Archive for ‘Plans’

April 20, 2012

Inspiration: Maxi Dresses

First off, thank you! This has been one hell of a week and all of your comments and compliments on my red shorts have really lifted my spirits. Our blogging/sewing community is amazing and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. I was completely beaten by some fabric this week and it had me wondering last night why I even bother to sew. I was in a dark place, let me tell you. We’ve all been there and I think that’s why it’s so nice when we can celebrate our successes together. So, thank you!

Despite my deepest desire to stay in bed this morning, I pulled myself together and went to class. Well, the universe needed me to prove that I wanted to be there! I had two delays on the light rail. The first one was caused by a very loud and very violent passenger who decided to start something with another person on the car. When the Muni security officer tried to escort the woman off the train she slapped him. So once we got back up and running not two stops later, our second delay came in the form of a power failure and we all wound up on the platform for 30 minutes while they cleared the tracks. An hour late, I finally made it to class! Thankfully, I didn’t turn around because I had such a great lesson. I finished my final draft for my spring wardrobe wildcard – a maxi dress! There was even some free jersey fabric and I started to sew up a trial run.

Last month, the lovely Ina from Sky Turtle emailed me about doing a project together. Somehow, in the midst of tossing around ideas, we both mentioned that we’d love to wear maxi dresses/skirts but don’t feel able because we’re short. I’m 5’1 so you can imagine how impossible it is to find a maxi dress that fits me in stores. However, I’ve always felt that a person can wear any style of clothing as long as the fit and proportions are right for their body. To test this, we both agreed to make a maxi dress or skirt and unveil the results on Friday the 27th. Until then, I wanted to show you what’s been inspiring my design.

                     Source: via Elizabeth on Pinterest


For my garment, I wanted something casual and effortlessly sexy. Right away I knew I was after a flared skirt in a knit fabric. It took about three drafts to finally settle on a where the flare should begin. My first draft had the flare start at the bust. Without much definition at the waist, this design swallowed me and I began to experiment with really body conscious bodices that flared at the waist.


With so much length, I knew that this wasn’t the time to be modest up top so I started drafting scoop necks with a slight razor back.

One of my biggest sources of inspiration has been Cirque Du Bebe‘s version of Jamie Christina’s Mission Maxi. She looks so stunning and that print is to die for!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my inspiration. Be sure to check over at Sky Turtle to see what Ina is going to be making!

April 5, 2012

Upcoming Projects

I’ve been busy with some school projects so I haven’t been working on my spring wardrobe projects this week. That isn’t to say I haven’t been thinking about them.

Up Next:

  • Banksia Blouse – I was pretty frustrated after making two muslins for this blouse. I’ve since come around and I’m ready to tackle it again. I think my first step is to go up a size and to drop the bust dart 1 1/2″ and see where that leads me. I’m using a reddish version of this Valori Wells linen blend which is a little heavier than I would like for a blouse. If nothing else it will work for a great wearable muslin (besides, I picked it up at a steal).
  • Shorts – I’ve finally given in and accepted that I’m not going to find a sunny yellow stretch twill for my spring pants. Instead, I found some lovely red twill (not stretch) in the remnant bin at Stone Mountain Daughter Fabrics (where I also found that lovely silk charmeuse) that I have slated for shorts. I’ve made up a muslin from Burda but the instructions are so lacking that I might save this pattern for when I have more experience. Luckily, Colette just announced that their next line up will have a pair of shorts in it! I’m hoping that the shorts have a fly zipper because I would love the help from their super clear instructions.
  • Dress – I think this aforementioned trip to Stone Mountain Daughter Fabrics was the most successful in store shopping I’ve ever had. In the sale section was this gorgeous silk cotton for 1/2 off ($6 a yard!!!) I bought up the remainder (3 yards) and have replaced the rayon challis that I purchased online. The print looks like paint splatters in a pastel version of my palette. I am so in love. I start working on my final dress project at school this week and this dress will be part of that.

I’m hoping to work a little more breathing room in to my schedule so that I can catch up on all of my favorite blogs. I swear to you that my reader has something like 500 unread posts. I’m ashamed but most of all I just miss you all! In the meantime, tell me about your favorite project from March!

March 19, 2012


Sadly, I spent most of last week in bed with migraines. I tend to get them with seasonal changes like extreme temperature or humidity shifts. This usually means that I get a migraine two or three times a year. However, this spring has been brutal with temperatures climbing to the mid 70’s one day and 50’s the next. It was the rain that brought them on last week. Today is my day off and my first day without a headache or residual weakness and I’ve spent most of it with some very slippery silk charmeuse.

Probably not the best choice when your looking for a relaxing project! My first time working with charmeuse ended in disaster but I’m hoping with some patience I can churn out a beautiful blouse.

I hope your week is starting out well! Any fun projects you’re working on?

February 27, 2012

Patterns and Plans

I was struck down last weekend by the dreaded stomach flu and then by a case of lethargy that lasted until this weekend. Although I didn’t manage to get in any blogging done, I did spend some time sewing (or rather drafting). Several of you asked in my last post whether I’d be using self drafted or commercial patterns so I thought it was time to give you some more details on where I’m headed with these garments.

