A Basic, But Unfortunate, Mistake

After a very slow start to the Summer of Basics and a blink-and-you-miss-it June, I was delighted to find myself with some free time to sew this past weekend and dive into my projects. It didn’t quite work out as planned.

To the Minttu. The first part – the main tank top – sews up beautifully; it’s a very satisfying beginning. My complications started with the facing and interfacing, even after watching a fantastic tutorial.

I fused the interfacing to the facing pieces, sewed them together, and started to attach the facing to the main tank. The neck hole was good – a promising sign! Excellent. The first armhole was not; I sewed part of the wrong sides together. It happens, and that’s what a trusty stitch ripper is for. Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 5.30.48 PM

This pin was truly made for me.

Take two: I figured out how to attach the pieces correctly, but noticed that the facing armhole wasn’t lining up with my tank armhole. In fact, it was smaller. I checked the pattern; no issues there. I kept on, and the result was disheartening.

I had forgotten to preshrink my interfacing, and as you can probably guess, it gradually pulled in my facing pieces, and bunched the beautiful, clean seams I was expecting. While the bottom of the tank fit perfectly, the top was too small and lumpy. I ripped into the stitches again, hoping to salvage the tank, but the stretch stitches (aka my new nemesis stitch) weren’t playing nice with the knit fabric and it turned into a bit of a mess. And then I started getting holes in the material.

After some choice words, I took a break and decided to cut my losses and order new material. Better to start from scratch, and I can always use the current tank for something else. And I even managed to find some positives:

  • It’s a good reminder not to rush a project. And maybe read all the instructions first.
  • More opportunities to practice is a Very Good Thing.
  • I can avoid this screw up:


(Even though I wouldn’t be able to see it, how irksome to know that there’s a sliver of paper stuck between the interfacing and fabric.)

While I wait for my new fabric, I decided to start cutting the pattern and fabric for the Farrow dress. This is a welcome change! I roll on with a little spring in my step, until I notice that the pattern also calls for interfacing. ‎




As a newish sewist, I’ve learned that I adore planning projects, researching and ranking patterns to sew, and shopping and stockpiling fabric – really, I have an almost overwhelming amount of fabric right now. And luckily, I also love sewing my favourite patterns, exchanging ideas, and talking about what I’m doing, especially with Ange.

But when it comes to starting a project that is just outside my comfort zone, I pause. And during that pause, I become distracted. Suddenly, I remember that this is the week I was planning on organizing my pantry. Something comes up at work. Then I notice that I never did finish weeding in the backyard, and I should get started on that, but first, I need a new garden hose. Oh, there’s another hornet’s nest. That’s not a fun job at all, so maybe I can take care of it later. I mean, do we really need to get rid of a new hornet’s nest right this minute? (Actually, yeah we do, because that’s one thing you don’t want to forget.) And so it goes.

Finally, I focus, decide to start my Minttu top, and assemble the pattern, but look who I find? It’s hard to fault him, given that the papers are temptingly on the floor.


Taking the next step can be hard. For the most part, I’m already happy with my current skills (although I would like to be better with said skills), and that happiness is the main reason why I never seem to move past a certain level in anything I do, and I stay a dilettante. There’s nothing intimidating in my new pattern. Sure, I’ll be using interfacing for the first time, but that’s going to be a Very Good Thing to learn. I can find lots of helpful tutorials. And I really do want to go beyond and build my skills, techniques, and wardrobe.

So this week will be better. Unless I find another hornet’s nest.

Getting Started With the Summer of Basics

It’s serendipitous that we’re starting this blog in time for the Summer of Basics Make-Along!

I have a lengthy list of patterns I love, and intend to one day make and write about, but since the purpose of this challenge is supplement our wardrobes with basics (or items that are basic for us), I’ve decided to make the following clothes:
  • Minttu Swing Top. This top looks so fun! I live in tank tops during the summer, and layered under cardigans when it’s cooler. I’m going to pick a patterned material because I’m more of a “plain fabric” girl, and a smaller, patterned piece is perfect for dipping my toe into something new.
  • Hollyburn skirt. This skirt is adorable and I love the different options. I’m likely going with View B, in a plain material, because let’s not get crazy with patterns right away.
  • Farrow dress. I’ve had this pattern for months, and while I would have made it without a make-along, this is the perfect push to do it. Maybe even in a patterned material! I’m going to make View A, and save the sleeves for a winter/fall dress. And it has pockets, which is one of my favourite details with dresses.
First up: Minttu!