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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Sewn on the Fourth of July

All the way back at my first Squam in 2011, Cal Patch wore the most adorable blouse she’d sewn herself. (She’s got pics on the old version of her blog.) Cal gave me the pattern number—Simplicity 3964, Built by Wendy—and I’d been looking for the perfect fabric to pair it with for a dress version ever since.


Then I found this pretty Japanese lawn at Mood Fabrics ($12/yard) earlier this year. This dress = finally happening!




The inset panel was a real pain in the tush, but like the V on the Chataigne shorts, it’s totally worth having to rip and resew a few times to get it right.


Floopy armscyes!

A few more notes:

I sewed French seams on the sides, which (along with the front and back yoke/bodice facings) means there isn’t a fray-able seam allowance anywhere inside this garment (yay!)

I cut a size 14 (which seems big, I know—I’m a 6 or 8 in the indie patterns, 8 or 10 ready to wear), which was perfect apart from a bit of floopiness under the arms. I ripped out the top few inches of the French seams and took in the sides (which meant I also had to shorten the armhole binding).


With my pal Marika McCoola (CHECK OUT HER DRESS! SHE MADE IT!!!!) at the launch of her debut graphic novel, Baba Yaga’s Assistant. Photo by Carter.


I got the belt custom made from a wonderful Etsy shop called Good Mood Moon that does vegan leather accessories. It really makes the outfit—much more interesting than the self-made fabric tie the pattern suggests. I also skipped the wing-like sleeve thingies. I have pretty square shoulders, so I was afraid they might look a little ridiculous. I like this dress sleeveless.


photo (5)

Look! It matches! (Photo by Mackenzi.)


I’m still not sure about the below-the-knee length of the hem—I need to wear an (albeit tiny) heel to keep it from feeling dowdy, but with my favorite sandals on it’s a pleasingly old fashioned length. Funny how fine that line can be sometimes.

And yes, I sewed this dress (everything but the hem!) on Independence Day. All the fun went out of the 4th when I found out how horrible fireworks are for the environment, so I figured I’d be antisocial and crank out something lovely to wear.

Next sewing post: smooth sailing before a HORRIBLE DISASTER! (Fortunately I am resourceful and can fix anything I almost ruin…)


3 Comments to Sewn on the Fourth of July

  1. Susan Grant's Gravatar Susan Grant
    August 14, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    A pretty dress on a beautiful person! And yes, you are quite resourceful, haha!

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    August 15, 2015 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    Both dresses are gorgeous! And I love the belts!

    The pattern reminds of something from a Beatrix Potter book.

  3. cal's Gravatar cal
    August 21, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    ha! i see you work at a similar pace to me ;n) i muddle over projects in my head for YEARS before they finally come to fruition. i think it’s the best way. your dress is so lovely! i have made them in every length and i kinda love it as a top, tunic or dress length. meaning i love them ALL!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.