Blogress Report: Button-up Shirt and Wrap Dress DOMINATION!!! Sort of!!!!

Great news. It’s official. I am slightly smarter, slightly more accomplished, and slightly closer to crowdsurfing through thousands of adoring fans while people call my name and the trumpets sound and fireworks are exploding and Beyonce’s lipsyncing the national anthem and all there is to eat is pizza!!!!!!!!! That’s what dreams come true is, isn’t it!?

I just completed my next round of sewing projects! I took a “Perfect Shirt” class, a dress class, and also textiles! This weekend I have been doing a lot of last-minute crunching to get these suckers done.


The “Perfect” Shirt is certainly not flawless, but this was an incredible introduction into traditional tailored garments. I made a shirt somewhat similar to this when I was back in high school, but it looked like doo-doo and was never seen again. This was a second chance for me, and it still wasn’t a walk in the park, but some serious progress was made!

Check it out!


Eh? Eh??! I can’t take credit for just whipping this out myself, because I definitely had some guidance.That being said, I did have to finish a considerable amount on my own time since I missed some classes for my travels home.

Here’s what I learned:

-Proper plackets. The Rubik’s cube of fabric folding.

-Collar stands

– Adding structure with a yoke on the upper back.

– How to make a proper cuff

Here’s what I need more work on:

– Everything. There are a multitude of little tweaks that I couldn’t possibly think that I’ve mastered here, but all time spend working on this was incredibly worthwhile. There is little to no creative freedom in a project like this, so it is a classic example of “practice makes perfect”



Image << That’s the print up close.

This was a fun project to do because it didn’t require any zippers or buttons!!! Wahoo!! The fabric was fairly easy to work with and the garment seems to fit fairly well. It is lined with a grey synthetic, which frayed easily, but for as often as I’ll wear the thing, I think it will be fine.

Here’s what I learned:

-How to use a hemmer foot: this is a tool that wraps around the edge of the fabric and curls it as the machine stitches. This helps to make delicate hems.

-How to use twill

-A refresher in pattern manipulation

What I’ll work on for next time:

– Patience with the hem. I thought the hemmer foot would solve all my problems, but it is not a cure-all

– Measuring more accurately. It fits fairly well, but girls ain’t gettin’ no bigger.

– Like the shirt, just overall confidence and proficiency.

I think the skill I am closest to mastering after this weekend is ironing. This is way more crucial to the construction process than I had ever imagined. I won’t try and make an irony joke here, but please know that I want to.

Well that’s all folks! I’m tired of sitting down, so I’m off!

As we say ’round here– cheers, to sucking less!


WEEoooWEEoo: Project alert!… and a follow up on fabric!

So these past couple weeks have brought new excitement with the beginning of my intermediate dresses class. Each woman is given a different dress pattern of her choosing and over the next weeks we will complete it thoroughly!

“Uhh so you’re getting a pattern and making it? That’s it?” Yes. And also, no! This dress class incorporates pattern fittings, instruction on lining, new skills, and close supervision. So when I’m all done I’m going to have a dress that doesn’t just reflect skills I have, it will also be a showcase of new ones!

Here’s the pattern I chose:


This wrap dress  is an exclusive pattern of my sewing studio, but is clearly inspired by the classic design of Diane Von Furstenburg in the 1970’s as a way for women to look professional and also stylish in the workplace. It still holds that purpose today, but can be worn on any occasion that suits you!Image

My venture to Fabric Depot the other day was to scavenge through the myriad of cloth choices to find something that I would want to wear, that fit the criteria, and, most importantly, matched my hair (which is still difficult….)

I found a 100% cotton print that is sturdy, but has just a little give and is lightweight enough to wear in summer, but not too lightweight that it wrinkles easily! Some pretty fabrics didn’t stand up to the wrinkle test. (Tip: next time you are thinking about buying a clothing item or fabric, take a bit of the material and bunch it up in your hand. Release it, and see if the wrinkles stay. The more wrinkles, means the harder the garment is to maintain it’s original shape, and is something to take into consideration.)


This stuff passed the wrinkle test with flying colors, and I found a grey lining for a reasonable price that should hang nicely with it.

As you can see, it’s not really wearable yet…


But if Portland keeps having such nice weather I may never need it!



Time to go and soak up that vitamin D! Have a great Saturday, and thank you so much for reading! You may think I’m just saying that, but I’m not. It means a lot 🙂