slashed french terry

Procrastinators unite!  Today I give you a good reason to shelve projects.  Embrace the UFO.  There are times when it’s absolutely a good thing!

For proof, when I cut out this Victory Patterns’ Lola dress out of this thick French terry it was a hot August, I was falling asleep mid sentence from 1st trimester exhaustion, and I was bored to tears by this pale lilac fabric.  Yes, it’s French terry, but at the end of it, I would just have a plain, solid color knit dress.  Endlessly useful, but not the makings of a very interesting sew.

I started looking for ways to embellish the French terry.

Blockprinting?  Maybe, but what print? And what color?

Embroidery?  Ugh, that sounds like a lot of work, and French terry has little recovery and kicks up a lot of lint.  Pass.

Applique?  Maybe, but again this French terry was so lofty, adding bulk just seemed, well, bulky.

Contrast fabric?  Yes–contrast is good.  I found a peachy pink top at the thrift store with this giant gold sequin bow appliqued on it that would be a nice foil.  But how to combine them?

Finally, with my monthly sewing group coming up, I decided I needed to do some old fashioned experimentating.

slashed french terry

feather embroidered necklace

My latest post at UpCraftClub is all about this feather embroidered necklace.  It’s an extension of the project used for Imagine Gnats’ Embroidery Video Class.  To me, it’s the perfect fall accessory, and I jumped at the chance to make another piece of embroidered jewelry.  I have a lot of tension issues in my upper back due to all my years of violin.  Any kind of weight that I wear becomes a burden to my posture and can start a flare up for me.  The lightweight nature of a necklace like this one is perfect for me; big chunky necklaces–not so much.

On my post, I write about how to make your own too.

Feather Embroidered Necklace

feather embroidered necklace


feather embroidered necklace

Please come fall and go away nasty heat wave so that I can actually wear this necklace!

While I’m on the topic of UpCraftClub, I missed, putting up a link to my previous post about the Limon Dress.

I made my version out of this beautiful linen print for my niece’s birthday last month.  The pintucks and the little ruffle worked up magically with the crispness of the linen and overall, it turned out to be a really fun project.  I added a bias bound neckline to the pattern to avoid having to understitch the lining.  I never pass up an opportunity to topstitch, and the bias on the inside makes for a really nice clean inside finish and will give some strength to the neckline.  I always wonder about the general strength of lining fabrics, and on a children’s garment, I would definitely worry about the lining just ripping out on the neckline edge.  Do you ever cover your bases like that by adding extra details that aren’t 100% necessary just because you distrust certain fabrics?

At any rate, my pattern review of the Limon Dress is here.

Hopefully, I’ll get back to some of my own work soon.  I have a Victory Patterns’ Lola Dress all cut out.  I’ve been avoiding it because I cut it out in French terry which is oh so unappealing when it’s still 80 degrees outside.

I’m also trying to get a plan together for this pregnancy, and evaluate just what I need.  I don’t want to be sewing a ton because whatever I make will yield a very temporary wardrobe.  I’m thinking of just altering too big for me thrifted items, but that might not pan out…I dearly hate the fitting distortions that happen in the neck and shoulders when you go up multiple sizes.  It might be more trouble than it’s worth.

What do you make when you need a very temporary wardrobe?

Elizabeth Made This

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.



I had hoped to have made up a Victory Patterns’ Lola dress for this week’s Sew Long Summer theme of Fabulous Fall, but the continuation of summer temperatures has made me less enthusiastic about french terry and has reminded me that Fall where I live goes something like this:

-Fall- temperatures

In all of this, I’m left hoping to wear scarves and sew up lofty sweater knits into billowy cowls, but the continuing heat just kills all my sewjo.  I know there’s a ton of brave sewing bloggers that grit their teeth and take pictures of their sweater dresses in extreme temps, but I admit that I’m not that tough.  I’d have been one pitiful pioneer.

