More Indie Love :: Pauline Alice

                This is my FAVORITE Pauline Alice pattern!!

Pauline Alice

This is the dress that started my drop waist obsession! And this one and this one!

Mine (the first of many, likely) will be made with the sweeeetest blue linen from Britex.

Much like the 80s/90s bodysuit craze passed me by (I talked about this via twitter, not my blog) the cute Blossom style (I always associate drop waists with Blossom and Lisa Turtle) dress was a no-go in my home, too. I was not a trend follower. Despite how badly I wanted to be.

SO, like making and wearing Heather Lou’s Nettie, I will wear all the Blossom dresses I want, now!

Lots of cool inspo, below!!

They all make me WISH for the days ahead where bare legs, strappy sandals and quick, easy dresses rule!Dior

Victoria Beckham


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Also, a note:

I updated my original Sewing Indie Month post to include the InLinkz for entries!!

I’ve already got word from folks working on their projects! So cool!

Netties: en noir, blanc et ivoire

Heather’s latest, super informative post, jarred my memory. I have been so busy working and having fun, I nearly forgot to tell you about the remaining Netties!
Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

And you need to know about them because making them taught me something pretty crucial about the pattern that Heather touches on in that post.

When you make this marvelous, high back version, you might want to go up a size. OR, alternatively, use a fabric with even more stretch. These are both made form Girl Charlee fabric: Ivory and Black and White. When I finished the B&W version, I was flummoxed by the fit. It was tight, tighter than I was anticipating based on the fit of the first two.

After puzzling it out in my head a bit. I jumped on the CG site to check the percentage of stretch on all of my fabrics. I thought that might explain it and contacted Heather Lou. After we chatted a bit, I had a sudden realization: that high back made a difference.

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

The mid back fit, in addition to added sexiness, allows for a ton of ease at the front. When you fill in that space, your fabric has to stretch in a different way. I cut my last three Netties out at the same time, so the ivory version was already cut the same size and style as the B&W one.
Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

BUT, here’s where the stretch factor shows itself. The ivory version is not as tight as the b&w one.

Look at the stats of both.
Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!
Black & White:
Content: 98% Modal Cotton/2% Spandex
Weight: 9 oz Medium Weight
Stretch: 55%, 20%
Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!
Content:  90% Cotton/10% Spandex
Weight:  12 oz Medium Weight
Stretch:  60%, 40%

Tons of differing variables, there. I think that the difference is visible, too. There are no wrinkles in the printed one, while in the solid you can see a little scrunching at the sides of the bodice.

It’s important to note that the fit lengthwise was not affected, at all. I was as comfy in one as the other. And the tighter one started to loosen up after taking it off and one while sewing and photographing each one. So, ultimately, your different fabrics might all feel the same after wear.

That, my friends, concludes the tour of my first four Netties!!

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

They’re starting to crop up around the web. LOOK at this super sexiness that Ebony, made! Oh, to look so good in a hat! And, Lindsay in a Nettie dress! Wowza!

Sewing Indie Month

Let’s get ready to SEEEEEEEEEEEWW!

Cause it’s


A whole heap of super fantastic peeps are on tap for this!


Some are new to me. And one in particular is dear to my heart (My Heather!)! This month of indie sewing love requires a level of coordination I don’t possess. I’m always so impressed when these kinds of events pop up in the blogisphere. The kick ass buttons alone surpass my skill level.

What I am there for (and which requires much less effort from me) is showing talented entrepreneurs some love. The skill and time required to make these patterns available to the sewing masses is not lost on me. I know how long people like Mari and Heather plan and work on their efforts. It must have been months and months ago that Heather first mentioned a bodysuit pattern to me.

Anyway, enough of my lovin’. You’d want to know the rules. So you can win the prizes, of course ;)

sewing indie month sewalong rules

You can submit your entries forindieloveaffair_banner_SIM_2014here, at Sown Brooklyn.
For this category, you must combine patterns from 2 or more companies into one garment or outfit. Awesome! My wallet will feel it from all of the new companies this has introduced me to!

