Paisley, Why Not?

So here’s a dress I made a while back but haven’t posted yet.

giant paisley frankendress front

The bodice is from 1577, again. The skirt is the skirt from W3, so essentially, it’s the same dress as this one. But different. The fabric is from Mood; it was a bit on the pricey side, but then again I think their fabric is usually a bit on the pricey side …

giant paisley frankendress bodice


Here you can see the black bias tape I used to finish the sleeves (also the neck):

giant paisley frankendress side zip


And here’s the back:

giant paisley frankendress back

It’s a remarkably comfortable dress … I have been wearing it quite a bit.

Oh, also, while I’m thinking about it — I recently updated this blog to a new version of WordPress and a few folks are having trouble getting to the most recent posts. I’m hoping this post gives WordPress a kick and wakes it up …


Would you like to see a new dress?

I hope so, because I have one:

folklore dress

This is the bodice from my old friend Simplicity 1577, sans collar — I finally traced the darn thing off and even added an inch to the length. I don’t know why, but I seem to have more length from my shoulder-to-waist than previously. (Is that even possible? I thought I was supposed to be shrinking with age.) The skirt is from that “W3” pattern from a million years ago.

Here’s the back:

folklore dress back

Here’s the sleeve binding (the hem facing is the same color):

folklore dress sleeve binding

And the zipper, which is 1) terrible and 2) on the wrong side! I was pretty sick with the flu over Thanksgiving but couldn’t face the thought of a four-day weekend with no sewing in it … but people, I have to tell you: do NOT operate sewing patterns while under the influence of cold medicine.

folklore dress bad zipper

Luckily it doesn’t affect the wearability of the dress, I just have had one or two bad moments where I couldn’t figure out why something was off. Perhaps I’ll switch up my zipper sides from now on, just to give myself a little cognitive agility? (Probably not.)

This fabric was from Superbuzzy — I bought it last spring, right as it got a little too warm for a deep teal dress. But now the weather is perfect, and it also has a little bit of a Christmassy feel, I think.

Sorry for the blog hiatus — I still need to move this blog to a new host, as it’s starting to get so large that my current host is groaning. But I should be able to squeeze a post or two in while I’m packing the boxes!

The Hundred Dresses: Day 16

Here’s another version of the W3 dress:

polka-dot W3 dress

It is surprisingly hard to tell the back from the front with this dress pattern (and this print!) but here is what I am pretty sure is the back:
polka-dot W3 dress

I made this dress in an extreme hurry because I had gotten it into my head that I needed a slightly vintagey, yet cool and comfortable dress to go out dancing in one Saturday night. I got this idea about  4 pm, and the dancing started around 9. So it was a bit of a rush job, as you can see by the not-quite-matching of the print at the waist, here:
polka-dot W3 dress

That shoulder pleat, though, I’m still really liking it:
polka dot W3 dress shoulder detail

Side zip? B+ this time.
polkadot W3 side zip

Oh, and a sneak preview of a dress (or two) that’s coming next week, as it was hanging in my hotel room waiting to be hemmed:

sneak peek!

The Hundred Dresses: Day 9

First off, thanks so much to DailyCandy for featuring The Hundred Dresses in their book report yesterday! (I was especially gratified to see that they excerpted some of the lines that I particularly liked myself, that’s a good sign …)

Here’s another W3 dress:

I think I bought this shirting-weight fabric in LA a few years back. The stripes are a grape-jelly purple, which is a color I don’t wear very often, but I really loved the contrast of the wild abstract circles and the shirting cotton.

Here’s a view of the side zip. I’m not sure why I always take a picture of the side zip. If I’ve done it well, there’s literally nothing to see, and if I’ve done it badly, it’s, well, bad. Should I keep showing them? Let me know.


I thought this picture would give a better view of the skirt construction, but with the stripes and circles I’m not sure if you can really see the pleats/gathering arrangement:


One of the things I love about this skirt pattern is that it is straight, not curved, at the bottom, so you can do a very very deep hem to weight down lightweight fabrics like this one. (I know you can do a deep hem with a curved hem, too, theoretically, but in practice it’s always such a PITA — the easing! — that I hardly ever bother. This hem is probably four inches deep, so eight inches of total fabric. It hangs pretty nicely. Here’s the back view:


And another close-up of that shoulder pleat. It is a nice detail, isn’t it?


And today is the official publication date of The Hundred Dresses in the US! Available wherever fine books are sold:

The Hundred Dresses


PS to my wonderful beta readers — your copies will be in the mail tomorrow!

The Hundred Dresses: Day 8

This is a new dress — I’ve never posted one from this pattern before, I don’t think.


It’s from this pattern, which as far as I can tell is Australian. (Also, I am amazed by the namespacing of this pattern line: one letter of the alphabet, and one number? That is some concision right there.) Also, it’s labeled “Woman” just in case you needed a hint, or to enforce strict gender performance, not sure which.


This is a fantastic Saturday dress, by which I mean you can get up at a reasonable (not ungodly) hour on a Saturday morning, sew this thing up, and wear it out for a late brunch. (Not that I’ve done that more than say, twice, so far. Stay tuned.) It’s ridiculously simple. And I love this little shoulder detail, which I’ve never seen before, and which sold me on the pattern:

Such a nice way to do bust fullness. Also, it’s very comfortable.

Another thing I like about this pattern is the skirt: two side pleats, then gathers to the side seam, but the center front is flat. This is great for ease of wear without too much bulk. Here’s my (mostly) matched plaids at the waist.


And the side zipper:



And the back. You can tell this was a lick-and-a-prayer ironing job, can’t you?


I wore this yesterday, with turquoise Keds that matched this blue, and a bright orange sweater (okay, and blue glasses and an orange watch, for maximum matchy-matchyness). For some reason, this getup gets LOTS of comments (Even more when I wear it while riding my orange bike). Mostly they were of the “that’s from the fifties/sixties, right?” type comments, but I was also asked (twice!) if I were in town for the Early Childhood Development conference (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and also “Those are some good colors!” which was followed up by a “you lookin’ good, baby!” (Usually being told “you lookin’ good, baby” makes me want to pull out my nail-studded Louisville Slugger from the Bag of Holding, but this guy was so nattily dressed himself, and had such a distinct Grandpa Aura that I just said “thank you, sir,” and went on my merry way.)

The only thing that bugs me about this dress is the neck facing — I’ve tried a real facing and I’ve tried bias tape facing and I’m not happy with either. I think I will have to experiment a bit more. Suggestions?