Sunday, January 25, 2015


As January is almost over and I haven't posted any new projects for a while, I figured it's about time for a bit of a fill-in on my part!  I spent two glorious weeks in New York/New Jersey visiting family for the holidays, and have spent the past couple of weeks getting back in the swing of things.

I can say with absolute certainty that this year has been the busiest yet! I haven't blogged about a lot of things (personal and made), not because I didn't want to, but because I just didn't have time.  Let's review, shall we?

1.  I moved from New York to Chicago in February.  It's officially the worst drive ever, especially with two cats that won't stop crying.  That being said, Chicago is awesome and although I really, really, miss saturday morning trips to the garment district and happy hours with crafty ladies, I don't regret the decision at all.

2.  I started grad school in July while working full-time.  It's been hectic to say the least.  I'll have a masters degree in June, though, so cheers to that (and knowing it'll all be over soon)!

3.  I adopted a dog, Bella, because two cats just didn't make things crazy enough.  

3.  I got engaged! Probably the biggest news!

Mr. Craftsanctuary up there and I got engaged in September on the beach in Michigan.  It was an absolutely perfect day.  I held off posting about this for a long time because sometimes you just want to keep the happy things private for a little while.  I know not everyone is like that, but I just wanted to enjoy it for a little while before sharing it with the world.  

My ring is an antique piece from 1923 that is still engraved with the original owners' initials.  Their first names started with an "A" and an "E," the same as ours, which I think is pretty cool.  We've been slowly starting to think about planning a wedding, but we're not in any rush.  We're thinking sometime in summer of 2016.  

Oh, and before you ask: I will not be making my dress.  It just seems like too much stress and responsibility to pile on top of what will already a stressful process.  Plus, I think I'd totally regret missing out on dress shopping.

And, because it wouldn't be a roundup post without some sewing talk:

My favorite make of 2014 is hands-down my midsummer cascade dress:

And my most-worn is my foxy cambie:

Today, it's a bit snowy and cold (and making me miss the weather in these photos).  I've successfully cut out lots of pieces for my cascade duffle coat, so here's hoping I get them sewn together into something warm some time soon!

I hope you're all having a happy, relaxing, warm new year! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014


And so, the lingerie obsession continues...

I was already well into the deep, dark recesses of lingerie obsession when Amy released the Watson Bra and bikini.  Her rosy lady shorts are my absolute favorite undies, so the purchase of this pattern was a total no-brainer.

I sewed this gorgeousness up in a mix of sizes.  I cut the 32E, but took a little out from the band, so it's closer to a 30F.  The band is perfect in terms of size.  It fits perfectly, lies flat, and is very supportive.  The bad news is that I didn't read the sizing before I made it up, and it's like 1 1/2 - 2 sizes too small.  Read the sizing before you make this one up!

The good news is that I never really meant for this one to be an "outside bra," so it's not really the end of the world if the cups are a little small.  The lace is unlined and really stretchy, so the girls are still comfy.  I am interested to see how it will fit in the right size.  The band is really supportive, and I'm curious to see if this could make it to "outside bra" status.

Either way, I love the way this turned out.  The lace is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm obsessed with how this turned out.  All of the fabric and notions came in a kit from Merckwaerdigh. I feel like I'm really getting better at the precise sewing in lingerie making, and I'm really proud of how this turned out!

The undies are less exciting, but equally as awesome.  They fit perfectly, which I was completely expecting since I love my ladyshorts so much.  The one thing I don't love is my fold-over elastic application.  I still kinda suck at it.  But, hey, I'm working on it.  When they're on it's totally not noticeable.

Anyway, that's all I have to say about this pattern.  I'm give it a double thumbs-up!  The instructions are fantastic, the drafting is perfect, and every version I've seen has been gorgeous!

