My Favorite Dress

I realized that I never posted a picture of this dress. Which happens to be my favorite dress so far. I love the skirt the most, circle skirt just makes me feel so girly. It has some flaws, such as i had to take some off the waist after finishing the dress which required putting some darts in the skirt and them hem is  a hot mess but this is still the dress that gets the most wear.


1930s Skirt

Ok, enough pretending its summer. For my next project I decided to take on something a little more season appropriate. McCall’s 6993 skirt from the archive collection.

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I choose this interesting fabric that was labeled as a printed cotton but is sort of fuzzy and has a herringbone pattern, it looks like wool. This is the first garment that I have sewn on the Bernina in its entirety (the last dress was mid sew when I bought the machine so only the zipper and hem  were done on the new one). I defiantly feel like this machine gives me a better result.

Just look at that topstitching!

I found that the yolk piece that stretches across the from is almost an inch too short so I had to cut it out again. Not sure if that was the patterns mistake or mine. Like many before me I decided to disregard the pattern  instructions for how to sew the yolk. Instead I pressed the seam allowance and then topstitched it directly onto the rest of the skirt pivoting at the point. I think the result looks great, bonus its more authentic to the construction methods of the 1930s.


This pattern has a pleat in the front which I thought was a very interesting construction. You sew the center panel to the sides at an angle with a widening seam allowance. Then press it open and sew another triangle on to form the back of the pleat.

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Since my machine seemed to be turning everything to gold I decided to do a double row of stitching on the hem. Unfortunately I was too good at selecting thread and the detail is barely visible.


Have I mentioned how well I can do zippers now? Who needs an invisible zipper when this is so much more sturdy and looks so clean.

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I made a bad mistake on the inside. I had just finished the garment by hand sewing the lining of the yolk. I went to press it out and almost instantly I burned a whole in the lining. After some tears I cut out the burned spot and patched in a new piece. Its not perfect but at least I’m the only one who has to see it.



Here is the finished skirt. Im not sure this is a good length on me, maybe with some shoes. Even if I don’t get a lot of wear out of it I had a lot of fun sewing this.


In Denial of the Cold

I hate winter! I would be perfectly happy living in year round summer, Tony OTOH has dreams of living in British Columbia.  Denver isn’t bad, we have 300+ days of sunshine a year. But somehow winter always comes way sooner then I want it and Summer is never long enough. We had our first snow of the season last week. I celebrated by purchasing a bunch of bright cheery cotton at a 50% off sale intent on make a slew of light summer dresses, winter be damned.

For the first dress I decided to go back to this retro Butterick. I had done view C before here . I liked how the skirt fit on this dress and wanted to tackle view B next. I thought with some modern fabric patterns I wouldn’t look like I was wearing a costume.


Once again I pulled out the seam binding. What can I say, I bought 100 yards of this stuff and I hate to let things go to waste. This skirt has 6 panels so I had to bind 12 edges. I think I am an expert now, I am very happy with the results.

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I attached the bodice lining to the waist seam using a prick stitch which shows up a little more then I would have hoped.


From my reading its common to use the prick stitch on the zipper installation of vintage patterns but I am pretty happy with my zipper method now and I don’t entirely like the look of the prick stitched zippers.

It turns out the ties on the shoulders aren’t actually attached. Its just a separate piece of rectangular fabric. When I put them on the dress I thought it looked silly and preferred the clean look without them better. I didn’t bother to do any pattern matching on this dress. In retrospect I wish I had on the center seam of the bodice. I don’t think it will offend anyone, just a personal annoyance.




Finished Blouse

It is finally time to make the green blouse. I had trouble laying everything out. I ended up cutting out the mirror image of the pattern pieces so I could move them around and figure out where to put things. I “should” have had enough fabric according to the envelope but I didn’t. I ended up cutting a size down because it was the only way I could get everything to fit on the fabric. I knew from the muslin that the shirt was sort of big so I thought it would work.

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I went ahead and just used the dark green binding. I think i’m starting to get the hang of the binding now though it is still tedious. Tony asked if there was an easier way and I told him about overlocking and sergers. He promptly looked on Amazon. Me thinks a serger might be in my Christmas future. My only qualms with a serger is at the end of the day it just doesn’t look as nice as these bound hems. It seems more commercial and missing the love. Sure it would save me time, but its not like i’m in a race to finish clothes.


I used my moms advice and hand sewed the end of the sleeve to cover up the gathers.

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I was going to try a hand rolled hem and the tie ends. After 10 inches I wasn’t happy with how it was turning out so I ended up just doing a double folded hem.  The finished blouse is OK. I does fit a little tight around my hips due to it being a size down. I wore it today paired with jeans, riding style boots, and a chocolate corduroy blazer. I love the feel of the fabric but I have to say that I I like the drape of the white one better.


In other news. I bit the bullet and bought a new sewing machine!

Goodbye singer (thats older them me)

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Hello Bernina!

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I can’t believe how quiet the new machine is. My singer was so loud that whenever I started sewing Uzzi (my cat) would bolt out of the room. I used my new machine to finish up the hem on my next dress and Uzzi was sleeping on the table the whole time. This machine has a crazy number of stitches, which Im sure i’ll never use,  but I ended up going with the 350 instead of the 330 because of the little lever on the right. It allows you to lift and lower  the presser foot with your knee so you can keep your hands on your project. The other most amazing features: 1) I can tell it to always end with the needle up, no more hand wheels 2) I can set it to always start and stop with with the back stitch so I will never forget.

Tony has already requested that I convert a pair of his jeans with a broken zipper into a button flap. I might need to do some practice before I tackle all those button holes.


To dye for

Well I have decided to bite the bullet and finally cut my Seattle Silk. I made a wearable muslin of the pattern a few weeks ago and one thing that bothered me was the lack of finishing inside the garment. If I am going to use my most expensive fabric to date I want the inside to be finished as well. I went looking for notions at my local craft store but was very unhappy with my options.  The only things that were green were a thick polyester bias tape which would ruin the drape of this fabric.

Recently my Mom has been experimenting with dying her own fabric which gave me an idea. I have a crazy amount of rayon cream hug snug. Its light weight and floaty just like the fabric…could I dye it?


Enter Dark Green Dylon. In retrospect I should have gone with emerald green but I wasn’t sure how well rayon would take the dye, turns out really well.

The dye was super easy to use. Just disolve it in 4 cups of hot water from the tap, stir in 1/4 lb. of salt and then add your damp fabric. I set up shop in my laudry room and got to work.


You are supposed to agitate it for 15 minutes, I got tired after 6 so thats all I did. Then I just let it sit for and hour. The most difficult part was rinsing the excess dye out. First in cold, then in hot, then with soap. I let it soak overnight. I took it in the shower with me this morning. Once I felt I couldn’t get any more dye out, I thew it in the laundry with some black clothes just to be sure.  The finished product turned out fabulous. I will defiantly be using this dye again.

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I adore this color, it feels so rich. Like I said its too dark but I still think its a marked improvement over the cream.


I have some hand work to do on the blouse which will take me forever so I may end up getting some more dye and trying to get a closer color…or not.