Sewing Sarah and Adeline: A Study in Proportions

I made the Sarah tunic from My Image magazine from a red ponte from Joann’s because it looked so cute on other bloggers. On me, I felt that it was meh. First of all, I could not seem to press the neckline flat enough. Secondly, the armholes were super deep on me. I thought to myself as I traced and cut, “These armscyes look pretty long compared to what I usually see,” and then I shrugged it off and continued.

Months later, I made the StyleArc Adeline with no adjustments (as I do every time I make a pattern for the first time) out of a blue rayon/linen mix from Joann’s and discovered that the amount of volume and length swamped 5’4″ me. I think it would be better shorter and one size smaller. You can see it on my Instagram here (I accidentally deleted all the photos off my device).

Honestly, I should just assume that I need to shorten every pattern and always size down one size from where any size chart tells me I need to be (except for Vogue, which seems to say exactly what they mean by those pattern measurements…as I can attest to with two too-small Vogue garments I’ve sewn).

My sewing plans include a mini-wardrobe consisting of black and white linen items (top, skirt, another top, and maybe shorts if I am being ambitious) and some pants. I also made a skirt sloper draft based on the directions of the Winifred Aldrich metric pattern cutting book (thanks, Linda, for recommending it!!) and I’m looking forward to testing that out in a muslin. I’m also on a diet now, which may slow up my sewing plans, since I don’t want to put in a ton of effort and then not be able to fit the thing I made.

We shall see! In the meantime, I love reading your blogs. Please share any interesting new sewing blogs you’ve found with me. I want more! I recently discovered Jasika’s sewing site and I absolutely love her fabric and pattern choices.





Style Arc Adeline (in the making)

It’s my first time trying a Style Arc pattern and I am having issues with the 1/4″ seam allowances. It’s difficult for me to stay accurate to such a small seam allowance. I feel like I’ve messed up attaching the neck facings, but we’ll see. I’ve been sewing in extremely short spurts on the weekend and not at all on weekdays–I’ve been too tired in the evenings.

I’ve been feeling inspired by Cookin’ and Craftin’s and Thornberry’s pattern choices. I also live in a warm climate and I feel like the things they make (especially the Style Arc items) would be suitable to the Charleston climate.

I really would like to blog more, but my glacial sewing speed is keeping that from happening. I am really enjoying keeping up with other sewing blogs. If you have any sewing blogs you really enjoy, please share them with me in the comments.

The Body and the Job

It turns out that starting a new job and dealing with health issues at the same time takes a lot of energy and time. Throw on top of that managing a household and you have very little sewing going on. I’ve been working on a Simplicity dress off and on for months. I cut out a Butterick shell two days ago,  intending to sew it all in one afternoon, and here we are–days later–with no progress. I get easily frustrated. I’ve gained more weight and now I’m rather lost as to adjustments, etc. I’m hoping things settle down soon so that I have time to create. In the meantime, I’ve been loving seeing what y’all have made.

Back to & Other Stuff

I’ve decided to bring my site on back to In the end, I decided to not add advertisements to my blog, for multiple reasons: I don’t post very often (because I sew incredibly slowly) and I also stopped working in the online market research space.

I worked at a company where I managed the affiliate marketing portion (along with other stuff) for a while, and I wanted to see what it was like on the affiliate side, as opposed to the market researcher side. The affiliates at Affiliate Summit West inspired me, I guess. I never got around to it, though, with work and traveling and all of that. I don’t work at a market research company anymore, so my interest in seeing what the affiliate side is like has waned.

I have become more interested in the loose/lagenlook/arty patterns that bloggers like Thornberry and Catherine Daze make. This morning, I ordered the Style Arc Hedy dress pattern. I’ve never sewn or worn anything like that, but I’m drawn to the interesting shape, especially since I’ve gotten so thick in the middle. I love dolman sleeves and I am enjoying dramatic silhouettes more.