I can't say I'll be emerging from the lingerie rabbit hole any time soon, so expect more pretty underthings around these parts :)

Pattern: Watson by Cloth Habit
Size: 32E // S
Fabric: Kit from Merckwaerdigh // Joann Fabrics
Alterations: Took about 1/2 in out of the band

Tuesday, December 9, 2014



Here's the thing.  Winter is not my deal.  I like sundresses and the beach.  The fall is the best, really, it's an all-wardrobe weather season, if you will.  Throw on a cardi and some tights, and that sundress is totally acceptable fare.  While the snow is pretty and all, the temperature and the short days are not blog-friendly.  I'm having the hardest time getting photos of my makes because it's always dark when I get home, and indoor photos are just the worst.  I'll be snuggling up on the couch with my knitting when it's dark by 5pm, thank you very much.

Anyway, on to the goods.  That's what we're all here for anyway, right?

The one thing that I have been sewing more of lately is lingerie.  It's impossible NOT to photograph it indoors, so it's a compromise between not wanting to go outside but still needing to share the things my hands have been making.

Long-time readers may remember my first attempt at a "real bra" about a year ago.  I made the pin-up girls classic bra, and it just wasn't my thing.  The fit was off, and I just didn't like the style enough to figure out the issues I had with it.  To be honest, it just wasn't a style of bra I would have purchased, so I wasn't really invested in figuring it out.  I had written off "real bra" sewing as something I would not do.

That is, until I saw Peneloping's versions of the Marlborough Bra on instagram.  I was obsessed.  It was pretty, it looked good in a large cup size, and it wasn't matronly or flimsy looking.

I almost instantaneously downloaded the pattern, dug out an unused bra kit from hooks and wires, and got to work.  Four hours later, I had a bra that I loved.  It's supportive, it's comfortable, and it's almost perfect right out of the package!

If you're curious, I'd totally recommend her kits, they're priced really fairly, and the materials all coordinate perfectly. She even gives you wires! My one gripe is that the hooks don't match perfectly (you can see the white inside).

Let's be real here, though.  It's not perfect.  But, I actually want to fix it this time around.  This style has potential for me, and I'm actually interested in altering it.  Success!

Normally, in rtw, I wear a 32E/30F depending on the brand and the stretchyness of the band.

Here are my current issues, feel free to chime in if you've got any tips:
  • Excess fabric under the wires (too long)
  • The bridge is too wide at the bottom, in between the cups, causing the bridge to pucker out
  • The band is too loose
  • The cups are very slightly too small - I'm getting a little bit of spillage at the top of the lace
I'm wondering if fixing the bridge and shortening the under wire fabric vertically (does that make any sense?) will help fix the slightly to small cup issue.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Pretty please?

Size: 32 DD/E
Fabric: Bra Kit from Hooks and Wires

Saturday, November 22, 2014


I'm going to be honest, here. When Sally and I decided to start Let's Sew Deer and Doe a couple of months ago, the pattern I was least excited about sewing up was the Aubepine.  I just didn't think the empire waist was going to be flattering.  I'm more of a "natural waist" girl.  But, a pledge is a pledge after all, so I gave it a go.

You know what?!  I've totally changed my tune.  This dress is SO comfortable and totally flattering.  I don't know what I was thinking...

I've always been told that girls with large chests shouldn't wear dresses like this because it makes you look pregnant.  Well, I'm here to tell you that they're wrong.  As with most things, it's all about the fit and the proportions.  Now I'm not saying that this makes my waist look tiny or anything, but it certainly isn't in preggo territory.  I think that the cut of the skirt, the lightweight fabric,  and the pleating at the waistline make all the difference.  The dress really moves with you and doesn't "tent" out at all.

Plus, no alterations, so win-win.  (Seriously, though, these patterns are freakin magical)

Let's talk fabric and finishes for a minute, shall we?  This puppy is beautiful inside and out.  I topstitched my impeccable (and painstakingly marked) tucks with hot pink thread because I wanted them to stand out against all that black.  The entire dress is lined with bemberg rayon.  It's totally dreamy and floaty on the inside.  That stuff is seriously all it's cracked up to be.

It's getting harder and harder to take decent photos when I get home, since it gets dark so early!  This is probably the best shot of the "real" colors of the fabric because  I had to play with the photos so much to get them clearer/brighter.

We've got just over a month left before Let's Sew Deer and Doe is over!  What are you sewing up?