Visit these ladies to enter the other categories:

The winner of an Indie Love Affair category will win these great prizes:

1 year subscription to Sew News Magazine

1 year subscription to Sew News Magazine

2013 Threads Archive DVD from Threads Magazine

2013 Threads Archive DVD from Threads Magazine

1 class of your choice from Pattern Review

1 class of your choice from Pattern Review

Sassy Librarian Blouse Craftsy class by Sewing Indie Month designer Christine Haynes

Sassy Librarian Blouse Craftsy class by Sewing Indie Month designer Christine Haynes

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Stepalica Patterns; PDF Nettie Dress & Bodysuit by Closet Case Files; PDF Twisty Top Pattern by Soma Patterns; paper pattern of your choice from Tilly and the Buttons
Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Stepalica Patterns; PDF Nettie Dress & Bodysuit by Closet Case Files; PDF Twisty Top Pattern by Soma Patterns; paper pattern of your choice from Tilly and the Buttons

Look at the prizes!! You all are lucky!! None  for me!! LOL I was lucky enough to receive a lovely pattern that I had just nearly purchased, some great fabric is on its way to me to make it up and I received the ultimate gift, the Nettie pattern, which you will see even more of during Sewing Indie Month.

Bonus Winner!

A Bonus Winner randomly drawn from all the sewalong participants will win the following prizes:


1 year subscription to Sew News Magazine


$75 gift certificate from Britex Fabrics


1 year Friends of PR membership from Pattern Review

Love at First Stitch signed book by Sewing Indie Month designer Tilly and the Buttons

Love at First Stitch signed book by Sewing Indie Month designer Tilly and the Buttons

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Waffle Patterns; PDF Wardrobe Builder Pack by Thready Theory; paper pattern of your choice from Kate & Rose, Sew Chic

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Waffle Patterns; PDF Wardrobe Builder Pack by Thready Theory; paper pattern of your choice from Kate & Rose, Sew Chic

Grab a button in the sidebar!

And check back on Monday RIGHT BELOW for the goods on linking your project!!

Good luck everyone!!


L’éléphant Nettie

This is the first Nettie.
Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!
Or L’éléphant Nettie!

The fabric is from Girl Charlee. I had just stumbled across Hey Fran Hey and was deep in her bohemian vibe when I chose it. This one is Heather’s fave. I agree that the elephants are both cool and a bit sexy!

This one is a blend of sizes 6 and 8. Six at the top, 8 at the hip and bottom. As you can see, the fabric went a little sheer across the the bust. Cutting a straight size 8 would have been a better choice.

This version includes: scoop front, mid back and short sleeves.

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

I usually deviate from pattern instructions, but when testing you have to do what it says. Therefore, this is the first time I have actually stabilized my shoulder seams. I will be doing it from now on! It made such a difference, especially with the front and back scooping low.

I also put this together completely on my sewing machine. I love the look of nice, clean serged seams. But, sometimes, that adds bulk and makes the seams wavy. I went against instinct and it totally paid off.

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

I love it with jeans (they’re from Old Navy, in case you’re wondering)!! And my favorite, handmade skirt!!

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

A total aside: I’ve been taking adult ballet classes. I’ve never felt so graceful in my life (even if I probably look like Lois when she took dance classes in that episode of Malcolm in the Middle). Highly recommend crossing that off your list if it has been a goal of yours!

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

I’m so anxious to see more Netties around the sewing blogisphere! Just look at Carolyn’s versions! Modeled in her totally babetastic Aussie way!

Start browsing for your perfect fabric!

I’m posting a Nettie giveaway on, Friday!

Sewing and Style with Seamstress Erin

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Go check it out!!! My Sewing & Style post over on Seamstress Erin‘s blog!
Continuing the discussion started here, the one all about style and sexiness and the expression of both!

I’m honored to be included in this series. Some really awesome folks preceded me.

Thank you for asking me, Erin!

{Sew} Treat Yo’ Self

treat-yo-selfLesley Jean is my ambassador of Treat Yo’ Self! Not only did she send me, unsolicited, lovely vintage sewing patterns, she recently posted about the masterpiece that is Treat Yo’ Self from Parks and Recreation.

