POW! The Comic Book Dress


I don't know if I've ever mentioned this here before, but I'm a bit of a comic book geek. My comic love was rooted in the90's X-Men cartoon, but really got it's start in college, when I would drive my friend James to new comic book day every week. In return for transport, I could read all the comics he brought back, and from then on I was hooked.

So when I saw this LaFrock dress on Pinterest, I quickly decided that I MUST make one of my own. As in I found appropriate fabric and ordered it the next day.

I actually found the fabric used in the dress above (Alexander Henry's "Sewing is Easy Print"), but I wanted to kick up the nerdiness a notch and picked this "Girl Power" print from Camelot Cottons, which features Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and my personal favorite, Batgirl.


The dress is cobbled together from two patterns, the waistband and bodice are from Colette Patterns Parfait, and the skirt and pockets from McCalls 4826. Despite some issues with the front bodice facing, I really liked the way the bodice came together and I have some lengths of linen I'm eyeballing to become a straight up Parfait this summer.


The dress is super comfy and is maybe one of my favorite things ever.


I spent a solid day putting the whole dress together, because I had a deadline to meet...


Free Comic Book Day!

Image 2

A lovely event that happened this past Saturday (and the first Saturday in March every year, in case your planning your 2013 calendar). And where else to wear your comic book dress than to hang out with cosplayers and get a dozen free comic books??


Now if you'll excuse me, I have some reading to do.


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Fall Palette Challenge: the Houndstooth Dress

  Even with a trip to the Botanic Gardens, I managed to finish two of my Fall Palette Challenge pieces this weekend, which I'll cover in two separate posts this week.

First up: The Houndstooth Dress

Fall Palette Challenge : Houndstooth Dress

As I said in my original palette post. I saw this dress done up as a sample in JoAnns and knew I had to make it. The pattern is New Look 6909,View C and while I debated about doing the pockets,fearing they'd "poof out" I eventually decided to the pattern as is.

Fall Palette Challenge : Houndstooth Dress

The seams were finished with a zigzag stitch for exposed seams and pinking for covered seams, as the fabric tended to be rather fray-prone (as I find is often the case with woolens). Though it tends to wrinkle a bit more than I like (!!), and the curvy fit makes me feel as if I should be wearing control top pantyhouse, I love this fabric as this dress.

Fall Palette Challenge : Houndstooth Dress

I'm particularly found of the details on this one, the funnel collar, the bow, the pleated cap sleeves, yes, even the pockets and while it took a bit of time nothing was particularly difficult to put together. A declare this one a win!! (especially with the red shoes)

Fall Palette Challenge : Houndstooth Dress

Oh and according to Wordpress, this is my 300th post! So yay for that too!

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Lonsdale in Bloom

Lonsdale in Bloom Although my internet pal Tasia at Sewaholic launched her pattern line in November 2010, it wasn't until this week that I finally got around to making one of her patterns, the recently released Lonsdale Dress.

Lonsdale in Bloom

When I first saw the pattern in her newsletter I knew I had to make it, and furthermore that I had the perfect fabric for it. Except that turned out that I only had half as much of it as I needed, in a one-way large repeat pattern and there was no way that I was going to make it work.

Lonsdale in Bloom

So I did some stash diving and pulled out this purple chrysanthemum (?) print I snagged at Marden's on a field trip with Maggie almost two years ago. It was still a one-way pattern, but with a bit of shifting pieces around, I got the whole thing cut out. Which was the most difficult part of the whole project.


I threw caution to the wind with this project and cut it out in my recommended size (all one size! thanks to her "pear-sized" grading) and just went at it  - no muslin, no tissue fitting, no nothing, and it fits great.

Lonsdale in Bloom

Tasia put together a truly lovely pattern. The whole thing is seven pattern pieces, with simple construction, which meant I could take the time to focus and finish the project really nicely. The included instructions are clear and I used the sew-along posts to do some additional details like French-seamed pockets and stay-tape on the bodice. I'm super proud of the way the inside of this dress  from seam finishes to zipper to hem.

I love the way this dress turned out, and if you're reading this Tasia, I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

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Watercolor Memories


I know I said my next sewing project would be a blouse, but I got distracted and had to make this dress first instead. I feel that the finished project is very Anthropologie-looking, so I tried to do my best Anthro-model impression above.


