Bye Bye Bye (Brittany)

I’ve lived in Florida for almost ten years, and for the most part, it’s pretty great. Here are some of the best things about living in Florida:

  • I don’t have to drag a winter coat around while doing my Christmas shopping.
  • Outdoor seating at restaurants and bars all year long.
  • Publix subs are the bomb.

But on the flip side, here are the worst parts about living in Florida:

  • Water skiing is stressful, because the alligators are like, “stay out of my lake.”
  • Almost everything melts in the car… credit cards, deodorant, Mickey ears (the HAT, not the ice cream)… seriously, everything.
  • There’s always someone moving away.

Let me elaborate on that last bullet point. Living and working in Central Florida generally means being surrounded by a lot of talented people who have followed their dreams. Which for the most part is awesome, because everybody is confident and ambitious and ready for adventure. But sadly, hanging with Dream Chasers means there’s a high probability that they’ll be just as open to the idea of chasing their dreams right out of Florida. Which means that I’m constantly saying farewell to wonderful, talented friends who are moving on to other magical opportunities.

Mickey Mouse in "The Moving Day" (1936)

Mickey Mouse in “The Moving Day” (1936)

The most recent “Florida casualty” is my friend Brittany, who will soon be pursuing an exciting opportunity in Texas. While I’ve only known Brittany for a little over a year, the two of us shared an office at work – and spending 40+ hours each week in an office that is intended to be a utility closet, side-by-side, through thick and thin, means that I’ve gotten to know Brittany better in one year than I’ve gotten to know some other friends and coworkers in the nine years I’ve been in Florida.

Myself, Brittany and one of our leaders, Vanessa

Myself, Brittany and one of our leaders, Vanessa

Brittany will be one of the first to tell you that I have a quirky personality and unique brand of humor – which most people don’t necessarily see or appreciate unless they spend a fairly significant amount of time working with me. While Brittany became my officemate by circumstance, not by choice, she not only came to understand my personality and humor, but actually became an advocate for it… and for that, I will be forever grateful.

Oh yeah, this is a sewing blog, right? Whoops. Let me get back on track and tell you what I made for Brittany as a farewell gift.

Two little-known facts about Brittany that only someone who shares an office with her would know (hope she doesn’t kill me for sharing these):

Little-known Fact #1: She keeps a basket of shoes in her overhead bin. Like Mr. Rogers, she changes her shoes each day when she gets to work and once again when she leaves. Only, unlike Mr. Rogers, she’s swapping in and out of heels.

Fred Rogers’ daily shoe swap… just 20-30 years prior to Brittany’s.

Little-known Fact #2: When she gets tired of wearing her fabulous jewelry, especially large necklaces, she will take them off in the middle of the day and hang them on the corner of her computer monitor – making our office feel more like Claire’s than a utility closet.

So naturally, what I needed to sew for Brittany was a jewelry roll… using shoe fabric. Yes, a little zipper pouch for Brittany to keep her jewelry while traveling – or while at work. I knew I wanted to make a jewelry roll for Brittany, and I wandered the fabric store for a long time, indecisive about what fabric to use. But when I saw the shoe fabric – I knew. This was it. Love at first sight.


I paired the fabric with some mint green zippers – and once again, it was time to bust out the One Yard Wonders jewelry roll pattern that I have made so many times over the years – like here, here and here.


I have always used plain, boring ribbon for my jewelry rolls, but this time I couldn’t pass up this minty, silver chevron ribbon.


I paired the shoe fabric with pink polka dot fabric for the ring placket and the lining…


The finished product!


Brittany is the epitome of personable, an out-of-this-world listener, a Zumba instructor extraordinaire, more structured and organized than Danny Tanner – and Texas is lucky to have her. But most importantly, she never let the box of Friday donuts leave our utility-closet-office until I came into work and was able to steal one (because you all know how much I love donuts). What I’m trying to say is that she is awesome… and I’ll miss her so much!

Did I also mention that one of the best parts about Florida is that people who leave will often come back to visit? Just sayin’!


A rag quilt for Baby B

I love experimenting with different patterns and projects, which means I rarely make the same thing twice. But recently, I’ve repeated some projects-from-the-past and learned the benefits of creating something familiar and dependable.

Remember the Mustaches & Elephants quilt I made for my friend Amanda? It doesn’t seem that long ago, but Amanda’s little guy, Liam, is now over a year old – it’s crazy how time flies! And Liam will soon have a buddy to hang out with on weekends, because mine and Amanda’s mutual friend Beth is now pregnant with a little boy too.

