Posts Tagged ‘dress’

I am on a bit of a roll in regards to finally creating new options for my Etsy shop.  I am ALWAYS thinking about dresses that I’d love to make and offer in my shop; however, most of the time those dresses remain in the closet of my brain.  And that is a very messy closet!

First, I added a sleeved version to the Team Spirit Dress.  Go Team!

Now, I’ve added a billowy version to my line of strapless dresses.

I. must. find. reason. to. wear. this!

This version was drafted using a vintage pattern from the ’70’s.  I love the sweetheart neckline!  I added length and the sash.  I think it’s a bit updated but still funky.  I suppose different fabric options could play it up or down in pretty cool ways!

These, as you can tell, take a LOT of fabric.  (whenever you cut something on the bias it tends to take up lots of fabric!)  So, I will need to price these a bit higher than my standard strapless dresses; however, I think it’s worth it.  There is a LOT of POW FACTOR in this dress.  I’ve created this one long, but, of course, it could go shorter, too.

This version is what’s titled OOAK in Etsy language … meaning: One of A Kind.  I’m offering this one at a discount since it’s my sample…$78, size 6/8 possibly even a 10!

I hope to be posting many…okay, a few… more new dresses soon!  And coats, and capes, and yada yada yada.

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Today, the last day of National Sewing Month, I am hoping to get caught up … I had hoped to post 30 days of reasons to Celebrate Sewing.  I think I managed to post about 19 or so…I lot count of how far behind I am!  So today, September 30th – I hope to post a few times with a few more reasons to celebrate sewing!

First for today - I Celebrate Etsy!

I think I have said before that Etsy came into my life at a time when I really needed encouragement.  I was surprised that people wanted to purchase my dresses.  I was surprised at how encouraging each sale was to my soul!  Thank you Etsy!

Truthfully, what I like most about Etsy is the international community.  I have sold dresses to women in the U.S., Australia, France, England, Japan, TAHITI!, etc.  It’s been super cool.  One of these days I’m going to print out a huge map and put pretty pins everywhere I’ve sent a dress.  (try to hold back from coughing in disbelief that I’ll actually do this!)

What is also super fun about Etsy is that it’s not uncommon for a woman/customer to sort of “get to know” the seller and vice versa.  Hence today’s photo …

By far, my biggest seller is my Team Spirit Dress. I have sold so many of these it makes me cross-eyed to try to count.  Really fun!

I have known that this dress is versatile – can be worn as a dress, a tunic, a mini dress, over jeans, over shorts, with leggins, over a T-shirt, with a cardigan, etc, etc, etc.

But recently, an Etsy customer sent me a photo of her gorgeous self wearing her Team Spirit Dress.  This by far is my FAVORITE TEAM SPIRIT photo EVER!!!

While this beautiful woman doesn’t live in A-Town – I’m convinced this is the Austin Way to Wear a Team Spirit Dress!

Thank you Etsy for introducing me to hundreds of women all over world who love dresses and appreciate hand-made!

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Tonight I am officially catching up!  No more lagging behind for me!

I thought I’d share that one of my main joys in sewing, maybe what I love best about sewing, is that you can make awesome stuff FAST!  I love knowing that if I’ve got half an hour, I can walk out the door with a finished piece…if you think about it, very few hobbies can boast this – not candle making, not basket weaving, definitely NOT embroidery!

So for posts 8 & 9, I thought I’d share with you two projects that were completed very quickly AND fulfilled a need for CHEAP!


Embarrassingly, this was my kids' playground. (remember, we live on the face of the sun...NOTHING can fix the grass right now!)

Completely by accident one day at Joann’s, I came across the most perfect Outdoor fabric on clearance … $3 a yard, people!  I’m not even kidding!  So I grabbed 6 yards.

I would've had a great time tearing all the torn pieces off except it was literally 108 degrees outside. Literally y'all. No exageration. 108 degrees.

But when you have a HOT husband, all it right with world!

