Out of the Closet

Summer ain’t really over until my summer dresses start to look ridiculous. On me. Or in my closet. In the meantime, I live by the just-add-boots and just-add-cardigan rules of summer wardrobe extension.

This cotton dress in yellow plaid saw the light of day after many months in the “after baby” bin of clothes waiting for my waist to return. Now that I think about it, my time away from regular sewing and blogging was sandwiched between making this dress and the Family Friendly Floral FrockNow I have the chance to restore balance to the universe by blogging it. We’ll call it The Plaid to be Back Dress.

The Plaid to be Back Dress

The princess seams on this go-to Simplicity bodice have been painstakingly fitted. In fact, I was making tweaks to it last week for a new variation I’m planning. And, dare I say it’s one muslin away from perfection. I love that we are still BFFs after I cut her up to fit my curves. What other friend would hug you close after getting sliced and taped back together? We’ll be in each others lives a while.

The Plaid to be Back Dress

I think the pleated skirt is a Simplicity number, too, but I can’t remember for sure. I probably had to add the pockets — the lack of pockets in most commercial patterns borders on criminal. Though, I won’t hate on the homies at Simplicity. Their A through D cup patterns rescued me from the streak of wadders I was sewing when I first started out. $5 a yard quilting cotton was also my savior back then. Patterns and color options for days, easy as hell to sew, and cheap enough for making wearable muslins. This yellow plaid fabric could’ve ended up in a quilt to keep me warm at night instead of becoming a lovely dress that keeps me from nudity during the day.

The Plaid to be Back Dress

Sadly, its life outside of my closet will be short this year. The weather seems to be turning more undeniably fall-like by the minute and I’m running out of make-it-work-with-boots time. Speaking of work, here we are, accessorized for the office — the place where underappreciated handmade dresses brighten the halls and my mood.

The Plaid to be Back Dress

How long do you milk your summer wardrobe before it gets packed away? Or are you a style ninja with a seasonless closet? I’d love to hear about what comes out (or stays in) your closet this time of year.

How to Return to Blogging with a Vengeance

I'm Back

When your whirlwind blogging adventure goes on an unscheduled, two-year hiatus, there’s only three steps to take:

  1. Remember how awesome you are.
  2. Figure out how to do it better this time.
  3. Tell your story.

Remember how awesome you are

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this sewing blog in 2012. I thought it’d be fun to sew a garment a week and joined The Sew Weekly’s challenge. Being a contributing blogger on another site was a wild, life-changing experience. The community was amazingly supportive, the sewing challenges kept me on the edge of sanity, and the weekly blogging format was manageable for a newbie like me. But, my personal blog never quite found its way.

Since it was custom for contributors to have their own blog, I started this one and tried to keep it going along with my posts to The Sew Weekly. I sucked at that. And, when life and work got crazy, I got further and further away from my last blog post (and my last sewn garment), until I looked up, and two years had gone by with no blogging.

I felt like a failure for a while. As if the time that had past was a missed opportunity I’d never get back. Then, one day, I started looking at old photos of garments I’d made during that year of blogging. I sewed 24 garments in as many weeks. I went from never having sewn a wearable dress, to learning to custom-fit and construct several. I’ve sewn many different types of fabrics and taught myself pattern drafting, couture sewing techniques, and alterations. As a result of my experience, I have a set of custom-fit patterns I can make over and over again.

Favorite Garments of 2012

My favorite garments of 2012

Figure out how to do it better this time

Now that I’ve accepted that I suck at blogging, I am getting help. I’ve enrolled in a Blogging 101 class to refresh my skills and build some good habits. There’s no grand plans to take over the world with this resurrected blog. Just a near-daily post about sewing and something sewn each week. Getting reacquainted with the sewing blogger community will keep me thoroughly engaged, inspired, and entertained. Old friends and new are sure to encourage my blogging longevity.

Tell your story

My break from blogging began with a string of back-to-back business trips that made it nearly impossible to keep up with weekly sewing challenges. When I came home from the last trip, I was desperate to get back to making clothes. Instead, I found out I that my husband and I had made a human being!

Motherhood became my new craft and growing and raising my daughter, Josephine has been my latest whirlwind adventure.

Meet the Carrolls

Last month, I sewed a dress for myself for the first time in two years.  The moment I finished the hem, I knew I had to make room in my life for wardrobe sewing again. Photographed in front of my house after spending the day with my two favorite people, here is The Family-Friendly Floral Frock.

The Family Friendly Floral Dress

I’ll continue to enjoy this dress into the fall with a cardigan or this pink plaid shirt, an instant smile-generator and reason for pink lipstick.

The Family Friendly Floral Dress

The Family Friendly Floral Dress
Yeah, I’m definitely back. All I had to do was…

  1. Remember that I am a kick-ass seamstress.
  2. Get help so I can become a kick-ass blogger.
  3. Introduce my family and the dress that rekindled my love for sewing.