Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Help Me Conquer My Fear of Hemming? (+ Me Made May Week 4)

Readers, I have finally decided to face down my Chronic Hemming Avoidance. A commenter on PatternReview had the following to say about the 1970s dress I entered in the Vintage Contest:

Nice dress. Please do hem it though. Raw hem on a knit is a dead give-away for a cheaply made modern dress. No one in the 1970's (or even the '80's or 90's) would have done that. It's one of my pet peeves about mass market rtw, especially stuff targeted to kids and teens.

And really, she is right. I don't mind a raw hem now and then, but I am starting to be embarrassed that it is my default hem "treatment" for knit fabrics.

My Unfinished Object pile may finally be gone, but my Unhemmed Dress and Skirt Pile of Doom is really starting to get out of control. As of yesterday, I had five fullish-skirted dresses or skirts that I've just been wearing out and about in the raw — not because I want to, but just because I'm SCARED. I've been telling myself I will hem them SOMEDAY but considering that one of them is three years old I don't think "someday" is just going to happen on its own.

In fact, I have a long history of Chronic Hemming Avoidance—just look at the first two knit fabric projects I posted on PatternReview back in 2005 (before I owned a tripod):

So why I am so terrified of hemming full knit skirts that I would rather just walk around in public unhemmed?

  1. I don't know how to properly level a skirt. The whole idea of a letting a skirt settle and then somehow magically LEVELING an uneven hem freaks me out to no end. Also—my husband does NOT feel comfortable getting down on the floor with a box of pins to try and help.
  2. My cheap old "My Double" dress form is crooked, and using it for hem leveling might make my dresses crooked.
  3. I am really impatient. Wovens HAVE to be hemmed, but since knits won't TOTALLY unravel and fall apart before I can throw them on and enjoy them, it feels almost optional.
  4. Hemming full skirts properly takes me EONS. SO MANY PINS and SO MUCH PRESSING.
  5. I am afraid I will hem a skirt WRONG and too SHORT and then it will be TOO LATE and everything will be ruined. RUINED!
  6. I am afraid I will use up my last few yards of Steam-a-Seam Lite 2 1/2" fusible web tape and it is currently out of production.

So my goal before the close of Me Made May is to finish what I started and get hemming. I got a head start at last month's sewing club when Cindy brought her hemming level and pinned two of my dresses, but I need a more sustainable solution so I'm not walking around unhemmed for several weeks at a time.

Last night I tinkered around with my recalcitrant "My Double" dress form and I seem to have fixed her hemming level and weird tilt, but when I tried to use her I didn't feel like I trusted that the 1970s dress was sitting properly level so I got scared and just made an even 1/2" hem all around with fusible webbing tape. Ah well. I did feel a bit more put together.

Me Made May 28: Finally Hemmed My Dress!

Do you have any favorite tricks or tutorials for getting a proper level hem in full skirts—especially knit ones? Or are you in the "hemming knits is TOTALLY OPTIONAL" camp?

And... oh yeah, Me Made May! Here's week 4... almost there!

Me Made May 18: Nettie Goes to Legoland

#mmmay14 day 18 Nettie bodysuit by @heatherlou as a top with a thrifted skirt. #nettiebodysuit #sewing #isew

Me Made May 18: Nettie goes to Legoland

Surprised husband and daughter with a trip to Legoland for husband's birthday—we all had a blast, even if the two hours each way on various forms of public transport was a bit challenging (subway ride to train ride to LONG suburban bus ride). Wore my hot off the sewing machine Closet Case Patterns Nettie Bodysuit as top.

Me Made May 19: Back of the Me-Made Drawer

Me Made May 19: Bottom of the drawer (running out of me-mades!)

Here are two of the last me-mades that sorta fit that I haven't worn yet for Me Made May--both from pre-blog days. The skirt is Simplicity 5914, and it's nearly 10 years old. It was too big then but is now slightly tight in the waist and a bit uncomfortable to wear. The top is from the Feb. 2010 issue of Burdastyle magazine and has a badly botched neck binding.

Me Made May 20: Running on Repeat

Me Made May 20: Starting to repeat myself...

McCall's 6070 ombre dress (still unhemmed) and Georgina cardigan by Alexis Winslow again.

