Just a couple 2012 projects


I made this top way back in June using a modified Burda 7661, which is the second pattern I bought, ever. I removed the closure in the back and dropped the arm scye by an inch, I believe. It’s made from the same fabric as the garment once known as the Melville Dress, now referred to as the Wrinkle Dress.

Its creation was a very compulsive affair. Nathan was out of town on business and I allowed myself to descend into a sewing binge, only returning to real life to pick him up from the airport. Nonetheless, it’s well-made enough to be one of my favorite pieces to layer in spring and wear on its own during summer. The crinkly cotton does just fine as a top, unlike the dress in its current state. I’m excited to wear it again when the time comes!


This is a more recent make, from November. I had some cotton jersey on hand from a 2011 fabric purchase. I used McCall’s 6288 as a base (the same pattern that Andrea from four square walls made her cute knit shirts from) but converted it into a dress.

It’s a hard-working and useful dress, but mistakes were made. The waistband, which is just a smaller circumference of the same fabric, is stressed to the max by the larger circumference of the skirt and bodice. I think I could have made it a lot closer to the skirt/bodice circumference and it still would have looked flattering. Also, the more blog posts I read by other seamsters, the more I realize that there is more to knits than just sewing as normal and trimming/finishing my edges with an overlock foot. The biggest visible issue is the wavy hem. It sounds like I need to stabilize my hems? And employ a double-needle? Help!

(Shoe confession: even though I tried to limit myself to 0-2 new pairs this year, my shoe purchases ballooned out to 5 and the boots above were the fifth. I’m writing up a little sustainable habits post for next week!)

My last tidbit has to do with very prosaic sewing, hemming some thrifted jeans. My Bernina generally handles everything I throw at it with aplomb, but got cranky when I reached the thickest part of the hem. I was using top-stitching thread with a 90/14 needle. It looks like the bobbin case tension might have been high. Does anybody have any tricks for working with denim, or have I pushed my machine over its limit? It’s also been a couple years since its had a proper cleaning.


Irresponsible sewing: a summer dress

I know the muslin process is really important (especially on something like a wedding dress). But last weekend, I found myself yearning for a sewing project that I could wear right away. Add that longing to my personal initiative to reduce the fabric heap that threatens daily to exceed its closet space, and I was sewing a dress.


I used Burda 7661, a dress/shirt pattern that I’d used twice before. Since it was one of the first patterns I worked with, I didn’t really remember what size I’d cut. The second time around was for Me-Made-March ’11 and I made this shirt, which was just a tiny bit too wide through the shoulders. By the way, that has never, ever happened to me before. So, I landed on a size smaller than my measurements would indicate and was mostly pleased! The only thing I’d do differently is make the armholes a tiny bit bigger – maybe a 1/2 inch or so. Still, it’s very wearable and looks good with a lot of my comfortable footwear that I walk to work in.Also, do you see that in the background?? It’s SUN. Seattle has been under a spell of doom and drizzle, and one really can’t underestimate the power of the sun here to inspire summer sewing.Anyone else doing some irresponsible sewing?