me-made may 2015: part 4: these looks are starting to get questionable

saturday, may 16


bluegingerdoll anne t-shirt (you can’t really see the cut-out here, but it exists) & typewriter print A-line skirt. worth noting: the skirt is the first garment i ever made (which is kind of obvious from the wrinkly bias tape on the pockets). it’s still in regular rotation even when i’m not going deep into the archives to put together me-made outfits. this was my first time wearing the t-shirt. i kind of hated it at first, but got a lot more into it as the day went on.

sunday, may 17


pink brontë top, feather print layered A-line skirt, tricot butterick 6031 underpants, peach/ivory elan 645 bra. this was kind of a weird outfit that came together better than i expected. the navy blue buttons on the shirt picked up the blues in the skirt & balanced out the fact that there’s no hot pink in the skirt. i am still finding such a brightly colored shirt kind of difficult to wear though. it’s just not my jam.

monday, may 18


black floral ponte de roma vogue 1411 pants, heavily-altered colette licorice dress, floral rosy ladyshorts. this is admittedly an insane outfit. the situation is that i really wanted to wear this dress, but jared really wanted to take ramona to a strawberry farm. i could have stayed home & sewed or something, but i find that i get kind of depressed if i don’t go outside everyday, & i always have weird regrets when jared takes ramona on some novel outing & i skip it. but i knew i’d want to wear pants if i was picking strawberries. so…pants under a dress. living it up 1995-style. i was hoping i could pass the pants off as leggings, which didn’t really work, & i also got strawberries all over the entire outfit. oh well. at least i got re-acquainted with the dress, which is sewn better than i remembered, even if fisheye darts are not really a friend to my body.

tuesday, may 19


floral print lady skater dress with side-slant pockets & turquoise tricot self-drafted tap shorts. truthfully, it was too cold for this outfit (i wore it with a hoodie), but i had just finished hemming the dress that morning & was too excited not to wear it. the color coordinating of blues & yellows (the tap shorts have a little yellow flower sewn on at the waist) was just a happy accident.

wednesday, may 20


flannel pajama pants, gray long-sleeved brontë top, typewriter print winter hat of my own design (lined with hot pink minky!). it was freezing today! i was too cold to think straight, & super-tired, so i just stayed in my jammies all day (& added the hat for extra warmth). i didn’t want to turn on the heat because we’ve already installed the air conditioners & put a rug over the air intake (ramona was dropping crayons down it), so i just snuggled in warm pajama layers & went right to bed when jared got home from school.

thursday, may 21


bluegingerdoll anne t-shirt (you can see the cut-out a lot better in this photo) & self-drafted black boiled wool gored skirt. it’s still pretty chilly, so totally fine weather for a wool skirt. add a hoodie & some tights & we’re good to go. unfortunately, this outfit has forced me to accept that i can’t really wear wool. i always knew i was sensitive to it (it makes me really itchy), but somehow i thought i could mitigate that by sewing wool garments myself. nope. wearing this skirt, even with tights & my shirt tucked in, so no wool is actually touching bare skin, makes me want to tear my epidermis off. & this makes me all the more unlikely to ever take up knitting, which seems like a great big cult of wool. the second ramona is down for her nap, i’m changing back into my nice flannel jammies. it’s a shame, because the viewfinder print accents on this skirt match the viewfinder print bag i made recently, so from a purely aesthetic standpoint, this outfit is awesome.

so! i continue to learn valuable lessons from this exercise, & i continue to rue my lack of me-made black t-shirts & basic fly-front pants. (these holes in my wardrobe will hopefully be remedied soon.) i’m going to have to slow down on the sewing though & start getting serious about packing up the house. i managed to go through the clothes in my closet & prune the garments that need to be donated or simply thrown out (too stained or torn up to keep or pass on) & that’s as far as i’ve gotten. every time i go to the basement (which happens a lot, because that’s where the washer & dryer are), i feel despair over all the crap down there that needs to be sorted, cleaned, packed, etc. jared is going to have to do it because everything needs to be de-spiderized & that’s not something i do. (as jared put it, “we need to make sure we don’t actually bring a spider-built trojan horse to our new house.”) we still have two months before we move, but it will go fast.

