the weekend scheme

i made some huge progress last week, finishing up a few pieces to clear out a lot of space to finish up....a few more pieces. the week, however, didn't quite end up supporting much work after monday. these things happen sometimes. last night while sprawled on the couch i began to feel that it was time to get back to work.

decisions must be made, focus must be found. it's time to fish or cut bait on a few WIPs--the new 1940s sundress, the New Look sheath, and the vintage vogue re-issue that needs a hem. i will try to finish these during the weekend. if i start something new, i am feeling stirrings of interest in my minako 60s dress, which would be nice to pull out and work on, or perhaps one of my 1950s advance dresses cut out a few weeks ago (two of which need linings cut out first!)

working on a few pieces that require additional cutting may be a nice way to "get something done" tonight while i relax after the week, and will give me something to work on tomorrow during the forecast rain. since i also want to do some baking tomorrow, to make the rainbow cookies for passover, that could be a solid balance as each will require me to take a break from the other. and that kind of weather is perfect stay-at-home weather.


the winter-that-wouldn't-end dress

Pattern Description:
(from etsy seller clovas)
Darling day dress with faux wrap bodice. The dress can be belted or tied. There is also the option of a scalloped or straight edging, so cute.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
the faux-wrap gives the bodice a nice look while using less fabric (helpful in 1940s rationing and also when using liberty fabric!) than a traditional wrap. i like the looseness of gathers on these 40s bodices, and the scallop seemed like a great mate for the fabric i had chosen. in fact, this pattern lingered on my "favorites" list for months until i saw the fabric and immediately found inspiration.

Fabric Used:
liberty of london tana lawn, appropriately titled "winter stem", from purl in New York City

here in the tundra formerly known as NYC, the weather continues to drag on and on as though no one has passed mother nature the memo that it is april and time for nicer weather! although i'd originally intended this dress to be a house dress, or a weekend dress, yesterday, the weather was raw, damp, windy and unpleasant and this seemed an appropriate dress for the occasion:
comfortable, a "winter" print, and yet colorful enough to impart some cheer. alas, the comfort factor on the dress made me realize how much i'd rather be at home, with a cute pair of leggings on under it and a much heavier sweater on over it, with my feet up and something hot and spiked in a mug by my side. all day, whenever i looked down at my dress, i longed to be home and even felt that not all 40s day dresses were created equal in terms of work-week wear.

i have not yet made the tie, although i intend to.

this dress was constructed on a whim one saturday evening a week to the day after i had taken the fabric home--the very day the pattern arrived in the mail. it was late--always a bad sign--and i was cutting. i'll just say that i had to cut the bodice more than once!

also--understitching scallop facing = interesting times...

Make again?
advance 3951 may not get made again, and this particular inclination of it will certainly be employed more on weekends than during the week. however, i continue unabashed my love and appreciation of these 1940s advance patterns. they are basic, a cinch to work with, and offer up loads of options because of their simplicity. prints, solids, stripes, it all works, it's all easy, and it's all fun to wear--if you wear it in the right environment!


the finished frankenpattern

the ideal: McCall 6273, originally spotted on glass of fashion

ORIGINAL Pattern Description:
(from glass of fashion's etsy site)
Cute pattern by McCalls for a button through dress with gathered detailing on the bodice. Choose a high keyhole neck with bow detail or cut-out neck. Three sleeve variations: short gathered, three quarter gathered, or long and straight.

Actual Patterns Used:

Simplicity 3262
purchased from savagespider
McCall 6314
purchased from VintageJubilee

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
yes! in fact, i liked it even better once i decided to make the skirt have some extra fullness in the back, as suggested by McCall 6314.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
i decided that the gathers on the bust darts were too nice a design feature to ignore. of course, the instant i decided this, someone snapped up the pattern on etsy. six months later i finally had enough understanding of the pattern pieces, and additional patterns for inspiration and guidance, to attempt it on my own.

Fabric Used:
liberty of london tana lawn "hanako" from B&J in New York City

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
simplicity 3262 had both the bust gathers i admired as well as a kimono sleeve, instead of the set-in sleeve on McCall 6314. gathering up the sleeve and tying it off was simple and easy and best of all, built into the sleeve on S3262. M6314 inspired a continuous gather going from the bust apex down to about the hip, which i found both flattering and aesthetically pleasing. also, i really enjoyed the skirt design on M6314, which gives one some extra fullness in the back.

obviously, looking at the pattern pieces, there is very little complicated drafting going on here, and given enough time i could have done it myself--maybe. (drafting is a bit out of my wheelhouse, but necessity may have surprised me...) still, i had these patterns in the stash, and why re-invent the wheel? the major "drafting" i did was to turn the v-neck into a sweetheart neckline (thank you, french curve) and to draft an extension beyond the CF point on the bodice and skirt pieces to accommodate a button front.

i shortened the skirt to go 22" down from my natural waistline instead of the period-appropriate below-knee length. but i'm beginning to wonder, given the prevalence of longer hems this season, if i may need to stop shortening my vintage skirt patterns!

as has become my standard practice on these gorgeous 40s dresses, i didn't line or face anything but finished all seams (including neckline and armscye) with a bias binding. in this instance, i used a matching bias binding on all seams and finished the waistline seam with a bit of contrast grosgrain ribbon from Pacific Trimmings. the hem was turned up and finished with some basic wright's hem lace in the same color as the ribbon.

buttonholes thanks to jonathan embroidery. to make the front extensions work as a sort of makeshift placket, i took a strip of fusible interfacing tape, sewed it to the RS raw edge of the extension, flipped it over to encase the edge, and turned the entire bit over once more for a clean and "faced" finish. really, an adaption of the excellent facing techniques recently described on both the off-the-cuff blog as well as the male pattern boldness shirt sew-a-long.


feeling directionless

a tough week at the machine.

