Tip of the hat to the Rio Olympics


DSCN1838This gorgeous new fabric by Rifle Paper Company for Cotton and Steel caught my eye right away.  This is lawn ( a superfine cotton weave) in a soft periwinkle color with gold, called City Toile Lawn.

I really can’t take a selfie to save my soul.  Hello, boobies!

The most memorable landmark from Rio, the Christ the Redeemer statue, is on here, along with other landmarks like the pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, and Big Ben.


No I did not get a tattoo.  I somehow managed to get the most spectacular bruise, a perfectly shaped circle on my upper arm.  No idea where it came from, and you can see it is going into it’s yellow-green phase.


The designated photographer did a better job on this photo shoot, so his job is safe FOR NOW.  Next time maybe we will even attempt some back views.  My modeling skills are still, and always will be, stuck in my Big Fig phase.


The pattern is a Butterick Retro ’47, B5209.  It has a halter style option also, but I like my shoulders covered.  Life is easier when you don’t need a special bra for your dress.  I had to do a FBA so the top fit correctly.

I ordered the fabric from Hawthorne Threads, one of my favorite online vendors.  This lawn is a dream to sew and is the perfect choice for a good looking dress in this hot climate!

Run Forrest run – the Jenny dress


I learned everything I know about modeling growing up in the 1970’s.  From a Fig Newton commercial.*


But let’s look at the dress instead of talking about my awkward runway skills.   The pattern is the Jenny dress by Sis Boom Pattern Company.  The fabric is a soft and gorgeous chambray.

I must tell you of my love for patterns by Sis Boom.  They actually include pieces for cup size adjustments.  In my experience with four of their patterns, I can measure and print and the finished garment actually fits on the first try.


This dress is so comfortable and covers everything I want to keep covered.  It is also figure flattering in real life.

*Sad but true.  If you remember the commercial, there was a dude in a Big Fig costume.  He did a song and dance, and did a Lord of the Dance type pose.  Every photo op from my youth, and into my twenties, included my Big Fig pose.  Even now I can barely keep my arms down when my picture is snapped.  The struggle is real, people.

Yippee skippy, I have another new dress! And I made it from some yummy Liberty fabric!


Look at me, cutting into yet another one of my coveted lengths of Liberty Tana lawn.  Every time I start a project with this fabric, I feel like I should have a ceremony before the first cut with the scissors.  Not only is this fabric expensive, it has the nicest hand of any cotton I have ever sewn.

This picture is a little fuzzy. I may have to fire my photographer.

For this dress, I chose a pattern by Serendipity Studio called the Marilyn dress.  The Serendipity patterns seem to be sized for what I will call, um, relatively flat-chested bodies.  There is also a note on the back of this pattern that reads, “the length of the skirt will suit up to 5’4″ in height.”  Oops, I just found that note.

I took one look at the bodice front and knew it would need some adjustment.  I re-drew the bodice, adding a generous amount of space to cover my not-flat-chested self.  Here are the before and after shots of the front bodice.

Here is the tissue pattern next to the redrafted pattern I used.
Here is the tissue pattern next to the redrafted pattern I used.
The original laid over the new pattern piece.  To cover everything that needs to stay inside the bodice, I added width and length to the pattern piece.
The original laid over the new pattern piece. To cover everything that needs to stay inside the bodice, I added width and length to the pattern piece.
You can see it took multiple tries to add enough fabric to cover...
You can see it took multiple tries to add enough fabric to cover…

I love the back v-neckline and the invisible zipper.  I have a major supply of invisible zippers, so it’s easy to slap one in the garments I make.  One of the wonderful things about invisible zippers is that it pretty much doesn’t matter what color the zipper is.  If inserted correctly, the only part that shows is the zipper pull.  The zip in this dress is kelly green.


The Liberty lawn fabric is so soft and drapey.  Now this is a good quality in a dress, in my opinion.  However, that means that the hem of the dress hangs without any oomph.  To plump out my hem, to get it to have some body, I decided to add some ban-roll interfacing.  Ban-roll is a product that is typically used for interfacing waistbands.  It comes in different widths. IMG_0917

I measured and pressed my hem.  Then I added the ban-roll, snugging it against the pressed hem.  I basted it to the hem, then folded the excess hem over the interfacing. IMG_0918

I pinned my hem into place, then used the blind hem foot and stitch on my machine.  Because that’s how I roll.  I will freely admit that the idea of hand sewing a hem makes me want to heave.


I love my new dress.  It will be a great garment for the hot and sweaty weather here.  Would I make it again?  No.  While I like the shape of the dress and it’s components, the pattern is obviously sized all over for a petite figure.  My bad for not measuring the length of the bodice, waistband and skirt before cutting.  Lesson learned.

I dyed my hair pink, and now my new dress clashes!


I felt like whipping up a new dress this weekend.  I have been wanting to make the Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio.   I pulled out some voile from the Robert Kaufman fabric line named London Calling.


The pattern is great.  The fabric is great.  My dress turned out great.  Then I had my hair dyed pink.  Although the dress has pink in it, it reads as orange when you see it in person or in pictures.  I wanted to get some pictures of the dress to show on my blog, and I dislike every photo taken.  It just flat out clashes with my new hair color!


I used pearl snaps instead of buttons.  I love snaps – so easy to apply and they make it fun to undress at the end of the day.


I made my usual armhole gap fix on this dress.  I have slim arms and a narrow chest, with larger boobs.  To fit around the boobage, I usually end up with gappy armholes on sleeveless garments.  I fix this by essentially making a casing in the armhole binding about 3 to 4″ each side of the side seam, and inserting a shorter piece of 1/4″ elastic to draw up the excess.  Works great for me.


I usually wear my hair blonde, so the color of the dress is a short lived problem.  In reality, though, this is not a shape that is flattering on my body.  I am too curvy for a an a-line shirtdress.  The Alder Shirtdress is an amazing pattern, but I am heading back to a more tried and true shape for me.  Stay tuned for my next dress…