Closet Case Kalle Shirt

This is the first garment in several months that I’ve finished just for myself – not for a class, not sewing for anyone else. I liked the design of the Closet Case Kalle Shirt as soon as I saw it and printed it out immediately.

I sewed the popover style view B with the full collar and one pocket. I did shorten the length of both the front and back by about three inches. So it’s longer than view A but shorter than the original view B. I thought that might be more versatile for my wardrobe.The instructions were great – clear with well-labeled pieces. I liked the little tip for forming curved pocket corners and I appreciate a slightly smaller undercollar piece. Details like that make for a good pattern.

The placket goes together well if you pay special attention to all of those indicated fold lines, which I didn’t, ’cause I was lazy. Take my advice, follow the placket instructions carefully and you’ll be successful.

This fun polka-dot fabric is an especially smooth and finely woven Japanese cotton from The Cloth Pocket. I love it! It’s so soft and surprisingly doesn’t wrinkle much for a cotton. It’s so well printed that it’s difficult to tell the front side from the back. It’s thin but opaque, the perfect shirt fabric. I couldn’t find it on their website but if you come across it, definitely pick some up.

Buttons are just some simple plastic ones from Joann. I went with black so as not to compete with the fabric.

This shirt feels like a nice store bought shirt: great fabric, everything inside is finished with a serger, cute and stylish design.

This shirt might be just the thing I needed to get out of my sewing-funk. It’s a simple design with a lot of style which makes it easy to sew but also rewarding to finish.

Next, I’m starting a new historical costume which should be quite a bit of work but I hope finishing this shirt will inspire me to get sewing again!

Sequin Grainline Lark Tee

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been sewing much lately. I’ve had a few sewing setbacks with a couple patterns I’ve tried and I just haven’t been feeling that inspired. But I have made a few things, like this sparkly Lark Tee I sewed as a sample for a class I taught at the Cloth Pocket.

I got the fabric from a swap. It’s a burnout jersey of mysterious fiber content with tiny sequins stitched throughout with clear thread. And before you ask, yes, it is itchy. But only on the hems and collar and not enough to keep me from wearing the shirt. 😉

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern except for grading up a size at the hips. Grainline patterns tend to fit me pretty well although I could probably use a swayback adjustment.

Overall I really like the fit. It’s slightly curved in the waist and the shortest sleeves hit me at a good length. I think this will be my new go-to t-shirt pattern!

So what do you do when you’re not feeling inspired to sew? Do you do something else entirely? Or try to sew something quick and easy? How do you get your sewjo back??

Linden Sweatshirt and Peg Leg Leggings

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

Both of these garments were made as samples for some new classes I’m teaching here in Austin at The Cloth Pocket. Scroll to the end of the post if you want more info on that!

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

Let’s start with the top which is the Grainline Linden Sweatshirt. I love everything Grainline does. Their patterns fit me well with just a couple minor changes. I simply graded out to a bigger size at the hip. I like the loose, boxy feels of this shirt which makes it easy to fit on others.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

I made View A with long sleeves, cuffs at the arms, and a hem band.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

The fabric was free from a swap. I think it’s a cotton blend. The pattern is simple and raglans sleeves are easy to sew so it came together quickly.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

The neckline is quite wide and open which I personally like but some of my students wanted a smaller neck opening. Something to consider…

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

I’ve made the Pattern for Pirates Peg Leg leggings before. They’re pretty basic in that they don’t have any pockets or style lines but I like that they don’t have an outer seamline which means there are only three pattern pieces. The waistband doesn’t need elastic, either, which is a plus. You could seriously sew these leggings up in a couple hours from cut to finish.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

I used this fabric from the Cloth Pocket. This time I made the full-length leg version.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

I also lengthened the center front to bring the waistband higher. That’s probably a change I’ll suggest in my class as well.


