Tag Archives: dress


I recently acquired a printer through a local swap/sell/give Facebook group and I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say it’s changed my life.  That, and receiving March’s Seamwork Magazine, I had to make the Catarina dress RIGHT THEN.


I used a red rayon (?) from my stash (that I also used to make my first Deer & Doe Datura blouse) and I love it so.  I’m almost ready to take on the summer heat in this dress.


I didn’t have any bra strap rings and sliders (and no patience to get any!) so I made the straps adjustable by pulling and tying them at the back, foregoing the waist tie.    As the day goes on, the straps slide in towards the middle and the back poufs out, but I actually don’t mind it.


I didn’t have enough fabric, so I shortened the skirt by about 5″.  I used a red ‘ninja star’ polyester (also used for Seamwork’s Akita blouse) from my stash for the bodice lining and bias hem facing.  I like the little peeks of pattern.



I cut out a size 12 based on my measurements, but this one is so roomy, I think I could go down a size (or two, even).


I’m sad I used up the last of this red fabric but I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this lovely piece this summer and making more!


A handmade wardrobe.

I’ve always dreamed of having a handmade wardrobe.

This is the year it’s gonna happen.


I’ve been on a roll these last few weeks, making four dresses, five shirts, two pairs of shorts, a sweater, and a bra (not to mention 3 quilts)!  I have a bunch of posts ready and waiting for photographs so you’ll be seeing them all soon!


I’ve been working through my pattern and fabric stash which, while not huge, is full of things I’ve never made.  I’m trying to make really wearable things, which often means “boring”.  While I love a statement dress, I often go for jeans and a t-shirt (a favorite grey v-neck in particular), so I’m aiming for more neutral, comfortable pieces, that I can make multiples of.  I think I’ve found a couple of those already.


I’ve also always wanted to participate in Me Made May (a challenge for people to wear at least one handmade item every day in the month of May and generally be more thoughtful about their wardrobe), but short of wearing a dress every single day, I’ve never felt like my handmade wardrobe was robust enough.  But now it is and I’m very excited :)


Part of that will include wearing things I’ve made that I’m not so crazy about, and I might sell those things to people that will love them.  So stay tuned for that!


I have to give many thanks to Seamwork Magazine for helping me feel as though my handmade wardrobe dream is achievable.  Thank you!

Coming up: jeans, a coat, a cape, and a bathing suit.

Party like it’s 2016.

At 6 o’clock, New Year’s Eve, I decided I had to make a dress to wear that night. Grabbing a washi print by Rashida Coleman-Hale that I’ve had in my stash for a couple years, I decided to try Butterick 5748 again, the same one I made for the wedding a few weeks ago.


To say the least, I love it! It feels like such a party dress.

I realize why I fully lined the dress the first time I made it – because the instructions tell you to!  The second time, I didn’t line it at all, because the fabric was heavy enough that I knew my underthings wouldn’t show through.  This time, I opted to only line the bodice, with a bright yellow cotton.


I shortened the bodice to “petite” length and the overall length by about 6″. The bust darts still seem a little low, but I find that which bra I wear makes a big difference.


I also wanted to change from an invisible zipper under the arm to an exposed zipper in the back. Using this tutorial, I put in a bright blue metal zipper, machine sewing the lining in with it.


I used pre-made teal binding (and a few inches of lime green) for the hem and did all top stitching in bright pink.  In my haste, I did not serge the side skirt seams, which I now regret, considering they’re the only exposed seams and it would have taken an extra 3 minutes. Next time!


It pretty much came together like a dream and I love all the bright colors! In a perfect world, I would have worn some silver glittery heels but alas, I have none (yet).


I got many compliments that night and I can’t wait to party in this dress again!

A Look Back.

2015 was hard.  Emotionally, physically, monetarily, and creatively.  It wasn’t without it’s small successes though, and making these mosaics reminded me that I actually made a lot of things!  (Although, to be honest, I photographed and blogged a lot of things that had been made prior to 2015, but pictures make them real and I can hardly remember dates otherwise :)

I made some of my most favorite quilts ever (and painted some cool murals), some I haven’t even told you about yet!  I’m proud to say that every quilt I made this year, aside from 2 yards of neutrals, was made using only my stash.  And somehow, my stash feels no smaller! ;)


I made a lot of clothes, some more successful than others.


I had my first, small solo show, I was part of a group show with my studio mates, and I sewed a lot of pillows!


Perhaps most excitingly, I renovated the basement of my studio and brought this beauty home!  (It’s hard to take a good photo of her, I apologize.)


A little vintage number.


A couple years ago, my best friend Cat gave me a box of fabric found at her aunts house, which included around 18 yards of this awesome retro barkcloth.  I decided to use it to make a “muslin” of this Butterick pattern and this muslin became a dress I love.

I serged all the inside seams and used black store bought bias binding…


…until I ran out, when I switched to white for the last 15″ or so of the skirt hem.


I’ve actually made this pattern once before, but I don’t like it at all.  I fully lined it for some reason, and all that weight brought the waistline down and it was not flattering.   So, on this dress, I sewed some elastic onto the waistline, which helped out a lot.

Another favorite part of this dress is that the back scoops deeper than the front, just enough to still cover your bra.


How many other “muslins” can I make from 18 yards? :)

I was excited to be able to wear this dress to the very same best friend’s wedding a few weeks ago.  Thank you Cat for the fabric and your friendship and you are the prettiest bride there ever was! xo


My most favorite dress.

I made this dress a few months back and as soon as I finished it, it became my most favorite dress I’ve ever made.  I’m even proud of the inside so I’m gonna show you that, too!