I've been loving watercolor florals for some time now, and when I saw this silky print at JoAnn's on my last visit I had to pick it up. I combined the fabric with Butterick 5028, a pattern that's been languishing in my stash for at least four years, waiting for the right 6o-inch fabric.


The pattern is all of three pieces, but I made a few mods, including lengthening the hem by about 1.5" and changing the neckline to a scoop neck. Later when I remembered I don't like scoop necks on me, I added the fabric loops to the front straps to change it up just enough to my liking. I still need to tack the loops down so they don't slide up, but I'm very happy with the finished project.


The fabric is nice and drapey, and despite being polyester (lined with yellow gingham in the bodice) it's very breezy and comfortable. I will say that my last two experiences with poly (this and my Lady Grey lining) have not been the best for my machine. They're so tightly woven that a very sharp needle is necessary. Lesson learned: universals no, sharps yes.

I also did my first attempt at a lapped side zipper using the instructions that came with the zipper, which I found very clear. My zipper's a bit wonky at the top, but that's because I didn't line it up the best and this fabric didn't deal well with seam ripping. I'd definitely do it again on another project.


I definitely loved this pattern, and I think if I could find the right white 60-inch eyelet fabric I'd make another in a heartbeat, probably with the original v-neck front and sash.


Another note, I like the drapy-ness of the back bodice on this one, but if you were concerned about bra straps showing, you could tack it together at the cross over point for something more stable. The back hem looks a little weird in this photo, I think because the weight of the fabric isn't enough to counteract the pull of bodice or it's static-y  or I could be standing funny- I'm not sure.


Dress: Me-made

Butterfly-Wing Necklace: Birthday gift

Belt: from shirt I no longer have

Sandals: Born Concept

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Lent 2011 - Wrap Up and Reflections

The number one question I was asked about this Lent challenge was whether I was wearing a different skirt or dress every day - to which I answered a resounding "no"! I have a lot of skirts and dresses, but not 46!! I'll even admit to wearing the same outfit more than once, but the official breakdown of skirted items worn (a total of 19)  is as follows:

Skirts (11)

Me-Made (7):

Lent 2011 Day 2Lent Day 30

Lent 2011 Day #13Lent 2011 - Day 33

Lent Day #15Lent Day 22

Tone on Tone (Lent Day #17)

Lent Day 21Lent Day 42

Lent Day 26

Easter Beignet


Lent 2010 - Day #3Lent 2010 Day #5Me and the MagnoliasCherry Blossoms

Lent 2010 Day #6Lent Day #14Lent Day #12Scout's Honor (Lent Day 44)

Lent 2011 Day #9Lent Day #10Lent Day 41

Parlez vous Beret (Lent Day #16)Lent Day 36

Obviously, when it came to skirts, I wore my store-bought skirts more than me-made ones, which I figure was due to two reasons:

  1. They're generally more casual
  2. they're more neutral.

So the lesson here is to make more casual/neutral skirts, or get used to fancy pattern mixing. And hey!! My next sewing project is a grey twill skirt - sounds casual/neutral to me!

Dresses (8)

Me-Made (5):

Lent Day 1

Looking Work-y

Lent Day 27

Lent Day 29

Lent Day 43

Vintage(2): Lent Day #8

Lent Day 34

Store Bought(1): Lent Day #7

I have a handful of other items, but they're more definitely summer-wear.

The other thing about the specific outfits was that my level of comfort with an outfit was inversely proportional to the amount out compliments I got on it. That is: the less sure I was about an outfit, the more likely it was that everyone else would.

Best compliment I got: (on Day 36) 'It's like Ugly Betty, but not ugly!"

The hardest part of the challenge: Staying warm in the cold Maine spring (and my subsequent annoyance with tights) and figuring out to what to wear on the weekends.

What Your Clothes Say About You

This Lent challenge also been an interesting experiment in how other people "read" my dress.

