Wrap dress update

I wore my new wrap dress on Saturday to my Sorority chapter meeting. I got quite a few compiments. Its really comfortable and due to the construction, the wrap part has full coverage, so you don’t have to worry about any “wardrobe malfunctions!” I really like the 3/4 length sleeves, I think it really adds to the fall look.

I also found out that I won the reader’s choice contest sponsored by Fabric Mart. I’m super excited! Contests really motivate me to get stuff done in a time frame. The prize pack includes: quilting pins, two Kwik Sew patterns and Successful Serging by Beth Baumgartel. Check on the write up and the challenge winner here on Fabric Mart’s blog.

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All in all I’m really pleased with this dress and excited that I cut and sewed a dress in 1 day. Having a cutting table has really streamlined and improved my sewing/finishing workflow tremendously! I have a couple more wrap dress patterns I’m itching to try now!

UT fall fashion contest

A true glutton for punishment, I decided around the same time as the wrap dress contest, to try my luck hand at another contest. Urban Threads (UT) is hosting a fall fashion contest. Basically you have to use at least one of their embroidery designs and either upcycle or create a custom article of clothing. Winner gets $50 gift certificate to UT


I’ve been wanting to remake (upcycle) this black maxi skirt I’ve had for a while in my stash. Due to my weight loss, a lot of clothes have been given away (I’m pretty lazy to take stuff in unless it’s a) really easy or b) something I love). But I had this maxi that was super comfortable, but way to big in the waist, that I wanted to upcycle into a maxi dress. All summer long in fact…

So I decided to use the Jocole cross-over tunic pattern with the optional waistband panel. Originally I had thought I would go super colorful with the top being turquoise and purple, but after learning more about my top hourglass shape when planning my spring/summer capsule, I learned I should wear dark, subdued stuff on top and bright, bold stuff on bottom.


I had left over black cotton interlock from RJ’s baseball shirt and purple interlock from either his shirt or my V-neck t-shirt. So I decided to keep the top black and add purple waistband and binding. My idea this summer and reason for all the colorfulness, was I wanted to use the MomoDini peacock embroidery set I bought a while back.

I also had a couple peacock designs from UT as well. So far I’ve put a big peacock on the back and am working out placement for the rest.

Seahawks scrubs


My charge nurse made these really spiffy Seattle Seahawks scrub tops.


At first she was only making tops, so I decided to buy fabric and make my own. I remembered seeing a pic of scrubs a lady had made for her daughter using one of the tunic tops and the Judy fancy pants by Sis Boom. I decided I would try my hand at that pattern.


Loosen  the areathe pants in navy blue p.y blend broadcloth that was the thickest I could find. I decided to line the pockets and do the facings in a bright green Kona cotton for contrast and to patch the top. I cut a 10 and they are a little snug around the calves and a little in the hips when I get in the awkward positions I find myself in at work. I cut a 30″ inseam, which is just about right for me. I sewed in the darts at the back of the pants and also chose to do the partial elastic waistband with drawstrings (neat little trick). I top stitches my outseams with a twin needle and bright green thread. Oh and I added a single patch pocket to the right bum. I used the size 10 pocket from Jocole’s skinny pants. Trying to determine placement was the trickiest, but I kind of laid my back pant leg on top of the Jocole patterns and flipped down the top of the pant until I got the right angle and drew a line across. Does that make sense? Anywho I also lined this pocket in bright green and did the twin needle treatment.


After seeing these close ups from my husband, I see I have some fitting challenges to fix. It seems like I always have extra fabric in the front of my pants, I’m not sure if I need to lower the rise or change the shape? Any tips? On the back side I have definite drag lines, I think cutting the next size up will help a lot, plus it will loosen the calf and hip area with a bit more ease.

Wrap dress contest

So like a true procrastinator I’m externally motivated by deadlines, especially last minute ones:) Just my nature I suppose. I’ve followed along with the contestants on Fabric Mart’s Fabricista Fashion Challenges I think since the beginning. They are now on their 3rd contest.

This week’s challenge was to create a wrap dress inspired by Diane Von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress. Participants were encouraged to view DVF and look for inspiration. The cool thing with this contest was that they encourage their readers to sew along with their own projects.

The contestants criteria was:

We will be judging on a 1-10 scale (10 being the highest) using the following criteria: 

Creativity – Tell us how you were inspired by Diane Von Furstenberg? Don’t forget to share photos of what inspired you.

Craftsmanship – Did you put a lot of care into the construction? Top-stitching straight, seams match, careful overall construction, etc?

Fit – Does the wrap dress fit you? For example, does the wrap section (at the waist) hit you in a place that is flattering? Does it fit appropriately at the bust? Is the length flattering? Tell us about changes you made to make it flattering for your body.

Presentation – While we totally understand not everyone has a professional camera and the perfect backdrop for photographing their creations, (Me included!!) you are in front of a world of other sewers. Make yourself look presentable. Submit a photo of the front, back and side view of the garment, as well as a “presentation photo” (this should be the best photo!) Detail photos are also requested so we can be better judges. So if you do some embellishing or a specific technique, zoom in and share with us! Not all the photos may be used in the blog post, but for judges reference.

