2015 Superlatives


It's that time of the year again.  Time to look through all that I've made and decide which were winners and which were, well, not winners.  First up:


For me, definitely the culotte jumpsuit.  There are no words to tell you how much I love this outfit.  It's a little bit different without being totally out there.  It's fun to wear.  It's easy to dress up or dress down.  It's really just fantastic.  And all of its awesomeness makes up for the fact that it's a tad bit of a pain to go to the bathroom in.

And for the little ones, I'd say that this little dress was a hit.  Knit dresses with long sleeves are few and far between at times, so having this one around is fantastic.


Well, I'm sure that I have some failed items for me somewhere around my house from this year, but I never got around to blogging about them, so we'll just pretend that they  don't exist.

As for the kids, this little sweatshirt is sadly neglected since I miscalculated some measurements when turning the Joey Dress into a sweatshirt.  I've tried to make C wear it but she's a stubborn little thing, so in the mean time it just sits in her drawer waiting for a little love.


The Alder Dress!  I made two this year and I love each of them, although this one is definitely my favorite because it's longer and, therefore, easier to wear.  Plus, it's made out of some really awesome fabric.

And for the little ones, I'm going to stick with my pick from last year - the Hanami - since I made it 4 more times this year!   I still think it's a fantastic pattern and I now love it even more since adopting the modification to shorten the bodice ever so slightly.  What can I say, when I find something I like, I stick with it.  My husband should be very happy to hear that.


Remember way back in the day when I said that I wanted to make a bed?  Well, I made one (with the assistance of my dad)!  When he asked me what I wanted for my birthday last year I told him that all I wanted was to have him help me build a bed and being the kind man that he is, he agreed.  We built it all in one exhausting day but it took me about 9 months to get around to finishing it.  It is solid and ridiculously heavy and I love everything about it.  Oh, and it's the Farmhouse Bed from Ana White's book.

And for the itty bitty kids, I choose the itty bitty kitty dress.  It's so ridiculous, yet so fabulous.  And it suits her perfectly (even if she is doing some major mean-mugging in these pictures).


And as for the coming year, my only resolution is to honor where I am.  I've had a bit of a difficult time transitioning from a competent professional to a complete newbie and more than once (okay, many, many times) I've found myself frustrated at my performance, my lack of progress, and where I'm at in the learning process.  But when I look at it objectively, I know that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be - at the beginning of a life-long process of learning a new profession.  And so in the coming year I hope to stop fighting the process and instead, honor where I am.


Superlatives from years past.




Watson Bras Galore


I've been a bit of a lingerie making machine around here lately, thanks to a series of fortunate events.

1.  After several months of being put off of dying lingerie supplies because I didn't have the "right" dye, I said screw it and decided to give it a go using regular old Dylon dye that's available at just about every big box craft store.  It's probably not the cheapest option for someone trying to dye a lot of fabric, but for a newbie like me, it worked perfectly.  As an aside, from my extensive (read: five minute) internet research, apparently the secret to dying nylon is using acid, so I added a cup of vinegar to my dye bath to make it acidic.  It seemed to work just fine although some elastics did take up the dye more than others - most likely due to their different fabric contents.

2. After fretting about not being able to find any lingerie supplies locally, I found that the Pacific Fabrics in Bellevue offers several fabrics that can be used for bra making.  In fact, they have quite a large supply of miliskin and stretch mesh that works perfectly for bra making.  The stretch mesh has reduced stretch in one direction so I used that direction to support the cradle and I used the other direction to make the bands.  I did, however, have to purchase notions off of the internet (I purchased a bunch of them in bulk about a year ago).  The elastics, bra strapping, and hook and eye fabric are all from Sew Sassy while the metal rings and slides are from Bra Essentials (I bought them all in gold so I wouldn't have to worry about matching them to certain fabrics and I'm really happy with this decision).

3. After spending the last several months in scrubs for school, I realized that I didn't need a structured bra and a soft, comfy one is an awesome choice for everyday wear.

I should note that since my last bra making bonanza, I've had some failed attempts and I've learned a couple things from them.  Like the fact that using a super stretchy spandex (like miliskin) for the entire bra is a bad idea (it ended up huge and with no structure).  I then tried to make an entire bra out of power mesh and that ended up on the opposite end of the spectrum (like a bullet-proof bra).  Trial and error, people.

Okay, now on to the bras (all of them Watson bras)!  I made the same size as last time with no modifications.  Instead, this time I tried to focus on using the right fabrics and improving my lingerie sewing skills.  They're definitely getting better, but to be honest, they leave a lot to be desired.  Oddly enough, the part that I have the hardest time with is sewing the tops of the cups to the rings.  On almost every bra I made it looks like a severely inebriated person completed this step.  And there's no picking those stitches out once you double stitch them in!  I know that because I tried and I ended up ripping a small hole in the fabric.  You can just imagine the sounds that came out of my mouth as I did that.

As for the undies, I used the free So Zo undies pattern that I've used for years.  I altered the pattern to use with lingerie fabric rather than fold over elastic.  I've heard good things about the Watson undies pattern and someday I may get around to trying them out, but for the time being I'm really happy with the So Zo pattern.  The undies are made with either all miliskin (with some cotton for the crotch lining) or miliskin for the front with mesh on the back (you know, for all those times I really want people to be able to see my butt).

What To Sew When Your Fabric Goes MIA


The other day I woke up in a house with no children and a fabulous idea of what I wanted to sew.  Unfortunately, I also woke up with a killer cold and, despite searching high and low, I couldn't find the fabric that I was looking for (it remains MIA).  In the end, though, the missing fabric ended up being fortuitous because it led me back to this beautiful cotton lawn that my sister brought back from Pakistan a couple years ago.  It was a little over two yards of fabric but it was also on the narrow side so there were some definite limitations as to what I could make with it.  Also, it had a really beautiful border print so I wanted to make sure that it was incorporated in some way.  In the end I decided to go back to the Scout Tee pattern with some minor modifications.  I started by lengthening the sleeves to around 3/4 length and I cut the sleeves against the grain to incorporate the border pattern into the sleeve ends.  I also lengthened the body considerably (maybe four inches?  I'm terrible about keeping track of these things).  I attempted to make more of a shirt tail hem on the sides but I didn't do a drastic enough modification so it's barely noticeable.

Most of the seams are French seamed since the fabric is ever so slightly sheer but my sleeves are just serged in.  A couple  years ago I followed Jen's tutorial on French seaming sleeves, but honestly, I found it to be a major pain in the butt.

And that's it, although I'm debating whether I should have made a size four instead of a size two (like I have in the past).  My body has definitely changed over the last couple years and I feel like I'm still figuring out what sizes to sew and what modifications to make.  I'd like to thank growing older and having two kids for these fitting issues.

On a slightly more humorous note, I had Ben retake a couple of these pictures because my posture was so bad in them.  He told me, "That should be your New Year's resolution.  Better posture."
I told him, "It was.  Last year."
To which he replied, "How's that working for you?"

Not so good, I guess.