I don’t know where I first saw this. Such an AMAZING tip, since sometimes gathering sleeves to ease them in can transform a make from 1 hour to 2.


See that, see ALL those pins? Ok. So line up your front and back marks, they’re usually about 1/4 in from the side seam. Pin to the side seam. Line up the seam mark with the seam. Then start dividing and pinning. My seam allowance was 5/8″, so I pinned right through the seam allowance.


Yeah, it’s kind of ridiculous. And it is best to sew through the pins, so wear safety goggles if it makes you nervous (Or clear glasses of some sort. Anything to protect those eyes!).

I have to give a huge thanks to whichever blog it was I read however long ago that detailed this method. It’s been a while, since I don’t tend to make things with set in sleeves, but wow. It’s made such a difference to my attitude towards woven blouses!

Hope this helps, and happy sewing!

No, I haven’t forgotten about sewing. Mostly I’ve been too busy with other things, like work, to spend time sewing.

The denim look I mentioned in the last post got made into leggings, but I mis-marked the calf area of the pattern so I cut them off into shorts to wear under skirts. I’ve made another pair of leggings, and just got fabric to make 3 more pairs plus another pair of shorts (hopefully!).

The Hummingbird skirt I made ate the two slips I tried under it, and even stuck to the shorts I wear under skirts in the summer. It’s sitting in the “out” pile, and instead I’m wearing the *&^% out of a Hummingbird I made out of some black-and-white linen twill. SO nice. So comfy. Pockets are so perfect. Especially when lined with ghosts that look like sperms.

I made the PJ top (Grainline Scout), but it wasn’t a good fit and I couldn’t get the pattern to work without darts, so I just re-printed the front yesterday and did an FBA with darts. I’ll be making another PJ top soon to test that out. I’ve got to get my Hello Kitty PJs made! :)

The caramel knit was made into a Scout Tee, but I mucked up the neckline and need to re-do it. And also hem it level, IDK what I was doing with those pattern adjustments, but WOW. That is one messed up t-shirt. The fabric is lovely and swingy though, and I hope to do a twisted neckline like Sigrid shows here. I’ll add black bands to cuff the sleeves so it looks like it was done on purpose.

I’ve made TWO Belcarra blouses, with darted FBA’s, a 5/8″ petite adjustment above the bust, plus 5/8″ taken out of the front shoulder seam as a “forward shoulder adjustment”. The original blouse with just the FBA works, but the other adjustments just make it perfect. I have fabric for at least one more every day blouse, plus some silk charmeuse I need to find matching lace for, since I don’t have enough for sleeves.

And today I went out and purchased fabric to make a Cambie. I’m thinking the one with the full skirt will work better for my fabric. I got the purpley with orange and coral version, and have only seen dresses made up of the green version. Fingers crossed it turns out super amazingly awesome. Even though I’m out of her size range, Tasia’s patterns work really well with the application of an FBA. I’ll definitely be doing one (or two!) practice runs.

I’ll get some pictures up at some point. It might just end up being from my phone, but something is definitely better than nothing.

Hope your sewing is going well!

I was lazy, I admit. Instead of taking the waistband off and doing a “proper” alteration, I washed and *dried* the skirt, then whipped off 3/4″ from each side. Just a total of 1.5″ for the whole skirt as I used a 3/8″ seam allowance.

And it’s pretty much perfect now, except for the fact that it sticks to all my leggings, nylons and tights! Oh well. I have some super slippery nylon tricot I was going to make a new slip out of, so hopefully that will do.

I also went out fabric shopping (gasp!) and got some lululemon reject dark denim-look spandex for some leggings, a length of red-purple organic cotton for a scarf (which I’m wearing right now!) and 1m of some lovely caramel coloured knit for a t-shirt. Sadly the caramel knit smells like rotting seaweed when wet, so I’ll have to wash it a couple more times with synthrapol and vinegar, to see if I can get rid of that scent.

