Does anybody notice a problem here?

Project: Summer Dress
Pattern: Simplicity 2371
Size: 12 altered
Fabric: Rayon challis from Hancock Fabrics this season


I hate it when this kind of thing happens! There’s fully an inch of bra bridge showing at the lower end of the neck opening. Yuck. Why I didn’t notice that on the tissue fit, I’m not sure.

Of course I’ve *got* some plunge bras that will work, but they aren’t everyday bras and this is an everyday dress.

Not to mention that the dress isn’t fitted for those.

Fortunately (or not) I like the dress enough to try and fix it.  I may put a little dickey in that space, or I may do some hand embroidery to close the gap.

The little dickey would be faster.

Finished is better than perfect.


Another challis project

Project: Summer Dress
Pattern: Simplicity 2371
Size: 12 altered
Fabric: Rayon challis from Hancock Fabrics this season

Line drawing

In the interest of using the *other* length of rayon challis that my trip to Hancock Fabrics yielded, I decided to break out another of my untried dress patterns, Simplicity 2371. This one has that loose breezy vibe the so appeals to me in a caftan, but it has a more fitted neckline and shoulders. Perhaps I won’t look so much like a sack of potatoes–particularly if I don’t add the belt.

This should be a cool dress for summer, which I *thought* had already arrived.  Recent nighttime temperatures, having returned to the 40s, tend to make me think otherwise…  No matter.  I’ll have a dress to wear when the occasion arises be it April or July.

The reviews for this pattern are somewhat mixed and tend to be negative for one reason or another.  I figure it’s a plain loose-ish dress for no special occasion–how bad could it be?

My fabric is a pretty color–a violet mock-batik, which teased me by presenting two nice sides.  I picked one, then changed my mind after cutting.

Rayon Challis

Despite its pretty color, it’s printed off grain so any attempt at pattern-matching will be a hair-pulling experience.  The print can match, or it can hang off grain.  Which would you choose?

I’m going for hanging on-grain.  Print matching in this shifty rayon would be troublesome even without the off-grain print.  I’ll just learn to live with the Picasso-effect along the seams.

Or not.

I’ve been know to can a project before it ever sees the inside of my closet!


Printed off grain

I did place the hemlines at the same level in hopes of some sort of symmetry.


Keeping this house ready to show is a full-time job.  Just about the time I get the machines threaded, I have to put everything away for a showing.  (I’m thankful–don’t get me wrong!)  Hopefully I’ll finish this dress before I have to neaten things again!

Hit and run…

Project: Anorak vest
Pattern: Simplicity 2153, View F
Size: 12, altered
Fabric: Water resistant mystery fabric from stash

James 1:2-3 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

I’m a really joyous girl these days and reaping perseverance by leaps and bounds!

The house is on the market and cleaner than it has been in years.  I had gall bladder surgery last Wednesday, and the knee surgeon wants me to have a knee replacement ASAP. He does not, repeat, DOES NOT want me to wait until we move.


I’ve been sewing.

Funny how leaving a project to rest in it’s box for weeks makes you forget what you had planned to do.  Funny how you somehow end up with the wrong collar on it when you’re done.


Funny how you like the thing anyway!


May the vest sewing commence

Project: Anorak vest
Pattern: Simplicity 2153, View F
Size: 12, altered
Fabric: Mystery fabric from stash


The supplies have all been gathered. The fabric has been cut.   The machines are threaded.  The new vest will look something like this:

I seem to remember that the fabric came from a clearance sale at The Sewing Studio last winter. I cannot recall any details, but I think I planned to make some sort of anti-rain garment from it.  I can’t imagine what I was hoping to sew with a yard and a half of the stuff.

Water resistant

I can’t imagine what circumstances might benefit from a water resistant vest, but you never know!  If a need arises, I’ll stay nice and dry.  ;-)

After reading through the reviews at, I decided to upscale my vest a bit by adding metal eyelets.  The stash turned up some nice 1/4″ antique brass ones complete with an applicator and instructions!

Love that.

Practice rivet

The pockets look really cute so far.  They are very similar to the pockets on my Ottobre Ms Marple coat. When I sew them on, they’ll gather along the top just like the Ottobre pockets.  I want some sort of tips to go on the ends of the drawstrings–I’m sure there’s something in the bead stash that will work.


So far so good!

First project for 2012!!

Project: Winter Coat
Pattern: Simplicity 2311, View A
Size: 12, altered
Fabric: Double-faced wool from Gail K’s last year

One week later than anticipated, but it’s done at last! I’ve no real excuse other than I’ve generally been feeling yucky and the weather has offered no encouragement to finish a heavy coat. Of course there’s no way I’m wearing it in the balmy 72 degree weather we’re having today

not even to model.


The long range forecast is showing some cold weather around Valentine’s day, so I might get to wear it before next winter. The first time I wear it there will be photos.

I promise.

Here it is on Brunhilde. You might notice some pins–the collar is in training to lay flatter.

Finished Front

As I expected, the pattern (mis-)matching doesn’t offend me in the least. The way the patterns arranged themselves on the finished coat might have been a problem in another fabric, but not in these shades of gray.

Finished back

Here’s that polyester satin lining. It’s sort of hammered looking–JoAnn’s had a name for it, but I can’t recall it just now. I really like the unobtrusive way it turned out. Matching the lining to the fabric was the way to go with a project like this.


I did have one lining snafu. There being no separate lining pieces for the pattern, I simply shortened the lining by the length of the coat’s hem. Due to my slovenly marking habits, I forgot to mark the large dot at the bottom of the side front lining before I removed it from the cutting table. When it came time to sew it to the facing, I positioned the pattern wrong and marked the dot too high.

I thought there was an awful lot of facing to ease in…

When the coat was nearly done and the facing would not hang level along the hem, I realized my mistake. I ripped that seam loose and sewed the lining to the facing by hand.

I’ll mark it properly next time (sure I will…)

All’s well that ends well, of course, and it only cost me some time.

For the backs of the bound buttonholes, I made windowpanes on the facing and stitched them together. I’m sure you’ve seen the method. It works very well as long as you mark carefully.

Buttonhole, back side

I’m very happy with the coat and even happier to be done with the coat! I knew it would be a long project, but I’m never really prepared for the weeks that it takes me to finish a multi-step garment like this.

Now that I’m done, it was worth all the time it took. I’ve needed this coat for a long time and I expect to wear it for many years!