What’s It Like to Swear Off Buying Any Clothes for a Year?

Clothes Making Mavens - a sewing podcast about handmade fashion

Madame Tifaine knows the answer. She spent a year on a ready-to-wear fast and sewed everything she needed. Have a listen to the latest episode of the Clothes Making Mavens podcast, in which I talk to Tif about why she did it and what she learned along the way. Enjoy!

You can also visit Madame Tifaine’s blog to see her lovely makes.

Clothes Making Mavens podcast - episode 8 - Madame Tifaine

I Was Smiling the Whole Time

There’s no doubt we could use more reasons to smile lately. It’s been a while since I’ve knitted something that made me excited to plan, happy to knit, and gleeful to wear. But this neck warmer was just the ticket!

Happy sheep cowl neck warmer

This is the I’ll Pack a Cowl for Rhinebeck by Deb Jacullo. Pssst — it’s FREE! Another reason to smile.

Sheep neckwarmer cowl

I made a couple of modifications to the pattern. I made the cowl smaller in circumference by leaving off one of the sheep from the chart, and since the chart is repeated twice, that means the width of two sheep were left off the circumference. This resulted in a closer-fitting neck warmer which I much prefer — I’ve never understood the use of scarf or cowl that gapes open around your neck…but then again, I do have a serious hate-on for any kind of cool breeze getting anywhere near my neck. It was a 7-stitch wide sheep, so I just cast on 14 fewer stitches to start and went from there.

sheepcowl3

Umm, those are snowflakes in my hair, not dandruff. Just sayin’.

I also made the neck warmer less tall by leaving off a few extra rows of ribbing at the top and bottom. If I did it again I would probably leave out some rounds below the sheep, as it’s still a bit too tall for me. Regardless, I feel happy whenever I’m sporting this cozy-cute thing! I highly recommend it as a pattern. And if you’re new to colour knitting, this is a great first project to give it a try. There are 4 colours in total but you only ever have to deal with two colours at a time in any given row, so it’s not terribly complex. It’s a great yarn stash busting project as well.

Here are a couple more things that make me happy: handmade knit socks. Watching the stripes and patterns develop makes them fun to knit, and wearing hand knit socks in winter is one of life’s great pleasures. Wool is naturally breathable like no other sock material I’ve ever tried, so it keeps you warm but if you do start to sweat you don’t get that horrible clammy feeling.

Basic Ribbed Socks pattern by Kate Atherley, knit with Regia sock yarn

turtlepurlstripeysocks

Basic Ribbed Socks pattern by Kate Atherley, knit with Turtlepurl Perfect Pair sock yarn

I must’ve knit myself about 8 pairs of socks in the last few years, and I’ve used this same Basic Ribbed Socks pattern by Kate Atherley every time. (More free pattern happiness!) Occasionally I think I should try another type of sock design but I’m so happy with the fit of these that I figure why mess with a good thing? But I must admit that a few patterns have  made me consider cheating on poor Ms Atherley, like these Dotty Knots Socks — because colour! Or these Watermelon Slice Socks — because, well, watermelon! Or these Nightingale socks — because, holy shit, drop-dead gorgeous show-stopping outrageousness! So many happy-making sock pattern choices.

Here’s another thing that’s making me happy: next week I am leaving for a trip to Kenya. I’m taking a group of my university students who will be producing a short documentary as well as content for a social media campaign for AMREF — the African Medical Research and Education Foundation. We’ll be visiting AMREF’s drop-in centre for kids from the Dagoretti slum of Nairobi, where at-risk kids can make art, learn media production, learn cooking, and learn SEWING! We’ll also be spending a week in a Maasai village learning about AMREF’s Alternative Rites of Passage project, which aims to phase out the dangerous (and illegal) tradition of female genital mutilation by helping girls, village elders, and the young men the girls might marry to understand the risks involved with FGM, and to implement new traditions for this rite of passage from girlhood to womanhood. Last week we were lucky enough to have a young woman from Kenya named Nice visit our class to tell her story. As an 8-year-old, she was scheduled to do her rite of passage, which involves having the clitoris and parts of or all of the labia removed without anaesthetic. She and her older sister ran away the morning of the ceremony, and were beaten when they were caught. Nice ran away again when the ceremony was rescheduled, and has been working with AMREF ever since to help spread the concept of an alternative rite of passage. Happily she has become a leader in her community and travels around the world to help raise awareness.

rtainkenyateam

Nice, third from left, and part of my team traveling to Kenya next week. Photo by Jennifer Foulds.

