Category Archives: sewing

Pin Tuck Shirt

blankity blanking pin tuck shirt - done and in need of revisions

The Pin Tuck Shirt, which has had many names, is finally “finished.” First, it was just The Pin Tuck Shirt, then the Dang Pin Tuck Shirt, then The Expletive Pin Tuck Shirt, and later two versions of The Expletive Expletive Ping Tuck Shirt. I even lost it and had growing resentments towards it.

blankity blanking pin tuck shirt

But alas, it is done. Sort of. I hate it. I think I’m going to take 3 or so inches from the hem, add some strange dart/pleats to the collar, and add elastic to the sleeve ends. Hopefully it will be wearable!

blankity blanking pin tuck shirt

See how the collar has some bizarro gaping issues? I don’t know what is causing that.

Underneath it you can see the unfinished Annie Tunic. Its so close to being done, and yet I haven’t finished it. But it has to be finished by this coming weekend, so it’ll get done eventually!

Pretty fabric from Jo-Ann's that is bound to be a cute easy top.

I’m making a shirt with this fabric. Its very soft and flowy and has a great feel to it. Its from Simplicity 3700.  I’m just cutting the jumper down to shirt length and adding sleeves.


I’ve got a verse but can’t rhyme it…

I’ve gotta go where its WARM!

So good to be back to coastal Carolina!
^It feels SO good to be back to coastal Carolina!

So I am officially on Spring break! I’m visiting my friend Natalie in the Outerbanks of North Carolina & having a fantastic time!

Relaxing sea breezes

On the way down, I went to the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, Ohio with my husband & his Boy Scout Troop. It was pretty cool, we got to stay on Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and that was sweet. Aside from getting the beginnings of a sinus infection, it was a fun trip.

National Museum of the United State Air Force
^The entrance to the museum

The Annie shirt is almost done! I’m not sure how much I’ll actually love it, but thats ok! I learned stuff making it, so thats also pretty darned important.

I’ve all but given up on Me Made March, which makes me very sad. I only own four shirts, two dresses, and a pair of shorts that I’ve sewn, and 3 of those shirts are the only things that are appropriate for the weather in Indiana in March. I had grand plans of doing a lot more sewing this month so I could really participate, but that hasn’t happened. I also planned on refashioning 2 tee shirts and a couple sweaters to help me through it. What road do they say is paved with good intentions?

I want my house to have a porch like this!
^I want my house to have a porch just like this!!

Currently tracing an old pair of shorts that don’t fit width wise or length wise to re make them with new fabric. They’re just basic soffe’s shorts, but they’re comfy and they don’t make them a little longer and a little bigger.

Back when I was a camp counselor we lived in these shorts, however, as a mid-twenties respectable woman, I don’t feel that would be appropriate…and after all, isn’t that one of the great things about being able to make your own clothes?!

News, Everyone!

Well friends and neighbors, it’s day 2 of Me Made March! Woot!

So far, so good. I have suddenly realized that I haven’t made that many clothes, and am VERY glad I included refashioned clothes in my pledge.

News A: I finished marking and cutting out the Yellow sheet princess seam button down… (it needs a name, I’m going to call it my Joyce shirt.) I basted my first princess seam together! Yay! It wasn’t as terrifying as I expected. Probably because I hand basted it and nothing can be scary when hand basting.

Joyce shirt's princess seam basted together

I think it’s going to take a while to finish it, so I have devised a devious new way of keeping my projects together. I would like to avoid another loss like the pin tuck shirt. (See News B.)

Joyce shirt in new organizational method
In the big 2 gallon ziptop on the left is the leftover scraps and pieces of the fabric. Inside that bag go the two smaller bags, one with the tissue pattern pieces & instructions, the other with the cut and marked fabric pieces.

News B: I found that dang pin tuck shirt. I suppose I’m going to have to finish it now. Yippee Skippeee.

News C: I’ve started a tunic. Its Simplicity 4149.

The Annie Top

I’m calling it the Annie Tunic because my friend Annie once wore a shirt very similar to it, when I was just learning how to sew in 2008 or 09 and it is the inspiration behind it.

I’m making it out of a crinkly black gauzy cotton. It looks like it should be pretty quick to put together once it’s cut.

This is how big the babies are!
(Completely unrelated to sewing – babies in the greenhouse- So tiny and cute!)

News D:I got my point and shoot digital camera back from being repaired today! Yay!

News E: I drafted a new skirt pattern. Its a pretty simple A line skirt, but I had to complicate it with trouser style pockets, a waistband, and a front full length button closure. To be honest, its a knock off of Colette’s Beignet skirt. I am SO pro-small business, especially sewing businesses, and I try to support them whenever I can. BUT the fact is, the pattern is not available in my size, and I wouldn’t look good in that pattern as it is, so I’d have to do some major overhaul to wear it. Its easier for me to just draft a similar skirt myself.

