Knicker pattern WINNER


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You’re awesome & aren’t they great! I’ve just bought the Charlotte, I couldn’t bear to possibly miss out  ;) I’d love the Mary to complement them (and to use up my knit remnants as well as my woven pretties!) if I was fortunate enough to win  ;)

She won! I used the random number generator to pick her out of the 46 people who entered! Thanks to everyone who came over and entered the giveaway and looked at Measure Twice/Cut Once site! I know Susan appreciates your feedback on which pattern you liked the most!

Till next time! Don’t sew and drive!

Measure Twice/Cut Once Knickers Giveaway!!


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What do you do when you have pile of fabric remnants you just don’t want to part with? Make panties! Panties, knickers…call them what you will…they’re quick, fun little things to make which is why I got excited when I saw the new pattern collection from Measure Twice/Cut Once. Here’s the new Longbourn Collection.

Several completely different looks which is really refreshing! I bought the Lizzie and the Lydia patterns to try out. After that, I contacted Susan- the power behind Measure Twice/Cut Once and asked if I could host a giveaway and she was kind enough to say yes! Woot!

These are the patterns I bought- yup, bought them (disclosure: these patterns were not given to me in exchange for doing this giveaway)- I just thought they were so cute!

Here’s the pair I made. I cut a size bigger for the waist than the hip and the length because I was in between sizes. I think I stretched my elastic a wee bit too much but the fit is still great. For the next pair, I won’t pull the elastic so tight and I might cut the elastic a little bit larger. I don’t like my panties to cut into me.

IMG_20140402_182910260 IMG_20140402_182951784

I also have another pair cut out and ready to make, I love these so much! #meowIMG_20140402_153344928

This is the Lizzie pattern. Fuller coverage in the back but tiny in the front. What can I say, I like tiny knickers. Below you can see how I graded from one size to another.



Nice encased seams!

The fabric I used is the same silk charmeuse I used for my Inara costume. I bought the ruffly elastic at JoAnn and I like the Firestar look I’m getting. I guess you could also go Iron Man…


I also like how these patterns are cut on the bias, meaning that I can use all my light weight wovens! Yay! That said, I did make my Lydia’s with a knit. I just didn’t cut them on the bias- I cut them with the stripe going the way I wanted it to go. Another thing included in the pattern is a design sheet so you can draw out ideas. So much fun! Several ideas are also included in the pattern so you can play around.

I’m glad I went for the larger waist because these two patterns are low on the hip. The instructions are clear and easy to read. I have made panties before so a lot of this wasn’t new to me. Anyone can make panties!! If you’re nervous, just ask questions. I know Susan is more than willing to help out; as am I and all the sewcialists on Twitter.

Let’s get to the exciting part! The giveaway.

How to enter: Go to the Measure Twice/Cut Once shop and, in the comments, tell me which style you like best or if there is a style that you want but isn’t there. Dream big!!

What can you win: A (1) PDF copy of the knickers pattern of your choice.

Last day to enter: Sunday, April 13th- noon, Eastern time.

Winner announced: Monday, April 14th

I’m gonna go back to making more tiny panties! Have a great weekend! Hope you get some sewing in!!

When do I do a Full Bust Adjustment?



Confession time: I don’t always do a full bust adjustment (aka an FBA). Nope. Not always gonna happen. There are certain things I’ve found that either deter me from doing one or reasons why I don’t feel like an FBA will make that much of a difference. Here are my reasons in no particular order:

You remember my Spearmint coats, right? The first one I made with no FBA. I didn’t even lower the bust apex- something I did with the second one, which made a really nice difference in the fit around the bust. I didn’t do an FBA because of the pieces that would have needed to be adjusted. Namely, the lining. I also saw how the front didn’t close all the way and so I figured the fit in the bust would be less apparent.

Blue Spearmint close up flounce

I will do an FBA on a woven top when it’s fitted and when I think it might look tenty coming off the bust apex. Even though I didn’t think my Sugar Plum would look tenty, I did want the bodice to line up with the midriff while adding the needed room for the bewbs so FBA it was!