I’m teaching several classes in the coming months so if you’re in Austin and want to learn something new, check it out…

  • Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs – The Peg Leg leggings are a great pattern to show off a fantastic print and with few pieces to cut and seams to sew this makes it the perfect knit beginner class. If you’ve made a couple woven garments but haven’t tried a knit garment yet, this would be a good class for you. This is a one day class on either March 20 or May 1.
  • Grainline Lark Tee – This t-shirt class is an intermediate level for knits. You’ll learn to cut and sew with knits, sew a set-in sleeve in flat, and add a knit collar to a neckline. This is also a one day class that I’m teaching on March 25.
  • Grainline Archer Class – If you’ve read this blog at all, you know I love the Grainline Archer shirt. I’ve made it nine times! My Archer class covers everything you need to know to make a classic button-down shirt over four class sessions April 18, 20, 25, & 27. We’re also offering a men’s shirt pattern alternative if you’re a dude or want to sew a shirt for one. This is an advanced level class so you should have made a few garments before you try this class.
  • Made by Rae Washi Dress – The Washi dress is a beloved pattern by many and is a great beginner dress pattern. You’ll learn how to sew pleats, attach a facing, bind armholes, and sew with elastic thread. If you’ve made a simple garment like a tank top or elastic skirt, this would be a good class to take to advance your skills on a bigger project. This class is held over two class sessions, April 22&29, and May 9&11.

Grainline Linden and Patterns for Pirates Peg Leg

Another Archer and #SewingCommunityGives

Grainline Archer

Another day, another Archer.

Grainline Archer

I’ve now made Grainline’s Archer shirt more than any other pattern. What can I say, I love this pattern! A classic button-down shirt with an easy fit and no darts? Sign me up!

Grainline Archer

This pink and blue cotton is from The Cloth Pocket (where these photos were taken and where I’m teaching some classes this month) and these perfect pink buttons are from a defunct local store.

Grainline Archer

For this Archer, I cut pockets, placket, yoke, cuffs, and collar on the bias. This plaid isn’t perfectly square which made it difficult to get the angle of the lines perfect, but I like the result.

Grainline Archer

Instead of pleating the center back under the yoke, I gathered the fabric.

Grainline Archer

Now onto something a little more serious…

Sewing Community Gives

Ya’ll know I don’t often get personal on this blog but today I’m making an exception. A few weeks ago, Erin over at Seamstress Erin messaged some pattern designers, bouncing around this idea to harness the power of the online sewing-sphere to give back to our communities.

I think Erin was expressing a desire that many of us share: a growing need to contribute, to share, to show love and compassion in the wake of an election season that, no matter who you supported, weighed heavily on all of us and capped out a year that for many was filled with struggle and mourning.

This sentiment struck a chord with me as lately, I have been challenging myself to do more. After the election, many probably feel like I do, that I didn’t do “enough.”

Enough of what and how much that means, I’m not exactly sure. But I do know that I can no longer be content with a kind of passive activism, expecting those impacted by bad policy to fight for change while I sit on the sidelines being “supportive” but not doing the work. I can no longer use shyness or anxiety as an excuse for not putting myself out there and making a difference. I can no longer dismiss my own implicit biases but instead must educate myself about other people’s experiences.

I am in a unique position. With no kids or a typical job, I have plenty of more time to devote to causes and because of that, I have a responsibility to do more. For me, 2016 was a tremendous year of personal growth and I feel I can take that energy I’ve accumulated and put it to use in 2017.

So what have I done to get off the couch/facebook and do the work? Well, in just the past few months I was a poll worker for two elections. I’ve joined organizations that share my values, including the League of Women Voters. I’ve donated money and volunteered to lobby for legislation I believe in. I’ve marched. I’ve attended meetings. I’ve called my senators and representatives (and it gets less scary each time I do it). I’ve visited my state legislators’ offices and met my new state rep – twice! I’ve met my city council member and visited one of my US Senator’s office. I’ve read memoirs by Supreme Court Justices, histories of segregation and the Civil War, and biographies of suffragists.

Sewing Community Gives

If you, too, are feeling inspired to do more (or to continue the good work you’ve been doing), join us for #SewingCommunityGives!

With #SewingCommunityGives, Erin is inviting sewists to pledge their time, energy and/or funds to help their local and global community this week January 16-22.

To celebrate, you can fill out this survey to tally everyone’s collective contribution and enter to win one of five fantastic pattern prize packs (including one of my patterns)!

If you’re looking for ideas, here are a few local Austin charities that I’ve volunteered for/supported in the past:

  • GirlStart educates young girls in STEM fields through camps and after school programs.
  • SafePlace is a shelter for victims of domestic violence and also runs Eloise House, one of the only places in Central Texas where sexual assault survivors can get a rape kit done.
  • Casa Marianella is an emergency homeless shelter for recently immigrated families, refugees, and asylum seekers.
  • OutYouth provides programs, services, and counseling to LBGT+ young people.

I can’t wait to see how much we can accomplish together!!