September 18, 2023

End of Summer Sewing Plans

 I've got plans, they're multiplying! I figure if I lay them out here, there's a better chance they'll get done.

First: I have another Style Arc Nova Midi Dress cut out, this one's for me.  But I'm not sure I can currently face all the gathering after having just finished one for the solids loving daughter.

Second: I have a fall themed coffee print designated for a shirt for JB. In fact, I ironed the fabric and started cutting it - 2 days ago. I still only have the left front, both sleeves and one collar cut out.  

Third: I have a pretty knit on my table to make that same solids loving girl a knee length dress in her favorite muumuu pattern. This has been pulled since I made her a new maxi version after she had some surgery this summer and easy slip on dresses were her best friend.

Fourth: I bought a beautiful piece of linen at fabricmart this summer when I roadtripped with Marjie (I'm still mad that she found the black floral linen before I did) that wants to be a Peplum Split Tank. This is a trial run of the pjs I want to make for Christmas.

Fifth: I'm participating in another test that I'm really excited about and I've pulled and prepped the fabric for that. The fabric was another FabricMart retail store find and I couldn't decide if I wanted a shirt or a dress, so I bought it all. At $2/yard, why not?

Sixth: Vali dress with a pretty toile-like linen from FabricMart. I can't remember if I ordered it or bought it at the retail store during a SewCamp, either way, it's gorgeous! I think this might be my birthday dress this year.

Seven & Eight: don't have to get done this summer, but they are Christmas or possibly January birthday gifts. I have some fun fabrics to make a couple of Boundless Carryalls. I might use a different pattern for the one of the fabrics, but I want to use the faux leather for the bottom.

Nine: at least one tee for a special Ernie & Bert loving little boy.

Ten: Photoless project. Miss E asked if I'd make her a new robe. We just planned our next trip to see the grands and while I don't have to take them something every time I see them, it's nice. But also, her robe could be a project for Christmas or her birthday in January. Plus, being the crazy Gigi that I am, I decided when I bought the fabric that her dolls should have matching robes.

We'll see how much I can get checked off this list :) 

September 12, 2023

Grainline Myra

 I don't even remember when I 'applied' to be a Grainline tester. But I will admit to being very surprised when I received an email asking if I was interested with the line drawing attached.

 I was hooked as soon as I saw the back detail and that incredibly interesting back yoke shape.

 I feel so honored to have been chosen to be on the testing team for the new Grainline Myra. It was my first time testing for Grainline and I hope it won't be my last.

 From Grainline's website: 

Myra is a sophisticated slip dress and top with angled seam detailing, a square neckline, and spaghetti straps.  Dress Myra up or down with your fabric choice, and select from three length options to make a Myra that's perfect for any occasion.  

 Myra calls for light to medium woven fabrics and I used a fairly lightweight stretch poplin from FabricMart. The fabric was part of my dryer stash, that I'm trying to work through.

The first thing I did was send the pattern file to LaQuana for printing.  I don't need to start a test with problems of my own creating. Q's shop is called BlueCupShop on etsy and she's quick and reasonable. She also reached out to ask questions when I've sent a file that's 6 pages to see if I really need to the B cup files! I appreciate that! 

 After referring to my project notebook that I am being religious about keeping in 2023, I can tell you that I made the following alterations, to fit me:

  • traced a size 18 at the bust graded to 20 at the hip;
  • added 2" to the length;
  • cut 4 straps so they were wide, the pattern has skinny straps
  • raised the side slits by 3"
  • added inseam pockets
  • removed 3 1/2" from the strap length, although I might have been a bit aggressive with shortening the straps.

This dress was an easy sew with a unique look. That lovely back yoke creates a really interesting back view.

And I don't even have back fat pushing out of the top of my dress! And I don't need more room in the back, I'm not standing up straight, I have one hip hitched to the side :)

 Myra feels like the sheath dress I've been trying to make forever! I have plans for more. I have a lovely burnt orange linen to make a version for my solids loving daughter and I have enough of this floral left to make the top version.

 Because I added length, I also increased the length of the side slits. Myra has slits on both side seams. If she wasn't so long, you could alternatively leave a slit in the center back seam.


Myra feels like all sass! At least in this bright floral version.

 Finally, in the interest of full disclosure. I should tell you that I've gifted this version to my solids loving daughter. And that I took all my own photos for this blog post.

