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June, 2010

I Venture Outside, Part 3: Built By Wendy Knit Dress

So Part 1 was my boxy top and Part 2 was my Built By Wendy top. You know I had to mix it up a bit for Part 3!

The third and final finished sewing project from Saturday’s sewing binge is another revisited pattern. I made the Built By Wendy Knit Dress the first time in a striped material. The pattern is so freaking wearable I knew I wanted 100 more.

Built By Wendy Knit Dress

And when I saw this ridiculous apple material it was a match made in heaven. I was so desperate for it that I cut my finger open trying to pull the bolt of fabric out from the bottom of the bargain pile. Seriously blood everywhere. I had to ask the fabric store owner for a band-aid.

Worth the Pain

SO worth it, though! I would do it again. I mean, apples?! It’s too silly not to love.

Just Chillin

I didn’t change the pattern one bit from the first dress. It’s good just the way it is.

Pattern: Built By Wendy Knit Dress, Pattern A

Fabric: Bargain Apple Print Jersey

Paired With: Gladiator sandals from Payless, leopard print glasses from Forever 21

I Venture Outside, Part 2: Built By Wendy Top

Yesterday I shared with you my Boxy Polka Dot Top that I sewed up Saturday. Today I’ve got another sewing FO!

When I first started bombarding you with finished sewing projects they were all Built By Wendy patterns. I revisited a few of those patterns on Saturday, starting with this Built by Wendy Top. I made a gingham version of this top a few months ago, but it’s so cute I had to come back to the pattern.

A Floral Take Two

I found this chiffon-like material in the bargain room of my fabric store in Michigan with another Built by Wendy top in mind. Light and airy and FLORAL like whoa, I grabbed a yarn (EDIT: YARD! My fingers betray my preference for yarn!) and had to make it happen.


This design is so ridiculously flattering. Clearly it has changed me into a totally different girl! I don’t even look like myself in this picture.

Show OFF That Elastic, Girl

I made a couple mods: No elastic in the sleeves and a longer length of elastic in the neckline for a little more neck room. It’s the perfect length, the perfect size, the perfect color. I’m in love.

Even Cute from the Back!

This shirt’s magical flattering powers even extend to my bottom. These are the four best pictures of me ever taken.

Pattern: Built By Wendy Mini Dress, Pattern C

Fabric: Bargain Fake Chaffon

Paired With: Ann Taylor Loft Green Jeans

I Venture Outside, Part 1: Boxy Top

Inspired by Marissa’s guest post last week, I pulled out my sewing machine Saturday and went to town.


I also went outside to take pictures! I figured if I lock myself inside most of the day working, I might as well venture outside to model. Alone. In the alley. Not going to lie: It was a little weird.

Simple Boxy Top

But I sucked it up like a pro. It didn’t hurt that no one came out the entire time I was down there.

Big n Boxy

First up was this boxy top. I’ve been wanting to make a top out of this cute polka dot silky material forever. You might recognize it from the lining of Hoodie Devoted a few months ago. I had, and still have, plenty of it left for a top, so I cut out two big squares, seamed them, then sewed them together a the shoulders and sides.

Cute, Right?

Slouchy, off the shoulder, super wide, silky, and polka dotted. Kinda perfect with a high wasted red pencil skirt, right?

Pattern: Just made it up!

Fabric: Some bargain polka dot fake-silk

Paired With: Thrifted pencil skirt

FO: Jamiegurumi

Jamiegurumi (noun) Pronunciation: Jay – me – ga – roo – me.


Meet Jamiegurumi!

This little guy is an amigurumi of my friend Jamie, thus, Jamiegurumi.

Jamiegurumi Likes to Bike

Jamiegurumi likes to bike. His (very tight) jeans are rolled up so he doesn’t get grease on them! And he is holding an extra tire because this kid pops like 12 tubes a week.

Jamiegurumi Likes to Goof Around

He thinks it’s really funny to play jokes on people, like hiding from them. But sometimes they backfire. Luckily I didn’t need to toast anything this morning!

Jamie Likes to Wash Himself... NOT!

Jamiegurumi is not the cleanliest of dudes, so he was a little surprised when he found himself here.

Just Chillin'

I used this Basic Humanoid Amigurumi Pattern on Craftster and it’s spot on! I made no modifications. That I know of. Not a great counter so I just eyeballed the leg and arm length. Jamie is tall so I tried to make Jamiegurumi proportional.

One Handsome Jamiegurumi!

Does Jamiegurumi look like the real Jamie?

Real Person Jamie



Pattern: Basic Humanoid Amigurumi Pattern from

Yarn: Leftover worsted weight scraps

Hook: Size G

Ravelry Project Page

Styling Handmades with Marissa Explains It All

All summer I’m going to feature guest bloggers talking about knitting and other crafty pursuits. Last week Jeanna talked about her adventures in knitting, and today I’ve got Marissa from the fun fashion blog Marissa Explains It All. Not only does she rock some sweet store-bought style, she works her own handmade pieces into her everyday wardrobe, too.

To inspire us I asked her to share a couple of her handmade dresses styled in different ways. Because once you make something you want to wear it as often as possible!


Hey bloggers! I’m Marissa from Marissa Explains It All. I’ve been asked by Allyson do to a little guest post on The Sweatshop of Love! I was so excited when Allyson contacted me about doing a guest post on my handmade clothing that I have and how I style it. I’m newer at making my own clothing so I’m very proud of something when I first make it and try to style it as many ways as I can so I can show of my new handmade pieces!

I took two of my dresses that I’ve made (which are the easiest to make by the way, especially if there’s no sleeves!) and styled them two different ways so I can show you guys how I use the dresses with more than way.

Dress One: I made when I was still in high school close to three years ago, it was my first real piece of clothing I made on my own, and I still love it to this day. Now the dress is really summery so I wanted to show how I would wear it in the summer and in the winter. Anything you own can be styled for both seasons even though they are so different.

Handmade Dress for Summer!

For summer I wear the dress with brown leather accessories, using a brown belt that’s my grandfather’s, brown heels I thrifted and a off white bag I won through a blog giveaway with Calivintage. I love wearing this in the summer with brown it looks amazing and the colors are so perfect for the hotter weather I can still breathe!

Handmade Dress for Winter!

For winter I paired the dress with all black, even though the dress is a light color black makes it look more for winter. The tights help when its cold and so does the cardigan and boots. Add tights and a cardigan to your homemade pieces and it will make anything work in the cold weather!

Dress Two: I made this dress last semester at my university in my sewing class, it was a lot more of a challenge with inserting my first zipper, gathering, making straps and more! I’m in love with it but I picked a fabric that is a little more dressy. I wanted to show how to style a dressier outfit down for a more casual look.

Handmade Dress Looking Fancy!

This is the dress at it’s best with little accessories and heels. When wearing a dressier outfit usually there isn’t a lot of accessories needed because the dress will speak for itself, just grab some killer heels and you’re good to go!

Handmade Dress Looking Casual!

To make the dress more casual again I added a cardigan, a big purse and some switched the heels out for flats. Dressier looks always can be casual when wearing cardigans and flats it adds a more laid back look to your dressy outfit and makes it perfect for going to class or out to lunch!

I hope this helps when thinking about your next homemade piece of clothing! Go for the summer fabric or dressier fabric and remember that you can wear it all year long!

lovelove, M.


Thanks so much for taking time out to write this post, Marissa! Please show her some love by commenting and sharing her post! And be sure to click over to Marissa Explains it All and say hi!