closet case files

Galaxy-painted Anima Pants (with tutorial!)

What’s this, heels and sweatpants?! A bit of a departure from my usual style, but for a good reason: Papercut Pattern’s Anima Pant competition! Pushing me out of my comfort zone and into the Milky Way…

Now these pants aren’t at all similar to my original sketch. And they’re actually my second pair of Anima Pants. I made my first (full-length) pair out of white jersey and dip dyed it, hoping for a white-to-violet effect that I would then embellish with gold foil. Sounds nice, right? Unfortunately they turned out more of a grayish purple color, although they do have the color gradient I was going for. The color combined with the long length looks pretty frumpy on me, so they’re in a time-out situation until I figure out how to jazz them up.

But I’m actually really glad Plan A didn’t work out, because it pushed me to come up with an equally elaborate Plan B! I looked at fabric painting and dyeing tutorials online for inspiration, and I came across a couple galaxy-print shirt DIYs. “Galaxy painted Anima pants?” “Sure”, I thought. “Why not?!” And the process was actually super fun, and turned out way better than I expected! ( I’ve included a tutorial and progress pics at the end of the post if you want to make a pair for yourself!)

I wanted to pair these pants with something simple that wouldn’t cover the waistband: enter Nettie #4! The Nettie pattern has earned tried-and-true status in my book, and I knew I could make one up in just a couple hours. This is the scoop-neck, high-back, bodysuit version.

I bought this fabric during Girl Charlee‘s Fourth of July sale just because it was super cheap, but I ended up totally loving it! It’s a soft and stretchy rayon blend (my fave) and the color’s actually a really pretty orangey-red jewel tone, though it looks redder in the pictures.

The pant fabric is a medium-weight black jersey that I’ve had in my stash for a while. I only had one yard, and I was just barely able to fit the pattern pieces for the cropped length on it.

Since this was my second pair it came together really quickly. Overall the pattern and instructions are great, and I would definitely recommend this pattern! The only tricky part was the waistband. I had a lot of trouble doing the foldover method in the instructions, so for this pair I did my usual elastic insertion method where you sew a tube with an opening and thread the elastic through. This worked a lot better for me and this waistband is a lot neater than my first one. I did still have trouble with the buttonholes though. My machine does NOT want to make buttonholes on knit fabric. So they’re not too pretty, but they’ll do the job.

I didn’t follow any one tutorial, but kind of amalgamated the information from a few different ones. The process was basically the same in all of them. Here’s what I did:

Step 1: Put some bleach in a spray bottle, dilute it with water, and spray some galaxy clusters onto your pant pieces. I just used some bleach-based bathroom cleaner that was already in a spray bottle. The orange spots take a few seconds to show up, so don’t spray too much all at once. You want to build up gradually. I let mine sit for about 30 minutes, and then washed them to stop the bleach from eating away at the fabric too much. Then I let them dry in the sun (which took about 5 minutes because it’s so hot).

Step 2: Using a sponge, build up layers of purple, blue, and white fabric paint (in that order). These should also be built up gradually, as you can always go back and add more later. The color fades a little as it dries, so I went over each piece twice. There’s no real method to this – just do whatever looks good to you! I concentrated the blue and purple around the outside of the orange clusters. This is what it looked like before I added white:

Step 3: Add stars by dipping a toothbrush in white paint and flicking it onto the pant pieces. You may want to practice this on a piece of scrap fabric first. In this picture you can see my finished back leg pieces with my bleached-only front pieces, as well as the sponge and toothbrush I used for painting.

Step 4: Let the paint dry overnight, and then sew up your garment as usual! I chose to leave my waistband, cuffs, and inner pocket black.

Let me know if you have any questions! And thanks for reading!

<3 Lindsay

Bombshell Swimsuit (+ Perfect Pattern Parcel)


I’m so excited to be part of the blogger network for Perfect Pattern Parcel #3! PPP offers a great collection of discounted indie sewing patterns with some of the proceeds going to children’s education charities. Included in Pattern Parcel #3 are the following patterns:

Poppy Tunic by Make it Perfect
Water Bottle Tote by Radiant Home Studio
Jorna Tank Dress by Jenna Brand
Staple Dress by April Rhodes
Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files
Bonus pattern: Prefontaine Shorts for Women by Made with Moxie

After my love affair with the Closet Case Files Nettie bodysuit (see makes 1, 2, and 3), of course I was going to make the Bombshell swimsuit. And, no surprise, I love it! Heather is so amazingly talented guys – her patterns so far have just been perfection <3

This is my favorite swimming suit ever. And the only one I’ve felt truly comfortable in. Wearing bikinis has always felt a bit too much like wearing underwear in public for me, but I wore them anyway because one-pieces tended to be boring or matronly. This suit is fantastic because it provides a decent amount of coverage while still being super cute and flattering. It’s so empowering to be able to sew exactly what suits your lifestyle.

