Wednesday, 27 May 2015


A big thank you to Deborah Boland of Fabulous After 40. She very recently featured me in her Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer series. Her interview questions were tailored just for me. I'm dishing on why I love colour and how a handmade wardrobe is changing my life one garment at a time*. You can read the article here

* A massive exaggeration on my part.  Forgive me please...I'm feeling like a schtar.

All photos in this post credited to the incomparable Melanie of Bag and a Beret. I may make stuff, but Melanie puts the cool in creative. Seriously, when's the last time you played dress-up? In an alley?


Tuesday, 19 May 2015


Simplicity 1803

Simplicity 1803

Simplicity 1803

Hi you. You're well?  Me, I've been up to my usual….Sewing. Gardening. {I potted up these annuals, and more.} And reading. Actually, there's been some pretty frenzied mystery novel reading around here. I've quite a few authors that I’m loving right now...the Phryne Fisher series by Kerri Greenwood, Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache series, and...I’m just about to dive into my second Steve Berry Cotton Malone book.

This past weekend, a holiday long weekend in Canada, G and I got in plenty of beach walks, as well as time in the city. We even managed outfit photos of my Coffee with Kaffe Dress, Simplicity 1803.  The photos showcase the historic Marine Building. While in town, we saw the film Dior and I, and we both really enjoyed it. I was recommended this film by Rachel of House of Pinheiro, and later, by Glenda of So What To Twenty. Thank you both!  It's playing in Vancouver at the Vancity Theatre until May 30th. Not in Vancouver? Check out screening locations here.

Okay, my natter today is going to be pretty specific to sewing this new to me pattern. Yes. As much as I love my Simplicity 2444, I felt an urge for something just a little different.  It’s another fit and flare, and it’s another Simplicity, but I find the neckline details really lovely. After an Internet looky to check out recent makes, I did, however, nearly change my mind….the overwhelming consensus was that this pretty dress comes with major fit issues. There was good news though; once the fit was mastered, there was a lot of love for the dress. Here are two of my favourite versions here and here. So...yes...I admit. I was really tempted to take the easy way out, stuff everything back in the pattern envelope, and just sew my TNT 2444. The thought of doing a toile {mock up of garment} seemed. like. so. much work. Well, it's no secret...I re-thought the matter and decided to sew the toile, and, in doing so, discovered the satisfaction that comes with taking a stock pattern and making it work. And lemme tell ya, this pattern needed some heavy alterations to make it work.  If I had sewn this dress straight up, it would have been flat out unwearable.  Too big, too low, too wide…sheesh...there was all kinds of wrong going on. As much as I love my finished make, I think there's room for improvement....plans are afoot for another one already!

Because I had so many fit challenges, and because the finished dress makes me happy, I’m detailing the alterations that I made. Who knows? It might help one of you.

Shortened all bodice pieces 1”.
Sized down one size, and additionally took in the centre front seam  ¼ - 1/2"  with a slight curve.
Re-drafted upper edge of bodice front adding 1/4" - 1/2" from centre front to outside edge. Added approx 1/2" to armhole edge.
Re-drafted the yoke front removing 1" from lower edge.  Added approx. 1/4 - 1/2" to armhole edge. I didn't make a note of exactly how much I added {{{sigh}}} and will keep better notes next make.
{The above alterations make for a much smaller opening, but it’s a comfortable fit and my bra straps don’t show.}
Re-drafted the bodice side front armhole very slightly to match bodice front.
I raised the back neck edge 1”. I like this scoop neck design....I can do up the zip without doing gymnastics.
I subbed in the sleeves from Simplicity 2444. After overlaying the pattern pieces from the two different designs, I could see they were a pretty close match. { I wanted a fitted sleeve rather than the pleated options.}
I didn't use the skirt pattern, opting for my easy-peasy rectangle version. Skirt is lined.

Fabric designed by Kaffe Fassett, a brilliant textile artist.  It's titled Paperweight, colourway Pink. I think it's more coral than pink, but whatev. It's 100% cotton and great for summer.

Sketch of the major alterations to give you a better idea. 

'k, that's all. More to come soon. I'm playing truth or #sewingdares with Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow.  Super fun!


Thursday, 30 April 2015


Spring For Cotton, #springforcotton, DYT Type One

Spring For Cotton, #springforcotton, DYT Type One 

Spring For Cotton, #springforcotton, DYT Type One

Hallo everyone! I'm here and wearing my Spring For Cotton sewing project. And it's polka dotted! And looky dat....we's got the front views, the side views, and the me walking off into the sunset views. The Spring For Cotton sewing challenge, masterminded and hosted by the ever gracious Rochelle of Lucky Lucille, is pretty straight something vintage inspired, using 100% cotton. Just what the doctor* ordered. Every time I wear my Midnight in Paris Dress, I vow to sew another; and this challenge is a perfect fit.  I made the pattern almost, nearly the same as my MIP dress.  {It's a hack on the Burda Blouse 7255.} This go round, I omitted the inverted pleat in the back bodice, and I made the skirt portion just a wee bit fuller. I used polka dot quilting cotton...and how is it that this is the first all-polka dot dress I've sewn, asks she? The trim is 100% cotton twill. I cut 1 1/2" strips, and pressed the long edges under 1/4". I lined the skirt portion with 100% cotton muslin. Although my shoes make me feel a bit like Dorothy, they are the closest to vintage that I I love them. So? How true to the 1920s am I? Probably not very. But the design is similar to the lovely dress Marion Cotillard wore in the film Midnight in Paris. My fabric, however, is light, crisp cotton...quite unlike the lovely diaphanous and sequinned makes of the twenties. After a quick Internet looky, I believe my dress might be described as a 1920s house dress. A house dress! Call it what you will, I promise you this dress will not be staying in the house!

* I had my return visit to the eye doctor and my eyeball is looking just as it was a week ago...which is a good thing. Thanks bunches for all your kind words on my last post. They are so very appreciated! This time, I also had a routine eye exam, and...after fifteen plus years...I'm in the market for a new pair of specs. So far, I've found nothing suitable. It's least to me....I've found frames that have polka dots, or stripes on the inside...on the inside, but not on the outside. {Insert sad face here} Ah well, the hunt continues.

All righty, a deadline is looming, so short and sweet today my friends! I'll see you soon!