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Seamwork Skipper

I have been hording this retro floral jersey knit fabric from Fabric Mart for years.  I just love a good retro print that is reminiscent of the 60s or 70s.  

I have been wanting to make a hooded sweatshirt dress for a while, so I thought I would finally cut into the precious to make one and decided on the Seamwork Skipper with the member bonus dress option.   Honestly, I have much more of this fabric because a little while after I bought my initial standard 3 yard cut, I saw it on the 70% off section for $2.40/yd, so I bought 10 more yards.  Yeah....I totally don't have a problem with hoarding fabric.

I made this back on August 2nd, 2020 and took these photos the next day.  It was like 110 degrees (at least it felt that way!) so it's not styled the way I actually wear it -- with some nice warm grey leggings and cozy boots.

I underlined this dress with a pink cotton lycra just to add an extra layer of warmth and I lined the hood with self fabric.

The Skipper dress is a cocoon style silhouette, so I'm not overly concerned about the fit, since it should be bagggy.  I added inseam pockets, but I now think a kangaroo pocket would have worked much better on this dress.  The other thing I'm not loving is the size of the hood.  I get hoodies as gifts all the time from family and from work, so I know how I like my hoods to fit and this on is just way too big.  It sort of flops into my face when I wear it.  So I would swap it out for another hood, but I have yet to find one that I'm happy with, so finding the perfect hood is going to be a low-key goal of mine now.    

Overall, this dress is a solid choice for lounging around the house or going out to run errands, but I don't think I would wear it to a party or the office -- although during this time, neither of those things are even a consideration. 😁

Top 5 of 2020


I try to do these every year, but since I'm so bad about blogging my makes, I often do the year end summary about items I haven't written up yet.  No worries, this year will be the same.  But as I was working on this post, I did go back and update previous years to link to any blog posts done later. 

Top 5 Hits

The 5 most worn or most loved makes from my year, shown in the order they were finished.
  1. NYE Dress - This was actually made at the very end of 2019, but I had already published my top 5 for the year.  I used the Seamwork Kenedy pattern slimmed down below the hips to be more of a straight dress and a gold/black flip sequined fabric and I combined a gold and a black fringe to make a couple rows of rows of fringe at the bottom by just sewing them one on top of the other.  Everything else I wore was from Amazon.  

  2. Greenstyle Clara - I did both of these for contests and I love them both so much!

  3. Itch to Stitch Causeway Bomber - this reversible jacket is definitely among my top favorite makes of all time.

  4. Pattern Emporium Palazzo Pants - these are flattering and fun.

  5. Mom's Suki - I hacked the Helen's Closet Suki Robe to have a high/low hem and a band that goes all the way to the bottom.  I lengthened the sleeves and added fringe to the bottom.  I really love how it turned out.

Top 5 Misses 

I didn't make a ton of things this year, so it's not like I hate these makes, but they are certainly the least successful of what I did manage to produce.
  1. Fab Forty Shirt - Early in the year I tested the Fab Forty Shirt from Annelaine Patterns.  I made 2 of them and the first one was pretty cute.  The second on I thought it would be fun to use glittery elastic for the crossed shoulder straps.  I also used a stiffer knit and the neckline just doesn't drape right and just bows out and looks strange.  Plus, the elastic is not comfortable.  

  2. SSE Seattle Shirt - I just really don't like this shirt.  I'm 85% sure it's because of the fabric and not the pattern, but I just haven't given it another go yet.

  3. Seamwork Skipper - There are a few things wrong with this dress, but the most annoying is the hood is enormous and just isn't practical to actually wear.

  4. Sew Liberated Lichen Duster - This duster looks great from the back, but the front is a mess.  I don't like the insets -- they are just awkward to assemble an I'm not crazy about how they look.  I also didn't do well with the shawl collar and the entire front edge and so it doesn't sit right without me needing to constantly fiddle with it.

  5. Paprika Zircon - I made this with a pretty drapey knit and I think it turned out better than it probably should have.  I also underlined it and the two layers don't hang correctly together.  So, at some point, I will probably undo the hem and let the dress hang for a while to settle out before re-hemming.

Top 5 Highlights

  1. I got to go to the Sew Expo!  This was the very last scheduled event that I was able to go to before the world shutdown.  I remember vaguely thinking that it seemed a little risky at the time, but nothing had been canceled yet at that time. 
  2. We finally had cabinets put into the strange alcoves in our living room and they already feel like they've been there forever.

