Cotton Flannel Carolyn Pajamas in Navy…..FINALLY!

Yes…. I have finally finished my Carolyn Pajamas….. after only 1.5 years.  This project may have upset my Vogue Cape as the longest sewing WIP.


My husband completely directed this shot… down to the tiny coffee cup… it was adorably hilarious!

I actually started this intending to post it to Allie J’s Social Sew– RIP 😥  But, obviously did not quite finish it in time.
This is my first crack at the Carolyn Pajamas and my first crack at a Closet Case Pattern (hooray branching out!)….. so of course I choose the most complicated version- Version B with piping….  And no muslin!  Shock, HORROR…. Liz not muslin!!! What is the world coming to??!?!


Yes!  Partly in order to save time so I could finish in time for the Social Sew [HAHAHAhaha…HAHAhaha :-D], but also because it seems very silly to muslin a pair of pajamas :-/  Therefore, I cut straight into my fabric- Kaufman Shetland Flannel Herringbone in Navy…..and surprisingly enough it worked out!


I really like the fabric!  It takes stitching really well in that way where the thread just sinks in 🙂  Unfortunately, I have noticed some piling on the bottoms which have already gotten a few washes 😦


I dug through my Grandmother’s button collection and hemmed & hawed about the buttons.  I finally decided on these, rather large, white buttons.  I think they’re made out of shell or mother of pearl… or something?  You’ll notice there’s only 4, whereas the pattern calls for 5- how very astute of you!  Yeah… despite my exhaustive digging I could only find 4, but it actually works since they’re so big.
Also… after sewing all the button holes I discovered I had actually bought buttons specifically for this project and “cleverly” tucked them in my project bag… where upon I promptly forgot about them!  But I actually like my vintage buttons a lot better 😀


As I said before this was my first Closet Case Pattern…. despite owning like 5… I have a hoarding problem :-/

The directions took some getting used to…. there wasn’t as many pictures as I would like, being a very visual learner.  But the two tutorials Heather did on sewing the piping and the notch collar were invaluable!
FYI: I did NOT make my own piping- because I may be crazy, but I’m not fucking crazy 😉 I used this one.  Also, this pattern uses A LOT of piping, despite the minimum order I only have one full package left.


I shortened both the pants and top by about 1 inch, but it’s still a little too long….Heather is a GIANT!! …..Or more likely I am very short, either way, just be forewarned all my vertically challenged sewing friends 😉
I’m wondering if I maybe even need to go down a size??  I’ve lost about 10 pounds since the time I started on this… ugh I just realized I may have to re-trace all those little pieces 😦


Overall, I really like this pattern!  It’s stylish AND incredibly comfortable…. I already have an absurd amount of fabric for other versions- including a super cute summer version!
In the meantime, this will nicely fill my winter pajama hole… and none too soon! We got 2 inches of snow last night!!


This marks my first make in my 2018 Make Nine Challenge!!  Woohoo- one down eight to go 😉


Works in Progress XVIII….. plus bonus Finished objects!!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done one of these…. and I’m actually working on stuff for a change!

I’ve finally gotten back into working on my Carolyn Pajamas…. and after over a year (!) I finally finished…. the bottoms :-/


Where upon I promptly put them on and got to work on the top 🙂

I’ve also started a new knitting project.


A super chunky, super squish cowl!  I got the yarn and freebie pattern from Purl’s Yarn Emporium…. a shop everyone should check out if they ever find themselves in Asheville 🙂

Both these projects will fit in nicely with my “Winter is Coming Wardrobe”- the pajamas in particularly will fill a distinct me-made pajama gap in my wardrobe (winter or otherwise)!

Closest Case Files has also declared it No Fear Jeans Month…. and while I’m not crazy enough to declare I’m going to sew my Ginger Jeans this month…. that would be crazy!  I am going to take it as a hint from the Universe to finally *start* on them!


Ginger Jeans

I’m setting the very modest goal of settling on a size and tracing the pattern 🙂  ….which makes this post, that was just posted incredibly useful! Thanks Heather!

And finally my first make of 2018:


Oh Lulu Grace Panties!  I had cut these out eons ago and finally got around to making them.  I added the tiny little buttons so now their vaguely nautical themed 🙂  I’m pretty sure I salvaged those buttons from another pair of undies that got destroyed in the dryer- hooray recycling!