This was my first experience with sewing swimsuit lycra, but it went surprisingly well. I used a stretch needle and my walking foot for basting and applying elastic, and sewed the seams with my serger. There were some spots I had to go over a few times with the serger, and I’m pretty sure I left most of my basting stitches in… luckily a busy print and some ruching will hide any number of sewing sins ;)

I got this crazy colorful fabric, along with my lilac lining fabric and swimsuit elastic, from The Fabric Fairy. They have a great selection of swimsuit fabric, including lots of fun prints!

I added cups from an old swimsuit for a little extra shaping. They were easy to sew in, though I may not have gotten them exactly symmetrical.


And yes, I totally climbed into a creek to get these pictures. I’d been planning on using Barton Springs pool as a backdrop, but it was closed for an indefinite amount of time due to flooding from all the storms we’ve been having lately. So my husband and I took to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, looking for the swimming holes we’d heard were there. We never found them, but we did find this surprisingly pretty little spot underneath a highway bridge. Added bonus: no one else was around to watch my swimsuit photo shoot – I imagine that could’ve gotten kind of embarrassing…

Perfect Pattern Parcel #3 runs through June 13th – make sure to get it before it’s gone!

Buy Pattern Parcel #3

And be sure to check out the following blogs over the next couple weeks for some more great sewing inspiration!

Parcel #3 Inspiration Tour Schedule:
Friday, May 30
Sew Busy Lizzy || Pienkel || SeamstressErin

Saturday, May 31
Design By Lindsay || the Brodrick design studio || Cookin’ and Craftin’

Sunday, June 1
Diary of a Chainstitcher || a happy stitch || Disaster in a Dress || sew Amy sew

Monday, June 2
Idle Fancy || Casa Crafty || Kadiddlehopper || Dandelion Drift

Tuesday, June 3
Our Family Four || Casa Crafty || Cookin’ and Craftin’ || a happy stitch

Wednesday, June 4
Lexi Made || The Quirky Peach || Stitched || a happy stitch || Casa Crafty ||

Thursday, June 5
verypurpleperson || Casa Crafty || sew a straight line || Sewbon

Friday, June 6
Shawnta Sews || Mama says sew || a happy stitch || Cookin’ and Craftin’

Saturday, June 7
Casa Crafty || sewninestitches || ‘So, Zo… What do you know?’

Sunday, June 8
oonaballoona || A Stitching Odyssey || Sew Charleston

Monday, June 9
Sew Sweetness || True Bias || Ozzy Blackbeard

Tuesday, June 10
Welcome to the Mouse House || Sew Caroline || Adventures in Dressmaking

Wednesday, June 11
Peneloping || YoSaMi || sewVery

Thursday, June 12
la inglesita || La Pantigana || Sanae Ishida

Friday, June 13
Seamster Sewing Patterns || Paunnet


<3 Lindsay

The (Accidental) Nettie Shirt

Nettie number 3! (See 1 and 2.) This was actually supposed to be a bodysuit, but I blithely ignored the suggested amount of vertical stretch the fabric should have. I thought it would be fine because my last bodysuit wasn’t very vertically stretchy either, but I think this one has practically none. Lesson learned.

I was almost finished, the leg binding was on and everything, when I tried it on and realized that crotch was not gonna snap. Or rather, it maybe would, but then the neckline would be pulled indecently low. I thought of adding an extra piece of fabric to make it a bit longer, but I decided to just turn it into a shirt instead.

So I took my rotary cutter to it right above the leg openings (goodbye perfect bindings) and cut a new strip of binding to finish the hem. I’m happy with it, even though it’s not what I originally planned.

I did both the scoop neck and scoop back on this one. Paired with some shorts it’s perfect for summer!

If you haven’t hopped on the Nettie bandwagon yet you should check out this inspiration post Heather Lou just did in preparation for the sew-along. Netties, Netties everywhere! I really want to try that triangle cut-out. Maybe Nettie #4…?

<3 Lindsay

Nettie & Tania in NOLA

Last weekend my husband and I took a quick trip to New Orleans for my 24th birthday. Neither of us had been there before, and it’s within reasonable driving distance from Austin, so we figured “why not?”

I made these Tania culottes a few weeks ago, but hadn’t worn them yet because I didn’t have a top that would work with them. Enter the Nettie bodysuit. It really is the perfect accompaniment to skirts/culottes.