i had a fantastic weekend. i finished both of my vogue 6043 tops, the skirt, and about 60% of the shorts. i had a breakthrough on my vogue couturier design pucci top and made very exciting progress-into a home stretch, now. i did an exhaustive clean-up of my sewing space and got the whole system under control. i whipped up the little new look dress in some Liberty print that may have been a mistake--should use the leftover for a simple top--and started my 2nd simplicity sundress with my modified princess pattern. (i will still need to dart in under the arms. *sigh*)

i managed to work in fits and spurts during the week but overall accomplished so little that the only thing keeping me sewing was knowing that if i took the week off, it would take me a while to get back into the swing. then on wednesday night i had a crisis of conscience. i was trying on my vogue tops and everything about them seemed wrong. i tried on my new look dress and it seemed wrong. and i remain paralyzed on what to do with my etro print and two of my puccis. last night i sat in front of my project board and stared helplessly at all of my marked projects. i pulled out the puccis, spread them out, folded them up, and put them away.

fortunately i managed to end up an up note of sorts--i retried my vogue tops and they fit, both of them, and fit nicely. so i will outsource the button attachment to the dry cleaner tomorrow and feel better about life.

weekend outlook? maybe the pucci top lining--i'm feeling ready to finish my bias-cut "purple chris" dress and to commit to what to do with the rest of the scraps--i feel ready to spend the hour (or less) it will take to finish the yellow dress with the cute floral inverted pleat. i'd like to cut the bemberg lining for my new project runway dress in the ian rhodes LoL print, because that dress will make up beautifully and easily and is perfect for april/may, before i allow myself to take the plunge on all the crazy and adorable summer pieces i am plotting.

it's time also to fish or cut bait on getting started on my chanel.



starting to feel some actual stirrings of actual energy. i've noticed this week that it's been marginally easier to wake up and that sleep has been more satisfying. i've been more interested in food. i've been more excited during the day about projects--not always a good thing, since i so often lose focus on the drive home.

not sure what my approach will be this evening. for dinner, i am thinking classic: grilled cheese and tomato soup. i ate some of my leftover burritos for lunch and they were satisfying and super-filling, which was unusual.

i do plan to do some work tonight. i have a feeling that if i let myself go with whatever strikes me, i could get a lot done. i pressed out the linings for both of my tops last night, although i didn't feel like dealing with the logistics of sewing them, taking them in, and figuring out the best way to attach them, but the time is drawing near. the skirt i can do easily, and i may finish my evening with that as it is relatively simple, relatively quick and likely to be something i can use to end on a high note.

i did some work also on my bias top with the rose-print liberty. it took me a few tries, but i understand the assembly procedure now and may be able to finish that as well, which would be fun. i'm not sure, but it may not need a zipper, which would, of course, be excellent.

i'm thinking toward the weekend. i may have no choice but to go out to the house because of my drivers license, which needs renewal. my ideal would be having enough finished to be able to go to jonathan and get the buttonholes on my mini-wardrobe, as well as my fake mccall dress, taken care of--then i could get out to the house and over to DMV before 1 (closing time). the best use of my time after that may be to do muslins on all of the fancy silk work i have been plotting for april, may and june. i can head up to jo-ann and get some cheap "silk" to play with, and maybe even do some work on my already-cut pucci top, which i've been considering hand-basting together. other than that, i am largely caught up on cutting, unless i want to jump ahead (which, yes, part of me wants to) to the three summer frocks i'm plotting with my new liberty acquisitions--but those are great, easy little frocks and i think they could be a great memorial day weekend project (all the more reason to cut them now? i'm not sure--but it seems premature).

heck, i should probably even do two muslins for the silk--one with muslin, to tweak any design issues and major fit changes, and one in "silk" to see how it plays out. the muslin would be easier to modify pattern-wise and i'll need to do something in silk to make sure that the drape is still appropriate.


getting back to form?

i definitely have not been as focused as i might like this week. nonetheless, in spite of strange spring weather, lingering "jet lag" from the time change, and just general tiredness, i kept at my little tops and last night was rewarded with a burst of energy and interest just as i was getting ready to shut down for the evening.

perhaps the tops are not as skillfully done as they might be. i definitely messed up on the french darts, one of which is...awkward, but potentially fixable. but i have been practicing my islander technique, and i adjusted the fit of both tops so that i can be satisfied that they will be fun and whimsical and cute when they are done. i made the neck straps last night as well. now, only the linings remain!

since wednesday night is often such a good productivity night for me, i will go home, put on the NCIS marathon that inevitably airs on wednesdays, and go forth. i might even make some dinner.

since breakfast at aaron's on sunday i have been obsessed with food. it's a good feeling. it reminds me why i started caring about food in the first place. last night i made a delicious little burrito for myself and i'm already craving another one. i'm dreaming about getting some good bacon at the saturday market and maybe pulling some meat out of the freezer. i'm thinking maybe i will bust out the rancho gordo pack this weekend to try one of the yummy soup recipes in my "heirloom beans" book. we'll see.


back to focus

staring at my project board last night, after an unusually successful day of planning on cutting on saturday, i started to feel the dreaded overwhelmed sensation again. i read these blogs--the sew weekly or what have you--and i know that i can, with direction, easily accomplish my goals if i can break them down into a discrete task and finish them within a week. a few weeks ago, i even finished an entire project in a night. and yet i continually flutter around from thing to thing until it all spirals.

that said, this week i hope to:
finish my 2 vogue liberty scrap tops
finish the purple shorts
finish the purple skirt
put buttonholes in: purple skirt and frankenpatterned ruched bodice dress.

knowing this will probably fail by tomororw, i offer myself the following schedule:

monday: vogue liberty tops
tuesday: shorts and/or skirt
wednesday: often my most productive night of the week, i will give myself sewer's choice. plenty of my cutting from the weekend was for simple, 1-session projects. perhaps i can tackle the new look dress or the simplicity sundress or the almost-50's project runway pattern, although i should really line that
thursday: assemble the front and, separately, the back halves of my march jacket, so i can investigate embroidery options on saturday.
friday: night off? what might be fantastic is actually to cook, and then catch up on my firefly re-watch while i do the hand-stitching on my cashmere dress. i began dreaming of this yesterday and still got sidetracked by determining if the cute bias-cut dress pattern i got will accomodate my etro charmeuse.


