Posts Tagged ‘dress’

Well, up until today, I had not decided whether or not I was going to offer this dress to the proverbial “Public”.  I absolutely LOVE  it … but I haven’t gotten fully confident I can create it adequately for people all over the world whom I’ll never size in person.

recognize that Amy Butler Soul Blossoms fabric??? I have finally gone through all 15 yards I purchased!

Well, today I have made the leap and said YES to that inner voice saying, “Make this for other people, you freak!”


Because I was standing in the parking lot at a grocery store (YES – texting!) when I heard a stranger’s voice yell:


To which I gratefully replied, “Thank You!”

and he said:


Well, I may pay to be blonde, but I don’t pay to be stupid!  I can tell when there’s a good thing going on!!!  Earlier this morning my husband sent me off for a manicure and pedicure … and the technician couldn’t stop talking about my dress.  She didn’t call it “killer” but she did say it was “fabulous” … in come cultures those words are interchangeable!

Soooooo, here is a sneak peak at the first One-Shoulder dress being made available in my Etsy shop.  Hereafter referred to as the Killer Dress!

Here is the dress shown with a funky chunky feaux turquoise necklace from my pal over at Polished on Etsy. It's a very slimming a-line silhouette. Very fun and versatile to wear! I started with a Burda pattern, made a few tweaks, and the rest is "killer" history.

And here's the back - equally simple which keeps it so easy to wear! You'll notice the zipper on the right hand side - keeps it formfitting without the need for elastic.

In case you didn't notice, it's a one-shoulder dress! (I've made a million of these, but this is by far the simplest and most universally flattering that I've made so far. If you don't like your arms showing - you can add a cute cardigan and just show off the asymmetrical line of the bodice across your chest/neckline.)

Here is how I wore it today - funky necklace, fun belt, wedge sandals. I did not, however, walk around with my arms like that. Or my lips. (I also wore it this way last Tuesday and Wednesday ... maybe this is quickly becoming my 2012 wardrobe!)

So000, if you dig this dress and would like to order one – feel free to thank the random Randall’s parking lot guy!

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I’m really getting worried about myself.  I use Exclamation Points like they’re evaporating!  I really really do!!!

Anyway – I digress.  Enough about me.  Let’s talk houndstooth.

I seriously have an addiction.

In my fabric stash, I have about 20 yards of various shades and weights – green and ivory for a dress for Rosamund, pink and ivory for Ellie, navy and green, gray and white, brown and white, and of course black and white.  Most recently, I added mock canopies to Owen’s and Ellie’s bed using extra large black and white. I’m even getting texts of houndstooth fabric photos from my friends when they’re out at fabric stores!

Sooo, the other night when I was just oh-s0-tired of sewing for THE OTHERS, I reached for none other than houndstooth to create a dress for my Rosamund (now 11 months already!!!) (uh, more exclamation points!).  She is outgrowing everything everyday, and I needed to make her something to wear the next day!

Here is what I came up with. I just LOVE this combination of fabrics!

I used this VERY EASY pattern. It’s McCall’s 6015. If you have this pattern, for Rosamund’s dress I used bodice E and skirt C. The pattern calls for a zipper, FYI.

I think I could have my entire wardrobe out of soley these colors!

I'm not happy with the zipper completion - I was lazy and sewed it up in a u-turn direction (rather than sewing down one side and then going all the way back to the top and sewing down the other side). Hence, the two sides do not align at the top. boo hiss.

In the end, despite the zipper dilemma, I love it!!! (I wanted to give the dress a tiny bit of flare, so I made a ruffle and sewed it from shoulder to shoulder to give the effect of a necklace.)

The result: PERFECTION! (I feel like this photo could be labeled, "If you give a baby a strawberry...")

Again, this is an easy breezy pattern.  It’s just about fool proof, so please make one for some lucky baby!

Here are the details:

Time: I am guessing anywhere from 45 minutes/1hour to 2 hours – it all depends upon how comfortable you are with a zipper.

Cost: about $5.  $1 for the pattern, $2 for the zipper, and I got the fabric 50% off of $4.99 a yard.  I used about 3/4 yard total.  (but of course, in reality, I used scraps!)

There you go…a project idea.  I’d LOVE to see what you’re making!

Oh…and I thought you might like to see the canopies…there they are:

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Oh my stinking goodness y’all – I don’t even remember the last post I made … much less my last tutorial!  It has been steadily increasing in crazy around here.  Strangest thing has been happening.  My baby doesn’t sleep ALL DAY anymore.  Weird.  I might need to take her to the doctor.

Anyhoo…tonight….because I’ve been developing hives from non-blogging-activity….I decided I simply MUST share a really fun (and of course FAST, CHEAP AND EASY) project for baby girls in your life.

Believe it or not, but in about 15 – 20 minutes, you can turn a cheapo / boring onesie into a faboulous, one of a kind DRESS…. like this…

Here’s how to do it …

Start with a Onesie. Duh. (sidenote: you'll probably want to choose a size bigger than your baby)

Fold the onesie in half lengthwise. (this is sort of optional, but folding in half guarantees that the sides are cut at the same place)

Cut that onesie at the waist. Of course, I just guessed where I wanted to cut...but feel free to measure if you're into that sort of thing.

When you open the two halves up, this is what you'll have.

Now, pull out some great fabric that you've had in your stash for a while. I chose a very lightweight cotton print ... but just about anything will work. Heavier fabric will produce a fuller skirt! Cut a rectangle - I use the entire width of the fabric and cut a length of about 12-18"..but again, I don't measure. I wanted the skirt to be long, but any length will work.

Join the two selvege edges, sew. Then, finished the bottom hem of the skirt.

Sew a gathering stitch / basting stitch along the upper edge of the skirt.

Now you're ready to assemble your dress. Take the bodice of the cut onesie and turn upside down.

Turn the skirt wrong-side-out, pull the gathers, and then pin the skirt to the bodice - right sides together.

Now take the bum half of the onesie. turn it wrong side out - making sure to put the back side with the back side of the bodice -t then pin. You will have a sandwich: Inside - bodice, right side out. Middle - skirt, wrong side out. Outer - bum, wrong side out. Sew three layers together using a BALLPOINT needle.

And you're done! That's it y'all. I mean seriously - let me hear you holler - AWESOME!!!

And...if you've got an extra 5 minutes, add a fun fabric flower for an added punch. If you don't have time, don't ever think about it again - no big deal!

I love this more than just simply making a skirt because everything it attached - so much easier to create an outfit!

Seriously - loook at your watch. If you've got 20-30 minutes and a ballpoint needle, you can DO THIS!

Here’s the breakdown…

TIME:  Like I said – about 20-30 minutes…unless you can’t decide on a fabric!

COST:  About $2.  TWO DOLLARS!!!!  The only cost is the onesie because you probably have enough fabric on hand to make the skirt!

I think I need to go now because I want to make about 30 more before I go to bed.

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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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