For example, on Flickr, I've been asked to include some of the above photos in groups like "Offbeat Modest Dress" and "Way Too Pretty To Wear Pants." The latter whose group goals include the following:

I would really love it if some of the women who post their pictures to the group would consider undertaking a pledge to stop wearing pants (that's 'trousers' for anyone in the UK...) for a month, or a year - or ideally forever :-). That way, the group can help to promote feminine beauty by setting inspirational examples." (The group of course was founded by a man).

This doesn't count the numerous"favorites" from Flickr "creepers" who favorites are filled with pictures of women in tights, or turtleneck sweaters, or some other clothing-based fetish. All of which were quickly blocked.

Carrying It On

All in all, I call this Lenten challenge a success. Some mornings I would have rather not done it, but I'm glad that I did and had a lot fun looking at my wardrobe in a different way and trying new combos with my existing piece.

While I did wear pants to work yesterday, it felt kinda weird and I was less excited about it as an outfit, so super-cold or wet days aside, I think I'll be wearing a lot more skirted items day to day.

Now the next challenge is to come up with the next challenge!! (Suggestions, as always, are welcome!!)

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It's a Mod Mod World

Oh, I'm Tresspassing

I really think I'm at my best when I'm sewing dresses. This dress, which is the Zoe pattern from Burdastyle, is the first piece I've done that I feel looks 100% professional, inside and out.


The pattern itself is pretty simple, with a total of seven pieces. I did have to make a few alterations to make this dress work for me though, something I'm slowly getting better at. 

Zoe Dress

I added about three inches to the length of the skirt, because I wanted it to be work-appropriate. And really, can you imagine if this was three inches shorter - yeesh! It would be positive indecent on someone of my height. I also, like many people, had to add a pair of darts down the front, because I can't pull off the "sack" look. The material is a fantastic wool or wool blend that I snagged from the remnants section of Vogue Fabrics back in my "stock-up-because-I-don't-know-what-my-fabric-store-selection-will-be-like-in-Portland" phase. It's fairly stretchy and oh so soft. I used the material "wrong" side out because I loved the slightly fuzzy nap of it - it seemed so fall/winter-appropriate that way. I think I may need to knit a black beret just to go with this dress.

Zoe Dress

And boy is it fall. The colors are peaking right now and its absolutely gorgeous - it's like the trees are on fire (in a good way).

Once again, I have to give a big shot-out to Mr. Cleaver, who helped with the photos (and it starting to get pickier with his shots :p). And here's a bonus outtake, just for fun:

Jumping Shots are always fun!

In other news, I have job interview #4 tomorrow, I now own a couch, and you should keep your eyes out this weekend for that surprise.

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Sewing Update or The Seven-Year Itchy Wool Dress Part II

So I'm still playing post-Christmas catch-up here, but if I keep my nose to the grindstone, I figure I might get all caught up by the end of January. 

That said, here is the sewing-centric companion to last week's knitting update.

Project #1: Christmas Apron

I wasn't one of the many bloggers who made the handmade pledge because I already knew what I wanted to get my husband, and while part of it was handmade by me (record bowls) and part of it handmade by someone else (Wilco silkscreen), the rest was not and it wasn't really an idea I wanted to give up. 

Mr. Cleaver's Presents

Not entirely handmade, but certainly appreciated by the recipient. 

That said, I did do some additional hand-made gifting, namely the apron below (on left). The pattern was based on a vintage apron I had (on the right). This was pattern-making at its, uh, well it involved some paper bags, a lot of folding and some high-class technical eye-balling and guesswork. 

Apron Buddies 

Apron buddies! 

I didn't have enough material or know-how to make bias tape for the edging, so instead I did some decorative zig-zagging. All in all,  I think it turned out fairly well.  

Apron detail

Lord love the zig-zag stitch. 

And what did I get? In an awesome "Gift-of-the Magi"-but-in-a-totally-better-way turn of events, Kasey got me The Apron Book!

Apron book

That is 100% Pure Excitement there. 

 Project #2: Plaid Wool Dress

 It took seven years to get the dress made, so it's no surprise that it's taken me so long to post about the completion of this project.

I finished the dress about a week and half before Christmas and have worn it several times since then, including for my Breakfast at Tiffany's book club meeting, but every time I wore it I forgot to take a picture. Hopefully I'll remember next time and can post a photo of the dress actually on me, but for now, I leave you with this:

Completed Plaid Dress

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