AMREF is doing amazing work and I’m so happy that my young students have an opportunity to learn about a completely different culture and have their perspectives and minds expanded. Open minds are another thing we could use more of these days, don’t you think?

I’m looking forward to telling you about my travels when I return. But beware, I’ll also be asking you to help support AMREF! I figure an organization that is providing sewing lessons to kids in need would be A-OK in your books, and worthy of support. Here’s a link to donate if you’re interested. AMREF is a registered charity and can provide tax receipts for your donation. http://www.amrefcanada.org/ryerson

What are the things that are making you happy these days?

Thanks so much for stopping by for a read!

Named Talvikki Sweatshirt

Heather Lou made me do it! She looked so great in her Named Talvikki Sweatshirt that I had a second look at this pattern that I had previously passed over.

Named Talvikki Sweater

Named Talvikki Sweater Back

I like the minimalist design of this sweater, particularly the darts around the neckline which form the funnel neck. I must admit that I very happily and cluelessly applied non-stretch interfacing to my stretch fabric neck facing. (At least I have a consistent M.O.) Luckily, the neck opening was wide enough to fit over my pea-head without stretching (or, at least with the sound of only one stitch snapping) so disaster was (mostly) averted.

Named Talvikki Sweater Funnel Neck

I sewed this with a sweatshirt fabric I bought from L’oiseau Fabrics, a terrific online fabric retailer that carries a ton of knits. The pattern calls for a medium- to heavy-weight stretch fabric, providing enough body for the sweater to look fairly structured, and this fabric fits the bill. The design of this pattern can definitely elevate plain sweatshirt fleece from schlubby to smart. (Which is hard to say out loud…try it. lol)

talvikki_side

I modified the pattern to make it slightly longer so I can wear leggings and have my butt covered, and the side slits don’t go up quite as high. There’s no point in having too much ventilation in a cool-weather sweater, amirite?

As I’m putting this post together, I realize that this *looks* better than I *feel* in it. I feel a bit dwarfed by the roominess of this sweater. I find the sleeves to be ginormous — very wide armholes and sleeves. I’m tempted to zip the serger up the sleeve sides to trim them down a bit.

Named Talvikki Sweater

With special guest appearance by Ernie’s tail

Some great ideas I’ve read for this pattern around the blogosphere include:

  • sew it in ponte knit
  • sew it in boiled wool (as Named’s sample was done)…definitely in a class above sweatshirt fleece
  • add a short exposed zipper to the back or the neck, or even up the side of one shoulder

talvikki4

Named Talvikki Sweater

Thanks for stopping by for a read!

Perfect PJs

I can’t think of a more appropriate project to sew just a few days before Christmas!

onesie5

This is Burda’s onesie pyjamas (12/2016 #103). As soon as I saw their photo, I realized I had the perfect heather grey knit fabric that had been sitting in my stash for 2 years.

I seem to recall that this knit was labeled Marc Jacobs or some such thing when I bought it at Mood in NYC. I considered it for a number of different patterns over time but always rejected it because I realized that the daisy motif was a bit twee for a garment. Then I saw this pyjama pattern and it was a match made in heaven! The fabric is the perfect weight for pyjies…soft and warm.

Burda onesie pyjamas

I used buttons instead of snaps. Snaps would have been more convenient but when I took this into my favourite shop for adding snaps and rivets, the guy there advised against them since I hadn’t interfaced the button band. He thought pulling on the snaps might eventually tear the fabric…so if you’re thinking of making this pattern, definitely add interfacing.

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to make the bottom of the button band square…I think I mis-sewed that seam so a rectangular finish was not possible. Burda, I’m sure I’m not the only sewist who wished you had some damn illustrations in your instructions.

onesie6

I cut and sewed the smallest size — 36, which is often too big for me. I ended up shortening the legs and arms quite a bit and taking in the sides of the torso, adding a slight bit of waist shaping while I was at it. It’s still quite roomy but the fit is perfect for lounging and sleeping.

onesie_back

onesie4

And this is me shaking my be-pyjied butt because I am so damn excited to have the perfect pyjamas for Christmas!

onesie_back2

Just right for rugging up with hand knit socks, a good book, and a purring cat…which is pretty much my definition of a perfect Christmas holiday.

onesie2

Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season! ❤

 

Take These Scraps And…

My city has a pretty amazing recycling program, accepting just about anything for recycling…compost, styrofoam, glass, plastic bags; you name it…except textiles.

where to recycle fabric scraps

Now I know you all share the secret shame of home sewists: producing extraordinary amounts of little scraps of fabric that can’t be used for much of anything except landfill.

