Jedediah (Short) Shorts

corduroy shorties | allie J. |

Have y'all heard of Chubbies? It's a suuuuuuper fratty shorts brand that makes shorts for men that are, depending on your perspective, hilarious/awesome or obnoxious/terrible. The general idea is comfortable, colorful shorts--and when they say colorful, they mean colorful, and when they say short, they mean short: the inseam on them is 5.5 inches. They also have an elastic waist for maximum comfort/beer consumption. If they made a remake of Animal House (please don't, Hollywood!) everyone would be wearing Chubbies.

corduroy shorties | allie J. |

My husband (frat star that he is) lovvvves these shorts. He has a navy pair and a black and white pair (and a red and blue stars and stripes swimsuit) and basically wears one or the other every weekend day. Then they came out with a corduroy version, and I could see his eyes turning into hearts, like a little emoji.

corduroy shorties | allie J. |

My thought process went:

What would make him forgive me for the all the time spent locked in my sewing room while he trains the dog? Men's corduroy fly zipper elastic waist shorts shorts.

What does he love more than anything (that I can sew)? Men's corduroy fly zipper elastic waist shorts shorts.

What will make him forget that the needlepoint belt I diligently needlepointed has sat incomplete for literally a year? Men's corduroy fly zipper elastic waist shorts shorts.

And then:

Where can I get a pattern for men's corduroy fly zipper elastic waist short shorts?

Spoiler: there is not (that I could find) a pattern for men's shorts with a fly zip, pockets, and an elastic waist.

corduroy shorties | allie J. |

So I made one myself. (mic. drop.)

If you want to make some for a man in your life (or yourself, really), here's how I did it:

I started with Thread Theory's Jedediah pants. I couldn't find a tutorial for switching regular pants into elasticated waist pants, but Thread Theory does have a tutorial for swapping out a yoke for a dart: you tape the yoke onto the back pant pattern piece and then slash into it (at ONE point) so that it lays flat again. This slash is then your back dart. Instead of doing this, I slashed into it 3 times, just spreading the excess across the back. That extra room then gets gathered into the elastic, which is just slipped into the waistband.


I stitched them up in this nice grey corduroy. He picked it out, and says he enjoys "the comfort of corduroy, with the freedom of shorts." Anyway, my fly isn't perfect (it was my first!) and my flat felling is backwards on the side seams, but my adventures in pattern modification paid off...

corduroy shorties | allie J. |

I think he likes them.


ps: my favorite thing Chubbies have right now is this... thing... which is like, a jacket, for your shorts? to make your shorts warmer, but without adding, you know, pants legs.

allie J.

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New Machine! Bernina 153 (Quilter's Edition)

Since I first started sewing, I've been trucking along on a Singer Confidence which I received as a Christmas gift from my parents. We got it on sale at a JoAnn (I think) and it has been a great machine. In all this time I have gotten it repaired only once (I think the timing was off?) and I am not the most attentive owner; I've been getting better about switching my needles, but I'm not great about dusting/oiling. All in all, it's been lovely.


But when a brand new Bernina shows up at a bargain sale for $40, you haaaave to buy it.

I recently joined the Junior League and my league hosts a bargain sale once a year, with most of the items for sale donated by members and their families. I volunteered to help set up the morning of the event, and spent hours and hours sorting clothes and all sorts of other stuff. I was in the middle of folding tee shirts when, above the din, I heard someone say "sewing machine." Naturally I popped right out of my tee shirt burrow like a groundhog and skittered over to check it out. Imagine my surprise when it wasn't a cheapy beginner straight stitcher, but a brand new, never-been-used, still-has-all-the-manuals Bernina 153 (Quilter's Edition). Whaaaaat? And they were pricing it at $40. I had to have it. I mean, it had a walking foot still in the box. I told the other ladies working that it was miiine, i neeeded it, could i buy it pre-sale??? and the answer was no. They did not seem to think I should be concerned about missing it, that "there would not be a run on sewing machines!" Ha! I resolved to purchase it as soon as the sale opened at five, but I was nervous alllll afternoon, thinking someone would get it before me. Needless to say, I showed up early to the sale, marched straight to my new machine, and snatched it up. I was at the checkout by 5:02, and had a sewing machine in my trunk at 5:03, out $40 but smiling (and, in fact, feeling pretty smug).