Me Made May 21: These Me-Mades Are Hidden and My Photos Are Lazy

Me Made May 21: Only hidden me-mades here

Wearing a not-yet-blogged me-made T-shirt and me-made underthings.

Me Made May 22: Still Unhemmed

Me Made May 22: A little Red Velvet in blue and purple

Work bathroom selfie because I had an early morning meeting - Cake Patterns Red Velvet dress again. Not yet hemmed.

Me Made May 23: Polka Dot Parade for Theme Friday

Me Made May 23: Polka Dot Parade for Friday Themes

Ms. Z did NOT want me taking any photos this morning—she ordered me to lie on the couch and snuggle instead. So this was the best I could get. Wearing one of my Cake Patterns Hummingbird peplum tops and a self-drafted comfy knit half-circle skirt.

Me Made May 24: Unblogged and Unhemmed

Me Made May 24: Quick Faux-Denim Skirt

Not yet blogged (or hemmed): Jalie 2681 gored knit skirt (trumpet skirt view E) in size V, with shorter length R. And striped elastic waistband. Fabric is a jegging faux denim knit from Mood. Top is Nettie by Closet Case files in Riley Blake polka dot knit, blogged here.

So... are you a knit-hemming stickler? Or do you just not care? Tips on getting nice level hems without a helper greatly welcome!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Double Wax Print Impulse Sewing (based on free tutorials - Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit, Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt)

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

The impulse sewing bug strikes again! We were at my mom's house in Massachusetts this weekend and I wandered into her sewing room looking for a darning needle for my Hetty cardigan. Her fabric stash was sitting right there, so I just decided to look through it, out of you know, curiosity. And I saw this wax print fabric and I thought "Why don't I make Z and her baby cousin R some simple matching elastic-waist skirts?" So I did.

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

And then after the kids were in bed I saw my mom had some elastic thread and I thought "Why don't I make matching shirred tops?"

Presto! Instant matching wax print cuteness.

Of course, by the time I had both outfits ready for a photo shoot, six-month-old Baby R had fallen asleep for a nap. So I mostly got photos of Z running around in her new favorite outfit (plus a matching headband my mom threw together with her heavy-duty snap attaching machine):

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

The basics

Pattern: I used two free tutorials I'd been eyeing for a while — the Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit (to make the shirred tops—I just left off the bottom part) and the Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt. Both are just constructed from simple rectangles — the skirt is a full width of fabric gathered by an elastic waistband and trimmed with a ribbon hem, and the top is a rectangle with some elastic shirring and straps.

Fabric: "Veritable" Dutch wax print cotton borrowed from my mom's stash. She got it from my beloved Sew-Fisticated Discount Fabrics in Boston (see my review).

Size: I just went by the girls' waist measurements, and made the tops and skirts a bit long on them so they could wear for a while yet.

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

I remember the first time I realized it was possible to make simple items like skirts without (gasp!) an actual pattern—that many garments were nothing but rectangles or circles gathered up in different ways. At the time I went a little crazy and sewed like, six elastic-waist full skirts before I realized it wasn't always the most flattering look for me. But it works really well on these little girls!

Instructions: Both tutorials/patterns had excellent, clear, detailed instructions.

Construction notes: I added two extra rows of shirring on Z's top since she is so much bigger than R. And I added extra snaps to make the tops adjustable.

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

My favorite details are the ribbon hems...

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt
Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

(Can you believe the cuteness of those toes? GAH!)

And the purple snaps:

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

The stripes on this fabric are not even vaguely on-grain, so there's a bit of a jumbled tilted effect, especially in back:

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

All in all, an impulse sewing win!

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

A perfect outfit for running around and playing all summer long:

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

And for snuggling with cousins, of course:

Matching wax print cousins outfits: Made by Rae Baby Sunsuit as top, Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt

Sewing doesn't always have to be complicated. Even simple shapes can look awesome in a bright, fun fabric and with the right details. (Cute models don't hurt, either.)

So: Do you ever make simple garments from rectangles or sew from tutorials? Or are you all about using actual pattern pieces?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ill-Fitting Bathrobe or Stylish Peplum Jacket? (McCall's 5529, aka my oldest UFO)

McCall's 5529 Chartreuse Cardigan Jacket Fail

So my oldest unfinished sewing object is finally finished... and I can't decide if I totally hate it or find it mildly acceptable.

