Emerald Lady

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So after I had completely finished this dress, I realized that it is my third dress (in a row!) to be green… And, my past two dress posts each were titled after a “lady,” so I could not force myself to interrupt the pattern this time. Wearing this dress truly does make one feel a lady. It is very likely my most extravagant and most prized creation thus far.

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As some of you may know from my previous post, I made this dress by adapting a vintage evening gown pattern. Though the pattern sleeves were quite classy, I opted for a younger, sleeveless look. The fabric is from Cali Fabrics, a decently-priced shop with many kinds of materials in a great variety of colors. Funny story– I ordered 5 yards of emerald taffeta, 8 yards of emerald tulle, and 2 yards of cream chiffon…. I made the bodice and realized that chiffon was not working for the kind of bow I imagined. So, I had this crepe-y silk/taffeta (I’m really not sure what it is) sitting beside me, because I had made a muslin with it. As it turned out, I had just enough to make the sash, which ended up being the perfect thing!

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Recently, in an interview, I was asked if I have ever failed. While the obvious answer is “yes,” I groped for a noteworthy example. My many sewing endeavors provided me with just the right example. I explained how I have most likely failed many more times than I have succeeded when sewing. And yet, that is how I learn. Without the long list of failures, I would not be the pattern-drafter, fabric buyer, and stitcher that I am today. All this is an introduction to what was perhaps my biggest sewing fail ever… I had completely finished my lovely bodice when I noticed a narrow line of stitches down one of the back sides. I turned the fabric to see the inside. I had serged into my bodice. Ah, it made me sick. After meticulously seam-ripping the serged stitches and trying to patch the tiny holes cut into the fabric, I yielded to what I knew had to be done. The perfectly ironed facing– off. The scrupulously sewn darts– redo. That entire quarter of my bodice– throw away. I cut around the pattern once more, lined up the darts once more, and attached this new and perfect piece to the rest of my dress. But, I can tell you, I am so glad I did!! My beautiful handiwork is now blemish-free. And I learned the importance of careful serging.

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Upcoming Venture

My winter hibernation is over! The spring calls me. A slew of projects and dresses is soon to come, and today I wanted to give you all a sneak peek at a what I hope to be my best accomplishment yet— a vintage evening gown! I have just ordered the pattern and have not begun yet, but my head is full of color combinations and slight modifications. Isn’t the pattern the most adorable little dress you ever did see?!

Currently, I am leaning towards a dark green taffeta (or would a different material be better?) bodice, dark green taffeta skirt with a tulle overlay, and a white chiffon sash. Some other options that have crossed my mind are the following: gold and white, some kind of brocade, pink lace… Have any other ideas?

Christmas Lady

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Hello, all! Christmas is nearing quickly. I have always loved the idea of dressing according to the holiday– pink and red for Valentine’s Day, red and blue for July 4th, pumpkin for Thanksgiving, green and red for Christmas. But I rarely have accomplished this… for different reasons; sometimes I am too lazy and choose sweatpants over a carefully picked outfit. Other times, I can’t put together the right ensemble. I fixed that problem for Christmas this year with a casual green dress. I made my pattern to match the Lady Skater pattern which has been so popular lately. I learned a wonderful fact while in the process of making this dress… Serged seams stretch as much as the fabric stretches! Most of you likely have known this for years, but it was my first time to see this amazing phenomenon actually work. Every seam that went into this dress is serged, a first for me as well. Overall, making this dress was quite unproblematic, a nice condition to run into every once in a while. Paired with dark red tights, this dress is my go-to outfit for any Christmas activity!

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Lady Liberty

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To make the long story short, this post was due on July 4. Yes, it is mid-September. I’ll just say that I lost a bit of my motivation on this dress after the first couple of hours. Finally, over Labor Day weekend, I made myself labor over this dress until it was finished. I am so glad that I did complete it!

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When I first got this fabric from the Mood in New York City, I thought it was the perfect material to use for this dress I had been loving. It is a satin silk. And on top of that, the fabric is the same color as the Statue of Liberty. What could be better than a Statue of Liberty dress made out of New York fabric?!

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The design of the Modcloth dress that I copied was so unique but also risky. Making the pattern was definitely a project in itself. But I am glad for the practice. Also, I think this pattern is very flattering! I did have one recurring problem throughout the whole process– puckering seams. Does anyone have any advice for sewing with lightweight fabrics and keeping the fabric from puckering at the seams?

