Tag Archives: megan nielsen

Ruffle top(s)

Off-shoulder ruffle tops

Off-shoulder ruffle tops

Off-shoulder ruffle tops

Off-shoulder ruffle tops

Off-shoulder ruffle tops

Off-shoulder ruffle topsboth tops: self-made, tutorial here // shorts: AE

Reasons why this is the perfect top for summer:

  1. It takes like 30min to put together. No joke.
  2. No bra necessary. The ruffle conveniently hides everything. (Ok, to be fair ladies with a certain amount of boobage might not be able to get away with that as comfortably. I’ve also worn these with a fun strappy sports bra and that looks cool too.)
  3. It’s SO comfy. I was a bit apprehensive at the whole elastic sitting at the shoulders thing but it’s so breezy and nice and I got used to it after wearing it once.
  4. Did I mention it literally took 30min to sew? I want one in every color.

Sidenote: I made the blue one first and did it exactly as indicated in the tutorial, except I made it cropped instead of a dress. Since the black one is made of rayon challis and much drapier, I used more fabric and flared the edges of the bottom part outward like a trapezoid to get even more volume.


Another thing I played around with was doing a rolled hem around the edge of the ruffle. I took a serging class this summer and managed to break my upper looper about an hour into the first class. I debated getting it fixed but it was kind of a dinosaur and we’d never been friends so I decided to buy a new one instead. I ended up getting a basically new Juki MO654DE (thanks to Heather’s awesome review) on eBay for half the price (win!) and I can’t even begin to describe  how much I love this machine. I’ll do a review of it soon along with some fun things I learned in my serging class.

Anyway, next I want to make a dress version. And maybe one with a more fitted bodice. Yee!



Katniss revisited

Katniss reaping dress

Katniss reaping dress

Katniss reaping dress

Katniss reaping dressdress: self-made, pattern here // boots: Clarks

One WIP down! Three to go.

You guys, you have no idea how amazing it feels to finally have fixed this effing hem. You can see my original post with construction details here. (Basically just a modified Darling Ranges bodice with a self-drafted quarter circle-ish skirt. Is that even a thing?) It’s kind of hard to believe that was two whole years ago and this poor dress has been sitting abandoned in the closet ever since. All because of the stupid hem being completely off. By like 4″ on one side. If you go to the original post you can see what I’m talking about in the first photo. But I’ll get back to that tomorrow.

I wanted to style it Katniss-y for photos but I love when costumes are really secret costumes and I can still wear them in public without looking silly. I’m totally going to be wearing this with my Swedish Hasbeens and an over-sized cream cardigan. Or just on its own with some cute sandals.

Archer + Virginia sittin’ in a tree

Plaid Archer Plaid Archer Plaid Archer Plaid Archer Plaid Archer shirt: self-made, pattern here // leggings: self-made, pattern here // glasses: Bonlook // knee socks: J.Crew // boots: Boutique9 

Sometimes projects just don’t work out the way you planned. You have this perfect image in your head, you painstakingly gather all the supplies, read all the tutorials, and do all the math, and something just doesn’t work out.

This was kind of the opposite. :]

I had absolutely zero faith that this would work out. I’ve always had a soft spot for a cute plaid shirt, but even after seeing a bunch of gorgey Archer on the interwebs, I had sort of decided that that was beyond my skill set or patience level to even attempt. But then I decided that I needed a crazy skill-developing project (to even out the endless hours of mindless ruffling) so I figured this would be a good idea. But I was pretty sure this was going to fail.

I started looking for a cute cotton flannel plaid print that wasn’t too preppy/matronly/sleepingshirty/manly/boring and when I saw this one I knew it was a winner. I immediately set out to read about a million tutorials on how to match plaids.

These two posts were particularly helpful:


I’m not joking when I say that it took me two weeks to cut out all the fabric. I had to read and reread tutorials a bajillion times, and then I’d get myself all geared up to cut into the fabric and give up at the last minute. Two weeks. Maybe I should’ve picked a shittier fabric to start with because falling in love with this one made things even more stressful. The fact that the cotton flannel didn’t like to keep its shape is great for shirt comfy-ness but not so great for cutting.