My inspiration:


I really liked the bold graphic prints, in blue; the classic wrap top. I was drawn to the A-line silhouette, but since I was using a polyester knit, I knew that even if I increased the width of the skirt to an A-line it wouldn’t make much of a difference in volume (since it’s a light to medium weight knit I was using). I was inspired by the 3/4 length sleeves, which I thought would be good for fall. I also decided to be a bit daring with the skirt length and go a bit shorter than I usually do, so I cut on the petite line for skirt length.

I have a couple wrap dress/top patterns now, but the simplest looked to be the Magnolia wrap dress by Seamingly Smitten. I decided on 3/4 length sleeves (has options for sleeveless, short, 3/4 or long sleeves) and shortened the skirt to the petite length. I didn’t make any other pattern modifications. I cut the XL based on my bust measurement. I used a tribal print poly knit in blue, black and white. It’s a bit busy, but I cut the fabric so there were more vertical lines to slim:) The stretch was about the same on both grain lines.

I think my dress turned out well, especially my first time making this pattern. I’m exciting that I got it done in 1 day:), it fits, and I entered the contest. I’m looking forward to making more wrap dresses (want to try a woven with the A-line skirt like my other inspiration pics).

DVF inspired wrap dress

My wrap dress is done!

Kids’ back to school capsule

Still haven’t made much movement on the kid’s capsules. They got a lot of back to school clothes from other family members, so I think I haven’t been as motivated. Or I just got distracted with other projects.

On a better note, I have sewn one top for each girl and it’s reversible, so I’m thinking that counts as 1, right? The outside fabric is cute knit that is white with mini red hearts all over, the reversible side is different for each girl. J’s is a turquoise blue and T’s is deep pink/magenta. I also have traced out quite a few patterns and have some sketchy notes on the items I plan on sewing them. Both girls were really happy with their tops, so that is good.

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So although, the girls are already back to school, I know they will continue to need clothes throughout the year and that is my new aim. Sewing them stuff for their activities/special occasions and further on in the year.


Fall capsule planning

So I’ve decided that I want my Fall 2015 capsule to feature grey, navy, purple, with some accents of red, bright pink and possibly some turquoise. I really want to focus on fitting and creating some TnT patterns for myself. I’m way behind like always, and I’ve gotten distracted also planning Halloween costumes:)

I may have bit off more than I can chew though because I decided to me less “selfish” with my self-care sewing and make some stuff for others. I wanted/planned on doing  a back to school capsule for the girls, but they ended up getting so many clothes from other people that it just seemed like overkill. But yeah, I totally bought a bunch of new patterns for this plan….I am a serious pattern stasher/hoarder (it’s even worse now that I buy so many digital. So far I’ve sewn a total of 2 tops for them, 1 each of the reversible peplum by Cole’s Creations, so I guess it’s more like 2 tops in 1. I do plan on sewing them a few pieces, just probably not a whole capsule and definitely didn’t make it before school started.

So far my personal inspiration for fall is coming straight off the pages of White House Black Market. I adore their clothing. Great fit, nice fabrics and good quality. I’m really loving their transitional/fall catalogs with lots of grey and white and long, lean lines with layers. I’m bumping the grey cozy cardigan knock off to my fall capsule.

So far I want to make:

-winter white wide leg pants (Jocole with inseam pockets)

-wrap dress

-pencil skirt

-Fit Nice sloper top

-Fit Nice sloper pants

-Basic tops/shells

-Leather look leggings

-Blue and white dress for Zeta events

-Blazer or coat (possibly tackle this)

So as you can see this is panning out to be much more free form planning that spring/summer capsule. But I am just going to go with the flow and see what happens. Since I’ll have a lot of neutral, basic pieces it should work.


August projects

Haven’t started any capsules yet…but I’ve been sewing random projects:)

Wet bags

diy sewn wet bags

CKC Men’s “Brody” Baseball tee


Finished this UFO vest (just needed buttonholes for about oh 2 years



Cloth pads (a new adventure for me and I got a new gadget, a Kam snap setter)


Wrap top, pattern is Sew so easy & free on Craftsy


Fall capsule wardrobe 2015 planning

I can’t believe fall is in the air. I’m not ready to let summer go! It’s been a gorgeous spring and summer in Washington! As a Leo, I love the sun! The fall and winter are not my favorites I tell you. Being native to the Northwest (USA), means that fall and winter are usually wet, and rainy. We don’t typically have the cool change of fall leaves that other drier climates have. We have evergreens that stay green in the winter and the foilage that does change usually ends up in the bottom of puddles all mucked up.

Ok, rank over, so the folks that are a part of the capsule group on FB/FreeNotion, led by Becca DuVal are in full swing. Like they have stuff planned and are sewing those things. Um me not so much, did I mention I just finished swimsuits for the family? Oh, well I’m enjoying my spring/summer capsule. And I’m pretty excited that I basically finished my outfits and have been wearing the heck out of them. The best part is how surprised people are when I tell them I made it!

