Category: Make


Doggie Bandana

I love Wildebeest‘s doggie collar bandanas, especially the use of the Arroyo fabric collection! I snagged one on sale for Teeps … full grown, future Teeps. In the meantime, I want her to get use to wearing a bandana. Tepals has outgrown her puppy harness, and with little resale value, I cut off the arms of the harness, leaving me with a buckle collar. Here are the following steps I took to make the bandana piece:

  1. I traced the Wildebeest bandana and then took off 1″ on all sides, to make the total width 10″.  I had to redraw the angles to make the 10″ width work.
  2. This is a good project to use up some fabric scraps. I decided on a chambray solid for one side and an illustrated meats fabric for the other (from Cool Cottons). Tepals is a little sausage shaped dog, so it seemed fitting. Cut each fabric to size — make sure that you cut out opposite sides to allow for the right-sides to face out on the finished bandana.
  3. Hem the raw edges, folding over once about 1/4″.
  4. Put the wrong-sides together/facing in and edge-stitched, leaving 1″ on the flat sides to allow for the collar to be ‘threaded’ through. I chose not to attach the collar to the bandana to make it easier to remove + wash, as needed.
  5. Sew a horizontal line across the bandana, below where the collar sits. This helps the bandana to fold in half, as well as keep the 2 pieces of fabric attached at the fold.

I wanted to note that I’m not including a PDF or pattern, as I based this off an existing design that is available for purchase from an awesome, small business — which I would encourage you to support, if you have the means. There are also a lot of free patterns on Pinterest (search ‘dog bandana’). A free pattern or just the measurements is a great jumping off point for drawing up your own pattern, too.


Ogden Cami | No.1, No. 2

Pattern: Ogden Cami by True Bias

++ No. 1 ++

Fabric: Medium weight, white linen from Fabrics-Store

Size: 4

Modifications: none

The pattern is clearly written with great instructions and diagrams. It was a breeze to work with and easily a project that can be sewn in one sitting, if desired. I’ve really been enjoying completing garments over several days – with one day for tracing the paper pattern (because I work with digital patterns) & washing/ironing fabric, next cutting the fabric, and then day by day sewing a page or two of instructions until the garment is done.

The finished product is a bit tight across the shoulders and chest. This might be because I was working with a medium weight linen and the pattern recommends a lighter weight fabric. But the piece is still comfortable and easy to wear.

++ No. 2 ++

Fabric: Black silk noil from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics

Size: 6


  • Retraced a size 6 pattern for added ease/width, but kept size 4 neckline, as I didn’t want to increase the v-neck height
  • Used size 6 straps, but ended up removing a 1/2″ from the length. Will use size 4 straps next time around
  • Finished seams with ‘false’ french seams

I went up a size, in hopes of having more ease for movement in my finished garment. I mainly wanted increased width, and so I decided to keep size 4 for length both at the neckline and bottom hem. Overall, I’m really happy with the fit – especially because I didn’t make a muslin either time, but this time I was working with fabric I considered precious.

I was a bit intimidated to sew with silk noil for the first time. Both because it has ‘silk’ in its name, and also because the price tag is a bit higher than on other fabrics I work with. That said, I still went for it because I own a couple other pieces (hello all things Jamie + the Jones), the size modifications I was making were minor, and I love the feeling/quality/elegance/durability of wearing silk noil. This Fiber Friday post from Fancy Tiger reassured me that it’s like sewing with a sturdy and easy cotton. And, I found that to be true! I didn’t have any issues working with the fabric — it was as easy as could be and now I have a tank top that would easily be $100 retail for the cost of fabric, my time, + the pattern. Worth it!

Also, wanted to mention not only does Stonemountain has an awesome selection of fabrics, but they even refunded me half the amount of shipping because it ended up costing less than what I had originally paid for shipping!


Esther Shorts | No. 2

Pattern: Esther Shorts by Tessuti Fabrics

Fabric: Super soft, lush rust colored corduroy from Bolt

Size: 8

Modifications: none

Finished these back in April or May, but just getting around to posting now.  I bought this fabric on a whim, essentially dragging my visiting sister in to check out Bolt (local fabric shop) with no intentions of purchasing anything. But, immediately upon spotting this corduroy, I knew I’d have to make up some Esther shorts. I’m always amazed that you can find matching thread, buttons, + zippers for whatever color fabric you might be working with!

Button + Zipper detail | Cropped tank by Simka Sol

I always get tripped up on steps 9 and 10 – so I made this lo-fi drawing to help my future self + some directions.

