Completed – Cat Lady Sewing Challenge 2-Piece Set-acular Extravaganza!

(Okay, okay: the title may have oversold this FO post, but whatever.)

After many weeks of occasional work, I have completed my Cat Lady Sewing Challenge outfit!

Early on, I decided to go a little…crazy. I wanted something kind of outrageous, but still wearable. I’m just weird enough that I could envision myself successfully wearing something covered in cats, so when I found this fabric I knew it had to be mine. I was also completely enthralled with and inspired by the 2-Piece Set-Acular over at Ada Spragg a couple of months ago, so when I had a snafu with my first attempt at the skirt I planned to make, I decided to salvage the material and make a crop top. Here is where things ended up:



cat lady 2

Crazy Cat Lady 2-Piece

cat lady 3

Mysterious…or insane?

cat lady 4

Skirt in focus

Mads, the cheeky bastard

Mads, the cheeky bastard

I can honestly say that I’m really, really proud of this outfit, despite how unhinged it sort of is. The skirt has already been worn IRL several times since I finished it, and apart from being amusing is actually really wearable. The horsehair braid hem gives the quilting cotton a bit more body and structure, which ended up being perfect. The length is a total accident: I was going for mid-thigh, but wayyyyy underestimated how much I needed to remove. By the time I noticed, the braid was attached and I was all, “Meh…” about having to undo that. But it works, I think, especially if I style it the way I have here with my boots and tights. And let’s not forget about THE BUTTON:

I mean, COME ON.

I mean, COME ON.

The crop top was created by chopping my Scout tee pattern off at the “Lengthen/Shorten” line. This SOB has seams EVERYWHERE because I cannibalized the fucked-up skirt to make it and had to get creative. So I have a center front seam, a center back seam, side seams, and a hem band. (That last bit was added to give me that extra 1/2″ of additional length, which I am glad to have; the proportion looks just how I had envisioned.) The 2nd photo above shows the Scout silhouette of the top–it’s very loose below the bust, but I love it!

I finished these things about 2 weeks ago, but just got around to taking photos today! I took advantage of the fact that this is probably one of the last days this year that I’ll be able to get away with the whole, “Do outdoor photos and wear sunglasses and lipstick so nobody can see you aren’t wearing any makeup” trick, so Tom and I went out to the back yard and did some photos. Honestly, he gets these really good shots of me, and I have no idea how he does it. None. But I’ll take it. (And no, I won’t share him. Sorry. =P)

Now, I wore these two pieces together just for this post–I will likely NEVER do that IRL unless it’s ironic. But I do actually like both pieces, so here is how I thought I might style the top. Warning: this series of photos is basically me doing a cat-itude impression…



Not nearly cool enough to be standing like this...

Not nearly cool enough to be standing like this…

Too cool (or bored) to care that I'm in a photo

Too cool (or bored) to care that I’m in a photo

Tom called this one, "Floating Jesus Cat Lady." We both agreed it was genius.

Tom called this one, “Floating Jesus Cat Lady.” We both agreed it was genius.

Oh, are you still here?

Oh, are you still here?

High waisted pants + crop top = LOVE. I just wish this was something I could wear to work, because I adore it. But I’ll settle for wearing it in the wilds of Columbus instead.

So I had a really great time with this challenge. Thank you to Erin for coming up with such a cool and relaxed idea! All of the other makes I’ve seen for the challenge have been amazing–check out the Flickr group for more!

Crazy Cat Lady Sewing Challenge – So Close, And Yet So Far


Since my last post, I got to thinking about the state of my original cat lady skirt and decided that I just couldn’t see myself wearing it and being happy with how it turned out. So I bit the bullet and ordered more fabric and redid the damn thing. This time, I followed the cutting layout for napped fabrics provided with the pattern, and I’m pleased to say that things are coming along swimmingly:

Got the official seal of approval...

Got the official seal of approval…

Hand-picked lapped zipper!!!

Hand-picked lapped zipper!!!