  3. Had deck refinished.  We let our poor deck go way too long without maintenance, so we needed to have several boards replaced and had the whole thing painted with a resurfacer paint.

  4. Got back into crochet - I made 3 blankets and a few other random things and I'm in the middle of some blocks for another blanket.

Top 5 Goals

Before we start, I would like to briefly comment on the status of last year's sewing goals.

  • Be better at planning for big events. I didn't get much chance to practice this! But I did participate in a few sewing contests, so I did some planning and executing to a hard deadline, so that counts for something.
  • Make pants. I did! They even made it to my top 5!
  • Make a new smooth dance dress Everything was cancelled and I lost my steam for getting this done, as well as my sewjo for a big chunk of the year.
  • Make a coat. I made a bomber jacket, so partial credit.  
  • Go to more social sewing events! Lol.
Now on to the goals for 2021.
  1. Make jeans. I had planned on doing a pair of Morgan jeans as part of my entry for the Pattern Review wardrobe contest, but then I changed my plans.  So I have the pattern copy shop printed and ready to start.
  2. Make a new smooth dance dress. 
  3. Make a coat.
  4. Make a quilt.  I joined a block of the month group on Facebook and I'm getting kind of excited about it! 
  5. Start my Christmas sewing earlier in the year!

I made a Jumpsuit!!

There are so many popular jumpsuit patterns right now!  I've been avoiding them because I hate having to get completely undressed just to pee.  But the Rational Dress Society Jumpsuit is one I've been meaning to make for years now.  So I finally jumped on the bandwagon and made it. 

This is a free pattern is quite utilitarian, which I love.  It has 248 different named sizes that are categorized by "fitted" and "unfitted", and the generalized body shapes described by I A or V.  I made size Asteroid, which is a fitted V shaped pattern. For reference, my measurements are 45", 34", 45" and I'm 5' 9".

I performed a very hacky FBA which can be seen below.  I don't have a before photo, but you can kinda see the edits I made.  This alteration also required an inch to be added to the length of the front fly pieces and I needed a longer zipper than called for.  Luckily, the one I was using was already too long, so I ended up just shortening less than I would have otherwise.

The floral denim I used has no stretch and is quite heavy and stiff, but there is so much ease in my jumpsuit that the fabric worked great.  And I used a gorgeous batik for the pocket bags.

I used a lovely salmon colored topstitching thread and sewed it with one of my other machines so that I didn't have to switch thread for every seam.  I like the way the contrast looks.

The sewing instructions are given via a series of videos and a written transcript of the videos is also provided. For the most part, I could get away with just using the written instructions, but for some of the trickier parts, I needed to watch the videos a few times to figure it out.

Turns out, the pattern is way too long in the body for me! The size I made was supposed to be for a height of 5' 6" - 5' 9" and I'm 5' 9". There is at least 6" that I can pinch out of the body without even trying.  When I make it again in the future, I will shorten the bodice by a couple inches and an inch or two from the rise and maybe even remove a little height from the waistband, because it's a little wide.  But I do actually like the way it looks belted and the one time I wore it out, that's the way I chose to wear it.

And, of course, I made a matching mask.  By now I'm sure everyone who is making masks has already found their favorite pattern.  I tried several, but my favorite pattern is the zippy mask, using a zip tie boning to keep it away from my face while I talk or breathe hard.  Most of mine just use ear loops, but I experimented with various other strap schemes and I like having one big loop on one side and a button on the other and it's been fun finding buttons that match.  For this one I had these two little pink pearlescent buttons, but I didn't think one would hold well, so I used two.  I don't love it with the two buttons and haven't worn it other than for this photo shoot, so I may end up using a different button or just converting it to use ear loops. 

I have grand plans to make this jumpsuit again for myself and one for my husband at some point in the future, but I will be drafting long sleeves for those versions.

This was a project I've been meaning to do for YEARS and I'm very glad that I finally got one made!

Named Asaka

Well, it's been a minute since I last posted.  Although I never promised to keep to any kind of regular schedule, I did actually intend to post a bit more often than I have been!

Today I would like to talk a bit about the Named Asaka Robe.  I've made two so far; one for myself and one for my BFF.

