Sunday, June 29, 2008


There are a lot of things I want to say about this top: how inspired I was by others' versions, how I knew I had to make it in Amy Butler's coriander fabric after seeing this photo, and how funny it is that I made this top as soon as I received the fabric in the mail but I have yards of fabric that have been patiently waiting for over a year to be made into something.

But mostly what I want to say is how much I like this shirt. Also, how easy it was to make. I only made two small alterations. Thanks to Collins' review, I took in the front yoke about an inch to prevent any gaping issues. I also shortened it by two inches.

I hope you had a good weekend.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Knit fabric help

I'm about to place on order for a few yards of rayon/lycra jersey knit. I *think* this fabric will work for my brown shirt (yes, I am bound and determined to make it work) and also for some dresses for a vacation later this summer. But, I'm really not sure because I don't have it in front of me. I'm looking for something soft, drapey, has good stretch and recovery, and is preferably made out of natural materials (or semi-natural at least). Which types of knit fabrics would you recommend?

Thanks thanks thanks!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


So, the brown shirt did not come out quite as planned. User error, I'm sure. I still have a lot to learn about working with knits. I'll try to take a picture soon when it's light out.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Let's move on already!

I haven't been posting this last week because I've been working on a super secret project that I can't show just yet. mwahaha. Now that I've pretty much wrapped that up, I'm ready to wrap up my mini wardrobe challenge. It's time to move on ! However, I'm stuck. Big surprise, right? I seem to get caught up in indecision all the time.

Here's my shirt dilemma. I'm leaning towards the simpler, only-two-pattern-pieces, but suits my needs option (3640).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday shoe love

looking down. from hrrrthrrr on Vimeo.

I hope you all are enjoying the weekend. I, for one, find myself suddenly wanting to go shoe shopping. [via Jessica]

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The fabric made me do it

Oh hello there. How are you? Me, well, I'm in procrastination mode. I really should be working on a lot of things. Things such as "work" work (clears throat wanting to say so much about this but, you know, this is a rather public place isn't it?) creative projects I've (happily) committed myself to, catching up on e-mails and phone calls, finishing my mini wardrobe challenge, cleaning out my closet, planning my vacation in two months, hemming those pants that have needed hemming for far too long, making that father's day present I decided to make since I'm on a roll with handmade gifts this year anyways, getting my life in order. You know, those sorts of things.

But this fabric kept staring at me. Then it started screaming at me. Finally I could stand it no longer. I put all of those things aside and made this skirt. I love it so much I think you should make it too.

Pattern: McCalls 5430

Fabric: Brown Zebra Print from Jennifer Paganelli Mod Girls Sis Boom

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Uh, or whatever a shark says.

I made this shark towel for my nephew's second birthday. It's a little big, but he'll grow into it. (Note: that's him in it above. My five year old niece is modeling it in the picture below.) The design is heavily based on Oh, Fransson's shark towel. Many thanks to her for the great idea and also for so kindly sending me instructions on how she made hers.

I ended up using this tutorial for the basic construction. Imagine all the possibilities you can turn a towel into...bears, bunnies...(ok, I'm sure there's more but I can't think of any right now). You get the idea though. The present was definitely a hit, especially when I put it on and chased the little ones around the house screaming, "Raaaaaahhhhhrrrr!"

Friday, June 06, 2008

Mini wardobe challenge players

Hey everyone,

Sorry to post this list so late. So, the players of the mini wardrobe personal challenge so far are:

Katie from What I'm Making...
Regina from Creative Kismet
Raesha from My Love
Kathy from Kathy Made
ExPat Mom
Lsaspacey from An Examined Life
Lori from Girls in the Garden

If I left anyone off, please let me know. Go visit each site to see their mini wardrobe plans and garments. To all the players, let this be some motivation to get started on planning and sewing if you haven't already!

Edited to add Lori to the list!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Internet has come to my rescue yet again

Thank you for all the compliments on my shirt and for making me realize that I was being too hard on myself. Your kind comments have made me see the shirt in softer light. Also, I've had a day to recover from the zipper disaster so that has helped too. Here are the lessons I've learned from this shirt ('cause there's always a lesson to be learned):

1. Hand baste that zipper and prevent a lot of heartache!
2. I need a new iron - I've dropped mine one too many times and the steam/spray just isn't what it once was (any recommendations for a decent mid-range iron?).
3. Be kind to yourself.
4. The Internet is a wonderful thing - it connects me to all you wonderful readers!

Thanks again. I'm moving on now to my next wardrobe items: another skirt and top.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The jury's still out

Here is my second item for the mini-wardrobe challenge. It's a top made from the Simplicity 3777 pattern (see my dress version here). I honestly don't know how I feel about this top. I mean, I think it looks ok from the front...

...and ok from the side...

...but I am not happy with the back.

Look at all those puckers! (Please ignore the zipper top that I haven't sewn down yet...) Oh people, this back seam has caused me so much frustration. I don't even want to tell you how many times I ripped out the zipper (five, FIVE times!!!!) to get the seams to match up. I don't know what the problem was. When I finally got them to line up, guess what happened? The damn zipper broke! Here is the carcass of that bad bad zipper:

I'm thinking about burning it. I had another zipper on hand and was able to install it easily on the first try (or sixth, depending on how you look at it), go figure. However, now the seam is all puckered. I think all those times I ripped out the bad zipper caused the fabric to stretch. Any other ideas why this happened? I don't think I can bring myself to rip out the zipper yet again. I just don't know if I can do it. I'm leaning towards just living with it as is until I make another top to replace it. Tell me, honestly, how bad does it look? Am I being overly critical here? Your honest opinions needed (and appreciated!)...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Circle skirt

It's weekends like these when I start questioning why I sew. Oh, the frustration! I had a bad sewing weekend, people. Why? Stupid mistakes, unflattering patterns, and zippers that don't want to cooperate are just a few reasons. I'm sure this bad sewing energy will pass, let's hope soon. Fortunately I finished this skirt before the weekend so I have at least one decent thing to show.

This is my first item for the mini wardrobe challenge. I used Mccalls 5431 and Ginger Blossom fabric. Oh, how I love this fabric. Have you noticed by now that green is my favorite color? Speaking of green, man does my street get green in the summer! This always surprises me every year. It's one of my favorite things about my neighborhood. Lots of trees = lots of green goodness.

Back to the skirt. This pattern was fairly easy. It's a circle skirt so it took the full two yards of fabric I had on hand (thank goodness I had enough!). The only adjustment I made was inserting an invisible zipper in the back instead of the lapped zipper the pattern called for. I also hemmed it by machine because heck if I was going to hand stitch all that fabric!

No circle skirt review would be complete without a twirl test. Verdict: Excellent!