Sassy & Classy

We’re preparing for a baby minimally, mostly sourcing from hand-me-downs and the Buy Nothing, so we’re not exactly aiming for an aesthetic experience. But when it came time to fill in the gaps with some shopping I was surprised to discover that not only were so many baby products useless tat (which I expected), but that they were ugly, useless tat. Things I truly don’t understand: why is the surface design so predictable and generic? Why wouldn’t I want jewel tones and deep or dark colors? Why is so much baby stuff just plain boring? I have to look at it too! So, I buckled and sewed a couple things.

Definitely not clothes – I’m not really interested in kids’ clothes, with the exception of Megan Nielsen’s children’s Book Week costumes, which I hope she keeps making and sharing for a hundred years. But many people asked “So are you going to make baby clothes?” to which my answer was NAH, I’m going to make more me clothes, same as ever, as soon as the me in question settles down a bit size-wise – but I will make a few items of use/organization. First among these, lightweight sleep sacks.

I can’t sleep uncovered and it’s possible the baby won’t either, so I prepared for the spring/summer (i.e. the first few months of their life) with two versions of one design. It’s the Small Dreams Factory sleeping bag. I used the free pattern pieces though not the directions. And actually I resized the pattern too – I printed it at 96%, and then shortened it a further 2.5” because that puppy looked enormous. My top priority (at the advice of my delightful midwife) was sewing a sack with a zipper that opens from the bottom. That didn’t require any pattern piece adjustment, I just had to nudge myself to remember!

First up: my sassy sack. This was an opportunity to pick colors, prints, and combos I was unlikely to have used otherwise! I didn’t pay enough attention when cutting and I got some jarring almost-doubling right in center front, but I don’t think that’s the main takeaway. Was I aiming for the seventies? I was not. Did I hit it smack on the money? Boy did I!

As I understand it, the buttoned over-the-shoulder flaps are for getting the baby in and out more easily, while the buttoned front tab is to keep the zipper pull away from their skin (and later, their grasp). The upside-down zipper installation may have made the front tab unnecessary but this was my chance to use goofy little flower buttons and I was taking it at the flood! I sewed the buttons on, then interfaced over the sewing, then sewed them on again through the interfacing too. No choking, please.

I added a second layer of cotton to the curved tab ends to reinforce the button holes, a last-minute addition when I realized I hadn’t made accommodation for interfacing there. The button interfacing, however, is just hanging out fancy-free.

Otherwise, this bag is neat and tidy, with nothing scratchy or snaggy inside.

I added a shield behind the zipper and bound all the seams, plus the edges. I’m really pretty pleased with that binding!

And as a bonus, I tucked in a little selvedge tag. I’m not saying I’d buy a fabric just to get my mitts on the selvedge, but sometimes it’s tempting.

Secondly: my classy sack. I wanted to try refining the design as a fully-lined, no-binding-necessary sleepsack, because while I loved the finished look it certainly took a minute. This edition is made out of a pair of well-used linen pillowcases. We recently replaced our duvet cover because it was basically de-cohering; you’ll be seeing more projects made from this linen at some point. But just the pillowcases yielded the perfect amount of fabric for a fully lined sleep sack, provided I wasn’t too fussy about stuff like fading, which I wasn’t.

I actually learned a lot about how to sequence the bag lining from sewing waistcoats this past winter. I assembled the fronts, except for the long curved outer edge, then sandwiched the fronts between the two backs right-sides-together. Then I sewed the entire perimeter of the backs except for a little opening for turning, turned it right-sides out, and zip zap zooey, it’s a finished bag.

The curved ends of the over-the-shoulder tabs are less than perfect. I allowed myself to adjust them one time, and then considered it necessary practice in lowering my standards. If someone is going to pee on something I sew, it is not a good use of my time and energy to noodle endlessly on one tiny curve, let alone two.

Though I wish, wish, wish, I had made the zipper shield extra-long, long enough to meet the bottom edge of the sack. This separating zipper is wider than the one I used for the quilting cotton bag, so my initial plan – to sew each front as a separate unit first, and join them under the zipper later – proved misguided. A lengthened, pieced shield and a little topstitching to fix it in place bridged the gap nicely. But I could have skipped an unnecessary seam! Alas!!

This also got the sturdy button treatment, this time with ~classy~ flower buttons. I like a motif!

We’ll see if these get any use – I’m frankly skeptical that babies need much of anything, but these were fun to sew and I had a good time shopping uncharacteristic quilting cottons. And if they somehow prove essential I can make more, in yet wilder combinations!

Just think of the selvedges! What an excellent reason to add a entire person to the world!!

Pattern: Small Dreams Factory sleeping bag

Pattern cost: $0.00

Size: printed at 96%, shortened 2.5”

Supplies: 1 yard of Ruby Star Clippings in Honey, 1/4 yard Ruby Star Grid in Soft Blue, Gather Here, $16.60; zipper, 3 buttons, Gather Here, $4.12/2 linen pillowcases, from stash; 16″ separating zipper, Sewfisticated; 3 1/2″ buttons, Gather Here; thread, Michael’s, $6.59

Total time: 7 hours/3.25 hours

Total cost: $20.72/$6.59

Deep Cut

For increasingly self-evident reasons, I’m digging into forgotten corners of my dresser for pretty much anything that fits. That includes this old, old pair of track pants. I mostly consider these only junk-around pants because of the rise, the grass stains, and also the not-grass stains (soup? Mud? Maybe!), but hey, I still gotta get dressed every day.

These are the original low-rise True Bias Hudson pants, made by copying a woven variation that I could only find with the Wayback Machine. That post was from summer 2015, so it’s safe to say so are these, or somewhere in that zone! The fabric is Brussels Washer linen/rayon in a color Kaufman no longer produces, but I think it was called Willow?? I also think a more accurate name would be Sprite (like the soda!), but strangely it’s not up to me.

I was interested to discover that while my new curvature is forcing the front rise down, it seems  to have fixed my main comfort issue with these pants, which is that I frequently felt like my butt was going to fall out. Pushing down the front rise seems to have commensurately pushed up the back rise. I wouldn’t recommend this as a general fitting technique, but it worked!

The pictures in that tutorial are no more, but the language is pretty clear. At the time it’s not something I would have attempted without guidance, but the paneled leg is just a handful of cuts perpendicular to the grainline plus added seam allowance. Lemon squeezy! Though in a fabric like this, which aged evenly, with tonal thread, it’s hardly a punchy effect. Definitely more appropriate as a denim thing, where seams are automatically a feature. It could be a nice way to work around fabric constraints, though.

