Sunday, January 22, 2012

Andy's 40, how about a new dress?

Today is Andy's 40th birthday, but right now he's in Texas for work so there's not much I can do to help him celebrate. Which is a bit sad but we'll make up for it later. He's bought himself a pair of cowboy boots; very fitting for turning 40 in Texas I think. I wish he was here. Happy 40th my lovely. We sure do love you.

We have one last week of school holidays coming up here. Charlie decided he wanted to make himself a new pencil case for school. With the pick of my stash he chose some Heather Ross Owl & Pussycat fabric and some Tammis Keefe reproduction with cats and birds.

He decided on the dimensions he wanted and I followed this tutorial to help him. He did every bit of cutting and sewing himself, even on the zip. I just instructed and pinned. Somehow I got the zip teeth pointing the wrong way in the final construction and Charlie was so amazingly patient and unpicked it all so we could re-do it. His calm persistence amazes me. At his age I probably would have thrown the project on the floor a few times and maybe never finished it.

It takes some effort to hold myself back from my desire to jump in there and do a lot of the sewing for him. He's really becoming quite confident with the machine and obviously, the more I let him try, the more he'll learn. I guess I'm learning as a teacher, too.

Maybe dear Charlie is also teaching me a few things because these days, I sew with far more patience. I cut this dress out in early December... and finished it just this morning. I've grabbed small moments here and there between kid-projects and everything else. It could wait. No hurry.
Yes, it's my third Miz Mozelle. In Spoonflower organic cotton knit that was part of my Spoonflower binge late last year. Charlie was my photographer.
As with each of these dresses, one of the most difficult things was choosing the one perfect button!
oops, spot the stray thread
I actually sewed most of the bias tape on by hand. Since the hand-quilting I did, I've appreciated more the meditative nature (and satisfying result) of hand stitching. I used some Japanese linen bias tape that I've had sitting around for a while. It's wider than I've used before so it became more of a feature.

I took the time to add pockets in the side seams. I love pockets. I used scraps of voile so they wouldn't add much bulk.

Since I eked this out of two yards I ended up with a much narrower belt than the pattern calls for, but I don't think it matters at all.

lots of summer swimming means Jane is more toned and tanned than she's been in some years!
As it has previously, the dress turned out a bit long for me. So I turned up a nice deep hem and finished on my (ridiculously indulgent purchase) coverstitch machine. I even bothered to change the top threads to match. See, patience!
I wish I could find a bit more saintly patience over wanting Andy to be done with his work trip and be home with us. I'm a bit worn out and battling some sore throat thing. Only two-and-a-bit more days though.

- Jane x


  1. This dress looks gorgeous on you. The colour is spot on. I really like the brown bias details and the cute collar and sleeves. I'm not familiar with this pattern. I might just have to check it out.

  2. Happy Birthday to Andy, I turn 40 this spring, not sure where the time has gone really. Love the dress, the colour and pattern is perfect and I'm super impressed by Charlie's sewing and his coice of fabrics. Beth (the linen cat) x

  3. Great dress. I love the pattern and the fabric. That green is one of my favourite colours and it really suits you. Happy birthday to Andy. Rory is 4 today!

  4. Happy birthday to Andy! Fabulous dress, will have to check out the pattern, glad you're getting use out of the coverstitch...

    Fantastic pencil case by Charlie, love the fabric. Glad it's not long until Andy is home and hope you feel better soon x

  5. Beautiful dress and it looks beautiful on you! Well done Charlie, and happy birthday Andy.

  6. What a wonderfully feminine dress-I love it. I followed your link to the pattern co. Thank you-another cool site to enjoy.

  7. Thanks for the lovely comments! The Miz Mozelle pattern is a great one, not difficult to put together and seriously the comfiest thing ever to wear. I have also made the shirred sundress from the Jamie Christina pattern line and it came together very well. And she just put out a really cute jacket pattern too.

  8. Well done, that dress is great! I'm always in awe of people who sew for themselves and do it well. I'd love to know how you're liking your cover stitch machine? I was going to buy one a year ago but just couldn't justify it.

    1. Thank you :) The coverstitch machine is great, it just seems so crazy-indulgent to have my most expensive machine really only do one thing: hems of stretch fabric! It does do a chain stitch thing for kind of decorative seams but I can't see myself using that much, if at all.
      I'm kind of justifying it because apart from that the most I've paid for a machine is $250 for my secondhand overlocker. Also, I just could never get the result I wanted from a zigzag hem or a twin needle hem on knits. Threads just kept breaking, that is if I could even get the twin needle to actually work without skipping stitches. It was just one frustration after another. Thought I may as well buy now and start enjoying the benefits rather than keep on wishing and being frustrated by poor results.
      The machine I have (Bernina 009DCC) is fairly simple, easier to thread than an overlocker, and just dials, no digital stuff, which is how I prefer things.

    2. I wanted to do double fold binding on the edge of envelope collars on baby t-shirts... But you need an attachment for that.

  9. It's a lovely dress - I've got this pattern sitting in my shopping cart at the moment - think I may need to take the final step and check out!

  10. Oh my goodness, that dress looks AMAZING. The color is absolutely dreamy on you, and all of your extra patience and care really shows (look at that bias-bound key-hole neckline!).

    I'm also super impressed by Charlie!! Look at him go!

    Happy birthday, Andy! He's in Texas and bought himself cowboy boots?! Awesome.

  11. Happy (belated) birthday, Andy! (and we will want pictures of him in his new boots :)
    The dress is gorgeous, Jane! I love the fabric and the pockets and all the little details! And I'm completely jealous of your coverstitch machine!

  12. Another beeeeeautiful version! Love the idea of adding pockets!

  13. that's gorgeous jane - what do you think of the quality of spoonflower knits? good enough to splurge on clothing for yourself? would you do it again? i want to buy some but am a tad apprehensive that i won't be happy with the quality after the hefty price tag!


Hey, I would really love to know what you think. Go on!

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