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Remix The Stitch: The Capitol Hill Maxi

Hi there! I’m Jaime of MadeByJaime and I’m so glad you’ve stopped by! I’m up today on the Remix The Stitch Anniversary Tour & Giveaway with my twist on Straight Stitch Designs‘ Capitol Hill. Just for reference, here’s Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs rockin the original version of the Capitol Hill:

Kimberly describes it this way: “CAPITOL HILL is style meets comfort with a scoop neck, double pleat detail at the front and 3 skirt options.  Make the Capitol Hill as either a dress or a tunic with elbow or long sleeves.  You can go for classic with a gathered skirt in both knit and woven or mix it up with a half or full circle skirt.  You can also band the sleeves or just do a simple hem.”

About a week before really thinking through what I was going to do to remix the Capitol Hill, my local fabric store posted this glitter chiffon fabric as a part of their weekly Create This Look. I couldn’t get this fabric out of my mind so when I had a kidless hour, I ran down to F&M Fabrics (online at and picked up 3 yards. You guys…it’s 3.99 A YARD and comes in 3 color ways! I also found a really stable mid-heavyweight knit and got several yards of that for the bodice and underskirt and got to work.

Straight Stitch Designs' Capitol Hill Remix | MadeByJaime

I cut the bodice and waistband first. I had a remnant of a bright pink knit but it was much thinner than the black knit I was using for the bodice and I was concerned it wouldn’t hold up the layers of the skirt I was planning. So I also cut the waistband in the black knit and layered them together as one fabric. I must stop here to say Kimberly has included a short video on how to appropriately fold the front bodice pleats so if the instructions are confusing for you in any way, the video clarifies everything!

Once I tried that on and knew it fit, I moved on to the skirt. Because the knit’s thickness, I was concerned that a half circle skirt would be a little much so I used this tutorial to cut an a-line skirt from it. In this episode of True Sewing Confessions, I must tell you, I did not appropriately account for my hip measurement and it turned out quite snug. At first I liked how it felt – kind of like built-in spanx! But I realized, after getting it all together, that it would start to ride up and affect the drape of the bodice. I fixed it after the fact by opening up the side seams and adding gussets (triangle pieces of fabric) from just above my hip to the hem. This allowed for better movement and overall drape of the dress.

Straight Stitch Designs' Capitol Hill Remix | MadeByJaime

After cutting the under layer, I used the half circle skirt pattern piece included in the Capitol Hill file to cut the chiffon. I just opened up the chiffon and folded the 3 yards in half and instead of cutting on the hem line included, which is knee length, I just continued cutting to the fabric edge. I used a measuring tape to find out how far beyond the pattern that took me (22.5″ if I remember correctly) and just marked that distance across the entire bottom edge with chalk. I used that as my cutting line and the length was generous enough to have some room to work with, but not wasteful (for reference, I’m 5′ 7″).

Straight Stitch Designs' Capitol Hill Remix | MadeByJaime

I knew I wanted to do something different with the sleeve to continue to mix it up, but I didn’t have it nailed down at the outset. I briefly thought about making the neckline and/or sleeves from the chiffon, but it quickly went from nod to the 70’s to over-the-top so I used the black knit for the neckline and decided to use the Capitol Hill Sleeve pattern to draft a tulip sleeve.

Straight Stitch Designs' Capitol Hill Remix | MadeByJaime Straight Stitch Designs' Capitol Hill Remix | MadeByJaimeStraight Stitch Designs' Capitol Hill Remix | MadeByJaime

I used this tutorial but drew 2″ down from the under arm seam, instead of 1″ as instructed. I also added 1/2″ seam allowance to the bottom edge only after drafting, as the sleeve cap and side seams already included seam allowance.Straight Stitch Designs' Capitol Hill Remix | MadeByJaime

The black is such a strong color, I worried the elbow length or long sleeves would overpower the dress. I absolutely love how the tulip sleeve turned out – I think it adds some subtle femininity in line with the flowy floral.

Straight Stitch Designs' Capitol Hill Remix | MadeByJaime

I hadn’t made the Capitol Hill before so I had fun exploring it’s possibilities and remixing it as I went. The pattern itself offers so many options without remixing, but it is definitely a pattern you can add your own flair and style to.

