Q3 and Q4 Sewing (aka The Planning Post to End All Planning Posts)

Hiiiiiiii! Wanna guess what I’ve been up to since I last wrote?

Sherk 2-9


School Spirit Shark

Yep–sharks like whoa. The last one there is for my little sister, who started teaching at a new school this year. Their mascot? THE SHARKS. For real. So obviously I made her one in the school’s colors. I did as she asked and made this one a little smaller–it’s about 75% of the original size. It’s still over 4′ long though!


It’s August, which means that it’s time for many of us to begin thinking about our plans for the upcoming season(s). So with that in mind, I thought I’d do a planning post to share my ideal sewing focal points as we Ohioans prep for Fall (and football season, UGH) and Winter.

I always love reading other people’s planning posts, so I thought it would be fun to jump on the bandwagon. It’s also nice to have a concrete reminder of my intentions! My plans* are mostly based on wardrobe needs, but never fear: I have some ridiculous shit in there, too! And of course, I have listed wayyyyyy more patterns than I could possibly sew up before January, but I like to give myself plenty of options. 🙂

*We at The ‘Mads’ House reserve the right to arbitrarily change these plans for any or no reason. We are fickle people.*


I need tops. Any tops. Knit tops, woven shirts, long-sleeved, short-sleeved, you name it. I have begun work on one already, so hopefully I will be sharing some results sooner rather than later! My pattern selections–below, in no particular order–for this section are quite numerous:



  1. Grainline Studio Penny Raglan – I know, I know…I rolled my eyes pretty hard at this pattern when it came out–I could nearly fit 2 of me in my size with all that ease and the design is really, really simple. But then I remembered I had some really drapey and lightweight knits that I haven’t used (and was going to try to sell, actually) and decided that, given my recent lust for mini skirts, something like this could be a great way to balance out a mini for the office. So I bought it. #sheep
  2. Grainline Studio Archer – Flannel shirts, here I come!!
  3. Vintage Advance 6426 – I have my heart set on some gamine button-up shirts with short sleeves, and this pattern seems like the perfect match!
  4. Waffle Patterns Vanilla Top – I have striped knits ready and waiting for this one.
  5. True Bias Sutton Blouse – Finally got this pattern during the recent release sale. I can’t wait to make it: it should be an easy and chic addition to my wardrobe.
  6. Grainline Studio Lark Tee – I own 4 plain t-shirts and they’re looking gnarly. It’s time!
  7. Itch-to-Stitch Mila Shirt – Definitely going to use a yellow and black plaid rayon-blend suiting for the first one.
  8. Style Arc Elsie Woven Overshirt – I have B&W striped silk twill waiting for this pattern.
  9. Vogue bonanza – Specifically, V1463 (View B), V1387 (View B), V1509, V1378, and V1389. I’ve got silk and lightweight shirting for the woven blouses, but I’m not sure what I will use for the last two, which are knit.


Namely, jeans. There is something demoralizing about one’s spouse having a pair of handmade jeans whilst you are left out, trust me. I have plenty of denim, from neon to black to indigo to non-stretch (for real–it’s everywhere) and just need to get started. Skinny jeans are my staple, but I’d like to take a crack at a pair of boyfriend jeans before the year is over. I also want to make a few pairs of pleated, cropped trousers like all the pairs Keira Knightley wears in “Begin Again.” Pattern selections:


  1. Self-drafted copy of Aeropostale skinny jeans – The pattern is ready for a wearable (I hope) mock-up, but the hold-up was zippers. The zipper I salvaged from the pair I tore to pieces copied measures roughly 2.5″ long, which is RIDICULOUS and proved impossible to find ready-made. But I like my skinnies to have a low rise (I know, that’s totally uncool now) so once I realized I didn’t have any suitable zippers in my stash, I found a supplier who would shorten them for a reasonable fee of $1 per zipper. I went with 2.5″ and they’re perfect! (Yes, I know I could have bought a 3″ and shortened it myself, but I don’t feel like it.) I plan to make an entire drawer full of these jeans!
  2. Named Jamie Jeans – Not a style I want too many pairs of, but I’d like to make them anyway! I’m thinking one pair in black, one in blue, and one in a pink or rust color.
  3. Named Wyome Boyfriend Jeans – I’ll sub out the button fly for a zipper and use larger back pockets, but otherwise the silhouette is very close to my ideal boyfriend jeans.
  4. Republique du Chiffon Gilbert Trousers (not pictured) – This pattern has me nervous–it’s hand-drawn in pink pen and there aren’t tons of finished versions of it online. There aren’t even line drawings available for it! But I am confident that I can figure it out, even if it takes a few iterations. When in doubt, I can always call Nina!


Specifically, mini-skirts. They’ll work in summer, obviously, but they are also great with tights and layers up top for Fall. I have twill, I have denim, I’m ready!! Patterns:


  1. Pauline Alice Rosari Skirt – My one beef with this one is all the buttons down the front, which isn’t usually something I like. (Plus it seems like a waste of jeans buttons or pearl snaps, TBH.) But it’s the perfect A-line mini! I’ll make it work.
  2. Grainline Studio Moss Skirt – I love all the jeans-inspired details (back yokes! fly front!) but will probably make mine out of anything other than indigo denim to avoid the full-on jeans skirt look. (I had an ill-fitting one in Junior High and would prefer not to sartorially revisit those dark, awkward days! O_o )
  3. Named Nascha Mini Skirt – I have an incredible tweed/boucle from Gorgeous Fabrics that I thought should be a jacket, but will probably become this skirt instead. Wish me luck!


After giving away almost all my summer dresses last year, I have been struggling to get dressed for work all season. I’d like to get a head start for next year, as well as give myself lots of options for Fall layering.


  1. Brunch In Paris Cowl Dress (not pictured) – Free random pattern from a sewing magazine. I have polka dot rayon fabric ready to go! (Which was also free–yay!)
  2. McCall 7351 – I haven’t decided which skirt to use first, but this one is definitely happening.
  3. Named Kielo Wrap Dress – Finally broke down and bought this pattern, too! I am not sure I have anything appropriate in stash, but it’s on my list if I do.
  4. McCall 7429 – Again, who knows if I have the right fabric for this one, but I wants it! I’d love to shorten it into a top as well.
  5. McCall 7430 – The perfect cool weather knit dress!
  6. McCall 7244 – I know I have plenty of fabrics for this pattern, and I can’t wait to make it!
  7. Vogue 1404 – This was a “love at first sight” pattern, and I’d love for this to be the year I finally make it!


These are all things I need, but that don’t fit neatly into one of the above categories!


  1. Grainline Studio Driftless Cardigan – I have precisely one long-sleeved open-front sweater, and it’s showing its age. I need something light for layering over short-sleeved dresses and tops, and this fits the bill! I have one length of fabric earmarked for this pattern, but hopefully I can find some more options in stash.
  2. Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamas – I tend to sleep in sweatpants and sweatshirts in the winter, but I would love to have a set of flannel pajamas to wear instead!
  3. True Bias Hudson Pants – Did I mention that the sweats referenced above are 5 Ohio winters old? I need new ones!
  4. True Bias Ogden Cami – To wear under sheer and semi-sheer tops, of course!
  5. 1920’s Preteen Coat – Ah yes, the coat. Still haven’t tackled that one, but my winter coat is getting really ratty and the pattern is ready for an adult–maybe this is my year.


aka SHINY!!!!!!!! Stuff I don’t need to sew, but want to sew anyway.


