A Little On Garment Designer

I mentioned a few posts back that I’d purchased a design program called Garment Designer by Cochinelle. My main motivation to get this was for machine knitting projects. But, it also does draft for sewing patterns.


My friend Liz came over and we spent a couple of hours getting my measurements, plugging them into Garment Designer and spitting out a pattern. The patterns can be printed on any size paper from taped to plotter size.  I essentially used the options for the most fitted knit I could sew — allowing me to check out the overall fit of my sloper.

Covered my Celine @dritz_sewing dressform with my sloper muslin 😍

A photo posted by Renee (@missceliespants) on

I have to say I’m pretty happy! No darts were harmed in the making of this sloper.  I think I could use a bit more room in the bust, but not enough for me to care or (IMHO) for it to matter when it comes to knitwear for myself.

Once you have your design, you can then punch in your gauge and the program spits out basic directions for your increases and decreases (along with the row count, needle position and estimates of yarn needed). If you’d like, they also give shaping instructions for making your bands too. Or, if you’re hand knitting, it will tell you how many inches along you should be and the number of live stitches.

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I don’t know how much I’ll use it for sewing as I have plenty of patterns to make. But, never say never!


Hopefully Rose Trellis Shawl for a knit a long on Ravelry

So, that’s an overview of the program. Hopefully next time, I’ll tell you if it actually works!




Simplicity 8013: Uncle

I’ve been lying to you. Turns out: I can’t sew. This weekend is Maryland Sheep and Wool. I think I’ll just buy some yarn, make a bed of wool and cry myself to sleep at night.

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I’m all done with this one.  The fabric, pattern and muslins are all in the trash bin.  I can say the tips for the bias stretch really worked! But, the dress is not working for me. I’m not getting the coverage I need. And, I’ve lost interest in figuring it out.

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On to the next project.


Simplicity 8013: Bodice Muslin #586

I got a lot of terrific advice after posting the disaster that was Simplicity 8013. For this version, I’ve made a few changes. Below is still muslin fabric. But, I used something with more slip to work out my changes.

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    1. Several of you suggested my FBA was too large. Take pleasure in knowing you were right! Originally, I sewed a 12 with a 2.5 inch FBA. I went back to the drawing board and selected the 16 based on on my upper chest measurement (39 inches) and made a 1 inch FBA. This gave me a much smaller and more manageable side dart.
    2. Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics referred me to an old Threads article  (starts on page 70) that talked about bias necklines. I used some of the directions from this piece. Primarily, I gave the neckline a 1 inch seam allowance, used rayon tape along the seam and eased the fabric to stabilize the neckline.

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I based the length of the tape on the pattern piece. Then, eased it to the fabric.

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I probably eased almost an inch extra to the rayon tape. That bias grew just by looking at it.

A GREAT reference for fitting a wraps dresses is Beth of Sunny Gal Studio‘s post on Craftsy. I raised the neckline 3/4 inch because I could still see the top of my bra in the muslin and this looks pretty low cut in the line drawing.

Finally, I pinched out 1/2 inch from the length of the neckline as it was still not snugging up.

I’m thinking about omitting the bodice lining. It’s a different pattern piece for the bodice lining and I’m pretty happy with the way to top fits now. And, my fabric is polyester and is going to be hot as all get out as is.

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Hopefully next time you see me, it will be with a completed dress!

Also, I lost my entire Sunday to Beyonce’s Lemonade. Seriously. Freedom is hands down my song this year.

Feeling Myself: Leopard Print Wrap Dress

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When I found this leopard print poly knit on a shopping trip with friends in August 2015, I knew it HAD to become a DVF style wrap dress using my previously made Burdastyle from October 2011.

That time we bought all the fabric #latergram @rollingincloth @cubanitacose @karen.heenan

A photo posted by Renee (@missceliespants) on

It’s funny I was drawn to this, because I tend to avoid animal prints (I read a study in college about how black models were more likely to be photographed in animal prints and said ‘F that noise’). That said, I also LOVE this leopard print dress I made in 2012.

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Give me *all* the 70s


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I had this Burdastyle pattern cut out by the end of September 2015. But, life happens, I became obsessed with machine knitting and I lost my sewing mojo when a very expensive fabric order from Mood was stolen off my front porch (Yeah. Seriously.) We’ve had a string of package thefts and this one made off with $200 in dove gray wool coating from Mood. And, I’m sure he just threw it away.

Video Evidence:

Luckily, because it was purchased on my Visa, they sent me a check for the fabric (which I didn’t bother replacing). And, now everything gets delivered to my office:-/

After some time, I finally picked this dress back up to get it off my sewing table in March. And, I love it. I feel like a total fox.

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You can tell I am just FEELING myself.

Rather than sew facings this time (which I despised) I used a narrow knit binding treatment. The binding is cut 1 inch wide on the bias. It is then sewn on doubled, along the 1/4 inch seam allowance, and folded again creating a strong binding that is the width of the seam allowance.   **technique well explained and photographed in Singer’s ‘Sewing Activewear’.

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The fabric was a little thin so I underlined throughout (except for the sleeves) with black tricot. I underlined rather than lined as I wanted it to be treated as one piece. And, it was a terrible, terrible mistake. I tried to hem the dress. But, the underlining and fashion fabric hung differently making it a lumpy saggy mess. So, I had to hack off several inches, trim the bottom evenly and go with no hem. Overall it’s shorter than I would like, but again: FEEL. ING. MY. SELF.