Don’t forget, Kimberly is offering 50% off all Straight Stitch Designs patterns* (PDF and paper) and 40% off her Stitch Kits now through September 20th and you can see it all here*. See all the other Remix the Stitch styles here:

Tuesday, September 8th
Meg Cookin’ and Craftin’ | Jennifer Ginger Peach Studio

Wednesday, September 9th
Ajaire Call Ajaire | Heidi Handmade Frenzy | Stacey Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Thursday, September 10th
Melissa Rebel & Malice | Annika Näh-Connection | Abby Sew Much Ado

Friday, September 11th
Katie It’s Hard to Hear Up Here | Jane Buzzmills | Lisa Mabey She Made It

Saturday, September 12th
Elena Randomly Happy | Allie Indiesew | Jess If Only They Would Nap

Monday, September 14th
Jaime Made By Jaime | Lauren BASTE + GATHER | Sara Made by Sara

Tuesday, September 15th
Audrey Skirt Fixationy | Teri Fa Sew La | Hayley Welcome to the Mouse House

Wednesday, September 16th
Emi Just Add Fabric | Rachael Imagine Gnats | Teresa Dandelion Drift

Thursday, September 17th
Kaysie | KZJO’STUDIO Rita Conversas de Hermanas | Stephanie Swoodson Says

Friday, September 18th
Andreia In a Manner of Sewing | Nienke Pienkel | Abbey Sew Charleston

And now for the Giveaway! Here’s a reminder of the lovely prize package being offered (To enter, see the rafflecopter widget below)

Straight Stitch Designs' Anniversary & Giveaway | MadeByJaime

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Any links with an asterisk indicate an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through that link, I earn a small percentage. Thank you for your support! I also was given a pattern by Straight Stitch Designs as a thank you for participating in this bloggy celebration. Please see my *Disclosure tab above for details. 

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Handmade Easter

For those who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend! As a little girl I always got a new spring dress to wear on Easter Sunday and it’s a tradition I just can’t shake. The past few years, I haven’t been able to get a new outfit for Easter for whatever reason, but this year I was determined to not only make something for the kids, but to make something for me too. You’ve seen sneak peaks on instagram and facebook if you follow me there, but I wanted to do a round up here with all the details.

I posted a while back about pattern testing the Lorelei dress from E-Beth Designs. I had another dress/fabric picked out for her, but since so many people commented that this one would make a good Easter dress, I went with it!

Lorelei Dress | JaimeSews

The fabric was an Alexander Henry I got at JoAnn’s, along with the matching Kona Cotton solid. You can get the Lorelei pattern here.

Lorelei Dress | JaimeSews

For my son, I used the Classic Oxford Pattern from Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop {affiliate}.

Classic Oxford | JaimeSews

Mr. T picked out the fabric and buttons at F&M Fabrics himself (now online as and we were pleasantly surprised that he almost matched his cousins exactly!

Classic Oxford | JaimeSews

Then…at the last minute, I was able to pull a dress together for myself! I got my fabric from F&M Fabrics in the same shopping trip as my son. I had taken another dress pattern to the store but when I saw this fabric, I really loved it and decided it didn’t fit the dress pattern that I originally had in mind.

Garden Party Dress | JaimeSews

I ended up using this free multi-sized pattern (did you hear that, FREE) by Honigdesign. It’s called the Garden Party Dress. You’ll want to click here to see the original versions. I altered the neckline and made it sleeveless, but the original pattern has some great features and it’s a dress you can make in different fabrics and sleeve lengths to wear year round! Believe me, you will want to have it in every color!

Garden Party Dress | JaimeSews

It was a wonderful day with an outside service at church, time with family and yummy food. I hope your day was just as great! I’d love to see your handmade Easter outfits too – feel free to leave me a comment to let me know what you made!

Happy Easter 2014 | JaimeSews

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Fancy Maggie Mae

If you follow me on facebook, you saw a (blurry) pic late last week of my Fancy Maggie Mae in-progress.