Year in Review 2017

This has got to be the latest year in review posting EVER!  But there you have it :-/  Unfortunately, 2017 did not turn out to be a banner year sewing wise….. I would say multiple things contributed to the low output- work, helping my parents move, etc- but at the end of the day (er…year) it was/is a case of low sewjo 😦



The knitting front was somewhat better…. this marks the first year I made TWO sweaters… hooray!  I also finished the husbands scarf… double hooray!

…..Despite getting so little done this year I still managed to meet some of my goals:

2017 Goal Assessment!

  • Put together the sewing room

It’s still a work in progress, but I’m calling this a success.  I still need to get “real” shelving for my fabric…. the boxes are slowing becoming the Leaning Tower of Fabric, but things are coming together.  The husband got me some heavy duty shelving for all my “junk”.


Even more exciting I got my Great-Grandmother’s sewing table….which was built for her by my Great-Grandfather!!  Everyone in the family was very excited it was being used for it’s original intended purpose again 🙂

  • Participate in the sewing community more!

I’m calling this a success as well!  I followed Allie J’s Social Sew till the end…. with two Moneta’s actually!  And am still super sad she stopped 😦


I finally participated in Me Made May!  And discovered it really wasn’t that hard!  I, also, attempted to participate in Summer of Basics and the Outfit Along…. but failed pretty miserably at those :-/

  • Continue to sew and knit more.

This most definitely is an unequivocal failure…..

Last year I made 21 items….. this year I made 8 *cue sad trombone* 😦   ….now in reviewing last years Year in Review I did make a lot of “small” things, so there’s that….

At any rate… tune in soon for 2018 plans!  And if anyone has suggestions for getting the sewjo back I am all ears!!

Armande Sweater in Tweedy Oatmeal

Woot! A finished object!! I had meant to post this as one final make for 2017, but that cruel bitch that was 2017 had one last ‘fuck you’ in store for me…. the stomach flu (or food poisoning) on New Years Eve [insert vomit emoji].  I will spare you the graphic details, but I will say that it is not an experience I would wish on my worst enemy.

At any rate, back to more pleasant matters.  I give you my finished Armande!


Armande is a bottom-up seamlessly knit cardigan sweater from Andi Satterlund.  I knit this in a size large, using size 8 needles to get the right swatch.  I started it around Christmas 2016 and finished it up around Christmas 2017 🙂

And what a start it was!! I had a pretty rough time with it at the beginning….particularly the pockets.  I ripped back and re-started them twice before I finally frogged the whole damn thing and started from scratch.  But honestly the whole thing was user error….never question the directions!


Despite the rough start I do really like the way the pockets were knit, it makes for a very smooth and seemingly very sturdy pocket 🙂

Otherwise it’s a fairly simple knit, great for binge watching and knitting days…. Knitflixing if you will 😉


I was a bit nervous about the fit, but other than being slightly big in the shoulders it’s pretty good.  In these shots I’m wearing a sturdy long sleeve shirt under it…. this one actually!


The buttons are again from Wood Buttons.  These actually weren’t what I originally ordered, they were out of that and sent me TWO replacement sets instead of slightly different buttons.  I honestly can’t remember what I originally ordered and am quite pleased with these.


The yarn is Homestead Tweed from Plymouth Yarn Company in Oatmeal Tweed.  When I envisioned this sweater it was with this EXACT kind of yarn and lo & behold I was actually able to find it!!

It was my last purchase from my old LYS The Village Knittery…. which just recently went out of business 😥 😥


But cry not, for I have this insanely warm sweater to remember them by!  Yes, it is fitting nicely into my Winter is Coming Wardrobe already…. because as you know if you live anywhere along the eastern seaboard of the U.S.- SHE HAS ARRIVED!!


Fall and Winter Sewing plans!

The seasons are starting to change have changed here and I’m feeling less and less into making summer-y makes.  In fact…. there has been very little summer-y makes this year in general :-/

BUT I’m hopeful that by outlining a plan I’ll be more likely to, you know, actually follow through :-/


I’ve got three winter skirts in the works and I’ve already got the fabric for all of them!