I mean, there are a few pros here: it has raglan sleeves, it's an adjustable wrap style, and it's made from a stretchy (but not too stretchy) chartreuse RPL doubleknit. Plus: a peplum!

McCall's 5529 Chartreuse Cardigan Jacket Fail

But... there is a big con here, and that is the poor fit. It's just way too huge all over—in the sleeves, the shoulders, the body, the front. Even when I wrap it as carefully as I can, it feels more "ill-fitting bathrobe" than "casual, yet chic jacket" to me.

This could be because I muslined and cut it out when I was seven months hugely pregnant back in 2010. I thought it might still work now because it is a wrap and a knit, but... I think it's also the pattern. The examples on the envelope look equally large and rather baggy and wrinkly in the sleeves—it should have been a warning sign that the model has her sleeves scrunched up:

McCalls 5529 Jackets

The basics

Pattern: McCall's 5529, a self-belted unlined raglan-sleeved cardigan/jacket with peplum, designed for wovens or stable knits. I believe it's out of print in the envelope edition, but I bought it as a download from and tediously taped it all together. I made View C, with self-fabric belt and smooth non-gathered peplum. But I don't think I really recommend this pattern. The collar doesn't seem to know what it wants to do, the belt is rather "meh", and the peplum could be more fun, but isn't.

Fabric: Chartreuse Sophia doubleknit rayon/poly/lycra from (similar here on sale for $8.99/yard). It's a great fabric... BUT I think this would have worked better in a softer knit—like a sweater knit or stretchy French terry.

Size: According to my old notes I made a size 14, did a 2" FBA (adding four inches across the bust total), shortened the body by about four inches to hit my short waist... and added quite a bit of width to the front to accommodate my then-huge pregnant belly. I also took in the too-baggy sleeves by an INCH each but apparently that was not enough.

McCall's 5529 Chartreuse Cardigan Jacket Fail

Instructions: Just fine—nothing exciting.

Construction notes: Back in 2010 I had originally been making this on the serger. When I picked up this UFO a few weeks ago the body and sleeves were together and all that remained to be done was attach the peplum and collar and sew up the belt. I finished it on my machine with a narrow zig-zag stitch.

I did the topstitching and hems with a regular long straight stitch since this doubleknit is so stable.

McCall's 5529 Chartreuse Cardigan Jacket Fail

I slipstitched the inside of the collar by hand and it took me AGES—I ended up carrying it with me to playground excursions and such. A lot of work for such a mediocre result!

Wear: As lackluster as I feel about this make I do still think I will wear it, mainly to work. It's warm and cozy and I got quite a few compliments on it when I wore it to work Friday—mainly due to the color, I think. Chartreuse is kind of my thing, to say the least.

I have a theory that scrunching up the sleeves might help—thoughts?

Successes: My first jacket! OK, so it's an unlined unfitted knit belted wrap jacket--a glorified girly sweatshirt. But still--my first jacket!

Room for improvement?: The FIT! Next time I make a raglan-sleeve top, I want to see if I can make the armhole more comfortable, perhaps by adding a gusset.

McCall's 5529 Chartreuse Cardigan Jacket Fail

I suppose I COULD take it apart and alter it to fit better... but I'm just DONE with this project. Whatever. At least the unfinished object pile is TOTALLY EMPTY. For now, anyway... I doubt I will ever make this pattern again and I can't say I recommend it.

My next knit jacket project bodes much better for success, as I KNOW the style is just perfect for me—the Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket (which I drew the cover flats for, naturally):

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Is your Unfinished Object (UFO) pile getting you down? + Me Made May Week 3

I am regularly subject to fits of Unfinished Object Overload. Back in my early blogging days, I even drew a cartoon of how overwhelmed my many half-finished projects were making me feel:

Sewing Cartoon: Death By Unfinished Object

I have a tendency to start garments I am very excited about at the time, but then I run into a slight challenge—a fitting problem or a serger malfunction or just my own tendency to sew so late at night that I start attaching the pieces together backwards... And I throw the item in my "in progress" bag and it never sees the light of day again while I start making something else new and shiny.

