More Anthro Hacks

One of my favorite stores, Anthro.  The clothing is divine!  The price tags are heavenly, as in high as the heavens to me. I am not in any way knocking the clothing.  Quite the opposite, I love the clothing.  The best form of flattery is using your garments as inspiration, right? Which is why I love Anthro Hacks.

I love these tops, especially the bigger than normal and higher than average peplum.  To me it’s really a statement piece in a world full of traditional peplums.  This one stands out and says I am my own art!  I’m not like the other peplums and I love it!  Embrace my mantra and wear an Anthro hack, an out of the ordinary peplum too.

I feel like, for me, the average peplum is played out.  When I saw these from Anthro, I saw the ultimate peplum challenge.  Then I started breaking the pattern down.  I must hack this Anthro garment.  What I found was essentially a favorite t shirt pattern and a gathered skirt.  The individuality comes with the sleeves, the positioning, and the length of the peplum.

I wanted to hide a few pounds.  I love knits.  So, of course, m peplum has a longer than average peplum with an above average amount of gathering.  In order to recreate these you need a top pattern that you love, and a rectangle of fabric twice as long as the circumference of your top.  I cut the pieces for the t shirt out, down to the area I wanted my peplum to begin.  For me, this was about 10 inches below the shoulder.  For the peplum, at this point you must determine how long you would like the bottom of the peplum to fall.  Anthro has their hems falling a few inches longer than the length of the top half of the shirt.  I believe I used 12 or so inches.  Make sure the peplum is two times the length circumfrenece of the top.  Sew the top part of the top as indicated on the pattern, if you are using one.  Then gather the top of the peplum, it doesn’t really matter which is used for the top.  The peplum piece is a rectangle. The only time this matters is when there is a definite pattern.  After the gathering is complete, adjust the gathers to fit the top.   Sew the ends of the peplum together to create a circle. Then, with right sides together.  Attach the gathered portion of the peplum to the bottom of the top.  It’s really that easy!

This post will only allow one photo.  So, I’ll be posting my version in a follow up post. Let me know how yours turned out, I would love to see pictures.


Necklines…the Great Wall of Mystery

When working on garments it seems as though the neckline would be the least of one’s concern.  The neckline kind of sets the tone of the garment.  The neckline can be rather low and revealing or a wall hiding every inch of skin up to the face.  There are several ways to sew a neckline v neck, scoop neck, boat neck, turtle neck, crew neck, the list goes on and on.  For me, I find the neckline can be a breaking point.

Since I have started sewing I have noticed that either I am shrinking, which wouldn’t be so bad.  Or I am having a problem defining the size of my shoulders.  My necklines seem to reveal more about me than I would like the casual onlooker to see.  I’ve considered altering them and have done a search or two on the best methods for altering necklines. A great source for alterations is located here.

I guess most importantly, is to consider the type of top that is being constructed.  If it is a tank top, the fix is actually quite simple.  The alteration is accomplished by shortening the top at the shoulders.  This brings everything up higher on your neck.  At the same time decreasing the size of the area for your arm.  Make sure not to lose sight of that.  You could end up with a tank top that squeezes the arm pit. This is very uncomfortable.

Another solution, quite simply put is to add elastic.  This is incredibly easy.  Open up the seam that connects the neckline to the rest of the top.  I work with knit quite often, so for me this is a great solution.  After the seam is open about two-three inches, cut a piece of elastic 2 inches shorter than the length of the neckline.  Place a safety pin on one end and thread the elastic through the casing. When both ends of elastic meet, sew them together, sew up the seam recently opened and your neckline is perfect.

Another idea is to just go with it.  Attach a couple of straps to mimic the look of a layered t shirt.  The top stays where it should and the look is effortless. Of course all these ideas are wonderful for knits.  I am really not sure how to fix the woven tops other than to add some additional gathers to shrink the opening.  Let me know if you have any other ideas while you’re sewing in the comments below.



Lucy Does Lingerie

My love and quest for perfect lingerie began a few months ago.  I made this stretch gauze dress.  I love it!  But, fewer people probably loved seeing my undergarments.  LOL  Just kidding, I rigged some undergarments to make the dress “work” for the event.  Thank goodness it was not anything like an 8 hour workday.  A friend who was also at the same event mentioned not being able to find a slip either. Nothing quite like perfectly fitting lingerie.  My mind ultimately went where every seamstress’ mind goes, “I can make that!”  This lead to a Pinterest board, a research frenzy, and an impromptu purchase of fabric at an actual store instead of online. The best lingerie fabric is not found locally for me.

I picked up some Tricot and a couple of patterns.  I was very excited to get started.  In case you didn’t know, it’s best not to wash lingerie fabric prior to sewing.  Which worked out great for me!  I was kind of anxious to get started.  I learned one thing really fast.  This is not the fabric I wanted to use for lingerie.  The amount of stretch is minimal.  I drafted my own pattern from tap pants I already own.  They fit nothing the same due to the type of fabric.  Back to the drawing board so to speak.  I’ve now narrowed down my online sources for lingerie fabric.  Tricot in a fabric store does not mean the same thing as in a lingerie store. Gertie suggests using microstretch jersey OR venezia stretch lining for lingerie.

