Mini-Wardrobe Contest Weekly Update

I thought I’d confine my discussions of my mini-wardrobe contest entries to a weekly update.  You don’t want to hear me canting on about it daily.  I blew through my goals for last week, and finished his first pair of shorts this weekend.

He insists on wearing them below his navel.  This leads to ugly diagonal wrinkles from the backside to the pockets, which makes my carefully crafted pockets gape in an unsightly manner.   I should have realized he’d wear them there and re-drafted.  When he pulls them up to his waist they fit perfectly.  I used a cool jeans button, it has a bronze finish that showed up pewter when I scanned it.  Also played around with using a proper sew-in waistband interfacing by Palmer Pletsch, I will never use anything else in waistbands.  They are the nicest pair of shorts he’s had, they look so quality.  I think it has everything to do with great fabric.

I started the linen work shirt #2, he made some design changes from the first one:

  •  No pocket flaps necessary
  • “Short sleeves are the new long sleeves.”  
  • Straight hem rather than shirt-tail hem so he can wear it untucked
  • After some discussion, I may top-stitch it to my heart’s content.  Which is a lot.

Basically his changes eliminate the fiddly parts, so I’m keeping myself interested by kicking up the quality.  Little Girl wanted to sew yesterday, so she sat on my lap and I guided her hands while she made a pair of faced pleated patch pockets.  Then she helped sew in the voile for the collar interfacing, then helped stitch together the collar. 

She lost interest through a combination of The Simpsons on TV and because I took too long with trimming and turning the collar.  (I trim the corners at oblique angles, I trim the seams, I press the seams open, I turn, I roll the seam between my fingers and then press again.  No wonder she lost interest.)

I’m thinking I should make the pleats deeper, but am happy otherwise.  I did the front plackets and the back yoke as well, I think I will flat fell all the seams.  Because it amuses me to think that his shirts will last longer than any of us will.

I’m still waiting on the hemp/cotton from for the last piece of the wardrobe- his second pair of shorts; it should arrive this week.  He said I could make the Burda 2767 pants for him from the hemp and the neato buttons I found yesterday.  We’ll see if I have enough hemp.

In other Mini-Wardrobe news, I think I will go forward with my original mad plan of making one for myself as well.   Continuing the madness, I am replacing the perfectly drafted (I’m sure) Parfait dress with one of my own creation.  Kind of.  Remember Lovely Friend’s heritage vintage pattern stash? I overlooked this gem:

I like the flavor, but the pattern itself is a little lame.  I’m shamelessly re-drafting the pattern for my ample bosom, re-drafting for a less Puritanical neckline, and shortening it so the drapey parts gather into a midriff that starts just under my bust and delicately accentuates my waist.  Right now I’m working from a midriff pattern that I know fits and flatters, I’m wondering if it would be good if I made it double pointed like in the picture, or left it with a single point.

I plan to use a half circle bias skirt from a favorite 1950’s pattern.  From Katherine, to be exact.  I hated the dress but swore to myself I’d use the skirt pattern repeatedly.  I may upsize the Parfait pockets and use them because they’re wonderful if a little “decorative” for my taste.

I’m stumped about sleeves.  On one hand, the short sleeves as drafted are self-lined, cut in one piece.  So instead of a hem, you have a folded edge.  Like a little flange.  The sleevehead is flattish.  I’m intrigued.  But I have a favorite sleeve pattern from a 1930’s blouse that I’m dying to re-use.  I’d do the sleeve in voile and rather than pleat, I’d gently gather it to the cuff of textured cotton.  I will also do a self-fabric belt, purely because I love them and need to photograph one in the making to show you how easy they are.  Opinions?

No, I’m lying, I would definitely keep the sleeve pleat.  Maybe I could pleat the bodice rather than gathering so I have some thematic harmony?

I don’t know how it will turn out, but so far the process has been fun.  Somehow I’ve finally arrived at the point where I have an idea and I can make it happen in reality about 90% of the time.   I worked on it last night instead of finishing the linen shirt.   I’ll still use my minty cottons; the textured bottom weight for the skirt, the midriff and the upper bodice sections.  I’ll use the voile for the back and front.  I made some thick black silk piping that will be used in the upper bodice section, and probably to show off the cut of the midriff.

Interesting to note- the bodice is drafted for a 32″ bust.  I don’t have one of those, I don’t have a 32″ high bust either but I did not need to do a single alteration to the back.  Not a one.  I wonder if I should work from 32″ bust patterns and do massive FBA’s from now on?  Thoughts?

Prioritized goals for this week:
  1. Cut Pinstripe Skirt
  2. Finish Linen shirt
  3. Finish Valerie Dress draft
  4. Make Pinstripe Skirt
  5. Cut Bordello Blouse
  6. Pre-wash hemp and cut (dependent on arrival)

I have to work this weekend, double classes on Saturday, but I think this is a do-able load.  Don’t forget, I’m working on my Block of the Month, too.  And my sustainable textiles project.

It is such a relief to have created a searchable forum for teasing out my ideas and goals.  Thank you for that, from the bottom of my heart.


  1. You are so talented! Your husband's shorts reminded me of something I heard a few days ago. I was standing outside the men's fitting room in a clothing store. A mom was standing outside too, while her son was trying on pants. I heard her say "You are NOT wearing those pants low like that"! I thought "yes he will, as soon as he gets away from the house"!

  2. I shortened the front rise of my DH's pants by 3cm. He always wears them low, so rather than have the ugly pocket gape I just cut it out. I use a 5 inch zip in his pants now and it seems to work well.

  3. I am so envious that you set goals and keep them. And constantly enthralled by your mathematical approach to sewing.Also very envious of your bosom. I can't wait to see how that dress comes out!

  4. Couldn't find an email address on your blog and I don't think mine is on my blog either, sorry! I didn't just shorten the pants. I kept the side seam the same and folded out the amount at the fly edge. That meant that the front edge was no longer straight, nor was the centre front line, so I redrew both. If you would like, I can email you a photo of the pattern, which is way more self explantory than this sentence. My email is By doing it this way, the pockets kept their shape at the side seam. When I did this on his jeans pattern, I also folded out the same amount of pattern in the front pocket, just in case it created a bunch of fabric when sitting. Thank you very much for your compliments!

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