A happy accident!

I’ll get to the sewing, but first: Francis.


Now if that’s not that cutest damn thing I’ve ever seen I’m not sure what is. Who doesn’t want to be greeted by that little face everyday?

Now the sewing.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about the PJ sewalong. I was still not thrilled with the pattern I purchased, as blogged about here. I wanted to add sleeves so I decided to start with the top pieces from the Butterick pattern as a base but modify the top to add the sleeves. Since I couldn’t wrap my brain around just whipping up those changes on my own, I used the top of another dress pattern I have made that has sleeves already and then further amended the sleeve pieces to make them a little longer and wider at the bottom (them were originally tight, elbow length sleeves).

After making all of those changes, which is really my first attempt to draft my own clothing patterns, I figured a muslin was in order to make sure it all worked. It did – kind of.

But first: WTF is up with Butterick sizing?

Based on my measurements I should have been making a medium. But when I cut out the pieces and compared them to other tops I’ve made I knew it would be WAY too big. So I cut it down to the smallest size, an extra-small.

I made a wearable muslin out of some pretty pink and white cotton that I bought on sale because it was too cheap and cute to pass up. I never had a real purpose in mind, so I guess this qualifies as my very first stash-busting project. I wish it had turned out better.

It was just a touch too tight across the chest (that problem is a first, let me tell you) and WAY too big still every else. Honestly, it was absurd. It looked like I was wearing a really pretty potato sack, which is why the photos below are taken on my duct tape me and not the real me.  Now I’m not trying to make some sexy skin tight lingerie here, but I still want my sleep dress to look nice.

I like the actual look of it, if only it fit. Also, since I was intending this for PJs its WAY too short to wear in public. But I thought the pleats turned out nicely for the first time I’ve tried them by hand like this (the pattern called for gathers but I didn’t think that would be very flattering when made out of a semi-stiff cotton).

Since I’m going to have to take the whole damn thing apart and rework the fit of the bodice, I didn’t bother finished the neck, arm holes or hem.


The pattern up close:


Just for kicks, I thought I would try my trick for all dresses that are too big – tight belt right at the waist. Since I’ve lost about five pounds this happens rather often and I’m not mad about it, I’d rather belt things that are too big than be too big to wear them.


It actually looked kind of cute this way, which is why I’m calling this a happy accident. Although this isn’t really screaming PJs to me, if I added a few inches to the length it’d be a really simple/cute dress pattern.

But needless to say my PJs for the sewalong need some more work/planning. I’m open to ideas at this point as I feel a little stumped. Hopefully everyone else’s are going better. How are your PJs coming along?


WWWP5K update: I’m trying to keep good my promise of sharing more of my fitness experiences as well in light of the upcoming Worldwide WordPress 5k. I’m still failing at getting in a run on the weekends I’m in Bloomington, which is every weekend right now as Pat’s about to graduate. I did get into my Zumba class yesterday though, which as always was awesome. Seriously, if you haven’t tried Zumba you should! But I keep telling myself I should run a mile or two afterwards to add to the workout and get more miles in. And yesterday I actually did it! I didn’t do a full running workout because I have other things to do than spend two hours at the gym but I did hop on the treadmill for a quick two miles. Fitting in shorter distances like this allows me to work on my speed too. I ran two full miles at a much faster speed than I usually do. I know that if I keep working on my longer runs for endurance and pushing the speed on shorter runs I’ll eventually be able to go longer distances at my faster speed. It’s a technique that’s worked well so far for me anyway.

[Tip] This is something I do when running on a treadmill to push myself a little bit further: I set a goal for my run, usually a distance goal. Then, after I reach that goal I look at my other two measurements – time and calories. Then, if I’m not completely dying, I push myself to extend my run to meet another nearby goal, like the next round number of calories burned or a time marker. This probably sounds confusing so here’s my example from yesterday.

My goal was to run two miles at a quick pace. When I hit that, I looked at calories at time. I was at like… 215 calories and 19 minutes (these are rough estimates… I can’t actually remember). So to push myself I said I would keep going until I hit 250 calories or 25 minutes, whichever came last (unless I died before then). It’s a pretty mental game I play with myself but it really does help push myself just a little bit further each run.

One more tip: If I’m running outside and I’ve reach my time or distance goal, I’ll try and make myself do just one more song (because I always listen to headphones when I run – usually Lady Gaga Pandora station, don’t judge me).

What do you do to push yourself through a tough workout?


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