Step 9: Take a front and back panel piece that is already joined at one vertical/side seam. Fold it in half, with the right sides facing. This will leave the two short vertical/side seams aligned => this is the seam you want to sew together (just like the instructions say “Sew from crotch to hem …”). You will still have two separate leg circles at this point. do not sew the left + right leg panels together to create a mega tube!!!

Step 10: Now that you have 2 legs, keep one inside out/wrong sides out and one right sides out. Take the right side out leg and but it inside on the wrong sides out leg. Now align the J shaped seam (ie. the seat/crotch seams) and sew these together.

Me + Tepals. Here she makes a smiley winky dog face.

Also, meet Tepals, my blue heeler pup. She’s about 4 months old now, though she came home with us at 7 weeks! She’s a goofball/lovebug/pigwolf. I’ve been thinking about writing a post about what it’s like as a first time dog owner getting a puppy because I know I researched the shit out of it before I got her. Really I just wanted to now how fiscally irresponsible it was to get a dog when I was about to make a big life transition from full time work to full time student. We’re making it work and I can’t think of a better time to watch her grow and learn and train.


Next projects:

  • I want to revisit 100 Acts of Sewing Pant No. 1 and make matching top and bottom in an ikat or print of some sort.
  • I’m also curious about the Persephone pants and always wanting to make ALL the dresses (so many to choose from – how will I ever decide?!!)
  • Currently + finally, I am making my first Ogden Cami in white linen. Inspired to loosely recreate this outfit, I’m looking for a classic a-line skirt with a button front to pair with my Ogden


Maya Top | No. 2

Inspired by the Hackwith Designs’ Chandler Top and having some extra fabric on hand from my Wiksten tank dress last summer, I decided to sew up another Maya Top.

Pattern: Maya Top by Marilla Walker

Fabric: cotton stripe from Bolt

Size: 4


  • Size up two sizes for the sleeves, to size 6 (redrew lines with a french curve)
  • Straight, cropped hem
  • Added a pocket
  • No facings for neck or sleeves – used 22″ bias for neck


Close up of neckline bias

The Maya top in all it’s glory.

After a month of wearing this top, sizing up wasn’t necessary. It makes the shirt feel a little boxier than it needs to, especially when layering a sweater or jacket on top. Overall, I’m really happy with this shirt. It’s easy to wear and I always love the addition of a striped shirt in my wardrobe.

Future Maya Top Projects: If I find a fabric that is a bit closer in design to the Hackwith inspiration, I will probably do a size 3, add extra length to the hem (about 3-4″), & keep the size up for the sleeves while also, increasing the sleeve length (2-3″).

I’m interested in trying Named Clothing’s Inari Top. The dress version looks elegant & a little slimmer in profile than the Maya top dress. It might be the excuse I need to finally purchase some silk noil from Stone Mountain Fabrics.

A bonus – put the garden beds to rest for winter today & harvested the last of our summer produce.


Summer of Basics | City Gym Shorts

My third and final piece for the Summer of Basics line up. I didn’t follow my plan to the T, but instead adjusted to what I found myself wanting to wear or wishing was in my wardrobe on all these hot summer days. These shorts have been on my to-make list for a few years now and are so cute! I was hopeful they’d be my new go-to for lounging at home, running errands, trying to live in this new Portland 90+ degree weather, as the whole west coast goes up in flames, etc.

Pattern: City Gym Shorts by Purl Soho

Fabric: various scraps (Robert Kaufman chambray, ikat, cotton dots) from Bolt & Fabric Depot

Size: 33-34″

I really wanted these shorts to work out, but unfortunately, the fit is perfect in the elastic waist and too tight in the seat. I didn’t make a muslin and jumped straight in cutting & sewing from fabric scraps I had from other completed projects. I probably wouldn’t have had enough to accommodate a larger size, if I chose it. Sizing up and then adding darts to back panel to narrow the waist to 34″, might have yielded a better fit. Or possibly keeping the front panel at the 33″ size & the back panel a size up to 35″ with a custom length waistband.

I really like the panels & bias in this pattern. It’s a great opportunity to play with color & pattern, which I usually shy away from. Also, this was my first time making bias tape from scratch. I learned via YouTube how to fold fabric to easily cut lots of bias tape. I loved how quickly these shorts sew up, but I’m still hesitant to try again sizing up and modifying. Mostly because I hate having finished garments I can’t wear when I have so much anticipation to finish so I can wear it immediately!

But maybe after I finish my next project, I’ll size up and give these shorts another go. Also, if you want these shorts – they’re yours 😀 Comment or message me.

Inspiration: @notaprimarycolor

The moment of truth – once I threaded the elastic thru the waist band I tried the shorts on. They looked kind of tiny the whole time I was sewing, but since I went off my low hip measurements, I was hopeful. No luck this time.


