Well friends... it's getting to be that time of year. Time for the cobwebs and dust bunnies to creep in on this here blog. For the tumbleweeds to start a blowin' through. I know what you're thinking, more than usual? And the answer is, yes, more than usual. 

Because its the holidays!! Yay!! Time for the annual excursion back east to see family and more family!!  This year Nick and I will be road-tripping our way through the south and meandering on up to my homeland - Pennsylvania. I'd like to say that we are one of those couples that makes it a point to stop at all the funny little roadside attractions on our way, but if I'm being honest with myself, We're really more of the wake-up-at-dawn-only-stop-for-coffee-and-a-piss-until-we-reach-our-destination sort of road-trippers. We have a schedule to keep, dammit! 

We leave tomorrow and will be gone for roughly two weeks. But! Before I go I wanted to leave you all with a little sneakery peekery around my world as of late. Enter, the Instagram photos! (p.s. If you'd like to follow me I'm sallieoleta although I haven't quite figured out the point of Instagram yet, so my photos come in fits and bursts and are generally pretty lame... fair warning, ya'll)

From the top down:
1. A pretty little number I made for a friend. But because I'm not a totally selfless seamstress I made one for me too! See number 3...
2. A box of ruby red grapefruit, lovingly tended to by a sweet South Texas friend. These will be coming on the road with us... to stave off scurvy... just kidding... 
3. A close up shot of the version of #1 I made for myself. Truthfully, mine did not turn out quite as pretty as my friends. I suppose that's one of the joys of working with hand painted fabric, the results are somewhat unpredictable. But I'll tell you all about that when I get back from or journey and do a proper post on it. 
4. My Christmas gift from work. An engraved hunting knife. Symbolically kicking off our newest project, which is to create a satellite art space in the hills of West Texas. The knife will obviously be needed to protect myself from mountain lions... You guys, I love my job...

I know it's not a very comprehensive glimpse into my life lately, but unfortunately it'll have to do. Because now there is laundry and packing to do, a final wipe down of kitchen and bathroom (I hate coming home to a dirty house) animals to be crated up and dropped off at assorted friends houses, and audiobooks to be downloaded. Not to mention the fact that I generally live in denial of all the fun "Christmas spirit" type stuff that most normal people enjoy this time of year, which usually means that my grinchy-self goes into shock when I arrive home to a decked out house, glittering trees, presents, cookies and non-stop Christmas music. This year I'm determined to work up some cheer to bring along with me to prevent the all-systems-shut-down that sometimes happens. And guys, that takes work! 

So I'm off! I hope all of you out there have a nice lead up to your holiday. If you're traveling, be safe, and if you're staying put, revel in the season just a tiny bit for me! 



fire hazard


Sooo... this is pretty much a complete 180 from my last make...

I made myself some faux leather leggings. I blame this on Pinterest. Then again, I blame a lot of things on Pinterest these days, so maybe it's time I (wo)man up and take responsibility for my own actions, or something... 

Let me explain. A couple months ago I made the truly rare excursion to an H&M store. This never happens. But one of the things I wanted to check out was leather leggings. As the fine purveyors of cheap trends that they are, I knew H&M would have an example of this particular trend in stock, and lo and behold, they did. So I tried them on and I remembered why I hated shopping at H&M. They fit like crap, they smelled weird and they squeaked when my thighs rubbed together. They were also somewhere in the realm of $30. Pretty steep just to try out a trend. Coincidentally (or not coincidentally at all) around the same time I decided to check and see if the local fabric store had any non-hideous options for fake leather. And, would you look at that! They did. Enter the dark-chocolate-almost-black-stretchy-light-weight faux leather of my dreams. 

My husband was seriously worried when I came home with a yard and a half of the stuff.


I used my trusty stand-by for skinny pants - or really any and all pants - the Built By Wendy SewU pants pattern which I've sliced and diced so many times I feel like it's mine.  After an ill-fated first attempt I decided to omit the center-front zip fly and instead installed an invisible zipper at the side. Way cleaner finish.  Because of the zip fly debacle I had to scrap my first try at the pants fronts and I didn't have quite enough leftover fabric to cut a whole new front out of. So I cut the pants fronts in two pieces, adding a seam just above the knee. I figured if they were real leather pants they'd probably have similar seaming anyway - and what the hell we're having fun here.