After some simple measuring and cutting and stapling ... You really can replace your tattered playground fabric with new pristine playground fabric. Now if only it were the simle to do something about my landscape!


#2: A really quick DRESS!

We got home at 2:30. Knew we were leaving for Owen's first school football game at 4:45. I wanted to make Ellie and myself a dress in navy for the game. By 4:14 - mission accomplished! I made myself a navy Team Spirit Dress and I made Ellie this fun maxi pillow case dress. I am only a tad bit biased when I say she was soooooo cute!!!

Seriously, just writing down how quickly I made Ellie’s dress has made me love sewing even more!  And when I remember that our two dresses cost $9 total —- HEART THROBBING FOR JOY!!!  I So Celebrate Sewing!

Up for tomorrow… How to make a QUICK NAP MAT!

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Well, here I am at 9:49pm on day 3 of my So Celebrate Sewing extravaganze …whew, getting this post in in the nick of time!  Which is fitting because today I am celebrating that in sewing, all you need is a few minutes to create something super cool.

As in this CAFTAN!

Believe it or not, you can make this dress in about 30 minutes… you need about 3 1/4 yards of fabric.  It takes 4 seams, 4 buttonholes, and one long tube to use as a sash.  That’s it!

Start with your fabric. I used 100% light weight polyester. Next time, however, I think I'll switch to a breathable fabric - 100% cotton for sure.

First, if your fabric has a factory fold that run along the length of the fabric, open it up so that you are facing the entire width of the fabric. Then, fold the fabric in half, right sides together, keeping the fold at the top. This means you'll have two equal halves measuring about 1 5/8 yards with the fold at the top.

To create your sleeves and side seams, measure down along the selvages on each side about 12". Place a pin. Sew all the way down from the pin to the end of the fabric. (Be sure to reverse stitch at the beginning since this opening is your sleeve.)

Now that you've created your side seams and your sleeves, you need to create your neckline. I pinned my fabric right to my ironing board, and then I started guessing how big the opening should be. Start small on this guess - you can always go bigger but you can't go smaller! After trying to pull it over my head the first time, I had to go back and make it a bit bigger.

Next, you'll need to add bias binding along your neckline. If you have enough fabric, create bias tape from the dress fabric. Otherwise, use storebought or coordinating bias tape. I have neither tonight, so I'll grab some later...you can still get the idea!

Now you need to add 4 buttonholes at the waist - front and back right side, front and back left side. To decide where, I held the dress up to me and went to a mirror. I located my waist and put a pin at the very right side and the very left side. Then, back at the ironing board (where I do all my pinning), I used those pins to also mark the identical spots on the back left and back right. (These button holes are used to hold your belt in place ... see photo below!) Also - when opening up your buttonhole with a seam ripper, please be sure it's not too dull. OR ELSE< you'll end up with puckered buttonholes like I did!

Finally - hem the bottom and create a quick tube for the sash. Thread the sash to the front from the back buttonholes. You've got yourself a fabulous caftan, maxi dress, billowy dress!

If you're wondering about hemming the sleeves - you use the selvege so there's no need! This truly is a 4 seam, 4 buttonhole, 1 sash piece - easy peasy!

My friend Erin Tyrrell and I were talking a few weeks ago about Caftans … whether or not we’d ever try to pull one off.  I think I just might try this one out in public!  The fabric definitely feels like flimsy plastic, so I’m not sure 107 degree weather is the best option for this fabric, but maybe something in a nice seersucker or something else light weight.  We’ll see!

Cost: I got this fabric for about $2/yd, so $6.50.  yay!

Time: Again, you really can do this in 30 minutes if you know how to use the buttonhole function on  your machine!

Okay ya’ll….I’m hoping you’re getting the hankering to Celebrate Sewing.  Share your thoughts with me if you like!

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Somehow I developed a very bad habbit of hoarding patterns during $1 & $1.99 sales.  I think somewhere somehow I decided that if I had the pattern then I had just about made the garment.  Hence – I have boxes and boxes and boxes of unopened, never sewn patterns.  And for some reason, whenever I want to make something  new …. you guessed it – I buy another pattern!  Why do I do this?????  I. Have. Plenty. Of. Patterns.