So naturally, I decided Beth’s baby boy needed to have the same quilt as Liam. Only, instead of mustaches and elephants, I went with “sports” to match the theme of the shower and the baby’s nursery. Puppies playing sports, to be more specific. Who doesn’t love puppies??? Playing sports???


I’m so thankful I made detailed notes about the exact measurements I used for Liam’s quilt right here in this blog — including an approximation of how much fabric I believed I would need in the future if I ever made the quilt again. I followed my own recommendations, and I’m so proud that I got the fabric estimation almost exactly right. I used almost every square inch of the fabric I bought for this quilt, with only a narrow strip of fabric thrown into the scrap pile. Bam!


I also completed this quilt with lightning-speed, in comparison to the first one, since I didn’t have to question everything I was doing. I completed the entire project, from start to finish, in one weekend.

Saturday: I shopped for fabric and batting, serged the edges to prevent fraying and washed/dried/ironed the supply. I also cut all the fabric squares, sewed the fabric “sandwiches” and laid them out in the pattern I wanted. Then I went to bed and hoped Winnie wouldn’t frolic through the loose squares laid out all over the floor.


Sunday: I stitched the squares into rows, and then stitched the rows into a quilt. I clipped all the seams (zzzzzz… that part takes way too long) and then threw the quilt in the washing machine for its first of three washes. The multiple washes are necessary for any rag quilt, in order to get that fluffy, “rag” quality. But there are apparently lots of benefits in gifting a well-washed sewing project – Beth’s husband commented on how good the quilt smelled. Ha. 


Showering Beth with baby quilt love!

So as much as I love being adventurous and trying new projects, I have to admit, it’s comforting to know what I’m getting myself into sometimes. And in this case, it was worth it – the quilt was a hit.

Are you a project adventurer, or do you stay within your comfort zone?


#SewMyStash2015: Harvest June (Fail)

When I started this blog, I promised I’d share the failures in addition to the successes. So here you go. A fail!

Well, in my defense, it’s not really a sewing fail. It’s just an unfinished project. So, a failed timeline. Rarr.

The #SewMyStash2015 challenge proposed by Leasa for June was called “Harvest June” and we were tasked with making something fall-related. I was pretty excited about it because I’m always behind when it comes to sewing for holidays. How exciting would it be to have a fall-related item completely ready-to-go in the fall because I had already completed it in June?


Proactive crafting!

But, excuses excuses: dealing with all this moving nonsense in the past month or so has really put me behind. I’ve spent a lot of time getting the new house in order (or, attempting to – I still have so much work ahead) and sadly, getting the craft room in order has not been at the top of priority list. Boo.


But aside from the monotony of moving, June brought about some pretty magical distractions too: my brother got married! So for the first half of the month, I was wrapped up in finalizing everything I needed for the wedding. And then I traveled to Wisconsin for the big moment.


Magical wedding distractions in the north woods! Also, let’s talk about how much I love that bear ottoman.

Anyway, when the wedding was over and I finally felt like I had gotten my craft room to a functional place (please note that “functional” does not mean “finished,” “completed” or “ultimate dream craft space”) I did put some of the housework aside for a bit and took the time to get back into my sewing. After such a long hiatus, it was incredibly comforting to hear the hum of my beloved machine once again. The past month or so has felt so task-oriented. Taking the time to get back to my “old self” for a few hours was a much needed break.


My first night back in the sewing biz – with a little help from an episode of The Bachelorette.

For Leasa’s challenge, I decided to tackle a (free) witch paper piecing pattern that I discovered last year (around the time I paper pieced this pumpkin). My favorite, favorite part about this piece is the witch’s green face and striped stockings. They add a burst of color to the otherwise black-and-gray color scheme. I do worry that it’s a little too reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz when I’m shooting for Halloween here. But hey, a witch is a witch, Wizard of Oz or not!


My goal is to make a Halloween-inspired wall hanging that consists of this witch and some additional quilt-y elements. Unfortunately, the other pieces I am working on to piece with the witch are taking longer than expected. So technically, I did not meet the “Harvest June” deadline because I didn’t finish this project in June. #Fail

But, #SewMyStash2015 challenge aside, let’s think about this scenario logically: I’m about halfway done with a Halloween project IN JULY. So… is this REALLY a failure?  No way!  I’ve never been this far ahead of schedule with any of my holiday craft projects. So I still consider this a win!