I’m planning two Brooklyn skirts from Seamwork with some medium/heavy weight wool.  I did not get any swatches for these, so I’m hopeful it won’t turn out to be too heavy weight. [Update: The fabric isn’t too heavy weight, but the persimmon turned out much more orangey in person….which I should have known from the persimmon tree in my neighbors yard!]

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I also have some plaid/check fabric that has been in my stash for eons…. I think I bought it the first year I was getting into sewing from Hancock.  I always planned on drafting and making a circle skirt with that…. and now I think I will!

I also want to try to make a Winter Hawthorn….. I have no idea what fabric to use. I’m oscillating between just something solid or getting crazy and trying to sew with some plaid…. this of course would end in pattern matching tears I feel 😥

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Then of course there are the Ginger Jeans!  I bought fabric from the Hancock going out of business sale, which is the perfect price point for a trail run/wearable muslin.


I’m a little bit nervous about what the length will be, as I found the Carolyn PJ pants to be absurdly long on me.

……which brings us to:


FINISH MY CAROLYN PAJAMAS!!! These have been languishing for almost over a year and need to be finished!

I also would like some more Grail t-shirts….because evidently seven isn’t enough?!  Now, I’m specifically trying to re-create some favorite shirts that have quite literally been worn out!  A cowl neck shirt in lilac, a la my Navy cowl neck, and a black ballet scoop shirt.

…..Which actually brings us to…. One Week, One Pattern!  Yes, I’m actually following through with participating in the Sewing Community…. or at least trying to, I can’t quite find the Facebook page where you’re suppose to post your photos if you don’t have Instagram :-/   But no matter!  I’m still moving forward!

Slate Blue Miette…. aka half of OAL2017

While it is increasingly looking like the Kim dress portion of the Outfit Along will not be finished…. or…err started….. for some time, I have finished the sweater portion!!

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This is my second Miette sweater!  I had issues with sizing on the first one and didn’t even bother to put buttons on it, because that shit wasn’t going to close.

This time though I got serious about sizing and taking my time with the swatching…. you can read more about that process here.  And that work paid off 🙂

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The fit came out real well!  I followed the pattern fairly closely this time to make a true cropped sweater…. my first version I lengthened quite a bit.  I did add a couple of rows to the button band on this one though, because I was paranoid it would be too small again.  That is a also why the top button is out of line with the others :-/

The yarn is the worsted weight Cascade 220 in the Atlantic color, which I ordered online.  And after much deliberations I settled on these rust colored buttons from my local fabric store In Stitches 🙂   I had wanted to use these awesome vintage shank buttons I’ve had in my stash for FOREVER… but alas there are only 5 😦


So, there you have it!  There’s not a whole lot more to say…. this is a great free, beginner pattern and would work great as someone’s first or second handmade sweater.

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I’m hard at work on my Armande sweater, I’m hopeful I’ll finish it in time to wear this fall/winter…. famous last words 😉

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Green and Navy Knit Moneta…. aka Moneta Part Deux

I thought briefly about not posting the same patterns back to back and then I said screw it, it’s my blog I do what I want 😛


Yes, mere moments after I posted my last Moneta, I immediately got to work on my next one!  I first re-traced my pattern in my correct size large- and boy howdy, it is amazing how easy and quick this pattern goes when, you know, you pick the right fabric and size!!  With the right size this basically fit straight out of the envelop!


You can see in addition to changing up the size I added a collar!  I used some left over green knit Robert Kaufman fabric I got forever ago and just barely managed to eke out this collar with some clever tetrising (i.e. I COMPLETELY ignored grainline!)


Because the back overlap wouldn’t lay flat I threw a few hand stitches in there to force it to lay flat.  I had some difficulty with the front of the collar too.  You can see in the photo above it wants to roll up.  I tried clipping the curves and understitching it, which I think actually made it worse.  It’s not that big of a deal.  I’m sure I’m the only one who notices the width discrepancy between the front center and the shoulders of the collar, but any suggestions would be appreciated :-/


The body of the dress is a Navy interlock from Jo-ann’s…. yes, east Tennessee got a Jo-ann’s and I’m super excited!  At any rate, back to the fabric itself- it’s pretty decent and with my 20% off coupon, plus 30% off knits you couldn’t beat the price.  However, I’m a bit nervous that it’s already starting to fade.