I’m really excited about this now that it’s fixed. (I know, I know–should have followed the cutting layout from the beginning!!) I managed to salvage the first skirt and make a crop top using my Scout pattern, too! How these will look together on my body is anyone’s guess, but I can always take in the side seams on the top if I’m not crazy about the volume paired with the skirt.

You may have noticed that I used the phrase “lapped zipper” in the zipper photo caption. These have previously confounded me and I have avoided trying them in earnest, but somehow everything clicked last night. I didn’t want to mess with my machine, so I opted to handpick the entire zipper application. (Bonus: hand sewing means I can sit in the living room with my family, which I like.) It turned out GREAT, if I do say so myself. =) It got fiddly with pins and lining stuff up so that I only picked through all layers at the bottom of the zipper, and I kept pinning the overlap to the already-attached side of the zipper for the first 15 minutes (UGH), AND I stabbed myself with pins about 145,923,760 times, but I got it! The waist looks like it will fit (I put it on and zipped it up), so I’m going to try attaching my waistband this week and see what happens. I’ve also decided to up the ante and add horsehair braid to the hem of the skirt. Since my fabric is pretty light vs. what is recommended for this skirt, I want to give it a little more body and shape. I think I’ll go with 1/2″ braid since I don’t want anything too crazy, but I’m hoping it will look awesome. So yeah, I am jazzed about this project now that everything is coming up Millhouse…

With respect to the title of this post, I’ve accomplished a lot but still have some things to wrap up: hem the shirt sleeves, bind the neckline, attach the waistband to the skirt, add the buttonhole and button, add the horsehair braid, and sew the hem. I’ll have to machine sew the hem this time with the braid, but given that this is a damn circle skirt, I’m totally okay with NOT having to do this one by hand!

I haven’t done anything else with my practice version of Tom’s overshirt, but hopefully once I finish this project (and its ~9 feet of hem…FML) I can get back to it. What is everyone up to out there??? Been busy with Fall projects??

Crazy Cat Lady Sew-Along – IT’S ALIVE!!!!!!!

Hello, friends/enemies/casual WordPress skimmers!

I’ve been busy as an understaffed hive of bees lately, with two sewing projects cut and in-progress, Halloween season kicking into gear at the store (which means I work every. single. day. that the store is open), and regular work from 7-4 every weekday. I also found the time to turn 29 yesterday! I’m torn between not being bothered (after all, I look the same and feel the same) and panicking about it being my last 20-something birthday. I spent a good chunk of the day running errands and arguing with the county auditor’s office, but everything got done that needed doing and I got my nap in the afternoon and my steak dinner (albeit at 3PM, like an 80-year-old).

I’ve been working on my Crazy Cat Lady outfit, and it’s coming along! I haven’t started the top yet, but I’ve decided to scrap my original plans for a formal blouse and go with a crop top instead. I’ll likely modify my Scout pattern to accomplish this, but I haven’t really put much thought into that piece yet. The skirt was by far more exciting for me, because the fabric is AMAZING:

Sebastian Ghastly skirt

Sebastian Ghastly skirt

Now, I waited about 2 weeks for this material to arrive. I was beyond excited about it, and loved it in-person. And then I miscut half the skirt. Can you see it?? The left half of the skirt above has the kitties upside-down, and the right half has them upright; the back half is the same way. I do not have enough fabric to recut half of the skirt, and I’m beyond bummed out. My only options are 1) to order about 1 1/2-2 more yards (at 45″ wide, I need a lot of material for this type of skirt–I’ve eaten up most of the 3 yards I ordered initially) or 2) to live with it as-is and try not to GAF. This stuff isn’t cheap, so option #2 is probably more likely, but I just don’t know if I can live with it. The worst part is that I thought I was being careful when I cut it out. It never occurred to me that half of it would end up upside-down. =( Any suggestions or opinions??