These have aged shockingly well. I think that’s due to the combination of French seams and flat-felled seams. Flat-felled seams, in particular, are such a pain to sew neatly that I usually only bother for Professor Boyfriend’s shirts, but it really is a super solid finish. The only raw edge I couldn’t figure out how to handle was the seam allowances of the faux fly, which is basically a wee useless pocket plus topstitching.

The actual functional pockets are patch pockets with a simple folded-edge finish. As a beginner I would have considered patches the easiest style; they are easy, but if you’re topstitching-avoidant, I recommend a nice slash pocket. I also enjoy topstitching though. No bad choices! Except floppy inseam pockets!!

I was still learning how to apply bands/cuffs on this project, but it looks like I stitched in the ditch on the right side to finish (nowadays I would attach the inside first and then topstitch the outside – guaranteed to capture the edge and look good where it counts). And actually it seems to have gone pretty well, get it 2015 newbie sewer!

Still used way too short a stitch length though.

There was a time (pre-grass stains etc.) where I wore these regularly, but that was a while ago! They fit better recently than they did originally, mostly because of the improved back rise, but I put them on now more out of necessity than enthusiasm.

I’m about 32 weeks in these pictures; looking at them, and at my current wearable wardrobe, forced me to make a call. Either I run out the last 8 weeks with 2 pairs each of trackies, Papao pants, and Burnside Bibs, 1 pair of overalls and 1 pair of stretchy-panel jeans (and hope the weather continues unseasonably warm), or I add more weather-flexible, pregnancy-specific garments.

In addition to pure function, there’s also my preferences to consider. These woven Hudsons were made in a more innocent time, where if you wanted a indie pattern for a pair of track pants, this was it, and because of that I didn’t really think about whether or not I liked or suited them. Well, thanks to my extraordinary frontage, I once again have limited options, but now I’m paying a little more attention and I think I don’t! I don’t like ’em all that much!

But I also have a longstanding animus towards popcorn poppers (a.k.a. highly specific single-purpose items), and I don’t want to spend my time, money, or space on one. A new wardrobe for a matter of weeks sounds like a popcorn popper to me. I think I found a balance, though: there were two pairs of Ginger jeans in my mending basket with busted zippers, though their denim was too tired to really be worth intensive repair. They were just right, however, for replacing the fronts with cotton jersey. And this time I kept the front pockets!

So I got 2 items that would otherwise be headed towards fabric recycling out of my basket and onto my legs, and I now own THREE PAIRS of usable jeans!! I feel like a billionaire!

These jeans mods took about an hour to an hour and a half of sewing each, and cost none dollars. ½ yard of cotton jersey was the perfect amount to make 3 front panels (my official pair + these). And now I can rehome my old Hudsons without fear of a Winnie the Pooh scenario!

Yay! And byeee!

Pattern: True Bias Hudson pants

Pattern cost: NA

Size: 12 or 14, possibly?

Supplies: Brussels Washer linen in Willow, probably?

Total time: One of history’s mysteries!

Total cost: Unknown, but the pants have paid their dues

Failure Potato

I’ve gone on record with my belief that there’s no bad way to serve a potato. Except I just found one: as an ottoman.

We’ve been cleaning and organizing and generally rationalizing our apartment in anticipation of a new roomie, and I found 2.5 boxes worth of fabric and thread scraps. And we’re talking GOOD boxes. W.B. Mason boxes! The most valuable commodity in our one-bedroom apartment is space, and I knew I could free up a fair few cubic feet with one scrap pouf, so I tallied ho. Anyway, I hate it! More at 11!  

There’s piles of tutorials/patterns for floor poufs/cushions/ottomans (dealer’s choice), but I thought it would be fun to try and recreate a Moroccan* leather pouf in fabric. *Are these actually Moroccan in origin? No idea, but it sure gets the point across in an image search! It’s a pieced pouf, at least.

I picked my finished dimensions based on a random website’s product listing – roughly 19” in diameter, 14” in height – and drew up a pattern.

The top is a central hexadecagon with 16 “petals”; the vertical sides are 16 straight-sided panels; and the base is just a circle, which I didn’t create a pattern piece for, instead measuring and cutting once the rest of the pouf was constructed. These pieces are basically correct in that the seams match up, but upon further review I maybe should have curved the edges of the side panels (wider in the center, narrower at the top and bottom) for a properly full-bellied shape.

I was excited to learn how to piece the top, but wasn’t quite sure what to ask for. I searched for “quilting block that looks like flower” and landed on this tutorial for hexagon flowers. It’s a different number of sides, but clear and totally applicable! This part was a blast. I used ¼” seam allowances on all my pattern pieces, and after printing them on thick cardstock (at 16 pieces per top/side, they would see some heavy use), I cut little windows for marking the exact seam points.

I actually only needed the mark points at the narrow end of the “petal” piece, since once I began pinning and sewing, it was surprisingly intuitive. The top grew quickly and I was pretty pleased with the result! After pressing the seam allowances, I cut a duplicate of the central hexadecagon out of interfacing and applied it to the back, both to keep the seam allowances corralled – there were plenty – and to ensure that the central shape wouldn’t warp when I began stuffing.

I sewed a simple centered zipper (with guard, ‘cause I’m fancy) between two side panels, then connected the remaining panels into a tube. Sewing the tube to the completed top was just a matter of paying good attention to the seam allowances; I didn’t really bother with pins, since I was pivoting every few inches or so. I topstitched the hexadecagon, plus the zig-zag edge where the top and side met.

That edge was still a little puckery but I hoped that stuffing the pouf until it was tight and firm would push out the errant ruckles!

I cut and attached the bottom base right-sides together with the zipper open, then used the open zipper to flip the completed shell right-sides out, and stuff. At this point I was excited to see the result! My math had survived contact with reality, and it was time to fatten up my new cushion!

The scrap stuffing made for fun trip through old sewing projects. There were bits in my boxes from finished projects I no longer own. And it’s shocking and gratifying to see how many scraps can be crammed into one glorified pillow! However, somewhere around a box and a half in, when the pouf was only starting to loosely fill, its major flaw was revealed.

I’d picked up some inexpensive upholstery fabric at Sewfisticated for this project. It seemed stable to cut and mark, plus heavy enough for home dec but not too heavy for all those seams. Well, All Those Seams were now turning to so much dust.

Maybe a wider seam allowance would have saved the day, but I doubt it. The shredding was comprehensive enough that I gave up on stuffing well before the pouf was truly full. Actually, I didn’t like the way the scrap stuffing looked, even discounting the impending catastrophic seam failure. I know I’ve accused a handful of finished projects of being sad sacks, but this one was positively lachrymose – saggy, uneven, and about to explode.