I used the twin needle again to hem the skirt and sleeves and threw some green thread in there to match the collar 🙂
Things went a lot smoother this time and the hump between the stitching lines isn’t as bad either.  Maybe the twin needle isn’t actually the anti-christ afterall!?!


P.S. I may, or may not, have spilled food all over my new dress mere moments after these shots were taken :-/
But that’s ok- I’m already plotting my next Moneta…. this pattern may be the Grail t-shirt pattern for 2017 (FYI: I made that pattern 7 times in 2016!)


March is the last month for Allie J’s Social Sew 😥  The theme this month is anything goes… and hopeful that includes repeat sewing patterns!

Queen of Hearts Gray Knit Moneta Dress

Yes… evidently the best way to get my sewjo back is to write about having lost my sewjo!  Almost immediately after making that post I decided I was going to sew a Moneta!  I had previously started what became a muslin version of this, so it was (seemingly) a good project to jump into….seemingly.


But I some how systematically made self sabotaging choices…. first on fabric choice, then on size choice!


This is an “Italian Heather Gray Cotton Jersey” I got on sale through Mood a few years ago.  It’s got a one-way stretch, but is SUPER stretchy in that one way.  It’s almost like a sweater knit…but not really.

And my machine LOVED to eat this fabric…. like seriously could not stitch more than a few inches without it getting sucked into the machine!  After consulting with my Charleston sewing compatriots I started sewing with tissue paper… which, while annoying, did help a lot.


However…. what really helped was my brand-new, was when my super fancy Bernina sewing machine FINALLY came in!!!


I feel a soft chorus of angels should accompany this picture.

Suddenly, 96% of the issues I was having were solved!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a special place in my heart for my Montgomery Ward- but there are some things the 40+ year old girl just can’t do and one of them was sew this fabric without eating it!


The Moneta pattern itself is really straight forward and had I not had all the issues with the fabric I probably could’ve easily finished this in a weekend.


I cut and sewed a size XL and had a heck of a time with the fit! I had to take the sleeves and bodice in by 1.5 inches!! I could not for the life of me figure it out…. til i realized I had based my size choice on finished garment measurements instead of actual body measurements like the pattern specifically tells you to do!!!  Facepalm!  So…. at some point this week I will be re-tracing this pattern in the correct size L :-/


I found the Moneta sewalong to be pretty helpful, particularly when it came to doing the elastic gathering and using the twin needles.
Speaking of twin needles- I’m still not entirely convinced they are not the devil, but things did go smoother with the new machine (in that I didn’t want to throw things across the room).  If anyone has tips as to how you can avoid the prominent “hump” between the two lines of stitching I am all ears!


As I was sewing this up, I felt it was a bit plain…. so it being February, and Valentine’s Day and all, I added an applique heart to the skirt 🙂

So, there you have it!  I’m very excited to try to make this dress again…. in the correct size and with a less persnickety fabric!!  I think it has the potential to be a real staple.  I really want to experiment with the various downloadable collar options.


With my applique addition I believe this fits in perfect with Allie J.’s Date Night theme for the February Social Sew!!  Although, to be honest, the husband and I’s date nights are more likely to include PJs, Netflix and not leaving the couch 😛


I’m also posting this with enough time to coincide with the Moneta Party Colette Patterns is running…. although technically I guess you have to post on Instagram (…still haven’t set that one up yet)  But since I’m trying to be more active in the online sewing community I’m claiming both!!

Year in Review/Shit for 2017

It’s that time of year again! Yes, when I belatedly talk about last years past goals and future goals for the New Year…better late than never I say!

Sewing Highs!

2016 was the year this really became a SEWING blog.  It wasn’t a conscious decision, it seems I just stopped posting about gardens and cooking after the move :-/


This year I got another mention from Colette Patterns!!  This is becoming a yearly tradition… and I LOVE it!

Another sewing highlight was participating in Allie J‘s Social Sew not once, but twice!  Which was a lot of fun 😀

2016 Goal Assessments!

  • Knit a sweater…..


I….uh…. started one, and technically I started it twice :-/

  • Knit and sew more winter things:

    I’m slowly, but surely building up my ‘Winter is Coming’ Wardrobe…. but I definitely need more!
    I, unfortunately, discovered it’s very hard to sew for winter when it’s 90 degrees outside :-/


  • Sew new patterns…. so…. this was a partial success.  I did indeed sew all new patterns this year….

