Ginger Jeans with Giant Cuffs

ginger jeans 5

I’m often a little late to get on bandwagons (if I do at all), but I’m glad I jumped onto this one. Yes, it’s one more pair of Ginger Jeans making its way to the blogosphere. I have sewn jeans before (high-waisted vintage style and mid-rise fuchsia denim and my favorite ever brown floral jeans that weren’t actually out of denim and fell apart after only a couple weeks of wear) but none of them are a wear-every-day sort of pair. Feel free to just look at the pictures, because I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said about this pattern already (although I will also say that Heather is a total rockstar!), unless you want to hear me talk about fitting and my butt and my crotch. If that’s the case, read on! I will start by discussing my fabric – the denim and all the jeans accoutrement were given …


The Sweatshirt That Shouldn’t Have Been a Flop

fuchsia and scuba sweatshirt

I love the pattern (having drafted it for myself and used it for another sweater that gets tons of wear). I love the fabrics (having made several pairs of leggings from the ridiculous scuba print that I adore). I love the color (me and fuchsia get along real well). I love sweatshirts (I wear a seriously high quotient of sweatshirts). And yet this combo of fuchsia and scuba sweatshirt is a flop. I really tried wearing it for a couple of weeks but I just gave up and sent it to the thrift store. It’s funny because I don’t think it looks that bad in the photos – but part of the reason is that I figured out exactly how the sweatshirt needs to sit to look right, and it only does that when I’m carefully posing for a photo. A big part of what was so successful in the first go …


Southwest Eyeblinder Dress

southwest eyeblinder dress

Occasions often inspire my sewing, and there’s no occasion quite like traveling to Borrego Springs, in the middle of the Anza Borego Desert, in SoCal, to visit my mom for a week. I love visiting the desert and I will admit to some slight disappointment when I arrived in the middle of the worst week of weather they’ve had all year! Fortunately, it warmed up by the end of the week and I got to wear my new dress. Of course I had a great time visiting my mom, regardless of weather. Just for the occasion, I sewed Vintage Simplicity pattern 6926, from 1976 (so it’s another Vintage Sewing Pledge). I bought the pattern this winter in New Zealand and happened to find the ridiculous/perfect cotton fabric at the thrift store two weeks ago. It’s so bright and patterned that it’s a little harsh on the eyes, which is exactly what …


Vincent and the Doctor Shawl

vincent and the doctor shawl

On the short list of things about which I will readily admit to being a nerd fangirl, Doctor Who tops the list. I’ve never done cosplay nor been to a Con, but I’m so excited to have knit this shawl as a subtle, every-day nod to my fangirl status and anyone that has seen Vincent and the Doctor can’t help but be in on my secret when they see this shawl. The yarn is hand dyed by Quaere Fibers and the colorway is actually called Vincent and The Doctor. I have my friend Beth (who was one of my amazing bridesmaids) to thank for the gift of the yarn. She got me in to Doctor Who and I got her in to knitting, so it seemed a very fitting gift :) She’s currently knitting herself a matching shawl and I can’t wait for us to get to wear our shawls …


A Couple of Sweatshirts

raglan sleeve cardigan

When I ordered both solid grey and maroon fleck sweatshirt fabrics from Minerva Crafts (free as part of their blogging network), I had grand visions of a colorblocked sweatsuit. When the fabrics arrived, I changed my mind because I didn’t like the two colors together like I thought I would (it’s so hard to order fabric online sometimes) and I realized that, now that I work at home, I really don’t need any more excuses to not actually get dressed for the day and sweatpants barely count as getting dressed. So, I rattled through about 400 different permutations of what these fabrics could become and I am absolutely thrilled with where I ended up! For the grey fabric, I used a vintage Butterick pattern from 1976, Butterick 6336. Although the pattern calls for a woven, I thought that a stable knit like the grey sweatshirt fabric (which has almost no …


Chambray Bruyere

chambray bruyere blouse

Chambray bruyere has a nice lilt to it. And I think it makes for a pretty nice blouse. I adored this pattern the moment Deer & Doe released it and, given that I need to make myself some winter clothes, it seemed logical for it to jump to the top of the queue when I finally got my hands on a copy. I struggled to decide on the fabric for this blouse and had considered trying it in a nice plaid flannel (since I’m obsessed with plaid flannel right now), but I was worried that with a bulky flannel the bottom of the blouse wouldn’t have had the right kind of drape for the volume. I happened to have some chambray in my stash that was almost enough for this blouse, so rather than continue to search for the absolute perfect fabric, I went stashbusting. I didn’t have quite enough, …


