Author: elizabethvanstee

When life hands you lemons, cut ’em up.

I have a lot of new makes to share with you! 

First, I drafted a pattern for what I was hoping would be my go-to dress. I constructed it out of a medium-weight chambray, it has a simple, elasticated waist, kimono sleeves, and a gently curved hem. It sewed up super quick, but when I tried on the final dress, the fit just wasn’t right. The neckline was a bit too wide and the skirt was too loose. I left it for a week while debating whether or not to rip it apart or just chalk it up to a bad make, but then I had a breakthrough.

I took the dress and sliced it right up the middle. I took out about an inch strip down the center of the dress. I found a gold and navy jacket zipper online that was almost the length of the entire dress and installed it in the cut i had made (also my first ever zipper installation) and voila! A perfect fit. And the zipper adds a lot of interest to an otherwise plain dress.


A loss turns into a win with a bit of patience and creative thinking!

Also, apologies for the potato-quality photos. I typically sew at night after work, and I get so excited about taking a picture right after I finish a garment! 


Chemistry, creativity and sewing.


The Coletterie blog is an endless source of inspiration and encouragement, and today’s post on desire and creativity is no different.
I am completely fascinated by the way our brains work and why we make the choices we do and how to control these choices, and Sarai hits on all of this and how it applies to sewing. Be sure to check out the full post here.

Image via Flickr user Lucky_Laura.

Make Do and Mend

Beautiful article from the Guardian on the rise of mending businesses in the UK.

“I started repairing because I realised there is a lot of work and skill involved in making clothes. It takes a long time. I began to appreciate the skill and effort all these anonymous people put in to making clothes for the high street. If you want to make people understand why £4 for a T-shirt is not the right price, get them to make an item of clothing. We should respect them for making these clothes for us, especially at the prices we pay.”

Check it out here.

I’m back! With a trendy tote bag.

Hi All!

Just a quick update. My sewing machine is back up and running (thanks to a lot of wonderful YouTube tutorials!) My first project after was this delightful Diamond Tote, a free pattern from Misusu. I made it pretty much exactly the way it was described, which is pretty rare! It sewed up in a few hours and I’m in love! It was the perfect (semi) instant gratification.


I have a couple of projects on my sewing table currently, a Plantain from Deer and Doe (another freebie!) and a Moneta, a new knit dress pattern from Colette.

Full steam ahead!

Real talk

I’m a little quiet this week because my sewing machine bit the dust. I’m currently waiting to have it repaired/ weighing my options for a new machine.
So I’ve been knitting! I’m a truly terrible knitter, I lack the necessary patience, but I’ve been dreaming of knitting sweaters and socks for ages, so I’m dusting off my needles and learning some new tricks.

I’ve picked the Jul hat pattern by Wiksten (can you tell I’m a little bit in love with Wiksten) and I’m working it up in a soft grey wool. Wish me luck!

Photos via Wiksten


Grainline on Marketplace


“Nobody ever realizes that people are involved in the making of your clothes anymore. People just assume that it’s a machine that makes our clothes. We’re so removed from how our garments or products in general are made that they never assume that there’s a person who does that.”

Jen Beeman of Grainline on Marketplace yesterday as a part of their Disappearing Jobs series.

Check out the full audio here.

Photo via Jen Beeman.