Come on Spring!!!

DSC02966 Hey ya’ll!!! Did you miss me? I had to take a little bloggy break because I wasn’t feeling it, but now I’m back in the saddle. I had a case of writers block, and then I felt gross in some outfit photos. So I took a little break to gain some perspective. I’ve kept up sewing these past 2-ish months and I might get around to posting what I’ve made (but I probably won’t). If you follow me on Instagram (cynbular) you can see what I’ve sewn.

Since I last checked in, I’ve moved into a bigger apartment by the river (these photos are taken on our private dock?!?!?!). I’m so bourgeois now. Unfortunately, our rent is higher and I have much less money (AKA none) in the budget for sewing related expenses. Confession: I “donated” plasma to buy some fabric a while back. Desperate times people! I guess that makes me a sewing addict. I also reached 200 followers, which is rad. Hi, everybody!

DSC02964Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me get to the good shit. I’m desperate for Spring to start and I think that’s obvious by this not quite weather appropriate outfit. Brrr… it was chilly when I took these photos today.

The skirt is Simplicity 1690, one of the newer Leanne Marshall designs. I played with the directions of the stripes to have a little fun with the ruffle. This went together well and I’ve also made the blouse pattern for my mom. This pattern is fine by me. The only snafu I had was from not reading the directions. I ended up making this a little too tight so I fixed that by adding this little button and tab on the waistband to give me a little more room. I’m undecided on my fabric choice though. It’s a nice cotton sateen, that I was hoping would read as nautical. Looking at these photos it reads as more of a prison/ jailbird stripe.

DSC02967The t-shirt is made using the Maria Denmark Birgitte basic tee pattern. This is the size small. This pattern is a great basic pattern to make yourself some cake with.

It was hard to get this color to photograph well. It’s a *super* bright neon yellow cotton jersey. I think I’m going to go back and finish the sleeves and hems with bands because I had a hard time getting the tension with my twin needle right, and it looks tunneled.

DSC02962I also made the flower in my hair. Gosh, I love my hot glue gun. I just muslined the bodice for Cambie, and it looked awesome, so I think that will be next. I also muslined Retro Butterick 5209, hoping it could be my Sew for Victory dress. That was bad news. There was so much side boob I looked like Miley Cyrus. That was been knocked out of the sewing queue.

xx, Cynthia


I picked up 2 yards of this southwestern print rayon in the remnant annex at Mill End. The selvedge says that it’s from 1996. I think it’s totes rad. I used the waistband that I drafted for my circle skirt, I added another inch and it’s much more comfortable.

I made a simple dirndl with a very full skirt.  I used the entire 2 yards, so this is about 90″ wide minus the seam allowance. This skirt actually sat as a UFO for about 3 weeks because it was so hard to gather.

Originally I tried to make pleats, but there was just way to much volume. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I wanted all of the pleats to be perfectly symmetrical. That was not going to happen so I set it aside. Then I tried to gather this huge amount of fabric. Basting stitches weren’t sufficient. Even gathering with dental floss didn’t work. It kept getting stuck on the slippery rayon and breaking. I was about to throw this in the corner and move on, when I accidentally stumbled on a new way (to me) to gather fabric.

The tension on my machine was a little wonky, and I started to mess with it. I turned the tension all the way up and it started to gather this fabric tightly all on its own. Holla!!!!! Just another tool in my arsenal, I love learning new things.

The zipper is sort of lapped. I decided to make it lapped as an after thought, so it doesn’t quite cover the top of the zipper pull.  I also added side seam pockets. Easy peasy after I figured the gathering out. Smell ya later.

xx, Cynthia

Autumn Wardrobe a la Gertie

These are the first two pieces from my fall sewing plan. I love this outfit. My last make was a dud (btw, I’ve already taken it in and it fits much better), so it feels especially good to make a winner. I drafted this circle skirt following the instructions in Gertie’s new book (if you haven’t gotten a copy yet GET ONE FOOL!!!!). The top is the Portrait Blouse from the same book

I have tons of this brown corduroy and may make another that’s slightly longer. I made this 16 inches long and it feels a little scandalous. I’ll aim for a 18-19″ hem on the black skirt I have planned. I commute by bicycle, so I normally have shorts under my dresses and skirts. That’s the only reason I avoided a wardrobe malfunction today.

See… it’s a circle. Neat-o

I wore this outfit Monday night to go dancing for my little sister’s birthday. I got *so* many compliments. Squeee, I felt very proud of myself. Also, dancing in a circle skirt is crazy fun. I’ve never worn one before and the twirl factor was most excellent.

Obligatory twirl shot

I inserted my first lapped zipper (thanks again Gertie) and hand-picked the side on the overlap. I used a pants hook and bar at the lap of the waistband. Speaking of that, it looks a little bit sloppy up top because the waistband is a skosh short. I’ll add an inch to my next one. I finished this with an easy rolled hem and that’s about it for the skirt.









The top is the portrait blouse. I was very short on fabric and barely eeked this out. I used the remainder of the cotton gauze left over from Macaron. This blouse is perfect for a light breezy fabric. It looks nice on its own and can sit comfortably under a cardi. Perfection!  My measurements fall in between two sizes so I made up a new size . Let’s call this a size 5.