I’m currently working on several things at once: another New Look top, the Sarah tunic from My Image magazine, and the vintage Simplicity dress pattern I mentioned on Instagram. I went into a frenzy of fabric cutting before Christmas and then just didn’t move forward. I’ve had pretty low sew-jo since we moved into an apartment that is always dark, like nighttime dark. I have lots of lamps in the sewing room, but to no avail.

What are you making?


Simplicity 1716

Yesterday, I decided that I was going to tackle my pile of unfinished items. When I get to the end of a project, I make a mistake, and I get really frustrated right away. So, it goes in the drawer. I moved across the country with this one, unfinished. I made Simplicity 1716, view D, starting in 2012 I think. The problem here was that I sewed the armbands on the wrong way and then I doubled down on that decision. My solution last night was to cut off the armbands, since it would be really really hard to unpick the stitching, and to sew on new armbands. I left the hem unfinished, as the slinky jersey and my sewing machine were having a fight, even with the walking foot on.

Front View
Simplicity 1716, View D, front view
Actual Back View
Simplicity 1716, View D, front view

Looking at these pictures, I have some serious posture issues. My shoulders are uneven, and my high left hip has become even higher after having physical therapy for my right knee. This means that every skirt or dress I make gets caught up on my left hip, and hangs lower on my right hip. I need to learn the adjustment for that. I also have forward head and forward shoulders from using a computer all day for…years, plus a nerve impingement in my left shoulder that the posture probably doesn’t help. You don’t realize the toll time takes on your body until you look at pictures of yourself.

On a brighter note, I took these pictures with a camera and tripod that my kind and generous mother-in-law has lent me. The camera doesn’t use a remote, so I have to use the self timer. I need to learn how to use the setup better.

One thing I like about this pattern is the pleat detail that helps to make the cowl neck. One thing I don’t like is the lack of waist shaping. I also think that the shoulders should be narrower, although that might be a personal issue and not a pattern issue.

Have you made Simplicity 1716? If so, how do you like it?

Bootstrap fashion: more thoughts

I’ve been working on figuring out what my ideal measurements are to produce a garment that I would like and that would fit me the way that I would like using Bootstrap’s software.

The first time I put in my measurements, I got this wacky picture that looks nothing at all like a human. I don’t think I know of any humans you have a pointy stomach that points upwards. Here is my 3-D model:


I sewed their three seams skirt pattern from it. It was actually too large for me; I had to take it in an inch on either side. Also, the hips on the pattern were an exaggerated womanly shape; my hips are actually relatively straight, but my bottom is the part that takes up most of the circumference of my hips measurement. Then I realized that the waistband was too short, as I cut off part of it to accommodate the revised skirt. However, I hadn’t really changed the waistline of the skirt, so now it doesn’t fit.

Yesterday, I remeasured myself. For the under cost measurement, I put the same as my waist measurement. I figured having a dramatically different under bust measurement from the waist measurement the first time around is what produced the exaggerated stomach shape. I also included a full bust adjustment, since I felt that the dress that I made the first time around was too tight in the back and smooshed my boobs. Now, the avatar looks more like me:


I’m going to reprint the pattern and make the skirt and the dress again with these new measurements. We’ll see how they turn out.

Affiliate Links: Some Thoughts

I’ve noticed that people seem to get annoyed when bloggers insert affiliate links in their posts, or when they write entirely sponsored posts. Readers don’t like to have their reading interrupted by these verbal commercials.

I can definitely understand this dislike. I have read some sponsored posts that were just fawning over a product unrelated to the focus of the blog–that’s annoying. Don’t tell me about a food mill when I’m interested in garment construction! There’s no real content there, either! That’s more “marketing” than “content.” I get bored with blogs that have a lot of blatant content marketing posts.

I don’t find posts with throwaway references to products annoying. Those posts, where people casually refer to something they use anyway with a subtle link and a brief note about the affiliate link, are much less annoying. It’s as if the writer is someone you know telling you about one product they found that worked better than other products.

