Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Easy Does It Dress

Ease. It’s totally a thing. I was trying to explain this to someone recently, about ease and how your measurements are one thing and ease is another and who ease is so personal and how much ease you need totally depends on you and what makes you feel comfortable blah blah blah. (Oh, and ps: giveaway enterers, guys, don’t tell me about how you don’t resize patterns, maybe I will just take the giveaway back! I would never do that, but YOU DON’T KNOW ME!) At any rate, recently I made a dress. Well, I SAY recently, but I cut this thing out like two weeks ago, and yet I’ve been dragging my feet on it for a good deal of time. the thing is, Sunni proposed a sewalong. And I was like, that sounds fun! And I had this fabric, which I bought at least a year ago, which seemed just spoiling for a shirtdress, so I thought, well, why not?

So I bought the pattern. Do I have shirtdress patterns? Yes, of course I do. But this one seemed cute, so I bought it! Did I follow any of the sewalong guidelines? Hahhahhhhhha that’s adorable. no. Of course I didn’t. That would be crazytalk. I don’t do such things. Still, I ended up with something pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.

How happy do I look? Well. honestly, this dress is actually a bit big on me, the bodice, the waist, there is QUITE a bit of ease built into this thing. And honestly, do I mind the comfort? No. But it’s not the most flattering thing, so if I was going to make thing thing again you can bet your bottom dollar I would cut at least a size down.

The belt is unbearably helpful. Belts can solve all sorts of problems, now, can they? The reality is, this pattern, simplicitiy 1880, has a TON of ease.

Side view! I’m very serious about side views, as you can see on my face. You can barely see it, but the sleeves are pleated.

The back, she is large. Sigh. It’s okay. Serves me right for not making a muslin.

I do all the grilling, because I’m extremely controlling and refuse to let other people cook because I’m awesome. My mamala and I agreed that this dress really looks best with a belt (because of all the ease) so I borrowed one of hers. Thanks, mamala!

The fabric is from Spool, I bought the end of a Kaffe Fasset spool at least a year ago and then put it aside and did nothing with it. The buttons are from the hoarder. So this is a stash busting dress, indeed! I bought the zipper and new thread, but other than that, all stash!

I do love this fabric. The pattern ate up all of it, so that’s it for me, but I love it, and I’m sure I will wear this dress, ease and all. After all, it makes me feel VERY thin. And the busyness of the pattern of the fabric really worked with all the fiddly bits (britishism I’m adopting) of the pattern. I had to piece together one of the four skirt pieces (I love the skirt, boy, is it a fabric hog!)and I don’t think you can even tell.

The notched collar. It turned out….okay. Not great. The instructions failed me here, so I had to kind of make it up. Perhaps if I had waited for Sunni’s tutorial? Alas, I did not. Whatever, it works, and that’s all that matters.

I wore this thing to an office bbq we hosted for the real estate company. It’s my family business, I’ve had my license for 5 years and I’m doing rentals this summer. We made all sorts of glorious food:

And a lovely time was had by all, including these fellows:

And I even had time to dance in my melon patch:

And drink some wine!

And now I must go to bed, because it is my for-real birthday and it’s rather late (or rather early, depending on how you look at it.) Are you working on anything that’s taking a longer time then you thought it might? I am happy with this end result, but it was like pulling teeth to finish it….


Filed under Clothing, Sewalong, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns

I’ll never be that petite: Birthday Giveaway #2!

Here we go, Birthday Month Giveaway round two! I did the math and I believe there will be a giveaway at least twice a week, so more chances to win, right?

Sometimes, in the course of human events, we accidentally buy a sewing pattern that is too small for us. By a lot. But we think, it’s okay, I’ll resize it! But we don’t. We look at the pretty cover art and we think, wow, that would look great on me, but it’s a trillion pieces and I would have to add several inches to every. single. one. So we think, someday, when I’m a trophy wife, I’ll have the time! But then we don’t pursue rich billionaires. We aren’t really making this easy for ourselves, now, are we?

So, anyway, I now offer these to you, for your more petite enjoyment, because I’m probably not going to be a trophy wife, so when am I going to have time to resize these? Never, that’s when. Unless you have a rich guy for me to marry. In which case, just shoot me an email, I’m around.


I  know. I KNOW.  First let’s look at Vogue 4174:

It’s a size 32 Bust (which I am, in my DREAMS! Hahahahaha, no, I don’t actually mind my endowments, but they aren’t ever going to fit into this thing, that’s for sure), and it’s LOVELY.

This size 30 bust pullover is cute as hell, and I wish I was a trophy wife just so I would have time to resize it. Sigh. Why must resizing take FOREVER?

And then we have McCalls 6405. I actualy think there might be a cute dress in there, somewhere. It’s a size 31.5 bust (weird) and I think views E and D could actually be really cute, if shortened. Or you could make View A, and then call 1975 and tell it you stole it’s wedding dress. Whatever works for you!

You know the deal. Comment to win, tell me what you would make and your thoughts on resizing. I know it’s a perfectly viable method to make sure any pattern fits you, but my LORD it’s tedious….


Filed under Giveaway, Vintage

The Sphere of Influence Dress

Happy Independence Day! If you, like me, adore the musical 1776, you have enjoyed this day for that reason alone. Because the parades are deeply annoying, given that I can’t get around them even on a bike, and people injure themselves yearly with homemade fireworks and barbeques are full of PEOPLE and I certainly don’t like that….I do like real, non-homemade fireworks, but I never get the chance to see them, though as I type this, thunder and lightning split the sky, giving us here in the great city of Philadelphia, home of the Declaration of Independence (seriously, go rent the film version of 1776, it stars Mr. Feeny as John Adams and it’s just the best), some real artisanal fireworks courtesy of nature herself.

