Sunday, January 30, 2022

“The name of my dressmaker? Why certainly! It's me!”

If only I were as confident as the creator of this novelty print in sharing the fact that my wardrobe is hand made.  For many years I thought that if someone could tell that I had made my dress, it was somehow not good enough; my hand made items did not pass the "professional" test.  I have come to realize that this is silly, especially since my closet is filled with items that are obviously not something that is found in any department store I have come across recently.  And in fact, most ready to wear items are rather shoddy in their construction, so perhaps it is more of a compliment these days than something to be embarrassed about.

So here is my finished dress, in all of its glory, made from the whimsical "Home Sewing is Easy" novelty print that the online fabric shop, modes4u, sent to me.

The Advance pattern I chose threw me a couple of curve balls, but I am very happy to report that the dress is wearable, and more than that, a whole lot of fun to wear.

It is rather amusing to realize that people are reading the dress you are wearing, although it can be somewhat jarring if you happen to forget for a moment the particular dress you have donned and wonder why someone is staring quizzically at your shoulder!

I toyed with the idea of recreating one of the illustrated dress designs on the fabric in my actual fabric, however, I decided that the shirt dress design that first popped into my head when I initially saw the fabric was a better way to go.

I have become obsessed with these novelty prints.  They do present a challenge when it comes to constructing actual garments, but they are worth it, in my opinion!

I wish they were also printed on heavier weighted fabrics, because I wouldn't mind having a skirt in another crazy design.

But for now, I am happy to stitch away on quilting cottons.

I know that some people avoid them like the plague for apparel sewing, but as long as you don't expect them to drape like silk charmeuse or wear as well as heavy denim, they do a fabulous job.

And to close, I will share a bit of sewing humor, courtesy of a novelty print . . .

Lady in Red:  "And won't it be thrilling when I make a whole dress for myself!  I'll fairly burst my seams with pride!"

Friend wearing Green:  "Not if you've made 'em the right way!"

It's like a bad Dad joke, but make it a sewing themed pun.  And I love it!  Thank you, modes4u, for the kitchy print; it makes an excellent conversation piece, and a great dress.  And to the print, thank you for reminding me, of course, that sewing skills are something of which to be proud (and perhaps even flaunted).  Although, beware the stranger that will ask you to hem their pants or replace their buttons for them . . . just because I can, doesn't mean that I want to.  For goodness sake, I hate replacing buttons that have fallen off of my own ready to wear clothes.  Mending is something else entirely, and that's all I have to say on the subject!

Dress:  Made by me, Advance 6821
Belt:  Made by me
Earrings:  Vintage
Shoes:  Nina "Serena"

[The fabric for this project was received from modeS4u in exchange for writing a blog post]


  1. I think it looks great. And I love the way you are having such fun wearing these wonderful dresses that you make. You made me smile.

  2. I agree that quilting cotton makes fine clothing if you keep its qualities in mind. I have a number of quilting cotton dresses! This one is too cute, though :)

  3. that is really cute and you wear it perfectly.

  4. You have done this print proud (it's a big repeat) and this is just smashing!

  5. I love this one and your sewing skills should never be questioned - virtually all store bought clothes would have inferior sewing in my opinion!
    I couldn't agree more re. the mending - it's truly astonishing that people think you will be happy to mend or alter their clothes just for fun - I abhor mending my own and always have a pile of them.... which is what I showed my sister the last time she suggested it... did she want to have it fixed this decade or the next?

  6. All those red accessories, you perched and poised on a scooter, and all photographed outside your usual environs - I am outdone! You look fresh, impromptu, and ready with a quip or comment, before scooting on your way.

    You rise above the moment, and levity follows.

  7. One time many years ago I was in the foyer just outside the cosmetics counter at Neiman Marcus. The elderly lady who was employed to sell cosmetics asked me if I bought the dress I was wearing at Neiman Marcus. I told her that I made the dress and she replied in reserved tone "well, I might have known that. Your dress is prettier than anything in this store." What a compliment. I don't sew half as well as you do. You should consider your garments as the wearable art that they are, especially those that have hand embroidery and rival the finest couture.
    I know what you mean about alterations and repairs. I have had people knock on my door because they see my sewing machine when I have the blinds open. It is a shame that we are not taught to repair clothes and now the second largest amount of waste on the planet is due to clothes that are piling up In landfills and water contaminated with dyes and chemicals used to make fabric.