I have to admit - a lot of questions and doubts went through my mind as I was making these. Questions like...

- Is it wrong to sew something so trendy? I know a lot of the sewing blogging community is anti-trend but what's so wrong with it? I actually feel like I might wear these crazy pants for many years to come. They're surprisingly versatile...

- Can you wear leather leggings and not look like Sandy at the end of Grease? I thought that if I paired them with opposing textures and long layers I could prevent this. However my husband just told me that I look like Princess Leia on the Forest Moon of Endor (that's Ewok Land to all you non Star Wars nerds...like me) in these pictures, which wasn't really a look I was going for either... Editors note: Nick would like you all to know that he is NOT a Star Wars nerd. He just happens to know about the Forest Moon of Endor...

- Which is worse? Buying real leather hides from animals or buying fake leather from petrochemicals? Either way, I'm guilty of both sins.

And the big question...

- Are these pants going to melt to my legs???

No really! This is a serious concern of mine! It just so happens that on the two occasions when I wore these to work we had a bonfire (remind me to tell you what I do for a living again... it's pretty awesome...) The first time I was so wary of the flames and my legs catching on fire that I left to go change into something less...combustible. The second time I called my husband to bring me another pair of pants.

I also don't know that I will ever wear these in the car on the off chance I might get in an accident and the engine explodes and my pants catch fire and melt to my legs and I have to go to the hospital where they pick little pieces of burnt plastic off of me with tweezers and my legs are forever scarred from my ridiculous petrochemical pants...Good thing I rarely drive.


I made this top too. I was very inspired by Papercut Patterns Sloppy Josephine Tee which I decided was the perfect casual top and was all set to buy it. Until I saw that it wasn't available to download and it had to ship all the way from New Zealand and I wanted it noooowwwww (P.S. I will plan ahead in the future because their new collection is seriously blowing my mind!) So I pulled out my ruler and french curve and set to work drafting my own. 

Then I got totally frustrated and remembered that there is a raglan t-shirt pattern in the Built By Wendy SewU Home Stretch book. Those Built By Wendy books... I had no idea they would be paying off big time when I bought them! So being much more comfortable altering patterns to my liking than drafting from scratch I went ahead and deepened the neckline, added a little bit of "dolman" to my sleeve, and added a longer, curved hem. 

From there it was so easy-breezy-beautiful-covergirl! I cut into this sheer, white, tissue-y rayon jersey and, I swear to God, I blinked my eye and a second later I had a new t-shirt! A t-shirt that I have been wearing literally every day since then. No really. It's getting kinda gross...


And with that lovely thought, I'll leave you!

To all my U.S. friends, I hope you had a lovely and relaxing Thanksgiving, and I hope your hangover wasn't as bad as mine!



how to act like a lady


Gah! I'm so sorry for my recent silence around these parts. I didn't mean to just disappear like that, but sometimes it happens! For whatever reason, I really wanted to slow down and take my time on this dress. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to the feeling of pressure to push through a project just in order to get it up on your blog, a feeling that I like to shake off every now and again. I also usually make dresses like this with an event in mind - usually an opening at my gallery or some other type of occasion - but (thankfully) my social calendar has been pretty quiet so there was no real rush.


This is the dress I made using my hand painted silk habotai. The entire dress is lined in white rayon bemberg. The pattern is essentially Simplicity 1880 - the same as my earlier, purple version - but with a few modifications: 

Obviously this version is sleeveless.  I felt like the little cap sleeve on my first version made my shoulders look a tad football-player-ish so I decided to leave them off this time around. Also, it makes it easier to layer under cardigans and such. And whether or not a garment is cardigan-ready can really make-it-or-break-it for me! 