Summer of Basics | Esther Shorts

I’m really happy to have these shorts as part of my summer wardrobe! For my next pair, I’ll choose a slightly heavier weight fabric, maybe linen, in either chambray or black/patterned.

Pattern: Esther Shorts by Tessuti Fabrics

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons from Fabric Depot

Size: 8

Modifications: none

The fabric is lighter weight than what I envisioned, resulting in some front-butt. But, hey, check out that button detail!


This is the first time I’ve ever made shorts, so I didn’t make any modification and followed the pattern as precisely as I could. I’m pleased with the overall fit without any alteration. I did struggle with the directions—without diagrams I found myself re-reading thru all the directions often to make sure I wasn’t absent-mindedly missing a step or working on the wrong pattern piece.

Initially I sewed the back darts the same on both back pieces because there is no wrong/right side to the Kona cotton fabrics. So when I went to connect the two back pieces, I realized I needed to take out and re-do one dart.

I also learned how to use a zigzag stitch in place of an overlocking stitch, which I don’t have on my sewing machine (a Bernette Seville 4). I used the invisible zipper, button, and button hole feet all for the first time! It was pretty rewarding to watch how-to’s on YouTube and find it was as easy to reproduce on my own. Overall, the Esther Shorts come together quickly and are great for sewists of any skill-level.


Finally, I have shorts to go with my crop tops!

Have you sewn up some Esther Shorts? I’d love to hear about what modification, questions, challenges, etc. you ran into in the comments 🙂


Summer of Basics

Karen Templer of Fringe Association has thought up another awesome make-along, Summer of Basics 2017. In thinking about three garments to make by September, I wanted to make sure I got my color palette right. I feel like I could own everything in black and white with blues, navys, + earth tones to compliment. Hopefully, this will help guide me once I get to the fabric store. I’m always a bit overwhelmed with possibility once I get there.


SHORTS | Esther Shorts

I spend most of the summer in shorts & tank tops. I’m really looking forward to adding a pair of Esther shorts into that rotation. I’m planning on two pairs: a black linen and a caramel brown. Can’t wait to wear these with my new CYG tank!


LEGGINGS |Ooh La Leggings

Comfortable, not pajamas, easy to move in, and look nice enough to be seen in public in = check. I love that the seams are part of the design and give these leggings some extra structure. Most likely going to do these in a dark grey knit as seen in the pattern photos. I see myself wearing these biking, at work, & traveling. Can’t get more versatile than that!



Looking at my other two picks above, it’s easy to see the gap I’m filling in my wardrobe is bottoms. I feel this last pick should be a top to help make a full outfit. That said, I’m not really jazzed on any top patterns right now. Totally open to your suggestions! What shirt, tank, &/or other top patterns have you been sewing up lately?

I have been happy with my maya top & maya dress. So, it might be time to venture into the button top version. I’ll have to figure out how to use the button foot on my machine first. I also love the white & black stripped Uzi top pictured above. While I wouldn’t recreate that pattern, as I’ll buy that top one day, I would love a white linen maya top.

I’m also considering the Foxglove Tank, Peplum Tank, or another Wiksten Tank. And, I definitely want to make an Esme maxi cardigan from a cream/off-white or olive wool boucle. Not sure where to find my dream off-white wool boucle or even a thick, woven cotton. But, I’m thinking maybe furniture fabric stores or ye old Jo-ann’s. Where ever I do end up finding it, it’ll probably be the most money I’ve ever spent on fabric.

I’m following along on Instagram #summerofbasics

Photo Credits:

Ooh La Leggings // uzi tunic // Elizabeth Suzann // @bella_zibler esther shorts // Elizabeth Suzann// local milk // @bryrclogs // Kona Cotton fabric // un-fancy


Maya Top

True to form, the next project I made was not from my #MakeNine2017 list. But, the spring rain has been conducive to spending evenings sewing (my machine + workspace  are set up in the windowless basement). The Maya top seemed like a perfect transitional season piece; as easily worn layered with a cardigan for warmth or dressed down for summer with shorts. I was drawn to the Maya top because of the wide neck + armhole facing and I also loved this one in white linen from Sewn By Elizabeth. Not to mention, there are so many possible variations; crop top, tunic top, buttons or w/o, dress, pocket placement, lengthening the sleeves, etc.

I had noticed my habit of following direction to the tee or anticipating my alterations without testing them, but never quiet being happy with my final garment. It finally dawned on me that it’s worth the time + effort of sewing up a test with cheap fabric (i.e. muslin at $2 per yard).


