I’ve been feeling frustrated with myself, with the fact that I haven’t made any clothing in the last few weeks. But then I reviewed my latest version of the Infinite List and realized that I’ve made progress on many fronts.

1. Sleep shorts? MADE SOME. Made a lot, actually! Multiple copies of both the Salme Elastic Waist Shorts and the Lakeside Pajama Shorts. And I’ve been sleeping in them, rotating as I always do with pajamas. My absolute favorite pair, the ones I wish were never dirty, are the Salme version I made from an old set of pillowcases. I think the Salme pattern will be my winner – the one I return to for more versions of lounge shorts – but I might have to give my Lakeside one more try, in an equally soft cotton. Either way, I AM WINNING AT SLEEP RIGHT NOW.

2. Fitness shorts? I reviewed the swatches and color cards, and decided to commit to a few yards of a high-end compression fabric. It’s sitting at home, waiting to be cut into.

3. More Lady Skaters? It hasn’t happened yet, but I think my last two were impulse sewn, which means I’m just waiting for another impulse.

4. Pencil skirt? I haven’t made one yet, but I bought one with a gift card from the Gap, to tide me over. Wearing that has helped me to determine that I probably want a non-stretch pencil skirt (because it is both wrinkly and baggy by the end of the day, and I’d prefer just wrinkles).



I have no idea when I started making this, but it’s a bright green rayon, fully lined. The original intent was to add an elastic waist, like its dress twin, but after a few frustrating runs at the armhole finishing, I think I put this in time-out. It waited there, un-elasticized and un-hemmed, until one morning when I was motivated enough to HEM THIS DRESS AND THE LINING before work. Since that morning, I’ve worn it both belted and with a cardigan.

#bestfriendquilt 👍 #bestfriendquilt

Also, THIS HAPPENED. Or, if I’m honest it’s been happening for years, and I found myself approaching a significantly fun moment in the process. What that means is that a lot of my evening sewing time has been focused on quilting instead of garments.

And not just for one reason…

For everyone who asks how long it takes to make a quilt...(everyone)...I was able to stitch eleven of these blocks while watching M:I-3 tonight. There are 100 blocks on the quilt. #dothemath #thisiswhyidont Since it's finally cool enough to have a big quilt on my lap. #handstitched

Now that the nights are getting colder, I’m reminded that I don’t have a quilt large enough to drape over all sides of my bed. (They’re all closer to an Epic Throw size – large enough to cover a mattress but not hang over the sides.) This one was just waiting to be quilted and bound with no particular deadline. I decided on a simple hand-quilting design, and 100 stitched boxes later, it’s ready to be bound and washed and thrown onto my bed triumphantly! (Next time I plug in the sewing machine, this will probably be the reason.)

32 books finished in 2015: Getting Things Done

32 books finished in 2015

needed improvement
in work productivity
went straight to the source

My friend and former housemate Katie casually mentioned that she re-reads this book every time she has a new job, and like most things she says/does, I immediately latched onto it as THE BEST IDEA EVER.

This book is classic self-help. I am such a sucker for this type of book, which is why I can’t read very many of them. I was practically rabid during the first section, as he’s explaining the reasons why one might need to use this system and the ways it might improve one’s life. And then, as soon as it was application time, I got SO OVERWHELMED. But I kept reading, and I’ve been applying and re-applying these lessons. I have the book sitting next to my desk. I’m putting little encouraging notes/reminders on my wall. I’m already understanding why he suggests implementing it for work and life at the same time (because I did not, and my life feels so much more chaotic compared to my work now).

So, this is a strong recommendation. This book is a classic for a reason. Know that it’s going to challenge you to change some habits, so don’t read it unless you’re willing to change.

31 books finished in 2015: Between the World and Me

31 books finished in 2015

this book should be read
by every Good White Person
and the not so good

One of my friends (or maybe Jon Stewart?) commented on his constant reference to Black Bodies. This was definitely powerful, and I’m glad I knew to listen for it. There was a lot of lyrical/poetic repetition throughout the book, that would emphasize some points and draw curiosity to others.

He references non-black people in a progression of ways: “those who think they are white,” “who need to believe they are white,” etc. You could feel the tension in this, the fear of being defined as other, as black, as dangerous.

He also talks a lot about The Dreamers. It was explained near the beginning of the book, but they kept coming up again and again. Poking holes in our illusion of the American Dream.

I’m mad at this dress.

It should have been a slam dunk.


Instead, this photo inspires me to come up with various mullet analogies. (Tall drink of water in front; shambles in the back.)

I was essentially replacing a dress that I’ve worn to pieces, using an updated/fitted version of the pattern. I was thoughtful about the materials, spending a bit more money on a brightly-colored woven fabric with better drape than a quilting cotton.

But sometimes, the closer you get to right, the more obvious your near-misses are. At least, that’s the lesson I think I’m learning from this. Instead of dramatically declaring that it’s useless to even TRY if your efforts to solve problems are obfuscated by NEW problems. Or, I don’t know, wishing for an entirely different body because THESE CURVES ARE IRRATIONAL. (Self talk: your body is strong and capable and beautiful and your curves are not something to be ashamed of.)

Okay, back to the DRESS, which is something that can be easily changed or discarded.

Looking through my archives, this is a pattern that has ALWAYS caused me to look at my backside and wonder what’s going on. And not in a positive way. Though, really, WHO IS LOOKING AT THEIR BACKSIDE ON A REGULAR BASIS? (Ha ha ha. You guys, I’m going to want to delete so much of this blog post, but I also want to be honest about both the difficulties of sewing things to fit your particular body AND the struggle to be body positive.)

But, I argued, this was one of the first things I sewed! There was room for improvement! This could be a major win! I made a winter version of this that was really charming. (Though, no photos of the backside.)

A few notes, in case I really want to continue down this rabbit hole. (Stubborn optimism leads me to believe IT WILL HAPPEN.)
-I took out the front seam of the skirt, wanting a cleaner line. But I forgot to reduce the pattern width when I cut it on the fold. I ended up adding two little pleats. The first time, they were facing in, and that was weird so I unpicked the waistband and adjusted them to face out. This is still wonky – it has the appearance of off-seam pockets without the delight of pockets. I’m tempted to unpick the waistband AGAIN to convert these to gathers, but that’s paying too much attention to the front of the skirt when the back is a problem.
-The zipper I used was too long. I realize that this isn’t helping with the line of the bodice. What is the best zipper length? Ending just before the curve at the bottom of the spine?

For reference, and to remind myself that these fit problems probably have more to do with the pattern than my skills, I’m including photos of the original dress as well.

Original version, without alterations:


Updated version, with lengthened and fitted bodice:

Untitled Untitled

Comparing these, I can see the improvements! There is still potential for this dress. I should be thankful that it’s helping me to see that I am OVERDUE to learn how to address fitting issues in the back of a dress. Honestly, I’m only a few years into learning how to fit my bust, so it makes sense that the rear would be next.