Made some new clothes. . .

I was rather creative before I left for the big trip to Egypt making a number of new garments:

  • a knit skirt in red/white narrow stripes (which ended up being too thin to wear without a lining, so it’s still in-the-works).  I need to make a lining for it.
  • a short-sleeve floral-print top with a shirttail hem (based on a new pattern I drafted)
  • a boxy short-sleeve knit top (that ended up looking less cute than the garment from which I knocked it off because I didn’t realize until too late that the original was cute because the fabric was sort-of see-through, meaning you could tell your body wasn’t just a sack of potatoes shape! ha ha. My version wasn’t see through and makes me look huge!)
  • and a 3/4-length sleeve, boatneck knit top with a swingy sweep. This one was my favorite up until the 3rd washing. . . it must have shrunk about 3″ in length!  Oops, so much for being in a hurry to start sewing and not washing my fabric before I cut it out.  Next time I’ll take the time, especially on these knit fabrics.

I drafted the patterns for all of my new items, then whipped up the garments in no time, mostly on my serger with some hem finishing using the zig-zag on my regular machine.

I only took pics of one of the items, my favorite (prior to the shrinking issue!).

3/4 Sleeve Knit boatneck tee with swing at sweep

3/4 Sleeve Knit boatneck tee with swing at sweep

I think I’ll make a few more of this 3/4-length sleeve style since it fit well (at least before I shrunk the heck out of it!). It’s cute with jeans.


It’s Shoemaking Time! Yes, I’m learning to make my own shoes.

I’ve been interested in learning how to make my own shoes for a while now. Thankfully, I found a wonderful online instructor, Sveta Kletina, who has the most extensive collection of videos on all-things-shoemaking! (

Making custom shoes has a lot of similarities to custom clothing projects; working on a form (a shoe last instead of a dress form — see the pic below), creating an initial block pattern and correcting the pattern, then designing a specific style from the block pattern, and cutting and sewing the fabric (typically leather in the case of shoes), and then lasting the shoe (that’s where you bring the “uppers” (the parts of the shoe we are all used to seeing) together with the insole and outsole and heels.

Shoe lasts with altered dimensions for a better fit.

Shoe lasts with altered dimensions for a better fit.

Here’s my initial work on my first block pattern. It starts by taping off the last with masking tape, then transferring that taped “pattern” to cardboard, then making a mock-up on soft paper (like printer paper) and trying it out on the last to see how it fits.

Shoe pattern from masking tape

This is the OUTER half of the shoe’s masking tape pattern, being set on to the cardboard.


Paper pattern on last

Paper mock-up to check the fit on the last.


That’s where I’m at so far. . . more to come!