tokyo jacket giveaway winner

Hey everyone! Just a quick post today to announce the winner of the Tokyo Jacket pattern giveaway! The random number generator has spoken and the winner is...

Congratulations, Emily!! I hope you love your Tokyo Jacket - and please please do the black, hand painted, discharge pattern!! That sounds so freaking brilliant, it's blowing my mind!

Thanks to all of you for the comments and the jacket love.  It's really a fabulous, fast, comfy pattern and I hope you'll consider making it up just because.  Hope you all have a great week!!



art teacher


I know! Two posts in one week!! Craziness! And the excitement doesn't end here... hint hint...

So, do you guys remember your art teachers growing up? I was really lucky to have some wonderful art teachers (one of whom was my Mom - hi Mom!!  I might be biased, but she was my favorite!) and while I may have found my way into a creative field all on my own, I definitely would not have had the amount of confidence and wherewithal to pursue my degrees in Painting without the support and encouragement of my art teachers.  I mean... I certainly wasn't getting any encouragement to continue on with math or science... so, I'm glad someone saw something in me!


But this post isn't just a testimonial to the importance of arts education in public schools (although don't get me started...) It's about some of the other effects that art teachers had on me.  I'm talking about style here.  One of my style inspirations is always some kind of mish-mash of all my art teachers.  There's just such an amazing, eclectic mix of professional/bohemian, practical/elegant, modern/vintage vibes going on with the art educator set! Not to mention a (typically) keen eye for color, proportion, and texture.  

This jacket feels like something that one of my art teachers (or maybe just my Mom...this is a good thing) would have worn.  There were lots of sneak peeks of this make in my last post because I literally wore it every. single. day while I was in NYC.  I have to say - up to this date - this might be one of my favorite handmade additions to my closet.  It's just seriously cool.


A few months ago, Colette from Tessuti contacted me to see if I'd like to review one of their patterns.  Have you guys been keeping up on the patterns that have been coming out of there? Really great stuff. Basics with a twist - definitely my kind of thing.  And also the sort of garments that would be flattering on a wide range of women, both age-wise and body-type.  I chose to make the Tokyo Jacket - a loose, unstructured, kimono-inspired jacket that works well in lighter, drape-ier fabrics.  I could just tell immediately from the line-drawings and the pictures on their site that this would be my kind of thing.  I love clothing with a somewhat Japanese aesthetic, and a dramatic fit. I will also be ordering the Suzy Pant as soon as payday comes... hello favorite new fall pant!

It took me a little while to get around making this jacket - mainly because I couldn't quite wrap my head around making a jacket, no matter how lightweight, when the temperatures were over 100 degrees! But with the approach of fall I decided it was time to delve in, and boy am I glad I did! This seems to go with everything in my closet!

This was one of those times that I had a really clear idea about what kind of fabric I wanted to pair with the pattern.  I knew as soon as I had the pattern in my hands that I wanted to make this out of some kind of shibori-dyed fabric, to highlight the kimono silhouette.  I used some silk noil (the same stuff I used to make this dress) and tried a itajime-shibori technique.  This basically means that the fabric was folded and then used some kind of shape-resist to prevent the dye from penetrating all the way through.  I was dyeing about 2 1/2 yards... you guys... that was a lot of folding! I can't totally say if my process was legit-shibori (I'm an internet learner) but I loved the outcome!

I didn't use a traditional indigo dye bath, but instead just used my trusty Dharma procion dyes.  Believe it or not, this dye color was supposed to black! That just goes to show you how unpredictable dye colors can be! It turned out more of a gray-ish blue with (though you can't see it in these pictures) an almost pink-ish haze around the blue.


My yardage of this silk noil was pretty narrow, so I had to fold it on the cross-grain in order to cut the pattern pieces.  My one regret with this jacket is that I did not follow my gut and cut the back piece on the fold (the instructions were to cut two).  There was just no way I was going to get the pattern to match up at that center back seam otherwise.  But like many things, this felt like a bit of a bummer at the time, but after wearing it around for a whole weekend, it really doesn't bother me (we'll call it a 'design feature').  Next time...