Even if I loved the fabric and it didn’t shred like a sharp cheddar, the pouf would still be lumpy from scraps! And even if it stood proud and plump and lofty, I still wouldn’t like the proportions! So I made an unusual call for me: I looted the zipper, then threw this dumpy potato away. No salvaging fabric. No reusing scraps. OUT OF MY HOUSE. FOREVER.

So in the end, I did make some space!

I’m definitely not chalking this up in my “victories” column, but I enjoyed learning a new piecing technique, plus the valuable self-knowledge that I don’t actually want a scrap pouf. That said, I’m still saving scraps. Begging the question: why???

Pattern: NA

Pattern cost: NA

Size: roughly 14” tall, 19” diameter

Supplies: 2 yards upholstery fabric, Sewfisticated, $5.98; zipper, Sewfisticated, $1.30

Total time: 5.75 hours

Total cost: $7.28

Flannel Kennedy

I bought just one pattern in the Black Friday sales last year: it’s the Style Arc Kennedy, and it made the list after I spotted the flannel one Meg from Cookin’ & Craftin’ gave her sister. I wanted that one, so I made…basically just that one! And honestly, I am feeling it! The coziness is high!

I’ve sewn one Style Arc pattern before – a baseball cap – and was surprised then by the terse instructions. This time, I actually found the brevity refreshing. There’s plenty of notches, a few sentences of description, and a “deep dive” into a step or two, but mostly I felt freed to sew this relatively simple garment in my own way without having to constantly return to a booklet. Style Arc also includes a nice clear line drawing showing where to topstitch (though not when). I didn’t actually notice this line drawing for a long time, so I didn’t get the benefit of its information until I was nearly finished with the hoodie, but I still like it!

It did make clear my real dingleberry moment, though – I sewed the kangaroo pocket flap upside-down. I like the shape as designed better (narrowing towards the bottom), but not enough to unpick two lines of topstitching, a sewn seam, a serged edge, and the flap itself.

I topstitched twice because while the directions said to press the horizontal front seam up and topstitch once, the bulky layers of seam allowances where the plackets overlap said to me in clear English, “Lia, if you try to press us up, WE WILL FIGHT YOU”. So I pressed the seam allowances down instead and topstitched them while avoiding the pocket flap, then pressed the pocket flap down and topstitched that edge too.

My experience with this pattern was almost identical to Meg’s – I too found there was too much ease in the dropped-shoulder sleeve cap, I too sewed the front plackets my own way (like these cuffs, but with only one finished short end), I too omitted the bottom hem hardware (though I put in a smidgeroo of 1″ wide elastic). I also followed Meg’s advice and halved the interfacing at the front plackets and cuffs. And, since she mentioned her concern about the kangaroo pocket openings stretching, I sewed mine as a double-turned hem instead of a single-fold.

My interior seams are serged. Style Arc does instruct you to attach the hood in two passes that result in a clean turned finish at the neck, which is great, because I was gonna do that anyway! I don’t like serging that’s visible on the hanger.

Something went hinky at the cuffs, though! I could have used a little extra info there. For one thing, I couldn’t figure out how to turn the little extensions that are meant to replace a sleeve tower placket and end up with both a clean finish AND an overlap at the wrist. Ultimately I chose clean, which means those edges meet but don’t overlap; I eventually whipstitched them shut so no breezes would find their way into my soft flannel sleeves. Also, my cuffs were shorter than my sleeve openings! I bunged in a pleat per sleeve. I guessed wrong which side of the sleeve to bung it into, but as Lancelot underwhelmingly remarks, tirra lirra.  

I ended up with buttons instead of snaps because I was tired of ordering things, but if the etsy shop where I had purchased my other hardware had also sold snaps, I would have used them as directed. I was happy with their prices and shipping, and grabbed some extra cord ends for future drawstrings, too.

I do love a bit of hardware – it makes clothes look so official! I love it even though I struggled to get the paracord through the squeezy-toggle holes (I tried holding the toggle open with one hand and smushing the cord through with a bamboo skewer in the other, but it was a no-go). Then Professor Boyfriend had a suggestion of, I think, tenure-track brilliance: use Scotch tape to make little plastic aglets for the end of the cord. Trivially easy to thread through the holes with that addition!

A word of caution about the hood: it’s graded. I sewed a size 12, but I can see in my multisize pattern that it keeps…getting…bigger! And that puppy ain’t small to start with!

I thought about lining my hood in (faux) shearling instead of flannel, but this project was already getting spendy, and it would just get fully imbued with shed hair anyway.

Plus this flannel is SO SOFT. It’s Kaufman of course; it’s their Shetland Speckle, and my only possible criticism is that I wish it was much wider. I used 3 yards of the 45” wide fabric for this project, with 7″ full width left over, but I was no respecter of the grain. Unlike the herringbone flannel, there’s no directional pattern preventing the use of the cross-grain. I think 3 yards of either would still be enough for a size 12 though.

This garment might not offer glamour, elegance, and style, but I’ve worn it more days than I haven’t since sewing on the last button! I feel like an enamel camping dish, in the best way. Given that current weather predictions for my area include a low of -7°F (that’s almost -14°C!), I see no reason to take it off anytime soon!

Pattern: Style Arc Kennedy

Pattern cost: $8.95  

Size: 12

Supplies: 3 yards of  Shetland Speckle Flannel in Navy, Hawthorne Supply Co., $39.10; toggles, end caps, paracord; MergePatternsNCrafts (etsy); buttons, Michael’s, $17.05

Total time: 9.75 hours

Total cost: $65.10

Front Panel Jeans

You may or may not have been able to tell, but I’m what the wonderfully-awful medical terminology calls a “geriatric primagravida”. That’s right: I’m gravid, I’m old, and I’ve never done this before. But yeah, I’m a little over halfway pregnant! I’m very lucky in that I’ve been symptom-free so far, so basically I feel totally normal, except that I finally have the bust promised to me by the American Girl Care and Keeping of You book twenty years ago.

Plus I’ve discovered that my preexisting shape gave me some leeway – I was already adjusting for pooch, so my regular pants fit comfortably through 16 weeks. Around 18 weeks I started applying the hairtie thing to my Gingers, but my Peppermint wide leg pants, Adams pants, and copycat Persephones worked without modification until week 21 or so. After that, my M8248 skirts, Morella pants, and Papao pants comprised my middle-friendly cold weather wardrobe (plus my Hudson pants, but those are PJs). All of the above are still working, but I badly wanted jeans, so I did some internet searching for general use sewing patterns that were pregnancy-friendly. The really useful tip I found was actually about shopping – to buy your “nice pregnancy jeans” early.  

