Sewing in my underwear

I had a “oh shit, it’s already late June” moment this week. My dad always announced on July 4th that summer was half over and didn’t we feel sad about that? Although we’d argue that there was still plenty left, I somehow grew up to internalize his means of measuring a summer.

So this weekend I decided to ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING. Yes.

I started with all that warm-weather sewing I meant to do with the fabric from Los Angeles. The first step was kicking someone out of the sewing nook.


Okay fine. You can stay. But only because you’re cute.

It’s so hot in our apartment that I turned on a fan, lowered the shades, and sewed in my underwear. I don’t have a dressmaker’s form so I’m always having to try the garment on. Might as well skip a step in the undress/dress/undress game.

I was in the zone. Twelve hours went by like nothin’…one project turned into another. It was a complete time warp where the only sign that hours were passing was the number of times  the radio played “Girlfriend” by Justin Bieber (I have been banned from singing it around the house anymore). I made myself go to bed at 1am, then got up today and sewed a long while longer.

Okay…so here’s what I have to show for my sewing bonanza…are you ready?? Untitled

For a warm-up I re-assembled the blue vintage dress that I’d previously disassembled to turn into a pattern. Easy peasy.


It needed some buttons. I’ve had these old Parisian rhinestone buttons forever – it’s time they were put to use. Some stones are missing but they’re still cute.


Then I cut into the nice white stretch cotton with watercolored flowers to make a summer day dress.

Watercolor Fabric

This turned into an epic misadventure. I tried mixing and matching patterns (the bodice from this with the skirt from this) and I inadvertently created a Laura Ashley dress from the 1990s and not in a cool ironic way. I had to re-cut the bodice, re-sew the skirt, re-do the zipper a million times. Justin Bieber could not lighten the mood. In the end I just used the 1940s Butterick pattern from last summer with the same edits as last time.


It’s very good for flowery twirling!


Then I took a gamble and sewed with jersey knit for the first time. It wasn’t bad! This tips roundup from Luvinthemommyhood was helpful. What I took away from it was to: use a ballpoint sewing needle, use the “lightning stitch”, and pull the fabric just a teensy bit as it feeds through the machine.

Jersey Knit

I followed this tutorial from Elle Apparel and made a maxi skirt with a folded yoga pant waist. It was so easy and the skirt is super comfy!


There was a half yard of jersey left, so for my encore project I made a dolman-sleeved jersey top. I traced a knit shirt I got from Forever 21:


It was just a front piece, a back piece, double-sided cuffs, and a rolled neckline. This tutorial from ikat on how to do a rolled jersey knit binding was incredibly helpful. I left the bottom hem unfinished. It’s not perfect, but for sewing jersey knit without a serger I was pleased.



That concludes my sewing binge. After cleaning up this mess….

Sewing room

….I’m enjoying a glass of wine and some decompression on the couch. Read and I are watching Cheers on Neflix from the beginning this summer. I like that it’ll last us a while! After this, there’s always Mash. 



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  5. Kristina · June 30, 2012

    Hi, I just found you via Lauren’s blog. Love this post 🙂 I’m totally known for sewing in my underwear as well. Love the big plant in the picture with the blue dress! Does your cat eat it? I’m trying to have more green stuff inside our apartment, but have to be careful which plants I buy because one of our cats eats anything that even remotely resembles grass 🙂
    The fabric you use are so beautiful! My favoruite is the watercolor flowers on the dress. And finally someone posts a picture of the messy floor that comes with sewing :))

    • foxflat · June 30, 2012

      Hi Kristina! I love your blog – so glad you commented so that I can add another great one to my blog reader 🙂 Our cats do chew on this tiny palm-tree succulent; it looks pretty sad. They’ve stayed away from the ficus and the one you liked in the picture.

  6. Brigitte · June 26, 2012

    bonjour de France, J’aime beaucoup, vous avez du talent. Brigitte

    Hello of France, I like very much, you have of the talent. I have not a good English sorry!. Brigitte

  7. skylarchastain · June 26, 2012

    Your cat looks almost exactly like one of mine, and she happens to be a basket-hopper as well!

  8. Julie · June 25, 2012

    Really like the fabric you chose for the maxi skirt. Was reading through the comments on the tutorial and came across you there….Looks great on.

  9. Cassy · June 25, 2012

    Fantastic sewing! Sounds like you had some pretty good flow moments.

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  11. gaskellreader · June 25, 2012

    dang, now i feel like i need to do more…beautiful dresses! 🙂

  12. Molly · June 25, 2012

    Everything looks great, but I absolutely love the flowery twirling dress. I’ve been hating my wardrobe lately, and I’m terribly envious of your skills to create your own!

  13. Kim · June 25, 2012

    Nice work! I think that my favorite might actually be the top. Yay for seeing you soon!

  14. dressesandme · June 25, 2012

    Wow! What an awesome effort! I love, love, love the white and floral print dress! I don’t normally go for sleeves on a smear dress but the way you’ve done it looks lovely!

  15. Lisa Caffo · June 25, 2012

    They’re all lovely!

  16. beth lehman · June 25, 2012

    wow!! you really got a lot done!! i love the second dress – that fabric is fantastic and it looks like a great fit. as for knits, i have just started to fool around with knits. so far, the fits are great for my kids, but not so much for me. LOVE this photo of your sewing space!! after a bag and a quilt this week, it took me the better part of a day to clean up!!

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