Hello! Today I have a work in progress that I hope you can help me with: PANTS.

I have decided to start my Weekender Wardrobe challenge off with the toughest/most intimidating part of my wardrobe pattern (Simplicity 5299): the pants! I have never made pants before, but I’ve been watching a lot of the Dick van Dyke show and Laura Petrie (played by Mary Tyler Moore) always has the greatest cigarette pants on, so I’ve been tempted to overcome my fear. I’ve done some fitting on my own, but I’ve now exhausted my (very limited) pants-fitting knowledge. In hope that you can help, I have some lovely photos of my abdomen to share with you:


diagonal wrinkles. These are not apparent on the other side (with the zipper in the side seam)


Front, with wrinkles extending from CF seam

As you can see, there are horizontal wrinkles extending from the CF seam and diagonally through(?) the side seam. I’ve been consulting Colette’s Clover fitting guide but nothing there is jumping out as my pants fitting issue. It may be helpful to know that the fabric I’m using is NOT stretchy (at alllll). If you would like 12000 other pictures of these pants you can look at my blog post (where you can see the steps I’ve already taken), and I’d really love it if you left a comment/critique/suggestion here or there!






“What shall I wear to my graduate program holiday party?” I thought. I briefly considered wearing something totally different than what I wore last year (a navy blue dress) and decided against it. Navy blue it is!

This is simplicity 1795, a full-skirted dress with kimono sleeves and a v-back. It’s made here in navy blue poly satin, which doesn’t photograph particularly well. I made it in 2008, pre-blog and actually before I ever discovered the vintage/retro/sewing blog community! It is made exactly to the pattern, with no modifications in either construction or fit. Lots of interior pinking can be seen on my blog!



I decided to double up on to-do tasks and stitch up my very first version of Colette’s new Laurel for JuliaBobbin’s 2nd Mad Men Challenge. I was inspired my Megan Draper’s colorful, modern prints (as were some other challenge participants!) and lucky for me I had the perfect stretch cotton in my tub already!

I had a great run of luck on this project, because I did not make a muslin for this pattern, but I think it fits rather nicely! The shift style and the gathered sleeve cuffs, paired with my wild paisley print, make this retro dress very late 60s, dont you think?

More on my blog, here.



I’ve been tracking my progress developing some Tried and True patterns at my blog, and wanted to stop in here and show off my awesome dress :)


Its a modern pattern (a seriously reworked Butterick 4386) and Alexander Henry Fabric, but in a classic 1950s-60s “housewife” day dress shape, which I love. My hope is to find a pattern in this shape to perfect (next up, Butterick 2444) and then focus on fabric and embellishment to make several easy dresses.

To increase the vintage look, I’d need to get a crinoline!! Any suggestions for good ones that aren’t too costumey/poofy?

I did my first handpicked zipper, taking the advice of Gertie. I’m pretty proud of it!

More about it here.

Y’all offer fabulous advice –any thoughts?