I’m also very slowly working on making some new PJs. Maybe I’ll have an initial set (wearable muslin!) done for this holiday weekend, but likely not. I have a lot to do at work this week.

Hello hello! I’m alive. I finished school and thought I’d have a lot of time to sew and blog, but then this confirmed night owl ended up with a contract working 7am-3:30pm. Getting up before 5am every morning is a really difficult thing to do, and I was so drained.

I ended up getting a real full-time job as a lab tech (yay! science!), and now that I’m more comfortable at work and know a bit more about what I’m doing, I actually finished something!

Yay, my Hummingbird Skirt!

It was so easy to sew, people. The only trouble I had was with the waistband, and that’s because I didn’t follow Steph’s instructions. I decided to be “smart” and make my standard waistband. Umm, no. It’s way too big because I cut it on the non-stretchy grain and thus couldn’t stretch it to subtly gather the back of the skirt like I had planned.

Oops. So that will be coming off and I’ll replace it with her waistband treatment. I’ll probably put a bit of ribbon into the seam, especially for the front, because I don’t want it to stretch much and I find my waistbands always stretch unless they’re reinforced with ribbon.

The fabric I chose to use sticks to EVERYTHING, so I’m wearing it with a slip today. Hopefully once washed I can figure something out (Maybe tack a slip into the skirt so the skirt doesn’t turn on my body? Line it when I replace the waistband?) so I can wear it more easily with leggings. I might also take in each side seam by 1/2 to 1 inch. Apparently I’ve lost weight? Wouldn’t have guessed that…

I have fabric for 3 more of these skirts waiting for me, as well as some red wool and black coat lining for a red wool half circle skirt with a yoke.

Red isn’t in my wardrobe colour plan, but it looks so good with black and charcoal, which are. I might even wear it with teal, if I find the right one to make some tops out of.

Yep, that’s my plan. Skirts and tops. I need a cardigan pattern. Maybe I’ll wait till I can order and download Sewing Cake’s Carmine pattern (you can see a small image here) once it’s released.

Sorry no pics. My place is still a disaster after hiking this summer. I am still working through reorganizing everything so it’s accessible for any potential sunny weekends coming up!

This feels really odd, this sewing costumes and wanting to document everything again.

Ahh well. It will be good for me. I hope.

Today I’m making a Renaissance shirt – very generic, out of white linen, to wear with those navy plus fours (thank goodness they still fit perfectly!), some white socks, and boots. My BFF and I are going to an event this weekend, and since my boobs are too big for most of my old dresses (it’s been a while since I’ve made anything!), the shirt-with-existing-pants seems like a good, swift option for a costume. No, not really accurate, but -ish enough, and comfortable.

I found this how-to at the Renaissance Tailor. It’s a little confusing, so I will include the measurements, what you should add for ease, my sketch, and what I think of the final product. I wish I had time to fuss with a shaped collar, but I don’t really so a straight one will do. I think I might also do a ruffle at the wrist, with ties and elastic, instead of pleating into a buttoned cuff. I hope to be able to wear this under my Italian Ren dresses once I get new ones made.

Now to iron the linen. Linen that’s been sitting in a bin on my shelving unit for years and years. Wish me luck!

(PS. Still sorbetto-ing. On muslin #2. Need to transfer front markings to pattern and re-cut that again. Then I need someone to pin out the back for me, which will happen on June 15.)

This pattern is annoying the snot out of me. My bust is 44″ (or so. It varies 1/2″ up or down depending on the bra and the day!), and the size 18 on the pattern is supposed to fit a 44″ bust, with a finished measurement of 47″.

Uhh, no. The back fits fine (surprise!), but the front is significantly small. I don’t get it! I’ve even triple checked that it printed at the right size!

Time to go back to the drawing board, do a slight FBA on that front pattern piece, then make it up again to see what to do about those bust darts. They end right on my bust point, which is hilarious. I need to move them back at least an inch, but maybe 1.5″.

