Category Archives: clothes

Blue & White Seersucker blouse

Butterick B5261


Its a raglan sleeve blouse with strange cuffs and a convertible collar.  I’m a big fan of raglan, dolman, and kimono sleeves.  They’re easy to fit when you have narrow shoulders and a large bust, IMO.  That’s probably what drew me to this pattern in the first place. I’ve tried to buy it several times when Buttericks go on sale at Jo-Ann, and they never have it.  So I ordered it full price from Connie & paid shipping., which is not something I usually do.


I’m not sure what it is about this shirt, but it looks like something my grandmother would wear. Literally, I’m sitting here looking at a picture of her wearing something very similar. I really think its the convertible collar. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone in their twenties or thirties wearing a collar like this. Good news is that is a relatively easy fix on future versions.



I am very proud of my buttons and buttonholes! I realized I’ve never done a garment that needed multiple buttons & holes! I think it turned out pretty well.


I chose the shirttail version of the shirt. I’m NOT happy with how it looks in this shirt. I’m typically a big fan and I find it to be a slimming look. If there is a next time for this shirt, I’ll be adding an inch at the center front and tapering back to where the original hem is. As you can see below, it comes up in the center front, but with a 5/8″ hem allowance, there wasn’t much to do with it.


I do really like the back pleat, and I think the stripes look nice where the raglan sleeves meet the back.



The goofy cuffs… well they’re not your typical button down shirt cuffs. I HATE them. They make it completely impractical to wear in a normal day of my life. The sleeves are long enough to get in the way of doing dishes or cooking, and since they’re just a rectangular tube, you can’t roll them up. There is no stretch to the fabric so you can’t just scrunch up the sleeves either.



All in all, I’m not in love with this shirt.  I wore it one day.  It irritated me most of the day.  I don’t know if I’ll wear it much, but I am proud of the work that went into it. Its made well, and I’m sure it will hold up for a long time. All the interior seams are mock felled, and I love the durability that gives along with the fact that it just lays nicely.  I think I executed it well, and that it’s just not my style.  And really, I don’t think twenty somethings are Connie Crawford’s target demographic anyways.

If only I were working at my dream job, designing my own line of plus size sewing patterns for young people.  There is a tremendous hole in the market.  There are all kinds of super cute young pattern companies, like Colette, By Hand London, Wiksten, Sewaholic, and Tilly and the Buttons, just to name a few. None of which carry plus size patterns.  I get it, its a lot more work.  No blame on them from my little blog! On the flip side, plus size sewists like myself would love to just be able to pull a super cute pattern out of the envelope, cut and go. It often takes just as long for me to grade a pattern as it does to construct the garment.  If a plus size sewist wants the experience of just pulling the pattern out and having the correct sizes at her disposal, our options are few, and much more mature than I care to dress.

I don’t mean any of this to reflect poorly on any of those companies,  I love their work!  I just wish that there was even one company who got it, and made a plus size line.  And I wish that company was me. 🙂 Who knows where the future will take me.   If the last 14 months have proven anything to me, its that this life is wild ride and I have no idea where I’m going next.

I’ll end my rant/day dreaming now. Thanks for stopping by!!


Angie Dress V2.0

This is the second version of the Sis Boom Angie Dress – first one blogged here.
Angie Dress

I think my one big con of this pattern is that it requires bias binding.  (But really thats just a personal preference, lots of people don’t mind it at all.) I hate bias binding. I hate making it and sewing with it. If I can ever get my mom to teach me to line a bodice I may line these and make a lot more of them. For some reason, the whole idea of turning the lining and the bodice right side out through a shoulder seam just baffles me. Oh, and I guess there is one other small thing. They have you sew elastic to the back skirt/bodice seam. I have yet to do that technique on anything and have it look good.  I’m going with a casing for the elastic from here on out.

Angie Dress

Angie Dress

This one is a bit of a refashion I guess.  I took an old skirt that I thrifted years ago, cut off the waist band, and attached it to the bodice of the Angie.

Angie Dress

The top is a purple cotton bottomweight, the skirt was originally from Fashion Bug.  It was not a good look for me, but I loved the fabric.

Angie Dress
For this version, I added a second dart, this one in the neckline, and moved both the vertical dart and the new dart.  The vertical dart is now a horizontal bust dart, and the neckline dart is now in the armscye.  I had fun learning how to move darts around to do it. I’ve never done much with darts.

Some inside shots:

Angie Dress
(Please ignore the pup hair.)

