The Jenny Muslin

After much debate I decided to sew 3 pencil skirts from the Jenny skirt pattern at BurdaStyle.

But first! A muslin!

If any of you out there have sewn with BurdaStyle patterns then you know how notoriously BAD their sewing and construction instructions are. For real, one of the steps is to cut out the paper pattern pieces. Really? You mean I don’t just use them all on one big huge sheet? Sorry, that is one thing that I think everyone should figure out without it being said. Now, mentioning that for a skirt you want to pick your size based on your hip measurements is something that most people may not be able to figure out.

Enough, on to the muslin. I think this is the first pattern that I have not done a single alteration to. whoohoo! Here are some pics.

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So, for real, I’m totally obsessed with this pattern. I want to make it in every color and pattern and print. I want to wear it every day. I some how think that if I wear this skirt every day I’ll just be the happiest high school math teacher ever. With cute little blouses!?!? YES! What? Me? Wearing blouses? I must be getting old. Or sick. Someone do a temperature read!

But on a serious note: until you’re really really really really good at making patterns that fit your own body, please make a muslin for every. single. garment that you make. It will seriously make your life so much easier. And don’t take shortcuts when making your muslin. You may cuss and cry and have to make 8 muslins to get a garment to fit you perfectly, but when it comes time to cut into your pricey gorgeous and sold out and no longer available fashion fabric, you’ll know exactly what you are doing and not have to worry at all about what problems you may run into. You’ll already have run into every problem you could possibly run into.

My other tip is iron every single step of the way. No, seriously. Iron everything. Every single step. Every seam should be pressed open. Iron until you hate ironing. And then when your garment is done, people will be asking you where you  bought it instead of how you made it.

Fall/Back-to-School Wardrobe Planning: Skirts

Skirts are awesome. They are relatively easy to make, comfortable to wear (if they are the right size that is), and, as always, go well with POCKETS! 

Skirts are awesome

picture by HaoJan


I have 2 skirts that I have made since spring. They were both made using Cal Patch’s Design-It-Yourself Clothes. One is a short A-line skirt in a spring green. The other is a heavy-weight denim skirt with patch pockets. While I like both of these, I really want some more work appropriate skirts. 

On a recent trip to Denver Fabrics (awesome store btw, but not the same as the website!) I totally scored an awesome grey and light blue plaid wool and an awesome black with grey pinstripe wool. I’ve also got some magenta-y-purple corduroy and some grey corduroy. And finally, I’ve got several yards of a lovely thick red cotton sateen and 3 yards of black cotton/linen blend. 

I’m thinking pencil skirts. Maybe not out of all of the fabrics. 

Skirt #1: The Spring Skirt. I drafted the pattern myself. I don’t know the designer of the fabric, but I did get it at Fancy Tiger. They have other colors. 

Beignet Skirt

Beignet Skirt by Colette Patterns


Skirt #2: The jean skirt. I drafted this pattern myself, also. It’s based on the previous pattern. The fabric is the heaviest weight denim that I could find at Denver Fabrics. I should have done a shaped waistband on this. But I was too impatient and lazy. So, the waistband folds over awkwardly. Good for just hanging out in. And, lesson learned: don’t be lazy when making clothes. You’ll end up with something less than desireable. 

Skirt #3: (planned) The pinstripe wool will be made up in either the Colette Patterns Beignet skirt OR the BurdaStyle Jenny skirt. They are both such awesome skirts. One has buttons down the front, a self belt, POCKETS!, and high-waisted style. The other is very high-waisted and rather plain, but I think that the plain cut will show off the fabric. I already can’t wait to wear it. Oh man. 

Jenny Skirt with suspenders

Jenny skirt in velvet by BurdaStyle


Skirt #4: (planned) Then, I have that wonderful thick red cotton sateen. I need a red high-waisted pencil skirt. NEED I tell you. For realz. So, I think I’ll make the Beignet skirt out of this as well. I’m thinking that a gored skirt will look best in a solid fabric. So, I think that the Beignet wins out over the Jenny. 