I also don’t care about sidebar ads. My (free) web email has sidebar ads; my (free) streaming music service has banner ads; the blogs I read (for free) have ads (for the most part). Those ads allow me to have these things without paying money for them. Win-win for all of us! If I hate your ads/sponsored posts more than I like your content or service, I won’t go to your site.

I understand that people have to pay for bandwidth and all the other stuff that goes into hosting and supporting a website with its own domain and large amount of storage. Bloggers can either pay out of pocket for their hosting costs, or they can run ads or include affiliate links to help pay for the hosting costs.

How do you feel about advertising on blogs and websites?

Coming Up Soon: Experimenting with Bootstrap and Lekala Patterns

My experience with the free Bootstrap A-line dress pattern will not discourage me from trying again! I really like the idea of a pattern more closely aligning with my measurements.

I re-measured myself and made a few adjustments to my measurements on the website. I included the belly + hip measurement as well–this measurement takes the belly protuberance into account, in relation to the full hip measurement.

I’m going to try this vintage-inspired sheath dress, which has a keyhole in the back and a collar, along with a waist inset. I have not done any of those things before (I am not counting the collar on the New Look shift because it is in knit and isn’t a “traditional” collar). I am excited for the challenge and the skill development. I need to buy some “suiting with spandex” (their words) for this pattern. I saw that Fashion Fabrics Club is having a crazy cheap sale right now, including suitings, so I think I’ll nab some there for my practice run.

I’m also going to try the free three-seam skirt pattern. I have seen this skirt recommended to sewists new to Lekala/Bootstrap’s patterns. Earlier this year, I spent a weekend trying to fit a straight skirt pattern (a McCall’s) that had worked fine for me several pounds ago. I made what I thought was a successful skirt, having tried it on throughout the process and having made an adjusted pattern. When I put it on, it wouldn’t stay up at the waist/stomach! I’m hoping this customized skirt pattern will do the trick.

I printed those patterns out yesterday and they are waiting for my attention. Right now, I’m working on another iteration of Simplicity 1609 in a light cotton that I need to line because it is see-through. This is my first time lining this pattern, but I think it should be fairly straightforward! I will use The Slapdash Sewist’s method. (I miss her posts!!) Also, I will be sure to use Kathleen Fasanella’s method of sewing in a zipper. For whatever reason, when I am in the throes of zipper sewing, I forget about all her methods and end up with it looking crappy at the top, where the facing is.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, when I can do some marathon sewing!


Simplicity 1062: Giant, Slouchy Dolman Tee

I’m obsessed with dolman tees. I have made Cation Designs‘ Dolman Tee four times! I decided to try a different pattern to see how it would turn out. Simplicity 1062 caught my eye during one of those JoAnn’s 5 for $1 pattern sales (I love those).

After making the tunic last week, I had some fabric left over, so I decided to make this shirt straightaway. I don’t want to hoard scraps; in fact, I went through my scraps and got rid of a bunch last weekend, saving only pieces large enough to make a garment or cuffs. I think if I make something out of the fabric leftovers right after finishing a garment, it won’t have the opportunity to become save-able scraps.

Here it is on me:


The back, so awkward, caught up on my bottom:


Arms down:


Here it is, modeled by my cutting table:


It really looks gigantic in this photo! I haven’t done the hem yet, hence the little serger tails there. I’ve been into wearing oversized soft tops lately. I think they make me look more graceful, and also like a hip young art teacher. I do think I could go down to a medium without an issue, though. I cut a large for this one. There is about 12″ of ease in this top for me: my full bust is 40″ and the finished bust is 52″. Crazy ease!!! I could fit a cat in there.

Our cat who sleeps in ridiculously fluffy poses, Fatty.

This top will be loungewear only. I think I will either make another tunic or make a woven shift dress next. I bought a delightful red dot fabric on impulse from JoAnn’s–the fabric reminds me of the woven cotton fabric made in India. It will serve me well in the hot Southern summer!

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