“Not a” Cambie Dress

I loved this purple quilting cotton from Hancock’s.  I think purple is my favorite color.  Anyway, I saw the Cambie dress when Tasia released it and I had hearts in my eyes.  I was this close to purchasing.  Then I heard the little voice in my head.  “Try drafting it first”  That little voice in my head can be annoying, but it was right.  I didn’t look forward to the possibility of an FBA on an untested pattern and I am not a pear shape, so, voice, many thank yous.

I didn’t quite get the fit right.  I sewed this up last year so it was the very very first pattern I tried to draft on my own using my trusty sloper (that still had fit issues).  The waistband doesn’t sit in the right place, the HBL is off  and the neckline needs to be lowered slightly.  These are some of the major issues I have with it.  Is it comfortable, yes.  Is it flattering, maybe. I really like wearing it despite my issues with it.  I love the sweetheart neckline, the gathers and the pleated skirt (not included in the real Cambie version).  I want pleats on every skirt!

not a cambie purple f
Ooo I have pockets.

I need more practice with centered zippers, and lapped zippers.
notacambiefront windy
This is a fun picture. The wind was blowing my skirt up.

I’m enjoying drafting my own patterns.  It forces me to try to learn something new.


Flowery Linen Dress

There isn’t much to say about this dress.  It’s comfortable and practical.  I used my bodice sloper and made a small v neck. I converted my darted sloper in to princess seams that start at the shoulder.  I hoped this might be more flattering and I actually think it is.  I’ll have to use it again to make sure.

I should have made it a little lower and wider, next time.  I used the sleeves from a simplicity pattern. I don’t even remember which one.  They don’t fit quite right.  The skirt ended up being a half circle skirt, maybe more.  I slashed and spread my skirt pattern to get the fullest skirt I could from the fabric after I had washed it.

The dress is fully lined, and really heavy. It is a linen I got at Joann’s not too long ago. It doesn’t wrinkle as much as I expected, which is nice.  I think I might give my summery bow back dress a small rest and wear this more often.


Hmm, It arches up at the back hem. Must investigate.

Heart Dress vol 2

I am very proud of this dress.   My puff sleeve, heart bodice, bow back dress.  That’s a mouthful.  I’ll work on giving these self drafted dresses more interesting and hopefully shorter names.  It is a self drafted bodice with some very simple dart manipulation to get the heart shape. I kept trying to make the heart look better.  Each version I made was an improvement, but not good enough to cut into my precious (meaning any) fabrics.  This is the 5th draft of the bodice, second attempt at cutting any fabric.

I got the fabric at a thrift shop a long time ago.  I had been saving it for the right dress.


I changed the location of the heart fullness and lowered the neckline.   I borrowed the skirt from Simplicity 2886. I also added a little something to the back. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress.  My favorite so far.


I will make one final attempt at the dress.  It will benefit from interfacing at the heart front and tweaks to the fit.

Jeans, sortof

Woo hoo! I made jeans again.  Well, I skipped the top stitching.  I guess I’ll just call these pants.  I traced a pair of old Calvin Klein jeans.  They are now way too small for me but I kept them in the hopes of one day making a pattern from them.

Well, I modified the pattern so much I don’t think these are anywhere near the jeans I wore 15 years ago.  I think I prefer a higher waist on my pants so I added an inch and a half to the rise.  I also did something I thought I would never do, use stretch fabric.  I absolutely hate that after an hour of walking around they stretch out so much it looks like I’m wearing a full diaper.  ick!

Hopefully this fabric works out and does not do that.  I got this at the National City Swap meet.  I took all they had left on the bolt, all 7 yards of it.  Mostly because I have not been able to perfect pants making.  These are the closest I’ve come so far.  I think it has a lot to do with the rise.


