Early in June this year, I had a conversation with my daughter.  It went something like this…..

Child- “Hey, Mom, your Mini-Me is going to a summer camp!!!”

Me-     “That’s great, I remember you going to camp.  She is going to have so much fun!!! “When is she leaving?”

Child-  “In about two weeks!”

Me-     “Great, does she need anything?”

Child-  “No, I got it all taken care of, thanks though.”

Me-     “Okay, great!”

         .!!!!!!…………………..FAST FORWARD 2 WEEKS……………………..!!!!!

Child-   “OH, Hey, Mom, your Mini-Me leaves Sunday.  She needs something simple for a “Disney Princess Ball” they are having at summer camp.  Can you throw together a cape or something to go with her princess wand.?”   

Me-   “(((((!!!!!! WHAT!!!!!!)))))”

The Princess and the frog

Do you honestly think I would just throw together some old stinkin’ cape or just any ole thing for my Mini-Me to “represent” me at a “Princess Ball”.  If any of you have any idea the stakes on the table when you are 9 and headed off to a “new-to-you” summer camp.  What goes through your mind at the thought of all the other girls wearing those gorgeous cheap “STORE BOUGHT” costumes and here you come in with some pieces of fabric thrown together.  That is a bad look on our craft.  There is no way!!!! Absolutely, no way I would allow her to go down in flames like that!!!  I had to do something, right?

the princess and the frog
I had to go all out, I had to let it be known that I am GrandMa….not to be mistaken for having the time to do for others, yet no time to really concentrate on my ONLY grandchild’s costume.  Oh, no, a statement must be made.  Who out there knows what I mean?  Who out there, knows what its like to WANT the best and know you can make it?  I took the picture of the dress and Mini-Me and I went shopping for all the parts.  

She actually made sure I got the colors correct.  I just made sure the fabric was proper for the outfit.  JoAnn’s Casa collection always is there for these type of costumes.  They always make sure the right colors are in stock for the Disney princess costumes.  

I did manage to pull out all the stops on this one and even create the petal layers on the front bodice and add trim to all the edges.  Although, I did run out of some of my trim on some areas.  But, who would notice that part, unless I told them.  She was so very happy with this outfit, that her mom cried when she saw it while I was sleeping.  Since, I did stay up all night Saturday working on this one.  Only to take a short catnap Sunday morning at 6am until Mini-me was able to try it on before driving the two hours to camp.  

I do think, I earned probably a ga-zillion Grandma Browny points on this one here, both from my daughter and my mini-me.  

I, just might be more proud of this than I am my own makes.  I was beaming with pride when she twirled……here in this video:  “Princess Tiana Twirls”. 
Okay, can I just say….we copy off of each other everyday.  We see and sew, see and sew, whatever our friends sew.  Every time someone sews something we like, our list of things to sew grows and grows, and grows.  This was not something I was going to sew.  I hated these pants from the first day I saw them.  Even when I saw them on a fellow sew-sister, I thought to myself, she only looks good in them because she is 5 inches taller than me.  Well, that changed one night when I decided to take a chance at her insisting I “just try them”. 
Even while I was laying out the pattern, I was wondering was this a waste of my time….until I put them on and this happened…

It was photoshoot time.  I have all the backdrop and camera with tripod setup in my sewing room so I don’t need to run out chasing the sun.  I like to sew more than I like to take pictures, but you cannot tell by these shots.  I was having so much fun with my photographer and assistant- the remote control, and my granddaughter.   BTW….she told me to pose with the jeanie prayer hands.

Construction and Pattern Details:

Vogue 1355, a Sandra Betzina pattern has one piece for the pants.  The same as several McCalls patterns.  But Sandras patterns all have a special sizing that helps us to get near-ready-to-wear sizing. She uses a lettering system to create her sizes.  Her sizes do give good solid consideration for the tummy.
ALTERATIONS: I just the size D for length and didn’t pay attention to the hip or waist because I used my base pant sloper/block or TNT to check the fit before I cut the pattern.  I over-layed my pattern block on top of this pattern and lined up the grain-lines to make sure the crotch and the waist seams were what I needed.  As it turns out, as with every other pant pattern, I lowered the front waist by 1.5″ and extended the back crotch extension by at least an inch and shortened the front crotch extension by the same amount.  
If you need a pair of absolutely quick and fun pair of pants to wear, this is the one.  Listen to a friend, in my case, Cennetta of The Mahogany Stylist, they won’t lead you astray.  At first I thought that extra fabric hanging between my legs would drive me crazy, but I haven’t really felt it.  Ohhh!!!  I have worn then these pants way too much.  So, I guess that means I need to hurry and make another pair really soon.
I used the lightest of weight rayon jersey from JoAnns, I had bought planning to make some polazzo pants a year ago.  These work just fine.  
RECOMMEND?? Absolutely!!