ramona at the strawberry farm:


achievement unlocked: lady skater dress with side slant pockets

i love this dress!


even if i don’t look like it.


balancing on the back of ramona’s rocking horse. also laying to rest the question of where ramona’s dimples came from.

this is just another kitschy coo lady skater dress, but i drafted side slant pockets for it. i put side seam pockets in my first iteration, which added some not-great bulk into the seams & affected the drape of the skirt. i added a single patch pocket to my second lady skater, which was fine but maybe a little homemade-looking. i have always preferred the way side-slant pockets look (you know, jeans style) but i didn’t know how to make them & hadn’t come across too many skirt or dress patterns that have them. (there are some, of course, like the sewaholic hollyburn skirt, but i haven’t personally made any.) then i made those sailor shorts & i was like, “oh! it’s just a pocket bag & a facing. easy peasy.” at first i felt kind of dumb for not figuring it out sooner, but you know. if you’ve never seen the construction details before, why would you just magically understand how it works?

i had purchased two yards of this floral print cotton jersey to get the free shipping when i was ordering something else, which is maybe kind of ridiculous, but i thought it was really pretty & i knew i’d find a use for it. i’m not big on florals, as has been established on the blog in the past, but i really like the color combo here. i love the two-tone gray background, & i have a weird obsession with blue flowers (in real life–like, i am always looking for blue flowers everywhere i go). it was sitting on my sewing table while i was working on the shorts last week & suddenly i was like, “what if i made another lady skater & added side slant pockets?”

it was super-easy. i just cut a chunk out of each side of the skirt piece for the hand opening & then laid some pattern paper over that & traced a pocket bag, making sure it was deep enough for my hand, & then laid another piece of pattern paper over that to trace the facing. (if you don’t know, the facing will be the corner of the skirt that was cut away as well as one of the two side of the pocket. i thought about taking a photo of the pattern pieces i made, but come on. anyone who is coming to my blog for tutorials is already making some poor life decisions. if you really want to know how to do it, verypurpleperson has a pretty good tutorial.)

i understitched the pocket seam allowance to the pocket bag to help it turn under smoothly & so there wouldn’t be any stitching on the outside of the pocket. it worked like a charm! the inside of the pocket is a random yellow & white quilting cotton print i received in a fat quarter bundle. i thought it coordinated well with the yellow in the flowers.


the last time i made this dress, i said i would size down next time because i felt the bodice was a little bit big. i got as far as printing out another copy of the pattern, trimming, & getting the tape out to start tiling, & then i remembered that i lined my last version, which might have stretched out the fabric a little. i took a chance on cutting with the size i already have & it worked out fine. it’s maybe a little weird in the shoulders, but i think a trip to the dryer should sort that out.

i did have a lot of problems with the neckband. really, the only thing i don’t like about this dress is the neckband application. i don’t understand if there’s some reason why the shoulders can’t be sewn together & the neckband applied in the round. that’s how i did the sleeves. that’s how i do neckbands on every other knit thing i sew. i think sewing it on flat is supposed to be easier but it is not easier for me. my stretching was really uneven on my first try & it looked so terrible, i tore all the stitching out & started over. & i had already topstitched. i just hated how it looked. i’m actually wondering if maybe i accidentally cut the neckband on the crossgrain somehow without realizing it, because i did not have these problems with my first two lady skaters. in any case, we more or less got there in the end, & all the rest of the construction was perfectly straightforward.

i’m going to wear this dress constantly this summer!

i still have some half-constructed t-shirts i need to finish, & i got as far as cutting out a pair of pants over the weekend & then i lost steam when i was intending to start constructing them & i made this dress instead. i also finally started watching  beverly johnson’s bra-making class on craftsy & have seriously learned so much. i was going to jump into making another bra, but i’m going to wait until i’m done watching the whole class. you know you are obsessed with sewing when you actually find it enjoyable to just sit & watch someone else sew. i can’t wait to implement some of beverly’s tips into my next bra project! i’m hardly the first to say this, but seriously: if you are at all interested in sewing bras, beverly’s craftsy class is worth every penny.

okay, gotta go eat dinner. i wrote jared a fake postcard today requesting meatballs for dinner & then i went for a walk & when i came home, he was making meatballs. so.