One of my favorite fabric stores online carries Venecia Stretch ITY Jersey Knit, perfect for lingerie.  Which makes me pretty happy because the fabric is $4.98 a yard. also suggests using chiffon tricot.  It may look great in lingerie but at this point I am not a fan of chiffon.  The fabric requires a great deal of patience due to the amount of fraying.  Stretch lace is another option.  This is a fabric I have used and LOVE so much.  It’s very soft and also stretches.  It’s probably not the choice for all lingerie, but there are times when it’s the perfect choice.  According to a site I found, I believe my next choice will be nylon chiffon.  The site suggests using tissue paper between the layers of fabric when sewing.

If you have not used tissue paper in sewing yet, you are in for a treat. Use the tissue paper to cover the cutting board.  Then cut through the tissue as well as the fabric.  It helps a lot! Then sewing through the fabric as well as the tissue prevents slipping.  I don’t know about you, but I’ll be sewing my lingerie up in tissue knit or ITY knit a few times before jumping into the fancier fabrics. I like sleeping in those and since the slip I need will be visible the knit is a great solution for me. I’ll post any lingerie I make.  I’m sorry, I will not be modeling it, the hanger will! 🙂  No matter what you sew, ENJOY!


Handcrafted Jeans

UPDATE:  This jeans blog was previously published on  Since the time of this blog I have completed a pair I’m pretty satisfied with.  I need to get back in there and perfect it though. The fit is perfect, I have since purchased jean topstitching thread and Levi’s buttons.  I have produced the perfect fit for me in a distressed jean short/cut off.  I love them.  There is nothing in the world better than a perfect fitting pair of jeans.  Please continue reading and I’ll write a new post on this topic soon.

Jeans, who ever thinks about them?  As Americans we purchase them, wear them, break them in, break them down, wear them out, and then discard or recycle them.  This search began with my penny pinching ways. I refuse to pay three times the cost it takes to make a pair of pants!

So, we know the rest of the story.  For weeks I have been studying the construction, fit, and trademark qualities of jeans.  I started with a legging pattern I liked.  From that point I’ve added appropriate top stitching, yoke, and back pockets.  My Goal is to draft a pattern specific to my needs. This will become the LUCY LOU….as time and trends pass, the pattern will get updates.  The basic fit will remain the same.

At this point, I’m very close to the finished product.  Isn’t it ironic, my jeans won’t be complete until the appropriate distressing and personal touches occur? What began as a simple leggings pattern has transformed into fake or faux jeans.  It has been a fun and enlightening process.  I would be lying if I said it was quick.

I have learned several things:

  • the pattern doesn’t make it jeans, the topstitching does
  • a golden tan thread looks best with dark denim
  • yokes….jeans must have a yoke.  I’m not sure the purpose other than to allow room for your butt
  • making back pockets is quite easy
  • front pockets require a different type of lightweight cotton to line them.  (mine don’t have any front pockets right now …. that could change)
  • my pattern is out of stock although there are loads of other leggings patterns out there that I am sure could be altered into the perfect jeans for anyone

     Well, it’s time to get back to the studio.  Until next time….ENJOY!

Seam Ripper…..Use it Properly

A few weeks ago there was a big uproar on Facebook about how to use the seam ripper properly. Something like 95% of the people didn’t know how to use it.  I didn’t read the blog at the time.  I should have though.  Every, single, time, I use my seam ripper I wonder if I am using it wrong.  That’s so silly.  It works the way I use it, does it matter how I use a seam ripper?  The sewing police isn’t going to get me! But, needless to say, I would fret over and over every time I looked at a seam ripper. “Am I using it the right way?”  UGH! I would turn the seam ripper over and over and search on google for ways to use the seam ripper.  Such agony over a small tool.

Well, today I was tired of hearing those taunting words….”95% of people do not use it properly” over and over in my head.  So, I Googled How to Use a Seam Ripper properly. There it was….the top entry!  I FOUND PEACE at last!  Only to find out I was among the 5% who already knew how to use the seam ripper properly.  But, I can now use it and not hear those taunting words in my head.  YAY ME!

Let me tell you, there are many parts to a seam ripper.  The point, is used to catch the stitches, the blade cuts them, and that cute little round ball?  It protects your fabric. If you are using a seam ripper on the backside of a seam, pulling every forth stitch out, you will never need the red ball.  They wouldn’t decorate a seam ripper, trust me!  The red ball is very important.  So, in order to get the best use out of the red ball, it must be used properly.

  • The ball should always be down to protect the fabric.
  • The blade can then get to the stitches to cut them.
  • It will take 50% less time to rip out seams this way.
  • If you need a visual, I’m attaching a YouTube video.  🙂
  • Here is Pam Damour’s video on how to use a seam ripper.
  • Dritz also has a great visual on the parts of a seam ripper.

Now, I just need that brass seam ripper she has on her video.  Well, if you get one before me,


PS. I was not paid for this blog by the kind people of Dritz, Pam Damour, or anyone else.  These are strictly opinions of my own.