Some folks have joined in on a capsule wardrobe for their little ones. Great idea by the way! I’m trying not to over commit but the oldest is really interested in the capsule concept and as an almost 12 year old, she is really coming into her own fashion style. The little one isn’t so little, she will be 9 tomorrow, yikes! She has some definite opinions on clothing let me tell you. So I really want to sew at least a few outfits for them that can be mixed and matched.

Anywho here’s my plan for fall capsule wardrobe 2015:

So far I know I will be rolling my grey wide leg pants, grey cozy cardigan knock off, my black cowl neck top, purple v-neck and hopefully if I get it finished I will have a purple wrap top.

I want to focus on perfecting my fitting techniques and getting some great TnT( Tried and True) patterns of basics. I know I need pants, maybe some long skirts, more tops, some layering pieces like sweaters, cardigans, etc. I’m thinking my color pallette will be similar except I will be retiring turquoise (although you will probably see J’s collection, she loves blues, greens, turquoises, etc) and maybe adding dark pink or fucshia. I think most of my palette will be grey, black, purple, navy and maybe some tan. I love bold colors, so I’m think along the lines of jewel tones. I’ve been getting inspiration from White House Black Market’s early fall catalog and the Vogue Transitional booklet from their swatch subscription.

So am I missing anything? What are you sewing for fall?

Infinity Dress Hack & Wide leg pants

So summer’s not completely over, at least here in Washington because I haven’t had my birthday. For me until my birthday passes, I can’t possibly think about fall! Ha! Besides we’ve had a record hot spring and summer! And I’ve loved every minute of it.

So I had completed all but 2 of my spring/summer capsule pieces (wide leg pants and wrap top) and I pretty much didn’t think I would get to them. While I haven’t been sewing lately, I’ve been doing some massive decluttering, re-organizing, and cleaning. Plus I have set up my newest baby, my cutting table. A glorious 32″x80″of cutting space set on 2 storage cubes, at a lovely, very ergonomic 37″.

So all my hard, non-sewing work has paid off, I was able to cut and sew an infinity dress (to wear to an event this Saturday) and also the Jocole wide leg pants! All because I’m more organized and have my very functional cutting table. It’s not very pretty, but it’s beautiful to me!

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So I hacked this infinity dress tutorial, by See Cate Create and the Jocole yoga A-line skirt. The best part is I only used 2.5 yeards of fabric for it! The straps are a bit shorter, but plenty long enough to wrap to my heart’s content. Most of the infinity dress tuts I’ve come across the years have a full circle skirt, which we all now takes a ton of fabric! Well I used a less full a-line to give a nice balance to my top, but maximize my lack of fabric too. I sewed this in a royal blue (remember it’s my Sorority color) ity knit. I also made the optional modesty tube top, cuz I can’t leave the house with out a bra and the infinity dress without it, doesn’t really wrap modestly enough to cover a bra.


I also sewed the Jocole wide leg pants. Which is pretty much perfect, because it is finally cooling down this week and everyone else in the capsule groups are working on their fall capsules. So this will perfectly roll into fall.

I really like sewing Jocole patterns, Jodi always does a great job with clear instructions, great patterns (lots of options and love the tester pics), and a supportive FB group. I made these in a bottom-weight knit, with a little rib, looks like baby corduroy almost but it has a bit of stretch. I did have to take in the front rise just like in the yoga pants. I think it needs a bit more tweaking in the front, but over all I love these pants. They are super comfy with the yoga waistband (I did the narrow) and very practical with the patch pockets (also an option to have in-seam pockets). The regular 30″inseam is perfect for me. I love that you can make this pattern in knits or wovens. I went down to size Medium (I sewed a Large with the Jocole yoga capris and had to take a bit in from the hips, thighs and front crotch), but if I do this in a knit again I may even try a small for a more fitted look.

So now I’m off to finish my wrap top! And then on to fall planning…I’m planning on sewing some mini capsules for the girls for school, so remind me not to procrastinate. Hahaha

Finished swimsuits

handmade swimsuits

Finally finished the suits before the summer was completely over!

I finally finished these suits! I wanted to take them with us to our family reunion in July, so I was up super late (before I had finished packing much to my husband’s dismay). Just to get these done.

Of course it was cold and even rained while we were visiting Helena, MT. Sooo after that hard procrastination work,  we didn’t debut them. Oh well, I am a champion procrastinator so this was the motivation I needed to finish the suits.

They’re not perfect, but I’m happy with how they turned out! The last one looks a lot better than the first (I’ll let you guess the first one lol). I’m happy to cross sewing swimsuits off my bucket list. I can’t wait to make more!

Patterns I used:

Girls: Cole’s Creations Bowlicious

Mine: Kwik Sew 3239 (View A & E)

RJ’s: Sew it Like a Man Square leg swimming trunks