My plan from the start was to make this pattern as a gift for my friend.  I made mine as a test sample for him to try on (and to get to have one myself!) before I cut into the fabric for his.

It has a long, 2 piece sleeve that is split below the elbow.  It gives me the ability to do things without the sleeves getting caught on door handles and chair arms like several other robes I own with voluminous sleeves.  It is such a fun item to wear!  

I lengthened the pattern by 5 inches because it is very short and I am 5' 9".   Although I didn't lengthen it any more for my 6' 1" friend, because I thought it would be funny for him to have a tiny short robe, like he was a 70s gigolo.

I made mine out of a polyester crepe floral fabric and I made my friend's out of a maroon silk/rayon charmeuse from Fashion Fabrics Club.

I bound the seams on both -- for mine, I happened to have a few packs of perfectly matching vintage seam binding that I had previously picked up at Seattle Recreative, and for my friend's I used bias strips cut from a poly charmeuse that I had in my stash.

Here is what the insides of the finished robes looked like.

The pattern isn't terribly difficult, but there are a couple tricky bits, so I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner, unless they are feeling confident and ready for something to help push them to the next level without dealing with zippers or buttonholes yet.

I can see myself making this again.  I would love to eventually make another for myself that is floor length.  

Top 5 of 2019

Top 5 Hits

The 5 most worn or most loved makes from my year.

  • Bioshock splicer cosplay (unblogged) -- I'm not sure if I'll blog about this, but I joined a group that does occasional cosplay photoshoots and I've been to a few.  This one was for a horror themed shoot and I went as one of the enemies from one of my favorite games of all time, Bioshock.  Below is a few inspiration images and a couple shots I got that day.  My amazing makeup was done by Bunni of Rain City Cosplay.  The dress was a hacked version of the Jalie Bella bodice with just a gathered skirt that was then cut to look ripped up.

Top 5 4 Misses 

Well, I only have 4 things I'd call a miss and one of those I don't even think was REALLY a miss, just could have been done better.

  • emerald ball dress -- This past spring, I went to my dance competition, which was held in Seattle this year, so the awards night dinner had the theme of "Emerald Ball."  I had this image of a gorgeous drape neck, shimmery gown in my head.  So I frankenpatterned something together.  I'm pretty sure it was really the fabric choice more than anything that let me down.  I wore it, but felt super uncomfortable about the quality of my dress the entire night.  I only got a couple bad photos of it and this was the best of them.

It did end up finding new life as my dress for a Poison Ivy cosplay, so that's the silver lining.

  • Off white summer cover up -- I don't hate it, but this fabric is too still to make this something I thing looks good enough to wear.  I use it for a housecoat when it's too warm to wear my usual hoodie all day.
  • retreat blackwood -- another I don't hate and I actually wear.  But I chose to topstitch the band seam allowances for the sleeve and the bottom hems and it ended up stretching those seams out so that they don't sit nicely anymore.  Lesson learned!

  • Pikmin cosplay -- This was a group cosplay based on some art by @savannahalexandraart that was itself based on the video game Pikmin.  It isn't horrible, but the fit isn't great, especially in the bust, and I wish I had done better.  Photos courtesy of @josh_shot_photo.

And here is one of the group shots.  
Red: me!
Yellow: @lady.riina
Olimar: @_wabbit
Purple: @cosplay_and_cupcakes
Blue: @abbycatcosplay

Top 5 4 Highlights

I can only think of 4 things.
  • American Sewing Guild 4 day retreat - I attended a 4 day retreat put on by the Seattle chapter of the ASG in the fall.  It was in a beautiful setting where we were served 3 super delicious meals every day and I met so many amazing new sewing friends.
  • Seattle Frocktails -- I forced my shy self to go out by myself to a social situation!  Luckily a few people I had just met at retreat were there, so I had a couple people I felt comfortable with right away and by the end f the night, I had made a few more friends!
  • joined a cosplay group - It's a female only group.  I enjoyed the photo shoots I made it to this year and I hope to do many more next year.  I already have some fun plans!

  • I came in 2nd place in smooth scholarship at dance-o-rama!!  I was so proud of this!  It's my best placing to date.   

Top 5 Goals

I don't have a lot to say about these except that they are my vague goals for 2020.
  • Be better at planning for big events.
  • Make pants.
  • Make a new smooth dance dress
  • Make a coat.
  • Go to more social sewing events!