a quick vacation maxi


[ swish ]

This dress is of vacation, by vacation, for vacation. I bought this fabric on a weekend trip to Chicago and sewed it up weeks later for a two-week trip to South America.

(I think we all can agree on this much: The best souvenirs are sewing souvenirs.)

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too many snaps


I’ve been snarfing up Seamwork Magazine, Colette Patterns’ new project, with utter delight since the day it came out. Every month I get excited about the next release (only 14 more days, guys!).  And yet the first pattern I’ve made was from the May issue — the Adelaide dress.

I realize this is the second off-white tank dress I’ve made this summer, but in truth, these dresses are so different that there’s no comparison.

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boring is good.


If there’s one thing I’ve learned from innumerable wardrobe analyses and all that, it’s that I. Am. Boring. That’s OK. My inner self has come to peace with it.

Don’t try to fight it, my inner self says. Your colorful blouses and shiny dresses will only get worn so often, especially when all those navy and ivory and gray and beige fabrics are sitting in your stash, and furthermore, your not-terribly-well-fitting navy linen dress will get work as soon as it’s out of the wash.

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summer summer summer


It’s been awhile since I posted, but I know you’ll understand why — it’s summer. Either you’re wasting your time luxuriating in the sunshine, or you’re wasting your time panting in the shade of the nearest tree, wishing for a hint of a breeze, something, anything. Poring over a computer screen seems like something you should save for winter, along with hot baths, mugs of tea and wool fabric.

Wool is definitely a bad word right now. Lace, on the other hand…

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sometimes you just need a [expletive] sundress


[ hat optional]

One of the best sewing decisions I’ve ever made was to spend three or four hours on a weekend afternoon fitting the bodice of Simplicity 1873. That was about a year ago, and I’ve thanked Yesterday Sarah many times since.

The phrase TNT gets thrown around a lot — including by me, often erroneously — but this is one case where it really applies. Going through the boring part of fitting has paid off with, essentially, a sloper for a sleeveless bodice. I can play around with variations (like wrap-back and scoop-back) without worrying about making adjustments for my narrow back or deep armscye or whatever.

So when I need a quick win in the sewing category to make myself feel better about a recent failure, I went straight to Old Faithful. Because sometimes you just need a f–king sundress.

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it wasn’t meant to be


I had high hopes, guys, SUCH high hopes for this dress.

It was going to kickstart years of sewing vintage patterns. It was going to add some unique flavor to my wardrobe without detracting from my personal style. It was going to live in that sweet spot between effortless-casual and pulled-together-work-appropriate.

Or, you know, not!

I haven’t really posted about THIS kind of project before; my posts tend to be about my favorite makes, the success stories. But that’s not really a realistic portrayal of sewing, is it?

So here we go: I made this dress, and I really don’t like it. Let’s punctuate that with many, many GIFs of Liz Lemon, even though I haven’t watched “30 Rock” in ages and can’t remember where they all come from.

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staple sewing: the simple shift


I feel like I’ve said this a thousand times, but here it is again: I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before! After poring over my ideal silhouettes via Wardrobe Architect, I realized shift dresses are the perfect answer to my personal style, which can be summed up as basic, basic, and boring, with lots of dresses. I’ve always steered clear of them because I’m a pear shape. I mean, can this style really work if your hips are two sizes bigger than your waist?

Spoiler: It works. It skims everything and looks effortless. Only downside is that even my dress form Constance can upstage me in pictures if she’s wearing a flashier fabric. Thanks, Constance.

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the delayed wrap dress


When I was researching Vogue 8827, I saw one blog post that pointed out that it could pretty easily be confused with a bathrobe pattern. That took me aback for a moment, because it’s completely true. And it’s a far cry from “secret pajamas” to “forgot to get dressed.”

That’s OK. There are a few Internet memes for that. #Sorrynotsorry and #IDGAF come to mind.

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the long-destined cambie


I’ve been drawn to Sewaholic’s Cambie dress since I first started sewing about a year and a half ago. It’s the OG of indie dress patterns, it’s designed for pears like me, it’s versatile, I love cap sleeves, it looks great on pretty much everyone.

I bought the pattern, but something always held me back — was it too froufy? Too vintage? Too sweet? A few times I planned to sew it, but changed my mind at the last minute.

So what changed? I needed a bridesmaid dress, and I needed it quick. After a Frankenpattern muslin disaster, I turned to the sewing world’s collective TNT pattern instead.

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