fall wardrobe: vogue 9202


There’s so much to love about the sewing and design process: dreaming up new garments to make, investing time into perfecting the pattern, carefully stitching the pieces together–I could go on. But I think we can all agree that the best part is seeing the finished product. There’s nothing quite like creating something with your own two hands and experiencing the satisfaction that comes with it. For me, it’s also a thrill to see the design elements and colors come together. In college, one of the most important things I learned was the importance of cohesion in a collection, and that theory has stuck with me since then. Every once in a while, I will whip up a stand alone project, but most of the time I like designing mini collections with coordinating components in a thoughtful color story.

Over the past few weeks I’ve posted my list of projects for fall, and I finally have quite a few things finished. (Cue a happy dance!)¬†First up is Vogue 9202. This pattern had me the moment it was released. Jewel neckline, short sleeves, fit and flare silhouette, interesting seams–yes, just yes. I went with view B in a gorgeous fall floral sateen from Promenade Fine Fabrics in New Orleans. You find the fabric here. I should also mention that I thought I had all my autumn colors picked out until I saw that fabric. It changed everything. I mean, how perfect is it for fall?!

I carefully measured the pattern, but I did not sew a muslin–which is not unusual for me. Sometimes I do them, sometimes I don’t. Anyway, the dress ended up being about 4″ too big in the bodice, so I took it in at the center back seam. I had to recruit Ty to help me, as this would have been an impossible task to do by myself. (I know those pins are kind of all over the place. Don’t worry–I measured carefully and trued my pattern.)


I adjusted the pattern, took in my center back seam, and closed the lining around the zipper and waistline. Here you can see the closed waistline seam:


I lined the entire dress and I also added a neck facing, which I think looks nice inside a garment. It’s hard for me to only line the bodice of a dress. If I’m going to go to the trouble of doing that, I want to just line the whole thing. Plus, I don’t like seeing the pockets and seams. Concealing all of those details is, for me, cleaner and more professional looking.


You’ll notice I didn’t use an invisible zipper. That’s simply because I’ve had more invisible zippers break on me over the years than regular, polyester zippers so I use a polyester zipper in a centered application whenever I can, with only a few exceptions. Plus, it was fun to go with a marigold zipper and thread to highlight that color in the fabric.





Look at those gorgeous seams!


Side seam pockets (a must have, of course):




(Bear with me on this video quality. I’m working through the learning curve of editing video!) On me:



So, things you need to know about this pattern:

#1. It is gorgeous.

#2. There is quite a bit of ease in the sleeve. So much, in fact, that I wanted to cry setting them in.

#3. The dress runs big. I could have cut this two sizes smaller than my regular size.

#4. It’s easy to sew, and feels absolutely wonderful on. It’s comfortable, the pockets are great, and the seams could not be more flattering.

Finally, total cost. The fabric was $14.98/yd and I got four yards. I also got four yards of cotton lining at $2.50/yard, plus a zipper for about $3, and two spools of thread for about $3/each. About $80 total. Of course, when you count the hours spent in production, that number would be much higher.

Overall, I’m delighted with how well this project turned out. I wrote my project notes when I was still a bit frustrated with the sleeve and size issues, but I would make this dress again, for sure. It just checks too many boxes for me, and it’s so darn flattering.


Off to finish more goodies for my closet. Does the sewing ever really end?! Have a great week!

fall wardrobe: additions

Mondays are usually the worst, but I woke up this morning excited for a new day and a fresh start. I’ll be out of town again next week (who am I with all this travel lately, sheesh), so the next few days are all about wrapping up a few projects and styling and photography and editing and writing posts. I’ve been hard at work on my fall wardrobe, and lots of progress has been made. So far I’ve finished four skirts, two dresses, and a cardigan, which, now that I type it out doesn’t sound like much. Keep on keepin’ on, I say!

I had a moment last week when I looked at some of the patterns I’d picked and some of the fabrics I was working with, and I decided that I needed to do a little editing. So, I spent an entire afternoon removing a few things from my list of projects and saving a few others for my “winter” to-do list. I’ve scratched a couple new patterns off my list in favor of ones I’ve made in the past with success.

My shirtdress kick is still going strong, and I loved this design from Vogue’s fall collection. I love the pussy bow, and had every intention of doing view B with the bow in a gorgeous olive sateen. This dress isn’t quite a shirtdress–there’s a button placket down center front, but it doesn’t extend all the way to the hem of the skirt. And there’s a side zipper. Guys, I’m just going to put this out there: I cannot stand side zippers. Talk about a pain. Plus, what’s the point of a shirtdress if you can’t get into it like a shirt? Anyway, after looking closely at the pattern pieces, I decided to put this one away for another day. I still love the design, but I will need to invest some serious time into extending the button placket all the way down center front and eliminating that pesky side zipper.