New Life for an Old Archer

rayon challis green archer 3

I call his heavy forest green rayon challis Archer old because I sewed it almost 2 years ago, but it’s got a lot of life left in it because I barely wore it in its original incarnation. Why? Because I had the genius idea to add 9″ inches to the bottom so that it could be a dress. Except for it never looked like I was wearing a dress – it looked like I was wearing a nightgown. Not good. So, rather than let it languish in my closet, I decided to cut off the length that I originally added. And *bam* I have a new blouse. Yay! As you can see, I originally sewed the blouse too large – although the Archer is meant to be loose fit, I have a ton of extra room in the shoulders and bust. I don’t know why I did that. To give …


Plaid Flannel Shirt

robert kaufman plaid flannel shirt 3

I haven’t stopped wearing this shirt since I made it. And that’s not even an exaggeration. I’ve pretty much found an excuse to put this shirt on every. single. day. since I made it. The shirt is luscious and comfy and flattering and it’s really all that I want to wear. My first finished project since officially moving back to Seattle and I’m channeling my wannabe grunge youth – except for I’ve grown up and so has my blouse. I’m super happy with this fabric. It’s a Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel and it’s just dreamy. It’s a great weight and feels so very cozy. I bought it at Nancy’s Sewing Basket which was my first foray into fabric shopping in Seattle! You can see that I spent an obsessive amount of time matching plaid on this blouse and I am so happy with the results. I cut everything on a …


Sproingy Grey Knit Cardigan

gray drape sweater back

This was some weirdly sproingy fabric to work with which might have had me grumbling in frustration at other times, but I was SO excited to be back to my sewing machine and drafting kitchen table after 4 months away that I would have happily suffered through just about any fabric weirdness! I don’t have a lot of winter clothing (since winter in San Francisco barely counts as winter. I know Seattle is relatively weather-tame, but it was below freezing for much of last week and that’s winter in my book!) and anyway most of my clothing is stuck somewhere in storage for the next few months (while we live in a furnished rental and then housesit for my snow-bird parents). So my nights and weekends are going to be full of sewing practical, warm items for a while. This drape cardigan kicks off my practical winter(-ish) sewing. Of course, …


Lightweight Lilac Linen Archer

siem reap purple archer

I brought a very small selection of clothes on our giant honeymoon. 4 months worth in one small backpack. So I carefully considered every single garment, bought a selection of fabric so that every piece coordinated, and then ran out of time to make most of the “perfect travel wardrobe” that I had envisioned. (I decided that finishing my bridesmaid dresses was more important). However, I did get the chance to sew an Archer blouse out of a lightweight lilac linen and it has definitely been getting its share of wear! It has been the perfect shirt for keeping the sun off of my pasty white fair skin. It’s so lightweight that it doesn’t add much warmth to wear and it’s light in color enough that it acts like a white shirt, reflecting the sun. And the great thing about traveling in linen (in my opinion) is that when it’s …


My Puffy Pink Wedding Dress

pink princess wedding dress

Here’s the moment I know you’ve all been waiting for – photos of my puffy pink wedding dress! When I bought the dress, I talked about my decision to buy instead of sew and what this dress represented for who I am and where I’m at in my life journey. And I’m delighted to say that this token example of flamboyance and self-expression was the perfect accompaniment for the start of my new life. I’m already happier and healthier than I was when I bought the dress (I was still in graduate school at the time) and I am SO excited about everything that lies ahead! There’s been some big bumps in my life journey getting me to where I am right now and who I am right now and this dress was everything I wanted it to be as a declaration that I’m silly, flamboyant, and unusual, and proud to be …


1940s Sailor Style Denim Skirt

1940s sailor style denim skirt

These pictures saved this skirt’s life. I made it up at the same time as my sailor girl shorts (much earlier this summer) from the same Wearing History pattern. And I put it on and looked at myself in the mirror and hated it. I liked the idea, I just thought that it was too big and stiff and that it made me look gigantic. So I put it into the WIP pile to turn it into a pencil skirt. At some point I grabbed it in a stack of stuff for a photoshoot, thinking it would be good to have the failed “before” pictures of the refashion. Except for looking at these pictures, I really like the skirt! Maybe it’s just the pretty photos and artsy sun flare that have me fooled, but all the issues that I had with this skirt in the mirror seem to have disappeared in …


