Archive for the ‘handmade’ Category

Sewing: Sporty Maxi Dress with Leather Details


I didn’t initially plan on making this dress. It happened as I went along. I was hoping to use a knee-length version of this pattern for my ikat fabric.


Before cutting up the precious yardage, I wanted to test out my vision. I’m glad I did! I love how this dress turned out with the fabric I used, but I don’t think it would’ve made a good fit for my Mood yardage. I’m still trying to figure out my plans for that fabric.


I used a basic t-shirt block, and cut just above the bust line for an overlapped v-neck with leather piping at the seam. It turned out to be a really nice subtle detail, but if I were to do it again (and I just might), I think I’d create a slight curve to the line so it hits at a more natural spot at my under-arms.


The fabric itself is a soft knit with silver bumpy dots on it. The texture is really neat, actually. The thin knit is quite stable and opaque as well. I’ve mentioned my need for long sleeves this winter, but I decided that I’d much rather layer sweaters with this dress than tights. I love how it looks with this chunky knit sweater.


It’s been a really warm fall this year, so it’s been fun to be able to wear long skirts and dresses while out and about.


Outfit details:

  • earrings: etsy
  • necklace: H&M, Cambria Cove
  • dress: handmade
  • scarf: hand-me-down
  • sweater: c/o SheInside (here)
  • shoes: Forever 21

Check out above for similar grey maxi dresses.

Sponsored: Full-Coverage Wrap Skirt Tutorial


Inspired by this month’s style theme for the Fiesta Movement, I wonder what styles are out of your comfort zone? Bold patterns? Hats? Harem pants?

Have you seen those little challenges they post monthly? It’s cool what Fiesta Agents have been doing, taking on challenges outside their respective comfort zones. Last month I went outside my comfort zone and sewed up some harem pants, and I’d say they were a hit! I wear them at least once a week (which is tight rotation considering my closet).

I don’t do hats. Maybe that’s next. What clothing item would you like to find within your comfort zone?


I love this skirt. I didn’t know how much I would wear it because of the bold pattern, but it gets just as much play as the other skirts in my wardrobe. It’s been amazing to wear this fall. My legs don’t freeze to Otter Pop status.

This skirt (as mentioned in the original post) has a super power. It’s a full-coverage wrap skirt. It’s not going to show off my lady bits with a small gust of wind. NO. It’s going to take 15+ mile an hour winds to achieve that.

When you’ve got winds that crazy, you don’t want to be wearing any kind of skirt anyway.


Now let’s make ourselves a maxi wrap skirt that won’t give you a red-faced Marilyn moment, shall we?

Full-Coverage Maxi Wrap Skirt Tutorial



  • 2 yards rayon challis
  • pins
  • scissors (paper and fabric)
  • seam ripper
  • ruler
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • paper
  • large roll of paper
  • sewing machine
  • coordinating thread
  • coordinating buttons
  • iron

You could get away with any drapey fabric. A knit, a silk georgette or a cotton lawn. Rayon challis is going to give you a lot of drape and it’s not terribly expensive.

If you don’t have a large roll of butcher paper on-hand, several small sheets taped together will do. You’ll still want a large-ish floor or table space to draft up your pattern.

Let’s get drafting!


Sewing Harem Pants – Out of My Comfort Zone


Confidence is key when wearing anything beyond just jeans and a tee. That confidence has waxed and waned in the last few years. But mostly waned.


I also have ridiculous fit and texture sensitivities which makes branching out into atypical silhouettes really hard for me. But I really want to give harem pants a try. And I did this week. I’m still deciding if I love or hate them.


I guess they’re growing on me. I’ve worn them mostly all day. At least the fabric is awesome.

Like super awesome. I wish I had made these in the thick of summer when it was super hot. I got this fabric in LA’s fabric district. There’s a black/pink colorway version available here.


I nearly asked Chris, “Do these pants make my butt look fat?” before realizing it’s a question that should never be asked. By anyone. Ever.


There’s a disconnect between how I feel they look and what I see in the mirror (and these photos). And I want to get over that disconnect and feel confident in them all the time.

Do you have any pieces in your closet like that?


Outfit details:

Click to read more about the sewing process (warts and all. I mean all warts).


Leather Tag Bracelet Tutorial DIY


I’m doing much better with my efforts to wear more interesting outfits and accessories. I’m also doing better at putting on make-up in the morning.

I should qualify – I’m putting on make-up about two to three times a week. I’m putting on cute outfits when I leave the house which is also two to three times a week.


There are some really hot moms of 4+ kids in my neighborhood. I really don’t know how they do it. Maybe there’s an apprentice-ship that I could apply for?

One of my neighbors came over the other week to help me shoot some DIYs. We made this little leather tag bracelet and a wood and leather bracelet (tutorial to come next week). They were quick and fun. I’d say both were perfect for a range of skill levels. You could have one of these finished in about 15-20 minutes. Let’s get started, shall we?


Sewing: Leather and Cotton Zip Bag


Walking through the streets of San Francisco made me realize a couple of things: I live in a bubble (a happy one) and my clothes are boring. I’m a mom of two small kids. I’m lucky if I get my make-up on! But walking the streets of SF in even my handmade clothes made me realize that I often put together boring outfits. Even when I take the time to get ready.


To remedy this, I just need to make myself non-boring accessories. It’ll at least help. I want to be cool like my friend Mim, so I made a zippered purse/pouch just like hers.


Not boring, but certainly not as creative since I copied her design. But I made it, so that’s something. And I matched the leather and fabric together. Oh, the leather. . . Mmmmm. It’s so soft. I wish you could feel it. Like butter.


It’s a small bag, perfect for girls’ nights and nights out with my man. I’m thinking this will be perfect for my upcoming Sewing Summit conference in September. I can’t wait for Sewing Summit.



I’m excited about the leather details and the colorful print. It won’t match everything in my wardrobe, but it will certainly add a pop of interesting to it.


I used legit top-stitch thread (and needle) for the first time. It looks so much more professional with that small detail.

Fabric provided by Kollabora and Dear Stella.


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