So, I’ve replaced Vogue 9201 with Vogue 9077, a dress I’ve already done twice. I’ve adjusted the pattern so that the button placket extends all the way down, and I also drafted a back yoke and front facing piece. The fit is fantastic. So, over the weekend I cut out view C in olive sateen. Just like the pattern envelope–ha!


Also, I added these two tops to my to-do list. I’ve cut out Butterick 6244, view A in a delicious ivory double wool with a hint of stretch.


In addition to the button up blouses I’m doing in olive and chambray, I also want to do a couple pullover blouses. This pattern is perfect and, again, I love the tie collar. I cut this out in an eggplant shirting with a little stretch.


And before I forget, I also added this skirt to my list: Vogue 1486. I made it last spring in a lovely yellow floral sateen, and I want to do it again in a eggplant twill with a black floral design.


So, lots to do this week. I promise, I’ll post everything when it’s finished. I’d love to know how your projects are coming along too. Send me pictures!

Happy sewing!

before and after: the living room

Hello! I hope you’re all having a great week! My apologies for the radio silence last week. Ty and I traveled a little bit in September, which always throws off my schedule. Then it takes me a few days to get back in the swing of things. That tends to be the case with me when I work with self-imposed deadlines that I can change on a whim. Anyway,lLots of things coming up this month that I’m really excited about, so stay tuned.

This little blog may be but a wee babe yet, but by now you know I love fashion. I mean, that’s what this space is dedicated to, my lifelong passion of creating things to wear. But my love for pretty things extends beyond my closet. I’ve always loved creating lovely, cozy spaces in my home as well. I was that girl who loved cleaning and organizing her room, and I was constantly rearranging the furniture. I’ve never had a significant budget for these things, so I’ve spent years figuring out how to do the best I can with what I have. I’ve made more curtains and pillowcases than I can possible count, and I’ve spent many an hour sanding and painting side tables and furniture that I’ve rescued from a thrift store.

There was a block of time during which I completely neglected our home (ahem, the “business years”), and I look back on pictures before I put some time and effort into it with a mix of horror and sadness. That’s all behind me now, and I’ve happily put some love and attention into our living room. Now, I’m no expert at this and I’m very trial and error when it comes to interior styling, but I love how this space has come together.

With the exception of the TV, everything in this room was a hand-me-down or thrift store project. The couches, red chair, side tables, and TV stand came from my parents when they got new stuff,¬†and the coffee table came from a neighbor’s garage sale. Makes me wonder what on earth we sat on before we got these pieces.



For Christmas a few years ago, my parents sent us the art you see on the wall. It is the single most incredible thing that’s ever hung on a wall ever, and getting it inspired me to decorate this room. Also, yes, the ironing board and rolling rack basically lived there for a long time. Yikes.


A sad, boring mess.



I knew I wanted navy striped curtains, and I found two sets and inexpensive rods at Marshall’s last year. They were a bit long, which was lucky because the stripe placement wasn’t the same on both pairs. I cut from the bottom of one pair and added that to the casing of the other pair to even everything out. If you see the curtains in person, you can tell right away which ones I fixed, because I used matching thread. Can’t complain too much, because for $20/pair you might run into this type of thing. Good thing I’m pretty handy with a sewing machine.




I bought new lamps ($30/each at Marshall’s), accent chairs (about $150/each at a local home decor store), and pillows (an insanely good deal at Ross, 2/$20), but everything else is an item we already had. I took the white shelves on the left from the guest room (I’ll worry about that room later), and the other odds and ends I’ve gathered over the last year or longer. The mirror on the right was hanging in Ty’s apartment when we met–I just spray painted it. The white tree was a clearance item at HomeGoods I snagged last fall for $40.

The couches are about 15 years old at this point, and they look it in some spots. Those poor couches. Man, have they seen some you-know-what in their time. Spills, dirt, coffee, food, filthy puppy paws, you name it. They’re still comfortable, but I spend a good amount of time cleaning them. That’s what happens when you have big dogs that you allow on your couches, so I’m not sure what we’ll buy when we’re ready to upgrade one day.


On the right is the hutch I found at Salvation Army last year and refinished.




Just ignore the clutter in the space behind the living room. It’s a weird layout in the front of the house with this odd half wall thing separating the two front rooms. We don’t even use them. The puppies run around and play in them! There’s literally nothing in there, but we do use the half wall nonsense for mail, dry cleaning, and odds and ends. It’s basically a giant junk drawer space.


My next project is the master bedroom, but we need so much new furniture in there that I might ignore it a little longer. I can, however, give you a tour of my studio. After years of making do, I finally have it how I want it.

Happy Wednesday!

how to: hem a circle skirt

Hey, y’all! First things first, you’ll have to pardon my radio silence this week. Ty and I went to Oklahoma last weekend, so my usual weekend catch-up/photography/blog writing days were spent on the road. I’ve got a quick post for you today, and then lots and lots of fun things coming up next week and into October. I’ve finished a number of fall projects, so I’m really excited to show you what I’ve been working on.