I have a lot to learn--it has a front loaded bobbin which I have no clue how to use--so I'm happy to have the manual. And, of course, the internet. But it was threaded when I bought it, and it is so zippy! Faster than my Singer, and quieter too. I can't wait to do some sewing!

Welcome to the family, little Bernina!


ps: what sewing machine do you use? if you have more than one, do you have a "backup" or do you use them all for different things?

allie J.

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Happy (Indie!) Halloween

I'm a children's librarian, and at my library, we do halloween up. A week of costumes, guessing games, spooky story times, etc., etc. Wait--what? A week of costumes? omg, it's october 14th and I have nothing to wear.

For those of you who also have nothing to wear for your Halloween shenanigans, I thought I'd do a little round up, matching an indie pattern to a costume (or a few). Support independent pattern designers, make a one-of-a-kind costume, and have something cute to wear through November!


Sexy Cat/Mouse/Bunny/Tiger/Whatever
Accessorize with the animal ears/tail/makeup of your choice for that Mean Girls look. Works as a dress, or, for the very daring, try the bodysuit option! Costume choices are only limited by the animal print knits you can find.
other possibilities: Playboy bunny (bodysuit version + ears/tail, bowtie), sexy skeleton (+ felt bone cut outs), sexy witch (+ witch hat), kardashian (+ wig, countouring)


Pirate (blouse version), Hippie (dress version)
Sew up a version of the blouse in white silk for a luxe take on a pirate outfit--wear your brown leather boots, salt spray your hair, and add an eyepatch (or black liner a la Captain Jack Sparrow.) Request this song at any parties you attend. Alternately, try the dress variation in a sweet paisley and flatiron your hair for a 70s hippie outfit. Throw lots of peace signs. 
other possibilities: medieval wench (+ some type of corset-y thing), ghost (in white), historical figure in their pajamas (+ a wig and night cap)


90s Grunge Icon/Lumberjack
Really, if you make a plaid flannel Archer (and it seems like everyone has, right?), it could go either way. Accessorize with either a guitar (not a nice one, please!) or an axe (not a real one, please!) and boots and you're good to go.
other possibilities: #basicbitch who loves fall (+ PSL, boots/uggs, leggings, blanket scarf), Socality Barbie (+ beanie, instagram frame, fake lashes)
alternate patterns: Sewaholic Granville


Ye Ye Girl/Beat Poet/Audrey Hepburn
Basically anything sixties? Stripes or a mod print for a Ye Ye girl, add some oversized eyelashes for a mod girl/Twiggy, Black with black trousers & flats for "Funny Face" Audrey, black with black trousers & flats AND sunglasses indoors for a beat poet.
other possibilities: lifestyle blogger (in a breton stripe + red lip, oversized glasses, giant camera), Star Trek woman (Lt. Uhura, please!), Kate Middleton (+ wedges, navy blazer, ring)
alternate patterns: anything Tilly


Christine Haynes Emery Dress
Alice in Wonderland/Dorothy (of Oz)
These are basically the same costume, just with different props. Then, starting November 1, you have a pretty blue dress to wear.
other possibilities: Mad Men woman (Trudy or Betty), a pretty witch (+ hat, broomstick), pretty cat/mouse (or anything from the nettie idea, but sub pretty for sexy)
alternate patterns: any pattern actually from the 50s/60s

What are you doing for halloween? Are you making, buying, or reusing a costume? Which is your favorite? 


ps: last year i was all children's book characters: olivia, fly guy, a rainbow magic fairy, madeline, and my favorite: angelina ballerina!

allie J.

