Birthday fabric

My mom sent me two cuts of batik fabric from my birthday. The first one I used for a lovely retro styled halter dress from Butterick 6049.

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At first I purchased a yellow cotton for the contrast material, but once home I decided I liked the look of muslin better. After reading a bunch of sewing reviews I was worried that the inset points on the bust were going to be difficult. I watched a ton of tutorials and the prep work paid off.

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After the success of lining the flamingo dress I decided to do it again. This one uses a cream colored batiste. Again the fabric was really light so I thought this would help to give some volume to the skirt. I am completely in love with this stuff. Its so soft against the skin and helps to give opacity without adding a bunch of weight. I would love to make a bohemian camisole with it. Im thinking with some heirloom lacework and pin tucks.

Lining a dress also makes the insides look so clean.  It really makes my hand made items seem so much more special. I know that its a lot of effort to put into something that wont be seen but it also gives me the chance to practice and fit before using the fashion fabric.

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Even with the open back I was able to fit a convertible bra under this dress which I desperately needed to fill out the top. On alteration that I made was to sew the halter into place. I hate having to sew hook and eyes and I just don’t like how they look.


This pattern also has a side seam pocket which give it a more casual feel and a nice place to stick a small wallet or phone. With a full skirt you don’t have to worry about adding any bulk to the hips.

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Took this on a snowy/raining day…now well suited to this look 😦






Beach Cover Up

Yesterday I got a slight sunburn from working out in the yard (OK Tony was working I was laying down , today it is snowing.  For this project I let him pick everything out. I laid my entire fabric stash and un-sewn patterns on the ground and had him pick.  He choose one of my wax print fabrics and McCall’s 6954.s-l300

I had wanted to do the longer version of this dress but holy fabric hog! Based on the fabric that T choose the only  view I could do was A which was the short dress cut on the bias with a high low hem.

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Its pretty shapeless but I think it will work well to throw over a bathing suit. The fabric is really lightweight so it will dry fast.

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The neck and arm holes have a self bias tape facing. Unfortunately  I stretched it out a little but I don’t think its too noticeable.


The back is the reason I bought this pattern.

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Now all I need is some sun!


This is me striking a “glamorous” pose like grandma always used to





Birds of a Feather

A few weeks ago I gave a little tease of this dress to be. While at hobby lobby I saw this flamingo print fabric and after a few nights thinking about it I “had” to go back and have it.  I selected simplicity 8051 for this fabric.


As  a relatively new pattern for simplicity I waited a few weeks to see if anyone else would tackle it so that I could have the benefit of there insights but eventually I got tired of waiting and decided to just dive right in.  I don’t much like making a toile so I always try to find out from other people how much ease is in the pattern so that I make the right size. Without anyone to go off of I tried to guess by the finished garment measurements. It seemed to only have 1″ ease so I opted for the size 14 rather then the 12 I normally sew.  The result is wearable though I think I might have preferred the smaller size.

When I picked up the flamingo fabric I noticed it was rather thin so I decide to pick up some contrasting pink batiste to line the bodice.  I cut out all my fabric and laid it out on the floor and I noticed the bits with the lining looked a pale pink from the outside. I liked the effect so I decided to go whole hog and line the complete dress.

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The pattern only accounted for facings on the neck arms and part of the back triangle. I incorporated those facings sewing them to the lining to make what I think is a really clean looking inside. Bonus: no flappy facings.  This was the first time I have used batiste and it feels so soft against the skin. I will be lining more garments like this as I think this constitutes a resounding sucess.

Just like my recent map dress this dress also has rouleau loops.



Though I found it impossible to button these once the dress was on. I asked Tony to help but he exclaimed that the loops were broken and would not work (I think he just lacked the dexterity for such a girly closer).  Oh well. Its easy enough to just button them and then slide the dress over my head and zip up. I might sew them in place so that the wont ever come undone.

I love the back detail on this dress though I will never be able to wear a bra with it.

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The other thing I thought was interesting was how the armhole was formed with the collar yolk making the upper arm.

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This bodice was supposed to use a shorter skirt but since short skirts tend to look a little vulgar on my long legs so I opted for the longer skirt length from the other view (about 7″ longer). I am glad I did because I think the proportions would have been way off otherwise.


I love this dress but I probably won’t sew it again. It has such a unique back that it would be too obvious if I had it in other colors. I would say this is a medium difficulty pattern, I don’t think I could have tackled it when I first started. This dress will be perfect for a beach vacation with a suitably fruity girly cocktail in hand.

To paint a picture

This weekend I just wanted an easy project to rinse away all the stress of the past few weeks. I had a yard of this fabric I bought months ago. It was the end of the bolt so I got a smoking deal…only $1.25 for the whole thing. It  was too short to work for most of my patterns but then I got the idea of making a blouse.  I selected Simplicity 1590


It took some magical skills but I was able to fit all the pattern pieces on that tiny 1 yard of fabric.

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The fabric is a little coarse in texture and loosely woven but I still adore the print on it. It reminds me of a painters pallet. Once finished I tried it on with a bunch of different bottoms but nothing looked right until I stumbled upon this pencil skirt.  Who knows maybe  will find a job in an office some day and get to wear it.