I’ve been a bit absent here the past week…Some pretty significant things went on in our house–my husband’s graduation for his PhD happened (fabulous ceremony–low key and everyone was able to say a little something when they came up to get their recognition–I’m so proud of my hubby!),

 and Noah had his first birthday

(my baby’s 1?!).  I made lots of food, including this lovely lemon buttermilk cake with lemon buttercream and raspberry jam and coconut from Dorie Greenspan’s excellent book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Noah ate the whole piece, by the way.  Noah got to play with his cousins and his new toys and the kids entertained us all.

In the midst of the hubbub of cooking and planning for cooking and entertaining my in-laws, I did manage to sneak some sewing in.  I was able to fit a pattern for myself, make a muslin of said pattern, do some serious practice work on button plackets, and sew niece #2 a shirtdress.  You’ll hear about the former projects later this week, so I’ll start with the shirtdress.


New York Kids’ Style shirtdress

What I learned:

1.  Women’s shirts have less yardage than you think:  This dress is a refashion.  I found a really cool paisley shirt at the thrift store and tore it apart at the seams for this one.  It had to shorten the dress because the shirt wasn’t quite long enough, and I had to lay the back piece over the existing yoke, making the back double-yoked.  Though I cut out well over half of my pieces from leftover pink stripe seersucker I still have from my jacket, this pattern took up way more than I thought a 2T would.  I also couldn’t match the pattern across the seams because of the lack of yardage.  As I tell Noah, you can’t always get what you want.

2.  Creative patching:  As I was tearing up the shirt, I could not avoid making a few holes as I removed the original patch pockets (which I would have used for the dress but they were way too big).  Luckily, I had enough scraps that I could find suitable patches that matched the pattern.  I put a small piece of fusible interfacing over the hole on the backside of the fabric first.  Then I cut a little matching square out of scraps to fit over the hole and then some.  I backed the squares with Heat and Bond Lite, ironed them on, and ran a small zigzag around the patch.  Because this print is so busy, you really have to look to know that they are there.  I should have taken a picture of this process, but I forgot.

3.  Shirt construction:  This was such a great dress to practice shirt construction on.  I wouldn’t think a pattern with only sad little diagrams and instructions that I can’t read would help me so much, but the lack of instructions took me to lots of helpful places in cyberspace.  For the yokes, I used this tutorial (I’ll never do another yoke another way again–easy, fast, and perfect).  For the collar, I think I read every tutorial here.  My biggest learning moment came in the placket.  As I said, I’ll write about that later, but I’ll point you to the place I started.  The whole dress is lightyears beyond my last shirt, and I’m pretty happy about that.  It’s so cool to see progress in your sewing.

My full review at Patternreview is here.


  1. Congrats to your hubby!! What an accomplishment!!

    The shirtdress is adorable – I love the seersucker contrast. So fun! It looks like it was a great learning experience. You tackled a lot of tough skills.

  2. Noah is ONE???!!! Wow…where has the time gone!! He is sooooo stinkin’ adorable!! YAY!! for hubby…how EXCITING!!! Look out world!!

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