Hot! The “Meet & Greet” Tunic


Name & Location: Najah Carroll, Northern Virginia

Blog: Wanna Be Sewing Something

How long have you been sewing: About seven years. Though, it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve transitioned from sewing mostly home decor, accessories, and gifts to wearable garments.

Why did you want to commit to The Sew Weekly Challenge:  This challenge is the fire under my tush I desperately needed to make time for wardrobe sewing. My full-time, corporate job has left little time for fussing about with sewing patterns. And, that’s exactly what I must do to fit my short, curvy frame. However, I’ve recently got the hang of all the pattern alterations I must perform (and trust me…for these petite, porn star curves, there’s plenty). So, even if I have to part the Red Sea, there will be custom-made garments in my closet this year.

What do you love most about sewing garments: When I’m not royally ‘effing up, sewing can be a pretty Zen experience for me. Almost meditative. Because I’ve been on this mission to get stuff to actually fit, my previously murderous rage at unpicking stitches has evolved into a reminder to breathe and relax. I dig that sewing is building up my tolerance for mistakes.

What do you hate most about sewing garments: Threading and re-threading (when the first attempt fails) my serger. Sometimes, I just leave the thread from a previous project (usually a shameful color clash) on the machine out of laziness.

What do you want to accomplish this ear with regard to the challenge: Really, I’m trying to get a good rhythm and consistency with my sewing. It’s hard as hell to find the time when you’re slaving for the man, but I’m determined to make it work. A weekly sewing habit is going to do wonders for my self-esteem (and closet).

Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012: For the last couple of years, I’ve had a daily yoga practice. This year, I’d like to introduce inversions and get strong enough to perform an unsupported handstand (while sporting custom-made yogawear, of course!)

What are your favorite sewing/fashion blogs: Mena’s The Sew Weekly, Scott Schuman’s The Sartoliast, Erin McKean’s A Dress A Day, the ever popular BurdaStyle, and Mary Tomer Byun’s blog, Mrs. O.


The Facts

  • Fabric: Quilting cotton
  • Pattern: Simplicity 2599
  • Year: 2011
  • Notions: Bias tape, button
  • Time to complete: 4 hours (including alterations)
  • First worn: On a November business trip to Colorado.
  • Wear again? No. Second attempt will be in a different fabric.
  • Total price: $8 to $10

This tunic represents my first wearable garment made after performing a full bust and narrow shoulder adjustment. The pattern is a great basic I’ll be able to use to make endless variations.




Najah Carroll is a project manager by day and seamstress by night. Once it became clear that ready-to-wear was never gonna support her five feet of curves, she taught herself to sew and make pattern alterations. In January, she lost her mind by signing up for this 52-week garment sewing challenge.