I’m like 26-ish weeks in these photos (I haven’t been tracking very carefully since like, there’s nothing I can do to speed this up or slow it down), and I concur. These are single-purpose instead of general use, but I’m very grateful not to be staring down the barrel of the next few months without any denim! Except I didn’t want to shop and I couldn’t find any handy tutorials, so I took a stab at modifying the Gingers, and wrote one.

These are a prototype and they’re riddled with errors – or with opportunities for improvement, whichever – but they’re still a meaningful upgrade from a hair tie. I felt like wearing my zippers at half-mast was stressing the locking mechanism, too, and I don’t want to ruin pants I hope to return to and wear for a long time just to squeeze out another week right now. So these were worth it.

I used stretch denim and cotton jersey from Stylemaker Fabrics, and I’m happy with both. The jersey doesn’t bug my skin, and ½ yard was enough to cut the belly panel with a top fold, which also keeps that edge strong, stretchy and non-irritating.

I’ve drawn up some diagrams below for modifying a regular stretch jeans pattern to add a belly panel. It’s possible this would work for non-stretch pants as well, but I haven’t road-tested that yet. Note: the diagrams display what I should have done, not what I actually did, so they may not match the finished garment photos! Anyway, let’s gooo!

  1. Gather these pattern pieces: front leg, pocket facing, and waistband. Stack the front leg and pocket facing; trace as one piece, or tape and treat them as a single piece. You will only be adjusting the crotch area.
  2. Mark the stitching lines.

3. Measure and mark the height of the finished waistband at the side seam (reminder: place the bottom of the finished waistband measurement at the waist stitching line, not the waist seam allowance). Draw a line connecting the side seam to that marking. Set aside the waistband piece for now.

4. Measure about 2” up from the bottom of the fly extension. Mark a line at that measurement directly perpendicular to the stitching line. Draw a curve for the belly panel. It should connect to the perpendicular line at center front, but it doesn’t have to meet the side seam at a specific angle. A subtle sideways “ess” curve will give you more space for functional front pockets.

5. Extend the center front stitching line up and then across to the step 3 marking at a right angle. This line will most likely extend above the original waist/waistband height. Add seam allowance below the belly curve. Trace this piece as a unit – it will have seam allowance on the outseam and bottom edges, but not at the center or top. These edges are both going to be placed on the fold.

6. Cut the finished belly panel piece from cotton jersey (or whatever stretchy knit feels most comfortable for you) with the direction of greatest stretch going around the body. Fold it in half wrong sides together, matching belly curves, and baste the side seams and belly curve together within the seam allowance. The flat top edge will be folded and finished. Set aside for now.

7. Return to the front leg. This time, add seam allowance above the belly curve line. Retrace the new front leg piece, with or without the fly extension. Keeping it can later reinforce any curved topstitching you may wish to add, but it’s not necessary, and it won’t be functional.

8. If desired, draw a new front pocket and pocket facing, referencing the original pocket curve. The pocket facing should extend at least 1” past the pocket curve line; more is better, but space may be limited (mine was!).

9. Draw a new pocket bag. It won’t be very deep, but about 2.5” – 3” deep (measured from the pocket edge) will be better than nothing. The width is similarly up to you; about 2” wider than the pocket opening is sufficient.

10. Mirror the pocket bag piece, minus the pocket opening curve on one side.

11. Assemble the pockets + pants front unit as usual. When sewing the center front, ignore the fly extensions. Either trim them off or press them in the direction of your stitching; in either case, topstitch as though it were a real fly.

12. Right sides together, sew the stretchy belly panel to the jeans front. Press seam upwards and topstitch. Set aside.

13. Find your waistband pattern piece. Modify it by cutting at the side seam marking, plus seam allowance, and use just the center piece going forward. Cut x2.

14. Assemble the back of the pants as usual. Sew first waistband piece to back pants unit. Sew front and back pants together at inseams, then outseams. The back pants + waistband will extend above the front pants + belly panel by the seam allowance.

15. Turn pants right-sides out. Sew second waistband to attached waistband at top edge, right sides together, then flip to wrong side, folding over side and bottom seam allowances. Topstitch or hand-sew, as desired. Hem, and your jeans are finished!

That’s all what I’d do next time! This time, my belly panel curve is just a simple arc instead of an ess-curve, which ultimately made the front pockets unusable because 1. With less vertical space, the pocket bags were too shallow, so 2. I didn’t have space for a large enough pocket facing underlap, so 3. You could sometimes see the facing edge while I was wearing the jeans. I hated that, so I sewed the front pockets shut – so do as I say, not as I did! I also pressed my belly panel seam down instead of up, which, upon review, was fighting the fabric. That seam allowance wants to flip up.

I also scooped the scoop way-the-hey deeper than necessary. My goofiest error, though, was forgetting to remove the center-front seam allowance when cutting the belly panel on the fold, so mine is about 1” wider than it should be. Because I was matching curves on two stretch fabrics, I could make them fit, but the panel stretches out much more quickly and doesn’t lie as smoothly under tight shirts.

I might make another, improved pair of these in a different denim wash. I like stretchy tees and loose shirts anyway; if my bottom half is covered adequately I might not have to make any big changes to the way I dress above the equator, and jeans are the most adequate covering I know!

Speaking of adequate coverage, this pregnancy is brought to you by the robust abortion protections of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – I wouldn’t have risked it if I wasn’t guaranteed complete access to medical care. And finally, a note on blogging: I know a new family member can be the death knell for a blog, but I’m hoping that’s not the case here (it wasn’t for Pins & Pinot – she’s impressive!). I really, really enjoy both sewing and blogging, so I have my fingers crossed for a floor baby (that’s what I call a baby you can leave nearby in a basket, though technically that’s any baby if you’re willing to listen to screams).

And I’ll pick the pins up off my floor first!

Pattern: CC Ginger jeans

Pattern cost: NA

Size: 11 waist, 14 hip, with added belly panel

Supplies: 1.5 yards ACG Stretch Denim Dark Indigo – 10 oz, 1/2 yard Cotton Jersey Knit Solid Navy, Stylemaker Fabrics, $35.95; thread from stash

Total time: 4.75 hours

Total cost: $35.95

Winter Blahs

My wardrobe lacked a transitional coat. I’ve got plenty of jackets, one heavy-duty winter coat, and nothing in the middle. I also wanted a nice coat. A “nice coat”, in my mind, is a tiny bit dressy but also timeless. I had hoped this pattern/project could be both – a simple clean silhouette in a classic color with a few details that caught my eye – but unfortunately, I think it looks like I’m wearing a crumpled brown paper sack.