Colette’s Very Cool inspiration skirt:

Inspiration skirt

First skirt drafting -Charcoal skirt

Hopefully I’ll get the Annie shirt or the dang pin tuck shirt done soon. Ooh or maybe the charcoal skirt…! Happy Wednesday!

Yellow Shirt pt 1

I’m not very good at breaking things up into smaller, more manageable chunks. Its something I’m working on.

For example, this weekend I sewed the selvage edges together of this sheet. Last night, I cut out all the tissue pattern pieces. After class and before lunch today, I ironed out the fabric. Tonight after my husband got home, we watched X Files and Highlander Season 2, and I laid out the pattern pieces on the fabric and pinned them. Later I cut them out in kind of broad strokes. That’s a lot of progress for me.

pattern all laid out to cut

I have no real idea how this will fit, so I’m taking the advice of the Amazing Fit patterns and leaving a 1 in seam allowance (instead of a normal 5/8 in.) This should give more wiggle room for adjustments. I’m marking all the lines, marks, darts, etc that are printed on the pattern with graphite paper on the wrong sides of the fabric. I’ll sew it up as directed first and go from there.

Probably won’t have any time to do anything shirt related tomorrow. Lots of school work. Maybe Thursday!

A gray bleak winter

Well friends and neighbors,  I have to admit something to you. I’m not so much a fan of winter. I actually kind of hate it. Its cold and wet and gray. Not my favorite combination of things. Its just rather depressing.

I’ve been sewing though!
New Shirt

I cut this last Thursday evening while watching Highlander: Season 1 (one of my favorite guilty pleasures.) I cut it from a tee shirt that I had that fit well through the arms/shoulder/neck area.

This was my first attempt at sewing a knit garment, so I’m fairly happy with it. Its not great, but it works. I also have about 6 or 7 yards of knit fabric sitting here, patiently waiting for me to sew it up, so practice is much needed!

And finally… pictures of the much blogged about Purple Party Dress!
Purple Party dress

I wore it for the second time on Valentine’s day when my husband and I went out to my favorite restaurant for dinner.
Finally, a picture of purple party dress

And here it is with the sweater I actually wore it with. I’m not a huge fan of the sleeves, but I’m not exactly sure what is wrong with them yet. And sorry for the awful pictures. I’ve not gotten the hang of photographing myself. And I can’t find the owner’s manual to figure out how to use my self timer… *SIGH*

Have I mentioned that I got my new Burda? I did. There are several things I want to make out of it.
I got my Burda Plus Fashion pattern magazine!

Courthouse at night!
This might be the very first night time picture I’ve taken with my camera. Nothing terribly impressive, but it was fun to play around with while waiting for my husband to get the car on Valentine’s.

Oh how I hope Spring is on its way!  In case its not, I just grabbed some fine wale gray corduroy to make a skirt out of that I’m quite excited about sewing!  I have this sort of miniature unpaid internship thing for school, and we have to dress “professionally,” which in my field, is not necessarily suit and tie.  I realized I have no bottom half of the body coverings that are warm or wintery or dressy other than one pair of gray wide leg trousers that must be worn with heels.  A gray corduroy skirt should fill that gap well, especially if I could get a black pant done too. 

Hope you’re having a less bleak winter than I am! 


Me Made March

I, Amy Jo of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-March ’11. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment, refashioned garment, or wearable accessory each day for the duration of March 2011!!


So that means I can wear a scarf or hat (if its part of an all day outfit, and not like, oh, its cold! I should put on a hat!) but not carry a purse or clutch and count it. And of course, any articles of clothing that I’ve made count!

I’m super excited! Zoe over at So, Zo… is hosting it. She’s done a Made by Me May and a Self Stitched September before. (Oh how I love alliterations!)

In order to do this successfully, I’m going to have to make at least a couple more shirts between now and March, and hopefully a pair of pants or a skirt. I’d really like to make a pair of trouser jeans, but I’m not sure how much farther I have to go with altering my Burda pants pattern.

We’ll see!

I’ve got a vintage yellow sheet with flowers on it that I’d like to make into a button down shirt, lovely soft and drapey blue oxford cloth, and this interesting linen looking cream with flowers print that I’m thinking would be good button downs. Then I also have a black gauze that I’ve been wanting to make into a simple tunic for almost 2 years. So if I can get those shirts and a pair of jeans done, I think I’ll be good to go!

Weeeee!!! I can’t wait.