Last week, I showed you how to level a hem on a circle skirt (or a skirt in a delicate fabric). To kind of bring everything full circle (ha!), I thought it would be a good idea to show you how to hem this type of skirt. Every once in a while I’ll get asked about this, and it’s one of the easiest things to do. For this project you’ll need your skirt that has been leveled, an iron, a hem gauge, and thread.

If you’re sewing a full or circle skirt, there’s no need for a deep hem. I happen to love the look of a deep hem on a lot of things, but it’s unnecessary on a circle skirt. If you want to spend the extra time and effort on a hem facing, go for it. It would be fantastic if you’re working on an evening gown or a couture piece, but for our purposes, you don’t need more than 3/4″ for the hem. Remember that the sweep of a full skirt can be quite significant, so you don’t want to make things more difficult for yourself if you don’t have to.

This hem is completed in three easy steps: turn up 3/8″, turn up 3/8″ again, and stitch. Some people turn up 1/4″ or an 1/8″ and then 3/8″ or more. None of these methods are wrong, I just happen to like mine better. Plus, I’ve been doing it for so long and hemmed hundreds of these types of skirts, so I could probably do it with my eyes closed at this point. Maybe that’s a stretch, but I digress.

Step 1: With the wrong side of your garment facing up on your ironing board, turn up and press 3/8″, all the way around.


Step 2: Press up again 3/8″, all the way around. Pin in place if you need to, but with solid pressing, you shouldn’t need to do this, especially if you’re going right to your machine after you’ve pressed the hem.



Step 3: Sew.




From start to finish–leveling the hem and actually hemming the garment–this takes me less than an hour. The end result is a clean, professional hem.

I’ll be back next week with new posts. Until then, let me know if you have any questions, and have a great weekend! Adios!

how to: level a hem

Isn’t it funny how quickly people can dismiss sewing as “easy” or “old fashioned”? I used to get really, really bothered when someone would say they didn’t know sewing was “a thing” anymore or assume that because I knew how to sew that I also spent my spare time in a dark basement somewhere churning butter or washing clothes on a washboard. Because that goes together? At any rate, I don’t care anymore. Sewing is a serious skill, and there’s a lot more that goes into it than people realize.

Back in the day, before all the sewing hours and experience had really added up, I was a little intimidated by hemming things. How do I do it? Is it done by hand? How much does one hem something, anyway? Turns out, just like everything else, there’s tons of different ways to do things and different projects call for different hems.

Have you ever noticed a dress or a skirt in a store with a funny looking hem? Uneven or longer in some spots? I have, and I even bought one once because it was linen and floral and pretty and I had to have it. I also knew it was an easy fix.

Sometimes, full skirts and certain fabrics (chiffon, charmeuse, linen, rayon, and others) will “fall” on the bias and require a leveling off before you can hem it. You can make changes to your pattern to account for this, but I think it’s better to cut it as you normally would and just level it off after you’ve sewn it. No need for the headache of figuring out the pattern for that. (I try to avoid headaches whenever possible.)

If you’re working with one of those tricky fabrics that may need to be leveled, or if you have a full skirt, this post is for you. Don’t be intimidated–it’s really easy! There’s a little tool that basically does all the work for you.


My hem marker is vintage, and quite short (so I park it on an upside down trash can to raise it up). JoAnn and others sells a modern version of this tool, but instead of using pins like mine it uses chalk to mark where the hem should be cut. Still does the same job. In addition to a hem marker you will need the following for this project: pins, measuring tape, and fabric scissors.

The dress I’m hemming in this post is one that I almost didn’t want to finish once Labor Day rolled around and I started having all the feels for fall, but it was already cut out and I have all the stars in my eyes for that gorgeous print. Plus, it’s Texas so it’s not like the fall weather has made it’s way down here just yet, so I can squeeze in a few more days of summery clothes.

I cut this dress to finish to midi length, but after trying it on I decided that I wanted it a little shorter, knee length. Because the dress sits at my natural waist, I could just measure from there to my desired length and mark it with a pin. Also, this is a full circle, which makes it even easier to mark and hem by myself, which is to say that if something is off by hair it won’t be noticeable. Oftentimes, this little project is a two person job, with a model wearing the garment while a tailor carefully marks the hem.


Notice that I’ve pinned at 25.75″, which will give me a 25″ length after it’s been hemmed. Now, I use my hem marker and adjust it to the spot of my pin, and then I pin all the way around the skirt in the same spot.




Following your pins or chalk marks, carefully trim the excess.



Ta-da! Leveled and ready to be hemmed. In case you’re wondering, this pattern is Vogue 9197 with a self drafted circle skirt. I’ll be dedicating a post to the dress next week, so stay tuned for the finished project. Let me know if you have any questions, and have a great weekend!