FancyMaggieMaein-progressAs you know from my last post, I am in LOVE with Maggie Mae and as I considered all the possibilities, I envisioned this Audrey Hepburn style, fancy version in black satin & sheers. I knew I had to make one up before Halloween because it would make the most adorable little costume for any Audrey-aspiring little girl. However, when I got to this point in the construction, I knew it hadn’t quite achieved the look I had in my head. I’m no artist, but the lines of this dress are simple enough that I decided to put to paper what I had in mind.

sketchI really want the back sheer to be bound in satin as the neckline and armholes are, with a little elastic loop and satin button at the top. I think this will be enough room to get one’s head through so instead of coming up with some alternate closure for the lower bodice (satin portion), I want to try to cut it all one piece. Then, I felt like it needed a little more of the sequined sheer somewhere, but in my head it wouldn’t look right to put at the bottom as the Maggie Mae pattern has traditionally. So think I’ll try a thin strip of it, over the satin, as a kind of built in belt around the waist. I have already purchased an adorable flower to add to the waistline as well. Lastly, I am going to cut the skirt longer, but still gather it and attach it to the sequined band. Then…it just might be perfect.

So after taking it apart, I re-cut the satin back bodice piece to be the same as the front. I cut off some of the sheer in order to bind it and reattach and this is what I got:

FancyNewClosureThen I moved on to constructing the waistline band. It was pretty quick to cut and baste the two fabrics together. Here it is attached to the bodice:

FancyBodiceI cut the skirt longer and installed the pockets and then attached it to the dress. Now THIS is more like I envisioned it!




The bodice is lined in cotton for comfort and the satin binding  and chiffon are also nice against the skin. Any princess should feel comfy and glamorous in the Fancy Maggie Mae – and can’t you see it is any color satin to match any flower girl to any wedding party?!

The Fancy Maggie Mae is available for custom order in my Etsy Store!

If you like the Fancy Maggie Mae I’d appreciate help in spreading the word – please like on facebook or instagram, share on pinterest or twitter, or let any brides know of this adorable flower-girl option. Thanks in advance!

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My five year old son is just precious. He is just old enough to realize what my sewing means to him and in his eyes, nothing is beyond my ability. Aside from his persistent, “are you done yet?” inquiries, he also frequently visits my sewing space to tell me what a great job I’m doing , how awesome it looks, or just to hang with me and see how it’s all done.

One day in my blog reading, I stumbled upon a Delia Creates post on some ninjago costumes she made (which he saw) and for the last few weeks he’s been begging me to make a green ninja costume for him. So earlier this week we went to the warehouse fabric store, grabbed some green and black knit and used a combination of patterns to make this:



  • 2 1/8 yd green knit (60″ wide)
  • 1/4 yd black knit (60″ wide)
  • 1/8-1/4 (or scrap) of a stiff silver fabric (vinyl or what I used was waterproof bag material) for “armor”
  • McCall’s 6184
  • McCall’s P344
  • 1/4″ Elastic
  • 3/4″ elastic


After taking my son’s measurements, I pulled out the pattern pieces for the karati gi (McCalls 6184) only to realize I had used the pattern previously for his Luke Skywalker Costume. The size cut was a 4 and even though he is 5, his measurements were right on target for size 4. I must have made some alterations in his Luke Skywalker costume to make it shorter, etc. because that was a year ago. But I was glad to realize I had made it before because his Luke costume was pretty wide for the size and this time I used a knit so I decided to thin it out a bit by taking an inch out of the width both on front and back


Also, I noticed that the ninjago gi has a lapel of sorts so when I was cutting the pieces out, I cut along the curve of an imaginary crew-neckline and then straight down to meet the pattern. Also, note that taking an inch out made the shoulder seam a little wonky, so when cutting, just cut straight across. There are more formal ways to add to a pattern and true up lines, but hey! It’s a costume, right?!?


I knew that making a 4 would fit his body measurements but I knew they’d be too short so I cut the pattern for sleeves and pants on the line that says “lengthen or shorten here” and spread about 1 1/2″ to add some length.

Baby Girl loves to “help” 🙂

I cut the belt from the black knit, but did not use the neck piece from the pattern since I had altered the neckline for the lapel and would be adding a black band on the front edges. To do that I just measured the length of the front edge and rotary-cut a strip about 3 inches wide. I folded the strip right-sides-together (RST) and sewed one short edge. Then turned it inside out and placed the sewn edge at the top of the shirt and attached one long edge with a 1/4″ seam. I pressed a 1/4″ seam in the other long edge, folded the strip to the inside and topstiched it in place. I also measured the neckline and cut a similar strip to add in green along the neck edge (no, my seams are not finished on that part – this was actually the last piece I made of the three and the boy was getting anxious!)