I also cut the skirt as a half-circle skirt rather than the four sections that came with the pattern. This eliminated the center seam and the weird fall of the bias that happens with the Simplicity skirt. 

And finally I shortened the front bodice pieces by about 1/2 inch in the center, tapering to nothing at the side seams in order to prevent gaping at the center front. While wearing that purple dress I've looked down a fair few times to see that one or both boobs were on high display. I'm not particularly modest, but I still put fixing that issue pretty high up there on my "things I'd do differently..." list.

Hmm... maybe I should have taken some length out of the center back too...

After the initial excitement of painting my own fabric died away, and my joy passed that the dye actually took and didn't, like, wash right down the sink, I had a hard time deciding what to make with my fabric. In my post-fabric-dyeing sobriety I gave the fabric a cold, clear, critical eye, and I sort of felt like it looked like a Target shower curtain. How underwhelming! But really, it depended on my mood. I still loved the watercolor-like bleed of the spots and there are areas where the colors overlap and become really nuanced. But I guess once I had the finished fabric in my hands I felt like I needed to do something really artistic and daring with it.  But nothing really seemed quite right. After draping the fabric around myself like a toga for about a week and a half I finally decided to quit over-thinking it and just go with my original plan, whether or not I still felt like it was the 'best' one. And you know what? I'm glad I did. I'm starting to sense that might be the story of my life... You'd think I'd learn...


The original idea for this dress, fabric and all, came from a dress I saw well over a year and a half ago in the window of one of my favorite stores in Houston, Leap. I can't remember who the dress was by, and I think I've tried to describe it to every person I know who works there. There's a possibility the dress was made by Electric Feathers, which wouldn't be surprising because I'm often inspired by their work. Regardless, it was a white, wrap dress with delicate blue brush-like marks hand painted all over it. My fabric came out a bit more spotty than I remember this dress being, and the overall look much more classic, but it's still quite lovely, and fulfills my long desire for that other dress.

Now I just need some occasion to wear it...come on life! Get fancy!



it's election day!!!

Saw this on one of my favorite blogs and just had to share! Now get thee to the polls!!



a self-stitcher goes shopping

So here's a story for you...

Yesterday I decided I needed to venture off the island to buy myself some lining fabric for the dress I'm making out of my hand-painted fabric. I wasn't really feeling up to making the long trek allll the way to civilization (Houston, in my book - and where the only mildly decent fabric stores are) so I settled for the JoAnne's conveniently situated at the halfway point. 

First of all, JoAnne's was in total, full-out, Halloween cray-cray mode and I was slightly terrified, but I soldiered on because I'm brave like that. Turns out that the majority of their fabric, including their skeptical selection of lining fabrics, was on a 50% off sale! Awesome! So I pawed through the polyesters, setting my "natural fiber" bigotry aside for the time being. I mean, a sale is a sale. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I'm pretty incapable of impulse buying these days - especially on mystery fabric - and so I pretty easily talked myself down from purchasing anything other than what I came there for: white rayon lining fabric - the bemberg variety.

Well they were out. Completely. They had orange and black, but... you know. 

So I'm feeling a bit deflated because this means I'm going to have make the long haul up to Houston anyway. But, alas, I wasn't going to do it this day. However, there I was, in the midst of this huge shopping complex, and I decided to do something that used to cheer me up in my pre-sewing days - I decided to go clothes shopping. 

Now this wasn't a total coincidence - word on the street had it that the Houston area is finally home to an H&M, and it just so happens to be at my halfway point - right across the street from my JoAnne's. Once upon a time I used to love me some H&M. It fit my graduate school budget and it catered to literally every look and occasion. Trendy? Check. Office appropriate? Check. Hipster? Check. Bohemian? Check, check, check....

I have grown up some since those college days (thank god) and so have my tastes in clothing - helped along mainly by the fact that I've sewn every major new garment that's been added to my wardrobe since 2010.  I'm far more pickier about fit, fabric and quality than I used to be. And I'm a fair bit more educated on the, shall we call them "dangers" of fast and cheap consumption, especially within the clothing industry. But despite all this, a morbid curiosity drew me in. And I'm glad I went, because otherwise I would have never known that Kelly Clarkson was still making music (where have I been?!?)

