patterned knits galore!

I’ve been so busy making a ton of these zippered purses (below) for a friend (who’s planning to use them as goody bags for a party she’s throwing) that I haven’t been able to touch the piles of fabric that have been lately trickling in via the post — the result of an online fabric shopping spree of mine last payday. 

But check out the yards and yards of gorgeous printed knits that I’ve got waiting for me! Don’t know about y’all, but nothing uplifts my spirit as much as beholding a colorful, busy (almost to the point of dizzying) patterned fabric. So once I finish up being a one-woman zipper purse factory, I’m grabbing my copy of Wendy Mullins’ Home Stretch and am going to town…

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belle de jour

If you don’t have a copy of Wendy Mullin’s book Sew U: Home Stretch — what are you waiting for?!

Not only does this book come with all the patterns you need to make every single one of the stylish projects within, but every step is diagrammed and the written directions are super simple to follow, even for instruction-impaired people like me.

This form fitting number is the “Belle de Jour” dress from said book, and it was incredibly simple to make. The blue fabric is a rayon stretch knit (with a tiny hint of sheen) I got online from somewhere. Sorry, I buy so much fabric that I often forget from where I bought what. I don’t think the dress is supposed to be this body hugging, as I decided to make it x-small instead of the more-appropriate small. Anyway, I squeeze into it alright and as long as I can remember to suck in the gut, I think I’ll be ok.


first, you start with an old concert t-shirt…

…and with just a few snips and seams — presto change-o — you can have a rockin’ tunic!

For The Smiths dress below, I used the extra material from the original sleeves to make the yoke. I was lucky enough to have some blue knit jersey in my fabric stash that worked perfectly with the Radiohead tee. For the yokes, I used Built By Wendy pattern 3692. Then, I simply took in the original side seams and gathered the tops to fit the yokes. Don’t know if you can tell at first glance (please say you can’t!) but I accidentally sewed the back yoke on to the front of the Radiohead dress, that’s why my neckline is higher than it should be…and when you look at it from the back, it’s more noticeble that it’s backwards. 😐 Oh well. It’s still wearable, and that constitutes a success in my book.

new tunic dress + knee-hi gladiator sandals

You gotta love tunics as they allow you to binge at all-you-can-eat buffets and not worry about visible tummy bulge. This one was made from an absolutely free tunic dress pattern downloaded from Burdafashion.com — which seems to run very large so keep that in mind if/when you make it yourself. I also shortened the hem to a sexy mini.

Of course, you probably can’t help but also notice my crazy, mother-of-all-gladiator sandals. They’re like the trendy ones you see everyone wearing these days, ‘cept turned up to 11. I bought these after seeing the original Chanel ones (mine are, of course, knock offs from good ol’ ebay) being donned by fashionistas worldwide. To my surprise, I get loads of compliments when I wear them out, which makes me extra happy because I was rather iffy about whether or not I could pull them off. Thought I was destined for fashion-victim-ville for sure. Indeed, these very sandals are to be found on People Mag’s Worst Trends list. But hell–it’s not as if anyone reaches for a sleazy gossip rag like People when looking for cutting edge fashion. Am I right?

shoulder-tie dress

Another dress for summer! I made this today from yet another thrift-store bed linen — a very pretty lavender duvet cover I got for $3.99! And even after making this dress, there’s still a ton of fabric left over for at least two more projects. I used a ridiculously easy vintage pattern I snagged from ebay — Simplicity “Jiffy” series, #7520.

Unlike the dresses pictured in the pattern, I used a contrasting print fabric for the inset because why waste an opportunity for adding a bit of pizazz? I shortened the length so I’d have a sassier, poofier skirt, but didn’t do a very good job creating an even hem, so the back is visibly shorter than the front. Woops. Maybe I’ll start a trend? Ah, whatevah. As you know, I’m not a stickler for perfection. All in all, I’m happy with the outcome and will be wearing this new number to the office tomorrow.

birdy bags

I needed a project for the left over fabric from my bird print dress, so decided to make a tote bag and yet another wristlet purse. I thought it would be fun to use a contrasting print fabric for the inner pocket of the tote. I also finally got around to using magnetic purse snaps. They’re such a cinch to use, I have no idea why I was ever afraid of them. I’m quite happy with how these turned out.


I’m addicted to these wristlet purses at the moment!

empire maxi-dress

Just finished up the first dress I’ve ever made without the use of a pattern! Needless to say, I’m very excited and am wearing it with pride, despite the fact that the back looks a bit wonky and makes my bottom look two sizes larger. Hence, I’ve only given you front and (obscured) side view photos. 🙂 I made it out of a thrift store fitted bedsheet and based it on a sleeveless empire waist minidress from my closet, but decided to take it floor length for a dramatic maxi. I think it looks rather Jane Austen-esque with a touch of va-va-voom.

I spiced up the top edge with some crocheted trim I got from ebay.

I’m a bit late with my first creative endeavor for Oona’s “Week of Happy” — but I’ll see if I can rise to her challenge of creating something every single day for a week. Hmmmm. We’ll see how I fare…