Sewing plans and ramblings

Hello dear sewing friends!!  I know I cannot be the only one who is amazed we are already into the month of February 2020?!  And I was just getting used to writing 2019...... ;)   'Life' is going well and I hope to be back here on a more regular basis journaling my work now that I am settling into a new routine and feel so much better.  I've been sewing some.... just not blogging or instagramming my work... need to catch you guys up on those.... but meanwhile wanted to share a few plans and other stuff I'm working on with you today.

First up..... making another version of this cute dress, below.   Everyone should have a couple of fun, easy to wear little dresses in their closets and the free pattern Orla Dress by French Navy fits that bill for me.  This dress, below, was made way back in 2017  for my daughter who never liked it, nor wore it, so it was eventually rescued and put into my closet but never officially blogged about.   Sewn straight from the pattern, was pleasantly surprised to find it produced a pretty good fit for me.  Made from a lovely sage green quilting cotton with the bodice lined in soft white cotton, it is a delight to wear.
For the new upcoming version I will be making a few tweaks...... narrowing the upper neckline a bit as I must have a narrow width between the shoulders, adding 1" to the bodice length, change the gathers to pleats and add POCKETS!!  Everything needs pockets in my humble opinion.  ;)  Below is the quilting cotton from the stash that's been waiting to become another Orla Dress.  With this colorway it will be a fun dress to wear with tights, booties and a cardi on these warmer winter days we've been having here.  Hmmmm, might need to line the skirt with a Bemberg lining of sorts so the cotton won't cling to the tights.....
Because the Orla Dress pattern is a free pattern, this also qualifies for February's Make a Garment a Month Sewing Challenge that is on Instagram.  Sue, Helene and Suzy are wonderful hosts and I hope to be a better participant of their challenge this year.  All are welcome and encouraged to join in when they can.
Change of subject.... when I saw this adorable free printable 2020 calendar you can download from Clean & Scentsible, below, I immediately thought of you guys.  She produces I think 3 different sizes to print out and I fell in love with the lovely watercolor colorways of the little animals.
As part of my thoughts here today..... it's been most curious to me that an old post of how to make Fabric Face Masks has become one of my blog's highest daily pageviews recently.  Can't help but wonder if the threat of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has something to do with this uptick in pageviews.  As a full disclaimer I have no idea how much of a germ barrier these masks might be as they were made for my pup's groomer to help her combat inhaling dog dander and fur.
Speaking of my pup, I had to say goodbye to sweet Susie recently.
At 13 she had lived a great life.  12 years ago I chose her from the local shelter to be a companion to my mother-in-law at the time.  She filled that role well, and when things changed a few years ago with the need for a memory care assisted living facility, Susie became my constant companion.  I miss her greatly.
After drying a few tears..... wanted to share a couple of other things with you.  A few years ago Burda Academy offered a free class to learn how to design and sew your own custom workout wear.  I am finally working my way through the class and am focusing on this princess seam workout tank top, below.  Mine will be black with leopard side panels.  ;) 
As part of my new lifestyle and focusing on bettering my health, I am working out every day now and need to up the quality and style in my workout outfits.  Most afternoons a pleasant hour is spent at my local Y (gym) where not only am I getting healthy physically, but meeting some of the nicest folks and expanding my circle of friends.  It's now such a part of my routine, I look forward to going each day and miss it if I'm not able to get there.  There are lots of different cardio and weight resistant machines that I enjoy, but some days it's nice to slip off to a quiet, empty group exercise room and use simple tools, below.  This has been..... is.... a huge learning curve for me and one that I am very much enjoying.
As I was scrolling through my IG feed this morning, Erin at sewordinary had put up Pantone's 2020 Spring color palette.....
..... and after a quick search, found a little clearer image that also included 4 'Classics' colors.  I really like all these colors!  What do you think of the Spring colors this year?
Classic Blue has been proclaimed Pantone's 2020 Color of the year.  This is a great shade of blue.
It's been fun to share with my new friends that I sew my clothes.  Oh the look on their faces!!!  Fun!!  One of my new friends needed a cute dress hemmed.  She said it'd been sitting in a bag waiting for this simple alteration for a couple of years..... and less than 30 minutes later.... 2" shortened with a 1" hem pinned in place ready for her to try on to check.  She's given me word that all's good so I'll be machine sewing a blind hem tomorrow then all's done and ready for her to wear again.  Maybe less than another 30 minutes to do that.  So glad that I am able to help her in this way.
Then at the school where my daughter teaches 2nd grade, another teacher had discarded this pillow.... can't think of what these things are called.... but both sides had exploded out their side seams like you see below.  My daughter brought it home, asked if I could mend it..... which warms my heart by the way..... and after maybe 30 minutes working on my invisible hand-stitching.... both sides were stitched closed and the next day the the kids were using it to prop up against while reading in her Reading Center.
Tomorrow should be fun as another girlfriend is coming over to look at patterns and discuss sewing her Mother of the Groom dress.  The Mother of the Bride has chosen this dress, below.... so the pressure is ON!!
Years ago my friend sewed all her clothes before her life got so busy..... and at 6' with uneven shoulders she's concerned she might be unable to purchase a dress that fits properly.  May I insert a girlie 'squeal' here!!!  I am so excited to see if we might be able to pull this off!!!  Before we saw the Mother of the Bride dress, I'd sent her photos of a couple of patterns I'd previously made thinking if she liked them it'd be easier to make something I was already familiar with.
Initially we both thought of the classic sheath dress.....
....made as 'Carolyn's Dress'....
She likes princess seams..... and this would give her a fuller skirt for dancing......
.....made as 'Toile du Jouy'...
She adores my Ottobre sheath dress, but wonder if it'd not be 'formal' enough?....
..... I thought this little jacket might work with all of them?......
The Ottobre ensemble together, below.  Would the dress work if made of something with a lace overlay?  Would it give her enough room to dance?  Oh I cannot wait to see what she thinks.  We may not be able to produce the dress she wants..... but I'm so excited to try.
I hope you've enjoyed this little chatty post as it's been fun to write and share with you!   Will be back soon as more sewing progresses.

Happy Sewing All!  :)


  1. It doesn't matter which pattern you use as all of them will make a beautiful dress. Just let the fabric do all the work. If you have a gorgeous fabric, and there are lots out there, any dress will be just as formal or informal as she wishes.

    1. Great point!! The fabric really does 'make' a dress like this. Thank you for your input. :)

  2. I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to Susie. That was very nice of you to do an alteration for a friend and I can imagine how rewarding it feels to help your daughter out with her classroom mending. I have always wanted to make a dress with an overlay (just waiting for the right pattern). I'm anxious to see the finished results!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa