Sunday, August 9, 2015

a shirt for Will

Finally! Some unselfish sewing came out of my sewing room..
I had bought Colette's Walden shirt pattern ages ago at SewLA and the yarn dyed 
grey chambray from The Fabric Store in Los Angeles also...
 Ahh memories of fabric shopping in Los Angeles.. 
Poor Will has been waiting over a year for his shirt!

It took a few muslins to get the fit right, as Will likes a pretty slim fit.

I found it  a pretty easy shirt to sew up, the collar being only 1 piece. I would like
to challenge myself to a 2 piece collared shirt soon.

We went to Temescal lake, so close to where we live, to take these
pictures. It was a beautiful afternoon, we stopped and read by the
lake for awhile and brought Roxy along. Thank you Will for posing
so nicely and putting up with my picture taking! Love you!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dungarees to go

Hello sewing friends! It has been ages since I posed in front of the old "good" camera for a blog post. I have been re-inspired to blog by my long long journey finally coming to and end- to finish my black denim Turia Dungarees. This is a story of a ready to wear longing that just had to be fulfilled. I tried on and pined after Madewell black denim overalls over a year ago, thinking about them all of the time.
I had black denim in my stash, and after seeing many adorable versions of the Turia I downloaded the PDF with much determination. Unfortunately that was over 3 months ago. I went through 3 muslins, much procrastination and one failed attempt with black stretch denim, and one broken overlock machine. I finally gave up on the overlock and settled for finishing the seams with a zig zag stitch.
Overcoming procrastination was also a problem, I found putting the computer next to my machine and watching episodes of Jeeves and Wooster very helpful.

The top I had made a few months ago from vintage McCalls 3238 dress pattern (with cotton block print I purchased on my trip to India ) and left unblogged, I was not too into the blouse at first. Now that I see it with the dungarees, I think that it is a perfect pair.

I used a black top stitch thread on the dungarees because: 1) that was what the RTW overalls of my dreams looked like, and 2) top stitching is not my strength and tonal top stitching hides this well.

I found the Turia to be a great pattern, easy to put together and easy instructions to follow. I just fiddled
with the fit a lot. The front rise being the main cause of my many muslins. I also slimmed the leg down just a bit and lengthened them so that I could do the bottom cuff.

One thing that having photos of myself in overalls made me realize is- they are not the most flattering
garment a pear shaped girl can choose. I really wanted a loose fit, and this contributed much to my
unhappy reaction to the pics. But still, I will wear this outfit proudly, and say pshaw to all of those people who say a girl should dress for her shape. I like dungarees, if that makes me a weird tomboy freak so be it! Who's with me? 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Owl Clover Dress

Hello friends, Happy New Year! I am excited to share with you my Christmas gift pattern and fabric, my owl clover dress. When the rents asked what I wanted for Christmas, of course I said fabric and patterns! I specifically asked for this owl print rayon from and the 
amazing Papercut Pattern the Clover Dress.

I really enjoyed putting this pattern together but labored over the decision of what fabric to make the chevron cut outs on the top bodice, I really wanted black lace but in the end the nude silk (leftover from Promballoona)  really was more complimentary to the print. 

One nice thing about this pattern is no buttons or zips to deal with, and it comes together fairly quickly.
I chose to use all french seams, because let's face it- french seams are always a good idea. 
And I didn't make a muslin, the dress looked like it was loose enough that I could rely on the 
measurements to be correct, which they were. I wouldn't mind having this dress be just a tiny bit
looser in future though. I did chose to make a self belt instead 
of the belt that the dress instructions include.

If  you are wondering if you should buy this pattern, I am here to tell you- YES! It is a winner in my book and maybe will become a TNT for me.

The front was a bit of a pattern matching fail, it actually did not even occur to me to try at all
until I sewed it together and realized that I should have.

Thank you to Katie for taking these photos and mom and Mike for the 
fantastic Christmas presents! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Free PDF Mia Dress

Hello fellow sewist! I have been lagging in my new projects of late, but I have long been wanting to share this pattern with you all, the Mia Dress! Advance apologies for not offering it in all sizes, as my pattern making skills have yet to be good enough to do a full graded pattern, a L-XL size will have to wait, but here I offer you a S-M. 

