YAWD (yet another winterish dress)

I made another dress like this one, right down to also using Liberty Lantana fabric:

Simplicity 2389 w/Heidi Skirt

The name of this particular print is “Haberdashery”, and I fell in love with the weird faux-patchwork:

Simplicity 2389 bodice

(“Haberdashery” is a fairly stupid name to call a Liberty print, because it is nigh-unGoogleable, but here it is at Shaukat iffen you need some. Looks like it comes in a nice bright blue, too.)

And OF COURSE there is piping:
Simplicity 2389 piping of course

And on the pockets:

Simplicity 2389 pocket piping

Here’s the zipper (bonus piping view):
Simplicity 2389 zipper

And the back:
Simplicity 2389 back

I forgot to take a picture, but the neck facing is the same plaid as in the flower print (or near-enough as makes no nevermind). (Because that’s the sort of thing that makes me weirdly happy.)

This variation has a much longer skirt, nearly tea-length, so that it looks better (in my head) with ankle boots. (Does it actually look better? Who knows.) If you want to see how it looks on, I wore it to give this talk.

Stealth Liberty of London?

I feel like this fabric (at Mood) is a Liberty print, but I can’t find verification of it:
give me liberty or give me stealth

I ordered some (because duh, and because I hadn’t spent my fabric allowance for February OR March) and it doesn’t feel like Tana Lawn, but might feel like the Liberty poplin range — I couldn’t tell for sure. There’s also no marking in the selvedge. It’s also available in blue. This one looks Libertyesque, too.

Why isn’t there a Liberty fabric wiki where you can search for prints by name, year, color, type, key words, etc.? If I didn’t have roughly eleventy-hundred projects going on right now, I’d be making it. Everyone could take photos of their stash with rulers for reference and there’d be badges and wishlists and swap lists and Etsy links and … stop me, please. (Or do it yourself! I’ll be an advisor.)

Speaking of projects, followers of this here blog might be interested to read this in the New York Times today.


Been forever since I posted a new dress, huh? I’ve done a teeny bit of sewing since October, but only got around to taking some pictures last weekend, or maybe weekend before last?


This dress is all sorts of mashup. The bodice is McCall’s 6727, only with the neckline taken up an inch or so. And I didn’t do a facing — instead, it’s a mitred bias binding (first time I’ve ever tried this):


The fabric is wool, maybe with a little cotton in it — bought it so long ago I’m not sure. I believe it was an Anna Sui bolt end from Fabric Mart Fabrics. (It gets a little linty, as you can see here.) Pockets got piped in the same binding — it’s a really nice twill binding I bought at Britex.


I could have done a better job matching the plaid, especially along the back center. I kind of just said “eh, I’ll hardly ever see it, whatever”:


The skirt is a heavily modded Simplicity 5238. Honestly, I’ve traced and altered that skirt pattern so many times now that I’m not sure I can call it Simplicity 5238 now. I think I would have to call it “from the school of Simplicity 5238” at best.


This dress is *warm*, and very comfortable, and the longer skirt length is nice with boots.

Lots of things have been keeping me away from blogging, but I did write a little thing here at The Pastry Box you might enjoy.

(Oh and the titles are from here.)

The Bookpile

Do you have a bookpile? I have a bookpile. I assume everyone has a bookpile, unless they have been cursed by an evil wizard and are unable to read again until they finish some impossible task, like spinning straw into gold. (Aside: do you all know the word tsundoku, which in Japanese — supposedly — means buying books and not reading them, or letting them pile up unread?)

ANYWAY. I’ve been sent a lot of books, and haven’t had a lot of time. So I’m going to do a whirlwind tour of the bookpile! Hold on to your hats!

First up: BurdaStyle Modern Sewing – Wardrobe Essentials

burdastyle wardrobe essentials cover

There are only two dresses in this book, and there are really only dresses in my wardrobe, so the whole “wardrobe essentials” bit here isn’t very compelling for me, but one of the dresses is the Burda cap-sleeve number that I’ve been wanting to make for ages, so that’s a plus.

If you’ve every wanted to sew Burda patterns but were worried about the paucity of instructions, this book is for you. Just about every step is illustrated, and clearly, too. This looks like a great book for intermediate sewists or people who want to stretch a little bit … the patterns aren’t ‘easy’ but the illustrations mean you won’t go too far wrong.

Who knows when I’ll make that dress, but I’ll probably keep this book around!

 Stitch, Wear, Play is subtitled “20 charming patterns for boys & girls” and, well, it does what it says on the cover. If I were a hip and doting grandmother I would be making all these adorable tiny things in those really expensive Japanese cottons (but I’d only need a yard, so …). If you have suddenly acquired up to four winsome tykes and a rambling charming house and tons of free time (not sure how that goes with the tykes, but  ¯_(ツ)_/¯) this is definitely the book for you! If you don’t have (or have and don’t sew for) kids this is totally worth picking up and flipping through for some nice design ideas, especially about yokes.


Gertie Sews Vintage Casual is also a little light on the dresses (although there are several) but they’re really CUTE dresses. There’s also a whole section on patternmaking that I found easy to follow, with exactly the kind of changes I like to make: adding pockets, changing lengths, adding gathers or darts or pleats, and waistband changes.

I’ll be coming back to this book eventually, because there are some nice patterns for knits, too.

Another great thing about this book—models in a variety of sizes!

BiblioCraft is super-nerdy, and I love it. Not sure if I will make any of the projects, but the conceit is fantastic — basically there is TONS of craft inspiration in any library, and these projects are not just how-tos for the project, but how-tos for how to research for more projects!




If you like math and/or quilting, you will like Quilt Lab.







Vintage Swimwear would be a fantastic book for costume designers, and is pretty fabulous eye-candy for everyone else. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to wear the top part of an 1880s “swimming costume” as a regular old day dress …) I don’t swim often enough to want to put the effort in to making my own bathing suits, but I will probably hold on to this, just in case. (I also learned that men’s trunks were fastened with side-ties as late as the 1950s, which seems … unreliable.)



Learn to Sew with Lauren is a beginner book, and I think that it is hard for someone who has been sewing a while to really judge the quality of instructions in beginners’ books, because we don’t remember what it’s like to have no context. That said, this one looked especially easy to me, but not so easy that the projects were boring or unrewarding. The capstone dress project is something you could imagine seeing on ModCloth, for instance, and the skirt has pockets.

Also, the patterns are full-size — no photocopying or tracing up needed.
Makery is worth it just for the measuring tape brooch (page 38).



I’m sure there are other books lurking in the bookpile … they’ll have to be dormant a little longer.