Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sorry I don’t have a finished project to share. Despite having time to sew, I have been spending much more time doing refashions on items in my refashion pile (I never seem to document these).

Anyway I have been positively itching to try simplicity 1609. So many amazing versions of this around the blogosphere and 60s shift dresses are what I’m about!  I’m making a wearable muslin…


The fabric is quite a boring beige stretch sateen (I usually hate beige but it was super cheap find from years ago) Anyway to make it more interesting I am doing a chevron effect on the center from seam.

Lets hope it works!

I have been meaning to post this for a long time!

I think this is my favorite thing that I have ever made. I totally fell for this printed fabric and rather than allowing it to hide in my fabric stash for the rest of my life I actually used it!





And I took photos with some with the flash on, to see if I could get a more accurate color representation of the dress (but failed to get a good represenation)…




I really included the last one because I was so happy with the fact that my hair was behaving for once. Haha. The fit is better than it looks I promise. I was just wearing the wrong *ahem* undergarments.

The blue in the fabric is very different IRL, but eh I tried.

This year I am going to use all my good fabric (rather than saving it for the non existent “perfect project”). I love the print of the fabric its sort of delicious in a late 60s kind of way!

The fabric reminds me me of this print ad from the 60s (that I had on a pintrest board)…


I wore this dress to a 90th birthday party and got some lovely compliments, which I love because mature ladies are often the most stylish 🙂

I deliberately used a tried-and-true pattern (Simplicity 2417) that way I could skip the fitting woes for this project! I have already used this pattern countless times, but it is so easy and this pattern uses so little fabric, that I can’t stop! A sewing project that involves minor fitting and alterations is such a joy to sew.

The fabric is a light weight cotton drill that I bought at spotlight it was about $8 per meter on sale. That is far more than I usually pay, but I had to have it because the print was really calling my name.

When cutting out the skirt portion, I did consider the print, but I should have experimented more with positioning of the the print in relation to  the pleats in the skirt, I sort of had to re-arrange it a bit ‘after-the fact’.

This dress is so easy to wear because I underlined the skirt portion with a light batiste. The reason I did this was because the drill creases easily…I figured that by underlining it, it would give it some weight and stability and stop it creasing as much. I was right!

The underling also makes the dress sit better and feel more substantial to wear. I must do this with future projects.

I took an additional 6 mm out of the top of the side seams of the bodice and shortened the straps.

I had a lot of construction notes and I really wish I wrote them in a book. I completed this garment a long time ago, so any hiccups are a distant memory.

I vaguely remember fussing with the skirt underling, because I changed the positioning of the pleats slightly to fit the print, but that’s all I remember.

I lined the bodice rather than underling it. Not sure if that makes a difference. Perhaps later I will post pictures of the insides of the dress.

This year I will use actual fabric to make wearable muslins and then only fashion fabric that I LOVE when I have perfected the fit of a garment! The work is the same and life is short!

I can’t wait to make more things in bold prints and bright colours!

Here’s something I discovered today I wanted to share (in case it could help someone else)… I have a new theory on why tops and dresses tend to gape on me at the neckline.  Allow me to demonstrate with a picture…


Yes it makes sense now! Most peoples shoulders slope more than mine, I have quite square shoulders so by taking excess out from the shoulder seam it fits better.

Note: The diagram is exaggerated and inaccurate but you get the idea! Perhaps it counter-intuitive to remove fabric near the neck if you have boxy shoulders, but for some reason it worked for this pattern. I did remove a lot less, and it what I did take out was less slanted than what I drew in mu crude drawing.

Simplicity 1693 was the pattern used. I am not exactly over the moon with the results…


Anyway this is the top before the alteration…

gapey shirt

And after…



So it is an improvement, but I don’t know if I like the loose fit on me but I do love the fabric!

I had a dress in the same colour and print when I was a little girl and it was my favorite dress. I have plenty more of this fabric left, so I am sure I will make something much cuter with it.

I am happy I tested out this pattern in a fabric I had plenty of, because I dont know if it is worth making again. If I do make it again, I want to do the bias binding before I sew up the site seams, and it will probably make it 100 times easier!

I did cut out and sew a peter pan collar, for this top, but I left it off, because I felt like the girly fabic and combined with a collar in the same colour would be too sickly sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I love to look a bit twee, but I am supposed to be a bit more grown up at this point in my life…


Perhaps I can use it on something else. I just discovered a quick way to get the collar to look good:


Tip: Its worth investing in some good quality pinking sheers. I used my new ones to grade the seams on my peter pan collar and it worked a treat! Just grade the seams with the pinking sheers and go over the seam line with a point turner and press. Super quick!

I left of the interfacing, to see how that would change the look of it.

Anyway thats the end of my story.

I have something much more exciting for the next post, it just may be my favorite dress ever.

Heres a teaser (from when it was a W.I.P)…


I have enjoyed reading everyones 2013 recaps. All of the sewing blogs I read are full of sewing inspiration but its reassuring to read that everyone has sewing fails from time to time.

Sometimes it’s impossible to predict which projects will be the highlights and which ones will go unworn, but no matter how the projects turn out its good to know we are always learning more and advancing our sewing skills!

Hope everyone is having a good 2014!