But for good or ill it cost a fair amount, it’s the exact right weight for the tepid gloomy winter this year, and I don’t need two transitional coats, so I’m stuck with this disappointing bag for who knows how long. Its soul is beige. Blah.

The pattern is the Bamboo coat from Waffle Patterns. They offer many more exciting pattern options and have a great reputation for cool outerwear, but I was a little nervous about the directions, so I picked simple. I liked the length of this pattern, the back shoulder darts, the back vent, and the hidden button placket. After comparing the sleeve and hip measurements to the Yates coat I made in late 2019, I cut size 40 sleeves, a 42 bust dart, and a 46 everywhere else. The largest available size is a 48. Looking at these photos, I wonder how many of my issues could have been solved by cutting a 48. Certainly some!

The directions are indeed really uneven. The hidden button placket? Perfectly clear, piece of cake. I really liked this detail because I doubted my ability to sew perfectly neat buttonholes (and was not motivated enough to bind them, frankly) and because I could use cheap buttons while I figured out what I really wanted. In fact, I used buttons leftover from the very first project I posted on this blog! I also found this purrfect coordinating cotton for the hidden placket innards (color matching is my favorite sport).

The welt pockets did me in, though! I sewed both at once and my final results were so warped and tortured-looking that after trying all evening to steam and press the coat fronts flat, I ultimately unpicked the welts, interfaced the backs of the openings, and patched over the snip lines with more of that cotton. I had to cut patch pockets from my scraps and hike up their placement to conceal the cotton patches after that. It’s better, but not best.

I also struggled with aspects of the lining. What, praytell, is the lower of the inset boxes meant to illustrate? Because it’s certainly not the arrangement of lining/shell that the black arrow indicates.

I fudged some sort of pleat there, as shown. At least pleating-to-fit covers a lot of sins.

But my biggest issue was the collar. It wasn’t so much how they described the collar application as the application itself, which resulted in BY FAR the thickest and most strained arrangement of seam allowances possible right where the collar and the lapel were supposed to meet in a neat corner. It was deadly! Actually unwearable, in my opinion. I attempted to fix it by unpicking the top collar from the facing and the bottom collar from the outer, re-sewing the collar as a single piece, and then sandwiching the collar piece between the neckline edges and sewing them down by hand. No pictures of the before, but this lumpy zone constitutes a vast improvement.

You might think at this point I knew the coat was going to be a flop, but I didn’t! I was still kind of excited about it! The drafting was consistently good, with lots of notches that matched well, some interesting new-to-me techniques (like snipping thick darts open), and plenty of pattern markings. So I had faith in the pattern, which, alas, I allowed to replace my own judgment.

This coat is ‘tailored’ with fusible interfacing, same as the Yates coat I sewed several years ago, but by comparison this one calls for way too much interfacing. Also, take a peek at the Yates interfacing guide, in particular the diagonal slash through the upper front/lapel interfacing. That’s the roll line! In this coat, the interfacing made no accommodation for a roll line, and I didn’t think to add one! No wonder it’s bulky and graceless. I’m just kicking myself. By the time I noticed I would have had to undo a huge amount of stitching, including my weird collar surgery, and I wasn’t sure I could finagle that again.

But none of this would really matter if I loved the finished coat, which I don’t. It doesn’t love me either. It’s just so blah. By the time of the final try-on I was so over it that I didn’t even blind-stitch the cuffs in place – I just tacked them down in one or two places each and called it a day.

This sadsack of a coat would probably drape better if I had used a traditional slippery lining fabric, but the lining is the one thing I’m willing to go to bat for.  

It’s Lady McElroy cotton lawn and it’s smooth and crisp and beautiful and it’s squandered here, though just as I hoped and expected, the camel linework on the dogs plays so nice with the outer fabric, and if this was indeed a nice coat I would be so excited about that. Oh, and I added a hanging loop.


The fabric for this project came from Minerva, except for the interfacing and coordinating cotton, from my stash and Gather Here respectively. I mentioned a couple posts ago that I probably wouldn’t order from Minerva again. This is the perspective of an American, so take that into account! As I see it, the Minerva pros include: a large selection, a decent search filter, and pretty good user buy-in, so that you can often see a fabric and a finished garment immediately below. I also love that you can order fractional yardage (or I guess more accurately, meterage!). My personal cons: a long shipping time (for obvious reasons), higher prices (I spend dollars, and the fabric is priced in pounds), and – and this could easily have happened in shipping, not packaging, and not be Minerva’s fault at all – a strong bad odor when I unwrapped the fabric. My wool and cotton lawn both smelled powerfully of cigarette smoke. I washed the cotton lawn in the washer and aired out the wool, and luckily both are now odorless, but I’m still feeling gun-shy. Especially because of the wool! That could have gone really, stinkily wrong!

Of course, I’m not going to have to get wool from anywhere for ages, because this coat is going to last for a really long time. BLAAAH!

Pattern: Waffle Patterns Bamboo coat

Pattern cost: $13.59

Size: sleeves 40; bust dart 42; otherwise 46

Supplies: 2.5 meters of Minerva Core Range Melton Wool Blend Coating Fabric in Camel; 1.7 meters of Lady McElroy Marlie Cotton Lawn Fabric in Navy, Minerva; 1/2 yard of Kona Cotton in Biscuit, Gather Here, $103.99; thread, Michael’s, $2.09; buttons, interfacing from stash

Total time: 19.75 hours

Total cost: $119.67

Chambray Mojis

It’s January, and in my house that means lounge pants! It also means split pea soup, sweeping up pine needles, and at least this year, bizarrely mild New England weather. I haven’t seen a single snowflake yet so these particular lounge pants have been suitable indoors and out.

They’re the Seamwork Moji pants, a now-discontinued pattern that I downloaded in the early days of Seamwork. I actually just peeked into my Seamwork library and discovered that it also includes digital versions of patterns I bought paper copies of through the erstwhile Colette website – is it just me or is that very classy? I’m no longer a member because I find subscription models overwhelming & demotivating, but props, team!

When Professor Boyfriend and I were in Portland, Maine, this fall, one of the shops we visited (in addition to just…so many used bookstores) was Z Fabrics, which combines a small footprint with an impressive selection. Professor Boyfriend picked out some Ventana twill and I was thrilled to find an in-person selection of Brussels Washer Linen. After a whole lotta waffling I got 2 yards of Chambray.

