Category Archives: One Month of Prep

Raiding the Fabric Bins

I was up at my parents’ house for my sister’s graduation and managed to get home with a good chunk of the fabric I had up there. Here’s a selection of those…


A blue & white cotton plaid. Not quite sure what it’ll be but probably a dress of some sort.


A crazy amount of this cherry cotton. I have no idea what I was planning for it, but I bought a kind of crazy amount. I’m thinking maybe a maxi summer dress? I’m trying to avoid going too cutsy with it.


A rayon(?) crinkle chiffon(?) with a cute flower print. I’m thinking maybe a layered godet skirt?


A black cotton with a white koi print. No plans, just liked it.


A very cute bicycle print that I couldn’t pass up on, even though I don’t bike…


A white (very wrinkled) chiffon.


And a printed blue/white cotton.

Most of this was inherited or picked up somewhere along the way.
And most of it continues in the theme of buying light colored fabric, but mostly wearing black…


also…. June 1st is tomorrow… WTF did that happen?!?!?!!!

The Blue Kimono

simple blue kimono

I took a couple hours yesterday to turn the blue “novelty chiffon” I picked up last week into an easy kimono.

IMG_3513  IMG_3519

I had two yards so I cut it up into 6 rectangles. The back, 2 fronts, 2 sleeves, and a neckband that isn’t pictured here, and that I ended up not adding.


The shoulders and sleeves are flat felled seams.

IMG_3528 IMG_3531

And the side + underarm seam are french seams.

IMG_3535 IMG_3522

For the fronts and the bottom hem I did a 3/4 inch rolled hem and top stitched both edges.

blue kimono sleeve

And I did 2 1/4 inch deep cuffs, again with stitching at the top and bottom edges.

I’ll love this piece as something to throw on, but it was kind of a pain in the ass to sew. I forgot how exactly how fast kimonos are, I think this project took 2 1/2 hours from start to finish, and how much I love wearing them.

So now I have a dress, a sweater, and a kimono, but I plan on spending the next couple days editing this month’s book chapter, and busting out some more clothes. I can’t quite believe it’s already the 27th.

Questions I’m Asking & Answering

What do you want from your wardrobe?
    What do you need from your wardrobe?
            Desire and necessity.
            What do you want? And what do you need?
            Why do you want what you want? And why do you need what you need?

    Where do you want to wear your wardrobe?
    Where do you actually need to wear your wardrobe?

    How do you want to build your wardrobe?
    How do you need to build your wardrobe?
        Fantasy and practicality.
        Where do you want to go? Where do you need to go?
        How do you want to obtain clothes? How do you need to obtain clothes.

    Who are you? How do you dress?
    Who do you want to be? How do you want to dress?
        Present and future.
        Who you are now, problems and all?
        Who do you want to be, including new challenges and new solutions?

The questions I’m asking and answering in this month’s chapter of the book.

The Grey & White Dress Details


Thought you might want to see some of the details from the grey & white dress…

stripe details

The fabric is a light beautiful grey & white cotton seersucker. Seersucker is a puckered, thin, summery fabric, which is why the fabric of the dress is all ripply.

stripe details

I included an invisible side zip, and I’m over the moon happy that the stripe matched up across the zipper.

stripe details

Not all the stripes match up perfectly.

stripe details

But most of them do, so I’m calling it a win.

stripe details

I did a simple half inch rolled hem. And there’s still some scarring left over from all the times I had to rip the dress apart, but I think I’ll be able to get that out.

stripe details

The dress is made up of straight panels with triangular godets (inserts) to give the dress fullness and flare.

stripe details

And I finished my seams with the overlock stitch on my Bernina.
(Except for where I forgot.)

The Grey & White Dress

Fucking finally.

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It’s done and I love it.

I kind of wish I hadn’t had to take it apart a hundred times in the process, but I think even that was ultimately worth it.

I’m going back and forth about dropping a lining in.

On one hand, while the seams are all finished inside, but there are a lot of them, so a lining might make the dress more comfortable to wear.

But on the other hand, I’m completely and totally sick of working on this dress, and it is wearable without a lining.

We’ll see.

For the moment at least, I’m calling it done, and declaring it a victory. yay!

Clothing is most powerful when we dress for ourselves.

notebook writing on fashion

I’m in the middle of writing and editing the first chapter of the book, and it feels like that’s where all of my words are going. So I flipped through my notebook and stumbled on this.

In case you can’t read my scribbling:

I believe that clothing matters, style matters, and fashion is the most intimate signifier of culture.

I believe all clothing is a costume, and all costumes are indicators of identity.

I believe how we dress matters. I believe it influences & indicates how we see ourselves, even when we don’t think it does. So changing our clothes changes how we see ourselves and therefore changes how other people see us.

Clothing is most powerful when we dress for ourselves.