another advance 3929

still loving this pattern, advance 3929. this time i made view 3, a sweetheart neckline with a cap sleeve. learning from my first outing i redrew the bodice pattern slightly, taking in the sides to more of a 32 bust range, and altering the waist gathers slightly to accommodate my figure. this had the added benefit of reducing some of the excess fabric i had seen across my shoulders in my first version, so, encouraged by success, i took apart and re-assembled my first version in order to make these fitting changes. it was love at first sight all over again!

fabric, of course, liberty of london tana lawn mystery print that i got at B&J in NYC. i first saw it late last summer and was struck by the whimsy and cuteness of it--it seems to be little birds (or bees) buzzing around a bit of foliage, interspersed over lovely pink polka dots. i can't find a picture or name for it online anywhere, and they do not seem to have it anymore at the liberty mothership in london, nor at shaukat. B&J, however, have it still, and in two colorways, no less, but the website is slightly out of date.

you can't see in the picture, but i finished this piece off with a self-fabric belt made by the amazing pat's custom buttons and belts in california. i cannot say enough about how positive an experience i had with this service. my full, gushing review can be found on patternreview, along with photos of the two other belts i had done and the 200 buttons.


"under the covers with a flashlight"

It was a sticky, scorching summer, made worse for the fact that I had been relegated to the third floor of my family’s house: I had to give up my room for guests who had come to visit, and heat rises, as you well know. The pink room had sloped ceilings, but it was no bother because I was rather short back then. Okay, I’m still short. I’m painting a picture of nostalgia, leave me alone.

I was supposed to be asleep; my mom was directing a summer musical for kids and we started rehearsal bright and early every morning, so I had to be awake. But hey, I was on the third floor, and no one would be the wiser if I kept this light on for a little longer, right? I had to finish this chapter; Boba Fett was taking a team of bounty hunters to meet Gheeta the Hutt, and I just knew the job was gonna go wrong in a bad way. Sleep was not an option, not until I found out if my instincts were right.

My distinct memories from that summer are wrapped up in goofy costumes and musical numbers that I can still recall note for word, but also in staying up for hours after everyone else had gone to bed and reading the first installment of the Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy while I ignored the discomfort of late night summer heat. They are special memories, ones that I can recall with alarming clarity—the scent of the book’s paper and ink, how badly I stuck to myself when I tried to shift positions, how low the light was coming from the old lamp on the bedside table.

I believe, more often than not, that where and when we read something has as much relevance as what we are reading. We associate certain tomes with different times in our lives, the same way we commonly do with music and types of food, scents and people. We can mark off chapters of our own stories based on the things we learned in the books we read, the friends or family members we read them with. For instance, when my aunt read James and the Giant Peach to me, I remember how the whole world got a little more magical—and was equally devastated when she couldn’t finish it before her visit ended, and my dad just couldn’t mimic her voices for the characters.

When I was ten years old, I sat on my bed at home and finished The Illustrated Man, my first Bradbury book. As I closed the back cover on a long exhale, I had a sense, then and there, that my perspective on the world had somehow shifted in ways that I wasn’t ready to understand. I can remember causing my mother so much grief for wanting to stay inside during our vacation: I was having plenty of fun on my own, thanks, learning all about the Improbability Drive and the reasons why I should always carry a towel with me. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was essential to my existence, and she couldn’t stop me from finishing that book by nightfall. Sunshine and beaches were for other people.

Of course, what we read as children has a profound impact, but I think this relevance continues into adulthood. That novella you read when you caught the plague at work and couldn’t move for two weeks. The collection of short stories you read with a good friend and the talks you had about it afterward. The book you read to escape a tragedy in your life. They connect you to your past in a powerful way, sometimes better than any pictorial or video evidence you have at hand.

When I was studying abroad for my junior year of college, I spent spring break traveling around Europe. I began Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell in Istanbul and finished it in Rome, the first and last destinations of my trip. That book will stay with me in ways that others cannot, and I’m sure that part of my affection is wrapped up in the simultaneous journey I was taking with the characters. Jonathan Strange lived a great adventure and so did I, at the very same time, in fact.

We were even in Venice together, a kind of magic that is nigh impossible to duplicate.

But my favorite memory of reading is probably the night of July 21st, 2007. That’s right, the final installment of the Harry Potter saga. I should begin by explaining the situation: my home town had a habit of transforming one of our main avenues into Diagon Alley when each book was released. Restaurants sold butterbeer, Hogwarts house colors were worn with pride and everyone partied in the street until it was time to get in the long line and wait for your coveted copy. That year, one of the churches had agreed to turn their basement into Azkaban prison. (Yes, you read that exactly right.) The high school theater department handed over some of their lighting and set pieces, three costumed actors were hired to play Bellatrix Lestrange, and Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, and my friends and I were called in to be “prison guards” and give tours to kids and families.

We each adopted a different accent (I was the irish guard… it’s a long story) and did continuous tours for five straight hours, going hoarse before we realized that it was nearly midnight and we needed to split quick. I went to the local independent children’s book shop and ended up with a shorter wait because I hadn’t pre-ordered my copy of the book—the pre-order lines were a nightmare. Reuniting with my friends, we adjourned to Sarah’s backyard, where her parents had been kind enough to put up tents and equip them with lamps (like real wizarding tents!) and food for a full-on battalion. We settled into sleeping bags and started Deathly Hallows together. Sarah, also the fastest reader of the group, frequently gasped and demanded that everyone let her know when they had reached this or that page. We grimaced and bemoaned her speed, desperately trying to catch up until we all finally succumbed to our drowsiness. The sun woke us in the morning and it was a beautiful day.

Each and every one of us has moments like these, times when a book becomes more than a book. It is a touchstone and the stories between the pages are reflections of us. They remind us of who we were, who we are now and how we got there. The next time you have a bout of nostalgia, I encourage you not to pull out the old photo album. Head to your bookshelf instead, and see what surfaces. I guarantee it will be more than you think.

