I Did It!!!

by Stefani on 20-May-2008

I'm ashamed to tell you how many patterns I've bought, started and abandoned. 

I have, up until this point, been unable sew anything for myself.

Curtains, yes, pillows, book bags, tablecloths, napkins, place mats, stuffed toys, quilts, even clothes for kids, I can do, but I hit a wall when it comes to clothes for me.

I'm afraid to cut the pattern, confused by the directions and even more afraid to cut the fabric. 

I even took a class where we were supposed make a tailored shirt, complete with cuffs and collar and buttons and darts. It took WEEKS, painful weeks, and then I missed the last class (kids got sick) so I didn't finish it. At that point I was so sick of that shirt that I didn't even care, and it was clear that it wasn't going to fit anyhow. 

So, over the last year, every time I saw a certain shirt pop up around blogland (here, and here, and here, and here for example), I fought off the urge to go and buy another pattern. I knew it would only take up space and frustrate me because it would never make itself into an actual article of clothing. 

This weekend though, I saw that Hancock Fabrics was having their patterns on sale for $1.99. So, I made myself a promise: If I bought this pattern and did not make it, I would not buy another. EVER! So I bought it. I bought Simplicity Pattern 3835.

I know, I know, I'm probably the last person in Blogland to attempt it.

Guess what???


New Shirt #1

I loved it so much that I made another one too! (Incredibly flattering photos, right? Taking the photos was WAY harder than the actual making of the shirt!)

New Shirt #2

And there's two more cut out and waiting in the wings!

Another One On the Way!

It's that good! It fits great. It's light and summery, and best of all EASY! I think it's officially my summer uniform. 

When the boys go to bed at night, I watch LOST on the computer (I think I'm also the last person in the world to start watching this show – what can I say, we don't have TV.) and I cut and sew. A couple of episodes, and voila, a shirt! 

So, if you've been noticing the shirt too, and thinking that you might like to try it but were unsure, trust me! You can do this! 

I think I'm going to find one of those "YES WE CAN!" buttons to wear on my shirts… not for political purposes, mind you, but only to evangelize the reluctant seamstresses. 

I don't know if either of our presidential candidates has what it takes to lead this country. In fact I'm kind of "blech" about that whole thing. I don't know if those Lost folks will ever make it off the island. I don't know what the weird thing in the woods is. But I know this… I can make this shirt, and that's enough, today, to make me feel pretty great. 

*** edited to add: The gorgeous necklaces are pieces that sweet Eva of Green Leaf and Owl made for me. You can visit her shop here. She has some truly inspired and gorgeous jewelry. And stay tuned too, because some of her work just might show up as a prize for next month's First Monday Contest!

Stash May 20, 2008 at 9:09 am

Congrats on the shirt(s)! Always a nice feeling of accomplishment!

Sooo, I was going to post a comment on your previous post but then this little entry popped up and I like to be at the top, so I’ll say it here – amen sister to the summer post. I love the comparisons made. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Our Green Nest May 20, 2008 at 9:20 am

Love the shirts and the self portrait pics!

gonzomama May 20, 2008 at 9:34 am

Very inspiring for a very reluctant seamstress who is trying to finish her first pair of jammy pants! By the way, you are absolutely beautiful!

kristin May 20, 2008 at 9:36 am

awesome! they look great – i love that redish floral one. i too have had this pattern and am just waiting for time to work on it. (someday maybe?) enjoy the newly made threads!

Mama Urchin May 20, 2008 at 9:44 am

I am the same way. I cannot make something for me to save my life. Maybe I’ll have to give that pattern a try?

beki May 20, 2008 at 9:56 am

Yay for you! See? That wasn’t so bad. This has to be one of the easiest, most universally flattering shirts around. I love your versions. I need to get busy on some new ones for myself.

Stephanie May 20, 2008 at 9:57 am

Oh, you are so lucky! We discovered Lost last winter and had a lot of fun catching up. My boys watched it with me (they’re pre-teen/teen age) and once we got started we found it was hard not to watch just. one. more. episode.

amanda May 20, 2008 at 9:59 am

Yay, you!!! Isn’t that such a great pattern? You look lovely in it, my dear. Just beautiful. Can’t wait to see the rest. 😉

brit May 20, 2008 at 10:18 am

I may be the mother of two small boys but isn’t Yes! We Can bob the builder?? what political slogan is it now? I’m behind the times again aren’t I? I haven’t made the shirt either…

Grace May 20, 2008 at 10:40 am

Those are such pretty pictures of you! The fabrics you used are lovely, and your necklaces are so pretty, too!

