I love the idea of maxi skirts. The silhouette is flattering and elegant on just about anyone. But I hate that 99% of maxis hang straight down like tubes. As soon as I saw the swishy glory of the Gabriola Skirt by Sewaholic I knew I had to have it. Nevermind that the pattern was for a pear-shaped body (small waist, large hips) and I am exactly the opposite. Nevermind that it was rated as Intermediate difficulty, not suitable for beginners, by both the designer and sewing blog reviews. I.HAD.TO.HAVE.IT. 

Meanwhile, I ran across this image of an Alice + Olivia skirt, which is apparently sold out everywhere despite its mind-exploding pricetag of $698! It's super interesting and all but, I mean, really???

 
 
I've always loved the flirty femininity of assymetrical hemlines. About 6 months ago I fell in love with what can be described as an "extreme hi-lo" designer tank that was as assymetrical as they come, but it cost an arm and a leg and didn't fit me all that well. As ithe design didn't seem terribly complicated, I thought I'd try to make my own. Because it's so long in the back, when I walk it kind of floats up in the air behind me, so my boyfriend immediately dubbed it the Superhero Cape shirt (the subtle distinctions between shirts tanks and tees evades him). It's not a perfect copy, but I love it even more than the original. And wearing it makes me so happy! I'm already planning to make more.

 
 
In the summer of 2010 I was getting ready for a large week-long festival in the Nevada desert where on one of the nights I was to attend a "Unicorn Stampede". As it turned out, the Stampede consisted of two dozen of my camp mates and myself dressing up as unicorns and running around the desert, chanting creepily and terrorizing the other party-goers. 
My friend said she would lend me her old unicorn hood, but that I needed to come up with my own outfit that is warm, cute and, most importantly, all white. Easy! On one of my trips to L.A.'s Fabric District I had bought 2 yards of white faux fur and stashed it for the evential but certain point in the future "when I will learn how to sew." Right. And, since my pants -> skirt+legwarmers upcycle had worked out to my satisfaction, I thought I'd go for a skirt & leg warmers again and pair them with a white cropped sweater from Goodwill.
Little did I know that slightly stretchy furry fabric with a super slippery satin-like backing was NOT the best choice for a beginner project! Or that it mattered which way you lay the fabric and cutting off the selvedges is bad. Or that sewing without a pattern is NOT generally easier for beginners than following one. Or that you shouldn't use bright pink sharpies to draw your shapes... But ignorance is bliss! 

 
 
Emboldened by my success with the cargo pants to skirt refashion, I returned to Goodwill in search for another pair of pants to make into a skirt. But this time I wanted to make something more respectable -- a maxi skirt. Right away, I found a pair of brand new pinstriped suiting pants that had the widest pant legs I had ever seen! I felt like I could shimmy my whole body inside just one of them. It was so absurd! I bet everyone laughed at their wearer (which I guess is a clue as to how they ended up in Goodwill). The poor things were begging to be a skirt. It's as if the evil fairy godmother showed up and said "and in the last minute of your creation, you will become pants!" So I took it upon myself to bring justice to their little world.

 
 
I don’t have a lot of experience with refashioning (also called upcycling, meaning to modify an existing garment to give it a new look). I have attempted it a couple of times, but my very first is still probably my favorite.

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I was going to an underground music party and wanted something that was edgy yet comfy enough for dancing, and that would keep me warm but look sexy at the same time. So I went to Goodwill to look for something to play with. I found a $6 pair of cargo pants that fit me well in the waist and butt and had these cool front, back, and leg pockets with leather details. I checked the label: Cedella Marley. When I googled it later I discovered that the last name is not a coincidence! I took that as an encouraging sign.


 
 
Hi! I am Sena. By day (and, since I'm a night owl, often by night as well) I am a psychological scientist. Technically I am "a psychologist", but most people associate this occupation with therapy or counseling, which is not what I do. Psychological scientists are usually academics who teach and conduct research on how the mind works, why people are the way they are, why they think, feel, and behave the way we do, what makes them sick, in love, happy, prejudiced, good parents, and a myriad other things. I love what I do. I love science. And I love telling people about both

But I also have an artistic or creative side that isn't satisfied by my profession. For years I've yearned for projects that, unlike research, are concrete and tangible and when I'm done with them I am really done. So I can hold them in my hand and feel like I've completed something. Science is never completed. Answering one question leads to 100 more. And that can be daunting and, at times, it leaves me deeply unfulfilled.

To combat this I sometimes make things or help my friends make things. I've helped my friends with building interactive public artcontraptions for a science faire campaign, art for Burnining Man*, a cat tree, candles, decorative mason jars, DIY cosmetics**. Most recently I've started sewing, or learning how to sew at least. I mostly make clothing, tote bags, and small leather accessories.  This is my current obsession and how I spend my weekends and procrastinate work on weekdays. 

* The first three make me sound cooler than I am; it's actually my friends that are cool. I just help out when I can
** The next four make me sound like an old cat lady with too many hobbies. Which is closer to the truth :).

My friends and family (mostly my awesome mom) are always asking me what I am making, so instead of spending all this time sending her phone photos of my latest makes and boring her with hour-long play-by-plays of my sewing travails, I decided to make a blog. I wondered what to call it for weeks until one day I just decided to tell the truth. Sewing as it turns out is really, REALLY, hard! The most common thing I make is mistakes. Here you can find my latest creations, pattern reviews and tests, refashion/upcycling and costuming projects, tutorials, various tips I've picked up along the way, and SO so so many mistakes to avoid!  


I hope this is a place every sewist can visit and feel better about her or his own mishaps. There are worse cases than yours! I have proof :). Welcome and I hope you say hi!