After my last project’s failure, I ended up wearing this out for my birthday dinner in Santa Fe with Jordan. Rawwrr.

Not All Sunshine: Simplicity 8013

I don’t really subscribe to the Birthday Dress trend in the sewing community. But, I’m turning 32+8 next week and taking a little mini break to Santa Fe with Jordan.  I thought it would be nice to have something fabulous to wear to dinner. I chose Simplicity 8013 because it’s stunning. But, also because it’s a 70s pattern. I was born in ’76 I love a little joke whenever possible.

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The reviews for this dress aren’t extensive.  I noticed that several were baggy in the bust or low enough that people wore chemises underneath. With that in mind, I made up the 12 bodice (which measures 37 at the bust), made my 1.5 inch FBA and pinned it onto my dress form (which I padded out using these instructions from Dritz).

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Paper Fit #1

I felt pretty good about the fit and decided to make the lining first so I could test it out. After sewing up the the bodice lining (not shown) I decided to add  another .5 inches to the FBA  (this is drafted for a B and I’m a G/DDDD) and raise the neckline by 1/2 inch.

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Muslin #2

For good measure, I of course tried it on myself. Not bad, eh? I thought I’d raise the neckline another 1/2 inch to keep the girls covered and and another 1/4 inch FBA based on the muslin below.

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Muslin #3

So, I confidently cut into my fashion fabric and was rewarded with a hard slap in the face. What in the hell is this gapey mess? I feel like I’ve been betrayed.

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I don’t know what happened. But, once I cut into my fashion fabric the bodice was horrible. Too much fabric, yet not enough bust coverage and weirdly small bodice too.

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Gah. It looks like Sadness from Inside Out.




Seems like this will be a Christmas 2016 dress rather than the milestone dress I planned. Luckily, I have just enough fabric to try again. But, I’m clearly going back to the drawing board.

On a positive note, my Chantelle bra matches my skin tone really well -_-

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Good lord that’s hideous.


Butterick 6244: In Which I Conquer My Fear of Plaid

I love plaid so hard. I have so much plaid in my stash I could open a kilt shop. But, I hardly ever sew plaid because I’m terrified of matching.

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Forgive my pigeon toes. Please.

I was inspired to make this waterfall coat for two reasons. I have too much coating fabric that’s not getting sewn (eight cuts and counting). And, I saw a very cool Burberry poncho that I couldn’t afford. I made my friend Sheryl go to Burberry with me to try this on. It was flawless. I also tried on a duffle coat and had small tears in my eyes when I put it back on the hanger.


Said poncho is $900

This fabric (ostensibly Burberry) was $5 or a yard during my ‘trench coat with wool liner’ phase about five years ago. I never made that warmer but the fabric remained. I in fact have it in a second camel color way (that will hopefully become a poncho next season).

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I sewed this coat in bits and pieces over two weekends. Which is really good for me. It allows me to not mind techniques taking a bit more time. I thread traced my darts instead of just marking (or eyeballing) them with chalk.

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I actually did all the flat fell seaming with my terrific Bernina foot.  And, for all these small touches, it made a big difference in my construction process.

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It was very windy

Because I don’t sew Butterick often I wasn’t quite sure what size to go with. Based on the finished measurements, I sewed a 14 grading to a 16 in the thighs. I did baste the side seams to make sure I had a fit I could live with. I also decided to forgo an FBA because the coat isn’t meant to closed and there’s a ton of drape / ease here at the front. Overall, it’s got a very modern blanket coat vibe and I could have probably gone down one size.

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I made only one alteration which was to shorten the shoulder seam. Of course, I shortened it after I’d sewn in the sleeve:-/

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One main sewing tip if I may. If you have a walking foot, use it. I think nothing will ruin the lines of this coat more than waves / wonkey narrow hems. Plenty of steam and a walking foot will keep the bias under  control.

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I’m feeling pretty accomplished that I sewed a revered plaid coating. I didn’t get the plaid quite right at the front (sad trombone). But, I figure in movement it’ll be hard to tell.

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l’escargot bleu scarf and Butterick 6244 WIP

I caught a glimpse of the (free)  l’escargot bleu scarf by Escape Tricot while on Ravelry. If it’s mostly stockinette with stripes, I’m totally in to it. Plus, this works as a blanket scarf which everyone seems to be wearing these days.

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This scarf is shaped like a snail (although the typo in the directions read ‘sail’ which also made sense to me). I copied their colors and made one of my own on my standard gauge knitting machine. I’m still using super inexpensive acrylic from Michael’s (Loops and Thread). I made two of these. The one on Ravelry is straight stockinette. But, the one here has a 1×1 ribbed border. The original uses garter stitches at the end.

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On a knitting machine, you can make ribbing by latching up on the main bed. Or, by using a ribber. Luckily, both my machines came with ribbers. And, I finally tried the ribber out and it works! I’m terrible at it (loopy edges, blech). But, it works.

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My next knitting project should be a garment. I promised Jordan a vest and I’ve been practicing the techniques. I’ve ordered some yarn from Colourmart and expect it next week. I am of course terrified.



My current project is sewing related. After two hours on the floor matching plaids, I’ve cut out Butterick 6244 the Lisette waterfall coat pattern. I also think I have never actually sewn a plaid garment before. And, I LOVE plaids. But, I’m terrified of matching. But, I bit the bullet and dug into this one.

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There’s a helpful sew along on Lisette’s website that I’ll follow. And, I can’t wait to use my *awesome*  8mm flat fell foot on my Bernina 830.

Here’s hoping I finish this while it’s still winter!