The pen is mightier than a lot of things. The sword was just the first one down.


trying to think of some of mine:

flu with "the secret garden" in my old trundle bed on radtke rd

staying up to finish "the lost boys" and needing to read another book before i could fall asleep

dune; florida / ender's game; florida

EotW, winter afternoon--i remember my feet were cold--on the green couch when it was in the living room; also, EotW in kensington gardens, i think that was my first re-read and the first time it was really alive for me...

princess diaries in puerto rico, it made everything feel better

possession in boboli gardens, and listening to the church bells

the pursuit of happiness in the haymarket wagamama, also moveable feast!

star wars = high school, freshman year, tropical heat in winter thanks to the thermostat!

clear and present danger = popasson chair in the homewood, winter, sophomore year


goals today

1 - simplicity dress skirt
2 - cut mini wardrobe purple shorts

work on bias-cut mccall

a vast improvement

last night i managed to sit down, breathe, and work--focused--on a few things.

1 - i settled my pat's order, finally. i was actually overwhelmed when i finally pulled all the fabric scraps apart--18 different samples! yowsers!

2 - finished the bodice of my new simplicity dress. i had hoped to finish the skirt as well, but i had to re-do the collar application 4 times. i tried first to ease it into the neckline, but it just wasn't happening--thank goodness i staystictched everything for a change! staystitching FTW! then i consulted my completed simplicity dress and realized that i had just left the collar edges hanging off the neckline, incorporated them into the facing application, and trimmed everything down, so that is what i did. AND i managed to keep breathing the entire time.

happily, i was determined enough to get all of the interior edge-finishing done, so it's all bound up in gorgeous red bias tape, even the collar edge.


trying too hard

well, last night was a bit of a washout. i had been totally energized to get home and get to work when the signs began piling up that it wouldn't happen: i had to stop and get groceries, and none of the prepared food at WFM was suitable for a quick meal; the cable box did the weird thing where it was skipping sounds right in the middle of "jet lag," only my favorite NCIS episode ever and the start of a mini-marathon on cable where all of the episodes were not only watchable but were not annoying; the cat tried to eat my "appetizer" snack and made me drop it all over the floor; i felt overwhelmed when i looked at the small pile of fabric i had planned to cut.

still, i didn't want to be waylaid from my plans and set about trying to adapt, with at best acceptable results. i did end up making the bodice on my new simplicity dress as well as the bodice on my mccall pattern with the bias-cut chevron, but the sewing could have been a bit better, and i still have to finish the edges and make the skirts on both pieces. i did cut out all the pieces of the two vogue 6043 tops i am working on, and managed that tolerably well. i did eat dinner, i got the cable box restarted, i even finished the fitting on my 30s blouse from monday night.

it's just that throughout the process i felt like i was rushing, instead of the relaxed, easy accomplishments of monday and tuesday nights. i felt slightly overburdened by my project list even as i continue to make excellent progress on the idea board.

i ended the evening by slowing down and cleaning up, moving bits that just need hems over to the secretary desk, hanging a few things up, putting some books away, and cleaning off the table. it helped me calm down and i hope that tonight and tomorrow night i can focus more on completing simple, discrete tasks with more care.

i would like to assemble and complete my button-front frankenpattern so that i can get buttonholes made on saturday morning. and it's time to commit and organize my button/belt order from pat, so i can send that in and get it back!


what i've been focusing on

"I break up my days into tasks I know I want to get done (i.e. finishing a chapter, hemming a dress, writing a post)."
(from gertie's new blog for better sewing)

i spent the weekend really trying to plan and then execute my "platonic ideal" of a sewing schedule. friday night i ended up doing....nothing, but i did clean up and set up some space for work the rest of the weekend, so i woke up saturday feeling energized and ready. i went up to paron's at 9:30 and had a fabulous experience there, picking up a lot of helpful fabrics for projects this spring, and popped in at B&J to splurge on some liberty tana that i didn't need for a project i don't really have time for...but with focus can probably knock out in a day anyway. i skipped Mood, for the time being, and headed back home to drop of my booty and treat myself to a pizza at cosi.

after cosi, it was warm enough that i finally had the energy to go down to container store and get myself a gigantic cork board for all of my pictures and swatches. i finished my mccall's sweetheart dress and went back out to Mood to get organza swatches for my "macaron" dress and ended up with two yards of pucci that have amazingly already told me what pattnerns they want. they have been added to the "silk cutting day" pile that i am planning for good friday weekend in april. then i went back to work finishing my mccall's and then i started putting together the pieces for my new liberty dress. i got the entire thing put together, minus the shoulder ties and the facings, which still need to be cut and interfaced and finished.

to wind down, i spent some happy time watching television and working on my inspiration board and went to bed after midnight feeling very satisfied. ended up not watching downton abbey as planned, though, because i didn't want it to degrade so quickly into "something i watch while doing something else."

sunday i set myself up for some serious pattern tracing. i've been noticing on my most recent cutting days that i was losing a lot of time and energy to pattern tracing and modifications, so i determined to get a jump on my spring wish list by tracing (if not modifying) the major pieces i knew i'd want to work on--mostly the vintage pieces of the silk dresses i have my eye on, and then i did two extra dresses and a pair of shorts. with judicious break-taking for breakfast and lunch, i even managed to cut two new dresses--my "freebie" from glassoffashion, which i used with the last of my liberty purple chris and also managed to squeeze some elements for a shirt out of; and another version of my favorite simplicity/project runway dress with the new liberty lawn i didn't need!

since the weekend, and i am sure this is because it's finally getting late enough in the winter that the days are noticeably longer, i have had enough energy to set and execute goals each night--monday night i measured the hem for my cashmere dress, and yesterday i made up another version of my favorite 30s mail order top in addition to marking the hem on my latest advance 3929. i also prepped and laid out fabric for the neck tie on my glassoffashion freebie and got out the interfacing for a host of small bits i hope to take care of tonight.


inspiration - fitting it all in

As for my home life, I'm married but don't have kids. I imagine the "kid-free" part of the equation is what helps me pursue my hobbies more than anything else. I sleep about 7 hours a night. I absolutely don't do laundry! A grand thing about living in New York is that you can drop your wash off at the laundry in the morning, and pick it up, all clean and folded, on your way home. They charge by the pound and it's worth every penny. I wash my handmade dresses in a tupperware bin at home and let them line dry in the shower. I don't clean as much as I should and my husband does most of the cooking. (I wash the dishes.) I also don't go to the gym as much as I should.