I have this pattern. I have spent hours upon hours trying to re-size it to fit me (I’m 6 feet tall and not, ahem, skinny, so the largest size is still a couple sizes too small), and it comes out looking like I’m wearing a sack. Not flattering at all. Maybe I’ll try again … maybe.

Your last paragraph there … yes, I’m with you on all that you said. And I do need to make myself an article of clothing that fits because that would do wonders for me, too, I’m sure of it!!

collins May 20, 2008 at 10:46 am

I love your shirts. Your pictures are so cute. I have just made this pattern too, and I love it. I made two dresses, and next I’m going to make a couple tops.
My hancocks will also be having simplicity and mccalls patterns for 89 cents Memorial Day weekend, so you might want to check yours too.

Lisa Clarke May 20, 2008 at 11:01 am

Oh, you’re funny! I’m so glad to see you conquered the shirt-making beast! I love the bold prints you used. I think I’m about ready to go raid my stash and make another one…

Annie May 20, 2008 at 11:22 am

You are pushing me over the edge! I got in over my head in December when I decided to make a shirt for DH for his birthday–I’m still working on it! So the thought of trying another pattern is just terrifying to me since I have been having trouble finishing his shirt…but a friend of mine made this shirt recently, and now seeing your pics (I love your fabric choices btw!), I’m sooo tempted…now to wait for a sale on patterns 🙂

Elizabeth Pryor May 20, 2008 at 11:29 am

Love the shirts! Especially the pattern on the first one 🙂 Also, where did you get those necklaces? They are adorable!

Tipper May 20, 2008 at 11:34 am

Congrats to you! Maybe I should try it?

Eren May 20, 2008 at 11:35 am

No, no my friend…you are certainly NOT the last one to try this (I say as my exact same pattern is sitting in my patterns bin).

Sarah Jackson May 20, 2008 at 11:36 am

Yay for you!! That’s my favorite shirt pattern. I’m modifying it so I can make a few maternity shirts too. Yours look adorable.

Sarah May 20, 2008 at 11:54 am

Ok, I will keep my mouth shut about Lost, since it doesnt sound like you are very far into it and just say look at you miss cute thing!

Adorable, both you and the shirts. 🙂

Melanie May 20, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Congratulations – they’re very cute! The only garments I’ve made are Halloween costumes. I might have to give this pattern a try!

I forget how I stumbled onto your blog, but I’ve really been enjoying it. Thanks for putting yourself out there!

krisitn May 20, 2008 at 12:29 pm

wow those are both so pretty! love the patterns and colors and the jewelry. went right to her etsy shop and drooled a bit. now you make me want to go get a sewing machine and sew. that is a good thing yes???? last week you made me run out and bake a pie , so this would be much better for my waistline i am sure. great job!

Zelia May 20, 2008 at 12:37 pm

they are wonderful! and you look great in the photos with your lovlry necklaces!

Holly C May 20, 2008 at 12:41 pm

I was just going to comment that your necklaces are perfect with your lovely shirts. I was wondering where you got them. I see now that you ordered from Green Leaf and Owl. I may have to do some sewing and ordering myself!

Brynn May 20, 2008 at 12:58 pm

I *so* thought you were a blond! For no reason at all, except that is the picture my mind made. It’s like seeing a movie of a book you read and everything looks all wrong. Great shirts, big brown eyes and sweet smile, by the way. I am sure I’ll get over the hair color in no time.

Lera May 20, 2008 at 1:30 pm

The shirts are beautiful. I love, LOVE, the colors in the top one. (And lovely pendants, too.)

Moira May 20, 2008 at 2:07 pm

This is *so* my story that I had to de-lurk! I bought this pattern (at full price…ouch) a couple of months ago after reading about a zillion posts about it, and I got as far as cutting out the pattern pieces. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to cut into the fabric, but you’ve inspired me to dive in this week NO MATTER WHAT. Thanks for sharing!