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Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal Skirt (Birthday Blog Tour!)

itch to stitch lindy petal skirt | allie J. |

When Kennis contacted me asking if I would take part in Itch to Stitch's birthday blog hop, I jumped at the chance to participate. I had been eyeing the Lindy Petal skirt, after seeing some really cute ones like Jess's, and since I feel slightly better about knits after making my Coco, I felt confident to take on the Lindy Petal Skirt--after all, it says it's "Beginner" and that's what I am, at least when it comes to knits!

Although I had a couple jerseys in my stash, the theme of the tour is pattern hacking, and I wanted to add to my paltry collection of "going out" clothes, so I placed an order at mood for... scuba!

itch to stitch lindy petal skirt | allie J. |

Although I usually sew more colorful clothes, I do actually wear a lot of black--but only at night! In fact, I wear almost exclusively black for "party" clothes; it's something my college friends would always tease me about. Black polo? Totally appropriate for a frat party. Black turtleneck? Sounds like great bar hopping attire!

Since I wear all black anyway, I've been trying to cultivate a "60's girl gang" rocker/model off-duty look for my nighttime wear. I even have a whole pinterest board dedicated to it:

Follow allie J.'s board girl gang on Pinterest.

I'm all about that daytime mod, nighttime rocker lifestyle. (Hence these nighttime photos--which I think turned out really well, actually!)

itch to stitch lindy petal skirt | allie J. |

Scuba is even easier than a regular knit since it is very stable. The only tricky part was ensuring that the cutting was very straight, since I chose to not hem my edges, a detail I've seen on rtw scuba garments. I would suggest using a rotary blade! Any scissor hacking will be visible.

itch to stitch lindy petal skirt | allie J. |

I also added a decorative zipper to emphasize the skirt's overlapping "petals" and make it look like a wrap skirt (it's not). If I had thought about it, I would have ordered a silver one, to match my leather jacket (which, by the way, it is finally cool enough to wear again and icantwait). Finding the perfect length zipper was tricky, and they only had one color!

itch to stitch lindy petal skirt | allie J. | alliemjackson.comitch to stitch lindy petal skirt | allie J. |

I wore this out on a sweet date with my husband to the newish Ramen shop in town, Dashi. I love this place! Upstairs they have an izakaya (a Japanese-style pub) with the most amaaazing small plates that combine Japanese and "New Southern" style. We got some local beers, pickles, and boiled peanuts with soy and chiles while we waited for our table downstairs. (Scuba is a great date night fabric because it's stretchy enough to accommodate a lot of ramen noodles, but smooths over any lumps since it's pretty thick!)

Good news: the Lindy Petal skirt is a free pattern! If you want to make your own you can get the pattern from Itch to Stitch here and make your own. It's a very quick pattern and a nice stashbuster for knits since it only takes a yard or two (depending on size & width of fabric). I really enjoyed my first experience with scuba knit--the Lindy Petal skirt was a perfect application and I think it will get a lot of use!

skirt: Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal skirt (free!!) | cardigan: old j. crew (similarsimilar) | shoes: old (similarsimilar)

There are a ton of great bloggers participating in this tour, so go visit them and check out their hacks. Thanks, Kennis!

Itch to Stitch Birthday Fun
(scroll to the bottom to enter to win!)
Follow these blogs to see their awesome creations from Itch to Stitch patterns:
Be sure to scroll to the bottom for your chance to win great prizes by these sponsors:
Itch to Stitch First Anniversary Sponsors
The Fabric Store - $100 Gift certificate
Elliott Berman Textiles - Fabric bundle from France & Italy
Craftsy - three online classes of your choice
Girl Charlee Fabrics - $25 Gift certificate
Indie Sew - $25 Gift certificate
UpCraft Club - $25 Gift certificate
Quarto Publishing Group USA - the SHIRTMAKING WORKBOOK by David Page Coffin
The featured designer of the day will give away 2 patterns to a lucky winner:
Follow Itch to Stitch's blog closely to win these patterns!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


ps: the storefront i took pictures in front of is Dashi's neighbor, Rock's Bar and Hair Shop. that's right--it's a bar slash barbershop. sounds weird, but it totally works. at any time, you'll find guys getting hot shaves, waiting for haircuts at the bar, or just popping in for a drink! 

allie J.