The work week is pretty routine. I get home from work around 6:30 pm, and I usually have a little free time to relax. Usually this means sewing (or in the past week, painting a little), but sometimes it just means collapsing on the bed catatonically. After dinner, I get my second wind and that's when I get my real work done. I write a blog post for the next day and set it to go up at 7:00 am, a full hour before I even get up. I would say I work on my blog for 1-2.5 hours on the weekdays. If I have time left over after writing my post, I'll do something creative like work on a sewing project for a bit. Or sometimes Jeff and I put on a pot of tea, make some cookies, and watch sitcoms together. Then I shower and go to bed around midnight or so.

The weekend is when I get bigger projects done: working on my book, making a video tutorial, or just sewing for hours on end. I always sleep in. (People are generally worried about me being sleep deprived, but I'm really not!) I would say I put in a good 6-8 hours a day on the weekends working on various book, blog, and sewing projects. I break up my days into tasks I know I want to get done (i.e. finishing a chapter, hemming a dress, writing a post). Videos are quite time consuming, as you guessed. Even if they only take half an hour to shoot, the editing takes twice that usually. One thing that seems to fall by the wayside is answering reader's e-mails. (Sorry about that! I try; I really do.)

Those are the nuts and bolts of my schedule, if you will. But it's less robotic and much more intuitive and emotional than it sounds. My blog writing is generally about whatever I'm feeling most passionate about at the moment, whether it's shoes or bound buttonholes or silk painting. It's easy to be motivated when something is really speaking to you. I also keep pretty close tabs on how I'm feeling. Last week I got really overwhelmed (stressed, tired, and anxious), and that was what prompted me to take a week off blogging. I'm definitely ambitious, but I'm trying to learn when to back off and give myself a rest.

Simplicity 1309: 1940s Day Dress with Bow!

Pattern Description:
2-piece dress front with shoulder and waist gathers, straight skirt, back cut on fold. 2 bow options: back waist or front neckline. side zipper.

Pattern Sizing:
34B, which, as usual, was too triangular for me up top and just right at the waist and hips. after much trial and error, i got it down to a good size in the top.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
given that this is an old pattern, the instructions were sparse--and yet still helpful. the benefit of a super-simple dress with only 4 pieces, i suppose.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
mostly i liked the simplicity and the fact that it is from the 1940s. now that i understand how common this shape of dress is, i actually like it even more, because this type of bodice is so adaptable. also, i love waist gathers.

Fabric Used:
liberty of london tana lawn, "caesar B", purchased at B&J fabrics in NYC.

one of the reasons i gravitate to liberty cottons for these dresses almost instinctively, despite the debilitating effects on my bank account, is that a print like this just calls to me as a perfect combination of classic vintage and yet still somehow with a modern twist. as soon as i saw this fabric swatch in the shop, this pattern popped into my head as its palette. also, given the delightful simplicity of so many of these old dress patterns, it's become a great playground for me to try busier prints, something i promise you i tend to avoid in my real, non-handmade life.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
none, although i did decide to cut the facings and the bow in contrast pink cotton. per usual, i finished the inside edges and the cap sleeve hem with contrast bias tape and completed the hem with hot pink hem lace.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
i've already got another version cut. this is going to become one of my go-to 40s dresses along with my beloved advance 3929.

fun, fun, fun!

how we gonna pay?

"That latest strategy is not without potential pitfalls. Audiences are fickle; “Rent,” an early ’90s love-and-loss story inspired by “La Bohème,” might seem old hat — it has toured extensively and a movie version came out in 2005 — even though this will be a brand-new production by the original director, Michael Greif. (Open auditions for a new cast will be held on March 18 for the production, which will start previews on July 14 and open on Aug. 11.)"

the catch seems to be that rent, while at the time awesome and daring and groundbreaking in both its treatment of its subjects (AIDS, homosexuality) and its minimal staging and on-stage "rock" band, these very aspects are what make the show seem dated in 2011 (or in 2008, when it closed)...how does one update a new production for a newer time (no AZT, for example) without ruining what was great about the original?

i can't help but remember the revival i saw in london in 2004, which was a complete disaster--the new direction was poor, the new staging was too much, they had edited and/or removed several of the numbers, and there was no noticeable improvement in the choreography.


Vogue Paris Original 2738 Nina Ricci Coat Dress

Pattern Description:
Vogue 2738 Paris Original, 1972 Nina Ricci Coat Dress - Fitted A-line dress, mid-knee length, has asymmetrical front-buttoned closing, shaped collar, welt pocket and topstitch trim. (pattern purchased from Stitches & Loops)

Pattern Sizing:
sz 12/ 34B. i modified the front bust darts using the Sandra Betzina method outlined in "Fast Fit," i.e., slashing and overlapping the dart.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
close enough that i was pleased. it certainly resembles the photo of the garment more than the fashion drawing (so what else is new) and i was slightly disappointed at how pronounced and low-cut the v-aspect ultimately looked. i could not, for example, wear this without something under it. ultimately, however, i was pleased.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
surprisingly for a vogue paris pattern, the instructions were largely good. other experience with these types of patterns has shown me that the patterns are gorgeous and, as far as i can tell, well-drafted, but that the instructions are overly complicated. in this case, the construction of the shell was straightforward and the only major deviation i took from the instructions was in the insertion of the skirt lining, which they would have you do by hand and i did as a sort of reversed facing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
i liked the styling of the pattern as shown on the envelope--it had a simple and clean design with a vintage vibe that was not overwhelming. i liked the asymmetry and the rounded edges on the skirt and lapels.

