autumn fires / settling in


It’s not a bad time of year to tuck in and do all of those little things. I’ve been sewing a great deal, and have even taken some time to cook. Two Thanksgiving meals right in a row this week!
Candied Pecans

Stuffing (Sourdough & Sage)

Beeps is, incredibly, almost done with another quarter at college. Inching towards graduation. Despite being perceived as rather intimidating, they seem to have a pretty solid social life these days. Meaning: I miss them, I don’t get as many cuddles as I used to. I still get them though, and I treasure each one.


I finished up a quilt I started a couple years ago!Quilt (Goldfish)
And I’ve made a few cozy robes:Robe


More snuggles.13 Years Old

And some lunch dates.Beeps


summer dress in double-gauze sew-along: supplies

A sew-along finished last month: and one coming up!

summer-dress-in-double-gauze-badgeSummer Dress In Double-Gauze: Samples

On June 15th we will be starting up our summer dress in double-gauze. I have created three versions of this lovely fit-and-flare from Bootstrap. The pattern is $2.99 and comes entirely customized to fit, with or without seam allowances, and in any print format you prefer. I’m a huge fan of Bootstrap and I have extolled their virtues time and time again!

Now, the pattern’s design sketch showcases a mid-to-heavyweight, tweedy fabric:

Custom-Fit Sewing Patterns - Fit And Flare Dress With Sleeves

However as you can see from my samples, I am showcasing in a double gauze. This makes for a casual, comfortable effect. The dress still has very feminine shaping, with a fullness in the hips and narrow waist. However, it performs like a well-loved garment that’s been washed and-re-washed and sun-dried. No wonder I’m having so many requests!

Summer Dress In Double-Gauze: Samples

Double-gauze is a wonderful fabric; it handles well, as it is cotton, and has some body and not so much drape. The fabric instantly delivers an elegance and vintage/heirloom appeal that is going to turn heads. There are so many places to get double-gauze, and I’ll be talking more about this in the set-up post for the dress sew-along. But some sources to get you way too excited interested: imagine gnats,, fabricworm, Harts Fabric, and various Etsy shops (for your timeline, watch for where they ship from!).

June Sew-Along Sneak Peak

Summer Dress In Double-Gauze: Samples

  1. Your Bootstrap pattern
  2. Your fabric(s)
  3. 1/8 yard interfacing
  4. Invizible zipper, 20″ (y’all know I use my colorcard from Zipperstop)
  5. Matching thread

That’s it! I will be demonstrating a lovely zipper installation method, as well as several seam finishes.

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 See you on the 15th!

Kitten Sewing

3 spring dresses for Phee

For my daughter, who doesn’t like fussy dresses but complimented me many times on these.


Measuring Up

Organic Red Cotton Jersey, Fabric Scrap

Dress, Boots

Hand-Embroidered Bleeding Heart


The blue and the deep-red stripe were both from Gray’s General Store. The red organic jersey was bought on sale some time ago.

All three dresses were based on a pattern by Chicken Hill, graded up for Phoenix’s tall, lanky frame. At first I thought I’d offer these to clients, but the waist tie requires a rather personalized placement, so I won’t be doing so at this time.

happy happy joy joy


Today was a big enough deal I made sure to secure a (borrowed) camera: I got my new sewing machine, a Juki HZL-E80. And I popped its cherry right away, whipping up the underskirt for Suse’s dress (both from Ottobre’s 01/1007 issue):

Silver Tights, Underskirt, Old Tattoo
The underskirt took about twenty minutes.

Sophie Knows Dance Ettiquette
P.S. No pictures in this series indicate how very, very much Nels wants to wear this dress. And dance /sing to Justin Timberlake’s “Summer Love.”

Taffeta Dress for Suse
Darn flash makes dress look bright. Dress is actually rather subdued.

summer dress – hope it lasts

Nels’ coat is finished; however the back-zipper just really was a pain in my balls and I did a horrible job (next time; back to a more traditional and less Ottobre-tricky method). I left it with the local Italian seamstress matriarch because I knew if I tried it again, I might not end up with better results. OK, so now that my corset materials have arrived I can get back to it, eh?

Um, not yet, I guess.

Out By The Pond
Clam in the sand.

Yesterday at the thrift store my daughter spied this dress, a small (size 6?), slim little sleeveless number:

Before Surgery
I just loved the aqua-and-olive color scheme, although I wasn’t too inspired by the print. Still, Sophie pointedly said, “Mom, I want you to get this dress and sew it smaller for me.” The little weasel knows I can do this and truthfully, her dresses are looking a little threadbare. OK, OK, one more project and then the corset. Oh yeah, and first, a sewing night with a would-be student. OK, OK.

Thread Selection
On a quick and easy project like this I use what I already have; in this case, some of my Coats & Clark thread I’m trying to weed out, as well as some decades-old bias tape for the bodice arm edges (I’m thinking the bias tape is as old as the era the fabric print is trying to emulate).

Side and Dart
I love this! The dress had four sets of darts: underarm, french (featured above), and on the back – shoulders, waist. The front of the dress is the wrong side out and I topstitched the darts down. It adds structure and would be a definitely fabulous idea for a plainweave or small-pattern print.


OK. Double straight stitch the bottom, then pink.

Lo-Fi Hem, Part One

Lo-Fi Hem, Part Two

My parallel stitching was actually a spiral (that’s why it’s offset) meaning I had four loose threads to gather and invisible-knot. Perfect hem!

Complaining?  Not sure.

Flickr tag set with more notes.