Entries in design (3)


Carpenter dress

When I am traveling, especially driving, I have been wearing overalls lately.  Part of that is that Koda Bear and I match.  The other part is that most of my dresses do not have pockets and the pockets in the overalls make life just a little bit easier.  It was suggested to me that maybe I should put the pockets I like on one of my dresses.

I mostly like the pockets that are lower on the leg best.  Not the bib pocket.  And I do not need two butt pockets.  I find the lower leg ones are perfect for my phone and possibly a key.  I do not sit on things in those pockets and they are easily to hand.

I took out my Carhartts and used them as a go by for both position and size.  I still needed to fit a phone.  I played with a piece of fabric that I really liked but also was not so expensive that I would worry about screwing it up.  It is a mid to heavy weight cotton.

Can I say I was pleased?  First, I did take the dress in a tatch.  It might look a bit tight in some of these pictures but it is not tight at all.  I put short sleeves on it instead of three quarter length sleeves.  I kept the neckline high and added two inches to the hem.  The dress itself is a better version of the sheaths I have been wearing.  I still do not need to put a zipper in it because it can go over my head and that still helps my shoulders.  I have days.

But the pockets!  The pockets!  This is going to be one of those dresses that gets washed and it is one of the first that I put back on.  Which also means it will wear out faster.  It is a difficult catch 22 but this dress is a winner.  I was thinking I might start looking for a light twill to make some more in.  A fabric just a little bit heavier so it my last longer with the washing.

I am pleased!



I was watching Mind of a Chef with Gabrielle Hamilton and I fell in love with her apron.  Me.  PBS cooking shows.  Why am I not surprised?  I got on pinterest.  I tried to find a dress or apron that was similar.  From years ago yes but not recently.  Then Simplicity came out with an apron dress just a few weeks ago.  Now, I do not usually buy Simplicity patterns because most of the time I am not very happy with them.  But I figured why not.

I cut the pattern out in the size I normally wear with Simplicty.  I find most of the time the size I wear in sewing patterns is at least four sizes bigger then I wear off the rack, if not more.  I had a piece of black linen that really did not have a "name" put on it.  I have been mostly drawn to solid dark colours recently.  That does not mean for quilts but for clothes.  Even though I do have some plaids for soft weekend dresses in my stash.

Even when I was cutting this pattern out I was thinking the pattern pieces were a bit of an odd shape.  Especially through the hips.  I felt like the hips were shelves.  I have just sewn so much to know what seems right or not.

I sewed it all together and put it on.

I changed the bodice a bit so there were no gathers.  But even with that alteration I should have probably increased the pattern size choice by another four sizes.  The sleeves were just not me.  I do not puff.  There was something very wonky about the skirt.  It might have been the size but I do not think so.

The dress was a disaster.  But it was really not my style so I am okay with that.  I will get a set of sleeves out of it for the black linen sheath dress I will make with what is left.  I will say that I learned a lot about how an apron dress goes together.  Which means that Gabrielle Hamilton's apron is quite feasible.  

Actually, I am sitting here in the finished product.  I will blog about it before the week is done.  Though I do think I should dye it soon.  White and me and the kitchen.  Not so good.  There is not enough soda ash and bleach in the world for that!


being frustrated and frugal

For the longest time, I have been trying to make slips that I like.  But I have not been very successful.  Usually they are too full or not low enough or not short enough or not long enough.  Lots of design problems. 

I think I may have figured it out.  But I will never post a picture of them.  Simple sheath shifts with just enough of an a-line shape to not trip me.  I am one of those who feels that if you cannot do it in a dress, it is not the dresses problem but your mind set.  The only things that I have not done in a dress are surf and snowboard.  It definitely has something to do with being wet and cold!

The frugal part is that I am using an old silk Rennaissance dress I made.  I rarely go to the fairs anymore so there is no need for six dresses in my closet.  (We used to go a lot)  A good use of fabric.  And frugal really works right now.  I am going down to four days a week at work.  It has a lot to do with the price of oil a barrel hovering close to $30.  I am excited about it because maybe I will get some of the work for me done that I wish and maybe a business started.

One step at a time.  Right now, maybe a slip pattern that really works!