Pattern: Maya Top & Dress by Marilla Walker
Fabric: — 100% cotton from Bolt Fabric
Size: 3
Modifications: Sized up for the sleeve (Size 4)

I sewed the muslin up in size 3. One of my favorite parts of the pattern are the french seams. I love when patterns have seam finishing built in, especially because I lean towards woven fabrics that fray like crazy with wash + wear. Included in the seam finishing are folding over the outer edges of the neck + armhole facings. Initially, I was a bit confused on how to fold under the outer edge of the armhole facing, as it’s a curved edge. I left the curves un-folded/raw edges. It worked out ok, but I knew when I finished that I missed the intention. Luckily, I was able to correct it on “real” version (shown below).

With the muslin completed, I loved the overall fit. The body is loose, but not baggy or oversized. I have broad shoulders and decided the sleeves were a bit smaller/tighter than I wanted. So, I blended the sleeves up to the next size & recut my paper pattern. Not only did I figure out the fit and how to modify it for myself, but I have the perfect piece to experiment with natural dying with avocado skins.


Folded under 1.5 cm on the outer edge of the armhole facing. Pinned + ready for topstitching.

Sewing up my “real” version on this woven blue fabric, I was very meticulous and slow. I’d sew/fold/iron a couple seams, call it a night, + then sew a couple more seams the following morning, etc. I  learned the necessity of cutting notches into curved hems of the neck + armholes, so that they lay flat. I had also never done under stitching before, so that was a technique I looked up. This was also the first time I’ve used the invisible hem stitch on my machine. I definitely missed or caught too much fabric at different points, but am still happy with how tidy the invisible hem looks


Invisible hem

Having just finished the shirt 3 days ago, I’ve already worn it twice. I’ve started tracing + cutting the pattern for a Maya dress. I plan to extend the sleeves by 2 inches, so I can cuff them, and to try the curved hem for the bottom of the dress.


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2017 Make Nine

Last year, I made five garments and re-discovered my love of knitting and sewing (Lori Shawl | Pants No. 1 | Agnes Sweater | Hemlock Tee | Mittens). While I think nine is a stretch for me, I’m gonna set that goal and we’ll see where I end up.

image source: @kylieandthemachine | Study NY| Jamie and the Jones | Not Perfect Linen | @wild_columbine| Fen Dress @Jen_Beeman | NoCreamCorn on Ravelry | Andrea Mowey on Ravelry | Oljett Hat


NUMBER ONE | Willow Tank Top

I’m currently working on a cropped Willow tank top. I haven’t had much luck with adjusting the bust darts, having modified them several plus times – but, that’s another post. At this point, I’m not sure if I just haven’t done the right adjustments/don’t have enough knowledge or if my adjustment woes are more a result of the fabric I chose (a woven cotton). This is the first pattern where I really wish I made a muslin, instead of diving right in. But, I thought it would be a cut, sew, be done project as I’ve make tanks before. Alas, those darts were a whole new thing for me.

NUMBER TWO | a dress

Trying to decide between the Fen Dress, Alder Dress, simple linen a line dress, &/or Farrow Dress. I have a couple of weddings to attend this summer and fall, which put the idea of a handmade silk dresses in my head. I have never sewn silk before, much less do I know where to purchase it. I’m hoping for a raw silk broadcloth in black or other neutral earth tone. If nothing else, I might save up for this Elizabeth Suzan dress.

That said, I’m considering signing up for the Fen Dress class at Modern Domestic. I have a bit of sticker shock – $96 & that doesn’t include the pattern!! But, I know that instruction is valuable and it might be what I need to figure out this whole adjustments thing. Or, I have a monthly subscription to Creative Bug and am considering the Pattern Drafting class (5 hours!!!) as a pretty strong alternate.

NUMBER THREE | Lila Top Down Sweater

I’ve already bought the yarn to cast on my Lila sweater! It’s my way of motivating myself to finish the right mitten of my 34th & 8th mittens. Also, there are so many beautiful knits in Carrie Bostick Hodge’s Madder Anthology 2 that I might one day work my way through most of the patterns.

NUMBER FOUR | Pants No. 1

I have yet to post about the first pair I made last year, but in making the first pair I learned that I’d like to add side pockets and loosen the tension of the elastic waistband (vs. the tension the pattern recommends). This second pair will actually be shorts in a blue chambray fabric, reminiscent of the Not Perfect Linen shorts pictured above. I have the fabric cut and pinned together, but I stalled on the pocket piece. Luckily, there’s a quick tutorial on how to add side seam pockets on Creative Bug.