Oh, and I need to do a petite back length adjustment (Above the armscye! ACK!), and a full bottom/sway back adjustment. But I think those can wait till I have the front fitting in a non-squishing manner.

I’m currently looking for work, as well as working 2 part time jobs, and finishing a paper for a class. So. Busy. So little money. And what do I need? Professional clothing. Hrm.

School has taken its toll. I haven’t been sewing much at all, and I also haven’t felt up to taking photos of the things I have finished. Which has been my Tiramisu dress, and a couple pairs of undies from the Lacey Thong pattern available at Fehr Trade. The undies go together amazingly well, and were super easy to grade up one size. The one thing? I really dislike low rise thongs. They have their place, and the two pairs I made will be very useful, but they’re not something I can wear regularly!

I had purchased some fabrics with the intent of making more things. Two more Tiramisu dresses, a couple t-shirts, more underwear, and activewear tanks. Sadly, it’s been a no-go. Especially since I was unable to sit for about 3 weeks there, due to damage to a disc in my neck. Oh yeah. Don’t do it, people. I’m doing physio and stuff now to help fix it, and it must be working as the level of pain has reduced dramatically. But unfortunately it’s left me struggling to catch up with my school work.

Anyways. Activewear. There is hiking happening this summer, no matter what’s up with my neck or work or anything. I need hiking pants, some comfortable knit tank tops, leggings (easy) or yoga pants (not so easy), and a long sleeved over blouse thing. Oh, and underwear! Everyone in my family swears by Icebreaker wool undies, but they do not fit me! So IDK what to do about undies. Obviously I can make my own, but what style? What fabric? I should probably cover the elastic as well so it doesn’t chafe. I also have a couple metres of nice Malden fleece that I was thinking of making a quarter zip top with pockets out of. I’ll trace a pattern off of something I already have for that, though.

Hiking pants should be good due to the amazing pants block that I did with Steph at 3 Hours Past. I just need to decide on a style and get some decent quickdry fabric for them. I’m hoping for a nylon with some stretch. I also want pockets that zip, a super stable waistband (possibly with some elastic), and a front fly. No belts, since they tend to bother me under the pack.

Knit tank tops should be loose and comfortable, with nice wide straps that cover my bra. A higher neck is also good, as my favourite sports bra is ridiculously high on my short torso. I was looking at McCall’s 6359, but would need to make modifications to the racerback. Mostly I don’t want anything clingy, but it has to work in a knit. I have so many amazing wicking knits available to me here for super cheap, and I want to play with them all! This pattern by Tanit-Isis could work really well, too. I wonder if I have enough of that lightweight knit to make one up. My bust is bigger than the biggest size, but with a bit of a FBA, I think it’d work really well.

Leggings are simple. I’m drafting my own based on my leg measurements. I’m using some info from Pattern School, and some from this Etsy Blog on how to sew leggings. I need a couple short pairs, and maybe a couple long pairs. I have the fabric picked out, and it’s amazing. Hopefully I can get my serger to cooperate and do flat seams.

Blouse: Possibly the most difficult thing to make, wow. It needs to be loose and have some mesh inserts for air flow. It needs to protect me from the sun. It needs to actually mostly fit me, unlike 99% of the sports blouses available. Why, Columbia, do you not ship your plus sizes into Canada? That would make this SO much easier! This one is also good, with the vents in the back. YES. (I fib a bit. I can get last season’s Silver Ridge long sleeve plaid shirt in Canada. Online only.)

Undies: I have a feeling I’ll be perfecting my old skool high waisted undies pattern for wicking knits. I’ll need to bind the legs or somehow hide the elastic, so it doesn’t chafe. I had hopes for the Fehr Trade thong pattern, but I’d have to make a lot of alterations to make it Hiking Safe. I might see if I can mush it together with my other undies pattern though, to get something that works well for me. A thong with coverage from the hips to the waist? Maybe. Maybe not.

Plans, I have them. Now to see if there’s any follow-through left in my school-weary self.


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