clothes design

vintage dress remake

Posted in clothes design, this lovely summer dress challenge | 4 comments


How is your lovely summer dress challenge sewing going?


Here is my latest summer dress, although a legal entrant of the contest, this girl is not!


This girl was inspired by a lovely photo found on Pinterest. It’s originally from Atlantic-Pacific.

I loved how she put a long cardigan with a belt over top. My belt is vintage goodness from my Great Aunt on my Dad’s side. I don’t remember much about her at all. But there is something beautiful about wearing a Great Aunt’s belt. It brings our two worlds and two different times together somehow.


I designed the dress myself, using as a guide, a bright pink dress hanging in my closet that fits absolutely perfectly. But it is bright pink. Very bright. Which doesn’t work for a quiet, please-don’t-notice-me kind of girl. I also used a few pattern pieces from Amy Butler’s Lotus Dress pattern to help get the bodice shape. Resemblance to the Lotus Dress cannot be seen because the pieces were changed beyond recognition. But it still helped to begin with a regular pattern fashioned by someone who really knows what they are doing. Then I just added the longish ruffled skirt where it seemed best. Next time I will try a pleated skirt.

It’s even lined with a zipper closure. Truth be told…I still have not finished basting the lining at the zipper, and an old curtain was used for the lining.  Sometimes I think I do such improv-ish feats because I’m too lazy to go to the store for the getting of  ‘proper’ fabric. Or maybe it’s because this girl does most of her creative goodness on a whim at night when the stores are closed and she won’t stop for nothin’! Or maybe I just like being creative with what I have on hand.


This vintage fabric is from my lovely friend Monica. I am finding that the more I sew and quilt and create and decorate my home, the more I appreciate vintage fabrics. The designs and colors are nothing like what is available on the market today. These olde fabrics, like my olde worn belt, join me with other women of other times who also had a passion to bring beauty into their simple little homey world. We are not all that different, really.


And I finally found a pair of cowboy boots at a thrift store down in Capitola. $10. I was on a morning jog and they were just sitting out front. I had to stop and try them on, of course! My kind of shopping.

The contest comes to a close at the end of August, so get those dresses posted! They should pop up on the side of this blog shortly after posting them on this lovely summer dress challenge flickr group. You can see some of the prizes here. Happy summer sewing, friends!

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a giveaway has come to a happy end

Posted in clothes design | 0 comments



Thanks to the kindly Lindsay and Charlie of Hawthorne Threads,

this giveaway has come to a quite delightful end

for Sabinamoolla – who said

“Great giveaway, I’ve not tackled a dress before so the DVD would be perfect!”


Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers: 10

Timestamp: 2011-06-02 00:23:51 UTC


Your Soho pattern will be soon on its way to your homey home

for you to create a summer dress so lovely!

Did you check out all the fabrics our lovely summer dress challenge sewists are eyeing?

I would say there were a few especially popular fabric lines,

with the most frequently mentioned being the Anna Maria Horner Loulouthi line:



And I am quite tempted by the Just Dandy Tonal Foral in Blue Jay by Josephine Kimberling for Robert Kaufman:


I whipped up two more dresses in the last few weeks. This girl will soon share them.

How is your lovely summer dress challenge sewing going?


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a dress was made

Posted in clothes design, this lovely summer dress challenge, Vintage Sheet Goodness | 1 comment



This girl made a dress

from sheets

quite on a whim one night.



This girl wanted a dress and wanted it now.

All stores were closed.

Online, although fast, wasn’t fast enough,

for instant gratification, this girl wanted.

Spying her pile of thrifty finds sitting prettily in a corner,

a lovely dress-worthy sheet was found.

Rummaging through her old trunk of more thrifty finds

an old muslin curtain was torn up for lining.

Then to the closet to find a favorite long shirt for design inspiration…

Oh, this all sounds so lovely,

but I’m not too sure my family would concur,

for they reside ‘on the other side’ of this bloggy blog,

and the fabricy mess strewn upon the floor of the room, they see!

Being late at night when this flurry began

all my lovelies head to their cozy beds,

drifting off to the sound of their momma gone sew-crazy.

When morning comes…

they find threads and scrappy what-knots

sprinkled throughout their breakfast-eating place.

Such things not being a rare happening in their world,

they take their bowls to their laps upon a chair,

while their silly momma finishes up

her lovely summer dress.

Here’s my rather awesome surfer turned camera guy for the day:

How is your ‘this lovely summer dress challenge’ project going? Did you choose a pattern and fabric yet? In my next post, I hope to talk about some of the great fabrics you all are sharing with us in your comments. I can’t wait to see what you all make! P.S. I am entering my dress in the pool, but really I am disqualified being the host and all. P.P.S. Notice the flickr widget married man put on the side of this girl’s blog? It shows the most recent entry to ‘this lovely summer dress challenge’. Who’s dress will be next???