Until this Me Made May. Because in the last few weeks I have finished three former UFOs, and am almost done with the fourth—and last, I think. I defined UFOs as sewing projects that had been cut out in fashion fabric more than four months ago, and knitting projects that I had started more than four months ago. Here was some of the pile earlier this month:

The UFO pile

I've now finished the Cake Patterns Red Velvet Dress (see finished object post), my chevroned Cake Patterns Hummingbird Blue peplum top with swiss dot dickey and cuffs (see finished object post) and my Delancey cardigan by Alexis Winslow.

I think the Delancey (finished object post here) felt like the biggest win simply because I had been knitting it (with a six month break) since LAST May. And also it is awesome:

Finished: Delancey chevroned cardigan in purple stripes

I also just decided to toss a few objects and definitely decide NOT to finish them (like my blue silk bias half-slip that I hadn't really cut out properly or the bras I had started making in a size I no longer am). It felt equally freeing to just admit it was NOT going to happen.

I haven't quite gotten there with this McCall's 5529 doubleknit peplum jacket, though—it really isn't fitting right (even the sleeves are baggy... probably because this pattern is supposedly for knits AND wovens) but I'm just going to plow ahead and hope a belt will make it wearable:

Feeling pretty "meh" about this half-sewn McCalls doubleknit cardigan wrap jacket I abandoned in 2010... I doubt even the self-fabric belt will mitigate the bagginess BUT it is the last UFO in my sewing bag ... So I am determined. #finishingufos #sewing

The UFO bag is almost EMPTY. And wow is it a good feeling! It was also fun to get to start these projects at the sewing stage, instead of the cutting out and alterations stage.

And Me Made May? Here we go for week 3:

Me Made May 11: Mother's Day at the Met Costume Institute

Me Made May 11: Mother's Day at the Met Costume Institute

For Mother's Day my husband took us to the AMAZING Charles James Beyond Fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. No photos allowed, so here are my daughter and I in front of Perneb's Tomb.

Top: Partially finished Cake Patterns Hummingbird Blue before I attached the cuffs and dickey (blogged here).
Skirt: Hummingbird straight skirt (blogged here).
Necklace: Gift from sister-in-law
Shoes: Ahnu Karma flats because I wear the same comfortable shoes over and over again.

Me Made May 12: Teal Takeover Day for Food Allergy Awareness Week

Me Made May 12: Teal Takeover Day for Food Allergy Awareness Week

As anyone who reads my sewing blog (or even more so my food allergy/ recipe blog Safe & Scrumptious from Scratch) knows, my three-year-old daughter Z has severe multiple food allergies.

She's allergic to sesame, nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, mustard, cumin, poppy, canola and peas. So we don't eat in restaurants or buy much processed food, and we ALWAYS carry two EpiPen auto-injectors with us and make sure she wears her allergy alert bracelet.

Today was day two of Food Allergy Awareness Week, and today's action was #tealtakeover — since teal is the official color of Food Allergy Awareness. There are 15 million Americans with food allergy—and many, like my daughter, at at risk of life-threatening anaphylaxis. Please think about the food allergic people in your life—and what you can do to make them feel welcome and safe! Learn more at

Dress: Me-made McCall's 6070 ombre polka dot dress.
Cardigan: had forever.
Necklace: Old and cheap
Shoes: Another pair of Ahnu Karma flats, in a green vegan mesh version.
On Z: A she-made starfish headband and me-made wax print Oliver + S dress (technically the "Ice Cream Dress" but she's allergic to dairy, so we call it the "Coconut Cream Dress").

Me Made May 13: The finally finished peplum top

Me Made May 13: Finished peplum top

The no longer un-finished UFO.

Top: Fully finished Cake Patterns Hummingbird Blue (blogged here).
Jeans: Not Your Daughter's Jeans naturalish-waisted straight legs (bought at for less than 50% retail). They're supposed to be natural waisted but they hit me a few inches below that.

Me Made May 14: The Tearful Trousers

Me Made May 14: The Tearful Trousers

Oh, these Vogue Elements 9745 wide-legged trousers just make me want to cry. When I first made them I was super into them—they are a beautiful shade of blue, they are corduroy, they are my first pair of successful non-pajama me-made trousers and they fit and they are SO COMFORTABLE (partly due to the hidden elastic waistband).

