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WEEK 24, something for my boys

This week I made it a big one.  I made three matching outfits for my boys.  That means I made six things!

This was a ton of work!  I traced all three sizes in the shirt and in the pants.  That was a ton of tracing!  I love how the pants turned out!  I mean LOVE.  They have so many fun details I’m hoping they last and that these three don’t tear through them.  I haven’t sewn for them because frankly it’s cheaper to buy kids clothes and they wear them out so fast.

Both patterns are from Burda.  sizes 5, 9 and 10.  The tops are out of knit and the bottoms are out of stretch denim all purchased at Joann Fabrics.  I lengthen both older boys pants by 2 inches and I’m so glad I did.

The patterns were easy to follow and I had no issues.  Knits are always a learning curve getting used to again but even those went well.

The boys like them, and they think they are comfortable.  I think I will make the pants again.  I love how they fit and I like the reinforced knees, hopefully they can stand up to boyhood better than store bought jeans.






My Work Space

In the next few weeks our home will go up on the market, and we will move about 1200 miles from here.  My current sewing room offers a view I’ll likely never have again so I thought I’d post a few picture of this space before it’s gone.  Enjoy!



Nothing like staring at mountains while you sew!

What if we only buy what we can sew?

There’s this super funny meme going around that says something to the effect, “Apparently buying fabric and sewing it up are two different hobbies”.   I died laughing and had to call my mom.  “YES!”, she replied loudly when I read her the meme.

When my parents moved houses in my early 20’s I watched my mom purge her fabric storage and it left an impression.  So many beautiful fabrics were given away because she realized that she just couldn’t sew it all.  There was a huge bolt of decorator that had once been purchased to recover her antique couch and chair.  Sadly, 10 years had passed and although it was a beautiful piece my mom had to admit it wasn’t what she’d choose today.

I follow a sewing room idea page on Facebook and have watched in awe as people post pictures of their fabric stashes.  Rooms full of fabric and I of course flash back to my mom realizing there was no way to sew it all, so she passed it on to others that could, and it reaffirms how I’m approaching my sewing hobby, carefully.

I rarely buy a fabric without a plan in mind.  I’m very determined to sew it all up and soon.  Styles and preferences change at such a fast pace, things I liked a year ago aren’t what I want to spend my time sewing today.

Now, I currently live somewhere where clothing fabric isn’t super easy to source so I understand the inclination of stocking up when you find something, but I think you get the spirit of what I’m saying.  Let’s be careful that we don’t acquire more than we can sew or if we have let’s pass it on to someone that will sew it.  My mom passes on a lot of her supplies that she knows she can’t get through to her sister-in-law and I think it’s a good habit to adopt.

What do you think?  Big storage of fabric or minimalist approach?  Where do you land on the spectrum?

This is pretty much my entire fabric storage.  I have a bin of scraps in the basement to pass on to my mom and aunt for American Girl doll clothes.  I currently have three pieces of fabric without a defined plan, I keep changing my mind about their purpose.  Otherwise, all of this has a plan and a intention.

Unmentionables! Week 23

Remember this dress?


Vintage Butterick Pattern B6318

When I tried this dress on for the first time, it made me realize I really wanted some more volume on the bottom.  So this week’s project is not as glamorous as some of the others, but it was new to me and I thought it was a practical make to have around if you have vintage dresses or plan to make vintage dresses.  It’s a vintage slip!


Vintage Butterick Pattern B456 View A

I did view A and I took 2 1/2″ off of the bottom so that it wouldn’t show under the vintage dress I made.

The pattern was easy.  I think if I were ever to try it again I’d use my gathering foot.  I wasn’t super picky about the gathering since it’s an undergarment but if I were to do it again I’d like to use the foot and see if I like the result better.  I reclaimed a zipper from a skirt I tore apart so there is a bit of up cycle in this.

This make will likely see a lot of use since I have a vintage pattern buying obsession.  My stash of patterns has a decent size sections of vintage and I’m always willing to add to it.

What’s your favorite vintage pattern?

My first try at shorts, Week 22


I make and wear dresses often and for a good reason.  I like how they fit my bottom half. I’ve never loved wearing shorts.  Sometimes the trends in shorts are not only inappropriate for Victoria Secret models they can not be pulled off by women that have body fat percentages above 15%.  If somebody can see the bottoms of your butt checks out of the bottom of your shorts, they are too short!  My legs are not the part of my figure I’d like to flaunt.  So finding shorts that are fashionable, fit and comfy is like the holy grail of fashion.  This simplicity pattern was my first attempt at shorts and I like how they turned out.  I’m not over the moon about them but I’m satisfied.  Also, I totally messed up the waistline.  It’s supposed to have a tie across the front but I was parenting and watching episodes of criminal minds on my phone while I sewed and missed a step.  The insertion of the elastic into the back of the shorts was difficult and time consuming.  Once I realized my mistake I was finished with the waistband and decided I was going to like it as it turned out.

The elastic should start about two inches closer to the front on both sides in order to place the ties on the front.

The fabric is a grey linen from Joann Fabrics and I’m looking forward to trying shorts again soon.  I added an inch to the length which is becoming a standard practice for me.

This project is also one from my #make9 so I’m excited to get one crossed off!


See you next week!

Is is a flop or a flashback?

When I first started sewing again I started by using patterns and fabrics that I felt were easy.  I think working with wovens, calico type fabrics, is easy.  They don’t stretch, and they don’t slip while sewing.

I made this pattern and although the construction went well I’m fairly certain I’ll never wear the dress.  It isn’t flattering, I’m not impressed with my fabric selection and it’s not comfortable.  That’s basically the trifecta of not going to happen.