Before I get started, I want to take a moment and thank Alexandra once again for such an amazing guest post. I love that she arranged the assessment chronologically and I’ll admit I had never given much thought to the order that I go about making alterations. I think it will help me from feeling overwhelmed and drastically cut down the time I spend assessing a garment! If you enjoyed her post, be sure to check out her blog where you find more great tips and tutorials on fit!

Now for some plans:


  • Clover from Colette Patterns – I’m both nervous and excited to make pants. Since I’m unsure if they’ll be flattering, I don’t want to spend too much on fabric. My first fabric purchase had some lovely yellow stretch herringbone twill yardage but unfortunately I was notified that it was sold out a few days later. I’m still hunting around for a similar fabric but I’m having doubts that I’ll find some especially in my budget.


  • Self Draft – I realized I haven’t used my skirt sloper in ages so I’ve dusted it off and drafted a straight mini skirt. I’ll be using a teal wool blend gabardine purchased online. I was pleasantly surprised that the fabric was the exact color I’ve been looking for but unfortunately it has a terrible feel to it – really plastic-y. Yuck! Luckily I’m planning on adding a lining attached at the hem with a jump pleat and I think this will make the skirt more comfortable to wear.


  • Self Draft – For this garment, I’m on the hunt for a lightweight silk with the same hue as my wool gabardine but in a lighter shade. (Am I using my color terminology correctly here? I tried at least.) I’d like sleeveless blouse with a flare at the bust that extends to the hem. The back will feature a keyhole opening to add a little detail to the otherwise plain garment. It should be something airy and perfect for those late spring days.
  • Self Draft – Last summer I made a sleeveless blouse from cotton lawn while studying dart manipulation at school. The front features a yoke with gathering at the bust with a simple back. It’s been well loved and I’d like to make another one but this time with tencel jersey. I’ve never drafted for a knit fabric so I expect a bit of a challenge!  Although the front has more details, I think it will be the back that gives me the most trouble.
  • Banksia Blouse from Megan Nielsen – I made up a muslin two weeks ago for this blouse and am having a horrid time fitting it. The first muslin correction focused on shoulder seam placement and high dart. I’m rather perplexed by this dart – if you look at the blouse on the model you’ll notice that the dart is high on her as well. I know others have mentioned something similar with the Darling Ranges Dress so perhaps it is intentional but I’ll admit that  I can’t figure out why it would be drafted this way. Is there a reason for having the legs and apex higher than the actual bust? Out of curiosity I contacted Megan so we’ll see what she has to say on the issue. Anyways… the second muslin corrected the back armhole length (lengthened at the cross back) and shortened the waist. Even after all this work, I’m left with a very uncomfortable garment and I’m about to pull another Truffle and draft the thing myself. I’ve decided that I wouldn’t regret purchasing the pattern because Meghan does include two ways to add a button placket and I’ve been wanting to know how to do this for a while now.

Once I have the patterndown I plan to make two versions:

    1. A sleeveless version in the linen fabric I purchased recently. By the way, I was extremely happy with this purchase. The background is more pink than I had been expecting but the print is lovely and it’s a very nice linen. I’ve washed it once and it already started to soften so I only expect it get more comfortable. I have enough of this to make more than one garment.
    2. A long sleeved version in red. I’d love to find a silk and/or cotton fabric for this.


  • Self draft –  I’m planning on drafting a sleeveless, knee length dress for the rayon challis that I’ve purchased. The bodice will have a curved v neckline with gathering at the waist and shoulders. A curved waistband will give way to a gathered skirt. The rayon is nice with a good drape so I expect it to behave well with this plan, however, the colors weren’t quite what I was expecting. The purple is more dominant than the other colors and the dark pink is less of a red than I had anticipated but I’ll still use it. I’d be singing a different tune if I’d been planning a blouse or skirt (something that needed to pair well) but since dresses are rather autonomous, I’m not too worried that the colors aren’t perfect.

Wild Card

  • I’m purposefully waiting on this one until the majority of my garments are completed. I’d like to see what would help tie the collection together so perhaps a jacket or a cardigan. Who knows!


That was a bit long winded but there you have it – my spring wardrobe plans. I know many of you are working on similar plans – how is your planning going?

February 17, 2012

Spring Wardrobe Sketches

Don’t laugh, okay? These must be the saddest little croqui in the world but I think they’ll serve their purpose.

I had a gift certificate to so half of my fabric was ordered online. It’s always risky ordering online but I’m crossing my fingers that they’re what I’m hoping for.

Once these arrive I’ll take the swatches with me to the local fabric stores for the remainder yardage. I know I’d like some yellow bottomweight for the pants and red blouseweight for the long sleeved shirt. The remaining two garments (a blouse and a wild card) will be dependent on what fabric I find.

I’m getting so excited to start! If all goes as planned, I should have my first muslin sewn up this weekend. What’s more exciting than that though? A Good Wardrobe will be hosting a guest next week! On Monday, the lovely Alexandra of In House Patterns will be with us to talk about assessing the fit of our garments. This is sure to be a very educational post and I’m looking forward to applying her advice to my spring wardrobe pieces. I hope you’ll join us!


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