Grey Linen with Indigo Binding

My new summer make-my-own-clothing obsession is not yet over. Actually, I think it might be leading to a bigger love affair but for now I am not ready to commit. So I'm just enjoying this courtship full of dahlias and date nights and poetry. The engagement might come later. But for now I'm happy for the excitement of it all. The anticipation. The revelations. The promise of what is still to come. Sigh.

This time I challenged myself to think outside the dress. I wanted a grey linen top. And this pile of indigo dyed fabric has been sitting pretty on my desk so I decided to dive in with an indigo binding. Something about the dyed blue next to the linen grey made my heart race in all the right ways. (I know, I know. I'm pushing the envelope with my summer romance analogy but I just can't resist. It's love!)

So I altered the pattern from Sonya Philip's dressmaking class and made the dress pattern slimmer, shorter, and more like a flowing top than a smock. Lucky for me, it worked. And I also pushed myself to make the binding all machine-stitched instead of my usual hand-stitching for top stitches. It also worked. Phew. Add one off-center rectangular pocket and I call it a day. Done.

Now, back to the love affair. But, of course, I want to try a hand at linen pants. (Pants? Gasp.) Or maybe a skirt. Or maybe another dress using my patternless pattern. I've also invested in a few wonderful books to help me along this summer: Stylish Dress Book is so incredibly pretty and ever-inspiring, Design-It-Yourself Clothes is helping to demystify the patternmaking process, and Mend It Better has already darned a pair of my favorite jeans. And if you haven't heard my soapbox pitch about factory fashion, I'll go ahead and repeat myself about the book Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline. This book is THAT good.

Okay, the dahlias asked for a photo of their very own. They were not satisfied just peeking out from the background behind the linen top. Something about being the most magnificent shade of fuchsia and bursting color into the heart of my studio and leaping from the farmer's market stall straight into the back pocket of the little one's stroller. I swear. It's true.



  1. I agree, there is something about the indigo against the gray linen that is very special. Your top is very nice, and obviously made with love. and wine. French ballads.and hours on the phone. (!)
    I am 100% behind you on testing the waters with your love affair. Make the pants. Make a skirt. Make anything. I have always told my mom that she can paint a wall (and in her case, furniture) any color she wants. It's just paint. There are un-do's, re-tries and cover ups that even wiki leaks won't detect. GO crazy.

    Finally, FINALLY, my loved ones ask my opinion and go with it when it comes to room assembly. It has only taken nearly 15 years. In their defense, I am a commercial Interior Designer, not a decorator, but come on. I am trained! It's my hobby for God sake. (I'll show you my latest work soon)

    You have been sewing for a long time too. Trust you. Trust your hands and your heart. I know you do, but just take this as a proverbial stadium full of encouragement with pennants waving with "Made by Katrina" on them. So many pennants that from a birds eye view, it looks like a sea of minnows darting and swimming. Go, go go! You can! Yes, you can.

    1. you are magic. "so many pennants that from a bird's eye view it looks like a sea of minnows darting and swimming". i think this might be my favorite bit of encouragement ever. thank you, dear beth.

  2. My friend, we're both in love with making clothes! I can't stop either! Love what you did with the indigo, each little scrap is cherished, isn't it? Now, do you know about Nani Iro fabric?? I just found some at purl soho but you can see them all At www.naniiro.jp. Sigh.

    1. great minds think alike?!? it's so exciting to turn the sewing gaze from art projects to wearable garments. to make clothes, for goodness sake! though i know myself well enough to know that i will want to switch the gaze back to "nonfunctional" art at some point too. the adventure. the permission. the discovery. enjoy making!

  3. Shauna Casey8/26/2013

    Oh gosh, all this sewing inspiration. Knocking me off my socks. I want you to teach me how to properly attach binding!


    1. shauna: thank you, my dearest. i've been super inspired to make clothes this summer. and i'm happy to show you how to sew a binding. you're the second person to ask so maybe i'll even do a tutorial here on the blog when i get back from NY. xoxo


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.