Instead, I offer some ideas for styling your summer makes while the weather goes back and forth between hot and cold.  Here are 5 ways to style summer clothes for fall.  As my base, I’m starting with my Southport Dress and my Retro Print Linen Sundress

6 ways to style summer clothes for fall

  1. Don some leggings: This has to be the easiest way to extend the life of your summer clothes into fall.  Pop a pair on under a sundress in the cool morning and if it ends up being a hot day, slip off to the ladies’ room and stash the leggings in your bag.                                        style summer clothes for fallstyle summer clothes for fall
  2. Add a scarf: There’s a scarf for every occasion and season.  Now is not the time for chunky hand knitted scarves, but it’s likely the time to dig around for a vintage silk scarf or a giant linen scarf that can double as a summer clothes for fallstyle summer clothes for fall
  3. Toss on a cardigan: Cardigans are great for keeping shoulders warm when temperatures start to drop.  Belt them if you wish or leave them summer clothes for fallstyle summer clothes for fall
  4. Throw on a jacket: in the same vein as #3, a jacket can add a much needed dose of polish to more casual summer summer clothes for fallstyle summer clothes for fall
  5. Slip on some boots:  Is there any dress that can’t be made better by the addition of boots?  I doubt summer clothes for fallstyle summer clothes for fall
  6. Wear an Undershirt: Layering a shirt under a dress can keep you a little warmer while getting an extra look out of a summer frock.  Be it button-down or turtleneck, there’s something that will doubtlessly give you some additional options for styling.                                                                                                                              style summer clothes for fallsouthportlilac2

What do you do to style summer clothes for fall?

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.
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retro linen print sundress

By this time of the summer, I’m really tired of the heat.  I long for the fresh cool breeze of fall and the color changes in the trees and the crisp tailoring of a good jacket.  But before I started making cooler weather clothes in the vain hope of trying to force the weather to change myself, I decided to make one last sundress.

Fabric Mart had this amazing Theory handkerchief linen in late May, and I knew it could make the perfect breezy dress to fight against the unrelenting heat of summer.  The colors are a little off from my palette, but the overall contrast is in my own range.  I took the risk because I loved the dotted berry print against the salmon asters.

Retro Print Linen Sundress

retro linen print sundress

I had meant to make up this Burda dress at least 3 years ago, but one thing or another prevented me from getting it done.  The pattern is BWOF 5-2007-123.  When I opened up the magazine to trace it off, I was mad at myself for never having attempted this one before.  It’s 2 pattern pieces, and it could not have been more simple.

Looking at the pattern, I suspected that there was more bust space than I needed.  After making a muslin, it was pretty obvious that the pattern was not made for someone with a 30.5″ full bust, and the poofy excess around my chest looked terrible.  To fix it, I simply folded out a dart in the middle of the side gathers, tapering to zero at CF.  I also pinched out the excess circumference at the side seam, tapering back into the waist.  It instantly solved the problem.

retro linen print sundress

I also raised the waist by an inch and cut off a few inches on the hem per my usual Burda needs in dresses.

retro linen print sundress

The pattern calls for the dress to be fully lined with a stretch knit.  I have pounds and pounds of this nice white poly knit lining I picked up at Michael Levine’s last year in LA that was perfect for the task.  I was concerned about the lining rolling out, and I didn’t want to have to fuss with really careful pressing every time I wore it, so I basted the lining at the openings.  Then I used bias tape to finish off the openings.  It’s a neater look on the inside, and I’ll never have to fight the lining.

I used clear elastic to gather the center of the shoulders.  The pattern would have you just use gathering stitches, but it didn’t seem secure, and another reviewer had suggested elastic.  This proved to work really well.  I’ve tried lots of methods for gathering shoulders…elastic thread (it pulls out!), gathering stitches (they pop!), pleating and casings (highly effective, but both have a specific look), and I think that the clear elastic is the obvious winner.  It’s a little fiddly to use, but this ultra stretchy and lightweight clear elastic from Fashion Sewing Supply makes sewing through clear elastic very easy.

retro linen print sundress

I also made a cover belt to go with this dress using a vintage cover belt kit.  This was the second time I’ve made a matching belt, and this time went more smoothly.

