Top 5 Inspirations for 2013


I might not have enough time, money, or energy, but inspiration I've got plenty of. Maybe you can tell my brain to stop keeping me awake at night with various ideas.  Or maybe I should just stop visiting some of my top 5 sources of inspiration.  Yeah right, you'll have to pry my iPad out of my cold dead hands.
  1. Twitter -  This actually means all of talented ladies that I talk to on a regular bias on twitter.  I can't even count the number of sew-a-longs that were spontaneously generated this year.  Half of the time I was just in the background yelling stuff like "I Like Red Garments!"  Someone should really turn around and say, "Shut the F*** Up Donny! You're out of your depth."  Thankfully twitter sewcialists are nice and also seem to enjoy "The Big Lebowski."  Now I would like my undies back.

2. Instagram - I'm married to a semi-Luddite.  If a technology is not related to watching movies/TV then he doesn't see the point to it. I really wanted to be on instagram ages ago, but lacked any sort of device to run the app. Then my lovely sister gifted me an iPad and now I'm on there alllll the time.  I love seeing process shots, people's fabric purchases, finished garment pics.  It's pretty much my twitter feed distilled into pictures and I Love It Like My Own Child.

3. Kollabora - Confession, I'm not the best about regularly checking any sewing websites. But when I do get in the mood to do a little random browsing then Kollabora is where I go first.  Their project search is easy to use and I like the large thumbnails.  Often I just browse over the new projects posted to catch garments from bloggers I might not know about.

4. Pinterest -  I'm not a master pinner or anything, but if I want to see a bunch of RTW inspiration then pinterest is the first place to go.  Motorcycle jacket inspiration? Just do a search.  I also love having a place to store all the random garments that I'd like to knock off.  Instant eye candy when ever I'm at a loss of what to sew next.

5. Independent Pattern Designers - Thank God for independent pattern designers people, without them I would so bored.  I don't think of myself as a pattern snob, but this year the Big 4's new offerings have left me cold. Even my favorite Simplicity Project Runway patterns have been a bust.  On the flip side I have enough unsewn independent patterns to last me well into next year.  Bless you intrepid entrepreneurs for giving me fashionable patterns so I don't have to draft my own.  I'm too lazy to do so anyway.

Top 5 Reflections of 2103


Confession - I'm not a big reflections person.  I'm more of the "buy more fabric and plan new projects" type of person.  MOAR NEW THINGS!!......Oh excuse me, I've had a lot of Christmas cookies/candy.   However on reflection, I do have some reflections for the year. Here we go.

1. Being more mindful about fabric purchases pays off in the long run.
This year the fabric budget was reduced and I had to cut down on the impulse purchases. Having to think about a purchase for a few days was good for me.  My purchases ended up being fabrics I was really excited to sew up.

2. I can blog regularly....just not 3 times a week, every week.
This year one of my goals was to blog regularly and for once I stuck to it. There were some hits and misses... turns out scheduling my blogging for a month is not for me.  "No one tells me what to do, not even me!"  I did enjoy coming up with the "Secret stash" segment since it allows some vicarious shopping. ;) There's still some more work to do on this front, but I'm pleased with the progress made.

3.  I like sew-a-longs if they are general in nature.
In the past I've had a lot of trouble joining sew-a-longs and never finishing.  It seems like the whole idea of having a project planned for me never works out.  "You're not the boss of me, I'll sew what I want. I'm a renegade!" Ummmm yeah I've got sewing authority issues.  However sew-a-longs like the "Stash Busting Sew-a-long" and "Red October" were super fun.  If you give me just a general guide line then I'll be happy as a clam.

4. Twitter is so much fun and sometimes dangerous.
Soooooo I joined twitter just to get new fabric posting tweets from I'm sure none of you are surprised.  Little did I know that there was a whole community of like minded people out there.  I've had a ball talking to people, being inspired and helping out when I can.  Of course the downside is that you can talk about sewing so much that you never actually sew. ;)  Doesn't matter though, Twitter peeps I love you always.

5. I've still got plenty to learn.
When you've been sewing in a vacuum for most of your life it's hard to gauge how good your skills really are.   Meeting so many people on the web gives me plenty of inspiration, but also made me realize that my skills aren't to the level I might think. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get out of my comfort zone and try learning some new things in the future. Guess I should start reading all those sewing books instead of using them for paper weights.

