When Life Gives You Lemon Fabric

…Make pajamas?

Especially if you know you’re going to get snowed in for a couple of days and wont need real clothes! After finishing off these pajamas a couple of weeks ago, I definitely put them to the test this weekend. They are comfortable, flexible, warm, excellent.

I created these pajamas for the release of a new fabric at spoonflower. This is a first in spoonflower’s fabric history, a cotton spandex blend in a jersey knit. It is an excellent fabric, comfortable, soft, lightly stretchy with a good recovery, but also with enough body to be stable and hold a seam well.


The pattern is one from a maker I’ve never used before, but it was a great pattern. For the fabric release, the product team chose a selection of projects and fabric designs to show the full breadth of the fabric’s capabilities. I’d definitely use Closet Case patterns again after this project. She walks you through the complicated structure of the split collar with clear instructions. The fit is very nice and works with my body shape. And the result itself is comfy and classy all at once.

I’d say the only problem I really had was that I’ve been working on so many sprout patterns projects, I’d forgotten how truly endlessly irritatingworking from a print out pattern is… First you have to give up a ream of paper just to print it out. Then, if you’re like me, you have that awesome moment where you forgot to print only the first page first to check that it printed right:


Yep. Then, if you’re like me, and you already feel guilty about the trees you’re killing, you decide to try to reuse the first paper and reprint the pattern on the backside. And then, you realize how THAT was a bad idea, and get extraordinarily paranoid about which side is the “right” side. And then you spend and eternity taping it together. And then you have to cut it out.

I decided to lengthen the shorts for this pattern. I have long legs and just generally find longer shorts more comfortable, so I added two inches to the length of the shorts. This pattern maker made it super easy, providing the classic “add length here” lines that so many people don’t bother to include. And it worked perfectly, and did not distort the end result at all. Professional and perfect pattern.


And only THEN do you finally even get to touch the fabric. It definitely reminded me of why I love Sprout Patterns so much for removing all of the worst parts of working with indy patterns. Its so hard to get up the energy to use a new pattern when I think about all those steps that aren’t even the fun bits of sewing.


In the end, I think it was totally worth the angst though. These pjs are comfy and fun and unlike anything else I own or would normally make for myself. I was a little sloppy around the collar, I think if I were to re-do this project I would actually leave off the piping. I absolutely love the visual effect it creates, but the fabric was just a touch too bulky in some places, and it definitely created difficulties around the split collar area, and the pocket.

I reviewed the pattern used in this project here: Closet Case Carolyn Pajamas ★★★★

Faux-thropologie Tee

So, someone on pinterested tagged a really cute tshirt I saw made by Anthropologie (I’d link it, but I’d rather not advertise a $40 tshirt), and it had a really cool structure with cutouts on the back. And I thought to myself… I could do that…

So I did. I used a tshirt pattern I already had an that I liked, only I cut TWO back pieces. Then I free handed the shape, and cut it out of both pieces (mirrored, obviously) and sewed the bottom half up the middle. If only I’d known it would turn out so well, I would have taken progress pictures and actually made this more of a tutorial, but I honestly thought it was going to be a disaster.

There are definitely things I’d tweak about it, if/when I do it again. The front neckline isn’t perfect, and the sleeves are too wide. Maybe it should be more of a tanktop. I’d probably make the crossed strips in the back a little narrower as well. But for now, I’m calling it an excellent success!

It was also a fun chance to pull out my twin needle and practice nifty knit hemming techniques. There are some GREAT tips on finishing knit hems on this tutorial here.

The fabric is by Mod Mint Triangles by mrshervi.

Painted Dress

I believe I may have mentioned how much I love the effect of watercolor prints on fabric. This is one of my favorites. Wearing it makes me feel like I’ve rolled around on an artist’s palette. The design is by HeyTangerine, and you can find it here.

The pattern is Peony by Colette. I altered it slightly to lengthen the sleeves and add fullness to the skirt. The original was a woven fabric, and had a zipper up the back. But I’m a big fan of comfort and laziness, as you know. By simply removing the zipper and using a 4-way stretch I can pull this dress on over my head.

You can read my review of this pattern here: Colette Peony Dress ★★★

The belt is a separate detachable piece, and is reversible if I want a different color effect.

Also, it has POCKETS! Damn straight.

The fabric is my still ever-favorite Spoonflower Modern Jersey.

Science Girl Eats – AGAIN

This is the dress I made for Science of Eats 2014. I’ve been super busy lately, but I still wanted to do a new Science Girl outfit, so I made up this dress pattern in about 10 seconds. And by made it up, I mean I decided to attach a simple circle skirt to the waist of these deer-and-doe tshirts. I chose mushrooms because it was part of the theme of this year’s event to seed your own mushroom log.

This dress is made of Spoonflower’s new Modern Jersey. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love this fabric, and the more I sew with it the more I love it. The fabric is designed by Nadja Petremande.


Also a cool trick for all those lazy seamstresses out there like me: If you have a serger that can do a rolled hem (and most can!) you can get that curly hem effect by simply stretching the fabric out as far as you can while sewing a rolled hem. Just choose a thread color that compliments or contrasts your fabric, and you get a fantastic effect with almost no effort.


Science Girl Drinks Beer


There is a local science museum that holds adult events where you can drink beer and eat food and learn about science! They’re pretty fantastic. My roommate works there, actually, so from the earliest events I’ve had fun creating themed garments to wear to each event.
This was for the yearly favorite of Science of Beer (last october). The fabric is decorated with beautifully sketched hops, an important ingredient in brewing beer. It is designed by Phillip Markel.

The dress pattern is excessively simple, as are my preferences. You can basically lie down on the fabric and trace yourself, then add a seam at the sides and on the shoulders. The fabric is spoonflower’s organic cotton knit.

If you’d like to see the other dresses in the Science Girl collection, check them out here.

Wallpaper Dress

This is a dress I’m excited to have finished. Its not my usual style, but the pattern was cute, and very simple. Its really only four pieces (front, back, bottom and top) with a few pleats thrown in. The pattern is butterick 5672. And I’ll take any excuse to work with the spoonflower knit, since its so lovely and soft. My favorite part about this dress is the fabric design. Which is, of course, a spoonflower pattern designed by Holli Zollinger. Its also not my usual style, but there’s a specific reason why I chose it.

I reviewed this pattern here: Butterick Sheath Dress B5672 ★★★★

The chameleon circuit in my dress is broken, and now its stuck in that pattern forever!

So I rarely model my own dresses, mostly because I’m too lazy to find someone else to hold the camera. But this time I couldn’t resist.

The exciting secret I referred to in my last post is that soon Spoonflower will also be offering wallpaper! That’s right! Imagine being able to design your own wallpaper. We’re still in beta testing mode, and we haven’t made a big announcement yet. But since Wired already knows, I figured it was okay to tell the world and show off my awesome chameleon dress.

When wallpaper was still in its “alpha testing” stage, we put it up on this tiny bit of wall in the spoonflower offices. Ever since that happened I’ve wanted to make a matching dress, and then stand there and pretend no one can see me. Yes, I might be a dork, its been noted. I even have a tag for posts where exhibit this tendency.

Since there is no audio on this picture, you should know that I’m making that awkward sound that Kronk makes in The Emporer’s New Groove where he’s singing his own theme song and he freezes in front of a wall and pretends no one can see him and even “pauses” his song on a single note. Yeah. You know what I’m talking about.