me-made may 2015: part three: blame it on the rain

another five days of me-made garments!

monday, may 11


oversized black waffle weave brontë top with dinosaur buttons, black floral ponte de roma vogue 1411 pants, & strawberry print rosy ladyshorts. it was quite chilly. i raced around first thing in the morning getting myself & ramona ready to go outside, & then i checked the lawrence kids calendar & discovered that toddler gym is closed for the summer because the academic year at KU ended last week! & story time is on hiatus for the month! NOOOOOOOO! i literally said out loud to myself, “this is like a nightmare from which i can’t wake up.” i mean, having to entertain my own kid? what am i, an animal? i wound up taking ramona to the library just to play & look at books, which was fun, & this outfit was perfect for the task.

tuesday, may 12


colorblocked renfrew tee, flannel jammies (thank you, chilly nights!), & feminist A-line skirt. it rained all day so ramona & i were just kicking it around the house. this outfit was adequate for playing ramona’s two favorite games: “pretend it’s a tractor” & “pretend it’s a spaceship”. for “pretend it’s a tractor,” i lay down on my back on the bed & ramona sits on my belly. i put my hands in a circle shape & she pretends it’s a steering wheel. i slowly bounce her & say “bump bump bump,” like i’m a docile old tractor plowing a field. then i start thrashing around & making noises like a robot out of control. she throws herself off & laughs hysterically. “pretend it’s a spaceship” is even more awesome for me. i just lay on my side & she sits in the curve of my waist & talks about how she’s riding a spaceship. that’s it. i don’t even have to make weird noises.

wednesday, may 13


elan 645 peach/ivory bra & matching butterick 6031 underpants, self-drafted tap pants, & renfrew (with the cowl neck)/mccall’s 6745 dress. ahhh, the weather was PERFECT for this outfit! it was just cool enough for the heavy-ish fabric but not so cool that i regretted the shorter sleeves. the tap pants made me indifferent to rogue gusts of wind, & seriously: having a decent-fitting bra can really make all the difference to one’s figure. i wrote about how this bra isn’t quite the right size on me, but it’s better than any of my RTW bras.

thursday, may 14


too big gray brontë top, denim vogue 1411 panvs, elan 645 black/black cherry bra, flannel pajama pants. it was super-cold this morning so i bundled up. then we went to a history department picnic & i discovered that it had heated up & all the water from the storms we’ve been having was evaporating & the humidity was like 10,000%. i was seriously double-fisting cokes to try to hydrate. (beverage pickings were slim. but it was a catered picnic & holy shit the pulled pork was AMAZING.)

friday, may 15


mccall’s 6754 dress & matching rosy ladyshorts. it is still insanely humid. i can’t even THINK about the horrors of having woven fabric anywhere near me. this seemed like an easy, breezy outfit for beating the heat & dealing with ramona, who is in rare form today. (by which i mean, she’s being a little terror. she wouldn’t sit in her high chair for breakfast so jared served her at her art table, but she insisted on getting up after every bite to “hug” me, ie, smear yogurt all over me.)

we’re about halfway through the month & i’m pleased that i have managed to pull out at least one new item of clothing every single day, even if some basics are being repeated. i’m varying my wardrobe a lot more than i usually do. not because i think anyone really cares (or is reading this?), but just as a personal challenge for myself. it is really amazing to pull out garments i sewed a year or more ago & see how much my sewing has improved.

save for the godforsaken t-shirt i tried to make yesterday. it’s in the wash right now (trying to see if a visit to the dryer will shrink it a little), but allow me to state for the record that i spent FOUR HOURS yesterday laboring over it with a seam ripper. & it’s just a basic jersey t-shirt. i could have cut & sewn a new one from scratch in that time. so frustrating. i really need some kind of palate cleanser project to make myself feel better. maybe a nice baby quilt for one of the 10,000 pregnant ladies/new moms in my life at the moment. sometimes you just need a break from garment-making.

ps–this is how ramona kept cool at the picnic yesterday. i like that you can see her missing tooth in this photo. (she was born with it & we had it pulled when she was a month old.)