The mask is in two pieces – a mouth and nose cover, held on by elastic behind the ears. Since the knit I was using wasn’t very stable, the mouth piece started to stretch out in the few minutes T was wearing/playing with it so I later added some elastic to the edges to help it keep it’s shape.


Then the hood goes on over that


The pants made up like your typical elastic waist/pajama pants so I’ll move on to the “armor”. I looked high and low for silver vinyl at the fabric store with two kids who were getting a little weary so when I found this bag material that was silver and stiff, I just grabbed it and ran to the cut table. I wasn’t sure how it’d do in the wash so I took my cue from Delia Creates and attached some velcro to make it detachable. To make the shoulder armor, I found this printable box template and used the top two-thirds of it (minus the bag handle) as my pattern.

DSC_0042I cut the two bottom pieces a little longer and added velcro before sewing both “boxes” together.


The “armor piece on the hood I just cut freehand and zigzag stitched in place.


So there you have it! I was rewarded with, “Mom, I love how you can make me all these cool things” and that’s good in my book. We will be living with a green ninja for the next two weeks straight, I’m sure, so if you see us around town, say hi!

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Sewing Day

Thanks to all my friends who came to sewing day this last Saturday! We had some old friends come and some new friends (one of which really impressed me – Hailey aged 12!). If you can believe it, we didn’t take a single picture! FOR SHAME! Though none of us really finished, everyone made really good progress on their projects.

  • Malissa started her first-ever knit garment
  • Hailey worked on a super cute elastic waist skirt
  • Melissa got all the prep work done and some stitching on her first sewing project (the A-plus A-line skirt from
  • Diane finished some snuggle baby blankets
  • Emily used my serger to finally hem up her curtain sheers and also got some fusing done on a quilt she’s working on.
  • Leta Mae came to work on a shirt she’s made several times
  • I worked on my little guy’s costume (Woody from Toy Story) and ended up finishing his vest (Orlando from Burdastyle) and bandana:
Woody's bandana and vest

Thanks to my good friend Mary for recommending I line the vest in black so that later he can dress up as Han Solo!! This afternoon I got started on Woody’s shirt (Kwik Sew 3146):

I think I will take this to work on during my lunch hour tomorrow. I’m really happy at what I’ve finished on it so far, but the sooner I get this done, the quicker I can get back to Lady Grey! haha What about you? Are you making costumes this year? Have you done so in the past? What was the best one you’ve made or worn handmade? Can’t wait to hear your answers!

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Pants – EEK!!

Well, I fell in love with the Alice & Olivia pants pattern (Vogue 2907), but as it turns out, these are going to take some work to get just right. I made a muslin of the pattern with no alterations – just to see what I had to work with. The waistline was perfect in the back but way too high in the front. I pinned some fabric out of the front to adjust where the waistline hit, then pinned some out below to try to take care of some other wrinkles. I decided the shape of the leg was too, shall-i-say, sexy for a pair of work pants so I straightened the leg and then added to the crotch length in the back. I’ll include a gallery of pictures of the alterations I did below. Whereas most of the problems were solved, there is an unintended consequence I’m not sure what to do with.

As soon as I realized what a challenge these were beginning to be, I ordered the book Pants For Real People.

I’m hoping it comes quickly (it was not available at the local library) so I can start from the first muslin and maybe get it right!!! The range of delivery dates is August 19 – September 3rd! That means I may have to start Self Stitched September with NO PANTS! So I’m going to take a look at some ready made-pants in my sewing closet to see if I could quickly alter them, as anything I’ve stitched on can technically qualify for Self Stitched September, depending on how literal you want to be. When I get the pattern right, I plan to make 2 pairs of pants and then I’ll probably use that pattern for my jeans too, since I’m planning on them being perfect (eventually) and a lot of work. The style could definitely work for jeans with a patch pocket on the back and belt carriers – voila!

Today I almost finished my denim button up shirt

Just needs buttons & buttonholes!

and so now, while I wait for my book, I’ll be reorganizing my sewing list to make good use of my waiting time…I’ll let you know what I come up with!

