Sunday, April 26, 2015


Hey there, blogging land!

My poor, neglected blog has been alone for too long.  I finally had some time this weekend (and some nice weather) so I could get out and take pictures of my shiny new Sophia Dress.

I have a huge backlog of makes that will hopefully get to say hello now that it's not freezing and raining or snowing all the time!  More on that later :)

This dress is a story of poor impulse control if there ever was one.  The second I saw the godet version of Sophia, I had to have her.  Click--preordered.  Then, there was this swan fabric.  Click, done.  And, I mean I HAD to have this floral voile.  I might as well get as much as I could in that box for the shipping costs, right?

When I bought them, I had no intention of using them together.  My original idea was lace panels on the skirt, but they arrived next to one another in the package and refused to be separated.  I love the combination and LOVE this dress.

I was really, really, anal about those swans matching, the darts matching, and the waist seam matching.  I was so successful, the Mr. insisted on taking a zoomed in photo of the front.  Not my most flattering look, but when swan butts AND darts match up, you roll with it.

If I'm being honest, the fitting here isn't perfect.  I am not crazy about the fitting in the bust (it's a bit pointy and tight), and I forgot to shorten the bodice, so it keeps riding up.  Most days, I'm not feeling too honest, though, so I'll stick with it because I love the overall effect.  I'll also probably wear it with a belt so the riding up doesn't make me nuts.

I chose to fully line the dress because of the sheer voile, and serged everything.  It's very pretty inside (and out, if I do say so myself).

There's not much else I can say, so I'll let the photos do the talking.

Pattern: Sophia from By Hand London
Size: 4, graded to a 2 at the shoulders
Adjustments: fully lined the skirt with a 1/2 circle skirt
                      shorted the skirt by 4in
Fabric: Pongee Swan Cotton, Flocked Cotton Voile, bemberg rayon lining

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lingerie Lessons

By now, it's no secret that I'm obsessed with making lingerie.  I'm still struggling with the fit on my marlborough bra (3 muslins later) and have tried out a LOT of different patterns recently.  Seriously, it's like a mini underwear sweatshop up in here.

Here's what I've learned so far:

  1. Woven undies are not for me.  I've made 4 different patterns and at best I feel ehhhh about them.  At worst, my butt just won't fit.
  2. Comfort is king.  I'm not going to wear something again and again if it doesn't just melt away with layers.
  3. Different clothes = different underwear.  Soft bras are king when lounging around the house, but they're not leaving the house with me if I'm doing more than walking the dog.
  4. I wear foam bras all the time.  I know that there is a way to make a soft bra that is supportive for larger cup sizes, but I haven't found one I've liked yet.  I prefer the feel and look of foam-lined bras and have a drawer full of very expensive ones that I reach for again and again.
  5. Examine what you already own and buy lots of, if you don't have something in your drawer, maybe there's a reason.  Lingerie is heavily influenced by style, just like the rest of your wardrobe.
  6. Lace wins.  Every time.  Picot-edge elastic is a close second, but you can't beat the comfort of a stretch lace finish on undies.  Plus, if you do it right, there aren't lines under most clothes.
  7. Organization, organization, organization.  All those little pieces are not easy to keep track of!

So where does that leave me?  

I've ordered some foam and a pattern from makebra, and I'm going to try my luck with making foam bras, since they make up most of my day-to-day wardrobe.  Does anyone have any experience with their patterns?

What lessons have you learned?

Patterns: Pretty as a Picnic and Skirted Thong from The Secrets of Sewing Lingerie
Size: 10 // 12

Friday, February 13, 2015


One of the things I've been doing lately is making lists.  I've got a few TNT lingerie patterns, and I'm working on weeding out the ones that don't work for me and the ones that need some alterations.

The best part, though, is that I've identified a few patterns that work that I've been making again and again.  This really helps when I've got some scraps that I want to use up, and don't want to waste the fabric as a muslin.  One of the things I've noticed with my making is that sizes are not necessarily the same across patterns from the same designer, and different designs from the same designer don't always work for me.

I'm a bit obsessed with Ohhh Lulu at the moment, and this definitely holds true with her designs.  I've tried a few that just weren't for me, and a few that I love.

Most recently, I made up 3 patterns that are perfection, Ava, Gia, and Jasmine.  I wanted to make a set with options.  Different clothes require different undies, ya know?

The construction was really straightforward on all of them .  The only change I made was to add a full powernet lining to the bra, and a hook closure at the back.  The fabric I used is really lightweight, and needed a little extra stability.

And, can I just say how glad I am to FINALLY find a thong pattern that is comfortable!  My drawer was looking a little sparse in that department because I just couldn't find a pattern I liked, and couldn't bear spending $15 on my favorite ones at the department store.

I'm really happy with how all three garments turned out.  I love the striped/pink combo and the fit of everything is perfect.  I'm a little perturbed at the number of skipped stitches, though.  My sewing machine just didn't seem to like this fabric/elastic combo.  In some places, it didn't want to sew at all and I had to go back over again.  From the outside, it all looks fine.  The insides aren't so pretty, though... any advice for me?

So. Many. Skipped. Stitches.

Pattern: Ava // Gia // Jasmine
Size: S // M // S
Materials: Oatmeal Striped Jersey, stretch lace galloon, power mesh, 1in band elastic, hook & eye closure, picot edge elastic
Alterations: added a hook + eye and a full power mesh lining to the bra

Monday, February 2, 2015

Eric's Hat

It's finally stopped snowing here in Chicagoland, about 2 feet later!  Just in time for my guy's birthday! Today also makes a year that I've been living in Chicago!  It's a busy day all-around I guess.

In honor of that, I have some photos of a hat a made a year ago and took photos of month ago.  I'm ON IT over here.

This hat took me FOREVER to make for a couple of reasons: 
1.  It's in sport-weight wool, so tiny needles.  Ugh.
2.  About 4 inches in, I accidentally stepped on my needles and snapped them.  Needless to say, it took me a month or two to get new ones and resume knitting.

The pattern was super mindless and easy to knit up.  And, although sport weight yarn is not fun in my book it definitely makes the hat warmer and looks really pretty.  This project was kind of an "emergency knit" last year during the polar vortex (which, hopefully you'll all blocked out) when my guy didn't have a hat.

What?  Who lives in Chicago without a hat?  Well, that's an interesting story.

Last year, if you recall, it was subzero for weeks on end.  It was dangerous to go outside with exposed skin.  He started the year off with a hat, but about a day or two into the polar vortex of miserableness, he was waiting at the bus stop in the snow with a woman.  It was negative something awful outside and she was severely underdressed.  A jacket, no gloves, hat, or scarf.  As she stood there shivering next to him, my mister just couldn't take it.  He pulled off his hat and gave it to her.

And that's how he lost his last hat.

I, naturally, yelled at him for running around without a hat on.  Secretly, though, I was touched by his act of kindness and 100% sure that he was a much better person than I was.

I've told him if he gives this hat away, I'll kill him because it's knitted up with love, and that takes forever.

Secretly, though, I really wouldn't mind.  Things like this remind me why I'm marrying him.

Don't tell him, though.  I really don't want to make another hat.

"Look! I'm a blogger!  Pose"

Ravelry notes here.

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