NUMBER FIVE | a legging

I don’t know why, but I’m kind of surprised by all the legging patterns in the sewosphere. Happily surprised. The one thing I miss from working at Nike was wearing leggings everyday. Not only did it not feel unprofessional, but it was praised if you were wearing anything from the current season (because employee discounts). I’ve been looking for something less athletic that I can wear to the office without feeling like it’s obvious I got dressed in 5 seconds—even though that is the goal. I might try the Ooh La Leggings after seeing how awesome Lucky Lucille’s turned out or try self drafting some with yet another Creative Bug class (gotta get my $$ worth on that monthly subscription!!). I love the idea of sewing some up in merino wool. It’s the fabric I love to wear best; naturally moisture wicking, dries quickly, doesn’t smell, great to layer for warmth or less layers for a hot day—all wins!

NUMBER SIX + SEVEN | Hemlock Tee

I was happy with how my first modified Hemlock Tee came out. So, I’d like to make a long sleeve version in a navy linen/cotton blend with large pockets on the front mid-section. I’ve also been daydreaming about the T Sweater by Jamie and the Jones. I think I could be satiated with a modified Hemlock Tee, if I can find the perfect nubby cotton to sew it up in.


The Last Minute Slouch was the project I learned how to knit in the round, as well as my first knit hat. I liked it so much, I even made one for my grandma, who was kind enough to share it with my grandpa. Together, they’d take turns wearing. But, I haven’t knit a hat since then, which means it’s probably been 5 years. I’ve been craving a hat in a marbled cream & dark grey and found the Oljett Hat marked in my Ravelry favorites. A perfect fit and a nice break from knitting twos or a sweater.

NUMBER NINE | Briochealicious

I am most intimidated by this knitting project, but I also love all of Andrea’s patterns. I can see myself wearing this all fall + winter; to yoga, traveling, and uneventfully, sitting at my desk working. I’ll learn a new stitch, brioche, and it’ll be my first piece with more than 2 colors. I’m super indecisive when it comes to selecting yarn colors over two and by nature, I’m drawn towards minimalism. So, this will probably be a welcomed introduction of color to my wardrobe.

I’ve been so inspired by everyone posting to #2017MakeNine. Look forward to following along on everyones’ 2017 projects!



One Mitten Done, Half the Fun!

I started these mittens in October, as my Slotober project. Slow indeed! I was knitting a row or two every morning before work and a bit more on weekends. The routine waxed and waned and so, over the past week I finally finished the left mitten!!! One down, one to go. Here’s to knitting the right mitten in less than 4 months, as I picked up yarn today for my next project—the Lila Top Down sweater.

My gauge was shy of what the pattern recommends. I knit tightly and MT Unicorn Tails yarn was a little thinner than the recommended Brooklyn Tweed Loft. I also neglected to do a swatch—I was too eager to get started and forgot this step. Nonetheless, this left mitten fits my hand just fine. I remember when I first came across these mittens in 2012. I was super intimidated by them—I had never knit mittens or done any color work. They seemed intricate beyond my skill level, but their design and color has stuck with me all this time. When I cast on in October, I still had never made a pair of mittens or done any color work. At this point, those nevers didn’t scare me away and intrigued me instead.

Stranded Knitting + Color Dominance

Getting started on these, I was a bit thrown off by the pattern. The color chart is inverted when compared to the photographs that accompany the pattern. Since I wanted to knit the pair represented in the photos, I went back and forth trying to figure out which color was meant to be the dominant color. In the end, I decided to do as the pattern said after reading a post from Paper Tiger blog (DC Blue, BC White). The whole way through, I continued to get my strands tangled as I attempted to trap long strands. Eventually, I’ll probably figure this out, but have been fine with detangling.

After Thought Thumb

The after thought thumb was easy enough. I followed these tutorials on YouTube:

It was my first time using this technique & I mussed the set up a little. When I came back to pick up the stitches, the top/back of thumb was a little wonky and there’s a small hole (pictured above). I just knit 3 together in an effort to close it. Not perfect, but doable.


Yarn + Tools

The Unicorn Tails yarn is 100% merino wool and I love the softness of the final fabric. Madeline Tosh’s colors are always beautiful and it’s no surprise that most things I knit are with her yarns—I can’t stay away! I was also excited to be using my new Fringe Co project bag, that my sister got me over the holidays. Being able to thread the yarn thru the yarn guides is such a nice feature.

Project Details

Pattern: 34th & 8th Mittens

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails (3 skeins of ea. colorway; Antler, Fathom), fingering weight

Needles: US 1, bamboo

Gauge: 36 sts = 3.75″ though I haven’t blocked my mittens yet

project on Ravelry