So the pattern! I requested a paper pattern because I was feeling a bit burnt out on all the printing and taping of digital patterns, but these patterns are available both ways.  They have a handmade look to them which is pleasant - like a pattern your friend drafted for you.  Everything matched up perfectly and the fit was spot on. I made a size S based on my measurements.  Obviously this jacket is very roomy so I probably could have made an XS, but when a garment like this is designed to have excessive ease I like to follow the designers size suggestions so it fits how they envision (interestingly enough, this is the total opposite to when I'm making a more fitted garment - then I base everything off of the finished garment measurements).


The instructions were impeccable! So, so thorough.  I didn't run into any problems sewing this up! The pattern says it is for Intermediate to Super-Advanced sewers, but honestly, based on how descriptive the instructions are I think a beginner-intermediate sewer could handle this, no problem. The trickiest part (in my opinion) was the pockets, and this was simply because they come together in a way I have never quite seen before, but I just trusted Tessuti and followed the instructions and lo-and-behold! Perfect pockets! 

I had the bare minimum of my yardage to make this  jacket, so I opted to do the cuffs and pocket trim in a contrast fabric.  This was one of the other reasons it took me a while to finally make this jacket - I was searching for the perfect trim fabric. You know, that mythical fabric that will just magically take this jacket from "awesome" to "amaze-balls"..? Well I found it, but it wasn't in any of my local stores.  

You see, I really wanted to have this jacket ready for my trip to New York, so I ended up rooting around in my scraps until I found something that struck my fancy - leather! I had left-over cream lamb-skin from making this jacket, and leftover black pleather from making these pants, and after a brief consultation on Instagram I followed the overwhelming advice to go with cream and I was off and away! And, wow, you guys I am  so glad  I took your advice and went with the cream leather! It just looks, and feels (and smells) so luxe! I added a small ribbon of trim along the collar to separate the collar from the body of the jacket, and to balance the other leather accents.  Those little bits of leather are really what makes this jacket extra-special to me. I just love the combined textures of the nubby silk-noil and buttery soft leather... mmmm.... Side note: this has totally renewed my love of sewing with leather... I am already scheming... many schemes...


So yeah! I'm super excited about this jacket!! A huge 'thank you' to Colette for sending me this pattern, and for always being such a huge supporter of this sewing-blog community! 

And now... for something extra exciting!! Tessuti is giving away one Tokyo Jacket pattern to one of my readers!! If you're in the Northern hemisphere, this jacket will make a great layering piece for fall - and if you're about to enter spring, this is the perfect lightweight layer to throw on over a sleeveless shirt (or, in my case, jumpsuit!) Basically - transitional weather perfection! 

Leave a comment with an email address where I can reach you - extra points if you make me laugh - and I'll choose a winner at random... oh... say... next Monday, September 30th at 8pm?  Sounds like a great way to cap off September! 



disco butt


Things my husband said after seeing my newest, completed make:

"Ooooh baby, you've got disco butt..." (what does that mean..?)
"What I really like about this is that you can go right from the roller skating rink to a karate dojo without having to change your outfit!" (and I added: "And then right to BED!!!")
"This makes you look really skinny. Like Mia Farrow!" (I didn't even pay him...)


This, my friends, is a jumpsuit. And while we're on a roll here with the list making, I've been keeping a mental list of all the things that jumpsuits are awesome for:
  • High kicks
  • Impromptue yoga
  • Looking dramatic in a breeze
  • Lounging (obviously...)
  • Striking poses
  • Calling people "Daaahling"
  • Riding bikes (but I roll up the legs, because those are some biiiig hems!!)
  • Looking like you got dressed on those days when you don't want to get dressed
  • Collecting cat hair (well... I can't speak for all jumpsuits on this one...)
And here's the list of things that jumpsuits are not awesome for:
  • Ohmygodwhatthef**k TOILETS!!!

