June 12, 2012

Two Books


I’ve had my eye on these books for a while and finally picked them up this week. I already have the first two volumes of the Pattern Magic series so it was only a matter of time before I bought Volume 3. The other, Drape Drape, is on of those books that I always thumb through at the store but have never purchased because I’m just a hair too big on the size chart. I started thinking though that the designs have so much volume that I could fit into most. I have the first one on my tracing table as we speak so we’ll see!

Do you have these books? Have you made anything from them?

June 4, 2012

Silk, Cotton, Sand

Pattern: Self drafted

Fabric: Silk/Cotton from Stone Mountain Daughter Fabrics

Notions: Elastic for the waist

Time to Complete: This project had way, WAY too many muslins!


We just returned from Ambergris Caye, Belize. It was a great week of playing in the sun and sea – lots of snorkeling and some scuba diving, too! We hadn’t been diving in years and I had forgotten how much I love it. Since returning home, we’ve visited all the local dive shops in hopes of getting back in the water soon. Regardless, the vacation came at the right time and I’m feeling much more relaxed. It was so nice to get outdoors and spend some time in the sun. While there, I couldn’t help myself and took some pictures of my new sundress. I’ve been so excited to show them to you!

This dress is part of a two dress project at school. I wanted to create a lightweight sundress that’s easy to slip on and off at the beach but could still look put together at dinner. The dress features a scoop neckline, a subtle asymmetrical hem (although these pictures are making me think it’s a little too subtle), and a gathered waist with elastic casing. The neckline and armhole are bound with self made bias tape. This particular one is unlined but I can see including a lining in other versions.

The drafting of this project took way too long for something so simple. It took me a while to figure out that the neckline dart that I added to prevent gaping in the lowered neckline had pulled the waistline and dart apex up. To be honest, I didn’t want to include a dart – I thought it would look bulky with the gathered bodice – but my instructor insisted that one should be there. I still don’t agree because when worn it has a tendency to wrinkle and isn’t necessary for building a cup. Oh well, I can always change this outside of class.

Despite everything being in its right place, I still couldn’t decide if I liked the garment. Muslin is difficult for me to look past and I eventually caved and made it up in some fashion fabric. I purchased this yardage at Stone Mountain Daughter in the sale section for my spring wardrobe but never found the time to make something. I was thrilled that I could make this up before our trip and it was a really lovely piece to have on the beach.

Now for some catching up on my reader – can’t wait to hear what you all have been up to!

May 22, 2012

Beach Bound

❤ I’m spending some time on the sand but I’ll be back in no time with so much to share with you (including details on this dress)! ❤

May 21, 2012

Layering Scarves

Ever since I discovered the two thread rolled hem on my serger, I’ve been thinking of  other projects I can use it on. I just sewed up a half dozen lightweight scarves with fabric from my scrap bin –  I haven’t rethreaded the machine all weekend! The best part of these scarves is that they layer beautifully. Throw two together with a necklace and you have a very unique accessory!

If you’d like to make your own, the scarves pictured above measure 21″ square. Use lightweight fabric like cotton lawn, rayon challis, voile, or even silk chiffon. I chose to finish the edges with a serged two thread rolled hem. If you don’t have that option a baby hem or hand rolled hem would work fine as well – just don’t forget to add a hem allowance when cutting. Wear alone or layered!

Happy Sewing!

May 16, 2012

Italian Cotton

Pattern: Self drafted sleeveless blouse

Fabric: Italian Cotton Lawn from Britex

Notions: buttons from Once Around, a new-to-me craft store in Mill Valley.


I’ve been in a funk lately. I’m in need of a change and I’m struggling to make the next step in my career. Part of that struggle is that I don’t really know what it is that I want, I just know it isn’t this. The other struggle is that I don’t want to be ungrateful. I’m so appreciative of what work I do have… I have lovely coworkers, great hours, and an incredible boss. Unfortunately, there’s no room in the position to grow and I feel stagnant when I’m not learning. Being at work drains every little bit of life right out of me. That’s certainly no way to live but it’s hard to leave a job for the uncertainty of living without a paycheck.

Through all this, I’ve been using sewing as an outlet and so it’s no surprise that I’ve been gravitating towards designs with a lot of ease and maneuverability. The heat of summer is setting in and after many years of hating the season, I’m ready to embrace it. For me, summer has always been about freedom and I’d like my clothing to be a reflection of this. That means that I’m throwing out the challenges for this season. From the fabric to the sewing experience, it’s all about a carefree and easy going attitude!

Now, you may recognize this blouse pattern from my Spring Wardrobe Challenge although it was made in a knit last time. This time around, I added a button placket using the instructions from the Banksia Blouse (method 2 for those of you who have it). There are french seams throughout and self-made bias binding for the armholes and neckline. The hem was finished on my serger with a 2 thread rolled hem. This was my first time using this stitch and I love the delicate look. All of this makes for a very clean inside which I adore.