I’m not happy with the back.  I made the waistband too big and put the button in the wrong place and the pants kept falling.  I took in the waistband at the center back and had to take in the pants too.  I took off about 3.5 inches!  The pockets are too close together.  There are still too many under butt wrinkles.  I’ll keep working on the pattern.  We’ll see where it goes.

pants back1

The shirt is the Plantain t-shirt.  The fabric is also from the National City Swap meet.  I made it a bit too big and there is just too much ease around the hips.  I also shortened it because I think the shorter length works better on me, it just needs to be a little more fitted.  Maybe a tiny bit longer.  I’ve been experimenting with the Tonic tee.  I think I have found my TNT tee shirt.  I don’t really wear tee shirts because they always seem to be so unflattering on me.  Well, we’ll see about this tonic tee.  I’ve sewn up 2 tests and one modified version. I’m so in love with the modified version. Blog post coming soon.

Update: July 11.

Oops.  I didn’t put in a pants zipper in these.  It was just some zipper and it broke, boo.  I’m debating on fixing them.  I probably should.  I need something for when I water the plants and do other gardening things.  It’s probably easier to replace the zipper than fiddle with adjustments and sewing a brand new pair.  Although I did fiddle with adjustments and made another pair, that is sitting in a UFO pile.  I need to concentrate on more dresses and maybe even some skirts.

Not a “Tia” dress

I read somewhere on CationDesigns blog that she called her version of the Renfrew shirt her not a Renfrew.  So I’ve been copying her terminology.

I saw a gorgeous dress, the Tia, from SewChicPatterns.  I had to challenge myself and attempt to draft my first actual pattern. I saw a polka dot fabric on the clearance table at Hancock’s.  I jumped and got it.  I had to get a coordinating solid color as well. I think I did a pretty good job in trying to copy the pattern.  I did make some subtle modifications to suit my preferences and small amount of fabric.  I only bought 2 yards!  I also realized that it is easier for me to draft my own pattern and not have to fiddle with adjustments on other patterns.

tia front


Blue Star Trek Dress

When I saw this fabric at the Joann’s I swear, I let out an eek.  I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself.  I bought it, brought it home, washed it and dug right in.  I regret that decision.  I wish I would have waited for something more interesting for my precious fabric.  I didn’t even get the fit right.  The bodice is too short and the shoulder slope is off. boo hoo.

Oops my lining is showing.
Hmm, that skirt looks crooked.

It had been a while since I sewed and I had a sloper, which I used, but forgot about the various fit issues that I needed to work out.  grrr.  I keep getting more and more picky about fit.  I’m quite sure in 3 years I’ll think of this dress as the Blue Star Trek disaster dress of doom.  I don’t have anymore of the fabric, unfortunately. Otherwise I’d try the bodice again or at least add a waistband.

Summery Bow dress

I used my sloper bodice and modified the back so I could add a bow.  I’ve never been a big fan of bows on stuff, but as I get older I’m starting to like them.  I felt really proud of this dress.  It started as Simplicity 2886.  However, after 3 wears, the invisible zipper broke.  I lost confidence in invisible zippers right then.  I couldn’t be bothered to fix it so it sat unloved.  I had extra fabric so I decided to test out the experimental bodice with it.  Minimal risk right?  I hadn’t worn it since 2010 so I had nothing to lose. I took off the old bodice and the evil invisible zipper, kept the skirt and cut into my extra fabric.  I used my sloper with a scoop neck and a bow back.  When I got to the bow, I thought it would get lost if I just used the same fabric color, so I added an orange pop.  I kept the skirt from Simplicity 2886. I really felt pleased with it.  It has been getting a lot of wear.  I practically live in this dress.

Confession…. This dress was such a disaster!  I had difficulty sewing the dress back in 2010.  The side seams didn’t match.  The new bodice, oh my goodness. I decided to cut the back on the fold, and of course forgot to add seam allowances.  So I finish the dress, try it on and oops, it zips, but it’s horribly unflattering and tight. So I unpick the serged edges and try to let out the darts in the front and in the back.  Ah, success, finally.  Alright, so, on paper, it seems like it was easy peasy, but when I kept making mistakes, I was this close to trashing it.  I’m so glad I kept going.  It still has issues.  Especially around the shoulders, but it is really airy and comfortable.

summerbowfront summerbowback