Fabric Used:
white (off-white) wool gabardine from NY Elegant Fabrics, NYC
printed silk lining from Mood Fabrics, NYC

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
i got in way over my head on this pattern, which i attempted a mere months into my sewing career. that said, the only major design change is the hard corners of the lapels, which was a necessary change after i made some serious errors in the collar construction. i actually had to run home to mommy on that one, and we sat in front of the machine beating the collar and the facings into submission.

also, i eliminated the welt pocket. too scary!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
would not sew again as it is so distinctive, so complicated, and there are other projects to be tackled. but i would not hesitate to recommend it to a fellow coat-dress addict like myself.

it's not an advanced pattern per se, but it did take more sewing chops than i had at the time. i ended up having to underline the gabardine, which i did inexpertly with muslin (it's more bunchy than i would prefer, although not in a way anyone that didn't make it would notice). i did teach myself some basic handstitching, like the catch-stitch, so that i could do some more advanced tailoring like taping the roll line by hand (thank you, roberta carr and smartflix!). i did use a fusible on the undercollar, which may have been a mistake.

positives: i piped the lining, always a favorite technique of mine, and these are the first sleeves in my sewing career that went in perfectly. i painstakingly gathered the ease in the cap and then steamed it over a tailor's ham to shrink the ease. voila! perfect sleeves.

overall i do enjoy this dress, flaws and all. in the few months i have been wearing it (although i finished it over the summer) it has become one of my go-to winter outfits on days i am looking for something warm, low-maintenance and yet still professional.

i think i learned a lot from this dress, and surprisingly, the most important lesson is that even though i was a beginning seamstress at the time, it was important for me to tackle this complicated project because i was passionate about it and it enabled me to learn a lot of things, not the least of which was perseverance!

eta: about an hour after this post i spilled hot chocolate all down the front of my dress!


Vogue 8615: my "one year later" dress

behold, the saga of V8615, the modern-yet-retro piece from recent vogue catalogs. it seems tame, dubbed "very easy" by the wise folks at vogue. and yet, and yet...

in cutting the pattern, the fabric is folded on the crosswise grain and then the pieces are cut on the lengthwise grain as per usual. only somehow i misread the pattern layout and ended up one skirt panel short. only somehow, NY Elegant Fabrics were out of this particular shade of blue wool crepe. ONLY SOMEHOW, they were unable to order more. tragedy! cue me in tears in the wool crepe section at NY elegant, desperately trying to match my inspiration piece (a rich purple scarf with colored butterflies, paired with the butterfly brooches seen on my dress bodice) to another piece of wool in a vain attempt to somehow fix this tragedy.

and then, somehow, a week later, i am wandering through NY elegant yet again and i find, stashed away, a small bolt of the last remnant of this exact color wool. there was barely a yard left. (and, by the way, they still charged me for the entire yard)

then, when i cut out the new skirt panel and assembled my dress, assembled my lining, did some finishing on the interior lining and seams, i try it on to find that it looks like i wandered in from the casting of big love or something, so long and frumpy is the skirt on this dress. the pattern clearly says it is a mid-knee dress...color me confused.

i thought my heartache was at an end until i decided that i wanted to finish the dress with an exposed zipper to give it a modern flourish. i used the technique outlined in sewstylish, except that i didn't want to use 3/4" seam allowances. mistake! i soon realized there is a reason for the over-generous seam allowances. more tears nearly ensued as i attempted to trim the edges of the fused fabric-lining combo in order to get the raw bit under the zipper tape. i cut an honest-to-goodness hole in my fashion fabric, nearly ruining the dress (more tears). i should have thrown it away, but wool crepe is not cheap and i knew i had to finish this dress.

enter the applique scissors. my goodness, these are an amazing tool. i got the raw edges trimmed and tucked under the zipper tape. i stitched the zipper to the dress. and in doing so, i shifted the waist on one size almost half and inch apart from the waist on the other side.

and yes, this dress took me a year to complete, start-to-finish.

Pattern Description:
Lined, below mid-knee or below mid-calf dresses A, B have fitted bodice, back neckline is lower than front and three-quarter or full length sleeves, flared skirt has side seam pockets and back zipper. Purchased petticoat and belt. Separate pattern pieces provided for A, B, C, D cup sizes.

Pattern Sizing:
size 12, a-cup piece

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
the lining instructions, especially with the sleeves, were strange. why would i want raw edges on my sleeves like that?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
see above about the lining pattern. also, i am not sure if this was my error, the stretchiness of my wool crepe, or the way the pattern was drafted, but i was trying to cut the mid-knee dress and it went all the way to my ankles. not the retro chic vibe i was looking for!

but, when finished, the dress does have a nice retro chic vibe and a lot of ways to make it interesting. my main combo on this dress will be vintage brooches and scarves.

Fabric Used:
sapphire blue wool crepe - NY elegant fabrics, NYC
silver/gray rayon lining - truemart discount fabrics, NYC

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
i shortened the skirt so that it was actually mid-knee, and i finished the lining hem with 1/2" horsehair braid to give the skirt a chance to show off its fullness without going full-on crinoline. to modernize the look, i went for an exposed zipper, which caused me so much heartache i literally almost broke out in tears at one point, but which going forward i feel able to do more confidently. i added a lot of hand-stiched "embroidery" on the inside, sort of going for a vibe i used to see in the finishes on high-end RTW garments (think elie tahari about 5 years ago), and added a waist stay to help support the heavy wool skirt.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
i might actually sew it again--we shall see.

i LOVE vogue custom fit patterns. i am sure i am in a minority, but the A-cup french dart bodice pieces fit me so perfectly that they have become my go-to "sloper" when doing fitting changes on other french-dart patterns, especially vintage ones.


1940s Day Dress - McCall 3928

The Facts

Fabric: Cotton
McCall 3928, purchased at the NYC Pier Antiques Show
Year: 1940s
Notions: Metal zipper, 3 buttons
Time to complete:
4 hours
First worn:
February 2011
Wear again?

Pattern Description:
1940s day dress with gathered skirt, gathers at bust, waist and shoulders, button front convertible collar and waist ties. sleeves may be short, 3/4 or long. sleeve cap is darted for fullness.

Pattern Sizing:
14 - 32B
i made no changes! YES!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
the instructions were harmless. not the most useful, not the least useful. they guided me adequately through the dress.