September 5, 2023

Donny Dress Hack

 As so many of my projects do, I was inspired by a dress I saw on Instragram.  This time it was - and she hacked the Friday Pattern Co. Donny Shirt into a dress.  Yep!  I can totally get behind that. I waiting until FPC had their sale and then sent the pattern off to Blue Cup Shop for printing. 

 I'm not sure what I was working on when the pattern arrived, but I didn't get to it right away.  Although I did pull fabric and put it with the pattern immediately.

 The fabric is a poly cotton, mostly cotton based on the wrinkling, that I most likely got at an Amish shop. There was no identifiers on the fabric.  I've been 'collecting' gingham and plaid for about 18 months now, and I thought this would be a great Summer dress. 

 It wasn't until I was cutting, that I realized the plaid was uneven and it took a lot more brain power to match the stripes across the center front.  If you look close, you'll see I came close, but it's not quite right.  But who's looking that close?!

 I also knew I wanted to add piping. I didn't have enough small cording in my collection, so I made a quick trip to Cedar Lane and bought 10 yards of piping, which I took apart for the cord.  I pulled a green polka dot cotton from the closet and used that.  It matches the green in the stripes perfectly.

I traced the size XL and made all my "standard" adjustments, which is a 3/4" sway back adjustment. I traced the pattern with a 7" finished side seam for the bodice and I think it's the perfect place for the waist to hit me. For future makes, I'll add about an inch to the center front so that seam hangs even.
I took great pains to match the plaid at the side seams and added a bias cut panel on the back pocket piece. 

 The skirt is just 2 lengths of fabric gathered into the waist.  Pockets added to the front. Oh, I don't know what I was thinking, but I originally cut the skirt pieces at 37". I mean, how tall do I think I am?!  Of course the inspo dress was more tea length than knee, but . . . 

 I'm curious, do you consider adding a gathered rectangle to a shirt pattern a hack? I'd love to know what you think a hack is.  

August 28, 2023

Birthday Dress - 2022 Edition

 For years, I have made myself a birthday dress. Sometimes we go away, sometimes we go out to dinner, but mostly these days I have to work.  

Anyway, last year I made Style Arc Naomi and it was a bust. There are no photos, it just wasn't a good style for me. BUT the sleeves are amazing!  So - I laid the True Bias Southport bodice over the Naomi and traced naomi's armscye, front and back. I also raised the front neckline on Southport a little bit.  

The skirt is folded over the hanger bar inside the bodice in this picture, but can you see the potential? This was going to be soo good!

Other than adjusting the armscye, I made a small swayback adjustment.  I use Nancy Zeiman's method from Fitting Finesse. It looks like this book is no longer available, however after talking to Nancy at Sewing Expo many, many years ago, she indicated that Pattern Fitting with Confidence was basically the same and that you didn't need both.   

Honestly, the dress is growing on me. I think it just needs the right styling.  The fabric is a beautiful sunflower challis bought at FabricMart sometime in the summer of 2021

I could really see this dress shinning with dark tights and brown boots and a scarf. I will always wear it with a belt as shown. Which reminds me of the last change I made: this dress has elastic in the waist rather than the drawstring that southport has.
And since that's all there is to say about this True Bias Southport/Style Arc Naomi Mashup/Hack I'll leave you with some more photos.
This is the last dress that Carolyn took pics of when she came to visit in May! I will do my best to take my own (however dorky) photos and keep the blog alive. Thanks for sticking with me through the quiet years.

August 21, 2023

Saved By A Friend

 Actually, this entire dress is thanks to a friend.  

I had a very pretty piece of green linen in my fabric closet.  I didn't remember where it came from when I originally pulled it.  Because, honestly, for years I was *afraid* of linen.  

I love my first linen hope so much, that I decided to make another.  I asked Carolyn which piece of fabric I should use and she suggested one that I wasn't quite ready to sew up.  So, I pulled this beautiful piece from the shelve.

But here's where everything went sideways.  I have this really bad habit of cutting out just the bodice and then setting it aside.  Then when I'm ready to start, I'll construct the bodice and figure out how long the skirt can be when I get there.

Well, once I got started on it, there wasn't enough fabric for a skirt of any length at all!  OH No! At this point, I sent some photos to Carolyn (which is a pretty regular part of any garment I'm making) and she commented, 'You're using my fabric!' Well, that answered the where the fabric came from.  Carolyn most likely gifted it to me to convince me to use linen.

I asked if she had more, and she did.  It was a piece where she had to purchase lots and had given away 3 yard pieces.  Way back in December, I took a day when I wasn't busy and I drove out to visit with her.  The visit was the reason for the day trip to New Jersey and the rest of the fabric was a bonus!