achievement unlocked: railroad stripe sailor shorts

putting together outfits for me-made may made me acutely aware that i really need more me-made bottoms that are not skirts. i wear a lot of skirts during the summer, but the rest of the year, i gravitate toward pants. & i like to have shorts on hand as well.

i was mildly intrigued by a few shorts patterns from indie patternmakers (& actually own the katy & laney tap shorts pattern, though i have yet to make it up). the one that was really drawing my focus was grainline’s maritime shorts pattern. but…it’s just shorts. pockets, zip fly, nothing terribly unusual. i decided to check out the big 4 offerings for a basic shorts pattern before splashing out $12 for the maritime shorts. & look what i found!


these are kwik sew 3854, which have been around for years. this pattern comes in two variations: the adorbs sailor version you see here, & a hideous pleated culottes situation that should be killed with fire. obviously this is far from the basic zip fly shorts pattern that i was seeking, but i really couldn’t resist. i even had a length of railroad stripe denim & matching navy buttons in my stash, so i didn’t have to buy anything other than the pattern to whip these up. & the pattern was on sale! & i had a coupon!

this was my first experience with a kwik sew pattern, & the heavier pattern paper was really nice. based on finished garment measurements, i cut a straight XL, knowing that i was probably going to have to take in the hips & legs at the very least. but i waited until i had the shorts mostly constructed to make that determination.

these shorts fasten with an actual sailor bib, which inspired a lot of feelings in me. on the one hand: adorbs! & what fun to construct something i had not yet constructed! also, more practice making functional buttonholes! on the other hand: kind of seems like a giant pain in the ass to have to do up six buttons every time you use the bathroom. & having next to no buttonhole experience meant that i was taking a risk constructing an entire garment only to completely whiff it on the very last step, which also happens to be the primary design element.



of course i used viewfinder fabric for the pocket bags. i mean, come on. the pattern called for self-fabric pocket bags, but i thought two layers of denim would be too much bulk.

i really enjoyed the construction process. the pockets were especially fun to make. the only alteration i made before beginning was adding an inch to the inseam. once i had the shorts constructed save for the waistband, i tried them on & sure enough, the legs belled out way too much for my tastes. i took in the seams at both sides & crotch about an inch. i graded back out to the original seamline at the bottom of the pocket (sewing toward the waist), but then i took a chance  took the waist in as well. ultimately, i probably could have left the waist alone, because the waistband is really high & you can customize the fit there to some degree by altering your button placement. (the pattern says to sew them in two inches from the edge. i sewed mine 1.5″ inches from the edge.)

i did get a little flummoxed by the directions on attaching the waistband to the shorts. the waistband is doubled, with interfacing fused to one side, & you sew one side on to start, & then stitch up the sides & turn the waistband right side out from the bottom, & then stitch in the ditch to complete. this was greek to me, & i couldn’t work out how these instructions fit the illustrations. but eventually i worked it out & was like, “oh! i get it. that’s clever.” the only part i really didn’t like about this is that you are instructed to “follow the pocket line” for sewing the waistband side seams, but as far as i can tell, you just kind of have to eyeball it because the pockets are set at a slight angle. i didn’t quite get it right, which is why my front waistband is a little longer than my side waistband, & why there’s that tuck on the inside front waistband (which thankfully is not visible from the outside & doesn’t affect the buttonholes).


you can also see in this photo that the shorts are a little tight across the belly, which makes the pockets bow out a little. it was hard to discern exactly where the shorts would fall on the waist without the waistband attached. they came up higher than i expected. so i probably took in the belly area too much when i thought i was taking in the hip. but you know, it’s fine. i don’t really mind it.

the button closure also isn’t as annoying as i expected. the fit is loose enough that i only have to undo one side of the bib to get them on & off.

i also think the crotch curve is a little bit wonkus on me. but that’s something i will have to address if i ever make these shorts again. i kind of want to, but i also wonder how many pairs of high-waisted sailor shorts one person needs. probably one is plenty.

sewing these was my mother’s day project. jared wrangled ramona so i could focus on my sewing. & i finished them in just one day–maybe six hours or so? i think they will get a lot of wear this summer!

achievement unlocked: plantain tee & colorblocked renfrew tee

i’m going to pair these projects, since they were sewn from the same length of cloth.