Yet I haven't worn them since Me Made May 2013. Mainly because my husband who usually loves everything I make hates them and says "they aren't very... flattering." I like wide legs in theory but I think I will stick with more fitted styles... they seem to work better on me.

My daughter is wearing her Tomten Jacket I knit for her a few years ago—she's finally growing into it.

Me Made May 15: My most-worn items

Me Made May 15: My Two Most Worn Items

These two items (along with the Georgina cardigan I ended up throwing on to beat the spring chill) are my most-frequently-worn me-mades for sure—I always feel comfy and happy in them. I rarely wear them together but decided to give it a go and I THINK it works, no?

Hummingbird peplum knit top in a hummingbird-colored rayon jersey that needed some VERY careful pattern placement (blogged here) and a self-drafted knit half circle skirt with simple no-elastic waistband (free tutorial here).

Me Made May 16: Too Pretty to Wear Pants

Me Made May 16: Theme Friday

This Friday's theme for the Me Made May challenge was "Too Pretty to Wear Pants" but since I wasn't exactly sure what that meant, I took it to mean: wear a skirt or a dress, maybe something a little extra girly? The me-made here is a trusty Jalie Scarf Collar knit top (blogged here).

Me Made May 17: There are six me-mades in this picture

Me Made May 17: Times Five

Most of my photos so far have contained just one or two me made items... But there are five me mades in this collage if you count my daughter's sweater and some hidden underthings. And six if you count my daughter herself!


So tell me—how many UFOs are in your pile? And how do they make you feel?

*Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks on this site may yield commissions for (quite likely to be spent on yarn or fabric).

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Polka Dot Nettie Overload! (Nettie Bodysuit by Closet Case Files - as a Top)

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

The minute I caught word of the Closet Case Files Nettie Bodysuit and Dress sewing pattern, I knew I HAD to make one. A beautiful figure-hugging bodysuit with tons of awesome neckline variations (and even a dress option) named after my awesome and inspiring friend Nettie of Sown Brooklyn? Sign me up please!

I mean, I think it is well established here that I am a fan of negative ease and gravitate towards the snug-fitting rather than the relaxed. So yeah. I LOVE THIS TOP SO MUCH and I hope to make the bodysuit and the dress too.

It's comfortable, stylish and fitted and I am very, very happy.

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

The basics

Pattern: Closet Case Files Nettie, cropped to a top a la Lladybird. The pattern has many variations—I made the scoop front neckline with the high back and short sleeves.

Fabric: A fantastic Riley Blake polka dot cotton/spandex knit blend (I bought mine in Austin but looks like it's currently on sale at they also have aqua, red and more). It turned out to be the perfect fabric for something like this — plenty of stretch and recovery, but not so clingy or thin that it shows the underpinnings. PERFECT combo of fabric and pattern.

Size: Based on Heather Lou's recent blog post, I made a size up from my measurements—the original pattern indicated I should make a 10, so I made a 12. And I did a cheater FBA Kadiddlehopper-style and cut a size 16 at the bust and front sleeve.

Instructions: The instructions were great, very thorough and well illustrated, and even had some entertaining asides. I've made many knit tops, but I still benefited from reading her tips. She also has a sew-along starting up now as well.

Modifications: Since I wasn't sure how the size would work out, I decided to test the pattern as a top. I cut it off at the line for attaching the skirt for the dress version. I think if I make it as a top again I will even make it slightly longer—I will likely usually tuck it in, and it will probably ride up less if it's longer (or if I had actually made it a bodysuit). Here it is tucked in today at a family trip to Legoland... it was riding up a bit and creating a bit of a line under the bust:

Me Made May 18: Nettie goes to Legoland

Construction notes: I made this in a few hours last night (whilst watching True Detective with the husband) on the sewing machine that has now been crammed into the bedroom to avoid waking our daughter. I used a narrow zig-zag for all seams, a long straight stitch to topstitch the neck binding and a narrow zigzag to topstitch the sleeve and bottom hems. Yes, I COULD have tried to drag out my finicky serger or unreliable stretch twin needle... but right now those are just Barriers to Sewing I cannot truck with.

