July 29, 2013


While The Princess was visiting, I made her some new clothes.  She just got a job in a professional environment designing bathrooms and needed a few new skirts.  Plus - I had asked if she would wear a pencil skirt from some left over fabric I had.  I was going to use the magic pencil skirt and before cutting into the left over fabric, I find a piece of knit to muslin the pattern for her. 
I found a length of knit that had different patterns running across the yardage.  I cut her skirt out and I kept looking at the fabric thinking - I don't remember buying this.  It's really pretty.  Hmmm - wonder if there's enough left to make a dress. 
As you can see - not only was there enough left, but I was able to match the pattern across the seamlines.  At one point while I was laying out the tissue, The Princess walked in and said - turn that piece over it's going the wrong way.  DOH!  All pieces but the sleeves were cut going the same direction, but the only way to get sleeves was to turn them the wrong way. 
This is the sixth time I have made this wrap dress pattern.  It's quick to make, takes between 2-3 yards (for me) and I always feel good when wearing these dresses.  But I think it's time to find a new pattern for a knit dress - 6 is probably enough - don't you think?

July 23, 2013

The Quest for the Shirtdress Continues

The quest for the perfect shirt dress continues.   I made this dress back in March.  The fabric is a linen blend and it's a pale pink and ivory stripe.  I love the bodice of this one - there are 12 darts, front and back and the darts are topstitched.  There is a bit of fullness in the back bodice but not enough to worry about. 
The pattern is B5846.  I made no alterations to the dress when I was cutting and sewing it.  I should have added length.  I ended up going back to JoAnn's to buy more of the fabric to lengthen the dress.  I cut a band about 5" wide and sewed it to the bottom of the dress with the stripe running horizontally. 
Photos were taken at the end of the day after working in my comfy commute shoes.  You can really see how red my hair is these days.  I felt pretty and girly wearing this dress - the skirt has some nice 'twirl' factor. 
This past weekend - I was thinking about taking the bodice from this pattern and using the straight skirt to make the border print stand out.  Might try sampling that in some 'throw away' fabric before using my lovely border print from New York.  With any luck - I might have the border print sewn up before 2013 ends. 

July 15, 2013

Shawls for Momma

My new favorite gift for new mommas is something for the momma.
I've been knitting shawls for friends who are expecting.
This was a beautiful lime green yarn is Anzula's Haiku.
It's a lovely wool and bamboo blend which I bought on sale.
One 500 yard hank was just enough to knit the Holden Shawlette pattern which is free.
This particular shawl was a gift for my hairdresser.
Who also happens to be our neighbor's daughter.

No pictures of the baby wrapped in this shawl.
So how about Beau - checking it out?

July 2, 2013

Linen Border Print


 I spent most of May and June working on this dress.  I made 2 muslins and the fit still isn't perfect. 

I am looking for the 'perfect' shirt dress pattern.  And I actually do own 2 different patterns labeled "The Perfect Shirt Dress", but they have darts and no waist seam and for some reason, I really wanted a waist seam.

M6696 - Line Drawing
I chose McCalls 6696 because there was an option with a straight skirt.  I have a lovely border print that I bought in 2008 in New York and it's ready to come out of the closet.  But, I needed a pattern piece that was straight across the bottom to really show off the border print. 
There is no photographic proof  of the alterations, but I did them.  I even emailed KID, MD and Lynne asking them for help.  See - the back was really, really blousy.  In fact, I think I could still take a bit more out.  The back waistband seems to dip down. 

To take out the fullness, I actually just sliced an inch right off the center back pattern piece.  Then I cut from the center back seam to the side seam and overlapped about 1".  After that, I layered this bodice with the simplicity sheath dress bodice that fits so well and drew the back darts in.  I still need to make the back bodice shorter - I am really, really short from my neck to my back waist.  Don't believe me?  My measurement is 15".  Yea short there. 

And now I'm going to show you the back.  I wore this dress again today.  The first time I wore it I felt like a pin I saw the other day.  It went like this: 

Mirror:  You look good today!
Camera:  Ummm, no.

Today, I realized that the back is too wide.  Still.  All the way through.  You can see all the extra bunched up in the belt.  The side seams hang straight - so the extra doesn't need to come out evenly around - it needs to come off the back.  And the hem hangs even although the back waist dips down - so the bodice needs to be shorted and the extra added back to the center of the skirt - right?

I don't know if you can see it or not - but I cut the pockets from the border print.  I wasn't going to get all the pieces if I didn't.  And there two tiny little green leaves peeking out of the front bodice seam.  The pockets are lined with white quilting cotton and I used the metal buttons with the white centers.  I think they work. 

So - although I'm not thrilled with it - I will make the pattern again.  Using a different fabric that I don't care about so much to test the theories above before cutting into the New York Border Print. 
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