deer & doe plantain tee:


sewaholic renfrew tee:


so, one complaint people have about me-made may is that they feel pressure to put together interesting new outfits everyday. i wear stuff i made all the time, but i do tend to circle back to the same handful of favorites over & over. i have plenty of handmade things that haven’t been worn in months–partly because of weather, but partly because the bloom is off the rose & i’ve moved on to wearing other things that are newer or more practical.

but i am trying to go deep into the archives this month. in doing so, i recognized that i have a major handmade black t-shirt hole in my wardrobe. i have a million skirts, but i always pair them with RTW tees. i’d eventually like to wear all handmade, & black tees are a pretty key element of that.

so i stopped by the local fabric store last week one day after hitting the playground with ramona. they mostly sell quilting cottons, but they have a fairly decent selection of apparel fabrics, & most of what they have is very nice quality. they have several racks of jersey so i didn’t think i’d have any trouble finding some nice black jersey to make t-shirts. i wanted something cotton–no polyester. & it had to be opaque, because obviously most t-shirt fits rely on negative ease & i didn’t want to host a peep show. but it also had to be pretty lightweight, because it gets up to 105 degrees & just stays there most of the summer in kansas.

& they didn’t have anything that fit the bill! they had all kinds of black jersey knits, but all of them were way too heavy (more suitable for cold weather layers), completely sheer, polyester, or literally $35 a yard (for silk jersey). i finally settled on a rayon blend that was a little heavier than what i wanted, but close enough. unfortunately, there was only a yard & a half left on the bolt, & according to the directions, the deer & doe plantain tee requires a yard & three-quarters. i decided to just go for it & hope i could eke it out with careful cutting.

well, not only was a yard & a half enough fabric for a plantain, but i had enough left over for the front bodice, sleeves, waistband, neckband, & armbands of a renfrew as well! i cut the back from leftover pink baby rib knit i used for my recent three-quarter sleeve brontë top. i did have to cut the armbands on the crossgrain to get them to fit, so i just made them a little longer to make up for the reduced stretch.



i love the renfrew! i made this with the altered front bodice, to which i added a 4″ FBA. it’s probably just a little too big now that i’ve lost a little weight, but i really like the fit. the rayon, unfortunately, does not play well with humidity, & besides being hot, lawrence gets really humid in the summer. (don’t you want to move here?) but this shirt will be great for transition days, since summer tends to linger & fall doesn’t really happen until like november here.


the big selling point on the plantain is that it’s free. i did not care for the technical drawing at all. i was worried it would just drop from my bust like a tent & make me look twenty pounds heavier than i am. but i’ve seen some people sew up some cute versions online, so i decided to chance it. i cut a 40 in the shoulders & graded out to a 46 at the waist & hem. ultimately, it’s wearable, but really too tight in the shoulders. however, i really liked the fit through the waist. the drape through the waist & hips skims the body just enough to show some shape, but without clinging. it was a little short, but i suspect that’s because it was a little too tight across the bust for me. when i make it again (& why not? it takes literally like an hour to sew), i’m going to try a straight size 46 & see how that goes.

worth noting: i staystitched the back necklines of both tees & sewed clear elastic into the front necklines. i accidentally pulled on the elastic as i was sewing a little along part of the plantain tee (you can kind of see it in the hanger photo), but it’s so tight, you can’t really tell when i’m wearing it. i also accidentally sewed the seam on the neckline to the center front. ugh. whatever.

the UPS guy just dropped off a few yards of 100% opaque black cotton jersey, so it’s going to be a t-shirt-making party around here this week. i placed my order before i sewed these two shirts, & hoped to buy enough yardage to make three shirts. but since i got two out of just a yard & a half of the black rayon…who knows how many t-shirts i will have when it’s all said & done?

i only wish i had not woken up at 4am this morning. i like to get up early, like maybe 6:30am, so i can have some quiet time before ramona gets up for the day. i do not like to get up at 4am. & yet it seems to be happening more & more these days.