This dress could easily be considered my favorite.  How I never gave a full blog post to it, only shows how much I sew, that I pay little attention to scheduling blog post for every item.  During the summers, I love wearing dresses and skirts much more than I do shorts.  I threw this one on for a Womens Networking Social with my model daughter.

(I didn’t make her dress…but, she has a list.)

I originally made this dress back in 2011, and totally wear it every chance I get.  I even made a romper outfit in 2014 with the bodice as a top for a vacation outing.  Shucks, I think I want another after talking about again.  Such a comfortable wear.  

I just love the “cold” shoulder affect of the sleeves.  They have a semi-flounce affect and just grazes the shoulders a bit to give a little “off-the-shoulder” action.  The waist is a midriff inset that is about 3.5″ with a zipper in the side seam.  I think if I make it again, I will leave the leaves off and make a maxi dress. 
The fabric is a linen and I lined it with a sheer broadcloth to keep it cool.  The alterations were simple in this case since the bodice already has a lot of ease room to play with.  I cut a size 14 and graded out to the size 16 at the waist and hips.  The back skirt was altered to allow for more junk in the trunk.

You may have seen this dress plenty times on my social media accounts.  I know it is really fun to see someone actually wearing out the garments they make.  In this case I just plum forgot.  
Until next post…keep on sewing.

The sheath dress fit-along has come to a close.  If you are on my YouTube channel and are part of my IRL fashion sewing group, you are well aware of all the work and fun that has been had in completing this dress. I did a complete fitting tutorial and multiple instructional videos on changing the necklines, adjusting the pattern and working your way through fitting the dress.  This all began last summer (2015) with the white shirt, then the pencil skirt, then the denim jacket.  I wanted to thank all of you for continuing to follow along with this “one-woman” shop.  I have been through a few ups and downs on the road to bring you these tutorials, and have tripped up a few times.  But each time I have reached out to you via social media, you have not let me down.  My list of to-dos, and in-completes is really long, as long as my heart is big, for sharing.  My husband is probably the most patient man in the world.  He knows how passionate I am about sewing and doesn’t complain.  Am I a “Stedford” wife?  I would say not! Because if I were, you all would not see very much of me at all….here’s to my husband for his kindness, love and unwavering patience!!

Now, for the goods-  “This lovely dress!!

The fabric was provided by Sew Much Fabric in support of my idea to bring to you this Sew-To-Fit Along.”   Of course we all need a great fitting basic sheath dress. I sure needed a new one in my wardrobe, but breaking down and making one took some work from me, and of course some prodding and direction from my great Wardrobe Consultant, Roz Ghaither, the owner and operator of Sew Much Fabric.  I’m not all sappy about her y’all, I just love working with people who put customer service at the top of the list.  I’m a sucker for good customer service.  I named this post “I Am Not a Stedford Wife!!” because that is the mold I felt I was being forced into when told to “stick to the basics”.  EWWWW!!!

sew much fabric smfabric.com, fit-along, wardrobe fit-along, wendybydesign

A great deal of participation, help and support came from my fun loving loyal fans and followers over on periscope for this endeavor.  I know YOU ALL are very loyal and very supportive of every single thing I do.  However, I must admit these ladies help me with my to-do list, and are constant reminder “bells” to keep me focused and on track.  That live connection is just so gratifying for me and really motivates the creative genius that I am.  As I prepared for this photo session, I asked myself:  “Can I vamp this dress up a little.” …it just reminded me so much of my “corporate” days.  I almost felt like I should have splashed a little paint on the front.  Then I decided to do a little Peri-photoshoot and get help from my live viewers.  They encouraged the pie plate and bowl ensemble.  I loved every thing about this shoot.  Even the relation to the elusive “Stepford Wife” icon.

My granddaughter was the stylist in all this to make sure I had to right shoes and jewelry for the shoot.  You know how it is when you prepare to go somewhere…it is easy to get dressed and prepped. However, doing a photoshoot takes practice and skill.  This area is not my strong suit, so I seek help wherever I can find it, even if it means trusting my “Mini-Me.”

