Today we start our sew-along dress in double-gauze!
I have created three versions of this lovely fit-and-flare from Bootstrap, and I’ve a fourth (for my mother) on the cutting table. These dresses are gorgeous because they have a look and feel like a well-loved garment, and they are (by virtue of Bootstrap Fashion’s wonderful pattern metrics) custom-built!
Who’s up for sewing a bikini? Aw heck yisssss
So in a few days we start our Summer Dress in Double-Gauze sew-along. If you’re looking to schedule something for July, consider joining us in the Jalie-kini build! Jalie is one of my favorite pattern companies ever, with a large pattern size range, and an increasingly impressive catalog of print or pdf loungewear, dancewear, activewear, and underwear patterns.
In my delightful enterprise of rebranding my sew-along and tailoring service, I’ve been experiencing the wonders of rayons. To wit: the bamboo stretch french terry from Nature’s Fabrics that may be one of my favorites of all time! And a few gorgeous stripe rayon knits to boot:
The dress is pleasing because: my daughter is stunning, and also my stripe matching is on point. SO ON POINT
So yesterday I had the immense pleasure of spending an afternoon with three lovely women, in three versions of my latest summer dress.
An ivory with geometric motif in charcoal, for Phoenix:
A gorgeous teal for Astrid (um, what is up with her perfect accessories? Tomato-red toenails and heels; beaded earrings in canary? XOMG):
And a gorgoues double-faced periwinkle for Jen:
I am providing a sew-along for this very dress. Here is a supply post: we start stitching on June 15th. This sew-along is appropriate for beginners, intermediate stitchers, or advanced practitioners. In addition, it is a wonderful pattern to get acquainted with Bootstrap Fashion, one of my beloved pattern companies.
See you soon! <3
A sew-along finished last month: and one coming up!
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:
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!
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, fabric.com, fabricworm, Harts Fabric, and various Etsy shops (for your timeline, watch for where they ship from!).
- Your Bootstrap pattern
- Your fabric(s)
- 1/8 yard interfacing
- Invizible zipper, 20″ (y’all know I use my colorcard from Zipperstop)
- Matching thread
That’s it! I will be demonstrating a lovely zipper installation method, as well as several seam finishes.
Want to join us? Sign up for email updates! Easy-peasy:
See you on the 15th!
My veganism happened to me. It wasn’t something I aspired to, or something I did “to be a better person”. Because I didn’t think I could do it. I guess I thought people who were vegan were tough sunovabitches who didn’t need food to comfort them, to fill them up, the way I did.
I believed if I became vegan, I would be hungry all the time.
But wait, let me go back:
The first time I tried veganism I was thirteen. I was off to a YMCA camp, and there was little there for me to eat. I didn’t know how to advocate for myself, either. I ate plain bagels and applesauce and felt hungry and pinched and sorrowful about it all. I felt anger at all the people there who just didn’t give a shit. I was tired and grouchy.
I got home from camp, and I remember a lot of green salads and french fries at restaurants. I think I went without animal products about six months, that time around. No slouch there, I mean. Many thousands’ gallons water, hundreds of lives spared. But I didn’t feel supported, understood. I felt alone. It couldn’t last.
In the twenty-plus years since I’ve flirted with veganism and vegetarianism more than once. It was inspiring for a bit, then would come to seem impossible. An uphill battle.
But something changed earlier this year. I had finally settled into vegetarianism in earnest, and with a bit of joy. Meat had come to taste like death, like a corpse. I could leave it behind, finally. Eggs were no trouble. They’ve always been a bit repellant to me, and that conviction had been growing.
And then, early this year, I came to know I’d soon be saying goodbye to dairy. No one has loved cheese more than I. Let me tell you!
Yet, I was seeing deeply that behind any animal product, no matter how much we don’t want to look, and how much we insist we “try” to buy “humane” meat or eggs or milk, there were things happening that no human being could feel okay with. I started to know the math wasn’t right. Backyard chickens – we used to house some, remember? Well, where did all the boy chicks go, when you order your chicks from the feed store? Nowhere nice, as a very haunting video demonstrated. A two-and-a-half second video that to this day, I wish I hadn’t seen.
Where did roosters go? Did they have a quality of life? Are hens supposed to lay as many eggs as we’ve bred them for? Do they enjoy safety and longevity? Are the many health and predation issues they suffer, just “part of life”? Or is there another solution?
What about all those calves? Do they miss their mothers? Where do they go? They are slaughtered and turned to veal. The dairy industry is the meat industry. Cows cry, bellow, and feel pain. Mothers search for their babies for weeks after they are torn away.
I knew this.
And I couldn’t even stand to watch videos that answered any of these questions. I still haven’t viewed the phenomenal and award-winning documentary Earthlings; I saw less than a minute of footage and had nightmares for two days.
But it was a conversation, two in a row in fact, that lit the lamp of awareness. I had started to explore the cruelty of eggs and milk, aloud, when the topic came up. I wasn’t in a hurry to talk about it all; but I was thinking it through. And these two conversations I was met with ignorance – a man passionate about “natural” foods, who insisted the males on the dairy farms had good lives after they were “sold”. I said, “Where are they sold to? What becomes of them?” – and he said, “They go to farms,” as if these bulls were given long happy lives. Then, two days later, a woman who promoted cage-free eggs on Facebook responded with startling vitriol when I suggested any kind of egg consumption may not be very ethical by any human standard.