Top 5 Misses of 2013


Uh Oh, time to air the list of grievances...I mean sewing misses. One of my favorite things to tell people is that muslins keep me from making mistakes garments. I do believe that's true up to a point, but no sewcialist is gonna get through the year without a few missteps.  Now let me don the "Ribbons of Shame."

1. Burda 102
Cool pattern, nice fabric, but they didn't work together at all. Turns out that a mid weight cotton is just too thick with all the seaming going on here.  I still like this pattern, but this dress should just go into the "circular file".

2. Gertie Lobster Shirtwaist.
To recap I thought up the idea for this dress while deep in the "pants fitting cycle of hate" and I might have been a little crazy.  The dress too out there for me to wear and not feel like everyone is looking at me and thinking WTF?  It's well constructed and those lobsters do make me smile, it just sits in the back of the closet. (Still totally worth making it for taking photos with Leila.)

3. Cordova Enforcer
Ummm this just doesn't go with anything I have in the closet. It should because blue and black are main colors in my wardrobe....but no.  It looks great in this pictures, right? Who knows.
Cordova Front 1

4. Tania Culottes.
This is another garment that just didn't get worn. I'd guess that my main problem is the length.  I feel comfortable with shorter lengths when wearing tights, but not in a summer bare leg situation. I'd rather keep my lily white "German" legs covered.

5. Simplicity 2443 the Tree Dress.
This is only a semi-miss because I did wear this garment out of the house several times.  However it always makes me feel fat.  I tell myself that my friends wouldn't lie to me and it looks fine.....and then I continue to feel fat. Oh gathered waistlines, I think you're just not for me.
Simplicity 2443 Tree Dress Front
Good news on the germ front - We are all enough recovered to enjoy Christmas.... it's a Festivus Miracle! *Snort giggle*

Top 5 Hits of 2013


Hello blog readers, I'm currently in a germ tsunami with all members of the house falling like dominoes. According to the doctor it's only a "minor sinus thing," but someone in this house has been down with it since the 8th of December. Good news is the the toddler not waking up every 2 hours anymore and I have antibiotics. My husband is still in the "I'm not that sick" stage/state of denial and says he only requires some extra sleep.

Needless to stay sewing has crawled to a stand still and I have no more secret pattern testing posts in reserve. So what better time to do hop aboard the Gillian Crafts top 5 lists train and do a little year end review.

Let's start with the top 5 hits.  Honestly I have more than 5 hits this year but I've narrowed this list down to my super favorites.

I thought it was going to be just a test garment, but it turned into my favorite dress of the season.  Small tantrums were thrown when it was found in the laundry basket instead of being ready to wear. It was in the laundry basket cause I wore it two days ago, but never mind that, it made me feel put together and comfortable. The dress is now covered with pills/grease stains and not fit to wear outside of the house. I'll bury it under the cherry tree and give it a 5 seam ripper salute......and make a new one next summer.

Sewing a black jacket was a mind numbing process but that baby is a "mother clucking" wardrobe staple. It goes with 90% of my other makes and feels on trend. Right now I wear it inside my icebox of a house to stay warm and make my toddler wonder if I've got a motorcycle gang ready to enforce nap time. Oh yeah kid, they're out there with nun-chucks.

When the green dress was dirty then this dress was next on the to wear slot. Big flowers on a black background?  Give all such prints to me!! The polyester ITY served me well during the summer, only being too warm to wear on the hottest of days. Other than a little pilling at the waist area, I must rub up against my counter tops a lot, it's good to go next year.

Confession, I love ALL my archers. I could go for a second closet full of Archers. They go great with my faux cowgirl look of skinny jeans and quasi cowboy boots. Some weeks I just wear Archers for a couple days in a row. I am the Archer Queen!  But if I had to pick my favorite, it would my the plaid/ikat one.  Why? Because plaid/ikat is the shit and the handwoven fabric feels like a hug. Mmmm makes me feel happy as soon as I put it on.
Many thanks to Katie for photoshopping me this picture. I laugh every time.

5. Simplicity 2444 Giant Roses Dress
I should really have all my knit Renfrews here but whatever that's boring!  Instead it's the Simplicity 2444 giant roses dress.  This was one of those rare projects that was a joy to sew from start to finish. I can not get over how much I like that big pleated skirt. And the fabric.......the fabric is still my favorite purchase from the summer. Yummy roses I want to eat you like a cake!  Oh good I have some cake that looks like you right here so I just eat that. Nom, nom, nom.
My "watching the toddler" shift is over and it's time to lay in bed playing "Tiny Death Star". Stay well everyone and enjoy the rest of 2013. 