I know I just said I FBA wovens…but I didn’t FBA my Lekala blouse. In part because I wanted to test out the made-to-measure component of ordering from them. The fit ended up really nice although an FBA would give more definition in the underbust area and down the waist. Granted, I could still take in the seams in the front waist area which would then really keep from needing to bother with an FBA.

first lekala blouse black princess seam front

Another make I didn’t FBA but cheated and added more seam allowance to the front bodice was my Colette Hawthorn. There are details on the blog post but really, I just added to the front and then cut a smaller size for the shoulders and underarm to make it fit better. An FBA would make it fit closer but I like the way it turned out. I know I’ll be making another one once the warmer weather starts up.

Hawthorn steps front

Another Colette make that where I skipped the FBA was one of my three Violets. With all three, I cut a larger size in the front and a smaller back. It’s a quick way to give you the room you need in the front and a better fit in the back- if you don’t need more room in the back, of course. However, Violet is a blocky blouse and unless you’re using a flowy material, it’s gonna tent if you don’t do an FBA. I’m actually pretty sure I won’t make that pattern up again just because it’s not a look I go for- though it looks really cute on a lot of people- and doing an FBA on it to make it more fitted goes against the design of the blouse itself. So, if I wanted a fitted blouse and wanted to FBA it, I would choose something that, in the design itself, was more fitted. I’m talking princess seams, waist darts- that sort of thing.

abstract floral violet side

With knits, I tend to also cheat at just add to the side seams right at the bust and grade back to my size for the waist and hips. It seems silly to me to FBA something that has stretch in it. Length, now that’s a whole other story. I will take out length from the back a lot of times to get a really nice fit just below the indent of my waist. I’m kinda into the back fitting really well. Go figure.

With the first two Gunmetals, I added to the side seams at the bust but by the third one- the dress version I made- I took out the bust side seam extras. Can you tell a difference?

red gunmetal front close  Jungle Gunmetal buttons


When do you make alterations, be it an FBA or other adjustments and when do you just skip it?

What did I just say about buying another pattern??

Do you remember this book?

I thought it was the best book when I was a kid…and I still love it! Grover keeps telling the reader not to turn the pages because, as the title says, there’s a monster at the end and he’s not that thrilled to meet this monster. But, every time the reader turns the page, he asks us why we would do such a thing since every page just brings us and him closer to this scary monster. But, we, the reader, giggle at how cute Grover is and keep turning the pages.

So, yesterday, I wrote a blog post about how I was going to keep my cool (ha!) and not buy any new patterns until I was done with my WIPs- yeah, we all say that…we all write blog posts about it…but ooh! shiny! happens and we can’t help ourselves!

I got an email from Style Arc about the new patterns and the free pattern of the month! This month you get to choose between two patterns as your freebie and I couldn’t resist the Tamara Knit top. Click on the image to go to the Style Arc site.


I said I wouldn’t buy any new patterns…but I did! And it reminded me of the Monster at the end of the book!

Stop buying patterns!!! hahaa!

What else did I get? I know you’re as curious as I was reading the book about the monster at the end…

I bought the Lily Ski pant

and the Demi Drape Top

The only way I can see that this isn’t a bad thing..or that it’s going against what I JUST told myself not to do is that the patterns are coming from Australia and they’ll take about 2 weeks to arrive so I have time (theoretically) to finish the stuff I’ve started.

So, yeah, Style Arc is my new crush. Do you ever get crushes on Indie pattern companies? Did any of their new patterns call to you? Any of you not made anything from them yet? Oh! I haven’t forgotten the surprise I have cooked up for you. #tease

Happy April!


Making plans, WIPs and self-control



I just bought some knit yardage, cut my Ziggi and have a surprise for you later this week! Yup, I’ve got a … giveaway for you! Have I mentioned how bad I am at keeping secrets? Well, consider yourself told. I’m horrible at it. I should interject that I *can* keep secrets but not when they’re fun, full of whimsy kind of secrets.