Being a sucker for a good skit, and an even bigger one for a catch phrase, I was immediately hooked!! Making the discovery of this concept even more serendipitous: the arrival of some sewing peeps, my fave NYC gals and a planned day of basking in each others ambiance.

{Sew} Treat Yo' Self 2013

Sallie (!!), Oona (!!), Ginger (!!), Latrice (!!), Kelli (!!)

{Sew} Treat Yo' Self 2013

Puu (!!), Heather (!!), and the days’ official photog, Jennifer (!!)

{Sew} Treat Yo' Self 2013

It was fun!

It was lovely!

It was life giving (I LOVE talking to smart women)!!

We basked, you guys. We BASKED!

It was {sew} a fucking treat!!

I further ramped up the day’s Treat Yo’ Self theme by adding some of the most beautiful fabric I’ve ever purchased to my collection. Shopping with ladies with great taste is tough on your budget, but fantastic for your sewing! Just look!

Jamie Jeans Denim

Stretch Denim

Emerald (trust me) Silk Crepe de Chine

Silk Crepe de Chine

Gold & Navy Silk

Navy& Gold Silk

Black Wool Jersey

Black Wool Jersey

Anna Sui Silk Crepe de Chine

Anna Sui Silk Crepe de Chine

Navy Cotton Jersey

Navy Cotton Knit

I am overwhelmed with good feelings. The positive influence blogging has had on my life continues to grow!

We are all so lucky!

Treat Yo’ Self!

Testing…Testing…Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

I was deeelighted to be asked to test sew Mari of Disparate Disciplines newest pattern, Dandelion!!!

Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

The fit on this is seriously fantastic! I sometimes have a bit of room at the upper back and usually need a sway back adjustment, but this one lies flatter than anything I’ve made in both spots with no adjusting. I’m certain this is due to the design features that Mari built in. The back is slightly smaller than the front which results in the back hugging nicely, while the front skims. Perfect! Especially in light of a certain button popping incident with a recent make, lol

Though, I have to admit, that belt came off after lunch :P

Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

 I have to say, I’m totally proud of this top!! I usually shy away from anything that looks difficult to fit or to choose a size for. I’m easily scared, lol. BUT, agreeing to test sew meant that I had to plow ahead and hope for the best. I decided to go all-in and use the good fabric, right out of the gate. Life’s too short! I nearly cut a size 6, but lessons learned from past makes helped me decide to go with size 4, instead.

Great choice!

Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

Size four, with the length of the largest size, is perfect!! If you’ve visited here before, I’m sure you recall that I cut things long all the time. Other than that, there was no fudging the side seams afterward, or anything. I used the specified seam allowance, but I installed my zipper differently than the pattern stated. My only regret is that you can’t see the great design lines in this fabric!!

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 2.52.50 PMSchematics from the pattern!
 Though, the choice was wise as I serged a hole in the left side piece when I was almost done!! I’ve never done that before!! I only had to finish the inside seams! The busy fabric hides the repair, so I got over it pretty quickly. I’m already dreaming of a color blocked version! And a raglan sleeved dress….and a tank dress. This pattern gives you LOTS of options!
Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!
It’s such a great addition to my wardrobe. Mari made sewing it up so easy with her clever printing guide, too. The ability to get just the pages you need relieves some of that pdf taping together anxiety. And the boost of confidence I felt when I zipped this baby up and it fit like a dream pushed me to move onto other projects in my stash.
But its biggest accomplishment? It just might be the pattern that makes me switch from knit to woven tank-style tops!! And I looooooove a tank top!

Mari, you’ve got a winner!

Testing...Testing...Test Sewing, Dandelion!!

Check out more Dandelion’s in the wild!

Oh, Canada!

Kristiann, in all of her sweetness and generosity, offered to send me a copy of Flare, the magazine she’s interviewed in. Along with it, she sent an awesome hand-written note, that goes right in the draw with all of my sewcialists keepsakes, and a really cool DIY themed poster!!

Thanks, Kristiann!!! You’re a babe and a doll.
We’re all so jealous ;)

Sewing in Canada's Flare Magazine

Sewing in Canada's Flare Magazine

Sewing in Canada's Flare Magazine

ps- I stole these pics from Kristiann ;D

The Amazings, Amazing Feat

Have you heard of The Amazings??? 