July’s challenge is “Holiday in July.” I wish I could participate, but I’m committed to my witch! I’m determined to finish up the Halloween piece before starting something new.


Maybe I’ll tackle holiday projects… in August. Well let’s be honest, by then I’ll be thinking about Halloween costumes. Sheesh – we just celebrated July 4 yesterday, and I already feel like the fall holidays are rolling in too fast! Eek.

How early do you start fall/winter projects? What are you working on now?


#SewMyStash2015: Bag Challenge

In the spirit of #SewMyStash2015 (the latest challenge is to sew a bag consisting of 75% stash fabrics) — here’s my latest, magical addition!

I made a second rendition of the Zip and Go bag I made for my mom using the wonderful pattern from Dog Under My Desk – only, this time, I went the “selfish sewing” route and made it for myself. With all the time I spend perusing Disney parks, I was determined to make a a Zip and Go theme park bag for myself.


My new bag’s Disney theme park debut!

Where did that magical fabric come from, you ask? Um. Well. It used to be a pair of boxer shorts! How’s that for upcycling?


Don’t worry, the boxers were brand new! I got two pairs on clearance a few years ago and have been holding onto them ever since, saving them for something special. But of course, #SewMyStash2015 is all about setting our favorite fabrics free! So it was time to cut up these beauties.


The solid black lining I used inside the bag was also a part of my stash, as was the interfacing and hardware (leftover from the bag I made for my mom – I’d bought the hardware in bulk to save money). I did have to purchase the black dot fabric for the strap – I didn’t have any matching fabric in my stash that was long enough to serve as the strap. I also had to purchase the zippers. So sadly, this is not 100% stash, but I can pretty confidently say that it is at least 75% stash (per the #SewMyStash2015 rules).


This bag is the perfect size for a theme park bag! It held my phone, keys, IDs/tickets and lip balm, and then I maxed it out by folding up a rain poncho and shoving it in the larger pocket. Everything fit perfectly. And the fact that the strap could be long enough to wear as a cross-body bag while on rides, or short enough to hang on the side of a restaurant chair while dining, was a huge plus.

What’s your favorite go-to bag for theme parks, day trips and outings?




Milestones & Mortgage Payments

Big life milestone conquered last week, you guys.


I bought a house! Well, a townhouse. Because the idea of a bunch of nonsense yard work made me think, “meh.” And because this townhouse is magical!

This milestone has been a long time coming – I’ve turned down a number of vacations and events and non-essential spending the past few years in order to make this happen. It’s so exciting that the dream is finally coming to life. Did I say exciting? I meant terrifying.

My sewing and crafting endeavors will mostly be on hold while I transition to the new house, but ultimately, this move is a big thumbs up for sewing and crafting in my life.

For one, I’ll now have enough space to host sewing and craft parties for friends — woo hoo. Maybe I’ll even host a craft party before I’m fully moved into the new place, so we can spread out and take over all of the empty, valuable floor space!

Wide, open space: looking over my land with a little help from Winnie. And wine.

Wide, open space: looking over my land with a little help from Winnie. And wine.

Also, I’m sure a bunch of home-related projects from my 100 No Pressure Projects list will rise to the top of my priority list…

And of course, a new house means a new sewing space! I haven’t exactly decided how to structure my dream craft space, but it will likely need to be combined with a guest bedroom. I’ve been Pinterest-ing like crazy, but I would love to see how your sewing space is set up. Do you have a craft/sewing area that is shared with another space, like a guest room or an office? I’d love to hear about it!


Once upon an audiobook

I love books. I’ve always loved books. As evidenced by this 1991 photo I once shared in an earlier blog post.


In my younger days, reading was my number one hobby, closely followed by crafty and creative activities. I LOVED trips to the library and my mom usually had to talk me out of bringing home giant stacks of books (but don’t be fooled — “giant” stacks were merely reduced to “semi-giant” stacks). I once got a $100 gift certificate (yes, they were “certificates” back then) to a bookstore and I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD. It was basically the equivalent of someone handing me a million dollars today.

Just call me Matilda.

Just call me Matilda.

I once got teased on the school bus because I was reading “for fun,” so I wrote a letter to the “help” section of Highlights magazine asking what to do when other kids made comments about my reading. The nice people at Highlights magazine wrote me a personal letter in response, basically telling me that I was awesome and shouldn’t stop reading.

Thanks to Highlights, I never stopped reading, although the frequency has fluctuated a lot in my grown-up life. Remember when “free reading” was encouraged and rewarded during downtime in elementary school? Those were the days! Unfortunately, the full-time workforce doesn’t share the same sentiment and I actually have to think about work when I’m at work. Pish posh! Throw in all of those grown-up responsibilities like grocery shopping and laundry and the like — there’s not much time left for reading.