After I had cut out a space for the prong, it occurred to me that a buttonhole would have been a good idea.  I did some not so neat but definitely adequate hand overcasting along the raw edges of the prong cut out.

The kit had one-part eyelets just like the Dritz kit that I used for my blue twill motorcycle jacket.  I really don’t understand why you would have one part eyelets…it just seems like it’s going to yield nothing but a messy finish on the backside every time.   I had some gold two part eyelets on hand, and they absolutely made a cleaner finish on the backside.  Two of the eyelets didn’t set properly though, and because of the delicate nature of the linen, I couldn’t redo them.  I blindly used some Fray Block to cover off the back raw edges.  Here you can see a good contrast between the two part eyelets and what a one piece eyelet would look like.

retro linen print sundress
Popcorn the stuffed doxie is getting jealous of the camera.


Overall, I love this dress for the style and for the beautiful flow and body of the linen.  Dear Theory, make more prints like this on linen and Fabric Mart, buy them so that more people can sew them!

My full review of the dress can be found here.

This is my contribution for Never Ending Summer week for the Sew Long Summer sewalong.  More details about the sewalong can be found here.

sew long summer
Elizabeth Made This

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.


I’m co-hosting the Sew Long Summer Sewalong that’s going on over at Mahlica Designs.  The sewalong runs from August 24th through September 22nd (the last day of summer).

sew long summer

Each week we will have a new sew-a-long theme to help us wrap up summer and begin our slide into cooler weather.

Check out the work of the other co-hosts so that you stay in the know.

Mahlica Designs

Sewn By Ashley
Musings of a Seamstress

Cindy Parrett


Sew A Lace Robe--Elizabeth Made This

Today I’m guest posting on the Sewcialist blog.

I’m sharing a tutorial for how to sew a lace robe for Lingerie Sewing month.  Lace, the quintessential lingerie fabric makes a perfect robe for summer.  Light and airy with a touch of the romantic, I talk about how you can style this for fall as well.  To see all the details and pictures of my lace robe and to see how you can make your own, hop on over to the post here.

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Elizabeth Made This

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

lace robe



Your first favorite sewing project--Elizabeth Made This

What was your first favorite sewing project?

Was it a dress?

Was it a special quilt?

What’s the first thing that you made that you were really excited about?

Maybe it wasn’t 100% perfect, but one way or another, something about that project just worked out really well.

Today, while my sewing room is in an uproar, filled with way more UFOs than I’m used to dealing with at the 5-10% range of completion, and when I’m in a #throwbackthursday kind of mindset, I thought I’d take a bit of time to reflect on these questions.

I have 2 answers.

favorite sewing project

#1 My teal wool coat from 2011.

I was excited about it because, I made a coat!  And it was a fancy pants wool melton that I had bought off of Patternreview from another woman’s stash for seriously a criminal price for the quality of the fabric.  If you’ve made coats and jackets, you know that you pay for the whole project about 4 times between interfacing, lining, fashion fabric, and interlining, so getting wool at such a great deal was great.  I think when it came in the mail, my jaw actually dropped.  And I added cover buttons and I lined it with some super fun fabric.

Elizabeth Made This

Swimsuit sewing: Elizabeth Made This

Have you taken the metaphorical plunge into swimsuit sewing?  How did it go?

I have avoided sewing a swimsuit sewing the past several years for many reasons.  Chief among those reasons being that I don’t really swim, I sunburn easily, and before now, I’ve not been able to figure out how to keep tiny people safe in the water, especially when I don’t really swim.

Now my two oldest have had a few rounds of swim lessons and can be a little bit more independent in the water, it’s about time for me to have a swimsuit that’s not falling off of me
(my only RTW suit was bought after my 2nd pregnancy where I had gained so much weight that I stopped counting).

summer pajamas

Do you sew for the glamour of creativity or for very practical reasons?