Fabric Used:
liberty of london tana lawn, "akinobu," purchased at B&J in NYC

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
as usual, i finished the inside edges in contrast bias binding and finished the hem in a contrast lace. i understand that this can be a bit too crafty--or, as michael kors would say, "becky home-eck-y", but to me, it is a fun detail that reminds me that i made it myself, and it feels vintage, and i think it is sweet and cute, like wearing a pretty slip.

i ended up eliminating the ties because of a combination of laziness, confusion, and a determination that they weren't needed--but i still have the piece cut and may do that later. i also eliminated the upside-down pocket flaps (see above reasoning). also, i was tired. i didn't realize it at the time but i had a particularly bad case of mono, and this became the first of many garments i sewed in 10-minute to half-hour intervals during the 6 weeks i was sick.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
i'm torn on sewing it again. it was easy, and the gathers make for a great design detail, and i'd love to do a version in the 3/4 sleeve. on the other hand, when it comes to a TNT repeatable 40's day dress i think my heart is always going to be with advance 3929.


1950s Day Dress - Simplicity 1507

Pattern Description:
1950's sleeveless dress with lowered waistline, waistband and below-knee pleated skirt. bodice is fitted with bust and side darts. version 1 has a bit of neck trim.

jacket is cut boxy with a shoulder dart in the front and no shaping in the back. collar and facing are cut-in-one and 3/4-length sleeves have cuffs.

Pattern Sizing:
size 15/B33

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
close enough for government work!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
yes. by the 50s, simplicity patterns seemed to be including more details with their instructions and better illustrations as well.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
the elongated waist immediately drew my eye because, as with many modern women, i've had a difficult time adjusting to the shorter waists of so many vintage styles. i loved the waistband and the change into a pleated skirt, and i was intrigued by the idea of doing two different orientations of stripes on the same patter, as depicted in the pattern drawing for view 1.

Fabric Used:
liberty of london tana lawn "purple chris", from purl soho in NYC
bemberg rayon lining, NY Elegant Fabrics

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
tucked out 1/2" on the bust darts and pulled in at the sides for a tighter fit. i wish i had altered the armscye as well, since it comes closer to the edge of my shoulder than anticipated and can be uncomfortable, almost like carrying a heavy bag, after all-day wearing. i may go back and re-fit this section.

i added interfacing to the bodice for greater stability against the tana lawn and lined the bodice with contrast bemberg, as well as adding a contrast waist stay and bias-binding the zipper with contrast tape, just for additional interest. i added a straight skirt lining, eliminating the pleats, and trimmed it with contrast lace hem.

i eliminated the neck trim because 1) the instructions didn't make enough sense and 2) with the busyness of my fabric, i felt i had enough going on.

i ended up hand-picking the zipper and adding beads because, well, i like the look, and it gave the back a bit of visual interest. also, the first time i tried inserting the zipper with my sewing machine i almost lost the garment.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
it's a great little dress and i can see myself doing it again, but right now i'd like to focus on completing the matching jacket. i had attempted one earlier this year but had a massive series of headaches, first with the incredible amount of wearing ease in the design (the jacket is truly *boxy!*) and then with construction errors (i may never attempt to "bag" a lining again!), but the dress really needs the jacket to complete it as a "look", especially if one wants to wear it at work, or in the winter.

i will grade the pattern slightly, adjust the sleeve and cap ease, and hand-attach the lining with some light tailoring according to kenneth d. king's techniques as outlined in his "tailored jacket" e-book.


Winter Outfit: Simplicity 2183 + Vogue 7131

Pattern Description:
Simplicity 2183 (View 1): 1947; Teen-Age Two-Piece Dress: The long torso top, styled with a back neck and side opening, has gathers at the front side seams and darts at the back waistline. The flared skirt features and inverted pleat at the center front and back and joins to a yoke. In Style I, the top is accented with a Dutch collar and a bias fold at the lower edge. The three-quarter sleeve is finished with a cuff. Style II has long fitted sleeve and a high rounded neckline.

Vogue 7131: below waist jerkin with jewel collar and buttons at shoulders and side

Pattern Sizing:
12 - 32B (V7131)
14 - 34B (S2183)

Were the instructions easy to follow?
V7131 was kind of a blur, but also fairly intuitive. S2183 i barely used the instructions at all on the top, which is why i sort of bollixed the collar application, but i found the skirt oddly fiddly and the instructions came in handy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
i loved the easy look of S2183, very vintage and very wearable--young but not too junior (minus the book binding accessory, of course!). V7131 evolved as i wanted something to complete the ensemble, pick up the lavender flowers in the liberty pattern, and to disguise the fact that i bollixed the collar application. this turned out to be wise mostly because 1) it is incredibly cold in my office and 2) without the vest, the look is super-casual. the top of S2183 is comfortable and cute but also too casual to wear untucked in a work environment.

Fabric Used:

lilac/lavender woven cashmere, B&J fabrics, NYC (V7131)
mystery fabric twill crepe with amazing hand and sheen, Paron Annex, NYC (S2183)
liberty of london tana lawn "Pelagia", Tissus Reine, Paris (S2183)

almost the entirety of this outfit was constructed in 10-minute intervals while i recovered from mono between the US thanksgiving and new year. i had cut it months ago, over the summer, after acquiring the liberty print on a trip to europe. unfortunately, in my zeal to place the pattern pieces strategically over the print, i forgot to cut the sleeve and there wasn't enough to piece it properly. several months later the same Pelagia colorway finally arrived in stock at B&J and i was saved--although i still ended up piecing the sleeve.

sleeve: to keep the pieced sleeve from looking too unusual, i re-drafted the one-piece sleeve that was originally part of S2183, first removing 4" of cap ease from the top and then converting it into a two-piece sleeve. i have absolutely no drafting experience to speak of, so this involved modifying a tip from Pattern Review to shift the sleeve seam to the side and then use this altered one-piece sleeve to create an under sleeve piece.

i honestly have no idea how i managed this, but i muslined the sleeve and basted it into my garment. it fit and worked. i forged ahead.

bodice: S2183 is an interesting design because there are bust darts (which i altered, making a half-SBA following instructions in Sandra Betzina's "Fast Fit") but no waist darts. instead there are waist gathers. these are shockingly cute and comfortable and come really close to the waistline, accentuating the figure. i sort of love them.

collar: in working on the neckline and collar, i decided that i wanted to reverse the collar facing, so that the neck opening would be in the front instead of in the back, because i get very claustrophobic in jewel-neckline collars. however, in applying the collar to the neckline, i neglected to stretch the collar properly around the neckline, so there is a bit of an awkward gap for about 1" on either side of the CB seam. compounding this error, i attached, sewed and clipped the collar and facings in the wrong order so i ended up with a very awkward raw seam edge on part of the (now front) neck opening. i bound it with some hug snug, which i had also used decoratively on other parts of the garment, but it frayed rather depressingly right at the edge of the seam. hence the jerkin.

finishes: i completed all the seams on the top with flat fell finishes and used a cute metal zipper at the side placket. for the skirt, it was relatively straightforward: i finished all the inside seams with lavender hug snug, including the waistband finish. unusually for me, i left the skirt length where it was (below knee) which can often look a bit dowdy but on this skirt seemed both suitable and fun.