Obviously, I need some other skirt patterns. But these two are so great. OK, I don’t know from personal experience that they are great,but I’m guessing they are. 

Have you guys seen any other skirt patterns that seem worthwhile to make?

Fall/Back-to-School Wardrobe Planning: Dresses

[Edit: I just got my camera working again and have convinced Nate to help me take photos this afternoon. Pics will be uploaded ASAP.]

It’s still hot here in Denver, but school starts in about 3 weeks. I’ve been frantically planning my back-to-school wardrobe in my head. Now it’s time to get some of it down on e-paper.

So far, I’ve made 2.75 dresses this summer. I am almost finished with that third dress [sigh, I’ve had so many responsibilities this week that I’ve not had the sewing time that I crave]. Also, for those that don’t know, I’m a high school math teacher. So, with my work outfits, keep that in mind. And I am of the opinion that the right cardigan can make any outfit “work-appropriate.”

Dress #1: Deep-Impact dress from the Built by Wendy book on dresses in Wonderland Rabbit Hole fabric by Momo in Tomato. I made this dress in the spring, I still <3 wearing it. It’s also great for work. Looks waaaay cute with either tights and/or a cardigan (short or long-sleeved). Plus, POCKETS! are great for teachers. Where else am I going to put all of the random crap that I carry around with me daily. I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to wear my fanny pack (that I made, of course, and actually wear on a regular basis. While biking mostly.) to school. High school kids are vicious.

Dress #2: The Colette Patterns Parfait Dress in saffron cotton voile (Anna Maria Horner Dobby Pastry Lines). POCKETS! AGAIN! OMG, you guys, I am so in love with this dress. It is the perfect summer dress. And with a little cardigan thrown on over it, it will be the perfect fall dress. Some tights underneath will take it into late fall. Yes, please. I want to wear this dress every day. The only gripe I have with this pattern is the facing. Geez, guys, facings SUCK. Please just make two of the bodice and self-line the dress. You’ll be much happier you did so. But, I love love love love the fabric. I want all of my clothes made out of this fabric. But cotton voile is a bit on the delicate side.

Dress #3:  The Colette Patterns Parfait Dress (again! yay!) in red cotton with 1″ white polka dots. This is the dress that I’ve been working on all week. This is the dress that I’ve wanted to work on all week but have had too many other things that have taken up my time. [sigh] It’s going to be a stunner of a dress when I get the @#$% thing done.

Those are the dresses I’ve accomplished this summer. Here are the dresses I want to accomplish before school starts.

Dress #4: Colette Patterns Rooibos Dress in green stripes with black accents. Also: POCKETS! Man, I love dresses with pockets. I’m making this dress up in green and black because our school colors are green and black. Every Thursday is Green & Black day and I want something awesome to wear instead of the over-sized men’s athletic wicking polo shirt that we were given to wear.

Dress #5: This one is a pattern of my own design. Which also happens to be the first dress pattern that I’ve designed myself. Ever. I was inspired by the midriff piece on the Parfait dress. This dress will have a boatneck on the front and a bit of scoop neck on the back (maybe, I’m not done planning the back). It will have a slight A-line skirt and side-seam pocket. And the fabric, if it’s still in stock at Fancy Tiger when I get paid next, is amazing. It will need to be lined.

Future dresses: Vogue has all of their patterns on sale. $3.99. I ordered like 10 patterns. So we’ll see what I make next.

Also, I need a slip or 3 desperately. Yes, mom, I finally at this late stage in my life have acknowledged the purpose and usefulness of the slip. I can’t handle how my tights stick to my dresses. It’s awkward. Once a fabulous man on the sidewalk complemented me on my yellow tights and at the same time criticized me for not wearing a slip and letting the skirt ride up so that I had to keep tugging it down. [sigh]

Next: skirts


I’m on a quest to dress myself completely in self-made clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. Join me on my journey. I’ve armed myself with a sewing machine, library card, and waaaaaay too much extra time.


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