witchy woman


Oof! I swear the sewing blogger gods did not want me to get this post up! They were just throwing me one curve ball after another. However, I'm trying to do less whining in this space so I won't really go into detail...

Oh what the hell... I'll just tell you the worst of it - my bike was stolen yesterday (this is the 5th bike in the matter of two years...seriously) and my bike was my number one source of transportation (and I loved it) sooo... boo!

Alright! Thats that off my chest! Lets talk about this dress shallll we? This is the Satsuki Dress from Victory Patterns made up in black silk crepe de chine.  When the new collection of Victory patterns came out I, like many other sew-ers out there, kinda went apeshit. I seriously felt like Krisitann had been digging around inside my brain, making notes on my deepest wardrobe desires.  I believe I even uttered the following phrase aloud, while gaping at my computer screen: "Holy shit,Victory Patterns! Get outta my head!!" I am, if nothing else, extremely eloquent.


Oddly enough, the pattern I was most drawn to was this simple, kimono inspired dress - labeled for beginners. You guys. I can't even tell you how many little mistakes I made while sewing this up. Like, so many. Which is ridiculous because the pattern was printed perfectly and the instructions were beautiful and clear and easy to follow... basically my difficulties were in no way the fault of the pattern - I'm just really dumb sometimes.  I'm blaming it on it being that time of the month and moving on. Are you with me on this one?

Since I've been living in Texas I've found autumn to be a very difficult season to deal with.  I feel that growing up in the northeast I've been hardwired to think in terms of four seasons, and there seems to be some seasonal depression thats just in my bones.  Here in Galveston the weather has certainly cooled off some, but its still hotter than many places get during the height of summer. I mean, I spent both of my weekend days at the beach...

I'm really not complaining about the weather - I love the balmy falls and mild winters of East Texas. And for the first time in my life my feet are actually warm(ish) for the majority of the year! But what I'm trying to get at is that I'm struggling with incorporating a fall feeling into what is essentially a summer wardrobe. I feel like this dress hits the nail on the head for me. It's still light and breezy (thanks silk!) but there's a certain moody quality to it that seems far more appropriate for October than it does June.


And having nothing to do with any of that... If you've ever looked at my pictures on this blog and wondered if I just wander around posing in front of other people's houses... you would be absolutely correct! I've pretty much overcome my awkwardness at being spotted preening by myself in front of a camera, and on the rare occasion that someone actually asks what I'm doing I usually just mumble something about being a photographer and give them a stink eye of such magnitude it could fumigate an entire city.  

But every so often I get caught doing something totally weird that even I have to slink away from with my tail between my legs. These photos, for instance, were basically taken in someone's driveway. No, I have no idea who's house it was - I just liked their trees, okay?! The owner of said house opened his front door to let the cat out and spotted me crouching in his driveway, right by his car, fiddling with my camera settings. It was my turn to receive some serious stink eye. I tried with all my might to look like it was the most natural thing in the world for a girl to be squatting in someone's driveway, dressed like she's got a hot date (at 5pm on a Wednesday) and taking photos - presumably - of some gnarly bit of curb as I grabbed my stuff and scurried away.

And on that note, hope you're all having a lovely week!



internet friends are the best friends


Back in the beginning of August I received a big, squishy envelope in the mail, all the way from New York City.  Upon opening it I found a generous amount of yardage of this awesome printed fabric.  Those of you with eagle eyes and mad blog stalking skillllzz may remember this fabric from another blogger's make. I had a serious crush on this fabric when Sonja posted her adorable Scout tee back in July. And being the amazing person she is, Sonja sent me some. Just like that!

Friends, if you want to know the way to my heart - like the deep down recesses of my heart, the places that once you get in you're not getting back out - just send me fabric. I loved Sonja before for her humor and her down-to-earth approach to sewing and knitting and her fabulous makes, but now this love is for real.  Sonja, you complete me.


When I was a little girl I used to take old sheets and beach towels and blankets - pretty much any large swath of fabric and drape it around my body and pretend I was a queen, or a model, or more often than not, a witch. Those big fabric rectangles were, like, a million times better than any actual dress-ups I owned (I mean, they dragged around on the floor after me and I could throw them over my shoulder... ) I don't think that impulse has ever left me because as soon as I unwrapped Sonja's present I immediately wrapped myself in the fabric and started swanning about the house. Actually that's pretty much what I do anytime I get new fabric, but I was particularly in love with the print on this one. The wheels in my head started turning as I began to contemplate what to make it into. What design would best show off the print, but also compliment it in style? Do I break up the print or choose a garment that will let the print run unbroken? And then there was the age old question - what do I really want to wear?

I may have thought about this too much. But eventually I decided I wanted something where the print could be both broken and unbroken.  At the same time this Electric Feathers Infinite Rope Dress kept playing around in my brain and I decided to try to recreate something similar with my fabric.  


For such a simple dress (really, this dress has two major seams) it actually took me a little bit to figure out.  In the end, my dress ended up with a much fuller hem than the inspiration dress, but I'm okay with that.  I reached a point though where I began to question this fabric for this design.  This really caused me to stall in sewing it up. After all, I didn't want to waste my awesome fabric!  I realized I had completely paralyzed myself - I was too nervous to cut into my fabric, but I couldn't move on to another project! So - as I usually do in times like these - I asked my husband, who told me to just go for it and he thought that I'd like the dress I had originally planned. Part of me still feels like maybe this would be better in a drapey-er silk, but I have to agree with Nick, I do really love the dress, and even more I love seeing my vision come to fruition.


