Sundress Prototype

It is not often that I pull out my sewing machine and try to design clothing for myself, so last week was very, well… interesting. With the hot summer weather approaching I have visions of sweet sundresses and strappy sandals. I imagine an entire wardrobe made by me, for me in gorgeous colors and airy fabrics. I started searching for inspiration on the internet and found bucket loads of ideas. Then I went stash diving – not the knitters stash dive into wool and alpaca, but the seamstress’s stash dive into cotton lawn and organza. This is what I came up with –

Being without a pattern, I remembered the wisdom of my grandma, and I got out some plain muslin to make a first draft. I somehow managed to fashion a dress and then (regrettably before taking a photo) I cut it into pattern pieces. With those pieces, I made this-

Okay, okay, I will model it for you…

(Why is it that when I model my knitting, I feel awesome, but when I model my sewing, I just feel like a dweeb?)

So, this little green number still has some areas that need work. It is too short and the skirt is too full for my figure (a feature that looked nice in muslin, but not so nice in lined cotton). I like it, though – it is comfortable and cute and nice and cool.

This dress is fully lined, because I love lining dresses (call me crazy), and because the fabric is a little shear, and if I have to wear a slip with it, it will hang in my closet for two years before getting thrown in the Goodwill bag having never been worn!

I have also completed a second dress, this time with an a-line skirt and gathered bodice –

But it doesn’t fit right and I think I am going to have to take it apart and try again. That is a little discouraging, so I have been stalling for a couple of days.

All this sewing is exhausting and I remember now why I turned to knitting. But, it is rewarding, too, and I am getting better at it as I go. Maybe before the heat gets here, I will have that wardrobe that I am dreaming of.

Or maybe I will just knit another pair of socks….

Something Inspirational

Inspiration is everywhere. Here are a few things that have inspired me recently (the following photos are not mine, but are taken from their respective websites).

A Wee Mouse in a Tin House

Pocket Bear

Blossom Mama and Her Baby (and really all of the toys at This Cosy Life)

Miffy and her Balloon (I think this is my favorite)

I guess I am in a toy making mood today!

She Sews, Too!

My sewing machine has been seeing more of me since I found the Prudent Baby website. I was especially inspired by the snappy toddler dress pattern and I went a little crazy sewing up a bunch of variations on the idea.


Cute, huh? Here’s a modeled shot.


I’ve got several sizes made, and they are each one different. I think I might try to sell them on Etsy to pay for the snap press that I bought to make them… (a tool which I totally love, by the way)

A Cute Miscalculation

Remember my little sewing extravaganza in which I churned out a bunch of boxy bags?

Well, I want to make some matching notions pouches for them.

Here is my first try.

Apparently, I shouldn’t have gone so small.

Here it is compared to the size the pattern makes.

I did much better when I sized them up. But, I have lots more zippers. So I guess I can try again.

And, the kids love it. Everyone is begging for their own.

Too bad – I am busy knitting socks…. (maybe next week)

The Sewing Corner

With the addition of the piano this weekend, my sewing “room” became my sewing “corner”. It is a little more compact, and the stash got sorted and rearranged. Here it is – my corner of the house:

As you can see, it is more of a knitting corner, but the sewing machine sitting there draped in my unfinished quilt top reminds me that I can sew, too. When I need to wind some yarn, I push the machine back, bring the swift forward and wind away.

And, of course, there is stash here:

and stash there:

and more on the shelves under and over the knitting library:

and in baskets on every surface:

So there it is. Bursting with inspiration and potential and all kinds of creativity.

And, now I get to listen to live piano while I splash around in all that wool. Does it get any better than this?