Showing posts from January, 2016

Top 5 of 2015

I'm a little late to the party, but I decided to participate in Gillian’s Top 5 lists.  Here they all are in one big post!


  1. Pride Dress.  I'm so proud of how this dress turned out.  I decided to do it at the last minute and had no idea how it would work out.  I'm very proud of it and I got so many compliments on it at the Seattle Pride Parade.

  2. New Year's Blue Velvet Dress.  I think the fabric is beautiful and with the full lining it just feels nice and weighty, like some of the more high end RTW dresses I've owned throughout the years.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out and how it looks on me.

  3. Seahawks Superbowl Dress.  This was also a dress that I decided to do fairly last minute to show off my Hawks pride at the Superbowl.  I have worn it to work several times on Blue Friday and it's usually a hit.

  4. Rainbow Ethnic Chevron Lady Skater.  (Unblogged)  I've been buying the monthly Knitfix bag from Girl Charlee for a while now and this was one of the fabrics I got way back in May of last year.  I only have a couple patterns I can make with 2 yards of fabric, one of which is the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater, one of my TNT patterns.  This dress is one of my favorites to wear because the fabric is just so pretty!  I ended up scoring some more of the fabric and even made a matching GreenStyle Laurelette for my niece.

  5. Seahawks Mojave.  This didn't necessarily fit me the best of all my me-makes in 2015, but I just love the way it came out.  I would like to devise a way to make this pattern more wearable for everyday use.


  1. Seamwork Moji. (unblogged). I'm not blaming the pattern on these.  I modified the pattern because I thought they would be too narrow for my thunder thighs.  So I'm not 100% sure if that's what caused the problem or what.  But the fit is just terrible.  This was the first pair of pants I attempted to make, so I may be able to make this pattern with with some fit adjustments.

  2. Dahlia. (unblogged). I didn't even finish this dress.  Since I was making a muslin, I used some random fabric I had purchased decades ago for some weird idea of a pants suit I was going to make.  This dress just doesn't fit well and it looks weird on my body.  I suppose at some point I'll finish it and see what I can do to make it work.

  3. Seamwork Mesa. (unblogged)  I should have known that this silhouette was just not going to work on my body.  And the unfortunate placing of that green smile leaf right on the bottom of my tummy really didn't help things.  In this photo, the lining and the outer fabric are hemmed together and so there's a wrinkle.  I've since ripped that out so I can hem the two layers separately, but it's still in my "to finish" pile because I just know I'll never really wear it.

  4. 40s Tea Dress. I love the idea of this dress.  And I love the way it looks in some of the photos.  But it's a fit disaster.  And the hem is horrible, but the dress is too short to just redo.  The neckline facings flip up and the sleeves are just weird.  Overall, I will likely never wear it again, which is a shame since the fabric is just so pretty and a great color on me.

  5. Dr. Who Dress. This dress just didn't turn out like I had envisioned.  It looks like pajamas and I swear I cut the pieces so they should have matched in the front waist seam, but it didn't and it drives me insane.  I aquired a wide blue TARDIS stretchy belt after my blog post was written, and it does cover up the annoying waist seam and so I will wear this dress to conventions and whatnot.  But overall, I'm not pleased with how it turned out.

Highlights (non-sewing)

  1. I went to the Superbowl!  Dream achieved!

  2. I painted my house purple!!!  Another dream achieved!!

  3. Awesome new job.  I have a job where I'm appreciated and it's been very low stress so far.  Plus, it has some really nice benefits.

  4. I was able to walk out of a miserable job. I'm not going to go into too much detail here, but overall, I was made to cry at work multiple times, I would dread going to work every day and tried to find an excuse to call in sick as often as I could.  It was good to be able to literally just clean out my desk and walk out one day.

  5. Much improved sewing.  I've definitely improved my sewing skills this past year.  I've been sewing most of my life, but I didn't really sew very often until the last couple of years.  And in 2015, I probably made more items than I had in my entire sewing career up until then. 


In no particular order:

  • I've been feeling unsatisfied in my current career path.  It's been building up for a while and I had some unpleasantness at my previous employer this past year that led me to up and quit without something else lined up.  I was lucky and was able to work out a deal where I got a little something out of my quitting, and I knew I would find something before I was in trouble financially.  But it was the first time I was unemployed that I wasn't extremely worried about finding a new job and I was able to just enjoy not working.  I got quite a bit of sewing done during this time, which led me to wonder if it's time for me to make some sort of career change in which I can use and improve my sewing skills as part of my daily life.  I don't have any solid plans at this time, but I've been trying to brainstorm on how to make something like this work and I've got a few ideas banging around that I hope to get fleshed out in the next couple years.

  • I need to do something about my sewing space.  Right now I've pretty much permanently taken over the dining room table with my pattern cutting materials.  But it's frustrating for the other members of my household.  So my husband and I have been talking about some options to give me a space where I can have a large table dedicated to cutting.  Hopefully we'll get something worked out and implemented in 2016.