Why this is a problem is summed up well by Craig and Marc Kielburger in their article “We Shouldn’t Be Filling Up Our Landfills With Clothing”:

In North America, consumers are buying — and getting rid of — five times as much clothing as we did 25 years ago, reports Elizabeth Cline in her book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (Portfolio, 2013). A staggering 85 per cent of our collective apparel ends up in a landfill — that’s over 10.5 million tons of clothing, according to the popular second-hand store Value Village. In a single year, Canada produces enough textile waste — clothing and other goods like upholstery — to create a mountain three times the size of Toronto’s Rogers Centre stadium.

It’s easy to donate used clothing for reuse (although even the Goodwills and Salvation Armies and Value Villages of the world are now having a very hard time even keeping up with all of the clothing donations being sent their way), but what about those offcuts from sewing? I spent a lot of time researching options near me for recycling fabric but short of driving them to a depot over a hundred kilometres away, there were few. Between fabric scraps, old worn-out clothing, and bed sheets that have reached the end of their life, I have two garbage bags full of textiles waiting in the basement for a recycling option.

Good news! Clothing retailer H&M will take them off your hands and recycle them. And since there seems to be an H&M within a 2 block radius of every man, woman and child in the western world, hopefully that means this is an option for you, dear reader.

fabric recycling

They offer a coupon for $5 off your next purchase of $30 or more for each bag you bring in, just in case you need more incentive than simply feeling imperious for having saved your scraps from going to landfill.

Funny story: I brought a bag of scraps and worn out clothes to an H&M a few months ago, and when I put it into the collection bin (which was much like a fast-food restaurant trash bin with a push-door at the top front), the whole bin fell apart with a giant clatter. First the sides fell open, hitting the floor with a deafening slap, and then the rest came crashing down while I stood there burning bright red for having attracted the attention of every single person in the store. Then a gum-chewing teenage employee comes up to me and says “next time, just give it to someone at the cash!” Thanks, smart ass. Next time, empty your fucking bin out before it bursts at the seams! lol

Anyway, hopefully your experience recycling your fabric scraps will be a little less traumatic than mine was. 😉

Do you have options near you for recycling fabric scraps and clothes that are too far gone for reusing?

 

Doing This Was *SO* Worth It

So this is a thing I did…

Kondo'd drawer

I was getting sick of having to dump out my dresser drawers every couple of months to re-fold the jumbled hot mess they inevitably became. Where is that damn black turtleneck?? <riffle riffle ruffle> Don’t I have a purple long sleeved Tee in here somewhere?? <ruffle toss riffle> Why won’t this drawer close properly?? <grunt urgh %^&$>

I’m quite late to the hype party but Marie Kondo’s bestselling book from 2014 on tidying up describes a way to fold your clothes so they’ll stand up in neat rows like this. (If you’re a cynic like me, you can skip the part about caressing the garment to communicate your gratitude and affection to it.) I decided to give the method a try and it has actually made getting dressed in the morning SO. MUCH. EASIER.

I can see all my clothes at a glance! Folding laundry takes a little extra time, but that tiny bit of extra time is paying off in sanity dividends.

kondodrawer2

You can use shoe boxes or other dividers as I have above, but I found it’s really not necessary, particularly if you have enough clothes to fill the drawer — they will hold each other up nicely.

Besides making my mornings easier, this new arrangement also forces me to consider what’s in the drawer before I add something new to it. If there isn’t enough room, then I have to choose something to donate in order to make room. I used to just shove new things into drawers until they were all bursting at the seams, and I’d forget I owned half the things that were in there.

Another bonus: the clothes have less wrinkles in them now. Smoothing out the garment before folding into these neat little bundles helps. As does not having a drawer full of rumpled up messes. 😉

Kondo'd drawers

How do you organize your clothes? Any good tips for closets?

 

Do You Sew Gifts?

Or are you worried that after all your hard work, this is the reaction the recipient might have?

Ralphie's bunny suit

Ralphie’s not too keen on the bunny suit Aunt Clara made for him in 1983’s A Christmas Story

If you haven’t heard Episode 7 of the Clothes Making Mavens podcast yet, that’s the next topic Helena and I are asking you to weigh in on. Do you sew/knit/make gifts? And what reactions do you get? Ever slaved forever over a handmade gift only to have the giftee turn their nose up at it? Or spent $95 in materials and 60 hours of knitting only to have the new owner throw it into the dryer and shrink it beyond all recognition? Or maybe you’ve got a wonderful story about how a handmade item turned out to be one of the most touching and meaningful things you’ve ever given or received?

