UFO’s and public shaming

The thorns in my side. The UFO. files, The projects haunting me and taunting me to get on with it already! Sharing them to shame me forward (time permitting.)

NOLA skirt as it is known in my project tally notebook. Blogged about earlier this week. I need to get interfacing for the waistband, re-do zipper and attach the lining, then finish the hem. I am using Burda 8765. I guess looking up tips on the_ pattern might help, it always seems to add a new perspective to the project.

Front of Skirt

IMG_1253 Back of skirt with vent detail s.

IMG_1254 Zipper half way undone because I realized that I did not fellow the instructions to make it invisible.

IMG_1255 Next up an Anthropologie clearance jumpsuit because I LOVE the fabric!!!

IMG_1256 I saw a pleated skirt in the fall, and on this recent shopping trip a blouse with wing sleeves. Then. luckily I saw the jumpsuit on clearance so I snatched it up for the fabric. I’m hoping to repurpose part of it for a skirt and if I’m lucky also a Wiksten tank or some other work wardrobe layering tank. I will  admit that its the first shopping trip where I came hone and promptly found the seam ripper and destroyed my new purchase. Any recommendations for an adaptable work top or a semi-fitted skirt for a poly-jersey?

The Copy-Cat Dress

This dress has been in my wardrobe for a long, long time. I love the 40’s silhouette and how comfortable it is and that it is clingy in areas where I need it (bust) and has ease where I need it.


When I saw the flame-rayon chalis last summer I knew it would be perfect for a copy, but what I didn’t anticipate was the challenge in duplicating the fit for my current size. These photos do not show it well, and may reveal many chalk marks from trying to adjust the fit.


Also I thought the flutter sleeve with rouching would be much easier, but the challenge has left me wanting to abandon that idea altogether. And the bust area is the biggest problem. I’m tempted to scratch the idea for the top or possibly seam-rip and readjust the bust pieces – again! I think I modified it a couple times when I started the project last summer. It also tugs at the lumbar curve, is that the swayback adjustment??

This dress will be a wardrobe staple if I can get the fit adjusted properly. I feel like I either need a dressform or a sewing buddy to help me move past these issues. Or maybe just a Saturday in the house alone, without distractions.

2015 Progress

I’ve only  Stashbusted  a few yards so far.  I made two long sleeve Renfrew Cowl’s with leftovers from my holiday Popover Poncho’s and also some softer knit that I bought last spring. Now that I have made a few, I see why it is a wardrobe staple. I have some blue knits that I’m going to whip-up other Renfrew versions, possibly with colorblock since one of the materials is a geometric print.

Last weekend I added bought some rayon to make some shirts.  I’m thinking the Josephine from Made by Rae for the Heather Bailey with the green shot cotton for accent.

IMG_1260 I love the drape of the other viscose/rayon, but do not know what pattern would work best.  These fabrics came from the StitchLab in Austin.  I need to check out the Cloth Pocket though because it looks like they have an incredible selection.  Since I only added  3.5 yards I am counting this as a win.  However, when I finally get to see the Alison Glass in person, I have a feeling I won’t be so lucky. I have a hankering for those colors and am dreaming of designs to decorate with all the time.


Stalling and finishing

I’ll admit that I oscillate between using a pattern and jumping into a sewing idea based on copying an existing RTW garment. Both have taught me important lessons on my sewing journey. I have been entirely self-taught in my seeing endeavors save for the brief portion of middle school Home-Ec where we made shorts.

The sewing knowledge I’ve gained comes from following the big company patterns for kids pjs when I first began sewing six years ago, the handful of books I picked up including Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross and of course the Blogosphere. In the past year, Indie patterns and reading SAL’s have really given me better direction on new techniques and encouraged me to branch out beyond quilting cottons. Needless to say, most times as I’m sewing I feel like I have much to learn, but when I don my custom clothing I don’t care! The want-to has always overridden the do-I-have-the-skills fear. Truly, mistakes don’t seem to matter when the seam ripper is handy.

Which brings me back to finishing, or my biggest stall moment. Typically I rush to finish something because I’m excited for my new garment, but then I regret my hasty finishing once I begin to notice where I could have improved.  I received The Collette Book of Sewing for Christmas and think that it’s techniques will help me to refine my finishing skills, but some things like hand sewing a lining to a hem, are tasks that require patience and a steady hand. They are also forgiving because no one will see them.

I have a skirt using fine fabric bought in New Orleans in 2011 that I’m stalling on right now. It’s been sitting on my sewing desk waiting for me to tackle the finishing, and the waistband. You can just see it to the top of this photo. 

2015/01/img_1224-01.jpgHopefully I will make progress this week.

How did you learn finishing techniques?  Is there a master tutorial you referred to when you were honing your skills?  Any tips for a newbie?

Happy Sewing! (More like, good luck finding time to sew between the chaos of evening kids activities! HA! Such is my life.)

Commitment to contain

“I, Maja, commit to using as many pieces of stash fabric in 2015 as I can so that it can fit into only two trunks and the drawers beneath my sewing desk. I also commit to not adding any excessive yardage without a firm plan for an immediate make.”

As part of the Stashbusting 2015 pledge I’m documenting the current status of my sewing & knitting paraphernalia.

Fabric currently contained in one Rubbermaid bin, two trunks, and three drawers. Knitting supplies contained in three drawers.

Assorted Contents of said stash…






So it may be a small stash by comparison, but as my sewing space is a corner of the living room I feel I disguise it well.

P.S. I hope that the money I save by Stashbusting will be enough to buy a fab dress form and a serger. Do you have a secret sewing splurge planned as a reward?

2015: hello discipline, focus & passion.

Life always feels better to me when I’m creating. I know that being creative stimulates me and pushes me to being my best self. This year I intend to honor that calling by participating in the creative online communities that inspire me and also by sharing or documenting my creative journey here at Otherwise known as…


This is me snuggled into a pile of pillows. I write, knit, sew, sing, bake and snap pictures.

My creative tally since January 1st includes two Renfrew cowls, the PurlBee bandana cowl. I have multiple unfinished projects to tackle including a dress, a skirt, a quilt for my niece and my first knitted sweater, which I actually finished on Christmas Eve but the sleeves were droopy so I’m redoing them.

The Bandana Cowl had been on my want to make list for a few years. It knitted up quickly with some Cascade that I bought in November from Yarnorama. It helped me to understand short rows, but somehow that part of the cowl looks like there is a twist added. I’m happy with the effect, I just wish I knew how to replicate it. I have another skein of the same yarn and will probably make a twin of this for a friend.


The beauty of this small project is motivation to complete the sleeves and start enjoying my new sweater.

Small, intentional steps each day help build the pathways to our goals. Yep.

Until then, keep honoring your creative spirit.