Oh, and a progress update on the Dang Pin Tuck shirt… I have the sleeves but have lost the body of the shirt! Egads! Who does that? I think that perhaps I’m not meant to ever finish the stupid thing. At the rate I’m going, it might be done next fall. Stupid shirt.

Ok, that’s all for now! Go check out Zoe’s blog! She has a really cool style that isn’t much like my own, but that I really admire! (And some awesome info and posts on sustainability!)

Figure 8 Scarf finished!

I followed the tutorial here, and got my scarf done!

Modelling my new scarf!

The flowered side is a really soft cotton velveteen, and the purple and pink striped side is a SUPER soft cotton voile. I keep reading about people using voile, but oh my goodness! It is soo soft! I think I’m hooked!

It was somewhat difficult to sew the two very different kinds of fabric, but the end result was worth it. Just took lots of pinning. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the instructions on how to put it together. She has you press it after you’ve turned it out, and I think it would have worked better if I’d pressed it to one side while it was still inside out.

Anna Maria Horner Figure 8 scarf, other side

There was no way I was going to slip stitch the last seam together. I know that I’m pretty hard on clothes, especially winter wear, so I knew it would fall apart in a week. For me, it was better to just topstitch it, you can’t see it on the flower side (as you can see above), and I think bright topstitching adds a little something to the striped side (below.)

Anna Maria Horner Figure 8 scarf

It didn’t take long to make, and it feels very cozy. I like the colors, I always need more jewel tones in my life during the very gray Indiana winters. It was also nice to just sit and craft with my mom. She has a pretty awesome studio area, that has terrific light, and might as well be her own craft store.

A little bit closer look

Snowed in!

Well I’m officially on a snow day! There was supposed to be quite a bit of ice, so we went to my parents’ house to stay warm because they have a wood stove and a fireplace. That way we wouldn’t have to worry if the power went out.

snow day!

So aside from writing a paper that is still due at midnight tonight, I’m spending my snow recess sewing. I’m making a scarf!

I ordered a kit from Anna Maria Horner.

Here’s the fabric set I chose. Its called Winterberry.

I’ll be posting pictures as soon as I get done!

Vintage accesories and clothing resentments

Well I’ve been taking oodles of photos with the new camera. (Side note, I think it needs a name. I like to name things. My car’s name is Wilbur, and before my cars were Angus and Tommy. I think that perhaps the camera needs a more feminine name.)

Anyways! Lots of pictures, some of which are quite fabulous, and some of which are quite random. I would love to post them, but I’m at work, and they are sadly sitting at home on my computer, all alone and anxious to see the world. Soon my friends.

Haven’t had much time to sew lately, and that bums me out hard core. Too much school work and too much exhaustion. I think it will get better. I worked on the dang pin tuck shirt yesterday afternoon. I had changed the arm & shoulder area a LOT. I took 4 inches off each top of the shoulder. Yikes. So I knew I’d need to probably re do the sleeve. I’m not a sleeve master, and they still scare me a bit. So I’m more than a little nervous about this. I cut out the original sleeve, as drafted, in muslin and hand basted it in the shirt. Without the gathers, it still needs 2 more inches just to have the same circumference as the arm hole. Guh. So I slashed the sleeve in three places adding about 6 inches all together. We will see how that goes. I’m still in the process of sewing the extra inches into the pattern. I really should have just used the fabric glue I bought for my brother’s Christmas present. Why is it that I’m just now thinking about that shortcut?? Let me tell you, I’m developing a serious resentment of this stupid shirt!

I’ve decided that its the kind of shirt I’d probably pay 20 bucks for, or more likely, buy it once it was on clearance. There is no way I’ll be wearing this shirt in two years. Its too trendy and silly. But the thing that I’ve realized about myself is that I should really only make clothes that I cab see myself wearing for a few seasons, otherwise it just really isn’t worth my time. Or maybe there’s some threshold of time commitment that is involved… I don’t know. But I do know that this shirt and I are not getting along.

I’m really not even sure if I’m going to like it at all.

With the lack of creating things posts, I thought I’d leave you with some of my vintage sewing machine accessories. These came with my machine, and I’ve yet to try them out.

This box is full of feet.

The adorable box my vintage machine came with

There are a bunch more in the top tray of the box, which isn’t pictured. Two of the feet, the walking foot and the narrow hemming foot, were a birthday gift from my husband last year but the rest came with the Singer.

Presser feet!

Isn’t it all in great condition? I was pretty surprised by how nicely it all was preserved.


I’m not sure how it works yet. I really need to read the instruction manual that came with it.


I doubt I’ll get to posting pictures tonight because we’re heading north to a concert, but I will try to post some soon!