My husband is only slowly coming around from being horrified at the thought that I would make him something. (“What if I didn’t like it? I’d still feel obligated to wear it,” he sensibly reasons.) But I made him a pair of socks last Christmas which he admits he likes wearing. So this year I am of course making him a bunny suit.

davesocks

Dave’s expression shows he’s a little uncomfortable about his first handmade gift from me. lol

What is your story about making or receiving handmade gifts? Leave a comment below, or better yet, call and leave a message at (1)-401-64-MAVEN so we can play your story back on our next podcast. You can also get in touch with me at frivolousatlast at gmail dot com if you’d like me to arrange a time to Skype with you so I can record your story.

purple_cosmeticbag

I made these cute little cosmetic bags/pencil cases using Simplicity Crafts 9949 (out of print, but Simplicity 1153 is the exact same, updated pattern set). The purple fabric is linen-cotton canvas from Spoonflower. If you’re not familiar with Spoonflower, it’s a site where you can order custom-printed fabric, choosing from the thousands of designs on their site or even uploading your own design. I ordered the “fishbone repeat” design by Nalo Hopkinson to use on some throw pillows I sewed recently, and still have plenty of it leftover for smaller projects like this. However, I think the fish looked better on screen than they do on the fabric. Some of the detail of the fin bones seems to have gotten lost in the printing. (So word to the wise: be wary of highly detailed images for printing on fabric, particularly slightly ‘rougher’ fabrics like this canvas.)

The image from Spoonflower’s website

purple_cosmeticbag2

I added a couple of pull tabs at each end of the zipper which the pattern did not call for but which make pulling the zipper much easier. The pattern calls for an underlining but does not specify to use any interfacing, which is an absolute must if you are working with garment-weight scraps. I used heavyweight interfacing on the purple bag, and two layers of medium weight interfacing on the cotton sateen floral bag below (fabric leftover from this mod mini-dress), which was my ‘test bag’. I think heavyweight is the way to go for this structured design.

floral_cosmeticbag

I think these will make cute gifts for some of my girlfriends. Handmade with love…but really only an hour or two of love, which is about all the love I can spare at the moment! lol

I am having fun finding brightly coloured zippers to add some pop to the bags. More to come!

floral_cosmeticbag2

Don’t forget — do tell me about your handmade gift-giving (and receiving) experiences! I’d love to share your stories on the podcast.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

With a Little Help From My Friends, Part 2: THANK YOU

Hey friends! Guess who won second place in the Pattern Review Handbag Contest??

Handbag Contest 2016

Thank you SO MUCH for helping me out with your votes. I am very grateful and very happy! And I’m loving my new bag.

Red Leather Bundle Bag

I’ve been busy lately, including work on the next episode of the Clothes Making Mavens podcast which will be released soon, so things have been a bit quiet here on the blog front. But I have a few projects to share with you just as soon as I get some focused time to sit down and write. Here’s a peek:

Colette Zinnia Skirt

The Zinnia Skirt by Colette

The Emmanuelle Sweater

The Emmanuelle Sweater

And as the weather gets cooler I’m doing more rugging up in front of the television (living vicariously through Luke Cage‘s bullet-proof, thug-thwarting swagger, and feeling inspired by The Get Down to make a gold lamé dress for disco dancing) and knitting away at this Velvet Morning Cardigan

Velvet Morning Cardigan in progress

Velvet Morning Cardigan in progress

…which obviously won’t go with the gold lamé dress or be suitable for nailing thugs in Harlem, but will be perfect for more rugging up in front of the TV. I’m on a slippery slope, here, friends, a very slippery slope. 🙂

 

 

Forget Hillary. Forget Asshat. Vote for This Instead.

Lemme just clear up that this post has absolutely nothing to do with the US election campaign. You can relax. 🙂

———-

Asking directly for what you want is a good skill for women to have. I’ve read about studies that show women are less likely than men to be direct about what they need, whether it’s asking for a raise, asking for help, or even pointing out their own achievements. In fact, I read about this in the book Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, which I highly recommend. The authors pick apart the psychology of this problem and illustrate their points with studies and stats, and suggest strategies for change. (If you know a young woman who has just started her career or is about to, get her this book, stat! In fact, if you are a woman or know some women, make sure you all have a copy!) Not asking for what we want may be part of the reason — aside from living in an inherently sexist society that undervalues women and their contributions, of course — that women on average earn less than men in the same profession. And believe me, I understand that particular situation personally first hand.