Incredibly, I’ve never owned culottes or a bodysuit before. But let me tell you they are both brilliant pieces of clothing. Seriously. I need about ten more of each. So breezy, so comfortable, so practical yet effortlessly chic. The next day I wore jeans and it was really amazing how hot and uncomfortable they were in the New Orleans humidity compared to culottes.

I’ve never been much of a skirt girl because I hate worrying about things like indecent breezes and carefully climbing in and out of cars. They’ve always been more of an occasion piece, and less of an everyday staple. Culottes are set to change that. While they’re not totally foolproof, they certainly decrease the likelihood of flashing passers-by, and when they’re paired with a bodysuit there’s really not much to flash.

The culottes were pretty easy to construct. As many others have mentioned, you definitely want to let them hang overnight before you hem them. Mine grew by a couple inches in some places. Certainly the most time-consuming part of this make is evening out and hemming the two wide circles of the legs.

I cut an XS, and was planning on cutting the length of a L, but I didn’t have quite enough fabric (these are total fabric eaters, by the way). I was worried they would be too short, but they ended up being a great length. They look a lot shorter on the model than they do on me, which I’m assuming is because I’m 5’4″, and not model-height.

As if it wasn’t enough to discover the wonders of culottes and bodysuits while making this outfit, I also discovered my new favorite fabric: rayon challis! I don’t usually go for big, bold prints, but I fell in love with this red floral from The Common Thread in Austin. This fabric is so soft and lovely and drape-y, but also very breathable.

(In the pictures below you can see how the culottes look with a tucked-in cami instead of a bodysuit: not so good.)

I’ve already sung the praises of the Nettie dress in this post, and the bodysuit is just as great. For this version I went with the scoop neck, high back, and short sleeves.

The fabric is a lightweight cream-colored jersey from Jo-Ann. So lightweight that it’s actually see-through. In order to keep my bra hidden from view I doubled up on fabric in the top half of the bodice. I basically added the optional shelf bra, but without any cups or elastic.

The bodysuit fits great, is easy to get in and out of, and is super comfortable. I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I’ve never worn a bodysuit before, but I really love it.

New Orleans was a blast! It’s such a beautiful and culturally rich city. And those lax liquor laws…let’s just say I’m all in favor of drinking cocktails from plastic cups while looking out over the Mississippi. And if you want to buy beer at 8am on Sunday morning, hey, why not?

<3 Lindsay

The Nettie Dress

I’m in love with this new pattern from Heather Lou at Closet Case Files. In case you haven’t heard of it yet, this is the Nettie Dress & Bodysuit. When I first saw this pattern I realized that a bodysuit was exactly what I was missing from my wardrobe. I recently finished some floral Tania Culottes that I love, but haven’t worn yet because I didn’t have a top that would go with them. I only liked the look of tucked in shirts, but you could the wrinkles of the shirt fabric through the skirt. The bodysuit is the PERFECT solution.

This is the dress obviously, but I definitely have plans for a few bodysuits in the works.

I really wanted to try the body-con dress variation as well, and I just so happened to have a convenient excuse… 

Saturday night my husband and I were going to an event at his university. So of course I decided on Friday that I would make a dress. Nothing like a time crunch to motivate you, right? On Saturday morning I whipped up this dress in just two hours. Talk about instant gratification.

I’ve had an idea for a dress like this in the back of my head for a long time: open back, high neckline, long-ish sleeves, just above knee length. The great thing about the Nettie pattern is it includes so many options. It was easy to create exactly what I wanted without any modifications.

The fabric is a lovely deep purple knit from Jo-Ann. It’s super soft and fluid – I believe the bolt said it was 95% rayon, 5% spandex. If you use a thinner knit this dress will definitely show every bump and bulge, so careful underwear consideration is a must.

Heather includes instructions for adding a shelf bra with cups, but in my case I just wore a NuBra (they’re basically sticky bra cups – I find them to be pretty comfortable, and they work well, but they do lose their stickiness after a while.)

I love how you can make this pattern as sexy or as modest as you like. Hopefully I struck a good balance between the two – I don’t think I scandalized anyone last night ;)

The Nettie’s so quick to make that I’m planning on whipping up a couple of bodysuits before my husband and I leave for my birthday trip (24!) to New Orleans on Friday. I’ll be posting lots of pics on Instagram, which I’ve finally started using. You can follow me @designbylindsay!

I hope everyone’s having a lovely Me-Made-May, and I can’t wait to see more Nettie’s popping up around the blogosphere! If you make one leave me a link – I’d love to see it!

<3 Lindsay