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Looking Better

Thank you to all who read my blog and BurdaStyle Posting and left wonderful ideas for me to save my (non) ruffled top! I already feel much better about it. I washed it and tried it on again. The fabric did not relax much as someone suggested – that will just take time, but I did play around a bit. I took apart the side seams and pinned out a bust dart, which helped tremendously by guiding the fabric more toward my body than away from it as before. Then, as someone also suggested, I pinned up some of the length. You can see the results here:

Hopefully the changes are apparent on the photo, but if not, just trust me – on my body, this has made a world of difference! The only question now is the back. Though I like the pleating, I think to be really comfortable wearing it, I will have to cut a new, flat back. I have a jacket pattern I will use as a guide tomorrow and see how it goes.

On another front, I received a fabric delivery today from I LOVE and had placed an order after I assembled my stacks for Self Stitched September to gather up the bits and pieces needed to complete the projects: linings, zippers, etc. Well, for the last few orders, I’ve had my eye on this jersey stripe:

I thought it would make a great 1 piece Kimono Teeand at $1.95 a yard, who could resist. Well, it came in the mail today and I was surprised to find it pretty stiff and rather unslinky, as I expected a “jersey” to be. It’s in the dryer right now in hopes that washing and drying it would make it soft & drapey. If not, I will have to go another direction with it…any ideas?

Finally, I spent my lunch hour today making my jean shorts better and less home-made looking (though that’s hard to do with denim in general). I’m happy with the results – I added a second row of topstitching wherever possible, and used some ready-made shorts I had to make a rear pocket pattern and added them to my self-stitched pair. With a top worn over the waistband, they look a lot more RTW than before the upgrades, seen here and here.

Already SSS has made me follow through better on my sewing. Knowing that I’m “stuck” with whatever items I finish for a whole month really challenges me to make them the best I know how, go back and rip it out, re-cut and re-sew. In the past, I would more likely set it aside, call it a wash, and move on to something more exciting. But I’m finding if I take the time to “do it right” I’m so much happier with the result…

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I had a really productive weekend for Self Stitched September – made some shorts AND a top! HOWEVER…look at the project picture of the Spring Ruffle Top here:

Sew Mama Sew tutorial: Spring Ruffle Top

And see my Spring (non) Ruffle Top below:

Now, it looks okay enough, sorta from the front, but the problem comes when you see the side view…
WHOA! Hello Tent! I told my husband, well, I can be pregnant in this shirt…but the problem is – I’M NOT NOW…and a usual rule of thumb is that people who are not pregnant, don’t want to appear to be so.
Now, I LOVE this fabric. I was SO excited to wear it and so the only solution is…I need to find a way to make this less tent-like. Both the front and the back have this 2″ pleating at the top:

So, would you

A) Sew the pleating all the way down the back to try to take up some of the excess?

B) Take it a part completely and re-cut a less voluminous back piece?

I tried on a belt I had in my closet and that won’t work.

I’m open to any ideas to save this shirt! I’m okay with it being loose – that’s the intended style, but as it stands, it’s too much.

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Yay for Fast Shipping!

I was unable to meet with my customer over the weekend so I have no new news on the skirt, but I ordered a pattern from Burda (#8347) last Thursday hoping I would get it by the weekend and to my surprise it was in the mail today!! I was too excited not to jump right in!

Here are pictures of the pattern (right) side by side with the desired garment (left and bottom):

Now My original thought, after talking with the customer and gaining her point of view, was that since I will be applying a ruffle to the front, I want that to be one piece (not button up) and I would make the collar so that it opens completely and then buttons to close in order to make it easy to put on. As you can see…I didn’t think that through as the entire top has to be attached to the collar. I called my friend Lynn Douglass to see if there was any other way she could think of doing it besides making a hidden button placket in front. She wisely counselled me to add the button closure. So, seeing as how the pattern definitely does not have that feature, it was time for me to grab my trusty “Patternmaking for Fashion Design” by Helen Joseph-Armstrong

So i cut the front shirt pattern on the center front and added the hidden button placket (Patternmaking for Fashion Design, page459). I also adjusted the armsceye so that it attached at the neckline and not at a shoulder seam, as the pattern is drawn originally

I then traced the other side of the shirt, adding a 1 1/2 inch self facing, and then drew the back piece down into a halter (one of the design change requests was to make the back of the shirt higher than shown in the picture).

OH how I wish I had time to cut and sew that muslin tonight!!! When Saturday comes I will definitely get to it, take pictures and, if I meet with my customer between now and then, be starting the actual skirt! I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!