One pattern that I have never ever let myself forget that I have is a really fun Anna Sui Vogue Pattern (V1046).  While Vogue patterns never go on sale for a buck, they do go on sale for $3.99 and that’s only $3 more, so BANG, I’m in!  This one was love-at-first-sight!

Good thing I snatched this one up when I did - it's now out of print! Sorry gals.

I’ve been in the mood to sew from patterns lately, so naturally I’m starting with those stashed away in the crevices of my mind…and this is one of the first to make “the cut!”

Here is my version. Fabric is some sort of flimsy, lightweight polyester that I got for $1 yard!

Can you see the fun pink hidden in the print?

As you can see - it's a true tent dress ... it even makes my size 2 mannequin look a little fluffy. Finally! I've been starting to really hate her for looking good in EVERYTHING!

And here's the back view.

Overall, I’m really happy with the results …

If I was going to review the pattern (a sort of moot idea since it’s no longer in print!), I’d say that the pattern runs very big.  I made my dress a size smaller than I am and it still looks about 2 sizes too big.  I’m wearing it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s definitely fuller in real life than shown on the cover of the pattern.

I’ll try to snap a photo of me in it when I wear it out so that you can see what I mean!

And now for the breakdown:

Cost: $3 for the fabric, $3.99 for the pattern = $6.99.  FOR A DRESS!!!!  Hilarious.

Time: This took more time to cut out the pattern than it did to construct!  Since you have to use lightweight fabric, it can be tricky to pin and cut and keep steady.  So, I’m estimating this took me about 2.5 hours.  I didn’t do it all in one sitting so this is a guess.  I think it was worth it; however, I probably won’t make this pattern again.

So finally that particular pattern is off my list of things to do.

I’m off to conquer the other 400 patterns in my stash …..


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Gosh, it seems like forever since I shared what I’ve been working on – I think I’m having withdrawals!

For tonight, I just wanted to show  you pictures of my new, totally favorite dress!  This one isn’t for sale because I just absolutely LOVE it.  I made it straight from a McCall’s Pattern, and I made it with $1/yd fabric!

I really really love this fabric - it's flowy and very light, I've been holding onto to it for about a year. Yay for finally finding the perfect pattern!

dreaming of yellow pattent funky wedges and/or flatforms!

Who doesn't LOVE a one-shoulder dress ... I'm so glad they're still in style!

I’m off to vacation for a few days…but when I come back, you should be hearing about my new Silhouette Machine … and the rollout of the NEW & IMPROVED organization formerly known as Austin City Craft … can you guess our new name???

Oh…the breakdown:

Cost: $1 for the pattern, $3.50 for the fabric for a grand total of a whopping $4.50!!!  Hollah!!!

Time: right at 1.5 to 2 hours.  This is not a hard pattern at all, but if you’re a novice, the directions to the neckline and facing might cause you some problems.  Just stare at it, and between the wording and the pictures you’ll figure it out.  Or shoot me a message!

McCall's Pattern 6118 and my version! I think I need a few more of these!

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Gosh, this week has been busy!

I’ve been quiet on the blog but I’ve been busy busy at home and on the machine.  I thought I’d share my latest non-Etsy-shop item…. A halter dress I made for Ellie!

I made this straight from the pattern, except I added the tiny little bow-tie accent you see here and I used coordinating fabric for the facing.

These fabrics are very close in design, but if you look closely, you can see they are different.

Oh, I also made it into a maxi dress ... so 3 very small and simle adjustments / additions.

She loves it! We went to a music show last night and this girl danced the night away in this dress. She made her momma so happy!

Also … want to know a little secret for the absolute EASIEST HAIR ACCESSORY EVER >>>>>>

Simply cut a strip of fabric! Really! Cut a strip and wrap it around the hair. Tie it and leave it alone...or tie it in a bow and leavie it alone. If it frays - SO WHAT! She's gonna lose it anyway and you can just cut another one!