  • I enjoy the little extra details in sewing projects.  I haven't done many things yet, except for using some of my decorative stitching on my Seahawks Mojave and my Ottobre Optic Flowers wearable muslin.  I need to figure out the little touches that make me extra proud of my garments.

  • I find that I tend to be happy with a pattern if it fits my body and doesn't look bad on me.  But I've noticed a few things that I've been letting slip by, like fabric pooling at my lower back and creases along the side my bust and I should focus more on really noticing these issues and fixing them on my patterns.

  • I'm completely addicted to buying fabric.  I buy fabrics on sale that I like, without any real plan on what to do with it.  As a result, my fabric stash has gotten completely out of control this past year.  I should be more mindful of what fabrics I purchase and only purchase fabrics with a specific project in mind or fabrics that I absolutely fall in love with and I know I would be sad to not get.


These are my goals for 2016, in order of most importance.

  1. Rhythm dance dress. I owe more posts on the evolution of my current smooth dress.  But I really need a rhythm dress of my very own.  I am attending a dance competition at the end of April, so that is my deadline to have one done.  I'm going to start out simple for this first one and I have all the materials I need to make one, with several options for the fabric color.  So I have no excuse.

  2. Pants.  I've been watching the blogosphere make the Closet Case Files Ginger Skinny Jeans and I've been wanting to buy and make that pattern.  I even picked up some denim in anticipation of doing so.  But this past year I attempted 2 pair of leggings and a pair of Seamwork Moji pants and none of them turned out.  My body is difficult and fitting pants seems so intimidating that I have been shying away from just doing it and working through the issues, but I vow that this is the year that I find and alter a pants pattern that can work for me.

  3. Outerwear.  I've been wanting to make a coat for some time and I purchased some fabric to do so several years ago.  My vision is a mid length swing coat with fur accents, possibly removable.  But, again, that is fairly intimidating to do.  So my goal for 2016 is to make at least one piece of outerwear.  I'd even be satisfied with making a Seamwork Camden.  Although if I make the Camden, I'll need to add welt pockets like Kristin from Briney Deep Designs did on her version.

  4. Sew more new-to-me patterns.  I've been a subscriber to Seamwork from the get go, but I've only sewn up 4 of the patterns so far (only 1 of which I've blogged about.)  Plus, I buy many other patterns, both indie and big 4 (when they are on sale for $1) that I end up not making.  I would like to strive to make two new Seamwork patterns each month (not necessarily the latest ones though) and one other new to me pattern at least each quarter.

  5. Be a better blogger.  I suck at taking photos.  I don't take the time to do photo shoots outside, which I always want to do before I blog about a make, which then means I'm not blogging about my makes until it's been so long that I just get impatient and post something with poor photos.  I think the first step to this is acquiring a tripod so I can take some photos outside without the need of a photographer.

Last hurrah for 2015

I haven't been posting much.  Mainly I think it's because I haven't gotten much chance to get some good photos, which is also evident ink
I had some vacation time to burn before the end of the year and my company takes a holiday break, so I've had the last 2 weeks off.  I started out strong, sewing 3 new dresses in the first 2 days.  But then my husband and I started watching Orphan Black and we binge watched the heck out of that.

Lady Skater with some custom holiday fabric from Aqua Splash Customs.

Lady Skater out of a knitfix fabric.  It's fully lined with a gray cotton from my stash.

Optic Flowers from the Ottobre 2/2015 issue.

My wedding anniversary is December 31st, so I was planning to wear the purple and blue wine glass dress.  But then Fabric Mart had this 70% off velvet sale and of course I had to look.  I picked up a few things, one of which was a dark blue ogee-like embossed velvet for $3.50/yd.  I got my standard 3 yards since most of the dresses I make can work with 3 yards.  And when it arrived I fell in love and knew it needed to be my new favorite dress.  So on December 30th and part of the 31st I whipped out this gorgeous Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown dress.

Uptown/Downtown dress in an embossed blue velvet.

I fully lined it with a royal blue knit from my stash.  My husband loves this dress and so do I.  We wandered over to the hotel where we had our wedding party photos done and had a couple photos taken together.  My eyes glow strangely in his camera phone shots and I don't know how to fix those, especially since I pretty much only use my phone these days.

We were doing timer photos with the phone propped up on a pillow when a young lady came along and offered to take our photo for us.  The timer was going when she offered and resulted in this, my favorite photo of the night.

I previously made a wearable muslin of the Uptown/Downtown dress on my birthday earlier in December and loved it, although the fabric I used was super thin and I have to wear a slip or something under it.

Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown dress.

There are a couple minor fit issues I need to address that were more evident in the blue velvet version, but as drafted it fits well and looks nice.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's Eve.  Happy New Year!