Week 34: Selene pattern alterations

Yeah, I think I probably should have used a simpler pattern as my first sloper adjustment sample. I opted for view 3 of Selene, which includes a pocket in addition to the two front pieces and overall lining. I’ve made the adjustments, but they are all over the place sizing-wise and I’m not sure they’re

all going to fit together very well.

Tracing off the lining cut line via my window-cum-lightbox


It’s a little hard to see, but the yellow lines are my cut lines and the pink ones are darts/notches.

It looks like it will all go together correctly, but I’ve been too nervous to actually make the cuts on the side seams just yet. (I did extend the side seams to a full inch, too, so really there’s a much greater chance that this skirt will be too big than too small.)


This is the right side of the handkerchief/towel (tenugui) that I finished hemming this week.  (Well, half of it anyway.) It is inherently super cute because it has cats on it. I’m pretty pleased with my blind hem stitching again – even though it’s a gold thread (it matched the beige better than the red… but then this end is just red of course), you can’t really see it at all from the right side.

Goals for next week:

Okay so this coming week I’m going to actually get to the fabric cutting part of my skirt. I’m also going to try to get a few steps into sewing it, because I suspect that once I’m using the machine again and putting stuff together, I’ll speed up a bit. I miss that hard deadline of my trip and how motivating it was for getting stuff done!


Week 33: Starting Selene

I first made a Selene skirt last year around this time. It was one of the first patterns I sewed when I first was starting to get back into sewing. I didn’t do a great job fitting it – I barely knew that I needed to at least measure around the hips to make sure it would be big enough. I added a bit to the hips and called it good. It fit pretty well, but it’s always ridden up at the waist when I walk until it’s just under my ribcage, and the waist is looser than I prefer.

But that was supposed to be a wearable muslin for the real Selene, which was to be denim with a silky print lining. I have never gotten around to making the real thing, mostly because I wanted to fix the fit and I wasn’t relaly sure how to do that. Now that I have my skirt sloper, I think I’m ready to tackle it.

Already I’ve noticed that I am gonna have to do a whole lot more tweaking than I’d anticipated. I’m basically tracing off my sloper directly onto the pattern and then adding the design ease. I’ll be using my custom dart placement, too, since I worked HARD to get those placed right.

I’m leaving a 1-inch seam allowance on the side seams as per the Fit for Real People recommendation, and because the pattern only has 1 inch design ease at the hip and that makes me a bit nervous. 

I’ve only done the main fabric back piece so far – I still have several front pieces and the lining to deal with. The front of the Selene I made last year fits pretty well, though, so I will probably just true up the side seams and call it good.

I also got halfway through a task I’ve been meaning to do since I got back from my trip: one of the handkerchiefs I got has selvedge edges on the sides but raw edges on the top and bottom. I’m not really clear on whether it’s supposed to just naturally fray or whether you’re not supposed to use it enough to fray, or what the plan is there, but I decided to hem it up to avoid anything happening to it.

Full pic when I’m done with the other side. 😊

Goals for next week:

  • Finish hemming my handkerchief 
  • Finish Selene pattern adjustments
  • Cut out fabric!

Week 32: Just Mending

This was not an exciting week for my sewing habit, I fear. I checked two items off my mending list, but I decided I’m going to use a fitting sloper to finish up my bodice sloper for now, and when I went to Joann earlier today they did not have the fitting sloper pattern that I could find. (My Joann is apparently very heavy on the Simplicity patterns rather than the other big 4, is that true elsewhere?)

I do have a couple of not terribly exciting pics of my mending.

My toe socks had just a little bit of a seam coming out. I decided to deal with it before it got worse.

All fixed up! Looks a little frankensteined since I did it from the right side, but it should be smooth against the foot where it matters.

Jonah helping with the photo taking
I’m not thrilled with how this came out based on how it looked in my head, but it was pretty frayed and hard to do the cute embroidery I was envisioning. At least it shouldn’t fray anymore!

I really need to do something to get my sewjo back – maybe a really simple pattern? Something I’ve made before so I won’t have as many fitting issues to annoy me? I’ll have to do some brainstorming. Meanwhile I’ve ordered the bodice sloper pattern from the interwebz so maybe it will arrive this week while I’m figuring out what I want to do. I haven’t even used a sewing machine since I got back! All that fabric and no motivation!

Week 30: Hemming and Instagram

It wasn’t a super productive week so far as actual output goes, but I did manage a few things!

First, I joined Instagram – I actually have never used Instagram, because I don’t normally take enough photos to make Instagram a viable social medium for me, but I started thinking it could be fun to have more process pictures there, and keep this space more for finished objects. (Today I’m just posting pictures I already put on Instagram, but I’d like to branch out more later.) My Instagram is here.

Secondly, I did indeed hem my yukata, and it’s my best blind hem yet, even with the fact that I started it off using a catch stitch (crossing the thread in an x shape) instead of a straight blind hem. Apparently the catch stitch is good for blind hemming knits, but the regular one is better for wovens? I’m actually glad, because it was seeming loopier than it should have been, and it laid much flatter when I switched stitches.

This is the right side of the above stitching, and you can’t see anything! I’m so pleased.

This wasn’t planned, necessarily, but I randomly decided it was finally time to put my skirt sloper pattern on poster board for future use. The remaining fitting problems I’ve had with the skirt I made from it are sewing and fabric problems, I’m pretty sure, rather than size. I’ll make another skirt from it here before too long just to double-check.

I also did some planning of my Belle wardrobe. I was watching Once Upon a Time before I went to Japan and I’m pretty inspired by most of Belle’s wardrobe. So I went trying to figure out what pieces I like the most and what their characteristics are, and I came up with a list:

  • Always emphasize the waistline – belts, seams, tucked in shirts
  • Ruffles/knots/interesting collar details draw attention to the neckline
  • Usually short sleeves or sleeveless
  • Textured fabrics: lace, quilting, houndstooth, etc

Keeping that in mind, I found a few patterns that I have already that I can use or tweak to give the impression I want. 

However! I’ve decided that I want to draft a bodice sloper before I make any more shirts – I’m excited to make skirts with my sloper to help fit, and I want to feel the same way about shirts!

Goals for next week:

  • Draft a bodice sloper 
  • First muslin for bodice sloper 
  • Knitting! Those socks aren’t gonna knit themselves. I don’t know how far I want to get, because I don’t want to burn out again, but I do want to make sure I do a little.