I’m also almost finished the most gorgeous version of my Team Spirit dress – made in cotton candy pink!  I’ll post a photo later tonight.  Oh my goodness, it’s delightful!

I hope you’re all having a fabulous memorial day…here’s a photo of my version of an American Dress!

Who says America is ONLY red, white and blue? I think we deserve a fair splash of PINK!

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WOWzers!  Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day was a smashing success – I have really enjoyed reading your comments (almost 300 of them!) and visiting your blogs.  It will take me a while to visit each blog, but I’m on my way and enjoying the process.  Plus, I even WON a giveaway, too!  I won a journal cover from PSPHYLLISSEWS – hollah!  AND, as I am typing this I learned that I have also won a darling clutch!!!

Like I said, I had almost 300 entries on my blog and over 150 entries in my Etsy shop.  So, in total, everyone had about a 2 in 450 chance of winning a dress.  Not too bad!

Before I announce the winner, I wanted to let you in on a little secret …..

Are you being quiet?

Do you have your library voice on?

From now through Sunday night, I’m offering anyone who participated in the Giveaway but DID NOT win….

20% OFF any STRAPLESS DRESS in my shop.

(My shop is on vacation for a few days, so contact me for details and photos!)

And now for the winner…………….


as in lgiesting17

(I used a random number generator from the internet, and it led me to Lisa. Congratulations!  I’ve sent you an email…please respond by tomorrow afternoon, or I’ll need to select another winner)

I would also like to welcome my new subscribers …HEY Y’ALL!

Okay, coming up soon – more tutorials … still working on the placemat tutorial, slipcover tutorial, and the reverse applique tutorial.  Those will all be out in a few days.  Yummy, I can’t wait!

Oh wait…I need to post a photo, don’t I???

How about a picture of another strapless dress?

Again, feel free to take 20% off until Sunday!

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Today, Sew, Mama, Sew is sponsoring/hosting “GiveAway Day” and I’m participating – woot, woot, hollah, hollah, let me hear you say YAY!!!

Leave me a comment below between now and 11:59pm May 25th – and you could win a FREE STRAPLESS DRESS!

Here’s how it works: simply leave a comment below.  On May 26th, I’ll tally up everyone who commented between the hours mentioned above, and I’ll randomly draw a winner.  (you’ll need to check back to see who won, or leave me your email address to contact you if you win.)

***If you are the winner, we’ll chat about your sizing.  I’ll give you a few fabric options.  Then I’ll make your dress and ship it within a week of us chatting.  Easy as PIE!  (actually, pies aren’t easy for me, but you get the point!)

Here are some samples of what you could win:

****You can enter to win a SECOND TIME by visiting Parsimony, my Etsy shop.  I’ll be giving away another strapless there, too.  The same time frame applies!

***Also, you don’t have to be a subscriber to win.  However, you might note that I post a lot of sales and give aways here on my blog, so feel free to come on board!

Good luck – and visit Sew, Mama, Sew’s blog to find tons more blogs doing giveaways!  That’s what I’m doing right now!

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I’ve got a few tutorials in the works for the Under $5 & 15 minutes series .. but I’ve also got some Etsy orders that need to be cranked out.  So, for today, I thought I’d show you what’s being mailed today.  This order is a custom order.  The lovely lady loves the original “Ruffled Shoulder Dress” from my Etsy shop.  However, she has a little bit of “artwork” on her arm that she wanted to cover up for a wedding.  So, she asked for longer sleeves.  Also, she wanted something in emerald green to accommodate a ‘fascinator’ head piece that she’d already picked out.  So, I did my best.  I’m delighted with the outcome and just might need on of these myself!

The actual green of the dress is brighter than I could get to appear here. I'm not so great with photo editing ... or photo-taking for that matter! But I do love the longer sleeve length!

And here is the version from my shop:

That’s all for now … can’t wait to chat again!

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