Like the new patterns Amity is working on…omg. I’m having THE hardest time keeping that stuff in!! They’re so cute and cool and snazzy and all the things! But, you know… confidentiality.

So, while I help her behind the scenes, I’m gonna be sewing other things up to share. More knit tops! You have to love something you can make on a serger and be done with in a couple of hours. The Ziggi- yeah, that’s gonna be a while but I want to wear it this Spring so I better get a move on it. I’m still in muslin stage. Just have to stitch that bad boy up and see what fitting things I have to tackle.

I also have my first Cambie muslined and ready to cut the real thing. Oooh, and I have this desire to make a couple of the By Hand London dresses. But I’m not letting myself buy any new patterns until I finish some of my WIPs.

How do you stay on task? I know I’ve talked about making lists and keeping to them but Spring fever is getting me all creative-like and I feel the strongest urge to make ALL THE THINGS! Well, not all. But you get the idea. So, how do you stay focused on your WIPs?

Vogue Summer 2014 Highlights


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I know I don’t showcase big 4 patterns when they come out but there were a handful of the new Vogue’s that caught my eye.

This first dress is, like most of the dresses I’m drawn to, great for fancy outings. Or is it just me that sees that? Maybe I should be wearing off the shoulder dresses every day! The thing to note for fitting is that the armholes on the model look pretty low- something I know I can get away with wearing the bras I wear, so should I make this dress I’ll raise those armholes to cover my bra better.


This next one reminds me of this sweater I knit and once I blocked it, it grew to an unwearable size! This is like a sweatshirt version! I will not be making this.




I love the sleeve detail on this next jacket…but that’s it! I really don’t care for the under bewb pockets! No!! Not gonna happen on me. Ever. The big question is…will I buy this pattern just for the sleeves? I’ve done it before.


That’s all I got. Have you seen any of the new Vogue’s and fallen in love? Would you buy a pattern just for the sleeves?

Blue Wool Spearmint


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This is my second Spearmint coat from Lolita Patterns. I mentioned in my post about my first Spearmint that I figured it would be a wearable muslin but then I liked it so much I started wearing it all the time. Well, this blue wool I got specifically for a Spearmint coat and I’m so glad I made it.


I shortened the whole body of the coat by 5″ so that I’d get the sweep of the longer coat but not it’s length. It worked out great! I wanted to be able to wear this coat with my petticoats and full circle skirts.

I also raised the armholes to get a closer fitting sleeve as well as lowered the bust apex, which you can see in the tutorial I did here. Lowering the apex made a big difference in the fit in front. Like with my first Spearmint, I didn’t do an FBA. It’s open in front and it seemed more time consuming and not worth the effort. I think it worked out just fine.

I made the same size as my last Spearmint which worked out well. I could totally make one size smaller (the size 8 which is the size that is closest to my measurement) if I wanted it to be closer fitting and more of a topcoat…which now I want to do! I’d get the fit like Katie did.

Click to go to Katie’s post on her blog!

I should’ve taken pictures outside because by the end of the shoot, I was starting to sweat!

So, I started with this circle skirt and huge petticoat underneath…

skirts under Spearmint

Oh! But first a picture I took just after finishing my coat. It’s the best lining! Pink!!

Blue spearmint lining


Back to the fit. I love how it fits over the huge skirt!

back blue Spearmint Blue Spearmint back close up

You remember the collar, right? You really do have to press it into submission! Did you see the video tutorial I did on how to shape the flounce? I recorded it during the Lolita Spearmint Sew-Along.

Blue Spearmint flounceBlue Spearmint 3     Blue Spearmint pocketsBlue Spearmint three quarter viewBlue Spearmint close up flounce

Not much else to say other than I love this coat!! And the blue is so perfect!

Style Arc’s Issy Top: Abstract floral version


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Here’s my second Issy top! The first one is already in the wash as I made it in black so I could wear it to work. I made the black one in a double knit and while it isn’t nearly as drapey as this rayon knit one, I have to say it doesn’t look half bad. Pictures of the black one later.

Let’s get on with this abstract floral one. It’s so perfect for Spring! I had the fabric in my stash for what…I don’t know. Thank you fabric stash!