Over the past few years, I’ve gotten into audiobooks, especially because I can use Overdrive to borrow them digitally through my library and download them right onto my mobile device. I love that I can listen to them while driving, walking the dog and even sewing! Audiobooks have turned me into a multi-tasker extraordinaire. Even though it’s really tempting to turn on Netflix every time I sew, I’m admittedly much more productive when I’m listening to an audiobook and don’t have to look away from my work.

I’m currently listening to Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull while working on a Disney-fied sewing project.

Even though listening to a book isn’t exactly the same experience as holding one and turning pages, audiobooks do have a few notable benefits. For example, I love autobiographies that are narrated by the author – hearing the passion in their voice is a much different experience than reading the words in my own head. This is especially apparent when listening to a book written by a comedian (see my “Funny Ladies” category below!). I also appreciate the audio format when books are incredibly lengthy or include a lot of non-critical details that I may have otherwise glazed over while reading. Text that may have seemed overly verbose while reading doesn’t seem nearly as strenuous when I’m hearing it march forward in the background while I cut and pin fabric.

I’ve listened to quite a few audiobooks lately, which inspired me to make a list of all the audiobooks that I’ve conquered the past few years. I liked some of these more than others, but as a whole, I would give these all a “thumbs up.” As much as I love reading and writing, being a book critic isn’t really my thing, so I’m not going to launch into a full book review. But you can always follow me on Goodreads to see how I rated each one of these books (Goodreads is an awesome social media site dedicated to books!).

Celebrity Autobiography/Memoirs (with an emphasis on Funny Ladies!)

Youth / Young Adult 

Miscellaneous Non-Fiction 

Do you listen to audiobooks, or are you more of a “I need to feel the book in my hands and turn the pages” kind of person? Either way, I’d love your recommendations! What have you been reading lately?


Starring Winnie!

The night before my roommate Katie‘s birthday, she heard me rustling through my craft supplies and asked what I was doing. I told her I was making her a birthday coupon. She thought I was kidding, but I wasn’t.

FYI, a "cug" (according to Katie's niece) is a combination cuddle/hug. Also, Winnie hates balloons - hence the PSA.

FYI, a “CUG” (according to Katie’s niece) is a cuddle/hug combo. Also, Winnie hates balloons – hence the PSA.

The idea of a “coupon gift” seems a little silly in adulthood, but I really wanted Katie to make the decision about what I should make… using this INCREDIBLE WINNIE FABRIC.


Yes, that is Katie’s dog, Winnie. I designed this custom fabric using real photos of Winnie and printed a yard of it at


Polka dots, bows and Winnie – what’s not to love?

Katie loved the fabric – who wouldn’t!? – and requested a decorative pillow to display on the couch in her office at work. I made an executive decision to make an envelope pillowcase with a pillow form insert so the pillowcase could be removed and washed in the future. (I used this easy-peasy envelope pillowcase tutorial from the Crafty Gemini and created my own, custom sized pillow form insert using scrap fabric and stuffing from an old pillow).


I also decided to use the alphabet paper piecing pattern I had recently won in a giveaway to quilt Winnie’s name on the front. Katie picked the coordinating yellow and gray fabrics from my stash. Because I was using the paper-pieced letters, the entire front side is also quilted with diagonal stripes.


Of course I had to get some photos with the little lady herself… (Winnie, that is.)


Although getting a successful photo proved to be a little challenging.


She’s a mischievous dog, but we love her dearly.

Which is good – because I have enough fabric leftover to make some other PAWS-itively awesome goodies in the future…

Sorry guys. I had to do it.



In defense of making doll clothes…

As a baby of the eighties, my most defining childhood moments took place in the 1990’s – so just add me to the long list of millennials who get a misty, nostalgic look when reminiscing about American Girl dolls. Yes, American Girl dolls are still around and have continued to exponentially grow in popularity… but there’s something special about those early years when there were only three historical dolls and purchases only followed hours and hours of pouring over the snail mail catalog.

For anyone who has ever had an American Girl doll, there’s something sort of defining about declaring who “your” doll was – your first doll, or your doll of choice, that is. For me, that was Molly, the character representing the World War II era. I received the book Meet Molly as a gift in 1990, and the rest is history. I quickly plowed through all the books in the series and the Molly doll was at the top of my Christmas list for Santa that year.


