/destroying/mending-absolutely-required mishap. Make sure you include your email so you can be contacted about receiving your prize!

The giveaway will be open until midnight Tuesday, April 15th and the winner will be announced shortly after.


Tutorial: Lady Peggy

Peggy dress

As promised, here’s a tutorial of how I made my navy and red Peggy dress from the Lady Skater pattern. I used thick knits for this but if you decide to use a woven fabric you can still apply the same general technique for the paneled skirt as long as you start off with a similarly shaped pattern meant for wovens.

What you’ll need:
-the Lady Skater pattern
-fabric as indicated by the pattern
-about an extra half yard of contrasting fabric
-two 1″ buttons (Peggy’s dress has gold ones)
-thread to match both fabrics

I started off with the skirt piece. Since I was using a thicker knit with less stretch than the Lady Skater pattern calls for, I cut about an extra inch past the skirt piece. I then cut a rectangle in red the same height as the skirt piece and about 5-6″ wide, depending how subtle you want the red panels to be.

The photo on the right shows the ruler marker where I cut the navy fabric. I sort of eyeballed it. The navy fabric is one half of the skirt, cut on the fold.

Peggy dress how toPeggy dress how to

Once you’ve cut slices off the navy fabric, rearrange the panels so the red rectangle is inserted between the blue slices. Peggy dress how to

When you’ve sewn all the panels together, they should look like this. Remember, this is still just one half of the skirt. Now go back and do the same thing for the back of the skirt.

Peggy dress how to

This is the fun part! You’re going to make a single box pleat at each red rectangle as shown. Baste it in place and treat it as normal.

Peggy dress how toPeggy dress how to

The rest of the dress is made mostly according to the pattern. The only changes I made were to omit the neckband and just folded it over instead. Ditto the sleeves.

I also made the waist button tab thing that I forgot to photograph but it was pretty simple to make. I measured the distance between the two front pleats, added about 2″ for seams and so it would lie past the pleats, and then cut two long ovals that length and 2.5″ tall. I sewed them together, leaving 3″ open on one of the side seams, and then turned the whole thing inside out and top-stitched around it, closing the open 3″ in the process. It’s attached to the dress by the two decorative buttons in the front.

Peggy dress
And there you have it! A Lady Peggy.