This is turning out to be a year of transitions for a lot of people. I’m trying to remind myself that the best thing I can do is keep moving forward and to leave time for the things that bring me joy. The rest will eventually fall into place.

May 10, 2012

Winners of the Ohhh Lulu Giveaway

Thanks, everyone, for entering the Ohhh Lulu Pattern Giveaway! I had so much fun reading about your favorite Ohhh Lulu pieces. And a giant thanks to Sarah at Ohhh Lulu for sponsoring this giveaway! The winners are::

Congratulations! You’ve both asked for the Betty High Waist Pattern – Look for an email shortly and I hope you enjoy sewing this lovely pattern.

May 8, 2012

Inspiration: Dresses with Asymmetrical Hems

One of the many reasons why I love reading sewing blogs is at any moment, a project could come across my RSS feed that makes me stop everything and make one myself. That is exactly what happened when I came across this chevron high low hem dress.

Stephanie, from makes the things, is a sewing muse and everything she makes is chic and oh-so-wearable! This particular dress is what I want to be in all summer long.

Last Friday, I started drafting my version in class and I think I’m finished with the pattern. Now I’m just plotting out the construction details. This is where you come in! I’d like the waist to be elastic but, like Stephanie, I’m finding that elastic in a casing shifts too much. I’m considering sewing in elastic directly but last time I did this (with a three step zig zag) it was sloppy looking on the right side. I’d like the elastic waist to be as inconspicuous as possible. I’m sure there are several ways to accomplish this so I’d like to hear how you would do it. Also, what type of elastic should I use? I was thinking clear elastic might be a good option but I’m wondering if it would be too lightweight. I’m using a very fine rayon challis for the first version and a lightweight silk/cotton for the second. I don’t think I’ll line either of them.

May 7, 2012

::Closed:: Giveaway from Ohhh Lulu ::CLOSED::

Not only did Sarah of Ohhh Lulu write a tutorial for A Good Wardrobe but she also offered to hold a giveaway!

Images courtesy of Ohhh Lulu

Two lucky readers will win their choice of sewing pattern (The Betty High Waist Panties or Ruffle Bloomers) from Ohhh Lulu. These patterns are available in a print-at-home format (PDF) so that you can get started sewing straight away.

The Betty High Waist Panties Pattern has princess-seams and a flattering high waist. The pattern is designed for stretch knits, but when used in combination can accommodate stretch-wovens, or loose-weaves cut on the bias.

The Ruffle Bloomers Pattern is a darling bikini that can be made with or without ruffles. The pattern is designed for woven cottons cut on the bias.

To win:

  • Comment below and tell me your favorite Ohhh Lulu Made-To-Order piece from Sarah’s Etsy shop. What’s my favorite? The Mermaid Sequins and Stripes Panties! I’d love to find some sequined stretch mesh to recreate them.
  • In addition to your favorite piece, let me know which of the two patterns you would like to win. Don’t worry if you forget this part. If you’re a winner, I can always ask you later!
  • Make sure that you’ve included an email address in your profile. Entries without contact information will not qualify.
  • One entry per person.
  • Open internationally.
  • The giveaway will close on Wednesday, May 9th at Midnight (pacific time) when the winners will be randomly selected. I’ll announce the winners on Thursday!
5/10: Thank you everyone who participated in the giveaway! Winners will be announced later today.
May 3, 2012

Guest Post: Sarah from Ohhh Lulu Lingerie & Apparel

Last week, the amazing Wanett from Sown Brooklyn, pinned a gorgeous lingerie set from Ohhh Lulu Lingerie & Apparel. Sarah, the designer behind Ohhh Lulu, writes a blog full of tutorials and luscious lingerie inspiration. I devoured it so you can imagine my excitement when I found that she’s made up sewing patterns for her wonderful designs. In addition to the current selection, Sarah is working on two bra patterns! I immediately bought up the Betty High Waist Panties and contacted Sarah about guest posting on my blog. To my wonderful surprise, she agreed to do a tutorial on some decorative additions. Please help me welcome Sarah to A Good Wardrobe!


Hi! I’m Sarah – Owner and Designer of Ohhh Lulu Lingerie & Apparel, and most recently, Sewing Patterns!  If you haven’t seen my work, I have been selling Made to Order Lingerie on Etsy for just under 2 years, but have been sewing for most of my life.  Recently, I’ve started to delve into the word of PDF Sewing Patterns, so that people who love to sew – like me! – can try their hand at lingerie.  Converting my patterns to PDF’s has been challenging but very rewarding, and I’ve had a lot of fun learning, growing, and making mistakes along with everyone!

My first pattern, the Betty High Waist Pattern is a versatile, super-high, princess seam panty.  Because of the seam lines, there are so many combinations of fabric you can use to sew these – it will even accommodate woven fabrics cut on the bias, in combination with stretch knits.

