Thursday, September 27, 2012


If an incorrect bobbin size has been the source of all of my sewing machine woes.... well, I'll be damned!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I had some qualms about this fabric. It is polyester from Jo-ann. I try not to buy polyester, mostly because it's not very breathable, and breathability is important when the wearer's range of comfort is four degrees. Honestly, anything higher than 73 degrees and I'm probably already sweaty. But the dogs called to me... so in the end i came home with 1.25 yards. 

I initially planned to make a simple sundress with elastic/tie waist, but then had second thoughts. I don't wear sundresses/dresses all that often, and the thought of lining it.... seemed like too much work. Then, this one Anthropologie blouse popped into my head.  So totally copied it.

draped snail tank- anthropologie

split back with ruffles

The dog fabric doesn't drape as nicely as the silk-- it's a little too thick. But I suppose it was more of an exercise in pattern alteration.


I mashed up two Simplicity patterns I had on hand-- one for the neckline, the other for the armscyes and  length, and drafted the back as best i could. The neck and armholes are finished with a bias facing. 

The blouse is a little shapeless as is. It needs a snap on the back so the "flaps" stay together, otherwise, be worn with a belt. 

Pattern: Simplicity 2593 + Simplicity 2406
Fabric: polyester, from Jo-ann
Time: 1 hour (pattern drafting); 3 hours (sewing)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

a productive sewing day

I recently heard about this musician, Eric Royer. Also, check out his amazing guitar machine that he built! Amazing. and coordinated. 

Pretty sweet, huh? 

A question... Do you ever stop short of finishing a project that is 99 percent done because you are (temporarily) sick of the thing? Or are you the type to plow through till the very end?

I have always been the latter type, until I realized that plowing through to the very end often resulted in a lot of shoddy sewing: mostly crooked, lumpy hems and wonky armholes and necklines. So I am trying to be better about this. Good night to you, dog blouse!

Earlier today, I finished up some ufos; Shirts 1 & 2 for my nephew, Franklin. DONE! I love this child to bits.

All that needed to be done were the snaps. But I do the snap applying outside, and it was so hot for the past few weeks, and... and... anyway, they are done.


Hand embroidered name/labels

I love adding details, like the red button, and embroidery and the seersucker accent fabric. I also used the seersucker for the undercollar (I am going to call it that, because that's what it is).

Pattern: McCall's M6016
Fabric: 0.5 yard gray linen (Jo-ann); 0.5 yard gingham shirting from the Michael Levine Loft
Time: about three months... but honestly, it should take a few hours

Thursday, August 23, 2012


My friend, Nikki sent me this picture of Baby E. looking just so comfy.

Hey Doll!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Olympics and hoarding

Platform diving is crazy. Especially when the divers do handstands at the edge of the platform... my stomach jumps into my throat every time they do that.  Also. Mo Farah and his friends running sprinting at a sub-4 min mile pace.  I have no words for that kind of awesome.

I also do not have words for the extent of my UFO hoarding. All I can say is 1) At least it's not animals... that would be problematic 2) It is a light hoarding. Does that make it any better? I think so.

130 cats in a Moscow Flat.

Anyway, I'm going post the before shots here, so that in the event I am flattened by a falling bag of unfinished objects, people know where to look.

shirt #1 for nephew
(started in May or June)

shirt #2 for nephew (started in July)

blouse for me (started in February)

shorts for me (started in July)

PURPLE WAD- the (un)wearable muslin
for a dress that I will post about soon (started in June)

There are a couple other projects that are lurking around here somewhere:

  • a green double knit boxy sweatshirt that looks like a green bag (started in April)
  • a silk blazer (started in May)- i've cut the cloth and started assembling some of the pieces, but it is not far enough along to be considered a UFO. Hah! 

As for future objects-- I just got this red dog print from Joann the other day. What to do with it?

Friday, August 10, 2012

UFOs (2)

I heart Kimbra.

If you have not watched the music video for "Cameo Lover" you must watch it now.

Back in January, this song was playing on the radio while I was driving. Not knowing what it was, the moment I got home, I looked it up on the playlist. Then I proceeded to listen to the song about 35 times straight. Obsessed? YES. The dancing, the outfits, the colors, the confetti, the men with painted nails and lipstick? YES! This song is pure fun. I am going to watch the video again. 

Okay. So Kimbra's dress. Don't you love it???

I thought about Kimbra's dress from that video for many many days and came up with this shirt. Not as fabulous as Kimbra's... but I like it. I found the trim in March, while looking for trim for another project. The cream poly was in my stash, so once I bought the trim, I sewed up the shirt in a hurry. The thing was, there wasn't enough material to finish the armholes. Doing some math... that means it took me 4 months to buy another 1/4 yard of the material from Joann. FOUR MONTHS. And the Joann is only a couple miles away. AND I went to Joann MULTIPLE times in between. Good grief. I have issues. 

There are many mistakes on this shirt; I removed the bust darts and the neck binding is attached incorrectly (which I didn't realize until after the pompoms were attached). I also tried out some techniques on this shirt, like a fabric-covered button and a hand-sewn thread loop. I wore in for my birthday party. FUN!!!

There's still a couple feet of trim left, so I plan to make another blouse with sleeves. :)

Check out the height of that cake!
Pattern: Simplicity 8523
Fabric: 1.25 yards- polyester from Joann; pom-pom trim from Target Trim (in downtown LA)
Time: About 5 months


Original Post written on 7/1/12 

I have a problem, as evidenced by this blog, which i created a year ago and only today write the first post.

My greatest personal challenge is following through with a project until the very end, and doing so with the same level of attention and care that I began with.  There are a number of projects that have been sitting in the closet, patiently waiting for their necklines, armholes and final hems. It's my mini goal over the next couple of weeks to finish these unfinished objects (UFOs). Then there's no need to reason with myself-- "well, if I keep my jacket on, no one will see that the armholes have raw edges..."

I hope that by documenting my sewing process, I become a better seamstress. A more careful and thoughtful sewer, which might mean spending less time with my frenemy--the seam ripper--hurrah!

I finished this shirt yesterday while watching the Olympic swimming trials.

The main issue was the sleeves. I had only bought one yard (which happens frequently) and therefore had to cut the sleeves a bit shorter. Originally I thought a simple hem would work.  The linen was too thick for that and the sleeves stuck straight out, and when put on, it looked like a paper bag.  I decided a fake cuff would do the trick. I would have liked to continue the chevron pattern on the cuffs as well, but didn't have enough material. 

Anyhow, it turned out as well as it could have. I've already worn it several times. AND next time, I'll iron the shirt before taking pictures. But honestly, it's like 110 degrees in the garage (where the iron is), and I cannot bring myself to go out there. 

sleeve detail

Pattern: modified from D3 (one piece) from the Japanese pattern book フェミニンワードローブ ("Feminine Wardrobe").
Fabric: 1 yard, Metallic stripe linen from Michael Levine
Time: About a year. Hah!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Emma Dress

I drove my mom to Koreatown earlier today. While she ran her errands, I hung out at the adjacent shopping mall. The mall has a market, a food court and some random stores. But a tiny children's clothing store caught my eye. They carry adorable stuff-- all imports from korea. I bought a couple of t-shirts for my nephew and left wanting to sew something for a little girl.

This is what I whipped up. 

It's for a sweet little girl named Emma. She and her lovely parents were gracious hosts when I went out to NJ for a wedding earlier this month. 

Pattern: None. Just a basic little bodice shape with armholes, tying straps and a long rectangle for the skirt. I went straight to cutting/eyeballed everything. *hopefully it'll fit--at least until the weather gets cool. The bodice is a double layered, and the inside layer is slipstitched to the skirt. If you wanted to make the skirt a double layer, the dress would be reversible.

Material: < 1/2 yard cotton gauze and seersucker from my stash.

Time: Quick! About 2 hours start to finish.