I didn’t have enough fabric to make facings with so I used 1/4″ bias binding at the neck. The sleeves and hem are serged, pressed and stitched. Nothing too fancy.  The only adjustment I had to make was to lengthen the front tuck/darts by 1.5 inches. When I wore this Monday night I kept tugging at it because the fullness was too low, now it’s fitted right up until my bust starts.

Check out my beasts in the background

Gertie mentions that this blouse is short and I have to agree. I don’t think I could pair this with something that doesn’t sit at my natural waist.  If I make this again, I’d like to add around 5 inches. I’d also like to omit the zipper in future versions and see if I can make this work with slits at the side seams instead.

This outfit is a winner, and I’m looking forward to the rest of my fall wadrobe.

xx, Cynthia

Tulip Skirt- Simplicity 2512

I really like this skirt because I feel it seamlessly fits in with my style and wardrobe. This is pretty much how I dress everyday. I mean, you can’t go wrong with denim… amirite? Adorable tangent, this koala tank was my husband’s when he was a little boy. Isn’t that cute? I picked it up when we visited his mom for Christmas. These pictures were taken at Smith Rock in central Oregon. We went there this past weekend to do some camping and rock climbing. I think it made for a very picturesque photo locale.

I made view B of this pattern using some thrifted denim. This skirt was sitting on my mannequin as a UFO for over a month. Originally, I made the ties that are shown on the pattern envelope. However, this denim is very heavy and it had WAY too much bulk. It was a thick, lumpy mess when I installed the zipper. Grody! This sat unfinished waiting for me to unpick the zipper and ties. In fact, it was sooo heavy duty, I broke my seam ripper unpicking this.

I didn’t use bias binding at the top of the waistband like the pattern calls for. Instead I stitched and turned the band. Because of how heavy the denim was, I zig-zagged over some dental floss to make the gathers. That was much easier than trying to pull on the bobbin thread. It just kept snapping. The only thing I think I want to change about this skirt is to make it a little more narrow just at the hem. I’d like to accentuate the tulip shape.

Oh yeah, you should enter my giveaway! Peace.

Holiday Cheer Skirt

Merry Christmas ya’ll! I found a pile of Christmas napkins at the thrift store for $2 and thought I could make something festive for the holidays. There were 16 napkins in total. Half were trimmed in red ric rac and the other half in green. After playing with them for a bit, I decided that a box pleated skirt would be the best way to showcase the large poinsettias.

I used the waist band from Simplicity 2512 as a starting point, I used super crazy stiff fusible interfacing to hold the waistband up. I then folded and pressed the napkins until I found a way that looked pleasing to my eye. I added some red piping between the waistband and skirt (because piping makes everything a million times cuter). I used the remaining three napkins to make a lining, but I goofed majorly on that. I rush head long into things without taking time to plan out the best course of action. I had it hang straight down from the waist leaving no room for my hips or bum. There was no way it was going to fit. Since I didn’t want to undo the piping and invisible zip, and spend even more time on something I can only wear for the next week, I cut up the sides of the lining. This is the most inelegant skirt from the inside. The lining hangs like a loin cloth, covering my front and rear end only. Oh well, the outside is all that counts, right?

This skirt came out a lot cuter than I originally thought. Looking at the napkins, I was thinking it’d be a super cheesy skirt, only acceptable at an ugly Christmas sweater party. This is totally wearable though. I decided to go for a punk-rock Christmas cheerleader look. I paired it with a plain black tee, sheer tights, and my Doc Martens.

Cozy Corduroy Beignet

I made this skirt about 2 months ago but never posted photos. I made a second version of the Colette Patterns “Beignet” pattern and I’m in major like with it! This skirt is WARM.  I used some soft gray corduroy that I found at the Knitten Kitten (a thrift store for fabric) for the shell. I also used leftover silk habotai for the lining, and some adorable cowboy print quilting cotton (found at the Laurelhurst neighborhood garage sale) for the facings and pockets. I had all of the supplies in my stash, so I can pretend it cost nothing to make.

Using silk as a lining fabric not only feels luxurious, it’s also so incredibly warm. This skirt is a joy to wear in the wintertime. I had no idea that such a thin material could be so insulating. I do a lot of backpacking and skiing, so I’m very familiar with a lot of the synthetic and wool base layers in the market. Now I want to get silk long underwear. That sounds so lush and cozy. I feel like I’ve just discovered a great secret even though silk has been available for thousands of years.

Even though this pattern is an intermediate level difficulty, the wonderful Colette directions make this a cinch to put together. The most difficult part is attaching the lining to the facings. You need to attach a convex curve to a concave curve (or maybe it’s the other way around). I had to rip it out once due to puckers, but it’s sitting in there nicely now.

The only thing I dislike about this skirt, has to do with the fabric. The corduroy has so much body it sits away from my hips and I feel I look a little wide in it. I’m slightly pear-shaped so this is an area of concern for me. Corduroy was a pain to work with as well. It frayed so much and left fuzz balls everywhere. I had to use a fluffy towel while pressing to avoid crushing the nap. It just felt like too much work. I have about 4 yards of brown corduroy I picked up at the thrift shop that I’ve put off working with in the mean time. My trench coat will have to wait until I want to deal with that again. Despite that, I’m very pleased with this skirt. I’ve worn it about 10 times since I made it, so it’s definitely a keeper. 🙂