Over the years, I received a few additional outfits and accessories for Molly from the beloved, dog-eared American Girl catalog that arrived in the mail every few months. Then I received a gift for my First Holy Communion from a family friend — a First Communion dress for Molly that even included a clip-on veil. Whaaaaaaat??? My eight-year-old mind was blown. There were doll clothes out there that weren’t in the catalog. There were people out there who could make anything I wanted for Molly. This was all news to me.


Of course, I promptly declared that my mom needed to make some doll clothes. And my mom — who knows just enough sewing to get by with Halloween costumes and curtains and things, but really doesn’t enjoy the sewing journey — told me we could get some at a craft fair, or ask someone else’s mother to do it. (Side note: I have a really incredible mom who has always fully supported my interests. She just loathes sewing.) So of course, I grew up thinking that sewing doll clothes was really, really, really hard, and having a mother that could sew 18″ doll clothes on demand was the ultimate luxury.

Fast forward 20-ish years and I’m learning to sew all sorts of odds and ends, but have never really conquered garments. I’ve tried a few times and mostly failed. And these attempts usually consisted of me purchasing special fabric (like knits) and a boatload of patterns, only to wreck it all once I got home (sewing is not always glamorous, people).

So one day, I decided I should learn some garment-making basics on a smaller scale, in an attempt to salvage some of the supplies I had used for earlier garment endeavors. During a pattern sale, I picked up McCall’s M5019 – a variety of pajama pieces for 18″ dolls – which sat in my collection for a pretty long time until my parents moved to Florida and I rediscovered my dolls while going through some boxes. Finally, I had a doll in my possession to serve as a model for my garment attempts, so I decided to give the pattern a go.


And in the spirit of #SewMyStash2015, I used fabric I already had on hand to make a pair of Valentine’s Day pajamas for an 18″ doll, which I then included in a Valentine’s Day package of goodies for my cousin’s young daughter. Look at this Valentine’s Day goodness that cannot be found in the American Girl doll catalog! Magic, I tell you!


Full disclosure – the sweatshirt top is actually a free pattern from the Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop instead of the one in the McCall’s pattern. I tried the McCall’s one too, but thought it was a little too poofy, so the free internet pattern made the final cut. The PJ pants are McCall’s!


So, in conclusion…

Reasons why sewing doll clothes is the bomb

  • Helps in understanding the basics of garment-making.
  • Dolls have consistent measurements without a lot of curves and stuff – good for learning the basics without worrying about the ‘”fit.”
  • Doll clothes require very little fabric – a good way to use scraps or even just swatches from old clothes.
  • Lots of free, printable patterns on the internet that will easily print onto a standard 8.5×11″ piece of paper.
  • But most importantly… fulfill a childhood dream and/or make all the little children in your life squeal with glee.

Reasons to pass on sewing doll clothes

  • Everything is tiny! Tiny seams, tiny elastic casings, tiny strips of Velcro. Ughhhh.
  • If you don’t have children, you might look/feel like a weirdo (not that anybody is really watching what you sew in the privacy of your own home, unless you’re cuckoo-crazy and take your doll-clothes-making endeavors to a very public blog post, like me). And constantly dressing/undressing a doll will definitely make you feel like a super-weirdo.

So if you can’t tell, I’m obviously a little paranoid about revealing that I’m a 30-something lady without children who makes doll clothes. But hopefully, after my long-winded tale (and fancy bulleted pro/con lists), you understand why I had to conquer this little childhood dream.

And PS… this was also on my list of 100 No Pressure Projects. Another one bites the dust!

Now, I know I can’t be alone in this… whether you loved all the books or you had a doll, which American Girl was “your” defining girl? Any other Molly-lovers out there? Spill it. :)




DONUT underestimate the power of paper piecing

This post is about donuts. And paper piecing.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…
Bright frosted DONUTS that haven’t been bitten…
Quilty techniques on the gifts Santa brings… 
These are a few of my favorite things.

I looooooooooooooove donuts.


Donuts complete me.

So does my roommate Katie. When one of us says, “I want donuts,” the other roommate says, “NOM” and then we’re in the car en route to our local donut provider in a matter of minutes. We have donut ornaments on our Christmas tree. And the dog has donut toys.


I’ve already told you about how Katie is crafty (or rather, “Krafty”) so this year’s Christmas present for Katie was a combination of our mutual love for both donuts and crafts.