So that’s a really loooong (and uncharacteristically serious!) way of saying I believe in trumpeting one’s own achievements and asking for what you want. So, I want you to marvel at this awesome leather handbag I made! And I want you to vote for me in the Pattern Review Handbag Contest! Can you help a girl out? 😀

Red Leather Bundle Bag

Whaddya think? I’m pretty chuffed about this bag, let me tell you! I think it’s rather professional looking with its blood-red leather, exterior pockets, drawstring closure, and gunmetal hardware.

redleatherbag1

But wait, check out the inside! Bag lining is the perfect place to get my silly-patterned-fabric ya-ya’s out. I used some leftover cotton from Cotton + Steel’s Tokyo Train Ride collection, which I originally used to make this high neck sleeveless top. There’s a zippered pocket as well as a cell-phone patch pocket in the interior.

redleatherbag_interior2

I don’t mind telling you that this was a *bitch* to sew. Neither of my sewing machines (not even my trusty 1983 model Singer that I figured could sew through a two-by-four) liked the heavy-weight thread that was recommended for use with leather. I think the thread broke at least 22 times while I stitched the seams. In some spots where there were 6 layers of leather to sew through, I had to use the foot pedal *and* physically push the needle contraption down as hard as I could with my hands. I’m sure this is not good for a sewing machine. Where the handle meets the top of the bag, there were 8 layers to get through. The machine absolutely would not budge. I bent 4 hand sewing needles trying to finish those seams.

redleatherbag5

And do you know what? I can proudly say that in spite of the challenges, my alter-ego Sewzilla didn’t even show her face. She politely stayed away while I patiently replaced needles and rethreaded the machine countless times. You could say she was a No-Show Sew-Zo. Must be the unseasonably warm sunny weather we’re having here in Toronto lately keeping this house Sewzilla-free. Or maybe it was that I knew this bag would kick ass, so it was worth the effort. I do absolutely love it.

Sewzilla

The No-Show Sew-Zo

[UPDATE: my husband and #UnsungSewingBlogHero proofread this post for me and kindly pointed out that Sewzilla did, in fact, show up during the making of this bag. So apparently Sewzilla now knows how to take over my brain and then erase my memory of it. Shit. Maybe I can bribe her to erase my husband’s memory of her visits, too. I mean, have a little MERCY, Sewzilla.]

redleatherbag3

I now have two versions of this bag. I made the first one, in black leather, at a workshop at a local sewing studio called Sew Be It, where we were guided through the process of making the bag with instructor Sherri Gallagher. Sherri is a professional leather worker who designed the bag and drafted the pattern, and gave the students in the workshop copies of the pattern pieces to keep and use again. Then along came the Pattern Review Handbag Contest and it was the perfect excuse to see if I could sew one on my own.

I bought the red leather hide for $60 at Leather & Sewing Supply Depot on Spadina Avenue in Toronto, as well as all the findings, thread, and double-sided tape to hold the seams together before stitching. There’s an old fellow who I think owns the shop who walked me around pointing out all the perfect things I would need for the bag. They have excellent customer service there. They will even install snaps, eyelets, rivets, etc. into your project while you wait, which is what I did. I spent about 30 mins with someone at the shop who helped me find the best rivets and put them in for me, for a measly 75 cents per rivet. That was the best sanity-saving $7.50 I ever spent.

the materials for making the leather bag

Pattern pieces, buckram interfacing, lining fabric, double sided tape, leather, and various findings

At first I thought I’d use that cute Nerdy Stag fabric above for the lining — see how his little glasses match the red leather? — but I didn’t have enough. It’s now destined to become a cosmetics bag.

redleatherbag_hide

The verdict? I LOVE THIS. The size and shape of the bag plus all those pockets make it a favourite for every day use. And it’s the kind of project that stuns people when I tell them I made it.

Hey everyone, I MADE THIS! (Trumpeting my achievement — check.) Will you vote for me in the Handbag Contest? (Asking for what I want — check.) Thanks, friends. We gotta look out for each other. 🙂

redleatherbag4

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Does This Look Handmade?

