Hot! The “Undefeated” Ensemble

The "Undefeated" Ensemble

The Facts
Fabric | Some kind of slubby  jersey blend, Old Navy cropped pants that have been, mercifully, shortened. I’m not too proud to admit that they never really looked that great on me.
Patterns | Pattern no.12 from the Japanese pattern book, Drape Drape
Year | Current.
Notions | Thread, only.
Time to complete | About an hour. The shorts were super easy, I hemmed them by hand. The top was fast because I didn’t hem or bind anything. I serged it together and finished the neck and armholes on the serger, too.
First worn | Out and about with my family. We visited my granny (her bday is today, Independence Day), went to the park to play (and take pics) and then back home.
Wear again? | Yes, but I may shorten the top. I don’t like that is-she-wearing-a-REALLY-short-dress-or-a-long-top look. I also cut it with the stretch running vertically (that was the only way the pattern fit), so it grew as the day went on.
Total price | Let’s call it free. The white was a scrap and the pants were saved from the trash pile and bought years and years and years ago.

The "Undefeated" Ensemble

Friends, I must say, there were parts of June that really sucked. The month managed to end with a splat, rather than a bang, as my daughter’s graduation party sucked the soul, energy and cheerfulness right out of me. I now know, officially and without a doubt, that I hate planning events. Though, I can qualify that statement by saying that I hate having the assistance of certain family members while planning an event. Let’s leave it at that.

The "Undefeated" Ensemble


The "Undefeated" Ensemble

After I cleaned the mess I’d let accumulate while I sulked over party planning and expense, I rallied my spirits and set my alarm to wake up early(ish) to sew. Only to discover that my machine was BROKEN!!! It must have happened while my sister was trying to make a skirt last week. I hadn’t touched it since then. I’m sure if there was ever a group of people who could understand how I felt when I made this discovery, it’s you all.

I managed to reach epic levels of sadness and disappointment so rapidly that I, literally, felt sick to my stomach. Sewing, crafting, creating is my relaxation. My guaranteed feeling of accomplishment when nothing else in my life is certain. Though I felt pathetic to be so upset about my inability to sew for a while, I was genuinely crushed. I wasted the entire day grouching from bed and watching bad TV. Thankfully, I have incredibly understanding children that possess the skill to entertain one another. And wait semi-patiently for dinner.

Late last night, I found the determination to hand sew the hem on the shorts and think of a project and fabric match that could be made entirely on my serger. Drape Drape no.13 and the only red, white or blue jersey in my stash combined to make it possible to have a project for this week. And to feel like I won the battle I’ve fought with myself my entire life, not to give up so easily.

I left the whole experience feeling undefeated!!

The "Undefeated" Ensemble



Wanett Clyde is a wife, mama of four and library school student that manages to cram a lot into her days. She loves books, writing, creating, the color purple, sarcasm, summertime, staying up late, anything British, BROOKLYN(!!!), and her family.


Comments are closed.

  1. Yay for you! I hope you feel very proud for a cute and useful outfit, and for salvaging this week. Man that sucks about your machine. I HATE being without mine, even though half my sewing is hand-sewing. I hope you get it fixed soon.

  2. Ahh good for you for persevering! Hopefully your summer will be relaxing. Great job on your outfit. I love how the white seams to glow in your pics. :D

  3. So sorry to hear about your machine. Sometimes getting a repair shop is hard to find so i thought i would give you the guy i used. The Manhattan Sewing Center, they closed their shop but still do repair work out of Brooklyn, here is the # 212-734-7909 and you can ask for Heshy. They do great work, they completed cleaned and gave a tune up to my 1952 Singer and when they did have the retail store in Manhattan, that is where I purchased my Elna Sewing Machine and Serger. Way to push through the challenge!

    • Thanks so much for the rec!! The place I took it to the last time ended up needing a Singer repairman because it’s computerized. I’m thinking of getting this one fixed and getting a new one.

  4. Your story is exactly why I bought a back up machine not too long after starting the Sew Weekly. I have a very vivid imagination and when I considered the pain I’d endure at the unexpected breaking down of my machine when I needed it to sew weekly…just the thought gave me hives. So I shelled out $350 just for peace of mind. Not saying you need to though because your serger improv was GENIUS!! Hand hemmed shorts and a completely serged top (which is mad cute and SO PERFECT for our East Coast heat wave) is an awesome MAKE IT WORK outfit. Your resilience is inspiring. I do hope your machine is repaired soon though….it’s gotta be rough with it wounded like that.

    P.S. Your summer hair poof is the cutest!! It may become my go-to fro style too this summer.

    • You’ve planted the back up machine seed, so I’ve decided to get this one fixed and buy another. It’s shocking that I didn’t think of that on my own :O)
      I’m busy trying to think of another make-it-work scheme for this week. That’s been my hair philosophy, too!

  5. good for you, nettie! way to find a method for making lemonade out of lemons, with a great walking-about-town outfit to boot. and fabulous attitude. thanks for sharing this story and this outfit.

  6. Great to see you come out ahead and I love the fact that you only used your serger to make such a cute top. I agree that it should be a tad shorter so that you can see more of the shorts and not have passerbyers wondering about it. You probably will feel more comfortable too. I have a new serger now and it does so much more than my last one. You’ve inspired me to try to make something with only the serger.

  7. That’s not undefeated, that’s triumphant… you beat off all those adversities and disappointments and made this beauty (I am dreading the day my sewing machine gives up, although hopefully I’m making this less likely by finally cleaning it properly after each challenge, darn, I hope that wasn’t famous last words). Also have to agree with Najah about your hair, it’s so cool.

  8. I would have been so angry if I’d found my machine broken after I;d let someone use it. I’m sorry-I think I would have sulked too and felt very antsy. I really like the top though I get what you mean about that length that’s not quite anything. This story is definitely an encouragement.