The apron will be reviewed more in a later post.  It has its own story to tell.  WendybyDesign was the one to host an apron Sew-Along back in December that got me to sew this one.  I love it.  Thanks Wendy.

wendybydesign apron sew-along
Sheath Dress Construction Details:
This dress has been detailed so exhaustingly in videos on my youtube channel, that it is hard for me to honestly talk about its construction any further.  Please just enjoy the pictures and know that any questions you could possibly have regarding this dress is already documented in the videos on my channel.  If there are any questions you have directly please leave a comment and let me know so I can make public any content that hasn’t been release.  Trust me, it has all been filmed or broadcast on Periscope.  I only did Tissue Fitting, which is detailed extensively in my Youtube videos.  
  1. Pattern is Vogue 9025, size 14
  2. Alterations: FBA, Broad back, waist lengthened, Armhole made smaller, hips adjusted for larger rear end.
  3. Zipper excluded because fabric stretches so well.
  4. Lined completely
  5. Lowered and reshaped the neckline- video here.
  6. many more…..

  •  I don’t mean to send you on a wild goose chase.  It’s just easier at this point to direct you if you have questions, rather than go into trying to determine what might be a good topic to discuss with the dress fitting and pattern work. 

 Thanks for understanding.  Much appreciation to you all!!!!  Please enjoy the pictures!!

If I wanted to take this dress apart and knit-pic every single wrinkle, it would be ridiculous.  I could have worn a body slimmer to take care of the back rolls….yeah right!!??  Whatever, you just hold that thought.  In the mean time, lets be real, this is a ponte knit, very nice I might add.  Beefy with wonderful recovery.  The fit is wonderful, considering I did not do a muslin.   Now, I’m gonna go eat some pie. 
stepford wife

About a month ago I agreed to be added to a pool of folks for a fabric swap and be randomly paired with a swap partner.  We were required to exchange any piece of fabric from our stash. We were to sew it up in any way we felt best represents us and our esthetic. This group thing is bringing forth some serious sewing mojo out of me.  Because, I need, absolutely need, human interaction, not just online contact.  Combined with Periscope, this group provides the interaction of an IRL sewing group.  Okay, I think I have done my fabric justice, as well as made my swap partner proud. I present to you #thegreatfabricswapsmt finished garment.

vogue 1245

To my “fabric swap” partner, Kimberly:  Thanks very much for the fabric.  

I admit, I was apprehensive about working with this chiffon, with hopes I could produce something that would give it life beyond your imagination.  I had an idea immediately when I laid eyes on it for a shirt dress.  But, as I began manipulating it and considering my options, I decided that a shirt dress would make the fabric a little too “business” and take away from my style choices of “fun and frills”.  I wanted some type of frills added in to soften the hard stripes while at the same time maintaining its true nature.  So by juxtaposing them with chevrons and ruffles throughout, I felt I was able to get that fun feminine look with an obvious “manly” print.  Something, I learned, is normally a fashion faux pas.  The fashion world is not my go too place for making decisions to fit my own since of style and taste.  There just may be too many limitations for me. So, thank you for challenging me to think outside the box.

vogue 1245
For those Pericrafter folks who were up all night with me while I sewed this dress during my “LIVE” broadcast…I say thank you!!!   These ladies took the time to vote on the design layout of the skirt.  Whether to put the chevrons in the front and center or to use the straight lines on the front.  Click this link to see the 1minute video of what we did.  
You all are wonderful.  But for me, I must apologize, because, as soon as I got off that last “sewing” and “voting” scope, I totally, sewed the skirt on inside out.  So although, the Chevron was the clear winner, I just ended up with the straight stripes because I refused to take out all the stitching I had placed in the waistline for added security.  For those who voted on what color I would wear underneath…well, I guess I just broke my own rule.  The bra won out in the end, because I did not like the red slip I made right before taking these pictures.  With this being a Polyester Chiffon and the lining adding to the layers, it is just too much for our Houston humidity!! I was sweating while trying to get these pictures taken.

vogue 1245
vogue 1245 #thegreatfabricswapsmt
I believe it was the shiny tricot/something I got at Hancock that threw off the look of this dress.  I will still search for a more suitable lining later.  The black turned out just fine.  It actually made the dress look good…yet again, the layers are just too much for this heat.  I will save this dress for the cool fall/winter months.  Just know however, that it will absolutely get a lot of wear eventually.  Just not this summer. (sad face).  

#thegreatfabricswapsmt by Sewtofit.com
OOps…forgot to hide the bra straps.

Construction Details: 
The pattern is Vogue 1245 made into a dress.  I cut a size medium and lengthened it in the bodice by 1.5 inches and about 16 inches on each flounce/peplum piece.  All seams are french, and the hems are all machine rolled.  

The neckline and the waistline are finished with a banded channel for the drawstrings, which I cut on the crossgrain to give it a contrasting affect.  I really like how that came out.  

Until next time, you can always find me hanging out at Periscope.tv/Sewtofit.  What skirt design and underlay would you have chosen?