I am outlining the directions here in this post, it is a pretty simple make, no lining or zips! 
Hope that you will enjoy!  Here is what the finished dress looks like:

This pattern assumes basic knowledge of sewing skills and seam allowences are 5/8". 
You can sew right sides together, unless you prefer french seams. 

The steps are pretty simple- first start out by attaching all pieces of the bodice
at shoulder seam and side seam.

Next sew arm up the side and add 2 rows of
 basting stitch for ease gathering at top of shoulder.

Next attach arm to armhole easing as you sew.

Next step is sewing together side seams of the skirt.

Next add 2 rows of basting stitches at top of skirt for gathering.
Pull threads to gather and pin on bodice making gathers even around bodice.
Sew in place.

Next sew cuff ends together and fold in half.

Then you need to sew 2 rows of basting stitches at end of sleeve to
create gathering at cuff. Pin in place and sew.

To sew in bias binding at collar, first start with the keyhole, You can use double or single fold,
for the image I am using double fold.

For the collar I used single fold, so that it didn't show on the outside. Pin
in place on wrong side and sew into place at folded edge. 
If you want to create a tie leave desired length of tie free at ends and pin.

Then sew down on right side.

To finish off the collar you can either create a tie of add a button and loop with
bias binding at center back.

Finally just fold hem under 1/4" twice and stitch down, or sew your own preferred hem.
Note: I added 2" to hem for my version, I prefer my dresses to be a bit longer.

Click HERE to download the PDF. Fingers crossed this works! Cheers,
I hope you enjoy this little baby doll dress.
Please leave a comment below if the download is not working! Thanks!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Darling Ranges

Hello friends and fellow sewist! I have had the Megan Nielson Darling Ranges Dress in my stash for awhile, and finally last weekend I broke it out. It is such a sweet, straight forward dress. I am really
hoping it becomes a TNT for me, 

The only pattern adjustment that I made was my usual sizing up 1 at the waist.
I really love though how this pattern has the synch tie at the back. Brilliant!
I used a cute drapy heart patterned rayon from

I am pretty much in love with french seams these days. I am so proud, I even managed french seams
at the gathered waist band. So clean and easy, no messing with serger thread!

All in all I would love to make this dress again! I may lower the waist band and inch or so next time.
Cheers! xo 
PS Yes! I changed the name of my blog but not the address. And Yes! I am officially addicted
to hipster hats. This one is from Urban Outfitters.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Vintage Ballerina

It's been awhile since I blogged, moving and work have been keeping me busy. 
A few months back I made up this vintage ballerina pattern as a secret work project. Shh don't tell 
anyone! I thought I would blog it because it is the first piece of children's clothing that I have
ever made, and it was so fun!

My only regret is that I did not add more layers of tulle and gather it more tightly.
I think it would have been more of a tutu effect. In any case, working with tulle was
new to me also. I am going to give this to my darling niece Katie. Cheers!

Friday, July 11, 2014


Was it ever an actual question? How could I not want to join in celebrating the one and only,
incomparable, Oonaballoona's oonapalooza!
 I think it's about time to make something fun in honor of the gal who inspired me
to start sewing again, believe in myself and actually put pictures of myself in clothes
that I made on the interwebs!

So heres the skinny. I made a silk, sheer By Hand London Anna dress. I know how Oona loves
BHL, and I know her love of print. This is probably the closest I will get to orange! I don't
usually go for bright colors. The fabric was purchased at an amazing Indian shop called 
India Fabric Imports in Berkeley, the prices there are great and the prints are fabulous.
 I think that it is meant for a parsis, but this fabric had another destiny in it's future.

Let's all drink to this inspiring ladays day!!

Ok, so if you haven't noticed- the dress is a bit tight in the waist. I didn't want
to wash this silk but I should have steamed it before I cut it. Unfortunately all
of the steam from my finishing shrunk it down a bit. But it wouldn't be Oonapalooza
if it wasn't a bit sexy!!

Have a great month Miss Oona! Cheers!!