mmmm, cake!

I was introduced to this sweet little pattern by my good friend Denise from Canoodlings. She usually gets to the good stuff first. I’m an expert procrastinator, so even though I purchased this last year sometime, I didn’t get around to actually cutting into it until a few days ago. I had the knit fabric from Girl Charlee for about as long. I picked out this knit print because I’m still super in love with all things triangle. And blue! LOVE blue. I will be honest though, this fabric isn’t the softest knit I ever worked with. In fact, it’s downright stiff. Adding extra fabric softener in the laundry didn’t help much, but perhaps over time? Fingers crossed.

Since I’m new to this pattern, there was the usual learning curve. This pattern, which you can buy here, is available in a pdf printable or a tissue pattern. I always, ALWAYS spend the few extra bucks and get the tissue pattern. Since I only have a standard paper size inkjet printer at home, not only will it cost precious expensive ink to print out my size pieces, but taping the pieces together doesn’t thrill me either. It’s worth it to me to have the actual pattern.

I did find the garment easy enough to put together. I came across a little trouble attaching the skirt portions to the midriff piece however. (I had to seam rip a lot of stitches at one point.) But again, that wasn’t necessarily the fault of the pattern, it was more or less my inexperience with it. And well, dress-making in general. I’m still learning! ALWAYS LEARNING!

Another issue I had was the shape of the front bodice pieces. In the pattern photos and EVERY other incarnation of this garment I’ve come across online, it’s just a straight diagonal cross-over v-neck. But somehow mine had this weird curved edge by the collar-bone? It was certainly odd and honestly I still have no idea why mine came out that shape. I mean, I cut the pattern exactly. I think I’m going to make the dress again in another print and see if the same thing happens. At first I wasn’t sure how it would come out with that odd curve, but really in the end, I kind of like the way it looks. It adds a little uniqueness to an otherwise basic neckline!

Lastly, I most definitely had to tack down the cross-over bodice. Trying it on as is, it gaped very badly and made it look sloppy on me. Once I top-stitched the V, it lays nice and smooth, a plus for my well-endowed bust. I highly recommend this step, especially as a lot of the finished dresses I’ve seen online has the wearer adding a cami/tank underneath because of the low-cut neckline. I LOATHE wearing an additional layer under my dresses so I’m glad I found a comfortable solution.

A few pics:

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90s fashion

Look I can’t help it. I adore 90s fashion. I LIVED 90s fashion!

I started high school in the fall of 1988, we were just leaving the neon and shoulder pads of the 80s behind. Good riddance! In a few short months I was to dip my feet into the horrible world of Jersey-bred guido. Togs from Merry Go Round and Joyce Leslie. Z. Cavaricci anyone? Thank GOD that phase was short lived for me. Once I hit my junior year, it was men’s blazers and polka dots and crushed velvet and Doc Martens and chokers and daisy print!

I know there’s a fashion rule somewhere that states if you lived through the trend the first time around, do not, under any circumstance, partake in it when it eventually comes around again. Rules are made to be broken! And really, that rule appears super ageist by the way.

Long live daisy print!

I will say, my bff Denise actually made this dress first. She used our go-to pattern, the Moneta. Once she sewed hers together, she sent me a selfie of her wearing it. I instantly fell in love and had to, HAD TO, find my own daisy print knit jersey.

Enter Girl Charlee.

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I took this baby on vacay* with me this summer. It was the best little dress! Packs easy, is SUPER comfortable and is totally adorable! I wore it both with and without the belt.

*One of the books I read at the beach this summer was Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. I picked it up for two bucks at our recent Friends of the Library book sale. Mostly because I love funny women and I’m a bit of The Office superfan. Having lusted after my daisy print fabric and worn my newest Moneta with cheer, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the following line, found in her chapter: When You’re Not Skinny, This is What People Want You To Wear

“Daisy Print: I think there’s something about daisies or daisy print that stylists consider synonymous with cheerful, simple, fat woman.”

Probably somewhat accurate?
To thine own self be true.

current work

I’m working hard to bulk up my inventory after the rush of holiday shows! Just a few snaps of my completed items. Only the tip of the iceberg!

3ringbinders

coffeesleeves

weezippy

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scrunchies

sachets

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Flowers and polka dots and kitties and oodles of adorable fabric prints! I’m so in love with color and nature this spring!

DS zippy pouch

My 10yo LOVES any and all of the DS game systems that Nintendo has put out over the years. I think we’ve had just about all of them. From the first incarnation to the 3DS and now the 2DS (which, weird right?). We’ve had a few cases that worked okay. Though they never have enough room for the game, the power cord, and the cartridges, so it winds up being annoying that things don’t get to stay together when they’re not in use or we’re traveling. I can’t tell you how many times those teeny tiny cartridges came spilling out of a ripped ziploc baggie. Frustrating!

I don’t know why it took me so long to make a case for all this trouble, but sometimes the most obvious things slip right by our view. I mean, I’m the queen of zippy pouches! I’ve made hundreds over the years. Perhaps even over a thousand? Could be!

