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Week 28, using up my stash

I know I said I need to stop making dresses, but I am also trying to sew what I have before I buy more fabric.

This fabric I bought about a year ago with the intention to make a dress.  I was wearing my brown jacket when I bought it and I thought it contrasted with the jacket amazingly.


Simplicity 8511, view A, size 14

I thought this pattern sewed up pretty easily and I’m happy with the result.  The darts in this dress were new to me and I think they are fun.

I’m a huge fan of the statement sleeve trend and I’ll be disappointed when it’s not a trend anymore.  I think all the possibilities are fun.

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A summer romper, week 27


Finding one piece swimsuits and romper style outfits is problematic for me off the rack.  My torso is just that much too long.  I always need about another inch.  It was fun to make this pattern and make a custom outfit that it just the length I need.

The romper trend is a cute one but one I’d really have to sit out if I couldn’t sew.  I did find one that was amazingly cute off the rack but it shrank when I washed it.  I didn’t dry it, I washed it in cold water and followed all the instructions and now it’s too short in the torso.  I was pretty devastated and I paid $160 for it at Anthropolgie.  It was adorable, before washing (Pictured below with my mom and sister)!


So I’m loving making them with my own fabric that I make sure I pre-shrink and have ready for the sewing process to ensure that the perfect fit can’t be washed away.

I love the neckline of this one and can’t get enough of sewing up unique sleeves and necklines.

Some reviews from my husband and friends weren’t very positive for this make.  The color and fabric choice weren’t their favorite but I originally bought this fabric for a different project, a pants project.  Pants projects and I are on a break.  They haven’t been successful.

So here is week 27, what do you think?

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On side note.  I added one inch of length in the torso area.  I had to recut the pockets because I failed to add it to the top of them and that was definitely a problem.  Luckily, I had just enough fabric to fix my mistake but it was a good object lessen, because I even sewed them to the shorts before fully realizing my mistake.

Halfway Done!

Here are the projects so far!

I started this challenge because I reached a point in life that I was so stressed and empty. Three cross country relocations, inheriting two children in a will, an unnecessary and costly custody battle to get them, and the natural growing of our family to three boys was a lot to cover in six short years.  I’m of the mindset that when life gets hard, you just dig deeper and so I did.  Year after year, I dug deeper.  I’d rise up again and again to each challenge, but what I mined away at to gather that strength was myself.  Last summer, I came to the shocking conclusion that there was nothing left to chip away at.  I was snappy and short with everyone.  My existence was one of scarcity.  There was so little left to give them all that I clung to it and protected it.

Rebuilding is always hard.  At 36 years old, I felt silly not knowing how to fix myself and restore myself, but it was a problem I had no choice but lean in and solve.

The first question was, “What recharges me?”  That shouldn’t be a complicated question, but for me it was.  I spent months pondering that question and the usual answers didn’t fit.  Getting pedicures, massages, or girls nights out, away from the kids, generally had little to no affect.  They were nice and pleasant, but what I really craved was a creative outlet.  When I started sewing again, the pieces fell into place.

Being a stay-at-home mom is an awesome calling and a privilege, but let’s face it nothing about cleaning up the kitchen for the 80 millionth time or arguing with a four year old about wearing shoes in the winter feeds the deep parts of your soul.

Sewing, painting and gardening backfill the parts of who I am that stress and motherhood have eroded away.

People often ask, “Make me one too!”  when they see a project they like.  I know it’s a complement and I take it as such but I have to giggle about it.  In my case it’s like telling a friend on their way into see their counselor, “Hey, could you ask them about my problem too!”  I named the blog appropriately, Sew sanity.  When I sew it’s to restore and heal.  It’s to de-stress and pour in to myself.  It’s awesome that I have a lot of fun new clothes but those are just a by product of what’s really going on, restoration.

When we lived in Georgia I gardened.  It sustained me in ways I can’t express.  I didn’t realize what a powerful form of self care it had become.  People would complement me on my yard and flowers and my heart would whisper, they are watered with my tears.  They were, I planted and poured out my broken heart.  Those plants carefully collected my heartache and grew from it.  I cried so hard when I left that yard.  I left a place and a trusted haven that held me when I walked through a painful season.  In Utah, gardening wasn’t a craving I could satisfy.  Sewing has replaced it and I’m so grateful for it.

I hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as me.  I’m truly loving each project and more importantly feel so much healthier than I did six months ago.  Find what restores you and pursue it, you are worth that time.

Are you ready for some sun? I am! Week 26

I’m half way through my year long challenge!  Can you believe it?!?!?!  26 weeks!  I’m pretty excited about it and the progress I’ve made.  26 to go and I’m enjoying all of them so much.

Week 26 is this fun sundress!


Simplicity 2250 View A Size 14

When I first saw this pattern I fell in love, the bodice was so unique and looked challenging so I wanted to try it.  It was definitely different,  and not as hard as I anticipated.  If you take your time and read carefully it really isn’t very difficult it’s just time consuming and requires patience.  The bodice front is in three pieces and has at least six darts and three pleats.  It went together faster and easier than I thought.


No matter how many times I sew something I’m still in awe that a pile of pieces transforms like this.


The bodice is double lined and the back has ties and a zipper.  All of it was new and different construction but nothing too challenging.


I added a couple of inches to the length and have no complaints, I’m in love with the details of the bust and the construction.


What do you think!?!?!?  Are you ready for Spring?


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Bohemian Top, Week 25

When I first saw this red fabric, I instantly fell in love.  I envisioned it as a bohemian style top.  This was the pattern that met that vision and thus the project was planned.


Working conditions around here are hazardous.

This pattern has SOOOOO many pleats.  Nearly every piece of this piece has at least three pleats, but I really enjoyed making this.  The details were fun and something I hadn’t tried before.  I wish I had added length to the sleeves and the body.  I’m not sure why I didn’t.  Adding length to the sleeves and body should by now be a go to move for me.  I did enjoy making this because the fabric was challenging and the pattern had extra detail that was also challenging and new to me.

It’s finished and frankly it’s not my favorite piece I’ve made, but I have two patterns on my Make 9 that also have these pleats so this was great practice.


My 2018 #make9


Here are a couple of during construction photos.

I do love the detail of the shoulders.  This view was supposed to be laced and I chose not to do that.  Also the front neckline calls for interfacing but this is a sheer fabric and that would have looked horrid so instead I added stitching around the entire neckline to secure the facing and I like the look it created.

I don’t love the fit and cut on my body and I’m not likely to make the pattern again, but that’s more about my body than the pattern.  Overall, I think I’d recommend this to a more petite figure.  Even where the line is across my back doesn’t quite fall where it should for someone my height.  If you are above 5’5″, I’d recommend making a muslin prototype for proper fit before diving into an expensive fabric.


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!