The Penny Pinafore - a New Pattern from Kitschy Coo


When it rains it pours and December seems to be the month of me pimping new patterns that I like.  Wait, maybe I do that all the time. It's my evil side plot to make you all pattern junkies like me. Muhaaaa!

Today I'm pretty excited to show you the new Penny Pinafore from Kitschy Coo.  I practically lived in the Lady Skater pattern this summer and the thought of having another easy dress pattern made me dance with joy. Ahhh knit dresses, you are my favorite quick fix project.

The penny pinafore has princess line seams so you can do fun color/print blocking like this.
Houndstooth and snow boots, what all the cool kids are wearing.  
 Or you can do a bright solid with contrast trim for a vaguely Star Trek feel.
Where's my gold rick rack?
Penny Pinafore from Kitschy Coo.  A princess line tunic/dress with 3 lengths tunic, mini dress, and knee length.  Also comes with 3 sleeve lengths just like the lady skater.

Fabrics used
Version one full length - Rayon ponte in black and hounds tooth.
Version two mini length - Wool jersey in magenta and pleather collar/cuffs.
All from stash.....can I get an Amen?

Pattern changes/alterations
You might need to make a few tweaks to get the princess lines to fit your individual frame.  Personally I only had to make one!
1. I started with a blended size 5/6 and ended up taking about an 1" out of the princess line seam at the upper back. Because the pattern has plenty of flare around the hips I might downsize the back to just a size 5 next time.

Let's just talk about sewing pleather in a knit situation shall we.
1. Don't try to sew it right side up on your serger.  Your seger will tell you, "I'm not on board with your whole faux rocker aesthetic. You can shove your pleather were the sun don't shine."  You can serge it with the flannely wrong side up but the tension is gonna be a little wonky.

2. I did most of the pleather insertion on my regular machine using the zig-zag stitch.  To counter act the drag of the pleather I put tissue pattern on top and ripped it off after the seam was done.  My main problem here was that the ball point needle was skipping stitches so I switched to a denim needle.  This did cut some holes in my wool jersey, ugh, so knit seam tape was fused to the SA to try and stabilize the fabric.

3. My ball point needle worked fine edgestitching the neckline with a straight stitch.  Here I taped some tissue paper to the bed of my sewing machine to help ease the pleather along.

4.  I was able to get the mini length version out of a 60" 2 yard cut of fabric.  While I made both of my versions from stable knits, the testing group made several out of drapy knits.  All of them looked great.

Husband Comment
My husband only saw the muslin version which was 3 mismatch knit prints, however he LOVED IT.  He mentioned the princess line seams at least 3 times. He thinks they show off my girlie curves.

My Final Thoughts
As far as I'm concerned this is another hit from Kitshy Coo. Once you've got your fitting tweaks finalized, the dress will sew up in about 2 hours. I want MOAR and new tights to go with them.  Maybe some boots too.  Santa, bring me a 5 lb box of money....think of all the fabric I haven't bought.

Introducing Spearmint


Remember back in October when I was doing a bunch of secret sewing?  Well my dears, I got my golden ticket to get on the pattern testing circuit and was knocking out this coat.  (I pattern tested this before the Brasilia dress so it's technically my first project, just not the one I blogged about first.) But enough about that, let's talk about new patterns...PATTERNS!

If you looking for a dramatic coat then look no further than Lolita Pattern's new Spearmint. With form fitting princess line seams and a large flouncy collar it's sure get noticed.

And if that's not enough you can make it fire engine red......and wear other red things with it. Let's just say I spiced up some neighbor's daily dog walk.
Did I mention the giant in seam pockets to keep your hands warm? I know you guys are in the pro pocket camp and this coat delivers.
Here's the back view. The coat has armhole princess line seams that whittle in at your waist and then flare out for a pretty full skirt.
Close up on the collar. It would be a crime not to show you one.

Spearmint from Lolita patterns.  Amity is pre-saling the pattern at a 15% discount until Monday so if you love the pattern then you might want to jump on it right away.

Sizing Tip - Spearmint was drafted to be more of a fair weather topper. If you want to make it as a woolen winter coat, then go up a size from the suggested one.  If your size straddles the regular and plus size blocks,  like mine, then you might want get the plus sized block.
Format Suggestion - You have the option of buying Spearmint as hard paper copy or as a digital file. If you purchase the digital format I highly recommend using the copy shop file to print this coat.  You know that I LOVE putting together PDF files, but after hour one of gluing the tiled version I was no longer having fun.  It took me 2 toddler free hours to put the tiled version together and my back did not thank me.

