intermittent posts on sewing, knitting, gardening, healthy eating and other random topics from two sisters


No posts at all in August? Gotta get that photo-process whipped into shape—I’ve got at least three drafts fully written, just missing photos.


Ten satin pillowcases?

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(wine red and pale pink not pictured)

So many drawstring bags I’m about to stop tracking them in my custom projects database?

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(most of the bags are from leftover pillowcase satin, clearly. I like shiny.)

Or, maybe I just have a high tolerance for repetition.

(To be fair, I use the bags to try out different techniques and get a better sense of what works and doesn’t work, so that’s useful.)

—D, Younger

I wore this dress to a wedding in 2004. I really like the color (more accurate in the first photo), but it doesn’t actually fit all that well, and it’s way outdated.


So I converted it.


The tank top still doesn’t fit all that well (and is still cheap polyester, though I’m pretty sure the way is looks longer on the left than the right is just the photo), but I’m gonna have a lot of fun wearing the scarf.


A bit janky if you look too closely, but no one will.

I cut the cylinder from the bottom of the skirt into a sort of long spiral shape (about 120 inches before gathering), so the scarf has pointed ends and a couple of corners. Thirty minutes to re-hem the tanktop, 1.5 hours to do the scarf. Probably three-quarters of the rolled hem either swallowed too much fabric or not enough fabric, though.

I got the idea for the scarf from Sew A Beginner, but I used a different gathering technique—I took a class on presser feet last Saturday, and it taught the zigzag-over-another-thread method, using a rolled hem foot to help hold the gathering thread out of the way. For this scarf, I used a thin white ribbon, as the instructor suggested a crochet thread or something strong to gather a scarf, with a high probability of getting caught on something. Red or pink would have been better, but white was what I had. I also used any remotely compatible leftover thread—going out and buying something just doesn’t go with the concept of refashioning, to me.

It was just practice, really. I have three more dresses I intend to convert to tanktops, although those have shorter skirts, so I might need to find something else to do with the leftover.

Not sure how Ecto is going to handle the fact that one login posts to two blogs….where will this show up?

I’m not sure where it goes, but when you lay 2-dimensional fabric on a 3-dimensional body, some of it vanishes.

My Midnight Skirt

I call this my midnight skirt because I came home from drinks with friends one Friday night, at midnight, and decided I was just going to tweak the seams on the skirt I had started that afternoon—and then sewed for the next two hours reshaping the skirt, flatfelling the side seams (flatfelling brocade is great!), putting in the facing, topstitching the waist with a twin needle, and finishing everything but the hem.

Plus, it’s dark blue.

Plus, it’s clearly a party skirt, and thus likely to see midnight, even in this town where people show up to parties on time and leave early. On the first night of wearing it hit TWO parties (one with dancing! both celebrating tenure!) and made it all the way to 2am, an unusually social night for me.

Here’s the outfit, maximally dressed down for a warm spring eve. Brocade is a bit of a push, but since I’m dressier than most people I know here, I can work it into my normal look.

Also, this is my first remotely successful A-line skirt. I went back to my very first plan, which was just to trace a skirt I knew fit me, instead of messing with measurements. My first try at that turned out way too small—well, it fit perfectly, just very high-waisted when the original sits at my navel. So I turned to Sew What! Skirts, but after reading this helpful post on how to copy a made skirt, my second try worked much better. I just had to take a bit of triangle fullness out of the side seams (hence the reshaping I was doing at midnight, though I should have just ripped the original seams entirely instead of trying to sew new curves on top of them, as you can still see that they are pretty wonky), and I think (fingers crossed, I haven’t tested it yet) I’ve got a pattern I can run with for a while.

—D, Younger

4.5 hours, $18 in materials. 100% polyester brocade from JoAnn’s, wash cold, hang dry.

The skirt is the portion of the garment which is essentially physical in character. It covers the hips and limbs of the wearer. Emphasis placed upon certain areas will give the woman a sexy appearance. In some cases, this might be deliberate intent on the part of the designer, but when it has been done unintentionally, and the garment is worn by the wrong type of woman, the results are disappointing.

From Modern Pattern Design, 1942 (Chapter 8, on Skirts)

—D, Younger, Sewist

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