I have been hunting for that perfect, easy, casual dress for a long time. Something easy to slip on when I’m headed to an event at the kids’ school but nice enough to wear when I am teaching a sewing class or out for a casual dinner date. Top priority was really that I was comfortable (of course, this is always first in my world) but a wee bit on the dressy side. I’ve been on the hunt for this kind of ‘all occasion’ dress pattern for a while, actually. I thought about adapting the Lou Box Top, like Erin from Sewbon did. She is so clever and talented, isn’t she? But, I wasn’t in love with the neckline on the Lou Box and was concerned that the drop shoulders would look too unstructured on me. Then came the record scratch! I was perusing the Seamwork magazine patterns because I have a some extra (read = a gazillion) pattern points and came across the beautiful Georgia dress.
It had everything I was looking for…beautiful scoop neck, set-in sleeves, a gorgeous scooped hem-line. Boom. This was the one I had been waiting for. I quickly bought the last of this Cotton + Steel rayon fabric from Urban Sewciety and went to town on a Georgia Dress in rayon. (Sadly, this fabric seems to be sold out in many places. Sorry about that.)
First, I made a muslin (so proud of myself!) and realized that I didn’t like the two-toned aspect especially with my fabric being such a large-scale print. I also didn’t like the length of the sleeves; they were just too long.
So, I hacked the pattern to shorten the sleeves by 2 inches and mashed together the top bodice and skirt pattern pieces to create a seamless dress. It became everything I was looking for. I also graded from a 6 in the bust to an 8 at the hips because I have to accommodate my luscious hips.
I have already worn this dress half a dozen times. I am in love with my hacked Georgia Dress in rayon. I bought more rayon and have plans to make a shirt from this pattern as well as a second dress. Possibly a dress with petal sleeves like these stunning ones.
You are probably thinking, “Melissa, this dress is cute as a button and you look gorgeous as hell but isn’t it getting cold outside in New Jersey?! Why are you talking about flow-y drape-y, short-sleeved dresses? Make some warm things!” While I appreciate your very specific concern and thank you for your generous, unprompted compliments, I have to confess that I just can’t seem to get excited about sewing cold weather clothing. I did make my lovely Anegada top but even that has elbow-length sleeves. I just see a drastic and concurrent decrease in sew-jo when I look at cold weather patterns. My brain goes blah. I did force myself to make another pair of sloan leggings and another long-sleeve plantain tee the other day but I was mumbling like a grumpy old man the entire time. I’m just not feeling it. I would rather be folding laundry. Let’s hope this feeling passes soon or I will be sewing like a woman with the delusional belief she lives in Florida.
The latest pattern is out from Halfmoon Atelier and it’s oozing with the sexy casual style characteristic of all of Meghann’s patterns. It’s called the Boat Neck Anegada and it’s defining features are definitely the wide neckline with overlapping shoulder portions. It gives it a very feminine, laid back look that basically screams, “Oh look at me, looking all cozy and super sexy cute.” I guess I would call it non-chalant. There is a little bit of Flashdance in this top, in a very good way. Know what I mean? I mean who says that being comfortable can’t look adorable!? (more…)
For the past three or four years our family has celebrated the build up to Christmas with an activity advent calendar. As much as I love chocolate (and I really love chocolate! Make no mistake) I find the advent calendars with candy add unnecessary sugar to our diet and the holiday season is already a super-charged sugar-fest. Plus, the spirit of Christmas is so much sweeter when we spend time together and do things for others….see what I did there? So, last year, when I was invited to create a holiday post for Skip To My Lou, I decided to design a printable advent calendar with activities; calling it the Midnight Christmas Village Advent Calendar. I created easy activities intended to encourage family time and neighborhood and community connections. Some of them are a simply as giving each other a hug while others are more complex, i.e. “bake cookies for the neighbors”. These are, after all, the things that really remind us how much we love each other. A bit of chocolate or a toy just doesn’t have that lasting impact. (Of course, if you use my design to make an advent calendar and fill it with toys and chocolate I won’t judge you. Dude. I get it.). Anyhow, this year I thought I would share this project here along with a few other alternative ways to use the same printable in a different style. (more…)
I don’t want to boss you around or anything but you are gonna want to put down whatever you are doing and make a linen and pom-pom infinity scarf. Or, maybe make a dozen…just to be sure you are ready for the holidays. Why linen and pom-poms? Because, dude, they are amazingly fun together! (more…)
Ah, guys. I made the Sallie jumpsuit and I’m feeling a lot of feelings. I think it might be a Wonder Woman suit or a power suit or secret pajamas. Or all of these things. It’s comfortable and wide-legged and a little bit amazing. (more…)
We have a gigantic tree smack-dab in the center of our yard and all summer long it keeps our garden about ten degrees cooler than the surrounding area. I love it with all my heart when I’m enjoying that cooling shade under its protective arms. But the love starts to fade right around this time of the year when its gigantic branches shed their foliage and the yard fills with load after load of brown and yellow leaves. Right now we are being hit with the first wave of leaves and for me that always signals the most awkward phase of autumn…the “is it hot or cold out?” phase. You know this one. You feel a shiver and put on a sweater. Stand in the sun for too long and that sweater starts to feel like a personal prison of heat. You start sweating immediately. Take it off, though, and there is sure to be just the right amount of cloud cover and you will feel that cold shiver once again. I never deal with this transition very delicately but I think I may have found something of a solution with this perfect fall sweater. It’s a lane raglan hack using loose sweater knit for the body and a peek of rayon for the front. I shortened the arms, adding a cuff making it airy and cooler than your average sweater but fancier than a regular lane raglan with more coverage than just a regular raglan tee.
I’m sharing a full tutorial and detail on the Hey June blog, where I just started as a member of the Hey June blogger team. (It’s about time, right? Given how much I love and make her patterns!) Be sure to check it out.
I have a sweet new slip of a top! I’m so excited because it’s going to work beautifully on its own or under a light jacket this fall! It’s called the Delpy Ballet Top and it’s a pattern from the emerging pattern designer (and my friend) Meghann Halfmoon of Halfmoon Atelier . P.S. If you travel on over to my Instagram feed, I’m doing a pattern giveaway. But, stay here for a little bit so we can gush over this elegant sleeveless top, ok? (more…)
Oh friends. It is tomato season in New Jersey. I know people scoff when they hear New Jersey’s slogan is the Garden State but that is for real. The southern end of the state, especially, is full of farmland. And when it come to tomatoes the slogan is for real for real. You know the “Jersey tomato”? Well, my kitchen is swimming in these lovely, colorful, luscious golden globes. We belong to a farm cooperative, Honeybrook Organic Farms, (the oldest Community Supported Agriculture programs in our state, actually). Every year, around this time, we receive what feels like bushels of amazing tomatoes. On top of that, my kids ALWAYS buy me a tomato plant at the school plant sale. It’s just one plant but, man oh man, one tomato plant can really produce!? Either way you cut it, I am up to my ears in tomatoes and need to “can” them ASAP. (I don’t really know how to actually can tomatoes and am frankly terrified of botulism so I make freezer tomatoes). I knew I was going to need a good, sturdy apron to tackle the tomato issue so when Betz White asked if I would review her Craftsy class, Easy Modern Apron, I jumped at the chance. Thus was born my “So Many Tomatoes” Striped Modern Apron! (more…)