My gold dress

Recently I completed a beautiful dress from the BurdaStyle book “Dresses for Every Occasion”.  I made the “Blooming Boucle Cap-Sleeved Dress” on pg 94.   I love Burda patterns, they always fit me well, and the pieces always go together so nicely.  There are so many lovely dresses in this book, I can’t wait to make more!

This dress was on my to do list, I was not in a rush, I was merely keeping an eye out for the perfect fabric.  I was shopping one day at a local fabric place, The Franklin Mill Store, and I found a home dec remnant that I thought would be perfect!  It wasn’t too heavy for a dress, and the price was right!

Close up of the fabric. I fear I may look like a couch?!

I made very few fitting changes to the pattern, just left out the back darts in both bodice and skirt.  I lined the dress with china silk habotai from Vogue fabrics.  Instead of an invisible zipper, I opted to put in a lapped zipper, for a more vintage look.

Back view

I love this dress!  It’s almost too fancy to wear to work, but I wore it anyway!!

Blouse copy & button band tutorial

Today I will share a recent project, a new blouse that I copied from an old beloved blouse that wore out.  I wish I had a picture of the old blouse before I took it apart, but I didn’t think of it.  One of my favorite things about this blouse was the button band with 16 small loops.  Sure, it was a pain to take on and off, but I loved the look of it.

I got the black striped cotton blend fabric at Joann, but since it was a little bit too sheer, I underlined it with some black poly/cotton batiste.

I made a slight fitting change, just gave myself a little extra room at the sides, because the old blouse was always a bit snug for me.

For the button loops, I started with the front and back pieces of the band itself.  These were identical pieces, except that the front band was interfaced.   On the front button band (right side up), I marked with pins where the loops should begin and end, and then marked the seam allowance line in chalk:

To make the loops, I cut a couple of pieces of fabric on the bias, about 1 3/4″ x 20″.  I folded them in half, right sides together, and stitched about 1/4″ from the fold, then trimmed very close to the seam.  Using my turner, I turned them right side out.

Then I cut 18 pieces (2 for the sleeves) at about 1 5/8″ each

I then carefully pinned all the loops in place raw edges lined up with the raw edge of the band, spaced equidistantly.

I machine basted this and double checked that they looked OK.  At this point, I should have tested them with the buttons, but I hadn’t bought the buttons yet!  I might have noticed that a couple of them would fit loosely around the button, and maybe could have adjusted the loops.  Oh well, this was a learning experience.  I then sewed the back button band to the front button band, right sides together, and then moved on with the construction of the blouse.  Once the band was attached to the blouse and pressed, this is how it looked:

And here is the completed blouse!


Professional development day — draping

Once in a while it’s fun to just explore something new, and last week, I had a little time between projects and a few hours to spare, so I played with some knit fabric from my stash.   The goal was to design something simple and also get some practice with sewing knit fabric because I have not experienced it much.   After 15+ years of sewing, I still have much to learn!!  I had envisioned a high necked crop top with long sleeves, but I ran out of fabric, so I made it sleeveless.

First, I pinned some twill tape to my dress form for the neckline and sleeve lines.  I pinned the fabric to the form and stretched it slightly, as I wanted the top to be a little form fitting.  I traced just outside of the twill tape with chalk.  I marked a line down the center, and marked approximately where I wanted the length to fall.   I did this for both front and back.

Next I traced my markings onto pattern making paper and added seam allowances.  I cut out and made a test garment, and of course it needed a little adjustment.  I made it a little too short and just needed a little cleanup where the shoulder seams meet up.  The second test was a good fit!  So I went on to binding the neckline and sleeves.

I cut appr. 1″ strips width-wise on the fabric and folded them in half.  I then stitched them to the openings and pressed the seams to the inside.  It came out OK.   Lastly, I hemmed it with a twin needle, which is also something I don’t use much.

I didn’t intend for the small cowl at the neckline, but I rather like it 🙂

So, I think it was an overall success, since I came away with a cute top and got some practice with knits and draping for a pattern.

Butterick blazer

Today I will post about a blazer I have recently completed, from Butterick pattern 4610.  I had made this blazer once before when taking the Craftsy class Classic Tailoring: The Blazer.  The results were pretty good, it’s one of my favorite jackets!

So recently I decided to make another, but a  little more casual, without all the tailoring techniques and supplies.

This jacket is view B on Butterick 4610

I made a size 12, with some minor mods for fit, such as a little extra room around the waist and 1″ shorter arms.  I got the velveteen and the lining from Mood Fabrics.  I wanted it to have a little structure, so I underlined the velveteen with muslin.  In this case, it worked well for most of the jacket, but not so well for the collar and lapels.  Because they are interfaced, the underlining was almost too much in those areas, so they are bulky and don’t sit well.  It is a minor annoyance while wearing the jacket, but otherwise I love it.



So Many Projects!

Hi all!  I’m starting the new year refreshed from some time off of work, brimming with ideas, and as always, overrun with projects.  But it sure makes life interesting, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Here are a few photos of some projects that are underway.

This will be a blouse that I’m copying from an old beloved but worn out blouse. (I wish I had thought to take a photo of the old one before I took it apart!)

This is the button band from the old blouse. I will be posting a tutorial on how to recreate those buttonhole loops.

I’m really excited about this beautiful dress I will be making from a Burda pattern. The fabric is actually a home dec remnant, but it seems like it will work well for a winter dress.

Here I am just messing around with some scrap knit ribbing fabric and my dressform Olive. I am thinking about a crop top, maybe with long sleeves?

Every year I say I’m going to make myself an ugly bulky sweater for hanging around the house in, this year I’m actually doing it! There is some beauty in an ugly sweater, I believe 🙂

This is a big one, a complete front hallway redo, all the way up the stairs to the bedroom landing. I started at the top of the landing, to test out colors and make any mistakes I might make, and once I’m happy with the look of it, I will continue down to the front entry! The border is a stencil, and with the husband’s help, I added some more small woodwork under it to make it, well, fancier I guess. The red section will also be stenciled with an allover design, in a similar color red for a tonal effect. At least, I think so. We’ll see!


Stay tuned for progress on these, and I’ll try to post something tomorrow about some stuff I’ve recently completed!

Good night!


Happy 2017!

I’m so excited to start this blog and to share my projects and inspiration with you!  Hope you enjoy my space, friends are always welcome here!!