There are really no changes to this dress.  I had previously lowered the neckline and for this version I added inch wide elastic in the sleeve hems.

And that's about all there is to say about this Style Arc Hope Woven Dress.  The pattern is a gem.  If you haven't made it, you really should consider it!

August 14, 2023

The Dress that Wasn't

 Okay - seriously, how do y'all come up with titles for your blog posts?  I'm so boring!  

Anyway, Way back during 2020 if my memory serves me, I bought a beautiful burgundy floral with every intention of making another myosotis maxi dress.  BUT then I remembered that as much as I love a good maxi, they really aren't practical for running up and down stairs and crawling around cleaning bathrooms.  So I decided to make a knee-length dress.  You know, the one on the pattern envelope! 

In all honesty, there is nothing wrong with this dress.  It has the modified to be more open neckline and I've moved the shoulders forward. I went completely collarless and added short sleeves.

I just don't like it.  It feels blah.  and heavy.  It most likely would have been epic as a sleeveless maxi - but that isn't what I made.

So, the next step is to use my vinyl cutter to put a size label at the back neckline and put it in the giveaway pile. I just don't see myself wearing this dress.  In fact, I even gave away the extra fabric already.

Photos by Carolyn taken at Carriage Corner Bed & Breakfast ;)

Sharing them all, because my friend makes me look good!

August 7, 2023

Testing 1 - 2 - 3

 There is just something about testing. I don't know what it is, but I feel like one of the cool kids when I'm selected. Since first seeing the Collage Gather Top I have been intrigued by the Matchy Matchy Sewing Club. I also really like the Peplum Split Tank. So, when they sent out a testing call, I applied.

Remember when I said I loved gingham? Not lying. I bought way too much of each of these fabrics at a yard each to make a sample of the Skipper Top. I photographed my fabrics in the different locations on the top and ended up with this:

For my version, I made the top to wear with denim shorts. This is the summer that I don't care that my legs are ugly - they are good legs!
This was a very easy sew, once I figured out which fabric went where. The hardest part (for me) was putting the PDF together.

I think, all in all, I spent maybe 4 hours on this little top. I made View A and used the gathered front piece for Views B&C

As you can see, I used all red & white fabrics, a 1/4" gingham, a window pane plaid and a larger red & white plaid.

If I were to make it again, and honestly, I don't know that I will, I would add length to the front as a mock full bust adjustment. I realize the top is cropped, but it feels just a bit too cropped for me.

Also - I had to take these pictures by myself.  But hey - at least I'm still documenting my sewing - right?!

July 31, 2023


I bought the Stinger dress by SBCC Patterns as soon as it was released.  I was smitten with some of the tester versions that I found. Now, almost 2 years later, I'm finally sewing it up. 

Stinger is a tiered maxi dress with an interesting bust dart that comes from the center front seam. The bodice is fitted and it's fitted through the hips. The dress has a center back zipper, which I don't use because I can slip it over my head.

To be honest, in 2021 I bought a beautiful dark floral cotton and earmarked it for this dress.  But hadn't gotten around to it.  I then pulled a pretty green for a wearable muslin.

Pre-vacation 2022 in my mad rush to make new dresses, I pulled this pattern back out.  I started with a size XXL


  • Lower front horizontal dart an inch
  • Adjusted princess seam to match
  • added 3" to each skirt tier (which was too much and I ended up with a 2" hem and a dress that drags on the ground)
  • removed 1 ½" in a sway back adjustment, I do my adjustment according to Nancy Zieman's fitting finesse, taking ¾" at the shoulder and another ¾" below the armhole.

Fabric:  3 ½ yards of pink bandana print cotton purchased at Mook Fabrics in 2018.  The fabric was bought with the intention of making Little Miss E and I matching outfits.  And I did eventually make hers, using this fabric for Easter 2022, the remaining fabric was used in a shirt for Mister H as well as for my dress. You can see a pic in my 2022 Year in Review Post I also used the black gingham that was the main fabric for Mister H's Easter shirt as accents for my dress. 

This dress took way longer to make than it should have, but I'm okay with that.  It's done and I'm happy with it. 

However, now that it's done, I'm not really sure that I want to use the dark floral for another version. The dark floral was made into another Myosotis which I will blog soon. 

 But I will make up the green into a short dress. Which I did.  It didn't even get photos.  There was just something about it that I didn't like.  It went directly into the donation pile.

Photos by me!  Taken in my bedroom.  Practice makes better.
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