me-made may 2015: part two: cold weather edition

more stuff i’ve been wearing…

wednesday, may 6


pink unicorns & rainbows cambie dress & self-drafted turquoise tricot tap shorts. i rarely wear this dress because i’d convinced myself somehow that it doesn’t fit right. in reality, it fits much better than i remembered. however, the back waistband bunches up in an uncomfortable way, the straps/sleeves are just a hair too long, & i always feel like everyone can see down my top when i lean forward (despite the fact that my attempts to ascertain this in the mirror haven’t shown much). ultimately, it’s just not a practical romping-around-the-playground dress. shocker, i know. this is also one of the first dresses i ever made (the third, i think?), & it shows. i would like to try this pattern again sometime now that i’m a bit more skillful. the tap shorts are fabulous though. it was really windy when i wore this & i didn’t worry at all about my skirt blowing up.

thursday, may 7


elan 645 peach.ivory bra & underpants set, colorblocked renfrew tee (the back is pink, i haven’t blogged it yet), & black denim vogue 1411 pants. an incredibly comfy outfit for just kicking it at home with ramona. it’s been really stormy & rainy in kansas recently, so we’ve been cooped up in the house a bit. i must be losing weight like whoa though because i just made these pants a month or two ago & they are way too big already. though, the stretch recovery is not great. they basically have to be washed after every wear to bounce back to their original proportions.

friday, may 8


black plantain tee, strawberry print cloth habit rosy ladyshorts, purple polka dot renfrew, & flannel pajama pants from “weekend sewing”. it was a bit chilly in the morning so i got this renfrew out. i never wear it because it’s a little too small & also because it’s purple with white polka dots. i got the fabric for $3 at a yard sale, but it’s just not really my jam. happily, the stormy weather means i can wear flannel jammies.

saturday, may 9


colorblocked renfrew tee again, glittery black renfrew sweater, turquoise tricot butterick 6031 underpants, & black/black cherry elan 645 bra. one thing i’ll miss about our current house when we move is the fact that all the trees & vegetation around it keep it cool even in hot weather. i was actually kind of chilly hanging around the house in the morning, so i got to wear this sweater. then we went out to iowa street so i could hit hancock (big 4 pattern sale) & jared could take ramona to the monarch watch event at the insect lab on campus. while i was at hancock, the sun came out & the temperature rose like 20 degrees, & it became unbearably humid. so i really regretted this outfit. even after ditching the sweater, because the tee is made from a heavy-ish rayon that just does not play well with high humidity.

sunday, may 10


gray & pink fleece lady skater dress, stashbuster rosy ladyshorts. it’s super stormy & kind of cool today, so i thought it was a good chance to wear this dress. may in kansas tends to be hot, so i didn’t think i’d get to wear any of my cooler weather me-mades. i’m not in love with all these storms, but i’m glad it’s giving me a chance to go deep into the closet. i paired this dress with some knee socks i bought at the rose garden in portland, which are also gray & covered in red roses. so i look pretty much ridiculous.

& it’s mother’s day! i woke up to ramona chatting to herself in her crib, but still laying down under all her quilts & blankets. jared took her out on his bike to pick up bagels for breakfast. i had lox! then he put away the laundry & trimmed ramona’s fingernails. the bummer thing is that he has a soccer game tonight, so i’m going to have to serve dinner. he’s making slow cooker pulled pork, so i don’t have to cook, but still. his team is called the original terrorists (their uniforms feature a portrait of john brown with a gun in one hand & a soccer ball in the other) & i asked him, “why do the original terrorists hate moms?…oh. i guess it’s right there in the name.”

achievement unlocked: swoon patterns betty bowler


more viewfinder print fabric!

i whipped this baby up to be my go-to summer bag. i guess i have several other bags i could have used, but i really wanted to make a purse from the viewfinder fabric, because i love it so much. my winter bag is a felted wool purse from queen bee, & carrying a wool purse really sucks when it’s 80 degrees out.

constructing this bag was pretty easy for me, having already made amy butler’s weekender bag. the construction elements are nearly identical. you spend one thousand hours cutting out your fabric & interfacing, & another one thousand hours fusing your interfacing. you also have to spend some time making piping, if you hate store-bought piping like i do. (it’s always so chunky. i like very narrow piping. mine is only 1/16″ across.) then you can sew.

