My Prairie Dress: The Deer and Doe Sureau Dress


There’s been a lot of talk about personal style and capsule wardrobes in the last few years. But is seems like most of us are still floundering around, trying to find our personal style, and feeling quite defeated in the end when most of our wardrobe feels dull, uninspired, uncomfortable, or contrived. That’s me! I probably fall into the “dull” category most of the time, with my plain tees and skinny jeans. About the only interesting thing I normally wear are my cowgirl boots. And cowgirl boots have been an integral part of my wardrobe for….about thirteen years. I just love them. So, this got me thinking. Maybe the fact that I like cowgirl boots so much could help me find my “personal style”. Maybe they could be the inspiration or the starting point. Make things that go with my boots and I will probably wear them!

IMG_6709When I saw this beautiful small floral Hokkoh linen lawn on the Drygoods Design website, I had to get it. It spoke to me. And when it arrived in the mail a couple days later, I kid you not, I cried. Never have I felt a linen like this. it feels similar to a Liberty Cotton Lawn, but, dare I say, better? Silky, soft, buttery, strong, rich, fine. And this print is perfection. I swear I have been subconsciously dreaming of and yearning after this exact fabric for years. So, I did what I had to and bought all of it. I don’t know if you can get this fabric any where else. I have looked quite desperately, and been unsuccessful. If they had this in some other similar prints, I would make an entire wardrobe from it (and probably curtains, cushions, and bedding).

IMG_6717The Deer and Doe Sureau Dress is something I had been wanting to make for a while. But I knew there were a few modifications I wanted to make before diving in.

First of all, I knew I would need to lengthen the bodice, as I am blessed with a long torso (and short legs…). I lengthened it by 1″, which sits perfectly on my natural waistline. Next, I know I love a full skirt that I can move and dance in, so I made the skirt panels about twice as wide. This was pretty easy to do, as the panels are only very slightly curved rectangles. This also meant I didn’t waste much fabric. I just made the panels as big as I could to use up all the fabric (the fabric was 44″ wide).  Then, I lengthened the skirt by about four inches, because I love the look of a just-below-the-knee or midi-length skirt with cowgirl boots. And lastly, I made the sleeves shorter by cutting along the lengthen or shorten line on the pattern. This turned out to be the perfect sleeve length, and gives the dress a very 1940’s look.

After wearing this dress for a couple days, I also realized I needed to take in the fabric slightly under the bust. There was just a little too much fabric there, so I took in the darts a little more, ending them just below my bust.


I have named this my “Prairie Dress”. The little floral print, the pattern, and the boots make me think of being out on the prairie, with big open skies, the dry wind whipping through my hair, geese flying overhead, and the scents of homemade dinner wafting through the nearby farmhouse window.

I like to include my measurements and the size I made in my posts to help out others who might be of a similar size.

Height: 5′ 4″

Bust: 31.5″

Waist: 26″

Hip: 38″ (I’m pear shaped)

I also have a long torso and short legs.


My Second Pair of Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns


Do you ever lay in bed at night thinking about your next or current make? I do. All the time. And after I made my first pair of Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns I spent quite a few nights trying to decide which modifications to make for my next pair. I wear jeans practically every day, so making my own that actually fit in all the right places has become one of my life goals. That may sound like a weird life goal, but seriously, a good-fitting pair of jeans makes me feel so confident and beautiful. It’s life-changing.

Just to start off, I thought it might be helpful and interesting to see the first and second pair side-by-side.



So, I realized with pair #1 on the left that there were some major issues in the crotch area. The jeans were quite tight, but the pulling at the crotch just didn’t look right. I went onto the Closet Case website and read the post on fitting your jeans . I knew I had to either lengthen or shorten the crotch, but I was really confused which one to do. When I started doing more research and reading other blogs, everyone seemed to be shortening their crotches instead of lengthening them. In fact, I didn’t find a single blogger who lengthened the crotch. But I did anyway.

Why I lengthened the crotch

Apart from the wrinkles, I noticed that the jeans were pulling down in the front, like there wasn’t enough room in the front for them to sit properly on my waist. Then I started looking at my RTW jeans, and they did the same thing. Also I made the high-waisted version, and these just didn’t seem very high on me. The waistband still sat below my belly button, when it was supposed to sit slightly above it. With dressmaking and shirt making, I know that I have a long torso, and usually have to adjust for that, but it never crossed my mind that I might have a long crotch or abdomen. But it makes perfect sense now!

Jeans #2 Below. Look at that high waist! Yay!



Denim: 10 oz. dark blue/black denim from Jo-Ann Fabrics (with a coupon it cost me about $10 for 1.5 yards)

  • Denim shrunk a lot when I washed it. I was barely able to to get all the pieces cut out, even with cutting 6″ off the leg length.
  • You get what you pay for. It isn’t very sturdy, and doesn’t hold it’s shape that well. This is great denim for making your first few pairs. But once you get the fit down, go out and get some quality denim. Threadbare Fabrics has beautiful American-made denim. And you only need about 1.5 yards for a pair of jeans, so even the nice stuff is affordable.

Hardware: Rivets are from Tailor Taylor . Zipper is one I’ve had in my stash for a while.

Thread: Coats and Clark gold jeans topstitching thread.

Lining: I used a green quilting cotton for the pocket stays and waistband facing. I also used a lightweight fusible interfacing in the waistband.


