Renfrew: Sometimes it’s the simple things

Yep, just a basic short-sleeve, scoop-neck, heather grey t-shirt. Or as I like to think of it, a sewing fear subdued and another giant step toward my goal of never buying ready-to-wear clothing again. It’s not nearly as impressive to look at as some of my other makes, but this will likely get worn far more often.

I’ll need to make many more t-shirts before I’m as comfortable sewing knits as I am wovens, but this is a start.

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew t-shirt, view A w/ short sleeves, size 8
Modifications: shortened hem
Fabric: Vintage light-weight wool jersey

Reef PJs: Pastel-y

I’m continuing my quest to get rid of all of my Target pajamas. These are the Reef PJs by Megan Nielsen made out of two remnant pieces of linen I had in my stash.

I’m not sure I’ll make these again, the top twists around my torso when I move around in my sleep, but they gave me a chance to experiment with bias-cut fabric and the different stitches on my machine.

Pattern: Megan Nielsen, Reef camisole and shorts
Modifications: Shortened and slimmed the camisole at the side seams for fit, only put in one pocket due to extra bulk
Fabric: Linen blends from my stash

One for the pile of broken dreams…

I can’t be the only one to notice the similar styling.

Oh well – nobody said conquering my fear of knit fabrics would be easy. Next time I’ll use a bit more color and will grade the sizing up just a tad (not surprisingly, Brian thinks the sizing is just about right).

Pattern: Jennifer Lauren’s Bronte Top, size 10
Fabric: White stretch cotton knit from Fabric Basement
Buttons: Six simple white 2-hole buttons

Malachite Garden Cafe Curtain

A quick, easy and much-needed home decor project.


Neighbors moved in next door, so it was time to put up  a curtain in the kitchen.  My sister, Emilie, asked me to hem curtains for her daughter, Phoebe, when they moved into their new home last  year.  This was the remnant.  All I needed to do was trim down the length and attach the tabs.  Viola!  A pretty curtain that gives us privacy without blocking too much light, and reminds me of Emilie and Phoebe every time I see it.

I made jeans!

Do you have something that you’ve been daydreaming about making/building/cooking but you haven’t done it yet because of that voice in your head saying “You can’t do that”, “You don’t have the skills”, “You’ll waste time and money”…? Well, my “something” has been jeans.  I bought the pattern and supplies last October, then started doubting myself and passing them over for other less intimidating projects. Well, I finally kicked my self-doubting, risk-averse ass to the curb and got on with it and here they are. They’re far from perfect, but *I MADE THEM*! The added bonus – they weren’t nearly as hard to make as my brain made me think they’d be.

So if you have a thing you’ve been thinking about creating but haven’t gotten started because of a fear of failure, I propose you stop dilly-dallying and go ahead and do it already.


Pattern: Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans, View A (low rise)
Fabric: Cone Mills 10 oz indigo S-gene denim
Alterations: I raised & contoured the waistband to avoid gaping in the back and peek-a-booty and shortened the leg length by 2”.

Simplicity 3559: Holey hot mess

Holey (not to be confused with holy): defined as having holes.

Hot mess: defined as a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered, but maintains an attractiveness.

This holey hot mess of green Irish linen is my second version of Simplicity 3559. It could have been a simple and quick make if I’d: (1) kept notes on fitting the first time around and (2) paid attention when overlocking the edges so as to not cut a hole in the fabric.

Oh well. You win some, you lose some.  It’ll definitely get worn this summer regardless.

Pattern: Simplicity 3559
Modifications: Removed sleeves, turned under fabric on armholes to finish, shortened for length (as always)
Fabric: Vintage pure Irish linen in emerald green

My first version of this dress is below.  Thankfully this new one fits a bit better.


Vogue 7642: Looks can be deceiving

I was tempted to spend 2016 making only pajamas, but I have a wedding to attend later this month that requires a semi-formal dress. While I’m sure I have something suitable to wear in my closet, I wanted to use one of my fancier vintage patterns. Then, almost as if on cue, my lovely and generous friend, Jane, gave me this stunning dupioni silk in deep iridescent turquoise.

It turns out that Vogue 7642 was not the best pattern for this fabric (the gathers along the entire waist would be best with a drapier fabric) but I made some adjustments and am pretty happy with how this turned out.


It looks like a pretty straight-forward and simple make. This is a classic case of looks being deceiving. I used 5 different fabrics when making this dress.


I eliminated the gathers along the hips and back and replaced them with large box pleats. Not ideal, nor perfectly executed, but a huge improvement.


I inserted bra cups since this is very very low cut.


Fully-lined in grass-green Si Bonne lining. Silky smooth against my skin. Stitched in mostly by hand.


Satin-lined pockets hidden in the front seams.


I’ll likely wear it with this pin since I am not a huge fan of necklaces.

Pattern: Vintage Vogue 7642
Modifications: Took up by 1″ at shoulders, shortened waist band height, shortened skirt length, replaced gathers along waist/skirt seams on sides and back with large box pleats
Fabrics: Dupioni silk gifted to e by my friend, Jane, the upper bodice and skirt are underlined with organza, the waist band is underlined with cotton organdy for additional stiffness, pockets are in satin