Fabrics used
Felted wool blend boucle knit from Marcy Tilton.  She seems to have sold out of this lovely red color but still has gray and black in stock.  However I feel like this fabric was not the best choice for this pattern and will elaborate more on that the confessions section.

Rayon lining white with black polka dots is from Gorgeous fabrics and still is in stock.

Since my fabric was quite thick I did not put horsehair canvas in the collar. Instead I used pro weft fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.

Pattern changes/alterations
Normal pattern adjustments
1. Forward shoulder adjustment on both the shoulder seam and the sleeve cap of 1/2". How to do that on a two piece sleeve here.
2. Wide upper back adjustment of 3/4" with shoulder seam dart added.
3. Sway back adjustment of 1".  This seemed to hike the hem up in the back so I added an extra 1" of length to the hem at center back and blended it out to the side seam.
4. Moved the bust apex of the princess line seam down 1 1/2". Alas god did not give me perky knockers.
5. Dropped the armholes 1/2".
6. Took in the upper back princess line seam about 3/4", blending that alteration out before reaching the armhole where I do need extra width.

Other Alterations.
1. I very aggressively FBA'ed the side front piece by 1 1/2". In retrospect I was a bit vein to think I'd fit into the size 14, no matter what the back of the envelope might indicate. This was my first time sewing a Lolita pattern so I had the whole "How does this block match my body" question.  But Colette patterns should have taught me never to use a size 14.  Like it or not I'm a size 16. However using a size 16 would mean I had to put together another PDF pattern, so I just made the size 14 work.

2. I raised the bottom of the neckline 1/2" for personal preferences, blending it out before getting to the shoulder seam. To make the collar match I took off 1/2 at the CB seam. This will keep the notches from matching, but I had no problem inserting the collar without them.

3. I raised the button hole placement 1/2" because of my neckline change. I also moved the button hole over from the edge about 3/8" because it seemed a little close to the SA with all the bound buttonhole bulk.  The finalized pattern also made this change, so no need to worry.

Now let's talk about the pros and cons of my fabric choice. I was very intrigued by the thought of a winter coat weight knit when I saw this fabric on the Marcy Tilton website. The fabric was described as being stable but with great drape. It also came in the perfect red color for me and I could not resist.

The fabric it's self is very thick with about 10-15% stretch in the cross grain and no raveling when you cut it.   On the pro side - the princess line seams sewed up beautifully, easing the sleeves was a snap and I got a perfect looking bound buttonhole on the first try.
On the con side - The knit construction created some problems that a woven wouldn't. The weight of the skirt pulls the back princess line seams out making the coat look less fitted than it is. I got drag lines from the pockets because the knit collapsing in on it's self.  Also the fabric thickness worked against me on the ruffled collar, making it want to stand upright rather than drape in nice folds. Some aggressive pressing helped but I'm not 100% happy with how it folds.
One last thing that should have been obvious to me but I overlooked at the time. Sewing a non stretch lining to a knit, even one that hardly stretches, is going to be a PITA.  Silly Heather should have brought a stretch woven lining. But hey, it looks great.

1. I put twill tape in the shoulder seams since a lot of weight hangs from those seams.  I also put stay tape along the body neckline edge before sewing on the collar.

2. The pattern does not call for shoulder pads but I put some in because that's the look I prefer.  I used 1/2" pads and did not have to adjust the shoulder seams in anyway.

Husband Comment
"Hey you're red and white like a Canadian flag and the collar is ripply like a flag in the wind. That's nice. And you can pop the collar, cool."

My Final Thoughts
Despite my problems with the fabric not working with the pattern as much as I'd like, this counts as a successful garment. I especially like pulling the collar up like this and doing my best Cruella  De Vil impression.  "Bring me those puppies! For some reason I want a dog hair coat. Don't question my ethics or my inability to hire competent henchmen."
If you feel like giving yourself a little Christmas present then check out the holiday pattern bundle Lolita patterns has put together. You can get Sugar Plum, Gunmetal, and Spearmint for over 15% off the purchase price.  Happy sewing in the new year indeed!

Confession - I am a pattern addict


This weekend I was reading Jennifer's latest blog post about her TMPTMF syndrome, too many patterns/too much fabric, for those of you not in the "know".  This got me wondering, "Do I also have TMPTMF?" I certainly have A LOT of fabric and my "to buy" pattern list never comes to an end. These seem like the only criteria needed to contract TMPTMF.