I was very excited when Lizz gave me the opportunity to appear on her blog, and I’d like to take this opportunity to show you how to add some extra feminine details to the Betty Pattern, to make a truly unique, romantic pair of knickers.  I’m using ivory stretch lace, pink jersey knit, and a woven cotton floral.  You will also need coordinating thread, enough elastic for the waist, and your pattern.
After cutting out all of the pieces, tear two 2″ strips of 45″ floral cotton.  Cotton tears so nicely and creates a  beautiful rough, raw edge when torn.

Gather your lengths of cotton using a wide basting stitch.  Press your ruffle, then lay over the lower edge of your side panel, so that the ruffle cones just to the end of the panel.  Stitch the ruffle on using a wide Zig-Zag stitch – this is very important! Once you have stitched on the ruffle and removed the gathering stitches, you’ll have a nice, stretchy ruffle.

I was able to get 3 rows of ruffles out of 1 gathered length of fabric.  Depending on how much you want to gather, and the size you cut, you may need to tear additional strips to gather.

Before sewing the side panels to the front, finish off the lower edge of your side panel by cover stitching, or by folding over and using a twin needle.  Sew your front and back crotch seam together, and finish the leg openings in the same manner as you did the sides.  You can now sew your side panels to the front and back.

I’m also going to add a coordinating heart appliqué to the derrière of my panties.  To do so, I cut a heart template out of card stock.  I traced the heart on to my fabric and cut the heart out.  I then trimmed back my template by 1/4″, all the way around.  You should now have a card stock heart that is 1/4″ smaller than your fabric heart, all the way around.

Apply a basting stitch 1/8″ around the curve of the heart.  Bring your heart over to your ironing board – place the template within the heart cut out, and pull your basting stitch so the fabric starts to gather.  Your fabric will fold naturally around the curved heart shape.  With a hot iron, press it flat, forming a nice clean edge around the card stock template.

Isn’t that a nice way to get a sharp, pressed edge around a curved or irregular shape? This is a technique I always use for creating patch pockets.

Pin your applique in place, and zig-zag stitch it down, stitching as close to the edge as possible, even slightly over.

And that is it! You can easily substitute woven cotton for a lace appliqué for a more flirty look.

One of the things I love most about sewing is the many ways you can sew and finish a garment – you can sew the same pattern a million times, in a multitude of ways to achieve a different look every time.  Happy Sewing!

May 1, 2012

Part 1: The Maxi Skirt

Pattern: Self drafted

Fabric: Unknown jersey from the free bin at school

Notions: None

Time To Complete: After drafting, 20 minutes


As much as I love the look of a maxi dress or skirt, I’ve never considered wearing one. At 5’1, it’s not only been impossible to find one in stores that would fit me but it’s also been in grained in me that they are only flattering on taller beauties. So when I teamed up with Ina, from SkyTurtle, to make an item we wouldn’t normally wear, I knew a maxi dress was mine! In case you missed my inspiration, I was after a sleeveless knit max with a scoop neck, razor back, and flare at the hip. I wanted something form fitting but still casual. Although I chose to self draft my dress, Jamie Christina’s Mission Maxi Dress Pattern would have been the ticket.

While at school one day working on my maxi dress draft, I spied this grey blue jersey in the free bin. It was a much more appropriate weight than the knit fabric I had brought for my muslin so I chose to use it instead. Knowing that I had ordered some fabric online especially for this project, I didn’t give much thought to testing out new methods of binding necklines and armholes on the muslin.

The following week, my fabric arrived and I was so excited. I ordered two different options from Gorgeous Fabrics: a shimmery chevron and a bold swirl. I figured between the two there would be an appropriate option but I was sorely disappointed. The shimmery chevron, to put it lightly, is tacky. From the pictures you have no idea just how shimmery we’re talking but it’s not the sort of thing that day dresses are made of. The bold swirl could work but I didn’t like the way the poly/lycra clung rather than skimmed the body. In all fairness, they are really lovely textiles but I couldn’t bring myself to cut into them when I knew they weren’t what I was after.

At the eleventh hour, I decided to salvage my maxi dress muslin. I sliced it off at the waist and made a double fold waistband. While it’s not a complete failure I wouldn’t call it a success. It’s nothing like the gorgeous skirt Ina made! My main complaint is that it just doesn’t go in my wardrobe. I had an awful time putting an outfit together and it seemed like every idea I had my closet couldn’t provide. I actually think this could look quite nice with a thin white tank top but amazingly I don’t own one! Instead, I settled for this white shirt I made last fall. It works but I do feel like I have a lot of fabric on.

For the pictures I had this lovely idea of a wind swept beach background. The reality versus fantasy when taking photos still cracks me up. I imagined myself as a sea goddess thrown amongst barnacle festooned rocks. A graceful Venus arriving at the shore…

In actuality, a day at the beach looks a bit more like this: