Lent Day 29

Lent Day 29 First off - thanks to everyone for the tips for the dress - I don't think I'll pass it off to Goodwill yet. It doesn't help my wishy-washiness that I got about a half dozen compliments on it at work either.  I'm not sure when I'll have time to do the adjustments I'm thinking of (mainly making a square neckline and seeing if I can lengthen the hem), but I'll be sure to share them when/if I do.

Lent Day 29

Apparently, I'm in a purple mode (though yesterday was an un-photographed green). Originally I was going to post that this was the last winter/fall weight item I hadn't worn yet this Lent, but then I when into my off-season clothes storage bin and found two more heavy skirts that I didn't think fit, but do. And of course there's all the spring/summer dresses that I can start layering with soon.

All of this is to say, I kinda have too many clothes. And considering how many I have, it is truly a shame that I hadn't been wearing them more than I do. Hence Lenten challenge. Eventually I'll do a roundup of all the individual pieces I've been utilizing.

Lent Day 29 Detail

Lent Day 29

Pendleton Wool Dress: Made by Me.

Necklace: Gift shop in some Cathedral (St. John's?) in England, circa April 1997.

Boots: Clarks Outlet


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Mr. Cleaver's Christmas Shirt

The Mr. In his new shirt

Last year for Christmas, I  secretly knit Mr. Cleaver a sweater. This year, I secretly sewed him a shirt.


Secret sewing is much more difficult than secret knitting, especially when your sewing machine lives in your bedroom! But I squeezed the project in on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, when Mr. Cleaver left for work early (except for one when we lost power!).  I did kick him out of the house for an hour and a half on the 22nd or 23rd so I could do the buttons and buttonholes, and I thought for sure he was onto me.


But Christmas morning came and he opened his shirt and I had to tell him I made it, even though I stitched something inside one of the cuffs,  which I guess is a good thing. I did work really hard to make it the shirt as professional as possible, including doing flat-felled seams throughout and matching the plaids wherever possible.  You could practically wear this thing inside out!

Falt-felled seam

A flat-felled seam.

My biggest worry was that it wouldn't fit, even though I kept comparing it to shirts in his closet, but it fit great and he wore it all Christmas day. The fabric is a lovely light-weight wool  from the Pendleton wool mills that irons and wears like a dream. My family has a long-history with Pendleton wool button-downs, so I was glad I could bring Mr. Cleaver into the tradition.

You made it?!

Pattern: McCalls' M6044 - View C

Fabric: Pendleton Lightweight Wool from Gorgeous Fabrics

Flat-Felled Seam Tutorial: sewneau.com

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The Seven-Year Itchy Wool Dress

My Sewing Machine

I bought my first sewing machine in May with some hard-earned stage management pay. I'm not super fancy when it comes to sewing, so I went for a basic machine, a Brother LS 2125i. I really enjoy this machine, but it's very intuitive and it works almost exactly like my mother's sewing machine that I learned to sew on. When it comes to choosing projects, I have, up to this point, almost entirely focused on sewing dresses.

I love vintage dresses, particularly from the 50s, but it's hard to find them in good condition (because really, it'd be fifty years old), and even harder to find them in my size. So I sew them! Having discovered the wonderful world of craft blogs, I have about a billion things I'd like to sew now, but for now I'm still working on a dress.

Pendleton Wool

Several years ago, while driving from Napa to Salem, OR for my freshman year of college, my family stopped at the Pendleton factory store and picked up this amazingly beautiful wool fabric. The original intention was to make a skirt for the cold Oregon winters, which is a little funny now that I've lived in Maine and Chicago - no offense Oregon!

For whatever reason, the skirt never got made. So when I was visiting my mom this summer I dug out out the fabric and the old skirt pattern and snuck it into my suitcase. However, I was less enamored with skirt idea by this point, so I did some looking around found this McCall's pattern.


I have to admit, I was a tad terrified as I cut out the pieces, because I've never worked with plaid before, so I stared at it for about 15 minutes before I cut anything. Fingers crossed!

New Dress on It's Way!

The cut pieces have been sitting in my sewing box for several weeks and I finally pulled them out tonight and did some sewing. Since space in my apartment is limited, I sew on the kitchen table, but since we use the table I have to set up my machine and put it away each time I want to sew, so its often easier to pull out the knitting (and I am working on sweater #2 - so that has a lot of work to do on it as well).

In any case, I finished the bodice tonight and I couldn't be starting this dress at a better time, since I'm seeing plaid everywhere these days from Domino Magazine to CBS Sunday Morning. Apparently the design world is mad about plaid!

Dress Bodice

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