Turkey Daze

I don’t know about you, but I still have turkey leftover in my fridge from last Thursday (it’s almost gone, though!), which I think has put me in a semi-permanent tryptophan-induced food coma. In other words, I’m behind in my blogging! I have several new finished projects to post, but today you get a repeat with a “twist” in honor of all that turkey. Okay, not really even a twist…but I wanted to introduce you all to my “turkey jacket”! It’s an Anthropologie jacket I got many years ago that has a pleated plaid “tail” in the back that reminds me of, well, a turkey :P. Paired with my Lady Skater cowl dres:


Dress: handmade “Lady Skater Dress” by Kitschy Coo with cowl from Sewaholic’s “Renfrew Top,” Jacket: Anthropologie, Tights (that you can’t see): purple fleece tights from Saver’s, Boots: Clark’s


Gobble gobble!

All the Rage

Several months ago while on a shopping/research excursion with my mom, it dawned on both of us that peplum tops are pretty much the “in thing” right now. We thought the fad probably wouldn’t stick, so I figured I didn’t want to invest in a style that might not last long. However, many months later I’m still seeing them everywhere! I always thought they were cute, so I decided I wanted to join in.

And you know from a few posts ago that the Lady Skater Dress is the “in thing” in the sewing world right now. Taking things a step further, Lady Skater Modifications are super “in,” too. So, peplum top + Lady Skater Dress + modifications = all the rage – amiright??

Anyhow, I’ll cut to the chase. I used Amanda’s Lady Skater Peplum Tutorial to make my own peplum top, using the Peplum 3.0 skirt mod. Le voilà:



Top: handmade “Lady Skater Dress” peplum top by Kitshy Coo, Pants and Belt: Banana Republic, Boots: Clark’s, Cardigan: LOFT

This is another wearable muslin, made from the scraps of my first Renfrew top. It’s kind of amazing how little fabric this takes! Of course, I didn’t have enough fabric for long sleeves, so I’m wearing short sleeves when it’s 40 degrees out (oops…), but it was a good pattern test. I think for my next one I’ll make the bodice and skirt an inch longer each – what do you think?

Since the fabric I used doesn’t have a ton of stretch, I shortened the armband pieces by an inch on the sleeves to keep their shape. I probably should have done that for the neckline, too, but didn’t remember at the time. I’m also still trying to decide if I like the size I used for the sleeves – I’ve been making a size 3 top, but I’m wondering about a size 2 armhole and size 3 everything-else. More experiments to come!

Blast from the Past

I probably should have saved this post for tomorrow since apparently “throwback Thursday” is a thing, but I couldn’t think of anything else to wear, so here we are. I made one of the pieces of this outfit while I was in grad school several years ago – can you guess which??


Dress: Banana Republic, Sweater: handmade “Autumn Rose Pullover” by Eunny Jang, Tights: Savers, Boots: Clark’s

If you guessed the sweater, you were right! I still kind of can’t believe I was crazy enough to make this. It was knitted on size 0, 1, and 2 needles – so, basically, toothpicks – and I was changing colors literally every few stitches. When I described the process to my husband this morning, his response was, “oh, so that’s why you didn’t date in grad school!” Ha, very funny, sweetie :P.


It took me about a year to make, but I’m super proud of it. And, of course, now that I’ve been remembering the process of making it, I want to do another crazy colorwork project. It was a ton of fun!

One other comment about today’s outfit: my tights are lined with fleece. This is pretty much a dream come true for me, since I love wearing skirts and dresses but HATE having cold legs. I found these while on a discount shopping spree with my mother-in-law in NH. They’re made by a company called “Leg Impressions.” I want one in every color…


If at First You Don’t Succeed…

So you know how I keep complaining that it’s winter here? Well, today it’s spring :P. Seriously – 65 degrees and humid. I didn’t even have to wear a coat this morning. So weird! Not that I mind; I got to pull out one of my spring skirts! Yay for denial…

Since I’ve been in such a sewing frenzy, I managed to complete yet another project this weekend. I had enough fabric leftover after the dress to make a top. However, I already have two grey knit tops – one long-sleeved and one sleeveless – so I wanted to make sure this one was different enough to justify making it. I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to try out a new pattern and use this as a “wearable muslin” (i.e. an experiment that hopefully works out well enough to wear). The pattern I tried out was the Côte d’Azur top pattern by Hot Patterns. This was my first pattern from that company, and I had read variable reviews about the fit of their garment, so I wasn’t sure how it would work out. Here’s the result:



Top: handmade “Côte d’Azur top” by Hot Patterns, Skirt and Tights: Anthropologie, Cardigan: LOFT, Boots: Clark’s

Yes, those are yellow stockings….I keep trying to come up with a clever Twelfth Night reference about them, but so far have come up dry. Anyhow, I’m very glad I made a muslin of the top! Not because it fit poorly – the fit is actually great – but because I made a stupidly obvious mistake that almost ruined it! I did the front gathers wrong – I misread where the gathers end, and ended up gathering way too much. I then tried to make some alterations to fix what I thought was a fit problem, which involved me cutting the fabric, so that when I finally figured out what I did wrong I couldn’t go back and do it the right way. Argh! I managed to make it work, though. The hem is kind of wonky, but when it’s tucked in you don’t even notice it. I really like the finished product, so I can’t wait to make it again *correctly*! I think I want to make a dress version of it for spring…real spring, not this faux get-your-hopes-up-but-it’s-actually-winter spring 😛

Skating Time!