I Am My Own Von Trapp Family

von trapp family outfit

Several sources of good ideas and grand intentions went into making this monstrosity of an outfit. First, I wanted to try sewing another Summer Concert Tee but thought it would be an interesting experiment to use a woven fabric. Second, I seem to be on an orange kick recently and this thrifted duvet cover in my stash that kept catching my eye. Third, Seattle summers are way warmer than San Francisco summers so I actually needed a couple more light-weight cotton pieces to get me through comfortably. Fourth, I’ve been working on high-stress (i.e. wedding) sewing all summer and I wanted a couple easy projects in contrast. Add all these influences together and what do you get? I am a one-person Von Trapp family. When I initially put on the outfit, I thought that I was drowning in fabric and it was hideous. Oversized top and full skirt in the …


Vintage Rayon Crepe Pleated Dress (Butterick 6927)

butterick 6927 vintage style dress

I feel pretty in pink. And not just any pink, this daring fuchsia is a dream come true for a girl who dreams in bright colors like I do! A light and floaty crepe rayon with a silk habotai lining means that this dress is as yummy to wear as it is to look at. The vintage silhouette is a little bit demure and the sassy color is anything but, and oh boy do I love being a walking contradiction. I used Butterick 6927 vintage reproduction (currently out of print) from a 1951 pattern.  I used a delightful rayon (viscose) crepe from Minerva Fabrics that they supplied for me as part of their blogger network, although it has unfortunately since sold out. They called the color cerise which I think is a prettier word than fuchsia (just as aubergine is prettier than eggplant. I need to learn the British-isms for all …


Baseball is a Summer Staple Dress

baseball staple dress 3

When we first arrived in our summer home, of course I got my sewing machine set up right away. But, despite (or perhaps because) of the giant list of things I have to sew this summer, all I wanted to do was whip up something silly and easy. Certainly influenced by the very summery weather (that I’m not actually used to after 7 years of San Francisco summers), I wanted a sundress. And, despite the fact that I kept out many nice cottons that would have done very well, I got it in my head that I absolutely had to turn this ridiculous 1980’s baseball print that I had found at a thrift store forever ago into a dress. Since I didn’t have much of this print, the dress was going to have to be something without a lot of volume. I ended up choosing the Staple Dress by April …


Red White and Blue Kat Sundress

red white and blue kat sundress

Happy 4th of July everybody! For the first time ever, as of yesterday, I live in a small town for the 4th of July! I’m so excited to go over to my mom’s house to set off fireworks on her beach! My man, who grew up in Southern California, is sooooo excited about the fireworks since he never got them as a kid and his enthusiasm is certainly contagious! Speaking of being in a small town, one day in to living here we had our first small-town experience. We had a massage therapist give us both massages today to help us shake some of the stress from what turned out to be a nightmare move (our moving truck no-showed on the day of our move!). The masseuse was talking with Adam about riding bikes and mentioned a man who lives on Tramp Harbor and works at the pharmacy on the …


Aubergine Hoodie Tunic V8951

vogue v8951 purple tunic hoodie

The highlight of the last couple weeks of my life? Not getting a subwoofer for my car. Not my brother’s 30th birthday. Not even buying a wedding band for my fiancé. It’s the fact that I can finally wear my leggings in public!! Okay, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but I’ve pretty much worn only this tunic since finishing it! I used Vogue 8951. The cover art didn’t do much for me (frankly it looked a little boring and, well, middle-aged). But I love hoodies as comfy clothes and it is tunic length (a must since leggings are not pants) and I figured I’d give it a shot. And I’m so glad I did! (It wasn’t until after I sewed it up that I remembered my friend Shams of Communing with Fabric had made a great version although, since she has the opposite body shape as I do, the final …


Pink Sequin Lace Shift Dress

pink sequin lace shift dress

Pink and lace and sequins, oh my! When told to make a fancy dress, lace seems appropriate. Sequins are also appropriate. And in my mind, pink is appropriate for every occasion. So when I found this delicious fabric that combined all three, it obviously needed to become a fancy dress! I underlined the dress with silk habotai (the lining that Minerva included with the kit was a bit heavier than I had in mind) so oh boy does it feel dreamy to wear. I bound all of the seams and the neck in the same habotai. I opted to leave the sleeves unlined for a little bit of sex appeal, but it’s quite subtle as the pink underlining isn’t too far away in color from my pink skin! Yes, my choice of vintage McCalls 9575 dress pattern was heavily influenced by Heather Lou’s lovely sequin shift. Fortunately, my sequins were much, much easier …