I wasn’t sure exactly what pants I would make; I considered woven Hudsons, but I hadn’t used that pattern for a while and I didn’t feel like increasing the rise. The pattern was updated to be mid-rise, but I got my copy back when it was looow. Plus I don’t like patterns sitting unused, even in a digital file, so I gave Moji a whirl for the first time. I’m glad I sewed these now and not in 2015 or whatever because I did a much better job picking my size!

According to the chart, I should have used a size 12, because of my 42” hips. However, the finished garment measurements for a 12 are only 42 ¾” at the hip. I wouldn’t consider ¾” ease to be the “relaxed fit” the pattern describes. So I decided on size 16, with a 46 ¾” finished hip.

However, my test square printed up a little small – 1/8” shy of the correct 4” measurement, which doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up (simplest math: over a 32” inch span that’s a whole lost inch!). So instead I cut an 18, which would have been 48 ¾” at the hip, except when you reduce that according to the slightly-too-small test square is more like 47 ¼”. Call it a size 17. No further decision-making or grading necessary after that point, though.

The fabric requirements for a size 16/18 are 2.5 yards of 60” wide fabric, and I had 2 yards of 52” wide fabric. I was perfectly willing to piece a crotch extension as needed, but actually I was able to fit every piece entirely on my yardage by placing one front leg off-grain. And not a single useable full-width inch remaining. My leftovers box is glad!

I made one more trivial change, which was squaring the curve of the front pocket, Battlestar Galactica-style.

This was because I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t initially realize the pocket was designed to be fully lined. I feel more confident that I can make a smooth, neat, small curve with a lining than with a folded-over seam allowance, but I’d already cut the fabric, so I went ahead and lined my no-right-angles version. I also had already cut bum pockets as large my leftover fabric allowed, so I lined those too for consistency.  

I placed the back pockets unsuccessfully – the height is okay (4” down from + parallel to the waistband), but they’re centered on each leg piece, and since the center back doesn’t gather as much as I expected when wearing these, the pockets look too far apart. I assumed the back leg would scrunch evenly, but the pants gather more to the front sides. Wider pockets would have helped, too. They’re not Godawful or anything; they’re just not ideal.

On the other hand, my cool smart move was combining elastic with the drawstring. I installed eyelets and sewed the channel as directed (with the addition of some interfacing to back the hardware) before cutting my 1 yard of drawstring in half.  It’s not as obvious as the ends fray, but the string is actually a tube – I grabbed a piece of ¼” elastic I had kicking around, tucked its ends into the tube, and topstitched the heck out of it. Then I fed the combination elastic-drawstring through the channel.

The drawstring is still functional while the elastic stays hidden, so it’s comfortable and flexible, if a tad inclined to droop. I don’t really like the skinny channel in this average-width waistband – it makes the top edge a little frilly – but that’s easily changed if I make another pair.

My final quibble is the faux cuffs. I know I was playing the fool with grainlines and this fabric can easily change shape, but they didn’t match my on-grain leg either. Both cuffs were much too wide at the top edge. I narrowed them on the fly and topstitched them in place, but I don’t love the finish.

I’d much rather have a hem or a proper cuff. I also French seamed everything so I’m not ashamed for my side seams to show if I fold cuffs up for real!

Quibbles and all, though, this project was worthwhile! These are comfortable and casual and so far have stood up to the weather. If we ever got properly wintery, I wouldn’t mind a second pair in something like black velvet. Ideally, exactly like black velvet. Where are you buying your velvet nowadays?

And if I haven’t said it yet: happy new year!!

Pattern: Seamwork Moji pants

Pattern cost: $5.00 (estimated)

Size: 17 (around 97% of a size 18)

Supplies: 2 yards of Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer linen/rayon blend in Chambray, Z Fabrics, $27.41; drawstring, Gather Here, & thread, Michael’s, $4.38

Total time: 6.5 hours

Total cost: $31.79

Time and Money 4

I’m here to calculate my time & money expenditure for 2022, and at a guess: a lot, and a lot? I definitely made some big purchases this past year, though usually not indulgences – this hobby (lifestyle? Eww. Lifestyle-hobby? Eh,) feels noticeably more expensive lately compared to other years. Heck, it was never cheap, but this has been the steepest jump in the cost of patterns and supplies I can think of. Or more accurately, that I can vibe on, because I’m just about to run the numbers! We’ll see if my hunch is correct!

Also, I sewed one major project that hasn’t hit the blog yet. It’s a coat; I’ll photograph and write that up soon, but it’s definitely going to weigh on the numbers.

So let’s bake a data pie. Yes let’s!

Awesome. Right off the bat, my OOP costs are up a lot (from $441.57 last year to $695.73 this year). About 60% higher. That said, my total costs (including gift cards, materials by/for Professor Boyfriend, etc.), are pretty close – $911.88 last year to $949.04 this year, which is a 4% increase. That’s lower than inflation right now.

Fair enough: hunch wrong! I seem to have a natural governor that keeps my spending pretty stable from year to year, though keyed to a simple number and not actual buying power.

One more year of tracking this stuff should give me enough information to really figure out my own purchasing trends/habits, or at least make charts of them! And of course no single chart tells the whole story; if I’d spent those totals on two or three garments, this set of numbers would feel very different. That $28.49 wedge for patterns does represents just one purchase: I used a gift card to buy the Olya shirt paper pattern, and I feel like a stranger to myself every time I think about it! Moneybags over here!

I bought (or sewed for the first time) 19 new-to-me patterns this year, 2 of which I’ve yet to make. This includes my copycats and a fair few freebies. Even counting in the Olya, I only spent about $5.00 per pattern. Well, that’s not absolution, but it’s not bad.

I made 44 items this year, including gifts and muslins. Average OOP per item, $15.81; counting gift cards etc., $21.50. I bought some socks and underwear this year, but as usual sewing represents the lion’s share of what it costs to clothe an average human me.

I spent 223.5 hours actually making stuff – that’s just over 4 hours a week, about 5 hours per garment. Just for fun, using the total cost number, it cost me about 4 bucks an hour to sew. That number is essentially meaningless and reflects nothing useful, but it made me laugh to find out!

But *what* did I pay 7¢ a minute to create?

Skirts have been creeping up (in my spreadsheet, I mean, MIND LIKE A SINK), as have knit tops, but in general the distribution is as always towards everyday garments. More tees than dresses, etc. Also, note the lack of a ballgown wedge. This is relevant because one of my two newly-bought unsewn patterns is for, you guessed it, a ballgown. Um. Self-knowledge is never going to be perfectly complete, I guess.