  1. Vogue 9160, View B – This will be my project for this year’s company holiday party. It’s utterly frivolous, but it’s fun to challenge myself and have an excuse–no matter how tenuous–to sew a piece of formal wear. I have scalloped-edge corded lace and a matching wool/silk gabardine (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) in the most perfect eggplant purple for this one. Swoon!! ❤ I plan to start fitting this one ASAP so that I have plenty of time to deal with the lace. I also plan to make the sleeves 3/4 length rather than full as pictured.
  2. Boyfriend Blazer – I’m putting this one under Frosting because I don’t *need* it. I have a RTW one already! But I want to copy that one using some amazing mascara black wool/nylon/lycra designer suiting I got from Fabric Mart recently. I’ve never made a jacket before, so that will be fun! I just need to figure out how to clone the jacket without destroying it, and what to use for lining; definitely thinking silk for lining, though! #becauseiamworthit
  3. Xmas Sewing – What will I make this year? No idea. But probably something for Tom (Xmas Sweatpants, Round 2, perhaps? Surprise Jeans?) and maybe another Stanley Tree for us to keep–those things are too cute!

So that’s my ridiculous list for Fall/Winter 2016! Hopefully I get at least one thing done from each category, LOL.

31 thoughts on “Q3 and Q4 Sewing (aka The Planning Post to End All Planning Posts)

  1. You have been busy with those sharks. Which is good as the world needs more sharks. I also heartily approve of the sewing plans which are, of course, too ambitious. But planning is the best thing in that it get you to really prioritise what you want to make and gives you a chance of creating clothes that you actually want to wear, and work together. Why not join in with the Sewing with a Plan this year. Planning starts in October and sewing in January. It would be fun doing it along with you.

    • You have perfectly summed up why I enjoy plans like these: they remind me of what I need and help me stay on track to build a wardrobe that works with itself and for my life. SWAP sounds very intriguing–I will see about that for sure!


    Yum. PLANS. I like your disclaimer. That’s my kinda sewing! “Here’s what I’m gonna make…maybe” Ha!

    Love V1387; been meaning to make the version you’re eyeing after tackling the cap(ish) sleeve version! I’ve also totally been eyeing the top in V1389 and really hope you actually make that one. I don’t care about the jacket or skirt, but that tee keeps catching my eye, and my cheap ass doesn’t want to spend Vogue money on a T-shirt unless it’s fab.

    Pants scare me, so I’ll leave those alone. Though I have always wanted some Hudsons (I think I have a Burda mag pattern that’s similar, though).

    Can’t wait to see the shirt dress!

    I totally wanted the Carolyn PJs until I eyed B6296…the Lisette knock off.

      • And thank you for mentioning the Lisette pattern! I already have the Carolyn pattern (a friend has it and we all traced our sizes…shh!) or I’d buy that one instead–curved hems are easy to add, especially for Joann’s sale prices on Butterick! 😉

    • I like suggestions but not prescriptions, LOL! That’s part of why I listed so many patterns, because I know I’ll get squirrely after a minute…

      I am glad that someone else had the same reaction to V1389–I have no use for the jacket (which I think is kind of really awful, tbh) and might warm up to the skirt, but I’m all about that tee! This isn’t even the only Vogue outfit pattern I’ve bought for a shirt: there was one other DKNY with a fringed waterfall jacket, legging pants, and the v-yoke blouse, too. #guilty At the time, I told my husband that I just paid $4.99 for a pattern for the back of a shirt: he laughed and shook his head knowingly. =)

  3. I love those sharks, so amazing, oh yeah, and the plans are amazing too. I’m in awe of them Actually, especially the number of pairs of jeans you aspire to complete.The self drafted rtw knock off jeans caught my eye as I’ve got a pair of jeans I’m about to rip apart to try to copy, but I’ve been totally overwhelmed by the process. Tips? Your pattern choices are fabulous of course, but to me, the best thing about your plan is your caveat! Ha! Rings true to me! Plans are great to get focus, but then it’s fun to mess with them a bit! I have that Named skirt pattern, BTW, but have yet to make it. Can’t wait to see your version. Carry on 🙂