I have struggled a bit with the other project on my table as well: McCall’s 6613, a Palmer/Pletsch pattern for unisex button-up shirts. Fortunately, I seem to have done a pretty good job with plaid-matching on that project (maybe my brain can’t handle two print projects at once…), but I had lots of issues with interfacing. I had barely any of my 2-sided fusible web left, but figured I could make it work by piecing it together. Nope. NOPE. Every time I tried to iron a piece like that, stuff shifted and wrinkled all over the place. (To use this interfacing, I have to place the interfacing between the back side of my fabric and a corresponding pattern piece cut from muslin. Shifting should be avoided in such cases.) And of course, the pieces I am referring to are the fucking plackets. Which are cut on the bias. Which makes them the fabric-eatingest small pieces of all time. I had to recut one of them TWICE. So three total plackets to get ONE proper placket. By the time I finally got the interfacing finished, my iron had lots of melted interfacing/glue all over it and stunk and I was ready to throw stuff at other stuff. So now I need to clean it up before I can press or interface anything else. The good news is that, on that project, I am finished with the interfacing stage and can start sewing shit together. I hope it turns out okay, since it’s for Tom and it’s a surprise…

Speaking of Tom, he was a dear and took me to Joann’s before dinner yesterday so I could buy more interfacing. I got more of the fusible web stuff, since I am used to that technique and like the amount of stiffness it can give to collars, waistbands, etc. I know there is “better” stuff out there, but I’m a creature of habit and have liked the results of this particular method, so w/e. I got an entire 20 yard bolt for 50% off–yay!! Good thing, too, since my kitty waistband will definitely need this treatment.

What are you folks up to lately??

Crazy Cat Lady Sew-Along!

Yes, you read that correctly: there is a cat-themed sew-along happening on the sewing blogosphere! The delightful Miss Crayola Creepy had a stroke of genius and is hosting this shindig over at her blog (which you should absolutely be reading) and is keepin’ it casual. Entrants have until the end of October to complete their cat themed garment(s), and there is a Flickr group that you can join to see what kind of feline-infused insanity everyone comes up with during the sew-along and for sharing your own creation(s). I’ve got my blog button around here somewhere and am ready to rock this shit.

I’m afraid that I’ve already gone a little nuts over this challenge (offerings to my cats and the building of an altar around my Crazy Cat Lady action figure notwithstanding) and ordered not one, but TWO different fabrics. I also got 2 buttons because I couldn’t make up my mind. And yes, all four of these items are cat-themed and scream, “This woman has an unhealthy obsession with cats and probably makes yarn out of their shedded fur and should be removed from polite society.” (Spoiler alert: at least two of those things are true.) Having said that, I consider the fabrics I ordered to be very wearable. They’re quilting cottons, but given what I have planned, I think they’ll be well-suited to my purposes. I can’t decide whether to reveal them now or wait until I’ve started working…Eh, fuck it: here they are!

"Sebastian Ghastly"; photo courtesy of

“Sebastian Ghastly”; photo courtesy of

"Geo Cats"; photo courtesy of

“Geo Cats”; photo courtesy of

For the sew-along, I’m being very ambitious and planning 2 garments. I’m using two patterns I have made before: vintage Simplicity 1281 and vintage Simplicity 1089, both of which I have blogged and consider to be successful sews. I think the skirt pattern is perfect for a quilting weight cotton because it will require that little bit of body, and will be easy to work into my normal, not-covered-in-cats wardrobe. The top will be wearable as well, though I suppose I’m just naturally more excited about the skirt because that fabric (“Sebastian Ghastly”) is much more, um, audacious and unnerving than the one I picked for the blouse. Mr. Ghastly really appeals to my inner Jhonen Vasquez, which I love. The skirt and top probably won’t be worn together after we do the Ultimate Blog Post Final Outfit Photoshoot, but whatevs. I’m saving the button reveal for the end, though–gotta keep y’all comin’ back! =)

So in honor of this amazingly exciting and quirky sew-along, I leave you with this:

A literal "Crazy Cat Lady" action figure, given to my by the hubs

A literal “Crazy Cat Lady” action figure, given to my by the hubs

Join us, won’t you? >=D