    I just…uh… sewed the same new pattern SEVEN times :-/



2017 Goals!

  • Put together the sewing room!


    I’ve been sewing (and living!) out of boxes for over a year now and I’ve finally reached my limit!  This is the year the sewing room gets put into good working order!

  • Participate in the sewing community more!

    I really enjoyed the Social Sew this year, I’d like to try to participate more in that.  In addition, I think this is the year I finally participate in Me Made May 😀
    I may also try to find a sewalong or knitalong to join, but I’m really shit with deadlines 😦
    I’ve also been toying with the idea of joining Instagram from a while now…someone just needs to explain to me how to use it!

  • Continue to sew and knit more!
    I want to keep this momentum going and sew & knit EVEN more in 2017!  I definitely need to continue my ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe… ’cause that bitch has arrived and I am still freezing!


    I also may try to do more unselfish sewing and knitting… my Mom has requested a skirt and my poor husband has been promised multiple knitted items I have never followed through on.  [Although to be fair, he has promised me multiple woodworked items he has never followed through on!]

So, there you have it!  Continue to check in here to find out if I actually follow through with any of these goals!

The Long Awaited Vogue 8959 Cape

Yes…. I have FINALLY finished my cape….only a year in the making!!


I started this project last October…. it was actually a goal for 2015, but yeah that didn’t happen!  HOWEVER, this has been in planning stages since the beginning of 2014…. which is when I ordered the fabric!


The pattern is Vogue 8959, I made the shortest version A.  I had looked at a couple of other patterns, including the Milano Cape from Papercut, but this one had everything I wanted. Plus a good price when I waited for a pattern sale and hey look it’s on sale again!


This was the first Big Four pattern I’ve sewed up in a while…. and boy howdy did I miss my Indie patterns!  Despite it being a “Very Easy” pattern, the directions were lacking and the line drawings were less then helpful.  At a certain point I just stopped using the directions and went by gut :-/


The fabric is a very lovely brown, black and off-white herringbone coating from Mood…which they haven’t had in stock for years!  In looking back at my order history, this was my very first purchase from Mood 😀
The lining is a Bemberg rayon lining from Jo-Ann’s….. and it was a BITCH and a half!!


First off she was a shifty bastard!  Which I expected, what I didn’t expect was my other troubles!  …I’m not sure if I cut it out wrong, if the pattern was off or what, but the lining ended up being too small for the cape!  I ended up using some grosgrain ribbon I had in my stash to extend it, which I actually really like 😀

However, pretty ribbon couldn’t fix the fact it was also too short at the collar!  I ended up doing a patch job, which worked out pretty well.  Buffy the Seam Slayer and I certainly spent a lot of quality time together on this one!


You can also see here that I haven’t finished the button holes yet :-/
Yes, in a desperate attempt to get it done in time to wear on a day trip to Asheville I Fray Checked the ever-loving-shit out of them and just wore it.  Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone 😉
I plan to work the button holes by hand before I have to go back to work.  The buttons themselves are vintage from my Grandmother’s stash… I had originally wanted leather, but I’m really digging these 🙂

When I started this project I had wanted to use it as an opportunity to learn some fancy tailoring techniques.  That started with refusing to use fusible interfacing… and also ended there :-/
I used some muslin as interfacing (I honestly can’t tell you why now or even if it was “right”).  It turned out ok, but the collar could use some extra stability.


These are the arm slits…. I’m mostly including this shot as an excuse to show the next shot of the topstitching process on these….’cause it’s hilarious!



I originally planned this project for Charleston “winters”, but was pleasantly surprised at how warm the cape was.  Granted we’re having an unseasonably warm winter so far…and I love it!  Even still it will definitely be counted towards my ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe 🙂


Part of the reason for the big push to finish this (aside from the fact it’s been languishing for a year) was I wanted to include it for Allie J’s Social Sew.  I really loved participating for the TnT month and had literally planned projects for the rest of the year that could link in…. none of which happened 😦
Which was why I was SO excited when she included a Winter Cape as part of the Inspiration post for the December Holiday Glamour month.  Perhaps not the classic glitz and glamour holiday- more of an English country house holiday glamour, but fuck it we’re going with it!!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!