i didn’t include the fabric stripe design included in the original pattern because i didn’t want to mask the viewfinder fabric in any way. the stripe does serve the function of stitching through the edge of the interior pocket bag so it doesn’t droop between the layers. i got around that by handstitching the pocket bag to the fusible fleece.


yeah, i was initially skeptical of this little pocket & even considered leaving it off. i wasn’t sure a pocket with a vertical zipper would get any use. but it’s come in really handy for stashing my phone, camera, & prescription sunglasses! thanks, little pocket!

i also purchased strap webbing instead of making straps from fabric. my local fabric shop had this hot pink webbing that couldn’t have been more perfect, so why not? i made the straps on my weekender from fabric & i think they look just a little bit becky home-ec-y.


i lined the bag with a coordinating print from the cotton + steel line & ran a couple of lines of stitching through the big interior pocket to make compartments, including one that is perfect for a pen. the other two fit my kindle or a book or whatever. & the rest of the bag is VERY spacious so i can wander around all over town with snacks for ramona, library books, my appointment book, a ball for the playground, logic puzzles for downtime, & still have room to spare in case i go to the fabric store & can’t leave without buying something (which admittedly has not happened in a while).

i sewed part of the bag when i was really tired & whiffed a lot of things. nothing super-important. just stuff like going to the effort of regular stitching when basting would have been fine. i do regret not topstitching a little bit closer to the zipper coils when i installed the top zipper. i checked & double-checked but there are still a few places where i didn’t quite catch the tape, so i’m going to have to fix that at some point. i also put a little hole in my tape when i cut out the basting stitches, so i need to fix that too.

i went off-script & sewed the lining to the bag before i attached the second exterior panel. then i had to rip half the lining stitches out to get the bag turned right side out properly. whoops. again, i was very tired. i had woken up at 4:30am & couldn’t get back to sleep. i keep having anxiety attacks about moving. a family accumulates a lot of stuff in four years, & now we have to sort through it all & figure out what to get rid of & what to pack & how to most efficiently accomplish that task, etc. & i really do wake up in the middle of the night panicking over the new house not having a bathtub. anyone got a pro-tip on a toddler tub that can fit in a shower stall?

this was also the project i was working on when i sewed through my fingertip. i was feeling for piping between the exterior layers, which involved putting my fingers right next to my needle. not so smart. though that injury looks like nothing compared to my run-in with the rotary cutter the other day. i very much regret not getting stitches.

anyway, i love my finished bag & have been carrying it everyday! my one complaint is that the interfacing combo doesn’t do a ton to help the bag hold its structure, which is a shame, because a bowler bag should really hold its shape. if i made this bag again, i would use heavier interfacing & cut it out of the seamlines before attaching the panels.

more projects on the docket: today i picked up a pattern for some cute sailor shorts, & i ordered fabric to make stretch twill jeans-style pants & a retro two-piece swimsuit. i also ordered a couple of yards of pretty jersey to make another lady skater, just because i needed to add something for the free shipping, & i won’t regret having another great knit dress in the closet. i bought thread to make another bra & panties set, & the required notions for another shorts pattern i’ve had since last summer. & the jersey i ordered to make an army of black t-shirts is set for delivery on tuesday. once these items are stitched up, i imagine i’ll be pretty much set for summer clothes. maybe i’ll make some lightweight jammies (too hot for flannel).

the fabric store was packed with great sweater knits today. i don’t get it. i spent the entire winter scouring the land for knit fabric with visible loops & couldn’t find anything. now it’s 85 degrees out & there’s tons of it. jared asked if i had purchased any & i told him i hadn’t. i thought about it, but just couldn’t bring myself to buy sweater knits in may. maybe they were there because everyone else feels the same way, & i couldn’t find anything in the winter because everyone was snatching them up for their winter sewing. maybe the secret to successful sewing is sewing off-season (or at least buying fabric off-season). who knows?

instead i just bought what was on my list & then met up with jared & ramona at the insect lab on campus for their “butterfly exhibition” (ramona’s words). ramona held a caterpillar & then dropped it & said it was “heavy”. there were a million other toddlers there & a few tiny babies that made me kind of want another tiny baby. having a toddler is awesome, but having a teeny tiny baby is awesome too. it’s all awesome! kids are so great.