So here’s one more, heehee

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I made this using cotton linen for the exterior and cotton lawn for the lining. I interfaced it with fusible fleece and added the wool felt DS applique. It’s smaller in size than a piece of paper and holds everything together!

pics from TC Williams event

Almost to the last minute I was unsure if I was going to do this show. I had applied and paid for it months ago and it was on my schedule for as long. But as the date was nearing, I was dealing with Halloween costumes, a last minute trip to Florida, and a horrible bout of family sickness (norovirus AND strep!). I didn’t have nearly enough time to produce an appreciable amount of inventory and I was feeling leery that I’d have adequate stock to present in my booth. I had sold A LOT at Art on the Avenue in early October and was worrying about how I could handle the TC Williams event and be well prepared for the Washington-Lee Bazaar coming up in early December. At the beginning of the week, I pretty much resigned myself to losing my paid up booth fee and just focus on the W-L event.
But on Friday afternoon, I had a wave of energy that served me well. I was able to prepare some new signage, price the box of new items I had produced, and mentally get myself ready. I went to bed early and woke up feeling optimistic.

And I did well! GREAT even!

The traffic was pretty steady, the space was nice, the organization was good. And my sales were really good. Better than I had hoped and better than the sort of arbitrary silent goal I had set for myself. By days end I had surpassed that goal by over a hundred dollars.

Here are some pics I took of my booth right before the customers started flowing in.

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lightening up Halloween night

Who says Halloween has to be all blood and guts? Candy and dress up are totally more my style. Which is why I leaned into this year’s Halloween costumes with much enthusiasm.

What could be more cheery, joyful, and fun than sunshine and rainbows?
Take that witches and vampires!

I know I say this every year, but these might be my most favorite creations ever. Well, until next year anyways.

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Have you ever seen a walking rainbow?

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His best friend, the sun! (Who happens to play the drums, heehee!)

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Even from the back, look how sweet:

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Sunshine + rainbow = best friends forever

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materials used:

craft felt
fusible webbing
polyfill
thread
spray adhesive


Bonus, my halloween nails:

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Booooooo!

Upcoming event!

I’ve been sewing like a crazy person trying to get ready for my next event!

Where I’ve spent the better part of the last few days/weeks. It’s not a full time job, but tell that to my bum and back. SORE! I’ve been sleeping with my heating pad most nights in order to get some relief. Why am I so old?

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A BUNCH of stuff cut out, all interfaced up, ready to start sewing. Mostly zipper pouches, wristlets, cosmetic cases and zipper totes.

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All smiles!

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Come see me at Art on the Avenue in the Del Ray section of Alexandria. I’ll be tired but cheery!

i’m on cloud 9

I discovered Cloud 9 fabrics sometime late last year. I specifically fell for their organic cottons. Cute prints and clean lines. My kind of stuff.

Last month my friend Denise and I discovered a lovely little fabric and yarn shop in (sort of) nearby Leesburg,VA. She actually found out about Finch online and we were so excited that we planned a day when we were without our kiddos in order to take the almost hour drive out there. We were not disappointed! It’s pretty much our dream right there on the corner! (Did I ever mention that Denise and I are DYING to open a boutique fabric shop? Indeed. But that’s a whole other post for another day!)

Look how charming!

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That’s Nicole in the white dress, the shop’s owner. She was so nice! And very patient as Denise (in the graphic print Moneta in the back), picked her brain about the store/business.

It’s really a wonderful shop, with space for sitting and knitting or taking a sewing class on one of the machines. We both just loved how Nicole set up a cozy space for creating and building a community.

While I was there, I fell in love with the Cloud 9 voile that she had in stock, Palos Verdes by Leslie Shewring. The print that really spoke to me was the La Venta. It was so crisp and summery. And I’m such a sucker for triangles lately. (I feel like there’s a Seinfeld joke in here somewhere!)

I knew I’d make a tunic out of it.

So I wound up buying three yards total for this Simplicity pattern:

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I like this pattern because it had gentle bust/waist shaping through the front, instead of just dropping straight down into a billowy square. But it’s not fitted, so the comfort and easiness of the garment remains.

The only modifications I made were:

I added a button sleeve thingy (what is that called anyways, I have no idea!) instead of the recommended sleeve/arm band.

I trimmed the inside facing a bit because the voile is quite see-through and the top looked better without seeing so much of the facing from the inside. (I’m really glad I did this!)

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Funnily enough, I semi-unconciously wore a green bra today which you can totally notice. But I figured, you can see through voile no matter what, so what’s the deal with seeing a green bra versus a white bra? Nada!

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I’m wondering just how many more cotton tops I’m going to wind up making before this summer comes to a close!

green eyelet top

I love that I’ve added a number of pieces to my wardrobe this summer. It makes me smile and feel accomplished knowing that I’m wearing something that I made with my own two hands!

This one is another version of Simplicity’s 4607. (You can see my previous one here.)

I purchased this cotton eyelet fabric at Joann’s a few months ago when I became interested in making some tops for this season. This one does not disappoint! It’s cool and cute and easy to wear. One thing that I modified was the facing bits. The pattern calls for using a suitable woven interfacing for those pieces but I didn’t want any white to show through the eyelet. I omitted that step completely and just used the facing pieces as is. It doesn’t take away from the structure of the garment and it still feels comfortable.

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When I showed Mike this new piece, his comments were, “That’s awesome! But what are you going to wear underneath it? That fabric is sort of see-through?” My response, “I have a green bra, and who cares!” LOL