Truthfully, I knew from the outset that I was not going to buy anything (see above, re: impulse buying).  But I figured this might be a fun opportunity to try on some trends I've been thinking about and see if they would actually work on me.  The looks I wanted to try? Oversized sweaters, leather leggings, wild prints.

So without further ado, here are some of the outfits I put together on this pretend shopping spree:

Glitter sweater and faux leather pants.

I first became aware of my desire for faux leather leggings while trolling one of my favorite style blogs, sea of ghosts.  The inspiration to pair them with an oversized sweater perhaps came from Pinterest? Not really sure. Anyway - these H&M faux leather leggings were not very stretchy. I grabbed them in a size 6 and a size 8, not really sure what my size is in that store and mainly eyeballing the waist. The size 6 fit the best, but oddly. Tight in the waist, baggy in the crotch. I'm not sure why I was surprised by how... squeaky these were... but there you go. Squeaky pants. The sweater was acrylic and cozy, but I probably wouldn't actually pair these two in real life (I think I can come up with a better top for leather leggings, don't you?)

Cable knit sweater and crazy print, cropped trousers.

I was very drawn to this whole display of stuff in this wild, floral digital print. There was a ton of it. Apparently Lucky magazine put this stuff as its "top pick" because there were signs all over the place! So these trousers are a size 2, to give you an idea of the crazy sizing. They only had a size 2 left, and I decided to give it a go. They fit, but they are what a friend of mine once fondly termed "yeast infection pants" - meaning the crotch seam was where no crotch seam had a right to be! So I'd probably size up in the pants and size down in the sweater (there's oversize, and then there's sloppy...)

Crazy print dress

This dress was the most ill-fitting of the bunch. It was made from a stretchier fabric than the pants.  It was rather loose in the upper chest, and real tight over my belly and butt. The waist line also kept wanting to hike up. And it was short! Like, whoa! When I first spotted this dress I thought that if it fit it might actually make a fun work dress, but it would need at least 6 inches!

Another crazy print dress.

This was the last dress I tried on. This was a thinner fabric than all the rest, pretty silky to the touch at first, but even for the short time I had it on it became kind of scratchy.  It's a simple A-line shift dress, but I liked the way the pattern was placed. There was even a bit of tricky seaming that happened at the shoulder to keep the illusion going - an unexpectedly thoughtful detail.

All in all, I have to admit that the quality wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be! Of course there is no telling how any of these things would hold up with repeated wearing and washing.  In the end, I came away from this little pretend shopping spree with some ideas for fall/winter sewing, and feeling like my style mojo might have just got a kick in the pants. This isn't to say that I intend on copying these looks, but sometimes you need to step out of your daily routine to get the old wheels a-turnin' !

Does anyone else go pretend shopping when they need a bit of inspiration? I'd love to hear about it!





Many moons ago, when I was just a young buck in grad school, I discovered the joys of watercolor. Having devoted the majority of my young adulthood to studying oil painting (I mean, is there any other medium if you're going to be a serious painter? Wink...) it felt somewhat naughty and subversive to put down the turpentine and fill a jar with water, pin some paper to the wall and set to work, letting the colors bleeeed. I didn't do anything super cool or smart with those watercolors - I just painted still lives - huge still lives - of all the dirt and crap that was sitting around my studio (I kept a very untidy studio.)

little details of those watercolors...

I don't know that I've ever really given the full story on this blog of how I made the switch from painting to sewing, but that's because there really isn't much to tell. I think like a lot of people that pursue a passion extremely hard, I just experienced burnout and needed a break. I also never stopped working with art and artists on a daily basis, albeit in a much different capacity, and so it has never been far from my mind. But the long and short of it is: Shortly after moving to Houston with Nick, I stopped painting. Around this same time I received a sewing machine for my birthday (for lack of any other birthday ideas, Nick suggested I ask my parents for a sewing machine - that man is clairvoyant sometimes, I swear...) and left it sitting in a box for a number of months. Finally my fingers started to itch for a creative outlet and I buckled down and learned how to thread my machine and sew my first few tentative stitches...