Here I was, thinking to myself:  "Why don't people wear jumpsuits all the time?? They are so comfy!!" And then I think I uttered an audible "oh shit" the first time I was confronted with a toilet while wearing my jumpsuit.

But how I manage to do my business in this jumpsuit is not the point of this post! I made a jumpsuit! This has been on my 'to make' list forever. I sort of "drafted" this pattern myself.  I say "drafted" because I'm not totally sure that my method of 'Just Drawing Shapes on Paper and Hoping For the Best' is really a method of pattern drafting.  If it is - than I am a master! I did test the bodice part out first in some leftover jersey I had laying around and deemed it 'good enough'.  The finished jumpsuit is made out of some black rayon modal jersey.  That stuff is just so slinky and soft! Perfect for this sort of swishy, drape-y, unstructured outfit. Also, completely forgiving of my haphazard drafting methods! 


One of the tricky things about (cough cough... ahem) drafting your own patterns, is that they don't come with any instructions! I mean, no duh, obviously, but you really have to spend a bit of time thinking through how you're going to construct your garment - how edges are going to be finished, what areas need to be interfaced, etc.  I was having a bit of trouble trying to figure out how to finish my neckline edges.  My first thought was to bind them, but no matter how careful I am, anytime I bind edges in jersey it always looks like a huge, hot, mess. Then I thought about encasing elastic - similar to how Heather instructs you to do it with the Bombshell swimsuit - but I wasn't sure I wanted all that zig-zag topstitching to be visible.  Finally, late at night (when I should be sleeping, but instead I'm thinking about sewing... come on... you do it too) I had the aha! moment of using facings! It's also a sort of 'no shit' solution, but for some reason I always underestimate the power of facings.


The other completely obvious, yet also revelatory discovery I made while making this jumpsuit is how effective a fusible knit interfacing can be on jersey (I know, I know... minds = blown I'm sure...).  The interfacing has just a teensy amount of stretch, so it works with the fabric, but it also stabilizes it, which is perfect for a 4-way stretch knit like modal.  I interfaced my facings, pocket edges and hems.  Interfacing the hem was totally revolutionary for me! No more crazy, ripple-y hems! I interfaced about an inch around the bottom, serged the raw edge, turned it up and did a double-needle topstitch.  Seriously the most gorgeous hem I've ever gotten with a knit. Of course this only works because I don't need the hems to stretch.

I've pretty much been wearing this jumpsuit non-stop, even despite the awkward bathroom moments. It's just that comfortable, and yet I also feel sort of chic in a  70's disco(butt) kind of way!

As a matter of fact, my jumpsuit was the first thing I packed when I jetted off to NYC two weekends ago! Yep... that happened!

All photos, except that last one, are from the lovely, amazing, Jennifer
Wanette, Oona, Sonja, Latrice, Devra, Jennifer, Kelli, and of course, my girl Heather.

So, forgive me for a second you guys - I'm sure this is going to sound like just another love-fest of a blogger meet-up recap - but let me put this in perspective for you: I have been sewing for a little over three years now, and blogging over two, and I have never had a real, live, in-depth chat with another sewist, let alone another sewing bogger! I was seriously over-the-moon. Getting to meet these women in real life, who's blogs I look to for inspiration, education, commiseration, to be awed and amazed, and for a good laugh, was such an incredible experience.  It re-newed my creative energy, and reminded me why I blog and make the effort to be a part of this space - because our little on-line community is made up of some of the most creative, talented, brilliant, kind, genuine, open-hearted and FUNNY women (and a few men) I have ever had the immense pleasure to come across. 

My weekend was epic. And one that I will hold close to my heart forever... at least until it happens again! And a special thank you to all you ladies up there that I had the chance to meet and talk to and get rowdy with.  Ya'll are precious.



after the storm


An aptly named post (if I do say so myself) referencing both the fact that these photos were, literally, taken after an entire day of thunderstorms, and also that this is my first post after my self-imposed hiatus during the month of August - a month which was quite the emotional roller-coaster (hence the likening to a storm...) Aaaand now you know the secret behind my enigmatic blog-post-titles... I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath for that little nugget of Sallie gold... (sarcasm).