What makes something look handmade? And is that a good thing or a bad thing? Those are the questions Helena and I are asking your opinion on for the next episode of the Clothes Making Mavens Podcast. Sometimes I worry if someone asks me “did you make that?” — why do you ask, is there something wrong with it?? is usually my first thought. On the other hand, friends are now asking me almost every day if I made what I’m wearing, regardless of whether I actually made it or bought it at the store, so I guess that’s a vote of confidence in my sewing skills. The question for many of us is whether we want what we’re wearing to have a ‘handmade look’ to it. And what does that mean, exactly? Does that bring to mind the thought of “Becky-Home-Ecky” projects? Or gorgeous, one-of-a-kind creations that no one else has? Do you embrace both?

Why don’t you leave me a comment or a voicemail and tell me what you think? You can call 401-64-MAVEN, or click below to use your computer’s built-in microphone to leave a message. It would be so cool to include your voice on our podcast!

https://www.speakpipe.com/widget/inline/y6tpx0p6ybx3aa20wixfcugsw4qdmbbl

Here’s a recent handmade creation of mine. And it has an absolute dead giveaway sign that it’s handmade.

NewLook 6210 dress in Art Gallery Tiny Dancer fabric in Midnight

The pattern is New Look 6210, View D.

I was in the mood for an easy-going summer tank dress with a racerback which is why I picked up this pattern. But for some reason I chose to do the v-neck version with a fuller back instead. Maybe because I find v-necks are more flattering on me than u-necks, but I seem to forget so easily that sewing v-necks is the bane of my existence! It’s always a struggle to get the point of the v looking good.

dandeliondress_vneck

I also didn’t realize just how much positive ease is built into this pattern — it came out huge. When I first popped it on for fit I lamented to my husband that I had made myself a Soviet-era Russian house dress. A sack, really. I had to hack away at the sides, the back, the shoulders — everything — to get it to fit. Here’s one weird hack I used on the back to try to give the dress a bit of waist definition:

dandeliondressback1

I considered adding darts, but instead did a couple of pleats, folded in toward the centre back seam and stitched across.

dandeliondressbackcu

It’s not perfect, but it improved the overall shape of the dress dramatically, and adds a bit of interest. I don’t even care that it looks a lot like THIS, from Kurt Vonnegut’s book Breakfast of Champions:

asteriskasshole

But that little hack is not even the handmade dead giveaway! If you’ve ever hemmed a knit with a twin needle before, I *KNOW* this has happened to you, too. I stitched around the armhole with a twin needle (the original armhole band having long ago been hacked off for a better fit — and please, no, don’t ask me why I didn’t adjust the fit before sewing on the armhole band, thanks), and then got to work trimming away the excess fabric as close to the twin-needle stitching as possible. You know how this ends. SNIIIIIIP!!! Feels like the scissors just bit into something they shouldn’t have bit into. You know that feeling. Yes, I cut a chunk out of the dress itself just under the armhole:

dandeliondress_hole

I think that little hole could be considered a true mark of handmade-edness, no? Lucky for me, I don’t think it’s terribly noticeable so I’m just rollin’ with it.

dandeliondress1

The fabric is Art Gallery Tiny Dancer knit in Midnight, which I ordered from Fabric.com (no affiliation). It’s got white dandelion puffs on a steel-blue background with dashes of bright spring green in the centre of the dandelions. It was the spring green that got me hooked on needing this fabric, but I was a bit disappointed in it in person. The fabric is good quality, but the base fabric is white with the blue printed on top so when it stretches some white shows through. Also, the blue isn’t as saturated as I would like; it’s kind of a dull greyish-blue. A sharp navy would’ve made me like this much better. This was my first time ordering from Fabric.com and I was very pleasantly shocked to find the order on my doorstep within 24 hours. This was coming from Georgia, USA, and I live in Toronto, Canada. Wow. Shipping rates were actually reasonable, too. I did have to pay duty to the good old government of Canada on delivery but access to fabrics I can’t find around here and such a quick delivery time was worth it.

dandeliondressback2

Next summer I will try this pattern again to make a striped racerback tank dress, but I’ll be sure to adjust the pattern before cutting out to remove the positive ease.

So long summer! It’s been nice sewin’ ya.

______________

Have you caught the latest episode of the Clothes Making Mavens Podcast? Listeners tell us about their proudest sewing moments, Helena and I chat about where we get our sewing inspiration from, and Maris drops some knowledge about some sewing machine presser feet you could be putting to good use.

Clothes Making Mavens Podcast Episode 5

If you’d like to be featured on our next podcast, don’t forget to get in touch and tell us your thoughts on what makes something look handmade! Can’t wait to hear from you. 🙂