But haven given it so more thought, it seems that TMPTMF is not my problem.  First there is never too much fabric, only too little storage space. When my husband says my stash has everything I can accurately tell him the holes it has that currently need to be filled. (Solid knit colors and cheaper black jersey. I ain't sewing up that milk/silk blend that cost 28 bucks a yard into T-shirts honey.)  Second, I'm always jonesing for new patterns. Show me something new, something interesting, some new designer, some garment I didn't know I needed, or that exact garment I really want a pattern for.  MOARRRRR Patterns baby, I need a hit! OK guys, I'm just gonna say it.  "Hello my name is Heather and I am a pattern addict."

It takes a lot of factors for a pattern to become a finished garment in this house.  A pattern is always in danger of being replaced by another that is new and shiny. One that hasn't yet revealed that it's gonna need 3 muslins to fit right. One that is a super exciting garment. Or maybe life just benches a pattern for awhile and I don't feel like picking it back up again.  My pattern buying/making cycle goes something like this..... if it was a choose your own adventure book

1. See new pattern, think "OMG Take My Money and give me that pattern."  Order and dance with glee. Probably tweet about said pattern purchase, cause you guys need to know that I have procured more pattern goodness.  All the patterns Heather keeping up her reputation!

2. Excitingly waiting for pattern to arrive. I don't want to sew any of this stuff on my table right now, all I want to sew is that pattern that is NOT HERE YET. Oh god why? *Lurk around front of the house for mail man to show up.* Maybe I need to search the internet for more patterns.....just to fill the time.

3. Pattern is here!  Happy Happy Joy Joy! Open package and ...
a. happily start tracing.
b. suddenly don't want to sew it anymore. Some new pattern has appeared and all I can think about is that one. Fickle sewcialist I put it in the downstairs pattern drawer. Maybe someday I'll decide to sew it after all...or maybe it will get moved to the upstairs box.  Oh no pattern graveyard!
Don't worry patterns, I still want to sew you if you're in this drawer.
4. For patterns that I trace it's now first muslin time. That carefree time where I'm sure everything will fit just fine with my regular pattern tweaks.  Try muslin on and...
a. Muslin does fit fine! I will ignore new patterns and continue making this garment.
b. Muslin fits OK, but needs second muslin. "You have displeased me pattern, sit in time out while I decide whether to replace you with that awesome new pattern I saw in the net."
c. Muslin fits like crap.  Actively purchase new pattern while throwing the other in the pattern graveyard. "That will teach you!"
This Bellatrix muslin is in time out only cause I'm busy not cause it's naughty. Poor baby.
5. Happy Pattern, you've made it through my muslin stage and will now be cut out in real fabric.  But wait, your perils are not over for my pattern eye is always wandering. I fire up the sewing machine and....
a. Sewing goes quickly and without any major hair pulling moments. Maybe I even have a period drama to watch so I don't put off hand hemming for a week.  You are now a finished garment. Achievement Unlocked!
b. Sewing starts dragging and I start thinking about new shiny patterns that won't make me set sleeves twice. Maybe you are lucky pattern and I have chosen a nice fabric that makes me continue on in my efforts.  But the clock is ticking and you best be finished before an Indy designer releases a new collection.
c. Sewing becomes a grueling slog of ripped out seams and on the fly adjustments.  I am covered with ripped out bits of thread and have probably stabbed myself with some shears. My eyes glaze over and I see new patterns dancing in their glossy envelops/hipster environmentally friendly packaging that promise me all sorts of things.  I can't help myself, I'm a slutty pattern addict and I reach for a new one. Pattern you have failed me and your garment is resigned to a box. *Cue sad horn*
Actually this is a perfectly good Archer that is just waiting for some sewing time. Love you Archer pattern! Smooches.
So any you got some new patterns? You do? Meet me in the alley behind my house in 10 minutes. I'll bring the Christmas cookies, you bring the pattern. *Puts pattern envelope to my nose and sniffs* Ahhhhh yeah, that's the good stuff.

