I like a loose-fitting garment, but this is getting ridiculous.

I seem to have a problem in how I size and sew garments. I like things to be loose, breezy, and comfy, right? Right. And my top is a different size than my bottom (a common problem among a lot of women). I’ve been sewing for myself for years, so you’d think that I’d’ve got this thing figured out, even when I’m starting from a commercial pattern.

yeah, right. Remember this awesomeness? Well, I seem to have outdone myself yet again, and the most recent episode in this saga is even worse (and certainly isn’t helped by the terrible iPhone photo…)


I can’t decide if I just made myself a really awesome maternity shirt (which I certainly don’t need in this particular season of my life) or if I just have a really terrible problem with my mental catalog of my body proportions. For some perspective, here’s the original inspiration, a knit tunic desiged by Nani Iro –

naniIRO poncho

Super-cute, right? Obviously, I didn’t finish the pockets, and I also thought that perhaps a nice band around the bottom would be nice as well. BOY-OH-BOY was this terrible.  Nani Iro’s patterns are provided as “recipes” –

naniIRO recipe 10


For real, I know how to measure, and I did go through and draft myself a really nice paper pattern before I started cutting. And Yes, this was intended to be made with Knit fabric. But it was a disaster (see above picture in case you’ve forgotten…) It sat in my mending/projects to finish basket for months. I found it a week or so ago as I was sorting through my projects in an attempt to prioritize and organize (one of the goals of this simple life). I wanted to salvage it as a shirt, but reflecting on my daily dress code (i.e. all dresses/skirts, all the time), I decided it would be great as a knit dress. I don’t have many/any of those.  The end result?

purple dressII


MUCH better. I can go out in public with this one, right? I chopped off the whole bottom of the shirt right around the base of my ribcage/natural waist and used that to create a casing for some 1″ elastic. Then I slapped a very slightly-gathered skirt on to that, used a double-needle hem, and I am SO much happier with this. It’s super-comfy and a whole lot less likely to make people wonder what I’ve been up to in my private life….



  1. creative pixie

    Your dress looks so flattering, it shows you have a waist (which unfortunately the 1st top did not). I guess there are some items of clothing that even though they look lovely on paper they don’t suit everyones figure. I have an annoying little belly that can cause me to look pregnant if I’m not careful with my choice of clothing.Well done on salvaging the outfit-it was worth it 🙂

  2. rachel

    Thanks so much! I’m learning that dresses with a nip in at my natural waist are super-comfortable and I feel like they’re really flattering – It’s something that I’ve gotta file away in my mind for the next sewing project!

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