Curtains for me

The Facts
Fabric: Thrifted red velvet curtains from the Goodwill Bins and Stupidly Expensive silk charmeuse lining
Pattern: Simplicity 2338
Year: 2011
Notions: Zipper, Hook/Eye, Thread
Time to Complete: 1 weekend — including 4 trips to the fabric store to try to match lining inappropriately used out of stash.
First worn: Phame Gala, 2011
Wear Again: Definitely
Total Price: $82.50 ($2.50+$50+$30)

About Me:
Name & Location
: Valerie, Portland, Oregon

How long have you been sewing: Off and on since I was about 12 when mom walked me through my first dress with a cute little matching jacket.  I’ve gotten more serious about it in the last 18 months though.

Why did you want to commit to The Sew Weekly Challenge:  I am so excited to take part in the Sew Weekly challenge this year — I’ve enjoyed reading about the amazing projects that the participants made last week and thought it was so interesting how they all interpreted the challenges differently.  One of my sewing resolutions this year is to be thoughtful about what I make and to participate in things that challenge me.  So, this is the perfect fit!  I’m really looking forward to embarking on this journey with the rest of you wonderful sewists!

What do you love most about sewing garments:  To be honest, standard rtw clothes– even plus size clothes — are not designed for my particular short, potato-shaped body.  So, I love having clothes that fit.  The more I sew, the more I’m horrified by how poorly most rtw is constructed and how expensive decently-constructed rtw costs.  So, I try to avoid shopping these days.

What do you hate most about sewing garments: Wadders.  The garments that were better looking / more me / less ridiculous in concept than reality.  I hate feeling like I’ve wasted a ton of time / fabric / money making something that I’ll never wear.  I feel like I learn from these experiences, but I still hate them.

What do you want to accomplish this year with regard to the challenge:  I hope to become a better sewist.

Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012: Other than work-related goals, I’m also working on learning how to cook all of my favorite Japanese treats and developing good recipes for these treats.  Over Shougatsu (New Year), I got my great aunt to show me how she makes An (red bean paste).  Unfortunately, the secret is this spoon she’s been using for 50 years, so not entirely replicable at this point.

What are your favorite sewing/fashion blogs:  There are so many!  Here are a few, but my apologies to the other amazing bloggers out there:

Already PrettyBig Girl. Small Budget. Tiny TownThe ColetterieClothes on FilmDid you make that?; Gertie’s New Blog for Better SewingMale Pattern BoldnessMaui Girl DreamingVery Purple Person; .. And of course Sew Weekly!



Valerie spends a lot of time at work helping people with scary problems. In her not-work time, she likes to sew for the creative outlet and technical challenges. Being approximately potato-shaped, she also is continuously working on improving grading and fitting techniques. In 2011 she decided "Heck with it" and started a taking courses to learn how to make her own potato-shaped patterns.


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  1. Best of luck for the year of sewing ahead.

  2. I love a good curtain refashion! Wishing you a super fun year ahead! xoxo

  3. Ye-ouch but wow, and if it feels that good to wear, you’ll wear it. Lovely rich colour.