Sweatery Briar with a Cowl


Oh yeah, me and Briar are partners in crime. After we had our fun with the punky french knit Briar was like, "Hey, how about you sew up some of that sweater knit you've had for ages?" Well Briar, you make an excellent point and I'm supposed to be stash busting and all.  How about we start with the first sweater knit I ever bought? Deep Stash Baby! You get extra points for sewing that up, right?
Oh yes, I put a cowl on it. Just an easy to draft rectangle cowl 8.5" high. So easy that I'll tell you how to do it. (Hey who put that jacket in the shot.)
But first a little more about this fabric, it's an acrylic blend with some percentage of mohair or angora in it. I know cause it's got little hairs that stick out and make ripping out stitches a PITA.  It's also a rib knit which makes sizing a bit of a crap shoot.  I used the exact same sizing as my first Brair and put clear elastic in the shoulder seams.  This did not keep the shoulder area from stretching out, giving the sweater a drop shoulder look.  I probably should have cut the shoulders a bit narrower to maintain the correct look.  However this doesn't bother me all that much since the cowl neck keeps everything covered and drop sleeves are kind of "in" at the moment.

The other problem that does irk me is that my hem is a little ripply, especially in the back.
In retrospect I should have used knit stay tape on the hem before running it through the coverstitch machine. Some one wasn't using all her brain cells that sewing day. Frog didn't warn me either, must have been playing with the PJ eaters.
I'll could go back and fix the hem, but more likely I'll ignore it and just dig being warm in my snaky sweater. So cozy, so soft, so cowly.  Mmmmmmm. Maybe you have some sweater knit floating around your stash and want a cowl neck Brair too. Well here's how you do it and it works on any pattern with a scooped neckline.

How to draft a cowl
1. Using a flexible tape measure, measure the back and front necklines on the seam line.  Subtract the shoulder seam allowances and you'll get the length of your cowl. Mine was around 29".

2. Mark this length on a piece of trace paper.  I find self healing cutting mats to be really handy for this type of drafting.
3. Decide how high you want the cowl to be and draw another horizontal line at that height. Mark that line as a fold line. For my finished sweater I made a 8.5" high cowl, here I'm drafting a slightly narrower 6" cowl.
4. You'll be folding the cowl in half and sewing the two edges into the neck seam line so double the height on the page. In my example this makes the pattern 12" high.
5. Find the halfway point on the long side of the cowl and mark it with a notch. You'll want to match this notch with a CF notch on your neckline. I've put my grainline at this location too.
6. For wide cowls you'll want to stick with a rectangle and add a seam allowance to finish the pattern at this stage. My Brair cowl pictured above has this type of cowl.

For narrower cowls you have the option of putting triangles on the short ends of the cowl.  This increases the diameter of the folded edge on the cowl which gives it more drape around your neck.  The trade off is that those triangles give the CB cowl seam a pointed edge.  The point is not very noticeable in a narrow cowl so  I've use this technique in this renfrew hack.
To draft this, increase the fold line a few inches and then draw a diagonal line to the seam line edges. Then repeat for the other end of the cowl. Add seam allowance and then the pattern is finished.

To sew the cowl.
1. When cutting out your front and back Briar pieces mark a notch at the CF and CB on the necklines.
2. Sew the CB/short seam of the cowl.
3. Fold the cowl in half. If you don't like lining 3 layers up at once then baste the long edges of the cowl together.
4. Set the cowl into the Briar neckline by lining the CB seam of the cowl with the CB notch on the back shirt. Line the center notch of the cowl with the CF notch on the front shirt. Stitch together all three layers, remove any basting and you're done.
5. Celebrate with a cookie. Then bring me a cookie, I'm outside your house leaning against a fence.

Secret Stash - Party Dresses


The holidays are upon us which means it's party dress time!!!! Who doesn't like having an excuse to sew more dresses? Oh you're busy with Christmas prep? Well there's still plenty of time to whip out a New Years frock.  OK, I'm basing this on my production time. How about I clone myself and put those clones to work on your projects? What? They all want their own fabric budget now?  Oops. 
Anyway here are a couple of my current favorite patterns and some lovely fabric pairings. Enjoy...while my clones raid your stash.

1. For the sexy lady about town, the Georgia dress from By Hand London. It would look absolutely breath taking in this cotton border print from Marcy Tilton.

2. My love for Simplicity 2444 is eternal and for good reason. It looks great on many different figures and showcases bold prints with ease. My current bold print obsession is with this pink and white Milly cotton. Oh Milly, you know how to do prints.

3. What could be more classic than a wrap dress?  I've had my eye on the Sew Over It "Ultimate Wrap Dress" for a few months.  It would be oh so fabulous made up in the red/black ITY knit from Sawyer Brook.

4. What's the best kind of party? A cake party! Enter Sewing Cake's Red Velvet which whips up in a flash. For the lace look without all the work, try this Betsy Johnson rayon/lycra. Yum, Yum, Yum.

Happy dress making everyone!
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