More Not Pants

blue and black and yellow leggings

Alright internet, are you ready to see some pictures of me not wearing pants? Okay, yeah, I did just show myself off in my new bikini, so maybe that’s a silly question. After recently discovering that leggings are in fact amazingly easy to sew and ZOMG SO COMFY to wear (when they actually fit you) (yeah, I’m a little late in the game), I went ahead and bought another 2 lengths of the same scuba fabric in different colorways so I could make some more of the exact same leggings. And now that I’m spending my time packing up our apartment, I’m pretty much only wearing these 3 pairs of leggings. I’d be even more ashamed if Adam didn’t travel so much, but he’s gone enough that nobody knows these are all I’m wearing right now and let’s just keep the secret between you and me (and now the whole …


Bombshell Bikini

bombshell bikini botton and twist top

I am a total bombshell in this swimsuit. The first time I sewed the Bombshell Bikini by Closet Case Files I made a few design decisions that left me feeling like an almost. But this time? Total Bombshell. So, what did I learn that made this one a rockin’ success? Better color choice, for sure. Instead of a pale pink the color of my skin, I picked an iridescent purple that I bought at Britex Fabrics that actually compliments my skin tone. I left off the halter top that (although I like halters sometimes) made me feel like a line-backer, emphasizing my strong shoulders in the wrong way. And, I made the bikini bottom version of the Bombshell Swimsuit pattern and drafted my own bikini top. I love the full coverage of the bottom and the slip of skin showing at my waist, an asset that I like to highlight. For …


My Rambo Skirt

rambo skirt

I try really hard to write catchy intros to my posts that tell about my life at the moment or about what inspired a project or something that will grab you, my dear reader, and make you want to know more. But I’m at a loss for words (which, those of you that have met me in person will know, is something that doesn’t happen often!). I don’t have any more to say about The Rambo Project that I haven’t already said, so I’m just going to jump in and show you this skirt! By now you might recognize the stripes on the waistband as having been cut from a Rambo III turban. (And if you don’t yet, by the end of this month you sure will!). The front button placket also came from the turban. I had such a hard time figuring out what to do with this weird fabric, but …


Prefontaine Shorts for Perfect Pattern Parcel #3

prefontaine shorts pink velour and gray

I know that I just sewed a pair of shorts all while talking about how I don’t wear shorts and here I am sewing up another pair of shorts, but bear with me on this one. While I may not wear shorts out in public, a pair of comfy shorts is the best possible garment for cleaning the house. I’d rather wear a skirt if I’m just loafing around, but shorts just make more sense for cleaning. So that’s what these are, my new “I’m getting stuff done around the house” shorts. I had a pair of ratty denim cutoffs that were my “get things done” shorts, but they’ve seen better days. Funny story – they started as a pair of jeans that belonged to my locker mate in 6th grade. She decided that they weren’t cool enough (she was one of the cool kids and didn’t have a choice who …


Dinosaur Dress

Dinosaur Print Maxi

I would like to induce you to my new favorite dress (Yes, I probably say that a lot. But in terms of how much this dress is getting worn, it is a true winner). It is an empire waist maxi dress in bright dinosaur print jersey. Yes. All of those things that I love. Empire waist. Maxi dress. Bright. Jersey. DINSOAURS!!! The pattern is Simplicity 1804. Quick and easy to sew. Flattering. Comfy. Nothing remarkable about the pattern but it’s great for what it is – a versatile knit dress pattern. (Oona also just blogged a pretty version of this dress if you want to see it on a different body and with fewer dinosaurs, although why you would want to see fewer dinosaurs, I don’t know.) The fabric was given to me by Minerva Crafts as part of their blogger network and the supplies are available from them as a kit. I do …


These Are Not Pants

Pink and orange tribal print leggings

I am a firm believer that leggings are not pants. But these leggings are doing everything in their power to convince me otherwise. Holy cow are these comfortable! And bright! And happy! And comfortable!!! I honestly haven’t had a pair of leggings up to this point that actually fit me well (I mean, come on, they’re super stretchy, what is there to fit, right? Wrong. They’re never long enough and always give me a slight wedgy. Not cool.) I drafted these (check out Miranda of One Little Minute’s tutorial on drafting your own leggings for a great how-to) and sewed them with 1″ negative ease out of scuba knit (it was labeled with the generic label of performance knit where I bought it, but I’ve seen the same material elsewhere with the slightly more specific label of scuba). I’m afraid these are going to initiate a complete revamping of my daily wardrobe. I …


