smuggler's daughter


smuggler's daughter

Hey y’all! Today I’m bringing you a fun giveaway from my newest blog sponsor. The Smuggler’s Daughter is a great online fabric shop and they have been generous enough to donate $50 gift certificates for two winners. You can enter below; earn an extra entry for liking the Smuggler’s Daughter and Closet Case Files on Facebook, and two extra entries for visiting their store and letting me know what you’re favourite fabric is. A winner will be chosen next Wednesday.

Please enter by using the Rafflecopter box below (you may have to click on the hyperlink if it’s not showing up in your rss feed). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



vintage stand mixer


vintage stand mixer

Happy Sunday makers! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. If you missed my posts on Instagram this week, something VERY EXCITING HAPPENED. Well, exciting if you like vintage appliances and new technological applications. The stand mixer in the above photo is my greatest flea market score of all time. It’s basically a Kitchenaid (and even has a SAUSAGE GRINDING ATTACHMENT!) but only cost $50, was made in the UK in the 50s and has the patina of decades of love and baking rubbed into its enamel shell. Needless to say, I adore my Kenwood Chef… until it sputtered out on me a few weeks ago. Something in the gullyworks broke and I wrote it off as destined for vintage appliance heaven…. until my friend David came over, took one look at the guts and said, “Oh, it’s just a gear that broke. I can scan these fragments, build a digital model and then print a new piece on my 3D printer using an industrial nylon fiber”. And then he did exactly that. And now my baby is purring like a kitten and BAKED GOODS FOR EVERYBODY. Every once and a while, the rapid pace of technology doesn’t fill me with abject terror. This was one of those times.

Here’s what the sewing world has been up to:


What happens when you take two of my favourite sewing bloggers and send them on a trip to the Croatian seaside? Oh, just pure bliss. Mokosha and Tea Okereke make the living look easy.

I am hoping to make a few more garments this year from my vintage pattern stash. This kimono robe from A Stitching Odyssey is great incentive.

Speaking of vintage patterns; only Carolyn could look at the scary 80’s cover art on her Issey Miyake pattern and have the vision to make this DROP DEAD GORGEOUS pale pink asymmetrical skirt.  The pattern is for sale here, btw.

I basically fainted when I saw Dolly Clacket’s wax print beauty on instagram this week.

If you don’t smile whenever you see one A Colourful Canvas’s bright beauties, I don’t know what to do for you.

A SUPER cute vintage top in a tropical print by Handmade by Heather B.

This tuxedo jacket by Girls in the Garden is the actual dictionary definition of chic.


I just spent a silly amount of time cleaning up and organizing my Pinterest boards. Order makes me feel calm. I just added two new boards for sewing nerds: Sewing Blog Goodness (I’ll be pinning all my favourite makes from around the web) and Sew Inspo, so I have a place for cool construction details and techniques.


An easy, mellow, folky, awesome playlist from Sharon Von Etten (one of my all-time favourite singer-songwriters) on Spotify.


A really inspiring, must read interview  with Martha Porter on Design Sponge.


I just zipped through the Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. It’s a great, easy summer read. I especially loved this passage on wearing what you’ve made:

This can be the most fun: to show off some funky scarf that reveals your inner cool. And other times, it’s just so hard to wear something that didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. But just put it on anyway; celebrate your hard work and your talent. And your love. Every knitter stitches with love, even when they’re just starting, all red-faced and frustrated. Why else would we create? Especially in a world that doesn’t need homemade anything. That’s when we need homemade everything. It never matters if things don’t end up just the way you planned. Every moment is a work in progress; every stitch is one stitch closer. There may be worse, but there will always be better. When you wear something you’ve made with your own hands, you surround yourself with love, and all the love that came before you. The real achievement, you see, is being proud of what you’ve made. I know that I am.


Feel immediately better about your skin with these insane beauty retouching time-lapse videos.


Creative Bug is offering one free month to try their classes, with one class to keep forever after (no credit card required to sign up). Some cool classes: Sew a Leather Bag, Stitched Rope Basket, Smocked Necklace or Pattern Drafting.


off the shoulder dress DIY


off the shoulder dress DIY

Thank you for all the great comments on my off the shoulder dress hack from earlier this week! I wanted to share a little tutorial for those of you interested in doing the same, and as promised, it’s easy as pie to accomplish. This pattern hack could be applied to other knit dress patterns in your stash, but keep in mind that in order for it to work, the dress must fit snugly across the shoulders and bust in order for it to stay up and not create boob panic whenever you bend over.


