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Last minute stitching, and “cataloging”


Yes, I have been sewing things other than swimsuits lately. This is a top I made to go to a friend’s birthday shin-dig at a downtown bar. I needed something sparkly for party time and I had bought this fabric a long time ago with the intention of making a top like this but never got around to it. Not until about 36 hours before this get together did I decide to draft and sew this top.

Ok, let’s get down to the important bits.


The Goal: One of my New Years resolutions was to sew clothes for specific needs. I hardly ever have to dress up to go downtown and as such I don’t have much party wear. This top is a good remedy for that.

The Pattern: I realize it might have been faster to just adapt an existing pattern but I figured this was so easy I’d just take my basic two-dart bodice block, cut a sweetheart neckline shape and leave the bottom dart open for some flare. That mostly worked except my fabric has a mind of it’s own…

The Fabric: The base fabric is some crazy poly I bought locally. This stuff is strange. It’s sparkly and textured and also stretchy, but I don’t think it’s a knit. I don’t even think it’s a woven. It’s more like some strange alien sheet of molecules unknown to man. I don’t even know if I can wash it…


The top part is a sheer organza-thing. It’s not silk but I’m also not quite sure what it is. Rather than pre-washing it in the washing machine I put it in a bowl of water, left it for a minute and came back to find the water dyed purple!?!?! WTF?? And the fabric smelled strangely like petroleum or some car cleaning product, basically like my garage. Hmm, perhaps I ought not to wear such materials… too late!


The Changes: Originally I had a side dart in this shirt but the stretchy fabric dragged down so much that the dart was pointing closer to my belly button than my – well, you know. I unstitched that dart and let the fabric be free.

The stretchy alien fabric doesn’t fray so I didn’t bother to hem it or finish the seams (which worked well because I didn’t have time…)


Before trying the top on I thought it might be hard to fit it over my head so I added a back slit with a button closure at the back of the neck. Yeah, that was totally unnecessary but I guess it looks cool.


The Results: It’s not my favorite thing I’ve ever made and I have no idea how I’m going to wash it but it serves a purpose so I’m satisfied.

(Vogue 8817 and myself. This is much harder than it looks. I’m gonna need way more tree pose practice before I get the stability to hold my knee that far up in the air without falling backwards.)

Ok, I admit I didn’t come up with this idea (I’m pretty sure Andrea did) but the concept of mimicking ridiculous pattern company catalog poses was so funny that my last sewing group meeting resembled a crazy yoga class from hell.

I’m dubbing it “cataloging” mostly because I can’t think of a better name. Similar to planking or draping or, my personal favorite, cat breading, “cataloging” is the act of photographing oneself posed like a model from a pattern company catalog book. The sillier the better.

***Ugh, that’s all for today. I promise to be back on on Friday with the next installment of the Swimsuit Sew-along. Today I have to work on my new pattern and tomorrow I’ve got to clean up my house for a Project Runway watch party – so busy!!

Comments (29) for post “Last minute stitching, and “cataloging””

  • Love your Vogue 8817 pose!
    …it’s “Vogue-ing” like the madonna song!
    Look up Benny Ninja on youtube for some good vogue-ing

    But I like your term “cataloging” better! =)

  • ohmygosh, i thought you typed “cat breeding” when i first read the post, which did not sound like something i wanted to see. After seeing SewRuthie’s comment, I went back and clicked on the link, hAHAHA! I just showed my coworkers and everyone is dying laughing!

    what will people think of next…

  • love that vogue-ing!

    perhaps you should “wash” that awesomeness in one of those dryel bags. by the way, i wore your one shoulder dress today and got compliments all over the place!

    • Thanks! I saw your dress on your blog. I love what you did with the pattern!

      I’ll have to pick up a dryel bag the next time I’m at the store and try it out.

  • I’ve been begging J for months to let me “bread” one of our cats. He won’t let me because he says they’ll never forgive us.

    Love your top! I really like the swingy-ness of it, whatever the mystery fabric is.

  • EEEEEEeeee! Cataloguing is going to sweep the nation! I loved when Andrea modelled some poses, and I love your take too. I guess i’m going to have to check out some bad patterns and copy some poses myself!

  • This top made of alien fabric is pretty awesome if you ask me. What makes it even better is that the fabric doesn’t fray so you don’t have to finish the seam allowances or hem. It can’t get better than that!

  • I love this! I’m obsessed with sweetheart necklines. They’re so feminine and pretty to me. Also I just died laughing when I looked at Draping and Cat Breading….What?!? Lol never heard of those. Cataloging could become a thing.

    • Thanks Kara, I, too, like sweetheart necklines.

      I love the idea of cat breading. It’s hilarious but then again most anything with a cat is.

  • This is SO EFFING AWESOME. I love it. Even if it is made with extraterrestrial fabrics. Perfect little let’s get crazy top.


  • “Cataloging” is very funny. I’m a librarian, so I usually associate the word with a very painstaking, not-fun job (writing catalog records). This type of cataloging is much more pleasing.

  • I think I have some of that sheer fabric you used on the top- and I could totally be mistaken, but I think it has some metal in it! Which would explain the smell and maybe the color. I would recomment Fabreeze πŸ˜‰

    • The fabric is definitely shimmery which could mean it has metal in it. I also washed it in a stainless steel bowl. Perhaps there was some crazy chemical reaction going on. I think I have a bottle of Febreeze, I’ll give it a try. πŸ™‚

  • Ahhh! Love it. You nailed that pose! I tried and failed on that one — I wouldn’t recommend trying it while wearing a skirt. I hope others get inspired to add a little cataloging to their posts.

  • Hahaha! When I saw that post the first time I was like, what???? You do it well. And thank you for introducing me to planking and draping. Hilarious. But this top is too cool, mystery knit and all. Love the booties, too!

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