The pattern itself was easy to follow and I had no issues with it.  It’s just not my cup of tea.


I made views A and B, size 12


What do you think?  What patterns have you tried that didn’t quite meet your vision?

An extra project . . .

Two of my three young sons was home sick from school on Monday and since they mostly wanted to veg out I used my time wisely and whipped up this shirt from this dress’s scraps (you can read about this dress here  I’ve made this shirt pattern once before ( so I decided it wouldn’t be one of my official projects but rather a little bonus.  I love this pattern, and I love both tops I’ve made from it.   The best part is, it’s an easy pattern.  It doesn’t take long to make and is pretty simplistic.  Enjoy this mini mid-week make!


Dress I made for week 6


Here is the original shirt I made from the pattern.

This week’s project reveal is my first pair of shorts.  Can’t wait to show that to you on Sunday!


Make sure you follow Sewsanity on Instagram.  I try to post a few times a week.  Sneak peeks, current projects, and updates on projects get posted there.  Follow along for more Sew Sanity!



Why Sew?

About a year ago I flew to Georgia to visit my oldest child at college.  As we bummed around her college town sipping coffee, eating fun foods and soaking in the charm of her college town we hopped in and out of cute clothing shops.  We tried on some pieces for laughs and others because they truly interested us.


I saw a seersucker dress, empire waste, fitted bust, adorable sleeves and I put it on and it fit like a glove.  The whole thing was adorable except for it’s length.  I’m 5’9″ tall and I have curves.  Even at my skinniest my thighs are a throwback to 50s pinup, not today’s thigh gap generation.  So seeing my “chubby” knees peaking out under this adorable dress made me sadly hang it back up and say goodbye.  But that moment started something.  It was another moment in 35 years of encountering clothes that just don’t quite fit right.

I snapped a picture of the dress and thought, “I can make this!”


Another moment that has pushed me down the path of sewing was the movie, The Dressmaker.  It’s stars Kate Winslet and the premise is that she is a dressmaker who moves back to her childhood home.  The town is filled with drab looking women and although Winslet’s character has no reason to be kind to these women she begins to use her skills to transform them with amazing dresses that highlight their unique beauty.

The concept of a perfect body is a fleeting thing but clothes are the ultimate tool of expression.  They can tell people exactly what to think of you and they can highlight and hide the good and the bad of each of our figures.

In 2014, our family grew by two teenagers.  Their mother had died and left them to us in her will.  There are no real guidebooks to parenthood but this was a new level without instructions.

The younger daughter was starting 9th grade.  Her wardrobe was barely a step above homeless, and no, I’m not exaggerating.  Her underwear was years old and not big enough.  Many of her clothes were stained with holes.  I cringed every time she wandered down from her room “dressed”.

She was starting Freshman year of high school at a new school.  I unloaded my three small sons on my husband and went off to the shopping mall with our soon to be freshman.  She sulked and whined and was rude every time I suggested any clothing.  Things were crawling along at a snails pace and my patience was running thin.

I’m 5’9″ like I said, she on the other hand is petite and just over 5′.  When she finally submitted to trying on some clothes I was frantically googling How to dress a petite figure.  All the rules that apply to dressing my hour glass 5’9″ frame weren’t helping me when picking clothes for a square petite frame.  I was lost.

After a renewed fussing session from her I finally lost it.  Here is what I said to her.  “I’m here today to bless you.  I’m willing to spend a lot of money to give you a unique opportunity.  You are starting somewhere new.  They know nothing about you.  You get to decide what your first impression is going to be and you get to create a new experience.  You can take that opportunity or not but I’m not spending another moment in this mall being mistreated.  Clothes tell your story, what story are you going to tell?”

The attitude melted away and for the first time that day engagement happened.  The thought took root and she started to realize the truth.  She was telling a story.  Right now her story screamed of her lack of self care, deep grief and a desire to drive others away.  No one had ever been brave enough to point out the story she told.  When I did I saw the spark of recognition, it wasn’t the story she really wanted to tell.

The more I lean into fashion and sew the more I realize we have such power in how we dress our frame.  It communicates so much and although you hear spouted often that people should except us as we are and we shouldn’t conform, that thought negates our responsibility to own the story we tell with our dress.

Ultimately, I’d love to develop the skill to dress each woman’s figure in the best possible way.  To highlight and hide things, to bring out and display her figure in a way that makes her feel beautiful and tells the story to the world that not only is she beautiful, she knows it.


Week 21, Girl’s Night Out Shirt!


This week is a two for one.  Yes, that’s right, I made two shirts from this pattern.  One of the shirts was 100% from remnants that I picked up from Joann.

The pattern itself was ok.  The instructions are a bit confusing because the there are so many views and they have similar instructions with deviations.  I think they were trying to keep it concise but keeping your place and making sure you were reading instructions for your view was tricky.  I spent a lot of time making sure I was reading the right instruction.  Also, where they wanted you to sew the front slit was ridiculously low.  I had to sew it 2 to 3 inches higher than it called for and as you can it’s plenty low where I sewed it.



View D, Size 14, I added one inch in length

This is the top I made from the scraps I picked up in the rem bin.  I couldn’t add the extra inch of length in due to how little fabric I had to work with.


View D, Size 14, Original Length



Can you imagine this 2 to 3 inches deeper?!?!?  I think it’s plenty low as is.

I would definitely make this pattern again.  I like the style and the different variations.  I think this cut is flattering on me and comfortable.

That’s it!  So what do you think?  Like the keyhole neckline?

Next week I’ll reveal my first attempt at shorts!