I did make the ties long enough that they can be wrapped entirely around the waist.  I like having the option of wearing it both ways, however, knowing me I'll probably wear it loose and full more than I'll wear it all reigned in (even though I really do love the way it folds and cascades when belted.) And yes, I'm fully aware that if I ever get the hankering to make babies I'll already have a nice start on a maternity wardrobe! What can I say?! I like-a the volume...

The fabric is a light weight cotton and I lined it in a white silky rayon to help with the see-through factor and also to add some swishy-ness.  I always feel that with super simple designs like this my impulse is to rush through them, so I really tried to break that habit and take the time to focus on little construction elements where I could, like interfacing the neck opening and understitching and making an itsy-bitsy narrow hem. I used Jen's  (Grainline) tutorial for the hem because this post was still fresh in my mind. It turned out beautifully, but I think that may have had more to do with my nice, stable cotton than it does with my sewing skills! Despite my attempt to attend to the details, I still can find things I'd like to change (isn't that always the case?) I wish I could have found a way to make the ties more substantial. I love the inspiration dress's thick ropey ties - but my commitment just wasn't there!

I conceived this dress (yes, all my handmade garments are my babies) while suffering through some seriously hot and humid (like 110F plus...) days. Fortunately we had a "cold snap" right before I took these pictures. 88 degrees never felt so cool!! Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week and those of you that are beginning to experience a change of season - enjoy it! And if you get a hankering for summer you can come visit me - it'll still be hanging around these parts until... oh... November? I have an air mattress...



stitching and wittering

Hi everyone!! Just a quick word today to let you know that I'm being interviewed over at Stitch and Witter as part of Joanne's brilliant series of posts on "My Handmade Style." So if you've ever been curious about how I cultivate my "look" (pfft! as if I've got my shit together that much!!) or what sort of aesthetic I aim for in my me-made wardrobe, look no further! I answer all this and more - as well as come off as slightly crazy and long winded (but you already knew this) - over here

And if you haven't been following along with the previous posts in this series, please be sure to check them out as they are pure blogging gold for us self-stitched folk. Plus, I hear that Joanne has got some more fashionable ladies stashed up her sleeve to interview in upcoming posts - so there's more to look forward to! 

Alright, please be sure to have a beautiful remainder of your week, and God-willing-and-the-creek-don't-rise I'll be back here next week with more to natter on about. Peace out!



faux pas


Well here we are. Labor Day weekend and I'm wearing white pants. Take that, outdated fashion rules! Although whether I have the chutzpah to continue wearing white pants past this point we'll just have to wait and see. I'm not a betting lady, but if I was, I'd probably say it's a safe bet to assume that these pants will continue to get worn as long as they fit, regardless of the season.

Before I go much further into the discussion of white jeans and what-not let me just say thank you to everyone who left a kind comment on my last post and to all you have stuck with me during this most recent unanticipated blog break. Word on the street has it that after I wrote that last post in a fit of "woe is me" I pretty promptly got my period. Needless to say things started looking a bit less "doom and gloom" from that point on! I'm not going to blame it all on womanly troubles, however, the move totally threw me for an unexpected loop - which was further compounded by a really busy and stressful couple of weeks at work. One of the toughest things for me to adjust to has been our temporarily restricted budget! All of our extra resources have been going to settling into our new surroundings (I could go into why we didn't have things like kitchen utensils or plates or a mattress or bedding prior to this move but its kind of a boring story - so just accept it as fact that my husband and I basically came into our new apartment relatively empty handed!) This means that I haven't had much time or funds to put into sewing. And that makes for a rather Sad Sallie. 

So while I was getting myself all in a funk for not making anything new or having anything to post about I remembered these white jeans I made back at the end of July and never got around to photographing. These jeans have been getting a lot of wear and have become a pretty important part of the weekly wardrobe rotation. I used the same Built By Wendy pattern that I used to make my dark denim pair.  The fabric is some stretchy bottom weight cotton something-or-other from Tessuti (I'm sorry I totally forgot what type of fabric this is!) I ordered it specifically for this project back in April or May.  You know... in the spring... when white jeans would have been a bit more practical! But due to this and that they ended up getting pushed to the bottom of the sewing pile until the end of July. So really it's totally appropriate that they not get photographed until the beginning of September! Ah, such is the timeline of our lives...

This fabric had far more stretch to it than my dark denim and therefore I had to take these pants in something crazy on the sides (this was even after reducing the pattern to compensate, or so I thought, for the extra stretch.) Unfortunately this sort of threw off my back pocket placement - not anything serious, but they are a tad bit closer to the side seam than I would like. 


These were also the jeans that I was lamenting about when I wrote this post. I don't know what my deal is, but I am constantly breaking twin needles! Okay... actually I know what my deal is... I keep trying to  make them go over my zipper teeth ... How else are you supposed to get the topstitching just right??! 

This top/tunic/dress is also handmade - but its really nothing to write home about. It's literally two rectangles of a dreamy silk jersey sewn together with holes for the arms and head. In a previous life it was a Drape Drape dress that I wore to a gala but it was far too low cut and revealing to wear in a normal context and I was too in love with the fabric to just let it hang there. So I snipped it apart and have just been wearing it around the house like this. Okaaay so this outfit is basically just my pajamas with a pair of pants and a necklace thrown on top of it to throw you off the scent! And yes, I'll probably wear it for the next three days solid. Easily.


I think I'll leave you today with a few iphone snaps of our new place. I'm not much of a "nest-er" or really into the whole home decorating thing but I'm a little proud of how this place is starting to come together...