One of my earliest frustrations with sewing was with my fabric choices. Perhaps I'm exceptionally picky, but I was never happy with the prints readily available to me at the local fabric stores. I find it exceptionally frustrating when you have a mental image of your dream garment only to find that the fabric in your minds eye simply does not exist!! You guys have seen enough of my makes to know that I tend to favor loose, abstract prints with a hand drawn/painted quality. Prints that looks like I might have made them...

So from the very beginning I've had "learning to hand dye fabric" on my sewing bucket list. This summer I got really excited to see that The Art of Cloth Dyeing was being offered as a class on Craftsy.   I enrolled and began leisurely working my way through the classes, not really taking notes or doing any of the techniques shown, but just trying to get more information on how dyes work, what you need, steps, etc. My husband, Nick, kept raising his eyebrows at me because much of the samples shown in the class are what I might call "fancy tie-dye." While I think some of these immersion dyeing methods can yield really beautiful and unusual results - and I plan to try them out in the future - I was really watching this class with my own agenda in mind.

What I really wanted to do was direct application dyeing. So after waiting patiently for a few months until I had enough money to gather supplies, I finally put in an order with Dharma Trading Company (anyone watch Lost...?) for some bulk fabric, chemicals and a small selection of procion dyes.


This past weekend I hand painted my first length of fabric - three yards of some diaphanous silk habotai (habutai?) I had to work very quickly (thats the reason why all these pictures show me with my dust mask and gloves on) just barely touching my brush to the fabric and letting it bleed outward. The more layers I put on the looser my "hand" became and I began to have fun letting the colors mix and travel directly on the fabric. It reminded me very much of how much joy I used to find in those grad school watercolors, touching my brush to a surface...





You guys were all so nice when I posted pictures of some of my sketches in a recent post, that I thought I'd give you a more in depth look into my sketchbooks. That, and I have nothing sewing related to show you as I'm waiting on the mail. You know how it goes...


Drawing in a sketchbook used to seriously stress me out.  I never used to feel like my sketchbooks were private (this is because they weren't, they were always looked at by professors and classmates, critiqued for content, or else I was being told to draw in them more...) My relationship with sketchbooks always felt rather forced. It wasn't until I gave my entire studio practice a rest that I started to realize that my sketchbook didn't have to be for anything. And it could be really really ugly, and that was okay. This was of course the sort of thing I was always told in school, but perhaps it never sank in because of the environment (or my own pride.)

Now my philosophy on sketchbooks are pretty relaxed. Sometimes my grocery list ends up in there. Sometimes my drawings end up in the notebook I use for work. I draw when I feel like it, and I don't even think about it if I don't feel like it. 

I occasionally make technical drawings, or drawings of clothing - sometimes copied from somewhere, sometimes just imagined. Usually if I'm working through a design in my head I'll make a few different sort of drawings, some with measurements or mini pattern pieces. And sometimes I just can't quite see a design clearly in my head and I need to draw it out. This is helpful for me when I'm deciding what pieces I want to make. Something can sound good - you put the right pieces together - but when you actually sketch it out you might see that the shape is all wrong... its like a pre-curser to making a muslin.


Some of these ideas are still in the running to be made, others have been nixed...Usually when I draw clothing it's more for a purpose than making a nice drawing - like walking through a design. I might make notes or include elements of color or things that might be inspiring me.  But sometimes I just want to draw for the sheer joy of it, and this is usually when I sit still for awhile and do some observational drawing. My husband and I are still drawing each other, and lately it seems all I want to do is draw my plants...


Do you guys feel like drawing is a useful tool for you in your sewing process? Do you find the prospect of drawing intimidating (I can relate)? Do any of you just draw for the heck of it? 

For the record, it's still hard for me to make a drawing and not judge it as "good" or "bad" - even the technical drawings.  But thats not what it's about.  Just a little reminder to myself...



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...