I totally have the hang of it now though!I stalked everyone else’s Archers to see what pieces were supposed to be cut on the bias (I ended up doing the pockets, the right button band, the sleeve cuffs, and the outside piece of the back yoke) because I realized I had no idea which ones were supposed to be. I even made the pockets and sleeve cuffs (which I forgot to roll down and photograph) identical to each other! I tried to match everything else as best as I could and it was totally worth the extra effort, although I now have an annoying habit of scrutinizing (ok, and judging) everyone’s plaids to see if they match.

And yeah, I’ve worn this every single day since I finished it on Wednesday evening. I should probably make a few more.

PS Yes, those are a pair of Virginia leggings I snuck in there! These were made out of moisture-wicking fabric that I ordered off eBay. I’ve worked out in them but I haven’t actually gone for a run in them so I can’t really speak to the effectiveness of the moisture-wicking abilities. They’re definitely super toasty though.

PPS I feel like Archer + Virginia is a match made in heaven.

PPPS You guys, I’m so in love with this shirt it’s not even funny.

A not-so-sterling Archer

Archer + Virginia leggings

Archer + Virginia leggings

Archer + Virginia leggings

Archer + Virginia leggings

Archer + Virginia leggings
shirt: self-made, pattern here // leggings: self-made, pattern here // boots: Boutique 9 // glasses: BonLook

You guys!! I made a shirt!! A real fancy button-up shirt!!

Ok, not that fancy, but still!! I wasn’t totally convinced this was going to work out, but thank god for Jen and her amazing sew along with amazingly detailed instructions! Ok, enough with the !’s. I highly recommend reading through the sew along, if not following through as you sew this, especially if this is your first complicated/tailored/lots-of-tiny-pieces pattern. I made this one in two days, and basically pored over each step six times before actually diving in. It was like Jen was there holding my hand and handing me a nice cup of tea and reassuring patpats every time I got stuck. It’s definitely not my best work but my topstitching has officially moved from “Horrendous” to “Probably Don’t Need to Redo.” Yayy!

Anyway, since this was my first attempt, I bought some cheap shitty (kind of plasticky, really) lineny/chambray-y looking fabric (It’s not, seriously, it’s like plastic.) just in case I totally effed it up, which I somehow managed not to! As a result, it’s sort of stiff and not nearly as drapey as I’d like it to be but I think it’s something I’ll still wear. I may have three or four more fabrics set aside for more Archers. Hee.

As a bonus, I also finally took photos of my second pair of Virginia leggings. See what I mean about them being sort of heinous? I really don’t know what I was thinking with that fabric, but at least I didn’t end up with a giant patch of flowers at the crotch. That would’ve been awkward. I definitely need to find a cuter (smaller) floral knit fabric to make moar leggings.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure this is going to be one of my favorite outfits for fall.



*PS Please tell me someone gets my post title? I’m ridiculously pleased with myself right now. Hee.

Meet Virginia




top: Banana Republic (old) // sweater: J.Crew men’s (thrifted) // leggings: self-made, pattern here // boots: Minnetonka

You guys, I’m so bad at keeping secrets and so excited to finally be able to post this! A few months ago I got a super exciting email asking if I’d like to test Megan’s Virginia leggings pattern, just released last week. I said yes of course, because if Megan Nielsen asked me if I wanted to test a potato sack pattern I would probably do it.

I made three pairs of leggings so far but I’ve only photographed my first pair. I used a stretchy sort of thermal-ish fabric for these just because I absolutely adored the bright bold print. The fabric probably isn’t totally right for the pattern since it doesn’t feel as snug and structured as I would want leggings to feel, but it works. I was so in love with them that I even started knitting this sweater specifically to wear over them and my brown leather boots.

For my second pair, I knew I wanted to make some athletic leggings that I could run in. I scoured eBay and found this moisture-wicking fabric and bought some to try it out. Those turned out great too! My third pair is made from a floral knit that I haven’t photographed because I cannot for the life of me find anything in my wardrobe that remotely looks good with it. Epic fail on the fabric choice.

Anyway, I highly recommend this pattern! It was actually a bit ridiculous how easy these came together, even as someone with very limited experience in sewing with stretch fabrics. It’s literally two pieces. Plus the pattern’s only available in PDF which means no waiting on stupid shipping time!

Hmm I should make a solid pair just because of the whole “I need more solids in my wardrobe” issue but I keep thinking I need a pair of glittery ones. Or with sequins incorporated somehow. Or a cuter floral. Or polka dots! Whee!