what i did in 2012

so 2012 was actually a pretty big sewing year for me. i wasn’t going to bother with my final thoughts, but i realized i never posted official pics of my biggest project to date. namely, my sister’s wedding dress. in my defense, i only got the “official pics” back in november. (original posts: flower girl, wedding dress, bridesmaid)


if you’re interested, there are many more pics over on the photographer’s blog (post labeled tom + rebecca).

in 2012 i ventured into outerwear. i am so very pleased with my results on this front, and i’m itching to make more!

seersucker suit
knit blazer
jacket
winter coat
duffle coat


these were all my biggest projects. there is so much more that i made and loved in 2012, but going through and finding all the posts and links is a real pain in the buns (mega props to all you who did bother!) and i have real-time sewing to get to!

my only disappointment for the year was my inability to get all my projects onto the blog. i tried to count the number of things i made, but quit when i hit 45. i typically finish at least one item a week. problem is, my blogging (and picture taking) gets behind my sewing, then i lose interest in writing about it or plum forgot what amazing tidbit i wanted to share to begin with. i do try to make my posts worth your time reading, and i really appreciate the feedback. here’s to another great year of sewing!

—lisa g.

p.s. tomorrow is the last day to vote in the pattern review sewing for children contest. thanks for all you who voted for me!

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polka dots

i made this dress quite a while ago but it never made it to ye olde blog. mostly because i wasn’t that excited about it. i used mccalls 6503. now, i really, really loved this pattern. the minute i saw it i knew i wanted to make it. then it was always sold out at the fabric store (i’m too lazy and stingy to order directly). i think my mom 1600 miles away in kansas ended up buying it and sending it to me because i just couldn’t get my hands on it here. then, i had this super cute drape-y rayon polka dot material i just knew would be a perfect match.

i even added piping to the waistband!
i did a narrow straight ruffle instead of the
circle ruffle thing as on the pattern.


then, i had all the pieces months before i had a chance to make it. finally when i did, i just didn’t like it all that much. the fit was acceptable (i had even done a muslin!) but it just didn’t do anything for me. this style of bodice left my top half a bit err… deflated looking. then the polka dot thing happening just looked a little too retro for my tastes. don’t get me wrong, i love this style. but it really illustrated to me the difference between what i like to look at, and what i like to wear


the skirt was a little on the long side, so that wasn’t helping either. i wore it once (and even heard whispers of admiration behind me: did you see her dress? so cute!). in the end, i still loved the fabric, just not as this dress. it wasn’t me. so i took it apart. I’M SORRY. i know some of you just gasped in horror, but it was the right thing to do. i shortened the skirt and added a simple waistband with a double hook closure. hey, it even has pockets!

made that knit top months ago.
never blogged it. sorry.


believe you me, i love this as a skirt sooooo much more than as a dress. oddly enough, i’ve had trouble finding tops that match it. apparently i don’t have many solid colored tops. working on remedying that. i’ve worn it once with a black cardigan and black tights, but that’s so expected. i thought i’d try it out with some patterned tops in the privacy of the entire interwebs before wearing it out in public. yay or nay?


i’m currently on the hunt for a nice lightweight emerald green or fuchsia/magenta or teal knit to make a renfrew to pair with it. apparently those pantone people just named emerald green “color of the year” or some such nonsense (seriously. their declaring what the on-trend color is annoys me to no end). but maybe it’s a good thing, cuz it happens to be one of my favorite colors and i can never find fabric that color. maybe something will pop up now.


oh, and lest all the work i put into the bodice go to waste, i’ve saved it to add a different bottom half for later. i think if i have a nice fat midriff and pleat the skirt (like on this dress) i can eliminate some of the excess fabric to make it a little more flattering. i’m thinking a lightweight denim skirt would be crazy awesome, but that’s gonna have to wait for spring. i have too many cold weather makes to get to!

—lisa g.

dixie DIY’s hot cocoa sweater

new years day i started coming down with a cold. there is nothing like starting to feel sick that highlights to me my lack of lazying around the house clothes. i immediately remembered that dixie DIY has a free (yes free!) hot cocoa sweater pattern that would fit the bill. i had to run to the fabric store to pick up a couple $1 mccalls patterns (namely a button down shirt for the hubs. wooo! look at me all growed up and being unselfish!) so i browsed the red tag table to see if i could score a nice knit. and what do you know, this small floral print caught my eye. it’s 100% rayon knit. i typically associate rayon knits with lighter-weight drape-y stuff, but this one was nice and stable. for $5/yd i couldn’t pass it up.


yesterday i traced off the pattern, then spent some time in the evening to sew it up. i thought the floral print might be a little too busy or young looking, but i don’t really care. i just wanted a cozy top. i happened to have this grey knit leftover from anastasia’s coat and there was just enough to cut the cuffs and neck binding. it helps to break up the floral i think. then i thought, hey why not add that little triangle patch you see on sweatshirts? i really have no idea what it’s there for, but the more i sew the more i notice the truly random details on rtw. so why the heck not? i cut a triangle patch and zig zagged the edges down before constructing the top.


this could not have been an easier top to make! the raglan sleeve is wicked fast to put together. dixie offered this pattern in one size, which just happened to be my size, so the only changes i made were lengthening it by 1″, then adding 1/2″ at the hem so i could turn a 3/4″ hem instead of the drafted 1/4″. i have monkey arms so i made my cuff 4″ so the sleeves would be long enough. i prefer a wide cuff so this worked out just fine. by the way, all the seams have a 1/4″ SA. i love her for that! so much easier to sew and a fabric saver to boot.

hi-low hem! look at me being all trendy.


i have a few leftover projects unblogged from 2012, my 2012 favorite makes, what i want to accomplish this year…  i’ll get to all of that, it’s just really nice for once to blog a fresh off the serger project. i’m so glad i have this top to lounge in today. not only am i nursing a cold but it’s currently 10 F outside. that would be -12 C for you metric folks. brrrrrrrr!!!!

—lisa g.

pattern review: sewing for children contest

today starts the voting for the pattern review “sewing for children” contest. this is the first time i’ve been put together enough to submit a project, so i’m pretty pleased with myself. there are quite a few nice entries, so if you are a pattern review member… go vote for your favorites! i feel awkward asking anyone to vote for me, but if you feel so moved, my entry is the burda duffle coat i made for my daughter.


she still loves her coat, it hasn’t fallen apart, and it made it through several days of sledding in the backyard (we got a solid foot of snow over break)! that in and of itself is a win in my book.

—lisa g.