First things first, get your pattern pieces together. We will be modifying the front and back bodice, along with the sleeve. Starting on the front bodice, draw a point approximately 4″ below the top of the shoulder. Now draw a line across the bodice at this point, perpendicular to center front. Repeat for the back piece as well. To ensure that the line on the back will line up with the front, walk the seam along the armscye to make sure they meet up correctly. If you line up the corner of the sleeve with the corner of the front armscye, you should be able to draw a line at more or less the same height across the sleeve cap, perpendicular to the grainline. Your pieces should look something like this:

off the shoulder dress DIY

You’ll want to double check that the sleeve line is being cut off at the right spot, so draw in your seam allowance and measure between the notch and cut line to ensure the distance is the same on bodice and sleeve.

off the shoulder dress DIYoff the shoulder dress DIY

Dropping the shoulder 4″ is fairly conservative. You may find you want to go down even lower, but just keep in mind the height of  the band at the top. Once it’s sewn together you can try it on and decide if you’d like to take a little more off.


The process for sewing the band is the same that it would be for the regular neckline, so I didn’t take pictures of that step. To get the length of your band, use a measuring tape to measure the opening of your dress. Cut a band that is 80% of that length, plus 3/8″ on each end for the seam allowance. You’ll want something a little wider than the reglar Nettie band since you want it to help hold the dress up and tight against your body. I wanted a nice thick 3/4″ band, so I cut a strip of fabric that was 2 1/4″ wide (3/4″ doubled plus seam allowance). You’ll sew the short ends together and press in half along the long edge to create a circular band. With a chalk pen, divide the neckline into even fourths along the CF, CB and sleeves. Divide your band in even fourths, and match the band to the dress opening, with the seam of the band centered on CB. Sew it together, stretching the band as you go to match the opening of the dress. If you need more help on this step, see my post from the Nettie sewalong on attaching a knit band.

sewing a knit band

Once the band is sewn in, press the seam allowance down and topstitch with a zig zag or double needle stitch.

sew knit band to dressknit band

And that’s it! Told ya it was an easy mod! Anyone else want to give this hack a whirl this summer? SHOULDER LIBERATION TODAY!

bodycon dress off the shoulder


Off the Shoulder Dress DIY-9

I love a good pattern hack; there are few things more satisfying in my sewing practice than taking a pattern I already know and love and turning it into something dramatically different with a few swipes of the Sharpie. Even better when the pattern in question is one of my own.

The inspiration for hacking this off-the-shoulder Nettie dress came from a weird source; a vintage 90’s Kathy Ireland for Butterick pattern. I bought it a while back from a thrift store but discovered the pattern tissue was missing once I got it home. I never threw out the envelope (you know you’re hoarding patterns when…..) and stumbled on it again a few weeks ago. Around this time someone asked for a tutorial on shoulder hacking Nettie so I finally got on it. And in so doing, discovered a body part I don’t generally think very much about. Well hello clavicle! Meet the world!

Off the Shoulder Dress DIY Off the Shoulder Dress DIY-6 Off the Shoulder Dress DIY-4

I’m going to talk about the process in a tutorial later this week, but needless to say, chopping the shoulders off this pattern is a super easy modification (one more reason to love knits – it’s so easy to get creative with a good base!) I used a beefy textured double knit in a – let’s be honest – rather crazy print, and drafted the skirt to have more of an A-line shape. The result is a surprisingly structured cocktail dress that makes me feel like the walking x-ray of a cyborg skeleton. In a good way.

Off the Shoulder Dress DIY-3Off the Shoulder Dress DIY-5Off teh Shoulder knit dress

I think I knocked this out in under 2 hours, including goofing around with pattern placement which was HIGHLY enjoyable. Sometimes you just need to have a sense of humour about the location of your baby maker.

The guts are all serged and the hem was finished with a double needle. And to be honest? It was fun to play with this pattern again. Sometimes I get burned out by my own designs after testing and sample-making for months on end, so it was nice to return to this little lady and rediscover my love for her.  And I forgot how much I love golden hour in this gorgeous, spring-drunk city….. No more white studio walls for the foreseeable future!

Off the Shoulder Dress DIY-2bodycon dress

Back later this week with a tutorial for shoulder hacking Nettie yourself!

Details: Nettie dress pattern with modifications, MAC Ruby Woo lipstick, double pearl earrings (similar here), Aldo platforms