Sewing Projects


If you feel like getting a little more attention than usual, make yourself a head to toe outfit from tie dyed knit and laugh inwardly every time you get confused side eye from confused pedestrians. I mean, that’s one way to do it.

I was feeling a little self-pitying and left out during the setacular explosion this summer and fall. I was knee deep in denim, hands and nails stained indigo from non-stop sample making, and in absolutely no position to make anything fun or frivolous, so I watched from the sidelines as Sophie trotted out yet another gorgeous matching ensemble while biting my fist in a cry of silent longing. And then more and more spectacular setaculars emerged from the blogosphere, as if the universe was openly mocking me: “ONLY DENIM FOR YOU. NEVER A PRINT SHALL YOU TOUCH AGAIN”.

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*Cue ubiquitous autumn photo of blogger holding a leaf*

Obviously I managed to  get my hands on a print again. To be specific, this magical mystery knit I scored at the studio sale of a local designer. Over ten yards for $15, to be more specific. I felt like I was successfully robbing a bank when I walked out with it. The contents are a bit of a whodunit – I can’t tell if it’s a bamboo or cotton lycra, but it drapes beautiful and has a lovely weight.

After washing it (my neighbors must have thought I was starting a weird cult when they saw it draped and drying all over my balcony) I lay it on my cutting table and let it talk to me. After a bunch of jibberish about the clouds telling the future and how Jerry Garcia is the one true messiah, it quieted down and told me: what it really wanted to be was a crazy draped tee and matching leggings. So I listened.

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For the last week or so, I’ve been taking care of myself. Not working like crazy, and just feeling good about making whatever my little heart desires. I have months of backlogged projects to tackle, and one of them was leggings. As I’ve discussed, I’m trying to figure out what my sewing practice will look like now that I don’t have a traditional nine to five. And what it looks like, for now, is comfort. And nothing says comfort to me more than leggings. After doing a little pattern research, the unanimous opinion seemed to be that the Cake Espresso Leggings were the absolute BOSS, and I have to concur.

This is an ingenious pattern. Rather than cut out a size based on your waist and hip, you are provided with what is essentially a grid of dots to connect. You measure your waist, upper thigh and knee, and then connect the points to get a pair of leggings that will fit your body perfectly. I especially loved that you can personalize the rise. I have a bit of a belly and nothing drives me more crazy than seeing a little muffin-top bump when I’m wearing a clingy tee or sweater over my leggings. These hit at my natural waist, so it creates a nice smooth line. I highly suggest you make a muslin first – my first pair was too high and the legs needed to be taken in a little, but after tweaking it I have the most perfectly fitted pair of leggings I’ve ever owned, and once you have the pattern set you can knock out a pair in an hour, easy. I’m already anticipating future makes; I have a ton of crazy printed swimsuit lycras just begging to be crazy pants.

My only problem with this particular pair is that the fabric, while insane and amazing, does not have the best recovery. I’m not sure what the lycra percentage is but I suspect it’s not enough. These really only get a couple of hours of wear before bagging out at the knee. But when worn in conjunction with this bananas top, I don’t think many people would notice.

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Like Ginger, I was mighty inspired by Ebony’s gorgeous Scout tee hack from a few months back. I love a high/low hem and I think there is something so lazily elegant about the silhouette. Rather than hack an existing pattern, I drafted this one from scratch over a few hours. I’ve been wanting to build a library of t-shirt blocks, so I started with a crew-neck raglan sleeve draft and then added volume to the body, tapering down to about 5″ in the back.

I stinkin’ LOVE this garment. I’ve been wearing it a few times a week (I work alone, no one has to know) and am already plotting about a million more. I used the Nettie method for the neckline and did a simple folded and double needle finish at the hem. And among my friend group, it is probably the most coveted thing I have ever made – my lady friends have been begging me to make more, but I am a selfish seamstress and have plans for the other 6 yards of this tie dye magic.


Sadly, I think this may be the last outdoors shoot for a while. It’s already quite cold in Montreal and I was shivering in my booties while taking these pictures yesterday. White wall it is, then. The curse of the Northern maker.

So, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever made? And do you think I’m acid-high for walking around in this much tie dye?