I actually bought the Ziggi jacket pattern from Style Arc and this top pattern came as a bonus. I still haven’t muslined my Ziggi. The thing to know with Style Arc, in case you didn’t know already, is that you get one size. No nested sizes for you to work with. So, choose carefully. I went for the size 10 and on both of my versions I had to take them in at the waist. I’m getting extra drape around the bust…but it’s my bust so I want to make sure there’s room for a drape so I left as is.

The patterns came from Australia so there was about a two week wait but you know… you get busy, download a couple of patterns in the meantime, cut a couple of tops, muslin a dress and your patterns arrive in no time!

I always like to show a back view because the back tends to pool on tops. Taking in the sides helped with the pooling…though, honestly, you can’t tell because of the print. So maybe that’s the take away from this project- go for a print when first testing a pattern. That way any mistakes are invisible.

issy top back black shoes issy top back close up

I couldn’t decide if I liked the black platform shoes or my hot pink ones…and glasses or no glasses…so I played around. This picture below, left, is really just an “omg, I love my new haircut” picture. It really serves no other purpose.

issy top back hair issy top black shoes front  issy top pink shoes  issy top side pink shoesissy top side closeupissy top closeup front

The front drape on this top is just so cool. And the asymmetrical hem is really cool, too. The front drape is really easy to put together but you really have to just do it. Baste it first if you’re nervous…and then send me a tweet. That’s what I did with Divinerae and she was like, yeah, you’re fine…and like magic, I could finish my first version. This second version took a lot less time. Even with tweeting and watching Buffy, it was done in 2 hours.

What do you think about the shoe options? Black or pink? Also, have you tried any Style Arc patterns? How many of these tops do you think one can have in a closet? I’m thinking a couple of solid versions and I have a stripe knit that would look really cool with the side gathers and the front drape- playing with the stripe.


Thinking of being on a beach…



We’ve seen a handful of gorgeously sunny days in Indianapolis and they’re making me think of going to the beach, lying in the sun and recharging after a long, cold winter. Thawing out- yup, that’s what I need to do right about now.

I want to shed the sweater layers, not to mention the underlayers, I’ve been wearing for what seems an eternity. Let’s say goodbye to those warming layers!

Last year, Katie and I ran a swimwear sew-along. I had so much fun putting together all those posts with her and now that I’ve made a swimsuit I’m wondering if I’m up for making another one this year.

front bombshell


I recently bought a couple of bras from Barbara’s here in town- the only place where I can find small back/large cup bras (my underbust is 29″ and every other place wants me to wear a 34″ back! which just would be too big) and now I’m thinking I could use those bras as a template to make an underwire swim bra.

Here are some ideas and elements I’m liking:

Animal print balconette

Striped halter with bow! Bow!

Balconette with contrast and bow

I’d just buy one of these but they don’t come in my size. For the most part, the bands start at 32s and I need a 30 and the cups at a 30 band don’t always go up as high as I need them.

I tried to add the images but that particular website doesn’t allow it….and I tried using my magic. If you know another way to do it, please let me know.

Anyone else thinking about making swimwear this year?


Blue Wool Spearmint: A Prelude



Prelude: My Spearmint

This was not the way I wanted to introduce my wool Spearmint. I remember talking to someone on twitter (I think it was MaLora) about things that happen behind the scenes in our sewing rooms and not showing them – so here I am to talk about a mishap with my coat.

The other day I was juggling too many things in my hands and ended up spilling half a commuter cup of coffee on my coat! I figured, since I had pre-washed my wool I’d be fine throwing it in a gentle wash.

The wool is fine, though it did felt a tiny bit but not too much- the lining still fits the coat. But then I went to re-press the collar and hem and saw this huge gap in my lining!

Gah! Sarah from OhhhLulu suggested I fray check the raw edges, hand stitch it, and most important: forget it ever happened! So, now that’s made the to-do list.

It’s not the end of the world but it was definitely a shocker.

How do you cope with your handmade garments blowing up?


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