Pattern: Aubepine by Deer and Doe
Size: 38
Alterations : NONE
Fabric: Moonlit Gnome Pants Black Lawn by Cotton + Steel (FYI, I'm obsessed with all their designs so expect to see more on that front from me)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lola + Virginia + 100

Can you believe it's been 100 posts?  Crazy.  I feel like I don't get the chance to blog as much as I would like to these days, but when I look at a number like 100, I feel like I've accomplished something in this little space.  Thanks to all of you for sticking around and giving me feedback and love for the past 100 posts. I wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for you!

I can't think of a more perfect post to mark my 100th, either.  When I set out to start making my own clothes a couple of years ago, I never ever thought I'd be making things like underwear or leggings.  My tastes are a bit more party dress.  But, here we are!  I'm inching toward a more self-made wardrobe each week (especially since I lost 50% of my winter clothes when I moved).  I'm starting to replace the worn-out rtw clothes that I reach for again and again, and really make things that I will wear all the time.

This little ensemble totally fits that bill.

A fancy-ish (I'm looking at you, Sarah) sweatshirt dress and leggings.  Aaaahhh so good.  At first glance, there's really nothing special about either one of these garments, but the fabrics are divinely comfy.  At that, my friends, makes all the difference.

I've had sweatshirts on my mind for a few weeks now, but I'm just not into traditional sweatshirts.  Hoods make me uncomfortable, and I really don't need a fanny pack pocket, thankyouverymuch.  Enter this fabric.  Isn't it the coolest?  I found it at Joann's and had to have it.  It was marked as a jersey-spandex knit, which I'm sure it is, but it's really much cooler than that.  It's more like quilted sweatshirt knit, with a black jersey lining to stabilize all that quilting.  It's awesome and supremely warm. 

The pattern is Lola.  I wanted the fit to be relaxed, so I know it's a little big all-around.  Trust me when I say it was totally intentional...I literally fell asleep in this dress for a few hours yesterday, it's soooo comfortable.  Perfect for Chicago winters!  My only gripe is that I cannot, for the life of me get my ribbing to lie flat.  It's topstitched and pressed, and still nothing.  After doing a little research, I discovered that all of my favorite versions of Lola used self-fabric bands or just turned under and topstitched.  Maybe that's why.  The wavy-ness is annoying the crap out of me, but it's comfy as hell so I'll deal with it.

The bottoms are Virginia Leggings.  I would say they're basic and boring, but they're totally the greatest thing ever because I made them from bamboo terry knit.  They're extra thick and warm and have great recovery.  If you are looking for a perfect legging fabric, it's the way to go.

The rise is pretty perfect as well, although I may take it down 1/2 inch next time.  I don't have a belly pooch/muffin top, either, in case  you're wondering.  It's just my hands in my pockets causing drag lines.  When you've got pockets like these, and you've decided to take outdoor photos in November, you use them.

Are you sewing up anything snuggly this weekend??


Patterns: Lola // Virginia
Size: 6 // S
Alterations: Took out 2 in from the neckline // none
Fabric: Sweatshirt knit + ribbing // Bamboo terry knit

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Silky Drawers

Hiya guys!  Happy Hump Day!

As you all know, I've been short on time lately, and haven't been able to sew as much as I'd like to.  I've been turning to smaller projects recently for some instant gratification in between larger projects. I never really know how to take pictures of the little things so I usually just shove them in a drawer without pictures.

After I made this set, I decided that really wasn't fair.  After all, I make some pretty cute undies for myself :)

These really take that cake as the cutest in my drawer.


The undies are my beloved rosy lady shorts.  I think I've made 5 pairs so far, and I love them all.  I finished this pair with stretch lace that has scallops on one edge and polkadots on the other.  It's not quite as stretchy as other stretch laces I've used, but it didn't really have any effect on the construction.

The fabric is scrap from my miz moszelle dress and it's still the greatest thing ever.  

Bonus tip: if you have issues with jersey dresses clinging to your undies, make some new ones out of the scraps.  It'll solve that problem stat.