The anger that met my most open-hearted musing really made an impression. I came to see that if I wanted to offer a choice to people, I would have to step across the threshold myself.
And I woke up a few days later and knew, Today’s the day.
And now? I’m vegan.
It has been a beautiful experience. I could write so much more about it! Veganism this time around has given me an intense, keen joy. To my astonishment, my family and many friends have followed along. Some to full veganism, some to vegetarianism, some to just less animal products – good for them, good for the environment, good for the heart and mind.
My children follow. My daughter is a passionate, lovely vegan. Her sense of humor is different than mine; but we are wicked and we share our joys and frustrations together. My son, who I never thought to see eschew meat, became a vegetarian just before my birthday. He is working toward veganism now.
Our household has changed. It happened so quickly, but it is not a surprise, not really.
Gentleness suits us. It seems to deliver more life, more humor, and more peace. Some people think when we consume meat, we consume not just hormones and poisons and unsafe chemicals – but adrenaline and fear and hate.
I don’t know what I think of that, but I do know that veganism brings me joy. I wouldn’t have found this serenity if I hadn’t let myself change. I find there is more to learn, more to love. I find I don’t have to listen to arguments, apathy, and angry words from people who don’t demonstrate a better plan for the environment, for the compassionate heart. They are free to their opinion, but are they who I want to advise me? This helps me think deeply – who do I want to listen to? Who can help me?
Joy has entered my household, in a surprising, wonderful way.
May you find the same!
With my husband and eldest gone for the weekend, it was a slow and steady, and homey couple of days for Nels and I. We embark on more than one walk together, including a quiet midnight mile. I make simple food – tomato soup and sandwiches, cut-up fruit and crudités. I stay home instead of go out. When I do run an errand or go to a meeting, I leave my son home with explicit instructions. A bit of housework but not much. He is content to play, all day long. He and the tribe of preteen boys in our neighborhood are happy to be outside. They have some huge blow-up punch-out dummy, and walkie talkies.When the other boys go home, Nels comes in and fixes a snack, and hops on his computer.
Today, we feed a bunch of these boys whatever they ask for – as it turns out: popcorn, Doritos, popsicles, chocolate chip cookies, cherry Dr. Pepper, and 7Up. I laugh because their parents probably make these things the occasional treat, or only let them eat them after they’ve had something else. In the neighborhood I know the kids like me, but who knows what their parents think. For one thing, my youngest is unabashedly touting the vegan lifestyle. Today a tot comes up to me with a huge glass and large eyes and says, “Can I have some almond milk?” as if it’s the most special treat there is.
When I arrive home from work, my son walks down the path to my little BMW, engine just off. He’s in his favorite play jacket – a puffy navy blue hooded car coat – and his little red canvas shoes and busted jeans. I can tell from his gait that he is sad. A friend took him to a homeschool gathering today, and all did not go well. Perhaps his sister has been unkind, in my absence.
My son is sad, and as I step up the path to meet me he says, “Mom… I had a rough day today -“. But even as he mugs for some pity and some tenderness, he begins to smile. He is confused because his heart is breaking over the events of today, but he is so glad to see me because I make it all so much better. I can see it in his face, plain as day. I rarely think much on how much I mean to these children, but I think I have never meant so much to anyone else in my life.
Ralph and I made this huge commitment so many years ago, to be with our kids 24/7 until the day they chose to leave us, and we didn’t think so much of just how many wonderful benedictions this would bring. But in my son’s step down the rain-drenched walk, the spring earth warm and fecund and with a promise – crocuses and primroses already! – I can see my time is worth something, my every moment, just someone he can hang his hopes on when the day goes awry. And today? He hurt his foot. He wasn’t feeling well. He was snubbed by a peer.
He was lonely, because I wasn’t home.
Tonight I give my husband a break from making dinner. While Phoenix studies for a biology test, Nels and I make first a salad (broccoli, basil, pecans, grapes, a lemon dressing), then a lasagna and garlic bread. At first my son is upset – he wants to be outside playing with friends. He doesn’t really want to help me cook. Soon he is wailing – hungry, angry that dinner is an hour out. But I have patience today, as a mother. I am kind and purposeful that dinner must be made. And I let him come to me. As I wash dishes I give him the territory of the sauce preparation, from chopping and sauteeing garlic, to mixing in fragrant spices. Soon he is a happy little chef, if a bit untidy. The sauce is quite good. I’ve taught him just a little about cooking. Life goes like that. A little at a time.
Parenthood has come, parts of it, come and gone so quickly. I’ve learned to slow down and really enjoy the moment instead of worrying too much. Yesterday, in a dark theatre, both kids. One kid paying attention, the other bored and doing little to conceal it. For the first blessed hour, contentment. My arms around one, then the other. My cheek in sweet, hay-smelling hair. Holding one another close. It’s not something I got to do as a teen, with my parents. It feels so special to get to have it in my life after all.