Striped Parisian Dress (Sewaholic Renfrew)

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Well, I’ll just start by saying that I really love this fabric, and the top half of the dress came out as I had planned. The bottom half, however, proved to be a bit of a headache! Chalk it up to poor decisions on my part. More on that in a bit…

For this creation, I took the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern and extended it to make a dress. Pretty straightforward. The fabric is a favorite purchase from when I was in Paris in October 2013, and it’s just occurred to me that I bought it exactly two years ago today!

And then I made this dress about a year ago today.

And then I finally wore it out of my apartment a couple of weeks ago. For this photo shoot. The only time I’ve ever worn it. Oy.
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A Sparkly Bonnie Sweater from Bluegingerdoll

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A little shout out to Australia today with my new Bonnie sweater from Bluegingerdoll! It wasn’t until I made this that I realized there are quite a few Aussie patternmakers, aren’t there? Quite an impressive tally, and then there’s the New Zealand ladies too! That corner of the world is up to some great things in the sewing world, great things indeed. Here’s my first piece designed in Australia, and made in New York City. 🙂

Before I start, if you only read one thing in this post then read this: this pattern has 1/4″ seam allowances. Make sure you remember that before sewing pieces together! I know most of us are used to 5/8″ seams.

Okay, so…

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Butterick 5546, My Monet Wrap Dress

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Ever since I bought this fabric last spring I’ve been dreaming of sewing it into a wrap dress (as with every knit I buy – at least they don’t ALL turn into wraps!). It’s predominantly purple, but when you look closer there are a number of colors at play. Reminds me of a Monet painting.

The fabric itself is a rayon jersey, and it’s wonderfully soft. Almost feels like a lightweight sweater. Although I bought three yards of it ($5/yard at Metro Textiles in the Garment District), I only used about 2 1/2 yards. Perhaps even less. I went with a new-to-me pattern that I thrifted this summer: Butterick 5546, a “See & Sew” pattern. Well, last Sunday, I see’d it and I sew’d it in a matter of hours. Well, kind of. I’ll explain.

(By the way, yet another post with a crooked picture frame. I swear it’s not that way in real life! Sheesh.)

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A Wiggle Dress, or Joan Holloway for the Day

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When it comes to music, my heart belongs to the ’60s. Long before Mad Men came on the scene, I had spent my teen years singing along to the Beatles and other British Invasion bands, Motown groups, and whatever else the oldies radio station would throw at me. I also thought Paul McCartney was just the cutest thing ever (was I even aware, watching A Hard Day’s Night, that he hadn’t been that age in 30+ years?). So in honor of my beloved decade in music, I thought it was high time I made myself a ’60s-inspired wiggle dress.

The pattern I chose is from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, and boy did those gussets give me a hard time! They pretty much landed this dress in UFO territory (that’s “unfinished object” to my non-sewing friends). I even posted it as my UFO photo for Bimble and Pimble‘s #bpsewvember challenge on Instagram. It was folded up and stored away. I felt free.

But, you know what? Between wanting my very own Joan Holloway dress and receiving encouraging comments to finish it from my Instagram buddies, I decided to give it another go. This dress had its challenges, but it’s done, I learned some new techniques, and I can add it to my FESA tally. Win-win-win!

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FESA: Butterick 5455 Pencil Skirt in Plaid Wool Bouclé

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Here’s the follow-up to my outfit post from last week where I’ll be focusing on the pencil skirt I made to go with my new Marion cardigan (update: the wool is a bit scratchy where it directly hits my skin, which was always one of my hesitations with knitting, but it’s not too bad and I ain’t stopping now!).

Anyway, this is the skirt portion of Butterick 5455, another FESA creation and a dress pattern that I scored for a song at a thrift store this past summer. What a glorious feeling! I’d like to try the whole pattern one of these days.

I had to bring in the waist a bit, but I’d leave it as is if I made the dress. Actually, I took the waist in just a pinch too much and really had to pull at the fabric in the hopes it would stretch to fit me more comfortably (saying “please, streeeeeeetch” while you’re doing that helps). Thankfully, it worked. Just remember you learned that “industry” tip here first. 😉

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