Category Archives: outfit

Adventures in drafting // red wedding

Red dress

Red dress

Red dress

Red dress

Red dress

Red dresspattern: self-drafted // shoes: Cathy Jean

Haha just kidding. My friends’ wedding was lovely! No murderous musicians.

Anyway, I made this dress because a day before hopping on a plane to DC, I realized that every dress I owned was either black, white, one of the wedding colors, or more appropriate for winter.  So, I took a break from the Epic Peacoat Copycat of July to draft a quick pattern and then made an extremely panicked trip to Joann’s.


I had found this photo somewhere on Pinterest (not sure where the original is from!) and wanted to do kind of a high-ish front, low-ish back sort of thing. I basically just lowered the neckline ~2″ and drew a new flatter neckline, did a sleeveless adjustment (bring armholes up 1/2″ and in 1/2″), then drew connecting curves from the new armhole up to the corner of the new neckline. Then I contoured the crap out of all it and moved the bust darts up and turned them into princess lines. The back was easy, I just repeated the sleeveless adjustment, closed the waist dart, and drew a line from from the armhole dipping lower at center back.

I didn’t have much time for tweaking but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out! We were going through a bit of a heat wave last week so I was way too hot and miserable (and lacking in time) to deal with figuring out a bra for this one so I decided to just go bra-les. Eh, it worked out I think.


How cool is this fabric though?? I briefly considered adding trim or some other detailing to the dress but a) no time, and b) it really didn’t need it because of the cool texturing. Also, thank you Great British Sewing Bee for teaching me that even more subtle patterns should really be centered.

(Yes, it’s still bothering me that I was totally off on this dress but I feel slightly redeemed after getting it right this time.)

In other news, all this red is making me miss my red hair.






bra: self-drafted // leggings: pattern here //top: random brand

*Fabric for this project was provided by Funki Fabrics. All opinions, day-glo predilections, and strapping adventures are my own.

Funki Fabrics was generous enough to send me fabrics for three separate “outfits” (as much as you can call a neon bra/panty set an “outfit”) and this is the second one I came up with. As mentioned earlier, within minutes of perusing the Funki Fabrics site, I had galaxy leggings all over my brain. These were pretty easy to put together. I used this gorgeous fabric and Megan Nielsen’s Virginia leggings pattern with the minor adjustment of making the waistband 3″ tall (instead of 1″ as in the original pattern) and  then using 3″ elastic.

I was a little wary of the fabric being too thin and turning white when stretched out (particularly after a disastrous Girl Charlee order) so I was extremely pleased to find that this stuff is lightweight, has nice stretch, and is totally opaque. I can do my squats without worrying about wardrobe malfunctions!

The bra was so much fun to draft and has been such fun to wear as well. I got the idea from a Free People bra my roommate owns that I’ve been coveting for months. The problem with the original bra is there is absolutely no support and when I tried hers on I was falling out of it in every direction. I wanted it to be something supportive enough that I could wear as a sports bra but with delicate enough straps that I could also wear it as a fun undergarment for a few backless shirts I own (but haven’ t been able to wear due to not having the right kind of bra).

I used this black supplex which I absolutely adore. I want to make all my workout clothes out of this stuff. It’s much less shiny than it appears in the product photo, kind of like cotton-y swimsuit material with great stretch. I started off by tracing a soft sports bra from Target (basically this one) and went from there. I lowered the neckline and made a more pronounced V shape, and extended the sides a bit on either side for extra bewb room. I recommend putting the sports bra on and marking where your side boob hits. I cut two layers of this and sewed the top seams but left the bottom open. I added a strip of 3/4″ elastic for underbewb support and zigzagged the bottom seam closed.

Then it was just a matter of making a bunch of straps and playing with strap placement. I used 1/4″ elastic and Ada Spragg’s Bombshell strap method to make five straps, about 22″ long each. I played with placement on the mannequin, then used safety pins to pin each strap in place so I could try it on. It only took about two tries to get the placement right. Then I just trimmed where necessary and stitched them on. I also added a few stitches to where the straps all meet in the center back to help keep everything in place.

I think my summer uniform this year is going to be strappy bras and flowy backless tops and dresses. Basically my inspiration is everything on this page.