I’m interested to see how different my current version of this pattern’s bodice is from the original. I think I may print one off to compare.  Initially I added quite a bit, and then I’ve been taking bits and pieces away since then.  I also did a broad upper back adjustment this time.

Angie Dress

Angie Dress

Bias binding EVERYWHERE!

Angie Dress

Angie Dress

And because you can’t have a twirly dress (as my daughter calls them) and not twirl:

Angie Dress

I have yet to actually wear it out in public. We will see how it goes. I think I might wear it tomorrow night when I go out to dinner with some girls. I also feel like its a super awkward length on me. Not sure how much shorter it should be. It is a fall/winter dress after all.

What have you been sewing?!

Angie Dress V1.0

I’m becoming a fan of Sis Boom Patterns.  First I made a Jamie,  I’ve now made 2 of their Angie dresses. Well actually almost a 3rd, but its a light floral, and the weather changed before I could finish it. The pattern is similar to the very first dress I ever made,  M5983, pictures below from the pre-blog days.

First dress I ever made!

The first one I really like.  Its the fabric I was going to use years ago to make a dress for my youngest sister-in-law’s high school graduation. (Blogged here.)

Angie Dress

That’s my “It has pockets!” face.

Angie Dress

I ended up cutting the bodice out twice. The first go ’round was way too big, thanks to my awesome flat pattern alteration skills. Fortunately I had plenty of fabric.

Angie Dress

Angie Dress

I meant to bind the edge to the inside of the dress, but I wasn’t paying enough attention and did it backwards. Oh well! I like it!

Angie Dress
I even made belt loops!

It absolutely needs a belt or a sash or something to break it up.  I was quite happy with my solution of using an old red t-shirt.  Its got some stretch so it’s comfy, but it serves its purpose.

Angie Dress

Just a tube, turned out & pressed. I folded over the ends.

Angie Dress

I finished edges with my favorite feature of my new sewing machine, a zig zag with it’s special overcast foot. By favorite feature, I mean the only thing I like about the machine. I need to write up a review.

Angie Dress

I really like the dress I think. I’ve only worn it once. I made it at the very tail end of summer, and it quickly became too cold/too autumnal to wear. I am looking forward to wearing it in the spring for sure!

Angie Dress

cold winter days

Howdy! It’s been a crazy few weeks around here. Lots of difficulties, but some really happy times too. We had a great time at my family’s Thanksgiving, and the little one got to see all four of her great grandparents. That’s always pretty cool.
The day before we left I started sewing her a special dress for the occasion. I had about a half hour’s work left and we really needed to leave.
So the plan was to finish it up at my mom’s, and of course we get there and neither of her sewing machines were usable. Such a bummer!
I finally finished it up today. Learned some new skills, or got to put some new skills into practice I guess.
I lined a bodice, under stitched it beautifully, and used a zipper. It needs a bow but I have managed to lose the ribbon I bought to go with it.
I saw these super cute little ornaments last year, and full of good intentions, bought the supplies. Finally found the time to start them this past week.
I never bothered to click the link, or I’d have known that she had templates available. (That’s the trouble with pinterest for you.)
The originals are way tidier than mine, and I’m just fine with that. These are turning out to be pretty relaxing to make.
Well, there have been countless other sewing projects getting worked on around here. Lots of curtains being made, I tried my hand at quilting, and I’m in the process of making a couple skirts. I’ve got boot fever, and skirts/tunics are the only way to go with leggings IMO.
More to come soon!



‘I, Amy Jo of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear something I have made or refashioned each day for the duration of May 2012, with as many thrifted items as possible.’

I didn’t make it the entire month last year, so although its the same pledge, I feel like it will still be a challenge!

Well, we’re almost through the month, and so far its a challenge!

MMM12 week 1

Not sure why the colors are so wonky looking. Oh well.

MMM12 week 2

On my flickr photostream, I’ve commented on almost all the daily shots and mentioned what about the outfit is me made, and what is thrifted.

MMM12 Week 3

Two days I’ve missed. Both were SUPER hot and I wore running shorts and a non me made tee shirt. Such is life.

If you’d like to see the full pix, click on over to the Flickr set.  Check out the full flickr group with everyone’s contributions too!

I’m not doing well about documenting my outfits nicely.  Most of my pictures are crappy and taken in a mirror, with my iphone, in my disaster of a family room, in the middle of being painted.But there isn’t much to do about it, if I want to document it, this is how it’s going to be right now. and that is OK!