As creative as I like to be in the sewing room, there are times when I just need to get a job done.  There are times when a Bleached Marigold Dress, Blockprinted Catalina Dress, or a Bird Tessalation Dress are simply too fussy and time consuming.  And to be honest, it’s good once in a while to take a break from my attempts at innovation and just do some fast, down and dirty kind of sewing.  I, like my Great-Grandma before me am not the type to sit and twiddle my thumbs at the end of a big project.  I’d prefer “resting” by working, although in a different sort of manner.

summer pajamas
Summer Pajamas and Tees

This weekend, I decided to do make up a large batch of summer pajamas and some extra tees for my two oldest boys.  #1 outgrew all of his pajamas some time ago, so all of this has been much needed.  I recently bought a bunch of boy friendly fabric and it was high time that I cut into everything.  So I cut, and I cut, and I cut some more.  I actually had no idea how many things I had cut out until I sorted all my little stacks when I got to my sewing group on Saturday.  As it turned out, I had 12 things things cut out.  I was able to complete 8.8 in 3 hours.  I couldn’t finish all of them because I ran out of elastic (hence the .8) and cut out neckbands with the wrong stretch (my boys have big heads, so it ends poorly for all when neckbands don’t have enough stretch).

summer pajamas

I set about following my procedures I’m assembled for batch sewing and I had a very easy, stress free time of making tees and pajama shorts.  I sincerely love how batch sewing affords you the opportunity to really fine tune your efficiency and improve your construction methods.

I read a bunch of material this week on industrial sewing, and though I had to stop because the particular author was very critical of home sewers, it was fascinating  to think about the ways that you can do the best job you can in the time you’ve been allotted.  I certainly appreciate the difference in our stations–she’s trying to make a living by motivating the elves working for her.  If elf #1 does her own thing in her own sweet time, the whole line breaks down, and the customer has to wait.  For home sewists, we’re chief, cook, and bottle washers in our sewing rooms, so we can’t possibly produce as much as a whole fleet given ultra fast machines and stacks of fabric at their stations can.  I would love to sew in a place where I had an industrial machine and people giving me already cut-out projects, but then again, if I was doing that, I probably wouldn’t enjoy my work as much as I do.

summer pajamas

The tee pattern is Blank Slate Pattern’s Tee X3, and the pajama shorts I drafted myself from a pair of my son’s woven shorts.  I finished up everything plus a couple more tees for good measure.

At the end of it all, I’m very glad that everyone has drawers full of clothes that fit again and that I can move on to projects I can take a little more time doing.  At least for a few months.

Do you ever do large batches of relatively simple sewing for the sheer practicality of it all, or do you prefer to do one project at a time?

Elizabeth Made This

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

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My full review of TeeX3 is here.

Mississippi Ave Dress: Elizabeth Made This

Of all of the challenges for The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month, there’s nothing that strikes more fear in my heart more than this week’s theme–New to Me.  I’m very cautious about what patterns I choose outside of my Burda/Ottobre/Jalie bubble of warm comfort.  I check, double check, and triple check the measurements, other people’s reviews, etc. before I press the buy button.  What, I can’t just remake Jalie 2921 and hack it any way I choose to make a fantastic tee again?  Nope, the rules state that you can’t even have made a muslin from your chosen company this week.  Eek!

But, I suppose we don’t learn if we refuse to push ourselves beyond the borders of safety, so, throwing caution to the wind, I bought Sew House Seven‘s Mississippi Ave Dress from IndieSew.

There’s much to like about this dress.  It’s the perfect sundress with it’s shoulder ties and partial elastic waist.  The inset on the front of the dress would be a great place to add some colorblocking, and I’m glad to see a v-neck dress that’s not too low…if you sew a lot of Burda, you know those are rare.

Mississippi Ave Dress