The bra is the Sarah Longline Bra from Ohhh Lulu.  I fell in love with the longline design, and snatched it up over the summer.  I still need to do a little tweaking with the fit.  Right now I'm having some gaping in under arm area.  I think that two things are going on with that:  the fabric stretched out a little when I attached the elastic, and it's an area I always have issues with in RTW bras.  

The drafting and instructions on this bra were perfect, though.  Everything matched up and it was really simple to put together.  I subbed out the elastic at the bottom for more stretch lace.  It does nothing for support, but I love the way it looks :)

The cups are actually a LOT more supportive than I was expecting.  I've never worn a wireless, foamless bra that is mildly supportive before, so major props to Sarah for the drafting on this one.  I don't know that I'd wear this as a bra outside of the house, but for someone with a smaller * chest, it would definitely work. 

*By smaller, I don't mean just those people who don't need a bra anyway.  I just mean not an E cup like certain members of the Craft Sanctuary household.  

The final thing I need to tweak is the longline part of the bra.  It's sooooo big on me.  You can see it on my dress form a bit, but my bust-to-underbust ratio is a bit more significant than hers is.  

Despite my issues, I'd totally recommend this pattern.  I'm dying to make one with mesh like the sample.  Bras are not easy to fit, so I didn't expect to get away without adjustments.  

Those lady shorts, though, they're pure gold from the start. Go make some.  NOW.

Size: L // 6
Fabric: Magic silk jersey left over from here (also see Sally's newer, shinier make which may or may not be as fabulous as my miz mozelle.  So I'm biased, whatever.  I made it.)
Alterations: Left off the bra hooks, cut an xs for the back band // none

Friday, October 10, 2014


Hi y'all!  Long time, no talk!  As most of you know, I'm insanely busy this year (grad school + work) and have so much less time to sew than I used to!  It's been really hard for me to scale back sewing and blogging and not feel guilty about it because I miss you guys!

My most recent make may be my most favorite, though.  It took me a few scattered hours over three weekends to put this beauty together, but I think it was well worth it....

Meet Bleuet!

As with all of my other Deer + Doe makes so far, I didn't have to make any adjustments to the fit to get a wearable garment (other than grading in at the over bust/shoulders which is a standard adjustment in all patterns for me) which is pretty flipping awesome.

The real miracle of it all is that I didn't have to do a FBA.  Seriously, what kind of magic are they cooking up over at Deer + Doe?  I'm obsessed with the drafting of all of the patterns I've tried so far because they just fit so well!

If I'm being a stickler here, though, I think I could definitely make a few adjustments for next time.

I've lost a little bit of weight recently (and inches because I'm so short any change is kind of major) so I think I could size down.  I've got some extra room in there, but I think it'll be pretty perfect as-is for layering throughout the fall.  I also could stand to shorten the bodice by about an inch and do a little swayback adjustment.  That beautiful bow is a little low in the back :)

Speaking of bows, how cute is this?  Seriously, though, I'm obsessing over the way the pattern and the fabric came together on this one.  I never would have thought to put it all together, but Sally came to the rescue.  She assumed (because, like, duhhh) that I bought the dotted swiss expressly for contrasting this cotton, and mentioned it to me!  Naturally, I pretended like it was my idea all along...

Oh, and thanks to all of you who helped me pick buttons!  I went with the coral and I think they're a winning choice! (Although I was seriously tempted by the "home is wear the heart is" parody potential lol)

I think that it's really the finishing that makes this dress fabulous, though.  The bow, collar, and all of the princess seams are topstitched which really brings the whole thing together in my opinion.  The hem is faced, which I also think is a nice touch on the inside.  It makes me feel all fancy :)

I'm in love with my Bleuet and the fabric and the buttons.  Really, just all of it.

How's your make coming along?

If you've been stitching up Deer & Doe, don't forget to add a photo to the flickr group!

Pattern: Bleuet by Deer & Doe
Size: 40, graded to a 38 in the shoulders
Alterations: NONE!
Fabric: 1/2 yd white dotted swiss + 2 yds glorious quilting cotton from The Needle Shop that is now   all gone :(