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a giveaway from hawthorne threads

Posted in clothes design, this lovely summer dress challenge | 100 comments

Are you ready to begin THIS LOVELY SUMMER DRESS CHALLENGE? Never mind that the winds are gusting, the rain is falling, hot coco and sweaters are keeping me cozy, I’m ready for some warm-weather-is-coming sewing! To get the ball rolling, the lovely Lindsay and her husband Charlie from Hawthorne Threads have offered a giveaway!

This Boho dress pattern by Pat Bravo:


Here is Lindsay wearing her recently made, delightful Boho dress using the dvd pattern:

You can check out her post about it here:

There are three ways you can be entered in this girl’s giveaway. 1. Leave a comment here. 2. Visit Hawthorne Threads and leave a comment back here telling us which of their fabrics you think would be fabulous for making a summer dress. We could all use the inspiration and ideas! 3. Post my ‘this summer dress challenge’ button on your bloggy blog somewhere, leaving another comment telling so.  On the evening of May 31st, I will announce the winner. Since I’m a little old fashioned, and like involving my boys in all things fun, instead of the typical hi-tech number counter thingy this girl will write out all the numbers on tiny pieces of paper, toss them in the air, then have a blindfolded boy and his bunny choose one lucky winner. (And be sure to include your website URL)

Here is the ever so lovely button – thanks to my littlest boy who loves his bunny:
And the html goodness to make it work – thanks to married man who loves this girl bunches:
<a href="">
<img src="" alt="" /></a>

(hint: copy the code from the grey box and paste it into your page as HTML)

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My Friend Sally

Posted in clothes design, this lovely summer dress challenge | 1 comment

Remember my friend Sally?
She came home with this girl quite a few seasons ago now,
but alas,
completely ignored
and rather neglected
she has sadly been.
Until now.
For this girl got a hankerin’ for a dreamy dress
to wear this Easter Sunday,
which is rather a silly thing to hanker for
considering Easter Sundays
are known to be quite chilly in this corner of the world.
Infact, only one or two Easters
out of these 29 years we have been abiding
in our beach town so lovely,
can I remember being warm enough to dawn a springy dress to church,
but designing a dress
I determined was a must
for this girl.
A dressy dress
made from a sheet of course
that can be worn with jeans
and a sweater
and a wool jacket
and boots.
Although some would say that doesn’t really work,
and perhaps some did,
this girl was pleasantly pleased,
my dear one via a phone picture loved it,
which is my favorite compliment, indeed,
and married man didn’t take a hit to the wallety wallet.
Being my dear one’s first Easter away,
making a little something for her was a must!
Sending it sneakily in the mail
to her home far away,
made this slightly sad momma
feel much, much better, indeed.
This girl is always amazed
at how thinking of and loving others
brings joy to ones heart
when it might be a wee bit weepy.
And back to my friend Sally…
she was surprisingly a help.
For although her waist is designed for women of the 50′s,
who it seems had itsy-bitsy waists,
I found laying the pieces over her shoulders and
around her neck
to be much more useful
than my flat,
kitchen table.
So this girl
with her friend Sally,
will soon embark upon


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A Lovely Summer Dress Challenge

Posted in clothes design, this lovely summer dress challenge | 8 comments

Last year I participated in the Spring Top Week over at Made by Rae.



I made these little lovelies:





Again this great little competition has begun. Check it out and join in on the fun if you can!

* * * * *

Oh, bother. This girl has two little problemy problems with entering this lovely grand yearly contest. Problem one – As can be seen from the above photos, this girl just doesn’t really wear ‘tops’, but rather dresses that one wears with jeans or leggings. And problem two – school is not out so this girl is still busy homeschooling two home-remaining totally awesome students and teaching a few classes for other homeschoolers at CFT.

So what is one to do when one cannot join in on a creative party filled with fun and fabulous sewists? This girl decided she must try a party of her own. A dress party! A summer dress party! A celebration of creative fashion goodness!

So get those creative juices flowing! Dream. Make a pencil sketch, or begin the hunt for that perfectly dreamy dress pattern, then embark upon the search for the perfectly ‘you’ fabric. Then sew away, my friend! If you are anything like this girl, it all takes time, but no worries. We will have till August 31. But if you have bunches of free time on your hands, head on over to Made by Rae and join her fun contest, then come on back this way, to make a lovely summer dress.

Dresses may be entered any time between now and August 31. I will have a few of my very fashionable friends be our friendly judges. And there will be prizes of course!

Here are some simple guidelines:

1 – Put a picture of your newly made creation on the Lovely Summer Dress Challenge flickr group, with the link to your specific blog post where you tell your lovely dress-story.

2 – Link back to my blog in your own post. If your heart so desires, grab my Lovely Summer Dress Challenge button and add it to your blog page.

3 – Spend a goodly amount of time strolling through our flickr group. Get inspiration. Meet new friends. And leave happy little comments. We all love words of praise and encouragement.

If you would like to contribute prizes to this grand soiree, please email moi at [email protected]

Happy sewing, friends!
* * * * *
Here’s the ever so lovely button thanks to youngest boy:
and the html stuff to make it work – thanks to married man.
<a href="">
<img src="" alt="" /></a>

(hint: copy the code from the grey box and paste it into your page as HTML)

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