Oh hey look a new pattern!

I made a dress that *wasn’t* the Simplicity 2389/Heidi mashup, finally:

The bodice is the same one as here () and the skirt is (I think) from an old McCall’s pattern that I traced off ages ago to make the pockets bigger, then lost in a clutter of random pieces and finally unearthed two months ago.

The fabric is from , and I sewed it up in about a week, which is surprising because usually when I buy fabric at Britex it’s so eye-wateringly expensive that it takes me ages to get the nerve to cut into it and sew it up. But this was a very inexpensive (and fuzzy!) marled cotton flannel … it’s incredibly cozy. (They don’t have it on the website that I could find, or I’d link to it.) It’s also pretty stretchy.

I lined the pockets with some Liberty print and also backed the lining with organza to try to take some of the weight (it’s heavy fabric), which wasn’t entirely successful but oh well  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

The neck is finished with self-binding—because the fabric is so stretchy I had to go and look up how to do stretch neck binding again … it’s also slightly lumpy where the ends meet:

Of *course* I piped those pockets:

And here’s the side zipper … I found out that they make heavyweight invisible zippers, did you know that? They’re sometimes called #4 invisible zippers. (That’s what I went to Britex to buy in the first place, I think.)

This dress is so incredibly comfortable … it’s very warm, for cotton, and when I wore it in rainy Vancouver it shed water like a duck (if ducks were made of gray flannel). The piping at the sleeve edges and the neck make it a little lumpy to wear under a cardigan, but it’s not “shouldn’t you get those growths on your biceps looked at” lumpy. I wear it with knee socks and roper boots (but then I wear EVERYTHING with knee socks and these days, so …)

I’ve also made this in a heavy black cotton faille, which, if I ever need to play an ominous widow in an amateur theatrical production of … just about anything that includes an ominous widow, will be just the ticket. I’ll try to post about that one soon.

(Also, I updated the last post to congratulate the winner of the Gertie giveaway!)

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Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book (and fabric!) giveaway

has a new book! It’s called and it’s pretty wow.

cover of Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book

I really liked that this book is self-contained: I think you could basically hand this book to someone who knows little or nothing about sewing and they should be to get through it fairly well. And it has good instructions for my most-used alteration (expanding the waist, sigh)!

The dresses are really, really, really cute—mostly in that new-retro style that Gertie rocks so well. If you have ever watched a dumb 1950s movie allllll the way through just to see the clothes, this is a book for you. The dresses lean a bit towards the “party dress!” vibe, but there are definitely ways to tone them down a bit for work or just a random Saturday.

My favorite dress is probably the “Plaid Secretary”:

plaid secretary dress

Gertie gives tons of instruction on how to prepare, cut, and match plaids, so if you’ve never sewn with plaid before, this would be a good way to start!

Here’s another view of that collar:

And thanks to Gertie’s publisher, I have a copy (and some fabric from !) to give away!

If you don’t win the Gertie fabric, FabricMart has some very Gertiesque fabrics right now that would be perfect for some of the dresses in this book … check out this , this print, and these pique !

I was trying to think of some heroic task you’d have to do to qualify to win but even trying to think of a task made me tired, so just … leave a comment? (Make sure your comment profile has a linked email address so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner!)

I’ve turned off comments because we have a lucky winner! Thanks for entering, Yael, I’ll be sending you an email about how to get your winnings!

(If you’re looking for a review of , you can find it here.)

Gertie’s book is on a blog tour—you can find the other stops here:

March 8
March 9
March 14
March 18

 

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It’s Not Easy Being Cool

I bought some TOTALLY RADICAL patches when I was in Vancouver:

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I have honestly no idea what I will do with these (I briefly considered sewing the second patch on to something of my son’s as an EPIC TROLL) but they have given me far more than fifty cents (CANADIAN!) of giggles so there’s that.

And no, I have not been invited to any 80s-themed parties (well, not since the 1980s when every party was 80s-themed by default) and I’d rather not sully my Levi’s trucker jacket with these. Other ideas?

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