Monthly Archives: June 2012

Hazel Lovin’


Hazel, dirty blonde hair, I wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen with you anywhere...”
Bob Dylan and The Band, from the gorgeous album Planet Waves. Oooh, that’s good stuff.

So after some fitting issues, I got Hazel semi-wearable muslin to a good place, and I LOVE HER!! I love the fabric, the fit, the comfiness. I came upon the muslin fabric while perusing a bunch of my free (from a friend’s stash that she kindly gave me) crafty quilting cotton for a totally other project, and I liked how this color looked next to my new animal print hat. That was it. The fabric picked Hazel, as fabric is wont to do.

I won’t even go into too much construction and fitting tedium here, even though I guess that’s usually the point of a blog, huh? Basically I have the same issues others have had–a little big here and there, even though my measurements are a Collette 16 almost to a tee–and it seems to help to kind of just fix/tuck it when installing the zipper. It’s a good place to trim up the excess and make it all come together. And speaking of excess, someone else mentioned this (sorry, I don’t remember who) and I agree. There is no need for a zipper that long. I think mine is now chopped down to less than 14 inches, and it’s perfect. The excess zipper just made my butt look dumpy. And I ended up cutting away a lot of the back skirt because there was just too much going on back there. Maybe that’s not the intended fit, but that’s how I like it.

So here’s Hazel semi-wearable muslin, which may end up being Permanent Hazel if I don’t get my other fabric cut in time. It’s not perfect, but love is blind. What can I say?

Love those pockets.

The print wasn’t coming through in the other shots, so here’s a close-up.


These are a little dark, but I was having too much fun posing in my new baby:

Here’s the fabric for Hazel Part Deux, and yes, I will press it like a good girl.


Yes, I’m joining the Hazel Gingham Club. If there isn’t one, there should be. Or more like a support group. Somehow this pattern just screams for it.

Hope y’all are having as much fun as I am. I’m almost in over my head with these sewalongs and still doing additional projects that I need and want to do, especially since I’m out of town almost the entire last week of June, which is pretty much crunch time for this, the 2-in-1, the Summer Spark, etc.!!! And I actually thought I could crank a few dresses out for One Pattern, Many Looks on Pattern Review. (Uh, no.) Cuckoo will prevail, somehow. At the very least I’ll keep being my usual obsessive self.


Hemmin Away



Working on a bathing suit cover up for a friend. Am I sick for actually enjoying making a narrow hem?? 🙂

If it turns out, I’ll write more. Gotta get the word out that New Look 6051 is the exact pattern you’ll see in every beach store for major bucks. Just make it in something sheer instead of silk/satin and you got yourself a gorgeous cover up. If you have a vivid imagination, look at my Dress 5 and see for yourself. Butterfly sleeves, built-in belt, etc. Fun fun.

Four month sewing anniversary. And Dresses #15 and 16


Entry from my iDo Senior journal-keeping app from February 11, 2012:

First day with machine
Wound bobbin
Fought with it a lot
Did get a few seams accomplished
Worked a long time

Wow, sounds like I didn’t get too far. That’s still every day for me. 🙂 I’m still glad I’ve schlepped my mom’s old Sears Kenmore around for 18 years from apartment to apartment, state to state, because I just KNEW someday I’d use it.

It’s been a fun third of a year so far, and of course it’s been amazing being in this blogging and Flickring community. I can’t say it enough–y’all are AWESOME and truly inspiring EVERY DAY!

On to the sewing–
After working on dress #15 off and on for the better part of a week, I finally finished it Saturday night and sort of hate it. I really had high hopes for my wannabe DVF wrap dress. It’s a Vogue 8784, from this year I think, and it’s supposed to be easy, but I just couldn’t make the pleats look right. Plus the color adds about 80 pounds. I’m sure it’s just going to take some fitting and patience–maybe I’ll finally sit and read these books I keep buying regarding fitting–so I’m going to hang it up until I don’t hate it anymore. My honey thinks it’s completely adorable and doesn’t know why I was so upset. Of course he’s used to walking in and seeing me cry at the mirror/sewing machine/seam ripper, so this was no biggie to him. He really is tremendously supportive.

Here it is, just for documentation’s sake. At least I paired it with some amazing shoes, which makes me feel a bit better. It’s a bit disheveled because I literally just popped it on for a quick photo, but it really doesn’t look much better when I smooth it out. And of course I haven’t done the hem yet, as usual:

Vogue 8784

First DVF-style wrap dress

For my 4 month anniversary I wanted to make something easy and cute that wouldn’t make me cry, and Butterick 5606 was just what the doctor ordered. It’s an infinity dress, and although the fabric has a print side and a solid side, both of which are visible when maneuvering the sashes, it still works with this particular print, as I hoped it would. The solid breaks up the monotony of the print. It even isn’t annoying that it rolls up like knit just loves to do. By the way, guys and gals, when I say easy I’m not kidding. There are more instructions for how to wear the sashes than there are steps for constructing the thing.

So here she is, easy dress for a tired sewist. It’s not the most extraordinary garment in the world, but I adore the color and fit, and I can see myself wearing it a lot this summer. Next time I have the energy and/or am drunk, I’ll pose with all the sash configurations.

Butterick 5606

The ‘infinity’ dress

Good night, you lovelies. Tomorrow I’m making ANOTHER Better Homes and Gardens tote as a birthday gift to get the good karma flowin’ again. Post about that little TNT of a bag pattern coming up very soon.

Keep on stitchin.

Another pretty good mail day



Ahh, my Butterick sale patterns came today!! Check Pattern Review, guys. I think you have until midnight Thursday, which gives you about two hours. And by the way, McCall’s is having a $4.99 sale for the next few days on their site, so if you miss the Butterick you can go crazy over there. Yay!

What I Did On My Me-Made-May ’12. (Also, my first Me-Made Holiday.) (Also, Dresses 11-14)


May was quite a month. My first Me-Made challenge, which was an absolute blast for me as an annoyingly enthusiastic beginner. Only problem was, I didn’t manage time well, and completely neglected this little bloggy thing. I was either at work, perusing the MMM’12 Flickr page, at a wedding or a funeral, or actually sewing, so was way too busy *doing* to sit and talk about it.

So here’s a little catchup on what I made during the month that I didn’t have time to blather/blog/complain about.

Dress #11. My Blue Heaven.

New Look 6866, view D of many available views. Made from this big ol’ piece of satin from eBay, in an as-yet undetermined print. It’s almost like bizarre ice cream cones and some other weird objects. I just hope they’re not the secret symbols for some weird satanic cult. Anyway, I cut a large, which ended up being another tent like dress #2, but in this case a simple belt would not have helped. I took it in a few times, even curving it in to give a little shape to my waistless body, and I have to say it worked. I like the high neckline and the length, a little different from my usual style. Nice to have some variety, and it’s light enough for plenty of summer wear.


I know, the hem needs SEVERE pressing, but overall it’s refreshing and fun.

Dress #12. Just Say No To Scurvy

Well at some point I fell under the spell of Fabric Mart and its insane sales. I blame Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. At some point during my clicking through the site, I came across this $1.99/yd lemon lime stretch polyester, and knew it had to be mine.

It’s really scrumptious and light, and drapes amazingly. ‘Twill be a summer staple.

Didn’t know what I was going to do with it, and then somehow it spoke to me. Remake Dress #1. For some reason I loathed the idea of playing with already-cut patterns because I’m in a frenzy to constantly make new and better mistakes, but this ended up being inspired. For one thing, it’s more stretchy and forgiving than the satin I used for the original dress, and for another thing, I knew from making the first dress what I needed to do to make it bigger/better. I was able to crank it out in an evening, and I absolutely adore it. I even took the time to install the elastic casing, so I don’t have to wear a belt with it. Always happy to create a decent waist situation.


I adore the matching yellow and green truck.

Dress #13. Lovely Leopards and Leaves

I had started an animal print tradition on MMM Mondays, and really wanted to keep that up, so I got inspired by a chunk of rayon that I got on—surprise!—eBay. It’s a really unique print. It’s leopard print, but only because it’s… a print… with leopards on it. I made a Simplicity 1989 with this heavyish but somehow light enough for summer green stuff, and it was as easy to put together as Simplicity promised on the cover of the pattern, finished in one evening.

So here I am in full animal print (and work ID) regalia, and a leopard skin not-so-pillbox hat in honor of Bob Dylan’s birthday that week:



Dress #14. Sis Boom Jamie (and my Michael Miller mania)

I fell in love with Michael Miller fabric after a Fabric Mart binge, which included this very simple black and white wickeresque lattice-work print. Just the feel of the fabric is luscious to me, let alone the simple yet striking design. Here’s a pic of Simplicity 2917, View E, my new go-to zippered vented darted skirt pattern, just for fun:


When another sale popped up, of course I bought more MM for MMM. So, what to do with this happy brown and pink cotton?–the Sis Boom Jamie dress. I had bought and downloaded the pattern very early in my sewing obsession, before I had sewn one garment but knew I would someday, but none of my fabric jumped out for it. As with all good sewing serendipities, this one just worked out. After fighting with patterns for three months in my self-taught struggle, this pattern was SO fun and easy to make. Every step is clearly explained and photographed. Wow. Why didn’t I make this sooner??!!

Here it is on a 90 degree Memorial Day keeping me cool yet sunny. (I like the guy behind me striking my same pose)

And this is where Me May Made turns into my first Me Made Holiday

On the plane in a not-made-in-May garment, Dress #3:


And frolicking–well, standing–beside the beautiful Gulf of Mexico:


And on the beach at sunset, looking at MMM outfits on Flickr. How romantic:


One more beach pic, wearing also-not-made-in-May Dress #4:


Back to our regularly scheduled Dress #14…

Here’s Sis Boom Jamie at a tremendously cool dockside seafood joint in Cortez, FL:


And in an orchid-enhanced alcove off the patio of our hotel in Anna Maria Island:


More vacation wear shots–a nice Sorbetto (also made in May) for breakfast:

Oh yeah, and the reason I’m on this holiday, my cousin’s high school graduation, to which I wore The Cupcake
Awwww. He’s so cute.

And a few more, as we leave the Sunshine State…

Me in my lemon lime love, and most of a horse:

One last shot. Bye bye, Florida.

I liked this sign

Whew! What a month!! Can’t wait to continue the Me-Made fun on whatever Flickr page Zoe helps set up. In the meantime, if you’re curious, here’s my entire MMM set
Shelley’s Me-Made-May ’12

Thanks as always for reading. This was a long one. If you made it this far, you deserve a medal!!!