Cloning in my closet: J. Crew Minnie pant, revisited

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. These pants were done save for the hem back in early December. I don’t want to make excuses for my sewing laziness, but let’s say that moving across state lines, the holidays and work stress got in the way of my sitting down for 30 minutes and hemming a pair of pants. But I did it! And then of course it took me another month to take photos of them. What can I say, it’s been too cold in NYC to wear anything but jeans!

These ones had minor alterations made to the pattern –namely, a flat belly adjustment and a longer hemline to make them more ankle-length than capri. No belt loops (I attached the waistband before I remembered) and no welt pockets, still (because they scare the bejeezus out of me). They fit perfectly about a month ago, but I put myself on a serious diet and now they’re about an inch too big at the waist. They drop a little and honestly, I think I’ll have to recut these in a smaller size in a few months. But that’s not a terrible problem to have!

I’ll cut the yapping short and let you get to the photos…


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Cloning in my closet: J. Crew Minnie pants

I am back after a (very long) break! So much happened in the last two months: I got too stressed out from work to sew, I got in a huge car crash and had to deal with buying a new car, I traveled for 3 weeks (Chicago, DC, Portland and Seattle) and I spent plenty of time holed up in my boyfriend’s apartment in Brooklyn away from my sewing machine before coming home to Boston. Faced with the prospect of weathering a hurricane alone in Boston, I packed up my sewing materials and my machine and drove us all back to Brooklyn. And I made a pair of pants. My very first pair of pants! And cloned from a wardrobe favorite, no less!

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Outfit Inspiration

I have loads of free time now and, in addition to sewing again, I’ve taken up learning how to use Photoshop. What better way of practicing than by scanning a sketch and trying to do something with it? (Also, first time I sketch in literally over 7 years…)

Here’s an idea for an outfit I dreamt up:

If you can’t tell from the drawing, it’s a short-sleeved shirt with a Peter Pan collar made in contrasting fabric, and a full gathered skirt. The fabric is this Liberty of London super soft cotton I got for $3.95/yd during a sale…

My inspiration was this outfit by J. Crew with a shirt and skirt made from the same fabric. Looks amazing together, sort of monochrome-but-not, and I do get separates out of it that I can mix and match with other things…

What do you guys think? I’m open to suggestions!

Ugh, this dress…

I started out with the intention of turning this pattern (sans sleeves) into this J. Crew dress:

And all was going well with the bodice, even after altering the pattern to include a waistband, making a muslin and fitting the pattern, and cutting and starting to put it together… Until I realized the skirt I was planning on using for it had darts that did not align with the bodice’s, and I didn’t have more fabric to cut a new skirt.

Oh well.

But I wouldn’t give up. I experimented with adding a pleated peplum (made out of the old skirt) to the bodice and turning it into a top:

… Which was looking good, even with my made-up (but successful) way of sewing pleats. Maybe this wouldn’t be a failure after all!

Looks all good from the front… Until I spot that bit of pulling on the left side. Upon closer examination, the back’s pleats needed to be a bit deeper to account for my back curves:

That just looks terrible! Maybe I was too ambitious by trying to make such a tailored top with finicky stretch fabric and pleats! Grrr… Luckily, I ran out of thread, so that gives me time to contemplate my next steps. I don’t want to give up on it because the fit is otherwise very good and I spent a lot of time on it.

I think I’ll finish it and see what it looks like. At worst, it’ll be a learning experience (I made pleats!) but hopefully it’ll be just like ready-to-wear: not perfect, but good enough.

A peek at what I’m doing next

I’ve sewn a cute little top for work, which I’ve yet to wear so I haven’t posted photos here. In the mean time, check out what I’m working on…


It’s a muslin for a pattern I am altering to look like a dress I saw at J. Crew. I’m going to sew this out of a wadder I made a long time ago with a gorgeous wool crepe that I just can’t throw out. Look at all of those alterations I am having to do to fit my bust properly– this is why I can’t just cut and sew, because there’s always somewhere to take in!

Now with my pattern alterations done, I am off to cut and sew the bodice!