The Amazings
If not, let me bring you up to speed. The Amazings has this really brilliant concept. Learning time tested crafts from our elders!! Isn’t that cool!! All of those “Not your grandma’s insert craft type here” memes never sat well with me. They ARE their crafts and that’s fucking awesome!! I was SUPER delighted to receive an email asking whether I’d like to give their classes a try. Uhmmmm….YES!! Yes, of course!!

I’m currently enrolled in three. It was hard to know which to start with!! I have tons, and tons of sewing thread and an entire roll of melt away stabilizer that I’ve, literally, had for years.  I also have some found-on-the-street hardcover books that once altered would be an awesome addition to any librarian’s home.

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 1.14.15 PM

But, the truly awesome thing about the chance to enroll in these classes? This opportunity finally pushed me to try something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, make the switch to homemade beauty products (at the moment, I have 5 or 6 library books on the subject). I already try to stick to simple scents and basics like coco butter as I have small children and I am SUPER sensitive to strong smells. I almost never wear perfume and I can’t stand scented deodorant. My husband even had to switch because the smell of his was driving me crazy.

In addition, something I haven’t really talked about here, my paternal grandmother is a breast cancer survivor (don’t worry, this was not recent. She got the all-clear at her last check-up). Her cancer was concentrated in/around the breast tissue near her armpit. Which I’ve since read can be partially attributed to chemicals in commercial deodorants. She had her breast removed and underwent chemo. Scary stuff. If I can lessen my chance, and my preteen deodorant wearer’s chance, of experiencing the same…well it’s a no brainer.

The Amazings eliminated one thing that was stopping me: the need for hand holding while trying out this new-to-me craft. The other, sourcing the supplies. It turns out, I was over-thinking it. I got the pretty jars from a Freecycler and all of the oils from GNC. Because my hubby has their frequent shopper card, I saved a ton of money!


I started with the salt scrub. The kids decided that lemon was the scent of the day.


Side note: I even craft in homemade. I’m rocking a refashioned dress ;p


They had a great time helping me measure, pour and mix! And it smelled sooooo amazing!




In the end, we had two jars of lemon icy scented awesomeness!!! We all tried it on our hands and walked around sniffing them for the next hour or so, lol. I tried it in the bath and it was wonderful!! I’m totally and completely HOOKED! I went right onto making the witch hazel toner which felt great after my honey face wash. (I’d run out of honey and started using some leftover cleanser I had and it does not work nearly as well as raw honey and warm water.)

It was a good night for handmade at chez Sown Brooklyn!! I have another GNC run (for beeswax) before I can make deodorant, but I see more making on tonight’s agenda!

Share your fave beauty recipes in the comments and if you have none,
consider giving The Amazings’ Elders, with all of their wisdom, a try!!

Oops, I Grainlined It Again!

Hemlock in Stripes

I’m sewing with Grainline patterns!!

This time, it’s Jen’s latest, the Hemlock Tee. And it’s FREE!!Hemlock in Stripes

This look is way more fall than I think I’m ready for, but I’m sure I’ll be wishing for yesterday’s mild temps, today.

I love a loose, slouchy tee!! But, I think making this drives home how much I prefer them with a hi-lo hem. I felt a little frumpy with the tee hanging down, loose. with it tucked in a bit, I felt a lot more comfortable. And it looks much better, too.

Hemlock in Stripes

I already have Hemlock Tee II cut out. In the cream version of this fabric. I got them both at Mood. At $12 a yard and 72 inches wide,  my yard and a half of each leaves me with enough for at least one more top. Probably two. I’d buy this again in a heartbeat!! It sews up like a dream and is not nearly as sheer as I thought it would be. Zipping this together on my serger was super easy as it didn’t roll much at all.

Hemlock in Stripes

Hemlock in StripesThe only mod I made to this perfect (one size) pattern was to lengthen the sleeves a teeny bit.  About an inch and a half. I will very likely wear them pushed up, like so. But full length is great for those freezing days ahead.

Anyway!! Visit Grainline. Print out Hemlock. Sew it up. Put it on. Pose with a skeletal kitty cat.


Hemlock in Stripes