Flannel and Reflections

Ok folks, this is my last blog post of the year, and I thought I would end things off with a bit of self-reflection.

So last week, I showed off some prep work for my big project, a flannel dress that both looked lovely and felt comfy.

I repeated all my previous steps when making the mock bodice, but this time with the real thing.


I love the warm colour palette of this flannel.


I omitted the peter pan collar that this pattern originally called for, and instead just attached the facing and under stitched it to finish off the neckline.


I am in love with how detailed the inside of this bodice looks. There are so many things going on here, and it’s satisfying to see all the tiny steps of serging, putting in darts, attaching facing, stitching it all together, all of it in one photo.

I certainly put a lot of love into this piece.

It felt like a good project to end the year on. I’m not always sure I’m making progress in my skill set. I still have a lot to learn and I’d be lying if I said this turned out flawlessly.

I struggle with invisible zippers still:



And the waist line ended up hitting a little lower than I anticipated…

But I’ve still come a long way, and just having the weekly excuse to keep playing with something I had stopped making time for is reason enough for me to be happy today. This was a reminder of where I still needed to improve and will inform future projects and resolutions.

I think the biggest one is to better organize my final photo. When you live alone, it’s hard to get a good quality picture of how you look in the final piece.


Oh, and I took soooooooo many.

All that hard work for a grainy pic can be frustrating, I’ll spend the break looking into new methods.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the new year!


Making A Muslin

With the holidays approaching, along come the  holiday parties. So many reasons to wear a dress, something I haven’t bought for myself in a while.

I’ve had a very specific project in mind for some time, but haven’t been able to find the exact pattern for what I’m trying to achieve. So when I can’t find exactly what I want, I start to play with what I have on hand and figure out how to make it work.

I’m looking to make a high-waist flared dress with short sleeves.

This is the closest thing I had on hand:


This already is a variation of an existing pattern, but at least some of the pattern alteration math has been worked out for me. (I’m nixing that collar though, you know, to make this harder).

Of course it did mean a lot of this:

image image

The one thing this pattern is missing is sleeves, so I needed to go about mocking up those.


So, lets recap so far:

I’m working with an already modified pattern, removing a feature of it, adding my own mock sleeves, and p.s the fabric for this piece is flannel which doesn’t have any give. This dress lives or dies by the fit of the bodice and every change happening smoothly.

I think I hate myself a little…

So today, I’m doing the test run of the bodice, by making a muslin. A rough dry run of the structure by using a pile of old cheap broadcloth I have in my stash.


It feels like so much work to be making something that’s never going to see the light of day, but I’m happy I stuck with it. I like my dresses to fit close, and nothing feels less attractive than clothes that are too tight or too saggy.

After a lot of troubleshooting and readjusting, the torso is a great fit.



Now the real reason we’re here is the sleeve addition. This took three attempts:


But eventually I figured out the notching and size I needed to not feel like my armpit is choking and to have a small amount of gathering at the seam.




Phase one complete.


Waisted Effort

I bought this dress a while ago. It was cheap and I liked the bold print so I grabbed it.

It’s a one size fits all (read: unflattering) and I don’t love the way the top half fits. It’s got this boxy rectangle thing going on and gave me some broad shoulders.

I added it to my “fix-it” list and then shoved it in a dresser to be forgotten about. You know, like an adult.

A while later I revisited it and I thought I would roll the top half down and wear the dress as a skirt.

It would result in this gorgeous silhouette.


Again I banished it to the dresser, too stubborn to let it go.

So this weeks project was pretty obvious and super easy (yay!) Turn the dress into a skirt, get rid of the excess.

I folded the top down to meet with the waist line. This way the elastic that kept the dress up was now at waist level.


I used those stitching lines as a guide to keep it even all the way around. Then it was just a straight stitch under the elastic.


Then I cut the bulk and ironed out the seam.

That’s it!

It’s a skirt and it doesn’t look like I’m trying to smuggle anything in my hips.

This is a perfect Victoria Day post, it took no time and now I can go outside and play.