To bind the neckline, I used my usually trusty Sarah Veblen technique for getting a custom flat neckband and shortened the provided pattern by an inch... which was a mistake. It looks great in front:

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie) - binding view

But in the back... I really overtightened and it's pulling the shoulders in. ER. And I have NARROW shoulders—I often have to make a narrow shoulder adjustment to patterns.

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

I still plan to wear this top to pieces, but next time I think I'll slightly widen the shoulders AND not overtighten the neckband. Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

Wear: All the time in various ways—this is such a versatile layering piece and creates no bulk under other items. I could wear it untucked over jeans or tucked into high-waisted skirts. It's good for work (as a layering piece—it is rather super fitted, so will probably wear a cardigan over it) or weekend. I'm wearing it here with a thrifted skirt but I bet it would play nicely with my Miette.

If all my makes continue to bring me this much joy, I think this ridiculous sewing bender is going to continue for a while yet!

Hurrah for Nettie!

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

P.S. Please follow/like my Polka Dot Overload page on Facebook or follow me on Instagram if you want to see any in-between or behind-the-scenes photos as I go along... I am actually getting to the point where I'm struggling to actually blog everything I make as it's just another Barrier to Sewing!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A chevroned Hummingbird joins the flock (with dickey! and cuffs! and buttons!)

Me Made May 13: Finished peplum top

Yes, I have a peplum problem passion. This is my third Cake Patterns Hummingbird knit peplum top (after the polka dot one and the hummingbird colors one) so I guess it's now my official tried-and-true top.

Not much new to report. I cut the same bust size as before (the 35), but went with the elbow-length sleeves and the deeper neckline with dickey and bias cuffs. I basted the dickey in place carefully before topstitching it to the neckline binding.

I've always loved the look of knit tops with dickeys—they have all the comfort of a knit with a touch of the polish and crispness of a woven.

Cake Patterns Hummingbird "Blue" Peplum Top With Dickey and Cuffs

The chevroned knit fabric is a wonderful rayon/spandex jersey from Mood, and the woven fabric is a sheer black cotton swiss dot lawn from four years ago (but similar still available). The iridescent buttons are from M+J, leftover from a sweater. They are BEAUTIFUL but I could not get a decent photo of them.

Cake Patterns Hummingbird "Blue" Peplum Top With Dickey and Cuffs

Er, what's this? Why are there four button holes for two buttons, you ask? Well, either I am the WORST at buttonholes or my buttonhole sensor foot hates me, because this ALWAYS HAPPENS. And yes, I stabilized the area with plenty of interfacing and carefully marked the buttonhole placement and practiced on scrap fabric...

Moving on. I apparently also cannot photograph my own back properly, as this weird hunched-over blurry shot was the best I got.

Cake Patterns Hummingbird "Blue" Peplum Top With Dickey and Cuffs

Finally, I should note that this is actually another finished object formerly known as an unfinished object, almost the LAST one in the pile (and oh, it feels AMAZING to finally finish something and clear that mental space). I started her during the Hummingbird 30 Minutes a Day Sewalong last year, but then my sewing machine went beserk on the shoulder seam...

I think my sewing machine is really angry at me for neglecting her. Why else would she eat my fabric like this? Sigh... No new top to wear tomorrow. :(

... and I got discouraged and abandoned the top.

Now I love it. I love it so much I even wore it out for Mother's Day before I attached the dickey: here I am with my daughter at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (my husband took us to the mind-blowingly AMAZING Charles James exhibit at the Costume Institute for Mother's Day and all three of us just LOVED it.):

Me Made May 11: Mother's Day at the Met Costume Institute

Which is especially fitting, because Charles James' famous 4-leaf-clover skirt design was one of Steph's inspirations for the Hummingbird peplum's shape.

I like this version much better with the dickey, though—the scoop by itself was a little too deep to be decent workwear.

Cake Patterns Hummingbird "Blue" Peplum Top With Dickey and Cuffs

I think the best part about finishing UFOs is that they feel like they were sent to me in a time machine by Mikhaela from the Past. I often find that cutting fabric is the hardest and most annoying part of the whole process, so it's awesome to just be able to open a bag of neatly cut and marked and notched fabric pieces all ready to sew—like someone else did all the work!

How's your Me Made May going?


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