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Giveaway: 250 Followers!

peonies are always appropriate

Update: the contest is now closed. Congratulations to isaspacey of As I Said..., I'm sending you an email!

In April I held a giveaway in honor of you all; this blog had reached 100 followers after several years of intermittent posting and a lot of neglect. I'm so pleased to be back with another one--this one for hitting 250 of you lovely readers! Thank you all so much, I'm thrilled to be a part of your bloglovin' feeds.

I started this blog in 2012, but it was only this year that I really started trying to make a go of it, posting regularly and taking semi-decent pictures (for the most part). I also did a little blog redesign and got a new name and a custom URL to match. Thanks for being there with me through several changes!

To thank all of you, I'm hosting another giveaway. It's running from today until the 21st (two weeks) and the winner will be the recipient of a mystery box filled with sewing goodies, treats, and some vintage patterns as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter--so annoying, but I'd love to check out y'all's instagrams and blogs (if I don't follow you already) and facebook pages (if you have them) so I'll be poking around after you!

Edited to add: this giveaway is open internationally! I will mail my mystery box wherever it can go!

Finally, I wanted to say: in addition to a fancy URL, etc., etc., you may have noticed I've been adding some shopping widgets and the like. For the sake of transparency, here's a bit of my thought process: I love sewing--this will always be a sewing blog--but I'm trying to also get into the & style part of sewing & style. As this blog grows, as I hope it will, I'd rather it veer into personal style & sewing rather than into the business of sewing, with patterns and the like. You may or may not care about this, but I thought I'd let you know!

Again--thank you all so much for reading, and good luck!


ps: xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

allie J.

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A Wednesday (Addams) Dress

wednesday addams dress | allie J. |

I mentioned last week that blogging my blue wool dress (about 5 years late!) was in advance of a new dress sewn from the same pattern. Here is version number two of Simplicity 7737, from 1968.

After pinning multiple little black dresses with white collars a la Wednesday Addams and then seeing Kate Middleton in a similar style (not to mention Emily's Valentino-inspired dress in red), I reached not for the latest indie lookbook or simplicity pattern catalog, but into my pattern stash, pawing all the way to the bottom to retrieve this little gem. You can see, compared to version #1, I made some trim modifications.

wednesday addams dress | allie J. |

I drafted a little collar using this ancient Gertie tutorial (rather, I watched it a long time ago and vaguely remembered how she had done it).

You can really see my seam line here because my photographer (my husband--and isn't he doing such a nice job?) is shooting from below but it doesn't look so obvious in real life!

wednesday addams dress | allie J. |

While the first one was in a wool (crepe? not sure) this one is rayon twill and you can see in this action shot it is much drapier.

My finishing on this one is much improved from the original. It's unlined, I'll wear a slip. The side seams are french seamed and the sleeve seams are finished using the faux coverstitch on my machine.  The hem and sleeves are hand stitched. I intend for this dress to last a while! I wear my black dresses to death, since I don't have a lot of "going out" clothes and just reach for anything black. (I'll be taking one step towards remedying this next week though, so check back!)

wednesday addams dress | allie J. |

Not quite sure what's going on in this back view--black is tricky to photograph, isn't it? A decent reason to sew more colorfully!

Do you love the Wednesday Addams look or think it is cheesy? I promise I won't wear it with braids (except perhaps on Halloween!). Any tricks on photographing black? New background ideas for people in constant rain? How do you Brits do it?! :)


ps: much love to any readers on the mid-atlantic coast or in the way of the hurricane! i'm tired of the rain and we haven't had half as much as y'all. stay safe and dry!

allie J.

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