Sadly I haven’t gone ice skating yet this year, but whenever I do I’ll have the perfect dress – my new Lady Skater Dress by Amanda from Kitshy Coo. This pattern came out in June, and I’ve been reading so much praise for the dress from other bloggers that I had to try it! And it does not disappoint – this is definitely my favorite dress pattern so far, and I plan to make many, many more!


Dress: Lady Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo, Belt: Ann Taylor, Tights: Banana Republic, Boots: Clark’s

I’m really liking the fit, but I did end up having to make one alteration – I shortened the top by about 2.5″. When I put together the dress with the top as-is, my prominent tummy and bum were, yet again, a problem…grr! But I quickly realized that raising the skirt up would allow the fullness in the skirt (a nice, swishy partial circle) to cover up those problem areas. So, after a little seam ripping and cutting, the problem was fixed!

I’m starting to develop a new understanding of and appreciation for my body shape now that I am sewing more. I’m getting a better sense of which patterns works for my shape and which don’t. And just because a particular cut isn’t flattering doesn’t mean I’m “fat”! It just means I need to make a change or two (or maybe look for a different pattern). This is helping me find a healthier, more realistic way to think about my body. And now I realize why I love high waists and full skirts so much!

Stuck on Repeat…

I know I just wore this skirt two posts ago, but I have several good reasons!

1. It’s warm
2. It’s comfortable
3. I’m (hopefully) going to the fabric store today on my break, so I can show it off!

And everything else I’m wearing is different, I promise…


Top: Banana Republic, Sweater: LOFT, Skirt: handmade “Chardon” by Deer and Doe, Tights: Gap, Boots: Clark’s

Another thing that has been “stuck on repeat” in my life is my sewing/crafting. I’m becoming more and more obsessive about it, to the point that it’s starting to feel a little out of control. So, a new goal of mine is to find balance in my sewing “habit.” I’m also curious to know – how do others create balance with this sort of thing? Do you have a serious hobby (not necessarily craft related – anything) that you find yourself struggling to keep in balance? How do you do it? I would love to hear other people’s stories!

Flannel to the Rescue!

It just keeps getting colder here in Boston!! So this week, instead of sewing more knit-fabric garments, I finally came to terms with the dropping temperature and decided to sew a flannel skirt. I made another Chardon Skirt with one of the beautiful cotton flannels that recently found its way onto the shelves of Grey’s Fabric and Notions. I have to confess, as much fun as I’ve been having sewing with knits, it was a nice change to sew with a heftier, more stable fabric that doesn’t change shape on you every few seconds!

The finished product is nice and warm, and was also super quick! I didn’t line this one, so it only took me one cutting session and two sewing sessions to complete (to compare, my first Chardon took me almost a month!). Oh, and did I mention it has *pockets*? Here it is in today’s outfit:


Top: Banana Republic, Jacket: Anthropologie, Skirt: handmade “Chardon Skirt” by Deer and Doe, Leggings: Banana Republic, Boots: Clark’s

And without the jacket, so you can see the pleating and belt loops:


And lastly, at only $10 a yard, this skirt cost me under $30 – compare with this similar skirt from a high-end retailer that’s over $100. I’ll take that!

Winter is Coming!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little Game of Thrones reference, since today’s post is about preparing for the cold. One thing I realized when I moved to Boston was that I really needed to find a proper scarf! Since I’m a knitter, though, I felt guilty just buying one when I could make it, which inspired my latest knitting creations – two cowl-neck “scarves”. I chose cowl necks because they will keep my neck and chest warm without adding extra bulk under a jacket or coat. Also, my mom got me the patterns as a gift, so I had to try them out! Here they are:


Pattern: Shawl Collared Cowl by Alana Dakos, Yarn: “Homespun” by Lion Brand (color is “Edwardian”), Buttons: from Bead + Fiber, my local yarn and bead shop


Pattern: Zuzu’s Petals by Carina Spencer, Yarn: merino wool from Dirty Water Dye Works, a local yarn maker, also purchased at Bead + Fiber

I love both of them, and usually end up wearing one of them pretty much every day. In fact, yesterday was warm enough that I just wore the cowl without a coat!


I know that colder days are coming, but I think I’m ready!

Santa Fe Adventures

Before you ask, no, I didn’t go to Santa Fe, nor do I have any plans to in the near future. However, I did spend my weekend making this awesome Santa Fe Dress from Nancy Zieman’s new knits series, and so far I’m loving the result! Here it is in today’s outfit:


Dress: handmade “Santa Fe Dress” by Nancy Zieman, Cardigan: LOFT, Belt: Banana Republic, Leggings: Banana Republic, Boots: Clark’s

The dress took me one evening to cut out and one afternoon to sew – not bad! It’s made from a soft, drapey bamboo/Lycra blend, which was a pain to work with (hence one whole evening just to cut it out!), but wonderful to wear. The pattern ended up being a little too full in the back for my taste – some sewers had commented that the dress tends to fit like a nightgown – so I added ties to the back. I didn’t want to remove any of the fullness through darts or a back seam because I knew I needed the extra fabric to cover my shapely bum, so I think the ties are a nice solution for me. Folks without my tummy/bum shaping might find other solutions are better for them.


The detail that attracted me most to this dress was the folding in the top. It was really fun to sew, and it looks like something you’d buy from a trendy retail store. Win win!


One last comment about the dress – it cost me $38 to make. $35 for the fabric, $3 for thread. That might not seem super cheap to you, but 30 seconds of online research showed me that bamboo dresses tend to run about $80-$120 retail. So not bad after all!