2015-03-04 15.44.52

When I bought this Anna Maria Horner print, I was worried it would be too busy for a dress but the geometric lines are subtle enough to not be overwhelming while adding interest beyond just bunches of flowers.  Thankfully, it’s also just busy enough that you can’t tell I had to cut the bodice front upside down :)

2015-03-04 15.44.36

I used Butterick 6582 view C, which is one of their retro reissues, and a dress I’ve made 2 other times.  I shortened the pattern by at least 8 inches and used a vintage yellow zipper that perfectly matches the lining fabric I chose.



I love how the bouquets “match up” at the bodice crossover and the little gathers at the shoulders;


but shhh… I didn’t hand sew the shoulders closed.


I serged all the inside edges and hemmed the bottom with a double fold and double stitch line.


Part of what makes this dress so flattering is that the gathers in the skirt aren’t in the front, so it doesn’t poof out and make you look pregnant.  They start at the bodice darts ago around from/to there.


I would highly recommend this pattern and I see more in my future!

Sewing clothes and having doubts.

I have been a bit obsessed with the idea of sewing clothes lately.  While I’ve never felt up to taking The Sew Weekly challenge or anything, I love the idea of making everything I can.

I learned to sew clothing about 6 years before I learned to quilt.  I still have my first dress and although I never fully sewed on the lining and the zipper was inserted incorrectly, it’s not so bad.  Currently, half of my dresses are made by me and while I’ve dabbled in tops and pants, I’d really like to expand my skills.

I completed this Cynthia Rowley dress a little while ago, made from a Khristian Howell fabric I fell in love with last year.  I didn’t love the dress while I was working on it but by the time it was finished and I tried it on, I loved it.

IMG_0305 IMG_0306My favorite part is the orange plaid pockets.  If I make this again I will definitely shorten the bodice and maybe add an A-line skirt instead.

IMG_0307 IMG_0308I am currently working on the Banksia top from Megan Nielsen and it’s needing a little altering.  Hopefully though, it will be a staple piece.  Then after that, I have this whole stack of fabric all washed and ready to become more dresses and tops, including my first ever voile purchase!

Stack includes, from top to bottom, Cameo voile by Amy Butler, Grey posies by Denyse Schmidt, Downtown Los Angeles by Jay McCarroll, Habitat by Michelle D’Amore, Nettie dot by Timeless Treasures, and Washi by Rashida Coleman Hale.

I have focused on clothing lately because I’m beginning to doubt my ability to do quilt commissions.  I usually work well under pressure but the couple of times I’ve gone past a deadline, I’ve completely torn myself up about it.  I don’t like disappointing people.  I don’t like having to tell them that I’ve let them down.  But is avoiding situations where that might happen the best way to deal with it?

Do you make quilts by commission?  Do you have a contract of some sort you give the person?  What does that entail?  Is trial by error a good way to develop a business?

New dress!

I showed a little sneak peek of this dress on Instagram (@kaitcetera, follow me!) a few days ago with the promise of showing it off and here it is!

I felt beyond silly taking pictures of myself (my face was too embarrassing to show!) and they don’t do the dress justice.  It’s the coffee date dress (a free pattern!) from BurdaStyle that I started probably two and a half years ago.  The fabric I used was from stash and it was hard to cut out accurately and the instructions seemed incomplete to me (at the time, at least).  I had the bodice almost completed and the skirt pieces sewn together so when I pulled it out a few days ago, I realized how little was left to do and sewed it right up.  And wouldn’t you know, it’s my new favorite dress!

I fudged the neckline facing and didn’t trim the length before I hemmed it, but what I’m really proud of is the zipper.  It really is invisible!  I hardly tried to match up the seams but it’s almost perfect!I’m definitely going to make this pattern again (perhaps without the ruffle, maybe add a waistband and pockets); I love the way it fits.  I might even use the Bryant Park poppies I just got!

A cute dress.

Every summer I decide “this will be the year I make lots of sundresses” and it hasn’t happened yet.  But I might have found the pattern that will soon fill my closet!It’s Simplicity 2362 (purchased at the 5 for $5 sale at JoAnn’s), I made view D, and my favorite thing about it is it has pockets!  Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?The fabric is Everything But The Kitchen Sink by RJR which I bought at Thimble Pleasures a couple months back.  I already have a few more dresses in mind, including one with linen and vintage fabric.

I did an invisibly zipper “correctly” for the first time and it is almost invisible!

I only changed the pattern a little bit.  I only put one slightly larger strap on either side and it called for pleating in the middle of the front and back but I didn’t want it to pooch and make me look pregnant, so I did gathers on the front sides and middle back.  It worked pretty well but I think I’d like to make the skirt a little fuller next time, too.  I might make a really short version to wear as a shirt.  Oh, the possibilities!

We went to Chapel Hill last night so Marcus could play a show at a wine bar with Birds and Arrows.  Caitlin her husband came and it was a fun time.  I would have liked to have drank more wine and eaten truffles but I had to drive home :)

I have been so proud of Jackson and Addie lately.  Jackson broke the front of his crate down a few months back but learned not to jump the baby gates when he cleaned the litter box, dumped the kitchen trash, and ate a stick of butter off the counter.  When we were at the beach he broke it down and just hung out in the living room, not causing trouble so since we’ve been back, we actually haven’t kept either of them in their crates at all and they’ve been so good.  Addie barks for a little while when she needs to go out and she’s ever so slowly learning not to jump on us as soon as we walk in the door.  I love those two dogs.