It feels wonderful to be back in this space again after the month I've had! Not that it was all bad, it truly wasn't. For instance, my parents came to visit for a nice long weekend, which was absolutely lovely (miss you guys!!) and I discovered the joys of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple on Netflix (laugh all you want... that shit is tight). But I did have more on my plate than I'm generally used to, which usually turns me into an emotional wreck - or, as my husband so shrewdly noted - I just don't handle extra stress well. Too true, my friends. Too. True.

DSC_0040 DSC_0041

Early on, in the beginning of last month, I started working on this dress.  I was making excellent progress, but then I had to set it aside to work on the project for my friend I mentioned in my last post. I picked it up again last weekend and was utterly thrilled to be working on sewing clothes again.  I guess that elation was a bit premature since I ended up making a pretty major snafu on this pretty little number.  But let's not jump right into the negatives... why don't we relish the good stuff for a bit, eh?

This is Victory Patterns' Chloe dress, made out of some absolutely delightful metallic coated linen from Tessuti fabrics, and entirely lined in rayon bemberg. This is basically the same stuff I used to make my moss mini skirt (here) except in a different color-way.  The linen has a very subtle, 'natural linen' color with a pretty silver sheen.  It's probably best suited for when I have a bit of a summer 'glow', otherwise I might look like a zombie, and I promised to put my brain-eating ways behind me for good (this time). 


I really wanted to use a pattern that would just let this fabric shine (pun intended). Despite the fact that this may not be my most flattering color, I still wanted a whole garment made out of it.  I thought the Chloe dress, with it's 60's, modish look, might compliment the fabric well (even give it a slightly space-y vibe... much nicer than zombies...) And so I went with it! Plus, I really don't have anything like this in my closet, to date, and I'm always looking to diversify my stock (p.s. I had to ask my husband what that meant, that's how much I know about owning stock!) In the end, I don't know if I ended up with quite the mod/space-y look I had in my head, or more of a ladies-who-lunch type thing, but either way, I'm digging it.

I cut Version 1 of this dress in a straight size 6, but then had to take it in at the underarms by about 5/8 of an inch on either side, tapering to nothing at the waist.  In retrospect, I probably could have gotten away with making a size down, but I was feeling a bit big when I measured myself for this.  Does anyone else make this mistake when you begin a project right before your period? I always end up being a bit generous with my sizing when I do that! Regardless, even if it isn't the most form-fitting (and I don't think this dress is supposed to be) I'm really happy with the overall look.  I chose to use the button placement of Version 2 to add some visual interest to what would otherwise be a very plain dress. The faux welt-pocket-button magic that's going on there is pretty clever, with a little snap hid underneath the button to keep that flap closed. 

DSC_0046 DSC_0052

So perhaps at this point you are wondering to yourself, "what is this snafu she mentioned..." well feast your eyes on this!!!


GAH!!! Horror of horrors! What is that THING??!?! 

That, my friends, is an exquisitely inserted invisible zipper - from the outside - and some serious gnashing of teeth on the inside! You see, since there was such a long gap of time between when I started this dress and when I finished it, I mistakenly skipped the clever instructions for machine stitching the lining to the zipper tape.  As a consequence I was forced to slip stitch the lining to the zipper. No biggee, I've done this before. The first side went in beautifully (as you can see) but the second side - egads! The zipper just wanted to eat that shit up. As you can see, chaos ensued, I had to rip out all my sweet little hand stitches and since then it's just been hanging out like that. Really, it works just fine as it is, and since the center back seam of the lining was cut on the selvedge I'm not terribly worried about fraying. I'm usually a huge subscriber to the 'beautiful inside and out' line of sewing thought... but this time... I might just let it go. At least until my rage passes...

And with that, friends, I leave you! May you all have a lovely start to your weeks!