The Confetti Dresses

These are my favorite things I’ve sewn for my girls, although I do have a tendency to say that after each project.  I think that may be a part of getting better with each garment sewn.  Behold the Confetti Dresses, otherwise known as this year’s Easter dresses.

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Remember in my last post, I stated how I like to charmingly coordinate them without the cheesy, matchy-matchy look?  Well, it turns out little sisters like to match exactly.  And when I found this fabric, I could only imagine the girls in the exact same dress.  And I have to say, I love it, and I’m glad I did it this way.  This is the cutest fabric I have found at JoAnn.  I bought enough to make myself a yet-to-be-sewn pencil skirt!  How’s that for matching!?

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This is the Oliver and S School Photo Dress.  I was heavily inspired by this mom’s version, so I went with the same idea of the contrast yoke and sleeve.  This pattern has so many delicious details.  Just read this description from the O&S website: This lined, above-the-knee-length, A-line dress features a hidden, on-seam, front kangaroo pocket and an invisible back zipper. View A has a stand-away, roll collar and 3/4-length cuffed sleeves. View B includes a ruffle collar and gathered, bias-bound, 3/4-length sleeves.  Above, the girls are showing the pocket which is always a hit with little kids.  I just adore the gathering and binding on the sleeves.

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You can see the flower bow I made using pink felt and a Snazzie Drawers pattern (she just retired all of her pdf patterns, sadly).  My older daughter was much less cooperative for pictures and wanted to wear her silly hat instead, but she had a bow, too.  You can see the print quite well, here, and the ruffle collars which were a bit of a challenge to get to stand up.  You can see the lining wanting to roll out.  But to make up for it the invisible zippers are perfect!  The heavier fabrics plus lining makes these dresses warm to wear so they haven’t been in them since April for Easter and a wedding…the most kid-friendly wedding ever.  There was pizza, nachos, donut truck and bounce houses.  My kids had the time of their lives and my husband and I actually got to socialize.  We’ve since attended two weddings where we had to explain beforehand that bounce houses aren’t usual wedding activities.  I look forward to seeing these in rotation again once it cools off.

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My Little Conversation Hearts

I hope this post is better late than never.  I had schemed a darling little photo shoot for these girls in their Valentine’s Day outfits, but March was full of sickness and birthdays in our house and I had to let it go.  I’ll hold the idea for next year.  I’m just not the type A style crafter mom…lots of great ideas, but not always the energy and time to do them all.  I need my sleep and down time.  Despite that, look at these cuties!


I was in the mood for some hot pink and red.  And I love to coordinate my girls without exactly matching them.  Here we have the Oliver and S 2+2 Blouse done in a knit.  I’ve been wanting to try them in a knit to skip the whole button down back, and these turned out pretty good.  I had some stretching out in the neck when adding the bias ties (this is my first time sewing knit fabric), and there was some tunneling when I hemmed with my double needle.  The contast ties and patches are done in heart patterned fabric from the seasonal quilting section.  This pattern is one of my favorites from O&S, and I’d love to make them some knit dresses from it this fall.  For the rest of the look they are wearing Gymboree headbands, Gap pants, and shoes from Ross.  The headbands were Valentine sale purchases and the rest we already had.

That day ended up being such a fun Valentine’s.  My son had a great party at school that I was able to help with, you see my daughter above on her way to preschool with Valentine’s in hand, and my youngest and I went out to breakfast and surprised Daddy at work with homemade treats.  She still talks about sneaking into Daddy’s office.

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The Dress is Almost as Fun as the Music

Take a look at my choir dress!


Two years ago, I had room in my life for some classical music again.  I rejoined my local Master Chorale after a long break.  Of course performing with a choir group requires a choir dress within a dress code such as floor length, elbow length (or longer) sleeves, and a modest neckline…in black.  What’s a sewing girl to do?  Does she spend a fortune on a lovely gown that will only be worn on occasion IF she can even find one that fits the required description?  Last I looked, modest necklines and long sleeve gowns were not to be found.  Does she run to the discount store and throw together a cheap black maxi skirt and black top?  No and no!  She sews herself something fabulous.  And if you are THIS she, you make this your first adult sewing project EVER!!  Yes, it was definitely a risk that payed off to use Project Runway lingo.

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At the time that I was pondering what to do, New Look 6000 was having its day.  And it struck me that I needed a dress with the party on the top, since that’s really all that is seen by the audience unless you’re in the front row.  And I rarely am since I’m tall-ish.  This pattern has so many great details from the waist up: assymetric waist pleating, sleeve cuffs, and a fabulous 60s-style collar.

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I found a decent wool blend from JoAnn, and used a remnant of black velvet for the cuff and collar contrasts.  Being that this was the first garment I sewed for myself, I measured myself and the pattern pieces several times to make sure before cutting.  To lengthen the dress and avoid having to do any kind of slit or kick pleats, I overlayed a long A-line skirt pattern during the tracing process.  My mom, who owns an antique/consignment store is always a great resource and she brought over several brooches for me to choose from, and from that choice I picked buttons for the cuffs with the right amount of sparkle to coordinate.  She sings in the choir with me, too, by the way.  Its a fun girls night out for us, with our choir friends.  That may sound a little nerdy to some, I guess.  I think I figured my cost on this dress was around $32!


I was so grateful this project turned out.  It is fun to wear and adds something extra special for me at performances.  My husband says it is always easy to find me right away because the dress is so different from what others are wearing and the way the pin catches the light.  I’m thankful for my husband, too.  Despite knowing nothing about music, he comes to all my performances in support of something I love so much!

Simplicity 2226 Three Ways

People speak of their TNT patterns often.  I haven’t sewn long enough to have lots to choose from, but for now Simplicity 2226 seems to be it.  Plus, I think I like to sew from the same pattern multiple times.  The second and third time through are so much quicker.  I love this pattern for the pockets the gathering in the front and back and especially the chance to accessorize with skinny belts.

First, my most worn version:

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This has been such a versatile skirt and has seen a lot of wear all summer.  Its a mustard linen-look fabric. The color seems to complement half the tops in my closet.  Plus, like I said…belts!  It is such a simple skirt, but I always get compliments and have been asked several times where I got it, which is fun because that is the only question to which I’ll confess, “I made it!”


Second, a maxi version:


This is a silky fabric from JoAnn that I thought was so beautiful and muted in color.  I saw this whole outfit in my head and bought shirt, shoes, and belt with this in mind, so it was definitely not allowed to become an unfinished project.


A better shot of the fabric:


And in reverse order, the first version I sewed from this pattern:


Already donated!  I guess that answers the question of whether I am overly attached to the things that I make.  I don’t seem to have a problem moving on if its something I don’t like or isn’t made well.  This one was a rayon print from Joann.  I got sucked in by a better quality fiber than I usually find there, but just didn’t love the print once it was sewn up and, being my first version, it came out a bit big with poor finishing.  I’ve started a denim version that can take the #3 spot, instead.

In all versions I removed some of the fullness from the gathers both in the front and the back.  After I finish the denim skirt, I think its time to move on to another skirt pattern.