My Ph.D. Dress

covered buttons and piping on ceylon

I did it. It’s done. I finished my doctorate. On Friday I gave my exit talk so I am now officially SeamstressErin Ph.D. After 7 long years, I can shout to the world that I am doctor! I have worked long and hard and am shouting to the rooftops my accomplishment because I am so dang proud of myself. I want to take the chance to reflect a bit on my journey and, of course, share the dress that I made for the occasion. In the sweet words of my fiance, “Who else do you know who both: 1) has a PHD in molecular biology, 2) gave her exit talk in a dress she made the night before?” I’ve grown in so many ways over the last 7 years. Of course I’ve developed as an academic and a scientist. Graduate school is not easy for anyone. I had a particularly …


Sew For Victory Sailor Girl Shorts

Wearing History Sailor Girl Shorts

I had big ideas for Sew for Victory this year, but ended up with one pair of shorts. Fortunately, they are darn cute, darn flattering, and I’m pretty darn happy with them (although definitely a little jealous of the Pinhouse Playmate for making a much more awesome version!). Generally, I abhor shorts. I’m not one to judge them on other people, but I really, really hate the way they look on me. The only pairs you’ll catch me wearing are heavy and layered for winter (and both of those I actually just donated because I found I didn’t wear them at all this winter). But something about the high waist and full leg on these takes them out of mental short status and makes them feel like a skirt, so I’m sold. These shorts are from the Wearing History 1940’s sailor girl pattern. I intended to make the full shorts, …


Orange and Turquoise Howlite Necklace

orange and turquoise howlite necklace

Turquoise and orange. Not a color combo I often rock. I don’t wear much orange since it’s not great with my skin. But it’s so bright and happy and attention grabbing, especially paired with blue, that I’m determined to add some orange into my life this summer. (No, it’s not just because I want to be Oona, but that is one small part of it ;) Like my pink skulls necklace, the beads on this necklace are made from howlite, a stone that is commonly dyed to resemble other more expensive stones like turquoise. The pendant was from a necklace that I bought at a thrift store aeons ago, whose fake leather cord promptly broke, and so the pendant sat in my bead box for a very long time. I got a little excited and ended up buying a LOT of howlite turquoise beads (as you can clearly see). I …


Spring Retro Cotton Pajama Set

cotton 1960s pajama set front simplicity 4179

With these pajamas I hereby declare it is Spring! I’m putting away my oversized flannel pajamas (even if I do have a couple cute pairs) and wearing this adorable vintage style pajama set. While I am certainly usually guilty of wearing worn out oversize tee shirts and dumpy sweatpants to bed, I like have pajamas that make me feel pretty and composed when I wear them, perfect for wearing when traveling or with company visiting. Or just to celebrate that Spring is here! I used vintage Simplicity 4179 to sew these pajamas. The pattern was one size large for me so I went ahead and cut it as it, figuring that it didn’t matter if it was a bit big since it’s just pajamas. Also, my broad shoulders don’t usually fit well in vintage patterns. Well, there was some funky fitting that resulted. Somehow it’s like the front fits well …


Pink and Black Skull Necklace

skulls pink lava beads

Clearly, I can’t start one project without diving into another handful at the same time. Since I had to buy some beads and dig out my beading supplies to make my pearl necklace, I clearly had to buy other beads and start making some other necklaces too! I really won’t complain about having too much inspiration and I won’t even complain about not having enough time to follow through on all of my inspirations. I’ll just share this fun new necklace, how about that? I bought these cute little skulls and fuchsia beads at the same time without actually intending for them to go together. But when I started playing around with ideas on my beading tray, it was obvious that they had to go together because, while I do enjoy a dose of the macabre, I enjoy it much more when it’s mixed with bright pink happy things! Since …


Pink and Green and Floral and Sexy Ceylon

colette patterns ceylon dress pink and green

The sexiest attribute that I can imagine? Self confidence. Forget body shape, size, height, musculature, eyes, lips, whatever. If I can see that someone feels confident in their own skin, I am attracted to them. This dress is my Sew Sexy Sewalong dress because I feel hot in it therefore I am hot in it. While such a modest dress may not be what most people think when they think “sexy”, and honestly, it’s totally not on my first train of thought either, this dress makes me feel so good! The shape is great at highlighting my attributes (defined waist, slender neck),  minimizing my not-as-strong points (hips), and giving the illusion of other strong points (bust gathers FTW). And have I mentioned that it’s a pink and green floral print dress! I love pink! I love pink and green! I love floral print! I love dresses! (Enough with all of …