I’ve gotten some sewing done for myself, and some for a client, so things are moving right along. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you with next week’s wrap up what I’ve sewn for myself! We shall see!!

Cynthia Rowley Tunic + Life

We have “settled into” our temporary housing. It has certain perks.

These are now decorating my sewing table and the tv area.


I hope I’m not the only person in the world who has put flowers in a Nalgene instead of a vase…


Here’s a peak of my new sewing space before I made a mess of it.


It really isn’t very fun condensing all your sewing goodies that will be required for the next month into one grocery bag. Very sad. At least we’re moving on to bigger and better things.



And here’s one after I settled in to alter the pattern…


I couldn’t bring myself to show you how messy it is now, in full on sewing mess mode.

I started sewing this Cynthia Rowley top on Monday night, in foolish hopes that I’d be able to get it done by lunch on Tuesday. Of course, that didn’t happen.


Original Inspiration: This version by LindsayT

She did these two other ones that I really liked, and here’s one by Miss Muslin, and one from Amanda at Adventures in Dressmaking

It looked good judging from PR, so I jumped right in.

I used Carolyn’s method to alter it, and was very careful with my alterations.


I’m glad I’m using an old sheet from Goodwill to do a muslin, the first go round didn’t go too well. It looks alright standing in these pictures, but it did not FEEL comfortable at all. Too tight and too big in all the wrong places.



Now its back to the drawing board again, or to the dining room table as the case may be.


Going to try a Full Bust Adjustment for the first time.
Looks manageable right?

Before I begin the slashing, I’m going to go enjoy the lovely life around me for a bit and hopefully go back refreshed.

(I planted the begonias myself, and I am so proud! Let’s see how long they survive!)

Me Made June Week 1

collage Me Made June Week 1
I wore something me made for about an hour yesterday (the refashioned capris), and spent the rest of the day in sweats. So no picture for the 6th.

I think I’ll just do a weekly post about outfits. Kind of annoying to post every day to flickr and then to here.

In other news, got to do some awesome family portraits the other day as well as some baby shots, and a picture I took of a storm was on the news. Exciting!

We’re getting ready to move, and I would really rather be sewing than packing. But I need to pack. We are officially moving this Saturday, and have to be out on Sunday.

Ok, back to packing!

Trials and Troubles

Well Friends & Neighbors, I am extremely frustrated. I made the muslin for the graduation dress, and finished it today. It was awful. Not just sort of not good, but awful. Apparently I am no good at grading. The shoulders extended three inches beyond the movement point of my shoulder, the bodice was about 6 inches too wide at the underarms, and the boob pleats gave it waaaay too much ease.

So very frustrating. I wasn’t going to blog about it, but I think its important to share our struggles and not just our successes. Otherwise, I think the sewing blogosphere can come off as a bit too perfect.

I ripped it apart before I took any pictures, so there is no evidence of my failing. Sorry. Since that is the case, I am going to show you some VERY random pictures. Some are old, some are new. None are borrowed or blue though, so don’t worry about that.

Also, if you’d like to read a slice of the stories associated with these pictures, head on over to the Flickr photostream. They will still appear to be equally as random, but hey, they might make ya giggle.

My favorite picture of my Gram

What is my solution with graduation looming in a mere 3 days?

I don’t know.

Poor little Angus car after a wreck.

Plan A – trace off whatever the largest size of bodice was Burda offered, and compare it to where mine had too much ease. Maybe that will provide some help, and I can just sew it up.

Our old dog Bear.

Plan B – Version 2 of the Jamie Dress from Sis Boom Patterns. Did I ever mention that I finished my muslin of that? And hated it? And promptly threw my hands in the air and threw the muslin in a pile on the floor? It was supposed to be an Easter dress. Now its June. But I eventually picked it back up, and determined where I needed to add and where I needed to take away. The good thing about that dress is that it cut out very quickly, and didn’t take a super long time to sew up.


Plan C – dig out the pattern from a dress I made last summer that I know fits me, and use it.

Hyacinths Sping 2011

Sigh. In three days?! While I’m trying to pack all my earthly belongings and buy a house?!

Oh goodness.

As you may have noticed, today is the beginning of June. As I have yet to actually get dressed and put on “real” clothes, I will be wearing something of mine in an hour when we go inspect The House.

Yes, we are so enamored with it that I will, from here on out, refer to it as The House with capital letters.

Driving Dogs

But back to clothes. So I will post tomorrow what I wore today, or this afternoon. Whatever. Yay Me Made June!

Oh. And did I mention my sewing machine is on the fritz?