Tracy May 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Well, hello you! Good for you! I’m afraid of clothing, too. Someday. I need to master quilts first, I think.

molly May 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm

yay for you! even though i don’t like to sew, i would love to try that pattern (ever since sarah shared hers). i recognize that first fabric from something else you’ve done – vintage sheet? i’m afraid i can’t do anything but sit and stare when watching lost * way to sew girl!

kristin May 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm

okay, i feel a little silly, but let me say that i don’t think i have ever seen a photo of you…what a cutie you are.

: )

and no, you aren’t the last to start watching lost. i am just starting and am totally caught up in the enthusiasm of theories out there.

by the way, wonderful shirt work. : )

Maria May 20, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Job well done! Great self pics! I really loved the necklaces so very glad you included the link!

Jenna May 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm

I’ve visited your blog for awhile and love your writing. It’s so nice to see your face! What cute shirts, nothin to be afraid of huh?

Angela May 20, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Such cute shirts (I LOVE the first one!) and the pendants are absolutely the perfect accessory with them.

Zilker was a big hit. Thanks again for the tip. (The Zephyr and Dinosaur pit at the Science Center were the 2 favorite stops of the day)

Traci May 20, 2008 at 8:12 pm


Where oh wear did you you get your necklaces–especially the one you are wearing with the red shirt you made.
Nice work on the shirts, I think I might buy that pattern!

dianeinjapan May 20, 2008 at 8:36 pm

They’re adorable! I’ve been thinking of buying that pattern for some time, and now your photos may have pushed me over the edge. I do have an Amy Butler purse pattern patiently waiting in the wings, though…

I must say that I’m impressed you can sew while watching “Lost”–not sure I could do that!

Meri May 21, 2008 at 3:28 am

You are beautiful.
You sparkle. Like glitter.

tony(a) lemos May 21, 2008 at 3:45 am

this is a great blog post! the shirts, the self portraits too. So funny I have also been watching lost on the computer when my daughter goes to bed! I am glad that I eventually ran out of episodes to watch. Maybe I will now try that shirt pattern which I too am reluctant to buy as I have too many incomplete projects! thanks for sharing this entry!

molly May 21, 2008 at 5:59 am

really? I can do it? I’ve made nothing for myself. ever. except maybe a knitted hat…

okay. taking deep breaths. thinking seriously about this….

(and by the way. how much do I love seeing you in pictures??!! You’re beautiful!! 🙂

Amy May 21, 2008 at 10:41 am

You look adorable.

Tracey Lane May 21, 2008 at 11:04 am

OK, I’m officially inspired to tackle this project with my 14-year old this summer. We’ve been talking about doing some sewing this summer and I love the look of this shirt. I’v got some really basic experience with pattern sewing but I think we’ll just dive in and see what happens. How do you possibly pick which fabric being that there are so many incredible ones out there!!!!

Anyway, just discovered your blog about a week ago via SouleMama and you’re now a daily click for me. We’re also a homeschooling family. It’s worth every bit of mess and exhaustion and doubt (and glitter!) Press on!


Berlinswhimsy May 21, 2008 at 11:09 pm

Oh no, you aren’t the only one left in blogland—-I just recently got caught up on Lost after never watching one episode until this spring (I was addicted once I started—the computer makes it too easy). I have that same exact shirt all cut out and ready to sew… It’s been that way for about a month… Sigh.

Em May 22, 2008 at 6:25 am

Ok, I – like you have been contemplating the shirt… I haven’t sewn anything for myself yet either… Maybe I’ll see if I can find that pattern next time I’m in a store! Inspiring – and I love the fabrics you chose!

Jennifer May 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Your blog inspired me to go out and get this pattern. My first attempt didn’t fit, it was too small. So I got another pattern and altered the sizes a bit and it came out great. I love it and my husband says it is flattering. You look great in it as well and those colors are beautiful on you. I can’t wait to make more and play with different fabric patterns and types.

Julie@Letter9 May 27, 2008 at 11:32 am

I totally just made this shirt in white on white and was wondering how many I can get away with making before my husband thinks I’ve completely lost it.

I think three seems very reasonable. Maybe four?

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