V7131 was very simple: three pieces joined to create the bodice, which has french darts. the muslin fit well and i liked the dart placement, although the final jerkin could have a bit less ease. i love the cashmere. i lined and piped the interior so that it would look like a complete outfit. i just hope it isn't *too* matchy-matchy.


1940s Advance Dress - Winter Liberty LOVE (It Has Unicorns)

Pattern Description:
Advance 3929: 1940s basic dress with blousy bodice, straight 4-piece skirt, v-neck with neck tie and short, cut-on cap sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:
14 - 34B
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
i mostly left the instructions alone, since the construction was very simple, and used a completely different method of constructing and attaching the collar/tie piece. their method involved pressing and slipstitching, and i preferred to do it entirely by machine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
it's a shape that i've come to associate with classic 1940s pieces and i knew the construction would be simple and the end result comfortable. i pictured it in a nice cotton as a perfect house dress or dress-down friday dress.

Fabric Used:
liberty of london tana lawn winter 2010 "Yoshi D" - B&J Fabrics, NYC

(image from True Up blog, Liberty Fall-Winter Swatches)

once i had selected this super-busy print, it was second nature to reach for this advance pattern with very little design detail.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
shortened the skirt significantly. i definitely prefer a shorter skirt, and this one hits me just at the knee. i took in the side seams significantly, which (unfortunately) has exacerbated the blousy-ness of the bodice. next time, flat pattern alteration instead of on-the-fly fitting!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

i expect this dress to be a go-to (or TNT) for times when i have a cute cotton and just want a cute, simple dress. however, in future i will do better alterations to correct the amount of ease from the 34B bust size--i'm more of a 32, and an A besides, and there's more ease than i would like.


love. and the Yoshi print has a unicorn on it. unicorns! and butterflies!

i love my red leather jacket, but then i remembered it was friday, and here in the tundra previously known as new york city, it's also pretty cold. and snow-covered. and i didn't have it in me to be all red-leather-jacket-y today. so i went with this:

i think it was one of the "queer eye" guys who put it best: doesn't everything feel better in cashmere?


Vogue 1160: Dress and Slip with Military Riff

Pattern Description:
Dress, above mid-knee (front), mid-knee (back), has fitted bodice, front pleats, midriff, flared skirt with side front and side back seams, side zipper and short, two-piece sleeves with mock bands. Bias, flared, pullover slip, above mid-knee, has shoulder straps, front darts and raised waist.

Pattern Sizing:
AA - 6-8-10-12 - i cut the 10 on top and graded out to the 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
sleeve was totally wonky. once i decoded the instructions and the pattern piece, the instructions made complete sense--so others may have no problem--but it took me about 2 hours of fiddling to have the light bulb go off and get the sleeves done.

everything else was a breeze.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
it's a perfect little dress if you're into the tights, leggings, or boots trends, and i am into all three. i wanted to riff on the military trend of last fall (2010) and i pictured a very feminine, whimsical fabric with black tights and an army jacket.

Fabric Used:
printed cotton batiste from mood fabrics, NYC

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
i might sew it again, because i am a big fan of this style of dress--flirty, feminine, playful and easy to wear--but it would depend on what else i have going on. the sleeve might be too recognizable to use for repeat performances.

great pattern, easy to put together, and the sleeves are gorgeous once i figured them out.

back view

with army jacket


Very Easy Vogue 8442: Pilgrim Chic

Pattern Description:
Lined, fitted A-line dress, mid-knee length has front and back yoke, short or elbow length sleeves, cuffs with link buttons and back zipper.

Pattern Sizing:
AA, 6-8-10-12. i cut a 12, but probably could have sneaked by with a 10. at the size 12, it's more semi-fitted than fitted.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
yes, especially because i didn't understand why the pattern envelope said "no stripes" when the photo had stripes--and i really wanted pinstripes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
everything except the facing/yoke installation. granted, it was literally the second dress pattern i'd ever attempted to assemble, but the yoke/facing instructions completely baffled me. i ended up having to sort of reverse-engineer it, and i didn't know that it was possible to insert a yoke without hand sewing. frustration!

also, first project with fusible interfacing...exciting times. definitely part of the reason i have switched almost exclusively to sew-ins in the past year!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
it had a simple, clean elegance that was appealing, especially when i got a vision in my head of this sort of suit-blouse alternative: oxford cotton shirting for the yoke and cuffs, and tropical wool suiting for the dress body.

Fabric Used:
blue tropical wool suiting with pink pinstripes, paron fabrics, NYC
hot pink acetate lining, paron fabrics, NYC
white oxford shirting, paron fabrics, NYC
lace hem trim for lining, pacific trimmings, NYC

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
contrast yoke and cuffs instead of main fashion fabric. i added some interior hand embroidery when i realized that i needed to sew the yoke/facing to the dress. i piped the interior yoke in contrast navy blue and ran a line of long basting with pink embroidery thread along the yoke/dress join edge.

finished the lining with a sweet bit of lace trim from pacific trimmings and covered the raw edge of my blind hem on the dress itself with the wright's hem lace stuff you can get at jo-ann's. LOVE that stuff.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
might sew again if the right fabric came along or i wanted something simple, but in general i have long since moved beyond this pattern. but for me a year ago (literally, when i started sewing the pattern) it was exactly the perfect task for a beginner with a long weekend to fill with a project.

great little dress. no lie, i literally cut and constructed about 85% of this pattern in one sitting on MLK weekend, 2010...and then let it sit until the week before christmas, 2010...when i finished it in about an hour-and-a-half of hem wrangling.