Yona coat

Yona coat

Yona coat

Yona coat

Yona coat

Yona coat

Yona coat
outfit 1 – coat: self-made, pattern here* // dress: self-made, blogged here // shoes: Swedish Hasbeens

outfit 2 – same coat // jeans: self-made, pattern here // shoes: Minnetonka

*I received this pattern free of charge from Named and all thoughts, opinions, anecdotes, and sewing mishaps are my own.

Guys, I’m on a coat high here. This Yona is my second coat in two weeks and we’re only halfway through October.

I made this coat coming off a several-week Jamie Jeans streak (hah, who am I kidding? I’ve got two more in the works), during which I had my hand held gently through the entire process due to a highly detailed, highly helpful Flickr tutorial. I was entirely spoiled and not at all used to the coat-making process enough that I could just sort of figure things out as I went along. I pored over the written instructions with the few illustrations of steps and painstakingly did exactly as I was asked. There wasn’t even a sew along! Usually I am useless without a sew along. I only screwed up a few times (e.g. I forgot to include the collar in the neckline seam..) and one thing I could not for the life of me figure out was how to sew the bottom of the sleeve (the wrist area) to the lining. That kind of coat lining origami was beyond me so I just handstitched it and so far it’s holding up fine.

Anyway the point is, this is not a difficult project. It’s not the simplest thing ever but it’s easier to put together than the Anise and the instructions do a great job of telling you what to do. And I made it in a day. If you don’t count the 40min the next morning I spent doing the hem.

I knew when I saw this coat that I wanted it to be a mottled-ish charcoal colored wool and I wanted to wear it unbelted. I wanted it to be oversized and snuggly. I found the fabric and lining at Sewfisticated for cheap so I guess technically this is a very wearable muslin.

I’m SO happy with how it turned out. I sewed a size 34 but I think I might even go up a size next time, at least on the bottom half since the top fits great but the bottom is a bit snug when I pull it closed. I wasn’t sure how the length would be so I added 2″ but I ended up removing it since it’s actually a great length as it is. I guess since I ended up chopping off the extra length I made it pretty much exactly as instructed. The only thing I did add was I stitched a layer of muslin to the wool for an extra layer and for stretching-out-prevention. I only added it to the two front and two back pieces, omitting it from the front facing and the sleeve pieces.

Now if I could just find some huge adorable buttons to stick on.

Yay coats!


de Nîmes

Jamie Jeans + Archer
Jamie Jeans + Archer
Jamie Jeans + Archer
Jamie Jeans + Archertop: self-made, pattern here // jeans: self-made, pattern here // shoes: Swedish Hasbeens

For a while now I’ve wanted to have a mostly handmade wardrobe. I wanted to be able to look down at my outfit and know that I made most of it. A happy percentage for my ego was about 80%. That meant I wore a lot of dresses and leggings because making actual jeans would of course be impossible. People don’t make jeans. Jeans come out of machines ready-made. Fairies are likely involved.

And then I discovered the joys of squats and deadlifts and pretty soon all of my jeans were too small in the butt and upper leg area (including my favorite pair of Paiges, sad!). This briefly prompted an interest in the Barbell Apparel Kickstarter until I remembered that I learned to sew so that I don’t have to pay over $100 for single garments. I spent about two weeks reading every single pattern review of jeans on the internet and decided that the Jamie Jeans pattern would be a good one to start with. My two fears were finding the right fabric and getting the fit to be flattering.

I had no idea where to start fabric-wise. I ended up ordering 5 different denims from and then emailing Named Patterns out of sheer desperation. Laura from Named wrote me back with some super helpful advice that I’m posting here (with permission):

“Most of the women’s skinny jeans are made of light weight denim, meaning 12 oz or less, and have approximately 1-4% elastan/lycra. If you want to make the jeans very fitted, I would suggest choosing a 8 – 12 oz denim, with about 2% of elastan. A stretch percentage of 10-15% is just enough, as very stretchy denims that have more than 2% of elastan are not very durable – they will feel nice and comfy at first, but become baggy quite soon, as the elastan fibers will wear off faster than the cotton. Basically, the heavier the denim the more durable it is, and same goes for the stretch, the more stretchy, the more fragile. These are just a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing denim, because jeans are usually something that you will wear almost every day, and if you make the effort of sewing a pair, you will definitely want them to last as long as possible 🙂

An 8 oz denim with 10% stretch sounds all right to me, it could be a little heavier too, perhaps 10 oz for added durability. As I said, I wouldn’t suggest anything with more than 2%. The Jamie jeans have some negative ease though, and they are meant to be fitted, so in any case it’s necessary to have some stretch.”

