The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

P is for Perfect

And it is also for peplum and I am in love with this style top!  Oh, Peplum, where have you been all my life???

I can't believe it took me this long to make one.  I could have been wearing these tops for at least a year now!  I think they are just pefect for us inverted triangle shapes - boosts the hips, nips the waist just like I like it. 

This is the first one I made.  The fabric is a ponte knit I bought from ages ago.  I like how the peplum forms with this weight of fabric.  This is the second version of this top - I first made the peplum with a 3/4 circle skirt but it was too full for me.  So I ripped that seam out and re-made the peplum closer to what I had in mind.  I kept things simple and finished the neck and arms with black fold-over elastic (stretching just a little as I sewed).

I had to add back darts to get the back to fit well in the upper back, but hey!  They worked!

And the next day I made another one . . .

This one is made from a crepe jersey I purchased from (yes, it's also the fabric I used in my Garnet Hill knock-off, and yes I might just have enough for one last top).  This time I finished the neck with neckline binding using a bias strip of fabric.

I extended the bodice on this one and it's a little too long in the back.  I should rip and re-stitch, but we'll see.

I used the bodice, skirt, and sleeve patterns from Wendy Mullin's Sew U Home Stretch.  To make the peplum, I traced the top 10 inches of the skirt pattern, then drew two slash lines (dividing the skirt into three sections, two equal sized sections and one half as big at center front/back).  I spread each slash 1.75 inches and the new pattern pieces look like this:

You want to see the pieces with the slash & spread?  Yeah, sorry about that.  I crumpled them up and tossed them in the trash before I thought about taking a picture.  Oh, well!

For the elbow-length sleeves I morphed the short sleeve pattern and the long sleeve pattern in the book to get the look/fit I wanted.  I can't really describe this process.  I just played around with the two pieces, tracing them and re-tracing them until they looked right (ie., looked similar to the Silhouette Pattern #195 sleeves that I often use as a base).

I like this look so much that it might inspire me to try a dress with a full skirt, something I've long avoided.  Who knows?  This could me a turning point in my wardrobe and next thing you know I'll be making one of these:

Vogue 2960

I do love this.  And I actually own dear Vogue 2960.  I just can't see myself actually wearing this to anywhere except tea with the Queen.  And as of yet, I haven't been invited.

Live, In Print!

It was a giddy day in the PoldaPop household yesterday.  I received a copy of the Stitch Summer 2013 magazine that contains my first published project!

Lisa Polderman??!  Who is she and what does she do, you ask?

And the bonus?  My friend Amy's project (she lives less than 2 miles from me) is on the page next to mine:

You can check out some of Amy's other creative projects on her blog and in her Etsy shop, form*work.  She has some adorable screen-printed tops.

I am ashamed to admit (although not ashamed enough to hide it) that I carried the magazine with me to the girls' dance class at the Park District and then to a PTA meeting in the evening just so that I could share my giddiness.  Ah, a good day!

Simple Fun

One of my new clients asked me to replicate a skirt she bought at J Crew some years ago.  It fits her perfectly and she wanted to have more versions of it.  The original skirt was made from a coral poplin, and she wanted one with a dark chambray (Robert Kaufman Cotton/Linen Chambray Shirting in Indigo from fabric. It was a fairly simple design with some lovely details.

Piping on the waistband, made from 1/8" cotton cording and bias strips (Coletterie has a good tutorial):

Side seam pockets (I found a good tutorial for adding side seam pockets around a side seam invisible zipper - just ignore the red/white stripe background fabric):

And contrast hem tape with blind hem stitches:

I love it when a garment looks almost as pretty on the inside . . . .

. . . as it does on the outside!

I used the pin-through technique for copying the pattern and it was easy to do but took some patience to do well.  I love it when designs like this have that little bit of extra that takes them from simple to special.

Next up, I'm fitting this same client for a corsetted pencil skirt.  And if the sky stops being gray long enough to take some pictures, I'll finally be able to show off my new peplum knit tops.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Vogue 8787 Stripiness

Please be warned that there are many stipes in this post.  If stripes tend to make your eyes go all wonky, you might want to look away, or pause to make an eclipse box:


Ta-da!  I finished off my striped version of Vogue 8787!

I must say that I'm quite pleased with how this turned out.  The fabric (still available) is one of the pieces that I received in the great birthday haul from  It's a ponte knit and is so deliciously soft and cozy.  I lined the dress in a knit tricot lining (also purchased form 

It was a little fiddly to work with but I am happy for the extra warmth as this will make a nice transition dress for spring/fall. 

Alterations made to the pattern: I made a narrow back alteration and a sloped shoulder alteration after seeing how the muslin turned out (you can read about the process here and here).  There's still a little gap in the back neck area and I think this is due to an upper back slope - next time I'll increased the back darts more and extend the shoulder so that it still matches with the front at the shoulder seam.  I took in the side seams in the skirt by 3/8" on each side (for a total of 1.5") to account for my nonexistant hips.  I took about 2" off the length. 

I did away with the cap sleeves since they don't suit my shape.  And I thought long and hard about stripe placement . . . and then entirely forgot to match the stripes above and below the midriff band in the back.  Jeez.

I made one ridiculous mistake when I put in the zipper.  The first part went in nicely and after carefully matching up the midriff seams across the zipper and putting in the second side, I realized one of my shoulders was twisted and I had to take out the zipper and put it in again (after going to bed as this was a sure sign that I had sewn past competence). 

I got to wear it out on Saturday when I met up with a group of Chicago sewing bloggers (pictures to come).  Now I think I need a nice black ponte knit cardigan to go with it as a kind of spring jacket.  Maybe McCall's 6408 . . .

Next up?  I'm working on some peplum tops for myself and a chambray skirt for a client.  Then it's on to Elisalex which arrived in the mail last week - I am so excited for this dress!!