A few weeks ago, Grainline posted Sarah’s “fall wardrobe inspiration” and I was quite smitten with the Steven Alan dress she featured. I decided to hack the Archer shirt into a homage to that dress with some vintage plaid I’ve been saving. I added a very slight a-line shape to the dress, and made a shirttail hem. I planned to put in the patch pockets, but just never got around to it. I could hack apart the side seams and do it, if I really want to. I thought it looked a little blah when I was done, especially in the waist, so I added a bias-cut channel and created a drawstring waist. Its a teeny bit short but I am really happy with how it turned out; I think it will be great for autumn. Buttons are blackened brass from Fringe Supply Co. archer shirtdressarcher shirtdressarcher shirtdress

Also finally got around to photographing my Stonecutters cardigan by Amy Christoffers. I finished this in late winter last year and didn’t have much of a chance to wear it before it warmed up. I LOVE it and I am so happy with the Imperial Stock Ranch Columbia yarn.stonecutters cardiganstonecutters cardiganstonecutters cardigan

Two New Dresses

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns

I really want to like this. Its a very very fussy pattern, it uses a ton of fabric, and it took a surprising amount of time to make. Full disclosure, I did not focus enough on the match points– if you decide to make this, BE SURE TO BE VERY PRECISE HERE. The pattern says this and I fault no one but myself here. I think I am going to rip out the placket and replace with a more tunic-like finish I ripped out the placket and replaced it with a more open v-neck(à la Hello Bear ). I like it much better this way, the original placket kept flopping around and was too stiff.

hannah dress by victory patterns

I underlined the white seersucker with some Bemberg lining, which I am glad I did because this fabric is pretty see-through. The pockets are great, the perfect depth to just rest your hands in. I do not know if I will make it again. One note if I do is the high bust/shoulders are quite tight, perhaps I should grade that part of the pattern up a size– it fits well everywhere else and would not want the rest any bigger.

Will get some more on-body pics soon!!!!

Next: Tea House Dress by Sew House 7.

tea house dress by sew house 7tea house dress by sew house 7I almost made this from a vintagey plaid I found at the Center for Creative Reuse, but I have my heart set on making that into another Archer or an Alder instead. I laid out the pattern pieces on the plaid and took pause. I remembered that I had almost 3 yards of that wax-print leftover from the Inari Tee. I set to work finagling around the pattern pieces, but I just didn’t have enough. I had to patch the front shoulder on one of the pieces to have enough fabric. I went to Loom Morningside to see if they had any fabric that would work. I thought of using black fabric for the yokes and ties, but that just seemed so BORING. One of the lovely ladies at Loom helped me find a hand-printed cotton that was similar in drape (read: none) to what I was already using. Back at home, halfway through making it I was having serious doubts about whether or not it would work, but I kept on going. I put it on when it was finished and showed my husband and he LOVED it (huge confidence boost, he is very honest with me about these things), so I think I do, too.

This is a pretty easy to follow pattern. I love the pockets! Only thing I changed was I hemmed it 3″, which I am glad I did, I really love deep hems, and now the dress hits above my knee. It does feel similar to my other “Japanese style” dresses I’ve made, but the waist ties help it feel more feminine. I think I will make it again, probably in a more subtle fabric next time.


I’ve been up to so much, but how could you know… I haven’t posted. Tuesday night I took a Zippers class where I learned to put in an on-seam zipper, lapped zipper, invisible zipper and a fly zipper. Wow, was I doing it wrong. As soon as class was over I thought back to all of my garments with zippers and felt mortified by how badly I had inserted them. Oh well.

Before zippers class (B.Z.), I made a lovely Georgia Dress from By Hand London. I tried very hard to make the weird straps version, but it just wasn’t going to happen, so I did the more normal-looking straps. I used some silk from the PA Fabric Outlet (it was $2/yard!!!). per usual, I’ll try to get some nicer pics of this dress, but here are some for the meantime.

not my favorite pic but here it is
look at those finishing skillz!
the pattern up-close
 I also recently got some silk from Loom that is to die for, but I don’t know what I’ll make with it yet… something very special I think.
are you thinking a mod dress? cause i am!

Im flying this week so hopefully I can get some knit time in. I am starting to get so excited for FRANCE in less than two months! I’m hoping to find some fabric / yarn stores to get some goodies.

Currently reading: The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

always keeping busy

I made the “placket dress” I hinted at previously. the buttons are little wooden guys from joanns. It was a good learning experience, but I did a sloppy job. At worst, its a suitable house dress. At best, I can wear it to work with a cardigan. I based it loosely on the Colette Patterns Sorbetto, but I removed the pleat in the pattern piece, and lengthened about 14". The major issue was the bias tape facing did not get along very well with the placket. The fabric is some poly silky material, and I used leftover cotton bias tape.. not the best mix. Here is a bad pic:

I also made a dress from the Japanese Stylish Dress Book. I LOVE it. Its shapeless with a ridiculous amount of ease in the back, but its my favorite thing I’ve made so far this year. I made the smallest size, even though the “size chart” advised me to make it two sizes bigger. If you want to buy this book, beware: you pretty much have to trace the pattern pieces (vs just cutting them out) because the 27 patterns are all on top of each other on 3 double sided giant pages. I suppose that is the “right way” to use patterns, but I usually take the lazy route and just cut out the pattern pieces straight from the pattern. I found it very time consuming to trace the pattern pieces with tracing paper, and then add seam allowances. Maybe thats how they do it in Japan. (Also, after I took this picture, i added a strip of the dark fabric at the bottom to lengthen the dress a bit– it was very short before).

I’ll try to get some better pics of all the stuff ive made recently soon… I feel a little silly having mini “photo shoots,” especially with my crappy iphone camera. On the other hand, I want to document everything because sometimes I forget all the stuff I’ve made.

Today some friends and I are having a go at dyeing fibers. We are using onion skins. I’ve been scouring every grocery store to find dyestuffs, which got me some weird looks from cashiers and other shoppers. To dye, I have some knit cotton/modal and some stripey-eyelety cotton, as well as two skeins of worsted lamb’s pride, which is mostly wool with a little mohair. I hope the yarn turns out, if it does it might turn into a Lonely Tree Shawl! We’ll see how it goes!!!!