I believe fashion can be art.


And with that I go back to my editing, and my attempts not to panic about how close June 1st is.

Personal style is imagined, not bought.

Just a quick thought today.

When I was a child,
I went through a period of time,
where I would only where dresses,
with full skirts.
Dresses designed to spin, and swirl, in.

What if,
instead of finding our personal style,
we remembered it?

Not the hot pink tutu, paired with polka-dot leggings, and a chocolate smile.

But the feeling,
joy, delight, wonder,
swishing, spinning, swirling,

What if we don’t need to start from scratch?

What if personal style wasn’t something we found?
Or bought?
But was something we imagined?
And remembered?

Personal style is imagined, not bought.



What type of garment have you just always fought with?

What type of garment have you just always fought with?

Maybe it’s a type of item you’ve just never liked, no matter how hard you try.
Maybe you’ve had a hard time finding styles you like.
Or pieces that fit.
Or colors.
Or cuts.

For me it’s blouses.

I don’t really have blouses in my wardrobe.

I have tank tops and camis I wear everyday.
I have t shirts I never wear.
And I one or two draped tops I never wear either.

Whenever I’m out shopping or wandering down the rabbit hole of Internet shopping I always browse through the blouses and tops looking for something, anything that would begin to build my wardrobe’s selection of tops. But never really found anything I liked.

I though up this project and thought “great! I’ll finally have a wardrobe that involve blouses. I’ll find some great blouse patterns out there and it’ll be fantastic.” But I’m browsing through sewing patterns and still not finding tops I like. And I’m browsing through Pinterest, and blogs and the larger rabbit hole that is the web, and all the photos I like are super simple tank tops or long sleeve shirts paired with jeans, skirts, over shirts, sweaters, and jackets.

I’ve always been on the lookout for tops and blouses because I could never fine ones I liked and because I thought I was suppose to have them.

But what if, instead I accepted the face that blouses really aren’t my thing, embraced the tank top, and focused on making some amazing over shirts and jackets, because I love those, and find them so much more interesting.

Because making a bunch of blouses and then never wearing them would seriously suck.

A trip to the garment district.


I was wandering around midtown and ended up in the garment district, and somehow a bunch of fabric came home with me.
ha! I say that like I haven’t been trying to get to the garment district all week!


I picked up a yard of black cotton jersey, that I swatched in this post, to make a couple tank tops and camisoles.


And then a yard and a half of a black rayon that I plan on making a skirt out of. I have a great skirt that I absolutely adore everything about except that it’s made out of a jersey and keeps freaking growing. So I want to pattern it and remake it in something that won’t grow on me.


A yard of a black, white and limb green silk print. I’m not usually a huge fan of florals, I think they can go cutsy easily, but this is a very graphic print. I almost passed this up, but I’m super glad I got it. This is destined to be a skirt. I basically want to stick a waist band on it and let it do it’s thing.


This fabric has never seen a natural fiber. But I got two yards of it to make a kimono. It’s a navy blue sheer with these shiny thread squares all over it, and there’s just something I love about it. I picked up two yards because it’s narrow, and it was the last of the bolt so I got a deal on it.


I’m not actually sure what the fiber content of this is, I might do a burn test later and see, but  I loved the print so I picked it up. I’m thinking about doing a over-shirt with the wrong side (the solid purple) as the main body, and then the right side (the plaid) as the inside of the shirt. Since I almost always wear my over-shirts open and with the cuffs rolled up that means you would be able to see the inside of the shirt fronts and the cuffs.  I think if I were to reverse (use the plaid as the outside, and the purple as the inside) it might go a little 90s goth for my current tastes. Of course I might change my mind at the last minute, or forget this plan and do something else entirely. We shall see…


I also picked up some jersey ball point needles, and a twin needle. I’ve never used a twin needle before so I’m excited to play with it.

And that’s all I have for today.

The grey & white dress has been hanging so the hem can settle, and I took apart a safari shirt that I bought, own and have loved to death so I could pattern the original and remake the dress.

Finishing the grey dress and realizing we’re in the middle of May has kind of lit a fire under my ass. June 1st is not that far away… here is the timeline.

The Jade Sweater

jade sweater 1

It’s the first finished object! Well 95% finished. I haven’t washed it yet.

And it’s not really ‘jade’ either. The yarn company calls the colorway ‘peacock.’ But I don’t think it’s quite bright enough to be called ‘peacock.’

It’s a super simple hand knit, yoked, cropped, pullover. I wrote more about the technical details (yarn, needles, etc.) over on the knitting blog.

I’m hoping it’ll gain a little bit of length when I wash it, but overall it came out like I wanted.

And it’s officially (well at least once it’s washed) the first finished garment for this project. Squee!!


I have the feeling I’ll wear this dress-sweater combo at least a couple times.