Last year, I made Katie a bag for her knitting supplies. This past year, Katie has spent a lot of time cross-stitching. She has boxes to keep her embroidery thread organized, but didn’t have a “to go” bag for her supplies so she could continue her adventures in cross-stitch while on airplanes… or at the car dealership. Katie always brings her cross-stitch to the car dealership when she’s getting an oil change. :)

So I decided Katie needed a simple zipper pouch to keep her project work (with Q-Snap frame in tact – since Katie is too fancy to use an old-school, wooden embroidery hoop) and related supplies like needles, scissors and some thread. Since the actual construction of the project was going to be so simple – just a basic zipper pouch – I wanted to use some a more advanced technique for the outside of the bag… and given my newfound interest in foundation paper piecing, I decided to go the quilty route! When I found a donut pattern from Shape Moth Quilts on etsy (looks like she has recently moved to Craftsy) – I knew I had hit the jackpot!


Choosing the fabrics for the donut was so much fun! Don’t you just want to eat it?


I included a little zipper pocket inside the zipper pouch (zipper in a zipper!) so Katie can keep some of the smaller, loose items in there.


Katie’s project work fits inside the pouch perfectly, but if I made this again, I would have made it a little bit bigger – just in case. I think I may have cut it too close for her 8″ x 8″ Q-Snap Frame. At the time I was constructing this, she was on vacation in Seattle and had brought her Q-Snap with her, so I wasn’t able to confirm what size she had. I’m thankful it ended up fitting at all!


Right now, Katie is working on ‘Pretty Little San Francisco by Satsuma Street!

I used leftover fabric to make a small “needlebook” to prevent stray needles from floating around in her bag. There are two felt “pages” inside the book and it securely closes with a snap.


And of course, another item has been checked off on my list of 100 No Pressure Projects – sew something for my roommate, Katie!

Donuts! Nom nom nom.



The skinny on alterations

I’m short. I’ve always been short. I didn’t like it when I was younger, but now I’ve grown accustomed to it and even appreciate it being one of my more defining traits.

Wait for me I have little legs

In my world, there’s always an excuse for a Full House reference.

But one of the biggest downsides to being short is that my pants are usually too long. Sometimes I take them to the dry cleaner for hemming,  but I really don’t enjoy doing that. It’s an extra errand, it costs money and I always have a fear that strangers are going to lose or damage my clothes (maybe I should just stop reading Yelp reviews for dry cleaners). Most of the time, I just try to find pants that “work,” which means they’re still a smidge too long and drag on the ground just enough to be annoying.

I’ve been sewing for a few years now, but I’ve always avoided alterations for a variety of reasons. For one thing, I still view myself as a beginner, even though I’m starting to realize that maybe I’ve learned a thing or two and I’m not as much of a beginner as I thought. Still, I’ve never had great luck with garments, and they continue to intimidate me. I also didn’t have a serger for a long time, and I didn’t think I’d be able to do a “nice” job without one.

But most notably… alterations are boring. Like, really boring. Falling into the same bucket as the DMV, mortgages and watching the little hour glass spin on a computer screen.


If alterations are boring, why am I writing about them? Well, here’s the backstory: I received a pair of designer flats for Christmas — and I love them! But as soon as I wore them with a pair of my flared jeans, I felt like a dweeb. These days, skinny jeans are the in ‘thang and I knew I wasn’t doing my flats any justice by letting flared, baggy jeans fall over them. Trendy flats are meant to be paired with skinny jeans! But skinny jeans make me feel claustrophobic, which is why I don’t buy them.

The flats that inspired it all.

The flats that inspired it all.

Then I found this tutorial showing how to turn flared or boot leg jeans into skinny jeans by WithWendy. Despite my fear of alterations, I was intrigued.

I pulled out a pair of old jeans – which are also WAY too long, so I’d always been forced to wear them with tall heels – and decided to try this thing out. As a bonus, a follow-up tutorial by the same person showed how to reduce the length of jeans while retaining the original hem. Really cool — and professional!


By following the instructions in the video, I was able to turn my jeans into skinny jeans that were just the right amount of “skinny” for me (non-claustrophobic!) and also adjust them to ensure they were the exact length I needed.

When I finished the project last week, I was satisfied with my work, but I didn’t think much of it – that is, until I was able to wear the jeans all weekend long and realized how much I LOVE THEM. Which led to this conclusion: alterations are infinitely boring while they’re still a work in progress, but when they’re finished – WOW. Instant acceleration from the most boring end to the most magical end of the spectrum.


Now standby while I empty my dresser drawers and HEM ALL THE THINGS!