    • You can absolutely clone those jeans!! Here are my best tips from experience:
      1. Save the zipper if you can–you know it fits!
      2a. Mark the knee line with the pants on so you know exactly where it falls! Very important for truing and balancing later.
      2b. In fact, mark EVERYTHING: fly start/stop points, belt loop and button positions, back pocket positions, etc. on the final pattern. With no instructions, these markings are your only road map when cutting/sewing.
      3. Cut them apart on the seamlines: it’s easier to work without seam allowances and add them back on as you prepare to cut the fabric.
      4. Work from one leg only. (And then if you have an “oops,” you’ve still got the other!)
      5. Don’t neglect to mark your grainline on the pieces!
      6. Use every single piece of your jeans, down to the fly shield and waistband and coin pocket. (Belt loops can be ignored, though: just note their finished measurements.)
      7. Account for any stretched out parts of legs and yokes: as you work to flatten the pieces out and lay them down to trace, the knee caps will surely want to ripple and you’ll have to kind of smoosh them rather than flatten perfectly. (If you try to flatten those stretched bits, the front leg pieces will likely look bow-legged or distorted somehow.)
      8. Don’t pin the pieces to trace them: use weights, and LOTS of them.
      9. If a line on your traced pattern looks distorted, it probably is. True it back up!
      10. Check your work using this technique: http://katrinakaycreations.com/plus-size-pants-pattern-balance-a-key-step-to-making-pants-that-fit/ (She is doing it electronically but trust me, it works on paper, too!) Our pattern teacher showed us that and it was a game-changer!

      Sorry for the novel–I hope that any of that was helpful! Good luck: you’ve got this!!

      • Wow! You know what you’re doing:) I love the idea of cutting them and adding the seam allowances after…Brilliant! Weights vs pins, YES that makes a lot of sense, and I totally forgot I’d need to take into account the stretched out parts, and thanks for the link too! Awesome answer to my question. You’re the best…

  4. I am so going to do a planning post now with all of this planning fun. Did I mention planning is fun and cool and I like it?! Well I do. Righto, off to plan.

    • Well I put my plan out there to keep me on track, but who knows what stuff I’ll make first, haha! As long as I end up with things I need that go with each other, I’ll be happy. And I love the sharks, too: they always make me smile. They just look so happy to exist! 🙂

  5. OOOOOH I can’t wait to see them all done! (Especially the tops for known reasons).

    Also: have you seen the SNL Land Shark skit because that is precisely what I was thinking when I saw you “wearing” your shark above. You are a shark making factory though, tbh!

    I think the Rosari skirt would be worth all the buttons tbh, I hope this is the skirt you make first! And I especially can’t wait for your Driftless review. I ended up buying that one last week as well and am just trying to divide my ponte into Driftless, Morris, Axel, and Lindens lol….not an easy task.

    • I have not seen this Land Shark skit of which you speak, but I will use the power of Youtube to find it! And yes, I definitely thought of your last post when thinking about my tops list! I should have a Penny post coming shortly, and the Lark is something I definitely want to tackle. Funny that you mention ponte for Driftless, because my first one will be in a tissue type of knit, lol. My RTW one is light like that too, but a ponte version would be perfect for the cold.

  6. Shark factory! Love!
    The plan looks so good. I itch to make plans that I’ll actually follow through and on time! Can’t wait to see yours come to fruition 🙂

  7. The Named Kielo dress will look so cute on you. Check out the jeans from Closet Case Files. I could not have been more pleased with the pattern.
    Love the Sharks!!! BTW, missed seeing the pipin your pics 😊

      • I figured as much, hehe! He was out there “helping” with the shark stuffing, but he found more interesting things to do (like carry his enormous tree limb “sticks” around…) after a few minutes. I will make sure he makes the next post, for sure! 🙂

    • How wonderful to see a comment from you–I hope you are well! 😀 And yeah, we’ll see how much of this plan I actually get through; gotta try to hit at least one thing from each category, for sure! I love fabric shopping for the sharks because I can pick whatever wacky fleece I want, lol. Not often that I get that kind of total freedom!

      • I’m trying slowly to come out of the woods, I read the posts but fail to comment on time haha! I’m sure you will manage to sew most of the garments and I agree being able to pick wacky fabrics is absolute freedom! Looking forward to seeing all your makes.

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