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Refashioned: Drop-waist Lace

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Time is precious right now. There is hardly enough to go around! My many projects– recovering a chair, painting an old bike, figuring out new curtains, making bread weekly, blogging…ever– have all been tossed to the wind. No time. This lovely little refashion, however, was so quick and easy that I found enough time to make it happen. Like most of my refashions, this vintage dress started out at an estate sale with a 50 cent tag attached.

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Though it was pretty to start with, the waist was a bit too low for my taste; so I seam-ripped the skirt off and reattached it a bit higher. Then I added another panel of white lining under the second tier of lace to make it decent. So easy! Perhaps what I love most about this one is its versatility. Today at church, I wore the dress with a chambray tank over it, a leather belt, and cowboy boots. It would also be adorable with a cardigan and topped of with a cloche for an ultra Twenties look. Anyhow, I am looking forward to trying out options!

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Good.

It is Easter once more, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to sing my Savior’s praises today! He is so good. When there is nothing good in me, He is good. When we were dead in our sin, He chose to display his goodness and love by dying on a cross to save us. He is good. We can trust in His promises, because He is good. Need I say it again? Yes, He’s good.

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P.S. This is my Easter dress that I made, a copycat of this dress, using this great princess seam tutorial.

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Refashioned: Striped Ruffles

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Here is a dress that I made, wore once (as a Halloween costume), and immediately refashioned. I love how it turned out! By simply cutting the bodice to a more desirable length and adjusting the skirt length accordingly, I ended out with what is possibly the most comfortable dress I’ve ever made. The fabric is light and airy, but the pattern is feminine and classy; so it’s basically perfect. I added a bit of elastic in the back so that the bodice would be a bit more fitting. I have been counting the possibilities– in the fall with knee-highs and a cardigan, winter with tights and a blazer, spring with a button-up shirt and belt, and summer with bare feet. What do you think? How should I wear it this fall and winter?

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Here’s what it looked like before:

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A Drop-Waist Dress

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If you saw my last post, you saw some of the inspiration I used in making this lovely 1920’s dress. But actually, I ended out being most influenced by these two other dresses I found later.

Look at Lady Mary’s striped dress!

While it is functioning as my Halloween costume, I may be more excited about wearing it afterwards. I have a few ideas for little changes here and there to make it more wearable. It will probably lose the drop-waist…. but you can’t say I didn’t try it out! I’m really glad I made it drop-waisted, so that I could try the technique and the look. I’m just not sold on the look. I guess I’m more of a waist-definition/high-waisted kind of girl. From the beginning, I was planning on using a cream fabric but could not find any. Is that not a shocker?!? No thin, cream fabric in my town. None. I should have used a sheet. Eh, but what am I griping about? I really love this tiny-striped, gray and white fabric. It’s very light, and all the gathers lay well. I feel like I was whisked straight off Downton Abbey when I wear this dress. By the way, I made the pattern, which was very simple, and made the dress in one afternoon. I think it turned out well for such a quickie!

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1920’s Inspiration

It seems like 1920’s fever has been going around. The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey have gotten into everybody’s heads, I guess. I’ve never loved the drop-waist trend that was so popular, but for some reason (I must have gotten the fever, too) I am dead-set on making a 20’s dress. I’m planning on this being my Halloween costume, though I would love for it to be something I will wear again. So, I come to you, my lovely readers, with a question… What should it look like? I am aiming for elegant, not flapper. Based on that fact and these photos, what aspects should I incorporate? Tiers, lace, vertical ruffles, deep v-neck, side bow, sleeves, sheer fabric…. And what color?

Dress Shop Sale!

My dress shop, Margaret and Alice, is having a sweet 30% off sale! It is a significant cut on the price, and we have some great pieces that will look adorable in a layered, fall outfit. I am hoping to make a post in the near future with some different outfit options from these pieces. Each of the dresses would be so cute with a cardigan and leggings, or maybe with a chambray button-up and leather boots. The lace trim top would be perfect to layer with a bow-tie blouse and skinny jeans or perhaps over a simple, dark-colored dress with a belt. In case you can’t tell, y’all need to buy this stuff soon, so I won’t decide to just keep it all for myself! Anyway, to get the 30% discount, use the coupon code: MARGARET30. Also, I’ve got another dress made that I’m going to put in the shop very soon. So keep your eyes peeled!

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