Wardrobe Project: January & February

I do a good bit of sewing for other people, but I don’t sew much for myself. I decided that, just for fun, I want to sew one thing for myself every month.

(A word about photography and art direction: I did all these pictures with a tripod, a timer, and an intense determination to get over my extreme self-consciousness. My fitness tracker app says I logged an entire mile taking these pictures, just walking back and forth to the camera. And some of them came out kind of weird anyway. Don’t tell me, I already know.)

I’m off to a bit of a rough start; due to complications with both my sewing machine and the buttons I wanted to use, the dress I started in January didn’t get done until early March. But time has no meaning anymore, anyway.

For this first project, I used the Hinterland Dress pattern from Sew Liberated. I’ve had this pattern around for ages, and just hadn’t put together the time, materials, and brain space to make it. It sewed up pretty quickly when I finally just did it. The pattern was very clear and easy to follow. The shape is simple.

I had originally planned on making this in a fabric with a softer drape, some kind of linen/cotton blend with some good shlubbiness to it. But I saw this cotton broadcloth at Ragtime Fabrics with just a ridiculous sheen and I couldn’t resist it.

I’ve sewn some of the children’s clothes from Sew Liberated, but this was my first adult pattern. It had so many of the features I like from the children’s patterns. The drawings are very clear, any complex bits have a good bit of detail, and the sizing is accommodating of changing bodies. This particular dress has an optional waist tie to adjust the sizing.

In addition to the flexibility of the fit, I love how flexible the styling is. This is a dress that can go fancy or casual, depending on what else I wear with it.

The buttons are kind of a fun story. I wanted to buy these beautiful Czech buttons I found on Etsy, but they were pretty expensive. But then I found a bunch that I liked just as much, and they were cheap! Because….they were “shankless.” It turns out (thanks, Google!) that one can buy button shanks and button-shank-glue.

And THEN once I received and glued the buttons, my sewing machine decided it didn’t like to do button holes. My friend Holly bought herself a space-age sewing machine last year, and she very generously set it up on her porch so I could have the robot do the buttonholes for me.

So that was a few extra steps, but I am so happy with how they turned out.

I’m definitely going to make this pattern again, with a few changes. I’m going to go down a size; I was between sizes and I chose the bigger size because I figured that was a safer bet. But the dress is a bit too broad in the shoulders for me, and a little too boat-neck-y for my taste.

I’m also going to try a drapier fabric. This one poofs out a lot. And I’m thinking snaps instead of buttons? Like those opal cowboy-shirt snaps. I think I have a snap setting tool from when I made a bunch of diapers for Silas.

Oh, and it has POCKETS.

This was a very simple dress to make, but I’m pretty dang proud of it. I think the last adult-sized dress I made was for Bethany…when she was pregnant with Esau (who is now 7).

My February project was much simpler.

I had this tie-dyed velour around, which I definitely used for something in the past, but I do not know what. I dyed it, and clearly cut something from it, but ???

I’ve been meaning to make lounge pants from it for ages. That’s “trousers” for my British and Aussie friends, stop giggling.

I did not use a pattern for these. I just folded another pair of pants in half, traced around them, and here we are. My one regret is that they don’t have pockets; because they don’t have a side seam, I couldn’t do the sort of pockets that I normally like, and because I was basically working with scraps, I didn’t have the excess to add a side seam. I guess that means I always need to pair it with my very pocket-y PAAL hoodie.

It is possible that one leg is a little longer than the other. But these pants resist perfectionism. Their entire purpose is to be extremely cozy and nonjudgemental, and they succeed at that admirably.

What’s next? Well, I think I’m going to finally make a bunch of pillows for my blue couch. That’s not really a wardrobe project, but it annoys me that it’s not done, and I have most of the stuff for it. I also just got this Kimono Dress pattern from Simple Sew, which I’m pretty excited about! So we’ll see. I still have half the month to figure it out.


Aili Written by:


  1. Corey
    March 14, 2021

    Kimono dress! Kimono dress! Kimono dress!

  2. Lucy A. O'Grady
    March 15, 2021


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