For my first pair of jeans I used this fabric, which is sadly no longer available. At 12.5oz it’s a little heavier than Laura suggests but it worked out great and made a sturdy pair of jeans that were still stretchy and comfy as skinny jeans. They’re a little too heavy to be summer jeans but in the winter the thickness would be perfect. The Named instructions were decent enough but what I pored over religiously through the whole process was this Flickr tutorial that I found on Scruffy Badger’s Jamie review post.

The problem was that I didn’t like where they sat on my waist. My super long torso meant that they were just a smidge too high to be regular jeans and a smidge too low to be actual high waisted jeans. I ended up cutting off about an inch under the waistband all the way around, except I forgot to take this into consideration with the width of the actual waistband so I ended up with a pair of jeans that fits great all the way up to the waistband, which is constrictingly tight. I think I can salvage them by just cutting a longer waistband but by this time I needed to move away from this project.

This was before I added the button closure.

For my second pair I decided to do something a little more summery. I bought this fabric in white and decided to make a pair of white jeans that I would then dip dye. I used 100% white cotton thread so the thread would dye too and it turned out pretty well! The one thing that was a bit annoying was that I didn’t actual wear them around until after I’d dyed them and they stretched out a bit and some of the undyed white stitching showed through. If I were to do this again I’d wear white jeans around for a day before dyeing them. This fabric felt much lighter but the stretch doesn’t seem to have as much recovery as the other pair, which is a bit annoying.

I made them the exact same way as the first pair except with an adjusted waistband. Sadly I threw these in the wash with a pair of denim shorts that bled so there is some weird blotchiness on top. Luckily they hadn’t turned out as dark as I had wanted so I had wanted to redye them anyway.

My third pair is very nearly perfect! I used a random denim I found at Joann’s (I think it was 8.5 or 9.5oz with 2% stretch). I took out a wedge at the top of the center back seam, trimmed an inch off the top before adding an appropriately sized waistband. I forgot that Named patterns have a 3/8″ seam allowance so I’m pretty sure I sewed these up with a 5/8″ seam, but it worked out because I remember having to take in the seams a bit in my first pair so these were the perfect size. They did stretch out a bit with wearing but I threw them in the dryer once (which I normally never do with jeans) and since then they’ve become the perfect size!

One thing I would do differently on the third pair is that I used cotton on the inside of the waistband instead of using denim. I found the waistband of the first pair (made of 12.5oz denim) slightly too constricting and thick and wanted to try using cotton instead. I forgot the actual reason for doing so and did it even though this fabric was more lightweight, which resulted in a flimsier waistband than I would like. Also the fabric was not the nicest and although it’s softened up with multiple washes, it was a bit scratchy at first.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that jeans are totally doable! The only supplies I bought that I’d never heard of where the jeans buttons (I wandered into Grey’s and asked Sarah “Do you have the button thingies that go on jeans?” and she was like “Here are 5 different kinds.”) and jeans topstitching thread. (Don’t laugh. I thought you just bought gold thread and maybe used the triple stitch button on your sewing machine.) The other thing that was absolutely indispensable in making my topstitching nice was the edgestitching foot I bought recently. It actually made topstitching fun rather than a perilous journey of sweat.

I’m currently working on my 4th pair in an unlabeled denim from Sew Low that feels around 9oz with maybe about 15% stretch. I’m trying something a little different with this one and using a dark thread for topstitching instead of the traditional gold. Next I want to do a light wash pair but I’m having some trouble finding a nice light shade of blue that isn’t weird.

Yay jeans!

Oh and I FINALLY finished my poor abandoned dotted Archer. I had set it aside because I’d done something wrong and was too demoralized to try and fixed it and then it ended up just sitting in my closet for over a year. Once I’d picked it up again I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong and it took me all of about two hours to finish it. Wherps.

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.