  1. Cut off 6″ from bottom of leg. I didn’t use the lengthen or shorten line on the pattern, but just cut off from the bottom.
  2. Did a full calf adjustment following the Closet Case tutorial.
  3. Lengthened the front crotch by 1/2″ and the back crotch by 1/4″, also using the Closet Case tutorial . Heather isn’t joking when she says very small adjustment make a HUGE difference. I wouldn’t recommend doing anything more than 1/2″.
  4. Curved in the yoke by about 1/2″ on each back yoke piece. This helps pull in the jeans at the top of my booty and give a nice curve. I probably couldn’t gone with a little more curve.
  5. Curved in the waistband by about 1/2″ on two spots on the waistband. This helps with a gaping waistband.



As you can see, these are now true high-waist jeans. And they feel AMAZING. I have never owned a pair of jeans that doesn’t feel like my butt crack will show when I bend over. And my abdomen is actually covered, which sounds weird, but it feel so secure and comfy.

These still aren’t completely perfect, but I am not a perfectionist when it comes to my sewing, and these fit pretty dang amazing for now! Now I’m ready to cut into some of my more expensive denim and see if that helps even more with the fit. I think it will, as the stretch in this denim is pretty wimpy. But they’ll gets tons of wear nonetheless. I already can’t even stand putting my RTW jeans on.


IMG_1611IMG_1619IMG_1622 (1)

How I Store My PDF Patterns


Back in November I discovered the vast and exciting world of indie patterns. I stuck one together and made it ( the Chardon Skirt by Deer and Doe Patterns). It didn’t seem so bad to go through the extra hassle of printing and sticking together all the pieces, so I did what any excited sewist would do and bought a bunch more. Well, fast forward a couple weeks and I start regretting my decision. Not because I don’t like the PDF process, but because I realized I truly appreciated the beautiful, easy, and uniform packaging of printed patterns. But I still wanted to use all those patterns I purchased, so I started thinking about a storage solution.

I wanted my all my patterns to be able to fit into the same storage crates, so I measured a standard printed pattern envelope, then looked up 6×9″ envelopes on Amazon. And I found exactly what I was looking for! Kraft Paper Envelopes .

And I am so happy with how my PDFs are now looking that I made this little tutorial. So, if you’re like me, and enjoy order and uniformity in your sewing room, get some envelopes and follow along!

Print Your Pattern Booklet

In order to get your pattern booklet to fit into the little envelope, you will need to make sure you adjust the scale in the print menu. Note: some pattern companies have their instructions already set up so that the pages print in a booklet form ( Tilly and The Buttons). But for most you will need to either select a booklet printing format or simply adjust the scale to 75%.


Cut The Booklet

You can use scissors for this part, but it’s much easier if you have a paper cutter ( I have the guillotine kind, but the slicing ones work as well). But I’m guessing if you do stick together lots of PDFs you probably already have one of these. And if not, get one!


I cut my instruction booklet pages to about 5.75″ x 8.25″


Decorate The Front

I love my patterns to look pretty, so take the first page of the instruction booklet, trim it, and tape or glue it to the front of the envelope. If you’re printer does color, even better. You could also decorate the cover or use highlighters or markers to add color. Also if you’ll be storing your patterns upright in a box, make sure the illustration is close to the top of the envelope, so you’ll be able to see it when you’re flipping through patterns.


These envelopes aren’t huge, so I like to trace my pattern pieces onto thinner tracing paper so everything fits nicely.


Voila! Beautiful PDF envelopes that fit in perfectly with all my printed patterns!


Last Make of 2017 – Butterick B6318



Wow, the last few months of 2017 were crazy sewing-wise. After hardly even touching my machine for over two years, the passion was reawakened, and I haven’t looked back.

I made lots of things throughout November and December, but this last make is truly special, and I am so happy I am featuring it in my very first post!

Pattern: Butterick B6318 1961 dress

I saw this pattern on my last visit to Joann Fabrics, and loved that it featured kimono style sleeves, and also a tie to define the waist. I could see this working well for all those bold floral prints that are so popular right now. When I got home I started looking through my fabric stash for a possible contender, and landed upon my treasured silk fabric from Sew Over It . I loved this fabric immediately when I saw Lisa Comfort’s version of the 1940’s Wrap Dress, and ordered three meters. Initially, I was thinking I would also make the same dress, but when I received the fabric I wasn’t sure. The print was way out of my comfort zone. And I wasn’t sure about the color, either. It felt really vintage, but not in a good way. Visions of my mom and aunts starting flashing across my brain. And they weren’t stylish images.

But this fabric feels like a dream. It’s not super thin silk. And it has lots of body. I knew it needed a full skirt and something really simple (but not a moo moo or shift dress).

I started cutting out the fabric for my B6318 almost immediately. It felt so satisfying to finally hear my scissors slicing through the silk.


IMG-1443The dress came together very easily and quickly, with only a couple modifications do the silk fabric I chose.


Shortened the front bodice. After attaching the skirt to the bodice, I tried it on and noticed one huge issue. Because this fabric is so drapey and heavy for a silk, it completely stretched out the front bodice piece with the weight of the full gathered skirt and only darts in the bodice for structure. This meant that the waist seam drooped oddly about two inches in the front, and when I tied the ties, the waist seem showed. It looked awful. I wound up just sewing this front seem up higher, gradually stitching up in a half-circle shape between the side seems. It sounds weird, but it was the only thing that made it work. So, even though the waist seem is not even around the skirt, it actually looks pretty even when I put it on.



I also used an invisible zipper, rather than a concealed zipper that the pattern called for. I chose this because I didn’t want any top-stitching to show on the silk.

Oh, and because I wanted to use as much of this fabric as possible, the skirt pieces are a little wider, making the dress slightly more full. This was super easy to do, since the skirt pieces are just rectangles.

The hem is actually just finished with my serger. I really love the length it is this way, and it’s not really noticeable, so I don’t think I will change it.


My measurements:

Bust: 31.5″

Waist: 26″

Size Made: US 6