5 of the 44 items were for Professor Boyfriend; 7 were gifts or experiments that I didn’t plan to keep; 3 were bellyflops. My most expensive failure was this Patina blouse, which I hated. I eventually cut it up and reassembled it plus the relevant fabric scraps into some shorts, which I made well, peacefully disliked, and released into the world as someone else’s problem. That’s a not-quite 7% rate of failure. I love my new-to-2022 “planned giveaway” categorization. It makes me look so darn successful!  

Fabric type fabric type, let’s talk about fabric type!

It was a year without rayon! Well, that’s not entirely true, one of the poly blend knits had some rayon in the mix, but mostly I avoided it! I just don’t like sewing rayon very much. I also didn’t particularly enjoy the tencel twill or the polyester blends (different ends of the virtue barbell, both alike in dignity (by which I mean I don’t like either of ‘em, so nuts to those)). Anything wool or linen or cotton though, including velvet, which I treat exactly like corduroy, which I treat exactly like any cotton – yes please! I like sturdiness.  

Fabric for 27 of the 44 items was purchased in person, reclaimed from an existing garment, or scraps from my stash. I’m calling that “local” even if the original buy was online, which is some REAL sneaky accounting. Local sources: Gather Here, Sewfisticated, Z Fabrics, clothing swaps, and stash. The remaining 17 projects were made from fabric I ordered online, from 8 different sources. Those were: Hawthorne Supply Co., etsy, Style Maker Fabrics, The Fabric Snob, Girl Charlee, Fancy Tiger Crafts, Snuggly Monkey, and Minerva. Some are spendier than others, though often with a commensurate bump in fabric quality (Fabric Snob knits > Girl Charlee knits, for example). I probably won’t order from Minerva again. More on that in the future coat post!

12/44 projects were made from leftovers, by the way (27%, just over a quarter)!

We’ve had the what and the how-much. Here’s the when:

Not quite the wild variation from years past, but you can probably tell good hibernating weather came fast and hard this fall (not to mention last January). Plus my employment changed – if anyone needs an illustrator, please feel free to refer them to me!

My leftover boxes are definitely running a bit lean this winter. I’ve done a good job using up or rehoming scraps, so I’ll need to get my hands on some real yardage soon. Happily I’ve got a couple garments already in mind. Let the fabric hunt begin!

I hope your last year lived up to your expectations, and your new year surpasses them! And also how much money did you spend? It’s okay, you can tell me. 😀

Oh and, my full spreadsheet is available here!

Varm Vinter Vest

Well, we didn’t get re-infected by the ’rona, but our recent trip was a bit terrible in new, exciting ways! Including:

A 2.5 hour delay plus 3.5 hour sit on the tarmac for a 1.25 hour flight

An AirBnB reservation cancelled at a quarter to midnight

A replacement AirBnB with a nonfunctional shower

–  AND  –

Rail strike!!

But! BUT!! We’re home now! PHWEW. You’ll have to pry me out of my apartment with a crab fork before I go anywhere again for a really long time. But at least the fancy Winter Garden tea was a luxurious respite from our…uh…I wanna say…vacation?, and I got to spend the whole meal looking across the table at this dapper guy.

It’s a bit cute but we agreed that a vest made from the same fabric as my skirt would be cozy, seasonal, and not too cartoonishly Dickens- or hobbit-ish (though let’s be real, it’s a little bit of both and nobody’s mad). Thanks of a grateful nation to Mainely Menswear’s vests (here and here) for convincing Professor Boyfriend that waistcoats can be both stylish and warm!  

We picked the Wahid waistcoat pattern from, my first time using that service. OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS WEBSITE. It’s an amazingly powerful tool and so generous. I’m not sure I would have appreciated it as a beginner, but not only does it draft patterns to a user’s measurements, it does so in a way that’s transparent and adjustable. Like, there’s a slider for chest ease! You can reset to the automatic chest ease or choose your own! I AM THE MASTER OF MY (PROF. BF’S) CHEST EASE! You can choose which file format to download! You can edit the flippin’ code directly! And all this expertise and control is a volunteer-run gift! IT’S XANADU.

I was so thrilled by that I jumped into a wearable muslin even though my measuring was a little slapdash.

I think sewing for myself has made me less careful, since I can refine the fit on my body indefinitely. Professor Boyfriend very patiently allowed me to do the same but this first version is just okay (and given the amount of user control, that’s DEFINITELY because of user error). Most of the problems have to do with the back fit, which has major buckling, and a little in the front, where his manly bosom needs more space. And interfacing.

Plus the pockets were too low and wee for my taste.

Professor Boyfriend, master of etiquette, has asked me to say that he knows you don’t do up the bottommost button on vests. I think it looks weird undone on this version and mercilessly required him to button it.

I tried to fix the back by taking an extra-large seam allowance at the lower back of the center back seam. It helped but didn’t fix the problem, so I determined the next version’s back would have fish-eye darts, instead of the narrow straight-leg darts used here.

Anyway, this was a fun experiment, but not yet ready for the big time! At this point it occurred to me that a muslin doesn’t actually need welt pockets and buttonholes, and can be made of, y’know, muslin. So I created another Wahid in the freesewing software with adjusted measurements reflecting these desired changes – you can make and save infinite versions –  and cut a muslin (from muslin) from the new pattern. I made a few small tweaks to this; reshaping the back darts as planned, and also making the shoulder slope steeper, grading the side seams 1/8” at the waist, and raising the pockets. I didn’t touch the armscye curves except for at the shoulder seam. I also didn’t modify the front hem, front darts, or center back seam, which is the bulk share of the pattern. After a few rounds of adjusting and fitting we were pretty happy with the fit!

At last I cut the fashion fabric. A few style choices: we adjusted the neckline height to look appropriate when worn without a tie, opted for 5 buttons/buttonholes, and omitted a back belt. We also decided to use the outer fabric for the back, since this wouldn’t be worn in combo with a jacket. Was this also because I hate sewing satin-weave fabrics? Maaaybe.

Instructions are available on the freesewing website, but my sewing relied mainly (if guiltily) on the Thread Theory Belvedere sewalong, except for the welt pockets, which I drafted following this YouTube tutorial. I feel like a fraud whenever I say “drafted” to mean “drew a couple rectangles on computer paper”, but whatever. I liked the generous seam allowances given in that tutorial, though I skipped some of the topstitching.