I wore this dress which I actually made for an event for Jenny’s wedding, but didn’t get a chance to photograph, to a very relaxed evening with my parents at their house. At any rate, I don’t know how festive this thing actually is, it’s really more vaguely Ming Vase themed then anything else. So that’s why I’ve deemed it the sphere of influence dress, to symbolize our complicated relationship with China which dates back to the 1800s, and to pay tribute to the famous “spheres of influence” which caught the Chinese Empire in a world of colonialism under the guide of benevolent imperialism. I know, not a day goes by you don’t sew a garment and dedicate it to fighting the patriarchy, any way you can….

I think it’s pretty darn cute, honestly. The bodice is Dixie DIY‘s ballet dress bodice, with a few modifications. I took it in on the sides (from a size medium, and honestly I could probably go to a small with no fitting issues), and re-drafted it a bit to be less of a “bodice” shape and more of a “tank top” shape. I also lengthened it by 2 inches, so I could be sure it would fall at my natural waist, which it does. I lowered the neckline by about 1 inch and a half, and I narrowed the straps, That ultimately proved useless, as the finishing binding is rather thick, and honestly I should have narrowed the straps more, really, they aren’t what I had in mind, but I like this, nonetheless!

The skirt is Vivat Veritas’ half-circle skirt, as I wanted something a bit fuller than Dixie’s (wonderful) design. I have made that skirt three times now, but of course some how I cut this one out on a bit of an asymmetric angle. I DO NOT KNOW HOW. But it was totally unintentional intentional. I honestly didn’t notice it until I tried it on for the first time and then I tried to convince myself I was just seeing things. However, my ever observant Mamala commented on it today, so I had to just own up to it and go with lalalalala design choice asymmetric hems are in this year lalalalalalalala.

The fabric came from Girl Charlee. I can’t talk enough about how much I love Girl Charlee.

Here it is from the back. I would still like the bodice to be a bit tighter but honestly it’s SO COMFORTABLE so how can I really complain?

Side view. Thanks for taking these photos, Mamala! I’m getting a tripod soon, for my birthday (WHICH IS MONDAY) so I wont have to torture my relatives and friends for much longer.

Now, as I made this dinner and we ate it in our garden, I thought you might like to see A. what was served and B. the garden, as the fruits of the labors I mentioned back in May. Oh, you have no interest in any of that? Suck it up.

Turkey and Beef Burgers from Whole Foods with baked fries (so…are they bakes? Whatever, they are potatoes which I peeled, sliced and baked, okay? We also had a capresse salad.)

Me with wine.

A white eggplant, on the stalk, growing…

A cantaloupe! This is what they look like, as babies. Later their skin does that wrinkly thing.

Tomatoes, ripening on the vine.

Beans, which we really plant because they add nitrogen to the soil, but their fruits are a delicious bonus.

Chard! How pretty is chard? It’s a very dramatic plant, if you ask me.

There are also flowers.

So there you go. Vegetables, flowers, a cute and easy knit dress. Is there any other way to enjoy our nation’s freedom? (And of course in point of fact the 4th wasn’t the celebration of the freedom of the United States, it just celebrates the day a small group of white men wrote an angry bitchy letter to the UK and signed it in fancy ways. It’s the Colonial equivalent of singing “Somebody That I Used To Know”. Still, it’s fun to grill things.)

A parting shot of me, my dress, and an awkward smile. Enjoy!

And don’t forget about the giveaway! And look for a new one for Friday!


Filed under Clothing, Sewing

It’s My Party: Pattern Giveaway Week 1!

Oh, it’s July already! It’s July! July! I love July! Why do I love July? Because July is my BIRTHDAY month! And I love my birthday, I really do! It’s on the 9th, by the way, and you are welcome to send gifts, money, flowers, whatever works.

As a child my birthday was always kind of a downer, summer birthdays can be rough, no one is around, you don’t get to bring cupcakes to class, it’s a mess. But now I enjoy my birthday, number 1, there is always wine, number 2, I get to have cupcakes at WORK, number 3, people post on my facebook wall and I feel extremely popular. It’s a great day. And THIS year, my older brother will be there for my birthday! He’s moving back East and leaving all that LA nonsense where it belongs, in the land of artifice and entitlement. Yay!

So in HONOR of my birthday, and as a sign of appreciation for all of the lovely people who read and comment on this blog (thanks for the string of lovely thoughts about my recent makes, guys, you people are awesome), I’m going to give away a couple of patterns a week! To some lucky readers! Because why shouldn’t you share in this happy time with me? I’m not sure if I will post new giveaways weekly or twice a week (honestly, guys, I have a LOT of patterns, so….) but I can guarantee that there will be a pattern giveaway at least once a week, and there will be different sizes, so be on the lookout for what works for your lovely form!

And this week’s giveaway is (drumroll please…):

There you go, four patterns in a size 38 bust. A closer look, you beg? On it:

How happy is that cover art chick? SO. HAPPY.

Yes, it’s a onsie. But those are big now, right? Also, I love both hairdos on this cover art, not going to lie.

These ladies all look so sad, which is a shame, because they are all wearing cute jacket/vests!

ANOTHER ONSIE. Because one is NEVER enough. Seriously, this could be a cute romper, if you’re into that sort of thing…

Okay, you know the rules, comment to win all four! I’ll send these anywhere, London, Jakarta, Cleveland, you name it, so have at it! Maybe tell me when your birthday is, and how you feel about such a thing?


Filed under Giveaway, Sewing, Vintage