I remembered to interface the center fronts this time. Professor Boyfriend picked his lining and buttons, and they look darn cute!

Festive without being inappropriate at other times of year. The lining is quilting cotton, which might be why the vest still rucks up a little in back, though when tugged smooth it fits really nicely, in fact!

I’m kind of loving this new waistcoat life. A vest like this doesn’t take much fabric, but it’s a surprisingly satisfying sew, with plenty of fun details and lots of room for customization. I want to try a shawl collar one next like in the Belvedere tutorials! And – this is all upside for me – waistcoats require slightly higher pants, so I’m going to be on the lookout for a vintage-inspired high-waisted pants pattern for Professor Boyfriend, or I’m going to try to adapt one I already own. Which is exciting! Let the trouser journey begin!

I hope you had a relaxing Christmas, or if Christmas isn’t your bag, a really juicy long weekend! And if you want to treat yourself to a gift that costs nothing, check out It’s really marvelous. See you next year!

Pattern: Wahid waistcoat

Pattern cost: $0.00

Size: custom (38.5” chest, 35” waist)

Supplies: scraps of Robert Kaufman Shetland flannel + shirting cotton; thread, buttons from stash, $0.00/1 yard of muslin, Gather Here, $7.60; 1 yard of Robert Kaufman Shetland flannel in Basil, Snuggly Monkey, $13.25; 1 yard of Speckled cotton in Metallic Pine, Gather Here, $13.60; buttons, Gather Here, $3.60

Total time: 5.25/2.5/6.25

Total cost: $0.00/$7.60/$30.45

Comfy Cozy

Some combination of the weak pound, the not-yet-Christmas season, and international family with spare bedrooms made a makeup holiday to repeat but improve our rona’d summer plans financially feasible this December. One of the things I was sorriest to miss during our plague trip was a celebratory tea at the Winter Garden restaurant – so we booked another! Only this time, with a reasonable expectation of getting to enjoy it!

Obviously a festive tea calls for a festive outfit. I considered really swinging for the fences (sour gold full-length velvet evening gown, anyone?) but unfortunately my unyielding practicality intervened, so I decided on separates that could also be worn with lots of other tops and bottoms. I also only bring a carry-on whenever possible, so everything in there has to be a team player. The desired vibe: comfy-cozy. The budget: haha. The patterns: repeats, of course!

The top is a yet another Marlo sweater. This pattern is a winner. I struggled to find fabric for it, though; I adore the weight and drape of the sweater knit in the view A sample, but despite my fairly broad remit (mediumish weight! Soft! Brightish white!) I just couldn’t find what I was looking for. Even when I pretended money was no object, I ended up with a bunch of theoretical carts of not-quite-right fabric. One problem was the prevalence of “natural” white: I adore creamy/ivory/shortbread whites, but we do each other no favors.

Ultimately I bought 1.5 yards of winter white ponte de roma at Sewfiscated. This particular blend was 60% rayon, 35% polyester, and 5% spandex. Some post hoc Googling implied that this is considered “nice” ponte, and it served its purpose, but it’s still not my favorite.

I probably should have cut somewhere between the low-stretch and high-stretch neckband + waistband lengths, but I opted for high-stretch – technically correct, but there’s puckering.

The buttons are also from Sewfisticated, by the way, and they’re solid dupes for the fancy beautiful version sold by True Bias directly!

Anyway, I tried to steam out the puckers, which is a cool way to discover I should really use distilled water in my iron. The steam function spat out a constellation of rust water. This isn’t even the first time! Combined with the peanut butter I got on the wrong side (point: don’t eat a peanut butter sandwich while cutting white fabric. Counterpoint: I love peanut butter sandwiches), I gave this the washing of a lifetime and it survived without pilling. Which is, indeed, nice.

One benefit of the high-stretch neckband; this is the closest I’ve come to a result that actually hugs my neck. Also nice.

The bottom piece is my second M8248 skirt.

The Robert Kaufman Shetland flannel in Basil I used is probably heavier than the pattern wants, but I wear my existing winter wool version for stylish warmth and I knew I’d grab for this over rayon or something similar. I ordered it from a new-to-me fabric store, Snuggly Monkey – OUTSTANDING price (several dollars cheaper per yard than what I saw elsewhere!) and super-speedy shipping. They’re definitely one of my routine online stops now when I can’t find something locally.

Unlike my first M8248, I actually cut out all the pieces this time. AND I didn’t get peanut butter all over the fabric. So beat that with a stick!

Otherwise I sewed this the same way, but with greater accuracy since I thread-tacked all the pleat markings ’cause rules are cool. I also gave myself the screaming jeebies by pulling out a bunch of those tacks under the impression that they were stray threads and then realizing instantly that I was a dope, so that was fun! But the finished skirt is comfortable and warm, and I like this subtle grey-green.

I applied the same modified button closure (it’s just the pattern waistband, extended) so the invisible zipper wouldn’t have to cross the waist seam. The single button is left over, tum te tum, from another Marlo.

I serged the vertical seams to finish and hand-sewed the hem.

That hem is the single longest part of this project. It’s barely curved so I could have topstitched it no problem, but I’ve got the vague notion that hand-sewn hems are more fluid and flexible than machine-sewn ones, and with all this pleated fabric I didn’t want to lose any movement.

Whyyy can you see my hand stitches like a burning ring of fire, though? Girl, you tell me.

So, I’m content with this outfit, but I’m not thrilled. There’s elements of compromise. An evening gown would have been a lot more fun, but I didn’t want to overdress, and I didn’t want to end up with a one-trick pony in my closet and clogging up my carry on (ain’t no popcorn popper in my kitchen!!). That said, if I feel the same way this time next year:  EVENING GOWN. You’ve heard it here first.

By the time this posts I will be very happily outside some scones, mousse, and champagne, to name a few, and on my way home from a 🤞 vigorously 🤞 healthy 🤞 trip. Stay well! Drink tea!

Pattern: True Bias Marlo sweater

Pattern cost: NA

Size: 10, view A

Supplies: 1.5 yards of ponte de roma (60% rayon, 35% polyester, 5% spandex), Sewfisticated, $7.49; buttons, Sewfisticated, $3.60

Total time: 3 hours

Total cost: $11.09

Pattern: M8248 skirt

Pattern cost: NA

Size: 16, view C; lengthened waistband to overlap 1″

Supplies: 3 yards of Robert Kaufman Shetland flannel in Basil, Snuggly Monkey, $33.25; thread, Sewfisticated + 10″ zipper in Slate, Gather Here, $3.99

Total time: 6 hours

Total cost: $37.24